First off, yes I know the title is a bit corny, but everyone else has spiffy titles for their builds...So i didnt want to stand out tooo much hehe.
As of yet, I dont plan on doing any fabricating or significant forms of modding on my upcoming(within a week likely) build...But If I did have the time and money to do so, I would very likely do a mod/build themed and based on S.H.O.D.A.N. from system shock, probably throwing in some some sort of reference to either the USS Rickenbaucker, or the Vaun Braun. Plenty of images to work with if I wanted to do a simple skinning or paint job to my case. First thing I would likely do though to make this case "my own" is send in the window panel to be laser etched over at directron.com. Anyway, the following list/breakdown is what I have standing by in my newegg.com shopping cart, mainly to monitor prices, feel kinda bad when they send me email reminders "aint cha gonna buy this?" Here it goes:
Case: The IKONIK Ra X10 Liquid
Newer case, offered in the US by Logisys. Never expected such a high end case to be offered by a company that does accessories and basic cases. IKONIK has their own line of cases, the Ra X10 Liquid being their current flagships of sorts.
I was looking for a Full Tower case, one that would offer me long term flexibility and expandability, and, being that I was so attracted to other large cases with built in liquid cooling systems, this one was a great option. Being such an expensive and uniquely designed case, it would seem that is the reason why there is so little reviews on it.It looks to be a well designed case with some unique flair, as well as having a dual loop liquid cooling setup that looks to pack some muscle, while leaving plenty of room for expansion later on.
Not a fan of the blue lighting, would rather go for green myself, even on the black version of the case, but alas, the deals and discounts are only on the white variant. But again, this first phase is to just get a fully working and decent(high) performing computer under my control, worry about schooling, then start decking it out later.
Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Extreme LGA 1366 X58
Unless I am mistaken, this would be ASUS's top of the line MoBo for the LGA 1366 series of processors. Being quite the avid gamer myself, I went looking for high end MBs designed with gaming in mind. Bit on the expensive side sure, but I rather like the features ASUS offers, as well as the lovely array of ROG features of being able to adjust overclocking settings while the computer is running, even while in OS. This would give me a use for my laptop, plus I reeeeally love to pick at things and tweak settings.
Another reason why I am choosing this motherboard over others, even the slightly older models in ASUS's ROG line, is the fact it supports the newer STA 6GB speeds, as well as the USB3.0. I am two computers old, 3 if I count the one my father bought us when I was younger, and in each case I was most irritated with the fact that in all three computers, they were spent on a budget. In my desktops it was mainly the motherboards that limited me from upgrading beyond what was in them. Learning from that, and now that we are rather freshly into a new wave of processors, memory and now even GPUs, I wanted to get a motherboard that had plenty of "room" for growth. This motherboard will give me plenty of room for RAM upgrades, a maximum of 24GBs, a limit that I dont expect to ever need to surpass, support for a 3 way SLI setup with a fourth card possible as a slave...Even the new SATA 6GBs that would allow me to see more speed out of my HDs, once I get around to getting SATA III HD that supports it fully. Overall, there is alot of room for growth in this MB, and looks to be build for high quality and survivability. I dont see myself needing to upgrade to go faster with this motherboard in quite some time, unless maybe they come out with some new breakthrough technology that blows current stuff out of the water. Not to shabby looking itself either, though I would like some more green.
Processor: Intel Core i7 Bloomfield 930
I have to admit that the current multi core processors from Intel are quite expensive, when compared to competition from AMD. The reason why I chose to go with the 930 model from Intel is becuase it isnt so obscenely expensive as the other high end models, which give slight increases in clock speed, with massive leaps in price. So, I figured I would save a few bucks in this and get a processor that is still powerful, and judging by its reviews, it is rather well received. Couple that with some light overclocking, and you have the clock speeds of the more expensive models higher up the food chain. Two cores for me has been amazing, and I can only imagine how much more amazing having a high end quad core will go for me.
As far as expandability and long term investments go, sure this isnt the fastest or best CPU I could get... That Hex Core CPU looks mighty tasty...but, judging by all the well received reviews I have gone over, it can be easily overclocked to the 4ghz range using some high end air based heat-sinks, pushing their luck with heat. Having had several deaths by heat with my past components, most recently my laptops GPU, I dont plan on skimping out on cooling with my latest build. So, even if I find myself needing to overclock to the 4ghz range, this dual loop cooling setup in the aforementioned case should keep me comfy for a long while.
Graphics: ASUS NVidia Fermi GTX 470
Here I wanted to go with something new, powerful, and while still being a bit hesitant to go full bore and spend the big bucks. Comparing the 470 with its bigger brother in the 480, it seems to be a general agreement that the 470 performs at 95% of the power of the 480, with quite a big difference in price.
The dual reason why I chose this specific card, from ASUS, is two fold. One, its from ASUS.. Figured since I like them and am going with an ASUS motherboard, lets see what the pricing is on the ASUS Fermi cards...Lo and Behold, as of the time of this post, and for most of this month, Newegg is offering quite the discount on this card, and coupled with the Mail in Rebate from ASUS, the price tag for this card drops below $300. From one brand to the next, graphic card wise there is little difference that you pay for, other then the visual shell, maybe some custom included overclocking.. and sometimes some different forms of heat dissipation. When there is little difference in hardware or pricing between the same type of component, find yourself a good brand and stick with them, for me, I will try ASUS.
Im only going with one card for now, looking for a balance between pricing and performance. Right now one high end card is more then enough for todays games... Going SLI can improve your performance obviously... But how many FPS do you need before you stop noticing a difference? Same with resolution or detail. I can sacrifice some of the benchmark numbers if I am hardly going to notice a difference....And right now, anything I get, even in the lower 200 series will be a massive difference over what I am using now.
Memory:OCZ Reaper 6GB (3x 2GB) DDR3 1600
Honestly, I am not too keen on the performance difference between the different types of DDR3 Ram. you got the timings that affect the pricing(9-9-9-9-24) to the speeds and CAS latencies. I run on DDR2 ram at the moment, noticing a big difference between that and my old computer before that.. So I dont know what kind of difference between one speed of memory vs the other will be, and most importantly, if its worth the steep pricing differences. To play it safe, I figured on finding the middle ground. Go too cheap, and your likely going to regret it, usually in cheaper components or a shorter lifespan. Go too expensive.. well its your wallet thats going to be hurting later. Find a good peice of memory that is around the middle and has alot of purchase reviews, and I figured I found a good choice.
Why I chose this particular flavor of ram from OCZ was because it was in a combo discount package on Newegg with the GPU I chose, and has, to me, a promising looking heatsink. OCZ is a established brand name, the ram looks solid, and since there are plenty of people happy with OCZ products, I can assume this ram is a good buy. Plus, OCZ seems rather active in their customer support, especially on Newegg.
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
I got several hard drives of the SATA 3.0Gb/s variety on standby, so I dont need too much in the way of new. At just below $60 bucks, I figured this hard drive would be a good by. Unlike another similarly priced hard drive of the same range, from Seagate, this one seems stable and not likely to die after a few months. Not quite sold on SSDs yet, since I am on a moderate budget, I will go without one for now. If I do find myself wanting to try one though , I will likely go with a "boot drive" of smaller capacity and high speed. Either way though, 500GB is more then I have ever dealt with in the past, and should serve me nicely.
I will also be getting, as far as a combo package with a discount, a dual right angle meter long SATA cable , which I need especially because the hard drive I am getting is a bare drive, thus the price. Not to mention, right angle cables are quite handy. The combo price actually makes this cable free, a double juicy plus!
Power Supply:OCZ GameXStream 850Watt PSU
It may not be modular, but with current running mail in rebates, combo discount, and Newegg's pricing, I would be able to get this normally $99.99, 850WATT power supply for $29.99. Mail in rebate of $30 and a combo discount of $40! I am willing to sacrifice having a modular power supply for that kind of savings, while leaving plenty of room for expansion to a second card. Being that it is also from OCZ, least I know its a brand name, and worse case scenario, they have great customer support.
Operating System: Windows 7 64bit "Systems Builder"
Not much to say here. Getting it in a combo with the computer case for a savings of $10. Obviously its not much of a savings, all the good combos involve a huge setup...So yea, not much to say. Havent played around with windows 7 yet, using XP MCE right now on my laptop, so I am eager to try out the latest OS. From what I hear, its not the debacle that VISTA was.
Anyway, Thats my planned build as of now. I plan on being able to make the purchase within a week, depending on how my school funds turn out. Might make last second changes, not to sure. Maybe I can find a great promotion on one of those 30-60GB SSDs and use it as a boot drive, but for now I will wait on it.
Any comments, suggestions, or even help of any form is more then welcome! I plan on using this post to keep a detailed build log, supplemented with plenty of images and maybe video. Other then the manufacturers website, there is little information on the new IKONIK Ra x10 case, which I hope to change ^_^