System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $2000 Performance PC

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g-unit1111

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[citation][nom]namelessted[/nom] I totally agree with.On the subject of quality, I have chosen a better cooler, better case, and better PSU. [/citation]

Please tell me you're joking. If you knew anything about power supplies, you'd know the Corsair AX that you chose is a rebranded Seasonic. Just because it's Corsair branded doesn't automatically make it better. There's somethings they make great and some they don't - just like a good majority of component manufacturers out there.
 

larkspur

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Is everyone OK with 5760x1080?[/citation]
Please start testing at higher resolutions! I realize the $2000 build is designed for high-end balance and flexibility, but for the gamers who game at triple-monitor resolutions, it is valuable to see the numbers. We're really the only gamers who could justify $2000 for a gaming build. Like I said, I know the SBM is only 30% about gaming but I think it would be very interesting to see Tom's occasionally put together a $2000 triple-monitor gaming powerhouse for the SBM. Fingers are crossed!
 
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Is everyone OK with 5760x1080?[/citation]
Yeah, forget a single GPU unless something like a GTX 690. In most cases to get decent frame rates with good settings you're looking at 3-WAY so I don't see it happening @ 2K without some other 'bad' choices.
 

sherlockwing

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[citation][nom]mayankleoboy1[/nom]2x670 is overkill for 1920x1080. But a 2000$ build is already overkill. So this SLI setup is OK[/citation]
For 60 FPS anything more than a 660Ti factory OC is overkill, but for 120Hz Battlefield 3 you have to get that 670 SLI going.
 
G

Guest

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I still think that you've attached the 3.5 drive in wrong direction. And the brackets too.
 
I'd like to win this PC. I would run it stock, which is easily enough for my needs. Since it arrives as parts, I might substitute a modular PSU, likely another Seasonic. I'd probably use the case, assuming it's quiet.
Actually, I think I'd give serious consideration to swapping the GPU for a weaker HD7770 and giving it to my brother, who does some development work and runs a small business but is not a gamer. As a former model RR hobbyist, he'd likely appreciate the aesthetics of the case too.
 

vmem

Splendid
[citation][nom]namelessted[/nom]Secondly, I might have to argue that the benchmarks should be changed to better reflect real-world scenarios instead of reporting Sandra numbers.It is just extremely frustrating to see a build like this. [/citation]

I know this is directed at Crashman, but I feel the need to remind you at $2k budget and beyond, a lot of the "real world" applications are actually not gaming, but rather productivity. so many of us LOVE the sandra numbers etc. for instance only about a year ago I was given a $5K budget by my company to build a machine purely to handle heavily threaded tasks and GPU assisted compute. I currently have three 7970s running in that machine and a 3960K chip, and I can tell you that it has NEVER ran a single game, ever.

I also happen to know plenty of designers etc that would spend $2k plus just to make photoshop blend faster etc...
 
G

Guest

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I understand you want to keep comparison tests the same from the last build to this build, but why in holy hell would you make comparison tests from each build different than the other builds done in the same quarter? Ex: This quarter's $1000 system can run 6 Adobe CS5 filters on a 69MB tif in 1:34 seconds. This quarters $2000 system can run 4 Adobe CS5 filters on a 15.7MB tif in 1:07. Which one is better? How does this stuff not bother anyone else? I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!
 

gm0n3y

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The problem with people complaining about testing low resolutions on the $2k build is that they need to have common tests for all 3 systems so they can actually compare them. If they only counted high resolution gaming tests then they couldn't do this. Note that they do actually highlight the high res performance in the article as the most important gaming benchmark.
 

KentC

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"Today’s build looks like it might be designed for gaming...", no, today's build looks like it was designed for a middle school boy with self esteem issues who thinks Transformers was the greatest movied ever made.
 

dalethepcman

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I would like to see some GPGPU tests included in the benchmarks like folding scores. Yes please start testing higher resolutions. If you are building a $2000 pc (sans software and accessories), you are going to have more than one monitor.

Many of the trolls here are complaining about the $2000 rig being worse at gaming. Why do you even care? You can build a beast of a gaming rig for $1000, let the haters hate. As other posters here have stated, the $2000 build really should be productivity first.

In that light, I would love to see a build done with a professional graphics card. Throw in a V8800, or Quadro 4000. They still game just fine if that's what people want to do with them.
 

JOSHSKORN

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On my new build, should I wait for Ivy Bridge E series with 6 cores or is the 3770k, sufficient for a long time? Will we actually be seeing games that utilize all the cores? My current computer does run most games at a low resolution.
 

LukeCWM

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Thomas,

You put together a really excellent build. I like it much more than last quarter's, since it is more realistic for a variety of workloads. (I figure a gamer can look at a balanced build and add a better/more GPU, and trim other costs if necessary for his/her specific needs.) I support the Blu-ray drive and the 16 GB of RAM for a computer of this caliber. And that specific SSD is also a fantastic choice as well, since it is great value with toggle flash.

I personally could never justify the cost of SB-E or the required MB, and I know I'll never be able to afford 3-way SLI. However, I'm not the type to spend a full $2,000 on a computer either (more like $1,200 biased towards storage, mildly biased away from graphics). But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be thrilled to win your build in the contest. =]

My only gripe is the NZXT case. My previous build included one packaged with a PSU. The power switch on the PSU broke the first day. The PSU itself failed within three months. Even though I was careful, four of the expansion card-securing screw holes on the case stripped on the first day. Both case USB ports broke far too quickly, and eventually even the bezel door broke off from a very minor impact, leaving it hanging by the HDD activity light wires. Within months, the LEDs in two fans began to flicker, and within a year, two of the fans were making a grinding noise. Even though I spent $160 on that NZXT case (including PSU), it was complete garbage in terms of quality and I will never purchase that brand again. I encourage others to join my boycott. =]

I haven't done a whole heap of research, but I think Antec is the brand people buy again and again. I also hear that Corsair has some great higher-end cases, and that Rosewill is on the up-and-up for competitively priced cases.

Overall, great build!
 

LukeCWM

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[citation][nom]JOSHSKORN[/nom]On my new build, should I wait for Ivy Bridge E series with 6 cores or is the 3770k, sufficient for a long time? Will we actually be seeing games that utilize all the cores? My current computer does run most games at a low resolution.[/citation]

Josh,

The CPU is absolutely not the bottleneck in gaming unless you are looking at sub $120 processors. Read the monthly article on the best gaming CPU for the money. In a nutshell, the Sandy Bridge i3 is a surprisingly strong choice for gaming, the unlocked Ivy Bridge i5 is better still and overclock-able but getting into diminishing returns, and even the i7 is considered past the point of reason for games. If gaming is your only focus (and not audio/video editing, media encoding, etc), processing isn't all that difficult, and all available extra cash should go into a more powerful GPU, or parallel GPUs.

However, one might consider Sandy Bridge-E for the 40 lanes of PCI Express for triple graphics cards. But then you're talking about a $3,000 gaming machine, which isn't for the vast majority. But know that people aren't buying a SB-E processor because they need the processing power for games.
 

georgekn3mp

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This is very similar to my SB-E 3930k build from June 2012. Same CPU, but I chose a Gigabyte Windforce GTX670 to shave off price from a GTX680. Crucial M4 256GB SSD, Corsair Dominator 16GB 1600, the exact same Asus BD-RE burner, using Asus P9X79E Pro motherboard. I used a 2TB Western Digital 7200rpm HDD with 64MB cache, and just reused my Asus VX26 16:10 1920x1200 26" LCD.....in a Xigmatek case with Corsair H100 cooler.

I will be dropping in a second Gigabyte GTX670 Windforce soon, and I am already extremely happy with quad-channel memory at 1866 and running the CPU at 4.6Ghz at 1.3675 volts...beats the heck out of my old i7-920 running at 4GHZ with the same 256GB M4 SSD and GTX560 Ti...

I paid a little more than 2000 but the SSD in particular is half price in Aug from what it was in June.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]mayankleoboy1[/nom]medium settings , 1280 and 1680 resolution in a 2000$ PC are irrelevant.[/citation]True![citation][nom]TeddyK[/nom]Put it this way, you could have OC'ed higher if you had liquid cooling. Correct me if I'm wrong. O[/citation]You're probably wrong...this CPU in particular is fairly heat-tolerant, I think you'd have to drop the temp below 35C to get an extra 100 MHz.[citation][nom]ojas[/nom]Hmmm...interesting, interesting. I'm surprised to see that you've not used the Tom's recommended Gigabyte GTX 670. That was overclocked and for the same price, with a better cooler.I would be interested to see a 3770K + Z77 + 2x7970 (or 7950 3GB) cards, for 60 fps minimum @ 2560x1600, plus astronomical GPGPU performance (since IVB can do compute too)...keep everything else the same.[/citation]That's because it was recommended by a graphics editor against the wishes of the motherboard editor. Externally-vented coolers make more noise, but they also reduce heat around the CPU. We can see that the CPU cooling was already near its limit, so any more case heat would have required a bigger CPU cooler, more case fans, or both.[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]This machine was a gamer, that can also handle [some] professional work; it needs to be a professional's PC that can also play games. To that end:1. The shape of the case did otherwise say "Engineer," but please lose the window. 2. Make sure the graphics card can handle GPGPU processing. Kepler isn't it.3. Provide for greater data safety, such as with RAID1.4. Not mentioned in the article (so it may have been), but make sure it is quiet.5. No high overclock. Efficiency got short shrift with this build, and I'd be concerned about stability over long days of work.To repeat something I mentioned in a past 2K SBM article, please provide context. Before the build, describe the person who will be using it; be as arbitrary as you like, but please describe the user.[/citation]Thanks jtt283. It starts out as a semi-pro build then goes askew in order to place higher in the value score...[citation][nom]godfather666[/nom]There is a problem with the way these PCs are evaluated.When it comes to productivity tests, faster is always better. Any second shaved off of any application is very welcome and should be included to boost a PC's score.But when it comes to gaming, what is the difference between 120 FPS and 250 FPS? Nothing.So I would either:1. Ditch the low resolutions2. Place an FPS cap. Make it such as any number over 120 FPS is just considered 120 FPS.my two cents....[/citation]You've got a point...[citation][nom]crazypills[/nom]I understand you want to keep comparison tests the same from the last build to this build, but why in holy hell would you make comparison tests from each build different than the other builds done in the same quarter? Ex: This quarter's $1000 system can run 6 Adobe CS5 filters on a 69MB tif in 1:34 seconds. This quarters $2000 system can run 4 Adobe CS5 filters on a 15.7MB tif in 1:07. Which one is better? How does this stuff not bother anyone else? I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS![/citation]Nah, Don ran the same tests and forgot to update his description. Feel free to go to his response thread and SLAM :p[citation][nom]LukeCWM[/nom]My only gripe is the NZXT case. My previous build included one packaged with a PSU. The power switch on the PSU broke the first day. The PSU itself failed within three months. Even though I was careful, four of the expansion card-securing screw holes on the case stripped on the first day. Both case USB ports broke far too quickly, and eventually even the bezel door broke off from a very minor impact, leaving it hanging by the HDD activity light wires. Within months, the LEDs in two fans began to flicker, and within a year, two of the fans were making a grinding noise. Even though I spent $160 on that NZXT case (including PSU), it was complete garbage in terms of quality and I will never purchase that brand again. I encourage others to join my boycott. =]I haven't done a whole heap of research, but I think Antec is the brand people buy again and again. I also hear that Corsair has some great higher-end cases, and that Rosewill is on the up-and-up for competitively priced cases.Overall, great build![/citation]I understand, and now for a confession: I've also had enough issues with NZXT that I view untested products with distrust. But this one was tested, and it won, even though the reviewer distrusted its manufacturer. How much do we love a reviewer that can remain open-minded enough to award an excellent product from a manufacturer he normally views with extreme skepticism?



 

LukeCWM

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]I understand, and now for a confession: I've also had enough issues with NZXT that I view untested products with distrust. But this one was tested, and it won, even though the review distrusted its manufacturer. How's that for setting aside bias and looking at the actual quality of the product?[/citation]

That goes a long way. Bias set aside for the time being. =]
 

LukeCWM

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[citation][nom]PCgamer81[/nom]I realize that the 670 is fairly close to the 680, but if you have $2000, why in the world are you going to use a 670 when you have the same card in the enthusiast build?I still say 670 SLi minimum for anyone with $2000 to spend.If you have $2000 and you end up with less than 680 performance (and preferably 670 SLi performance), than you did NOT spend wisely.That is NOT a balanced machine, people.I spent $2000 on my 6970 crossfire rig almost two years ago, for crying out loud!!! And I guarantee that it will get better benchmarks in virtually every modern game on the market. Now, you can thumb me down until you're blue in the face, but with a $2000 build in August 2012 that should NOT be the case. His build should wipe the floor with mine in every game - but it won't.Epic $2000 fail.[/citation]

The major disconnect is that this isn't a build purely for gaming. This is a build for productivity and gaming, with productivity coming first. If gaming was the only concern, then yes, it would be a fail. But instead, this is a balanced machine for a user who performs many tasks with a variety of needs, including fast storage, lots of slow storage, a Blu-ray drive, and a very capable processor.

If you're concerned with building a gaming monster, consider last quarter's system builder computer, or work off of the $1,000 build but then juice up the graphics significantly.
 

A Bad Day

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]OK then, ignoring the hate and going back to rational response, Sarinaide recommended a PAIR of GTX 670's, a 3570K, a Gigabyte Z77 board and 8GB RAM. But this still needs to be a $2000 PC or else it becomes an "enhancement" of yesterday's $1000 build.I'm going to take a long shot and say, blow the leftover money on quad SLI support. That could lead to even more tests down the road, no?Of course an Ivy Bridge SLI build would still lose under this benchmark set, so it would need to be tested at higher gaming resolutions. Is everyone OK with 5760x1080?[/citation]

If one can afford a dual GPU setup but not a decent monitor(s), then they got their priorities mixed up...
 

PCgamer81

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[citation][nom]LukeCWM[/nom]The major disconnect is that this isn't a build purely for gaming. This is a build for productivity and gaming, with productivity coming first. If gaming was the only concern, then yes, it would be a fail. But instead, this is a balanced machine for a user who performs many tasks with a variety of needs, including fast storage, lots of slow storage, a Blu-ray drive, and a very capable processor.If you're concerned with building a gaming monster, consider last quarter's system builder computer, or work off of the $1,000 build but then juice up the graphics significantly.[/citation]Ah, I see. My mistake.

I had it in my mind that this was built for Tom's gaming benchmarks.

When you spend so much of your life gaming on the PC, it's hard to consider their value outside of their gaming capabilities.

I really don't see why a $2000 machine is needed outside of gaming...No biggie.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]If one can afford a dual GPU setup but not a decent monitor(s), then they got their priorities mixed up...[/citation]I like 2560x1600 displays. But I don't see anyone buying three of those. In fact, if one can't afford to buy a decent monitor, maybe they can afford three mediocre monitors instead :p
 
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