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New Gaming Rig - Making sure the concept is sound

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My immediate goal is play Hawken when it launches at max (or very near) settings on a 3x1 horizontal display (5760 x 1080) with a frame rate over 50 fps. A sub-concern is having the lowest noise possible.



Case:
Corsair Carbide 500R owned

Motherboard:
ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE LGA
OR
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH

PSU:
Corsair AX850

CPU:
Intel i7 3770K

GPU:
Galaxy 67NQH6DN6KXZ GeForce GTX 670 GC 4GB

RAM:
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 owned

Hard Drives:
Corsair Force Series 3 2.5" 90GB SATA III internal SSD owned
and
Western Digital WD Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA III HDD owned

Cooling:
Corsair H-100 owned
Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition x4 owned
Corsair Air Series AF120 Quiet Edition x4 owned

Monitors: TBD
Leaning toward Samsung S23A750D due to generally positive reviews, 120 hz, 2ms GTG, and possibly being able to get a good price on 3 due to the age of this SKU.
Also in contention is the Acer GD235HZ due to also boasting 120hz and 2ms GTG. It does have an ugly and large case/bezel but I plan to remove the casing so I'm wondering what size the interior bezel is or if anyone else has some input on this monitor. It's on sale at newegg till the 19th for 150 bucks off... so timely input is appreciated.

Input:
Razer Mamba 2012 owned
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition owned
Razer Nostromo owned
Logitech Wireless Trackball M570 owned
Steel Battalion Controller owned

Misc:
Arctic Silver 5
DVD-RW drive (generic) owned
Windows 8 Pro 64-bit owned

Questions:
Does this build have the horsepower to do what I want it to do?
Is there some major error I'm overlooking that would require me to alter my planned purchases?
How much more power can I get from the CPU and Video Cards with overclocking with minimal or no voltage increase (trying to run quiet).
The Video Cards each have one DisplayPort native, and the Motherboard has 1. Will I be able to use that 3rd DisplayPort for one of the monitors and utilize only the power of the Video Cards in SLI, or can the onboard output only utilize the integrated video card?
What is a good 3 monitor VESA mount at a reasonable price?

I'll try to get some pictures of my desk for context in helping frame opinions.
Edited by Zyrael - 11/15/12 at 9:10am
post #2 of 18
Go with X79 and the 3820 instead of the 3770k. Both the 3820 and the 3770k have the horses to support the 2x gpus, but the x79 path is around the same price, comparble mobo specs, but more PCIe lanes and an option for 6-cores in the future (IB-e or SB-E).

Why the 660's?

I recommend 2x 7950's (if you must one now and another later, they are 313 on amazon and with the never surrender gaming bundle get 3x free AAA games from a retailer like newegg that you could sell or give away, much stronger than the 660s and you'll need the 3gb vram @ tri-monitor)
Quote:
How much more power can I get from the CPU and Video Cards with overclocking with minimal or no voltage increase (trying to run quiet).

The CPU will net you a couple hundred MHZ without any voltage bumps. I was able to get to 4.1ghz on my (old) 2500k @ stock voltage.

nVidia cards ere locked down with OCing, voltage control is out of the picture, and very limited OCing ability now due to green light. I'm fuzzy on the subject though, someone might need to verify thumb.gif
Quote:
The Video Cards each have one DisplayPort native, and the Motherboard has 1. Will I be able to use that 3rd DisplayPort for one of the monitors and utilize only the power of the Video Cards in SLI, or can the onboard output only utilize the integrated video card?

No, You'll need to use the port on the GPU, lucid virtu actually harms performance,.
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturin View Post

Go with X79 and the 3820 instead of the 3770k. Both the 3820 and the 3770k have the horses to support the 2x gpus, but the x79 path is around the same price, comparble mobo specs, but more PCIe lanes and an option for 6-cores in the future (IB-e or SB-E).

Well what's the appreciable gain? I mean it's a bit more expensive and locked into Sandy Bridge. I'm pretty sold on Z77 and Ivy-bridge. I just don't see either of those being the bottle neck, am I wrong?
Quote:
Why the 660's?
I recommend 2x 7950's (if you must one now and another later, they are 313 on amazon and with the never surrender gaming bundle get 3x free AAA games from a retailer like newegg that you could sell or give away, much stronger than the 660s and you'll need the 3gb vram @ tri-monitor)

I have no particular loyalty to Nvidia or problem with ATI. I've simply always used Nvidia and never had a problem. Don't want to over-represent my level of knowledge. Is ATI the clear choice when it comes to multi-monitor displays? My budget for Video Card(s) is appx $500. If we can figure out a crossfire or single card setup that meets my requirements in that price range made by ATI, that's fine with me.
Quote:
The CPU will net you a couple hundred MHZ without any voltage bumps. I was able to get to 4.1ghz on my (old) 2500k @ stock voltage.
nVidia cards ere locked down with OCing, voltage control is out of the picture, and very limited OCing ability now due to green light. I'm fuzzy on the subject though, someone might need to verify thumb.gif
No, You'll need to use the port on the GPU, lucid virtu actually harms performance,.

Hmm. Well short of the eyefinity cards made by ATI how am I going to support 3 monitors at 120hz? I'm fairly stuck on the idea of having all 3 monitors be the same model and a lot of the 120hz 2ms monitors either offer DVI-D or DisplayPort for 120hz... not both. Kif... we have a conundrum.
Edited by Zyrael - 11/13/12 at 10:08am
post #4 of 18
I dont know much about the specific monitor you want, but I will say this in regards to Samsung: I have one of their tvs, and I use it as a computer monitor (in fact i'm on it right now!). Although its only 1360x768 res (stuck with 720p considering its A) size B) distance from monitor and my own eye functionality and C) cost at the time it was purchased), the quality is incredible. Samsung makes rock solid monitors/tvs, and high quality to boot. I would rather keep this 720P Samsung than get a bigger, cheaper, worse quality but higher resolution brand. My Samsung looks much nicer than those described monitors/TVs.

In short, you can never go wrong with a Samsung. Their quality of build, of picture, and their customization for video settings, is superb. I have never seen a TV as small as this one with so many customization choices to tweak a picture as fine as you want.

In short: I would strongly recommend a Samsung. When you take 2 monitors, a cheap-o and a Samsung, with same resolution and size? The Samsung (in my experiences) would get picked every time.



As for the rest, you've picked solid parts. I'm sure you knew this already though. if you want to pinch some pennies to save some $, there are better bang for buck options IMO. If you don't mind spending what you're gonna spend? Its a perfect build, and if I had the $ i'd probably do a much similar build.

Only thing I'd look into is a GIGABYTE mobo. This is just personal preference, I prefer gigabyte. They are high quality and in my experiences will last forever. I have had an ASUS before though, and it was solid as well. The past week, when I did this build, I had it narrowed down to an ASUS extreme4 and gigabyte. I went with Gig. Look into some comparable price/performance Gigabytes.



Also obviously at the moment AMD holds the crown for bang/buck cards. So people will definitely recommend going with an upper end ATI vs nvidia. I also have a penchant to nvidia. So if you have the $, go with their more expensive card. Might not be the "best" in terms of price/performance, but definitely recommend sticking with nvidia. If you want the most for your dollar, go AMD.


Also look at EVGA instead of MSI. Don't get it twisted: MSI IS great. I currently have an MSI 7850 myself. I have always purchased MSI ATI cards. BUT, when it comes to nvidia cards? I have never chosen one better than EVGA.. They are my pick every time I go nvidia. They function perfectly, last forever, but the largest point? Their lifetime warranties. They are spectacular! They honor them truly, easily, and will bend over backwards to make sure things work out for you.

The fact that they even have lifetime warranties, and honor them so incredibly well that they are second to none in the gpu market. Furthermore, reselling an old evga is always much easier, as their warranties are transferable. Meaning if you buy a secondhand, older EVGA, and something ends up going wrong? Send it in, get a new one, no questions asked. This makes them INCREDIBLY APPEALING to second hand part purchasers. Whenever I look into buying used cards, I always look at EVGA and inquire with the seller whether or not they are willing to do the paperwork to transfer the warranty over. Everyone wants to buy a used evga. This results in their resale being incredibly facile as well, as well as a good way to recoup some of that $.

If I could have found an evga 7850 I would've bought them, even if it had been an extra 50$. Their customer service, and loyalty to their customers, should be how every company operates. That you can resell the card along with the warranty makes it the epitome of used cards. You can buy a used evga and not worry about it dying in 3 months.

Honestly I cannot say enough good things about evga and my experiences with them. And even if it costs extra? EVGA is worth every penny. Yes its a preference, but it goes a bit past that. Name one other GPU producer that gives you a lifetime warranty that can be transferred to an owner after resale, AND honors it hassle free? If you even can name another, definitely look into them too as that'd be the only competition.

Summary: EVGA is awesome, and I pick them hands down, every time I go nvidia.

Sorry I'm raving about these brands, but I enjoy putting forward reputable, honorable, companies that treat their customers the way they should: as the people who pay their salary. Nothing I hate more than companies that give customers the finger once they've got your $. Something so incredibly ****ed up about giving a company your $, having an issue, calling them, and being told in essence to **** off. All of these companies recognize that they only exist because of you, and not that you exist to buy their stuff. I rant just as hard against evil companies that have screwed me over. Samsung, Gigabyte, evga, MSI, Asus, all good choices IMO, i'm sure you'll be happy regardless of how you go.
Edited by kmac20 - 11/13/12 at 10:24am
    
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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyrael View Post

Well what's the appreciable gain? I mean it's a bit more expensive and locked into Sandy Bridge. I'm pretty sold on Z77 and Ivy-bridge. I just don't see either of those being the bottle neck, am I wrong?
I have no particular loyalty to Nvidia or problem with ATI. I've simply always used Nvidia and never had a problem. Don't want to over-represent my level of knowledge. Is ATI the clear choice when it comes to multi-monitor displays? My budget for Video Card(s) is appx $500. If we can figure out a crossfire or single card setup that meets my requirements in that price range made by ATI, that's fine with me.
Hmm. Well short of the eyefinity cards made by ATI how am I going to support 3 monitors at 120hz? I'm fairly stuck on the idea of having all 3 monitors be the same model and a lot of the 120hz 2ms monitors either offer DVI-D or DisplayPort for 120hz... not both. Kif... we have a conundrum.

X79 will get the IB-e so It's not locked into SB tongue.gif. When I was pricing, the 3820 and the 3770k came to the same prices for the gene-z mATX boards that I wanted, and X79 had future upgrade paths smile.gif.

Price will come out even between the two as long as you don't go for a top dawg killem branded OCing mobo (makes no difference from what I've seen)

as for 120hz, I suggest you look at CallSignVega's thread, he's gone through every combo of top end GPU's for 120hz multi-mon gaming (monitors too) that will be a good read for you. Includes PCIe lane benchmarking (the extra lanes really make a difference on the top end)

As far as multi-mon CF/SLI setups, I seem to recall that AMD is better suited for it, but I'm a single GPU kinda guy thumb.gif

Adding another 120$ or so to your GPU budget to get 2x 7950's will be your best bet for multi GPU, IMO biggrin.gif

I'll dig around and find you some reviews later in the day.

anandtech and techreport for mobo reviews
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AMD Transplant
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #6 of 18
What you picked out will work, but a couple of choices that might not be the best. Any reason you are looking at the Deluxe version of that motherboard? Do you need anything specific that the Deluxe offers that the vanilla P8Z77-V doesn't? If not, there isn't any performance difference between them, so you could just get the -V instead. Also, even with SLI, you don't really need 850W of power. You'd be fine with a quality 750W, if you wanted to save a few more dollars. I'm also not sure of the value of the GTX 660 SLI at that resolution - might want to see if you can find any reviews that test those kinds of resolutions. And personally, I'd get something else other than AS5, there are plenty of new pastes that work as well or better and don't have the issues AS5 has (cure time and capacitivity) - something like MX-4, or just use whatever comes with the H100.
Edited by Forceman - 11/13/12 at 10:47am
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Kmac:

-I did look into Gigabyte mobos and GPUs. In both cases they narrowly lost out. In some benchmarking the Asus series of Z77 seemed to narrowly outperform. And as for GPUs while the Gigabyte pretty much tied the MSI card on benchmarks, the MSI card remained cooler by more than 15 degrees, and quieter by more than 10 db. Being runner up so often can be misleading. Gigabyte makes great products in every arena, but it doesn't seem the best in any one.
-EVGA sticks a bit close to the reference card for my tastes. They are a great company for customer service and product quality, but their GPUs tend to run hot.

Nocturin:

-I'll take another look at the 2011 setups, but I just didn't find one that jumped out at me. If you want to link a mobo/CPU combo and/or any benchmark comparisons I'll happily take a look though. I'm nothing if not open minded.

-Got a link to that 120hz thread?

-If I can get my budget down a bit elsewhere, I could be persuaded to go with dual 7950s. MSI a good brand there too? I'm quite sold on their Twin-Frozr cooling solution.

-Are people now actively interchanging the acronyms AMD and ATI since AMD purchased ATI? Because I've noticed that quite a bit as of late. In my brain AMD is still a CPU manufacturer, and ATI is still a GPU manufacturer. At least that's what helps keep my mind organized. Am I getting horribly outdated?

Forceman:

-The primary reason I chose the Deluxe was for the I/O panel. The output selection is fantastic, with plenty of USB slots. The one compromise there is that there isn't a legacy PS2 port that the -V and Pro offer. As I recall the Deluxe also boasts enhanced passive heat disipation... unless I'm terribly mistaken.

-Going up to the 850 was a two pronged choice. First it gives me wiggle room on the GPU selection which wasn't firmed up at the time. For instance if I now go with 2x7950 instead of 2x660 that increases the load by 150w I believe. Also I'm a BIT of a green nerd. Having a PSU with a higher max wattage increases the mid load range, thereby increasing the efficiency of operation. By the math I had done previously the 850 would be saving a good chunk of change every year off my power bills. Which seems silly, but it's a bit of a contest with myself. I've got my power bills down to the 30-40 dollar range in south Louisiana... in the summer, while keeping it air conditioned to 75 degrees and gaming for hours a day.

-I'm not married to Arctic Silver. If you were going to spend 10 dollars-ish on some thermal paste right now to spread on an H100, what would you buy?
post #8 of 18
Well a narrow loss in mobo categories doesn't really say much. REAL WORLD performance will be negligible, and even synthetic differences between same tier mobos are slim.

I dunno about gigabyte gpus either, i wouldn't get one. I stick to MSI/EVGA. And I have NEVER had a problem with evga. Furthermore, my evga cards have always been GREAT overclockers, and never had issues with heat, especially considering I stayed on stock and had a pretty big OC.

Yes theyre close to reference, but they OC well to boot. If youre worried about temp you can always get an aftermarket cooler. Furthermore, OC'ing is COVERED BY EVGAS LIFETIME WARRANTY! Meaning if you OC the heck out of that card and fry it? You once again can get a new one! So yes they may be "closer to reference", but considering they have a much larger OC potential, as well as completely cover any damage that may come about as a result of OC'ing? If you like OC'ing, evgas got you covered.

My MSI ati cards have always been MUCH poorer OC'ers by comparison. This 7850 I currently have doesn't OC for jack, I cant even bump the clocks up 50mhz. Same with my last MSI. Just my experience with both of these brands. EVGA/MSI are THE brands IMO, anything else in my mind is in reference to them. Def will be happy with an MSI, just be prepared for less OC'ing.

Regarding mobos, again asus is a solid choice. I have used Asus, Foxconn, and Gigabyte. For mobo it is more preference than any other part as youre aware, as the benchmarks vary so little when looking at two comparable mobos. Just keep in mind that benchmarks on mobos really mean squat. Do not put much stock into lets say, a Foxconn getting 10 points higher on a synthetic benchmark, 1 second faster, 0.1 fps more....Remember this is the board you will be using for X amount of time, it is the board you will be using to overclock, the board you will be using to connect everything.

Make sure you get one that has all the features you want, and has the UEFI you prefer the most. Put the MOST WEIGHT into these two categories, compared to review tests. It is all of this stuff you, as well as every single other part you choose, will be interacting with. Features, UEFI, durability, and compatibility should be THE points you judge a mobo. Because, once again, they vary so minutely both in synthetics and have almost no difference in real world gaming/uses.

This is not to say these benchmarks are not important comparing different TIERS of motherboard; ie 200$ mobos WILL be better than 150$ >$100, so on and so fourth. But if youre looking at mobos w/n a range of one another? Use those 4 things to make a decision. Once again: UEFI, features, compatibility, durability. One should judge on a boards ability to fulfill those 4 virtues. Performance variances are once again microscopic in a sense, so remember those 4 things. If a boards got a sucky UEFI/bios, overclockings gonna suck. If it lacks features you'd like, its gonna stink, even if it scored 3 points higher in whatever reviews benches. UEFI and features really are the top two categories out of those 4.

You dont want a mobo that will go bad in 6 months, possibly taking other components with it. And if you want to get extra life out of it, and use it in a media center rig when its done its job gaming, thats also something to consider. If youre a "one and done" kinda guy (as many are on here) durability is less important.

Although if you can find a sweet upper tier board with a good sale? That'd def be the way to go. Like a 250$ ASUS on sale for 150$ or something along those lines.

All of this is obviously anecdotal experiences. Just keep in mind that review benchmarks can only take you so far. Someone reviewing a primo card the guys at MSI or eVGA selected will obviously tell you that the best of their best is well, awesome. But often times reviewers get the best of the best. Real world should be an important factor. As a result, I hope you listen to everyones advice in here. Hearing first hand reports outside of a review site from the actual users is immesurably important. Hence why I come here! It is all anecdotal, but if you get enough anecdotal input, you can draw some pragmatic conclusions.

Regardless of the parts you pick, I hope it all works out smoothly!
Edited by kmac20 - 11/13/12 at 1:11pm
    
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Since I plan to finish my shopping between black friday and cyber monday, I'm leaving the door open to some contenders for all components. Because if all else is equal (or nearly) and one has an awesome sale price, then I'm going with that one. I'm not penny pinching on this build, but I'm not exactly eager to spend money I don't have to.

I tell ya the one thing I love to death and wouldn't trade for the world tho is my Corsair Carbide 500R.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
So after looking into the gains of framerate on multi-display (eyefinity or surround) setups with an increase in VRAM, I decided on a change to my GPU. Going with the Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 GC 4GB now. I've never used a Galaxy product before, but the reviews seem positive, and it's specs are among the best. I'm a bit concerned about noise levels, and would have preferred a tried and true MSI offering with it's Twin Frozr, but there doesn't seem to be an option for the 670 in 4GB by MSI. Anyone have any opinions or insights in this card? I do plan to SLI it in the future.

Also a recent sale on Newegg got me looking at a different mobo. The GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5 TH looks pretty damn sweet. I know the reputation of Gigabyte but have never purchased one of their boards for personal use, only for building rigs for friends. It has dual on board thunderbolt which is darn impressive and adds some future proofing. But the feature set is slightly different as are the output ports. Does anyone have experience with the software and driver suite and can make recommendations / warnings to help me decide between mobos?

And I'm still up in the air on thermal grease. Comparison studies among thermal compounds vary wildly in the results and conclusions it seems. I'd prefer real world feedback from someone talking about an exceptional experience with a particular compound.

Sorry for the bump. Trying not to be too intrusive onto the forum, that's why I'm trying to condense all my queries about this build under the umbrella of Intel discussion. If I'm wrong also let me know.
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