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System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: A $2400 PC That Costs $2700

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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:00:11 AM

Thomas also suffers the impact of a run on AMD's graphics cards. His performance-oriented build purchased for $2400 now costs $2700 to replicate. Is it worth the extra cash, or are you better off stepping back to the parts he picked last quarter?

System Builder Marathon, Q4 2013: A $2400 PC That Costs $2700 : Read more
December 30, 2013 12:19:55 AM

"It’s a shame that a digital gold rush is taking these out of the hands of so many gamers."

Seeing that it is impossible to break even doing bitcoin mining with GPUs, i expect sooner than later a flood of barely used cards will hit the used market.
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December 30, 2013 12:43:28 AM

Amen to that
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Related resources
December 30, 2013 1:13:26 AM

Damn you amd >.<
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December 30, 2013 1:29:58 AM

Picking up a used 290 for $300 would be very, very nice.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 4:41:31 AM

Alright guys terminator the terminator 2 cd has been in the program since like 2003 let's retire it shall we? Maybe use meatloaf bat out of hell.
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December 30, 2013 4:54:26 AM

We'll see how this all ends up with the Litecoin and bitcoin miners. Either they were smart for getting ahead of the game, or they were idiots for believing they could make more than they spent.

But in the case of the Bitcoiners, there's a better method to mine, why bother with the GPUs? Seems to me they lose out no matter how they end up.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 5:21:10 AM

SessouXFX said:
We'll see how this all ends up with the Litecoin and bitcoin miners. Either they were smart for getting ahead of the game, or they were idiots for believing they could make more than they spent.

But in the case of the Bitcoiners, there's a better method to mine, why bother with the GPUs? Seems to me they lose out no matter how they end up.
You can't break even due to power bills, let alone hardware prices. But wait, there's more!
Forum members often call a machine that burns far too much energy for the amount of useful work we get out of it a "space heater". But if you compare THIS machine to an ACTUAL space heater, you can clearly see the benefit of using THIS machine RATHER than an actual space heater to heat your workspace. Let mining pools pay a portion of this winter's heating bill!

I'm completely against the CONCEPT of crypto-currency mining because they produce no USEFUL data. We're producing GARBAGE data of increasing difficulty generation-by-generation and wasting all those resources to do it. It's worse than raising cattle for the leather and throwing away the meat. It's more akin to raising cattle for photographs of the cow and throwing away the cow!

These machines might actually benefit society if they were using a program like F@H, and we'd at least have a solid argument between their cost to society and their benefit to society. Someone should have beat the bitcoin guy to the punch and developed F@H coins.

Or take a look at cloud servers. Large companies are renting out their excess computing resources during low-traffic periods. Now look at PC-based, self-serving distributed computing platforms like Skype. The per-user cost is low but the number of users is high, so hosting the program across those same "clients" makes sense.

Why don't we have companies knocking down our doors begging for our excess data resources? Someone with a great marketing plan AND excellent technical knowledge should set up a distributed computing platform that pays individuals for their contributions. Environmentalists should praise that move as reducing the number of data centers needed world-wide, but me?

I'm just trying to reduce waste. I even collect my small bits of scrap metal (broken car parts, etc) and give them away to scrap metal collectors because it costs more to take these in than these are worth. Those guys collect enough small batches to make it worth the 15-mile trip. And you don't need to be a tree hugger to see that everyone benefits from that type of effort.
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December 30, 2013 6:24:55 AM

While it is true that most miners wont break even do to electricity cost, it does not mean that a profit wont be made. One big draw of crypto currency is the black market. Silk road was and is huge. If you want to launder money, then crypto mining is a great way to go. If the current return on laundering money is a 75% return, and trypto mining is 85% then why not? Further more, its safer than keeping piles of cash around in a safe house. For the avg. user mining wont make a return, but for others, it can better than other alternatives.
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December 30, 2013 7:03:31 AM

Crash, you forgot your soapbox! :) 

If we're to believe what we're told and crypto-currency mining is to blame for retailer spikes in the highest-tier AMD cards, then I expect to see AMD make some changes in its next generation of cards, especially if AMD isn't cashing in on the rush for its cards and the price hikes are solely due to merchant mark-ups. Considering AMD's business concerns over recent years, I don't expect AMD to make any such profitability mistake ever again. Instead, I think AMD will follow nVidia's example.

When nVidia capped GPGPU performance on the majority of its cards, then went on to produce the Titan and Tesla cards without such GPGPU restriction at higher prices, I was OK with that. It meant gamers could buy cards built for gaming at a reasonable price, people who used their cards for both gaming and GPGPU-related tasks could buy a card built for both for a premium, and researchers could buy cards that were fully-optimized for GPGPU use for an even higher premium. If AMD had done that with the R9-series, we'd have quite a few more gamers sporting brand new AMD cards this holiday season.

And back to the article... Heckuva build! It's an improvement over the previous build in just about every way, with the exception of its current cost.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 7:43:23 AM

RazberyBandit said:
Crash, you forgot your soapbox! :) 

If we're to believe what we're told and crypto-currency mining is to blame for retailer spikes in the highest-tier AMD cards, then I expect to see AMD make some changes in its next generation of cards, especially if AMD isn't cashing in on the rush for its cards and the price hikes are solely due to merchant mark-ups. Considering AMD's business concerns over recent years, I don't expect AMD to make any such profitability mistake ever again. Instead, I think AMD will follow nVidia's example.

When nVidia capped GPGPU performance on the majority of its cards, then went on to produce the Titan and Tesla cards without such GPGPU restriction at higher prices, I was OK with that. It meant gamers could buy cards built for gaming at a reasonable price, people who used their cards for both gaming and GPGPU-related tasks could buy a card built for both for a premium, and researchers could buy cards that were fully-optimized for GPGPU use for an even higher premium. If AMD had done that with the R9-series, we'd have quite a few more gamers sporting brand new AMD cards this holiday season.

And back to the article... Heckuva build! It's an improvement over the previous build in just about every way, with the exception of its current cost.
The article's my "soap box". At any rate, I've given AMD's options a few considerations too. It's made a commitment to end users and the only way to profiteer without having people call you out on it is to sell these through a "back channel". The other problem is supply and demand: They can't ramp up production very quickly, and who's to say that this expanded market wouldn't evaporate before they had the extra cards to fill it? The BEST thing for AMD to do is stick to its guns and let retailers take the blame for profiteering.

I figure there will be a flood of used cards on the market in three months as it gets more difficult to mine the most profitable currencies. But someone mentioned that before I responded. It would be REALLY REALLY bad for AMD to spend 6-weeks increasing production volume, only to see a flood of cheap used cards knock the market out from under their new card sales. Once again, AMD is probably doing best to stick to its plans. Nobody remembers when Intel blamed overproduction by AMD for the CPU market collapse of 1999..in fact those news articles were buried within three months. But I remember :) 

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December 30, 2013 8:21:32 AM

I think we're all forgetting that there are FAR more digital currencies out there than Bitcoin, and almost all of them have a hash algorithm and mining method that prevents ASIC mining rigs from having an advantage. Litecoin is a popular one right now because the exchange rate is low, the total number of possible LC is significantly higher than the BC max, and it's optimized for APU/GPU mining.

That said, I think this build really missed the mark. My current build would come fairly close to your BF3 numbers and yet my system can easily be had for around the $1300 range. While it might not compete on some of the other compute tasks, it still does pretty damn good.

Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 8:25:28 AM

Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?

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December 30, 2013 8:27:38 AM

I think excessive heat and noise should be taken into account of overall performance/$. The Antec solution in this build borders on ridiculous IMO @ this price point. GPU fans reaching normal conversation decibel levels would also kill it for me. I have a close set up with same case sli 770,p/p h220 so I know how quiet this setup could be. I understand the initial 780vs290 argument, hopefully vender coolers will improve the 290 cooling considerably and prices will settle back down.

There is a heat/power/efficiency section but In the conclusion I would just like to see Qx vs Qy dbl and system temp along side the % performance gain for a more big picture view. Anyone else ideas on this?
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December 30, 2013 8:29:40 AM

To all the people who say mining with gpus is unprofitable. I make $400 dollars profit per month with 4 6950s.
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December 30, 2013 8:31:07 AM

@Crashman
"When nVidia capped GPGPU performance on the majority of its cards... It meant gamers could buy cards built for gaming at a reasonable price"
Uhm, what? Noone got a price drop, gamer cards didn't become cheaper. Reduce in power consumption ? yes, cheaper ? no.
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December 30, 2013 8:32:06 AM

Crashman said:
SessouXFX said:
We'll see how this all ends up with the Litecoin and bitcoin miners. Either they were smart for getting ahead of the game, or they were idiots for believing they could make more than they spent.

But in the case of the Bitcoiners, there's a better method to mine, why bother with the GPUs? Seems to me they lose out no matter how they end up.
You can't break even due to power bills, let alone hardware prices. But wait, there's more!
Forum members often call a machine that burns far too much energy for the amount of useful work we get out of it a "space heater". But if you compare THIS machine to an ACTUAL space heater, you can clearly see the benefit of using THIS machine RATHER than an actual space heater to heat your workspace. Let mining pools pay a portion of this winter's heating bill!

I'm completely against the CONCEPT of crypto-currency mining because they produce no USEFUL data. We're producing GARBAGE data of increasing difficulty generation-by-generation and wasting all those resources to do it. It's worse than raising cattle for the leather and throwing away the meat. It's more akin to raising cattle for photographs of the cow and throwing away the cow!

These machines might actually benefit society if they were using a program like F@H, and we'd at least have a solid argument between their cost to society and their benefit to society. Someone should have beat the bitcoin guy to the punch and developed F@H coins.

Or take a look at cloud servers. Large companies are renting out their excess computing resources during low-traffic periods. Now look at PC-based, self-serving distributed computing platforms like Skype. The per-user cost is low but the number of users is high, so hosting the program across those same "clients" makes sense.

Why don't we have companies knocking down our doors begging for our excess data resources? Someone with a great marketing plan AND excellent technical knowledge should set up a distributed computing platform that pays individuals for their contributions. Environmentalists should praise that move as reducing the number of data centers needed world-wide, but me?

I'm just trying to reduce waste. I even collect my small bits of scrap metal (broken car parts, etc) and give them away to scrap metal collectors because it costs more to take these in than these are worth. Those guys collect enough small batches to make it worth the 15-mile trip. And you don't need to be a tree hugger to see that everyone benefits from that type of effort.


Protein Folding Coins do exist.
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December 30, 2013 8:41:09 AM

..............
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December 30, 2013 8:42:53 AM

I have to wonder how much of the system noise is really attributable to the PSU...

I have a similar-model Seasonic PSU, an i3570K (stock) and a pair of the Superclocked EVGA GTX 570 in an old InWin Q500 case--I've experimented with the various fan speeds once the system had been on for a while, and the PSU fan was (subjectively) the nosiest *by far*. Even setting both blowers and the case/CPU fans to max (when the system was cold) didn't generate nearly as much noise as the PSU alone...
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December 30, 2013 9:06:37 AM

Wow
Such mad
So Angry
Wow

Now excuse us as we head towards the moon.
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December 30, 2013 9:19:55 AM

Should have been a 4770k at 5GHz and not a 6core at lower clock rates. I've seen this over and over. 4770k disable HyperJunk and clock the bastard to 5GHz and watch it eat any other CPU for lunch at gaming. Simple as that. If you want threads then you can get the 2011 Socket. But for gaming the 4770k Wins. Come on Toms, You just wrote that wa 2 months ago?
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 9:25:51 AM

For the Blu-Ray, why not grab a LG?
Some of them supports BDXL disc, that is up to 128GB
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 9:31:26 AM

shellls45 said:
To all the people who say mining with gpus is unprofitable. I make $400 dollars profit per month with 4 6950s.

Do Tell. No really, I'm lucky to see $20 a day from a pair of R9 290s, and that's gross (not net) in Litecoin. And I really am just using that machine as a space heater.
major-error said:
I have to wonder how much of the system noise is really attributable to the PSU...

I have a similar-model Seasonic PSU, an i3570K (stock) and a pair of the Superclocked EVGA GTX 570 in an old InWin Q500 case--I've experimented with the various fan speeds once the system had been on for a while, and the PSU fan was (subjectively) the nosiest *by far*. Even setting both blowers and the case/CPU fans to max (when the system was cold) didn't generate nearly as much noise as the PSU alone...
Very little. You can't hear these PSU fans because the GPU fans are so loud. One of the themes of this build was to take a pair of top-performing good-value cards that Chris rejected for noise, and make a livable system of them. And that effort succeeded at stock speeds. BTW, the cards were set to Uber mode at stock.
gsxrme said:
Should have been a 4770k at 5GHz and not a 6core at lower clock rates. I've seen this over and over. 4770k disable HyperJunk and clock the bastard to 5GHz and watch it eat any other CPU for lunch at gaming. Simple as that. If you want threads then you can get the 2011 Socket. But for gaming the 4770k Wins. Come on Toms, You just wrote that wa 2 months ago?
Sorry, but you thought this was a gaming build? You must be reading what the other guys said. I never agreed to make my build a gaming build: I wanted to beat my $2550 system in everything INCLUDING games, not games to the exclusion of everything else.
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December 30, 2013 10:02:15 AM

Call me a noob but why is Toms still using BF3 as a benchmark if BF4 is out? Is that because the last PCs were benchmarked using BF3 too?
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December 30, 2013 10:16:14 AM

Hmm, this would be the first time I disagree with the majority of choices made by toms hardware for a build.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 10:31:31 AM

thecrazyman said:
Call me a noob but why is Toms still using BF3 as a benchmark if BF4 is out? Is that because the last PCs were benchmarked using BF3 too?

Yes
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 10:31:35 AM

I can't fault the parts used. Nothing at all howls for replacement. My issue is with the build as a whole; way too expensive overall. It may well be a top-quality system, but it will get killed in the value comparison.
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December 30, 2013 10:40:59 AM

Slight error: the parts list on the front page lists 1600 RAM, but elsewhere it's referred to 1866.
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December 30, 2013 10:53:08 AM

Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?




Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 10:55:08 AM

double/triple post.
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December 30, 2013 11:01:24 AM

Christopher Shaffer said:

Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 

Might want to check that. I'm sure a lot of people would love to know where to get a 4GB 770 for only $256. Those 770s are $390 on Newegg. You're definitely not packing three of them in that budget.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 11:06:47 AM

Christopher Shaffer said:
Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?




Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 
Oh, we're cost-cutting on features then? Yeh, that works but it's nothing I would have built. I like a high-end system to have all its faculties.

SLI would have worked better in two of the gaming benchmarks. I was caught off guard by the inability of F1 2012 to support these cards in CrossFire, and by the capping in FC3. But I couldn't have known that would happen when I ordered the cards.

And the Extreme6 is garbage, read that last SBM then read the Extreme6/GB review.

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December 30, 2013 11:34:02 AM

Christopher Shaffer said:
Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?




Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 


I as well would like to know where to get 4gb 770s for $250...
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December 30, 2013 11:39:55 AM

hasten said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?




Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 


I as well would like to know where to get 4gb 770s for $250...


That should actually be x2, or add $390 to the price, and be close to his real-world price.
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December 30, 2013 11:46:58 AM

Crashman said:


I'm completely against the CONCEPT of crypto-currency mining because they produce no USEFUL data. We're producing GARBAGE data of increasing difficulty generation-by-generation and wasting all those resources to do it. It's worse than raising cattle for the leather and throwing away the meat. It's more akin to raising cattle for photographs of the cow and throwing away the cow!

These machines might actually benefit society if they were using a program like F@H, and we'd at least have a solid argument between their cost to society and their benefit to society. Someone should have beat the bitcoin guy to the punch and developed F@H coins.

Or take a look at cloud servers. Large companies are renting out their excess computing resources during low-traffic periods. Now look at PC-based, self-serving distributed computing platforms like Skype. The per-user cost is low but the number of users is high, so hosting the program across those same "clients" makes sense.

Why don't we have companies knocking down our doors begging for our excess data resources? Someone with a great marketing plan AND excellent technical knowledge should set up a distributed computing platform that pays individuals for their contributions. Environmentalists should praise that move as reducing the number of data centers needed world-wide, but me?

I'm just trying to reduce waste. I even collect my small bits of scrap metal (broken car parts, etc) and give them away to scrap metal collectors because it costs more to take these in than these are worth. Those guys collect enough small batches to make it worth the 15-mile trip. And you don't need to be a tree hugger to see that everyone benefits from that type of effort.


I like the way you think. I first got into F@H because it seemed like a waste to have decent hardware not producing anything while I am not using it.

I am a bit surprised to find out that the Tom's staff is aware of F@H. How about throwing your team a bone and doing a F@H hardware round up or just donate a week of each build's time to the team's points.
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December 30, 2013 11:58:54 AM

Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Crashman said:
Christopher Shaffer said:
Give me $2400 and I'm sure I could smoke this rig. I'd expect more from Tom's.
And I'm sure you couldn't. Next?




Asrock Xt 6 230.00
i7 4930K 569.00
Gskill F3-1866C9D Ripjaws 158.00
Gigabyte GV-N770OC-4GD x3 (SLI) 768.00
Seagate ST2000DX001 130.00
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB 170.00
Seasonic X-1050 247.00
Corsair 500R 130.00
CM EVO 212 $35
$2437

Considering the real-world cost of your build, I'd say this would smoke it. You can argue I didn't figure in case fan cost, but the case itself is available w/3 fans, nor did I calculate for a Blu-ray drive, however I don't think the BR drive will change the performance, do you? :) 
Oh, we're cost-cutting on features then? Yeh, that works but it's nothing I would have built. I like a high-end system to have all its faculties.

SLI would have worked better in two of the gaming benchmarks. I was caught off guard by the inability of F1 2012 to support these cards in CrossFire, and by the capping in FC3. But I couldn't have known that would happen when I ordered the cards.

And the Extreme6 is garbage, read that last SBM then read the Extreme6/GB review.



I have an Z77 Extreme4, which even Tom's rated pretty high, but I don't have real-world experience with the X79 Ext 6, so I'll take your word for it.

We could use your board, but the cost wouldn't be much different. I think the drive performance would make a difference, though: Hybrid vs. WD Green? The EVO and SanDisk are pretty well matched, but I think a benchmark would be necessary to see if the combination of either + hybrid would be any different.

I could have opted for one of many less-expensive cases and put in the BD but I was focused on performance.

I did miscalculate by saying x3 vs. x2 770s, however, for the actual price of your build, I think this would still be a better option; another $117 for 3-way SLI vs 2-way Crossfire.

I also agree with some of the opinions of the CPU, but I didn't want my build to be discounted based simply on using a cheaper CPU. I think a properly OC'd 4930, 3930 or if we moved to Haswell, maybe a 4770K with some luck, might come close in a lot of these tests for significantly cheaper.
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December 30, 2013 12:17:51 PM

two r9 290Xs would cost about $1370.88 here in england

although there is VAT and the r9 290X does not appear to have made it over here... (at least all the places i am looking at only have them up for pre-order)
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December 30, 2013 12:20:43 PM

duramax08 said:
Wow
Such mad
So Angry
Wow

Now excuse us as we head towards the moon.


weebl?
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December 30, 2013 12:24:57 PM

Crazy, I'm in the process of building the same rig! except with an 8350 over the i7, 8gb of ram isntead of 16, no optical, no ssd, a bigger case, a better PSU, Noctua nh-d14, and non reference cards...and all of this for less money, hmph..
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:35:59 PM

Broc Kelley said:
Crazy, I'm in the process of building the same rig! except with an 8350 over the i7, 8gb of ram isntead of 16, no optical, no ssd, a bigger case, a better PSU, Noctua nh-d14, and non reference cards...and all of this for less money, hmph..
So, you're building far less PC for far less money? Who'd have thought? Thanks for sharing!
lilcinw said:
I like the way you think. I first got into F@H because it seemed like a waste to have decent hardware not producing anything while I am not using it.

I am a bit surprised to find out that the Tom's staff is aware of F@H. How about throwing your team a bone and doing a F@H hardware round up or just donate a week of each build's time to the team's points.
Look at my account history, I was here in the forums all along :) 

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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:39:55 PM

I think the PSU is too low for this build if you plan to overclock. It is insane to run a system at 99% of the PSU capability.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:43:56 PM

jnkweaver said:
I think the PSU is too low for this build if you plan to overclock. It is insane to run a system at 99% of the PSU capability.

It's only peaking at 99% of rated capacity. I've tested similar PSUs to 120% of rated capacity before they tripped the breaker. I haven't fried a high-end PSU.

Moreover, I don't know of anyone who will run this machine at peak. The specific part of the test that's unrealistic at this point is the twelve threads of Prime95 with AVX. It's just way above even a typical Prime95 load. And I had to back down to 11 threads to allow a thread for 3DMark test 1 looping (combined load), otherwise the power results would have been around 75W lower. 3DMark needs that single CPU thread to run the graphics cards at full load.
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December 30, 2013 12:51:21 PM

Crashman said:
Broc Kelley said:
Crazy, I'm in the process of building the same rig! except with an 8350 over the i7, 8gb of ram isntead of 16, no optical, no ssd, a bigger case, a better PSU, 990fx extreme9 instead of extreme4, Noctua nh-d14, and non reference cards...and all of this for less money, hmph..
So, you're building far less PC for far less money? Who'd have thought? Thanks for sharing!



I would think better cooling cpu&case, a better mobo, and better cards would make it perform better and be by your wording "more" PC
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:55:14 PM

Broc Kelley said:
Crashman said:
Broc Kelley said:
Crazy, I'm in the process of building the same rig! except with an 8350 over the i7, 8gb of ram isntead of 16, no optical, no ssd, a bigger case, a better PSU, 990fx extreme9 instead of extreme4, Noctua nh-d14, and non reference cards...and all of this for less money, hmph..
So, you're building far less PC for far less money? Who'd have thought? Thanks for sharing!



I would think better cooling cpu&case, a better mobo, and better cards would make it perform better and be by your wording "more" PC
But it's a lesser CPU, a lesser cooler, and the case was picked for its low-noise design and CPU cooler support. I don't want a big case, just a quiet case that cools well. Let me misquote you:
Quote:
I can build a noisier PC with a lower-IPC CPU, half as much RAM, no ability to read optical media, and a painfully slow data drive, for less money.
When we put what you said into that context, my answer makes sense :) 

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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 12:56:00 PM

[/quotemsg]
I don't know of anyone who will run this machine at peak. The specific part of the test that's unrealistic at this point is the twelve threads of Prime95 with AVX. It's just way above even a typical Prime95 load. [/quotemsg]

Well I will give you that.

It did answer a question I have had about whether your system power was from the supply or from the wall. It seems that you must be using a Kill A Watt type device and just measure the total draw. That isn't obvious in a lot of the reviews.
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a b K Overclocking
December 30, 2013 1:02:05 PM

jnkweaver said:
It did answer a question I have had about whether your system power was from the supply or from the wall. It seems that you must be using a Kill A Watt type device and just measure the total draw. That isn't obvious in a lot of the reviews.
I'm exactly using a Kill A Watt. Don on the other hand has a more complex device with data logging, IIRC.

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December 30, 2013 2:40:13 PM

Read all the articles, put in all the contest entries.
also a member of the Tom's Hardware Folding Team.
Glad to have someone else voice the same opinion on Bitcoin/litecoin and similar.. I get it from their point of view- get some hardware, plug it in, let it work to bring in money instead of you. - only time it works enough to be worth the time is if someone else is paying for the hardware, power, or both.

Anyway. -I have an old Cooler Master chassis with the foam inside it ( Sileo)? I think..
and I have been using the corsair builder power supplies to great success.
I would actually like someone to compare the wattage draw to heat output to a cheap space heater. someof the old Prescott or Cyrix (anyone remember them?) would get hot enough to melt the socket.
On topic, I like the Idea of this build, but cant figure any way for it to be practical in a real world sense.. too many overcompensations to make it good at both games and productivity..
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December 30, 2013 3:03:00 PM

I believe this build needed more fans and a readjustment of the cooling:

I think putting the radiator in the front was bad idea. You are blowing warm air INTO the computer therfore affecting the GPUs, of which we knew would have more heat issues than the CPU.

I think the optimum setup would have been to put the radiator in the top, buy 2 more case fans: 1 extra front intake (total of 2) and one bottom intake (after you returned the drive cage to its original position and cleaned up your cable management) or to the side panel, which ever works better. You then could have positive air pressure if you adjusted the fan speeds accordingly, more air to the graphics plus you would still get the benefit of exhausting air off the motherboard VRMs.

Also from the look of the picture, cmon, your PCIE cabling is an utter mess, it appears you have blocked the path from intake fans to graphics cards. Rout all the PCIE cables over the GFX cards and around the back of the top card therefore clearing the cards intake fans. This is simple stuff guys.
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December 30, 2013 3:26:39 PM

shellls45 said:
Vorador2 said:
"It’s a shame that a digital gold rush is taking these out of the hands of so many gamers."

Seeing that it is impossible to break even doing bitcoin mining with GPUs, i expect sooner than later a flood of barely used cards will hit the used market.

To all the people who say mining with gpus is unprofitable. I make $400 dollars profit per month with 4 6950s.


File this under: Don't quit your day job...
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December 30, 2013 8:26:21 PM

Great Article! Always love reading the system marathons... Is it possible to include RMAA results for the motherboards in these marathons and in motherboard reviews as well?... It's nice to know at what point in time will onboard audio be enough for me to stop using my 7 year old x-fi xtremegamer>
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