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So many options! How do I choose?

Last response: in Motherboards
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February 9, 2013 7:13:36 PM

**I posted this in the Motherboards section, as well, but with the general question about chipsets, I figured I'd post it here, too**

Choosing a motherboard for my first gaming build is turning out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! I'm in Canada, so I'm using newegg.ca as my benchmark for available products. They seem to have the widest selection, and a decent representation of prices, but once I've picked the product I intend to shop around for deals.

Problem is, even after I've determined that I want LGA 1155 support (for an i5-3350P or 3570), USB 3.0 support, and DDR3 1600 support, there are still dozens of options!

I'm hoping that you lovely folks here can give me some advice on how to narrow down my choices.
1. I haven't got a clue about what to look for in a chipset
2. I want to get a sense of just how much I should be budgeting for my mobo.
3. Should I be sticking to motherboards of specific brands? I know Gigabyte and Asus are good...

- I'm working on a budget of about $1000 (hopefully less) before monitor and peripherals.
- I want to use the system for fairly high-end gaming. Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, and Witcher 3 are among my list of future game purchases (I am looking at buying a Radeon HD 7800 series or 7900 series video card).
- I don't think I need SLI or Crossfire, but I wouldn't mind if I had it. My thinking is that my usage will tolerate a single high-quality video card just fine, and if I decide I really want SLI or Crossfire, I can include them in a future build.
- I don't intend to overclock (at least not for a few years).
- 8GB of RAM should be plenty

What are people's thoughts?

More about : options choose

a c 95 V Motherboard
February 9, 2013 10:01:12 PM

Look for Z77 chipset boards from the manufacturers you listed. Check reviews too.
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February 9, 2013 10:35:23 PM

Ubrales said:
Look for Z77 chipset boards from the manufacturers you listed. Check reviews too.


Thanks, Ubrales (for the other reply, too). I do believe you've come to my rescue around here before ;) 

I'm hearing a lot about the Z77 chipset and about how it's the best chipset out there for gamers. Any insight on that, or on somewhere I could do some reading on the matter?
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a c 95 V Motherboard
February 9, 2013 11:06:21 PM

SyntaxSocialist said:
Thanks, Ubrales (for the other reply, too). I do believe you've come to my rescue around here before ;) 

I'm hearing a lot about the Z77 chipset and about how it's the best chipset out there for gamers. Any insight on that, or on somewhere I could do some reading on the matter?

My Z77 computer is just built and running for about a week.

For gaming you need the best Graphics card that you can afford; I have the EVGA GTX660Ti 3 GB.

Start reading a lot; check other forums too; and check reviews. Too many products out there to pin-point something and say that it is the best.
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February 9, 2013 11:47:26 PM

Yeah, like I said I'm thinking about Radeon 7800 or 7900 series cards (they've got a promo on now for some free games with purchase so I might spring for the 7900 series and cut my losses).

Anyway, I was asking more about any insight you might have about the Z77 chipset specifically, or where I could find a comparison of what the different capabilities of the difference chipsets are. I'm looking around right now (and will continue to do so) and I'm finding a few things, but not a lot that's super helpful.

And what would you say would be a reasonable amount to spend on a motherboard given my overall budget and purposes?
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a c 95 V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 12:16:47 AM

SyntaxSocialist said:
Yeah, like I said I'm thinking about Radeon 7800 or 7900 series cards (they've got a promo on now for some free games with purchase so I might spring for the 7900 series and cut my losses).

Anyway, I was asking more about any insight you might have about the Z77 chipset specifically, or where I could find a comparison of what the different capabilities of the difference chipsets are. I'm looking around right now (and will continue to do so) and I'm finding a few things, but not a lot that's super helpful.

And what would you say would be a reasonable amount to spend on a motherboard given my overall budget and purposes?

Motherboard? About $200 max (US or Canadian).
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February 10, 2013 2:55:15 AM

Thanks for the resources! So out of all the chipsets available, I fail to see any significant differences between these four:

http://ark.intel.com/compare/64018,64021,52816,64024

I imagine that this is a good start in terms of narrowing down my options, but do any of these four chipsets strike you as significantly better or worse than the rest for any reason? I mean, again, I'm failing to see the benefit of the Z77 over the rest...
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a c 95 V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 11:21:38 AM

Nice comparison! Do a similar comparison on CPUs; pick and few then you will see some performance characteristics.
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a c 87 V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 11:40:56 AM

For non overclocking cpu i suggest something like this is an excellent price for an extremely good gaming build that will play pretty much everything you throw at it at high to ultra settings.


CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($195.90 @ TigerDirect Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($48.49 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($50.65 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($60.81 @ DirectCanada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $935.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-10 08:48 EST-0500)
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February 10, 2013 12:14:09 PM

Ubrales said:
Nice comparison! Do a similar comparison on CPUs; pick and few then you will see some performance characteristics.


I did :)  That's how I narrowed it down to the i5-3350P or 3570. It was actually the first thing I started researching, and when I considered performance and features with regard to price, those two came out on top. No one's told me I should get anything else. bigcyo recommended the i5-3470, but that sort of falls right in between my two CPU picks :) 

And on that note, bigcyo: Thanks for that proposed set-up. You even used Canadian price points! :love:  A lot of that seems on course with what I'm thinking of putting together, except I'm thinking of a bigger (or a second) HDD as I've already got a lot of data that I'm going to want to transfer over, and a Radeon 7800 or 7900, which I understand runs right on the heels of the GTX 670.
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Best solution

a c 87 V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 12:36:30 PM

Buying Considerations

Like most tech products, graphics cards are segmented by price. Expensive cards tend to be more capable; and less expensive ones usually offer lower performance, consume less power, and are smaller in size (and so fit into a greater range of PC cases).



$300 to $350

Cards in this category include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 and the AMD Radeon HD 7950. They offer performance that is nearly as good as that of the high-end models, but at a more modest price. If you stick with a 1080p or 1920 by 1200 display with one of these cards, you should be in good shape.

$200 to $300

At this level you may have to start making some sacrifices in detail settings. For GPUs such as the AMD Radeon HD 7870, that means running at "high" rather than at "very high" detail level, and it almost certainly means disabling antialiasing.

I would get a 7950 if you rather get amd card.As for the bigger hard drive that makes sense i think you know what you need now so enjoy
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February 10, 2013 12:54:14 PM

bigcyco1 said:
Buying Considerations

Like most tech products, graphics cards are segmented by price. Expensive cards tend to be more capable; and less expensive ones usually offer lower performance, consume less power, and are smaller in size (and so fit into a greater range of PC cases).

....

I would get a 7950 if you rather get amd card.As for the bigger hard drive that makes sense i think you know what you need now so enjoy


Thanks! You've been very helpful, indeed :) 
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a c 87 V Motherboard
February 10, 2013 12:57:39 PM

No problem glad to help. :) 
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February 10, 2013 5:07:05 PM

Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
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