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Extreme Gaming Build

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February 28, 2012 12:56:54 PM

Hi folks!

It's time to start building my next rig. The following is what I've tentatively come up with. I'd appreciate any feedback, alternative components, better pricing that anyone can offer.

Motherboard:
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme/BATTLEFIELD 3 Republic of Gamers
http://www.airetechit.co.uk/e-shop/int/ROW/products.php...

CPU
Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H80 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
http://www.axiontech.com/prdt.php?item=95433

Memory
Kingston HyperX Genesis X79 2133MHz Quad Channel 16GB
http://www.buy.com/prod/kingston-hyperx-genesis-x79-qua...

Power Supply
Antec HCP-1200
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-HCP-1200-Energy-Certified-S...

GPU
EVGA GeForce GTX 580 3gb Superclocked X2
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-SB0886-Titanium-Fatal1ty...

Harddrives
Intel 320 Series 300GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) X3 (Raid 0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
IN WIN Ironclad
http://www.upgradebay.com/c1_itemdetail.asp?rid=22&item...

More about : extreme gaming build

a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 1:08:43 PM

Obviously that's a powerful gaming build but it adds up to about $5000. You could build something that would give you around 80-90% of the performance for $2000. The $3000 you save could then go towards awesome peripherals or to build another $2000 system in a few years.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 1:09:48 PM

Not sure why your looking at GTX 580's? Take a look at a pair of 7970's.

Note: CF 7970's don't draw much power either, an 850w PSU would be MORE THAN ENOUGH for a pair of them in a heavily OC'd system.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 1:32:36 PM

HD 7950's are also more powerful than GTX 580's and consume far less power:

Intel i5-2500k
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
8GB Mushkin Blackline C8 1600Mhz
2 x XFX HD 7950 3GB
Samsung 830 Series 256GB
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Seasonic X-750 750W
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium 7.1
Lite On Bluray Burner
Coolermaster HAF 922
Noctua NH-D14

Total - ~$2500 on Newegg

You would actually get more graphics performance in this build, other than that you would be making a few small comprimises here and there and get a small loss in CPU and SSD performance which I imagine could only be seen in benchmarks.

The cash you saved there could even go towards a 2560x1600 IPS monitor such as this:

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

Your gaming experience will be improved by this much more than it would by having 2 more (largely unused) CPU cores etc.
February 28, 2012 1:53:00 PM

Oh you could notice difference in CPU power.

3960x is a total waste unless you are just like zomg i want the best. 3930k is the absolute best power/price ratio. Or there is the 3820 which is a quad core + HT.

For a good CPU why would you get an h80? you need at least a H100.

Also ditch the 580's.thats last gen. New gen = 7950 or 7970.

The X79 is the best platform but its expensive, thats why they made the quad core 3820 at 300 bucks.
February 28, 2012 2:31:47 PM

For around $2000 I built the following (including monitor, keyboard and mouse); It screams.


February 28, 2012 3:37:58 PM

AdrianPerry said:
Not sure why your looking at GTX 580's? Take a look at a pair of 7970's.

Note: CF 7970's don't draw much power either, an 850w PSU would be MORE THAN ENOUGH for a pair of them in a heavily OC'd system.


I like the looks of the 7970's just never been much into Radeon products. I've always used NVidia products and havve never been disappointed by their performance. Maybe it's time to try them out, the price is comparible, and I certainly don't have anything to lose.

Thanks for the input!
February 28, 2012 3:43:00 PM

kcsmacker said:
not to mention that H80 is crap. Go with a Noctua CPU cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for air

or if you want real liquid cooling, go with a custom loop with a waterblock


Yeah, I've never used any sort of liquid cooling in any of the rigs I've built. I'd like to do some OCing though, and everything I read indicates that liquid cooling is where it's at. I'll check out the custom loop/waterblock setup.

Thanks for the input!
February 28, 2012 3:45:34 PM

mourice12 said:
Oh you could notice difference in CPU power.

3960x is a total waste unless you are just like zomg i want the best. 3930k is the absolute best power/price ratio. Or there is the 3820 which is a quad core + HT.

For a good CPU why would you get an h80? you need at least a H100.

Also ditch the 580's.thats last gen. New gen = 7950 or 7970.

The X79 is the best platform but its expensive, thats why they made the quad core 3820 at 300 bucks.


I was tossing around the idea of taking a step back off the beleeding edge with the CPU... That 1k+ price tag is/was more than a little daunting. I think I'll take your advice and do so.

Insofar as the liquid cooling suggestion; this is my first foray into liquid cooling, I've always used air cooling in the past. I'll definitly what the best cooling solution I can come up with and I'll be looking more into the alternatives available.

Thanks for the input!
February 28, 2012 3:57:25 PM

jmsellars1 said:
HD 7950's are also more powerful than GTX 580's and consume far less power:

Intel i5-2500k
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3
8GB Mushkin Blackline C8 1600Mhz
2 x XFX HD 7950 3GB
Samsung 830 Series 256GB
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Seasonic X-750 750W
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium 7.1
Lite On Bluray Burner
Coolermaster HAF 922
Noctua NH-D14

Total - ~$2500 on Newegg

You would actually get more graphics performance in this build, other than that you would be making a few small comprimises here and there and get a small loss in CPU and SSD performance which I imagine could only be seen in benchmarks.

The cash you saved there could even go towards a 2560x1600 IPS monitor such as this:

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

Your gaming experience will be improved by this much more than it would by having 2 more (largely unused) CPU cores etc.


The build you outline is pretty comparable to what I already have. However, your suggestions still hold significant merit, as I'm not always as financially frugal as I should be considering my meager income...

Thanks for the input!
February 28, 2012 5:09:49 PM

Yea the 3930k is unlocked. 6-core with HT and its 600 bucks. Its pretty legit, alot of the review sites prefer it over the 3960x because it run just as good and is 500 bucks less. Yea with an awesome CPU you need an Awesome cooler. As for a closed loop the H100 is your best bet but a custom loop always looks the best and has better performance.

The 7950 is the best bang for the buck IMO, its around the 450 mark, can overlock to 7970 speeds and its awesome. Better than the 580, has 3gb ram, PCI 3.0. Less heat and less power consumption.

Whenever i build i always try to get the best parts that are price/performance and by the best manufacturer.
February 28, 2012 8:51:20 PM

Ok, here's an adjusted list of components taking into account the advice you all have provided, I've also changed the links to reflect the product specs and pricing. Keep the input coming!

Motherboard:
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme/BATTLEFIELD 3 Republic of Gamers
http://www.airetechit.co.uk/e-shop/int/ROW/products.php...

CPU
Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E
http://www.totalpowerpc.com/#ecwid:mode=product&product...

CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Liquid cooling system
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Extreme-Performance-Liqui...

Memory
Kingston HyperX Genesis X79 2133MHz Quad Channel 16GB
http://www.buy.com/prod/kingston-hyperx-genesis-x79-qua...

Power Supply
Antec HCP-1200
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-HCP-1200-Energy-Certified-S...

GPU
XFX HD 7970 Black Edition 3GB 1000MHZ GDDR5 X2
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-FX797ATNBC-1000MHZ-Display-Gr...

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-SB0886-Titanium-Fatal1ty...

Harddrives
Intel 320 Series 300GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) X3 (Raid 0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
IN WIN Ironclad
http://www.upgradebay.com/c1_itemdetail.asp?rid=22&item...
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2012 9:25:21 PM

Bacon12 said:
Ok, here's an adjusted list of components taking into account the advice you all have provided, I've also changed the links to reflect the product specs and pricing. Keep the input coming!

Motherboard:
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme/BATTLEFIELD 3 Republic of Gamers
http://www.airetechit.co.uk/e-shop/int/ROW/products.php...

CPU
Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E
http://www.totalpowerpc.com/#ecwid:mode=product&product...

CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Liquid cooling system
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Extreme-Performance-Liqui...

Memory
Kingston HyperX Genesis X79 2133MHz Quad Channel 16GB
http://www.buy.com/prod/kingston-hyperx-genesis-x79-qua...

Power Supply
Antec HCP-1200
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-HCP-1200-Energy-Certified-S...

GPU
XFX HD 7970 Black Edition 3GB 1000MHZ GDDR5 X2
http://www.amazon.com/XFX-FX797ATNBC-1000MHZ-Display-Gr...

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series
http://www.amazon.com/Creative-SB0886-Titanium-Fatal1ty...

Harddrives
Intel 320 Series 300GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) X3 (Raid 0)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
IN WIN Ironclad
http://www.upgradebay.com/c1_itemdetail.asp?rid=22&item...


This build looks pretty good. These would be my suggestions:

1. That storage solution is a bit ridiculous. You could get a single 128GB Crucial M4 and then a 1 - 2TB HD on top of that. You'll save quite a bit of money there.

2. Ditch the sound card - that is not a necessity. I haven't used one since they were required in the late 90's.

3. I wouldn't get a liquid cooler, you should read this article for suggestions for good air coolers - it's a lot safer: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/LGA-2011-i7-3960X-A...

4. That case is an OK choice - but XL-ATX is going to present you with limited case choices. Check out the Rosewill Thor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 28, 2012 9:52:36 PM

g-unit1111 said:
This build looks pretty good. These would be my suggestions:

1. That storage solution is a bit ridiculous. You could get a single 128GB Crucial M4 and then a 1 - 2TB HD on top of that. You'll save quite a bit of money there.

2. Ditch the sound card - that is not a necessity. I haven't used one since they were required in the late 90's.

3. I wouldn't get a liquid cooler, you should read this article for suggestions for good air coolers - it's a lot safer: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/LGA-2011-i7-3960X-A...

4. That case is an OK choice - but XL-ATX is going to present you with limited case choices. Check out the Rosewill Thor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Ok, I did some reading, and insofar as the sound card is concerned that does look like an area I could cut some costs... Insofar as the SSHD's I could do without 1 of them, but I want to go with at least 2 in a raid 0 config. I respectfully disagree with you on liquid cooling, for extreme OC purposes they are a must have, no getting around it. However, I am thinking of going with a custom setup, instead of what I've listed here. The case recomendation is a good one, and I plan to incorporate it into my build.

Thank you for your input!
February 28, 2012 10:16:56 PM

I've been thinking about a water cooling solution for a while now and have decided to go with that on my next build, but a custom loop you want to run outside of the computer to check for leaks. Anyhow, my answer is to buy a decent air cooler like a Hyper 212 Evo, and the stuff for a watercooling loop, that way you can use your computer, set up your watercooling, and when it's said and done, you have a backup in case your pump dies on you.

Best solution

February 28, 2012 10:25:32 PM
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+1 g-unit1111

1. 2x 128GB SSDs in RAID 0 for OS & Games + 2TB HDD for all your Pr0n :) 
2. Ditch the sound card if you don't use high end head phones or speakers
3. H100 or Noctua D14
4. Get a proper case, something like the CoolerMaster Cosmos2, Silverstone TJ07, Corsair 800D
February 29, 2012 2:22:01 AM

jossrik said:
I've been thinking about a water cooling solution for a while now and have decided to go with that on my next build, but a custom loop you want to run outside of the computer to check for leaks. Anyhow, my answer is to buy a decent air cooler like a Hyper 212 Evo, and the stuff for a watercooling loop, that way you can use your computer, set up your watercooling, and when it's said and done, you have a backup in case your pump dies on you.


Excellent idea, and one I'd thought of... As it is happens, I have a large number of performance air cooling solutions available already. The only question I am tossing around in my brain housing group is whether to go with a pre-manufactured water cooling solution, or with a custom set up. I've been doing some reading and it does appear that the "good" performance pre-manuafactured water cooling solutions are every bit as good as a custom setup, with less problems... I'm leaning that way at the moment.

Thanks for your input!
February 29, 2012 2:28:39 AM

zander1983 said:
+1 g-unit1111

1. 2x 128GB SSDs in RAID 0 for OS & Games + 2TB HDD for all your Pr0n :) 
2. Ditch the sound card if you don't use high end head phones or speakers
3. H100 or Noctua D14
4. Get a proper case, something like the CoolerMaster Cosmos2, Silverstone TJ07, Corsair 800D


Going with the smaller SSD's is a very good idea and frankly one that will save me a great deal of money. I'm thinking that I will be doing this, makes allot of sense... Only problem I have with it is the machine will be used by multiple users, (family members) and they are not always the most reliable about making sure that stuff is stored where it should be... I can overcome this small issue though, especially when it'll save hundreds. The Water cooling solution is somthing I'm still working on, but the Noctua D14 sounds like a good setup. I've already decided on the case, I'll be going with the Rosewill THOR V2, I just wish it came in black... :( 
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
February 29, 2012 3:26:02 AM

Bacon12 said:
Going with the smaller SSD's is a very good idea and frankly one that will save me a great deal of money. I'm thinking that I will be doing this, makes allot of sense... Only problem I have with it is the machine will be used by multiple users, (family members) and they are not always the most reliable about making sure that stuff is stored where it should be... I can overcome this small issue though, especially when it'll save hundreds. The Water cooling solution is somthing I'm still working on, but the Noctua D14 sounds like a good setup. I've already decided on the case, I'll be going with the Rosewill THOR V2, I just wish it came in black... :( 


Here you go: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Excellent idea, and one I'd thought of... As it is happens, I have a large number of performance air cooling solutions available already. The only question I am tossing around in my brain housing group is whether to go with a pre-manufactured water cooling solution, or with a custom set up. I've been doing some reading and it does appear that the "good" performance pre-manuafactured water cooling solutions are every bit as good as a custom setup, with less problems... I'm leaning that way at the moment.


The pre-manufactured blocks like a Corsair H100 are quite a bit safer (even Intel and AMD are branding their own for bundling with their newer CPUs) than the custom setups but I still think air is the way to go. I look at it this way - if a water pipe breaks, there goes your system as manufacturers' warranties don't cover water damage. If a fan breaks, you just replace that broken fan.

Quote:
Ok, I did some reading, and insofar as the sound card is concerned that does look like an area I could cut some costs... Insofar as the SSHD's I could do without 1 of them, but I want to go with at least 2 in a raid 0 config. I respectfully disagree with you on liquid cooling, for extreme OC purposes they are a must have, no getting around it. However, I am thinking of going with a custom setup, instead of what I've listed here. The case recomendation is a good one, and I plan to incorporate it into my build.


I'm not an extreme OC'er - I really try to play it safe with my builds - if I drop $500 or $1500 on a new system I want it to last and I don't want to take any chances as I don't really have the money to replace something should it go wrong.

Quote:
1. 2x 128GB SSDs in RAID 0 for OS & Games + 2TB HDD for all your Pr0n :) 


It's actually pretty pointless to RAID SSDs - get one as your primary then raid 2 x 2TB hard drives - that's where you'll notice the performance difference.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 29, 2012 4:22:48 AM

Bad time to be looking at GPU's, right now yes AMD have the better cards out considering they are well over a year newer, but Kepler is still to be released, I would be patient on that front, if kepler is better than tihiti and you have bought a 7950/70 you will look rather silly. In any event Nvidia and AMD rearly go head to head, both release off peak and the cards are much of a muchness. Right now AMD are newer so it makes sense. Also really consider whether SLI or crossfire is what you want, a pair of 7970's sound impressive but scaling is horrid, with dual cards you never get what you expected.

Socket 2011 is unimpressive at best, save all that dosh throw in a 2700K on a high end motherboard or even a IB when it releases, run a single GPU and consider a Watercooling system (the real stuff not the fake stuff from antec and corsair thats just silly) and other case modifications, save the rest of your money for a rainy day.

February 29, 2012 11:13:39 AM

sarinaide said:
Bad time to be looking at GPU's, right now yes AMD have the better cards out considering they are well over a year newer, but Kepler is still to be released, I would be patient on that front, if kepler is better than tihiti and you have bought a 7950/70 you will look rather silly. In any event Nvidia and AMD rearly go head to head, both release off peak and the cards are much of a muchness. Right now AMD are newer so it makes sense. Also really consider whether SLI or crossfire is what you want, a pair of 7970's sound impressive but scaling is horrid, with dual cards you never get what you expected.

Socket 2011 is unimpressive at best, save all that dosh throw in a 2700K on a high end motherboard or even a IB when it releases, run a single GPU and consider a Watercooling system (the real stuff not the fake stuff from antec and corsair thats just silly) and other case modifications, save the rest of your money for a rainy day.


Good point regarding the video cards, I'll keep it in mind. I've been caught like that in the past, buying what I thought was the best and end up finding that a new release came out shortly after, or right before I made my purchase... I'm not sure in this case it'll make a huge difference anyway, but you never know, it's always best to wait and see, patience is a good thing here.

I like SLI/Crossfire, I have noted a significant performance difference in comparision to single gpu systems. Admittedly this subject may be subjective as many software platforms are quite different in resource utilization, and also in the different component parts to the creation of a game engine. Scaling may need some work, but the bottom line is, multiple gpu systems perform better than single gpu systems, period.

The comparision and all the enthusiast arguments between LGA 1366, 1155 and 2011 is an argument as old as the hills, different times, different platforms, but the bottom line is; technology is advancing. It's a given that the multicore cpu's may have limited application in most gaming software now, but this will not always be true. If one wishes to remain abreast of the current technological edge then you must put yourself out there, use the platforms, stay relevant... So, in that spirit I will be going with the LGA 2011. I like the motherboard I have chosen, but there may be better, more cost effective solutions out there. I'd be very interested in hearing a discussion about the different X79 motherboards available.

Thanks for your input!
a b B Homebuilt system
February 29, 2012 1:47:54 PM

Bacon12 said:
Good point regarding the video cards, I'll keep it in mind. I've been caught like that in the past, buying what I thought was the best and end up finding that a new release came out shortly after, or right before I made my purchase... I'm not sure in this case it'll make a huge difference anyway, but you never know, it's always best to wait and see, patience is a good thing here.

I like SLI/Crossfire, I have noted a significant performance difference in comparision to single gpu systems. Admittedly this subject may be subjective as many software platforms are quite different in resource utilization, and also in the different component parts to the creation of a game engine. Scaling may need some work, but the bottom line is, multiple gpu systems perform better than single gpu systems, period.

The comparision and all the enthusiast arguments between LGA 1366, 1155 and 2011 is an argument as old as the hills, different times, different platforms, but the bottom line is; technology is advancing. It's a given that the multicore cpu's may have limited application in most gaming software now, but this will not always be true. If one wishes to remain abreast of the current technological edge then you must put yourself out there, use the platforms, stay relevant... So, in that spirit I will be going with the LGA 2011. I like the motherboard I have chosen, but there may be better, more cost effective solutions out there. I'd be very interested in hearing a discussion about the different X79 motherboards available.

Thanks for your input!


It wasn't that long ago that the GTX 580 was the undisputed king, it is old the HD7970 is new architecture so rightfully better in turn, thats not to say the GTX 680 won't redeem the crown, at the end of the day whether you have Nvidia or AMD its the same thing different name.

Drop to a I7 3930K rather, the drop off to a 3960X is minimal and its half price.
February 29, 2012 2:27:45 PM

Yea when it comes to video cards you will never truley have the best since AMD and Nvidia release at seperate times.
But i mean with 2 7970's you are good for a few years. They scale really well actually, and i do mean really well. Due to new drivers no one really knows how the cards will end up performing at peak, so as the drivers mature performance will get alot better.

The h-100 is a great idea if you dont want a custom loop. Custom loops are very "aesthetically"pleasing and they do offer better performance. However they are expensive.

The corsair 800d is one of my favorite cases and has alot of potential for anything you want to do with it. I love it.

At the end of the day its what you want, so if you prefer AMD> Intel or Rosewill> Corsair thats fine, its what you want
a b B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2012 4:39:56 AM

I would save a lot on the CPU, go for a 3930K and use the money in a EK custom loop water cooling solution, CPU block, GPU Blocks, Pump, Res, Radiators and badam you have a cool rig.
March 1, 2012 7:06:51 AM

Bacon12 said:

I like SLI/Crossfire, I have noted a significant performance difference in comparision to single gpu systems. Admittedly this subject may be subjective as many software platforms are quite different in resource utilization, and also in the different component parts to the creation of a game engine. Scaling may need some work, but the bottom line is, multiple gpu systems perform better than single gpu systems, period.

Of course it is. But it is rather pointless to have 2xHD7970 or even just one if you play on a single monitor. So therefore, I expect you got at least 3 monitor set-up in your plan.
March 1, 2012 8:10:53 AM

I would note that with the Rosewill Thor case (much love) there is no side window. So a custom water block setup would be out of site 90% of the time. Might as well use the pre filled water coolers.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2012 9:57:08 AM

NZXT Switch 810, HAF X, Cosmos II, Corsair 800D all nice for water cooling.
March 1, 2012 10:04:04 PM

Yea i love me some Haf X and 800D.
March 3, 2012 1:18:03 AM

Best answer selected by Bacon12.
March 4, 2012 5:19:34 AM

Bacon12 said:
Best answer selected by Bacon12.

n
nThanks for marking my post as best answer.
n
nEnjoy your new rig :) 
!