New Build - First Time Builder!

Hi all,

Firstly, thanks for helping me out with this, now onto more pressing matters! I've been wanting to build my own gaming rig for quite some time and I figured I'd do it now. Just to put it into perspective, the last desktop I had was back in around 2001-2 from Best Buy running Windows XP, been working with laptops after that machine died and been wanting a desktop badly!

Basically, I want to build a rig for gaming and just for the sake of building it. My budget is $2,500 (not including monitor, mouse, keyboard etc.), I don't have to pay for CPU I got sponsorship from the parental units to buy me the Intel Core i7-3930K. I do plan to overclock. Here are the parts I've got in mind:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K @ FREE
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme @ $399.99
Memory: Corsair DOMINATOR GT 16GB (4x 4GB) DDR3-2133 @ $229.99
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SSD @ $149.99
Storage: Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB (10,000 RPM) @ $149.99
Case: NZXT Switch 810 @ $179.99

Total: $1,109.95

Video Card: ???
PSU: ???
Water Cooling: ???

Video Card: Not too sure about this one! I'm really digging: - I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and any other recommendations you might have. I have no loyalty to either AMD or NVIDIA, I just want the latest 7970 or 680 that is kick-ass and within my remaining budget. I'll start with one and double/triple up later.

Water Cooling: I was hoping to stay away from the H100 and do a custom loop just for the sake of doing a custom loop. I figured why not?! I'd prefer to water cool both the CPU and the video card. What setup would you recommend?

Please feel free to recommend any components you think I should replace or add that might give me the same bang for a lower buck or whatever the case is. Once again, thanks a lot for taking the time to look through this! Looking forward to hear your feedback!

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  1. First off your motherboard and RAM are way overkill. You should not pay the premiums for the Corsair Dominator - it's a ridiculous waste of money. I definitely agree about staying away from the H100. If you want to get a loop that's a step above try a Swiftech Edge.

    As far as the video card goes, the 7970 GHz edition is a great choice but I really hate that monster Asus 3-slot card design - most cases wont fit it and most motherboards will have an incredibly difficult time adding a second. Go with a Gigabyte or Sapphire card instead. The Vapor X has really good cooling and only takes two slots as opposed to three.

    There's also no reason to purchase a WD Velociraptor HD - the cost per GB just isn't worth it and it's no faster than a 7200 RPM drive/

    Here's what I would suggest:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($569.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus P9X79 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($268.49 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($449.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($179.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($133.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $2163.38
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
  2. VelociRapter is much faster than a same generation 7.2KRPM hard drive. However, it's still not worth the money. If you get an SSD as your boot drive, the performance of your hard drive becomes far less relevant for most workloads than if you don't have an SSD and you can get two cheaper hard drives in RAID 0 that'd beat a similarly priced VelociRaptor.
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