Ideas for new build please

By LeeLuck · 14 replies
Feb 5, 2013
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  1. Hi all and thanks for reading and offering any advice,
    I would like to start thinking about my second project build soon but as time moves on so does hardware, so I am in need of some advice / ideas.
    I want to build a far superior rig to the one I have (system spec is on profile) and I am open to all your ideas.
    The rig will be used for intense 3D art work via Poser Pro and 3DsMax both of which are CPU speed hungry (not GPU hungry), also photo editing via PS and lastly video / blu ray and mild gaming (games like Crysis, COD, Tombraider etc) so graphics are important as my 28inch Hanns.G is 1080 ready and if a great game takes my fancy I want this rig to play it on full settings with no problems, just to add I am not an online gamer, purely a single billy no mates stay at home gamer lol.
    I want to OC the rig at some point above 4Ghz but not immediately, and would like to have it pretty silent but look awesome as it will be the focal point to my office.
    Storage is important too as both 3D software programs have very large runtimes and are increasing on a daily basis. I would also like to dabble with SSD too along with conventional HDD's.
    My budget is £2000 absolutely not a penny more lol
    Products I like and trust for good or bad are Gigabyte, Intel, Samsung, Corsair and XfX but I am open to try new ones on your recommendations.

    So, any other questions can be answered if I forgot anything, but please fire away and help me decide what I need.



    So, I have been looking at some options on the following :-
    Intel i7 3820
    Intel i7 3930

    Unsure of the OC'ing potential on either ?

    Asus P9X79

    Corsair X79

    Asus Radeon HD 7970

    Will I need crossfire for future games ? and if so is this card too much or would 2 x ???? crossfirerd be better ?
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    It's always better to run one single, faster card than go for two lower versions if possible as a single card removes the complexities of running two or more GPUs. A HD 7970 running 1080p will be fine for every game you can throw at it.

    Given your intended usage I'd go with a 6 core (12 thread) CPU, as long as the CPU-intensive software can utilise the additional threads of a 6-core processor. Clock speed is also important, so you'll need a high quality cooler to make the most of a higher clock speed when overclocking. I'd recommend a Noctua NH-D14 or hybrid water cooler such as the Corsair H-100i or the new H-110 cooler (though you need two 120mm fan slots in the case to fit the cooler).

    You'll need to be careful with RAM heatsink clearances if you go for the Noctua NH-D14 cooler as its heatsink is known to affect clearances. Corsair XMS3 heatsinks will be perfect for clearance. If it was me I'd go for two sets of Corsair 4x 8GB (32GB) XMS3, 1600MHz which will cost you about £40 more than the single set you quoted and give you 64GB of RAM -- assuming your work applications are RAM intensive as well. To run 64GB you'd need eight RAM slots, though your current suggestion fits this requirement.

    With your budget you could easily use 120-256GB SSD alongside a 7,200RPM mechanical disk with 1-4TB capacity. I will be building pretty much the same build as you shortly and intend to use a 256GB Crucial RealSSD M4 SSD alongside a couple of 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 7k4000 6Gb/s mechanical disks.
    misor and LeeLuck like this.
  3. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    So you think the i7 3930 is the way to go then Leeky ? I like the one card idea too, also I am running a H80 on my current rig so the H100i looks interesting ;p hopefully I can source a nice case that allows the double fan system to be at the top so to speak. Also, the RAM is important, I forgot to mention. Moving huge 3D scenes around takes a lot of ram so more the better for these apps. The boards max's out at 64gig so I may as well max is out first time so whats the better option here ? RAM always confuses me, but isnt the ram I suggested faster then the one you linked ? I guess what I am saying is to max the board out with the best ram possible what is the best way to go considering at some point I will be OC'ing the rig to 4.5GHz ish
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I don't personally feel their is enough of a difference between the higher speeds of RAM to warrant the additional cost, especially when a couple of percent more on top of the price of a single set of RAM could get you two sets at a slightly slower speed. If you simply must have the fastest RAM available then go faster but you will pay a huge price premium and see very little performance benefit in real-life.

    This the next one up from 1600MHz:
    This is a matched kit (32GB) 4x 8GB corsair Dominator Platinum 2400MHz set, but you pay a huge premium for them.

    A Corsair H-80 with a LGA 2011 adapter kit (if available) and good fans will probably cool a SB-E i7 3930K. Since you already have it, it would be best to try it first I'd say. I don't overclock my PCs these days but I almost exclusively use Corsair H series hybrid coolers in desktops now.

    The stuff I linked above is all stuff I'd choose myself. I've been using Corsair XMS RAM for a while now and personally wouldn't use anything else. That said, its just my personal preference -- others will likely be just as good.
  5. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Mmm I like the 64gig one there you suggested, I dont doubt your opinion Leeky, thank you. I was just unsure how OC'ing the rig at a later date might effect the Ram but with that much onboard I doubt it would matter lol
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    The 3930K is multiplier unlocked so the RAM speed won't affect the overclocking abilities (because you OC by raising the multiplier). So unless you really know that your appplications need the higher speed RAM I wouldn't bother because they come at a huge premium.

    I agree with Leeky's suggestions, a single 7970 will easily be enough for now at 1080p, running CF might actually make things less smooth because of micro-stuttering and you your monitor is only 60Hz anyway.

    I have the Corsair H80i with 2x 1850rpm Scythe GT's, my i7 920 runs totally silent under load and with a hefty OC.
  7. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Great so thats 2 things off the check list, the ram and gpu sorted. I already have a H80 running on my current rig, set to position 2 its pretty silent but on load its no so silent lol I only have my i7 950 OC'ed to 4.01GHz too so I will question further when the time comes about the H80 - H100 options. So the i7 3930k is the one to go with ? good good ;)
    So I guess the mobo is cool also, I guess we need to discuss SSD's HDD and PSU's then. I will have a look and offer some suggestions but feel free to offer and over rule also ;)
    Great input so far peeps, really appreciate it.

    Edit :- I meant to say, my current rig will live next to the TV as a media center so this rig is a fresh totally new build, meaning I need ALL new parts :)

    Leeky, I missed your input on SSD's sorry, the Crucial one looks good with a good review, here is my problem,,,,... I am totally confused about SSD's ? in the sense that, when I install the OS to it, where then do all my other programs install to as normally its C: On my current HDD (which is a Samsung F3 1TB) I have nearly 300gig of programs ! some of these are runtimes in the 3D applications so I guess I could farm them out to the other drives but do ALL the programs still have to install to the SSD (C) drive ? and if so why are the SSD always so small ? I am probably gunna get flamed here for a dumb question lol but I need to ask it ;)
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    You can install software to any physical drive or partition in Windows. Typically this is C:, but it can be another disk, and you can mix and match, putting the most intensive or disk I/O heavy applications on the SSD and others on a mechanical disk.

    SSD's essentially use "RAM" for storage as opposed to mechanical disk platters. That's why they're more expensive and have a lower capacity but you do benefit from massively improved performance in Windows, application load times and instantaneous access times. The real-world difference is massive and you want to run all of your intensive software using this drive.

    You could retain your 1TB for games and other slower, or lighter applications. To keep a logical order I tend to create the two program files folders you find on the root directory of the C: drive, on the additional mechanical disk. That way you keep the same setup across multiple disks. I use a 64GB SSD and that has 13GB free after installing Windows 7 Pro _x64, Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate, multiple Adobe CS6 applications and countless other apps. I use a mechanical disk for Origin and Steam, as a hard disk for games. So 128/256GB would be an enormous capacity for everything.

    As for power supplies I would go for a good 600-750W unit, especially since you plan to heavily overclock a SB-E set up alongside a HD-7970. I'm either going to continue using my current Antec HCG-620 (uses Seasonic internals) or replace it with a Seasonic X-Series or the like. PSUs from Corsair (AX/VX/TX models), Enermax, Seasonic, XFX Pro Series and Antec models are all great purchases.
  9. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

  10. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +203

    That's a pretty hefty PSU for your build. I would go with something around 600-750 range as Leeky suggested. It will save you some money to put toward your other parts. Also, I wouldn't grab all of that RAM either. I can't imagine why someone would need 64GB of ram. I feel silly running 16GB in my machine. Even for the work you're doing, I don't see 64GB being worth it. Drop down to 32GB if you feel you really need a lot of ram and put the money toward the other parts.
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Aye, save yourself £40 and for for the Seasonic X-Series 750 instead. Other options include:

    1. XFX Pro Black Edition 750W @ £118.50 (Seasonic internals)
    2. Corsair Pro Series AX-750 @ £131.70
    3. Corsair Pro Series AX-760 @ £140.11

    I'd take the Seasonic X-Series X-750 if I was me. The XFX is also a good choice with its Seasonic internals. All of the above options are cheaper than the current 850w choice, but every bit as reliable.

    For £2,000 I'd get this:
    CPU: Intel i7 3930K 3.2GHz 12MB Cache @ £449.00
    CPU Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow Extreme SB-E @ £51.78
    Mobo: Asus X79 Sabertooth @ £250.55
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance Jet Black 64GB (8x 8GB) DDR3 1866MHz @ £315.90
    PSU: Seasonix X-Series X-750 @ £114.90
    Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D @ £228.96 (this is personal preference though)
    BluRay: LiteOn IHES112-115 BD-ROM / DVDRW @ £49.34
    SSD: Samsung 250GB 840 Series SSD @ £129.90
    HDD: Toshiba 3TB DT01ACA300 6Gb/s 7,200RPM @ £99.96
    GPU: MSI Radeon HD-7970 3GB OC @ £299.75

    Next-day delivery @ £16.64
    Total including delivery @ £2010.01

    You could save a few quid by changing the case. You can get a Cooler Master HAF X for considerably less, or even a Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA Raven 3 case with change out of £100. That said, the build above gives you plenty of potential for future expansion, whether you wish to add further drives, another GPU or even water cooling at a later date.

    P.S. I'm a long time user of Scan -- personally I wouldn't order computer hardware from anywhere else -- not unless it was massively cheaper anyway, which rarely happens as Scan is usually 10-15% cheaper than other retailers on average.
    hellokitty[hk] and misor like this.
  12. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    SSD wise I would get the Samsung 840 PRO its the best there is right now and if your working with large files you need the fastest transfers. Also is 64GB of ram really needed in this situation? seems like 32GB would be far more than needed. Also the h80 that you have now should be plenty for cooling your cpu just get the socket 2011 bracket for it. I concur about getting the 7970 but if you go with an nvidia card you could use cuda for processing in PS which helps a lot.
  13. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Hi, sorry for late reply (Work !) ;p
    Those items are fab, gunna look into pretty much all what you put Leeky, cheers.....
    Also, that case is AWESOME !!! that is a must lol.
    Gunna do a bit of reading and post back over the next few days with a decision or so.
    Meanwhile it has got me thinking about my main rig too so gunna post a thread about compatible SSD for
    that too.
    Really appreciate all your help thus far guys,
    Leeky likes this.
  14. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 268   +66

    I like the way you guys think - more is better. Here's a couple other thoughts; the new Corsair 900D is out, and it's arguably more awesome than the 800D, for a little more cash. It sold out instantly at NewEgg and Amazon, but can be pre-ordered. Also, keep the 64 Gb of RAM, 1600 is plenty fast in quad channel, and very cheap, and you can use 75% of it to make a RAM drive, which will run any application you load onto it much faster than the fastest SSDs. Think of it as a 48 GB drive with reads & writes over 1000 MB/s. Windows sees it like any other drive, and it retains all files when rebooted. Just a couple thoughts I've had while dreaming about the ultimate system....
  15. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    900D is not the best for air cooled machines if the OP wanted a water setup then yes by all means.

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