£1500+ all-round build help

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£1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:45 am

Hey, long time TR-reader here. Looking to put together a system that should handle anything thrown at it in the next 3+ years. Main uses are productivity (coding, VMs) and gaming. Not too interested in overclocking - I'll take advantage of the free 4 bins (400MHz) on the non-K parts (this is possible, right?), but going much further would require voltage tweaking, which I'd rather stay away from. In addition, the non-K parts have some VM-friendly features that the K parts lack, IIRC.

No hard budget cap, just cost-benefit based. Note that I'm UK-based, so the main sites are probably Amazon and Scan. Looking to buy in 1-2 weeks.

Here's what I'm thinking about at the moment:
CPU Intel Core i7-3770 £227
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene £149 (I should be able to pass on a separate sound card with this? But this might still be overkill, since I don't care for SLI/OC)
Memory 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz £60 (or should I get the non low-profile version at £70?)
Graphics Card MSi GTX 670 OC £288
PSU Corsair HX650W £84
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer i30 £29
Case Corsair Carbide 500R White £93
Optical Drive SATA DVD-RW £13
Storage Samsung SSD 830 256GB £145 (I notice there seems to be a Laptop Kit, Basic Kit and a Desktop Kit. Should I care?)
Storage 2TB WD Caviar Green £80
Wireless TP Link TL-WDN4800 £25
Subtotal: £1,190

Monitor 1 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200 (How should I decide which buyer, beyond price alone?! Is it worth paying £15 more for a perfect pixel version?
Monitor 2 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200
Keyboard Corsair K60 Vengeance £81 (I really like the brushed metal, the keys being raised above the backplate, and the full media controls. But open to suggestions :P)
Mouse Logitech G500 £40
Subtotal: £534
Total: £1,724

Thoughts/comments/suggestions?
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:06 am

Andymc wrote:Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene £149 (I should be able to pass on a separate sound card with this? But this might still be overkill, since I don't care for SLI/OC)


I would choose something like this for more expansion slots (sound cards etc...)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131820

Andymc wrote:Memory 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz £60 (or should I get the non low-profile version at £70?)


Go for a 2x8GB 1600Mhz CL9 kit if the price difference is small :wink:

Andymc wrote:CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer i30 £29


I might choose the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo over this one.

Andymc wrote:Storage Samsung SSD 830 256GB £145 (I notice there seems to be a Laptop Kit, Basic Kit and a Desktop Kit. Should I care?)


Your case is compatible with SSD form factor so you should't care to much.

I'll let the experts talk about your monitor choice for I think its not the most appropriate...

:wink:
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:53 am

Price compare the following sites. I've been happy with service, RMA and order status updates with all of these companies and use them reguarly:

ebuyer.com
scan.co.uk
overclockers.co.uk
novatech.co.uk

The build looks fine, The only suggestions I have about the internal components have already been made:

2x8GB gives you room to grow without affecting the current memory bandwidth (as long as you populate each bank with one stick)
The motherboard is overkill. Any realtek audio is fine for absolutely everything except high-end analogue speakers/headphones. If you decide it's not enough for you later just get a cheap Asus Xonar.
I'm not a fan of Arctic Cooling. Their stuff has long, reassuring warraties but the products themselves feel cheap and fail fast (cheap sleeve-bearing fans, every time). I'll stand behind the Coolermaster 212, or anything from Thermalright and Noctua.

Why do you want wireless? It sucks. Especially in the UK with our love of heavy brick interior walls. The TP-Link will be fine, but why don't you look at a powerline solution to get you hooked up to the router instead. I cannot quantify how much better it is, but if I had to put a number on it, it's five-hundred-bajillion times better than anything wireless.

Andymc wrote:How should I decide which buyer, beyond price alone?! Is it worth paying £15 more for a perfect pixel version?

Do what I did. Email half a dozen of them about their pixel-checking and delivery service. Buy from the one that replies quickly in the best English with the answers you like most. BTW, even the perfect-pixel guarantees are not actually perfect-pixel screens, if you read the auction details more carefully. Bear in mind you have an 80% chance of getting a pixel-perfect screen anyway - and decide for yourself if one or two dead pixels out of 7.3 million of them is really worth £30.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:08 am

Welcome to TR, home of enthusiasts from across the Crown and the US!

While reading your list, I feel obliged to point you to TR's latest venerable System Guide. Specifically, take a look at the Editor's Choice build.

If you're not overclocking and you're not going to run multiple GPUs, you don't need a single feature that a high-end motherboard provides; a base model Asus, ASRock, or Gigabyte is on order. There's literally no difference in end use, and at best, you'll want to grab a board that can split the PCIe lanes into 8x/8x for the possibility of adding a second GPU due to your intended higher resolution. For a discrete audio card, look here.

Try and get a 2x8GB DDR3-1600 kit instead; if you're doing VMs and coding the flexibility is worth the extra cost.

For your GPU, I'd recommend an EVGA FTW instead, which will go along with my case and CPU cooler suggestion.

For the CPU case, please look closely at Fractal Design's Define R4, linked here in white- Scan has Black among others as well. It's only slightly cheaper than your Corsair pick but it is smaller, quieter, and more configurable.

For an HSF, look into a Corsair H60 integrated water-cooler. When combined with a good blower-style GPU (the FTW is the best there is) and a closed case like the Define R4/Antec P280/NZXT H2, you can get a dead silent system that pushes all of the heat outside of the case and stays clean inside by using a positive pressure design and filtered intakes.

The Corsair PSU is a fine one, if not complete overkill. Even with two GTX670s you're not likely to go over 450w power usage at most; you could save a little and gain efficiency with a BeQuiet! 600W Gold or save even more with say a 600W Corsair Builder Series. Unless you're set on a windowed case, a modular PSU isn't going to make any real difference, just bundle the cables up and twisty them to something like a spare drive bay.

Storage devices are my exact picks, so kudos.

Monitors are definitely iffy when you're buying non-brands. For the price those Korean panels are hard to resist, and the pixel warranty seems worth it to me, I'd just be happy it's offered at all.

The Corsair Vengeance keyboard is well rated, though there are probably better all-around keyboards for the price. TR just did a review of Rosewill units comparing all of the common mechanical switches. Keyboards are quite personal though; I suggest you try it out in person if you can. I'm currently using a G500, and while it is currently my favorite mouse of all time, I found that at its amazing 5700DPI it was still too slow for my 2560x1600 monitor in BF3. I replaced it with a Steelseries Sensei. It's not cheap, but the increase in resolution instantly made a difference.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:24 am

Jon1984 and Chrispy_, nice responses, thanks. (Airmantharp, I'll get onto yours later!)
Chrispy_ wrote:Price compare the following sites. I've been happy with service, RMA and order status updates with all of these companies and use them reguarly

Sure. Slightly drawn to Scan over the others since I can get free next-day delivery from them, and generally looking to minimize the number of different places I order from. I put together a cheapo system last summer for my parents, ordering from about 6 different places, and it was quite annoying when the processor arrived 3 or 4 days after everything else!

Chrispy_ wrote:2x8GB gives you room to grow without affecting the current memory bandwidth (as long as you populate each bank with one stick)

In case I want to upgrade beyond 16GB? I think that's incredibly unlikely to ever happen. With this in mind, is there any advantage to 2x8 over 4x4?

Chrispy_ wrote:I'm not a fan of Arctic Cooling.

Jon1984 wrote:I might choose the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo over this one.

Okay, interesting. The cooler I suggested seems to be a favourite over at Bit-tech. (Also it included free thermal paste, which is one less thing for to me worry about :P yeah, I'm a lazy dog.) Will certainly consider your suggestions, thanks.

Chrispy_ wrote:Why do you want wireless? It sucks.

Sadly it's not my house. I might be able to get away with running a cable, we'll see, otherwise I'm stuck with WiFi. IIRC the router is very close to my room, though, so signal shouldn't be an issue. ("IIRC" because I haven't moved in yet!)

Chrispy_ wrote:even the perfect-pixel guarantees are not actually perfect-pixel screens, if you read the auction details more carefully.

Then what are they? I see nothing to the contrary. (As opposed to the non-perfect pixel screens, which allow up to, say, 1 dead pixel in the centre, and 5 dead pixels overall)

Jon1984 wrote:I would choose something like this (P8Z77-V) for more expansion slots (sound cards etc...)

Chrispy_ wrote:The motherboard is overkill. Any realtek audio is fine for absolutely everything except high-end analogue speakers/headphones. If you decide it's not enough for you later just get a cheap Asus Xonar.

I did look at the P8Z77-V for a while. Any idea how the performance stacks up against the MAXIMUS V GENE? As well as the onboard sound (I do use ~£100 headphones), another thing that attracted me to the GENE is that it seems to outperform cheaper mobos in benchmarks, and not just by 0.5%.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:35 am

Andymc wrote:In case I want to upgrade beyond 16GB? I think that's incredibly unlikely to ever happen. With this in mind, is there any advantage to 2x8 over 4x4?


The advantage is the fact you don't populate all slots, having additional space for more 16Gb in case you need it :P no differences in one or another really :wink:

Airmantharp wrote:I did look at the P8Z77-V for a while. Any idea how the performance stacks up against the MAXIMUS V GENE? As well as the onboard sound (I do use ~£100 headphones), another thing that attracted me to the GENE is that it seems to outperform cheaper mobos in benchmarks, and not just by 0.5%.


In term of performance you should't notice any tangible differences. You could also buy a Asus Xonar DSX (review: http://techreport.com/articles.x/23358) for 50$ and get more audio quality :wink:
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:43 am

Andymc wrote:Sadly it's not my house. I might be able to get away with running a cable, we'll see, otherwise I'm stuck with WiFi. IIRC the router is very close to my room, though, so signal shouldn't be an issue. ("IIRC" because I haven't moved in yet!)
If you CAN run cables, should be easy to get a cheap one if you have Monoprice or an equivalent. I would still keep the wireless in mind, just in case you can't run cables (or can't run them safely).

For memory, unless you have a quad-channel CPU and board, I don't think there's any difference with 2x8 or 4x4. Unless, of course, you are upgrading later to more memory.

For the monitors...personal preference, I would say. I am not interested in the Korean displays because of a lot of the convenience aspects. Sure, they're really cheap for how pretty they are, but lacking some controls, unintuitive controls, and poor stands, I personally would go with a Dell, HP, or ASUS IPS, even if I had to wait to get a second.

For your sound, the Xonar DSX got high marks and an Editor's Choice seal last week. Will definitely get you better sound than onboard for a fairly low price (which Jon1984 posted about while I was typing this :P ).
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:24 am

Airmantharp wrote:While reading your list, I feel obliged to point you to TR's latest venerable System Guide. Specifically, take a look at the Editor's Choice build.

Yep, thanks. Certainly familiar with it, though personally I was basing my choices on the bit-tech guide, being from the other side of the Atlantic and all that.

Airmantharp wrote:If you're not overclocking and you're not going to run multiple GPUs, you don't need a single feature that a high-end motherboard provides; a base model Asus, ASRock, or Gigabyte is on order. There's literally no difference in end use...

Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking a few days ago. The thing that stopped me from diving towards the cheapest Z77 board I could find is that the higher-end motherboards do seem to provide performance benefits over lower-end models.

Airmantharp wrote:at best, you'll want to grab a board that can split the PCIe lanes into 8x/8x for the possibility of adding a second GPU due to your intended higher resolution.

No, no interest in SLI(/Crossfire). Single-card solutions all the way. Don't you read TR? :D

Airmantharp wrote:For a discrete audio card, look here.

Yeah, except that the cost of (above board + 1 of those cards) > cost of Maximus V Gene! Sure, I could step the mobo down further though.

Airmantharp wrote:Try and get a 2x8GB DDR3-1600 kit instead; if you're doing VMs and coding the flexibility is worth the extra cost.

Really? Again, it's just so unlikely that I'd need to upgrade. This is 16GB of RAM we're talking about here, not a 512MB PC running Vista!

Airmantharp wrote:For your GPU, I'd recommend an EVGA FTW instead, which will go along with my case and CPU cooler suggestion.

For the CPU case, please look closely at Fractal Design's Define R4, linked here in white- Scan has Black among others as well. It's only slightly cheaper than your Corsair pick but it is smaller, quieter, and more configurable.

For an HSF, look into a Corsair H60 integrated water-cooler. When combined with a good blower-style GPU (the FTW is the best there is) and a closed case like the Define R4/Antec P280/NZXT H2, you can get a dead silent system that pushes all of the heat outside of the case and stays clean inside by using a positive pressure design and filtered intakes.

Hmm, I don't have any real need for such a silent system... if anything, I think I'd prefer all the fans that come with the 500R! Will consider the graphics card, though if it's performance I'm going after, I could go up to the "Zotac GTX 670 AMP!"?

Airmantharp wrote:The Corsair PSU is a fine one, if not complete overkill. Even with two GTX670s you're not likely to go over 450w power usage at most; you could save a little and gain efficiency with a BeQuiet! 600W Gold or save even more with say a 600W Corsair Builder Series. Unless you're set on a windowed case, a modular PSU isn't going to make any real difference, just bundle the cables up and twisty them to something like a spare drive bay.

Sure. Just that all system builder guides seem to go (IMO) over the top with PSU wattage, so I thought I'd follow :P E.g. the Editor's choice uses the PSU I suggested. Will consider, thanks.

Airmantharp wrote:The Corsair Vengeance keyboard is well rated, though there are probably better all-around keyboards for the price. TR just did a review of Rosewill units comparing all of the common mechanical switches. Keyboards are quite personal though; I suggest you try it out in person if you can.

As I wrote in the OP, there are some features of the K60 that I'm expecting to like (media+volume controls, raised keys), that the Rosewills doesn't have. Also, the Rosewill seems to be impossible to get over here! (in fact, I can't find the raised keys on any other keyboard!)
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:07 pm

I'm pretty sure that the performance benefits you see are just aggressive BIOS settings, and it's worth looking into. You should be able to effect similar performance from a lower-end board with a few seconds work in the BIOS. Also, I only mention the higher-end ASUS board with an 8x/8x configuration because of your intended resolution, as one GTX670 (or any current high-end GPU) is really only adequate. I read more than just TR for reviews, including the [H] where there are more people than you'd expect running 3x27" and 3x30" setups with three or four GPUs on air and under water.

Also, I get your perspective on the memory setup, it's just that the cost for the convenience makes sense here. I'm a 'do it right the first time' kinda guy, and I'd rather not have to throw parts out to perform an upgrade in the future :).

For overall system design, my perspective is along the lines of many, especially at SPCR, that feel that a computer should be neither seen nor heard, but used. You don't have to go crazy creating a noiseless system. Just know that you'll thank yourself later by edging more towards quiet computing where you can, especially if you're going to use the system for real work. And with just one GPU and a stock CPU, more fans will do nothing for you except add noise and cost! Take the R4, move the included rear fan up front, put the H60 on the rear, and use the FTW with it's excellent blower stolen from the GTX680, and call it done. Inexpensive, filtered, quiet, and extremely quick system built in no time.

For the keyboards, I was really just pointing out a write-up concerning the different Cherry MX switches. The Corsair keyboard is solid.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:18 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Also, I only mention the higher-end ASUS board with an 8x/8x configuration because of your intended resolution, as one GTX670 (or any current high-end GPU) is really only adequate.

Ah sorry, I really should have mentioned that: I don't *think* I'll be gaming beyond 2560x1440. The extra screen is just there for productivity.

Airmantharp wrote:I read more than just TR for reviews...

(I hope that wasn't in reply to my "don't you read TR? :P" line! That was supposed to be a joke, referencing TR's various multi-GPU micro-stuttering articles and the move away from looking at FPS alone in graphics card reviews.)

Airmantharp wrote:Also, I get your perspective on the memory setup, it's just that the cost for the convenience makes sense here. I'm a 'do it right the first time' kinda guy, and I'd rather not have to throw parts out to perform an upgrade in the future :).

Sure. If I go with 2x8, I wouldn't mind going for something a bit cheaper than the ~£120 kit you suggested, though.

Airmantharp wrote:For overall system design, my perspective is along the lines of many, especially at SPCR, that feel that a computer should be neither seen nor heard, but used. You don't have to go crazy creating a noiseless system. Just know that you'll thank yourself later by edging more towards quiet computing where you can, especially if you're going to use the system for real work. And with just one GPU and a stock CPU, more fans will do nothing for you except add noise and cost! Take the R4, move the included rear fan up front, put the H60 on the rear, and use the FTW with it's excellent blower stolen from the GTX680, and call it done. Inexpensive, filtered, quiet, and extremely quick system built in no time.

Strongly considering. You sell it well! Thanks.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:44 pm

It's not that you'll be going to a higher resolution, rather, that you're near the limit of that (or any) single GPU with current games. The marginal extra cost for being able to drop in a second card, all other issues aside, is less of a detriment than having to exchange GPUs in the future. Further, Nvidia's SLI with the GTX6x0's has the least micro-stutter we've seen so far.

That was the cheapest 2x8GB kit I could find on Scan, though their site is the model of inefficiency, and it's really just a placeholder kit I used as an example. Cheaper kits are listed under 'pre-order' for whatever reason.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:18 pm

Everyone else has answered the questions you asked me except for Wireless:

Powerline (or sometimes called Homeplug) works really well on 240V mains circuits. It's a £30 pair of power plugs you hook up to power sockets and piggybacks between sockets using the mains wiring in your house.
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/netgear-xavb1301-200mbps-powerline-twin-pack-kit-homeplug

It's as good as a CAT5 cable (since your router is likely to be the limiting factor) but it's even more convenient than wireless.
I've installed them for dozens of people who got annoyed with the pathetic performance of Wireless G and N and they swear by them. At best (ie, short range, line-of-sight between the router and the laptop) Wireless-N is less than a quarter the speed of even a cheap 200MBit powerline setup, and you'll never get crap speeds, dropouts or slowdowns from interference with other WiFi networks in the area.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:15 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Everyone else has answered the questions you asked me except for Wireless:

Powerline (or sometimes called Homeplug) works really well on 240V mains circuits. It's a £30 pair of power plugs you hook up to power sockets and piggybacks between sockets using the mains wiring in your house.
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/netgear-xavb1301-200mbps-powerline-twin-pack-kit-homeplug

It's as good as a CAT5 cable (since your router is likely to be the limiting factor) but it's even more convenient than wireless.
I've installed them for dozens of people who got annoyed with the pathetic performance of Wireless G and N and they swear by them. At best (ie, short range, line-of-sight between the router and the laptop) Wireless-N is less than a quarter the speed of even a cheap 200MBit powerline setup, and you'll never get crap speeds, dropouts or slowdowns from interference with other WiFi networks in the area.

As I said, it's not my house, so I'd have to negotiate this with the landlord. Thanks for the info, though!
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:41 pm

All looks okay to me except the heatsink. I'm not a fan of the quality of Arctic Cooling products and would opt for this instead http://www.scan.co.uk/products/thermalright-true-spirit-140mm-fan-with-6x-copper-heat-pipes-for-socket-1366-1155-775-and-am2-am3. Thermalright are really the best though Coolermaster have been making some decent coolers these last couple of years too.

I'd opt for the 2x8GB also if the price difference is marginal. Performance will not differ, should you sell the PC or parts in the future they will be worth more then 4x4GB and of course it leaves room for expansion which is always a better route to take no matter how unlikely all other things being equal.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:06 am

Andymc wrote:As I said, it's not my house, so I'd have to negotiate this with the landlord. Thanks for the info, though!


This is my point, you don't need to change anything or consult your landlord because each plug is just an appliance like a TV or a phone charger. Piggybacking the network info over your mains wiring is not harmful in any way. Many appliances like vacuum cleaners and electric drills routinely dump far more harmful noise back into the mains electricity system than a homeplug can.
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:09 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:This is my point, you don't need to change anything or consult your landlord because each plug is just an appliance like a TV or a phone charger. Piggybacking the network info over your mains wiring is not harmful in any way. Many appliances like vacuum cleaners and electric drills routinely dump far more harmful noise back into the mains electricity system than a homeplug can.

Live-in landlord & router not in my room => I would have to make sure he's okay with it. Trust me here.

Latest:
CPU Intel Core i7-3770 £227
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene £149 Asus P8Z77-V £122
Memory 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz £60 (getting a CAS-9 2x8GB kit seems to take me up to £95+)
Graphics Card MSI GTX 670 OC £288 MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition OC £312
PSU Corsair HX650W £84 (why skimp? this could easily power another build in 4-5 years time)
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer i30 £29 Coolermaster Hyper 212 Quiet £19 (anyone know whether this comes with thermal compound pre-applied?)
Case Corsair Carbide 500R White £93 (I don't care so much about silence to go with the other option suggested, and I kinda like the look and everything...)
Optical Drive SATA DVD-RW £13
Storage Samsung SSD 830 256GB £145
Storage 2TB WD Caviar Green £80
Wireless TP Link TL-WDN4800 £25 motherboard comes with WiFi, so don't need anything separate
Subtotal: £1,162

Monitor 1 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200
Monitor 2 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200
Keyboard Corsair K60 Vengeance £81
Mouse Logitech G500 £39
Subtotal: £520
Total: £1,682

Again, my (lack of) requirements:
Not planning to overclock beyond 4 bins, so I don't need epic cooling or anything like that.
Not interested in SLI.
(In fact, I could probably cut down the mobo even further... should I?)

Also, I remembered this isn't a laptop... any webcam/microphone recommendations? :P
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:12 pm

Andymc wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:This is my point, you don't need to change anything or consult your landlord because each plug is just an appliance like a TV or a phone charger. Piggybacking the network info over your mains wiring is not harmful in any way. Many appliances like vacuum cleaners and electric drills routinely dump far more harmful noise back into the mains electricity system than a homeplug can.

Live-in landlord & router not in my room => I would have to make sure he's okay with it. Trust me here.

Latest:
CPU Intel Core i7-3770 £227
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene £149 Asus P8Z77-V £122
Memory 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz £60 (getting a CAS-9 2x8GB kit seems to take me up to £95+)
Graphics Card MSI GTX 670 OC £288 MSI GeForce GTX 670 Power Edition OC £312
PSU Corsair HX650W £84 (why skimp? this could easily power another build in 4-5 years time)
CPU Cooler Arctic Freezer i30 £29 Coolermaster Hyper 212 Quiet £19 (anyone know whether this comes with thermal compound pre-applied?)
Case Corsair Carbide 500R White £93 (I don't care so much about silence to go with the other option suggested, and I kinda like the look and everything...)
Optical Drive SATA DVD-RW £13
Storage Samsung SSD 830 256GB £145
Storage 2TB WD Caviar Green £80
Wireless TP Link TL-WDN4800 £25 motherboard comes with WiFi, so don't need anything separate
Subtotal: £1,162

Monitor 1 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200
Monitor 2 Korean 27" 2560x1440 IPS £200
Keyboard Corsair K60 Vengeance £81
Mouse Logitech G500 £39
Subtotal: £520
Total: £1,682

Again, my (lack of) requirements:
Not planning to overclock beyond 4 bins, so I don't need epic cooling or anything like that.
Not interested in SLI.
(In fact, I could probably cut down the mobo even further... should I?)

Also, I remembered this isn't a laptop... any webcam/microphone recommendations? :P


The Cooler Master Hyper 212 comes with a tube of thermal paste, it's not pre applied.Why would you want to cut down on the mobo? I'd like to know how you like the Corsair case if you end up getting it, I've been contemplating one myself.The rest of your build looks delicious, enjoy. BTW the Corsair PSU is a winner, it's more than similar Seasonic's but comes with a 7 year warranty. I still have a 520 HX five years after I bought it and it's still running with no problems.
ASUS P5B-E,ConroeE6400,2GB Mushkin DDR2 800,
EVGA 8800GTS,Corsair 520HX,Antec 900,WD320 GB,Samsung 204B
rogue426
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:21 pm

rogue426 wrote:The Cooler Master Hyper 212 comes with a tube of thermal paste, it's not pre applied.Why would you want to cut down on the mobo? I'd like to know how you like the Corsair case if you end up getting it, I've been contemplating one myself.The rest of your build looks delicious, enjoy. BTW the Corsair PSU is a winner, it's more than similar Seasonic's but comes with a 7 year warranty. I still have a 520 HX five years after I bought it and it's still running with no problems.

Hold on, I just realised my cooler isn't compatible with Socket 1155. The natural option would then be the Hyper 212 EVO, but this feels like overkill, given I'm not going beyond the limited overclock. Should I maybe just stick with the stock Intel cooler?
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:57 pm

Andymc wrote:Hold on, I just realised my cooler isn't compatible with Socket 1155. The natural option would then be the Hyper 212 EVO, but this feels like overkill, given I'm not going beyond the limited overclock. Should I maybe just stick with the stock Intel cooler?


Get the Evo and call it done. It's overkill on cooling, but not price, so there's not much to be concerned about.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:18 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Get the Evo and call it done. It's overkill on cooling, but not price, so there's not much to be concerned about.

Sure. Will it fit?
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:28 pm

Andymc wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:Get the Evo and call it done. It's overkill on cooling, but not price, so there's not much to be concerned about.

Sure. Will it fit?


No reason it shouldn't- it's a small cooler and Corsair's cases are caverns.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:18 am

Crazy thought: in light of TRIM on RAID-0 arriving, should I consider buying 2 128GB SSDs and RAID 0-ing them instead?
(I actually want to use Windows 8, but I assume support for that will come along soon)
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:19 am

Definitely not. Pretty much all 256GB SSDs have considerably higher performance than their 128GB equivalents simply because they have more chips working in parallel. The RAID option therefore won't offer any performance advantage (and will often be slower), won't cost much less, and will generally be a lot more hassle (even if TRIM is sorted). Have a look back at some of the recent TR SSD reviews. They covered the whole question of performance scaling with capacity, and had a look at RAID not long ago as well. Sorry I don't have the time right now to track down the right reviews.
Q9550@3.4 ~ Asus P5E ~ 4GB XMS2-6400C5DHX ~ Gigabyte Windforce 3X 7950 3GB
Xigmatek S1283 ~ LG DVDRW ~ Samsung F3 1TB ~ WD Caviar SE 640GB ~ Asus Xonar DX ~ Corsair HX 520W
Antec P182 ~ Logitech G7/G15/G25 ~ Sennheiser HD555 ~ BenQ FP241W
MrJP
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:02 am

Andymc wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:This is my point, you don't need to change anything or consult your landlord because each plug is just an appliance like a TV or a phone charger. Piggybacking the network info over your mains wiring is not harmful in any way. Many appliances like vacuum cleaners and electric drills routinely dump far more harmful noise back into the mains electricity system than a homeplug can.

Live-in landlord & router not in my room => I would have to make sure he's okay with it. Trust me here.

That sounds like you need to find a landlord who's not a ****.
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:12 am

Chrispy_ wrote:That sounds like you need to find a landlord who's not a ****.

What on earth makes you think my landlord is a ****?! I've given the following information:
  • It's not my house
  • I haven't moved in yet
  • I will have a live-in landlord
  • The router isn't in my room
  • Therefore, nearer the time, I would need to ask the landlord (not to mention the person who rents the room that the router is in) before going ahead with your suggestion.
I said nothing about the landlord being a pig, and at no point did I say that I'd asked him. Can you drop this and move on?
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:13 am

MrJP wrote:Definitely not. Pretty much all 256GB SSDs have considerably higher performance than their 128GB equivalents simply because they have more chips working in parallel. The RAID option therefore won't offer any performance advantage (and will often be slower), won't cost much less, and will generally be a lot more hassle (even if TRIM is sorted). Have a look back at some of the recent TR SSD reviews. They covered the whole question of performance scaling with capacity, and had a look at RAID not long ago as well. Sorry I don't have the time right now to track down the right reviews.


Good advice there, so I quoted it.
It's minor, since it is very easy for you to upgrade the storage hard drive later, but for such a large budget, I'd just start out with the small extra cost of a faster storage drive, say the 2TB Caviar Black (today there's one at $180). Why? Suppose you want to add a new game, and don't want to take anything off of the SSD, which is getting full -- then you'd like that faster hard drive. Or suppose you buy a fancy new camera, and start taking a lot of photos or videos and decide to start editing them. Or....
Of course, if you don't mind waiting for it to ship, and don't mind opening doing extra work later, you can always just add a faster storage drive later. That's the other way you can go.
halbhh2
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:05 am

MrJP wrote:Pretty much all 256GB SSDs have considerably higher performance than their 128GB equivalents simply because they have more chips working in parallel.

Higher, yes, but not considerably higher. Ofter 20-25%, but nowhere near 100%.
Crucial m4
Crucial REALSSD C300 (this one does have a considerable difference)
OCZ Agility 3
OCZ Vertex 4
Samsung SSD 830

The difference between 64 and 128GB *is* often considerable, I agree.
Crucial m4
Samsung SSD 830

MrJP wrote:The RAID option therefore won't offer any performance advantage (and will often be slower)

Can you back this up? Here are some reviews I found that suggest differently:
2*Kingston HyperX 120GB vs Kingston HyperX 240GB - SandForce-based, but in summary, RAID trounces the non-RAID setup at sequential transfers (and high-queue depth 4K, but no-one cares about those), but is fractionally slower at QD 1 for random 4K transfers.
2*Corsair Performance 3 128GB vs Corsair Performance 3 128GB - again, sequential/large file transfers are way better (as is high-queue depth 4K), low QD 4K slightly worse
2*Intel 510 250GB vs Intel 510 250GB - same again
Crucial m4 - same
Samsung SSD 830 - same

(Though annoyingly, only the first of those is doing the 2*xGB vs 1*2xGB comparison!)

MrJP wrote:and will generally be a lot more hassle

I'd have thought it'd be pretty much a do-once-and-forget thing. E.g. follow this and you're done.

MrJP wrote:Have a look back at some of the recent TR SSD reviews. They covered the whole question of performance scaling with capacity, and had a look at RAID not long ago as well. Sorry I don't have the time right now to track down the right reviews.

Will look for, thanks. I had a quick look for something RAID-related and couldn't find anything, though.
Edit: found, and found RAID.

---
Latest (some scaling back within the case; the other stuff hasn't changed)

CPU Intel Core i7-3770 £227.00
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-M £84.00 + Wireless TP-Link TL-WDN4800 £25.00 = £109
OR Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V £128.00 (can't decide whether saving £20 is worth it...)
Memory 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz £60.00
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 660Ti Power Edition OC £250.00 (90% of the performance of the corresponding 670 card, at 80% of the price)
PSU Corsair TX550M £70.00 (the 650W version was overkill)
CPU Cooler CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO £27.00 (thanks^^)
Case Corsair Carbide 500R £90.00
Optical Drive SATA DVD-RW £13.00
Storage Samsung SSD 830 2*128GB or 256GB (see discussion) ~£150.00
Storage 2TB WD Caviar Green £80.00 (I see no reason to change this to something faster)
Subtotal: ~£1,080.00
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:52 am

If you go raid0 (cause you really want for instance), just be sure to have regular (automatic is good) backups going on, to save a lot of time someday, just in case.

I think that power supply (PSU) is less reliable than I'd want on such a generous budget. To select I'd look at very-highly-user-rated PSUs at Newegg for instance in that neighborhood of 550-600 watts. Really, on a high quality build I want a very good PSU, and the least effort is to go Seasonic, but you could also shop by sorting the power supplies at newegg by rating (no matter where you buy it).
More efficient is better -- you will save money for *years*, so why not go gold? You can take it with you to the next build, etc.

Maybe you don't need a faster storage drive, maybe you won't do video editing. And, after all a lot of games are like 4-5GB. 20 games now-a-days might be 100GB. A system install with a lot of typical software might be 60-100GB. 20 games may be more than you'd want, etc. Thing is, you can always upgrade a storage drive later. Some people (me) even want a separate backup drive, etc. So while I'd get a faster storage drive, you may not really need one.
halbhh2
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:55 pm

Okay, I think I *won't* bother with RAID (there's really nothing that can take advantage of the sequential speeds), and will just go with a single 256GB drive.

halbhh2 wrote:I think that power supply (PSU) is less reliable than I'd want on such a generous budget.

What makes you think it's unreliable? It has bad Newegg reviews, on a sample size of 5. Its 650W big brother has great reviews, on the other hand.

halbhh2 wrote:Really, on a high quality build I want a very good PSU, and the least effort is to go Seasonic

Really? I'm a bit skeptical of Newegg reviews, to be honest, due to the skewed sample (e.g. people who have had problems and want to voice them). But even so, Seasonic don't seem to be noticeably more reliable than Corsair!

halbhh2 wrote:More efficient is better -- you will save money for *years*, so why not go gold? You can take it with you to the next build, etc.

Let's do some sums. Suppose my average daily use is 1 hour at 300W (e.g. gaming) and 4 more hours at 100W (the rest of the time, it's on sleep, using at most a few watts, which is negligible). That's 0.7kWh per day. If the PSU is 80% efficient instead of 90% efficient, that's about an extra 0.07kWh of electricity used per day, which is about 1p / 1.5cents. In a year, that saves £4 or $6. The difference between a 650W 80+ Bronze Corsair and a 660W 80+ Gold Seasonic is some £40 (or 10 years of saving £4/year). In addition, I won't be paying for electricity for at least a few years (renting; bills included), so while I'm not going to be willfully inefficient for the sake of it, an 80+ Gold PSU isn't on my list of priorities.

Here's an idea - go here, pick something for me :P Max £85 if modular, £70 if not. Don't worry if it's only "pre-order", I'm ordering in 1-2 weeks, not tonight. (This is open to anyone, not just halbhh2)
Andymc
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Re: £1500+ all-round build help

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:18 pm

:-) You certainly won't save $ overall paying $40 more for a PSU! That's not what I was thinking of. I was thinking about $15 difference, which will take a few years to break even (about 3 for my scenario of 140 watts/10hrs day). But that's not the whole picture, yet....
(my bad to say "gold" as if that would pay for itself for a typical user anytime soon, a professional use on the other hand...)
I've read a lot of posts about subtle problems over the years with computer systems, and it takes the person days, weeks, months to finally figure out what is going on, why the memory stick failed, etc., and....it was the power supply so many times.

So I play it safe for myself, since for me the difference between the Seasonic and another good choice was like $10.

Of course 5 reviews isn't enough for a statistical meaningful sample.

I rely instead on putting together a lot: knowing that Seasonic makes the power supplies for other companies to sell, and like Intel and Samsung, they put out only really high quality in their own name; and reading reviews on a dozen or so Seasonics over a decade. I suppose I've seen several hundred user reviews averaged, maybe read some references to the quality in 2 or 4 expert reviews, and I'm not that into the technicals on PSUs. When I read and talk to people that are *very* into knowing about PSUs, they all agree that Seasonics are at that good. So, that's what I mean by "easy" -- you don't have to guess, or wonder about what after 3 years, etc. But you can save $5, $15 if you go with another brand (and it's not a sin!), and still have a likelihood that you are getting a reliable psu in many instances. Be aware it is common knowledge though that a high quality PSU rated 500 watts will more reliably deliver 450 watts, etc., for years than will an average PSU rated "650" watts. There are a lot of technical aspects. So when you see a highly rated PSU that costs $15 more for the seeming same wattage limit, there's more to that actually.

So, it doesn't have to be Seasonic. That's just the easy choice. Here's one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151093
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