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~$3000+ build for my dad

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December 27, 2011 7:53:28 AM

Hey everyone,
I really appreciate the community on this site. There is a wealth of information and a lot of experts who are generous with their time helping newbies (like me) try to put together systems. I read all that I could from the System Builder Marathon threads and tried to put together something reasonable, but would really appreciate any and all suggestions with my build. Thanks so much!

Approximate Purchase Date: Before 2012

Budget Range: $3000 (flexible, up to $3500 including monitor)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, everyday use

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NCIX since they have price matching

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: by brand or type Intel + nvidia

Overclocking: Unlikely

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, 2 or 3 way

Monitor Resolution: 1080p x 3 @ 120Hz for 3D Vision

Additional Comments: My brother and I are buying this computer as a gift to my dad, who wants to be able to play games with us but struggles on his Mac. He loves COD, so I'd like to get him into BF3, as well as flight sims/racing games which he really enjoys. I know that the 3930K is probably overkill, but I'm thinking that this computer will probably have to last for at least a few years and I don't plan to OC for him.


Processor/Motherboard/Heatsink:
Intel Core i7 3930K $655.25
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe ATX LGA2011 $397.76
? Heatsink / Liquid cooling? (Unsure of what the best way to cool these new processors is)

RAM:
G.SKILL F3-17000CL9Q-16GBZH Ripjawz PC3-17000 16GB 4X4GB DDR3-2133 CL9-11-10-28 1.65V Memory Kit ($174.16)
I know that 8GB is probably enough for RAM, but it seems that memory prices are fairly low... what I'm really not sure about is a) what type of memory I need for the LGA2011 type chipset, and what timings/speeds etc. I would benefit from. I chose DDR3-2133 because it looked like the fastest but have no idea what the relative performances are...

Storage:
Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 128GB $216.61
HDD - Unfortunately Samsung drives not available here...
?Seagate vs WD? Worth it for SATA3?

Graphics:
?SLI - 2x GTX 580 vs 3x GTX 570 vs 1x GTX 590?
I feel like 2x GTX 580 is probably the best seeing what other people have used.
although the 3x 570 basically is the same price...
The plan is to buy a single 27" 1080p 120hz monitor now (?Samsung S27A950D vs ASUS VG278H vs Acer HN274H) and then soon after upgrade to a 3 monitor 1080p 3D setup.

Power Supply:
OCZ Z-SERIES 1000W 80+ Gold Certified 24PIN ATX 83A 12V Afc Modular Power Supply W/ 135mm Fan ($134.99 !!)
vs
XFX PRO1050W Black Edition Single Rail ATX 12V 87A 24PIN ATX Full Modular 80PLUS Gold PSU ($219.99)

Drives:
LG BH12LS38 ($79.99)

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI Tower Computer Case 2X5.25 8X3.5INT ($99.99)
Alternative is the Cooler Master HAF which is more expensive and I'm not sure if any better for performance...

Again, thanks so much for such a great community!

More about : 3000 build dad

Best solution

December 27, 2011 10:56:21 AM

Personally I would drop the i7 3930K for the i7 2600K or even the i5 2500K. Nothing I know of on the market will cause either the 2600K or 2500K to bottleneck.

For RAM, if my information is correct, you don't see too much gain past DDR3-1600. If you plan to use an air cooler then you'll need low profile RAM like the RipJawz G-Sniper or such but liquid cooler does not affect what RAM you can get.

I would use the money I would save to get a 256GB SSD as a main drive and a 750GB to 1TB hdd as storage.

2 x 580 will run anything on the market.

I don't know the reliability of OCZ PSU's but XFX, Seasonic, Corsair, and Antec are good PSU companies to buy from.
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December 27, 2011 11:13:26 AM

I would recommend to crossfire amd cards, cos it performs better than nvidia.
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December 27, 2011 11:13:59 AM

Like you I'm a newbie trying to build my 2k pc but $&@! Can you make me a pc like that !!3!!x gtx 570!!!! OMG. Anyway all your stuff seems good but get the xfx psu and also get an I7 2700K instead.
Good luck and please post pics when finished or even create a build series on utube :) 
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December 27, 2011 12:56:34 PM

I'm alittle cautious in using 3 GPU's since most motherboards don't have proper space for three GPUs to be vented enough.
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December 27, 2011 1:11:11 PM

Thanks for the suggestions!
I'll probably keep the nvidia cards because I hear that 3d vision is pretty good compared to the AMD counterpart.

I'm not 100% sold on the 3930K but I suspect that in the next 4 years a 2600K may become a bottleneck, and don't plan on changing the motherboard + CPU in that time so am hoping to make it a bit more 'futureproof' by keeping the faster processor/new architecture.

I think that the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Intel LGA 2011 has 4 slots but I'm not sure if that means that 3x GTX 570s will actually fit or if they'll remain cool enough. I will probably switch the XFX PSU because I don't know OCZ (only know their SSD!) -- it's just that this PSU happened to be 50% off today and I thought it'd be a good way of saving $120. But obviously not if it melts the rest of my hardware because of poor voltage performance.

Thanks everyone! Any suggestions with which type video card/brand I should get if not OCing?
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December 27, 2011 1:50:39 PM

I think your throwing away some money for really no benefits in a lot of areas, just off the top you won't need 16GB of RAM if your only gaming (plus you want to get some 1.5V not 1.65V). If your not going to OC anything then the 'k' version of your CPU is going to be a waste, I would do at least some OC'ing if your going to get that version. I think MSI makes some nice video cards, they are cool and come with some OC out of the box. Here is a 570 that would be nice in 2-way SLI.

I'm at work so can't get into to much detail right now but I think you can save some money on your build and maybe you could get the extra monitors with it.
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December 27, 2011 2:20:33 PM

I'll try to fix the RAM -- since I'm not going to OC it it probably doesn't make sense to use 2133MHz? Maybe I should just get 8GB or 12GB @ 1600MHz and save a bunch of money.

For the processor, unfortunately the K is the only one available -- since the multiplier is unlocked I suppose I can do a very conservative OC of 10% or so...I just probably wouldn't do anything now because the extra power on the CPU won't be useful until later on anyway.

For the 3 way SLI 570 vs 2 way SLI 580 I'm thinking that the other concern is the amount of memory. Will 1.2GB be enough for 5760x1080 @ 120Hz? Maybe going for the 580s would be a better option. I can't afford 2x GTX 590 but that would be the theoretical third choice....

Thanks for the advice!
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December 27, 2011 2:37:07 PM

All those high performance expensive part going into a $99 case?? Those HafX cases are dust magnets, go with a Silverstone Raven RV03

If you are going multi panel, then go with AMD a pair of 6970's should be perfect. An i7 2600k should be perfect, and no need for 16GB of ram, 8GB kit should be perfect!
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December 27, 2011 2:57:30 PM

If you are going for a tri monitor set-up, you might as well get more memory up your sleeves. Two of these would do the job.
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=60904&vpn=03G-P3-1584-...

As for the processor, the 2600K/2500K would be more than enough for gaming. Mind you that the sandy bridge 1155 socket will (not entirely confirmed) work with ivy bridge cpus. But the sandy bridge-e 2011 socket will not have any upgrade paths in the future.

In the cases, make sure you get a large enough case to remove all those heat.
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=62758&vpn=CC-9011013-W... or a Raven, or even a HAF.

And choose your motherboard wisely if you are going the 2600K way. Maybe an ASUS $200-250 one would do.

Good luck!
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December 27, 2011 3:05:53 PM

dont go with amd because it doesnt have 3d vision
that is exclusively nvidia
and you said it yourself your not going to oc the system for him
so why bother with a k series cpu anyways?
games benefit most from high overlclocked cpus that is why most people are most inclined to the i5 2500k because its got best bang for the buck and games dont usually use the four cores efficiently
something like the i7 2600 would suffice
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December 27, 2011 3:21:47 PM

switch you cpu for an i7 2600 or an i5 2500 get (1600) ram. and go with dual gtx580 dont do a triple sli they will get to glitchy. and you dont need a 400 dollar mobo.
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December 27, 2011 9:07:47 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone...

So I did a bit more research and am looking at the following motherboard instead of the above:
Motherboard MSI X79A-GD45 ($281.48)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=65257&vpn=X79A-GD45

It's the cheapest motherboard on NCIX I could find that was LGA2011 and I think it still will do the same for me since I probably won't OC anytime soon.

I'll still keep the Intel Core i7 3930K 6 Core 12MB 3.2GHZ ($655.25)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=64992&vpn=BX80619I7393...

Since it doesn't come with a heatsink I'm not sure what the best cooling is...I was thinking that I should use
Corsair Cooling Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance ($99.99)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=61380&vpn=CWCH100
It looks like overkill since if I OC it will be conservative, but I'm not sure what other cooling is compatible with this chipset...

For RAM it sounds like 8GB is more than enough, so I am looking at:
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 Vengeance 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24 Dual Channel Memory Kit ($81.89)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=57077&vpn=CMZ8GX3M2A16...
Is this compatible with my LGA2011 / 3930K setup?
**Edit** looking on the corsair website it appears that I need quad-channel memory, of which most 8GB setups seem to be on back order. I need to look into this further!


With respect to video cards, I think I've been convinced that SLI 2x GTX 580 is the way to go. Is 1.5GB enough for 5760x1080 @ 120Hz? Or do I need to upgrade to 3GB video cards?
It would be the difference between:
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Fermi 772MHZ 3GB GDDR5 2xDVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E Video Card (average $610 each)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=60904&vpn=03G-P3-1584-...
and either
2x Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP! 815MHZ 1536MB 4.1GHZ GDDR5 (av $524 each)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=59213&vpn=ZT-50102-10P (ZT-50106-10P)
or
2x EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Superclocked Fermi 797MHZ 1536MB GDDR5 (av $530 each)
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=56600&vpn=015-P3-1582-...

Thanks again,
I'm on the home stretch! I think my dad's going to love it, this is all a big surprise. :) 
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December 27, 2011 10:01:30 PM

I've been doing research on parts too for an upcoming build. I'm also looking to do 3 displays with 2D nVidia surround. From what I've been reading, people are saying to go with the 3GB cards (I'm looking at 2 eVGA GTX 580's in SLI so far) to have more vram to run the latest and greatest games at high settings. Although don't take my words as gospel. I'm looking to confirm or deny this claim. So far, for myself, I'm aiming at a couple of the 3GB cards just to play it safe.
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December 27, 2011 10:06:39 PM

sschnauzer said:
I'll try to fix the RAM -- since I'm not going to OC it it probably doesn't make sense to use 2133MHz? Maybe I should just get 8GB or 12GB @ 1600MHz and save a bunch of money.

For the processor, unfortunately the K is the only one available -- since the multiplier is unlocked I suppose I can do a very conservative OC of 10% or so...I just probably wouldn't do anything now because the extra power on the CPU won't be useful until later on anyway.

For the 3 way SLI 570 vs 2 way SLI 580 I'm thinking that the other concern is the amount of memory. Will 1.2GB be enough for 5760x1080 @ 120Hz? Maybe going for the 580s would be a better option. I can't afford 2x GTX 590 but that would be the theoretical third choice....

Thanks for the advice!


At that res you want 2x of these...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 29, 2011 12:29:25 AM

Best answer selected by sschnauzer.
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December 29, 2011 11:02:59 AM

helo sschnauzer... i know that you really love your dad so you choose to buying the best for him.... but really for now sandy bridge-e platform shows little advantage over current sandy bridge platform in gaming... so in the end after you spend $3000(and that's hell alot money for me) it won't translates into $3000 performance.... which means for now sandy bridge-e platform has little value for your dad's gaming needs and everyday use(i assume your everyday use excluding apps that requires more than 4 threads).... sandy bridge platforms is still has the best value for gaming... here you should take a look on sandy bridge-e platform gaming performance vs other platforms....

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...


here you can take a look at the list that i've compiled....

cpu: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Intel Core i5-2500K - $230

verdict: after looking at those benchmark... this cpu has the best value for gaming... even though you already stated that you won't oc the pc... but this k-series only costs you a little bit more while gives you the flexibility of altering the cpu's multiplier should you change your mind about oc in the future....

mobo: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 - $190

verdict: while there are many z68 out there which has most of the features at a cheaper price... but since you have $3000... i'll vote this one for its build quality(huge sized chipset heatsink!)....

ram: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 - $48.5

verdict: it is advised that using a lower voltage memory in sandy bridge platform is recommended(1.5v and below) so i pick one of the lowest... and since anything above ddr3 1600mhz you won't see much improvement and 8gb is the sweet spot so i settle for this one...

hsf: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $32 after rebate

verdict: since i5/i7 2xxx series has lower power consumption compared to 3xxx series... you don't really need a liquid cooler to keep thermal in check... especially you won't be overclock your cpu... so this one is already enough for the job...

hdd: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB - $130

verdict: just picked one of the cheapest 1tb model....

ssd: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Plextor PX-M2P Series PX-128M2P 2.5" 128GB - $195

verdict: certainly it is not the fastest ssd on the market... but with a stable controller this wins my vote...

odd: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
LG Black 12X BD-R WH12LS38 - $85

verdict: none.

psu: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition - $125 after rebate

verdict: initially i would like to recommend a 650watt model if just using one card... but a 850watts should give you more power to do sli/crossfire and maybe mild overclocking.... with good quality and cheaper than corsair....

case: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=58475&vpn=FD-CA-ARC-BL...
Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $100

verdict: a simple, nice looking... with plenty of options for cooling.... a very good sub $110 casing....

gpu: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB - $550

verdict: currently this card is not available yet... at least on major online stores... until jan 9th... but in my place already have stock available... i can get it in just a few days.... no need to wait until jan 9th... but too bad i don't have that money at the moment... okay enough with the talking... seriously... i really don't think you or your father needs more than a single, fastest gpu on the market to play just about any games at 1920 x 1080.... because there are things to point out when using more than one card...

- sli/crossfire will eats up more power... thus translate into electricity bill..... and also needs a bigger power supply to cope with the usage...
- you need to overclock your cpu to get the most out of your sli/crossfire system.... to avoid processor bottleneck...
- sli/crossfire scaling varies with different games... not really doubles up at every game
- sli/crossfire relies heavily on driver update, compared to one card...
- and the micro-stuttering issue... still present...

lcd: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms - $170 after rebate

verdict: i've personally never tried gaming on 3d... even 3 screen gaming... but i found this monitor has good user feedback and recommend it... single screen gaming is still fun... at least for me...

total: $1855.5 after rebate excluding shipping....

lastly... although it really differs from what you want... but this is my opinion... of course... but from the part that i've listed... you don't even need more than $2000 to build a decent gaming system... not only decent... but also not too power hungry system... after all... this is my suggestion... so no offence...
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