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New Rig but unsure with motherboard, case and PSU choices

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October 2, 2012 8:36:12 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Not very soon.
Budget Range: 1100-1200 for the whole build.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (while recording), Video Editing, Regular Internet Surfing and such.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Upgrading the whole lot, but debating on which motherboard, case and PSU to purchase.
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.pcdiy.com.au, www.msy.com.au, www.mwave.com.au
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Parts Preferences: A case that has at least 1x2.5" bay or comes with a 3.5>2.5 adapter, has at least 2x3.5" bays on top of that and can fit a 270mm graphics card with the 3.5" enclosure still in there. I would like a case that has decent air flow and will allow room for a Coolermaster Hyper212 Evo CPU Cooler. I am also looking for a decent quality PSU that is good enough to power this PC with room for an extra HDD/SSD or two in the future. (Specs below)
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I couldn't care less about the noise of the system, as long as it's not overly loud.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading due to the fact that SOME of my current specs I feel are not up to date and are getting more and more outdated and less powerful for gaming (e.g. HD 5770) and instead of upgrading a couple of parts, I'm figuring of buying the parts needed and selling my current rig but keep the boot drive. After that with a portion of the money I make from selling my current rig I will then purchase a larger HDD to go with my boot drive.

My current rig's specs are as follows:
Intel Core i5 2500 (non-K) @ 3.3GHz
ASUS P8P67 LE
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
Powercolor Radeon HD 5770
Kingston SSDNow V+200
WD Caviar Black 1.5TB 7200RPM HDD
Antec Three-Hundred Mid-Tower Case
LG DVD Burner
Powermaster 550W PSU

My proposed specs excluding the parts under current debate are:
Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.4GHz
8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3 RAM
MSi OC Radeon HD 7950 3GB (Not sure if TwinFrozr edition or not, but I don't mind)
1TB WD Caviar Black 7200RPM HDD
Kingston SSDNow V+200 (Kept from my current build)
LG DVD Burner

The parts I am currently debating over are the motherboard, case and PSU.

I am trying to decide over two motherboards, one slightly more expensive than the other, but regardless of the price, I would like to know which is the better choice. These two motherboards are the ASRock Z77 Pro3 and the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H, and a brief description of their benefits over each other and their similarities would also be nice.

The cases I am having trouble deciding over are the Fractal Design Define Core 3000, the Coolermaster Storm Enforcer and the Coolermaster HAF-912 Advanced. However, I am disliking the look of the HAF-912 Advanced, and my mother would probably not be in a very good mood if she saw that coming into her home.

I am absolutely clueless on which PSU I should get. I have been looking at the Antec EarthWatts 650W and 750W PSUs, as I have heard that they have a top-notch manufacturer and that they don't over-advertise their PSUs' wattage. I will need one with at least 2x6pin connectors for the HD 7950 I am purchasing. Any advice for this also will be greatly appreciated.

Also any other recommendations for my future build will be greatly considered.

Best solution

October 2, 2012 11:42:11 AM

Great looking build. I'll answer your questions first, then review each component.

First, between the ASRock Z77 Pro3 and the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H, both lose out. They are relatively old motherboards, and honestly, you could do better for that price range. Try the ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 or 6 [the difference between the two is given here: [http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2803...!]

Second, I just placed an order for the Storm Enforcer, so I may be a little biased toward it; the HA 912 is a good tower case, but its almost the same. The only difference is that it is larger then the Enforcer. The Core 3000 seems like an excellent case, comes with 3 of the 7 slotable fans, and has a very useful fan speed control. It'll have excellent airflow, even without every fan slot filled. However, it doesn't come with 2.5'' bays, which you need, or a 3.5" to 2.5" convertor kit. And, it only has 7 expansion slots; if you ever want SLI, you'd need a new case. Also, the Enforcer looks cooler. WAY cooler. Chose what you will; I prefer my Enforcer, you make prefer the 3000.

Third, power.

Here's a website to calculate how much power you should need:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

It shouldn't come to more then 550W, so I recommend a PSU with at LEAST 50W more then you need. The site gives how much power your system NEEDS, and how big a PSU you should get. I add 50W to the second value, so my system can draw 100W more if needed. My system needs around 450 W max, and I've got a 620 W PSU coming, to support future SLI and upgrades. Again, whatever you need is enough.

When it comes to company, Antec, Corsair, and Seasonic are great, Cooler Master is bad bad bad. They recently lied about the wattage of overpriced PSU's so stay away from them. Otherwise, you can't really go wrong. I've got a Seasonic S12II 620 Watts.

Now recommendations:

The Intel i5 3570k is only needed if you want to overclock (hence, the -k). If you don't want to overclock, stick to the i5 3550, its the exact same, more or less.

I use Corsair Vengeance, but I think the Ripjaws performs slightly better. RAM is fine.

The HD 7970 is an EXCELLENT card, but consider that the 7850 OC or 7870 OC can match or outperform it at its base level when overclocked. You could save a lot by OC-ing the 7850 or 7870 instead of getting an expensive 7970.

No problems with the Caviar Black, you might want 2 TB if you're not going to upgrade for a while.

Keep the Kingston as your primary, for the operating system and one or two games for a speed boost. You can remove and install games on the SSD for performance boosts, whenever you need, as long as they fit.

Any DVD burner is good, but I recommend the Asus DRW-24B5ST, which I use.

Any other components (fans, coolers, speakers, etc.) you need help with?







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October 2, 2012 11:52:01 AM

zanedragonknight said:
Great looking build. I'll answer your questions first, then review each component.

First, between the ASRock Z77 Pro3 and the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H, both lose out. They are relatively old motherboards, and honestly, you could do better for that price range. Try the ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 or 6 [the difference between the two is given here: [http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2803...!]

Second, I just placed an order for the Storm Enforcer, so I may be a little biased toward it; the HA 912 is a good tower case, but its almost the same. The only difference is that it is larger then the Enforcer. The Core 3000 seems like an excellent case, comes with 3 of the 7 slotable fans, and has a very useful fan speed control. It'll have excellent airflow, even without every fan slot filled. However, it doesn't come with 2.5'' bays, which you need, or a 3.5" to 2.5" convertor kit. And, it only has 7 expansion slots; if you ever want SLI, you'd need a new case. Also, the Enforcer looks cooler. WAY cooler. Chose what you will; I prefer my Enforcer, you make prefer the 3000.

Third, power.

Here's a website to calculate how much power you should need:

http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

It shouldn't come to more then 550W, so I recommend a PSU with at LEAST 50W more then you need. The site gives how much power your system NEEDS, and how big a PSU you should get. I add 50W to the second value, so my system can draw 100W more if needed. My system needs around 450 W max, and I've got a 620 W PSU coming, to support future SLI and upgrades. Again, whatever you need is enough.

When it comes to company, Antec, Corsair, and Seasonic are great, Cooler Master is bad bad bad. They recently lied about the wattage of overpriced PSU's so stay away from them. Otherwise, you can't really go wrong. I've got a Seasonic S12II 620 Watts.

Now recommendations:

The Intel i5 3570k is only needed if you want to overclock (hence, the -k). If you don't want to overclock, stick to the i5 3550, its the exact same, more or less.

I use Corsair Vengeance, but I think the Ripjaws performs slightly better. RAM is fine.

The HD 7970 is an EXCELLENT card, but consider that the 7850 OC or 7870 OC can match or outperform it at its base level when overclocked. You could save a lot by OC-ing the 7850 or 7870 instead of getting an expensive 7970.

No problems with the Caviar Black, you might want 2 TB if you're not going to upgrade for a while.

Keep the Kingston as your primary, for the operating system and one or two games for a speed boost. You can remove and install games on the SSD for performance boosts, whenever you need, as long as they fit.

Any DVD burner is good, but I recommend the Asus DRW-24B5ST, which I use.

Any other components (fans, coolers, speakers, etc.) you need help with?


Thanks for the excellent advice. I do plan on overclocking possibly and I am trying to find a more budget-wise air cooler/heatsink for my CPU. I was looking at the Coolermaster Hyper212 Evo for the CPU cooler, but I am very open to suggestions as I have not looked into CPU cooling too much in the past.

I will definitely look into the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 as it is not too far out of my budget, however the Extreme6 seems to be pushing my budget a little.

Also, with the PSUs, I have heard a lot of bad feedback about the Coolermaster PSUs and how their wattage is falsely advertised. I will look into Seasonic and Corsair.

I also think the Storm Enforcer is a brilliant case, as it is cheaper than the other two that I have mentioned and also has great visual appeal.

Once again, thanks for your advice. I will definitely take it into consideration.
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a b V Motherboard
October 2, 2012 1:17:26 PM

That's the dumbest "upgrade" ever.

Buy a new video card and get rid of that garbage psu and your good to go.

A good 500w psu is more than enough, you don't need a 650w or 750w. I recommend Antec, XFX or Corsair.
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a c 80 V Motherboard
October 2, 2012 1:25:42 PM

^+1.
The core of the rig, your CPU, Mobo and RAM is more than sufficient for gaming. Replace the graphics card with something decent like a HD7850, and swap out the PSU (Powermax is not a brand to be trusted).
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October 2, 2012 4:22:46 PM

Jumping from i5-2500 to an i5-3570K won't give that big of a performance boost so it sounds dumb, but it *is* a generation upgrade. New features, an unlocked multiplier(he is considering OC), PCI-E 3.0(granted there is no point to this as of yet), a reason to go z77, etc., or maybe he's simply OCD on new stuff and doesn't mind spending the extra cash.

While I agree with geekapproved on getting a more reliable PSU, I think 500w and 7950 is a bit on the dangerous side.

What I am not going to justify and will actually tell you not to do though is upgrading from an 8gb DDR3 1333MHz RAM to a 1600MHz. You will see literally no change in performance on real life play. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

I also don't understand why you're going to downgrade from a 1.5TB Caviar Black to a 1TB.
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October 3, 2012 12:05:03 AM

excella1221 said:
Jumping from i5-2500 to an i5-3570K won't give that big of a performance boost so it sounds dumb, but it *is* a generation upgrade. New features, an unlocked multiplier(he is considering OC), PCI-E 3.0(granted there is no point to this as of yet), a reason to go z77, etc., or maybe he's simply OCD on new stuff and doesn't mind spending the extra cash.

While I agree with geekapproved on getting a more reliable PSU, I think 500w and 7950 is a bit on the dangerous side.

What I am not going to justify and will actually tell you not to do though is upgrading from an 8gb DDR3 1333MHz RAM to a 1600MHz. You will see literally no change in performance on real life play. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

I also don't understand why you're going to downgrade from a 1.5TB Caviar Black to a 1TB.


I'm not upgrading to a the i5-3570K for a performance boost. I want to be able to overclock and my current motherboard and CPU limit me greatly. I don't need the full 1.5TB Caviar Black, but I also want to be able to sell off my current rig. I could keep the 1.5TB WD Black, but to sell my PC I am almost 100% sure the customer would be looking for a HDD to come with the system.
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October 3, 2012 12:09:04 AM

geekapproved said:
That's the dumbest "upgrade" ever.

Buy a new video card and get rid of that garbage psu and your good to go.

A good 500w psu is more than enough, you don't need a 650w or 750w. I recommend Antec, XFX or Corsair.


I am not really personally wanting to upgrade. I would need a new motherboard and CPU because I want to overclock. Currently, my motherboard is an extremely low end motherboard and for some reason, or from what I have heard, you cannot increase the multiplier with any CPU, unlocked or not. So that's why I am looking into an entirely new system. I'd also like to sell off my current rig, otherwise I won't be able to pull off sufficient funds for my new rig, and I would like some cash to spare afterwards also.

As for the PSUs, yes I am looking into Antec and Corsair mainly, however XFX doesn't appear to be too available in Australia. I have not seen a single XFX part for sale from any reliable Australian retailers so XFX is most likely out of the question.
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October 3, 2012 12:11:40 AM

manofchalk said:
^+1.
The core of the rig, your CPU, Mobo and RAM is more than sufficient for gaming. Replace the graphics card with something decent like a HD7850, and swap out the PSU (Powermax is not a brand to be trusted).


I want to be able to overclock the CPU, and the current CPU and Motherboard aren't really sufficient for doing so. I also want to sell my current rig. I also want to be able to record certain newer games such as BF3 and other games that will be released in the future at decent settings so a 7850 may not be sufficient for that, and at this stage CrossFireX and SLI aren't really options to me, personally.
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October 3, 2012 3:34:52 AM

flamelash said:
Approximate Purchase Date:
Overclocking: Maybe

Should've just said "Yes" to this then to avoid confusion. "Maybe" usually means just an option and not a priority.
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October 3, 2012 4:49:36 AM

Best answer selected by flamelash.
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a b V Motherboard
October 3, 2012 4:22:06 PM

There's no reason you couldn't overclock with your current motherboard, but whatever. Besides, theres no reason to overclock at all with a single gpu.
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October 4, 2012 8:53:47 AM

geekapproved said:
There's no reason you couldn't overclock with your current motherboard, but whatever. Besides, theres no reason to overclock at all with a single gpu.


If you look up issues to do with the ASUS P8P67 LE motherboard, you'll find a huge amount to do with overclocking. You can't increase the multiplier or voltage.
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October 4, 2012 1:54:14 PM

flamelash said:
Thanks for the excellent advice. I do plan on overclocking possibly and I am trying to find a more budget-wise air cooler/heatsink for my CPU. I was looking at the Coolermaster Hyper212 Evo for the CPU cooler, but I am very open to suggestions as I have not looked into CPU cooling too much in the past.

I will definitely look into the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 as it is not too far out of my budget, however the Extreme6 seems to be pushing my budget a little.

Also, with the PSUs, I have heard a lot of bad feedback about the Coolermaster PSUs and how their wattage is falsely advertised. I will look into Seasonic and Corsair.

I also think the Storm Enforcer is a brilliant case, as it is cheaper than the other two that I have mentioned and also has great visual appeal.

Once again, thanks for your advice. I will definitely take it into consideration.


Gotta love quote-ception

I've heard nothing but praise over the Hyper 212 Evo, so I higly doubt it won't be to your satisfaction. I use an Evo 3 myself, and it's an excellent cooler. Go for it!

Extreme 4 is fine, I don't understand why the price difference is less over here in India then it is over there. Meh, then again, all electronics get overpriced here...

Right-o on the PSU.

I agree, the Enforcer is on hell of a beast. Again, go for it.

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