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Look-over and recommendations.

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September 23, 2012 10:13:55 PM

Hello guys,

I'm currently the owner of a single desktop and two laptops.

Desktop: AMD 3400+, 1GB RAM, Radeon x800 Pro
Laptop 1: Sager NP5720, 2.13Ghz mobile processor, 2GB RAM, nVIDIA GeForce Go 7800GTX
Laptop 2: MacBook, 2.0GHz mobile processor, 2GB RAM, integrated card

I have been using the Sager when it works.. but that is a rare occasion and I'm tired of messing with it. Obviously, I'm in need of an upgrade. I built my current desktop many, many years ago (like 6-8ish?) for around $1,500 and at that time it was one of the best builds around.

I've put together this new desktop build on Newegg (the link for it is at the bottom of this post). I want your opinions and recommendations on it as I've aimed this build to be a beast now but also upgradable in the future. It will be used for my graphic design work, web programming, 3-d modeling, as well as gaming (I do the first few daily and I game every weekend). I would like for this computer to be able to support 2-3 monitors as I could use the extra space.

My current desktop has almost no upgrade potential. The RAM slots are filled, the best processor upgrade for that slot isn't worth the small increase in performance, etc. For this new machine, over the span of 3-6 years, I want to be able to pop in a new processor, add another order of this ram, plop in a second graphics card (or a new one), and upgrade the power supply as needed without having to purchase a whole new computer. This is essential to this build. I understand it won't be upgradeable forever; I just don't want it to come to a dead halt like my current desktop which I couldn't really upgrade even a year after.

I would like to keep the price around $1,500 (lower than that would be fantastic, too).

I plan on buying it here in a month or two (sooner than later) once I've figured out each of the parts and confirmed that this is the best bang for my buck (unless, of course, someone here believes that by waiting 4 months I could get this PC for $400 cheaper).

My only concerns at the moment is how expensive the graphics card is and how cheap the processor is. Should I downgrade the graphics card and/or upgrade the processor?

Your input is really appreciated. I've picked this motherboard as I've heard that the LGA 2011 socket will be around for a while and it has potential for massive RAM upgrades.

Here is the build: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Thanks for your help!

More about : recommendations

September 23, 2012 10:17:19 PM

For your work, I'm thinking a 3930k may be the route to go. As far as gaming goes, if you're playing in Nvidia Surround, you might want to consider a 4GB version of the GTX680 or go with the alternative; Radeon HD7970.

I'll whip up a parts list with said components, hopefully I can make it within a $1500 budget :) 
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September 23, 2012 10:21:36 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.74 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($297.00 @ B&H)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.30 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($413.49 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1539.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-23 18:20 EDT-0400)
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September 23, 2012 10:23:12 PM

Okay! Well, if you are confident that it is a worthwhile upgrade and that the price of that won't drop to the $299 my current choice is at in a month, then by all means I'm okay with that.

I don't mind going a bit over.. I'm just not comfortable throwing $1,700-2,000 into this thing unless I ABSOLUTELY have to (which I don't).

I also forgot that I was leaning towards water cooling this time around as I've constantly had overheating issues. I have a separate budget for this. =)

Thanks for building me some rigs! I used to be a huge fan of AMD/Radeon, but I've had access to many intel/nVIDIA products as of late and must say they seem to perform better. I think I would like to stick with Intel/nVIDIA this time around.
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September 23, 2012 10:27:33 PM

Will do! :) 

I'll see if I can integrate a sound card into this rig. As for your gaming, will you be playing on 3 monitors on Surround settings? If so, AMD is definitely the route to go due to their larger frame buffer. Nvidia cards with 4GB of RAM is very expensive and you will end up shelling up a lot of cash.

As for prices, I HIGHLY doubt the 2011 CPU's will go down in price anytime soon, and if they do, I'm sure it will be by a few $$$. The Extreme Edition LGA1366 CPU's are a great example of that (990X is STILL $900+ at the moment).

I'm not trying to start a flame war, but with recent driver updates, AMD GPU's are a very formidable option compared to Nvidia's :)  http://www.overclock.net/t/1273746/radeon-7970-will-out...

In the end, it depends if you plan to play in surround or not. If you plan to use the 1 monitor for gaming and 2 as a companion, then an Nvidia GTX670 will most likely be the way to go. If you plan to play on all 3 monitors, then either a GTX680, GTX680 4GB, or Radeon HD7970 are the only choices.
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September 23, 2012 10:27:38 PM

mocchan said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.74 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($297.00 @ B&H)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.30 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($413.49 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1539.50
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-23 18:20 EDT-0400)


That is excellent. I really appreciate this. I like how you were able to find the cheapest places on the web. Do you feel that it's a good idea to buy from these places I've never heard of? I've only ever purchased from Newegg before.

And sorry, we're like posting as the other is replying. =P Hard to keep up!

As for your most recent post:

I am probably only going to play games on one monitor and use the others for web stuff. I may, occasionally, run it on 2 of the 3 montiors, but only when I feel like showing off. =P
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September 23, 2012 10:30:29 PM

Seriously mate I would check out pcspecialist.co.uk I just looked at the stuff you need and I was looking at prices of1000£ it's brilliant mate seriously check it out
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September 23, 2012 10:31:02 PM

CynosureEPR said:
That is excellent. I really appreciate this. I like how you were able to find the cheapest places on the web. Do you feel that it's a good idea to buy from these places I've never heard of? I've only ever purchased from Newegg before.

Yes, they are all reliable and you shouldn't worry. NCIX has been around for a LONG time as a Canadian e-teller, however, they recently expanded to the US and have very good deals from time to time :) 

As for the CPU, Microcenter only has 22 locations throughout the US and the price listed on that list is only for in-store pick-up. You will have to order one from Newegg, NCIX, Amazon (depending on prices, of course) for an additional $40 or so.

On a side note, here's the updated parts list with a sound card.

***EDITED PARTS LIST WITH GTX670***

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.74 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($297.00 @ B&H)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($96.30 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($164.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1690.99
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-23 18:32 EDT-0400)

I've heard good things about that particular sound card so its definitely a worthwhile investment.

**EDIT**

Hopefully with these edits, we can narrow our conversation down to 1 post! :lol: 

With you only playing games on one monitor, I'll throw in an Nvidia GPU! :) 

If you look at the OCN link I posted earlier, you can see that the GTX670 is within a few % of performance of a GTX680. It's definitely worth saving the extra $100 and investing it somewhere (such as the CPU in your case) since the performance is so close.

The particular 670 I linked is the Power Edition from MSI, which features over-volting the GPU allowing for bigger overclocks :) 
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September 23, 2012 10:35:35 PM

Awesome! Thanks again so much!

I may do without the audio card for now and pick it up later as it set me over my comfortable limit. A couple of the deals on that NCIX site expire in like a week. I may not be ready to purchase then, so I will have to run it back through the system after and make sure I can still get a better price than on Newegg.

Again, I really appreciate your help! I am a fan of the upgraded CPU at almost the same price.
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September 23, 2012 10:37:19 PM

CynosureEPR said:
Awesome! Thanks again so much!

I may do without the audio card for now and pick it up later as it set me over my comfortable limit. A couple of the deals on that NCIX site expire in like a week. I may not be ready to purchase then, so I will have to run it back through the system after and make sure I can still get a better price than on Newegg.

Again, I really appreciate your help! I am a fan of the upgraded CPU at almost the same price.

You're very welcome!

When the time comes to purchase, be sure to hit me up with a PM or save the parts list and make it on PCPartPicker :)  PCPartPicker will always show the cheapest deals available!
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September 23, 2012 10:42:37 PM

mocchan said:
You're very welcome!

When the time comes to purchase, be sure to hit me up with a PM or save the parts list and make it on PCPartPicker :)  PCPartPicker will always show the cheapest deals available!


I will do both of those! =)

Jeez. I can pretty much say thread closed. LOL

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September 23, 2012 10:43:00 PM

CynosureEPR said:
I will do both of those! =)

Jeez. I can pretty much say thread closed. LOL


:lol:  Glad I was of help!
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September 23, 2012 10:52:26 PM

Best answer selected by CynosureEPR.
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October 9, 2012 4:22:31 AM

Hey again,

Just updating this thread; I really appreciate your help, still!

I've decided to go with the 3820 for now as it's so much cheaper and the performance upgrade isn't all that amazing. I figure the upgrade from an AMD 3400+ will be quite fantastic. This will allow me to get this rig sooner and start saving for the IvyE that is going to be released this time next year. =)
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