In this article, we’re going to be drooling over the best hardware available in South Africa, coming together to build the best rig money can buy for gaming purposes.
Few people get the chance to build the rig of a lifetime. Most of us aspire to own that super high-end hardware and those who do typically see it lasting them much, much longer than anything from the mid-range. As time passes, games, operating systems and software demand more and more of your computer and investing in the best machine you can afford when you buy or assemble it means that you can stretch its useful life much further. So if you’re looking to build such a monster, which parts should you choose?
Below is a table showing the prices of the chosen components from various online retailers. The cheapest price is highlighted in Bold.
|Intel Core i7-3930K
|ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
|Corsair Dominator Plat. DDR3-2666 16GB
|Nvidia GTX Tiitan 6GB GDDR5
|OCZ Vector 256GB SSD
|Seagate Barracuda 4TB||2284||2326||2506.75||2179|
|LG BH14NS Blu-Ray RW Triple Layer||1017||1138||1113.55||1029|
|Corsair AX760 Platinum PSU||1961||2478||2506.75||2499|
|Cooler Master Cosmos II||3762||3916||3886.15||3899|
|Corsair H110 Closed-loop Watercooler||1321||1349||1378.15||1379|
|ASUS Xonar Essence ST 7:1 sound card||1456||1486||1529|
Intel Core i7-3930K and ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
- Intel Core i7-3930K ±R6,663
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme ±R5,141
The Rampage IV Extreme has quad-channel RAM for more memory bandwidth than you can shake a DDR3 stick at, four PCI-Express 3.0 slots for quad SLI or Crossfire, ten SATA slots, a wealth of overclocking options, and is part of the ASUS brand, the highest-shipping motherboard vendor to date for the last few years. Guru3D awarded it their Top Pick recommendation.
The Intel Core i7-3930K is the company’s enthusiast-orientated, unlocked six-core champion. Its not the most expensive buy-in to Intel’s high-end processors and with a few simple clicks in the ASUS EUFI BIOS, you can outrun an Extreme Edition processor quite easily. Tom’s Hardware rated it “Best of 2011”.
Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB DDR3-2400
- Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB kit ±R4,666
Very few RAM kits can claim to be as good as a Corsair kit. Scaling up all the way to 2,666MHz and beyond with overclocking, these modules are the apple of the eye of any enthusiast and their relatively low cost, at least for now, makes them worth buying into. The LED bar on the top also looks kick-ass. TechpowerUp rated them 9.8/10 and gave this kit their Highly Recommended award.
Nvidia GTX Titan 6GB GDDR5
- Nvidia GTX Titan 6GB ±R15,800
The GTX Titan is a re-purposed Tesla product and it’s much faster than the flagships from both camps – both the Geforce GTX680 and the Radeon HD7970 GHz Edition trail this by a mile. The good thing about the Titan is that Nvidia is only allowing their third-party vendors to sell the reference design with the same cooler, so you’ll get the same deal wherever you go. It won Techpowerup”s Editors Choice Award.
Storage and Optical drive
- OCZ Vertex 256GB SSD ±R3,166
- Seagate 4TB Barracuda ±R2,323
- LG BH14NS ±R1,074
The OCZ Vector family has set the standard for SSDs in the market and is among the fastest drives out there. Powered by OCZ’s in-house-designed Barefoot 3 controller by Indilinx, it offers read speeds up to 550MB/s and write speeds up to 530MB/s. Anandtech liked the Vector very much and gave it a thumbs-up.
The 4TB Seagate drive is astoundingly cheap, offering R0.53 per GB average pricing and cramming four terabytes of storage into one drive. It runs at 5,900RPM but its only ever going to be used as a storage drive in any case. Hardware Heaven gave it their Recommended Award.
The Blu-Ray drive, sadly, doesn’t seem to have reviews available online but the LG BH14NS does appear to be the first Blu-Ray writer available locally that supports triple-layer discs. A regular DVD drive would be out of place here, so in it goes.
Chassis, PSU and Watercooling
- Cooler Master Cosmos II ±R3,865
- Corsair AX760 PSU ±R2,281
- Corsair H110 All-in-one ± R1,357
The Cooler Master Cosmos II is incredibly versatile, packs insane amounts of hardware into it, and it looks spectacular – easily befitting of any high-end setup. It won TechpowerUp’s Editors Choice award.
The Corsair AX 760W Platinum has the coveted platinum rating, delivers enough power to push along two GTX Titans and an overclocked Core i7-3930K at their highest levels, and a seven year warranty to cover any potential issues. It also won TechpowerUp’s Editors Choice award.
The Corsair H110 closed-loop watercooling unit is here to allow for extreme overclocks on the Core i7 processor. It’s quiet, fits any processor socket and offers extreme performance with the right fan setup. Going back to TechpowerUp, it won their Highly Recommended award.
ASUS Xonar Essence ST
- ASUS Xonar Essence ST ±R1,490
Most high-end sound cards are now on the PCI-Express 1x slot and with the Rampage IV Extreme, that’s a bit lower down on the board. If you wanted to ever put another GTX Titan in SLI, you would have to cram them together at the top to avoid having to remove whatever sound card you had in there before.
With the Essence ST, it uses the PCI slot and fits in neatly inside our theoretical SLI setup. It won’t need to be moved and gives you the option to space out your graphics cards to reduce heat output and extend their life. It got Guru3D’s Top Pick Award.
Grand total: ±R42,685
What do you think of the build above? Worth the money or totally outrageous extravagance? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming froum.