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$1,500 gaming productivity rig

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November 20, 2012 6:53:53 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: By end of year

Budget Range: $1,500-$2,000 USD Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
1) Gaming (Vindictus, Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2, ARMA 2&3, BF3, Blade & Soul)
2) Video Editing and Transcoding (Powerdirector 10), Video Capturing (Appian's Replay Media Catcher 5-6 RMTP streams at once)
3) p2p downloading and uploading (Vuze)
4) Video watching on web or on HDD (2-6 videos/streams at once)
5) Web Editing (Photoshop & Illustrator CS 5.5), playing and transcoding music (itunes and from youtube to mp3)
6) Word Processing (Word, Excel, OneNote)

Are you buying a monitor: Not for now. Using dual-monitor setup. Toshiba 24SL410U (1920x1080) and HP 2009m (1600x900)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon.com, Newegg, NCIX, etc. (Any within US with reputable exchange/return policy)
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Parts Preferences:
CPU: Preferably at least i7 for the editing and transcoding, hosting games and files. Was thinking 2700k because I heard 3rd gen have thermal issues and also was planning on overclocking.
Media Storage: SSD for faster OS and game loading time plus a second 1TB or more (I have 1.5 TB so far of anime o_o) was considering a RAID 5 setup in the future to protect against crashes.
Case already purchased (Corsair Carbide 500R) so full ATX mobo
Motherboard: Looking for a good one that I can overclock and has good voltage regulation for longevity of parts.
GPU: open but leaning toward nVidia 680 or maybe 670. I plan on purchasing a second one to cross-fire for 3 monitor-gaming the following year. One with good reviews on temperature (sometimes it gets to almost 90Farenheight in my room x.x).
SLI or Crossfire: In the future, I would like to buy 2nd GPU for 3 monitor gaming.
RAM: at least 16 GB for video and photo editing and HEAVY multi-tasking e.g at least 3 of the system usage bullets at once xD
Cooling: Still on the fence but rather be safe than sorry and would prefer air-cooled.
Power: Would like to be modular and enough for at least a 2 gpu setup, maybe even 3 if it's a mid-end video card but I'd rather sacrifice micro-stuttering for better parts and performance in multi-tasking productivity tasks. Modular since I may put at least 4 hard drives in there for a RAID 5 setup.

Overclocking: Maybe in the future.

I didn't include a sound card because it wasn't as important and I have a G35 Surround sound headset for games. I'd like to keep it under $1,500 but I threw in another for some leeway for better quality parts.

Prospective Build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($299.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($459.99 @ CompUSA)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1575.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-21 02:07 EST-0500)
November 20, 2012 7:11:25 AM

Looks good i suggest a 670 and better motherboard .That's about it good job.
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November 20, 2012 7:45:54 AM

Why Sandisk SSD? Get a Samsung 830 it's faster and more reliable.

For the price of the WD Black you can get a Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM, blacks aren't for storage.

Difference is minimal between GTX 670 and GTX 680, so you may consider a good GTX 670.

Make sure that the Vengeance will fit properly in your slots, cause it may interfere with the CPU fan. Otherwise get the low profile one.

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November 20, 2012 8:01:08 AM

Let me suggest a LGA2011 based build.
6-core i7 for multitasking + one of the best air coolers on the market.
Better SSD, no sandisk controller.
3TB HDD for storage.
Less noisy GTX680, with 4GB memory for triple-monitor gaming.
750W would be a minimum for dual GTX680 and add to that an overclocked hexacore. Thus, 850W from SeaSonic, one of the best PSUs out there.


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS12X Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($517.86 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1899.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-20 04:55 EST-0500)
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November 20, 2012 8:05:53 AM

ilysaml said:
Why Sandisk SSD? Get a Samsung 830 it's faster and more reliable.

For the price of the WD Black you can get a Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM, blacks aren't for storage.

Difference is minimal between GTX 670 and GTX 680, so you may consider a good GTX 670.

Make sure that the Vengeance will fit properly in your slots, cause it may interfere with the CPU fan. Otherwise get the low profile one.
good point fixed.
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November 20, 2012 8:10:17 AM

Why get a 2nd gen CPU? Yeah, 3rd gen can't overclock as far, but they're faster, so it's a wash. In which case it makes more sense to go with the one that has more features.

That being said, the 6-core is also a good option.
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November 20, 2012 8:31:08 AM

bigcyco1 said:
good point fixed.

I was pointing that to OP, :lol: 
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November 20, 2012 8:39:56 AM

Ya the 3930k freeking kicks virtual azzzz.
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November 20, 2012 8:40:25 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($57.77 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($83.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1452.63
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-20 05:40 EST-0500)
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November 20, 2012 8:40:29 AM

ilysaml said:
I was pointing that to OP, :lol: 

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November 20, 2012 7:35:43 PM

ilysaml said:
Why Sandisk SSD? Get a Samsung 830 it's faster and more reliable.

For the price of the WD Black you can get a Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200 RPM, blacks aren't for storage.

Difference is minimal between GTX 670 and GTX 680, so you may consider a good GTX 670.

Make sure that the Vengeance will fit properly in your slots, cause it may interfere with the CPU fan. Otherwise get the low profile one.


Ok, thanks for the advice on the storage as I didn't do much research in that area. I'll change that one. I was also concerned about the Vegenace fitting being obstructed by the CPU fan. I actually based this off someone else's build in the forums so I thought it would be safe. Anyway I can confirm if it fits or not? =o I actually thought I had a low profile one. =<
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November 20, 2012 7:56:27 PM

Bejusek said:
Let me suggest a LGA2011 based build.
6-core i7 for multitasking + one of the best air coolers on the market.
Better SSD, no sandisk controller.
3TB HDD for storage.
Less noisy GTX680, with 4GB memory for triple-monitor gaming.
750W would be a minimum for dual GTX680 and add to that an overclocked hexacore. Thus, 850W from SeaSonic, one of the best PSUs out there.


PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/osw2/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($499.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS12X Ball Bearing CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme6 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card ($517.86 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1899.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-20 04:55 EST-0500)


Hmmm I'm really liking the idea of a 6 core for better multi-tasking. But $500 bucks is kinda steep...but still in my price range....hmm.........x.x

Is that 6 core offer a noticeable difference in user experience or just only on benchmark testing? Debating whether I should take that also noticeably more expensive route lol. I'm not sure how to research this... Does more cores help with multi-tasking on regular applications or only on Photoshop or software built for 6 cores?
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November 20, 2012 8:04:47 PM

DarkSable said:
Why get a 2nd gen CPU? Yeah, 3rd gen can't overclock as far, but they're faster, so it's a wash. In which case it makes more sense to go with the one that has more features.

That being said, the 6-core is also a good option.


Hmm. Well based off the Ivy Bridge Takes A Bronze In Overclocking; Gold In Efficiency from Tom's Hardware I was leaning toward the Sandy Bridge since my room is on the hotter side (86-92 F) in the summer. I was planning on getting a portable A/C but I've been saving everything for the PC. If I leave the system at stock settings with that room temperature would I have stability issues using an air-cooled solution for the CPU?

The original reason I wanted to OC was for hosting games such as Arma 2 and the upcoming Arma 3. And just trying to squeeze more out of the system in general.
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November 20, 2012 10:38:22 PM

Minato4781 said:
Is that 6 core offer a noticeable difference in user experience or just only on benchmark testing? Debating whether I should take that also noticeably more expensive route lol. I'm not sure how to research this... Does more cores help with multi-tasking on regular applications or only on Photoshop or software built for 6 cores?

yeah actually it's gonna make a difference, but when I first saw that your priority is just playing games and you seem to be an amateur not a professional on your video editing and solid works, so basically the i7 will do the job.
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November 21, 2012 5:14:51 AM

ilysaml said:
yeah actually it's gonna make a difference, but when I first saw that your priority is just playing games and you seem to be an amateur not a professional on your video editing and solid works, so basically the i7 will do the job.


Yeah. The reason why I asking is because I often multi-task 2-3 of those things at once. So I might be playing a game on one screen and watching anime on the other, while also torrenting files, and listening to music. Or editing in Cyberlink PowerDirector 10, watching through anime (to find certain clips), using Photoshop, etc. etc.

But I'm definitely an amateur, I put out videos maybe 3 times a year at most and usually no more than 10 minutes long. I'm more interested on whether a hexa core will make for more responsive multi-tasking than shaving off a couple seconds off encoding a video.

Based off what I'm reading, at this site: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/11/14/intel-...

I'll probably just stick with an i7 like you said. Now the question is Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge....right now I still think Sandy Bridge would be a better choice. If anyone feels otherwise, please post a link to some reviews and benchmarks. Other than that, if anyone has more suggestions for any of the other components lemme know! I appreciate all the feedback. =)
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November 21, 2012 6:59:49 AM

After reading your initial post I somehow imagined there will be more workload to handle for CPU, but your last post convinced me that 3570k or 3770k will be enough for you. Definitely go with 3rd gen.
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November 21, 2012 7:51:20 PM

There's no real world performance difference between the two, go with either but since you want to OC and not worry about temp, go with the 2700K.
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!