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Help me build a Work/Gaming rig for $2000

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November 4, 2012 7:23:51 PM

Hi, just want to start out with saying this will be my first build I have ever done. With that being said let me get down to the details.

I currently do 3D design for games and naturally game quite a lot as well. So I have come here looking for you guys to give me a build that you would do if in my shoes.

My budget is ~$2000. If the parts sum equals 2k then I will add just a bit for Windows 7 pro 64 bit.

The types of programs I will be using are Zbrush, 3DS Max, Photoshop, and Marmoset tool bag. Probably all at the same time Or minus 3DS Max. These all can be pretty cpu intensive. So I need the build to have the power to do so and not stutter when I have millions of polygons on screen, a 4k texture in Photoshop, and listening to music on Youtube. Now that the work side has been mentioned, I do game quite a lot. I tend to stick to MMO's and competitive PvP. (player versus player) So I need to have the best reaction time I can get from the rig . Basically the best bang for the buck.

Looking at these things I'm guessing I need an i7 K, but what model I have no idea. I'm also thinking that running two 670's in SLI would be my best option for gaming.

Memory- Need to be able to have at least 32Gb. The build doesn't have to have it maxed out right away just the ability to upgrade to higher amounts. The more the better here.

On the side of cooling I have played with the idea of liquid cooling but it makes me a bit nervous considering if the cooler leaked I would be screwed.

I have never overclocked but knowing me If the cpu can do I will learn how to. The case can be any size but if the liquid cooling system runs up the price, then it needs to have the space for what it would take to overclock with air. As for looks as long as it stands out a bit I'm happy.

On a side note I don't need to purchase and peripherals I have those covered already.

So that pretty much sums it up. So what would you guys build if in my shoes for 2k?
November 4, 2012 7:54:43 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler ($81.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme3 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($207.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($75.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($103.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($98.48 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1699.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Alright, here's what I would start off with for a base build. The i7 3930k is one of the fastest processors for the work you'll be doing. It's also the best bang for the buck in comparison to the 3960x whose small increase in performance doesn't justify the $1000 price tag. Also, the 3930k can be overclocked. It's a very simple procedure. Just look around for appropriate guides; this site should have a useful guide somewhere around here.

As for the graphics card, I went with the single most fastest GPU on the planet (disregarding dual GPUs such as the gtx 690). This will easily net you over the 60fps point in every game out there. You can add another in crossfire in the future if you need it. For now, one 7970 will get the job done.

If it fits the budget, feel free to bump up that SSD to the 256gb version. I've heard good things about this particular line of OCZ SSDs. Make sure it's the Vertex 4 you're purchasing. Install your Operating System on this drive, and I recommend you put all the programs you need fast access to on this drive. In this case, I'd put games and those work programs on the SSD. Use the HDD for media.

If you decide to switch out any of the parts, make sure they are compatible. For example, make sure your CPU is compatible with your motherboard. The CPU I chose is based on the LGA 2011 socket. You'll want an appropriate motherboard to go along with it. I also suggest you get 4 sticks of RAM. This will take advantage of quad channel memory...assuming the motherboard you purchase supports it.

Feel free to play around with the list I created. Add in a better motherboard, PSU, case, etc. if your budget allows.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

[Edit]
One more thing, if you decide to go with the case I suggested, I recommend you grab a few extra 120mm fans. I believe it only comes with two fans. It comes with a single 120mm exhaust and 200mm exhaust. The 200mm fan has blue LEDs. My suggestions for fans:

High performance:
Corsair Air Series SP120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quiet:
Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bling:
COOLER MASTER R4-L2S-122B-GP 120mm 4 Blue LED
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 4, 2012 8:08:36 PM

OK, so an intensive editing rig with a moderate gaming focus as well. Needs the ability to hold 32GB of RAM and a powerful CPU that can overclock. Can run two cards in SLI.
Sounds like an X79 build.

CPU: Intel i7-3930k. $570
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: AsRock X79 Extreme6. $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) 1600Mhz CL9 1.5v. $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Corsair Enthusiast 750-M, 80+ Bronze semi-modular. $115 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire HD7870. $250 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Dont think for MMO's you really need that strong a card, or multiple.

SSD: Samsung 830 128GB. $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD x2: Seagate Barracuda 2TB. $110 x2 = $220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: This comes down to which one you like the look of. All are full towers (to support the E-ATX board) and will support watercooling quite well.

Coolermaster HAF-X. $180 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Silverstone Raven RV02B-EW. $215
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one is pretty unique, features a rotated motherboard tray. Very good for watercooling if your willing to cut some holes for external radiators.

NZXT Switch 810. $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Very good for watercooling, can support a quadruple rad out of the box.

Total (with Raven Case): $1810

That leaves you about $200 for water-cooling, which is about right for good CPU loop.
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November 4, 2012 8:24:10 PM

Just want to say thank you for helping me thus far. I do have a few reservations though.

This cpu seems solid so I will base the build around it. The mobos you guys have linked seems good, but I would like to have one that has space for more than 32GB for down the road (is that possible atm?)

Also should I go for dual or quad channel?

I have seen some bad reviews of Seagate. So I would probably go with a western caviar or am I just being skittish?

The ssd I am probably going to change out for the Crucial 128 version.

I should have mentioned that I am a Nvidia guy. I don't want to start any wars though, that's just my personal preference. That beings said though I may bit the bullet if you guys are really confident in em.

Sorry to seem picky when asking for help. I don't mean it to come across as so. Type doesn't convey emotion well, as we all know.
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November 4, 2012 8:32:08 PM

The board I recommended has eight RAM slots and can support up to 64GB.

Stick with the Samsung 830 or Vertex 4. The Crucial M4 was a great drive known for reliability, but compared to these newer drives it doesn't compete for speed and they are just as reliable.

If you go with my suggestion, the equivalent to a 7870 is the GTX660. For Dues' GPU it would be the 680, but get the 670.

Stock fan configuration on the cases I recommended are fairly good. Though if you do water-cooling, buying aftermarket fans will be necessary.
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November 4, 2012 8:40:12 PM

Ok so I'll run that mobo and the Samsung 830. So I'm thinking getting a 670 and adding one in later in SLI, that sound good? Hmm as for the water-cooling, I'm totally lost on. If I do the water-cooling am I going to have to cut into the case or would there be space for them already?
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November 4, 2012 8:47:48 PM

Depends on which case you get as to what it will support out of the box. In general though an enthusiast case will support a 240mm and a 120mm rad, but again its depends on the case and if you are willing to modify it.

For instance, that Raven will support a 240mm (360mm if you take out the drive cages) and a 120mm. But on the back there is a fairly large blank space where with some drilling you could externally mount a 360mm radiator or two quite easily.
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November 4, 2012 8:52:02 PM

Ok I pretty much have the build I'm going to use. The only issue is the cooling and case. I don't have access to tools that would allow me to cut into a case so would the NZXT Switch 810 be the better choice?
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Best solution

November 4, 2012 9:02:34 PM

In terms of pure rad space, yes. But whether you need that much raddage will depend on the components in the loop, whether you will overclock or not and the fans used.
Then other factors as such whether the case itself is any good and supports what you want.
Drop into the water-cooling forum, they will be able to help a lot better than I can.
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November 4, 2012 9:12:30 PM

Best answer selected by DeadBlade930.
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