Thinking up next gaming machine. Z77 or X79? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys! I'm in computer building mode, atm. Still working on the speaker project but when I'm done I'd like to build a high-end gaming 'HTPC'. I have a pretty good idea on what all I want to build but I'm wondering about one major part and want your guys opinion. This computer will absolutely positivity 100% be powered with an Intel i7 processor. I've been mostly watching the newest Ivy-Bridge 3770k with the z77 chipset. Everything looks nice and quite advanced. However, I've always wondered what a x79 LGA2011 system would be like and if they are better. Do you guys know what the major difference is? I noticed that they have quad channel memory and are usually oversized with 3-4 SLI/Xfire and just overall totally overkill. I like that. smile.gif

However, what would be the best choice and if you know, what are the major differences between the two chipsets? Thank you.

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post #2 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 03:05 PM
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I faced the same dilemma not too long ago as I was hooked on the novelty of X79. I ultimately went with Z77.

The major differences are that X79/Sandy Bridge-E does quad-channel memory and has 6-core chips available (smaller differences being increased PCI-E lanes, no native USB 3.0 and no integrated GPU). X79/Sandy Bridge-E provides no performance benefit for gaming in a conventional setup of 1 or 2 graphics cards and a quad-core CPU. The increased memory bandwidth via quad-channel does nothing positive for games, and the increased PCI-E lanes will obviously provide no gains if using 1 or 2 graphics cards.

Although, X79 does look cool from an enthusiast's standpoint.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I see. Although it is fun to look at and think about the 3-4 way SLI type setups, I will never build one myself. So that capability is unneeded. Wasn't sure if there was anything else under the hood that I was missing but if the quad-channel memory and extra PCI-E lanes was the main draw then I think I will skip the X79 platform. Just wanted to be sure.

Thanks, MSmith. smile.gif

Now the next part..... figuring out which damn videocard to use. redface.gif

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post #4 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 04:18 PM
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If your dealing with a smaller budget 77 is the way to go for sure. If you are building an all out pc to stay to course for a few more years and have a little extra to spend? x79 and the 3930k 6 core chip FTW. I have both and game on both but when it comes to any sort of actual compressing, converting etc, the x79 with the extra cores and more ram/lanes will trounce the ivy.

Aslo pretty much every x79 board has usb 3.0, you just have to install a driver that installs auto with the chipset software

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if I should even care about USB 3.0 or not? I've never seen any products that use it and I have a feeling that it will be mostly videocameras and external harddrives. In which case I'll prolly not use either. That and this will be a straight up gaming machine so no video encoding/decoding.

Thanks for the info, N8. An X79 with six-core i7 would be pimp! I'll keep looking into both chipsets.

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 05:22 PM
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The USB 3.0 situation is pretty much moot as N8 said. The only real difference in this regard is that X79 requires aftermarket USB 3.0 controllers for all USB 3.0 connections, which typically has small performance ramifications.

X79 definitely becomes an attractive option if you splurge on a 6-core chip. The only thing that makes me wary of this as a budget-conscious gamer is that the extra cores aren't needed for today's games, and when extra power is needed, the highly affordable chips in Intel's Skylake architecture might end up being much faster clock-for-clock than the 3930.

Overclocked Sandy or Ivy Bridge quad-core chips should have good staying power, but there's obviously no guarantee as to how much more CPU-dependent games will be from next year until 2015.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-13-2012, 05:25 PM
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Scott, if you are not going to get the 6 core chip, I'd probably go with Z77 BUT if you do go with the 3930K and x79, you will be a happy camper!

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-28-2012, 09:00 PM
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I wonder about that Z77 loaded with 32G of ram, with 24G as a ramdisk, with a ssd boot drive.

Ram is pretty cheap these days, as are 120G ssds.

Port over your hard drive as a storage drive, and reuse the power supply, optical drive, case and GTX 670.
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