First build, exclusively for gaming. Looking for opinions and if I should change anything.
Time of Purchase: Sept 22-Oct 2
Sites: Newegg, Amazon, Microcenter, NCIX, Sidewinder
Case: CM HAF X
PSU: Seasonic 750w 80+ Gold
Pump: Swiftech MCP655 With Variable
Radiator: XSPC RX480
CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm
Reservoir: XSPC Single 5.25 Bay
Tubing: Feser Blue UV 1/2" ID 3/4" OD
Compression: XSPC Chrome 1/2" ID 3/4 OD
Fans: (3) 200mm Blue Megaflows, (1) 120mm Cougar Vortex PWM, (7) XSPC Xinruilian 2000rpm Fans
Buying in one huge buy (?=Unsure/one of many choices)
RAM: 4 x 4gb G.Skill Ripjaws X CL 7 (?)
GPU: Asus GTX 680 DC2 Top (?)
Disc Drive: Asus DVD-RW Burner
SSD: OCZ Vertex 4 256gb
OS: Windows 7 Home 64 bit (if windows 8 doesn't suck)
So...I'd prefer a mobo with 4 way SLI and if there isn't space for a 3 slot gtx 680 I'd go EVGA GTX 680 SC Signature.
My main concern is the mobo. I am willing to drop more. Others are Maximus V Formula and Extreme, EVGA Z77 FTW and maybe Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UP7, depending on the price.
Check out the Asrock Extreme6, Im pretty sure it supports 3-way SLI, but I see no reason for 3 video cards unless your running like 6 monitors each at 1080p. 4-way SLI mobos, that I have no idea. (lol)
Too much RAM. 8GBs is more than enough, you would only need 16GBs if your multi tasking A LOT.
680 isnt worth the extra $100 over the 670. Since you are going to SLI, two 670s will almost give you the performance of a 690, leave alone three.
Only reason I'm going gtx 680 vs 670 is because I have a grant specifically to build a computer. I'm under budget and opted from the 3570k to 3770k, 670 to 680, 4x2gb of ram to 4x4gb, and even from changing from the Asus p8z77-v pro to up5, I am still about $100 under budget as I bought the other stuff piecemeal. I'd prefer a mobo with wifi as I am at a dorm and my roommates consoles take up the Ethernet cables. However, while the 670 may still be 90% of the performance at 80% of the cost, I plan on keeping it for awhile. Since my budget permits I mean why not? I can't really spend it elsewhere since that is exclusively what this grant is for.
Okay...really it's for physics simulations but small scale stuff.
Ironically you have given me the best answer, in fact, a better answer than I have hoped for. This stuff I was buying is by no means bad, just excessive. By the time I can afford 3-4 way SLI a new chipset, CPU and blah blah blah.
I completely forgot about the sandy bridge-e but that got me thinking about the future. Regardless, thanks man. I am probably gonna pick up that 7970 though.
If you were doing 3 2560x1600 screens you would likely run out of vram on any sli setup.
Dropping to 3x1080p is totally doable with 1 HD7970 that you OC yourself(especially if you
throw on a bunch of exotic cooling). Multi gpu gaming is iffy and can introduce unwanted
microstuttering. It is by far most efficient with 2 gpus with a sizable falloff from 2 to 3 and
almost no extra performance out of a 4th. 4 or 6 screens means you cant clearly see what
is going on right in front of you(the most important area) and proper bezel correction
will omit such things as crosshairs entirely on a setup like that. If portability is at all
important you could go with 1 24-27 in screen. see bottom of post. Also no stupid bezels
getting in the way. the gpu wastes some time working on pixels never to be seen.
For games even a stock clocked socket 1156 core i5 quad won't bottleneck modern games
due to the game becoming gpu limited at high res and settings. Games don't make use
of anymore than 4 cores or threads. You can get an i5k and oc the snot out of it, though.
I don't know how good it would be for extreme overclocking, but an ASRock z77 extreme 4
is a very capable board that you could throw on i5 2500k(allowed to spread its wings with
your setup vs i5 3570k and the crap tim under the ihs bottling all the heat inside that no
realistic cooling system can defeat, unless you intend to mod your processor by removing
the ihs and tim and replace the intel tim with highly thermally conductive but not electrically
conductive tim), hd7970 and 2x4GB of ddr3 to rock any game from 1080p to 3 times that.
Just because you can spend a bunch of money doesn't mean you have to. A lot of what
you want is just throwing performance down the drain. you could get another ssd and
raid zero them(no trim but still decent garbage collection and would allow you to load
games, levels and assets faster through pooled higher sequential reads and higher iops.
You also should consider one or 2 spinners to back up data you'd rather not download
again by running then in raid one(back up steam, custom game level and mods, anything
else you might deign to use the computer for besides gaming 100%). maybe 4 x1TB
velociraptors in raid 10(0+1) for extra speed and redundancy versus reinstalling from a
networked drive. If you must use all of your budget, try to make it work to your overall
system performance which will maybe be more apparent than what an i7 or sli/crossfire
will be able to allow you to experience. Lets see, 4 velociraptors is 1200 and another
256GB ssd is another 200 so 1400, but dropping from 2 gtx690 to a hd7970 is a drop
of 1600 and the mobo and cpu would both be at least 100 less too. You would actually
spend less money doing that and probably feel greater performance enhancement.
(to fill out your budget you could also get 2-4 2-3TB green drives and raid one or 10/0+1
for tons of movies and music and use the box not just for games but to stream media to
screens around a home.)
Oh, twimtbp, physx, adaptive vsync and txaa are bull. Force the radeon to do vsync and
triple buffering at the same time. no one cares about the difference between 4x aa and
8xaa on a zoomed screen shot when they are running around in a game playing it.
Physx wont take off until it can run on radeons too. Developer schmoozing means nothing
once a game ships and runs the same on both sides cards in most games and better on
amd in few. Oh, and driver problems pop up from time to time for both companies.
I think that about covers it. Oh yeah, If you don't own every game ever made already and
just have a select few, spend a ton of your budget on games you don't have if you can.
don't just download them(they would take up too much hdd space and you'd have to
re download if you had a major system malfunction. Get a fireproof safe and put the media
(disks, boxes, manuals)in there. That should help fill out your budget. Oh, less gear would
make your rig more portable if you wanted to show it off at lan parties or something. Even
with an ordinary i5 and 7970 all that watercooling would likely wow some folks.