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Old May 16, 2012, 10:17 AM
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So a friend of mine feels like buying a new computer, and he's going to have around $2K to throw at it. He's commissioned me to build it for him. Right now I'm just in the middle of deciding where to go with it, and wouldn't mind some suggestions. I'd have to say his main three concerns:

1. Gaming
2. More Gaming
3. 3D Rendering/Modeling

with everything else being an afterthought.

CPU is dead set on being a i7 3770 (no K). Since he doesn't plan on overclocking (aside from the few extra bins you can force it to anyway), and is firm about it being Intel and Ivy Bridge.

Motherboard is depending on the deal I could get, but has to be Z77 based. He likes the look of the Asus Z77 Sabertooth, but that's really little pricy considering he won't be OCing. Any suggestions?

RAM, not sure whether to go 16GB or push it to 32GB. Speed isn't a concern, anything at 1600MHz or up is fine. No brand preference here.

Video Card(s): EVGA GTX 670s (two of them). Probably just the stock ones, he doesn't need the 4GB version/Superclocked version.

Power Supply: ??? Seriously I don't have a clue about power supplies. I tend to just throw something Corsair (or Seasonic based) in there. I just need a baseline number to work from. 850W?

SSD: 120GB minimum. Top performance isn't an issue, as he won't be touching it for the 3D work. All that will be pushed to a standard HDD. Two SSDs might be silly (for RAID), but a possibility depending on the costs of everything else.

Everything else (Case, HDDs, Monitor) is being recycled from an old build.

And note: I'm not making a dime off this. I'm trying to get him as close to $2000 as possible.
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Old May 16, 2012, 10:25 AM
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What resolution / monitor is he running? SLI'd 670s is a hell of a lot of horsepower for a single monitor no matter what the resolution is.
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Old May 16, 2012, 10:35 AM
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For the motherboard something ike an ASrock extreme 4 might be ok. It would be keeping with the color scheme of a sabertooth just with a bit less money. Or maybe just a basic asus z77 board like this.

Video Card: Perhaps a single 680 instead of the 2 670's and maybe get an OC version like one of the ones from evga since he doesn't want to overclock himself.. The 680 would also allow for an an upgrade path later on.

RAM: Any two 2x4GB kits from gskill would work, or mushkin. Something @ 1600MHz and 9-9-9-24 would be the ones to get.

PSU: for just a single gpu and non OC'd cpu, 650W is more than enough. IF there's going be a second gpu then 850W would be needed. Something like an AX850 (corsair) or something from xfx, seasonic, antec would be the brands to get. Gold or platinum rated.

SSD: one of the intel cherryville 520's or crucial m4's
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
What resolution / monitor is he running? SLI'd 670s is a hell of a lot of horsepower for a single monitor no matter what the resolution is.
He's going to be moving towards twin (and possibly tri) 1080p monitors possibly. Not (primarily) for gaming/surround/eyefinity or whatever, but for his design work. Although he would like to keep his high detail settings even at 5760x1080.

If he decides not to, moving down to just a single GTX680 (if I could find one in stock somewhere) might suffice.
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Heh... if you want a gtx680 for the build, it might be a good idea to order it now so that it's ready when the full order is done. :)

How well do multi card setups work for things like rendering? Do they scale reasonably well?
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Heh... if you want a gtx680 for the build, it might be a good idea to order it now so that it's ready when the full order is done. :)

How well do multi card setups work for things like rendering? Do they scale reasonably well?
Really software dependent. Anything that is mostly CPU bound doesn't care, but anything that does support GPU acceleration tends to be anywhere from "Pretty good scaling" to "Doesn't even notice the 2nd card". And then that all depends on whether the application relies on OpenCL or CUDA.
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebusman View Post
Really software dependent. Anything that is mostly CPU bound doesn't care, but anything that does support GPU acceleration tends to be anywhere from "Pretty good scaling" to "Doesn't even notice the 2nd card"
Without knowing what software he's planning on running then, I'd be inclined to go with the strongest single card solution you can get for now, with the option of upgrading that to SLI in the future.
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MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Without knowing what software he's planning on running then, I'd be inclined to go with the strongest single card solution you can get for now, with the option of upgrading that to SLI in the future.
Is there even a store on this planet that has a GTX680 in stock right now? Literally the only one I could find was a ZOTAC branded one from MemoryExpress, and it's instore only (over in Calgary). I knew the stock situation was bad but wow.

He might just have to settle for one of those Superclocked GTX 670s from EVGA, depending on what gets their stock first.

This is going to be a fairly substantial upgrade for him, as right now I believe he's on a Core 2 Duo E8400 with something around a GTX480. Not sure if he ever upgraded from that.
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Old May 16, 2012, 12:01 PM
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NCIX had some expensive ASUS cards in stock, and are now suggesting that the most recent orders for the EVGA SC+ were filled after 2 Weeks (mine took a month for the same order). I suspect the bottleneck for 680s might actually clear up now that there is a less expensive almost-as-good option out there.
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MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i5 4670K / 2X 4G Gskill 1866 DDR3 / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / random 160G Sata HDD
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 320G Seagate Momentus / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
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Old May 16, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Oh, here's something I forgot to add. CPU Heatsink. Call it force of habit but for me and the guy I'm building it for, we have a tendency to avoid using the stock heatsink whenever possible.

Since he's not overclocking it, I just need something pretty silent I guess.
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