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Building high-end gaming desktop, need help with choosing components

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August 16, 2012 10:18:58 PM

Hi everybody, first post here on the forums. It's been a while since I've worked with desktops but I'm back again with a little cash to spare... ;) 
I'll get to the point by saying I'm looking to build my own high-end gaming desktop and I'm in need of advice on certain components to purchase.

So far I've decided on these:

GPU: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 690

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K

These are the components which I'm relatively unsure of:

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth Z77, ASUS P8Z77-V Pro or ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe (what's the different between the P8Z77-V and P8Z77-I???)

RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB 2 X 8 GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 or Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 Vengeance 16GB 4X4GB DDR3-1600 (is it preferable to have two large sticks or four small sticks???)

And finally these are the components which I don't really know where to start on:

SSD (Primary Storage): ??? (Preferably 120 GB)

Hard Drive (Secondary Storage): ??? (Preferably 1 or 2 TB)

Optical Drive: ??? (Preferably Blu-ray compatible)

Power Supply: ???

Case: ???

Lots of decisions to be made, I know but I'm just trying to find the best choices and I know you guys are all very knowledgeable.
Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2012 10:26:38 PM

Well if its solely for gaming, then you could drop the 3770K for a 3570K which wont show much of a difference in gaming, yet seeing as you have the money for a 690, I dont think money is an issue in this build.

As for a power supply, I would go with a really nice high quality unit. It should be more than enough for your setup with room to spare. PC Power & Cooling are some of the best there is as well as Seasonic:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2012 11:10:25 PM

GTX 690???? no no no... let me quote something that was voted as best answer in an older thread
Quote:
Not sure if you've already purchased your 690 or not but I will say my share anyway.

I was in the same situation as you. So I went ahead and ordered both. I had a 690 and a pair of 680s in my house. In the end I stuck with the 680s SLI. A few reasons as to why.

1. Heat. Many people think you'd get less heat with 1 card vs two. In this case you don't. The 690 gets pretty hot. As does 680 SLI. Big difference between the two? How the heat is moved. With the 690 heat will exhaust inside of your case. Your case will get very hot. Temps raised inside my case by about 10C with a 690. All because it was exhausting all that heat inside of the case. Sure, my pc could handle it. But either way it's not good for everything inside. That alone was enough to make me not want to keep the 690.

2. Future proof. In the end it's cheaper t buy two 680's and enjoy them for all they are worth. Once it's time to upgrade. Throwing another one in shouldn't be a problem. I don't have to fork out another 1k. I'm sure by then. Whatever knew card were coming would most likely make the 690 feel dated or at least not worth another one.

3. Resale Value. There is going to become a time where I don't game as much. Or maybe I'll end up seeing SLI as overkill. With 680SLI I will be able to sell one of the cards and keep the other inside my case. So I'll still have a GPU if I need it and not lose everything. Also, people are willing to spend less when used. Not more. So it's going to become a lot harder to sell a 690 in the future.

4. What If A Card Breaks? Lucky me. If I had two I could use one while the other gets fixed. 690 craps out. You'll be waiting a while for the fix and be out of a GPU.

In this case the positives just don't out weigh the negs. Is the 690 the sexiest case to date? You bet! Does it have pros!? Sure. Less power and 1 PCI slot. Also it runs on PCI 3.0 even if your running a SBE.

But it also isn't as fast as 680 SLI. Pay the same for less speed? The power difference isn't huge. I'm willing to bet anyone spending that much on a GPU would have a decent GPU to begin with. 680 SLI has more connections. Looks sexier in a case. Fills it up more vs 1 card.

In short. I'll say this. Get a 690 only if you plan to buy another one in the future. IMO that's its only selling point. You'll be running quad SLI with only two slots taken. If you only plan to run 1 690 then I see no point in getting one. As 680/670 will work better and keep your case cooler.

Hope that helps.

P.S- With the 690 you must have the connections in a certain order to be able to use all 3 monitors and max 3D performance. I wanted to use all DVI ports on the 690 for 3 monitors. What they don't tell you. In order to max your performance on a 690 you must use the display port. I just spend 1000K on a GPU. Didn't like the idea of being forced to buy an adapter just to enjoy it.


That being said i think you should rule out the GTX 690, now lets rule out the GTX 680's .....

They say a picture is worth 1000 words so i am not going into details about the GTX 680 vs GTX 670 in SLI.... it will be up to you to decide if the extra 200$ in the GTX 680 sli are worth it or not:







ok...let's move on:

CPU:
Quote:
I'll get to the point by saying I'm looking to build my own high-end gaming desktop


If that's the case then drop the i7 3770k and pick a i5 3570k, in gaming, they performs exactly the same and if you turn on the HT (turbo mode) in the i7 the performance will actually decrease while you game so unless you're planning to do some HEAVY video editing and transcoding the i7 is only going to be an unnecessary and useless expense.

Ram: again... for gaming only 4GB are needed, 8GB is the norm today simply because its VERY cheap, get yourself a 1600mhz 8gb kit and you will be ready to pwn noobs in no time :D 

SSD: my recommendation (if you have the money) is to get a 240-256GB ssd like the Crucial M4, Samsung 830, Vertex 4 or Mushkin chronos deluxe... if your budget doesn't allow that then get a 128GB SSD of the same model as the ones i listed above.

HDD: as a storage drive all you need is space...the amount is up to you, pick up the cheapest 7200rpm drive you can (WD, Samsung or Seagate ONLY)

Power Supply: for a GTX 670/680/7950/7970 SLI/Crossfire setup the recommended wattage is 750w... buy the Corsair HX750 ... inexpensive, reliable and efficient are the three words i would use to describe that PSU

Optical Drive: do you need blu-ray??? are you really going to use it?? if you answered those questions with a "yes" then buy a BD drive.

Motherboard: Buy an Asrock Z77 Extreme 6-.

Case: IMO...the best case ever made to date is the NZXT Switch 810 its simply PERFECT in every way!!

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 17, 2012 12:26:42 AM

What he said ^

lol
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August 17, 2012 1:29:51 AM

Wow... that really opened by eyes about the GTX 690. Looks like I'll definitely change that. As for the GTX 680s, are you saying they aren't much better than the GTX 670s?

In terms of the processor, the i7-3770K really won't give me any advantage? The i5-3570K is the next best thing?

About the RAM, what brand and series would you recommend?

I think I might go with the PC Power & Cooling PSU which Deemo recommended.

Onto the motherboard, you wouldn't advise getting any of the ASUS products I had in mind? I've always heard ASUS made fairly reliable motherboards.

Unfortunately yes I kind of need a Blu-ray player as I have all these Blu-ray movies lying around... :p 

And I searched up that case, looks absolutely amazing, I'll definitely keep it in consideration.

I really appreciate the help guys, means a lot. Only been on the forums for a few hours and aleady I'm seeing some great people

EDIT: Also, I've been looking into buying a liquid cooler for the CPU. Would a Corsair H100 work well?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 17, 2012 2:09:38 AM

Wow... that really opened by eyes about the GTX 690. Looks like I'll definitely change that. As for the GTX 680s, are you saying they aren't much better than the GTX 670s? said:
Wow... that really opened by eyes about the GTX 690. Looks like I'll definitely change that. As for the GTX 680s, are you saying they aren't much better than the GTX 670s?


lol, i am not saying it, i am showing you

In terms of the processor, the i7-3770K really won't give me any advantage? The i5-3570K is the next best thing? said:
In terms of the processor, the i7-3770K really won't give me any advantage? The i5-3570K is the next best thing?

the i7 CPUs have a feature called hyper threading wich allows the CPU to create four virtual cores that are handled by the OS as logical cores giving you a ~30-35% improvement in a few apps that use more than four cores... games are not like that and having HT ON actually reduces your gaming performance but it will boost your Photo/Video editing performance.

About the RAM, what brand and series would you recommend? said:
About the RAM, what brand and series would you recommend?

Ram choices are VERY personal, buy this kit if you are going to buy an CPU watercooler or use the stock fan OR this kit for normal aftermarket air coolers

I think I might go with the PC Power & Cooling PSU which Deemo recommended. said:
I think I might go with the PC Power & Cooling PSU which Deemo recommended.

Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling are top quality PSU manufacturers and they manufacture a lot of other companies PSUs... in fact, Corsair's TX PSUs are manufactured by seasonic but i wouldn't recomend you to buy that particular PC Power & cooling PSU because its simply overkill and NOT modular like the HX750.... your system will not even draw ~620w under full load but its always good to have a bit more than what you need and its never good to run your PSU at almost 100% of its capacity.

Onto the motherboard, you wouldn't advise getting any of the ASUS products I had in mind? I've always heard ASUS made fairly reliable motherboards. said:
Onto the motherboard, you wouldn't advise getting any of the ASUS products I had in mind? I've always heard ASUS made fairly reliable motherboards.


Fairly reliable??? they make the best high end motherboards in the world!! but if you want TRUE reliability then you need a Gigabyte motherboard with military class components. my mobo recommendations are: Gigabyte
GA-Z77X-UD5H Asus P8Z77-V or Asrock Z77 Extreme 6


And I searched up that case, looks absolutely amazing, I'll definitely keep it in consideration. said:
And I searched up that case, looks absolutely amazing, I'll definitely keep it in consideration.


Trust me, it's simply AMAZING ---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tTwXq0MaNY

I really appreciate the help guys, means a lot. Only been on the forums for a few hours and aleady I'm seeing some great people said:
I really appreciate the help guys, means a lot. Only been on the forums for a few hours and aleady I'm seeing some great people


Glad we're helping, buddy!

EDIT: Also, I've been looking into buying a liquid cooler for the CPU. Would Corsair H100 work well? said:
EDIT: Also, I've been looking into buying a liquid cooler for the CPU. Would Corsair H100 work well?


i am going to be honest with you... the H100 cost ~100$ and it gives you about 4 degress less temperature than the aesthetics killer Noctua DH-N14 (ugliest CPU cooler in the world) and the Thermaltake Water Extreme cost about ~130$ and it performs considerably better than the H100 BUT.... if you want the best of the best of the best buy this: http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12222/ex-wat-162/XSPC... those are gonna be the best spent 150$ of your life and if you decide to buy an extra 240mm rad you can watercool your CPU AND GPUs (if you're planning to do that then buy the reference model of the GTX 670 for about 370$) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if you buy two you will save 60$
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August 21, 2012 12:14:33 AM

The only thing that you've mentioned about the GTX 690 that REALLY gets to me is the fact that it releases heat into the case, is there any way around this? Perhaps water cooling? I love the GTX 690, to me having one card is much more appealing. I've seen people argue that their GTX 690 stays very cool under load, could it be different setups causing the excess heat issue? I might even consider adding another GTX 690 to my rig in the future.

As for the processor, money isn't much of an issue so I might be stubborn and buy the i7-3770k, depends on what my budget is when it comes time to buy all these components.

In terms of the PSU, what are the advantages of having a modular power supply? You mentioned the HX750 was.

Would you recommend the ASUS Sabertooth Z77? I really like the sleek design and the thermal shielding included on it but if the ASUS P8Z77-V is better would you recommend the Pro or the Deluxe? And I'm still not quite sure what the difference between the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-I is, could you shed some light on that?

The only problem I have with that particular case is that the acrylic side would be facing the wall while sitting on my desk, which sort of defeats it's purpose. Is there any suitable cases which have the window on the right side? The lighting aspect in cases is attractive to me but it's not completely necessary, nor is the window. Over everything I want a case that will provide optimal airflow and fit everything neatly. The visual elements come after.

I'm still looking into the water coolers but I'm a little concerned, is there any chance of the liquid leaking and damaging my system? The last thing I want while gaming is to be paranoid about my entire rig failing because my water cooler couldn't contain it's fluid. Would I be required to replace the liquid often?

Thanks again.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2012 12:45:35 AM

kavanaughty said:
The only thing that you've mentioned about the GTX 690 that REALLY gets to me is the fact that it releases heat into the case, is there any way around this? Perhaps water cooling? I love the GTX 690, to me having one card is much more appealing. I've seen people argue that their GTX 690 stays very cool under load, could it be different setups causing the excess heat issue? I might even consider adding another GTX 690 to my rig in the future.

As for the processor, money isn't much of an issue so I might be stubborn and buy the i7-3770k, depends on what my budget is when it comes time to buy all these components.

In terms of the PSU, what are the advantages of having a modular power supply? You mentioned the HX750 was.

Would you recommend the ASUS Sabertooth Z77? I really like the sleek design and the thermal shielding included on it but if the ASUS P8Z77-V is better would you recommend the Pro or the Deluxe? And I'm still not quite sure what the difference between the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-I is, could you shed some light on that?

The only problem I have with that particular case is that the acrylic side would be facing the wall while sitting on my desk, which sort of defeats it's purpose. Is there any suitable cases which have the window on the right side? The lighting aspect in cases is attractive to me but it's not completely necessary, nor is the window. Over everything I want a case that will provide optimal airflow and fit everything neatly. The visual elements come after.

I'm still looking into the water coolers but I'm a little concerned, is there any chances of the liquid leaking and damaging my system? The last thing I want while gaming is to be paranoid about my entire rig failing because my water cooler couldn't contain it's fluid. Would I be required to replace the liquid often?

Thanks again.


*I really don't recommend you to get the GTX690 for the reasons i stated above but its your choice.... Watercooling will definetly solve the heat issue but idk, can you properly set a water cooling system?

watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHNFhTAvvBA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpo3y7B2jMo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krgK2dcxJ5g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnbbZQ2OhEg&feature=fvwr...

i can link you the parts necessary to set up a loop for your cards.

*I say you get the 3770k, there is no harm in getting something overkill

*Modular PSUs allow you to use ONLY the cables you need, this allows you to have a much cleaner/better looking case and a more efficient cable management, it also increases the case airflow but not having a bunch of cable laying around.

Modular


non modular

*Yes, i do recommend you the Asus Sabertooth Z77 but know that it's highly overrated, you should consider the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 (Don't let its size full ya! that thing packs a punch) a Asus Maximus V Gene (Micro ATX too but its also packs a punch and its a direct competitor of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3) or if you want a normal sized ATX motherboard get a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB.

*Well...if the Switch 810 is not an option the i'd get a NZXT Phantom (no window) a NZXT Whisper (SUPER QUIET) a Cooler Master HAF X (or HAF-XM) or if you want a nice mid tower case with a simple bold design a Corsair
600T White Graphite will fulfill your needs.

*Those cooler i linked will NOT leaked, they are build with REALLY HIGH quality tubing and the reason of this is because if those cooler drop the tiniest amount of water and they fry your system corsair/thermaltake will replace your full sytem but don't worry...the chance of this happening is EXTREMELY low (or else those cooler wouldn't get as many good reviews)

PS: closed loop liquid coolers do not require a liquid change....Never.

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August 21, 2012 11:48:44 PM

How would I go about water cooling the GTX 690? On the video Linus said he wasn't very fond of using individual blocks for the GPU. I don't exactly like the idea of taking a GTX 690 apart either but if I could install water cooling on it without the risk of damaging the card and without much complication I wouldn't mind.

I'll definitely look into modular PSUs now, I'll look at your suggestions as well as other power supplies and get back to you.

Do you have any idea what the difference between the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77-I is? Also, would you recommend the Pro or Deluxe version of that board if I were to purchase it?

I decided instead of trying to search for a different case I'll just buy a new desk, problem solved. Would a full tower case with good air flow like the HAF X keep the interior temperature lower with a GTX 690? Keep in mind this desktop will be kept in an Atlantic Canadian basement, maybe that would be an advantage in terms of cooling as well... :p 

Also, those coolers you linked me to, are they closed loop?
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