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Windows 7: New Intel build advice

28 Jan 2013   #1

Win7 64
New Intel build advice

Ok I have plans on building a new Intel system in the next few months and since I have been out of the loop on what is what as far as chipsets and sockets I have a few questions.

I orginally thought the Z68 platform was where I wanted to be then I figured I better go with the Z77 platform for a little future proofing then looking around I see the X79 chipset so I am needing some advice.

My current system is listed in my profile and when I built it 5 years and I have had some otherboard problems which seems to be only a dead PCIe slot at this time so I cannot run my SLI setup. I am looking to just upgrade core components at this time (mb, cpu, and ram) to eliminate the motherboard problem and will upgrade other components later.

I originally wanted to go with an EVGA motherboard but reading about too many issues with their boards since the Z68 lineup so I will be looking at ASUS boards. Should I go with the 2011 socket? I am looking at a quad core cpu maybe the i7 3770k and this could be upgraded later so definately want an upgrade path for maybe a 6 core cpu and I like the higher bus lanes on the 2011 socket compared to the 1155. After some further looking around I believe I will go with a 1155 socket!

Cost is a factor but I am open to any suggestions because I do want a rock solid performer that can be overclocked mildly and I do want to have the PCIe 3.0 slots for future video card upgrades. I know the K series cpu's are the ones to get but I am also seeing a 3770s version of this cpu which just looks to operate at a lower wattage and since I have not been keeping up with this tech lately I don't know what is newest and what has been improved upon.

As far as overclocking...I haven't messed with it much since mine does not oc very well but I want the option to do it and I won't be oc'ing any crazy amounts. I do run a lot of the latest games so this will be a gaming machine.

What I have been looking at while writing this is the ASUS Maximus V Formula so you can get an idea of what I have in mind.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Not sure you asked a question there, So I'm guessing you just want our opinions?.

If it helps, I'm running a Core I7 2600K socket 1155 On a Asus Motherboard, It runs perfectly for me. I've not Overclocked it, As I don't really need to ( I dont play games or Render ).

At work I build around 5 computers a week, Almost all of them are Socket 1155 (Asus) as we feel there best value for money at the moment.

The 2011 socket is a big jump in price for the little differance you would get in terms of raw processor power.

I do Like the ASUS motherboards. They seem good value for money, Good support, And the drivers are easily come by too.

I hope this helps some what.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Asus makes quality boards, but it seems like Gigabyte is always a little cheaper. Now that Intel is dropping out of the motherboard game (not chipsets...just the motherboards), I'm down to only two brands I recommend, which is Gigabyte and Asus. You can't go wrong with either, so when compare both for features and price.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2013   #4

Win7 64

The tentative build I am looking at is the ASUS Maximus V Formula and the i7 3770k Ivy bridge...what do we think about that combo?

I built my system 5 years ago and up to about a year ago I kept up with what was the latest and greatest hardware but there have been a few changes over the last year and I want to make sure I get the proper mb/chipset combo to ensure I can get the most out of it in terms of future drop in upgrades for cpu's and video cards. I have been reading heavily on all this and am getting a better idea of what to get but just wanted some input before I build this time.

In my last build I made one mistake and bought a mb that had been out for 1.5 years but was still a flagship AMD mb but it had PCIe 1.0 slots when PCIe 2.0 was the norm at that time...I did not know this. My vid cards were of course 2.0 cards and I don't believe it cost me much in performance but I should have went with a newer mb giving the ASUS Crosshair was almost $300 still at that time.

I want to play the latest games and maybe dable in some mild overclocks for fun but will probably leave it at stock clocks. Also after looking at the 2011 socket boards I am seeing the cpu's don't support PCIe 3.0? Is this correct? As long as I have the PCIe 3.0, some USB 3.0, SLI, and some SATA 6.0 I will be good to go for a while. I have also built only with AMD so this will be my first Intel setup so want to make sure I am schooled on all the basics.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Socket 2011, or Sandy Bridge-Extreme, is a high-end platform with only 4 CPU's currently available.....1 quad core CPU and 3 six core cpu's. They are best suited for applications needing several cores/threads to run effectively. If you are into video/photo rendering or high thread applications, you need socket 2011, if you aren't, socket 1155 will be your best bet.

If you are just wanting to game, surf the web, check email, and play with overclocking, I would go with the 3570K. If you use a few more advanced applications or rip/encode the occasional bluray, definitely get the 3770K. The difference is the i5 3570K is 4 cores, 4 threads and the i7 3770K is 4 cores and 8 threads.....the i7 has Hyperthreading. As for a motherboard, the Maximus V Formula is a really good board, and I can personally recommend an Asus Z77 Sabertooth if you wanted another option. Both of those boards have SATA III, USB 3.0, etc.

Finally, RAM. There is a ton of speculation on Ivy Bridge and RAM, and from what I have gathered over the months, and personal experience, I found the average person doesn't need more than 1600MHz, although you can usually find some 1866MHz for just a few dollars more. I am currently running 16gb of 1866MHz @ 9-10-9-27 and I paid right at $100 for it. It was a good deal, although I don't need 16gb of RAM, so I went ahead and spent the extra money on it. Decide on capacity(I recommend 8gb at least because it is so cheap), decide on frequency and I would stick with either Corsair, or Gskill brands.

That should give you some information to sort through and parts to look up.......if you have anymore questions just let us know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #6

Win7 64

The exact info I was looking for brady and you addresses another question I forgot to ask about ram. I definately want the 3770k for sure and socket 2011 I am not interested in once I did some research. I have 8gigs ram on my current machine and really never get past using half of it but will probably go with 16g since the time will come soon where it is used and needed. Ram is soo cheap now compared to what I got it for 5 years ago and it took a turn for the cheap back then...can get so much more now for same price.

What speed should I get? Is ram clocked seperately from the cpu or is it tied to cpu overclock. I see lots of supported ram speeds and most of them state an "(OC)" after the speed so I am wondering about this. Can you set the ram speed to it's specified stock speed or will the cpu have to be overclocked to match it...this is where I have questions. I plan on overclocking some and maybe leaving it at a comfortable 4.0ghz or so what would I need in terms of ram speeds?

Just looked at the Sabertooth and that is a sweet board but I can go to the Maximus or the P8Z77-V Deluxe which are similar and are feature rich with the P8Z77 seeming to have a few extras.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

The Maximus, Deluxe and Sabertooth are all great boards. The will all do basically the same thing, they just look different lol. I went with the sabertooth for the reliability and the extra warranty....they are suppose to be built better, and whether they are or not is up for debate.

If you are going for 16gb, either 1600 MHz or 1866 MHz would be fine. It is best, in my opinion, to set the RAM at advertised speeds and leave it there, but you can OC it if you want. As far as I know, CPU speed and RAM frequency isn't bound together like it was back in the day. Ivy Bridge has a pretty good integrated memory controller and there isn't a big need for OC'ing your RAM.

Also, we might need to address CPU cooling. I am a HUGE fan of those closed loop water coolers, and while they are becoming more popular, some people are leary of them. If you plan on getting a new case, that would dictate what kind of water cooler you should go with. The reason I bring it up is if you plan on OC'ing at all, you may want to bypass the Intel stock cooler altogether.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #8

Win7 64

Don't plan on any massive overlocks so won't need water cooling but will go for an aftermarket cooler as usual at least...I know the stock coolers are terrible normally. The one that came with my Phenom 9950 had it running idle at 5 degrees below the max temp! Probaly will get a new case also since mine isn't the best for airflow but it could do for now. After some comparisons I believe the Maximus and the 3770k will be the setup I choose with some GSkill ram running at 1866. Thanks guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1

Sounds good! Also, if you have never seen the closed loop water coolers, you may be confusing it with a custom water cooling loop. I prefer them over traditional air coolers for MANY reasons. Check them out here.... Water Coolers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2013   #10

Win7 64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbrady1979 View Post
Sounds good! Also, if you have never seen the closed loop water coolers, you may be confusing it with a custom water cooling loop. I prefer them over traditional air coolers for MANY reasons. Check them out here.... Water Coolers
Yep those are new to me and priced right...will definately look into one of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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