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There's a fork in (the road to) my Build... Need Advice

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October 6, 2012 6:53:04 AM

I am replacing a 7 year old laptop with a desktop build from the ground up. A friend of mine heard I was going to be undertaking this project and in addition to offering some help with assembly gave me his barely used HAF X case and power supply (1000w) which, according to him, was just to much to lug around. Other than those two components, everything else is open for debate.

So let me explain what my needs are from this rig and what I'm going to be using it for:

1. Gaming - I've been out of the PC gaming world for a while do to lack of adequate hardware but I look forward to being able to run any current or upcoming game on max settings at 1080p. (Samsung 32in 120hz led tv) I have every console released from NES through PS3 (including Phillips CDi)

2. Audio Production - I am a schooled musician who has accumulated a large collection of music related software (the college practically gives the stuff away) from softsynths and virtual instruments to effects engines and recording/mastering software. I would really like my machine to keep the latency on real time input (via my roland g8 workstation) to an absolute minimum.

3. Future Upgrade-able - I am never content with letting things sit the way they are whether its the music I write , my car, or in this case my computer. I am a tinkerer to the point of obsession with an unhealthy amount of patience. I plan on squeaking every drop of performance out of my components.

So here it goes I have about 1500$ set aside for this build currently but my credit card is available if necessary (would like to keep it under 2k for the time being)

Here are my thoughts so far:

Case: Coolermaster Haf X (freebie)
PSU: modular 1000w gold certified (freebie)
Mobo: SABERTOOTH X79 ~$320
CPU: Intel i7 3820 ~&280
Cooling: Corsair H100 ~$120
GPU*: Nvidia GTX670/680 ~$400-500 (eventually SLI)
Memory*: Corsair Dominator 4x8gb 1866mhz ~$390
SSD*: Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s ~$180 (add more as needed)
BluRay/DVD: open to suggestions
Sound Card: contingent on the effectiveness of my current external MIDI interface with the new setup

Total: ~$1690
*add more as needed over time

Peripherals: (already own)
Display: Samsung 32in 120hz LED TV (hdmi)
Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech wireless (usb)
Music related I/O: Roland G8 via Midi Interface (usb)
Headphones: AKG Q701 (yeah, I spent more on my cans than on my CPU)
Gamepad: Custom wired 360 controller

Additional Thoughts
-I Chose to go with the LGA 2011 Socket because:
1. 2-3 years down the road when Ivy-bridge E is as cheap as it'll every get, Ill be able to replace the CPU
without having to fork out more money for a new mobo.
2. Additional PCIe lanes will be nice with an end result consisting of 2 SLI graphics cards, Sound card, and a
raid controller
-I appreciate any and all input (If you suggest I do anything differently, please state why)
-Before you tell me "THATS TOO MUCH RAM" (softsynth-->ramDISK)

More about : fork road build advice

October 6, 2012 7:26:38 AM

Get a Z77 mobo like this one,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i like the look of it .

Ram DD3 1600 id go with 4 sticks for what you are looking to do any 1600 speed ram would work if it's duel kits like this one . but yes for Bing

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

CPU go I7 not for Gaming but for the added Cores for what you want to do

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

is not bad at all if you care more for gaming then go I5 K type CPU so you could OC it later if wanted .

CPU Cooler H100

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

it is good and works.... plus it is better then air and less dust build up....

SSD the best........
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
get two Raid em in a Raid 0 and be the best! also id buy a 1 TB Hard-Drive for added Room........

Video Card .....GTX670 or HD7950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... HD-7950

they are the same so pick one you like and move on but for Games you wont know the diff one from Game or the other .

Hope this Help's with the Build and good luck.
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October 6, 2012 7:32:33 AM

^...LGA2011 CPUs have an X79 socket, not z77.
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October 6, 2012 7:47:07 AM

Quote:
1. 1600 mhz ram is just as good, over even less expensive 1833
2. 670 over the 680 for sure, but id go with the 7970 over both of em
3. forget the sabertooth this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4. No HDD? If going 100% SDD you could probably find something just as good a little bit cheaper as those things are gonna stack up fast
5. I see what your saying with lga2011 but really its not gonna make any difference between that and lga1155, as i believe next gen of intels will have a new socket interface anyway so you might as well save a few bucks there (very little difference between 3770k and the 2011 models)
6. Seeing as your a sound buff i would get atleast a bluray drive on there probably a burner too if you have a tv setup to handle em, as it blurays really improve audio as well as video.

+1
About the RAM, 16gb should be plenty for you considering it's more than enough for heavy, intensive video rendering.
Where are you from btw? and where will you buy these?

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

Fixed....good catch!

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I72600K

He wants LGA2011 though, so you'll have to recommend him an x79 motherboard.
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October 6, 2012 3:31:18 PM

Quote:
1. 1600 mhz ram is just as good, over even less expensive 1833
2. 670 over the 680 for sure, but id go with the 7970 over both of em
3. forget the sabertooth this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4. No HDD? If going 100% SDD you could probably find something just as good a little bit cheaper as those things are gonna stack up fast
5. I see what your saying with lga2011 but really its not gonna make any difference between that and lga1155, as i believe next gen of intels will have a new socket interface anyway so you might as well save a few bucks there (very little difference between 3770k and the 2011 models)
6. Seeing as your a sound buff i would get atleast a bluray drive on there probably a burner too if you have a tv setup to handle em, as it blurays really improve audio as well as video.


Thanks for the reply.
1. I see what you are saying with the ram, Slightly slower= Substantially cheaper. I may elect to save a few
bucks here. I could even elect to load the sabertooth board up with the slower stuff (8 slots cost prohibitive at
1866mhz as that particular board doesnt like the cheap 1866 ram)

2. I was planing on going Nvidia but I could take another look at the 7970. I was under the impression that nvidia
had better support for their products (although I hadn't done much research on which one cfx/sli better)

3. I have a free haf x which was my initial reason for picking such a large board. (big case, big board, big
performance, and big bird... AMERICA) Joking aside, this build is contingent on making the mobo last me not
just through the 3820 but also the last great processor that intel releases for the LGA 2011 socket so I didnt
mind spending the extra money here. (sabertooth supports 8x240pin while the board you recommend
supports (4x240pin)

4. I should have mentioned that I have a 1 TB external drive. It was late when I wrote this up. SDDs aren't cost
prohibitive anymore. Remember I'm coming from a 7 year old laptop (100gb) 256gb is still an upgrade in
capacity from what I currently have (how sad is that)

5. I was under the impression that Ivy bridge E was going to be using the same socket and wasnt scheduled for
release until late 2013-early 2014. If this is incorrect, please let me know as this may change my approach to
the build. (hence the "There's a fork in my build" title)

6. 100% agreed


Thanks again
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October 6, 2012 3:43:20 PM

Fosters said:
SSD the best........
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
get two Raid em in a Raid 0 and be the best! also id buy a 1 TB Hard-Drive for added Room........
Hope this Help's with the Build and good luck.


I like the Idea. Any thoughts on using the built in raid support on the mobo vs a separate raid controller when using SSDs in an array
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October 6, 2012 3:53:50 PM

excella1221 said:
+1
About the RAM, 16gb should be plenty for you considering it's more than enough for heavy, intensive video rendering.
Where are you from btw? and where will you buy these?
He wants LGA2011 though, so you'll have to recommend him an x79 motherboard.


all that extra ram will be used as a ramdisk upon which I plan to store my collection of softsynths. Its a very specialized use, but I may hit the point where that may not be enough. Having the 8x240pin slots gives me the ability to expand that to 64gb (48gb ramdisk/16gb regular memory)

I am in Florida and will probably purchase them from either Tiger/Newegg/Amazon (tiger has a facility about an hour from me.)

Thanks for your input
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October 6, 2012 4:08:32 PM

^+1. This jrgong guy is basically saying everything I would say to you. :p 

About #5, Intel is very prolific on screwing their consumers with new socket types, so an LGA2012 or whatever is not far from happening, and if it comes out, I wouldn't be surprised.
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October 6, 2012 4:10:08 PM

Quote:
i remember reading an article that said the next series of intel chips will be on a new socket to accommodate even smaller manufacturing process, and that intel was focusing on power efficiency over performance increases for this next line of chips anyway.


God D***it Intel, I want a rocket ship... Not a Prius. anyway, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_2011 suggest that there's still some life left in this socket. My intent in going this route was that the LGA 2011 would have a more options down the road than the LGA 1155 which is nearing the end of its lifespan (intel doesnt have more chips planed for this socket as far as I know)
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October 6, 2012 4:16:21 PM

I doubt it. LGA1155 is where most of Intel's income is coming from.
LGA2011 imo are for hardcore enthusiasts.
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October 6, 2012 4:50:32 PM

back on the topic of the build... does anyone advocate going for 2 cheaper GFxcards and SLI/Crossfire vs buying 1 of the latest and greatest
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October 6, 2012 5:08:31 PM

That depends.
If you're going for 2-way 680, it's cheaper to get the 690.
If you're going 2-way 7970 GHz, that'll be around $100 cheaper than both.
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October 6, 2012 5:37:52 PM

I feel I should weigh in on the LGA2011 topic a bit as well. The first point to make is that the i7-3820 is slower than an i7-3770k in virtually every way. The second is that if Ivy Bridge-E (should it ever come to fruition) will only show you any real benefits by going with a hex-core (that is, a likely $500+ processor), and even then it'd be worthless. For that money in 2-3 years, you could get a brand new motherboard with a brand new flagship processor (the future equivalent of the 3770k) which would still outperform IB-E's 3960X-equivalent.

Now, if Haswell-E ends up being on LGA2011 as well (which I think it easily could, but there's no word of it), then that may change things a bit, but I still think it'd be a better decision to go with LGA1155.

On the video card, I'll agree with the rest that the 7970 will likely be what you'll want. @jrgong, the XFX is actually $50 more expensive than the Sapphire. Unless, of course, you meant to link the 6GB Vapor-X model, which is ludicrously expensive.
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October 7, 2012 2:52:55 AM

^+1
He probably gave a wrong link. The Sapphire is a non-GHz version.

Also, it seems Haswell will have a new socket afterall- LGA1150. I guess this starts the end of LGA1155, but I'm pretty sure the socket will still be prominent for years to come.
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