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Building my 1st machine (long post) w/ questions

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June 2, 2012 3:58:20 PM

Hey guys,

I'm new to the community and I'm preparing to build my own desktop in that I want a PC with gaming capabilities. I work in corporate IT and figure this process is overdue. I have some stipulations for what I am and am not willing to do. My biggest concern is figuring which hardware I need and whether or not everything will be compatible. I want it to be liquid cooled.

The purpose of this computer will be Star Wars: The Old Republic and some other PC games. I'll be using or partitioning multiple hard drives to learn and practice and test different operating systems. I will not be doing any rendering or graphics design or artistic editing. I will be using ram and reallocating when building multiple operating systems. Win7 will be the primary OS.

1. I am getting my parts from Amazon.com I have a confusing address and I have amazon Prime which ships to my work where I can use the tools at work for the build.
2.My budget is roughly $2000 but I also need that to account for buying a keyboard and 1080p monitor.
3. Part of me desperately wants to do liquid cooled. Please keep this in mind if and when some of you are kind enough to contribute to this thread or make a recommendation.

Tower Case

I think I want a tall case. Not because I'll have so many components but i'm terrible with wiring and will want the space. I think also if i decide to do liquid cooled i'll be glad I have the space. I do plan on putting in lighting and want at least some portion of it to be visible from the outside looking in. I'd venture to say the more the merrier but I don't think I want it to be completely clear acrylic, maybe just one side. I'm open to colors although most cases are black from what I've seen. I would also like to consider that fact the I probably will have a liquid cooling radiator housed in there as well.

Motherboard

Not sure what i should be looking for in a motherboard but i can tell you what my plans are to do with it. I will be getting a top of the line graphics card and I will be wanting one the new 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processors. The other day I saw a cool-looking black Asus motherboard. Getting a motherboard a color other than green would be great. I will mostly be using headphones so a fancy sound card is not in my future. I am considering a dual graphics cards but I hear that is a dying artform, I'll revisit this when I approach that section for hardware. I do also plan on hooking up to my monitor by HDMI.

I was eyeing one of the Asus sabertooths.

Processor

I am somewhat interested in getting one of the New Intel Ivy Bridge i7's but I know very little about processors and how they may or may not be able to exploit the power of my graphics card(s). Also what I see listed at Amazon has a lot of variations in price. Considering what I said above what type of processor will I need? Am I limiting myself by not going AMD? I expect to install a minimum of 8gbs of RAM. Dual graphics cards impacts what kind of motherboard I can use right? What about USB 3.0 and SATA III do i have any need for those? wil lthat affect what kind of motherboard and processor I will get.

Graphics Card

With regards to deciding on the aforementioned items am I crazy for being curious about having two graphics cards? I heard that it is being supported less and less each day. Is this a dying artform? What is everybody's take on this? What kind of card do I get? what do I need, how do they cooperate with liquid cooling? What about a dual graphics card liquid cooled system?

This is candidate to be my monitor or at least something close to this.

http://www.amazon.com/ML228H-21-5-Inch-Ultra-Thin-Full-...

I plan on running at 1080P when gaming in 1920x1080 resolution. With games set to high graphics.

Hard Drive(s)

Well, this is a multiple part question. Excluding additional OS' for now, I know a lot of people these days are installing their OS one hard drive and everything else on another. What are your guys' thoughts on this. What about RAID hard drives what are their advantages? I won't need a tremendous amount of space as I won't be storing media. If I go multiple hard drives which do I make solid state? What about RAID sata hybrids? How do raids work in regards to partitions and multiple OS'. I guess what I'm saying is, there are a lot of good and unique combos for this. I'm leaning towards doing something RAID. How does SATA III play into this?

Sound card

Simple, won't need 5.1 just microphone and headphones jacks.

RAM

I'm thinking 8gb's between my games and IT training. Is that too much? Too little? I would probably want to have colored sticks. Is ribjaw the way to go? Keeping mind the possibility of multiple OS' and RAM allocation (I do not plan on virtualizing or running multiple OS' concurrently).

Power Supply

I know nothing about this.

Optical Drive

A good reliable DVD drive is fine.



THE COOLING SYSTEM:

Here's the big one. Liquid cooling as if you could not already tell is really tweaking my curiosity. This is going to be the first computer I ever built and the process of water cooling is intimidating. Outside of the more difficult setup and possibilities of leaks isn't liquid cooling preferred? My biggest concern is the following: I feel as though I could get a pre-packaged liquid cooling system but I feel like that's the easy way out and it wouldn't cool as much to my liking espcially i customize the system as much i've mentioned with multiple HD's and possibly graphics cards. The flipside being that if I make one homemade it's considerably more difficult and no I don't own fish tank. Let's say I was going through with liquid cooling one way or another, what would be your suggestions? I would like as much possible of the system to remain inside the case.


What tools will I need for all of these things?


I very much look forward to hearing back from any and anyone. These forums came recommended from a friend who was in a similar position as me and said these forums guided him through the whole process and he has a great machine now. I'll take partial or full answers and anything in between. Amazon links to these items are especially welcome. I would like to try and include a nice 1080p monitor in the $2000 guideline budget. The desk I won't consider as part of the money I'm spending on this. What do you guys think?

PS: I live in Manhattan and will need to take the machine in a cab ride uptown (once) to get it back to my apartment.
Anonymous
June 2, 2012 4:35:00 PM

Quote removed to save space - Moderator

Hey, and welcome, which such a generous budget this wont be hard for you
Ill just go straight into the build ive made for your budget

The case - Corsair CC800DW Obsidian 800D - A monster of a case, which plenty of room for a radiator, plenty of room for wiring and water cooling, and a large window (in fact in the amazon pictures you can see peoples watercooled systems) ($270) http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CC800DW-Obsidian-Aluminum...

The CPU is and ivy-bridge Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2 1 LGA 2011 Processor - $569.99
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-2011-Processo...

Mobo is a GIGABYTE G1.Assassin2 LGA 2011 - 4 RAM slots for your needs ($349.99)
http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-G1-Assassin2-Intel-E-ATX...

RAM is Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB, you can upgrade that too 32gb if you wish but its more ($97.98)
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Channel-Memory-...

PSU is a Corsair Professional Series HX1050 80 Plus Silver Certified, 80 plus silver is very good and that 1000w should keep you nice and comfortable
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-Certified-10...

For your graphics card, you want two. which is called SLI for nvida cards, but unless your doing a crazy amount of gaming at the highest possible settings, i dont see the point in this but you can if you want, if not i recommend the ASUS HD7850-DC2-2GD5 Radeon 2GB DDR5 ($298.99)
http://www.amazon.com/HD7850-DC2-2GD5-DisplayPort-Utili...

Hard drive(s) a Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB would be more then enough, especially if you buy two and use RAID (but at $117.99 each it could be difficult)
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Caviar-Internal-D...

optical drive - Asus 24xDVD-RW not much too say ($17.99)
http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD-RW-Serial-Internal-DR...

The cooling is all up too you from here, I don't want to ever go full blown liquid cooling as of yet, maybe later on but that all adds up too - $1916
June 2, 2012 4:39:31 PM

Fill out the new build form in the new build section, that wont require us to read your "novel".
Related resources
June 2, 2012 6:15:30 PM

geekapproved said:
Fill out the new build form in the new build section, that wont require us to read your "novel".



Can a mod move this to new builds please? My apologies.


Approximate Purchase Date: now

Budget Range: $2000 (no higher)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Star Wars: The Old Republic, Gaming, Multiple Operating systems and partitions to train for my IT career. Lots allocating and re-allocating ram. OS' will not be running concurrently. Multiple hard drive and RAID builds w/ partitions very welcome. I plan on running as many things as possible in 1080p games included at the rsolution below.

Parts Not Required: Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon (Prime preferred)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I'll let my requests designate what kind of equipment. Standard DVD optical drive is fine. I have lot of questions of whether I want SSD, RAID, RAID-SSD/SATA hybrids, can someone elaborate with regards to what I said in system usage? I would like colored RAM (blue) and possibly a black motherboard (Asus Sabertooth). A white case with blue trim would be great if possible and that's the color theme i'm aiming for the whole machine. Is water cooling possible? I want a monitor that is 1080P HDMI (and compatible hardware to output that format) 21" give or take will suffice in size.

Overclocking: I don't know.

SLI or Crossfire: I'm not sure if old Republic supports either of these is it worth the pricing? For future gaming? Can it be liquid cooled?

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (flexible on this depending on the monitor recommended)

Additional Comments: I want to have at least one side be clear so you can see the inside of the machine. While shooting for the aforementioned color scheme. With such a complex setup is water cooling difficult to achieve? If not I will need a fan system. I do want LED lights as well. I'm very curious about dual graphics cards but wasn't sure how it'd fit into my budget. Do I need an anti static strap? Please see above for further elaboration. This is my first time building a computer. Thanks everyone!
June 2, 2012 6:30:36 PM

Thank you Fuzzy.

Putting all those parts together puts me right at about $2200 w/o a monitor or cooling system. I also need to include a monitor (in the 21" inch range with HDMI and a card that supports that output). If i don't go liquid cooled what should i be doing for ventilation?

I think my new build sheet elaborates in a better manner.
Anonymous
June 2, 2012 8:13:59 PM

My calculations brought it to 1916, thats strange, i must have missed a component, and just buy a very large Heatsink, just to cool the cpu and you can add fans to that case, remove what you want to/make cheaper :) 
June 2, 2012 10:38:11 PM

Quote:
My calculations brought it to 1916, thats strange, i must have missed a component, and just buy a very large Heatsink, just to cool the cpu and you can add fans to that case, remove what you want to/make cheaper :) 



I did double up on the hard drives and this was after tax with shipping.
June 2, 2012 11:38:36 PM

Hey Vilens,

Nice write up, I think you have a good idea of what you want to build and I am no expert but here is my 2cents.

Case - I would go with something that has space but you don't need to worry about fitting the wiring in too much because the components usually are pretty easy to get into the case and once in you shouldn't need to move them around too much. So you can go with something large but not huge and still won't have much of a problem with space.

Cooling - I would really consider whether or not there is any advantage to going with liquid cooled for you. If you can sufficiently cool your system with fans and heat sinks this not only will save money but be much simpler and let you spend money on cpu/gpu and other important components.

Mobo/CPU - As I mentioned (and you know) I am not an expert on pc building but I would think that most of the high end processors will be able to easily handle anything you throw at it. The thing is you can spend an extra 150 bucks to get a processor that was just released and is the best but for all intensive purposes the best processor from the previous release/series might be more than enough for your gaming needs. In fact I would think that you can spend money to prevent bottlenecks elsewhere in your system. With the right mobo/processor you can OC the chipsets to get much better performance than at stock.

GPU - I think the poster who replied that one GPU is enough is probably right, get one really good GPU that has dual gpu capabilities so you can always upgrade later to two gpu's/

Hard drive- Does your system support raid5?
Mirroring would be good but might not be worth it since there wouldn't be a performance benefit.
Maybe you could purchase one solid state for your OS and Games and then run a regular 2tb for storage.

I know the hybrid hard drive technology is not common yet but here is one drive which is advertised to have 80% better performance than traditional:
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Momentus-7200RPM-Hybrid-S...


Whatever you end up doing with the hard drives you should make sure this isn't going to bottleneck everything else you do.

Regardless you should be able to build a super computer for around 1800 and it would not become obsolete for at least 2.5 years for gaming purposes ;-)

Oh and regarding processor maybe members of this forum can comment on their experience with AMD processors. I know some people swear by intel (and probably have never tried AMD) while others swear by AMD. If you can get the same processing power or better from AMD it would be worth considering.

Hope this helps.

Best solution

June 2, 2012 11:50:47 PM
Share

Quote:
I'll be using or partitioning multiple hard drives to learn and practice and test different operating systems. I will not be doing any rendering or graphics design or artistic editing. I will be using ram and reallocating when building multiple operating systems. Win7 will be the primary OS.


I'd put the primary OS on an SSD and then make 64 - 128GB partitions on the HD for each other OS.....

Tower Case - Agreed

Sabertooth MoBo - Agreed, great investment.

CPU - Save AMD for the sub $800 builds. If not seriously overclocking IB is good choice.....if seriously OC'ing then SB. Liquid cooling is losing its reason for being....until Ivy Bridge came along. A Sandy Bridge CPU can easily run at 5 GHz w/ a decent air cooler.

Quote:
With regards to deciding on the aforementioned items am I crazy for being curious about having two graphics cards? I heard that it is being supported less and less each day. Is this a dying artform?


Exactly the opposite ... With each of the last 3 generations, the smart money has more and more moved to twin cards. For example.....one $500 GTX 580 was $500 and got 616 fps .... Twin 900 MHz 560 Ti's cost $420 and got 862 fps....40% more fps for 84% of the price.

Sound Card - USe On Board Sound

NIC - USe on board NIC

HD - RAID is useless on a gaming box.....video editing, CAD Rendering, huge databases, yes..... just about everythiung else, no.

Quote:
I'm thinking 8gb's between my games and IT training. Is that too much? Too little? I would probably want to have colored sticks. Is ribjaw the way to go? Keeping mind the possibility of multiple OS' and RAM allocation (I do not plan on virtualizing or running multiple OS' concurrently).


Ripjaws is the cheapest way to go. I'd go this way

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-233-186^20-233-186-TS%2C20-233-196^20-233-196-TS%2C20-233-199^20-233-199-TS

PSU - If seriously OC'ing I'd get a 10.0 rated PSU such as the Corsair HX850 ..... The TX750 will do if not looking for the highest OC's. Each of those will handle two GFX cards.

Tools .... Screwdriver set ... swivel type is best with changeable heads ..... about $14 in hardware store. If not seeving cables or modding that will do.

This is $2,093

Case - $ 130 - Corsair 500R White http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - $ 105 - Corsair TX850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo - $ 465 - ASUS Z77 Sabertooth http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU - Incl - Intel Core i7-3570K Included w/ above
Cooler - $ 50 - Hyper 612 PWM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TIM - $ 5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - $ 50 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 (White) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - $ 430 - Asus GTX 670 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GFX - Later - Asus GTX 670 Same
HD - $ 100 - Seagte 1 TB, 64 MB cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - $ 120 - Mushkin Chronos Deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD Writer - $ 58 - Asus Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor $ 330 ASUS VG236H Black 23" 120 Hz Monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard - $ 100 - Logitech G510 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mouse - $ 55 - Logitech G500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - $ 100 - Win 7-64 Home Premium http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 3, 2012 12:13:39 AM

2000 is pointless. 1000 will get you a solid box. SLI is a pain, an SSD is a waste for a gaming box, loading times for a few seconds is unimportant and $155 on a keyboard and mouse? $465 for a mobo? You are getting suckered in to parts that have very very little to no performance difference over cheaper options.
June 3, 2012 12:18:19 AM

Yeah, I agree. I managed to fit in an i5-3570k with Z77 Extreme4 Gen3 and a GTX 670 into $950. :D 
June 3, 2012 1:00:15 AM
June 3, 2012 1:02:58 AM

Overkill on the PSU a bit, lower that to 650/750 watts. Not to say there's anything wrong with 850, but because you can squeeze out two 670's with a 750 watt, an 850 watt is pretty much just insurance. If you're not planning to SLI in the future, a 600/650 watt will do fine.
June 3, 2012 2:07:05 AM

What about blue Led light kits on Amazon?
June 3, 2012 2:09:47 AM

Get the Hyper 212 EVO if you want free TIM. :p 
June 3, 2012 4:22:16 PM

So can I purchase the stuff without capability issues?

Should i get a smaller power supply? will lighting affect the power supply? Does anyone know if lighting kits are on amazon?
June 3, 2012 5:52:06 PM

Smeg45 said:
2000 is pointless. 1000 will get you a solid box. SLI is a pain, an SSD is a waste for a gaming box, loading times for a few seconds is unimportant and $155 on a keyboard and mouse? $465 for a mobo?


I have built over a dozen SLI boxes in the last year, none of which have been a pain and all of which cost less than one single top end card while outperforming the top card by 40%......I'll take 40% more performance for 84% of the cost every time.

For example:

(1) 580 cost $500 for 616 fps in Guru3D test suite
(2) 560 Ti's (900 Mhz) costs $420 for 40% more performance at 862 fps.

For the SSD, I am partially inclined to agree however.....I have found that with today's costs, it's a viable alternative. And yu can lay every game off the SSD. Here's How:

1. Install the game to the SSD ..... when ya done playing with it for awhile, simply cut and paste the game folder tot he HD
2. Install the next game into the freed up space.
3. Ya wanna play the first game again, simply reverse the process.

The KB and mouse were picked to fit the budget. If someone wants to spend $2k, who am I or you to argue ? I don't buy cheap keyboards anymore......I much prefer a quality unit that I can keep for a good number of years. I still have KB's in use that I bought in 1993.....and the letters haven't worn off l;ike they do on the $39.95 cheapo specials. Most of my users also like having their temps or game related info displayed on the LCD of their KB .... something they don't mind at all paying for.

Where's this $465 Motherboard you are referring to ? Read more carefully and you'll see that's the price of the "CPU and MoBo" combo.....

Quote:
You are getting suckered in to parts that have very very little to no performance difference over cheaper options.


Again, as shown above, 40% performance increases are by no means "very very little to n' performance difference"


June 3, 2012 6:01:48 PM

Merueth said:
Overkill on the PSU a bit, lower that to 650/750 watts. Not to say there's anything wrong with 850, but because you can squeeze out two 670's with a 750 watt, an 850 watt is pretty much just insurance. If you're not planning to SLI in the future, a 600/650 watt will do fine.


If your not interested in high overclocks a 750 is fine for SLI.....it must be remembered that overclocks are limited by voltage stability. It's not just about supplying the req'd number of amps, other considerations include .....

......doing so while maintaining voltage variations as low as possible
......doing so while keeping fan noise low
......staying as close to the peak efficiency point (50% load) as possible.
......the price difference is often immaterial ..... $5 in examples below after MIR's and promo codes


XFX Core Edition 750 ($90) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX Core Edition 850 ($95) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair TX850 ($105) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair TX750 ($100) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 3, 2012 7:04:04 PM

Here is what I learned so far-

1. people easily get suckered into the higher end components that have virtually no benefit in the long run.

2. SSD doesn't matter so much except for maybe OS but game load times of a few seconds are tolerable especially since they will be loaded to the massive amount of ram you will have.

3. SLI configuration of two cheaper graphics cards is much better than one best graphic card.

4. Liquid cooling is maybe needed for the IB cpu but if you go with SB you will save money and be able to OC the crap out of it getting more than enough performance at less a price

It's nice having a board like this with people willing to help, I am learning a lot from reading all these posts.

Thanks

June 3, 2012 10:47:49 PM

Damn i feel like i've taken 10 steps forward and 9 steps back.

How would you guys alter my setup to go SLI? I have no idea how i would OCing. lastly, i am buying my parts from amazon not newegg.

could someone take a look at my setup and explain how they'd change for overclocking and SLI? what about lighting kits on amazon?
June 3, 2012 10:54:53 PM

bobak617 said:
Here is what I learned so far-

1. people easily get suckered into the higher end components that have virtually no benefit in the long run.

2. SSD doesn't matter so much except for maybe OS but game load times of a few seconds are tolerable especially since they will be loaded to the massive amount of ram you will have.

3. SLI configuration of two cheaper graphics cards is much better than one best graphic card.

4. Liquid cooling is maybe needed for the IB cpu but if you go with SB you will save money and be able to OC the crap out of it getting more than enough performance at less a price

It's nice having a board like this with people willing to help, I am learning a lot from reading all these posts.

Thanks

So unneeded OCs for very little performance gains is worth it to you?
June 3, 2012 11:01:24 PM

azeem40 said:
So unneeded OCs for very little performance gains is worth it to you?


Can you elaborate on what that means?
June 4, 2012 12:41:12 AM

2 card headaches are not worth it. Drivers will be the death of you.
June 4, 2012 10:51:38 PM

What are the advantages both practical and financial to running both SLI and OC on the same machine? How bout one and not the other in regards to how i'll be using it?


Right now i'm leaning towards SLI and leaving OCing alone for now. If i did SLI what two graphics boards should I get instead of the one? (amazon.com please) would i have to alter which power supply/mobo/cooling i get?
June 5, 2012 9:38:32 PM

You'll need solid parts especially a mobo from a good brand that has decent O/C options and decent cooling options such as heatpipes that cover the VRM's along with a very good PSU for both SLI + O/C. O/C places more strain on the whole system. I wouldn't recommend SLI simply because if a new game comes out SLI might be broken or gimped (or both) and you'll need to wait for patches and drivers. I would get a single grunty GPU card and leave it at that.

For the rest of the parts it depends on what you want to spend. Are you still spending 2000 or something more agreeable such as ~900.
June 6, 2012 12:16:46 AM

I'm not 100% on my bottom line yet.

it's hard to decide with such diversified and passionate opinions on single vs. SLI graphics.
June 8, 2012 10:33:22 AM

i'm just not sure how much you really want to do with this machine. if you want to go all out your build is fine. but if you want to drop the cost down to 1k, your going overboard on the mobo, gpu, cpu. your paying a premium for some better performance/options, you can drop those three down a notch and still get a hell of a lot out of it and do plenty of oc.

Also, unless you have something planned for an ssd, it's not too useful and i would hold off on thinking about a psu until you know what you want to do for your gpu.
June 9, 2012 1:24:08 AM

Let's say my primary goal was graphical excellence for a casual pc gamer.

where can i cut back?
June 11, 2012 12:17:48 PM

perhaps tone down the processor and PSU?
June 11, 2012 10:42:13 PM

graphical excellence is too broad. but if you wanted to cut it back closer to 1k, a 570 albeit now an older card since the 600 series came out, and a i5 3570k with a custom heatsink will go a long way, get a pretty decent mobo at around $120, and drop the watts down 200. put a 1tb hdd for $90 and 8gb for around $50. ditch the ssd and buy a case that isn't too expensive and you'll have something a bit closer to 1k.
June 11, 2012 11:13:22 PM

How much can i sacrifice keeping the same parts only changing what processor and psu i use?

I'd like to get down 1400-1500
June 11, 2012 11:33:03 PM

I'm sure you have had a lot of good advice in this thread so far. I have not read it through.

I have some general advice and some thoughts/questions.

- I wasn't clear on what you are doing with this machine. It sounds as if you will be using VMs? A lot?

- Real water cooling is a great thing if you have the bug, and you seem to. HOWEVER, building your first system AND your first loop is way too much to take on. You are potentially setting yourself up for a nervous breakdown :)  You need to have absolute confidence in the system building first, then move on to WC. Buy parts that will allow for that expansion down the road.

- Don't SLI/Crossfire because that will add to your WC complexity later. A GTX 670 is currently one of the best options for cost/performance.

- Most people that use SSDs will tell you to get one. Especially if you spend time loading and unloading programs for testing. You'll reduce the time to install an OS or major program by a huge amount. 256GB drives such as the Crucial M4 are usually a great deal.

June 13, 2012 7:13:44 PM

Let's assume I'm not doing water cooling or SLI.

How much money can I save in my processor, PSU, and MOBO without the performance deteriorating?

If possible i'd still like to use one of the black asus MOBOs though.
June 13, 2012 8:08:04 PM

You never answered my question, but looking over the original post it seems likely that you will be using virtual machines. This pushes me a bit in the hyperthreading direction,

Still, balancing out your other needs and the willingness to OC, I guess an i5 is OK.

Here's how I would do this build today.

  • NZXT SWITCH 810 Black CA-SW810-B1 Steel / Plastic ATX HYBIRD Full Tower Gaming Computer Case
    This case will provide you with the expansion options you need. It's very big and will fit a good sized radiator later.
  • Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
  • EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    Again, let me point out that you want a single video card to reduce cost and complexity of water cooling. I chose one that is likely to have compatibility with a full coverage water block.
  • Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-650-M 650W ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified ...
    One of the best PSUs out there. Enough power for your single card setup and all the extras you might add later. I actually have a similar system and use a Seasonic X650... a similar PSU.
  • CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M2A1600C10
    I've heard some bad things about G.skill Ares low profile RAM, has to do with the voltage demands they put on the memory controller. You need low profile RAM with the CPU cooler.
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
  • Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
  • COOLER MASTER X6 Elite RR-X6NN-18PK-R1 Honeycomb Design 120mm Long Life Sleeve CPU Cooler NOT Compatible with High Heatsink ...
    TOTAL: $1,562.90

    Ooops I missed the board

    ASROCK
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



    June 13, 2012 8:13:32 PM

    Since I have spent most but all of your cash, I will tell you about a case upgrade from what I listed. One of the best cases in the world, made in the US by a US company:

    http://www.caselabs-store.com/magnum-m10-case/

    Caselabs cases are the ultimate water cooling cabinets. They are powder coated, but it's a good quality finish.
    June 18, 2012 9:24:49 PM



    Great info proximon!

    Above is my initial build.

    As an update, I will not be doing water cooling. Additionally, I'd love to stick with the original white tower and a black asus motherboard (doesn't have to be aforementioned top of the line model). I was hoping based on the above build that I could save some money in the departments of the PSU, MOBO (black asus), & processor.

    Can I get a cheaper processor than that one and not notice a dip in performance? I'm ready to start ordering these parts. But still would like to be in the $1300-$1500 range. All of my parts will be ordered from amazon so if you provide newegg links i'll find the amazon equivalent.

    Summary:

    Look at the build I quoted. Can I save money in the motherboard, procssor, and PSU while still having a black asus mobo?

    Will I need to buy additional cooling supplies or will the stock fans in the tower suffice? Does amazon have LED kits and will that affect my PSU?

    What if I got this case http://www.amazon.com/NZXT-Phantom-Tower-Gaming-Case/dp... instead of the one mentioned above?

    I hope to place the order by end of the week.
    June 18, 2012 10:03:15 PM

    Better yet: Here is an updated build. I am ready to order the following parts. Still missing is a cooling unit, PSU, CPU, and mobo (which again, I'd like to be an asus sabertooth).

    Take a look at this list and please help me fill in the blanks for the missing parts. I'm at about $1000 for this build so far.

    Case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QQ463S/ref=ox_sc_a...

    RAM: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DKZK84/ref=ox_sc_a...

    GPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007Z33SYA/ref=ox_sc_a...

    HD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T3GRNW/ref=ox_sc_a...

    SSD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006EKJCWM/ref=ox_sc_a...

    Keyboard: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RRLQIO/ref=ox_sc_a...

    Monitor: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00413PHEQ/ref=ox_sc_a...

    Like I said, still missing some parts. Is it cool if I order the RAM, SSD, and case now? They're low on stock, so I want to know if you guys spot any incapabilities.
    June 18, 2012 11:36:26 PM

    Proximon said:
    Buy the EVGA 670. Same price, better warranty, actual US company.
    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Dual-Link-Graphics-0...

    Samsung 830 would be a nice upgrade on the SSD
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-...
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0077CR60Q/ref=asc_df_B0077CR6...

    I liked the Corsair case better :p  Cases with doors are a pain, and tend to be not quite as well cooled.

    But no, I see no problem with ordering those parts.


    Thanks!

    Why the Samsung over the Sandisk extreme? I wasn't really trying to go above $110 for the SSD seeing as how i'm not quite sure what my bottom line is going to be.

    What would you do about cooling, the psu, mobo, and the CPU?
    June 19, 2012 2:55:18 AM

    Samsung makes their own controller which is considered more reliable than the Sandforce controller in the SanDisk drive.

    To quote Anand:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4863/the-samsung-ssd-830-...

    "Not only does it make its own controller, DRAM and NAND, but it also has an incredible track record in terms of reliability."

    "The Samsung SSD 830 isn't the fastest drive we've tested, but it generally produces results in the upper echelon of high-end SSDs. "

    Or Andrew in the TH review:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-830-ssd-tog...

    "Samsung's latest SSD shakes up the status quo in a very unexpected way. The 830 delivers its performance without a suite of secret sauce wrapped up in marketing terminology, and it's fast enough to succeed the bevy of SSDs based on SandForce's controller hardware. Its performance is sufficient to even provide a small (but clear) lead over Intel's SSD 510 and Crucial's m4."
    June 19, 2012 3:13:00 AM

    Cooler - Hyper 212 Evo
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-2...

    TIM - OCZ freeze - easy application
    http://www.amazon.com/Ocztfrztc-Extreme-Thermal-Conduct...

    if you aren't going to overclock, stay with the 3770. If you are overclocking, the 2700K is less and will be better:
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i7-2700K-Processor-BX8...

    PSU for single GTx 670 plus any extras:
    Corsair 650TX V2
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthusiast-Certified-Comp...

    For SLI plus whatever
    750TX
    http://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-Enthusiast-Series-Certifi...

    I linked my preference for the ASRock board earlier I think.
    June 19, 2012 3:13:57 AM

    The cooler does come with adequate TIM though... no need to buy more unless you want to have extra on hand.
    June 19, 2012 12:39:29 PM
    June 19, 2012 1:10:58 PM

    I think Proximon has done a really good job so far with the build. However, I've been hearing that there have been some quality issues with the EVGA GTX 670. I would suggest looking into the MSI or ASUS version.

    http://www.amazon.com/MSI-N670GTX-PM2D2GD5-OC-GeForce-2...

    EVGA is a good company though and you'd probably be fine sticking with the EVGA card if you'd rather not deviate from Proximon's build.

    EDIT: Also why the i7? You could save $100 and go with the i5 2500k. They're extremely over-clockable and all-around great CPUs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500...
    June 19, 2012 4:02:48 PM

    baperkin said:
    I think Proximon has done a really good job so far with the build. However, I've been hearing that there have been some quality issues with the EVGA GTX 670. I would suggest looking into the MSI or ASUS version.

    http://www.amazon.com/MSI-N670GTX-PM2D2GD5-OC-GeForce-2...

    EVGA is a good company though and you'd probably be fine sticking with the EVGA card if you'd rather not deviate from Proximon's build.

    EDIT: Also why the i7? You could save $100 and go with the i5 2500k. They're extremely over-clockable and all-around great CPUs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500...



    Good insight. I have placed the order for the aforementioned parts. I will provide feedback as I can. Now to learn how to put these boys together.
    June 19, 2012 10:28:00 PM

    Yes, there was some confusion in this thread for sure. Much would have been avoided with the form we use:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

    Having that info spelled out at the start really is crucial. I can easily get threads confused, I help a lot of people. :) 

    Quote:
    I'll be using or partitioning multiple hard drives to learn and practice and test different operating systems. I will not be doing any rendering or graphics design or artistic editing. I will be using ram and reallocating when building multiple operating systems. Win7 will be the primary OS.


    This sort of IT work will often include virtual machines and very heavy multi-tasking. That is why I felt that a hyperthreaded quad would be better, hence the i7 recommendation.
    June 20, 2012 12:52:32 AM

    Yes, next time around I will use the proper channels. Thank you so much to everyone for all of your help. The building starts Thursday.
    !