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[WIP] New Gaming rig in time for Skyrim

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by theeldest, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. theeldest

    theeldest

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    [WIP => COMPLETE] New Gaming rig in time for Skyrim

    Final Config
    Mobo: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA ...
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Tu...
    HSF: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DD...
    SSD (cache): Intel 311 Series Larsen Creek 20GB 2.5" SATA II SL...
    SSD (apps): OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III...
    HDD (RAID10): Recertified: Western Digital Caviar Blue RFHWD6400...
    GPUs: 2x MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB ...
    PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 85...
    Case: Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black Aluminu...
    Intake Fans: Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler and Case Fan
    Exhaust Fans: Noctua NF-S12B FLX 120mm, 3 Speed Setting, Beveled...


    Short Story: Everything is working! Yaa!!


    Original Post

    Hey Folks,

    I'm in the process of putting a new system together.

    Here's what I've already settled on:
    Case: (Antec P183) Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black Aluminu...
    PSU: (Seasonic 650W 80+ Gold) SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 ...
    Memory: (2x4GB @ 1866 MHz & CAS 9) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR...
    Mobo: ASUS Crosshair V Formula
    CPU: TBD
    GPU: 6950 or 7000 series if available before November.
    SSD: OCZ Agility3 120GB
    HDD: 2x Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB in RAID1
    DVD: Gearhead DVD +/- RW
    HSF: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler


    So here's the short story: I have the case, I am 100% on the PSU, SSD & HDD. I don't care about the optical drive and memory will be best available when I get CPU and Mobo (though I have a preference for G.Skill)

    CPU and Mobo: I'm 95% sure I'll be going bulldozer. That last 5% is in case AMD screws something up royally. I don't expect the same performance as i7 but I'm expecting the i5 Sandy Bridge range with AMD needing to drop the price to be competitive. I'm ok with that.


    UPDATE:

    I've added links as I've made decisions.


    Update 2
    So I'm about 99% sure on going Intel at this point. And it's not even due to performance considerations but to the SSD caching on the new Z68 chipset. I like the convenience factor. Using a very expensive computer should be easy.

    So here's the component list:

    Mobo: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 SATA ...
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Tu...
    HSF: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DD...
    SSD (cache): Intel 311 Series Larsen Creek 20GB 2.5" SATA II SL...
    SSD (apps): OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III...
    HDD (RAID10): Recertified: Western Digital Caviar Blue RFHWD6400...
    GPUs: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Radeon HD 6950 2GB ...
    PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 85...
    Case: Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black Aluminu...
    Intake Fans: Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler and Case Fan
    Exhaust Fans: Noctua NF-S12B FLX 120mm, 3 Speed Setting, Beveled...

    Router: ASUS RT-N16 Wireless Router 802.11b/g/n up to 300M...
    WiFi Card: ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n PCI...


    Some background:

    As I said in the first post, I own the case and DVD drive already. I'd originally been planning to use a couple of the Samsung 2TB drives in RAID1 for the primary array. After some though I decided to upgrade my file server with 2TB drives and use 4 of the 640 drives in a RAID10 setup.

    I'll use the 20GB Intel SSD to accelerate that drive. Additionally, I'll use the 120GB Agility SSD that I already own to install applications/games on. This has the benefit of giving consistent great performance to the programs I know I'll use, and giving a boost to everything else that I use somewhat frequently.


    I'm pretty well set on all of the hardware but I'd appreciate any feedback. I obviously can't think of everything and if it looks like I missed something, please point it out.
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  2. headshot119 New Member

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    If you want near silence cooling get a corsair H50. Might be a little more expensive than an air cooler, but it'll also run everything nice and cold.
  3. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Changes

    Should this move to the project log section?

    Anyway, update time!

    I made a change to the secondary HDDs. I'll be doing dual Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB drives in a RADI1 setup. I've gotten pretty anal and paranoid over the years and really want to ensure that photos of my family are kept safe. So RAID1 on the desktop, it backups nightly to a NAS, and we upload any good photos to a 'cloud' photo sharing site. (other important documents--ie tax returns--get e-mailed to me and the wife).

    I had to deliberate over 5400 RPM vs 7200 RPM and decided that as a 'data' drive is mostly sequential and I'll have a decent sized SSD, the cost/energy/heat savings of the 5400 RPM will be welcome.


    Regarding additional Case Fans
    I'm aiming for quiet. This is what I'm looking at so far: Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler and Case Fan

    Any thoughts? I may replace the two included fans if they end up being too loud. I've read a few reviews that say the top fan in the P183 is louder than it should be.


    The H50 by Corsair is a nice idea and definitely up for consideration. One obvious advantage is that any CPU heat is directly exhausted from the case without adding to the internal temperatures.


    Any other recommendations to keep the system cool and quiet? (I'm not overclocking).
  4. Zyon

    Zyon New Member

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    Zalman has a long time reputation for making really good CPU fan, check their products out.

    Judging by how you're choosing supposedly best of the best of each part, when Bulldozer comes out make sure you get a board with SLI or CrossfireX so you can add another card later for even better performance.
  5. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Zalman has been on my short list for years now though I've always done stock HSF until this build.

    If I go Zalman it'd probably be this model:
    ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LE...

    The only thing I don't like about it is the proprietary fan. If/When it starts making noise/wearing out it's much more difficult to replace. Anyone use this? Is this even a valid worry?


    I'm also looking at this Noctua:
    Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

    The only thing I don't like about this one is the color of the fans (I've got a vain streak). Those at least can be painted.
  6. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Update:
    I've decided on a motherboard. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula. I'm also painting the inside of my case black (with a few red accents).

    This leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I need an ATI 6950 2GB that is Red and/or Black and I need to figure out how to paint the fans on the Noctua.

    Ideas?
  7. CrackerJack

    CrackerJack

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    nice build, only one suggestion.. i would go with this PSU
    I love mine, Cheaper/Plenty of Power/Recommend by Us :laugh:
  8. DaedalusHelios

    DaedalusHelios

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    why not bd rom?
    Why wait for bulldozer? I am assuming bulldozer will be slower than Sandy bridge. I wouldn't any company's R&D department to catch up with being behind a year or greater in tech in one release. Possible but highly unlikely.
  9. theeldest

    theeldest

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    So, I'm still waiting on Bulldozer benchies to actually make the decision but now that I've settled on Red and Black my choices are a bit limited (try finding a $240 intel motherboard with red & black that's good for overclocking and SLI/Crossfire. Also, I prefer ASUS)

    Personally, I think AMD is giong to price so that they're competitive with Intel. And one of two things will happpen. AMD will successfully have a good price/performance (as they had *before* sandybridge) or Intel will drop prices to be competitive.

    Either way, I see a win in my future.


    Regarding BD-ROM: I haven't jumped on that train yet. Not sure that I will. Netflix takes care of streaming hi def content and I don't see games using BDs in the 'near' future.
  10. theeldest

    theeldest

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    If I do end up going with the Crosshair V, that PSU lacks a 4pin CPU plug. (the crosshair wants an 8pin AND a 4 pin for CPU power)
  11. CrackerJack

    CrackerJack

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    I'm pretty sure, you don't have to use both. If the PSU you have is 8, then you can use the 8-pin. For some theres 4+4 (Break Away's) You can you 8 or 4. Depending on how much power your needing. That's what I've gotten from asusrog site.. I've never knew a board came with 2 different CPU plugs..

    Link
  12. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Awesome, that got me doing some digging. The 8-pin and 4-pin CPU connectors support quite a bit of power (as you said). For reference, each Black & Yellow pair can support 7 amps (at 12v). So the 8-pin (4 pairs) supports 336 watts (28a * 12v) and the 4-pin supports 168 watts.

    That second CPU plug (the 4 pin) is really only for super overclocks (phase change required).

    Thanks! (but I still think I'll stick with the Seasonic. Quieter, 80+ Gold, & Modular)
  13. CrackerJack

    CrackerJack

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    Glad to help, But yea that Seasonic is nice and Modular is a plus :) Wish mine was modular, but cable length isn't to bad.
  14. LordJummy

    LordJummy New Member

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    Asus makes plenty of red/black intel boards, and so does EVGA. Gigabyte makes lots of all black intel boards as well. It's not as hard as you'd think as black and red are some of the most popular colors for custom builds :)
  15. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    /Tag

    I'm going to be building 2 rigs around this frame, one for that exact same reason :) Good to have some idea of where I need to head this time. I've not had time to keep an active eye where I want to be... Good luck!!
  16. freaksavior

    freaksavior To infinity ... and beyond!

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    The ps3 is blu ray and it uses blu ray media and it's a game console so you're already way past near, it's more like past.

    I would say 18 months and we will see a game on blu ray and multi dvd's like cd's were.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  17. theeldest

    theeldest

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    I started looking at prices of blu-ray drives and you're probably right. But I also picked up a DVD-RW drive over the weekend (it's a model that's no longer on NewEgg but was in Frys. Rated as one of the quietest DVD RW drives. Made by Gearhead).

    By the time a game comes out on bluray drives will be under $50 (they're already around the $65 mark) and I'll just add a second optical. ... or buy electronically (I <3 Steam)
  18. theeldest

    theeldest

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  19. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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  20. theeldest

    theeldest

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    I have a hard time rationalizing a Thuban based proc at this time with BD so very close.

    As I see it, I have two choices:

    1. Wait for Bulldozer & purchase a new processor then.
    2. Buy a placeholder now, and get Bulldozer as an upgrade when Skyrim is released.

    If I go the second option, the placeholder would be the least expensive Phenom II on the market that's at least a quad core: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 ...

    Granted, it's only a $40 difference but it's still $40.

    Heck, if I'm doing a placeholder I could do Tri-core: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x...

    Eventhough it looks like I don't really have a budget on individual components, I am pretty limited with funds. The less the better.
    Ahhzz says thanks.
  21. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    Hey, $40 is $40 ;) altho, I've got a coupon code for $15 off that model I listed, so now it $25 :)
  22. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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  23. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Ahhzz says thanks.
  24. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    I actually saw something about the Sabertooth earlier this morn, and hadn't checked into it yet. Looks like a good board, and if I go the 580 route, I'll need every penny :) I actually need to look a little closer into a simple SLI board. I don't see me going to the Tri-SLI, unless it's on a board I really really like...
  25. theeldest

    theeldest

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    The Sabertooth is a good board. Admittedly, the only reason I've got for going Crosshair over Sabertooth is the color scheme.
    Ahhzz says thanks.

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