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$2000 Gaming Config

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December 27, 2012 10:55:54 AM

Hey, here's the spec I put together:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uq1N

I basically picked all of the components by looking for the major price breaks.

I really have two questions:
1.> Have I done anything stupid (incompatible or way overpriced parts).
2.> Are there any cases where I should be spending a bit more?

NOTE: I already have all the accessories (Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers lying around).

I usually have two monitors but only use the big one for gaming (2560x1600)
I typically play FPS's, but don't have a particular favorite.
I typically crank the graphics up to the max I can get away with (without dropping the frame rate), but I don't really mind running the graphics at medium settings.


Additionally the machine will be used for a bit of software development C and Java.

I budget around $1000 per year on hardware (but its been a few years so I would be willing to go up to about $3000 if there is value in it) - note I do plan to keep upgrading/replacing at the same $1000 per year.


Any suggestions would be most welcome.
TIA.




More about : 2000 gaming config

a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 11:52:19 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.86 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($469.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case ($146.76 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Full (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Other: A-Data Memory 8GB (2x4) DDR3 2400 AX3U2400GC4G10-DG2 ($74.99)
Total: $1768.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 08:54 EST-0500)
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 3:06:17 PM

I think both of you are budgeting too much for a gaming system. Games are going to use a maximum of 4 cores/threads for one thing, so an i7 is unnecessary. I'm not aware of any games that use any more than 4GB RAM either, 8GB is more than enough. Since you upgrade frequently, I'd avoid SLI/Crossfire altogether. Just get a new card when you need it. That avoids heat/incompatibility issues.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 4:00:22 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($181.85 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.86 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($183.77 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Full (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1463.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 13:00 EST-0500)
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 4:13:01 PM

"Additionally the machine will be used for a bit of software development C and Java. "

Pretty sure some of the more sophisticated end work of Java requires hyperthreading, much rather be safe than sorry in his case
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 4:17:38 PM

Ahh sorry I didn't notice that bit. Fair enough.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 5:15:51 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ut4a
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ut4a
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ut4a/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ut4a/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($45.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series GTX 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($224.99 @ Best Buy)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($469.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($171.11 @ CompUSA)
Power Supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($68.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit) ($127.28 @ CompUSA)
Total: $1938.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 14:22 EST-0500).)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-27 14:14 EST-0500)

Way overkill in a lot of areas(HDD in raid 0), but solid. Red theme if you care for that. I have the PSU and I love it. Quick edit: changed the case for compatibility with the Nzxt Kraken X60 cpu CLC cooler when it becomes available.
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December 27, 2012 9:26:14 PM

Hey All,

Thanks for the great feedback.

A few of my choices were affected but the software development requirement.
Specifically CPU, disk and (to some extent) ram.

I don’t mind dropping a bit of extra money to cover both uses cases.
With that in mind I wanted to ask a couple of why questions.

CPU
===

Most responses are recommending the i7-3770K over the i7-3930K.

+ 4 cores vs 6 cores
+ 3.5-3.9 GHz vs 3.2-3.8 GHz
+ 8 MB Cache vs 12MB Cache
+ Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge
+ $319.98 vs $499.98


I can justify the price of the extra cores for software development, but not for gaming.
If price wasn’t an issue would you still recommend the 3770K over the 3930K?

Memory
======
The memory prices are close enough that I am not going to fret over 30 bucks.

The recommendations generally seem to be slower memory at tighter tolerances:

1600 MHz 9-9-9-24
1866 MHz 9-10-9-28
2400 MHz 10-12-12-31

Running the numbers:
9/1.6 = 5.625 us
9/1.866 = 4.823 us
10/2.4 = 4.166 us

9/1.6 = 5.625 us
10/1.866 = 5.35 us
12/2.4 = 5 us

9/1.6 = 5.625 us
9/1.866 = 4.823 us
12/2.4 = 5 us

24/1.6 = 15 us
28/1.866 = 15.005 us
31/2.4 = 12.91 us

On paper the faster memory seems to be the better choice, but I have doubts specifically that it may not be as easy to get a stable system with memory clocked at these rates.

Is that the reason for the slower speed recommendation?


GFX
===

I have found the slower (925Mhz) Saphire Radeon 7970 for $379.00 on NewEgg.

The reviews I have read seem to show that with a bit of overclocking on the Radeon the performance is a wash with 680 (some games quicker some slower).

I originally chose the Radeon as the price point meant I had a number of options down the road:
+ Overclock it.
+ Buy a second one for an X-Fire rig.
+ Just throw it away and buy something better.

Was it just pricing that was affecting the 680 GTX recommendation or should I be thinking about something else?

Thanks,
David
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 27, 2012 10:13:37 PM

If money isn't a concern, get the I7 3930k. It is faster in multi-threaded applications and any games that take advantage of the extra 2 cores. The games it's not faster in, the drop in performance isn't worth being bothered with.

You're right, after looking at the numbers I'd go with a 7970 as well. Skip the Ghz editions and save some money and do the overclocking yourself.

I'd go with 1866mhz ram as long as you keep at 1.5v for the modules. I could be wrong though. I'm not sure if the 3930k cpu is picky about the voltage for the ram like the Ivy Bridges are. There are several kits out there even with that requirement too. Like you noted, look for the most aggressive timings you can find. I'm a big fan of g.skill. After looking, i found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . I regret the color, but the speed and timings are great.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 29, 2012 4:13:00 AM

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

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($329.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($399.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($100.49 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Full (64-bit) ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1805.37
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-29 01:13 EST-0500)
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