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Haswell Family Budget PC Build - $1200

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  • Motherboards
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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June 6, 2013 11:14:08 AM

Hey all,

I've updated this from a pre haswell build using i5 3570k, and thought it would need its own post? I would really appreciate any and all thoughts / suggestions.


Approximate Purchase Date: this weekend?

Budget Range: $1000-1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Graduate Research / Presentations / Word Processing, Gaming, streaming HD, blu-rays

Parts Not Required: keyboard/mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.com, ncix.com, newegg.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel motherboards

Overclocking: maybe, just learning

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Monitor Resolution: 42' Sceptre 1080p LCD, maybe also a 32' Sony 720p LCD

Additional Comments:
Quiet PC with good airflow for possible hours gaming (ex. GW2, Crysis3, Bioshock, Chess calculations w/Fritz)


Wondering if there are pro/cons to built in Wifi/blutooth? I am assuming three year warranty should cover any and all defects, but hope everything will last longer then that.

I wouldnt mind going with the Asrock z87 etreme6 either, but then I will need to find a good usb adapter. Obviously prefer going with a long ethernet cable.

Honestly though, I had considered just a week ago an i5 3570k / Asus P8Z77-V LK motherboard, and it still seems it would last me a few years, and save some cash so I can dump extra into a better GPU... but am I going backwards then?


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($66.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1260.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-06 15:09 EDT-0400)

More about : haswell family budget build 1200

a b V Motherboard
June 6, 2013 12:59:26 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($62.05 @ Newegg)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1153.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-06 15:56 EDT-0400)

You had an overall great build but I made a few adjustments to it.
-Got a cheaper motherboard. You won't need such an expensive one.
-I find plextor SSDs to be more reliable, not sure on how good the mushkin is.
-8gb of ram is fine.
-Upgraded the 7870xt to 7950. Not a huge performance increase, but its about the same price due to the combo with the RAM.
-A 550w psu is fine.

You say you want a quiet pc, but the hyper 212 gets a bit noisy when under load. you may want to buy a fan to replace it later on if it bothers you.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 6, 2013 6:12:54 PM

pretty much the same as the above but quieter CPU cooler and cheaper ram
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/13MNc

the mushkin SSD is great but there are cheaper options as of now
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Related resources
June 6, 2013 7:19:58 PM

realchaos said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($154.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($62.05 @ Newegg)

You had an overall great build but I made a few adjustments to it.
-Got a cheaper motherboard. You won't need such an expensive one.


You say you want a quiet pc, but the hyper 212 gets a bit noisy when under load. you may want to buy a fan to replace it later on if it bothers you.


Thanks for the input!

Assume the board would be able to overclock fine if I wanted to in the future, but does not include an built in WIFI/blutooth. Would you suggest a USB adapter? If so what kind?

I didnt know the EVO cooler was noisy under load when it was recommended to me. What would you recommend as a cooler?

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June 6, 2013 7:31:10 PM

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
A buddy has this RAM available to me for dirt cheap. Is this comparable or should I still get the G.Skill?

Also, I read somewhere lower voltage RAM was needed for haswell, is why I chose ballistix with 1.35v. That and it was also recommended to me by someone over G Skill... wonder why..

Per your recommendations here though, the lower voltage RAM does not seem necessary then.
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a b V Motherboard
June 6, 2013 8:22:22 PM

The Corsair Vengeance is good quality RAM.
Ram voltage doesn't really matter. As long as it doesn't exceed 1.5v it is generally fine.
People generally recommend other RAM for two reasons:
1 - Most aftermarket heatsinks require low profile RAM. Almost all G.Skill RAM have high heat spreaders.
2 - Cheap RAM tends to work just as fine as the expensive one, given that they are 1600mhz, 9 CAS, 2sticks. G.Skill's low-profile RAM is expensive compared to other low-profile RAM.

For the wireless adapter, there's lots of good choices like this: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/rosewill-wireless-network-...
I prefer PCIe over USB because it tends to perform better but if you like the convenience of the USB adapter then get a USB one instead.

The Phanteks heatsink that TheBigTroll recommended is quieter than the EVO. It is a nice cpu cooler which should allow for some high heat spreader RAM if i believe, which wouldn't matter since your getting some low-profile one at a cheap price.
If you really want the quietest, the Noctua NH-D14 is a very good and quiet cpu cooler but it is HUGE and expensive.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 7, 2013 3:37:22 AM

i can tell you now that not all gskill ram has high heatspreaders. the only ones high enough to cause problems are the tridents and maybe the ripjaw z. get the cheapest 2x4gb 1600mhz cl9 kit possible. performance is going to be the same anyways
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June 10, 2013 3:46:17 PM

realchaos said:

If you really want the quietest, the Noctua NH-D14 is a very good and quiet cpu cooler but it is HUGE and expensive.


So had a little time this weekend to shop around online, and also got an early fathers day cash from family. Now I am itching to dump it into this PC, and considering a few additions/changes?

1. Considering the i7 4770k now, though not sure if games within the next 3-5 years will take advantage of its hyper-threading as much as heavy video editing or the like, which my family does not. Is it really worth the extra $100 or should I dump the cash into a 2nd GPU corssfire/sli or GPU upgrade later on? Noticed the z87 A can do up to quad crossfire? (seems overkill but still cool)

2. Checked out the Noctua D14 cooler, and think its worthwhile, but then noticed the NH-C14 low profile cooler, not to mention all the other Noctua coolers/fans products, that also caught my eye. The tech guy at NCIX w/the video review really seems to be passionate about the low voltage fans... all new to me..

Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler ($73.00 @ NCIX US)
-fans pointing downward, wondering if it could cool the motherboard betterl, or move air around better? Would this just be personal preference?

3 Also, a buddy suggested I consider a liquid cooler if I am overclocking anything (or even considering the haswell i7k) especially if I want to lower temp/ noise level even in heavy gaming. Sure there are all kinds, but saw this one about the same price as the Phanteks cooler BigTroll suggested. Is it worth it?
Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H60 CPU Cooler System ($49.00 @ NCIX)

4 Also considering getting another fan or two in the Fractal case, not not sure if I need them, case includes 2 already - 1 front / 1 back, if so, what brand/sizes? Unfamiliar with push/pull airflow in the case.

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a c 75 V Motherboard
June 10, 2013 3:58:26 PM

-hyperthreding wont be useful until about the time it takes to replace your rig
-i suggested a phanteks tc12dx cooler instead. its a cheaper option that performs still up there with the d14. the c14 is useless to you if you are not putting it inside a case that has little room for tall heatsinks, which you dont
-single radiator coolers are a joke. they barely perform better than a hyper 212 evo for the same noise but double the price
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June 10, 2013 4:24:26 PM

TheBigTroll said:
-hyperthreding wont be useful until about the time it takes to replace your rig
-i suggested a phanteks tc12dx cooler instead. its a cheaper option that performs still up there with the d14. the c14 is useless to you if you are not putting it inside a case that has little room for tall heatsinks, which you dont
-single radiator coolers are a joke. they barely perform better than a hyper 212 evo for the same noise but double the price


Wow, thanks for info about the single radiator! I'll stick with the Phanteks then. :) 
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