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Opinions and questions regarding thix X79-based gaming build

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January 22, 2013 2:10:10 PM

Hi all!

I joined just to post this, but I plan on sticking around afterwards. From reading this forum, I got the impression it's a great home for serious hardware enthusiasts.

This build is still a work in progress, of course, but so far, this is what I've got:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/yXHt

I did quite a few hours of research already. Last time I did a build on my own was about 10 years ago, so I've forgotten most of my knowledge in this area. The research helped to jog the memory, but some things I still find rather confusing.

In particular: picking RAM modules. For now, I plan to run everything at stock as I've never played around with overclocking before. However, I don't exclude the possibility that I may want to down the road.

So, how exactly do you pick from the ridiculous sea of choices when it comes to RAM sticks? I like Corsair, so let's say I want to go with RAM made by them. Next up, the Sabertooth X79 has quad-channel memory support. I'd like to go with 16GB of RAM for this build. First question: 2x8GB or 4x4GB? Is my assumption correct that the only thing that makes sense here is 4x4GB in order to make full use of the quad-channel support on the Sabertooth?

Next, the Sabertooth x79 lists the following for memory specs:
8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

I must admit I simply know too little about memory to make an informed choice here. In particular, I'm confused about the listed clock speeds. In my currently ultra-simplistic view, I simply choose DDR 1866 rated memory because it's the highest number. In reality, I can't shake the feeling that those clock speeds may be theoretical--possible to achieve by overclocking, not guaranteed when running at stock. In other words, can I simply go by the rule "get the highest rated clock speed DDR 3 memory the motherboard supports"? I feel like there is more to it.

This simplistic rule is what my current choice in the build is based on.

Third, looking at Crucial's memory over view here, http://www.corsair.com/us/memory-by-product-family.html, what exactly are the differences between the different models, aside from price, obviously? I'm guessing far and away the most important differentiator is performance when overclocking. Is that so?

I know that lower latency is better. But again, this is a very simplistic thing to say, especially when you consider that right now, I don't plan to OC at all.

Still can't quite decide on a case, either. I know I can't go wrong with the HAF X, which appears universally loved by everyone, but it just seems far too big for what I'm planning to put into this build at this time. The NXZT Phantom 410 got very favorable reviews all over the web, as did the HAF 912. Then there's also the HAF 932... choices choices.

Anyway, I've written way too much.

Your input is very much appreciated!
January 22, 2013 2:16:01 PM

sorry to say, most ppl in this forum wont suggest u to go with x79 unless :
-pick 3930k
-SLI from the first time
-doing heavy video editing
January 22, 2013 2:19:27 PM

Not a problem. I was doing a Z77 build at first and switched to X79 during the course of my research, but I'm keeping all options open. I'd like love to hear more about the reasoning behind that statement.
Related resources
January 22, 2013 2:41:09 PM

I tried editing my first post but the forum won't let me. Keeps saying I don't have permission to edit. How come?

Here's the list, btw:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($338.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($194.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($145.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1419.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 11:39 EST-0500)
January 22, 2013 2:50:48 PM

This build will run any game at max settings for a good while to come. The X79 boards and 2011 CPUs are much overkill for gaming (if you are not doing a large amount of rendering/photoshop/video editing). As far as the RAM goes, 1600MHz is the sweet spot for performance. As frequency goes up so does the timings (unless you get ridiculously expensive sticks) and usually you only see performance gains in benchmarks. You won't see any improvement with the naked eye. 750W is a bit overkill for the build if you aren't going to be doing SLI. If you are thinking of going SLI in the future, get a 750W. You can get a better 750W PSU for less. (Like this high-end Rosewill for $129 after rebates :: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182273) Aftermarket CPU cooling is not needed if you are not going to overclock the CPU. With your original setup, you wouldn't be able to OC very much (if at all) with that CPU. All in all, you can save a lot of cash. Usually, with SSDs, you would go with it for your OS and some application while storing your other media on a traditional HDD. Since SSDs get ridiculously expensive, even at the 256GB range, you will have much more storage to go with an smaller SSD and larger HDD. The only improvements that you will see in games, with an SSD, is faster load times.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($378.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($67.41 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($84.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $1070.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 11:48 EST-0500)

If you really don't want to SLI, you could even get an H77 chipset motherboard for even less.
January 22, 2013 4:18:33 PM

AMD Radeon said:
sorry to say, most ppl in this forum wont suggest u to go with x79 unless :
-pick 3930k
-SLI from the first time
-doing heavy video editing

Did some more googling and I know what you mean now. the 3930K is 6 core versus 4 cores on 3820, so it would make sense to get the 6-core CPU if I was going to get a X79 based board anyway.

From more research I conclude that going X79 really does appear to be overkill. I really do plan on using this box for gaming only--nothing else, and not even in SLI for the time being.

I'll get back to making a great Z77 build.

Since I live in Switzerland, the Newegg prices are only useful for ballpark price measures.

I set aside a max budget of $2,000 for this build, so I don't have to cut corners, exactly. I'd like to get what makes the most sense today, for a pure gaming build.
January 22, 2013 5:05:09 PM

cball1311 said:
This build will run any game at max settings for a good while to come. The X79 boards and 2011 CPUs are much overkill for gaming (if you are not doing a large amount of rendering/photoshop/video editing). As far as the RAM goes, 1600MHz is the sweet spot for performance. As frequency goes up so does the timings (unless you get ridiculously expensive sticks) and usually you only see performance gains in benchmarks. You won't see any improvement with the naked eye. 750W is a bit overkill for the build if you aren't going to be doing SLI. If you are thinking of going SLI in the future, get a 750W. You can get a better 750W PSU for less. (Like this high-end Rosewill for $129 after rebates :: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182273) Aftermarket CPU cooling is not needed if you are not going to overclock the CPU. With your original setup, you wouldn't be able to OC very much (if at all) with that CPU. All in all, you can save a lot of cash. Usually, with SSDs, you would go with it for your OS and some application while storing your other media on a traditional HDD. Since SSDs get ridiculously expensive, even at the 256GB range, you will have much more storage to go with an smaller SSD and larger HDD. The only improvements that you will see in games, with an SSD, is faster load times.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($378.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($67.41 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($84.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $1070.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 11:48 EST-0500)

If you really don't want to SLI, you could even get an H77 chipset motherboard for even less.


I took your suggestions and came up with a whole new, Z77 build. Any comments/suggestions on this?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($239.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($91.33 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($499.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1491.26
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 14:03 EST-0500)
January 22, 2013 5:47:19 PM

This went off the rails... I'll make a new thread about the updated Z77 system. Thanks for your contributions!
!