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Best MOBO/CPU Combo for ~$350 Gaming

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August 9, 2012 4:07:18 PM

Im not the savviest of builders and havent built a PC in a few years. Im trying to decide on the best MOBO/CPU combo for about $300-350.

CPU
Ive been trying to decide between i5 2500k Sandy Bridge and i5 3570k Ivy Bridge.

MOBO
Ive been trying to decide between Gigabyte, ASUS and ASRock. Ive heard some good things about the ASRock Z77 Extreme.

Im also considering an MSi Twin Frozr II GTX 560 TI as a GPU.

Please critique these components for me. Do you guys have any suggestions on the best combo? Ill be using it primarily for gaming (RTS, MOBA, FPS, etc...)

Thank you for your input
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August 9, 2012 6:06:35 PM

Do you live near a microcenter? They have a bunch of good deals, significantly cheaper than any online dealer, but you have to get them in-store.
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August 10, 2012 1:31:48 PM

I do live near a microcenter. Will they have the best prices, even with these online discounts at newegg?
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August 10, 2012 1:37:44 PM

KTKhujo said:
I do live near a microcenter. Will they have the best prices, even with these online discounts at newegg?

On the CPU if you're a walk-in their prices are unbeatable. As far as the rest of their pricing more often than not NewEgg is cheaper, BUT for a few bucks a walk-in RMA (if needed) beats the crap out of shipping time & cost...
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August 10, 2012 1:41:39 PM

Cool, I will have to stop microcenter and see how much their CPUs are.
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August 10, 2012 2:00:47 PM

I cant believe the price difference. Thats a deal.
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August 10, 2012 2:22:37 PM

Yeah the prices on CPUs are insane, and they often have good deals bundling motherboards with CPUs, too. But as jaquith said, their prices on other stuff is not quite as good; they use the CPU pricing as a loss-leader. (And since it's in store, they don't have to pay shipping, which is often free online.)
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August 10, 2012 2:31:34 PM

The hard cost is < a few bucks. Intel has too many layers of 'fat' management even though a US company turns it noise to US workers.

MicroCenter sells the CPU ~$40 over distributor cost.
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