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New Rig, Your Thoughts

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September 12, 2011 12:37:01 AM

Haven't built a computer in a while so I feel a little out of it. Had to do a lot of reading the last 2 weeks but here's what I got. This is my everything PC, game development, my future BattleField 3 rig, and I do quite a bit of video transcoding:

Case- COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Steel ATX Full Tower $160
PSU- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750M 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE - $130
MoBo - GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD - $240
Cooler - Thermaltake Silent 1156 CLP0552 92mm CPU Cooler For Intel Socket LGA1156 - $26
CPU - i7 2600k - $315
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL - $150
Primary Drive - Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive - $230
Storage Drive (SRT Boosted) - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $90
Video - HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $270
Monitor - Acer 27" 1080p (1920x1080) w/ no DisplayPort
OS - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM - $140
Sound - Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Audio PCI from old computer - $0
DVD - Old LightScribe burner - $0

Total - right around $2000

The only thing I felt I went overboard on was the iSSD drive for the motherboard. $80 for 20GB, but after reading about stability problems with SSD drives, specifically MLC drives, I felt the $80 was a decent price for the stability of an Intel SLC.

The resolution of the monitor is probably a little low but I'm not a resolution freak, I'd rather run full detail at 1080p w/ high frames.

PSU I left some headroom in case I want to do CrossFire later.

My other thought is on the sound card. Old PCI Fatality series sound blaster or on-board audio? It's not a purchase but I'm wondering if it's better to use an older tech sound card or newer onboard audio. It made a huge difference in my comp today which is a Gigabyte w/ Realtek HD audio.

Let me know your thoughts as I'm a little rusty.

More about : rig thoughts

September 19, 2011 6:54:16 PM

churchskiz said:
Haven't built a computer in a while so I feel a little out of it. Had to do a lot of reading the last 2 weeks but here's what I got. This is my everything PC, game development, my future BattleField 3 rig, and I do quite a bit of video transcoding:


SKI! Its been a while buddy!
I also am excited for BF3, and have it per-ordered at Best But... just wish it would release on Steam. :( 

Your build looks more than adequate for that tasks you listed, and good choice going with the Intel SSD. As far as the sound card, it really comes down to preference as on-board audio is getting much better. I still prefer to use stand alone sound cards (Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty), but that also has a lot to do with my specific set up, and need for an optical (toslink) audio output for my Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speaker system. Plus the Creative software does an amazing job at emulating surround sound via my headphones, which is nice when I have to go speakers off while playing a multiplayer FPS late at night so I don't wake the kiddos.

Run some tests with some loss-less audio samples with both the on-board and PCI card. I also have some really good 5.1 surround sound samples that will tell you right away if you on-board is up to snuff. Let me know if you want them.
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March 5, 2012 1:22:26 AM

churchskiz said:
Haven't built a computer in a while so I feel a little out of it. Had to do a lot of reading the last 2 weeks but here's what I got. This is my everything PC, game development, my future BattleField 3 rig, and I do quite a bit of video transcoding:

Case- COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Steel ATX Full Tower $160
PSU- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750M 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE - $130
MoBo - GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD - $240
Cooler - Thermaltake Silent 1156 CLP0552 92mm CPU Cooler For Intel Socket LGA1156 - $26
CPU - i7 2600k - $315
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB)DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL - $150
Primary Drive - Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive - $230
Storage Drive (SRT Boosted) - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s - $90
Video - HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $270
Monitor - Acer 27" 1080p (1920x1080) w/ no DisplayPort
OS - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OEM - $140
Sound - Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Audio PCI from old computer - $0
DVD - Old LightScribe burner - $0

Total - right around $2000

The only thing I felt I went overboard on was the iSSD drive for the motherboard. $80 for 20GB, but after reading about stability problems with SSD drives, specifically MLC drives, I felt the $80 was a decent price for the stability of an Intel SLC.

The resolution of the monitor is probably a little low but I'm not a resolution freak, I'd rather run full detail at 1080p w/ high frames.

PSU I left some headroom in case I want to do CrossFire later.

My other thought is on the sound card. Old PCI Fatality series sound blaster or on-board audio? It's not a purchase but I'm wondering if it's better to use an older tech sound card or newer onboard audio. It made a huge difference in my comp today which is a Gigabyte w/ Realtek HD audio.

Let me know your thoughts as I'm a little rusty.



All in all a good rig, but I think you will note the issd prices have dropped quite a bit. I bought 80gig for about 100 bucks to go in my GA-Z68XP, which i bought for $89 without the intel ssd pre-installed. I didn't have your budget, so I also got a 250Gb SATA iii SSD for around $160 and a 2Tb SATAii 7200 rpm drive for $140. I already had 8Gb ripjaws on hand, and i skimped with an i5-2550k rather than going i7. *The 2550 outperforms any i7 lower than the 2600s anyway. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html


With a 40Gb SRT partition and another 40 to do a complete windows install all onboard the SSD, combined with a 6Gb/s throughput on the secondary drive I hope to do slightly better than your proposed build. Using an existing case and PS, I come in at just under 500 bucks. (I had the same video card on hand as well from a prior overclocked burnout.) I did go with the slower SATAii 2Tb drive without the hybrid SSD onboard, my rationalle there is that the gigabyte MOBOs only support 6Gb/s throughput on 2 channels, and the onboard mSATA even though it runs at 3, counts as one of those. There was also some data showing that throughput on all SATA inputs drops to the lowest common denominator of what you plug in to the board. (Why pay for SATAiii if it's only going to operate as an SATAii anyway>?)

I love your choice of the HAF and your PSU selection is one of the best as well, I ended up re-using an older alienware case and it's PSU. I also had several programmable LED case fans on hand. One thing I like to do to the HAF cases you might consider trying: I redirect airflow top to back thru a sectioned HEPA filter. The grille that covers the top 2 fans comes off easily and lets you put this in place, it really cuts down on dust accumulation in the system. (With air comes dust that collects on electrostatic components.) I have to put up with more fan noise to help push air through, but I've not lost a single haf system to dust. It does obscure the light from the fans on the top though.

Anyway, hope your system rocks. I can't wait to dig into the intel SRT and see if putting the windows OS on the issd is worthwhile or not. (If it just copies the files to the 40gig srt partition and makes a duplicate on the other 40g it will be a waste - although I'm sure Ubuntu will run very well off either.) I may even use a third partition on the issd to make this unit win8/ubuntu/hakintosh capable so I can benchmark the different OS's on it.
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March 5, 2012 1:58:18 AM

case: cooler master haf x
mobo: asus maximus IV extreme
cpu: intel i5 2500k
(2600k has virtually NO advantage in gaming over the 2500k)
cpu cooler: cooler master hyper 212 evo
video card: amd radeon hd 7970
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
hhd: western digital caviar black 1tb
ssd: crucial m4 64gb
(you only need 60gb to load an os nad thats all you need to put on an ssd)
psu: corsair ax750
(modular)
optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
(sony 24x multi if you dont care about blu-ray)

edit:

monitor: 23" asus vs238h-p
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