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Build for gaming and computing

Last response: in Systems
July 1, 2012 8:13:18 PM

Hi, I'm a computer science major who will be focusing on high level computations in the future, as well as an avid gamer. I have around a $2500 budget to build a computer that fits my needs for the high level computations, but I have a few questions. For one, I read somewhere on Tom's that the 7970s are better at computations than 670s/680s, is this true? Secondly, I'm looking to run either dual 7970s or dual 670/680s, but from what I've read microstuttering is a huge problem with dual 7970s. The mobo I plan on getting will have one more slot to fit a third gfx card in, but I won't be getting a third one until around another year from now. I will have three monitors, each 1920x1080 Asus VH242H 23.6", and I'd like to be able to game across all three during my free time however from what I've heard microstuttering is even worse across three monitors. Thanks for any answers :) 

I plan on having:
Core i7-3770k or Core i5-3570k liquid cooled
2x 7970/670/680 depending on prices and answers
1050W power supply
Antec 1100 case
16 GB DDR3-2133 G.Skill RipjawsX
2-3TB hard drive.
as of right now, any suggestions on what else could be used is appreciated.

More about : build gaming computing

July 1, 2012 9:18:04 PM

Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K
$569.99 and free shipping.

Intel BXRTS2011LC Liquid-cooled Thermal Solution For the LGA2011 Socket

ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL8Q-16GBZM

SeaSonic X-1250 1250W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply

EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
$419.99 x2=$839.98 and a $10 rebate makes the final price $829.98

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Western Digital Caviar Green WD25EZRX 2.5TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Antec Eleven Hundred Black Super Mid Tower Computer Case

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

The total for this off the beaten path build is $2615.89 and before you keel over let me explain why.
The center of this build is the 3930k Sandy Bridge-E cpu which has six cores and hyperthreading so that you have a total of 12 cores available and massive amounts of L3 cache (12MB). It would seem to be the answer to the high level computations and gaming that you are intending the Pc to be used for. The two GTX 670's will compete with any combination of video cards and when a third is added that will put it over the top and you would have a video solution that would be better than any.
If this is not your cup of tea then no big deal the build can be reworked to your satisfaction. I just thought I would throw this out there to see what you think.
July 1, 2012 9:48:42 PM

this is a bit less than the build inzone suggested. it is about as good though. the nh-d14 will completely destroy the intel water cooler but then you will have to live up to the color of the fans

for games, going with 670s is a better choice since it uses less power than the 670 and usually costs less. for compute power, a 7970 can beat a 690 so i opted for the 7970. you can always go with 2 evga ftw 670s
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July 1, 2012 10:22:19 PM

This is what I've come up with so far. Using a Sandy Bridge-E processor never occurred to me, what benefits would it have for computing? And for gaming, is it = to a 3770k? Also, I have 2 monitors right now, and the build I did included the third one. I think I will go with the 7970s as long as I think micro stuttering won't be an issue. I also just figured out I'm taking fewer hours than I thought, so my budget may go up enough to get what you have picked out along with a monitor if I'm lucky.
July 1, 2012 10:27:49 PM

As you can see by these benchmarks two 670's win thier share of the battles and this is just in gaming so another question that needs answering is does the cuda cores add an assist to what you intend to do with the high level of compute.
July 1, 2012 10:35:22 PM

The Sandy Bridge -E is a six core cpu with hyperthreading and a L3 cache of 12 MB and for the compute part you will have to find out if more cores is a better thing or not. The 3770k is a quad core with hyperthreading and that means there is 8 cores available with a L3 cache of 8MB. The thing is to know if the extra cores would be a benefit or not.
I currently have a 980x which is a 6 core cpu and if and when I upgrade it will be to something compatable to that , so right now it would be the 3960x or the 3930k.
July 1, 2012 11:01:20 PM

I would most likely be using OpenCL, which the GeForce cards don't support, sadly. I know the difference between the two processors, I think my real question is are there any benchmarks anywhere that show the differences with multiple graphic cards across multiple screens that compare the 2600k/3770k to the 3930k?
July 1, 2012 11:06:14 PM

You could try this site and see what they have. It's going to be hard to find any benchmarks because it's such highend components that the places will have to have all of those parts to compare.
July 2, 2012 12:55:46 PM
This is what I have come up with for an x79 build. It is slightly more expensive than what has been seen before but it also has a monitor included in the price. Suggestions off of that?

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July 2, 2012 3:30:26 PM

I will say that is your happy with what you have listed then the only thing left to do is buy it and put it together. I think it looks very good and will serve you well.
I do think that with an expensive build you should have gone with the top brand of psu in the SeaSonic and if your going to be adding a third video card Me personally would be choosing a 1200w psu. I had three GTX 580's at one time before I just sold one , and I had the 1200w psu. Maybe it was more than I needed but I wanted to be sure of having enough power and some extra. The reason I sold one of the 580's is because I'm planning on upgrading to newer cards.
July 2, 2012 4:20:38 PM

I think I'm fine with a 1000W psu, and I've never had a problem with a corsair psu, so I think I'll stick with what I have, thanks :)  Your help is very much appreciated!
July 2, 2012 4:20:48 PM

Best answer selected by xcrossroadsx.
July 2, 2012 7:41:55 PM

I'm glad to have been of help to you , good luck with your build.