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Mentally Handicapped Person Needs Help Picking Parts 4 1st Liquid Rig!

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February 19, 2013 12:12:37 PM

Hi! My name's Ryan, and my house was recently robbed of all it's electronic possessions. While my main tower computer didn't make it out, it was thrown off of my porch railing, and smashed into the concrete edge below. The cheap HP case & components within were fairly well damaged, which gives me an excuse to create an awesome new build!!!! I've quietly taken much advice and wisdom from the senior members of this site for years now, and am actually kind of happy to be able to create a legitimate thread of my own!!!

To simplify this, I will make clear my intentions for what I expect the rig to do performance wise, how much money I'm willing to invest, and what specific requirements I have. I need direct feedback and help from you, to make sure this rig meets it's full potential!

This build will be a private/public server for file-sharing, but it also must be able to play something like ...Skyrim at ULTRA Settings. Bluetooth 4.x built-in (or card-added) to the mobo would be fantastic. I've fallen in love with a mid-tower case, and am hoping regular ATX mobos will fit in it... (see below) If that case won't work, please reccomend others that are good for LAN parties / travelling, and have handles to carry them with.

My 'soft' cap is $1200, while my hard cap is $1500 - *sans the graphics cards*. I know they'll push me over 2k, and that's acceptable, but I want the main components to stay under 1.5k.

What I want out of the system is not only strong performance in programs such as Lightwave and Reason, but also VM's running simultaneousy, and current games keeping playable framerates on ULTRA settings. I'm looking not only for reliablity/durability, but am hoping to "future-proof" this as much as possible, which seems to be the *2011* socket, planned for hecta/octa cores, as the 1155 seems as it will be soon replaced with an 1150 socket?!? (Please, correct me if I'm wrong here, or anywhere else!)

My favorite case that I've examined in person is the military green Corsair C-70. It's a mid-size tower, and it claims to support the longest graphics cards. What I need to know is this: Can I trust the C-70 to be capable of housing a standard or extended ATX motherboard?!? And the largest GPU's, as it states?!? If not, what other cases would you reccomend? I'm involved in many LAN parties, so the portability and 2 steel handles of the Corsair C-70 were really attractive... It also states that it's compatible to install two liquid units... which brings me to...

Liquid Cooling: Is this necessary for me? I do run many CPU-intensive applications, which is the only reason I'm considering it... Cooler-Master sells a set that claims to be an "all-in-one" set on NewEgg, while the more trusted Corsair brand coolers say nothing of the sort. Am I missing something here? This is the area I need the most feedback and support in! I have 15 years of experience in modding, soldering, and repairing PC's/Video Game Systems as a side job, but liquid cooling is something I haven't ventured into yet! I have zero knowledge of the parts required, and whether cooler-master's offering does/doesn't have vital parts that Corsair's set leaves out...

The sticker on the case (Corsair C70 in Military Green) confused me, though, as it talked about being able to tie-down cables for TWO different cooling units. I can only imagine it's one for the CPU, one for the GPU?!? Or are they referencing the dual-CPU mobos??? Since it's likely I'll end up with 2-3 GPU's in SLI, though, the idea of two 100i's is redundant. I'd rather just save the second $100, buy one liquid cooler and put the saved money towards the GPU's. If liquid cooling really lets you overclock the CPU as much as I've read about, it may be a vital part of my build, since I run many CPU-intensive applications.. (Insert feedback here)

PROCESSOR: Intel i7 - either 3820 (socket 2100, which seems more future-proof) or a similarly priced CPU for socket 1355, which I'd rather not invest in because it will soon be replaced by socket 1350... but when?

CASE: As I've mentioned above, I currently have my eye on the Corsair C70, (Mid-Size Case) Military Green. If this case isn't large enough to house the regular/extended ATX mobos, please let me know!!! On it's display sample, it claims to be able to house the largest of GPU's. Maybe it's longer than standard Mid-Towers? Though I love it's style, I'd prefer more than two dedicated USB 3.0 ports on the top - four would be ideal. I will not consider any cases that don't have 2-4 USB 3.0 ports on the top. Still, though, it was by far the best/most durable case available at that store, and (I believe) the only one with native USB 3.0 / SSD support there!

COOLING: Corsair 100i, possibly a second for the GPU (unknown, awaiting your feedback). My worries are that Corsair's package is not an "all-in-one" kit at CrapperMaster claims it's similarly priced liquid system to be... I REALLY need help on this one, guys... I have no previous experience when it comes to liquid systems!!! The case I want claims to support *TWO* cooling systems, and I'd love to cool both the CPU AND GPU with liquid for overclocking... but I don't know if the Corsair 100i sets are compatible for GPU heatsinks. This is where I need your expertise and help. If you could reccomend two/three GPUs that would do the job, with or without liquid cooling, I'd really appreciate it!!!

QUESTION: The C70 case says it supports *TWO* liquid systems - do I need one for the CPU and the GPU?!? Or have I misread information, and was that just the case's potential, perhaps for a dual CPU mobo???

HARD DRIVE: Samsung SSD's have been reccomended to be me by a few people. I'll be running 8-10 TB of old, noisy HDD's, but would like to have a relatively small, encrypted SSD for my primary OS + frequently used apps/games - which also means the mobo needs TPM 1.2+ for Win7x64 BitLocker.

MEMORY: I love how cheap memory has become. Just tell me what the fastest/most reliable (Corsair?) brand is for this build.

MOTHERBOARD - *THE HARDEST PART* - I went down to Fry's, which had a TON of motherboards nailed down to the wall - vertically, so that you couldn't drool on them... Here's what I'd LIKE to have in my motherboard:

UEFI BIOS (mandatory)
PCI Express 3.0 (mandatory)
Dual Ethernet Ports (optional, but would be greatly appreciated for localized server use)
USB 3.0/2.0 ports - and lots of them (mandatory) - (and no useless FireWire/eSATA/etc ports - I hate wasted ports...)
Native SSD Support (mandatory) (I had never heard of this until I read the C70 case ad, but it's certainly a requirement now!)
8 DIMM's (optional, becausel I can get deep into Lightwave/Maya with just 32GB and no problems)
BUILT-IN Bluetooth 4.x (optional, but at least an added WiFi/Blutetooth 4.x card is mandatory... I'd rather not waste a USB port with a 4.x bluetooth, as I don't intend to install additional USB's via PCI)


Motherboard Brands I'd Prefer (In Order):
Gigabyte
Asus
MSI

POWER SUPPLY: Completely unknown. I don't know what the minimum power rating is if I'm intending to (eventually) run 2-3 GPUs. Once again, I need help in this area - please let me know what PSU I need when intending to (eventually) install 2-3 GPU's on this (potientially) hydro rig. I saw a funky military green 1200W unit at Fry's, which (almost) matches the C70 case, but I've never bought anything past 900W before. How much power will I need for, say, a 3-card SLI config with 6 hard drives?

GPU: Please let me know what 2-3 card config would be the most powerful, yet be the least costly... I'd prefer not to spend more than $600 in the GPU area, just to let you know... $750 would probably be my cap. I never buy bleeding-edge cards anymore - usually the ones around $200 each - still relevant, but not yet aged out.

I really hope I've provided every bit of information necessary to be helped in this thread. I despise thread creators that leave much information out, so I've done the best I can here... and I've seen senior members post great solutions for other people's problems in this forum. I can only hope that you'll do the same for me!

Thank You All So Much, For Your Years Of Great Advice!!!

:hello:  ~Handi-Capable~ :hello: 
February 19, 2013 12:41:15 PM

Corsair Vengeance Series C70 Military Green Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CX600M 600W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD FX-8350 Vishera 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8350FRHKBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK Dark Knight II SD1283 Night Hawk Edition CPU Cooler with Stealth Aerospace Industry Thermal conductive ceramic coating ALL intel AMD IVY BRIDGE compatible
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C10D-16GAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PowerColor AX7970 3GBD5-2DHV3 Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (Stand-Alone Drive)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Until here we are at 1100$. We can definitely save some money especially if you don't plan to overclock and if you don't need absolute max fps at your games! Finally I think that an air cooler is a more suitable option for you!
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February 19, 2013 3:44:29 PM

Quote:
Liquid Cooling: Is this necessary for me? I do run many CPU-intensive applications, which is the only reason I'm considering it... Cooler-Master sells a set that claims to be an "all-in-one" set on NewEgg, while the more trusted Corsair brand coolers say nothing of the sort. Am I missing something here? This is the area I need the most feedback and support in! I have 15 years of experience in modding, soldering, and repairing PC's/Video Game Systems as a side job, but liquid cooling is something I haven't ventured into yet! I have zero knowledge of the parts required, and whether cooler-master's offering does/doesn't have vital parts that Corsair's set leaves out...


Not necessarily. Don't really judge what the store reviews tell you - they're really baseless 90% of the time. The closed liquid loops really do nothing that a strong air fan like a Noctua D14 would get you. If you want to do liquid cooling use the real thing or don't use it at all. An open loop like the Swiftech Edge would be better than a Corsair H100i.

Quote:
PROCESSOR: Intel i7 - either 3820 (socket 2100, which seems more future-proof) or a similarly priced CPU for socket 1355, which I'd rather not invest in because it will soon be replaced by socket 1350... but when?


You can't really plan around future CPUs and GPUs because with Intel you never know what socket the future generations will require. Which is why I really say that there's no such thing as future proofing. There's no reason to get the 3820 when the 3770K offers very similar performance.

I would not go with the above build (no offense) - the FX-8350 is not really that great of a CPU, Xigmatek coolers are horrendous, and you don't need 16GB of RAM. If you want to play games on Ultra here's what you get:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($32.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($50.96 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.95 @ Mac Connection)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 w/Window (Titanium Grey) ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1256.77
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-19 12:41 EST-0500)

If you have a Micro Center nearby you can save a lot of money on the CPU otherwise this is what you should go with.
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February 20, 2013 12:31:22 AM

Thank you both for your replies! I couldn't really imagine builds that are so much different...

@michxymi: I really appreciate your input, and what you've written. I like that you used the case I had picked out in your build. However, I've been disappointed by AMD's performance too many times over the last 20 years (Pre-Radeon with miserable drivers), and they're just not the best hardware for gaming. Additionally, they're moving most all their efforts to the mobile division (tablets). They've pretty much given up, and haven't given Intel a run for their (billions of) money since Pentium III.

The only advantage that I've seen to investing in AMD systems is that they've had 1/3 the number of socket changes (over time) as Intel has had, making it much easier to upgrade. But still... I just can't build another disappointing AMD system. Not again. Never again. Thank you very much for your build input, though...

Maybe I should've mentioned that I AM a crazy overclocker from the EFF that wants to repurpose products and unleash every last potential megahertz out of the products I buy???...

@g-unit1111: Thank you for you input as well. I liked the blunt, to-the-point attitude of your reply. I really like your build, and I defenitely agree with, "use the real thing or don't use it at all", and I'm glad you could steer me towards better liquid cooling supplies. I didn't realize that Corsair's "liquid" product was just a fancy heatsink. That's the main reason I wrote into the forum!

I am ordering many of your picks as we speak... as I said above, I really liked your build... however, I have a few questions/comments that I'm hoping you can help me with:

I don't quite understand the closed VS open loops or what a "full loop" is, but I defenitely want to OC my shyt as much as humanly possible. If there's a better way to do it than the liquid buy that you've mentioned (read: higher clock speed potential) please let me know! I had heard that on *real* water-cooling units, you had to clean them out every week or two, etc etc... basically, more maintenance work, but with results that were defenitely worth it! so, if there's a better water-cooling solution than the one that you've listed, please reply and let me know!

I didn't like your mobo choice at first ...until I read the reviews. It seems like a budget overclocker's dream! Which begs the question... if money wasn't an option, what's the best high-end OC's mobo choice - in your opinion?

On the HDD: I bought a bare-bones 2TB WD "Caviar Green" drive for $79.99 a while back from NewEgg.com, so that doesn't factor into my budget.

The case you chose was my "runner-up" at Fry's Electronics. It actually makes more sense for what I'm trying to do than Corsair's case, but I fell for the charm of a case that really didn't have enough USB ports for all the gadgets I have. Even if your pick does look like a beer chiller for a college pad, the various capacities + ports own the Corsair case.

I wish I knew what a Micro Center was. I'm in San Francisco, and I don't think they exist over here.

@ Both Posters: I was rather suprised that you both reccomended 6xx watt power supplies. What will happen if I want better gaming performance, and get two or three 670's? Two is more likely to actually happen, but... you get what I'm trying to say: I don't want to end up under-powered, and unable to run the optimal configuration! So, money cap limits aside: if I ran two 670/680's (I can run just two cards in SLI, right? I've never actually done it...), what size of power supply would I need? And what wattage for three 670's? (Are three even necessary for current PC games???) And I defenitely want a power supply that's full of SATA cables, not IDE's. I haven't had much time to look at the specs of the ones you both reccomended (shyt's crazy here - I have a dozen things going on at once, and this is my day off!!!) but could you both (or anyone else) please reccomend a higher-wattage PSU with mostly all SATA cabling? Something like this modular, gold-certified PSU:

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

I really liked your graphics card reccomendation, G! No problems there at all - except how many to buy! =) A question, though: would I be better off saving for 680's, or just buying two 670's now? Like I've said before, I like to buy gear that's not on the bleeding edge like I used to... so 680s seem like a dumb idea IMO. It'll all be obsolete in a couple years, anyways... I have an old $550 card in this busted computer that was for sale at Fry's for $29.99...

I know you were trying to stay in my price range, G-Unit, but could you please reccomend some more quality/pricier PSU & Mobo ideas? And any better liquid methods? I really like everything that you've listed, which is why I'm asking you directly - because I think I'll want to invest more into this system than my budget statements implied. And your picks seem to resonate with my own... I think the parts you'll list in the next reply will be perfect!

Also, thank you g-unit1111 for putting the prices and store next to every part listed - that made a huge difference!!! I really appreciate your advice - I like your build much better than the "polls" builds listed in this forum section. I'm going to end up buying most of the items that you listed, including the case!
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Best solution

February 20, 2013 4:08:51 AM

Quote:
@g-unit1111: Thank you for you input as well. I liked the blunt, to-the-point attitude of your reply. I really like your build, and I defenitely agree with, "use the real thing or don't use it at all", and I'm glad you could steer me towards better liquid cooling supplies. I didn't realize that Corsair's "liquid" product was just a fancy heatsink. That's the main reason I wrote into the forum!


Yeah it pretty much is. Most of the tests I've seen - the Noctua D14 tops it in every single overclocking test. It's currently the reigning king of air heat sinks.

Quote:
I don't quite understand the closed VS open loops or what a "full loop" is, but I defenitely want to OC my shyt as much as humanly possible. If there's a better way to do it than the liquid buy that you've mentioned (read: higher clock speed potential) please let me know! I had heard that on *real* water-cooling units, you had to clean them out every week or two, etc etc... basically, more maintenance work, but with results that were defenitely worth it! so, if there's a better water-cooling solution than the one that you've listed, please reply and let me know!


A full loop consists of a pump, water block, radiator, and tubing. It generally requires a lot more effort to put together (and is generally more expensive) than something like an H100 is. People like the H100 because it's a good introduction to liquid cooling but it's really not any better than any strong air fan you can get. Plus your video card will also need a compatible water block. The EVGA Hydro Copper series is quite good for this kind of setup but they're very pricey.

Quote:
I didn't like your mobo choice at first ...until I read the reviews. It seems like a budget overclocker's dream! Which begs the question... if money wasn't an option, what's the best high-end OC's mobo choice - in your opinion?


Probably the Asrock OC Formula or the Asus Rampage IV Extreme, but the latter runs on socket LGA 2011, not 1155.

Quote:
The case you chose was my "runner-up" at Fry's Electronics. It actually makes more sense for what I'm trying to do than Corsair's case, but I fell for the charm of a case that really didn't have enough USB ports for all the gadgets I have. Even if your pick does look like a beer chiller for a college pad, the various capacities + ports own the Corsair case.


If you're going to go for a Corsair case get the Graphite 600T or the Carbide 500R, the C70 doesn't have the best air flow from what I've heard. The Define R4 is one of the best "silent" cases on the market you can get.

Quote:
@ Both Posters: I was rather suprised that you both reccomended 6xx watt power supplies. What will happen if I want better gaming performance, and get two or three 670's? Two is more likely to actually happen, but... you get what I'm trying to say: I don't want to end up under-powered, and unable to run the optimal configuration! So, money cap limits aside: if I ran two 670/680's (I can run just two cards in SLI, right? I've never actually done it...), what size of power supply would I need? And what wattage for three 670's? (Are three even necessary for current PC games???)


GPUs are getting more energy efficient each generation. The GTX 670 uses 1/2 the power that the 570 did. For SLI you will need 750W. Triple SLI really isn't needed.

Quote:
I really liked your graphics card reccomendation, G! No problems there at all - except how many to buy! =) A question, though: would I be better off saving for 680's, or just buying two 670's now? Like I've said before, I like to buy gear that's not on the bleeding edge like I used to... so 680s seem like a dumb idea IMO. It'll all be obsolete in a couple years, anyways... I have an old $550 card in this busted computer that was for sale at Fry's for $29.99...


Two 670s gives you almost identical performance as the $1K 690 (within a couple of FPS but the difference is very minor) for less money which is why I recommend this route.

Quote:
I know you were trying to stay in my price range, G-Unit, but could you please reccomend some more quality/pricier PSU & Mobo ideas? And any better liquid methods? I really like everything that you've listed, which is why I'm asking you directly - because I think I'll want to invest more into this system than my budget statements implied. And your picks seem to resonate with my own... I think the parts you'll list in the next reply will be perfect!


As far as liquid cooling goes this article will give you a good idea of what to look for (keep in mind they had no budget :lol:  ) : http://www.maximumpc.com/article/hardware/dream_machine...

As far as better motherboards and PSUs I'd recommend this:

- Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Avoid the Asus Sabertooth because the thermal armor doesn't work as advertised.

- PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to do a triple SLI setup this is the power supply you get: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 20, 2013 6:27:54 AM

Best answer selected by Handi-Capable.
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February 20, 2013 1:37:00 PM

Looks like this thread was labeled solved, even though I haven't gotten enough info on *real* liquid cooling yet!

Ugh...I spent two hours drafting a reply to you, G-Unit, and it all just ...disappeared. Insomnia, 3am at the keys... I keep nodding off at the keys as I type this last post, too. Anyways...

First off, I wanted to thank you for all your help - your input is going to make this rig incredible, instead of just having wasted money.

I need to know, though - I'm serious about liquid cooling, and want the full loop setup that you're describing. Can you please msg me (or reply, if possible - I know this thread has been closed) about what the best options / brands are? My e ma il is jtag95 at gmail dot com. I would really appreciate a pm on this subject, as to best brand names, prices, parts, etc. Thanks!!!


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February 20, 2013 3:14:23 PM

Quote:
Looks like this thread was labeled solved, even though I haven't gotten enough info on *real* liquid cooling yet!

Ugh...I spent two hours drafting a reply to you, G-Unit, and it all just ...disappeared. Insomnia, 3am at the keys... I keep nodding off at the keys as I type this last post, too. Anyways...


Oh that happens, and it's happened to me on more than one occasion. :lol: 

Quote:
First off, I wanted to thank you for all your help - your input is going to make this rig incredible, instead of just having wasted money.


Believe me I have bought some crappy components and I know what it's like to be burned by bad hardware so I have definitely learned from my mistakes. :lol: 

Quote:
I need to know, though - I'm serious about liquid cooling, and want the full loop setup that you're describing. Can you please msg me (or reply, if possible - I know this thread has been closed) about what the best options / brands are? My e ma il is jtag95 at gmail dot com. I would really appreciate a pm on this subject, as to best brand names, prices, parts, etc. Thanks!!!


Yeah use the PM function, we can pick up there.
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