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View Full Version : Can't decide, 3930k vs 3820, 670 2gb vs 4gb



jocelyn
09-22-2012, 01:37 PM
Hey everyone,

Just a quick post looking for some feedback and input on two different options for a new computer. It has to be a pretty powerful machine to handle graphic & video editing, along with some software development (frequently compiling android among other things) and well, it has to support 2560x1440 @ 120hz too ;)

Also, I will be dual-booting OSX, so AMD cards are out of the question since there's no support for 7000 series cards in OSX yet.

Right now, the base build I have priced out is as follows:

Silverstone FT02s case
Seasonix 1050W 80plus gold PSU (purely price, it's currently cheaper than most 850w units)
Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4
Samsung 30nm DDR3 ram, 16GB (4 x 4GB)
Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black
Samsung 830 256GB SSD

Initially, I was planning on buying an i7 3820, and 2x EVGA 670 Superclocked 4GB cards, however I can't decide if bumping the processor to the 3930k and going with 2x Gigabyte 670 Windforce 2GB cards is a better overall balance of graphics and processing power.

I will be gaming too, but this isn't meant to be purely a gaming rig, closer to an entry-level/home workstation, and I really only play MMO's like Lotro and GW2, and I'm not sure either would benefit from 6-core processor, or 4GB vram.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any input and suggestions.

Cheers :)

HyperMatrix
09-22-2012, 03:38 PM
Honestly just comes down to how much work is being done that could benefit from 6 cores. Because for gaming, 3770k is better. For price, 3770k is better. For certain computing tasks, 3930k is better. I ended up grabbing a 3770k because I do "primarily" gaming. Some programming and video editing too. But i find the most demanding tasks are games. An extra 10-15% performance in a game is more noticeable than say a 30% faster work time when running processor intensive applications. Also because if you do anything that requires encoding/etc...you can use Intel's quick sync feature which apparently out-performs cuda processors based on a benchmark I saw (though the bench could be wrong, as I haven't looked into it much).

2x 670's will be great as well. Whether you go 2gb or 4gb is up to you. For up to 4x MSAA, 2gb is enough. I just recently got 4gb cards and I do like having the extra VRAM but I'm noting not much goes above 2gb.

HyperMatrix
09-22-2012, 03:39 PM
My bad. I didn't realize the 3770k wasn't on your list of options. Sorry.

jocelyn
09-22-2012, 06:21 PM
My bad. I didn't realize the 3770k wasn't on your list of options. Sorry.

Hi,

Thanks for the input, and no worries, I know a lot of people just assume 3770k, and I seriously considered it for a long time, it's actually easier to build a hackintosh with SB/IB than SB-E. But well, the 3820 is pretty comparable to the 3770k, even with the locked multiplier thanks to the BCLK strap, plus every 3770k I've seen gets crazy hot.

That said though, I'm a big fan of SB-E and X79 for the extra pcie lanes, and not just for graphics, I know modern cards don't saturate the bandwidth, but for other things like TV Tuner cards, dedicated sound cards, and raid controllers. I plan on eventually upgrading to a raid5 array for my data storage (just cheaper than building a NAS box or home server, and nobody else needs to access my data) and software raid5 is abysmal at best, so I'd need ~8pcie lanes for a raid controller, and I don't want to split the bandwidth that much further with Z77.

What have you found that actually uses the 4GB vram aside from higher antialiasing, I'm guessing just things like supersampling, etc.?

Anyway, Thanks again for your input, cheers :)

HyperMatrix
09-22-2012, 07:13 PM
Well Skyrim with the HD Texture Pack and everything maxed out, with 32x CSAA and 4X Super Sampling doesn't go above 2gb vram for me. I think Max Payne would do a good job of going over 2k. I remember with 4x msaa it was already capping out my old 2GB cards but haven't tested. Games like Planetside 2 don't even use 1GB, though that will change once the HQ/Ultra textures are added.

I honestly don't know what to tell you regarding pcie lanes. I'm running a quad sli 680 setup and I haven't noticed any bandwidth limitations. I think that's really the highest end extreme use of pcie lanes you could imagine. :P I did have limitations with 2x 690's on my old 2600k.

The 3770k isn't crazy hot. It's important to understand that my 3770k at 4.6gh, is faster than my 2600k was at 4.8ghz. A lot of people replace the TIM on the 3770k (though this may be considered extreme for some). Doing so has dropped the temps to an average of around 60c while OC'd to 4.5ghz, and running prime. Another fella on this site says at 5ghz he tops out at around 70c and I'm not sure he's replaced his TIM. So don't let the heat issue be an issue. TIM replacement + H100 push/pull config, and you're good to go at any level. And as a comparison of 3820 against the 3770k, at stock 3.5ghz, the 3770k outperforms the 3820 and its 3.6ghz by 8%. So 3% faster clock speed, but 8% slower. So, 2.963 points per megahertz for the 3770k, and 2.665 points per megahertz for the 3820. So all in all...11.2% more performance, clock for clock. Which means...at even a very modest low-voltage/low-heat 4.5ghz OC on the 3770k, you'll be running the equivelant of 5ghz on the 3820.

And of course...this leads to overall potential. Let's say best case scenario for both chips. Your 3820 will cap out at 5.2ghz. Your 3770k will cap out at 5ghz. Which is equal to the performance of a 3820 running at 5.56ghz. And you can't tell me that doesn't sound tempting. :P

jocelyn
09-22-2012, 08:19 PM
And of course...this leads to overall potential. Let's say best case scenario for both chips. Your 3820 will cap out at 5.2ghz. Your 3770k will cap out at 5ghz. Which is equal to the performance of a 3820 running at 5.56ghz. And you can't tell me that doesn't sound tempting. :P

Hi again,

Well, it definitely is really tempting, I won't argue there!

Of course, then I'm stuck with a problem of not enough lanes/slots on my preferred Z77 board, the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (no plx chip) which forces me into a board like the Maximus V Formula or even higher segment boards, like the Extreme. And I'll admit, I pondered the M5F for a while purely for the audio implementation, but I'm not sure it's worth downgrading from 6+2/8+0 (true) phase VRM to 4 (true) phase design of the M5F. The Extreme would work, and is 8 (true) phase design, but then I've exceeded the cost of 3820 and X79 by $195.

I'm also somewhat limited in my choice of case to the H80 push/pull without resorting to really weird/funky mounting for an H100.

Anyway, thanks again for the input, if you have any suggestions for other Z77 motherboards to look at I'll definitely check them out before I purchase everything, but right now the selection seems pretty lackluster.

HyperMatrix
09-22-2012, 08:39 PM
$299 EVGA Z77 FTW http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188120&Tpk=z77%20ftw
$329 3770k CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116501

Not too bad, price wise. As for the H100 and your case, that one I can't really comment on. My H100 mount is pressing really hard against a cable on my motherboard so it was definitely an "awkward mount." I find the performance it gives is worth it. But I also have a massively large case. :P

Jrule2
09-22-2012, 09:16 PM
Honestly, a lot of people may argue with me here (Hyper I imagine might be one of them) but I don't think buying Z77 now is wise as it will very likely be replaced in much less than a year with a completely new socket and set of CPU's.

The argument for X79 is there isn't a HUGE difference between the current SB-E and the IB processors unless you're looking for ridiculous overclocks. More importantly SB-E has more than a year left with the only potential update between now an 3rd quarter 2013 being a 3970X, then in 3rd quarter 2013 you'll have the IB-E processors which will most likely extend X79's lifespan for at least another 6 months.

So you could either go the cheaper 3820 option now and then go for a more expensive IB-E offering much later on in a years time if you wanted to. Or if you wanted something that would most likely see you through for a couple of years I'd be inclined to stick with the 3930K (or a Z77 CPU).

HyperMatrix
09-22-2012, 10:08 PM
I wouldn't say I necessarily disagree with you, Jrule. The "smart" choice in my opinion is to wait for Haswell. But seeing as how CPU's are seeing very minimal improvements in clock speeds/work per cycle, and seem to be heading towards more cores = more power, for a gamer it didn't make sense to wait. What ended up convincing me to go 3770k, and believe me I was completely against the idea for months, was this:

- Best current gaming performance
- Best OC results (with good cooler and TIM replacement)
- Enough pcie lanes for current gen 256 bit bus cards
- Inclusion of thunderbolt, bluetooth, wifi (extra crap on the mobo which makes it feel like it won't fall behind too quick)
But really...and the largest part of it all...impatience of waiting for better to come out, and simply wanting the best available "right now." That could be a very bad way to look at it but I expect the system to last me around 1.5 years. Same as what my 2600k did for me.

I had certainly considered the 3930k. Especially with the $199 pricing from Intel during the summer (I should have gotten one whether I was going to use it or not...I know.). But it had lower gaming performance than my existing 2600k so I couldn't justify it. I considered the 3820 briefly. And perhaps that is what I should have done because it is similar performance to the 2600k. But I made my decision because I knew my CPU would be the limiting factor in this new build and an extra 15% CPU performance would mean an extra 15% performance from my GPU's as well. So perhaps you're right, that in a standard sli or single card setup, the 3820 might be the most cost effective measure with more options in terms of cpu upgrades in the future. But why stay 10% behind now, just to have to buy a new CPU and be 10% ahead later?

It is an interesting debate all in all and most of it just depends on:

- What you plan to use the computer for
- What part of your usage you would say is the most critical
- When do you expect to upgrade again?

So I guess there's really no right or wrong answer in this case, as individual situations greatly affect the optimal choice.

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 02:14 AM
2 cards = 3770k for me. 3 or 4 Cards, look into the 3930k.

3770k would do fine for light home workstation use.

2GB for me rather than 4GB.

Have wrote an explanation for my personal decision below (purely based on gaming), some of it may be of use or food for thought for others. A bit more towards a 3 card setup though. 2 cards, I would go for 3770 (but only 2GB cards).

-----------

I went for the x79, 3930k with 3x 670 2GBs.

My reasons in the end.

I wanted the native lanes for the GPU's. I knew if the GPU's couldn't get enough bandwidth on the PCI-e lanes, I wouldn't be getting 100% usage on my expensive cards. I didn't want to go z77 with PLX due to the extra latency and other issues I kept reading about and without a PLX chip, the cards wouldn't get enough bandwidth to max the cards.

I felt that the 3930k although slightly slower in (generally older, CPU limited) games than the 3770k. It did give me the option of those important PCI-e lanes along with the extra 2 physical cores, of which will at some point become more utilized on upcoming games (I think there are games already that can use the extra cores).

I can get 99% usage on all 3 of my cards in a lot of the newer games (BF3 etc.) and if I do not enable the PCI-e 3.0 patch (limit's the lanes to PCI-e 2.0 speeds) I cannot get near that usage, so I lose out on alot of GPU grunt.

It was purely on the multiple GPU side of things that I went for the 3930k. Negatives are, higher cost + more heat. H100 on the 3930k = around 4.6ghz max unless your happy in the 80c range. A decent custom watercooling would probably get you into the 5ghz band but not without that significant cost.

CPU power is important for 2560x1440 in some games. I do hit a CPU limit (can't get over x amount of frames, whilst GPU is not topped out). You could use that extra unused GPU power for some more AA etc. You really want to clock your CPU to the max if it becomes an issue.

I still get over 100 FPS in pretty much most games I've tried (I use max AA), so CPU doesn't seem to be a huge problem for me with my 3930k @ 4.6ghz. Newer games like Max Payne 3 etc.generally use all the GPU power so the CPU becomes a non issue.

As far as the cards go. I went for 3x 670's 2GBs. My reasons :-

Cost was a lot cheaper than the 4GB's, I felt the money saved on 3 cards (300 over here) would be better spent on a future GPU upgrade. And in it's life span 2GB would be fine.

I felt that I would run out of GPU power before I would run out of RAM @ 2560x1440.

Faster RAM overclocking. 2GB overclocks better than 4GB (so I was reading at the time).

So far, I have never had one issue with 2GB of RAM. I have run out of GPU power (99% usage on all 3 cards) in a fair few games, which means I wouldn't add visual settings (loss of FPS) which means less RAM usage.

I always have MSAA 4x on. At 2560x1440 because the resolution is so fine, you will never need more AA than that. I cannot tell any difference whatsover with more AA than MSAA 4x. All you will get is less performance with no visual difference (in my eyes). More frames is more important than more AA for me.

4 GPU's imo, is a waste of money unless you are going for multiple Catleaps. As the CPU will definately hold you back, be it a 3930k or 3770k. You won't get your moneys worth on that extra card plus anything over 4x MSAA I cannot tell any difference, so you don't even need it for more AA settings.

So for me, I'm happy with my 2GB 670's, with even 3 of them not being enough to hit a VRAM limit for my usage (and I have Skyrim with all the HD and packs etc.). If new games become an issue for VRAM, I'm sure I'll probaby be turning down some of the settings (AA) to keep more FPS (as I want 100+ for my Catleap) so I would be using less VRAM in that situation anyway.

Just some food for thought, not saying I'm 100% correct in my statements - but that's pretty much why I went for the x79 and 2GB 670's.

Also to note. I do overclock my cards which can make a big difference on my FPS. I have the EVGA 670 2GB FTW's (blower type), because the cards are stacked 3 in a row for better cooling than the aftermarket coolers (Windforce etc.)

benzman
09-23-2012, 06:59 AM
i GOTTA x79 rive and i also had a z77 and 2 3770k's and igotta say that the cap on those chips i had was 4.8ghz and that's what most ppl report as well and after that it needs much more voltage and it heats up like crazy, i guess to hit 5.0 u need to be liky and get a good 1 even with tim on or off not that much diff in my case, and my 3930k deffinetly smokes that chip any day i gotta say, but 3770k is deffinetly a gaming chip and x79 platform is more of a workstation platform but is also a great platform for sli and crossfire if u wanna fit few cards and soundcard and... bottom line i didn't like the 3770k much and i gave it back thank god,but if u want one then microcenter has the 3770k for $290 and u can also get a rive and other mb for cheap as well, and also they have a 3930k for $500 and i got my self a golden one to i do 5.0ghz at 1.454vm, also the x79 platform is more future proof u would be able to upgrade to ivy bridge -e especially if u get an asus mobo they have great upgrades on their bioses so im sure overclocking an ivy wont be an issue on rive 4

Sneaky
09-23-2012, 09:34 AM
That is the longest sentence I have seen in a looooooong time =P

jocelyn
09-23-2012, 01:27 PM
Thanks everyone for the input so far! Like always, too many options makes it crazy hard to decide.

So now I think I'm actually leaning towards 3820 ($230 at microcenter is incredibly cheap) and 2x 2GB 670 cards, and saving the extra money to jump to 6-core IB-E in 12-18 months. I would love to go 3x 670's of course, but then a 690 is cheaper, with fairly equal performance to 3x 670's from various benchmarks I've seen.

On the processor side of things, everything intel has released so far says that IB-E will be a drop-in upgrade on X79 and won't require a new chipset, of course we won't really know until the first engineering sample chips start hitting review sites in 6-9months, it's likely that will change and there will be some new X89 or whatever chipset that's fully certified for pcie 3.0, native USB 3.0, etc.

And lastly, looking into my case selection, I'm utterly in love with the aesthetic of the Silverstone FT02, but I'm a bit annoyed by being limited to an H80, mounted in the top exhaust spot, so does anyone have any alternate case suggestions that will fit an H100? I've looked at both the Corsair Obsidian 550D and Fractal Define R4 (the white is so pretty!) but it seems they both greatly sacrifice cooling potential, and in the case of the R4, it can't fit the H100 with most hardware either. To be clear, this is ultimately a half work/half gaming system, I like clean, simple aesthetics, I don't like windows, lighting, or "busy" cases.

Anyway, thanks again for all the input, cheers everyone :)

n0rp
09-23-2012, 01:44 PM
I myself have this case Fractal Design Arc Midi that would fit any 240 rad on top witch isnt thicker than 64mm depending on the rams size witch i highly recommend. comes with most needed and 3 140mm fans of decent quality you might take a look at it. http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=57

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 02:29 PM
Thanks everyone for the input so far! Like always, too many options makes it crazy hard to decide.

So now I think I'm actually leaning towards 3820 ($230 at microcenter is incredibly cheap) and 2x 2GB 670 cards, and saving the extra money to jump to 6-core IB-E in 12-18 months. I would love to go 3x 670's of course, but then a 690 is cheaper, with fairly equal performance to 3x 670's from various benchmarks I've seen.

On the processor side of things, everything intel has released so far says that IB-E will be a drop-in upgrade on X79 and won't require a new chipset, of course we won't really know until the first engineering sample chips start hitting review sites in 6-9months, it's likely that will change and there will be some new X89 or whatever chipset that's fully certified for pcie 3.0, native USB 3.0, etc.

And lastly, looking into my case selection, I'm utterly in love with the aesthetic of the Silverstone FT02, but I'm a bit annoyed by being limited to an H80, mounted in the top exhaust spot, so does anyone have any alternate case suggestions that will fit an H100? I've looked at both the Corsair Obsidian 550D and Fractal Define R4 (the white is so pretty!) but it seems they both greatly sacrifice cooling potential, and in the case of the R4, it can't fit the H100 with most hardware either. To be clear, this is ultimately a half work/half gaming system, I like clean, simple aesthetics, I don't like windows, lighting, or "busy" cases.

Anyway, thanks again for all the input, cheers everyone :)

I know you mentioned no windows, but if you could look past it (push it against your desk?), maybe look at the NZXT Switch 810 (I know not as good looking as the FT02, which was going to be my choice before I purchased a CM Cosmos 2).

I disagree with your statement that 3x 670's are nearly equal to a 690. My friend has a 690 and 2x 670's against a 690 are pretty much on par. My 3x 670's beat the 690 by pretty much 50% and only cost around 20% more over his 690 purchase. The downsides though are...noise, power usage and more heat.

If I were you, I wouldn't gamble on x79 IB-e. If your going to go 4 cores, go for IB and enjoy better performance over a 3820, especially if your talking 2x GPU's. If your going to go with x79, get a 3930k. Couple of reasons for me.

IB-e may not happen on x79 as you say, so why gamble with the cheaper CPU?. If it doesn't happen your stuck with a worse performing 4 core CPU than the cheaper platform (z77). If it does happen, you'll probably find it hard to shift it for any decent money. People will be flocking to IB-e CPU's selling their 3930k/3960x's of which anyone buying second hand will probably only be interested in. Why at that time would anyone want to buy into a x79 platform with 3820, when the 4core IB platform performs better?.

The 3930k would retain a better % of its value IMO and be more desireable to a potential future buyer.

Pay the extra for the 3930k, if IB-e doesn't happen, you've got yourself a decent chip. If it does happen and you want to upgrade, I think you'll get a better percentage return over a 3820. If you are only going to stay with 2 GPU's, just go with the z77 regardless. Don't take a gamble on a 3820 > IB-e upgrade, as it could backfire. At least with a 3930k you've got yourself covered if you end up selling to upgrade or having to keep it.

jocelyn
09-23-2012, 02:45 PM
I know you mentioned no windows, but if you could look past it (push it against your desk?), maybe look at the NZXT Switch 810 (I know not as good looking as the FT02, which was going to be my choice before I purchased a CM Cosmos 2).

I disagree with your statement that 3x 670's are nearly equal to a 690. My friend has a 690 and 2x 670's against a 690 are pretty much on par. My 3x 670's beat the 690 by pretty much 50% and only cost around 20% more over his 690 purchase.

Hi,

Sorry, I didn't mean that in a definitive way, just that benchmarks I had seen previously suggested the 690 was still stronger. However, that was also a couple months back now, so I'm sure with driver improvements, better OC options on the 670, etc., that three would be a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately I won't have the budget or need for three cards really, and then it changes motherboard option/requirement in order to accommodate two other pcie x1-x8 cards.

I've looked at the switch 810 before too, though the overall size is fairly off-putting. To be honest, the size of the ft02 is larger than I like, but it compensates a bit with their 90 degree mounting and super clean aesthetics.

Anyway, thanks for the input, cheers :)

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 03:10 PM
Hi,

Sorry, I didn't mean that in a definitive way, just that benchmarks I had seen previously suggested the 690 was still stronger. However, that was also a couple months back now, so I'm sure with driver improvements, better OC options on the 670, etc., that three would be a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately I won't have the budget or need for three cards really, and then it changes motherboard option/requirement in order to accommodate two other pcie x1-x8 cards.

I've looked at the switch 810 before too, though the overall size is fairly off-putting. To be honest, the size of the ft02 is larger than I like, but it compensates a bit with their 90 degree mounting and super clean aesthetics.

Anyway, thanks for the input, cheers :)

Added a bit more to my post since you replied, apologies :).

HyperMatrix
09-23-2012, 03:12 PM
And for video cards honestly I'd probably grab a couple 7970's instead. They're selling for like $330 now for a 3gb card. You really can't beat the performance per dollar there.

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 03:32 PM
BTW, you can fit a H100 in a FT02 (at the bottom) http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7167/6434002617_498f1454cc_b.jpg

I was going to go WC with a 360mm radiator along the bottom of the case in the FT02 (if I had purchased), which is another option if you want to spend a little more $$ and ditch the H100.

But just to add another thing to think about...

I'm assuming you have/or are getting a Catleap 2B?. If so and you want to get maximum hz out of it, you 'may' need to invest in a 24awg cable unless you get lucky with another lower gauge DVI cable. I don't think you'll be bending a 24awg cable in the cable management area out of the top of that case. Just thought I'd mention it in case it may be an issue for you in the future.

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 04:00 PM
And for video cards honestly I'd probably grab a couple 7970's instead. They're selling for like $330 now for a 3gb card. You really can't beat the performance per dollar there.

He mentioned in the first post that he needs Nvidia for OSX reasons.

Although not disagreeing with you on the 7970's for the price (regardless of the OP's needs), there are a few other things going Nvidia's way, like the noise/temps and mainly the power consumption is far better on the 670's.

HyperMatrix
09-23-2012, 04:15 PM
He mentioned in the first post that he needs Nvidia for OSX reasons.

Although not disagreeing with you on the 7970's for the price (regardless of the OP's needs), there are a few other things going Nvidia's way, like the noise/temps and mainly the power consumption is far better on the 670's.

I'm an Nvidia guy myself. And yeah I forgot about the comment regarding osx. It's just looking at the 7970 prices...it's really hard to say no to it at this point. Especially when I saw a local shop selling the MSI model for $325 after mail in rebate.

jocelyn
09-23-2012, 04:44 PM
I'm an Nvidia guy myself. And yeah I forgot about the comment regarding osx. It's just looking at the 7970 prices...it's really hard to say no to it at this point. Especially when I saw a local shop selling the MSI model for $325 after mail in rebate.

Trust me, I was tempted for a long time to go 2x 7970, but there doesn't seem to be any support coming for them in OSX, especially now that apple moved back to nvidia with the retina MBP. And well, the Mac Pro is still using ~3 year old 5770/5870 cards, and I honestly don't see them updating it until Haswell. I think apple worked themselves into a corner with thunderbolt, and since the intel certification requires an on-board GPU for thunderbolt (no loopback solutions can be certified) apple can't go 2011/SB-E/Xeon-E5.

At this point, all the back and forth, I'm back to looking at IB/Z77 again (3770k, GA-Z77X-UP5-TH, 2x windforce 670 2GB, Corsair 550D, H100, etc.) the only everyday usage hit I'd take compared to 3930k would be massive/1-hour+ GCC jobs since GCC loves extra cores/threads. And if/when IB-E hits the market, I can compare to haswell and possibly sell the 3770k and motherboard. I normally hate that idea of continually upgrading, but this is just such a weird/bad time to be in the market for a new computer, /sigh.

And while I don't have a 2B catleap yet (I keep missing out on them before they sell out) it is factored into my budget already, along with a 24AWG cable. And thanks for reminding me, I didn't even think how it might cause a problem with the FT02.

Thanks again everyone, and please feel free to chime in again if you have any specific experience with anything I've mentioned.

Cheers :)

Flam3h
09-23-2012, 05:01 PM
Trust me, I was tempted for a long time to go 2x 7970, but there doesn't seem to be any support coming for them in OSX, especially now that apple moved back to nvidia with the retina MBP. And well, the Mac Pro is still using ~3 year old 5770/5870 cards, and I honestly don't see them updating it until Haswell. I think apple worked themselves into a corner with thunderbolt, and since the intel certification requires an on-board GPU for thunderbolt (no loopback solutions can be certified) apple can't go 2011/SB-E/Xeon-E5.

At this point, all the back and forth, I'm back to looking at IB/Z77 again (3770k, GA-Z77X-UP5-TH, 2x windforce 670 2GB, Corsair 550D, H100, etc.) the only everyday usage hit I'd take compared to 3930k would be massive/1-hour+ GCC jobs since GCC loves extra cores/threads. And if/when IB-E hits the market, I can compare to haswell and possibly sell the 3770k and motherboard. I normally hate that idea of continually upgrading, but this is just such a weird/bad time to be in the market for a new computer, /sigh.

And while I don't have a 2B catleap yet (I keep missing out on them before they sell out) it is factored into my budget already, along with a 24AWG cable. And thanks for reminding me, I didn't even think how it might cause a problem with the FT02.

Thanks again everyone, and please feel free to chime in again if you have any specific experience with anything I've mentioned.

Cheers :)

No problem, just go with the Z77 and don't look back :). I think it's the best option for you. Good luck.

HyperMatrix
09-23-2012, 07:13 PM
Jocelyn, having as much money as I could need to accomplish my goals...including getting a 3960x...I sided with Z77, and I don't regret it. So even if you go that route, you're not missing out on much. What's the worst that could happen? Instead of upgrading Just your CPU a year down the line...you'd have to upgrade your CPU and your Mobo? Extra cost of mobo...but maximum performance now. :) And you still can recoup much of your cost by selling the z77/3770k at that time and picking up a haswell chip if you want. You'd be out like $300 tops. So don't worry too too much about it. Despite all the hate I've heard about the plx chips, they actually perform very well on my quad sli setup and I haven't felt it hinder me in any way in BF3. I still rock it hard. :)

I should add that if you go with Z77...the mobo you get will be very very important. I'm quite happy with my Asus Maximus V Extreme, but I've heard very good reviews from the EVGA Z77 FTW as well. Not accounting for Bios being a little undercooked, of course. That seems to be a fairly common complaint about the evga mobo's. But superb stats/performance and amazing warranty/customer service.