Some help picking parts please!



Ok, in short this is my situation: my current system is seriously showing it's age. It's time to look for a replacement. I'm looking for a system that will keep me satisfied (performance-wise) for the next three-four years. However, as I tried to explain last night on mumble, I do not have the required skills to put one together myself. I've been there and done that (in the end, resulting in me taking the half-finished job to the shop where it was discovered I had wrecked have of the parts). So this time round, I'm going for a custom designed, but not self-completed solution! I found that in Alienware. Out of the two models they have on offer, I'm opting for the aurora version, I've picked out most of the components I have some knowledge off, but some still remain. Here's the list I still have to pick from:

Intel® Core™ i7-3930K (6 Core, 12MB Cache Overclocked up to 3.9Ghz)
Intel® Core™ i7-3930K (6 Core, 12MB Cache Overclocked up to 4.1Ghz)
Intel® Core™ i7-3960X (6 Core Extreme, 15MB Cache Overclocked up to 4.0Ghz)
Intel® Core™ i7-3960X (6 Core Extreme, 15MB Cache Overclocked up to 4.2Ghz)
Intel® Core™ i7-3820 (4 Core, 10MB Cache, 3.60GHz)

I understand a 6 Core is probably the best choice, but will the overclocking be detrimental in some way? (heat, lifespan....)

GPU (single card)
1 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555
1,25 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 TI
1 GB AMD Radeon™ HD 687
3GB AMD® Radeon™ HD 7950

GPU (dual card)
Dual 1GB AMD Radeon™ HD 6870 CrossfireX™
Dual 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555 SLI™
Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD® Radeon™ HD 7870 CrossFireX™
Dual 3GB AMD® Radeon™ HD 7950 CrossFireX™

I have no idea wether a dual card is something I'm looking for as I don't kave a clue what it's actual use is! I did look up some videobenchmark sites and realise these cards are in the (current) top-20. Oddly enough the 560 Ti seems to outperform all other?

8.192 MB (4 x 2 GB) 1.600 MHz Quad Channel DDR3
16.384 MB (4 x 4 GB) 1.600 MHz Quad Channel DDR3
8.192 MB (4 x 2 GB) 2.133 MHz Quad Channel DDR3

Is "more is better" the way to go here? Or go for less but faster?

So what would be the best picks?


Outfit Leader and founder
Staff member
Jan 2, 2006
well crafstman this is the system i got

with taking out the graphics card that came with it and putting in this one

and then later moving the 1tg hdd to a spare and using this as main os hdd

my next addition is this monitor



Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, everything you mentioned is only available in the UK :p
But seriously, for once I'd like to get out of the same old merry-go-round and start from a good base. With this I mean that in the past, I'd buy myself a new system, then after 2-3 years, the limits of it would become apparant (no CPU replacement possible, not equipped for higher end vid-cards ...). So this a better, more informed start! But since I don't know much about the technical content of these things, I defer to the judgement of those reading this. For example, the system I'm looking at has a MicroATX-motherboard (supposedly one of the better with good longevity) it has the
Intel® X79 Express Chipset with unlocked BIOS for overclocking, CPU Socket 2011 (again I hope this means more to you than it does to me).

What it all comes down is that the choices I needed assistance with, will give me good chance in 2-3 years to be able to upgrade the system when the need arises. I prefer to to pay 1.000 to 2.000 € more now and see my expenses (via upgrades) lower in the future than having to pay 1.500 € every 2-3 years.


Interwebs Mechanic
Staff member
Jul 20, 2006
Ireland, Galway
hi craftsman , I will look for spec for u soon, exams in college is eating up a lot of my free time ATM

Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk 2


In the meantime I learnt that Intel's K and X cores both suffer from heat and power hunger... the reason why this is offered with liquid cooling. So three fan systems and liquid cooling seems a bit over the top to me. Especially when it comes to loudness.

If I read the comments correctly, there's no real need for a 6 core (for me) as most applications seldom use 2 cores (let alone games). From CNET's review, the need for 6 core's will start showing itself in 2-3 years at the earliest.

So the following combination seems OK to me:
i7-3820 (4 core, 10mb cache, 3.60 Ghz)
2GB GDDR5 Nividia GTX 680
8MB 2.133 Mhz Quad Channel DD3