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£2000 all-rounder - general advice and case & speaker questions

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July 1, 2012 3:33:53 PM

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Looking to build a high-end but not bleeding edge all rounder that'll last me a few years of heavy web usage, dev, data, design and some gaming (I have a ps3 for gaming that I never get time to play on, and I expect I won't find a lot of time to game on this pc either, but I'd like the option for the occasional lost weekend playing particularly appealing new releases - probably shooters and strategy).

Template details below, then my current parts selection and a couple of specific issues...

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Approximate Purchase Date: Planning for asap, but not particularly pressing need

Budget Range: £2000 including monitors

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Web usage (browsing, web apps, docs etc.), development (text editing, visual studio, some linux via cygwin etc.), data analysis (working with pretty sizeable databases), design (photoshop etc.), some gaming.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: amazon.co.uk, dabs.com, ebuyer.co.uk, happy with any that deliver to UK affordably and are reliable

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: i7 Ivy Bridge, 2x 27" monitors, best of everything else I can get in budget

Overclocking: Not straightaway, but likely later

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Hoping for 2560x1440. May need to settle on 1080p.

Additional Comments: Got a shallow desk cupboard I'd like case to fit into ideally. Also got some good quality home theater speakers with twin axial cable and no jack connectors I'd be interested in using if possible.

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Current shopping list (I don't think there should be any compatibility problems here, but if anyone sees any red flags I'd really appreciate comments):

i7 3770k. Likely run it at stock for a while then maybe OC to 4.2 or so - £256.61
NB - I don't currently run any virtual machines, but I may want to in the future (just for compatibility checking etc.). I understand that the basic 3770 actually has better virtualisation functionality than the 3770k. Can anyone comment? Would the 3770k make virtualisation *impossible* or just less efficient? Any pros and cons from experience?

Asus P8Z77-v Deluxe - £186.23

Asus modified nVidia GTX-570 - £220.40

*Maybe* stretching to Asus modified nVidia GTX-670 instead of 570 - £339.99

16Gb GSkill RibjawsZ 2400 - £170

Samsung 256GB 830 SSD - £149.99

WD Caviar Black 1TB secondary HDD - £86.99

Seasonic X760 80 Plus Gold PSU - £141.31

LG Bluray rewriter - £67.98

Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler - £56.58

2x Yamakasi Catleap Q270 pixel perfect 27" 2560x1440 monitors - About £480 for two


That's it so far. Only things missing as far as I'm aware are OS (I'll buy Win 7 Ultimate 64bit, but I'm not counting that in the budget), keyboard and mouse (I've got some spares already, might get some nice ones later, but again, not counting as part of this build), speakers and case.

Case help needed:
I've got a cupboard in my desk that I'd like to put this build, but it's annoyingly shallow. Dimensions are 44cm(17") high x 35cm(13.5") wide x only 30cm(12") deep. I can jigsaw the back of the cupboard away, but it's a partners desk (drawers on both sides), so I could only buy myself about another 5cm/2" max with that. Can anyone give any suggestions for a full ATX case available that will take all the components I've listed and fit into this space? At the moment I'm thinking I may have to not use this cupboard and just have the tower on the floor, but I'd really like to if possible.

Speaker help needed:
I've got a pair of nice Canton speakers (were my front pair from a 7.1 surround home theatre setup, but had to downgrade to 5.1 when I moved house, leaving these spare). They use twin axial cable with bare wire ends (designed for use with surround sound amp). Ideally, I'd like to repurpose these speakers for this build, but I'm not sure how I'd connect them. I guess I'd need to put some jacks on instead of the bare wire, but not sure what kind or how. Has anyone ever converted home theatre speakers for PC use? Would I need a separate external (internal?) amp? And/or a separate sound card? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Finally, a note on the monitors. If you've read this far you may or may not be familiar with Catleap monitors I've selected. These are basically cheap Korean 2560x1440 IPS panels that come from the same source as Apple/Dell 2560 IPS displays, except they're *much* cheaper. I'm generally a firm believer that you get what you pay for, but there are a good number of threads about these Catleaps around various forums and they seem to have a lot of very happy users already, so for just £240 each I'm feeling like taking the leap of faith. If anyone has any input on these (particularly any bad experiences I should know about) I'd really appreciated hearing this too.

Apologies for the crazy long post - wanted to give all the detail. Looking forward to your thoughts guys,
DiB

More about : 2000 rounder general advice case speaker questions

July 1, 2012 6:19:55 PM

Can't help you on the virtualisation front, could you give me a link to the article saying why the non-K 3770 is better?

Could you not put the computer next to the desk? As those dimensions are making it really tricky to find a case, even looking at mini ITX cases is hard with only 30-35cm depth.

Can't help with speakers either, i'm sure it's possible but it would be better to post in the audio part of this forum.

Can't say i've ever heard of that make before, and if you're willing to give it a whirl by all means try it.

Your build looks very solid but the case is going to be your major problem and will dictate your build almost entirely if you can't put it outside the cupboard
July 1, 2012 7:05:01 PM

metal orient said:
Can't help you on the virtualisation front, could you give me a link to the article saying why the non-K 3770 is better?

Could you not put the computer next to the desk? As those dimensions are making it really tricky to find a case, even looking at mini ITX cases is hard with only 30-35cm depth.

Can't help with speakers either, i'm sure it's possible but it would be better to post in the audio part of this forum.

Can't say i've ever heard of that make before, and if you're willing to give it a whirl by all means try it.

Your build looks very solid but the case is going to be your major problem and will dictate your build almost entirely if you can't put it outside the cupboard



Thanks dude. I'm going to wait and see if anyone else has suggestions on cases, but I think having it on the floor by the desk in a bigger case might have to be the solution. Regarding virtual machines and the 3770 vs 3770k, this is a quote from a review of the 3770k on Amazon:

"Note that if you do not plan to overclock and/or intend to run virtual machines, the plain 3770 is the cheaper and better choice as it has Intel SIPP, vPro, VT-d and TXT enabled (the K has these disabled)."

I don't know enough about any of these technologies to understand their impact on running virtual machines, but it seems like VT-d is the key one.

I *think* that these technologies (VT-d at least) give the 3770 some advantages over the 3770k for running virtual machines, but I think it's only a relative advantage around better hardware acceleration, rather than a massive advantage (like that the 3770k can't run VMs at all, or something).

I was hoping someone more knowledgeable could confirm this though.
!