System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $1,600 Alternative PC

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zero2dash

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Yes, that was my point.
Their boards are criminally thin.

I was going to buy an Extreme4 until I saw a side shot of the flex (and that is without any cooler installed whatsoever).
Immediately my choice was switched to a Z77X-UD3H and I'm very happy with that board.

A few years ago I bought X58 Extreme's based off THG's recommendation. A few weeks later, I had a dead board that couldn't handle a minimal OC. While that board was out in RMA land I bought an X58A-UD3R and sold the replacement X58 Extreme when it got to my house.

I won't be buying any more ASRock boards, ever; Asus or Gigabyte only. You get what you pay for.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]flong777[/nom]This build is much higher in quality than the $1000 build. The Corsair PSU and NH-D14 cooler really make it top quality. The mystery is why 1600 RAM was chosen when much faster RAM is available for $75 or less. This would have added 1-3% in overall speed. Not a lot but for the money it would be worth it.[/citation]
[citation][nom]g-unit1111[/nom]The build lists Crucial Ballistix, but the picture D14 installation pictures showed G.Skill Ares being used, am I missing something here?[/citation]Two stoogies in a row? Read much? :p[citation][nom]tourist[/nom]I remember reading a post in a different article warning you about 1.6v ram. This seems to be a trend developing where manufacturers over volt a little to achieve higher results. Question for you crash, any way you can test this with a amd combo I am thinking the amd memory controller is much more forgiving than the intel one but it would be nice to know for sure.[/citation]Done:
[nom]ibjeepr[/nom]I]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-bandwidth-scaling-trinity,3419.html[citation][nom]ibjeepr[/nom]I have a question. So are 2 7870 XT cards worth it or do they fall short when it comes to performance per dollar? Would one GTX 680 or HD 7970 still be a more worth while, long term purchase? Assuming X2 7870 XT's = $480 approx. and I'll just round it to $500.[/citation]Two Tahiti LE's only make financial sense when gaming at resolutions above 1920x1080.
 

SuperVeloce

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[citation][nom]Onus[/nom]Is this system being given away too?I would love to win this one, mostly for those "intangibles." It would be a nice "bigger brother" to the Fractal Design Define Mini I'm using for my other Intel build. For now, I'd pull one of the graphics cards since I only play at 1920x1080, and I might use a smaller cooler, but this is a very nice machine.I remember years ago with all the issues the P35 chipset had with non-standard RAM, I was a loud advocate for standard voltage on RAM. This build reinforces my attitudes on that subject.[/citation]
What? I overclocked ram on many P35 boards (mostly gigabyte and asus) and never had any problems. Most 1066 rams needed 2.2Volts already for stock speed. Overclocked even more.
One system still runs at my home 24/7, 4 dimms, ram overclocked to 1200. But granted, I used Transcend's amazing axeram for that build, 2Volts for stock, 2.2 for 1200 :)
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]SuperVeloce[/nom]What? I overclocked ram on many P35 boards (mostly gigabyte and asus) and never had any problems. Most 1066 rams needed 2.2Volts already for stock speed. Overclocked even more. One system still runs at my home 24/7, 4 dimms, ram overclocked to 1200. But granted, I used Transcend's amazing axeram for that build, 2Volts for stock, 2.2 for 1200[/citation]When Onus mentioned "all the problems" of nonstandard RAM, one name comes to mind: OCZ. It's Gold series was known not to boot at default settings due to poor programming, most motherboard companies were forced to increase default DDR3 voltage from 1.50 to 1.55-1.58 volts, and Asus even added the MemOK button (too late, but same concept). Modules that for example contained DDR3-1066 chips might come with a DDR3-1600 rating (at increased voltage) but DDR3-1333 SPD values. The PURPOSE of SPD was to provide settings that would boot at stock voltage so, OCZ was simply not programing SPD properly.
 

mapesdhs

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loops writes:
> hhhmmm..this makes me think twice about BIG AIR coolers. ...

If you're concerned, and on a budget, just bag used TRUEs (etc.) off eBay, they work great.

The warping issue has me thinking. For one of the previous builds I posted comments
wibbling about the Phanteks PH-TC14PE; I wonder if this is capable of warping boards
aswell? I've no idea, not something I'd thought about (in the past it was only the Thermalright
Venomous-X that made me a bit nervous, given it's variable mounting pressure control).
The Phanteks is certainly a big/heavy cooler, same as the D14 I guess; Crashman, what do
you think? And what other coolers besides these might be a warping risk?


> Overall I like this build. Well done.

I agree! Can't help thinking though that a 2500K would - with a D14 - run at 5GHz easy,
it'd avoid the RAM problems, and be faster overall as a result. Dunno, the more I read
about IB the more I kinda feel like it's almost been a step backwards; first the silly metal
cap material used which gives 20C higher temps, then RAM voltage issues, etc. It'd be
fascinating to know how a 2500K would perform in the same setup, with the oc redone
to match, etc.

Crashman, do you guys replace the metal cap material for any of your reviews that use
IB chips? Or are they always in their default state?


Btw, the memory controllers on SB-E chips are amazing. I recently finished building a 3930K
system for someone for use with After Effects, ended up with the max possible 64GB RAM
running at 2133 CL10 (two GSkill TridentX 4x8GB kits) with the CPU at 4.7 fully stable, and
that was with a pretty loaded system (Quadro 4000 and two GTX 460s for CUDA, etc.) I was
so impressed with the 3930K, I built one for myself aswell. Mbd was an ASUS P9X79 WS.

Ian.

PS. I've observed the 'infectious' bad component nightmare just once. I was oc'ing an i7 860,
stupidly didn't watch the screen for a bit, killed the chip. Tried the chip in a different
board, it killed the board. Thankfully I was able to RMA the board. Lesson learned: I bought
a couple of very cheap H55 boards just for initial chip testing.

 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]mapesdhs[/nom]The Phanteks is certainly a big/heavy cooler, same as the D14 I guess; Crashman, what do you think? And what other coolers besides these might be a warping risk? do you guys replace the metal cap material for any of your reviews that useIB chips? Or are they always in their default state?[/citation]I almost mentioned the Phanteks in one reply but didn't because that would be an assumption. It appears to us the same hardware so its probably a "safe" assumption that it has the same risk. Given that risk, I'd hate to try installing anything without the heat spreader on the chip, and replacing the TIM between the IC and heat spreader sounds like somewhat dangerous PITA that void a warranty that will even cover overclocking...if you buy Intel's $35 overclocking protection plan.
 

mapesdhs

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Crashman writes:
> I almost mentioned the Phanteks in one reply but didn't because that would be an assumption.
> It appears to us the same hardware so its probably a "safe" assumption that it has the same risk.

So far I've only fitted them to S2011 boards, which of course just use the bolt sockets already
fitted to the board (backplate not needed), so not an issue. Haven't tried using one on an 1155
board yet.


> ... Given that risk, I'd hate to try installing anything without the heat spreader on the chip, ...

Note that I absolutely wasn't suggesting that. :D I was referring to the material between
the chip and the cap.


> ... and replacing the TIM between the IC and heat spreader sounds like somewhat dangerous
> PITA that void a warranty that will even cover overclocking...

Dunno if you've seen any of them, but there are loads of clips on YouTube showing how it's done.


> ... if you buy Intel's $35 overclocking protection plan.

Yep, available from Scan here; if I was buying a 3770K, I'd buy the plan and do the TIM mod for sure.
Assuming one doesn't screw it up, the massive drop in temps are well worthwhile, but as you say such
a mod isn't for everyone.

That's why the thought of a 2500K in this build instead intrigues me. Far less heat by default,
higher oc, no RAM voltage probs. Would the higher IPC of IB beat it? Hmm, I kinda think not,
but that's just a hunch.

Ian.


 

ibjeepr

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So if wanted to run for example, Crysis 3 at max at 1920x1080 at as close to 120 MHz as possible, then 1 GTX 680 / HD 7970 for $500 would be the better choice over 2 Tahiti LE's?
 

sarinaide

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The case is a bit excessive for what it gives you, nice but at lower price points you get cases with cable management, adjustable HDD racks, lots of airflow options and WC compatibility. This chassis looks like a Corsair 550D.

I prefer the Z77x UD5H, probably the best Z77 board we have used and its only $9 more.

2x 7870's sounds well and good but a HD7970 GHz edition spares the blushes when games dont CFX scale well and costs less for not much less performance drop off.

SSD's are fantastic but beyond the OS its purpose falls away, they are not good value when it comes to storage and basically are just novalties not really needed. A cheaper OCZ vertex 4 is more than enough.

 

sanilmahambre

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The problem was that giga boad was thicker and they did not want AS rock board to crack while handling such a heavy cooler
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]sarinaide[/nom]It's not so much an alternative build as it is another how much intel we can try squeeze into a months salary.[/citation]LOL, and your solution is? Oh, that's right, you don't have one.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]tourist[/nom][Quote :tourist]Round about way of asking do you think motherboard manufacturers are spiking the ram for stability ?[/citation]I know they are, that's why the BIOS screen shots in Tom's Hardware's motherboard roundups show the actual voltage setting needed to achieve 1.65V. It's usually around 1.635V.
 

SuperVeloce

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[citation][nom]BSMonitor[/nom]For $1600, today, should have 16GB of RAM.....[/citation]

sure! but not for gaming. 8GB is plenty even for multitasking and gaming at the same time
 

dgould

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Could you define what you mean by the terms you used such as "system crashing" and "loss of memory stability"? I recently put together a build featuring a 3570k, an asrock extreme 4, and a relatively big air cooler (the cooler master hyper 212) and I am experiencing increasingly common system freezes where everything just locks up and stops. After reading your article I am wondering if my cooler could also be responsible for this.

Finally, how did you diagnose the problems you were having to the processor and memory controller?
 

ibjeepr

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I'm currently running the system in my sig and it is 100% stable. I OC'd the CPU to only 4.0 the moment and I don't overclock the ram though.
You should be fine as far as the cooloer is concerned.
As far as the SBM system goes I'm guessing the CPU cooler is noticably heavier or attaches tighter than necessary or the cooler wan't the problem.
 

Fulgurant

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Your problem could be any number of things. Might want to start with your OS's error logs.

No one can help you without more information. In any case, you shouldn't assume that your cooler is to blame just because you read an article wherein the author may have had cooler problems.
 
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