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 Post subject: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:22 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:03 am
Posts: 1
Approximate Purchase Date: 2-4 weeks (or until specific items become available e.g samsung 840 pro ssd)

Budget Range: ~$3000AUD but don't really have a set limit

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming at highest settings for present and future games at 1920x1080 and possibly higher

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: Building a New PC

Do you need to buy OS: No (But may receive free Windows 8 Pro, and yes I know and agree its balls)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.pccasegear.com

Location: Melbourne,Victoria,Australia

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe, but would like to have the option and capability

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, if its needed please refer to my long list of (noob) questions below

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (possibly 2560 x 1600,but again this is one of my numerous questions)

Additional Comments: I generally play a whole range of game genres but mainly RPG and FPS, and once again would like the system to be able to play such games at max settings for at least a few years

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I've never had a desktop pc, but I've built countless pcs for other ppl as a job and favour for friends, but haven't done so in over 2 years (which is why I need advice)


Current List of Researched Part Options:
I have very limited experienced in selecting pc parts I've done considerable research, and while I'm willing to spend a considerable amount of money, I want to make sure that its not wasted and spent on the better products. I have compiled an initial list of possible parts but need help narrowing it down and advice on whether I have overlooked some products or something.
The option/part that I'm leaning towards will be highlighted in green.

Case - Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition/NZXT Pantom 820 Case White/Coolermaster Haf X nVidia Edition $279/$265/$219
Power Supply - Corsair TX-750 V2/Corsair Ax750 Gold $141/$215
Motherboard - Asus Sabertooth Z77/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5-TH/Asus Maximus V Extreme/Asus P8Z77-V Premium $249/$455/$315/$445/$495
CPU - Intel Core i5 3570k $233
CPU Cooler - Corsair Hydro Series H100/CoolerMaster TPC 812 + Artic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $145/$75+$9
Memory - Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A2133C10 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3/Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 $209/$99
Solid State Drive - Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD Retail Box/Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD $209/(?)[Maybe~$280]
Hard Drive - Western Digital WD Black 2TB WD2002FAEX $175
Optical Drive - Lite-On IHES312 12X Blu-Ray DVD Combo Drive $55
[color-#FF0000]Graphics Card[/color] - 2 or 1(Refer to Questions) EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB FTW/EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB FTW SIG2/ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 2GB/MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition OC 2GB (Maybe 2x) $499/(?)[Maybe~$579]/$455/$479


As I said before I need advice on which parts to get and whether they are even all compatible, and would really appreciate it if you provided your thoughts and suggestions. Below will be a (long) list of questions I have and feel free suggest other parts besides those I have selected.

Questions:
1. Which Case would you recommend? (Please bear in mind that while I'm primarily looking for great cooling and features, I also want it to look good)
2.(a) Which Power Supply would you recommend? (I can't decide whether to get a fully modular power supply or not.)
2.(b) Is 750W enough if I get two graphics cards and overlock, or should I get 850W or even more?
3.(a) Which Motherboard would you recommend?
3.(b) Is there any point getting a thunderbolt board in preparation for the future, or am I just wasting my money?
4. Which CPu Cooler would you recommend? (Is the H100 overkill?)
5. Which Memory Kit would you recommend? (Is there no difference between 2133mHz and 1600mHz for me and is 2133mHZ therefore a waste of money?)
6. Which SSD would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the 840 Pro the only issue is when it will be available for me to purchase. So is it worth waiting and will it be much longer?)
7.(a) Which Graphics Card would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the EVGA GTX 670 FTW, my main problem is whether the Signature II Edition is much better to justify waiting untill mainstream consumers can get their hands on it and paying more?)
7.(b) Should I get one or two graphics cards? (In other words, should I just get 1 now as that will be enough for todays games, and then get another in the future when I need it and it's cheaper?)
8. Do I need additionally cooling such as extra case fans or liquid cooling systems for the graphics cards and what not?


That concludes the extensive list of questions and please try to answer with numbers as it'll make it that much easier to read and understand your opinions. (Of course this doesn't apply if your also providing general system and parts advice)

A big thanks in advance to all the considerate individuals who sacrifice some of their valuable time to (read this long ass post) and help me out.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:49 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:43 am
Posts: 67
Here are my thougts

1) I'd go with the Coolermaster HAF X because the airflow and space it provides a lot space for routing your cables. All the cases are solid and offer pretty much all the same features so you could go with any of them. I own a CoolerMaster HAF 922 myself so that's I lean towards it more than the others.

2) I prefer a fully modular powersupply over a standard one because it makes cable routing a lot easier. You should probably go with a 850 Watt powersupply if you plan on overclocking or if you plan running two 670's in SLI.

3) A) I would reccomend the ASUS sabertooth if your not going to need any of the extra features that the other boards provide. The higher boards you picked out can run overclocked RAM to 2800MHz speeds and offer thunderbolt ports. You probably won't use these features so the higher end boards really won't provide you much of a performance increase. All of the boards are also SLI and Crossfire capable and that seems to be the only feature you'll need in the board and they all have USB 3.0 so just save your money.
3) B) You could get one of the boards with a thunderbolt port but right now there is almost no hardware that uses thunderbolt so you wouldn't use its' interface. It will probably take a very long time before it becomes mainstream and people actually start using it. I would save your money and go with the sabertooth because the 200 dollars you'll save you could put towards another video card.

4) The H100 is a very solid CPU cooler just as a reference I use a Corsair H50 on have my home system overclocked and I have my processor overclocked to 4.5GHz which is a i7 2700K. If your not going to overclock past 5GHz then go with the heatsink. Heatsinks are also a better option if you like having your computer on 24/7 since I've heard of people's liquid cooling leaking after they have had it on for a few weeks straight.

5) You probably won't notice the difference between 1600MHz and 2133MHz so I would go with 1600MHz, but if you want get certain timings then you might want to go with 2133MHZ.

6) I recommend the 840 and it will be released tomorrow according to Newegg. I have a 830 and have had it for almost a year and a half and it's blazing fast.

7) I'd go with the 670 FTW edition because it will be able to run every game you throw at it on Max settings easily if your going to be running at 2560x1600 then get two of them because you'll need the power at that res.

8 You won't need really any extra cooling fans, since all the cases you have chosen all have more then adequate fan systems, already installed in them.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:42 pm 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
darktransition wrote:
Budget Range: ~$3000AUD but don't really have a set limit


7 words of wisdom...

Wait for Haswell and get a CaseLabs


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:50 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5529
kleinkinstein wrote:
Wait for Haswell and get a CaseLabs

Why Case Labs? They just look like upmarketed (for consumers, anyway) server cases. I mean sure, if you have more money than you know what to do with, it's something you can consider. But you may as well get a Level 10 or a TJ09 while you're at it.

And they look aesthetically fugly.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:14 am 
Clawhammer
Clawhammer
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:22 pm
Posts: 4406
Location: In the closet
I suppose, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. But more so these are friggin tanks. The fit, finish, engineering, QC, material and craftsmanship make the silly marked-up boxes imported from China and Taiwan (Lian Li and Silverstone) look comical.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:37 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5529
kleinkinstein wrote:
I suppose, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. But more so these are friggin tanks. The fit, finish, engineering, QC, material and craftsmanship make the silly marked-up boxes imported from China and Taiwan (Lian Li and Silverstone) look comical.

Why do you need a case built like a tank? Are you going to move somewhere? Are you going to transport it in a mobile server? Material? It's made out of aluminum, like everything else on the market (at least, primarily).

The Silverstone I own is a very nice case. And how exactly do they look comical? I think some of those CaseLabs cases look silly with its unnecessary thickness and with some of them having 4 fan mounts with 8 fans on a radiator. You want comical? The original Level 10 is lolwut.

Anyway

Op, your selections look good. I would suggest though the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition for consideration, since AMD dropped the price and the most recent drivers for it bring its price/performance ratio even further than the GTX 670 at times.

As for your other questions:
Quote:
1. Which Case would you recommend? (Please bear in mind that while I'm primarily looking for great cooling and features, I also want it to look good)

If you want my opinion, I like Silverstone. If you can manage the clearance issue with the top 5.25" bay, the FT02 is a solid case. Clearance issue being that a regular DVD drive will have about a half inch or so before it hits the lower expansion slot area.

Quote:
2.(a) Which Power Supply would you recommend? (I can't decide whether to get a fully modular power supply or not.)

Seasonic. Always. If you can't find it for some reason, other brands I would go to are Antec and Corsair.

Quote:
2.(b) Is 750W enough if I get two graphics cards and overlock, or should I get 850W or even more?

That might be good for SLI or Crossfire. I'd feel more comfortable with a 800W.

Spoiler: show
3.(b) Is there any point getting a thunderbolt board in preparation for the future, or am I just wasting my money?

Currently there's no point in getting Thunderbolt. As a data only interface, the only thing that uses it right now for such is hard drives, which USB3.0 does a good job at providing enough bandwidth already. For a data + display interface on a laptop, it makes more sense. You can daisy chain your displays and an external hard drive and connect it to one cable to your laptop. But on a desktop... I don't really see a point.

Quote:
4. Which CPu Cooler would you recommend? (Is the H100 overkill?)

Cooler Master Hyper 212. H100 is if you plan on heavy overclocking... but even then coolers like the 212 can handle the task just fine even at an overclock to 4.2GHz

Quote:
5. Which Memory Kit would you recommend? (Is there no difference between 2133mHz and 1600mHz for me and is 2133mHZ therefore a waste of money?)

However much you need in DDR3-1600 at most. Most programs don't gain any performance when you increase the RAM speed. Not to mention, you don't even get that speed from the get go, you have to tell it in BIOS.

Quote:
6. Which SSD would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the 840 Pro the only issue is when it will be available for me to purchase. So is it worth waiting and will it be much longer?)

I'm all for Samsung 830s if you can find them. If you can't wait for the 840s, Intel's 330s are also good.
Quote:
7.(a) Which Graphics Card would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the EVGA GTX 670 FTW, my main problem is whether the Signature II Edition is much better to justify waiting untill mainstream consumers can get their hands on it and paying more?)
7.(b) Should I get one or two graphics cards? (In other words, should I just get 1 now as that will be enough for todays games, and then get another in the future when I need it and it's cheaper?)

I'm partial to EVGA, but ASUS is also a good brand to go to. The 670 for sure, however, as mentioned, AMD dropped the price of the 7970 GHz Edition. So if you want price/performance, that goes to the 7970 now. But I don't think it's as drastic as say the price/performance ratio of the 670 versus the 680 (the 680 is a tough sell because it performs 10% better, but costs 25% more)

You only need two graphics cards if you're pushing higher than 1920x1200. Or if you're using two higher mid-range cards. One is fine for 24" monitors and below.

Quote:
8. Do I need additionally cooling such as extra case fans or liquid cooling systems for the graphics cards and what not?

No. Liquid cooling is very hard for me to recommend, since you'll need to spend at least $200 on a full kit for one card, and assuming decent cooling at 25C ambient, you'll be dropping like maybe 10C-15C. Plus, it's also hard to get rid of the card if you ever want to upgrade. Case fans perhaps, if there's a spot next to the graphics card and it should be pointing in.

I suppose the 10-15C drop is nice, but keep in mind of the other things you have to worry about when having a liquid cooling setup. Not to mention your graphics cards are probably going to sit idle most of the time anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Lots of Advice on ~$3000 Gaming PC Build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:53 pm 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:24 pm
Posts: 286
My turn!

darktransition wrote:
...The option/part that I'm leaning towards will be highlighted in green.

Case - Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition/NZXT Pantom 820 Case White/Coolermaster Haf X nVidia Edition $279/$265/$219...

Is it just me? Or are the colors anti-helpful?
darktransition wrote:
1. Which Case would you recommend? (Please bear in mind that while I'm primarily looking for great cooling and features, I also want it to look good)

Yeah beauty is up to you. Imho, a pretty thorough mothod in finding the perfect case is the following. Look for ones that have USB 3.0 front connections. That way, you ensure a newer case. Add any other features you are interested in (i.e. washable filters). Then select what looks good to you. Google "official" reviews and read user reviews on the Egg. Google models on forum sites (there are threads dedicated to popular cases). This could be tedious or simple - it's up to you.

darktransition wrote:
2.(a) Which Power Supply would you recommend? (I can't decide whether to get a fully modular power supply or not.)
2.(b) Is 750W enough if I get two graphics cards and overlock, or should I get 850W or even more?

I concur with LatiosXT - Seasonic if possible (within budget). Power PC & Cooling, Corsair, Antec, and other brands are solid as well. Fully modular only if space is an issue imho. Otherwise, why pay the premium since once you install it, being modular matters little in performance. Depending on the GPUs and overclock, 750 watts will probably be enough - specifically it's enough for a typical GTX 670 SLI. That said, I'd suggest going above and beyond to 850 watts because prices won't be significantly different and to ensure years of solid performance.
darktransition wrote:
3.(a) Which Motherboard would you recommend?
3.(b) Is there any point getting a thunderbolt board in preparation for the future, or am I just wasting my money?

Among your choice of mobos:
Asus Sabertooth Z77/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7/Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5-TH/Asus Maximus V Extreme/Asus P8Z77-V Premium $249/$455/$315/$445/$495
Do you require the features on any of them? For example, your preferred board is about $400 USD. It's expensive because it is an extended-ATX form factor, seems intended for tri or quad-SLI and has six 6 GB/s SATA ports. If you do not anticipate needs for those features, you might be able to substitute it with something like a GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H at about $150 USD. And Thunderbolt ain't needed.
darktransition wrote:
4. Which CPu Cooler would you recommend? (Is the H100 overkill?)

I wouldn't say it's necessarily overkill, but it might not be most appropriate for your needs. It's big and doesn't fit in all cases easily. It's also expensive and may perform about the same or even slightly worse than high-end air coolers that cost less. Google reviews and judge for yourself.
darktransition wrote:
5. Which Memory Kit would you recommend? (Is there no difference between 2133mHz and 1600mHz for me and is 2133mHZ therefore a waste of money?)

Yes, from what I know 2133 RAM is almost always unecessary. Iirc, I've read that 1866 RAM tops out most real-world performance gains. 2133 RAM provides so little extra performance at such a high extra cost. And the performance gains only show up in benches, so what's the point unless that's the point? Stick with decent 1600 RAM for gaming.
darktransition wrote:
6. Which SSD would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the 840 Pro the only issue is when it will be available for me to purchase. So is it worth waiting and will it be much longer?)

Imho, any Samsung, Intel or Plextor is an excellent choice. I don't believe the performance difference between an 830 and 840 are worth any significant premium in cost.
darktransition wrote:
7.(a) Which Graphics Card would you recommend? (I'm heavily leaning towards the EVGA GTX 670 FTW, my main problem is whether the Signature II Edition is much better to justify waiting untill mainstream consumers can get their hands on it and paying more?)
7.(b) Should I get one or two graphics cards? (In other words, should I just get 1 now as that will be enough for todays games, and then get another in the future when I need it and it's cheaper?)

Imho, at 1920 x 1080/1200, a GTX 670 is a great choice. The performance difference between the different versions is not usually so significant that it warrants a huge price difference though. I like LatiosXT's suggestion for a Radeon 7970 also, especially if you are considering 2560 x 1600.
At either of the resolutions, my preference would be for a single GPU.
darktransition wrote:
8. Do I need additionally cooling such as extra case fans or liquid cooling systems for the graphics cards and what not?

Extra case fans will depend on your case, but you probably will not need, need them. At least for right off the bat and until you start overclocking and tweaking. Liquid cooling for GPUs is... complicated.


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