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LOOKING TO BUILD GAMING DESKTOP - BUDGET $2500AUD

Last response: in Video Games
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August 20, 2012 2:05:36 PM

Hello everybody,

I'm new to this forum despite spending a lot of my time on here as people post some fantastic advice when it comes to PC's. However, I need opinions on a new desktop build. Scholarships for uni come out in about three weeks time, and I'm getting about $3,500AUD should I be successful in winning them. I've budgeted my absolute maximum amount for the PC to $2,500AUD.

I'm looking for a build that'll run GTA IV (and the up & coming GTA V), Battlefield 3, Skyrim etc.. in full detail with little or no problems. I want to build something that's going to be future proof & that'll pretty much run any game I throw in the CD drive. I have a few things that I'd prefer for the build;

-No AMD processors.
-Preferably no ATI GPU's unless they're good for crossfiring (which I'd really like to do if it's worth it).
-I'd like to run crossfire or SLI with the best GPU within my budget, don't really care if I'm spending $500 or so on a GPU. If it's better I do 3-way SLI or crossfire with cheaper cards for better performance, then I'll do that.
-Liquid cooling is a MUST!
-Asus maximus boards are the ***, I'd love one.

I know it's like really picky of me, but this is a first time build & I wanna make sure I don't need to spend cash for the next few years or so, hence the rather large investment. I already got a case sorted out (Corsair Graphite 600T White Edition (windowed)).

Your opinions on the build are highly valued!!
August 20, 2012 2:09:28 PM

WHat online retailer will you be using to purchase your components and i will help you, do you need a monitor keyboard mouse windows etc etc.
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August 20, 2012 2:14:17 PM

Uther39 said:
WHat online retailer will you be using to purchase your components and i will help you, do you need a monitor keyboard mouse windows etc etc.


www.pccasegear.com is my go to store for parts. I'll need windows but peripherals I'll buy myself, same with the monitor :D 
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August 20, 2012 2:24:25 PM

Firstly, Id like to advise you to avoid SLI/Crossfire configurations - just go with a strong single GPU.

Reasons:
A) SLI/Crossfire frequently leads to stuttering and lagging issues
B) A lot of games (especially console ports like GTA) have very poor SLI/Crossfire support at launch, and some even continue to have poor support long after
C) More power consumption = more heat generated = more money needs to spent on cooling and on powerful/capable/reliable PSU.

For the games you listed, a Nvidia GTX 680 seems to be your best bet for the graphics department.
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August 20, 2012 2:24:45 PM

How about this build? :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($149.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Formula EATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($365.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($53.70 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Intel 330 Series 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($459.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($459.00 @ Scorptec)
Case: Thermaltake VN700M1W2N ATX Full Tower Case ($135.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Antec 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($135.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $2511.70
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 00:26 EST+1000)
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August 20, 2012 2:45:28 PM

You don't need a i7, get the i5 3570K.
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August 20, 2012 2:51:53 PM

CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K $235
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H100 CPU Cooler $149
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 Motherboard $209
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Memory: Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 $69
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD $239
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Storage: Western Digital WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX $89
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II Overclocked $679
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Case: Corsair Carbide 500R Case - Black $145
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Power Supply: Corsair HX-850 Power Supply $215
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)

Total:$2128
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August 20, 2012 3:25:00 PM

Don't get Vertex 4 SSD, it isn't good. Intel 330/Samsung 830/Crucial M4 are much better ones. Also, do you really think he needs PSU for $215? Lastly, GTX 670 SLI would be much better choice than single GTX 680, since it fits in his budget.
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August 20, 2012 3:48:26 PM

Sunius said:
Don't get Vertex 4 SSD, it isn't good. Intel 330/Samsung 830/Crucial M4 are much better ones. Also, do you really think he needs PSU for $215? Lastly, GTX 670 SLI would be much better choice than single GTX 680, since it fits in his budget.



Well thats funy cos i just read a review on the vertex 4 that said it was the best value for performance out there, and also 1 gtx 680 is all he will need for his games and that way he avoids micro stutter and driver game compatability issues.
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August 20, 2012 5:09:38 PM

That's an old review. Many people had troubles with Vertex 4. That's why I am not recommending it. Also, it's slower than Intel 330 yet has higher price tag. How is that better value?

Lastly, microstuttering occurs when you SLI together two low end cards. It will most certainly not happen with GTX 670s! And he'll have almost double performance when compared to single GTX 680...
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August 20, 2012 5:36:59 PM

Sunius said:
That's an old review. Many people had troubles with Vertex 4. That's why I am not recommending it. Also, it's slower than Intel 330 yet has higher price tag. How is that better value?

Lastly, microstuttering occurs when you SLI together two low end cards. It will most certainly not happen with GTX 670s! And he'll have almost double performance when compared to single GTX 680...


Ive had a Vertex 4 for 6 weeks now with no such issues and its fantastic and lightning quick, anyway the decision will lye with the OP, and yes stutter still occurs with high end cards. Also he is more than likely going to be playing games at 1080p which im sure you will agree not only is a Single 680 more than enough but also maybe even overkill, so SLI gtx670s is damn right wastefull, but one thing i would say for the OPs needs a single GTX670 would be plenty.
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August 21, 2012 2:10:45 AM

Well, it seems that SLI may be a bit of a toss up. Is microstuttering really bad? I understand that it's more visible in crossfire setups but even still, SLI still shows problems.

Is it worth SLI for performance or should I compensate & buy a single, very powerful GPU?
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August 21, 2012 2:10:53 AM

Well, it seems that SLI may be a bit of a toss up. Is microstuttering really bad? I understand that it's more visible in crossfire setups but even still, SLI still shows problems.

Is it worth SLI for performance or should I compensate & buy a single, very powerful GPU?
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August 21, 2012 4:55:37 AM

No it's really not, it gets apparent only when you get to 40 fps range. However, you'll get nothing near that number with SLI GTX 670s.
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August 21, 2012 8:15:56 AM

Sunius said:
No it's really not, it gets apparent only when you get to 40 fps range. However, you'll get nothing near that number with SLI GTX 670s.


So you're saying I'd get a higher FPS running an SLI setup or lower? (Sorry for the stupid question, I'd expect to get more FPS from two GPU's but it's just for clarification :lol:  )
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August 21, 2012 8:42:23 AM

Of course higher.

Check this review:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

Its conclusion:


Quote:
Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


@jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol: 
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August 21, 2012 8:51:56 AM

That's not 40% higher :p . 100/62 = 1.613, and that's 61.3% increase in fps :p .
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August 21, 2012 8:52:40 AM

Sunius said:
Of course higher.

Check this review:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

Its conclusion:
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/images/perfrel_1920.gif

Quote:
Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


@jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol: 



40% higher FPS rates, I'm down for that! SLI config would last me a few years before I'd have to swap out my cards :na: 
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August 21, 2012 8:57:17 AM

Sunius said:
That's not 40% higher :p . 100/62 = 1.613, and that's 61.3% increase in fps :p .


Excuse my math (I study law :pt1cable:  ) So, despite the high probability of microstuttering that it's worth the SLI configuration? I mean if it stutters I can change the FPS cap in-game which I've read works with a lot of games or I can take out one GPU if certain games can't handle it. After all, I'm looking to dual/tri screen in the future.
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August 21, 2012 9:08:42 AM

I think it's more than worth it. It's probably one of the most powerful setups you can get today. And trust me, you will not get microstuttering with GTX 670s.

Also, in games that don't work with SLI you don't have to take out one card. All you need to do is disable SLI in nvidia control panel.
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August 21, 2012 9:12:25 AM

Sunius said:
I think it's more than worth it. It's probably one of the most powerful setups you can get today. And trust me, you will not get microstuttering with GTX 670s.

Also, in games that don't work with SLI you don't have to take out one card. All you need to do is disable SLI in nvidia control panel.


Woot! My problems are solved. Thank you very much for clearing my doubts :bounce: 
I'll be getting two of these 670's just for the aesthetic appearance;

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/27571-gainward-gtx-67...
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August 21, 2012 9:27:31 AM

Looks great ;) .
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August 21, 2012 9:33:12 AM

Sunius said:
Looks great ;) .


They do yeah? And they're actually relatively cheap compared to a lot of the other 670's on the market. I'm buying mine retail, there's a store out east from where I live that has them in stock :sol: 
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August 21, 2012 12:38:22 PM

Sunius said:
Of course higher.

Check this review:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_6...

Its conclusion:
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670_SLI/images/perfrel_1920.gif

Quote:
Even for some its earliest drivers, GeForce GTX 670 SLI provides near-linear performance upscaling over single GTX 670. With a power draw of just 28W in idle, and 250W average load, the GTX 670 SLI, for the first time, makes a dual-GPU flagship card look silly, in terms of performance/Watt. Even an efficient 600W PSU should handle the GTX 670 SLI just fine. Gaming at 2560x1600 is smooth on the GTX 670 SLI, and importantly, a large majority of the games in our test-suite are playable at 5760x1080 (3D Vision Surround 3x 1080p). All said and done, the GeForce GTX 670 SLI is an unbelievably good graphics platform. NVIDIA will face a different kind of problem now: that of being able to sell GTX 690 for all its premium mojo, and GTX 680 by the numbers.


@jay_nar2012: come one man, do you really think that GTX 670 SLI is slower than GTX 680? :lol: 


I've read that a single 670 has around 90-95% the processing power of a single 680. I believe they took a few things out the 680 to make the 670 a more affordable alternative. Surprisingly, not a very big loss in power!
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August 21, 2012 12:50:59 PM

Yea I suppose so :) . That's the reason GTX 670 has so much better value than GTX 680.
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!