MATX ~$1300

I want to play games such as Assassin's Creed III on this rig at 1080p for about $1300. I'm located in the United States and plan to buy sometime this week (preferably before Black Friday only to avoid the rush. That, and I have no experience in the kind of sales I'll be seeing and I don't want to count on them.) I don't have any particular brand preferences, but I am aiming for an mATX build that overclocks (CPU to about 4.2 GHz, GPU up to whatever I can get).

This is what I was thinking:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Scythe SCMG-3100 88.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($45.00 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M PRO Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.35 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Silverstone TJ08B-E MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($100.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Plus 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($77.17 @ Amazon)
Monitor: BenQ GW2250 21.5" Monitor ($120.00 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Wired Gaming Keyboard ($78.00 @ Mechanical Keyboards)
Mouse: Microsoft JUD-00001 Wired Optical Mouse ($6.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1253.43 (plus some thermal paste, which I just realized I forgot)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-18 00:59 EST-0500)

I'm not fully committed to the monitor, motherboard, keyboard, CPU cooler, SSD, or GPU. In fact, any advice on which GPU is best would be appreciated. I am, however, pretty set on getting some kind of 7950 or 660ti because of the price point. I am avoiding the 660ti because of the memory issues.

Additionally, because this will be my first build, I had a few questions about the cooling setup. Will my CPU cooler fit the case? Do I have enough room for push/pull? Should I get aftermarket fans, like Yate Loons for either the case or the cooler? Do I even get fans with the cooler? In the Temjin, the arrangement of fans and parts goes something like this, right?

The GPU sits up here
Intake (huge fan) -> HDD rack -> CPU Cooler -> Out (small fan)

I just don't want to mess up and totally destroy the parts on my first try.
9 answers Last reply
More about matx 1300
  1. The case fan is a 180 mm air penetritor in the front . I doubt anything else will cool as well

    buy a 24 inch monitor
  2. Well, to clarify, what I meant was that should I get more fans to fill up the slot in the back and maybe whatever extra fans I need to set up push/pull over the Scythe cooler. I do understand that the front fan is definitely good enough.

    What is the justification for a 24 inch monitor? Can you recommend one at this price point, either by finding better deals for the other parts, or just a cheaper 24 inch monitor? And will it have a good response time?
  3. Unfortunately, the Gene costs too much for me. Considering the price of the Gigabyte and my Asus board are similar, what are the differences (power phases, capacitor cap quality, UEFI...)?
  4. power phases, capacitor cap quality is about the only thing making them better.
  5. I'm still having trouble figuring out what exactly more power phases do. Is it a general case of more=better? At what point can I say "this is enough" for a mild overclock? I recognize that the capacitor caps can physically blow out, so I can see where that would matter. And what about the difference in Asus and Gigabyte UEFIs? I believe Gigabyte uses a 3D image of the actual motherboard for a weird, gimmicky layer over what actually matters.

    Upon second glance, I see that Gigabyte springs for an Intel Ethernet controller, while Asus sticks with Realtek. Is the Intel controller appreciably more reliable/faster?
  6. For mild overclock you need not worry about it.The board you choose is fine.The boards i suggested are for hardcore overclocking.Power phases (VRMs) are the chips that control voltage output, so basically the more phases there are is exactly the same concept as having more workers, they can provide a much quicker, more efficient output.

    An 8+2 phase will have 10 chips working on the voltage line so the result is less heat and more chance of a stable current.

    A 4+1 phase may struggle as it has twice the work load to get the same stable current the 8+2 phase could, so that means more heat and more slip ups, slip ups that could cause a voltage spike or slight reduce in vcore, which may give instability.

    More power phases will help with a motherboard's lifespan under a heavy overclock.
  7. Sleepingforest said:
    I'm still having trouble figuring out what exactly more power phases do.

    nothing you will ever notice unless you are trying for a world record overclock
  8. Okay, thank you for all the help (especially with the power phase confusion). What should I assume as a minimum number of power phases for mildly overclocking Ivy Bridge? Just in case I want to look at some cheaper options so I can go bigger on the GPU.
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