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Micro ATX Build Advice, <$3000, Titan?

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June 12, 2013 4:12:57 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month

Budget Range: <$3,000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon (I have Prime)

Location: New York, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel, Nvidia

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Additional Comments: Micro ATX

Why Are You Upgrading: My current PC is a couple years old and I like to keep up to date, especially right before a new console generation.

Case: NZXT Vulcan

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme-4M

CPU: Intel Core i5-3750K 3.4GHz

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3 1600

SSD: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 256GB SSD

PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W PSU

Monitor: Dell U2713HM

HDD: Some 500GB Western Digital I already have, I don't care about the HDD too much, I don't need 1 TB+.

I have two major questions.

The first is related to cooling. If I don't plan to overclock, will the stock fans on the Vulcan be fine? I'd probably get the 200mm side fan, the 92mm back fan, and the second 120mm top fan just to be sure, but I wouldn't need any liquid cooling on the CPU or anything like that, would I?

The second, bigger question is what GPU to get.

I currently have a GTX 670 2GB and I really regret how much the vram limits my ability to mod Skyrim. I'd like to be able to run Skyrim with ENB and a ton of 2k/4k textures at 2560 x 1440.

I've read people claim 5GB+ of vram usage in a modded Skyrim, and I've also read that Skyrim simply cannot use more than 3.x GB of vram. I'm not sure what to believe, but regardless of Skyrim, what about future modding possibilities? GTA 5, Watch Dogs, The Witcher 3, etc. Even without dedicated modding kits, texture swaps and ENB series are common mods for each of those game's predecessors (where applicable) and I'm worried about hitting this vram limit again soon even with a 4GB card.

It's because of this that I want to get a GTX Titan. However, the Titan seems to have sort of a "this card is a trap, don't buy it" vibe pretty much everywhere I look. The usual recommendation, the GTX 780, only has 3GB of vram. Is my particular requirement, a mATX/single card build intended for extensive modding, by chance the one good application of a GTX Titan?

With the Xbox One and PS4 both using AMD, will we start to see all developers optimizing for AMD first with Nvidia as an afterthought? Would it be better to go AMD then if so?

Thanks

More about : micro atx build advice 3000 titan

June 12, 2013 4:36:56 PM

I am no expert on vram, particularly with modding.
It is my perception, however, that insufficient vram is a performance issue, not a functioning one. If so, then it may be less of an issue than you think. Here is one study of performance of 2gb s 4gb with a GTX680:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...
With a single 2560 x 1440 monitor, I would think a GTX780 would be excellent.
My experience with the evga superclocked (standard titan type cooler) has been outstanding. Even under full load, it is quiet. It seems hard to find.
If the $1000 price does not bother you too much, get the titan.

Even with a conservative overclock, your stock fans should be fine. Try things first before spending on what you may not need. Adding fans increases noise, but it is easy to do later. I think AMD/Nvidia is a wash as to performance. AMD does better in FPS benchmarks, but Nvidia seems to have fewer lags. You mostly get what you pay for at every price point, and differences are only detectable by synthetic benchmarks.

If you do not plan on overclocking, at least to high levels, I might go with a 4670/K and a Z87 chipset motherboard. Performance will not be too different, but you will be on a 1150 socket that will be good for the next broadwell generation. There are other plusses like more 6gb sata ports and usb3.0 ports.
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June 12, 2013 4:37:32 PM

The Titan is an insanely overpriced card, as is the 780. What you're best off doing is getting something like dual 7970 GHz (with good cooling, of course) and CFX'ing them. However, there are tons of glitches with CFX, so you're better off doing SLI. When you get to SLI, though, the cards are all only 2GB (like the 770, for example). However, dual 770's can run a triple-monitor setup, since Gigabyte makes 4GB models of their Windforce card.
IMO, the best thing to do is get dual 4GB Windforce GTX 770's.
And no, it is not a good idea to go AMD. You would need to CFX, which (as I said) is much, MUCH glitchier than SLI.
Also, does this $3k budget include the monitor (which is a great one, by the way)?
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June 12, 2013 5:58:17 PM

geofelt said:
I am no expert on vram, particularly with modding.
It is my perception, however, that insufficient vram is a performance issue, not a functioning one. If so, then it may be less of an issue than you think. Here is one study of performance of 2gb s 4gb with a GTX680:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...
With a single 2560 x 1440 monitor, I would think a GTX780 would be excellent.
I was under the impression that higher resolution textures and higher anti-aliasing and other post-processing effects "cost" a certain amount of vram. The more vram you have, the more high-res textures and effects you can "afford."

geofelt said:
If the $1000 price does not bother you too much, get the titan.
It's not that the price doesn't bother me, it's just that I'm willing to pay it if it's my only option. I'd much rather get a GTX 780, but the last time I "settled" for a card I got my GTX 670 2GB instead of the 4GB version, and here I am.

geofelt said:
If you do not plan on overclocking, at least to high levels, I might go with a 4670/K and a Z87 chipset motherboard. Performance will not be too different, but you will be on a 1150 socket that will be good for the next broadwell generation. There are other plusses like more 6gb sata ports and usb3.0 ports.
I tend to build new every few years and sell my old setup, so I'm not sure if this is that great of a plus for me, as I wouldn't be using whatever motherboard I get now in two-ish years. The difference in price appears to be about $30, though (Gigabyte Z87 LGA 1150 2 Way SLI mATX Motherboard + Intel Core i5-4670K), so it's probably worth it just in case.

dannyboy2233 said:
IMO, the best thing to do is get dual 4GB Windforce GTX 770's.
I've only had problems with SLI in the past. People say microstuttering is dead, but they also said that two years ago when I had it playing RIFT with my two GTX 460s. I have enjoyed my single GTX 670 much more since then.

What would be proper cooling for SLI GTX 770s inside of a NZXT Vulcan? Would they even fit?

dannyboy2233 said:
Also, does this $3k budget include the monitor (which is a great one, by the way)?
Yes.
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