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(2000$) Streaming and Extreme performance Gaming? (Driving 3 Displays)

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January 24, 2013 10:21:39 PM

Hey there,
I've been looking to setup a dream-machine for myself. I was converted to MAC (I know, the DEVIL) seven years ago. I've had 3 macbook pro's since. I've been happy with them. They are portable and deliver in every aspect of my photo editing needs. But when it comes to gaming, they lack the performance I'm looking for. Thus, I'm finally taking the leap back.

I run 2x 23" displays while gaming + I like to watch a 1080p Movie at the same time on my tv.

What I want:
- I want to flawlessly run games at Maximum Settings (On one or two monitors)
- I want to be able to watch movies while playing games.
- I want to be able to stream and monitor chat while doing all of that.

Budget: 2000$ (Budget is not fixed (I live in Japan and won't get the prices that are found on NCIX or Newegg))
Approximate Purchase Date: (Within the next month)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming / Streaming / Movies
Are you buying a monitor: No (I already have 2x 23" Monitors and a 32" 1080p Tv) (Will eventually add a 3'rd 23" monitor)
Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7 please!
Preferred Website(s) for Parts:(Any) I live in Japan, so I'll probably have to order the parts from Amazon.jp (Specials, and discounts are not important as budget is not fixed)
Overclocking: Yes (Water Cooling, I don't know)
SLI or Crossfire: 2 screen gaming enabled, Yes please
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (x3)
Additional Comments:
- I want the "Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Computer Case With Side Panel Window" Because it looks sexy.
- Thunderbolt MoBo would be great

PS: This is my first time building... I'm a bit stressed about it!
January 24, 2013 11:28:54 PM

You need 1 or 3 displays to game. 2 doesn't work. You can stream video using one of them attached to the onboard gpu and game on a separate graphics card. Here are some recommendations... Intel 3770k, 16GB 1600mhz memory, Samsung 840 Pro SSD for OS, games and software and a 3TB drive for storage, ASRock Extreme 4 motherboard, Seasonic 520w modular power supply and a 660GTX or HD7870.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
January 24, 2013 11:40:41 PM

maestro0428 said:
You need 1 or 3 displays to game. 2 doesn't work. You can stream video using one of them attached to the onboard gpu and game on a separate graphics card. Here are some recommendations... Intel 3770k, 16GB 1600mhz memory, Samsung 840 Pro SSD for OS, games and software and a 3TB drive for storage, ASRock Extreme 4 motherboard, Seasonic 520w modular power supply and a 660GTX or HD7870.


You don't need an i7 for gaming and 3TB of storage isn't really necessary either. I can run off the same video card - one monitor for gaming, the other for streaming. And that's on an older 5800 series. On a gaming rig - always get the best GPU you can afford, everything else comes second. On a $2K budget you could easily get a dual 670 setup.

I'd try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($60.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($368.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($368.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($179.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1823.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-24 20:39 EST-0500)
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January 24, 2013 11:55:30 PM

Thanks to you both!

@maestro0428: I would like to eventually upgrade to a 3 monitor setup (for gaming) but there is not enough room on my desk right now... So it will have to wait. That would also mean running 3 monitors while gaming + 1 movie at the same time... (4 monitors at once) All of that while streaming.

@g-unit1111: I agree that I don't need 3TB storage for gaming. As for the i5 - i7 debate, I don't really know what would be better for gaming. As I said earlier, I'll be running a minimum of 3 monitors at all time, + a fourth one when I get a new desk.

PS: I will also like to try over-clocking the *** out of this beauty. Wouldn't water cooling be better for that?

PPS: Isn't 8 GB of ram low for running all of that at once?
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a c 271 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 12:11:01 AM

Quote:
@g-unit1111: I agree that I don't need 3TB storage for gaming. As for the i5 - i7 debate, I don't really know what would be better for gaming. As I said earlier, I'll be running a minimum of 3 monitors at all time, + a fourth one when I get a new desk.


That doesn't really matter - the i5 vs the i7, games won't really use the i7 to its' full extent. Where it really matters is the GPU - you don't want to skimp or compromise in this area if you can help it. Dual GTX 670s will give you similar or equal performance to the GTX 690 within +-2FPS and is generally cheaper.

Quote:
PS: I will also like to try over-clocking the *** out of this beauty. Wouldn't water cooling be better for that?


Depends on how far you want to overclock it. A Hyper 212 will get you 4.2GHz. A Noctua D14 will give you about 4.8 - 4.9GHz. A Corsair H100 will give you about 4.6 - 4.7GHz. A custom liquid setup will get you way over 5+GHz. If you do liquid cooling use a real custom loop over an H100.

Quote:
PPS: Isn't 8 GB of ram low for running all of that at once?


Not necessarily. You can always add more as your needs increase.
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January 25, 2013 12:49:42 AM

@g-unit1111: You really seem to know your stuff! It's my first time trying this and I want to get the best build I can. I wouldn't mind furure-proofing it a bit... (But then what's the future going to be like?!) Just for shits and giggles. Is there anyway to make the MOBO have thunderbolt ports? I have all my music and picture libraries in external thunderbolt enclosures. I might eventually want to access them with my new rig.

As for liquid cooling, I have no clue what I'm getting myself into. And it's kinda scary... I mean "LIQUID" cooling with "ELECTRONIC" components!! As for overclocking, I know there are other sections of the forum on the subject... but how should I approach this?

PS: Dual GTX 670's, couldn't I dual GTX 680's? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I reckon the new silicone architectures are due out soon and we might see a drop in pricing following their release... What would be the advantage of running 2x 680's?
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 1:03:38 AM

I would not suggest 2gb of VRAM for your setup.
3 monitors - 2 for gaming and 1 for 1080p movies, that 670 will bottleneck.

It's either you get the 4gb version of the 670, or get an AMD card which is always better for multi-monitor setups thanks to Eyefinity.

Also, it might be a plausible idea to invest on an i7 in this situation depending on what you do and which games you play. Some games can make full use of 4 cores like BF3, so it'll probably help to have a few logical cores to take care of whatever you're doing on the other monitor.

There's an ASRock z77 Extreme6/TB4 for your thunder bolt needs.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/ASROCK-Z77-Extreme6-TB4-%E3%83%...

Or from Gigabyte.
http://www.amazon.co.jp/GIGABYTE-INTEL-LGA1155-Thunderb...

The 680 only has roughly a 5% increase in performance compared to the 670, that doesn't justify the premium so you'll rarely see it suggested here.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 1:05:32 AM

Souped said:
@g-unit1111: You really seem to know your stuff! It's my first time trying this and I want to get the best build I can. I wouldn't mind furure-proofing it a bit... (But then what's the future going to be like?!) Just for shits and giggles. Is there anyway to make the MOBO have thunderbolt ports? I have all my music and picture libraries in external thunderbolt enclosures. I might eventually want to access them with my new rig.

As for liquid cooling, I have no clue what I'm getting myself into. And it's kinda scary... I mean "LIQUID" cooling with "ELECTRONIC" components!! As for overclocking, I know there are other sections of the forum on the subject... but how should I approach this? As for dual GTX 670's, couldn't I dual GTX 680's? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I reckon the new silicone architectures are due out soon and we might see a drop in pricing following their release... What would be the advantage of running 2x 680's?


To answer your first question, I have no clue if you can add a thunderbolt port for sure, but my guess would be a no to that one... (I'm guessing this by the fact that there are no normal thunderbolt ports sold separately currently) and that thunderbolt is specific to mac and the occasional mobo here and there. Also if you currently have thunderbolt peripherals why not just put the data from them onto a computer that can access that, and then put it in cloud storage, or invest in a NAS pc for backups. Those are my personal solutions but I would look into the thunderbolt stuff, it sounds rather intriguing.

Onto the second question you could say. I generally stray towards air cooling mainly for two reasons, A. you will get similar performance from air cooling at each price point, and B. there are problems with liquid cooling either pump failure or it shorts of your entire system. With air cooling you don't have that trouble. This is 100% specific to non custom liquid/air cooling though, so if you are into the custom I can't be of any help there. In the end I always stick to air cooling because you get similar performance (and don't have to worry about the troubles of water cooling), plus having a giant heat sink in your computer just looks badass.

Onto the final question, yes you can run dual 680s, that would be truly future proofing you computer graphically, Crysis 3 on max requires 1 but 2, that would be insane. Also the performance of dual 680s is better than that of a single 690, also you can overclock the 680s better than the single 690 so, again more performance per dollar from the dual 680s. It is up to your discrepancy on what you want to choose but SLI 680s is a very very powerful option that would last you a long time, but there is little disadvantage to just sticking to the SLI 670s.

This is all based on my personal experience and research about each product. I'm not basing this off of hard facts as a disclaimer so you have a right to disagree anywhere, and these are my personal solutions and recommendations.
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January 25, 2013 1:11:19 AM

@ excella1221: I think the goal was to run 2x Video Cards (SLI). What I'm debating is either 2x GTX 670's or 2x GTX 680's. (I don't know if that's what you meant) I'm also planing on adding a 3'rd gaming monitor while running my TV as the fourth. As for an i7, I'm leaning towards one! (In g-unit1111's build, there is still 200$ room left)

As for games I play, Anything that I can find on Steam, I play. Having fun with Farcry 3 but at the moment, the quality is just to low to fully enjoy it fully. I usually try streaming SCII, but with my current setup, I need to turn everything to the lowest settings.
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January 25, 2013 1:19:40 AM

@BurritoBob: First, let me say, love your name! Hahaha Good burrito's are hard to find in Japan and you just gave me the hunger for one. Second, I think you've convinced me to stick with an "Air cooling" method. It would just terribly suck to have a pump cause my investment to be rendered useless.

As for the Thunderbolt thing, I meant putting a thunderbolt MOBO in rather than a peripheral. I just don't know the components well enough, their specs, their synergy or their value to be able to make that decision on my own.

Now to the heart of the beast. Two 680's sound soooo sexy. And the way you sold them to me... I kind of just need them now! Ill just need to find overclocking guides, having never tried that myself! I must say that I wouldn't really know where to start!

PS: Wow this is like a christmas list sent to Santa... But now that I'm all grown up, I know that I'll get every single item from the list!
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 1:23:05 AM

@Souped: I'm going to do some thunderbolt motherboard research now, for your cause and for my own knowledge in the future, I'll report some of my findings here for you.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 1:44:58 AM

So I found out a couple things about thunderbolt (and there motherboards):

First is that the amount of thunderbolt devices is increasing right now. About 10% of new motherboards will have some form of thunderbolt with it this year alone.

Second, is that it is blazing fast, and I found out that you can actually hook it up to a discrete gpu and get similar performance to a gpu that is attached to a PCI-e port. I just found this rather cool, because then laptops can have a discrete gnu instead of the integrated one that most come with right now.

And third, thunderbolt motherboards are quite expensive, 1 port typically will add upwards of $40 to the price of the motherboard. But i did find one that stood out both in reviews by reviewers (tech blogs etc.) and by everyday consumers. The Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($180.48 @ NCIX US) come with not 1 but 2 thunderbolt ports. It has support for everything you will need and it's a z77 chipset motherboard, fantastic. It has great performance, and for games it is unnoticeable compared to the higher end thunderbolt motherboards. Now there were a couple reports of it being a lemon, but that is true with all computer components, so that should not raise concern. Plus the location or company you buy this from should include a warranty for the motherboard incase it is actually a lemon.

I would personally recommend this motherboard over others because of its performance at it's price point, with other "premium" thunderbolt motherboards costing more than $200 this is a great budget option right now. I have used a couple Gigabyte motherboards and have had no trouble at all with them, so there is also that to consider. But overall I see this as the best possible choice currently for a thunderbolt motherboard option.

If anything is unclear about this just let me know, and I will try to explain it in greater detail.
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January 25, 2013 2:15:47 AM

@BurritoBob: Thunderbolt is pretty amazing isn't it? I actually have a thunderbolt external hard-drive with all my steam games on it... And ...I'm getting pretty good results running games externally. I've also read about the external GPU innovations. But they are slow to come and I figured it was time for me to tame my first beast (The computer we are theory crafting). The "Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard" looks promising! I think I just might just be in love!

Any other tips for a newbie?

So for now we have (Might bump the budget...)
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($

Not yet sure on the rest...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 2:35:12 AM

is there a website ur gonna buy from, would help, also ur max currency in ur country.

thanks.

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January 25, 2013 2:39:07 AM

@ iceclock: I will be buying everything in Japan. So that leaves Amazon.jp, Rakuten or Yodobashi Camera (For the big shops).

I plan on spending between 2000$ to 2500$ ... So... around 200 000¥ - 240 000¥
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 3:05:41 AM
a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 3:05:59 AM

Please, PLEASE don't buy 680s. You're ripping yourself off. Look at it this way:

A 680 is 5% faster than a 670. That number drops to about 2-3% after overclocking, and gets even lower when you factor in watercooling. At the same time, a 680 is 25-30% more expensive than a 670, and the price just got hiked further, while the 670s have been getting cheaper.

So when they'll both do the EXACT same thing (both max the same games at 1080p and 120hz, and will both max pretty much all games at 1080p and 60Hz.)

If you want to play games on a single monitor, buy a 670. If you want to play games on all three monitors, buy two 4GB 670s.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 3:09:03 AM

Souped said:
@g-unit1111: You really seem to know your stuff! It's my first time trying this and I want to get the best build I can. I wouldn't mind furure-proofing it a bit... (But then what's the future going to be like?!) Just for shits and giggles. Is there anyway to make the MOBO have thunderbolt ports? I have all my music and picture libraries in external thunderbolt enclosures. I might eventually want to access them with my new rig.


There's no such thing as future proofing. No matter what motherboard, CPU, and GPU you purchase something better is *ALWAYS* going to come along the pike, if you keep waiting - you're going to keep waiting. If you know you're going to buy - buy now.

Quote:
As for liquid cooling, I have no clue what I'm getting myself into. And it's kinda scary... I mean "LIQUID" cooling with "ELECTRONIC" components!! As for overclocking, I know there are other sections of the forum on the subject... but how should I approach this?


I've never really attempted a full liquid cooled setup before but as long as you know what you are doing then it should be fine. A strong air fan like a D14 will give you excellent overclocking results without resorting to liquid.

Quote:
PS: Dual GTX 670's, couldn't I dual GTX 680's? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I reckon the new silicone architectures are due out soon and we might see a drop in pricing following their release... What would be the advantage of running 2x 680's?


They use the same processor - only difference is the slightly higher RAM clock speeds. They're literally about the same - the 670 will save you some money.

- http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/585?vs=586
- http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/39605-nvidia-gef...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 3:13:11 AM

2x4gigs of 670 is plenty, i prefer 7950 better bang for bucks tbh.

thats not a full water cooling system closed watercooling system aka its sealed, dont have to worry.

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January 25, 2013 3:21:55 AM

@ iceclock: Thanks for taking the time to go to the japanese store and making a build! But but you left out two things!
(First) The case! (No biggie i can swap that easily)
(Second) Does the MOBO support thunderbolt?

I don't have enough knowledge to compare the GTX 670's to the 7950's... Ill check reviews online.


@Darksable: I thought that the 680's were really better for overclocking and that their SLI stability was greater than the 670's???


@g-unit1111: THank you for the links! Checking them out!
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January 25, 2013 3:46:34 AM

Just read: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

The SLI GTX 670's (4Gb) seem like a no brainer. At 2-3% performance difference + a 20% money saving price, I can't look back.

So what next?

We've got:
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
- SLI GTX 670's (4Gb)
- Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T
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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 4:06:38 AM

Souped said:
@ excella1221: I think the goal was to run 2x Video Cards (SLI). What I'm debating is either 2x GTX 670's or 2x GTX 680's. (I don't know if that's what you meant) I'm also planing on adding a 3'rd gaming monitor while running my TV as the fourth. As for an i7, I'm leaning towards one! (In g-unit1111's build, there is still 200$ room left)

As for games I play, Anything that I can find on Steam, I play. Having fun with Farcry 3 but at the moment, the quality is just to low to fully enjoy it fully. I usually try streaming SCII, but with my current setup, I need to turn everything to the lowest settings.

No, that won't work.
2gb 670s on 2-way SLI will still equal to 2gb. VRAM doesn't stack.

@BurritoBob - I actually linked 2 TB motherboards on my first post already, could've saved you the trouble. :p 
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January 25, 2013 4:13:19 AM

@ excella1221: Wow I'm really a noob at this. Thank you! After reading a few reviews, I'm going the 2x gtx 670 (4GB) [SLI] route.

So... for now, we've got 3 components. I have no clue what I should get for the rest. (I'm really new at this and my biggest worry is buying incompatible parts) I'd also like to include a HDD and a SSD in the build!!
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a c 271 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 4:40:40 AM

Souped said:
Just read: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

The SLI GTX 670's (4Gb) seem like a no brainer. At 2-3% performance difference + a 20% money saving price, I can't look back.

So what next?

We've got:
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
- SLI GTX 670's (4Gb)
- Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T


Hey I have that same case! Good choice.
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January 25, 2013 4:48:26 AM

Just read a second review... THe conclusion is not good:
Quote:
As it stands, if you want two good GeForce GTX 670 based video cards, stick with the 2GB models, and save some cash. ASUS offers a GeForce GTX 670 2GB DirectCU II TOP video card, which we've evaluated and overclocked very well. To make the 4GB of VRAM on the GTX 670 work for you, you are going to need at least three of them for 3-way SLI, to give you the performance to back up the VRAM.
(From: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/01/14/asus_geforce_... )

Not to sure what to make of it....

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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 6:18:55 AM

Well, that's why I said earlier that AMD cards perform better and more efficiently on multi-screen setups - because of the Eyefinity technology.

You don't have to pay a premium for the higher VRAM(3gb), can be overclocked higher if ever the need for more performance as well.

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a b 4 Gaming
January 25, 2013 12:49:57 PM

i did the modifications u wanted, got the case yes+it supports thunderbolt

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February 1, 2013 12:27:59 AM

Best answer selected by Souped.
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