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Old May 1, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Question Help pick a GPU

Hi everyone. I'm building a new pc, and I need some help on picking a graphics card. Any advice on the rest of the system would be great too.

1. What YOUR PC will be used for.
Gaming on high settings (Crysis 3, Borderlands 2 .etc, Battlefield 4 when it's out) and animating using Autodesk Maya

2. What YOUR budget is.
$1600 - $1700 not including taxes and shipping

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
Both Canada and US can do, as I live near the border and have a PO Box

4. IF YOU have a brand preference.
Intel, NVIDIA, Western Digital, ASUS, Corsair

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Possibly the monitor, and a XBOX controller. I'll be getting a new keyboard and mouse (outside the budget above)

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes, I did

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
Some plans to overclock

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Around the next 2-3 weeks

9. What resolution and settings do you use?
1920 x 1080, I want settings as high as possible while still maintaining at least 30 FPS

10. Are there any specific technologies you want?
USB 3.0, SSD...


The two GPUs I'm choosing:
EVGA | Products | EVGA GeForce GTX 670 4GB Superclocked+ w/Backplate | 04G-P4-2673-KR
EVGA | Products | EVGA GeForce GTX 670 FTW SIG2 | 02G-P4-3677-KR

The first one has 4GB of memory, while the latter have 2GB of memory. However, the latter have more clock speeds(around 40 Mhz more), a higher memory clock, a higher memory bandwidth, and a higher texture fill rate. The 2GB model also offers improved cooling, with two fans instead of the 4GB model's reference cooler design. I think the 4GB model would be better for animations with Autodesk Maya, but the 2GB model's higher speeds would assist with gaming. Recommendations on which one to get would be highly appreciated.


Here's the rest of the system:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS

Case: BitFenix Shinobi

RAM: Corsair Dominator 8GB Dual Channel CMP8GX3M2A1600C9

Graphics Card: To be determined

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB Hard Drive

SSD Drive: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB

Optical Drive: ASUS BC-12B1ST

Power Supply: Corsair CX750M

CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i

Case Fans: 120mm: Corsair SP120 High Performance Fans 2-pack / 140mm: NZXT FX 140LB Case Fan x2
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Old May 2, 2013, 12:28 AM
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If I were you I would shuffle some of your budget around..

How much rendering do you expect to do? This a rather important point as if you can justify a 3770k over a 3570k for it then you will want at least 16GB ram if not more.
If your only doing a few bits and pieces for college or to play around, then the 3570k could be enough for you.. I used miya on my old C2D lappy and rendered etc etc etc...

If you can justify the 3770k get Minimum 16 GB ram.. I would suggest something like:
G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (F3-1866C9D-16GSR) - PCPartPicker
1866 MHz, normally for gaming this makes no difference but with rendering it should be a lil faster while only being a small step up in price ($9) from 1600MHz.
If you possibly want a RAMDISK for a scratch drive then bump that to 32GB.. again this is only justifiable if your doing allot of rendering.. if not drop to 3570k and choose yourself if you want 8gb or 16 gb ram
(it's pretty cheap and important for rendering so this would be the first thing I'd upgrade over a gaming pc)

The case is a solid pick but I wouldn't bother with extra fans.. they are pretty good airflow and quiet anyway.. at least try is in stock fan config before you blow cash you may not need to.
My choices of manufacturers is a dip of 4 / 5 depending on your styling needs really, Bitfinx, NZXT, Corasir, Fractal and coolermaster all produce good kit regularly.
My brother got the survivor and very happy with it, 2x200mm fans keeps everything cool and whisper quiet in stock config though the cooling options are very limited with that case.

SSD, the Intel is probably thee best consumer SSD but you pay for it.. very close to it in speed but a fair bit cheaper is The Neutron GTX.. so much so that for a 180GB 520 +$10 you get a 240GB Neutron GTX.
On the size... I very much urge you to go bigger straight away and read AkG's SSD guide (how to keep them fast and long in life)
120GB fills VERY fast with a few games and TBH whats the point in an SSD if you can't stick your most commonly used applications / games on it.

HDD, this is a lil tricky cos of 2 things... 1 I love the WD blacks, 2 they are really loud and expensive..
If you can put your work on the SSD or don't need very fast storage drive then go WD blue or some other alternative.. But if you do need the speed, it a very good drive and really solid.

Motherboard, look for a deal on pretty much any z77 board from Asus or MSI (for Canadian returns) which has all the features your looking for.
I have been impressed with ASRock's boards but is a lil more risky as I've not heard of anything from their customer service apart from the usual horror stories that you hear about all brands.

PSU, unless you want to add a second GPU later then don't bother with a 750W, 650 is enough for the above (even with a good OC) and a 750 won't be enough for 2 cards anyway (or will be pushed very hard)
go 650W or 850W.. Also I would suggest grabbing a bit of a better one, you don't have to go crazy but spend $120 rather than $75 and your system will run cooler, quieter, more efficiently and be much more protected from power surges or the psu going pop and taking out expensive components. CORSAIR HX series HX650 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Newegg.com would be perfect

CPU cooler... H80i... do you need it? will you be overclocking to a high degree? could you get away with stock or a cheaper aftermarket cooler (hyper212) untill you can stretch your budget?
Cos really I would invest in the other components before this... good PSU and more ram and bigger SSD > than a fancier cooler and will give you more performance than the slightly higher clock speeds you'll reach IMO


And finally there is the GPU.. TBH I wouldn't touch either of them... MSI PE 670 is cheaper, better cooler and probably has higher clocks than both these not that it matters much (oc it yourself, there are legnty of guides out there and it is easy)

Check out what miya will use for GPU accelerating.. may be worth looking at a 7970 as it's more powerful and about the same price as a 670.

Last edited by Dzzope; May 2, 2013 at 12:45 AM.
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Old May 2, 2013, 06:52 AM
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At least for gaming, you won't need more than 2GB vram on your graphics card on 1920x1080. To be honest, I don't know too much about the requirements for the animating that you'll be doing so I'm not really competent to give you safe advice on that. But for gaming, definitely the 2GB version. I guess it comes down to how much gaming and how much other stuff.
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Old May 2, 2013, 07:07 AM
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umm Intel might have best warranty and support on their SSD but they most certainly are not the best consumer SSD.

Samsung 840 Pro, Corsair Neutron GTX, Samsung 840, Corsair Neutron refresh are the top contenders, far as I know, nothing short of the PCI-e SSD cards are faster at this time in most things then the 840 pro, last I checked Intel drives are missing some to be these drives equal.

The new Caviar Blue EZEX model 1tb+ are actually very fast and worth it, I know the upper end caviar blacks are faster and better at certain functions, I have 2 caviar black 640gb and 1 caviar blue 1tb model EALX the blue is near identical performance to the black except when really smuckin the controller with certain types f tasks, generally the blacks are better OS type drives(doesn't matter with SSD as primary of course) the blues are better general purpose drives. In my case raven 3 with 2 cages up front, the black and blue are both same temp, and I have never heard them, but of course I have a non passive case.

Asus P8Z77-V LX2 would be a solid choice for a motherboard, lots of features, trimmed down a bit to reduce costs but still a solid board, and quite overclockable if need be.

SSD wise, 128gb is fine for OS and a few games with a few commonly used programs/apps, but I agree to this in multiple ways, 256gb recommended, so you generally do not have to worry about space nearly as much, usually better $/gb value, and better performance(though this doesn't matter much) vs the 128 and 60gb offerings. ANY SSD is very fast compared to pretty much any mechanical offering, hence something even like Crucial M500 would be great, and they are usually and will be quite a few $ less then competition.

A Sufficently good PSU from Seasonic as an example would be fine even at 550w for 99% of single gpu builds out there, even with heavy overclocking, 650-750 available sustained watts is fine for a chunk of dual gpu builds(I am using my Corsair HX 750 with dual 7870 heavily clocked and phenom 955 heavily clocked, the psu exhaust is a little warmer but nothing extreme)

If you plan on using 1 GPU ever in that build, be it a dual card like a 7990 type thing, or single such as 7970, then I would go for the custom cooling such as the dual fan models etc, if you plan on going with 2 cards at somepoint, i.e dual 7970 or the like, I would think about going with a reference cooling solution i.e the blower fan type, this way here card does not overheat, and preferably a motherboard that the gpu are double spaced between slots at minimum or temps rise real fast, mine is only 1 physical space between my 7870 and cards temps are 75-78c and 60-70c with 77%/58% fan speed respectively

EVGA charges a premium for slightly modified clocks or different coolers vs the other brands, MSI-Asus would be the better picks, all about the cooler for single gpu use, overclocks are 99% of the time the same between all cards, sometimes a specific branding gets cherry picked gpu which no other card gets to use, but that is very rare, you pay for the name, the clocks, the cooling, the warranty.
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Old May 2, 2013, 09:04 AM
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SSD
Only thing I will disagree with on the above is faster = better.. Intel cherry pick the best nand and have the longest and best warranty.. Not to mention being within a hair of the others on speed too.
add in push button cleaning of the drive (others may have this now) and good over-provisioning, would make it my choice if I had the spare cash that I didn't need else-where.
With the price of the Neutron GTX it's hard to beat.. but any of the above mentioned SSD's will be great, just pick either you brand preference / lowest cost.

GPU
The biggest thing really here is, how much modeling and rendering will you do and how heavy will it be.
What card is better supported for Miya and will extra ram on the card help(and by how much ie, is it worth it?) (best checking out their forums for this info)
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Old May 2, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzzope View Post
If I were you I would shuffle some of your budget around..

How much rendering do you expect to do? This a rather important point as if you can justify a 3770k over a 3570k for it then you will want at least 16GB ram if not more.
If your only doing a few bits and pieces for college or to play around, then the 3570k could be enough for you.. I used miya on my old C2D lappy and rendered etc etc etc...

If you can justify the 3770k get Minimum 16 GB ram.. I would suggest something like:
G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (F3-1866C9D-16GSR) - PCPartPicker
1866 MHz, normally for gaming this makes no difference but with rendering it should be a lil faster while only being a small step up in price ($9) from 1600MHz.
If you possibly want a RAMDISK for a scratch drive then bump that to 32GB.. again this is only justifiable if your doing allot of rendering.. if not drop to 3570k and choose yourself if you want 8gb or 16 gb ram
(it's pretty cheap and important for rendering so this would be the first thing I'd upgrade over a gaming pc)

The case is a solid pick but I wouldn't bother with extra fans.. they are pretty good airflow and quiet anyway.. at least try is in stock fan config before you blow cash you may not need to.
My choices of manufacturers is a dip of 4 / 5 depending on your styling needs really, Bitfinx, NZXT, Corasir, Fractal and coolermaster all produce good kit regularly.
My brother got the survivor and very happy with it, 2x200mm fans keeps everything cool and whisper quiet in stock config though the cooling options are very limited with that case.

SSD, the Intel is probably thee best consumer SSD but you pay for it.. very close to it in speed but a fair bit cheaper is The Neutron GTX.. so much so that for a 180GB 520 +$10 you get a 240GB Neutron GTX.
On the size... I very much urge you to go bigger straight away and read AkG's SSD guide (how to keep them fast and long in life)
120GB fills VERY fast with a few games and TBH whats the point in an SSD if you can't stick your most commonly used applications / games on it.

HDD, this is a lil tricky cos of 2 things... 1 I love the WD blacks, 2 they are really loud and expensive..
If you can put your work on the SSD or don't need very fast storage drive then go WD blue or some other alternative.. But if you do need the speed, it a very good drive and really solid.

Motherboard, look for a deal on pretty much any z77 board from Asus or MSI (for Canadian returns) which has all the features your looking for.
I have been impressed with ASRock's boards but is a lil more risky as I've not heard of anything from their customer service apart from the usual horror stories that you hear about all brands.

PSU, unless you want to add a second GPU later then don't bother with a 750W, 650 is enough for the above (even with a good OC) and a 750 won't be enough for 2 cards anyway (or will be pushed very hard)
go 650W or 850W.. Also I would suggest grabbing a bit of a better one, you don't have to go crazy but spend $120 rather than $75 and your system will run cooler, quieter, more efficiently and be much more protected from power surges or the psu going pop and taking out expensive components. CORSAIR HX series HX650 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Newegg.com would be perfect

CPU cooler... H80i... do you need it? will you be overclocking to a high degree? could you get away with stock or a cheaper aftermarket cooler (hyper212) untill you can stretch your budget?
Cos really I would invest in the other components before this... good PSU and more ram and bigger SSD > than a fancier cooler and will give you more performance than the slightly higher clock speeds you'll reach IMO


And finally there is the GPU.. TBH I wouldn't touch either of them... MSI PE 670 is cheaper, better cooler and probably has higher clocks than both these not that it matters much (oc it yourself, there are legnty of guides out there and it is easy)

Check out what miya will use for GPU accelerating.. may be worth looking at a 7970 as it's more powerful and about the same price as a 670.
I would do a fair bit of rendering, it'll make up around 40% of my computer usage. I would upgrade the RAM to 16GB ASAP, but I'll stick with 8GB for now. The case only comes with one stock fan, and I have a friend who also owns the Shinobi, and this is the fan setup he used. Very cool at a tolerable volume.
For the SSD, I'll be putting multiple OSs on there, and some essential programs. All games will go to the WD Black.
I changed the PSU to the HX750, instead of the 650, because I want to add more hard drives, peripherals, and maybe a sound card later.
Yes, I would be doing some pretty heavy OCing, so the H80i I do need.
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Old May 2, 2013, 06:53 PM
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For the SSD, I want reliability above everything else, hence why I went with Intel. I've chosen the 2GB version of the 670, since I read that Maya will rely less on GPU memory, and more on system memory. Speaking of which, I would get another set (2 x 4GB) of system memory as soon as possible, so that can be fulfilled.
Thanks for all your suggestions
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Old May 3, 2013, 04:25 PM
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I would Really suggest that you go straight for 2x8gb as you'll have no further upgrade available if you get 2 8gb kits (2x4)
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