Long time lurker, rare poster. I've been reading Tom's Hardware for years along with ExtremeTech (when Lloyd Case and crew were there). This is what I'm planning on purchasing for a new build for myself. I used to consider myself a hardcore gamer but, admittedly, gaming isn’t as important to me (but still the center of my build). Now, I enjoy building it. A buddy of mine once said, “If I could make a living off of just hardware, I would.” I have to agree.
This is the first time I have considered using a water cooler. I usually build for longevity but this build is meant to be a little quieter and I'm considering some mild overclocking of the processor. So far all my builds, since the Pentium 200MMX (yea, I know, showing age) have lasted from 4 to 6 years (newer lasting longer). Until I can't build it cheaper than purchasing it, I'm going to build until my fingers won't let me (then I'll have my son's build it...HA!).
Antec P280 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Link Depot Model DIS-15-MM 15 ft. DisplayPort Cable - M/M M-M
ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2682-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Seasonic SS-850HT 850W ATX12V v2.31,EPS12V v2.92 80Plus Silver Certified, Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive - Backups
Seagate SV35.5 ST2000VX000 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
ASUS VE248Q 24" LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers
LG Black 12X Super Multi Blue with 3D Playback & M-DISC Support SATA WH12LS39 LightScribe Support - OEM
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM
CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Some of this, I'm already considering changes. The Corsair H80 is all of $10 less than the H100, so I'm considering changing that. The Antec P280 Case, simply because I have a P180 but I'm concerned about long video cards. But, I like the case. The EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2682-KR GTX 680, darn it, it was in yesterday and now it's not. Too bad I was at work when it was in. The Seasonic Power Supply, I can't justify the cost jump going to gold and to a higher power PS will be too much for my UPS (UPS industry needs to catch up with us builders). The Asus SaberTooth Z77 MB, strictly because of the 5 year warranty. I have an eVGA i680 based motherboard now. I’m NEVER going away from an Intel chipset again. Second time I’ve done it and the second time I’ve regretted it. The SSD and Blu-Ray Burner, eh, why not?
Probably because of the water cooling but I’m feeling a little leery on this one. Does anyone have any experience with the sealed water coolers? Most of the high-end gaming systems I’ve seen built of late have 16 GB RAM but I’m surprised that no one has gone 32. I’ve thought about it but, I’m already a little over my normal budget.
Although, I wonder how an Ivy Bridge system utilizing only Intel parts, minus memory and video card for obvious reason, would perform. Hey Tom’s Hardware crew, what do you think?
Ok, gang, is this a good build that should give me enough power to play any game? I can’t wait to put Crysis 3 and Arkham City on this build. I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t kept up on the gaming front. Anything better out there? I have to admit, I miss the old Wing Commander Series. It would be great to see something else like that come out.
Unless you are doing 3d rendering/video editing on a professional level, drop the i7 to an i5-3570k. Also, unless you plan to OC above 4.5 GHz, get the EVO. I don't see why you would OC above 4.5 GHz though, because after that point, there are minimal benefits.
I think I'm going to be patient. I've always followed the practice of the top processor (i.e. Extreme Edition minus 1). Essentially, I want to be able to play almost any game I throw at this system for the next few years before upgrading the video card. Keeps the wallet happy and the wife. Granted, that would be the Sandy Bridge-E 3630k but, since the Ivy Bridge Chips and compatible Chipset have PCI 3.0 compatibility (think longevity, easy upgradability), I can upgrade the Video Card at will. Besides, I'm not thrilled about getting a processor that doesn't have all the bells and whistles. That's just a me thing and nothing against the i5's.
As for water cooling, I'm going for quiet. :-) I can see the EVO being a little louder.