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Christmas £400 Upgrade! - 3570K / Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H / Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

After getting some really good advice in the hardware section about what kind of hardware i should get for my budget of £400, i have decided on the following...

The colour scheme i am going for on this build is Black / Blue
  • Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge)
  • Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77
  • Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB (2x4GB)
  • Prolimatech Black Megahalems CPU Cooler

That luckily all came to £400 on the nose. I was originally going to go for a Asus board but i was advised in the hardware forum that for the budget i have, the UD3H would be a better choice, and it luckily matches the colour scheme i will be going for! (Black PCB, Black RAM / PCI Slots etc)

I currently have prepared for the build...
  • Corsair Vengeance C70 (with modified clear side window)
  • Corsair 650HX Power Supply
  • Asus Xonar D2X
  • Crucial M4 SSD 128GB (finally i will be able to unleash this to its full speed!)
  • 2x1TB SATA Baracuda's for RAID1 Array
  • 2x140mm Prolimatech Vortex Blue Wings for CPU Cooler (If it needs them, otherwise they will be at the top of the case)
  • 3x120mm BitFenix Blue LED Fans which link to a BitFenix Fan Controller

The only last thing i will need to get is a new graphics card, this is likely to be the MSI GeForce GTX 660 OC with the Twin Frozr cooler, its in my price range (around £150) and i have heard good things about it even though its just a mid-range card. I currently have a XFX4890 and since i bought it.. it has put me off ATi for life i am sorry to say, so i am going back to Nvidia.

Regarding the RAM i have chosen... as i wont be overclocking straight away, i just wanted these for the LED's smile.gif

This whole upgrade is to replace my 5 year old Core2Duo E6850, 4GB RAM, SATAII machine. I am hoping to see some kind of improvement, but i will be sad to see this system go, she has never, ever given me any trouble at all throughout all them years. Maybe i will keep the CPU as a memento tongue.gif

Anyway enough blabbering on, i will be posting a log once the parts start arriving and taking pictures throughout, running comparison benchmarks to see how much more performance i get in games like World of Warcraft and Counter Strike Source, i know the graphics card will be a bit of a bottle neck, this will be upgraded in the new year smile.gif

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Here are some pictures of the case with my current hardware in it...

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
All the bits arrived today,

Although i ordered a B-Grade CPU Cooler in Black to save on cost, i didnt expect a Chrome one to turn up and because the person packing the item not removing the thermal paste from it, everything was caked in thermal past! after an hour of cleaning its all good now. Thanks Overclockers!

Anyway, its ready to be put in my case, here is a quick photo of the motherboard / cpu etc

And here is everything with thermal paste on it, Overclockers just said not their problem.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Doing some testing now, i am not overclocking my CPU but i am testing a few custom clocks on the GPU.

Here is a picture of the system running, its pretty solid so far, no bluescreens or problems yet. Really like the features of this motherboard aswell.

Next things to do....

  • Change the Akasa Viper's on the CPU Cooler to Corsair SP120's (Maybe 1xSP120 and 1x140mm Prolimatech fan on the back of the cooler)
  • Spray paint the Blu-Ray Drive Black.
  • Get a Nvidia 660OC (Not the Ti version)

So far on a quick test in World of Warcraft, my old system got around 20-40 FPS in Orgrimmar on super low graphics, this new system is getting 50-100 on medium graphics, and when i am out of Orgrimmar, it barely dips below 100FPS. Very very happy with that, i might not even bother upgrading the GPU now.

Whats good aswell is i can record Fraps at a solid 60FPS (I cap it at 60FPS)
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Managed to change them Akasa Vipers for a couple of Corsair SP120's today, they are connected to the fan controller so i can up the speed whenever i want. I am very impressed with these fans, the amount of air they push through that heatsink is incredible, and at their lowest speed setting they are silent (I know people say things are silent, but these really are)

I also managed to find a utility for the Tactical Tracer RAM which lets me choose their LED's flash pattern and also change the colour of the LED's from Blue to Orange. This was a big surprise to me!

The next part for me to do is paint the optical drive matte black so it blends in better.

Here are some quick progress pictures...

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