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Help designing an enthusiast build

Approximate Purchase Date: This week, unless there is a compelling reason to hold off

Budget Range: Whatever it takes (4,000 USD max, but hoping to build it for less)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Gaming, Entertainment, Video-editing)

Parts Not Required: No peripherals needed

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference

Country of Origin: (USA)

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: If recommended

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Additional Comments: I intend to build a dream gaming setup with money I have earned over the summer. I hope for the computer to be upgrade-able in the future, and I am willing to pay extra to get the computer to run quieter (in a dorm situation). Oh, and looking cool would be a plus :)

P.S. As far as the budget is concerned, I would happily spend more for meaningful upgrades, but I don't want to spend money simply to spend money.
37 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help designing enthusiast build
  1. 4000 USD seems a marvelous price for building a PC
    so here is my recommendation
    MOBO : Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5
    CPU : AMD X6 1090T (till bulldozer comes out)
    RAM : G.skill 8GB DDR3 1866 (will be native support for the bulldozer)
    GPU : HD 6990 (you don't need to go crossfire in order not to experience a driver issue or a drop in FPS)
    SSD : 240 GB OCZ vertex 3
    HDD : 2 ×WD 1 TB Caviar Black
    Case : Cooler Master HAF X
    CPU Cooler : Corsair H70 (water cooled system)
    PSU : NZXT Hale 90 1000W
  2. Would it make more sense to just wait three weeks and buy the bulldozer CPU then? And how is it supposed to compare with the 6 core i7's?
  3. pandamonium said:
    Approximate Purchase Date: This week, unless there is a compelling reason to hold off

    that's what you said
  4. Bulldozer might be coming in Q4, no deadline was set
  5. ...check Tom's Charts:
    I would go i7 2600K....beats all AMD cpus.
    Anything above that gets to pricey for the performance gains.
    Besides, your gaming so sink your money into your GPU, Power Supply, and most importantly your COOLING.

    The GTX590 is right up there with the 6990 but is QUIET in comparison. Again I think Tom'sH did a review on just that. The 6990 is to loud to use daily...unless noise isnt an option. Oh this is random, but from personal experience....if you ever got into 3D cad design you would have to buy a workstation card as this will work (ATI gaming GPU architecture does not support CAD environment).

    SSD:OCZ Vertex 3 is great. I have OCZ Max Iops.....you wouldnt feel/see the difference for the price. Get the Vertex 3...intel has best reliability fyi but not speed. Those are the only two SSDs I would buy (OCZ or Intel).

    How do you want to handle your drives? Storage?
    Personaly I like speed, saving $ and loss prevention so I would do this....SSD for OS & Mirrored HDDs for storage.
  6. ^ Not a fan boy...just facts.
  7. Best answer
    This is set up to add another one of those factory o/c gtx 580's later on for SLI.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.703132 $369.98
    CORSAIR Professional Series HX1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power Supply
    Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103052 $15.78 FREE SHIPPING
    COOLER MASTER R4-S2S-124K-GP 120mm Case Fan

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269 $289.99
    ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.697171 $396.98 - $10.00 Mail In Rebates
    Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
    CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226245 $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model 997015

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533 $89.99 FREE SHIPPING
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118050 $99.99
    SONY Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 8X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner BD-5300S-0B - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211551 $189.99 FREE SHIPPING
    ADATA S511 Series AS511S3-120GM-C 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121429 $499.99 - $469.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
    ASUS ENGTX580 DCII/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    Total: $2,052.68 *not including shipping and rebates

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001475 $469.99
    SAMSUNG S23A750D Black 23" 2ms Full HD 3D LED BackLight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 DCR 1,000,000:1 (1,000:1)

    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CA-HS1ANA-Gaming-Analog-Headset/dp/B004IZN3NY $59.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Corsair CA-HS1ANA Gaming Audio Series HS1 Analog Gaming Headset

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme7%20Gen3 <---- A better look at that board

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/index.html <---- PCI-E 3.0 for Intel Ivy Bridge due out next spring.

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 features
  8. pandamonium said:
    Would it make more sense to just wait three weeks and buy the bulldozer CPU then? And how is it supposed to compare with the 6 core i7's?

    Screw Bulldozer. Switch up on that build I posted for a 2500K and then get the new 22nm Ivy Bridge that comes out next spring and stick it in that board. You can ebay that 2500K for a decent price. Then you have a chip that will o/c close to 6.0ghz and you have PCI-E 3.0 with the new 28nm Nvidia cards.
  9. ^+1000 on that build.

    That GTX 580 is good...I have a Sparkle Caliber GTX480....If you dont mind the color of the fans (face down when installed so you dont see it actually) the Sparkle Caliber GTX 580 should have the same awesome cooling and extreme low/no sound profile as my 480. You cant beat an OC'd GTX thats very quiet and has awesome low temps. Caliber delivers all that. I have tried and returned many GTXs looking for just that.
    GTX580 is the way to go vs GTX590 due to availability and price point. Not worth it unless you are going to 30" monitor status.


    Need CPU cooling though.
    I think he should go to Water Cooling. About $100 gets you there.
    Cleanest solution that frees up space, provides better airflow to other hardware and looks awesome. Better then air cooling. DO IT!
  10. JdotH said:
    ^+1000 on that build.

    Need CPU cooling though.
    I think he should go to Water Cooling. About $100 gets you there.
    Cleanest solution that frees up space, provides better airflow to other hardware and looks awesome. Better then air cooling. DO IT!

    Look again...I combo'd that cpu with the cooling. You missed it. :p
  11. That sounds really good, actually. Thanks for the suggestions.
  12. Why_Me said:
    Look again...I combo'd that cpu with the cooling. You missed it. :p



    You are totaly right.

    That is a great combo.

    I have H-70 on my i7 2600K@4.5GHz....I stress my cpu everyday to the max (rendering and CAD) and this H-70 keeps it cool at 58C MAX.
    Looks great too.
    And I can get to all my parts unlike the awkward reaching with a lot of aircoolers.

    PS.
    If sound is an issue to you (Pandamonium--buyer) then you WILL want to replace the fans. My H-70 and I've read the H-80 too, comes with aweful sounding fans that get loud.
    So after much review and comparison I replaced both fans with Gentle Typhoons and had NoiseBlocker fans in there too....sound the same....Black NoiseBlockers are sexy too.
  13. JdotH said:
    ...check Tom's Charts:
    I would go i7 2600K....beats all AMD cpus.
    Anything above that gets to pricey for the performance gains.
    Besides, your gaming so sink your money into your GPU, Power Supply, and most importantly your COOLING.

    The GTX590 is right up there with the 6990 but is QUIET in comparison. Again I think Tom'sH did a review on just that. The 6990 is to loud to use daily...unless noise isnt an option. Oh this is random, but from personal experience....if you ever got into 3D cad design you would have to buy a workstation card as this will work (ATI gaming GPU architecture does not support CAD environment).

    SSD:OCZ Vertex 3 is great. I have OCZ Max Iops.....you wouldnt feel/see the difference for the price. Get the Vertex 3...intel has best reliability fyi but not speed. Those are the only two SSDs I would buy (OCZ or Intel).

    How do you want to handle your drives? Storage?
    Personaly I like speed, saving $ and loss prevention so I would do this....SSD for OS & Mirrored HDDs for storage.

    why would he go intel while we all know that bulldozer is a real Bulldozer ?
    Tom's recommended a pair of 6970s or 580s in crossfire
    OCZ has better reads and writes / IOPS than intel
  14. You want two of either of these fans to replace the H-80 Radiator fans.....TRUST ME.

    They make a world of difference in sound and can handle pushing/pulling air through a radiator (not any case fan will do those both).

    SEXY Fan :
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10212/fan-656/Noiseblocker_NB-BlackSilentPro_PL-2_120mm_x_25mm_Ultra_Quiet_Fan_-_1400_RPM_-_20_dBA.html?tl=g36c15s60

    WorkHorse Fan:
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10323/fan-674/Scythe_Gentle_Typhoon_120mm_x_25mm_Fan_-_1850_RPM_D1225C12B5AP-15.html?tl=g36c15s60

    I tried many fans....go with either of these.


    *Man wish I got all this help before I built mine....LUCKY!*
  15. Why_Me said:
    Screw Bulldozer. Switch up on that build I posted for a 2500K and then get the new 22nm Ivy Bridge that comes out next spring and stick it in that board. You can ebay that 2500K for a decent price. Then you have a chip that will o/c close to 6.0ghz and you have PCI-E 3.0 with the new 28nm Nvidia cards.

    no one will ever know what AMD is gonna produce when the Ivy bridge comes out, all the expectations say that AMD has a new era after APU and Bulldozer
  16. ilysaml said:
    why would he go intel while we all know that bulldozer is a real Bulldozer ?
    Tom's recommended a pair of 6970s or 580s in crossfire
    OCZ has better reads and writes / IOPS than intel



    To be honest...
    Bulldozer is not much of an improvement and sticking with a Intel setup will yeild immediate power and allow him to upgrade to Ivy Bridge which is coming out soon too.
    Bulldozer wont deliver as much as Intel....Its been speculated on a couple of sites that it could lead to the downfall of AMDs cpu program because AMD has not been able to catch up to Intels specs.
    I used to have AMD...but had to switch when GHz became closely tied to my work output times.

    ATI is great bang for buck but GTX offers extra professional perks and great cooling/noise (non-reference designs).
    Either way he would have a great vid card....I just require more then just a game image on my screen.

    +1 on your OCZ vs Intel comparison. Thought I made that clear. Intel=Reliability OCZ=performance and reliability not quiet as high as Intel.
    *Adata SSD good choice too. Win no matter which one you get. Going from Hdds to SSD alone is enough after that its just glitter and specs.
  17. buy 2 of those Caviar Blacks and mirror them. Its easy to do and will give you peace of mind that you wont loose your stuff one day. Totally worth it.
  18. You are suggesting I RAID 0 the HDD?
  19. No not at all.

    Raid 1 (called a mirror) two HDDs so you wont lose anything.

    Put only programs on OS drive (SSD so they can be really fast) and EVERYTHING else on your mirrored raid.

    Raid 0 (called a stripe) doesnt copy data to both drives (like a mirror does) but instead copies parts of that data to both drives simultaneously. Making both stripped drives faster then if they were working alone.
  20. ahh... I meant 1, wrote 0. Feel kind of silly right now.... but that sounds like a great idea.
  21. So what are your thoughts now on the build? Cool with the case (can add more water and or leds to your liking), gpu, cpu, etc?
    To get those combo deals I wouldnt wait long.
    You should post your new build edit that has all the stuff you want in it for a new forum jockey review.
  22. i7 2600k & Corsair H80- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.697171&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=1gx86gwcvjvdf 397$

    the fans on the h80 are too loud- http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-120mm-Case-R4-C2R-20AC-GP/dp/B0026ZPFDE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314675469&sr=8-2 x2=16$

    Asrock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269 300$ shipped

    Corsair AX1200 & Corsair 8gb 1866mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.703308 340$ best psu on the market and very fast ram

    Samsung F3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185&Tpk=spinpoint%20f3%201tb 60$ i dont know why people are throwing around the wd 1tb when this drive is faster and cheaper

    Plextor PX-M2 256gb ssd- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249011 380$ big fast and reliable

    Sony dvd burner- http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SATA-Internal-Drive-AD-7260S-0B/dp/B003MRHOQG/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1314676162&sr=1-3 19$ gamers dont need a blu-ray burner

    Silverstone Raven RV03- http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Motherboard-RV03B-W/dp/B004X19B02/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1314676298&sr=1-1 140$ cools better than the haf x, has amazing cable management and is very reasonably priced

    GPU- WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION?
    can you please list your peripherals if you have not already bought them?
  23. ^+1 for Samsung F3

    nice case...90 Degree mobo mounting? That means all mobo input face up rather then out the back right? COOL!!!!!! If true then all your cpu etc heat can now escape upward (heat rises) rather then try to get out the back of the case.....NICE.
  24. Another nice feature with that Asrock board other than the PCI-E 3.0 slots, is it has the NF200 Bridge which allows dual cards to be run @ x16.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stutter-crossfire,2995.html <---- Toms showed with this review here last week that those boards (NF200) help reduce micro stutter as they have dual bridges.
  25. U sir are awesome for considering micro stuttering and the NF200 bridge....Now I want that mobo to replace my P8P67.
  26. http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z68_extreme4_gen3_review,1.html <---- The z68 asrock extreme4 gen3 came out a few weeks ago and has the same phase config (8 +4) as the extreme7 gen3 and it hit 5.0ghz on the o/c in that review.
  27. Sparing no $ what's the best mobo to date for the build?
  28. JdotH said:
    Sparing no $ what's the best mobo to date for the build?

    Asrock extreme7 gen3, Gigabyte UD7, and Asus Maximus Extreme...all Z68 boards with the NF200 bridge. I lean towards that Asrock for the fact it has the PCI-E 3.0 slots and it's Ivy Bridge ready now. Asrock didn't release these boards until just last week, and they made sure they one upped everyone else. The UD7 probably gets the highest o/c, but it also has horrible slot spacing and doesn't have the UEFI bios like Asrock and Asus. Color wise the Asus sucks with that red and black.
  29. Why_me has posted a superb build!

    My best bet would be a cheap i3 2100 or 2120 for now. You can throw it off when Ivy Bridge processors release. i5 2500K or i7 2600K isn't that kind of a thing.

    +1 for the ASRock Gen3 Z68 board.
  30. At this point I plan on going with Why_me's build, except using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220562 ram because it is available, and the Samsung F3 HDD.

    Another, somewhat related question I have is this: Is there any way I can test/wipe my old SSD?I am building a desktop to replace one that was damaged in shipping last year (received insurance money, but didn't have time to rebuild it.) However, I assume, as a SSD, that my Old Corsair Extreme Series X128 is still a viable SSD, and I would like to use it for additional program storage.

    And, to that end, if anyone could link a part I could use to secure it (a laptop sized SSD) into the 600T, I would be extremely grateful.
  31. pandamonium said:
    At this point I plan on going with Why_me's build, except using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220562 ram because it is available, and the Samsung F3 HDD.

    Another, somewhat related question I have is this: Is there any way I can test/wipe my old SSD?I am building a desktop to replace one that was damaged in shipping last year (received insurance money, but didn't have time to rebuild it.) However, I assume, as a SSD, that my Old Corsair Extreme Series X128 is still a viable SSD, and I would like to use it for additional program storage.

    And, to that end, if anyone could link a part I could use to secure it (a laptop sized SSD) into the 600T, I would be extremely grateful.

    That case is set up for at least one 2.5" SSD, and that Asrock motherboard comes with a USB 3.0 and 2.5" SSD front bezel.

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme7%20Gen3 <----- Scroll down towards the bottom of that page until you see: "The Front USB 3.0 Panel supports 2 x USB 3.0 ports and provides a 2.5” SSD/HDD rack."

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImage=13-157-269-Z05&SpinSet=13-157-269-RS&ISList=13-157-269-Z01%2c13-157-269-Z02%2c13-157-269-Z03%2c13-157-269-Z04%2c13-157-269-Z05&S7ImageFlag=1&Item=N82E16813157269&Depa=0&WaterMark=1&Description=ASRock%20Z68%20Extreme7%20Gen3%20LGA%201155%20Intel%20Z68%20HDMI%20SATA%206Gb%2fs%20USB%203.0%20ATX%20Intel%20Motherboard <----- There's another pic of it there...on newegg.
  32. pandamonium said:
    At this point I plan on going with Why_me's build, except using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220562 ram because it is available, and the Samsung F3 HDD.


    Do not get that RAM! That is 1.64v RAM and you want 1.5v RAM for these 1155 boards as is recommended by all the board manufactures.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468 $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL
  33. Why_Me said:
    Do not get that RAM! That is 1.64v RAM and you want 1.5v RAM for these 1155 boards as is recommended by all the board manufactures.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468 $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL

    2133mhz ram is ridiculous 1866mhz is fast enough for everything and gives the best performance per price. for 4k i would throw a bigger ssd than 120gb's especially considering how fast they are
  34. OP: check out the build i posted we still dont know what resolution you will be playing at which we need to make a good gpu reccomendation.
  35. mjmjpfaff said:
    2133mhz ram is ridiculous 1866mhz is fast enough for everything and gives the best performance per price. for 4k i would throw a bigger ssd than 120gb's especially considering how fast they are

    $100 for 2133mhz ram isn't bad at all. Just a few months ago that was what 2x4GB of 1600 was going for. With that budget...why not?
  36. Best answer selected by pandamonium.
  37. Thanks everyone for all of the help! My only issue was a quickly corrected PEBCAK.... Forgot to purchase Windows for it!
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