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WoW Frapsing Machine, Advice on parts requested.

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January 7, 2011 6:45:45 PM

Hi,

I'm about to build a new PC, it's main goal will be to play WoW on high resolutions, while recording footage with FRAPS, on ultra video settings, in a 25 man raid, while maintining the highest framerate I possibly can (I really dont want it to go below 40 FPS, but more is always better!)

Of course I will be playing other games on it as they come out (like Portal 2 etc) but I'm not too worried about Bells and Whistles since I'm only targetting this machine for a 2 year life before I build another system.

I've narrowed down my choice of CPU, and GPU, but I'm not sure about the Hard drives. What kind of drive am I going to look out to make sure it isnt causing some kind of bottleneck while dumping over 1gig a minute on it via fraps?

Remember, the sole goal of the machine is the frapsing of the 25 man raids as mentioned in my opening paragraph :) 

Current CPU Considerations:

Intel Core i5 760 2.80GHz @ 4.00GHz
Intel Core i5 760 2.93GHz @ 4.00GHz
Intel Core i7 950 3.06GHz @ 4.00GHz

Current GPU Considerations:

MSI GeForce GTX 460 HAWK "Super OC" 1024MB GDDR5
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 480 1536MB GDDR5
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 6850 1024MB GDDR5


I'm a student, so I have avoided the ultra high end pricey range of graphics cards, but above all else I want it to be able to do the job, so if you have any suggestions they would be most welcome :) 

January 9, 2011 11:42:19 PM

I think as long as you get a 7200RPM drive you won't bottleneck at the HDD. As far as your CPU choices go I'd get the i7 because it won't bottleneck with the multitasking. Your GPU choices are good, but I'd get the GeGorce GTX 480.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 10, 2011 12:06:30 AM

MSI GeForce GTX 460 HAWK "Super OC" 1024MB GDDR5

My brother has this one, a very nice card,otherwise i like beefbravo's suggestions!
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January 10, 2011 3:08:51 AM

Thanks for the replies, the i7 and 480 option pushes my budget to the limit. I could hold off a new monitor, but I only have a 21" at the moment which doesnt seem like it would do justice to the setup!

I'll keep an eye out for deals on parts I guess.
January 10, 2011 7:37:33 AM

Consider the newly released intel 'sandy bridge' chips.

The core i5 2500k is a very cheap and very powerful processor - partnered with that 6850 or 460 it would be a great option. I imagine it would work out similar in power and cheaper than the core i7 you have listed.

Also, consider a decent SSD+a 7200rpm HDD - The SSD to store your OS and WoW (remember, though, wow gets big) - this will ensure the only access of the 7200rpm hard drive is by FRAPS.
January 10, 2011 11:18:10 AM

I wouldn't bother with an ssd with a 7200rpm HDD since the HDD would be enough.
I went from a single HDD to 2 HDD's and noticed better framerate when using the second HDD for recordings and games.

Also, is the 21" a 1280x720, 1680x1050, or 1920x1080? A 460 would be more than enough for the 1680x1050 resolution and allow you to get the 950 processor and probably have money left over. Although you might get a steady rate of fps while playing WoW, don't be surprised if you record for longer then 10 minutes and there's a single drop or two in performance. Most likely it isn't your cpu but Fraps making a second clip.
With Portal 2, you wouldn't have to worry about decreases in performance unless Valve suddenly brought out an entirely new engine from scratch that demands a dx10/11 card.
January 10, 2011 5:16:00 PM

The 460 that you list would be fine. I'd still get the i7 though. The i7 & 460 would work good for your uses. The SSD suggestion is good, but I don't think you'd get any big performance increases (outside of load times) for the tasks that you list.
January 10, 2011 7:33:11 PM

Thanks to all for the advice and suggestions,

I've decided to go with dual hard drives instead of the SSD setup, a little too pricey, and like you say, not enough gain.

I'm still torn between an i7 and the 2500 sandy bridge (since I can overclock it fairly high). But im sold on a 460 and a monitor that has 1080p as a native resolution. I've started ordering various bits, hopefully I will settle on the cpu choice and get everything up and running within a week.
January 10, 2011 7:58:47 PM

I'm not too familiar with the new "sandy bridge" specs. WoW runs best with a high clocked CPU and typically runs very well on duel cores, but with Fraps running at length I would recommend a quad core. One other thing, the 460 you listed is fine, but if you get a different 460 make sure it has a 256 memory bus/interface. The lower cost 460s only have 192bit. The main reason I suggested the 480 was the increased memory bus.
January 11, 2011 10:57:39 AM

Although you can find 460s that are priced around 180-200$ that's 256bit.
You can easily overclock them yourself, I'd suggest a Gigabyte model due to it's twin frozr cooling.

If you have enough for a mobo that supports Sandy Bridges and can afford the i5 2500(k) then go for it.
January 12, 2011 2:56:29 PM

Just wanted to update you guys that I went ahead, ordered the parts, and built the system. Got a stable overlock on a sandy bridge 2500 @ 4.6Ghz. Gpu wise I went with a 460 that had a 256 bit interface and did the overclocking. Looks to be solid so far.

Even went ahead and switched to the 64 bit version of windows 7. Having an issue getting the latency fixes to work properly at the moment (the TcpAckFrequency ones) but I'm sure another couple of hours fiddling will solve that.

You were all a great help, glad I took the advice from the people on this forum and built it myself!
January 12, 2011 7:38:28 PM

Did you use the stock cooler?
January 13, 2011 12:19:05 AM

Great! Let us know how it performs with WoW as far as FPA/settings.
January 13, 2011 10:58:03 AM

Yup, no fancy cooling or anything, just stock.

Did a 25 man raid and it holds pretty constant at 60 fps on ultra (except shadows, since I find shadows pointless).

My second hard drive has not arrived yet, but I fraps'd a boss fight or two anyway on a single hard drive setup, get about 45-50 while frapsing at full size. It dips down to 35ish whenever it starts a new fraps file (damn 4 gig limit for file size on fraps) but it's barely noticeably while playing.

The thing is a house when it comes to video encoding too, takes about 90 seconds per minute of raw footage to convert it to x264 1080p res when shooting for around 100 megs per minute file size.
January 13, 2011 12:14:58 PM

That's impressive with the stock cooler, do you know the actual temps though?
A second HDD will save you at max around 2-8fps, so don't expect a huge gain though it does have some benefits.
January 17, 2011 1:30:12 AM

Idle is around 35, sustained load goes up to about 67-69.
!