Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

I don't think so.

After talking it over, realizing that a 3570 would basically revitalize her system for another 18-24 months, she can live with it. She'll need a GPU upgrade sometime in that 2 years, but everything else should last.

Shaving $40 by getting the ASRock puts it at about $350 total.
Since Amazon is the same price as Newegg, and we have Prime for free shipping and cheap 1-day, I think $360 would get it here tomorrow.

Any big issues with the ASRock Tempest linked above?

Thanks!

Edit: Also, what's the "never gonna OC" version of the Gigabyte board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc... ?

S0LIDARITY wrote:

It seems that micro-ATX boards are just cheaper right now, regardless of features. I would think that bigger boards have more demand.

Micro are the tiny boards and usually have way fewer ports, slots, and additional features so it makes sense that they are cheaper than Mid-ATX and especially Full ATX.

Rykin wrote:
S0LIDARITY wrote:

It seems that micro-ATX boards are just cheaper right now, regardless of features. I would think that bigger boards have more demand.

Micro are the tiny boards and usually have way fewer ports, slots, and additional features so it makes sense that they are cheaper than Mid-ATX and especially Full ATX.

I understand that, I just lament that I have a large mid-ATX case and the boards that fall in my ideal budget would all fit in a toaster.

I don't think my eyes or hands are up to microATX.

Edit: Unless someone comes up with a good gigabyte board considerably less than 185, I think we'll go with the 3570k from amazon and the ASRock z77 Pro for 109 (and a $10 MIR) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007MHC6K6/... for a total of $325ish.

Amazon is really flexible about returns, and I can get them here tomorrow for $8.

From what I read that Mobo comes with no mounting hardware only comes with board/manual/disk, and 2 Sata cables.

Would the extreme also be missing hardware? Do I need the hardware?

duckilama wrote:

Would the extreme also be missing hardware? Do I need the hardware?

You can probably reuse the screws from your last mobo, and you might have some more lying around?

Ok, current crisis managed.
Ordered the ASRock z77 Extreme4 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...
and the Core i5 3570 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

Had a 10% promo code in email which basically covered taxes and overnight shipping.
I wasn't really happy with reviews on the z77 Pro4 or any ASUS board I could find around 130-150. Once I got good reviews at 190, I might as well go with the Gigabyte.
So I stuck with the ASRock Extreme4. Good (enough) reviews, good price.

Thanks for the help guys.
Hopefully everything's kosher once I replace those 2 things.

Would that promo code work for me as well?

TempestBlayze wrote:

Would that promo code work for me as well?

I don't think so. It was worded like it was a targetted code for me.

Well my CPU temps are hitting 97C under load. When I was dusting the inside of my case today I noticed that there is some vertical play in the stock fan. So it looks like I'm now in the market for a new CPU cooler. I'd like a solid cooler don't want to spend to much money. Any recommendations?

WizKid wrote:

Well my CPU temps are hitting 97C under load. When I was dusting the inside of my case today I noticed that there is some vertical play in the stock fan. So it looks like I'm now in the market for a new CPU cooler. I'd like a solid cooler don't want to spend to much money. Any recommendations?

What cpu socket do you have?

I keep bounching back and forth on CPU coolers and I am going with what TheGameguru suggested and get the True Spirit 120. I am kind of surprised NewEgg isn't selling it. I wonder why...

tundra wrote:

Do you have a microcenter in your area? If so, they have a bundle package which is really good. You can get the 3570k and an Asrock Pro4 (since you are not going to overclock) for 169.99 + 59.99= 230 + tax.

I do, and had a look at this deal. After all this discussion decided to use the advice to upgrade my MB and CPU. I'm not a fiddler ( feel like I re-learn just enough of this stuff to pick it, install it, and then forget everything I learned by the end of the next cycle], so would just like solid components that are compatible, and would keep me gaming at reasonable rates for another 3 years or so.

If I got this CPU/MB, what 16GB RAM should I shoot for (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fXrk ]? And what slightly-higher-than-midrange graphics card would folks recommend? Keeping it at around $300-350?

If I had waited 1 day. 1 day.

Newegg.com promo - select motherboards come with free 8g (2x4g) ram.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Looks like the RAM's not generic crap, either. GSkill Sniper DDR3-1600.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Here's the link to the ASRock Extreme4 you were looking at Tempest. When added to cart, the RAM automagically shows up in the cart as $38, with a $38 credit for it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Another newegg deal today - $15 off the 3570 (NOT K) with Promo Code EMCJHJJ58 - if you're never going to OC, and need a CPU right now.

Gumbie wrote:
WizKid wrote:

Well my CPU temps are hitting 97C under load. When I was dusting the inside of my case today I noticed that there is some vertical play in the stock fan. So it looks like I'm now in the market for a new CPU cooler. I'd like a solid cooler don't want to spend to much money. Any recommendations?

What cpu socket do you have?

I have an i5 2500k, so I think that's the 1155, and yes I would like the option to overclock down the road.

Bah I just bought my 16GB RAM for $56 yesterday but thanks for the heads up.

I was waiting for a week for the RAM I bought to go on sale and it did yesterday along with a 10% off desktop memory code. This could have saved me $56 but at least I have 16gb of RAM.

Jakobedlam wrote:
tundra wrote:

Do you have a microcenter in your area? If so, they have a bundle package which is really good. You can get the 3570k and an Asrock Pro4 (since you are not going to overclock) for 169.99 + 59.99= 230 + tax.

I do, and had a look at this deal. After all this discussion decided to use the advice to upgrade my MB and CPU. I'm not a fiddler ( feel like I re-learn just enough of this stuff to pick it, install it, and then forget everything I learned by the end of the next cycle], so would just like solid components that are compatible, and would keep me gaming at reasonable rates for another 3 years or so.

If I got this CPU/MB, what 16GB RAM should I shoot for (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fXrk ]? And what slightly-higher-than-midrange graphics card would folks recommend? Keeping it at around $300-350?

Everyone has their idea on graphics cards and the card is usually where you can focus money and it be well spent for gaming. That being said, the mid range one I'd suggest after ample research is the radeon 7850. Get the 1 gb version to save you a few bucks. That card is going to be in the $160-180 range. Good price vs. performance level for those of us not willing to drop a double that for a high end card.

CPU and mobo got here about 3 today. I've been playing assistant to DuckiDeva while she rebuilt her machine. She's reconnecting externals now. Keep fingers crossed for her.

P.S. I love Amazon and Prime. Best $70 we spend every year.

Interesting bit on the 660Ti versus the 7950:

Does the Radeon HD 7950 stumble in Windows 8?

Overall upshot: the 7950, in theory, should be a fair bit stronger than the 660Ti. On paper, it has more compute power. But in actual practice, it's pretty close to the 660Ti on most normal benchmarks, and Tech Report here is finding that either the hardware or the drivers have quite noticeable latency issues. Measured in terms of frames per second, it's a little faster than the 660Ti, but it shows fairly frequent hitches, where an oddball frame throws a wrench into the gears. The overall gaming experience tends to be smoother on an NVidia chip -- very slightly slower, but much more predictable.

So, if you measure the normal way, you're getting a little faster card for a little more money. But if you measure in terms of the time it takes to generate frames, the 7950 has a much larger variance, and at least at present, offers a choppier experience.

Because of the paper specs, they were expecting kind of a blowout in favor of the 7950, but were surprised to find that they preferred the 660Ti.

AMD claims to be looking at the results, and further driver updates may improve matters.

Oh, and as it turns out, Win8 isn't the issue. Win7 is just a hair worse for AMD.

Microstuttering on AMD cards have been discussed for quite awhile, at least back to the 6000 series cards. I can't remember if it was HardOCP, Anandtech, or somewhere else where I first remember reading about it.

MannishBoy wrote:

Microstuttering on AMD cards have been discussed for quite awhile, at least back to the 6000 series cards. I can't remember if it was HardOCP, Anandtech, or somewhere else where I first remember reading about it.

Thats not microstutter.. what that article is simply talking about is that there are more "severe" dips in framerate on the AMD card vs the Nvidia Card.. i.e. moments when the frames are rendered at a sub 20fps rate..

Microstutter is a "unique" effect in SLI/Crossfire. Both camps have it.. but the feeling is that Nvidia in the 6 series worked some "magic voodoo" which has all but eliminated it. Granted its largely still very much a subjective "feel" but I trust [H] more than anyone and they claim its far better on the Nvidia side than the AMD. I tend to not notice it at all..ever.. but then again I'm usually just tackling trying to stay above 60fps on 3 30"'s

I never noticed microstutter until someone pointed it out to me and I actively looked for it. That was back when I had 460's. It was there on the 6950's as well.

I'd agree that Nvidia seems to have largely eliminated it, at least based on my experiences so far with my 670's.

That said, even when it was there I was never really bothered by it. I had to actually look for it instead of paying real attention to whatever game I was playing.

Anyone have a link to a good overclocking guide for an i5-3570k? Also, any opinions on MSI's OC Genie?

Are we still recommending the bargain basement G series (g630, g850) intel CPUs? Because they are capable performers, are sandy bridge and they cost $150 less than the 3570k?

Thin_J wrote:

I never noticed microstutter until someone pointed it out to me and I actively looked for it. That was back when I had 460's. It was there on the 6950's as well.

I'd agree that Nvidia seems to have largely eliminated it, at least based on my experiences so far with my 670's.

That said, even when it was there I was never really bothered by it. I had to actually look for it instead of paying real attention to whatever game I was playing.

I havent actively "gamed" enough on my 680's to really get used to them.. since they just don't have the raw horsepower my 7970's do.. but on the single 30" that that system is connected to I do notice the difference in playing between the two systems.. I think to really get a feel on how different they are I would have to setup my 7970 system to just a single 30". 3 30" in portrait forming almost a 50" screen about 18" from my face makes a very different gaming experience and thus difficult to gauge things like microstutter

Follow-up:
The ASRock Extreme4 Z77 will not accept non-matching RAM. Not just non-matching in the paired slots. All 4 slots have to have matching/identical sticks. We put in 2x4g GSkill and 2x2 something else(Corsair?), with different timings. Some motherboards don't care, and will just run at the slowest speeds/timings. Heck, her previous board did. Not this board. Wouldn't even POST. Take out the 2x2G and we're good to go. Just, you know, FYI.

Also, the header(?) for the 2 smaller 4-pin(I think) Power cables to the motherboard - NOT the big 20(?)-pin power cord is waaaaaaay at the edge of the board. If you have a bottom-mount PSU, it might be a tight fit. My fingers wouldn't get the right angle, she had to do it, IIRC.

Oh, it's a small board. Yes, it's ATX, but it's not a full-size ATX. It misses the standoffs toward the front of the case by about 1/3 of the distance from the middle ones. Again, just FYI.

What else... oh, ALL the SATA ports are parallel to the board surface - turned 90 degrees from what most ports/headers are. If space is an issue, it can be tricky getting the right angle(no pun!) to connect.

One more thing. A minor nitpick, but for the over-30 crowd, possibly an issue. Or those with low-light gaming spaces. The PCB is black. Most of the headers, detailing, highlights, etc, are a deep, dark, muddy brown. Like the old 30GB Zunes. Bring a flashlight.

Oh, one more more thing - no firewire/IEEE1394 header. Not that I can find, either on the board or in the manual. In case you have front-panel firewire ports you want to use. No place to plug them in.

Side note - UEFI is weird. The mobo support page and download page docs don't reflect the UEFI BIOS, still detailing updating BIOS for pre-UEFI.

OH yeah... - The board as delivered caused BSOD in Win7-64 when connecting USB devices other than the mouse. The BIOS update fixed this, even though UEFI BIOS had no option to "Load Defaults" per the documentation.

In conclusion - not a bad board, especially for the price, though I prefer the more garish colors on my Gigabyte boards, because they make it easier on my recently-another-year-older eyes, to find the shapes of the headers/ports I'm looking for. Dark-brown on black on off-black probably looks great if you run a lot of neon lights in an open/window-panel case.

Verdict - worth $120, but I'll be returning to Gigabyte for *my* next upgrade.

Thanks for the info. You're almost making me second guess. Most of the stuff I already knew like the SATA ports but I thought the board would be a regular sized ATX.

How was updating the BIOS? Did you do it through the network+UEFI or you needed a flash drive?

I liked my Extreme4 P67 Asrock. I had no issues at all. Size seemed fine, as everything is there that needs to be. Not sure why it makes a difference if it's bigger if it still has the number of slots of a bigger ATX board.

I didn't try two disparate sets of DIMMs, though. Also I haven't had a firewire equipped board in the last three or four I've bought, so that's not unusual.

TempestBlayze wrote:

Thanks for the info. You're almost making me second guess. Most of the stuff I already knew like the SATA ports but I thought the board would be a regular sized ATX.

How was updating the BIOS? Did you do it through the network+UEFI or you needed a flash drive?

I think you can even do it now from within Windows. Obviously if you can't boot, you could do it from USB as well.