Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Help, AvaDirect $2000ish Gaming/Multi-Media Build for amateur

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 24, 2012 6:00:05 PM

Hello all. I'm attempting to configure my first desktop gaming machine from AvaDirect. I don't have any experience in configuring a desktop gaming system and am not very knowledgeable about the importance and quality of various components. I've done some research online, in forums, videos, etc, and have put together a potential system as a starting point.

I was hoping someone could review the system I've put together below and give me some feedback. As said, I'm an amateur so please excuse me if any of parts don't work well together, or if the system in general just isn't efficient due to my lack of know how.

Please help to save money where I've foolishly spent it on a part that's not necceary or is overkill, and help redirect money to parts that I've skimped on where, perhaps, I shouldn't have. My budget is $2000 ish


Here are my answers to some starting point questions:

Approximate Purchase Date: August 2012

Budget Range: $2000ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (graphically intensive first-person-shooters, etc.), primary MultiMedia center for full HD movies in the home, internet (lots of tabs and windows).

Major Concern: Heat, I want the system to run as cool as I can afford while still being able to afford top tier performance, if possible... GPU and CPU cooling. I have very little knowledge on how to achieve this.

2nd Major Concern: How does Sandy Brige vs Ivy Bridge affect my build/performance for the purposes I've outline above? Should I be considering Ivy Bridge only? The present configuration is Sandy Bridge, see below.

Parts Not Required: monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s): AvaDirect, or any other reputable builder.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Full Tower, I guess.

Overclocking: Yes, done by AvaDirect, any advice here is appreciated (not very knowledgeable about overclocking)

SLI or Crossfire: I don't really understand SLI or Crossfire, so maybe? (advice, lesson, appreciated).

Monitor I'll be using: Hanspree 1080p LCD Television 27" for now. But eventually I'd like to be able to run Two 24" 1080p LCD Monitors if possible, gaming with two screens.


Here's the configurator I used on avadirect: http://www.avadirect.com/gaming-pc-configurator.asp?PRI...


Here's my potential/starting point build:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700k Quad-Core 3.5-3.9 Ghz, LGA 1155, 8mb L3 Cache

Overclocking CPU: Mild Overclocking service, 10-20% performance increase

GPU, PCI Express x16 Video Card: XFX, Radeon HD 7970 1000MHZ 3gb GDDR5 5700Mhz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI+HDMI+2x Mini-DP

GPU, 2nd one: None

Overclocking, GPU: Optimal and Stable AvaDirect service performed by AvaDirect

PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W

Cooling: Noctua NH-D14 Air Cooling

Thermal Compound: Coolaboratory, Liquid MetalPad Conduction Pad, Metal

Liquid Cooling: None

Motherboard: CHANGED -- from Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3, LGA1155, Intel z68, DDR3-2133 32GB /4, PCIe x16, etc. - TO, Going with ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3, I'd like to have the DisplayPort

Ram: Mushkin 16 GB (4x4) PC3-16000 DDR3 20000MHZ

Sound Card: Integrated 8-Channel Audio Controller

SATA HD: Crucial 256GB M4 SSD 500-260 MB/s

HD, 2nd one: Western Digital, 1TB, SATA 6 GB/s, 7200 rpm, 32MB cache

Raid: NO Raid, of course

Optical Drive: LG WH12LS39 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD/CD Blu-Ray Burner, SATA, w/M-Disc

Wireless: HP FH971AA Wireless Adapter w/external antenna, Ieee 802.11b/g/n 13 Mbps, PCIe x1

Network Card: Integrated Controller

Tower Case: Antec, Three Hundred Black Mid-Tower, ATX

Cooling Fans: Stock Fans

Fan Controllers: None

Wire Management: Custom Wiring, standard wiring with precision cable rouging and tie down

Operating System: None, have a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate already.

Keyboard and Mouse: Microsoft Wireless Desktop 800 2.4 GHZ RF

Warranty: Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)


So, what do you think? Constructive criticism is welcome as are suggestions, alternative builds, and alternative sites to build from.

Thanks very much in advance.
June 24, 2012 7:31:19 PM

Quote:
It looks great...exept for he mobo... With a really nice cpu and gpu you want an equally great mobo like the asus sabertooth... make sure to find a z77 one. It should be able to play most games on the highest settings, it is a great cpu and gpu!!!


Thanks for the feedback.

Only the Z68 chipset is available on my build options. Of the Z68 motherboards which would suit this system best?... keeping in mind when I add money to one component, I'll have to downgrade a another in order to stay in budget. (you can check the configurator here to see my options: http://www.avadirect.com/gaming-pc-configurator.asp?PRI... , you can also check other system builds on avadirect for other suggestions if you like)

How important is it that I configure a system with a z77 chipset mobo? Please forgive, my ignorance here....
m
0
l
Related resources
June 24, 2012 7:33:24 PM

If you can only have a z68(which I dont know why you have to exept price maybe) then the mobo you chose was fine or you can get a z68 asus sabertooth and get a nvidia 670 which will perform better for the price!
m
0
l
June 24, 2012 9:06:37 PM

Changed motherboard to ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen 3 in the original build in the first post-- mostly because of a few reviews I read. This Mobo has a DisplayPort, too, but that shouldn't matter if the GPU has a DisplayPort, right?

Should I consider an Ivy Bridge Build instead, and move down to 3rd Gen I5 overclocked with an Asus Z77 Sabertooth? I think I can do this while staying in my budget. This motherboard has already been suggested above, and thanks for the suggestion 2fast4thetown...

I know the I5 is fine for gaming, but as much as I can I'd like to proof this system for other possible intensive uses down the road....

I know so little about the importance of the motherboard on performance, so thanks for being patient.

Also is my graphics card the best option for my budget? Or is overkill? Or would I be better off going with two lesser cards? (see intended uses in the first post).

Thanks, again.
m
0
l
June 24, 2012 10:08:29 PM

the display port does not matter if you use the gpu.

7970 is a llittle overkill so get the 670.

I would get an
gigabyte GA-Z77-UD5H

and a

670

and other than that you are good

if you are worried about heat then do a custom liquid cooling system, if you need help I have been doing research on custom liquid cooling systems so I can help you out :D 
m
0
l
June 25, 2012 8:05:41 AM

UPDATE:
For anyone who's interested, I think I've decided on this build. I've researched for a few days now and spoken to various knowledgeable people, and for the time being, I believe this is my build. I have about a month to think about it though. Still open to input though. thanks.


AvaDirect GAMING PC Core™ i5 / i7 Z77 2-way SLI® / CrossFireX™ Custom Gaming System


CPU - INTEL Core™ i7-3770K Quad-Core 3.5 - 3.9GHz TB, HD Graphics 4000, LGA1155, 8MB L3 Cache, 22nm, 77W, EM64T EIST HT VT-x XD, STOCK (Not OverClocked, for now but may do so in the future if I up grade to some kind of custom water cooling)

Cooling - NOCTUA NH-D14 CPU Cooling Fan, Socket 1155/1156/1366/775/FM1/AM3/AM2, Copper/Aluminum

Thermal Compound - COOLLABORATORY Liquid MetalPad Conduction Pad, Metal

Mobo - ASUS P8Z77-V PRO, LGA1155, Intel® Z77, DDR3-2600 (O.C.) 32GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI CF /1+1*, SATA 6Gb/s RAID 5 /4, 3Gb/s /4, DP + HDMI, USB 3.0 /8, HDA, GbLAN, Wi-Fi, ATX

Ram - CRUCIAL 16GB (4 x 4GB) Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC

GPU - XFX Radeon™ HD 7970 Black Edition 1000MHz, 3GB GDDR5 5700MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI + HDMI + 2x mini-DP

Primary HD - CRUCIAL 256GB M4 SSD, MLC Marvell 88SS9174, 500/260 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 6 Gb/s

2nd HD - WESTERN DIGITAL 1TB WD Caviar® Blue™ (WD10EALX), SATA 6 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 32MB cache, OEM

Card Reader - SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB

Optical - LITE-ON iHES112-04 Black 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD±RW/CD, Blu-ray Disk™ Combo Drive, SATA, OEM

Tower - ANTEC Three Hundred Two Black Mid-Tower Case, ATX, No PSU

PSU - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M 850W Power Supply w/ Modular Cables, 80 PLUS® Bronze, ATX12V 2.3 EPS12V 2.92, 6x 8/6-pin PCIe, SLI® Certified
m
0
l
June 26, 2012 5:15:45 AM

I'd agree on going for the 3570k. You simply won't need the hyperthreading from the i7. And the 670 is also a very respectable card and can compete head to head against the 7970 for less money. If you WANT to spend that much on a card, by all means, get the 680. It will be the better buy than the 7970.

16gbs of RAM isn't really necessary if you're strictly into gaming and multimedia and internet and such. Consider downgrading to 8gbs and pump the $50 remainder elsewhere.

Also, have you considered getting a different case? I mean, if you plan on doing a custom water cooling loop, I'd invest in a pretty good case. If you're trying to stick to a budget, you can look at the Corsair 650D. Otherwise, go for something nice like a Cooler Master Cosmos II or Corsair Obsidian 800D.

I tried to use the site to configure something under $2000. Have a look:
Spoiler
Processor: i5-3570k, no overclocking
Thermal compound: Prolimatech PK1
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 (really this would be the next best thing next to a custom loop, but that's me)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
RAM: Corsair 8GB Vengance 1600mhz (the blue ones)
GPU: EVGA GTX 670
SSD: Crucial 256 M4
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB, 7200RPM 64MB cache
Card Reader:SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB

Optical: LITE-ON iHES112-04 Black 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD±RW/CD, Blu-ray Disk™ Combo Drive, SATA, OEM

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II
OR
Corsair Obsidian 800D

PSU: Corsair TX850 80 Plus Bronze (got it for the 80 PLUS Bronze on it. If you can afford it, I'd say go for the AX750 or AX850 for a PSU that will last you)

Oh, and I even configured it to have blue LED fans and blue cold cathode lights.

I think this is a system that will look better and still perform great for your needs. 'Course, I chose the extra options for the sake of making this system glow blue, but that part is up to you. For the case, I would opt for the Cosmos II, mainly because of its aesthetics, but that's up to you to decide whether you want that or the 800D. People DID say that the 800D was better. But why take our word for it? Go look around.

All in all, AVA Direct wants $1978.39 for this. At that price, you can even pay them the $25 for a bit of overclocking, if you so wish to.
m
0
l
June 26, 2012 7:29:49 AM

Thanks this is helpful. What if I wanted to stick with air cool using the noctua dh-14 (which, according to more reviews than I can remember, is top tier for air cooling) just for my peace of mind (I imagine leakage someday on a water cool)--- do you think under air cool I could overclock the 3570k to around 4.2 or 4.3 ghz and still maintain the already hot running ivy bridge at stable temps at idle, light use, and under load... keep in mind the system will be running continuously as primary multimedia center in my home, and will often be run under intensive gaming.... Also will that kind of an OC reduce the life of my CPU?

Also why the 680 over XFXs version of the 7970 OCd to 1 ghz by XFX. I picked that particular version becuase I've heard from a few people that the XFXs OCd black edition runs cool and performs on par with the 680, with the 680 edging it out on most games (but only slightly), and it edging on the 680 on certain specific games... But the cool running performance is what I liked about it. Open to hear a different perspective here, of course...

zalhera said:
I'd agree on going for the 3570k. You simply won't need the hyperthreading from the i7. And the 670 is also a very respectable card and can compete head to head against the 7970 for less money. If you WANT to spend that much on a card, by all means, get the 680. It will be the better buy than the 7970.

16gbs of RAM isn't really necessary if you're strictly into gaming and multimedia and internet and such. Consider downgrading to 8gbs and pump the $50 remainder elsewhere.

Also, have you considered getting a different case? I mean, if you plan on doing a custom water cooling loop, I'd invest in a pretty good case. If you're trying to stick to a budget, you can look at the Corsair 650D. Otherwise, go for something nice like a Cooler Master Cosmos II or Corsair Obsidian 800D.

I tried to use the site to configure something under $2000. Have a look:
Spoiler
Processor: i5-3570k, no overclocking
Thermal compound: Prolimatech PK1
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 (really this would be the next best thing next to a custom loop, but that's me)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
RAM: Corsair 8GB Vengance 1600mhz (the blue ones)
GPU: EVGA GTX 670
SSD: Crucial 256 M4
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB, 7200RPM 64MB cache
Card Reader:SABRENT CRW-UINB Black 65-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, Internal USB

Optical: LITE-ON iHES112-04 Black 12x/16x/48x BD/DVD±RW/CD, Blu-ray Disk™ Combo Drive, SATA, OEM

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II
OR
Corsair Obsidian 800D

PSU: Corsair TX850 80 Plus Bronze (got it for the 80 PLUS Bronze on it. If you can afford it, I'd say go for the AX750 or AX850 for a PSU that will last you)

Oh, and I even configured it to have blue LED fans and blue cold cathode lights.

I think this is a system that will look better and still perform great for your needs. 'Course, I chose the extra options for the sake of making this system glow blue, but that part is up to you. For the case, I would opt for the Cosmos II, mainly because of its aesthetics, but that's up to you to decide whether you want that or the 800D. People DID say that the 800D was better. But why take our word for it? Go look around.

All in all, AVA Direct wants $1978.39 for this. At that price, you can even pay them the $25 for a bit of overclocking, if you so wish to.
m
0
l
June 27, 2012 7:51:21 AM

Honestly, I can't say anything about overclocking. I just don't know anything about it. Sorry. As for the video cards, really you can't go wrong with either. If you feel happier with the Radeon card, go for it. If you think the benchmarks all point to the 7970, get it! I was recommending the 670/680 mainly because I prefer NVidia and PhysX. But those are little details you can ignore. Personally, I think Nvidia has more to offer.

As for the leakage in watercooling, I believe that problem is something you shouldn't worry about especially in closed loops. I am yet to stumble upon a story where a closed loop leaked. If you find any, do show me. But I'm still very confident in such cooling systems. And besides, Corsair's warranty is amazing.
m
0
l
!