+1 dude! Thanks for pics, I got my fix now. Yes, mATX mobo and case is totally reasonable even w/ OC'd CPU and monster gaming dGFX card. No reason why you can't build an excellent machine in that form factor with a <500W PSU and here's the proof ya?
PS: I prefer Macallan's myself but if you're offering the Talisker believe me I wont' turn it down ;-)
History tells us there is a limit to how much power consumption is reasonable within today's CPU form factors. I fully agree it's unlikely we'll see future CPUs exceed 200W TDP despite significant increases in computing muscle behind that power consumption. CPU form factor will not significantly change b/c die size relates directly to cost (how many CPUs can you squeeze from a 300mm or 400mm wafer...). I.e. that 450W PSU should last a good long time.
4pin vs. 8pin has nothing to do with stability. Stability comes from your PSU's ability to drive the 12V rail @ the current required by your CPU. That PSU has 2x 12V rails, and they're not super powerful. That CPU has 100W TDP which means ~8.3Amps on the 12V rail. 12V1 is 10A and 12V2 is 13A so you should be OK. Whatever you do, don't add a graphics card w/o upgrading the PSU or you will probably have stability issues. If you had a single 12V rail PSU you might get away w/ a dGFX in that machine, but 2 rails forget it.
Nice you're sharing/streaming media on your network!
finally, someone with a nicely balanced build including a reasonably sized PSU. As a gaming machine I think you got all the right cash in all the right places. That machine should last you a few years.
Is that single malt Talisker?
Show us pics of more guts! We love guts!
they went to 8pin to lower the current density and resultant heat buildup in the 4pin connector at higher amperages of modern CPUs. the second 4pins are a duplicate of the first. A 4pin to 8pin adapter will just move the high current density to the splitter so really not worth it. Keep your case cool and you should be fine.
I'm surprised you don't have a big 2TB drive for DVR duties...
Finally someone who properly sized a PSU! You sir get bonus points!
sigh, yet another oversized PSU. It's like a rash going around...
in the future when you have quad channel RAM and 5x HDD and 2x SLI? And in the meantime you've got a setup which is operating most of the time at <20% load of the PSU and only 60% efficiency? for this build, 400W is enough and if you wanted room to grow 550W would have been plenty.
sigh, another greatly oversized PSU.
@DigitalEvolution, what water cooling system are you using? Those pipes and reservoirs are pretty slick.
I wonder, did you set the 2x SSD as RAID0?
gattling gun VRMs crack me up, however heatpiped Southbridge a good idea.
770W 22phase CPU VRM for a 130W TDP CPU!! Dude, at 1.25V CPU, that's >600Amps current. Wow! You could MIG weld aluminum with this mobo.
Quad channel memory - dang....
+1. Sure, a free one for you and a free one for me ya?
+1, if only I had that kinda cash to throw around on computers!
@DigitalEvolution, that's one helluva show piece. Seti@Home will be very happy with the performance numbers from this rig. Otherwise, what's the use case: gaming? about $2000 overspec'd.
dude, that Hyper212 is blocking the RAM slot because you've got it installed the wrong way. Turn 90deg CCW (so the fan blows to back of case) and you'll be in biz. Don't forget to clean the old thermal grease and use new stuff.
+1, although I don't see HDD and ODD cables - maybe this was a half build pic? Regardless fantastic cable management (thus far?).
and 7770 supports GPGPU thru OpenCL and OpenGL
For this build you don't need more than 400W.
Dude, is that a Klingon keyboard?
Wow, you spared no expense on this guy. Helluva BOM, but I would have gone for an Asus Z68 of Z77 mobo w/ Lucid Virtu support. Both those chipsets support SandyBridge or IvyBridge.
I agree Samsung 830 is a sweet SSD.
ha! once again brothers in arms eh?
@Sassy - dude, seems like we're on the same page these days!
Dude, that's not a good SSD choice. Crucial m4, Samsung 830, Agility 4, Vertex4 only way to go.
600W is crazy huge PSU for this build, even if you add another HD7850. Also, Thermaltake PSU's a generally known to be cheap and unreliable. Stick to Antec, FSP, PC power & Cooling, Seasonic, Corsair. In general, those dudes know how to make PSUs.
yeah, that's a crazy orientation for an Intel processor! Sometimes the AMD's you have to route funky like that but for Intel - no way. Seems like you missed instructions that came with your Hyper212...
yeah, kinda like that. H77 is a super capable mobo. I think your PSU is a little big unless you're running more than 2 dGFX and more than 2 HDD.
Good choice on Momentus. I recently had some exposure to Momentus 7200rpm 320GB 2.5" drive. It was amazingly quick after it learned the patterns. Frankly, that's an awesome way to have SSD like performance and bulk storage in a single uber cheap package.
The Pentium G for $99 is not such a great deal. you can get an i3 for that price.
holy smokers, that BOM could chew through photo/video editing like mad!
I've often considered a sound card but never had enough incentive for it. How do you like that Xonar?
Dude - show us the guts! We love guts!
headroom is good, but everything in moderation. Are you thinking ~15% or 50W whichever is greater?
But then...how to consider if they want to expand in the future, say add a dGFX card. In this case, depending on the card you may need another 100W of overhead and then some margin on top.
Maybe for each component list the wattage, then a dude can take their build, look at what an extra GTX670 would do and pick a PSU accordingly?
@Sassy, agreed. And let's face it, DIY is just plain fun!
If you want low cost and a warranty, buy a Dell. If you want to take the time to learn how a computer actually works and then have some pride after you assemble a functioning unit, well this is the site for you!
OOOO! I smell opportunity.
I charge a flat $200 builders fee to assemble the parts, which scales up depending on complexity (e.g. RAID, SSD/HDD hybrids)... and if any parts selection consulting is required, a $100/hr fee for all internet related searching culminating in a recommendation. Customer pays cash, half up front. Customer buys all parts to be drop shipped to my door. Turn around time <1week for a build. If they agree to terms I'll ship free anywhere in the continental USA.
PS: I don't do Hackintoshs or Linux.
Anyone? Bueller? ;-)
it's really interesting what one can learn when they read the "details" page on Egg's site, or looks at the mobo manual, which is always freely downloadable on the WWW.
After looking at the link you provided my recommendation still stands, which seems to hold true 100% of the time, is put the dGFX in the top slot. If you have 2 of them, put them in the top 2 slots.
Glad to help.
Regarding cooling, my experience with Intel ICH6 and ICH7-series boards is the SouthBridge runs really hot. Hot enough that if you put your finger on the heatsink it will be uncomfortable to the touch within 2 or 3 seconds. That means the heatsink is around 60 to 70degC by my rough estimates. Those chips running at 70degC will quickly face issues with electromigration, kirkendall voiding or other nasty failure modes. Keep it cool and it will last a VERY long time.
Check it out yourself. Touch the heatsink...hot=bad, warm=ok. It only takes a little airflow, but I'm not sure you'll get that in this case design without proper management.
Note: regardless of top or bottom slot, that dGFX will blow hot air onto the southbridge - watch out!
that might be why we have different experiences, I agree the Hyper212 is a howler at full bore.
Just for kicks, put those fans onto the mobo 4pin PWM signals, set the BIOS profile and listen to the difference. You might be amazed how quiet a very powerful rig can be (including OC'd). Why burn 5watts pushing air around when it's not required? Let the mobo manage the airflow based on power draw and heat generated - it's the way to go..
I hear ya, but to get this type of performance it costs some cash. If you're starting with nothing, I think there are 2 ways to approach it:
1/ buy a prebuilt system from Dell, Acer, Lenovo, HP etc. Get something that has good expandability, e.g. get an LGA1155 w/ SandyBridge Pentium for cheap. It should come with case, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. Throw in a dGFX card and start gaming. Later, when cash frees up start the upgrade route with better CPU, KB, mouse, dual monitor etc. Problem is the BIOS won't have a lot of flexibility, so don't bother with a K-cpu b/c you won't be able to use it.
2/ basically same route but build your own. You'll be surprised, by the time you add OS ($90) and other software etc, you probably can't build that same system for the $399 you can buy it from Dell, unless you build it over 6months and only buy parts on sale, with free ship, and no tax. The DIY route however means you can select EXACTLY what features you want to pay money for. E.g. skip the built in bluetooth and instead get an SSD...
No matter how you slice it though, you want an i5-2500k and HD7850 w/ Z77 chipset, it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Check out my recent B75 Core i3 build (http://pcpartpicker.com/b/xNX), which could be upgraded to be as fast as this or any other lga1155 rig posted here - I got the core components for $400.
I recently saw i7-3770 Dell XPS on sale for $750, included a basic dGFX (HD7570). A very good price for that kinda performance.
Good on you for a CompSci degree. Have you considered computer engineering instead? Job prospects for BSc.CompEng are fantastic, especially if you specialize in the right areas (like multi-threaded software structures and embedded DSP).
I just checked the mobo specs on newegg, DEFINITELY move that dGFX into the top slot. The 2x PCIe slots run at x16/x0 or x8/x8. Because you have it in the bottom slot, the system is now running x8/x8 - you have half the bandwidth at the card! If you do put the card top slot, don't ever put anything else in the bottom long PCIe slot, or you'll be back to x8/x8 again.
Surfing the web or using productivity applications you won't notice it - but throw BF3 at that card and watch it choke, not because the card isn't capable but because of a simple oversight where you plugged it in. It'd be a shame to spend that much money on a dGFX and not be able to use it.
Final comment: I'm a little concerned about airflow management on that case with the gigantic gaping hole at the top. In general you want to control where air is flowing in the case. With that hole, the rear exhaust fan is likely shunted and not drawing air across the mobo. Watch out for RAM, VRM and South Bridge temperatures! If that hole was plugged (or filled with the appropriate functioning fan, 200mm?) the air will be drawn in the front, pass over all the components and exit the rear (and top if fan installed). This is a far superior setup.
Edit: Newegg has a 200mm fan on sale now for $8!! Check N82E16835103072
That's funny, I have a Hyper212+ in my system, and I think it's the quietest fan in there. In the Asus BIOS I set up fan speed profiles to the preset "Silent" and it truly is silent except when CPU load ramps up. Overall, I think the CM Hyper212 cpu coolers are incredible value. I run my 2600k @ 4.4GHz all day long, not even a hint of overheating.
Good to hear Xigmatek not so loud. Might consider them for next build...
Thanks Philip! Your wattage calculator passes the quick sniff test I did. That will be a HUGE help to all the peeps who think they need to spend big $$$ on a 950W supply for an i5. When you add it up it is usually surprising how few watts you're actually pulling.
Also, the graph of $/watt are interesting. I say, you've got some web coding skills dude!
Just a Q: the calculated values are peak right? My recent i3-2120 + B75 build comes out at 174W and I mentally estimated 170W peak.
If you're interested in moving air, those fans seem to be the ones. If you're interested in quietness, I can vouch for Noctua and Gelid 120mm fans. I just put a Gelid 120mm PWM fan for rear exhaust - super quiet and keeps the system cooler under load. My PSU fan doesn't ramp up and make a racket anymore as all case fans now pull together to keep it all cool. I used to have an Antec 120mm fixed speed in the back, 8yrs of daily (almost 24/7) use, still dead quiet, but didn't move enough air under load.
@Sassy - nice build dude!
VGA to DVI adapter still means analog conversions at each end of the chain, so no further ahead. I'd seriously consider a $5 DVI cable on fleabay.
Re: DIMM slots, glad you got it sorted out. Based on your other recently published build, it seems you know what you're doing!
+1 (actually +10) for Win7. Vista's not worth the plastic it was printed on.
haha! I'd say this variant is a tad bit faster...my friend thinks it's a total sleeper, like a V8 big block in a Toyota Tercel (well, maybe closer to a direct injected V6 in all honesty).
Actually, the case itself isn't bad, has a few nice features like spring loaded clips for the drives, stepped mobo standoffs so it self centers the board and holds it against the IO panel springs, standoffs for both narrow and wide mATX boards, HDD cage. Believe it or not, there are no sharp edges inside and the sheet metal is a substantial gauge, not that flimsy junk you find in $30 specials.
just a Q: why is the dGFX in the bottom slot? Usually they work better (higher bandwidth) in the top PCIe x16 slot...
Youch expensive keyboard!!!
Otherwise nice build.
2 suggestions on an otherwise decent build.
First, get a DVI cable to run a digital monitor like that. It can sometimes make a huge difference in color clarity, screen noise etc.
Second, it seems you're not running the memory as dual channel. Does that ASRock Z77 have a funny memory slot organization? On most mobos, you put one stick into channel A on the left pair of slots, and the other stick into channel A on the right pair of slots. It means the RAM sticks should have 1 empty slot between them. It will work the other way too, but is faster when operating as dual channel.
Seems like a nice PSU - I like Seasonic.
+1 on the SSD. Agility 3 is not known to be the most stable...
Case, PSU and mobo all have good future expandability options.
Hi Philip, great site!
I have a suggestion. There seem to be a lot of users who publish desired builds or wanted builds, and these are all mixed up with completed builds. I think it would do all a service if completed builds were on one page and desired/wanted builds on another. Then the noobs and people building now can look to completed rigs for ideas and the experienced guys can pitch in and help the noobs pick parts.
Keep up the great work!
haha! Those were actually champagne grapes, that's why I prefer doing my builds on the kitchen counter, bright lighting and ready access to food/bevs. The FDD slot was unused so I stuffed a few in there. Should make a nice surprise a few weeks down the road ;-)
my $0.02: the only SSDs worth their salt are:
OCZ Vertex4 & Agility 4 w/ latest Indilux Everest controller
Crucial m4 w/ Marvell controller
Samsung 830 series with ARM triple core controller
Those are the fastest, most stable ones. There are faster drives (for some types of data) but not stable/reliable (i.e. avoid anything with SandForce controllers).
Last option/exception, but overpriced: Intel 520 Cherryville. Uses Intel custom SandForce but does have a 5yr warranty though...
Just do it. You will not regret price vs. performance, even at today's prices.
I hear ya brother - that PSU is junk. But I stress tested it using prime95 and some benchmarks and found the voltages still met the spec according to HWmonitor and CPU-Z. No dGFX or other cards means low power draw. Wish I had Kill-A-Watt to measure it, but suspect I'm <170W at full tilt. That PSU has been working faithfully for ~10yrs now and currently on it's third mobo/CPU! Vacuumed it out put it back in service.
We'll see, if there are any problems I'll hear about it, rig was built for a nearby family member!
WOW - no fan anywhere on neighbor's rig!? must have been a super old low power CPU. Yes, e-machines will cheap out anywhere they can...
Thanks! If I was to do again, I might have put the SSD where the floppy used to be. Lucky the HDD cage had stamped standoffs so there was room for SSD screw heads. Was happy to find a free solution, only took 10minutes to drill and install SSD! Did it while Memtest86+ was hammering away on the out-of-box build...
A really nice build. Good job researching!
For PSU, you could get away with ~500W. You might find something smaller but with a higher quality at the same price. Don't scrimp on PSU, you don't need a high wattage one, but you do want one with a solid single 12V rail, active PFC, 80plus or higher, and very stable voltages even under loads.
Antec, PC power and cooling, Corsair, Seasonic, FSP make good PSUs.
Modular is nice, but not a necessity. You can still make a clean install if you take a little time to tie things up and think thru how the cables should route.
+1 on SSD, best performance bang for buck - bar none!
+1 MrCanadianAviator! People on this site are PSU crazy. If the PSU is oversized it runs inefficiently. I agree 500W to 600W is about right for this build.
before recommending a graphics card, the logical question of what you plan to do with this computer comes to mind. Are you a heavy gamer and expect minimum 30 to 60fps in Skyrim? Or are you mostly using this for surfing the web and office applications? Totally different needs.
Regarding the HD7750, it's a fine graphics card with very low power draw - but it will be crushed by many games out there. I wouldn't spend more than $90 on an HD7750. I personally have the Asus HD7770 (got it for $109 to my door) and can vouch it is dead quiet even while loaded. If silence is one of your objectives get the Asus or XFX over the Gigabyte or MSI ones. I found reviews online which showed the Asus and XFX to be the quietest.
Regarding PSU, for that list you have a 450W is more than enough. I've seen HD7750 & HD7770 rigs run on 250W to 300W supplies. Toms hardware has a PSU sizing application on their website.
I second that. Crucial m4 is the most stable/reliable SSD out there. In second place are OCZ's Indilux Everest controllers found in Vertex4 and Agility4 and Samsung's triple core ARM found in the 830 series. Those are the only SSDs I would use. I wouldn't touch SandForce with a ten foot pole! Whatever savings you could find would not be worth the BSODs.
streaming and editing? I assume you mean photo editing? A 660ti is IMHO, way overkill. yes, it will run every game known to man on high, but are you a heavy gamer? If you're trying to save $$ I'd step down the vid card.
Also 16GB of RAM, even for editing is pretty big. I'm running 8GB for video editing/authoring and light gaming and have 0% Hard Faults as measured by Resmon.exe - it means Win7 doesn't need a page file on the disk and can run everything in RAM. I'd change from DDR3-1333 to DDR3-1600 at minimum because IvyBridge can take advantage of higher speeds even w/o overclocking. Find some low voltage mem (1.35V of lower) for best performance.
As far as Z77 boards, that one seems expensive, is there some special feature it offers you can't find elsewhere for cheaper?
Agreed, a fantastic rig. Will run strong a stable. Are you going to use stock Intel CPU cooler? CoolerMaster Hyper212 is a popular, cheap, quiet and effective cooler.