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Gaming PC build for $2k help

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January 2, 2010 6:59:08 PM

For starters let me just say I have been lurking tom's for the last 2 months ago. I have come to the realization that building a computer can be terrible if not done correctly as well as rewarding if you follow instructions. I've also learned that building can be cheaper than buying if you know how to use the components you buy. SO I have decided that I want to build an enthusiasts gaming computer for right around 2000 dollars U.S.

Here is a rough take on what I plan to put into my computer:

Mobo:EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard ($285)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: i7 920 D0 Stepping ($305)


RAM: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366 RT Rev. C CPU Heatsink (Socket LGA 1366) ($75)
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8444/cpu-tri-67/Therm...

Video Card: ASUS EAH5970/G/2DIS/2GD5 Radeon HD 5970 2GB 512($650)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:Corsair 950TX ($150)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:Cooler Master HAF 932 ($140)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive:Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ($85)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Later will add ssd once they are more affordable, heard 6gb ssd are faster or something?)

OS:Windows 7 Home Premium ($110)

Monitor: Samsung T240HD ($250)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As far as speakers and keyboard and mouse goes I'm not too worried about that as of yet. Right now I am more interested in visuals.

I plan on purchasing these components right around mid January if all goes as planned.
Mostly I will be gaming. I want to be able to run all of my games on maxed out settings for as long as I possibly can. (Hence the 5970 now)

The games I will be playing will be the upcoming fps games as well as some rpg.
I became a huge fan of crysis (although I've never actually played it but I was so astonished by the visuals)

I will also be a casual internet user. I do plan on doing some video editing and some 3-d rendering. Not as much as I plan on gaming though. I will definitely be watching movies and tv as well. Gaming is 1st though.

I will for sure be using crossfire once the 5970's become more affordable and available.

With that I plan on safely overclocking. This is really where I need the most help. I've heard the A1 mobo I have is excellent for oc but i'm really clueless as to how I gauge stability: performance ratios.


The T240HD has been recommended so many times to me that I decided to go with this one, yet I have never actually seen it in action. It has 1920x1200 res which is the main reason I am looking into buying that particular one.

So let me know what you all think of my first build. I would really appreciate any feedback as to what I can do to make this rig even more of a beast for right around the same price. Please tell me if I am heading in the right direction. I need all the help I can get. Thanks again in advance!

More about : gaming build

January 3, 2010 3:16:48 PM

A very well researched build.

I don't think you need to overclock the 920 to get better performance. What I'd do different is to ditch the HSF, get a cheaper X58 mobo, downgrade TB drive to F3 500GB, grab a 30GB/60GB OCZ VERTEX SSD for OS & software, dumb down the PSU to 850W which is sufficient for CF HD 5970, swap the HDTV out for a cheaper LCD, and a full tower atx case, while making sure I'm within budget.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
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January 3, 2010 3:43:19 PM

I'd get this mobo, since it not that more expensive yet supports usb3.0 and sataIII.
Only downside is it does 16x/16x/1x pci-e lanes for cfire, but that shouldn't matter unless you need to have third pci-e 16x slot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also easily go lower on the x58 mobo end.

Also downgrade the monitor too
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or even a 1920x1080 which you can get for 150$
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January 3, 2010 5:44:36 PM

Quote:
Only downside is it does 16x/16x/1x pci-e lanes for cfire, but that shouldn't matter unless you need to have third pci-e 16x slot.


I might want to end up investing into a nice sound card once more funds are available. I've read that the placement on the last pci-e slot can be a hassle. When it comes to sound cards thought I am quite clueless as to what requirements it needs or if that will even be a problem with what I plan on doing.

Quote:
Also downgrade the monitor too


The reason I like the 240hd is the fact that I can use it for more than just gaming. It has a built in tv tuner which I was pretty stoked about. The fact that it had 1920x1200 res was a huge plus because from what I've heard anything less than that would not be using the 5970's to their full potential. Also the reviews on the one that you recommended weren't that spectacular.
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January 3, 2010 5:52:47 PM

p55ibexpeak said:
A very well researched build.

I don't think you need to overclock the 920 to get better performance. What I'd do different is to ditch the HSF, get a cheaper X58 mobo, downgrade TB drive to F3 500GB, grab a 30GB/60GB OCZ VERTEX SSD for OS & software, dumb down the PSU to 850W which is sufficient for CF HD 5970, swap the HDTV out for a cheaper LCD, and a full tower atx case, while making sure I'm within budget.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...


Thanks for your suggestions! I see you would downgrade a lot of stuff... Is that so you could implement the ssd without going over budget? Those things are uber expensive! Anyways I am planning on getting the ssd when the "new" ones come out. I heard they will be crazy killers. Any reason for switching any of these things? As for the Mobo I wouldn't mind getting something a little more futureproof so that's the one thing I'm willing to upgrade if anything. Let's say I didn't change anything about the build but later on added a blu ray burner, an 80gb ssd, and a sound card, would the psu be affected by these addons? That's more or less why I went with the extra 100w.
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January 3, 2010 10:46:24 PM

The problem with waiting for the "new" ssd's that will be super fast is that when they come out, there will be more "new" ssd's that are even faster. But they are expensive, and too wait for one that you want is more than fine.

But if you want this system too last for a while (haha) I would still reccomend getting a USB 3.0 and sata III motherboard. Even though these capabilities aren't fully taken advantage of yet, you don't want to get caught 1-2 years down the road saying I need a new mobo.

As for the power requeirments and SSD, a sound card, and a bluray drive are not going to add that much power requirement. That 850w spec is pretty much running a full system. That said another 100w wouldn't hurt either. Though you probably don't need a sound card (it depends on your speaker setup).

Here are some cheaper MOBO choices that will probably work for you (there are many more, and don't just look at newegg reviews)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
not quite as good Oc'ing as the A1 but still pretty good.

and if your feeling it

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you want to be fancy or do extreme OCing you probably don't need the thermalright here's another very good, yet very cheap one

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (it's big though)

Another thought on the PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

not quite as nice though (a little louder i think) and multiple rail 12v but this shouldn't be a problem. Or go down to the 850w/900w.

As for the sound card, remember most of them are pci or pci-e 1x, but unless you have a kick@ss speacker system your not going to need it.

An ssd would really boost the performance of this PC and you could get one just for os and frequent programs plus a data drive. A super fast CPU/mobo/mem/gpu/..... isn't any good if it takes forever to boot and load applications.
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January 4, 2010 5:43:12 AM

What's the difference besides the cooler?

Asus :http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131614


Gigabyte: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128413

Personally I'm leaning towards the asus if I end up getting it. Looks a little more futureproof than my evga. The gigabyte has the cooler but i will be using the thermaltake. Would they fit together?

Man this build is starting to get real expensive! LOL. The most I'm willing to spend would be $2500 all together.

Thanks for the insight. This is really helping me out immensely.

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January 4, 2010 4:51:09 PM

Well, the GPU you picked (5970) is the right card for crysis cause it will eat it for breakfast, you can max the resolution on your monitor and max the settings in crysis as well as tweak it for ultra high settings and get good framerates.

-If you still have money in your budget, i'd get a mobo with SATA/USB 3.0 support and a 30GB OCZ vertex SSD for $130 for the OS, and a important Apps, and then a hard drive for storage and less important apps.

-If you will crossfire your 5970 eventually then stay with the 950watt but if not, you can get a 800watt for it and you will be fine.

-Once the build is assembled, i'd overclock the CPU to about 3.3-3.4Ghz while playing crysis, thats the sweet spot for games. It should be a cake walk with a 920 D0.

-And your cooler is overkill, you can get a much cheaper one. Plus the haf932 has amazing cooling so you will be fine.

Everything else seems fine, you did you research well, have fun building it and murdering the koreans and aliens in crysis on high settings and high resolution with your nanosuit.
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January 4, 2010 7:40:20 PM

The HSF you picked is really overpriced and poor performing.

Here's a build I put together for you.
However, read my next post for a i5 build that will perform as well or even better and has a SSD.

Note you can still get win 7 premium or pro for $30 at win741.com. Though deal ends tonight. This'll save you $75

CPU/Ram Combo i7-920 and OCZ gold DDR3 1600 8-8-8-24 $426.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MOBO Asus ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - 5970 $649.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD's
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case HAF 922 $99 - Does everything the 932 does, cept it's cheaper. Fits a 5970 fine, the thing practically the same size as a 932.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will however, need to get a 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter to fit an SSD.

Monitor Gateway 24" 1920 x 1200 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU Corsair 850 TX $139.99 $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF CM Hyper 212 Plus $28.83
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Blows away the Thermalright for a fraction of the price.
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=241...

OS Win 7 Premium $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Total $1984.75

Edit: $1954.75 after MIR
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Best solution

January 4, 2010 8:14:41 PM

Here's an i5 based build. It has a Mobo with True USB 3.0 and SATA 6 and a full x16 PCIE lane (unlike the gigabyte UD4P).

Also has an Intel 80gb X-25M SSD, best one on the market.

Should have equal or better performance than the i7 build, and will definitely have a better user experience because of the SSD.

In gaming, the i5 is slightly better than the i7 in terms of FPS, but has a much higher minimum FPS, making it a better gaming CPU than the i7-920.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

The ONLY weakness of the i5 platform, x8 PCIE lanes in xfire, is eliminated since with 1 5970 the ASUS has the same PCIE bandwidth as X-58.

The ONLY reason not to go with the i5 build is if for some crazy reason you want to Xfire 5970's.

Note you can still get win 7 premium or pro for $30 at win741.com. Though deal ends tonight. This'll save you $75

CPU/HSF Combo- i5 and CM Hyper 212 Plus $215.82
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MOBO Asus P7P55D-E Pro $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM G SKill DDR3 1333 7-7-7-21 $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - 5970 $649.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD's
SSD X25-M 80 gb $269.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?scriteria=B...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case HAF 922 $99 - Does everything the 932 does, cept it's cheaper. Fits a 5970 fine, the thing practically the same size as a 932.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will however, need to get a 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter to fit an SSD.

Monitor Gateway 24" 1920 x 1200 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU Corsair 850 TX $139.99 $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS Win 7 Premium $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

$2004.74
$1994.74 after MIR.


So yea, the difference btwn getting an i5 vs an i7 system in your case is that one is that the i5 is $20 more expensive ($40 if you include MIR), but has a SSD. Performance wise they should be pretty much identical, with the i5 better for gaming, i7 better for heavily multi threaded apps.

So in summary, either get an i5 + SSD or i7 system for the same money, with the i5 system actually having better gaming performance and system responsiveness. That i7/X58 tax starts to stand out now doesn't it?

Edit: 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter for a SSD $7.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Brings System total to $2002.73 after MIR
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January 5, 2010 3:39:45 AM

^ You obviously didn't read the OP's post. He says he for sure will be crossfiring the 5970 once is system isn't the latest and greatest anymore and they become more affordable.

He also stated that he doesn't want this mobo for is x58 rig
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
because with xfire you can't fit a pci card in there (sound card)

And furthermore he stated again that he wanted the the samsung 240hd right here

"The reason I like the 240hd is the fact that I can use it for more than just gaming. It has a built in tv tuner which I was pretty stoked about. The fact that it had 1920x1200 res was a huge plus because from what I've heard anything less than that would not be using the 5970's to their full potential. Also the reviews on the one that you recommended weren't that spectacular."

And the monitor that was already recommended by me, the one he's saying he doesn't want, is the exact same one you just recommended.


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January 5, 2010 3:48:28 AM

banthracis said:
Here's an i5 based build. It has a Mobo with True USB 3.0 and SATA 6 and a full x16 PCIE lane (unlike the gigabyte UD4P).

Also has an Intel 80gb X-25M SSD, best one on the market.

Should have equal or better performance than the i7 build, and will definitely have a better user experience because of the SSD.

In gaming, the i5 is slightly better than the i7 in terms of FPS, but has a much higher minimum FPS, making it a better gaming CPU than the i7-920.
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

The ONLY weakness of the i5 platform, x8 PCIE lanes in xfire, is eliminated since with 1 5970 the ASUS has the same PCIE bandwidth as X-58.

The ONLY reason not to go with the i5 build is if for some crazy reason you want to Xfire 5970's.

Note you can still get win 7 premium or pro for $30 at win741.com. Though deal ends tonight. This'll save you $75

CPU/HSF Combo- i5 and CM Hyper 212 Plus $215.82
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MOBO Asus P7P55D-E Pro $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM G SKill DDR3 1333 7-7-7-21 $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - 5970 $649.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD's
SSD X25-M 80 gb $269.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?scriteria=B...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case HAF 922 $99 - Does everything the 932 does, cept it's cheaper. Fits a 5970 fine, the thing practically the same size as a 932.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You will however, need to get a 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter to fit an SSD.

Monitor Gateway 24" 1920 x 1200 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU Corsair 850 TX $139.99 $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS Win 7 Premium $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

$2004.74
$1994.74 after MIR.


So yea, the difference btwn getting an i5 vs an i7 system in your case is that one is that the i5 is $20 more expensive ($40 if you include MIR), but has a SSD. Performance wise they should be pretty much identical, with the i5 better for gaming, i7 better for heavily multi threaded apps.

So in summary, either get an i5 + SSD or i7 system for the same money, with the i5 system actually having better gaming performance and system responsiveness. That i7/X58 tax starts to stand out now doesn't it?

Edit: 3.5" to 2.5" bay converter for a SSD $7.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Brings System total to $2002.73 after MIR





Man! Why you gotta confuse me like that? LOL. I hadn't even looked at the i5.

The only thing is I DO want to be able to xfire in the future when more demanding games come out.

I will also be rendering video though and that was one of the smaller reasons for getting the i7 was for the ht.

And I have been seriously contemplating getting an ssd now instead of waiting.

It looks like I'll be switching out the heatsink though. Thanks for the link!

What about upgrading for the future? I'm not very learned in that department for mobo's. Thanks for all of the great insight.

I am coming up with a new and revised build. Soon to be up shortly!
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January 5, 2010 4:17:35 AM

If you want to xfire the 5970 I would stay with the x58, though I haven't seen any official numbers, i would say that and 5970 does exceed 8x pci-e bandwidth.

An SSD would really speed up your comp.

As for motherboards, try to get a sata III and usb 3.0 as well as other features (dual 16x pci-e slots in the spots you need them) that will allow you to upgrade the build and keep it future proof as possible.

You don't have to get a ssd now though, it's very easy to add one once you have more funds, unlike a motherboard or cpu (since there you bought a part that you don't need anymore)
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January 5, 2010 4:42:59 AM

Just so everyone is clear, I am looking an enthusiasts kick ace gaming computer that also can kick rendering's butt. The ONLY components I am set in stone with is the CPU. IF there is anything that is better for what i am wanting to get out of it for right around the same price please share.

As for the monitor goes. That is where I need help

Specs should include:

NEEDS
1920x1200 res.
24"
5ms or faster response
NO DEAD PIXELS
contrast ratio 1000:1 at least

WANTS
tv tuner
lots of port compatibility
better viewing angles
great g2g?

Is there anything that could fit that description?

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January 5, 2010 1:06:16 PM

The gateway we linked is fine for general computing purposes. A TV tuner built into the monitor isn't something that's actually all that useful. It's more something for a HTPC.


If your budget is flexible by all means get a better monitor, but if you can't spend more than $2k then you're better off with the i5 system I linked and an intel SSD.

As for xfire 5970's, lol I don't see that being necessary. Bear in mind, TV is only 24 FPS, and anything above 35 FPS is unnoticeable except to a trained eye.
IE most people will not be able to tell the difference between a video running at 35 fps and one at 60 FPS in double blind tests.

With this in mind, and the fact that the 5970 runs Crysis at Very High 8x AA at 44.6 FPS at your resolution (everything else at over 100 FPS), there is no need for a better video card for the forseable future. There has not been a single game yet announced that I forsee the 5970 being unable to max out with 35+ FPS.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5970,2474...

The reason for this is that the industry is still programming around the 360/PS3 level of hardware and even Crysis 2, will be capable of being run on those consoles (we're taking about hardware that's 3 generations old now). There will not be any major title released that will be stressing the current generation of hardware until the next generation of consoles comes out (industry analysis are expecting this to be 2014 at the earliest).

While I won't guarantee that a 5970 will max every game till 2014, for the next 2 years at least I do not foresee any game being an issue, and by then there will be 2 more generations of GPU's making the 5970 look pathetic =D

So, you're better off not bothering with Xfired 5970's. Also, unless money grows on trees for you, the price/performance ratio of using more than 2 GPU'S is very poor. Anandtech showed the performance gain from going from 2 to 4 GTX 295's (closest equivalent to the 5970), ranged form 5% to 50% depending on the title.

That's spending double the money, for at best, a 50% increase in performance.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3520&p=7


Also, motherboard sound is sufficient for everything except professional audio work.


So yea, you could xfire 5970's, but in the current environment, it really is nothing more than a waste of money, and not recommended unless your last name is Gates or Trump =D
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January 5, 2010 1:16:04 PM

way2game89 said:


I will also be rendering video though and that was one of the smaller reasons for getting the i7 was for the ht.

And I have been seriously contemplating getting an ssd now instead of waiting.

It looks like I'll be switching out the heatsink though. Thanks for the link!

What about upgrading for the future? I'm not very learned in that department for mobo's. Thanks for all of the great insight.

I am coming up with a new and revised build. Soon to be up shortly!


Um not sure what you mean by video rendering. There's 3D rendering and video encoding. Either, way, if this is a major concern for you, you're better off with an i7-860 for the same price as the i7-920, yet much better performance in gaming and in rendering/encoding.

The i7-860 is the hyper threaded version of the i5.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

If you do that, just add $80 to the i5 build I made for you and switch the i5 for a i7-860.

Motherboard wise, especially if you get an SSD, you'll want SATA 6.0 and USB 3.0.

SSD's hit the SATA 3.0 ceiling in read speeds a long time ago, and if you read anand's new article on SSD's, they've hit the ceiling for write speeds as well.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3702


This means the Asus' mobo's we've been recommending. Fitting a sound card is not an issue on the ASUS's if you have 1 5970 installed. Haven't tried it with xfired 5970's, but like I told in my last post, doing that is just a waste of money.


Edit: I did read his posts tkgclimb :D  but since he's here to ask for advice about a new build, I figured I'd give him the best system for his money and explain afterward any questions he may have about my choices/justify my recommendations ^^

I prefer to correct people's misconceptions rather than let them make less than ideal choices! Thanks a lot for the help you've provided in this thread though!

Edit 2: Gah, totally screwing up my CPU names. Corrected them to i7-860, w/ correct link to benchmarks of the 860
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January 5, 2010 4:43:14 PM

I really do appreciate all of the different ways I could go about doing things with my build. Although I am looking for something that i would be able to upgrade in the future. For me that means going with 1366 socket. Correct me if I'm wrong but arent the new i9's going to be using these? Not that I would switch to one as the i7 would probably give me more than enough power. But just for kicks. I wouldn't mind the potential.

"banthracis" When I say video rendering I'm talking about pinnacle editing. I figure the green taskline would be considered rendering? As of right now when I insert an effect it takes approx 5 minutes for about 2 sec worth on my c2d. Not sure if hyper threading helps this. Could just be the fact that my computer is a dinosaur.

>>As for the 5970 xfire... I have never played crysis but want to. When it first came out I heard the best computer would not be able to play it on maxed settings. Are you saying that no other games in the next year will be challenging our current pc's? I guess if there isn't a NEED for it I won't get one. Once games become more demanding and the cost has gone down some I do want to invest in one though. Unless of course there will never be a game that will take advantage of crossfire 5970's ever.

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January 5, 2010 4:55:02 PM

By the time something comes out that will take advantage of xfire 5970's, a much better GPU will be out. So no, pointless to xfire those things.

Problem is that PC hardware is already 3 generations ahead of what gaming companies games are made to run on, and this is only gonna get worse over the next few years (until next generation consoles come out).

Pinnacle looks to me like a video editing program like Foundry or Vegas. So it's not actually rendering. Rendering refers to the creation of 3D meshes and turning them into a 2D image which appears 3 dimensional.

I can't tell you for certain if Pinnacle will benefit, as the effect of hyper threading is entirely dependent on how well the program is written for multi threading.





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January 5, 2010 5:09:28 PM

banthracis said:

The i7-860 is the hyper threaded version of the i5.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

If you do that, just add $80 to the i5 build I made for you and switch the i5 for a i7-860.

Motherboard wise, especially if you get an SSD, you'll want SATA 6.0 and USB 3.0.

SSD's hit the SATA 3.0 ceiling in read speeds a long time ago, and if you read anand's new article on SSD's, they've hit the ceiling for write speeds as well.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3702


So I read the ssd link you gave me. It sounded more like a rant agaisnt ssd's than anything. I might just have interpreted it that way. lol Btw i am implementing the ssd in my build no matter what direction I go in. It's just a matter of when. The only downfall of waiting is the fact that my os will already be on the hard drive. No biggie but still.

so the 860 is the same price as the 920 and I have to find a different mobo/ memory? I'm not to fond of this route but I will consider it.
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January 5, 2010 6:14:40 PM

Lol, it's your interpretation. Anand Li Shimpi is actually a huge advocate of SSD's. In fact, it's because of changes he demanded that OCZ's vertex has become so successful (gives you an idea of how respected he is if companies are willing to change their products because of what he wants =D ).

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631&p=...

The i7-860 is the P55 equivalent of the i7-920, so the MOBO and RAM i recommended for the i5 build will work for it.
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January 5, 2010 6:42:48 PM

Banthracis
Quote:
SSD's hit the SATA 3.0 ceiling in read speeds a long time ago, and if you read anand's new article on SSD's, they've hit the ceiling for write speeds as well.

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3702


Quote:
The i7-860 is the P55 equivalent of the i7-920, so the MOBO and RAM i recommended for the i5 build will work for it.


^UHM, 99.99999% of SSD's both MLC and SLC can't even reach the SATA 2.0 Ceiling. I know of maybe 2-3 SSD's that can acheive a read speed of over 750GB/s and they cost around 1.5-2 Grand. Even the ultimate Intel X-25M has a tiny read speed of 270mbps max, which isn't even close to reaching the limits of SATA 2.....

And the i7 860 and i7 920 are quite different.
Look at this:
Intel's Comparison of 920vs860
^You will see they are quite different.
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January 5, 2010 7:06:41 PM

The SATA 3.0 interface is maxed out and has been by SSD's read speeds since last year when the Intel X25M g1 came out. The new Vertex 2 will also max out SATA 3.0 in write speeds.
Read http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3702&p=...

SATA 3.0 runs at 3 gigabits per seconds. That equates to about 320 Megabytes per seconds. Add in network overhead, etc and that equates to 270-280 megabytes usable bandwidth. SSD's hit that barrier a while ago.

Think you're confusing byte and bit.

As for i7-860 and i7-920, of course they're not identical. I was referring to them being price equivalents. My point is that the i7 860 is the better buy for the same price because it beats the i7-920 in every benchmark, synthetics, gaming, rendering, encoding, everything.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...



Anand Lai Shimpi has been advocating an SSD as the greatest upgrade to a computer for a while now.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/s [...] =3631&p=20


Recently, Tom's has also done the same.
http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 18-10.html

With 2 top hardware review sites agreeing on that fact, I'd say you can't go wrong with an SSD ^^
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January 5, 2010 9:29:59 PM

banthracis said:

As for i7-860 and i7-920, of course they're not identical. I was referring to them being price equivalents. My point is that the i7 860 is the better buy for the same price because it beats the i7-920 in every benchmark, synthetics, gaming, rendering, encoding, everything.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...



Anand Lai Shimpi has been advocating an SSD as the greatest upgrade to a computer for a while now.
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/s [...] =3631&p=20


Recently, Tom's has also done the same.
http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 18-10.html

With 2 top hardware review sites agreeing on that fact, I'd say you can't go wrong with an SSD ^^



So other than the cpu is there anything you would change about your i5 build compared to the 860 build? I'm starting to like the performance to cost ratio there with the ssd. Although the 860 is exactly the same price. It does look like I would be saving some $$$ on the mobo.

I would like to hear more about your performance comparisons between the 860 and 920. As well as the benefits i would have OVER the 920 and any disadvantages as well other than xfire. Also a final recommendation for either the 860 or 920 in regards to my circumstances. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions... I just want this to be a great first build, last for the future and be upgradeable for a while! Thanks
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January 5, 2010 9:47:35 PM

No Problem, thats what the forum is here for, to ask questions and learn.

When comparing the 920 and 860 as just a processor and nothing else assuming all other variables the same, the 860 emerges superior due to a higher clockrate for the average user. However since these two CPU's are designed for two different sockets aka platforms, many other pros/cons start to emerge between the two processors.
I'll repeat this link from my previous post but open it and check it out
Click HERE

As you can see, both processors have pros/cons on thier platform. For example the the 860 has a 2.8Ghz clockrate which beats the 2.66Ghz clockrate of the 920. However, the 920's platform supports 16x/16x SLI/Xfire bandwidth but the 860's supports only 8x/8x. You can see the 860 beats the 920 in turbo frequency. However the 920 has a faster system bus. The 860 consumes less energy then the 920 by about 35watts on its max. The 920 supports 24GB of ram while the 860 supports 16GB which can be a deciding factor for people requiring more. The 920 has 3-way memory while the 860 has 2-way, it can be unoticable for the average user/gamer but for other software it can quite a performance factor. While the 920 can a bit cheaper then the 860, the platform (1366) is usually much more expensive since more ram is usually required, the motherboards cost more...etc The 920 however has a higher upgradability though. So you see how both platforms can be beneficial for some people and vice versa, take the pick that best suits you and is optimized for your needs best.

I think the 920/x58/1366 route is best for you becuase since you will be crossfiring, the platform supports higher bandwidth and just becuase the 860 has a 140Mhz higher clockrate, doesn't mean anything as the i7 920 D0 can be overclocked to 4GHz+. Besides since you will be gaming on high res/high detail and using a monster card, i'd highly reccommend an overclock of the CPU to about 3.3-3.4Ghz.
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January 5, 2010 10:49:21 PM

Or to make it simple.

1. If you really want to xfire the 5970 down the line go with the i7 build I posted.

or

2. If you're fine with 1 5970 go with the i5 build i posted, but use a i7-860 processor instead.

Your choice basically boils down to that. Everything else is minor compared to that critical choice.
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January 5, 2010 10:59:00 PM

^ yep
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January 6, 2010 4:18:16 AM

So I just went to BEST BUY today and asked the gamer tech at the geek squad booth what he thought of the two processors we are all debating about....

He told me something very interesting. FSB transfer to the processor is closer on the 860 than on the 920? Or something like that.

He also mentioned that I should wait for a couple of weeks for something big coming out for the 1156. He didn't say what though. Andy Ideas?

He also said triple channel compared to dual channel memory really isn't that big of a difference. Especially for the hardware that's out right now. Apparently the system only picks up 4 or doesn't read the other 2 gb in some instances. Anyone? Have I been mistaken this whole time? Or is this guy just out of his mind?


(If this is the case, I will end up going with the i7 860 build that banthracis put together for me) It's cheaper, and from some of the forums, very safe for the "near future" as well as exceptional performance. I figured you were right with xfire. by the time prices come down and their's a game demanding enough there will already be a awesome new gpu out.

Btw I will want 8 gb memory just to be safe. Would you stick with the cas 7 gskill at 1333? Does p5 support 1600? If so any suggestions?

Will 16 mb cache to 32 mb cache be worth 15 dollars extra for the hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($70)
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January 6, 2010 12:40:41 PM

way2game89 said:
So I just went to BEST BUY today and asked the gamer tech at the geek squad booth what he thought of the two processors we are all debating about....

He told me something very interesting. FSB transfer to the processor is closer on the 860 than on the 920? Or something like that.

He also mentioned that I should wait for a couple of weeks for something big coming out for the 1156. He didn't say what though. Andy Ideas?

He also said triple channel compared to dual channel memory really isn't that big of a difference. Especially for the hardware that's out right now. Apparently the system only picks up 4 or doesn't read the other 2 gb in some instances. Anyone? Have I been mistaken this whole time? Or is this guy just out of his mind?


(If this is the case, I will end up going with the i7 860 build that banthracis put together for me) It's cheaper, and from some of the forums, very safe for the "near future" as well as exceptional performance. I figured you were right with xfire. by the time prices come down and their's a game demanding enough there will already be a awesome new gpu out.

Btw I will want 8 gb memory just to be safe. Would you stick with the cas 7 gskill at 1333? Does p5 support 1600? If so any suggestions?

Will 16 mb cache to 32 mb cache be worth 15 dollars extra for the hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($70)



1. You can get DDR3 1600 ripjaws if you want, they're like $10 more. However, unless you wanna go over a 4 ghz OC, I say just go with the 1333.
link to 1600 ripjaws
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Best buy guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Neither the i7-920 nor i7-860 have a FSB....they both use QPI
Here's a short and easy explanation of it.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-750-core-i7-860-8...

3. Best buy guy doesn't seem to understand you want a high end PC. Only thing coming out for 1156 are the new budget dual core i3/i5 meant for the low end.

Here's a review of those CPU's. Basically they aren't even close to the i7's or i5-750 (even though some are priced higher than the i5-750...)
http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3704

4. Best buy guy is REALLY dumb. The memory limit issue only occurs if you use a 32 bit OS, which can use a bit less than 4GB of RAM. I assume since you're buying a new OS, you can get the 64 bit version which can use i think somewhere around 400 gb of RAM (a 64 bit OS can potentially use 16EB aka 16 Billion GB of RAM (Exa = 10^18, giga = 10^9), but Win 7 OS limits the amount of recognizable RAM.

5. If the best buy guy also recommended the HD change then they really need to just fire him and hire some High School Tech Nerd who'll probably know twice as much as him. Cache size has zero correlation to a hard drives performance. The spinpoint F3's I linked are the top performance mainstream drives atm (though they rival velociraptors in many benchmarks). The Seagate 7200.12 drives are the next best thing.

Basically for Hard Drives, Spindle speed and platter size (larger the better) are the key performance indicators. The WD you linked uses 2 250 GB platters, the F3 and 7200.12 (must be 7200.12, not .11) use 500 GB platters. WD only uses 500 GB platters on their new 2 TB drives.


Edit: At least he was right about dual channel and triple channel not making a difference. 1 out of 5 right ain't too bad for the average Best Buy tech.
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January 6, 2010 12:51:08 PM

As a side note, I tend not to trust Best Buy Techs.

The last time I asked one for advice they told me that I could OC one of their Dell P4 computer's easily w/o having to install a new HSF, and that they recommended the P4 over athlon's which they didn't sell at the time...


For the uninformed:
1. All mainstream Dell computers have locked bios's so you can't OC.
2. P4 were notoriously power hungry and ran at ridiculously high temperature even at stock speeds, nvm OC.
3. At the time, P4 were complete junk compared to AMD's athlons.
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January 6, 2010 2:26:44 PM

Darn you Best Buy guy! Why you gotta get my hopes up!? I guess his reasoning was the fact that the 1156 socket was newer, intel sells more like 10:1 comparaitvely to the 1366 ( but that is just the fact that people like to save money I think) and also made the argument about things are "easier" to build on the 1156. I forget his wording on a lot of stuff. As far as the fsb goes I'm not sure if he directly said that or was trying to make an analogy so I would understand because I have never heard of qpi. Looks like I've got some research to do. Thanks for the liink!

Well at any rate I think I will still be sticking with the 860 and te 1156 socket. From what I read it's the mainstream/high end gamer socket. 1366 is for filthy rich enthusiasts. Being since my last name doesn't end in trump or gates I think I'll be satisfied lol. Like banthracis said one 5970 will play any game out there and when better games come out there will be a card that will be able to play it as well.

I also read that one of the new processors, which isn't coming out til '11 (sandy bridge) "might" be on socket 1156. This was just on a forum and was pure speculation. At that time though it might be better to get a new mobo anyways. I don't know. I hate technology.

Oh and that was me on the hard drive! LOL tells you how much of a newb I am at computer knowledge. But hey that's why I'm here right?

How's this for an optical drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've heard people have gotten the 860 to 5ghz. That's insanely high. Is there really a noticable benefit from ocing that high?

So any last comments before I post my revised build? Like if I'm gonna like my decision 1 yr from now? Should I be waiting for something better? haha.
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January 6, 2010 2:59:08 PM

That's optical drive you linked if fine. Honestly these days the only time I even use the optical drive is to install a old games. Everything else is USB or dl.

As for clock speed, well that really depends on what you purpose is. Gaming wise, no. Gaming is very much GPU limited in real world conditions (high resolution, max settings, AA/AF).

Anantech tested and demonstrated with a stock speed i7 that even with quad SLI GTX 295's, the GPU is still the limiting factor with no CPU bottleneck in sight.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3520&p=4

More pronounced example would be when Tom's recently tested an i5 at stock vs 3.8 ghz and showed there was basically zero FPS increase.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

Obviously if you're doing encoding, rendering or other CPU based programs then a higher clock speed will make things faster. However, after 4.0 ghz, the power require per additional mhz is really not worth it.

The 5ghz clocks you've heard about are probably not on air, or it they are, are unstable and/or run extremely hot.




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January 6, 2010 3:07:41 PM

Sandy Bridge is not a CPU, it's the name of a new type of architecture intel will be introducing.

As an example, current architecture is called Nehalem and it includes ~60 CPU's encompassing all the i5's, i3's, i7's, the Xeon's, and mobile CPU's. There are 4 socket types that Nehalem supports, the LGA-1156, LGA-1366, LGA-1567 and mPGA-989 (had to look this last one up, stupid mobile CPU's! haha).

So yes, it is entirely possible that Intel will make a few Sandy Bridge CPU's that will fit LGA 1156.

In fact, my guess is that they'll release around 6 of them, with half having the same name as their 1366 CPU's, and the other half having the same name as CPU's for a new socket type they'll release called LGA 775-1366 just to make our lives more miserable and confusing.

Edit:For extra fun I just looked up the names of the Nehalem CPU's families. They're Beckton, Gainestown, Bloomfield, Lynnfield, Clarksfield, Gulftown, Clarkdale and Arrandale. Try saying that 10 times fast!

Edit 2: Before anyone complains, every server oriented CPU Intel makes is called Xeon, regardless of architecture. It's a brand name as well as a CPU name, encompassing many families and socket types. Just another example of confusing Intel naming schemes.
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January 6, 2010 4:53:45 PM

Oh wow. Download games through my firefox? That's insane. Upload from usb? NO WAY. So let's say I went and bought crysis... Is there a usb flash drive with the game on it or something?

How about a blu-ray player? Could I put a blu-ray quality movie on a flash drive?
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January 6, 2010 5:03:17 PM

For games check out:
http://store.steampowered.com/about/
and
http://www.direct2drive.com/
and
http://www.impulsedriven.com/about

For OS I used a USB external HD which now has an image of the boot drive as a backup.

For Drivers you wanna go online and DL the latest versions anyway.

Blue ray is not really necessary unless you wanna watch lots of Blue Ray movies.

A blue ray disk is just a storage medium. Any digital file can be stored on any storage medium type.

Think of a USB flash drive, cd, dvd, hard drive or blue ray as a box. You can put anything (digital) you want inside the box as long as it's not too big. A blue ray holds 25 GB, though i think most movies are more in the 9-18 gb range. USB keys are mostly in the 32 GB range now, with some in the 128GB range. Might have 256GB ones out by now, not sure.

edit: Granted there are limitations due to formatting (4? GB file size limitation to FAT format for example), etc, but as a general comparison its valid.
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January 6, 2010 6:55:01 PM

Way2Game
Quote:
I've heard people have gotten the 860 to 5ghz. That's insanely high. Is there really a noticable benefit from ocing that high?


This is possible however usually these CPU's will be water cooled heavily.
And also, many times people will overclock, do the short 10minutes benchmark or whatever, take the snapshot of it, save it, and then underclock it back to normal and then post it on websites say look at this. A CPU being stable on 5Ghz for 10 minutes is differen't from being that for a much longer time like days/months/years.

Quote:
Oh wow. Download games through my firefox? That's insane. Upload from usb? NO WAY. So let's say I went and bought crysis... Is there a usb flash drive with the game on it or something?


Yes many games now are easily just downloaded from the sellers website, you give them your credit card or whatever and you download it as a setup file which you can then burn to a CD if you want or just save it. And its awsome cause there is no such thing as... (Its out of stock) cause there is unlimited supply. And optical media will eventually be replaced by flash media IMO. So you can download crysis from the web, not sure about a USB key but its possible. Some private sellers can buy the game, but it onto a USB key themselves and then sell the game on the USB key. its all easily done, its just the popularity of it :) 
And yes a movie is file...a file can be stored in the followed:
Magnetic Media aka hard drives
Flash Media aka usbs,ssd,flashdrives
Optical Media aka CDs/disk/dvds

So if a usb key is big enough then ofcourse it can easily store it.
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January 6, 2010 7:27:24 PM

Thanks for the clarification. Here's a final build. But there is a twist. I haven't received my $$$ yet. I'm getting a little concerned. I was thinking before Christmas I would have it but it's not around. So given this build is acceptable, how long would you keep it that way before changing it to something better if my funds donn't become available within the month? Well here it is:

CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO Asus P7P55D-E Pro $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131621

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) X2 $219.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - 5970 $649.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

HD's
SSD X25-M 80 gb $269.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSear [...] ia=BA32332

OR

SSD Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M080G2R5 2.5" $299
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

(Is there any difference between these two ssd's? The model numbers are different so I didn't know if one had more to offer than the other. If not I will definitely be saving myself $30.

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181

Case HAF 922 $79 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bay Converter $7.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

PSU Corsair 850 TX $139.99 $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139009

Optical Drive Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS Win 7 Premium $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] +7&x=0&y=0

So really didn't change anything from banthracis' build. Other than the memory which I will be wanting to push my pc to the limit, just because I can. I'm still debating on the heatsink though. I already know what everyone is going to say but here goes.

Prolimatech Megahalems
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...

Fan Scythe Sflex
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2506/fan-206/Scythe_S...

OR

Cooler master hyper 212 plus combo with 860
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065

OR

Sunbeam CCF $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Need a retention bracket) Does this fit 1156?

So let me know what's the best move for the heatsink. And just an overall opinion of the build. Thanks and I appreciate all your help guys. Oh and how about if I din't get available funds for let's say another month at most. Stick with this build? Or see what comes out and go from there?

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January 6, 2010 7:46:28 PM

The 2 SSD's are the same. I included the Mwave one since it's $30 cheaper w/ free shipping. I've gotten 2 from them in the last few months. They're selling the OEM version, Newegg's is the retail version, hence the higher price.

The 5970 went out of stock.
Auto notify yourself for this one and grab is when it's back in stock.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF go w/ the CM hyper 212 Plus, currently the best performing HSF for the P55 platform.

I believe you're counting the cost of 8gb of RAM. A 4Gb kit is only $109.99


There's nothing major coming out in the next few months for you. I was gonna say Fermi, but with the paper launch pushed to March, actual cards won't be out till summer.

In the 1 month - 2 month range you'll probably see the 5xxx cards become easier to find, and perhaps drop in price a bit, or at least start getting sold at MSRP instead of over it. Nothing else major is gonna change beyond some normal price fluctuation. But yea, come back in a month since there may be some better deals around.
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January 6, 2010 9:12:16 PM

You guys are awesome. Thanks for all of your help.

I did want to go with 8gb memory. Just because I've read in the future things will start to use a lot more of it and I want it badly enough anyways. Personally I think more is better and for some reason can't settle for anything for less. Hence the 220 dollars im paying for memory.

So still staying strong with the gateway 1920x1200?
Nothing better for about $250?
(The monitor is being purchased through my bonus so I don't really care how much it costs. Benefit of being in the wireless industry!
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January 6, 2010 9:34:26 PM

looks great, I think it was probably a wise choice to go with an 1156 setup and inclued the ssd, dual 5970's in an 1366 setup would be sick, but this is probably more pratical and a tad faster faster.

Hopefully your happy with it because that's all that matters.
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January 7, 2010 7:15:45 PM

How about the monitor? Any ideas to anything better than the T240hd with 1920x1200 24"?
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January 7, 2010 11:26:30 PM

I can't go any higher than a 24".
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January 8, 2010 12:24:37 AM

Um, can't go higher than a 24" why?

You could just go back to the Samsung you originally linked, but the Hanns G is a great deal for that price.
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January 8, 2010 12:51:42 AM

I guess I shouldn't say can't go bigger. It's just that I don't want to unless I absoltely have to. I have also heard going bigger decreases the picture quality if the res doesn't go higher. Might be a misconception though.
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January 9, 2010 4:23:09 AM

^Yes, a 24''inch 1080p monitor will have a much higher quality picture then a 30'' 1080p...question is will you notice a difference?....
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January 9, 2010 1:59:08 PM

Also if it's basically free, then just get the 30" 2560x 1600 monitor...
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January 9, 2010 6:50:20 PM

banthracis said:
Also if it's basically free, then just get the 30" 2560x 1600 monitor...


Well the thing is it's not basically free, otherwise I'd find the most expensive panel out there. lol. I have a budget of $400 or under "basically".
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!