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Old February 8, 2013, 03:32 AM
Luay79 Luay79 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Hi Strato. I'm with the Canucks in everything they suggested, and I see other areas of reducing price and increasing performance, without the slightest compromise.

i5 3570K is perfect and as capable as i7 even on non gaming apps provided they are not multi threaded apps. The difference will be unnoticeable.

Your rig as it is will barley touch 4GB of RAM so 8GB is plenty and will last you a long time.

I understand your appreciation of aircoolers as I haven't used a closed water loop because of Noctua. No one beats the Noctua's cooling+quiteness/price even today. Size is the problem and for that I'd pick the NHU12P SE2. It is easily my favorite, just one heatsink vs two for the nhd14, 1 degree hotter but much more quite and cheaper.

Motherboard. Again you're burning cash on pointless extras. Asus P8Z77-V LK has SLI and CF x8/x8, sideways-mounted SATA 6Gbps ports, which shouldn't interfere with long graphics cards, and Asus's UEFI firmware (best ever).
If you nedd 4 SATA6 ports, step up to the Asus P8Z77-V. The wireless LAN is a nice addition but not a deal changer as I always prefer to use USB wireless adapters.

GPU, no doubt $400 HD 7970 is king now. The more expensive GTX 680 is not an improvement. However step down to $300 and the GTX 66ti for some reason plays "smoother" than the HD 7950.
Looking at Newegg, the Gigabyte HD 7970 3xwindforce for $380 is the best permance+noise/price. Asus DCUII is triple slot, MSI is overpriced, and I have no experinece with HIS but I didn't like their products a couple of years ago but I'm sure they improved.
If you have cash to burn and no intention to overclock, then pay the extra $30~40 for the Ghz edition.

Do you have enough $$$ now for that 512GB SSD yet??? Yeah that's what I'd get for your budget.
You still can.

HDD: storage is for files, whether audio, video or documents. Unlike exe. files, Speed is irrelevant. WD Black are fast, but they are loud and power hungry. Paying $$$ for that Noctua cooler, custom video card, case and worst of all, SSD, and then piing all over it with a black drive is just ....ed up.
WD Green for ulra low power and quiteness, Red with the longest warranty if you like to keep your PC on 24/7.

Asus Xonar STX and DX both have the same AV100 audio chip. For games and listening on decent audio gear there isn't a difference.

Now does your budget fit that Seasonic Gold KM3 (XFXBEFX) or Platinum XP2 (CorsaiAX) PSU? Yes for your budget, that's how I'd roll. Problem is, 650~660W is where you should be unless you want to add another video card.

Good luck with the case. I'm not touching that one but thanks for reading
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