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Money vs speed - what would you do?

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January 4, 2010 8:28:15 PM

Hi

I have made a few posts, and keep going back to first base again. So here is how I see it. I am sure I am not the only one having these thought processes.

Option 1

i7 920, Asus P6TD Deluxe, 6gb Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D Triple, Antec 1200, 5780, Intel 80GB SSD, ATI 5870, Noctua NH-U12P, Antec power supply

Pros - fast, easy to overclock, long term support for i9 etc
Cons - expensive (£1500 appox)

Option 2

i7 860, MSI P55M-GD45 or , Antec 300 or Xigmatek MidGard Midi Tower, ATI 5850, Intel 80gb SSD, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7, OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply, 6gb Corsair Dominator XM3 PC3-12800

Pros: Cheaper :-)
Cons: how much slower than option 1?

Option 3

i5 750, MSI P55M-GD45, Antec 300 or Xigmatek MidGard Midi Tower, ATI 5850, 6gb Corsair Dominator XM3 PC3-12800, Intel 80gb SSD, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7, OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply

Pros: Cheapest
Cons: how much slower than option 1 or 2?

Other things to consider

Usage: moderate amount of Gaming, watching movies on LCD via HDMI, Dual Screen 24inch, coding, adobe, general browsing, word etc however lots of multitasking so need memory!
Storage: I have 4 x SATA 1TB disks I already own and want to create a raid in the machine. So yes a bit of heat.
Overclocking. Option 1 I see as an easy overclocking. Would option 2 and 3 be ok with the case size?
Case: I want a case thats small, clean, IO on front, no covers to break, screwless ideally. However will a small case antic 300 etc mean harder to air-cool to overclock?
GPU: I want to play Crysis, Frycry 2 etc at high quality, 4xAA etc. ATI 5870 seems the best option, but will I notice a real difference from a ATI 5850?
SSD: like idea of quick boot. Intel seems best option for speed and price. However understand its a big chunk of money and not really needed and could be added later.
Memory: No idea if spending more is faster, but always thought more reliable.
Power Supply: understand its very important so happy to get a good quality one, but need to take into account the storage needs.

The bottom line is basically, Not sure which option to go for. I don't want to spend extra £X just for the sake of 10% speed boost which in real world I wont notice. There are no major games due this year that I can see needing anything more than the above. I have been on a Macbook Pro for last 3 years due to traveling so first desktop build for a while.

What would you do?

Thanks (sorry for long post!)

More about : money speed

January 4, 2010 8:48:49 PM

A 5870 is maybe 20% faster than a 5850. If you are playing crysis at 1920x1200 (no AA) then even a 5870 only hits around 35 FPS at max settings.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5970,2474...
check out the above linked article with the most powerful GPUs benchmarked and decide if its worth it to go from a 5850 at 30fps to a 5870 at 35fps. If you are at 1680x1050 the FPS goes from 35 to 40.
January 4, 2010 8:58:28 PM

Options 2 & 3 are you looking to buy a 4gb and 2gb kit? Because that motherboard only supports dual channel memory and has four slots. When you go to build any of them three make sure you have internet readily available. Initial installations of Windows 7 on SSD drives can sometimes be unstable.
Related resources
January 4, 2010 9:05:21 PM

The i7 860 is the best processor out of the bunch and its platform is much more affordable over an 1366, generally speaking. Now if you really wanted the 1366 platform you should switch the motherboard to the ASrock Extreme X58. Its much more affordable than the Asus board and has plenty of features and performs very well.

The i7 860 is in fact the faster of the bunch and if that is whats really important to you, you should stick with that. With what you have in mind for PC usage the 1156 platform will work just fine. The whole "upgrading to i9" hype for the 1366 platform is a pretty sad joke. The i9 processor will be rediculously priced and its not even necessary to get one. As for overclocking, all of those processors overclock extremely well. I've never heard any problems with overclocking in a Antec 300 case. The only real reason people should get the Antec 1200 is for liquid cooling. Each of the Antec 1200, 902, 900, and 300 cases have excellent airflow and shouldn't hinder overclocking performance.

There is a performance difference between the 5850 and 5870. You won't really see the difference or care about it until DX11 games become mainstream productions. For now a single 5850 will cream any game as long as your resolution isn't extreme and on 3 monitors. If you can afford it get the 5870, obviously.

You may also want to consider saving some money getting the i5 processor and use that saved cash on the 5870. Honestly, for your PC usage you really should get the i5 processor anyways. You will most likely not be needing the hyper threading involved with the i7 860 and that is pretty much the only difference between the two.
January 4, 2010 9:06:14 PM

first off, hello :D  now, here are some benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410-...

as shown in those, the 860 and the 920 are about even, and relatively closely followed by the 750. now for the video cards, it seems to be about a 5-10 fps difference between the 5850 and 5870:

http://forums.hexus.net/graphics-cards-monitors/171214-...

so i might go for the 5870 if u plan to max out high fps games. also great ssd, but look at these:

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 intel has great read, but sub-hdd write, so i would look at those, and the last 2 save some money, since 64 gigs is more than enough. also, triple channel memory doesnt work with the 1156 boards, so you either get 4 or 8 gigs. if you want a small case with great features, look at this;

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

to simply answer your question get a 860, 5870, maybe 8 gigs of 1333-1600 MHz low latency ram, one of the ssds i recommended (although yours is good) that psu is fine, but look into a 750 watt corsair, and everything else looks good, sorry for the long reply :D 
January 4, 2010 9:09:37 PM

I'd go with Option 1, except I'd have .... or be planning to add that 2nd 5870 vid card and for that I'd want twin PCI-E x 16 lanes. That would be a CP-850 PSU and I'd drop the Corsairs for a set of Mushkin 998961's and Prolimatech Megahalems. I'd go for the new noctua NH-D14 but it's weight is a bit scary.



If not doing a 2nd hi end vid card, I'd probably do the 860
January 5, 2010 2:36:37 AM

Hi

Updated my spec. Only question left is, what about the motherboard now going for a i7 860, is that UD2 good enough? I will try and overclock a bit of possible.

All of this plus 4 1tb SATA disks is 700w enough?

Xigmatek MidGard Midi Tower - Black - No PSU 58
Novatech ATI Radeon 5770 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Graphics Card 281
Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 Intel P55 Micro ATX (Socket 1156) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard 88
Intel Core i7 860 157
G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit x 2 (8gb total) 160
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply 78
Samsung S223C 22x DVD+/-RW 8x Dual Layer DVD-RAM SATA Black - OEM 20
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler 20
Novatech Adapter Kit to Mount 2.5" HDD in 3.5" Drive Bay 6
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit DVD - RETAIL 91
Samsung PB22-J 64GB 2.5" SATA-II MLC Solid State Hard Drive 152

total now at £1111
January 5, 2010 11:32:03 AM

This motherboard is $30 more expensive but it gives you the option to Crossfire/SLI.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The board you currently have in mind on getting really isn't designed with that in mind. If you are planning on just using only one video card, you have a decent board already.

January 5, 2010 12:15:24 PM

-1 Bohley K
Forget crossfire on any p55 Motherboard, you will just be wasting the speed of your GPU - If you must crossfire/sli go with the x58 setup like JackNaylor said.

Also, drop one of those kits of RAM, you really will hardly see any difference and it will inhibit your overclocking headroom. Use the £80 you save on either upgrading your GPU from (what I presume you meant when you wrote 5770 (at £280!!!??)) your 5850 to a 5870 OR get a Corsair H50 CPU cooler (£60 from Overclockers.co.uk) which is superior to pretty much any air cooler, far quieter and doeesn't take up the same amount of space as an average 2 bedroom apartment..

I would try and use a bit of that cash to get the intel ssd too, or even better the Crucial mentioned earlier or an OCZ vertex... both are excellent.

Also, were you only going to get the SSD? I would get a storage HDD aswell - Spinpoint F3 or seagate Barracuda .12 are both great choices.

I must say, the build looks very impressive - only one thing - YOU SHOULD DEFINATLEY OVERCLOCK THAT CPU!!! Seriously, it's free substantial performance and your CPU is an excellent overclocker.

Spend a day reading up about it and you'll be fine.



January 5, 2010 2:52:46 PM

fruees said:
-1 Bohley K
Forget crossfire on any p55 Motherboard, you will just be wasting the speed of your GPU - If you must crossfire/sli go with the x58 setup like JackNaylor said.



Yes, a whopping 5-10 FPS difference on P55. If he is getting a 5770 he should consider Crossfire. If he said 5870, he wouldn't really need it.

Corsair H50, expensive with not that much difference, if any over a top air cooler. At least not enough to warrant the price.The H50 also carries a a fresh fragrence of OMG Corsair with that additional wallet rape, I mean investment.
January 5, 2010 3:27:11 PM

lol...."OMG Corsair??" I take it that's a moral rant against the huge conglomorate that is corsair!!??

Fair enough, but the H50 is good, even if it is expensive. Would best a Megashadow or the new Noctua and is cheaper than both of those (U.K at least). My Q6660 at 3.4 idles at 27-33C and never above 55 on load with the H50, but for me it isn't just about the temps, but the noise when the cooler is being pushed....

Titan Fenrir, dark Knight, Core Contact are all fine at idle but make a racket when on load.

I apologise for the -1 though Bohley.

Good luck with the build OP

January 5, 2010 5:42:21 PM

fruees said:
Fair enough, but the H50 is good, even if it is expensive. Would best a Megashadow or the new Noctua

Thats not how I read the reviews. It doesnt seem to beat a noctua 12 in temp or noise, much less the massive new Noctua 14.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/17481/4

The h50 is just a 120mm fan blowing over a 120mm set of fins. That setup can only cool so much regardless of whether the heat is transferred to the fins by heat pipe or tubes of liquid.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-h50-fort120...
At only $80, it’s difficult to exclude the H50 from our recommendations, but its performance level is not what we'd consider exceptional, either. We’d choose it for situations where a 120 mm semi-remote radiator fits, but a 6.25” air-cooling tower doesn’t, or whenever additional space it required around the CPU socket. Otherwise the big air coolers provide better overall value. said:
At only $80, it’s difficult to exclude the H50 from our recommendations, but its performance level is not what we'd consider exceptional, either. We’d choose it for situations where a 120 mm semi-remote radiator fits, but a 6.25” air-cooling tower doesn’t, or whenever additional space it required around the CPU socket. Otherwise the big air coolers provide better overall value.
January 6, 2010 6:07:39 AM

That's funny, the way I read it it seems to destroy the Noctua

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cooling/2009/07/29/cor...

For any Intel cpu it owns, as can be seen from this review. The only necessary factor is a case with good airflow.

AMD results from this test are very poor, but that's due to the case they tested it in.


January 6, 2010 7:22:12 AM

fruees said:
That's funny, the way I read it it seems to destroy the Noctua

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cooling/2009/07/29/cor...

For any Intel cpu it owns, as can be seen from this review. The only necessary factor is a case with good airflow.

AMD results from this test are very poor, but that's due to the case they tested it in.

Interesting, the TechReport review is also an AM3 system. Toms review, however was a 3.8HGz i7 920 and it didnt beat a cogage true spirit. Most of the reviews I have read place it about the same as top end aircoolers, Ill have to do some checking and see what systems they were in.
January 6, 2010 1:17:05 PM

I think it must hinge on what case they use, the AM3 was tsted in a cosmos which has poor airflow..... Even still I would have thought performance on a cooler AM3 chip would be better, not worse....

Agreed - is roughly on par with the big 2 air coolers (megashadow and noctua14). I guess it boils down to noise reduction and if you're looking at load temps....

What cooling are you using Dnd?
January 6, 2010 5:08:08 PM

You can hit "more info" then "member config" to see. My system is aging and far from high end, but still performs pretty well for the MMOs I play.
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