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Best PC for $2,000 - $3,000

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October 11, 2012 6:59:20 PM

Hey everyone,

I have had my Q6600 (overclocked at 3.6 Ghz) for more than 5.5 years now. It is still running rock solid, but I think it's time to move on. 6 years ago when I was building my current PC, there were far less options and models. Now, every component has 10x more different variations and models and brands. I wanted to come here and basically ask for advice.

Usage:

* Gaming
* Video Processing/Editing
* Picture Processing/Editing
* Watching Movies
* Work

Can you guys tell me what is the best part money can buy in each of these categories? When I mean best, I don't mean the "extreme" versions (like the $1,100 video cards or $1,000 CPUs), but I mean something that is better than average (so for instance, I'd like to get the 3930K instead of the 3820, but not the 3960x). My budget is unlimited really, but I don't want to spend more than $2-2.5k for this (without monitor) as I know anything above that has much less rate of return over the course of 5 years.

CPU : I'm set on 3930K
CPU Cooling (Air only) : I currently use thermalright ultra extreme 120, what would be a good replacement for it for LGA 2011
Motherboard : There are just so many options here, I am not looking to do SLI, but I want the best motherboard out there. USB 3.0/eSata is very important for me, so is the ethernet connection.
Harddrives (SSD) : I am planning on getting 2 good SSDs and maybe 1 3 TB backup.
PowerSupply : Currently have PC Power and Cooling, rock solid, thinking of getting their 1000W version. What about these "modular" PSUs? Any recommendations?
Graphics Card (1 only, no SLI) : I have been quite happy with EVGA, thinking of getting GTX 680 FTW.
RAM : So confused about the new "quad channel" rams, I don't see DDR4, so what is quad channel? Also there are way too many "Mhz" options. How much is good enough and which brand is best?
BluRay/DVD Rom : No idea what to pick here.
Case : Ah, the toughest choice of all. I want to OC this CPU. I have had my Q6600 @ 1.53v @ 50% OC for 5.5 years rock solid on air cooling with UE-120. Right now I have Antec 1200, its amazing, but its huge. The plan is to keep my existing PC (which has about 5 x 2 TB + 2 x 3 TB drives) as a NAS, so I cannot re-use my case. I do however want something SMALL. I don't want full tower. I am going to have 2 SSDs, 1 video card, and 1 DVD rom drive, nothing else. But I do want something decent.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

More about : 000 000

a b B Homebuilt system
October 11, 2012 7:23:44 PM

How about this we can change it if you want PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($569.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Formula ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($182.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($126.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: BenQ XL2420T 120Hz 24.0" Monitor ($398.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2963.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 11, 2012 10:47:29 PM

jrgong,

I currently have a Samsung SyncMaster 2693 monitor that is 27". I will be upgrading to 30" as I have always wanted that, but I don't want to do both the PC and the monitor at the same time.

bigcyco 1,

Very good suggestions, I do have a few questions, if you can help me out that'd be great:


Memory: I was thinking more along the lines of at least 16 GB, maybe even 24 GB. Reason for this is two fold. The biggest mistake I made when building my current computer was to get stuck with Crucial Ballistix 1 GB x 4. I still use them and I never bothered to upgrade them (yes 6 years with the same RAM - pretty impressive!). I want to get as much as I can and not touch it for a long time. I was also thinking about those 2000 - 2300, high end DDR3s, are they compatible with these LGA 2011 boards?
Video Card: Any reason why this Asus costs $280 less than the EVGA GTX 680?
Case: What about Lian-Li? Are their cases waste of money (they do cost a ton)
Power Supply: I already have a 750W PSU, I was thinking of getting 1000W. These new GPUs require at least 650W themselves (the dual PCB ones), add the OC'ed CPU and everything else, it easily crosses 800W.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2012 12:00:26 AM

The ram sure we could switch it Case: What about Lian-Li?t Sure it's your money whatever you want bro lol i hear good things about them though i never owned one personally. The 670 is 8% slower than the 680 i do not think the extra performance justifies the increase in price do you? NVIDIA itself recommend 500W for a single 670. Add 170W for SLI & recommended is 670W..
http://www.nvidia.in/object/geforce-gtx-670-in.html#pdp...


For testing conducted for SLI 670, the resulting system consumption for SLI is 433W of which 293W are attributed to the gpu cards.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-670-2-and-3wa...


If you use this psu calculator considering your components, the result is 664W (overclocked processor & used 680x2 to simulate gpu OC:
http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine


All points out to 750W being more than enough.If you want a 1000 watt PSU i recommend one of these 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... How about this for cooling rasa kit http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14182/ex-wat-181/XSPC...
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October 12, 2012 12:17:27 AM

picture editing you will need a better monitor, Dell u2412m
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2012 12:21:43 AM

redeemer said:
picture editing you will need a better monitor, Dell u2412m
He doesn't want to buy monitor right now i guess ;) 
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October 12, 2012 2:23:27 AM

Guys, thanks for the wonderful feedback. I really appreciate it.

That being said, the whole SLI thing is something I never liked. Back then 6 years ago, it was just so much work to get it right, plus, most of the games had so many issues with it. You had to wait for drivers, deal with BSODs, and here is the big one, the one game I like playing 90% of the time, Flight Simulator X, hates SLIs.

Last but not least, I like simple, not complicated things. I'd rather pay $200 more and get a card that performs as well as SLI of 2 cheaper cards. The similar argument is applied to pretty much anything in real life, you can see it with cars, people who drive turbo cars that cost 1/4th of what sports cars do and make the argument "hey I can increase the turbo boost by paying for a $2k mod and save $50k over an expensive BMW M3". The reality is, yes you might, in a straight line performance, but it's the feeling and the name that counts when it comes to M3. Sometimes it's okay to pay just a "little" more and go to that extra level than nitpick every little detail and try to be too smart.

The same argument can be said about the CPU. I remember, 6 years ago, the Q6600 was $500 and there was a cheaper one for $249. Everyone said this and that and who needs extra overclocking. Guess what, my Q6600 is still running BF3 today on a 50% overclock and a lot of my friends who went cheap with the $249 model had to get new CPUs 2 years down the line because theirs couldn't go to that extra mile.
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October 12, 2012 2:26:30 AM

Quote:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k3SM
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k3SM/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k3SM/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($549.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($82.74 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($274.47 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($183.12 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.99 @ CompUSA)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($527.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($87.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($127.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($72.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($136.45 @ B&H)
Total: $2528.24

However you would be MUCH better off

1. Going with the 3770k unless your going to do a TON of rendering
2. Going with a 7970 or 670 over the 680
3. Just one SSD

and spending/saving the money gained there on ultra high resolution monitors and/or additional gpu's to crossfire/sli (this beast can go quad!) :D 


This is much better build, my only question is this "ASRock" motherboard you suggested, forgive me but I have never heard of anything other than Asus, gigabyte, and Abit. I might just use the ASUS one you had recommended. Also, I agree, maybe I should just get 1 SSD, and with the extra money, get a better case. But overall, I am pretty much going to use these parts you recommended. Thank you very much.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2012 3:06:51 AM



CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($569.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_RD 60.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Formula ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($182.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card ($1008.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case ($185.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 1050W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($200.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2973.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2012 3:26:56 AM

If you had youq Q6600 overclocked that high then i take it you're serious about overclocking.That's why i made this PC for you.It's just great if you wanna OC.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($549.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro 81.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($79.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD45 (8D) ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($202.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.54 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.54 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.99 @ CompUSA)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($387.86 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card (CrossFire) ($387.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill THOR V2 ATX Full Tower Case ($108.24 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($127.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($72.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) ($136.45 @ B&H)
Total: $2460.26
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

And ugh yes i had to mention this.While HD 7970's are excellent overclockers, AMD is much slower at making the drivers compatable with newer games, so you may have to wait a week before you can play a game like it's meant to be played.
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