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Building High End Gaming/BIM Rig

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December 30, 2012 4:57:22 AM

Hello!

First let me start off by saying I am a newly joined, first time poster to Tom's Hardware forums.... even though I've been visiting this site for years! Finally decided to make an account since I would like to have more of a personalized discussion about a computer build I am in the process of finalizing.

Application:
The rig is going to be built to handle two specific criteria: 1) Heavily modded, graphically enhanced gaming. 2.) Heavy BIM usage of complex systems and entire building infrastructures (this is related to my job).

Philosophy:
I am looking for an overtop, over-kill, close to future proof rig here. I like the new and I like the best, possibly a personal flaw but I don't care. You'll see some of the components may be overkill, but that is by design. I believe I'll be taxing it pretty good when I use it. This is not going to be a "Daily Driver" computer for me. It's going to be a secondary computer where it's only functions will be the applications above. In addition to being fully upgradable moving into the future, that is important too.

Budget:
I want to keep the hardware portion of this build under $3500.00

Why am I posting this here?:
Before I enter the stages of actually purchasing the items, I want to have a meaningful discussion about my build to discuss compatibility, what I am missing, recommendations, etc. I just need to talk about it so I can feel comfortable knowing I can continue the process here.

Known Missing Pieces:
-CPU Cooler
-Liquid Cooling (Was considering this as optional, but for this system, should it be a must?)
-CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Disc Drives


Now to the build. (I was going to post a link to my Wish List on Newegg to make this a lot easier, but apparently, it does not update instantly to public when making the Wish list public).


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


Motherboard:
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


GPU
Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Ed. 6MB (2x in Crossfire, only buying 1 though because I already own the second)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PSU:
CORSAIR AX1200i
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case:
Silverstone Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


RAM:
G.Skill Ripjaws X 4x8GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SSD: (Main Windows Boot/BIM)
CORSAIR Neutron GTX 240GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SSD: (Games/Misc)
CORSAIR Neutron GTX 240GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


HD: (Bulk Storage)
Western Digital RE4 2TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU Cooler:
?
?


Liquid Cooling:
?
?


DVD/Blu-Ray Drives:
?
?



TOTAL SO FAR: $2895



Am I missing anything/overlooking anything?
Thoughts on the system?


Thank you.
December 30, 2012 5:55:31 AM

Drop down to an 850W PSU, theres no need for 1200W on this system. Overkill here doesnt even help you anyway, as a PSU is typically most efficient when running ~70% load.

Youv got a case with a side panel window and blue RAM on your red motherboard...
Colour coordination is key!
Buy two of these, works out the same as getting a 32GB kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why would you pay $210 for a 2TB drive? Seagate has a 2TB model for $110.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise the build looks good.

You have room in the budget and it would be great for the "extremeness" of the system, might as well get water-cooling. Chances are you wont be able to water-cool the graphics cards (6GB is more than the reference card has, so custom PCB, no blocks will fit it) but the CPU is still viable.
Whether you want to go on a fully custom loop or get a kit is up to you. Drop into the Water-Cooling forum under Overclocking, they'l be able to make you a good loop for the system.

For DVD and Blu-Ray drives, got no clue. I guess just go with a brand you trust.
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December 30, 2012 6:33:29 AM

do you really need the extreme cpu? the i7-3770k runs just as fast as it.
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December 30, 2012 7:20:57 AM

manofchalk said:
Drop down to an 850W PSU, theres no need for 1200W on this system. Overkill here doesnt even help you anyway, as a PSU is typically most efficient when running ~70% load.

Youv got a case with a side panel window and blue RAM on your red motherboard...
Colour coordination is key!
Buy two of these, works out the same as getting a 32GB kit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why would you pay $210 for a 2TB drive? Seagate has a 2TB model for $110.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise the build looks good.

You have room in the budget and it would be great for the "extremeness" of the system, might as well get water-cooling. Chances are you wont be able to water-cool the graphics cards (6GB is more than the reference card has, so custom PCB, no blocks will fit it) but the CPU is still viable.
Whether you want to go on a fully custom loop or get a kit is up to you. Drop into the Water-Cooling forum under Overclocking, they'l be able to make you a good loop for the system.

For DVD and Blu-Ray drives, got no clue. I guess just go with a brand you trust.
+1 I agree with these recommendations ;)  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and for ram his recommendation or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 30, 2012 6:51:12 PM

I don't know how to quote multiple people in one reply, so I'll forego the quotes and just respond to each person individually. If there is a way to quote multiple people in one post let me know, I was only able to do one person :( 

Anyways,


@manofchalk: I chose the 1200W PSU because I used a PSU calculator and it came out to be 980W. After reading your post, I went back to do it again I this time I came up with 680W. So I think I must have entered some incorrect inputs the first time I did it. See, the discussions are already working for me. I will look for a substitute 850W power supply. Thank you for helping me catch that. Also, I will look into some cheaper storage HD and better color coordinated RAM sticks. Thank you for links.


@angaddev: The reason I passed on the i7-3770k and chose the i7-3930k is primarily because of the 1155 vs 2011 sockets. It appears to me, from my research, that the 1155 socket is going to be phased out here in the next year, and I wanted to maintain maximum flexibility for future upgrades. So I chose a chip and motherboard suited to the 2011 socket.


@bigcyco1: I like that PSU and the G.Skill RAM you linked. I will consider them heavily. Also, thanks for the drive suggestions. I will be using a 3 monitor set-up with this CPU. But those will be bought at a separate time. Right now I am just concerned with the CPU internal hardware.



I'm glad I posted, I am already getting the tweaks and adjustments to this system that I was hoping. It's good to get a couple other set of eyes on your work. You end up missing some things (MoBO vs RAM color, PSU Wattage, etc).


Thank you for all the help guys!! I really appreciate it!!
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December 31, 2012 4:11:04 AM

angaddev said:
you may want to consider another SSD, Corsair's aren't very fast.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These mushkin drives push 300Mb/s on write AND read and have very good reviews everywhere
or the crucial m4, gets about 450/200Mb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Honestly, I already thought about swapping out the Corsair SSD. What about Intel SSD's? I been looking at those a lot today to be honest. I seem to like those.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...





Also, as a general qustion, not necessarily pointed at you angaddev, I am worried about the 850W PSU... Will that be able to comfortably run everything, including those GPU's in crossfire (2x)
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December 31, 2012 4:36:12 AM

750W is normally recommended to run dual card rig's, I only added another 100W because chances are you will overclock and the CPU already has a 130W TDP, so about 50W more than a 1155 CPU. 850W is more than enough for your rig.
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December 31, 2012 4:39:12 AM

manofchalk said:
750W is normally recommended to run dual card rig's, I only added another 100W because chances are you will overclock and the CPU already has a 130W TDP, so about 50W more than a 1155 CPU. 850W is more than enough for your rig.



Okay, thank you very much for the piece of mind :) 
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December 31, 2012 4:48:18 PM

The thing i am worried about how is it possible to make use of x2 7970GHz 6gb cards lol wouldn't one be enough for three monitors or no?
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December 31, 2012 7:11:16 PM

bigcyco1 said:
The thing i am worried about how is it possible to make use of x2 7970GHz 6gb cards lol wouldn't one be enough for three monitors or no?


Well, we'll see how they perform now with Crossfire. That's always an adventure, and crap shot on whether or not it will work. But, it was more decided upon for future games, and heavy heavy graphic modding.




On a side note, tonight, Dec 31st, 2012.... I will be buying my new rig!

I'm settled on a couple changes. Changing the tower to the HAF-X to save some money. Switching out the Corsair SSD's for Intel. PSU will be an 850W SeaSonic. Regular HD is a different model WD, and the G.Skill RAM got upgraded to the Trident series.


I will post my complete and officially bought shopping cart tonight!


Thanks for all the help guys!
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December 31, 2012 7:27:21 PM

SkruDe said:
Well, we'll see how they perform now with Crossfire. That's always an adventure, and crap shot on whether or not it will work. But, it was more decided upon for future games, and heavy heavy graphic modding.




On a side note, tonight, Dec 31st, 2012.... I will be buying my new rig!

I'm settled on a couple changes. Changing the tower to the HAF-X to save some money. Switching out the Corsair SSD's for Intel. PSU will be an 850W SeaSonic. Regular HD is a different model WD, and the G.Skill RAM got upgraded to the Trident series.


I will post my complete and officially bought shopping cart tonight!


Thanks for all the help guys!
Sounds good what did you decide to go with for cooling ?I highly recommend nothing less then http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/xsra750rxwak.html with a nice fan control http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ;) 
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January 1, 2013 4:55:02 AM

Spent my new years eve night finalizing everything and made sure to order before midnight for the special promotions I got :p 

Here is the list of everything I bought. Thanks for all the help guys. I'm sure I will be on here a lot as I'm assembling and setting it all up... haha :p 





E: Worth noting that the pic only shows 1 Radeon 7970 card, because I have already bought the second one for crossfire a little earlier. So add another $600 to the price for the total amount this rig cost me.
Also, forgot my Thermal Paste, so made another order shortly after for that too :p 
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January 1, 2013 5:07:35 AM

Well looks good to me as long as your not planing to overclock your cpu very much because the evo will not do very well i have done a few builds with the i7-3930k only coolers i was able to overclock with was NH-D14 and PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE
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January 1, 2013 5:27:34 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Well looks good to me as long as your not planing to overclock your cpu very much because the evo will not do very well i have done a few builds with the i7-3930k only coolers i was able to overclock with was NH-D14 and PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE



That's relative to the individuals thought on what's "very much" :p 
I was only planning somewhere between 4.1 to 4.4 which I believe should be fine on air.
If I find myself with some CPU heat issues, I will most certainly address it. I just didn't think I'd OC it enough to really create any heat issues.
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January 1, 2013 5:31:38 AM

SkruDe said:
That's relative to the individuals thought on what's "very much" :p 
I was only planning somewhere between 4.1 to 4.4 which I believe should be fine on air.
Very true it might able to handle 4.1 i know i try 4.5 with the 212 evo after market cooler it could not hang sadly.Maybe you will have better luck. :) 
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January 1, 2013 5:36:54 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Very true it might able to handle 4.1 i know i try 4.5 with the 212 evo after market cooler it could not hang sadly.Maybe you will have better luck. :) 


Well thats good to know. I was under the assumption the EVO was a better CPU cooler than you're saying it is... lol.

But, like I said, my sweet spot for what I need will be somewhere around 4.1 to 4.3.... 4.4 would be the max.
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January 1, 2013 6:02:46 AM

SkruDe said:
Well thats good to know. I was under the assumption the EVO was a better CPU cooler than you're saying it is... lol.

But, like I said, my sweet spot for what I need will be somewhere around 4.1 to 4.3.... 4.4 would be the max.
It supposedley is a great cooler i was under the same impression as you until i try it on i7 3930K. :lol: 
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January 1, 2013 6:04:24 AM

The 212 EVO is a good budget cooler, you wont find much better at its price point. On a mainstream chip its fairly good and will allow a decent overclock, but on a 3930K with its 130W TDP (so nearly double the heat output of a 3570k) its not going to perform as well.
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January 1, 2013 12:16:03 PM

bigcyco1 said:
It supposedley is a great cooler i was under the same impression as you until i try it on i7 3930K. :lol: 


manofchalk said:
The 212 EVO is a good budget cooler, you wont find much better at its price point. On a mainstream chip its fairly good and will allow a decent overclock, but on a 3930K with its 130W TDP (so nearly double the heat output of a 3570k) its not going to perform as well.



After thinking about it going to bed last night, and making breakfast this morning, I made a mistake with my CPU cooling. It's not right, nor smart, for me to splurge everywhere, but skimp out on the CPU cooling. Luckily for me, this is an inexpensive, and easily fixed mistake I will correct immediately. It's silly of me to buy all this stuff, and bottle neck myself with cooling issues because I was stupid!

I am going to be looking into CPU coolers and liquid cooling today. It's a holiday, so my order isn't going anywhere and I can order today and still get both shipments on the same day.

I think what was holding me back, is I do not have experience in water cooling, what to do, or what to buy. So my comfort level was low, and I tried to find a alternative to it. This is an area, I am not strong in.

Suggestions and advice are welcome!


Thanks!




EDIT:

@bigcyco1: The liquid cooler you suggested a few posts above (and I also see the same in your sig for your own personal rig) is nice, but I am afraid the blue LED's will conflict greatly with my existing Red LED's. Is there a Red version? I didn't see any.

Also I am scared by the amount of space I have at each side of the CPU socket on my MoBo. The RAM sockets seems to be kinda close to both ends of my CPU socket, possibly restricting me on size of a CPU cooler. This is just an observation I had.

My MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 1, 2013 10:41:29 PM

angaddev said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Great water cooler, quiet and very very cool



This looks like a really good liquid cooler. I was google'ing around to make sure it will fit my board and it appears it will. I may end up going with this one unless someone changes my mind with a red LED one of similar capabilities :p 

Thanks for the suggestion angaddev.
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January 1, 2013 11:09:43 PM

I say get custom water-cooling on a rig of this caliber.
There are two options with that, build a new loop from scratch or get a pre-configured kit. Given your inexperience of water-cooling, I advise getting a kit.

The one BigCyco recommended is fairly good and its easy enough to swap out the LED's, I know because I did on my similar kit. Will give you much better performance than a closed loop liquid cooler and is up-gradable in the future.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16893/ex-wat-221/XSPC...
And some LED's to replace the stock one with, make sure to get them with the 3-pin connector.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14759/ele-1011/Prewir...

If you want to go fully custom, drop into the water-cooling forum. They'l be able to help you out in building a loop.

If it helps, heres my build log when I installed my XSPC Raystorm 360 kit.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279384-29-water-cooli...

EDIT: Just realized I didnt uphold water-cooling tradition on this forum.
Read the sticky, if you post on the WC forum it will be the first thing asked of you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...
Much better that you are educated on what you are doing rather than blindly following what we tell you.
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January 1, 2013 11:54:13 PM

manofchalk said:
I say get custom water-cooling on a rig of this caliber.
There are two options with that, build a new loop from scratch or get a pre-configured kit. Given your inexperience of water-cooling, I advise getting a kit.

The one BigCyco recommended is fairly good and its easy enough to swap out the LED's, I know because I did on my similar kit. Will give you much better performance than a closed loop liquid cooler and is up-gradable in the future.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16893/ex-wat-221/XSPC...
And some LED's to replace the stock one with, make sure to get them with the 3-pin connector.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14759/ele-1011/Prewir...

If you want to go fully custom, drop into the water-cooling forum. They'l be able to help you out in building a loop.

If it helps, heres my build log when I installed my XSPC Raystorm 360 kit.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279384-29-water-cooli...

EDIT: Just realized I didnt uphold water-cooling tradition on this forum.
Read the sticky, if you post on the WC forum it will be the first thing asked of you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...
Much better that you are educated on what you are doing rather than blindly following what we tell you.



Good information here. Your build log was also very informative and can prove to be very helpful.
I can confidently say, I'm probably not going to get into a custom water cooling system. My experience and knowledge on the subject is minimal and it would prove to be a disaster. Though, getting a kit is something I can do. I will look into this.

Thank you for the links and advice.
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January 2, 2013 1:19:02 AM

manofchalk said:
I say get custom water-cooling on a rig of this caliber.
There are two options with that, build a new loop from scratch or get a pre-configured kit. Given your inexperience of water-cooling, I advise getting a kit.

The one BigCyco recommended is fairly good and its easy enough to swap out the LED's, I know because I did on my similar kit. Will give you much better performance than a closed loop liquid cooler and is up-gradable in the future.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16893/ex-wat-221/XSPC...
And some LED's to replace the stock one with, make sure to get them with the 3-pin connector.
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14759/ele-1011/Prewir...

If you want to go fully custom, drop into the water-cooling forum. They'l be able to help you out in building a loop.

If it helps, heres my build log when I installed my XSPC Raystorm 360 kit.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279384-29-water-cooli...

EDIT: Just realized I didnt uphold water-cooling tradition on this forum.
Read the sticky, if you post on the WC forum it will be the first thing asked of you.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...
Much better that you are educated on what you are doing rather than blindly following what we tell you.



After looking into it a little deeper I have just a couple simple questions for you since you have used the system before.

It comes with 2m of clear tubing. Is this 1 complete length of 2m? If it is how can you cut it, or how do you? Is a cutter included? There are no options for RED tubing, closest is an orange tube I don't really like, so I would have to buy the red tubing separate and in addition (even though it comes with clear tube anyway but I want red). Buying by the foot, should I stick with 2m (aka 6ft-7ft)?

Thank you.
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January 2, 2013 3:32:10 AM

Its one 2m tube.
I used a large pair of scissors, but there are dedicated tools. As long as the cut is somewhat straight and clean its fine.

When I bought my aftermarket red tubing I got 2m, plenty of it left over. I advise getting 2m, as then you have a bit left if you want to do something later on (like adding a T-Line, which I recommend).

Also when buying new tubing you have to get the measurements right. Since the kit uses barb fittings you don't have to worry about the OD (Outer Diameter) of the tube but ID (Inner Diameter) is still important. The fittings on the kit are 1/2" ID, so you have two options, 1/2" or 7/16" ID tubing. I advise the 7/16", its only just smaller than 1/2" but will still fit and this gives you a very tight seal around the barb.
So something like this would be good (and is actually what I have in my rig).
Primochill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 7/16"ID x 5/8" OD. $2.50 per foot
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/17872/ex-tub-1605/Pri...
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January 2, 2013 4:10:02 AM

manofchalk said:
Its one 2m tube.
I used a large pair of scissors, but there are dedicated tools. As long as the cut is somewhat straight and clean its fine.

When I bought my aftermarket red tubing I got 2m, plenty of it left over. I advise getting 2m, as then you have a bit left if you want to do something later on (like adding a T-Line, which I recommend).

Also when buying new tubing you have to get the measurements right. Since the kit uses barb fittings you don't have to worry about the OD (Outer Diameter) of the tube but ID (Inner Diameter) is still important. The fittings on the kit are 1/2" ID, so you have two options, 1/2" or 7/16" ID tubing. I advise the 7/16", its only just smaller than 1/2" but will still fit and this gives you a very tight seal around the barb.
So something like this would be good (and is actually what I have in my rig).
Primochill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT Tubing 7/16"ID x 5/8" OD. $2.50 per foot
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/17872/ex-tub-1605/Pri...


Again, great info. Thank you.

Last couple questions before I am ready to buy.

1.) In regards to the Kit, I'm going to get the coolant, and the Aluminum bracket. Seems like good add ons. Would you recommend anything from the Optional Radiator Accessories? Link below:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/16893/ex-wat-221/XSPC...

2.) The LED's, you said 3-Pin. Do I need them sleeved and heatshrinked too? If Yes, keep it black? Or Red? Link Below:
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14759/ele-1011/Prewir...


Thanks!


Edit: Also, out of curiosity. What are those sliders on the front of your tower in the link you provided. Some sort of fan control?
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January 2, 2013 4:22:58 AM

From the looks of the aluminium bracket it doesn't include LED holes.

Also with Coolant, plain distilled water is best and can be bought from any supermarket. Just make sure that you have an Anti-Microbial solution in the loop.
The two most common forms this takes is a Biocide (A chemical you add to the water, some comes free with the kit since your buying from FrozenCPU) or a Kill-Coil (a small strip of silver that you can put in the res). Both will prevent bacteria/algae from growing in the loop. I prefer Kill-Coils because you just drop it in and forget about it, while with a Biocide you have to re-apply whenever you open the loop.

You dont need it to be sleeved or heat-shrinked, but if you want it too then go ahead. Its purely just a cosmetic thing. Thats up to you if you want it red or black.

Yep, thats my NZXT Sentry Mix fan controller.
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January 2, 2013 5:10:13 AM

manofchalk said:
From the looks of the aluminium bracket it doesn't include LED holes.

Also with Coolant, plain distilled water is best and can be bought from any supermarket. Just make sure that you have an Anti-Microbial solution in the loop.
The two most common forms this takes is a Biocide (A chemical you add to the water, some comes free with the kit since your buying from FrozenCPU) or a Kill-Coil (a small strip of silver that you can put in the res). Both will prevent bacteria/algae from growing in the loop. I prefer Kill-Coils because you just drop it in and forget about it, while with a Biocide you have to re-apply whenever you open the loop.

You dont need it to be sleeved or heat-shrinked, but if you want it too then go ahead. Its purely just a cosmetic thing. Thats up to you if you want it red or black.

Yep, thats my NZXT Sentry Mix fan controller.


Again, thanks for the great info!

Question, are you sure it's 3-Pin? In the specss section it says this:
3mm Twin Blue LED with 4Pin Molex
5mm Blue LED with 4Pin Molex


Also, how many will I need?

Thanks!
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January 2, 2013 5:19:44 AM

Oops, yeah you probably want the 4pin Molex connector. The 3pin would be a fan connector, which arent as common as Molex'.

The CPU block has two 3mm holes in it, while the reservoir has a single 5mm hole it would seem. Whether you want to use all of them is again up to you.
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January 2, 2013 5:21:04 AM

Well looks like manofchalk has everything covered sorry i was not able to reply sooner anyway enjoy your beast build.
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January 2, 2013 5:45:48 AM

Okay.... That's all taken care of and ordered :) 

As of now, all I am missing is a Fan Controller, Keyboard/Mouse, and Screens. I think I have everything else accounted for. Getting close! The parts are going to start coming to my doorstep towards the end of this week! Getting excited!

But for now.... it's almost 3am, and time for me to get some sleep before work tomorrow morning (few hours). This computer stuff is stealing all my sleep!

Thanks again for all the help manofchalk, and sorry your were late bigcyco1 :p 
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January 2, 2013 5:52:36 AM

Wait, your in Queensland right?
Daylight savings is only a difference of one hour (not even sure its on right now) and its 6:49PM here in Victoria.
The plot thickens...

Got confused with a different person im helping in another thread :pt1cable:  .

I give a good recommendation for the NZXT Sentry Mix, its currently on clearance at PC Case Gear, though you can also get it through Umart.
Keyboard/Mouse is personal. I recommend a mechanical if you can afford it and a Razer Deathadder.
Screens are meh, 1080p, =<5ms and of a decent size is all that matters. Unless you have the cash for an IPS or 120Hz panel.
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January 2, 2013 8:54:10 AM

If it's not mechanical, it's not a GAMING keyboard. Membrane can never keep up, so bottom line is mechanical is required if it's going to be a "GOOD" gaming keyboard.I personally prefer mechanical keyboards, but not everyone does.

For me, the Ducky Shining takes the cake - Backlit in red/green/blue/white, comes in red/brown/black/blue switches.


If you don't like Mech boards, the Logitech G19 is pretty neat - I used to have one before I went to the Ducky Shining.For cheaper options the Logitech G110,Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Logitech G510
Microsoft SideWinder X6
Microsoft SideWinder X4
Logitech K350 2.4Ghz Wireless Keyboard

OVERALL, my top picks: cm storm quickfire, ducky shine 2, deck legend, das, filco in no particular order


Finally, an "ultimate" gamer/geek centric guide at another well respected forum: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-g...
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January 2, 2013 8:24:28 PM

manofchalk said:
Wait, your in Queensland right?
Daylight savings is only a difference of one hour (not even sure its on right now) and its 6:49PM here in Victoria.
The plot thickens...

Got confused with a different person im helping in another thread :pt1cable:  .

I give a good recommendation for the NZXT Sentry Mix, its currently on clearance at PC Case Gear, though you can also get it through Umart.
Keyboard/Mouse is personal. I recommend a mechanical if you can afford it and a Razer Deathadder.
Screens are meh, 1080p, =<5ms and of a decent size is all that matters. Unless you have the cash for an IPS or 120Hz panel.


I am from Ohio, USA :p 
It was 3 in the morning when I decided to call it a night last night and whoo wee, today was not a very productive day for me at work... haha.

Today/Tonight I will be getting into Mice and Keyboards... possibly even Fan Controllers. Screens will be the very last thing I look into since they are so expensive! And I have a spare screen to keep me busy while I set the rig up and configure everything.

Judging by your response, 120Hz screen is better than a <5ms screen? I am assuming because a 120Hz screen can have a FPS of up to 120?





Awesome links here! I will be going through all of them today for sure! Thank you for making the beginning of this process much easier for me :D 



bigcyco1 said:
If it's not mechanical, it's not a GAMING keyboard. Membrane can never keep up, so bottom line is mechanical is required if it's going to be a "GOOD" gaming keyboard.I personally prefer mechanical keyboards, but not everyone does.

For me, the Ducky Shining takes the cake - Backlit in red/green/blue/white, comes in red/brown/black/blue switches.


If you don't like Mech boards, the Logitech G19 is pretty neat - I used to have one before I went to the Ducky Shining.For cheaper options the Logitech G110,Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
Logitech G510
Microsoft SideWinder X6
Microsoft SideWinder X4
Logitech K350 2.4Ghz Wireless Keyboard

OVERALL, my top picks: cm storm quickfire, ducky shine 2, deck legend, das, filco in no particular order


Finally, an "ultimate" gamer/geek centric guide at another well respected forum: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-g...


Again, thank you for the useful info. I will be getting into it today :D 





On a side note. Earlier in this thread I was posting how I was worried about my PSU. And how I was getting higher readings on the PSU calculator I was using that worried me about my 850W PSU. Well, I pretty much figured out why my readings were so high. The % added to the "Capacitor Aging" category adds A LOT of Watts to your recommended total, and that was killing my #'s. I looked into the subject and found a lot of gray areas and differing opinions on that area. But what I came away with was, adding just 15% was plenty and really it's just a marketing thing since PSU's these days are so efficient. So, I guess I won't worry about it. With everything at 90% load, AND an agressive Overclock variable, I was at a "Recommended" 885W PSU with 15% Capacitor Aging. But CA % that is for years of usage and some people even agreed that really it's only 5% the first year and very insignificant the following years. Anyways, I just thought I post why I was worried and that now I feel better about and and I should be fine. Atleast out of the box and getting going I have plenty.

Thanks!
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January 2, 2013 9:30:34 PM

Yep, 120hz screens are better as they can display an FPS up to 120, while your typical screen can only display 60hz/FPS. 120hz panels have a 2ms response time.
This is the cheapest I could find, but I am sure there are cheaper.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
At the price of this 120hz, I would personally get three 1080p monitors and have myself an Eyefinity setup. Would be a good option since you have the GPU grunt to back it up as well.

Think it would take a long time for the capacitors to age by 15%, by then you should have replaced it anyway. General advice on when to replace a PSU is 3-5yrs.
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January 2, 2013 9:52:55 PM

As far as which monitor is for you all depends Response Rate


The response rate of an LCD monitor refers to how quickly each pixel on the screen can change color. The lower the response rate, the faster the screen updates. If you are playing fast-paced action game for example, where the images change quickly, if you're playing on a monitor with a slower response rate, you may experience what is known as "ghosting". Ghosting happens when the previous image displayed on the screen can still be seen as a blur for moments after the image has changed.


When choosing the best gaming monitor, the response rate is perhaps the single most important factor to consider. Ghosting and motion blur can ruin your overall gaming experience. The faster the response rate of your monitor, the less ghosting you will see.


I would say that an LCD with a response rate of 5ms is the minimum for gaming. Lower than 5ms is better of course (remember that the lower, the faster), and the very best gaming monitors on the market have extremely fast response rates such as 2ms and lower to avoid any ghosting/blur issues completely.



LED vs LCD Monitors


LED monitors are the exact same as LCD monitors, except they use LED backlighting which provides some advantages such as a brighter and sharper display, thinner screen, and lower power usage.


LED monitors currently cost a little more than a standard LCD, but if you want the best gaming monitor then I would definitely suggest you buy one. If not, a standard LCD monitor with a good response rate will do just fine.



What Size Monitor?


Ultimately, the size you go for is totally up to you and how much you're willing to spend. Obviously the larger the screen, the more expensive it will be, but for the best gaming monitor experience I would suggest at least 19", and go for a widescreen LCD if you can. Nothing beats gaming on a nice, decent-sized widescreen monitor.


If you want the most immersive gaming experience possible and you have the money to spend, go for a quality 23" or 24" screen, or even 25" and above. After gaming on such a massive screen you won't ever want to go back to a smaller screen!



Contrast Ratio


The contrast ratio of a monitor can be a helpful spec to generally compare picture quality between different monitors. In general, the higher the contrast ratio, the better the picture quality.


With high contrast ratios your screen can produce deeper black levels, which creates a more immersive and visually sharp experience. Keep in mind that the contrast ratio isn't always an accurate measure of image quality, so don't use it solely to compare two monitors as there's more to it than that.



Viewing Angle


If you look at an LCD monitor from an angle, you will notice that the image appears dimmer and the colors can look weird. At extreme angles the entire image can even disappear. The viewing angle of an LCD monitor is the angle at which you can still view the screen clearly, and is usually listed in the monitor's specifications list.


The greater the viewing angle, the better, but for gamers the viewing angle doesn't really matter because you are looking directly at the screen the whole time. But there are some people who will consider the viewing angle important, for example if you need to show presentations with your LCD monitor.



Matte vs Glossy Screens There are two kinds of modern LCD screens: matte (anti-glare) and glossy. Both have their pros and cons and are a subject of many discussions.


Matte screens don't get glare or reflections on them; however, the same rough surface (polarizer) that reduces the intensity of reflected light results in less contrast and brightness since the light from the LCD screen has to pass through it. Matte screens diffuse light instead of reflecting it so they might be easier to read outdoors, if the backlight provides enough brightness. You don't have to worry about reflections unlike with a glossy screen. One of the downsides of a strong anti-glare coating in matte displays is a grainy "crystalline" pattern which is mostly visible when viewing text on a white background.


Glossy screens have vibrant colors and high contrast and brightness because they have a smooth, high-gloss surface. As a result, it is often the choice for movies or gaming. However, strong lighting sources in the environment cause glare on these screens which is not only annoying, but can also cause eye strain and pain. If the lighting isn't adequate, you will also see distracting reflections on the screen. Some graphics designers may find the colors inaccurate, although that mostly depends on the LCD matrix. Glossy will work great for you if the lighting in your room doesn't create any glare on the screen. 120Hz
Why a 120Hz Refresh Rate Computer Monitor?
120Hz Vs. 60Hz
120 Hz vs. 60Hz Refresh Rate - Source: BenQBoth response time, the time it takes for a pixel to go from black to white and back again, and input lag, the difference in time that it takes for you to input a command into your computer and see it displayed, are very well-known terms in the gaming community. Few gamers think about the impact that a higher refresh rate will have on their game.


What is Refresh Rate?


Refresh rate is basically the amount of times in a second that a monitor will draw the data which it receives. Most TN and IPS panel monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate. In order to really see all the advantages that come with a 120Hz display you should be gaming at an FPS well above 60.


Benefits of 120Hz:


1. Details are more crisp, smoothly rendered, and lifelike.
2. More Responsive Go for three of any of these better bang for buck!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Great Gaming Monitors In No Certain Order
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KKGF1O/ref=as_li_s...
http://www.amazon.com/LG-D2342P-PN-23-Inch-Widescreen-P...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008484Q6E/ref=as_li_s...
http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-XL2420T-Professional-Gaming-...
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January 3, 2013 12:02:45 AM

@bigcyco1 Dang, you really put out a lot of information for me to read :p 
That article was very interesting indeed, I enjoyed the read.

Of the monitors your put out there, I like this one the most: http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-XL2420T-Professional-Gaming-...

I must have been out of the game for awhile, because I was assuming I was going to need to drop 600-700 per monitor, so it was a surprise to see such quality monitors for much less.

If you guys know me by now, you know I'm not afraid to lay down the coin for quality. :) 


EDIT: What's the difference between the T and TX versions of that monitor?
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January 3, 2013 12:15:56 AM

Oh, just realized you have those 6GB Sapphire cards.
Definitely recommend an Eyefinity setup then, youv bought the overkill cards for it :lol: .

Though if you thought each monitor would be $600-700 (implying that you were going to get multiple), then possibly you have the budget set aside for a 120hz Eyefinity? Would be pretty cool.

This might be useful for the setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Though if your any good at general handiwork and construction, this is a much cheaper option.
http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/peri...

EDIT: The TX version come included with some Nvidia Vision glasses so you can play in 3D. Since you'v got an AMD card which uses AM3HD (I think) you need a different set of glasses for that.
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January 3, 2013 12:53:14 AM

SkruDe said:
@bigcyco1 Dang, you really put out a lot of information for me to read :p 
That article was very interesting indeed, I enjoyed the read.

Of the monitors your put out there, I like this one the most: http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-XL2420T-Professional-Gaming-...

I must have been out of the game for awhile, because I was assuming I was going to need to drop 600-700 per monitor, so it was a surprise to see such quality monitors for much less.

If you guys know me by now, you know I'm not afraid to lay down the coin for quality. :) 


EDIT: What's the difference between the T and TX versions of that monitor?
:lol:  well i think it's important stuff especially when your spending the kind of money you are i would be pissed if i bought the wrong things so just trying to help. ;)  If you're looking for the best 3D monitor that will also play great in 2D, then you should choose between the BenQ XL2420T and the ASUS VG278H. Both incorporate nVidia's 3D Vision 2 with 3D LightBoost which greatly improves the overall 3D experience.

While the BenQ doesn't disappoint as far as specifications with a 2ms response time, 120Hz refresh rate, low input lag, and a great picture, The XL2420T comes with a lot of other features built-in to this monitor specifically for gamers including FPS Mode, RTS Mode, Intuitive OSD, S. Switch;Height Adjustment, and Game Mode Loader.

If you just want this monitor for the 2D technology, then you might want to consider its predecessor, XL2410T, which is significantly cheaper and has many of the same features as the XL2420T, but has nVidia 3D Vision rather than 3D Vision 2.DSince your using amd cards i think the XL2420T is pointless and of no use for you.
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January 3, 2013 1:03:08 AM

manofchalk said:
Oh, just realized you have those 6GB Sapphire cards.
Definitely recommend an Eyefinity setup then, youv bought the overkill cards for it :lol: .

Though if you thought each monitor would be $600-700 (implying that you were going to get multiple), then possibly you have the budget set aside for a 120hz Eyefinity? Would be pretty cool.

This might be useful for the setup.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Though if your any good at general handiwork and construction, this is a much cheaper option.
http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/peri...

EDIT: The TX version come included with some Nvidia Vision glasses so you can play in 3D. Since you'v got an AMD card which uses AM3HD (I think) you need a different set of glasses for that.
Yeah since hes gaming with amd this would be the better choice http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 3, 2013 1:23:49 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Yeah since hes gaming with amd this would be the better choice http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm a little confused, just wanted to straighten it out

Of the last two posts, the first of the last two, you said the XL2420T is of no use to me since I am using AMD cards, but then in the second of the last two posts, you linked that monitor saying it would be better choice.

I'm thinking you have a typo somewhere? :p 
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January 3, 2013 1:27:49 AM

Considering that the XL2410T isnt even available on Newegg nor any other retailer I can find...
Doenst matter anyway it seems.
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January 3, 2013 1:30:23 AM

SkruDe said:
I'm a little confused, just wanted to straighten it out

Of the last two posts, the first of the last two, you said the XL2420T is of no use to me since I am using AMD cards, but then in the second of the last two posts, you linked that monitor saying it would be better choice.

I'm thinking you have a typo somewhere? :p 
Facepalm :pfff:  sorry about that i am helping you and two other members at sametime i got threads mixed up yes it was a typo. :lol: 
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January 3, 2013 1:31:54 AM

manofchalk said:
Considering that the XL2410T isnt even available on Newegg nor any other retailer I can find...
Doenst matter anyway it seems.
:lol:  Good point.
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