First Time New Build - Mother Board/ General Advice

Hi I'm going to do my first homebuild for a mid range gaming rig and have really little to no experience on it. I'm looking at roughly a £600-£700 budget ($1000).

This isn't set in stone obviously but I've looked at:

i7 3770K 3.5Ghz Quad (£280) (I'm looking at going cheaper actually, 280 is a bit steep)
geForce GTX 660 SC 2Gb (£145)
16GB RAM, Corsair Vengence (£50)
500GB Hard Drive (£30-£50) - Not sure on the best manufacturer
Corsair Enthusiast 650W Power Supply (£60)
A cheap £30 case.

I'm still not sure what optical drive or wifi card to go for. And the big one I'm missing is a cheapish motherboard that will fit all of that in?

As you can see I'm already at my budget with components missing, not to mention Windows 7 and a monitor/keyboard etc.

So can any of you help with suggestions to refine my setup, maybe a little cheaper but still mid range.

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  1. Drop to an i5 3570k because there is no benefit of an i7 over an i5 for gaming.

    Get a better GPU. Look at a 7870/7950

    Get an SSD.

    Get 8gb RAM. No games uses more than 4gb so 16 is useless unless you are doing heavy video editing.

    Get this motherboard:
  2. Thanks tiny voices.

    I am looking into an i5, I'll probably end up going for the 3570. And I'll take a look at those GPUs.

    I was thinking about an SSD, but thought against it based on price. Is the price really worth the speed boost?

    In terms of RAM, as it is so cheap, I thought I'd go for 16 straight off, but maybe 8 and then another 8 if I want it at a later date.

    Thanks for the Motherboard link, is there much difference between that AS Rock one and the Gigabyte Z77-D3H? Which is the better manufacturer?

  3. I prefer ASRock but they are both perfectly fine boards. You can get 16gb but every few dollars shaved off (RAM,case,CPU,etc.) can be added to the GPU which is the main deciding factor of gaming performance.
  4. Okay thanks for the help I'm now thinking:

    i5 3570K
    AMD Radeon HD 7970 (push the boat out on the GPU)
    Corsair 8GB RAM (I can add more later if I really need it)
    Gigabyte Z77 D3H Motherboard
    Cheap Case

    Then it's just the optical drive, wifi, windows and keyboard etc. I can get under £700 with a good GPU then.

    I'm open to more suggestions guys.
  5. Looks good to me. This is an amazing case which is very reasonably priced:
  6. Diver,

    Some thoughts:

    1. i5 3570k. The k designates an intel chip capable of overclocking - but you don't have to overclock. I like the option myself.

    2. At your price range an SSD would be nice, but not essential. I'm not familiar with UK prices, but $100 will get you a good SSD in the states. I would not go below 120 GB and I'd purchase either Intel 330, Samsung 830 / 840, or Crucial M4 if you decide to get one.

    3. One idea (that I used). Recycle your current HDD (chances are it's 320 or 500 GB) for your storage needs, and buy an SSD for your OS and 2 or 3 games.

    4. If your primary concern is gaming - I would consider skipping the SSD and buy the best GPU I could get.

    GL !!
  7. I would agree with all of tiny voices' suggestions except for the Coolermaster case; your personal philosophy may differ from mine, but I cannot support a company guilty of willful consumer fraud. If you cannot get Rosewill, which offers many good inexpensive cases, check out Antec; theirs are also solid and decent.
  8. I will get the 3570k sorry I just missed it off the end. Doubt I'll overclock anyway but it's always handy to have.

    SSDs tend to be a bit more in the UK, maybe $130 for a 120GB, my friend recently built too and he said virtually the same thing, they're not necessary but they are useful to have if you have the cash. I'm tempted to invest in the GPU though.

    Of course being a desktop I can add to and change it later on if I want, so I might end up adding an SSD.

    Cheers Odie
  9. I would say to just spend the money on the GPU being that the main use of this will be gaming.
  10. Almost forgot,

    -I have two ASRock boards and I love them - great BIOS and functionality
    -I have two Coolermaster Cases. HAF 912 (very large) and a smaller one (can't recall the model). Don't know anything about the company but my two products are fine
    -Finally, I would recommend the Coolermaster 212 Evo CPU cooler. Again, this is not required (unless overclocking) but I installed it while I was building just to be done with it. It's SILENT (stock cooler can be loud) and very efficient for a moderate overclock.

    Best of luck and Cheers!

    Let us know how it turns out.
  11. Thanks for all the help guys I really appreciate it. I have heard that ASRock BIOS is the best out there and I'll definitely check out all of those cases.

    Hope to have her up and running within a few weeks.
  12. For anyone interested, I've decided to switch back to nVidia over AMD graphics.

    Going for the Gigabyte GTX 670 2GB - It's cheaper than the 680 and reviews say the performance drop is minimal and barely noticeable. Runs very quietly and will save the pennies instead of going for 680/7970.
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