Advice & suggestions on first build under $3k budget

By TBGAPowa · 7 replies
Jun 25, 2012
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  1. This is my first build from scratch my gaming orientation leans on rpgs, mmos, action-adventure and rts for the most part and less so for fps and racing games.

    Approximate Purchase Date:
    By this september
    Under $3k
    System Usage from Most to Least Important:
    Extensive gaming and production/rendering in autodesk and other 3D/CG art software
    Parts Not Required:
    Not planning on getting a custom liquid cooling system just yet
    Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
    Newegg Canada
    TigerDirect Canada
    Canada Computers
    Parts Preferences:
    Nvidia, visuals for the most part not a keyboard or audio enthusiast
    SLI or Crossfire:
    Possibly SLI
    Monitor Resolution:
    1920 x 1080 – may go larger

    I will not be using any reused parts
    I need a keyboard, mouse headset and drawing tablet among peripherals
    I haven't purchased any parts yet
    I don't have a spare OS

    Additional Comments:
    my newegg wishlist

    Really looking for longevity and durability

    the rig would be placed in the basement which is usually around 20C, during the humid summer it should be closer to 30C room temp but we almost always AC then. the only thing about the basement I am worried about is if airflow wouldn't be good enough for the rig

    would a heatsink fan suffice for now? if I ever choose to SLI would liquid cooling be needed then?

    Quoted from a member named lehpron from the EVGA forums "But, in order to maintain your CPU stabilty; your RAM, HDD, motherboard, PSU, etc all have to be in sync and stable too. So while the CPU could theoretically take the punishment, total system stability depends on the other junk in the system."
    How Long Before Failure ?

    I hope the hhds would suffice, they do get great ratings I believe the others are good enough.

    is 16 gb RAM 1600 enough or should I go higher 1866/2133/2400?

    what do you think think about this monitor?

    Yamakasi Catleap 27" LED 2560x1440 WQHD S-IPS
  2. TBGAPowa

    TBGAPowa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    direct quote from member lehpron from the EVGA forums, sorry its huge but this sums up why I chose the type of mobo, GPU and CPU. but of course still subject to change

    "Most modern games are threaded for between 2-4 cores, and it has been a slow progress adoption since quads have been around for six years, duals for eight years. meaning, a 6-core won't make a difference today. New games take 2-3 years to make from the ground up, so in that time, it will make a quad that much more important. Only get the 6-core for your professional work, not for gaming.

    3770K is a 22nm quad and half the die area (thus half the actual power and thermals if set at the same frequency) as 32nm i7-3900's 6-cores; mathematically, they should overclock better, but Intel differed from tradition of soddering the CPU die to the IHS (integrated heat spreader) by using a thermal grease with Ivy Bridge which tends to artificially raise temperaturess. This prevents anyone from really being able to push it except for those using cryogenics; so in the end, all Sandy and Ivy processors reach a max of approx 5GHz regardless of number of cores.

    So it all comes down to the board really; X79 can support up to 4-way SLI (in quad x8, or a pair of full x16) configs while Z77 is limited to just dual x8's. If you're serious about longitivity in terms of having the room for future graphics cards and not change the board (which definitely need more bandwidth than current), then X79 is the only option. For CPU, either get quad 3820 or 6-core 3930K depending on how often your professional uses need 12-threads or not.

    BTW, as for the GTX670's, get the 4GB card. We'll soon see a new standard for mainstream monitors that used to be the reign of medicial professionals, their total single display res equals to a modern multi-display setup. So if you intend on at least one in the next two years and not upgrading graphics for it, then you should plan ahead with a 4GB model and get 3-way SLI by then to compensate.


    Really looking for longevity and durability I chose a gtx 670 in hopes of being able to run graphic intensive art programs and gaming on high settings for at least two years before upgrade/new build.
    This part will require an edit for realism.

    In two years, a pair of GTX670 will have the performance equivalency of a future mainstream card (I.e. "GTS850" )and unable to run those games appearing then at high details without having the frame rates dip whatever is high-end at time. So either plan to get into 3-way or 4-way SLI (meaning you need to get a 4-way capable board in the first place, I.e. X79), think about upgrading your graphics card much earlier than two years, or settle for less visuals as times passes especially if you plan a higher resolution monitor someday. Most games are GPU-intensive, so if your resolution doubles the pixels, you cut your frame rates in half.

    The only way you can truly have longivity is if your expectation is much lower than what is available for purchase. If you want max detail at smooth rates, then that is only possible today, it isn't possible next year with this year's configuration running next year's games. Just so you know, many folks on enthusiast websites like these upgrade often as a hobby, they choose to keep up with technology in order to maintain their preference level in every new game; I personally see it as a hassle. So you have to decide your upgrade tendencies beforehand and plan ahead, beyond this upcoming build. "
  3. TBGAPowa

    TBGAPowa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    updated list please check it out
  4. TBGAPowa

    TBGAPowa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    from the pureoverclock forum member Doctor_Death:

    Skip the MS keyboard, and go eith the Corsair K90, also the Phanteks CPU coolers do out perform the D14. I'll tell you what, I have a brand new system that I built for Enermax with duel EVGA Classified GTX590s. I have the Gigabyte X79 UD7 installed, but if you perfer ASUS, I can swap it out for a new X79 Rampage 4 Formula. There's also a brand new Intel 3820, and a Lepa G1600 PSU. Blu-ray burner and a DVD burner, 16GBs of Geil 1600MHz, 240GB SSD and a WD 1TB drive. You can own this build for $1500 shipped

    Here's a couple of photos, click to enlarge:

    I can add a 3960X but not for $1500 lol if I switch out the UD7 and replace it with the Rampage 4 Formula, and add the 3960X I have to get at least $2200 which is still a hell of a deal. Just the Vision Tek Racer 240GB and the WD 1TB would set you back a little over $400, never mind the EVGA Classified GTX590s, beside the new GTX690s the 590's are still one of the fastest cards around.

    what do you think?

    Are the headphones I listed nicely compatible with the soundcard? I wan't 7.1 surround and listen to music that is at mid range.
  5. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    Not really sure what you are asking in the first 4 posts since you are posting quotes and it's confusing to read. As far as the soundcard? I think its a waste of money if you are only listening to music. The mobo comes with HDaudio already and unless you are mastering a track out of $10k monitors in a sound dampened environment you will hear little to no difference out of headphones(and you wouldn't be using a xonar either). $3k is a nice budget but if you ask 20 people what to build you will get 20 different answers and my answer is "that's not a system I would spend $3k on". If you are serious about both gaming and graphics rendering/CG you will want 2 different types of monitors since there is not really a happy medium between the 2. If you post a question and and not a novel you will probably get more answers.
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Seems you've asked a whole bunch of questions... generally your build is very good but here are my thoughts.

    Then there's absolutely no point in getting a $200 sound card. Just use the onboard or a cheap $50 one, you won't notice the difference unless you're an audiophile.

    No point in going liquid cooling unless you want an absolutely silent computer. If you're gaming with a headset then you won't hear the fans during load anyway.

    Don't get a Sandforce SSD, get a Samsung 830 or Crucial m4 or Plextor M3 instead.
    The WD Black is horrendously overpriced, considering you have a SSD as a boot drive a cheaper HDD will be just as good.

    Higher memory speeds have pretty much no impact on performance for SB/IB systems so the one you picked is fine.

    I've heard a lot of people who've had positive experiences, as long as you're willing to run the risk of dead pixels and no warranty then it's an excellent price.

    Don't see which headphones you listed.
  7. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    For games there is plenty of point. Positional awareness for example. Clarity is another. You don't need to spend $200 on a sound card but getting a $50 external is better than onboard. They are still rubbish. Cheap x-fi with EAX 5.0 or better...

    Got 2 Sandforces (Vertex 3 240GB) and they not only are fast but the current firmware is stable. Perfect stability for as long as I can remember. The next gen drives have higher IOPS though so I'd certainly check them out.

    WD Blacks are rated 24/7 operation and are 7200RPM. I pay the extra but it's a subjective thing.
  8. TBGAPowa

    TBGAPowa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    -I have this question posted on multiple forums so bare with me here as my replies will be much slower.
    -AS FOR THE PEOPLE recommending me WC I honestly feel intimidated by it. I chose an air cooling case but I still am not sure to choose a water cooling enabled one since I am not positive if I go WC in the future.
    -I will order from mostly canadian sites but will order from other places if necessary. The preferred retailer list I posted isn't that vital.


    Monitor: Dell UltraSharp U2312HM
    CPU HSF: Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E
    Headphones: Sennheiser PC 350 or 360
    Tablet: Wacom Bamboo Splash

    updated the list. switched to sabertooth z77 motherboard, can’t choose between the two headsets so if any audiophiles could voice their opinions that would be great and I am still planning on downgrading to a 120gb ssd instead but don’t know if I should go with the lower iOPS. I chose the creative card over asus ones as most gamers have mentioned better clarity for gaming and movies, for music asus ones are better certainly but I’m not that big on music. which GPU 670/80 do you guys recommend since I won’t be hardcore OCing

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