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I am calling it my Christmas present to myself

Last response: in Systems
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December 24, 2011 6:52:36 AM

Two weeks ago, I set out to buy some parts so I had everything ready for when I could build a Sandy Bridge E machine.

I already had the SSD, the Bluray writer, the cooler (sort of), and I wanted to get some other pieces so that when I found a 3930K and motherboard I'd be ready. I hadn't seen Sandy Bridge E CPUs anywhere (things often take a bit longer to arrive here).

So I bought a case and a power supply, and then discovered a shop with a full range of X79 motherboards, and even a chip - one last CPU. Unfortunately, it was a 3960X, not the 3930K that I'd told myself I wanted (because it was the "sane" choice). After wrestling (unsuccessfully) with my conscience, I bought it. So this is the build:

3960X
ASUS Sabertooth X79
Havik 140 cooler
GSkill 1600MHz CL9 4 x 4GB
Patriot Wildfire 240GB
Pioneer BDR-206
Fractal Design Define R3
Seasonic X760 power supply
ASUS GTX-580 Matrix Platinum
Windows 7 Pro x64

I very nearly bought an ASUS Mars II video card (dual GTX 580), but the seller knew how rare they were, and tried to gouge me on price - asking $300 over the recommended retail price. My conscience won that one :) 

I have been using this system to play Crysis 2 on DX11, all Ultra settings, at 2560x1600 (on a 30" display). It plays extremely smoothly; surprisingly much better than my previous system (Z68/2600K/Gigabyte 580).

I had to use the Havik 140 cooler because I didn't have the LGA 2011 brackets for the Noctua D14 that I had planned to use. I have since received them from Noctua (they sent them to me after I emailed them photos of the receipts for the chip, motherboard and cooler) - that was very nice of them. Haven't decided if I'll stick with the Havik or swap to the Noctua.

The system runs surprisingly quiet and cool. After playing Crysis 2 for over an hour the GPU temperature is around 70 degrees C, and the CPU is in the 40s. They cool off fairly quickly, too.

I am tempted to get the GSkill 2133MHz 4 x 4GB kit, but the Sabertooth motherboard only supports RAM up to 1800MHz, so it seems fairly pointless. I got the Sabertooth for the milspec components, and the feeling of safety that conveys.

This was a fairly impulsive (or should that be "compulsive"?) build, but the result is rather pleasing.

What would you have done differently? And what might you consider changing in the system?
December 24, 2011 7:15:24 AM

That sounds like a pretty awesome computer..I wish it were mine :) 

I personally would've opted for an Asus Rampage IV and some 2400Mhz Ripjaws from G.Skill, if it were available. But that's just me, and that mobo is $450(?) and the ram is over $300.

Still, your system beats my system. Core i7 920 / 6gb 1600mhz ddr3 / 2x sli gtx560 ti hawk.

In the end, what did you end up paying, if you don't mind me asking?
December 24, 2011 7:28:34 AM

Why not a christmas gift to me? ;) 
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December 24, 2011 7:31:52 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
December 25, 2011 7:45:51 PM

karash5050 said:
That sounds like a pretty awesome computer..I wish it were mine :) 

I personally would've opted for an Asus Rampage IV and some 2400Mhz Ripjaws from G.Skill, if it were available. But that's just me, and that mobo is $450(?) and the ram is over $300.

Still, your system beats my system. Core i7 920 / 6gb 1600mhz ddr3 / 2x sli gtx560 ti hawk.

In the end, what did you end up paying, if you don't mind me asking?


I built a couple of systems around i7 920 CPUs - I had a gaming system using a 920 + 5770 some time back.

My Photoshop box is still based on a 930 (but with 3 x 4GB).

They had the Rampage IV with 4 DIMM slots (Formula?), but I didn't like that limitation. They didn't have the higher Rampage IV with 8 DIMM slots - I might have considered that. It has a cool feature - you can use an LGA 1366 cooler with it, rather than having to get the new LGA 2011 brackets. But yeah, it's over $200 more expensive (here in Australia). I haven't seen 2400MHz RAM in any of the stores here, and I wasn't about to wait, not with the new CPU waiting :) 

I paid a lot more than I originally intended to, but not as much as I would have if I'd bought the Mars II. The 3960X was about 40% of the cost - you can work it out from there :) 
December 25, 2011 7:46:30 PM

amuffin said:
Why not a christmas gift to me? ;) 


um, no :) 
December 25, 2011 8:18:21 PM

Quote:
7970>GTX 580


:) 

I built this a bit over two weeks ago. 7970 hadn't been announced (I'm still surprised that they announced it now, rather than next month).

I think I'll stick with this 580 for a while - it's a second generation 580, with a revised design, a ridiculous number of power regulators, and a huge 3 slot cooler. From the Tom's preview of the 7970, sounds like we'll be better off waiting for a 7970 with a better cooler on it.

However, once the 7970 is rolling, it could be a scary choice. Definitely worthy of the rest of this system.
December 25, 2011 8:26:37 PM

Quote:
Well im getting the 7970 as a gift from my family in jan or feb.
Will be replacing my ever so fast gtx 480 (eats stock GTX 580's for breakfast).


Enjoy! Nice family you have - I have to pay for my own toys :) 

The 580 I've used is factory overclocked, not stock.
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