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Comprehensive $2000 Gaming Rig

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September 27, 2011 11:14:49 PM

ThruSeer’s October 14, 2011 Gaming Rig

“$2000 Gaming Rig”

Approximate Purchase Date:
Thursday October 13th at 11pm Pacific (Pay Day)

Budget Range:
$1800-2100

My budget range increases as I grow more enthused about the technology. I don’t want to hamstring myself with my build, so any way I can get future-proofing, cool features, or notable benefits are appreciated, and I can easily be swayed to adjust my budget to accommodate them.

When I work out the parts for my build, the innards generally hover around the $1700 range. However when I add the SilverStone Fortress case that I really like, it shoots up to the $2000 range. I recognize that it isn’t a very cost effective case, but it gets great reviews and has super cooling, great quality, and looks slick. Still able to consider other cases.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Games Games Games, Internet, Movies
Namely building this rig to rock out on games like BF3, Skyrim, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, Civilization 5, and Total War.

Parts Not Required:
No need for Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, or Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
I would prefer newegg, just because it appears to be the most widely used and greatest w/ best deals. But I don’t know for sure and can be swayed if I am wrong.

Country of Origin:
United States

Parts Preferences:
Intel CPU - i5 2500K - so that I can overclock in the future, and because it is regarded as the best for gaming w/in what I consider a reasonable price range.

Nvidia graphics - My first and last rig used ATI technology for graphics and I did appreciate them a lot. But hanging out w/ ATI never seemed as fun as hanging w/ Nvidia so I’m gonna see if the grass is greener on the other side. Plus, I hear that the grass is greener.

Silverstone case - September issue of Custom PC first sold me on the SilverStone Fortress FT02B V1.7 when it recommended the case for it’s Performance PC build. I have since watched a few youtube videos that had my falling in love w/ it. Big steel style case w/ bottom to top cooling. Unfortunately it costs a grip c. $260. Other Silverstone cases are cool too like the Raven, Temjin and others.

Overclocking:
Yes, eventually. Plan is to overclock after I have the gist of the computer’s performance, and definitely to overclock as the rig ages to stay competitive. Overclock to learn how to overclock.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe
SLI eventually, but would like to begin rig w/ a single GPU and as I learn more and grow more comfortable w/ my rigs limitations, upgrade as necessary. So definitley room for SLI.

Monitor Resolution:
I’ve been eyeing a Samsung S27A35OH at Costco that are sweet machines at 27 inches w/ ammenities etc. for around $290 currently. Plan on picking one up as the months roll along, but I won’t include that monitor in this build. So definitely want 1920 x 1080 at least.

Additional Comments:
-I would like this build to last 2-3 years playing games at a moderate to high level. I would SLI and overclock to achieve this aim as the build ages.

-Doesn’t need to be very quiet. I don’t mind hearing the hum of my beast as I game beside it.

-Motherboard:
--Would like Bluetooth, available in the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO
--Also like the future compatability/upgradeability of ASROCK Extreme 3 Gen 3
--Possibly Ivy-Bridge and PCI-E 3.0 ready. Why? Not entirely sure of the benefits, or whether I will be willing to spend the money to upgrade to these formats in a year, but is nice to have the option.
--Z68.

-PSU:
--Since I would like to start w/ a single GPU, not sure if I should I buy a powersupply in the 850W range, or just bite the bullet in a year or two when I want to upgrade and get a new 1000W powersupply w/ additional graphics card...

-SSD:
--Considering a 64GB SSD for OS and a separate 120GB SSD for Applications/Games. If it is too pricey, or benefits not enough, will just go w/ single 120GB SSD for OS/Apps/Games.

-GPU:
--Able to SLI effectively in the future... Really leaning towards GTX 580.
Want at least 2 HDMI ports for sure, and a DVI if possible.

-Thermal Paste:
--Might want to forego purchasing Arctic Silver, because I hear the Cooler Master Hyper 212 comes w/ a decent enough thermal paste.
--Should I spend the extra $14 on Arctic Silver?

-Case:
--Probably want a USB 3.0 Front Header.
--Want great cooling.
--Nothing too flashy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
--$219.99

MOTHERBOARD:
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
--This MoBo is Ivy Bridge / PCI 3.0 ready = future-proof
--Everybody recommends it constantly on Tom’s Hardware, but the low price scares me into believing that it isn’t as fast as other motherboards. How can it be so cheap? What features are eliminated to make this possible that other motherboards have?
--Has 7.1 Sound
--$124.99

-or-

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
--Board recommended by Maximum PC in it’s October issue. Good at overclocking, pretty and easy to navigate UEFI, and bluetooth.
--Has 7.1 Sound
--$199.99

GPU:
EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
--An example GTX 580 that is a place filler. Any help deciding on the best 580 is welcome.
--$499.99

-or-

ASUS MATRIX GTX580 P/2DIS/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
--Just came out and was given a 9/10 by Maximum PC in it’s October issue.
--Is super fat and uses extra PCI-E slots.
--Is really fast, and quiet. Lots of features.
--Currently out of stock.
--$529.99

PSU:
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
--What wattage do I want for a single GTX 580, and what do I want for a 2x GTX 580? Will go single 580 at first.
--Is 850W enough juice for 2x GTX 580 in SLI w/ moderate overclocking?
--$134.99

CPU Cooler:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7
--Supposed to be the best for overclocking, but are there any draw-backs?
--$29.99

RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
--$51.99

-or-

Whatever kind of RAM.

CASE:
SILVERSTONE Fortress Series FT02B-W Black Aluminum / Steel Computer Case
--video reviewing the case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMcKvI-zWi0
--$249.99
--It’s a high price to pay for vanity.

-or-

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case
--video reviewing the case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMcKvI-zWi0
--$159.99

-or-

Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
--video reviewing the case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S80l0qWVupc
--$139.99

SSD:
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
--This SSD would be for OS/Apps/Games... Again, considering a seperate 64GB SSD for OS only.
--Have read recent reviews in Custom PC October issue that OCZ Agility 3 is super weak and suffers from asynchronous methods as opposed to synchonous methods. Not entirely sure what all this means, but it definately means I should consider other SSD’s.
--$169.99

-or-

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
--Lately it seems like everyone is recommending the Crucial M4, so this is the one I will probably choose.
--128GB should be enough for me.

HDD:
SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
--HDD reccommended by SADAMS04... 2 TB’s
--Supposed to be slower than the Spinpoint F3.
--$79.99

-or-

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
--I commonly hear/see that this is the best HDD because it is fast.
--Is it really that fast?

OPTICAL DRIVE:

LG Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model UH12LS28 OEM LightScribe Support - OEM
--Blu-ray drive
--$69.99

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
--Not sure what the significance of OEM is.
--$99.99

TOTAL PRICE:
Ranges Between $1700 - $2000 mostly contingent on what Case I choose.

Conclusion:
I want to get this PC for Battlefield 3 mainly. The videos I am seeing now are off the chain and 32 v 32 on a single map w/ aircraft and land vehicles is insanity. Have been researching for about a month now, mainly buying PC building mags at Barnes and Noble, browsing Tom’s Hardware, and watching video reviews on youtube. Has been a great ride and pleasure, and have significantly expanded my knowledge base on the issue of computer building. I have been surprised with how much pleasure I have drawn from this experience, and am excited to continue to learn about upgrades, computer parts, and to put everything I have been learning into practice. Thanks to everyone at Tom’s Hardware who works hard to provide support for gamers and would-be builders like me. This community is gangster, and I sing it’s praises to anybody who will listen.
September 28, 2011 12:03:44 AM

i5 2500k & Windows 7- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... 305$

Gskill 8gb 1600mhz- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 50$

Asrock Z68 Extreme3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 125$ that bluetooth is useless

Sapphire 6970 2gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... x2=700$

PC Power and Cooling 950w- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 150$ cheapest quality silver rated psu with a great warranty

Crucail M4 128gb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 197$ good choice

Scythe Mugen 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 50$ cools better than the hyper 21 plus

Samsung F3 1tb- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 60$

LG 12x Bluray Burner- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 70$

Silverstone Raven RV03- http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Mo... 140$ this is a great case. not quite as perfect as the fortress but it is up there.

Monitors- for your budget i am going to have to recommend a tri monitor setup. they are in one word awesome
gateway 21.5" 2ms- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... the extra memory on the 6970's will be an advantage at the high resolution (5670x1080p) 420$

Total=2267$
September 28, 2011 12:13:13 AM

Sweet ideas. I like how you've taken my suggestions and pointed it into a nice new direction. I haven't really considered ATI for graphics cards, and it is true that i don't have a monitor setup yet, only a large CRT from back in the day. In theory I could definitely go Sapphire 6970 2GB x 2 instead of the GTX 580 solution. This just means I need to do more research, on that option, and I'm okay with that. Thanks for the suggestion.

I probably won't need Blu-ray burner, but at that price it is achievable and why not?

I have looked at the Raven's a lot, especially their newest case, but the front of the machine looks tacky to me w/ the V like front face, and I've been trying hard to get around it, but it is difficult.

LOL and definitley thank you for helping me to get over the bluetooth. I need people to tell me when ***'s useless. I had a sinking feeling that choosing the P8Z68 on the basis of bluetooth was not right.

Combo deal on CPU w/ OS is good.

Hadn't considered Scythe Mugen 3.

Have heard PC Power and Cooling makes good PSU's.

Thanks.
Related resources
September 28, 2011 12:27:57 AM

After checking out those Sapphire 6970 2gb graphics cards on newegg I saw this video about eyefinity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh0e-OJH3gs&feature=play...

The whole thing looks really cool, but it is difficult to balance that w/ desk space. The reality is that I am not really interested in a tri monitor setup. I takes up a lot of space, consumes energy, is a bit expensive, involves having to choose ATI graphics cards, and is generally all around too extravagant for what I am trying to do.

A GTX 580 x 2 setup is probably what I'll be aiming at, though I'm not done exploring eyefinity.

EDIT: BUT THEN AGAIN!!!!! There is always games like Skyrim to consider also... I wonder if Skyrim will support eyefinity, and if so, that WOULD be pretty dope to see all the vast verandas and vistas w/ such peripheral vision. It's crazy how many times you can go back and forth trying to decide on a build.
a c 204 4 Gaming
September 28, 2011 12:30:10 AM

You have a mish-mash of parts in there ... some High Quality some .... well shall we say, more suited to a budget system.

MoBo - Will you benefit from Z68 ? from what I read, I don't think so.....read this and decide:

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Do you want to base a $2k system on a MoBo that doesn't offer a industry standard 3 year warranty ? Too many mobo industry issues for me to risk that. I'd opt for a manufacturer / model that offers a 3 or 5 year warranty.

My recommended MoBo in a $2k build is the Asus WS Revolution (assuming of course you not benefitting from anything on the above link that would warrant Z68 ..... I have used this board in over half dozen builds.

This combo saves ya $20 off the 2500k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Read about why the NF200 chip:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sl...

Quote:
While the NF200 doesn’t completely solve the dearth of PCIe lanes available on LGA 1155 platforms, its ability to send identical data to multiple cards makes it perfect for SLI and CrossFire. That benefit, when combined with the Sandy Bridge processor’s superior performance and overclocking capabilities, slams the lid on the coffin for X58 gaming. Anyone who needs the added flexibility of X58 to host other devices, such as high-end drive controllers or six-core processors in a workstation environment, must bow to the gaming superiority of NF200-equiped Sandy Bridge motherboards like Asus' P8P67 WS Revolution.


The x16 x16 won't do beans with much lesser cards but with you thinking twin 580's, that's a whole different ballgame. While teh article shows minor gains in performance on most games, it does show as much as 10% in average fps in soem games (i.e STALKER). But it's minimum frame rates where the wide PCI lanes have more signnificant impact.

Check out the power consumption and temp figures versus the competition ..... we're talking 30 watts and 10C here

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

The gaming advantages are pretty impressive too

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

CPU - Good choice but look for it in a MoBo combo.

GPU - Ya spending a lotta cash for the 580 as well you should expect for the top card out there.... a similar wad of cash for the second one ..... but ya 850 watt PSu doesn't have enough oomph for them paired. Have you considered twin GTX 560 Ti's which will beat a single 580 by about 40% but the pair will cost ya less than that single 580.....$460 for the pair of Asus 900MHz TOP Cu or equivalent from EVGA ... I prefer the Asus, easily OC's to 100Mhz and I have had problems with EVGA not warranting factory OC'd speeds.

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

SSD - I'd skip the twin SSD idea and get one 120 GB model, Crucial M4 or Vertex 3

HD - Seagate Barracuda XT ....wow.....my son's 550MB/s SSD boots in 15.6 seconds, XT does it in 21.2

RAM - Several nice options:
Corsair http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $55
Mushkin Radioactive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $53
Mushkin Low Voltage (1.35) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54

Case / PSU - I never look at these separately as the PSU choice often influences the case choice. The Silverstone's are beautiful but a bit pricey. If ya go w/ the twin 560's, a quality 750 watter is all ya need. But the CP-850 is so damn impressive I always put it out there for consideration. Jonnyguru.com states that ya have to spent twice as much to find something as good. But, it has an unfair advantage..... it's larger than normal size allows it to run quieter and cooler than almost anything else....but the downside is it leaves ya with just 4 compatible cases that fit CPX form factor PSU's. Another plus, it's extremely low priced for it's 10.0 jonnyguru performance rating. Read the conclusions section here to read about the "unfair advantage" the Antec Case / PSU pairing has going up against ATX form factor PSU's. The electrical performance comments are quite glowing as well.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

All 4 compatible Antec cases (P183/P193/DF-85/1200V3) have dust filters. The DF-85 / CP-850 is my most used combo. The HAF-X / AX850 is 2nd. Of course neither is big enough for twin 50's and if ya go that way ..... I'd go for 1000 watts

Heat Sink - The best of the best in air cooling is the CM V6 GT but it's so damn noisy it sounds like you live next to an airport. The whisper quiet Silver Arrow comes up just behind it as does the new Hyper 612.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Coolit ECO A.L.C. 75.2 +12.9
Corsair H50 73.1 +10.8
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. (extreme) 73.0 +10.7
Thermalright Macho HR-02 71.0 +8.7
Prolimatech Super Mega 67.2 +4.9
Antec Kühler H2O 620 65.9 +3.6
Corsair H70 (high)* 65.3 +3.0
Thermaltake Frio OCK* 65.2 +2.9
Thermalright Venomous X 63.0 +0.7
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM 62.3 +0.0
Thermalright Silver Arrow* 61.8 -0.5
Cooler Master V6 GT* 61.2 -1.1


TIM - AS5 is a great performer but their web site says it takes 200 hours of thermal cycling to cure ..... some authors have equated this to about a year of "normal usage". OTOH, Shin Etsu has the exact same thermal conductance as AS5 and no curing issues, making it an easy choice.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 28, 2011 12:53:54 AM

Based on that article you showed me about the Z68 chipset, you are definately right that it doesn't look like I need one...

Quote:
Z68
Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?

The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.

Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.

Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.

If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.


I would have 2 dedicated graphics cards, maybe not initially, but eventually.

I won't need to do any transcoding.

I WILL have an internal SSD drive, so no need for the Z68 cache.

Quote:
My recommended MoBo in a $2k build is the Asus WS Revolution (assuming of course you not benefitting from anything on the above link that would warrant Z68 ..... I have used this board in over half dozen builds.


The features on the WS revolution look really good. I especially like it because it seems like a souped up version of the ASUS p8Z68/P67's that I've already been looking into a lot. Anything that increases the speed of my system is the kind of bonus I am looking for. That combo looks great. And that mobo looks great. The feedback on newegg looks good, and the low eggs are mostly people who got defunct boards. Before I decided to go with the Z68 motherboards I was shooting at a Sabertooth P67, but that seems like ages ago. I like your idea of going back to the P67, especially based on what a Z68 can/can't do for me.

Temperature's are the lowest on that chart for any of those boards. Benchmarks are the best. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I'll start playing around w/ a build that includes the WS Revolution. It does seem though like the WS Revolution has been around for a little while. Hard to know if there are newer products in the same vein that provide faster performance.

I'll have to examine the features this new mobo provides so I can be sure to get the right kind of case/ cooler etc. to match.

Thanks Jack....

EDIT:

Quote:
GPU - Ya spending a lotta cash for the 580 as well you should expect for the top card out there.... a similar wad of cash for the second one ..... but ya 850 watt PSu doesn't have enough oomph for them paired. Have you considered twin GTX 560 Ti's which will beat a single 580 by about 40% but the pair will cost ya less than that single 580.....$460 for the pair of Asus 900MHz TOP Cu or equivalent from EVGA ... I prefer the Asus, easily OC's to 100Mhz and I have had problems with EVGA not warranting factory OC'd speeds.


I have considered the GTX 560ti's a lot. I thought that I would go against the GTX 560ti combo because it seemed like it would become outdated sooner, being an older setup and all. I figure if I go w/ a GTX 580 I can SLI them in the future, which would take me into the future with less worry about having a too slow PC. Before I decided to go w/ the 580, I considered the 570, but decided w/ my buy only one GPU now, and another GPU later strategy, I may as well go with the big bang of one 580.

A 40% increase over a single GTX 580 w/ x2 GTX 560ti's at a cheaper price, does sound really good though. And is definitely worth looking into, I just don't know how I feel about how the future looks w/ this choice.

Too bad that ASUS ENGTX560 TI is out of stock right now. Good I have until 10/13 to pull the trigger.

That Seagate Barracuda XT looks nice at 2TB for $139.99 but I'm not sure if I will want to jump up to that price, and whether or not I will actually need 2 full TB's as opposed to 1 TB.

I'll have to look more closely at those different cases that only fit with that special amazing PSU also. If one of them suits my tastes, I'll probably definately be willing to pull the trigger on that. Both those cases, the HAF-X and Antec DF-85 are interesting, but seem so different from the Silverstone FT02B-W that I currently prize.

In the October issue Custom PC magazine I picked up today they mention the new CM Hyper 612S, and 612 PWM's. I guess the only difference between the two is that the latter has a 4pin controller to let the motherboard control the fan speeds as opposed to the former having to use a supplied adaptor.

Thanks again Jack for the help. This is plenty of food for thought.


a c 204 4 Gaming
September 28, 2011 1:01:00 AM

My pleasure....and I have added a few more comments for the other parts :) 
September 28, 2011 1:19:36 AM

Lol Jack a Thanksgiving dinner of things to digest!

EDIT:When you say...

Quote:
All 4 compatible Antec cases (P183/P193/DF-85/1200V3) have dust filters. The DF-85 / CP-850 is my most used combo. The HAF-X / AX850 is 2nd. Of course neither is big enough for twin 50's and if ya go that way ..... I'd go for 1000 watts


I assume that you are saying that the CP-850 and the AX850 are not big enough power supplies to run twin 580's, not that those cases are too small.

If I were to try and go w/ the big brother of the CP-850 or AX850 in a 1000W power supply, I assume all of the same great qualities would be present in the larger PSU.

As for the Cooler Master Hyper 612, and the Thermalright Silver Arrow, both products must be so new they aren’t yet available on newegg. I was able to locate the CM V6 GT though.

That is funny that it takes the Arctic Silver 5 200 hours to cure lol. I guess if I leave the system running though 20 hours on average of every day, I could get that cured in 10 days. I don’t know if that qualifies for regular use. Probably have to keep it running at a decent load to get the paste hot enough to cure it. The Shin Etsu is cheaper, and given it’s no cure necessary, looks like a sweet buy.

AH! I’m having so much fun putting these parts and possibilities together, my roommate can’t believe what he calls my obsession.

P.S. He is also planning on building a rig w/in the same time frame as me, but hasn't yet gotten himself excited about it. I can't seem to understand his reticence. He'll be purchasing this next weekend, and he can't be arsed to put together a build!
September 28, 2011 2:01:24 AM

Amazing how people love to play with other peoples money
September 28, 2011 2:51:50 AM

Jack, so I've been jumping around looking at the parts you recommended and the build using lots of your recommendations is sitting snug at $1,932.66 after tax and shipping. It's looking hot, and I'm still understanding the parts etc. But I had one question about something I saw on the newegg reviews for the ASUS WS Revolution, claiming that there was some complex sleep mode issue where it was impossible to get out of sleep mode after you had been overclocking.

Quote:
Pros: Great pcie spacing, dual 16x slots (blue ones). Great bios and easy to navigate.

Cons: The sleep issue. I rma'd the first board with newegg and this second one does the same thing. I can't get my system out of sleep mode if I oc above 4.5 even if pll is disabled. The first board was worse, it would not come out of sleep under any oc, even a mild one. Hence why I replaced it with newegg rma (great rma service btw). This new one runs a bit better. Upgrading the bios to the most recent 1303 (as of 7/24) makes the sleep issue worse. I have posted this issue on the asus.forums and the most common answer is to disable pll over voltage. I have more crashing if I do, so I leave it on when I'm running high clocks and just shutdown. Clearing the cmos is a pita when I have three cards in the system. Why not add a simple button on the back or somewhere accessible Asus? I tried all solutions found on the internet regarding the sleep issue, but all have failed on both boards. My research has found that its mainly happening on Asus boards...


In your experience building w/ the WS Revolution often did you ever encounter this issue Jack? You must have some fix.
September 28, 2011 5:05:54 AM

Quote:
GPU - Ya spending a lotta cash for the 580 as well you should expect for the top card out there.... a similar wad of cash for the second one ..... but ya 850 watt PSu doesn't have enough oomph for them paired. Have you considered twin GTX 560 Ti's which will beat a single 580 by about 40% but the pair will cost ya less than that single 580.....$460 for the pair of Asus 900MHz TOP Cu or equivalent from EVGA ... I prefer the Asus, easily OC's to 100Mhz and I have had problems with EVGA not warranting factory OC'd speeds.


Here it seems like you are trying to tell me that at this current moment in time, the sweet spot and bang for your buck is w/ the GTX 560ti's. W/ two of those bastards I can get 40% more performance than a single GTX 580 and through newegg, $10 cheaper. If I went w/ the GTX 560ti's strategy, I would be able to use the sweet Antec only 850W power supply w/ the DF-85 case to create a really slick and sweet little combination. Is this what you are suggesting? Cause it looks pretty damn good. I would just be sacrificing the option to graduate from the GTX 580 to dual 580's (A lot of performance down the road, no future upgrading w/out losing the GTX560ti's), and would be able to rock 40% harder than if I went w/ a single GTX 580. Is very interesting... very interesting indeed.

If I went w/ the 2x 560ti's, what steps could I take to increase their performance in the future beyond what I could already do from day 1? Could I go 4x 560ti's, 3x 560ti's? Are there notable benefits to doing this? Can the ASUS WS Revolution handle that many graphics cards? Ruminating.
September 28, 2011 5:07:38 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
You have a mish-mash of parts in there ... some High Quality some .... well shall we say, more suited to a budget system.

MoBo - Will you benefit from Z68 ? from what I read, I don't think so.....read this and decide:

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Do you want to base a $2k system on a MoBo that doesn't offer a industry standard 3 year warranty ? Too many mobo industry issues for me to risk that. I'd opt for a manufacturer / model that offers a 3 or 5 year warranty.

My recommended MoBo in a $2k build is the Asus WS Revolution (assuming of course you not benefitting from anything on the above link that would warrant Z68 ..... I have used this board in over half dozen builds.

This combo saves ya $20 off the 2500k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Read about why the NF200 chip:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sl...

Quote:
While the NF200 doesn’t completely solve the dearth of PCIe lanes available on LGA 1155 platforms, its ability to send identical data to multiple cards makes it perfect for SLI and CrossFire. That benefit, when combined with the Sandy Bridge processor’s superior performance and overclocking capabilities, slams the lid on the coffin for X58 gaming. Anyone who needs the added flexibility of X58 to host other devices, such as high-end drive controllers or six-core processors in a workstation environment, must bow to the gaming superiority of NF200-equiped Sandy Bridge motherboards like Asus' P8P67 WS Revolution.


The x16 x16 won't do beans with much lesser cards but with you thinking twin 580's, that's a whole different ballgame. While teh article shows minor gains in performance on most games, it does show as much as 10% in average fps in soem games (i.e STALKER). But it's minimum frame rates where the wide PCI lanes have more signnificant impact.

Check out the power consumption and temp figures versus the competition ..... we're talking 30 watts and 10C here

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

The gaming advantages are pretty impressive too

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

CPU - Good choice but look for it in a MoBo combo.

GPU - Ya spending a lotta cash for the 580 as well you should expect for the top card out there.... a similar wad of cash for the second one ..... but ya 850 watt PSu doesn't have enough oomph for them paired. Have you considered twin GTX 560 Ti's which will beat a single 580 by about 40% but the pair will cost ya less than that single 580.....$460 for the pair of Asus 900MHz TOP Cu or equivalent from EVGA ... I prefer the Asus, easily OC's to 100Mhz and I have had problems with EVGA not warranting factory OC'd speeds.

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

SSD - I'd skip the twin SSD idea and get one 120 GB model, Crucial M4 or Vertex 3

HD - Seagate Barracuda XT ....wow.....my son's 550MB/s SSD boots in 15.6 seconds, XT does it in 21.2

RAM - Several nice options:
Corsair http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $55
Mushkin Radioactive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $53
Mushkin Low Voltage (1.35) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54

Case / PSU - I never look at these separately as the PSU choice often influences the case choice. The Silverstone's are beautiful but a bit pricey. If ya go w/ the twin 560's, a quality 750 watter is all ya need. But the CP-850 is so damn impressive I always put it out there for consideration. Jonnyguru.com states that ya have to spent twice as much to find something as good. But, it has an unfair advantage..... it's larger than normal size allows it to run quieter and cooler than almost anything else....but the downside is it leaves ya with just 4 compatible cases that fit CPX form factor PSU's. Another plus, it's extremely low priced for it's 10.0 jonnyguru performance rating. Read the conclusions section here to read about the "unfair advantage" the Antec Case / PSU pairing has going up against ATX form factor PSU's. The electrical performance comments are quite glowing as well.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

All 4 compatible Antec cases (P183/P193/DF-85/1200V3) have dust filters. The DF-85 / CP-850 is my most used combo. The HAF-X / AX850 is 2nd. Of course neither is big enough for twin 50's and if ya go that way ..... I'd go for 1000 watts

Heat Sink - The best of the best in air cooling is the CM V6 GT but it's so damn noisy it sounds like you live next to an airport. The whisper quiet Silver Arrow comes up just behind it as does the new Hyper 612.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Coolit ECO A.L.C. 75.2 +12.9
Corsair H50 73.1 +10.8
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. (extreme) 73.0 +10.7
Thermalright Macho HR-02 71.0 +8.7
Prolimatech Super Mega 67.2 +4.9
Antec Kühler H2O 620 65.9 +3.6
Corsair H70 (high)* 65.3 +3.0
Thermaltake Frio OCK* 65.2 +2.9
Thermalright Venomous X 63.0 +0.7
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM 62.3 +0.0
Thermalright Silver Arrow* 61.8 -0.5
Cooler Master V6 GT* 61.2 -1.1


TIM - AS5 is a great performer but their web site says it takes 200 hours of thermal cycling to cure ..... some authors have equated this to about a year of "normal usage". OTOH, Shin Etsu has the exact same thermal conductance as AS5 and no curing issues, making it an easy choice.

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

jack jack jack.
if you think about it 3 yrs is a long time. by then intel should be releasing a platform based on 1X nm technology.
and there is a lot to that z68 motherboard. it has pcie 3.0 unlike the ws revolution so it can run the next gen gpu's. and if you look at the reviews on the ws revolution it obviously has problems

hey jack the difference isnt 10% at 1080p look at it again. also the minimum is at 91 fps i would not call that unplayable!

the v6 gt is not the best. the noctua NH-D14 is the best on the market hands down.

the cp850 is only bronze rated you can spend a few $ more and get better performance.

since you will have an ssd a hard drive will be more so a storage drive. in other words it doesnt need to be fast

and with your budget op. at least get 570's. here is a monitor that is 1920x1200 for a decent price it should use all of the 570's power- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 28, 2011 2:55:04 PM

I havent read everything, but I glazed at a Seagate Barracuda XT been recomended. Dont get that piece of hardware.

You see, what a are the benefits of SSD? Speed, Silence, no heat production, less power consumption. The Barracuda fails on all that. Certainly, its faster than a HDD, but its an item aimed at really low budget systems, cause lest face it, homeless people can afford HDDs nowadays. This is not your case.

Go ALL SSD and get a large HDD for media storate, you know, those files you never acess, like videos from your childhood backed to your computer.

This is a 120GB SSD for $120

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

IF you can afford, get 4x 512GB SSDs from Crucial (they are around $750 each)
September 28, 2011 6:02:05 PM

mjmj,

I looked at the Noctua NH-D14 and it looks like a good piece, especially since I've hard tons about it. A drawback to it though, is that it is almost 40% more expensive than the v6gt. It is important to clarify that though I am able/ willing to spend $2000 bucks, it comes w/ a lot of sacrifices, less drink/ less food/ less ladies/ less anything else I could need/want. That said, I like the idea of the NH-D14, especially if I go ahead with the CP-1000 power supply which is supposed to be quiet already. The V6gt is supposed to be super loud, so having super loud components, and super quiet ones does seem kind of strange. The CPU cooler I am really interested in though is the CM Hyper 612 that just came out. If it is a natural progression of the "best bang for buck" CPU cooler in the Hyper 212+, then it definitely deserves a look.

Quote:
and with your budget op. at least get 570's. here is a monitor that is 1920x1200 for a decent price it should use all of the 570's power- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824176141


I was thinking about the 560's and the 570's, and how building a computer at this point in time is going to take some sacrifices in future proofing. I am considering sticking with the WS Revolution and single GTX 580 w/ a 2nd in the future. I know it seems backwards, as if I will be hurting my chances at upgrading in the near future, but there is always going to be a future, and if I am constantly planning for it I'll never get the best combination I can.

I don't have a gaming PC now since I've been w/out since old one fried a couple years ago. I've finally got my *** together, and am gonna get a sweet one. So this PC is going to be only PC, and I don't think it's a great idea to try to make it everything/ future everything. I'll prob need to bite the bullet and get a great combo that might not age so gracefully. Cause this build is about enjoying now, not enjoying later.

Quote:
You see, what a are the benefits of SSD? Speed, Silence, no heat production, less power consumption. The Barracuda fails on all that. Certainly, its faster than a HDD, but its an item aimed at really low budget systems, cause lest face it, homeless people can afford HDDs nowadays. This is not your case.

Go ALL SSD and get a large HDD for media storate, you know, those files you never acess, like videos from your childhood backed to your computer.


I did think about that. Will have to weigh prices. Seagate Barracuda XT is $140 vs. the Samsung Spinpoint F3 at $60. With SSD it is true I probably won't need a very fast HDD.

Quote:
IF you can afford, get 4x 512GB SSDs from Crucial (they are around $750 each)


And Leandro, definitely don't get the idea that I got that kind of money. I'm just a small fry who's enthusiastic about the process and willing to live a muted lifestyle for a couple of months to be able to just barely build this somewhat expensive rig.

a c 271 4 Gaming
September 28, 2011 8:23:54 PM

Here's a $2K build I just put together:

Case: Corsair Carbide 400R - $99.99
PSU: Corsair TX 750 V2 - $104.99
Motherboard: EVGA Z68 FTW - $249.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K - $314.99
Cooler: Corsair H100 - $104.99
RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 16GB (4 x 4GB) PC 1600MHz - $104.99
SSD: Intel 320 120GB SSD - $219.99
HD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB - $79.99
Optical: Lite-On 12X Blu-Ray Burner - $79.99
Video Card: XFX Radeon 6950 2GB - $269.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit - $99.99
Monitor: Hannspree HF-257 24.6" HD Monitor - $179.99
Speakers: Corsair SP2500 - $179.99

Total: $2145

The build comes out to $1700 without monitor, speakers, keyboard/mouse, or OS.
September 28, 2011 8:37:42 PM

Quote:
Here's a $2K build I just put together:


I have considered the Corsair 400R and also the Corsair 500R. I'm pretty damn sure I'm not interested in going w/ ATI graphics cards. I don't need an i7-2600K. 2TB of space for 79.99 in the form of the Barracuda might be alright... Though the reviews for Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB are glowing.... Don't think a Blu Ray BURNER is necessary, but definately a Blu Ray player to compliment the Blu Ray's I already have via my PS3.

Thanks for the input. I would ask, why have you decided to go w/ the Corsair Carbide 400R? Are you worried that a mid-tower case wouldn't be able to house all of your components properly? I'm not sure how much I like the inflated sides on that case. They seem a bit to jut out. Also there isn't a very large viewing window on the side of the case to see and admire the innards.

What advantages does the EVGA Z68 FTW have as a motherboard? Why select that?
September 28, 2011 11:07:50 PM

ThruSeer said:
mjmj,

I looked at the Noctua NH-D14 and it looks like a good piece, especially since I've hard tons about it. A drawback to it though, is that it is almost 40% more expensive than the v6gt. It is important to clarify that though I am able/ willing to spend $2000 bucks, it comes w/ a lot of sacrifices, less drink/ less food/ less ladies/ less anything else I could need/want. That said, I like the idea of the NH-D14, especially if I go ahead with the CP-1000 power supply which is supposed to be quiet already. The V6gt is supposed to be super loud, so having super loud components, and super quiet ones does seem kind of strange. The CPU cooler I am really interested in though is the CM Hyper 612 that just came out. If it is a natural progression of the "best bang for buck" CPU cooler in the Hyper 212+, then it definitely deserves a look.

Quote:
and with your budget op. at least get 570's. here is a monitor that is 1920x1200 for a decent price it should use all of the 570's power- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824176141


I was thinking about the 560's and the 570's, and how building a computer at this point in time is going to take some sacrifices in future proofing. I am considering sticking with the WS Revolution and single GTX 580 w/ a 2nd in the future. I know it seems backwards, as if I will be hurting my chances at upgrading in the near future, but there is always going to be a future, and if I am constantly planning for it I'll never get the best combination I can.

I don't have a gaming PC now since I've been w/out since old one fried a couple years ago. I've finally got my *** together, and am gonna get a sweet one. So this PC is going to be only PC, and I don't think it's a great idea to try to make it everything/ future everything. I'll prob need to bite the bullet and get a great combo that might not age so gracefully. Cause this build is about enjoying now, not enjoying later.

Quote:
You see, what a are the benefits of SSD? Speed, Silence, no heat production, less power consumption. The Barracuda fails on all that. Certainly, its faster than a HDD, but its an item aimed at really low budget systems, cause lest face it, homeless people can afford HDDs nowadays. This is not your case.

Go ALL SSD and get a large HDD for media storate, you know, those files you never acess, like videos from your childhood backed to your computer.


I did think about that. Will have to weigh prices. Seagate Barracuda XT is $140 vs. the Samsung Spinpoint F3 at $60. With SSD it is true I probably won't need a very fast HDD.

Quote:
IF you can afford, get 4x 512GB SSDs from Crucial (they are around $750 each)


And Leandro, definitely don't get the idea that I got that kind of money. I'm just a small fry who's enthusiastic about the process and willing to live a muted lifestyle for a couple of months to be able to just barely build this somewhat expensive rig.

well the 1920x1200 monitor is an investment as well as something you can enjoy right now. 2 gtx 570's should max out every game coming out at that resolution. probably bf3 too. since you are spending a lot on that the z68 extreme3 gen3 is a very good motherboard for its price. it can be used for budget systems as well as high end systems. if you want something with a usb3.0 header get the p67 extreme4 gen3. now the cp1000/850 are pieces of trash efficiency wise. cp850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... & http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . The scythe mugen 3 i am 99% sure cools better than the v6gt and it is very quiet.
September 29, 2011 12:37:28 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
well the 1920x1200 monitor is an investment as well as something you can enjoy right now. 2 gtx 570's should max out every game coming out at that resolution. probably bf3 too. since you are spending a lot on that the z68 extreme3 gen3 is a very good motherboard for its price. it can be used for budget systems as well as high end systems. if you want something with a usb3.0 header get the p67 extreme4 gen3. now the cp1000/850 are pieces of trash efficiency wise. cp850- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... & http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . The scythe mugen 3 i am 99% sure cools better than the v6gt and it is very quiet.


I can get this badboy...

SAMSUNG S27A350H ToC Rose Black 27" 2ms Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DCR 1,000,000:1 (1,000:1)
--$389.99

...at a local Costco for $289.99 w/ a 90 day return policy. It's pretty slick, 1920 x 1080. How do you think it compares w/ the...

HP LA2405wg Black / Silver 24" 5ms Height/Pivot/Swivel adjustable Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 3000:1(1000:1)
--$289.99

...that you are suggesting? The Samsung is 27 inches, but has a bit less resolution. Same price.

About the motherboard, I think it's safe to say that I've decided to let the future proofing features of the Gen3 Extreme3 fall to the wayside. I like the idea of a powerful motherboard w/ tons of features in the WS Revolution. Earlier I posted a thread in the motherboard section trying to determine if I should go w/ the Extreme 3 Gen 3 or the P8P67 WS Revolution and the feedback I got made me believe that the WS Revolution was the right choice. Mobo thread...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/298177-30-mobo-mobo-f...

EDIT: The posters on that mobo thread did also believe the Extreme3 Gen3 to be a quality board suitable for a high end system.

As for the idea of the CPU cooler being a Scythe/Nocturne/Hyper 212+/Hyper Evo I am still undecided, but am kind of leaning towards the Hyper Evo. It is affordable and an upgrade on the 212+ though it is probably still quite loud. If I maintain the CP850 or CP1000 powersupplies for my build w/ the DF-85 then I will probably go w/ a quiet cooler like the Scythe... But if I mix it up and go w/ a different PSU/Case combination, it'll probably end up being loud already, opening the door for a louder CPU cooler like the Hyper 212 Evo.

Thanks tons mjmj. Really do appreciate having people to bounce ideas off of and at me.
September 29, 2011 4:32:17 AM

almost all psu's are silent because they have 1 single low rpm giant fan unlike the cp850 which leads me to believe it is not that quiet. if you want a quiet setup get the silverstone Raven rv03 at amazon for 140$ free shipping and an PC power and cooling 950w psu at newegg for 150$ +6$ shipping (cheapest quality silver rated psu that can run 2 570's) or the Corsair tx850 v2.

for the monitor i still think the hp is the better deal. desktop computers are still alive for gaming because they can play at such high resolutions and still look great. to me with your budget you should always try to get the highest resolution setup you can afford to play at decent fps.

since the monitor situation is figured out you wont be using a card like the 580 (since i suggested 2 570's) the nf2000 bridge will do you no good. it wont even stop microstuttering because the problem isnt there with such a high end card.

the scythe mugen 3 is one of the best coolers for how quiet it is. it can be compared with the h60 in cooling performance but it is so much quieter than it
September 29, 2011 4:47:29 AM

Quote:
since the monitor situation is figured out you wont be using a card like the 580 (since i suggested 2 570's) the nf2000 bridge will do you no good. it wont even stop microstuttering because the problem isnt there with such a high end card.


Say for example that Battlefield 4 comes out in 3 years. Elder Scrolls 5 comes out in 3 years. Amazing games come out in 3 years. Do you think 2x 570's would still be worth it over 2x 580's at that point?

If at 1920 x 1080 Battlefield 3 is maxed out on 2x 570's, then 2x 580's is way overkill for Battlefield 3.

It's hard for me to grasp the idea of getting 2x 570's instead of 2x 580's. It seems backward like somehow I am not getting enough bang. If the technology is there now and it's affordable for me to go w/ 1 580 now and a 2nd 580 later, then shouldn't I do that?

I guess I never realized that graphics cards could be so bottlenecked by the resolution of a monitor. If it really is true that I should just go w/ 2x 570's it would make my build a lot more clear right now. I would buy everything I needed in one fell swoop instead of waiting on some things, and gauging my PSU power on the possibility of a 2nd GTX 580 in SLI that I might never get around to purchasing.

Were I to go w/ the 2x GTX 580's, would that 950W pc power and cooling PSU work for me? I had already eyed it either from one of your (mjmj's) initial recommendations or from somewhere else around this site.

2x GTX 570's = Pc power and cooling 950W?
September 29, 2011 5:06:57 AM

2 gtx 570's=850w
i said this to justify the 950w- cheapest quality silver rated psu that can run 2 570's (quality=very long 7yr warranty. shows they have trust in their product)

in 3 yrs, you will be itching for the new gpus because there will be a huge performance increase soon when the 7xxx and the 6xx cards go to 28nm die size. and by then they should have 22nm die size and it will absolutely destroy 2 580's.
September 29, 2011 5:20:22 AM

Great work mjmj. I will start putting together builds w/ 2x 570's. I do like that once figured out, the 570's build will represent a finished product, not so w/ what I would need to do w/ the 2x 580's and my lack of funds to get 2x GTX 580's right off the bat. No doubt this new GPU setup will come with more questions. I will plan for an 850W PSU in this next version.

EDIT: I'll need to find a graphics card comparison chart for 2x 560ti's, 2x 570's, 1x 580, and 2x 580's to really definitely put my mind to rest that 2x 570's is the way to go. I'll do that now.
October 5, 2011 5:52:10 PM

Gonna start a new thread in a bit. Thanks mjmj for helping me to decide on GTX 570's.

I'd solve this thread for mj's help but for the life of me I can't figure out how to do it.
October 6, 2011 1:17:51 AM

i think it is the bottom right of the post you want to select as best answer.
October 6, 2011 1:43:50 AM

Could be that this is a discussion thread rather than a question thread. Unfortunately there aren't any links to create a best answer.
October 6, 2011 2:52:25 AM

I guess it doesn't matter. Help me for free and check out the updated build I've been thinking about. Purchase date is still 8 days away.

My Budget has shrunk a bit, and is now hovering around the $1850 maximum mark. I do plan on picking up a second 570 but not until a bit later. I'm going to recycle the DVD player and Wireless adapter from previous pc so I no longer have to worry about those. At least for a couple weeks after I set this bad boy up.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
--$219.99

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
--$154.99

2 x MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
--$369.99 + $369.99
--$740

SeaSonic X Series X-850 (SS-850KM Active PFC F3) 850W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
--$210.99

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
--$85.87

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
--$69.99

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case
--$159.99

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
--$197.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
--$59.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
--$99.99

TOTAL PRICE:
--$1,774.60 after Tax and Shipping
--This is the price w/ only 1 GTX 570. I plan on only picking up one of these initially because 2 doesn’t fit in my budget very well.
--For reference.... $2,173.67 w/ 2 GTX 570’s after Tax and Shipping

I have a couple of concerns still. Now that I have chosen the GTX 570 as my graphics card, I am uncertain which one to choose. Since I am going w/ 2x GTX 570’s, should I worry about where the GPU’s have their air vents? I’ve heard something about back exhaust GPU’s causing less interference in an SLI set up. Are the MSI Twin Frozr III’s good for SLI? Are they good for SLI w/ the MoBo I selected, the ASROCK Extreme4 Gen3?
October 6, 2011 3:04:29 AM

save a few bucks and get cl9 ram you will see no performance difference at all

the nh-d14 is a little pricy unless you are oc'ing to 5.0ghz a scythe mugen 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or hyper 212 evo- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... should be just fine

seasonic makes great psu's. but the one you listed is pricey- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... this is a great psu and got a 9.5/10 by jonnyguru second only to the corsair ax1200 (ultimate psu)

Gpu- only get the twin frozr II. oc it yourself.

case- i m recommending the silverstone Raven rv03- http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Extended-90-Degree-Mo... 140$ great cooling with its 90 degree turn.
October 6, 2011 3:30:44 AM

I'll take your advice on the Scythe Mugen 3 and the PSU. That PSU is a lot cheaper and has a nice gold rating also.

Quote:
Gpu- only get the twin frozr II. oc it yourself.


Unfortunately there aren't any 570 twin frozr II's on newegg right now. What's the difference between the Frozr II and the Frozr III? The Frozr II looks to be about $40 cheaper than the Frozr III.
October 6, 2011 3:33:37 AM

ThruSeer said:
I'll take your advice on the Scythe Mugen 3 and the PSU. That PSU is a lot cheaper and has a nice gold rating also.

Quote:
Gpu- only get the twin frozr II. oc it yourself.


Unfortunately there aren't any 570 twin frozr II's on newegg right now. What's the difference between the Frozr II and the Frozr III? The Frozr II looks to be about $40 cheaper than the Frozr III.

look at this thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320108-33-gtx570-twin...
so the thread says that the twin frozr III is an extra overclocked twin frozr II
October 6, 2011 3:56:27 AM

EVGA 012-P3-1577-KR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD DoubleShot 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5
--$349.99

Newegg reviews say that card gets a bit hot. This shouldn't be a problem because I'll have the Antec and it's a big case. I'm sure that card would prob def be fine in the Raven also. Looks good, I'll use it if I can't get my hands on a Twin Frozr II. Difference between the frozr II and III is exactly like morgoth suggested, just artificially pumped up to higher speeds where I could do it myself. And I def want to do it myself, simply because I never have.

I also picked up some CL9 RAM. Hadn't realized until earlier how many subtle differences there were between the different RAM. W/out a performance decrease, there is a $12 difference between the RAM I chose and this RAM here...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
--$51.99

With those changes, build is looking nice then?

Price of build w/ these new changes = only $1645.35 after Tax and Shipping.
October 6, 2011 3:59:08 AM

the only advantage it seems of twin frozr III is that you get the higher clock speeds and your warranty...

also, new RAM looks good
October 6, 2011 4:06:02 AM

Whew now that the build is lean and mean, I find myself searching for ways to make it more expensive. Maybe I should just accept that it is beautifully below budget and go put some freaking food in my belly and some new shoes on my feet.
October 6, 2011 4:11:11 AM

ThruSeer said:
Whew now that the build is lean and mean, I find myself searching for ways to make it more expensive. Maybe I should just accept that it is beautifully below budget and go put some freaking food in my belly and some new shoes on my feet.

sounds like a plan
October 10, 2011 9:30:37 PM

In the interests of continuing this dialogue and discourse, and because I got a couple of days off, I have posted my current build along w/ some extras I've been thinking about. Purchase date for this machine is still Oct. 13 at 11pm Pacific. In bold are the parts I have switched in since last time I posted a build. (Not needing Optical Drive, or Wireless Adapter)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
--$219.99

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
--$154.99

2 x EVGA 012-P3-1577-KR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) HD DoubleShot 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
--$349.99 + $349.99
--$700


OCZ ZX Series 850W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Gold High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
--$169.99


Scythe SCMG-3000 120mm Heat Pipe CPU Cooler
--$49.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
--$69.99

Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower Unbeatable Gaming Case
--video reviewing the case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMcKvI-zWi0
--$159.99

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
--$197.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
--$59.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
--Not sure what the significance of OEM is.
--$99.99

TOTAL PRICE:
--$1,645.35 after Tax and Shipping
--This is the price w/ only 1 GTX 570. I plan on only picking up one of these initially because 2 doesn’t fit in my budget very well.
--For reference.... $2,022.71 w/ 2 GTX 570’s after Tax and Shipping
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional parts and interesting sht I'm thinking about throwing in for fun, protection, and to cover all bases. "FRILLS".

BELKIN BE112230-08 8 Feet 12 Outlets 3780 Joules Surge Protector with Telephone and Coaxial Protection
--None of the sockets in this god-forsaken house are grounded, so I'm hoping this power strip will be able to provide some protection in case of a surge etc. Plus it's got a lot of sockets to hold all.
--$8.99

Nippon Labs Premium High Performance HDMI Cable 15 ft. HDMI TO HDMI Cable A/V Gold Plated for 1080P cable HDTV Cable PS3 Cable and Xbox 360 Cable
--To comfortably reach 47" Vizio 8ft away.
--$13.99

MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Interface Material
--Shin-Etsu or Arctic Silver 5... About $8 difference between the two, but I guess AS5 takes 200hrs to cure so...
--$4.99

Antec 761345-75024-0 120mm Blue LED Case Fan
--To complement Antec Twelve Hundred and fit into side of case and provide air flow for CPU and GPU. A little expensive. Antec branding.
--$16.99

Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit
--To have some tools in case I run into anything strange while building.
--$19.99

Also considering some cable ties or what not, but I guess my case comes w/ some and so does the OCZ Power Supply. Thanks again all as always for your time.
October 10, 2011 9:41:12 PM

I would personally rather a Corsair power supply than OCZ, The HX850 is what I am using. It may be worth it to spend $20 and get a MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III as well, the cooling and noise are incredible on it.
October 10, 2011 10:03:27 PM

I was contemplating the Twin Frozr III but decided against it because the only real difference between it and the Frozr II is that the III is factory overclocked. I can OC a 570 myself to get it up to the same speeds. Because there are no Frozr II 570's on newegg, and it was recommended to me as a great 2nd option, I have settled on the HD Doubleshot 570 from EVGA. The Doubleshot is supposed to be fast but run a little hot. Supposed to have good performance. One thing that does worry me about the Doubleshot is that it smacks of running out of supplies somehow. It seems like getting a 2nd HD Doubleshot in a couple months might be risky like they may be out of stock by then. Anyhow, this all has me considering the Classic EVGA 570's...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I am considering those also because it seems like there is a high likelihood that they will definitely be around when it comes time to go SLI in a couple months, and because who can argue w/ 173 reviews at 5 stars overall?

About the OCZ powersupply, it's gold rated and has some nice modular cables. Judging from the newegg video everything looks really quality, so I haven't been worried about it. Plus it is also at a great price, $30 bucks off from $200. I was previously considering a Seasonic Gold rated 850, but that was $210. You can find the link to the Seasonic a couple posts above. I will though, for the sake of knowing, check out the HX850.

EDIT: The HX850 is not on newegg unfortunately. I guess somehow I became a newegg slave. I might have to reevaluate this.
October 10, 2011 10:08:49 PM

I am not too knowledgeable about the minute differences between PSU makers, but when I was building my PC last month, I was bombarded by people recommending Corsair, Seasonic and XFX power supplies, because all 3 are made by Seasonic. It apparently makes a little difference getting that little bit extra out of OCing, and for better reliability.

I chose the TF3 570 because of how insane the cooling is on it. Top load temps in my HAF 932 are 55C, with a 50% fan speed. Reference 570 is around 75C with auto fan speed.
October 10, 2011 10:10:47 PM

Ares, do me a favor and post your build if it's easy? Might help w/ some ideas. How much did it cost when all was said and done? Sounds like it's a bit like mine and I like a comparing....... OR if you got a link to your build post?

....You built it? All went well? Satisfied?
October 10, 2011 10:22:34 PM

I'm just sitting about playing Dark Souls on PS3 watching the minutes tick by until I can purchase... and then the roughly 4 days it'll take newegg to get me the parts until I can finally build this bastard c. Oct. 18th... Waiting... Waiting... I'm sure all can empathize.
October 10, 2011 10:23:46 PM

ThruSeer said:
Ares, do me a favor and post your build if it's easy? Might help w/ some ideas. How much did it cost when all was said and done? Sounds like it's a bit like mine and I like a comparing....... OR if you got a link to your build post?

....You built it? All went well? Satisfied?


I can't seem to find the thread I posted here about it, but here are the parts:

http://secure.newegg.ca/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?...

Everything went very smoothly. It took about 8 hours to put it all together, no issues what so ever. I'll keep looking for that thread though.
October 10, 2011 10:37:04 PM

Nice. Looks good. I wonder though, what factors made you settle on the MSI Z68A-GD55 (B3)?

Did you have a lot of Arctic Silver 5 leftover from this build? Roommates building at the same time also, and hope to have enough for both builds.

Did the Corsair Vengeance inhibit your power supply at all? I have heard that tall RAM like that can cause issues w/ Cooler's like the one I chose, The Scythe Mugen 3. I am considering low height RAM for this reason.

My roommates build will have the HAF 932 Advanced. I'm a tad jealous because it is generally regarded as the greatest case. I have been searching constantly for something in that 150-170 range to compete against it, and have mostly settled on the Antec Twelve Hundred. The Red vs. Blue LED effect will be a nice differentiation between our competing builds. I think the Twelve Hundred is my best option that is not that HAF 932 advanced, that is not the Raven 3... I really don't like the plastic and look of the Raven 3 though it is acknowledged to be a great case.

Was installing the OS to the Crucial M4 a breeze? We have many similar parts. Do the 8 hrs build time include installing the OS and drivers?

Was there a great sense of satisfaction after you had completed the build?

Is there anything you wish you had done differently after building it?

You running games? Which games? Batt3 Beta run smoothly?

lol thanks.
October 10, 2011 10:45:41 PM

You know.... If you give you a mouse a cookie, he's gonna ask for a glass of milk.
October 10, 2011 10:49:39 PM

The motherboard, processor, HDD and monitor all had promotional discounts on newegg totaling around $60, that's why I chose them. The HAF 932 had free shipping too, with a instant discount of $20.

I used about 1/3 of the arctic silver paste, plenty for two or three complete uses. Plus I have another that came with the 212+.

I have dual fans on my 212+, meaning that the extra fan covers one ram slot. I dont plan on using more than 2 DIMMS, so i can easily fit the two into the 2nd and 4th slot. If this is a concern for you, get low profile ram instead; the heatsink fins do not matter, they are just for looks really.

I am very, very satisfied with my case beyond belief. I highly recommend getting a full ATX case with as many fans as you can get. Beyond that, just make sure it has all the front panel options you need. It is really a matter of looks after that then.

It took about 30 minutes to install the OS. You just have to select which device you which to install it on, and wait until it is done. Its that simple. You have to manually create a partition on the blank HDD afterwards though. The 8 hours does include OS, the only drivers I needed to install are nvidia and a firmware update for the SSD. I think there were a few others that came with the mobo too.

There is nothing that I can think of that I would want to change. About a week after I purchased this (Sept 16th), the Hyper 212 EVO came out. This heatsink is a little bit better, but not a big deal.

I can run the BF3 Beta on max settings 1080p at around 45-60 fps depending on what area.
October 10, 2011 10:59:23 PM

Don't look at the prices on that wishlist, The total on the bottom is $1843 when in fact it only cost around $1725. The mobo was $130, case $140, HDD $49, monitor $150, processor $205, ram $65

Also, I did not realize that the case is the HAF 932 ADVANCED. It comes with built in SSD support, so the converter that I purchased was not necessary.
October 10, 2011 11:08:48 PM

Right on! I've been reading lots of materials about building my PC, in magazines and on the internet. The most current magazine I could find that has a How-To for building is Custom PC's October issue. "PC Building Masterclass". Has tons of trouble-shooting and a step-by-step photo guide. I am still fighting w/ some things for when I build it. I'll want to test the build outside of the case before I put it in the rig. The scariest part about the whole thing has to be the thermal compound between the cooler and CPU. I've seen a bunch of videos for how to put thermal paste on. This youtube video is good...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4
...What method did you use to apply the paste?

I feel like I'll have to use the "spread the paste around w/ your finger" method instead of the globule method. Wouldn't want the paste to creep around into the socket and then have to remove it w/ some fancy cleaner.
October 10, 2011 11:14:13 PM

ThruSeer said:
Right on! I've been reading lots of materials about building my PC, in magazines and on the internet. The most current magazine I could find that has a How-To for building is Custom PC's October issue. "PC Building Masterclass". Has tons of trouble-shooting and a step-by-step photo guide. I am still fighting w/ some things for when I build it. I'll want to test the build outside of the case before I put it in the rig. The scariest part about the whole thing has to be the thermal compound between the cooler and CPU. I've seen a bunch of videos for how to put thermal paste on. This youtube video is good...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4
...What method did you use to apply the paste?

I feel like I'll have to use the "spread the paste around w/ your finger" method instead of the globule method. Wouldn't want the paste to creep around into the socket and then have to remove it w/ some fancy cleaner.


I'm not sure if my method was the best one, but temps seem to be great to me.

I just took the CPU heatsink, put a glob(little bit at a time) in the center and used an old credit card to spread it evenly around. I kept adding more paste until there was an even thin coat over the entire base of the heatsink (direct contact heatpipes), then just plopped it onto my processor. Idle temps with a turbo OC are 27-29C idle and 51-53C load at 4.2 Ghz. This is using a dual fan hyper 212+ in the HAF 932
October 10, 2011 11:23:45 PM

Thanks Boss! Super helpful.
!