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Brand new Z77 build for just over $1,600--Your opinions

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January 22, 2013 5:55:06 PM

I just put this together based on research I did this week and another thread I made earlier this evening.

Considering I already have an Asus VE278Q monitor with a native resolution of 1920x1080, I think the GPU choice may be overkill. I'm pretty happy with the rest.

I decided in favor of the Samsung 840 Pro over the 256GB OCZ Vector equivalent because here in Switzerland, the former is about 30 bucks cheaper and the performance is about the same.

Any thoughts/comments?

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)
Case: Corsair 600T White Graphite ATX Mid Tower Case ($148.15 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1639.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 14:46 EST-0500)

More about : brand z77 build 600 opinions

January 22, 2013 6:01:34 PM

That all looks good but the Sabertooth is not worth purchasing. It's expensive and the thermal armor actually traps more heat than it is designed to prevent.

If this is a gaming rig then the i7 and 16GB of RAM isn't worth purchasing - you can drop that to the i5 and 8GB of RAM and save money there. What store are you buying from? Knowing that will help to suggest parts. If you don't know one check the link in my signature.
January 22, 2013 6:37:04 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That all looks good but the Sabertooth is not worth purchasing. It's expensive and the thermal armor actually traps more heat than it is designed to prevent.

If this is a gaming rig then the i7 and 16GB of RAM isn't worth purchasing - you can drop that to the i5 and 8GB of RAM and save money there. What store are you buying from? Knowing that will help to suggest parts. If you don't know one check the link in my signature.

Thanks a ton for your comment! It is indeed a pure gaming rig. I'm in Switzerland and use this for price comparison: http://www.toppreise.ch (you can set language to English in the top right).

Seriously? So I'd have no appreciable performance improvement with the i7 and 16GB of RAM?

The Z77 motherboard choice is one that bothered me. Despite reading a ton of shootouts and reviews, I found it hard to pick one. I don't even remember why I went with the Sabertooth in the end. I suppose I figured I couldn't go wrong with Asus. So, any suggestions for a solid alternative?

Thanks again!
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January 22, 2013 6:41:56 PM

Quote:
Seriously? So I'd have no appreciable performance improvement with the i7 and 16GB of RAM?


Games for the most part don't use more than 6GB of RAM - but 8GB is pretty much the default for dual channel systems any more. The i7 has extra threads which can actually sometimes hurt gaming performance.

Quote:
The Z77 motherboard choice is one that bothered me. Despite reading a ton of shootouts and reviews, I found it hard to pick one. I don't even remember why I went with the Sabertooth in the end. I suppose I figured I couldn't go wrong with Asus. So, any suggestions for a solid alternative?


I would go with this motherboard instead: http://www.toppreise.ch/prod_271701.html
January 22, 2013 7:25:45 PM

Alright, makes sense. Plus, I can always add more RAM later if I do need it.

Regarding the CPU, I believe I read on HardOCP that Far Cry 3 benefited from Hyperthreading in the i7. Which begs the question: will PC games released in 2013 also go that route? If so, it might be worth the extra 100 Francs for the i7. But this is pure conjecture on my part.

Also, do you think the HD 7970 is a solid choice? I based it on Tom Hardware's most recent graphics cards for the money article. I was playing with the idea of going with the Asus GTX670-DC2T-2GD5 instead. Not 100% sure here yet. Then there's also the Ghz variant of the HD 7970...

Ok, any particular reason for that motherboard choice? I have no complaints. Just wondering why that one.

Thanks!
January 22, 2013 8:02:23 PM

Quote:
Regarding the CPU, I believe I read on HardOCP that Far Cry 3 benefited from Hyperthreading in the i7. Which begs the question: will PC games released in 2013 also go that route? If so, it might be worth the extra 100 Francs for the i7. But this is pure conjecture on my part.


Far Cry and BF3 are two very rare examples of games that take advantage of hyper threading. The software is always behind the hardware and that's part of Moore's Law. For the most part games don't take advantage of hyper threading and won't for several years.

Quote:
Also, do you think the HD 7970 is a solid choice? I based it on Tom Hardware's most recent graphics cards for the money article. I was playing with the idea of going with the Asus GTX670-DC2T-2GD5 instead. Not 100% sure here yet. Then there's also the Ghz variant of the HD 7970...


You can't go wrong either way - I run dual 7870s and I can max out anything and everything. The GHz versions have higher VRAM clock speeds than the regular versions do.

Quote:
Ok, any particular reason for that motherboard choice? I have no complaints. Just wondering why that one.


You don't really need to pay tons of money for a motherboard since you'll be replacing it within two-three years if you want to keep up with the changes in hardware. I have the UD3H which is another variant of that board but pretty much anything Gigabyte makes is good.
January 22, 2013 9:15:04 PM

Ok, I get the much better price/performance aspect of the i5 over the i7. Good call.

Regarding the GPU, I'm still quite undecided. HD 7970, HD 7970 Ghz (worth the extra cash for the performance?) or the factory OC'd GTX 670 by Asus (or, well, some other manufacturer). I'm not sure this comparison even makes sense because the HD 7970 is a class above the GTX 670. Need to do more research here. I think the bottleneck is my monitor at this point. Might want to think about upgrading that as well. For the moment, though, I'll keep it since... well, why buy a new one for no good reason? I need to keep in mind that I might upgrade to a higher-res monitor within the next year or so. Should factor into this decision.

I must admit that makes sense. I'll need to take a good look at the feature-set to see if I'm missing anything, though I must admit I don't have any particularly special needs. I'd just like optimum performance for everything that's on the board. That's my main concern.

Thank you!
January 22, 2013 9:35:26 PM

automaticus said:
Ok, I get the much better price/performance aspect of the i5 over the i7. Good call.

Regarding the GPU, I'm still quite undecided. HD 7970, HD 7970 Ghz (worth the extra cash for the performance?) or the factory OC'd GTX 670 by Asus (or, well, some other manufacturer). I'm not sure this comparison even makes sense because the HD 7970 is a class above the GTX 670. Need to do more research here. !


Actually the 670 and 7970 are in the same class, the 7970 GHz and 680 are more comparable to each other. It's definitely worth the extra money if you ask me.

Quote:
I think the bottleneck is my monitor at this point. Might want to think about upgrading that as well. For the moment, though, I'll keep it since... well, why buy a new one for no good reason? I need to keep in mind that I might upgrade to a higher-res monitor within the next year or so. Should factor into this decision.


Monitor usually isn't a bottleneck. The biggest bottlenecks in any build is usually the primary hard drive, followed by the GPU and the CPU.
January 22, 2013 9:51:45 PM

I agree. If there's one component I don't want to cheap out on, it's the GPU. Now it's just a matter of deciding which one. Tom's recommendation for the month would be the 7970 in that class. The question remains... is it worth getting the Ghz edition?

My bad. Bottleneck was a poor choice of words there, you're right. I meant that 1920x1080 resolution, the 27" monitor I already have will not be as taxing on the hardware, pixel-count wise, as, say, a perhaps more contemporary resolution of 2560x1600. But if I get a high-end card now, I'm free to upgrade my monitor and still be able to expect great performance. Not so if I make the GPU choice based on my current monitor.

I agree with your bottleneck order. That's why I'm getting either an OCZ Vector or the Samsung Pro 840 SSD as my main drive. From my research I've found that those are reference performance in the SSD space at the moment. And we covered the CPU.
January 22, 2013 9:52:21 PM

whats ur max budget? and website ur ordering from
January 22, 2013 10:04:00 PM

iceclock said:
whats ur max budget? and website ur ordering from

I'm in Switzerland and use this for price comparison: http://www.toppreise.ch (you can set language to English in the top right).

My absolute max budget is 2,000, but I feel like I can get all I need for this build for around 1,500.
January 22, 2013 10:19:51 PM

so 1500 cfh?

January 22, 2013 10:31:45 PM

ASUS DRW-24B5ST, DVD±RW DL 18.35





WESTERN DIGITAL AV-GP WD10EURX, 1.0TB, Bulk 79.30






SANDISK Extreme SSD, 240GB (SDSSDX-240G-G25) 179.00


ANTEC Twelve Hundred V3 173.30





MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC, GeForce GTX 670, 2.0GB GDDR5, PCI-Express (V284-006R) 398.25



CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 (CWCH100) 98.95


ASROCK Fatal1ty Z77 Performance, Intel Z77 133.60





XFX Core Edition, 850 Watts (P1-850S-NLB9) 118.60





INTEL Core i5-3570K "Ivy Bridge", 4x 3.4GHz, Sockel 1155, Boxed (BX80637I53570K) 228.70





CRUCIAL Ballistix Sport BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00CEU 46.90


Total: 1439.65 cfh


January 22, 2013 10:59:13 PM

The above build is decent - that PSU is overkill and you don't really need an H100. This is what I would suggest:

Case: Corsair 500R - € 87.75
PSU: Corsair TX750 V2 - € 93.85
Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 - € 119.52
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - € 182.90
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - € 25.04
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Blue Series 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1866 MHz CL9 - € 53.97
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vector Series - € 121.20
HD: 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST 7200 RPM - € 75.21
Optical: Lite On Bulk DVD Burner - € 20.82
Video Card: Gigabyte Windforce 3X GTX 670 - € 300.96

Total: € 1.081.22
January 22, 2013 11:10:34 PM

its not overkill for sli 670s.

also u can overclock alot farther with water cooling :) 

also the mobo i chose is just as good as the xtreme 4.

the corsair u supplied isnt modular, and he whynot a full tower :) 

January 22, 2013 11:10:55 PM

Lots of great suggestions here!

I had some trouble with my connection and didn't see you'd made new posts here until now. Meanwhile, I was browsing via my phone's tethering and refining my own build. Here's what I came up with in the meantime:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($93.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($437.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Corsair 600T White Graphite ATX Mid Tower Case ($148.15 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1325.07
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-22 20:06 EST-0500)

Edit:
Even though we established I need no more than 8GB, RAM is cheap, so I decided to throw in a 2x8GB kit anyway.

We've got three different mobo suggestions here. Any notable differences between them?

Since at least ATM, I'm not going to OC, I'm leaving out an aftermarket CPU cooler. Also didn't grab a storage HDD because I can get that later, though I admit it might make sense to make it part of the build already.

Oh, also leaving out an optical drive because I simply have no use for it.
January 22, 2013 11:12:31 PM

looking good.

except the complete build i made u is more solid. and more ready for overclocking than this u chose.

but 240gigs whynot.

took evga for there extended warranty..

the rest is up to u tho.

January 22, 2013 11:27:46 PM

Can you elaborate why your part combination is more solid? And/or more ready for OC'ing? I'd really love to know the difference.
I suppose part of it is the 850W PSU and perhaps the mobo is geared more towards OC'ing?

I looked at tons of parts today and the 600T is extremely appealing to me. Lots of great reviews and love the exterior design.

I also found that absolutely nothing beats the Samsung 840 Pro, particularly at gaming performance.

Mobo is always debatable, so I'm curious what the differences are between the suggestions here now.

RAM is... whatever. Guess the differences are miniscule in real-world performance. Guess I just like Corsair.

And I picked the HX650 due to excellent reviews and no intent to OC anything ATM.
January 22, 2013 11:49:36 PM

A 7970 ghz isn't worth it. Get a 7970 and just put it to 1050/1500.
January 23, 2013 12:08:30 AM

ok i had the impression u needed to overclock.

and also the vertex max iops edition is quite good also.


ASUS DRW-24B5ST, DVD±RW DL 20.20




WESTERN DIGITAL AV-GP WD10EURX, 1.0TB, Bulk 79.30



SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series SSD, 256GB (MZ-7PD256BW)237.60


CORSAIR Graphite CC600TWM, Weiss 174.95



MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC, GeForce GTX 670, 2.0GB GDDR5, PCI-Express (V284-006R) 382.30


COOLERMASTER Hyper 212 Evo (RR-212E-16PK-R1) 34.35



ASUS P8Z77-V LK, Intel Z77 130.35


CORSAIR AX750, 750 Watt (CMPSU-750AX) 158.90



INTEL Core i5-3570K "Ivy Bridge", 4x 3.4GHz, Sockel 1155, Boxed (BX80637I53570K) 228.70




CRUCIAL Ballistix Sport BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00CEU (x2) 93.80

total price in swish francs:1538.60

!