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Old 09-26-2012, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Hi there!

I am looking for some advice as I make my first adventure into building my own computer. To start, the requirements I have are that I want a machine that can play games (such as Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Dragon Age). The problem I have right now with my current computer, aside from being ancient, is that the graphics fps is far too low in a MMO (try doing large scale battles at 3 fps... not fun!)

I also do a lot of photo editing, and the occassional video editing. I have Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop CS5, and Premiere. So I definitely need some processing power to be able to have a good work flow with multi-tasking. At the moment I am having a difficult time running these programs smoothly, so I am sure everyone understands the frustration

I have been researching online and trying to compile a list of parts that I will require to do this. I am looking to spend no more than $2000 Canadian, and of course, less is better as always.

i7 3770k - Canada Computers | CPU | Intel Core i7-3770K Socket 1155, 3.50Ghz, 8MB L3 Cache, 22nm (Retail Boxed) Gen3 (BX80637I73770K)
Corsair Carbide 500R Case - Canada Computers | Cases | Corsair Carbide Series 500R WHITE Mid Tower Case (CC-9011013-WW)
Seagate Barracuda 2TB - Canada Computers | Hard Drives | Seagate Barracuda (ST2000DM001) SATA3 6.0Gb/s 2TB 64MB Cache (OEM)
Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (4X4GB) RAM - Canada Computers | Memory | Corsair Vengeance Blue 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 CL9, 1.5V DIMMs (CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B)
Radeon HD 7950 - Canada Computers | Video Cards | Gigabyte (GV-R795WF3-3GD) AMD Radeon HD 7950 Chipset (900Mhz) 3GB GDDR5 (5000Mhz) Memory Dual-Link DVI /HDMI/Dual Mini Display Port PCI-Express 3.0 Graphics Card
ASRock Z77 Extreme 6 Motherboard - Canada Computers | Motherboards | ASRock Z77 Extreme6 Socket 1155 Intel Z77 Chipset Quad Channel DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066Mhz 7.1 CH HD Audio GLAN 4x SATAIII 6.0 GB/s 4x SATAII 3.0 GB/s 6x USB 3.0 2x PCI-E3.0x16 1x PCI-
Cooler Master X6 Elite Fan - Canada Computers | Cooling | Cooler Master X6 Elite CPU Cooler for Intel Socket LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/775 & AMD Socket FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2

I am not sure what I require in terms of a PSU. Also, I am not 100% on the compatability of the above mentioned. I hope to recycle my curret HDD as a spare storage unit, and the current DVD drive. I also just recently bought a new 500W power suply for my current computer (Canada Computers | Power Supplies | Enermax (ENP500AST) NAXN Tomahawk II 500W Power Supply), do you think that is enough, or what would the requirements of this system setup be?

Currently the price is about $1400 before taxes, which I am quite happy with.

Thank-you very much for your help! This process is a bit overwhelming at the beginning
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Couple of recommendations here. A powerful PC with a budget like that needs an SSD. Being bogged down by a slow HDD isn't fun, and when you get an SSD you'll understand then.

For that, I recommend a 128GB Samsung 830 to complement your 2TB.

Next is, get a 660ti or 670. In most cases a 670 is better than a 7950 and 7970.

Secondly, there isn't a reason in the world you need an Extreme 6. You can save some cash by getting the Extreme 4. To add on to that, they screwed up on the features there. Z77 is not quad channel at all, and you can get a 2x8GB RAM kit instead which is better.

For PSU, a Corsair TX 650w. You want quality for that very little piece in your system. I would not put that Enermax PSU in this new rig at all.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Thank-you so much for the reply! This is the first time I have ever done this, so trying to figure it all out and decide what I need has been difficult. Getting some help is definitely going to make this process a little easier

I will check out everything you mentioned and make some changes to my list. I had been debating between the 670 and 7950, kept swapping back and forth. From reviews it definitely looks like the 670 is a good choice.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Honestly, the 670 is better on driver support alone.

The video card, board, and RAM are suggestions. The SSD is a hey you really should get one kind of thing, and I highly suggest getting that Corsair PSU.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

For sure! I meant to include an SSD, but for some reason I forgot to add it on. I definitely want to have one to run the system on. I will for sure invest in a new PSU. I have had too many problems in the past due to my parents cheaping out on computers; I don't want to make the same mistake with my new computer to-be. (Going to be a proud computer mom when I get this built eventually, lol!)

As for the board, I was also looking at the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H, as well as the Extreme4. I also heard good things about the Asus P8Z77-V. My brain is starting to hurt from all these numbers... I'm more of an artsy person, not really technical Thankfully I have a friend to help me build the machine, but it is up to me to decide on all the parts.

Should I still invest in a cooling fan? I heard that the one that comes with the CPU is not great. Not sure what makes a good fan, lots of options.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Well to the board, the reason I'm saying is the higher up you go, the more features they add that you probably don't need. Usually it's just beefier PWM/VRM for higher overclocks. On that note, if you don't plan on overclocking then the stock fan will work perfectly fine. So really, the more expensive the board is you are just wasting your money.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on building first Gaming/Photo Editing PC

Yeah, I definitely don't plan on overclocking. I completely understand about the board, just having a hard time knowing what I need or don't need in one. At least I am starting to pin point my needs, a few days ago I knew absolutely nothing.
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