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First Time Builder in Need of Assistance of Choosing the Right Build

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

I’m currently in the phase of saving for my first custom build. I am in need of assistance in which build to go with. The two are 75% similar in nature, but there are a few key parts that set them apart greatly. I plan to do a custom cooling loop for both.

The computer would be used primarily for gaming and work with the occasional photo editing, app development, and web design. I am a teacher and a graduate student. Any assistance you can give is greatly appreciated.

“The 501st”
Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White) ATX Full Tower
CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K (When Released)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO ATX LGA2011
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX Titan SuperClocked 6GB
or EVGA GeForce GTX 780 (When Released)
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB
HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX
PSU: NZXT HALE90 V2 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX
Fan: Gelid Solutions Wing 14 – Blue 140mm (x3)
Fan: Gelid Solutions Wing 12 PL – Blue 120mm (x2)
Monitor: HP Pavilion 27xi Black / Silver 27" 7ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor (x3)
or Samsung 46" 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV w/ 240CMR
or Samsung 46" 1080p 120Hz Class (1.8" ultra-slim) LED HDTV


“Winter is Coming”
Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White) ATX Full Tower
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K (When Released)
Motherboard: AsRock Z87 Extreme 9/ac ATX LGA 1155 (When Released)
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX Titan SuperClocked 6GB
or EVGA GeForce GTX 780 (When Released)
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB
HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX
PSU: NZXT HALE90 V2 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX
Fan: Gelid Solutions Silent 14 PWM - White 140mm (x3)
Fan: BitFenix Spectre Pro – White LED 120mm (x2)
Monitor: HP Pavilion 27xi Black / Silver 27" 7ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor (x3)
or Samsung 46" 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV w/ 240CMR
or Samsung 46" 1080p 120Hz Class (1.8" ultra-slim) LED HDTV

As for my reasoning of going with a single large television is because of the expected release of HDMI 2.0 and the rating allowing for 60Hz refresh rate.

This computer is a major investment from myself and expected to last a good while before upgrading. I appreciate any advice that can be given with regards to improving this build and for helping me select the best possible build for my wants and needs.

Cheers,
Koopa
post #2 of 8
Nice build either way. A few suggestions:

- A case with a side-fan is a must if you don't plan on watercooling your GPU.
- Dominator memory is a bit overpriced for having LEDs.
- Which CPU cooler do you plan on getting?
- Great quality PSU, but @ 850w, its overpowered for such a setup. If you plan on sticking to one high-end GPU, 550 watts is more than enough.
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post #3 of 8
I truly think you could save money on different parts here also money doesn't seem to be a problem for you, it might help though, you never know !

1) The RAM, 16GB, sure, but 1600Mhz would be enough IMO and you could stick with Kingston Beast / Corsair Vengeance &/or GSkill Sniper Series.

2) The Soundcard, motherboards nowadays (especially the one you pick) do come with great onboard audio, unless you're a professional gamer &/or an extreme audiophile, what would you use that soundcard for (recording ?). This card would already be quite an improvement !

3) The GTX 780 would perform almost as much as a GTX Titan for around 300$ less, I would recommend waiting, also you might consider nvidia's Haswell cards getting out in not too long.

4) For photo editing, development and webdesign, even a i5 3570K would be sufficient right now, you could benefit from the hyperthreading of the i7 but only if you're playing with extremely huge files (mostly rendering and video editing), between a 4930K and a i7 4770K I would advise you to go for the 4770K as it will be already quite an overkill.

5) You could save a bit on the PSU and go for 550W to 750 (being the big max) it would be more than enough IMO, unless you plan to do a SLI with Titans (which would get quite pricey). On another end, the HALE90 is indeed a great product.

6) Two SSD's ? Sorry for questioning this choice, but 1x256GB is quite big for an SSD already, what kind of particular needs would you have to get these two babies ?

7) If you intend to do Design or work on a LED TV, run for your life, as the resolution and the color accuracy of these is quite horrible, I would strongly advise you to stick with these HP pannels (or even to go for Dell for a bit more but with a 'better' IPS pannel and a bigger resolution, especially if you ever do color critical work, also these are quite a bang for the buck !). When it comes to gaming, the latency of the TV would be quite high compared to 3 screens, especially noticeable in FPS, because even with a 60Hz refresh rate you will never achieve something like a 2MS response time.

8) The CPU cooler is not mentioned, are you going toward Air or Water ?
Edited by stnz - 5/15/13 at 12:47am
Starck (2013)
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Starck (2013)
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for replying I greatly appreciate it. (+1 each)
Quote:
- Dominator memory is a bit overpriced for having LEDs.
1) The RAM, 16GB, sure, but 1600Mhz would be enough IMO and you could stick with Kingston Beast / Corsair Vengeance &/or GSkill Sniper Series.

When I was originally designing my build I was looking into Kingston HyperX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600, so I might take another look at them again. Should I stick with the 2 sticks at 16GB or should I forget about expansion and bump up to 4 sticks for 32GB?
Quote:
2) The Soundcard, motherboards nowadays (especially the one you pick) do come with great onboard audio, unless you're a professional gamer &/or an extreme audiophile, what would you use that soundcard for (recording ?). This card would already be quite an improvement !

My girlfriend TOLD me that I needed to get a headset for my computer because she is tired of hearing all the noise, so I figured I would grab a sound card to produce some excellent surround sound, plus this same girlfriend is a vocal musician and has always wanted to record some of her own songs so what better way then with this sound card.
Quote:
3) The GTX 780 would perform almost as much as a GTX Titan for around 300$ less, I would recommend waiting, also you might consider nvidia's Haswell cards getting out in not too long.

Yea I love the look of the Titan stock cooler and the fact that it exhausts. I can't wait to see more of the benchmarking once the GTX 780 is released. If like you said they are very similar then I will most likely be going with the GTX 780.
Quote:
4) For photo editing, development and webdesign, even a i5 3570K would be sufficient right now, you could benefit from the hyperthreading of the i7 but only if you're playing with extremely huge files (mostly rendering and video editing), between a 4930K and a i7 4770K I would advise you to go for the 4770K as it will be already quite an overkill.

Since I am running off an Intel Core 2 Duo I see anything as a major upgrade. I am leaning more towards the 4770k as the 3770k surpassed the 3930k in countless reviews, so I can only imagine the power of the 4770k. I'm really liking the AsRock Extreme 9 motherboard and really hoping that Asus releases a blue version of their z87 pro motherboard as I like the additions that come with Asus motherboards.
Quote:
7) If you intend to do Design or work on a LED TV, run for your life, as the resolution and the color accuracy of these is quite horrible, I would strongly advise you to stick with these HP pannels (or even to go for Dell for a bit more but with a 'better' IPS pannel and a bigger resolution, especially if you ever do color critical work, also these are quite a bang for the buck !). When it comes to gaming, the latency of the TV would be quite high compared to 3 screens, especially noticeable in FPS, because even with a 60Hz refresh rate you will never achieve something like a 2MS response time.

I'm not a big FPS gamer. I'm a big into the MMORPG, RTS, and Turn-Based. I was looking more into having to only buy a television so that I could switch back and forth between for gaming and actual TV usage. I am feeling the 3 monitor option a lot more (maybe even just a 2 monitor set up). If I did proceed with a 3 monitor setup should I get a second video card for SLI or would just a single Titan be enough?
Quote:
- Which CPU cooler do you plan on getting?
8) The CPU cooler is not mentioned, are you going toward Air or Water ?

I plan to do a custom water cooling loop involving the following:

Koolance CPU-380I Intel Liquid Cooling CPU Block
Alphacool NexXxoS ST30 Full Copper Slim Profile Dual 120mm Radiator
Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 120mm
Swiftech MCP655-PWM-DRIVE 12v Water Pump Module - PWM
FrozenQ Liquid Fusion Dual Bay Reservoir - Black Helix

If I end up deciding later on that I don't want to use a custom loop then I will go with mounting a Swiftech H220 on the bottom of the case with 2 Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 120mm
Quote:
- Great quality PSU, but @ 850w, its overpowered for such a setup. If you plan on sticking to one high-end GPU, 550 watts is more than enough.
5) You could save a bit on the PSU and go for 550W to 750 (being the big max) it would be more than enough IMO, unless you plan to do a SLI with Titans (which would get quite pricey). On another end, the HALE90 is indeed a great product.

I wish NZXT HALE90 V2 had a lower rated PSU as I do love the look and the fact that it is fully modular. However, per your recommendations I have looked into possibly getting an EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G
Quote:
6) Two SSD's ? Sorry for questioning this choice, but 1x256GB is quite big for an SSD already, what kind of particular needs would you have to get these two babies ?

As for the reasoning for the 2 different SSD's is because I plan to put my OS on the 128GB and my games on the 256GB and either using Steam Mover to the HD or possibly just launching them from the SSD.

Thank you both again
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoopaTroopa View Post

.....Should I stick with the 2 sticks at 16GB or should I forget about expansion and bump up to 4 sticks for 32GB?


My girlfriend TOLD me that I needed to get a headset for my computer because she is tired of hearing all the noise, so I figured I would grab a sound card to produce some excellent surround sound, plus this same girlfriend is a vocal musician and has always wanted to record some of her own songs so what better way then with this sound card.


...........I wish NZXT HALE90 V2 had a lower rated PSU as I do love the look and the fact that it is fully modular. However, per your recommendations I have looked into possibly getting an EVGA SuperNOVA ..........

I don't think you can find 16GB sticks (& they'd be very expensive if you did).
You can get 8 DIMM slots with the 2011 platform in a few boards like the UP4 or the BigBang II or the IV Extreme.

A lot of the good headsets have a built-in soundcard in them, bypassing the dedicated sound card.

That SuperNova is built by FSP & is a bit above average (or so I heard).
Look up this up-to-date Database & find one that is on sale. Capstone series are highly recommended.
PSU reviews right here.....
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TheSadFlute
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eXXon View Post

I don't think you can find 16GB sticks (& they'd be very expensive if you did).
You can get 8 DIMM slots with the 2011 platform in a few boards like the UP4 or the BigBang II or the IV Extreme.

A lot of the good headsets have a built-in soundcard in them, bypassing the dedicated sound card.

That SuperNova is built by FSP & is a bit above average (or so I heard).
Look up this up-to-date Database & find one that is on sale. Capstone series are highly recommended.
PSU reviews right here.....

Sorry, I meant 2x8GB sticks.

I currently have a Razer Tiamat 7.1 (I was able to get it for roughly $70) and I don't believe it has a built in sound card, but I could be entirely wrong.

Thanks for the link, I'll definitely take a look. I'm hoping to find a good fully modular power supply as I plan to sleeve the cables.
post #7 of 8
1) These sticks would be a better price/value IMO. 2 sticks of 16GB is going to be quite pricey and truly useless since you will never do any task (unless you're doing heavy rendering) where you will need more than 12GB (and that is already quite big, believe me).

2) Concerning the surround for your headset, Astro's MIXAMP would be a way better investment in point of view, when it comes to recording there is other things you should consider first, such as a good quality microphone (I recommend the Yeti in that aspect), also the Sonar D1 is already extremely good especially considering it's actual price. Also if you want to enjoy music as much as gaming I wouldn't go for a gaming headset as their quality is only good for gaming, you could buy good headphones (Audio Technica, Sennheiser, etc.) and just buy a clipmic or even mod them. But I'm drifting there. And no, the Tiamat does not have a built-in soundcard, simply a surround chip.

3) They will extremely similar (the stock cooler of the Titan and a better PCB) and less pricey, quite a good bang for the buck as it will reach a better value, and even later on, let's say you want to upgrade, you simply buy a second GTX 780 and SLI, the value of this combo would be around 1500$, already 500$ from a Titan SLI.

4) The 4770K is already quite famous for its overclocking capacity, you could benefit from hyperthreading as said before but truly honestly the i5 4670K would do the job perfectly well, not once you'll have to complain about its speed or its overclock capacities, but since you have the budget might as well buy the highest end CPU available (4770K), your build would last longer this way.

7) If you're not going to do FPS nor color critical work then the TV is indeed the way to go as you'll be able to, as you said, switch between TV & PC, having a gaming spot, a media center and a regular TV, quite a nice combo. But the values of 3 monitors or even 2 compared to the TV is going to be better IMO, you can move them around later on, 27'' is already quite nice, even to watch TV wink.gif. And no, even for 3 monitors, even at 2660x1440, a single Titan would handle them perfectly well. Unless you're playing Metro at Ultra settings and at Max resolution, you wouldn't get 100 fps but a bit less, such a shame right ?

8) Your custom loop looks quite decent to me, you planning on doing a Build Log ? I want to see some pictures of your finished product. A custom loop will most of the time beat any branded cooler such as Corsair, Swiftech or NZXT, but that's just my point of view, their performance:ratio value is better however.

9) You could look into the SeaSonic 650KM as well, quite a nice PSU for a decent price (around 110$ right now for a nice build quality and a gold certification).

10) Launching them from the SSD directly will be better because moving 10GB+ folder with Steam Movers will reduce the lifespan of your product, the real question is, would 2x128GB be enough ? Or do you truly need 256GB (priced between 150 to 250$) only for games.

Hope that helps, again wink.gif
Starck (2013)
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Starck (2013)
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
1) I have looked at the Corsair Vengeance series sticks, but ultimately was leaning towards the Kingston HyperX. I definitely will go back and take another look at the Corsair. Thanks.

2) Yea, from what you say I really need to go back and do more research of the Xonar 7.1 cards.

3) GTX 780 it is then.

4) Yea, I'm looking to build a computer that will last me a good while. The best now should last me a few years and hopefully return on my investment.

7) I laid out a rough estimate of the size of the television compared to the 2-3 monitor setup and you really are starting to have me convinced to lean in that direction. I've been doing a bit more research into a reasonably priced 25-27" monitor that is IPS and has Display Port capabilities. According to Tator Tot's Monitor Guide DisplayPort currently provides the best video signal. I only really seemed to find one that fits the bill. The following are a few of the monitors I have looked at:

HP Envy 27 (x2)
HP Pavilion 27xi (x3)
LG 27EA33V (x3)
Dell S2740L (x2)

I have been unable to really find a television that fits the build besides the earlier LED ones. I've been looking more into the LCDs as you had stated that I should "run for the hills"tongue.gif with regards to LED televisions. Is their resolution really that terrible? Hopefully they pick up when I gather the money for all the items.

8) Yea when I get everything together I would love to do a build log and post a few pictures. Seeing all the work that people do here is simply amazing and I hope to join them soon. I am going to try and take as many pictures as I possibly can so that if someone sees I did something wrong they can immediately call me out on it. Luckily my cousin has built a few computers in his day, so at least I have one line of defense against stupidity.

9) I'm wondering if I should just get the NZXT HALE90 v2 850w because if I do upgrade to two video cards later down the line it will be ready to go and wouldn't have to wait on a second power supply. According to PCpartpicker (referencing 2 Titans in SLI) would put my builds to be about 700w-740w.

10) I would like to have to upload as many of my games as I can so that I never have to reinstall them like I have used to in the past. I just figured by getting the larger of the SSDs would make sure that I never have a chance of filling it up.

Everything you have brought to my attention has greatly helped. I want to make sure I build the best machine for myself and not have any regrets with the parts.
Edited by KoopaTroopa - 5/15/13 at 8:14pm
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