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I5 Gaming Rig. Is it good & powerful?!

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September 24, 2009 2:16:00 PM


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: GAMING, surfing internet, watching movies, video & photo editing...

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, case

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: http://www3.hardwareversand.de

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No (Maybe)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 (19" Samsung SyncMaster 940B)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I want:
1. to play all new games with full graphs smoothly
2. it to be good for after a few years, too! = Future Proof!
3. it to be silent

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OK, after long long thinking and analyzing I have made my order (BUT it could be still changed if it's need for that!) :

PSU:
Corsair TX850W (850 Watt) [Thinking a few years ahead]
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

GPU:
XFX RADEON HD 4870 1GB DDR5 PCI-E 2.0
http://www2.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

RAM:
6GB-KIT G-Skill DDR3 PC1600, CL 9
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

MOBO:
MSI P55-GD65, Intel P55, ATX, DDR
http://www2.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...
http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/motherboards/1946_1... (Review)

CPU:
Intel Core i5-750 (OC 2.66 ghz -> 4 ghz)
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

COOLER:
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

HDD:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB, 32MB, ST31000528AS
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...


Price: ~735€ = $1090



1. Does this meet all my requirements?
2. Should I consider 4gb DDR3 instead of 6gb DDR3 and save a few bucks with that? Does it make a big difference in gaming etc. (4gb, 6gb, 8gb)?
3. Is this future proof?
4. Radeon HD 4870 should be enough for my monitor resolution, no need for more powerful GPU? Later on for example Crossfire...

ALL Your comments & suggestions are MUCH appreciated :) !
September 24, 2009 2:55:14 PM

you are also buying more PSU than you need, a Corsair 750 should supply plenty of power unless you plan on doing 3+ GPU crossfire. Manufacturers these days are paying attention to power consumption of their products, so we probably won't see future components upping demand by leaps and bounds as they have in the past.
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September 24, 2009 5:38:16 PM

Why_Me said:
That RAM you have chosen is for a X58 board. You want DDR3 Dual Channel. Something like this RAM down below.

http://www2.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=... 85,57 €
4GB-Kit Corsair DDR3 PC1600 C9 Classic



OK, so that 3 x 2GB G.Skill Triple-Channel Kit is not compatible for my i5 platform, even though it's DDR3?!
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September 24, 2009 5:41:01 PM

wathman said:
you are also buying more PSU than you need, a Corsair 750 should supply plenty of power unless you plan on doing 3+ GPU crossfire. Manufacturers these days are paying attention to power consumption of their products, so we probably won't see future components upping demand by leaps and bounds as they have in the past.


"Sustainable development on their mind"...
Yeah, I actually know it's a little overkill. BUT I just took it, because the price difference between 750w and 850w was only 10€ ~ $15...
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September 24, 2009 6:17:12 PM

Any other comments / suggestions, please? :D 
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September 24, 2009 7:26:18 PM

go for a crossfire configuration on the 4870's or even consider a crossfire of 4850's, then save some money on the ram and psu. quite frankly some of those components seem over priced at the website you are linking us too, for instance you can purchase a samsung spindrive 3 at newegg with the same specifications as that seagate barracuda for only $75. I'm not sure of the exact conversion ratio but i'm betting that the american dollar is considerably inflated enough to provide better prices at different retailers. At any rate that mobo won't support that RAM you are specifying. you're also forgetting some essentials like an optical drive for example. Consider shopping around for parts and you're likely to save some cash.
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September 24, 2009 7:26:41 PM

I can't tell if there is free shipping or not so i'm also adding that in.
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September 24, 2009 7:40:59 PM

olkka said:
OK, so that 3 x 2GB G.Skill Triple-Channel Kit is not compatible for my i5 platform, even though it's DDR3?!

A p55 motherboard uses dual channel, not triple. You only want to put memory in pairs. Get 2x2GB, 2x4GB or 4x2GB but not 3x2GB.
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September 24, 2009 9:46:29 PM

to further clarify, the ram will work, but there's no point in having the 3rd stick since you can't run it at full speed. Unless you want to buy a really expensive bookmark, get a dual channel kit.
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September 25, 2009 6:13:13 AM

dynamicchuck said:
go for a crossfire configuration on the 4870's or even consider a crossfire of 4850's, then save some money on the ram and psu. quite frankly some of those components seem over priced at the website you are linking us too, for instance you can purchase a samsung spindrive 3 at newegg with the same specifications as that seagate barracuda for only $75. I'm not sure of the exact conversion ratio but i'm betting that the american dollar is considerably inflated enough to provide better prices at different retailers. At any rate that mobo won't support that RAM you are specifying. you're also forgetting some essentials like an optical drive for example. Consider shopping around for parts and you're likely to save some cash.


I'm thinking about moving on a crossfire 4870, but later on. It should be better than one 5870 (even though without DX11 support)...

Actually, those prices are VERY cheap :D ! I live in Finland, Europe, and all components prices in Germany are 10€-40€ (1€ = $1.46) cheaper than in Finland! Even though, the 30€ shipping is added on every order...

Ordering from US, would be a good option, if the 22% taxes aren't added. And NewEgg doesn't ship to Europe.

If I could get a Spindrive 3 for $75 ~ 50€, I would buy it immediately.
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Best solution

September 25, 2009 6:25:29 AM

1280x1024 is low-end by current gaming hardware standards. That system will run just about any game at max settings with ridiculously high AA/AF settings and still probably break triple digit FPS. For all but the most demanding games (Crysis: Warhead, Far Cry 2, etc.), you should get good performance at least up to 1680x1050 with everything maxed and most games should run well at 1920x1200 with AA/AF toned down a little.

If you want to build a powerful machine for $1000 that's relatively future-proofed, what you have is solid aside from the triple channel ram issue and the advice here will make it better within your budget. I would stick with a single 4870 for now - as I said, that alone will perform far better than what you say you are looking for, and you can buy a second one in a year or two (should be dirt cheap by then) if you need more performance but don't want to splurge on a newer card.

If you want to tone down your budget and make a machine that will kick butt at 1280x1024 for quite some time with room to upgrade later, you could get a much cheaper AMD system. The i5 is an amazing chip, but for gaming it's totally overkill (you will be limited by your GPU speed with a chip even half as powerful as the i5, so that extra power mostly goes to waste in gaming). You can get a Phenom II x3 720 Black Edition, which will perform almost as well in all but the most extreme multi-threaded processes like video rendering, for $120 US off newegg. It has an unlocked multiplier, which means it is extremely easy to overclock (Intel only does this on their uber expensive Extreme Edition chips), and you can save money on the motherboard, too - a quality 770 board with DDR3 can be had for around $80 US. That's right, you could have a CPU and motherboard for the cost of just the CPU with the i5 platform! That's $140 or so you can keep, or put toward components that will actually make a difference like GPU or investing in a RAID.

Speaking of RAID... For just the cost of a second hard drive, assuming your mobo supports it (most do), you could have an entry-level RAID setup and get much better performance. Aside from a better GPU, it's one of the easiest ways to tangibly boost gaming performance (at least load times), as hard drives are among the slowest components still in use in modern PCs and bottleneck pretty much any process that uses them.
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September 25, 2009 6:26:06 AM

OK, thanks for you guys! Then I'm gonna change the 6gb Tri-Kit for DDR3 Dual-Channel.

4GB-Kit Corsair Twin3X4096-1333C9 DDR3, CL9
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

4GB-Kit Corsair DDR3 PC1600 C9 Classic
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

4GB-Kit Corsair DDR3 PC1600 C9 Dominator
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

4GB Kit OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum Low-Voltage CL7
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...

4GB Kit OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 CL8 Low-Voltage
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...


Which one of these could be the best option for me? A few of them are 1333mhz, rest 1666mhz and price difference from 75€ - 89€.

Thanks!
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September 25, 2009 6:28:39 AM

Sorry to double-post, but to clarify - that AMD system would get probably 90-100% of the framerates of the i5 system in games when played at high enough settings for it to matter. My initial description made it sound like it would be unable to keep up at the higher resolutions I was discussing, which is untrue. For most gaming-related tasks, they'd perform pretty much the same, but you'd save a lot of money. You could shave another $15 off the price by dropping down to the Phenom x2 550 BE (only 2 cores, but slightly higher clockspeed, and also an unlocked multiplier... With the right board, if you get lucky, you can unlock the other 2 cores and get a near top-end quad core chip for $105!).
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September 25, 2009 6:31:28 AM

olkka said:
I'm thinking about moving on a crossfire 4870, but later on. It should be better than one 5870 (even though without DX11 support)...
Thats not what the reviews show. Its basically the same speed as dual 4870s. Dual 4870s dont have the multi-monitor eyefinity or DX11. If tesselation becomes popular it should effectively play a few times faster than dual 4870s on games that use it.
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September 25, 2009 6:31:36 AM

As for the RAM, either 1333 or 1600 will work just fine. The 1600 is slightly faster, but you won't notice the difference in real-world use. More important are the CAS latency numbers (lower is better - 9 is considered low end value RAM at this point, anything better than that is varying grades of performance RAM) and voltage rating (RAM rated at a higher voltage will likely fare better when overclocking).
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September 25, 2009 6:44:59 AM

solistus said:
As for the RAM, either 1333 or 1600 will work just fine. The 1600 is slightly faster, but you won't notice the difference in real-world use. More important are the CAS latency numbers (lower is better - 9 is considered low end value RAM at this point, anything better than that is varying grades of performance RAM) and voltage rating (RAM rated at a higher voltage will likely fare better when overclocking).


Thanks a lot for your long and analyzing answers. I'll observe and keep them in my mind!

OK. Considering your suggestions, this should be good option (performance, OC... etc.)?

4GB Kit OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum Low-Voltage CL7
http://www4.hardwareversand.de/_/articledetail.jsp?aid=...
- Latency timings: CL7 ( 7-7-7-20 )
- Voltage: 1.65 V

Price is quite OK and latency is the lowest in that price category...
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September 25, 2009 6:53:50 AM

Yep, that RAM looks perfect to me. In fact, I'm building a system in about the same price range soon and I'm considering exactly the same RAM - the OCZ Platinum series. High end specs and mid end pricing, from a trusted brand? Sold!
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September 25, 2009 7:21:25 AM

solistus said:
Yep, that RAM looks perfect to me. In fact, I'm building a system in about the same price range soon and I'm considering exactly the same RAM - the OCZ Platinum series. High end specs and mid end pricing, from a trusted brand? Sold!


Yes, thanks for your tips and suggestions! I changed my RAM to that quality OCZ Platinum RAM, thanks to You solistus :D  !
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr3-1333-speed-lat...
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