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Help with my very first PC build

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February 25, 2014 8:57:16 PM

Hi all,

I want to build my very first rig and I would really appreciate some help/comments from you experts out there. I did a lot of homework (reading forums/reviews, watching vids etc.) and I came up with following configurations:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2ZIm0

As you can see, money is not necessarily a limiting factor however I don’t want to throw it out the window either. I want a VERY good gaming PC which should be top-notch for quite some time. Maybe just a RAM upgrade and a second GPU in 1-2 years time. Here are my thoughts behind the parts. Any comments from your side would help me a lot! Thank you!

CPU: I want to OC it a bit and it should be future proof, hence the Haswell 4770K
Cooler: I’m a bit hesitant with liquid cooler (e.g. H100i). I’ve read that the NH-D14 is quite expensive but extremely good. Given the fact that Haswell gets quite hot and my room temperature is also above a test lab environment of 22-25 degrees Celsius, cooling is one of my concerns.
Motherboard: I was torn between ASUS Sabertooth and MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming. I don’t think that I would need one of the super extreme deluxe motherboards but I wanted to have a decent high class one nonetheless.
Memory: Well, I’m really lost here… there are more options then stars in the sky. I think (for now) 16GB are enough, right? Is 1866MHz CL9 ok? Is it worth to go for higher frequencies? If the difference is just a tiny percentage point in an extreme benchmark test which I would never see in real life then forget it. Gaming will be the main task of this baby.
Storage: I think I’m good here. 500GB SSD should be sufficient and the WD green is only for saving pics, vids and all the other memory consuming files.
GPU: well, best of the best. And I want to go with AMD not NVIDIA. Maybe in 1-2 year a second one in crossfire.
Case: Newegg TV was actually quite fond of this one. Is there are better one? I think I will have enough space. My main concern is cooling. However I don’t dare to play around with liquid cooling except maybe for the pure CPU cooler H100i.
PSU: I should be golden here for now, at least with this configuration
Optical Drive: not a major concern, I might even downgrade to no burner to save some peanuts.
OS: no brainer, I guess. Win 8.1 64bit

Last but not least, do you have any recommendations for a good monitor? There are tons of reviews, parameters, best deals etc. out there.

THANK YOU already for your help/comments.
Cheers!

More about : build

February 25, 2014 9:21:16 PM

You should go with the H100i, even more if you want to overclock. Do not get the R9 290X at $700, its not worth it (damn miners). The GTX 780 Ti is $30 more and can outperform the card by a lot. If you do want to add another card or two later, better get a bigger power supply. 850w for 2 cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vg248qe-144hz-gamin... < nice monitor
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February 25, 2014 9:33:34 PM

There's two approach to your build
1. for bragging rights aka I don't care if it's worth the money to fps ratio, but I want it cuz I'm cool
2. for really high-end gaming with high budget in mind
The modified build I've provided here is more towards the budget view point, there's no need for 16GB of RAM in gaming nor will the AMD card worth your money. I would like to point out that I don't belong to either team red or green, but 290X just isn't worth the money when you compare the same price to 780Ti. 780Ti uses less power, produces less heat, more fps.
Tell me what you think and I'll modify it more towards your need.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($197.27 @ TigerDirect)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($299.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card ($699.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($137.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-16D1HT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $2221.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-26 00:29 EST-0500)
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February 25, 2014 9:37:50 PM

airplanegeek said:
You should go with the H100i, even more if you want to overclock. Do not get the R9 290X at $700, its not worth it (damn miners). The GTX 780 Ti is $30 more and can outperform the card by a lot. If you do want to add another card or two later, better get a bigger power supply. 850w for 2 cards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/vg248qe-144hz-gamin... < nice monitor


Thanks for your feedback! Are you using H100i? I came across some leaking problem threads in forums... I definitely don't want my stuff damaged by dropping cooler liquid.
I was in the past a NVIDIA fan but I'm kinda interested to see what this new AMD Mantle thingy can do.

The monitor looks great! Thanks!
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February 25, 2014 10:11:47 PM

IDontUnderstand said:
There's two approach to your build
1. for bragging rights aka I don't care if it's worth the money to fps ratio, but I want it cuz I'm cool
2. for really high-end gaming with high budget in mind
The modified build I've provided here is more towards the budget view point, there's no need for 16GB of RAM in gaming nor will the AMD card worth your money. I would like to point out that I don't belong to either team red or green, but 290X just isn't worth the money when you compare the same price to 780Ti. 780Ti uses less power, produces less heat, more fps.
Tell me what you think and I'll modify it more towards your need.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($74.99 @ Mwave)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($197.27 @ TigerDirect)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($299.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card ($699.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($137.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-16D1HT Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($67.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $2221.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-26 00:29 EST-0500)


Thanks for your feedback! I get your point and rest assured that I'm not from the bragger-team. I simply want a long lasting high-end gaming PC and the budget is reasonable high. That doesn't mean that I want to spend an additional 100 bucks to squeeze out another fps.
So you are saying that the 2133 is better then "my" 1866 although they have CL10?
Another stupid question: what makes the Sabertooth so expensive when your Maximus is (according to the specs) the same or even better because it supports 2133Mhz RAM and higher???
Any thoughts on the announced Mantle API from AMD? Might this even out the battle between 780 ti and the 290X?
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Best solution

February 25, 2014 10:35:00 PM

There's only questions and good questions, never stupid for anyone who wants to learn :) 

1. The reason why I went for that specific RAM is to show you that you don't need that 16GB of RAM, so I wasn't trying to say the timing is more superior or anything. As for your other concern, it isn't necessary better, but I always like the option to downclock better than overclock if that makes sense
2. In my point of view, the Maximus VI Hero is the entry level to ROG gaming motherboard, whereas the Sabertooth being the extreme of none ROG. As you can see that the Sabertooth focuses a lot on motherboard cooling with it's full armor and a fan in the middle.
3. Mantle is a great technology and I have high hopes on it. However, it's not ready, not yet. My prediction is that 10% of the triple A titles are going to fully implement mantle at the end of 2014, but that's too far away from now and being only 10% it's not worth it. In addition, miners are bringing the price of 290X higher than it deserve as of right now.
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February 26, 2014 5:07:29 AM

IDontUnderstand said:
There's only questions and good questions, never stupid for anyone who wants to learn :) 

1. The reason why I went for that specific RAM is to show you that you don't need that 16GB of RAM, so I wasn't trying to say the timing is more superior or anything. As for your other concern, it isn't necessary better, but I always like the option to downclock better than overclock if that makes sense
2. In my point of view, the Maximus VI Hero is the entry level to ROG gaming motherboard, whereas the Sabertooth being the extreme of none ROG. As you can see that the Sabertooth focuses a lot on motherboard cooling with it's full armor and a fan in the middle.
3. Mantle is a great technology and I have high hopes on it. However, it's not ready, not yet. My prediction is that 10% of the triple A titles are going to fully implement mantle at the end of 2014, but that's too far away from now and being only 10% it's not worth it. In addition, miners are bringing the price of 290X higher than it deserve as of right now.


Thanks again. You are a great help! I read through some more reviews of TUF and ROG motherboards. And as usual, since I started my little "PC build" project, I got swamped with more options and further questions... the ROG motherboards open up the options for faster memory. However the cooling aspect of the Sabertooth was actually the decisive argument over the MSI Z87-GD65. Guess it is kind of impossible to get a jack of all trades for a reasonable price... the Maximus VI Formula would come close to it but it is even more expensive than the Sabertooth.
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