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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Alaric_ on Today at 12:12:36 AM »
Thank you very much for your input on this build: It was amazing.  Here is the final build that was ordered today.

ComponentProductPrice
CPUIntel Core i7-8086K
424.99
MotherboardAsus ROG Maximus X Formula
343.32
Video Card PCIe_1EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid
950.38
Video Card PCIe_2EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Elite
939.99
MemoryCorsair 4x8GB Vengeance RGB DDR4-3466
427.51
Solid-State Drive OS970 Pro 512GB
229.99
Solid-State Drive Data970 Evo 2TB
797.99
Optical DriveLG 16x Blu-Ray drive
55.89
CasePhanteks Enthoo Luxe
149.99
Power SupplySeasonic Focus Plus Gold SSR-1000FX
149.81
CPU CoolerThermaltake Floe 280
148.74
RGB AdapterPhanteks RGB LED 4 Pin Adapter
3.24
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro | USB Flash Drive
199
Blu-Ray SupportCyberlink PowerDVD 18 Ultra
99.95


Here is hoping assembly goes smooth and easy.   :)
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on June 17, 2018, 10:11:40 PM »
I forgot the optical drive.  Are there any you would suggest that does both DVD and Blu-Ray?

My concern about the new liquid cooler is will I have enough case space to mount it or is the motherboard going to get in the way?  (Found the answer, if I read it right, the case clearance is 65mm and the water block is 27mm, so I should be good)

I like the aesthetic of the Maximus Formula so I will stick with it and get the new cooler (If it should fit in the case).

As for the Windows version I have installed "Home" versions of previous iterations and the arbitrary limitations they place leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Plus, at this point it's only an extra $80 dollars so in for a dollar in for a dime.

LG makes the best optical drives at this point. You can go for the LG 16x Blu-Ray drive. Remember, for Blu-Ray movie playback, you need additional software. I recommend Cyberlink PowerDVD 18 Ultra. Supports all formats, has a lot of extra features as well.

And yes, the larger 280mm cooler will fit in the Phanteks case, which as you'll see is definitely spacious. One thing I will note about the case is that to get its external lighting to sync with the motherboard's internal lighting, you need this 4-pin adapter. Otherwise, you'd just have 10 colors available by pressing an external button. You'll still need to separately control the Thermaltake cooler's RGB lighting, but its included controls are a lot more advanced.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Alaric_ on June 17, 2018, 09:12:14 PM »
I forgot the optical drive.  Are there any you would suggest that does both DVD and Blu-Ray?

My concern about the new liquid cooler is will I have enough case space to mount it or is the motherboard going to get in the way?  (Found the answer, if I read it right, the case clearance is 65mm and the water block is 27mm, so I should be good)

I like the aesthetic of the Maximus Formula so I will stick with it and get the new cooler (If it should fit in the case).

As for the Windows version I have installed "Home" versions of previous iterations and the arbitrary limitations they place leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Plus, at this point it's only an extra $80 dollars so in for a dollar in for a dime.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on June 17, 2018, 08:36:12 PM »
That looks great. The only other option I'll throw out there is to jump up to a 280mm liquid cooler, specifically the Thermaltake Floe 280. It has some added "bling" thanks to the RGBs on the cooling block, and due to its larger fans (140mm versus 120mm), it's actually both more powerful and quieter. The 240mm cooler in your parts list is more than sufficient in terms of cooling capacity, so this would just be a noise and aesthetic upgrade.

If I were to choose where to spend a little extra money, I'd do that over spending it on the Maximus Formula costs over the Maximus Code.

Also, you may not need the extra features of Windows 10 Pro - for gaming purposes, Windows 10 Home is just as good. Pro offers Bitlocker encryption and managed systems control (for uses in office workgroups), but for gaming use, neither feature offers any benefit.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Alaric_ on June 17, 2018, 07:57:10 PM »
So here is the final build.  Any comments on this before I pull the trigger on the purchase?

ComponentProductPrice
CPUIntel Core i7-8086K
424.99
Motherboard Asus ROG Maximus X Formula
343.32
Video Card PCIe_1EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid
950.38
Video Card PCIe_2EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Elite
939.99
MemoryCorsair 4x8GB Vengeance RGB DDR4-3466
428.75
Solid-State Drive OS970 Pro 512GB
229.99
Solid-State Drive Data970 Evo 2TB
797.99
CasePhanteks Enthoo Luxe
149.99
Power SupplySeasonic Focus Plus Gold SSR-1000FX
149.81
CPU CoolerThermaltake WATER 3.0 Riing RGB 240
113.51
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro | USB Flash Drive
202.52
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on June 17, 2018, 06:27:38 PM »
Okay, so 32GB RAM and better equipment.  I looked up your equipment recommendations and they are rock solid.

After more research, I am wondering if my like of the Intel/Asus pairing on the CPU/Motherboard combo is dated and no longer wholly valid.  The benchmarks of the ASUS ROG Maximus X Formula were not stellar unless the build was overclocked.  Do you have a CPU/MB combo you like better or should I get more comfy with overclocking?

If staying with the Asus ROG Maximus X Formula, how should I use the water cooling on the VRM area should I add it to a cooling loop or leave it passive?  If passive does that mean with liquid in it or dry?

I wouldn't worry too much about motherboard benchmarks. In reality, today's motherboards all "perform" the same. What you get for your money is extra features, better build quality, and enhanced aesthetics. That the Asus ROG Maximus X Formula definitely gives you. And by the way, while it may also give you better overclocking, that actually has a lot more to do with the particular CPU you get. If you're interested in overclocking (which you initially said you were not), then you should get the limited edition Intel Core i7-8086K, which was released last week. Only 50,000 will be made. It operates at basically the same speed out of the box as the Core i7-8700K (despite a higher "base clock", which is sort of irrelevant). But what it gives you is much better (read: guaranteed) overclocking.

Pair that with the somewhat cheaper Asus ROG Maximus Code S, and you'll have a faster system for the same price. I had suggested the Formula as it was in the same price range as the board used for the $5,000 AMD Threadripper build that you were looking at, not necessarily because I thought it was the only good choice. The VRM cooling on the Formula is really only necessary if you're doing extreme phase-change overclocking (i.e., liquid nitrogen or something to that effect). I don't cover that kind of overclocking on this site, so I couldn't tell you anything about it. But my guess is that it's not for you! ;)

With that said, I do like Asus at the high-end, as it has the best UEFI interface, as well as the best RGB lighting system. I'm using the top-end Asus X470 Crosshair Ryzen board for the system I'm typing on, and I've had nothing but a fantastic experience with it.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Alaric_ on June 17, 2018, 01:46:54 PM »
Okay, so 32GB RAM and better equipment.  I looked up your equipment recommendations and they are rock solid.

After more research, I am wondering if my like of the Intel/Asus pairing on the CPU/Motherboard combo is dated and no longer wholly valid.  The benchmarks of the ASUS ROG Maximus X Formula were not stellar unless the build was overclocked.  Do you have a CPU/MB combo you like better or should I get more comfy with overclocking?

If staying with the Asus ROG Maximus X Formula, how should I use the water cooling on the VRM area should I add it to a cooling loop or leave it passive?  If passive does that mean with liquid in it or dry?
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on June 17, 2018, 08:45:36 AM »
Happy to help!

So here are my thoughts on RAM: 64GB is not going to help in gaming today. In fact, based on my tests, neither is 32GB, but 16GB is pretty important today, which is why I suggest all ultra-high-end gaming builds go with 32GB. It's good future-proofing at a reasonable cost. If I were you, I wouldn't double that to 64GB, and instead I'd spend that money on some other components, as follows:

(1) First, upgrade the secondary SSD, so for example, I'd jump up to the 970 EVO 2TB from the 860 Evo
(2) Second, I'd seriously suggest switching one of the 1080 Ti cards to liquid cooling, which is what TBG uses for its 1080 Ti bench. This is how I'd set it up:

Top card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid

Bottom card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Elite

Here's the reason: in an SLI setup using air-cooled cards, the top card runs about 10C hotter just due to the exhaust from the lower card. It will thus run a bit slower. By going with liquid, you are absolutely going to maximize speed. The lower card doesn't need liquid for two reasons: it will never get hot enough to throttle speeds, and furthermore it's hard to physically install two liquid-cooled cards plus a liquid-cooled CPU in most cases. There just isn't enough radiator space. And by the way, the two cards listed above are matched otherwise in terms of clock speeds, the only difference being the cooler.

As for cases, you are definitely going to find that today's flashier cases do not have space for optical drives. They're going for a more streamlined look, and that means no external bays. The Phanteks Enthoo Luxe is an amazing-looking case that just so happens to have plenty of external bays, and is pretty unique at this point. If you want a more gamer-oriented look, you can go for its less expensive cousin, the Enthoo Pro TG RGB. It trades the real aluminum front panel for a plastic meshed panel with RGB fans, along with a cool while steel interior.

Finally, as for audio, no, you don't have to worry about CPU cycles used by onboard sound. It's not going to have any effect on the system.
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Alaric_ on June 17, 2018, 08:14:22 AM »
Wow that was super fast.  Thank you very much for your input!

I do realize that right now the system is truly overkill.  But I am building for future games.  It used to be there were RPG games and First Person Shooter games - now with games like Skyrim / Fallout they were merged into a hybrid.  When Fallout added settlement building to Fallout 4 it opened the door to a new hybrid: RPG/FPS/4x.  I see that as a definite possibility on the horizon and its going to take a beast to run something like that on ultra settings.  I aim to build that beast.  :)

(1) The Asus Motherboard.  That just seems like kismet to me - Asus and Intel are actually my favorite combo.  I have had great results from them in the past.  Thank you for the suggestion.

(2) SLI bridge - check.

(3) 64GB of RAM.  My current rig was built 7+ years ago and I chose not to max out my RAM then.  7 years on and I can say I didn't need the RAM then but it would have been nice now.  My goal with the 64GB is more future speculating.  Given that thought, do you still think my purchase of 64GB is unwise?

(4) Thank you for the suggestion of the 860 Evo.  I'm still thinking old fashioned and was planning on going with a disk.  I looked up your suggestion and found it was more than twice the speed of what I was looking at.

(5) It looks like a nice case.  The Phanteks may be not as flashy as the Seasonic, but I don't have to give up my optical drive habit.

So thank you again for all your help.  A question on building.  It used to be that when building you would avoid using the onboard offerings like sound to save cycles on the processor.  Does that still hold true?  Is it still better to slot in a sound card to save cycles on the CPU?
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The Premium/Extreme Gaming PC Builds / Re: Tweaks to the $3500 Build
« Last post by Ari Altman on June 16, 2018, 09:24:42 PM »
Welcome to the Forum, Alaric_!

Sounds like you want to build a seriously high-end build. Now, to be clear, the parts you're mentioning probably are a little overkill for Skyrim/Fallout, although maybe they'll be more critical for the Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout 76.

So with that said, here are the parts you should go with:
(1) Motherboard: if you want the deluxe Z370 experience, go with the Asus ROG Maximus X Formula. It has all the bells and whistles. Onboard 802.11ac wireless, 10 USB ports, PCB armor, and even an onboard OLED display.

(2) The HB SLI bridge comes with the motherboard. No need to buy one.

(3) RAM: 64GB really isn't going to help much for gaming, but if that's what you want, simply go for the 4x16GB version of the Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3466 kit.

(4) SSDs: go for the 970 Pro 512GB for the OS and the 860 Evo 2TB for games.  No need to spend another $250 to get a PCIe drive like the 970 Evo 2TB just for games. Your system will get its speed from the 970 Pro running your OS.

(5) Case: you are correct that there is no space for an optical drive. Your best option is to go with the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe. Truly great case, also happens to be on sale right now for $150 (usually $180).
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