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SOLVED: $500-600 gaming PC help (WoW & Diablo 3)

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March 24, 2012 6:04:55 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: End of April 2012

Budget Range: $500-600 before rebates (Canadian dollars)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, internet, watching movies, playing counter-strike source and TF2

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix.com tigerdirect.ca canadacomputers.com

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: The only thing I care about is running Diablo 3 or World of Warcraft on med-high settings... I'm used to playing on low everything, but it'll be nice to see better graphics.

Thanks for your help everyone!

EDIT: All parts are bought, and I had one major problem...

I bought a motherboard and the pins were bent. It may have been my fault but I tried to return it the next day and they refused to do anything about it, and referred me to the RMA.

I went a week after and decided to just try to return it, and they gave me my money back. So I went with the ASUS P8Z68 LE motherboard. I would have lost more by shipping the initial motherboard and having them refuse and charge me for the physical damage.

PSU Corsair 600W Builder Series v2 $64 Got lucky with this one at Canada Computers, they had a daily deal going on and it was $11 off. http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=33_442&item_id=038034

Tower HAF 912 $60 http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=6_112&item_id=033559

GPU, Sapphire HD 6870 for $170 It was an open box so got 5% more out of it, and there was a $10 instant rebate http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=43_557_558&item_id=042024

Mobo ASUS P8Z68 LE $135 http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=040679

CPU $210 i5-2500K http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=4_65&item_id=035530

Total after tax: Roughly $745...

In conclusion, it was a bit over my budget, but it's a nice build that will last for a long time. I have neutral feelings for Canada Computers, but in the future I don't plan on buying expensive parts from them due to the experience I had, and from what I've also heard from them.
March 24, 2012 6:10:56 AM

300 american dollars or canadian dollars?
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March 24, 2012 6:13:02 AM

Canadian dollars :) 
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Related resources
March 24, 2012 6:19:33 AM

Blizzard games play better on intel+nvidia. What do you have currently, you may be able to upgrade a few parts rather than buying a new rig.
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March 24, 2012 6:21:51 AM

what scotty said, wow is designed to be able to play on the worst computers (blizzard likes their millions of subscribers) lol
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March 24, 2012 6:24:53 AM

I have a single core CPU running at 3.0 GHz...
ATI Radeon 4350
2 GB of RAM (DDR2 I believe)

I was debating using my old computer, but I'm not sure if the 3.0 GHz single core processor would work. I've tried playing Starcraft 2 on that computer and I can't play it at all even on its lowest settings.

If the single core CPU works for Diablo 3, then I'd just imagine getting a new GPU.

What do you all think?
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March 24, 2012 6:31:33 AM

what about an apu?
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March 24, 2012 6:35:44 AM

mabreatsh said:
what about an apu?


Sorry, I have no idea what you mean by that. Would you care to elaborate?
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March 24, 2012 6:43:28 AM

an apu is kind of like a cross between a cpu and a gpu, it offloads some of the work from the processor to the graphics card.

it is the combination of a CPU (generally a multi-core one), a graphics processing unit, and then some way to get them to play together nicely.

thats what it is, im not sure if something like that would work for you though, i don't have must experience with them
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March 24, 2012 6:44:56 AM

i suggest this but your budget uis very tight

CPU AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core
Motherboard Asus F1A75-M PRO Micro ATX FM1
Memory Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333
Hard Drive Seagate Momentus 7200.4 160GB 2.5" 7200RPM
Case Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply OCZ 500W ATX12V / EPS12V


http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/61I1
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March 24, 2012 6:51:21 AM

its an amd chip where the cpu is bonded with the gpu, you could wait for the new generation in the summer which should give a good boost of performance. If you need it now, you could get a pentium g680 and a 6670 which should play the games you in medium.
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March 24, 2012 6:58:13 AM

upgrading into an a8 bumps up the performance and should be put into consideration
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March 24, 2012 12:34:57 PM

i3 2100 with a single sapphire 6670 gpu and your all set on low resolution like 1440x900

apu is a great choice too with 6670 sapphire crossfire it, gives great performance at 1440x900 resolution tested it on 1920x1080 it was around 25-35fps range on all low/off settings
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March 24, 2012 1:18:01 PM

I suggest you reuse much of your old system. This is a gaming build which requires you use your old 2GB DDR2 RAM and HD. You must make sure you have DDR2 for this system to work.
Cooler Master Elite 311 case > http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ASRock 770 motherboard > http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... Uses DDR2 RAM and supports up to 6 cores.
AMD 7750 GPU > http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Cooler Master 500w PSU > http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
AMD 960T > http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... Black edition and may unlock to 6 cores.

Combo deal on the above Case and PSU. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

Total price after combo deal and CPU promo code is about: $380

If your RAM doesn't match I suggest this 2GB stick.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
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March 24, 2012 1:59:37 PM

Go with an AMD FM1 chip. The 3.0Ghz Black Edition has 4 cores and 2 cores for the GPU already installed. You can run WOW on that without having to buy a dedicated GPU, but if you decide to add one later it will run like you have two paired video cards. You can also add a cooler later and overclock it to 4.0Ghz. For $130 it is tough to beat for gaming. Unless you're going to be running huge databases the CPU/GPU combo is the least expensive and best option.
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March 24, 2012 2:31:36 PM

the 4 core apu did this
apu is a great choice too with 6670 sapphire crossfire it, gives great performance at 1440x900 resolution tested it on 1920x1080 it was around 25-35fps range on all low/off settings

and thats with the GPU so if you play at lower resolutions like 1440x900 you will see well at 40-50fps thats with a dedicated card but if you don't want to put a dedicated card at 1024x to 1440x resolution you can get around 25-39fps should still be playable for you
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March 24, 2012 2:41:42 PM

serialkiller said:
i suggest this but your budget uis very tight

CPU AMD A4-3400 2.7GHz Dual-Core
Motherboard Asus F1A75-M PRO Micro ATX FM1
Memory Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333
Hard Drive Seagate Momentus 7200.4 160GB 2.5" 7200RPM
Case Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower
Power Supply OCZ 500W ATX12V / EPS12V


http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/61I1

I think this is the best option, it allows for future upgrades later on if needed. If you just upgrade your current computer, your will be in this same situation in about 1-2 years.
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March 24, 2012 2:59:25 PM

ohh the budget extends upto 400$

i would make changes in the above build i posted :p 
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March 24, 2012 3:19:58 PM

I would skip the dual core A4 chip for sure. Also note you may need higher speed RAM as 1333 will cut performance a lot on these Llano systems. Maybe an A6-3670K or A8-3850 with 1600 or 1866 RAM. With these tho the 960T with 7750 will outperform them in everything.
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March 24, 2012 3:29:21 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/627A

this is and intel and a dedicated hd 5670 gpu build

you guys must be thinking that i manage to put a powerful gpu and a a bit faster cpu and this is the best site i know now which can compare deals on different sites :bounce: 

he op you can also manage to get more performance if you could extend the budget to 410 where you could get a g850 which is faster than fx8150 and few others :o 
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March 24, 2012 4:27:22 PM

hey kevin, i just started a similar thread to yours with a similar budget. some good ideas have been thrown around in there.

im recycling my current optical rive and my hdd, so take a look and see what you can gather from it

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/340327-31-budget
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March 24, 2012 4:51:10 PM

Cpu- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Hdd- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Ram- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Psu- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Mob- http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Subtotal: $368.45

Serialkiller has a pretty good build I put this one together so you can have something to compare. The ram I just bought, been told its easily oc'd to 1866 and stable without changing voltage. You can Play wow and d3 with this apu on low settings as previously stated and there is room to put a dedicated gpu when you get some extra scratch.


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March 25, 2012 10:20:44 AM

CPU
i3-2120 3.3ghz for 130$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

GPU
hd7750 for 115$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

MOTHERBOARD
MSI H61M-P21 (B3) for 55$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM
2X Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333 Model KVR1333D3S8N9/2GKC for 26$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CASE AND PSU
Broadway Com Corp 1243MA-BLACK for 35$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

EQUALS 361$
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March 31, 2012 8:31:36 AM

Hey guys, after research and comparing parts I've come to a few ideas.

This is what I have so far...

I plan on buying all the parts in person, so Newegg won't be used, however it was a great source to use to compare prices!

For the CPU, I'm thinking about buying an i3 2120 @ 3.30 GHz Estimated roughly $ 120 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7295299&CatId=6983


edit: for the GPU I'm thinking about going for the GTX 460 from http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1742651&CatId=3669 for $120 ($145 before rebate)

For the Motherboard I was deciding on getting the MSI H61M-P21 (B3), and I"ll be getting it at Canada Computers for $55. http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=045996

For the RAM I am going to buy a x1 DDR3 4GB stick for now, and in the future if I need anymore I'll get another 4GB stick. If this is bad for your computer let me know and I'll grab a 2GB x2...


Option: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1753646&CatId=5430

As for the PSU I'm not completely sure on what to get, the Tiger Direct PSU for $53 seems like a great idea unless the RAM it comes with sucks. (Refer to Option link under RAM)

And finally to look cool, I found this decent looking desktop tower for about $35 http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6447916&CatId=1509

Notes: I don't know anything about motherboards, and I found another motherboard. The link I provided above under the mobo section or http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=045996


I also have a SATA HDD on my computer. Would that still be compatible with my new build?

So in total, I'll be spending just about $383 before taxes, $432.79 after

Thanks for all the help everyone! If I'm forgetting anything, let me know! :) 
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March 31, 2012 12:08:58 PM

""For the CPU, I'm thinking about buying an i3 2120 @ 3.30 GHz Estimated roughly $ 120"" ----good one

this gpu is best in that list
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 115$)
but at that site, i found this hd6770 and it is 3$ cheaper and 10% better than that hd7750, but hd6770 uses 2-3x more electricity in comparison to that hd7750.
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 112$)
and this gpu is providing further more bang for your money
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 120$)

'ram option 2' psu is good and then no need to buy 'ram option 1' for ram

""And finally to look cool, I found this decent looking desktop tower for about $35"" -----cool

""I also have a SATA HDD on my computer. Would that still be compatible with my new build? "" -----yup, as sata is backward compatible
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March 31, 2012 2:25:53 PM

truegenius said:
""For the CPU, I'm thinking about buying an i3 2120 @ 3.30 GHz Estimated roughly $ 120"" ----good one

this gpu is best in that list
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 115$)
but at that site, i found this hd6770 and it is 3$ cheaper and 10% better than that hd7750, but hd6770 uses 2-3x more electricity in comparison to that hd7750.
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 112$)
and this gpu is providing further more bang for your money
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... (for 120$)

'ram option 2' psu is good and then no need to buy 'ram option 1' for ram

""And finally to look cool, I found this decent looking desktop tower for about $35"" -----cool

""I also have a SATA HDD on my computer. Would that still be compatible with my new build? "" -----yup, as sata is backward compatible


Thanks!

I have a question about the GTX 460, the deal expires today and I won't be able to buy it until the end of April, so I guess it'll be back to $135. Would it still be the best GPU for that price? Or would it be better to go back to the HD 6770? I also heard that the 6770 uses up a lot of power, would a 430W PSU be able to keep up?

If I used the Corsair RAM and bought another 4GB stick of RAM that's a different brand, would that mess anything up? As long as I buy DDR3 RAM would I be fine?

Thanks btw!
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March 31, 2012 6:13:21 PM

hd6770 have tdp of 110 and after overclocking and stressing it will not consume more than 150w, so 430w is enough., hd7750 will not use more than 50w, and 460 will use more than 150w.
If you want to save on electricity bill then hd7750, otherwise 460 or 6770.

As long as timings, speed and voltage are same then there will be no problem in using another ram
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March 31, 2012 7:00:17 PM

truegenius said:
hd6770 have tdp of 110 and after overclocking and stressing it will not consume more than 150w, so 430w is enough., hd7750 will not use more than 50w, and 460 will use more than 150w.
If you want to save on electricity bill then hd7750, otherwise 460 or 6770.

As long as timings, speed and voltage are same then there will be no problem in using another ram


I just read that the GTX 460 requires a min. PSU of 450W, and the PSU I plan on getting is 430W. Would this be okay or would it overheat?

If I get another DDR3 RAM stick with the same speed, but it says PC10600 instead of PC10666, would it be okay? Would it also be okay to mix and match different brands? For example, using Kingston and Corsair. I read that the manufacturers use different numbers and it's technically the same, but it's nice to double check still. :) 

Thanks again!
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April 1, 2012 11:29:30 AM

tdp of 460 is 160w and 65w of i3, thats equals to 225w, add some 25-75w more and you got 250-300w for cpu+gpu, means you need minimum 25A on 12v i.e, 300w on 12V, now add 100w for other things. And thus your 430w psu will be enough, just make sure to have minimum of 25A on 12v i.e, 300w .

RAM
It is ok, and you can use different brands too.
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April 6, 2012 9:18:34 PM

I suggest you skip the dual core as games are already starting to recommend quads. New consoles are coming out with up to 6 cores which means even the ported games will need more cores. The 960t is $124 and unlocks to 6 cores. unlocked the 960t preformance would be ahead of the dual cores in games. Note that the 6 core 1090t is same 3.2GHz as the 955 but gets 5FPS higher.


Even in games dual cores CPU's days are numbered.

The 460GTX is a bit more powerful than the 7750 but requires way more power. A 380w PSU could push the 7750 with no problem. The 7750's big advantage is DX 11.1 and in CF will nearly match the 2 460's in SLI. This is a hard choice and would depend on what you may want to do later on. Another problem you may face is getting a second 460 as they should be discontinued shortly once Nvidia release its 600 series.
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April 7, 2012 12:17:03 AM

In the future the only games I plan on playing are WoW and Diablo 3 (I'll be busy with school and with friends/work otherwise)

Would a dual-core be sufficient enough to run on medium settings without lag? How much is the price difference between the i3 vs. a quad core?

As for the 460GTX vs 7750, I plan on just using one GPU, I don't plan on CFing another graphics card.

So 7750 has DX 11.1 support? What about the 460GTX? It shows DX 11, but does it make a difference?

If the 460 gets discontinued, would that be bad warranty wise? Would it be more convenient to purchase the 7750 instead?

Thanks for the insight!
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April 9, 2012 2:55:32 AM

As great as all the builds are each of you has provided within the $300-$400 range; there is one BIG problem. No one has included what I call the PC mafia Dues, also known as “Windows 7 64-bit os for around $99 bumping all the builds up $100
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April 9, 2012 4:00:22 AM

Bipolarbare80 said:
As great as all the builds are each of you has provided within the $300-$400 range; there is one BIG problem. No one has included what I call the PC mafia Dues, also known as “Windows 7 64-bit os for around $99 bumping all the builds up $100


I put that down already in the parts not required. :p  Thanks for the concern though!
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April 16, 2012 1:06:51 AM

kevin625 said:
In the future the only games I plan on playing are WoW and Diablo 3 (I'll be busy with school and with friends/work otherwise)

Would a dual-core be sufficient enough to run on medium settings without lag? How much is the price difference between the i3 vs. a quad core?

As for the 460GTX vs 7750, I plan on just using one GPU, I don't plan on CFing another graphics card.

So 7750 has DX 11.1 support? What about the 460GTX? It shows DX 11, but does it make a difference?

If the 460 gets discontinued, would that be bad warranty wise? Would it be more convenient to purchase the 7750 instead?

Thanks for the insight!


The dual core i3 2120 and the quad core 960T are about the same price. The dual core is sufficient for current gaming but this may not be true in 2 years even with WOW or Diablo 3. Also the 960T does unlock to 6 cores a good percentage of the time.

If you only plan for 1 than get the 460GTX 1GB version. The DX 11.1 may not mean a great deal as most of the time it takes full version upgrades to really give the card a huge life span advantage.
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April 16, 2012 4:38:05 PM

Edit: I decided to stick with the i3-2120 and go for the GPU upgrade, I'll be grabbing a 6870.

As for the mobo I'm undecided, but I want a SATA 3 compatible motherboard with USB 3.0 as well. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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April 17, 2012 4:29:41 PM

Wow there's a lot of selection to this stuff, I was looking at these

MSI Z77A-G43 (It's overclocked, and I'm not using anything that'll be OC'd, will this be an issue?)
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=047788

Gigabyte GA Z77M
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=047649

What I noticed was that the MSI is ATX, while the Gigabyte is mini-ATX. Would it be better to get an ATX mobo or it's fine with a mini-ATX?

For an extra $5 more I get these, but I don't know what the difference would be...

BIOSTAR TZ77A
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=047925

BIOSTAR TZ77AMXE (same as above but overclocked I think)
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=047927

MSI Z77MA-G45
http://canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=26_722&item_id=047792
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April 17, 2012 8:48:28 PM

Either the Gigabyte GA Z77M or MSI Z77A-G43 would be fine choices. I suggest passing on biostar as their bios support isn't as good as the others.

The MSI has only 11 USB where the Gigabyte has 14. The MSI has 2 more PCI slots and a higher max memory OC. The Gigabyte has Atheros Lan which should mean access to 3rd party land software. IE some Atheros software can give you professional Ethernet options.
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April 17, 2012 9:53:41 PM

So I guess if I want to crossfire and overclock my desktop, the better option will be to go with the MSI, and if I'm just using it for regular stuff the Gigabyte would be fine?

I don't understand the Atheros Lan, what about MSI?

Does Atheros Lan support wireless?
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April 18, 2012 3:02:15 AM

Given that the i3 2120 only support 1333 there is no way to overclock your RAM that high. Both support crossfire evenly so you really will gain nothing under your current build. Maybe with an ivy bridge CPU later on this may be advantageous.

I would pick the Gigabyte due to the Atheros LAN. Atheros LAN doesn't mean wireless. For wireless you need Atheros wireless Lan. The Atheros does have a huge community of modified drivers. These drivers could give near professional level LAN options. This could give you options only a very costly professional LAN card offers. Many supported options like Forwarding, VLAN, xbox kaid, and others.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
http://www.teamxlink.co.uk/
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April 18, 2012 3:35:15 AM

What do you mean by the i3 2120 only supporting 1333? Do you mean that they only support 1333 MHz RAM sticks?

If I have a motherboard that supports 1066 and 1600 would it mean that they wouldn't be detected?

I updated all the parts that I'll be getting at the top, if you don't mind, could you please look over them and see if everything will be compatible? It would be greatly appreciated!
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April 18, 2012 6:22:07 PM

This means the 2120's on chip memory controller supports up to 1333 but the motherboard will allow for higher multipliers. Given there isn't an affordable 2600 RAM kit you will have to overclock a 2400 kit. I think the highest stable CPU OC is a 104 blk which could get you nearly 3.43GHz. Also the possible conflict with the i3 lower memory setting may affect the maximum MSI states. The new Ivy bridge supports the higher 1600 clock thus could be a dependent factor in maximum RAM settings. With the i3 you should have no problem with RAM below 2200. Also do not expect PCIE 3.0 to work with a sandy bridge i3. Not that PCIE 3.0 is needed but the motherboards specs state this fact on their sites.

All this would make me want to wait for an Ivy bridge CPU next week.
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!