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A couple of concerns on a new build. (mostly GPU)

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June 10, 2013 8:23:38 AM

I'm choosing not to follow Intel's new line of "Haswell" chips. My build includes the i5-3570k on a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motherboard. How long will this configuration last me in the gaming world?

ALSO

I cannot decide on the GPU. My budget is $300-$320. The Sapphire Dual-X HD 7950 seems to be a good choice, but the failure rate scares me. I plan on playing Bf3, and possibly Bf4 when it's released. I am unbiased, so a GTX is not out of the equation. My PSU is 650w. So, for the time being, Crossfire/SLI isn't a current choice. I need the absolute best price/performance sweetspot.

All feedback is appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:36:56 AM

the Sapphire one is sweet, i got it and never had problems, and it should play everything damn fine. Also why are you not going with haswell? They're marginally more expensive and you have a better upgrade path as you probably can put Broadwell into the same socket.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:38:20 AM

If you overclock it, it'll last you a good long time - I would guess around four or five years before it can't keep up with graphics cards that'll max games, and that's a conservative estimate.

That being said, I'm not a fan of that motherboard - it's bios is HORRIBLY designed, and 2/3 of the time when you exit it, it will reset all changes instead of saving your changes, which makes overclocking HIDEOUS. Gigabyte also has pretty poor customer service, in my experience. Consider something like an AsRock z77 Extreme 4 or an Asus P8Z77-V LK.

As for the graphics card, I really, REALLY suggest you up that budget to $400 and grab a 770, which will last a bit longer and give considerably better performance. However, for price / performance sweet spot, the 7950 is it.
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June 10, 2013 8:40:02 AM

aatje92 said:
the Sapphire one is sweet, i got it and never had problems, and it should play everything damn fine. Also why are you not going with haswell? They're marginally more expensive and you have a better upgrade path as you probably can put Broadwell into the same socket.


My PC's soul meaning in it's life is Gaming. I don't need the extra umph. The i5-3570k Is my perfect sweetspot. I also love my motherboard.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:41:04 AM

Also what PSU do you have? What brand? BTW, the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950 is voltage locked. Get the Dual-X instead.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:42:01 AM

aatje92 said:
the Sapphire one is sweet, i got it and never had problems, and it should play everything damn fine. Also why are you not going with haswell? They're marginally more expensive and you have a better upgrade path as you probably can put Broadwell into the same socket.


It looks like Broadwell will be coming with DDR 4 memory controllers, so it'll require a new motherboard anyways, and Ivy actually is the faster chip when both are overclocked.
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:42:10 AM

Abstractfear said:
aatje92 said:
the Sapphire one is sweet, i got it and never had problems, and it should play everything damn fine. Also why are you not going with haswell? They're marginally more expensive and you have a better upgrade path as you probably can put Broadwell into the same socket.


My PC's soul meaning in it's life is Gaming. I don't need the extra umph. The i5-3570k Is my perfect sweetspot. I also love my motherboard.


Well if you're dead set on that, get the 7950 and your're good to go for half a decade.
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June 10, 2013 8:43:21 AM

ksham said:
Also what PSU do you have? What brand? BTW, the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950 is voltage locked. Get the Dual-X instead.


I did list the Dual-X model. PSU is XFX 650w 80 + bronze.
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:43:52 AM

DarkSable said:
aatje92 said:
the Sapphire one is sweet, i got it and never had problems, and it should play everything damn fine. Also why are you not going with haswell? They're marginally more expensive and you have a better upgrade path as you probably can put Broadwell into the same socket.


It looks like Broadwell will be coming with DDR 4 memory controllers, so it'll require a new motherboard anyways, and Ivy actually is the faster chip when both are overclocked.


I wouldn't say that just yet as we have yet to see enough benchmarks to compare them. Performance per clock is increased and from what i've read a 4,5ghz haswell will compare to a 5ghz ivy, and use less power so it'll save you money eventually while bringing the same perfromance anyway.
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June 10, 2013 8:49:16 AM

DarkSable said:
As for the graphics card, I really, REALLY suggest you up that budget to $400 and grab a 770, which will last a bit longer and give considerably better performance. However, for price / performance sweet spot, the 7950 is it.

But truely, and honestly. Is the extra 80$ worth the performance boost?
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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:53:22 AM

Abstractfear said:
DarkSable said:
As for the graphics card, I really, REALLY suggest you up that budget to $400 and grab a 770, which will last a bit longer and give considerably better performance. However, for price / performance sweet spot, the 7950 is it.

But truely, and honestly. Is the extra 80$ worth the performance boost?


Yes, it's worth it. But is it worth it to YOU? If you're on a budget, i would say no. If you have enough money anyway, i would say yes.

P.S if you're the latter you might as well send all of us some money :D 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:54:59 AM

aatje92 said:
I wouldn't say that just yet as we have yet to see enough benchmarks to compare them. Performance per clock is increased and from what i've read a 4,5ghz haswell will compare to a 5ghz ivy, and use less power so it'll save you money eventually while bringing the same perfromance anyway.


That's fine, but unless you roll the dice and happen to end up with a golden chip, you aren't going to be getting a 4.5 GHz Haswell. The power difference between them is also so tiny as to be ridiculous; you'll save a couple cents a month, at most, which will be swallowed by the graphics card anyways.

Here's Tom's Hardware.
Quote:
Our first-hand information involves a high double-digit number of processors, including samples and final shipping boxed CPUs. Sort testing was limited to 1.2 V to keep heat manageable. Ring/cache ratios are pegged at 3.9 GHz, with the memory controller operating at 1,333 MT/s. Of the chips available for sorting, only one is stable at 4.6 GHz under full load. A few are capable of operating at 4.5 GHz. More run stably at 4.4 GHz. Most are solid at 4.3 GHz and down. As you stretch above a 1,600 MT/s memory data rate or a ring ratio to match your highest single-core Turbo Boost ratio (which helps maximize performance), your top stable core frequency tends to drop.


Overclockers.com guide to Haswell
Quote:
The first thing you need to know about Haswell you already found out in our review (read it here if you haven’t already) – it runs hot. You will need a lot more than the stock cooler if you want to overclock. With a very good air cooler or all-in-one water cooler, you’re looking at a heat limited voltage cap of about 1.25 V. At that voltage with air or AIO cooling, you’ll be seeing temperatures in the upper 80′s to lower 90′s (°C) range under normal full processor load.


Tech Report's Review
Quote:
Asus has tested hundreds of Haswell CPUs as part of its effort to profile the chip for auto-tuning algorithms. According to the motherboard maker, Intel's new hotness has a little less overclocking headroom than Ivy Bridge does. Perhaps more importantly, Haswell apparently has more variance from chip to chip, especially in the voltages necessary to hit specific speeds.

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a b U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 8:58:41 AM

DarkSable said:
aatje92 said:
I wouldn't say that just yet as we have yet to see enough benchmarks to compare them. Performance per clock is increased and from what i've read a 4,5ghz haswell will compare to a 5ghz ivy, and use less power so it'll save you money eventually while bringing the same perfromance anyway.


That's fine, but unless you roll the dice and happen to end up with a golden chip, you aren't going to be getting a 4.5 GHz Haswell. The power difference between them is also so tiny as to be ridiculous; you'll save a couple cents a month, at most, which will be swallowed by the graphics card anyways.

Here's Tom's Hardware.
Quote:
Our first-hand information involves a high double-digit number of processors, including samples and final shipping boxed CPUs. Sort testing was limited to 1.2 V to keep heat manageable. Ring/cache ratios are pegged at 3.9 GHz, with the memory controller operating at 1,333 MT/s. Of the chips available for sorting, only one is stable at 4.6 GHz under full load. A few are capable of operating at 4.5 GHz. More run stably at 4.4 GHz. Most are solid at 4.3 GHz and down. As you stretch above a 1,600 MT/s memory data rate or a ring ratio to match your highest single-core Turbo Boost ratio (which helps maximize performance), your top stable core frequency tends to drop.


Overclockers.com guide to Haswell
Quote:
The first thing you need to know about Haswell you already found out in our review (read it here if you haven’t already) – it runs hot. You will need a lot more than the stock cooler if you want to overclock. With a very good air cooler or all-in-one water cooler, you’re looking at a heat limited voltage cap of about 1.25 V. At that voltage with air or AIO cooling, you’ll be seeing temperatures in the upper 80′s to lower 90′s (°C) range under normal full processor load.


Tech Report's Review
Quote:
Asus has tested hundreds of Haswell CPUs as part of its effort to profile the chip for auto-tuning algorithms. According to the motherboard maker, Intel's new hotness has a little less overclocking headroom than Ivy Bridge does. Perhaps more importantly, Haswell apparently has more variance from chip to chip, especially in the voltages necessary to hit specific speeds.



wow that's one of the best informed responses i had in a while. Now i'm doubting my haswell build :??: 
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a c 87 U Graphics card
June 10, 2013 9:02:37 AM

aatje92 said:
wow that's one of the best informed responses i had in a while. Now i'm doubting my haswell build :??: 


Basically it comes down to this: If you're doing a mild overclock with a slight voltage boost, Haswell is faster because of the improved architecture. If you're pushing the chips to the limit, then unless gamble on Haswell and win with a golden chip, then Ivy Bridge is faster, which means that it's the safer bet. (A lot of this comes from the integrated VRMs inside Haswell, which produce a lot more heat and allow less voltage... combine that with bad TIM and gaps between the chip and IHS...)
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