i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

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i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:36 am

The last time I did this was back in the day of the AMD Athlon XP3200, ATI Radeon 9800XT and the nVidia nForce2 motherboards. I used the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe and it was an awesome machine for it's day. The onboard nVidia "SoundStorm" (was that the name??) audio was almost as good, if not better then a dedicated sound card. I still have it and fire it up now and then. I even have a ABIT NF7 Series mobo, several AMD CPU's including XP2500 "Barton", XP2500M mobile Barton, and a few ATI Radeon cards including two 9800XT's,two 9700PRO's, a 9500PRO BIOS flashed to 9700 specs, some that I never got around to using, all either like new or brand new and still sitting in the boxes. (Watch for me on the "Discovery Channel" new series, "Outdated Computer Parts Hoarders") :lol: But that technology is pretty dated now, so I'll probably retire it and use it as a dedicated "Folding@Home" machine. It can still do some good. :wink:

Now I'm ready to build a high end gaming rig based on the i7 2600K CPU, which I already have. I like to mess with overclocking and from what I've read, that CPU is pretty sweet for the price and can shoot past 4.0 Ghz on air without breaking a sweat. I'll definitely use an aftermarket CPU heatsink, maybe water cooled. I like the Corsair Hydro series. The only other piece to the puzzle I have ready is the OS hard drive, and for that I bought the 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. From the reviews I read it was one of the best of the bunch of SSD'd that have hit the market. I was gonna use it in my laptop, but I decided to wait for the firmware to mature a bit more and hopefully help fix the BSOD and whatever other problems some people were getting hammered with. So I saved it for this rig. Speaking of firmware, I think they just released a new version, 2.50 or something like that and I think it helps. We'll see. Either way, it's a nice hard drive option for the OS and certain programs you really want to fly. From there I need help, especially the motherboard. Too many choices! Feature wise, I guess what I'm looking for is a full featured solid performer with excellent overclocking ability, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0, SLI/CrossFire ready if I decide to go that route, and the new school UEFI BIOS is a HUGE plus. Is there a particular NB chipset that is preferred by gamers, or one that is just preferred because it's the best of the bunch? I see the dfferent ones available on these LGA1155 boards and I forget the differences. A few I was looking at were the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme boards, the MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) and Z68A-GD80 (G3) and Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3.

Memory: Again, lots of choices but easier to deal with than the mobo. So far I'm looking at this G.SKILL Ripjaws set:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231473

Seems like a solid deal. Decent price, fast and stable at rated speeds according to most of the reviews. Corsair is also solid, so I'll be looking at them also. The big thing is compatability. I should buy the mobo first so it'll be easier to pick memory I know would be compatable and not have any issues with it. That's in a perfect world. :lol: Brand name memory is usually not too much of a problem. It's when you buy questionable stuff trying to save a few bucks is when you can get yourself into problems.

A large storage hard drive is gonna be a problem. I have the solid state OS drive as I mentioned before, but a storage drive is gonna be big-time expensive because of all the flooding problems in the country where most of these hard drives are made. You use to be able to get a Western Digital 1TB or larger HDD for under $100. Now, at least from newegg.com figure on spending between $200-$300!!! Nasty. I'm gonna try BestBuy near my house.....I think I can score one of these drives for a lot less. If not, I have some older SATA drives laying around here I can use short-term.

Video Card: Not sure on this one. I want to keep my options open for a SLI setup. Right now newegg.com does not have much of a selection of Radeon cards....mostly nVidia. The GTX-590 dual GPU cards are sick. Expensive as heck but pretty much the fastest on the planet. There seems to be some issues with stuttering or something with the dual GPU cards. The GTX-580 may be a better choice, and the option is open to use 2 in a SLI setup.

***I just found this Radeon card on special this weekend for a great price. MSI Radeon HD6970. Factory overclocked, free Dirt3 game coupon, and marked down $40 on the price after the mail in rebate to $349.00 plus free shipping this weekend. Almost out of time so I'm gonna grab it now.***

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127581

**Edit** Anyone have x2 of these cards and try them in CrossFireX mode? Curious how it worked for you. (2) of these cards should be pretty dang powerful. My only other question would be: Has SLI and CrossFireX reached the point where they are worth the cost? Have most of the issues been worked out? ***

That's about all I have so far. The next few days I'll be researching a PSU, Blu-Ray/DVD writeable drive, full size tower case, CPU heatsink or maybe water-cooling for both the CPU and GPU if there is a nice quality, simple kit around to consider. A Windows 7 Home Premium OS should be fine and anything else I need to build my "GameKiller v2.0". :D I appreciate any advice or comments you guys may have. The last time I did this the people here were a huge help to me and the advice I got was awesome. I built my first computer pretty much on the fly with no previous experience, just what I learned here from all of you and whatever I could find on my own. I was so "noob" to this stuff I was actually scared to turn on the computer after I finished assembly!! I waited almost 2 full days!! :roll: :lol: Anyway, it worked awesome, as I hope this one does. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. GERBILS RULE!! :wink:

Tom "CC"
Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"..........
.............never caught anything.

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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:56 am

I have crossfire 6970s and they work very well. I game at 1680x1050, but I have a 120fps monitor so the extra horsepower comes in handy when you crank up the settings. I also have a 2600k with the Corsair H100 and it definitely keeps the proc very cool when overclocking.

Asus boards are usually pretty stable and good overclockers; if you're interested, I've got the p8p67 deluxe http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131701 and running the 2600k at 4429 Mhz. Could probably do a lot better than that, but I'm lazy and 4.4 Ghz is good enough for me :)

Jason
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:35 am

If its water you want swiftech has a couple of awesome setups with integrated pumps and all,but you still have to run the tubing and fill the system,but a helluva lot better the the h60 type wcooler imm using,I am runnin at at 4650mhz,but she still idles at 1654mhz,plus withe the cool temps out and my pc being very close to window i dont break 60c often at all but thats with 19c ambient temp.Anyways here is the link http://www.tcmagazine.com/tcm/news/hard ... id-coolers
Enjoy your build.
Oh BTW imm running my spu at 1.39 volts with a 103.5 mhz blk and i have all my overclock on my turbo set all cores to 45x with the 103.5 blk gives me 4657mhz,i left c1e setting or whatever it is enabled instead of on auto so it downclocks to 1654mhz when at idle.
I know it might sound weird to just use the turbo settings to overclock but works fantastic.
With my CPU overclock and my EVGA GTX 560 TIs at 990mhz core 1980mhz shaders and 2400mhz/4800mhz memory all without a voltage bump My 3dmark11 score beats 10k averaging 10050 or so.If i bump my cards voltage up a bit from 1.050 to 1.100 I can crack 1020mhz on both cards and score like 10400 points on 3dmark 11,putting me in the top 15 in the world with 2 gtx560 tis in sli but the latest NV drivers are not yet approved for 3dmark 11.
Sorry hadda see how long my 3dmark pee pee is moment EVGA video cards rock:)
Last edited by vargis14 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:52 am

Have you checked out TR's System Guide? The Sweeter Spot could serve as a starting point for your build.

You definitely want a motherboard with the Intel Z68 chipset for your Core i7-2600K processor. The P8Z68-V/Gen3 is a premium example.

While the Corsair Hydro H70 on my Core i7-2600K works well, the identical unit that I installed on a Phenom II X4 experienced a pump failure after only 4 months of operation. If your case will accommodate it, a large air cooler is simpler and less expensive.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:16 pm

I do like those ASUS motherboards. The link you showed me and these two also caught my eye. Similar to yours:

P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131791

P8Z68-V PRO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131730

The DELUXE sold out just a little while ago. ACK!! Another feature I like with these ASUS P8Z68 series boards is they are "future" ready for the next series of CPU's...I think they are the 22nm "Ivy Bridge"?? Is that right?

I did order the memory and a video card. Got the GSKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR3 2133. The GPU is the MSI Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB.

I found two cases I like. They seem to be pretty popular from all the reviews.

First one is the Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811133192

The other is the COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119225

I was originally looking at the Black Edition case but I can't find a link to it. This Snow Ed. is identical so you can compare.

I'll check out the Swifttech kit later today. Right now I need some Zzzzz's...I'm out on my feet. Thank you all
for the quick responses. I knew I could count on you guys! :wink:

Thanks again.
Tom "CC"
Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"..........
.............never caught anything.

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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:35 pm

Keep in mind that the Tt Snow Edition is a newer case than the black Level 10 GT, and as such it offers an internal USB3 header to your mainboard, whereas the older black case offers rear pass-thrus that tend to look quite unfinished hanging off the rear of the case.
Intel i5 2500K@4.3, Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, Zotax GTX580, 2x WD Caviar Black 1TB (RAID-0), Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Ed, Corsair H80, Win 7 Pro
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:01 pm

I have the haf 922 case and let me tell you those 200mm fans on my 922 case are whisper quiet,One big problem with my haf case is dust buildup they only put a filter on my front 200mm fan. So that means monthly dustings.Also instead of goin for the haf 942 that comes with 2 200mm fans one side 1 top, 1 230 mm fan in front and a 140mm fan. I would go with the haf 932 it's 40$ cheaper and comes with 3 230mm fans 1 top 1 side and 1 In the front that has a red led that can be turned off plus a 140mm fan in rear all 19 decibles or lower. I feel the 932 will give you better airflow and be pretty much inaudible. And yes the 932 will let you mount at least a 240mm radiator internally on the top
Last edited by vargis14 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:16 pm

Get a GTX580
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:04 am

Get the fastest GTX580 you can find (MSI Lightning edition, w/ 3GB memory).

FWIW, I put together just such a rig ^ myself a couple months back, with the same thought: Keep the potential of adding SLI if there proved a need for it. But don't add it unless you can prove the need or the benefits. As of now, I still can't.

In my case PART of the need might be because I game with a HD projector...(the GTX580 is overkill for this, frankly)...but also had the idea of using TWO projectors to build a 3D imaging setup (and because of the need for HDMI output for EACH projector), this necessarly means I would need two video cards in my rig to output each half of the 3D image....each card sporting just one HDMI connector, so needing one card to output video to each projector.

So I purchased my newest rig with this idea in mind--2 slot (aka SLI) capable mobo (MSI Z68)...and if I can verify that Nvidia's 3D shutterglasses solutions CAN actually make use of dedicated dual v cards...aka "SLI"...with each card putting out half the video info to a projector that throws up half the necessary 3D image...then I can probably justify buying the second card and second projector with confidence that they will work with the first pair to give me the life-size 3D I really want to see.

Still not sure if this is true, however, even as I type this...

...so the rest of my money (the other half) is still clinging to the inside of my wallet.

---

BTW...when I say a GTX580 is "overkill" for a HD projector, that's quite true in terms of the genre--simracing--which is MY OWN primary focus. I see FPS rates anywhere between 200 and 600 in the racing sims I drive...and the projector can only throw up 60Hz, so all the rest is wasted (ISI's "rFactor").

BUT...if you've seen recent reviews of Battlefield 3, you may realize that at HD resolution the overhead is quite a bit smaller: A GTX580 might spit out 68 FPS...which is still more than my projector can use...yes. But only slightly more too.

And it seems to me THAT^ represents a pretty good balance, in terms of one level of hardware (video card) feeding output into the next (imaging hardware, whether it's a monitor or a projector).

So I'm feelin' pretty good with my hardware choices tonight....


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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:48 am

OK, here is where I am so far:

CPU: Core i7-2600k "Sandy Bridge"
HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus ( Still may consider H2O cooling for the right kit...maybe CPU/GPU capable...)
MB: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3
MEMORY: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR 2133
OS HDD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB ( FYI: I also have (two) WD Raptor 74GB drives and a mess (4 to 6) of 36GB Raptor drives I had laying around...)
*Storage HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB*
**Video Card: MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD6970 2GB 256bit**
BD Burner: LG Black Super Multi SATA WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
BD Reader/DVD Burner: SAMSUNG Black Blu-Ray Combo SATA - SH-B123L/RSBP LightScribe Support
***CASE: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition ***

Parts still needed:

PSU
Optical gaming Mouse
Wireless keyboard

The mouse and keyboard I may luck out on. Somewhere around here I have a Logitech combination wireless KB and mouse
package that should still work together OK, if I can remember where I put them.


*I probably would have used Western Digital drives if the prices weren't astronomical right now. I may swap
out the Seagate drive when WD prices come down to normal and maybe do a RAID setup with two 1TB
drives. I have nothing against Seagate, just I've always used WD and prefer what I'm use to.

**Starting out with just one HD6970 card right now, but I my go for a CrossFire X setup in the future if it looks
like the performance gain would be worth the expense Either way, I need to consider this when I purchase a power
supply and get something with the wattage I may need and is CrossFireX ready. **

***The case was a tough one. Went nose to nose with the HAF 932/942 but this one won me over. Both would have been
excellent choices and I could have gone either way.*** BTW...FedEx delivered it today....it is puuuuuurrty!!! :P


***edit*** One question about PSU's. I see some with one 12v rail, some with several. Is the single rail prefereble for a
gaming setup like mine, or do I want severa rails? Does it matter that much? I've read about both types before, just can't
remember where or when I read it, and no idea where to try searching for the info.

I appreciate all the help so far, thanks guys. Three more pieces to the puzzle and I'm in assembly mode.
:wink:

Thanks again....
Tom "CC"
Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"..........
.............never caught anything.

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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:37 am

Sorry, one last part I forgot to mention. I'd like to get a new monitor and finally replace this old 4:3 aspect ratio
dinosaur that I've had forever. Again, something that will be best for gaming, I dunno, '22 - '26 inch screen size sound right?
I just want the best I can get that is a fit for me and my current setup.


Thanks again gang....
Tom "CC"
Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"..........
.............never caught anything.

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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:02 pm

Multiple rails vs. single rails shouldn't make a huge difference. Do look at the total current or power allowed on the combined +12V supplies. Three 18-ampere (216-watt) +12V rails won't necessarily allow a total of 648 watts together.

The total combined capacity will be printed on the side of the PSU. Newegg helpfully posts photos of the PSUs that they sell.

Since your budget is large, you might look at an 80+ Gold or Platinum efficient power supply from SeaSonic, Enermax, Corsair, etc.
$134½ FSP Aurum Gold AU-700 (56 A = 672 watts)


For your monitor, the UltraSharp U2410 is a phenomenally-good 1920x1200 (16:10) S-IPS LCD display currently on-sale from Dell for $479. The UltraSharp U2711 has a 2560x1440 (16:9) resolution for $899. The U3011 comes in at 2560x1600 (16:10), but it's currently listed at full price. :(
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:25 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:Have you checked out TR's System Guide? The Sweeter Spot could serve as a starting point for your build.

You definitely want a motherboard with the Intel Z68 chipset for your Core i7-2600K processor. The P8Z68-V/Gen3 is a premium example.

While the Corsair Hydro H70 on my Core i7-2600K works well, the identical unit that I installed on a Phenom II X4 experienced a pump failure after only 4 months of operation. If your case will accommodate it, a large air cooler is simpler and less expensive.



I have to agree wholeheartedly with your comments on the cpu cooling, unless your going for records or such, I much prefer a good air cooler, less moving parts = less headaches:)
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Re: i7 2600K based high end gaming machine

Postposted on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:55 am

Air coolers are indeed simpler and less prone to failure, but I think it is fair to point out that we are simply switching out a fan for a pump. The difference is that if the fan fails you end up with a passive heatsink, which is probably a bit more effective at cooling than a waterblock with the pump stopped.

I know that Corsair is generally good about replacing damaged parts at their expense if their liquid cooling solutions end up LEAKING. I would only assume a fried CPU as a result of pump failure would get the same treatment.

Regardless of which way is ultimately superior (air or self-contained liquid cooling), I am grateful that at least we have that choice these days.

What is more or less constant, however, is that you end up paying more or less proportionately for the cooling performance you get.

edit: I just realized the radiator needs a fan too. Maybe air cooling is just better.
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
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