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[New Build] Gaming and Production

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August 28, 2011 2:00:15 PM

Greetings All,

Avid reader, first time thread maker. I realise there are a million of these "OMFG RATE MY NEW BUILD" Threads, and make no mistake this is certainly one of them, but I do post here seeking significant critique and advice on a few things related to the build, and I'll list them at the end of the spec sheet;


CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k.

Motherboard: ASUS - P8Z68-V

GPU: Asus Geforce GTX580 Direct CU II

PSU: Corsair AX-1200 1200W

RAM: Corsair 8GB, (1600MHz) DDR3, 8-8-8-24

SSD: OCZ 120GB SSD, Agility 3

HDD: Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black, SATA III, 7200RPM

Cooling: Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H80

CASE: Antec TWELVE-HUNDRED



Application: 27" 1920x1080 Gaming, Full AA, Full Quality, Everything max, basically, at 60FPS, all the time, no flinching. It will also be used to do heavy(read: A lot) music production and recording on the PC, hence the initial large storage disk.


Those seem to be the most pertinent parts, of course missing are the Optical Drive, TIP, various other fan modifications and whatnot.

So the first of my musings, is RAM. The Sandy Bridge, from what research tells me, favours frequency over timings. Now, with me wanting to push the CPU to around the 4.5GHZ point, for stable 24/7 running, is the RAM going to be able to keep up? As far as I am aware, overclocking on the Sandy Bridge is not the same as my Q6600, its all multiplier and voltage, no screwing around with timings, no screwing with the FSB etc... Would I be better off with some quicker RAM, or will the Vengeance stick to its name?

Next is the Sandy Bridge itself... With the H80, of which I have seem some brilliant reviews on, will it be able to handle the 24/7 4.5ghz point? I have read and seen a few CPU-Z dumps of systems running the 2500k at 4.0GhZ on Air as always on machines, although I would imagine it would reduce their life slightly, it certainly is possible. Does anyone have any experiences with Water Cooled, Albeit not custom, SBs and their stable, 24/7 running frequences?

Next, the H80 itself. 120mm radiator, dual fans in Push/Pull setup... With the Case being as big as it is(from what I have seen the 1200 is HUGE!), I wouldnt think it would matter where I stuck the radiator, however, if it were to be
placed in the top rear exhaust spot, is it not counter intuitive to the cooling side of it? Seeing as you're venting the hot air rising from the chipset and video card, carried through by the 140mm on the floor, and the 230mm on the
front, pushing that hot air over the radiator, and thus reducing the dissipation happening as the liquid passes through? Pushing hot air over a radiator, logically, seems like a no-no, and yet I have seen plenty of systems do it...
My question obviously then is; Is a 'Hybrid' cooling system worth it, or is it going to cause more harm than good... either straight air, or straight water?

Lastly, the GPU... the 580, it might seem a bit like overkill for the resolution I am playing at, but I am serious when I say I want to play everything available on absolute maximum with no visible signs of blemish... My previous system
I hand built when I got my first job, it was a labour of love, sweat and tears, replaced a few parts after melting, and now its 4 years old, and the Q6600 just doesnt seem to want to keep up anymore... So, with the GTX580 being the fastest single card available, is it WAY too much overkill, should I save the money and just get a 570? With Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Guild Wars 2 looming, I really do want a completely immersive gaming machine, I dont want stutter or blemish in the slightest...


And thats it, I think. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, if you have, and I appreciate any feedback you have, comments, critiques and criticisms are all welcome. I thrive on knowledge, and any you wish to impart is always appreciated.

Best solution

August 28, 2011 2:57:02 PM

Overclocking the i5-2500k:

To put things in perspective, im running my i5-2500k at 4.4GHz using only a 92mm CPU cooler (Arctic Freezer 13). Its a solid 24/7 OC with idle temps of low 30's and load temps of low 60's. The H80 should easily allow OC's of 4.7-4.8GHz or higher without showing any alarming temps.

If you can afford a 580, stick with it. Its a solid card, and like you say it will play everything maxed with good FPS and it should last for along time. You'd be annoyed if you bought a 570 then found it struggling with Frame Rates on maxed details.

RAM - Corsair Vengeance is solid RAM used by ALOT of people. 1600MHz is recommended and CL8/9. Generally i think the thought is that anything over 1600MHz wont make a worthwhile difference in games for the extra price you pay. The same goes for lower RAM timings.

SSD - Not sure what you plan on using it for, but you could buy a 40/60GB if you just wanted to use it as a boot drive with a few programs/applications on.

NOTE:

The PSU you have selected, based on Guru3d's recommendation (650w for single card, 900/1000w for SLI)...you could either save yourself some money and buy a 650w PSU if you dont plan to SLI, or buy a slightly higher wattage if you would like to leave the option to SLI available.
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August 28, 2011 4:34:34 PM

Like AdrianPerry listed, you are ok on the ram. Vengeances will be enough and you won't get a major improvement going higher.
Since OC is done via a simple turbo frequency upgrade the memory will keep up just fine and is not affected by the OC.

Pretty much any cooler worth while will be able to handle 4.5GHz on sandy bridge. H80 for sure.

You should be able to fit things just fine inside the case. For 4.5GHz you don't need a hybrid solution that is for sure and you could use an air solution.
Although with an air only solution the height of the heatsinks on the vengeances might be an issue, but Low profile ones exist as well.

GTX580 is not overkill for you as AdrianPerry listed, when you turn on all the bells and whistles it will give you great framerates at your resolution, giving you a nice playing experience. As long as you can afford it you are fine.

Not sure if you already got all of these things or if this was just your purchace list, for enabling SLI for GTX580 a slightly bigger PSU would have been good.
However Seasonic X850 is one of the best PSU's out there so i can't fault you on that :) 
If money is not a major object and you want to enable SLI Corsair AX1200 is the best of the best on that range.
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August 29, 2011 1:19:17 AM

Good morning, and thank you for the replies...

I haven't purchases any of the hardware yet, I just have a list of components that I am trying throw together and refine before I go ahead and put it together, trying to identify certain bottlenecks, downfalls and stuff like that. Money isn't really an object, as I am waaay below my initial budget.... However, because I am in Australia(Fuuuuu...) prices of hardware is obscene, compared to what I could be building in the States, I mean, this system listed here, would set me back about $1900US, in Australia, its gonna cost me $2400AU which is almost $2600US...

I definitely want to leave the option for Dual 580s open, so I will take the recommendation of upping the PSU... and I will update accordingly up there...
So, the 1600mhz CL8 kit will do? Thats good to hear, I suppose, I guess that confirms everything I have read, however I have yet to find a page to explains the inter-relation of the new SB and RAM without spewing unnecessary jargon that doesnt really relate to the subject.

Anyway, thank you for the replies, I really do appreciate it, keep it coming!
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August 29, 2011 7:22:58 AM

Thank you, rvilkman.
Checking that out, now.
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September 8, 2011 4:31:06 AM

Best answer selected by PandaMarius.
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