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New 2.5k build - redux

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Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
Few months ago I started a thread asking suggestions about a gaming/number crunching build. I thought that was better starting a new thread since many things has changed.

My plan is to actually build it toward the end of the month (when my first paycheck will hit my bank account), but I think nothing is really going to happen between now and then. Prices can slightly change, so this should be considered an evolving thread.

To summarize my old post (and adding new details):
- My primary use will be statistical/numerical analysis (mainly Stata, R and Matlab). I can use my office computer for trivial stuff (it's an old machine with 4GB of RAM and a Phenom X2. I have some dept money to upgrade it, but I prefer to spend them on a 2nd monitor, a portable HDD, etc…) and servers (one with a Tesla, one with dual 6-core Xeon and tons of RAM) for very heavy ones, so it should replace my office computer when I'm not there and allow me to run even quite complex stuff without having to rely always on servers.
- My secondary use will be playing at 1440p
- Plan to OC the CPU to 4.5/4.6
- The budget is $2500 without monitors and without Windows, including keyboard/mouse
- I prefer black/white components

So,
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($296.78 @ Microcenter)
Nothing to discuss here. There's also the 4820k option, but LGA2011 mobos are quite expensive.

CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($107.99 @ Newegg)
Wanted to get a H220, but it seems not easy now. Maybe I’ll get a H320 when I go back to Europe for Christmas. In the meanwhile, the Kraken X60 looks like a good and not extremely expensive option. An alternative is the Tundra TD02.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($195.99 @ SuperBiiz)
I know that this is a bit pricey and it doesn’t match my color scheme, but it’s the cheapest mobo that seems able to accommodate well two big GPUs.

Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($119.82 @ Amazon)
Don’t really care. Will depends on prices/combos available at the purchase time.

Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($222.17 @ Amazon)
Isn’t it the best?

Storage: 2x Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($128 @ Outlet PC)
One option is this RAID 1 configuration. An alternative is to buy an enterprise HDD. For $114, I can get a Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB. Don’t know what option is the best.

Video Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 HOF 3GB Video Card ($689.99 @ Amazon)
This card is amazing (technically and aesthetically), but what about other options?

For around $600/630 I can get two 760 4GB (Gigabyte OC or EVGA FTW). Cheaper option and (generally) better performance, but no expandability and they probably will devaluate more than a benchmarking card like the 780 HOF (or EVGA Classified/MSi Lightining).

For around $650/700 I can get two 7970, but I prefer NVidia so I can use Matlab with CUDA. 7970s are also end-of-life products and xfire is not yet as good as SLI.

For around $700/730 I can get a 7990. More or less as above.

Case: NZXT Phantom 820 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($199.99 @ NCIX US)
Huge and expensive. But I love it!

Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Read some good reviews. 750W should be enough for a future SLI and a future water cooling system. 850W is probably better for the AMD options.

Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon)
Random

Keyboard: Cooler Master Storm Trigger Wired Gaming Keyboard ($106.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Someone suggested a mechanical keyboard with Cherry Brown for a mix of typing and gaming. Honestly I have no idea.

Mouse: SteelSeries Sensei RAW Frost Blue Wired Laser Mouse ($55 @ Amazon)
Like the look and seems a quite good mouse.

Total: $2288.93

Thanks and sorry for any mistake (I'm stuck in bed sick :( )
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
Just get an EVGA ACX 780 and a way cheaper motherboard? Save a ton of money with basically no performance drop.

Logitech or Razer Deathadder for mouse, IMO.

If you're planning on water cooling, get the Switch 810 instead of the Phantom. And wait until you go to Europe to pick up the Swiftech since it's expandable.
 
Last edited:

goose90proof

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Location
Deep South
Crucial makes a low profile version of that sport memory that I recommend. It'll give you more room for your hands. Get the H220 when you can. You won't regret it. Vid card looks good. If you're gaming on 1 monitor, you only need 1 card with as much memory as you plan on using. I have the Sapphire HD GHz 7970 and it's very powerful, but I'm wishing I'd gone with nVidia now. It performs well, but there are driver issues. Most games are designed for nVidia.

I'd spend some more time looking at your case, keyboard and mouse. Take some time to shop these some more. I personally find that these are very important decisions because they are what you will actually be looking at most of the time. I hear that phantom 820 is a popular case. It looks sharp, but make sure you're getting one that has plenty of room and has good cable management.

One more thing... some people say you don't need an optical drive. I like to have one, but do you really need one that expensive? Just a thought.
 

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I love my Sensei, though it's the much more expensive and feature rich one. I've heard that the RAW series is great as well. Very comfortable design, in my opinion.
 
OP
Hippogriff

Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
Just get an EVGA ACX 780 and a way cheaper motherboard? Save a ton of money with basically no performance drop.

Logitech or Razer Deathadder for mouse, IMO.

But the white PCB is wonderful and the EVGA is $15 more expensive, so EVGA+Extreme6 (an example) would be just $10 cheaper and EVGA+UD4H just $25. Don't know...

Logitech, you mean something like the G400S?

Crucial makes a low profile version of that sport memory that I recommend. It'll give you more room for your hands.

One more thing... some people say you don't need an optical drive. I like to have one, but do you really need one that expensive? Just a thought.

AFAIK, the Ballistix Sport is LP. The optical drive is random and it depends on what my roommates and I will decide to get. If we buy a big TV, I'll get a cheaper one without BR.
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
Huh, the Classified? Noooo, just the regular ACX.

As soon as you say, "Oh, it's only a few more", you keep saying that over and over again, and without realizing it, you've tacked on a hundred or two onto your build.

Frankly, you said you're doing WCing later on anyway, just get reference. The reference coolers on the 770/780/Titan are very good, and not that loud. And you save like $80 between the two cards.

I was thinking more like the Extreme3. These CPUs are low powered, any basic 8 phase board will take it as far as it will go on ambient cooling.

Do you actually live nearby a Microcenter? You know you get an auto $40 off if you get a CPU with that motherboard. And if you don't, well, they only sell CPUs in store.
 
OP
Hippogriff

Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
Huh, the Classified? Noooo, just the regular ACX.

As soon as you say, "Oh, it's only a few more", you keep saying that over and over again, and without realizing it, you've tacked on a hundred or two onto your build.

Frankly, you said you're doing WCing later on anyway, just get reference. The reference coolers on the 770/780/Titan are very good, and not that loud. And you save like $80 between the two cards.

I was thinking more like the Extreme3. These CPUs are low powered, any basic 8 phase board will take it as far as it will go on ambient cooling.

Do you actually live nearby a Microcenter? You know you get an auto $40 off if you get a CPU with that motherboard. And if you don't, well, they only sell CPUs in store.

A custom loop for the CPU, probably not the GPU. So, I prefer a card that has a good custom air cooler and the HOF looked like a good deal.
At a Microcenter, I'd buy the UD4H bundle since I heard only great thing about it. This was my initial plan before discovering how massive is the HOF.

By the way, in your opinion, when I'll really need a 2nd 780? Because if the answer is "more than 12/18 months", I can look for a normal mobo and think about the space problem when I'll upgrade to a new CPU (Haswell-E? Broadwell?)
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
By the time you need a second 780, it'd probably be more worth it to get a new GPU.

Really I think we're past the point that single screen gamers would ever need multiple cards. Maybe when 4K becomes more common.

Haswell to Haswell-E should be like upgrading from a 2600K to 3930K (nothing for gaming) and Haswell to Broadwell is going to be like going from Sandy to Ivy or Ivy to Haswell (super small). It's going to be a looooong time (4-5 years if the jumps in performance continue being this small) that you'd need a new CPU/motherboard. Even I went 4 years (1st gen i7 to Haswell), and the jump between 1st and 2nd gen was fairly big, and people said that upgrade was borderline worth it.
 
OP
Hippogriff

Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
Haswell to Haswell-E should be like upgrading from a 2600K to 3930K (nothing for gaming) and Haswell to Broadwell is going to be like going from Sandy to Ivy or Ivy to Haswell (super small). It's going to be a looooong time (4-5 years if the jumps in performance continue being this small) that you'd need a new CPU/motherboard. Even I went 4 years (1st gen i7 to Haswell), and the jump between 1st and 2nd gen was fairly big, and people said that upgrade was borderline worth it.

Yep, but six cores CPU will be cheaper. And, in 20 months... :D
 
OP
Hippogriff

Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
What about storage?

Two consumer HDDs in Raid1 or a single enterprise HDD? Obviously, I'm going to backup important stuff (external HDD, Dropbox, etc...), but I'm willing to spend a bit more for additional data safety.
 
OP
Hippogriff

Hippogriff

Member
Joined
May 16, 2013
Location
East Coast
Oh right, you do numerical analysis. If it'll take advantage of all the cores...why not just go for X79 and IB-E straight off the bat? You have the budget and would use it to its potential.

Because I don't really feel the need now and the price difference is not small. The first 1.5/2 yrs I'm going to work on smaller projects that don't require a uber powerful workstation.
 

ASUS ROG

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2011
Location
Republic of Texas
What about storage?

Two consumer HDDs in Raid1 or a single enterprise HDD? Obviously, I'm going to backup important stuff (external HDD, Dropbox, etc...), but I'm willing to spend a bit more for additional data safety.

Enterprise HDD, it last about twice at long at a normal HDD but only cost 25 to 30% more than a consumer HDD