Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

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Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Mr.Blonde on Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:15 am

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Hey guys - I've been meaning to upgrade my PC for ages and my gfx card died this afternoon which has finally put some impetus into me. I've come up with the following list of components and was hoping you could cast your eyes over it, check that I haven't made any obvious blunders.

Gfx: Nvidia GTX680 £355
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH £155
CPU: Intel i5-3570k £172
Memory: Corsair DDR3 1600 XMS 8GB (2x4GB) £38
SSD: Samsung 840 500GB £265

I'll be keeping my existing case, PSU, optical drive and two old school HDDs.

My main points of contention: I chose that mobo for the thunderbolt abilities (it has 2 ports) - is that worth paying an extra £70 or so for it do you think? The mobo was the part of the build I struggled with the most as there are just so many choices! To be honest I don't need (or know what they are) a lot of the features on a lot of these boards. I'd like one with built in wifi if I could but that is an extra £80 in the gigabyte range so I figured I'd just buy a usb dongle instead.

I also picked the samsung 840 500gb drive over the 840 pro - I was tempted to get the pro version but couldn't bring myself to pay the ~£400 for the similar size version - I could always get the ~£190 256GB 840 pro.

I think that's it, and as always I really appreciate you taking the time to take a butchers. All help appreciated! I'm planning to order it tomorrow all going according to plan.

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby larchy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:29 pm

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It's really going to depend on what you're wanting to get out of it and how much you have to spend.

The GTX680 for example; it's going to be worth thinking long and hard as to whether this warrants the price premium. a 660Ti will set you back at least £120 less and unless you're gaming at 2560x1600 you're not going to notice any difference. The 660Ti is the absolute price/performance sweet spot in graphics right now and is more than capable of handling anything thrown at it barring certain mega-resolutions with every setting turned up. Even then, it's giving you 17ms frame times at 2560x1440 in skyrim with maxed settings, so it's hard to see where the value is in a 680 unless you have some very demanding usage pattern... trying to drive gaming on multiple displays at once or such. Personally I'd grab a 660Ti and save the £120 for the latest and greatest in a year or two if needed, but it's up to you and depends on your usage and expectation really.

This review may be useful in relation tot he motherboard. Fundamentally it's a good board that stands out by having two thunderbolt ports, and it has a few other good and hard to find features such as mSATA. However again, are you going to use these? Why do you need Thunderbolt as opposed to, say, USB 3.0? Have a particular need for Thunderbolt on a particular device? If it's just a thought of wanting a fast connection for the future, then I would suggest USB3.0 fulfills this and even now in its infancy has wider mainstream adoption. Just look at how many USB3.0 storage drives you can get right now as opposed to Thunderbolt. If you need it, fine, this is probably one of the best boards feature-wise given the two ports. But otherwise, I'd be having a think about whether it's really worth it. The other issue as noted in that review (and in 99% of every other review of every Gigabyte board ever) is the niggles. A £150 board that can't control fan speeds other than the CPU fan? Compatibility issues even with just the few bits and pieces the reviewers had to hand? I personally have just always found them to be niggly and unreliable since... well... forever really. HardOCP even stopped reviewing them altogether for many years they were so poor, though they've improved greatly recently. Every brand has issues with odd products, but personally I wouldn't recommend Gigabyte purely from (extensive) experience I have for comparison. On paper it's a good option if you need Thunderbolt though.

All the boards out there are based on a handful of Intel chipsets, the gigabyte board using the Z77 which most in the £70+ price range use. It's the chipset that determines the underlying features, with extra stuff added with additional controller chips if the manufacturer wants to differentiate the product, so don't fret too much about the choices out there - they're all just slight variations on a pretty bland single theme. For example the ASUS P8Z77, which is half the price, has more or less the same features - 2 x SATA 6Gbps ports, the rest the old 3Gbps standard, same as the Gigabyte as this is what the chipset supports. Same expansion, options, ports etc more or less; anything you'll choose will have all the same important stuff. I mean... does it really make a big difference whether the wireless controller chip is on the motherboard or an expansion card? It's not like the expansion slots really get used for much these days is it?

The 3570K is the CPU sweet spot, the Ivy version of the (now venerable) Sandy 2500K

RAM, fine, chuck whatever in. So long as it's 1600MHz there's no tangible performance benefits of anything faster with Ivy. Corsair is spot on, you won't have any reliability issues.

The 840 is a good drive, the difference being that it employs TLC NAND as opposed to the Pro's MLC. Whilst the read speeds are still in the 500MB/s+ range the write speeds are about half that, whereas the Pro maintains write's in the 500MB/s range. Really these days, so long as you simply have an SSD rather than a conventional drive, that's the main thing. They're all so massively fast, even the 'slower' ones, that so long as you just simply have one then that's good enough.

The Samsungs are good drives with solid warranties, though the 840's performance consistency over time is not the best. The Vector with the new Indilinx controller looks to be the performance king right now, but given that it's an OCZ product your data is going to be about as safe as if you were writing 0's and 1's in the snow. The price is also on the high side. So, yeah, decent choice witht he standard 840, you shouldn't have any issues.

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Mr.Blonde on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:40 pm

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larchy, as always, you are the don. Thanks very much for the input - I think you're right about the mobo so will switch to the Asus you recommend (i've always liked my Asus boards in the past). will keep the samsung drive the same and will have a mull about the gfx card. I'm absolutely sure you're right about the 660 Ti but to be honest this is the first time I've felt like I can treat myself so I may do it anyway!

thanks again, much obliged.

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Quinnbeast on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:28 pm

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I've just done a similar order from Scan -

i5 3570K
Asus P8Z77-V (LX)
Asus 660Ti
Corsair RAM (8gb, cheapest 1600 stuff)
Samsung 840 Pro (250gb jobby - this will be the biggest eye-opener of the bunch me thinks - my 5yr/o WD drive is getting tired.)
Fractal / Define R4 case (Finally had to retire the Antec Solo, most modern GPUs (over 10") don't fit due to the fixed HDD cage and the HDDs themselves can be ballache to access when compared to newer designs. Very nearly bought an P183, I know it would do an excellent job, but it's a very slightly cumbersome & over-engineered beast for my needs. I may still regret not getting it...)
Dell 2312HM (I struggled with monitor choice, fancied ditching my shitty sub-1080p TN job for an eIPS - still not 100% sure though. I'll find out tomorrow! If the colour reproduction is better I'll be a happy chimp.)

Nearly went down the Asus/Dell/Samsung 27 or 30 route, but I'm limited for space and I'd be looking a beefier GPU to do it justice for gaming. Oh, and about £500 extra to upgrade both from current spec. Maybe next time. When I've got a bigger desk.

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Mr.Blonde on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:47 pm

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hope you're as pleased with yours as I am with mine. All spiffy so far and I'm loving it. Although I will admit the most demanding thing I've run on it is NS2 (mainly because I'm now addicted to NS2...)

thanks again larchy

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Quinnbeast on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:24 pm

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^^ Indeedy. For one thing, it's going to take a while to get used to Win7 loading up at the same speed as my iPad. I had a bit of gyp with the USB ports at first, but a chipset update has cured it. Also, the new monitor is truly excellent for the money (£175), easily the best upgrade of the bunch after the SSD.

Now to abuse the bandwidth getting my steam library fleshed out.

Re: Another one of those "is this ok?" threads

Postby Quinnbeast on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:55 pm

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http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-be- ... an-atx-v23

Just added one of these after discovering my old Corsair was giving off some weird electrical noise under heavy load with the new setup. I don't think it's a major fault, but didn't fancy relying on it for the next few years will all this shinny stuff plugged in. I'll assign it back to the (less vital) HTPC-a-like box that I'd borrowed a few parts from in the new build.

If ever there was such a thing as PSU porn, this unit from be quiet! is a contender. Definitely over-spec'd in many regards, but completely inaudible (i.e. similar to Seasonic fanless territory), weighs a fucking ton and forces me to check if my PC is still running even when there's no background noise. I know, I'm a mug.


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