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Building a new Rendering/Streaming/Gaming/Overclocking PC, need help Fine Tuning the build

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August 19, 2013 2:51:22 PM

My wife and I run a youtube gaming channel and recently got picked up by the company that makes our game to stream for their official channel. Our old computer just can't cut what we do as I built it as a budget rig in 2009. Now that we're recording gameplay, capturing gameplay footage and encoding HD video while streaming and doing a lot of image work we need a serious work/gaming machine.

We've saved up and are getting some serious cash back on our student aid/scholarships and in September I'll have some cash (around $2,100-$2,500 before watercooling, $3,400-$3,600 in total) to spend on a new workstation for us to use and upgrading the older computer as well.

In January I'll be finishing this build as I'll have the money to do so then. I'll be buying the 2nd video card, adding another radiator and pump to my watercooling setup and buying a monitor with a resolution of either 2560x1600 or 2560x1440.

I'm going for a custom watercooling setup so that I can really get into overclocking my components. So far I have the components for both the new build and the upgrade picked out but I'd like to know if anyone could suggest better buys/where my money would work better, here's the build I'll be ordering in September:

NEW BUILD
CPU: Intel i7-4770k Haswell 3.5ghz Quad-Core
Motherboard: ASRock z87 Extreme9/ac
Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16gb(4x4gb) 1600 DDR
Graphics Card: EVGA GTX 780 Classified with Hydro Copper Water Cooler
SSD: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Hard Drive: Refurbished WD Blue 1TB 7200rpm Storage Drive
Case: NZXT Phantom 820 Matt Black + $30 windowed side panel from the 810 Switch
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1300w Full Modular PSU
Water Cooling:
Radiator: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 360
CPU Block: EK Supremacy ELITE Full Nickle
Pump: Swiftech MCP355 DDC 12v
Reservoir: EK Dual Bay SPIN Res w/ Flow Meter

Total Budget: $3,500/3,600

Right now, including the upgrades for the other computer and the watercooling setup's tubing, fittings, additives, I'm sitting around $3,400 if I'm only buying my parts off Newegg and Frozencpu.

I feel like I'm wasting a bit of money in some places and have a few questions on the new build.

I think I'd be able to get away with a 1000w PSU in January when I have all the extra equipment (Extra 780, pump) and still be able to overclock it, but I'm worried about stressing the PSU as I don't want to have to replace it anytime soon due to failure. I want a decent amount of headroom and never come close to my PSU's max and this computer will be on and working hard almost 16 hours a day. Would I be safe with a 1000 watt or should I keep the 1300?

Next I want to know if I should downgrade my Motherboard? I went with this one because for a ~$350 the reviews had it overclocking as well as the $400+ competition and the fact that it could run SLI with dual 16x (In PCI-E slot 1 and 4, giving some space between the cards) bandwidth rather than dual 8x. I know that doesn't make much difference and since I decided to go with watercooling I don't really need the additional space between the cards. So would I be better served by a cheaper board? And if so, what would be recommended for a solid overclocking board?

My Ram, I was thinking that I could spend a bit more money here, I'm really wanting 16gb of ram that overclocks well. Should I buy 1600 sticks and overclock them to 1866 or 2133? Or should I buy 1866 sticks? What ram should I look into when it comes to overclocking? I haven't bought or messed with ram since the DDR2 days. If there is some really expensive ram, I would be willing to buy 8gb (2x4) now and get the other half in January if that would be a better option as well.

Lastly, my case. I've been really torn on the case that I should get, I had settled on the NZXT 810 Switch for a while, but the amount of modding and loss of all the HD cages to install 2 radiators burned a bit too much for my tastes. Does anyone know of another case besides the 820 phantom that can fit at least 1 360x60mm rad and a second 240/280x60mm rad without losing all the hard drive bays or extreme modding? Edit: For under ~$250

Any additional issues you see would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2013 3:33:16 PM

i believe the case answer would be 800D or this behemot... 900D
For ram sticks (this is pref) i would go with just the 1600 Ghz but a different brand, either the Corsair Vengeance Pro or the Dominators. (2x8 gigs)

Motherboard - Asrock Z87 Extreme 9 is great if you feel iffy you can also look at the asus maximus VI formula
I would not downgrade on the motherboards because it will help you get that stability on high clocking ezier.

And last thing 1000W PSU is all you need ~ go with either Corsair, XFX, Seasonics.


also heres a quick idea of water cooling since you wanted a custom one -

http://koolance.com/ex2-1055-exos-2.5-liquid-cooling-sy...
August 19, 2013 3:46:42 PM

sparkz89 said:
i believe the case answer would be 800D or this behemot... 900D
For ram sticks (this is pref) i would go with just the 1600 Ghz but a different brand, either the Corsair Vengeance Pro or the Dominators. (2x8 gigs)

Motherboard - Asrock Z87 Extreme 9 is great if you feel iffy you can also look at the asus maximus VI formula
I would not downgrade on the motherboards because it will help you get that stability on high clocking ezier.

And last thing 1000W PSU is all you need ~ go with either Corsair, XFX, Seasonics.


also heres a quick idea of water cooling since you wanted a custom one -

http://koolance.com/ex2-1055-exos-2.5-liquid-cooling-sy...


Why would you go with 2x8gigs rather than 4x4gigs for 16gb? Like I said, I'm not too familiar with ram unfortunately. Is there really a benefit to running two larger sticks rather than 4 smaller ones?

And what about the Cooler Master V1000? http://pcpartpicker.com/part/cooler-master-power-supply...

When tested in a few reviews it ran at platinum efficiency and is going for $169.99. Is there any reason to go with Corsair or Seasonics over it? When I calculate out my maximum worst case senario power consumption I'll be using up 828 watts and as I'll be using my video cards to help render I expect to be over 60-70% load for at least 4-5 hours out of the day. I'd like my build to last me about 4 years so would the PSU hold out that long if its only a 1000 watt?
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a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2013 4:30:40 PM

Well since you are video rendering and etc. I left up the space for you to go to its maximum capacity of 32 GB. A couple of video editor/rendering friends of mine tend to use 20-24 Gigs of Ram with their programs (god knows what).

Main reason why I recommend XFX, Corsair, Seasonic is because they have good standing, but CM is also good, long with silverstone, evga, personally I believe its just preference. And with it lasting 4 years its just a hit or miss. Some last longer some do not. Just dust your components on a daily basis (once a month should do), take care of it and it will take care of you is all i can say.
August 19, 2013 5:11:06 PM

sparkz89 said:
Well since you are video rendering and etc. I left up the space for you to go to its maximum capacity of 32 GB. A couple of video editor/rendering friends of mine tend to use 20-24 Gigs of Ram with their programs (god knows what).

Main reason why I recommend XFX, Corsair, Seasonic is because they have good standing, but CM is also good, long with silverstone, evga, personally I believe its just preference. And with it lasting 4 years its just a hit or miss. Some last longer some do not. Just dust your components on a daily basis (once a month should do), take care of it and it will take care of you is all i can say.


Sounds like they're going for insanely high bit rates or they LOVE using dynamic RAM previews on huge videos.

Come to think of it, can you use RAM as temporary storage? Ramdisk or something right? Maybe I could go for 32gigs in January and render my videos to the extra 16gigs of ram... That sounds really interesting... I'm gonna have to look that up, if there is some way to transfer the stored data off the ram to my storage drive when shutting down/starting the computer I might just store my editing program on it. lol

That might be amazing...

And on the 1000 watt power supply. I plan on doing a slight overclock to my memory to bring it up to 1866 or even 2133 if I can keep the CL at 9 and not fry it. I also plan to bring the 4770k up to 4.5ghz and not push it any further as I'd like it to last a while. What I'm really excited about is overclocking the EVGA Classified GTX 780's, I've seen people get them to 1500mhz while on air, so I would like to try to bring them to a stable 1200-1250 with whatever memory clock and voltage.

Would a 1000 watt power supply still be able to handle that as a constant operating speed? I'll be using the 780's and the processor in rendering, not to mention the amount of time we spend recording, so the system will be pretty taxed for at least 40% of the day.

I'd like to cut something from somewhere and put a few more bucks into the upgrades for the second system as that will take a bit of the work load off this one, but it seems I've built myself into a corner. Cutting money on the PSU just has me all kinds of uncomfortable. I'd love to get a sub $200 case but unless I go with an external rad in January I feel like I'm stuck on the Phantom. Everything else is just too expensive.
a c 177 K Overclocking
a b ) Power supply
a c 82 V Motherboard
August 20, 2013 3:32:01 AM

After Effects if you ever get into it can consume an ungodly amount of RAM if your doing something complex. Get 2x8GB, it performs better (slightly) and leaves you with an upgrade path later on. Dont bother with speeds above 1600-1866Mhz, its not worth the premium.
There are programs out there that can create RAMDisk's, for all intents and purposes they act like any HDD on your machine except with RAM speed. As for backing up RAMDisk contents, no idea TBH. I would assume that the software to create it would have some kind of utility for it.

1300W is way more than you need, I reckon that system could run quite comfortably off an 850W.

Places to cut down.
- Motherboard, you really dont need something that expensive. A board around the Extreme4's price-point will be plenty sufficient.
- PSU, fairly obvious. Get an 850W and you dont need a high end rating, the difference between 80+ Cert and Gold is 5%, really not that much.
- How much do you have set aside for the water-cooling? I would think that for a CPU and dual GPU loop you wouldn't need spend more than ~$550.
- Also probably worth looking into if getting your own water-block is cheaper than a HydroCopper.

Places to spend more
- Storage, you need more and faster of it. On a machine dedicated to video-capture and editing, how long do you think 1TB will last? Also would a single HDD be able to keep up with (I presume) 1080p 60hz footage being recorded to it? My advice is you beef up your storage, something like a 4TB (2x2TB) RAID0 to record too with another 2TB for programs, games, personal stuff, etc. SSD for OS and important programs.

August 20, 2013 3:54:11 AM

manofchalk said:
After Effects if you ever get into it can consume an ungodly amount of RAM if your doing something complex. Get 2x8GB, it performs better (slightly) and leaves you with an upgrade path later on. Dont bother with speeds above 1600-1866Mhz, its not worth the premium.
There are programs out there that can create RAMDisk's, for all intents and purposes they act like any HDD on your machine except with RAM speed. As for backing up RAMDisk contents, no idea TBH. I would assume that the software to create it would have some kind of utility for it.

1300W is way more than you need, I reckon that system could run quite comfortably off an 850W.

Places to cut down.
- Motherboard, you really dont need something that expensive. A board around the Extreme4's price-point will be plenty sufficient.
- PSU, fairly obvious. Get an 850W and you dont need a high end rating, the difference between 80+ Cert and Gold is 5%, really not that much.
- How much do you have set aside for the water-cooling? I would think that for a CPU and dual GPU loop you wouldn't need spend more than ~$550.
- Also probably worth looking into if getting your own water-block is cheaper than a HydroCopper.

Places to spend more
- Storage, you need more and faster of it. On a machine dedicated to video-capture and editing, how long do you think 1TB will last? Also would a single HDD be able to keep up with (I presume) 1080p 60hz footage being recorded to it? My advice is you beef up your storage, something like a 4TB (2x2TB) RAID0 to record too with another 2TB for programs, games, personal stuff, etc. SSD for OS and important programs.



I suppose I should clarify a thing or two. On water cooling, I'm splitting the budget between September and January. I won't actually be overclocking a thing until I complete the build. So I'll just be running a current water cooling budget of 550-600 bucks. In January, I'll be picking up an external radiator and after more research I've decided on running two loops, one just for my CPU so with a 360x60mm radiator (the one I'm buying now) and another for the two 780's of either 420x60 or 480x60 (or possibly a Mora pro 2 if the wife still loves me then) externally with a second pump. And that's just because I'll have the budget for it in January and would like to push temps as low as possible. Until January, everything is a stop gap.

I found the Cooler Master V1000 that's got some nice features and is running for $144.99 after rebates, so I figure I'll go with that: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I definitely agree that the 1300watt is way too much for my build, but I think I'd be hard pressed to find a price that would really make me want to switch off the Cooler Master.

If I went for an Extreme4, would that hold up to heavy overclocks later? I know I don't need Dual x16 for SLI so I'm not too concern with that, but with my first watercooling setup, I'm really looking forward to pushing the clocks as high as I can, I'm even picking up the EVBot to play around with the classifieds.

As far as the Hydro Copper equipped classifieds, it seems to either match the cost of other full cover aftermarket blocks or slightly beat them while including the cost of the fittings and being one less thing I have to manually attach myself.

On the Hard Drives, we have 5tbs of network storage and I'll be bringing over another 1tb hard drive from the old computer. So I don't really need much more than that as we don't save the original footage after rendering and after the video is uploaded it goes to sit on the network drive for a month or two. I really already have more storage than I need with our work habbits. lol

Is there any real price/performance advantage for running an SSD in raid configuration? If not I think I'll just put more money into the upcoming monitor upgrade/watercooling.

Thanks for the advice by the way.
a c 177 K Overclocking
a b ) Power supply
a c 82 V Motherboard
August 20, 2013 4:29:18 AM

Depends on what you consider as a high overclock. If your going to be trying to push 5Ghz out of this chip, then get a high end board as you will need its extra VRM's and such. If 4.5Ghz is the max of your overclocking aspirations, then something like an Extreme4 or similar board would do fine IMO. In terms of features, the average gamer doesn't need more than what a ~$150 board can provide.

You will still need fast storage for recording purposes though. The GPU can spit out all the frames it wants, if the HDD cant keep up your recorded FPS will suffer. The problem is a bit alleviated by the fact you have an Nvidia card, therefore can utilize ShadowPlay for on the fly encoding, but you still need a fast storage setup for 1080p 60hz capture.

SSD RAID arrays look good on benchmarks, but are practically pointless except in some extreme use-cases.
August 20, 2013 4:54:07 AM

Well, the problem with recording at 60FPS is that when youtube gets their hands on your encoded video, they automatically recompress the video which caps the bit rate and reduces the frame rate to 30 FPS regardless of the FPS they received it at, so we tend to record in 29.97fps as it tends to do a better job at keeping audio synced with the video.

We've yet to encounter a problem recording onto a 7200rpm drive. I may eventually set up a raid for my storage drives but as of yet I haven't encountered a situation where the hard drives were a problem in recording the video. Might be the case if I ever try recording in 2560x1440/1600, but I have no experience in that area.

If I wanted to OC my processor to 4.7/4.8ghz and keep it there, would I be able to handle that on an Extreme4? I'm also really interested in seeing if I can get both 780's to 1350mhz with 7000ish memory clocks and leave them there if the water cooling allows. If the Extreme 4 can handle that, I think I'd be pretty happy saving a boatload of money on the motherboard. I'm new to overclocking and figured I'd work that out when the time came and just give myself the headroom.
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