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Music Production/Gaming Build

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February 20, 2013 5:25:14 AM

Hello, I am new to this site, but have come here many times for great advice. I am building a custom PC desktop, and I have all the parts chosen waiting in my wishlist for me to purchase next week. I am starting to have second thoughts about my parts choices and I need your help. If I'm spending all this money, I need to make sure I do it the right way, and I need to make sure it all works right, and is compatible. I would like for the budget to not exceed 2500.00, and I need this build to have future upgrade ability. I'm also, not sure if a custom mac would be better for music production, or should I stick with the PC build? I know for sure that I will be running/using Windows 8, Komplete 8 Ultimate, maybe Spectrasonics Omnishpere, Mashine MK2, or the Abelton push or launchpad, a few midi vintage keyboard synths, and a midi keyboard controller like the Novation sl line. I have not chosen a DAW yet, as I wanted Reason but I'm not sure if I can use my sounds from Komplete 8 inside of it. I was also looking at Pro Tools, Abelton, and FL studios. I just don't know which DAW I would like best? I would also, like the mobo to be able to run 2-3 monitors at once for multitasking ability, and for it to have wifi and bluetooth built in. Or I guess I could just get a wifi device for my desktop? I would also like the computer case to have a blueray drive. That's about it, and thank you very much in advance for your responses. Here are the parts I have chosen. Please feel free to suggest any better alternatives.

COOLER MASTER HAF X Blue Edition RC-942-KKN3

High Current Pro HCP-750 750W TX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular ...

Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)

ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard-not sure about this mobo, as I have read nightmare reviews about it on Newegg

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM

EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card This card is very expensive, so if you can suggest a cheaper alternative while keeping power that would be cool. I'm open to buying two cheaper video cards to work together if it's a better choice.

Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) might downgrade a bit, waiting till I order

Western Digital Caviar Black WDBAAZ0020HNC-NRSN 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

If I have left out anything I apologize, as I am new to this.
February 20, 2013 8:05:50 AM

Oh ok, A friend of mine suggested the ASUS deluxe mobo when we were both going over the build. Is it because that CPU is quad channel, and the asus deluxe only supports dual channel? That is the only reason I could come up with for them not being compatible. Thank you for the advice.
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February 20, 2013 10:01:19 AM

id get this instead.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJcb

case
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=75051&vpn=FD-CA-DEF-R4...


-gigabyte boards are better while being cheaper. if you want to run MacOS on this system through a hackintosh, gigabyte board are the way to go
-compatable motherboard
-fast ram isnt much faster. you would want more ram
-a 670 is as fast as a 680 for cheaper
-you will need a silent case and CPU cooler
-intel SSDs arent worth it
-WD caviar black drives are no better than any other drives

get your own wifi device if needed.
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Related resources
February 20, 2013 11:03:17 AM

The components in my signature provide an excellent video/audio production/gaming machine.

On the other hand, if you're trying to stay under $2500, the following build would also kick some arse:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($83.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.82 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($349.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($462.50 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($224.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 760W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($79.20 @ Newegg)

Total: $2255.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-20 07:44 EST-0500)

Separation of disk function is crucial in any media production environment. This is why I chose a three-disk configuration.
I chose the Intel 520 as your system drive because of its reliability. They are proven reliable and fast. This affects everything you do.

I chose the Samsung 830 for your app drive because it's a heck of a deal for the amount of space and you can put all of your audio production and gaming software on this drive. I have protools on my app drive.

I do prefer WD HDDs because of their 5-year warranty and they've proven to be responsive with audio recording. This will be your recording/data drive. The recommended install for most video/audio production software is to record to a different drive. The black drives have proven solid in this arena for me.

I chose the GTX 670 because it provides almost the same performance a the GTX 680 for around $100 less.

I chose the 3770 non-k edition CPU because when your other equipment is this good, you don't need to overclock for gaming or for audio production. The hyper-threading of the 3770 edition is a definite advantage in an audio production environment. The cooler is a solid performer.

I chose the AX760 because it can provide you with SLI wattage, is fully modular, provides platinum efficiency, and comes with a 7-year warranty. The PSU is the foundation of any system. It affects everything in your system. You want reliability from a company that backs its products.

Protools is my absolute favorite audio prodution package. You can record, edit, and produce within the same environment.

Additionally, I found a USB hub that works fantastically with all of my USB instruments:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00483WRZ6/ref=oh_deta...

It's another $26. Check it out though. It provides enough power for multiple instruments that need power over USB.

Also, if you ever do any music work with Premiere Pro, you should bump your RAM to 32GB.
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February 20, 2013 12:58:17 PM

The separation of disks is a good idea. It would be cheaper to buy two samsung 840 pro 256GBs with a RAID 0, than the one 512. I would like to set up the build to boot up Hackintosh, I just don't know how to do that haha.
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February 20, 2013 6:57:33 PM

Matt3030 said:
The separation of disks is a good idea. It would be cheaper to buy two samsung 840 pro 256GBs with a RAID 0, than the one 512. I would like to set up the build to boot up Hackintosh, I just don't know how to do that haha.


there isnt a point of seperating disks. you can easily do that through a disk partition. and getting 2 drives for raid isnt useful. if you truely need speed, build a ramdisk
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February 20, 2013 7:03:02 PM

ubercake said:
The components in my signature provide an excellent video/audio production/gaming machine.

On the other hand, if you're trying to stay under $2500, the following build would also kick some arse:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/EJn7/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($289.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($83.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.82 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($349.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($462.50 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X Blue ATX Full Tower Case ($224.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 760W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B3ST/BLK/G/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($79.20 @ Newegg)

Total: $2255.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-20 07:44 EST-0500)

Separation of disk function is crucial in any media production environment. This is why I chose a three-disk configuration.
I chose the Intel 520 as your system drive because of its reliability. They are proven reliable and fast. This affects everything you do.

I chose the Samsung 830 for your app drive because it's a heck of a deal for the amount of space and you can put all of your audio production and gaming software on this drive. I have protools on my app drive.

I do prefer WD HDDs because of their 5-year warranty and they've proven to be responsive with audio recording. This will be your recording/data drive. The recommended install for most video/audio production software is to record to a different drive. The black drives have proven solid in this arena for me.

I chose the GTX 670 because it provides almost the same performance a the GTX 680 for around $100 less.

I chose the 3770 non-k edition CPU because when your other equipment is this good, you don't need to overclock for gaming or for audio production. The hyper-threading of the 3770 edition is a definite advantage in an audio production environment. The cooler is a solid performer.

I chose the AX760 because it can provide you with SLI wattage, is fully modular, provides platinum efficiency, and comes with a 7-year warranty. The PSU is the foundation of any system. It affects everything in your system. You want reliability from a company that backs its products.

Protools is my absolute favorite audio prodution package. You can record, edit, and produce within the same environment.

Additionally, I found a USB hub that works fantastically with all of my USB instruments:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00483WRZ6/ref=oh_deta...

It's another $26. Check it out though. It provides enough power for multiple instruments that need power over USB.

Also, if you ever do any music work with Premiere Pro, you should bump your RAM to 32GB.


-there are more reliable drives that are cheaper and faster. good example would be the plextor m5 series
-if you are not to overclock a i7, why bother with a cooler? the stock one works fine and there is literally no reason to replace if you arent overclocking.
-also to note, a e3 1230v2 is a i7 3770 for a i5 price while running cooler and more stably
-samsung 840 is crap. 830 is good though
-note that dominator platinum performs the same as ram that costs half of that. with that price, i can pick up 32gb of ram
-there is literally no difference between a seagate and a WD drive. the extra warranty isnt useful when it costs 30 bucks more than a WD blue drive or a seagate barracuda. regarding the WD blue, they perform the same and are the same
-true say, but no one needs to pay double for 3% more efficiency compared to something like a rosewell capstone or a xfx unit (made by superflower and seasonic respectively)
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February 20, 2013 7:04:24 PM

My take on RAID... RAID 0 is possible, but I wouldn't trust any RAID controller on a consumer-level motherboard. If a disk in the RAID 0 array fails, you lose it all. If the motherboard fails, you lose all the data on the disks (unless you can replace it with the exact same mobo type after the failure). It's the most expensive data recovery process out there because of the proprietary nature of the RAID controllers.

With the speed of disks as they are, I wouldn't recommend any RAID array unless it is a type that includes a backup (ie RAID 1). But I wouldn't recommend a RAID array on a music production box, because the duplicate write puts more of a load on the system.

SSDs are plenty fast. The black edition drive is even fast enough to be used as an audio recording drive. As a matter of fact, I've used WD blue drives in the past for recording audio.

Also, regarding whether or not it's necessary to go Hackintosh... There used to be a time when the great tools for audio production were only available on the mac. That is why the recording industry became flooded with Apples (same with video). The same people that started on Macs are now running the industry so they're pretty loyal to the brand. But the companies such as Avid, Sony and others saw a real market for Windows users. Now you can pretty much get all the great tools and run them in Windows as well as game under the same OS. Very convenient.


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February 20, 2013 7:07:30 PM

ubercake said:
My take on RAID... RAID 0 is possible, but I wouldn't trust any RAID controller on a consumer-level motherboard. If a disk in the RAID 0 array fails, you lose it all. If the motherboard fails, you lose all the data on the disks (unless you can replace it with the exact same mobo type after the failure). It's the most expensive data recovery process out there because of the proprietary nature of the RAID controllers.

With the speed of disks as they are, I wouldn't recommend any RAID array unless it is a type that includes a backup (ie RAID 1). But I wouldn't recommend a RAID array on a music production box, because the duplicate write puts more of a load on the system.

SSDs are plenty fast. The black edition drive is even fast enough to be used as an audio recording drive. As a matter of fact, I've used WD blue drives in the past for recording audio.

Also, regarding whether or not it's necessary to go Hackintosh... There used to be a time when the great tools for audio production were only available on the mac. That is why the recording industry became flooded with Apples (same with video). The same people that started on Macs are now running the industry so they're pretty loyal to the brand. But the companies such as Avid, Sony and others saw a real market for Windows users. Now you can pretty much get all the great tools and run them in Windows as well as game under the same OS. Very convenient.


id rather provide the OP with the ease of turning his pc into a mac with a gigabyte board. asus boards that my friend has tried making a hackintosh out of have found problems like internet not working all the time etc
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February 20, 2013 8:38:07 PM

Seems like the Xeon E3-1230V2 would be a good choice for the CPU, it's effectively the i7-3770 without the integrated GPU and costs a lot less. It also has half the TDP of the i7-3930k, meaning theoretically it creates half the heat.

I would definitely avoid RAID, it means multiple drives operating simultaneously so it adds to heat and noise. Seems to me that's the last thing you will want in a DAW rig.

As far as Hackintosh's go, I just know they need to be Intel and Gigabyte are usually best in terms of reliability on Mac OS.

My opinion of DAW's is that they should be fast and quiet. No need to spend a ridiculous amount of cash on it either. This would be my choice:

Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2
i7-3770 without the integrated GPU for a lot less cash, much lower TDP than that 6 core as well.

2x8GB G.Skill Ares 1600Mhz 1.5v C9
Should be plenty of RAM, this is the fastest stuff the board/CPU will handle

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H
Well reviewed board with firewire, in case you go for a firewire audio interface. Gigabyte tends to be good for Hackintosh's too. (There is a WB version of this board with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth build in.)

Gigabyte GTX 670 2GB
Better price/performance than the GTX 680 and has a very reasonable 170W TDP.

EDIT: Make sure you lower the fan speed with something like MSI afterburner.

256GB Samsung 840 Pro Series
As far as I'm aware, Macs use Samsung drives. That can only help things in terms of reliability. These drives are fast, reliable and not overly expensive as well.

3TB Western Digital Caviar Green
Controversial choice but 5400RPM consumes less power and will be quieter than 7200RPM. You shouldn't even notice the drop in speed since it's a mass storage drive.

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
A cheap cooler which is just there for the sake of quietness really, the fan goes down to a minimum of 500RPM which is extremely quiet for a 120mm fan.

Fractal Design Define R4
A case which is geared towards quietness, looks pretty cool in my opinion too. I have the R3 myself and it's a good all rounder. If you want it quiet, the cooling isn't good enough for dual GPU/overclocked setups pulling 400-500W+ under load but this should only pull 300W or so. That's about the same as mine and mine stays cool enough even with smaller 120mm fans running at 700RPM. In terms of the fan setup, what I would do is use the included fans (on the lowest speed via the integrated fan controller) and mount one as an intake on the bottom and 2 exhausts on the top. I would then mount the cooler so the air is blowing out the top of the case. That way all of the fans (including CPU and GPU) are blowing in the same direction from bottom to top. Natural convection only helps this as well.

Seasonic X-650 650W
Very good quality fully modular PSU with 80 PLUS gold, meaning it is very efficient. The best part though is the hybrid fan, meaning the fan only spins when it needs to so it is 0db under low loads.

Total - $1536.91 on Newegg

This should be ultra quiet with all the performance you are going to need. In my opinion, throwing any more cash at the system itself wouldn't make much of a difference.

So far, the loudest thing in the case is going to be the GPU. If you want to go REALLY crazy with the quietness, you could also remove the fans and shroud from the GPU and replace them with a couple of these

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

The below cables are what you will need to connect them to the GPU:

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

They run down to a minimum of 300RPM which is completely inaudible to my ears. Anything below 500-600RPM on a quality 120mm is inaudible to me when the case is closed. After that, the loudest thing will either be the case fans or the hard drive and they should be seriously quiet anyway.
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February 25, 2013 1:21:26 AM

Lot's of great advice, thank you. I decided to go with the Thermaltake lvl 10 gt case, seasonic x series 850W PSU, i7 3770k, ASUS 1155 deluxe mobo or maybe maximus formula or extreme, Noctua D-14 Cpu fan, Gskill 16gb ram, Nvidia GTX 680 GPU, 2TB WD Black HDD, and the samsung 840 pro 512GB SSD. Was thinking about the ASUS Maximus V formula mobo for the supreme sound but I'm not sure yet. Either way, this should be a nice build.
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February 25, 2013 2:34:53 AM

Matt3030 said:
Lot's of great advice, thank you. I decided to go with the Thermaltake lvl 10 gt case, seasonic x series 850W PSU, i7 3770k, ASUS 1155 deluxe mobo or maybe maximus formula or extreme, Noctua D-14 Cpu fan, Gskill 16gb ram, Nvidia GTX 680 GPU, 2TB WD Black HDD, and the samsung 840 pro 512GB SSD. Was thinking about the ASUS Maximus V formula mobo for the supreme sound but I'm not sure yet. Either way, this should be a nice build.


Some questions:
Are you planning on overclocking? I assume this is the case based on your components but I don't think you mentioned it.

Are you planning on getting another 680 to SLI down the road?
If not, you don't need that overkill PSU, you can run the 680 easily with 650W seasonic.

It's been noted earlier that Gigabyte baords are better supported for running hackintoshs... Couldn't you get a dedicated sound card instead of buying boards for their onboard sound?
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February 25, 2013 7:44:46 AM

TheBigTroll said:
id rather provide the OP with the ease of turning his pc into a mac with a gigabyte board. asus boards that my friend has tried making a hackintosh out of have found problems like internet not working all the time etc

DAW software can be finicky anyway. I see creating a hackintosh and trying to use it seriously as asking for a new hobbie consisting of much unwanted troubleshooting.
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February 25, 2013 7:52:32 AM

TheBigTroll said:
id rather provide the OP with the ease of turning his pc into a mac with a gigabyte board. asus boards that my friend has tried making a hackintosh out of have found problems like internet not working all the time etc

OP was undecided in their original post. I was advising against a hackintosh, because of all the time OP will spend troubleshooting rather than recording/producing/mixing.
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February 25, 2013 8:02:14 AM

TheBigTroll said:
-there are more reliable drives that are cheaper and faster. good example would be the plextor m5 series
-if you are not to overclock a i7, why bother with a cooler? the stock one works fine and there is literally no reason to replace if you arent overclocking.
-also to note, a e3 1230v2 is a i7 3770 for a i5 price while running cooler and more stably
-samsung 840 is crap. 830 is good though
-note that dominator platinum performs the same as ram that costs half of that. with that price, i can pick up 32gb of ram
-there is literally no difference between a seagate and a WD drive. the extra warranty isnt useful when it costs 30 bucks more than a WD blue drive or a seagate barracuda. regarding the WD blue, they perform the same and are the same
-true say, but no one needs to pay double for 3% more efficiency compared to something like a rosewell capstone or a xfx unit (made by superflower and seasonic respectively)

-Yeah, because we all know stock coolers are sooooo quiet. The H80 can be set to quiet or balanced mode to keep the fan sounds down.
-3770s run stable. Who says they don't? Where do you get any of your information?
-Samsung 840 and 840 Pros are the latest models and have speed improvements over the 830s. It's something people call progress.
-Dominator RAM is great. You can get cheaper stuff, but this offers a degree of eye candy and a lifetime warranty.
-WD drives are the best based on my experience. WD blacks have faster seek times than other models. This is a requirements for recording both audio and video. Additionally, you can't beat the warranty.
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February 25, 2013 10:01:26 AM

ubercake said:
-Yeah, because we all know stock coolers are sooooo quiet. The H80 can be set to quiet or balanced mode to keep the fan sounds down.
-3770s run stable. Who says they don't? Where do you get any of your information?
-Samsung 840 and 840 Pros are the latest models and have speed improvements over the 830s. It's something people call progress.
-Dominator RAM is great. You can get cheaper stuff, but this offers a degree of eye candy and a lifetime warranty.
-WD drives are the best based on my experience. WD blacks have faster seek times than other models. This is a requirements for recording both audio and video. Additionally, you can't beat the warranty.


-given by the fact that xeons never run above 60c on a stock cooler, the fans dont run very loud
-xeons just run more stably. they are validated for that
-840 non pro is pretty crap
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/532?vs=678
-eye candy is expensive, tack on the fact that no one stares at their ram sticks
-the difference between a blue and black drive is negligble. and the fact that the seagate barracudas perform a little better than the black technically makes it a even better choice for recording. but then 1 year warranty. (from what i know, the seagate employs 1tb platters while the WD black is one 2. not too sure but im sure about seagate)
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February 25, 2013 10:04:07 AM

Matt3030 said:
Lot's of great advice, thank you. I decided to go with the Thermaltake lvl 10 gt case, seasonic x series 850W PSU, i7 3770k, ASUS 1155 deluxe mobo or maybe maximus formula or extreme, Noctua D-14 Cpu fan, Gskill 16gb ram, Nvidia GTX 680 GPU, 2TB WD Black HDD, and the samsung 840 pro 512GB SSD. Was thinking about the ASUS Maximus V formula mobo for the supreme sound but I'm not sure yet. Either way, this should be a nice build.


-the level 10gt is a pretty waste of money. not so good cooling, tons of plastic, and not much expansion. there are way better options for half the price
-you dont need that much wattage. ever
-if you arent going to use all the ports or overclock, there is literally no reason to get the boards listed. if you need many ports, go get a gigabyte z77x-ud5h. that thing is loaded for cheap
-get a dedicated card. no matter how good onboard is, it doesnt match a dedicated
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February 25, 2013 11:21:15 AM

TheBigTroll said:
-the level 10gt is a pretty waste of money. not so good cooling, tons of plastic, and not much expansion. there are way better options for half the price
-you dont need that much wattage. ever
-if you arent going to use all the ports or overclock, there is literally no reason to get the boards listed. if you need many ports, go get a gigabyte z77x-ud5h. that thing is loaded for cheap
-get a dedicated card. no matter how good onboard is, it doesnt match a dedicated

You really are a big troll aren't you?

Case is a matter of personal preference. The level 10gt gets great reviews for cooling and can also handle the maximus extreme:
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/thermaltake_lev...
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/%5Bprimary-term%5D/the...
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Thermaltake/Level_10...

It's kind of like that dominator RAM thing. It looks pretty cool, so why not use it if you have the bucks for a little eye candy.

Also, the maximus formula can accommodate 3-way SLI and the maximus extreme can accommodate 4-way SLI. Given that, what makes you think OP won't be going in this direction at some point? If I were going to design around 2-way SLI, I'd go with a 650W-750W, 3-way 850W-950W. Also, if Titan is any and its increase power consumption is indicator of the next gen of video cards coming out of Nvidia OPs decision to get an 850W supply would make perfect sense for 2-way SLI with the next gen of cards. Who knows? 850W is probably a solid decision for any 2-way or 3-way setup at this time. Personally, I'd go a little more if I were going to pick up a Maximus Extreme, I'd go for a PSU at around 1200 watts to set up for 4-way. As a result, I think OP will one day need at least the 850W he's chosen. Also, some of us run more than one screen for gaming or at high refresh rates (ie 120Hz input) or in 3D with everything on ultra and AA cranked which demands additional video cards and additional power to achieve that level of performance. And in your mind, no one ever needs 850W?

For an audio production PC, you're using external devices for sound processing (ie Fast Track Pro is pretty popular). It connects USB to the PC and you run studio reference monitors (I use Rokit 6's) to this device for output. There are other professional-level devices that also serve this function. As a result, a dedicated sound card is a waste of money as most on-board sound processors are more than sufficient for surround and stereo gaming. Also, there was a time when on-board sound ate up a lot of processing power (6-15 years ago). That time has passed. I've heard of many driver issues related to dedicated sound cards as well. So unless the sound processor your getting isn't specific to the audio production side of the build, I wouldn't recommend it.


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February 25, 2013 11:30:46 AM

from what i know, the MVF can do 2 way not 3 way.

SLI 670s or 680s do not require 850w. the 7970 and titan could use the extra power. i talking about his situation with possible SLI 680s, not anything else. my bad on clarification

4 way would be useless if you arent doing record benching. the scaling is pretty crap

if you are seriously working, a p8z77 WS would be much more ideal

i was kind of talking about sound quality, not the fact that its much more suitable.
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February 25, 2013 11:32:09 AM

-The extreme can do 4-way SLI and is darned near necessary for high resolutions in surround with 3D to keep the framerates well above 60 if you like all the details in games.

Some people never venture into this area. There are some that do. I'm currently running surround at 4800x900 with 2 680s in SLI. Everything is running great (usually stays well above 60fps) with details pegged and AA cranked. But if I ever wanted to go 3D at this resolution or higher, I could count on this performance being chopped in half (when I was using my single 120Hz 3D monitor, this is what happened). I'd definitely need one more for sure, myself (again to keep fps and details plus AA cranked-where I feel they are acceptable). The 680 supports up to 3-way SLI per the Nvidia site:
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...

As a result, I would recommend OP get the Asus Maximus Extreme.

The reference 680s use 195W maxed. Meaning 585W for 3 reference cards. With a 750W supply, you're only getting 165Ws left on the 12V for your disks, processor, fans, etc...? Superclocked / Factory OC'd cards will require more wattage per card. All I'm saying is it's good to plan ahead with a PSU, especially if you my have every intention of adding additional video cards. If I were OP and the plan is to go 3-way SLI one day, I'd go for the Corsair HX850W:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has 6 PCI-e connectors whereas the Seasonic 850W only has 4. This would make it 3-Way SLI ready.

To say you never need that much GPU processing power or wattage in a PSU is just a frame of reference. Some people want and use this much while some people are fine with an i3 and a Radeon 5770. Based on OP's requirements, I'd say he falls into the former group.
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February 25, 2013 11:34:39 AM

ubercake said:
-The extreme can do 4-way SLI.

i was referencing that the mv formula (that he mentoned as a possibility) can do 2 way

a z77 ws can do 4 way for cheaper and is more suited for his usage of working, rather than overclocking
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February 25, 2013 12:05:58 PM

I'm not going to bother joining the argument about the other components but if you're doing any serious recording, you won't use the onboard sound. You will need an audio interface. That will give you inputs for your instruments and 0 latency when recording them.
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February 25, 2013 12:09:47 PM

jmsellars1 said:
I'm not going to bother joining the argument about the other components but if you're doing any serious recording, you won't use the onboard sound. You will need an audio interface. That will give you inputs for your instruments and 0 latency when recording them.

Agreed. That's what I was saying. You won't be using a creative X-fi or some other audio card for the DAW part of the build at all.
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February 25, 2013 12:24:54 PM

TheBigTroll said:
i was referencing that the mv formula (that he mentoned as a possibility) can do 2 way

a z77 ws can do 4 way for cheaper and is more suited for his usage of working, rather than overclocking

You're right about the 2-way. Why do they even bother with the 3rd X16 slot running at 4x?
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February 25, 2013 3:59:52 PM

you can do 3 way CF with that. just that it isnt very great
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February 25, 2013 4:58:28 PM

TheBigTroll said:
you can do 3 way CF with that. just that it isnt very great

I see.
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