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Trying to get advice on a new build

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March 18, 2012 9:04:32 PM

Hey all. It has been quite some time since I've last built a computer (10+ years), and things have definitely changed since then. I've done my research, and I've come up with what I think is a solid build. I'm going to be using this computer mostly for gaming, and I'd like to put it out there to see what I've done right, what I've done wrong, and any constructive criticism/comments I can glean to make this better. I am not looking to overclock it from the start, but I want to make a build that will be able to support that in the future.

Case: Antec DF-85
Link: http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjQwNA==...
Comments: N/A
Price: 165.99

Processor: Intel Core i7-3820
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: Compatible with Swiftech Apogee HD Water Block
Price: 319.99

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: N/A
Price: 329.99

Power Supply: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: N/A
Price: 279.99

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: Compatible with Koolance RAM-33 Waterblock
Price: 369.99

Bluray/CD/DVD Drive: ASUS Black
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: N/A
Price: 57.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: Combatible with Koolance HD-60 Waterblock
Price: 219.99

Network Adaptor: ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: N/A
Price: 27.99

Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 570
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: Compatible with Koolance VID-NX580 Waterblock
Price: 349.99

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Comments: Temporary, at least until a watercooling system can be installed.
Price: 89.99

As of right now, this build is air-cooled; I would like to convert it over to water-cooled in the future, and I have made sure that the parts I've selected have corresponding waterblocks. I'm also not including accessories such as card readers, mouse/keyboards, or monitors, because I either have them already, or am not ready to invest in them at this time. Thanks for taking the time to offer your advice! :sol: 

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March 18, 2012 9:12:59 PM

Radeon 7870 > GTX 570.
March 18, 2012 9:23:51 PM

Why take a Radeon 7870 over a GTX 570? I was under the assumption that GPU's were processor specific, i.e. ATI --> AMD Processors, nVidia --> Intel Processors.
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March 18, 2012 9:28:52 PM

The Kingwin LZP-1000 ( http://www.amazon.com/KingWin-Platinum-Modular-Supply-L... ) or the Seasonic Platinum 1000w ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) might be a better option in this case. 1200 watts is absolute overkill unless you plan on quad SLI with those GTX 570s. You will be outside the "sweet spot" of that big AX1200 98% of the time for efficiency. Even with SLI or Crossfire, you won't need more than 750 watts. The Seasonic Platinum 860w ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) is an excellent deal at the moment and is based on the Seasonic Platinum 1000w.

Jonny Guru reviews:
Seasonic Platinum 1000w - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Kingwin LZP-1000 - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Also, you forgot an SSD. With a build at this level a 128GB or 256GB SSD is a must. Crucial's M4 series is probably the best way to go.

My last thought is with regard to the GTX570. The HD7870 might be more lucrative in terms of performance, especially for the money. The only concern is how soon we will see water blocks for the HD78XX cards or if compatibility already exists due to a similar layout. Remember, the HD78XX cards come out tomorrow.
March 18, 2012 9:30:51 PM

Hel Styrkr said:
Why take a Radeon 7870 over a GTX 570? I was under the assumption that GPU's were processor specific, i.e. ATI --> AMD Processors, nVidia --> Intel Processors.


GPUs are not CPU specific in any way shape or form. You can match an nVidia GPU with an AMD CPU and an AMD Radeon GPU with an Intel CPU. You can do crossfire or sli as long as the motherboard supports it. There are no such restrictions.
March 18, 2012 9:47:24 PM

^ nope, you can use a nvidia card with a amd cpu, ati/amd card with intel, it doesnt matter. nvidia and intel are two totally different companies too. the 7870 has pretty much better performance/cash i think, havent looked into it much. also, you probably dont need to bother with the i7 3810 if you are just gaming, the i7 2600 or the i5 2500 are very good gaming chips, and there isnt much point usually to spend 100$ for like 15-20% performanc increase, unless you have other things you will be doing with the computer? liek rendering or anything? also since you are only using the noctua temporarily, why not just get a coolermaster hyper 212 evo or something, dont overclick too much until you get ypur water cooling and you save like 40-50$
March 18, 2012 10:00:49 PM

@ iknowhowtofixit: From the looks of it, that Seasonic is a nice rig, but it pains me to spend another 70$ while dropping 200 watts, especially if I choose to add additional GPU's. Also, what is the reason for a SSD? I understand they're fast, much faster then a standard spindle drive, but how would it benefit me in this case? The nVidia card has a waterblock designed for it, but so far, I haven't been able to find a block for the 7870. Probably because they haven't come out yet, but I'm looking to build this in the next few weeks. God only knows how long it will take them to prototype and mass produce a block for 7870.
March 18, 2012 10:01:55 PM

sorry i meant @helstyrkr
March 18, 2012 10:15:19 PM

I would dial your ram back to 12 gig prolly (3x4 gig dimms), drop to a coolermaster 212 evo, save the cash and put it into a 580 or amd equivalent, and sli (xfire them later). prolly drop the psu wattage too. I cant see you using more then 8 gig ram honestly but its tri channel so might as well go 12. That would be one monster darn build. Also maybe do a SSD for your operating system and you most often played games, but that is just gravy, if ya have cash to burn.

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March 18, 2012 10:47:23 PM
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Hel Styrkr said:
@ iknowhowtofixit: From the looks of it, that Seasonic is a nice rig, but it pains me to spend another 70$ while dropping 200 watts, especially if I choose to add additional GPU's. Also, what is the reason for a SSD? I understand they're fast, much faster then a standard spindle drive, but how would it benefit me in this case? The nVidia card has a waterblock designed for it, but so far, I haven't been able to find a block for the 7870. Probably because they haven't come out yet, but I'm looking to build this in the next few weeks. God only knows how long it will take them to prototype and mass produce a block for 7870.


I'm confused as to why you would be spending more money. The Seasonic 1000w, 860w, and the LZP-1000 are all less than the $279 you listed in the OP. The Kingwin is $230, the 1000w Seasonic is $260, and the 860w Seasonic is $187 after 15% off coupon. All of those are less than $279. :pt1cable: 

With your current set up, you will NEVER break 400 watts, ever. Not even on water cooling, not even overclocked. You aren't losing anything by going to one of the units listed above. Even when you add a second card for SLI, you will still not be breaking 650 watts. Get a PSU that is appropriate for your build. If you were doing GTX 580s in triple SLI, then you would need a 1200 watt PSU.

I'm not sure what you mean by how would an SSD benefit you. It is faster, your boot time will be night and day versus a rotational hard drive. Windows will be much more responsive. It is one of those things you have to experience to really know how different it is. Once you have an SSD, you won't want to load an OS on anything else.

Once last thing, your RAM at 32GB is not going to be useful to you in a gaming setting. You basically have no performance gains over 8GB. You also won't see any performance gains, on an Intel platform, with RAM faster than 1333MHz. Since you have 2 banks of 4 dimm slots for RAM in quad channel. I would recommend going with a 4x4GB configuration in one of the banks, leaving the other open ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). You can always add another 4x4GB later giving you 32GB. With the $240 dollars in savings on your RAM, you can get the Crucial M4 128GB or 256GB for $150 or $290, respectively. ( http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/71020/tigerdirect.com-c... )
March 18, 2012 10:54:35 PM

Now can tri-channel RAM only be used in sets of 3's? I.e., 3x4's or 3X8's?
March 18, 2012 11:00:02 PM

Lokordd said:
I would dial your ram back to 12 gig prolly (3x4 gig dimms), drop to a coolermaster 212 evo, save the cash and put it into a 580 or amd equivalent, and sli (xfire them later). prolly drop the psu wattage too. I cant see you using more then 8 gig ram honestly but its tri channel so might as well go 12. That would be one monster darn build. Also maybe do a SSD for your operating system and you most often played games, but that is just gravy, if ya have cash to burn.


Hel Styrkr said:
Now can tri-channel RAM only be used in sets of 3's? I.e., 3x4's or 3X8's?


This CPU and Motherboard is QUAD channel. Read the specs! :heink: 

CPU - "Integrated Memory Controller Speed - Support 4 channels DDR3 1600"
Mobo - "Channel Supported - Quad Channel"

March 19, 2012 2:22:26 PM

Ok. I looked over all the advice here, and I've changed a few things. Here's what I've done.

1. Replaced the CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 Power supply with the SeaSonic Platinum-1000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Swapped the G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB for the G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Added a Crucial M4 SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What is everyones thoughts on this?
March 19, 2012 4:43:33 PM

Hel Styrkr said:
Ok. I looked over all the advice here, and I've changed a few things. Here's what I've done.

1. Replaced the CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200 Power supply with the SeaSonic Platinum-1000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Swapped the G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB for the G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. Added a Crucial M4 SSD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What is everyones thoughts on this?


You can save $35 by going with 1600MHz ram instead ( www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682023142... ). Like I've said before, anything over 1333MHz on an Intel system is complete overkill with almost no appreciable gains by getting faster RAM, other than bragging rights.

Everything else looks good to me. You should be very happy with the performance this setup will give you. My only other thought it to take a look at the HD7870 for about the same price. You get the performance of GTX580 at the GTX 570 cost.

$360 - http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...
^ click the "2 new" link to view all available sellers
Select "Add to Cart" next to Amazon.com
March 19, 2012 9:22:37 PM

Ok. Thanks for the input everyone
March 19, 2012 9:23:06 PM

Best answer selected by Hel Styrkr.
!