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New Gaming and Development rig help

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October 14, 2011 7:26:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date:Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend.

Budget Range: $3000 After Rebates - Will push to $3500ish if I feel necessary.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, School, 3D Rendering, photoshop, Movies/Music

Parts Not Required: I am planning on building my tower and buying 2 maaaybe 3 monitors ;)  I will be purchasing a new mouse keyboard, mouse, headset, and all that other good stuff.. But I have a long competitive gaming background and im very picky about that stuff and know what I want :D 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I do not care what website it is from, I usually use newegg and tigerdirect but im open to anywhere.

Country of Origin: United states

Parts Preferences: Full tower case, Intel, Nvidia, and I am deciding on 2 or 3 nice 1080hp 20-24" widescreen monitors. I do want this to be a gaming beast and tackle games coming out in the short future with no hiccups. This will also be my workstation/school computer I do a lot of work in anything Game Development.. so 3D rendering and coding are going to be done a lot on this. Which is why im opting for multiple monitors for multitasking

Overclocking: Maybe I guess it depends on the CPU overclock ability and how much I can without jumping to watercooling.

SLI or Crossfire: If I decide on two GFX cards then for sure SLI

Monitor Resolution: At least 1080p more I guess is better lol

Additional Comments: I would like this not sound like a jet plane but it isn't that big of a deal. A window on the case would be nice I will be using cable wraps/zip ties or anything I can make it look very very clean and nice inside and promote the best airflow.

I dont know much about fans and heat sinks now a days so this would all be good.

CPU - I cannot decide between I7 2600k or I7 980 But I am 80% leaning toward the 980

GFX - Trying to run games at 100% maxed out settings with no hiccups. I am assuming I would be running 2 GTX 580's in this case but im not 100%, I believe I need 2 GFX cards to run 3 monitors correct?

Hard drives - Pretty sure ill run a SSD(Open to suggestions) for Windows/Linux and a few of my Most played games. Then all other media on storage drives probably around 2 TB. I was thinking about a raid controller and Raid 1 because I have a lot of movies and pictures of my 2 daughters( 4 months old and 2 and a half years old) and other files I do not want to lose.. But also open to suggestions here.. Thought about Raid 0 for better performance.

Mobo - No idea if I want to OC, sata 6gb, and usb 3 would be nice SLI ready also.

Ram - Not 100% but Im thinking around 12gb maybe more? Do I want to push for 2200 or can I settle for 1800 or 2000?

Powersupply - Wondering how many watts would be a safe bet for all of this gear.

Case - Full tower im assuming

Monitors - I want 2 or 3 20-24" widescreen monitors. For mostly gaming and game development I want 1080p true 120hz and keep in mind im putting them right next to each other so side bezel cant be as big as fat mike's mom.

Im probably forgetting a ton of stuff but I will reply and update as this thread continues and thanks in advance for all suggestions and help.

More about : gaming development rig

October 14, 2011 10:53:03 AM

One manufactures full tower is another manufactures mid tower. Always look at L x W x H. The most important being width and length. Antec makes full towers that are tall and long, but skinny as a match book.

Here's a few things to look at down below.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <----- some cases to have a look at like the 600T on there or even the 500R.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99 - $124.99 after mail-in rebate
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $274.99 FREE SHIPPING
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... $314.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $34.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $104.99 FREE SHIPPING
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M4A1600C9

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $386.99
MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $386.99
MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $18.99 Free shipping w/ promo code EMCJKJG22, ends 10/19
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99 FREE SHIPPING
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $382.99 FREE SHIPPING
Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Total: $2,191.91 *not including shipping, rebates, case, monitor and o/s

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $399.99
SAMSUNG S23A750D Black 23" 2ms Full HD 3D LED BackLight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 DCR 1,000,000:1 (1,000:1)

***This psu down below to push dual gtx 580's in SLI.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99 - $179.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING
OCZ ZX Series 1000W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Gold High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

***For a tri monitor set up you want two of these 3GB cards down below along with that 1000W OCZ psu up above

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $594.00 FREE SHIPPING
MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

***For a single or dual monitor set up you want two of these cards down below along with that 1000W OCZ psu up above

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $524.99 FREE SHIPPING
MSI N580GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

***Other options...faster RAM, smaller SSD...mix and match with that build up above.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 FREE SHIPPING
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $197.99 FREE SHIPPING
Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

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 and Ivy Bridge

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/IntelZ68/index.asp <----- Z68 Features

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/4272/asrock_z68_extrem... <----- Review of that board with benchmarks

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68a-gd80-p8z68-del... <----- Review of that board done here on Toms. It earned Tom’s Hardware Best Enthusiast-Class Award
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October 14, 2011 11:17:50 AM

It won't get any better than Why_Me's build.
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October 14, 2011 5:53:43 PM

That is very close to what I want indeed. Thanks for your time making that list and giving links and all of that!

Now for monitors my biggest thing is.. I think im going to buy 1 GFX Card and 2 monitors when I build this rig..and then if I want to upgrade to 3 monitors a few months later with my taxes I will upgrade accordingly.. I Do want to try and keep final costs under 3500 if possible for now.

The monitor you suggested was very nice but I do not care about the 3D aspects of gaming/media and I would like to find something a bit cheaper so buying 2 isn't too much lol (I just dont know much about all these 1080p nice monitors,IPS not IPS.. its all confusing to me haha)

I do believe I will be going for 1 GTX 580 3g for dual monitors, correct me if im wrong.

Also for the cpu.. would it be worth spending $200 more and upgrading the Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz to a Intel Core i7-980 Gulftown 3.33GHz? I am willing to spend the money for the faster processor.. I though I read somewhere with those mother boards the sandy bridge will not activate the pcie 3.0, so any comments on this would be awesome.

So far so good thanks for all the help already!

EDIT - Also on the Intel Core i7-980 Gulftown 3.33GHz ive been looking at benchmarks and seeing way better numbers than the sandy bridge is this also a good reason to go for that cpu instead?
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October 14, 2011 7:56:06 PM

kadroh said:
That is very close to what I want indeed. Thanks for your time making that list and giving links and all of that!

Now for monitors my biggest thing is.. I think im going to buy 1 GFX Card and 2 monitors when I build this rig..and then if I want to upgrade to 3 monitors a few months later with my taxes I will upgrade accordingly.. I Do want to try and keep final costs under 3500 if possible for now.

The monitor you suggested was very nice but I do not care about the 3D aspects of gaming/media and I would like to find something a bit cheaper so buying 2 isn't too much lol (I just dont know much about all these 1080p nice monitors,IPS not IPS.. its all confusing to me haha)

I do believe I will be going for 1 GTX 580 3g for dual monitors, correct me if im wrong.

Also for the cpu.. would it be worth spending $200 more and upgrading the Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz to a Intel Core i7-980 Gulftown 3.33GHz? I am willing to spend the money for the faster processor.. I though I read somewhere with those mother boards the sandy bridge will not activate the pcie 3.0, so any comments on this would be awesome.

So far so good thanks for all the help already!

EDIT - Also on the Intel Core i7-980 Gulftown 3.33GHz ive been looking at benchmarks and seeing way better numbers than the sandy bridge is this also a good reason to go for that cpu instead?

Numerous reasons not to spend an extra $280 for that 980. Socket 1336 is all but dead and it's soon to be replaced by Sandy Bridge-E. The 2600K can be o/c to @ or near 5.0Ghz on air cooling...something that 980 cant do without expensive water cooling. There is no upgrade path for that 980, but if you checked the links I posted these socket 1155 boards have an upgrade path with Ivy Bridge due out in April/May, not to mention that board I posted is PCI-E 3.0 capable (which will be supported by Ivy Bridge and the new generation vid cards). Also the 2700K is due out any week now. It's a small step up from the 2600K.

As far as that monitor I posted...I didn't post it for the 3D capabilities (which is nice for adobe and CAD users), I posted it for the 120Hz LED. IPS monitors are great for viewing angles, but they suck for response time hence the reason all your top of the line gaming monitors are TN panels. Slow response time in regards to gaming can easily lead to tearing issues, especially with the gpu fire power you plan on using.

For a tri monitor set up...those 580 3GB cards or those 6970 cards for the fact both of those cards have plenty of VRAM for a tri monitor set up.
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October 15, 2011 6:41:55 AM

Why_Me said:
Numerous reasons not to spend an extra $280 for that 980. Socket 1336 is all but dead and it's soon to be replaced by Sandy Bridge-E. The 2600K can be o/c to @ or near 5.0Ghz on air cooling...something that 980 cant do without expensive water cooling. There is no upgrade path for that 980, but if you checked the links I posted these socket 1155 boards have an upgrade path with Ivy Bridge due out in April/May, not to mention that board I posted is PCI-E 3.0 capable (which will be supported by Ivy Bridge and the new generation vid cards). Also the 2700K is due out any week now. It's a small step up from the 2600K.

As far as that monitor I posted...I didn't post it for the 3D capabilities (which is nice for adobe and CAD users), I posted it for the 120Hz LED. IPS monitors are great for viewing angles, but they suck for response time hence the reason all your top of the line gaming monitors are TN panels. Slow response time in regards to gaming can easily lead to tearing issues, especially with the gpu fire power you plan on using.

For a tri monitor set up...those 580 3GB cards or those 6970 cards for the fact both of those cards have plenty of VRAM for a tri monitor set up.


Your knowledge blows my mind..

Now for the monitors are there any others that are true 120hz but a little cheaper.. I have decided to buy 1 GTX 580 3gb and 2 monitors for now and in a few months if I want to upgrade to a third monitors ill buy another and a send GTX 580 at tax time.

As for the CPU that does seems like a more legit way to go with the 2600k is there any links for over clocking the 2600k closer to 5ghz and is that stable at those higher ghz? I have never really dove into OC'ing so I wouldn't mind a recommended tutorial/thread on OC'ing the 2600k
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October 15, 2011 6:52:58 AM

Why_Me said:

For a tri monitor set up...those 580 3GB cards or those 6970 cards for the fact both of those cards have plenty of VRAM for a tri monitor set up.


I thought NVidia Cards could only drive 2 monitors?
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October 15, 2011 4:53:17 PM

etk said:
I thought NVidia Cards could only drive 2 monitors?


Im pretty sure Nvidia can now I know ive read about it and saw something called eyefinity or something.
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October 15, 2011 5:43:06 PM

kadroh said:
Im pretty sure Nvidia can now I know ive read about it and saw something called eyefinity or something.

Eyefinity is AMD, and that can still be a pain with displayport. Nvidia needs 2 cards, though i'm not sure about a dual gpu card like a 590.
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October 15, 2011 5:46:24 PM

etk said:
Eyefinity is AMD, and that can still be a pain with displayport. Nvidia needs 2 cards, though i'm not sure about a dual gpu card like a 590.

the 590 can run three monitors on its own
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October 15, 2011 6:11:33 PM

etk said:
I thought NVidia Cards could only drive 2 monitors?

When the OP add the third monitor then he can add that second card, which he will want to do anyways for FPS at that resolution.
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November 4, 2011 9:05:45 PM

2 notes, from a less gaming oriented perspective.
IPS displays are IMHO essential for any serious art or development, TN displays have color distortion that makes art very difficult. Since you mentioned photoshop this may become an issue. I'd recommend the HP ZR22w, which usually retails for around $250.

Second, a thee monitor setup can be achieved on many machines with a TripleHead2Go. I've no experience with one myself, but it has gotten some good reviews. http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/ worth looking into, at least.
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