A different new Build question for the experts

Associate
Joined
15 Apr 2012
Posts
12
I see a lot of people asking for help with speccing a new build but often they don’t really describe what they will be using it for, i will try to rectify that in this post.

I use my PC 90% for gaming
I use a 30’’ Dell monitor and like to use it at 2500x1600 with max settings in whatever game i play
In order of importance;

1. Reliability
2. Speed of loading files and games
3. Quietness
4. Looks

The games i like to play are FPS such as BF3 and Crysis, RPG’s such as Skyrim and Strategy games such as the Total war series.

My current setup is:

Core I7 2600 with mild OC to 4.4Ghz using built in Gigabyte Easytune6 tool (ET6)
4GB DDR average memory
Gigabyte Z79 UD5 Motherboard
Coolermaster Cosmos S case (I love this case!)
1x 32gb SSD (one of the early ones)
4x other HD’s from 240-1Tb
Using onboard sound
7.1 speaker setup (creative)
Gigabyte GTX590 Graphics
H50 Corsair CPU cooler
1000w Modular PSU (think Corsair as well)
Windows 7 Pro 32bit

I want to get something that is a significant step up in performance but am confused about several things:

1. PCIe 3

a. Does this double the bandwidth of a full (x16) slot for graphics bandwidth?
b. I believe I need a HARDWARE (not simply a Bios tweak later) compatible PCIe 3 MB AND a PCIe 3 graphics card AND an Ivy Bridge CPU to actually get full PCIe 3 speeds, is this correct?
c. Are there any MB’s out there that are Ivy Bridge+ 4 x true PCIe 3 compat slots as i may want to go quad GPU

2. SSD and Ivy Bridge

a. I have read various things about how Ivy Bridge can speed up use of existing SSD’s or use smaller SSD’s to pre cache for bigger drives and really don’t understand what I need to buy to take advantage of these features or even if i have fully understood them, can someone please explain the optimum (for speed) components required.

3. Water cooling

a. Considering reliability is top of my list and I don’t want or need any extreme OC’s, do I even need to get WC for the CPU? My current H50 is ok but i have seen rave reviews for the top Noctura twin fan cooler

4. Memory

a. As i wont be doing any heavy OC’ing does it really matter if I get lower speed memory? I mean will i really actually notice anything in real world use between say 1300 and 2300 memory?? I am aiming to buy 16GB in the new build (Win 7 64bit)

5. Hard drives

a. When i first bought my 32gb SSD and put some games on there the difference was amazing, is it worth doubling up on the SSD to raid them for the new build? Again, will i actually see the difference? Happy to buy 2 x 240gb ssd rather than just 1 if the raid really shines

Features I absolutely want for the new build: (these are minimums)
4 x USB 3
2 x PCIe 3 (4 slots would be better)
Ivy Bridge hardware compatibility
Good looking motherboard
Ideally colour coded components
2 x GTX 680 (still thinking about 4 of them), rather have quiet ones than OC ones
A PSU to handle my requirements or perhaps fit 2 PSU in the case? Unsure if my current PSU can handle the new build and happy to buy another
I will be buying a Coolermaster Cosmos 2 Ultra tower for the build
My budget is flexible but i was thinking around £3k

Thanks in advance!
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Jun 2010
Posts
5,158
Location
Scotland
Don't spend 3 grand on hardware that's going to be outdated in 6-12 months!

Spend £1200 give or take a little... tops!

Spend the rest on something cool. Projector or something similar. 5.1 surround.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
15 Apr 2012
Posts
12
Don't spend 3 grand on hardware that's going to be outdated in 6-12 months!

Spend £1200 give or take a little... tops!

Spend the rest on something cool. Projector or something similar. 5.1 surround.

Outdated?

Ivy Bridge isnt even out yet i thought? or are you talking about the GTX680's?
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Posts
3,188
Location
Guildford
Your current spec is already quite high end and from what I've read about Ivy Bridge overclocking you'd be better off staying with your 2600k. I think you might be confused about your current motherboard model number as Z79 boards don't exist, do you mean Z68? If so then your current motherboard has the ability to use an SSD as a cache for a larger drive.

If you're really desperate to upgrade I'd suggest:

Upgrade your RAM to 16GB
Switch your graphics cards for 2x GTX 680 SLI
Buy a larger and faster SSD and set up SSD caching on your motherboard.

After those upgrades your system will pretty much be top spec without going for a hex core chip or something like that.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
15 Apr 2012
Posts
12
Your current spec is already quite high end and from what I've read about Ivy Bridge overclocking you'd be better off staying with your 2600k. I think you might be confused about your current motherboard model number as Z79 boards don't exist, do you mean Z68? If so then your current motherboard has the ability to use an SSD as a cache for a larger drive.

If you're really desperate to upgrade I'd suggest:

Upgrade your RAM to 16GB
Switch your graphics cards for 2x GTX 680 SLI
Buy a larger and faster SSD and set up SSD caching on your motherboard.

After those upgrades your system will pretty much be top spec without going for a hex core chip or something like that.

You are correct about the MB, its a Z68X-UD5 B3

What about all this I am hearing about true fullspeed PCIe 3graphics card bandwidth? I cant get that on my current MB i thought?

If i could I'd buy another GTX590 but they are like rocking horse poo now:(
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Jan 2010
Posts
3,188
Location
Guildford
Z77 (and some Z68 boards, not including yours though I think) support PCIE3 which means more bandwidth is available if you have an Ivy Bridge chip. This may be worth having if you have 2 high end cards in SLI however personally I don't think it's worth the upgrade unless you feel what you currently have is lacking in performance. The RAM and SSD upgrade will probably be the biggest boost to your current system.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
15 Apr 2012
Posts
12
Feedback seems to be, dont spend the money except maybe SSD+RAM.

Bit disapointed really, had my system what feels like a long time and like anything you get used to it, had really hoped there was something I could do for good performance increases, anyone disagree?
 
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