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So I'm planning on building my first high-end gaming pc. I have a $2500 budget but ideally I would like to spend less (around $2000).

This is the build I have in mind but I'm really open to all suggestions. If you guys feel you can improve it or some of the parts are overkill/not neccessary let me know.

PCPartPicker part list: Intel Core i7-4770K, MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti, Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada
Price breakdown by merchant: Intel Core i7-4770K, MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti, Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) - System Build - Price Breakdown By Merchant - PCPartPicker Canada

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ NCIX)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($189.95 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($198.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($224.24 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($114.99 @ Canada Computers)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($744.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($174.98 @ Newegg Canada)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.75 @ Vuugo)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Keyboard: Razer DeathStalker Wired Gaming Keyboard ($74.99 @ Canada Computers)
Mouse: Razer DeathAdder 2013 Wired Optical Mouse ($64.99 @ NCIX)
Total: $2447.80

I have one question though, should I wait to build the computer until the next round of CPUs and GPUs come out or will that be to far off into the future?
 
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CPU, CPU Cooler and Motherboard I'm completely in support of. No reason not to buy top of the line in these areas. This will be overkill, as my 1090T purchased in ...I think it was 2010 is still running below 35C under load, still isn't running at 100% output in anything but video trans-coding, and hasn't pooped it's self because I threw too much at it.

Memory can be scaled back. Running iTunes, Make MKV, WoW, and the 400 game launchers and loaders, along with the typical system bloatware...I can't say I've scratched into 6 gig mark of my 8gig on my Win7 box. Probably save you $100 in doing so.

256gig just isn't enough space for an SSD. I'm trying to run a MacBook Pro off that size, and you just can't get everything you want on there. If you take into consideration that Win7 was a 10gig install + bloat + day2day programs + whatever quantity of games you're looking to run on it (and the bloated size of games) - I think you're going to hit a brick wall faster than you'd anticipate. Loading an evening of FRAPS caps into iMovie, MS Office, the Operating System and SC2 - and I've pushed myself within 10gig of "full" on my 256er.

Instead - I'd suggest either doubling it...OR.... going with a raid1 array of Western Digital Black 1TB drives. Option 1 will cost you more, option 2 will save you ~$50. Granted - it won't be as fast as an SSD... but when you consider an SSD's bread & butter is it's ability to locate file fragments more rapidly than a linear read drive... as it otherwise uses the same interface for read/write times as the physical disk drives... I don't know about you, but I don't mind waiting an extra 30 seconds for my rig to start.

Video Card - I've had 2 MSI's bomb on my in the past 5 years. Both were Frozr. Both died within 5 months of being out of warranty. I've switched to EVGA and have been happy since. Also - when you look at the overclock potential of GPU's and CPU's - look for percent values of additional power more than numbers. I stopped tinkering when I parted ways with my ATI 5770's, and those only really had an OC headroom of about 13%. When you take that 13% and compare it against the return you'd gain from the $500 equivalent of the card... I just see 13% more power for 50% more cost. I mean - if you're going to go that far with it, just get the less "premium" one and...another one and SLI it. Costs just about as much(using very fuzzy math).

Also - the 700 series has been out for awhile now. I'd start looking towards the release of the 8 series

Case - just make sure you have about 6 inches total space on the case to mount the radiator + 120mm fans. These things aren't small.

Power Supply - As much as I'd like to believe a gold certified 850w power supply is worth 174.98, their 3 year life expectancy and that 'relatively' low wattage make me think you can get more for less. I think I paid $110 for my modular 850w Thermaltake. Also - how many rails is that power supply output split across? (lazy). If it's on 2 rails, that's 425/rail - which could lead to issues if the molex connectors are on the CPU rail, and the SATA power + GPU's are on the 2nd.


The rest of it looks fine. Razr - in my experience - make products with a 12 to 14 month life. I know someone's going to speak up and counter my claim, but I've owned 2 Black Widows(excessively loud), a Lycosis, and an Anansi(pass on this one). I've owned 2 DeathAdders and an Orachi(too small for big hands) mouse. I own a Kraken 7.1 headset (that didn't end up working out for my sister, so in trade took a Logitech G35). The products are not what I'd consider durable...and certainly haven't passed the Rum&Coke test.

I've since found a small company called Roccat from Germany. They're a bit more resistant, tolerant, and have a bit more flash and flair to them. They are a bit less "solid" feeling than Logitech, but have passed multiple Rum&Coke tests - along with heavy hands and fast typing tests. I don't think I've had my Isku (I think that was the name of it) and Kone+ for a year just yet...but I don't see them slowing down soon either.

....then again, I also stopped putting in 2-5 hours a night + extra on weekends for gaming.
....Kinda gave up on gaming all together. Life's just too busy.
 

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I actually agree with Razr. I've owned 3 Black Widows, while I don't mind the volume (I can't stand membrane keyboards so years ago learned that good keyboards are loud) and all 3 were dead before 2 years were out. For a $100+ keyboard, 2 year life span is simply unacceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As much as I'm itching to build a new PC I think I'll hold out and try and get the most for my money. I've been reading about the upcoming GPUs and CPUs and I think I'll wait until all the new stuff comes. Apparently Intel will release their new processors (Broadwell), nVidia will release the 800 series (Maxwell), and GDDR4 RAM will come by 2015 (Probably December 2014).
 

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I'd go with the i7 myself too if I were building one. Worth the extra $$ to me to have the hyperthreading advantage over the i5. Having several mobile core i5 and i7's (both are hyperthreaded in mobile space), hyperthreading is a fantastic technology and is definitely worth the extra cheddar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yes. what do you intend on doing that you need a core i7 for?
To be honest I was really buying it just to future proof the machine because I don't do any 3D rendering or editing (the most I do is Photoshop). I figured for around $100 extra it was worth it.

But as I said earlier, I don't think I'm going to build the rig; I think I'm going to wait a while until the nVidia 800 series and the Intel Broadwell processors are released. Oh, and GDDR4 RAM.
 

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Looked into the case.


So... here we go...typical dPrimmy Gripe List:

1) Front Panel Door. Doors on cases suck. You have to open them. To access items located on the front of the machine..you're stuck swinging it open - which often results in leaving it open, forgetting it's open, Kicking it, and breaking the door off. Had one, ended up disconnecting it and throwing out the "door" because it was more trouble than it was worth. Door = Bad.

2) 2x 5.25" drive bays. This...is limiting. If you're anything like me - you'll want a fast DVD-R and a slow BluRay reader/writer. After you get the H100 installed, you'll realize that the fan that usually controls the fanspeed on the motherboard handles the pump on the heat sink. The fans that blow air out of the case run on a sysFan port. You MIIIIGHT want more control over that - since noise appears to be a bit of a concern for ya (sound deadening case and the like). The easiest solution for this is using a FanBus. Most cool whippy-dippy ones are double-dim. Simple ones using potentiometers are single dim. Run about $15, but give you the ability to turn the fans down manually - and especially so when you're walking away from the machine or not doing intensive things. (I love mine). they do come in 3.5" slot variations, but like the back of a VW Beetle, they just feel cramped. Can't do that if you're running an optical drive. Also - I didn't see a case-integrated media card reader. I know a lot of stuff is going WiFi these days, but what doesn't run on smart media cards?
****Partial Retraction**** case includes controls for 3 fans as a feature - leaving this on here as not all cases do this.....and the radiator still won't fit.


3) Those are 2x120mm casefans on that radiator. It doesn't look like you have room for the cooler.

4) Aluminum is not only a heat transfer material - it's light weight. Think about what fiberglass does for houses. It soundproofs them...and....insulates them. If there's noise deadening material on the aluminum case, I'd only theorize that it's going to result in higher inter-case ambient temps that your cooling systems and video card will have to keep up with...nullifying any cooling benefit from designing it out of aluminum.


.....goes without saying - I don't like the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Looked into the case.


So... here we go...typical dPrimmy Gripe List:

1) Front Panel Door. Doors on cases suck. You have to open them. To access items located on the front of the machine..you're stuck swinging it open - which often results in leaving it open, forgetting it's open, Kicking it, and breaking the door off. Had one, ended up disconnecting it and throwing out the "door" because it was more trouble than it was worth. Door = Bad.

2) 2x 5.25" drive bays. This...is limiting. If you're anything like me - you'll want a fast DVD-R and a slow BluRay reader/writer. After you get the H100 installed, you'll realize that the fan that usually controls the fanspeed on the motherboard handles the pump on the heat sink. The fans that blow air out of the case run on a sysFan port. You MIIIIGHT want more control over that - since noise appears to be a bit of a concern for ya (sound deadening case and the like). The easiest solution for this is using a FanBus. Most cool whippy-dippy ones are double-dim. Simple ones using potentiometers are single dim. Run about $15, but give you the ability to turn the fans down manually - and especially so when you're walking away from the machine or not doing intensive things. (I love mine). they do come in 3.5" slot variations, but like the back of a VW Beetle, they just feel cramped. Can't do that if you're running an optical drive. Also - I didn't see a case-integrated media card reader. I know a lot of stuff is going WiFi these days, but what doesn't run on smart media cards?
****Partial Retraction**** case includes controls for 3 fans as a feature - leaving this on here as not all cases do this.....and the radiator still won't fit.


3) Those are 2x120mm casefans on that radiator. It doesn't look like you have room for the cooler.

4) Aluminum is not only a heat transfer material - it's light weight. Think about what fiberglass does for houses. It soundproofs them...and....insulates them. If there's noise deadening material on the aluminum case, I'd only theorize that it's going to result in higher inter-case ambient temps that your cooling systems and video card will have to keep up with...nullifying any cooling benefit from designing it out of aluminum.


.....goes without saying - I don't like the case.
What case would you recommend?



Also, do any of these cases look good?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058P5S9A?ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&tag=ezvid02-20&creativeASIN=B0058P5S9A

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BKUYZWS?ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&tag=ezvid02-20&creativeASIN=B00BKUYZWS

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006I2H084?ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&tag=ezvid02-20&creativeASIN=B006I2H084

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133244
 
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This is going to depend a lot on what your goals are with this.

Cost
Flash
Size
Noise
Tool-Free Design
WaterCooler Support


Rank em.


This is the reason I say that water cooler won't fit.... Mine's a H70(no longer made) encased in 2x 120mmFans on the back of a Coolermaster Advance+ case (no longer made)


 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
In order from most important to least:

1. WaterCooler Support
2. Noise (preferrably quiet, I don't want it to be execessively noisy)
3. Tool-Free Design
4. Size (should be larger)
5. Flash (really not important, just a plus)

Cost (Under $170)

Just from filling this out I think that the Core V71 case is probably my best bet.
 
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again - unless you go for a single 120mm fan radiator, you're still going to be running into the same issue with the back of the case.

I can't see the top well enough to see if it supports or has room to fit it between the top of the case and the fan grill, nor can I see if it can support fans below the grill to blow air out the top of the case.


The "water cooler" aspect of the case means it's pre-drilled and grometted with rubber flaps to allow tubing to be run into the case and connect to an external water tank and radiator. IF you wanted to rig a closed circuit system onto it - you'd have to cut (likely the radiator end) hoses and reattach them with shrink tubing and secure it with plumber's tape.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How would I know if I would be able to fit the h100i in the case?

If this helps, on Thermaltake it says "CPU cooler height limitation: 185mm"

What do you think of the Core V71? Does it look any good, or do some of the other cases I posted look better? Or do you think another case altogether would be best?


Edit: Here's a link to the product page for the V7. http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00002231
 
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The issue I'm having with this is -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRVO0xzVr8U#t=76

Look how big this ****ing thing is!!!


You'll have to mount it somewhere. It takes up 2 side by side fan slots. So - the case has to have 2 of those things right next to each other. This can be on the top, or back of the case, but I'd be willing to wager the front is a bit too far to reach for the hoses.


If you're pushing air thru it - you're subject to airflow restrictions as you have those tiny aluminum fins in the way.
If you pull air thru it - you're pulling fair thru those fins....

So you'll need enough space to be able to accommodate 4 fans in a 2x2 array...sandwiching this radiator monster.


It'll take a bit of research to find you answers to this - Fortunately, i just finished my summer class tonight - and I have more free time than I know what to do with. I'll be looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The issue I'm having with this is -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRVO0xzVr8U#t=76

Look how big this ****ing thing is!!!


You'll have to mount it somewhere. It takes up 2 side by side fan slots. So - the case has to have 2 of those things right next to each other. This can be on the top, or back of the case, but I'd be willing to wager the front is a bit too far to reach for the hoses.


If you're pushing air thru it - you're subject to airflow restrictions as you have those tiny aluminum fins in the way.
If you pull air thru it - you're pulling fair thru those fins....

So you'll need enough space to be able to accommodate 4 fans in a 2x2 array...sandwiching this radiator monster.


It'll take a bit of research to find you answers to this - Fortunately, i just finished my summer class tonight - and I have more free time than I know what to do with. I'll be looking.
Thanks
 
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STORY TIME.


So - I've been fighting with my rig for about the past 2 weeks. It just had pathetic response times. Initially - I wanted to swap out as little as possible to keep the old workhorse moving forward. So - after running a few system diagnostic tests - I decided to just start throwing money at the damn thing (and half played with the idea of creating a Vine with $1k banded up...and thrown at the FN computer case...

RAM was Friday. Bought Corsair Vengence. They didn't have Dominator in a 2x4gb setup. I haven't ever used over 6gb of RAM even under video/audio transcoding...playing cpu intensive games, running iTunes, with multiple tabs loaded for web pages. Until I start using more of it, I won't be justifying the doubling of RAM...just to have it sit dormant. Plugged it in, turned it on...problem seemed to resolve slightly. Reinstalled Windows (always a good idea)...and after restart 3, my problem was still there. Issue not resolved. (current commitment $100)

After that - I figured it had to be the SouthBridge.. Hard Disks don't go bad in 3-4 years, and if they do, it's usually right away. Trip to Fry Electronics (Tiger Direct doesn't price match...and Amazon's prices are frickin' tasty!) Walked out with a 4770k, a EVGA Z87-FTW (even though I didn't want a gaming board..just one with 8 SATA3 headers, PCIe3, and USB3 headers) and I figured a 5 year old closed circuit water cooler was more a liability than an asset. Found the Corsair H80i. Single fan spot, right fan size...(I'll suggest this one over the H100i..just because you don't have to tom-foolery around with the double sized radiator). (current running commitment $750)

Reinstall, update....and performance is still driving me nuts. I tried installing it to another 1tb WD Black drive I had in the machine. Again, no avail. Replaced the SATA wires. No progress.

Said F it. Sunday, went out and got a Samsung Evo 860 500gb SSD. The thing is wicked quick for read, write, and seek...at a good price point (compared to Intel's prices for their performance, $0.50/gig is far more appealing than ~$1.00/gig). Install. Problems resolved. (total commitment $1050)

Salvage items were the array of harddisks, my optical drives, case, power supply (less than 2 yrs old), and 760GTX (less than 6 months old).

Got home, assembled the build...







It's pretty, fast as heck, but I almost feel dirty doing this, knowing it pushed back my NAS + Mac Migration at least a year..if not longer than that.

Necessary to play games? Hardly. Do you need this much power to do anything? No. Excessive? Certainly!

...I just got tired of effing around and didn't want to take more chances, replacing 1 thing at a time. Common question is: "why didn't you just replace the board?". If I replaced the board with another AM3/3+ board, and that weren't the issue...it would have been throwing money at outdated crap.

Parting Thoughts: If I had the $3k available, I'd just have ordered the darn Mac.
 
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