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What is the best Z77 chipset motherboard currently?

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September 11, 2012 7:39:54 AM

In your opinion, what is the best Z77 chipset motherboard, and why.

I have decided to go with a Z77 LGA 1155 socket since they're coming out with a new 1150 socket so investing in the 2011 socket would be a waste of money imo.

I don't really know about all the key fancy smancy bonuses that come with the z77 mobo's (z77 is the newest right?), so I need your guy's help in choosing a mobo that will fit my needs.
The Z77A MSI "military grade" mobos look really nice and intriguing. The Asus sabertooth is even sexier with the all black finish.

Important question; will these mobos support my old hard drives that I'm using right now? I don't know what the model is or anything i looked on dxdiag. (also I have never built a computer before)

Other info:

Spoiler

The MSI Z77A-GD55/ and 65 are $50 off.
There's an Intel DZ77GA70K ATX LGA1155 Z77 on sale for $210 regular $270, not sure if that's any good.
The sabertooth is on sale for like $20.
ASRock Z77 Pro 3 ATX LGA1155, ASRock Z77 EXTREME4/EXTREME 6 are also on sale, for $60, and the Pro 3 for $50.
These seem like top tier mobos that are on sale, so I'd prefer to get one on sale. Bottom line my max budget is $250.

Most important to least:
-Gaming (top priority by far)
-Video editing
-Coding in c++ / learning code and coding
-Making music/ playing instruments
-Server hosting (wont be doing a whole lot of this, might not even do any)
September 11, 2012 8:59:59 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
In your opinion, what is the best Z77 chipset motherboard, and why.

I have decided to go with a Z77 LGA 1155 socket since they're coming out with a new 1150 socket so investing in the 2011 socket would be a waste of money imo.

I don't really know about all the key fancy smancy bonuses that come with the z77 mobo's (z77 is the newest right?), so I need your guy's help in choosing a mobo that will fit my needs.
The Z77A MSI "military grade" mobos look really nice and intriguing. The Asus sabertooth is even sexier with the all black finish.

Important question; will these mobos support my old hard drives that I'm using right now? I don't know what the model is or anything i looked on dxdiag. (also I have never built a computer before)

Other info:

Spoiler

The MSI Z77A-GD55/ and 65 are on sale for like $50.
There's an Intel DZ77GA70K ATX LGA1155 Z77 on sale for $210 regular $270, not sure if that's any good.
The sabertooth is on sale for like $20.
ASRock Z77 Pro 3 ATX LGA1155, ASRock Z77 EXTREME4/EXTREME 6 are also on sale, for $60, and the Pro 3 for $50.
These seem like top tier mobos that are on sale, so I'd prefer to get one on sale. Bottom line my max budget is $250.

Most important to least:
-Gaming (top priority by far)
-Video editing
-Coding in c++ / learning code and coding
-Making music/ playing instruments
-Server hosting (wont be doing a whole lot of this, might not even do any)


I think you got it backward, the socket 1150 will replace the socket 1155, not socket 2011. Going for socket 2011 is not a waste of money if you need number cruching, video editting as well as socket longevity and compatibility to next gen Ivy Bridge E.

The MSI Z77A-GD65 is a good choice if its on sale for cheap. I'm not a fan of Asrock since I had nothing but bad experience with them.
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September 11, 2012 9:59:54 AM

jacknhut said:
I think you got it backward, the socket 1150 will replace the socket 1155, not socket 2011. Going for socket 2011 is not a waste of money if you need number cruching, video editting as well as socket longevity and compatibility to next gen Ivy Bridge E.

The MSI Z77A-GD65 is a good choice if its on sale for cheap. I'm not a fan of Asrock since I had nothing but bad experience with them.


What I'm saying is if there's a new socket, why get a 2011 when I can get the 1150 when it comes out? Unless 1150 chipset is also compatible with 2011? I'm confused...

I meant that it's $50 off not on for $50. What do you think of ASUS Z77's?
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 11:05:29 AM

Intel uses a split socket strategy.
Mainstream CPU's (so the Core i3/5/7 series and some Pentiums) use the LGA1155 socket. Its the socket that the vast majority of people use. This will soon be replaced with LGA1150 when the Haswell CPU's come out mid next year-ish.

Then there's the uber-enthusiast/business server socket, LGA2011. That's where you find the highest end i7's and Xeon CPU's. This socket is basically useless for your usage though, the amount of grunt these CPU's can put out is simply not needed for gaming (or even video editing unless its a workstation type machine). Also its quite expensive, the lowest end CPU will cost you $300, and the mobo's have a hefty price on them as well.

I personally would go with the AsRock Z77 Extreme4. Has most of the features of higher end boards, great value for money and looks good IMO. I have had no problems with my unit.

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September 11, 2012 12:05:57 PM

Ah okay I egt it now. Yeah I decided awhile ago not to go for the LGA 2011 because someone said the same thing.

The Extreme4 looks nice, altough why not go with the Extreme6 since they're both on sale? What does the Extreme 6 have that the Extreme 4 doesn't? Also, since you know about the Extreme 4, what nice features does it have? Apparently the Extreme6 lacks good documentation/detail (which is bad for a first builder like me) and it also requires a PS2 keyboard for bios... which I don't have :/ , and some experience it not allowing their ram to run at 2133.

As for the the MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 "To use Intel Smart Response Technology with SATA III you need to have the SSD and the HDD plugged in to SATA ports 1 & 2." what does that mean?

I would go for the ASUS Maximus V Gene LGA 1155 Intel Z77 since it's more my color scheme, but in the end it doesn't really matter especially since I have a HAF912 that is just going to hide everything. Unless this is a better mobo.
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 12:14:28 PM

As far as I know the only difference between the Extreme4 and 6 is a Displayport video out, useless IMO. Displayport monitors are expensive, and if you have a screen of that calibre you would have a graphics card for it.
My Extreme4 can use a USB keyboard in the BIOS, dont know why the 6 wouldn't.
Wouldnt worry about the 2133Mhz problem, thats a situation you wont have to deal with, and is a pointless battle given that Ivy Bridge doesn't support above 1866Mhz (I think).

Intel Smart Response (SRT) is a way using an SSD as a cache drive for a Hard Drive. Basically it stores commonly accessed files in the SSD so most of the time you are getting SSD speeds on a HDD. Wouldnt bother using it though.
The actual instruction mean that you need to plug the cache (SSD) and the cached (HDD) drive into those two ports for it to work.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 12:45:22 PM

Q - What's the purpose of your build?

The 'best' Z77 MOBO's with Ivy Bridge (K) processors:
1xHD Gamer (2-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V FORMULA/THUNDERFX
3xHD Gamer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V EXTREME
Highest quality consumer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM
Best value (2-WAY SLI) - ASRock Z77 Extreme4

Now if I'm going to 4-WAY SLI it isn't going to be on the Z77, it's going to be on the X79/LGA 2011.
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September 11, 2012 12:53:52 PM

The Xfast utilities apparently are really annoying and hard to close and aren't the greatest. The Extreme4 apparently is really small, and will flex when you put in the atx power connector. Also it doesn't come with IDE ports* or something so I'd need to get a SATA based drive. The Extreme4 also has some minor small flaws. These two boards aren't looking to good from what I see.
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September 11, 2012 12:54:12 PM

jaquith said:
Q - What's the purpose of your build?

The 'best' Z77 MOBO's with Ivy Bridge (K) processors:
1xHD Gamer (2-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V FORMULA/THUNDERFX
3xHD Gamer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V EXTREME
Highest quality consumer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM
Best value (2-WAY SLI) - ASRock Z77 Extreme4

Now if I'm going to 4-WAY SLI it isn't going to be on the Z77, it's going to be on the X79/LGA 2011.


According to the greek edition PC Magazine, Asrock z77 OC Formula comes slightly ahead from ASUS maximus V Formula performance-wise (pc mark vantage)
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September 11, 2012 12:58:37 PM

jaquith said:
Q - What's the purpose of your build?

The 'best' Z77 MOBO's with Ivy Bridge (K) processors:
1xHD Gamer (2-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V FORMULA/THUNDERFX
3xHD Gamer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS Maximus V EXTREME
Highest quality consumer (4-WAY SLI) - ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM
Best value (2-WAY SLI) - ASRock Z77 Extreme4

Now if I'm going to 4-WAY SLI it isn't going to be on the Z77, it's going to be on the X79/LGA 2011.


Check the Spoiler. Also I just like new technology, a durable z77 with no annoying applications or notable flaws will do fine for me. The ASRock Z77 is the only one that I can afford right that you listed unless I waited which I don't really want to but still $380+ for a motherboard is a lot for me.

hmm did some digging. ASRock stole the design from some guy for their Xfast logo: http://bency.deviantart.com/art/Encide-Battlebay-2010-1... and they aren't crediting him of course. Plus their Xfast stuff is super gimmicky, programs cannot make your internet speed faster, or your ram faster, and the usb only goes from 275mb to 425mb and that is not 5 times faster. I don't like the idea of supporting a company like this, but if you guys persist that this is the way to go then I guess...

What about the Intel DZ77GA70K ATX LGA1155 Z77? I can't find a single review or even an unboxing, is it new technology or something?
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 1:20:25 PM

If you dont want the XFast stuff, just dont install them.

The board is slightly smaller than ATX standard, so the far right mounting holes wont line up with the case. I dont see it as a problem though, just slip your fingers under the board when you plug in the 24pin to support it.

As far as I know there is only one Z77 mobo on the market that supports IDE (AsRock Fatal1ty Z77). Its a defunct standard, just like DDR2, you just wont find it anymore.

What are these flaws? In my usage of it I haven't found anything.

If you read a bit closer on the XFast RAM, you will realize it doesn't claim to make it faster. XFast RAM is a utility for the creation of RAM disks, not increasing their speed.
Though the XFast USB I have found to have no difference, in some cases it degraded performance (tested on a 500GB external USB3 HDD, a USB flash drive may improve though).



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September 11, 2012 1:39:02 PM

Apparently there is a lack of fan controllers and settings and it doesn't report voltage completely accurate (extreme4), their support is decent /lacking/ not very helpful apparently. These would make me go for the Extreme6 but the ps/2 keyboard requirement and lack of clear documentation and manuals is a huge turn off as a first time builder.

Other than the Xfast stuff and other apps that I most likely will not use, what makes the extreme4/6 better than the sabertooth z77 or the MSI Z77A-GD65?
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 1:55:07 PM

Only info I could find on the voltage's for the Extreme4 was that it has a variance between 1.039 and 1.065, we are talking tiny amounts of energy here. Well within acceptable ranges.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/intel-z77-motherboar...

Cant vouch for their support, haven't had to use it. But there will always be horror stories about any company's customer support and they will always be over-represented on the Internet.

What do you mean a lack of documentation?
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme6/?cat=Manu...
Right there on its product page, and with the board itself.

Also where have you got this idea for only PS/2 in the BIOS? Cant find anything on it. My USB keyboard works fine in the Extreme4 BIOS, cant imagine why it would be different (wouldnt be surprised if it was the same BIOS).
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 1:56:45 PM

thetechnoobguy said:
Check the Spoiler.

Sorry I missed the bottom, I would have assumed it to be in the top:
Quote:
Most important to least:
-Gaming (top priority by far)
-Video editing
-Coding in c++ / learning code and coding
-Making music/ playing instruments
-Server hosting (wont be doing a whole lot of this, might not even do any)

Okay Gaming at what resolution?
How many monitors?
How and what are you Rendering and for what end source?

I appreciate reviews, but they're not entirely reliable or accurate. I wish they were.
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September 11, 2012 2:08:11 PM

My Extreme 4 still works very well, even though I thought I flexed it multiple times during installation(my first computer), turns out I didn't. Just remember to support the 24 Pin socket on the backside with your finger when you plug the 24 pin in it, I also recommend install your Rams before your drop the mobo into the case(do so on your motherboard box).

Fan controller functions works just fine as well, I didn't bother installing any of the XFast features but the board is still a great value with Realtek Audio Drivers+7.1 HD & 2 extra Sata III.

If you are so paranoid about the ASRock horror stories then feel free to spend $20 extra for a Gigabyte Z77-ud3h, it is full ATX size, offers less features( Audio driver not as good & only 2 Sata III) but other than that it is a great board.

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September 11, 2012 2:11:57 PM

All I know is that the voltage reporting tends to be 0.01-0.02 volts less than what is set, not sure if this is a big deal.

Here is a few quotes regarding the extreme6:

"Documentation is disorganized, talkes about software drivers in the middle of hardware description and lacking in detail. Many components of the board are not described in words. Page 2 shows the Sata connectors facing up. Actually they face sideways. Clearance here would be a problem with short cases and two right angle plugs would not work."

"My eyesight prevents me from reading much of the small print and most of the print is small. The motherboard graphic is almost impossible for anyone to read and decipher. Info on loading updated drivers is lacking."

I'm not sure if people are lying or their keyboards are disfunctional, but numerous people reported that it requires ps/2.
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September 11, 2012 2:18:48 PM

thetechnoobguy said:
All I know is that the voltage reporting tends to be 0.01-0.02 volts less than what is set, not sure if this is a big deal.

Here is a few quotes regarding the extreme6:

"Documentation is disorganized, talkes about software drivers in the middle of hardware description and lacking in detail. Many components of the board are not described in words. Page 2 shows the Sata connectors facing up. Actually they face sideways. Clearance here would be a problem with short cases and two right angle plugs would not work."

"My eyesight prevents me from reading much of the small print and most of the print is small. The motherboard graphic is almost impossible for anyone to read and decipher. Info on loading updated drivers is lacking."

I'm not sure if people are lying or their keyboards are disfunctional, but numerous people reported that it requires ps/2.


I find the user manual to be very helpful and quite organized, I had no problem with it.

The voltage being under reported by a little bit thing isn't just ASRock I believe, and either way not a serious issue for that small amount.

People who complained about P/S2 only during Bios Plugged their USB Keyboard/Mouse in the wrong port, with any Z77 board your top 2 USB 3.0 port(Intel) on the back panel is disabled when you plug-in the front panel USB 3.0 header to your board, every other USB3.0 ports are third party and require a driver to be installed to work.

You have to plug your USB mouse/keyboard into a usb 2.0 port to make them work during BIOS.

Extreme 4(134.99)/6(160-180 range, changing quite often) are not better in Sabertooth($220+ minimum, but they are significantly cheaper while not lacking in core features, what they don't have (wifi/TUF armor/dust defender) aren't that vital for everyday use, and you can get a USB/PCI wifi solution for a lot cheaper than the difference in price.

Extreme 4's greatest advantage is price/performance, you aren't going to find a board that offers more feature for less. I also find the 2 4 pin fan header on top of the CPU socket to be very useful as it allows me to run 2 PWM(adjust speed with temp in real time, less noisy) fans on my CPU cooler instead of using an adapter, not to mention it offers the most fan header for a sub $160 board(6) most others have either 4 or 5.

Read all the bad reviews you want, it won't help you decide what product to buy one bit. I read through all the 1 egg reviews on newegg and it made me think my new PC is doomed to fail, guess what: none of what they said happened to my new PC, it runs just fine.

Do realize people who are dissatisfied with their products are much more likely to post reviews than those who feel great about theirs.
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September 11, 2012 2:24:17 PM

jaquith said:
Sorry I missed the bottom, I would have assumed it to be in the top:
Quote:
Most important to least:
-Gaming (top priority by far)
-Video editing
-Coding in c++ / learning code and coding
-Making music/ playing instruments
-Server hosting (wont be doing a whole lot of this, might not even do any)

Okay Gaming at what resolution?
How many monitors?
How and what are you Rendering and for what end source?

I appreciate reviews, but they're not entirely reliable or accurate. I wish they were.


Uhm, I'm sure I will be using 1920 x 1080 on the BenQ XL2420T. One monitor. I will be using video editing software like Power Director 10 or adobe after effects. Might try photoshop. I also will be making music but that will have to wait until I can get a PCI card w/ firewire port. Don't know what you mean by end source, never gotten into coding yet, although I most likely will be using c++ or java. But it is something I WILL be getting into, I will force myself to learn, maybe even heavily into.

Yeah that's the thing with reviews. It's best to get first hand advice on forums like this.
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September 11, 2012 2:35:48 PM

sherlockwing said:
I find the user manual to be very helpful and quite organized, I had no problem with it.

The voltage being under reported by a little bit thing isn't just ASRock I believe, and either way not a serious issue for that small amount.

People who complained about P/S2 only during Bios Plugged their USB Keyboard/Mouse in the wrong port, with any Z77 board your top 2 USB 3.0 port(Intel) on the back panel is disabled when you plug-in the front panel USB 3.0 header to your board, every other USB3.0 ports are third party and require a driver to be installed to work.

You have to plug your USB mouse/keyboard into a usb 2.0 port to make them work during BIOS.

Extreme 4(134.99)/6(160-180 range, changing quite often) are not better in Sabertooth($220+ minimum, but they are significantly cheaper while not lacking in core features, what they don't have (wifi/TUF armor/dust defender) aren't that vital for everyday use, and you can get a USB/PCI wifi solution for a lot cheaper than the difference in price.

Extreme 4's greatest advantage is price/performance, you aren't going to find a board that offers more feature for less. I also find the 2 4 pin fan header on top of the CPU socket to be very useful as it allows me to run 2 PWM(adjust speed with temp in real time, less noisy) fans on my CPU cooler instead of using an adapter, not to mention it offers the most fan header for a sub $160 board(6) most others have either 4 or 5.

Read all the bad reviews you want, it won't help you decide what product to buy one bit. I read through all the 1 egg reviews on newegg and it made me think my new PC is doomed to fail, guess what: none of what they said happened to my new PC, it runs just fine.

Do realize people who are dissatisfied with their products are much more likely to post reviews than those who feel great about theirs.


I don't understand what this is
"I also find the 2 4 pin fan header on top of the CPU socket to be very useful as it allows me to run 2 PWM(adjust speed with temp in real time, less noisy) fans on my CPU cooler instead of using an adapter, not to mention it offers the most fan header for a sub $160 board(6) most others have either 4 or 5."
So does this mean you can put fans on top of an after market heatsink? I'm confused. Does the Sabertooth have that as well or no?

So bottom line is the extreme 6 better or the sabertooth, and is the extreme 6 worth the extra $50 to upgrade from the extreme 4 (both are on sale).

I'm going to be getting off and I will be back in 8 or so hours, please reply with as much detail within that time, I have like 24 hours to decide what mobo to get before the sale is over. Thanks again.
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September 11, 2012 2:40:52 PM

thetechnoobguy said:
I don't understand what this is
"I also find the 2 4 pin fan header on top of the CPU socket to be very useful as it allows me to run 2 PWM(adjust speed with temp in real time, less noisy) fans on my CPU cooler instead of using an adapter, not to mention it offers the most fan header for a sub $160 board(6) most others have either 4 or 5."
So does this mean you can put fans on top of an after market heatsink? I'm confused. Does the Sabertooth have that as well or no?

So bottom line is the extreme 6 better or the sabertooth, and is the extreme 6 worth the extra $50 to upgrade from the extreme 4 (both are on sale).


Most Z77 board in the Extreme 4's price range(110-160) only have 1 CPU fan header(4 pin) if you want t use 2 fan on your aftermarket heatsink you will need an adapter or plug it into one of the 3 pin chasis headers(not optimal in term of fan control and might be too far).

Sabertooth is better if you don't consider the price, but in term of price/performance I'd take 6(much cheaper while still having all the core features). However 6 don't offer anything significant that 4 doesn't offer(except maybe size but you can get around that by being careful during installation) for $50 more, plus on Newegg right now you get 8 G of G.Skill DDR3-1600 Ram when buying a 134.99 Extreme 4, much more useful than the 60G SSD(too small for anything once you installed the OS) you get with Extreme 6 .
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 3:19:02 PM

Okay from what I seen so far and unless you're rendering large DVD/BR quality movies then:
CPU: i7-3770K
MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth Z77
RAM: 4x4GB, 2x8GB or 4x8GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 10 in 8GB density
4x4GB - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB Model 993995
2x8GB - CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB Model CML16GX3M2A1600C10
4x8GB - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 32GB Model 994055
GPU: Depends on the games. For starters either the GTX 660 Ti or HD 7950 or higher in non-reference cards.
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a b V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 8:03:07 PM

sorry double post
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a b V Motherboard
September 11, 2012 8:04:51 PM

Sabertooth is definitely up there
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September 12, 2012 1:33:12 AM

sherlockwing said:
Most Z77 board in the Extreme 4's price range(110-160) only have 1 CPU fan header(4 pin) if you want t use 2 fan on your aftermarket heatsink you will need an adapter or plug it into one of the 3 pin chasis headers(not optimal in term of fan control and might be too far).

Sabertooth is better if you don't consider the price, but in term of price/performance I'd take 6(much cheaper while still having all the core features). However 6 don't offer anything significant that 4 doesn't offer(except maybe size but you can get around that by being careful during installation) for $50 more, plus on Newegg right now you get 8 G of G.Skill DDR3-1600 Ram when buying a 134.99 Extreme 4, much more useful than the 60G SSD(too small for anything once you installed the OS) you get with Extreme 6 .


Alright, unfortunately I can't afford to get the motherboard etc right now, I'm going to be getting the graphics card (gtx 680) and PSU since they're cheap and on sale, along with some 200mm fans, then I'm going to put it in my current crappy rig then I will be getting the rest (Ram, mobo, win7 etc) by the end of the month. I've decided to go for the sabertooth if it's better, I don't mind spending a little extra.
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September 12, 2012 1:38:51 AM

jaquith said:
Okay from what I seen so far and unless you're rendering large DVD/BR quality movies then:
CPU: i7-3770K
MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth Z77
RAM: 4x4GB, 2x8GB or 4x8GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 10 in 8GB density
4x4GB - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB Model 993995
2x8GB - CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB Model CML16GX3M2A1600C10
4x8GB - Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 32GB Model 994055
GPU: Depends on the games. For starters either the GTX 660 Ti or HD 7950 or higher in non-reference cards.


This is what I'm going for, haven't yet decided on the monitor, I'm having a tough time choosing between BenQ XL2420T and the BenQ XL2420TX and the upcoming FORIS FS2333.

I'll consider those RAM, although when it comes down to it I'm probably going to go for some that is 30% off, so it may not be those specific models.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 2:31:39 AM

The XL2420TX is fine otherwise the ASUS VG278H for what I assume is for 3D Vision, and clearly a GTX 600 series GPU. Hmm...for 3D I'd probably go for 2-WAY GTX 670's (e.g. MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC or ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5).
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September 12, 2012 5:07:03 AM

jaquith said:
The XL2420TX is fine otherwise the ASUS VG278H for what I assume is for 3D Vision, and clearly a GTX 600 series GPU. Hmm...for 3D I'd probably go for 2-WAY GTX 670's (e.g. MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC or ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5).


Don't get the VG278H, it is obsolete right now(coming from someone who put together his build a week too early.) ASUS just pushed out the 144 Hz VG278HE which now is going for $499.99 on newegg. Sure it doesn't come with the 3D kit but it is also cheaper.

I recommend the Gigabyte N670-OC/GD2, same price(399.99) as the MSI PE but you don't have to do rebate, and $20 cheaper than the DC2Non-Top. Mine is quite average in term of out of box boost yet runs 1150 Mhz(+92) out of box without OC, can't get over 51C(23C ambient) even in Heaven max setting, inaudible compared to my cooler(212 Evo) and case fan(3X230mm+1 140mm) and you can OC it just as far as other models-> just check out the Overclock.net user feedback.




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September 12, 2012 5:27:18 AM

That ASUS VG278H seems virtually the same as the XL2420TX but it's like $200 more.
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September 12, 2012 5:34:01 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
That ASUS VG278H seems virtually the same as the XL2420TX but it's like $200 more.


It is a 27" monitor, 2420 is a 24" monitor. Also TX don't come with 3D vision 2 kit(not worth its buck if you don't use it though, however it is quite costly if you want to buy it seperately). The $499 VG278HE(144Hz instead of the usual 120 Hz) is a good option though.
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September 12, 2012 5:51:17 AM

sherlockwing said:
Don't get the VG278H, it is obsolete right now(coming from someone who put together his build a week too early.) ASUS just pushed out the 144 Hz VG278HE which now is going for $499.99 on newegg. Sure it doesn't come with the 3D kit but it is also cheaper.

I recommend the Gigabyte N670-OC/GD2, same price(399.99) as the MSI PE but you don't have to do rebate, and $20 cheaper than the DC2Non-Top. Mine is quite average in term of out of box boost yet runs 1150 Mhz(+92) out of box without OC, can't get over 51C(23C ambient) even in Heaven max setting, inaudible compared to my cooler(212 Evo) and case fan(3X230mm+1 140mm) and you can OC it just as far as other models-> just check out the Overclock.net user feedback.

http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj256/epicdi/Mark11.png
http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj256/epicdi/13.png
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The EVGA GeForce GTX 680 FTW LE 1006MHZ 2GB 6.2GHZ is on for $509.99, so I'm saving $70, and then an addition $20 MIR.

There are a few 670's on sale, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC 980MHZ 2GB 6.0GHZ on for $380, however I'm only saving $30 with a $20 MIR.

There is a ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 980MHZ 2GB that is on for $420 save $50 no MIR.

I think the EVGA 680 is the best deal, it's only a $70 difference and it's it least 7% faster, which isn't bad, I don't know...
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September 12, 2012 6:04:37 AM

sherlockwing said:
It is a 27" monitor, 2420 is a 24" monitor. Also TX don't come with 3D vision 2 kit(not worth its buck if you don't use it though, however it is quite costly if you want to buy it seperately). The $499 VG278HE(144Hz instead of the usual 120 Hz) is a good option though.


There's no way I'm paying $200 for three more inches, I've been using a "19 acer thing for the longest time, 24" seems like it would be perfect for me, considering my desk size etc. Yes it does, it also has integrated sensor thingy on the front which apparently isn't that good.

What is the input lag on the VG278HE running at 144hz?
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September 12, 2012 6:39:02 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
There's no way I'm paying $200 for three more inches, I've been using a "19 acer thing for the longest time, 24" seems like it would be perfect for me, considering my desk size etc. Yes it does, it also has integrated sensor thingy on the front which apparently isn't that good.

What is the input lag on the VG278HE running at 144hz?


The standard drill, 120 Hz/120Hz+ goes with 2ms input lag.

Depend on what you want, I'd never pay $100(25% more) for at max 8% increase in FPS(GTX680) but perfectly willing to get a larger monitor. Then again I am going SLI so I save the $200 extra I spend on monitor with cheaper GPUs, and two 670 in SLI is plenty for most games on a 1080p 120Hz display, 680 SLI is overkill.

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September 12, 2012 7:33:58 AM

sherlockwing said:
The standard drill, 120 Hz/120Hz+ goes with 2ms input lag.

Depend on what you want, I'd never pay $100(25% more) for at max 8% increase in FPS(GTX680) but perfectly willing to get a larger monitor. Then again I am going SLI so I save the $200 extra I spend on monitor with cheaper GPUs, and two 670 in SLI is plenty for most games on a 1080p 120Hz display, 680 SLI is overkill.


Do you need to SLI in order to play 1080p on a 120hz monitor or more importantly a 144hz? I thought a single GTX 680 would be more than enough, I thought SLI was only needed for dual monitors or bragging rights in benchmarks?
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 7:39:50 AM

You dont need SLI/Crossfire for any screen, regardless of its refresh rate. Usually at 1080p single screen, SLI/Crossfire is pointless as your FPS will be far above what the screen can display, wasting the majority of its performance boost. But in the case of a 120Hz (or higher) monitor, where that performance isn't being bottle-necked* by a slow refresh rate, it can be useful.
Though again, SLI/Crossfire isnt required for a 120hz to work or anything.

*to a large degree, your FPS may still get higher than its refresh rate during lulls in the action


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September 12, 2012 7:55:03 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
Do you need to SLI in order to play 1080p on a 120hz monitor or more importantly a 144hz? I thought a single GTX 680 would be more than enough, I thought SLI was only needed for dual monitors or bragging rights in benchmarks?


While Triple/Quad SLI/CLX are for multi montior or bragging rights, SLI/CLX have real benefits in 120hz monitor for the most demanding games at their max setting:

Alternative: i5-3570K CPU +2 EVGA stock 670(not SOC/FTW)SLI

Q3: i7-3930K CPU + 1 EVGA stock 670









As you can see, on these games with max setting, SLI allows you to get to 99+ FPS at 1080p which allows you to utilize the full ability of your 120 hz display, whereas single GPU forces you to stay in the 60 FPS range ans wasting the potential of your 120 Hz display(you could lower settings to gain FPS ofc).
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September 12, 2012 8:25:09 AM

So what happens when you use the 2560 x 1600 or 5760 x 1080 doesn't it just make things smaller and more concentrated? Would any of the monitors we mention like the XL2420TX support that high of a resolution?

I don't think it would be that noticable since my GTX 680 would gives me 40+ fps and I could always overclock it giving me 50+fps which isn't too far from the SLI'd 670's getting 70ish FPS (which also isn't utilizing the 120hz display very well either).

If this is the case, then buying a 144hz monitor would be a waste unless I sli my 680.

Damnit, I was mind set on getting that 680 and now you're making me have doubts >.<
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 8:38:46 AM

To get resolutions like 5760x1080 you get more, not denser monitors. There are no consumer monitors of that resolution. I think the highest resolution single monitor is 2560x1440 (may be wrong though).
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September 12, 2012 8:43:29 AM

thetechnoobguy said:
So what happens when you use the 2560 x 1600 or 5760 x 1080 doesn't it just make things smaller and more concentrated? Would any of the monitors we mention like the XL2420TX support that high of a resolution?

I don't think it would be that noticable since my GTX 680 would gives me 40+ fps and I could always overclock it giving me 50+fps which isn't too far from the SLI'd 670's getting 70ish FPS (which also isn't utilizing the 120hz display very well either).

If this is the case, then buying a 144hz monitor would be a waste unless I sli my 680.

Damnit, I was mind set on getting that 680 and now you're making me have doubts >.<


First of all you are not getting 2560X1600 out of a 120 Hz monitor(an IPS montior can get you to 1440p which is limited to 60Hz in most cases), second 5760X1080 is very cost prohibitive with 120hz monitor but if you want to do so any 3 1920X1080 montior can support that.

144hz wouldn't be a waste, as seen on the graphs above, SLI 670 OC get you very close to the required FPS needed to saturate that.

680 is not cost effective compared to 670, this have been stated in many reviews and on many forums, but just in case you need more evidence here:



Knowing all of that, it is still surprising to see our GeForce GTX 670 sample perform just 4.5% slower than our reference GeForce GTX 680—certainly less of a gap then we were told to expect. Knowing that overclocking on air is often enough to overcome a sub-5% spread, this almost negates any reason you might have had for buying a GeForce GTX 680, particularly if you were looking to play games at 1920x1080 with the eye candy cranked up. said:
Knowing all of that, it is still surprising to see our GeForce GTX 670 sample perform just 4.5% slower than our reference GeForce GTX 680—certainly less of a gap then we were told to expect. Knowing that overclocking on air is often enough to overcome a sub-5% spread, this almost negates any reason you might have had for buying a GeForce GTX 680, particularly if you were looking to play games at 1920x1080 with the eye candy cranked up.


5% slower, for +$100 less, Case closed unless you really want to burn money for minimal benefit(like paying $100 for extra 4 FPS). In that case get a 7970 instead as while more expensive than 670 it still wipe the floor with 680 in price/performance and might even match it in Overclock.
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September 12, 2012 8:45:27 AM

So to get 5760x1080 resolution, I need more than one monitor? If that's the case I don't need to worry about it, and a single gtx 680 will be more than enough for my 120hz monitor needs.
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September 12, 2012 8:51:13 AM

sherlockwing said:
First of all you are not getting 2560X1600 out of a 120 Hz monitor(an IPS montior can get you to 1440p which is limited to 60Hz in most cases), second 5760X1080 is very cost prohibitive with 120hz monitor but if you want to do so any 3 1920X1080 montior can support that.

144hz wouldn't be a waste, as seen on the graphs above, SLI 670 OC get you very close to the required FPS needed to saturate that.

680 is not cost effective compared to 670, this have been stated in many reviews and on many forums, but just in case you need more evidence here:

http://media.bestofmicro.com/U/1/336745/original/gtx%20670%20vs%20680%201920.png



5% slower, for +$100 less, Case closed unless you really want to burn money for minimal benefit. In that case get a 7970 instead as while more expensive than 670 it still wipe the floor with 680 in price/performance and might even match it in Overclock.


Ok so there is no 120hz monitor or 144hz monitor that supports 2560X1600, the only ones that do are IPS 1440p monitors, correct?

So, at the end of the day, I'm going to be using 1920 x 1080, and 120hz, and a single gtx 670/680 will do fine, and if I want to utilize the 144hz to it's full potential, I would need to sli. The big question here is, would a single 680 (specifically the one I'm getting) be able to handle 144hz on it's own, with or without overclocking?

I completely understand where you're coming from, but you need to understand I'm basically paying for a GTX 670 with my 680 (that is if the MIR goes well, but even then I'm still saving $70).
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 9:07:14 AM

A single 680 wont push a 144hz monitor to its full potential all the time (especially during firefights on intensive games such as BF3, Crysis 2, etc), but you will definetly enjoy the benefits of a 60+Hz monitor without doubt. I would expect ~80 fps in a firefight, possibly more if you overclock.

During less intensive parts (running around, slow story bits, etc) of the game I would easily expect you to hit 120hz or higher. My HD7870 gets ridiculous FPS in Crysis 2 (everything set to ultra, DX11 patch and high res pack) if there isn't much happening.
Apparently even just using Windows on a 120Hz monitor feels much more responsive.
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September 12, 2012 9:13:50 AM

manofchalk said:
A single 680 wont push a 144hz monitor to its full potential all the time (especially during firefights on intensive games such as BF3, Crysis 2, etc), but you will definetly enjoy the benefits of a 60+Hz monitor without doubt. I would expect ~80 fps in a firefight, possibly more if you overclock.

During less intensive parts (running around, slow story bits, etc) of the game I would easily expect you to hit 120hz or higher. My HD7870 gets ridiculous FPS in Crysis 2 (everything set to ultra, DX11 patch and high res pack) if there isn't much happening.
Apparently even just using Windows on a 120Hz monitor feels much more responsive.


Yeah, makes sense. What about running 120hz, I think the 680 would do great even in mutliplayer. What do you think.

Can we get some statistics regarding this though?
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a b V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 9:20:06 AM

Undoubtedly - The Maximus V Extreme.
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a c 82 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 9:25:12 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...
The GTX680 (non-overclocked and upon release, so old drivers) getting 110Fps without AA at 1920x1080. BF3 with everything but AA turned as high as it will go. Turning AA on to 4x lowers it to 77fps.
Im guessing these are average FPS results, not minimum. Just do a bit of research and im sure you will be able to find other results that would be a bit clearer or back them up.

Dont worry about the Anti-Aliasing, you don't need much of it and across all cards its an FPS killer.
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September 12, 2012 9:47:01 AM

manofchalk said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...
The GTX680 (non-overclocked and upon release, so old drivers) getting 110Fps without AA at 1920x1080. BF3 with everything but AA turned as high as it will go. Turning AA on to 4x lowers it to 77fps.
Im guessing these are average FPS results, not minimum. Just do a bit of research and im sure you will be able to find other results that would be a bit clearer or back them up.

Dont worry about the Anti-Aliasing, you don't need much of it and across all cards its an FPS killer.


So I'll be getting 110 frames... that would be great for 120hz. I could always just turn AA off when I'm in multiplayer, it doesn't make that much of a difference in mutliplayer does it?

Also, regarding the whole gtx 670 vs 680 thing, I'm not going to be getting a second gtx 670 ANYTIME soon, not after I get all the main components first, which wont be for maybe 3 months, so by the time I will be able to get another 670, I will have enough spare cash to get a 680, so I mise well just go with the 680.
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September 12, 2012 2:25:28 PM

thetechnoobguy said:
So I'll be getting 110 frames... that would be great for 120hz. I could always just turn AA off when I'm in multiplayer, it doesn't make that much of a difference in mutliplayer does it?

Also, regarding the whole gtx 670 vs 680 thing, I'm not going to be getting a second gtx 670 ANYTIME soon, not after I get all the main components first, which wont be for maybe 3 months, so by the time I will be able to get another 670, I will have enough spare cash to get a 680, so I mise well just go with the 680.


If spending $100 extra for 5 more FPS appeals to you then sure, it is your money.

In the most article, GTX670 & HD 7970 were both named best PCIe Card for their price range, and GTX 680 was not recommended, I quoted that part of the article here:

Best PCIe Card For ~$380:
GeForce GTX 670 (Check Prices)

Great 2560x1600 performance
GeForce GTX 670
Codename: GK104
Process: 28 nm
Universal Shaders: 1344
Texture Units: 112
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 915
Memory Speed MHz: 1502 (6006 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5
Max TDP:
170 W

GTX670-DC2-2GD5...
Newegg.com
$419.99

The GeForce GTX 670 serves up performance somewhere between the Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 for around $380. That's an impressive feat considering that AMD's flagship was selling for $550 a couple of months ago. Moreover, we've seen Nvidia's second-fastest single-GPU board in stock and available for purchase ever since it was introduced. That's something AMD cannot claim.

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.
Best PCIe Card For ~$430:

Radeon HD 7970 (Check Prices)

Great 2560x1600 performance
Radeon HD 7970
Codename: Tahiti
Process: 28 nm
Universal Shaders: 2048
Texture Units: 128
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 384-bit
Core Speed MHz: 925
Memory Speed MHz: 1375 (5500 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11.1/SM 5
Max TDP:
250 W

HD7970-DC2-3GD5 Radeon...
Newegg.com
$434.99

AMD's recent driver improvements had a big impact on performance, helping make a case for a price premium over Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670. As it settles in around $430, we think the vanilla Radeon HD 7970 deserves some love.

Now, you might be able to find a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition card on sale for something similar. If so, we'd recommend grabbing it. But where most of the GHz Edition cards are sitting (up closer to $470), we'd recommend skipping those boards. The reference model is already pretty overclockable, meaning you can coax much of that performance out of the cheaper card anyway.
[b said:

We also don't think paying $500 or more for a GeForce GTX 680 makes much sense. As a result, the Radeon HD 7970 finally earns a place on our list.

Read our full preview of AMD's Radeon HD 7970 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.]Best PCIe Card For ~$380:
GeForce GTX 670 (Check Prices)

Great 2560x1600 performance
GeForce GTX 670
Codename: GK104
Process: 28 nm
Universal Shaders: 1344
Texture Units: 112
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Core Speed MHz: 915
Memory Speed MHz: 1502 (6006 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11/SM 5
Max TDP:
170 W

GTX670-DC2-2GD5...
Newegg.com
$419.99

The GeForce GTX 670 serves up performance somewhere between the Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 for around $380. That's an impressive feat considering that AMD's flagship was selling for $550 a couple of months ago. Moreover, we've seen Nvidia's second-fastest single-GPU board in stock and available for purchase ever since it was introduced. That's something AMD cannot claim.

Read our full review of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.
Best PCIe Card For ~$430:

Radeon HD 7970 (Check Prices)

Great 2560x1600 performance
Radeon HD 7970
Codename: Tahiti
Process: 28 nm
Universal Shaders: 2048
Texture Units: 128
ROPs: 32
Memory Bus: 384-bit
Core Speed MHz: 925
Memory Speed MHz: 1375 (5500 effective)
DirectX/Shader Model: DX 11.1/SM 5
Max TDP:
250 W

HD7970-DC2-3GD5 Radeon...
Newegg.com
$434.99

AMD's recent driver improvements had a big impact on performance, helping make a case for a price premium over Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670. As it settles in around $430, we think the vanilla Radeon HD 7970 deserves some love.

Now, you might be able to find a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition card on sale for something similar. If so, we'd recommend grabbing it. But where most of the GHz Edition cards are sitting (up closer to $470), we'd recommend skipping those boards. The reference model is already pretty overclockable, meaning you can coax much of that performance out of the cheaper card anyway.

We also don't think paying $500 or more for a GeForce GTX 680 makes much sense
. As a result, the Radeon HD 7970 finally earns a place on our list.

Read our full preview of AMD's Radeon HD 7970 for more information on the card and its accompanying architecture.
[/b]

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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 12, 2012 3:03:11 PM

Okay interesting stuff.

Monitor's - I posted the ASUS VG278H because it's 27" and included the $135 Kit and for now is certified with nVidia and offers LightBoost.

Currently the 3D monitors (120Hz) are all poorer quality TN panels and currently there's no 120Hz panels beyond 1920x1080.

GPU's - If you plan to run 3D then the frame rates are more-less cut in half (30%~50% reductions) over 2D. ALL of those 'graphs' are 2D. For 2D then (1) GTX 670/680 -- but for 3D then (2) GTX 670/680. That is unless you like choppy 3D!

Compared:
Gigabyte N670-OC/GD2 - core/boost 980MHz/1058MHz memory 6008MHz ; warranty 3/3
MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC - core/boost 1019MHz/1079MHz memory 6008MHz ; warranty 3/2
ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5 - core/boost 915MHz/980MHz memory 6008MHz ; warranty 3/3

Now for out of the box the MSI is the fastest, but the ASUS has better Phases and can out OC any of those cards. The vast majority of records are on ASUS, you can OC the crap out of them.

Are there better cards then yes so for better the GTX 680's. You seem to be watching every penny.

3D Vision (decent video):


/edit - my daughter's rig runs 3D Vision with 3xHD panels and 3-WAY GTX 680 4GB and we're looking into adding a 4th.
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