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Build Advice for future proofing new gaming system

Last response: in Systems
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January 9, 2012 6:55:49 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Pricing out now, will start purchasing a s soon as this weekend

Budget Range: $2500-3500 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(WoW, BF3, Star Wars, Civ), encoding vids, watching movies, surfing the internet

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor (will be purchasing a second monitor in the near future), speakers, OS, Data Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ncix.com, tigerdirect.com, amazon.com, local retailers

Country: US

Parts Preferences:

Intel i7 3930k
Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Corsair H100 Water Cooler
2 x EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX580 Classified Ultra 3 GB PCIe 2.0 x16 (x2 SLI) (This is probably going to change to the AMD 7970 now)
OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 Series SATA III 2.5 inch SSD Max IOPS 6gb/s VTX3MI-25SAT3-240G
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) F3-19200CL9Q-16GBZMD
Cooler Master HAF X (RC-942-KKN1) Full tower case
Enermax Platimax 1200w 80 Plus Platinum
Silenx 120mm x38mm, 18dBA, 90 CFM (upgrade push/pull fans for the H100 radiator)

Still not sure which monitor I want to buy. I currently have a nice, but old, 23 inch HP monitor that has served me well. I am considering an upgrade to a 27" monitor, but realize that I would then have mismatched sized monitors.

I plan to overclock the CPU to about 4.5ghz (if the cooler is good enough) and we will see what I can do with the memory and the GPUs.

I am still on the fence about purchasing a second GPU to run in SLI since we are supposed to get PCIe 3.0 cards this summer. Anyone have an opinion on waiting for the new cards versus diving in with the 580s now? I was also thinking that I could go even cheaper with a pair of 560 tis as suggested here at Tom's, then upgrade to the new 3.0 cards as they come out.

My next question is with quad channel memory kits. If I purchase 16gb now, can I combine another 16gb kit at a later time, or would I have to swap out for a 32gb kit?

Anyone know if Ivy bridge(-E) will fit LGA 2011 in case I want to swap out processor later?

Edit: Can someone who is using Eyefinity chime in on what kind of monitor combination they are using? Thanks!

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution:1920x1200

Additional Comments: Want to keep this system for a s long as possible. My last system lasted 6 years, although I couldn't play all my games the last two.

I realize this is pretty long, thanks in advance for any recommendations.
January 9, 2012 6:58:08 PM

Idk about the rest, but get the 7970 AMD GPU. It has a very good review atm.
January 9, 2012 7:14:49 PM

azeem40 said:
Idk about the rest, but get the 7970 AMD GPU. It has a very good review atm.


Interesting. Is the 7900 series PCIe 3.0? If not, isn't it just a bridge until the 3.0 standard takes hold? Anyone else have input on this?
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January 9, 2012 8:11:44 PM

Well, I just read an interesting article about the 7970/50 and i am impressed. the price tag suggests that I can save about $200 over a GTX 590 card and get better performance. I am a little disappointed to hear that the PCIe 3.0 did not make much difference in performance according to the site's tests though. It sounds as if the overclocking utility is really easy to use and quite effective.

I am seriously considering changing my build now.
January 9, 2012 11:23:09 PM

I am looking at building something very close to this, and was wondering the same thing about the 7970's. Have you figured out about what price you are coming up with?
January 10, 2012 12:57:00 PM

sgtpepperlhc said:
I am looking at building something very close to this, and was wondering the same thing about the 7970's. Have you figured out about what price you are coming up with?



The preliminary total is 3677.87 before shipping. That is with 2 7970s and 16gb of RAM. I can probably get it down significantly if I can get a hook up from a friend locally, but I have to wait until Thursday to hear back from him. Looks like availability might be an issue with 7970 cards with better than average cooler/fan combos so i might have to wait on the final GPU solution until more become available.

Seems like a bad time to have my current desktop burn up, I hope I am not still waiting to build this thing in March...
!