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Noob wanting to build multiple monitor gaming system


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#1
subsonicwave

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Ok for starters I am a total noob to this site and computer building. I am seeking any info on compatability and reliability as I want this system to last for at least a couple of years and still be able to play games at their maximum settings. I want a system that can play across multiple monitors and still have plenty of processing power capable of having other programs running in background ( namely audio and video editing ). This is the system I am looking at piecing together.

Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core

CPU Cooler

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro 81.3 CFM Liquid

Motherboard

Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155

Memory

Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600

Storage

Intel 520 Series Cherryville 240GB 2.5" SSD

Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM

Video Card

XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB (x 2)

Case

NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower

Power Supply

Corsair 1200W ATX12V / EPS12V

Optical Drive

LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)

I am looking into ( 3 ) 24inch 120Hz 1920 x 1080 monitors but am trying to find some with the smallest ( thinnest ) bezel. Sortof looking at the Samsung 6500 series. I know the PSU is a bit of overkill but am wanting enough for any future upgrades on video cards or additional HDDs added.

Edited by subsonicwave, 06 October 2012 - 07:41 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: subsonicwave

Not a bad list of parts but there is room for improvements and possibly some financial savings also.
You have told us your intended use but if you tell us your maximum budget and where in the world you will be purchasing the parts from we can put you an alternative list together for you to look over, meanwhile I have added notes to certain items that you have listed below.

Ok for starters I am a total noob to this site and computer building. I am seeking any info on compatability and reliability as I want this system to last for at least a couple of years and still be able to play games at their maximum settings. I want a system that can play across multiple monitors and still have plenty of processing power capable of having other programs running in background ( namely audio and video editing ). This is the system I am looking at piecing together.

Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core
Same cost but a better performing CPU http://www.amazon.co.../?tag=pcpapi-20 if we can save you enough cash elsewhere I would suggest you purchase the i7-3770K though.

CPU Cooler

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro 81.3 CFM Liquid
Using an aftermarket cooler, a very important thing I must make you aware of is that you do not need the additional heatsink and CPU fan and if you did use it you would void your CPU warranty, Intel are clear on this, see below;

damage to the Product due to external causes, including accident, problems with electrical power, abnormal electrical, mechanical or environmental conditions, usage not in accordance with product instructions, misuse, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing;


Full article available @ http://www.intel.com/support/processors/sb/cs-009862.htm
Motherboard

Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ATX LGA1155

Memory

Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
For your intended use you would be better off with 16GB of Ram and especially for video editing and multiple displays.

Storage

Intel 520 Series Cherryville 240GB 2.5" SSD
This is overkill for your requirements, installing the OS on the SSD for faster boot times is a good idea and your favourite software for convenience will require no more than a 128GB SSD and this is also allowing for many years of updates that you will need to install.

Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM
3TB of data is an awful lot to keep backing up and risk loosing should the drive fail, consider 2 X 1TB to begin with.

Video Card

XFX Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB (x 2)

Case

NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower

Power Supply

Corsair 1200W ATX12V / EPS12V
A PSU should only be selected after all other components are decided on and confirmed as availale, you should then use a PSU calculator such as the example @ http://images10.newe...tage-Calculator this will allow you to add some headroom for adding additional HDDs in the future.

Optical Drive

LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)

I am looking into ( 3 ) 24inch 120Hz 1920 x 1080 monitors but am trying to find some with the smallest ( thinnest ) bezel. Sortof looking at the Samsung 6500 series. I know the PSU is a bit of overkill but am wanting enough for any future upgrades on video cards or additional HDDs added.


I will look for possible monitors for you while waiting on your reply.
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#3
subsonicwave

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My list comes from pcpartpicker and is right around $2200 but I would like to get it down to around $1200 but without to much compromise...don't see that happening. From the research i have been doing the I7 2600k is better for overclocking but I'm just a noob and to be honest know nothing about overclocking or even how to. Also you suggest getting 16Gb of ram but that is what I have listed. Sorry it did say 8Gb of ram but I had added 4x4Gb...I changed it to 16. I looked at changing out the 240Gb ssd for a 120 and the 3Tb for 2 1Tb drives and I'm still just over $2k. Something I didn't mention is that I am looking at overclocking hence the 1200watt psu but if there is something more suitable that you can recommend that would be greatly appreciated. As for the monitors I am not including them in the price build as of yet. Definately looking at monitors that will be mainly a tv used as a monitor unless there are some 24inch monitors that have thin bezels and are as reasonable as some of the tvs. I am still debating over the eyefinity 5 monitor setup or the six monitor but for starters I'm starting with just 3.

Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (x 2)

Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

My budget is still being determined but am trying to get as low as possible without compromising quality.

Edited by subsonicwave, 06 October 2012 - 07:46 PM.

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#4
Zolton33

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Why the i7 2600k? In gaming you will not see hardly any gains with it over an i5 cpu to be brutally honest. unless you plan to do extreme over clocking which you have stated you did not know how to do it i would not recommend it. Over clocking sends more power to your cpu forcing more performance out of it. And the heat can not only shorten the life of the cpu but can also permanently damage it if you do one thing wrong. And you will not gain an extreme amount of fps gain with it.

In gaming it is the video card that is what determines the fps and graphic settings you can use. So a more expensive video card with a cheaper cpu will gain you a better gaming machine over a cheap video card and an expensive cpu. With that in mind an i5 cpu is not even closed to being fully utilized at the moment and i do not seeit bottle necking any gpus any time soon. So if you drop to air cooling even with over clocking using a 3570k you can push it on air cooling to 3.9-4.0 pretty easily on air cooling using a http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835103065 .

So these are my suggestions for cpu and cooling

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116504 $229.99

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835103065 $29.99

Liquid cooling can be dangerous and highly expensive. One leak and you are back at square 1 rebuilding.

So with that change alone you drop down from almost $400.00 to around $260.00 saving about $140 there. In gaming 8 gigs is all you will need for at least a few years in gaming and is the sweet spot on windows 7 for memory. So there you can save a bit more money. I'm not sure why you chose a mobo that is almost $300 but you can get some with all the bells and whistles for under 200 that will still serve your needs. Getting a 120-128 gig ssd and only utilizing it mainly for windows and a few games will serve you well. And having a 1 tb at max regular hdd will also help immensely unless you plan to store a couple hundred movies on your hard drive. If so i would then suggest a cheaper external drive for that kind of thing.

For a case i suugest you compare the http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811146068 you chose to the http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119197 which is about 20 bucks cheaper and gives you some front 3.0 usb options. Even if you decide to over clock 1200w is a bit to huge of a psu. Almost no systems use above 1000w (i am sure there are some but not many) from what i have seen and 750w is quite common in builds.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817139014 roughly $300 bucks when you could get http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817139010 for about $145 that will save you about $155.

I personally do not crossfire. Why? If you buy a great gpu to start with by the time you notice a loss in fps it is probably time to replace the gpu any way. It is a high cost for a small gain to be honest. If you use the card you have planned you will gain lets say 100fps ok now if you cross fire you might gain 10-20 fps. So is it really worth it to pay roughly say 300 bucks more for 10-20fps? That costs 15-30 bucks per fps gain?

A good read with some performance shows is this http://www.tomshardw...epler,3280.html They have a $500 build a $1000 build and a $2000 build with benchmarks against each other. You could easily take the $1000 build and tweak it to your personal needs.

http://www.tomshardw...ler,3280-7.html

Look closely at skyrim benchmarks. The $500 build hits 75 fps in 1920 x 1080 over clocked it hits 78 so a 3 fps gain from oc? The $1000 hits 110 fps and 143 oced. The $2000 build hits 127 fps and 162 oc. So a 35 gain on the $500 build to the $1000 build. From the $1000 build to the $2000 build is a 17 fps difference with a $1000 price difference. In over clock it is a 65 fps gain for the $1000 build over the $500. And only a 19 fps gain of the $2000 build over the $1000 build.

Just using that as an example to show that more expensive does not always equal a lot better performance. A 17 fps gain in non oc and a 19 fps gain in the comparison of the $1000 build over the $2000 build equals a cost of $58 per fps gain non oc and $52 per fps gain oc. And to me personally those gains are not worth the costs. But that is up to you honestly. But thought this information may be a bit helpful. But since you plan to use 3 monitors (some thing i never understood the point of myself) crossfire is almost a must to fill all 3 screens with pixels. Although some newer cards can do that job without crossfire.

If i were building a gaming pc right now without cash restrictions i would either go sandy http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jz1K (and maybe later on jump to an ivy) or ivy http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jz2n the costs? $1055.57 ivy and $1035.57 sandy. And that build will hit hard and fast. Is it the best build? Nope but the best comes with a high price tag. Is there room for improvement here and there on the parts? Probably but the performance would not change or drop much.

I will leave you with this thought. "You do not need a canon ball to squash a mosquito" I would build with what i need and want to do in mind. Keeping in mind for some future upgrade possibilities.
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#5
subsonicwave

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Thank you Zolton, you are very insightfull and gave me a bit of a reallity check. Most of my choices were based on wanting to do a high profile custom build with lots of show as well as performance. The only reason for the liquid cooling was because of lack of knowledge in size of air cooling radiators and distance to ram slots. Read many reviews where ram was removed to make room for radiators and fans. As for the ram I chose the dominator platinum because of the bling and quality factors so I don't wish to lose those. The case was because I didn't want your typical rectangle...the NZXT Phantom is sleek and very roomy from my understanding but if everything I am looking for can fit into a mid tower case then what do you think of NZXT Phantom 410 (Black)?
The cpu was chosen mainly on an uneducated premise where I thought overclocking would be better than the newer 3rd gen processors. I will definately look further into your suggestions. The video cards were chosen for their vram and capabilities of crossfire. My understanding was that the more ram on the video processor and the speed would increase the quality in the ultra settings in game play. If I am wrong please educate me. I desire to understand more.
I have played on a multi monitored system which felt like I was immersed in the game hence the reason for the multi monitored setup I am trying to achieve. Of course it was an eyefinity 5 setup with the monitors in portrait instead of landscape. I didn't know anything about the system but I loved the way it felt like I was in the game. Of course that system was using a $5k + system and 5 42inch LED 3D tvs in a semi circle arrangement. SWEET
All things aside I really want a system that I can play on 3 monitors and at the same time play a movie on a 4th monitor (58") in a seperate room while burning a bluray of a movie and editing photos to a video dvd.I don't know if it is possible to do all of this but I have seen the eyefinity 5 with multiple arrangements for desktop and gaming combos. As far as sending signal to another room - that I have covered from experience with wiring up home audio and video as well as distribution of signals for each. Is it possible to build such a system? Or am I just dreaming and need to stick with the basics for my gaming rig and a seperate for the rest?
Thank you all for any and all input
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#6
Zolton33

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I understand about where you are coming from with your build. you are looking for some thing unique that will play well use 3 monitors and last a bit. That brings the choices a bit more down and probably a huge drop in price. The i7 you chose is also a quad core cpu and will not do any better in games then the i5 2500k or the i5 3570k to be honest. In gaming more cores do not mean better performance. A dual core will game just as well as a quad but the quad will perform better. Most games do not even use dual cores as a requirement soa quad will suit for at least a few more years really well when it comes to gaming.

And most games mainly use your gpu to play every thing. So when gaming is concerned thats where i would concentrate on the build. It will be the brawn of your system so keep that in mind.Most of the newer cards and a lot of the high end ones support multiple monitors.

http://techreport.co...-graphics-cards A good read.

http://www.tomshardw...ity-setup-guide A guide to Eyefinity

http://www.tomshardw...-crossfire-faqs A sli/crossfire faq

So there is some good reading on the hook ups and how to's of Eyefinity as well as sli/crossfire. And worth the read to help bring you up to speed on things pretty quick. And it may help you in finding what you are looking for in a gpu.

http://www.newegg.co...vatedMark=False That is a list of the gpu's that support the eyefinity are amd and are in the 7000 series (so latest newest gpus) They recommend at least 2 gigs of video ram for it. So i'll break down that huge list of cards down to the max they have.

http://www.newegg.co...vatedMark=False 2gb ($159.99 plus price tag)

http://www.newegg.co...vatedMark=False 3Gb ($299.99 plus price tag)

http://www.newegg.co...vatedMark=False 6gb (super expensive $599.99 plus price tag)

As for slots for coolers close to the ram slots? There are some boards made with this in mind and you can also get different sized coolers as well as low profile ram. So there is some play room here and there. Liquid cooling is mainly for extreme over clockers looking to push their systems to the max. But it comes at high risks and costs for very little jump in over all performance. They will see higher jumps in performance in games that utilize more cpu then gpu. But will see no gains hardly in games that utilize the gpu more over the cpu. In builds you want to keep several things in mind.

First what do you want your system to do. With this we know you want a good gaming fps system that can utilize 3 monitors at once.

Second is the costs to performance ratio. Keeping in mind you want your pc to do what you want and get the best parts for your system without over paying for parts that give very little gains.

Thirdly you want to consider your budget and your max cash. It will do you no good to pick out all these awesome new parts with noway to buy them.

With these things in mind you start out first with your cpu.
Note:If over clocking what cooler to use for your cpu as coolers that come with your cpu are designed to keep it cool under normal stress and wear and tear.

Second the motherboard you need to accomplish this goal.

Third you choose the card/cards needed to accomplish this.

Fourth with your motherboard now picked out choose the best ram for your pc.

Fifth your hdd/sdd (ssd are great for windows loading and game loading but the less you use an ssd the better and longer life span of it so a larger ssd is not always great and using it as little as possible is best as its life span is set to its read and writing)

Sixth thing you should look for is the optical drive that will suit your needs

Seventh is what psu will serve these needs and allow for a future upgrade.

Eighth Is your operating system (linux mac windows)

Ninth and final is your case keeping in mind all the other parts must fit into it as well as be able to keep these components cool.

Those are the steps i take for any build or build advise. And in that order. This allows for you to move some components up or down in price to fully suit your budget.

My concern with the case you chose is the cooling aspect. It has a fan on the top of your case which is good for less trapping at the top but it also only utilizes 3 fans. 1 on top 1 on the side and 1 on the back. In cases its best to either:

1.Move as much air in and fast to cool it down
2.Move as much air as possible out of the case as fast as possible
3.A combination of the 2 above with some fans pulling in air and some moving them out.

Some cases can create hot pockets of air that do not leave the case in either of the 3 options above and those are the ones to try to avoid. Some builders swear by full exhaust (pulling air out of the case as much as possible as fast as possible). And some swear by the full intake (all fans pulling air into the case as much and as fast as possible). And some love to create air circulation (an example would be fans on the front or side pulling air in while fans on the rear and top push it out).

It is impossible to say one is right or one is wrong. It depends on the person and their environment. If it stays pretty cool where yo live all year around then an intake system will suit you well (snowy type). If how ever you live in a hot area where it can get pretty hot then exhaust would probably be best (desert type environments). If it is some times hot and some times cool then a balance of the two may be best. Regardless cases are not 100% air tight. So with a full exhaust your case will still suck in some air and full intake will still push some air out.

So with those things in mind and which way you prefer it to work or need it to work you choose your case. You can also factor in that you may have central air or maybe air conditioning. Plus you need to factor in dust management on intake builds by using filters and cleaning your pc religiously with canned air for exhaust builds. And different cases are designed with different air flow in mind. Case cooling is important in almost all builds. And pc components do not like hot air very much at all. Also some cases offer cable management solutions to help keep your cables out of the way as well. Cases come in all shapes and sizes as well as offer different price ranges.

I hope this information can help you decide on your best parts and helps to give you a few more small parts to read up on. Putting a pc together is not really hard. The hardest part is to wade through all the components to find a balance between what you need/want and what you can afford. But once it is built you not only feel pride but also a feeling of accomplishment. As you not only chose the parts but you also built it yourself. It has a learning curve but you are already well on your way :thumbsup:
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#7
phillpower2

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One important thing to mention is that the video editing/rendering element appears to be getting overlooked at the moment.
For serious editing/rendering video an i7 CPU with HyperThreading capabilities is required, if you are not serious about it or have no long term plans to make a business out of it or make it a long term pastime then I agree the 3570K is a good choice of CPU.

Just to reiterate do not use an aftermarket cooler unless you are willing to void your warranty, I am not a fan of over clocking and I would certainly not suggest that a novice at it spends $1000+ on a new build and then practice at it, FWIW Intel now offer a separate warranty for over clockers http://www.pcpro.co....or-overclockers
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