Author Topic: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build  (Read 41971 times)

Ari Altman

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The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« on: August 24, 2014, 12:16:31 PM »
Here's the thread to post comments or questions on TBG's $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 03:16:51 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 11:22:59 AM »
We recently received a great question from a reader regarding the CPU choice for this build, and thought we'd pass along our response.

Here's the original question:

"I am looking at the $3,500 build and was wondering why you guys suggest the
5930k. From many other places I read on the internet, many people suggest
that the 4970k is the ultimate for gaming and the 6-core CPU is unnecessary,
especially at $200 more. Just FYI, I will be running it with 295x2 or possibly 970 SLI.
"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's our response:

"Great question about the Core i7-5930K. There are two reasons it's superior to the Core i7-4790K for an ultra-high-end gaming PC. First of all, it has 40 PCIe lanes, rather than 16, meaning it can provide full-speed access (16x) to two video cards, rather than splitting those lanes between the two cards. This doesn't matter for midrange cards, but for cards with the power of the 970, it does matter, and matters even more with higher-end cards. And it's the only chip that can provide sufficient PCIe bandwidth for triple-card setups.

Second, the 5930K uses the exact same Haswell core technology as the 4790K, meaning at the same clock speed, each core can do the exact same amount of work. But with the 5930K having two more cores, it's far more future-proof. New games are beginning to tap more than four cores, which means the 4790K will run out of cores a lot faster than the 5930K.

The reason people might favor the 4790K is that it comes with a higher core clock out of the box (4GHz rather than 3.5GHz), and can be overclocked to 4.5-4.7GHz, rather than 4.3-4.5GHz. For older games, the 4790K will be just slightly faster because of that. For newer games, it will almost always be slower, especially versus an overclocked 5930K.

You might also consider the Core i7-5820K if you go with the R9 295X2, because the 5820K has 28 PCIe lanes, enough to provide 16x to a single card, which is all the 295X2 needs. Check out the $2,500 Build on The Tech Buyer's Guru for more info on that chip and what to pair it with.

Also, the GTX 970 SLI solution really isn't a good one at this point, given recent news that the card only has 3.5GB of full-speed VRAM. Games that will need that much power will also need closer to 4GB of VRAM. If you want to go Nvidia, picking up two GTX 980s for SLI is really the only option, but the 295 X2 is a much, much better deal, given that it performs within a few percentage points of a 980 SLI setup."

builder31

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 10:08:16 AM »
Hi,

I'm speccing out a new gaming machine (with a side of Linux-based work) inspired by the $2000, $2500, and $3500 build guides. My current list looks a lot like the $3500 guide, with a few tweaks:
1) Replace the R9 295 with two of the GTX 980 from the $2000 build -- I've just had enough bad experiences making ATI/AMD cards work well with Linux that I'm willing to pay a bit more to avoid that. I'm also hoping that two GTX 980 will be less power hungry, hence easier to cool, hence more reliable/consistent.
2) Considering the ASUS ATX DDR4 3000 (O.C.) Motherboard X99-DELUXE instead of the PRO, mostly because your February guide convinced me. I need to do more research on the differences.
3) Leaving out hard drives, SSD, disk writer, and sound card -- I already have an SSD and an HDD from an old box I want to put in, and can always add the rest later.
4) I'm also considering just getting one GTX 980 now, and then picking up a second for SLI down the road when prices have come down. My current monitor is 1080p at 60hz so I'm not sure the second is even necessary now. (I'm holding out for the rumored ASUS XB270HU 144Hz G-Sync IPS display to replace my monitor, but don't plan to move to 4k any time soon)

Total cost ~$2766 but I'm cheating a little by BYO HDD and already having a Windows license:-)

So my questions:
1) Would you agree that the two GTX 980 will provide roughly comparable performance to the R9 295 graphics wise, but provide cooler, more consistent performance? I'm willing to pay a bit more to avoid dealing with Catalyst on Linux, but I'm not 100% sold on $400 more.
2) In general, what can you tell me about noise level and power usage as compared to the $2500 and $2000 builds?
3) Do you worry at all about liquid cooling leaking? I've never used one before and am a little bit nervous to do a build with one, but there's really no other way to cool a machine like this.
4) Any comments/drawbacks to getting one GPU now and one later? I did this with my last build from 2009 in 2012 for Skyrim and it really breathed new life into the machine.
5) Is this going to be crazy difficult to build? It's not my first time but I'm far from an expert, and you mention on the $2000 vs $2500 that the $2000 is easier to build, presumably due to lacking liquid cooling?
Any advice appreciated! I know my tweaks lower bang-for-the-buck as compared to the guides, but I'm wondering if there are other drawbacks I'm not aware of that are likely -- power/cooling issues, things not fitting, etc. I may do some light overclocking, but I generally tend to be fairly conservative there since it's so rarely CPU that limits games -- even Dwarf Fortress is typically RAM latency limited, not CPU.

Thanks so much for putting together this site! It's incredibly difficult to stay on top of the state of the art in PC gaming, and sites like this are really helpful for providing a starting point. I'll definitely add a page to the gallery once I make my final decision and get everything built!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 01:02:39 PM »
Hi,

I'm speccing out a new gaming machine (with a side of Linux-based work) inspired by the $2000, $2500, and $3500 build guides. My current list looks a lot like the $3500 guide, with a few tweaks:
1) Replace the R9 295 with two of the GTX 980 from the $2000 build -- I've just had enough bad experiences making ATI/AMD cards work well with Linux that I'm willing to pay a bit more to avoid that. I'm also hoping that two GTX 980 will be less power hungry, hence easier to cool, hence more reliable/consistent.
2) Considering the ASUS ATX DDR4 3000 (O.C.) Motherboard X99-DELUXE instead of the PRO, mostly because your February guide convinced me. I need to do more research on the differences.
3) Leaving out hard drives, SSD, disk writer, and sound card -- I already have an SSD and an HDD from an old box I want to put in, and can always add the rest later.
4) I'm also considering just getting one GTX 980 now, and then picking up a second for SLI down the road when prices have come down. My current monitor is 1080p at 60hz so I'm not sure the second is even necessary now. (I'm holding out for the rumored ASUS XB270HU 144Hz G-Sync IPS display to replace my monitor, but don't plan to move to 4k any time soon)

Total cost ~$2766 but I'm cheating a little by BYO HDD and already having a Windows license:-)

So my questions:
1) Would you agree that the two GTX 980 will provide roughly comparable performance to the R9 295 graphics wise, but provide cooler, more consistent performance? I'm willing to pay a bit more to avoid dealing with Catalyst on Linux, but I'm not 100% sold on $400 more.
2) In general, what can you tell me about noise level and power usage as compared to the $2500 and $2000 builds?
3) Do you worry at all about liquid cooling leaking? I've never used one before and am a little bit nervous to do a build with one, but there's really no other way to cool a machine like this.
4) Any comments/drawbacks to getting one GPU now and one later? I did this with my last build from 2009 in 2012 for Skyrim and it really breathed new life into the machine.
5) Is this going to be crazy difficult to build? It's not my first time but I'm far from an expert, and you mention on the $2000 vs $2500 that the $2000 is easier to build, presumably due to lacking liquid cooling?
Any advice appreciated! I know my tweaks lower bang-for-the-buck as compared to the guides, but I'm wondering if there are other drawbacks I'm not aware of that are likely -- power/cooling issues, things not fitting, etc. I may do some light overclocking, but I generally tend to be fairly conservative there since it's so rarely CPU that limits games -- even Dwarf Fortress is typically RAM latency limited, not CPU.

Thanks so much for putting together this site! It's incredibly difficult to stay on top of the state of the art in PC gaming, and sites like this are really helpful for providing a starting point. I'll definitely add a page to the gallery once I make my final decision and get everything built!

Hey there, builder31, and welcome to the TBG forums!

It's great to hear that you're inspired to mix-and-match parts from the various build guides on TBG. Honestly, there's no way to cover every possible user, so "creative re-use" is definitely encouraged.

First things first, I know what you mean about the XB270HU (you mentioned Asus, but surprisingly it's from Acer, which has gotten very competitive in this arena lately). This thing is absolutely amazing, based on the specs and the few reviews that have popped up. To check up on stock, I've actually been visiting the Acer website daily. Alas, it's still not available. While some stores are taking pre-orders, I'm pretty sure they haven't actually been given the go-ahead to do so, as the product hasn't even been released.

Anyway, you can count me among the folks who are very interested in picking one of these monitors up. IPS, 1440p, 144Hz, G-Sync, and an adjustable stand. Yup, dream come true! :)

Ok, now on to the questions I can actually help you with.
(1) Going with GTX 980 SLI will be a bit more consistent than an R9 295 X2, especially considering that Nvidia is keeping up with SLI profiles better lately than AMD is with Crossfire profiles. That being said, I think the biggest advantage for you is that you don't need the power of two cards yet. A single MSI GeForce GTX 980 is absolutely overkill for 1080p. Honestly, buy one to start with, then re-assess your needs once you pick up a new monitor. I used to run GTX 780 Ti SLI on my 144Hz 1080p screen, but the cards were just idling (and spitting out heat) at that resolution. One card of this class is more than enough for 1080p/120Hz, let alone 1080p/60Hz. And the GTX 980 may be able to regularly hit 144fps in many games (and would still be decent at 1440p/G-Sync despite significantly lower frames per second).

(2) Power usage of the $2000 vs. the $2500/$3500 builds are worlds apart, actually. Consider that one GTX 980 uses about 50W less power than a single Radeon R9 290 Vapor-X. Double up on the Radeons and you're talking about power use that's at least 250W higher. The R9 295 X2 will be close to 350W higher than a single 980, and at least 150W higher than two. The system I'm typing on right now has a Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in it. A wonderful card, no doubt, but efficient it is not. Then again, when you double up on cards, you also have a lot more processing power (when Crossfire works, which it does in most games, but not every new game on the market). As for noise, these are all pretty comparable setups, because we're talking the best of the best - the quietest 980, the quietest R9 290, and the water-cooled R9 295 X2. At idle, the 980s will be dead silent, because they shut off their fans. That's the biggest difference. At load, 980 SLI, 290 Vapor-X CFX, and the 295 X2 will be comparable.

(3) I've been very happy with the Corsair Hydro H100i, and like you, had been worried about going with liquid cooling in the past. I've seen no signs of leaking over nearly a year of use. Could it happen? Sure, but if you go with a big name, like Corsair, you can rest assured that they test this stuff thoroughly. As it happens, the new H110i GT was recalled just recently, because it sprung leaks out of the box, due to hoses cracking in sub-zero temperatures during transit. Corsair pulled it from the market immediately, and I think that shows they are on top of these things. That being said, liquid is always louder, due to the pump, and I'm preparing to publish a new builder's guide with a big 140mm air cooler (the Thermalright Macho Rev. B listed in the $1,500 Build), just to show enthusiasts another option. If you're running a single GTX 980, that is what I'd suggest for you, but if you do want to go SLI, I think you'll start to overwhelm even a very good air cooler, just due to it taking in so much heat from the dual cards below it.

(4) No, there are absolutely no drawbacks to buying one GPU now and picking up a second later...other than the fact that there might be something newer on the market when you're ready to get that second card which will make you second-guess yourself. You might even find that your card is discontinued, and you have to go to the used market.

(5) The build you've spec'd out is actually not that hard to build. It sounds like you have some experience building PCs, so you'll be all right. The hardest part will probably be installing the cooler, but this is true of just about any cooler. Air coolers are big and heavy, liquid coolers have lots of parts to juggle. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The reference to "difficulty" really has more to do with running multiple video cards. Obviously it adds more parts to install (with the R9 295 X2, it's another cooler to mount), but it's the software side that really makes it more challenging. You just have to keep on top of your setup a bit more when using dual GPUs.

Any other questions, just let me know. I'm looking forward to adding this beast (however it turns out) to The Gallery!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 01:06:57 PM by Ari Altman »

builder31

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 08:11:02 PM »
Quote
It's great to hear that you're inspired to mix-and-match parts from the various build guides on TBG. Honestly, there's no way to cover every possible user, so "creative re-use" is definitely encouraged.
Absolutely! Customization is a huge perk of the process, but it can be daunting without a starting point.

Quote
First things first, I know what you mean about the XB270HU (you mentioned Asus, but surprisingly it's from Acer, which has gotten very competitive in this arena lately). This thing is absolutely amazing, based on the specs and the few reviews that have popped up. To check up on stock, I've actually been visiting the Acer website daily. Alas, it's still not available. While some stores are taking pre-orders, I'm pretty sure they haven't actually been given the go-ahead to do so, as the product hasn't even been released.

Anyway, you can count me among the folks who are very interested in picking one of these monitors up. IPS, 1440p, 144Hz, G-Sync, and an adjustable stand. Yup, dream come true! :)
I think I'll wait until a few reviews come in before I actually pull the trigger, but I'm very excited. Seems too good to be true and all. Still, while I want a godly WQHD monitor someday soon, I'm content with my 22" 1080p for now. I don't really want 4k until Linux steps up HiDPI support which may be never. I'm happy with 1440p, which I had up until a month ago when I moved across the country.

Quote
(and would still be decent at 1440p/G-Sync despite significantly lower frames per second).
Quote
(4) No, there are absolutely no drawbacks to buying one GPU now and picking up a second later...other than the fact that there might be something newer on the market when you're ready to get that second card which will make you second-guess yourself. You might even find that your card is discontinued, and you have to go to the used market.
I guess I'll reevaluate once I get a higher res monitor if the framerates are'nt where I want. My last SLI upgrade was a $40 card off eBay that once went for ten times that. Best $40 I ever spent on computers.

Quote
(3) I've been very happy with the Corsair Hydro H100i, and like you, had been worried about going with liquid cooling in the past. I've seen no signs of leaking over nearly a year of use. Could it happen? Sure, but if you go with a big name, like Corsair, you can rest assured that they test this stuff thoroughly. As it happens, the new H110i GT was recalled just recently, because it sprung leaks out of the box, due to hoses cracking in sub-zero temperatures during transit. Corsair pulled it from the market immediately, and I think that shows they are on top of these things. That being said, liquid is always louder, due to the pump, and I'm preparing to publish a new builder's guide with a big 140mm air cooler (the Thermalright Macho Rev. B listed in the $1,500 Build), just to show enthusiasts another option. If you're running a single GTX 980, that is what I'd suggest for you, but if you do want to go SLI, I think you'll start to overwhelm even a very good air cooler, just due to it taking in so much heat from the dual cards below it.
Hmmm....so basically I could get the air cooler now and have quieter operation for a bit cheaper, but then I'd need to upgrade when I get the second GTX 980? How hard would swapping out this for a liquid cooler be do you think? Would I have to take the whole system apart? If so I might just go for the liquid cooling now.

Quote
(5) The build you've spec'd out is actually not that hard to build. It sounds like you have some experience building PCs, so you'll be all right. The hardest part will probably be installing the cooler, but this is true of just about any cooler. Air coolers are big and heavy, liquid coolers have lots of parts to juggle. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The reference to "difficulty" really has more to do with running multiple video cards. Obviously it adds more parts to install (with the R9 295 X2, it's another cooler to mount), but it's the software side that really makes it more challenging. You just have to keep on top of your setup a bit more when using dual GPUs.
Haha I'm not afraid of the software side of things.

Thanks again for all your help!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 06:55:24 AM »
...
Hmmm....so basically I could get the air cooler now and have quieter operation for a bit cheaper, but then I'd need to upgrade when I get the second GTX 980? How hard would swapping out this for a liquid cooler be do you think? Would I have to take the whole system apart? If so I might just go for the liquid cooling now.
...


Changing out a CPU cooler really isn't that hard, particularly now that every case has a cutout to access the back of the motherboard, and most coolers have straightforward mounting system. That being said, if you're pretty sure you want to go SLI in the next few months, just jump right to the liquid cooler. The Corsair H110 has been on sale lately, and it's known to be one of the quietest coolers out there, due to the use of big 140mm fans. You'll still have pump noise, meaning it will be louder at idle than an air cooler, but not by much.

In my article on video card coolers, I found that even running an ultra-hot 780 Ti SLI setup didn't affect CPU temperatures at all when using a liquid cooler. That's the beauty of liquid cooling - it creates an independent system that is unaffected by temperatures inside the case. And with dual open-air GTX 980s, temperatures inside the case will rise. They are efficient, but that doesn't mean they don't use a lot of power.

builder31

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 08:54:41 PM »
I wanted to build a new high end gaming PC to replace my aging build from 2010. I undershot a bit last time and wanted to rectify that this time, with a top notch CPU and high end GPU, and room to grow to two GPUs in SLI down the road when I finally see a 1440p/4K gaming monitor worth buying (XB270HU anyone?) I also wanted something that would run cool and quiet when not under heavy load.

Parts (based off the $3500 build, but with some changes. In sum I spent maybe $2700, but I had some parts already that brought that down.):
* ASUS ATX DDR4 3000 (O.C.) Motherboard X99-DELUXE
* Samsung 850 EVO 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E1T0B/AM)
* Corsair Obsidian Series 750D Performance Full Tower Case CC-9011035-WW
* 2x Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB Kit (4x4GB) 3000MHz DDR4 Non-ECC CL15 XMP DIMM Desktop Memory (HX430C15PB2K4/16)
* Corsair Hydro Series H110 280 mm High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
* EVGA SuperNOVA 1300G2 ATX12V/EPS12V 1300W 80Plus Gold Power Supply 120-G2-1300-XR
* Intel Core i7-5930K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.5GHz LGA 2011-v3 140W Desktop Processor BX80648I75930K
* MSI Graphics Cards GTX 980 GAMING 4G (plan to upgrade to dual-SLI at some point)
* Arctic MX-4 High Performance Thermal Compound for All Coolers, 4-Grams (ORACO-MX40001-BL)
* OS: Windows 7 64-bit by day, Debian Linux by night. Or maybe the other way, I'm not sure:-)

Build notes:
* The MX-4 was much easier to apply than the Arctic Silver I've always used in the past, and seems to also give excellent results -- I noted 4 C lower at load vs the paste that came with the H110, though that could be as much my applying it better.

* The liquid cooling wasn't too hard, which was something I was concerned about. I hooked the pump up to CPU-ALT header and put one of the fans on CPU-FAN. My understanding is that ALT always runs at full speed, which is desirable for liquid cooling. The cooling is extremely quiet in this case -- I hear the case fans louder. The hardest part was honestly hooking the radiator up to the case; I found putting the pump on the CPU fairly easy, while definitely nerve-wracking!

* The GPU had some weird graphical effect when connected to my existing (low end) monitor at 1080p on DVI. Changing to a DP->DVI cord fixed the issue. I've seen the same problem with a GTX 960 on another box, so I'm not sure if this is a common problem.

* The power supply is insane! This build idles at about 100W (measured at wall via Kill-A-Watt), and is whisper quiet. Draw when it's off is barely 3W!

* I was unable to get Windows 7 to work with the ram clocked any faster than 2133 MHz. Instant blue screen. It works fine under Linux though and passes memtest86 just fine, so I don't think it's a hardware issue. I'm running at 2133 MHz for now; I may look into this more later (varying command rate, etc). I'm not doing any serious overclocking, just the XMP profiles.

* This case is AWESOME! Being able to run cables behind the mobo easily seems to have become a standard feature since my last build, and I love it so much. It really compliments the modular PSU (my first time owning one. I'll never go without again).

* Likewise, the Samsung SSD is a real pleasure. I don't plan to have any HDDs in this machine (Actually it's serving as an offline NAS for backups in its night job as a ZFS fileserver; hence the hard drives in the pictures; no hard drives for Windows I mean.)

* There was, however, one MAJOR pain point -- my first motherboard was defective in a very strange way.

Result:
The first clue that I overbuilt came when I fired up a few games to test, cranked the settings to maximum, and found that even after 10 minutes or so the GPU wasn't bothering to run its fans. Clearly it felt insulted by 1080p Skyrim, even at max settings:-) I plan pick up some newer generation games soon though (super excited to finally get to the Metro series and Witcher 3), as well as a 1440p or 4k monitor, but didn't have any downloaded when I was writing this up:-)

The CPU temperature idles around 28 C, which is barely warmer than room temperature. Under max load it tickles 40 C. This is INSANE, and a testament to the power of liquid cooling. I wasn't able to stress the GPU enough to get its fans to turn on:P

I do have one MAJOR piece of advice for buyers -- when using the Amazon referral links, MAKE CERTAIN to verify that your item ships from and is sold by Amazon.com -- the Amazon API will send you to a merchant if Amazon doesn't directly stock the item or it's backordered. If you can't do that, then get it from Newegg or Tigerdirect. My motherboard came from a merchant. Not only did it take over a week to arrive (the other parts were here within two days), but it was defective -- the onboard USB ports came shorted together, keeping the board from entering BIOS let alone booting -- just displaying a message and shutting off. The most common cause of this is a defective case connected to the headers or defective device connected to the ports, but in my case it was a short on the motherboard. I found you can circumvent it by flashing the BIOS using Flashback every time you boot, but obviously this isn't a long-term solution, given it takes forever, you're screwed if the power goes out during flash, and your BIOS settings are always default.

If I'd bought from Amazon, I could have returned it directly to them as defective and had a replacement ASAP. Since I bought from a third-party merchant, however, they refuse to accept returns for defective-on-delivery items, meaning I had to go through ASUS' agonizingly slow RMA process, and that rather than getting a brand new board like I paid for I end up with a refurb with a lower expected lifetime. I wouldn't be so annoyed about this if it weren't a top-tier board, and Amazon weren't now selling it for $30 less than I paid this merchant:P

This model of motherboard in particular seems to have a high DOA rate, and while it's a stellar board when it's working, this is something to keep in mind.

That's all from me! Happy building, and thank you very much Ari for the advice! I'm extremely happy with this machine, and really appreciated your feedback along the way!

The cables are a bit tidier in the final build than in the photo; my apologies! I took more after tying, but they're all blurry/too dark and I don't really want to open it up again:P If you're at all worried that cable management will be anything less than an absolute dream with this build -- don't be!

(photos coming by email because this attachments system is...limiting!)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 08:42:37 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2015, 09:02:34 AM »
builder31 - great news on your build. Sounds fantastic! [Update: a profile of your build has been posted on the main site!]

As for your configuration issues, looks like you ran into some nasty luck on that X99-Deluxe board. Unfortunately, these kind of things do happen, and motherboards are among the components most likely to arrive DOA (in fact, it's the only product we've ever received DOA other than a laptop, which probably had a bad motherboard too!). Good to hear that you were able to get it replaced by Asus (too bad about the wait, though!).

DDR4 can be tricky to set up, especially the ultra-high speed stuff. You might want to try manually setting a DDR4-2666 frequency, which is the maximum allowed under the Intel specifications for the X99 chipset. Above that and you'll likely need to do some tweaking. By the way, you mentioned buying 2x Kingston's 4x4GB kit, which would actually mean 8 sticks. If that wasn't a typo, that could have something to do with it too - running with all RAM slots filled will always reduce maximum attainable RAM speeds, unfortunately.

All in all, though, it seems like you've met with some great success on your ultra-high end build. Thanks for sharing all your feedback with the TBG community!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 12:38:06 PM by Ari Altman »

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2015, 12:38:00 PM »
Hey I had some questions regarding the ultimate pc build I'm new to gaming pcs and don't know much about the components I would like to build this rig but I wanted to switch some components around for example I want to step up to the rampage v extreme motherboard will this conflict with any other components? Do I need two solid state drives? Should I upgrade the memory? And will any components from the list conflict with the enthoo case? Also do I need better water cooling then the one mentioned?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2015, 12:58:07 PM »
Hey I had some questions regarding the ultimate pc build I'm new to gaming pcs and don't know much about the components I would like to build this rig but I wanted to switch some components around for example I want to step up to the rampage v extreme motherboard will this conflict with any other components? Do I need two solid state drives? Should I upgrade the memory? And will any components from the list conflict with the enthoo case? Also do I need better water cooling then the one mentioned?

Hey there angel7 and welcome to the TBG forum!

So, the good news is that most components are interchangeable, particularly at the high-end, due to larger, better-designed cases, ample power supplies, and excellent cooling. You can definitely step up to the Asus Rampage V Extreme, which adds a huge array of tweaking options to push extreme overclocks. Just keep in mind that unless this is something you're interested in, it won't perform better than less expensive motherboards in the Asus X99 lineup.

You do not need two solid state drives, and in fact having one large drive is a bit easier to manage than multiple drives. For this level of system, you really do want at least 1TB of solid-state storage, and it's not any cheaper to buy two smaller drives than one big drive.

As for memory, the DDR4 listed in this build is already top-of-the-line. The only reason you'd upgrade it would be to get 32GB, which is really only useful for specialized applications, like running lots of virtual machines or doing professional-level HD video editing.

As for cases and cooling, you can also move to an Enthoo case from the Corsair models listed in this guide - you've probably already seen that Enthoo cases, like the Enthoo Luxe, are listed in several of the other guides on TBG. As for cooling, you can't do much better than the Corsair Hydro H110, other than the newer H110i GTX, which so far is available in very limited quantities. It's actually shown up in stock a few times over the past week, so if that's something you're interested in, add it to your cart and jump on it when you see it in stock.

maul91

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 02:15:06 PM »
Hello,

I would like to build the $3,500 Computer, but in the future I would like to be able to put another Titan X-card in for SLI. is there anything I need to change in the build to open up for that ability in the future?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 02:57:13 PM »
Hello,

I would like to build the $3,500 Computer, but in the future I would like to be able to put another Titan X-card in for SLI. is there anything I need to change in the build to open up for that ability in the future?

Welcome, maul91!

The great news is that you could easily add another Titan X to the $3,500 Build without changing anything at all. That's because the CPU and motherboard offer 40 PCIe lanes, plenty for not only SLI but also triple-SLI. You also have an ultra-high-end Platinum-rated 1000W power supply in this build, which has more than enough power for a Titan X SLI setup.

One thing I would note is that the Corsair 750D High Airflow Case listed as an option in this build would be preferable to the Corsair 550D for an SLI system.

moosetrax

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2015, 07:37:07 PM »
Hello,
I read about this build and am seriously considering basing my next build off it. I have a question for you about venting the GPU and CPU liquid coolers. Since the case you have spec'd has room for either three 120mm or two 140mm fans at the top and you are recommending the dual 140mm Corsair Hydro H110i GTX venting to the top; Where were you going to vent the upper GPU liquid cooler if the lower one vents to the bottom of the case? Would it go to the bottom as well (after removing the HDD cage), or the back? I had been assuming it would vent to the top of the case until I realized that there would only be enough space for the CPU cooler at the top.

Thanks for you help.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 10:47:08 PM »
Hello,
I read about this build and am seriously considering basing my next build off it. I have a question for you about venting the GPU and CPU liquid coolers. Since the case you have spec'd has room for either three 120mm or two 140mm fans at the top and you are recommending the dual 140mm Corsair Hydro H110i GTX venting to the top; Where were you going to vent the upper GPU liquid cooler if the lower one vents to the bottom of the case? Would it go to the bottom as well (after removing the HDD cage), or the back? I had been assuming it would vent to the top of the case until I realized that there would only be enough space for the CPU cooler at the top.

Thanks for you help.

The best location for the upper GPU radiator would be in the rear case fan slot, in place of the stock 140mm fan. Because the fans on the liquid cooling radiators blow air through the radiators and out of the case, they can double as exhaust fans. Additionally, in a fully liquid-cooled system, there's very little waste heat inside the case that needs to be managed through standard case air cooling, so removal of case fans has no significant effect.

Reginald_Kincaid

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Re: The TBG $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Build
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 07:04:23 PM »
Hello,

This is a great build. I'm thrilled to find your site. I'm building a new PC geared towards driving a 3440x1440 display as well as VR headsets in the future. In your opinion does it make sense to go for a dual 980 ti SLI configuration at this point or is it worth holding off for Pascal based cards? If I build a top end system today, but slog along with my current GTX680 in it until pascal arrives, is there anything I should be considering in terms of future proofing the motherboard for the next generation of NVIDIA cards or any other new technology coming in 2016?

Thanks!