New Build: Gaming/Video Edit/Transcode/CustoMac rig


Jan 27, 2010
I've had the same machine for a looooooong time (AMD 64 X2 5200+) and upgraded components as needed. Now I think it's time to gut it and start anew with a few leftovers.

The title says it all. I play games online and solo. I edit and transcode video to make DVDs on a regular basis. I'd like to build a CustoMac/Hackintosh if I can make the parts all work for me.

I'm not looking for the biggest, best resolution. I'm keeping my 560 Ti card and my HP w2207 monitor for now.

1 GB GeForce GTX 560 Ti
HP w2207 monitor
Corsair CSSD-V128GB2 SSD
WDC 1TB Caviar Black WD1001FALS
WDC 2TB Caviar Black WD2001FASS
Lite-On iHAS424-98 DVD Writer

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this week

Budget Range: ~$750 give or take

System Usage from Most to Least Important: answered above (general use, games, video edit/transcode, hackintosh)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: Case, CPU, motherboard, memory, power supply, additional HDD, additional SSD

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Will prefer to buy local (Micro Center then Fry's), but will buy from any reputable online if cheaper

Location: Houston, Texas

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to upgrade to Intel CPU)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: I use TMPG DVD Author and MPEG editors. I use Handbrake. I play a variety of games including LOTRO, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2, Assassin's Creed series, Skyrim, Fallout, Mass Effect.

Don't care about case windows. Prefer black or gray to the old-school beige. Prefer tool-less cases, HDD/SDD drive bays that face out, good cable management.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, please have the power supply 4-pin/8-pin motherboard cable long enough to go through cable management. I built a system for a friend and it wasn't long enough and so it was over the top of the cards and was the only thing that killed an otherwise clean build.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: It's time.

Here's what I was thinking:

Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz LGA 1155 Processor or Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz LGA 1155 Processor ($40 difference in price)

Motherboard is my sticking point. I liked the Microcenter board, but it has sound problems with CustoMac. I liked one of the ones CustoMac recommended that I could get from NewEgg, but in the last couple of months, it's been getting bad reviews. I need 2 SATA 6.0 and 4 SATA 3.0 ports. I'd like at least 2 USB 3.0 ports. I want full, fairly easy compatibility with building a CustoMac/Hackintosh.

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800)

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 997050

Case (three choices):
Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0

Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 Mid Tower Computer Case with Carrying Handles - Black

Fractal Design Define R4 with Window Titanium Grey Silent ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply (I prefer modular):
Corsair HX Series HX650 650 Watt ATX 12V Modular Power Supply

Supplemental SSD: (likely pricematched locally)
SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Supplemental HDD:
No clue. Either another 2TB or a 3TB drive. It's mostly to store HD video. Have considered another Caviar Black but they do run hot, so I might have to make adjustments in the case.

No idea if I need something more than the stock cooler for the CPU. I've never used a watercooled solution. Let me know.

Questions? Comments? Thanks for any insight.
As far as your mobo, i would reserch on tonymac whatever z77 is the most popular as thats the one that going to have the most support.

the 3770k has hyperthreading and is going to be at least 12-15% faster, maybe 20% faster in some cases than the 3570k, are you making money with this(time = money) or is it just fun? Are you doing 25gb of video or 4gb of video. If your not making money and only doing smaller stuff then you would probably be happier with 3570 if your unemployed or strapped for cash, if not, just get the 3770 from microcenter, thats a great deal and just be done with it.

Another thing, intel quick sync is a feature you need to REALLY research because with the built in hd 4000 graphics on the 3570/3770 it can dramatically reduce video encoding times and it is much faster than a nvidia based CUDA processing.

Intel quick sync uses a thing called Virtu made by Lucid which bypassed the bios setting for which graphics setting you have(which is your 560ti will be because is much more powerful for most things) so that if you have a discrete graphics card for gaming you can also use the IGP(inboard graphics processor) that is on the cpu die(built into the 3570/3770).

I have a z68 board that has issues with virtu, and although it does work, i have to use the motherboard drivers ONLY that are on the gigabyte website. I cant upgrade to the newer virtue drivers that are on the "Lucid" website because... i dont friggin know, its complicated. Im sure its better and more refined with z77 mobos tho.

For me, recreationally, i ONLY use software encoding for 1080p bluray quality stuff that i will be watching on the lcd/plasma. I also use it for 1440p as thats what my computer monitor is. For everything else like youtube, ipad, etc. i use quick sync and its 90-95% quality wise but AT LEAST twice as fast.

That being said, for me(and other review will say the same), slow software based encoding/decoding is always the most accurated and best quality, nvidia cuda based is faster but noticable distortion, but intel quick sync is by far the fastest(at least twice as fast) but can sometimes have some noticable distortion if your really paying attention.
oh yeah forgot to mention, overclocking. Yes, you will want to overclock, dont worry about the 5.0ghz youve heard, thats lucky and requires a powerful cooler. Just get a cooler master hypere 212 evo(ive seen them on sale for $20-25 on but shouldn't cost you more than $30, you will easily get to 4.2-4.5ghz with great temps, and thats a 35% increase of stock 3570/3770, and you will be about 85% as fast with video as a 3930k