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~$700 Gaming+HTPC build with existing parts

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Last response: in Systems
April 15, 2012 7:14:13 AM

So after a little bit more reserach, I have came up with the build as below.

Approximate Purchase Date: when 3rd gen release this summer (April 29???)

Budget Range: max. $800 ($700 after discount)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming - HTPC - Surfing internet - 3D modelling and architectural rendering (later this year)

Parts Not Required: ODD, keyboard, mouse, 40" TV, Corsair 500r case, Sapphire HD5850 Graphic Card HD5850, Antec Current Gamer 620W PSU

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:, NCIX, canadacomputers (CC), Infonec Computers(a value local store I have dealt with)

Country: Toronto

Parts Preferences: Intel i5 CPU, Asus or ASRock or Gigabyte MOBO, Corsair or G.Skill RAM

Overclocking: maybe later

SLI or Crossfire: maybe later

Monitor Resolution: 1080p

Additional Comments: Quiet and good air flow PC, able to do high or max out most games, fluent video playback at 1080p.

Suggestions? Currency in CAD

CPU: $214.99 - $239.99
i5 2500K - Infonec - $214.99
i5 3570K - will wait - approx. $239.99????

Cooler: $34.98 - $69.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - NCIX - $34.98
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme - NCIX - $54.99 after discount and MIR from $69.99
Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B - NCIX - $59.99 after MIR from $69.99

MOBO: <$169.99
Asus P8Z77 V LE - Infonec - $169.99
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - CC - $149.99 after discount from $189.99
Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H - NCIX - $174.99 after discount from $177.99

RAM: <$55 (also consider low profile to fit CPU cooler)
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 2 X 4GB - CC - $44.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600 2 X 4GB - CC - $54.99

HDD: <$110
Seagate 2TB SATA3 - CC - $109.99 after discount from $139.99

MIN (all lowest price) - $554.94 CAD + tax = around $627 CAD after discount and MIR
BASELINE (all lowest price + i5 3570K + Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B) - $604.95 CAD + tax = around $683 CAD after discount and MIR
MAX (all highest price) - $694.95 CAD + tax = around $785 CAD without any discount nor MIR

Additional Information:
so far I am set for i5, I am torn between the 3 Z77 board as they all have similar features while asrock with 12phase and asus with 8phase and not so sure about the gigabyte board.

I also read that using 1600 RAM will void the 2nd gen i5 CPU warranty as they only run with 1066 and 1333 frequency. If that's the case, I will just set the RAM to run at 1333 in BIOS as 1333 and 1600 ram cost about the same these days.

I notice that the mobo and cooler I chose might be overkill for a gaming + HTPC rig, that's because I would like to try OC a little bit later this year for 3D modelling and architectural rendering purpose. So I am just wondering should I go all out for either one of the Zalman or keep it simple with Hyper 212 EVO for now.

And for the Zalman I am torn between the 2 as their performance, dBA and costs are almost identical. CNPS10X Extreme features a remote fan controller but I doubt I will use it at all. I would really like to have some advice from owners of both cooler.

Any comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

More about : 700 gaming htpc build existing parts

April 15, 2012 7:26:16 AM

Wait for 3570k BUT, look at reviews to see if heat issues are fixed.
Cooler Master 212 EVO
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
G.SKILL (fits with EVO)

1. Above
2. No, Ivy will officially support 1600, even if it doesn't support 1600, it doesn't void your warranty (I think)
3. You're fine with the EVO
4. Evo.
April 15, 2012 7:02:31 PM

Thanks! I looked a review on tweak town regarding the heat issue as well as its performance when OC. I am no expert on all these technical readings nor OC, but as far as I can tell i5 3570k@4.6 runs just as hot with i7 2600k@4.8 and less performance which make sense. And at stock i5 3570k lies between stock i5 2500k to i7 2600k.

I also read from here for a comparison between i5 2500k@4.9 and i5 3570k@4.5/4.6. i5 3570k@4.5 looks quite alright than @4.6 but I probably need a better cooler than EVO. Let's hope the heat issues are minimized when intel launches its i5 3570k retail. Thanks!