£1500 rough budget for new PC

By Sunny87
Apr 11, 2013
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  1. Hi everyone so I've been running a T1100 AMD CPU for a while and I hate it, it's done well but in the last few months the whole system has gone to pot so I figured I'd make the move back to intel.
    Now I was planing on getting a single GTX690 but then for the same money/slightly less money I can get crossfired HD7970's 6000MHz.
    So this was my planned setup and it hit's the mark all par the OS but I can't get an OEM copy of windows 7 so I might have to move over to 8 for £60...

    Intel i7 3770K 3rd gen
    Asus P8Z77
    2x Gigabyte HD7970 3GBGDDR5
    Coolermaster HAF XM with GX lite 700watt PSU
    8GB Corsair Dominator RAM 2666MHz
    internal Blu-ray drive
    Segate 750GB hybrid SSD plus an extra 1TB drive for Steam games
    Windows 8 64Bit

    So what does everyone think? I'll be running on a 32" 1080p Samsung LED TV.
  2. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 866   +167

    I would get rid of the 2666Mhz and just pick up 1600Mhz RAM. Also, what is the purpose for this PC? If it is for gaming I would probably knock the 3770K down to a I5-3570K.

    I would go with a different PSU then the one you listed. For crossfire cards 700w will power them, but I'd opt for something around 800-850w range. This will allow you some headroom for the future.

    When it comes to 690 vs 7970 CFX it all comes down to patience. When running two cards you will often run into driver issues and things such as micro stuttering. Additionally, it create much more heat and noise. So, if you can deal with things like that - go with the 7970's. If not, go with the 690.

    For your storage, I would opt for a regular SSD instead of a hybrid and just buy a larger secondary drive.
  3. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    Yeah I was thinking about the PSU, I will keep the RAM as it's on special at the moment so works out cheaper so might try and get an OCZ 1000watt PSU.

    It's going to be for gaming and video editing and photoshop, but with a primary focus on gaming, would like to max everything out, I thought about the i5 but again I'd get use out of the i7 so I'm still torn and so far what I have works perfect for the price range I'm looking at so I might stick with the i7 for now depends on what I change, if I change to an GTX690 then I might opt for an i5 so save money there.

    I'm not worried about playing about with drivers getting things working as I'm an ICT guy by trade so doing that sort of thing comes naturally.
  4. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 866   +167


    Well, if you're working with programs that utilize RAM. It's always better to have more RAM rather than faster RAM. You will see better performance that way. Anyways, that is all up to you. But, as for the 1000w PSU. I wouldn't go quite that high. 850w would be a sweet spot for your build if you went the route of crossfire cards.
  5. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    Yeah I just checked out the price nearly died haha okay so some revisions...

    Same motherboard
    same twin graphics cards
    same RAM but 2x8GB at 2666MHz
    Sandisk extreme 240GB SSD x 1TB 64MB 7200RPM cache HDD
    Coolermaster 850Watt PSU
    intel i5 3570K

    So far I've hit the £1765 mark and thats not too bad as that includes Windows 8 and 2 free games. I have a 2nd gen i5 in my laptop but I've not used them for gaming I hear the K series is the best though, sorry for my ignorance I've just come over from the AMD side.
  6. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 866   +167

    What are the prices on that PSU and SSD?
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    The GTX 690 is also 2 GPUs but on one card, so you'll still run into driver issues and micro stuttering (although Nvidia drivers are generally more stable). Heat and noise will be lower though, however I don't think the premium is justified, you could buy 3x 7970 for the price of one 690.

    I would also recommend ditching the 2666Mhz RAM and just going for a 2x8GB 1600Mhz kit, you won't see any real world benefits. You're much better off using the savings towards a 3770K.
  8. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 866   +167

    I am not sure what I was thinking lol. I think I had the GTX 680 in my head for some reason. Anyways, you're absolutely right.
  9. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    Never buy Coolermaster PSUs, havent tried OCZ though. All the CM PSUs I have gotten have failed within a few weeks. I would only trust Seasonic and Corsair, possibly XFX. Make sure the PSU is >800W like blk said and make sure it is gold certified. Also, make sure the 7970s are GHz editions.
  10. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Seasonic have the highest reputation when it comes to PSUs, you'll find a lot of other brands are Seasonic made anyway, e.g. all XFX and some Corsair ones. Here's a handy guide.

    I wouldn't bother with the Ghz editions unless they're around the same price as regular 7970's, they don't overclock any better and to be honest I doubt you'd need the full power of 2x 7970's at 1080p anyway.
    JC713 likes this.
  11. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    True! You showed me that guide before, nice stuff.
  12. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    Ok so here is an updated list of the build I have so far based on the valuable information I have received so far from everyone, I'm just going to copy and paste my basket as I'm too tired to be typing it all out :)...


    [​IMG] Asus P8Z77-V LX Socket 1155 VGA DVI HDMI 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard 363228 515 in stock £84.48 £84.48
    (free accessory) AMD 7900 2013 Games coupon with Crysis and Bioshock 452629 483 in stock £0.00 £0.00
    [​IMG] LiteOn IHOS104 4x BD-ROM SATA Blu-Ray Drive - OEM Black 339402 > 200 in stock £26.49 £26.49
    [​IMG] SanDisk 240GB Extreme SSD - 2.5" SATA-III - Read 550MB/s Write 520MB/s 370161 > 99 in stock £140.00 £140.00
    [​IMG] Cooler Master K-series K380 - Usb3.0 Atx Case Side Window 414620 8 in stock £40.48 £40.48
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit DVD - OEM 407515 1632 in stock £114.83 £114.83
    [​IMG] Sapphire HD 7970 VAPOR-X GHZ Edition 3GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card 392962 7 in stock £379.49 £758.98
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Corsair 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 1866MHz Dimm Vengeance Memory Kit 370057 15 in stock £113.92 £113.92
    [​IMG] Corsair TX 850W V2 PSU - 80plus Bronze Certified 257234 54 in stock £93.99 £93.99
    [​IMG] Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz Socket 1155 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor 349026 193 in stock £264.05 £264.05

    And I already have the 1TB steam drive that will be coming out of my previous system as it's only a month old same with the SSD 2.5" to 3.5" fitting. And thats 2x 7970's that are Ghz editions that worked out cheaper than the previous.
  13. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    Well, there are a few things you need to improve on your build.
    1) The motherboard doesnt have 2 PCI-E slots. So you cannot put 2 cards in crossfire. I would recommend the P8Z77V-LK instead. Dont go cheap on motherboards.
    2) The SSD you chose isnt the best, since it uses a Sandforce controller which isnt the most reliable. I would recommend a Samsung 840 Pro instead.
    3) The Sapphire cards you picked are fine, but I prefer XFX since they offer a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, I dont think XFX offers a 7970 GHz edition, at least from where you are buying it from. I would still get the XFX 7970 instead. You get a good warranty plus the GHz edition isnt much better. You can achieve that overclock yourself.
    4) The RAM you chose is unnecessary. 1866MHz does not offer any noticeable improvement over 1600MHz. I would get this kit instead: http://www.ebuyer.com/352934-corsair-16gb-ddr3-1600mhz-vengeance-memory-cmz16gx3m2a1600c10
    5) I would get a Gold PSU instead, especially with all that horsepower under the hood. Plus, the Corsair AX850 is on sale.
    6) Finally, if you are planning on OCing the CPU, I would recommend buying the Hyper 212 Evo.
     
  14. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    I was under the impression the motherboard I chose supported AMD quad crossfire support from the description, Okay so I'll do another redesign and post it up in a sec.


    Qty Description QuickFind Stock Price Total
    [​IMG] LiteOn IHOS104 4x BD-ROM SATA Blu-Ray Drive - OEM Black 339402 > 200 in stock £26.49 £26.49
    [​IMG] Cooler Master K-series K380 - Usb3.0 Atx Case Side Window 414620 6 in stock £40.48 £40.48
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit DVD - OEM 407515 1607 in stock £114.83 £114.83
    (free accessory) AMD 7900 2013 Games coupon with Crysis and Bioshock 452629 480 in stock £0.00 £0.00
    [​IMG] Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz Socket 1155 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor 349026 190 in stock £264.05 £264.05
    [​IMG] Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD 410474 89 in stock £179.99 £179.99
    [​IMG] Asus P8Z77-V LK Socket 1155 DVI HDMI DisplayPort 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard 366005 1 in stock £108.59 £108.59
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) Ddr3 1600mhz Vengeance Memory Kit 352934 74 in stock £105.90 £105.90
    [​IMG] Corsair 850W AX850 Modular PSU 227503 6 in stock £127.59 £127.59
    [​IMG] [​IMG] XFX HD 7970 DD Edition 3GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI Dual Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card With FREE Never Settle Reloaded download coupon 391821 10 in stock £346.04 £692.07


    Cooling wise I'm looking into one of those Liquid CPU coolers.
  15. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Well it's got 2 PCI-E slots but the second one runs at 2.0 x4 which might not have enough bandwidth for a 7970.

    For the GPUs I'd get these Gigabyte 7970's, the cooler is very good and it's cheaper than any other version.

    Also you might want to get a better case, 2x 7970's will get pretty hot. Something like the HAF XM you were planning originally or the 500R.
  16. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    Well spotted I didn't notice that, well here is my revision again...

    Qty Description QuickFind Stock Price Total
    [​IMG] LiteOn IHOS104 4x BD-ROM SATA Blu-Ray Drive - OEM Black 339402 > 200 in stock £26.49 £26.49
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit DVD - OEM 407515 1607 in stock £114.83 £114.83
    [​IMG] Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz Socket 1155 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor 349026 190 in stock £264.05 £264.05
    [​IMG] Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD 410474 88 in stock £179.99 £179.99
    [​IMG] Asus P8Z77-V LK Socket 1155 DVI HDMI DisplayPort 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard 366005 1 in stock £108.59 £108.59
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) Ddr3 1600mhz Vengeance Memory Kit 352934 74 in stock £105.90 £105.90
    [​IMG] Corsair 850W AX850 Modular PSU 227503 6 in stock £127.59 £127.59
    (free accessory) AMD 7900 2013 Games coupon with Crysis and Bioshock 452629 479 in stock £0.00 £0.00
    [​IMG] Coolermaster HAF XM Case 389306 4 in stock £96.50 £96.50
    [​IMG] Gigabyte HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI Dual Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card With FREE Never Settle Reloaded download coupon 342736 1 in stock £328.17 £656.33
  17. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    Great build :D. But do you need this in a hurry? Haswell is right around the corner. In about a month it will be arriving.
  18. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    I've been thinking about waiting for Haswell but will it be worth the extra cash for a 10% performance increase? And it's always hard to get new CPU's straight away here, it's not a rush build and is something I have been thinking about but a 10%-20% increase in performance.
  19. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 866   +167

    Did haswell really net that big of a increase over IB?
  20. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    Yeah, they have done a bunch of stuff under the hood. Another reason I would wait is that if you dont really want Haswell, you can get IB for cheaper.
  21. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    What I will do is wait it out and see what price the haswell goes for, if it works out nearly the same as I want to spend currently I will go down that route as future proofing would be much easier, but if it's much more money but drives down the price of IB then I will stick to this design at a better price :)
  22. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    Sounds good. Sorry for the idea of delaying :confused:. I just wanna get you the best PC for the money :D.
    Sunny87 likes this.
  23. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 116   +10

    It's been on my mind no need to apologise you and everyone else has done me a massive favour and I'm truly grateful for the help, but seeing as I'll be on holiday soon and I think Haswell will be out by then I might just wait and see for the curiosity of price vs performance.
  24. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    The price of the 4770K will probably be the same or slightly higher, but a decent LGA 1150 mobo might be a bit more expensive (as it's a new socket). Haswell still uses DDR3 RAM so that's the same. So overall I reckon the performance/price ratio won't be too different, although Haswell will have some new features.

    It's really up to you - if you can wait until June and are planning to keep this build for 4-5 years it's probably wiser to wait for Haswell.
    JC713 likes this.
  25. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,120   +732

    I think you should buy the PSU though, it is a really good price since it is on sale at the moment where you are buying it from. It is usually more expensive than the HX (still Gold and modular), but at eBuyer it is cheaper at the moment. I dont think they will change from here till Haswell. I would wait to buy everything else though. Prices may decrease and such, plus the RAM may need an update to support Haswell. Finally, there is a new rumor saying nVidia will launch their 700 series at Computex 13'.


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