add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube

Idle Thoughts on Gaming/Video Editing/SW Dev Rig

ewhac

62 months ago

It has been almost eight years since I built a new PC from parts. There have been a lot of changes since then (such as Intel going to a seventeen-dimensional feature chart for the CPU offerings), so I'd like some feedback.

I would like the system to have some longevity and room for future expandability. Reliability is more important that overclocking features. This rig's primary uses will be gaming, video editing, and software development. It will run Windows to play games, and Linux to do everything else. I will be re-using some components from the old machine (keyboard, mouse, monitors, three SATA hard drives). Despite their speed, I still regard SSDs as overpriced. I haven't picked a case yet since I haven't yet seen one whose aesthetics I really like. And with all due respect to AMD/ATI devotees, I have been an NVIDIA fanboy from day one.

Am I doing anything obviously wrong or unnecessarily extravagant with this build?

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/ewhac/saved/fRdJ7P

Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Sometimes, when visiting this site, I feel like I'm playing the world's most banal turn-based Web RPG, where you have to get the lowest score for a given build, and you don't really have any control over how many gold pieces anything costs. It's not like you can venture off into the Amazonian MicroEgg Plains of NCIX and grind for a few hours hoping a medium-level Chromatic Cable Sleever will drop an uncursed Samsung 840 EVO.

So you end up fiddling around the edges, thinking, "Well, maybe I can go with a lesser grade of BluRay drive." And it was during one of these fiddling sessions that I noticed that the CPU cooler I'd picked out had jumped up 50% in price.

I confess I didn't exactly put a lot of brainpower into it: "How hard could this be?" thought I. "We're not doing fluid cooling, so pick something quiet and semi-modestly priced. Oh, look! This 'be quiet!' thing looks nice; might even handle a bit of overclocking, too, if I ever venture into that realm of lunacy." And when I put it in the build, it was showing up for about $60.

Now that it's $90, I did some more research on it, and... Holy crud, this thing is huge! This monolith towers higher than a graphics card, and looms over all the DRAM slots. If ever I want to expand RAM, I would need to disassemble the thing completely, which is not something you want to do with a heat sink -- you want to clamp it on and leave it there until the CPU dies or you upgrade it.

Still, it does a really good job and does it really quietly, so if the price drops again, I'll probably keep it in (help me out here, after-Christmas sales...).

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

...Nope. I pulled the Dark Rock Pro 3 out of the build. Not that you asked, but lemme tell you why:

After looking at several reviews, nearly all of them slammed the Dark Rock Pro 3 mounting bracket as absolute misery. Only one video that I found made any attempt at actually showing you the installation process, which actually didn't look too bad to me. But it got more interesting after I read the manual for it. All the reviews I had seen were for mounting on an 1150-class socket. But when you go to a 2011-3 socket, the mounting procedure changes completely -- all your mounting hardware is packed under the radiator towers (zero clearance) while you're trying to tighten tiny nuts using a tiny hex wrench. I'm willing to put up with all kinds of hassle if I think I'm getting some benefit out of it (you do not want to see how I have my Web browsers configured), but this just looked like a complete nightmare.

So I've backed it out and changed to a Noctua NH-D14, which seems to be quite well reviewed, is very quiet, can handle some overclocking, and looks to be considerably less hassle to install.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The EVGA 970's have been reviewed as noisy, ones by MSI, Gigabyte and Asus are all quieter.

That PSU is overpriced for what is a budget unit. I'd suggest an EVGA Supanova G2, cheaper and better quality http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-220g20750xr

For a case you're going to need a full tower to fit that EATX motherboard, maybe have a look at the Phanteks Enthoo range or Corsair 750D.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The EVGA 970's have been reviewed as noisy [ ... ]

Electrically or acoustically noisy?

That PSU is overpriced for what is a budget unit. I'd suggest an EVGA Supanova G2, cheaper and better quality.

Noted; thank you.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Acoustically noisy

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Noted. However, my office already has two other machines in it, and fan noise doesn't bother me that much.

Also, I have had excellent customer service experiences with EVGA, and am inclined to stick with them. Ages ago, I had a flaky GeForce 7950 that had the Exploding Triangle problem. They cross-ship RMAed the defective board twice. Since then I've had a GTX-260 and a GTX-285 from them, both of which have had perfect service records.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I think that was issue fixed in acx 2.0 cooler version. tons of writeups about the fix. I don't know if it applies to 980 or it was just with the 970s

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Updated build link:

  • I changed the PSU to an EVGA 750W unit as suggested by @Tel.
  • I did a little more research on motherboards, and found the Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 did everything I wanted for about $80 less.
  • The HDD selections are now parametric.

I see other "gaming" builds going with liquid cooling. Frankly, liquid cooling scares me, as I have this fear that I'll come home one day and find the thing has catastrophically failed and splooged all over the inside of my rig. Since I'm not planning on overclocking, I don't think liquid cooling is called for.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Crap. I just learned the Core i7-5820K has only 28 PCIe lanes.

Just repeat to myself, "I'm not doing SLI yet, I'm not doing SLI yet..."

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

you only need 40 lanes if you have more than 2 video cards.

see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rctaLgK5stA

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Brother for god sake consider a SSD any will do go for the cheapest you can find it will be totally worth it believe me .

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, I have an SSD in my laptop at work (Samsung 840), and it's quite pleasant. My concern is with the reliability of the underlying tech.

With HDDs, failure modes are relatively well understood at this point. You'll lose a sector or two or, in the case of a crashed head, several cylinders. But the rest of the platter remains readable, and you can get a fair amount of your data off. HDD tech is very mature and, moreover, data recovery techniques for HDDs are also very mature.

The prevailing opinion seems to be that SSD failure modes tend to be more catastrophic than spinning rust. In SSDs, it's apparently the Flash Translation Layer that most often dies and, once it does, the entire device becomes unreadable. So you go from perfect to "Dude, where's my disk?" in the space of seconds. It's not clear if SMART metrics from SSDs are predictive of impending failure, and I'm completely unaware of any SSD recovery techniques. ("Dude, keep regular backups.") Yes, that's why I built a FreeNAS box, but still...

There's also the recent story of Samsung's 840 EVO units getting abysmally slow read speeds from "old" blocks (i.e. data blocks that hadn't been read in a month or so). Samsung first denied the issue, then grudgingly acknowledged it, and has now finally posted a firmware update, but it's too early to know if it's actually fixed anything. The point of mentioning this is: Samsung are one of the pre-eminent Flash developers and vendors out there, and even they are having trouble getting the tech to behave.

I might consider a small-ish PCIe M.2 device for keeping the OSes on but, for long-term reliable storage, I'm afraid I'll be a spinning rust guy for a while longer yet.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

if you have fear of data loss and drive failure you can always have redundancy by backing up to a HDD .the case with Samsung evo is a software related one and they fixed it with firm wire update what caused the slowdown was due to some tweak they tried to increase the drive life span .I completely disagree with your decision to stick with HDD and skip the performance gain, but its completely up to you good luck

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The samsung 840 evo SSD has a 19 year reliability and their new 850 pro I think has something like 70 years, you can look this up - it's just from top of my head so not exact.

SSD in your desktop is not same as SSD in your laptop which you throw around all day long.

I personally have an 850pro in my desktop which is made on newer tech than the 840 evo.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

also there are free websites and ones that charge $5 a month but they will backup your whole desktop daily to the internet somewhere.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Updated build:

I've finally made a concrete case selection. With all due respect to the Phanteks Enthoo-siasts out there, I picked a Coolermaster Cosmos SE.

Changed the CPU cooler to a be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3.

I also suddenly realized that the EVGA graphics card I selected didn't have the ports I needed (I need at least two DVI ports). So I've changed it to a Gigabyte GTX-970 WINDFORCE GAMING-4GD which, in addition to two DVI ports, has three Displayports, which could be useful going forward to WQHD and 4K displays.

It looks like this is starting to settle down. Still looking for insights on what I might have failed to consider...

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

there are EVGA 970 cards that have 2 DVI ports on them They are very popular during the holidays so several sites might be out of stock on this one.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-video-card-04gp42972kr

[comment deleted]
  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, thank you for pointing that out. I simply assumed that the PCPP entry was correct ( http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-video-card-04gp41972kr ). Upon review, it clearly doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

are you saying on all your monitors there is not an HDMI port on the back? My Acer has both a DVI and an HDMI port and I only use the DVI because I had the cable and didn't bother to order an hdmi cable.

DVI is being phased out I believe mainly because it can not carry audio although I don't see how this would affect my corrent monitors. that is why newer video cards have less DVI and more HDMI and Displayport. plus you can get adaptors for the Displayport sockets like DVI to Displayport.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

are you saying on all your monitors there is not an HDMI port on the back?

That's what I'm saying. I have two AOC I2269VW's, which I picked up for $90 each on Woot.com. They each have one VGA port and one DVI port. Any future monitors I acquire will almost certainly be WQHD or higher, for which Displayport is a better choice.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

This is close to my build, but you were smart to stay with the 970 instead of using the more expensive 980. I just want to not deal with replacing my video card anytime soon. I have a 1000w psu only because I do plan on getting another 980 card in about 6 months and other stuff and I don't to change psu again. You also picked more budget valued motherboard. did you look at the MSI x99?

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/kimosabe/saved/8nsv6h

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

did you look at the MSI x99?

I did not. A very quick look at X99 GAMING 7 specs page lists on-board networking as a Killer E2200. It is unclear whether this has support in the mainline Linux kernel. Other than that, looks like a nice board; I'll study them more closely.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I've since looked over the MSI X99S SLI Plus and the X99S MPOWER, and it's difficult to tell any significant differences between those and the Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4. What is it you like about MSI over Gigabyte?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

NZXT has nice one, Fractal Design R4, Phanteks Enthoo Luxe . tons of reviews for them on youtube.

Sort

add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube