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Need some serious advice/help please... [New Build]

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March 14, 2009 5:28:11 PM

Alright -

Coming here to ask this as from what I have seen this place has by far the most insightful and helpful people of any forums I frequent, let me explain just a brief backstory first. The current computer I am running has lasted me since I built it in March of 2006, as it has now hit the 3 year mark, I have decided to upgrade. This is reminiscent of most of my upgrade cycles, I typically run a rig around 2-3 years and then build a new one, I will do minor upgrades here and there during that span if availalble, but it's not always an option. This current rig is running a Opteron 170, 1900 XT, and 2 GB of PC3200 Ram. Insanley old to most of you I'm sure, but it served me well.

I'm looking to get more into Gaming than I have though - and while I'm not always multi-tasking I do like to have a decent amount going on at any given time, I decided about 2 weeks ago it was time to build a new machine, and have sinced been doing hours upon hours of research, the problem is that most of the time the opinion on any given issue is split 50/50 and both sides have valid points, which leaves you wondering which route would be best.

The three initial platforms I was entertaining was either going with the Socket 775 - for either the E8500/Q6600, the second was looking at an AMD Phenom II Black Build, and the last, the Intel Core i7 Build. I have never had issues with AMD - but doing all the reading I have it seems like most are shying away from them completley right now, and going either the C2D, C2Q, or i7 route, so that is what I am focusing on, unless there is a reason I should put the Phenom II back into the mix.

The only 2 parts I have ordered so far (put in the order 3 days ago.) is for the Antec 1200 + 260 GTX Core 216. What I really need help with is figuring out which build aside from that to go with. My budget at the high end for the remaining parts is $1000. If it's cheaper nothing wrong with that though as it saves me having to wait 2 more weeks to get a new monitor. But that's not a huge deal. I'm just really trying to get some experienced on opinions on which route would be best. Here are the 2 builds I am currently looking at (aside from the 2 parts already ordered.)

Core 2 Build:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

Core i7 Build:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

The i7 Build prices out at $818.94 currently, where the Core 2 Build prices out at $552.94 - but comes with a aftermarket hsf in the package as well. So the way I figure it is it's around a $300 premium by the time I'm done with this. My main concern is this: Logically, the Core 2 build should do everything I need, and do it well. But it's also hard for me to logically think that for $250-300, getting into the newer technology with a MUCH longer lifespan on the socket itself isn't worth it. Plus, if I go with the i7 build, I get a PSU that's SLI/i7 ready, with a board that supports it, giving me the option in a few months to throw another GTX 260 in there, where I will not have that option if I go with the Core 2 Build.

So aside from my rambling, I guess the question is, if you guys were going to build a rig completley from scratch with todays price points, would you say it's better to jump into the i7 scene now, being the price point is not significantly higher than the Core 2 Duo's, or should I go with the Core 2 Duo and just hope that I can ride it out for around 2 years? I must admit, I do like the option to go down the SLI path on the i7 Build though. Would be a great way to give me a very nice boost in performance not too far down the line.... thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and help me out.

More about : advice build

March 14, 2009 7:13:45 PM

go i7 if you can swing it -- asus p6t, 6g of ram and cpu is only $700

set to 3.8ghz with a good cooler only! 1.34-1.38v blk 180 <super talent at $130 works fine so does ocz or corsair the $130 ram is fine the $200 is waste - does boost sandra scores from 25k to 27k or 28k to 32k

ram set at 1.62-1.64v 8-8-8 manually set latecies


next> go q9550 3.8ghz in Evga 780i FTW - no other mobo from nvidia they are all junk $
set to 3.8ghz 450 fsb 1.47v run gskill ddr1000 5-5-5-14 2.15v


while the antec 1200 can run any psu the best is strait through fan - the rubber mounts only give a small gap to pull air in for 120mm crossflow fan

80mm strait through fan will blow right from the front intake fans

only use 2 cages and raise the 2 bays up one - look at the photos here:

http://www.warpedsystems.com/index.php?option=com_wrapp...

last> go q6600 and pq5 pro if not ddr800 4-4-4-12 2.1v $350 to $400
March 14, 2009 7:19:00 PM

psu:

60% of the max load right now your at 500-600w or 750-850w psu

you add 2 cards min of 850w a 1000w is ok too

never go higher the 40% of the regular load

for expample if your system runs 400w then 1000w is the biggest and really too big it should be smaller

if you run 600w then 1000w is perfect > this is your system in sli
Related resources
March 14, 2009 7:24:11 PM

if you can go i7 and you do not it is major mistake you have a system that is good for 5 years plus and your jumping 3 levels from your sold system

system one is core 2 dual core

level 2 is quad core with 775 > this is no longer upgradable to 8 core cpu out this year

level 3> this will be able to run 8core and 16 core cpus

soon there will be a program that runs all cores with microsoft os, this will be spread the work load to all cores -- since all programs need to be rewritten line by line a program to spread the load is the only answer for intel to market 16 core cpus

note:

if you want to run 2 cards in sli the only mobo is the evga 780i FTW the rest can not power a quad or have the proper bios

best is to go with i7 then you can run both crossfire and triple sli! its no brainer

$300 gets you upgrades gets you sli and crossfire it gets you much faster computer - I CAN NOT EMPHIZED ENOUGH WHAT 25K MEMORY BANDWITH DOES FOR $300

NO BRAINER I7!
a c 309 à CPUs
March 14, 2009 7:40:48 PM

If you want to plan on sli for the i7 build, the corsair 620(which is a very good psu) won't hack it. The grtx260 needs two pci-e connectors. For sli, you will need 4. I would suggest the pc p&c 750W psu. It actually costs the same after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also get a oem cooler up front for the i7. Xigmatek dark night s1283v is the same price which mounts on 1366:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
How well you can overclock the i7 is largely determined by your cooling. getting it to 965 speeds(3.2) should be easy and safe.
March 14, 2009 8:13:36 PM

I have seen that cooler reccomended quite a bit - I think I'll check that out. Your sure that PSU won't handle it? From the reading I had done the "actual" power consumption would only be around 500W even with i7 + sli, its just the programs that caluculate power useage rate it really odd. Just don't see why that PSU would be labeled i7 + sli compatiable if it's not... seems like the Egg would get alot of RMA's if that were the case.

I think I'm gonna try to go for the i7 if I can swing it, you guys do make sense that it doesn't seem wise to go for a dead socket, granted it is more money... but everything I have read makes it seem like it would be more than worth it.
March 14, 2009 8:15:45 PM

Dang even that PSU you linked to (After reading a little here really like it.) says only certified up to 8800 GTX and below for SLI - does that mean the GTX 260 won't run in SLI on there?
a c 309 à CPUs
March 14, 2009 10:20:23 PM

BlurredReality said:
Dang even that PSU you linked to (After reading a little here really like it.) says only certified up to 8800 GTX and below for SLI - does that mean the GTX 260 won't run in SLI on there?


The question is--what two vga cards can you run in sli? A vga card like the 8800GTS which requires only one pci-e connector can run in sli with a corsair 650 or 550, for that matter.
It's more powerful variant, the 8800GTX requires two connectors, so your psu would need 4 for sli. A quality psu will be able to deliver the standard 75w per connector. You do not want to use 4 pin molex to pci-e 6 pin adapters supplied by the vga card if you can help it; particularly two of them.
The gtx260 uses newer technology, so even though it stronger/faster than an 8800GTX, the 65 or 55nm(vs. 90nm) technology lets it run on less power.

It is true that the average actual power draw will be much less than 750 watts, but you need to handle peaks, not averagees.
You also want to get that power at higher case temperatures like 40c compared the the room temp spec like 20c that a cheap psu will give.
Lastly, the psu operates most efficiently in the middle third or it's range, and runs quieter there. Get a bit more than you need. If you pay for your own elctricity, the savings will pay for the cost of better quality over time.
March 14, 2009 10:55:45 PM

if you cant get the cash for i7 the pII is the next best CPU
March 15, 2009 9:37:27 PM

I don't know why everyone is recommending the I7 over the PII. The PII is pretty much the same performance but approx $80 less expensive. Since he's starting from scratch, i don't see why he wouldn't want to go the best bang for the buck route.

Phenom 2 x4 940
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $200
It's inexpensive and performs well. On par with the i7 920.

Gigabyte Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139
I chose this motherboard because it's from a reputable brand and it's AM3 fully supporting the Phenom 2. It's Crossfire. In response to SLI, it's just not worth it. The performance gains for the price are usually minimal. In my opinion your best off utilizing the one card until you start to notice it's age. By then you'd likely be able to replace it with a card twice as good.

Take it from me, i spent 240CA on a 680i SLI motherboard planning to go SLI. Turned out the graphics card a bought worked well enough alone. It was the 8800gts 512mb version. It's now been over a year and it's still going strong at 1680x1050 and max settings on most games I play. Which include Dead Space, WoW, Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead, It ran Crysis well enough, although i would've liked a bit more performance. Anyway point being to add another 8800gts for SLI would cost me almost 300CA. For some reason the price just hasn't dropped on it. For that price i'd be able to get one of the much better newer cards. Even better yet i don't plan to upgrade for a while yet because, again, the performance is still good.

OCZ Flex EX Series 6GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159
not the cheapest DDR3 available, but i was goin' for best performance for the dollar. This set seemed to have the best bandwidth/latency for a good price.

Western Digital VelociRaptor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229
This decision is totally up to you. But take it from my experience. I cheaped out and bought a $60CA 320gb drive. The thing is slow at 50MB/s read/write, and seek time over 12ms. don't make the same mistake i did.

The Hard Drive is very commonly overlooked as a performance part. When it really is the bottleneck of pretty much all systems out there. A fast hard drive will have the most impact on the overall snappiness of a computer. That includes, opening up apps, rebooting/booting up, browsing through files, loading up games etc. Basically what you'd be doing most on a computer.

PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99
Plenty of clean power from this unit, most High End gaming computers running a single card barely crack 400w under 100% load.

Total for this build + anything i've forgotten. $826

Now you can skimp out on the Hard Drive to save quite a bit of cash, but remember what i said previously. Either way, good luck.

Note: I'm not a AMD fanboi, if anything i'm an Intel fanboi. I don't deny the performance in front of me. I'm a frugal buyer, for myself and others. I don't make these decisions lightly.
a c 309 à CPUs
March 15, 2009 10:07:54 PM

lucuis said:
I don't know why everyone is recommending the I7 over the PII. The PII is pretty much the same performance but approx $80 less expensive. Since he's starting from scratch, i don't see why he wouldn't want to go the best bang for the buck route.

Phenom 2 x4 940
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $200
It's inexpensive and performs well. On par with the i7 920.

Gigabyte Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139
I chose this motherboard because it's from a reputable brand and it's AM3 fully supporting the Phenom 2. It's Crossfire. In response to SLI, it's just not worth it. The performance gains for the price are usually minimal. In my opinion your best off utilizing the one card until you start to notice it's age. By then you'd likely be able to replace it with a card twice as good.

Take it from me, i spent 240CA on a 680i SLI motherboard planning to go SLI. Turned out the graphics card a bought worked well enough alone. It was the 8800gts 512mb version. It's now been over a year and it's still going strong at 1680x1050 and max settings on most games I play. Which include Dead Space, WoW, Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead, It ran Crysis well enough, although i would've liked a bit more performance. Anyway point being to add another 8800gts for SLI would cost me almost 300CA. For some reason the price just hasn't dropped on it. For that price i'd be able to get one of the much better newer cards. Even better yet i don't plan to upgrade for a while yet because, again, the performance is still good.

OCZ Flex EX Series 6GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159
not the cheapest DDR3 available, but i was goin' for best performance for the dollar. This set seemed to have the best bandwidth/latency for a good price.

Western Digital VelociRaptor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229
This decision is totally up to you. But take it from my experience. I cheaped out and bought a $60CA 320gb drive. The thing is slow at 50MB/s read/write, and seek time over 12ms. don't make the same mistake i did.

The Hard Drive is very commonly overlooked as a performance part. When it really is the bottleneck of pretty much all systems out there. A fast hard drive will have the most impact on the overall snappiness of a computer. That includes, opening up apps, rebooting/booting up, browsing through files, loading up games etc. Basically what you'd be doing most on a computer.

PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99
Plenty of clean power from this unit, most High End gaming computers running a single card barely crack 400w under 100% load.

Total for this build + anything i've forgotten. $826

Now you can skimp out on the Hard Drive to save quite a bit of cash, but remember what i said previously. Either way, good luck.

Note: I'm not a AMD fanboi, if anything i'm an Intel fanboi. I don't deny the performance in front of me. I'm a frugal buyer, for myself and others. I don't make these decisions lightly.


I think you are mistaken about the capabilities of the phenom x4 940. It is a decent cpu but---
The following link compares the P2-940 standard and maximum overclock(to 4.2) to the stock i7 920 and 965. At first, you might think the P2-940 was similar, but the closest comparison comes from the overclocked P2-940 to stock i7 cpu's. The 920 can easily overclock to the 3.2 of the 965, and can go much higher. I don't know how high the 965 can go, but only the wealthy will buy a 965 when the 920 is so good.
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2009/02/phenom-...
March 16, 2009 5:37:51 AM

dragonsprayer said:
if you can go i7 and you do not it is major mistake you have a system that is good for 5 years plus and your jumping 3 levels from your sold system

system one is core 2 dual core

level 2 is quad core with 775 > this is no longer upgradable to 8 core cpu out this year

level 3> this will be able to run 8core and 16 core cpus

soon there will be a program that runs all cores with microsoft os, this will be spread the work load to all cores -- since all programs need to be rewritten line by line a program to spread the load is the only answer for intel to market 16 core cpus

note:

if you want to run 2 cards in sli the only mobo is the evga 780i FTW the rest can not power a quad or have the proper bios

best is to go with i7 then you can run both crossfire and triple sli! its no brainer

$300 gets you upgrades gets you sli and crossfire it gets you much faster computer - I CAN NOT EMPHIZED ENOUGH WHAT 25K MEMORY BANDWITH DOES FOR $300

NO BRAINER I7!



There will not be "soon there will be a program that runs all cores with microsoft os"...I say you are making that up. A Nehalem build is a great buy, but most games are still not using even 4 cores well, much less 8.

@op, if you do a bit of encoding or transcoding, then I'd guess the I7 system will be worth it, also if you look on the web, there are some unnofficial reports that you need at least a 3 ghz quad or 3.6 dual to feed any of the new cards (280 and up)at anything over 1680x1050.

This power supply would handle either build and sli and it had 4 sli connectors:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 16, 2009 6:33:13 AM

geofelt said:
I think you are mistaken about the capabilities of the phenom x4 940. It is a decent cpu but---
The following link compares the P2-940 standard and maximum overclock(to 4.2) to the stock i7 920 and 965. At first, you might think the P2-940 was similar, but the closest comparison comes from the overclocked P2-940 to stock i7 cpu's. The 920 can easily overclock to the 3.2 of the 965, and can go much higher. I don't know how high the 965 can go, but only the wealthy will buy a 965 when the 920 is so good.
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2009/02/phenom-...


Thank you, i didn't remember to post any information to back up my post.

According to your link, the Phenom 2 @ stock speeds outperforms the i7 920 in all game benchmarks. Real game benchmarks is what matters in a gaming machine. I could care less about SiSoftware benchmarks that mean next to nothing.

Of course you could overclock both processors and then you might have the I7 a winner. BUT not everyone overclocks and many that do don't really push the limits of the processor. I personal like free performance, that's why i overclock.

Also ever if the Phenom 2 was resulting in 10% lower frame rate then the i7, it'd still be a better bang for buck processor at stock speeds. Additionally the components for an Intel build are noticeably more expensive.

Now if you where to build a gaming machine that doubles as a Photo Editing computer or anything that the i7 does a lot better then the P2 then i can see the small gaming trade off to be beneficial.

The only thing that i see in the Synthetic Benchmarks is the potential for the i7 processor having a longer life then the P2. Excess memory bandwidth, and Arithmetic Calculations could become more useful in the coming years.
!