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High End ~$3000 Build

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May 4, 2012 7:27:17 AM

Hello, I'm looking to build a new machine:

Approximate Purchase Date: Next couple of weeks.

Budget Range: ~$3000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, programming, video encoding, web browsing

Parts Not Required: Don't need keyboard or mouse. Will get a monitor, but not part of the budget.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com or amazon.com (keeping in mind that I have free shipping, but tax, from Amazon). Not against other recommended sites but those two are the once I've used the most.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: ASUS or Gigabyte mobo (unless otherwise recommended), eVGA graphics card

Overclocking: Yes, Ivy Bridge capabilities are ok though (know they are a bit lower than Sandy Bridge)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. Not sure if I need SLI for the monitor resolution I plan to go for (with a 60 FPS cap). Also considering a single GTX 590.

Monitor Resolution: I'm planning on getting a 2560x1600 or 2560x1440 monitor (Apple 27" LED is high on the list atm)

Additional Comments: Quiet is nice. I'm not super high on the bling factor - there's usually not a party under my desk so no one would see it. Plan to run with a RAID-0 SSD setup (2xSSD). I set up a potential set of items on a Newegg wish list:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

One more thing I forgot: I picked this motherboard due to (supposedly) better onboard sound. I want to support surround sound without the typical noise levels of onboard sound. The only other mobo I've seen with better sound, and a mobo that's on my list of possibilities is the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3. If not, I'll probably pick up a Xonar - http://amzn.com/B0017DJXG6

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May 4, 2012 7:59:43 AM

the build in your wishlist looks good.but i got a few suggestions-
the motherboard you selected is m-atx which means limited expansion slots.i would suggest this gigabyte z77 board as it is a solid performer for it's price-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
onboard sound is great,you don't need a sound card unless you are going to use $300 speakers LOL.
ocz ssds are least reliable IMO,samsung 830 256gb is a way better deal-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
samsung f4 2tb is cheaper and more reliable drive-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
h100 is good but the stock fans are crappy.cougar vortex 12cm fans are one of the best-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or prolimatech fans are pretty good too-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
now everything is good.if you have any questions feel free to ask.
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May 5, 2012 3:14:31 AM

SDD: I realized that OCZ Vertex 4 aren't that great for the typical use. I already had my eyes on the Samsung's 830.

HDs: Those are indeed cheaper, but they are also slower. Of course considering it's for a data drive it probably doesn't matter that much.

Sound card: I've had bad experience with on-board sound in the past (both recording and playback).

Fans: Nice to know, added a few of one of the suggested ones.
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May 5, 2012 5:50:51 AM

I honestly would not RAID SSDs. You will lose TRIM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM

I would just get one 256GB SSD. IMO, Samsung 830 is expensive. A comparable option is the 240GB Mushkin Chronos.
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May 5, 2012 6:24:54 PM

Right, I wouldn't spend $100 or more on a sound card, more like 50-70. I don't need optical - currently considering http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for SSD's - one 256 MB SSD just isn't enough. I might get one larger one. It's more expensive, slower but you keep TRIM running. Garbage collection should mean that normal use shouldn't suffer much, even though you can get higher write amplication at times.
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May 5, 2012 6:55:35 PM

are you planning to put your music,movies and other stuff on SSD?
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May 5, 2012 11:02:14 PM

No. However with some individual games using up towards 20-30 GB each, 256 MB isn't much. My current off-SSD game folder is 262 GB (26 GB of those are steam backups). I also have around 4 GB of applications installed to HD. I have another 36 GB games on my SSD and I'm using a total of 100 GB on that SSD.

So today, I'm already using 330 GB space for games and applications (and this doesn't include ANY user folders, even the basic stuff, since that's also moved to the HD).

~500 GB is sufficient, but certainly not by any huge (next 3-4 years) margins.

To be clear, I don't like shuffling games on and off the SSD, and Steam as a whole (which is a large chunk of my installed games) doesn't let you customize where individual games are installed.
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May 5, 2012 11:29:15 PM

You could always get that 256gb just for steam, and get a 64-128 for windows and other stuff.
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May 6, 2012 6:29:31 AM

I read about the Hyper X, seems like a pretty good SSD. Using one for the system and one for games would also work.

I have ordered most items (sans graphics cards, ssd and motherboard) at this point so just trying to nail those few things down.
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May 6, 2012 6:32:19 AM

what things you are trying to nail down?
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May 6, 2012 6:40:02 AM

I don't understand using a mATX board for a potential dual card set up. That board just doesn't have good spacing when you take a closer look at it. That and I would go with 2x8GB set of RAM so you don't fill up all four RAM slots right off the get go. Leave yourself an upgrade path.

Here's a few options to look over.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $499.98 FREE SHIPPING
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-extreme6-z77a-g... <----- That Asrock motherboard included in that review. Notice: over clocking, temps, and power consumption on there

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... <----- another look at that board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99
G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C10D-16GAO

This cpu h/s was just released a week ago on newegg. It's new to the market and it's gotten great reviews across the net.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99
Cooler Master TPC 812 RR-T812-24PK-R1 120mm Sleeve with Dual Vertical Vapor Chamber TPC 812 CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=265... <----- that's a review on that h/s

http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm <----- there's that h/s on Frosty Tech's Top 5 list.

Add this fan down below to that CM cpu cooler up above for a "push - pull" effect to help bring cpu temps down even more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $11.99 FREE SHIPPING
COOLER MASTER R4-BMBS-20PK-R0 Blade Master 120mm Case Fan


This psu down below is manufactured by Seasonic as are all XFX and the mid and upper tier Corsair psu's. It got a 9.6 on the Johnny Guru review. Modular is always a big plus.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99 - $134.99 after mail-in rebate card FREE SHIPPING 10% off w/ promo code XFXS10, ends 5/6
XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply
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May 6, 2012 10:38:01 PM

I've decided to go with a 120 GB system SSD, and the hyper x 480 GB for gaming etc. It'll be fast enough and keeping TRIM is a good idea.
Edit: I've decided and ordered the motherboard now. Just waiting on graphics card availability.

I'm currently set up with notifications from eVGA and Newegg. Any other reliable parts sellers I could sign up alerts on?
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May 7, 2012 5:32:17 AM

Best answer selected by NeoTron.
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