It has been a while since I built a new computer, a few years in fact and I’ve been excited for a few months now since the release of the new Intel 3rd generation core processors “Ivy Bridge”. The Intel Z77 chipset brings some interesting new features and possibilities to enthusiasts also that I wanted to check out.
Conscious of budget vs performance I was leaning towards more of the performance end of things, but some sacrifices were made to hit the $900 budget I gave myself. The absence of a boot SSD hit me in the windows performance index score and PC mark benchmarks and rather than going for a Radeon HD7770 based graphics card, I could have gone with a more expensive NVIDIA 680GTX or something but for the price of $149 AUD the R7770 was a great deal.
The build went as follows – $900 AUD:
- Asus P8Z77-M LGA 1155 motherboard
- Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40Ghz CPU
- Corsair 8GB DDR3 (2x 4GB) Vengeance RAM @ 1600mhz
- XFX R7770 Black Edition 1GB DDR5 @ 1.1ghz Overclocked graphics
- Seagate Baracuda 1TB 7200rpm hard drive
- Samsung DVD-R optical drive
- Antec 520w high current gamer 80 plus bronze PSU
- Fractal Design Define R3 black pearl chassis
For gaming, heading into the Core i7 real isn’t really required. The core i5 3570k performs very well and is an unlocked (K) model processor also allowing for easy overclocking in the future should I see fit. As I didn’t fork out for a third party cooling solution (such as a corsair H100 water cooling kit) I’m running the machine on air alone. Again, to meet the budget water cooling can come into the picture in the future should any major overclocking come to mind, but for now I’m happy.
A few areas I’ll look at for upgrade paths in the near future:
- Solid State Drive for boot drive or SSD caching solution
- Water cooling such as a Corsair H100 for greater overclocking of the K model 3570 CPU