Getting into the action...

Discussion in 'Hardware Building/Buying/Usage Advice' started by TheGlobalMind, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Good fellows of the forum:

    I am looking to get into sim racing on the PC. Some years back I had a Logitech Momo wheel I ran the EA F1 game on, that didn’t work out so well, mainly time and the fact that I had to always hook the thing up again blah blah…well now I am looking to put more effort into it.

    From a system build perspective I am an enterprise systems guy. I work on high end servers all the time, so the concept of building a PC is far from new. However, building one specifically for gaming is another matter.

    I may actually put this thing into a 4U server chassis to mount in my 25U rack along with the other gear, but then again I have a couple chassis lying around too. That’s the least of my worries.

    I have seen a lot of talk here on water cooling, and while I get the concept - that’s one thing I haven’t messed with. I am not convinced it’s necessary, so hey, sell me on it. :) I also don’t tend to over clock anything, I suppose what I build is normally not something where we’d go in and try to do that.

    So, looking for ideas. Both on PC gear and wheels etc.

    What I’ve found so far that’s peaked interest is:

    * EVGA GeForce 780 card, 3 Gb memory. I figure single card - haven’t seen many boards that have dual PCI-E 3.0 x16 and that both run at that speed. Most look like it’s single at x16 and dual at x8/x8. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130918

    * ASUS Sabertooth board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132124

    * Memory - meh…something good, not sure. Probably 16 Gb worth.

    * Win 7 or 8, not decided (my daily machine is a MacBook Pro, and I’ve got a mix of Windows 7, 8, Server 2008 and Linux in the house)

    * Disk, SSD, maybe RAID 10, I haven’t decided. I have a couple 64 Gb disks here but may just buy some larger ones and do a RAID 10 with it. I figure try to get around 1 TB with it.

    * CPU - Intel i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E. It’s 6 core, 12M L3 - Maybe I’d be willing to jump down to 4C instead for a few hundred less. I could possibly scrounge up a Xeon as well. That on a dual CPU board could be fun if I found find something to support the graphics card.


    So that’s with 30 minutes or so of searching around. I saw some discussions around the MSI boards as well, they look pretty decent. This ASUS is a pretty stiff customer and good to hold up a heavy card if the system board is vertical vs horizontal - which is what it would be if I use a rack chassis. The one I have in mind there is the same one I use for my current server. It’s a NORCO and has this big ‘ol fan wall inside it to blow copious amounts of cool air into the unit.

    The wheels I have looked at several ones which I find interesting. I love what Thrustmaster’s done on number of their wheels like the T500 RS with the add on options of the F1 wheel and all it’s crazy buttons just like the real thing, and their F458 wheel, which has a special place in my heart since I’ve driven that car. But then again, the Logitech G27 seems pretty popular, and I love the engineering that’s going into the Fanatec gear. Their Club Sport wheel base & accessories, while expensive look very well done.

    So looking for comments & ideas from those who build specifically for gaming. The only things I will be running on this any time soon will be racing sims. I couldn’t care less about the shooters. Mainly looking here at rFactor and also iRacing. I may also pop for F1 2013 or whatever the newest thing is there. Originally I also wanted Forza but heck, that’s seeming to be difficult to get on anything but xBox, and I don’t want to buy multiple sets of wheels.

    Appreciate the input.
     
  2. Jamie Shorting

    Jamie Shorting Registered

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    Seems to me like you know what you're talking about so I don't have much to offer you.

    About water cooling, if you aren't going to OC I really don't see a need for it. Because water cooling has gotten to be quite cheap over the last two years is the reason why a lot more people are doing it.
     
  3. Knight of Redemption

    Knight of Redemption Registered

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    Only thing I would say is the 6 gig 780 is out for only a few bucks more, aside from that, it looks like a solid build to me :) New Fanatec gear looks great, I run an Elite myself and have no complaints outside the fact they discontinued it just after I bought it...But that is another story :)
     
  4. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Yea, a 6G card may be worth looking into, I'll need to check that out. On the Fanatec gear, I found another thread that looks like they may be in trouble - wondering if they're really the right way to go vs say the Thrustmaster.
     
  5. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Thanks for the reply - yea system building itself that's old hat - I know a lot of folks overclock here, but I don't know that I feel the need. I can see where the water cooling makes sense for the OC system though. We're just now installing a water cooled heat exchanger for a super computing center, takes all of the rack heat and runs it through what is basically a large radiator. Pretty interesting actually.
     
  6. Spinelli

    Spinelli Banned

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    CPU - Get a 4930k Ivy Bridge-E. If you want to go with 4 cores but wish to keep the dual 16x PCI-E 3.0 lanes then get the 4820K, which would always allow you to upgrade later on to a 4930k. Just about any X79 / LGA2011 motherboard has dual true 16x PCI-E 3.0 slots since LGA2011 natively has 40 PCI-E lanes, unlike the mainstream sockets/chipsets which are gimped with only 16 (or is it 24?) lanes.

    CPU Second Thoughts - If you wait a couple more months then you could get the new Haswell-E 5930k. You can't upgrade your 4930k/4820k/3930k motherboard to a Haswell-E chip though because Ivy Bridge-E (4930k/4820k) and the older Sandy Bridge-E (3930k) use the x79 chipset, while the brand new Haswell-E uses the brand new X99 chipset.

    CPU Cooler - This one is easy - the Swiftech H320. The best AIO water cooler on the market, by far. Also allows you to extend the loop to GPUs, more rads, etc. It's made to handle it. It cools as well as many custom water cooling kits, and destroys any other AIO water cooler on the market.

    Motherboard - I got an ASUS X79 Sabertooth, but man I really wonder what I could achieve with overclocking if using a RIVE Black, original RIVE, or EVGA X79 Dark. Those boards are truly stacked and top of the top in quality.

    RAM - G.Skill 4 x 4GB (Quad Channel) @ 1866 MHz @ 8-9-9-24 Kit. Most 1866 MHz kits out there (including G.Skills') operate at slower 9-9-9-27 timings, and the ones that do operate at CL8 timings run at slower 1600 MHz speeds. However, G.Skill sells one very specific model kit that combines almost the best of both worlds, 1866 MHz and 8-9-9-24 timings.

    Storage - If you got money spilling out of your pockets then of course just get a 2 TB, or 2 x 1TB SSDs. However if you don't then I would get a 256 or 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro (for operating system, system programs, a few games), and a pair of the newest, fastest 1 TB WD Velociraptors in raid-0, or if you can't fathom the cost-to-performance ratio of those HDDs, then get a pair of 1 TB WD Blacks in raid-0.

    GPU - NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti, I'd get the power of the Ti over the extra VRAM of the 6GB version of the non-Ti card. Then once the GTX 880 / 880 Ti comes out I would upgrade to that, and that card will have more than 3 GB of VRAM anyways.

    OS - Win 8.1 64-bit. Faster/more efficient than Win 7. Takes advantage of multiple cores/threads better than windows 7. Compatible with Direct X 11.1, 11.2 and the upcoming 12.0 (Win 7 is stuck with just Direct X 11.0). More secure than Win 7. You can set it up to look/feel just like Win 7 if you want.

    Monitor - BenQ XL2720Z, or the smaller ASUS VG248QE or it's BenQ equivalent the BenQ XL2411T. For pure gaming competitiveness, the absolute lowest input lag, etc. get one of these 3. They also have some of the best, if not the best 3D performance on the market.

    Monitor Second Thoughts - The upcoming ASUS ROG Swift monitor most likely belongs in the list of monitors I just mentioned above, however, I can't actually include it in that list until it actually comes out and is fully tested and confirmed to have the extremely low amount of total input lag that the other 3 monitors I mentioned above have. Plus it's going to be a ripoff in terms of pricing. But man, I'm salivating over it; I mean 27 inches, 120/144 HZ, 1440P, 3D, combined with (I'm assuming since it's supposed to be a top-end hardcore gaming monitor) very low total input lag, and I have to admit, I've daydreamed about 3 of these more than once.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2014
  7. DurgeDriven

    DurgeDriven Banned

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    I agree with Spin wait and see what new versions perform like but do you really need 16x 16x running a single monitor esp 1920 ? ( I like the BenQ 27" too )

    If not overclocking you could run a i7-4790 ( 4GHz turbo)
    http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116987
    200MHz faster then i7-3930K ( if you not overclocking )

    Plus the 6 cores/X79 is sort of wasted on sims running stock clocks, single card

    Msi Z97 gaming..... Z97 ( not all ) have M.2 sata if you are into Raid.
    http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130767

    Plextor 256GB msata in Raid0 = 1400MB/s sequential read, 1100MB/s sequential write.
    http://www.newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249040

    The Gaming9 mobo is a bit dearer but you can have the M.2 Raid plus another 8 x 6GB ports, Sabre has msata + 4 6GB/s ( X79) or 6 6GB/s ( Z97) total. ( if you into Raid ... )

    I also agree on the GTX780 Ti suggestion if you nvidia fan.

    If you want to spend more likes Spin's budget get liquid cooling as he suggested you will not regret it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2014
  8. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Thanks gents - I have been reading up on some of the new Intel tech - I think we have a call coming up on that actually, so yea that's probably a good move to hold off a bit.

    On the video front I see a lot of talk AMD vs NVIDIA, I don't think I have a preference, I've used both in various incarnations - seems more of a religious thing these days as to which one is really better. I deal with that type of thing on a lot of other tech fronts, no news there, but really is there a better option? From a lot of what I am working with on the business side, NVIDIA keeps coming up as the player to go with.

    With respect to disk, aside from running the games (and I would think these days if the game comes on a CD we could just rip it to an ISO and run it from that) - what else are you storing on that 1-2TB of disk? I understand the IOPS side so that's not the issue in terms of the spindle speed/latency etc. I figured 1 TB and a lot of that would be the game code themselves along with logs and such. It seems from what I am reading there's a fair bit of data you can gather off the game.

    I was thinking pure SSD on this box. If you wait around the 1TB SSDs are dropping in price. Hell my MBP has 1.5 TB on it right now. :)

    I will have to look into the water cooling again, maybe it'll be fun to play with.
     
  9. Spinelli

    Spinelli Banned

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    Ya, like Durge said, if just going with 1 GPU, or even 2 GPUs and 1 monitor then just go with a nice new 4790k and pair it with the Swiftech H320 (all-in-one water cooler that destroys the Corsair H100, H110, NZXT, etc., etc.). They seem to overclock pretty easily to 4.4 or 4.5 GHz from the little I have read about them.

    If you have the money then I would personally sacrifice a bit of IPC for cores with a 4930K. I think games are really going to start to get multithreaded over the next year or two mostly because of the new consoles. Then go for a triple monitor SLI setup and run both your cards at true 16x PCI-E each. The extra cores/threads make a huge difference in video editing, encoding, etc.

    For just simracing then a 4970k, or even the non-hyperthreading version of jt

    Durge, is the 4970k just a 4770k but with a 200 MHz overclock out of the box? I'm pretty sure it's the same old Haswell architecture and therefore the same IPC and such, ya?...
     
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  10. DurgeDriven

    DurgeDriven Banned

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    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/core_i7_4790k_processor_review,3.html


    Good review on mobo I mentioned as well.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_z97_gaming_9_ac_motherboard_review,22.html
     
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  11. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Yea this system will strictly be for sim racing. I already have a box I use for my photo editing & such.

    Just doing a bit of looking on the 780 Ti, looks like the 3 Gig memory model in the EVGA packaging with their ACX cooler is about $750 on Newegg.

    From what I am seeing on those mobos - although they have multiple x16 slots, you can't run all of them at x16 speed concurrently. It appears you get one at x16, then if you use two cards you'd get an x8/x8. So it won't be "true" x16 on each slot. At least that's how I am reading what they are showing as the spec.

    And by the looks of it, that's how most of the manufacturers list them.
     
  12. Spinelli

    Spinelli Banned

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    TheGlobalMind, if you want to run true dual simultaneous PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots then you must go with my original suggestion of an LGA2011 architecture CPU, and that uses the X79 chipset for the current Ivy Bridge-E CPUs (4960X, 4930K, 4820K), and the previous Sandy Bridge-E models (3960X, 3930K, 3820). For the upcoming Haswell-E CPUs (5960X, 5930K, 5820K) you need to get the upcoming X99 motherboards.

    LGA 2011 natively offers 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, you can therefore run 16x-16x simultaneously. You can even run 16x-16x-8x, or 16x-8x-8x-8x for 3 or 4 GPUs.

    You are correct about the other CPUs you mentioned though. The mainstream lines (Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, etc.) all only have 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes rather than LGA2011's 40. So therefore in a dual GPU setup you'll be splitting the 16 lanes into 8 per GPU.

    Some higher-end motherboards use a multiplexer to sort of fake more lanes but I dealt with them once, and well... never again.

    Also, I have seen 780 Tis being sold, brand new, for $630 - $670 in just the last 2 weeks alone. What country are you from?


    P.S. The 5820K has been "gimped" by Intel to only run with 24 PCI-E 3.0 lanes. If you look at how the 3 Haswell-E CPUs compare to eachother, and then compare that to how the 3 Ivy Bridge-E CPUs compare to each other and to how the 3 Sandy Bridge-E CPUs compare to eachother, you'll see that Intel has done things quite differently this time around.
     
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  13. TheGlobalMind

    TheGlobalMind Registered

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    Spinelli - Thanks yea that's in line with what I was seeing. I'll admit I need to brush up more on the newer desktop stuff - been in the server chips too much where we don't deal with some of these things as deeply. That and I work alot on the POWER architecture.

    I was looking over the writeup on the new Haswell chips though - rather interesting.

    Frankly I don't know if I'll run multiple GPUs or not. I suppose I'd like to design the system to be able to do that properly if I decide to do so in the future. From the enterprise space we like to design for futures with minimal rip & replace, so that's something I will consider here.

    I am in the US, which also brings up another point on those liquid coolers you were talking about, checking their website it says they aren't available in the US which is odd because it looks like they may be based here or have an office here. I've had issues finding that 230 kit you mentioned.
     
  14. Spinelli

    Spinelli Banned

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    The Swiftech H320 can be purchased from NCIX :)
     
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