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Buying a new system and need opinions

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February 29, 2012 3:07:06 PM

•INTEL Core i7-3820 Quad-Core, 3.6 - 3.8GHz TB, LGA2011, 10MB L3 Cache, HT EM64T EIST VT-x VT-d XD, 32nm, 130W, Retail
•CORSAIR H80 Hydro CPU Liquid Cooling System, Socket LGA2011/1155/1156/1366/775/AM3/AM2, Retail
•ASUS P9X79 PRO, LGA2011, Intel® X79, DDR3-2400 (O.C.) 64GB /8, PCIe x16 SLI CF /2+2*, SATA 6Gb/s /4, 3Gb/s /4, USB 3.0 /6, HDA, BT, GbLAN, ATX, Retail
•CORSAIR 16GB (4 x 4GB) Vengeance™ Red PC3-15000 DDR3 1866MHz CL9 (9-10-9-27) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
•SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 7970 925MHz, 3GB GDDR5 5500MHz, PCIe 3.0 x16 CrossFire, DVI+HDMI+2x mini-DP, Retail
•CREATIVE Sound Blaster® X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional, 7.1 channels, 24-bit 192KHz, PCIe x1
•CORSAIR 240GB Force Series™ GT SSD, MLC SandForce SF-2281, 555/525MB/s, 2.5-Inch w/ 3.5-Inch Bracket, SATA 6 Gb/s, Retail
•WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD Caviar® Black™ (WD1002FAEX), SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 64MB Cache
•SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB
•SONY AD-7261S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
•LINKSYS EG1032 Desktop Adapter, 10/100/1000/2000 Mbps, 32-bit PCI 2.2, Full-Height, Retail
•COOLER MASTER HAF X (RC-942-KKN1) Black Tower Case w/ Window, EATX, 9 Slots, No PSU, Steel/Plastic
•CASE FAN Non-LED, Fans Maximum Package, Low Noise
•NZXT Sentry LX Black Aluminum Dual Bay Fan Controller, 5-Channel Fan Controller, 5.25" Bay
•SEASONIC X-850 Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 80 PLUS® Gold, 850W, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, 4x 8/6-pin PCIe
•MICROSOFT Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM


Ok this looks like what I will be going with. Comes in about $800 under my budget, but I can not think of anything to change that is worth the price of an upgrade. Anyone see anything that stands out as something to change?

More about : buying system opinions

February 29, 2012 3:13:15 PM

Looks expensive. :D 

Your motherboard has onboard LAN, so you could do away with the LINKSYS Desktop Adapter unless you are getting it for some reason..
February 29, 2012 3:20:26 PM

^
Yes I agree - the extra LAN adapter is not needed.

Ditch the liquid cooler and the sound card. The sound card is not needed. And neither is the extra LAN adapter. Or the fan controller - you can ditch all that stuff and you'd probably have money to put into getting a second 7970 for Crossfire.

For the liquid cooler you can achieve the same results on a strong fan like the Noctua D14:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

240GB SSD is kind of overkill and the Force 3 isn't really the best choice. Try this instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That card reader is also junk - if you're going for a high end build why not get this instead. It's one of the best on the market, solid build
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want a case suggestion I'd recommend this over the HAF X: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise everything else looks good - just make sure your RAM is dedicated quad channel and not dual channel
Related resources
February 29, 2012 3:32:20 PM

Ok I looked up reviews and it said that the SSD 240 GB GT version is very good and the 120 GB GT is not good.

Also about the sound card. I am a gamer so will the onboard sound card handle what I need?

LAN card is gone.

Is crossfire really worth it if I am not multi screening for the cost of the card? Even removing the liquid cooling the card will be +$400. Is it worth that for what performance I will get. I was thinking more of waiting till the price drops and later adding the second card.
February 29, 2012 3:46:41 PM

Onboard sound is fine for gaming in my opinion. I use it, many others use it. I say my opinion because some people are extremely finnicky about sound cards since it usually IS an improvement (however, one that is not justified by the price for me.) Onboard sounds is more than adequate.

As for Crossfire, is it worth it for the performance? It really depends on your opinion.. in an absolute sense..

2x cards = 2x price... this does NOT = 2x performance.

You won't get twice to performance for twice the price. It doesn't scale like that. Will you get better performance? Yes. However, you get the downsides - possible heat issues as well as potential 'microstuttering' - or so they say.

If you are going to Crossfire, I think waiting is a great idea.. for games now a 7970 should be awesome.. Crossfire won't truly shine since you can already beast them.. down the road.. the improvement might be more significant.
February 29, 2012 3:54:35 PM

Quote:
As for Crossfire, is it worth it for the performance? It really depends on your opinion.. in an absolute sense..


Well the 7970 is the current reigning champ of GPUs right now - at least until the next NVIDIA cards come out. 2 of them in Crossfire will give you some ridiculous numbers in benchmarks and elsewhere.

Quote:
Also about the sound card. I am a gamer so will the onboard sound card handle what I need?


I haven't had the need for an extra sound card since they were required in the late 90's. I've always used the onboard audio and it's been fine for what I need it to do.

Quote:
LAN card is gone.


You also don't need any of these either:

•CASE FAN Non-LED, Fans Maximum Package, Low Noise
•NZXT Sentry LX Black Aluminum Dual Bay Fan Controller, 5-Channel Fan Controller, 5.25" Bay
•SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB
•CORSAIR H80 Hydro CPU Liquid Cooling System, Socket LGA2011/1155/1156/1366/775/AM3/AM2, Retail (air is much better and safer, and won't have the warranty-voiding potential that liquid brings)

The cooler is essential - but I *ALWAYS* prefer air over liquid. I look at it this way - if a water pipe breaks it destroys your whole system. If a fan breaks it just destroys the broken fan. And the warranty-voiding potential if a water pipe breaks can be very disastrous for you and your wallet. You can literally achieve the same OC results on a strong air cooler like the Noctua D14 I mentioned. Alternately you can check out this article for some good suggestions for fans:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/LGA-2011-i7-3960X-A...

The rest of the aforementioned accessories are not essential to the build - you can always get those later. Put that money into getting the best hardware you can get for your setup. With the difference you'd be saving I'd actually recommend looking at a 3930K over a 3820 if you don't want to run a Crossfire setup right now.
February 29, 2012 4:14:21 PM

I read somewhere that the Noctua and some other large air coolers can interfer with the RAM slots. Is this very rare? Also as for the warrenty I am looking at having it built with the liquid already in and the builder at AVA gives you 3 years. I also was to moderately over clock the processor to get the most out of it. I thought liquid would give me the best option for that.

Ok you guys have convinced me to drop the sound card. I am anal about monitoring the temps in my comp since I had some heat issues before so I like the visual temp gage that is not just on the monitor.

Card reader I need for photography I like to do so that I do not have to keep connecting and disconnecting cameras.

The extra fans cause I am anal about noise and heat issues.
February 29, 2012 4:16:00 PM

Also in the future will 850 watts work for a crossfire.
February 29, 2012 4:27:06 PM

Quote:
I read somewhere that the Noctua and some other large air coolers can interfer with the RAM slots. Is this very rare? Also as for the warrenty I am looking at having it built with the liquid already in and the builder at AVA gives you 3 years. I also was to moderately over clock the processor to get the most out of it. I thought liquid would give me the best option for that.


That's not true - liquid is not always the best option - air is the fail-safe and worry-free option. If you're concerned about the size of the cooler interfering with the RAM slots - I totally get that - but that's what the low profile RAM is for. Something like this will minimize installation headaches associated with large coolers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Ok you guys have convinced me to drop the sound card. I am anal about monitoring the temps in my comp since I had some heat issues before so I like the visual temp gage that is not just on the monitor.


Most of the time things like the temperature gauge are pretty worthless. I had a crappy Apevia case that had a built-in temp gauge and it *NEVER* gave the correct readings - if you're that concerned most modern BIOS have a built-in temperature gauge that is far more accurate and it will monitor both the CPU and overall system temps a lot more accurately than a third party gauge will. The Gigabyte board I use has those, and I'm sure that most X79 boards will have those features as well.

Quote:
Card reader I need for photography I like to do so that I do not have to keep connecting and disconnecting cameras.


Then you should definitely take a look at the one I linked to earlier - it's a true 5.25" drive as opposed to a 3.5" bay requiring an adapter. I use two of these and the build quality on them is one of the best I've ever used and installation is painless as opposed to trying to fumble with mounting brackets and things like that.
February 29, 2012 4:51:58 PM

For a second there I thought you said 'Comes in about $800, under my budget. O_O

Had to read it again to realise you said '$800 under my budget'. :p 
February 29, 2012 4:56:01 PM

Is the 3930k core worth a $330 increase in price or is that something better left to upgrading in about 2-3 years. I want this comp to last/be upgradable for around 5 years.
February 29, 2012 5:11:21 PM

Mynamesearle said:
For a second there I thought you said 'Comes in about $800, under my budget. O_O

Had to read it again to realise you said '$800 under my budget'. :p 


Right now this is hovering around $3k.
February 29, 2012 5:25:17 PM

horusofstrife said:
Is the 3930k core worth a $330 increase in price or is that something better left to upgrading in about 2-3 years. I want this comp to last/be upgradable for around 5 years.


Oh I didn't realize it was that much. :lol: 

If you're worried about longevity - from what I've been reading it looks like X79 will be around a lot longer than Z68 and Z77 will be for the most part. After Ivy it looks like an entirely new architecture will be released and I'm guessing it will support X79 / LGA2011 more than LGA1155/Z77.
February 29, 2012 5:35:54 PM

Think I will stay with the 3820. Last question is should I go with a 1000/1050 Watt PS or is the 850 going to cover me for later with a crossfire and a possible 2nd SSD drive?
February 29, 2012 6:05:16 PM

horusofstrife said:
Think I will stay with the 3820. Last question is should I go with a 1000/1050 Watt PS or is the 850 going to cover me for later with a crossfire and a possible 2nd SSD drive?


Actually it looks like 1050 is right on the dot - I ran it through my PSU wattage calculator:
http://support.asus.com/PowerSupply.aspx?SLanguage=en

If you take my rule and add 50W for overclocking and 100W for SLI/Crossfire it looks like 1050 is what you'll need to be on the safe side. Actually it looks more like you're looking at the 1150 - 1250W range. :ouch: 

Try this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 29, 2012 6:16:57 PM

I use this website for checking graphics card power recommendations.

http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

Seems like the 850 will cover the 7970 CF. But just browsing and havent had a proper look at the build, may need something more. Not sure about the power requirements of all the additional things.

Also haven't kept up to date on Ivy Bridges... Would it be better to wait for that? Or will the enthusiast series still cane the first Ivy offerings?

Edit: If you want specifics, there is a calculator, but is seems to be missing the HD 7000 series for the graphics card. May need to check for older cards with similar power usage.
February 29, 2012 6:17:56 PM

upgraded to Corsair AX1200
February 29, 2012 7:40:41 PM

1200W is enormous.. seems overkill to me, but what do I know. :D 
March 1, 2012 9:28:09 PM

Checked G-Units calc and then the one i posted and yes 1050 is a minimum. The 1200 will be a good choice just incase you add anything else to it.
!