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Please make sure everything here is compatible and...

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August 8, 2010 3:54:11 AM

Please make sure everything here is compatible with the other parts and let me know if there is a better option in any of these categories for roughly the same price range or slightly more. (Money is not a big issue.)

I'm going to keep this topic alive for at LEAST week before I commit to any purchases, so please feel free to chime in. This is a big deal purchase for me, and I have put in weeks worth of research, but I could be missing something, so please, ALL comments are appreciated.

Components:

Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7980X

ASUS Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP6GX3M3A1600C8 x2

LIAN LI PC-A77F Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive x3

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X
DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

SAPPHIRE 100280SR Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit
GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Universal CPU Cooler 120mm Magnetic Fluid Dynamic LED Fan and Fan Controller/Heatsink Rev.1 with TX-3 & 1156 Brackets

Auzentech forte 7.1

Notes: Not interested in watercooling at this time, and the GPU and processor are settled. The goal here is to be future proof, and have the best of the current time period so as to last at least 3+ years before needing to upgrade (longer if possible). I am ignoring bluray drives for now.

More about : make compatible

August 8, 2010 4:02:28 AM

other than that, your build is a monster machine

good luck!
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August 8, 2010 4:09:17 PM

I know the power supply is overkill, but it's for future proofing. I don't want to have to get into the case except to change the gpu in the next few years (and to clean). My last power supply reached its limit, too, after having the computer for 5+ years, and it was similarly one of the best at the time.


Thanks for the comments! Still looking for more. Expensive purchase, so I want to be as informed as possible.
August 8, 2010 4:49:09 PM

what other graphics do you plan on adding?
August 8, 2010 4:53:48 PM

To be completely honest, trying to opt for "future-proof" is nearly always a disastrous choice. In almost all cases, you'll find yourself a couple of years down the road with a computer that has been outclassed in nearly all aspects by far cheaper parts.

My advice is that you think of incremental updates every couple of years instead of going all-out right off the bat. Seriously, getting a 1000$ CPU? I don't pretend to know what technological advances there are going to be in the future, but if history taught us anything it's that it's never cost-efficient to buy what's currently rated as "best in the world". The Core i7-930, an extremely well-respected CPU, costs over three times less than what you're going for and you can bet your ass it'll still be alive and kicking a few years down the road.

Also, about the GPU - it's obvious to me that you're going for as high-end gaming as you can get. If that's the case, then perhaps you should think about gaming in 3D, as that is where the market seems to be going lately. In that respect, NVIDIA is dominating the market, and looks like it will keep on doing so for at least a year or two. Maybe instead of purchasing such an incredible GPU, you should opt for something a little less eccentric and instead purchase a 3D-ready display with the NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit. Say, for example, getting a GTX 480 along with an Asus VG236H 23" which comes bundled with the 3D Vision Kit, and all at the same price as one HD 5970.

One last thing - I don't know what you intend to do with your mammoth machine, but I seriously doubt it will ever need a 1200watt PSU. I get that you're trying to soften the blow of whatever the future is going to come up with, but if there's anything in your system that you should downgrade on, it's that. It's simply such an overkill, and I can (almost) guarantee you will never come close to needing so much power. Here, use this PSU calculator, and throw at it everything that you can possibly imagine you even have the slightest chance of upgrading: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
August 8, 2010 5:24:21 PM

I agree with all of Guillotine's advice except for the 3D Vision stuff. Guillotine, you should take some of your own medicine there. :) 

3D gaming is in its infancy, it's probably wiser to let the market settle down before being first in with nVidia's initial offering. Give it a year or two, and see what ATI's competing product looks like, as well as nVidia's eventual revision/change/improvements.

If this rig is solely (or primarily) for gaming, the i7-980X is overkill, and not worth it. If you're buying for bragging rights, then that's fine. Here's a comparison of the 920 vs. the 980X. The 980X is certainly better in games, but it's not $700 better. I would switch to an i7-930 and spend the money saved on either a Crucial C300 256 GB SSD (not the 128 GB) or an OCZ Vertex 2. You'll see much more benefit in day-to-day usage by getting an SSD over the $1k processor.
August 8, 2010 5:48:30 PM

Yeah, perhaps going the 3D quite just yet is not sound advice. I was mostly looking to give him a second option to spending 1000$ on a GPU, though, so it still sort of semi-stands.
August 8, 2010 6:13:30 PM

If it's a gaming machine though, a sizeable portion of the budget should be spent on the GPU. With the assumed budget for the above build, a 5970 (or 2x 480) is perfectly reasonable.

That's actually another option, get the i7-930 and used the money saved on another 5970, but that's really only useful for resolutions that include a multi-monitor setup.

It would be nice to know the OP's intended monitor setup, and whether or not 3D or multi-monitor gaming is of interest. A 5970 is kind of overkill even for 1920x1080, the same for 2x 480. If Eyefinity is of interest, 2x 5970 wouldn't necessarily be out of the question. It wouldn't hurt to have the information requested in How to Ask for New Build Advice. Specifically, monitor resolution, budget, and intended purpose of the build.

The i7-980X is appropriate for a home business/work computer that's going to be performing a lot of Photoshop, sound editing, whatever. But as has been mentioned, it's not needed for a gaming build.
August 9, 2010 12:53:27 AM

Thanks for all of the great replies and notes (upendra, guillotine, coldsleep).

This a station that I not only will be gaming on, but will be using a variety of productivity apps - almost all of adobe's product line up, and some few lesser known math programs, and some limited 3dsmax. (More productivity than gaming.)

My last psu was top of the line when I bought it, and 5 years later I couldn't upgrade without losing a component because the PSU was a limitation. I prefer to not deal with incremental upgrades, especially for something like a PSU, because of having to work so much inside the case to install a new one.

I am considering different GPU options, and even considered the Ares, but ultimately decided not to get it because it is not a good future-proof card imo because it takes up 3 slots, and there won't be more available later to put in a cross fire setup. Two 5870s barely outperform a single 5970 and take up two additional slots, so I felt I could more easily upgrade with a 5970 (just add a 5970 later when it is a mid-range card). No reason to get two 5970s now, because, as was noted, it can handle everything fine currently.

The intended monitor setup, for those wondering, are two 1920x1080 monitors.

I know future-proofing is really difficult to do, if not impossible, but a long-lasting machine with minimal hassle is what I really desire.

Thanks, and keep the thoughts coming.
August 9, 2010 1:04:57 AM

If your livelihood depends on this, then certainly go for the 980X. I would still consider the i7-930 if you're doing this as a hobby.

Unless you're already maxxing out your budget, I would seriously consider getting an SSD. If you haven't tried a system that uses one as a boot/app drive, you really don't know what you're missing out on.

Quick recommendations:
60 GB - OCZ Vertex 2
80 GB - Intel X25-M
100 & 120 GB - OCZ Vertex 2
256 GB - Crucial C300

I can provide some links with additional reading tomorrow, if required.
August 10, 2010 2:50:05 AM

Please do, coldsleep. Really looking forward to that info.
August 10, 2010 3:00:53 AM

Hi, well i have a suggestion, get two Spinpoint F3's, put them in a Raid 0 config, it will be much faster than those caviar blacks. You know this is the pretty much WORST time to buy this kind of stuff? the new sandy will be out this year, wait it out and get something better.
August 11, 2010 3:07:17 AM

Mr Pizza said:
Hi, well i have a suggestion, get two Spinpoint F3's, put them in a Raid 0 config, it will be much faster than those caviar blacks. You know this is the pretty much WORST time to buy this kind of stuff? the new sandy will be out this year, wait it out and get something better.


The spinpoints haven't been able to compare to the cavier blacks, from my research. Can you point to any article about the new disk you are referring to?

(I'm not really interested in raid 0 despite the performance increases, due to greater liability for data loss. Sorry, I should have mentioned this.)
August 12, 2010 6:12:14 PM

Can anyone tell me what is a sandy that mr pizza was referring to? Thanks
August 12, 2010 6:19:37 PM

Sandy Bridge. In other words, Socket 1155, the successor to Socket 1156, the current i5-7nn and i7-8nn socket.
August 12, 2010 7:22:43 PM

well, its gonna be fast ;)  and don't forget the 1355 (or w/e socket its gonna be)
August 14, 2010 12:23:17 AM

Well, I guess if the wait was something like a month I might be able to manage that, but a nebulous 4Q 2010 is a little too long for me, considering my current computer is so old and I need a new one to begin to work effectively again. I'd like to wait, but don't think I can without solid dates. Thanks for bringing this up.
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