New computer- Z68 or Z77? General Advice?

I just typed out a long question, but my computer erased it so Ill make this brief.

Ive been a gamer for a while, but a good PC was always inaccessible- financially and knowledge-wise. But a week or so ago I finally decided to go for it. My friends convinced me itd be simple to build myself, but after a few hours reading your forums and whatnot, I came to the realization that my computer knowledge is intermediate at best, and that itd be an expensive, painful lesson if I messed something up.

I found a site that had a sale going, and I read around the internet and chose parts. From the get-go, the concensus web-wide seemed to be that the i5 cpus were the best bang for your buck. But the information on cooling, cases, GPUs and motherboards was less definitive. Heres what I ended up ordering:


CARE1: Professional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chassis - Minimize Cable Exposure, Maximize Airflow in Your System [+19]

CAS: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Adjustable HDD Cage (Black Color) [-17]

CASUPGRADE: 12in Cold Cathode Neon Light [+10] (Blue Color)

CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)

CD2: None

COOLANT: Standard Coolant

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2550K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified) [-106]

CS_FAN: Maximum 120MM Color Case Cooling Fans for your selected case [+15] (Blue Color)


FA_HDD: None

FAN: CoolerMaster V6 GT CPU Cooler (Nickle Plated Double-V Heatpipe w/ Color Changing LED Cap) [+22]

FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)



HDD: 240 GB Sandisk Extreme SATA-III 6.0Gb/s SSD – 550MB/s Read & 520MB/s Write [+130] (Single Drive)

HDD2: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD [+110] (Single Drive)


IUSB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports

KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard

MB_SRT: None

MEMORY: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory [+3] (Corsair Vengeance [+19])




MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX] Asus P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ IRST, Lucid Virtu MVP, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, 2x PCIe x16 (1 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2x PCIe x1 & 3 PCI

MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse

NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network

NOISEREDUCE1: Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts [+9]


OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking

POWERSUPPLY: * 850 Watts - CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gaming 80 Plus Power Supply [+102]





TEMP: None


TVRC: None

USB: None



USBX: None

VIDEO: AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+43] (Major Brand Powered by AMD)

VIDEO2: None

VIDEO3: None

WNC: PCI Wireless 802.11n 150Mbps Network Interface Card [+19]

SInce I already placed my order, they said I can only change one thing- but if you have any other suggestions, your input would be more than appreciated. i actually chose the ASUS z77 mobo listed above on accident. I meant to go with one of the Gigabyte Z68s. My reasoning was that theyve been around longer, and any kinks have already been worked out. Even though I dont plan on upgrading to IvyBridge, a good quality Z77 shouldnt give me any major problems, right? If I end up going Z77, I was thinking the Asrock extreme 4 would be a better option. What do you guys think?

I also searched long and hard about the GPU, and although it universally said that the nvidia GTX 560 ti was slightly better overall, the AMD 6870 was said to be around the same performance. I decided that the GPU is probably pretty easy to change out, so If for some reason this one doesnt do everything i need it to, I can switch it out later. Again- what do you guys think?

The only other question I had was wether to go with the fans, or rather liquid cooling.

Any and all advice you guys have is greatly appreciated. And these forums are a great place for people like me to learn more and become (slightly) more computer literate. :D

Thanks much.

10 answers Last reply
More about computer general advice
  1. look at the Asrock Z68 extreme 3 gen 3. PCIE 3.0 support. great all around board.

    Air cooling is fine, and with your GPU this is all dependent on yourself.
  2. Thanks man. So you would get a Z68 instead of the Z77? I think the extreme 3 was like an extra 120 bucks. Id like to avoid paying that if possible, but if you think theres a good chance the Z77 will have issues....?
  3. Ask advice before you order.... CoolerMaster is not one of the top tier PSU makers.
    Air coolers are fine - the RAM you ordered - hope it's low profile.
  4. Yeah i was in such a hurry to get everything done, and I couldnt seem to get a straight answer out of anyone. I was going to go for the Corsair PSU. But other than that not being as great as it could be, everything else is solid? Because the power supply is usually separate, right up there in the top corner of the case- if someone wanted to, couldnt they somewhat easily swap it out later and reconnect?

    And how do you feel about the mobo?
  5. CasperONE said:
    Thanks man. So you would get a Z68 instead of the Z77? I think the extreme 3 was like an extra 120 bucks. Id like to avoid paying that if possible, but if you think theres a good chance the Z77 will have issues....?

    Wha...the z68 E3 Gen3 is 120 bucks by itself..
  6. Sorry I meant to say like an extra 80. It doesnt look like they even offer the Z68s anymore anyway, so I might end up having the chipset dilemma decided for me. Another forum is telling me that the SSD and stuff are ***, and that Id be better off getting a better GPU....I might have to scrap this whwole order. :(
  7. You can pick up the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 for $135 so if you are getting a 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor this would be a great board for you.

    Christian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
  8. This looks like a computer order. Honestly, I would cancel the entire order and spend some time here and let these fine folks steer you in a good direction.

    I break something every time I touch it. You should see me make coffee.

    But I spent a few days reading on this site, and watch a couple of youtubes, and within 4 hours on a Saturday morning I built a freakin fast beautiful PC sitting on my desk that worked.
  9. New computer users common mistake make is agreeing to dialog text boxes, agreements, or other prompts without reading the dialog text box or understanding it. Before clicking any Ok or Install button, make sure you understand what you are doing. If you do not understand the prompt, click the Cancel button or close the box.
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