Getting ready for a PC build, need some advice!

By Zen
Aug 9, 2012
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  1. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,067   +1,179

    Excellent list for a build, Zen. :)

    You will have one hell of a "Look at my PC" thing going afterward. :D
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    He will indeed!

    But seriously, I'd just slightly overclock the FX-8120 to beyond FX-8150 speeds, and save the difference. If you're seriously not going to overclock the Corsair H100 cooler is a total waste of money. Even the retail cooler is perfectly capable of handling the FX-8120 at stock speeds.

    The saving would certainly help towards the GTX 680. Other than that, impressive build dude. :)
  3. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    I feel it safe to say that there will be indeed some overclocking taking place with the FX-8150, therefore the H100 will still come in very handy, I also think it's safe to say that the stock speeds of around 4.2Gig ain't going to last long. I'm thinking maybe something more so around 4.5Gig or maybe just slightly above. But either which way, like you and Clifford have eluded to, it's going to be hell of a machine, the fastest and most powerful computer I've ever built and owned. One question? I know pretty much everyone uses this game as some sort of industry benchmark..

    But how well do you think a system like the one I'm to build will play something like Crysis? :p lol
  4. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    It's so refreshing to see someone go for a higher-end AMD CPU rather than the usual 2500K or 3570K :)
    As for Crysis, the 680+8120 OC'ed will absolutely demolish that game, heck any game you can throw at it.
    Regarding the H100, I've read quite a bit about it and there seem to be many reports of some sort of noise issue with the pump with many of the units. If you are unlucky enough to snag one of these units, be sure to RMA it. Also the stock H100 fans are rather weak. it'd be well worth it to upgrade to some Scythe GT's or Noctuas. Also, just a tip, when installing the H100, grab some paper towels and wrap them around the waterblock then use some rubber bands to secure the paper. This is basically just so when that thing is dangling around inside your case, with you trying to install it, it's likely that the metal waterblock is gonna get dinged around a bit inside the case, which could damage not only the waterblock, but also any other components you may have residing in the case at that time. If you wrap it in a bit of paper you minimise the risk of damaging/scratching anything.

    apart from all that jargon^ I truly hope you enjoy the build, and even more so the resulting rig, because that thing is going to be a monster!

    maybe video it and make a 'how to build a pc' tut? those are generally received well on Youtube :) plus I know that I, for one, would definitely watch it. I love watching/helping people build their PC's, and it's so awesome when you punch the power button for the first time and it actually works :D. If you're not keen on documenting it, then perhaps a buildlog?

    ah I ought to stop suggesting things. I get excited when people build beast rigs hahahaa

    anyway, I truly wish you luck and hope you enjoy yourself!
    Zen likes this.
  5. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    It wouldn't at triple monitor resolutions, you'd just about get playable framerates. If you want 60fps+ at ultra settings on all games then you'd need SLI 680's.

    I know 32GB RAM might be good bragging rights but unless you run loads of memory intensive applications at the same time it's a total waste. 8GB is more than enough for almost everyone. Put that $100 into the SSD, get a 256GB Crucial m4 or Samsung 830 as they are widely regarded as the best SSD's out there. The 256GB ones are slightly quicker than the 128GB versions, and you'll find that 128GB fill up very quickly especially as games are getting larger and larger nowadays.
  6. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    Hmmm true. It seems in my haste I forgot to take VRAM into consideration, my apologies. A quick check confirmed that BF3 will consume up to 2.5GB VRAM on 3 monitors, whereas the GPU Zen chose only has 2GB.
    although even then, a 680 is very capable of playing any single game on the market right now at very playable FPS, 1 screen or 3.
    plus you could always OC it to add a bit more kick to the equation.

    also as for the SSD's I'd have to agree, the Samsung 830 series look sooooooo nice :3 I'm a sucker for the dark brushed metal look.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    Gotta say I agree with Slh28 here. Eyefinity on Crysis, BF3 and the likes is going to tax you big time on the GPU. You should be okay if you dial down the detail a bit, but don't expect ultra @ 5760x1080 pixels to be 100% playable. That said, you should be fine at medium settings.

    If it was me I'd be dropping the FX-8150, dropping 16GB of RAM, getting a couple of Noctua NF-F12 PWM fans for the H100 and overclocking both the CPU and GPU. I'd be changing that SSD as well. But the choice is yours. I think regardless of how perfect a build is, others will always be able to suggest alternatives -- as long you're happy with it, that's all that matters.

    It'll still kick *** anyway. :D
  8. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    Well as I had already stated, the Hitachi 2TB drive will be only be allowed to host games, music files, video files and any misc. non operating system specific software. The 128GB Patriot is only going to host Windows 7, Office 2007, Microsoft Security Essentials and any other operating system specific software, nothing more.

    And in regards to the issues of the RAM, and people saying I'd do "ok" with just 8GB, no way, ain't going to happen! If anything I am entertaining the notion of scaling down a bit and maybe being satisfied with just 16GB of RAM. And taking the money savings with ditching the extra 16GB's and possibly throwing that into some sort of extra cooling solution device or devices. And in regards to dropping the AMD FX-8150 and going back down to the FX-8120, that could be doable. But I need to know up front, what would be the safest overclocked speed that I could take that chip to? Will it truly if overclocked out perform the FX-8150? And in regards to having to overclock my video card's GPU, would overclocking to a safe increased speed be possible? Can I overclock the video card to the point that I don't have to worry about such things as being "taxed" about anything? I've heard numbers like I would like 2.5GB speed for the three monitors, can the video card be pumped up another 500MHz without damaging the card? You might think I'm stupid for asking all of this, but in all my history of building computers, I've never once had to overclock a video card. So I'm only asking all this because I wouldn't want my $500.00+ investment going "boom"!

    So far I've got...

    Drop the FX-8150
    Go with the FX-8120
    Drop the RAM count
    And get more cooling solutions

    All very much doable! But I still need the above questions answered first, before I alter what I thought to be the "final list", I just want to make sure everything is going to be fine!
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    The GTX 680 has something called GPU Boost which automatically overclocks the card when it's running under load. You might be able to get 100-150Mhz more but the voltages are locked so you won't be able to go much higher. But locked voltages also means there's no risk of frying your card, as long as you monitor the temps and set an appropriate fan profile.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,067   +1,179

    Zen if I were in your shoes, I would probably keep the FX-8150 and drop the RAM down to 16GB.

    I have 8GB RAM at the moment and rarely ever use 4GB. In fact on an average day my RAM usage never exceeds 2GB.

    As far as OC'ing the FX-8120, you would likely be able to OC the FX-8150 just as much.
  11. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    I think my brain is on thermal meltdown!

    As to honor the opinions of some, who think that I should change my pick and run with the AMD FX-8120, I invested a lot of my time today doing research, to see if once and for all if those who say I should go with the FX-8120 are either right, or wrong!

    AMD FX-8120 vs. FX-8150 (Side by side speed ratings)

    [​IMG]

    Initially I was looking at all kind of benchmark graphics, chart, pie sheets, heck, even a couple You Tube videos as to get my own answer. But in the end on a very nice web site that pits processor chips against one and other, the image above was the most helpful. The FX-8120 starts with a stock base speed of 3.1GHz, which the FX-8150 starts out at a base speed of 3.6GHz, so in this department the FX-8150 is the clear winner. Now things get interesting when the Turbo mode of the processor is activated, the FX-8120 can Turbo to a base speed of 3.4GHz, where the FX-8150 Turbo's to a base speed of 3.9GHZ, still in this second department the FX-8150 is the clear cut winner! But in the third department, my brain got a little rocked! With the "Max Turbo" option the safe top speed ceiling limit of the FX-8120 is 4.0GHz! Where the FX-8150 safe top ceiling max turbo limit is 4.2GHz, again it's clear, the FX-8150 wins in the third department as well, but does it?

    I might not be the best certified computer person on the planet, but I don't even think a God like computer person is going to notice a 200MHz speed difference in regards to 4.0GHz vs. 4.2GHz, I just don't think it's going to be noticeable! Now I saw some pretty impressive numbers out there, by those who choose to take both the AMD FX-8120 and the AMD FX-8150 chips beyond safe tolerance levels. I was seeing numbers like the FX-8120 was pumped to 4.8GHz, with an upswing to 5.0GHz! And I saw the XF-8150 having numbers like 5.0GHz, with an upswing to 5.5GHz, which was advertised as "unsafe"! But looking beyond those Disneyland numbers and getting back to the safe published speeds for both processors, I don't really see with the safe baselines that I should dive more expense into the FX-8150!

    So it's official, I am changing my pick, I'm removing the FX-8150 from the list and replacing it with the FX-8120, for only 200MHz of speed difference between the two, I'll save the money and invest the saving elsewhere inside the computer.
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    From what I've read the FX-8150 only makes sense if you don't plan to overclock ever. If you're overclocking it makes sense to get the slightly cheaper FX-8120 and put the saving towards a good cooler (which you have covered).

    At least that's what I'd do anyway. Maybe @red1776 or @dividebyzero or others will chime in with advice on whether FX-8150 is a better bin or something I've overseen, however.
  13. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    You are 100% right about this all making sense! And I do indeed plan on overclocking the FX-8120, I plan on taking it to 4.0GHz but really no further. Also when searching for reviews in regards to the FX-8120, the Corsair H100 and cooling, most reviews gave the 8120 and H100 combo good marks. Most web sites said the H100 will more than handle the heat generated by a safely overclocked FX-8120! So I'm not planning on overclocking to Disneyland numbers, just to numbers that are verified safe by the manufacturer.
     
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    I should imagine 4.0-4.2GHz should be fine that the FX-8120 if I remember correctly. I'd change the fans for Scythe or Noctua as discussed earlier though -- I'd imagine they'll be quieter whilst moving more air at the same time.
  15. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    Well it's official, as of 30 minutes ago, I did my last mouse clicks in regards to ordering all the required hardware and software on-line. I choose on-line ordering because a Fry's employee notified me over the phone, that more savings and rebate programs are offered on-line vs. coming into a store. I was just calling to find out out if they had some of the stuff in stock, and I'm being told by a pretty honest salesman that I would see a greater saving on some of the items if I ordered on-line, talk about a nice guy. And come to find out the employee was right, I was offered 2 more mail in rebate's than I would have gotten by way of the store. Also on some items there were instant on-line discounts offered, like an example, the video card, I took advantage of the $25 instant rebate, so we went from $509 to $484, I'm all smiles! That's just one of several savings offers I took advantage of. I first quoted a total build price of $2542.69, well the actual final price for everything with the rebates, offers and sale prices now included came to $2334.69! Also some here I think will be please with some last minute changes to the list, hello Leeky, you got your hard drive!! :) So now seeing that the money has been spent, all I need to do now is wait around 8 to 10 business days for the stuff to hit my front door. Lastly, I would like to personally thank everyone for their participation in this process! It sure was fun putting this system together on paper, now it should be even more fun putting this together for real.

    So the following is everything I got today, the revisions are included.


    (Case and components)

    Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 Full Tower Case- VN300M1W2N ($149.99)
    LD Dual 12" CCFL - Blue ($7.99)
    Cooler Master Megaflow 200mm Blue LED Case Fan ($6.99)
    Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Hydro Series CPU Cooler ($109.99)

    (Motherboard and components)


    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 990FX AM3+ Motherboard ($149.99)
    AMD FX-8120 8 Core ($159.99) *Revised*
    (1 Pack) CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600MHz ($99.99 Each) *Revised*

    (Internal Drives)

    Hitachi GST 0F12117 2TB CoolSpin SATA 3 ($99.99)
    Crucial RealSSD M4 series 128GB SATA 3 SSD ($109.99) *Revised*
    [B][B]LG Internal SATA 12x Super Mult Blu Ray Writer ($99.99)[/B][/B]

    [B][B][B][B]([COLOR=#008000]Power Solution[/COLOR])[/B][/B][/B][/B]

    [B][B][B][B][B][B][B]Thermaltake Toughpower XT 775W Continuous-Delivery Modular Power Supply[/B] [B]($99.90)[/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B]

    [B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B]([COLOR=#008000]Video Solution[/COLOR])[/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B]

    EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card ($509.99)

    [B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B][B]([COLOR=#008000]Sound Solution[/COLOR])[/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B][/B]

    [B][COLOR=#111111]Creative Lab PCI-E X-Fi Titanium FatalTy Champion Series Internal Sound Card ($179.99)[/COLOR][/B]

    [B]([COLOR=#008000]Network Communications Solution[/COLOR])[/B]

    NETGEAR WN311B Wireless-N PCI Adapter[B] ($49.99)[/B]

    [B]([COLOR=#008000]External Computer Components[COLOR=#000000])[/COLOR][/COLOR][/B]

    [B][COLOR=#ff0000][COLOR=#111111][B]Logitech Wireless Wave Combo Keyboard & Mouse MK550[/B] [B]($79.99)[/B][/COLOR][/COLOR][/B]
    [B][COLOR=#ff0000][COLOR=#111111][B][B]Logitech Z506 5.1 Speaker System ($99.99)[/B][/B][/COLOR][/COLOR][/B]

    [B][B][COLOR=#ff0000][COLOR=#111111][B][B]([COLOR=#008000]External Video Solution[/COLOR])[/B][/B][/COLOR][/COLOR][/B]

    [B][B][COLOR=#ff0000][COLOR=#111111][B][B][B]([COLOR=#ff0000]3, Yes 3[/COLOR]) LG E2442TC 24" Class Slim LED Backlit Monitor's - 1920 x 1080, 16:9, 5000000:1, 5ms, VGA, DVI-D, Energy Star ($179.99 Each)[/B][/B][/B][/COLOR][/COLOR]

    [B][COLOR=#008000][B][COLOR=#000000]([/COLOR]Operating System Solution[COLOR=#000000])[/COLOR][/B][/COLOR][/B]

    [B][B][COLOR=#111111][COLOR=#ff00ff][COLOR=#000000]Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit (Full)[/COLOR] [COLOR=#000000]- System Builder (OEM) version - DVD[/COLOR][/COLOR] ($149.99)[/COLOR][/B][/B]

    [B][B][COLOR=#111111]([COLOR=#008000]Misc.[/COLOR])[/COLOR][/B][/B]

    [B][B]CyberPower USB 2.0 4 Port Amplified Hub ($17.99)[/B][/B]
    [B][B]Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD Webcam ($69.95)[/B][/B][/B][/B][/B]


    [B][B][B]I cant' wait!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) [/B][/B][/B]
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,067   +1,179

    Nice!!

    Congrats. :)
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    Aye, it's going to be a kick *** computer. You'll have to keep this thread updated with pictures when you build it, would really like to see this once complete -- would really round this thread off nicely as well. :)
  18. xcylent

    xcylent TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +17

    ^seconded!
  19. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    Well I would seriously like to think is going to be a kick *** computer system! I dropped some serious money, so I would like to think it's going to be a serious computer. As you may have seen on the previous page on my final revised list I ordered from, your hard drive was in there, you didn't tell me that on-line customers got a $10.00 mail in rebate on it, it made it that much nicer to buy!

    Oh yeah, with some of the saving I saw with buying everything, I did treat myself to a little pre-build excitement...

    Look'y Look'y
    http://www.amazon.com/Crysis-Maximum-Edition-Pc/dp/B001Q96ZNU

    I should have some fun with that! :)

    And yes, I will keep this topic area updated as the action starts, pictures and possibly even some recorded on-line videos of the build and then the final product.
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    I wasn't aware that they did if I'm honest, but the extra ten bucks makes it an even sweeter deal! :)

    I have to say I'm really looking forward to seeing pictures of this during its building and afterwards. I think its a nice end to "buying" threads.
    xcylent and Blkfx1 like this.
  21. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    Thought I'd update things here a little bit!

    I was just about to power off my computer, when curiosity got the best of me! I did a quick check of my Fry's customer account, where there has been no activity on anything since placing my order, my account had three shipping advisory's! My three LG monitors, the RAM and the Corsair H100 as of 4 hours ago shipped from Fry's warehouse. So that was the triple advisory, telling me that three things I order have now shipped.

    Well that's all I got at this point, got three things now heading my way! :)
  22. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +97

    They all going to turn up in separate deliveries or something? haha! :D

    I'd have thought they'd ship the entire order in one shipment.
  23. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TechSpot Guru Posts: 617   +111

    I envy your excitement Zen. I love that feeling of expecting awesome stuff in packages...
  24. Scodd

    Scodd TechSpot Member

    Liquid is better than air, almost always. And those big hulking air things take up a lot of room. With that much to spend why aren't you going for the best cpu? I would highly recommend a 3930 or 3820 and an H100. Microcenter just about always has better prices than frys. I am running a dual boot with a 3930, hd 6870 and an H100. I normally run ubuntu with virtual box that has a couple 2008 server instances, one for development and one that I use for production sharepoint server, plus a healthy win7 instance or two. When I want to play games I boot to win7. Buy the best processor you can afford. Once the 8 core i7s come out you will be ready to drop it in. I built a system for a friend recently with an H80 and a 3930, but if you have a big enough case, get an H100.
  25. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 938   +43

    Personally I think I've done very well with picking the AMD FX-8120, which will be overclocked to somewhere around 4.2G's to 4.5G's! Your recommendation with running with one of the "I" series of Intel processor is fine and dandy, but if you stick around here long enough to get to know me a little, you'll learn that I never build myself personal systems with Intel processors. Everyone has their own personal preference as to what they feel and think is the "best" processor out there. Now I'm not going to start rambling about why I think the AMD processors are the best for me, pissing contests aren't my thing! But safe to say that I had some help picking out the processor that I'm going to be building my mega monster with! The "best" in what I was looking at was the AMD FX-8150, but a little bird'y whistled that the FX-8120 in some cases can be overclocked to levels at or beyond the FX-8150, so why waste the extra $50.00 on a chip that in some cases can be surpassed by the one slightly bellow it.


    In regards to buying myself a "big enough" computer case, why not have a look.......

    Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 Full Tower Case- VN300M1W2N ($149.99)
    http://www.frys.com/product/6639144?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Big enough for you? And also designed from the factory to handle multiple water cooling solutions. It's got it's own area, separate and segregated from the regular internal area, as to mount the Corsair H100 that I'm getting! Also if there's a problem and the H100's radiator leaks, ruptures or pop's, the separate area will hold up to 30cm's of liquid above, therefore keeping the components bellow safe from liquid damage.

    By your statement of "get an H100" you must not be really dialed in with everything I recently ordered, if you've got a free minute, go to page #2 inside this topic area and proceed to post #40 and you'll see what's there!
    Ranger12 likes this.


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