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Almost done with new gamer build - need advice/comments

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August 14, 2012 10:39:23 PM

So, I'm pretty close to ordering some new hardware for a completely new system.
I do have some stuff I'm still uncertain about - perhaps you can help..?

Here's what I'm planning to buy:

CPU: Core i5 I5-3570K (no reason to pick i7, right?)

GPU: GTX 680 SLI (I might choose GTX 670, depending on what's available. Maybe I'll end up with a single card, but my heart - and wallet - is ready for SLI)

Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH X79

PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 (Maybe it's overkill right now, but I've had trouble with weak PSUs before, and I want to be able to add more stuff+overclock this one)

HD: SSD Corsair Force Series GT 240 GB (I'll be using this one for windows, and then use two older 1 TB drives for other stuff.)

Case: Cooler Master HAF X


1: Any comments on any of this? I've done plenty research beforehand, but it's always nice to hear others' opinion.
2: GTX 680 SLI or GTX 670 SLI? And should I spend a bit more for 4GB cards? I've never used SLI before, so I'm not sure how much that matters when you're using two cards. Some say that you'll never use up 2GB, while others say that games are growing more demanding and that it might be useful in 2-3 years.
3: Ram - any suggestions? It's pretty cheap these days (at least compared to the last time I built a system, years ago), but understanding RAM specs has never been my strong point. I'm pretty much drawing a blank here. What would be best for this motherboard - 4 powerful ones, or 8 slightly weaker ones? Perhaps some "Corsair Dominator-GT 4 x 4 GB"? Any advice would be appreciated.


Thanks in advance!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2012 10:46:43 PM

The CPU (LGA 1155 Socket) and motherboard (LGA 2011 Socket) are not compatible. You need to buy a different CPU or motherboard.
August 14, 2012 11:03:58 PM

Aw, damn, I totally missed that...
Well, thanks for the heads-up!

Any advice regarding new Motherboard and/or CPU?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2012 11:16:39 PM

What's your budget and what's the purpose of that system? You chose an expensive motherboard with 8 memory slots, LGA 2011 socket, etc. If you really want that motherboard, then the i7-3930K or the i7-3820 should meet your requirements. If you want to keep the I5-3570K which is excellent for gaming, then you could look into Z77 based motherboards like the ASRock Z77 Extreme4, the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO, etc. You could obviously buy a less expensive motherboard if it meets your requirements, but since your original selection was rather expensive, I presume that you're looking for a feature-rich motherboard.
August 14, 2012 11:30:09 PM

Well, I had been looking at the slightly cheaper ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 MB earlier.

The reason I picked the other one was that it could run SLI in x16, whereas the Z77 would run with x16/x8 - that is, if I'm not mistaken...
But if that doesn't matter much, then I might just go with that one instead.

I am looking for a high-end system - something I can expand if I need to, use to run games at high res with all the fireworks (and perhaps on multiple monitors later on).
I don't mind paying a bit extra for an extra boost. There's a limit, of course - I won't be running any GTX 690 SLI...
August 14, 2012 11:59:52 PM

The z77 Sabertooth will run x8 and x8 on SLI. Consider the 1155 socket Maximus V. Its cheaper than the x79 Sabertooth and you can run the 3570k processor on it.
August 15, 2012 12:11:54 AM

I'll get some sleep, look into it and return with any news.
Thanks for the help so far!
August 15, 2012 9:36:52 AM

Okay, I'm awake, refreshed and full of questions!

Right now it's between x8/x8 SLI on a Sabertooth Z77 (or Maximus V) board with an i5 cpu *OR* 16x/16x SLI on a Sabertooth X79 with an i7 cpu (probably the 3770K).

1:
If I'm not totally mistaken then the x8/x8 solution is preferable, right?
I won't seem to gain any significant boost from an i7 cpu (I need this system for gaming - no video editing or 3D modeling) and the difference between x8/x8 and x16/x16 seems small. Not to mention, that the I7 cpu is more expensive. Not much more, but if there's really no reason at all to chose that solution, then it's just a waste of money.

2:
Sabertooth Z77 or Maximus (if I end up with the i5 solution)?
From what I could gather, the Maximus is better suited for OC, but it's m-atx (at least the one I looked at). Sabertooth is larger, allowing more airflow, and has more ports. The on-board sound is also different, but I've no idea if there's any real difference between SupremeFX III and Realtek...
I'm leaning slightly towards the sabertooth - the price difference is so small that it's negligible. I know there probably isn't a 100% clear answer and it depends on personal opinion, but I'd still value some input.

3:
RAM!
I'm still in the dark about what to buy. Sure, I can pick up 32GB of corsair or G.Skill, but I'd appreciate some advice. For example, is 32GB of 1866 MHz with 9-10-9-28 timing okay..?
Again, I know that this is probably a matter of personal opinion, but I've always found RAM specs/price to be less transparent than other hardware. I'd hate needlessly slowing down my system.


Feel free to jump in with answers/critique/comments/whatever.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2012 1:02:01 PM

1. In theory x16/x16 is better, but current video cards can't really take advantage of it.

2. I agree that the Sabertooth Z77 is a nice motherboard.

3. Why 32GB for gaming? Corsair CMT32GX3M4X1866C9 is on the QVL. You should visit G.Skill to see if they have a certified 32GB kit for your motherboard.
August 15, 2012 6:48:21 PM

Heh, I guess I wasn't being particularly clear. :sweat: 
I know I won't come close to using 32GB RAM - I was just pointing out that I can easily pick something myself, but I don't really have any idea about what timing and MHz to go for.

After having spent some time reading up on it, I think I'll go for 16GB of 1,866MHz.
8GB is probably enough, but RAM's pretty cheap these days, so why not..?
I'd still love a bit of advice about specific RAM if anyone has any personal experience with this board - otherwise I'll just pick something from the QVL.

Also, I'll probably end up picking 670 SLI instead of 680 SLI. The difference between the two seems to boil down to an extra 2-8 fps - not worth the extra money.


I'm still looking for general feedback, so keep the comments coming - I always try to listen to as much advice as possible before buying hardware.
!