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Another Gaming Build

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August 4, 2009 8:11:00 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In about a month BUDGET RANGE: I'd prefer to spend around $1200 though

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Video Encoding/Editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, Microcenter

PARTS PREFERENCES:

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if the performance increase is worth it

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200 Depending on monitor.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm open to shopping from multiple sites, though I'd prefer newegg/microcenter.

The i7 setup I'm looking at right now is: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
The AMD setup I'm looking at is: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I'm pretty set on the monitor I think, but I'd like some advice between i7 and AMD. I don't make new systems very often, so I'd like to be sure that this computer can last for a while with minimal upgrades. The new intel CPUs are coming later this year, on a different chipset (or so I've heard) so I'm hesitant to buy an i7 before seeing the new CPUs. On the other hand, an overclocked i7 is the best out there right now for encoding.

More about : gaming build

August 4, 2009 10:59:16 PM

Update: Switched to the 4890 from some suggestions in other threads. Would I get better performance from two 4850s at my resolution, or would the 4890 be better? I can probably get the 4850s for cheaper, but I'm also wondering about heat/power issues, as well as future-proofing. Obviously the 4890 has better prospects for upgrading (just add another) but I'm more concerned about right now.
August 5, 2009 12:11:58 AM

Two 4850 are stronger than a 4890. They probably suggested you this because of the 512MB. Sincerely, it`s only barely noticeable at higher resolution than 1920X1200.

Since they are cheap, you could switch to something else in the near future. They will be easy to sell and they are really powerful.

I got 2 4850 OC in crossfire... I am really impressed. I got the performance of a GTX285 at half the price.
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August 5, 2009 12:14:44 AM

I was playing Mirror's Edge and I was noticing some little hiccups... it was getting on my nerves... until I understood I was using 32X AA... turned it down to 16X and everything was fine.
August 5, 2009 12:16:22 AM

Quote:
Sincerely, it`s only barely noticeable at higher resolution than 1920X1200.


To clarify, you're saying that I won't see much difference below 1920x1200, right?

I'm also looking for a different motherboard, since the one I have selected now is out of stock, and will probably sell out before I have the money to buy it.
August 5, 2009 12:17:18 AM

Otra said:
Update: Switched to the 4890 from some suggestions in other threads. Would I get better performance from two 4850s at my resolution, or would the 4890 be better? I can probably get the 4850s for cheaper, but I'm also wondering about heat/power issues, as well as future-proofing. Obviously the 4890 has better prospects for upgrading (just add another) but I'm more concerned about right now.


I replaced my 2 x 4850's with a 4890 and couldn't be happier nor can I find a rational reason for my needs to go to 2 x 4890. It's nice knowing I can but it's even nicer not having to.

IMO the key is 1920x1200. I would be hesitant to try gaming at a higher res with only 1 x 4890. The 4890 must have 1 gb memory, I am using an XFX and am happy (mild factory OC)

I use a 24" monitor which in my opinion is a great match for 1920x1200. After many crossfire rigs and dealing with whatever came up, you will be really really really happy to have one card. I went to ATI after many years with the other guys, even tried a 285 e when I switched to 4890, took it back next day.

I run a Q6600 at 3.6 ghz 24x7x365 on a MAximus board, unlikely anything on the market these days would be noticably faster in real life use. Current i7's offer me nothing I would use. ( the 50% OC wasn;t hard, get some really good ram (Dominator). Air cooling is fine make sure the cooler is blowing air over the MB chips not just the cpu for this high of an OC. Cosmos case helps a lot.

I am not pitching brands, just relating what works good for me. YMMV
August 5, 2009 12:21:01 AM

Single card solutions are the better choice for probably 80% of the gamers out there. To have a system that is the best of the best, you do have to go with more than one graphics card. I've always found that a high end single card will provide plenty of performance over the life of the system. By the time I want to upgrade, I'll probably be building a new system anyway, so dual cards have never really appealed to me.

As for the ATI or nVIDIA question, take a look at the games you have, and the games you will want to play in the future. Certain games will perform a little better on one card over the other. As for which is better overall, that keeps switching back and forth. Personally, I think the quality of the manufacturer that produces the actual card you are going to buy is more important than the GPU it is built with. I've had both positive and negative experiences with ATI and nVIDIA.
August 5, 2009 12:22:28 AM

Right now I'm planning on going with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102841, which is pretty equivalent to what 2 4850s would cost me, while having 1 gb memory and Vapor-x cooling. The overall price is still a bit more than I'd like to pay, but it's not a huge deal.

I don't anticipate going any higher than 1920x1200, I'll probably stay at 1920x1080 or lower.
August 5, 2009 5:03:45 AM

I updated the OP, I'm considering going with AMD now, the wishlist is here: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

I'm looking for suggestions to help me decide between them, as well as ways I can upgrade. Also, I shouldn't need an aftermarket CPU cooler if I don't overclock, correct? On the same note, would you recommend overclocking the Phenom x4?

I'm also worried that the processor/GPU won't be able to handle crowded situations in MMOs (specifically Aion). Am I worrying over nothing, or should I stick with the i7 (or go to nVidia)?
August 5, 2009 6:29:03 AM

Just a quick note, newegg has the cm haf 922 for 100$ right now (and free shipping) - it's not a full tower but from what i've heard, it's super spacious, has good airflow and has all around good reviews

Currently there's also a combo for it with the CM 700W Modular PSU = $180 which is nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you have a microcenter nearby, why not just get an i7? They have it for 200$. And you can get a pretty good sub-200$ x58 mobo like the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (currently oos tho).

Personally, if you can, I don't see a reason not to OC. You defin don't need an aftermarket cooler if you don't overclock, and depending on the processor and how much u want to overclock, with a good spacious case, you may not need an aftermarket CPU cooler anyway (though I've read that i7s get hot and Intel stock cooler sucks, not sure about the AMD cpus). And if you do decide to overclock and stay with amd, I don't see the point of getting a 955, you might as well save some $ and get a 940 or 945? But if you don't overclock or don't run with the large/multiple GPUs, there's no point getting a full tower, save yourself some money and get an antec300 (if you are not doing CF) or cm 690 (if you are doing CF) or the haf 922 (if you are doing CF and need some more space = better airflow, easier to work with).

Regarding GPU, 2 4850s I think are the best value right now, but 2 4870s are good too (and will "last" longer) or 1 4890 (a bit worse than 2 4850s for now) but in a year or two add another 4890 (and will "last" the longest). I've read reviews where the 4890 in CF is super loud though. If you are doing CF, make sure your motherboard supports it, your case is large enough (cm 690 or haf 922 are what I've seen recommended), and enough power from the PSU (750W generally for 4870 CF or 4890 CF)


here's my wishlist:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

notes (avail as of right now):
- you can get the i7 for 80$ less at microcenter
- combo the PSU and case for 30$ less
- the 4870 can be found for $130 after rebate on zipzoomfly = 40$ less for 2 (unless rebate applies only once)
- 10$ rebate on the memory
- the ASRock X58 is 20$ cheaper (too bad its oos)

=> just enough savings to add in the monitor + misc and come out about 1200 w/o the OS
August 5, 2009 5:31:43 PM

Unfortunately, I don't have the money right now, so I can't grab the i7 from microcenter (and the sale will likely be done by the time I have the money.) I am planning on getting that ASRock motherboard, if I have the money available when it comes back in stock.

I'm planning on getting the case locally, the HAF 932 is $20 more expensive than the 922 if I get it at microcenter (I don't get a PSU with it though.) I might go for that combo if I get the money before it disappears, it looks like a good case/psu.

I think I'll stick with the 4890 for now, and grab a 2nd one in a couple of years.

I'm still undecided between the AMD and the i7 CPUs, but leaning towards the i7 now.

I definitely prefer a larger case, just so I know that It'll be easy to work in, as well as fit all possible upgrades I'll do.
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