Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Enthusiast build, which one?.....

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 17, 2012 6:53:09 AM

I was thinking of building a new PC but can't decide which to build. I've got about a ~$2100 budget.

Jessica Mark I

*CPU/Core i7 3770K Ivy Bridge Quad Core processor
*Motherboard/ECSH2-AX Gold Edition
*Memory/G Skill RipJaws X Series 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz 240pin dual channel memory kit
*GPU/MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr
*PSU/Corsair HX850 850W power supply
*Coolermaster HAF-XM Mid Tower Case (can I fit all of this in a mid-tower case?)
*Hard Drive/Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache Internal Hard Drive
*Optial Drive/ASUS Blu-Ray Internal disk drive
*CPU cooler/ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R

Approximately $1,710.91
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Susan Mark I

*CPU/Intel Core i7 3820 Sandy Bridge 3.6GHz Quad-Core processor
*Motherboard/MSI Big Bang X-Power II LGA 2011 X79
*Memory/Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (4x4 GB) 1866MHz Quad Channel memory kit
*GPU/MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr
*PSU/Corsair HX850 850W power supply
*Case/Coolermaster HAF 932 full tower case
*Hard Drive/Seagate Barricuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64GB Cache
*Optical drive/Internal Blu-Ray
*CPU cooler/ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R

Total $1,939.98 approximately.

More about : enthusiast build

a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:57:15 AM

If these are for gaming, neither. If its a work oriented thing, then I would go for the second one, even though I don't think the i7-3820 is justified in its price/performance.
October 17, 2012 7:01:38 AM

Deemo13 said:
If these are for gaming, neither. If its a work oriented thing, then I would go for the second one, even though I don't think the i7-3820 is justified in its price/performance.


It's certainly a lot better than my current rig.

*Core i7 930 (Nehalem)
*6GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
*MSi Big Bang X-Power
*Dual HD 5870's in CF
*Corsair TX850 850W PSU
*2TB 7200RPM HDD
*DVD ROM
*128GB SATA 3.0 SSD
*Coolermaster HAF 932 full tower case

It's big, black, and extremely bulky. I was thinking I'd get something more compact and stylish, and still significantly faster.
Related resources
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:02:29 AM

What are you using the rig for?

Also dont get Corsair Platinum RAM, overpriced and pointless...
I swear more and more people are choosing this kit. Have they run an advertising campaign recently or something?
October 17, 2012 7:03:50 AM

manofchalk said:
What are you using the rig for?

Also dont get Corsair Platinum RAM, overpriced and pointless...
I swear more and more people are choosing this kit. Have they run an advertising campaign recently or something?


Gaming.

My brother wants a computer (he has a 6-year-old laptop) and wants to play games. I was giving him my current rig and building a new one for myself.

What kind of memory would you recommend over the Corsair platinum?

Could I fit the hardware in both builds into a mid-tower case?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:04:16 AM

Unless you're planning to get rid of your computer, then I wouldn't personally see any reason to upgrade. You've got a pretty good system right there. You can change the case if you so desire as long as your motherboard is ATX.
October 17, 2012 7:06:21 AM

Deemo13 said:
Unless you're planning to get rid of your computer, then I wouldn't personally see any reason to upgrade. You've got a pretty good system right there. You can change the case if you so desire as long as your motherboard is ATX.


The newest generation of graphics cards will run slow on a CPU on motherboard that are both three generations old. Running a GTX 680 on a Nehalem/X58 platform is going to cause serious lag because of the bottleneck.

My rig is good, but my brother wants to build a computer because he doesn't have one, and I was thinking of building myself a new one (which is better) and giving him the one I have.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:09:27 AM

ambam said:
The newest generation of graphics cards will run slow on a CPU on motherboard that are both three generations old.

My rig is good, but my brother wants to build a computer because he doesn't have one, and I was thinking of building myself a new one (which is better) and giving him the one I have.


That makes more sense. I was thinking you were going to get rid of the one you had lol.

You'd be suprised how well stuff runs. Your stuff is capable, but you have a reason for getting a new computer.

As it is for gaming, I would recommend neither computer. An i5-3570K is all that is needed for gaming; future proofing is not going to be needed because when that time comes this processor would be really dated.

16GB of RAM is also too much. 8GB should be enough unless you are running alot of work-oriented programs.
October 17, 2012 7:12:41 AM

Deemo13 said:
That makes more sense. I was thinking you were going to get rid of the one you had lol.

You'd be suprised how well stuff runs. Your stuff is capable, but you have a reason for getting a new computer.

As it is for gaming, I would recommend neither computer. An i5-3570K is all that is needed for gaming; future proofing is not going to be needed because when that time comes this processor would be really dated.

16GB of RAM is also too much. 8GB should be enough unless you are running alot of work-oriented programs.


Could you recommend an extremely fast and efficient 8GB memory kit?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:13:05 AM

First build, though it is pretty overkill for just gaming and for some components there are better alternatives.

$1500 will build you a top of the line(ish) gaming rig, you can spend the rest on an Eyefinity setup or Watercooling. To spend more then that on the hardware itself would rapidly become pointless.

G.Skill Ares is the kit I recommend most of the time. Near all similarly specced memory kits are identical, and even between the best and worse the difference is tiny.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:16:42 AM

ambam said:
The newest generation of graphics cards will run slow on a CPU on motherboard that are both three generations old. Running a GTX 680 on a Nehalem/X58 platform is going to cause serious lag because of the bottleneck.

My rig is good, but my brother wants to build a computer because he doesn't have one, and I was thinking of building myself a new one (which is better) and giving him the one I have.

Your first paragraph is nonsense. An overclocked Nehalem will not bottleneck in any way.
October 17, 2012 7:27:33 AM

FinneousPJ said:
Your first paragraph is nonsense. An overclocked Nehalem will not bottleneck in any way.


A glitch in my BIOS I cannot explain or resolve forbids me from overclocking my CPU so I am forced to run my Core i7 930 @ it's stock speed of 2.8 GHz. :(  An Ivy Bridge running at a stock 3.5 GHz would make a very noticeable difference in performance.

I use MSI's overclock genie but my processor overheats idling in desktop @3.4 GHz

55*C desktop idle @3.4 GHz is not good! And I have an aftermarket CPU cooler.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 7:32:00 AM

Reinstall your cooler.
October 17, 2012 7:54:39 AM

FinneousPJ said:
Reinstall your cooler.


I would have to remove and then reapply the thermal paste.

I think the problem is that the MSI genie auto-overclock feature on my motherboard applies more voltage than what is needed for a stable overclock, which results in overheating.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 8:28:26 AM

Yes, you would. If that's the problem adjust the voltage manually :lol: 
October 17, 2012 9:45:39 AM

FinneousPJ said:
Yes, you would. If that's the problem adjust the voltage manually :lol: 


I cannot select those options in my BIOS.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 11:12:30 AM

Right. Is that working as intended then?
October 17, 2012 5:40:29 PM

I don't see an SSD listed in either build but you do have one in your current build. I don't think I can go back to a HDD after using my Vertex 4. Considering a 128GB is now under $100 almost anywhere...I got mine for $80 (Newegg special sale).
October 18, 2012 7:18:35 AM

TommyGunDam said:
I don't see an SSD listed in either build but you do have one in your current build. I don't think I can go back to a HDD after using my Vertex 4. Considering a 128GB is now under $100 almost anywhere...I got mine for $80 (Newegg special sale).


Could you recommend an extremely powerful and efficient aftermarket CPU air cooler?

What is the fastest memory I could put in there?

Is the ECS Z77H2-AX motherboard a good choice, or is there another enthusiast gaming motherboard that might offer more performance and is similarly priced?

Could I fit all of this into a mid-tower case?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 7:49:02 AM

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO if you are on a budget, and the Noctua NH-D14 if your not. Though I personally would get a H100 over the Noctua, the things ugly as hell.

Fastest memory you can put in there would be 2133Mhz, but the question is should you put it in there. RAM faster than 1600Mhz doesn't have an appreciable performance boost, especially once you factor in that a 2133Mhz kit can be significantly more expensive. Also an an Intel system, your voltage cant be above 1.5v, and to stay under that at higher frequencies the timings have to suffer. So really its not worth buying RAM faster than 1600Mhz, CL9.

Thats a pretty impressive looking motherboard, strange that I'v never heard of it. From the looks of its spec sheet, the only real standout feature is support for triple SLI/Crossfire. Everything else isnt really that unusual. You could get a cheaper board that will do the same job (except maybe not Tri SLI/Crossfire).

Heres a review on the board.
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/ecs_z77h2_ax_mothe...
Also when comparing performance between mobo, the difference is often tiny and negligible. One motherboard wont play games any better than another motherboard. You want to be looking at features and value.

As long as your mid-tower supports the size motherboard, graphics card length and the number of drives you want to put in it, yes.
October 18, 2012 11:55:34 AM

manofchalk said:
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO if you are on a budget, and the Noctua NH-D14 if your not. Though I personally would get a H100 over the Noctua, the things ugly as hell.

Fastest memory you can put in there would be 2133Mhz, but the question is should you put it in there. RAM faster than 1600Mhz doesn't have an appreciable performance boost, especially once you factor in that a 2133Mhz kit can be significantly more expensive. Also an an Intel system, your voltage cant be above 1.5v, and to stay under that at higher frequencies the timings have to suffer. So really its not worth buying RAM faster than 1600Mhz, CL9.

Thats a pretty impressive looking motherboard, strange that I'v never heard of it. From the looks of its spec sheet, the only real standout feature is support for triple SLI/Crossfire. Everything else isnt really that unusual. You could get a cheaper board that will do the same job (except maybe not Tri SLI/Crossfire).

Heres a review on the board.
http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/ecs_z77h2_ax_mothe...
Also when comparing performance between mobo, the difference is often tiny and negligible. One motherboard wont play games any better than another motherboard. You want to be looking at features and value.

As long as your mid-tower supports the size motherboard, graphics card length and the number of drives you want to put in it, yes.


Is this motherboard any good? Better than the golden elitegroup mobo perhaps? http://event.msi.com/mb/bigbang/p_001_z77.html

In your opinion, what would be the best 1600MHz dual-channel memory kit for this board? I'm looking for 8-12GB.
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 12:41:17 PM

Its a good motherboard, so is that MSI one. I was just saying that other than the Tri SLI/Crossfire ability, there isn't anything that really stands out about it.

You are not going to find a dual channel 12GB kit. To get 12GB will require three 4GB sticks.

G.Skill Ares is the standard kit I recommend. Low profile, good brand and on this gold colour scheme your after, the orange colour will fit pretty nicely.
Though to fit the colour scheme a bit better, Mushkin Radioactive RAM would be a better option and is just as good.
Also you are going to love this, they come in 3x4GB kits.
Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 12GB (3 x 4GB) 1600mhz CL9 1.5v. $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Though I think it would be better to spend an extra $10 and buy two 8GB kits for a total of 16GB. That way all the RAM DIMMS are used up and the cost difference is pretty small.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 18, 2012 9:01:31 PM

ambam said:
Could you recommend an extremely powerful and efficient aftermarket CPU air cooler?

What is the fastest memory I could put in there?

Is the ECS Z77H2-AX motherboard a good choice, or is there another enthusiast gaming motherboard that might offer more performance and is similarly priced?

Could I fit all of this into a mid-tower case?


Check this out:

Six $220-280 Z77 Express-Based Motherboards, Reviewed

They have 2800Mhz DDR3 for that board, if you want to overclock. Remember, CPU Multiplier x Memory Clock Speed = CPU System Speed. Getting memory that can clock at a higher rate is only good for OC'ing. If you are not, then I suggest the following:
Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2 x 8GB) because it has CAS 8 Latency. The lower the Latency, the faster the RAM is.

I haven't OC since the 90's so I'm the wrong guy to ask about CPU Coolers, I use the stock Intel that came with my i7.

As for the mid tower case question, I have 1 SSD, 4 HDDs, and 1 BD Burner in my old hand-me-down mid tower case with 3 optical bays still free. I'm using the old floppy drive bay for the SSD.

Get your memory in pairs because every mobo (that you want) supports Dual Channel and I believe only X79 supports Quad Channel. If you try to go with 3 modules, then I believe the 3rd one won't even register in the system (not 100% sure what will happen but either way, a definite "fail"). As for the brand, I have used Corsair, Samsung, Patriot, Kingston, Mushkin and a few others I can't remember and I really couldn't tell much difference from one brand to another. I got the Corsair Vengeance because of they looked "cool" (pun intended...heatsinks FTW!). In reality, will a little extra performance really make all of a difference? Probably not.

Eight 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) Memory Kits For P67 Express, Rounded Up

I have 16GB (8GB x 2) and when I'm rendering video, my Task Manager tells me my system uses up about 3GB total on Windows 7 Pro. So I have a 10GB ramdisk setup to write my rendered videos to. Better to write to RAM than the SSD. I'm glad I got the 8GB modules instead of 4 4GBs because I will upgrade to 32GB (max on my board) to take full advantage of the ramdisk setup and make BDs. One thing experience has taught me is that you can never have too much RAM :) 

I think I'm the wrong guy to ask about your gaming rig really, I just thought I'd put in my 2¢. I don't game, unless you count CounterStrike 1.6...haha.
October 18, 2012 11:04:47 PM

manofchalk said:
Its a good motherboard, so is that MSI one. I was just saying that other than the Tri SLI/Crossfire ability, there isn't anything that really stands out about it.

You are not going to find a dual channel 12GB kit. To get 12GB will require three 4GB sticks.

G.Skill Ares is the standard kit I recommend. Low profile, good brand and on this gold colour scheme your after, the orange colour will fit pretty nicely.
Though to fit the colour scheme a bit better, Mushkin Radioactive RAM would be a better option and is just as good.
Also you are going to love this, they come in 3x4GB kits.
Mushkin Enhanced Radioactive 12GB (3 x 4GB) 1600mhz CL9 1.5v. $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Though I think it would be better to spend an extra $10 and buy two 8GB kits for a total of 16GB. That way all the RAM DIMMS are used up and the cost difference is pretty small.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks! Those are some good options.

Should I get the MSI GTX 680 with the twinfrozr cooler? Or should I just buy a regular 680 with the reference cooler?

I was looking at the MSI GTX 680 Lightning, it comes factory overclocked and with tons of other features. Plus, it matches the color scheme of the MSI Big Bang M-power.

If I decide to get a 2nd GTX 680 in the future, what power supply should I have? 1,000W?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2012 5:16:52 AM

Reference design cooling runs louder and hotter than custom designs. Only advantage to reference is if you have bad case airflow, as it exhausts the heat out the back instead of everywhere in the case.
So if you had a crummy oven style box with no cable management, reference is better. But with the cases you have picked, that wont be an issue.
EDIT: Just remembered there is another use for reference design cards, Watercooling. Most GPU water-blocks only support reference design PCB's. Realize that this info is probably not going to be needed, but... eh.

Also there is no reason to get a 680 over a 670 (or 7970 Ghz). The 670 and 680 have the exact same hardware (except some extra CUDA cores on the 680), its just an overclocked and higher binned 670.
If you get a good quality 670, you can easily overclock to 680 performance and save yourself $100.
For the time being, avoid MSI Power edition 670's. They have had some issues with the voltage regulation.

For Dual SLI/Crossfire, 650W is sufficient. But 750W is recommended for the extra headroom and so the usage is closer to 60-70% (which is where PSU's are typically most efficient).
October 19, 2012 1:17:52 PM

manofchalk said:
Reference design cooling runs louder and hotter than custom designs. Only advantage to reference is if you have bad case airflow, as it exhausts the heat out the back instead of everywhere in the case.
So if you had a crummy oven style box with no cable management, reference is better. But with the cases you have picked, that wont be an issue.
EDIT: Just remembered there is another use for reference design cards, Watercooling. Most GPU water-blocks only support reference design PCB's. Realize that this info is probably not going to be needed, but... eh.

Also there is no reason to get a 680 over a 670 (or 7970 Ghz). The 670 and 680 have the exact same hardware (except some extra CUDA cores on the 680), its just an overclocked and higher binned 670.
If you get a good quality 670, you can easily overclock to 680 performance and save yourself $100.
For the time being, avoid MSI Power edition 670's. They have had some issues with the voltage regulation.

For Dual SLI/Crossfire, 650W is sufficient. But 750W is recommended for the extra headroom and so the usage is closer to 60-70% (which is where PSU's are typically most efficient).


Does the Corsair Vengeance C70 have good airflow? What if if I put in some extra fans?

I was at an electronics store with my brother a few days ago and he pointed out that case. It's military green and looks bad-ass. I'm going to use a mid-tower case because the full towers are too large, heavy, and bulky. The coolermaster HAF-XM mid tower was also another choice.

Someone told me for dual SLI GTX 680 I should have an 850-1,000W power supply to run them efficiently. In the future I'll probably be adding another card.

Also, is the MSI twinfrozr custom GPU cooler any good? If I have high airflow in my case then a reference cooler isn't necessary?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 19, 2012 1:48:22 PM

Yep, either of them will be pretty good. You could add more fans if you wanted.

750W is more than sufficient for dual 680's. 1000W is more the area of Tri SLI/Crossfire, for that you will need a full tower case.

The TwinFrozr design is pretty good. MSI love to overbuild their cards, especially the Hawk and Lightning editions.
Pretty much. Custom design cards exhaust hot air in essentially every direction, while reference exhausts out the back. So if airflow is bad, hot air will build up in the case and be recycled back through the components, leading to higher temperatures. But if airflow is enough to get rid of that air, a custom design cooler will give superior cooling with less noise.
October 20, 2012 8:34:35 AM

manofchalk said:
Yep, either of them will be pretty good. You could add more fans if you wanted.

750W is more than sufficient for dual 680's. 1000W is more the area of Tri SLI/Crossfire, for that you will need a full tower case.

The TwinFrozr design is pretty good. MSI love to overbuild their cards, especially the Hawk and Lightning editions.
Pretty much. Custom design cards exhaust hot air in essentially every direction, while reference exhausts out the back. So if airflow is bad, hot air will build up in the case and be recycled back through the components, leading to higher temperatures. But if airflow is enough to get rid of that air, a custom design cooler will give superior cooling with less noise.


Will one GTX 680 outperform two Radeon HD 5870's in Crossfire?

I just want to make sure that this build is still an upgrade to my current rig.

I'll probably add a 2nd GTX 680 at a later time.

Can I max out future games like GTA5 and Crysis 3?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 20, 2012 9:29:09 AM

Two mid-range cards from 2-3 generations ago compared to one modern high end card. Pretty sure that the 680 will be better.
(quick calculations. A 560Ti is roughly equal to a 5870. Two 560ti's roughly equals a GTX580. A 680 is much better than a 580. All checks out :lol: ).

Cant say since they haven't been released yet, but you will definitely be up the top end in the settings.
October 21, 2012 5:14:56 AM

manofchalk said:
Two mid-range cards from 2-3 generations ago compared to one modern high end card. Pretty sure that the 680 will be better.
(quick calculations. A 560Ti is roughly equal to a 5870. Two 560ti's roughly equals a GTX580. A 680 is much better than a 580. All checks out :lol: ).

Cant say since they haven't been released yet, but you will definitely be up the top end in the settings.


So two GTX 680's in SLI = approximately 4.5 HD 5870's?
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2012 6:05:25 AM

Assuming you have 100% performance scaling with the 5870's (you cant, scaling degrades quite badly after the 2nd GPU), then that is correct.
October 21, 2012 6:17:05 AM

manofchalk said:
Assuming you have 100% performance scaling with the 5870's (you cant, scaling degrades quite badly after the 2nd GPU), then that is correct.


Right now, I can max out any game with playable framerates (with the exception of the first Crysis, GTA4, and Metro 2033) with my dual HD 5870's.

Two GTX 680's should fill this gap and will conquer ANY PC game @1920x1080 resolution with no slowdowns.

Performance goes to hell in the first Crysis after I apply anti-aliasing. But I can max out everything else... The only reason I can't max GTA4 is because I need at least 2GB of VRAM to max out the view distance slider. Metro 2033 makes Crysis look like child's play in terms of hardware taxation, especially if tesselation, AA, and depth of field are activated.
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 21, 2012 6:28:58 AM

Pretty much, though if you are going Crossfire/SLI, you really need an Eyefinity/surround setup or a 120hz monitor to justify it.
Otherwise your extra performance will be bottle-necked by the low resolution of a single monitor, or its 60Hz refresh rate.

Well, if it doesn't there isnt much you can do about it. Already got top of the line components.

If you are looking for great performance in memory intensive activities, may want to consider the 7970 Ghz. An extra GB of VRAM and a wider memory bus compared to the 680. Really pulls ahead once you start to increase the resolution, though both are fairly evenly matched at 1080p.

EDIT: 7970 Ghz's are cheaper than 680's as well.
October 21, 2012 8:12:19 AM

manofchalk said:
Pretty much, though if you are going Crossfire/SLI, you really need an Eyefinity/surround setup or a 120hz monitor to justify it.
Otherwise your extra performance will be bottle-necked by the low resolution of a single monitor, or its 60Hz refresh rate.

Well, if it doesn't there isnt much you can do about it. Already got top of the line components.

If you are looking for great performance in memory intensive activities, may want to consider the 7970 Ghz. An extra GB of VRAM and a wider memory bus compared to the 680. Really pulls ahead once you start to increase the resolution, though both are fairly evenly matched at 1080p.

EDIT: 7970 Ghz's are cheaper than 680's as well.


I'll probably be upgrading to a 120Hz monitor at some point in the future.

Can you recommend a decent sized one that isn't terribly expensive?
!