Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:06 am

What are you missing from the Asus mobo? If you ask me, it's got everything I'd ever need. Things like thunderbolt, additional SATA 6Gb/s ports, additonal power phases are all frivolous if you ask me and that's all the additional features I can think of that you'd want. (Built-in wireless is a pointless luxury since you've got all the slots of ATX available for an add-in card anyway.) Here, compare it to the Sabertooth mobo you originally chose.

1) Thunderbolt is expensive and there's hardly any peripherals that support it. Furthermore, I don't see the advantages besides reducing cable clutter. USB3.0 can handle peak speeds of external hdds.
2) SATA III can only be saturated by SSDs and very few systems have more than two of those. Mechanical hdd's only benefit from SATA III through buffer transfers which is negligable in most cases.
3) The benefits of additional power phases for anyone except competition overclockers is debatable. For everyday use, I wouldn't recommend overclocking any more than the stock CPU voltage can keep stable. Once you start raising voltage, you reduce life-expectancy.
4) Asus' UEFI and fan controls are definetly the best in the business, no question about it. In many cases, this is enough to sway buyers away from other brands with similar physical features that may be cheaper.
5) The board supports x8/x8 Crossfire and/or SLI with PCIe3.0 speeds. (this equals x16/x16 PCIe2.0) So you're covered if you ever decide to go the dual GPU route.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:11 am

I'm regressing.

I read this again and got up to this point: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-6.html

Then I checked prices. Turns out I can get a HD 7970 GHz Edition GPU for just 20 Swiss Francs more than the Asus GTX 670 I picked for the build. Considering the 7970 competes with the GTX 680, it seems a bit dumb to get a 670 at just 20 Francs short of the HD 7970, which generally seems to be regarded as the best performing single GPU unit on the market today. So there's another change.

I'm still undecided between the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H and the Asus P8Z77-V LK as well.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:21 am

DPete27 wrote:What are you missing from the Asus mobo? If you ask me, it's got everything I'd ever need. Things like thunderbolt, additional SATA 6Gb/s ports, additonal power phases are all frivolous if you ask me and that's all the additional features I can think of that you'd want. (Built-in wireless is a pointless luxury since you've got all the slots of ATX available for an add-in card anyway.) Here, compare it to the Sabertooth mobo you originally chose.

1) Thunderbolt is expensive and there's hardly any peripherals that support it. Furthermore, I don't see the advantages besides reducing cable clutter. USB3.0 can handle peak speeds of external hdds.
2) SATA III can only be saturated by SSDs and very few systems have more than two of those. Mechanical hdd's only benefit from SATA III through buffer transfers which is negligable in most cases.
3) The benefits of additional power phases for anyone except competition overclockers is debatable. For everyday use, I wouldn't recommend overclocking any more than the stock CPU voltage can keep stable. Once you start raising voltage, you reduce life-expectancy.
4) Asus' UEFI and fan controls are definetly the best in the business, no question about it. In many cases, this is enough to sway buyers away from other brands with similar physical features that may be cheaper.
5) The board supports x8/x8 Crossfire and/or SLI with PCIe3.0 speeds. (this equals x16/x16 PCIe2.0) So you're covered if you ever decide to go the dual GPU route.

Thanks a ton for this! Definitely reassuring. I keep reading about Asus' excellent UEFI as well and in any Gigabyte board review I saw, the UEFI was always lacking in some respect. This should be a much easier decision than the GPU. Thanks!
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:49 am

I just did a bunch of googling/reading. Reviews, forum threads, etc. and based on that, decided to replace the GTX 670 with the HD 7970 Ghz Edition from Sapphire. That's the only change. I think this is it.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($93.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($226.99 @ Mac Mall)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($424.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 600T White Graphite ATX Mid Tower Case ($148.15 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1309.08
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 10:47 EST-0500)
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:02 am

DPete27 wrote:4) Asus' UEFI and fan controls are definetly the best in the business, no question about it. In many cases, this is enough to sway buyers away from other brands with similar physical features that may be cheaper.

This is definitely a good point to keep in mind. I don't know how good the EUFI's are of other motherboards, but fan controls especially is something that I find a bit lacking on my Asrock Pro3 Gen3. It may sound like a silly thing to care about for some people, who assume that the automatic modes all work similarly and adequately, but I found that with my board at least I find them lacking. Specifically, the fan speed ramps up too slowly in response to increased CPU load.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:26 am


BTW, this helped a lot. Really is a great way to see just what a more expensive mobo adds--and in this case, it really is nothing I need. Thanks!

Another thing.. does the EVO CPU cooler come with thermal compound? If not, I suppose I have to get that myself? Any suggestions there?
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:41 pm

automaticus wrote:Another thing.. does the EVO CPU cooler come with thermal compound? If not, I suppose I have to get that myself? Any suggestions there?

It does come with thermal compound. It should work for even light overclocking.

For me, the only reason to go to the Pro version of the Asus motherboard is the Intel NIC, but then you may be able to grab a discrete Intel GbE NIC for smaller than the price difference? For normal use you should not see much difference compared to the Realtek.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:57 pm

Flying Fox wrote:For me, the only reason to go to the Pro version of the Asus motherboard is the Intel NIC

Any hard numbers to support the Intel NIC is any better than Realtek 8111F? I've seen some people say Intel NIC is the best, others say it's no better than any other NIC these days. I just wonder if the difference is easily quantifiable to a price premium. Moreover, would anyone would even notice the difference between the two in the real world, or is it just a slightly bigger benchmark number to brag about? (as in most modern SSDs)
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:03 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:For me, the only reason to go to the Pro version of the Asus motherboard is the Intel NIC

Any hard numbers to support the Intel NIC is any better than Realtek 8111F? I've seen some people say Intel NIC is the best, others say it's no better than any other NIC these days. I just wonder if the difference is easily quantifiable to a price premium. Moreover, would anyone would even notice the difference between the two in the real world, or is it just a slightly bigger benchmark number to brag about? (as in most modern SSDs)

I wonder about the same thing.

BTW, I think this question of mine sort of drowned above somewhere...

What's the standard way to connect your monitor to your GPU these days? HDMI? DVI? Does it matter?

Other than that, any issues you see with the build as it is now? If not, I'm ordering this stuff tomorrow. Exciting!

Also, even though the EVO comes with its own thermal compound, is there any reason to look into purchasing a separate thermal compound or should I forget about it and stick to the included one?

Thanks!

EDIT:
There's no push button for power, reset or CMOS clear, for instance.

http://www.cnet.com.au/asus-p8z77-v-lk- ... htm#image3

How big a difference does this really make?
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:55 pm

automaticus wrote:
DPete27 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:For me, the only reason to go to the Pro version of the Asus motherboard is the Intel NIC

Any hard numbers to support the Intel NIC is any better than Realtek 8111F? I've seen some people say Intel NIC is the best, others say it's no better than any other NIC these days. I just wonder if the difference is easily quantifiable to a price premium. Moreover, would anyone would even notice the difference between the two in the real world, or is it just a slightly bigger benchmark number to brag about? (as in most modern SSDs)

I wonder about the same thing.

BTW, I think this question of mine sort of drowned above somewhere...

What's the standard way to connect your monitor to your GPU these days? HDMI? DVI? Does it matter?

Other than that, any issues you see with the build as it is now? If not, I'm ordering this stuff tomorrow. Exciting!

Also, even though the EVO comes with its own thermal compound, is there any reason to look into purchasing a separate thermal compound or should I forget about it and stick to the included one?

Thanks!

EDIT:
There's no push button for power, reset or CMOS clear, for instance.

http://www.cnet.com.au/asus-p8z77-v-lk- ... htm#image3

How big a difference does this really make?


Hi there, I don't mean to confuse you anymore as you can't go wrong with anything thats been listed, but, I have a 2500k and had an Asrock Extreme4 which I was very happy with but it was only a p67 chipset.

I wanted a Z77 platform for various different reasons, one being the Virtu MVP technology which has shown huge advantages for games including my main game again World of Warcraft, I'm just finalizing my setup and playing with some stuff but could not be happier after going back to Asus.

If you are only ever going to use 1 gpu then this may be your board as well, has pci-e 3.0 plus it has an esata connection, "important for me" as well as an extra sata 6.0 port on the marvel controller and its cheaper as well.


Once I get everything up and running I'll let you know how that "new tech" works in the game.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-p8z77vle


http://www.lucidlogix.com/product-virtu-mvp.shtml


Enjoy your new builds, its going to be a good one.

P.S. It never hurts to have some thermal compound laying around.

http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/cooling/thermal-compound/30/arctic-mx-4-4g-und-20g.html
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:08 am

automaticus wrote:What's the standard way to connect your monitor to your GPU these days? HDMI? DVI? Does it matter?
DVI, but it doesn't really matter between DVI and HDMI. In fact, I've used DVI to HDMI cables (passive) to connect computers to TVs. Most monitors will come with DVI and VGA cables, assuming that there are ports for them on there. I think the only thing you get from HDMI that you can't get from DVI is audio, but you might as well just plug in your speakers/headphones in directly.

Also, even though the EVO comes with its own thermal compound, is there any reason to look into purchasing a separate thermal compound or should I forget about it and stick to the included one?
You know how manufacturers have the "gold plated" gimmick because gold conducts electricity better than copper (or other alternatives)? Well strictly speaking, there is some truth to that, but it not anything you would ever notice. That's basically the same deal with thermal compounds. Whatever is included will be fine so long as it's applied correctly, and as long as you get that right, the airflow in your case will have a bigger impact on CPU temperatures.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:39 am

Bah.. just as I switch to an AMD GPU, I see this: http://techreport.com/news/24261/geforc ... -open-beta

Has anyone tried that? It's in beta, so I'm sure it's not perfect, but the idea is wonderful. I've dreamed of something like that for years. I mean, sure, we're PC builders here, so we obviously love tinkering, but I'm a fan of things being done *for me* by technology where it makes sense. This is one of those things.

Is AMD working on anything similar? Or is there anything like it for AMD cards?

Thanks a lot for your contributions, credible and superjawes!

Edit:
I guess there is a 3rd party tool for basically the same purpose for AMD cards: http://www.radeonpro.info/en-US/
The one big feature I miss here that Nvidia Experience has is automated driver updates.
Last edited by automaticus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:55 am

Need some final help choosing a 7970 Ghz Edition. Here are all Newegg sells (which probably means all that exist):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... %20Edition
I can't find a roundup of just these cards anywhere on the web. I'm looking at just the 3GB models as there's no way I need 6GB. How do I pick?
Right now I have the Vapor-X picked but have no idea if that's the best choice out of the very few cards here.

Edit:
Ok, perhaps this list is more representative: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=112

Edit2:
Damn. Found this monster: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2068/1/
Considering it.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:26 am

You guys must have gotten tired of me changing things around... well, be annoyed no more. Last night, I placed the order for all parts: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Aj1J

Ended up going completely overboard with the GPU. Couldn't resist. I suppose if there's one thing worth going really *big* for in a gaming rig, it's the GPU.
And I'm very happy with the choice of PSU.

Thanks a ton for all your comments, suggestions, constructive criticism and discussion. Out of the bunch of places I decided to discuss this build in/on around the web, this was by far the most helpful (and active), so again, thank you all very much!

I'm looking forward to cranking all settings to max on hopefully just about everything here: http://www.destructoid.com/ul/243184-/G ... oscale.jpg

:D
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:17 am

Like the Mythbusters say, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing." You've got a very potent system there, no doubt you'll enjoy it for many years to come.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:28 am

automaticus wrote:You guys must have gotten tired of me changing things around... well, be annoyed no more. Last night, I placed the order for all parts: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Aj1J

Now we just want box shots, unboxing, hardware p0rn, and build logs as updates to this thread! :D
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:13 pm

DPete27 wrote:Like the Mythbusters say, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing." You've got a very potent system there, no doubt you'll enjoy it for many years to come.

Very true. Thanks for the kind words! I highly doubt I'll be able to resist upgrading some component or another before "many years" are over, but enjoy it I will--that much is certain.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:14 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
automaticus wrote:You guys must have gotten tired of me changing things around... well, be annoyed no more. Last night, I placed the order for all parts: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Aj1J

Now we just want box shots, unboxing, hardware p0rn, and build logs as updates to this thread! :D

With pleasure! As soon as I get all this stuff! :D
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:48 pm

Few things changed before I ordered everything, but here's the absolute final PcPartPicker setup. I've added the stuff I already owned before as well (keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS). Last piece is arriving tomorrow: the graphics card. I might begin building tonight so that all that's left to do tomorrow is drop in the GPU :)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($95.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($226.99 @ Mac Mall)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card
Case: Corsair 600T White Graphite ATX Mid Tower Case ($148.15 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($118.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Asus VE278Q 27.0" Monitor ($289.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($135.98 @ Outlet PC)
Keyboard: Saitek Eclipse II Wired Standard Keyboard ($45.03 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Logitech G9x Wired Laser Mouse ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1454.06
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 14:46 EST-0500)

I'll update the thread with pics as best I can.

Thanks to everyone who participated here and helped me with this build!
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:24 pm

You bought a TN LCD monitor?
:(
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:06 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:You bought a TN LCD monitor?
:(

That was in 2011, I believe. So I haven't even done research on monitors for this build. Why do you ask?
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:00 pm

automaticus wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:You bought a TN LCD monitor?
:(

That was in 2011, I believe. So I haven't even done research on monitors for this build. Why do you ask?

JAE has a reflex twitch against TN panels.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:09 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:You bought a TN LCD monitor?
:(

he bought a 60hz monitor :cry:
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:40 pm

When I bought it about two years ago, it was one of the best rated 27-inch monitors around. Has that much changed since then that you're trashing it so now?
:/

BTW, the only reason I bought it back then was for console gaming on PS3 and Xbox 360.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:16 pm

Your current monitor is perfectly fine. Many people around here are moving to IPS for the superior color accuracy and many 27" monitors these days are higher than 1080 resolution. Nothing wrong with what you have.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:35 pm

Completely forgot to post the pictures!

I wasn't sure of the best way to actually do that here, so here's a Dropbox gallery with the pics: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h0wbalj9m4mgxe6/tXtEzA39yH

Works. Only downside is that you guys can't easily comment on individual pictures. But then nobody said you'd want to :)

I just love this case. It's very easy to work with.
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:12 pm

Looks like you put a pretty large amount of thermal paste on your CPU - you should put a very small amount and then try to evenly spread it around (while removing excess at the same time) using a credit card or something similar... The thermal paste is only needed to fill in the tiny "gaps" on the surface of heatspreader and heatsink, so the thinner it is = the better. But it doesn't matter THAT much, especially if you don't overclock, so if you're already assembled everything - just forget it :wink:

Also, I noticed you're using Wiha screwdrivers :wink: I use similar model - pretty good tool, though the thick insulated magnetic bit holder sometimes prevent me from getting into tight "holes"/spaces (insert sexual joke here) :wink:
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:36 am

JohnC wrote:Looks like you put a pretty large amount of thermal paste on your CPU - you should put a very small amount and then try to evenly spread it around (while removing excess at the same time) using a credit card or something similar... The thermal paste is only needed to fill in the tiny "gaps" on the surface of heatspreader and heatsink, so the thinner it is = the better. But it doesn't matter THAT much, especially if you don't overclock, so if you're already assembled everything - just forget it :wink:

Also, I noticed you're using Wiha screwdrivers :wink: I use similar model - pretty good tool, though the thick insulated magnetic bit holder sometimes prevent me from getting into tight "holes"/spaces (insert sexual joke here) :wink:

It didn't seem like that much when I was actually doing it, but looking at the pictures now, you may be right. I used TR's suggested method of putting my finger in a transparent plastic bag and spreading it that way, which worked pretty well. I've had no problems with CPU temperatures since I built the box so I'm assuming it's all ok. I do appreciate the fact "the thinner, the better", but as you said I'm not going to be taking apart the machine for this--especially since it works great as is. Once, or IF, I do overclocking, I will reexamine this.

Where do you get Wiha from? They're LUX Screwdrivers, a German brand. Thankfully, I never had that problem of having to get into tight spots inside the case. Everything was quite nicely accessible. Possibly yet another nod to the excellence the Corsair 600T enjoys.

A few notes:
  1. Apparently, the order of installation for CPU Cooler and RAM matters. I learned the hard way. Had RAM sticks installed, then installed CPU Cooler sans fan. Tried to attach fan normally after installation--no go. I had to "slide" the fan's grippy clips down onto the heatspreader of the cooler from the top, which was anything but ideal. The fins are relatively thin and the top ones got slightly bent in the process. Lesson learned.
  2. The distance from CPU Cooler fan to the first RAM stick is miniscule. I tried to take pictures to illustrate this. It works--but barely.
  3. I was kind of surprised to find my motherboard didn't have 9 mounting holes. I thought all ATX format boards had 9 holes on them for mounting. Mine only has six. Upon this discovery, I was quite worried I'd have to go and remove the last three stand-offs off the mounting plate inside the case because I thought the board might overlap with the standoffs. Luckily, the board stops just short of reaching them because it's simply not that long. Phew.
  4. One mounting hole of the motherboard was plugged by a plastic peg that fit perfectly through the hole and was already present inside the case. I didn't notice this until I had already put 4 screws in and then just left it. I'm not sure if this was something I was supposed to remove and missed or if that's a case feature to help align the mobo properly during installation.
  5. This mobo sadly didn't come with that great little "front panel pin collector", for lack of a better term, that I've once received in a past build. It lets you plug in the case's power button connector, activity connector, reset button etc. into a small plastic peace and you then plug that peace onto the mobo as a whole. Very handy, but sadly not included here. While it didn't take long, it was a pain to be plugging those tiny plugs onto the motherboard once it's already installed in the case.

After all was done, I followed this guide:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1240779/sean ... -ssds-hdds

Only one thing I'm unsure about this step:

8. Change power options: Applies to SSDs/HDDs
I recommend at least setting to high performance, as for laptops it is up to you, I would leave the default for a laptop. This step is so that Idle Time Garbage Collection can run for your SSD if you have one when the system is at idle rather than going to sleep and you get more performance out of your system just by setting it to high performance. But feel free to set it up however you like.
Go to the Desktop.
Press the "Windows Key" + "X" on your keyboard.
Click the "Power Options" option.
Click "Show additional plans."
Select the "High performance power plan" radio button.
Click "Change plan settings."
Click "Change advanced power settings."
Expand the "Hard disk" option and change the "Turn off hard disk after" setting to "Never."
Expand the "Sleep" option and change the "Sleep after" setting to "Never."
Click OK.


I noticed that when you set it to high performance, the CPU has min and max power management states both set to 100%. Probably excessive when just browsing the web... but does it help in games? Hard to believe. Overall, that guide is the most complete I've found on the web for setting up Win8 and optimizing it for a modern system.
automaticus
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:19 am

You don't have to switch default power plan to "high performance", there won't be any noticeable performance increases if you'll do so... You can disable "sleep" for your SSD/HDD in any power plan.
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JohnC
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Re: Need help fine-tuning this Z77 gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:25 am

automaticus wrote:One mounting hole of the motherboard was plugged by a plastic peg that fit perfectly through the hole and was already present inside the case.... that's a case feature to help align the mobo properly during installation.

Correct

JohnC wrote:Looks like you put a pretty large amount of thermal paste on your CPU

Yeah, that looks like at least twice the TIM that should have been used. You should be using about a grain of rice worth of TIM.

That case's front panel USB3.0 doesn't have an internal USB3.0 header? That's a shame. Oh well, it still works.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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