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Build Advice GFX build

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Pruskis, 18 Mar 2013.

  1. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    Budget: ~2250USD, ~1740euro.

    Main uses of intended build: GFX, Montage, 3D, Graphic Design, some games.

    Parts required: I choosed most of the parts myself, but I would still like to heard what you guys have to say about this build.

    Previous build information:
    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ~403USD
    http://ark.intel.com/products/65523

    MB: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO ~248USD
    https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8Z77V_PRO/

    VGA: Stuck between Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 TI, 3GB DDR5, GV-N66TOC-3GD and ZOTAC GeForce GTX 660 TI AMP!, 2GB DDR5, ZT-60803-10P. ~416USD each.
    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4376#ov vs http://www.scan.co.uk/products/16-0...-with-borderlands-2-free-game-(usk-18)-coupon

    RAM: DDR3 Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz. ~184USD
    http://www.corsair.com/en/dominator...hannel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmd16gx3m2a1600c9.html
    Could save up to 60USD choosing "Vengeance" RAM or choosing a different manufacturer.

    SSD: Corsair Neutron 128GB. ~160USD
    (note, 20USD more expensive than buying from Corsair itself)
    http://www.corsair.com/en/ssd/neutron-series-ssd/neutron-series-128gb-sata-3-6gbs-ssd.html

    HDD: 1x Seagate Barracuda 3.5'' 2TB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB. ~ 113USD
    http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/desktop-hdd/?sku=ST2000DM001

    Cooling: Corsair Cooling™ H100i. ~134USD
    http://www.corsair.com/us/hydro-series-h100i-extreme-performance-liquid-cpu-cooler.html

    Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R. ~141USD
    http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-500r-mid-tower-case.html

    PSU: Corsair CX600 ~Owned.
    http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx600.html

    Tablet: Wacom Intuos5 Touch M. ~474USD
    http://www.wacom.com/en/creative/pro...5-touch-medium

    Monitor resolution: 2x 1920x1080, 1x 1280x1024.

    Storage requirements: Just because I am tight on my budget, I went for 2TB Seagate HDD and a single 128GB Corsair SSD. Depending on the projects, later on I might go for extra 2TB HDDs and RAID10.

    will you be overclocking: yes, later on.

    Any motherboard requirements: USB3 is a must. Motherboard has to be stable and cool. I don't intend running SLI because most of the software I'll be working on will not benefit from multiple graphic cards.

    Extra information about desired system:
    Has to be as silent as possible because it'll be stored just a few meters from my bed, powerful to make render times quicker, cheap because of my limited budged and cool to prevent it from overheating. PC for work with Adobe, Autodesk and some other products. Also, Could anyone tell me is it worth getting an ~128GB SSD or 256GB HDD for Caching? Also is it worth running 2 SSDs at RAID0 for extra performance? What about RAMDiscs?
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2013
  2. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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  3. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    That board seems a bit expensive, how about a Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H or GA-Z77X-D3H?

    What's the difference between that RAM and a set of Corsair Vengeance, and is it worth $60?

    Are your applications GPU-accelerated? The graphics card might be a bit overkill if not.

    At that budget, you can probably get a Samsung 840 Pro, which is the best (consumer) SSD available at the moment.
     
  4. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    I have been offered to choose that mother board, features kinda suit me. Also isn't Asus a higher end motherboard than these two you have offered? I can't afford a Xonar D1 because it's over my budged, so I thought it will have a better audio quality. I am a music fan, using a HD215s.

    I am not an expert and I have no idea is it worth going for current RAM http://www.corsair.com/en/dominator...hannel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmd16gx3m2a1600c9.html or instead choose http://www.corsair.com/en/vengeancer-16gb-dual-channel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmz16gx3m2a1600c9g.html or even http://www.patriotmemory.com/produc... DDR3 16GB (2 x 8GB) 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

    Yes, Adobe Creative Suite make use of the GPU.

    Corsair Neutron 128GB SSD is just ~12USD cheaper than Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD, I'll do some research about these, thanks.
     
  5. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    If you really are going to use the features, and they are worth the price difference to you, then by all means go for it. Personally I haven't found my GA-Z77-D3H lacking anything. It overclocks my CPU to 4.5GHz without any issues as well.

    The warranty is fairly similar on both Asus and Gigabyte boards, so reliability is not an issue.

    Onboard sound can never match a separate card. You can always buy the sound card later if necessary.

    Those sets of Corsair memory seem to have identical specifications. Just get the cheaper one. In fact, the manufacturer doesn't even matter -- just get the cheapest 1600MHz CL9 1.5V set you can find.

    Consider low profile RAM to avoid any possible issues with large CPU heatsinks. You're going for a water cooler now, but low profile RAM doesn't hurt in case you ever want to put the RAM in a system with an air cooler.

    In that case a 660Ti (or a 7870) should be good. Get the cheapest card, but avoid XFX due to customer support issues.

    It's a no-brainer then, go for the Samsung. :) Here's a review: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2013/01/08/the-ssd-catchup/1
     
  6. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    The GPU is total overkill for what you'll be doing. And as a graphics designer I know what I'm talking about working every day with Adobe PS/Ai/DW/ID myself. I also do quiet a bit of 3dsMax.

    Aim for a cheaper GPU and get more RAM is my recommendation and you can cut down on costs for the motherboard aswell by going for a mATX, as you're not using SLI anyways.
    Soundcard is a waste of money aswell, if you're interested in Audio... get an USB-DAC for listening to music!

    So... here would be my choices.

    CPU: intel i7-3770k

    Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Gene

    RAM: 4x 8GB Kingston HyperX or Corsair Vengeance XMP

    GFX: GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7850 OC or GIGABYTE Geforce GTX 660 OC (both are available for just under €200)

    SSD: Cruicial M4, Samsung 840 Pro or intel 330.

    HDD: Western Digital WD AV-GP 2TB @ < €100 or WD AV-GP 3TB @ ~€125 (these drives are ment for running 24/7 and have an extended warranty of 5 years)

    PC-case: Fractal Design Define Mini (only mATX) or Cooler Master Silencio RC-650 (both cases are ment for silent systems and available for around €100)

    USB-DAC for audio: Behringer U-Control UCA 202 wipes the floor with any soundcard (onboard or PCIe) and costs only €25!

    RAM-Disk: It's very good for using it as a cache-drive in Photoshop, but not really needed. The setup can be complicated at times.

    Just my thoughts.
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2013
  7. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    @mm vr - Nice, I'll go for Samsung 840 Pro SSD in that case.

    @jrs77 - These are some really useful tips. I guess I dorgot to mention that I am a student and I guess even if I get some bigger projects to do, won't that be an over kill? I mean the RAM. Or it's worth investing in it right now and just forgetting about it? In case I'll get some freelance stuff to do for higher performance? I'll work quite a lot with Premiere and After Effects tho. If it's all cool, then these are the cheapest around here - DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 32GB (4x8GB) 1600MHz CL9, XMP1.3

    Asus Maximus V Gene cost extra 20euro from what I have chosen, that's around 200euro.

    Are you sure Nvidia GeForce cards don't have advantage with their CUDA over Radeons working with Adobe CS? I was kinda sure it does.

    That is really some good stuff about HDDs man! 5 years warranty, cool. Is it worth getting 2x 2TB and going RAID0 performance wise? I do have some left overs like 500GB, 250GB barracudas which are like 3-4 years old already btw.

    Cooler Master Silencio RC-650 looks just amazing, but I see a problem fitting H100i in there. Also, neither of these have a window, which is kinda stupid to think this way, but, but.. Results of the hangover I guess.

    Could you guys in short tell me what is a USB-DAC and how it works? I am using a poor 5 year old Creative 5.1 sound system (kinda converted in to a single 3.5mm plug thingy - http://www.budgetgadgets.com/images/proimages/777/777/DSC_681_360.jpg), sounds like crap, which needs to be replaced in to something like Microlab Solo 7C after half a year or so. On the other hand, I have invested in to sennheiser HD-215, worth it.. Btw, how about gaming experience using USB-DAC? Also could you throw me some more products that I could look for? I have trouble finding Behringer U-Control UCA 202 in local shops.

    Thanks guys.
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2013
  8. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    RAM is your best friend when working with Adobe 64bit software and there's no difference between AMD or nVidia, as the acceleration of Adobe CS is only for drawing the picture to your screen and for some effect-filters in PS and AfterEffects, the rest - i.e. the rendering of the video in Premiere for example, or the majority of the filters, and effects in PS and AfterEffects is purely processed by the CPU.

    The Silencio RC-650 can take the H100i in the front actually, if you remove the HDD-cages and install your HDDs in the 5.1/4" drivebays above instead. Also. Raid sounds nice, but it isn't really boosting your performance that much, especially when you've got tons of RAM, as the HDD won't be used for caching then. Instead of a RAID I'd go grab an external storage, like a NAS or a USB-HDD to make backups of your workfiles
    A Photoshop cache-file for an DinA3 @ 300ppi and ten layers uses some 2GB, and this can be easily stored in the RAM, even if you've got only 16GB. That's where setting up a RAM-disk comes in very handy ;)

    For the USB-DAC: An USB-DAC is a digital to analog audio converter, that streams the sound over the USB-port rather then the soundcard. The sound improves tenfold, as you eliminate all the interferences that are happening on your motherboards sound or your soundcard in your PCIe-slot.

    An USB-DAC simply plugs into your USB-port and then installs itself as a sounddevice, just like a soundcard would. It has an inbuilt preamp for hadphones, which additionally improves the soundquality, especially when using headphones.

    Other USB-DACs... FiiO Olypus E10, HiFiMAN Express HM-101, nuForce uDAC-2, or search eBay for "USB DAC" in general, or the "USB DAC MUSE DA10".
    The only thing a DAC doesn't have is a control-panel for stuff like EAX or 5.1 etc. It's pure stereo.

    Anyways. Try to get a motherboard for less than €/$ 200. They're good enough for some slight overclocking and try to get a GPU for less than €/$ 200 aswell, as anything else is pure overkill. I'm even thinking of trowing out my GTX660 OC, as I'm not playing any games anymore. An AMD 7750 or a nVidia GT640 would still accelerate my AdobeCS or 3dsMax+VrayRT fast enough, as the heavy workload is done by the CPU anyways.

    I'd go for a SSD as oure system and software disk and then a single 3.5" HDD (7200) for the storage, with an external disk for backups. Setup a RAM-disk for the cache-files of AdobeCS and be happy with it. The two or three seconds it takes longer to open a file is really no point of installing a RAID.

    The case - the CM Silencio - is a silent case, with dampening applied. That's why there's no windowed panels. I thought it would suit your needs, as your PC is placed within your bedroom.
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2013
  9. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    @jrs77 - many thanks man. So far I can only find FiiO E10 for 105$, rest products aren't even imported in to my country.

    I have pretty much decided what to buy:

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i
    MOBO: GA-Z77X-UD3H
    VGA: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC
    RAM: DDR3 Corsair Vengeance Black 32GB (4x8GB) 1600MHz CL9, XMP1.3
    SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128GB
    HDD: WD AV-GP 3,5" 2TB or 3TB.
    Graphic tablet: Wacom Intuos5 Touch Medium

    Only thing that makes me wait, is case. Can't decide between "Corsair Carbide 500R", "Cooler Master Silencio 650" and "Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl, Window".

    500R, fits H100i on top also has plastic HDD holders which is cool.

    Silencio 650, looks like a damn mothership, has that front HDD hot-swap-bay-thing, no HDD holders with rubber. I have no proof yet that it has a place for H100i yet.

    DEFINE R4 BLACK PEARL - WINDOW, obviously has a window, but I don't like the idea of removing both HDD cages just to fit H100i at front. H100i should possibly fit at top with some offset, depends on my motherboard, which makes me cry a bit, i feel like buying a cat in the bag.

    While writing it down I kinda start saying no for 500R, so many useless holes, and such.
     
  10. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't the 500 series GPUs better for CUDA acceration than the 600 series. Might be a consideration.

    If not stump up for a 670 GTX if only for the memory bandwidth.
     
  11. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    GF 560 is cheaper than GF 660 by 55$, looks like either my gaming experience will suffer, quite a lot, or I'll spend more time rendering stuff for my studies and possible freelance tasks..

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2127/
     
  12. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Adobe CS actually doesn't benefit much from a big GPU as 90% of all filters and effects are processed by the CPU. Rendering a composition in 3ds Max is done 100% by the CPU.
    The only program that really benefits from a GPU is Adobe Premiere, when you activate the Mercury Playback Engine, but any mid-class nVidia GPU will do the trick just fine, especially when you're not a professional who's doing nothing else the whole day then video-editing.

    This is why I allways suggest the cards around ~$/€ 200, as they usually have the best price/performance.
     
  13. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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  14. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    Would you people go for Stereo sound system or 2,1 mainly for music, movies? What would you offer for ~150$? Microlab SOLO6C looks decent, would it benefit from USB-DAC?
     
  15. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Stereo all the way baby! especially for music.

    If they would benefit from a USB-DAC depends on the sound-source really. If you're mainly listening to MP3 then quiet possibly not. Uncompressed music like FLAC makes a huge difference tho, when using a USB-DAC.

    From what I can gather in the interwebs all reviews are quiet positive about these speakers, considering their rather low pricetag.
     
  16. Booti

    Booti Member

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    You haven't said what version of Windows you have, or are getting.
    If memory serves you, you can't have more than 16Gb of RAM in certain versions of Windows. Might be worth considering in the overall cost if you are going for 32Gb.
     
  17. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    In eastern Europe everyone uses.. what's that.. ultimate? Not sure either I'll stay on Windows 7 or go for W8.
     
  18. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Stay with Win7. Win8 is a PITA for desktops imho.
     
  19. Pruskis

    Pruskis New Member

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    I am a terrible person and I have changed my build quite a bit once again.

    Some of the stuff was out of stock so I had to look for new things asap, yet failed to do it until now.

    CPU: I switched 3770k for 3570K

    CPU cooler: H100i for NOCTUA NH-D14/ PROLIMATECH ARMAGEDDON ( I'd also need aspecific 140mm fan. or even two.)/ SCYTHE SCMG-3100/ SCYTHE SCNJ or someting else you'd offer.

    Mobo: GA-Z77X-UD3H to ASROCK Z77 EXTREME4.

    RAM: found some cheaper ones CORSAIR CML16GX3M2A1600C10B DDR3 Vengeance Low Profile Blue 16GB (2 kits, total of 32GB)

    Chassis, VGA, SSD, Wacom Intuos5 remains..

    HDD: from 3TB to 2TB (WD20EURS).

    Getting myself Microlab 6C, one of the questions: yet to go for USB-DAC (which are rare in this country), Asus Xonar Essence STX or Creative X-fi Titanium HD or even a Spoon? Overkill?

    Depending on the amount of cash I have left, maybe LOGITECH G500 would be the mouse I'll get.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2013

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