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Help critique my gaming build, im looking to pull the trigger!

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January 6, 2013 12:52:25 AM

Hey everyone. Thanks in advance for any advice. Im really struggling with some of these decisions, like the MoBo. The ASRock below seems popular on New Egg, but I havent seen it mentioned on many gaming builds. I have always used Asus MoBo's in my builds, but my last one (in sig) has given me multiple issues with USB and RAM slots going bad - so Im leery about going with them again?

If I can save money somewhere, I certainly would like to do so, but not at the expense of a massive performance drop. I was hoping to have something around $1100-$1200 TBH. I chose the 3770k CPU because I can get it cheaper at Microcenter. Im not sure if Im allowed to list that price, so I listed the New Egg price below. Everything is from New Egg.

Primary focus will be gaming: Skyrim, Final Fantasy XIV: ARR, The Old Republic, etc. all at 2560x1440.

Gear being reused:
1x 120GB Samsung 830 SSD & 1x 1TB WD HDD
1x Dell U2711 Monitor (2560x1440)

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W ($320)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler ($81)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 OC Formula Extended ($219 - NewEgg) OR ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 ($241)
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) ($64)
Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R795WF3-3GD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ($300)
Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($90)
Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ($130)
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Reader ($30)
Total: $1256

This will be about $100 cheaper when I get my CPU from Microcenter. Thoughts on everything?
January 6, 2013 12:58:51 AM

Get Asrock Z77 Extreme 4.
It would be cheaper, and has everything needed.
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January 6, 2013 1:10:56 AM

If this build is primarily for gaming you can save a big chunk by dropping the i7, no games give a significant benefit nor will they in the forseeable future. The i5-3570k is the best choice for a primarily gaming machine, no real need to getting an i7 if you'll not use it when the i5 is the tool for the job. Not all 7950s perform like all these people are ranting about. the best 7950s are the ones with 8 + 6 pin power connectors such as the Sapphire Vapor X and I think only 1 other, not sure off the top of my head. A lot of which though are voltage locked now making it hard to reach vanilla overclocks which made the 7950 all the rave. The Gigabyte 7950 is a great card but if you save the money from the i7 going to an i5 you could upgrade the 7950 to a Gigabye 7970 maybe ;)  either way I hope this helps.
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January 6, 2013 1:14:23 AM

And no don't get an ASRock Extreme 4, because just a few dollars more and you get a higher quality solid durable board in a Gigabyte UD3H. The Extreme 4 Asrock is a thin cheaply made budget board that isn't even a full ATX board. Its short and does not line up to the stand offs on any case so it puts undo pressure on the edge of the board when you install things.
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January 6, 2013 1:14:44 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. Here is my new build with modifications. I changed the RAM too as I am sure this will be more than sufficient.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W ($320)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler ($81)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H ($145)
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) ($50)
Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R795WF3-3GD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ($300)
Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($90)
Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ($130)
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Reader ($30)
Total: $1155
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January 6, 2013 1:17:01 AM

Do you plan on doing tons of video rendering, editing, programming? if not drop the i7 to an i5-3570k even at micro center its a heck of a deal but if you wont ever utilize the i7 its kind of pointless to get it when the i5 is really all you need.
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January 6, 2013 1:18:45 AM

the extreme4 is not thin and cheaply made. so what its an inch thinner that doesn't make it bad.
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January 6, 2013 1:19:14 AM

Apropo said:
Do you plan on doing tons of video rendering, editing, programming? if not drop the i7 to an i5-3570k even at micro center its a heck of a deal but if you wont ever utilize the i7 its kind of pointless to get it when the i5 is really all you need.


No, I wont be. Any video editing I do on my Mac, which has an i7. Thats a great point, thanks. That will save me some extra cash. :hello: 
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January 6, 2013 1:20:21 AM

jonjonjon said:
the extreme4 is not thin and cheaply made. so what its an inch thinner that doesn't make it bad.

UUhm you are incorrect it is thinner and cheaply made compared to the other boards. Put one in your hands vs putting the gigabyte UD3H and or nearly any other. If you ever have you'd know right away that the Extreme 4, though not a "bad" product, is infact THIN and FEELS cheap...
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Best solution

January 6, 2013 1:21:21 AM

Just my $.02

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($407.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1036.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-05 22:22 EST-0500)

The benchmarks for the 7950 vs. 7970 seem pretty significant. It's a debate if it's woth the extra $100.
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January 6, 2013 1:25:00 AM

ive build 3 z77 computers with asrock, msi and gigabyte. there is zero difference.
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January 6, 2013 1:25:25 AM

cball1311 said:
Just my $.02

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($407.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1036.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-05 22:22 EST-0500)


I originally looked at that CPU cooler but a buddy of mine swore by that Noctua. I have always used Cooler Master in the past and I doubt I will OC the CPU at all.

I may add a 2nd 7950 down the road - or if I go the path of the 7970, may add a 2nd down the road. I want to keep my options open for that just in case. Knowing that, would the 750w PSU I quoted be enough?

The ASRock MoBo does seem to have a stronger following (at least by New Egg reviews that is).
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January 6, 2013 1:26:24 AM

The gigabyte UD3H is $109.99 if purchased with the i5-3570k
vs the $94.99 thin / ASRock extreme 4, Imo the extre few little dollars to get a thicker more durable board is definitely worth it.
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January 6, 2013 1:28:12 AM

jonjonjon said:
ive build 3 z77 computers with asrock, msi and gigabyte. there is zero difference.

Saying there is no difference is misleading and I know I'm not the only builder who can tell the difference.... just like on PCPartPicker huh.... no longer responding to you and your over exaggerated and simplified comparisons. You really don't help anyone by not giving accurate information.
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January 6, 2013 1:30:19 AM

If your not OC'ing the CPU get the non-k 3570 i5 and scratch the cooler, stock cooler will be fine. If your planning to SLI, get the 750W, plenty of juice.
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January 6, 2013 1:30:39 AM

take anything he says with a grain of salt. go read professional reviews. yea i got bored of that site after 2 days.
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January 6, 2013 1:51:35 AM

Thanks everyone. I think this is the final build I have decided on. Microcenter doesnt carry the 3570 and I don't want to step down to the 3400 series. From reviews Ive read online, I think the 7950 will do the job. With OC'ing and the option to add a 2nd down the road I have a feeling Ill be fine.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) ($169 - Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus ($30)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ($128)
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) ($50)
Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R795WF3-3GD Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ($300)
Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($90)
Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ($130)
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Reader ($30)
Total: Around $950 before taxes w/ some Artic Silver 5 added in
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January 6, 2013 1:54:11 AM

they probably have the 3470 for $150 if your not overclocking its only 200Mhz slower then the 3570.
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January 6, 2013 5:17:57 PM

Best answer selected by y2hbk.
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