Intel System Giveaway Part 4: High End Core i7 Performance Systemby Anand Lal Shimpi on March 20, 2014 9:00 AM EST
Late last year Intel came to us with an interesting proposition: using Haswell CPUs and Intel SSDs, we had to come up with four of our best system builds. Each build would be targeted at a slightly different type of user and budget, but all are aimed at folks looking to overclock. With the component list assembled, Intel went out, got all of the parts we selected and agreed to give away the bundles to AnandTech readers.
Today's giveaway is the last full system we've got, and it's easily the best one we've done. These systems are purely parts bundles, you'll have to assemble them yourself. Literally everything here was picked by Jarred and Ian as what they'd build if given these budgets.
For our final post Intel wanted removed all restrictions and asked us to build our ideal system around a Haswell Core i7. Our last gaming Core i7 ended up around $2000, but if we aim for the sky the total build cost almost doubles. While our last configuration was a good generational upgrade, this is a build for those who like to go all out.
For our top system build, the recent mêlée of graphics card releases from team red and team green have given us a lot to consider. From Ryan’s reviews, both sides are performing at the top of their game, and it is all a tradeoff of performance against heat and noise, which some users might not mind (read our R9 290X review and GTX 780 Ti review for more information). The heart of our top system build then is a pair of NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti graphics cards in SLI, which should handle pretty much everything that is thrown at them in a single monitor, and perform pretty well in any multi-monitor or 4K setup. The rest of the setup is as follows:
|Core i7 Performance System|
Quad-core, 3.5-3.9GHz, 8MB L3, 84W
|GPU||2 x GeForce GTX 780 Ti (SLI)||$1400|
|Memory||Avexir 4x8GB DDR3-2400 C10 Orange||$320|
|Primary Storage||Intel SSD DC S3500 800GB||$980|
|PSU||Enermax Platimax EPM1000EWT 80 PLUS Platinum||$280|
|Case||Corsair Carbide Air 540||$140|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H110||$118|
The CPU and SSD were sourced from Intel so we went straight in with the top of the line i7-4770K CPU and an 800GB model of the S3500 SSD. The CPU offers some headroom with overclocking, so to make it easy we decided on a Corsair H110 closed-loop liquid cooler rather than a large air cooler in order to make the build tidy, slightly quieter on the CPU side, and to provide a good amount of cooling to the CPU, allowing users to at least push a few more MHz out of it. We pushed for the Carbide Air 540 too, which offers separate sections of the case for all the heat generating hardware (CPU/GPU) and another compartment for everything else.
The S3500 SSD is Intel’s largest consumer grade solid state drive, using 20nm MLC NAND and being a direct derivative of the S3700, the enterprise counterpart. (Note: this Giveaway was started before the launch of the SSD 730 series.) With money-no-object in our SSD choice, it was obvious what to choose. On the motherboard side, we went with one of the several models that have stood out on the Z87 platform that has been reviewed at AnandTech. The GIGABYTE Z87X-OC received our Silver Editors’ Choice Award for its overclocking options at its price point, which has come down since review from $200 to $185.
In order to maintain some form of consistency in color scheme for the top end build, the orange styled motherboard is paired with memory with orange lights, which come from Avexir. We are using a full 32GB kit of DDR3-2400 C10, which in our Haswell Memory Scaling review was on the nice boundary of performance and price. Some news out on the blogosphere is pointing at games like Battlefield 4 enjoying some higher performing memory, so the 2400 MHz aspect should aid performance there. To top off the build, we plunged for the Enermax Platimax 1000W Platinum power supply – the rest of the hardware should draw no more than about 650W total (coming from Ryan’s power testing of 780 Ti in SLI on X79) so 1000W gives plenty of headroom for the winner to overclock the CPU and GPUs.
If you're as excited about what's in the table above as we are, go ahead and enter the sweeps. We've got one of these bundles to give away!
To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below (please only post one). As with all of our giveaways, this is only open to US residents with US mailing addresses. Unfortunately this is a legal requirement as each country/territory requires its own set of rules in order to be in compliance. Good luck!
Entries will be accepted from 9:00 AM ET on 3/20/2014 through 9:00 AM ET on 3/27/2014. We will draw 1 winner(s) who will be selected by 3/31/2014.
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