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Two builds comparison - cpu and mobo differences. Case question also.

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February 9, 2014 1:37:23 AM

Hi all,

Through (far too much) time researching, i have come up with the two below builds with essentially a £25 difference. Just a bit of background - i'm not OC'ing and mainly will be for gaming. A couple of questions;

* Is the more expensive build worth the modest extra money?
* I have my heart set on a Zalman Z9 Plus but both builds are mentioning problems with;
"Gigabyte GA-H87-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard has an onboard USB 3.0 header, but the Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case does not have front panel USB 3.0 ports."
* Is this worth changing my case for or is there a different mobo out there for me? The Z9 does have 2x USB 2.0 on the front panel; will they not work?

Any help would be very much appreciated as i'm confused here :??: 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£154.79 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£70.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£64.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£65.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.43 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.12 @ CCL Computers)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.92 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£73.99 @ Dabs)
Total: £575.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-09 09:35 GMT+0000)

=OR=

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£134.39 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£67.81 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£64.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£65.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.43 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£47.12 @ CCL Computers)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£11.92 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£73.99 @ Dabs)
Total: £552.64
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-09 09:36 GMT+0000)
a b à CPUs
a c 82 V Motherboard
February 9, 2014 4:09:41 AM

A couple of points, first I do not see a GPU listed for either build, if you are depending on the CPU's integrated graphics you are going to be sorely disappointed. Second, in your 2nd build you have a Z77 motherboard listed and Z77's are only necessary if you plan on overclocking (will need a "k" series CPU) or running multiple graphics cards (GPUs) in SLI or CrossFire.

Concerning your questions:

1. Is the 1st build worth it? That is only a question that can be answered by you. The only differences between the two builds is essentially their CPUs and motherboards. The 1st build has a better CPU while the 2nd build has a better motherboard. Here are a couple of comparisons between the two CPUs:

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/428/Intel_Core_i5_i5-3...

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4670-vs-Intel-Cor...

the i5 4670 is marginally better and a newer i5 version

2. Not being able to use the USB 3.0 header coming from your motherboard is no big deal. What is more important is to find out if the motherboard has a USB 2.0 header that will allow your case front panel cable to connect to. You may need to find an adapter in order to use the case front ports if the motherboard does not have the appropriate header.

3. Only you can answer the question of whether it's worth changing cases. I understand liking the looks/aesthetics of a case, but what really matters is does the case accommodate the hardware you have selected and have the features you are looking for. Looks and style should be one of the last considerations.
February 9, 2014 12:18:14 PM

Thanks Animal

Maybe i should have been clearer in my post. I haven't put a GPU in either as i already have one that i'm putting in from another machine.

In terms of point 2; the gigabyte website says "USB: Up to 6 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)" and "Internal I/O Connectors: 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers"

Does that mean i can use the front panel USB slots and part picker might not be correct?

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

Also, re the second build, i assumed i needed a '77' type board and as i didn't want a micro ATX board, the Z's seemed better value than the H's.

Basically, paying the extra £25 or so for the 'better' CPU doesn't bother me, i just have no idea what sort of mobo i need and can put in the Zalman case.

Any suggestions?
a b à CPUs
a c 82 V Motherboard
February 9, 2014 1:05:04 PM

Regarding your USB question(s): The Zalman Z9 Plus has 4 USB 2.0 ports on the front. These have two separate cables coming from the front panel labeled "USB". Instead of connecting to the USB 3.0 header on the motherboard, they will connect to two of the USB headers located at the bottom of the motherboard (there are three total on the bottom edge). This will give you four USB ports available at the front panel. Then you will have an additional 6 USB ports at the back of the motherboard at the I/O panel. Giving you a total of 6 USB 2.0 ports and four USB3.0/2.0 ports. Therefore you will effectively have 10 USB 2.0 ports available (4 at the front panel and six at the back).

The Z9 Plus will accept either a micro ATX or ATX motherboard. Since you won't be overclocking and unless you will be doing a multi-GPU set-up (SLI/Crossfire) then either a "B" or "H" series motherboard would probably fit your needs. Once you decide on which CPU you will be using, I can suggest a few motherboards for you to look over.
!