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Building a pc! what is the best motherboard,CPU, PSU and case?

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June 4, 2012 4:31:58 PM

After listening to the knowledgeable community on toms hardware, I have decided to opt out of cyberpower and build my own pc...I have a friend who knows a thing or two about them and he volunteered to help me out. Now my only gripe is the components: I would like to know what is the best motherboard, CPU and PSU out their...someone likened those as the most important core components
a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 4:41:04 PM

No cut and dry there...
- mobo should be one that meets your needs for connectivity and expansion, and be a name brand (ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, maybe MSI)
- CPU: gaming or not? need hyperthreading?
- PSU: Corsair or seasonic that has enough juice to meet your current and future needs (likely 550W, 750W if you plan to CF/SLI a current gen GPU)
- EDIT Case: That was *the* hardest part of my current build as it's almost completely user-dependent on aesthetic wants and current/future plans
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 4:55:00 PM

That really depends on several factors - what your budget is, whether you plan to SLI or overclock, and what your future expansion needs will bring.
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June 4, 2012 4:57:39 PM

Read this first:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice

It really isn't a matter of what's best, but what the budget is and what it's used for. Lots of parts perform similarly on general things, then out rank each other on specific tasks. Sometimes parts just boil down to builders preference.
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June 4, 2012 5:06:09 PM

I have a budget of about 2k...mostly I only want this build for gaming and school (with emphasis on gaming)...I would like to overclock without having to get involved with liquid cooling (unless presented with point otherwise)...And I want SLI in the future, but I would only want to cross 2 gpus at most to avoid crashing
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June 4, 2012 5:09:46 PM

I also heard that at most for gaming in the future (5-6 years) it may only go up to 8-12 gb memory so I believe a 4 slot memory motherboard should be adequate unless everyone thinks otherwise? I've done a little hw but you guys def know more than me...
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:12:18 PM

Dometologist said:
I have a budget of about 2k...mostly I only want this build for gaming and school (with emphasis on gaming)...I would like to overclock without having to get involved with liquid cooling (unless presented with point otherwise)...And I want SLI in the future, but I would only want to cross 2 gpus at most to avoid crashing


Does the $2K build include monitor/keyboard/mouse/OS or not?

If not then I'd suggest a build like this:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $89.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H - $189.99
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - $249.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $89.99
RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $69.99
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $179.99
HD: 2TB Samsung Ecogreen F4 - $119.99
Optical: LG Black Super Multi - $79.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 680 - $499.99

Total: $1,709.90

If it does then the build would look like this:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $99.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 750W - $89.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H - $159.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - $249.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $33.99
RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $69.99
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - $149.99
HD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $99.99
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - $399.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,471.89

I don't include peripherals on builds as that's entirely personal preference and I'm personally not a fan of spending $150 on a keyboard and $90 on a mouse. Monitors on the other hand as long as the resolution is 1080p or better that's all you need.
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June 4, 2012 5:19:14 PM

I have a 32' samsung LCD that can manage 1920x1080...supports HDMI so I believe that will be sufficient...I would like the build to come complete with a keyboard and mouse, OS...also I am not sure I need SSD if all it does is make my computer boot faster...I was looking rather at a SATA hard drive that can do 10,000 rpm like western digital? I also believe that the 670 superclocked is all I will need to run the latest games at a smooth 30 fps. Again all input is greatly appreciated
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June 4, 2012 5:20:49 PM

Yes, the GTX 670 is more realistic for your needs.
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:23:26 PM

Dometologist said:
I have a 32' samsung LCD that can manage 1920x1080...supports HDMI so I believe that will be sufficient...I would like the build to come complete with a keyboard and mouse, OS...also I am not sure I need SSD if all it does is make my computer boot faster...I was looking rather at a SATA hard drive that can do 10,000 rpm like western digital? I also believe that the 670 superclocked is all I will need to run the latest games at a smooth 30 fps. Again all input is greatly appreciated


10K RPM hard drives like the Velociraptors are a huge waste of money. They're expensive storage gimmicks that don't offer any real room for improvement vs. what a good SSD / HD combo will give you. And with a super-fast SSD like the Vertex 4 as your primary, you won't notice any difference at all between 5900 - 7200 -10000 RPM on a secondary storage device.

The 670 will handle 1080p resolution at 60FPS without breaking a sweat. Some models are superclocked - EVGA's is one of the few non reference ones that does a good job of being factory overclocked.

Again I don't recommend peripherals on builds as that's entirely personal preference. Go to a Frys or Best Buy and try out ones you think you'd get some good use out of, that's my recommendation. Pictures usually don't do good keyboards justice, you need to see them in person.
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:29:38 PM

Well, I can only point to the build in my sig. I tried really hard to strike a balance with power consumption, easy of build, expandability (CF/SLI in the future), and low noise and I think I did a pretty good job. Cost before rebates and combos is right around $1500.

Only things I'd change is a slightly bigger SATA3 SSD, a modular PSU, and a 670 GTX with an open cooler (like Gigabyte's since the 500R has great thermals) since the reference is kind of loud.

It overclocks well enough and 3.8GHz is enough to keep BF3 multiplayer from running the CPU at 100%.
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June 4, 2012 5:29:50 PM

ok, I was just curious but I may grab a 120gb SSD if it will be a better performance... and to everyone, I want maximum airflow and am looking to avoid liquid cooling if possible so what case would be recommended for this? I am looking at an i7-3770k and would like to overclock so what would be an acceptable range and case for the occasion?
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June 4, 2012 5:31:14 PM

Do you plan to use any HT-based programs?
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June 4, 2012 5:33:28 PM

sorry dunno what that is... :o 
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June 4, 2012 5:36:04 PM

If you don't know, don't get it. Most likely, if you do not know why you're getting a certain hardware, it is best to stay away from it. Hypethreading basically doubles the amount of threads, which helps with Adobe Photoshop, etc.
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June 4, 2012 5:37:01 PM

Dometologist said:
sorry dunno what that is... :o 

HT is short for Hyper-Threading which is usually used for heavy video editing/rendering. If you are only going to be playing games an i7 is a wasted $100, when the i5-3570k offers similar performance at a lower price point.
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June 4, 2012 5:38:43 PM

well I do know that the i7-3770k has HT included but I don't want to do any intensive adobe applications, the most I will need for school is microsoft student 2010, otherwise I want this rig to perform for exclusively gaming
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June 4, 2012 5:40:15 PM

Dometologist said:
well I do know that the i7-3770k has HT included but I don't want to do any intensive adobe applications, the most I will need for school is microsoft student 2010, otherwise I want this rig to perform for exclusively gaming

Then don't get it. Again, it's wasted money for a gaming rig as it's better spent on a more powerful graphics card.
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June 4, 2012 5:40:30 PM

You are OCing, yes? If so, the 100 MHz difference is going to go unnoticed. Even if you weren't, 100 MHz is not worth spending $100 for.
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June 4, 2012 5:41:14 PM

hmm...the only cause of attraction for me towards i7 is the higher level of ghz...if it is truly miniscule than I will invest in i5-3570k
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:44:01 PM

Dometologist said:
hmm...the only cause of attraction for me towards i7 is the higher level of ghz...if it is truly miniscule than I will invest in i5-3570k


It really isn't - that money is better spent on a more powerful GPU than it is a more powerful CPU - that's where you'll notice the difference on any build. It's not storage, motherboard, or CPU - it's the GPU.
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June 4, 2012 5:44:26 PM

i5 it is then...as for the motherboard, I'm set on an LGA 1155 type chipset, but as for the brand I want something that can truly perform and handle strenuous tasks...I hear ASUS is reputable?
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:46:32 PM

ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI's higher end.
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June 4, 2012 5:47:00 PM

g-unit1111 said:
It really isn't - that money is better spent on a more powerful GPU than it is a more powerful CPU - that's where you'll notice the difference on any build. It's not storage, motherboard, or CPU - it's the GPU.

I think you mean it really is miniscule. :p 
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June 4, 2012 5:47:02 PM

by strenuous, I mean long hours of gaming lol
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June 4, 2012 5:49:02 PM

Long hours of gaming really won't stress the computer much at all, if not at all.
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 5:50:35 PM

Merueth said:
ASRock Z77 Extreme6
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Pretty good, as far as I know.


I tried the Extreme 4 for my system and I had problems with it, and I contacted Asrock about it once the install was completed and nearly 3 weeks later I still haven't heard back from them other than an automated reply, I'm glad I sent it back to Newegg.
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June 4, 2012 5:53:49 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I tried the Extreme 4 for my system and I had problems with it, and I contacted Asrock about it once the install was completed and nearly 3 weeks later I still haven't heard back from them other than an automated reply, I'm glad I sent it back to Newegg.

I tried running the Extreme4 with a 3570k and 7850, and had no problems at all. ASRock products have been perfectly fine for me, at least.
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June 4, 2012 5:55:55 PM

The GIGABYTE Z77GA-UD5H is a good one.
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June 4, 2012 6:04:04 PM

and thanks everyone for your help, I have decided to go with gigabyte UD5H Z77GA motherboard!
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June 4, 2012 6:06:48 PM

Dometologist said:
lastly, I was curious as to everyone's thoughts on RAM...what is the best size? best brand for the money? I looked at this set and it looks fine to me:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Low Profile RAM is more suitable if you plan on using an after market cooler

Consider these instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx?cm_sp=ShellShocker-_-20-231-548-_-06042012_1

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233186

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June 4, 2012 6:07:48 PM

any real difference between 1333 and 1600 DDR3?
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June 4, 2012 6:08:21 PM

Dometologist said:
any real difference between 1333 and 1600 DDR3?

1600 RAM is about 7% faster.
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June 4, 2012 6:08:31 PM

The RAM above is overpriced in my opinion. Crucial is cheaper.
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June 4, 2012 6:13:19 PM

1600 DDR3 then...and as for memory type, I'm probably gonna go with crucial, I've been hearing corsair memory isn't as reputable as some claim
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a b V Motherboard
June 4, 2012 6:19:59 PM

Dometologist said:
any real difference between 1333 and 1600 DDR3?


Actually there isn't because most motherboards by default will run RAM at the lowest speeds and timings they can handle. The RAM speeds are just kind of there - and running your RAM faster than what your motherboard can handle has the potential to be disastrous, which is why speeds over 1600+ (1866, 2133) typically aren't recommended. And Intel will actually void your warranty if they find out you've been using RAM above 1600.

Quote:
The RAM above is overpriced in my opinion. Crucial is cheaper.


I like Kingston and Crucial the best because they've typically proven to have some of the lowest fail rates on the market. I'd rather pay extra and not have my RAM fail on me than to buy the same part twice. I also just got some Mushkin RAM for one of my systems and it's been really good so far, I'll use them again.

Quote:
1600 DDR3 then...and as for memory type, I'm probably gonna go with crucial, I've been hearing corsair memory isn't as reputable as some claim


Corsair does have high fail rates (and I've had to RMA more than a few modules to them) but whether or not you get a bad module really is motherboard dependent and it also depends on how you overclock your system. If you set your RAM multiplier beyond the stated speeds on the sticker, it will fail. If you run your RAM at stock speeds you'll be fine.
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