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Hodgman

Another 'building a PC' thread

24 posts in this topic

My current PC was built in 2008, so I'm finally about to replace it.
 
Any hardware geeks here want to critique my shopping list so far?

Seeing my last PC lasted me 5+ years, with minor upgrades, this will probably be a long-term investment too. I've got fairly high-spec stuff on there at the moment, hoping to put off upgrading parts for a while. Also, this is a business expense / tax deduction, so I'm willing to spend a decent amount biggrin.png

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If you can wait a few weeks, Intel have just released the i7 4790k. It's basically a 4770k but with a 4GHz base frequency. It will be the same price as the 4770k, so if you're looking at a longer term machine, I'd wait.

Then in a year or two, you could add a liquid cooler and overclock it.

 

also GTX 780 and a 750GB ssd? That is awesome. 

Edited by ChaosEngine
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I think I pretty much had that same power supply in a computer running an overclocked GTX 570 once. It held up just fine. Although, Newegg lists it as being out-of-stock now.

 

Any reason for a 120GB Intel SSD in addition to another bigger SSD and a 2TB hard drive?

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Assuming the 120GB ssd is for the system, I'd go for a bigger one.

 

The price difference between a 750GB and a 1TB Samsung ssd isn't huge either, but that depends on what you want to use it for.

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If it were me I would cut the SSD down to 500GB and use the savings to buy another graphics card, assuming your motherboard supports that, I haven't checked (either SLI or a compute card) or upgrade the 780. But I suppose it depends on what you need the big SSD for, I've never had that much SSD space myself so I wouldn't know how to use it anyway.

 

Other than that, nice rig! cool.png

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If you can wait a few weeks, Intel have just released the i7 4790k. It's basically a 4770k but with a 4GHz base frequency. It will be the same price as the 4770k, so if you're looking at a longer term machine, I'd wait.

Then in a year or two, you could add a liquid cooler and overclock it.

 

also GTX 780 and a 750GB ssd? That is awesome. 

 

Seconded

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Bah Samsung is crap i recommend the Kingston HyperX 3K  
For the rest Freaking nice build!

 

http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/hyperx#sh103s3

 

I havnt been geeking out on SSD stats for a while, so I don't want to make a specific recommendation, but as a general one: don't geek out to much about SSD stats. The performance differences between current gen SSD's are not that interesting in practice. Aim for reliability and a good price per GB.

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I built a near identical system earlier this year with the only differences being the mobo (well nearly the same it's an ASUS Z97-Pro) and case. I just wanted to pipe in that I HIGHLY recommend the Corsair Carbide 540 case as this has been by far the best PC case I have ever worked with.

Edited by joew
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People still use optical disks?

Installing windows.

 

Now that the prices on AMD cards have come back down you may consider an r9 290 instead of the gtx 780.

 

You may also want to look at case labs cases. They are pretty expensive, but they are made out of aluminum, made in USA, and look awsome too.

Edited by minibutmany
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People still use optical disks?

Installing windows.

That's what inexpensive USB thumb drives are for.
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If you can wait a few weeks, Intel have just released the i7 4790k. It's basically a 4770k but with a 4GHz base frequency. It will be the same price as the 4770k, so if you're looking at a longer term machine, I'd wait. 

 

This -- and if you do, make sure your motherboard is compatible.

 

People still use optical disks?

 

I'll never buy another ODD again if I can help it. I've got the Ultra-bay DVD-RW from my Lenovo laptop and a USB ultrabay adapter. Unless you're the 0.1% who burn/read discs frequently, they're basically as obsolete as floppies.

 

Bah Samsung is crap i recommend the Kingston HyperX 3K  
For the rest Freaking nice build!

 

http://www.kingston.com/en/ssd/hyperx#sh103s3

 

In what alternate dimension did you gather this misinformation? Samsung has always had great, reliable SSDs, second only to intel. I use Samsung 830s and 840 Pros as boot drives in all my home and work PCs. The non-pro 840s are TLC NAND: three-bit-per-cell (830/840 PRO are MLC: two-bit-per-cell), hence the lower price point, but I've not heard anything bad about them. MLC is rated for greater endurance, but its the same controller inside, and Samsung's firmware has always been great.

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Can I hijack this just a bit and ask for some cpu cooler recommendations? 

 

Planning on a similar 4790K/Z97 upgrade soon, and am considering an aftermarket cooler. Have heard good things about the Noctua NH-D15 that hodgman picked, but am also tempted by an all-in-one water cooler, but the reviews are all over the place. Anyone have any experience/advice?

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Oh, and you can probably run it alright, but you might want a slightly beefier PSU -- even if your power requirements are under its max load rating, PSUs operate most-efficiently in that 50-60 percent of max load range. If you went with a 850-900 Watt PSU you'd probably be at the low-end of that range, rather than the top-end, under load -- so you'd have room to upgrade comfortably, even SLI if you'd like. The price difference between 750W and 850-900 W is typically pretty negligible.

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Can I hijack this just a bit and ask for some cpu cooler recommendations? 

 

Planning on a similar 4790K/Z97 upgrade soon, and am considering an aftermarket cooler. Have heard good things about the Noctua NH-D15 that hodgman picked, but am also tempted by an all-in-one water cooler, but the reviews are all over the place. Anyone have any experience/advice?

 

Noctua's typically place pretty high in comparisons. When I build a 4770k system for a friend last year, the Heligon HE01 was the best air-cooler available.

 

I put a closed-loop cooler in my own build not much later. Air-coolers do every bit as good as 1x120/140mm radiators, and the argument that you're dumping heat directly outside the case is moot if your airflow is otherwise good. To be pretty assured of better and quieter performance than a good air-cooler, you need 3x 120mm radiator or 2x140mm radiator in aluminum (and a large case to fit them), or a 2x120mm radiator in copper (which you can fit in most cases, even very small ones like mine). I put an h220 in mine, a copper 2x120mm radiator -- I ordered from NCIX as they are unavailable to retail in the US (patent dispute over having the pump integrated into the CPU block). The H220x is suppose to be available soon, and should be available in the US as they've moved the pump into the reservoir to avoid the patent issue. Also, I've heard some reports that the h220x is a kit, rather than a pre-built system. I actually would have preferred that myself, and you have two less components than a typical cooling loop due to the integration, but that still might be more than you bargained for.

 

Finally, be aware that while a sealed cooling loop is low-maintainance, it isn't *no-maintainance*. If there's even a tiny defect enough to leak vapor, but not liquid otherwise, you can lose coolant due to evaporation if you press your system hard for long periods. This happened in my loop.

Edited by Ravyne
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Thanks for the tips, everyone.
 

Can I hijack this just a bit and ask for some cpu cooler recommendations? 
Planning on a similar 4790K/Z97 upgrade soon, and am considering an aftermarket cooler. Have heard good things about the Noctua NH-D15 that hodgman picked, but am also tempted by an all-in-one water cooler, but the reviews are all over the place. Anyone have any experience/advice?

My office PC has a AMD FX 8350, which originally had a little CoolerMaster fan on it that sounded like a jet engine whenever the CPU was under load. I swapped it out for the NH-D14, and now I can max out all 8 cores to full load and the PC stays silent, which is why I've stuck with the NH for this build happy.png

 

you might want a slightly beefier PSU -- even if your power requirements are under its max load rating, PSUs operate most-efficiently in that 50-60 percent of max load range.

Good point, I've swapped that out for a more efficient one. Should pay for itself over the next 5 years...

Samsung has always had great, reliable SSDs, second only to intel.

Sadly in my current PC, my Intel SSD had a sudden and total failure (known issue with a particular model), so I'm wary of them now. I've never had a hard-drive failure at all before that experience. 

You may also want to look at case labs cases. They are pretty expensive, but they are made out of aluminum, made in USA, and look awsome too.

The USA isn't known for it's great manufacturing industry any more laugh.png wink.png

I've never had that much SSD space myself so I wouldn't know how to use it anyway.

Install ALL OF THE GAMES!
With small SSD's in the past, I've selectively juggled game files between the HDD and the SSD (using mklink /D /J ...) so whatever game I'm playing at the moment gets fast loading times. I'd like to just be lazy and have all the games I'm currently playing have fast loading times biggrin.png

People still use optical disks?

I burn DVDs occasionally when family/friends nag me to give them something that works on their vanilla DVD players... The BR burner likely won't be used very much... more of a "just in case I ever want to use a BR..." seeing I currently don't have a BR player at all.

Any reason for a 120GB Intel SSD in addition to another bigger SSD and a 2TB hard drive?

I was thinking of putting windows on the 100GB one by itself, and games/etc on the big one. I might save $100 and scrap the 120GB one though.

If you can wait a few weeks

Gotta spend the money before June 30 cool.png

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If you can wait a few weeks

 

Gotta spend the money before June 30 

 

Can you pre-order? spend the money now and just have it delivered upon release? Then again, I think you're in Australia, and I'm not sure what the launch window looks like there. But its a thought. Its basically 400 free Mhz, and cooler running as a result of improved thermal interface material.

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Its basically 400 free Mhz, and cooler running  potentially higher overclocking as a result of improved thermal interface material.

 

Fixed.

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Samsung SSD working fine here and all perfectly on Ubuntu/Win8/OSX86. Bought that last August:

  • Processor
    Intel Core i7 4770K
  • Processor Cores
    4
  • Processor Speed
    ovc to 4.6 Ghz
  • RAM
    16 GB (Corsair Vengeance Pro Red 2x 8GB, DDR3-2400)
  • Video Board Manufacturer
    Nvidia
  • Video Board Model
    Asus GTX-770 DirectCU II 2GB GDDR5
  • Video Memory
    2 GB
  • Mother Board
    Asus Z87 PRO
  • Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 840 Basic, TLC, 500GB and 1TB HD
  • Monitor
    LG L225WT
  • Operating System
    Ubuntu etc.
  • Joystick
    CH
  • Yoke
    CH
  • Rudder Pedals
    CH
  • Other
    Corsair H90
    Asus DVD Burner
    Logitech cordless usb MK260 and QuickCam® Sphere™
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I actually went down to a Mini-ITX motherboard this time around, mostly so that I could utilise the fantastic BitFenix Prodigy case.

 

Sure, it takes up nearly as much space as the mid-size tower it replaces, but the interior design is spectacular, and if you aren't planning on SLI/CrossFire, there isn't much need for a full ATX motherboard these days.

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After usually buying fairly cheap cases, I highly recommend this one for ease of use and cable management!

 

Old build (AKA "do you even boot, bro?")

http://imgur.com/0F2nCSH

 

New build (AKA "what cables?"!!!):

http://imgur.com/a/K7rPN

Yeah, that Phantom is a great case.

 

I actually went down to a Mini-ITX motherboard this time around, mostly so that I could utilise the fantastic BitFenix Prodigy case.

 

Sure, it takes up nearly as much space as the mid-size tower it replaces, but the interior design is spectacular, and if you aren't planning on SLI/CrossFire, there isn't much need for a full ATX motherboard these days.

 

I did the same, and I really love the case. It's great to just pick up and take along when we do Minecraft/Borderlands LANs at my friend's place.

 

I do have to say though that PSU fit can be an issue if you want something in a high-wattage output. I wanted 800+watts and getting the shortest PSU I could find that delivered that at a reasonable price, I still had to put some PCB risers between the case and the PSU mounting plate -- this arrangement is mostly fine, though. It's sturdy enough and only sticks out a half inch or so. Also, one could totally get away with something in the 500-600watt range for even a high-end mITX/single-GPU setup. I just wanted overhead available in case I wanted to upgrate to a 295x or similar in the future.

 

My PC ended up pretty cramped even with good routing of standard cables though, but that's mostly because I have all the intakes/outtakes populated with the largest fans the'll take, as well as that h220 closed loop cooler. I might make it a project to custom fit the cables and cooler tubing though. I didn't take the time to do that before.

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