System Builder Marathon Q2 2015: $1600 Gaming PC

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Math Geek

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i like that the builds finally contain both ssd and hdd as well as some alternative cooling solutions this time around. nice to see that there are other options for cooling besides the normal suggestions that still do a nice job. that case also seemed like a decent choice though for the money, i'm sure there are better ones you could have gotten.

now cue the corsair psu haters in 3....2.....

edit: i see a lot of different ideas of what "could" have been done with the money, but honestly we all know what these suggested parts can do already. using non-traditional parts in the build gives up numbers on some pieces we may not have tried out before. the numbers may not be overly positive but i learn something from them either way. so maybe take this as a lesson on "what not to do" and move on if you're so inclined. always nice to see stats on machines built with "other" parts at least for the learning opportunity :)
 

balister

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Is there a typo with the price on the gtx 980 or did you pay more for it when you got the components? I'm showing that the price of the system (minus Windows and not counting in shipping) of ~$1295 (a little over $200 shy of the $1600 mark).
 

SylentVyper

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There is a LOT of waste in this build. You can get the same build, with all the same specs, while paying $300 less.

You can get RAM for almost half that price, a good SSD for about half that price, and an SLI-capable motherboard for half that price.
 
Wow they were only getting to 4.2GHz at 1.24v and hitting 89C+ on three of the four cores. That is not good. Not sure if it's a bad chip, but even that mid-range cooler should do way better than that. For comparison with my 4690K on a Noctua NH-D14, in the summer I scale back my overclock and run at 4.3GHz at 1.12v and hit mid-50C even with a 78F indoor A/C setting.
 

WHComp

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You can get an Intel Xeon E3-1231v3 for $7 more on newegg: http://goo.gl/qlzkrA

I am not a gamer but I do build a lot of CAD workstations at work. I do not see why the xeon is not a massive improvement over the i5. It is missing the integrated graphics, but that should not matter for gamers same as it works for my CAD workstations.

I have wondered about this for a long time, someone please explain.
 

Aspiring techie

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Was it possible to mount a case fan on the other side of the Zalman cooler, or did I miss something? If it was, then you could have gotten the temps down by a few degrees in a push-pull configuration.
 

ibmpc

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I expect better gaming PC from you guys
Intel Core i5-4690K $239.00
ASRock Z97 Anniversary 89.99
Team Vulcan 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 $84.99
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB G1 $689.99
NZXT V2 700W $84.99
Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB $52.99
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB $84.99
Noctua NH-D14 $78.49
ASUS DVD-Writer $19.99
Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-03 $59.99
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit $99.99
total: $1586.39 price also from newegg ;)
 

Alpine89

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"By going with a Core i5, I discovered that it's possible to build a great gaming rig for $1600..."

So why didn't you?
 

Crashman

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Check out the photo of his installation and give him some friendly advice :)

Queuing the Final Jepardy music :p


He bought this stuff six weeks ago (different prices), and less than two weeks ago said "Oh, hey, when does the contest start?" :p

This is his first time, I think we can do more to help :)
 

Frozen Fractal

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Although I liked this quarter's other two SBM builds, this one kinda sucked. The reason too is justified.

#1. Why 16GB? If this is supposed to be a gaming build (and even if were for light content creations), 8GB would've been very fine. You could've shoved $75 there

#2. 750W? You know you don't need that, Maxwell 2.0 is VERY power efficient, even at high OCs. Even if you were to go with 550W PSU, you'd still had plenty room to throw enough OC that WF3 cooler can handle, and still be left with CPU OC headroom. Yet, 650W should've sufficed. You could've shoved $50 there.

#3. With the extra $125 savings, you could've invested $75 more on an 240mm AiO cooler (or about $65 for a 120/140mm AiO) and the rest to a better case, or maybe even on a board that supports Wi-Fi or may have gone for few aesthetics.

What I think of this Gaming Build SBM is that, it wasn't so frugal and ofcourse, underwhelming.
 

Frozen Fractal

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In this configuration, the rear fan will not only push out hot air from the PC, but it’s also going to get some of the fresh air meant for the CPU.
Actually, this works, unless you have crappy air flow in the case.
 

Crashman

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I don't think he needed a better cooler, check out his fan orientation in the build photo. Given his cooler fitment problem with the memory fins, I think he could have dropped a few degrees by reversing the rear fan and leaving the top fans as they were.

Oh, never mind that, he could have fixed the fan issue by leaving the case fans in stock orientation and putting the CPU fan on the front of the cooler, if only he had put the memory in the correct slots.

Sorry!
 

synphul

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You can get an Intel Xeon E3-1231v3 for $7 more on newegg: http://goo.gl/qlzkrA

I am not a gamer but I do build a lot of CAD workstations at work. I do not see why the xeon is not a massive improvement over the i5. It is missing the integrated graphics, but that should not matter for gamers same as it works for my CAD workstations.

I have wondered about this for a long time, someone please explain.
If you look at the gaming performance, you can see the improvement of the i5 jumped from 95% to 123% equaling the oc'd 4790k from the q1 $1750 build. If you look at the 4790k compared to the stock i5 you'll notice the 4790k is by default faster and being oc'd even higher again scores better in gaming results. Clock speed matters and the xeon doesn't have it. It's clocked the same as an i5 4590 and is also locked like the 4590.

When oc'd the i5 4690k scored much closer in the rest of the tests to the faster clocked i7 meaning even less difference in actual gains from hyperthreading which is about the only reason to pick a xeon. The overclocks for this particular i5 in this system seem pretty conservative but it have been the luck of the draw with the cpu lottery as well.

The xeon isn't bad, it's about the closest thing to getting a split difference between the non ht enabled i5's and the faster i7's. Its features again fall right in line with its pricing same as every other chip. It's definitely not the end all be all and for gaming if it were, you'd see it benched on all the gaming review sites. Everyone knows it exists, there's a reason it doesn't get mentioned much.

As far as cad work I suppose it depends on the specific jobs and programs used. Cad is a pretty broad label of work. Autocad for instance has very few heavily threaded scenarios and even when there are 15-20+ threads it's already been found that it relies heavily on a just a few fast cores.

The name 'xeon' gets tossed around a lot, but there's a huge difference between the lowly 1231v3 budget xeon and say an e5 2697 running 35mb cache and 14 cores or the new e7 lineup. The main difference between the xeon and i5/i7 for lga 1150 is ecc memory support which very few people actually have a need for. Not to mention the added expense of ecc ram and a proper ecc supported motherboard. Most just slap them into standard lga 1150 mobo's with non ecc ram so pay a premium over the 4590 for hyper threading and lack of igpu. Even though cache goes up from 6mb to 8mb over the i5's it also doubles the threads which means each cpu core gets only 500k more cache to handle twice the thread load.
 

Henk van dommelen

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So the conclusion of the story is.
An OCed 4690k clocked 200 mhz slower then the OCed 4790k, paired with a gtx 980 clocked around 100mhz lower then the gtx 980 that was sitting with that 4790k, can be faster then the higher clocked i7 paired with a higher clocked gtx980 if you use way newer drivers.

And having different drivers makes compairing scores pointless.
 

Frozen Fractal

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Well, it would be a good news for him then, since he gets to have all of his savings on hand. Even after spending on the things I mentioned before, he would've still be left over for something else. That should've been a frugal decision.

But, I really do respect the builder (is he Mr. Julio Urquidi?) for putting up such a build and pouring his hard work on this. Just that, it couldv'e been more frugal and better, in my opinion.
 

Frozen Fractal

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I would ditch this build anyway given this SBM is far better than what you provided. For this, it would be pointless to find faults in it.

But even if I were to, these are what I'd find:

1) i5 4460 + Z87 board = BAD IDEA

2) i5 4460 per se is worse over i5 4590 even if we just wanting non-K Haswell

3) For a CFX platform, H50 is too "filmsy" (note that quote mark) for the CPU

4) H50 itself is pointless for a non-OCable i5 4460

5) Why get two R9 290 for ~$600 when you can have a GTX 980 Ti, Fury X, or R9 295X2 (or even GTX 970 SLI) for that money?

6) If it's about 4K-ready gaming build, CFX makes sense and all those GPUs in my previous point. If it's for nothing more than 1440p, then GTX 980, R9 390X is enough.

7) Seagate Barracuda 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM drive for a PC? That's another BAD IDEA.

If you are hurt by my words, please pardon me. This is how I tend to talk.
 

MonsterCookie

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I understand that by Tom's they need to make an advertisement for new-egg. However, from any half decent website I would STILL expect to see some high-res photos of the products, and especially a PROPER table with the brakedown of prices. Instead, one have to click around like in an idiot video-game, and in fact the price for the GTX 980 is plain WRONG.

Here we wish to get even a GTX 970 under 200 Euros, and you got a GTX 980 for 199 USD? Get out of here!
 
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