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Help me piece together a R9 280X gaming build (mainly, choose the CPU)

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July 19, 2014 3:57:33 AM

I am in China, and the price of computer parts here is very weird and volatile, so I cannot readily rely on value guide posted by Tom's Hardware on its homepage. Therefore I come to the community for help.

This is a gaming only build, and I am under budget constraint, so no i7s, SSDs, triple monitors. I do want the best value, but I am comfortable with anything under 1000$, not including monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker and AI girlfriend. This doesn't mean I am eager to spend all of 1000$ though.

I want the build to center around a R9 280X. As I said, pricing here is weird, and this particular R9 280X is very cheap at 263$. Local reviewers say it's well built and pretty competitive in terms of value. All prices in this post include shipping & tax, in USD. The prices come from taobao.com, an ebay-like site where retailers don't pay taxes, hence the weird price.

Link to pics and spec of the card: item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.43.yiZKhL&id=38052975646&ns=1#detail

So which CPU and other parts should I use with this card?
Local CPU prices (does not include stock heat sink, sorted by price):
226$ Intel i5 4690k
220$ Intel E3V3
202$ Intel E3V2
186$ Intel i5 4690
177$ Intel i5 4590
102$ Intel i3 4150
76$ Intel G3258 (inc. heat sink)
59$ AMD X4 760k (inc. heat sink)
I am especially torn on the choice of CPU. Page 6 of "Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: July 2014" on the homepage seems to suggest that anything above i5 4590 is not very meaningful in terms of gaming. Don't know if I am reading it right.

Motherboard, which I can't really decide until CPU is chosen. there are examples:
61$ ASRock B85M Pro4
101$ ASRock Z97 Pro3
I guess the only difference is whether these are capable of overclocking.

The rest is boilerplate. (307$)
30$ some sort of heat sink
54$ WD blue 1TB
78$ Team DDR3 1600 4G*2
80$ Corsair CX600(or some sort of other PSU)
65$ Case (Should I go for micro ATX? I can't decide. It's nice to have a smaller case, but I don't want it if it hurts performance or value too much)
July 19, 2014 5:46:42 AM

Well I'm Australian, A 280X is like 350 dollars here O.o I would help with a build but I'm a bit confused with the whole pricing, but for the CPU I would go with the 4690 and the z97 ASrock and try to get a 412 Cooler Master CPU Cooler and go for 8 gigs of ram @ 1600MHz and a Corsair RM-650watt Power Supply if you can.
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August 17, 2014 7:05:26 PM

I'd get the 4690k. If the 4670k is available and cheaper you could go with that one too. Although I think the 4690k overclocks better. Either one will perform very well. If you don't care to overclock or are looking to save a bit more, I'd say the 4690 non k would be the best bet. A good z97 board like the ASrock z97 Pro4, although I prefer Asus boards personally. But those do usually cost more, at least in the US they do. 8 GB 1600 RAM, and Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for the cooler, best cheap cooler there is. Corsair CX series power supplies work well and are great for what they cost. I have 2 of them in 2 different rigs and have yet to have an issue with either of them, I'd go for the CX 750 though to make sure you have enough, especially if you plan to overclock. I've always believed in overkill for power supplies. As for the case I'd go with an ATX mid tower. Bigger, but more room for expansion if you want more hard drives or dual GPU's in the future. Also, they offer more room for fans.
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