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Build Approval: ~$1200

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August 27, 2012 6:41:54 AM

So my old motherboard blew it's 4-pin mobo connector (at least, I blame the mobo, not the PSU) after 8 YEARS. That's right. Time for an upgrade I think!

I normally try to match (and slightly improve on) the console generation-hardware, and the strategy has worked out for me since I originally built my rig 8 years ago. (My old build was playing SC2 on High, and Diablo 3 maxed. Same thing with games like Assassin's Creed, MW3, and even BF3 (Lowish-medium)). Having said that, I'm aiming for a future-proof rig that I might add to, and/or improve on a few parts.

- NOT planning to OC.

Current thoughts:
CPU: Intel 3770 http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($310)

SSD: Kingston HyperX-240GB http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... ($200)

Storage: Will use my 1TB WD.

Dem RAMS: Kingston 8GB Dual Channel (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 CAS 9. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... ($40)

Video Card: Planning to wait a couple of months for the next nvidia generation, only because I currently only play SC2, and plan on playing Torchlight 2 when it comes out. Won't need a new card JUST YET, rather wait and get a better deal later.

MOBO: UNDECIDED.

Wireless Network Adapter: Any recs - need mobo first obviously.

PSU: Thinking 550-600W should be plenty.

Case: Open to suggestions; will be up on my desk so should be aesthetically pleasing/not too loud.

Other stuff:
Upgrading my Samsung 21.6" Syncmaster216bw to the BENQ 24"; http://ncix.com/products/?sku=66140 ($200)

Mouse/Keyboard/Sound: Using my stuff.

--
Basically, I need the motherboard still, not sure if I like the price point of the ASRock Extreme4 if I'm not planning to OC. Are there cheaper boards available with the same or better performance for stock equipment?



Extra reading:
Previous rig built ~2004:
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 6000+
Mobo: MSI K9-A Platinum
Video Card: Ati X1950 Pro (almost the same as the Xbox 360's HD-variant of the X1950 XTX) - Sold this 3 years later for $20, and spent $50 private sale on my current 9800 GTX+
Ram: OCZ Platinum DDR2-800mhz 2x1gb = 2GB dual channel; 3 years later also spent $10 and bought another exact same pair, bringing total to 4gb.
Case: Raidmax Sagitta
PSU: 550W Thermaltake
HDD's: 320gb seagate primary (older) + 1TB WD (slightly newer, don't remember when I bought it), both SATA2
Network Adapter: D-Link DWL-520+ (lol this one is from the 90's!, worked perfectly though!)

More about : build approval 1200

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a c 106 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2012 7:05:29 AM

If you wait around for the new Nvidia architecture, you may want to get comfy. The Kepler 6XX series isnt even done yet, and they arrived this gen late. Even AMD's HD8XXX series is just rumors at this point. The next gen of graphics card will likely be early next year for AMD and mid-late year for Nvidia.

You dont need an i7 for gaming, an i5 will do fine. But if 8yrs is your goal, may want it (Just so you know that that is a ridiculous time-frame, its impossible to future-proof something that far).

Kingston RAM and modern Intel Processors do not mix. Most Kingston kits run at 1.65v, when Intel chips are only designed to handle 1.5v or less. Get a kit from Corsair or G.Skill, most of their kits are at 1.5v.

Get a HD7950 or GTX670. As I mentioned above, waiting for new cards will take a while. And the HD7XXX series has just had a big price drop, likely the last there will be for a while.

The Extreme4 is a great board. There are H77 boards that are cheaper, but since they aren't "enthusiast" level, dont have as many features as Z77 boards do. The Extreme4 is priced very well actually, it does what what most $250+ boards do for $100 less.

650W would be the right PSU wattage unless you are considering crossfire/SLI (which the Extreme4 can support). Then 750W is a good wattage.

I personally recommend the HAF-XM.

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August 27, 2012 7:20:57 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I did not know that about the RAM voltage. I did notice that when I was comparing the Kingston to the Corsair Vengeance (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...) ($44) ($4 dollars more), I'll probably pick that up instead then.

That should be fine (about the GPU generations); if anything, prices for the current-gen cards should decrease when they try to clear stock, so again, no rush. The key here is that I *need* my computer back, but I do not *need* >61FPS in any of the games I am currently playing. Those cards are great, but I won't be able to tell the difference, so no need to buy them now.

I'm 100% set on the Z77. Thanks for your support of the Extreme4, I will most likely go with it just because it seems to be the board of choice around here, and that usually translates into good support for it. The Gigabyte is a close second though.

Why exactly the 650W PSU? I was thinking 600W was a little overkill. Again, I am considering a single GPU. Also a note; I'm really thinking the next-gen GPU's will be more efficient, as witnessed by Nvidia's recent change in direction to more efficient everything. Finally, I'm not OC'ing..

How is 8-years a ridiculous time frame? My old computer handled it just fine, with a $30 in total upgrades in between. In fact, I wouldn't even be posting this new build on here because my 8-year old rig can get nearly 60FPS on a brand new game like Diablo maxed out with AA, and medium-high settings in everything else. Sure it's not ultra, but I should have also noted that I'm playing 1680x1050. Btw, Original build was like $1200. You could argue that the engines today are more demanding and are so at an increasing rate, but I really think that the consoles these days determine what the engines will be like/what needs to handle them.
- I do agree with 'no such thing as future-proofing', but you got what I meant anyway ;) 
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a c 106 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2012 7:55:37 AM

I tend to find that 600W PSU's are barren in features. A quick browse through Newegg shows mostly generic units at that wattage, and the brand name ones dont have modular interfaces or efficiency's above Bronze. Bump up to 650W and there's a lot more variety in what you can choose with little change in price for baseline (80+ Bronze, non modular) units.

Moore's law dictates that processing power will double every 18 months, and computer technology throughout history has held to that pretty closely. Even top of the line components will be redundant in a few years. Saw a benchmark that had a processor (Intel Core 2 Extreme something) that was ridiculously expensive ($1000+) in 2008 being smashed by the slightly old now mid-range i5-2500k. So in four years, top of the line components are being vastly outperformed by mid-range hardware. Now imagine mid range (LGA1155 i7's are mid-range in the total Intel scheme) hardware in 8yrs. Also consider the average persons upgrade cycle is 3yrs, and that's what developers are expecting.

I guess I could say, if you want to be able to keep up with current games, you will need to upgrade more often than every 8yrs.

Get a 1080p monitor, getting hardware of this caliber to display on anything less is wasting its potential.
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August 27, 2012 4:02:11 PM

The reason I'm concerned about the PSU being lower is because I plan to leave that computer downloading stuff multiple nights a week. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a higher-rated PSU drains more power even at idle no?

You're right about Moore's Law, but Moore's Law doesn't account for any software capabilities or limitations. Games are developed in engines, and engines are based on the hardware capacities. What I'm saying is that when those engines are developed, they look at the hardware capacities of the consoles, as most big studios develop games for them. If I can match or slightly exceed those next-gen console specs, I should be good to go for the next 5-6 years no problem. You're right in that I might need an upgrade, and most likely that would be a new video card, exactly why I'm holding off on that, and am also inquiring about a motherboard that can have extended capacity going forward.

Yes@ the monitor, that's why I linked in my first post the monitor I'm getting (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...). Do you approve of that one? :p 
There was a 1080p ASUS 2ms one that was a close second http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682....
I'm also looking at the Q270, but I feel like 27" might be a bit too much...
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a c 106 B Homebuilt system
August 27, 2012 9:57:16 PM

A 1000W PSU will have the same draw at the wall as a 500W (provided same efficiency) when powering the same computer. A PSU will only provide what the PC needs. A Higher efficiency does mean a lower draw from the wall, but then you are balancing saved energy costs vs a higher cost for the more efficienct PSU.

This is why you cant future proof over this timeframe. The LGA1155 socket is being replaced next year with LGA1150 when the Haswell chips come out. Then they will be replaced by whatever socket Skylake uses two years after that. So in terms of upgradability (CPU wise), LGA 1155 is done, getting an i7 is as high as you can go.

Also around Skylake should be when DDR4 RAM is released, so DDR3 will be harder to find and more expensive.

Any motherboard should support later graphics cards, and unless there is a big leap sometime soon, PCI-3 should be sufficient. The AsRock Z77 Extreme4 has nice expandability, it will support dual cards properly.

Anyway, watch this video. It explains a lot about the concept of future-proofing. He looks like a kid, but he knows what he's doing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4ip08auGg
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August 28, 2012 2:45:31 AM

Okay. I'll probably go with the Z77 extreme then.

So for the PSU, assuming future support for dual cards, do you think 750-850 (depending on features/price) then? How does this one look? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($100 on sale, Silver cert)

Lol I've watched a lot of those vids, they're pretty cool. You know it's not just him eh? Also, Ncix rules, prices are sometimes lower than neweggs, the sorting system sucks though =\

I'm planning to get a 27" Korean monitor (Crossover 27Q), with 1440p resolution, so I might need to buy cards earlier than I thought.. too bad the BEST of the best cards can only handle ~45FPS at that resolution. Looks like it's going to have to be an SLI setup.
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a c 106 B Homebuilt system
August 28, 2012 6:14:47 AM

750W will be plenty for dual cards, even in the future, because power consumption will decrease as processors become more efficient.

That PSU is frankly not that great. Only 80+ Certified (where'd you get Silver from?), four 12v rails (Should only have one strong rail) and Rosewill (Newegg in disguise) isn't a very reputable PSU manufacturer. Non modular as well.
This unit is better.
XFX PRO750W, 80+ Silver semi-modular. $126
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Also as you browse Newegg a lot, you notice that every item is on sale or cut down. Likely they just add $30 to the RRRP and claim they cut down from that price (Choco rations are 30grams. Due to astounding effort, we have managed to increase choco rations to 25grams).
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August 28, 2012 6:07:14 PM

That's a good pick for a PSU. Btw because of my 2560x1440 monitor I'm getting, I'm going to *need* a new video card. Going for the GTX 670.

Thanks for all your help!
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August 28, 2012 7:52:30 PM

Best answer selected by Gloomfrost.
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