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How Long Does a Custom Build Last

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September 28, 2012 4:01:08 PM

I am looking into building a custom build computer for gaming within the next month or so. My only question that I haven't been able to find an answer to is how long can I expect the computer last before I either need to upgrade or replace it. I believe I have enough room to upgrade if need be, but I am open to any suggestions that you guys have.

The build I am looking at buying:
Motherboard: Intel DX79SR
CPU: Intel i-7 3930K HexaCore Processor
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX690
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8) Quad Channel 1866 MHz
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Stryker
SSD: 2 x Samsung 256GB Sata III SSD

I will most likely put in water cooling for the GPU and CPU. I know the RAM is overkill but I found it at the same price for 16GB of RAM so I thought why not. Again, any suggestions / advice is greatly appreciated.

More about : long custom build

September 28, 2012 4:15:23 PM

Depends on what kind of performance you expect in games. Some people always want the best and every new generation they upgrade (for example all the 580 owners that were the first to buy the 7970). With that system you could easily go 3-4 years in my opinion. Just depends on how willing you are to adjust and lower your setting as more demanding games come out. Also I'd get two 7970 or two 680 over a single 690 to save some money and have equal performance. Secondly What resolution are you running this at? What PSU are you looking to get and is their a reason you need a i7 3630k over a regular i7 3770k? Do you have heavily threaded workloads or only gaming? If it is only gaming (and your not running a 3-4 card setup) then the regular i7 3770k is more than enough. If you don't have heavy CPU workloads (which gaming doesn't do) I'd go with an i5 3570k even.
September 28, 2012 4:20:06 PM

Technology is ever changing, lots big company research/engineers are working to improve everyday. I remember when i bought a duo core processor macbook pro when it just came out, then boom 2month later the i processor came out.

hahaha xD.

Though the parts you listed is one of the highest/fastest parts, doubt they will stay there long enough
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September 28, 2012 4:49:54 PM

What do you plan to do with the build?

Frankly, if you are just gaming on it, you are spending more than you need to on the CPU; an i5-3570k will perform near the same levels as your CPU for alot less. Games don't really fully utilize quadcores, so hex core and hyperthreading don't buy you a lot for the extra cost.

In the past I've seen people recommend against intel motherboards, I don't think they are very good compared to what you would get for the same price from someone like Asus.

In my opinion going with a regular, mainstream ivybridge will also mean that you are more likely to have convenient upgrades paths in the future; some of the extreme high end stuff is probably less likely to have broad forward compatability.

I'd recommend adding a Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, or Corsair PSU to your system; a good PSU will help ensure you don't have to buy another PSU, and will last a long time (some have as much as a 5 year warranty or more).

If you get into building your PC, you don't have to buy a new PC every two or 3 years; or ever. I personally do incremental upgrades when I feel like there is a need; generally you can upgrade your GPU, HDDs, and Case (or use them as long as you want) without replacing the whole system, on the flipside you will typically want to replace your Mobo and RAM when you go for a CPU upgrade (not always though).

For gaming, the last several years have seen fairly slow growth in hardware requirements. Until this year, I was running a 4870 for my GPU, and was able to run all but the top tier games on high smoothly; the card was 3 or 3.5 years old when I replaced it so that I could run games in 3d on my new monitor. CPUs, frankly, have been pretty stagnant for a long while, my opinion is that nearly anything can deliver 60 FPS in the majority of games (go look at newegg comments on the top end i3); but going for the i5 puts you more in the mainstream for gamers and should keep you more modern and give more longevity.

Don't raid your SSDs. It disables the TRIM feature, and your performance will degrade over time. With a 256GB SSD, you may be better served tossing in a 1 or 2 TB HDD. If you play steam games, you can use the SteamMover application to manage where games get put; and in general you can use the mklink command to move any non-system directories (such as installed programs). I happily use a 60GB SSD, just move a few games over that I am playing at one time, leave the rest on the HDD.

Your most sensible top end part is the 690, but you could drop that down to 1 670 now, and add another later if you feel you need to. Running 2x670 in SLI is about 5% slower than a 690 for 200$ less, however it's a bit louder and they run a little hotter. You could also keep the 690, and have the option to add another if you ever want to, but that's a bit crazy in my opinion.

tldr; I think your build is overkill, and I don't think you realize it. You can probably cut your build price in half and still be extremely happy with it's performance for several years to come; and if/when you are not happy you can justify upgrading a component or two with all the money you saved now. Get a good PSU such as Seasonic.
September 28, 2012 4:56:52 PM

Whether you buy or build makes no difference to longevity. The only way to maximize usage is to buy/build the most powerful computer you can. Most people on this board (myself included) would argue that hand picked components will usually outlast those picked by OEMs who are mainly interested in the bottom line. I notice you did not include a PSU in your component list. I hope that isn't because you consider it unimportant. IMHO, the PSUs's importance cannot be overstated. If you're as interested in longevity as you claim you will use the highest wattage QUALITY PSU you can afford. I recently bought a 1250Watt Seasonic myself for a similar build. Also, I hope you understand that nobody can guarantee that something on your rig won't fail the first day. It's just the nature of electronic devices
September 28, 2012 5:41:18 PM

Thank you all again for your input. No I did ignore the psu, just forgot to list it haha. I am planning on including a corsair hx1050 (however I'm not so sure that much is necessary anymore) just in case I need to add something. I understand what you guys are taking about with the processor. The i5 sounds like it will be fine. Any suggestions on the motherboard? that was probably the component I was the most lost with. I decided the gtx 690 because if in the future I need to upgrade, I can just throw another one of those bad boys in SLI. Another question, is it really necessary to have liquid cooling on the gpu? I heard that it really isn't worth overclocking a gpu anyway.
September 28, 2012 5:57:42 PM

If you don't know this much about the hardware then water cooling isn't for you.
Read this to get just an idea about it.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...

I'd get this as the best air cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What resolution are you playing at? A single 680 may be more than enough GPU power (a 690 is two 680 on one board and slightly down clocked). Then if you do want more GPU power you can get a second 680 (which will be slightly faster than one 690). So two 690= four 680. Which you can run up to 4 680 on the motherboard I listed. Although you'd need something like a 3 x 2560 x 1600 monitor array to take advantage of them.

As for motherboard look at this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You can run an insane amount of cards on it and will be good for overclocking.

But you can probably be more than happy with one half the price if you finally list your resolution and realize you don't need all this GPU power.
September 28, 2012 6:31:22 PM

Quote:
What resolution are you playing at?
At the moment I am playing with two 1920*1080.

Quote:
A single 680 may be more than enough GPU power (a 690 is two 680 on one board and slightly down clocked). Then if you do want more GPU power you can get a second 680 (which will be slightly faster than one 690).
In that case I might just get the two 680's to be safe.

Quote:
I'd get this as the best air cooler
My only concern is noise and the amount of heat that it will add to the room. Would a Corsair H100 work? From the video they posted with it, installation looks easy and I don't need to worry about the other components of liquid cooling.
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Series-Extreme-Performanc...

Quote:
Although you'd need something like a 3 x 2560 x 1600 monitor array to take advantage of them.
As for motherboard look at this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128552
You can run an insane amount of cards on it and will be good for overclocking.

I like the motherboard. If I get to the point where I am investing in a third or fourth graphics card, I will also probably look into getting a third monitor, or better monitors.

Last thing for this post, is the 1050W probably too much? or will the corsair 750w work?
http://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-Enthusiast-BRONZE-Certifi...

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-Certified-10...
September 28, 2012 6:46:42 PM

Actually the air cooler I listed is quieter than the Corsair H100.

Honestly at that resolution you only need one 680 (if even that). But if you do want two (or only one) there is this card to consider. It's a good price and it's a quiet card. It is slightly OC from the factory which is why I chose it over the cheaper $480 version.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you feel fine getting the cheaper one and overclocking the card yourself it'll easily run at the same speeds but if you don't want to do that just get the slightly more expensive one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for future upgrading I'd get this PSU which can handle three cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you actually plan on adding a fourth theirs these options.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for monitor I'd recommend three of these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 28, 2012 7:53:19 PM

Ok. Thank you again for the input. This helps a lot. One last question, just for future reference. When, and if, does water cooling become necessary?
September 28, 2012 8:04:01 PM

watercooling is only required if you want to do extreme overclocking
September 28, 2012 8:36:27 PM

If you want the computer to be as quiet as possible along with extreme cooling for the very best OC. It's also somewhat of a hobby for some enthusiasts. For the vast majority of builds I'd recommend air cooling since true water cooling takes some experience (that I'll admit I don't have).
September 28, 2012 10:52:31 PM

with pc lasting it starts with the quality of the parts that went into the build and if your running the parts at normal power or over clock..when you over clock you can shorten the life of the parts. a few years ago when motherboards used the older paste filled caps most mb had a 5-7 year life before the caps would swell and fail. most vendor of mb now using solid caps that dont fail as fast. also heat (to much of it can shorten pc parts). most pre builts that i see fail are hard drive or power supplys. most time it the power supply there under sized and cheap. if the pre built vendors spent 20.00 more on good 500w ps there ps would last for years without issue. with hard drive as it has moving parts..over time i seen greese or bering go bad.(noise). and the old hard drive heads hitting the platters. (as long as there good clean power to the hard drives and video card they lest for a long time). most of your pc failure is dust clogging up a fan or the fan just failing with age. if you open the case once a year and blow the dust out and check your fans..a pc will last years. the flip side with a builder i pay the extra money for parts that have long warranties. some ram vendor still sell ram with lifetime warranties. there used to be video card vendors that did the same. also look from where you live how hard it will be to replace a part if it fails. vendor like crusial ram one email to them and you get an rma number within 24 hours. with mb spend the extra money for higher costing board..some motherboard uses better parts in the power input of the mb then others..better power input...it runs cooler and last longer.
September 29, 2012 6:28:09 PM

As far as your two monitor setup, do you plan to game on them both (with the game stretching across them both) or are you going to just play games on one and have the other for desktop?

If you only game on one, I would get a single 670 (about 5-10% less power than a 680 for 100$ less) or a 7970; you won't really need more power than that, but you have the ability to add a second in either case IF you don't think your computer is good enough.
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