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Default New Rig and Digital Storm

May 5th, 2012, 01:40
Going to splurge big time and get a new rig and hope it lasts awhile. I won an award at work so between that and some savings can swing about $5k for a once in a life time purchase.

Thing is I hate dealing with hardware so don't want to make a custom machine myself. I currently have an Alienware which I love but all their bundles are already out of date. If I am going to splurge I want some current stuff.

Planning on going with the new Nvidia GTX 690 4G card for graphics.

A gaming friend recommended Digital Storm - a company that specializes in epic gaming PC's custom built any way you like. From the looks of it reminds me of what Alienware USE to be in the old days.

So has anyone around here heard of them or purchased from them? Looking for feedback. They have excellent ratings all across the board from what I can find out researching online. A+ rating with BBB.

Here is my current build (link will pull up the saved build):

http://www.digitalstormonline.com/co….asp?id=684236

Some of the basics:
Computer Specification Summary
Processor: Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 3960X 3.3GHz (Six-Core) (Extreme Performance)
Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X79 (Intel X79 Chipset) (Features USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s)
System Memory: 16GB DDR3 2133MHz Corsair Dominator GT with DHX (High-Performance)
Power Supply: 1000W Digital Storm Certified (Dual/Triple/Quad SLI Compatible) (Silent Edition)
Hard Drive Set 1: Operating System: 1x (180GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 520 Series)
Hard Drive Set 2: Multimedia\Data: 1x (120GB Solid State (By: Intel) (Model: 510 Series)
Optical Drive 1: DVD-R/RW/CD-R/RW (DVD Writer 24x / CD-Writer 48x)
Internet Access: !PROMOTION: Killer 2100 (Optimized for Online Gaming) Lag and Latency Reduction
Video Card(s): 1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB (Includes PhysX)
Sound Card: Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion (Includes Front I/O) (PCI-Express Slot Based)
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler (240mm Radiator) (Extreme-Performance Edition)
Chassis Airflow: Standard Factory Chassis Fans
Internal Lighting: Internal Chassis Lighting System (Green)
CPU Boost: Stage 2: Overclock CPU 4.5GHz to 4.8GHz (Requires Pro/Deluxe/Sabertooth Motherboard)
Graphics Boost: FREE: Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-Bit Edition)
Display: Asus 24 inch VE248H (Widescreen) (Black) (2ms Response Time) (LED Backlight)
Keyboard: Razer Lycosa Mirror Special Edition (Gaming Keyboard)
Mouse: Razer Lachesis (Laser 5600 dpi) (Gaming Mouse) (USB Wired)
Warranty: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty


I know a little about hardware but not a ton. Next to nothing on what makes for a good monitor. I know I want to have something that will maximize online MMO gaming (for games like GW2, SW, RIFT) and letting me tweak the hell out of things like Skyrim.

Any and all suggestions welcome - especially if something I can tweek through Digital Storm or other companies to consider.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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May 5th, 2012, 01:56
Pre-built. bleh. The last time I saw a pc retail for over 5k was in the early 90's. You do realize that you're probably throwing these guys an extra $1500 for their "work".

May as well get a larger secondary SSD, 3D monitor, & blu-ray player.
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May 5th, 2012, 02:25
Oh I know but I really hate dealing with hardware. I have zero desire to put something together myself.

I a still shopping around though. I may find a better deal. I checked out one at Alienware, that in almost all areas was less powerful (but larger SSD) and it was $5200 so DS is still a better bargain then Dell/Alienware buy a large degree.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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May 5th, 2012, 03:58
Just my opinion, but you would be nuts to buy a GTX 690 right now. No graphics card is worth the $1000 they're asking for.

Wait for the price to come down, or check out some other high-end cards. The 690 is overkill imo, and you can get a lot more bang for your buck elsewhere.
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May 5th, 2012, 04:01
I understand what you are trying to do with building the ultimate pc now. I would never spend 5k on a pc though. In a year you'll be able to get a better pc for 1/2 the price or better.

So unless you just have to spend it all now. I would suggest get something in the 2-2.5k range, which will still run everything now easily and stash the rest for later upgrades to keep your system fresh. Nvidia does still have gk110 up their sleeves.

Anyway if you must get it that will be a killer system. I would suggest the i3820 though, will save you about $700 and give 80-90% performance. Also intel ssd's are pricey, I've had good experience with the crucial m4's.

Only other thing I would suggest is to go with the corsair 1200w psu. Not sure what a digital storm certified psu is but I never skimp on the psu.

I have the corsair psu and have no problems running my i7, gtx 480 sli, 4ssd's, 2 hd, water pump, 6 fans, 8gb mem, x-fi titanium with everything oc'ed.
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May 5th, 2012, 05:12
I'll always recommend DIY… But I can understand why some people might want a prebuilt.

That said, sticking with the link you posted, I would change the following components:

CPU: 3960X -> 3930K *subtract $539*. Basically the same chip except the 3960x is a higher binned chip, has a slightly higher stock clock and a little more cache(15 vs 12 mb). Long story short both chips are unlocked and the extra cache has a negligible effect on performance. Thus clock 3930k to same speed as 3960x and witness nearly identical performance for half the cost…

Ram: You could go with a cheaper 16gb solution… The digital storm branded A-data 2000mhz kit would give you roughly the same performance yet save you $175 to spend elsewhere. Ultimately memory is the one department you can safely skimp, as it has a minimal impact on performance… Also they hand test each dimm, if true that eliminates half the hassle(IE getting a bum stick).

PSU: 1000W digital storm -> Corsair 1200HX *add $128*. The corsair is a great unit, the OEM is flextronics, it has a 7 year warranty and it's gold which means up to 90% efficiency at 50% load. The digital storm is a big unknown, who is it's oem and what kind of warranty does it have? Also, it is only 80+ bronze which means 82% efficiency at 50% load.

Storage: I'd get 2x SSD's of your choosing in RAID0, either 120s or 180s… Next I'd get a 1 TB HDD for general storage/backup.

GPU: Depends on the display, if you're not going crazy with multiple monitors I'd suggest a single GPU solution(either 680 or 7970).

Optical: Bluray burner(why not have the capability?)

Monitor: no monitor.

Ok so if you change to the following:

CPU: 3930K
Ram: digital storm*aka adata* 2000mhz
PSU: Corsair AX1200
GPU: 680GTX
Storage: 2x Intel 120gb 520 SSDs + 1Tb WD caviar Black
Optical drive: Blu ray burner
Monitor: None

The grand total is $4106. Which leaves you more than $1100(compared to your original build) to buy a 27" 1440P or 30" 1600P or two really good 24" IPS panels from dell or elsewhere.
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May 5th, 2012, 12:24
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
I'll always recommend DIY… But I can understand why some people might want a prebuilt.

That said, sticking with the link you posted, I would change the following components:

CPU: 3960X -> 3930K *subtract $539*. Basically the same chip except the 3960x is a higher binned chip, has a slightly higher stock clock and a little more cache(15 vs 12 mb). Long story short both chips are unlocked and the extra cache has a negligible effect on performance. Thus clock 3930k to same speed as 3960x and witness nearly identical performance for half the cost…

Ram: You could go with a cheaper 16gb solution… The digital storm branded A-data 2000mhz kit would give you roughly the same performance yet save you $175 to spend elsewhere. Ultimately memory is the one department you can safely skimp, as it has a minimal impact on performance… Also they hand test each dimm, if true that eliminates half the hassle(IE getting a bum stick).

PSU: 1000W digital storm -> Corsair 1200HX *add $128*. The corsair is a great unit, the OEM is flextronics, it has a 7 year warranty and it's gold which means up to 90% efficiency at 50% load. The digital storm is a big unknown, who is it's oem and what kind of warranty does it have? Also, it is only 80+ bronze which means 82% efficiency at 50% load.

Storage: I'd get 2x SSD's of your choosing in RAID0, either 120s or 180s… Next I'd get a 1 TB HDD for general storage/backup.

GPU: Depends on the display, if you're not going crazy with multiple monitors I'd suggest a single GPU solution(either 680 or 7970).

Optical: Bluray burner(why not have the capability?)

Monitor: no monitor.

Ok so if you change to the following:

CPU: 3930K
Ram: digital storm*aka adata* 2000mhz
PSU: Corsair AX1200
GPU: 680GTX
Storage: 2x Intel 120gb 520 SSDs + 1Tb WD caviar Black
Optical drive: Blu ray burner
Monitor: None

The grand total is $4106. Which leaves you more than $1100(compared to your original build) to buy a 27" 1440P or 30" 1600P or two really good 24" IPS panels from dell or elsewhere.
Wow - thanks so very much MK - sounds like great advice. I don't really know my way around hardware so really appreciate the build feedback a lot. I will look into all of your suggestions.

I especially am thankful for you looking at the options at DS as I will most likely go through them - so makes it easier for me to adjust things.

I don't want 2 monitors. I use 2 super large ones at work for 9 hours a day (I do IT work, software obviously, for a living). For gaming I just want to focus on one screen.

I don't use a lot of disk space but the configuration you suggested sounds like it works good. I was thinking SSD for storing the online games - thinking it might help load large textures faster and zones. I am trying to maximize my speeds in my favorite MMO's while keeping settings as ultra as possible.

I understand its a lot of cash I probably could save. But I got some "free" money that will cover about half the cost … and I always wanted to splurge on a very nice machine. I can't stress enough my lack of patience with hardware. I have upgraded memory, hard-drives, sound cards and video cards in the past and that's about it … and even that bugs me sometimes fiddling with all the small sensitive parts. I want a nice well tested, optimized, warranty covered (all parts as a whole not individual), no-hassle purchase.

I appreciate all the other advice folks as well.

PS - I know the GTX 690 4G is over priced … but I always seem to get last years card and I kinda want to get this one as it just came out this month and hopefully would be current for awhile. I don't want dual cards - my understanding is often are not utilized as well in games and sometimes have driver issues. Guess I would prefer a single power-house.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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May 5th, 2012, 15:16
Buying a $5k computer is like buying a $200k sports car. If you have so much money thats its no big deal its one thing. If its a "one in a lifetime purchase" then, frankly, you are throwing your money away. A $2500 pc will last you just as long. Put the other 2500 in a savings account, and when the first rig is old and decrepit, buy another $2500 computer. You'll get twice the value for the same investment. (Better yet, but a $1500 computer and do something smart with the rest. Retirement account, something)
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May 5th, 2012, 16:02
Thanks to the advice from MK, and others, and a decision to knock down to a GTX 680 2G EVGA overclocked card, and a couple of other tweaks, got it down, with 10% discount, to $3900.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last edited by wolfgrimdark; May 5th, 2012 at 16:53.
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May 5th, 2012, 16:20
AFIAK, dual GPU cards like the 590 and 690 can potentially have similar drawbacks to SLI setups so I think you're sensible to go with the 680 :envy:
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May 5th, 2012, 18:22
1) Make sure the graphics card is silent as well, or connected to the water cooling. A PC is as noisy as its loudest component.

2) Generally speaking an i7 CPU is wasted in a gaming machine. The technological differences between an i5 and i7 are simply not used by games. The few percent a fucking expensive i7 is really faster than a cheap i5 2600k in games usually comes from a higher clock and some minor tweaks. So you could save a lot of money here with a performance impact you probably wouldn't even notice while gaming.
Of course things are different for some serious applications, when time is money.
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