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An IT Insider's New Gaming Build: Let's see where I land

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March 8, 2011 3:13:11 AM

Hi All,

First off, this is a great community and I appreciate your help. You guys helped me design my computer in 2007 and it's been doing great. Truth be told, it works great now but I'm running out of storage capacity and I find my older 512mb 4870 sometimes holding me back in games. I recently got a screaming deal on an HP ZR24w ($215) and it made me want to look into things again. I work in the IT Reseller community and fortunately have good relationships with Intel, Crucial, ATI, etc. Basically, the big names the a B2B reseller would carry I have contacts and think I can get some serious discounts if not free product. When everything is said and done, I'll post what everything costed me.

Here's my current computer:
Intel Q6600 QC Proc
4GB RAM
ATI HD 4870
750w Power Supply Supporting SLI
Gigabyte X48-DS4 Mobo
WD 500GB HDD
Win7 Ultimate

When I looked into upgrading my hard drives and GPU, I just figured it might be fun to go with a new build!



CPU
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

Mobo - is there a good Intel-branded option?
Asus Sabertooth X58 6gb/s USB3.0 N82E16813131665

RAM
Corsair Dominator 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600ghz TR3X6G1600C8D


Hard Drive 1
Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Hard Drive 2 & 3

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


Video Card
PNY X580 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

If I don't get good pricing on this I may go with two ATI 6850's.

Case
Corsair Graphite Series 600T Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case N82E16811139003

I'm hung up on this one a bit. I want a nice steel case with good cable management, quiet, and long-lasting. I'm not a huge fan of any plastic. I was looking at the 700T but it looks like there is no airflow.


Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W N82E16817139009

I do want the ability to add support two GPU's, is this alright?

CPU cooler
Scythe SCRT-1000 120mm Sleeve New High-End Top-Flow CPU Cooler N82E16835185155

Is liquid cooling worth looking into?

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM 6832116754


Optical Drive 1
LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM
(plays blue ray, read/write DVD's)



Best solution

March 8, 2011 3:35:41 AM

Drop the Dominators, they are useless now when Ripjaws could do the same job for 20$ less.

Drop the Sabertooth, waste of money @ 220$. Get the Asrock Extreme4 P67, highly revered board among the enthusiast community and @ 150$ can't be beat. Plus it does all the things that Sabertooth does at the same performance for 70$ less with no "Tactical Vest" Marketing gimmick.
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e...

You may want to look into the Vertex 3 OCZ drives, NOT the 510's from Intel. They suck in comparison.
Vertex 3 review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...
510 review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-510-solid-state...

You'll notice that Intel slacks in almost everything in comparison to the Vertex 3. In some areas worse than the now downgraded 25nm Vertex 2.

Caviar blacks are crap, save the money for something else. Get the Samsung F3 1TB, you'll save some cash and it'll perform the same. You won't notice ANY difference AT ALL with an SSD boot drive that's for sure.

580 = Meh for me. I think 560 Ti in SLI is a better deal or as you mentioned CF 6850. The 560 Ti's can overclock to the 570's level and that'll in essence be a cooler running 570 SLI. The 6850 OC to 6870 performance and have good scaling.

Unless your talking about an LCS (custom loop) then LCing is a no go and a waste of money. H50/other things of that form are all just fake water cooling.
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March 8, 2011 3:35:47 AM

Hi there,

If you have enough money you might want to have a look at the EVGA X58 motherboards, and liquid cooling might not be necessary if your not overclocking.

Cheers.

EDIT===OOps i forgot. ignore the X58, haha i feel like a dumbass. Alright don't need fifty people telling me off!
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March 8, 2011 3:40:54 AM

X58 boards are not compatible with Sandy Bridge processors. You need an LGA 1155 MB, P67, and will need to wait a week or two before the good Asus boards show up.

Intel boards are always poor gaming performers and poor overclockers. Historically speaking of course. Also, I have heard of high failure rates and such. Never touched one myself.

How much are you wiling to spend on a case?

Water cooling requires a significant investment, in time as well as cash. There are a few options from Swiftech that are not too difficult and give good results, but water is going to increase build time by a lot and require yearly maintenance. Not recommended for inexperienced builders.

If your budget permits you need to look at modular supplies. Any PSU that large has a lot of cables and makes for a messy build that is annoying enough that you'll likely regret not spending another 20 bucks.

I have found my Samsung optical combo drive to benchmark well and generally as good relatively as older drives I paid more for. Like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Understood on the GPU. I recently upgraded from one of those to a (water cooled) 5870 and was happy I did it.
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March 8, 2011 3:44:18 AM

aznshinobi said:
Drop the Dominators, they are useless now when Ripjaws could do the same job for 20$ less.

Drop the Sabertooth, waste of money @ 220$. Get the Asrock Extreme4 P67, highly revered board among the enthusiast community and @ 150$ can't be beat. Plus it does all the things that Sabertooth does at the same performance for 70$ less with no "Tactical Vest" Marketing gimmick.
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1098/pg2/asrock-e...

You may want to look into the Vertex 3 OCZ drives, NOT the 510's from Intel. They suck in comparison.
Vertex 3 review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vertex-3-sandforce-...
510 review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-510-solid-state...

You'll notice that Intel slacks in almost everything in comparison to the Vertex 3. In some areas worse than the now downgraded 25nm Vertex 2.



Thanks for your detailed response. I was trying to stick with the "big names" and would still like to do that. I want to get this thing as close to half off as possible. Asrock looks great but maybe a Asus would make more sense?

Secondly, regarding the SSD's, I don't have a relationship with OCZ. However, I do with Crucial so maybe waiting for theirs to come out would be a good idea?
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March 8, 2011 3:47:31 AM

Proximon said:
X58 boards are not compatible with Sandy Bridge processors. You need an LGA 1155 MB, P67, and will need to wait a week or two before the good Asus boards show up.

How much are you wiling to spend on a case?


Doh, noob mistake! Good point on the Asus, sounds like I'll wait for those puppies.

I'm willing to spend a lot on the case, $250+. I really want to go for the Apple Mac Pro "look" if you catch my drift. Quality brushed steel/aluminum, etc. I don't care too much about LED's and what not but I want this thing to look sharp and hold up for a long time. I'm scared my Antex is going to fall apart whenever I lift it up.
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March 8, 2011 3:52:31 AM

If you want to support two GPUs, then perhaps a full size case?
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March 8, 2011 4:10:14 AM

... Big names... Are you kidding me. OCZ IS THE BIGGEST SSD NAME IN THE BUSINESS! Take it from ME! Their SSDs are BEASTLY in comparison to Intel OR Crucial. If you actually look at the Vertex 3 review, they KILL THE CRUCIAL SSDs. ABSOLUTELY MURDER!

The reason being most things are optimized or just accustomed to the Sandforce Controller. Any other is just not that great with very inconsistent results. IE Idilex, Marvell, etc. etc.

Asrock is also a huge name, that makes no sense to pick a brand just cause it's well known. That's like saying I'd buy something based off its cover or just because it is expensive. I will tell you now, it is a dumb mistake. To judge something by the cover. (or in your case Company)
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March 8, 2011 4:24:18 AM

aznshinobi said:
... Big names... Are you kidding me. OCZ IS THE BIGGEST SSD NAME IN THE BUSINESS! Take it from ME! Their SSDs are BEASTLY in comparison to Intel OR Crucial. If you actually look at the Vertex 3 review, they KILL THE CRUCIAL SSDs. ABSOLUTELY MURDER!

The reason being most things are optimized or just accustomed to the Sandforce Controller. Any other is just not that great with very inconsistent results. IE Idilex, Marvell, etc. etc.

Asrock is also a huge name, that makes no sense to pick a brand just cause it's well known. That's like saying I'd buy something based off its cover or just because it is expensive. I will tell you now, it is a dumb mistake. To judge something by the cover. (or in your case Company)


I appreciate your help and excitement. I did, however, make it clear in the original post that I am trying to get some great deals through work relationships and sell B2B technology. It's a bit of a stretch because system building is not a specialty of ours, though we have a lot of relationships in place. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a large partnership between OCZ and Asrock but I will definitely weight them out in the decision!
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March 8, 2011 5:54:45 AM

Ohh.... See I actually didn't understand the whole "B2B" terminology. But now I understand. Well if you can get a partnership with Asus w/ the Asus P8P67 Pro boards, it'd be your best option. Another option for SSD's (SF controllers) are Patriot, Adata, errr... Corsair, Mushkin, G.Skill. See if your company can get a partnership with Corsair. They're big in the SSD game too with SF-xxxx controlled SSDs.

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March 8, 2011 5:59:04 AM

manosteel00 said:
Doh, noob mistake! Good point on the Asus, sounds like I'll wait for those puppies.

I'm willing to spend a lot on the case, $250+. I really want to go for the Apple Mac Pro "look" if you catch my drift. Quality brushed steel/aluminum, etc. I don't care too much about LED's and what not but I want this thing to look sharp and hold up for a long time. I'm scared my Antex is going to fall apart whenever I lift it up.


I too like that sort of clean look in my PCs. It's an argument for water cooling actually, as you don't need the heavily ventilated cases for that.

I am currently using this Silverstone:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's a very nice case but I probably would not recommend it now.... I paid much more for mine many years ago. It's an old design and somewhat inflexible. It's also built like a tank though. The front plate is THICK aluminum and goes thunk when you knock on it.

The Cooler Master ATCS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Good design and nice looks.

Lian Li:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Silver Lian Li
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

And the Corsair 700D you were looking at.


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March 8, 2011 10:13:04 AM

Best answer selected by manosteel00.
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March 8, 2011 10:24:26 AM

Thank you. I'm looking at the following parts in light of everyone's recommendations:

CPU
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

Mobo
Asus P67 Pro Mobo once released or Asrock.

RAM
Up in the air, should I run DDR3 2133?

Hard Drive 1
OCZ Vertex 3 or Crucial equivalent - 240GB

Hard Drive 2 & 3
I'm looking for 2x2TB Drives in Raid 1 for redundancy - What drives should I get and is this a good idea?

Video Card
Most Likely two 6850's, though does the GTX580 make it worth it?

Case
Corsair 700d

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W N82E16817139009 - am I buying enough power supply?

CPU cooler
Scythe SCRT-1000 120mm Sleeve New High-End Top-Flow CPU Cooler N82E16835185155
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March 8, 2011 6:18:04 PM

The 850TX will deliver the amps you need, unless you are going to have 3 GTX 580s. It's not something I would buy if I had a decent budget though.

Corsair HX850 is silver rated and modular.

Corsair AX850 is gold rated and modular.

Seasonic X-850 is gold rated and modular.

Those are all built by Seasonic, and should provide many years of stable power. There are other PSUs that have tested very well, but the manufacturers don't have that sort of rep yet.

On the GPUs, GTX 580 SLI is pretty much overkill. Maybe if you wanted to span 3 large monitors while gaming. 2x GTX 560 Ti is probably all you need.

You are not going to get much performance gain from faster RAM. It's mostly for synthetic benchmarks and perhaps shaving time off very long renders. We generally recommend RAM based on price/latency/speed. If you are very serious about getting every last mhz out of your CPU, you will need faster RAM though.

At only $150 for instance, this CL7 kit is not bad:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 8, 2011 8:26:16 PM

Thanks. I know that DDR is triple channel memory though and should be in multiples of 3 (ie, 6GB, 9GB, 12GB) are ideal. Is this true?
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March 8, 2011 9:12:46 PM

^ Yes that is correct.

For the HDDs something to look at would be the Samsung F3 1TBs. They're cheap and fast, plus they've got the perfect speed for any user.

The 6850 CF is a good choice, but something may be a better choice is the 560 Ti. The main reason is because certain games don't really collaborate with dual card configs such as Blizzard games in which case a strong single card is better used.

DDR3 1333 is good enough for the avg user, DDR3 1600 is pretty much good for anybody, anything above that isn't necessary unless your getting a huge discount.
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March 8, 2011 9:56:36 PM

Thanks for the help.

I got a pretty sweet deal on processors today. I'm almost tempted to do the 990 with this pricing. Let's just say the 990 pricing is ridiculous as is the 2600k. I can't post since I don't want to get anyone in trouble. What price point would you buy the 990 over the 2600k?

I have good pricing on the following:
i7-2600k
i7-990x
x-25m 120GB SSD

What should I go with?
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March 8, 2011 10:05:38 PM

I would never buy the 990X over the 2600K mainly because the old arch is aging and as time goes on programs will start optimizing for the new arch and so that's why the 2600K would be a better choice. It also leaves room for upgrades in the future.
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March 9, 2011 3:08:36 AM

Alright, so far I have gathered a GTX 560 ti and Intel i7-2600k, both new, for $150.

Next step: Mobo and SSD.
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March 9, 2011 4:17:33 AM

manosteel00 said:
Thanks. I know that DDR is triple channel memory though and should be in multiples of 3 (ie, 6GB, 9GB, 12GB) are ideal. Is this true?



DDR is not triple channel memory. DDR3 refers to the generation, not the number of channels. DDR stands for Double Data Rate.

P67 boards are NOT triple channel boards. They are dual channel. You buy ram in sets of 2.

X58 boards are triple-channel.
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March 9, 2011 9:12:00 AM

If you aren't going to be running GTX 580 SLI then you can even drop down to a good 650W PSU.

For harddrives the WD Caviar Green 2TD EARS, Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2TB are good choices with a track record. Not much to choose between those two, whichever is cheaper is probably the one you should get. Seagate have released a new 2TB Barracuda Green, which according to this review is faster than the two mentioned above.
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March 9, 2011 10:31:19 PM

Turns out I can get employee pricing at Gigabyte. What do you guys think of the UD5/UD7?
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March 9, 2011 10:43:38 PM

UD5 is probably a good board, it just lacks some of the bells and whistles of Asus boards. Gigabyte is still using the old BIOS layouts and doesn't have the built in Blu-tooth. That's really my only quibbles.
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