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Looking to upgrade CPU + mobo (+ PSU) (+Ram question)

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August 11, 2013 7:30:12 AM

I am looking to upgrade some of PCs components with a view to upgrading the rest over the next year.

currently

Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX
3 x Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
ATI 6970
Asus Xonard DX - audio
Western Digital WDC WD10EARS-00Y5B1 - 1 TB
Windows 7 - Home Premium - 64

I would like to keep the HD + 6970 for now - with a mind to getting a 7970 Dec-Jan and an SSD Mar-Apr. ish. Depending on when the 8000 series comes out and cash flow etc..

I am a gamer, and like to pick up multiple AAA titles each year. I am not stupid crazy about having the best of anything, as one can tell from my current system, but I like things to work decently for years (with ram / GPU upgrades between now and then)

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I am looking at the i7 - 3770k as a good CPU to get with the theory that it would last me till my next new build 2-3 years from now.

I have read some info on this site saying the i5-3570K might be a better CPU for the $$$, and that although the i7 - 3770k might be better one might not really receive much in the way of extra benefit for the extra money spent. Still debating the pros and cons.

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As for motherboards .. I really don't know. I see a lot of options out there - with a lot of good reviews and recommendations on the site.

I have gone with Asus for years, but I don't need to stick with them.

I have never use SLI and don't foresee doing so in the future. (but who knows).

I will need space for audio, network and graphics cards.

I would, again like the CPU, like to spend a little more up front with the intent to not have to buy a new one for 2-3 years.

Additionally from what I understand my current board is tri-channel and I use 3 x 4g ram sticks.. I am guessing if I go to a dual / quad board I will need to get new / more ram. I would prefer to buy 1 more 4 gig stick to match my existing ones and go from 12 to 16 as opposed to having to buy new.

I am thinking I should spend between $200-300 on the mobo. (but as that is Cnd $ .. not sure what the comparable price in the US would be .. everything is more up here for various reasons.)

ones I have been looking at due to what some local stores carry are:

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 Socket 1155 ATX
Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H

but I really don't understand what to look for other than to know that I need 1155 and enough free slots for my cards.

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Anyhow - sorry for being long winded .. figured I would try to answer as many questions as I could think people might ask me up front.

I really appreciative of all the help people give on the site - for a neophyte like myself - who knows just enough to get myself into trouble - Tom's Hardware is a godsend.

Thanks in advance for any advice you take the time to give.

Best solution

a b à CPUs
August 11, 2013 7:58:52 AM

Well I appreciate that u've thought much rather than some folks who ask question without thinking carefully.

So I have no idea w/ your PSU but according to your previous rig your PSU should over 750W and capable to handle a single GTX 760 card easily. Right now u could keep your HD 6970 until the reveal of HD 8000(but will branded as HD 9000) series.

For future gen games, seems rumors or review claim next gen console will use 8 cores CPUs, so I think if u stick to Intel, i7 will be your first choice. Also though i7-3770K is good at OC but 4770K may be better optimized for futur games. People tend to use new stuff over old ones if they have money.

If for i7 -K version, Z77(For 3rd gen) or Z87 (For 4th gen) is the first choice, then look for some Asus or Gigabyte UDxH (Ultra Durable) mobo which has cf or SLI support is OK.

Here is some thought for your upgrade,

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12w2M
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12w2M/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12w2M/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($26.46 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($159.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $526.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-11 10:50 EDT-0400)

I know u've prepared much so it's just for some reference. Also if u don't mind u could think about 8-core AMD FX-8350, it's also strong in gaming too but not as strong as i5-3570K in some old, not-using-many-thread games, however i've heard games in the future will be better optimized for AMD so u could just take this in mind.
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August 11, 2013 8:22:13 AM

forgot to mention the PSU

my plan was to get a 750w as i figured there would be a lot of draw with everything as it was - let alone getting a newer GPU down the road.

had not thought about a 4770k .. i will do some poking around later to get my head around what it would bring to the table v. what it would do to my wallet.

Appreciate the time you took to write that all up and get the links.

I see a lot of reading in my future. :) 
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August 11, 2013 12:19:37 PM

Dont mean to bug - but i am curious about using 3 x 4g ram sticks .. is that a bad idea for a dual / quad channel mobo .. or does it really matter that much in the greater scheme of things ?

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Also - everything i have read suggests i shouldnt have too much issue putting my own system together, if i do my homework, follow the instructions, watch some videos and take my time with it? Am I wrong to think so ? (ive swapped cards, ram, cmos batteries, changed fans and PSU, taken CPU out.. just never taken a empty case and set it all up before.)

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Finally - I took a look at my local stores, just for the sake of it, and none of them carry the 4770 .. is there a simple explanation why not ?
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a b à CPUs
August 11, 2013 2:59:04 PM

you have to be in dual or quad channel ... if not you will lost a lot of speed , above all with gaming

dual mean you double the data bus ... controled by the north bridge with the memory controller who send data using the double of data bus configuration , so with 30 to 40% faster then single channel in gaming , that usefull to eliminate freezing video

BUT you have to check if your motherboard support dual or/and quad channels


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August 11, 2013 6:52:35 PM

so taking what was suggested and tweaking a little bit - this is what i end up with

PCPartPicker part list: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1qVCa
Price breakdown by merchant: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1qVCa/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/1qVCa/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($31.05 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($185.00 @ Vuugo)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.89 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $672.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-11 21:49 EDT-0400)

I figured i would get my case local as it doesnt seem to be a hell of alot cheaper to order them online... unless i am missing something.

Never bought computer parts online for some reason.. do i need to be warry of shipping and handling etc.. ?
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a b à CPUs
August 11, 2013 7:05:05 PM

Only if u handle it well there is no need to worry. These internet shopping site are waiting for money so generally u wouldn't screw up.

Yeah as a fellow Canadien I feel stuffs are more cher than the US. And your upgrade solution is nearly my whole build mate... ;) 
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August 13, 2013 6:49:32 PM

So did some more reading and then took the plunge.


CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste
Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard --went for this one due to availability.
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

Will pick up the Case local - and then start reading as much as a i can about assembly.

Ended up going with NCIX for everything listed .. some stuff was a little more expensive but only by a little bit, and kept all my shipping and handling costs down, as well as giving me only 1 provider to deal with if anything goes south during the order / transit.

For giggles i will continue to update this thread on how it goes. Doubt anyone will learn anything from it .. but who knows. I have learned a lot by reading other people's question threads.
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