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Review/critique my gaming / video editing build

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November 7, 2011 3:08:10 PM

Howdy folks! I've pieced together a system I'm planning on building sometime between now and the end of this year. I'll be building two of these, one for myself and one for my wife. We game ~40 hours a week - typical games:
Spoiler
LoL, WoW, Sims, Rift, D3, Skyrim, SW:ToR, GW2, etc.


I also record gameplay (FRAPS), and produce videos (Adobe Production Premium CS5.5).

We are hoping these will support maxed out / high settings on games for the next ~3-5 years. Hard drive shortage right now means we'll be using our existing hard drives or something else so we're not paying 4x as much. Budget is not to exceed ~$2,500.

Without further ado:


I've run it by a one other dude, he recommended a GTX 570 instead of the 580 for the cost/performance ratio. He also mentioned a different SSD - maybe even a PCI based one.

You guys are all way better at this than me - any thoughts on anything would be much appreciated! I value your input.

More about : review critique gaming video editing build

November 7, 2011 3:55:07 PM

First off - not too sure why you want a watercooled set up? It just seems like a pain if you aren't going to Overclock. I would suggest a good air cool set up if you aren't going to OC due to easier set up.

Do you really want a steel case? I used to have one before...and my what a big mistake it was. It weighed literally about 60 pounds with nothing inside of it...

Now for your price of 2500 - is that for one computer, or for both computers? If it's for 1 computer...I don't think you could get away with 2 256GB SSD's to fit within a 2500 budget.

I wouldn't bother with a PCIe based SSD drive. They tend to be much more expensive compared to a regular SSD.

Other than that, looks good?
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November 7, 2011 4:14:06 PM

Hey man, thanks for the response. :)  Here are my thoughts - let me know if I'm being stupid:

Chainzsaw said:
First off - not too sure why you want a watercooled set up? It just seems like a pain if you aren't going to Overclock. I would suggest a good air cool set up if you aren't going to OC due to easier set up.


1) I like relatively quiet computers.
2) We have a cat and are getting another one, so I'm trying to minimize places for dust to settle in.
3) My thoughts were that I could OC after a couple years to eek out more time with the computer before I need to replace it.


Quote:
Do you really want a steel case? I used to have one before...and my what a big mistake it was. It weighed literally about 60 pounds with nothing inside of it...


We are both using steel cases now. You are right - they are freaking heavy... but we only move them once a year or so. I had a really hard time finding a case that seemed like it would work (we hate LED fans). If you have an alternative suggestion, I'd love to hear it. The closer to a plain black box, the better.

Quote:
Now for your price of 2500 - is that for one computer, or for both computers? If it's for 1 computer...I don't think you could get away with 2 256GB SSD's to fit within a 2500 budget.


It's for each (5k total - although I'd prefer closer to 4k total). I probably wasn't clear about what I wanted to do. We'll use the hard drives we have in our computers right now as data drives in our new computers. So, just buying 1 SSD for each as the OS / game drive, and will then cannibalize our current PC's data drives since HD's are so expensive right now. Is the Crucial M4 a reasonable drive? I gleaned it from the recent article here on Tom's Hardware about the micro-ATX powerhouse.

Quote:
I wouldn't bother with a PCIe based SSD drive. They tend to be much more expensive compared to a regular SSD.


Awesome - thanks for the input.

Quote:
Other than that, looks good?


Again, thank you. :) 
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Related resources
November 7, 2011 4:57:24 PM

Alrighty heres a good article about that exact watercooling setup you have:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5054/corsair-hydro-series...

As for the 256GB Crucial M4's - those are a good choice. They have been one of the most reliable SSD's of this current gen of SSD's.

If you want to save some money - you could go for the 128GB versions.

Other than the case, theres nothing else I have to say. Maybe someone else with knowledge of W/C and cases could give you a better idea for a better case?
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November 7, 2011 5:22:20 PM

Super interesting article. I just finished reading it. The air cooler they used, the Thermalright Silver Arrow, looks like a beast. I'll look at how it would fit in with the rest of the build.

I appreciate your feedback, here's hoping some others stop by to leave their 2 cents.
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November 7, 2011 5:44:37 PM

1 step up from the parts I just ordered for my little editing rig. I went with the 570 because the cost/performance is much better, and with an SLI option down the line it really wont matter between the 570 and 580.
Premiere Pro is a memory hog. Which ever one is going to do the video editing should have 16GB of ram, trust me, it will be worth it. The one that just does gaming will do just fine (and perform even better for games) with 8GB. Also, (like me) you have cats, and want things quiet, which means limited/no OCing because of dust build up concerns, so dont waste your money on the k series. Besides, with that mobo you will probably upgrade to IB later anyways.
Editing on SSDs must be like something from heaven :)  Good Luck!
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November 7, 2011 6:00:50 PM

CaedenV said:
1 step up from the parts I just ordered for my little editing rig. I went with the 570 because the cost/performance is much better, and with an SLI option down the line it really wont matter between the 570 and 580.
Premiere Pro is a memory hog. Which ever one is going to do the video editing should have 16GB of ram, trust me, it will be worth it. The one that just does gaming will do just fine (and perform even better for games) with 8GB. Also, (like me) you have cats, and want things quiet, which means limited/no OCing because of dust build up concerns, so dont waste your money on the k series. Besides, with that mobo you will probably upgrade to IB later anyways.
Editing on SSDs must be like something from heaven :)  Good Luck!


So is the ability to overclock the only difference between the i7-2600 and the 2600k? What about the Integrated Memory Controller Speed? If I'm not going to be able to overclock, should I just rule out water cooling?

IB = ivy bridge, right? Will I be able to use the same motherboard for that (LGA 1155)?

Regarding SLI... I'm curious about buying one card now and another later. How do I find a second card that matches up with my first one? I'd assume they would move on to the next product in six months and discontinue the current one.
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November 8, 2011 3:34:01 AM

IB is ivy bridge, and it will run it, but will not necessarily support all features. It will support the PCIe3, which will be handy for future graphics cards.

The only difference between the 2600 and 2600k is the OCing, and even that is an artificial block that I am sure someone will figure out how to get around sooner or later.

The water cooling will still serve the purpose of keeping things quiet, and keeping the airflow down for less cat hair, but keeping the GPU quiet may be a higher priority.

For SLi, the brand does not need to be the same, just the processor, the speed, and the ram size (thus my reasoning to buy a stock card, which will hopefully be easier to find). Or you can do a daughter card setup (like I am now planning for my old 9800gt) where you have the big card run graphics, and then let the little card run things like physics. Not quite as nice as SLi, but at least it would give you a little extra performance (and eye candy) for games that support it.
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