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Best Box

Post Date: 2012-04-30

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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Best Box
    Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 8:29am
My existing 3 year old system is failing and I plan to purchase a new one from Digital Storm today if possible.

1.  Budget:  $3,500.  I have a monitor and speakers but will need keyboard and mouse.

2.  Expectations:  a very reliable system lasting 3-5 years with easily replaced hard disks (RAID 1) and upgradable graphics.

3.  Usage:  general MS Office applications, photo editing, large music library support, HD video editing (Power Director), gaming  (MMOs, particularly Guild Wars 2, and others as well as RPGs.

4.  Special Needs:  my office has a less than optimal air temperature control.  In the winter it ranges from mid 60's to low 70's.  During the summer it ranges from high 60's to high 70's for a few hours.  Also, it can be dusty.

Question:  I'm considering either a Dreadnaught (HAF X) platform or a Hailstorm.  Which is most likely to do best in my office environment?  Or is there another platform you'd recommend?  Thanks.  (Any other general configuration recommendations are welcome, of course)
-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 9:09am
Hi Thomas WJ....Welcome to the forums.
 
Here's aconfig to look at and get you started.
 
Config # 682160   Cost $ 2834
 
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 3820 3.6GHz (Turbo Mode up to 3.8GHz) (Quad Core)
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 DELUXE (Intel X79 Chipset) (Features USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s)
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 (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (Model: Black Edition)
Set 1 Raid Options: Configure HDD Set 1 to a Raid 1 Config - Mirror (Requires Two HDDs)
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (Model: Black Edition)
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 680 2GB (Includes PhysX)
Add-on Card: - No Thanks
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
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 or Deluxe Series Motherboard)
Boost Video Card: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
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: - 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 (Large)
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
 
The HafX case you mentioned is the best for air cooled systems.  the Hailstorm would be if you went full water cooled.
 
The X79 platform is quad channel ram, great for video editing, etc.  I did drop the six core i7-3930 cpu to the 4 core 3820 to save $300.  But if you think you need it then a simple change.
 
The 1050HX psu is if you decided to sli, 2x 680 in the future, this rig cetainly able to handle it.  For single 680 the 750HX would do, but just thinking ahead.
 
I don't know Raid 1 so just added what you mentioned.  Others will chime in with more experience with it.
 
The H100 cpu cooler is what DS recommends for the X79 platform and is a great cooler . 
 
The oc stage 2 might be a mistake.  I just learned that DS does not overclock the 3820 because it is not the 'k' unlocked chip.  They will tell you for sure.
 
As far as surrounding temps, most any cooling option does depend on resonable room temps.  The temps you mentioned shouldn't be a problem.
 
See what you think and Good LuckBig%20SmileBig%20Smile


Edited by bprat22 - 30 Apr 2012 at 9:11am
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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 9:49am
Many, many thanks bpratt22.  I expect to post a config shortly.  Given your comments I'll probably go with the HafX per your recommendation.
-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 9:56am
Awesome
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  Quote retirednavysnipe Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 10:32am
Thomas I recently ordered my incoming pc from DS.  I ordered the X79 with the I7 3820.  DS called and told me they cannot guarantee the stg 2 overclock with the 3820.  They stated they would be hard pressed to o/c to turbo speed.  I decided to go for the 3930K. 

You might want to call and talk to them if you decide to go with the 3820.
Hailstorm Black Ops
I7 3930K 4.5GHZ
16GB 1600MHZ ram
2 x GTX 680
120 GB SSD, 1 TB hardrive
Fully liquid cooled CPU, GPU and chipset.
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 10:38am
The 3820 is not a "K" series CPU which means it's not unlocked for overclocking.
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 10:48am
Thanks...Looks like you're clearing up a few issues today.Big%20Smile
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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 10:50am
Thanks retirednavysnipe and Alex for your counsel.  My current proposed configuation follows.  All comments are welcome, of course.

Questions:
1.  What is the best overclocking option for the 3820 given reliability is a primary concern?
2.  I listen to classical music much of the day.  Is a separate sound card warranted and is this a good choice?
3.  In the event I have to rebuild my main (RAID 1) disks, will I need a different version of MS Office than the PC Attach Key PKC version?
4.  Does Digital Storm provide desktop level RAID management or does it have to be managed from BIOS?

....

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 3820 3.6GHz (Turbo Mode up to 3.8GHz) (Quad Core) <b></b>

Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 DELUXE (Intel X79 Chipset) (Features USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s) 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: 2x (180GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 520 Series) Set 1 Raid Options: Configure HDD Set 1 to a Raid 1 Config - Mirror (Requires Two HDDs) Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (1TB Western Digital Caviar (7200 RPM) (Model: Black Edition) 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 680 2GB (Includes PhysX) Add-on Card: - No Thanks Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 96KHz 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 1: Overclock CPU 4.0GHz to 4.4GHz Boost Video Card: - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s) 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 Office Home and Business (PC Attach Key PKC)


-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 10:56am
The 3820 is best only with the standard Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 overclocking, if you want us to overclock the CPU higher such as a Stage 1 package, you will need a unlocked "K" series CPU selected.
 
You don't need a dedicated sound card unless you really want crystal clear, high quality audio that is going to a high-end speaker set.
 
You should not need a different version of Office/etc when re-building the RAID.
 
The motherboard has Intel controllers for RAID, which does come with a RAID management utility for Windows.
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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:01am
Alex, thanks so much.  Just to be clear on MS Office:  if I have to do a complete system rebuild, i.e. new OS install etc., (not just replacement after a single drive failure) will I be able to do so with that version of Windows (presumably via download) or do I need the standard retail version?
-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:05am
Sorry:  correction:   Just to be clear on MS Office:  if I have to do a complete system rebuild, i.e. new OS install etc., (not just replacement after a single drive failure) will I be able to do so with that version of MS Office (presumably via download) or do I need the standard retail version?
-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:07am

Since it's just the product key you are getting with the Office software pre-installed, you will need to download the Office software and just activate it with your product key. If it stops you saying it was already activated, just contact Microsoft Activation Support and let them know you re-installed Windows.

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Thomas WJ View Drop Down
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  Quote Thomas WJ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 11:55am
Thanks Alex.  I just placed my order.  I really appreciate all the help from you and the others on the forums.  I'll let you guys know what I think when I've received it and it's up and running.
-TWJ
"For a Muse of Fire."
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  Quote bprat22 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 12:24pm
You don't waste any time Hahaha
Congrats Awesome
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 30 Apr 2012 at 12:43pm
Glad to hear! Awesome
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