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cpu cooler: take a look at the Noctua NH-D14, NH-D15 or Phanteks PH-TC14PE
thermal compound: switch to something that's non-conductive and doesn't take 200 hours to fully activate.
there are plenty of compounds from coolermaster, artic, and tuniq to name a few.
motherboard: asus or gigabyte, make sure it has the features you need.
storage: switch to the samsung 850 PRO series or intel 730 480gb. if planning on Raid in the future go with the intel 730 480gb.
gpu: switch from the gtx 980 to the gtx 970. the price to performance doesn't justify the gtx 980.
case: switch to something with 140mm fan options, like the Fractal Design Refine R5.
psu: if doing any overlocking consider going 1000watt or more.
OS: while windows 8 looks like a joke and was made for tablets or noobs in microsofts words, it is better under the hood, and its possible to use programs like Classic Shell or Start8 to make it look like win7.
CPU cooler: I'll take a look at those. The low cost and high praise from SPCR drew me to the Kotetsu but I'm not locked in on it.
Thermal: looks like Arctic MS-4 gets good reviews; I'll plan to go with that!
Motherboard: I'm thinking about going with X99-PRO or -DELUXE instead of the -A for the additional M.2 cards I'd be able to add in the future.
Storage: Does the PRO series outperform the EVO series enough to justify the price increase? I know they're supposed to last longer but I figured they're essentially functioning as scratch disks so durability wasn't my #1 concern.
GPU: Interesting - I kept going back and forth between 780ti, 970, and 980. Should I be concerned with the 970 only having 1664 CUDA cores vs the 980's 2048? Would eventually doubling up on the 970 let me outperform the 980 for rendering effects, etc?
Case: This is actually the only part I've already purchased. I looked at several others including NZXT H440, Be Quiet Silent Base 800, Fractal R5 but I've always had a soft spot for Antec's cases and I just love the P280 (even though it was just discontinued).
PSU: I was considering the X-1050 but I won't be overclocking so it seemed like the 850 should be sufficient (?)
Thanks again, I'm really looking forward to building and using this rig! Any further info from anyone on the EVO/PRO and 980/970/2x970 topic would be much appreciated!
::edit:: somehow missed the OS comment - I've already got an unused copy of Win7 available and MS will be offering free upgrades to Windows 10 when it comes out for all Win7/Win8 users, so I'll plan to make the jump then!
The Samsung EVO series are not great performers when writing to them.
Yes two GTX 970's will outperform a single GTX 980
Here's my updated build sheet:
PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mD47gs
CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Scythe Kotetsu 79.0 CFM CPU Cooler
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX4 4g Thermal Paste
Motherboard: Asus X99-PRO ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory
Storage: Samsung XP941 Series 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (OS, Prog. Files)
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Media, Projects)
Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (Previews, Media Cache)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 970 4GB STRIX Video Card
Case: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (Purchased)
Other: i1Display Pro
Other: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB Audio Interface
Potential future upgrades would include a second M.2 drive for page file and media cache (with media/projects and previews/exports going to the SSD's) and a second GTX 970.
I decided to stick with the Scythe Kotetsu because it performed better than the NH-D14 at a lower price and quieter volume (according to SPCR), but thanks to the feedback of RoninEdits and Bill Gehrke I swapped out the thermal compound, switched up to the X99-PRO motherboard, traded up to the 850 PRO SSD's, and went with the GTX 970 vs 980.
Any other feedback before I pull the trigger?
I'll figure out how to run some benchmarks on it when complete if you're interested! Thanks again for all the helpful feedback.