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Help me build gaming/encoding rig for under $1000 (No GPU needed). Can I salvage any parts?

mydecember1985 722 138 July 1, 2016 at 10:31 PM More Amazon Deals
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So that i7 6700k got me thinking the other day. Then my Bluray drive failed on me today.
The rig is just over 6 years old, IIRC. What's going to go next? So I just say "screw it, I'm just going to rebuild" and part it out while the old LGA 1366 platform still has some value to it.

I think I can get around $4-500 out of the CPU, MB, and other few parts. So this upgrade should really only set me back around $500


I've been out of "the game" for a while now and need some help with recommendations and such.

I do game 1440P or surround 7680x1440 on older games that don't cripple my rig. I also encode and compress videos frequently with x264.

Regarding aesthetics, I'm not looking for any specific hardcore gaming look like the white-out towers and whatnot, but for only $50-100 more, I might go for it.
^^ I do prefer a case that has some removable filters as to keep dust off the internals.^^

So here are my needs (or help me understand otherwise):
I7-6700k or comparable???
Water cooler like H110 or similar
Case that can fit said cooler. Also, a case that is VR friendly may be a plus (consider this when recommending a motherboard please)
Motherboard with extra space between SLI cards so they're not slapped together. Something maybe likehttps://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-2-Way-DualBIOS-Motherboards-GA-Z170XP-SLI/dp/B012AQGL4A?ie=UTF8&tag=pcpapi-20
16GB RAM kit
New SSD 250GB minimum, prefer 500GB
2 New data drive(s) like 2 or 3TB WD
Power supply 850W << prefer modular this time around (currently powering 2 GTX 780s, upgrading to 1080s soon and much less power draw.)

Any other accessories, fan, cable you think I may need.

Thanks for any help. Is DJ3xclusive still a frequent Tech support regular? He used to cruise this forum all the time back in like 2010.
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#2
Do some research, start reading man, lots of builds out there you can take inspiration from. Foir instance here is the build I built earlier this year. http://pcpartpicker.com/list/YpVPyc

Do your build on http://pcpartpicker.com/
I would suggest reading and maybe posting here too https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc

Since you compress video you might look at the Hexcore Broadwell-E CPU's.
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#3
I just rebuilt two of my boxes with new processors, motherboards, PSUs, and new case in one. Some random thoughts.

I upgraded from a Z77 Ivy Bridge platform to a Z97 with i7-4790K. I could've gone for Skylake 6700K for not much more, but decided to stay with Haswell since it's still plenty fast, and I could keep using my existing 16GB of RAM. I also didn't want to reload the OS, as I run Win8.1 with Media Center which is no longer available. My old OS drive just dropped right in and booted right up. Plus I had a smoking deal on a Gigabyte Z97-Gaming 7 motherboard for only $50, so I saved at least $100 there compared to a decent Z170 motherboard. Had I not scored that Z97 board for $50, the difference in cost would've been minimal. For most it definitely makes more sense to go with the newest available platform.

New case I narrowed it down to the Super Micro S5 Platinum and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Both have plenty of space for fans and cooler, more so for the Phanteks. Both have good cable management, all cables are hidden under the motherboard tray, this is a must for me as I hate having wires all over the place. The Super Micro has easily removable front, bottom, and top dust screens. I went with the Super Micro as I prefer the looks with its aluminum front panel, and the more flexible drive cage arrangements. Both are reasonably price, $99 for the Phanteks, $89 for the Super Micro.

PSU I went with a Corsair AX750 in one. This was only $59 at Micro Center. Full modular, and smart fan only comes on when needed. Only dislike is the stiff cables and extremely tight 24-pin connector which seems all Corsair PSU have. I then picked up an EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W, also full modular. Much more pliable cables and better 24-pin connector. I'm more impressed with EVGA's build quality. I've been buying Corsair PSUs exclusively in the past few years, but I think I'll shop EVGA first now.

I covert videos quite often. Using Nvidia CUDA on the GTX 9 series to do the decoding and encoding is much faster than using the CPU, even Quick Sync on the 4790K. I had a 6800K Broadwell-E I tested for a week, with its 12-thread it still couldn't match even the lowly GTX950 in conversion speed.

Oh I also upgraded one of the hard drives, from a WD Blue 1TB to a Toshiba 3TB 7200RPM. This is where my Steam library goes. I couldn't believe how much faster the games load with the Toshiba. This was $80 at Micro Center.

As for cooler, I have an older Corsair H60 on my i5-4690K box (OC'ed turboboost to 4.2GHz), and a cheap Coolermaster 212 EVO on the i7-4790K (stock clocks 4/4.4GHz). Both seem to keep their respective CPUs at similar temperatures. I imagine the H110 will perform better than either, it's another $100.

That's all on top of my head. Hope it helps.

Quote from mydecember1985 View Post :
MODs, please move to "help me find a deal" if more appropriate there. Thx

So that i7 6700k got me thinking the other day. Then my Bluray drive failed on me today.
The rig is just over 6 years old, IIRC. What's going to go next? So I just say "screw it, I'm just going to rebuild" and part it out while the old LGA 1366 platform still has some value to it.

I think I can get around $4-500 out of the CPU, MB, and other few parts. So this upgrade should really only set me back around $500


I've been out of "the game" for a while now and need some help with recommendations and such.

I do game 1440P or surround 7680x1440 on older games that don't cripple my rig. I also encode and compress videos frequently with x264.

Regarding aesthetics, I'm not looking for any specific hardcore gaming look like the white-out towers and whatnot, but for only $50-100 more, I might go for it.
^^ I do prefer a case that has some removable filters as to keep dust off the internals.^^

So here are my needs (or help me understand otherwise):
I7-6700k or comparable???
Water cooler like H110 or similar
Case that can fit said cooler. Also, a case that is VR friendly may be a plus (consider this when recommending a motherboard please)
Motherboard with extra space between SLI cards so they're not slapped together. Something maybe likehttps://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-2-Way-DualBIOS-Motherboards-GA-Z170XP-SLI/dp/B012AQGL4A?ie=UTF8&tag... [amazon.com]
16GB RAM kit
New SSD 250GB minimum, prefer 500GB
2 New data drive(s) like 2 or 3TB WD
Power supply 850W << prefer modular this time around (currently powering 2 GTX 780s, upgrading to 1080s soon and much less power draw.)

Any other accessories, fan, cable you think I may need.

Thanks for any help. Is DJ3xclusive still a frequent Tech support regular? He used to cruise this forum all the time back in like 2010.
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#4
Quote from slickfatty View Post :
I just rebuilt two of my boxes with new processors, motherboards, PSUs, and new case in one. Some random thoughts.

I upgraded from a Z77 Ivy Bridge platform to a Z97 with i7-4790K. I could've gone for Skylake 6700K for not much more, but decided to stay with Haswell since it's still plenty fast, and I could keep using my existing 16GB of RAM. I also didn't want to reload the OS, as I run Win8.1 with Media Center which is no longer available. My old OS drive just dropped right in and booted right up. Plus I had a smoking deal on a Gigabyte Z97-Gaming 7 motherboard for only $50, so I saved at least $100 there compared to a decent Z170 motherboard. Had I not scored that Z97 board for $50, the difference in cost would've been minimal. For most it definitely makes more sense to go with the newest available platform.

New case I narrowed it down to the Super Micro S5 Platinum and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Both have plenty of space for fans and cooler, more so for the Phanteks. Both have good cable management, all cables are hidden under the motherboard tray, this is a must for me as I hate having wires all over the place. The Super Micro has easily removable front, bottom, and top dust screens. I went with the Super Micro as I prefer the looks with its aluminum front panel, and the more flexible drive cage arrangements. Both are reasonably price, $99 for the Phanteks, $89 for the Super Micro.

PSU I went with a Corsair AX750 in one. This was only $59 at Micro Center. Full modular, and smart fan only comes on when needed. Only dislike is the stiff cables and extremely tight 24-pin connector which seems all Corsair PSU have. I then picked up an EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W, also full modular. Much more pliable cables and better 24-pin connector. I'm more impressed with EVGA's build quality. I've been buying Corsair PSUs exclusively in the past few years, but I think I'll shop EVGA first now.

I covert videos quite often. Using Nvidia CUDA on the GTX 9 series to do the decoding and encoding is much faster than using the CPU, even Quick Sync on the 4790K. I had a 6800K Broadwell-E I tested for a week, with its 12-thread it still couldn't match even the lowly GTX950 in conversion speed.

Oh I also upgraded one of the hard drives, from a WD Blue 1TB to a Toshiba 3TB 7200RPM. This is where my Steam library goes. I couldn't believe how much faster the games load with the Toshiba. This was $80 at Micro Center.

As for cooler, I have an older Corsair H60 on my i5-4690K box (OC'ed turboboost to 4.2GHz), and a cheap Coolermaster 212 EVO on the i7-4790K (stock clocks 4/4.4GHz). Both seem to keep their respective CPUs at similar temperatures. I imagine the H110 will perform better than either, it's another $100.

That's all on top of my head. Hope it helps.
I'll update in a little while with the pcpartpicker link but for now I spend about $1,300 total. I got a Define R5 case two extra fans a 6700 k 16 gigs of RAM and 151 new power supply and a z170 Asus motherboard. The Snow White Edition with an s
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#5
List:

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/FPNhqk

CPU

Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler

Enermax ETS-T40F-W 105.9 CFM CPU Cooler

Motherboard

Asus SABERTOOTH Z170 S ATX LGA1151 Motherboard


Memory

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory

Storage

Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Western Digital BLACK SERIES 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Video Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Superclocked ACX Video Card (2-Way SLI)

EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Superclocked ACX Video Card (2-Way SLI)

Case

Fractal Design Define R5 w/Window (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply

EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
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#6
Quote from slickfatty View Post :
I just rebuilt two of my boxes with new processors, motherboards, PSUs, and new case in one. Some random thoughts.

1)
New case I narrowed it down to the Super Micro S5 Platinum and Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Both have plenty of space for fans and cooler, more so for the Phanteks.


2)
I covert videos quite often. Using Nvidia CUDA on the GTX 9 series to do the decoding and encoding is much faster than using the CPU, even Quick Sync on the 4790K. I had a 6800K Broadwell-E I tested for a week, with its 12-thread it still couldn't match even the lowly GTX950 in conversion speed.

Thanks. It did give me a little insight before I threw it together. I just never got around to replying.

Concerning 1), The Micro S5 was in my top 5, but a silent build took preference over mad air flow. The removable filters on the R5 were exactly what I was hoping for. I have 1 optical drive that I will put in the top bay, and I picked up a 5.25 to 3.5 HDD adapter with noise isolation grommets. This allows me to completely remove the front modular drive bays and have unrestricted airflow.

Concerning 2), How do you go about doing this in either Handbrake or Ripbot264? I encope to MP4 or MKV then reshell it to m2ts so I can play them on my PS3. I always wondered how to do encoding on the GPU.


Lastly, what is the recommendation for the orientation of the PSU? The case has a filter that is removable from the front for the bottom of the case. I won't be using the top vents on the case in the forseeable future, so they will remain closed. This leaves the single rear case fan as the only exhaust fan. Should I keep the tradition orientation of having the PSU fan pull air from inside the case to assist in moving air out the back? I can always add two silent case fans to the bottom forward areas to really push a positive air pressure into the case, right? Because my 780s have internal exhaust, I need all the help I can get to get it out.

But it's all an improvement over my Antec 900. The hard drive cages really block air flow, the P6x58d-e mobo slaps the 2 GPUs right together so the top one can't breathe, it's crazy loud...
Seriously, another main reason for upgrading is that my top GPU hits the 79C limit I have set, and the bottom is chillin in the mid/high 50s
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Last edited by mydecember1985 July 5, 2016 at 10:46 PM
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Quote from mydecember1985 View Post :
List:

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/FPNhqk

CPU

Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler

Enermax ETS-T40F-W 105.9 CFM CPU Cooler

Motherboard

Asus SABERTOOTH Z170 S ATX LGA1151 Motherboard


Memory

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory

Storage

Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive

Western Digital BLACK SERIES 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Video Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Superclocked ACX Video Card (2-Way SLI)

EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Superclocked ACX Video Card (2-Way SLI)

Case

Fractal Design Define R5 w/Window (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply

EVGA 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

I have the same processor and the non white version of that motherboard. Works pretty well, the first one I got was DOA and I had a little trouble with getting it to boot with my m.2 drive. Not a big deal. Are you planning to overclock? Not a great price on that processor. They go on sale for much closer to $300.

Have not seen much on that cooler, I went with an AIO water system myself. I assume you have researched this alot? You might need some thermal past if it didn't come with the cooler.

With a 500gb SSD I don't think I would buy a WD Black series drive thats only 7200rpm. The performance difference between it and a normal 7200rpm drive isn't much and it's $50 premium. If it's just for mass storage I don't think it's worth it.

Thats a pretty big PSU but those 2 GPU's are pretty power hungry. Newer cards require quite a bit less power.
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Last edited by LiquidRetro July 8, 2016 at 07:20 AM
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I have the same processor and the non white version of that motherboard. Works pretty well, the first one I got was DOA and I had a little trouble with getting it to boot with my m.2 drive. Not a big deal. Are you planning to overclock? Not a great price on that processor. They go on sale for much closer to $300.

Have not seen much on that cooler, I went with an AIO water system myself. I assume you have researched this alot? You might need some thermal past if it didn't come with the cooler.

With a 500gb SSD I don't think I would buy a WD Black series drive thats only 7200rpm. The performance difference between it and a normal 7200rpm drive isn't much and it's $50 premium. If it's just for mass storage I don't think it's worth it.

Thats a pretty big PSU but those 2 GPU's are pretty power hungry. Newer cards require quite a bit less power.
Yeah, I was just using the list to show what I was going for. Most everything is arriving between yesterday and next Tuesday.

The cooler ended up being a Phanteks PH-TC14PE [pcpartpicker.com]. It's monstrously huge, but it's whisper quiet at something like 19db on high setting. My Corsair A70 is big with 2 fans, too. It's rated at something like 26db on the LOW setting! And yes, I got the standard Arctic Silver.

My Steam library will be on the 4TB drive (400+ games at almost 1.7TB now). Along with mass storage and editing videos and such.

Yeah, I know you can pull off 2 1080s at 750w, but just what I put in the list, not including the 2 additional fans, puts me at 712w before overclocking. So I'd assume a quite solid 750-775.
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Oh, and clarification on air vs AIO coolers:
I had a Thermaltake Water2.0 Pro on the 980x for about 6 months when the pump died. No warning signs.I have the computer encoding about 1-2 hours a day, and I just randomly checked temps and it was"chilling at a nice 92C. I freaked. Shut it down, pulled it all apart. It was covered under warranty, but while I was waiting for the replacement, I just put my A70 back on. When the new one came in, I just put it on eBay.

TL;DR : I nearly burned a $700 CPU because of failed AIO and I now prefer air and all of its bulky glory.
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Quote from mydecember1985 View Post :
Oh, and clarification on air vs AIO coolers:
I had a Thermaltake Water2.0 Pro on the 980x for about 6 months when the pump died. No warning signs.I have the computer encoding about 1-2 hours a day, and I just randomly checked temps and it was"chilling at a nice 92C. I freaked. Shut it down, pulled it all apart. It was covered under warranty, but while I was waiting for the replacement, I just put my A70 back on. When the new one came in, I just put it on eBay.

TL;DR : I nearly burned a $700 CPU because of failed AIO and I now prefer air and all of its bulky glory.
I have my AIO software set to alert me and i have it up most the time. It should never stop.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I have my AIO software set to alert me and i have it up most the time. It should never stop.
Meh. Just IMHO, I see air cooling as a system that is less prone to failure. Massive heatsinks like the Noctua D14 can still cool better than the stock cooler when half the case fans in the computer fail.

The odds are low, but a failure of the pump or a radiator fan can kill a system. No amount of normal case airflow will cool a radiator without a fan to push or pull air through. The air will simply find an easier way to escape. And obviously, if the pump fails, I saw that end result first hand.

I'll post a link of the completed build in about a week or so. Thanks for the help, everyone. Reps given. Smilie

P.S. After the fact, I learned more about the speed difference of the M.2 cards, and I regret not getting one, but maybe I'll clone the OS drive over to a card in the future. The price nearly doubles for equivalent storage on M.2. Does the M.2 share bandwidth with the PCI-E lanes? Because I think all my lanes will be used up by the 2 graphics cards?? Or am I wrong on this?
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Quote from mydecember1985 View Post :
Meh. Just IMHO, I see air cooling as a system that is less prone to failure. Massive heatsinks like the Noctua D14 can still cool better than the stock cooler when half the case fans in the computer fail.

The odds are low, but a failure of the pump or a radiator fan can kill a system. No amount of normal case airflow will cool a radiator without a fan to push or pull air through. The air will simply find an easier way to escape. And obviously, if the pump fails, I saw that end result first hand.

I'll post a link of the completed build in about a week or so. Thanks for the help, everyone. Reps given. Smilie

P.S. After the fact, I learned more about the speed difference of the M.2 cards, and I regret not getting one, but maybe I'll clone the OS drive over to a card in the future. The price nearly doubles for equivalent storage on M.2. Does the M.2 share bandwidth with the PCI-E lanes? Because I think all my lanes will be used up by the 2 graphics cards?? Or am I wrong on this?

It does share bandwith. You will have to count up what you have. You can run the GPU's below 16x and probably be fine. This is one of the reasons why people stay on the previous generation of CPU to get my lanes.
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Quote from mydecember1985 View Post :
P.S. After the fact, I learned more about the speed difference of the M.2 cards, and I regret not getting one, but maybe I'll clone the OS drive over to a card in the future. The price nearly doubles for equivalent storage on M.2. Does the M.2 share bandwidth with the PCI-E lanes? Because I think all my lanes will be used up by the 2 graphics cards?? Or am I wrong on this?
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It does share bandwith. You will have to count up what you have. You can run the GPU's below 16x and probably be fine. This is one of the reasons why people stay on the previous generation of CPU to get my lanes.
The chipset provides separate HSIO lanes, so installing a m.2 PCIe SSD won't take away from the CPUs 16 PCIe lanes for the graphics cards.

That being said, I've got a 512gb SM951 m.2 x4 card in my XPS 15, and other than really impressive looking benchmarks it isn't an noticeably faster than any other quality SATA SSD I've used. With a 512gb 950 Pro costing more than a nice 1tb SATA drive, I'd hold off until there are more options and prices drop.
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