Because I got some cash and I'm getting a part-timed job I've decided to start with a high-note by building a new PC!
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (Purchased For $220.00)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (Purchased For $78.99)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (Purchased For $139.99)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (Purchased For $61.99)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (Purchased For $219.99)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (Purchased For $350.00)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case (Purchased For $108.35)
Case Fan: NZXT FN-140RB 62.5 CFM 140mm Fan (Purchased For $13.99)
Case Fan: NZXT FZ-200mm LED 103.0 CFM 200mm Fan (Purchased For $19.99)
Power Supply: [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153167[/url] (Purchased For $80)
- CPU Choice:
Going in I knew I had to pick a good $220 price range CPU. Traditionally when Sandy Bridge came out it was such a huge leap, we all gravitated towards it... But Haswell just came out. Sandy has been out for too long, hard to find because Ivy was last gen. Go 2 gen earlier? I found one for $183 shipped.
Pros of Sandy:
Easier to overclock! Haswell is a bad overclocker. Due to the integration of parts of voltage control on the chip (for mobile reasons, better power efficiency, better thermal throttling), heat is way up. This is on top of the shitty thermal gunk Intel put beginning with Ivy. Some have managed to hit 4.8ghz, but even the reviews of CPUs only got a good 4.5-4.7 with beefy cooling. Based on temps if I get unlucky, I'd struggle to hit 4.3! Overclocking was more complex according to one guy and easier according to another. Lol. It's a wash. Having seriously watched a guide though I think it's about the same.
Cheaper. I paid $220 for Haswell on Fry's 2 day sale. The suggest price from Intel to vendors was $250. Newegg stuck with it at start but drove price back a little bit. But in addition to that, the mobos generally cost more. $30 more or so.
Sandy is well established. It's been done thousands of times (more than that actually). We know what to expect from OC, what temps, what voltage, what settings for which motherboard. We know which motherboard works best. We know what cooling is optimal. No surprises. With Haswell I'm going in blind for the most part.
Know what to expect... extra point: Haswell has a huge variance in how well you can overclock it. HUGE. Sandy is less huge.
Less fucking heat.Separate point from OC. It gets friggin hawt. You can get 100C with 4.4ghz if you're not lucky. 100C! With a $85 cooler! The fuck? In addition to lower OC I also don't want hot air in my fucking case. I just got out from a bad experience with bad airflow and hot air in my case. I want shit ice cold. Intel put that shitty thermal paste instead of fluxless solder for Sandy. WTF Intel. People are de-lidding the chip. I don't want the hassle and most of all it's RISKY. To pop the integrated heat spreader from a CPU is very risky. The #1 method is the vice method and I don't have the vice or the balls.
I'd have to return my Haswell which I already have. That's hassle, gas, time, energy, and a $20 in taxes forfeited to get more tax slapped on for buying something again.
Online returns? I know, not a big point as CPUs rarely get DOA. But still. hassle.
Do you seriously want tech from 2 gens ago? I know, I know, but on a psychological point of view here...
Granted, Sandy gets better ghz but Haswell has IPC improvements. A 4.8 Haswell > 5.0 Sandy.
Worse chipset. The Haswell has z87 chipset. Upon researched I finally understood what chipsets are. These are what drives the motherboard limits. The Haswell is a new LGA 1150. Sady/Ivy are 1155 so they both work in same mobos. But they have z77. Z87 allows more USB 3 ports. I don't need 10 though, not a big priority. It has better audio, ALC 1150 instead of 898. That is important to me, I OCD over sound on a psychological level and because I have good speakers. But this point is moot if I get sound card. Should I? More sata ports... meh.
No upgrade path for CPU without new mobo. Not a biggie. At the rate Intel is going, next time CPU is bottleneck in games, Intel won't even have a better cpu in place.
Sandy only allows PCI 2.0 not 3.0 A 3.0 x16 would be a 2.0 x8. So if I SLI cards I have a 2.0 x16 and 2.0 x8, which is 3.0 x8, x4 slots on mobo. x4 is quite worrisome for a GTX 770. Then again, getting another 770? Far out there man.
This is mostly not even worth mentioning, but Sandy runs at 3.2 while Haswell runs 3.4 by default.
In the end due to coming in too late to grab a 2500k for $120 (ROCK BOTTOM PRICES), I just decided to go Haswell. Meh. I coulda prolly snagged one for $170 but I didn't try too hard. Missed offers to sell it to me at 180, just negotiate, right? Whatever. This was after tons and tons of research and back-and-forth-ness
- Motherboard Choice:
Ok. Now, Which motherboard? Lack of reviews, I dunno what to get! Well, although JJ has been going around Youtube doing his marketing thing, explaining Haswell and ASUS mobos and how the OC ability is same for all builds, I decided between Extreme6 Asrock or MSI Gaming g45. Extreme6 came with free 8gb 1 stick of ddr3 ram. Could be sold for say, 50 bucks. But without any Amazon rating (not able to sell at Overclocker.net due ot lack of rep), it's hard to get sales plus I have to deal with hassle of shipping. Craigslist has been useless so far. MSI's board is red and black which I like. It also has a fucking dragon on the PCB. Cool, I must admit it was super tempting. This whole time mobo manufacturers have been pushing out pitches for high quality components, like good chokes, black capacitors from Japan, etc. Sounds really nice and for this build I wanna indulge a bit. I don't just want a fast machine, I wanna do it with elegance. None of the cheap case shit like last build. No corners cut. Go for elegance. Get NZXT Phantom with many fans, decent looks, dust filters, super airflow. In the end went with MSI's Gaming g45. A shot in the dark due to lack of reviews on all the new boards coming in but doing well so far.
It looks good and has good onboard audio.
- CPU Cooling Solution:
Cooling for CPU
The Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo is $35 and a very worthy contender considering it's low low price. But the Noctua 14D is a behemoth of a cooler costing almost $80 but delivers a good 5-10C cooler temperature when the CPU is pushed. For a liquid cooling unit to be attractive it needs to beat this cooler and the Kraken x60 does that... at $100. I've decided to simply stick with the Noctua because nothing is easier than a simply fan and heatsink. Haswell is a hottie when pushed so I'll stick with something above the Evo. The Noctua is ugly though. Fix the color scheme, people.
- Ram Choice:
At first I considered the Gskills Ripjaws DDR3 1600 8gb. but the Corsair Vengeance has the same speed and memory with a larger headspreader. Although, ram doesn't typically get hot enough to warrant that and it might not fit with my huge heatsink. I went with the Corsair Sniper DDR3 1866 8gb ram due to slightly higher speeds are $61 due to 15% off coupon. 8gb is fine for what I need. I was thinking of Corsair Vengeance but its heatsink is large.
- Storage Choice:
I have a 1tb internal hard drive already. Samsung Pro Series 840, 256gb ought to speed things up with it being a good SSD.
- Case Choice:
The NZXT Phantom full tower I got for a buddy, and it looks quite nice and quite cool. A case is also important for airflow! Has a nice side panel to glance in.
- GPU Choice:
An AMD representative said he expects the next generation of cards to be out at end of 2013. Makes sense given Nvidia already added their 770/780 cards for which AMD currently has no direct counterpart and holiday season is a nice time to juice things up for sales. Latest rumors are September for 800 series, we're coming up on 2 years no new generation!
GTX 770. Erm... Lightning edition or Gaming from MSI? The Lightning has best cooling AND highest OC out of all 770s out there. That's super impressive. Lightning has cool blue light, larger structure, backplate, etc. Gaming is $50 cheaper and fits my red/black scheme. The Lightning is black/yellow which is meh. Not sure yet. Was thinking of 7970 or 7970 GHZ edition but mehhhh. They do have like 3gb of ram though.
In the end I decided ton 7970 GHZ edition because Sapphire dropped the price of their card form average $450 to a whopping $350 after rebates.
- PSU Choice:
Decided to use PSU from old build. That means while building I do not have access to my main computer. But after installation of GPU, I realized 4 molex won't power the GPU even though the converter fits. Bought a 700 watt supply from Frys in a pinch.
I had a shitty 2002? Emachines PC with Tualtin 1.3ghz Celeron, Geforce 4000mx GPU. It'd hit 8fps during a 8 vs 8 match at Enemy Territory.
2008 I replaced it with my PC which I dub 'Wizzie Machine' or 'Riette'. It has Q6600 at 2.4ghz with Kentsfield architecture. Featured SLI 8800 GT.
2013 I expect a new PC which I want to call 'Celapaleis' aka 'Banana Mama', with i5-4670k Haswell and 7970 GHZ.
Last edited by Dark_wizzie on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:55 am; edited 20 times in total