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Having Trouble Picking A Motherboard

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May 27, 2012 7:12:14 PM

I'm trying to do a full build for my friend (without monitors, speakers, keyboard, mouse - he's already got all that) for about $1000. If I can go lower than that, then yes. Basically what he wants is a mid-tower Intel powered that is very fast for the money and will handle him in college doing medium gaming, medium video editing, and some movie streaming. He has two LCD monitors and wants to have a dual monitor setup (but if you know some good ones, go ahead and let me know).

Approximate Purchase Date: this week through next week

Budget Range: $1000 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surviving college (papers, web surfing), medium video editing/game play/and streaming.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitors

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I use newegg.com to look at the details of the parts so I guess Newegg.

Country: US of A

Parts Preferences: I'd like to keep it Intel based for him. I've heard good things about Intel for gaming.

Overclocking: I've heard bad things about it, is it safe?

SLI or Crossfire: Not familiar with that care to explain?

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)

Additional Comments: It's going to run Windows 7.

Now I've gathered these parts so far, just out of some surfing.

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K ($319.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19-115-...

Is it reliable? I've only heard about the 2600K so what's the difference?

Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 650D ($169.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Saw the case on a Newegg review, really like the design of it and the way you can hide wires.

RAM: 8 GB (2x4GB) Cosair Vengeance (54.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heard good things about Cosair, but open to suggestions.

Hard Drive: ($124.99) – SATA III 6.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd like to have at least an 80 GB SSD for the OS and then have a much larger mechanical one for media files and such.

Now as for the video card, I'm open to all options, but I'd like for it to have two monitor connections so that he can make use of both of his monitors. Power supply I'm open to all suggestions, and for the optical drive, I'm not too concerned about finding some $20-25 DVD Burner.

So, if you guys could give me some advice as well as helping me out finding a good quality motherboard, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Best solution

May 27, 2012 7:42:03 PM

Here's a build that $976.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SN-208BB DVD/CD Writer ($20.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $976.89

I swapped out the i7 Sandy Bridge for an i5 Ivy Bridge. I included a Rosewill 550w PSU. This is actually a very reliable budget PSU.

If you want to cut the costs a little bit more to get a better video card then I recommend getting a cheaper case and using those savings for a better GPU.
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May 27, 2012 7:44:38 PM

Best answer selected by Dishin Nutrition.
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May 27, 2012 7:45:29 PM

You didn't even wait for any other suggestions!
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May 27, 2012 7:45:47 PM

jsrudd said:
Here's a build that $1085.

I swapped out the i7 Sandy Bridge for an i5 Ivy Bridge. I included a Rosewill 550w PSU. This is actually a very reliable budget PSU.

If you absolutely have to go below $1000 then I would suggest getting a cheaper case or motherboard (though I would recommend a cheaper case first).

Thanks so much for the fast response! And what's the major difference between the different processors?
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May 27, 2012 7:46:56 PM

if your friend was a hard core gamer and need every fps out of a top of the line video cards i would go with the i7 cpu. the i5 3570 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
is a better deal. there not to many games out there that will bottle neck an i5 cpu. also for less money look at the new r300 case from cosair. it there newest gaming cases on new egg there a nice video of it. it has a nice larger 230mm front fan and can take up to a 17 inch video card. (if your friend ever want to drop in a 1000.00 video card.). on mb msi/gigbuyte/asus are some top brands..on asus in the p8 line on gigabyte it the ud5 and ud3. both of these boards come with wifi and some of them have blue tooth. when your looking at mb look at the ports on the back. some have more usb or estata ports and some wont. the other issue is look at the speed of the pci slots. some of the lower end z77 and x68 mb will have one pci slot run at 16x mode and the other at 4x. the better boards will do 8x and 8x if your using two cards. i would also in the build toss in a h80 or another sealed water cooler or at the least a 212 air cooler. the water cooler will be less noise. if you do go with a cheaper air cooler look to put in a good fan that can run slow..look at the min speed of the fan. power supply look at hardcops that load test there power supply there are a lot of good ones..the bad one are deabloteck and other sub 40 dollar power supply. video cards nvidia has built in support for two monitor on one card...ati can do more but you have to use there cables to connect the video headers on there cards. the 7850 is going to be ati card for a build. it not going to kill the bank and there not many games that it cant run at 1900 rez and still give you good frame rate. on nvidia side the 570 and 670 you should look at. if the 660 was out it would be the better buy then the 570. for ssd intel new 330 is not a bad unit for the price..it not the fastest drive out there but at 124.00 on new egg for 120 megs it not bad at 1.00 a meg for an ssd and you have intel warranty on it. with the ram have your friend by memory with low hight heat sinks if he going to use an after market heat sink. some ram there heat spreaders are so tall they wont fit.
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May 27, 2012 7:47:13 PM

jsrudd said:
You didn't even wait for any other suggestions!

Because you gave me a motherboard just like I asked so I didn't need other suggestions xD
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May 27, 2012 7:49:50 PM

Its not going to game well with a Radeon 7770 . Only on low settings
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May 27, 2012 8:00:31 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Its not going to game well with a Radeon 7770 . Only on low settings


Not really true, though you might consider a 6870 which is slightly faster and only a little more expensive. I have a 6870 and play Skyrim in between High and Ultra.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=540
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May 27, 2012 8:39:08 PM

OK, I see we need a little education:
Sandy Bridge CPUs (like the ones you are looking at) are good, but a generation behind. Ivy bridge is the current gen for intel. Here is the basic difference between the two;

Sandy bridge:
better at OCing
easier to find on sale/clearance
2400, great i5 for gamers and producers who have no interest in overclocking
2500K, THE gamer chip, games do not use HT, so there is no point to getting anything bigger than this unless you are running 3-4 GPUs, or some other exotic setup
2600, adds HT to the 2500K, but takes away the unlocked mutiplier for OCing. This is great for video editing and other production work, and is what I use for video editing.
2600K and 2700K, same as 2600, except with OC support. 2700K is binned higher, so it will suposably OC better.
Note: While you cannot OC the 2400 and 2600, you can do a Turbo OC (meaning that it raises the max speed of the chip when under load). The nice thing is that it runs at low power most of the time, while giving you an extra boost when you need it. I got my 2600 up to 4.2GHz with my Turbo OC, which is pretty damn good :) 

Ivy Bridge:
~5% faster processing
~2x better onboard graphics
PCIe3 (note that this is not needed unless running multiple high end GPUs)
3550, replaces the 2400
3570k, replaces 2500k
3770, replaces 2600
3770k, replaces the 2600k and 2700k

If this is mostly for gaming with the occasional video project I would suggest sticking with an i5 such as the 2400 or 3550 (2500K or 3570k if you need OCing... which is unlikely).
If this is going to be doing video editing projects on a regular basis then go with an i7 2600, or 3770 (or the K versions for OCing... again, generally not needed). The 2700K is a waste of money as many people are getting better performance with the 2600k... it is really dumb luck and the combo of the mobo with CPU as to how high you can OC if you are really pushing a system. And just about anything can get in the 4-4.5GHz range anyways, which is beyond overkill for most applications.

Look for a local Microcenter, as they have killer prices on CPUs, SSDs, Cases, and other random stuff (fans, coolers, etc).

Great case, but don't blow money on aesthetics until you have the internal hardware you want.

Corsair is as good as any, and my personal favorite.

M4 is a great SSD, but 128GB is not a whole lot of space for games. Pair it with a 2TB HDD for space for video projects, games, music, etc. I would normally suggest a Samsung F4 for a data drive, but as this will be a drive for video editing content I have to suggest something with a 7200RPM spindle.
For video editing I noticed that I could not push my 2600 past 60% load on a single HDD. It was still plenty fast, but if you are going to get an i7 CPU for video editing then seriously consider getting a RAID1, 5 or 10, or an SSD for your content in order to properly make use of the CPU. If having a single content drive then stick with an i5 CPU.

Video Cards:
If gaming then get a 600 series nVidia (if available), or a 7000 series AMD
If video editing with software that supports CUDA then get a 570, 580, or try to cram a Quadro card in there. The 600 series simply sucks for productivity work, and most software does not yet support the 7000 series AMD cards yet. In a year this may be a different story as it looks like most production houses are moving to AMD's architecture, and away from CUDA... so AMD may be the move for the 'smart money' this time around.
Personally I love my 570 for gaming, and it makes short work of all the video projects I have thrown at it in Adobe Premiere so far. A 2nd one would let me use higher filtering settings on games, but as it is I can max out the detail on just about any game, while having a little bit of filtering on there, which is fine for me.
Any dedicated card will do 2 monitors. If you want to do 3 monitors then you have to get a 580, 600 series, or just about any AMD card.

Any cheap DVD burner will do just fine. Spring for a blue ray drive if this is going to be the central entertainment center as well as game/production rig.


Motherboards:
Man, there are just so many opitons out there right now!
Here are the general rules of thumb:
1) For a Sandy Bridge system then go with a z68 chipset. For Ivy Bridge then go with z77
2) for budget boards with a large feature set then go with AS Rock. Intel, MSI, and Gigabyte boards are all good, but check reviews as they each have good and bad products. ASUS makes the best boards with the most interesting features (built in wifi, amazing UEFI features, and great for overclocking).
3) Ivy bridge is the end of the LGA1155 platform, so do not build for longevity. If your client wants to upgrade in a year or two they will simply have to buy a whole new system, so get what you need, but do not go overboard as it is a platform at the end of its run (Haswell and Broadwell will be on LGA 1150).
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May 27, 2012 9:13:45 PM

jsrudd said:
Here's a build that $976.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SN-208BB DVD/CD Writer ($20.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $976.89

I swapped out the i7 Sandy Bridge for an i5 Ivy Bridge. I included a Rosewill 550w PSU. This is actually a very reliable budget PSU.

If you want to cut the costs a little bit more to get a better video card then I recommend getting a cheaper case and using those savings for a better GPU.


I would think twice before getting a rosewill PSU. Your PSU is what everything relies upon, and while rosewill makes a few OK products I would not be willing to use something that critical in my system made by them.

Let's not forget $100 for Win7

Nice motherboard, but you can go a LOT cheaper and still have a very good board. I would aim for something in the $120-150 range.

For video editing you NEED a 7200rpm drive, especially if doing HD editing. 1TB is ok, but 2TB would be better. Space fills quickly with editing.

The 7770 will get you by... but is the weak link of the whole build as far as specs are concerned. Consider something in the $200-250 range from AMD or nVidia for much better and consistent performance.

Moving to IB is probably a good move, but other than the onboard graphics (which are not being used) there is little difference between IB and SB.

The EVO is a must if overclocking, but if not overclocking then cut it out and spend the money on something more important. Again, the CPU is way overkill compared to the rest of the system, and overclocking results will be bottlenecked by your HDD and GPU for games and video editing. Clock speed means nothing if you cannot feed it data quickly enough to be used.
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May 27, 2012 9:38:34 PM

jsrudd said:
Not really true, though you might consider a 6870 which is slightly faster and only a little more expensive. I have a 6870 and play Skyrim in between High and Ultra.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=540


Yes , really true .

At 1080p the 6870 is a lot better than the 7770 in the link you published .

That means the build is bit too much cpu and too little GPU for a gamer

And yes you are right . The 6870 is fine for 1080p gaming . I use one too
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May 28, 2012 4:32:04 AM

Dishin Nutrition said:
What about this motherboard?:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And also I was thinking of maybe going wireless internet on his desktop. Any pros and cons? What are the parts I would need?

Thanks to CaedenV for the info on the Intel chips! And yeah, I was thinking of atleast having a 7200 RPM hard drive.

lol, why on earth would you want this motherboard? You only have a $1000 budget, so why on earth would you blow 1/4 of it on a motherboard?
Don't get me wrong... it is a nice board, but the priority above anything else should be pouring money into the CPU, GPU, and storage configuration. Play the rest on what is adequate without being 'cheap' to the point of failure.

Motherboards are sold by their feature sets, not by speed. There is extremely little difference in performance between a $100, and a $300 motherboard with the same parts plugged into it. The difference is going to be that the $300 board will allow for multiple RAID arrays, better caps for extreme overclocking (which is actually questionable based upon what people can get our of cheap ASRock boards), more GPUs, faster Ram, better UEFI, looks, etc.

1) pick a CPU/cooler that meets the needs of the user
2) pick a GPU that meets the needs of the user
3) pick a power supply that meets the needs of the GPU
4) pick a storage sub-system
5) pick a mobo that meets the needs of all the other parts, with a little room to grow
6) pick ram that matches the specs of the mobo/cpu, in an amount that meets the demands of the user (4GB for average user, 8GB for power users, 16GB for entry level production work, 32+GB for professional production work)
7) spend leftover money on extras, such as the case, fans, extra coolers, lights, sound dampening grommets/accessories, keys, mice, etc.

On a $1000 budget you simply do not get $200 cases or motherboards while having a fast and balanced machine. Hell, I had a bigger budget on my last upgrade for my cpu, mobo, ram, ps, and video card (reused OS, accessories, case, and storage). To get what I wanted in performance I ended up getting slower 1333 ram (no regrets by the way, it works great and was much cheaper at the time), and keeping my old cheap case. But I scored an i7 with 16GB of ram, and a CUDA capable GTX570 which is excellent for my video editing needs (and happens to play skyrim very well in my 1200p screen). It is a dream to work with, I was able to get some real steals on parts, and it has room to grow in the future before needing another major overhaul.

If you or your client really wants such nice equipment, then you really need to raise your budget.



Also; For wireless you just need a wireless card ~$30, and a wireless router ~$40-150, as well as internet service coming into the house/apt/dorm.
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May 28, 2012 5:05:14 AM

mobo: $130 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
cpu: $240 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram: $47 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: $250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD: $125 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD: $20 or less
PS: $45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: $45 or go a little over budget for a case of choice (generally OK to splurge a little on a case as they tend to last for several builds). Be sure that it has a bottom mount power supply, 120mm or larger fans, and space to grow.

total: ~$1003 after rebates

keep in mind:
1) you likely need a copy of Win7 which retails at $100
2) you can save a lot of money if you have a local MicroCenter. They regularly have CPU sales that are 1/2 the price of newegg, and their regular price tends to be $50+ less than newegg's offerings. Their cases, coolers, fans, and SSD/HDD prices tend to be very competitive as well (but they still charge $50 for a gold plated HDMI cable lol, they have to pay their bills somehow).
3) If not overclocking, or just doing a minor OC (~4-4.4GHz or so) then seriously consider getting a cheaper locked CPU and doing a turbo OC so that it only ticks up the clock when under load. Most locked processors can hit these speeds with ease.
4) If overclocking at all you NEED an aftermarket CPU cooler. I highly recommend the Hyper 212+ or 212EVO (evo being the same cooler with a quieter fan, and mounting brackets for a 2nd fan). Just be sure to get a nice wide case for such a large cooler.
5) If doing wireless, I tend to like Linksys for out-of-the-box use, and general quality of parts. But it can be of great advantage to get a router that supports Tomato OS, or DD-WRT as they are lighter, faster, and more secure than any pre-installed OS.
6) If using a different GPU, or there is a chance of a 2nd GPU in the future then please get an appropriately sized power supply. Do not go too small, and do not go too big, and do not skimp on quality. Some say OCZ is crap on power supplies, but that ended 2 years ago, the current ones are quite fine. There are better supplies on the market... but the rebate is just irresistible.
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