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The Vanguard - $2500 (Heavy Gaming) Review?

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February 27, 2013 3:01:20 AM

Hello,

Approximate Purchase Date: ~ 4 Weeks
Budget Range: $2000-$2500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming  Photo Editing  Video Editing
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Parts to Upgrade: N/A
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, but anywhere that's trusted
Location: King Of Prussia, PA
Parts Preferences: No Preference, but would like reputable parts
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: (HP ZR24W S-IPS) 1920x1200

Any suggestions as to where I can possibly save some funds?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($77.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.49 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($259.92 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: HP ZR2440w 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($379.99 @ Mac Mall)
Total: $2372.29
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-26 23:59 EST-0500)
February 27, 2013 3:10:43 AM

phx08 said:
Hello,

Approximate Purchase Date: ~ 4 Weeks
Budget Range: $2000-$2500
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming  Photo Editing  Video Editing
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Parts to Upgrade: N/A
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, but anywhere that's trusted
Location: King Of Prussia, PA
Parts Preferences: No Preference, but would like reputable parts
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: (HP ZR24W S-IPS) 1920x1200

Any suggestions as to where I can possibly save some funds?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Dominator GT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($77.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.49 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($259.92 @ Mac Connection)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: HP ZR2440w 60Hz 24.0" Monitor ($379.99 @ Mac Mall)
Total: $2372.29
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-26 23:59 EST-0500)

you might want to consider
1)getting H100i or H110...or H80i
2)MB that are much more expensive does not help you a lot in performance gain... ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 maybe...
3)Faster performance ram is useless... it does not help out that much in performance gain... go for 1600MHz ram instead...
4)getting a 4GB GTX 670...
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February 27, 2013 3:13:15 AM

Can't give a detailed rundown right now @ work.
Kick that case, get an stormenforcer from coolermaster. it'll save you $150
The PSU can drop to a 650 gold from seasonic but that won't save you too much.
Not a monitor guy so cannot comment there.
Will review in a little bit, when I get home.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-case-sgc1000...
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Related resources
February 27, 2013 3:59:27 AM

Dont need such an expensive motherboard
No way you need that expensive as Dominator RAM, Get a Vengeance LP kit and save yourself ~$30. Also for a video editing rig, you want 16GB of RAM.
You can drop the 2nd 670, at 1080p Crossfire/SLI is pointless. You will want a 2560x1440 or 120hz screen, or an Eyefinity/Surround setup before its worth getting multiple cards.
Im fine with overkill cases, leaves you the option of putting some real water-cooling in down the line :p .
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February 27, 2013 6:52:09 PM

I'm going for high frame rates for current games and further futures games to come. Making the computer "future safe" at this price tag is a high priority for me so this is why i'm going with two 670's in SLI. The other option is to go with PowerColor 7950...thoughts?
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March 4, 2013 6:26:17 PM

Update on this in case anyone else had the same questions.

After much research around what I wanted my system to do for me and working around my budget I have come up with the following.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter) Bought from microcenter
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($182.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.07 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($189.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.49 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($273.99 @ Amazon) (Bought already)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg) Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: HP ZR30w 30.0" Monitor ($1188.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $3292.41 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-04 15:25 EST-0500)
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March 4, 2013 6:39:24 PM

get this instead
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Hvow

ram. cheaper ram but just as good
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=7 [...] omoid=1026

case. windowed version is 5 bucks more. much more suitable. if you are going to watercool, i can suggest the arc midi r2. basically a watercooling case instead of a silence model like this one
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=7 [...] l%20Design

-no fake watercooling. get a heatsink, or go custom. 2 routes only
-you dont really need thunderbolt, id get the non-thunderbolt up4
-cheaper ram per gb, and is better
-better SSD
-a 7970 tends to perform better but then if you want CUDA cores, you can go the route selected
-you dont need such a big case. if you are going to water cool, you can do it a smaller case and still get very good performance
-i have a better power supply
-just as good monitor for a lot cheaper

hard drive is also cheaper here
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1324
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March 4, 2013 6:39:48 PM

id also suggest investing in a mechanical keyboard. they are expensive but definitely are worth the cash
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March 4, 2013 6:45:15 PM

Lol 1.1k monitor xD

Do you want a costume waterloop? Isnt much more expensive then a h100i, but performce better and also looks cool...
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March 4, 2013 6:47:20 PM

Thanks Bigtroll, I was looking at mechanical keyboards as an upgrade once i ordered everything else.

The case i've already ordered (its on its way), my wife said the same thing that its too big. But it fits nicely with what I wanted and leaves me room for doing something crazy in the future!


You're right about the water cooling aspect, however, I don't have much experience with water cooling so I wanted to get a closed loop for now until I could do more research. Currently I'm familier with the thermodynamics (DELTA-T curves, TDP, manual calculations behind getting those numbers) aspect of water cooling but still need the functionality knowledge to make it work.

Do you have a site in mind that has similar resources like here but for water cooling? Overclockers.com?
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March 4, 2013 6:48:55 PM

Marcopolo123 said:
Lol 1.1k monitor xD

Do you want a costume waterloop? Isnt much more expensive then a h100i, but performce better and also looks cool...



Yes I do, but I'm limited on my knowledge to make it all work. It would only for the CPU so it can't be that hard; but i don't want to screw up and fry my hardware :D OH:
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March 4, 2013 6:56:06 PM

id get rid of the closed loop. if they ever do fail, they will fry your board and GPU. dont risk it if you are going for simplicity.

custom loops are safer than those

good guide. there are 3 parts. the first being selecting components, the second being the assembly, and the third talking about how to do a upgrade
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHNFhTAvvBA
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March 5, 2013 2:48:54 AM

Wouldnt go as far to say that Custom Loops are inherently safer than CLC's BigTroll.

The safety and reliability of a custom loop is directly proportional to the research, thought, time and effort you put into them. A badly thought out and assembled loop will leak like a sieve, and if you do something stupid like use Aluminium components wont last that long.

The NCIX tutorial is a great practical guide on how to water-cool, and the water-cooling sticky is great place to learn the more nitty gritty behind the components and such. Definitely advise reading through once or twice.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277130-29-read-first-...
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March 5, 2013 9:38:50 AM

its generally safer if you know what you are doing and you are using proper components
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March 5, 2013 2:24:52 PM

Thanks guys!

It looks like I will be going with a custom loop considering the horror stories I’ve seen online (most likely skewed since people who have negative experience are the ones most likely to speak up and tell the world wide web).

I watched that video two times and wrote down all of the components that I need. Also that guide in the WC section is amazing and very helpful. So i guess I’ll be moving the WC discussion over to that section for more input.

So it looks like you guys are agreeing that the system that i have mock-buildup of suites what I listed as my needs (extreme gaming)?
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Best solution

March 5, 2013 6:42:09 PM

With regard to the water-cooling, make sure your GPU's are using a reference design PCB. Will make it so much easier to find water-blocks for them when (its inevitable :p ) you decide to put them under water.

Since you list Photo and Video editing in your usage at the top, I say get 16GB of that RAM.
But yeah, the rig that you outlined above is fairly good for what your after.

[:djdecibel:2]
30" 2560x1600 monitor
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March 5, 2013 7:00:28 PM

Yeah loving the monitor. Jealous!

Overall the build seems nice. Maybe consider AMD HD7970s for the 30" screen for 3 GB VRAM.
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March 5, 2013 9:21:09 PM

grab this monitor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($700) 1440p using PLS panel for great looks

and dammit just read you got the i7 from microcenter, you could have gotten a asrock extreme4 for pretty cheap or a ud3h

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($314.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($83.72 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($98.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($187.72 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($426.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 4GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($426.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($165.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2050.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-05 18:20 EST-0500)

going a bit over though with the 4GB 670s.

Also i would be going with Nvidia if you are going to be doing that video editing instead of the 7970 @FinneousPJ
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March 5, 2013 10:24:55 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys!

My Obsidian 800D case arrived today...woot!
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March 6, 2013 2:41:13 AM

Umm, they said the 900D may be released this month or next....
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March 6, 2013 2:45:28 AM

If the programs used can leverage OpenCL (I know Vegas can at least), then a Radeon card is still in the running.

Pics! Build logs!
The forumz demand them... :p 
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March 6, 2013 7:08:13 AM

Radeons actually tend to have better performance in OpenCL.
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March 6, 2013 7:12:09 AM

They have far better OpenCL performance, which is why I brought it up. Too many people forget that it isnt just CUDA that can be useful in professional applications.

Plus, with such a large resolution monitor, AMD is pretty much the only choice :D .
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March 6, 2013 1:52:11 PM

boulbox said:
Umm, they said the 900D may be released this month or next....



Thanks for the information! ... But the 800D fits my needs fine :) 



manofchalk said:
If the programs used can leverage OpenCL (I know Vegas can at least), then a Radeon card is still in the running.

Pics! Build logs!
The forumz demand them... :p 



yes! Vegas is my go to program for editing, photoshop CS6 and Illustrator are also frequently used. But Vegas was my biggest hold back since it required a lot of "power".

I made a few tweaks to my build since my wife gave the "okay - get whatever you want" .... (how did it come to this!? hah)


All of these are ordered (from newegg and on the way) with the exception of the monitor...I wanted to do a little bit more research before pulling the trigger on that since i'm not in a hurry to get one.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Formula EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($70.90 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($369.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Full Tower Case ($279.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: HP ZR30w 30.0" Monitor ($1188.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $3215.76 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-06 10:28 EST-0500)
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March 6, 2013 7:24:49 PM

i would have changed the ram to kingston 2x8gb sticks. they are 40 bucks cheaper and will let you expand in the future unlike your 4 dimms

the hard drive is 3 bucks cheaper at us.ncix

the board is overkill given you will never use up the features properly. something like a z77x-ud4h has the same feature set for 100 dollars cheaper

the hp panel is a scam. get rid of it. the asus pb278q is a much better choice
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March 6, 2013 9:50:50 PM

Best answer selected by phx08.
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March 6, 2013 9:51:58 PM

Thanks, everyone!

[Resolved]
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