Building my 1st Custom Desktop $4000

Ive worked on desktops before but its been years. A couple questions, being my first time with new age equipment should i order the parts and take them into a shop to piece together or is it fairly simple? Also if there are any reccomendations of changes for me to make or things i may have for got, feel free to let me know :)

So far this is what ive got..

Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition with Four Fans-1x 200mm Colorshift side fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift top fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift front fan and 1x 140mm rear fan

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX

Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Six-Core

Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4GB 512-bit

Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda STBD3000100 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-1200M 1200W ATX


Monitor: BenQ XL2420T Black-Red 24" 5ms (2ms GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight Height & Pivot Adjustable LED-Backlit 120Hz 3D-Ready

Keyboard: Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger SGK-6000

Mouse: RAZER Naga Hex Wraith Red Edition

OS: Windows 7

I already have a headset, but no desktop speakers. If anyone knows any decent ones white/red in style maybe with LED lights?

I know some of this may seem excessive (like the 32gb ram) but im disabled and just got my backpay money so this is the only time im really going to have enough money to build a substantial machine, so im looking for future gaming use too not just current :P
Thanks for your opinions :)
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about building custom desktop 4000
  1. Totally skipped over the sticky about making this thread sorry... lol so here it is

    Approximate Purchase Date: 2-3 weeks

    Budget Range: 4k (those parts are already around there but I can go a little more or a little less.

    System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, media, video editing, game recordings, surfing the web

    Are you buying a monitor: Yes

    Do you need to buy OS: No

    Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

    Location: City, State/Region, Country -chattanooga, tn

    Overclocking: Maybe

    SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
  2. Youv made fairly good choices, nothing is overly wrong with the build but it can be improved in some ways.
  3. Best answer
    Guess I should expand that a fair bit.
    Thermaltake isn't the best PSU manufacturer, nor do you need 1200W for this build. Something more like 850W is more appropriate for the build.
    Corsair, Seasonic or XFX are the recommended PSU manufacturers to get.

    While that BenQ monitor is quite good, it might not be best for your usage. A 120hz monitor will have a noticeable impact to games, but not all for video editing. You will probably be better off with an IPS panel, which has much more vivid colours than a TN panel. The screen will seem much more vibrant and true to life, which will help in editing and gives a better image quality to games.

    Since you havent kept up with computers in a while, its understandable that you have missed SSD's.
    They act like a conventional HDD, but are much faster due to using flash based storage rather than spinning disks. The difference really is like night and day when it comes to speed. However they are much more expensive, a 128GB SSD costs ~$100, while a 1TB HDD can be had for ~$90.
    The way around this is to get a small SSD for the OS, any commonly accessed programs and some games. Then use a HDD for storing things like movies and files which wont benefit from the SSD's speed. A Samsung 840 Pro or the OCZ Vector is are about the best drives on the market right now if you exclude PCI based options.

    When rendering, I feel that you will be bottle-necked by your current storage solution. Having multiple drives to hold the raw footage, have the footage rendered too and holding the programs/OS distributes the load. If the HDD is being read for the raw footage, being written too when the footage is rendered, and yet more reading to power the OS and any programs running it slows down a fair bit.
    A 2TB drive for raw footage, another 2TB for rendered footage and another 2TB for your personal movies, music and files, with the SSD for the OS and programs would be the ideal setup. Though you could probably mix the personal and render drive without any ill effects.
    Using 2TB drives since they offer the best price/capacity.
  4. OCZ Vector Series 128gb added.

    I picked such a high watt power supply in case i may need more juice in the future. is it a problem or is it just unnecessary?
  5. For now unnessecary.
    Although it is a possibility that you will add another 690 on later to the build, there isnt overly much point to doing so. SLI/Crossfire doesnt scale very well past the 2nd GPU (the 690 has two). Plus if your only going to be gaming at 1080p, its arguably is already very overkill.
    I would go with the best of both worlds and get an IPS 2560x1440 monitor. You get the aforementioned benefit of the better colours, and a monitor that is capable of letting you get the full performance of the 690.

    Also forgot to mention, but you dont have any cooling on your CPU. 2011 chips dont come with stock cooling, you'l have to get your own cooling. If you intend to overclock, you'l have to get something fairly decent as well since the chip has a 130W TDP at stock.

    This is the only one i see that states that resolution, i was trying to stay at 7ms or less tho. Any suggestions on a specific one that has faster ms?

    edit: nevermind, i just wasn't clicking far enough into the specs. This seems to be the one, a bit more pricing than i was hoping for tho

    edit 2: I dont really know anything about overclocking, but i did see a couple things about liquid cooling, i just dont know anything about it. If you have time do you mind linking me what would be good for my system? i know the case is compatible.
  7. Thats the downside to IPS panels, their response rate is slower than your standard TN. Which usually have a 5-2ms response time, while IPS varies from 7-12ms.
    Also they are quite expensive, especially when you hit the 1440p monitors.

    There is this one.
    Dell UltraSharp U2713HM 8ms 27". $740

    Another option is to get multiple 1080p monitors. Three of these in surround would be a fairly good setup.
    Dell S2340L Black 23" 7ms. $220 (10% promo code)
  8. is 2ms compared to 8ms a huge difference? Id really like the better colors and things if its such a little difference that its hardly noticeable. Ive been playing on a crappy monitor from when flat screens 1st came out, so either way ill probably be blown away lol

    edit: (sorry for so many edits..) I think i would like the dell better, but if i added a 2nd side monitor that was low quality would that effect the resolution on the main monitor? Im not too interested in the 3 monitor view, but a side monitor for web/chat/etc while im gaming on the main one would be nice.
  9. With water-cooling, do you mean proper custom loop or a closed loop option like a Corsair H100?
    There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, which I will run down quickly

    Closed loop coolers (CLC)
    + Cheaper than custom.
    + Requires no maintenance than occasionally dusting the rad.
    + Easy to install
    - Lower performance and performance per dollar compared to low end custom loops.
    - Can be beat by high end air-cooling, which is also cheaper.
    - Un-upgradable, once you get a H100 your pretty much at a dead end.

    Custom or Open water loops.
    + Better performance
    + Lower end loops have better value than CLC's.
    + Upgradable with many more options, can add in GPU blocks, more radiators easily.
    + This will be subjective, but its addictive getting your feet wet. It happened to me and I'v seen it happen to others.
    + Looks awesome and is fairly unique.
    - More expensive than CLC's
    - Requires a lot more research and maintenance than a CLC
    - Ton more complicated than CLC's

    If you decide to go the CLC option, then the H100i is what I recommend you get. Its about the best CLC on the market right now.
    Corsair H100i. $120 ($10 rebate)

    If your interested in a custom loop, first I will direct you to the Toms Hardware water-cooling sticky. That will explain a lot of the concepts and idea's behind water-cooling, as well as a lot of the technical stuff.
    Most people first get into water-cooling using entry level kits, XSPC offer several good ones. Basically you get everything you need to build a CPU loop except for Coolant, and its very good value, often to buy the parts individually ends up costing more. Some of them dont cost that much more than CLC's like the H100i, with a particular XSPC kit being $145 and offering much better performance.
  10. 2ms vs 8ms, cant say from experience no. But from what I have gathered from people who do have IPS monitors, they dont reckon the slower response rate has any large adverse affect on gaming.

    You can run dissimilar resolution monitors side by side, I was running three dissimilar monitors (a 1080p, 720p and 1680x1050) concurrently just fine until a month ago when I swapped out the 720p for a 1080p.
    And no, the secondary monitor wont adversely affect the primary's performance in any way if you just set it up as an extended desktop.
  11. When you say CLC are not upgradable, do you mean once you put them in you cant take them back out and replace it with the custom/open? or just, you get what u buy, end of story? The thought of open water in a computer seems crazy to me (idk anything about it like i said) about to read the sticky link you sent. lol by "open water" sounds like it could spill or something. << ppl probably laughing at me now if its not really that type of open lmao
  12. Non-upgradable in that you cant add to it or change anything. You cant make a H100 better in any real way (you can change the fans) or get it to do something else unless you want to start modding.

    Open more refers to the fact you can open it up, customize it and all that. The loop itself isn't open to the air or anything :lol:.
  13. lol ok.. yea i was like man... open water source inside all those expensive chips LOL these people are crazy

    edit: I think id choose the CLC, the custom and open are way too confusing for me to pay attention to and id probably screw it up or forget to fill it.

    high end air cooling is sometimes better/cheaper. What exactly is this?

    edit 2: well if i had a computer shop install a custom, all id have to do is add liquid sometimes?
  14. It does require a special kind of crazy to see how much electricity goes through a computer then think; "what if I add water?".
    Well, this is what happens, and I think it looks awesome. Performs very well, its pretty nice having idle temps dictated by the room temperature :D

    The Noctua NH-D14 is the current king of air heatsinks.
    Noctua NH-D14. $81

    You wont find a computer shop that will install custom liquid cooling for you, its just too much of a niche market for them to bother offering assembly of it. And if you did it would be over-priced and limited in options, chances are as well they will be after wow factor than actual performance.
    Besides, if you get into custom water-cooling, you need to know how to build and maintain it. This isnt really an area where if you don't know what your doing you can still get decent results like with a system build.
    With a computer, everything only plugs in one way and in one spot, its fairly simple to construct. You cant really do anything wrong.
    A custom loop doesnt work like that.
  15. My recommendation would be (apart from the changes made above) get 2x680s, the SLI 680s first of all overclock better , and second the SLI 680s perform better than a single 690.

    Thats my 2 cents for GPUs
  16. Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

    ^ do i need just 1 of these?

    edit: LOL nm... i just seen a video of it.. the picture looked alot smaller :P
  17. burritobob said:
    My recommendation would be (apart from the changes made above) get 2x680s, the SLI 680s first of all overclock better , and second the SLI 680s perform better than a single 690.

    Thats my 2 cents for GPUs

    yea i had the 680 sli at first but i was trying to cut the price diff since they seem to trade off which is better between diff games.
  18. If you want to cut the price, dual 670's. Perform 95% as well as 680's for $100 less.
    Throw two of them in SLI and overclock them, they can match/slightly surpass a 690 for performance at $200 less.
  19. is overclocking difficult? I dont really know anything about it. Something i can have the guy putting it together do, or is it something i can do on the actual computer when i play games?
  20. How hard overclocking depends on how far you want to push it. A fairly conservative overclock on the CPU/GPU is fairly easy to achieve, but beyond a point it gets fairly difficult.
    Heres some guides on how to overclock. They use different hardware than you will be running, but its the same basic method.
    NCIX Graphics Card overclocking guide.
    NCIX CPU LGA2011 overclocking Guide.
  21. Overclocking is very easy, unless you try to do extreme overclocking then other factors come into play. For a simple 20-30% overclock... Most intel CPUs all it takes is loading into the bios and changing your CPU multiplier. When/if you feel the need to do extreme overclocking you will have to mess with things like voltages and LLC. As for your video cards it is very simple as well. You can download a program called Precision X, or MSI afterburner and all you need to do is more the power target slider all the way up, then move your Core clock offset and mem Clock offset up to overclock. Start with something like +100 core clock and +300 mem, and if you get video drivers crashing all you have to do is move them down till you get stable clocks... This will make much more sense when you have the hardware and software in front of you.
  22. Since im going with the air cooling, its all pretty much plug in right? theres no soddering? The only real concern i have is putting the motherboard on the tower. do all atx have the same screw positions or how does it attach?
  23. No soldering involved. It will be pretty obvious where the motherboard goes and what screws will attach it to the case, The ATX case will have the holes in the right place for your motherboard. You will have "spacer" screws that you put into the case that have threads for your motherboard screws to go into, once you have all those screws into the case you place the motherboard inside then use the motherboard screws to attach it to the case via the "spacer" screws that you just installed into the case.
  24. Best answer selected by katashinomo.
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