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[New Build] $1,500 budget, with specs already. Appraise and Advise

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June 6, 2012 7:47:34 PM

The goal is to get the best bang for the buck for a few friends,... the PC's are gonna be built by me, parts purchased by them. I have been given full liberty on the build and this is what im looking at currently.
So what I was hoping for is advice on the build, suggestions for cheaper builds(without losing perfermance), and suggestions for avoiding bottlenecks,... i.e. it won't do me any good to have a gaming graphics card with a CPU that can't handle most games.
While visiting, I also noticed recently that my fathers 6 core CPU(hyper-threaded to 12) only gets one of the 12 possible threads active at any time at full 100% use with any game that doesnt support multithreading(EQ2). whats the use of all those cores if they arnt used, right? Duo and quad core setups seem more reasonable. so i want to avoid issues like this as well and not just with the CPU.

Tower: COUGAR Evolution Black SECC ATX Full Tower
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
Graphics Card: EVGA 03G-P3-1594-KR GeForce GTX 580
RAM: GeIL EVO CORSA Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)
PSU: Thermaltake Black Widow W0319RU 850W ATX 12V
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM
(Note: I am aware it is a bare drive and that i'll need to purchase sata connectors)
Disc Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
Keyboard: Microsoft JWD-00046 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Standard A133 Black USB Wired Optical 800 dpi Mouse
Cooling: The tower comes with some fans, and the CPU comes with a fan,.. not sure if its worth investing in better cooling, in the past I havent had issues with cooling. I set my computer in ideal locations and keep it vented. Suggestions are still welcome in this department however, so long as I can stay in budget.

The purchase date will likely be within a month from now and I am using a 1500 dollar budget. Current sellection with combo deals and rebates bring me only slightly under budget, I am over without the rebates.
Also,.. with tax, im well over budget.
The location is in the US.

as for parts, I prefer to stick with Asus and Nvida, and Intel manufacturers,... but I am not opposed to branching outside of that.
SLI only if its really all that great... I hear conflicting reports on that.

overclocking only slightly, and only if OC'ing little bit is relatively safe... SLI and OC'ing are not areas I have experience with so outside input is greatly appreciated.
June 6, 2012 8:23:02 PM

Get the i5 3570k to match the z77 MoBo. That way, you can take advantage of PCI Express 3.0.

That MoBo is too expensive in my opinion. Either one of these MoBo's will suit your needs: Asrock z77 Extreme 4 or Gigabyte z77x-ud3h. If you got that MoBo because you wanted wireless connectivity, I think it would still be cheaper if you get a separate wireless card with my suggested MoBo's.

You don't need 16 Gb of RAM with a gaming build. 8 Gb DDR3 1600 1.5 V will be more than enough. A popular choice is G-Skill Ripjaws 8 Gb (4 x 2 Gb).

That PSU is too much for what you want. 550W if you don't want to SLI. 750W if you want to SLI. That being said, The best configuration is to have a single card that will handle all your GPU needs. If in the future you need more muscle but not necessarily want to pay the premium for the latest and greatest card, you can SLI. Note however that this move will bring certain issues along with it. Its up to you if you are willing to deal with them or not. For the PSU, I would suggest the XFX Core Edition 550W/750W.

You don't need to buy SATA connectors. The MoBo will come with some.

If you plan to overclock, get a CPU cooler. CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO is a popular choice for $35.

That case is a full tower meaning its very big. You really don't need a big case like that for your configuration. Mid Tower will be more than enough. For that price, you can try the Corsair 400R or CoolerMaster Haf 922.

I would choose the GTX 670 over that 580. It costs less but performance is significantly better. Asus DCII or EVGA FTW are among the most popular choices in terms of performance and reliability.
June 6, 2012 8:50:12 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 400R Graphite grey and black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Gaming Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99
SeaSonic M12II 750 SS-750AM 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Semi-modular Power Supply

or....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 - $89.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W High Performance 80PLUS Silver SLI CrossFire ready Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $349.98 save: $15.00 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme... <----- review of that board w/benchmarks

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $46.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-8GAO

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... $400 - $430
GTX 670

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5818/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6... <----- GTX 670 review w/benchmarks

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $33.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

http://www.amazon.com/VS228H-P-21-5-Inch-Full-HD-Monito... $129.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black) | LED Backlit with 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio; Full 1080P with HDMI
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June 6, 2012 8:58:32 PM

Tower: Corsair Carbide Series 400R
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Graphics Card: EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (4 x 2GB))
PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO850W
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM
Disc Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
Keyboard: Microsoft JWD-00046 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Standard A133 Black USB Wired Optical 800 dpi Mouse
Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

I'll get back to you on the price change,... sounds like a winner,.. but a quick question.
for CPU, doesn't ivy bridge come with heat issues? especially if you OC? or is the issue small enough to be neglectable.
Also, for RAM, the one i listed on this post seems better than the 1600 clocked ones suggested... good CAS latency and frequency. is that right?

(Havent checked Why Me's suggestions yet,.. moment on that EDIT: nm, handy links and reinforcement of alot of stuff from the previous poster, thank you.)
Pricing is in acceptable range, i'll review this some more and prob go with it,... thank you for the speedy responses
June 6, 2012 9:30:56 PM

Silentone98 said:
Tower: Corsair Carbide Series 400R
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Graphics Card: EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (4 x 2GB))
PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO850W
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM
Disc Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
Keyboard: Microsoft JWD-00046 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Standard A133 Black USB Wired Optical 800 dpi Mouse
Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO

I'll get back to you on the price change,... sounds like a winner,.. but a quick question.
for CPU, doesn't ivy bridge come with heat issues? especially if you OC? or is the issue small enough to be neglectable.
Also, for RAM, the one i listed on this post seems better than the 1600 clocked ones suggested... good CAS latency and frequency. is that right?

(Havent checked Why Me's suggestions yet,.. moment on that EDIT: nm, handy links and reinforcement of alot of stuff from the previous poster, thank you.)
Pricing is in acceptable range, i'll review this some more and prob go with it,... thank you for the speedy responses

Looks good other than the RAM. You never want to get 4x2GB sticks of RAM. Always go for 2x4GB sticks of RAM. That way you don't have all four RAM slots full.
June 6, 2012 9:54:02 PM

People have reached 4.2 GHz with ease with the Ivy Bridge CPU using that cooler. Its when going above that when issues apparently occur.

4.2 GHz in IB terms is equal to 4.5 GHz in SB anyway so you don't need to go above that.
June 6, 2012 10:33:00 PM

so whats wrong with the 16 gig RAM (4x4) quad channel then? if im just gonna leave those open for a later upgrade, seems only logical to fill them with the quad channel
or is the dual channel good enough that theres no real perfermance increase between the two? (I understand the part where 16 gigs of RAM is too much because all those gigs get unused and wasted,... its the speed, dual channel vs quad channel and CAS latency that is fogging my understanding of this. I want faster RAM after all)
June 6, 2012 10:47:26 PM

Silentone98 said:
so whats wrong with the 16 gig RAM (4x4) quad channel then? if im just gonna leave those open for a later upgrade, seems only logical to fill them with the quad channel
or is the dual channel good enough that theres no real perfermance increase between the two? (I understand the part where 16 gigs of RAM is too much because all those gigs get unused and wasted,... its the speed, dual channel vs quad channel and CAS latency that is fogging my understanding of this. I want faster RAM after all)

It won't run as "quad channel RAM" in a socket 1155 board. If you want to run that RAM as "quad channel" then you need a socket LGA 2011 build. Just get some normal dual channel 2x4GB 1600hz CAS 9 1.5V RAM and call it good. That way you don't end up spending god only knows how long screwing with the timings if whatever board is finicky. You just want to stick the RAM in and go for it.

If you look at every 1155 build on this board you will notice that nobody has 4x2GB of RAM. There's a reason for that as I posted.
June 6, 2012 10:55:06 PM

thanks! thats good knowledge to have
!