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Given unlimited funds, which components are "best" for gaming?

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November 25, 2011 1:48:29 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next month or so.

Budget Range: Essentially unlimited, but I might ask you to slow down if we get over $30,000.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, streaming movies, super-intense math calculations, internet surfing, typing.

Parts Not Required: None. I'm replacing everything.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference. Wherever the deal is best and the shipping is reliable.

Country: United States.

Parts Preferences: No brand preferences at all, as long as each part is reliable and compatible with the other parts chosen. However, not interested in "collector's piece" parts (deliberately manufactured in limited quantities, certificate of authenticity, etc.).

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: As high as they make it on a single monitor.

Additional Comments: I apologize for this ridiculously open-ended question, but I am not versed in what constitutes quality among computer parts. Which is why I came here. Please express what you would see as the ideal combination of consumer-grade parts if cost were no object. Motherboard, CPU, hard drive, RAM (and how many), graphics card (and how many), audio card, power supply, cooling fans, monitor, speakers, subwoofer, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner, fax, everything you can think of. I want this to be a highest-graphics-setting system for an obscenely long amount of time, if possible. If that means a 24-core CPU, 40 GB of RAM and two copies of the most ridiculously powerful graphics card out there set up in crossfire, so be it. I just came into a boatload of money and I want to do something nice for myself. Oh, and could you also recommend a reliable place to have it put together? I'm not about to trust myself handling these components.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
November 25, 2011 2:02:04 AM

See the tomshardware system builder marathon $2000 machine .

after that there are only tiny fractions of gain no matter how much you spend
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November 25, 2011 2:11:45 AM

Outlander_04 said:
See the tomshardware system builder marathon $2000 machine .

after that there are only tiny fractions of gain no matter how much you spend


Oh, I have no doubt that such a machine would be top-of-the-line now, but I'm thinking a bit towards the future. Obviously such things are difficult to say, but would it still be an awesome system in a few years?
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November 25, 2011 2:29:19 AM

Hardware doubles in power every18 months or so . Moores Law

Your computer is future proof for about 6 months ...TOPS
and it doesnt matter how much you spend on it
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November 25, 2011 2:37:05 AM

I would recommend you give a call to a boutique PC manufacturer such as Cyberpower PC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Origin PC, ibuypower, etc. They can do ridiculous things like $1,000+ custom paint jobs with your own face on them, painted like a ferrari with ferrari's own paint, etc. Those can easily get up to $10,000-$15,000 machines.

As far as what you'll want in them would be something like liquid cooled and heavily overclocked i7-2600K, 16GB-24GB RAM, 512GB or 1TB SSD, multiple 1-3TB storage drives if you need to store data or movies, blu-ray burner, 2, 3 or 4 graphics cards in SLI or crossfire (can even do the ones that are already 2 GPUs in one card so you get a ridiculous amount of cores). You get the idea.

That would be about as "futureproof" as you can get right now. You'd be very multi-thread ready as that is the shift in computing as opposed to throwing more raw processing speed at things.

They could even go multi-monitor (even though it seems you may not), which if you don't would make adding in too many GPUs pretty unnecessary, they can do 3D glasses, all kinds of crazy crap if you go look on their sites.
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November 25, 2011 2:39:01 AM

four gtx590s good for a long time
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November 25, 2011 2:39:54 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Hardware doubles in power every18 months or so . Moores Law

Your computer is future proof for about 6 months ...TOPS
and it doesnt matter how much you spend on it


It wouldn't be top of the line hardware given the cycle of how often processing power advances. However, I think what he is looking for is "will this machine still be able to play games at full settings for X amount of years". And to be honest yes it would. Hell right now you can play all the latest games launching now on 3-4 year old machines...thanks to consoles.
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November 25, 2011 2:44:33 AM

There is no such thing as future-proof, only future-resistant. Too much changes in the world of PC hardware to be certain what you buy today will still be great tomorrow.
I do have a few suggestions though. When building for future-resistance, the best ways to bolster that are with a top-quality mobo and PSU. The former should be able to provide any port you're likely to need, and/or have a PCI or PCI Express slot available to add it. Most "better" mobos available today use all solid caps, ferrite chokes, and other quality components, so you won't find much difference there. Number of ports, slots, and how many of those it can use all at the same time (e.g. does it have a NF200 bridge on it?), as well as warranty period and company reputation will set it apart. There are a few companies from whom I'd buy motherboards without much hesitation, but you're looking for an absolute premium product, and IMHO that means Asus.
You want an efficient PSU, able to run whatever you're likely to throw at it. There are other good OEMs out there too, but right now, I'd say the best of the best is going to be an 80+ Platinum Seasonic like the 1kW model they recently released. Likely to be overkill, all the same it was tested and found to be extremely efficient even under very low loads. Their 80+ Gold "X" line is also rock solid.
You mention "super intense math calculations;" that can have a huge bearing on what GPUs to get, as AMD and nVidia products are each better suited for certain types of problems, OR, the software you plan to use may only support one or the other. That is something you will absolutely need to find out before deciding what to get. If it were me, I would anticipate either a pair of HD6970 or a pair of GTX580 cards. I would avoid the dual-GPU HD6990 and GTX590. Not only do they offer horrible price/performance, but games that have problems with Crossfire (or SLI, respectively) may not run well on them. A premium motherboard will likely support three GPUs, four if the case is big enough.
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November 25, 2011 2:45:01 AM

dominyon said:
It wouldn't be top of the line hardware given the cycle of how often processing power advances. However, I think what he is looking for is "will this machine still be able to play games at full settings for X amount of years". And to be honest yes it would. Hell right now you can play all the latest games launching now on 3-4 year old machines...thanks to consoles.



maybe

but chances are buying a $2000 machine every 12 months will give a better gaming experience
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November 25, 2011 2:49:32 AM

Well,

Quadfire HD6990 $1500 or Tri-Sli GTX 580 $1400
Intel Core i7-3960X $1000

Not sure about the rest.
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November 25, 2011 2:57:54 AM

Outlander_04 said:
maybe

but chances are buying a $2000 machine every 12 months will give a better gaming experience


You're most likely right and depending how ridiculous his spending is it could even be cheaper.

OP you might want to consider waiting until next year as new highly anticipated CPUs and GPUs will be launching, hopefully in the first quarter. Namely Ivy Bridge, radeon southern islands (ie HD 7000 series) & nvidia kepler (ie GTX 600 series). The jump in GPU power could be significant as they are skipping an entire manufacturing process and one of the next gen cards could be near or better than two of today's better cards in SLI/Crossfire...so imagine those in SLI/Crossfire!
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November 25, 2011 3:25:44 AM

Like dominyon said, Cyberpower PC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest. Have them build a bada@@ computer for you then do something nice for mankind by donatiing a similar amount of $$ to Toys for Tots, Salvation Army or a charity of your choice.
No, I'm not some 'bleeding heart, lib. That's just my perspective on life; it's too short to think only of me, me,me.
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November 25, 2011 3:29:07 AM

When you look at games like BF3 you see that even midrange cpu's produce the same FPS as top end " gaming cpu's like the 2500k .

And hat while 2 cards in SLI produces improvements adding a third card often cuts frame rates

That suggests there are serious limits to how much you would spend unless you are just really stupid , or get $2 million a week from your cocaine dealership

Mind you I did see this .....and get a bit impressed
http://forums.canadiancontent.net/technology/102560-bos...
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November 25, 2011 5:31:27 AM

Sailor Moon said:
Well,

Quadfire HD6990 $1500 or Tri-Sli GTX 580 $1400
Intel Core i7-3960X $1000

Not sure about the rest.


If your'e willing to sacrifice a 2% gain, you can save $500 bucks on that cpu and go with the 3930k
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November 25, 2011 5:35:06 AM

2446640,13,367555 said:
And hat while 2 cards in SLI produces improvements adding a third card often cuts frame rates


The third GPU eliminates microstuttering.


If you want the very best right now it's going to be a 6 core i7-3960k and 3 GTX 580s in SLI. If you want something better, it doesn't exist yet.
[/quote]
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November 25, 2011 6:26:59 AM

Outlander_04 said:
If you want the very best right now it's going to be a 6 core i7-3960k and 3 GTX 580s in SLI. If you want something better, it doesn't exist yet.


While that is technically true it is nowhere near worth the price premium, but hey if he's got the money... :-P
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November 25, 2011 7:34:45 AM

How about 2 display card ASUS MARS2?...Is that good enough?
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November 25, 2011 1:11:35 PM

DelroyMonjo said:
Like dominyon said, Cyberpower PC, Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest. Have them build a bada@@ computer for you then do something nice for mankind by donatiing a similar amount of $$ to Toys for Tots, Salvation Army or a charity of your choice.
No, I'm not some 'bleeding heart, lib. That's just my perspective on life; it's too short to think only of me, me,me.


Don't worry. The charity contributions and tithes were the first things on my list.

Thank you so much for your suggestions, everyone! I'm enjoying the discussion you're having among yourselves.
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November 25, 2011 1:24:21 PM

austinwillis81 said:
four gtx590s good for a long time

afaik no platform supports octo-sli. 4x gtx 590 =8 gpus. tri-sli and quad-sli are the highest one can go. 2x gtx 590 = 4 gpus in quad-sli.
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November 25, 2011 1:40:50 PM

Case - $ 290 - Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case Fan - $ 12 - Thermaltake Blue120 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 300 - Corsair AX1200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 440 - ASUS Rampage IV Extreme http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - $ 1,050 - Intel Core i7-3960x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler - $ 83 - Thermalright Silver Arrow http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 200 - (4 x 4GB) Muskin Redline DDR3 2133 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 600 - EVGA 580 GTX Classified http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 600 - EVGA 580 GTX Classified http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 600 - EVGA 580 GTX Classified http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $ 430 - Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - $ 430 - Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 499 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Card Reader $ 50 AeroCool FP-01 55 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor $ 290 ASUS VG236HE Black 23" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor $ 290 ASUS VG236HE Black 23" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor $ 290 ASUS VG236HE Black 23" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - $ 95 - Logitech G510 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - $ 60 - Logitech G500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $ 140 - Win 7-64 Home Professional http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $ 6,812

Could get 95% of that performance for half the price w/ (3) 560-448's, Intel Core i7-3930, 120 GB SSD, 1 HD

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November 25, 2011 1:51:10 PM

johnboy3434 said:
I'm enjoying the discussion you're having among yourselves.


So am i ;) 

Just to pep this discussion up further, maybe you could also look at 2x 1 TB SSDs in RAID1 + 5x 256GB SSDs in RAID0 + 2 pairs of 2x 3TB HDDs in RAID1. Or something else, since they're the only two RAID modes i actually understand properly, i guess the others could help out here.

As someone else said, you may want to wait for ivy bridge + nvidia's 600 series + radeon 7000 series. Or the present extreme series sandy brigde procs.

Another person said something about high-grade materials for the mobo, and i'd agree. Also, platinum rated PSUs will help you help preventing energy wastage and greenhouse gas emissions (same can be said about the next gen CPUs, GPUs and solid state drives in general), they're very efficient.

get a nice big mobo to put all your stuff in, and remember, "your case is your base", so get a real premium one. Corsair comes to mind here. Enough modularity and enough space for everything should be priorities.

p.s. promise me you're not trolling us like this guy.
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November 25, 2011 1:56:12 PM

Outlander_04 said:
See the tomshardware system builder marathon $2000 machine .

after that there are only tiny fractions of gain no matter how much you spend



where did that threat go.. i actually just was looking for it. i remember they had some good alternatives to stuff like ripjaws memory instead of dominator
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November 25, 2011 2:17:53 PM

As others here have stated, after ~$2-3000 then it is all bragging rights without any tangible performance increases. If you wanted to go completely nuts there are some neat server-board style builds you could do for truly extreme performance capacity... but the sad fact is that if the software does not take advantage of the hardware you throw at it then there is little point in buying it. Video games and movie watching are not exactly hard to do for even budget computers, so there is little point in blowing money on something crazy huge.

If I had the money, and wanted to build my own system instead of having one built for me, then I would do a triple GPU configuration (most likely nVidia 580) with a high end quad core processor (HT unnecessary), and 8-16GB of ram, and then a very large SSD (perhaps one of the PCIe Card style ones). I would then build a server on the network with a RAID 10 or larger RAID5 to store pictures and files on (no local storage except for programs). Throw extra money on getting the thing to shut up (water/liquid cooling), and have a silent performance machine. Then every year I would upgrade the core components (mobo, proc, GPUs, Ram) as better things come along. But the total cost of the initial build would be roughly $4-5K, with a $1-2K refresh every year or so as parts become available.

If you were doing video editing, or content creation you could easily blow more money on a system using duel CPUs, and 64+GB of registered ECC ram, and mass amounts of local storage. But being limited to a single monitor and only doing gaming the whole concept of 'extreme' has lost it's meaning. Hopefully this will change in a few years when consoles do a refresh.
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November 25, 2011 2:33:51 PM



Don't worry, I'm not. I fully intend on buying this PC, whatever it ends up being. It's nice to know that it won't cost as much as I thought it would, though. I was preparing for a five-figure pricetag, but now I see that that's unnecessary for my purposes. I may take your advice and hold off, though, especially if we're on the cusp on something big and bad.
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November 25, 2011 3:55:47 PM

what happened to that thread where everyone posted their builds that were over 1500.. had some nice specs of stuff to look at and think of..
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November 25, 2011 4:08:56 PM

angry12345 said:
where did that threat go.. i actually just was looking for it. i remember they had some good alternatives to stuff like ripjaws memory instead of dominator



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-sli-s...

The best system Tomshardware could build for $2000 , and comparisons of performance and value to a $1000 computer

If you must spend $30K on a computer then build the 2 K system , add in some monitors and an OS
and give the other $25K to some homeless people
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November 25, 2011 5:03:00 PM

^Apparently he's already done that.

He says he doesn't have to spend it all but can...

Actually, OP, the problem sort of is that people here (including me) are used to some sort of restriction, like you know, best value for money types.

So having a virtually unlimited budget seems like "err....where do we start?".

So i guess we'll go in some sort of order? Like, let's decide one thing at a time.
Best desktop processor would be an upcoming Ivy Bridge i7-3600/3700k i suppose.

Now everyone else can either agree or disagree. Problem here is that we know nothing about what's going to get released in the coming months, so unless you say i'm buying a $2000 machine NOW, no one will really be able to say "buy this, it's the best" because in the first quarter next year, you'll see something far better.

Imo it's better to buy at the top of a technology release cycle rather than towards the end of it if you want adequate "future resistance" as someone said.

You can't get that with Intel, because they have a tick-tock cycle. However, any high end quad core from their current line-up will serve you for 5 years AT LEAST. Ivy Bridge should prove to be better.

Now Nvidia/AMD have longer release cycles, so expect at least 2 years of future "resistance" on the GPU front.

RAM depends solely on your need, and to be honest, if you're not into heavy content creation, then a ton of RAM wont help as much as low-latency high-speed ram would, especially when it comes to number crunching. Set your sights on CAS 8 DDR3-1600, and since you've got the money, i think 16GB is enough for quite a while (not even considering games, most are fine with 4GB only).

Motherboard depends on the CPU, so again, can't say anything. In general, go for the one with the most options to expand. Again, next year will bring better chipsets and mobos.

Can't help you with sound cards, i don't know enough.

Get 3 low response time monitors of whatever resolution you prefer. Then get equipment for 3D gaming, like glasses.

Get a decent case, one that is roomy, big and great to work in and has capable expansion.

ensure enough cooling, go for the most premium and silent cooling products.

Now for storage, look at my earlier post. RAID would give you INSANE speeds with solid state drives.

Get Windows 7 Ultimate.

Joystick, steering wheel, mouse keyboard, light sabre, whatever you'll need.

Get a CD drive, DVD drive, BR drive, if you need any of them.

A super-fast net connection. set up a server and send us invites :p 

I'm out of ideas now. lol. with your budget, you're free to choose stuff exactly according to your needs without sacrifices, so i guess you should sit down and decide how much do you need in terms of things like features and capacity. The core system won't be that hard to decide once it's available.

Btw is your number crunching software CPU dependent, CUDA based or stream based?


EDIT:
I still don't think it'll cross $10k.
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November 26, 2011 5:03:22 AM

Thanks so much to everyone. You have been courteous and understanding through all of this. I've decided to take your advice and wait for the Ivy Bridge E to come out. In the intervening time, I'll educate myself on what's out there so I can be a bit more helpful with my questions. When that time comes, should I necropost in this thread, or just start a new one?
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November 27, 2011 1:11:23 PM

You're welcome :) 

Can't say much about the post, i haven't been here that long! but as far as i know, reposting anything here a year later won't take it make it obvious that it's active, and it may be closed before that anyway.

You're best off starting a new one.

Cheers!
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