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Help me out - Long time console gamer - first build - 3.5K Budget

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August 2, 2012 5:15:45 AM

Ok so I'm new to PC gaming but I've done a lot of research and a lot of saving I'm getting close to actually buying my first rig.

I Would really appreciate some feedback/suggestions. Here's what I got so far. I don't know enough to build my own so I'm thinking of getting through iBUYPOWER.

I am a big gamer and want my games to run at ultra knock your socks off performance. And also I work from home doing a lot of multimedia video editing and photoshopping. So those are my main needs.

Anyways here's my build.

Case: Corsair C70 - military green
Processor: Intel Core i7 3820
Advanced Noise Reduction
CPU Liquid Cooling w/ dual silent high performance fans
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16gb 4gbx4 DDR3 1600
Dual AMD 7970 CrossFire
Motherboard: Asus PX979
Power Supply: 1350 Watt Thermaltake Toughpower
Main Hard Drive: 1tb WD VelociRaptor HDD - 10000 RPM 6.0Gb/s
Data Hard Drive: 120Gb Intel 520 SDD- Read 550MB/s - Write 500MB/s
Optical Drive: 12x Pioneer Blu-Ray Re-Writer DVD-R/RW Combo Drive
Internal 12-in-1 flash media card reader/writer
Creative Labs Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anything at all would be appreciated. I've only owned Macs so far so this is all quite new and exciting.

August 2, 2012 5:26:35 AM

Waste of $ that PSU. You can get 2 GTX 670s for $100 less and they will perform around the same. X79 is for business or high-end computations, not for gaming or video editing. Just get an i7-3770k and ASRock Z77 Extreme4. Getting an SSD just for storage is a waste and not what SSDs are for right now. Get just a Crucial M4 128GB SSD and a 2TB Green drive for storage (they sell for $120). If it is Hydro coolers, just save your $. Get the Scythe Mugen 3 for CPU Cooling.
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August 2, 2012 5:26:57 AM

fishhead617 said:
Ok so I'm new to PC gaming but I've done a lot of research and a lot of saving I'm getting close to actually buying my first rig.

I Would really appreciate some feedback/suggestions. Here's what I got so far. I don't know enough to build my own so I'm thinking of getting through iBUYPOWER.

I am a big gamer and want my games to run at ultra knock your socks off performance. And also I work from home doing a lot of multimedia video editing and photoshopping. So those are my main needs.

Anyways here's my build.

Case: Corsair C70 - military green
Processor: Intel Core i7 3820
Advanced Noise Reduction
CPU Liquid Cooling w/ dual silent high performance fans
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16gb 4gbx4 DDR3 1600
Dual AMD 7970 CrossFire
Motherboard: Asus PX979
Power Supply: 1350 Watt Thermaltake Toughpower
Main Hard Drive: 1tb WD VelociRaptor HDD - 10000 RPM 6.0Gb/s
Data Hard Drive: 120Gb Intel 520 SDD- Read 550MB/s - Write 500MB/s
Optical Drive: 12x Pioneer Blu-Ray Re-Writer DVD-R/RW Combo Drive
Internal 12-in-1 flash media card reader/writer
Creative Labs Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anything at all would be appreciated. I've only owned Macs so far so this is all quite new and exciting.


Everything looks good but I'll add my input anyways :) 

Since you mentioned you'll be working from home, doing lots of video editing and photoshopping, why don't you consider ditching the 3820 and going with the 3930k? It'll provide a lot more horsepower.


Ditch the Crossfire set up, and get a single GTX670 or GTX680. It'll cost less, allowing you to get a beefier CPU for your work.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev... They also perform great at 1080p or 1600p :) 


Your PSU is highly overkill, get a lower wattage - preferably 850w or 1000w.

One last concern of mine - I hope you meant using the 120GB SSD as your operating system drive and your 1TB VelociRaptor as your scratchdisk/storage.
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August 2, 2012 5:32:16 AM

mocchan said:
Everything looks good but I'll add my input anyways :) 

Since you mentioned you'll be working from home, doing lots of video editing and photoshopping, why don't you consider ditching the 3820 and going with the 3930k? It'll provide a lot more horsepower.


Ditch the Crossfire set up, and get a single GTX670 or GTX680. It'll cost less, allowing you to get a beefier CPU for your work.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev... They also perform great at 1080p or 1600p :) 


Your PSU is highly overkill, get a lower wattage - preferably 850w or 1000w.

One last concern of mine - I hope you meant using the 120GB SSD as your operating system drive and your 1TB VelociRaptor as your scratchdisk/storage.

An SSD + HDD solution is vastly superior and faster.

1000W for 2 7970s? Waste of $. 750W is more than enough for 2 7970s..
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August 2, 2012 5:43:07 AM

azeem40 said:
An SSD + HDD solution is vastly superior and faster.

1000W for 2 7970s? Waste of $. 750W is more than enough for 2 7970s..


I'm aware an SSD+HDD is faster, I was just making sure OP was using the SSD as a boot drive, since he listed it as storage/data.

As for the PSU wattage, I know 750w is more than enough, I was just considering if OP were to add more cards in the future. (I tend to overkill when I buy my own PSU's :lol:  )
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August 2, 2012 6:03:36 AM

Yeah, I am guilty of that too. :lol: 
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August 2, 2012 6:08:12 AM

-hi 5's- Glad to know I'm not the only one that's guilty LOL! :lol: 
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August 2, 2012 6:09:19 AM

I have a 950W Silencer MK that I got due to the deal it had on it. Was $130. Now I wish I had gotten the $75 XFX 550W lol. :lol: 
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August 2, 2012 6:12:13 AM

azeem40 said:
I have a 950W Silencer MK that I got due to the deal it had on it. Was $130. Now I wish I had gotten the $75 XFX 550W lol. :lol: 

I totally know what that's like...I personally had an HX750 (totally overkill) for my 560 Ti and Phenom II X4 rig...figured I would add a second card in the future but that never happened :lol:  Plus, the deal on that PSU was pretty sick at the time.
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August 2, 2012 6:13:31 AM

Yep, same here. I then read a bunch of stuff on how CF/SLI will decrease the lifespan of the bottom card due to it getting the heat of the second card.
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August 2, 2012 6:14:55 AM

Well what do ya know, you learn something new everyday :lol:  I had thought something like that might happen, but didn't get confirmation til now.
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August 2, 2012 6:16:14 AM

Yeah, thank Raiddinn for that. :) 
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August 2, 2012 6:39:50 AM

May I make a recommendation?

There are certain parts in every build that lose their value to the operator rather quickly and other that hold fast you should be aware of that when allocating your money. Processors, motherboards, ram, video cards... really all the core components tend to devalue rather quickly and need to be replaced. In addition to that I feel that one of the most forgotten aspects to building a computer are all of the interface components. Often times builders -- especially first time builders -- will allocate all of their money to creating the fastest box possible which doesn't usually give the best experience possible.

Things I'd personally go for would be something like this...
1.) 27" or 30" dell screen (u2711 $900) (u3011 $1300)
2.) Mechanical keyboard with blue or brown switches (look up Ducky, Filco, WASD, Leopold all are $90-150)
3. Logitech G500 mouse $60
4. Razer Scarab $40
5. at this point it depends on how you like to game but I recommend an awesome pair of headphones with decent pc speakers since you can get much better bang for your buck so... Klipsch 2.1 speakers $150
6. Music streamer 2 DAC $150 (external 2 channel sound card with RCA outs)
7. Creek OBH-11 Headphone amp $225 (you'll need this for the headphones)
8. 1 pair decent RCA cables ($40~)
9. Sennheiser HD-650's ($350-400)
10. Good chair like a steel case Leap, Think, or Amia, or a herman miller Aeron, or Mirra(Great for long gaming sessions and these things last 15-20 years) 500-1000

I know that it might sound strange but a computer constructed with the interface in mind is in my experience always more enjoyable than one constructed to be the fastest. I've done it both ways many many times.

The cheap side of these things will eat most of your budget (~2500) but they will out last your next 4 builds with the exception of the screen which will simply outlast your current build. You will have amazing sound a wonderful typing experiance, a fantastic screen, and you'll be comfortable all day long.





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August 2, 2012 6:41:17 AM

For gaming, the GPU is the most important part of the build. Never cut corners on it for headphones, keyboard, mouse, sound cards, etc.
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August 2, 2012 6:43:14 AM

azeem40 said:
For gaming, the GPU is the most important part of the build. Never cut corners on it for headphones, keyboard, mouse, sound cards, etc.


+1...

Never compromise on a GPU+CPU, accessories come last.
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August 2, 2012 6:46:21 AM

You shouldn't be including peripherals (except mouse) in a build if you already have the basics. Buy those later and not part of the budget. If you really want them, just say, "My budget is $1000" or whatever and don't say you have extra $, or else we will spend all of it. :lol: 
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August 2, 2012 6:49:47 AM

azeem40 said:
You shouldn't be including peripherals (except mouse) in a build if you already have the basics. Buy those later and not part of the budget. If you really want them, just say, "My budget is $1000" or whatever and don't say you have extra $, or else we will spend all of it. :lol: 


:lol:  :D  :na:  very true
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August 2, 2012 6:54:19 AM

azeem40 said:
You shouldn't be including peripherals (except mouse) in a build if you already have the basics. Buy those later and not part of the budget. If you really want them, just say, "My budget is $1000" or whatever and don't say you have extra $, or else we will spend all of it. :lol: 


I disagree. Most people who are coming from a standard office computer or whatever they had in their home tend to have sub-standard periphirals. Whats the point of having a super fast graphics card if your monitor can't do it justice? What gain are you really seeing on a super expensive processor if you have to get up every 15 minutes because your folding chair keeps collapseing or your back hurts? Also building for the parts that last forever the first time will result in an excellent second build where he can focus on all the expensive bits that lose value quickly.

Besides most of those parts go to waste the 90% of the time you aren't gaming on your amazing rig. Building for the interface first improves that 90 percent time.
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August 2, 2012 6:55:18 AM

If he didn't say he needs a monitor, he probably has a 1080p one. Last I checked, a GTX 670 is not overkill for that res.
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August 2, 2012 6:58:09 AM

fishhead617 said:
I am a big gamer and want my games to run at ultra knock your socks off performance. And also I work from home doing a lot of multimedia video editing and photoshopping. So those are my main needs.


This also leads me to believe he has some sufficient peripherals already at home.
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August 2, 2012 7:00:53 AM

azeem40 said:
If he didn't say he needs a monitor, he probably has a 1080p one. Last I checked, a GTX 670 is not overkill for that res.


You're right about that. He should be able to run just about everything on max. 1600p is about twice that resolution though and its very helpful when the user is simply browsing the web or doing work. It allows the user to easily compare things they are looking at like an excel sheet and an email whereas going cheaper and doing dual monitors would mess up the computer for most games due to the offset the monitors would likely be at on the desk or if just a single monitor was used the user would have significantly reduced real-estate. The downside would be that without significantly more power in the graphics area the user would likely have to turn some settings down. Its a careful balance. and Its important when building a computer to think of all the other things that we do on it day in and day out.
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August 2, 2012 7:05:51 AM

I'd still not use a budget for peripherals. You can always add those later.
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August 2, 2012 7:13:24 AM

As I said in my first post building a computers peripherals first may sound strange and Indeed its contrary to most common build methods but I didn't just come on it overnight I've built a lot of computers with a emphasis on many different things(like massive raid arrays, maximum speed, and sound above all else) Emphasis on interface though renders a wonderfully useable computer and Its what I recommend to everyone these days unless they need something special (like digital artists who need redundancy and good screens or programmers who often value portability or isolation) Its your computer though. You will be happy with whatever you choose. Its a fun path to take and it will set you free.
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August 2, 2012 9:21:48 AM

Wow thanks everyone for the great responses. This forum is great!

So given your responses here's what I've taken away

Ok so PSU is overkill - thought it might be - and yeah I mixed up my hard drives the SSD is the primary drive and the HDD is the secondary data drive

For peripherals I have some stuff already but I'm probably going to upgrade my monitor to the 30 inch dell 2560x1600 which I can justify because the resolution would be great for the work I do - and I'll eventually get a new keyboard and mouse as well b/c as I said I was previously a Mac user and I won't be using all my old mac peripherals.

I'm torn about the crossfire I hear it's great but I've also heard that it can be a bit flakey and that it's just unnecessary - so what's the deal? is it worth it it or no for the gaming? - if not I may switch over to the NVIDIA GTX680 -

Now I'd like a 128Gb crucial M4 SSD but I can't seem to get that through iBUYPOWER which is odd given it's popularity but they only seem to offer Intel Kingston Corsair OCZ and ADATA-

I also looked into the intel core i7-3770 and I'm considering of going down to that which would mean I'd also switch motherboards probably to the ASrock z77 extreme4 - any arguments there? should i stick with the X79 3820 and the Asus board?


Anyways here's my rig again just to remind you all.

Case: Corsair C70 - military green
Processor: Intel Core i7 3820? maybe the 3770-core i7
Advanced Noise Reduction
CPU Liquid Cooling w/ dual silent high performance fans
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16gb 4gbx4 DDR3 1600
Dual AMD 7970 CrossFire --- maybe????? if not NVIDIA GTX680
Motherboard: Asus PX979? maybe the ASrock z77 Extreme4
Power Supply: 1000 Watt Thermaltake Toughpower
Data Hard Drive: 1tb WD VelociRaptor HDD - 10000 RPM 6.0Gb/s
Main Hard Drive: 120Gb Intel 520 SDD- Read 550MB/s - Write 500MB/s
Optical Drive: 12x Pioneer Blu-Ray Re-Writer DVD-R/RW Combo Drive
Internal 12-in-1 flash media card reader/writer
Creative Labs Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio

Thanks again everybody - with all your help I should be able to cobble this thing together soon and finally buy this bad mama jama!
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August 2, 2012 9:36:00 AM

Great choice on your monitor! Those 30" Dells are very nice...I personally want one in the future.

Your choice of an i7 3770k is actually very nice and will allow you to invest more in your GPU if you wished. Perhaps you may want to consider a GTX670/680 SLI :) 

Also about the Crucial M4, they are nice drives, but the Intel 520's will perform just as well. However, what other options do you have for SSD's? (models)

One last thing - your PSU is still a little overkill, you won't need more than around 850w!
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August 2, 2012 9:49:48 AM

Thanks man,
Yeah I've been in love with that monitor since I first saw it - it's beyond awesome!

Other SSD models are 120Gb AData s510 - 120Gb Corsair Force Series Gt - 120Gb Intel 520 - 120Gb Kingston V+200 - 120Gb OCZ Agility 3

Ok so about the PSU - the service I'm buying this through says I need at least 1000w to run my Video Cards in the crossfire setup and since I'm still undecided on whether I'll go with that or an NVIDIA GTX680 I haven't been able to tone it down but if I go with the GTX680 they'd let me get away with a 750w PSU
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August 2, 2012 10:00:44 AM

fishhead617 said:
Thanks man,
Yeah I've been in love with that monitor since I first saw it - it's beyond awesome!

Other SSD models are 120Gb AData s510 - 120Gb Corsair Force Series Gt - 120Gb Intel 520 - 120Gb Kingston V+200 - 120Gb OCZ Agility 3

Ok so about the PSU - the service I'm buying this through says I need at least 1000w to run my Video Cards in the crossfire setup and since I'm still undecided on whether I'll go with that or an NVIDIA GTX680 I haven't been able to tone it down but if I go with the GTX680 they'd let me get away with a 750w PSU


Ah, I see :ange:  That's one of the downsides of those custom pre-built services, they don't let you get what you want in a sense. (Only need a 650w PSU to run a single 680...550w for a 670 :lol:  )

However, that won't be too much of an issue I believe.

With those SSD options, I would stick with the Intel. It's a little pricier, but you get the reliability and name to back up your purchase/decision.

Anyways getting back to the main issue, Z77+3770k+670/680 vs X79+3820+CF7970's...

Crossfiring 7970's will get you some wicked performance, but there will always be the issue of power consumption (may be irrelevant to you) and price.

I would rather pick up a single GTX680 (still gives you some outstanding performance considering the MASSIVE resolution @2560x1600)
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August 2, 2012 10:30:39 AM

I think now I'm leaning towards the Z77 3770k with a single GTX 680 - that'll save me almost a grand and it'll still run great and look amazing - Thanks again mocchan you are a gentleman and a scholar!

The Build:

Case: Corsair C70 - military green
Processor: Intel Z77 3770 Core i7
Advanced Noise Reduction
CPU Liquid Cooling w/ dual silent high performance fans
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16gb 4gbx4 DDR3 1600
Video Card: NVIDIA 4Gb GTX 680
Motherboard: ASrock z77 Extreme4
Power Supply: 750 Watt Thermaltake Toughpower
Data Hard Drive: 1tb WD VelociRaptor HDD - 10000 RPM 6.0Gb/s
Main Hard Drive: 120Gb Intel 520 SDD- Read 550MB/s - Write 500MB/s
Optical Drive: 12x Pioneer Blu-Ray Re-Writer DVD-R/RW Combo Drive
Internal 12-in-1 flash media card reader/writer
Creative Labs Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio

Peripherals to buy:
Dell 30 inch 2560x1600 monitor
Razer DeathAdder Mouse
Razer Black Widow Ultimate Gaming Keyboard
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August 2, 2012 10:37:56 AM

Quote:
I'll eventually get a new keyboard and mouse as well b/c as I said I was previously a Mac user and I won't be using all my old mac peripherals.


For a mouse, go for Logitech, Steelseries, or Razer. I suggest the Logitech G9x.

Go for a mechanical keyboard. Watch this great Youtube video talking about different mechanical keyboards and different types of mechanical switches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHnMcFGkGcA


Go for Corsair, Seasonic, or XFX PSUs.
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August 2, 2012 10:48:22 AM

fishhead617 said:
I think now I'm leaning towards the Z77 3770k with a single GTX 680 - that'll save me almost a grand and it'll still run great and look amazing - Thanks again mocchan you are a gentleman and a scholar!

The Build:

Case: Corsair C70 - military green
Processor: Intel Z77 3770 Core i7
Advanced Noise Reduction
CPU Liquid Cooling w/ dual silent high performance fans
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16gb 4gbx4 DDR3 1600
Video Card: NVIDIA 4Gb GTX 680
Motherboard: ASrock z77 Extreme4
Power Supply: 750 Watt Thermaltake Toughpower
Data Hard Drive: 1tb WD VelociRaptor HDD - 10000 RPM 6.0Gb/s
Main Hard Drive: 120Gb Intel 520 SDD- Read 550MB/s - Write 500MB/s
Optical Drive: 12x Pioneer Blu-Ray Re-Writer DVD-R/RW Combo Drive
Internal 12-in-1 flash media card reader/writer
Creative Labs Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio

Peripherals to buy:
Dell 30 inch 2560x1600 monitor
Razer DeathAdder Mouse
Razer Black Widow Ultimate Gaming Keyboard

Yes that's definitely a very nice choice! A grand is HUGE...and you could invest that in the shiny Dell monitor we were talking about earlier ;)  :lol: 

I wouldn't worry about your PSU, by the way. I understand Thermaltake can make some iffy quailty PSU's, but the Toughpower series are actually very reliable and high quality.

About mechanical keyboards, the one you listed is great (I use the same one) but if I say so myself, I would recommend something with a wrist wrest if you're an avid typist!
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August 2, 2012 11:01:17 AM

Yeah I hear you man I've got a gel wrist rest that I use all the time so I'll keep using that. The Razer Keyboard and Mouse combo to me is just irresistible - they look so nice with that blue glow! I'll bet that's the coolest at night. Oh man can't wait! I think it's close to finalized now. I'll just have to mull it over a bit an do my diligence before pulling the trigger.
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August 2, 2012 11:06:25 AM

Oh yeah I totally understand what you mean about the looks, that's what attracted me to the Black Widow Ultimate to be honest. My picture with the frog has a Black Widow Ultimate in the background, by the way :)  You can't see it very well but it gives you an idea of how it looks.

I wish you good luck in your decision making! :)  I'm sure you'll have a blast when you decide to jump for it!
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August 2, 2012 4:12:04 PM

fishhead617 said:
Yeah I hear you man I've got a gel wrist rest that I use all the time so I'll keep using that. The Razer Keyboard and Mouse combo to me is just irresistible - they look so nice with that blue glow! I'll bet that's the coolest at night. Oh man can't wait! I think it's close to finalized now. I'll just have to mull it over a bit an do my diligence before pulling the trigger.


Mechanical keyboards like the Black Widow are a cut above everything else just because of their mechanical switches. If you haven't felt one you'll know what I mean when you do. Razer is in the process of updating their Black Widow line right now. Supposedly they've fixed some issues with the keyboard like the key combo zxc not registering all at once also their backlight is going to be green. You may want to consider a Deck Legend or a Ducky Shine they are both supposedly better built which I can't tell you for a fact because I haven't owned either one though I can tell you for a fact that the Filco Majestouch II, Rosewill RK-9000, and the Topre Realforce are... sadly they don't fit the bill because they lack backlighting.

You should consider the kind of mechanical switches that you are going to want.
1.)Blue - Tactile bump with click noise it's somewhat loud especially if you type hard. It is very much a typists switch. this is the black widow's switch.
2.)Brown - Tactile Bump only. I like these alot. They are much quieter and they require less force. These are a cross between a gamers switch and a typists switch. The black widow silent uses these.
3.)Black - No click, no bump, extra force required (to avoid accidental keypresses.) Steel series uses these in their 6G v2 and their 7G.
4.)Red - No click, no bump, Very little force required(so you can move as fast as possible) Corsair uses these in their K90 and K60 Boards.

You can get any of these switches in a Filco, Leopold, WASD, Ducky and I believe Deck though Deck may have a more limited selection.

The Topre Realforce that I mentioned is a completely different beast Its the best built keyboard that I've ever had and this includes the Filco Majestouch II but Its also the least impressive at first use. It's growing on me though.

one more important thing. I have two of the Dell 30's they have a long warm up time before their colors settle when you turn them on in the morning and when they do settle I've found that they have a distinctly green cast(most monitors are too blue). You must get a color calibration device like a Spyder if you're doing any visual content creation.


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