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Author Topic: PC Season  (Read 1285 times)

Loxx

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PC Season
« on: Oct 28, 2014, 05:03 PM »
Taxes and bonus checks are right around the corner, and I haven't rebuilt my PC in a couple years.  In looking at the state of things I realize that some of the parts were really getting on in years (case, hard drives & monitors are nearly 8 years old!) so i decided to do a full system build.  I've been mulling things over for a month or so and finally got around to putting together a first round draft.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/G9DGdC

Overall, I am aiming for good performance without going overboard.  Trying to future proof the core (cpu/mobo/graphics) to be at least relevant for 2-3 years.  I have honestly considered going smaller on the SSD and adding an extra green or upping capacity as I tend to only really be focused on 1 or 2 things at a time.  I am also considering is swapping from greens to blues but i dont know if the impact would be all that considerable for media (movies, music, maybe a couple backup/old games)

Open to suggestions on mic/headphones/sound card.  I don't need top of the line, but as long as i am flushing 2.5 grand on a new box I may as well try some entry level/enthusiast sound upgrades.  Also welcome feedback on a keyboard.  I just picked one with decent reviews, TBH but am looking for a solid keyboard with a few (~6) macro buttons would be ideal.

Lastly I would like a solid suggestion a second video card specifically to drive the secondary display(portrait display for web browsing) and a 48" tv (media display).  Doesn't need to be a workhorse, just a solid, low energy, low impact display driver for 2 devices.

Anyhow, fire away.



Ratio

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #1 on: Oct 28, 2014, 06:06 PM »
You don't need a second video card. The built in graphics in current generation i7's are more than enough to drive anything outside of gaming. (Or autocad, 10-bit color, etc... Anything specialized.) The built in will have an HDMI output and a DVI-D, and it can drive two displays.

Using an SSD as a cache drive (built into all modern Intel chipsets) is probably what you're looking for in terms of ease of use. It moves frequently accessed files onto the SSD transparently. Not quite as fast as managing an SSD yourself, and you lose storage space overall (the cache is mirrored on the SSD and the spindle), but in terms of fire and forget speed with no needed maintenance, it's the best option there is. Another option would be to get a decent speed SSD for just your OS, and then get an older, slower SSD for a cache drive.

There's no such thing as a good PC mic. A good mic requires an interface. For good sound rejection, you need a dynamic mic, but dynamics need extra amplification which means you're looking at ~$100 for the interface, ~$100 for the mic and about ~$150 for a cloudlifter or a fethead. Probably not worth it. You could also get a snowball or something, but the noise rejection sucks, and it's not much of an improvement over whatever the current logitech/razer/steelseries/whatever gaming headset would give you. Generally, USB interfaces are superior to internal sound cards since they do the analog to digital conversion outside the case and are therefore lower noise. (Unless you live next to radio towers.) You can get a condenser with a usb interface for significantly less than a dynamic, but it will pick up more background noise. Condensers are (generally) better than similarly priced dynamics, but they were designed to be used in studios, not in places where computer fans are whirring.

Closed loop cooling has come a long way and is simple and easy to deal with. Big air coolers occasionally have issues with ram placement on mobos that liquid doesn't. Personal preference thing, really, but you have a K series processor and putting it under water generally leads to slightly higher clock speed. Not always, though.

You should go to a best buy or something and try keyboards out. Feel is more important than anything. You can also get cherry switch samplers for fairly cheap from a few places if you want to figure out what kind of mechanical you actually like.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Loxx

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #2 on: Oct 28, 2014, 07:06 PM »
...The built in will have an HDMI output and a DVI-D, and it can drive two displays.

I remember you talking about the intel graphics but I hadn't actually looked at the back panel on the mobo, my concern was it wouldn't have 2 outputs.  That absolutely solves That problem.

Using an SSD as a cache drive (built into all modern Intel chipsets) is probably what you're looking for in terms of ease of use. It moves frequently accessed files onto the SSD transparently.

I'd never heard of this before, sounds like exactly the kind of thing I am looking for. I'll definitely do some more research into this

There's no such thing as a good PC mic...

Yeah, way more work than I am wanting to put into a mic, I was mostly interested in good output, not input

Closed loop cooling has come a long way and is simple and easy to deal with. Big air coolers occasionally have issues with ram placement on mobos that liquid doesn't. Personal preference thing, really, but you have a K series processor and putting it under water generally leads to slightly higher clock speed. Not always, though.

Frankly, I have never seen a compelling reason for it.  Ever since the introduction of the "i" series chips i haven't had any issues at all with CPU heat.  I've had 2 so far and used stock coolers on both with no issues.  If was was seriously looking to overclock I may look into it, but I just havent ever needed to bother.  Frankly I just jammed a cooler onto the list because it was an option  ::)

You should go to a best buy or something and try keyboards out.

What I really need is one of those old 1980's IBM factory keyboards that were as big as 2 modern keyboards stacked on top of each other with the really positive spring tension on the keys.  That was my favorite keyboard.

Ratio

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #3 on: Oct 28, 2014, 07:10 PM »
Look for topre switches.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Avaline

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #4 on: Oct 29, 2014, 03:32 AM »
You should go to a best buy or something and try keyboards out. Feel is more important than anything. You can also get cherry switch samplers for fairly cheap from a few places if you want to figure out what kind of mechanical you actually like.

http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/official-mechanical-keyboard-guide#user_heading2

The above is a link to an overview of each different switch type with descriptions of what they feel like, how much force they require to actuate or bottom out, etc. Switch choice is very subjective and will define your keyboard more than anything else; it's probably worth looking into it some to make sure you get exactly the kind you want. (browns/blues are where it's at)

Taxt

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #5 on: Oct 29, 2014, 01:06 PM »
The problem with mechanical keyboards is there is very few on the market WITH macro keys. This was a big factor for my recent keyboard go around. I used to have a razer ultimate blackwidow, which is MX Blues, and had macro keys, but eventually got really sick of the excessive noise, although i love the feel of blues. I opted for this

http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g710plus-mechanical-gaming-keyboard

Which has MX browns, and have been happy with it so far. Like I said, there are a lot of keyboards i would prefer over it likely, the market is just limited as far as macro keys + mechanicals.

I have to say i prefer the feel of blues, but browns are not too far off the feel i desire, and are about 3x more quiet.


Undeniable

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2014, 02:25 PM »
I am doing the same thing at the end of the year here are some of the products I like

I would look into a better CPU cooler, check out Noctua. They make a solid product with great performance.

Love Asus Mobos, gigabyte is usually my distant second.

I generally stick with Antec for my case and PSU, and fans. They have never disappointed me in the last 15 years I have used them. Personal preference but their designs are better for large PSUs and negative air pressure.

I am waiting for the 900 series Geforce. There wasnt much architecture change in 770 over the 600 counterparts so not really worth it unless you are getting a 780 or better. It is still technically a faster card, but the 900s are gonna stomp on it prob as much as the 600s did to the 500s.

I would definitely get a hybrid drive, if you are not going for full SSD. You can get drives that boost the speed of traditional HDs with a smaller SSD cache built in an all in one package now. I would lower the capacity in order to get the same price point and maybe a 7200 rpm version. I use a NAS for storage and they arent that expensive to set up later if you really need more than 1tb. Your mobo has built in ram disk software, you could just beef up the ram and use that to cache games. It will completely outclass the best SSDs, but its alot more expensive to do, just throwing that out.

Undeniable

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #7 on: Oct 29, 2014, 02:29 PM »
You can get a Razer blackwidow stealth version now, mechanical keys with noise reduction.

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-blackwidow-ultimate-stealth

I opted for the regular version so can't really say how well the were able to make it silent but the keyboard itself is awesome.
« Last Edit: Oct 29, 2014, 02:31 PM by Undeniable »

Avaline

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #8 on: Oct 29, 2014, 04:33 PM »
You can get a Razer blackwidow stealth version now, mechanical keys with noise reduction.

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-keyboards-keypads/razer-blackwidow-ultimate-stealth

I opted for the regular version so can't really say how well the were able to make it silent but the keyboard itself is awesome.

Razer has recently moved to manufacturing their own key switches instead of using Cherry's. I don't know what all Razer has done with them, but I can guarantee that those switches won't be anywhere near as refined as Cherry's have become, and they won't have gone through the same level of validation either. (if you ever see a video of or read about Cherry's quality control you'll be impressed)

That said I'm sure they're not idiots at Razer and they'll probably be fine.

Loxx

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #9 on: Oct 29, 2014, 04:56 PM »
Revision 1:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX4 4g Thermal Paste
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Formula ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Video Card
Case: NZXT H440 (Black/Red) ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) 
Monitor: AOC e2752Vh 60Hz 27.0" Monitor
Monitor: AOC e2752Vh 60Hz 27.0" Monitor
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm  Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm  Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm  Fan 
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A15 PWM 140mm  Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A15 PWM 140mm  Fan
Case Fan: Noctua NF-A15 PWM 140mm  Fan
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-10-29 16:52 EDT-0400

Keyboard
I wound up dropping the keyboard for now.  I do have a fairly new G510 i have been using and it still has plenty of mileage.  I'll do some looking into switches and maybe swap to mech a bit later on

RAM
After a bit of reading I had considered rolling up from a VI series mobo to a VII series, but I didn't really see where the differences were worth the $80 price gap.  However...After doing the research on the Mobo's I did come to the same conclusion as Undie and doubled the ram from 2x8 to 4x8 and figure if nothing else, playing around with the ram disk may be worth it.  I'm still undecided on this though since that is a prtty heafty commitment. 

Graphics
Jumped from a 770 to the 970 as i had read some solid reviews on the 970 and it will be a significant improvement for marginal price difference (as far as video cards go).  Sticking with the MSI/frozor line because I have an older model of the same card and it has been by far and away the best video card I have owned.

Power
Mo card, Mo powa.

Cooling
So I caved a little and decided as long as I am getting a case that is built for it, why not try a liquid cooler, so I watched some videos on the Corsair H100i and the Swiftech H-220x.  While the Swiftech seems like the better quality option, the Corsair seemed exceptionally popular and a good intersection of reliability and price.  And while we're discussing cooling, I had some concerns about the airflow in the case due to the wonky angled sideways vents around the edges so I decided to upgrade to some very positive pressure higher quality fans and most of the reviews I found were fellating the Noctua fans.

SSD
So, I was reading a post saying the Samsung 850 had new tech that overcomes the write limit issue?  I didnt find a lot about this but if it's true I think it's worth the $30.  anyone have any more info on this?

If anyone has any experience with any of these (or similar) parts certainly chime in
« Last Edit: Oct 29, 2014, 04:58 PM by Loxx »

Undeniable

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #10 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:36 PM »
Since you are only cooling your CPU its fine, but alot of people dont realize that you have to be pretty careful when doing any work on the inside of your comp with lcs options, got to clamp the cables and drain the water etc every time you remove or do work or have to transport the pc any significant distance and it can become messy or a hassle. Anyways unless you are really going to overclock the CPU, which in MMOs would only really help in raid scenarios (in this regard its fairly significant) I don't recommend it.

I have the 2014 non stealth option, so far it has been pretty good but I bought just before W* came out so as for long term quality I cannot say. Having the same program for my mouse and keyboard is nice however. So I would just do that if you are using a different mouse.

You want negative pressure when cooling a computer. If you have too much positive pressure then the cool air getting pushed into the case excessively will force the hot air to the top and front. You will notice a temperature drop initially but after awhile it will rise a little as the hot air will start mixing with the cooler air coming in. What you want is high negative pressure utilizing fans in the rear sucking air out, this will force out all the hot air leaving the case cooler in the long run. You want more fans in the rear, and ample ventilation in the front to maximize the airflow. I tend to favor cases with mesh grilled front ends that have foam filtering to stop dust from coming in. Fans on the opposing side of the mobo are great for this, especially if they have good placement in relation to your cpu and gpu locations.

Loxx

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #11 on: Oct 29, 2014, 05:58 PM »
By positive pressure I was referring to high static pressure fans, not the cooling scheme itself

Ratio

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #12 on: Oct 29, 2014, 06:08 PM »
Something like the what Loxx is talking about is permanently closed. Zero maintenance. No need to ever drain or clamp shit. In fact, doing that will completely void the product's warranty.

Nice thing about the corsair is that you can plug it into an empty USB header on the mobo and get pump and fan speed data. You'll need to splice the fans if you want to use something other than stock because they have custom cables to plug into the pump/controller. Running them off anything but the controller is kind of silly since it's the thing that has the tightest read on your current CPU temp and loop temp and knows how best to spin the fans.

Noctuas are fairly nice, but not a good price/performance upgrade in this application.

The positive/negative pressure debate is old and boring and not relevant now that CPUs are running at non-ridiculous thermal levels. Better positive pressure with good air filters on the intakes keeps your case cleaner. That's the only valid argument.
Happiness is when you play a game so well that people call you a hacker.

There are two types of people in the world, those who can extrapolate from incomplete information.

Loxx

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #13 on: Oct 31, 2014, 11:55 AM »
So I think i am getting close to making a decision just working out a couple things.

If i go with 16 GB ram, what is the benefit of going with either 4x4 or 2x8.  From what i understand 4x4 would make better use of the architecture?

In a similar vein if I am going to use an SSD in this cache drive scenario, would I be better off with 2x128GB HD so i can have 1 dedicated for OS and 1 as a cache drive or just use 1 256 GB SSD drive? The price difference for going 2x128 vs 1x256 is basically non-existent so this is a pure performance/reliability question.

Lastly my storage drive is mainly going to be for 3 things, long term storage and occasional playback of music/videos, Record/picture retention (very rarely accessed data), and for housing 5-10 games off my steam library.  As i mostly play MMO's I rarely play these games.  I was thinking about getting a large slow caviar green and a small faster caviar black, but Using the cache drive idea am I correct in assuming the black would be irrelevant because the cache drive would be able to load whatever i am playing in the short term and improve performance?

Avaline

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Re: PC Season
« Reply #14 on: Oct 31, 2014, 02:03 PM »
One last thing: if you're planning on paying ~$200 for a monitor, please do yourself the favor of getting an IPS panel. IPS displays aren't subject to the color shifts, poor viewing angles, and less accurate color reproduction that TN panels are. This is going to be especially helpful since you're going with 27" monitors, on which you will most definitely be able to notice color shifting around the edges/corners of a TN.

Before anyone says anything about response time, in most cases you're looking at ~2ms to ~5-7ms between TN and IPS displays respectively. Most people will not notice the difference, and, for me at least, the gains in image quality and viewing experience more than make up for the difference.


Regardless of which type you get, glossy finishes on monitors are the work of the devil. I've had the displeasure of owning one in the past, and if there is any light source in front of, above, or to the side of your monitor, (basically anywhere that isn't directly behind) there will be visible reflections/glare. If you currently use one and have no problems, your room is probably set up correctly for it; if you haven't used a glossy monitor before, stick with a matte finish and save the headache.




Just doing some cursory looking on Newegg, I found this listed for a similar price as the AOC ones you listed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005609&ignorebbr=1

 

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