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First Build since 2001...advice and opinions welcome

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March 7, 2012 7:09:42 PM

Hi everyone, I'm building a PC for the first time since since 2001...my Intel P4 finally bit the dust after more than 10 years of faithful service...My aim is to build a machine that will let me do my graphic design and 3d editing work as well as blow away most of the games that are out there. I want to do a fair amount of CPU overclocking and benchmarking as well for bragging rights among my friends :kaola:  . Money is really NOT an issue but more expensive parts take some time to get for me...Without further adu:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R
Motherboard: ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme
CPU: Intel i7-3930k :love: 
RAM: 32 GB G. Skill Ripjawz DDR3 (2133)
Video Card(s): 2x Visiontek ATI 6970's operating in crossfire
SSD: Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Delux 240 GB SATA III
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III
Optical: Sony Black Blu-Ray Burner (SATA)
PSU: Antech HCP-1200
HSNK: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011
Case Fans: 4x Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm
Monitor(s): 3x ASUS VS248H-P 24" LCD Monitor for Eyefinity

Now as I said, I haven't put a system together in many years...I'm hoping that these components will all work with one another and that I'm putting together a quality system that will be the core of my families entertainment and my work space...now I'm not totally dumb when it comes to electronics (electrical engineer) but I have been out of the loop a while...any opinions or advice would be welcome.
March 7, 2012 7:36:26 PM

That looks really good but these would be my suggestions:

1. Cut down on the RAM - you won't use all 16GB let alone 32GB - even on full CS5 and Revit loads. 16GB will be plenty but get a Win 7 Pro license so you won't be limited by HP's memory limitations and you can expand as needed. The nice thing about X79 is that you can have up to 64GB but there's no way you will most likely use all that. Try this kit though as it won a recent roundup in Tom's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. The extra case fans aren't needed and are kind of a waste - the Carbide includes plenty of case fans as is, and is extremely well ventilated. Put that money in your GPU setup and invest a bit more in the PSU (see below).

3. For the GPU setup - don't get 6970's when they're in the process of being discontinued - go with a single 7970 - that will far outperform anything else on the market: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to get a 6970 - wait a couple of weeks for the 7870 - it will be around the same price range (~$270 - ~$350) and it's matching and in some cases beating the GTX 580: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

4. You'll actually need an XL-ATX case for the Rampage IV Extreme - as good as the Carbide is it won't support the large form factor, you'll need something like a Rosewill Thor or Cooler Master Cosmos II (I will go for the Cosmos II personally) :
- Cosmos II: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Rosewill Thor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Invest a bit more in your PSU - try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 7, 2012 8:08:03 PM

g-unit1111 said:
That looks really good but these would be my suggestions:

1. Cut down on the RAM - you won't use all 16GB let alone 32GB - even on full CS5 and Revit loads. 16GB will be plenty but get a Win 7 Pro license so you won't be limited by HP's memory limitations and you can expand as needed. The nice thing about X79 is that you can have up to 64GB but there's no way you will most likely use all that. Try this kit though as it won a recent roundup in Tom's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. The extra case fans aren't needed and are kind of a waste - the Carbide includes plenty of case fans as is, and is extremely well ventilated. Put that money in your GPU setup and invest a bit more in the PSU (see below).

3. For the GPU setup - don't get 6970's when they're in the process of being discontinued - go with a single 7970 - that will far outperform anything else on the market: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to get a 6970 - wait a couple of weeks for the 7870 - it will be around the same price range (~$270 - ~$350) and it's matching and in some cases beating the GTX 580: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

4. You'll actually need an XL-ATX case for the Rampage IV Extreme - as good as the Carbide is it won't support the large form factor, you'll need something like a Rosewill Thor or Cooler Master Cosmos II (I will go for the Cosmos II personally) :
- Cosmos II: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Rosewill Thor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Invest a bit more in your PSU - try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Wow...I did not realize that the Rampage would not fit in the 500R...whats the issue there? I'm kinda screwed on the GPU's...I have the 6970's already so not much I can do there...speaking of that, if I go with the XL-ATX case...will the long 6970's fit in there?

Is the Antec not going to be a good enough PSU?..I did some calculations and the 1200 watt seems like it should be good...though I haven't really seen the power draw of the i7-3930K overclocked.

I actually NEED the 32 GB of Ram to run the proprietary software that my company uses/develops...I'm running it on 16 GB on my work PC and it stumbles a lot...I know its rare but in this case necessary as the software really punishes the CPU and ram :heink: 

As far as the fans go...I just wanted to be on the safe side for the cooling wasn't sure about that and I really appreciate the input on that...now that being said...if I don't employ the 500R would it be good to have the fans for the bigger case?
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March 7, 2012 10:28:46 PM

Quote:
Wow...I did not realize that the Rampage would not fit in the 500R...whats the issue there? I'm kinda screwed on the GPU's...I have the 6970's already so not much I can do there...speaking of that, if I go with the XL-ATX case...will the long 6970's fit in there?


The issue there is that the Carbide will only use standard form factors - ATX, mATX, and ITX. The Rampage IV Extreme uses a rare form factor called "Extra Large" ATX or XL-ATX - it's very rare for a motherboard to use it, and only that, the Gigabyte G1. Sniper, and EVGA Classified SR-2 are the only motherboards on the market that will use this form factor.

As for the question of the video card not being able to fit - you will not have to worry - XL-ATX cases like the Thor and Cosmos II will give you plenty of breathing room for large cards.

Quote:
Is the Antec not going to be a good enough PSU?..I did some calculations and the 1200 watt seems like it should be good...though I haven't really seen the power draw of the i7-3930K overclocked.


It will be an OK choice but what you really have to look at is the OEM - some Antec PSUs use HEC (a junk vendor) as their PSUs, some utilize Seasonic and Delta as their OEMs - the ones using Seasonic and Delta are the best. Try this website for more info on PSUs: http://www.jonnyguru.com/

Quote:
I actually NEED the 32 GB of Ram to run the proprietary software that my company uses/develops...I'm running it on 16 GB on my work PC and it stumbles a lot...I know its rare but in this case necessary as the software really punishes the CPU and ram :heink: 


If you need it that's fine - you can always add or subtract more if you need it or don't - that's the beauty of X79.

Quote:
As far as the fans go...I just wanted to be on the safe side for the cooling wasn't sure about that and I really appreciate the input on that...now that being said...if I don't employ the 500R would it be good to have the fans for the bigger case?


Not necessarily - as long as your air flow is routed correctly you won't need it. I'd highly recommend reading this about setting up a case with good air flow: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-hea...
March 7, 2012 10:42:43 PM

Ok all of you are talking about the case well yes..But the cooling needs to be looked atg if he plans to oc the 3930 gonna need a custom loop the prebuilt loops are crap for the 3930k.. with temps hitting high 80 low 90s in most cases at 4.4 and above.. with a custom loop you can run at 4.8 and kick seriouse azz..
March 7, 2012 10:55:48 PM

robustus64 said:
Ok all of you are talking about the case well yes..But the cooling needs to be looked atg if he plans to oc the 3930 gonna need a custom loop the prebuilt loops are crap for the 3930k.. with temps hitting high 80 low 90s in most cases at 4.4 and above.. with a custom loop you can run at 4.8 and kick seriouse azz..


If you read the OP this is not a gaming rig - We're not talking about a water cooling block - I never go anywhere near water cooling, and I certainly wouldn't trust a custom loop on a $600 CPU. I'd stick with a strong air solution like the Noctua D14, on a workstation you don't want to trust a leaky water pipe, and you don't want to spend your overhead on replacing parts at all if you can possibly help it.
March 8, 2012 3:16:40 AM

krakenfiend said:
Wow...I did not realize that the Rampage would not fit in the 500R...whats the issue there? I'm kinda screwed on the GPU's...I have the 6970's already so not much I can do there...speaking of that, if I go with the XL-ATX case...will the long 6970's fit in there?

Is the Antec not going to be a good enough PSU?..I did some calculations and the 1200 watt seems like it should be good...though I haven't really seen the power draw of the i7-3930K overclocked.

I actually NEED the 32 GB of Ram to run the proprietary software that my company uses/develops...I'm running it on 16 GB on my work PC and it stumbles a lot...I know its rare but in this case necessary as the software really punishes the CPU and ram :heink: 

As far as the fans go...I just wanted to be on the safe side for the cooling wasn't sure about that and I really appreciate the input on that...now that being said...if I don't employ the 500R would it be good to have the fans for the bigger case?

the rampage is actually an atx board it should fit easily in the 500r but for that kind of budget i would get a better case than that. the best air cooled case on the market right now is the silverstone ft02- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-ali...
cooling performance: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/03/07/nzxt-switch... (most recent article has all the newer cases) it will fit the asus x79 ws since it is a atx board and not a true eatx board (12"x13")
it will be a very tight fit though if you are willing to sacrifice cooling performance for space a good case to look at is the cooler master storm trooper, cosmos II as stated before (but it is very pricey) or thermaltake chaser.

I recommend the asus x79 ws board- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p9x79-deluxe-g1-ass... it was the best performer in toms hardware's 320$+ X79 roundup.
from that roundup-
Quote:
Asus’ P9X79 WS had the best performance, best overclocking, lowest power consumption, and greatest number of expansion slots.


antec psu's are just a tier below corsair xfx and seasonic. this psu is the best of the best according to jonnyguru- http://www.amazon.com/Seasonic-PLATINUM-1000-1000-Power... (best price) review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
or the second best psu on the market according to jonnyguru- http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-1200-Watt-Ce... (best price)

March 8, 2012 4:36:17 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
the rampage is actually an atx board it should fit easily in the 500r but for that kind of budget i would get a better case than that. the best air cooled case on the market right now is the silverstone ft02- http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-ali...
cooling performance: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/03/07/nzxt-switch... (most recent article has all the newer cases) it will fit the asus x79 ws since it is a atx board and not a true eatx board (12"x13")
it will be a very tight fit though if you are willing to sacrifice cooling performance for space a good case to look at is the cooler master storm trooper, cosmos II as stated before (but it is very pricey) or thermaltake chaser.

I recommend the asus x79 ws board- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p9x79-deluxe-g1-ass... it was the best performer in toms hardware's 320$+ X79 roundup.
from that roundup-
Quote:
Asus’ P9X79 WS had the best performance, best overclocking, lowest power consumption, and greatest number of expansion slots.


The Rampage IV Extreme is an Extended ATX form factor - it even says so according to Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Asus X79 WS is a good choice - I'll agree there.
March 8, 2012 12:12:12 PM

g-unit1111 said:
The Rampage IV Extreme is an Extended ATX form factor - it even says so according to Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Asus X79 WS is a good choice - I'll agree there.


I really appreciate all the suggestions everyone....now then...about the 500R/Rampage fit...A friend of mine has a 500R case not doing anything so we tested a borrowed Rampage IV and it "fits" in the case physically...not very well though...The I/O shield bulges from the size of the Rampage as you try to align the screw holes...also I wasn't sure but it looked like a couple of the SATA ports on the Rampage would be obstructed by the cable routing channel of the 500R...the fit was very...very tight -- which concerns me. I don't think I want to put that much stress on the board...Looking at the Rampage...it is smaller than other E-ATX boards but it still is very snug. I'm not sure the PCI slots aligned properly either.

That test done...I was pretty impressed by the 500R case. Having never seen one up close I was pretty amazed at all the stuff it has going for it....I am going to go with the Rampage board though I believe...for what I want to do with my system, it will offer the kind of mega tweaking that I want to roll around in.

I investigated the Seasonic power supplies and they are BONKERS good apparently :pt1cable:  and cheaper than the Antec I was looking at...So that will be a niffty improvement

I looked at the Rosewill Thor V2 case and the coolmaster...I like the Rosewill a little better...mainly b/c its cheaper and still nice to look at...I am a little concerned with cooling the Rampage board though...I understand that normally you want the exhaust of your case going out the back and the out the top (in from the front and side)...however I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it is more desirable for the Rampage to have the intake at the top of the case as apparently the the northbridge gets really warm...how does that change the cooling dynamics of the case?
March 8, 2012 8:24:08 PM

Quote:

I really appreciate all the suggestions everyone....now then...about the 500R/Rampage fit...A friend of mine has a 500R case not doing anything so we tested a borrowed Rampage IV and it "fits" in the case physically...not very well though...The I/O shield bulges from the size of the Rampage as you try to align the screw holes...also I wasn't sure but it looked like a couple of the SATA ports on the Rampage would be obstructed by the cable routing channel of the 500R...the fit was very...very tight -- which concerns me. I don't think I want to put that much stress on the board...Looking at the Rampage...it is smaller than other E-ATX boards but it still is very snug. I'm not sure the PCI slots aligned properly either.


Yeah I'd rather have the build look good as opposed to trying to squeeze it in. If you want to use the Carbide and a standard ATX board, maybe try this for an X79: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's still got all the bells and whistles (maybe not all but close) of the Rampage IV Extreme but fits in a standard ATX case.

Quote:
That test done...I was pretty impressed by the 500R case. Having never seen one up close I was pretty amazed at all the stuff it has going for it....I am going to go with the Rampage board though I believe...for what I want to do with my system, it will offer the kind of mega tweaking that I want to roll around in.


I'd have to see it to see what it looks like - do you have a link to it?

Quote:
I investigated the Seasonic power supplies and they are BONKERS good apparently :pt1cable:  and cheaper than the Antec I was looking at...So that will be a niffty improvement


Seasonic's among the best of the best - I hear good things about Kingwin but I need to read more about them before I'll recommend them.

Quote:

I looked at the Rosewill Thor V2 case and the coolmaster...I like the Rosewill a little better...mainly b/c its cheaper and still nice to look at...I am a little concerned with cooling the Rampage board though...I understand that normally you want the exhaust of your case going out the back and the out the top (in from the front and side)...however I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it is more desirable for the Rampage to have the intake at the top of the case as apparently the the northbridge gets really warm...how does that change the cooling dynamics of the case?


I can't answer that - and the reason is every system is different and it will give you different results in terms of cooling performance, that's something that is really hard to predict on a build until you get it up and running.
March 9, 2012 2:05:44 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
the board is 12"x10.7"

http://www.overclock.net/t/925445/xl-atx-and-e-atx-moun...
"E-ATX (wide ATX) is 12"x13" or 30.5x33 - more width on the board for double sockets or zillions of RAM slots."

it is an atx board.


As said in the link you posted XL-ATX and E-ATX are not standardized therefore you could indeed have a E-ATX board that is 12x10.7 Even ASUS says that the board is Extended ATX form factor http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Ramp... I tryied fitting this board in the 500R and it does not seat well in the case..there is bending stress from the board not laying flat in the board pan area. The screws will align but with considerable effort.
March 9, 2012 3:22:27 PM

krakenfiend said:
As said in the link you posted XL-ATX and E-ATX are not standardized therefore you could indeed have a E-ATX board that is 12x10.7 Even ASUS says that the board is Extended ATX form factor http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_2011/Ramp... I tryied fitting this board in the 500R and it does not seat well in the case..there is bending stress from the board not laying flat in the board pan area. The screws will align but with considerable effort.


Exactly - I wouldn't trust what a forum says vs. what Asus says - either go with a regular ATX board like the Sabertooth I linked to or get a bigger case, it's not worth the frustration if you ask me.
!