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~$1500 gaming and workstation pc

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June 13, 2011 3:08:14 AM

Hey there,

I am building a PC for home and was able to snag quite a few of the parts through a work order so I mostly need help making sure the stuff will work and picking a GPU, PSU, and RAM if you think that the stuff already on the table isn't going to be the best for the setup I have. Also, if anyone knows of any complications that might come up with this build and the NZXT Phantom case it would be good to hear about it.

If any of the stuff I have already seems odd feel free to say so. Basically there was a list of things that were getting purchased in mass quantities and I had the opportunity to get in on it.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: ~$1500 (including what I already have, there is ~$500 left but I'm flexible, and always open to saving cash too)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: game dev/design (modelling, photoshop, engines, etc), gaming, engineering apps (simulators, debuggers, etc)

Parts:
Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Already Owned:

•CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

•MOBO: Asus P8P67 Pro

•RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB 2X4GB PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit

•HSF: Corsair Hydro H70 Liquid-Cooling System

•SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB

•HDD: WD Caviar Black 2TB


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ncix

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: I would definately like to use a NZXT Phantom case.

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: I'm not really too clear on the whole SLI/Crossfire thing

Monitor Resolution: I hope to get a HP ZR30W 30" IPS (2560 x 1600) this year but it's pretty pricey... so I don't want to focus too much on target res if that's possible, who knows what could happen?

Additional Comments:
  • I need a GPU, but this is something I have absolutely no idea about. I have no clue as to whether I should use 1 or 2 or what models will work with my setup. I would be into spending $200-$400 and I'm into good bang-4-buck.
  • The PSU I'll need will probly depend on the GPU so any suggestions would be nice.
  • If anyone can tell me why the RAM I have listed above is no good or can suggest some better stuff I am open to it.
  • I imagine I'll be getting Windows 7 64-bit but I was wondering what the differences between Home, Professional, and Ultimate might be for someone looking to do the things that I am with this build.
  • More about : 1500 gaming workstation

    June 14, 2011 4:51:07 AM

    Taylor422 said:
    You're going to want to go with dual cards if you're looking at running at 2560 x 1600. Perhaps a pair of GTX 560s in SLI or Radeon 6870s in Crossfire, as recommended here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...


    Thanks Taylor, I think I'm gonna grab the Radeon 6870's (at least one for now). Is there a particular RAM you can recommend for this build? Also, do you have any clue if this stuff will fit into a NZXT Phantom case? And how do I go about picking an appropriate PSU? Haha sorry for bombarding you with questions. There is just so much to learn.
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    June 14, 2011 5:11:40 AM

    PSU - This is a pretty good deal -
    Corsair 750HX for CAD 130
    - Modular
    - 80+ Silver
    - 7 Years warranty
    Savings Code 38649-1339. SAVE $25.00 off our regular price of $154.99 if you buy today! Special price ends 06/15/2011.
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=38649&vpn=CMPSU-750HX&man...

    OS - For your build, if you would need to run apps/ debuggers which would need backward compatibility, then I would suggest the Win 7 Professional as it has Win XP mode in it and is better suited for such tasks,...
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    Best solution

    June 14, 2011 3:26:47 PM

    beiers said:
    Thanks Taylor, I think I'm gonna grab the Radeon 6870's (at least one for now). Is there a particular RAM you can recommend for this build? Also, do you have any clue if this stuff will fit into a NZXT Phantom case? And how do I go about picking an appropriate PSU? Haha sorry for bombarding you with questions. There is just so much to learn.


    The RAM you've got already is pretty good. Only catch might be, depending on how heavy duty the workstation programs are, you might see a benefit from adding more RAM. Which you can always do later.

    I found this video on YouTube of a guy with a Phantom and a 6870, skip to 60 seconds to see the internals... it looks like it fits pretty good to me.

    As for picking a power supply, that depends on how much juice the computer's going to use. There's a cool tool right here that we use to calculate PSU requirements. I got 500W, but I don't know what your liquid cooling setup pulls, so I just punched in the fans that come with the case. I'd say ~650W would be okay, maybe a bit more. There's also a few good brands of PSU that we use, and try to stay away from the rest that tend to be lower quality. SeaSonic, Corsair, and Antec are three that pop in to my mind, but someone else will be able to give you a more complete list.

    Edit: In regards to what edition of Windows to use, Wikipedia has a nice chart about halfway down this page that compares them.
    Share
    June 30, 2011 3:08:34 PM

    Hey guys, I had an unexpected vacation due to flooding so my comp build got moved to the back burner :( 

    gkay09 said:

    OS - For your build, if you would need to run apps/ debuggers which would need backward compatibility, then I would suggest the Win 7 Professional as it has Win XP mode in it and is better suited for such tasks,...


    Good point, I definitely NEED that XP mode, there are so many programs at school that are not compatible with any new OS's, thanks for letting me know.

    OS - Win 7 Pro --> check

    Quote:
    ...else stick with HD 6870,... If possible HD 6950,...


    Why do you say if possible HD 6950? Is the HD 6870 not much of an upgrade?

    Quote:

    RAM - Check out these
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=5575 [...] =G%2ESkill
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=5809 [...] =G%2ESkill


    Thanks alot for these. I knew I wanted 2x4gb but all the memory I found was either CL7-7-7-21 or CL9-9-9-24 and I was having a bit of trouble figuring out which one I should use.

    Thanks alot gkay09!

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    June 30, 2011 3:15:39 PM

    beiers said:
    Thanks Taylor, I think I'm gonna grab the Radeon 6870's (at least one for now). Is there a particular RAM you can recommend for this build? Also, do you have any clue if this stuff will fit into a NZXT Phantom case? And how do I go about picking an appropriate PSU? Haha sorry for bombarding you with questions. There is just so much to learn.

    the 560 ti is a stronger card than the 6870. in that article Taylor posted they just picked the 6950 over the 560 ti. you can find a 560 ti for under 200$ with mail in rebates.
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    June 30, 2011 3:33:54 PM

    Taylor422 said:

    I found this video on YouTube of a guy with a Phantom and a 6870, skip to 60 seconds to see the internals... it looks like it fits pretty good to me.

    Thanks a ton Taylor!!! I asked everyone and no one seemed to know if it would fit, I just ordered the Phantom tower with peace of mind.
    Case --> check!

    Quote:
    The RAM you've got already is pretty good. Only catch might be, depending on how heavy duty the workstation programs are, you might see a benefit from adding more RAM. Which you can always do later.

    Just like I asked gkay09, I was wondering what the difference was between the CL7-7-7-21 and CL9-9-9-24 RAM was and if it matters for me.
    Quote:

    As for picking a power supply, that depends on how much juice the computer's going to use. There's a cool tool right here that we use to calculate PSU requirementsI got 500W, but I don't know what your liquid cooling setup pulls, so I just punched in the fans that come with the case. I'd say ~650W would be okay, maybe a bit more. There's also a few good brands of PSU that we use, and try to stay away from the rest that tend to be lower quality. SeaSonic, Corsair, and Antec...

    Your a lifesaver Taylor, I just picked up a Corsair 650W. That website is awesome! Thanks so much for going out of your way to put my parts into there.
    PSU --> check!
    Quote:
    Edit: In regards to what edition of Windows to use, Wikipedia has a nice chart about halfway down this page that compares them.

    I was always curious about that, I never seen it broken down like that before, I almost should have been able to find that list on my own :S Awesome to see, I'm gonna go with Win7 Pro.

    You have been insanely helpful Taylor, I have been putting off grabbing a new comp for a long time just because it's been so hard to get reliable info. I want to mail you a beer:p 

    To ask one last question, whats your opinion on HD 6850 vs HD 6870?
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    June 30, 2011 7:23:33 PM

    Thanks for all your help guys. I have one last burning question before I put this thing together.
    I can still pick any mobo before I open the box and this has bothered me since the very beginning:

    There are a few sandy bridge mobos within my $ range, I just have no clue as to the relevant differences between them, even after hours of research.

    ASUS P8P67 Pro REV3.0 ATX P67 LGA1155 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution P67 LGA1155 4PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 SATA3 USB3.0 GBLAN Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    ASUS P8P67 Deluxe REV3.0 ATX LGA1155 P67 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    ASUS P8P67 REV3.0 ATX P67 LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI USB3.0 Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    ASUS P8P67-M Pro REV3.0 mATX P67 LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 USB3.0 Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    ASUS P8P67 Evo REV3.0 P67 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

    I know that the deluxe has onboard graphics, which I obviously don't care about since I'll be using 2 gfx cards, and I seem to have discovered that certain ones are better for overclocking.

    Right now (with my limited knowledge) I'm in between the Pro and the Deluxe but who knows?
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    June 30, 2011 11:37:06 PM

    beiers said:
    Thanks a ton Taylor!!! I asked everyone and no one seemed to know if it would fit, I just ordered the Phantom tower with peace of mind.
    Case --> check!

    Quote:
    The RAM you've got already is pretty good. Only catch might be, depending on how heavy duty the workstation programs are, you might see a benefit from adding more RAM. Which you can always do later.

    Just like I asked gkay09, I was wondering what the difference was between the CL7-7-7-21 and CL9-9-9-24 RAM was and if it matters for me.
    Quote:

    As for picking a power supply, that depends on how much juice the computer's going to use. There's a cool tool right here that we use to calculate PSU requirementsI got 500W, but I don't know what your liquid cooling setup pulls, so I just punched in the fans that come with the case. I'd say ~650W would be okay, maybe a bit more. There's also a few good brands of PSU that we use, and try to stay away from the rest that tend to be lower quality. SeaSonic, Corsair, and Antec...

    Your a lifesaver Taylor, I just picked up a Corsair 650W. That website is awesome! Thanks so much for going out of your way to put my parts into there.
    PSU --> check!
    Quote:
    Edit: In regards to what edition of Windows to use, Wikipedia has a nice chart about halfway down this page that compares them.

    I was always curious about that, I never seen it broken down like that before, I almost should have been able to find that list on my own :S Awesome to see, I'm gonna go with Win7 Pro.

    You have been insanely helpful Taylor, I have been putting off grabbing a new comp for a long time just because it's been so hard to get reliable info. I want to mail you a beer:p 

    To ask one last question, whats your opinion on HD 6850 vs HD 6870?

    if you can afford it grab a gtx 560 ti it is a more powerful card
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    July 11, 2011 7:19:44 PM

    Best answer selected by beiers.
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    !