Plz Critique my Z77 Build for Gaming (Starcraft II). Red Theme.

rm - ottawa

May 7, 2011
Hi all,

I've just placed online orders and picked up other in-store items for this new Z77 build for my girlfriend. She's never had her own computer before and is currently playing on a laptop that overheats so this will be a very exciting first build:

The theme will be red and black, I did not find a red motherboard and am currently electing for the AsRock Z77 Extreme4. Now I've heard the power consumption is high on this board and AsRock may not be as reliable as Gigabyte/Asus/MSI. Should I keep this board? Our budget is $130 max for the mobo which opens up a lot of the mid range. I noticed there were multiple asus variations and a strong gigabyte candidate in this price range, what do you guys think for this? If there was a candidate that was "red" that would be a "bonus". :)

CPU: i7-3770k ($95+$38 shipping Intel Retail Edge Program)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus HF1 ($50)
PSU: Corsair 600CX ($65)
MOBO: AsRock Z77 Extreme4 ($115) * Considering other boards I.E. Gigabyte or Asus
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL) ($35)
SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 120G ($110)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB ($80)
Led Lights: NZXT Sleeved LED Case Light Kit (Red) 2 Meter ($20)

Did I make good choices for the RAM and SSD? I wasn't sure if the Crucial/HyperX/Sandisk/Intel/Samsung were superior in any way, but chose it based on a positive review. I

I'd also like to know if this Power supply is a good choice. The biggest concern was price, and of course finding a reliable brand. I am hoping this $65 is well spent and that this guy will do the job.

Outside of Starcraft II, I can see this build being used for skype/facebook webcamming and possibly streaming. It won't be used for over clocking.. and I can understand this brings to question the Z77 board in the first place, but I was thinking based on light research that spending the $115 on the mobo is probably a good investment nonetheless. And yes this was a special case as having access to a very affordable i7-3770k. (Was originally going to go with the i5-2500).

Thanks very much for any feedback, I can make any final adjustments to the build throughout this week.

PS. Before starting this build, we already had an AMD 6970 video card. Any suggestions for aesthetics are also welcomed. So far the Zalman HF1 comes with red lights, (the gpu and RAM will be red), and the NZXT case lights purchased will be red! So fun.