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My first Gaming PC Build, thoughts?

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July 15, 2013 12:49:47 AM

Hey everyone! I'm planning to order my new gaming PC by next month. I use the computer mainly for gaming, recording, editing and rendering. Budget-wise I'm comfortable with spending 3k (maybe 4k) USD max for the PC.

Here is the components I picked:
Spoiler
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Quad Core (heard more is overkill?)

CPU Cooler: (???) I was thinking of a liquid cooling system but I really don't know much about it, any recommendation?

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (DDR3 1600MHz) (I know it's overkill but for me this is an exception :D  )

Video Card: GTX 690

Primary Hard Drive: OCZ Vector 512GB [SSD]

Secondary Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB [HDD]

Sound Card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX

Case: Corsair 800D (I really want this one)

Power Supply: 1.2 Kilowatt Corsair AX1200i (I have a doubt this is overkill, or is it?)

Monitor: LG Flatron E2380 http://www.hoc.hu/upload/articles/604_10.jpg

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Here are my concerns and questions:

1. I really want a liquid cooling system considering I got the budget for it, but do I actually need it? I don't wanna suffer overheat problems.
2. Should I overclock or get a better CPU if I'm getting a liquid cooling system?
3. Overall is this configuration good for gaming?

Any answers or comments would be very appreciated :) 

More about : gaming build thoughts

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July 15, 2013 1:12:21 AM

With your budget there is no reason to stick with Ivy Bridge. You sound like you have the money available but don't truly want to spend it all if not necessary, so I'll work with that assumption.

As far as your questions:
1. & 2. - These tie together. The stock cooler is just fine if you don't plan on overclocking, liquid cooling is your best bet to get the strongest overclock you can achieve with your chip. Not all chips are created equal even with the same name. One 3770k may OC fine to 4.6 while another may only reach 4.4.
3. - Yes, this is a very strong build for gaming, but the 690 is nearly impossible to find, it is the best GPU on the planet currently, however, you don't need the best GPU on the planet. A 780 is almost as good and costs $350 less

Here would be my suggested build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1gPx8
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1gPx8/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1gPx8/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($103.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($198.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($214.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card ($648.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1748.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-15 04:11 EDT-0400


This has everything except for the case as for whatever reason pcpartpicker doesn't have it.

Upgraded to Haswell but downgraded to a 4670k instead of 4770k. The only benefit the 4770k has over the 4670k is Hyper Threading, which only applies to programs that can utilize more than 4 cores.

I only added a 256gb SSD as there isn't really a gaming-based need for anything more, and honestly, a 128gb would probably be fine.

Your PSU was overkill, yes, I'm not certain, but I believe a strong 850w PSU would run the build I've selected with TWO 780's and an overclock, though I would go with a 1,000w to be safe in that scenario, for a single 780, 750w is more than enough. PSU is also semi-modular so it will help with cable management, which helps airflow.
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July 15, 2013 1:36:12 AM

also i do hear that the very large HDDs (like the 3tb you chose) often have a short lifespan, i hear alot of people going for things like 3x1tb over a single 3tb drive.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 15, 2013 1:45:20 AM

Solid advice there from silent. The original PSU was massively overkill. Only way to possibly justify even 1.1KW is dual GTX780s both overclocked to absolute breaking point and the CPU also pushed to its absolute limit. For a more modest overclock (with only slight/sensible voltage increases) 850 watts would be ample for 2x GTX780s, or 600 watts for one.

I'd also not bother with the OCZ Vector. Partly because it's massively overpriced (most expensive consumer SSDs despite not even being the fastest) and partly because OCZ have a very poor track record for reliability. They used to blame it on Sandforce (2nd and 3rd series Vertex controllers) but they're no longer using Sandforce controllers and people still have problems with the Vertex 4. The Samsung 840 Pro recommended is the fastest consumer SSD out (though in practice there's no real world performance difference between any modern SSDs).
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July 15, 2013 10:22:32 AM

silent_744 said:
With your budget there is no reason to stick with Ivy Bridge. You sound like you have the money available but don't truly want to spend it all if not necessary, so I'll work with that assumption.

Thanks for the respsone, I'm sorry but I have some questions that might be stupid >.<

1- you downgraded i7 cpu to i5? isn't i7 better? Also regarding the Haswell, I know it's better than Ivy Bridge but I don't know which component it is, is it the CPU or the motherboard? is the i7 I picked considered Ivy Bridge and the i5 you picked considered Haswell? (I kinda want an i7 cpu unless there wont be any difference)
2- You changed the motherboard, isn't the ASUS motherboard better for gaming? (Also I think it will look cool in the see-through case)
3- Is G.Skill better than Corsair?
4- Should I overclock the cpu u suggested (if it's possible?) since I'm getting a liquid system? Also, will it shorten the lifespan of the cpu?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 15, 2013 12:36:13 PM

Ivy Bridge models are 3000 numbers and Haswell are 4000. The Haswell equivalents are on average 7% faster (big deal I know - still double the gain of Ivy vs Sandy). Below 7% difference in gaming performance. But prices are also close so it's not like it costs much more. That's the game Intel likes to play - tiny performance differences with tiny price differences. Ivy/Haswell refers to the CPU primarily but also motherboard because they need to match (Haswell is socket LGA1150).
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July 15, 2013 4:51:57 PM

I see, but I really want the ASUS rampage motherboard, is Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 + i5-4670K better than ASUS Rampage + i7-3770K?

and from what I understood, ASUS rampage doesn't support haswell and if that's the case, then what about this: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 +i7-3770K? or is it in this case the chip isn't haswell?

so confused >.<
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a b 4 Gaming
July 16, 2013 1:24:15 AM

No 3000 series CPU is Haswell. Haswell is always a 4000 model. But like I say, it's not that important. You're right that i7 is preferable, though few games will really benefit (Crysis 3 has some benefit and GTA5 probably will if it's anything like GTA4). Best to worst:

Haswell (4000 series) i7
Ivy (3000 series) i7
Haswell (4000 series) i5
Ivy (3000 series) i5
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July 17, 2013 9:53:47 PM

Maticzor said:
I see, but I really want the ASUS rampage motherboard, is Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 + i5-4670K better than ASUS Rampage + i7-3770K?

and from what I understood, ASUS rampage doesn't support haswell and if that's the case, then what about this: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H ATX LGA1150 +i7-3770K? or is it in this case the chip isn't haswell?

so confused >.<


When you get into "premium" motherboards, the performance benefits are so minute from one to the next, you're paying $50, $60, $70, $100, etc. more for features and options. If you care about aesthetics more than pricing, sure, go for that, but you'll probably be paying a bit more to find the scheme you like because it probably has a completely different feature set than another board that you might find ugly.

Haswell (4xxx series CPUS) are indeed superior, but not by much. When your budget is as high as yours though, there is NO reason to go with a 3rd generation product over a 4th genation. Z87 boards (socket 1150, the socket haswell uses) also come with far superior native features (more usb 3.0, more sata III (6.0gb/s), etc.) than Z77 boards.

I chose the i5 over i7 for one simple reason: You stated gaming as your primary use. Maybe in the coming years the i7 will take the crown, but right now it has no true benefit over an i5 for gaming. Most games are still limited to 2 or 3 cores and aren't even using the i5's full power. Everything is limited by the GPU still.

i5's will also use slightly less power and produce slightly less heat. It SHOULD allow for a stronger overclock, this is VERY dependent on the individual chip though, not all chips are created equal unfortunately.

Hope these answers help, if you have any more questions or I missed something in my rambling feel free to ask again.

Edit:

That Z87 board will NOT work with the 3770k, the 3770k uses socket 1155, the Z87 is socket 1150. You can find this information usually in the details tab when you are looking at the products on newegg or whichever website.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 18, 2013 2:27:26 AM

Just to add to Slient's answer, there actually are games that benefit from an i7 over an i5 (Crysis 3 for example) but they are the exception to the rule. Most people don't consider the price difference to be worth it for just one or two games. So I'd still recommend an i5 (unless you see an amazing deal on an i7) but wouldn't want you to then see a Crysis 3 benchmark and feel you had been misled :-)
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