System Builder Marathon: The $5,000 Extreme PC

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Onus

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This article was actually useful, in that it illustrated the pointlessness of building such a system. This investment of time will allow THG's editors to forever cite this article as why they don't need to bother doing another $5K build article. Far more useful now will be the analyses of individual components, and the applications for which they are actually suited.
I am very curious though, and I realize it is not going to reflect the general case, but which superior PSU failed due to a defect? I would have thought that someone determined to have the best of everything would have put an Antec Signature in this box.
 

cleeve

Illustrious
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[citation][nom]xx12amanxx[/nom]Nice article!I wish i could own a rig like that,but it would be that or a 383 stroker for the F-body..lol I can dream cant I?[/citation]

Decisions, decisions! I've got a 1970 Satellite 2-door I'm cloning into a roadrunner myself. :)
 

Crashman

Polypheme
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[citation][nom]rubix_1011[/nom]Would have been better off (performance-wise) to go with the Swiftech 220 kit to start with...you wouldn't need to upgrade the CPU block, you get a better pump and you could use the dual radiator along with the additional 320 to watercool the GPU's by adding them to the loop. If you are going 'extreme' this isn't that much more above your budget and you would get far more cooling performance.[/citation]

Standard Swiftech kit doesn't fit LGA1366. Apex GT kit has a separate pump and reservior that requires drilling the case, which can't be done with a case that's being returned, plus a water block upgrade since the kit is LGA775.
 
G

Guest

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[citation][nom]gim159[/nom]¿ "Intel is the fastest" ? Amd 2.0 is a 4.0 in the intel world...[/citation]

If we were talking AMD CPUs vs. Intel's P4 CPUs you would be somewhat correct.

As it turns out you couldn't be more wrong. With AMD X2 or X4 vs Intel Core 2 or Core i7, 2.0 = 2.0...
 

chovav

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Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for this article. Even though some people criticize the necessity of a 5,000$ build, I believe it is actually a good one. It shows you what actual benefit it gives choosing such expensive components. I thing this budget is also right as seen as any sane person (=limited amount of budget) will spend far less money than this.. Which means they can refer to your other systems. This is all about a dream machine.

I'm especially pleased to see that you proved the fact that a faster rated processor can achieve a lower overclock than a slower rated processor.

Also nice was to see which parts you chose for the water-cooling, as seen as that was out of the budget in the cheaper systems.

So, ignore the lazy, pointless and defiantly useless negative feedback some people are giving you, especially after the amount of time you guys spend on purchasing parts, overclocking and writing these articles.

Keep up the good work!

One of your daily Dutch readers.
 

sublifer

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"Actually, since RAID means redundant array of independent disks, a non-redundant Level 0 mode can’t logically be called RAID"

Haven't finished reading but wanted to comment on this...

They've already changed the meaning of RAID from Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks to Independant and RAID 0 has been called RAID forever so lets just change the meaning again... maybe Ridiculous Array of Independant Disks that way everything fits logically if you consider ridiculous to be logical... grrr.. oxymorons :)
 

billiardicus

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Haha, fun read. But I guess I can't think outside the bang/buck box. I mean...what a total waste of money. Wasted $750 on the 965, another $800 on the ssd's, I could easily shave $2k off this build and have a system that will run neck/neck with it.
 

jadedgamerx

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I'm actually very pleased with the article, they covered a lot of questions that I had been pondering in my head over the last month. It might not be the best system out there but who the hell in the mainstream world has five grand to blow on a system anyway? I work 8-5 every single day and have bills. If I spend more than 1500 on a system that is screwing up my budget pretty significantly. I love seeing these builds because it shows that spending that kind of money is completely unnecessary as I can achieve 80% of the performance for 30% of the money, just the way I like it.
 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
Exactly, Jaded.
I was not being sarcastic in my earlier comment; this article WAS useful. Along with the forthcoming article on value, I hope it will lay to rest certain questions about spending this kind of money. It also opens up some good questions for future articles. If you add $500 to an existing system, what will provide the most benefit? Additional GPU? Water cooling? RAM?
For example, suppose THG started with the existing $625 machine. What's the best, most cost-effective way to improve it (with an additional $xxx)? The forum is full of upgrade threads, and some articles along those lines would be very useful, likely including benchmarks and other hard numbers.
 

fpsgamingsa

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Very nice job. It just doesn't seem like you get that much more out of water cooling. The 383 you refer to if it is an LT1 then I can relate. Just sold a Firehawk with 383 stroker in it. And this:

383 strokers are for copycats. Basically, too many bad 400 blocks and people found a cheap way to re-use the cranks to make their 350's bigger. If you have THIS kind of money, you'd might as well go BIG BORE too. Maybe a bowtie block? At any rate, you'll win more races with a real 400 (or larger custom size) so long as the block is good.

Is true if you are wanting a classic small block Chevy. Get the bowtie block.
 

gim159

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today, it is kind of unfair to try and stack a(n) AMD and Intel side by side... Its true, Intel chips are faster, but for the higher end chips you'll have to spend a outrageous amount to get your hands on one..

Meanwhile AMD went the way of the consumer and built sturdy cores, but at VERY low cost. True AMD might still beat the pants off of Intel, though I doubt it. Intel are and have been for servers in my book, and AMD are for Econo/gaming rigs... Almost no one runs a server with an AMD. And no one in their right mind runs a high end server with an AMD, you just don't do it!
 

jadedgamerx

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[citation][nom]gim159[/nom]today, it is kind of unfair to try and stack a(n) AMD and Intel side by side... Its true, Intel chips are faster, but for the higher end chips you'll have to spend a outrageous amount to get your hands on one.. Meanwhile AMD went the way of the consumer and built sturdy cores, but at VERY low cost. True AMD might still beat the pants off of Intel, though I doubt it. Intel are and have been for servers in my book, and AMD are for Econo/gaming rigs... Almost no one runs a server with an AMD. And no one in their right mind runs a high end server with an AMD, you just don't do it![/citation]

Have you been living under a rock for the past 3 years? Seriously?!? I have built a TON of AMD opteron based server/blade systems and have been building a LOT of Intel based gaming rigs ever since the Core2 architecture hit the market. Even the Pentium D 805s were good performers albeit very very hot. Time to catch up with the times sir. Both chip makers see a fairly good amount of market share from all over the board. Some of the fastest supercomputers in the world are also utilizing Opteron/CELL setups. AMD tends to hold down the performance per watt in the server sector pretty well.

[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]Exactly, Jaded. I was not being sarcastic in my earlier comment; this article WAS useful. Along with the forthcoming article on value, I hope it will lay to rest certain questions about spending this kind of money. It also opens up some good questions for future articles. If you add $500 to an existing system, what will provide the most benefit? Additional GPU? Water cooling? RAM? For example, suppose THG started with the existing $625 machine. What's the best, most cost-effective way to improve it (with an additional $xxx)? The forum is full of upgrade threads, and some articles along those lines would be very useful, likely including benchmarks and other hard numbers.[/citation]

I think in those kinds of scenario's you will always see a GPU ran out of power or CPU ran out of power depending on what you start with. THG has actually covered that quite a few times with their TRI-SLI / QUAD-CrossFireX tests. Generally you start at X, and you either run out of general computing horsepower or visual horsepower and it can be predicted only if you have some practical knowledge and experience with the hardware. Or if you just sit and read THG all day like me :)
 

bounty

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An interesting thought is that they spent about 800$ in graphics cards on the 2500$ December PC and were still about 200$ under budget. I don't think the 295's existed at the time, but if they were to build that 2500$ machine now v.s. the 5000$ machine it would be funny to see almost zero gain for double price in games.
 

Onus

Titan
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[citation][nom]jadedgamerx[/nom]...
I think in those kinds of scenario's you will always see a GPU ran out of power or CPU ran out of power depending on what you start with. THG has actually covered that quite a few times with their TRI-SLI / QUAD-CrossFireX tests. Generally you start at X, and you either run out of general computing horsepower or visual horsepower and it can be predicted only if you have some practical knowledge and experience with the hardware. Or if you just sit and read THG all day like me[/citation]

True enough, but maybe the answer is that some of that money should be spread around. E.g. add a GPU, but then also toss a better cooler onto the Northbridge so a CPU/RAM OC can keep up.
 

jadedgamerx

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]True enough, but maybe the answer is that some of that money should be spread around. E.g. add a GPU, but then also toss a better cooler onto the Northbridge so a CPU/RAM OC can keep up.[/citation]

Your example is great, another possibility would be in AMD cases going from X2 or 1st gen Phenom's to the Phenom II
 

RJ

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$5K Enthusiast Build? Fine....where's the Killer NIC network card? Where's the test results on how SSD's will get you into an online game faster than SATA II or SAS drives? Why watercool a system that has a ceiling for overvolting, and can get to the same point with a good air-cooled HSF? Where's the regular DVD burner for $20 to spin the game disc, instead of wearing out an expensive Blu-ray for no apparent good reason? I think you guys may have missed the boat on some critical gaming criteria. As I suggested on the $1.25K build...where's the bargain shopping? Unless your rich uncle died or you bought a winning lottery ticket, it's hard for most of us to just come up with 5 grand to lay down on building some over-the-top PC immediately. I can find some decent combo deals at Fry's, it's a matter of having the patience in shopping and collecting the parts to SOMEDAY assemble a really nice PC. In today economy, you can certainly steer your readers in a more responsible and effective way to build a killer system....and it would most likely fall well below your $5K ceiling.
 

ulukai

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What a great article! This is why I check this site day by day! In fact two years ago I built my system based on the high-end extreme PC you guys put together at that time. I would argue with some of the comments before me, articles on these extreme PCs are very-very useful and good for a lot of your readers! Please defenitely keep writing them, even more often! LOL.

Thank You!
 

jadedgamerx

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RJ - you make some good points, but this is all about a dream system. It's not meant to be something the every day user could build, it's information and comparison. What happens when you throw 5 grand at something, do you hit a performance ceiling? They answer that question for us so we don't have to question it and become obsessed and figure it out at our own expense. Obviously most people are going to put a lot less money into their system, and most people will have a regular DVD-RW combo drive for their daily tasks that don't involve blu-ray. Regarding the Killer NIC card, granted it has it's purpose, it's not a necessity, and there is no public outcry for them to bring it into the comparisons.
 

cruiseoveride

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[citation][nom]xx12amanxx[/nom]Nice article!I wish i could own a rig like that,but it would be that or a 383 stroker for the F-body..lol I can dream cant I?[/citation]

Exactly. With $5k I can restore a classic. And unlike a computer that will loose its value, most classic cars only gain value.
 
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