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Help me finish building a 4ch. Core 7i system

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June 26, 2012 3:54:57 AM

Hi Guys,

I'm in south asia region and this time around I'm going to stick with mainstream brands that I can buy locally. Better to be safe than sorry as four years back I had ordered parts from abroad and many of the parts came dead and I was not able to RMA them as it would cost me more to ship the items back than buy new ones. Past aside, now I sort of have a dilemma deciding the best choice of parts for a "4 channel Hexa-Core" build, so I thought I'll seek out help finalizing build.

Now, I'm not planning to do crazy overclocking other than upping the processor to 4.2 GHz or more without playing around with the settings much. I just do not want any of the parts introduce a bottleneck. I'd love some recommendations with motherboard, sound card, and PSU for sure as I'm not entirely sure what to choose.

So here goes the 4ch hexa core build:

Chassis: CM 690 II Advanced. (comes with two silent fans attached I figure)
I think this is a good chassis this build. Let me know if the choice of chassis is bad.


Chassis Fans: 2 x XtraFlo 120 Slim.
Adding to the existing fans it totals up to four fans to control ventilation. I'm thinking of pushing air IN from the front + top, AND push air OUT through back + side.


Processor: Intel Core i7 3930K 3.2GHz, 12 MB Cache.
It's Sandy Bridge-E I think. I want to overclock it just about enough while keeping settings as close to stock as possible... a safe zone of sorts as I have a very traumatic experience of burning up dad's expensive processor in his office workstation last year. Obviously I'm very in experienced when it comes to overclocking and have come to believe its not meant for me as I don't have the money to bear the accidental loss. So, how much can I push it with minimal voltage changes? 4.2 Ghz? 4.6 Ghz? What can I expect?


Processor Cooler: CORSAIR H100 (liquid cooler).
I read very good reviews about it and being a non-maintenance liquid cooler is also a great plus. My choice of chassis is also designed to fit this cooler so it sounds like a perfect choice.... what do you guys think?


RAM: 4 x Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600MHz.
I'm pretty sure this is what I want. 16 GB of ram should be able to shine on Win 7 64-Bit right? Should I get the memory fans from corsair as well or is that not necessary?


Motherboard: Please recommend.
I can only get one of these brands locally: ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or Intel.


Graphics Card: 2 x GeForce GTX 680 (to run on SLi). OR 1 x GeForce GTX 690.
Is there any benefits going SLi over dual GPU? If brand makes a difference please do recommend one. I can only get one of these brands locally: ZOTAC, ASUS, or Gigabyte.


Speakers: Logitech Z523 OR Logitech Z623. 2.1 Systems
My home theater and 55" LED TV are just in the other side of the room, plus I don't want to clutter my desk like my current Creative 5.1 T6060. So I thought of getting Logitech Z523 but a lot of people I know said it will be a downgrade from my current four year old creative t6060 even with the rear and center speakers put away. I'm not too sure what to choose.... so threw in Logitech Z623 on the table as well. I'm not too keen about spending a fortune on a 2.1 system but I do want a quality speaker system...


Sound Card: Please recommend... OR do I even need one?
I can only get one of these brands locally: ASUS or Creative. Most of my entertainment will be routed to my 55" LED TV and Home Theater via HDMI from my graphics card, so people tell me I don't need to invest in a sound card as my home theater system would take care of processing the digital audio. Even so I would like to get excellent audio when I play mmorpgs with my twin on the PC itself. Online games are the only things I don't play on my 55" TV. Would the on-board audio of these high-end motherboards handle that?


HDD: 1 x 120GB Corsair SSD, and 1 x 1TB SATA II Seagate.
I plan to install Windows 7 and all my software on the 120GB SSD and all other stuff on the 1TB Seagate. Is that the right way to get best performance?


Power Supply: Silent Pro Hybrid 1050W OR Silent Pro Gold 1000W
I'm not sure which to get. Do I need to get a 1200W? is 1000W really needed to run all the specs so far? I would like to cut some cost on PSU if possible.


UPS: APC Back-UPS Pro 1500
This is the highest available, but I'm worried about the watt output. It says 865 Watts / 1500 VA.... does that mean my power supply (1000W+) will not be able to function well during peaks? If I can't buy this UPS then what else can I get?


Keyboard and Mouse: Please recommend.
I can only get the following brands: Logitech OR Microsoft. I currently have a Logitech MX 5000 and it served me extremely well for four years now! I was planning to get Logitech MX 5500 Revolution as a potential upgrade until last year but now it seems Logitech is no-longer offering its rechargeable series of combo (see here). What would give me the same feel and performance of MX 5000? I'm terribly addicted to the touch volume and zoom control it provided on the left side of the keyboard but that's not important. The mouse felt so perfect in my hands~


What I use the system for:

I will have it on for about 18 hours everyday. On some rare days I would give it few extra hours of well deserved break if I get engrossed with a console game.

- Work on web development projects
- Intensive 3D modeling and animation for game development on some months when I'm inspired.
- Play several hours of MMORPGs.
- Play PC Games on max settings via HDMI to my 55" LED TV.
- Watch lots of animes and movies via HDMI to my 55" LED TV.
- Heavy video processing (infrequently)

Looking forward to your interesting posts!

More about : finish building 4ch core system

June 26, 2012 5:35:36 AM

your tv will be 1080p resolution and that is no more challenging for a computer and graphics card than a 21 inch screen with the same resolution

Since a single gtx 680 can max any game at that resolution fitting two is probably just wasted money .
Even if you do fit two of them you will only need an 800 watt psu
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
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June 26, 2012 6:29:51 AM

CPU> based on what you're doing with it outside of gaming and watching HD video, that CPU will do it's jobs well, though compromising with getting an Ivy or Sandy Bridge wouldn't be THAT bad if you're concerned with your budget. and i'm not getting what you're saying about OCing; if you're inexperienced, i'd suggest you get IB or SB and OC to 4.3 GHz(for IB) or 4.5Ghz (for SB) at max. if you're an experience OCer, SB-E.

CPU Cooler> if you plan to get IB/SB and do plan to OC at my recommended speed, know that the built in intel cooler can handle them very well. though i'd still recommend a third party cooler, but the H100 wouldn't be it. the CM Hyper 212+, Noctua NH-D14, Scythe Mugen are some that i can recommend.

GPU> a single 680 will do you fine at that resolution.

PSU> while i do remember SB-E being quite the power hog, i doubt you'll need 1500W even when you OC, unless you plan to have a 3-6 monitor setup with dual or triple SLI, all OCed.

Sound Card> unless you're an audiophile, no sound card.

Motherboard> Asus and Gigabyte. intel's are doable, but they lack a lot less features. i've been hearing more complaints about MSI recently, so i'd keep safe. simply put; the more you pay, the more you should be able to overclock (i.e Asus Rampage series)

HDTV as a monitor> if you haven't, i suggest you try out your tv by connecting it with a PC, maybe a friend's. there are some complications you may face using an HDTV as a monitor, say input lag, blurry text, washed out colors, no 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. even with PC and game mode on, the fix may be minimal. and remember, the TV was built to view from a distance. it may not necessarily look as good if you're sitting 1-2 feet away from the screen
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June 27, 2012 1:58:33 AM

Thanks guys, I've been talking with my local supplier on pricing and such and decided to go with a crazy build even if its an overkill as I'm building two of these exact systems (twins), reducing the pricing of the parts is not giving me any significant reduction other than $300-$00 total of the $8000 spend.

I think I'm going to get myself a Corsair 850W or Cooler Master 1000W as both their pricing are the same.

Now, I'm trying to decide on a mother board:

1) Asus MotherBoard - Rampage IV

2) ASUS P9X79 DELUXE

3) ASUS Sabertooth X79

Which board do you guys think is the nicest of the three?
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June 27, 2012 2:34:52 AM

coras said:
Thanks guys, I've been talking with my local supplier on pricing and such and decided to go with a crazy build even if its an overkill as I'm building two of these exact systems (twins), reducing the pricing of the parts is not giving me any significant reduction other than $300-$00 total of the $8000 spend.

I think I'm going to get myself a Corsair 850W or Cooler Master 1000W as both their pricing are the same.

Now, I'm trying to decide on a mother board:

1) Asus MotherBoard - Rampage IV

2) ASUS P9X79 DELUXE

3) ASUS Sabertooth X79

Which board do you guys think is the nicest of the three?


1) the Rampage series tend to have a boat load of features, and are great at overclocking as well as running multiple graphic cards. since you don't need SLI or crossfire, i'd suggest you don't get one.

2) highly recommendable, seeing as it will most likely fulfill most of your needs.

3) the Sabertooth series is all about durability. they're supposed to be great for high OC's, though i wouldn't know this. great 5 years warranty though, but i'm not quite sure how Asus's customer service fares at your place.

i don't see how saving $300+ isn't a good thing, but your call. and if you have a credit card and say a Paypal account, may i suggest looking around IPmart? they ship from Malaysia and China to everywhere in the area, most likely your country as well.

also,

http://vr-zone.com/pricewatch/pricelists

there are also a number of PC retailers from Singapore that can ship elsewhere in Asia. it just requires you to e-mail them and confirm if they ship to your location.

being from SE Asia myself, some of the local prices in my country are absurd, despite the lack of taxes on PC parts, going as far as tripling the prices compared to online retailers (GTX 560.... non-TI.... for 650.... US dollars anyone?). it may be worth your time and money to check them out first.
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June 27, 2012 10:57:45 AM

I second the recommendation of the Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard. I just built an i7-3930K system with that motherboard, and it looks like that board truly has every possible overclocking tweak feature that you could ask for, other than that silly thing you plug into the VGA port to change overclock settings that the Rampage IV board uses. I'm completely happy with my build and utterly blown away by its performance. I'm sure you'll love it!
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July 9, 2012 5:25:37 AM

Thanks guys for all your suggestions and help. I think I'm good to go now. :) 
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July 9, 2012 3:41:25 PM

Oh! As a matter of fact, I just noticed something about your system that you might want to tweak. If you use a liquid-cooling setup, then you will not be moving as much air over your RAM as if you were using an air cooler. I don't know anything about your case. Some cases do a good job of directing air from the front of the case through to the rear to exhaust the heat from the CPU. If that is so, then you probably don't have to worry about your RAM. If the case doesn't do a great job, then you may be able to add some case fans or change the direction of some fans to force the air to cover the RAM. The simple solution is, of course, the RAM coolers that utilize their own fans.

RAM is generally easy to keep cool if the DIMMs have decent heat spreaders. The Corsair Vengence sticks have those large fins (they would get in the way of most decent aftermarket air coolers), which are larger than is really necessary. They would do a good job of keeping the RAM cool with good airflow over the motherboard.
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