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Have Build Idea, Need PSU/GPU/Monitor Advice

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January 4, 2010 12:44:16 AM

Need to build a new PC for Gaming & Photoshop (For fashion design, so nothing too extreme really)...Not really into overclocking, and I'm new to the SLI stuff, but I'm also trying to be energy/cost/upgrade efficient in the process.

My current set up has 2gb Ram, Pentium D 820, 8600GT, 17" LCD(Running Native 1280x1024)... And its time I upgrade.

The first few steps I want to do over time.... I want to buy one(Maybe two to guarantee I get a matching pair, but my current rig doesn't support SLI) of the graphics cards first along with the monitor until I get every single piece for the new set up. That way I can play on my current rig with the new monitor & GPU until I can set up the new one.

Games I play/will play in future: Guild Wars, Dark Age of Camelot, Guild Wars 2, Diablo 3, really any MMORPG. So consider me a mainstream MMO player to consider my graphics needs over the next 1-2 years with minimal rig upgrades.

(The build, I must note, is very common right now, but I've had a little bit debate on a few of the parts.Can I also get compatibility info? Such as case.)

MoBo: GA-P55-UD4P
CPU: i5 750
RAM: G.SKILL 4gb (2 x 2gb) F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
OS: Windows 7 64bit for System Builders
HD:Samsung 500 GB HD502HJ
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
CD&DVD Drive: Samsung 22x SH-S223B
GPU: GTS 250 1GB (SLI)


So that leaves me with missing parts.... PSU, Monitor.

1. I want a monitor that is 21.5-24". I'm clueless about the refresh rates like 2ms, 5ms, 60hz, etc. I just need a good one for gaming & HD Music Videos (LOL I know, but HD is an addiction) within a reasonable price range. I like HP's 21.5" on their site http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/display/display/1/st..., but really don't need speakers built in. I like the idea of a 1920x1080p native resolution... Links to others? Price competition, feature comparison, etc? At least what specs am I looking for, and a good price range? I'll be buying this at a local electronics store to look at them individually to decide.

2. PSU... I don't want to go overkill, but I want to give room for upgrade, or at least something that will give me enough for the GTS 250 SLI until I need to actually upgrade to higher graphics cards. (Such as the elusive 300 series.) I've heard anywhere from 600-750w. I'm clueless on PSU's.

Also, with the monitor & a single GTS 250 on my current rig(During my parts buying period), what kind of performance can I expect in Guild Wars & Dark Age of Camelot?

I know you guys just volunteer your time and are under no obligation to advise me on my build, but I really appreciate your time to read through this great wall of text to help me out.

Thank you very much :) 

-Brian

a b C Monitor
January 4, 2010 12:37:10 PM

Switch the board to a GA-P55A-UD4P. It's more future proof, and only slightly more expensvie. It's also better for overclocking...

The case is a good one, but might be small if you get a large video card.

On the GPU, you really should go with one of the Radeon HD 5xxx series cards. ATI is destroying nVidia right now.

PSU: Stick with the major brands. Corsair, Antec Earthwatts, and OCZ are all good choices. I'd go with either 700W or 750W.
January 4, 2010 9:01:01 PM

Guild Wars has one of the most efficient graphics engines of any MMORPG. It can be played with onboard video at lower resolutions, which most MMORPGs cant.

The GTS 250 is limited to DX10, which will hopefully become a problem in a year or two as DX11 comes into use and makes shading and texturing more efficient. The 5750 is the same speed as the 250 and has DX11. The 5770 is 50% faster (like GTX 260 speed). You might want to check prices and see which makes the most sense to you.


P.S. You should try DDO (Dungeons & Dragons online). It used to be subscription but is now Free2Play. The combat is a little more action packed than GW. If you stand still the monsters will move around behind you so you have to keep moving and turning while you swing. Try it and see if you like it. Im fooling around with it and other MMOs while I wait (and wait, and wait) for GW2.
January 4, 2010 9:19:21 PM

I guess it never made it in there, but no ATI. nVidia only. I put GTS 250 SLI for "cost/power efficiency". Like I said, its not a long term solution. Anything else would be overkill for GW.. (I assume even with DX11 that GW will follow with a greatly optimized engine, therefor my upgrade in the future won't be overkill either.)

But I'm pretty sure to start I will be with GTS 250 SLI. Nothing will change my mind.

Differences in GA-P55A-UD4P and GA-P55-UD4P?

And what case (Not ridiculous price please), would you reccomend? I liked the Mid Antec Illusion because the fans, lights, generally decent appearance.

And, I won't be overclocking, like I said in my original post, so no need for overkill heatsinks.. This is for mainstream MMO gaming on a 21.5" monitor.
January 4, 2010 9:24:12 PM

I like the 300 illusion as long as you dont need graphics cards over 10.5 inches. An 11 inch 5870 will probably need a bit of dremel work to get into that case. Great airflow with 4 fans on that size of case.

The pp5a motherboards are new and have USB3 and SATA 6GB capability. The p55 has USB2 and SATA 3GB (todays mainstream). I believe they lose USB3 if you put in a pair of graphics cards due to the p55s lower number of PCIE channels.
January 4, 2010 9:29:40 PM

But I'm talking about nVidia only. I don't ever plan to go ATI unless something totally crashes and burns.

So if I don't really give a crap about USB3, P55 is just fine, and better for SLI anyhow? I would like to stick to Gigabyte, and specifically their line of P55's. I still think the original board is my best bet, really.
a c 77 C Monitor
January 4, 2010 9:47:44 PM

For the graphics, plug your budget into the chart below:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-310-5970,24...

Here's the "winners" from THG's latest (December) GFX Roundup
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: December '09

$50 - HD 4650
$65 - HD 4670 / 9600 GSO
$85 - 9600 GT
$95 - 9600 GT / HD 4830
$110 - GTS 250 512 MB
$120 - GTS 250 1 GB
$155 - HD 5770 / GTX 260
$200 - HD 4890
$240 - 2 x GTS 250
$310 - No winner (HD 5850 Honorable Mention)
$330 - 2 x GTX 260 / 2 x HD 5770
$400 - 2 x HD 4890
$410 - No winner (HD 5870 Honorable Mention)
$465 - No winner (GTX 295 Honorable Mention)
$625 - No winner (HD 5970 Honorable Mention)

Tho demand has pushed those 250/260 prices higher than listed above. Whereas the 5870 / 5970 do things that other cards don't, the 5770, other than DX11 really has nothing to offer....http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=14

PSU's - just need to be pointed to the right sites. Start here:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_PSUs

With single GFX, I'd go 650 watts, double 850 watts. If moderate overclocks, the recommended list is fine, serious OC's, the Editor's Choice list only.

Monitors - Well if photography is a serious hobby, then you want to avoid a TN panel. The dell U2410 is the entry point here, but it gonna cost ya $510-550 "on special".....watch fatwallet.com and techbargains.com for notices. If ya don't need accurate color for photo retouching, the Asus 1920 x 1200 or even x 1080 ones would be my choice.

I wouldn't put twin GFX cards in an Illusion......I think you are gonna want a 1200 or at least a 600/900/902
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...

The 1200 / CP-850 combo is unbeatable.


January 4, 2010 10:05:01 PM

I dont understand the "Nvidia only" policy, unless your big game is Batman Arkham Asylum and you want PhysX.


*Sorry for the sidetrack. I have to debate with JackNaylor over the 5770 a little. While its not the greatest GPU, I think he understated its strengths.
JackNaylorPE said:
, the 5770, other than DX11 really has nothing to offer....http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=14
And the 5770 has low power usage/heat compared to a 260/4870, and its a better HTPC card than either (if you watch alot of HD via the internet).

With single GFX, I'd go 650 watts, double 850 watts. If moderate overclocks, the recommended list is fine, serious OC's, the Editor's Choice list only. said:
With single GFX, I'd go 650 watts, double 850 watts. If moderate overclocks, the recommended list is fine, serious OC's, the Editor's Choice list only.
If you choose 5770s, a good 550W is plenty for one, 650W for two of them.

I wouldn't put twin GFX cards in an Illusion......I think you are gonna want a 1200 or at least a 600/900/902 said:
I wouldn't put twin GFX cards in an Illusion......I think you are gonna want a 1200 or at least a 600/900/902

Twin 5770s (or even 5850s really) would be fine in an illusion. If you are going to get more heat intensive GPUs, overclock the 5850s or need more than 3 internal HDDs and two graphics cards then moving up to 600/900/902 would make alot of sense.
January 4, 2010 10:29:08 PM

But, I'm not getting into a ATI vs nVidia debate, so I picked a side that has never done me harm. nVidia. No more graphics debate. GTS 250 SLI. No overclocking. GTS SLI fits my ideal budget there anyhow.

It isn't photography, so the regular monitors are just fine really. I just do moderate fashion design through Photoshop on my PC... Accurate colors down to the millionth shade isn't necessary due to the IRL fabric being a different shade beyond control anyhow.
January 5, 2010 8:42:30 PM

Doh, G300 series is rumored for a few months from now, or at least to be revealed. I should hold off on the GTS 250 SLI for the system until I find out more.

But I still need a card/monitor combo to upgrade on this PC until I build the new one.
!