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Gaming Computer ($1200) Would appreciate advice and input.

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August 23, 2012 1:49:46 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the week

Budget Range: 1200-1300

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, occasional music production

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: (e.g.: CPU, mobo, RAM) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Lowest pricing (may use price matching on NCIX)

Location: Canada, Ontario

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, no preference on GPU

Overclocking: Yes, but not immediately

SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Current computer is starting to give out

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($75.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.64 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($413.78 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1218.33
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-22 21:38 EDT-0400)

I think I'm pretty content with this build but I'm still new to this and would appreciate suggestions. I have a few questions/things I'm unsure about:

1. I've been reading that a ton of people are having issues with the Z77 Extreme4 board and the USB3.0 ports are actually running as 2.0 (might be just the front headers?). Should I steer clear of this board?

2. Someone recently suggested the Fractal R4 case to me, but I was set on the HAF X Full Tower for a while. Does anyone have any opinions or full case/mid or more specifically, the R4 vs. HAF X?

3. Is Gigabyte a safe bet for the 7970 Ghz edition? Or is there maybe another manufacturer who offers a better warranty/people have had better experience with in regards to customer service/RMA processes?

4. Finally, I've been constantly going back and forth between getting a 2700k, 3770k and now the 2500k or 3570k but I really can't decide on one. (I'm starting to get away from the i7s as I don't really need the hyperthreading).
August 23, 2012 3:08:10 AM

1) Haven't heard about this.
2) I'd go for the HAF X.
3) Gigabyte is great imo.
4) Most people would tell you to go for the 3570k but I'd say 2500k all the way. It's way more overclockable, and that makes up for it being an older architecture.
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August 23, 2012 4:26:08 AM

A quick google search brought up multiple threads (one on tomshardware) about the USB 3.0 issue, not sure what it is.
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August 23, 2012 6:01:42 AM

OCing doesn't always give you a performance increase. Anything above 4.2 IVB or 4.5 SB is overkill and adds too much heat to the system.
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