Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Help building high end system

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 19, 2011 1:17:45 PM

Hello, I've browsed this forum for a long time, and finally decided to become a new member!
I'm building my first system since 2002, that computer still runs great but it's not decent for gaming anymore and I'm tired of gaming on my laptop, so I've saved up a bunch of money (1k) and will ask for other parts for Christmas present.
There is no final budget in this project because I have a job and can always save up money to upgrade on something so that I don't regret later, but I don't want to get something that I don't need, I would like this computer to last 10 years or maybe more like my old one.
Uses: Gaming, Photoshop and running heavy business software. Pretty much need a fast computer to do everything.

(Case) Cooler Master Storm Trooper $189
(Motherboard) ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 $274.99 (amazon) or P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 $219.99 (newegg)
(Video) ASUS 560 Ti $249.99 (Newegg)
(Hard Drive) Crucial 128 GB m4 SATA 6Gb/s $197.99 (amazon)
(Memory) CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB $49.99 (newegg)
(Processor) i7-2600K $314 (amazon)
(Processor Cooler) Corsair H100 $103.74 (amazon) with push/pull Cougar Vortex Fans or SilenX IXP-74-14? or Thermalright Silver Arrow $89.95 (amazon)
(Power Supply) CORSAIR AX850 $179.99 (amazon)

Here are some notes.
1. I'm getting a blue ray burner in the future, but i can salvage two dvd burners from old pc till I need blue ray support.
2. Will also get a card reader for the front.
3. Will overclock processor and video card to as much as I can without it dying prematurely.
4. Will Crossfire in the future also.
5. I will add fans pretty much everywhere I can on this case to run it as cool as possible, fan configuration will be appreciated.

I'm not attached to any of these parts and will swap them if needed, I like the case for the looks and the fact it has a nice layout of i/o with usb 3.0 and has handle for moving around, this is as big as a case as I would get, I would love to go smaller, motherboard has everything to support my rig and is future proof for ivy bridge as well as pcie 3.0, will allow crossfire at 16x for 2 cards also, I need this setup to be quiet, cool (and cold =P) and efficient too, thanks guys!

Btw, I will be getting a nice big monitor (22-25") full HD, antiglare with 2ms response, if someone knows of one let me know!
October 19, 2011 1:36:12 PM

The build looks good over-all, you seem to be on a very generous budget. Id avoid using Intel SRT. With a 128GB SSD, just use it as a dedicated drive and select yourself what is and isn't going to be on there. Leave the 1TB WD Black for media storage.

Graphics cards - 6950, ok its a good card, but i don't think it has anywhere close to the 10year-life-plan you have for it. Id recommend looking into a 6970, or maybe even a GTX 580 with intentions to add another card in 3-4 years time or when required. Going for the best single-card set up you can afford in the initial build, is usually the best idea.

PSU - 1000w is enough for SLI GTX 580's so i think your going a little "over-kill" here. 850w would be plenty for CF 6950's or 6970's with lots of headroom to OC as well.

CPU Cooler - Id avoid the hassle of water-cooling and just grab a decent air cooler, something like the Noctua NH D14.

Monitor - LG and Samsung monitors that fit your spec. Both manufacturers come highly recommended.
October 19, 2011 1:49:45 PM

You can save money with this motherboard (has 2 usb 3.0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It may run at dual crossfire at 8x but the difference between 8x and dual 16x is that 8x both cards will perform at 98% while both 16x will perform at %100 which you won't notice ever. It's not worth the added $100.

Your Powersupply is overkill
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6950-crossfirex...

Get this Antec High Gamer. A really great powersupply. A steal at $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Are you sure you need that cooler?
Related resources
October 19, 2011 2:08:17 PM

The Extreme3 Gen3 card does not have onboard usb 3.0, have a few usb 3.0 devices and i'm sure I will need ports for more in the future. Also has more sata3, but I could downgrade a bit if it does not sacrifice usb3.0 and sata3, i was looking at the asus z68 pro before, but it seems I get so much more with the extreme7 for 60 bucks more, i'm still undecided about it =/, I hope to get a deal on it before christmas.

Do you think the MSI R6970 Lightning 2gb to be a better option than the 6950? its $397 at amazon, the gtx 580 is so expensive! around 500 bucks for just 1, that will cost 1k to crossfire!

I'm only selecting that power supply because I heard nothing but good about it, its gold standard so it runs cooler and more efficient, as well as quieter than other power supplies, the case I picked also has rubber support for the psu for more stability and less noise! For 100 bucks more I believe it is something that will last 10 years as opposed to getting a cheaper supply that wont last long? I'm no expert in power supply I am just going by things I read online. Maybe I did overkill on the wattage, will this be better?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

And will it hold up to the years and all the stuff I plug in my case (about 10plus fans, crossfire/sli, full overclock, hard drives, dvd drives etc.. etc..)


I selected that water cooler because it seems to be really good and fit on the board well, I was going for the Noctua but I like a clean looking pc, the Noctua is HUGE, also the H100 had better cooling reviews and seemed very easy to install, also it doesn't warp the board or nothing. But if you trully believe I should not go that route I could pick maybe a smaller cpu air cooler? I read somewhere that the sandybridge doesn't run that hot anyways, and I don't plan on overclocking it to the max.
October 19, 2011 2:11:14 PM

entrophy said:
The Extreme3 Gen3 card does not have onboard usb 3.0, have a few usb 3.0 devices and i'm sure I will need ports for more in the future. Also has more sata3, but I could downgrade a bit if it does not sacrifice usb3.0 and sata3, i was looking at the asus z68 pro before, but it seems I get so much more with the extreme7 for 60 bucks more, i'm still undecided about it =/, I hope to get a deal on it before christmas.

Do you think the MSI R6970 Lightning 2gb to be a better option than the 6950? its $397 at amazon, the gtx 580 is so expensive! around 500 bucks for just 1, that will cost 1k to crossfire!

I'm only selecting that power supply because I heard nothing but good about it, its gold standard so it runs cooler and more efficient, as well as quieter than other power supplies, the case I picked also has rubber support for the psu for more stability and less noise! For 100 bucks more I believe it is something that will last 10 years as opposed to getting a cheaper supply that wont last long? I'm no expert in power supply I am just going by things I read online. Maybe I did overkill on the wattage, will this be better?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yeah, the one you picked is very good. Coolermaster is the worst manufacturer of power supplies ever.
October 19, 2011 2:17:09 PM

Case / PSU - The PSU is way way over sized and not all that impressive performance wise. I can't comment on the case as yet. I'd suggest something more of a known quantity and a 1st tier PSU (read jonnyguru 10.0 performance rating)

Case - $ 155 - Antec DF-85 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $ 160 - Antec 1200 V3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 115 - Antec CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $ 190 - HAF-X http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fans - later - Antec Blue 120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 142 - CorsairHX850 hhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both PSU's get 10.0 performance ratings from jonnyguru, something Corsair and Antec have had trouble getting in their most recent units.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
okay. Let's figure this out here. On second thought, what's to figure out? We have an Antec 850W that performs better than a Signature that appears to cost less than a Signature. We have a unit that was promised to do 80 Plus standard, but ended up doing Bronze. No, the unit didn't quite match the Signature in terms of voltage stability, but it came real close. And to be honest, the differences in voltage readings were so small you could put them down to connector resistance ..... [The CP-850] is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Quote:
Ripple suppression was excellent. Voltage regulation was very, very good. The unit stayed pretty quiet, even in the hot box. And it topped out at 91% efficiency too. I can't in good conscience give the Antec 850W units perfect scores here and then go knocking points off on this unit, so here you go Corsair... your first 10 from me in performance
.

MoBo / CPU - Your $1k investment now looks like it's growing to close to $2k by the time you are done. I'd be hesitant to base my entire investment of a MoBo manufacturer who only offers a 1 year warranty.

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - With your stated usage the 2600k makes perfect sense. Set up two BIOS Boot profiles whereby you boot to say 4.6 GHz w/ HT enabled for you HT enabled applications and a 2nd @ say 4.8 GHz w/ HT disabled for gaming.

GFX - Three things:

1. Not many 6950's sold these days can be turned into a 6970.
2. The ATI cards can't do CUDA which I'm not sure your your applications list encompasses. But much software for video editing (i.e. Adobe CS5), rendering and other high end stuff will.
3. Two 560's are faster than both two 6950's and two 6970's in gaming at 1920 1200.
4. Ignore 3 above if playing at resolutions > 1920 x 1200

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 210.00 6950 (479/751) $ 0.44 - $ 0.56
$ 260.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.54 - $ 0.69
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 360.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.68 - $ 0.87
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48

Two 6950 Frozr = 759 fps for $520
Two 6970 = 825 fps for $720
Two 900 MHz 560 Ti's = 862 fps for $410 - $460

$205 each Gigabyte http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$230 each Asus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I been buying the Asus ... 1st for the reviews and 2nd , I got 7 outta 8 so far to 1000 MHz w/ no voltage teaks .... the last just one notch.

Skip any RAM with tall heat sinks as it may cause interference issues with heat sinks, and with GSkill being the same price as Corsair / Mushkin, I see no attraction to the GSkill brand.

$50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$40 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$42 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$45 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - I find the Corsair H series a complete waste. Yes, it does break ground in cooling capability but they are just way too noisy to achieve that level of cooling. At tolerable noise levels, they just don't cut it IMO. The Silver Arrow on the other hand is almost inaudible. Even the Silver Arrow is way more cooler than is necessary for Sandy Bridge.

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

Corsair H70 (high) 65.3 +3.5
Thermalright Venomous X 63.0 +1.2
Thermalright Silver Arrow 61.8 +0.0
Cooler Master V6 GT 61.2 -0.6

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

Quote:
It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling.


Save the money, save the noise and get a good $50 - $80 air cooler.

It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling.

1. Blue Ray / DVD Writer - $ 59 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Card Reader / Fan Controller $ 50 AeroCool FP-01 55 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. The 560 Ti's overclock to over 1000MHz w/o issue

4. Those cards in SLI cost only $110 more than your single Frozr, so this would be sooner than later

5. Front, bottom and side case fans blow in ..... top and rear fans blow out.

Monitors - Be wary of "advertised" response rates:

60 Hz Monitor - $ 170 - ASUS VH242H 23.6" LED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

120 Hz Monitor - $ 200 - ASUS VW246HE Black 23" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 19, 2011 2:55:15 PM

Solid build advice there from JackNaylorPE. But boy do I really hate HAF X cases :lol: 

While the idea of SLI 560Ti's is good, I find it very hard to believe they will keep up with games for a 10year-period. Id be thinking more like 5years at the most before you find yourself playing games in mid-low detail settings.

PSU - Again due to the OP's expected life-span of this build, going with a higher wattage PSU might not be such a bad idea. Take into account 10years of capacitor ageing and you want to be looking ideally at a 1000w unit or more (depending on GPU's).

October 19, 2011 3:30:26 PM

JackNaylorPE thanks alot for your response! I changed alot of my setup and I'm def getting the card reader you mentioned.
Out of the cases you showed the haf x is the only with usb3.0 internal header, the others had chasers to the back which is a total turn off. The haf x has amazing features, but I like the setup of the storm trooper better though, am I missing some clear advantage the haf x has? The storm trooper has nice fan control in the front, has nice place for i/o in the front, dust filters, nice fan setup including side panels etc...
I'm reading about the z68 gen3 from asus, the azrock claims to support ivy bridge when it comes out, the asus one doesnt say it. The asus doesnt have the crossfire 16x and some other features but since its cheaper seems to be worth the price. I'm trying to find reviews and such about it.
Last thing I'm unsure from what you said is about the cooler, it is true that the h100 is noisy with stock fans, but I saw reviews of other people changing the fans to the ones I listed and the thing is really quiet! Specially with the speed control, since I wont go crazy on overclocking cpu I can leave it on low unless I set it up to higher voltage.
October 19, 2011 3:33:45 PM

What is this business software you plan to use? I would just get a quality $500 build right now and buy a new one after 5years.
October 19, 2011 3:37:20 PM

Just saying in regards to PSU selection. Personally I don't see going over 800 to 850 watts as that should be adequate to power most anything. Brand wise you can not beat Corsair for your needs. I have the Corsair HX750 PSU and it comes standard with a 7 year warranty. Just food for thought, as if you want it to last 10 years this is going to be warrantied 70% of the lifetime you expect it to last.

Also I agree with Adrian on the GPU selection I always say get the best GFX you can afford in a singular card. In a year or two there is almost guaranteed to be another singular card out that can almost double the performance of the one you have. Which to me makes SLI, CF pointless. I also find it pointless to upgrade just one aspect most of the time unless its storage, RAM or GPU. As most of the time a new standard has came out IE PCIE 3.0 or a new socket, SATA 6GBPS, USB 3.0 etc. It is just easier to build a whole new PC and use the current one as a backup or hand me down to a family member (which is usually overkill for them) in that time frame.

With that aspect, again opinion here but may be worth waiting for the new GPU's from AMD and Nvidia (Q4 - 2012 Q1). They are "expected" to come close to doubling current gen GPU's. At least that is what I keep reading in these forums.

In other words especially with your expectations get what you can now and build it right with cable management etc. Then don't touch it (besides getting dust bunnies out) until you need something better.

Just my 2 cents hope this helps.
October 19, 2011 4:09:47 PM

I'm sure when the new graphic cards come out they will cost a fortune, I'm not wanting to go on a chase for the most powerful graphics card, I want to just be able to play some of the great latest shooting and rpg games that came out which I can't with my old system, remember I made do with a system build in 2002! Which wasn't even top of the line at the time. But now I want to upgrade taking advantage of Christmas presents =D and my savings. I'm planning on asking as a present anything under $200 and everything over I just buy myself. Price is not a huge issue for processor, psu, case etc.. but like graphics card I don't want to overpay for something, i'd rather get a decent priced gpu now and later when its starts being outdated I can always just get another one, which would be much cheaper 3-4 years from now and sli/crossfire. What I don't want to get is something I will regret not getting better like a good motherboard, processor, case etc...
October 19, 2011 6:53:34 PM

I agree with you on that aspect, but also those new GPU's will drive down prices on current gen technology. Also, when the mid range new GPU's are produced they will probably provide better performance and better graphics than your current generation technology at about the same price.
October 19, 2011 7:30:42 PM

Looks like a great build. I would go for an all modular build using the parts below. I can vouch for the motherboard.
I would recommend this case
Antec Lanboy Air
If you want a fancy modular power supply to impress your friends get this
Rosewill Lightning 800
All for around the same price!!!
October 19, 2011 8:09:48 PM

entrophy said:
I'm sure when the new graphic cards come out they will cost a fortune, I'm not wanting to go on a chase for the most powerful graphics card, I want to just be able to play some of the great latest shooting and rpg games that came out which I can't with my old system, remember I made do with a system build in 2002! Which wasn't even top of the line at the time. But now I want to upgrade taking advantage of Christmas presents =D and my savings. I'm planning on asking as a present anything under $200 and everything over I just buy myself. Price is not a huge issue for processor, psu, case etc.. but like graphics card I don't want to overpay for something, i'd rather get a decent priced gpu now and later when its starts being outdated I can always just get another one, which would be much cheaper 3-4 years from now and sli/crossfire. What I don't want to get is something I will regret not getting better like a good motherboard, processor, case etc...


Just a thought.. How much do you care about graphics in games? I ask because regardless of how much you spend on a computer; in 4-5 years it will be extremely slow in comparison to the new hardware available. If you want to playing anything on high - maximum settings then you need to really build an entire new system every 3 years. Future proofing for 10 years of gaming is utterly impossible without replacing the majority of your parts every few years. I'm just saying, it sounds a little ridiculous unless you do not care about graphics and just want to be able to run at minimum settings.
October 20, 2011 1:17:31 AM

I can always upgrade my graphics card, that's why I really like that new motherboard from azrock, it future proofs my machine quite a bit. I usually play a game for several years till I jump on the next one, so if I find a game that needs better graphics i can always sli/crossfire or get a better graphics card, not really need to build a whole new pc, that's why i'm being more picky about case, cpu, motherboard, cooling, psu, memory, hd etc...

Btw I need a case with good cooling, usb 3.0 with internal header on the front, and as portable as possible, the one I picked is heavy but at least has nice handles, the only turn off I have about it is that it doesn't have a window on the side panel and the side panel has crappy fan layout, but all other cases I've seen have horrible I/O layout. The haf x is an awesome case but put it side by side with the cm storm trooper and I think the trooper has the edge in elegance, nice fan control, rubber feel on the outside so it doesn't get scratched up etc..., I was looking to go with a small case and go for the storm enforcer first, then changed my mind to thermaltake mk-1 now I'm leaning towards the storm trooper.

Btw what do you guys think about the CM Hyper 212+ for cpu cooler? Is it pretty small?

Best solution

October 20, 2011 1:26:06 AM
Share

entrophy said:
Btw what do you guys think about the CM Hyper 212+ for cpu cooler? Is it pretty small?


I have a 212+ with dual fans. A newer version of it was released recently called the 212 EVO which is slightly better. At $35 though, it is by far the best (or at least popular) budget cooler. There is no reason to pay any more for a CPU cooler if you are going with sandy bridge.

It is quite large however. The push fan covers 1 DIMM slot on my MSI Z68 GD55 (shouldn't be a problem with low profile ram), however I only use 2 ram sticks so this is irrelevant. I don't know the exact measurements but it is a very tall cooler, make sure your case is wide enough including any side fan that might get in the way. Oh, and it comes with decent thermal paste so you do not need to order extra.

As for the case, I use a HAF 932 Advanced which very similar to HAF X but $40 cheaper. It is very sturdy with good airflow, but its a full tower ATX meaning it is not light or portable. It has 2x front USB 3.0 ports, but they are added into a front 5.25" bay. It might not be what you are looking for, but check it out as an alternative to HAF X at least.
October 20, 2011 1:37:11 PM

Best answer selected by entrophy.
!