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New Gaming/Hobby Build - Need Help Deciding

Last response: in Systems
November 6, 2011 4:47:32 PM

First of all, Hello. This is my first on these forums after stalking here for a few weeks while getting some ideas.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Here are my goals:

1. Diablo 3 & Skyrim @ Highest Levels.
2. Future Compatibility
3. VMWare for running multiple D3
4. Hobby for me: I want a sexy bitch computer. never had one.
5. $3k USD budget. But since I don't have a bunch of other hobbies/vices, this is open to growth if necessary.

So far I have:

CASE: Thermaltake GT10 - - $200

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700k - -$370

GPU: EVGA Gtx580 HC2 - - $700
* I would like to be able another one of these when I can afford.

So, I have spent $1270 and am beginning to think I wont get all that I want for under $3kUSD...

What I need:

Motherboard: I have been leaning towards the Z68 chipset and cannot seem to decide between these boards. I may not be correct here but it seems as if the ASRock is the only one that will fully utilize the PCIe 2.0 x16 in SLI? Or, for that matter if I would ever be able to tell the difference. Another thing to note is that I will be overclocking this system since buying the GPU I did locked me into a Water Cooled System. Also, I will be upgrading the CPU to an IVY Bridge sometime in the next 12~ months since my brother-in-law said he would buy my 2700k from me when I do, so if one of these boards makes more sense based on that... Or, maybe I am looking at the wrong chipset all-together since I just started researching this stuff again after 3-4 years.

ASRock - -$270

Gigabyte - -$360

ASUS - -$255

Water Cooling System:
This is a HUGE ? for me... I read some of the posts here and have poked around the web a bit but I am still lost here. I have never done one of these systems. So here are a few of my questions to get me started.

1. Can I use copper tube? Seems logical and I personally think it would look sick. Yes I understand that it would make working on the system tough, but I like a challenge. & ultimately I think it would make for a cleaner install. I just mean copper tube, to be clear with barbed or o-ring fittings... idk, lol... After thinking more about this it seems like copper would probably sweat, therefore a no-no.

2. Can I include a loop for the second GPU that I do not have yet? Or should I just plan on re-configuring the setup when I expand?

3. How much should I expect to spend on this? High-End.

Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengence seems like plenty & proper... - $100

HDD/SDD: Leaning towards a Dual 120GB SSD PCIe 2.0 setup RAID10 (REVO) + HDD Mass Storage, But I am definitely open to discussion here.

For now, this is a lot to wrap my head around. I greatly appreciate your help on these subjects and/or any additional thoughts you may have on my build.

Thanks a million!
~Tom (auto)

Best solution

November 10, 2011 5:32:07 AM

Hello AO;
1. It's been done before. But being logical? Not so much.
2. Probably, but depends on the kit or the parts chosen for the initial build.
3. Most of the 'usual suspect' cooling kits start about $200 for the CPU and go up from there. is always a good place to look around to see what's out there.
Personally, I think you get a very small return on performance improvement for the extra cost involved.
November 10, 2011 5:41:06 AM

It's hard to chose between hardware so evenly matched.
Any of those motherboards would be a fine choice. Flip a coin, or chose the one you think will look best in your case. It's about as good a way as any other to make the choice.

RAM & Storage options look OK.

Personally, I'd rather go ahead using 8GB RAM, air cooling and a single SSD.
I'd sell the HC2 for a standard 580 and then start looking at multiple monitor (EyeFinity or 3DSrround) setup options.
Related resources
November 10, 2011 8:07:44 AM

Up the RAM as you want, get another Monitor, get another GPU for SLI I believe the PSU will support Tri-SLI if you want to do that in the future. Up the HDD/SSD if you want and get a blu-ray player if you want as well

Corsair Graphite Series 600T CC600TM Mid-Tower Gaming Case - $160.00

Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) - $370.00

ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - $255.00

CORSAIR H100 (CWCH100) Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - $120.00

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM - $160.00

Crucial M4 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $208.00

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $45.00

MSI N580GTX Twin Frozr II/OC GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB - $500.00

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - $20.00

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE - $176.00

ASUS VE276Q Black 27" 1920X1080 2ms Full HD HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Display Port & Speakers - $300.00

Total: 2314.00
February 12, 2012 4:14:34 AM

Best answer selected by autoordnance.