Author Topic: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine  (Read 8513 times)

TekHed

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Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« on: February 17, 2017, 09:54:49 PM »
Hello all, first time poster.

I've been out of PC gaming for...a long time, and I finally have the means to build a monster rig, and have some questions and could use some advice. For starters, is it possible to build this dream machine into a small form factor? I saw the SFF ITX gaming rig for $2k, but I definitely want two Titan X in SLI to play 4k at 60 fps in HDR on a 65" OLED tv.

Second question...how does the dream machine compare to the $3,500 ultimate gaming build if I just swapped out the 1080s in that build for the Titan X's?

Last question...at the moment I am holding out for the 2017 tvs to come out, and also for Nvidia to finally announce the long rumored 1080 ti...but I keep hearing that the ti will still be less powerful than the Titan x...and that something even better than either of those will release before the end of this year. Would it be better to hold out for the ti, or just get the Titan Xs, all things considered?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 10:59:26 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 01:57:55 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, TekHed!

As to your questions, here are some answers:

1) Small form factor with dual Titans: no, can't do it. You can do a single Titan, but dual cards won't work in ITX systems, and even in a micro ATX case, they'd physically fit but would run terribly. The top card would be in a constant state of overheating. Note that for 4K 60fps, a single Titan X Pascal is actually enough in most circumstances, so keep that in mind when determining what you actually need in your PC. TBG will soon publish a step by step assembly guide and performance evaluation of an SFF system using a Titan X Pascal, so keep an eye out for that.

2) $3500 vs Supreme Dream Machine: there are a lot of differences between these two systems besides graphics cards, but if all you want to do is maximize gaming performance, yes, you can just drop dual Titans in.  They'll work fine in that build. In very few circumstances would the Supreme Dream Machine be significantly faster for gaming.

3) 1080 Ti: this GPU is coming next month, and it will definitely be slower than the Titan X. The only advantage it will have is a lower price and the option for custom coolers. They will be quieter, and in the right conditions, they could allow a 1080 Ti to outperform a Titan due to reduced throttling. This will be when heavily overclocked with high ambient temperatures and extreme case airflow.

Hope that all helps you in your decision making!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 08:21:18 AM by Ari Altman »

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 10:56:06 AM »
Thank you!

More questions...

1. Regarding case, is the dream machine case significantly better than the $3,500 build case? More optimized for gaming (my primary use for the new PC, aside from the basic browsing, word processing, and media watching), or is it just an aesthetics consideration? What makes the dream machine case the dream case?

2. In what circumstances would those be? Do the extra cores in the dream machine really help?

3. With either of these machines, are they going to be super loud, or are they able to be made quiet? I do want to go the liquid cooled route.

Mainly, I was thinking 2 Titan Xs, to be somewhat future proofed for a couple years, and to know that I can do everything at ultra without worry in 4k/HDR. As price is no obstacle, is there any reaso *not* to get two Titan Xs?

Thanks again!

Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 10:30:33 PM »
Thank you!

More questions...

1. Regarding case, is the dream machine case significantly better than the $3,500 build case? More optimized for gaming (my primary use for the new PC, aside from the basic browsing, word processing, and media watching), or is it just an aesthetics consideration? What makes the dream machine case the dream case?

2. In what circumstances would those be? Do the extra cores in the dream machine really help?

3. With either of these machines, are they going to be super loud, or are they able to be made quiet? I do want to go the liquid cooled route.

Mainly, I was thinking 2 Titan Xs, to be somewhat future proofed for a couple years, and to know that I can do everything at ultra without worry in 4k/HDR. As price is no obstacle, is there any reaso *not* to get two Titan Xs?

Thanks again!

1. the Dream Machine case isn't necessarily going to provide higher performance, but it offers much better aesthetics and materials. It's a beautiful case, rather than just a functional case.

2. there are a few select games where the 10-core Core i7-6950X will allow it to perform faster than a six-core Core i7-6850K. But honestly, if you're not cost constrained but your only purpose is gaming, I'd suggest you split the difference and get the Core i7-6900K. I don't believe any games today actually use more than 8 cores, which is what the 6900K offers.

3. These systems will be relatively quiet. The cooler on the Supreme Dream Machine is a semi-custom model, and will run more quietly than the Corsair Hydro cooler in the $3,500 build.

There is no reason not to get dual Titan X cards today other than cost, although in a month or so, we'll finally have the GTX 1080 Ti, which may offer nearly the same performance for a lot less money, plus quieter coolers.

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 08:32:37 AM »
Well now...looks like the 1080ti outdoes the Titan X...can we expect revisions for all the builds? TIs in SLI sounds so sweet now, and for $1000 less...

Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 09:24:09 AM »
Well now...looks like the 1080ti outdoes the Titan X...can we expect revisions for all the builds? TIs in SLI sounds so sweet now, and for $1000 less...

Yes, there are going to be some major changes to TBG's high-end builds for March. The AMD Ryzen CPU has already been added to a few builds, and will likely be added to a few more, and the 1080 Ti will replace the 1080 in a number of builds. I think the Supreme Dream Machine's going to stick with the Titan, because in the end, the Titan is actually a faster card once overclocked, and it has more VRAM. But in everything below the Dream Machine, yes, it's going to be the 1080 Ti where budget allows, or perhaps the 1080 where a 1070 used to be recommended.

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 09:35:40 AM »
I was reading that that the ti is faster before overclocking it, and that even though it has a gb less vram, it can access it faster...is that not true?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 09:48:24 AM by TekHed »

Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 10:46:14 AM »
I was reading that that the ti is faster before overclocking it, and that even though it has a gb less vram, it can access it faster...is that not true?

Here are the key specs for the 1080 Ti vs. the Titan:

CUDA Cores: 3584 for both
ROPs: 88 vs 96
Boost Clock: 1582MHz vs 1531MHz
VRAM: 11GB vs 12GB
VRAM Frequency: 11Gbps vs 10GBps
Memory Bus: 352bit vs 384bit
Memory Bandwidth: 484GB/s vs 480GB/s

So what does this all add up to? There are just two specs that differ significantly: the 1080 Ti is down 8 ROPs and is up 50MHz in clock speed. But this is why the claim that it's faster than the Titan is mumbo jumbo. Those ROPs, which perform the backend rendering (or rasterization into actual images for display) cannot be made up for with clock speed alone. Furthermore, all Pascal GPUs will hit the same overclocked core speed on average: around 2050Mhz. So the 50MHz boost that Nvidia gave the 1080 Ti is completely arbitrary. It could have picked anything from 1500MHz to 1650Mhz. Note that memory bandwidth is the same, despite the different frequency and bus, and both can be overclocked similarly.

All told, when overclocked to the limit, the Titan will be about 3-5% faster and have 1GB of extra VRAM. Worth a $500 premium? Only if you want the best!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:28:30 AM by Ari Altman »

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 11:05:17 AM »
Hm. Thanks!

Of course this makes me think the Titans are going to get leapfrogged later this year...

TekHed

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Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 11:42:55 AM »
So this is baloney?

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-gtx-1080-ti-finally-revealed

Yes. If you're an outlet that just quotes Nvidia press releases and reference specs, sure, it's technically true, but people don't buy $1,200 cards and run them at stock speeds. The Titan X Pascal has massive overclocking potential, and with the 1080 Ti, Nvidia has simply tapped used up some of that potential to make it a bit faster out of the box. But for enthusiasts, that kind of hocus pocus, which makes for nice press releases, can be ignored. The Titan is still a better card, but the 1080 Ti is clearly the better deal.

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 11:54:22 AM »
You are the man!

I can afford 2 Titans, but might go with 2 TIs, because that still seems plenty...

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 07:25:37 PM »
What are the cons of SLI...I keep hearing in other forums that it can be sketchy, and that some games don't support it. Is there any significant reason to not run two gpus?

Thanks again for such a great site!

Ari Altman

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2017, 08:28:24 PM »
What are the cons of SLI...I keep hearing in other forums that it can be sketchy, and that some games don't support it. Is there any significant reason to not run two gpus?

Thanks again for such a great site!

It's true that some games don't support SLI, but that does not mean SLI doesn't work and isn't worth using. For a thorough answer to your question, covering both pros and cons, check out TBG's 4K Gaming Showdown.

TekHed

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Re: Building a Supreme Dream HTPC Machine
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2017, 09:06:27 PM »
Forgive me for asking so many noob questions...I have been looking forward to playing Doom on PC...if I have an SLI setup, is it possible to just turn off one of the cards in the settings, or would I have to physically remove one of them before playing?