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First Gaming Rig Build - Advice on current system

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February 9, 2013 8:35:26 PM

So I have been wandering the forum for about the past 2 months looking at review and part comparisions for my future FIRST build and I have come up with a reasonable build I am happywith. I am just looking for some general opinions :D 

The Plan:

Price range: NZD$ 1800-2200 which as about 1500-1700 USD

Build Date: Start purchasing parts about the beginning of march

Current Build:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ct9Y

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Pretty set on this CPU

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 OR MSI Z77A -GD65
Cant really decide but they are both similar

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Any suggestions here would be great, looking at 16 (2 x *GB) set up and Ripjaw series has pretty good reviews

Storage: Intel 330 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Looking for suggestions for a mechanical drive also

GPU: MSI N670 PE 2GD5/OC (GTX670 power Edition) OR MSI GTX 680 Lightning
Im stuck here.... But mainly leaning towards the 670 as it is 140 USD cheaper AND I would have to import the lightning into New Zealand from the US (I assume PC parts are universal country wise??)

Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White)
Love this case, Pretty set on it :D 

PSU: SeaSonic M12II 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
NEED HELP lol I just saw this PSU with good recommendations...

Overall Price: 1390 USD

Still looking around for a CPU heatsink. I am open to any suggestions and I still have a little more room budget wise :D 
Cant wait to get this project under way.

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February 9, 2013 8:55:53 PM
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Quite a good start.
Here are my thoughts:

1. No need for an expensive enthusiast motherboard. And... how many expansion slots do you really need? For most of us, it is just one for the graphics card.
Look at a M-ATX sized motherboard, they are cheaper. Really, most any Z77 based motherboard will do the job.

2. Ram is cheap, and I can't disagree with 16gb. But, no game I know of can use more than 2-3gb, so 8gb is sufficient.
And... Do not pay a premium for faster ram, the difference in fps or app performance is in the 1% range. Do not buy ram with fancy heat spreaders. They are mostly marketing. 1.5 ram does not need any at all. And.. tall spreaders can impact many cpu coolers. DDR3 1600 is fine. Read this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

3. Love the ssd. Intel 335, samsung 840 are equally good.

4. If budget is not an issue, go ahead and buy the GTX680. But, really, for a single monitor, the GTX670 is very close and may not be worth the price premium.
Personally, I prefer the cards that use a stock double slot direct exhaust cooler. They get heat directly out of the case. Other types such as the msi do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu die, but they then dump the heat back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. Here is an EVGA example of what I mean:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. The seasonic psu is very good, and the appropriate size.

6. Most any tower type cooler with a slow turning fan will do the job. Look for Xigmatek or cm hyper212. They are effective quiet and cheap.
If you want the best for 3x the price, look at Noctua NH-D14 or Phanteks.
February 9, 2013 9:06:39 PM

Awesome reply geofelt. Just a few queries.

I went with a mid range full ATX motherboard as I may plan to overclock in the near future. How about the Asrock Z77 extreme 4 instead?? I know it is only a slight drop. Can you give any examples of good boards. Do I need anexpansion slot for wifi card??

As for ram, its cheap so i figured 16 GB is pretty handy and its not costing me anything really?? Gskills Ripjaw X series I am assuming you agree with the brand :D 

What is the performance difference between the Msi 670 and the EVGA 670. One big question I have is that can I import parts from US to New Zealand with no worries with compatibility??


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February 9, 2013 9:28:22 PM

ShadowProject said:
Awesome reply geofelt. Just a few queries.

I went with a mid range full ATX motherboard as I may plan to overclock in the near future. How about the Asrock Z77 extreme 4 instead?? I know it is only a slight drop. Can you give any examples of good boards. Do I need anexpansion slot for wifi card??

As for ram, its cheap so i figured 16 GB is pretty handy and its not costing me anything really?? Gskills Ripjaw X series I am assuming you agree with the brand :D 

What is the performance difference between the Msi 670 and the EVGA 670. One big question I have is that can I import parts from US to New Zealand with no worries with compatibility??


The asrock extreme 4 is the only z77 board peolpe should buy unless they are going more than 2way sli/crossfire. Or MSI's alternative g45 for 109. Both are fine, but I prefer msi boards/video cards over anything. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that motherboard is what i'd get. There won't be any difference between those 2 670s once you equalize their memory/clock speeds through afterburner. MSI will stay cooler and look sharper with a better ability to overclock. Needless to say I prefer those qualities over standard evga xD.
February 9, 2013 10:33:48 PM

ShadowProject said:
Awesome reply geofelt. Just a few queries.

I went with a mid range full ATX motherboard as I may plan to overclock in the near future. How about the Asrock Z77 extreme 4 instead?? I know it is only a slight drop. Can you give any examples of good boards. Do I need anexpansion slot for wifi card??

As for ram, its cheap so i figured 16 GB is pretty handy and its not costing me anything really?? Gskills Ripjaw X series I am assuming you agree with the brand :D 

What is the performance difference between the Msi 670 and the EVGA 670. One big question I have is that can I import parts from US to New Zealand with no worries with compatibility??


Any Z77 based motherboard will overclock decently. It is the high priced enthusiast motherboards that have the controls for competitive overclockers to get the last .1 out of the process. For most of us, just raising the multiplier without fiddling with voltages will get you to 4.3 or thereabouts. That is plenty.

Yes, you need a slot for a wifi card. If it is a pci-e card, any pci-e slot will do; that is probably the best.
If it is a pci card, you will need a pci slot. Most of the time a graphics card will be dual slot that covers up the adjacent expansion slot.

I like Asrock. You would have no problem with any of them. For example, this M-atx http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or this full atx http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Nothing wrong with any of the other brands either. They are all built around the same Z77 intel chip.

I like G.skil; I think they have good support.
I might prefer the ares series like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The ripjaws X has higher heat spreaders which I don't much like, depending on the cpu cooler dimensions.

The msi gtx670 has a boost clock of 1079, the evga has a boost clock of 1084. They are exactly the same in performance.

The only possible issue I can think of from importing is possibly the psu. If your input is 220v, not 115v, make certain that your psu has the ability to take your input voltage. Most good ones do.
February 9, 2013 10:51:59 PM

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 is the most popular board chosen by folks for their builds for it's great performance, OCing capabilities & price it got many approved awards from many reviewers.

Unlike gefolt sayings, Latest tom's article exploring ram speed and timings, they recommended bying the fastest ram that one can afford or at least make sure that you're gonna OC it to the top speed as some games benefit from the lower latencies and high speed, but this still doesn't reflect that 95% of the games don't get any gain from the higher speed so 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz will almost perform the same.

Samsung has the most reliable SSDs ever, the 830 and 840 pro series are the fastest and most reliable SSDs out there, you're gonna feel that over time when using and putting too much work on it. I only loved Intel 520 Series.

MSI, EVGA, ASUS, Gigabyte and others are all best manufacturer's and it depends on your preference, I personally love the Gigabyte's Windforce 3X GTX 670 and it was approved by tom's too. the only disadvantage of EVGA products that most of them are reference design cards, little noisy and hotter than non reference designed cards. MSI is great too.

Everything else seems to be in place just add a nice CPU cooler, Hyper 212 EVO is the way to go it's a great value & performer.
February 10, 2013 12:14:01 AM

Wow, thanks for the wealth of information guys :D  So here is my new build with your input :D 

New Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CwmV

I am going to look around to see what price I can try get the MSI Lightning at. Thanks for the tip about the PSU voltage intake. Might just buy one locally. With the PSU at the right supply voltage, everything else with just depend on the PSU output, correct? which I assume would be the same for everything.

Thanks again for the help :D 
February 10, 2013 12:14:50 AM

Best answer selected by ShadowProject.
February 10, 2013 12:22:04 AM

Hey Ilysmal does your Corsair Vengeance ram have the tall heat spreaders? cause I want to get the Hyper 212+ cooler for myself but didn't think it would fit with the tall ram?
February 10, 2013 11:50:49 AM

I installed it in the first two banks, I have the first two banks as Dual Chanel, if you're gonna install it in the first and third banks it will fit, if you fill all the banks with the vengeance, 1 Module won't fit.
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