3k Build final tweaking/suggestions?

******UPDATE****** Part list updated with your recommendations! (LIsted here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2THYP)*******UPDATE****** Please see my last post for extra questions. Thanks guys.


Good afternoon everyone! I was hoping some of you would not mind helping me out with my final tweaking of a 3k build! I look forward to seeing your suggestions, but I do ask that if you make a change, to please explain why you would do so! Thanks so much for even reading this far. I'll post my build first so you can skip down and tell me your thoughts, but I'll also use the general guidelines so if you wish to "remaster" my build. Again, I only ask why you would use part X over part Y.


My current build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SPW9

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SPW9

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SPW9/by_merchant/

Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2SPW9/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($309.99 @ NCIX US)

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler  ($74.99 @ Mwave)

Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($199.79 @ Newegg)

Memory: Mushkin Blackline 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($149.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk  ($145.99 @ Amazon)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($84.48 @ Amazon)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)  ($717.55 @ Newegg)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)  ($717.55 @ Newegg)

Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case  ($119.99 @ Amazon)

Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($114.99 @ NCIX US)

Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer  ($63.47 @ OutletPC)

Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27.0" Monitor  ($549.00 @ Amazon)

Total: $3247.78

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-13 21:20 EST-0500)


To make things easier around here just include some extra info so we can tailor you better.

  • Budget. How much are you willing to spend? --- 3,000-3,500 USD Total
  • Where do you live (what country),  and what currency do you use? ---- SD, USA. USD.
  •   -Is there a retailer you prefer? ---- Negative.
  • Do you need or already have peripherals? (this can add to costs) ---I Need a monitor. I'll need speakers in the future, so I'll take recommendations on those if you have them, but they need not be included in the budget. No rush on those. Same goes for a keyboard/mouse. Taking recommendations.

  • What will you be using your future computer for? Gaming? Rendering? Mix of both? Or is this a home media PC? -----Heavy gaming mostly. Some CPU coin mining, maybe some rendering in the future.
  • Do you overclock or want to get into overclocking?---- Never have, but would love too!
  • Do you plan on going for custom watercooling now, or in the future? ---- Never tried watercooling, and am interested in peoples thoughts on if its worth doing/needed, and why so. Difficulty rating?
  • OS. Do you need a new one? ---- Negative.

If you Game-

  • What kind of settings do you like or what FPS do you want to play at? ---- Max, of course. Over 60 at all times very minimum.
  • What resolution will you be playing at? //or would like to play at.----- Suppose that depends on the monitor?
  • What kind of games do you like to play? ------ All types. MMOs/RPGs/FPSs/Sandbox/etc.
  • What specific game will you be playing (if you only really play one)- Play MULTIPLE

If you Render or Edit things-

  • What application do you use to render? (very important) - Black Ink.
  • Do you render movies or photoshop pictures- Negative.

 If you don't have peripherals -

  • What kind of keyboard do you prefer? Mechanical, scissor, membrane, etc. ----Wut? :P I'm used to the general laptop. Give me some recommendations on what big gamers would appreciate?
  • What type of mouse-grip do you have? Palm, claw, combination? ---- Usually use a trackball that I love, but looking into other styles too.
  • what kind of games do you play? (mmo vs fps, for button management) ---- Both MMO's and FPS's
  • What size monitor are you looking for, and what resolution? Screen type (IPS, S-IPS, TN, etc.), hertz (60, 120, etc.) -----Preferably 120 hertz, prob 60 minimum.

Again, thanks so very much for any help you can provide. Looking forward to your thoughts!

All the best,

Hi Tom, this is my first post on tek syndicate and I'm very excited on your new build.

(geez i sound like tech support..)

But anyways, I see you are going for dual GPU configuration. If you are willing to wait maybe a month or two I believe NVidia is about to release a gpu called the " 790 GTX ".

Here is a link



Basically a dual gpu in one card. Also 10gb of gddr5 memory. 

If I was in your shoes I'd wait for the release of this card, price range will be around $1000, so it's possible you may even save some $$.

Also not sure if you're open to considering korean monitors, Tek Syndicate made a review on a Qnix model a while back..

here is that link:



Prices are cheaper, but you could get a perfect pixel edition for your budget, maybe even a 30".

As far as storage goes, not sure how familiar you are with raid. With such a huge budget, it's worth giving shot.

That 256gb samsung 840 evo ssd has a transfer rate of 550/500 read and write (in Mega bytes or MB). Pretty fast compared to the average 100 mb read and write speed of platter or hard disk based hard drives...

I'd recommend buying four of those suckers, and putting them in raid 10. That should give you a read speed of 1.5GB per second and write speed of 1.0GB per second. Remember 1gb = 1024mb

Also raid 10 introduces redundancy, which means that you can lose one SSD drive, and NOT lose all your data. If you're just running one SSD and that is your main OS drive, and that dies, you lose everything with no way to recover your data.


If you have any questions let me know I'd like your opinion on my suggestions. '



(we can also discuss watercooling) ;)



Have you considered a closed loop CPU water cooler? The Noctua NH-D14 is a beastly air cooler that is probably better than most closed looped ones around a similar price. A closed loop of higher price might bring you lower temperatures and more headroom for overclocking, though it might be dependent on overall case airflow. Aside from that, I personally think they look a bit cleaner. Of course this is coming from someone who spent a lot on how the interior of my PC looks. It's entirely subjective.

Speaking of airflow: the NZXT comes with 4 fans. According to their website:

FRONT, 1 X 140mm
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)
SIDE, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 200/230 (2 x 120mm included)
TOP, 2 X 200mm (1 x LED 200mm included)

If maximum airflow/cooling is more valuable than the acoustics, then you could add some more fans.

Well you seem pretty eager to spend your money so I won't bother recommending things just for the sake of saving money.  


Consider this for your PSU:


Corsair PSUs are really reliable.


For your RAM, you probably won't take much advantage of speeds higher than 1600, but for the same price you can get this at 2400:



If you really really want to do SLI, you might as well get Asus DirectCU II cards for pretty much the same price, with better  and quieter performance:



I don't usually recommend cases because it's a very personal thing.  Take a look at the Fractal Define R4 though.



Stick with the asus monitor (I own a korean myself and havn't had an issue mind you) That asus monitor is of really good quality and you will have better warranty and features than if you went with a korean. Might as well get your moneys worth.

It looks good all around.

I'm not sure if you want to wait to pull the triggers on teh gpus or not. there is supposed to be some interesting things happening soon :D   It may cause prices to drop in the 780ti (knowing Nvidia probably not)

Only thing I could say is get a better PSU maybe? 850W is very suitable for a rig of that caliber But I personally am not a fan of the brand. a corsair AX860i is what I'd go for.


I agree you can find faster ram kits for about the same price. +1

I didn't realise he was going for stock 780ti cooler. I too would go for the D CU II coolers from asus they're baller

case? meh- have whatever you like as long as it fits everything

Looks good to me, wish I had your budget. PSU is fine - its a seasonic under the hood. If I were to change anything it would be the seagate hdd to a wd or hitachi unit.

I was going to say that, but the same WD drive is some $80 more or something crazy.  Granted he seems to have the cash, I can't even recommend it at that price difference.

Wow! So many comments, I'm very glad to see! I'll try my best to respond to you all. I apologize for the late response time, but my work apparently has tek syndicate banned from visiting! But I now have all weekend and will be checking on the thread constantly!


Fish: I am very interested in the GTX 790, but I'm wondering how it would perform (off the supposed stats) in comparison to two GTX 780 TIs? Mainly because, if nothing else, I may wait and see if the TIs prices drop upon its release and still pick two of them up for a potential cheaper/same price. Unless the 790 is supposed to outperform even two 780 TIs?  My next question would be, if I do decide to buy sooner rather than later, but only go with a single TI, would the motherboard be able to support the 780TI AND a GTX 790 upon release if I decided to get one of them as well? I think it should all fit fine, no?

As far as the monitor, I'm actually thinking about waiting until the new Asus 28 in 4k HD monitor is released in a month or two. I'm not in a huge rush, but I may start ordering piece by piece each week or so, and end up just waiting for either the cards and/or monitor.

A link to an article about the monitor I'm talking about: http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/asus-28-inch-4k-display/

I have heard mention of Raid, but I haven't looked into it very much. I think I'll check it out and see what the options are! And like I said, watercooling seems great, just have never messed with it before.

Athoss: My only concern is that I'd have absolutely no experience with watercooling and am not sure how easy it is to make a mistake which could cost me some parts?  I'd like a rig thats on the quieter side, but I don't know if the noctua would be just an easier method, or if I should invest a little extra cash and time into learning about watercooling. Your thoughts?

Kitty: I love saving a bit here and there, but when it comes to this I figure if I'm going to upgrade eventually, may as well make the investment now so I can have a bit more time without having the need to do so. That, and I think I will buy a part a week or so, so I'm not making a huge investment at once. I'm loving your recommendations though, and I do believe I will adjust to them. My only question would be about the RAM and if you have any personal experience with the brand. I've never used G. Skill but have heard mixed reviews. Thoughts? Otherwise, I think I will get it unless someone here has some reason not too. I'll give that case a check out too, thank you! Definitely going to get those cards if I decide to buy sooner rather than later, great suggestion there.


NJM: Definitely going to consider the PSU change, I've been told to go with Corsair by quite a few people now.

Dee/Kitty: I've heard pro's and con's to both HDD's. Is it just a personal preference thing, or do Seagates really just fail more often than WD's?


Again guys, I'd like to thank you all tremendously for the help thus far. You've all done me a great service, and I look forward to any more replies I may receive.

All the best,


Corsair's RM series PSU's are pretty cheap, quiet, and have gotten good reviews from what i have seen. 

As far as an All in One water cooling you really do not have to worry about anything.  It is easier to install and you do not have to worry about a bulky radiator blocking things on your motherboard or RAM height.  A Kraken x60 with Noctua fans is a great choice.  I also recommend Thermaltakes 3.0 water extreme.

One more thing, consider getting reference cards and the NZXT Kraken G10 AIO video card cooler.  Anyone used one?

The 790 will not be as strong as 2 780 ti's. The 790 is supposed to have two Gtx 780 non ti's  that are underclocked and undervolted.

Raid 0 is using 2 drivers to act as 1 very fast drive. basically data is partially stored on both drives so you get all the data from 2 parts on either drive at a faster rate then a single drive. Usually the speed is doubled. But, if 1 of the raided drives fails, data lose is basically guaranteed. Unless everything is backed up in the cloud, or a home server, everything on there will be lost.

 I have not water cooled personally but, really its best for keeping temps extremely low, while having an almost silent rig even under load. I cannot vogue for how easy/hard it is sadly.

I have a 2 x 4gb set of g-skill rip jaws and they work great, no problems after years of use in my system and my uncle's system who I got them from.

Seagate's have a higher failure rate. I saw on Newegg a while ago (not sure if still true) that 1/3 of the Seagate's sold by them failed with in a month. My WD Caviar Blue is running cool and without problem.

One can use any card with the AIO & kracken combo, reference card or not it'll fit. Reference cards will yield a better range for full waterblocks.

The tek used one a while back in a video.

Caveman: Thanks for that info, so I think if I do jump the gun and buy everything early, I'll start with one 780 TI and then wait for the release of the 790, and either get one of those, or just another TI at (hopefully) a cheaper price.

So it looks like using Raid has its pros and cons then eh? I'll have to talk to a few people that i know do it and see what they say as well.

I think I'll go ahead and invest in getting a WD instead of a seagate then, and maybe see if i can lower the price a little somewhere else.


Sam/Deejeta: Could you guys give me a bit more info on this "Kracken & AIO"? Do you mean to say you would get the noctua i have picked out along WITH a kracken x60?

If I do go watercooling, is there a highly prestiged one that a newbie could potentially do without to much hassle and/or breaking anything? :P


Thanks guys

The Kraken X60 is probably the best Aio available. It has amazing temps and only fan noise which can be remedied with good fans. You can use noctua fans on a X60, but not a noctua air cooler with a X60. You can only use one or the other. *Noctua fans on X60's are awesome and are probably the best quietest fan, but they look but ugly.

Doing your own custom water loop is really beneficial. The temps are super good, and its super quiet. Probably the closest you can get too a powerful quiet pc. I'd look at these tutorials and videos:



If you want we can make a draw up of a water loop with a modified parts list. We'd have to step it down slightly probably to Gtx 780's instead of ti's unless you want to bump the budget.

How much of a budget bump are we talking caveman? Like I said, I can make this a project, so even if I need to start small and then build up over a couple months, I'm perfectly willing too. It'll be fun to learn something new, and not sure if "Follow-me" threads are liked on Tek, but if so I can even post progress pics as I go.

Also, watched the videos above, and looks great. But would that work with kitty's suggestion (Listed here for convenience: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-video-card-gtx780tidc2oc3gd5 ) or would I be using stock TI's?


Edit: Great news! Unless my workplace made a mistake, I've just gotten a significant raise! If thats so, that already cuts 2 months of saving out of the equation. I'll be able to find out for sure on Monday, but even then I still have a bit of spare cash to play with now, so Caveman, if you'd be so kind as to explain how I'd go about making my system watercooled, I'd be quite curious now!

Seagate drives do fail more than WD drives, and I would normally always recommend a WD drive over a Seagate drive.  However, at $80 more I can't do it unless you're okay with spending that extra cash (it sounds like you are).  Corsair RM series PSUs are great.  I have the same one in my system that I recommended.  As for RAM, you can pretty must trust anything from Corsair, AMD, G. Skill, ADATA, Kingston, and probably Patriot too.  I wouldn't recommend a custom watercooling setup unless you're more interested in looks than practicality.  Which is perfectly fine by the way, don't get me wrong.  Air cooling has advanced to the point where it's almost just as good as watercooling now.  Watercooling will still pull out ahead in benchmarks by a few degrees, but you don't NEED those few extra degrees unless you're doing extreme overclocking, or you have poor airflow in your case.  NZXT capitalizes on airflow, so that's not a problem you'll have.  Granted you have the mobo for extreme overclocking, but it's up to you if you want to get into that or not.  

I would like to play around with overclocking Kitty, but I wouldn't be pushing anything to its limits. Just to its optimal performance with 99% safety, if possible :P

So if thats the case, then watercooling would be more for looks? Overall, I'm more for power/etc. over looks.

I think I'll go ahead and get that WD Kitty, considering I'll probably only start with a single TI, thus by the time I get the second one, that $80 wouldn't matter. I'm hoping there will be a few president day deals as well! I'll probably get that RAM for sure, as well.

Don't be alarmed if that RAM changes in price at some point.  Buying RAM is a bit of a timing game because of the volatility of the RAM market.  If that RAM goes up like $20 or something, don't buy it.  Post here again and we can pick out a new RAM kit for you to buy at around the same price, with the same (probably) speed.

Right-O! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some good will come in discounts and whatnot this upcoming Monday due to Presidents day, so I'll hopefully be able to pick up a few pieces of the system then for a good price.

Still taking suggestions on everything, I'm quite liking what I'm seeing thus far. Thanks to all of you, once again.