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New Build - CyberPower Inc - $2500 or less

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May 20, 2010 5:23:10 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: NLT July BUDGET RANGE: No more than $2500 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: High-end gaming, internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Looking to have it built by a shop, i.e., Cyberpower. No time for self build.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Leaning towards ATI 5870, though have always been an NVIDIA guy till now. Prefer Intel i7 930, overclocked. I like the CM 690 and the Fortress 2 for cases. Will consider dual 5850s if it's worth the money.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 25 inch Samsung monitor in possession, unknown resolution

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Not too worried about “bling”, prefer a relatively quiet setup. Vibrations are distracting.

I’m likely going to go through Cyberpowerinc. I’ve had a build from them before and it was relatively well done and it was an overall good experience. So far this is what I’m looking at:

CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower
SH-B083L 8X Blu-Ray Player/DVDRW Combo
Maximum Enemax 1200MM Case Cooling Fans (8-14 dba)
Intel Core i7-930 2.80GHZ 8M
CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance Thermal Compound
Professional Wiring ($19!!!!)
CoolerMaster V8 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (22dba)
12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer
128GB Corsair Nova Series V128 MLC Solid State Disk
1TB SATA-III 6.0 GB/s 64MB Cache 7200 RPM HDD
6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module
GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Chipset
Windows 7 Home Premium
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Power Supply
Overclock 20%
Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer 24-Bit Sound Card
NZXT Sentry-2 Fan Touch Screen/Temp Display
ATI Radeon 5870 1GB

Total $2434.30, after discounts and shipping.

More about : build cyberpower 2500

May 20, 2010 5:30:58 PM

don't buy from ibuypower or cyberpowerpc. Both are infamous for sending DOA unit and basically never getting them working for you.

Check out their reselleratings page or BBB page.

ibuypower
http://www.resellerratings.com/store/iBUYPOWER
http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/iBuyPowercom-1314...

Cyberpower
http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CyberPower
http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/Cyberpower-Inc-13...

These cheap boutique companies are known to use non name cheapest they can find parts.

If you have to go boutique, cheap and good, use AVAdirect if you use their custom desktop builder (not gaming one).
http://www.akron.bbb.org/newsearch2.asp?ComID=027200390...
http://www.resellerratings.com/store/AVA_Direct


Other good ones are Maingear, Puget systems and Digital Storm
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May 20, 2010 5:35:45 PM

Also, stuff like professional wiring for $19 extra...
Do they have the janitor wire your PC if you don't pay the extra or something?

You're paying for a pro to build your PC, stuff like pro wiring and good packing for shipping should be standard (and is in all the good companies).
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May 20, 2010 5:39:16 PM

Frankly, I don't really care how busy you are. Is the 4-5 hours that it'll take you to build the computer really worth $700+? 'Cause that's what your essentially paying them to build it and put in low quality parts.
BluRay is pointless for computers right now. Leave it out until it gets a computer specific use and/or becomes a lot cheaper.

The SATA III drives aren't worth it right now. They aren't faster than the 500 GB platter SATA II drives (Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung Spinpoint F3) and are a lot more expensive.

You don't need a sound card. Onboard sound is excellent already.

Just so you know, here's what you could get if you build it yourself:

CPU/Mobo: i7-930 and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $474
RAM: Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $215 after rebate
GPU: HD 5970 $700
SSD: Corsair Nova 128 GB $335
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
PSU: Cosair 850W Modular 80+ Silver $170 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $85 (with 2 fans)
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $2,269
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May 20, 2010 7:42:53 PM

^ + 1
(seems like im always +1-ing MA's builds)
although, IMHO, building a computer really doesn't take more than 3 hours including
building the entire case, setting it up with peripherals and installing the necessary software (excluding games, which wont be installed by "Cyberpower", etc.)
u can still sub out the haf 922 for the cm 690 ii advanced (i have that case ;)  ), but if u go with the 5970 make sure there is enough space
(i think there is, but i dont have a 5970 to be 100%)
three other things of note:
one - as long as ur monitor isnt a CRT (which dont really have native resolutions) ur probably at 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080
two - professional wiring/routing is really dependent on how much patience u have and if u have a good case
the cm 690 ii advanced is a good case so...
three - if u inquire about a build on tom's that is not going to be built by urself usually gets responses of encouragement to build it urself! please do so as it is more rewarding and is quite easy! :D 
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May 20, 2010 7:46:31 PM

The 690 will not fit the 5970. Or at least it will be extremely tight.

I agree that it will probably take less than 4 hours. The very first time I built a PC it only took me 2ish to actually put it together and one overnight to get the OS installed. Using the $700 savings, that's an hourly rate of $350. I wish I was paid that...
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May 20, 2010 11:22:54 PM

To be honest I originally did intend to build it myself. I used to mess with this stuff quite a bit when I was 16 or 17 years old....which was about 14 years ago.

Given the encouragement, I will consider doing it myself. It may not be any time soon, but I'm with you all in thinking it would be more rewarding.

We shall see. Thanks for the advice, at any rate, and I will continue to puzzle this thing out...
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May 20, 2010 11:34:21 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Frankly, I don't really care how busy you are. Is the 4-5 hours that it'll take you to build the computer really worth $700+? 'Cause that's what your essentially paying them to build it and put in low quality parts.
BluRay is pointless for computers right now. Leave it out until it gets a computer specific use and/or becomes a lot cheaper.

The SATA III drives aren't worth it right now. They aren't faster than the 500 GB platter SATA II drives (Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung Spinpoint F3) and are a lot more expensive.

You don't need a sound card. Onboard sound is excellent already.

Just so you know, here's what you could get if you build it yourself:

CPU/Mobo: i7-930 and Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $474
RAM: Mushkin Enahnced Redline 3x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 6 $215 after rebate
GPU: HD 5970 $700
SSD: Corsair Nova 128 GB $335
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90
PSU: Cosair 850W Modular 80+ Silver $170 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $90
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20
HSF: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B $85 (with 2 fans)
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $2,269



Couple questions, MA.

I've read quite a bit that getting a dedicated sound card is worth the money as it takes a burden off the rest of the system. You argue against this? Or is it just that the benefits are not worth the extra $100?

I'm interested in overclocking my i7-930. Is the cooling you recommend adequate for this?

Also, regarding the 5970; indeed it is currently the most powerful card on the market, dual GPU processors and all that. Compared to the 5870, is it worth all that extra $$? I've done quite a bit of research, but evidently I may be looking in the wrong areas....

Case-wise, I really do like the CM 690, but I I think the Fortress 2 is even better. Would you recommend the 922 over either of those?
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May 21, 2010 12:50:06 AM

It doesn't take much power to play sound in the first place. Most people buy the sound card for the quality of sound, but with the current onboard sound, the majority of people won't see a difference.

The Megahalems is easily the best air cooler out there. That would be one of my recommendations. If you balk at paying $65 for the heatsink, around $20 for two fans and a bit more for a Y splitter, then the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus is another great cooler.

Yes, the 5970 is worth it. The card is two 5870 cores on one card, just they have been downclocked slightly. So you're getting $800 worth of graphics power for $700. I'd consider that a good deal. Another way to put it is that the 5970 can currently play every game, with details maxed out, on three monitors (5760x1080 resolution) without a problem. I can honestly say that the 5970 won't be the first thing in the build that you'll need to upgrade.

The HAF is easily the best case on the market. It's bigger than many full tower case, but is priced less than most quality mid towers. Not only that, but it's got great cooling, excellent cable management, and many other great features.

While we're on the cases, I'll point out that the 690 will not fit the 5970. The card is a foot long. The Fortress is a nice case, but I can't recommend spending $250 on the case alone. Some other good ones to check out are the Coolermaster Cosmos, HAF 932 (if you really want a window), and the Coolermaster ATCS 840,
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May 21, 2010 1:02:11 AM

GO with Mad's build for sure.
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May 24, 2010 2:07:30 AM

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

XFX HD-587X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998805

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler

Mushkin Enhanced Io MKNSSDIO128GB 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Thermaltake TR2 TRX-750M 750W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80601930

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


$1,932 before shipping and mail-in rebates. I went with the Mushkin SSD over the Corsair, even though it is a tad bit expensive...it got much better ratings. I'm tempted to take it out altogether, however. Very tempted. I really just want it as a boot drive and have enough room left over to store perhaps two games, so...I just feel that 64gb is probably too small for that.

I went with the 5870 over the 5970 first because of the price, and second because I figure in the future I can buy another 5870 and go Crossfire when the 5870 is cheaper.

MA mentioned a y-splitter and 2 fans. Did he mean upgrade two of the case fans? I figured the HAF 922 had decent cooling with stock fans.

I'm getting ready to head out to the field for a couple of weeks, so I will at least wait until I get back to order any of this. Perhaps prices will adjust a bit by then!

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May 24, 2010 2:48:24 AM

Quote:
These people always say "I don't have time to build one" grow a sack and do it. If you really don't have the time to build one, HOW WILL YOU HAVE TIME TO PLAY GAMES ON ONE?!!!!!!!


Buzz off knucklehead, I already said I would. Grow a sack? Who the hell are you? Go away, you're annoying.
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May 24, 2010 12:14:04 PM

It's not a better gaming setup. In terms of performance, brennon's build is actually worse (the i5 vs. the i7, slower RAM). It's also less future proof, as the P55 chipset will be worse for Crossfiring the 5970 (the 8x/8x is only noticeable with 5970s), which you may need later when using Eyefinity, and a PSU that won't handle two 5970s with overclocking. And you added incorrectly. It's $2,330. Granted, not getting Corsair RAM will save $30, getting a cheaper/better HSF like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus would save $50, that still puts you at $2,250.

EDIT: Also forgot that my build included a SSD. Add that to the list of things brennon's build is missing that affect performance...
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May 24, 2010 1:16:58 PM

Mad has a point. Even a 5970 isn't gonna handle 3 1080p monitors. If you plan on sticking with only 1 monitor, a 5970 is all you'll ever need. 3, you're gonna need more GPU power.

Also for over 2k you REALLY should get a SSD...

There is an INC major market shift later this year, but still, I'd recommend getting a nice 80 GB boot drive to start off with. Intel X25-M G2 80 GB.

$195
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 24, 2010 1:44:41 PM

To start, no one here is talking about the 950. It's a factory overclocked CPU that's worthless.

Second, SSDs aren't just as fast as the 7200.12. It an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE faster. SSDs are blistering fast. There isn't a comparision for them in the mechanical drives.

Third, liquid cooling isn't really a plus. Cheap liquid cooling (which you choose) is generally a bad idea. Air can overclock just as high, have less or similar noise, doesn't need maintainence and doesn't have the chance to spring a leak and lose everything. To get real liquid cooing, you'll need a slightly larger case ($60-70 more), a system ($200-300), and a water cooled video card (usually another $100 on top of the card). That's a $360-470 price increase that won't give you a whole lot. It's generally considered a waste of time and money.

Fourth, my build isn't "something else". You obviously didn't look at it. It's using all premium parts (Gigabyte, G.Skill, Corsair, etc.), a faster CPU (that overclocks higher than the i5), the 5970, and is easily the best gaming build you can get right now. Your build uses a lesser CPU, a 5970, expensive (still premium) parts, but leaves little room for expansion.

Finally, the 5970 can CURRENTLY handle Eyefinity. Both banthracis and I are saying that it won't for long. The 5970 already struggles with a few games at 5760x1080 with everything turned up (like Crysis), so it won't be long before it needs to be upgraded. With the i5/750W setup, that would require a new PSU or undervolting some parts and suffering the 4% loss in performance with Crossfire. With my build, you can add the extra 2 monitors latter, then drop in a second 5970 without missing a beat. Also, the two games you mentioned aren't exaclty the most demanding. That makes them irrelevant to what we're talking about as we're not looking at your typical gaming build with this budget.

EDIT: Just to be clear, you're not really helping yourself by refering to your CF 5850 build as your "older setup". The cards have only be out for a few months. Some of us actually have to work for our money.

Also, Crossfired 5850s are the SAME AS a single 5970 (assuming everything is at stock). The 5970 is two 5870 cores on a single card, with the cores downclocked slightly to 5850 speeds. That creates the same effect as Crossfire 5850s. The difference is that the 5970 doesn't eliminate an upgrade path and can easily be overclocked past the dual 5850s.
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May 24, 2010 2:02:42 PM

MA may not, but I run a i5-750 rig with xfire 5850's and an Intel X25-M boot drive.

I also have a i7-920 rig with xfire 4870's and a Spinpoint F3 500gb boot drive.

Both Processors are at a 3.6 OC and all 4 GPU's a pretty much OCe'd to Overdrive limit.

I can easily tell the difference between which PC has the SSD and which doesn't. The difference is night and day when you switch from a NON SSD system to a SSD one. A SSD doesn't feel fast until you switch back to no SSD after a month with one.

I can tell that right now that gaming at 5760x1080 even on 2 OC 5850's is pretty damn low FPS once the AA and other eye candy is enabled. Crysis is downright non playable and even WOW stutters.

You NEED 5970's, and more than one to get crisp frame rates (~40 avg w/ min >24). The P55 platform doesn't work well with more than 1 5970, simple fact. You need to get an 1366 system for that.

I completely disagree with using the P55 platform for a setup that clearly requires multiple 5970's to work.

The issue is not CPU power and it's been shown rather clearly that gaming is heavily GPU bound, not CPU bound even with a 5970.
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scalin...

Crysis for example had zero FPS improvement when going from stock i7-920 to a 4ghz OC.

The issue is that the P55 platform DOES not have the GPU power to manage 3 way eyefinity.
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May 24, 2010 2:37:31 PM

Quote:
@ banthracis quad gpu is not supported by eyefinity!!!!!! It won't work.

3 monitor gameplay with 4x AA or 1 monitor with max AA.



They're 2 separate Rigs... of course I'm not running eyefinity quad xfire on a P55 system with 2 GPU's that are 4870's....

As for SSD's it's more than just boot.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/20
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-ssd-perform...

I'll quote Anand Lal Shimpi, possibly the most respected hardware reviewer alive.

Quote:
It’s the poor random read/write performance of the hard disk that makes some aspects of PC usage so painful. It’s the multi-minute boot times that make users more frustrated with their PCs. While the hard disk helped the PC succeed, it’s the very device that’s killing the PC in today’s instant-on, consumer electronics driven world...I don’t know how else to say this: it’s an order of magnitude faster than a hard drive. It’s the difference between a hang glider and the space shuttle; both will fly, it’s just that one takes you to space.


Look at the Legion Hardware article I linked, or the below articles from Tom's and Anandtech. Crysis will bring even a 5970 to it's limits at 2560x1600. It's much worse once you reach 5760x1080. On my own rig xfire 5850's OC'ed a bit are equivalent to a 5970, and I have occasional stuttering in WOW in DAL and Wintergrasp when I used 3 monitors.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2877/8
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5970,2474...


Edit: I'm normally the guy who argues with Mad against using a 1366 system, but even I agree that in this case, the graphics power of the P55 platform isn't gonna cut it. The OP needs a 1366 systems PCIe Lanes.
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May 24, 2010 2:56:39 PM

A 40 GB isn't useful. For a SSD to be useful, you need it to be big enough to fit your OS, programs and still have 20% free space. A 40 GB one will only leave enough room for one or two games, making it essentially useless. You need at least 80 GB for the SSD, and 128 GB is better. Ideally, two 80 GBs in RAID 0 would be the best.
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May 24, 2010 3:29:08 PM

The SSD. Using the three monitors will hamper your gaming experience because of the lower FPS as we've been trying to say. The SSD will actually add to the experience by improved performance, extremely smooth operation and decreased load times.
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May 24, 2010 3:32:57 PM

OP's long gone by now, but if I were to do a $2500 eyefinity build it'd be like below. Course, as we've been saying, you're not gonna be able to actually game with full eye candy with just 1 5970.

Optical
LG $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitors
3x Asus 21.5" 2ms 1920x1080 $170 each $15 MIR $510 total
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
5970 $700
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
850TX $130 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD
OCZ LE 100gb $330 w/ $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case + Storage Drive
HAF 922 and 7200.12 500GB $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/RAM
i7-930 and G Skill PI DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $454
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MOBO/OS
Win 7 premium 64 bit OEM and GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R $290
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Total: $2473 after MIR and shipping to NYC


If he doesn't need an OS, he can go raid 0 x25-M 80 gb instead.
Actually he could also go x25-v 40GB drives in Raid 0 as well. It'll be cheaper, similar performance and actually pretty close space since Intel Drives require so much less system space thanks to their better controller.

Sandforce drives usually require 28% free space on their drives, intel drives 7%, though Sandforce recently knocked this down to 13%, but I don't know if they have the firmware out yet for the LE drives (they do for Vertex 2, but the two use different controllers, though technically it's really a firmware difference)

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May 24, 2010 3:39:58 PM

Eye-Finity is definitely a preferance, not a standard. I have seen it, and to be honest, its pretty cool, but for me I would rather game on a single monitor.

Sure you can get Eye-Finity in there under $2500, but as others have said, you take a hit on other components. You're limited with less PCIe lanes, and for a "High-end Gaming" system, thats something you should avoid.

I feel the Eye-Finity is something you should grow into, get a solid foundation first, and then add it if you want.

I would assume OP wants to max games and have a powerhouse for some time, well going Eye-Finity will not produce that. Sure you will have the best GPU and 3! monitors, but as others have said, thats straining the system to get the performance the OPs budget desires. I say stick with 1366, and a 5970 for a single monitor, and be content for a while.
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May 24, 2010 4:03:47 PM

Cyberpower sucks! Go DigitalStorm!
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May 24, 2010 4:17:57 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Finally, the 5970 can CURRENTLY handle Eyefinity. Both coldsleep and I are saying that it won't for long. The 5970 already struggles with a few games at 5760x1080 with everything turned up (like Crysis), so it won't be long before it needs to be upgraded.


Technically, that was banthracis, but I would have said the same thing. :) 

I'll try to add in something constructive for the OP in a minute.

@brennon7: have you had an SSD in your system? Since you're claiming that people who haven't played on Eyefinity don't have the frame of reference to compare...have you used an SSD? Do you have a proper frame of reference to compare SSDs vs. traditional hard drives? It certainly doesn't sound like it, as SSDs, while they don't affect gaming, are game-changing at pretty much everything else in your computing experience.

@Dalthius: I'd go with MadAdmiral's build. 128 GB fills up pretty quickly, depending on the games & other apps you are putting on there. I have Win 7, Firefox, Thunderbird, 3 games, some other random stuff, and about 50 GB left out of 120ish. That would be a little tight for an 80 GB drive, and too much for a 64 GB (obviously). Ultimately, you know better than we do what you're going to put on there and how good your discipline is for keeping your drive clean, but my recommendation is 80 GB bare minimum, 128 GB+ if possible.

EDIT: Not at all displeased to be mistaken for banthracis...some name recognition (even if it's misplaced) is a good thing. :) 
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May 24, 2010 4:23:12 PM

^Whoops. Totally forgot who was on my side there... I fixed it to make sense...

The only change I'd make to banthracis' $2,500 build would I'd either step up to the 128 GB Corsair SSD or get a 1 TB 7200.12 or Spinpoint F3.
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May 24, 2010 4:35:47 PM

MadAdmiral said:
^Whoops. Totally forgot who was on my side there... I fixed it to make sense...

The only change I'd make to banthracis' $2,500 build would I'd either step up to the 128 GB Corsair SSD or get a 1 TB 7200.12 or Spinpoint F3.



To be honest I'd rather just drop a monitor and Raid 0 80gb x25-m's, but I was trying to get 3 good monitors into the build :( 
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May 24, 2010 6:16:29 PM

Wow this convo really took off, I like it.

As the OP (yes, I'm still here!), I do not have any interest in Eyefinity. I have seen it, it IS impressive, but I have zero real interest in it. I would prefer to stick with my single 25 inch monitor, it suits me just dandy.

I was on the fence for SSDs, but you've sold me. I'm shooting for 128GB. On the low end is the Kingston, high-end is the Corsair and the Mushkin. Mushkin is more $$ but it seems much better than the Corsair...

Where I'm on the fence at NOW is 5970 vs 5870, especially for a single monitor. MA is probably right, the 5970 is worth the money, but spending $700 on a single card (even though it's like two!) is a hard pill for me to swallow as a so-called "ignorant" consumer.

My other question is, MA, you mention buying a y-splitter and two fans along with the Prolimatech cooler. Are these ADDITIONAL fans, or replacement fans for the HAF 922??

I'm enjoying this immensely, and it is really driving me to buy these parts. I'm close to pulling the trigger, but I'll wait till I get back from the field. 2 to 3 weeks!

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May 24, 2010 6:22:00 PM

Fans: They're additional. The Megahalems is only a heatsink (no fans). To make it useful, you need to buy at least a single 120mm fan. If you want to really overclock, you should get two, which will require a Y splitter for the CPU fan connection.

I agree that spending $700 is a hard decision. I will say that for one monitor, a single 5870 will be good enough to play every game out right now with max details. It's fairly stressed to do that with Crysis, so it's reasonable to assume that it won't last for a really long time without an upgrade. If I had to guess, I'd say it'd be great for at least three years, and only decent for the fourth. I can honestly say that if you got the 5970, you wouldn't need to upgrade the card in the life of the build.
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May 24, 2010 6:31:42 PM

I say go for the HD5970. You have the budget, and you said yourself the goal is "High-end Gaming", so go ahead and treat yourself to the best GPU on the market =)
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May 24, 2010 6:35:50 PM

SSD wise if you're willing to spend $200 get a X25-M G2 80 gb drive.

If you're willing to spend $250, get 2 X250-V 40 GB in Raid 0.

If you're willing to spend $300 get a Vertex LE 100gb. There's the Corsair Nova too. The Vertex is better performing, but the Corsair is ~20 GB larger, but has issues, see below.

If you're willing to spend $400 get 2 X25-M 80GB in Raid 0.


I don't like the Corsair Nova because it's random read/write is just horrendous, and that has the biggest impact on user experience. Really, ATM you should only be using sandforce or Intel controllers for a SSD.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3681/oczs-vertex-2-specia...

Basically all your SSD choices there.
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May 24, 2010 7:09:21 PM

I would go 160gb SSD and GTX 480.

The GTX 480 has awesome multi-gpu scaling, so you could always plug another in later and have soemthing as afast as dual 5970s.

The GTX 480 also handles AA and tesoulation very well.

However, the GTX 480 is 100$ more than the 5870, the the power usage is somewhere bewteen horific and unbearable.

Something for you to think about.
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May 24, 2010 7:12:59 PM

The 480 is a horrible idea. Why pay more for features that NOTHING uses right now? It's not that much more powerful than the 5870, and two of them cost almost 30% more than a 5970, which offers comparable performance to two 480s. Not only that, but it's going to be hard to find a case that two 480s can be in without having major heat issues.

nVidia just doesn't make sense right now. Their cards are too expensive, not powerful enough, use too much power, generate too much heat and focus on features that aren't used. Why pay more for a card that can't do as much and will run up your power bill?
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May 24, 2010 7:22:53 PM

Unless you're into heavy large scale calculations (especially floating-point calculations) you shouldn't be using Nvidia. Even then, you shouldn't be looking at a Fermi but a Tesla.
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May 24, 2010 8:22:53 PM

To be honest, 2 480s rapes a 5970.


The have excellent multi-gpu scaling under the new drivers.

And nothing suong the GTX 480? Everything uses AA!
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May 24, 2010 8:44:38 PM

Based on this review (the only one I could find directly comparing a 5970 vs. 480 SLI), it appears to vary wildly depending on the game. I'm not sure that's worth the $300 more it will cost you to get 2x 480s.

But what do I know, I bought a 5870 instead of a 5970.
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May 24, 2010 8:48:56 PM

You don't need $1,000 worth of GPU's in a 1 monitor at 1920x1080 rig...

Having >60FPS is pointless on a 60hz monitor. A 5970 is able to give excellent framerates even in Crysis w/ 4xAA at 1920x1080, something a single GTX 480 doesn't quite manage.


Anything more than a 5970 for the OP's needs (no eyefinity, 1 monitor) is unnecessary.

As for the unlimited budget other end of the scale question, we've been through that already...
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May 24, 2010 8:52:24 PM

I would say the spotty performance is certainly not worth the extra $300. The 5970 is very consistent and more than powerful enough for anything a game will ever throw at it with standard resolutions (i.e. 1920x1080). I certainly wouldn't spend $300 extra and then take out a personal loan for the power bill (600W at load for dual 480s? Are you kidding me?) to get nothing special.
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May 24, 2010 8:57:11 PM

^ New drivers fixed the SLI problems.

Tom's did an article after the drivers were made I think.

3 GTX 480s auctauly beat 2 5870s in $/Frame.
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May 24, 2010 9:07:17 PM

BULLSH*T. Adding the third card doesn't do ANYTHING. The review you're referring to (has nothing to do with drivers) compared two 480s and two 5870s. That value was ONLY IN GAMES THE 5870 WAS KNOWN TO STRUGGLE IN, AT RESOLUTIONS THAT THE 5870 IS KNOWN TO STRUGGLE WITH, which already handicaps the 480s into a better position. The difference in $/average FPS was only $.20 (1.7%, so it is NOT SIGNIFICANT). Hardly a reaons to buy a 480, as the $/FPS is reversed with one card (the 5870 performs 18.4% better per dollar) and the setup costs $1,010 for the 480s and $798 for the 5870s. Really, if anything, that makes me want to buy the 480 LESS because even when the reviews did everything possible to paint the card in a favorable light, it's still not significantly better.

The only thing the last driver did was add 4-way SLI support. Other than that, nothing in terms of SLI.
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May 24, 2010 9:14:42 PM

coldsleep said:
Based on this review (the only one I could find directly comparing a 5970 vs. 480 SLI), it appears to vary wildly depending on the game. I'm not sure that's worth the $300 more it will cost you to get 2x 480s.

But what do I know, I bought a 5870 instead of a 5970.


Some other bench's for you.

Tri 5870, dual 5970 vs tri and dual 480's
http://www.hardware.info/nl-NL/articles/amdnampoZGCa/Cl...

480 sli vs 5970 and dual 5870's
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2977/nvidia-s-geforce-gtx...

Bear in mind, that the final cost btwn a 5970 and 2 GTX 480's is more than simply $300 in MSRP. there's $40-50 in a more expensive PSU to run them. Cooling, I'm not even gonna address, but it's obviously an issue, just harder to give a definitive cost.

Now assuming you're using the system 4 hrs a Day and using crysis load numbers http://www.anandtech.com/show/2977/nvidia-s-geforce-gtx...
and nation average of $.11 per kwh
http://www.eia.doe.gov/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html
this nets you a cost difference of $46 a year.


In fact, over a 2 year period (which I assume you'll keep this rig for) at 4 hrs of load a day, SLI GTX 480's cost's as much as 3 way xfire btwn a 5970 and 5870. This is total system + power cost.


So yea... Nvida, not worth it ATM.


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May 24, 2010 9:24:56 PM

Oh and Mad don't get worked up over builderbob. He and I already got into a long argument over quad xfire vs 3 way SLI already, and he ended up admitting he was pretty much there just to start a flame war.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/286032-31-rate-build

Just look at the last few posts before mods locked the thread.

cmcghee358 said:
So lemmie get this straight. You make an epeen post, and even give a 1-12 grading tool. Then when people critic it, you get all poopy. Then 13 posts later you set the ruler to only measure frames in crysis.

So why did you even make the post?


builderbobftw said:
I enjoy flame wars.



aford10 said:
It's one of several reasons you've racked up a lengthy sanction record. Your rope is running short.

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May 24, 2010 9:41:35 PM

^ What?

Quad CFX never was brought up.

Tri SLI was ALSO never brought up.

And the majoity fo the Sabctions i recieved were misunderstandings, I got 10 of them for (yes 10, but all were removed in 10 minutes) for copying Randmizers avatar.

I got other sanctions for saying that Palits 1 year warrenty was short. (Palit major sponser here)
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May 24, 2010 9:46:47 PM

What exactly is the 980 doing for a gamer? It's a horrible waste of money if all you're doing is gaming. I'd much rather have the 5970 over the 980.

I'd also pay the $3 extra for CL 7 sticks.

Also, what exactly do you need a $100 HSF for? You might as well save $60-70 and get a great Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus.

I find it strange that the guy arguing for Eyefinity in a $2,500 build doesn't do it in what he would build...
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May 24, 2010 9:49:22 PM

builderbobftw said:
^ New drivers fixed the SLI problems.

Tom's did an article after the drivers were made I think.

3 GTX 480s auctauly beat 2 5870s in $/Frame.


Looks to me like Tri-SLI was brought up...
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May 24, 2010 10:05:21 PM

A single 5870 isn't quite sufficient. Especially in a $2,500 build. The 5870 can barely play Crysis right now with max details at 1080p. We're not even talking about 60 FPS. The 5870 won't get 40 on average. Why would you base a high-end gaming build on a GPU that won't stand up against games for the next four years?
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May 24, 2010 10:06:57 PM

builderbobftw said:
^ What?

Quad CFX never was brought up.

Tri SLI was ALSO never brought up.




You're right, we've been through this TWICE already, not just once. We also talked about quadfire 2x 5970 vs 3way and 2 way sli 480's.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/286036-31-this-3400-b...

Spoiler
banthracis said:
The only published comparison of xfire 5970's vs 2 way sli or 3 way sli 480's is here.
http://www.hardware.info/nl-NL/articles/amdnampoZGCa/Cl...

Summary
Heaven 2.0 Bench-
5970 xfire 78.2 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 69.2 FPS
xfire 5970 13% faster

Metro 2033
5970 xfire 80.3 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 86.1 FPS
480 2 way sli 7% faster

Dirt 2
5970 xfire 149.1 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 129.6 FPS
xfire 5970 15% faster

Call of Pripyat
5970 xfire 92 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 72 FPS
xfire 5970 27% faster

Hawx
5970 xfire 213 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 169 FPS
xfire 5970 26% faster

Metro 2033
5970 xfire 127.3 FPS
480 2 way SLI - 133.9 FPS
480 2 way sli 5% faster

On Average 2 way 480 sli vs 5970 xfire

5970 xfire is faster in 4 benchmarks, average 20.25%
480 2 way sli is faster in 2 benchmarks average 6%


FYI 5970 xfire beats 3 way SLI 480 in 2 benchmarks and basically ties in a third.

Please show me these magical benchmarks you have access to.

edit: corrected math error


Quote:

builderbobftw said:


yes, 2 480s do indeed beat 2 5970s. (Think of as 4 5870s)



Ok that statement is just laughable. 2 480gtx beats 2 5870's by less than 6% at 1920x1200 (in your vaulted Crysis as ultimate system power indicator, no less). It's not going anywhere near 2 5970's...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-480-3-w...


builderbobftw said:
It becuase NV has awesome scaling ion the 480s, and ATI Quadfire scaling is luagable.

Just cause a 5970 owns a 480 doesn't mean 2 5970s beats 2 480s.

Think before you talk :fou: 

And Crysis is the game hwere the GTX 480 fails the hardest.

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May 24, 2010 10:12:56 PM

2119888,53,563480 said:
If you can have the fastest processor on earth, why not get it?
said:



....because an overclocked 930 is going to give me all the CPU power I'll need for a good long while, and I can use the extra money on things that matter as much (or more) than having a nice rig...like booze, or parts for the Harley :) 

You guys have put together some awesome builds, I'm very impressed and very CONVINCED that I need to put this puppy together on my own. I'm definitely not 100% on my build yet, but I'm definitely going with an SSD (still thinking long and hard about the Mushkin 128gb, but now I'm considering the Intel 80gb), and I'm thinking the 5870 is the way to go...In the distant future I can add another 5870, I'm willing to bet a 750 watt Thermaltake PSU can handle it.

I'll probably go with the Samsun F3 1TB, too....decisions, decisions. Guess I will have to see how prices look in a couple of weeks.

Lol, what makes matters worse is I just got my New Homeowner's Tax Credit today....my finger is getting twitchy, I'm ready to buy!
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May 24, 2010 10:21:19 PM

Quote:
Well if you going to waste money gaming at 1080p you might as well do it right. At 1080p even a 5870 is overkill. The OP said he didn't want EYEFINITY so I modified the build to show him what he could get with $2500 and it includes the fastest processor on earth 80gb SSD 5870, MOBO for crossfire later... etc.... If you can have the fastest processor on earth, why not get it?

We are talking about 1080p here there is no difference in 60fps and 120fps on a 60hz monitor. So one 5870 is sufficient and you might as well get the king of processors.


How is gaming with one monitor "wasting money"? I'm supposed to buy two more monitors, a new desk to accomodate THREE monitors, all for...what? I mean, really, Eyefinity is not worth it to me!

What an odd thing to be so judgemental about...I think you need to get out more, buddy.
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May 24, 2010 11:30:09 PM

^

Not realy mate .

A 5850 maxes 16x10

a 5970 is needed for 19x12 crysis/metro
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May 25, 2010 2:49:58 AM

Video shot with Moto Droid Hehehe

Metro 2033 Maxed out at 1920 x 1080 on a single 5870. i5 750 to 4.0ghz for the run.
I ran 3 different settings throughout the video 2 mins in I switch to very high settings and 3:40 min in it is at max settings possible.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI-MEUAeCa8

Metro 2033 eyefinity 5888 x 1080 on single 5870 normal settings dx 11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFhABk6dDuQ

Metro 2033 at 5940 x 1080 i5 750 with crossfire 5850s normal settings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jar6E7wV0w

Crysis Warhead Max settings with a single 5870 1920 x 1080

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FazodHNcrZY

Single 5870 crysis warhead at 5904x1080 mainstream settings AA off
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xJttyCFvsU

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Crossfire 5850s Eyefinity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjxpGOuW9B4

BFBC2 single 5870 Eyefinity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eah9Nu6YE84
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May 25, 2010 4:08:00 PM

brennon7 said:
Video shot with Moto Droid Hehehe

Metro 2033 Maxed out at 1920 x 1080 on a single 5870. i5 750 to 4.0ghz for the run.
I ran 3 different settings throughout the video 2 mins in I switch to very high settings and 3:40 min in it is at max settings possible.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI-MEUAeCa8

Metro 2033 eyefinity 5888 x 1080 on single 5870 normal settings dx 11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFhABk6dDuQ

Metro 2033 at 5940 x 1080 i5 750 with crossfire 5850s normal settings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jar6E7wV0w

Crysis Warhead Max settings with a single 5870 1920 x 1080

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FazodHNcrZY

Single 5870 crysis warhead at 5904x1080 mainstream settings AA off
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xJttyCFvsU

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Crossfire 5850s Eyefinity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjxpGOuW9B4

BFBC2 single 5870 Eyefinity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eah9Nu6YE84


Nice vids, bren. Eyefinity is definitely impressive, but....eh, I just can't seem to bite. You definitely have a passion for this stuff.
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