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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 144

post #2146 of 3067
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
Unless you spent $400+ on your video card, your FPS will always be limited by the video card, not CPU so the AMD FX-8320 will be fine.  An i5 3570k would give you a few more FPS, but we're talking maybe 5% more since your bottleneck is the 7870.  I assume you're gaming at 1920x1080?  And not something like 2560x1440?  
 
No, never go liquid cooling unless you go hard core custom ($$$).  Those sub $100 All-In-One liquid units are waaaay more trouble than they're worth (water leaks) and ironically much noisier (fan and pump motor noise) than a well designed and spec'ed air cooling setup.  I frequent www.silentpcreview.com and have based my last 3 PC re-builds/partial upgrades from their various reviews and recommendations and have been very happy.  I need quiet because my PC is in my bedroom and when I need to leave the PC on to do..."stuff" overnight I need it to be quiet enough that I can still sleep.  If your PC is NOT in your sleeping area, then it's far less of a concern.  The Fractal Arc Midi R2 isn't bad, but I would have got a Fractal R4 for the quieter build.  Granted, even on sale, it's almost double the cost of the Arc Midi, and if quiet isn't your top priority, there's a lot more flexibility in parts selection.

 

The first part about most gaming builds being GPU-limited is true in most cases...but then you run into something like Civilization V or DCS World that is HEAVILY CPU-limited and bound mostly by single-threaded performance, which is where AMD's Bulldozer-based architectures really suffer. Then there's the matter of emulation, if you wanna run PCSX2 or Dolphin...

 

Granted, most people probably don't care about such things, but for those of us that do, it's kinda frustrating when the most demanding moments really make the framerates take a nosedive and throwing more GPU power at it won't solve the problem at all.

 

As for liquid-cooling, I've done it over this year (bought it in preparation for Haswell, used it to cool my ol' Kentsfield Q6600 in the meantime, and both run HOT), and while the performance improvement is astounding to the point where I never see myself going back to huge tower heatsinks ever again...so is the price, as you noted.

 

Going by my own experience, you'll probably wind up spending at least $200 for a CPU loop with a Laing D5 pump (powerful, reliable, and quiet if mounted properly, but costs at least $70 new) and a 3x120mm radiator, probably more if you start buying things like combo reservoir/pump tops, compression fittings (which cost $4-6 each, need two for each component, and the most basic of loops will still need 6 to 8 of them; do the math), and especially quick-disconnect compression fittings if you don't want to drain the whole loop every time you change something.

 

The good news, at least, is that most of that equipment will last for years and can be re-used. About all you'd have to change would be the waterblocks themselves, since mounting system specifications keep changing over time. Think of it as an investment in cooling that'll pay off again and again, if you're an overclocker who likes to get the most out of the hardware you purchased.

 

P.S.: It's a damn shame what politics did to the development and production of your namesake.

post #2147 of 3067

Man... this multi-quoting/posting is getting a bit unwieldly so I'll just type this straight up instead of quoting.

 

chicolom, Technically onboard Reaktek w/SPDIF out with hacked drivers + Fiio D3k is the cheapest route for DH through optical to an external DAC.  It's actually not that hard, install hacked drivers, reboot, install DH control panel, reboot, done.  The Xonar DGX route is more officially supported as the guy releasing the hacked drivers could quit releasing drivers at any time.  And I believe the DGX is currently about $40 - $10MIR at most places.

 

Man... I wish I had a Microcenter nearby.  That i5-4670k+Asus Z87-A bundle for $320 is a great price.  The best price my local computer shop has for that bundle is $390 CAD (~$360USD).  If you're okay with spending another $150 on your CPU+mobo then just get that.  It is more powerful, and will probably last you through a few video card upgrades if you overclock the CPU.

 

A SSD boot drive will literally transform your computing experience where you will experience almost no lag after clicking and waaaay faster load times when browsing, running photoshop, office, etc and I'm not even talking about gaming.  Actually, it probably has less of an impact on gaming since the only time a SSD will benefit gaming is at the loading at the start and at new level loads, the rest is bottlenecked at the CPU/GPU level.  That and SSD storage is still too expensive per GB to throw your entire Steam gaming folder onto one.  My Steam folder is actually on an old WD 500GB 7200rpm drive while I boot off a Crucial m4 128GB.  I've got another 1TB 7200rpm, 1.5TB 5400rpm, 2TB 5400rpm drives for my other storage needs... plus I'm part way through rebuilding/upgrading my file server to 12TB.


SaLX, a 60GB boot drive would be a bit tight for space.  Win7 x64 alone will eat about 20GB by itself, and throw on some Office and Photoshop, a 60/64GB drive won't last very long.  And the 120/128GB SSDs are a better bang for buck $/GB wise vs 60/64GB.  You only need hacked drivers if your m/b doesn't officially support DTS/DH.  And surprisingly, my Sabertooth 990FX (#2 most expensive Asus AMD m/b) does not come with DTS or DH... only some cheap and lame Realtek vitual headphone driver.  I guess they spent all the money on the fancy circuitry and power regulation for O/Cing instead of licensing DTS for the audio and they probably assume that if I'm spending this much on an O/C m/b that I'd probably have a separate sound card.  Also, you're right about the Asus AI o/cing... but only relative to Intel setups.  The AI is not so smart when it comes to older power hungry AMD hardware like mine.  My PC at work is an i5-3570k on Asus Z77V-Pro and the AI o/c it 4.1GHz easily and it's stable (it's my work PC after all).  And I do NOT wear a robe (unless you count bathrobe occasionally) and use skulls and candles (fire hazard).  But the whole quiet, dark chamber, and chanting do apply. :wink: 


NamelessPFG, you're absolutely right.  I was digging through reviews and roundups to find where I read about the GPU being the limit in most cases and it was here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6934/choosing-a-gaming-cpu-single-multigpu-at-1440p
That was for the purposes of gaming at 2560x1440, not 1920x1080, so it's not that relevant here.  I did find another link with info that is more relevant in spirit rather than testing with the exact hardware, but they do test at 1080p:
http://techreport.com/review/23246/inside-the-second-gaming-performance-with-today-cpus

 

Yes, I hate our spinelss Prime Minister at the time...not that I was even born back then, we could have beat you Americans to the first super cruising all weather interceptor as well as a bunch of other innovations.... and it would have taken NASA a LOT longer to land a man on the moon without all those ex-Avro engineers.  Funny thing is there's another Avro_Arrow on this site that I didn't realize was there when I registered and I almost used the same avatar picture as him.

 

chicolom, depending on the game engine, the CPU can impact FPS by a lot, even with a lower/mid-tiered video card, like Civ V as NamelessPFG pointed out.  If you compare the FX-8150 and i5-3570k  from that Techreport article, here are the following avg FPS boost for jumping on the Intel: Skyrim +52%, Arkham City +42%, Crysis 2 +14%, Battlefield 3 +4%.  They are using a Radeon 7950 in the article which is the next step up from your 7870 so the info should be fairly relevant.  

 

Whew... lots of typing...

 

The TL:DR version :k701smile: of my recommendation is that if you can afford another $150, return the AMD CPU/mb and get the i5-4670k+Asus Z87-A bundle from microcenter, drop the $30 LED controller if you have to :tongue_smile:.  It will remove any realistic CPU bottleneck for your build.  Skip the DGX for now to save money, install the hacked Realtek drivers to get DH out the SPDIF port, get a Fiio D3k for the optical DAC to feed your amps.  Done.  When you can afford it later on, buy the DGX, SSD (will have to re-install Windows again, ugh), etc to round out the build, maybe a 2nd 120mm fan for the Hyper-212 for push/pull config for better cooling (I run a Hyper-212+ w/2x 1450rpm Gentle Typhoon w/ZM-MFC1 fan controller on my rig).

 

And after you get it all put together and powered up, do NOT overclock yet.  Install Windows and your other apps/games and run it for a couple weeks on auto/default clocks to make sure that all your parts are good and stable, especially the RAM.  I spent more than a whole weekend helping troubleshoot my friend's new constantly blue screening AMD cpu/mb/ram upgrade a few months back... turns out 1 of 4 sticks of RAM (from a 4x4GB kit) was faulty and memtest86+ did NOT detect it, even after multiple 12hr test runs... arrggghh... and this was all running at stock speeds.  As soon as you start overclocking, it becomes exponentially harder to troubleshoot a flakey system.  So make sure all your components are good and stable before venturing into the overclocking world.  It will save you time in the long run... believe me... I've been overclocking since the legendary Celeron 300A days... and I still forget sometimes.


Edited by AvroArrow - 12/7/13 at 2:02pm
post #2148 of 3067
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post

The TL:DR version :k701smile: of my recommendation is that if you can afford another $150, return the AMD CPU/mb and get the i5-4670k+Asus Z87-A bundle from microcenter, drop the $30 LED controller if you have to :tongue_smile:.  It will remove any realistic CPU bottleneck for your build.  Skip the DGX for now to save money, install the hacked Realtek drivers to get DH out the SPDIF port, get a Fiio D3k for the optical DAC to feed your amps.  Done.  When you can afford it later on, buy the DGX, SSD (will have to re-install Windows again, ugh), etc to round out the build, maybe a 2nd 120mm fan for the Hyper-212 for push/pull config for better cooling (I run a Hyper-212+ w/2x 1450rpm Gentle Typhoon w/ZM-MFC1 fan controller on my rig).

 

This. Makes perfect sense - nice one Avro. If Chicolom could possibly squeeze in an SSD into the build (plus the HDD) that'd be sweet.

post #2149 of 3067

Alright.  Awesome.  Your reasoning makes perfect since (thanks for the detailed post Avro!).

 

I'll return the AMD+board and pick up a Haswell i5-4670K instead.  It will be a better CPU and will last longer into the future.

 

 

I will NOT be dropping the $30 NZXT Hue Led controller however. It's CRUCIAL to the build!  :evil: 

A windowed case with NO case lighting will compromise the entire system!  :tongue_smile: 

Plus it will match perfectly with my display's multi-color bias lighting.

 

 

 

The Asus Z87-A seems like a logical choice.  Let's assume for a moment though that there's a strong chance that "Santa" will be bringing me a Xonar DGX and a FiiO D3K for Christmas.  Knowing that, would you change boards?

 

Some options:

 

1)  Asus Z87-A bundle = $320. 

What Avro recommended, and seems perfectly logical.  Asus seems to have a solid reputation and may have a little better handle on Haswell than others.  Asus might have a nicer software suite/BIOs as well (I wouldn't know)...

 

 

2)  MSI Z87 G45 "Gaming" bundle  =  $337. 

For +$17 more than the Asus, but this board comes with onboard Sound Blaster Cinema (SBX Pro).  So I'd have two different DSP options to play with (+ Xonar DGX).  Oh, and it has a dragon on it...:rolleyes:

 

 

3)  MSI Z87-G41 Bundle = $265

This is a cheaper Z87 ATX board.  Winds up being ~$50 cheaper than the Asus Z87-A board.  But is it too cheap?  I know that the motherboards are one area where you don't want to overspend, seeing as how frequent socket changes make things obsolete and "future-proofing" is impossible - but is this considered underspending?  I don't want to cheap out if I'll regret it later, and I don't know if it's compromised in areas (like PWM/VRM etc.)  It would free up a bit more money for something like an SSD or more poweful GPU though...

 

 

4)  Any other Z87 board (preferably under ~$150) Here's Micro Center's selection...

 

 

As a legitimate building newb with zero motherboard experience, I unfortunately don't know the motherboard brand reputations, how the PWM/VRM, etc. differs between them, or who has the best and most mature software/bios/OCing implementation.


Edited by chicolom - 12/8/13 at 11:23pm
post #2150 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

Alright.  Awesome.  Your reasoning makes perfect since (thanks for the detailed post Avro!).

 

I'll return the AMD+board and pick up a Haswell i5-4670K instead.  I will be a better CPU and will last longer into the future.

 

 

I will NOT be dropping the $30 NZXT Hue Led controller however. It's CRUCIAL to the build!  :evil: 

A windowed case with NO case lighting will compromise the entire system!  :tongue_smile: 

Plus it will match perfectly with my display's multi-color bias lighting.

 

 

 

The Asus Z87-A seems like a logical choice.  Let's assume for a moment though that there's a strong chance that "Santa" will be bringing me a Xonar DGX and a FiiO D3K for Christmas.  Knowing that, would you change boards?

 

Some options:

 

1)  Asus Z87-A bundle = $320. 

What Avro recommended, and seems perfectly logical.  Asus seems to have a solid reputation and may have a little better handle on Haswell than others.  Asus might have a nicer software suite/BIOs as well (I wouldn't know)...

 

 

2)  MSI Z87 G45 "Gaming" bundle  =  $337. 

For +$17 more than the Asus, this board comes with onboard Sound Blaster Cinema (SBX Pro).  So I'd have two different DSP options to play with (+ Xonar DGX).  Oh, and it has a dragon on it...:rolleyes:

 

 

3)  MSI Z87-G41 Bundle = $265

This is a cheaper Z87 ATX board.  Winds up being ~$50 cheaper than the Asus Z87-A board.  But is it too cheap?  I know that the motherboards are one area where you don't want to overspend, seeing as how frequent socket changes make things obsolete and "future-proofing" is impossible - but is this considered underspending?  I don't want to cheap out if I'll regret it later, and I don't know if it's compromised in areas (like PWM/VRM etc.)  It would free up a bit more money for something like an SSD or more poweful GPU though...

 

 

4)  Any other Z87 board.  Here's Micro Center's selection...

 

 

As a legitimate building newb with zero motherboard experience, I unfortunately don't know the motherboard brand reputations, how the PWM/VRM, etc. differs between them, or who has the best and most mature software/bios/OCing implementation.

 

 

Okay, so finally I can help on this forum. :D  I'd personally go with the ASUS board, maybe even the HERO.  However, I would suggest you shop around a bit for boards and find one that fits your needs the best.  With Haswell, overclocking is not mobo dependent like it used to be. For instance if you didn't have x board with x processor you could expect suboptimal results.  With Haswell having the FIVR on board, this becomes less of an issue.  So as long as you buy a board from a quality brand that you trust with the features that you need, you'll be golden.  

post #2151 of 3067

Hi there,

 

Looks like I'm going to grab a pair of MA900s. I have a ASUS Maximus VI Hero which is apparently known for its quality sound. I do not have a soundcard or any amp or anything.


Primarily for PC gaming and music. They will not leave my desk.

 

Will I need a soundcard or amp or anything?

 

Also, you say they are sold for $150-170, I can't find this anywhere. The lowest I can find them is $200 at Amazon currently, which also unfortunately has $40 shipping to Canada. Any better place to purchase them with reasonable shipping to Canada? Or even from Canada itself would be great. Cheapest they seem to be on Amazon ever is about $185, and that is very rare.

 

Thanks.


Edited by Totoori - 12/8/13 at 8:06pm
post #2152 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoori View Post
 

Hi there,

 

Looks like I'm going to grab a pair of MA900s. I have a ASUS Maximus VI Hero which is apparently known for its quality sound. I do not have a soundcard or any amp or anything.


Primarily for PC gaming and music. They will not leave my desk.

 

Will I need a soundcard or amp or anything?

 

Also, you say they are sold for $150-170, I can't find this anywhere. The lowest I can find them is $200 at Amazon currently, which also unfortunately has $40 shipping to Canada. Any better place to purchase them with reasonable shipping to Canada? Or even from Canada itself would be great. Cheapest they seem to be on Amazon ever is about $185, and that is very rare.

 

Thanks.

 

 

The formula is the one known for it's "sound quality," however it is not worth the premium of 100 bucks. You can easily pick up a used Titanium HD or something like the Essence STX used for a little more.  Is there any particular reason you are looking at those headphones versus something like the AKG Q701 or similar headphones?  I do not have experience with MA900s, so I can't comment on them.  

 

As for needing a sound card, it will definitely help.  I couldn't believe the sound quality increase on my Superlux 661B's when I added the Essence STX.  30 buck headphones sounded better than anything I had or heard before, until I upgraded to the AKG Q701's.  (Still getting into audio. :P) I also have the ASUS VI Hero, so I can tell you a sound card is definitely necessary if you want to use DH or similar technology because ASUS did not license it for the ROG boards, sadly.

 

EDIT: For grammar and schtuff.


Edited by OverlordMittenz - 12/8/13 at 8:22pm
post #2153 of 3067

Thanks. And yes I have looked at those. I'm still actually torn between 701s/702s/annies, MA900 and AX900x. I actually went to purchase the q701s but Amazon would not ship them to me, so I gave up. No place in Canada has them for a decent price and I can't find anywhere else that really ships to Canada.

 

For some reason MA900s are okay to ship here but Amazon will not do anything AKG. $200 seems like a lot to spend on a sound card, but I guess it's necessary eh? There are some options at $80 SBlaster Z, Xonar DX7.1. 

 

I'm at the point where I really don't care which headphones I get as long as they are good for the price I get them at. I'd prefer some sort of AKG or MA900s but I've just made up my mind so many times only to find shipping to be $80 or not even shipping to Canada. 


Edited by Totoori - 12/8/13 at 8:30pm
post #2154 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

Alright.  Awesome.  Your reasoning makes perfect since (thanks for the detailed post Avro!).

 

I'll return the AMD+board and pick up a Haswell i5-4670K instead.  It will be a better CPU and will last longer into the future.

 

You're welcome.  I try explain my help/advice when it's possible, as the saying goes, "give a starving a man a fish and you will feed him for the day, teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime".

 

I will NOT be dropping the $30 NZXT Hue Led controller however. It's CRUCIAL to the build!  :evil: 

A windowed case with NO case lighting will compromise the entire system!  :tongue_smile: 

Plus it will match perfectly with my display's multi-color bias lighting.

 

Ahh... so you're going for *BLING*.  :p  That's pretty... and you do know that extensive exposure to blue light affects your sleep cycle, right?  And no, I'm not kidding either.

 

The Asus Z87-A seems like a logical choice.  Let's assume for a moment though that there's a strong chance that "Santa" will be bringing me a Xonar DGX and a FiiO D3K for Christmas.  Knowing that, would you change boards?

<snip>

4)  Any other Z87 board.  Here's Micro Center's selection...

 

As a legitimate building newb with zero motherboard experience, I unfortunately don't know the motherboard brand reputations, how the PWM/VRM, etc. differs between them, or who has the best and most mature software/bios/OCing implementation.

 

I would not go any cheaper/lower for an overclocking board.  The issue you will run into when going down the price chart is they start cutting things out or lowering the quality of components to lower the overall price, stuff that isn't as obvious as a couple less USB3 port, such as the crucial power/voltage regulator components.  If you were just going to run at stock speeds then it doesn't matter, but when you're overclocking, stable and clean power is crucial for having a stable overclock.  And that is why I would NOT buy a MSI board.  It was about a generation ago with their AM2+/AM3 boards where nobody could get a good overclock with their boards because they cheaped out on the power regulation circuitry and components, even on their so called "high end" boards.  I don't know if they've improved or fixed that now with the current gen Z87/990FX boards, but I personally wouldn't trust their brand for motherboards.  Maybe others can chime in on their experience with MSI boards since I haven't used them.

 

Ever since Abit and DFI pulled out of the motherboard business ages ago, I've been switching back and forth between Gigabyte and Asus and it as served me well.  Except for my most recent Asus Sabertooth 990FX.  My only gripe with it is that the CPU fan header can only speed control 4-pin PWM fans, not older 3-pin voltage regulated fans... and my Gentle Typhoons are 3-pin, hence why I had to dig out my ancient Zalman fan controller.  Funny thing is the board can voltage regulate 3-pin fans on all the "chassis" fan headers, just not the CPU.  I understand Gigabyte boards don't have this limitation.  But it's a minor gripe on an otherwise awesome board.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post

 

With Haswell, overclocking is not mobo dependent like it used to be. For instance if you didn't have x board with x processor you could expect suboptimal results.  With Haswell having the FIVR on board, this becomes less of an issue.  So as long as you buy a board from a quality brand that you trust with the features that you need, you'll be golden.  

I didn't know that about the new Haswell chips.  The last time I did any extensive research was to decide between a Sandy bridge or Ivy bridge based setup for my work PC, and those were still dependent on picking a board with good power circuitry for good overclocking.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoori View Post
 

Thanks. And yes I have looked at those. I'm still actually torn between 701s/702s/annies, MA900 and AX900x. I actually went to purchase the q701s but Amazon would not ship them to me, so I gave up. No place in Canada has them for a decent price and I can't find anywhere else that really ships to Canada.

 

For some reason MA900s are okay to ship here but Amazon will not do anything AKG. $200 seems like a lot to spend on a sound card, but I guess it's necessary eh? There are some options at $80 SBlaster Z, Xonar DX7.1. 

 

I'm at the point where I really don't care which headphones I get as long as they are good for the price I get them at. I'd prefer some sort of AKG or MA900s but I've just made up my mind so many times only to find shipping to be $80 or not even shipping to Canada. 

 

I don't remember if I mentioned it in my reply in the other thread but if you decide on any of those AKGs (Q701/K702/K712) you will need to budget for an AMP because an onboard soundcard or lower end add-on sound card will not be enough to drive it.  From what I've read, the MA900 will not require an amp.  It may sound better with an amp, but it doesn't require it.  The AKGs will require a good amp (something $100+) to sound good.  

 

My suggestion if you want the virtual surround for PC gaming (Dolby Headphone/CMSS-3D/etc) is to buy the cheapest sound card with an Optical (SPDIF) output with one of those surround techs, an external DAC with Optical input, and an Amp, or a DAC/Amp combo with optical input.  This way you get the benefits of virtual headphone surround AND audiophile grade DAC/Amp.

 

This is my personal setup:

 

onboard Realtek ALC892 (hacked DH) Optical OUT > Audioengine D1 > AKG K702.65 or Sennheiser HD598 or ATH-AD700.

 

You could replace the Realtek with an Asus Xonar DGX ($40) for official DH support, which I will probably do once the hacked drivers are no longer available.  I also plan to get a Schiit Vali amp in the near future so it would go Realtek > Audioengine D1 > Schiit Vali > AKG K702.65 for some tube goodness.  :k701smile:  The Audioengine D1 may not be the best amp for the Annies but I needed the Optical input for the DAC and the combined amp isn't half bad, still sounds light years better than my old Realtek headphone jack > Plantronics Audio 90 headset.  

 

Also if you're not in a hurry to get whatever headphones you decide on, keep in mind we're only 3 weeks away from all those Boxing Week sales.  Just keep checking www.redflagdeals.com for which place has what deals.  ncix.com and canadacomputers.com carry AKG (not the Annies or K712Pro) and both have semi-regular sales, amazon.ca is hit and miss, but I did manage to snag my HD598s for $140 shipped thanks to RFD and Amazon.ca lightning sale.  avshop.ca occasionally has some decent sales (I got my AKG K550 there for $200 shipped).  As for American shops that will ship up here, razordogaudio.com is great to deal with, offers USPS shipping for $30 (I got my Annies from them) so you don't get raped by UPS/FedEx for brokerage/processing fees.  I have no clue where to get cheaper Sony MA-900s, they were never on my radar.  The design doesn't look very comfortable for my big head and glasses.


Edited by AvroArrow - 12/8/13 at 11:55pm
post #2155 of 3067

Hello,

 

Been wandering MLE's and some other threads a lot lately about what to go for.

 

I had a shortlist of:

 

Philips Fidelio X1

Sony MDR-MA900

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

AKG K702 65th Ann. Edition

and a newcomer HD650 for I've found a second-hand virtually-unused one for around 350$ (in Turkey)

 

There are some people that tell me to go for HD650 whereas MLE suggests that it does not have the best soundstage/positioning and that it would definitely need an amp. I'm also sure to have watched a review telling that HD650 would work with portable media players.

 

Anyway, my priority is Music > Games > Movies, I love bass, so I'm baffled, I'm changing lanes everyday.

 

Please help.

post #2156 of 3067
Quote:

Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

Ahh... so you're going for *BLING*.  :p  That's pretty... and you do know that extensive exposure to blue light affects your sleep cycle, right?  And no, I'm not kidding either.

 

 

Interesting.  I don't actually run them blue like that though, it was just for show for the pic.  99% of the time I leave it on white.  Most of the time though they're off and I use my alternate bias light which is a GE reveal 21" bulb behind the TV.  It's more of a soft warm color.  I mainly only use the LED lights when gaming or watching a show. 

 

I predict I'll have the NZXT Hue case light set to white and most likely turned down to the lowest brightness setting, so it will give a more subtle illumination inside the case.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

 

Okay, so finally I can help on this forum. :D  I'd personally go with the ASUS board, maybe even the HERO.  However, I would suggest you shop around a bit for boards and find one that fits your needs the best.  With Haswell, overclocking is not mobo dependent like it used to be. For instance if you didn't have x board with x processor you could expect suboptimal results.  With Haswell having the FIVR on board, this becomes less of an issue.  So as long as you buy a board from a quality brand that you trust with the features that you need, you'll be golden.  

 

 

I've read similar things about Haswell being less dependent on the particular board for overclocking than in the past.  I've seen people have some problems with the budget boards on older sockets/chipsets, but it seems that's not so much of a problem with Haswell.

 

That's why I wanted to just check out all the options a bit more for settling.


Edited by chicolom - 12/9/13 at 12:40am
post #2157 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by FightCat View Post
 

Hello,

 

Been wandering MLE's and some other threads a lot lately about what to go for.

 

I had a shortlist of:

 

Philips Fidelio X1

Sony MDR-MA900

Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

AKG K702 65th Ann. Edition

and a newcomer HD650 for I've found a second-hand virtually-unused one for around 350$ (in Turkey)

 

There are some people that tell me to go for HD650 whereas MLE suggests that it does not have the best soundstage/positioning and that it would definitely need an amp. I'm also sure to have watched a review telling that HD650 would work with portable media players.

 

Anyway, my priority is Music > Games > Movies, I love bass, so I'm baffled, I'm changing lanes everyday.

 

Please help.

 

 

I'm with MLE on the HD650.  While it's actually pretty decent in term of positioning and imaging, the whole soundstage feels a little intimate and tight, which is not really what you want for gaming.  You want expansive and open.  I would avoid the HD650s.

 

Since you mentioned you love bass, the X1 should definitely be on your short list.  While the DT990 also has potent bass, the rest of the signature is too cold and the mids are lacking - making me not a fan.  The DT990 aslo needs an amp while the X1 is much less demanding for amping.

 

 

Here my favorite recommendations in order of price:

 

$-HD558 > MA900 > Q701 > X1 > K712-$$$


Edited by chicolom - 12/9/13 at 12:44am
post #2158 of 3067
Oooooh ma gerd...
Chico, I'd like to help because I do a lot of the same things as you, and built my first computer two years ago. However, I'd be quoting a ton and mostly others have said what I'd have touched on. Also, it's late and I'm not so sure how clearly I can express myself, but I want to help. So I'll just add a little.

PCI vs PCI-x
Newer is good, but not really any better or worse for sound cards. I think actually Nameless would know this best, but I think I once read that PCI had less jitter? Not much in it.

FiiO D03k DAC
I haven't heard this DAC, but is it really better than the other DACs you have, or even something like a SoundBlaster Z or DGX and their DACs? Those two soundcards definitely have optical outputs too (and the U3), and line-outs (though I can confirm that, oddly, SBX headphone cannot be output through the line-out). Personally I went for straight-forward and just amp the headphone-out of my SoundBlaster Z.

Overclocking
Overclocking is overclocking. I think a lot of computer guys will disagree with me, but consider the option of NOT overclocking. How many frames do you gain from the added $$ in motherboard, CPU, cooling system, PSU, and power bill? Oh, don't forget the special monitors you need to buy to get higher than a 60hz refresh rate... usually they are a trade-off in ultimate color reproduction you would want for photography. Add all that up... how close would that be to a new MoBo and CPU down the Line once CPUs get even more power efficient and quick anyway? It's kinda like buying a top of the line graphics card for $500 when next year's $200 graphics card will be as good, while all you're really doing is chasing theoretical FPS. I opinion that mid-range is where computer sweet-spot is at, if you consider the pace of computer advancement. I run high or max settings on my Sandy i3 CPU with GTX660 GPU in most games I play today, like BF3, StarCraft 2 HotS, Tomb Raider. I mean to upgrade to an i5 CPU, but mostly just for SC2 when there are a lot of units on the screen. Aperture and Photoshop are basically real-time... I admit I don't do much video though. Overclocking does give you a bit more ooomf as your system gets dated, but it also shortens the life of the CPU, and it doesn't beat hardware improvements.

SSD
Definitely do this. Big big win for system responsiveness, apps opening, saving... This would also really help with video editing, though of course space is limited. But trust me, once you get one, you'll want to juggle whatever in-progress work you have to your SSD drive.
post #2159 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Oooooh ma gerd...

FiiO D03k DAC
I haven't heard this DAC, but is it really better than the other DACs you have, or even something like a SoundBlaster Z or DGX and their DACs? Those two soundcards definitely have optical outputs too (and the U3), and line-outs (though I can confirm that, oddly, SBX headphone cannot be output through the line-out). Personally I went for straight-forward and just amp the headphone-out of my SoundBlaster Z.

I don't have any optical DACs ATM, just my ODAC.  So I don't even have the option to take an optical signal out from any soundcards.  D3K would at least give me that option and add an optical DAC to my system.
As for it being better than the DGX or SounBlaster Z DACs
, I don't really know.  They might be about the same.  Are you sure about those cards both having line outs? 




Overclocking
Overclocking is overclocking. I think a lot of computer guys will disagree with me, but consider the option of NOT overclocking. How many frames do you gain from the added $$ in motherboard, CPU, cooling system, PSU, and power bill?

Really the only time I plan on overclocking is when I'm playing a modern/demanding game and want the extra CPU overhead for some extra FPS.  Like you said, I don't need anything above 60fps, as HDMI only supports 60hz anyways.  So anything above that would be overkill so overclocking wouldn't be necessary.

I don't think having the option to overclock  really adds that much to the cost though.  You pay just a little more for an unlocked chip (~$10-20 more).  Any decent lower tiered motherboard can overclock, so I'm not paying any extra for a special motherboard.  My power supply was bought for $40, which is perfectly reasonable.  The only extra piece of hardware I'm paying for (apart from the unlocked chip mentioned above) is the better CPU cooler, which it wouldn't hurt to have anyways as the stock coolers are supposedly lousy.  I also get to reuse the cooler over again if/when I upgrade to a newer CPU (and have to deal with another crummy bundled cooler anyways). 





SSD
Definitely do this. Big big win for system responsiveness, apps opening, saving... This would also really help with video editing, though of course space is limited. But trust me, once you get one, you'll want to juggle whatever in-progress work you have to your SSD drive.

I'm still not convinced.  I need 5 more people to tell me it's a good idea before I'll consider it.  :tongue_smile:
Kidding.  Yeah, I'll do it in a bit -  after I get the rest of the build together.

Thanks Evs!





P.S
How do you like the Sound Blaster Z?  I've been trying to listen to youtube demos of SBX, but it's hard to find that many.  Do you like it (SBX) better than THX?  I'd like to play around with it somehow.

Creative DID cheat bigtime in their youtube "demo" of their tech though.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlsIPwSj6Q0

Shameful.  :devil_face:

Edited by chicolom - 12/9/13 at 4:30am
post #2160 of 3067
You guys make me wanna build a good gaming rig for the price. Not that it'd happen any time soon, but having been a steam gamer now for the past year... yeah.

I'm 1080p all the way (I like consistency, and the rig would be connected to my HDTV, as well as a monitor).

I'm guessing 1080p rigs wouldn't be too hard now, though future proofing even at that resolution would be nice.

I really want an SBX Pro device. I have a good feeling they'd be superior to Dolby Headphone and THX TS...or at least a marriage in quality between the two which would be ideal.

Anyways, anyone with an Omni they'd like to let me borrow for review? Shipping isn't expensive on a small device like that... biggrin.gif
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