Gaming rig?

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Spinshank
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Hey guys its been a while since I've looked into the hardware side of things with gaming computers and I'm tossing up between 2 setups the key difference are one is AMD with 2 Graphics cards or the other is Intel will a single Graphics card the cards for both rigs are Sapphire Radeon HD7970 GHz Edition 6GB Vapor-X Edition. I'm thinking of going with Intel because it is going to be easier to overclock with the K or X versions of the I7.

i will also be looking at having 2 more 27" Asus IPS screens soon (2560 x 1440 resolution)

the most i am looking at spending is AU$3500

spawnkiller
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I suggest you to look on an I5 if you only game on that computer as the I7 don't do anything much more for the 100$ more (3570k vs 3770k) and the Xtreme version are simply too much for gaming (a 3570k would be equal in gaming performance) however if you render some video or anything that requires a lot of cpu (i mean much more you think as i render video and i could be 100$ happier as for rendering, the HT is better but not that much... it's only 10-20% faster for 100 bucks more and only in video rendering for my needs as gaming is slower than the 3570k overclocked to the same speed, tested with a friend rig and same videos cards it was 5 to 10% slower in game)

Also the I5 3570k at stock speed is pretty much the same as the FX8350 in game performance and you can easily overclock the intel chip to the 4.6 to 5ghz range depending on chip/cooling...

For this resolution, i personnally think that for now, AMD is better on higher resolution but NVIDIA is more optimised for anything else (single screen, 3D, etc...)

I suggest you to look for an I5 3570k and save you 100$ to spend on your GPU and save a little more with 2 HD7950 over the 7970 as the difference isn't that much between these two cards and 2 7950 is capable of running almost everything (if not) maxed out too (and overclock them to reach or pass the 7970 performance)

Gaming PC: MSI Z77A-G45 ::: Intel Core I7 3770k @ 4.83Ghz ::: EVGA GTX680SC Signature ~1300mhz Boost/7122mhz ram ::: 16GB 4*4gb G.Skill 2240mhz CL10 ::: ASUS Xonar DX ::: Crucial M4 128gb (windows) + Intel 330 180gb (Steam games) + 1TB Caviar Black (storage) ::: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold M1000 ::: Antec P280 ::: Noctua NHU12P SE2 ::: ASUS VE247H ::: Logitech G510 ::: Cooler Master Storm Sentinel II ::: Logitech X530 ::: Steelseries Siberia V-2 Black & gold edition

98% Of people under 25 surround their minds with rap music, if you're part of the 2% that stayed with rock, put this in your signature, ROCK IS BETTER!

matacks
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whoa wish I had $3500 to build a computer with. nice man..

Whatever you end up with should be good. If you wanna go crazy maybe you could do a custom water cooling loop?..

Spinshank
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I need the i7 for processing raw photos and for autodesk revit and other things the only other thing I will be adding is a 2 7970 ghz edition ( also at 2560x1440 you need at least 3-4gb of memory for gaming at max settings and I already have one asus ips screen with a screen resolution of 2560x1440 and I am buying 2 more in the next 6 months unless you can find an article stating the I only need 3 gb of ram for 3 2560x1440

I will be using it for gaming as well

KoutaFG
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Yeah, I'd go with the intel setup, if you can afford an intel setup, do it, you can always get the second video card later.

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 CPU: Phenom II X4 945e 3.0 Ram:(2 x 4GB DDR3 ) GPU : HIS 2GB 6950 PSU: Corsair 850w

spawnkiller
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i'd personnally go on the 3770k and a 7970 (as depending on the program, AMD cards with open cl support are faster than Cuda on the 6xx Nvidia cards...) and add one in 3 months or so to double that performance ;)

Spinshank
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What LGA 1155 boards have the ability to run two 16x pcix lanes so not 8x 8x

spawnkiller
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I don't know any mobo that have all X16 in the lga1155 but X8 in pci-e 3.0 is the same as X16 2.0 so not a bottleneck in any way as not even a GTX690 would drop performance in the X8 3.0 so it's not really a concern, just pick a dual x8 and a x4 (standard) or some one X16 three X8 (really high range like the Maximus 5 Extreme and you'll be ok in any GPU configurations... but i confirm that dual GTX560 overclocked on a PCI-e 2.0 X4 isn't bottleneck at all as my friend's pc run dual 560 on a MSI Z77A-G43 (1 X16 and 1 X4) and got the same fps in all games than my dual X8 560ti on the MSI Z77A-G45 (not even 5% difference so just the margin of error)

Maximus 5 Extreme:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Maximus_V_Extreme/#specifications

PS: Z77a G43 is 1 X16 3.0 and 1 X4 2.0 when i have 2 times 8X 3.0 and 1 times 4X 2.0 on my G45 board with a 3770k at 4.6ghz with same ram module as we purchase our pc at the same time to have a good deal so the same config give same result where i've been tinking the 4X was a bottleneck (however with newer cards it'll be as a single 660ti is almost the same as a dual 560ti setup and with less setup trouble but 8x is surely not bottlenecking anything for now...)

Spinshank
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Good point with the pcie v3

Spinshank
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hey what about ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional Motherboard motherboard or ASUS Sabertooth Z77 Motherboard what one is better out of the 2.
also what are your thoughts on the ASRock Z77 Extreme9 Motherboard? is it worth the extra 50-75$

spawnkiller
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It seems that the Fatal1ty is better on VRM and cpu/ram alim but lack the PLX chips that create full dual X16 pci-e 3.0 or quad X8, however if you don't plan on more than 2 graphic card, don't bother and pick the Fatal1ty... I personnaly don't like the Sabertooth color scheme but it's on par with the fatal1ty on fonction but lacks USB ports vs the Asrock Fatal1ty (8 VS 12)and Cpu power design is only 8+4+2 like the Extreme 9 when the fatali1ty is 16+8 (so better overclocking stability) Also Asrock feature dual Gigabit lan and a better audio solution (ALC 892 on the Sabertooth vs ALC 898 for the 2 Asrock models) Both of the Asrock model have 6 SATA3 over 4 on the sabertooth.

I would personnaly pick the Fatal1ty over the sabertooth and if you planned on triple or quad SLI/Crossifre, then pick the Extreme 9 but only if more than 2 card as it'll not make any difference in any other scenario and can limit your top overclock as the power phase design is weaker (but still pretty good...)

Also check for the I/O that you needs on the back (Both Asrock model have 1 eSATA and 1 Firewire vs 2 eSATA on the sabertooth and no Firewire) Also note the lack of display port output on the Extreme 9 when the 2 others have it (however it shouldn't be a issue if you plan on dual card !!) Also check onboard connections, USB headers, Slot needed ex: 1 PCI legacy and 1 Pci-e 1x or 2 pci-e 1x for further expandability...

PS: Z77 chipset don't heat much (stock cooler on the chipset of my I7 @ 4.6 don't touch the 40 and both VRM array stays at 40-45 at full load so the ASUS "Thermal Armor" is really not needed in my opinion and it's simply a marketing gimmick, also the fans are really small and probaly produce some noise that aren't needed...

Spinshank
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this is what i'm thinking for a build
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=wish_lists&wlcId=121812&action=wish_lists
i know i could get away with the stock cooler but i live in Australia where a summer day can hit anywhere between 42-50c (110+F)

spawnkiller
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For ram, you should pick more than 16gb as more ram in video application is better and if you go with 4 dimm, full them to the max capacity 1 times over buy a new 4 dimm set in 1 year as you can't upgrade (all the slots will be taken) i can suggest the 2400mhz 2gb kit Ripjaw: G.SKILL RipjawsZ F3-19200CL10Q-32GBZHD that sells for 290$ where i am... (i plan on getting a 32gb kit too as my 8gb was to save some money for christmas as this build is from the black friday)

For the PSU, 6 PCI-e 6+2 is ankward as i have 8 of them on a 1000w Silent pro gold but it'll be ok anyway...

Also, Seagate seems to have some high failure rate problem recently so i suggest to go for a WD green for storage that will be at the same price or a Black for max performance, it will be a little over that price but it comes with a 5 years warranty too

Other than that, i think the ASUS monitor is a little overpriced but it's IPS so it really depends on your needs (as you already have one) and ASUS monitors are good stuff (i have 2 of them even a cheap 19" that i paid 70$ and it's still doing 1080p 5ms and great looking picture so... Also, have them for 3-4 years and no pixel dead even with all the movement it have suffer (multiple Lan party and room change, even some night in a car at -20C)

PS: 2666 CL11 should be the same as 2400 CL10 in performance, also over 1600 cl9 there's not much gain except in video transcoding/Really high quality image editing or raw benchmark but you'll never notice the higher bandwith in gaming or simple task like browsing, etc... Also with more ram you could do a RAMDISK to have a really really fast HDD to stuff temp docs or working files (it does the same bandwith as ram so almost 20gb/s transfer rate on normal ram and surely faster on 2666/2400 ram !!) That will ensure the speed of your transcoding and then recopy the file to the flder you want in night or when you don't need your PC !!

RAM: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=20090
HDD: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_344&products_id=17275
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_344&products_id=16482

Spinshank
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Out of all z77 boards I can get the asrock fatal1ty board look like it is going to be about the best to get close to 5 ghz and it also has the most sata ports 12 total and if I need more I'll just set up a nas server and as for the powersupply it just a cable that has 6+2 pin I may just get a corsair powersupply with th indavigialy sleaved cables