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Help me wisely spend $2,000

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July 16, 2012 4:02:03 PM

I'm a novice builder that is planning a new rig. To give you some idea of me, I'm a mechanical engineer with grey hair; which means I have a much better aptitude for computers than your average Joe but I'm far from a computer engineer. Some guidance and a point in the right direction and I can figure stuff out pretty well. In short, I know just enough to be stupid and dangerous, which is why I'm here.

To give you an idea of what I want to build. My budget is around $2,000. I won't cry if I go a bit over but I don't want to waste money either. The primary usage will be gaming which will probably include some video capture and editing, the usual home/office type stuff, entertainment, and possibly some 3D CAD (Solidworks). So ultimately the system will I expect include
a monitor, a TV,

I'm planning the build around an Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz CPU. Since I'm new to building I'm not planning on overclocking right out of the box but I may want to do that further down the line.

First up for discussion is motherboards. I've narrowed my choices to
ASUS Sabertooth X79 at $319
Intel X79SR at $319
Intel X79SI at $259
ASRock X79 Extreme 4 at $224

Below are my naive pros & cons. Please help me decide on the mobo first, then we'll move on to other components. If you want to suggest a different board, feel free to mention it and give me the reasons why - which should be more than "because it's great".

Sabertooth:
Pros:TUF aspect and their attention to heat, Turbo Boost 2.0, Digi+Power, SSD Caching, Firewire, Optical, 5 yr warranty
Cons: NewEgg reviews point to reliability concerns (but it has longest warranty). The max memory speed is also a bit slower but that's minor. I'm a bit leary of whether this board requires more expert builder than I am. Price.

X79SR:
Pros: WiFi, Bluetooth, 10 Channel Sound(7.1 +2), Firewire, Optical, Intel Reliability/Stability (?)
Cons: Price

X79SI:
Pros: Price, Bluetooth, Intel Reliability/Stability (?)
Cons: Basic Sound, Only (2) 6 Gb/s drives

ASRock X79
Pros: Price, ASRock has good ratings/review/awards, ASRockFAST technologies but they seem more related to 32 bit, is it just marketing hype.

Right now I'm leaning towards either the Sabertooth or the X79SR and the X79SR has the edge because of my experience level, the sound, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Thanks for your help. I'm really looking forward to going through this build.
Jetson

More about : wisely spend 000

July 16, 2012 4:04:41 PM

newegg ok for ya?
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July 16, 2012 4:13:48 PM

Yup - pretty much all newegg
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July 16, 2012 4:16:46 PM
July 16, 2012 4:19:25 PM

could change the ssd for bigger one i think myself bigger the better
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July 16, 2012 4:19:26 PM

maybe change it for 240gb
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July 16, 2012 4:31:23 PM

case is pretty much down to what u want but with the antec 1100 u will have to buy 7 120mm fans
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July 16, 2012 4:35:15 PM

Thanks for the suggestions Stew but am I missing something - such as an adapter? The CPU is LGA 2011, not 1155 socket. I was under the impression (perhaps false) that the board and CPU have to match and that the cooler can be adapted or do I have that wrong?

Also, I don't mean to sound like an a$$ but I would really prefer to get some explanation with why I would want one board vs. another, not just have folks give me their $2,000 wish list. That's not to say I won't be using any of the parts you have on it - for example the 212 evo is on my short list of coolers, but I hadn't gotten to those yet.
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July 16, 2012 4:41:16 PM

Sorry - I see, you switched the processor down to an i5, hence the 1155 socket.

So then, why the changes to the cpu etc. from where I started? Why the compromise?
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July 16, 2012 4:48:10 PM

they r both lga 1155 sockets and the cooler fits.. all the parts r good high end parts the 2500k is prob the best gaming cpu on the market and proforms well in overclocking.
the msi 670 out preforms the 680 with just a little overclock
the hyper 212 is one of my prefered coolers clocks in 1/2 degrees above my h70
ripjaws would tell anyone to get them as found them the best by far! and the same with all the other parts really u asked for a system build and got an answer back i might be the only person that comments or there maybe 10 more people my setup was just something for u to go on
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July 16, 2012 5:04:44 PM

i just been racking my brains u keep going on about changing the cpu sry i forgot u wanted to build around a 3930k lol sry!!! have u got the cpu already if not then i would change to the 2500k as if u going to use this rig for gaming then no game uses more than 4 cores and the and like i said if it is just gaming then the 2500k is all u need and a hell of alot cheaper!!

2500k $225
3930k $580

look at the game results below
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/11/14/intel-...
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2012 5:11:45 PM

I wouldn't recommend Socket 2011 unless the machine is your primary workstation, it's just too expensive - a Socket 1155 i7 can do 95% of the work for less cash, and i5 can probably do 80-90% for even less.

Why don't you fill this in to make it easier for us http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/353572-13-build-upg...
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July 16, 2012 5:26:05 PM

Hey - sorry Stew, I don't mean to be difficult. I am just trying to understand so that I make the right purchase. Thanks for the explanation, it will be gaming and depending on how much work I bring home, can include 3D CAD solid modelling and analysis.

If we're just going to jump into the deep end. The machine I put together for $2,000 is this:

i7 3930K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NH-D14 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
X79 Intel or Sabertooth
Cooler Master HAF 932 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master 850W Silent Hybrid http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seagate 2 TB HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ 240 GB SDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Blu Ray cd/dvd http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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July 16, 2012 5:33:07 PM

Quote:
Why don't you fill this in to make it easier for us http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/foru [...] ade-advice

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: this month

Budget Range: $2,000 don't care on Rebates; Before Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (3d CAD solid modelling, analysis; gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies; video capture, video editing)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes but not included in budget

Parts to Upgrade: New Build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes / Windows 7 Pro

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Location: City, State/Region, Country - NJ, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Would like it to be quiet

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: existing system obsolete
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July 16, 2012 5:37:19 PM

Your gonna need more than 4GB of RAM. If anything get at least 2 x 8GB sticks. You should probably double your hard drives (at least the hdd) and use raid configurations so your data is replicated. Some Arctic Silver thermal paste for the cpu/heatsink would do good, the stock stuff is ok, but that chip is gonna get hotter than a 2500k/2600k.
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July 16, 2012 5:37:20 PM

I always recommend an sli/crossfire system to be honest, 1 card will be taken down a notch rather quickly as new games come out but a second can really extend the life.
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July 16, 2012 5:52:35 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Your gonna need more than 4GB of RAM. If anything get at least 2 x 8GB sticks. You should probably double your hard drives (at least the hdd) and use raid configurations so your data is replicated. Some Arctic Silver thermal paste for the cpu/heatsink would do good, the stock stuff is ok, but that chip is gonna get hotter than a 2500k/2600k.

I was planning on going with 8 GB of RAM and using part of the SDD as a RAM disk but I need to learn more about implementing that.

vegettonox said:
I always recommend an sli/crossfire system to be honest, 1 card will be taken down a notch rather quickly as new games come out but a second can really extend the life.

I was debating between a GTX 670 and 1 or 2 560 Ti cards. I read in my research thoug92080 x 1080

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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2012 5:59:17 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($338.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($174.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl ATX Mid Tower Case ($114.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($130.21 @ Amazon)
Total: $1651.10
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

Geared for future GTX670 SLI. I honestly don't see point in spending any more cash. Save the left over cash for when you need to upgrade to SLI or something else.
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July 16, 2012 6:29:32 PM

Thanks Finneous, I don't see where that card is SLI compatible though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 16, 2012 6:48:49 PM

All GTX670s are SLI compatible, I'm not sure I understand.

EDIT: The reason I chose that one is because it exhausts out the rear.
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July 16, 2012 7:16:28 PM

the motherboard he states does support it! r u sure u need help lol?
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July 16, 2012 7:58:15 PM

stew198269 said:
the motherboard he states does support it!

well I don't see the P8Z77 in the list of the ASUS 1155 MBs that I linked to on the GeForce site. The Asus Z77 Sabertooth is but if that means that all Z77 boards are then that's a leap of logic I'm not aware of, it may be true but again I'm here to learn and buy.

stew198269 said:
r u sure u need help lol?


what in the world makes you think I don't?


Come on Stew, are you just trying to bust my nuts or what?

I am trying to make an educated decision and avoid wasting money. That means I want to learn about why to buy what I'm being told to buy. So far you've explained why I don't need the CPU I originally planned, and I appreciate that. I learned something and saved money for use elsewhere.

You guys may know each other, and probably know a lot about what you're doing - I don't mean to imply you don't and I'm certainly not trying to say I know more, or know better, but I do intend on double checking what people tell me because people can make mistakes.

Or do you expect that I should just copy and paste a recommendation into a shopping cart, spend the money and hope for the best?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 17, 2012 3:56:36 AM

Jetson said:
well I don't see the P8Z77 in the list of the ASUS 1155 MBs that I linked to on the GeForce site. The Asus Z77 Sabertooth is but if that means that all Z77 boards are then that's a leap of logic I'm not aware of, it may be true but again I'm here to learn and buy.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7...
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July 17, 2012 6:03:50 PM

Best answer selected by Jetson.
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July 17, 2012 6:05:57 PM

Thanks Finneous, I appreciate it. I'm pretty much going with the build you specified with just a couple small changes.

MSI instead of EVGA video card because some reviews have it as easier to OC.
Rosewell case because it comes with more standard fans, although I like the FD design and attention to low noise, I may revisit that - order time decision.

180 GB SSD vs the 240 GB even though it's a bit more expensive I like the 5 year warranty on the Intel ( but a bit more reading indicates that Intel may shorten the warranty based on actual usage) and the Mushkin has a higher MTBF; may be another game time decision.

Similar Memory but I was planning on maybe 4x4GB instead of 2x8GB to spread the load out a bit more and the sticks I chose have a bit lower latency. The 2x8Gb would enable adding more in the future but I think I'll stick with the 4x4GB unless there is a reason I shouldn't.


I think I'm pretty much done, my only concern at this point is making sure that the cooler and ram won't interfere.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I think I'm down to whether or not to upgrade the PSU for more power now so that I will have it if I go SLI in the future, and then I need to do some research to make sure that the memory and cooler won't interfere.

If anyone see where I missed a compatibility issue or has a suggested change.

Thanks for your help so far.

Much thanks again Finneous.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 4:20:51 AM

Jetson said:
Thanks Finneous, I appreciate it. I'm pretty much going with the build you specified with just a couple small changes.

Cool. Yes, of course.
Jetson said:

MSI instead of EVGA video card because some reviews have it as easier to OC.
Rosewell case because it comes with more standard fans, although I like the FD design and attention to low noise, I may revisit that - order time decision.

The case is mostly a matter of preference.
Jetson said:

180 GB SSD vs the 240 GB even though it's a bit more expensive I like the 5 year warranty on the Intel ( but a bit more reading indicates that Intel may shorten the warranty based on actual usage) and the Mushkin has a higher MTBF; may be another game time decision.

The Mushkin is pretty well rated, but Intel is great also - whichever you prefer ;) 
Jetson said:

Similar Memory but I was planning on maybe 4x4GB instead of 2x8GB to spread the load out a bit more and the sticks I chose have a bit lower latency. The 2x8Gb would enable adding more in the future but I think I'll stick with the 4x4GB unless there is a reason I shouldn't.

2x8GB is a better choice but slightly more expensive, and doesn't really offer any advantage until you're adding more RAM.
Jetson said:

I think I'm pretty much done, my only concern at this point is making sure that the cooler and ram won't interfere.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I think I'm down to whether or not to upgrade the PSU for more power now so that I will have it if I go SLI in the future, and then I need to do some research to make sure that the memory and cooler won't interfere.

If anyone see where I missed a compatibility issue or has a suggested change.

Thanks for your help so far.

Much thanks again Finneous.

Populating all RAM slots it might be best to go with low profile sticks like these for example http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Honestly the Ripjaws' heatsinks don't really offer any advantage.

That PSU will do SLI.
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July 18, 2012 3:22:23 PM

All of the ASUS qualified 16 GB memory is 4x4. Since the 2x8 will stress the board more , I'd rather go with the 4x4 although Mushkin memory isn't on the ASUS qualified memory list for that board (very little muskin memory is). Still, with the speed and voltage being the same I'm sure the Mushkin will be fine.

I just wasn't sure if the PSU would have enough power for SLI but it looks like it does.
Thanks again.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 3:26:36 PM

4x4 GB is totally fine. I'm sure the Mushkin will work great, too. Mobo manufacturers just can't test every module out there.
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July 18, 2012 3:43:13 PM

FinneousPJ said:
4x4 GB is totally fine. I'm sure the Mushkin will work great, too. Mobo manufacturers just can't test every module out there.


Understood - I figured that. The Mushkin has good reviews and so does the G.Skill. I don't see any reason as far as the cooler to pick one or the other. They have the same latency.
Do you think there is a reason to pick one over the other now or is it pretty much an even choice?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2012 4:48:11 PM

I prefer low profile RAM overall since DDR3 runs so cool anyway. Performance wise I see no reason to pick one over the other.
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July 18, 2012 6:24:53 PM

Ended up opting for the Mushkin 4x4 leaving me room for a push-pull fan arrangement if needed in the future.

Thanks again for the help. Especially Finneous!!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 4:14:55 AM

Cool brah ;) 
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