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Hello TPU! New member seeking advice: Now (3770K) & Then (FX-51)

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by nleksan, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. nleksan

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    Hello all, long time reader, first time poster :)

    I recently became a full-fledged member so that I could participate in these forums rather than simply read them, and I must say that I have learned a TON from you all! This is one of the friendliest "enthusiast-level PC" forums I have ever come across, and I am so happy to be a part of that now!

    The reason I am posting in this thread, apart from introducing myself, is twofold: 1) because I recently had the urge to pull out my first self-built PC from the dark corners of my electronics storage area and pull it apart to try and get it working again, and 2) because I am looking to be building a new PC, and have been for a while now (while waiting for funds to accumulate), and oh man have things changed in the past few years! I skipped the Core i3/5/7 generations (and thus the past few generations of everything else) due to being wrapped up in school and work, but I am ready to get back into the game. One of the main reasons I am trying to get my old rig back "online", so to speak, is to get back the "feel" of assembling, troubleshooting, and even modifying a PC.
    With the launch of the 7xxx Radeon series, the 6xx GeForce series, and the impending Z77 chipset AND the new Ivy Bridge 22nm Core i5/i7 chips, I feel as if my timing was quite good!

    So, to save space on the forum's servers, I am condensing two "threads" into one...

    First off, I would very much appreciate some thoughts, advice, tips, etc, on the new build I have planned for ~2mo after the widespread release of Ivy Bridge (here in the US). This will be my first water-cooled build in years (like, 4.5-5yrs) and the first H2O-rig that I have done entirely by my lonesome. I have been filling up my piggy bank (;)) and these are the basics of what I am looking to get, though it is not by any means a comprehensive list so any and all input would be very much welcome and appreciated!
    *Goals with the build are basically to make a high-end Gaming and HD Video/Audio (and photo to a smaller degree) Editing machine with a high-level of "future-proof-ness" (or as much as is possible) by allowing as much expansion as possible; I am also far more interested in Ivy Bridge than SB-E as I do not find the benefits of 6-Cores + Quad-Channel RAM to outweigh the costs in regards to the usage of the machine (a few seconds or minutes extra for HD Video Decoding/Encoding or Uncompressed Audio Editing is not worth the extra money to me).
    **I have been saving money for a while now (over 18mo) so do not factor in cost as the primary concern, although a better component for less is always okay with me :)


    "IVY BRIDGE-to-the-FUTURE" BUILD

    Primary Components:
    - Intel Core i7-3770K 4core/8thread CPU (hopefully OC'd to ~4800-5200MHz)
    - ASUS Maximus (V?) Z77 Motherboard - PCI-E3.0/USB3.0/SATA6Gbs/etc
    - 16GB (4x4GB-or-2x8GB) G.Skill DDR3-2133 RAM 10-11-10-30-1T
    - nVidia GTX680 2GB -OR- AMD/ATI Radeon HD7970 3GB
    - 1 GPU to start but SLI/CF-X will definitely be a future happening​
    - OCZ "Fatal1ty"(?) 1000W (-OR Seasonic 1200W) Modular PSU with Individually Sleeved Cables
    *Open to other suggestions for equal-or-better PSU but must be modular, fully-modular is a big bonus, as are sleeved cables, especially individually-sleeved - I HATE sleeving cables myself!​


    Secondary Components:
    - OCZ Vertex3 120GB Solid State Drive SATA6Gbs (hope to add a second for RAID0): OS
    - 2x Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB Hard Drives 7200RPM/64MB Cache (eventually will become 4x for 4TB RAID10 array): Storage
    -*Maybe* 1-2x WD Velociraptor 600GB 10,000RPM HDDs SATA6Gbs (RAID0 ideal): Games/AV Editing/Similar Software​
    - Slim Internal Blu-Ray Burner - SATA
    - Slim Internal DVD Burner - SATA (slim because I want 2 Optical Drives in one bay)
    - Slim Internal Multi-Card Reader (SD/SDHC/etc - pulling files from cameras and such)
    - High-End Audio Card (HT Omega Claro Halo?)


    Case:
    - CaseLabs M8/M10 with 85mm Extended Top (ventilated), Left Side Full Window, Right Side Ventilated, 2x Drive Bay "Kits" (2x 4-Bay kits), Casters, Fully Set-Up for potential Huge Water-cooling Capacity
    - I have been IN LOVE with this case since I first laid eyes on it, and I just cannot see myself building my "dream rig" in anything else; it is the only case I have ever seen that I truly believe will last a lifetime - PLUS I have seen some of their work in the Medical Field, and it is ASTONISHING (my field is Psychopharmacology)​
    *Cable management will be important, esp on MoBo side due to window


    Cooling:
    *I want my water-cooling system to be as modular as possible so that I can continue to add to it as I go; cooling>noise to me but PWM would be really nice for fans/pumps when high-quality sound is needed
    - CPU Waterblock (Swiftech Apogee - the newest one - seems the best to me?)
    - GPU Full-Cover Waterblock (Swiftech?)
    - Chipset Waterblock (xxx?)
    - 2x 360mm Radiators mounted internally (Swiftech? DD? XSPC?)
    - 12x 120mm Fans for Push-Pull on both Radiators (Cougar? DELTA???)
    - 3x120mm Radiator Shrouds (ideally for both sides of each radiator if it will fit)​
    - 2x Pumps - internal (Swiftech MCP355X2? seems excellent to me... Redundancy is something I live by)
    - 2x Reservoirs - internal (Swiftech MCR35 Reservoir? The cylindrical ones that mount atop the pumps?)
    - 1/2"ID (3/4"OD) UV-Reactant Tubing (the highest-quality available)
    - Anti-Kink Wound-Wire Metal Tubing thingamajigs
    - 1/2"ID Barbs and Quick Disconnects
    * I have also considered getting a "chiller"... but I am leaning towards a more traditional setup


    Case Fans:
    - 6x 120/140mm Front Intake Fans, 2-6x 120/140mm Bottom Intake Fans, 4x 120/140mm Rear Exhaust Fans, 3-6x Side Intake Fans (?), 2-3x 120/140mm HDD/SDD Fans, wherever else I can fit them... (rads will be in the 85mm "upper chamber", both sides, and will exhaust upwards so that's essentially 6+6 more exhaust fans)
    - Fan Grills: Metal "Standard-type" (looks like a bulls-eye...) for Case Intake/Radiator Exhaust fans
    - 2x Fan Controllers (one for H2O, the other for Case Fans)
    - I am thinking Cougar fans for everything but maybe radiators, in which case PWM Delta Fans would have huge static pressure and CFM compensating for the higher amount of intake vs exhaust fans in the case (plan to mount with rubber/silicone mounts and pads)
    - I do not expect to get them all at once, but rather start with a good amount and build from there, stopping when the returns become nil

    I have begun collecting bits and pieces, and some of the above are things I already own (peripherals, smaller stuff), and I plan to grab stuff as it goes on sale over the next 60-90 days (say, Shell-shocker Deal at the Egg or Clearance at Microcenter). I am hoping that the release of Kepler cards will push down the ATI/AMD ones, which will make everything go down in the GPU world, and I also have been watching as HDD prices seem to be (slowly) declining as the tragedy in Taiwan is cleaned up and factories restored. I have also been noticing some crazy deals on Solid State Drives, with High-End ones like the Vertex 3 being ~$1.00/GB and mid-range like the Agility 3 being ~$0.80/GB...
    SEEMS TO BE A GOOD TIME TO LIKE PC's!!

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and I very much appreciate ANY and ALL input and advice you may have!
    I will be posting another thread, as I have decided to try and get my first self-built rig (AMD FX-51/ASUS SK8V/ATI X800XT-PE/1GB Corsair XMS3200R/Thermaltake XaserV/etc) back up and running, both for nostalgia and for practice! After taking apart the PC, though, I am strongly considering springing for a ~$75-or-less case as the older Thermaltake one only holds 80mm fans and has terrible ergonomics... Anyway, since this thread is so long, I'll make that a separate one.

    Again, THANK YOU!

    Sincerely,
    nleksan




    PS: If anyone has an old Socket-940/-939 AMD FX-53-to-67 board/CPU they want to sell, I WILL BUY IT!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
    MT Alex says thanks.
  2. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Welcome.


    I think the proposed build is interesting, but it could use a little trimming back.

    1) 4.8 to 5.0 GHz might be feasible on IB, but we do not know. There are some SB processors that clock this high, but not all of them. Only time will tell...
    2) Good lord that's a lot of power. I'm running a 6870, 2500k combination with three HDDs, 2 ODDs, and six fans without any issues on a Corsair 650 watt supply. Save some money of that PSU!
    3) Best of luck on the motherboard. The Z77 chipset sounds like it will make some improvements, but the cost decrease of Z68 will make them a steal.
    4) Why stay with ATI? If Nvidea beats ATI out on performance and price there is no reason to stick with them. This is, by the way, coming from a person who hasn't owned an Nvidea card in nearly a decade.


    The only substantial improvements socket 2011 offer are more PCI-e lanes, more cores, and more RAM channels. It might be worth looking into the "locked" quad core if you want a similar price as the high end 1155 socket processors, with access to all of these expansion features from 2011.
     
  3. NHKS

    NHKS New Member

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    as lilhasselhoffer said, u could trim back on the 1000+W PSU to 850W; unless ..
    u plan to use 3,4 GPUs in SLI/CFX.. and for that u ll need the PCI lanes(x16,x8,x8 or x8,x8,x8,x8) which Ivy Bridge(16 PCI-E 3.0 & 8 PCI-E 2.0) inherently will not have.. but there will be some high end Z77 boards with bridge chips to support 3/4 way GPU builds.. also I am not sure if Asus has shown the Maximus V Extreme yet.. they have only shown the Formula & Gene..
    among the 4-way SLI/CFX boards that will come in Z77, one is the Asus P8Z77 WS..
    U could also go for the X79 based boards .. but i would recommend this platform 'only' if u go with 6-core/8-core CPUs and more than 32GB RAM and i guess u dont need them.. so, Z77 would be good enough..

    Caselabs cases are great!(but i cant afford them :().. also, u might want to check out this thread..
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  4. MT Alex

    MT Alex

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    Welcome:toast:

    I'd recommend the Swiftech MCP-35X pumps over the 355s for two reasons. First the 35X is PWM controlled which is outstanding, and secondly it beats the 355 in flow and head. I can't say enough good things about my 35X. Also, all swifty pumps have an impeller that rotates on a ceramic shaft, and are rated for 50,000 hours, so there really is no need for a redundant pump, unless you are planning on two separate loops. I don't really see how that would be necessary, however, and can often times lead to a more congested looking build. You definitely picked a case that could successfully pull it off, though. Kudos to that choice.
     
    NHKS says thanks.
  5. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Welcome to TPU! Since you're getting a beast of a GPU, I take it that this will be a gaming rig and your primary focus is gaming.

    It's called preference. Someone might like AMD's image quality and the features that the video card supports more than nVidia. The 7970 is still a perfectly capable card, releasing the GTX 680 hasn't changed that, it just gave nVidia a compete option.

    From my experience, I've had better luck with ATi/AMD video cards so I tend to lean that way.

    Radeons I've owned: 9200 SE, x300 SE, x800 GT, HD 4850, HD 6870
    nVidia cards I've owned: MX 4000, 6800 OC, 7900 GT, 8600 GTS

    None of the AMD/ATi cards were DOA or ever died on me, where the MX 4000 was DOA and the 7900 GT had to be RMAed because video memory started to fail. Which was funny because it was generating rainbow colored blotches on my display. I kind of stopped getting nVidia cards after the 7900 GT since it was the second to not work for me, so until AMD gives me a dud, I'm still going to lean AMD.
     
  6. nleksan

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    Thanks everyone for the warm welcomes! I am glad to have joined.

    I want to clarify a bit on my plans for this build. I intend to begin the build hopefully around June, and initially it will consist of the Case Labs M8/M10, Z77 Board (really hoping for the Z77 Maximus as I love the features of the line and have always had great experience with Asus), Ivy Bridge 3770K, 16-32GB RAM (price depending), either GTX680 or HD7970, PSU, etc. It will also begin with water cooling, but I feel that having a "modular" and easily-built-upon setup is key as I want to be able to easily integrate more GPUs/etc into the system.

    Thanks for the link to the Case Labs build, that is actually one of the builds I have drooled over the most! I am torn, though, between the M8 (MB-side Window, full ventilation, 85mm vent top, 2x 4way drive bays) and the larger M10 with the same options... I don't see myself needing more than 2x 360mm + 2x 240mm Radiators at the most, but the M10 would allow for far more options in size/mounting/layout (not to say that the M8 is really limited in any way!). I honestly can't make up my mind.

    Thanks also for the advice regarding the MCP35X, I will certainly take that into consideration. My reasoning for the dual-pump (with a Swiftech cylinder reservoir mounted on top) is that it adds a large degree of safety from pump failure, like a RAID1 for water cooling lol, while also being significantly more powerful with higher resistance loops as I imagine mine will be. I am less concerned about how the pump looks as it may very well be mounted on the PSU side of the case, with 1/2"I'D tubing running to the CPU (Apogee, the newest version), then possibly splitting to the GPU and Chipset before hitting the 360 rad and returning to the reservoir. In the end, it would be my goal to have a dual-loop system, with CPU/Chipset on one and 2-4 GPUs/(RAM?) on the other. I don't know yet, however, which is why a modular system is very much appealing to me.
    I have been "out of the game" for a while when it comes to H2O though so please correct me if I'm wrong about anything :)

    I really have no preference for ATI or nVidia, I did used to be an ATI/AMD fanboy, and I am actually trying to get my FX-51/SK8V/X800XT-PE rig up and running again :)
    However, that system was built when AMD and ati had just grabbed the performance crown, but since then the race has gone from close (Phenom II vs C2D/C2Q) to not even...
    So, if Intel and nVidia performs better, especially for the price, I am going with them.

    Thanks again everyone for your help.
     
  7. nleksan

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    Oh, I forgot to add one thing (and I am typing this from my phone so I apologize for not editing my prior post)...

    By going with a 1kW-1.2kW PSU, either the new "Fatality" or a Corsair/Seasonic, I would be getting an 80+ Digest Gold or Platinum rated unit, and even though it may be a little while before I use most of the provided power it is my understanding that the unit would actually be MORE efficient by only using say 1/3 of its output. I don't fully understand the concept at work, I am in biochemical engineering (psychopharmacology) not electrical or mechanical engineering, so please correct me if I'm wrong about that. It would also seem to me that the life of the unit would be greater if it is not being pushed, like a 750W or similar would be under the same conditions (overclocked and with two dozen fans and water cooling)? Or am I way off base?
    Thanks :)
     
  8. ShiBDiB

    ShiBDiB

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    It's my understanding that unless your overdrawing your power supply then its expected lifetime isnt going to change.
     
  9. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    You're are right, but the differences between loads as low as 15% will have a similar efficiency all the way up to almost max where a good PSU which with the right specs on the PSU should never deteriorate during normal use (no over-draw,) should cause the PSU to fail. I'm personally have had great luck with Corsair and Seasonic. I had a good 550-watt BFG, but that is a company that is (and has been) no more.

    Also how gung-ho are you planning on making this build? 32gb on 4 slots could get expensive. Have you considered an LGA2011 platform with a 3820. Keep in mind that SB/IVB are still technically main-stream chips, regardless of how fast they are. There aren't a ton of benefits but if Hardware Canucks weren't having trouble I would post the comparison graph with the 2600k against the 3820. It's about the same, but the 3820 always (excepts for two games,) always seems to inch ahead of the 2600k. I've been very happy with my setup, and I'm glad I didn't go with SB or wait for IVB.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  10. nleksan

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    Thank you for the advice. The only thing really keeping me from SBE is the seemingly limited upgrade path of the socket 2011 platform... I went through such an ordeal with my first build (bought a socket940 FX-51 the day of its release...), and the extra cost doesn't necessarily seem to reflect equivalent performance gains unless going with at least a 3930K... The main draw of the platform is the 6 core processors, but that adds enough money to the build that I could otherwise spend on a second top-of-the-line GPU... Hence my feeling conflicted.
     
  11. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Ok, basic tutorial on the electronics side:

    Switching mode power supplies have an efficiency bell curve. The rating system rates efficiency at various levels, but what is tested is percentage of rated draw. The "Sweet spot" is where a power supply is most efficient.

    For sample efficiency curves check out this article on Anand Tech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2624/3

    Now, a power supply's lifetime is not rated based upon amount of wattage drawn, because the real killer is the high frequency shifting that damages a power supply (if it is within rated wattage draw). A 900 watt rated power supply will last, assuming everything else being equal, just as long in a system that draws 100 watts as it will in a system that draws 750 watts. The caveat is that a system that draws 925 watts will either damage the power supply quickly, or cause immediate shutdown of the PSU.


    So, back to the original point. A system with 12 fans ( 12 volts, 1/3 amp), SB processor (95 Watts), ATX motherboard (150 Watts), an HDD (12 colts 1/2 amp), an SSD ( 12 volts 0.2 amp), high end graphics (150 Watts) and a substantial water pump (60 watts) only comes out to using about 520 Watts. If we assume that the highest efficiency occurs at about 2/3 rated draw, you'd want a 750 Watt PSU. If you're going to be adding a second card, you'll want an 850 Watt unit.

    Put concisely, if you're getting IB then you shouldn't need more than 850 Watts. If you're looking at SB-E, then it's a different story. A 130 Watt TDP and extra power draw for the motherboard means a 1000+ Watt PSU is reasonable.
     
  12. nleksan

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    Wow thank you so much for taking the time to explain that for me! I do feel like I understand it much better now, although clearly I have a lot to learn yet.
    To add to your calculated power draw, I will certainly be overclocking the CPU, GPUs, RAM, and thus the Chipset which I believe increases the power draw/requirements significantly based on my reading. Also, I will likely be running a RAID10 array (4x 1-2TB WD Cav Black 7200rpm) for video/audio/photo storage, a RAID0 array of Vertex3/4 SSDs for applications that benefit from the speed boost (OS with backup on the RAID10 array, audio editing programs, Photoshop, games, etc), and possibly a pair of WD Velociraptor 10krpm 600GB drives for the stuff in-between (current projects, most games, etc).
    I also plan to make use of, most like 2, optical drives and I would like to use 2x "slim" drives so as to fit both of them into one 5.25 bay (one Blu-Ray burner, one Blu-Ray reader/DVD+ CD burner). The reason for the slim drives is that with the storage drives taking up so much space, I would like to minimize the ODD footprint to allow for a fan controller (daisy-chain radiator fans and have one knob per rad, and then the case fans), and also possibly use a 5.25 bay or two to hold a pump if I don't get the Swiftech cylinder reservoir mounted on top of the pump.
    I am considering using Delta PWM's 120mm for the radiators, but I don't know yet because I would need a way to insulate the area due to sound. I don't mind 35-40db but for audio, I don't want to lose sound fidelity from my speakers due to the massive whoosh of air from the case top.

    I appreciate the assistance, as I really want to get it right from the start so I can build on it without having to change much if anything. I am really excited about the Case Labs M8/M10 for that reason. I may be leaning towards the M10 now due to the extra PCI-E slots as well as the larger rad support, although I would stick with the same options I originally mentioned, including the 85mm vented top. If the M10 is indeed the route I choose, I will be much more inclined to do a dual-loop setup as I am looking for max cooling above all else, and having 2 dual-pump assemblies, 2 reservoirs, and up to 4 rads (2x360-480mm + 2x140-240mm) all in push/pull would seem to be able to cool everything (say, 5.2ghz i7, Chipset, 3 GTX680 full-coverage, and maybe even RAM but probably not the ram), and redundancy makes me feel so much safer. I realize that the cost:performance ratio would not be favorable, but the performance/reliability ratio would be, and with so much nice equipment, it is worth it to me if only for the peace of mind.
     

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