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First build in a while, which CPU/MB combo?

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August 8, 2012 11:43:42 AM

Got asked to build for a mate, had to get a little up to speed, but have come to an impasse and could use some help.

While a 3930K is a possibility, it looks like it would push the price a little too far, so I have come down to either:

i7 3770K + ASRock x79 Extreme4 OR
i7 3820 + ASRock x79 Extreme6 (no point having the CPU able to handle 64GB RAM if the MB can't, amiright?)

Or, to put as I understand it PCI-E 3 capable but 32GB RAM at most & 8MB Cache VS PCI-E 2 only, but double max RAM capability & double max memory bandwidth & 10MB cache.

Which is to ask: is the possibility of 64GB ram worth the price? (OR is it diminishing returns?) & how important is it to be PCI-E 3 ready, in order to avoid having to update the CPU at a future time to take advantage of a GPU that does saturate PCI-E 2 and would benefit from PCI-E 3? (OR how soon is it until such a beast expected to exist?)

Thank you in advance.

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August 8, 2012 11:48:42 AM

What will he use the build for and what's his budget? 64gb of ram is super overkill (especially for a gaming rig). Give us some more info please and we can help you make the decisions better.
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August 8, 2012 12:15:26 PM

Gaming, wants WoW to hum on the highest settings, but also some measure of future proofing (guess, even if we don't go 64GB RAM now, that it reduces the question to "is it more likely future applications, within the expected useful life of the system, will benefit more from the ability to add RAM, or a PCI-E 3 card that can actually utilize it?"). $2000-$2500AUD budget.

Currently also looking at Radeon HD7850 2GB for the graphics card, as my understanding is it's not so much worse than the 7950 for the price, and a GTX670 would push the budget a little bit.
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August 8, 2012 4:44:29 PM

Majyqman said:
Gaming, wants WoW to hum on the highest settings, but also some measure of future proofing (guess, even if we don't go 64GB RAM now, that it reduces the question to "is it more likely future applications, within the expected useful life of the system, will benefit more from the ability to add RAM, or a PCI-E 3 card that can actually utilize it?"). $2000-$2500AUD budget.

Currently also looking at Radeon HD7850 2GB for the graphics card, as my understanding is it's not so much worse than the 7950 for the price, and a GTX670 would push the budget a little bit.


Exactly my point! On a 2500$ budget you should be getting the best of cards, yet you're going with a 7850 so you can fit in 64gb of ram!! You know that more ram doesn't mean faster ram right? The speed of the ram is dictated by the clock speed, not the quantity. You don't need more than 8gb of ram on a gaming rig, if you want to make it future proof go with 16gb. Get a z77 board with an i5/7 2xxx and you should be able to fit 2 gtx 670s into that budget. If you want I can setup a full list of specs for you.
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August 8, 2012 9:26:29 PM

To be fair one of my questions was is it worth going to 64GB, or to be able to in future, not that that was set :p  That said, the future proofing didn't include just being able to handle future games "as is", but be the more easily upgraded in future... which would mean a LGA2011 MB for the x79 socket, would it not? I should also probably refine things to multitasking/gaming, because I've been having problems switching between WoW/Civ/Anything else with ease, and want to avoid that here... but I imagine 16GB would go most of the way to avoiding that anyway.

If it is not too much of an imposition, could I request an answer to the extreme4/3770K vs extreme6/3820? Though I guess part of the only reason to go with 6 over 4 is the unlikely need to ever go to 64GB within the life of the machine, that will come down to other features/price difference, the difference between 3770K & 3820 however (PCI-E 3 v 10MB cache and double the max memory bandwidth) would seem to still matter, with a setup for that... along with a setup along the lines you've suggested?
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August 8, 2012 10:18:15 PM

Majyqman said:
To be fair one of my questions was is it worth going to 64GB, or to be able to in future, not that that was set :p  That said, the future proofing didn't include just being able to handle future games "as is", but be the more easily upgraded in future... which would mean a LGA2011 MB for the x79 socket, would it not? I should also probably refine things to multitasking/gaming, because I've been having problems switching between WoW/Civ/Anything else with ease, and want to avoid that here... but I imagine 16GB would go most of the way to avoiding that anyway.

If it is not too much of an imposition, could I request an answer to the extreme4/3770K vs extreme6/3820? Though I guess part of the only reason to go with 6 over 4 is the unlikely need to ever go to 64GB within the life of the machine, that will come down to other features/price difference, the difference between 3770K & 3820 however (PCI-E 3 v 10MB cache and double the max memory bandwidth) would seem to still matter, with a setup for that... along with a setup along the lines you've suggested?


Well you won't be able to get 64gb of RAM with either of those MBs, 32gb will be the highest you can get (only 4 ram slots). If I would have to choose between the two, I would go with the extreme4/3770k and spend more on the GPU. I know you already know pretty much what you want but just take a look at what I think would be the best for 2500$

MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU (2x): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't think it gets more future proof than this! You get 16gb ram, 6 core processor, best MB on the market, 2 of the best GPUs on the market and an SSD. Everything is you can upgrade, this is an absolute monster. total price: 2503$

If you want to keep it under 2000$ you can do the asus extreme6 with i7 2600k. It comes to around 2000$.

This rig would run any game for many years to come!
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August 8, 2012 10:32:59 PM

Thank you for that, I will look it all over, but, confused... I thought the extreme6 had 8 memory slots...
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August 9, 2012 9:40:55 AM

Majyqman said:
Thank you for that, I will look it all over, but, confused... I thought the extreme6 had 8 memory slots...


The ramge iv extreme (which I used above) has 8 slots, so you can put 64gb of ram in it, I put 16gb but that leaves 4 more slots open to take it to 32gb without throwing anything away.
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