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~800$ gaming build--SSD? Cooler? Mobo/memory advice

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August 15, 2012 11:34:24 PM

~800$ primarily gaming build, adapted from the 1000$ June SBM. I don't care about appearance (I disabled the lights in my case as I sleep next to it); quieter is better; price is very flexible.

All prices from Newegg.

Pretty well settled on the following parts:
CPU: i5-3570K, 230$
GPU: Sapphire 7870 OC, 280$
PSU: Corsair 600W V2, 70$
Case: Antec 300 Illusion, already owned
HDDs: 4xSATA, already owned
Optical: Asus something, already owned

Major questions:
Cooler: I've never been able to tell much of a difference between coolers. Quiet is good, though. I don't know what is and isn't reliable; I've never had one break or malfunction. Do I really need one beyond stock?
SSD: At this point, can I get an SSD for <$100 that will actually give me a performance bump that I'll actually care about? How much shuffling data around is involved in getting use out of an SSD? I tend to cycle through games pretty quickly; am I going to spend a lot of time uninstalling and reinstalling them just to get minor performance increases from the SSD? I assume it doesn't really help with maneuvering through my 10TB+ of media since that's still going to be on HDDs.

Minor questions:
Mobo: ASRock Z77 seems like a good choice, but there are several models within the same general price range (Pro3--95$, Pro4-110$, Extreme4--135$, Performance--140$, etc), and I can't really tell if the minor differences are worth it. I'm leaning towards the Pro4 for no particularly good reason, but I'd love some advice.
Memory: 2x4GB Ares? (45$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
GSkill is my go-to, but at some point they diversified the line to the point where I can't tell what's what other than that Ares is low-profile and I may as well get that in case of... whatever.

Can I save money, quiet it down, or increase reliability anywhere in this without sacrificing performance? Or increase performance significantly somewhere for not much money?

Thanks everyone, these forums have been spectacularly helpful every time I've been here.
a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 12:16:31 AM

1: for the motherboard, id get a gigabyte z77x-ud3h. it isnt much more than a extreme4 and has more features. sells for 144.99 at us.ncix.com

2: id get a samsung 830 128gb SSD. sells for 108.99 at us.ncix.com. the ssd will be storing your OS, apps, and some games. anything else goes on a hard drive. it wont help with loading movies faster

3; id get the gskill ram you stated. its low profile
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August 16, 2012 1:01:01 AM

TheBigTroll said:
1: for the motherboard, id get a gigabyte z77x-ud3h. it isnt much more than a extreme4 and has more features. sells for 144.99 at us.ncix.com

It kinda looks exactly like the ASRock boards... what am I missing?

TheBigTroll said:

2: id get a samsung 830 128gb SSD. sells for 108.99 at us.ncix.com. the ssd will be storing your OS, apps, and some games. anything else goes on a hard drive. it wont help with loading movies faster

Well, yeah, I know how the SSD works, it's just a question of logistics and whether or not it's worth it.

TheBigTroll said:

3; id get the gskill ram you stated. its low profile

Good to know, thanks. I will.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 2:23:10 AM

the ud3h is a full size atx board and has a few more usb3s.
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August 16, 2012 2:39:39 AM

I have the ASRock Extreme 4. It is very good. Also has Dr. Debug on MO. It is a digital readout with error codes . Helps setting it up.

The question isn't the differences. It is what will you use and the realibility of each.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 2:45:24 AM

dr debug is just a marketing term for a debug led. the gigabyte board im pretty sure has it

you buy motherboards for the features. pick whichever suits best
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August 16, 2012 5:30:36 AM

TheBigTroll said:
dr debug is just a marketing term for a debug led. the gigabyte board im pretty sure has it

you buy motherboards for the features. pick whichever suits best


Well yeah, that's the thing: I have no idea what the features do, so the 95$ Pro3 looks practically identical to the 150$ Gigabyte Z77 board you posted.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 1:29:22 PM

it isnt. the pro3 only supports crossfire. if it is a sli board, lanes run at 8x 8x when you do a dual video card setup. it applies to both crossfire and sli. on only crossfire boards, you get 8x 4x when you run crossfire, which doesnt always provide enough bandwidth
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August 16, 2012 3:45:25 PM

TheBigTroll said:
it isnt. the pro3 only supports crossfire. if it is a sli board, lanes run at 8x 8x when you do a dual video card setup. it applies to both crossfire and sli. on only crossfire boards, you get 8x 4x when you run crossfire, which doesnt always provide enough bandwidth

Sorry, I think I'm lost. SLI's dual-monitor, right? I don't intend to dual-monitor, still just using the one 24" 1920x1080.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 3:46:29 PM

SLI is dual video cards. so is crossfire but crossfire can run on x4 lanes
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August 16, 2012 5:40:28 PM

Okay, final check then:

Power: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
Graphics: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB
Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB

Rounding out at $950 on Newegg.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 6:47:30 PM

According to TH's review, the 7870 is cheaper yet 5% faster, but according to Anandtech, the 660ti is faster.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 8:19:47 PM

depends on the situation though. each card boosts differently in quantity
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August 16, 2012 8:33:06 PM

raizfi said:
Okay, final check then:

Power: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
Graphics: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2GB
Memory: G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
SSD: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 2.5" 128GB

Rounding out at $950 on Newegg.


azeem40 said:
According to TH's review, the 7870 is cheaper yet 5% faster, but according to Anandtech, the 660ti is faster.


Actually it looks like TH's conclusion was that the 660Ti is almost the same speed-- ±5%, which is almost negligible--and almost the same price: Sapphire's 7870 has a $15 rebate, FWIW, and the Galaxy 660Ti is $310, which is also a negligible difference. The interesting thing, though, is that every other site I checked lists the 660Ti as noticeably quicker in almost every test, and in some cases quicker than both the 7870 and the 7950.

It didn't even occur to me to look at Nvidia; AMD's nearly always been better for mid-high cards. Now I'm torn, but leaning 660Ti, which I didn't even know existed until just now. I don't think I've had an Nvidia card in a decade or more.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 8:43:14 PM

what games are you playing? if its bf3, the 660ti im pretty sure would win (because nvidia played a part in the development)

linustechtips did a playthrough of bf3 comparing the 7950 and the 660ti in a 64 player game of bf3 and the 660ti won by a small margin
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August 16, 2012 8:46:24 PM

Well, not BF3. Never been my style. SC2, D3, probably Borderlands 2 when it comes out, Tribes: Ascend, some LoL.

But, see, it's these tiny, tiny margins. They don't seem to matter much, and Sapphire and AMD are reliable. I don't know a damn thing about Galaxy.
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August 16, 2012 9:25:07 PM

Yeah, upon further research, I'm going with the Gigabyte 660Ti. Thanks everyone!
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August 16, 2012 9:25:26 PM

Best answer selected by raizfi.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 16, 2012 9:26:14 PM

galaxy has been in the business pretty long but it was dwarfed by the big companies such as evga and asus since galaxy doesnt do a ton of advertisement. pretty good company
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