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New Rig Planning: SLI, WC, OC, 3xMon - $3K+ budget

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September 19, 2011 5:35:48 PM

Hey gang,

I’m putting together a new rig for a late September/early October purchase. I’m still in the planning stage but ready for some input. This will be my fifth or six build but I always tend to go overboard during the planning stage and need good folks to help keep me grounded when I’m just being all-out ridiculous (like adding expensive items that will net me zero additional functionality because hey, marketers love me :pt1cable:  ). Still, it looks like I'll end up spending 3K plus or closer to 4K when all is said and done but I’m cool with that because it fits in my current budget.

Uses for new rig: Primary use will be split between gaming and lots of hobbiest img/vid editing. I have some digital SLR’s, cams, microscopes with mounted cameras, and some other toys that I fool around with on a regular basis. I’m using Adobe products for that work… photoshop, illustrator, flash, premiere, after effects, etc. Folding at home as well.

Parts: I’m keeping my old rig on hand so this build will need new parts from the ground up with the exception of some HDD’s, accessories, and my current monitors. Hopefully by January or February I can put together a triple monitor setup but my wife will kill me if I buy three monitors before I finish redoing our kitchen :fou:  . Still, triple monitors are the future plan. Rig will be water cooled with SLI and OC’d. This will be my first water cooled rig, and although I’ve read quite a few guides on the subject I could definitely use some assistance on water cooling parts and where to buy. I plan on water cooling the GPU’s and CPU’s.

Initial Parts List
(incomplete and all flexible… missing WC components, specific GPU brand, speakers): Current total is $1889 and rising.

Case: Silverstone TJ-07… $349 US
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i7 2600K… $314
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: Gigabyte Z68 UD7… $349
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X series DDR3 1866 ... $149
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU’s: 2 x GTX580 (Open to suggestions on brand/model)

PSU: Antec High-Current Pro 1200W … $249
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 256GB - $390
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 2x WD 1T Caviar Black … $0 (already own)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Current Monitor: Samsung 1920 x 1080

Future Triple Monitors: have not researched yet, open to any suggestions

Blue Ray Burner: LG WH12LS30… $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD/R: ASUS DRW-24B1ST… $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers: Just started to research. Looking for quality 2 speaker/sub setup as I can’t really accommodate surround.

Water Cooling Components: Still researching and open to all suggestions.

My thanks to this killer knowledge base.
September 19, 2011 5:48:05 PM

If it is set for October build, then I suggest waiting since PCI 3.0 GPU's are on the way as we speak said to be starting Q4 this year. Along with the new Sandy-Bridge-E CPUs and Bulldozers.

I've read various articles saying the new Sandy Bridge i7's have a significant boost over the current 2600K, but no one will know till they hit the shelves.

If you are willing to put down 3000dollars, might as get the newest and best.
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September 19, 2011 10:44:29 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, ikyung.

Waiting has definitely been a consideration (isn't it always), but I didn't think we'd see anything coming for PCI 3.0 until 2012, and also wasn't sure if LGA1155 wouldn't prove to be the better long-term investment.
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September 19, 2011 10:49:21 PM

seems fine to me, i'd recommend either 8 or 16 gb of 1866 memory...16 gb might be worthwhile for the video editing
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September 20, 2011 1:04:49 PM

Thanks Morgoth.

I added 16GB of G.Skill ripjaws x series 1866 to the mix. Any reason not to jump to the 2133 if it's supported?
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Best solution

September 21, 2011 3:46:49 AM

Corsair 800d- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CC800DW-Obsidian-Aluminum... 274$ ultimate water cooling case

i7 2600k- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 315$

Asrock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 280$ compatible with the new gpu's coming out

Corsair 16gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 105$ 1600mhz will be more than enough for gaming and video editing

EVGA GTX 580 3072mb hydro copper- http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-... x2=1440$

Corsair ax1200- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 280$

Plextor 256gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 380$ a little faster and a little cheaper

just my 2 cents
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September 21, 2011 4:57:51 PM

Thanks very much, mjmjpfaff! Your suggestions have given me a lot to think about.

That Corsair case has me reconsidering the Silverstone which is saying a lot considering how pleased I've been with the Silverstone cases I've worked with previously and the excellent reviews I've seen on the TJ07. I also really dig the fully modular Corsair PSU.

The Asrock Z68 you suggested has reduced some of my concerns about being able to build a semi-"future proof" rig. I don't mind bypassing LGA2011 if Ivybridge and PCI-3.0 remain a possiblity. In fact going this route seems preferable unless I'm not seeing the bigger picture (which is a distinct possibility).

I have been eyeing those EVGA GPU's. First thought was that it seemed like a hefty markup for WC-ready cards, but seeing as how I will be building the entire WC system from the ground up at least that saves me a wee bit of cash on water blocks. This is what I tell myself, anyway.

I'll be looking into the Plextor SSD's as well. Bit-Tech had a nice update comparing Vertex 3's and Cruical 4's with the new firmware and that's what had me eyeing the Curcials.

Thanks again.
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September 21, 2011 11:50:08 PM

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Here's the updated parts list with the current total standing at 3200 and change.

Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW… 279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i7 2600K… $314
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme7… 279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X series DDR3 1866 ... $149
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU’s: 2 x EVGA GTX580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 3072... 1440
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-...

PSU: Corsair Professional Series AX1200 ... $279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 256GB - $390 (checking into other models as well)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 2x WD 1T Caviar Black … $0 (already own)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blue Ray Burner: LG WH12LS30… $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD/R: ASUS DRW-24B1ST… $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I still need to do some more research on reputable watercooling vendors, shops and components before going forward, but this feels like a good start.
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September 22, 2011 3:26:47 AM

Here's something to look at if your going with a tri monitor set up. That 3GB MSI Lighting down below is king of the hill atm for 3GB 580's. Seeing how there aren't any games out atm that take advantage of hyper threading, I would go with a 2500K until the Ivy Bridge cpu's come out this spring and maybe by then there will be some games that utilize hyper threading. That 1200W psu is a total waste imo in regards to pushing two of those cards. This 1050w psu down below is more than enough juice. That case down below just came out a few days ago on newegg, and it's large, has great cooling/airflow not to mention it has built in fan controllers. That CM h/s is due out on the market any day now and runs on par with $70+ heat sinks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 - $114.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99 - $209.99 after mail-in rebate card
CORSAIR Professional Series HX1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=... $49.99
Cooler Master 612 PWM

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $599.00
MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $599.00
MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


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

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/ <----- PCI-E 3.0

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4272/asrock_z68_extrem... <----- review of that board
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September 25, 2011 2:37:10 PM

manzooka said:
Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Here's the updated parts list with the current total standing at 3200 and change.

Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW… 279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel i7 2600K… $314
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme7… 279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X series DDR3 1866 ... $149
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU’s: 2 x EVGA GTX580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 3072... 1440
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-...

PSU: Corsair Professional Series AX1200 ... $279
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 256GB - $390 (checking into other models as well)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: 2x WD 1T Caviar Black … $0 (already own)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blue Ray Burner: LG WH12LS30… $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD/R: ASUS DRW-24B1ST… $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I still need to do some more research on reputable watercooling vendors, shops and components before going forward, but this feels like a good start.

looks like a great start. i am pretty jealous.
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September 25, 2011 3:39:14 PM

Thanks man.

I made a big purchase on newegg last night for most of the revisions listed above, and I did so using a lot of your recommendations, mjmjpfaff.

I'm now in the process of planning for WC components. This is my first WC build so parts planning has been a bit overwhelming. I'll be cooling the CPU and the two GTX580's so now I'm trying to decide whether or not I can get away with a single loop. Updates soon. Any hey, advice from anyone is still appreciated! :) 
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September 25, 2011 4:20:33 PM

try and post something in the water cooling section of these forums.
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October 20, 2011 1:05:09 AM

Best answer selected by Manzooka.
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