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Old September 25, 2011, 08:32 AM
Skippman's Avatar
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Location: St. Louis, MO USA
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My System Specs

Default Warmachine 3.0 (i5 2500K build)

Cheers all!

I didn't see a new member area to introduce myself so I figured I'd jump right in here and get some advice. First, a bit about me so you know where I'm coming from.

I've been a fan of the site for a while now as they review a lot of gear that the other big sites seem to either not bother with or completely overlook. Also, their reviews do include water cooling which is something I'm using myself. Personally I'm a veteran system builder with probably better than 2000+ systems built by myself over my 15 year career in the IT industry, although the vast bulk were cookie cutter machines. For my own gear I tend to try and push things to the limits of practicality.

I built my rig, which I call Warmachine 2.0 close to two years ago and it has remained almost completely unchanged since then. The only noticeable change was the addition of a X-Fi Titanium. Everything else remained stock from the specs I'm posting below.


CASE AND COOLING
Antec 1200 Case
NZXT Sentry LX Fan Controller
5 x Yate Loon 120mm High Speed Fans
Swiftech MCR320-QP Tripple Radiator
Swiftech Apogee GTZ CPU Waterblock
Swiftech MCP-655 Pump
Feser One F1 Coolent
Artic Silver Thermal Paste
10' Tygon Tubing (1/2" ID, 11/16" OD)
6 x Clear Hose Clamps


COMPUTER PARTS
Asus P5W DH Crossfire Supporting Motherboard
Intel Core2Duo E6600 OC'd to 3.2G
2 X 4 Gig DD2-800 OCZ Fatality Edition RAM sets
2 X PowerColor PCS+ HD4870 1GB GDDR5 GPU
2 X Wester Digital Caviar Black 640GB WD6401AALS Drive in RAID 0
Lite OnLH-20A1L05 SATA DVD-R/W
Corsair HX620 Modular Power Supply
Creative Labs X-Fi Titamium

I/O
Dell 2405FPW 24" LCD Monitor/USB Hub
Logitech G-15 (1st Gen) Keyboard
Logitech MX Revolution Mouse
Creative Labs 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker Set


Misc
4 x UV/Black Lite Cold Cathode Tube Lights
UV Reactive locking SATA cables, Blue


Now that you have an idea of what I'm starting with let me tell you my goals. I'm wanting to recycle a large part of what I have right now, namely the hard drives, PSU, optical drive, H2O gear, fans, fan controller, the sound card, and FOR NOW the GPUs. I do have a Corsair 700D case w/ the window panel laying around I plan to build my new rig in as while the Antec is nice I feel cramped working it it due to how the radiator is mounted.


So basically the machine needs a new engine. I'm going to be replacing the motherboard, proc, and RAM. Fortunately the GTZ waterblock seems to be fairly well supported still and I can get brackets for just about any proc I want. I already have an AM2/AM3+ bracket for it.

So this brings me down to the point. I have a TON of thermal load management with my massive Swiftech setup. I'm going to have a TON of room with my new case. Help me pick out a CPU, Mobo, and some RAM. Originally I was leaning towards a Phenom II 970 Black setup but after reading how well the i5 2500K OC's I'm REALLY leaning towards Intel again. I'm no fanboy either way. I just want the best bank for my buck.

My budgets right at $500. I don't plan on ever running more than two GPU's. I also don't plan on ever installing more than AT MOST 4 SATA drives (1 SSD, the two Blacks, and my optical drive) if I decide to do the SRT thing in the future. I don't care about the onboard GPU native to the Sandy Bridge. I don't really care about ANY onboard I/O features outside SATA support and an onboard GigE NIC.

This PC will be my gaming rig. I have another rig for productivity things and am not into the heavy duty OC'ing. I just want the most performance that I can get a rock solid stability.

Any recommendations?
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Old September 25, 2011, 09:16 AM
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Location: Mississauga, ON
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Honestly I would wait a few weeks for Bulldozer to launch.

AMD posted some charts yesterday comparing it to the 2600k, 2500k and 980x and from THEIR charts it looked great, but its again posted by AMD so you never know they might have only posted the benchmarks that make them look better.

Just check out benchmarks when people not from AMD review them, and see if its right for you then.
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Old September 26, 2011, 04:33 PM
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I am interested to see what Bulldozer does. That 8+ ghz OC is pretty dang amazing! But I don't seem to have a steady supply of LN2 laying around to keep something like that cool.


They've just posted the specs for Battlefield 3 which is a good baseline for me to go by. I'm sad to say I don't think my 4870's are going to be up to the challenge anymore. That just upped the cost of the rig to including a new GPU. On the plus side, swapping out to a better GPU should also lower my power requirements and reduce the load on my PSU.

Right now I'm looking at a few Intel boards. As I posted SRT was something I was interested in. But now that I've seen what I'm going to have to do GPU wise I think I'd rather spend the money on a GPU instead. So that changes my board choices from solely based on the Z68 to including the P67.

Right now my top choices are:

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 - Rock solid board, has SRT support, no funky pastel colors, OC's like a champ.
ASUS Sabertooth P67 - Again, rock solid board, OC's like a champ, unique look.
EVGA P67 FTW - VERY aggressive board for expansion, interesting features like the front panel display.


Given that I'm using H2O I don't see any reason I should be able to push a i5 2500K to 5.0G stably.

I've been looking at the G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 for my RAM. $80 for 8GB of RAM doesn't seem so bad.
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Old September 29, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Here's what I've come up with so far. I'm still totally lost on which GPU to run. But after playing the BF3 demo and watching my PC get crushed, this is no longer just an idea but something I HAVE to get sorted.

WARMACHINE 3.0

Case - Corsair Obsidian CC800DW
PSU - Corsair HX620 Modular PSU
Radiator - Swiftech MCR320-QP
CPU Waterblock - Swiftech Apogee GTZ w/ 1155 adaptor plate
Pump - Swiftech MCP-655
Fan Controller - NZXT Sentry LX
Case Fans - Yate Loon 120mm High Speed Blue w/ LED x 5
CPU - Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge
Motheboard - ASUS Sabertooth P67
RAM - Corsair Vengance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866
Hard Drives - Western Digital WD6401AALS x 2
Optical - LiteOn LH-20A1L05 SATA DVR-R/W


Thoughts? Idea's?
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Old September 29, 2011, 02:40 PM
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id look thought this Equilibrium: AMD Radeon HD 6990 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 - X-bit labs
compares 570 to 6970 and 6990 vs 590
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Old September 29, 2011, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soltez View Post
id look thought this Equilibrium: AMD Radeon HD 6990 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 - X-bit labs
compares 570 to 6970 and 6990 vs 590
That's some very excellent reading! Thanks for the link. I found this part particularly interesting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Bit Labs
The first reason is that AMD improved its multi-GPU CrossFireX technology in the 6 series GPUs and graphics cards, so it can now often produce a near-100% increase in performance when you add a second Cayman or Barts-based card into your system. As a result, the Radeon HD 68xx and 69xx cards, being slower than the GeForce GTX 560/570/580 in single-card mode, are equal to or even faster than SLI tandems built out of those GeForces. Besides, the Radeon HD 6990 is actually equal to two Radeon HD 6970s and doesn’t differ from them in terms of hardware resources as was the case with AMD’s earlier dual-processor cards. All in all, AMD now has a product whose performance is comparable to that of Nvidia’s dual-processor flagship.
I wasn't aware that AMD had brought the Crossfire setup that far in line with the SLI setup from nVidia. Given that, and the price difference between the 570 vs. 6970 the choice is harder still. I've used AMD/ATI for the better part of a decade and have had little problem with their cards. The eVGA GTX 570 Classified looks like it might be a winner card though and I can always toss in a second one down the line if I have to.
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Old September 29, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Hey I just recently built a gaming machine myself. I was looking into the Gigabyte z68 boards also but apparently they have been having a lot mixed reviews. Specifically a problem with booting and a boot loop. A quick google search should give you lots of info if you just type "Gigabyte Z68 boot loop". I was also interested in the P67 Sabertooth but it as well had lots of mixed reviews. I ended up settling on the ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Motherboard. I think it should suit your needs check it out. Also I am a noob and the ASRock made overclocking a breeze for me. Got my 2500k stable up to 4.2 ghz by just changing the multiplier.

Also another reason i went towards the asrock from the sabertooth was that it was recommended to put an extra fan (cant remember 80 mm?) on the motherboard to blow air underneath the cool looking thermal armor.

Just 2 cents from a n00b.
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Old September 30, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Skippman, I'm in the same boat as you bro. I'd like to copy+paste your final build. I need something that will gravy battlefield 3 on three 24"'s eyefinity/surround. Keep it up. I've been delaying my build on account of AMD releases and great threads like this.
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Old October 10, 2011, 06:13 PM
Skippman's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Well, I've been doing more and more research on this thing and I think I've about got it dialed down gents. I also just blew up my Creative Labs Inspire 5300 speaker system. I think I've got a line on both a set of Creative Labs GigaWorks ProGamer G500's and a set of Logitech X-530's. Not sure which way I'll go but the Logitechs are much smaller.

As for the computer, I've had to rethink a couple things, here's my build list thus far.

WARMACHINE 3.0


What I Already Own
Case - Corsair Obsidian CC800DW
PSU - Corsair HX620 Modular PSU
Radiator - Swiftech MCR320-QP
CPU Waterblock - Swiftech Apogee GTZ w/ 1155 adaptor plate
Pump - Swiftech MCP-655
Fan Controller - NZXT Sentry LX
Case Fans - Yate Loon 120mm High Speed Blue w/ LED x 5
Hard Drives - Western Digital WD6401AALS x 2
Optical - LiteOn LH-20A1L05 SATA DVR-R/W



What I'm Buying
CPU - Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge ($209.99USD)
RAM - 16GB G.Skill Sniper 1.35V DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 ($109.99USD)
GPU - eVGA GTX 570 Classified ($359.99USD)
Motheboard - eVGA Z68 FTW w/o bay adapter ($269.99USD)

Total: $949.96USD


Reason for my choices:

Processor:
This should be pretty self evident. The i5 Sandy Bridge is the spiritual successor to my E6600 Core2Duo. It's overclocking potential is staggering! I have no need of hyper threading as I don't encode anything with this machine so the i7 is totally unnecessary.

RAM:
G.Skill is one of the top RAM makers period. Their products have always been super reliable. As these benchmarks show we're talking a 2-5% increase in performance between DDR3 1600 and DDR 1866. That doesn't justify the price hike between the two. I can get 16GB of DDR3 1600 for $110 where 16GB of 1866 jumps to $160. Nice low voltage at 1.35V should help keep things frosty cool.

GPU:
It's eVGA. That should be enough for most diehard enthusiast. The GTX 570 Classified is apparently based on the 580's PCB making it tremendously stable. It gets excellent reviews for it's price point.

Motherboard:
Again, it's eVGA. Supports 5 PCI-E lanes at 8X thanks to the NF200. Excellent overclocking potential. Massive heat syncs on all surfaces. Excellent board layout.




Thoughts? Idea's?
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