Advice & Suggestions on first build under $3k budget

-I have this question posted on multiple forums so bare with me here as my replies will be much slower.
-AS FOR THE PEOPLE recommending me WC I honestly feel intimidated by it. I chose an air cooling case but I still am not sure to choose a water cooling enabled one since I am not positive if I go WC in the future.
-I will order from mostly canadian sites but will order from other places if necessary. The preferred retailer list I posted isn't that vital.


Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2312HM
CPU HSF: Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E
Headphones: Sennheiser PC 350 or 360
Tablet: Wacom Bamboo Splash

This is my first build from scratch my gaming orientation leans on rpgs, mmos, action-adventure and rts for the most part and less so for fps and racing games.

Approximate Purchase Date:
By the end of July
Budget Range:
Under $3k subtotal including everything base system, monitor, peripherals etc…
System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Extensive gaming and production/rendering in autodesk and other 3D/CG art software
Parts Not Required:
Not planning on getting a custom water cooling system just yet
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Newegg Canada
TigerDirect Canada
Canada Computers
Parts Preferences:
Nvidia, visuals for the most part
Storage Space:
2TB minimum
SLI or Crossfire:
Possibly SLI
Monitor Resolution:
1920x1080 or 2560x1440. I would like to have games on maxed settings, AA would be nice and what ever gaming technology optimization available
Additional Comments:
my newegg wishlist

anything sold out on the list i will look for else where, as long as they have good enough return policy

Really looking for some of the top and latest support with longevity, durability and silence

the rig would be placed in the basement which is usually around 20C, during the humid summer it should be closer to 30C room temp but we almost always AC then. the only thing about the basement i am worried about is if airflow wouldn't be good enough for the rig

would a heatsink fan suffice for now? if i ever choose to SLI would water cooling be needed then?
16 answers Last reply
More about advice suggestions build budget
  1. I think there is a lot of cash being spent in the wrong places here, that PSU in particular is massively overkill. Even in 3 way SLI and overclocks, you would be looking at ~850W+. Personally I'd spend a lot less on the system in general and put it towards nice peripherals but this is probably the best system you could get in budget:

    Intel Core i7-3930K - $579.99
    16GB (4x4GB) Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz - $104.99
    ASRock X79 Extreme6 - $309.99
    ASUS GTX 670 2GB - $429.99
    Crucial M4 256GB - $214.99
    2 x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $159.98 ($79.99 each)
    Corsair AX-750 750W - $156.99
    Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 - $89.99
    Coolermaster HAF 932 - $139.99
    Samsung DVD Burner - $14.99

    Total - $2201.89 on

    That leaves $800 for peripherals and gives you 6 cores, 8 Dimm slots for expansion, room for SLI, the SSD and slightly faster hard drives.
  2. thanks for the quick reply

    i think i might go OC and SLI 670s because some others have commented that the heatsink fan should be sufficient enough to keep the CPU at room temp. those HDDs you've listed have 32 less mb cache is that really significant? i mean shouldn't i be putting more into HDDs, would the SSD really be worth it?

    also the i am changing the case fans to other cooler master, gelid or xigmatek what case fans should i go with and are when are they really necessary?
  3. The build I suggested does leave room for a second card in SLI. It doesn't leave room for 3 but even 2 would be overkill on a single monitor at 1080P.

    The cache isn't all that significant, those F3's are actually usually faster than WD blacks.

    I seriously don't think you need any extra fans on top of those ones on the HAF 932, it would just be adding pointless noise at this point.
  4. the motherboard you recommended me doesn't seem to have HDMI support? how will i get HDMI connection for the monitor?

    and why do you pick the asus 670 over the evga ftw one?

    oh and would i need liquid cooling for the cpu and mobo you mentioned? feedback says that heatsink fan isn't sufficient for the job
  5. Quoted from a member named lehpron from the EVGA forums "But, in order to maintain your CPU stabilty; your RAM, HDD, motherboard, PSU, etc all have to be in sync and stable too. So while the CPU could theoretically take the punishment, total system stability depends on the other junk in the system."

    updated the list

    i hope the hhds would suffice, they do get great ratings i believe the others are good enough.
  6. what do you think think about this monitor?

    Yamakasi Catleap 27" LED 2560x1440 WQHD S-IPS
  7. I would choose the ASUS one personally because it should be quieter and provide better cooling in this rig. Those leaf blower coolers that blow out the back of the system are quite loud and are designed for PC's without a lot of case airflow. The HAF 932 has a massive amount of airflow in the case so the type of cooler the ASUS one has would be better.

    The specs on that monitor are awesome but I can't vouch for the reliability or general quality as I've never heard of the brand.

    You will be plugging your monitor into your graphics card, the motherboard doesn't need a HDMI port.
  8. is 16 gb RAM 1600 enough or should I go higher 1866/2133/2400? i changed some of the parts again
  9. Personally I'd get 1600Mhz but at this budget I suppose you could justify something faster. I'd say it wouldn't be needed but it wouldn't be a waste of money.
  10. It is a waste of $ when you can get samsung RAM that OCs on stock voltage.
  11. direct quote from member lehpron from the EVGA forums, sorry its huge but this sums up why i chose the type of mobo, GPU and CPU. but of course still subject to change

    "Most modern games are threaded for between 2-4 cores, and it has been a slow progress adoption since quads have been around for six years, duals for eight years. meaning, a 6-core won't make a difference today. New games take 2-3 years to make from the ground up, so in that time, it will make a quad that much more important. Only get the 6-core for your professional work, not for gaming.

    3770K is a 22nm quad and half the die area (thus half the actual power and thermals if set at the same frequency) as 32nm i7-3900's 6-cores; mathematically, they should overclock better, but Intel differed from tradition of soddering the CPU die to the IHS (integrated heat spreader) by using a thermal grease with Ivy Bridge which tends to artificially raise temperaturess. This prevents anyone from really being able to push it except for those using cryogenics; so in the end, all Sandy and Ivy processors reach a max of approx 5GHz regardless of number of cores.

    So it all comes down to the board really; X79 can support up to 4-way SLI (in quad x8, or a pair of full x16) configs while Z77 is limited to just dual x8's. If you're serious about longitivity in terms of having the room for future graphics cards and not change the board (which definitely need more bandwidth than current), then X79 is the only option. For CPU, either get quad 3820 or 6-core 3930K depending on how often your professional uses need 12-threads or not.

    BTW, as for the GTX670's, get the 4GB card. We'll soon see a new standard for mainstream monitors that used to be the reign of medicial professionals, their total single display res equals to a modern multi-display setup. So if you intend on at least one in the next two years and not upgrading graphics for it, then you should plan ahead with a 4GB model and get 3-way SLI by then to compensate.


    Really looking for longevity and durability I chose a gtx 670 in hopes of being able to run graphic intensive art programs and gaming on high settings for at least two years before upgrade/new build.
    This part will require an edit for realism.

    In two years, a pair of GTX670 will have the performance equivalency of a future mainstream card (i.e. "GTS850")and unable to run those games appearing then at high details without having the frame rates dip whatever is high-end at time. So either plan to get into 3-way or 4-way SLI (meaning you need to get a 4-way capable board in the first place, i.e. X79), think about upgrading your graphics card much earlier than two years, or settle for less visuals as times passes especially if you plan a higher resolution monitor someday. Most games are GPU-intensive, so if your resolution doubles the pixels, you cut your frame rates in half.

    The only way you can truly have longivity is if your expectation is much lower than what is available for purchase. If you want max detail at smooth rates, then that is only possible today, it isn't possible next year with this year's configuration running next year's games. Just so you know, many folks on enthusiast websites like these upgrade often as a hobby, they choose to keep up with technology in order to maintain their preference level in every new game; I personally see it as a hassle. So you have to decide your upgrade tendencies beforehand and plan ahead, beyond this upcoming build. "
  12. from the pureoverclock forum member Doctor_Death:

    Skip the MS keyboard, and go eith the Corsair K90, also the Phanteks CPU coolers do out perform the D14. I'll tell you what, I have a brand new system that I built for Enermax with duel EVGA Classified GTX590s. I have the Gigabyte X79 UD7 installed, but if you perfer ASUS, I can swap it out for a new X79 Rampage 4 Formula. There's also a brand new Intel 3820, and a Lepa G1600 PSU. Blu-ray burner and a DVD burner, 16GBs of Geil 1600MHz, 240GB SSD and a WD 1TB drive. You can own this build for $1500 shipped

    Here's a couple of photos, click to enlarge:

    I can add a 3960X but not for $1500 lol if I switch out the UD7 and replace it with the Rampage 4 Formula, and add the 3960X I have to get at least $2200 which is still a hell of a deal. Just the Vision Tek Racer 240GB and the WD 1TB would set you back a little over $400, never mind the EVGA Classified GTX590s, beside the new GTX690s the 590's are still one of the fastest cards around.

    what do you think?
  13. If you don't mind getting a used system, that's a good deal. It is almost certainly going to be very noisy though.
  14. Are the headphones I listed nicely compatible with the soundcard? I wan't 7.1 surround and listen to music that is at mid range.
  15. If you are using mainly headphones, it's better to ditch the sound card and get USB ones. USB ones will bypass the sound card because they effectively have one built in.

    EDIT: Just noticed as well that you won't be playing FPS games, they are generally the games that are truly graphics intensive. For RPG/RTS games you would honestly be fine on the HD 6870 or something. Obviously at your budget you might as well get something better like the GTX 670 but you won't need SLI or any noisy dual chip cards like the GTX 590/690.
  16. updated the list. switched to sabertooth z77 motherboard, can’t choose between the two headsets so if any audiophiles could voice their opinions that would be great and i am still planning on downgrading to a 120gb ssd instead but don’t know if i should go with the lower iOPS. I chose the creative card over asus ones as most gamers have mentioned better clarity for gaming and movies, for music asus ones are better certainly but i’m not that big on music. which GPU 670/80 do you guys recommend since i won’t be hardcore OCing
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