Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:29 pm

Hi All -

I'm anticipating XP's End of Life next month on my i7-920 dual-SLI rig built in 2011, and could use your help with a new PC I'll complete by April 8. The PC is used for everything, but the performance-intensive tasks are 1) video ripping and conversion, and 2) solo gaming at 1080p on a 24'' wide-screen monitor. My budget permits as much as $2500 USD, but I'm working hard to keep it under $2K.
It appears that most of Haswell's 22nm of real estate is allocated to a crossover into mobile platforms rather than on-chip graphics or computational firepower, so this may well be my last desktop build. I hope to get at least 3 years of use out of this drive-train.
I'll buy most components from NewEgg or Amazon for shipment to Texas, and so far, these are some of the components I've researched. Can you help with advice?


CPU: I'm using the Haswell i7-4770k as my benchmark for this build but have had server processors in previous workstations, and love them, so I'm paying close attention to Xeon; in addition, I've always bought over-clockable components, but I've never actually performed an overclock, so the K-suffix isn't really essential to this build. Intel only.

LGA1150
$310 Haswell i7-4770k @ 3.5 GHz
$350 Haswell Denlow Xeon E3-1275 v3 @ 3.5 GHz
LGA 2011
$310 Ivy Bridge-EP Xeon E5-1620 v2 @ 3.7 GHz
$325 Ivy Bridge-E i7-4820k @ 3.7 GHz


MAINBOARD: I've done no substantial research into LGA 2011 boards yet; it's all Z87 at this point. I've used ASUS boards with no complaint on my last few builds, but have ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI on my list. Specific MB features?
AUDIO: Not an issue; I'll throw a board in later.
WIFI & Bluetooth: I'd prefer none; Better to upgrade via PCIx rather than be dependent upon MB chips.
PCIE3 LANES: I honestly think I'll just use one good GPU this time instead of fiddling with SLI.
NIC: Some of these Gigabyte & MSI products are using the Qualcomm E2200-Series 'Killer' NIC chips on their boards – I've gathered that this driver's traffic-shaping ambitions are more trouble than they are worth. I really want an out-of-the-box network solution. I do a lot of file-sharing, but little to no on-line gaming. Your thoughts?
HDMI & DISPLAY-PORT: These are future-proofing features for me; when this PC reaches End-of-Life as my gaming rig, it would become an HTPC, so I want HDMI v2 and D-PORT.
Can I use one monitor passing-through 4k video from the CPU and one monitor using the PCI16 GPU card? Will the BIOS permit both inputs?
I also see 'Lucid Virtu MVP2' on the MSI boards promising cooperation between the on-chip GPU and the PCI GPU – This sounds phony to me – Can you comment?

LGA1150
$180 ASUS Z87-Pro (V-Edition)
$200 ASUS Maximus VI Hero
$170 MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
$230 ASUS Sabertooth Z87
$170 Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87


MEMORY: I think I will stick with DDR3-1600 memory here. I can't discern whether the Xeon platform permits memory overclocking; ARK just lists 1600 as top-speed. Perhaps I can just load this initial build with 32GB of top-notch DDR-3 at spec, and upgrade later. I need to go back to school on memory.

$320 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-1600C9D-16GXM
$400 Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DR3 1600 (PC3 12800) BLS2KIT8G3D1609DS1S00


STORAGE: It looks like my present system partition is using about 350GB, and the data partition on the second drive uses about the same; I would like to be generous with headroom on the new boot drive since games like Titanfall use as much as 45GB for a base install. After good advice, I think I may use two identical 500GB SSDs in the new system at build, and up-size them when prices fall.

$230 Crucial M500 480GB
$260 Samsung 840 EVO 500GB


GPU: I've been using a pair of EVGA GTX260s in SLI on my current PC, but I'm anxious to see heavily-modded Skyrim and Oblivion on a better set-up. I think maybe my money is better spent on one very good Nvidia GPU, and I can abandon the dual-card set-up. Do you agree?

$520 ASUS GTX780-DC20C-3GD5 GTX 780 3GB 384-bit GDDR5
$530 EVGA SuperClocked 03G-94-2783-KR GTX 780 3GB 384-bit GDDR5


OS: I really need convincing about Windows 8.1 – I think its an insult to the user.
$140 Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit OEM


CPU COOLING: I'm completely new to liquid-cooling: I'm getting a lot of well-reasoned feedback that an expensive HSF is overkill if I'm not overclocking, but it's ingrained in me that colder is faster and longer-lived. I'd really like to get it right the first time with this one – I don't want to de-lid, lap chips, replace thermal compound or any of that mess down the road if I can help it. I'm okay with cloning and replacing a boot drive, but I'm paranoid about mainboard or CPU replacements in the future: I don't want to fight about WGA with MS, or about Machine Activation Limits with a games publisher. In regard to liquid-cooling, what kind of component damage do I risk, and are there maintenance issues?

$60 AIR, a repeat of my existing Prolimatech Megahalems Rev C Intel
$70 AIR, Noctua NH-U12S 120x120x25 (NF-F12 PWM) SSO2-Bearing
$86 AIR, Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO
$80 LIQUID, Corsair Hydro Series H75 CW-9060015-WW Water/Liquid 120mm
$85 LIQUID, Corsair Hydro Series H80i High Performance Water/Liquid 120mm


PSU & CASE: I've discovered a great resource for power supply info, so I'll pursue that issue outside of this thread. I also received a massive list of new case recommendations, so I'll post later about that.


OPTICAL DRIVE: I’ll stick with my existing drive for now.


Thanks very much for looking at this very long post. I look forward to hearing all your good advice.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Entered hypertext links to Newegg catalog
99Tears
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:59 pm

You said this is a gaming computer. So I have a few observations:

- For gaming, single-thread performance is king. I don't know that Xeon will be a benefit to you for this. In fact, maybe even go with an i5 instead of an i7. Hyper Threading seems to give about a 20% performance boost. It's better than nothing, but it's not as good as AMD's 2-core modules (as a percentage improvement), and certainly not as good as a full 8 cores.

- Until about a month ago, I've never overclocked either even though I have been buying unlocked processors. I didn't want to break anything. But I just did a mild overclock with my 3570k which gave me quite a bit of free performance. I'm on air, didn't tweak any advanced settings, and haven't had any issues. Don't rule out at least a mild overclock, especially if your motherboard makes it easy.

- For gaming, 32 GB of RAM is ridiculous. 8 GB is plenty.

- If you don't overclock, you don't need non-stock cooling.

- Do you seriously need 480 - 500 GB on your system partition? If you require a host of games all installed at once, maybe. But you can very likely shop for a smaller SSD and save some cash.

- You will definitely appreciate an upgrade in GPU. And yes, single GPU does provide a better experience than dual GPUs. Based on the current AMD prices, Nvidia is a better bet. But superclocked GTX 780's are way overkill for 1080p gaming.

My general opinion is that you're more interested in a bragging rights computer than a 1080p gaming computer. But if that's really what you want and you can afford it, go ahead and buy it.
Last edited by Milo Burke on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Milo Burke
Gerbil Team Leader
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:12 pm

I would stick with the i7-4770K, any of the motherboards are good picks. I have a 3770K and MSI Mpower board and it overclocks nicely using a Corsair H90 watercooling kit. They are just as easy, or easier than some, heatsinks to install. The noise level has been quite nice for myself too.

As for the Lucid Virtu MVP2 the one advantage I see to it is that if you encode a lot of video it would allow you to use Intel's Quick Sync video decoding, which is incredibly fast in applications that support it.

I haven't bothered overclocking the memory at all, It isn't going to make a large performance difference for most applications.

Gaming, either card will be equal, what can you find on sale?

Samsung EVO SSD's. The latest software update allows you to use some RAM to speed them up and it's a huge performance increase.

I think most importantly is that if you can hold off for a bit Intel has announced new Desktop Chips to be released soon, new chipset with DDR4 support.

http://techreport.com/review/26189/inte ... f-new-cpus
http://techreport.com/news/26206/which- ... your-motor
Phaleron
Gerbil
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 12:36 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:33 pm

If your goal really is a 1080p gaming machine without cutting any unreasonable corners, this is what I would recommend:

CPU - Intel i5-4670k - $240
Motherboard - Asus Z87-A - $140
GPU - Asus GTX 760 - $265
RAM - 8 GB 1600 (any brand) - $80
SSD - Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB - $140
HDD - WD Red 3 TB - $135
Case - Corsair 200R - $60
PSU - Corsair HX650 - $110
Cooler - Cooler Master 212 EVO - $35
OS - Windows 8.1 - $100
Also install Start8 made by Stardock - $5

Total cost, $1,310. Great gaming performance at 1080p. Cooling is good enough for a moderate overclock. Consider a couple extra case fans if you overclock.

You could cut costs a bit further by using some of the parts from the budget build here, but they all have compromises involved: http://techreport.com/review/26082/tr-f ... em-guide/9

If you're worried about gaming performance even so, then upgrade to the GTX 770 for an extra $75.

- - - - -

If you want to game at more than 1080p, then an upgrade or two are in order. If you need more power for a video conversion than a moderately overclocked i5-4670k (which is quite good already), consider the i7-4770k for $310 or possibly the 4930k for $580 (plus a compatible motherboard) if your needs are serious.

- - - - -

Windows 8 has better file management tools and a better task manager. It boots noticeably more quickly than Windows 7 and has very few bugs. And it will be supported longer than Windows 7, of course. Buy Start8 for $5. It will fix everything you don't like about Windows 8 (the user interface) by making it more like Windows 7. The only other issue you might have is if the default programs are set for Modern UI apps instead of real programs. But you change this once for images, once for music, once for video files, etc. Then you're done, and Windows 8 gets out of your way and shines.
Milo Burke
Gerbil Team Leader
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:04 pm

I'd go for the Xeon E3-1230V3 (best value) or E3-1240V3. Remember the K series processors don't support TSX which you may want in 3 years.

Might as well get 16GB RAM.

GTX780 is a good choice. Pick the fastest one for ~$500.

Would not bother overclocking or watercooling.

Don't waste so much $$$ on SSDs as they will continue to drop in price. Get a good ~250GB model.

As for Windows 8, Classic Shell is free and very good IMHO.
300Two + 3770K + Gigabyte Z77-D3H + 16GB 1600MHz + GTX970 + SeaSonic S12II 520W
CM Elite 120 + 3550 + Gigabyte H77N-WIFI + 16GB 1600MHz + HD7950 + SilverStone ST45SF 450W
Source 210 + QX6700@3GHz + Gigabye P35-DS3L + 6GB 800MHz + GTX670 + Corsair CX500W
homerdog
Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:57 pm

STAY AWAY from the Gigabyte G1.Sniper!

The Killer NIC and the Creative on-board sound are subpar. With that being said also stay away from the MSI Z87-GD65 because it runs the same KIller NIC and Creative On-Board sound.
(\_/)
(O.o)
(''')(''')
Wounded Warrior Project
Watch out for evil Terra-Tron; He Does not like you!
tanker27
Darth Gerbil
 
Posts: 7326
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:25 pm

Are you frustrated with your current system now? Based on news about premium desktop CPUs, I would suggest waiting out this urge to upgrade wholesale. I would say the big money upgrade should wait, since the 920 should still be fairly competent. IMO, the CPU and GPU (namely big Maxwell) situations are unknowns that will be clearer later this year.

What to do now? Smaller upgrades:
- If your dual GTX 260 is getting a bit slow, I would say getting a mid-high end card for "cheap", or just get a 770 and skip the upcoming generation.
- You can get the SSDs now.
- Time to move to Windows 8.1. There are tons of ways so you don't have to deal with the tiles if you want. 8.1 and the upcoming update will not be as forceful as the original 8 release.
Image
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.

Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.
Flying Fox
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 24523
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:30 pm

Concerning gaming performance, I'm still stuck on an AMD HD 5870. I play Skyrim with a heap of mods and get 30-45 frames a second at 1080p and very high settings. Not ideal, but playable.

In no way is this a comprehensive comparison, but even the GTX 760 scores 92% better than my HD 5870 on the PassMark G3D. And the GTX 770 scores 138% better than the 5870. So seriously, you don't need a superclocked 780 to play at 1080p.

And as far as Oblivion is concerned: the game was released eight years ago. I played that game with high settings on my ATI Radeon 1950 Pro. You'll be fine.
Milo Burke
Gerbil Team Leader
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:49 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:32 pm

For cooling I rec you get the coolermaster 140xl neptune I believe that uses a slightly over thick 140mm radiator. But the great thing about it is both sides of the 140mm rad have 120mm fan mounts so it can be easily mounted in the rear panel exhaust position. On top of that it performs better then the h-80i and will mount on the same 120mm spot...you just need to get a good High airflow/static pressure fan for the 120mm pull mounting fan. That is if you do not get a case with a 140mm fan mount.

Also if you live near a microcenter you can get a 4920k IVY-E and a x79 motherboard for the same price as buying a haswell cpu and goot overclocking motherboard setup from newegg. I know you say you do not want to overclock, But it is very safe and the cooler I reced performs better the more wattage the CPU uses pretty much matching the h100i in performance and is by far the best AIO single fan push pull cooling setup.

Also before i would purchase a Haswell CPU I would go with a i7-3770k if you do plan to overclock since it does not have the microscopic voltage regulator on the chip itself that decreases the chance of you winning the silicone lottery. It uses the motherboards voltage phases so a great motherboard will help overclocks where the haswell chip with its built in voltage regulator on the chip itself takes away from the quakity of the motherboard you buy since it can easily override a high quality MB's overclock.

I do hope you like near a Microcenter since a x79 based system has many more PCI lane directly from the cpu. Also if ivy-e is not in your best interest they have great MB cpu combo deals on Haswell CPU's and MB"s. If you really do not plan on overclocking right now and do buy a Haswell chip make sure you get a z87 motherboard since intel will be bringing back solder between the IHS and CPU die drastically increasing cooling ability if you are interested in waiting for the haswell refresh. It is in your best interest to have a overclockable motherboard and CPU since down the road if you want to overclock....you can.

I almost forgot to mention Haswell built in voltage regulator I believe is the main reason for the Haswell chip degradation over a short time....where Ivy chips overclock better and I have not heard of them degrading. It is your build so it is you choice what path you walk.

But I cannot rec IVY bridge socket 1155 with the recent announcement from Intel that the Haswell refresh is coming very soon with enhanced overclocking since they are going to be soldering the IHS to the chip "probably" so a good x87 motherboard and a inexpensive i5 quad core or even a i3 dual core might be in order until the HASWELL refresh comes out. That is what I would do. I would do Ivy Bridge only if haswell was not having this refresh soon.

Not having Overclocking ability definitely limits your future proofing down the road. Also it is so easy anymore it is not like you will kill your chip, also most good motherboards have auto overclocking built in if you are unfamiliar with it. Asus has about the best when it come to that.
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
vargis14
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1301
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:03 pm
Location: philly suburbs

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:01 pm

99Tears wrote:Hi All
Welcome to the Tech Report! You may have three too many teardrops for one heart to be crying. Have you read TR's System Guide?

99Tears wrote: $310 Haswell i7-4770k @ 3.5 GHz
This is a good choice given that you have a generous budget.

99Tears wrote: NIC: I really want an out-of-the-box network solution.
Intel's i217V may be the best option for the Z87 chipset, but Realtek has been reliable in recent years. You shouldn't have any problems there, either. I do look for motherboards that don't waste any real estate on obsolete PCI slots.
$199 -15MIR Asus Z87-Pro

99Tears wrote: MEMORY: I think I will stick with DDR3-1600.
$155 2x8 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0 (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.35 V, low profile)
This memory defaults to PC3-12800 but it includes an XMP profile for PC3-14900, too.

Your gaming won't use all of this 16 GiB. If one of your other uses really does require 32 GiB, it is perfectly acceptable to buy two identical 2x8 GiB kits if their price is lower than a similar 4x8 GiB kit. If you really need 64 GiB of memory and six processor cores, an LGA2011 X79 solution like the P9X79 and an i7-4930K might be appropriate but I believe that you can save that extra $300 for a future upgrade.

99 Tears wrote: STORAGE: $260 0.50 TB Samsung 840 EVO
One of these for your operating system, drivers, browser and most-frequently used programs should suffice. Put your other stuff on a 3.0 TB hard-drive (or a pair of them in RAID1 with a third one in an external dock for backups).
$100 3.0 TB 7200-rpm SATA 3½" hard-drive

99Tears wrote:I honestly think I'll just use one good GPU this time instead of fiddling with SLI.
Going with a single GPU is a good decision. However, a GeForce GTX 780 would be serious overkill for 1080p resolution. Stick with a GeForce GTX 770 and set the extra $200 saved aside for a graphics card upgrade in a couple of years. Otherwise, go ahead and upgrade to a 2560x1440 or 3840x2160 monitor right now.

99Tears wrote: OS: I really need convincing about Windows 8.1
$102 Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM

99Tears wrote: CPU COOLING: I'm completely new to liquid-cooling.
The closed-loop all-in-one water cooling systems aren't much harder to install than a giant air cooler. The smaller ones aren't always more effective or as reliable as a large air cooler (like those that you listed or the $36 CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo). However, if you're working in a cramped case, moving the radiator away from the CPU socket can de-clutter things.
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
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15536
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:34 pm

Milo Burke wrote:If your goal really is a 1080p gaming machine without cutting any unreasonable corners, this is what I would recommend:

CPU - Intel i5-4670k - $240
Motherboard - Asus Z87-A - $140
GPU - Asus GTX 760 - $265
RAM - 8 GB 1600 (any brand) - $80
SSD - Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB - $140
HDD - WD Red 3 TB - $135
Case - Corsair 200R - $60
PSU - Corsair HX650 - $110
Cooler - Cooler Master 212 EVO - $35
OS - Windows 8.1 - $100
Also install Start8 made by Stardock - $5

Total cost, $1,310. Great gaming performance at 1080p. Cooling is good enough for a moderate overclock. Consider a couple extra case fans if you overclock.

You could cut costs a bit further by using some of the parts from the budget build here, but they all have compromises involved: http://techreport.com/review/26082/tr-f ... em-guide/9

If you're worried about gaming performance even so, then upgrade to the GTX 770 for an extra $75.

- - - - -

If you want to game at more than 1080p, then an upgrade or two are in order. If you need more power for a video conversion than a moderately overclocked i5-4670k (which is quite good already), consider the i7-4770k for $310 or possibly the 4930k for $580 (plus a compatible motherboard) if your needs are serious.

- - - - -

Windows 8 has better file management tools and a better task manager. It boots noticeably more quickly than Windows 7 and has very few bugs. And it will be supported longer than Windows 7, of course. Buy Start8 for $5. It will fix everything you don't like about Windows 8 (the user interface) by making it more like Windows 7. The only other issue you might have is if the default programs are set for Modern UI apps instead of real programs. But you change this once for images, once for music, once for video files, etc. Then you're done, and Windows 8 gets out of your way and shines.


Based on my LIMITED knowledge I think that Milo's recommendations are great. Make sure you come back and discuss how your build went!
iamjsmith83
Gerbil
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:54 pm
Location: Kenosha, Wsconsin

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:14 pm

Personally I'd just upgrade the video card (7870 or newer equivalent), stick 8 gig of ram in it, then install your OS of choice.
Since you have winxp I would move to win7 home or pro (oem).

Save yourself a bunch of money...

Then, if those new processors previously spoken about prove to be massive over-clockers (and you want to overclock) then go ahead and upgrade.

Video card performance is more important than processor performance for most games.
I wish to see things not as they are but as they should be.
Aranarth
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 604
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:56 am
Location: Big Rapids, Mich. (Est Time Zone)

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:18 pm

Only 1080p? My immediate reaction is that your i7-920 + SLI 260's should be okay, and if you really need an upgrade, something in the 660 Ti range will probably hold you over for a while. But if you're set on a new machine, maximize your value.

Monitor - consider a new one with a higher resolution. If you have more pixels, it will make more sense sinking a lot of cash into better components.

CPU - To maximize value, an i5-4670K is probably the best choice with the i7-4770K sitting as the high end option. I don't think you'll get much benefit using a Xeon.

Motherboard - There are plenty of good options. If you are sticking to a single GPU, consider a mATX board and a complimentory case to shrink your system's physical footprint.

GPU - You only need SLI if you need to drive a 4k display. A single solution will be more than enough. For 1080p, the GTX 760 will work well, and it will give you some headroom. If you get a better monitor, then consider a 770 or 780. You can consider AMD alternatives if prices have returned to normal (but I don't think they're quite there.

RAM - 16GB is overkill, so don't go over that amount.

Storage - Best practice is a 120GB-256GB SSD paired with mechanical storage. Moving your OS to an SSD will give you a huge performance kick. Games? Not as much. It can be a nice perk, but this would be an easy place to save cash by getting a single, smaller SSD and pairing it with a lot of mechanical storage (2TB drives are extra cheap).

OS - 8.1 isn't completely awful, it's cheaper than a 7 license, and it has under the hood improvements. Yes, some UI elements are annoying, but they aren't obtrusive enough to stick with 7.

CPU Cooler - Stock is perfectly fine if you aren't overclocking, but an aftermarket HSF can be quieter, so it isn't a bad investment. Only consider water cooling (a closed loop solution) if it looks like an oversized HSF will interfere with your RAM. These liquid modules aren't significantly better on noise and temperatures (compared to oversized HSFs), but they can fix the interferance issue.

Sound Card - I know you can throw one in later, but you can still get one for the initial build. The real question is: what are you using? Analog headphones will benefit greatly from a dedicated sound card, and you might consider getting a good pair of headphones with this build, too. Just a thought.
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:25 pm

Milo Burke wrote:CPU - Intel i5-4670k - $240
Motherboard - Asus Z87-A - $140
GPU - Asus GTX 760 - $265
RAM - 8 GB 1600 (any brand) - $80
SSD - Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB - $140
HDD - WD Red 3 TB - $135
Case - Corsair 200R - $60
PSU - Corsair HX650 - $110
Cooler - Cooler Master 212 EVO - $35
OS - Windows 8.1 - $100
Also install Start8 made by Stardock - $5

Total cost, $1,310. Great gaming performance at 1080p.

This is a great build, btw, with one exception...since it is clearly a SSD + Mechanical storage for normal operation, I would not go with a WD Red drive. These run at 5400 RPM instead of 7200. A Blue or Black drive (or Seagate equivalent) is probably a better choice for installing games.

Not to discount slower drives, though. WD Reds or Greens are excellent for data storage or as backup drives. (Reds just have better features for RAID applications and better error recovery compared to Green.)
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Help me with my i7 Gaming Rig Build

Postposted on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:35 pm

superjawes wrote:Only 1080p? My immediate reaction is that your i7-920 + SLI 260's should be okay, and if you really need an upgrade, something in the 660 Ti range will probably hold you over for a while. But if you're set on a new machine, maximize your value.

Monitor - consider a new one with a higher resolution. If you have more pixels, it will make more sense sinking a lot of cash into better components.

CPU - To maximize value, an i5-4670K is probably the best choice with the i7-4770K sitting as the high end option. I don't think you'll get much benefit using a Xeon.

Motherboard - There are plenty of good options. If you are sticking to a single GPU, consider a mATX board and a complimentory case to shrink your system's physical footprint.

GPU - You only need SLI if you need to drive a 4k display. A single solution will be more than enough. For 1080p, the GTX 760 will work well, and it will give you some headroom. If you get a better monitor, then consider a 770 or 780. You can consider AMD alternatives if prices have returned to normal (but I don't think they're quite there.

RAM - 16GB is overkill, so don't go over that amount.

Storage - Best practice is a 120GB-256GB SSD paired with mechanical storage. Moving your OS to an SSD will give you a huge performance kick. Games? Not as much. It can be a nice perk, but this would be an easy place to save cash by getting a single, smaller SSD and pairing it with a lot of mechanical storage (2TB drives are extra cheap).

OS - 8.1 isn't completely awful, it's cheaper than a 7 license, and it has under the hood improvements. Yes, some UI elements are annoying, but they aren't obtrusive enough to stick with 7.

CPU Cooler - Stock is perfectly fine if you aren't overclocking, but an aftermarket HSF can be quieter, so it isn't a bad investment. Only consider water cooling (a closed loop solution) if it looks like an oversized HSF will interfere with your RAM. These liquid modules aren't significantly better on noise and temperatures (compared to oversized HSFs), but they can fix the interferance issue.

Sound Card - I know you can throw one in later, but you can still get one for the initial build. The real question is: what are you using? Analog headphones will benefit greatly from a dedicated sound card, and you might consider getting a good pair of headphones with this build, too. Just a thought.

Everything here. At $2500, you're way overspending for your needs. If the only reason you're upgrading is for EoL XP, why not just get an SSD (if you don't already have one) and put Windows 7 or 8 on it?
Getting a GTX 760 or equivalent for a single-GPU setup is a good idea.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1714
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests