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New Build help needed

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October 27, 2012 8:54:06 AM

Hey there,

I am choosing the parts for a new gaming machine. I have been playing around with it for a few days and hopefully have it nearly finalised. If anyone could help point out any flaws or have suggestions then please let me know. It has gone a bit over budget so getting the price back down would be great.

Case: Cool Master HAF x
PSU: Corsair Gaming Series GS600 80PLUS Bronze 600W
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - Intel/AMD
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz (4x4GB)
GFX: Sapphire HD 7870 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express
Harddrive(1): Seagate Barracuda 7200 2000GB, SATA 6Gb/s
Harddrive(2): Samsung SSD 830 128GB SATA 6GB's
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B5ST Retail
Sound: ASUS Xonar DG, PCI x1

More about : build needed

October 27, 2012 9:15:39 AM

Case is good, though pricey. Take a look at the XM or similar.

PSU is good, but not enough for CF/SLI. I'd be looking at a good 750W.

You don't need a 3770K for a gaming build; the 3570K is just as good. I'd consider an i3 for anything less than a 7870.

Sabertooth is overpriced; If you're in the US newegg will toss in 8GB RAM free with the ASRock Z77 Extreme4. If elsewhere the GA-Z77X-D3H is also good.

8GB is enough. Relatively low profile is a good idea.

Better GPU is a good idea. I'd be looking at a 7950 or 7970. The 670 is priced to closely to the 7970 and now gets beaten.

Get the cheapest 2TB HDD out there, though it's worth paying a few extra dollars for 7200RPM. 6Gb/s is a gimmick.

SSD 830 is good.

No need for a retail DVD drive. Get the cheapest you can; pretty much the only time you're likely to use it is installing Windows.

No need for a dedicated sound card. Onboard is fine unless your sound system is bloody expensive, then that's not the right choice.
October 27, 2012 9:18:01 AM

There are several areas to reduce costs. Unless you are intending to do high-end photo/video editing, or design, you don't need i7. There is no benefit, over i5, for gaming, or for most other things, for that matter. The Sabretooth is a good board, and robust, but you don't need it, for gaming. If you like the quality of Asus, go with the P8Z77-V. Just as good, perhaps better, for gaming. 16GB of RAM, also pointless unless using high RAM dependant stuff like video editing. If you really want 16GB, use 2x8GB, otherwise 2x4GB. Use low profile RAM, like Corsair CML, GSKill Ares, or Crucial Ballistix Sport, to avoid possible clash with cooler. You don't really need separate sound card, unless you are a real audiophile. Onboard sound, on those mobos, is very good.
If doing above, gives you scope to use HD7950, or nVidia GTX660Ti, that would be good.
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October 27, 2012 11:45:17 AM

Thanks for the advice!

I'm based in Ireland and was going to order from http://www.hardwareversand.de/

I went for the Asus Sabertooth as the motherboard in my last gaming machine melted (5 times) and the sabertooth appears to have extra protection and fans to stop that from happening.

The site I am using to get the parts has a few different P8z77-V's on it, which has just confused the hell out of me :) 

ASUS P8Z77-V LX, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €92.92
ASUS P8Z77-V LK, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €121.77
ASUS P8Z77-V, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €158.69 [Is this the best option? Sabertooth is €202.64]
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €182.69
ASUS P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €204.72
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €222.59
ASUS P8Z77-V Premium, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3 - €387.44

Other Motherboards:
ASRock Z77 Extreme4, Sockel 1155, ATX - €131.24
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H, Intel Z77, ATX - €127,04

I have dropped the sound card and so far changed the system to this:

Case: Cool Master HAF x
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX750 80PLUS Bronze, 750W
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - Intel/AMD
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 1600MHz (2x8GB) CL10-10-10-27
GFX: MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5 V2/OC, 3072MB DDR5, PCI-Express
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 2000GB, SATA 6Gb/s
Samsung SSD 830 128GB SATA 6GB's
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B5ST Retail
October 27, 2012 11:48:19 AM

I'd still be looking at the Gigabyte board.

What board did you last have? I can't say I've ever heard of a mobo melting, though the nVidia SLI chipsets got pretty hot. That's the chipset though, and I'd say that the cover might actually trap the heat more than help shift it out. Most ASUS mobos seem pretty overpriced though.
October 27, 2012 12:06:54 PM

It was a Rock Pegasus laptop with the dreaded geforce 8600m in it. That laptop had more trips to England than myself.

Case: Cool Master HAF x
PSU: Corsair Builder Series CX750 80PLUS Bronze, 750W
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - Intel/AMD
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77-D3H, Intel Z77, ATX
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 1600MHz (2x8GB) CL10-10-10-27
GFX: MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5 V2/OC, 3072MB DDR5, PCI-Express
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 2000GB, SATA 6Gb/s
Samsung SSD 830 128GB SATA 6GB's
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B5ST Retail

Total: €1,158.88 (reduced by €120 with all the changes)
October 27, 2012 12:08:50 PM

The best gaming board, there, is the Asus P8Z77-V. Some of the other, more expensive Asus boards have additional features, but they are more media orientated, than gaming. I wouldn't go for the cheaper Asus boards, they tend to lack either good overclocking, or the best SLi support. The Gigabyte board you mentioned is also quite good. Perhaps not quite as good as the "V", but the difference is small (things like not quite as good sound), so the gigabyte might be regarded as better value. I would say, either the "V", or the Gigabyte, are better value, than the Sabretooth. That's a good media, or workstation type board, but not the best, for gaming.
October 27, 2012 12:12:36 PM

The main purpose of the machine is for gaming. Other than that I just use the internet, watch movies the odd time but there are plenty of other machines to do that with in the house.
October 27, 2012 12:21:10 PM

Forgot you last had a laptop; they melt very easily. Desktop PCs don't have the same cooling problem.

IMO getting more than a Z77 Extreme4 or GA-Z77X-D3H is pointless, as the differences are miniscule, whereas the price difference is huge.

I still am lost as to why people say a board is only good for gaming, or good for being in a workstation. An OC is an OC if it's to the same amount, and if it isn't the one that's higher is better. Beyond that it's really just ports.
October 27, 2012 1:04:49 PM

Last time I built a machine was back in the PIII 600 days and opted for a ready made since. I want to get the best for my money this time so decided to go down the self build route again. Every site has something different to say and all parts come in many different variations. I just want to keep it in budget, for it not to melt and go off on holidays all the time and it's hard to make sense of all the options.
October 27, 2012 1:20:12 PM

Yeah. That's where product comparisons like Toms' mobo roundups and price comparers come in useful. For example; in most cases a 1TB 7200RPM HDD is pretty much the same as any other, so just pick the cheapest.

I'd get the GA-Z77X-D3H as you get a better VRM so can OC more, and you get x8/x8 CF/SLI support

You only need 8GB RAM, but CL9 is good.
October 27, 2012 1:53:55 PM

I didn't see anything to scream about in there. Compares similarly with say the GA-Z77X-D3H, but costs a ton more.
October 27, 2012 2:04:16 PM

Actually beats the Gigabyte UD5H, in most respects, but agree differences are small.
October 27, 2012 2:07:22 PM

Which makes it hard to suggest spending a load of extra dosh on it.
October 27, 2012 4:26:19 PM

I can't find a CL9 2x8 kit of for 16GB of ram on the site, only 4x4GB.

There is a 2x8GB kit for CL10.

Is there much of an improvement between 2x8GB over 4x4GB in CL9?
October 27, 2012 4:38:05 PM

I suggest the MSI Z77 Big Bang, the Seasonic 760w gold plus and yes only 8gb of ram is good enough for gaming
October 27, 2012 5:21:02 PM

Head spinning now! This is harder than building my house. Going out for pints now and will lay into this again in the morning.

Psu's Xfx 750 and seasonic 760 out of stock on the site. :( 
October 27, 2012 5:49:03 PM

For a processor cooler, I got recommended the Corsair H60 from their Hydro series if you can spare a little more, got one and have to agree with everyone who recommended them as they're brilliant and virtually silent.

It's a maintainance-free closed-loop water cooler for the CPU with a small radiator that bolts onto the exhaust fan. I've got one in my HAF-X case too and it fits just fine, in fact, it's so quiet when running that you can barely tell it's on if the screen's off!

PS. I got mine from Amazon for about £60 so it's not too expensive.
October 27, 2012 6:24:51 PM

Cagey said:
I can't find a CL9 2x8 kit of for 16GB of ram on the site, only 4x4GB.

There is a 2x8GB kit for CL10.

Is there much of an improvement between 2x8GB over 4x4GB in CL9?

You will struggle to find C9, in an 8GB. You don't need more than 8 total for gaming. If you particularly want more than that, then 2x8GB, but C10 is the norm in those. Only small difference, anyway. Not that I pretend to understand all the science, but 2x8GB is supposed to be more efficient, on a Z77 board, than 4x4GB, even with the slightly higher latency.
On mobo, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H is probably best for value, and decent quality. There are other options, like the Asus V, and MSI MPower, that have slightly better performance, for higher price. Point is, they're all better value, than your original Sabretooth, so it's a win-win, whichever you choose. You won't be disappointed with any of them.
October 28, 2012 8:51:05 AM

Final System Build.

I have had to change the case as the HAF X is out of stick with no order date :( 

Thanks for all the help and recommendations! Hopefully the parts will all play nice with each other and not melt on me! :bounce: 

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper €134.15
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750 80PLUS Gold 750W €131.43
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Tray, LGA1155 €204,43
CPU Fan: Corsair Hydro Series H60 €66.76
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-D3H, Intel Z77, ATX €127.04
RAM: (2x8) 16GB-Kit Corsair Vengeance Low Profile schwarz 16GB PC3-12800U CL10-10-10-27 €64.59
GFX: MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5 V2/OC, 3072MB DDR5, PCI-Express €290.89
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 2000GB, SATA 6Gb/s €89.24
Samsung SSD 830 128GB SATA 6GB's €86.58
Optical Drive: ASUS DRW-24B5ST Retail €19.97

Total: €1218.70
October 28, 2012 11:04:53 AM

Will all work well together, subject to the observation that case is a lot more than you need. Personally, I quite like liquid coolers, but know a lot of people would disagree. As long as you appreciate that there are air coolers, that give equal cooling, at less than half the price, and the H60 is not adequate for high overclocks. Then it's a question of personal preference.
!