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Could this system run games well at 1920x1200?

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January 5, 2009 6:31:12 PM

I've been working on a new system and have made a priority to make sure that I could run most games at high detail at 1980x1200 while trying to spend as little as possible. I just finished building it right now and could use some advice. I am intending to make this computer last for 1-4 years. (I will still upgrade along the years)

Please give out any recommendations or suggestions.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail ($190)

CPU HSF: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail ($37)

MOBO: DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail ($180)

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail ($40)

GPU: MSI R4870-T2D512 OC Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail (x2 $410)

MONITOR: BenQ G2400WD 24IN Widescreen Black LCD Monitor 2MS 1920X1200 4000:1 Senseye HDMI DVI VGA ($300)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail ($105)

Would the q6600 bottleneck the 2 GPUs significantly? I know that today's games would run better off an e8400/e8500, but I like the comfort of having a quad core in the future and I would be able to oc it at 3.2-3.6ghz.

Please post any suggestions you have for replacing my gpu, as I've had the most trouble and spent the most time trying to find the best price/performance card.

I've been reading up on crossfire performance between a p45 and x38/x48, but I'm looking for more personal input on the performance difference between those two running at 1980x1200 resolution. If the p45 performance is very close between an x48 when running at 1980x1200, I may just change the mobo to the UD3P to save ~$70.

I don't know much about PSUs so I just looked around and picked this one, so if you have any suggestions to replace this then please fire away. is 750w overkill for this system?
January 5, 2009 6:41:16 PM

The most recent comparison done on crossfire, performed here at TH, showed that with modern drivers the difference in performance between P45 and X48 was not significant.

I think as long as you get a good OC on the CPU it will work fine.

You should use Sapphire cards instead of MSI. Any of the three 4870s they offer are perfect. You'll get what you pay for, so if you have room in the budget grab the 1GB version.

Be sure to grab the support bracket for the Xigmatek. It is sold separately. And get thermal paste.

You chose well on the PSU. A quality 750W is just what you need. This one is even better though. Discount because it's red:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


January 5, 2009 7:09:40 PM

Get the 1GB HD4870s, it's worth it when you're playing at a high resolution.
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January 5, 2009 7:14:02 PM

Thanks alot for the advice, I decided to switch to the Gigabyte UD3P and that new power supply, which saved me a little over $100.

I've been looking around the Sapphire cards, and I'm tempted by that 1g 4870 version. Out of the three options below, which do you prefer?

- (I will be running at 1920x1200 most of the time when playing any game)
x1 4870 1g ($245)
or
x2 4870 512mb (~$400)
or
x2 4870 1g ($490)

Do you know a rough estimate of the performances between these 3 against each other?

Is the performance jump from 512mb to 1gb significant enough to spend an extra $50 for smoother fps when running a 1920x1200 res?
January 5, 2009 7:48:27 PM

Here's an example, in Crysis at 1920x1200. Use the numbers for HD 4870 X2 to approximate HD 4870 1GB Crossfire. You will get a little less with HD 4870 1GB Crossfire than with a HD 4870 X2 because the P45 chipset drops to 8x+8x in Crossfire.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415&p=4

HD 4870 X2: 39.8 fps
HD 4870 1GB Crossfire on P45 (guessing): 35 fps
HD 4870 1GB: 33 fps
HD 4870 512MB: 29.7 fps

This is a bad example though, because Crysis is programmed by incompetents and doesn't scale almost at all in Crossfire.


Here's a better example, from Age of Conan:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415&p=3
Look at the column for 1920x1200 in the table under the chart, not at the chart.

HD 4870 X2: 56.3 fps
HD 4870 1GB Crossfire on P45 (guessing): 51 fps
HD 4870 1GB: 35.6 fps
HD 4870 512MB: 32.3 fps


Edit: I guessed the fps for HD 4870 1GB Crossfire to be 10% less than HD 4870 X2 because you said UD3P, and that's based on P45. With the x48 you had there originally, you don't lose that 10% or whatever but the MB costs more.






January 5, 2009 8:07:28 PM

Thanks for that info, I think I've made a decision on what to pick.

I think I'm going with the Sapphire 4870 2gb x2. It looks like all that extra ram will help a lot for the high resolution I want to play at. And since it's running on one PCI slot, I won't lose any performance, I get the best of both worlds! I checked for the single 4870 1gb, and two of them cost exactly the same as the 4870 x2, so I'm pretty happy that the X2 doesn't cost more then two singles.

Now that I'm satisfied with my decision, I'm curious about the GTX 2xx line. I'm just wondering how big Is the price/performance ratio of the 4870x2 compared to the GTX 260/280 line? In the end, how much of a value am I getting for picking a 4870x2 over a gtx 260/280?
January 5, 2009 8:15:09 PM

If I may throw in my two cents? Perhaps wait a couple weeks before getting your x2, since in a few days the gtx 295 is coming out. It is SUPPOSED to be released with a price of 500USD. Many tests are showing the 295 barely beating out the 4870x2, even on its beta drives.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-295,210...

Unless the final product makes some big leaps, I think the 4870x2 may still be a viable choice, because I have a feeling its price will probably drop a bit. You could possibly save like 50USD if you give the price a chance to drop.
January 5, 2009 8:30:58 PM

The cheapest 4870 x2 is around $480-$490 while you can get a factory overclocked GTX280 for $320 after MIR and if you look here
Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Call of Duty 4 v1.6
the performance is fairly similar. The 4870 x2 starts to pull away at higher res and with AA and AF but I would have a tough time justifying the extra $160-$170.
January 5, 2009 8:45:14 PM

Quote:
I am intending to make this computer last for 1-4 years.


So 4 years? Bad idea.

You'll get better performance/value doing a new build every 2 years, selling the old system as you build a newer one.

With the Core i7, x58, and DDR3 at the high-end and a new top dog GPU due out (GTX 295), it doesn't make sense to buy a 4870x2 right now.

If I were you, I'd go:
Q6600
s1283 w/bracket
UD3R or UD3P
4gb DDR2
gtx280 (maybe wait for the gtx295 to see if prices drop)
January 5, 2009 8:49:20 PM

i'd go with the corsair 850w...
its like 150
Ive seen alot of dual 4870/dual gtx 260 systems become unstable / operate unstably with the 750watt psus.
I know its always that the powersupplies go overboard...but honestly ive seen alot of the 750s fail with the newer architecture in sli/crossfire.

defintely get the q6600... a current purchased will be able to hit 3.6ghhz all day easily.

x48 over p45 in my experience with regards to crossfire.
i have the dfi lanparty t2rs x48.
Its capable of running 1600mhz fsb... and 8gb at 1000mhz stably
of course the p45 is more energy efficient...
But last benchmarks i noted...the x48 performed alot better in xfire.

im not one of dual graphics cards.
Those dual 4870s will be a heater if your room is small.
Im Big on crysis... and microstutter is huge with dual GPU's

1 gtx 280 here.
January 5, 2009 8:55:43 PM

I don't think I would have kept it for 4 years, I just threw a number like that because I just don't now how long it will last.

I've been checking out that GTX 280 for $320, and it's really tempting. On the chart comparing the GTX 280 and the 4870x2, both sides are having a shootout with each other and it looks mostly evenly matched.

I guess it depends how patient I can be for the the new GTX to release, I think I'll just keep looking around to kill time today, and if I'm unpatient and want to go order it now, I'm slightly leaning towards the 280, just so I could save $170 compared to the 4870x2.

If I do decide to get an nvidia gpu, then I think I would get a 750i sli motherboard, just for the potential sli chance in the future.
January 5, 2009 9:10:02 PM

Quizboy said:
I don't think I would have kept it for 4 years, I just threw a number like that because I just don't now how long it will last.

I've been checking out that GTX 280 for $320, and it's really tempting. On the chart comparing the GTX 280 and the 4870x2, both sides are having a shootout with each other and it looks mostly evenly matched.

I guess it depends how patient I can be for the the new GTX to release, I think I'll just keep looking around to kill time today, and if I'm unpatient and want to go order it now, I'm slightly leaning towards the 280, just so I could save $170 compared to the 4870x2


I think the gtx 280 would be very decent to you at that resolution for most games. You may even be able to consider SLIing another one later. The 280 may even go down in price, so it'd be a good idea later on. However, if you can keep yourself occupied for a few more days, or even weeks (!), then you may see some savings... or perhaps the 295 may turn out to be a great investment for your rig, if they fix some of the drivers in time for release.
January 5, 2009 10:15:20 PM

I have my game plan set up if I end up getting an ATI card, but I need a little help with my nVidia plan if you guys dont mind =). If I do plan on getting an nVidia card, I'm going to get a 750i board so I can add another GPU in the future.

There seems to be 4 big 750i boards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

MSI P7N Platinum
EVGA 122/133
ASUS P5N-D
XFX MB750I72P9

I'm having a hard time distinguishing the best out of these 4, so if anyone can give their wise thoughts on this matter, I'd be grateful.
January 5, 2009 10:22:35 PM

*shudder*

The only SLI recommendation you'll get from me is X58. ;) 
January 5, 2009 10:31:21 PM

So I'm guessing that that sli mobos have been crappy lately. I guess I could just stick with a ud3r and concentrate one beefy single gpu if I decide on an nVidia card.

How are the 780i's reliability compared to the 750i? The price jumps to over $200 but if get's the job done and then some I wouldn't mind sacrificing a little more cash.
January 6, 2009 12:24:05 AM

Proximon said:
*shudder*

The only SLI recommendation you'll get from me is X58. ;) 

+1
January 6, 2009 12:19:10 PM

+1 :) 
!