Q. about OC-ing and mobo choice

Hello all,

I've been reading a lot here, and it seems a good place to ask for some help.

- Gonna get myself a new system, mostly for gaming. Games I play are rather CPU intensive, if anything. Logical approach now is to put a bit more in CPU, and cut corners on GPU. I will never ever Xfire or SLI. Preferred GPU is definitely ATI, since I will use 2 screens in one older title (don't get too enthousiastic here, it's DX9, and I've heard even a 5770 wil run it well with 2 screens).

- I'm on a budget though, so have to choose wisely. So first and foremost, I have to decide if I'm ever going to overclock. Say 10 years ago, I would never even dream about OC-ing, making things easier. But now OC-ing seems so common and easy, I wonder if it's worth making the plunge into this territory. 3 questions pop up: about OC-ing, about "system non-OC" and about "system-OC".

- I will order from https://www.alternate.nl it's dutch, but most terms will be familiar to you :). Estimated timeframe: within a couple of days.

- I will be running 1 full HD 24" as main.


1) how beneficial IS OC-ing? Deciding against OC, saves me €50 or more in mobo and CPU easily (compared to i5-3550 or less). Will it bite me in the rear in years to come?

2) Let's say I won't OC:

1 x Intel® Core™ i5-3550
1 x Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620M (or equal from a different brand)
1 x Antec 300 II (already have this one)
1 x MSI ZH77A-G43
1 x WD Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX
1 x Kingston HyperX 8 GB DDR3-1600 Kit (or Corsair vengeance, slightly lower CAS, 8 vs 9)

My only doubt here lies in GPU (this is where I can definitely save money, for example with a 2nd hand 5770, 6850 etc., but Im gonna have to make that decision on my own) and mobo. Is this mobo any good? I don't need much, would like to stay on the cheap side, but it has to work and be safe/durable. Any decent alternatives?

3) Let's say I want to keep the option of OC open for later, and get the 3570K, and Z77 mobo:

Asus P8Z77-V LX
Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
MSI Z77A-G43
MSI Z77A-G45

Any thoughts on these mobo's? Are there big no-no's in this pricerange? It's the low-end of Z77 and frankly, I don't really know where to look since there are so many around... I don't have a fancy soundsystem and will be using my headset mostly. I do use a lot of USB periph.

Any thoughts would be more than welcome!
13 answers Last reply
More about mobo choice
  1. it seems I can't edit my message, but this migh be useful extra info:

    if money were no issue, I stil wouldn't go for a GPU above, say €225, being 7850+ territory here in NL... so if a i5 3450/3550 would not bottleneck such a card, there would be no need to OC, right?
  2. You could go with a 7870 and the non-OC build, just get a good power supply like the corsair HX-650 or similar. In most games this will be fine and should keep it cheap. Also, if you can find an old z68 board, it will be cheaper than a z77.
  3. If you are using a "locked" i5, get a H77 mobo, to get the most out of it. There are some very cheap ones around, although, if finances are not too tight, it's worth getting a good quality board, like one of the Asus P8H77 range. You should get RAM with voltage of 1.5v, or below. 1600 MHz Cas9 is fine. Always prefer low profile.
  4. Thanks for the replies guys,

    I've made the call on OC: it's going to be a "no". Looking at the following mobo's/prices: all H77, all decent enough as far as I can read, with a slight + for the Gigabyte. Is the ASUS worth the extra cash?

    86,00 Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H
    82,00 MSI H77MA-G43
    82,00 ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP

    99,00 Asus P8H77-V LE

    PSU: the Hx650 will cost me 122 here. I realize it's high quality, but it's a major step up from HCG620, that will cost me 79. Isn't the corsair a bit too much for a budget build? For me, €122 isn't cheap. I'll stay above, say, €70 to avoid the crappy ones, but 100+ seems out of my league.

    GPU: considdering the games I'm playing, I will lower my GPU needs. 7870 is now out of the question, 7850 will be the max and maybe even a 7770 temporarily, until I can get an upgrade.
  5. Unless I'm missing something, you don't need any more than 550w, at most. Can you get XFX 550, where you are. It's not modular, but very good. Antec Basiq Plus BP550M is quite good, and modular.
    As regards mobos. The Asus one is very good. Whether it's 13 euros better than the Gigabyte, is "debatable"
  6. How does this sound?
    Gigabyte motherboard. The UD3H is great, I had a Z68 one and was happy.

    This PSU is only 80+ certified but it is cheap if you are on a strict budget

    GPU: 7850 or 6870. You can get some good deals on the 6870 which is still reasonably powerful
  7. If you are thinking of HD7850, take a look at GTX660. Substantial better, particularly in games like BF3, Shogun, Portal. Several had Borderlands 2 free, don't know if they still have. Only marginally more expensive. Something to spend the money, you saved from PSU, on.
  8. thanks for the replies so far, I'm closing in now :).

    The 660 2Gb is available here, it's 10% more expensive than an an 7850 2Gb (190 vs 210). The reason I prefer ATI, is because ATI supports a multi monitor setup better. I'll have to get into this with people playing the games I like, namely Falcon BMS and ARMA (3 hopefully :) ).

    I've found a decent real-life shop with good prices. I like the fact I can just walk into a shop and be done with it.
    For PSU they carry Cooler Master, Corsair and OCZ.

    1) CM Silent Pro M2 620 (or 520, but a bit of overhead won't hurt in case I ever need to put in an extra GPU, non-Xfire btw... long story)
    2) Corsair TX650 (non-modular)
    both for €82

    3) OCZ ModXStream Pro 600
    for €66


    I will have the rest sorted shortly, your replies put my thinking-process in overdrive, thanks for that.
  9. Certainly worth checking with others, playing same games, as to Radeon v nVidia. It really does change from game to game. As to PSU, the only one I'd give "house-room" is the Corsair. If you can get it, the PC Power&Cooling Silencer Mklll 600w is a good low cost modular.
  10. Back on the GPU: ATI seems most recommended for the game I play the most (falcon), so that choice is made. The 7870 being over-budget, the 7850 will be the one. The only way I can free up money for the 7870 is to go the AMD route, but that's something entirely different.
  11. I would normally say, try to free up funds for 7870, over 7850, cos it's worth the extra. I wouldn't suggest going AMD, to do that, though.
  12. Falcon being CPU-taxing and not so much GPU (it's dx9 even) , I'd very much like to keep the 3570K I have planned now. Too bad there isn't many 2nd hand GPU's available locally :)
  13. I doubt any game old enough to be DX9 would require a 3570K. Most likely you would be fine with any modern CPU.

    Overall your choices seems good. Just get the cheapest mobo that has the features you need - I doubt the Asus for example is worth its price.
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