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First Build - Games/Coding (~$1700-$2k)

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April 29, 2012 9:12:40 PM

Hey everyone, I'm fairly new to building computers and such. I'm more a programmer than hardware person, but I do know most of the necessary stuff. I've got a few questions about motherboard sockets and stuff, but I'll just start with the template...




Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of May 2012

Budget Range: Between $1700 to $2000, the lower the better but I'm aiming for about $1800.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Coding, other casual use. (I still want a performance computer, overkill or not :p  )

Parts Not Required: I already have a keyboard, but other than that everything else new.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg or microcenter preferably

Parts Preferences: Intel Ivy Bridge CPU 3770 (maybe the K version?), AMD Radeon HD 7950 (maybe lower)

Overclocking: No, and if so incredibly minimal

SLI or Crossfire: Nope.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080



Alright, so let me start out with what I have so far, and some of my questions.

Motherboard: Question! I believe the Ivy Bridge processors released today are only using LGA1155 motherboards? Should I bother getting the LGA2011 motherboards and waiting for newer processors? I've been reading that it's overkill and the only processors using that are going to be Sandy/Ivy Bridge E processors.

Processor: I'm aiming for the Ivy Bridge 3770. Is it worth the extra money to get the 3770K? I'm not sure what advantage I'd get with it being fully unlocked, since I don't intend to overclock. I'm a newb at this I suppose haha

GPU: I was looking at the AMD Radeon HD 7950. I know it's probably a bit much though. Should I instead go for the 7870? I currently have a 5750, and it works pretty damn well. It can't run Crysis 2 maxed out with 60fps though :p 

Heatsink: So, I was planning on using the stock heatsink. I'm sure that made many of you cringe, though. How important is it that I get a non-stock heatsink if I don't do any overclocking? I hear the i7's are notoriously hot in comparison to other processors (maybe that's not true idk). With a 22nm architecture though, I figured it'd have slightly less heat for the same performance. Should I get a different heatsink? The only component I'm afraid of installing is a heatsink, because if I do it incorrectly, there goes my processor a few months later! If you think so, please suggest one.

Hard Drive: Should I go for WD Caviar Black? I want one terabyte, since that'll be sufficient and Hard Drive prices still aren't back to friendly. I don't particularly want a SSD boot drive, unless you have some ridiculous raving reviews of em !

Power Supply: I'm looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Is that 800 Watts going to be enough? I would think so, since I have a 650W Corsair and it works wonderfully. My only hesitation is that it's just 80 PLUS and not like 80 PLUS gold or any others. Is that a factor? If you can recommend a better power supply, that would be fantastic.

RAM: So I was hoping for quad channel RAM, but I've recently realized that the only processor/mobo's that support that are the Sandy Bridge-E and the Ivy Bridge-E that are coming out later. Apparently the LGA1155 motherboards and current Ivy Bridges only support Dual Channel DDR3. That should be enough though. Will http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that work in a LGA1155 motherboard? Is that reputable RAM?

that's about it for now (my fingers are tired..)

Thanks in advance for any advice. It is greatly appreciated!
April 29, 2012 9:56:46 PM

Check microcenter for cpu and motherboard prices along with cpu + motherboard combo prices @ microcenter.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Carbide-Series-Mid-Tower-... $79.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case - CC-9011014-WW

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 FREE SHIPPING
SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99
ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2... $34.95 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10D-16GAO

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-AD-7280S-0B-Internal-Drive-B... $17.99 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25
Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black)

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Intern... $99.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST1000DM003

http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-SSDNow-120GB-Solid-KW-S2... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Solid State Drive KW-S2120-4B

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Professional-64bit-System... $139.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Windows 7 Professional SP1 64bit (Full) System Builder DVD 1 Pack

http://www.amazon.com/ML228H-22-Inch-Ultra-Slim-Widescr... $149.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
Asus ML228H 21.5" 1920X1080 2ms Full HD LED BackLight LED Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 10,000,000 :1 (ASCR)

Total: $1,306.86 *not including shipping and rebates


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $369.99 - $349.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 5% off w/ promo code MSI425, ends 4/30
MSI R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Video Card

http://www.overclockers.com/msi-r7870-twin-frozr <----- review w/benchmarks of that MSI 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $359.99
GIGABYTE GV-R787OC-2GD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gigabyte-radeon-hd-7870-o... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Gigabyte 7870

or...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $349.99
ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5 Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/HD_7870_Direct_... <----- review w/benchmarks of that Asus 7870



http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Pro3 <----- a better look at that Asrock board

http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/... <---- another look at that Corsair 300R

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <----- that same monitor @ newegg
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April 29, 2012 11:25:07 PM

Thanks for all the links. Would you say it's a must to get a different heatsink for the CPU, or will the stock one do? You also think I should go for the 3770K instead of the 3770?

Also, will the quad channel RAM that I linked work fine with a dual channel memory controller? I would think so, right?
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April 29, 2012 11:44:02 PM

mach990 said:
Thanks for all the links. Would you say it's a must to get a different heatsink for the CPU, or will the stock one do? You also think I should go for the 3770K instead of the 3770?

Also, will the quad channel RAM that I linked work fine with a dual channel memory controller? I would think so, right?

I'm all for an after market cpu h/s like that CM EVO for a few reasons. It's quieter compared to the stock Intel h/s and it leaves you the option later on to over clock if you ever get the bug. Same with the "K" version of that cpu. Only the "K" versions of Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge cpu's are unlocked, thus being the only ones in the 1155 line up that can actually be over clocked. It's well within your budget and you won't be asking yourself later on; ..."what if I only had gotten that in the first place..."

With that RAM you chose...any quad channel RAM will work as dual channel RAM in a 1155 board. But I wouldn't be getting that or any 4x4GB set of RAM for a few reasons. 1) It leaves you zero room to upgrade. If all 4 RAM slots are full then you have zero chance of adding more RAM in the future. 2) No reason to have all 4 RAM slots full sitting side by side creating heat. A 2x8GB set leaves you two empty slots (less heat and an upgrade path).
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April 29, 2012 11:54:55 PM

Alright. I've never really thought of the RAM as generating too much heat, but your point is very valid; I may want room to upgrade later, even though I think it's unlikely now.

Now, for motherboards... What is the differences in "chipsets"? Is that just the northbridge? I tried googling about it, but I'm still very confused. Do I need to have the Z77 Chipset for my processor?
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April 30, 2012 12:49:09 AM

mach990 said:
Alright. I've never really thought of the RAM as generating too much heat, but your point is very valid; I may want room to upgrade later, even though I think it's unlikely now.

Now, for motherboards... What is the differences in "chipsets"? Is that just the northbridge? I tried googling about it, but I'm still very confused. Do I need to have the Z77 Chipset for my processor?

Z77 boards (Panther Point) are new to the market and targeted for Ivy Bridge. The older Z68 and P67 boards (Cougar Point) are targeted for the older Sandy Bridge line.

But there's Z77/Z75/H77/B75 boards all targeted for Ivy Bridge and all with different features. Z77 just happens to be the top of the line with the most goodies.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=1155 <---- That's Asrock's line up and every board manufacturer has their own line up. Z77 though for all the goodies these new boards have to offer. There's a few sites that break down the difference of the boards as in what they offer and don't offer.
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