I'm working on a build that I'm planning on doing in a few separate rounds. The first round is to get the mobo/cpu/ram/PSU/case together so I have something that'll post. I have about $1000 for this, $1100 is my absolute 'not a penny more' ceiling. After that I'll replace my old storage and my old GPU. In two months I'll have no more than $300 to spend on GPUs and this Summer, no more than $200 for storage.

The target price for this build is $1600 and the ceiling price is $1900.

This system is meant to be used as a hybrid gaming/programming/3D modeling workstation. GPGPU performance is weighted more heavily than anything else.

Here's what I have for round 1:

CPU: Core i7-3770K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116501 with a plan to OC to 4.5 GHZ
Cooler: Corsair H100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835181017 (Considering an H100i)
Mobo: MSI Z77 MPOWER: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130660
RAM: 32 gigs of G.Skill DDR3 1866: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231529
PSU: Corsair HX series 850W PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139011 OR

Corsair TX series 850W PSU: http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Enthus...s=corsair+850w (or one of the other 850W PSUs)

This totals out to about $950 and will fit in my Antec 1200, which I want to replace because of the dust filters but will live with.

My first conundrum is my overclocking headroom. I want to push this CPU to 4.2-4.5 GHZ. I don't like the idea of liquid cooling, nor do I like the idea of load temps above 75C because this system will run at 100% load for extended periods of time.

Round 2 is GPUs. I'm a bit odd in this case. I'm a Blender 3D user and Blender 3D Cycles rendering engine doesn't work with AMD cards - yet. The geforce 6xx series also performs worse than the 5xx series in Cycles.

There's a messy list of Cycles benchmarks here and an outdated but cleaned up one here. The TL;DR is that without an Nvidia GPU it's 3 minutes/frame, with one it's 30-40 seconds/frame. Rendering an animation that needs 15 frames per second of animation means this adds up extremely quickly.

So I'm looking at the Geforce 5xx series on ebay. GTX 580s are around $250/each. I've considered something like 3xGTX 570s as well because those occasionally drop down to $150/each.

Round 3 is storage. I plan on grabbing a larger SSD and 2x3TB drives the next time the latter are under $75/pop



Is there any fat that I can trim so far?