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Build Help x2: approx 2k and 1k budgets

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Wolf's Rain

New Member
Jun 23, 2014
Looking to put together 2 pcs. Primary use will be gaming for each box. I've started piecing things together for the first build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 93.3 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler ($100.36 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME6 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($169.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 730 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Intel 730 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Dual FTW ACX Video Card ($509.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 760T Black ATX Full Tower Case ($159.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($94.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $2000.26
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

My question with this build is, will dropping to an i5 and 8 gigs of ram make any difference in gaming? I live next to a microcenter so the price difference between the new i7 / i5 is about $80 I think.

I'm not set on any of the parts I've listed so feel free to make changes / give opinions. I would like to mess around with raid, hence to two ssds. But, I could probably be talked out of that too. Its just something I've always wanted to try out.

I haven't started putting together parts for the 2nd build. I'm thinking that the second one doesn't really need to be able to overclock. That might save a few bucks. Its primary use will also be gaming and it would be nice if it was no slouch in that department.

Total budget is 3k but any savings would be good since I could put it towards peripherals. Its been quite a while since I've built a new PC. My last was an Athlon x2 4200 just to give you an idea...haha. One thing that does matter to me is noise. I've had some loud pc builds in the past and I've said to myself never again. So, it would be great if they were relatively quiet. I know there are cases geared towards that so if anyone has experience with an r4 or something similar, feel free to chime in.

I should also say I primarily like to play MMOs and RPGs. I know they typically take less horsepower than FPS. I'll probably mess with archage or something similar to give you an idea. However, I'd like to be able to throw any game at it that catches my interest. I should also add the important resolution part. This will most like be 1080p on both.

Thanks all.

Replace the CPU with a 4690K and the mobo with an Extreme 6 or Z87 A. You can swap one of the Intel SSDs out of the $2000 system into the $1000 system. Or use the $80 freed up by going to an i5 for a cheap 120GB SSD. It's all you need.

Going with an i5 is the way to go for gaming. Frees up money for other things. In current games you will see no improvement from i7's hyperthreading and 2MB of extra cache.
I would skip on the raid ssds too. Especially raiding two 240gb ssds that only have a bit over half the write speed of a single 480. Then again, for 200+ per drive I would rather get 480-512 gb drives with most of the performance and twice the capacity.

I would also keep the 4790k in the build just because it has such a high base clock, hard to argue with an Intel guarantee of 4.0ghz on the stock cooler when there are people with 4670k and 4770k that get stuck at 4.3-4.4 regardless of cooling.
Thanks Theocnoob and Supertrucker for the quick responses. I'm definitely changing builds around based on feedback and further thought. I'm starting to lean towards nearly identical builds that come in around 1k - 1.5k. It seems to me you start hitting some diminishing returns, no? Will also go with the single SSD drives. Could always add a 2nd later if I really felt the need.

How is that 280x card? It fair decently in current games? Your idea of sticking with the 4790k makes sense to me, trucker. Can I ask you how you like your monitor? I am curious about those 1440's I've been reading a bit about.
I love mine, though I have really been looking hard at the new 3440x1440 21:9 34" from LG. Seems like a great middle ground between my monitor and eyefinity setups but without the bezels.

A 280x is still a solid card for 1080p though you will have to sacrifice either some image quality or some antialiasing with demanding games.

And yeah I personally don't think you get your money's worth for the top shelf ssds. My Seagate 480gb drive pretty regularly goes on sale for 199 and sometimes even has a rebate on top of it. You can't convince me that those Intel drives are enough faster to cost the same with half the capacity. The new crucial mx100 has a similar pricing structure.

Edit: oh and for gaming you can certainly drop back to 8gb ram without any ill effects. I don't think I've ever seen ram go over about 5.5-6gb usage with just one game client running with various browser tabs and ventrilo or teamspeak. Multiboxing an mmo I could easily break 8gb though, if that's ever something you do.
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I definitely tend to run multiple clients as I like to multibox when I do play mmo's. Think I should go for 16mbs?

I also had a question about ram voltage. Is there any reason to go with 1.5v instead of 1.6 / 1.65v? I've noticed a lot of the higher speed / tighter timing ram is also 1.60+. I've read there isn't a significant reason to go with ram above about 1866 but often the price difference is negligible so am curious.
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No use having a high end PC if you don't have a nice screen to look at the games running on high settings. So try and figure out what monitor/s you want and so that can be worked into the price.

144 hz are really nice for fps's. The 1440P IPS have great visuals and good for mmos. Some 1440P's you can OC to 120 hz like the QNIX QX2710 Evolution II.

If you plan to do a little OC'ing a 4690K should be your choice for a mostly gaming build. I can't imagine it not doing 4.3-4.4 with a very mild amount of extra juice. So far results I've looked up were very nice.

I would ditch that cooler. Get either a closed loop water or a Hyper 212. Noise is from fans. Would replace all your fans with good air flow quiet pwm fans like Cougars. Which would lead me to recommend an Asus board as they have the best software for fan control.

SSD - definitely a single 500 GB range drive. Get higher performance the larger you go and better price per mb.

GPU - If you stay with a 780 definitely try to get the 6GB version if you think you will go to higher than 1080P.
Thanks for the feedback, Daleon. I was actually planning on ditching that cooler. I've been looking at closed loop / aio's mostly. I've also been looking at asus boards, mainly the hero. That is what is in the current version of the build that I haven't quite linked yet. I'd really like to get the asus sabranco but no release date that I know of yet. I think that paired with a white case and something like a silverstone TD02 would look pretty sweet.

Asus Sabranco

Thanks for linking the monitor. As you and Supertrucker mentioned, 1440 is definitely tempting me. Think I should switch to a 290x if I go 1440? Out of the Korean monitors, are there any specifically that stand out and people are having good luck with?
That white is pretty nice but going to pay alot of premium for components to just go white heh. The ROG Hero red and black scheme is pretty nice to. When I'm looking for monitor info I usually check the display forum on hardforum.
The qnix and Xstar pls monitors are what people buy to overclock now. But you should look into gamma shift and how to fix it because the catleaps didn't do it, it's unique to the pls panels.

I was happy with the performance of my single 290 on 1440p before I switched to 120hz. And of the 3 mmo's I play, none of them make good use of the second card (planetside 2, world of warcraft, wildstar) so a single 290 or 290x would be great for 1440p/60hz. At 120hz you will fall well short on any modern game with only one card.

I like the software that came with my asrock board for fan control, haven't used an Asus, but the asrock came with an A-tuning package that lets me set fan speed on a per port basis with a very flexible curve on the pwm channels and a more basic 25/50/75/100% on the 3 pin voltage controlled fans. It also came with software for a ramdrive, and an overclocking utility that gives me every option that would be found in the bios so I can tweak and test settings while in Windows then when I find something I like set it in the bios. I'd imagine the Asus has to come with something similar.
Here's a build that comes in around 1k. How's it look? I figure I can add an ssd later and just use the 1tb as a storage drive.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99)
CPU Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK 78.1 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z97 EXTREME4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($128.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB Dual-X Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT H440 (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($85.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $961.90
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Anyone have experience with this 280x card? I just picked this one relatively at random. Other than that I think its a pretty sexy build.
I have Sapphire's 270x Dual-x.
Blows any game I play out of the water.

280x would be a good choice I'd say.