1. #1

    Need some help picking parts, particularly the motherboard

    A friend and I are going to be building a new computer in the next month. We have not yet picked out all the parts we needed, but we noticed that the i5-3570k, which we knew we wanted to use, was for a good price at Microcenter and so we went to pick one up today before I leave town for about a month for the holidays. When we were there, the sales associate told us that buying the motherboard with the processor gives you a $40 discount, and that if I return the processor within the 15 day return period I can just repurchase it with the motherboard at said discount. As my friend's not leaving for the holidays, she offered to do the exchange for me, assuming that I figure out precisely which motherboard I need, so here I am.

    Budget: In theory, I don't have a strict budget. I'd rather spend less than $1000 (not including peripherals), and preferably even lower than that if possible. I was thinking that the 790 build from here (http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-Sample-Builds) would probably be sufficient for my needs, but since Marest's descriptions of what the 790 and 870 builds, for example, are capable of are very similar I'm not quite sure which one, if either, is the best choice.

    MoBo: ASRock Z77 Pro3 – $94.99
    CPU: Intel i5 3570k – $229.99
    RAM: G.Skill 1600MHz 2x4GB – $33.99
    GPU: XFX Radeon 7870 – $229.99
    HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB – $69.99
    PSU: XFX ProSeries 450W – $62.99 Review
    Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi – $69.99

    Resolution: I hadn't really thought the monitor through yet, probably 1920x1080 I suppose.

    Games / Settings Desired: Nothing super intensive. LoL, maybe some of the current MMOs, Starcraft 2, some old games, etc. If at all possible I'd like to be able to play some of the latest games at at least medium to high settings, but I'm not expecting to play Crysis 3 on maximum or anything like that. Let me know if you need a more specific list of the gaming I do.

    Any other intensive software or special things you do (Frequent video encoding, 3D modeling, etc): No. Except for gaming and the usual (browsing, word processing, movies, etc.) the only other software I use frequently is SPSS for my research.

    Country: USA

    Parts that can be reused: The i5-3570k I mentioned earlier

    Do you need an OS?: Yes.

    Do you need peripherals (e.g. monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc)?: Yes, but I'm not overly attached to picking them out right now unless someone knows a particularly good set for a decent price.

    As I said, the motherboard would be the most pressing issue at the moment. Is a computer like the 790 build going to be sufficient? Is there any value to adding in an SSD?

  2. #2
    Here's what I'd go for:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.24 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
    Other: Arc Midi (sold out on Newegg so not listed on PCP) ($70.00)
    Total: $778.18
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-11 07:25 EST-0500)

    - Added CPU cooler
    - Bumped up your Mobo (I would select the ASRock Extreme4, ASUS P8Z77-V series - LK or higher, or Gigabyte UD3H)
    - Bumped up the HDD to 1TB for $0
    - Bumped your GPU up to 1100 Mhz Gigabyte (higher ranked manufacturer) for $3 (XFX was at 1000Mhz)
    - Went with the 550W instead of 450W

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by yurano View Post
    Here's what I'd go for:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Xigmatek GAIA SD1283 56.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.24 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($229.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
    Other: Arc Midi (sold out on Newegg so not listed on PCP) ($70.00)
    Total: $778.18
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-11 07:25 EST-0500)

    - Added CPU cooler
    - Bumped up your Mobo (I would select the ASRock Extreme4, ASUS P8Z77-V series - LK or higher, or Gigabyte UD3H)
    - Bumped up the HDD to 1TB for $0
    - Bumped your GPU up to 1100 Mhz Gigabyte (higher ranked manufacturer) for $3 (XFX was at 1000Mhz)
    - Went with the 550W instead of 450W
    Add a SSD and you have a kick ass rig!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ArCdprdUMU
    Last edited by googz; 2012-12-11 at 01:21 PM.
    WoW - Windrunner: Snozzberries, Googs, Boryndon, Corndizzle, Kaylin, Georgejetson, Lentis, Knerd, Durlen, Marlevon


  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate it. The build looks good. I do have a few more questions if you don't mind though:

    Firstly, regarding the cpu cooler. It's not a big deal since the cooler is so cheap, but is it really necessary if I don't anticipate overclocking the i5? I only ask because a friend of mine built a computer using the i5 a while back and mentioned to me that it runs very cool when he doesn't have it overclocked.

    Regarding the hard drive, what's the difference between the Blue and the Black from Western Digital. I compared them on Newegg and the only differences I saw were the price, warranty length, and WD's claim that the Black is for power computer rather than daily use. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something important.

    In term of the GPU, would there be a significant advantage to upgrading to a better one, or would I start to reach the point of diminishing returns for what I intend to do?

    Lastly, with SSDs, correct me if I'm wrong but the SSD will improve things like boot times and loading screens but wont directly affect something like game performance, correct? I think my one concern is that most SSDs that aren't too expensive seem pretty small, and I wonder if it's worth the extra price just to improve only some of my programs.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rentatsu View Post
    Regarding the hard drive, what's the difference between the Blue and the Black from Western Digital. I compared them on Newegg and the only differences I saw were the price, warranty length, and WD's claim that the Black is for power computer rather than daily use. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something important.
    The blacks are a bit faster than the blues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rentatsu View Post
    Lastly, with SSDs, correct me if I'm wrong but the SSD will improve things like boot times and loading screens but wont directly affect something like game performance, correct? I think my one concern is that most SSDs that aren't too expensive seem pretty small, and I wonder if it's worth the extra price just to improve only some of my programs.
    That is true, they won't affect actual framerates but an SSD makes your whole system feel more responsive as well. It's up to you if you feel it's worth it or not.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rentatsu View Post
    Firstly, regarding the cpu cooler. It's not a big deal since the cooler is so cheap, but is it really necessary if I don't anticipate overclocking the i5?

    In term of the GPU, would there be a significant advantage to upgrading to a better one, or would I start to reach the point of diminishing returns for what I intend to do?
    If you're not overclocking then an aftermarket cooler isn't necessary. However, if you're not going to OC, you don't need a 3570K + Z77 mobo either (save about $40 for non OC). If you're not going to OC now, but will in the future, you can always buy the cooler later.

    Beyond the 7870/660 is where you start getting into the realm of high DR.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rentatsu View Post
    Lastly, with SSDs, correct me if I'm wrong but the SSD will improve things like boot times and loading screens but wont directly affect something like game performance, correct? I think my one concern is that most SSDs that aren't too expensive seem pretty small, and I wonder if it's worth the extra price just to improve only some of my programs.
    Every single one of my friends that have used my computer have moved to SSD's. Like mentioned before, it's totally up to you, but 9.8/10 people will recomend that you go with a SSD.
    WoW - Windrunner: Snozzberries, Googs, Boryndon, Corndizzle, Kaylin, Georgejetson, Lentis, Knerd, Durlen, Marlevon


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