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Suggestions on Gaming platform

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September 3, 2008 3:56:20 PM

Hey there, i was hoping to get some advice on what i've come up with so far. My budget is about a thousand quid give or take

CPU: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP-193...
RAM: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-148...
GPU: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-094...
PSU: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-008...
Case: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-065...
HD: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-198...
MB: http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-129...

This is excluding CPU cooler and the sorts. Anyway first question really is will i get my moneys worth getting a 4870x2 while playing a 22'' screen, and will this system stay alive for at least a couple of years? I want to be able to play high end games, preferably with maxxed settings.

Regards, Alex
September 3, 2008 4:24:42 PM

great build. very good components. x2 on a 22 inch screen might be a little more than you need now but will set you up for a good amount of time. could probably do fine with just 4870 but then upgrade a little bit down the road. but with the x2 you should be able to maximize pretty much everything on all games.

i think this is a really good set up. if you plan to oc get a cpu cooler. but that is a good case with good fans and the x2 exhausts its heat out of the case. so your temp should be fine at stock without additional cooler.
September 3, 2008 4:26:59 PM

Thats a nice machine you have listed there... Swap the HDD for a 32MB Cache one, something like Seagate Barracuda 7200.11

1) Are you sure you dont want to wait for Nehalem?
2) 4870x2 will rock a 22" screen, I think it is worth every dime.
3) I think this would last at least 3 years.
Related resources
September 3, 2008 4:29:42 PM

grieve,

i haven't seen benches on the 32mb cache vs 16mb cache being that big of a difference. seagate 500gb hdd with 32mb cache is about the same or more than the wd 16mb cache that has 140more gb space. i know in everyday use i can not tell any difference. that is why i tend to recommend the higher disk space. ?? do you have a link showing big improvement?
September 3, 2008 4:30:16 PM

Good choices :) 

Some of the links not opening....so had to view through mini window.....might have mis-identified some components :pt1cable: 

-Would rec bumping up to the Corsair 750w PSU for more head room.

-HD: looks like you picked WD Raptor. Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA would be more cost effective or Samsungs Spinpoint 500 Gig 32 mb cache SATA HD.

-22" screen and 4870x2 GPU.......... Could "utilize" bigger monitor but not big deal. If you were doing 2 4870x2 then I would say that is a waste on 22" monitor.

-CPU cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler and XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
September 3, 2008 5:04:39 PM

Hi all, and thanks for taking time and looking into my post. To start off with Grieve, about waiting for the Nehalem i decided not to because i heard it was only the "extreme" ones being released any time soon , and the ones made out to fit people with normal sized wallets wasn't coming out until next autumn. With be being quite eager to get on with this project, i thought waiting about 6-8 month was a bit harsh. But i don't know maybe I've been missinformed.

Nytmare, considering I'm not going for CF (4 cores scales incredibly bad from what I've heard), is the 750w really worth the the extra quid? Oh and yeah i think the link was wrong or something, because the 640Gb was actually the one i picked out. the 300gb velociraptor is out my league financially. Moving on to CPU cooler, would you say that one you picked out there is a better choice than the Noctua U12P?

Thanks again everyone, hope i can return the favor somewhere down the line!

Regards, Alex.

edit: So all the heat is pumped outside of the case then bdollar? cus i was a bit worried my case would become a fireplace with the card reaching 90degrees celsius during max load.
September 3, 2008 5:18:53 PM

yes the 4870x2 exhausts the heat outside of the case which will help keep it cooler.

i have not used the noctua but i do know that xigmatek works well. may want some more opinions.

if you aren't going to crossfire you don't need to bump the psu. that is a good psu and 650w is plenty for your set up

September 3, 2008 5:37:22 PM

lol Dxrick, those numbers are insane. Elsewhere i heard 650 was safe, now I'm suddenly not sure. If they are accurate, maybe a 750w is a better choice.
September 3, 2008 5:44:19 PM

are you looking at the x2 or the x2 crossfire which is 2x4870x2? in looking at that it seems like 650w is plenty or am i missing something? if you were doing 4870x2 crossfired with another one then I think you would need more.
September 3, 2008 5:50:15 PM

Says during load a single x2 feasts on about 452W (insane) but does the 200w left out manage to carry the rest of the machine?
September 3, 2008 6:04:49 PM

yes 200w for the rest is fine.
September 3, 2008 6:15:26 PM

Alright, thanks then I'll stick with the 650w. And did you guys agree on whether 32mb cache was worth going for?
September 3, 2008 6:24:28 PM

bdollar said:
grieve,

i haven't seen benches on the 32mb cache vs 16mb cache being that big of a difference. seagate 500gb hdd with 32mb cache is about the same or more than the wd 16mb cache that has 140more gb space. i know in everyday use i can not tell any difference. that is why i tend to recommend the higher disk space. ?? do you have a link showing big improvement?


I have seen some. Sorry, no links, I have no idea where I read them. The Seagate 7200.11 500GB and WD6400AAKS trade blows, each winning some benchmarks. The one I really care about myself is the average read/write rate which was 90 MB/s for the WD and 89 for the Seagate. That is, both are fabulous for editing large videos, for example, and I doubt you'd notice a speed difference between them in real life. At current newegg prices I'd prefer the WD too because it has more room. Maybe in the UK the Seagate is the one with better cost/GB, I don't know...

September 3, 2008 6:33:19 PM

pumparen said:
Hi all, and thanks for taking time and looking into my post. To start off with Grieve, about waiting for the Nehalem i decided not to because i heard it was only the "extreme" ones being released any time soon , and the ones made out to fit people with normal sized wallets wasn't coming out until next autumn. With be being quite eager to get on with this project, i thought waiting about 6-8 month was a bit harsh. But i don't know maybe I've been missinformed.

Nytmare, considering I'm not going for CF (4 cores scales incredibly bad from what I've heard), is the 750w really worth the the extra quid? Oh and yeah i think the link was wrong or something, because the 640Gb was actually the one i picked out. the 300gb velociraptor is out my league financially. Moving on to CPU cooler, would you say that one you picked out there is a better choice than the Noctua U12P?

Thanks again everyone, hope i can return the favor somewhere down the line!

Regards, Alex.

edit: So all the heat is pumped outside of the case then bdollar? cus i was a bit worried my case would become a fireplace with the card reaching 90degrees celsius during max load.



I heard that 3 Nehalem CPUs will be out this year, the cheapest one priced at $284 in the US. I'm guessing that will be 200 pounds for you, since you guys in the UK have higher prices and taxes added on.

Right, 4 GPUs are used effectively only in CoD4 from what I've seen so far. In Crysis for example the 3rd GPU adds little and the 4th adds nothing.

The 750W PSU is useful if you're going to have a 4870X2 and an overclocked CPU. With a 650W you'll have to worry every time you add disks or PCI cards.

No, the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is not better than the Noctua NH-U12P. In fact, nothing is. The Noctua even beats the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme, if you put two fans on it and don't care about the cost. However, the HDT-S1283 is almost as quiet, cools almost as well, and costs a lot less, so it is a better choice for most people after all.

"All the heat is pumped outside" - well, not really, but most of it. The HD 4870X2 has a powerful fan and a vent through which the hot air can get out. It's a much better cooling solution than the single slot 8800GT or HD 4850 cards. WIth the Antec 900 you don't need to worry about cooling, it's a very well cooled case.


September 3, 2008 7:09:44 PM

Ok, thanks for the update aevm. Im going to give the 750w some extra thought then, but speaking of Nehalem. How big of an improvement do you reckon it will be? cus i'm quite eager to get on with this, but at the same time i don't want to find myself regretting not waiting 3 month from now. Going with nehalem also means you have to buy an expensive x58 mb and ddr3 ram yeh? bringing up the costs by hundreds of pounds.

Regards, Alex
September 3, 2008 7:37:43 PM

it is a tough decision because we don't really know too much about it. yes you will need diferent mobo and ddr3 ram so it should be more expensive. will it be worth it? don't know. but it is also possible that once this all hits the prices on the stuff you are buying will drop. allowing you to either spend less or get an even better system to hold you over until a nehalem one is more affordable. problem is we don't know when prices will drop and how much. so you can play the waiting game and see. or you can make sure you build a system that will meet your needs and worry about what else is out there when your system doesn't meet them any longer. if your system does everything you want does it really matter how good nehalem is? if you have to drop your gpu and other stuff so much to afford x58 mobo, ddr3 ram, and nehalem cpu will the cpu benefits outweigh the gpu and other component shortfalls? lastly how badly do you need a new system? does you current one work fine and you just feel like upgrading or is it seriously lacking? if you don't need a new one then waiting to see "the truth" about nehalem and also its effect on prices for everything else would be easier to justify then if you absolutely need a new system now because either yours doesn't work or is so lacking you can't do much of what you want to do.

anyway sorry for the novel. but some stuff to think about.
September 3, 2008 7:56:40 PM

Nehalem performance - too early to say. I've seen some benchmarks but they weren't from reliable sites. Anyway, the CPU is much less important than the GPU for most games. Watch this chart:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=770&p=5
Devil May Cry, 1920x1200, on a HD 4870x2.

Q9650 at 3.6 GHz gets 262 fps.
Q6600 at 2.4 GHz gets 257 fps.

Three conclusions here:

1. Sometimes overclocking is stupid. A Q6600 overclocked to 3.6 GHz would get you 5 more fps, or 2%. Your monitor only displays 60 frames a second anyway, if it has the usual refresh rate.

2. Nehalem would get over 262 fps, but not much more, It would also show only 60 frames, with the same monitor/4870x2/game/settings.

3. The people who say E8400 is better for gaming than Q6600 because games are not optimized for quads and the E8400 is clocked higher are not always right.


OK, this game is an extreme example. In others the faster CPU adds 13 fps or more. Look at the entire review. Pay attention especially to Q6600 vs Q9650. Expect the Q9650 to be somewhere in the middle between Q6600 and Nehalem. My conclusion after looking at those charts was that my Q6600 was a very smart choice and it's still going to be good for several years.
September 3, 2008 7:59:37 PM

Yeah i think you're both right lads, sort of a predicament this and i probably just need to sit down and think for a bit. What i really want though is just the possibility to max out upcoming titles like far cry 2, if that means i can go, then I'll go, if it doesn't then maybe i should wait. Either way thanks for coming with some really good advice, now I'm going to retire for the night and do some brainstorming with a cup of tea.

Edit: thanks for the additional pointers aevm, i'm going look through the charts and get back to you.

Regards, Alex
September 3, 2008 8:01:32 PM

bdollar said:
it is a tough decision because we don't really know too much about it. yes you will need diferent mobo and ddr3 ram so it should be more expensive. will it be worth it? don't know. but it is also possible that once this all hits the prices on the stuff you are buying will drop. allowing you to either spend less or get an even better system to hold you over until a nehalem one is more affordable. problem is we don't know when prices will drop and how much. so you can play the waiting game and see. or you can make sure you build a system that will meet your needs and worry about what else is out there when your system doesn't meet them any longer. if your system does everything you want does it really matter how good nehalem is? if you have to drop your gpu and other stuff so much to afford x58 mobo, ddr3 ram, and nehalem cpu will the cpu benefits outweigh the gpu and other component shortfalls? lastly how badly do you need a new system? does you current one work fine and you just feel like upgrading or is it seriously lacking? if you don't need a new one then waiting to see "the truth" about nehalem and also its effect on prices for everything else would be easier to justify then if you absolutely need a new system now because either yours doesn't work or is so lacking you can't do much of what you want to do.

anyway sorry for the novel. but some stuff to think about.



I actually liked the novel, very well put. With line breaks, it would have been even better :) 
September 3, 2008 8:09:58 PM

:)  yeah that probably would have been a good idea. i gotta jump on that soap box from time to time. :) 
September 3, 2008 8:38:03 PM

lol, these charts really smash the c2d fans. W/e happened to dual being more optimized for gaming than quads, damn now I'm totally back to square one. Possibly a q9550 is a better choice? that is if i cba wait for the nehalem release. Man this will never end!
September 4, 2008 12:41:02 AM

Another thing - most charts that show the E8400 beating the Q6600 are done in perfect conditions, with most Windows services stopped and no background apps running (no downloads, movies playing, etc.). In real life, duals will lose something because they need to use the same two cores to handle that stuff along with the game.
September 4, 2008 12:45:55 AM

^finally someone can really spot the difference with quad and core system. specially under vista as there are enormous amount of service running at backgroud.

OP its not worth getting a dual core now as more and more apps and game are going multithreaded the dual core will be pwn pretty bad soon. if back 6 month i will go for a dual core but not now mate!too bad. pick the Q8450 for about £220 more or less.
September 4, 2008 12:53:35 AM

Ouch! Mind you, I disabled about 15 services a long time ago, and my PC was humming alone much nicer after that. For example I never had an iPod but I did discover two Windows services with descriptions about iPods and iTunes. I think I got them along with the mp4 player, without anybody asking me for permission to install them or even telling me. RealPlayer also installed a service that does who knows what, again without my permission. It's a pest...

Anyway, back on topic, yeah, a Q9550 is exactly what I'd buy today. For somebody with a smaller budget, Q6600.

September 5, 2008 1:41:00 PM
September 5, 2008 2:08:39 PM

That system is going to be great. and at your resolution you will be able to max out pretty much everything and be ready for new stuff that is coming out. enjoy.

on a side note. sucks how expensive that stuff is over there. ack. new egg needs to go global. :)  :) 
September 5, 2008 2:51:37 PM

Very impressive system.

Check out the GA-P45-DS3R, P5Q and P5Q Pro too. They cost less than the GA-P45-DS4 and have more PCI slots. Also, the cooling pipes on the DS4 may interfere with large coolers. (I tried to find out if the DS4 and the NH-U12P fit together but couldn't find anything.)

http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-123...
http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-280...
http://overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-277...

The DS4 has 3 slots for video cards, but if you have a HD 4870X2 and an overclocked quad then your 750W PSU will already work hard enough IMO. I might want a second PCI-E x16 slot for a HD 3650 for monitors #2 and #3, but a third slot is total overkill.
September 5, 2008 3:36:20 PM

Is there no other difference between the lot? besides the amount of PCI slots? As in, I'm not loosing out on any performance am I?

regards!
September 5, 2008 3:53:41 PM

They're all based on the same P45 chipset. There will be performance differences but very small.

September 5, 2008 7:13:21 PM

Alright, well then i thank you aevm, bdollar and the rest of you lads who have given me the hand i needed with this project. I will give the motherboard decision some extra thought and most likely buy within a month or so. This unless someone manage to convince me the i7 is worth waiting for, anyway that's off topic. I owe you one lads!

Regards, Alex
September 6, 2008 1:15:57 PM

Sidenote: Do you lads have any 22''/24'' screen recommendations? I was originally all for the 24'' but learned that they suffered from huge inputlag, nasty ghosting and lots of other less favorable stuff. With that said I'm now tilting slightly towards the 22'', but even there I can't make up my mind. Maybe you have some ideas on good "gaming" screens! all advice is appreciated, thanks in advance

Regards, Alex
September 6, 2008 10:03:37 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&Description=LCD%20widescreen%2022&bop=And&Order=RATING

This link shows you the 22" bestsellers at Newegg. For example 1741 people in the USA bought the Acer AL2216Wbd from Newegg and gave it a good review. OK, 5 stars doesn't mean ALL 1741 were happy, but most were.

If you want something better but more expensive, try the SAMSUNG 2253BW (393 reviews). Fewer people bought this one, but I suspect it's mostly because it costs more.

I'm using LG, Samsung and Viewsonic these days and they're all fine. The Viewsonic has a 75Hz refresh rate (the others 60 Hz), which means with a very good graphics card it could display 75 fps rather than just 60. However, the Viewsonic is at work and I haven't tried games on it.
September 8, 2008 3:55:40 PM

Alright, thanks mate I'll probably go with one of those
September 8, 2008 4:35:57 PM

if you can go to a store and look at them. I think with both speakers and screens physically testing them is big. obviously make sure the reviews are good and no major flaws on stuff. but after you do that to narrow it down to 2,3 or 4 different ones then go look at them. You may find one that is cheaper looks just as good if not better. I know several people who know as much as anyone about the make up of monitors and which is best and why and all 3 of them have different favorites for gaming. 1 swears by 22" and the other two swear by 24" but different brands. see what you like, make sure it is well reviewed and you are set. sorry for the long post.
September 8, 2008 4:49:40 PM

Yeah I think I'll do that, I've got a few on my mind and I'm going to swing down to the local PC store and have myself a look. Thanks for the hint, and don't worry i like long posts.

Regards, Alex
September 8, 2008 4:50:12 PM

Excellent idea. For example some people like glossy monitors and some hate them. One more thing to check in store...

Also, if you can, buy the monitor from a brick-and-mortar store after you've checked it for stuck/dead pixels. Even something trivial would be very useful: open Paint, set image attributes to 2000/2000 pixels, fill it with white and then with black and see if any pixels are wrong each time.
September 8, 2008 4:52:45 PM

Thanks for the advice aevm, I'll be sure to it and give each monitor a close up look.

Regards, Alex

Stealth edit: but about the actual build, you're all convinced it's all good to go? no bottlenecks or anything of the sorts?
September 8, 2008 4:57:08 PM

looks great.
September 8, 2008 5:18:31 PM

I want a build just like that :love: 
September 8, 2008 7:35:32 PM

awesome lads, appreciate your help! I'm going to dive into some brick, mortar store and have meself a look at them monitors now. Then I'm pretty much good to go!

Cheers lads!
September 8, 2008 7:45:37 PM

best of luck. post on here what you decide on monitor.
September 8, 2008 9:28:59 PM

will do mate! btw, one last thing. A friend of mine said 2x 320gb Hard drives would be a better choice and go with raid 0. Will this improve loading of OS/games etc? the sorts

regards, alex
September 8, 2008 9:50:15 PM

that 640gb with ncq is going to be fast. plenty fast. if need be you can always partition it for the OS. plus with raid0 you are using 2 drives so if either goes bad you loose it all. not that much riskier but some.

i don't think it is going to be faster and if i am wrong the difference is pretty dang small.

not to mention they aren't half as much are they? so you would be spending more $$? not worth $120.
September 8, 2008 9:52:54 PM

alright, well then I'll stick with the 640gb. cheers!
!