I'm posting this here because it's sort of a combination of everything there is a thread for in the forums. Hardware, Gaming, Modding, Overclocking/Cooling, etc.
Before I get into this, let me preface it with the following: This is a hobby. Something fun to do because it's fun. No different than gaming is. Yes, it can cost a lot. Gaming costs a lot.
Anyway, I'm going to build a very "enthusiast" PC. The kind of thing that likely will cost at least $2000 or so. This will likely happen over 2 or more years. Not all at once, but one piece at a time. Most of it will likely come from Christmas and birthday presents and what money I can get from a job that I know I won't need for any particular reason.
It may not happen if life gets in the way, but here's to hoping that doesn't happen. Things might change along the way based on new products to hit the market, but I will update this with changes if they are made.
The machine I will be building will likely be able to play any game for the next 10 years at 60 FPS or greater at the highest settings, so $2 grand for a 10 or so year investment aint bad imo.
This all sounds like justification, but it's just me trying to show you guys that I've thought about it.
The theme is Black and Green.
Enough of that. Spec time.
CPU: i7 3770k 3.3 GHz (gonna overclock like a boss)
GPU: At first GTX 680 GC (read: overclocked) edition from Galaxy that is know for it's epicness. Then SLI GTX 680's.
RAM: 32 GB of Kingston HyperX Red at 1600 clock speed. I'm not really going overly overboard on this, as I can't think of any reason to get more than this. Note: I know this won't go well with green, but it will either eventually be covered up or replaced before I'm done building this. It might be temporary.
Storage: This is dependent upon how many SSD's I get for Christmas. So far I'm certain I will have at least 2 120 GB SanDisk SSD's. Both will mainly be for OS and games. Perhaps video as well. I will likely at least get 2 more next Christmas or some time during the summer if I have the money. So 4 of those in all. The reason I go for more rather than larger is because of the cost and the fact I get them for Christmas. I like to keep the prices low for my family. $80 aint bad imo. Yes, it does increase the risk of one of them failing prematurely, but ... eh. It's a risk I'm willing to take. RMA is awesome.
Those will be with a 1 TB Hitachi HDD that I will use primarily for backup and other misc. things such as pictures, music, and the like.
Those are the only specs that really affect gaming.
Now, for the visuals.
I will be modding the Right side panel to have a window rather than the larger mesh. I may add two more windows for the sake of making it look cooler. Yes, I'm going all out. I'll probably never change cases. I'll be rocking this baby when I'm 50. Who knows.
The water block for the CPU (Yes, I'm watercooling. For Overclocking ability and looks, this is what makes it cool imo):
Water block for the GPU:
That thing is beautiful.
Note: Yes, this is an ASUS specific waterblock. Still not certain on how this will work out. There isn't a waterblock designed specifically for the Galaxy version of the GTX 680. The PCB's are almost identical when it comes to the parts that need to be cooled. They aren't when it comes to screw holes. Only 4 line up. I may be able to make that work however. This is may change.
It is green under UV light, which is what I'll be using. The theme will be Black and Green. That's just... cool.
The picture on the left is under UV lighting.
The rest of the water cooling parts aren't really visually exciting imo so I'll spare you a longer post. Normal looking Radiator, normal looking pump, etc. Although the Radiator will be a 3x140, so 3 long if you know what that means.
The coolant will be green too, just so the tubes are solid green, which is what I want.
There will also be a waterblock on the Motherboard, but I can't be sure what it will look like. The motherboard isn't certain yet. I'm looking for a black and green Motherboard that has everything I want, but I'm having a hard time finding one. We'll see what happens in that department.
Overall, this is going to look fricking epic. I'm going to enjoy building it. Obviously, this is only for the type of people who enjoy this type of thing. I just thought you guys might geek out about it like I am right now.
Opinions, comments, suggestions, or what-have-you, are welcome.
Build is prone to change as prices and hardware changes over the year. I'll update here more than likely.
How are you going to address the Ivy Bridge heat issue?
Ivy heat issue ??? LOL !!! i have a 3770k and only with a mid-range air-cooler (Noctua NHU12P SE2) it's ok to 4.9ghz (as raising voltage don't help to get 5ghz stable) and at 4.9 1.45V it's barely hitting 90 so not a problem at all as these chip are ok up to 105 Celsius and he want to watercool this build so...
There was a rather elaborate post about CPU longevity and stability when overclocking. It used to be that a CPU overclock would show rather substantial performance increases across the test board. Now days, most applications generally run fast enough. Gaming is more reliant on your GPU. People overclock for PCMark scores. They don't overclock because their computer is having problems running a program.
What is the purpose of all the cooling then? The cooler your components, the longer they generally last. I personally feel it is worth RE-TIMing the Ivy Bridge processors for the 3-7 degrees celsius drop (5-13 Fahrenheit) you'd get from using a modest air cooler. I do not know precisely how much more it can drop with water cooling.
Water cooling is better and by a great margin, i think with a H100 my cpu would be running at 55-60 celcius at the top... btw it's at 4.83ghz as it seems faster to load with the base clock at 105 and X46 ratio (almost 3gb/sec more ram bandwith and feel snappier), needs .5V less than 4.9 at X49 ratio so it's better as it goes max to 82 celcius vs the 90 at 4.9/1.45V...
Lower the temp longer it will run for sure, but honestly, i don't think everyone will keep a rig 10 years so overclocking reduce the lifespan but is still pretty reliable (if done correctly) to reach a couple of years (my Q6600 still running 4.05ghz for my HTPC and it's 5 years old, no BSOD and run 1.6V when the max intel is 1.5V, however it's cooled by a custom water cooling loop with a 3*120mm rad just for him and it never reach over 45 celcius in his lifespan (24/7 maybe 350 days a year for 5 years now)
PS: i never had a CPU/RAM failed on me, however i burn several motherboards as the voltage regulator, chipset we're getting too hot and not some cheap motherboard, i burned a Rampage Formula (my Q6600 SLACR/4 sticks of 1066 Kingston HyperX @ 1200mhz) and 2 P4P800 E-DLX with a 3.4ghz prescott (SL8K4) P4 that was running @ 4.35ghz with 4 sticks of ddr-400 running @ 512mhz ^^
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