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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I've put aside a LOT of money for what will be my first ever build. My last computer was a ~$2,500 customized HP, which served me well for a number of years before ultimately succumbing to hard drive failure followed soon after by a fried mother board. This time around, enthusiast that I am, I've decided to "roll my own". This is motivated out of the desire to eliminate the labor costs and parts restrictions that are incurred when ordering from any computer building company.

Please understand that I am fully aware that for nearly all practical applications this rig is sure to be overkill in many ways. However, I'm attempting to future-proof the system as best I can and I plan to re-use many of the components in future builds so as to save money in the long run.

I'm looking for ANY and ALL compliments, insults, suggestions, questions, etc. concerning my proposed setup!

So, without further adieu, here are the potential specifications:

Approximate budget amount: $4,000-$6,000.

CASE: Antec (Twelve Hundred V3) [~$165.00]
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2715&pid=2

PSU: Antec (HCP-1200) [~$240.00]
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2468&fid=343

Motherboard: Asus (P9X79 Deluxe) [~375.00]
http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/P9X79_DELUXE/

CPU: Intel (i7-3930K) [~$550.00]
http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-3_80-GHz

CPU Fan: Noctua (NH-D14 SE2011) [~$80.00]
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=41&lng=en

RAM: Kingston (HyperX Beast 32GB, 4x8 1600MHz kit) [~$250.00]
http://www.kingston.com/us/memory/hyperx/predator/beast

Sound Card: Creative (Sound Blaster Recon3D THX Fatal1ty Champion) [~$135.00]
http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-Recon3D-Fatal1ty-Champion/M/B0060SXDRI.htm

Video Card: NVIDIA, Asus (GeForce GTX 690) [~$1,000.00]
http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GTX6904GD5/

SSD: Intel (520 Series 240GB) [~$250.00]
http://ark.intel.com/products/66250/Intel-SSD-520-Series-240GB-2_5in-SATA-6Gbs-25nm-MLC

RAID: Intel (RS2VB080) [~$700.00]
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/servers/raid-controller-rs2vb080-brief.html

HDDs: Western Digital (RE SATA 2TB 7200RPM 6Gb/s 64MB Cache Enterprise Hard Drive) x6 [~$1,250.00]
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=30

Display: Asus (VG248QE) [~$300.00]
http://www.asus.com/Monitors_Projectors/VG248QE/

Speakers: Logitech (Z906) [~$350.00]
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/speaker-system-Z906?crid=47

Total: ~$5,645

I'm planning to use the SSD either as a boot drive and/or for fast-caching with RAID. The HDD's are going to be in a RAID 5 array, so 10TB actual storage with 2TB for parity. OS will be Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I haven't included optical drives, all-in-one card readers, etc. as they're really not important in critiquing the build.

I have concerns about the Noctua CPU cooler being compatible with the not-necessarily-so-low-profile HyperX Beast memory modules. If anyone has any information about that it would be very much appreciated. In fact, the compatibility of components is one of the most important factors I'd like to get feedback on in general.

So…what do you guys think?
smile.gif
 

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My suggestions would be Thermalright SB-E Extreme for the cooler which performs better than the D14, also the Antec 1200 isn't what I'd call a good case, checkout Corsair 500R and NZXT Phantom 630 instead for example, also get low profile memory, those won't fit under the heatsink, the soundcard is a joke too get a Xonar DX or a SoundBlaster Z if you xant to stick with Creative, are you sure you need a GTX 690? else I'd recommend a 7970, go with an IPS monitor like the Viewsonic VP2770 much better IQ, also I don't see the point of 144 Hz or is it just to justify buying a more expensive GPU?, for the SSD go with a Samsung 840 Pro 512GB and get a WD10EZEX Blue for the storage, RE4's aren't worth their pricetag nor is the RAID card unless you need an enormous amount of storage which I don't see why you'd need this, also a 550W PSU would be fine for the build.

Nice drop of money nonetheless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

Please understand that I am fully aware that for nearly all practical applications this rig is sure to be overkill in many ways. However, I'm attempting to future-proof the system as best I can and I plan to re-use many of the components in future builds so as to save money in the long run.
Haha, nice one! You're more wasting money than anything else here really, there's no such thing as future-proofing since computer hardware evolves pretty fast, just get what you need now and get newer tech later if you need it, you'll save ton of money and have access to newer components, just saying.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by adridu59 View Post

My suggestions would be Thermalright SB-E Extreme for the cooler which performs better than the D14, also the Antec 1200 isn't what I'd call a good case, checkout Corsair 500R and NZXT Phantom 630 instead for example, also get low profile memory, those won't fit under the heatsink, the soundcard is a joke too get a Xonar DX or a SoundBlaster Z if you xant to stick with Creative, are you sure you need a GTX 690? else I'd recommend a 7970, go with an IPS monitor like the Viewsonic VP2770 much better IQ, also I don't see the point of 144 Hz or is it just to justify buying a more expensive GPU?, for the SSD go with a Samsung 840 Pro 512GB and get a WD10EZEX Blue for the storage, RE4's aren't worth their pricetag nor is the RAID card unless you need an enormous amount of storage which I don't see why you'd need this, also a 550W PSU would be fine for the build.

Nice drop of money nonetheless.
Haha, nice one! You're more wasting money than anything else here really, there's no such thing as future-proofing since computer hardware evolves pretty fast, just get what you need now and get newer tech later if you need it, you'll save ton of money and have access to newer components, just saying.
I have to agree with all of this except the Silver Arrow recommendation.
 

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I disagree, I think the RE4 is a great board but I would grab two 4gb GTX680s instead of a 690, just for the added Vram down the the track if you want to go multiscreen. And as for the Antec 1200 I personally don't like it but that's subjective, I would go big like a CM Cosmos 2 or Corsair 900D for later if you decide to go watercooling.
Now the sound card what can I say, I've had nothing but issues with Creative soundcards, so in saying that I've always heard great things about the Xonar Essence STX.
PSU I would probably go with Corsair AX series probably 850 or 1200, for expansion later down the track if you want to add more GPU's or other components. Maybe explore watercooling if you want to get into an entry level system try the new Swiftech H220 if you don't want to build your own from components. Anyway good luck and have fun building
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodbath View Post

I disagree, I think the RE4 is a great board but I would grab two 4gb GTX680s instead of a 690, just for the added Vram down the the track if you want to go multiscreen.
I wouldn't go with 4GB on those cards, they have too crippled memory bandwidth to actually take advantage of it:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1704636
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@adridu59

I'm rather fond of the 1200 V3 case so, barring a real good argument to the contrary, I think I'll be sticking with it. Thanks for the tip concerning the SoundBlaster Z. I guess I just liked the fact that the Champion card included the front I/O Drive for easy access. Come to think of it...I could probably just use the controls on the Logitech z906 to achieve the same effect.

I'm definitely sticking with the GTX 690, for multiple reasons. I could definitely go into it if anyone really wants to strike up that particular discussion.

I will eventually be adding an IPS monitor to the setup. The 144 Hz 1ms GTG is just for the purposes of gaming and general use, really. The IPS will be for photo-editing, 3D modeling software, and video.

I read a bunch of reviews of the Samsung versus the Intel SSD and came to the decision that the Intel was viewed more favorably. What makes you favor the Samsung? Also, I'm almost definitely going for the RE4's for the 64MB cache size, 6gb/s, and better durability in 24/7 systems. The RAID isn't so much about the amount of data I'd like to store as much as it is about the speed with which I'd like to read and write to disk. Also, that unit has a Maintenance Free Backup Unit based on flash technology so no need to replace a battery every few years or worry about whether or not it's holding a charge.

I don't think a 550W PSU would cut it. I think I'd almost surely need a 900W with this setup just to be on the safe side. By going for the 1200W I'm keeping my options open for upgrades (x2 sli 690's, for example) or a future build. Also, I really like the principals behind it's hybrid design and I have high confidence that it will be compatible with a case by the same brand.

By future-proofing I don't mean to say that this will be such an awesome machine as to ensure no one on earth can beat my specs for years to come. I mean that quite awhile will have to go by before I could personally justify a new build considering the types of applications I would use the system for.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions so far! This is really helpful! Keep 'em coming!
 

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You could stick with the VP2770 for gaming, it's fine unless you really want that 144 Hz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

Also, that unit has a Maintenance Free Backup Unit based on flash technology so no need to replace a battery every few years or worry about whether or not it's holding a charge!
Backup unit? never heard about that.

SSD's don't have any battery either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Backup Battery is an add-on typically bought separately for Intel RAID cards that ensures that the last write operations successfully complete upon unexpected shutdown. This is to prevent data loss or corruption in raid arrays. However, the BB costs a couple hundred dollars and must be replaced every 2-3 years. If you get the RAID controller I specified above there is no need for a BB as it has a built-in flash solution to ensure write completion and data integrity upon sudden loss of power.
 

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I would recommend following changes -
1) Case - Cooler Master Cosmos 2
2) PSU - Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300 Watt for dual 690 or dual 7990.
3) CPU Cooler - Corsair Hydro Series H100
4) Sound Card - Asus Xonar DX
5) Display - Get five monitors for 5x1 portrait eyefinity. It will be the gaming experience of your life. No point of 690 for single 1080p. Also why 3930k for gaming on single monitor?
What is the intended use of this rig? Gaming, workstation ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@akafreak

I think I still prefer the Antec PSU over your recommendation of Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300 Watt. For one, Antec would be supplying both my case and PSU, so there's a better chance of good compatibility there. For two, the Antec PSU implements a semi-modular design. This means that mobo, cpu, and other essential connectors are hard-wired to provide better efficiency than a setup utilizing adapters.

As far as the H100 and other popular water coolers go, I think I'm going to pass on those after reading multiple reviews on Amazon and elsewhere containing horror stories of leaking pipes destroying components. I believe the case I've selected (3 120 mm intake fans, 2 120 exhaust fans, and 1 200mm top-mounted fan) and air-driven cpu cooler should provide plenty enough cooling without resorting to risky water-based solutions. Also, I plan on installing 2 HyperX fans over the memory modules (if possible in combination with the cpu cooler) to provide even more cooling.

I only plan to game on a single monitor for the time being. When I have more money to throw down I will definitely be implementing a 3-4 monitor setup.

I want to stick with Creative for a sound card, I think. I already bought a Logitech THX certified z906 speaker setup and so I really want to pair that with a THX certified card. The sound card I listed above is such a card. If you know of any other THX certified cards that you believe to be superior, please let me know and I will investigate it.

Also, the intended use of this rig is varied, but includes: intense 24/7 custom algorithm driven protein-folding, extreme gaming, potentially 3D capabilities for movies and games, massive amounts of integer arithmetic for solving np-complete problems, software development, and all normal usage (internet browsing, productivity software, etc.).

@adridu59

I've been considering a USP, but I think I may forego it. First, it's difficult to find moderately priced USPs that would be able to power my rig for any reasonable amount of time. Second, there are upkeep costs associated with battery replacement to consider. Third, the MFBU on my RAID controller should prevent data corruption anyways. Fourth, I plan on using a good quality surge suppressor. But, by all means, someone convince me that I'm wrong and I'll give it a go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
THIS is why I'm avoiding water based cooling solutions:
Quote:
At first appearance, I was extremely excited about purchasing a Corsair H-70 Liquid CPU cooler. I totally liked the idea of how a massive CPU air cooler would no longer restrict the overall air flow in my new CM HAF 932. Also, just the thought of much less weight on my motherboard was very attractive to me. Finally, when I read the benchmarks on the Corsair H-70, and how it did a fairly good job of cooling, I was sold on it.

After reading many, many glowing reviews and absolutely stellar reports about Corsair's Liquid cooled H-70, I eagerly purchased one and installed it in my computer.

It worked well for about 30 days. Suddenly, one day when I can home I smelled the very strong odor of something similar to anti-freeze. My computer would not boot, and at first, I could not figure out what was wrong. Then I opened my computer case...

What I discovered was shocking. The Corsair H70 had sprung a leak at the point where the hose attaches to the water pump. I still could not figure out how and why I kept smelling a strong automobile anti-freeze like odor...and then I realized the smell was from the liquid the Corsair H-70 was dumping on my motherboard. After doing a little more research, I discovered that Corsair does not use water but Propylene glycol, also called 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound (a diol or double alcohol) with formula C3H8O2 or HO-CH2-CHOH-CH3 as the liquid inside their H-70 liquid CPU cooler. I am thankful that the leak only killed my motherboard. Propylene glycol is toxic to small animals. Veterinary data indicate that propylene glycol is toxic to dogs with a 50% chance of being lethal at doses of 9mL/kg, although the figure is higher for most laboratory animals (LD50 at levels of 20mL/kg).

I emailed and called Corsair, explaining the problem and requested a full refund for my purchase of a defective item that killed my very, very expensive motherboard. They outright refused. Instead, they insisted I package up the leaking H-70 and mail it to their factory so they could "confirm" that what I said actually occurred. I spent another $15 to mail the defective H70 to Corsair.

Finally, after 4 weeks, Corsair sent me an email, confirming the H-70 was indeed defective. They insisted on mailing me a replacement...something I did not care for.

After this experience, I ripped out every Corsair Liquid CPU Cooler I have ever installed [over the last 2 years, I've installed other Corsair liquid CPU Coolers in other systems]. I replaced these liquid coolers with simple yet effective CPU air coolers. The stress of wondering if my next system build would develop a leak was just too much. There is enough stress in the world and I did not want to needlessly add to the stress already out there by installing a component that would place the entire system at risk.

I realize many people are happy with Corsair's liquid CPU coolers. I am happy it is working out for them. For me personally, I will never trust a high end system to Corsair for a liquid cooled solution. I will continue to purchase their PSU's and RAM, but I will never touch their liquid CPU coolers ever again. Way too much risk, way too much stress and way too much irreparable damage with an accompanying deep disappointment.
Quote:
So I bought this Cooler for the new LGA2011 3960x build I put together back in December. I was really excited. For 2 months the system was phenomenal. Then today, after 20+ hours of gaming, my computer shut off. I restarted it, and it bluescreened with all kinds of gibberish. I took the case door off to find that the pump had come apart and the fluid was leaking from the hose/pump connection.
Quote:
I setup one of these units in a friends computer we were building. Things seemed to be working great. Then he brought it back to me. It was making an odd noise. He thought it was the fan but when I listened to it, it sounded like the pump causing the noise. He decided he would return it and we would just put an air cooler on.
I detached it from the back of the case and as I was moving it down it must have pulled a little and POOOFFTTTT, instantly, faster than I could blink, I was covered in antifreeze. An ultra fine mist now covered me, my friend, and most of my dining room and kitchen. The rest of the liquid was pouring out of the end of one of the hoses.
Apparently it had built up pressure on one side of the pump and not the other. Moving it around was just enough to pop the connector between the hose and the radiator off on that side and it just exploded all over us.
So, be very careful with all 4 ends of the hoses on these, especially if you're moving it around.

We dried everything up and let it sit to dry for a while, luckily everything was off. So just be very careful if you move anything around in your case while it's on (moving wiring harnesses, etc.). Because one wrong bump and your whole system could be covered in liquid.
Quote:
There is a defective batch of the H80 going around. After installing, the water pump makes a very loud buzzing / grinding noise so loud, it can be heard 20 feet away. The fan control (which is on top of the cpu) is also defective. There are 3 settings and each setting, the fan spins at the same speed. No changes at all even at the max setting.
Quote:
This unit leaks. I was dusting my PC when I noticed some fluid stains on the fans. To my surprise, the fluid was coming from the so called "sealed" radiator. I noticed that the fans had gotten louder and I had been having some heat issues, so I thought it was due to built dust in my PC, it is a good thing I decided to check it when I did; the radiator is right above my GTX570's. Save your money.
These are all horror stories from the 1-star rankings of Corsair Hydro Series Liquid CPU Coolers on Amazon. There are many more similar stories...I personally just won't risk it on such an expensive rig for what would amount to at most a few degrees difference in temperature.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

@akafreak

I think I still prefer the Antec PSU over your recommendation of Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300 Watt. For one, Antec would be supplying both my case and PSU, so there's a better chance of good compatibility there. For two, the Antec PSU implements a semi-modular design. This means that mobo, cpu, and other essential connectors are hard-wired to provide better efficiency than a setup utilizing adapters.

As far as the H100 and other popular water coolers go, I think I'm going to pass on those after reading multiple reviews on Amazon and elsewhere containing horror stories of leaking pipes destroying components. I believe the case I've selected (3 120 mm intake fans, 2 120 exhaust fans, and 1 200mm top-mounted fan) and air-driven cpu cooler should provide plenty enough cooling without resorting to risky water-based solutions. Also, I plan on installing 2 HyperX fans over the memory modules (if possible in combination with the cpu cooler) to provide even more cooling.

I only plan to game on a single monitor for the time being. When I have more money to throw down I will definitely be implementing a 3-4 monitor setup.

I want to stick with Creative for a sound card, I think. I already bought a Logitech THX certified z906 speaker setup and so I really want to pair that with a THX certified card. The sound card I listed above is such a card. If you know of any other THX certified cards that you believe to be superior, please let me know and I will investigate it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

I'm looking for ANY and ALL compliments, insults, suggestions, questions, etc. concerning my proposed setup!
Why ask for our suggestions and input on this rig when you shut down every suggestion that was given? You obviously have your mind made up already on what components you want, so just get them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@halfeatenwaffles
Quote:
Why ask for our suggestions and input on this rig when you shut down every suggestion that was given? You obviously have your mind made up already on what components you want, so just get them.
You're somewhat right: I do have my mind mostly made up. I've done a lot research so far on component compatibility, user reviews, performance to cost ratio, etc. HOWEVER, I'm not infallible. I've been taking each and every comment very seriously: looking up each suggestion, comparing it to what I have already, and posting responses to the feedback to let people know which way I'm leaning.

One example of where I think I may indeed have been convinced to change a component is switching from the Creative Champion sound card to the Creative Z or Xonar. I haven't decided yet (I'm going to do more research first), but it's something I definitely wouldn't have been as informed of had I not posted here and gotten the responses that I have.

I want as many people giving their input on the issue as possible so that I can weigh the ideas of a variety of people with differing product loyalties, computing priorities, component knowledge, etc. Just because I do not instantly switch from what I've been planning to something someone has suggested should by NO means be indicative of an unwillingness to change my mind given proper evidence. In fact, you will see that many times where I have said I think I will remain with the component I originally chose I offer the commentor my reasons for doing so and an invitation to start a dialogue to try and convince me otherwise!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@thesupersexy
Quote:
Vram does not scale for SLI
Care to elaborate on what implications that would have on my current build or future upgrade plans? I'm not sure if I'm following you here...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

Ok, so I've put aside a LOT of money for what will be my first ever build. My last computer was a ~$2,500 customized HP, which served me well for a number of years before ultimately succumbing to hard drive failure followed soon after by a fried mother board. This time around, enthusiast that I am, I've decided to "roll my own". This is motivated out of the desire to eliminate the labor costs and parts restrictions that are incurred when ordering from any computer building company.

Please understand that I am fully aware that for nearly all practical applications this rig is sure to be overkill in many ways. However, I'm attempting to future-proof the system as best I can and I plan to re-use many of the components in future builds so as to save money in the long run.

I'm looking for ANY and ALL compliments, insults, suggestions, questions, etc. concerning my proposed setup!

So, without further adieu, here are the potential specifications:

Approximate budget amount: $4,000-$6,000.

CASE: Antec (Twelve Hundred V3) [~$165.00]
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2715&pid=2

PSU: Antec (HCP-1200) [~$240.00]
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=2468&fid=343

Motherboard: Asus (P9X79 Deluxe) [~375.00]
http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/P9X79_DELUXE/

CPU: Intel (i7-3930K) [~$550.00]
http://ark.intel.com/products/63697/Intel-Core-i7-3930K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-3_80-GHz

CPU Fan: Noctua (NH-D14 SE2011) [~$80.00]
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=41&lng=en

RAM: Kingston (HyperX Beast 32GB, 4x8 1600MHz kit) [~$250.00]
http://www.kingston.com/us/memory/hyperx/predator/beast

Sound Card: Creative (Sound Blaster Recon3D THX Fatal1ty Champion) [~$135.00]
http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-Recon3D-Fatal1ty-Champion/M/B0060SXDRI.htm

Video Card: NVIDIA, Asus (GeForce GTX 690) [~$1,000.00]
http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GTX6904GD5/

SSD: Intel (520 Series 240GB) [~$250.00]
http://ark.intel.com/products/66250/Intel-SSD-520-Series-240GB-2_5in-SATA-6Gbs-25nm-MLC

RAID: Intel (RS2VB080) [~$700.00]
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/servers/raid-controller-rs2vb080-brief.html

HDDs: Western Digital (RE SATA 2TB 7200RPM 6Gb/s 64MB Cache Enterprise Hard Drive) x6 [~$1,250.00]
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=30

Display: Asus (VG248QE) [~$300.00]
http://www.asus.com/Monitors_Projectors/VG248QE/

Speakers: Logitech (Z906) [~$350.00]
http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/speaker-system-Z906?crid=47

Total: ~$5,645

I'm planning to use the SSD either as a boot drive and/or for fast-caching with RAID. The HDD's are going to be in a RAID 5 array, so 10TB actual storage with 2TB for parity. OS will be Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I haven't included optical drives, all-in-one card readers, etc. as they're really not important in critiquing the build.

I have concerns about the Noctua CPU cooler being compatible with the not-necessarily-so-low-profile HyperX Beast memory modules. If anyone has any information about that it would be very much appreciated. In fact, the compatibility of components is one of the most important factors I'd like to get feedback on in general.

So…what do you guys think?
smile.gif
A few thing's I would personally change since I recently have done a similar build.

1. I would go with a bigger case, it will be easier for cable management and cooling and gives you more freedom to add anything afterwards, I recommend looking at the Corsair Obsidian 800D or the Cooler Master Cosmos II. If space is an issue for you then the Silverstone Raven III is a great case as well especially for cooling.

2. The new Corsair AX1200i is a great psu that gives you extended control and monitoring abilities.

3. If you are spending this kind of money I would definitely look at a better Motherboard, like a ASUS Rampage IV Extreme or a Asrock Extreme 9 or Extreme 11. These motherboards have built-in RAID controllers as I'm not 100% certain why you are going with a $700 raid controller when you are not building a server.

4. At your budget you could really invest in a closed loop liquid cooling for your CPU, like a Corsair H100 or H100i

5. As far as RAM goes you can get higher clocked quad channel ram at the same CAS latency as the kingston, I have the Corsair Dominator GT which is 2133mhz and still at CL9.

6. The money you spend on a sound card will be better spent on buying better speakers, maybe a set of harmon kardon?

7. 690 is great, but there are better options out there, I would personally go with a Nvidia Titan or an Asus Aries II

8. Intel SSDs are good, but you get much better random performance from SSDs based on other controllers, SSDs like the Samsung 840pro, OCZ Vertex 4, or the OCZ Vector.

Other than that, great build!

have fun
 

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If you're dropping 5k on a rig I'd say get a bigger SSD.

I also think you could get an epic rig and NOT spend 5k, meaning I think you're overpaying for stuff you will never use, but thats just my 2cents.

I would also unquestionably go EVGA if you're dropping this much coin. EVGA honors warranties for life, and you will not have a single issue with the company and their RMA/Customer Serivce, if you have problems with your card.

While some of your points regarding water cooling ARE justified, you also are basing this off of Pre made WC kits. While SOME kits are good (H50/100 springs to mind), if you do a CUSTOM WATER COOLING SYSTEM, almost none of those problems are there. I use air myself for some of the same reasons as you, but for me thats' a result of lacking $. If you're dropping $5 grand on a system i'm sure you could even find someone to do a custom WC for you with guarantees and such at a local PC store. Yes leaks are possible, especially with WC kits, but if you're shelling out $5g for a system those concerns about cheap WC kits shouldn't even enter the conversation.

Finally I have no idea why you're spending 700$ on a raid controller when pretty much every single motherboard in existence now has them onboard. If you're worried they aren't good, simply get a better motherboard instead of dropping 700$ on a PCI raid controller that will give you more headaches in the long term anyway.

I mean you're talking about like protection from power issues for the RAID and stuff but here are points to be raised:

A) Do you have frequent issues of power disruption?
B) Do you have data that cannot afford to have even a single error in it?
-both of these lead to-
C) Does it even matter?

I think you're pissing $ away preparing for irrelevant, possible problems (eg power disruption messing up your RAID, leaks from a cheap-o WC KIT). You could build an EPIC rig for like 2500 that will serve you well for years, keep that 2500$ in the bank for future upgrades/builds, but again, this is all just my opinion. Your dollar after all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetname View Post

@thesupersexy
Care to elaborate on what implications that would have on my current build or future upgrade plans? I'm not sure if I'm following you here...
Sorry I meant to quote the guy who says get 2x 680 4gb as opposed to 1 690 4gb for additional vram, since it does not scale it wont make a difference.
 
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