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New Gaming System

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March 25, 2012 10:37:25 PM

My current system is now over 3 years old and I wish to replace it. It currently has the following:

CPU: Core i7 920
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
RAM: 12GB DDR3 PC12800
PSU: CoolerMaster Real Power 1000W Modular
Video: ATI 6790 (Was a GTX295 but it died around xmas so bought a cheaper card)

It currently has a OCZ 240GB Vertex II SSD that I got in January of 2011 and a 1.5TB HDD. It is in an Antec 900 two tower case. It still runs pretty well but some games now are struggling even with running modest graphics settings. My main problems with it currently are the age of it (more parts will start to fail soon I reckon), the heat it generates and the noise level from it. I've disconnected most of the case fans and put on a different CPU cooler but it still makes enough noise that I prefer enclosed headphones even though its under the desk in a slot in my desk.

Anyway, I'm now contemplating building a new gaming system to replace it. I'd likely keep my SSD as it is expensive to replace it, but would like to replace my HDD as I sometimes hear some not so good noise from it. Is it a hassle to reinstall Windows on SSD? Should I replace it? I'm just trying to decide whether to do it now or wait for the Ivy Bridge CPU's to come out. I'm not sure how much of a heat/performance difference they will provide but I know they will cost much more then the second gen Sandy Bridges.

I don't really have a budget but would prefer to keep it so that I'm not buying an expansive CPU that I'd be better off using a cheaper one that will do the exact same performance when gaming.

Here is what I want for the new system:
nVidia GTX 680 (Unless better can be recommended)
8GB RAM (Feedback on what speed/type would be appreciated)
Quiet or Silent operation (I'm not familiar with water cooling or anything like that) - What case would work? What cooling solution?
What 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge to use or should I wait for Ivy Bridge? Or is there an ATI one that is better?
Any recommended PSUs? I do have plenty of USB stuff plugged in (Headphones, NavMan, smartphone, etc)
2TB HDD that is preferably quiet. It will house storage where the SSD will run the OS and games. Is there a need to replace my SSD?
Possibility of using a second screen for chat/exploring/video while gaming on the other.

I'm in Australia and tend to buy my parts from www.umart.com.au which seems to be the cheapest and stock the newer parts while so far been trusted with no issues over the last 3-4 years.

Any feedback and/or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I've not had to build a system for a while and when I did I most likely went overboard with the parts I got. I'd like something that will last again but will be quiet/silent and not put out so much heat while handling newest games on max graphics.

Thanks.

More about : gaming system

a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 25, 2012 10:52:26 PM

Quote:

nVidia GTX 680 (Unless better can be recommended)
8GB RAM (Feedback on what speed/type would be appreciated)


You're not going to do much better than the 680 right now - the 7970 is a good choice as well.

Quote:
Quiet or Silent operation (I'm not familiar with water cooling or anything like that) - What case would work? What cooling solution?


Your current case will work. I don't touch liquid cooling but there's tons of good air solutions - anything from a single heat sink like the Akasa Venom Voodoo to the Noctua D14 are all good choices.

Quote:
What 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge to use or should I wait for Ivy Bridge? Or is there an ATI one that is better?


I actually wouldn't recommend building a whole new system if you're running an i7-920 - you're not going to see that much of a dramatic performance improvement by upgrading to Sandy Bridge - even Ivy isn't going to offer the substantial improvement over Sandy that everyone thinks it is.

Quote:
Any recommended PSUs? I do have plenty of USB stuff plugged in (Headphones, NavMan, smartphone, etc)


No need to replace a lot of your current components - I'd say get a new fan, overclock your i7, and get a new GPU like the 680 or 7970 - that will be a lot better than building a whole new PC.
March 25, 2012 11:18:53 PM

Quote:
Your current case will work. I don't touch liquid cooling but there's tons of good air solutions - anything from a single heat sink like the Akasa Venom Voodoo to the Noctua D14 are all good choices.


I'm currently using a Noctua NH-U9B SE2. It seems to work fine but my PC already generates a lot of heat and I'd prefer to minimize that. Also its these fans plus the GPU together with the gaming cases open air flow that allows a lot of sound out. The first gen i7's are known for running hot. I'd prefer a colder running, quieter setup, even if that means learning to install liquid cooling.

Quote:
I actually wouldn't recommend building a whole new system if you're running an i7-920 - you're not going to see that much of a dramatic performance improvement by upgrading to Sandy Bridge - even Ivy isn't going to offer the substantial improvement over Sandy that everyone thinks it is.


I likely won't see that much of a performance improvement from upgrading in a gaming sense (depending on the CPU I may get 30-45% increase in performance via benchmarks), but it will have less power usage and generate less heat. Plus the system is over 3 years old, has had constant heavy use and has had some parts fail already.

Quote:
No need to replace a lot of your current components - I'd say get a new fan, overclock your i7, and get a new GPU like the 680 or 7970 - that will be a lot better than building a whole new PC.


I'd prefer to replace the system as a whole as I've said it makes quite a bit of noise and heat, as well as has had some parts fail already. I'd prefer not to replace parts as they fail and would prefer to have a system built with everything at the same time.

I am looking to build a whole new PC. But thanks for your advice and feedback g-unit1111.

If anyone can provide further information like a good custom heatsink for newer CPUs, any recommended CPUs, a good quiet case and system for cooling, I'd appreciate it. I also don't overclock normally as I'm usually happy to run stock clocks/settings.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 2:26:41 AM

Quote:
I'm currently using a Noctua NH-U9B SE2. It seems to work fine but my PC already generates a lot of heat and I'd prefer to minimize that. Also its these fans plus the GPU together with the gaming cases open air flow that allows a lot of sound out. The first gen i7's are known for running hot. I'd prefer a colder running, quieter setup, even if that means learning to install liquid cooling.


I wouldn't trust liquid cooling on any build, I know it's a lot riskier for not a lot of payoff. I had a build based around an i7-920 and I know that they're major heat generators which is why the large heat sinks have come into play. There's a lot of parts you can reuse if you're building a new PC to cut costs.

Quote:
I likely won't see that much of a performance improvement from upgrading in a gaming sense (depending on the CPU I may get 30-45% increase in performance via benchmarks), but it will have less power usage and generate less heat. Plus the system is over 3 years old, has had constant heavy use and has had some parts fail already.


That I didn't see in the OP - it's depending on what parts that are failing on me that will determine what you can reuse or not.

If you fill this out I can suggest a build: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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