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Jedi2155

PC Builds of 2014

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Been debating whether or not to upgrade this year. I'm trying to find more game time now that I've finished classes but I still have school work till the end of the year. Regardless, my current system is getting really long in the tooth since the i7 920 was released in October 2008 meaning its approaching 6 years old now. Oddness isn't the primary issue but rather stability.... I'm getting periodic blue screens while playing CS:GO, Hawkes or even Civilization 5. Dropping my multiplier overclock from 3.6 GHz to 3.2 GHz helps a bit but still get an occasional crash.

CPU Choice:
Now I'm wondering if I should wait for Broadwell or jump on Devil's Canyon.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/8046/pricing-and-details-for-intels-devils-canyon-and-unlocked-pentium-leaked-online-i7-4790k-i5-4690k-g3258

Build Components:
CPU: i7 4790k ($280) or i5 4690K ($200)

Mobo: Z97 ($100-230)
HSF: Integrated Liquid Cooling
RAM: DDR3 or wait for DDR4?? (16 GB minimum)
GPU: Stick with my GTX 670
PSU: 550-700W
Case: Something from cooler master? Need to research. Primary factors below:
#1 Ease of Upgrade
#2 Silence
#3 Sleek
Size is not a concern. Due to Primary goal, larger cases are primary consideration. Needs to look sleek though.

Long term goals:
Also I really want to go into a 4 monitor setup ala NVIDIA triple surround + top monitor. I will need a new desk for that which has been a huge issue. I'm not sure if this PC should fit that eventual dream or I should wait till I get rid of my roommates and have a dedicated game room (AC conditioned, lots of space, surround sound etc.). I think L shape desk with proper monitor mounts are necessary to achieve this. Lastly, due to industry moving towards 4K monitors and still uncertain about 120 Hz monitors, I don't want to invest in a setup that will become obsolete quickly.

Many ideas in my head, and this thread will hopefully keep track of them for an organized approach at some point.

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im on the fence about whether to do a complete rebuild or to just replace my broken motherboard/ windows install

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Build Components:

CPU: i5 or i7 Devil Canyon/Braswell ($250-350)

 

I would wait just a bit to see if more Devil's Canyon details come out. If nothing come out soon, just get a i5 Broadwell and leave the option for a Devil's Canyon drop-in down the road.

 

 

Mobo: Z97 ($100-230)

 

This is pretty much a given since you Devil's Canyon and Broadwell will both drop into this.

 

HSF: Integrated Liquid Cooling

 

That is by far the prevailing trend these days since you get anywhere from medium-to-high end air HSF performance while also using quieter fans + more ideal placement and compatibility. If you step up to extra thick, larger fan or multi-fan setups than even more performance.

 

 

RAM: DDR3 or wait for DDR4?? (16 GB minimum)

 

I think the expectation is that DDR4 will come with Skylake in 2015 and who knows when in 2015. Even when that comes out DDR3 is going to be around for a good while.

 

GPU: Stick with my GTX 670

 

I'm looking to upgrade when Maxwell is available but that is because I make use of hardware video encoder.

 

PSU: 550-700W

 

I still go to the same place for all my PSU reviews: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Review_Cat&recatnum=13

 

 

Case: Something from cooler master? Need to research. Primary factors below:

#1 Ease of Upgrade

#2 Silence

#3 Sleek

Size is not a concern. Due to Primary goal, larger cases are primary consideration. Needs to look sleek though.

 

Bang for buck I'm kind of a big fan of Cooler Master's N series: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=cooler+master+n+series+case&N=-1&isNodeId=1 I have the N200 and I'm not sure anything comes close at $50 for features.

 

 

Long term goals:

Also I really want to go into a 4 monitor setup ala NVIDIA triple surround + top monitor. I will need a new desk for that which has been a huge issue. I'm not sure if this PC should fit that eventual dream or I should wait till I get rid of my roommates and have a dedicated game room (AC conditioned, lots of space, surround sound etc.). I think L shape desk with proper monitor mounts are necessary to achieve this. Lastly, due to industry moving towards 4K monitors and still uncertain about 120 Hz monitors, I don't want to invest in a setup that will become obsolete quickly.

 

Many ideas in my head, and this thread will hopefully keep track of them for an organized approach at some point.

 

4K is still going through some growing pains. I would be hesitant to spend too much time on planning that right now. We just recently started to get half-way reasonably priced, single panel 4K displays. I don't think multi-4K setups are very feasible right now especially for gaming.

 

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I would wait just a bit to see if more Devil's Canyon details come out. If nothing come out soon, just get a i5 Broadwell and leave the option for a Devil's Canyon drop-in down the road.

 

I think you are mistaking the release times for the CPUs. Devil's Canyon is releasing soon (mid-2014), while Broadwell is late 2014 to early 2015. So if you meant the same for the i5 Devil's Canyon then yeah, I'm seriously considering that route.

 

 

I think the expectation is that DDR4 will come with Skylake in 2015 and who knows when in 2015. Even when that comes out DDR3 is going to be around for a good while.

 

Kind of had that feeling too. Not to mention that 1st release of new RAM architectures are typically only on par with top of last gen. It'll probably won't get much better than the DDR3 for a while.

 

I'm looking to upgrade when Maxwell is available but that is because I make use of hardware video encoder.

 

Why do you use video encoding at all? What are you converting it for? With all the insane software/hardware available on Android I have not had to do any encoding for a long time. (drag and drop pretty much)

 

 

Bang for buck I'm kind of a big fan of Cooler Master's N series: http://www.newegg.co...N=-1&isNodeId=1 I have the N200 and I'm not sure anything comes close at $50 for features.

 

I got one of these last year for a Focus group and recently built a PC for my roommate 2 months ago. Its a good case, but not one I would buy for myself. Too simple (my cases are typically $100+). FYI, I currently have 3x HDD, 1x SSD with 3 5.25" devices. I will probably go down to 1 5.25" but will probably keep the rest.

 

I'm mainly thinking Cosmos lineup or something weirder like a Silencio

http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower-silent-series/silencio652/

 

I dont follow other manufacturers lately so I don't know what the competition is offering now (Antec, Thermaltake, Zalman, Silverstone, Lian Li?, Cosair?)

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I would wait just a bit to see if more Devil's Canyon details come out. If nothing come out soon, just get a i5 Broadwell and leave the option for a Devil's Canyon drop-in down the road.

 

I think you are mistaking the release times for the CPUs. Devil's Canyon is releasing soon (mid-2014), while Broadwell is late 2014 to early 2015. So if you meant the same for the i5 Devil's Canyon then yeah, I'm seriously considering that route.

 

I am swapping them around in my head, yeah, it's all Haswell. Broadwell will be same socket, use Z97 chipset so yeah.... whatever you want... buy a cheap cpu now and wait or not I think it's hard to go wrong.

 

 

I think the expectation is that DDR4 will come with Skylake in 2015 and who knows when in 2015. Even when that comes out DDR3 is going to be around for a good while.

 

Kind of had that feeling too. Not to mention that 1st release of new RAM architectures are typically only on par with top of last gen. It'll probably won't get much better than the DDR3 for a while.

 

I thought I read somwhere DDR4 isn't going to have much performance increase, mostly power savings. On top of being new tech and the issues with that. There are some pretty fast DDR3 kits these days just be careful what chips you get if you decide to stay on DDR3. I would avoid single sided, Hynix MFR sticks. They have high frequencies and they are cheap but their performance is iffy. Dual sided samsungs were the best last I checked.

 

 

I'm looking to upgrade when Maxwell is available but that is because I make use of hardware video encoder.

 

Why do you use video encoding at all? What are you converting it for? With all the insane software/hardware available on Android I have not had to do any encoding for a long time. (drag and drop pretty much)

asdasd

 

I stream to Twitch with OBS occasionally and use Nvidia Shadowplay. I would use both even more if I had faster internet (upload). The current Kepler has an onboard chip but the one on Maxwell is supposedly improved quite a bit. """NVIDIA tells us that Maxwell’s NVENC should be 1.5x-2x faster than Kepler’s NVENC, or in absolute terms capable of encoding speeds 6x-8x faster than real time."""" http://www.anandtech.com/show/7764/the-nvidia-geforce-gtx-750-ti-and-gtx-750-review-maxwell/2

 

 

Bang for buck I'm kind of a big fan of Cooler Master's N series: http://www.newegg.co...N=-1&isNodeId=1 I have the N200 and I'm not sure anything comes close at $50 for features.

 

I got one of these last year for a Focus group and recently built a PC for my roommate 2 months ago. Its a good case, but not one I would buy for myself. Too simple (my cases are typically $100+). FYI, I currently have 3x HDD, 1x SSD with 3 5.25" devices. I will probably go down to 1 5.25" but will probably keep the rest.

 

I'm mainly thinking Cosmos lineup or something weirder like a Silencio

http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower-silent-series/silencio652/

 

I dont follow other manufacturers lately so I don't know what the competition is offering now (Antec, Thermaltake, Zalman, Silverstone, Lian Li?, Cosair?)

 

IMHO: Corsair, Antec and Silverstone are still viable. I have never liked Thermaltake. Lian Li is kind of off doing their own unique cases but are otherwise pretty stagnant. I kind of like some of Corsair's higher end offerings. Silverstone is often overpriced and I'm not crazy about their larger cases. Antec is ok but I'm not a big fan these days of their cases.

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IMHO: Corsair, Antec and Silverstone are still viable. I have never liked Thermaltake. Lian Li is kind of off doing their own unique cases but are otherwise pretty stagnant. I kind of like some of Corsair's higher end offerings. Silverstone is often overpriced and I'm not crazy about their larger cases. Antec is ok but I'm not a big fan these days of their cases.

 

Cases off the top of my Head:

 

Cooler Master Options:

Cosmos SE - http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/full-tower-cosmos-series/cosmos-se.html

Cosmos II - http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/full-tower-cosmos-series/cosmos-2.html

Silencio 652S - http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower-silent-series/silencio652s/

Storm Scout 2 - http://gaming.coolermaster.com/en/products/cases/scout2advanced/

CM690 III - http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower-cm690-series/cm693/

N600 - http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/mid-tower-n-series/n600.html

N400 - http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/mid-tower-n-series/n400.html

 

Corsair Options:

Carbide 300R - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/carbide-series-300r-windowed-compact-pc-gaming-case

Graphite 600T Silver - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/graphite-series-600t-silver-mid-tower-case

Graphite 600T White - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/special-edition-white-graphite-series-600t-mid-tower-case

Graphite 760T Black - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/graphite-series-760t-full-tower-windowed-case

Graphtie 760T White - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/graphite-series-760t-arctic-white-full-tower-windowed-case

Vengeance C70 Green - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/vengeance-c70-mid-tower-gaming-case-military-green

 

Lian Li Options:

PC-B61 - http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-b16/

PC-A61 - http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-a61/

PC-8NWX - http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-8nwx/

 

SilverStone Options:

TJ04-E - http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=325&area=en

TJ10 - http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=146&area=en

 

Antec Options:

P280 - http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=704922&pid=1

 

and just because :P

Thermaltake Options:

Level 10 GT Battle Edition - https://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001891

 

 

Other brands that have no interesting cases:

Zalman

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Most of the posts I have seen about people that have worked with the engineering samples of Devil's Canyon have been disappointing on the overclocking front, however they do run cooler and are clocked a bit faster for almost the same price so they still make sense if doing a new build.

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I've been following it closely too, I'm still interested to see how well it runs when its out of engineering sample and into actual retail chips.

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http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntk=all&N=4294966995+4294964566+4294888237&cat=0009%3C%3E%3C%3EDevils-Canyon-%3a-Intel-%3a-Processors%2fCPUs-%3a-Computer-Parts-%3a-Micro-Center

On MicroCenter already.....might really do it and just sell it and upgrade to Broadwell later.

 

De-lidded already as reported on XtremeSys :) (UK group though). Most interesting thing is that people who are getting them say their date code is from 2013 O.o.....i.e. Intel might've been stockpiling/cherry picking them even though it makes no difference in overclocks...

 

hw-4790k-delid-small.png

 

 

 

Originally Posted by PCZ viewpost.gif
Something just dawned on me.
The current crop of 4770k chips are mostly awful clockers.
4.2-4.3 if your lucky.

Well it's no wonder if Intel has been keeping the good ones for DC for 10 months.

Seems that buying DC guarantees you an easy 4.6GHz+ OC.
Most top out at 4.7 -4.8
Unless your Boomstick and you get a CB r15 stable 4.9.

BTW
None of the ES chips could do 4.8 CB r15, so you got a cherry.
That's why I asked you to run it.

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What do you guys think of this guy?

http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/410544

Seasonic SSR-650RM 650W ATX Power Supply (80PLUS GOLD, Modular) $59.99AR

Not sure if I actually need a new PSU but something to consider. Any other recommendations? I feel thats pretty solid for the price.

 

*edit*

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=348

 

9.8/10......good enough for me.

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Damn...it was sold out before I could get it when I got home.

 

Anyways, finalizing some more parts:

 

Bare Minimum Upgrade:

CPU: i7 4790k - $279.99 (Microcenter Bundle)

Mobo: Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 7 - $139.99 (Microcenter Bundle)

RAM: G.Skill Trident X 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 2400 CL10 - $189.99

HSF: Integrated Liquid Cooling (Corsair or Antec?) - $70?

 

Subtotal $679.97

Tax $61.20
Total $741.17

 

SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 500 GB - $250
GPU: Stick with my GTX 670
PSU: 550-700W - $80
Case: Something from cooler master? Need to research. Primary factors below:

 

 

A few thoughts:

Mobo: I seriously considering the Sniper (link) instead of the Gamer 7 (link) instead but, for the same price the Gaming 7 is higher end and I already have an X-Fi card for PCI Slot.

RAM: I decided to with a CL10 vs CL11 for $30 more. Although I see that this ram set goes on sale often but definitely going to stick with DDR3 2400.

HSF: Debating between a mid range liquid cooler (single fan) or a high end one (dual fan). Not sure what to go with Corsair or Antec? A good deal on the Antec comes up from time to time Antec 1250 for $55 for example.

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Your opinions/needs for cases are drastically different from my own so I can't offer much in terms of suggestions. I would make mention that the cooling performance differences between a 120 rad and 240 rad are noticeable but not so massive as to influence your decisions. You can check this mega review because it's still relatively up to date:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7738/closed-loop-aio-liquid-coolers/10

 

I would imagine that if your case supports a 240 rad it would make sense to go with that, but as I said you probably won't notice much besides slightly lower temps (120 rads are still very reasonable temps).

 

The differences between various cas latency can be 2-3% improvements, this was a great review demonstrating that:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7364/memory-scaling-on-haswell/7

 

As far as the difference between the sniper and the gamer7, I've seen people suggesting that the creative 3d is a better onboard sound chip than the realtek alc 1150, but I'm somewhat skeptical of that claim. You own a discrete soundcard and that is most likely a better solution. Don't make your decisions based solely on the onboard sound chips.

 

Also I would always recommend Seasonic PSUs. They're the gold standard, some of the corsair PSUs are rebadged versions of seasonic units and they also perform very admirably. Not to mention they're generally pretty quiet.

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A few thoughts:

Mobo: I seriously considering the Sniper (link) instead of the Gamer 7 (link) instead but, for the same price the Gaming 7 is higher end and I already have an X-Fi card for PCI Slot.

 

Requiring PCI just so you can hold on to that x-fi cuts the number of ATX Z97 options you have in half. As long as the board has a Realtek ALC1150 or similar type (or even based on the ALC1150 like the ASUS ROG SupremeFX) then I really think your audio needs will be more than satisfied. On a side-note, anything ALC892 is immediatly a non-buy for me now. The ALC898 (on my board) I found to be a large upgrade over the 892 and on paper the ALC1150 is supposed to be another large upgrade.

 

Of the two boards you mentioned I really don't see too much differentiating one from the other (small I/O changes here and there). Looking at the pics, cooling and power regs look similar. Note the sniper is shorter, does not go all the way to the third "column" of screws.

 

Off-topic: Who? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135386

 

Despite the atrocious branding, I think ASRock Fatal1ty series offer a lot of value.

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Interesting review on the Liquid Cooling options. I was looking at one that compared Corsairs options against a ThermalRight Silver Arrow, and the the Silver Arrow still beat the liquid coolers most of the time which shocked me. I was under the impression that liquid cooling was better than the TRUE by now. Debating just buying a $20 VenomousX cooler to last me another 3-5 years :D (I bought my TRUE in Spring 2007 BTW).

 

The differences between various cas latency can be 2-3% improvements, this was a great review demonstrating that:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7364/memory-scaling-on-haswell/7

 

I've seen reviews like that before, and I was aware already that the "maximum" benefit for high-end RAM over medium quality RAM is 3-5%. This has been true since the DDR1 days but that didn't stop me from buying Winbond BH-5 sticks back in my Pentium 4 days. 220 MHz DDR @ CAS 2-2-2-5 was like ZOMGWTFBBQ rite kuhla?
Anyways, I skimmed that review, and it seems there are a few suspect data points such as lower CAS latency had worse performance? That means something wasn't optimized well.

Regardless, I was thinking about cannibalizing some of my current RAM (I have 18 GB), by taking 3x4 GB and 1x2GB sticks for 14 GB but I wonder how well that will play havoc on my performance (mismatched sticks). They're are all DDR3 at CL9 already though. I would just be using that until I see a good deal on RAM again.

 

As far as the difference between the sniper and the gamer7, I've seen people suggesting that the creative 3d is a better onboard sound chip than the realtek alc 1150, but I'm somewhat skeptical of that claim. You own a discrete soundcard and that is most likely a better solution. Don't make your decisions based solely on the onboard sound chips.

 

I'm not, but I also liked the layout of the sniper a bit more. I won't even be using the onboard like you said. Still, I can get the Gaming 7 as part of the Microcenter bundle.

 

Requiring PCI just so you can hold on to that x-fi cuts the number of ATX Z97 options you have in half. As long as the board has a Realtek ALC1150 or similar type (or even based on the ALC1150 like the ASUS ROG SupremeFX) then I really think your audio needs will be more than satisfied. On a side-note, anything ALC892 is immediatly a non-buy for me now. The ALC898 (on my board) I found to be a large upgrade over the 892 and on paper the ALC1150 is supposed to be another large upgrade.

 

It does but I honestly don't see a reason to go with a different board. None of the features are really enticing me, except all the Gigabyte boards are lacking e-SATA. I would like an eSATA port. Its a dying standard anyways and I'll just find a way to convert the internal port. I'd like to try your existing on-board audio actually with my head phones/music to see how well it sounds. Historically, I've always heard a lot of motherboard noise using onboard unless they really isolated the audio path for it.

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As far as the difference between the sniper and the gamer7, I've seen people suggesting that the creative 3d is a better onboard sound chip than the realtek alc 1150, but I'm somewhat skeptical of that claim. You own a discrete soundcard and that is most likely a better solution. Don't make your decisions based solely on the onboard sound chips.

 

Requiring PCI just so you can hold on to that x-fi cuts the number of ATX Z97 options you have in half. As long as the board has a Realtek ALC1150 or similar type (or even based on the ALC1150 like the ASUS ROG SupremeFX) then I really think your audio needs will be more than satisfied. On a side-note, anything ALC892 is immediatly a non-buy for me now. The ALC898 (on my board) I found to be a large upgrade over the 892 and on paper the ALC1150 is supposed to be another large upgrade.

 

 

So I should follow and restate the intent of my post here. If you would choose a board based on the only requirement being ATX Size, Z97, PCI or good onboard audio, $100-250 range (with a desired cost around ~$150), which board would you choose and why.

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Although I was considering a 500 GB Samsung 840 Evo, I've decided against it and keeping my Crucial C300 until SATA Express drives are more available and at somewhat reasonable price.

 

In other news, SATAe won't be available on Intel Chipsets till sometime in 2015:

http://vr-zone.com/articles/sata-express-intel-9-series-chipsets/63503.html

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If you would choose a board based on the only requirement being ATX Size, Z97, PCI or good onboard audio, $100-250 range (with a desired cost around ~$150), which board would you choose and why.

 

Good question! Hmmm.

 

I'm really iffy about $200+ boards. There are a ton of features on mid-range (under $200) boards nowadays and many of them will overclock well enough that you will probably start hitting the limit of your chip before your board is holding you back (we are not talking about any cooling more exotic than maybe 240 rad though). eSATA is a dying standard and USB 3.0 is here to stay. Thunderbolt is neat but I have hard time seeing it really take off. Any new board I would be buying would have to come with at least ALC1150 or equivalent quality. With the ATX size that actually still leaves quite a few boards worth looking at.

 

I've been of the opinion for a while now that if you can get past the gawdawful branding the ASRock Fatal1ty line offers a lot of value on its boards like these if budget is a concern. My opinion is partially based on my Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M.

 

The ASUS ROG board has a debug LED, which is nice, and illumination (if you are into.... yeah you are into that sort of thing). Product page lists other features of questionable usefullness.

 

You planning on using M.2?

 

Ran out of time. Have to go to bed now. Didn't get much time to look at Gigabyte boards but they seem decent.

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eSATA is a dying standard and USB 3.0 is here to stay.

That's not the point. The point is I have a eSATA drive that I'm not getting rid of. People always forget that just because the standard isn't new anymore, doesnt mean they aren't still being used. I'm not going to throw out my perfectly good 2 TB external that works great.

 

I'm really iffy about $200+ boards. There are a ton of features on mid-range (under $200) boards nowadays and many of them will overclock well enough that you will probably start hitting the limit of your chip before your board is holding you back

I understand this. Which is why the board I am particularly interested in is only $140 - the Gigabyte Gaming 7 which has a ALC1150 or the Creative SoundCore. So while my range is UP to $250, I'm mainly interested in the $150 range boards because I don't see myself needing the $200+ feature. I only gave the upper limit if there was a board with enough features to entice me. I don't need extra PCI-E bandwidth since I will generally run only 1 3D card.

 

I've been of the opinion for a while now that if you can get past the gawdawful branding the ASRock Fatal1ty line offers a lot of value on its boards like these if budget is a concern. My opinion is partially based on my Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M.

 

I do like the Fatal1ty boards you linked but I don't see a reason to go for the Professional board which is $45 more than the Gaming 7, and while it gains a eSATA port (which can easily added with a bracket), it loses a PCI-Slot necessitating the removal of my X-Fi and drive. A huge reason I like to keep my X-Fi is the Front 5.25" Live Drive.

platinumfatal1tychampionseries.jpg

 

 

I was looking at M.2 but I'd rather go SATAe than M.2. because of potentially greater speeds. Its a desktop, and it has a ton of space (my case is ginormous remember) so there's no reason to reduce the volume/size of my components.

 

Anyways, I don't see any other single feature the Fatal1ty board offers over the Gigabyte board except for ThunderBolt. Except I can't think of a single use case for ThunderBolt right now....Still need to look at the Asus ROG board. But none of the Asus boards I've seen offer the features I'd like a reasonable price as they're all pushing high $100s to mid $200s. Why choose Asus when Gigabyte offers everything I want $140? I'm failing to see a reason to pay more for an Asus/ASRock board.

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Onto HSF Discussions:

Debating:

 

Option #1A:

Corsair H60 for $50

 

Option#1B

Wait for a good deal on a 240mm rad at $70-100 or pay full price for a H100i

 

Option #2:

Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E for $83 - Supposedly performance is comparable to a 240mm radiatior.

 

Option #3:

Keep using my TRUE (7 years old...) with a new mounting kit - $15+Shipping

 

I'm really interested in option #1A or Option #2

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Here's a motherboard that has both esata and sata express. I wasn't able to quickly find too many boards with both of those connection standards.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157524&cm_re=sata_express-_-13-157-524-_-Product

 

As far as your front audio panel is concerned, what is the main reason for wanting to keep it? Are you just looking at ease of access plugging headphones into the front of the pc rather than the back? I'm sure I don't have to explain to you that any of those front panels or audio pass through diminish quality significantly.

 

Realistically you have two major options for audio, either stick to your onboard (which is what I would recommend) or go big. You could either look to purchase a new soundcard or a lower end DAC, but I would suggest that you at least try the onboard audio out first before doing either of those things.

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That's not the point. The point is I have a eSATA drive that I'm not getting rid of. People always forget that just because the standard isn't new anymore, doesnt mean they aren't still being used. I'm not going to throw out my perfectly good 2 TB external that works great.

 

 

Nothing has PCI and eSATA so one of those is going to have to give. Like you said, a bracket will do the trick for eSATA so it makes sense to let that requirement slide.

 

I understand this. Which is why the board I am particularly interested in is only $140 - the Gigabyte Gaming 7 which has a ALC1150 or the Creative SoundCore. So while my range is UP to $250, I'm mainly interested in the $150 range boards because I don't see myself needing the $200+ feature. I only gave the upper limit if there was a board with enough features to entice me. I don't need extra PCI-E bandwidth since I will generally run only 1 3D card.

 

I agree. Just was just stating my opinion for the record.

 

I do like the Fatal1ty boards you linked but I don't see a reason to go for the Professional board which is $45 more than the Gaming 7, and while it gains a eSATA port (which can easily added with a bracket), it loses a PCI-Slot necessitating the removal of my X-Fi and drive. A huge reason I like to keep my X-Fi is the Front 5.25" Live Drive.

 

I hesitated to include the Pro in that link because I mainly wanted the focus on the Killer and X Killer which are right in the price range you are focused on.

 

I was looking at M.2 but I'd rather go SATAe than M.2. because of potentially greater speeds. Its a desktop, and it has a ton of space (my case is ginormous remember) so there's no reason to reduce the volume/size of my components.

 

I think M.2 is going to go through some growing pains before it really sees acceptance (all the different sizes, different boards allowing different sizes, etc.).

 

Anyways, I don't see any other single feature the Fatal1ty board offers over the Gigabyte board except for ThunderBolt. Except I can't think of a single use case for ThunderBolt right now....Still need to look at the Asus ROG board. But none of the Asus boards I've seen offer the features I'd like a reasonable price as they're all pushing high $100s to mid $200s. Why choose Asus when Gigabyte offers everything I want $140? I'm failing to see a reason to pay more for an Asus/ASRock board.

 

I honestly think you are going to have a hard time going wrong with any of the mid-to-higher end Z97 boards. Mainly just deciding which layout, i/o and what "fancy features" (read: mostly marketing speak) you prefer. Since it doesn't look like you are considering any really high end cooling (360 water, 280 water or higher) I imagine all the boards under consideration will overclock to your thermal/chip limits without much fuss.

 

Onto HSF Discussions:

 

Debating:

 

Option #1A:

Corsair H60 for $50

 

Option#1B

Wait for a good deal on a 240mm rad at $70-100 or pay full price for a H100i

 

Option #2:

Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E for $83 - Supposedly performance is comparable to a 240mm radiatior.

 

Option #3:

Keep using my TRUE (7 years old...) with a new mounting kit - $15+Shipping

 

I'm really interested in option #1A or Option #2

 

With a really high end heatsink like the TR:SA, I think you are trading a heavy heatsink with only comparable performance for more noise when putting it up against a 240 rad that only costs a little bit more. I would go for option 1B if you plan on overclocking (I imagine you are) and keeping noise low-ish. Option 1A would keep the noise low and you could overclock a bit but cooling performance would be meh.

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Don't have time to respond in full, but I saw this interesting part:

http://slickdeals.net/f/7037008-seasonic-760w-80-plus-platinum-full-modular-power-supply-100-after-25-rebate-free-shipping

 

80 Plus Platinum 760 Watt for $100. I was looking at $50-100 PSU's and this seems to be an excellent one.

 

The only problem I have with that is the cost and the higher wattage is not necessary for my build so its overkill. I"m not seeing a SLI build anytime in the next year or 2 as my money will be tied up in wedding, car, house rennovations. The 660 Watt Gold was sold out before I could buy it but yeah....I don't know if I should bite or wait for a lower quality model.

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On my previous note: I bought the the Seasonic 760XP.

 

Here's a motherboard that has both esata and sata express. I wasn't able to quickly find too many boards with both of those connection standards.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157524&cm_re=sata_express-_-13-157-524-_-Product

 

Kuhla already posted that above and I responded to it on the above post.

 

As far as your front audio panel is concerned, what is the main reason for wanting to keep it? Are you just looking at ease of access plugging headphones into the front of the pc rather than the back? I'm sure I don't have to explain to you that any of those front panels or audio pass through diminish quality significantly.

 

Realistically you have two major options for audio, either stick to your onboard (which is what I would recommend) or go big. You could either look to purchase a new soundcard or a lower end DAC, but I would suggest that you at least try the onboard audio out first before doing either of those things.

 

Funny thing.....since you brought this up, I decided to do a little experiment and I just found another reason why (and why head phones sound so good at home). Besides the fact that I have speakers (rear I/O is taken by my surround system), the front I/O panel also has a built in headphone amplifier. It sounds a lot better in the front than a direct connection through the rear audio card which cannot drive my AudioTechnica ATH-T400 as well. While not indicative of audio quality a simple volume test comparing my existing on-board at 100% Volume, my X-Fi was already louder at 15-20% Volume level (better sound quality throughout).

 

My eVGA X58 SLI has a ALC889 (From 2009) for comparison is much better than the ALC892, and not much worse than a ALC898 at 108 dB vs 110 dB on the latter. I hear the only improvement really between the previous two and the ALC1150 is just more SNR at 115 dB. My X-Fi is at 109 dB. Of course all this is just one metric of many but a popular one.


Here's a quick comparison of the Codec Tables:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Audio-Codec-Comparison-Table/520/2

 

I've yet to try any of the new Asus Xonar series cards although I hear they're good, I just remember competitors were never as good as Creative's own audio implementations. My computer has always been my reference for good sound quality due to my X-Fi. However its been 8 years since I bought my X-Fi and I'm interested to see how technology has improved.

 

I think M.2 is going to go through some growing pains before it really sees acceptance (all the different sizes, different boards allowing different sizes, etc.).

 

Regardless, I don't see M.2 as ever being anymore than a cache drive for my applications. Like I said previously, why go with a M.2 form factor that has fewer NAND chips versus a full sized drive? A huge bottleneck in SSD performance is the # of addressable NAND (Look up ONFI, and flash controllers). You're basically getting more "RAID 0" performance with larger SSDs provided there aren't other bottlenecks.

 

I honestly think you are going to have a hard time going wrong with any of the mid-to-higher end Z97 boards. Mainly just deciding which layout, i/o and what "fancy features" (read: mostly marketing speak) you prefer. Since it doesn't look like you are considering any really high end cooling (360 water, 280 water or higher) I imagine all the boards under consideration will overclock to your thermal/chip limits without much fuss.

 

I know, but I think the Gaming 7 so far has the perfect mix of parts I'd like. Only issue I could see is that Gigabyte is smaller than ASrock/Asus as a company and their UEFI interface is crappy from what I hear:

 

With a really high end heatsink like the TR:SA, I think you are trading a heavy heatsink with only comparable performance for more noise when putting it up against a 240 rad that only costs a little bit more. I would go for option 1B if you plan on overclocking (I imagine you are) and keeping noise low-ish. Option 1A would keep the noise low and you could overclock a bit but cooling performance would be meh.

 

Even with a new, lower noise CPU cooler, it won't help in my case (HAF 932) which has 3 ginormous 200 mm fans. While they're lovely at keeping my computer awesomely cool, they're not great at the noise front. I will need a new case to change the scenario. On that subject, my case has eSATA (so no need for another bracket) but its lacking in USB3 front ports although Front/Back doesn't really matter in my current desk configuration (I got a new $1000 L-Shape desk for free from my coworker) as its sideways. Still my current case is older my current PC from 2008 and I'm kinda tired of it.

 

I'm starting to really dig Corsairs new 760T in White Graphite though. It'll integrate nicely with the H100i. Going to need some need some CCFL's again :P .

 

 

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There's a 10% off coupon at Newegg right now. I'm going to use it buy the Corsair 760t in White ($189.99) unless someone gives me a good reason not to. My other option is the Cooler Master Cosmos SE but the 760T is a lot nicer IMO.

 

Kinda of expensive for cases but it looks so good.....

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I have a buyer for my old system so I need to build this system sooner rather than later.

 

CPU: i7 4790k ($280)

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming 7 ($140 or more)
HSF: Corsair H100i ($90) or H105 ($100)
RAM: G.SKILL Trident X (2x8GB) DDR3-2400 @ C10 - ($171)
PSU: Seasonic SS-760XP2 80+ Platinum ($100)
CASE: Corsair 760T White Graphite ($170)

SSD: Samsung 500 GB Evo (~$260)

 

Parts Carried Over:

GPU: ASUS GTX670-DC2-2GD5

AUDIO: X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion

DVD - Lite-On 16x SATA

 

Pricing not final, I'm starting to make the orders now.......

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