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  1. #1
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    Any advice? - High end rig

    Hi everyone.


    This is my first time posting but I'm hoping that people may be able to offer me some advice around putting together my own rig.


    Basically I've hammered out a draft specification to start from and want to improve however I can before I commit completely to each other components.


    My budget for the machine is around £3k.


    My starting point specification (not sense-checked for compatibility yet) it as below:
    • Crucial RealSSD M4 512GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CT512M4SSD2)
    • 2 x Gainward GeForce GTX 580 "Phantom" 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
    • Asus Maximus IV Extreme Intel P67 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard ** B3 REVISION **
    • Intel Core i7-2700K 3.50GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - OEM
    • Corsair Professional Series AX1200 High Performance 1200W Modular '80 Plus Gold' Power Supply (CMPSU-1200AXUK)
    • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium - Fatal1ty Champion Series 7.1 Sound Card
    • Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive
    • Cooler Master CM-690-II Advanced USB3.0 Windowed Gaming Tower Case - Black
    • 2 x Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-15000C9 1866MHz Dual Channel Kit
    • LG BH10LS38 10x BluRay-RW / 16 x DVD±RW Lightscribe Drive - Black (OEM)



    Getting these parts from various suppliers has given me a figure around £2.6k (I got this as a basis from a single supplier where the price was just under £3k).


    What do people think of the basic specification? My thoughts are that perhaps the case is inadequate, but what I would like is a reasonably sleak or more reserved looking one.


    My general idea with this machine is to give myself the option for up to 3 GFX core and a 4th for PhysX should I decide to go that way.


    I intend to invest in a U2711 separately to this budget but initially will be gaming on an iiyama E2607WS.


    1 thing I'm not entirely clear about is at what point I would need to opt for a liquid cooling solution above and beyond the stock cooling with each of the components. Initially I do not intend to overclock as this will be my first complete PC build and want to keep it reasonably simple - with the exception of SLI for graphics performance.


    Any thoughts / critique welcomed!


    sejm

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    My only question here is a simple "why?"
    For less than half of that, you could build a PC that will be just as good now, and then in two-five years time upgrade or replace it with another for the same price, that would easily beat this one specced now - and you'd have spent less money!

    Especially of note is the i7-2700k - for gaming purposes, the difference between this and the much cheaper i5-2500k is negligible. The motherboard seems needlessly flash - does it really have features that you won't get on a P67 board of half the price that you will actually use? If not, then why spend that crazy amount. Equally, the sound card is top-end, Fatality branded etc - while a separate sound card is probably sensible, I'm not sure that it isn't well beyond what you need for gaming. I'd also question the need to double up on what is already a stupendously powerful graphics card - especially as SLI brings a whole host of headaches with it.

    Obviously, this is all your money to spend. If you want to have the flashiest, fastest, "coolest" kit, then go right ahead. If however your priority is playing the latest games smoothly, you're getting it all wrong - you should be spending much less now and saving more for upgrades or replacements in the future - because odds are in 18 months time, half as much money as this will buy kit that will easily outpace it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    My only question here is a simple "why?"
    For less than half of that, you could build a PC that will be just as good now, and then in two-five years time upgrade or replace it with another for the same price, that would easily beat this one specced now - and you'd have spent less money!

    Especially of note is the i7-2700k - for gaming purposes, the difference between this and the much cheaper i5-2500k is negligible. The motherboard seems needlessly flash - does it really have features that you won't get on a P67 board of half the price that you will actually use? If not, then why spend that crazy amount. Equally, the sound card is top-end, Fatality branded etc - while a separate sound card is probably sensible, I'm not sure that it isn't well beyond what you need for gaming. I'd also question the need to double up on what is already a stupendously powerful graphics card - especially as SLI brings a whole host of headaches with it.

    Obviously, this is all your money to spend. If you want to have the flashiest, fastest, "coolest" kit, then go right ahead. If however your priority is playing the latest games smoothly, you're getting it all wrong - you should be spending much less now and saving more for upgrades or replacements in the future - because odds are in 18 months time, half as much money as this will buy kit that will easily outpace it.
    Hi CMaster - thanks for replying!

    I can appreciate that it always seems bonkers to spend this amount of money. What I want though is enough scope with this machine to potentially be doing development as well as playing games. Considering getting into doing some stuff with UDK etc and would want the processing power in-hand in case I needed it.

    I was debating going for 1 GTX580 initially then adding in later if I want more power, which might be more sensible. As for the motherboard - my choice was somewhat arbitrary. I noted it can hold 4 graphics cards and wanted that expandability.

    Oddly though I was thinking about whether I should look at i7-3000 series now though...

    Basically I want to be maxing games at 2560x1440 but also with some scope to do development work and possibly run my current monitor alongside. Perhaps it makes sense to go with 1 card for now for graphics.

    Equally, perhaps I do start out with on board sound and then upgrade that at a later date depending on how things pan out. One thing to note is that I don't own a TV so I use my PC for everything, so this will be turning into a full multimedia hub.
    Last edited by sejm; 08-01-2012 at 12:30 AM.

  4. #4
    That is definitely a crazy build. Crossfire can still be problematic, and a single 580 is more than good enough. Likewise, you won't be using the i7 or that amount of ram. That kind of hardware is meant for job-related stuff. An i5 2500 and 8gb ram would serve you just as well.

    But what the hell, here are some suggestions since you have the money!

    If you do intend to do some sort of graphics development in the future, you will probably want to get a seperate gpu for that. This is way out of my area of expertise, but I believe developers use cards like this one: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16814133324

    Also, if you have room to spare, get a full tower. The extra space makes cable management and swapping parts so much easier. I would actually recommend a full tower to anyone who has the space, they save a hilarious amount of time and twist ties.

    My room-mate had this Lian-Li, which was very nice to look at:http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811112343
    Or there is the HAF 932 which has a ridiculous video card fan: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811119160
    I have the Antec 1200, which frankly isn't all that great. Poor EMI shielding makes the front audio port useless and you have to unscrew 16 screws just to swap a hard drive.

  5. #5
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Instead of one big SSD I'd recommend getting multiple smaller ones of identical spec - the idea being you can put them into RAID and get better performance (http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/s...marks,120.html). You'll also find it may save you a bit of cash.

    I'd drop one of the graphics cards as they're simply unecessary these days. You can always buy another one later and crossfire it if it's chugging but tbh by the time you hit that point a new generation of cards will probably be available and you'll be better off just buying a new one.

    Onboard audio is more than good enough these days, if you're splashing out on a top range motherboard you'll find it'll probably have all the audio connectors you'd need... Unless you have a specific requirement for it, ditch the Creative card. As you say you can always get it later if it becomes a requirement.

  6. #6
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    So my current thinking is along these lines:


    • Crucial RealSSD M4 512GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CT512M4SSD2)
    • 1 x Gainward GeForce GTX 580 "Phantom" 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card / AMD Radeon HD7970
    • Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard
    • Intel Core i7-2700K 3.50GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - OEM
    • Corsair Professional Series AX1200 High Performance 1200W Modular '80 Plus Gold' Power Supply (CMPSU-1200AXUK)
    • Seagate 3TB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda XT Hard Drive - 7200RPM 64MB Cache
    • 2 x Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-15000C9 1866MHz Dual Channel Kit
    • LG BH10LS38 10x BluRay-RW / 16 x DVD±RW Lightscribe Drive - Black (OEM)



    So basically, depending on prices/availability of HD7970s I may consider that initially. I've swapped the 'green' drive for a Barracuda XT.

    I've also dropped the soundcard for the short term to see how I go with the onboard and also initially will stick with 1 GPU and see how that works.

    Next problem to face though is that of the case - I need something with enough expandability and space to make cable management simpler (being a first time build) but for certain reasons I don't want a HAF X.

    Any thoughts around cases? Unfortunately the Thermaltake Element V isn't sold in the UK for some reason which I do quite like the look of. Thinking perhaps the CM Storm Trooper. I'll take a look at the suggestions already made although I'm struggling to understand the difference between all these CoolerMaster cases at the moment.

    Also now ruled out 3930K/3960X chips as I just don't see how I would benefit from them at the moment, and the increase in power usage is something I would rather avoid for marginal performance gain.

    I'll consider the SSD RAID 1 situation but at the moment it would be at a premium to do that rather than just the 1 larger drive.

  7. #7
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    I'd suggest dropping the Blu-Ray drive. They're pretty unnecessary unless you're going to be watching Blu-Ray movies on your PC. Also, you could exchange the i7 for an i5-2500K and overclock the shit out of it. I've seen those chip reach 4.5GHz. You'll get similar performance and save about £80.

  8. #8
    Network Hub slick_101's Avatar
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    As you've got so much money to blow on a machine when it comes to cases you're easily looking at the top end stuff. so you could take a look at the Coolmaster Cosmos 2, Silverstone Temjin TJ11B or the Antec Lanboy as a curve ball
    Official RPS Thread argument catalyst.

  9. #9
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    I do like the look of the Cosmos II, very pretty indeed.

    Doesn't seem to be available anywhere until mid-February though!

    The BD drive is indeed so I can watch movies as I don't own a TV!

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sejm View Post
    I do like the look of the Cosmos II, very pretty indeed.

    Doesn't seem to be available anywhere until mid-February though!

    The BD drive is indeed so I can watch movies as I don't own a TV!
    Double check before buying an OEM drive for this. To watch Blu-Ray you need special software in addition to the special drive. OEM hardware often comes without any non-essential software (read: PowerDVD or whatever they call it these days), which is why it's cheaper.
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  11. #11
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    That's a good point Nullkigan...

    Thanks for the heads up.

    I have now finally received my refund from the machine I ordered in November last year, so I can start actually looking at ordering components!

  12. #12
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    So this is the "interim" build as it stands, pending pressing the various checkout buttons:

    Krypton Z68 600i Intel Core i5 2500K 3.30GHz @ 4.60GHz Overclocked Bundle £466.94 delivered:

    • Asus P8Z68-V PRO GEN3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard
    • Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (KHX1600C9D3X2K2/8GX)



    Asus 1GB GeForce GTX 560TI DirectCUII PCI-E Graphics Card £167.98

    Corsair HX850 PSU £124.99

    LG BH10LS38 BDRW Optical Drive (Retail) £64.99

    Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower Gaming Case £129.98
    WD 1.5TB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Caviar Black Hard Drive - 7200rpm 64MB Cache £133.12


    Total price: £1163.65

    For now I'm shelving the SSD, main graphics card and soundcard.

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