Building a Haswell PC, are these components any good?

#1 Edited by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

So I havent' build a PC for it think 15 years. But Tested's article and video got me inspired. Seems much easier nowadays. I am mostly puzzled about the fans and RAM. I will somewhat follow this build, e.g. I will also use the BitFenix Prodigy and the same power supply (Seasonic P-660). I will not be overclocking this PC, and it will probably be attached to my TV.

  • CPU Intel Core i7 4770 3.4 GHz. This is one step down from the top model. This will be locked I guess. So no overclocking, which I am fine with. Maybe I am fine with an i5 as well?
  • CPU cooler Corsair Hydro H80i. This seems easy to install, I have heard bad things about the noise generated by the two 120mm fans, but it seems you can exchange them. (in my current PC I have a massive Scyte Mugen, not sure if I can use this, also its fan just died and it seem to be a pain to replace it)
  • Mainboard Asus H87I+ So this motherboard does not support overclocking, which is fine, but I am also not sure about fan control. It has one CPU and one chassis fan control. The case supports I think at least 4 120mm fans. One slot will be taken over by the water cooler fan, and I wanted to leave one empty. Thats still one more to worry about. Can I directly connect that to the powersupply?
    I might step it up to a Z87I-Deluxe, but this is about 100 CHF (~105 US$) more expensive and also not available here, but it has 4 fan controllers and build in WiFi.
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro Black 2x 8GB, DDR3-1600, CL9-9-9-24. So there is something I do not understand. Everyone suggests fairly cheap RAM (this one is the cheapest from my local parts store, which is not "value" ram), with 1600 MHz. Should one not use the fastest RAM?
  • Graphics card Asus GTX-770. That seems alright. Maybe go with a Asus GTX-660 DirectCU II (non Ti) to reduce cost.

Also which 120mm fans to use? I also have SSD and a HDD, from my current PC which I will put in. I would be grateful for any input. Thanks!

#2 Edited by AlisterCat (5482 posts) -

Don't bother with a non-ti 660. 660ti or a 670 if you have to cut down.

#3 Posted by zenmastah (876 posts) -

GTX 770 is a steal for what they are selling them atm, slightly faster than 680 and costs less (atleast here) so id recommend going with that.

The only question at this point is how much VRAM do the first multiplatform/split-gen games use..

Id wager 2GB or VRAM is enough for another year or so.

#4 Posted by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

@zenmastah: the 770 is actually about 20$ more expensive here

#5 Edited by Andorski (5191 posts) -

If you are not going to overclock then don't bother with a closed loop water cooler. Either use the stock cooler that comes with the CPU or get a cheap Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.

I'm guessing this is mainly a gaming rig, so drop the i7 and go with an i5. The extra money can go towards a better GPU which will give you a much bigger increase in performance than better CPU. Another option is to go with an i5 Ivy Bridge CPU and the Asus Z77i-Deluxe motherboard. This is a more expensive combo, but the z77 ITX board has some features that the H87i board does not like on-board WiFi. At this time it's hard to make a more direct comparison between the two mobos as the H87i is not even out yet.

1600MHz DDR3 RAM is standard at this time. The increased RAM speed is indistinguishable in real world practice. If you find a 1866MHz DDR3 RAM that is as cheap as the 1600MHz though then you might as well go for it.

Get the GTX 770 for your GPU. Don't bother with the GTX 6XX series unless you find a good deal on a GTX 680 (<$350 USD). If you plan on using a monitor with an extremely high resolution or you feel like "future proofing" your PC a bit more, than spend the extra $50 and get the Gigabyte 4GB GTX 770.

Fans are depended on what you want to use them for. There are so many fans to recommend dependent on what you want. Do you want an LED fan? Do you want them to be quiet? Do you want them to push a lot of air? Do you want them to be cheap? Best to prioritize each of these qualities in order to get a good recommendation.

#6 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@andorski said:

If you are not going to overclock then don't bother with a closed loop water cooler. Either use the stock cooler that comes with the CPU or get a cheap Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.

I'm guessing this is mainly a gaming rig, so drop the i7 and go with an i5. The extra money can go towards a better GPU which will give you a much bigger increase in performance than better CPU. Another option is to go with an i5 Ivy Bridge CPU and the Asus Z77i-Deluxe motherboard. This is a more expensive combo, but the z77 ITX board has some features that the H87i board does not like on-board WiFi. At this time it's hard to make a more direct comparison between the two mobos as the H87i is not even out yet.

1600MHz DDR3 RAM is standard at this time. The increased RAM speed is indistinguishable in real world practice. If you find a 1866MHz DDR3 RAM that is as cheap as the 1600MHz though then you might as well go for it.

Get the GTX 770 for your GPU. Don't bother with the GTX 6XX series unless you find a good deal on a GTX 680 (<$350 USD). If you plan on using a monitor with an extremely high resolution or you feel like "future proofing" your PC a bit more, than spend the extra $50 and get the Gigabyte 4GB GTX 770.

Fans are depended on what you want to use them for. There are so many fans to recommend dependent on what you want. Do you want an LED fan? Do you want them to be quiet? Do you want them to push a lot of air? Do you want them to be cheap? Best to prioritize each of these qualities in order to get a good recommendation.

All of this is spot on. I just finished building my new computer. I decided to get an aftermarket Cooler Master 212 Evo and it was a miserable experience putting it in (and I've built computers before, just hand't done the whole thermal paste bullshit in a long time). Since you don't plan on over clocking then I'd say just stick with a stock cooler. It'll save you some bucks and a huge headache if you mess up. I also agree with going to i5 ivybridge instead of an i7 taswell. I've seen some benchmarks where the i5 beats out the i7 when it comes to games that only really utilize a couple cores.

#7 Posted by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

@andorski: Thanks for the input. (So at my local part store they have the H87i in stock, dunno.)

Low noise is the number one priority for the whole build.

#8 Edited by Andorski (5191 posts) -

@wuddel: For a low noise build, what I would do is:

  1. Get the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler. Use the motherboard to drop the CPU fan voltage to 7V in order to maintain quietness (or use the low noise adapter if the cooler comes with one). Even at lower fan speeds this CPU heatsink will be more than enough to cool to CPU. The Cooler Master Hyper 12 EVO is a newer heatsink that has a lower decibel rating (30.0 dBA vs 35.3 dBA according to FrostyTech), but it's also ~$10 more. Go with whichever one you want.
  2. In the front get the Bitfenix Prodigy Spectre Pro 230mm fan. Bitfenix is the only one I know of that makes fans at this size, so options are limited. Good news is that these fans are quiet, although the static pressure is not that great. Use the low noise adapter to lower the RPM or use the mobo to adjust the voltage.
  3. The top two 120mm fans and the back 140/120mm fan are unecessary. The GTX 770 has a great blower style cooler and you can position the CPU cooler to blow air in the direction of the exhaust holes in the back. The 230mm fan in the front should be enough to blow enough cool air inside the case. If quietness is top priority, stick with using the least amount of fans.

Edit: Also just saw on the Newegg video of the mobo you are getting that it only has two fan headers. One for the CPU cooler and one for the case fan. Unless you get a fan splitter cable, the Cooler Master CPU fan and the Bitfenix Prodigy 230mm fan is all the mobo can support.

#9 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@wuddel: As some people has stated here ther, If you gonna use your PC for videogames there is absolutely no need for i7, rather get an i5.

#10 Posted by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

Well, when I can ditch the i7 this essentially pays for bumping it up to the Z87i-Deluxe.

#11 Edited by Andorski (5191 posts) -

@wuddel: How much are they selling the Z87i at your local parts store? All the computer part stores new me (Fry's, Microcenter), Newegg, and NCIX do not have them in stock. Also, do you live in the United States?

#12 Edited by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

No, I live in Switzerland. Here are some prices in Swiss Francs (conversion is approx. 1:1, VAT included)

Intel Core i5 4670K BOX, 3.4GHz, LGA 1150, 4C/4T, unlocked241 CHF
Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge) several200-240 CHF
Asus GTX-770 DirectCU II 2GB GDDR5469 CHF
Asus H87i+ (available in 4 days)122 CHF
Asus Z87i-Deluxe (not available, only listed)222 CHF
Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe203 CHF
BitFenix Spectre PRO 230mm32 CHF
Corsair H80i109 CHF
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo48 CHF
Noctua NH-U12P SE2*76 CHF
Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro Fan PL-PS, 120mm*22 CHF
Corsair Vengeance Pro Black 2x 8GB, DDR3-1600, CL9-9-9-24160 CHF
Corsair Vengeance Pro Black 2x 8GB, DDR3-1866, CL9-10-9-27161 CHF

* these seem to be popular options

Might be a good idea to wait until the Z87i becomes available (largely because I do think I kinda want build in wifi), since the difference in price between Ivy Bridge and Haswell is only 40 CHF or so. Thanks at @andorski and everyone else for the great input.

#13 Posted by Devildoll (877 posts) -

I would just run some cables, you don't want a shoddy connection holding you back when you've just build a new pc.

Fine, i understand why someone would want wireless on a laptop, but on a stationary pc? nuh uh.


Otherwise, the build looks like it is coming together allright, you just have to finalize the parts list a bit more.
I the reason people recommend seemingly cheap memory is because even that is faster than it needs to be, you wont see much performance gain from buying anything faster. unless you are doing very particular things with your computer, in which case, you wouldn't be asking ;)

You wont really be needing a cpu cooler unless you are going to overclock, if this is your first build and you dont have any experience overclocking ( and dont even plan on doing it ) the aftermarket cooler will only be adding complexity to the build, buy it later if you feel like you need one.
Switzerland should be pretty cool anyways right?

Definitely get the 4670 K if the ivy bridge i5's cost the same.

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