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 Post subject: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
I would like some evaluation of my current planned build. I’m coming from an E7400 Core 2 Duo on a P45 chipset board and a GeForce GTS 250. Right now I’m fairly pleased with the Z97 and Haswell refresh options. This is clearly a substantial upgrade for me and I want to keep my build decently quiet. I don’t plan on overclocking any more than the Asus “5-point optimization” yields, if I even go that far. My goal is a semi-silent gaming/general-use PC for less than 1,200 USD. It will sit on the floor in front of me to my left under my desk, with the “guts” of the PC case about 4 feet (~122cm) from my head.

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ($100) - Looks good, relatively inexpensive, and lots of great quiet features.
PSU: Seasonic SS-520FL2 ($140) - Can’t beat fanless and I don’t think I’ll need more power for a single-GPU rig; just curious if most, if not all the problems detailed in the SPCR review have been ironed out.
Mobo: Asus Z97-A ($150) - Asus boards have always worked well for me and I like the features and price. Several fan headers is a plus and the Asus Fan Control software is pretty nice.
CPU: Core i5-4460 ($190) - Should be adequate for my needs, plus the bump to i7 is too expensive for me.
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 1866 CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 ($160) - I’ve always had good results with Corsair. I may look for low-profile memory on the mobo compatibility list depending on the CPU HSF I end up with.
GPU: MSI Gaming N760 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 ($250) - After some review of this thread, I have concluded the MSI Gaming to be a better card for my quiet-ish needs, hopefully maybe precluding the need for an aftermarket cooler.
SSD: Samsung EVO 840 250GB MZ-7TE250BW ($152) - Looks like a solid choice.
HDD: WD Red WD40EFRX - 4 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
HDD: WD Green WD20EARS - 2 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
Optical: Samsung SATA DVD burner - coming over from my current rig.
Networking: PCI Express 1x wifi card coming over from my current rig.
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro coming over from my current rig.

Tentative total: $1,142

How does all this look for a “foundation”? Eventually I would like to have a decent CPU cooler and GPU cooler, if necessary, as well as possibly replace the chassis fans with something quieter. I just did an i3-4130 build in an Antec Sonata Proto and, frankly, I am fairly impressed with the stock Intel HSF that is included, as far as acoustics are concerned. Granted, this i3 PC is strictly for office use but the unit performed admirably in my opinion. The Proto is an OK quiet case but the added dampening of the R4 will be an added bonus.

Would anyone care to comment on the future of SATA Express and M.2 using PCI-E compared with regular ole' 6Gbps SATA? This Asus board comes with both connectors and I’m curious if the speed bump will be noticeable in the regular desktop environment and occasional gaming. I won’t be doing any hardcore productivity/content creation stuff, just the usual gaming and 15+ tabs open in Firefox. My initial opinion is that both technologies are great but most likely too expensive at this point. For reference, I am coming from a fourth-gen WD Velociraptor (16MB cache, SATA 3Gbps)

I’m also curious if you guys think I should wait for X99 and all that entails. My initial opinion is that while the features of course will be really cool the price of all-new architecture will sting significantly, especially with DDR4. I’m really not willing to pay $200 for a motherboard, $250 for a CPU and $250 for RAM and I don’t want a crippled low-end version of new tech that may or may not perform worse than mid-high-end “previous-gen” Haswell refresh and Z97 tech.

Ditto for the Kepler core in the EVGA GeForce GTX 760 I have so far chosen. Is a wait for Maxwell a good idea? It seems pretty far off, and I think the card I have chosen is about as good as I can get for around $250, especially for its acoustic performance and three-year warranty. Plus, a free copy of Watch Dogs!!!

Onboard sound? Take it or leave it? The Asus Z97-A is supposed to have some pretty nice features, including circuitry isolation and high-quality capacitors for the “Crystal Sound 2” onboard sound. Or is that all just a gimmick? I’m currently using an old Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi connected to Logitech Z-680 speakers and also a Denon receiver with some floor-standing 3-way Polk stereo speakers. Should I stick with the onboard sound or go aftermarket? Or even carry over the X-fi to my new rig, would it sound better than the onboard sound of the Asus board?

Eventually, if needed, I would like to upgrade some of the cooling components. I’m thinking the new-ish Scythe Kotetsu (if it’s ever released in the US), Noctua chassis fans and, since I’ve had EXCELLENT results with Arctic Cooling in the past, an Accelero Extreme III. All this stuff is pretty costly and while I would LOVE to have it all I may not need it. An exact emulation of Abula’s cooling setup would be ideal but it’s a little out of my budget. Anything close to that degree of acoustic performance for a fraction of the price would be incredible for me. Better cooling with regards to the CPU and GPU, in addition to being quieter, might also allow for some modest overclocking which might make the rig last a little longer.

A very long-winded post, thank you for anyone who has read it all the way through. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Thanks to everyone who contributes to this site, I have learned quite a bit over the years from it.

EDIT: changed GPU from EVGA Superclocked to MSI Gaming. Great rundown of reviews and commentary here, thanks guys!


Last edited by hikeskool on Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2078
Location: Guatemala
hikeskool wrote:
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ($100) - Looks good, relatively inexpensive, and lots of great quiet features.
PSU: Seasonic SS-520FL2 ($140) - Can’t beat fanless and I don’t think I’ll need more power for a single-GPU rig; just curious if most, if not all the problems detailed in the SPCR review have been ironed out.
SSD: Samsung EVO 840 250GB MZ-7TE250BW ($152) - Looks like a solid choice.
HDD: WD Red WD40EFRX - 4 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
HDD: WD Green WD20EARS - 2 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
Optical: Samsung SATA DVD burner - coming over from my current rig.
For the above components, i would prefer a Antec Solo II, specially for two reasons, 1) I would prefer the passive PSU to have direct outlet and this is what the solo II offers having the PSU on top. 2) The two mechanical hdds + ssd, ideal combo to suspend both hdds on the solo II included mounting suspension and it also has a single side wall ssd slot, so overall would end up quieter than the fractal, at least on hdd noise. If you are set on the R4, i would prefer to go with Kingwin LZP 550, same price, semi passive platinum rated pus, also reviewed by SPCR Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W Power Supply and got the editors choice, and if you want to save some $$$, check Corsair RM 450/550/650.

hikeskool wrote:
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 1866 CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 ($160) - I’ve always had good results with Corsair. I may look for low-profile memory on the mobo compatibility list depending on the CPU HSF I end up with.
Big heatsinks are more for looks than a real need on cooling todays ddr3, if thats your reason for going with it, then go for it. Perosonally i prefer low profile so you have options to upgrade you cpu cooler later on without the ram restricting your options. Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0 would be my choice for 16gb. If you like Corsair go with Vengance low profile, that in reality is standard height, but should play better than vengance pro with an aftermarket heatsink.

hikeskool wrote:
GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2765-KR GeForce GTX 760 2GB ($250) - EVGA has been good to me in the past and the ACX cooler looks nice for a stock unit.
Read MSI GTX 760 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB and EVGA GTX 760 SC w/ ACX Cooler 2 GB, should be pretty easy to draw your own conclusion.

hikeskool wrote:
How does all this look for a “foundation”? Eventually I would like to have a decent CPU cooler and GPU cooler, if necessary, as well as possibly replace the chassis fans with something quieter. I just did an i3-4130 build in an Antec Sonata Proto and, frankly, I am fairly impressed with the stock Intel HSF that is included, as far as acoustics are concerned. Granted, this i3 PC is strictly for office use but the unit performed admirably in my opinion. The Proto is an OK quiet case but the added dampening of the R4 will be an added bonus.
Eventually, if needed, I would like to upgrade some of the cooling components. I’m thinking the new-ish Scythe Kotetsu (if it’s ever released in the US), Noctua chassis fans and, since I’ve had EXCELLENT results with Arctic Cooling in the past, an Accelero Extreme III. All this stuff is pretty costly and while I would LOVE to have it all I may not need it. An exact emulation of Abula’s cooling setup would be ideal but it’s a little out of my budget. Anything close to that degree of acoustic performance for a fraction of the price would be incredible for me. Better cooling with regards to the CPU and GPU, in addition to being quieter, might also allow for some modest overclocking which might make the rig last a little longer.
I would go with Scythe Mugen 4 right now, but i just dislike intel stock coolers at load, but we all have different needs in terms of noise, so its up to you.

hikeskool wrote:
Would anyone care to comment on the future of SATA Express and M.2 using PCI-E compared with regular ole' 6Gbps SATA? This Asus board comes with both connectors and I’m curious if the speed bump will be noticeable in the regular desktop environment and occasional gaming. I won’t be doing any hardcore productivity/content creation stuff, just the usual gaming and 15+ tabs open in Firefox. My initial opinion is that both technologies are great but most likely too expensive at this point. For reference, I am coming from a fourth-gen WD Velociraptor (16MB cache, SATA 3Gbps)
it is what we will be moving in the years to come, but there is no options atm, even on m.2 very few, so give it some time, stay with sata III until we have a options from the big manufactuers like crucial, samsung, sandiisk, kingston, intel, etc.

hikeskool wrote:
I’m also curious if you guys think I should wait for X99 and all that entails. My initial opinion is that while the features of course will be really cool the price of all-new architecture will sting significantly, especially with DDR4. I’m really not willing to pay $200 for a motherboard, $250 for a CPU and $250 for RAM and I don’t want a crippled low-end version of new tech that may or may not perform worse than mid-high-end “previous-gen” Haswell refresh and Z97 tech.
Don't wait, the platform will be much more expensive than what you think.

hikeskool wrote:
Ditto for the Kepler core in the EVGA GeForce GTX 760 I have so far chosen. Is a wait for Maxwell a good idea? It seems pretty far off, and I think the card I have chosen is about as good as I can get for around $250, especially for its acoustic performance and three-year warranty. Plus, a free copy of Watch Dogs!!!
There is no release date on Maxwell GPUs, and there are nothing yet into how good will it be.... so buy now if you need it. Todays GPUs can handle very well 1080p, the reason for wating is more in line for hgiher end gaming, maybe 4k... but for todays games i think the current gen does a great job with 1080p.

As final siggestion if you persue the R4 still, look for Antec True Quiet 140mm fans, really cheap and very good to run on Asus motherboard with FanXpert. They were reviewed by SPCR on Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4786
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Abula captured most of my thoughts. Here's a few more:
- Wander through my signature thread. You'll see how unspectacular the stock Intel cooler is.
- If you aren't under any time pressure, wait until ~August for a Z97 build. There are always a lot of bug fixes/firmware/driver updates in the first few months of release.
- You haven't mentioned any applications that might make use of 16GB of RAM....and before you say "futureproofing" and we'd have to come find and kill you, adding another 2x4GB of RAM later is rather easy to do.
- I like the MSI GTX 760 Gaming. It's the best stock solution. That said, it's the ONLY thing I hear in my very quiet rig. Maxwell is expected to come out in Q1 2015. Given the vagarities of Nvidia's releases, you might see the GTX 860 in January or June (the latter if they do staggered releases). You don't mention your monitor resolution. If 1080p, and since you've lived with the GTS 250 for so long, you could go with GTX 750 Ti Maxwell part now and then trade up next year.
- audio: Doesn't the Logitech take optical input? Just bypass the sound card stuff and use that. Use HDMI (or optical) for the Receiver.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
Thanks so much for the replies! It really means a lot coming from you guys since your setups are basically what I hope to emulate at some point.

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 ($100) - Looks good, relatively inexpensive, and lots of great quiet features.
PSU: Seasonic SS-520FL2 ($140) - Can’t beat fanless and I don’t think I’ll need more power for a single-GPU rig; just curious if most, if not all the problems detailed in the SPCR review have been ironed out.
SSD: Samsung EVO 840 250GB MZ-7TE250BW ($152) - Looks like a solid choice.
HDD: WD Red WD40EFRX - 4 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
HDD: WD Green WD20EARS - 2 gigger coming over from my current rig, media storage.
Optical: Samsung SATA DVD burner - coming over from my current rig.
For the above components, i would prefer a Antec Solo II, specially for two reasons, 1) I would prefer the passive PSU to have direct outlet and this is what the solo II offers having the PSU on top. 2) The two mechanical hdds + ssd, ideal combo to suspend both hdds on the solo II included mounting suspension and it also has a single side wall ssd slot, so overall would end up quieter than the fractal, at least on hdd noise. If you are set on the R4, i would prefer to go with Kingwin LZP 550, same price, semi passive platinum rated pus, also reviewed by SPCR Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W Power Supply and got the editors choice, and if you want to save some $$$, check Corsair RM 450/550/650.

I appreciate your suggestion of the Kingwin Lazer 550. It looks like a great option with, more or less, no fan spinning at idle. When I’m gaming and MIGHT experience the PSU fan initialize I’ll presumably not notice anyway due to the volume of whatever game I’m playing. My only concern is that it might get too close to the bottom intake fan position on the R4. Is the Lazer too long or do you think it will be OK? Either way, this is a great suggestion, thanks!

I DO want to keep the R4. The Antec you suggest is indeed a sexy case but it’s too expensive for me and I like the features of the R4 more. The 2 HDDs I’m using both won SPCR Editor’s Choice (WD 4TB Red and WD 2TB Green) so, frankly, I’m OK mounting them straight into the R4’s soft mounting HDD racks. I do certainly appreciate your advice on the matter and will, however, in light of your suggestion do some close listening to each of them. I use them for storage only (no programs) so I think a good way to really test them is to have them continually “hit” and see if it bothers me in my current case, the Antec P182. If so, suspension might be my only option. I’m no stranger to suspension, as I currently have my Velociraptor dismounted and suspended in a NoVibes 2.5 as detailed in the SPCR review.


Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 1866 CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 ($160) - I’ve always had good results with Corsair. I may look for low-profile memory on the mobo compatibility list depending on the CPU HSF I end up with.
Big heatsinks are more for looks than a real need on cooling todays ddr3, if thats your reason for going with it, then go for it. Perosonally i prefer low profile so you have options to upgrade you cpu cooler later on without the ram restricting your options. Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0 would be my choice for 16gb. If you like Corsair go with Vengance low profile, that in reality is standard height, but should play better than vengance pro with an aftermarket heatsink.

I chose the Corsair memory I did because it’s on the Asus Qualified Vendors List (QVL). Granted, there is obviously tons of memory that will work that is not on the QVL but it’s always worked for me in the past to use it. On the other hand, I have had good success with Crucial in the past as well and would have no problem using their memory either. While I don’t plan on doing a lot of overclocking I would like the option in the future. Will having "regular" 1600 memory allow a decent overclock, even if there isn’t a massive heatsink on there like the Corsair memory you recommend? Or are the small-ish heatsinks available on the low-profile 1600 memory options good enough for some small modest overclocks? I appreciate your suggestions, in lieu of them I am now going to look at the Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0 OR the Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0 in case I think I want some more headroom in the future. It's a bummer Crucial doesn't make its super low-profile in 1866 speeds. Do you think the Ballistix Tactical I linked to could accommodate most of the big coolers?

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2765-KR GeForce GTX 760 2GB ($250) - EVGA has been good to me in the past and the ACX cooler looks nice for a stock unit.
Read MSI GTX 760 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB and EVGA GTX 760 SC w/ ACX Cooler 2 GB, should be pretty easy to draw your own conclusion.

Definitely! I read up on the MSI 760 and it definitely looks like a better option than the EVGA card. At the same price this is a no-brainer. Big thanks to Steve for the info compiled here!

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
How does all this look for a “foundation”? Eventually I would like to have a decent CPU cooler and GPU cooler, if necessary, as well as possibly replace the chassis fans with something quieter. I just did an i3-4130 build in an Antec Sonata Proto and, frankly, I am fairly impressed with the stock Intel HSF that is included, as far as acoustics are concerned. Granted, this i3 PC is strictly for office use but the unit performed admirably in my opinion. The Proto is an OK quiet case but the added dampening of the R4 will be an added bonus.
Eventually, if needed, I would like to upgrade some of the cooling components. I’m thinking the new-ish Scythe Kotetsu (if it’s ever released in the US), Noctua chassis fans and, since I’ve had EXCELLENT results with Arctic Cooling in the past, an Accelero Extreme III. All this stuff is pretty costly and while I would LOVE to have it all I may not need it. An exact emulation of Abula’s cooling setup would be ideal but it’s a little out of my budget. Anything close to that degree of acoustic performance for a fraction of the price would be incredible for me. Better cooling with regards to the CPU and GPU, in addition to being quieter, might also allow for some modest overclocking which might make the rig last a little longer.
I would go with Scythe Mugen 4 right now, but i just dislike intel stock coolers at load, but we all have different needs in terms of noise, so its up to you.

The Mugen 4 looks like a super-good value. I have a Scythe Ninja in my PC now and it performs fairly well, although it's a little louder than I like. Although, to its credit, I haven't done the best job optimizing my current build for acoustics.

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Would anyone care to comment on the future of SATA Express and M.2 using PCI-E compared with regular ole' 6Gbps SATA? This Asus board comes with both connectors and I’m curious if the speed bump will be noticeable in the regular desktop environment and occasional gaming. I won’t be doing any hardcore productivity/content creation stuff, just the usual gaming and 15+ tabs open in Firefox. My initial opinion is that both technologies are great but most likely too expensive at this point. For reference, I am coming from a fourth-gen WD Velociraptor (16MB cache, SATA 3Gbps)
it is what we will be moving in the years to come, but there is no options atm, even on m.2 very few, so give it some time, stay with sata III until we have a options from the big manufactuers like crucial, samsung, sandiisk, kingston, intel, etc.

hikeskool wrote:
I’m also curious if you guys think I should wait for X99 and all that entails. My initial opinion is that while the features of course will be really cool the price of all-new architecture will sting significantly, especially with DDR4. I’m really not willing to pay $200 for a motherboard, $250 for a CPU and $250 for RAM and I don’t want a crippled low-end version of new tech that may or may not perform worse than mid-high-end “previous-gen” Haswell refresh and Z97 tech.
Don't wait, the platform will be much more expensive than what you think.

hikeskool wrote:
Ditto for the Kepler core in the EVGA GeForce GTX 760 I have so far chosen. Is a wait for Maxwell a good idea? It seems pretty far off, and I think the card I have chosen is about as good as I can get for around $250, especially for its acoustic performance and three-year warranty. Plus, a free copy of Watch Dogs!!!
There is no release date on Maxwell GPUs, and there are nothing yet into how good will it be.... so buy now if you need it. Todays GPUs can handle very well 1080p, the reason for wating is more in line for hgiher end gaming, maybe 4k... but for todays games i think the current gen does a great job with 1080p.

I tend to agree with the comments as far as Maxwell, X99 and SATA Extreme and M.2. The options are either too far in the future, too hard to find or too expensive, or some combination of those three. I think I’ll stick with Kepler, Z97 and 6Gbps SATA.

Abula wrote:
As final siggestion if you persue the R4 still, look for Antec True Quiet 140mm fans, really cheap and very good to run on Asus motherboard with FanXpert. They were reviewed by SPCR on Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe

Thank you for the fan suggestions! What arrangements would you recommend I go for here? It would be nice not to spend too much money on filling all six fan spaces in the R4 but paying 11 USD for one of those Antec fans makes it a little simpler than spending at least twice that on a Noctua fan, even though the Noctua probably perform better.


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
Thanks for your input Steve!

CA_Steve wrote:
Abula captured most of my thoughts. Here's a few more:
- Wander through my signature thread. You'll see how unspectacular the stock Intel cooler is.

Hah, I actually have read through your thread prior to me starting this thread and appreciate the detail you have taken in your evaluations. It stinks your neighbor had to break out his power washer when it was PC tinkering time!

CA_Steve wrote:
- If you aren't under any time pressure, wait until ~August for a Z97 build. There are always a lot of bug fixes/firmware/driver updates in the first few months of release.

I was planning on late July/early August, actually. It looks like Asus has already released three BIOS updates which is consistent with my experience with Asus in the past; they are always improving their boards.

CA_Steve wrote:
- You haven't mentioned any applications that might make use of 16GB of RAM....and before you say "futureproofing" and we'd have to come find and kill you, adding another 2x4GB of RAM later is rather easy to do.

Haha, sorry, still gonna go with "futureproofing". My builds usually don't see too many upgrades and I like to build for 5+ years. I actually tried to find matching memory to supplement my current 2x2GB configuration but DDR2 is stupid-expensive right now. After dropping $400+ in my current rig to add RAM and buy a new video card it just makes sense to start from scratch.

CA_Steve wrote:
- I like the MSI GTX 760 Gaming. It's the best stock solution. That said, it's the ONLY thing I hear in my very quiet rig. Maxwell is expected to come out in Q1 2015. Given the vagarities of Nvidia's releases, you might see the GTX 860 in January or June (the latter if they do staggered releases). You don't mention your monitor resolution. If 1080p, and since you've lived with the GTS 250 for so long, you could go with GTX 750 Ti Maxwell part now and then trade up next year.

My current monitor is the old Dell 2405FPW. At its time it was pretty fantastic and is still adequate for me today. The 1920x1200 res makes it tough for super-detailed gaming, however, so I have to make some compromises there. The staggered plan with the GTX 750 Ti is not a bad idea. Which model would be most acoustically pleasing? I see MSI has a "Gaming" model available, is it as quiet as its GTX 760 Gaming? Although I would like 2 DVI ports as I pipe one to my Dell monitor and the other to a big screen. I suppose I could just use the HDMI on the 750 Ti to the TV instead, assuming dual monitor support works using both DVI and HDMI.

CA_Steve wrote:
- audio: Doesn't the Logitech take optical input? Just bypass the sound card stuff and use that. Use HDMI (or optical) for the Receiver.

The way I have it now is I split the front channel minijack from my sound card to the Logitech and my receiver using a minijack splitter. The Logitech does indeed take optical but the X-Fi lacks any optical out. Can I "split" my audio using both the optical AND the front channel minijack OR the HDMI audio via the video card? I didn't actually know that you could pipe audio via HDMI through an add-on video card. How would such a setup work?


Last edited by hikeskool on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2078
Location: Guatemala
Quote:
My only concern is that it might get too close to the bottom intake fan position on the R4. Is the Lazer too long or do you think it will be OK? Either way, this is a great suggestion, thanks!
You have good eyes and do see things that matter. You are correct into it being longer than the usual 160mm (both my X660 and SS860XP2 are 160), this i believe is 170mm, in theory i believe you should be fine still, there is some room left over, but the problem are the connectors, i chose a PSU that had the connectors on the upper part to help this issue, hard to say on LZP since they are on the middle, all of this would matter only if you are using a 140mm on the bottom intake, if not there is no issue at all. Recently i went with the SS-860XP2 mostly because its the only 160mm that i would consider quiet that still is on a 160mm frame, so all the build would remain the same specially the bottom fan, with a SLI setup.

Quote:
I chose the Corsair memory I did because it’s on the Asus Qualified Vendors List (QVL). Granted, there is obviously tons of memory that will work that is not on the QVL but it’s always worked for me in the past to use it. On the other hand, I have had good success with Crucial in the past as well and would have no problem using their memory either. While I don’t plan on doing a lot of overclocking I would like the option in the future. Will having "regular" 1600 memory allow a decent overclock, even if there isn’t a massive heatsink on there like the Corsair memory you recommend? Or are the small-ish heatsinks available on the low-profile 1600 memory options good enough for some small modest overclocks? I appreciate your suggestions, in lieu of them I am now going to look at the Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0 OR the Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0 in case I think I want some more headroom in the future. It's a bummer Crucial doesn't make its super low-profile in 1866 speeds. Do you think the Ballistix Tactical I linked to could accommodate most of the big coolers?
Hard to say, will depend on the cooler, for example in my build with the Silver Arrow that almost passes the 4 banks of memory with the fan... i would think it fits but you will need to place the fan higher than on mine, you do have some room to wing it though, but the ballistic tactical sport low profile that i used really nice as it allows you to set the fan as low as you wish and never interferes. On the QVL, i think its a good practice you doing, i did gamble with mine as it wasnt on the qvlist, but ran fine on my Asus Maximus VI gene, no issues either on the MSI, both recognized the XMP and ran the 1.35V fine, really happy with the results with crucial low profile, although i still have my wish that i would have gone with the ballistic tactical instead of the sport as it has lower CAS, but at the end the gains on memory are very low, and i found my 32gb on sale for $204, so went with it, shortly after all memory went up =). Look for corisar on the QVL, i believe there is a white low proflie that its also 1.35V or what ever you prefer, remember even if you go with tall heatsinks there are alternatives down the road to fix it, i really like Enzotech Forged Copper RAM Heatspreader (MA-DDRC1), it should fit any standard height pcb memory and its pretty good coolers, much better than the aluminium stocks, and its just $13 for each, so go with whatever you prefer.

Quote:
Definitely! I read up on the MSI 760 and it definitely looks like a better option than the EVGA card. At the same price this is a no-brainer. Big thanks to Steve for the info compiled here!
I have nothing but good experiences with EVGA, really been a good solid company, the RMA is very good, and their high end products are considered by overclockers to be among the best. Now in terms of noise... i think the MSI is a better choice, but if your goal is preformance and dont care about the noise, then i would go with EVGA. This is probably the component that will do more noise on the hole build, all your other components should be quieter than this (well.... the intel stock cooler might not on load).

Quote:
Thank you for the fan suggestions! What arrangements would you recommend I go for here? It would be nice not to spend too much money on filling all six fan spaces in the R4 but paying 11 USD for one of those Antec fans makes it a little simpler than spending at least twice that on a Noctua fan, even though the Noctua probably perform better.
The fans are cheap, so you can get as many as you like, half price of noctua/noiseblockers. I would recommend a minimum of 3, two intakes on the front and one out on the back. The bottom its up to you, i did it mostly because i wanted to ensure i had positive pressure to avoid dust getting in through the holes on the case (like the PSU or pci covers, side panel fittings), i never really tested with 3 v 4 to know if there is a difference. Look into CA_Steve build, as yours is aiming at very similar ending, just you choosing asus so you will be able to drop the Antec fans much lower than him, but do remember this are not magical fans, the lower you drop them the lower the airflow so at some point you have to decide whats better for your setup, and this can only be done by your own personal testing.

Now on Nocuta..... the fans are great but not for the correct reasons, i like them so much, because all my builds are now ran with BIOS fan control, MSI, Intel and supermicro have pretty solid bios fan controls, although intel sometimes baffels me as % are not the same for all headers, but once you tweak it and understand how it works, all do a pretty solid job on pure bios. Noctuas have extremely good range of operation, they can be taken almost to 10% PWM and still spin, so the range of control is very good. But tonally i don't think they are so good, specially above 800rpms there are much quieter fans out there under the same rpms, the question goes into how much cooling can they deliver.... but this will go into tangent.... so let end up with i love noctuas because of their PWM control and not so much tonally in high rpms, but i just simply need fans like noctuas to do all the control by pure bios. I would take Antec True Quiet 140s over Ncotuas for an FanXpert build easily, its my favorite fan tonally on 140 atm.

Ill post a build on the weekend, i have recently retaken the build that i flee away for a year almost. Its a Lian Li PC-D8000 with 12x Noctua fans (6x NF-S12A PWM and 6x NF-A14 PWM), ran with two switctech 8 PWM fan splitter, on my testing the supermicro motherboard runs the nocutas at 350rpms (both) on idle, and ramps them up to 550rpms on load, the cpu is still sandy bridge and clocks don't go as high as with i7, so overall it sustains like that, i just curious into how it will sound with 12xfans, hopping it will still be inaudible at idle.... but who knows.....

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4786
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
I don't think you need the sound card at all.

1) Run the optical output on the motherboard to your Logitech system. Run DVI from the video card to your Dell monitor.

2) The TV side: either,
a) Run HDMI from the video card to your A/V Receiver. Run HDMI from the Receiver to your TV. Or,
b) Run HDMI to your TV. Run either HDMI out or whatever acceptable audio out the TV has to your receiver.

There's a GTX 750 Ti thread, too. Check out the member thread embedded within. The MSI card stands out. Asus is planning a STRIX version of their 750 Ti where the fan is off except when temps exceed a target. Pretty cool - however, have to wait and see how well it performs. The GTX 780 version goes from passive to 1800 rpm in a step function...

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
I appreciate, again, the responses. All this info is very helpful!

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
My only concern is that it might get too close to the bottom intake fan position on the R4. Is the Lazer too long or do you think it will be OK? Either way, this is a great suggestion, thanks!
You have good eyes and do see things that matter. You are correct into it being longer than the usual 160mm (both my X660 and SS860XP2 are 160), this i believe is 170mm, in theory i believe you should be fine still, there is some room left over, but the problem are the connectors, i chose a PSU that had the connectors on the upper part to help this issue, hard to say on LZP since they are on the middle, all of this would matter only if you are using a 140mm on the bottom intake, if not there is no issue at all. Recently i went with the SS-860XP2 mostly because its the only 160mm that i would consider quiet that still is on a 160mm frame, so all the build would remain the same specially the bottom fan, with a SLI setup.

The clearance issue with the Kingwin is somewhat vexing. As you state, the unit it 10mm longer than the X660 in your rig. Do you think you could measure the distance between the edge of your PSU and the edge of the Noctua fan on the bottom and see if it’s less than 10mm? It looks like it would be close from your pictures and I would like to be sure if you would be willing. Further, it looks like the cable routing out of the Kingwin would be a little challenging if there were a fan in the bottom position; it wouldn’t be ideal having a good-sized chunk of cables blocking airflow of the bottom fan. It would also be bad to have a fan and the PSU both touching as I’m sure some vibration noise would transfer.

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
I chose the Corsair memory I did because it’s on the Asus Qualified Vendors List (QVL). Granted, there is obviously tons of memory that will work that is not on the QVL but it’s always worked for me in the past to use it. On the other hand, I have had good success with Crucial in the past as well and would have no problem using their memory either. While I don’t plan on doing a lot of overclocking I would like the option in the future. Will having "regular" 1600 memory allow a decent overclock, even if there isn’t a massive heatsink on there like the Corsair memory you recommend? Or are the small-ish heatsinks available on the low-profile 1600 memory options good enough for some small modest overclocks? I appreciate your suggestions, in lieu of them I am now going to look at the Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS2K8G3D1609ES2LX0 OR the Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0 in case I think I want some more headroom in the future. It's a bummer Crucial doesn't make its super low-profile in 1866 speeds. Do you think the Ballistix Tactical I linked to could accommodate most of the big coolers?
Hard to say, will depend on the cooler, for example in my build with the Silver Arrow that almost passes the 4 banks of memory with the fan... i would think it fits but you will need to place the fan higher than on mine, you do have some room to wing it though, but the ballistic tactical sport low profile that i used really nice as it allows you to set the fan as low as you wish and never interferes. On the QVL, i think its a good practice you doing, i did gamble with mine as it wasnt on the qvlist, but ran fine on my Asus Maximus VI gene, no issues either on the MSI, both recognized the XMP and ran the 1.35V fine, really happy with the results with crucial low profile, although i still have my wish that i would have gone with the ballistic tactical instead of the sport as it has lower CAS, but at the end the gains on memory are very low, and i found my 32gb on sale for $204, so went with it, shortly after all memory went up =). Look for corisar on the QVL, i believe there is a white low proflie that its also 1.35V or what ever you prefer, remember even if you go with tall heatsinks there are alternatives down the road to fix it, i really like Enzotech Forged Copper RAM Heatspreader (MA-DDRC1), it should fit any standard height pcb memory and its pretty good coolers, much better than the aluminium stocks, and its just $13 for each, so go with whatever you prefer.

How much space is between the top of your memory and the very bottom of your fan on the Macho? Would you mind terribly measuring for me? Crucial was kind enough to email me specs on the height of their memory:
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0: 1 inch (25.4mm)
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0: 1.4 inches (35.6mm)
I was also able to consult this helpful video on Newegg comparing the sizes of the Tactical Low Profile and the Sport Very Low Profile. Asus recommends populating the slot nearest the edge of the board and the slot second in from nearest the CPU so that means the slot nearest the CPU won’t be populated if I only use two DIMMs (which is what I plan on doing). So, perhaps using measurement info on your rig, if you would be so kind, I MIGHT be able to see if I can fit the 1866 memory in there WHILE ALSO using the Macho.

Or I think I might go with the Kotetsu as it seems it is now available in the US although it’s a little pricier than I expected. Besides, with the Kotetsu I can probably use a much wider range of memory (taller modules) than with any cooler using a 140mm fan. In fact, from this picture taken from the SPCR review of the Kotetsu it looks like memory clearance shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Would you recommend simply ripping off stock RAM heat spreaders and applying those copper units you linked to in your previous posts? Do those just snap together or what? Is it tough to remove stock heat spreaders on retail memory? I think that might not be a bad idea, assuming that any normal, non-low-profile memory works while using a large cooler such as the Macho. The issue I see with my memory situation in general is that it’s not possible to find low profile RAM clocked over 1600, so if I’m able to use these coolers with “normal” (non-low-profile) memory modules AND ALSO sneak in under a 140mm fan that would be nice.

Either way I think I’m going to roll the dice on non-QVL memory if I have any hopes of trying to find something that can accommodate large coolers. Crucial has been good to me in the past and I’m crossing my fingers they don’t let me down this time, although testing their non-approved memory on a relatively new board is a little worrisome.

Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Definitely! I read up on the MSI 760 and it definitely looks like a better option than the EVGA card. At the same price this is a no-brainer. Big thanks to Steve for the info compiled here!
I have nothing but good experiences with EVGA, really been a good solid company, the RMA is very good, and their high end products are considered by overclockers to be among the best. Now in terms of noise... i think the MSI is a better choice, but if your goal is preformance and dont care about the noise, then i would go with EVGA. This is probably the component that will do more noise on the hole build, all your other components should be quieter than this (well.... the intel stock cooler might not on load).

I think I will stick with the MSI card, if I go with the GTX 760 (I still haven’t researched the GTX 750 cards yet). The MSI 760 has the best noise profile but if I’m not happy with it and have to replace its cooler I will wish I went with perhaps a more aggressively-clocked 760 like the EVGA if I’m just going to end up with an Accellero on there anyway.


Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Thank you for the fan suggestions! What arrangements would you recommend I go for here? It would be nice not to spend too much money on filling all six fan spaces in the R4 but paying 11 USD for one of those Antec fans makes it a little simpler than spending at least twice that on a Noctua fan, even though the Noctua probably perform better.
The fans are cheap, so you can get as many as you like, half price of noctua/noiseblockers. I would recommend a minimum of 3, two intakes on the front and one out on the back. The bottom its up to you, i did it mostly because i wanted to ensure i had positive pressure to avoid dust getting in through the holes on the case (like the PSU or pci covers, side panel fittings), i never really tested with 3 v 4 to know if there is a difference. Look into CA_Steve build, as yours is aiming at very similar ending, just you choosing asus so you will be able to drop the Antec fans much lower than him, but do remember this are not magical fans, the lower you drop them the lower the airflow so at some point you have to decide whats better for your setup, and this can only be done by your own personal testing.

Now on Nocuta..... the fans are great but not for the correct reasons, i like them so much, because all my builds are now ran with BIOS fan control, MSI, Intel and supermicro have pretty solid bios fan controls, although intel sometimes baffels me as % are not the same for all headers, but once you tweak it and understand how it works, all do a pretty solid job on pure bios. Noctuas have extremely good range of operation, they can be taken almost to 10% PWM and still spin, so the range of control is very good. But tonally i don't think they are so good, specially above 800rpms there are much quieter fans out there under the same rpms, the question goes into how much cooling can they deliver.... but this will go into tangent.... so let end up with i love noctuas because of their PWM control and not so much tonally in high rpms, but i just simply need fans like noctuas to do all the control by pure bios. I would take Antec True Quiet 140s over Ncotuas for an FanXpert build easily, its my favorite fan tonally on 140 atm.

Ill post a build on the weekend, i have recently retaken the build that i flee away for a year almost. Its a Lian Li PC-D8000 with 12x Noctua fans (6x NF-S12A PWM and 6x NF-A14 PWM), ran with two switctech 8 PWM fan splitter, on my testing the supermicro motherboard runs the nocutas at 350rpms (both) on idle, and ramps them up to 550rpms on load, the cpu is still sandy bridge and clocks don't go as high as with i7, so overall it sustains like that, i just curious into how it will sound with 12xfans, hopping it will still be inaudible at idle.... but who knows.....

I appreciate your evaluation of the Antec fans and the Noctua fans. It sounds like from a value standpoint as well as an operational standpoint the Antec fans might be a better choice for me. The Fan Xpert 3 Asus is now using seems fairly impressive. I watched this video regarding Asus’ mainstream line of Z97 boards and was pleased with what they had to say with the UEFI BIOS fan controls. Very cool stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
CA_Steve wrote:
I don't think you need the sound card at all.

1) Run the optical output on the motherboard to your Logitech system. Run DVI from the video card to your Dell monitor.

2) The TV side: either,
a) Run HDMI from the video card to your A/V Receiver. Run HDMI from the Receiver to your TV. Or,
b) Run HDMI to your TV. Run either HDMI out or whatever acceptable audio out the TV has to your receiver.

There's a GTX 750 Ti thread, too. Check out the member thread embedded within. The MSI card stands out. Asus is planning a STRIX version of their 750 Ti where the fan is off except when temps exceed a target. Pretty cool - however, have to wait and see how well it performs. The GTX 780 version goes from passive to 1800 rpm in a step function...


I really should have mentioned I only use the front channel and the sub for the Logitechs so I probably do not need to get too fancy using the optical out on any soundcard or motherboard. Likewise, I only have a 2.1 setup hooked up to my receiver, so it's probably best to keep it simple and just split the minijack like I have been doing.

I will make sure to check out the 750s and that 780 sounds cool!


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4786
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
It's not a matter of being "fancy". If you use optical or HDMI for the audio, you bypass the analog circuitry on the motherboard, rely upon the Logitech or Receiver to do so, and there's very little benefit to using a sound card. If you don't bypass the analog circuitry, there MAY be benefit to the sound card (better soundstage, lower noise and distortion, better frequency response, etc) - as even the worst sound card can typically pull off better results than anything on the motherboard itself.

Really the best results are going to be digital out to your Receiver and distribute from there. <shrugs>. In any case, optical and HDMI cables are pretty inexpensive from a reliable source like Monoprice.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:35 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 6:16 am
Posts: 68
Location: Great Britain
CA_Steve wrote:
There's a GTX 750 Ti thread, too. Check out the member thread embedded within. The MSI card stands out.


Disappointingly though the MSI card doesn't have great outputs. There's no DisplayPort and only one DVI-D, restricting your choice of monitors.

CA_Steve wrote:
Asus is planning a STRIX version of their 750 Ti where the fan is off except when temps exceed a target. Pretty cool - however, have to wait and see how well it performs. The GTX 780 version goes from passive to 1800 rpm in a step function...

If that's the case (I didn't see it in the [H]ard forum review) then it's disappointing indeed. I guess by the time the card has reached 65 degrees the fans have to start pretty fast to bring the temperature back down; it would have been better to have more of a step in fan speeds and start at a lower temperature.


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
CA_Steve wrote:
It's not a matter of being "fancy". If you use optical or HDMI for the audio, you bypass the analog circuitry on the motherboard, rely upon the Logitech or Receiver to do so, and there's very little benefit to using a sound card. If you don't bypass the analog circuitry, there MAY be benefit to the sound card (better soundstage, lower noise and distortion, better frequency response, etc) - as even the worst sound card can typically pull off better results than anything on the motherboard itself.

Really the best results are going to be digital out to your Receiver and distribute from there. <shrugs>. In any case, optical and HDMI cables are pretty inexpensive from a reliable source like Monoprice.


Gotcha, I'm just not terribly well attuned with HDMI and PCs as most of my current hardware is of the vintage when HDMI was still somewhat new to most consumers. Monoprice is the best, I use that site extensively, although thankfully I think I have enough enough cables and adapters to accommodate my next setup. Now I just need to find out if my current Monoprice DVI cable is of the type that can also carry an audio signal and just slap on a DVI --> HDMI adapter...


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2078
Location: Guatemala
hikeskool wrote:
How much space is between the top of your memory and the very bottom of your fan on the Macho? Would you mind terribly measuring for me? Crucial was kind enough to email me specs on the height of their memory:
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0: 1 inch (25.4mm)
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0: 1.4 inches (35.6mm)
I was also able to consult this helpful video on Newegg comparing the sizes of the Tactical Low Profile and the Sport Very Low Profile. Asus recommends populating the slot nearest the edge of the board and the slot second in from nearest the CPU so that means the slot nearest the CPU won’t be populated if I only use two DIMMs (which is what I plan on doing). So, perhaps using measurement info on your rig, if you would be so kind, I MIGHT be able to see if I can fit the 1866 memory in there WHILE ALSO using the Macho.

Or I think I might go with the Kotetsu as it seems it is now available in the US although it’s a little pricier than I expected. Besides, with the Kotetsu I can probably use a much wider range of memory (taller modules) than with any cooler using a 140mm fan. In fact, from this picture taken from the SPCR review of the Kotetsu it looks like memory clearance shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Would you recommend simply ripping off stock RAM heat spreaders and applying those copper units you linked to in your previous posts? Do those just snap together or what? Is it tough to remove stock heat spreaders on retail memory? I think that might not be a bad idea, assuming that any normal, non-low-profile memory works while using a large cooler such as the Macho. The issue I see with my memory situation in general is that it’s not possible to find low profile RAM clocked over 1600, so if I’m able to use these coolers with “normal” (non-low-profile) memory modules AND ALSO sneak in under a 140mm fan that would be nice.
I cant help you much atm, im on the road for a few days, maybe ill post you some pictures on the weekend. I dont have the Macho nor the HR02 on the main pc anymore so i cant measure you, but i can show you some pictures where you can decide.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:16 pm
Posts: 28
Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
How much space is between the top of your memory and the very bottom of your fan on the Macho? Would you mind terribly measuring for me? Crucial was kind enough to email me specs on the height of their memory:
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLT2K8G3D1608ET3LX0: 1 inch (25.4mm)
Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Gaming Memory Model BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX0: 1.4 inches (35.6mm)
I was also able to consult this helpful video on Newegg comparing the sizes of the Tactical Low Profile and the Sport Very Low Profile. Asus recommends populating the slot nearest the edge of the board and the slot second in from nearest the CPU so that means the slot nearest the CPU won’t be populated if I only use two DIMMs (which is what I plan on doing). So, perhaps using measurement info on your rig, if you would be so kind, I MIGHT be able to see if I can fit the 1866 memory in there WHILE ALSO using the Macho.

Or I think I might go with the Kotetsu as it seems it is now available in the US although it’s a little pricier than I expected. Besides, with the Kotetsu I can probably use a much wider range of memory (taller modules) than with any cooler using a 140mm fan. In fact, from this picture taken from the SPCR review of the Kotetsu it looks like memory clearance shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Would you recommend simply ripping off stock RAM heat spreaders and applying those copper units you linked to in your previous posts? Do those just snap together or what? Is it tough to remove stock heat spreaders on retail memory? I think that might not be a bad idea, assuming that any normal, non-low-profile memory works while using a large cooler such as the Macho. The issue I see with my memory situation in general is that it’s not possible to find low profile RAM clocked over 1600, so if I’m able to use these coolers with “normal” (non-low-profile) memory modules AND ALSO sneak in under a 140mm fan that would be nice.
I cant help you much atm, im on the road for a few days, maybe ill post you some pictures on the weekend. I dont have the Macho nor the HR02 on the main pc anymore so i cant measure you, but i can show you some pictures where you can decide.


Sure! No problem. I appreciate your help! :D


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Just got home, here some pics that i had from the builds,

HR02 + NF-A15PWM on Z87-GD65, using low profile curical ballistik sport

Image

Silver Arrow IBE + same fans, motherboard and memory,

Image

Mugen 3 (very similar to the 4) + Scythe Glidestream pwm 120mm, on Intel Q87 motherboard with Geil standard height memory.

Image

I think the kotestu is less wide than the mugen4 (i could be wrong), so i think you should be fine as long as the memory is standard height and even taller might work out depending on which slots you use.... else you can get the enzotech =).

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Excellent, thanks for those shots. I'm gong to see if I can somehow get my hands on a Kotetsu and try my original memory CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 or search the QVL for something lower-profile with 1866 speeds. I'll hopefully be building soon, thanks for all the input!


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:10 pm 
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hikeskool wrote:
Excellent, thanks for those shots. I'm gong to see if I can somehow get my hands on a Kotetsu and try my original memory CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 or search the QVL for something lower-profile with 1866 speeds. I'll hopefully be building soon, thanks for all the input!
I dont think there is low profile (i mean the real low profile like samsung and crucials) that its rated from factory to 1866, but i bet you can overclock it easily, its not that much 1866, and the crucial is 1.35V, so i bet you can get it steady on 1.5V at 1866, i just dont see much benefit on memory these days.

Or you can get one standard height memory and be fine still, like the mugen 3 picture, or even get higher heatsink and swap it later on in case it doesnt fit. Im more a fan of kingston, crucial and gskill than corsair in memory.. and samsung but was way to hard to get this memory, but thats just personal preferences.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Abula wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Excellent, thanks for those shots. I'm gong to see if I can somehow get my hands on a Kotetsu and try my original memory CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Desktop Memory Model CMY16GX3M2A1866C9 or search the QVL for something lower-profile with 1866 speeds. I'll hopefully be building soon, thanks for all the input!
I dont think there is low profile (i mean the real low profile like samsung and crucials) that its rated from factory to 1866, but i bet you can overclock it easily, its not that much 1866, and the crucial is 1.35V, so i bet you can get it steady on 1.5V at 1866, i just dont see much benefit on memory these days.

Or you can get one standard height memory and be fine still, like the mugen 3 picture, or even get higher heatsink and swap it later on in case it doesnt fit. Im more a fan of kingston, crucial and gskill than corsair in memory.. and samsung but was way to hard to get this memory, but thats just personal preferences.


Yeah, that's kind of a tough spot we're in. I guess the memory manufacturers assume anyone who overclocks (necessitating higher-speed memory) is water cooling (I see a lot of H100 builds) so heatsink height on the memory isn't a big issue since those water cooling blocks are so small. Who knows.

It's gonna be kind of a nail-biter for me when I do start to build. I'm excited to get going but I still have to wait it out a bit longer. Thanks for your suggestions!


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:08 am 
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hikeskool wrote:
Yeah, that's kind of a tough spot we're in. I guess the memory manufacturers assume anyone who overclocks (necessitating higher-speed memory) is water cooling (I see a lot of H100 builds) so heatsink height on the memory isn't a big issue since those water cooling blocks are so small. Who knows.

The marketing department recognize that the overclocking crowd tend to like huge heatsinks and also blinking LEDs if possible. Meanwhile, DDR3 don't get very hot, unless you overvolt them a lot. They do fine without any heatsinks at all really. Bumping 1600MHz sticks to 1866MHz should be very easy, although I haven't tried myself. With low voltage sticks you have headroom to push voltage up a bit, like Abula says.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:50 am 
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Vicotnik wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
The marketing department recognize that the overclocking crowd tend to like huge heatsinks

I've been trying to work out what size heatsink we actually need for an 84W TDP i5 or i7 (assuming no overclocking). There's not much information I've found about what TDP each heatsink can cope with or how they arrive at the size, but it looks like they could be plenty smaller than the current generation (with a quiet fan and still be quiet).

Same with the Aerocool S1 GPU cooler - it apparently can handle up to 130W TDP, so a GTX 750Ti should only need a cooler with ~half the capability (and ~2/3 the size). That would make it easier to fit in more small cases!


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:08 am 
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Well, CPUs and GPUs actually need heatsinks. And bigger heatsinks means less airflow needed, so there huge stuff actually makes sense. But size is not all, see the Scythe Kotetsu for example. It's a trade-off between heatsink efficiency and airflow. Adding size is a simple way to increase heatsink efficiency.
So many variables beside heatsink size, like direct airflow, ambient temp, case ventilation, load on the CPU etc.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:34 am 
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UK_Peter wrote:
Vicotnik wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
The marketing department recognize that the overclocking crowd tend to like huge heatsinks

I've been trying to work out what size heatsink we actually need for an 84W TDP i5 or i7 (assuming no overclocking). There's not much information I've found about what TDP each heatsink can cope with or how they arrive at the size, but it looks like they could be plenty smaller than the current generation (with a quiet fan and still be quiet).
I like big heatsink, there is no denying that bigger heatsink with more area of dissipation will allow you to spin the fans down and still sustain good temps or at least with in what the manufactures suggests. There are other things that do affect it, its not only size, from the pipes to the soldering, materials, airflow design, fins spacing... among a lot of other things, but if all are constant size do matter sort of speak.

Good heatsinks that offer good value for the money, and they are capable of handling a quad quietly are,
Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler
Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler: Scythe Strikes Back
Scythe Kotetsu CPU Cooler: A Compact King (specially this last as its cheaper and wrecks in the standings).

If you want a fan that can be drop extremly low and willing to spend a little more money, look into Noctua NH-U14S Slim 140mm Tower Cooler, Asus fanXpert should drop it around 200rpms on idle.

UK_Peter wrote:
Vicotnik wrote:
hikeskool wrote:
Same with the Aerocool S1 GPU cooler - it apparently can handle up to 130W TDP, so a GTX 750Ti should only need a cooler with ~half the capability (and ~2/3 the size). That would make it easier to fit in more small cases!
The GTX750Ti should be fine even with a Accelero S1, but its big. I think its better to just pick a quiet card like MSI or the upcoming Asus Strix, if they are not to your liking, then invest on aftermarket.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:12 am 
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Abula wrote:
Good heatsinks that offer good value for the money, and they are capable of handling a quad quietly are

Thanks, I'm aware there's already a number of good options, but suppose you have a smaller case - with a 140mm, 120mm or even 85mm max height for a cooler. Could you build a tower cooler at one of those heights that was adequate (with a v slow/quiet fan) for a standard ~85W TDP processor? How much of "160mm high heatsink" is marketing mentality - that the competition have tall heatsinks, people say bigger is better, so I must make a bigger heatsink to outcompete?

This thought-experiment was prompted by looking at the NH-C14 and wondering what other designs were possible (that didn't obstruct as much of the motherboard).

Abula wrote:
The GTX750Ti should be fine even with a Accelero S1, but its big.

It's certainly big! I was measuring up from your image of the S1 against the MSI 750Ti and think it wouldn't fit in the smaller cases. So again I start thinking about alternative options :)

The MSI doesn't have the output connectors I need or I'd jump at it; instead I need to take a noisier one and then minimise the noise. The Strix will be interesting to see when it's released.


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:31 am 
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UK_Peter wrote:
Thanks, I'm aware there's already a number of good options, but suppose you have a smaller case - with a 140mm, 120mm or even 85mm max height for a cooler. Could you build a tower cooler at one of those heights that was adequate (with a v slow/quiet fan) for a standard ~85W TDP processor?
Its all depends, all builds have different settings and outcome. In general size do matter, but cooler like kotetsu are showing that astronomical bigger isnt better for quiet build (not an overclocking high end build). But i would accept that a low profile cooler will requiere much more rpms to keep the CPU as cooled as any of the tower coolers, and in many cases will generate more noise. But if was to build on low profile, i would probably use a HDPLEXX or Steacom case, and chose a lower end cpu.

UK_Peter wrote:
How much of "160mm high heatsink" is marketing mentality - that the competition have tall heatsinks, people say bigger is better, so I must make a bigger heatsink to outcompete?
Well this is what lead to HR22 =), the HR01 is kinda standard tower, then came the HR02, which had almost twice the area of dissipation from HR01, then came the HR22 a huge monster that has more than 30% more area than HR02. On the contrary Scyhe is releasing smaller coolers, like the kotetsu, where it rivals a lot of top end coolers for a fraction of the cost, and smaller than most. But i bet you could build a very good high end PC with a case like NCASE M1: Crowdfunded Enthusiast Mini-ITX Case + Noctua NH-C14 + Some noctua NF-S12A as case fans.

UK_Peter wrote:
It's certainly big! I was measuring up from your image of the S1 against the MSI 750Ti and think it wouldn't fit in the smaller cases. So again I start thinking about alternative options :)

The MSI doesn't have the output connectors I need or I'd jump at it; instead I need to take a noisier one and then minimise the noise. The Strix will be interesting to see when it's released.
Im not sure what connectors you need, im guessing displayport is whats missing on the MSI GTX750Ti, so thats the reason you need to go with another version of the 750TI? look into aerial Fanless i7 + 750ti benchtable open case, in which he uses a xigmatek bifrost cooler, i bet you could even use it on a Ncase M1 with 120mm fan on the bottom, the doubts i have is the back and the NH-C14 if it would have like moutning plate on the gpu... but this is just an idea of a compact build, you are going for a R4 so shouldnt matter, you should even be able to use the Accelero S1 Plus if you wish.

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:44 am 
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One thing I was thinking of, regarding the MSI card. I know MSI has a 4GB version of the GTX 760 as well as a 2GB version. Both are offering rebates right now, $20 and $10, respectively, as well as a free copy of Watch Dogs which looks super-cool.

Is there ANY reason to believe that the 4GB version would be louder than the 2GB version? Would the fan(s) kick on more frequently? My gut tells me no, as long as it is running in stock configuration and isn't being pushed to the limit.

What do you guys think? Is the extra 2GB worth an extra $20? Is it likely the extra memory would affect the acoustic profile?


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:10 am 
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At 1920x1200, the only possible game that could use up more than 2GB or vram is something like the high rez download packs for Skyrim. If you were running >1440p, then extra memory is useful.

Is there a downside to extra vram? It'll use more power. Maybe 20W-30W when in 3D mode. Will this mean a higher fan rpm profile? <shrugs>

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Thanks Abula, there's some really helpful info here.

Abula wrote:
But i would accept that a low profile cooler will requiere much more rpms to keep the CPU as cooled as any of the tower coolers, and in many cases will generate more noise.
Agreed. Does this hold for the NH-C14 too?

I didn't know of the HR22, it's fun to hear it really happened :)

Abula wrote:
Im not sure what connectors you need, im guessing displayport is whats missing on the MSI GTX750Ti, so thats the reason you need to go with another version of the 750TI?

I'm showing my ignorance here, but I'm planning to replace my 24" 1920x1200 screen with a 27", 30" or the new LG 34UM95. Recent Dell monitors are reputed to work best on DisplayPort, the LG will use HDMI or DisplayPort... Getting a gfx card with a VGA output seems backwards! So a gfx card with DVI-D and HDMI (1.4a ?) could suffice, but doesn't future-proof like 2 of one of those or DisplayPort might.

Truth is in spite of research I'm confused what the pros and cons of DVI-D/HDMI/DisplayPort are when it comes to larger sized screens (2560 x 1600 or 3440 x 1440) and whether I need two DVI-D connectors to power one of these screens (didn't old 30" Dells need that?)

Oh and if I understand right 60Hz refresh rate is also a requirement, as I see flicker (used to run my CRTs at 120Hz to avoid headaches).

Quote:
Thanks for the link to the fanless benchtable, that's a sweet setup. The Xigmatek Bitfrost cooler is listed as discontinued; but I guess some are still available?

Quote:
but this is just an idea of a compact build, you are going for a R4 so shouldnt matter
The R4 is someone else not me :) I'm probably going for the Jonsbo/Cooltek/Rosewill U3 as small and more style than the SG10, so size matters! I need mATX or I'd try for smaller...


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:51 pm 
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UK_Peter wrote:
Abula wrote:
But i would accept that a low profile cooler will requiere much more rpms to keep the CPU as cooled as any of the tower coolers, and in many cases will generate more noise.

Agreed. Does this hold for the NH-C14 too?

You never saw a C14, didn't you? If you had ever held it in your hand, you wouldn't absolutely think to it as "low profile".
Anyway, it's huge and it's among the best air coolers available (yes, even among the quietest).

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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:16 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
You never saw a C14, didn't you? If you had ever held it in your hand, you wouldn't absolutely think to it as "low profile".
Anyway, it's huge and it's among the best air coolers available (yes, even among the quietest).
Indeed, I've only seen pictures of it lying on its side rather than standing upright like a tower cooler, and so I thought "Aha, low profile!" :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: "Value" gaming/general use build suggestions, please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:03 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
At 1920x1200, the only possible game that could use up more than 2GB or vram is something like the high rez download packs for Skyrim. If you were running >1440p, then extra memory is useful.

Is there a downside to extra vram? It'll use more power. Maybe 20W-30W when in 3D mode. Will this mean a higher fan rpm profile? <shrugs>


Gotta say, I tend to agree with your assessment of 2GB vs. 4GB. I'm looking at a new monitor down the road, the ASUS PA248Q but it's still 1920x1200. I don't think I'll need the 4GB at this point for only 1920x1200 at medium-high quality settings.

However, do you think it would be a better idea to drop from 16GB of memory to 8GB and plow the savings into a GTX 770 instead of a GTX 760? At current prices it would essentially be a wash and might go a little ways towards future-proofing this build.

There is an MSI N770 Gaming card out there with the same "TwinFrozr" cooler as used in their 760 and I'm currently checking and comparing reviews to get an idea of acoustic performance. Stand by!

OR, something else that just struck me, I could drop to 8GB of memory and plow some cash into an Accelero III and overclock a higher-clocked EVGA board (or some other 760 that might be cheaper than the MSI but still overclocks well and is of decent quality). That way I will have an acoustic profile I KNOW appeals to me (instead of "rolling the dice" on a stock MSI Gaming card that might be too loud) and still have some headroom for overclocking.

This build gets increasingly complex and interesting for me. What do you guys think?


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