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Old 08-16-2011, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Higher-end tower build question

Hi guys. This is a build I have selected for my new gaming rig. I will not be building it myself, however, I wanted to gather some opinions on more experienced persons other than myself. I also wanted to make sure there are no poor choices or compatibility issues. Any help would be much appreciated!

-Intel Core i7 Processor i7-960 3.2GHz Quad Core 8MB LGA1366 CPU w/ZALMAN COPPER DELUXE EDITION COOLER LGA 1155/1156/1366

-Thermal paste: ZEROtherm Advanced ZT100 Thermal Grease

-Asus SABERTOOTH X58 Socket 1366/ Intel X58/ Quad SLI & Quad CrossFireX/ SATA3.0&USB3.0/ A&GbE

-12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) Triple Channel

-128GB Solid State Drive SATA II for my boot drive

-SEAGATE / WD 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB CACHE SATA 6.0Gb/s for everything else. No RAID setup or anything like that. I'll eventually purchase an external drive to back stuff up.

-4x BLU-RAY PLAYER DVD-ROM COMBO DRIVE

-Two (x2) nVidia GeForce GTX560 Ti 2GB DDR5 2-DVI/HDMI SLI PCI-EXP Video Card

-Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 24-bit Sound Card

-REALTEK 10/100/1000 Gigabit Network Card

-3X THERMALTAKE/ANTEC CASE FAN

-THERMALTAKE DELUXE CASE COOLING SYSTEM

-CORSAIR 800 WATT HIGH PERFORMANCE SLI/CROSSFIRE POWER SUPPLY

The case itself will be a IN WIN TRACK Black / Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit for the OS.

What I was going for was a rig that would be able to handle any current (and hopefully newer for a while at least) games on high settings. I was going to go with a newer processor than the 960, but they're all hex-cores and I figured that would be unnecessary, plus WAY more expensive.

This build should run around $2300. I was looking to go under $2500, so this works out great.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

The second generation Intel's aren't all hex-core, or more expensive.

I would change:
CPU - i5 2500k, more performance than the i7 960 for gaming, newer, and cheaper.
Motherboard - Asus Sabertooth P67, has to change to fit the new CPU, about the same price.
RAM - 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, the P67 uses dual channel RAM and 2x4GB is more than enough for gaming.
GPU - For a few extra $ you can just get 1 GTX 580 which is 4-7FPS slower than your SLi setup, but by the time games come out that actually stress it they'll be cheap enough to snag a 2nd one for SLi (instead of having to replace both your 560s).

The rest is just nit-picky stuff.
12x Blu-Ray instead of 4x.
SATA III SSD instead of SATA II.
And personally would skip the sound card and network card, on-board is good enough for the standard user.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

Wow, I really spaced on the fact that the new Sandy Bridge line is out. And the fact that I picked a SATA II instead of III SSD. Thanks for pointing that out. The network and sound cards listed were on-board, as well.

Anyways here's my new set-up. A little more expensive since I threw out the dual 560s, like you mentioned, and instead factored in a GTX 590. Figured I may as well go for the best possible card instead of the 580? Thanks for the ideas Roark.

-Intel Core i5 Processor i5-2500K 3.3GHz 6MB QUAD CORE w/ZALMAN COPPER DELUXE EDITION COOLER LGA 1155/1156/1366

-ZEROtherm Advanced ZT100 Thermal Grease

-Asus SABERTOOTH P67 REV 3.0 Socket 1155/ Intel P67/ Quad CrossFireX & Quad SLI/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

-8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) Dual Channel w/(2X) COOLMAX MEMORY HEAT SPREADERS

-Boot drive: 128GB Solid State Drive SATA III

-Secondary drive: WD BLACK 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB CACHE SATA 6.0Gb/s

-12X BLU-RAY PLAYER & DVD-RW COMBO DRIVE

-22X DUAL LAYER DVD-RW W/LIGHTSCRIBE

-nVidia GeForce GTX590 3GB DDR5 3DVI/MINI-DISPLAY PCI-Express Video Card

-REALTEK 8-CHANNEL DIGITAL SOUND (onboard)

-REALTEK 10/100/1000 Gigabit Network Card (onboard)

-Case: IN WIN TRACK Black / Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

-THERMALTAKE/ANTEC CASE FAN x3

-THERMALTAKE DELUXE CASE COOLING SYSTEM

-CORSAIR 800 WATT HIGH PERFORMANCE SLI/CROSSFIRE POWER SUPPLY

-Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Will the Corsair 800W supply be stable enought for the 590, or would I need to upgrade that as well? Will I still be able to use my VGI/HDMI monitor with the 590? I'm not familier with DVI... Comes out to be close to $2500 factoring everything in now, which was my limit to begin with.

Also, I realised I should have posted this in the high performance section. My apologies.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

The GTX 590 requires a 700w PSU, so you will be fine with the Corsair you've picked.
It has an HDMI-out, so as long as you have a cable you're golden with the monitor.

As to the GTX 580 vs 590, its personal preference. The 590 is a beast, but its not really necessary for any games yet, its more of a gloating factor. Considering that the 580 is $100-$300 cheaper, I'd be more than content to get one of those and then at a later date grab another 580 for SLi if I was feeling saucy.

I'd actually probably take the extra $ and put it toward a Corsair AX850 or OCZ Z/ZX 850w. They are modular, 80+ gold efficient, and would have the juice to run two GTX 580s.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

I'm once again with Roark. The gains of a 590 over the 580 isnt worth the money, and up the psu to allow for a 2nd card. The only thing though, is when you want to get a 2nd 580, much better cards going to be released and will cost less that you'll just buy it and ditch the old decrepit 580.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

And I wouldn't buy the i5 2500K with the Zalman heatsink, I would buy this instead.
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

And I wouldn't buy the ZEROtherm Advanced ZT100 Thermal Grease either, I would buy some Tuniq TX-2.
Newegg.com - Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

Thank you all for your replies, I appreciate it.

I'll be going with the 580 3GB then. And a new case as well: The Cooler Master HAF RC-922M.

And, one more question; Since Slaymate suggested I ditch the Zalman heatsink for the processor, it got me looking at other cooling methods. I came across the newer water cooling systems, such as the Antec Kuhler 920. It's expensive, and I don't know anything about it. But, is it effective? Does it require periodic re-filling of the cooling liquid/any maintenance at all? I figured since I'll be doing lots of gaming and in the summer my apartment gets very hot so I need the best cooling for all my parts. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

The Antec Kuhler 620/920, as well as the Corsair H50/60/70, are closed-loop systems, which means that they don't need to be refilled. You essentially just install and forget about them. From reviews I've read they work about as well as a mid to high-end air cooler depending on which version you get.
Price : Performance you're better off getting an air cooler, the Noctua NH-D14 will out perform any of the above closed-loop systems.
However, there is something to be said for their convenience, with the closed-loop systems you don't have to worry about them fitting in your case because there is no tall radiator, and you don't have to worry about them blocking a RAM slot because there aren't any fans hanging off the CPU block, also thermal paste comes pre-applied.

...Ever do research while writing and can't find a good place to edit?
The NH-D14, Kuhler 920, and Corsair H80 should all provide performance within a few įC of each other.
NH-D14 and H80 are $86, the Kuhler 920 is $115 (all on newegg), I'd personally go for the H80 for price and convenience.

Comparison Test link from HardwareHeaven.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

Awesome! Thanks for the info Roark.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Higher-end tower build question

Yha the all in 9ones are nice as todays heatsinks are big and bulky, but work great. Theses AIO's have tiny heast sink mounts allowing you to run whatever ram you want.
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