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Advice for a build

Post Date: 2012-05-03

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ChrisM View Drop Down
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  Quote ChrisM Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Advice for a build
    Posted: 03 May 2012 at 1:10pm
Budget: ~$5000 or less

Expectations: Don't care about how it looks. I want awesome performance, but noise is a major concern. Willing to spend more (within reason) to keep noise in check.

Usage: Mostly gaming (30" monitor at 2560x1600), also some general video/photo editing, multipurpose stuff.

Explanation of some of my choices:
- I want to future-proof by buying big now with the expectation that I likely won't be changing any parts for several years. Additional video card or replacing to next-gen (or next next gen) is the one potential exception.
- Unlike most people, I don't attempt to backup the entire Internet locally. So I can actually fit most everything I have on less than 500GB. The single SSD will contain almost everything but my media/data files. I will definitely have to uninstall games I don't play often, but I'm okay with that. I tend to play a game until I'm done with it, then I can turf it.
- I realize 16GB of RAM is not needed for gaming. For the increase in price I'd rather have it now than worry about upgrading it down the road.

Major questions:
1. I think IvyBridge 3770K will suit my needs fine. My one concern is whether the GTX 690 (or possibly x2 690 SLI in the future) will be held back by the platform. Would 3930K allow for greater performance? All the GTX690 reviews I've looked at tested using 3960X. (EDIT: From what I'm reading now, platform isn't an issue)
2. Which case? Hot-swappable bays don't matter. I don't intend to open the case often, so access isn't a big concern. Size and weight are irrelevant. Looks don't matter. Digital Storm has so many options, and it really isn't clear to me what the benefits are to each one. A nice chart with each case side by side would be helpful. Trying to keep the system as quiet as possible is my first concern with the case selection. The Dreadnought, Valkyrie, Slade, and Hailstorm series all seem like options. Apparently the Aventum is SandyBridge-E only? Once selecting Expert Mode for Chassis selection, there are a million more options. I like the idea of the vertical heat dissipation cases I've read about. But again, noise is my biggest concern, so long as the case is large enough to easily hold everything and allow proper heat ventilation. Even a 24" tall case is perfectly fine.
3. Power supply. Is1000W sufficient even if I go x2 GTX 690 SLI in the future? One question I have is whether going with a higher capacity power supply has any benefit? If it is less stressed, does it run quieter? Does a larger PSU actually use more electricity, or is it more about what capacity it can actually handle if you need it?
4. Cooling: The options in the configuration tool provide zero feedback to give any kind of guidance. I am looking for maintenance-free use, with good bang for the buck. Perhaps H20 Stage 3? But I don't really know what that effectively gives me over Stage 2, or whether Stage 4 might be significantly better for the money spent. The costs ramp up pretty quick from there.
5. CPU boost: Will Stage 3 overclocking harm the life of the CPU? I think not provided the cooling is sufficient. In which case, what cooling level is required with 3770K CPU, and with 1 or 2 GTX 690s? Keeping in mind the 690 vents only half the air to the case exterior, and the other half to the interior.
6. Any thoughts on shipping costs to Western Canada?

Here's a build I've put together for input:
683680
Price: $4414
Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Cooler Master Cosmos II
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50 GHz (Unlocked CPU) (Quad Core) (Requires Z77 Motherboard)
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE (Intel Z77 Chipset) (Higher Overclocks and Unique Wi-Fi Features)
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 2000MHz GTX-8 Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended)
Power Supply: 1000W Digital Storm Certified (Dual/Triple/Quad SLI Compatible) (Silent Edition Highly Recommended)
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (240GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 520 Series)
Set 1 Raid Options: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (2TB Hitachi/Seagate (7200 RPM) (32MB Cache)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB (Includes PhysX)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 3: FrostChill Cooling System: CPU Only
H20 Tube Color:- Not Applicable, I do not have a FrostChill or Sub-Zero LCS Cooling System Selected
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: - No Thanks
Enhancements: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: Noise Suppression Package Stage 2 (Optimized Airflow & Fan Speeds with Noise Dampening Material)
LaserMark: - No Thanks
Boost Processor: Stage 3: Overclock CPU 4.9GHz to 5.2GHz (Requires Extreme Series Motherboard)
Boost Video Card: FREE: Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability
Boost Memory: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
Boost OS: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows 7 CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office: Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student (Full Retail Box Packaging)
Game: - No Thanks
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: FREE: Digital Storm T-Shirt - Black (Medium)
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 10-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty



Edited by ChrisM - 03 May 2012 at 1:58pm
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bprat22 View Drop Down
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 May 2012 at 2:31pm
Hi ChrisM....Welcome to the forums.    I' m running out of time until tomorrow.   Maybe others can help until then.     I would make some changes like psu to 750hx for single card and dropping the noise suppresion package and chsnging cpu cooler to D14 or H100.     Overall your build looks great.   Gotta go.
 
 
EDIT.....Hi ChrisM....Looking over things, in addition to changing cooler I would up psu to 1050HX for sli potential in the future that you asked about.  A bigger psu will use more juice but only when it needs to.  Psu's are quiet and the larger one gives you headroom for the future and when they drop a bit in efficiency with age.
 
Go with the Dreadnought HafX case.  It is the best for cooling.  The Cosmo is expensive, huge and doesn't cool as well.  It could be made to cool better, but that would be adding fans.  The fans in HafX are large and slow moving, meaning less noise then a bunch of smaller fans.  It will still be noisier than an older, smaller single fan case from box store, but the noise is usually gpu fans anyways.
 
Go with 1600Mhz ram,.  The difference is nil.
 
Drop noise suppresion package.  A waste.
 
We would normally say to drop the free oc'ing on video card, but I'm not sure how that would apply to the 690.  I would ask DS,  No sense stressing the card more than you have to,
 
I think level 2 oc would do it just fine.  Not sure the added is worth it without going to a water cooling solution.  Not sure but it plays it a little safer
 
Hope this helps and good luckBig%20Smile
 
 
 


Edited by bprat22 - 04 May 2012 at 4:04am
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ChrisM View Drop Down
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  Quote ChrisM Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 May 2012 at 8:53am
Thank you very much bprat22.

Here is a new build, taking your suggestions into account. As well I made a couple of other modifications. For example, I changed the motherboard since the only advantage I could see to the deluxe model is built in WIFI which I'm not interested in.

684067
Price: $3,844.00
Specifications:
Chassis Model: Special Deal Hot Seller - Cooler Master 942 HAF X
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50 GHz (Unlocked CPU) (Quad Core) (Requires Z77 Motherboard)
Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 (Intel Z77 Chipset) (Features Thermal Armor and Thermal Radar)
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Digital Storm Certified Performance Series (Highly Recommended) (Hand Tested)
Power Supply: 1050W Corsair Pro Silver 1050HX (Dual/Triple/Quad SLI Compatible)
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (240GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 520 Series)
Set 1 Raid Options: - No Thanks
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (500GB Western Digital/Seagate/Hitachi/Samsung (7200 RPM) (16MB Cache)
Hard Drive Set 3: Backup\Misc.: - No Thanks
Optical Drive 1: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Optical Drive 2: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Video Card: 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB (Includes PhysX)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler (240mm Radiator) (Extreme-Performance Edition)
H20 Tube Color:- Not Applicable, I do not have a FrostChill or Sub-Zero LCS Cooling System Selected
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: - No Thanks
Enhancements: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: - No Thanks
LaserMark: - No Thanks
Boost Processor: Stage 2: Overclock CPU 4.5GHz to 4.8GHz (Requires Pro/Deluxe/Sabertooth Motherboard)
Boost Video Card: FREE: Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability
Boost Memory: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my memory
Boost OS: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: Windows Recovery Toolkit (Bundled with Windows 7 CD)
Virus Protection: - No Thanks
Office: - No Thanks
Game: - No Thanks
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks
External Storage: - No Thanks
Exclusive T-Shirt: FREE: Digital Storm T-Shirt - Black (Medium)
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 10-15 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty

A couple more questions:

Why is the noise suppression package a waste? Is it that the case already includes noise canceling materials in the construction? Or the case is already so silent with the large fans? From what I've read, the H100 can be noisy depending on whether it is set to low/med/hi. I'm not sure how DS decides what to set it to, but I would imagine we can direct them in that regard. The medium/normal/balanced setting seems reasonable to me, provided that will still allow for reasonable overclock rates.

The GTX 690 reviews say that nvidia has selected chips with a fair bit of OC headroom in them. The stock settings are turned down a bit just to keep the TDP under 300W. So that's why I selected the overclocking service. As you say, I don't want to stress the card unnecessarily, but DS can probably provide good info here.


Edited by ChrisM - 04 May 2012 at 8:57am
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bprat22 View Drop Down
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 May 2012 at 9:21am
That build look great.  I like air cooler on cpu better but the H100 works good.
 
 
The noise package material just collects dust, most of the noise coming through the openings in the case, side panel, etc..  Padding some panels wouldn't do much.  Plus, optimizing fan speeds is just reducing the fans speed and messing with a great air flow case.  Most of the noise from a gaming rig with large fans like the HafX is from the gpu cooler and the cpu cooler.
 
If the H100 cooler can be kept at low, medium speeds then it's not bad.  For that chip we always recommend the D14 or Phanteks.  Quiet all the time, cools great and very reliable.
 
Hope this helps.Big%20Smile
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  Quote criTalon Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 May 2012 at 10:11am
I agree with bprat on the noise suppression package, especially if you want to OC your GPU.
OCing your GPU requires one to monitor temps closely (of course, if DS is doing this for your, it's OK). The noise suppression won't be as beneficial for your GPU when it is OCed.

Edited by criTalon - 04 May 2012 at 10:11am
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  Quote FrankW Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 May 2012 at 9:36am
Hi ChrisM,

I would not OC the 690 with an air cooled GPU. One of the 680s dumps its heat right into the case. The 690 is a good candidate for OC but I would be concerned with doing it with air cooling. Now you could add a 120mm fan behind the drive bay so it blows directly on the GPU pushing the air towards the back of the case. That might be a fix. All of this is opinion right now as there is not enough systems out there to learn from. Hopefully DS will give us some feedback on how they are doing with the 690 and air cooling in the standard HAF-X case.

Frank
HAF 922
EVGA X58 LE
6GB DS Certified
Corsair 750TX
HDD-1TB
Optical Drv
ATI Radeon 5870
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