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Gaming PC AND Mini for $2500

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June 10, 2010 2:11:29 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Two Months
BUDGET RANGE: 2250 (allocating 250 for a mini)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Watching Movies, General Multimedia, Surfing, Work/School

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I need EVERYTHING. Including mouse/keyboard, monitor, speakers etc.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Open to all suggestions

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am open to all suggestions and recommendations. I did want an i7930 and a full tower case and a SPANKING monitor, but I'm not decided on anything.

OVERCLOCKING: Not sure. If someone could explain the needs/benefits and whether or not I can do without this feature, I will be thankful. Additionally, what's the cost benefit of OC?

CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have read so many threads here and else where on the benefits of an i5 vs an i7 and on the 1366 vs 1150 pins. I would like to get at least a little future proof ability on the system as well. I'm also a bit confused about whether getting an 80gb SSD and installing the OS on it as opposed to just getting two good 7200s in RAID. Logic to the build would be highly appreciated! Ty so much in advance guys

More about : gaming mini 2500

June 10, 2010 2:40:42 PM

It would make it alot easier if you had somewhere to start. I think some others agree with me to say we are not your personal designers, we are here to help, not do something for you.
June 10, 2010 2:48:31 PM

What is a mini? Do you mean one of those macs? And I second on magruder its much easier for us if you give is a configuration which we can then improve or comment on(or maybe that won't be neccesary lol)
Related resources
June 10, 2010 2:51:30 PM

also 1366 nor 1156 or really future proof new sockets are coming out next year. The 1366 is more high end though which offers a few advantages(tripple channel and 16/16 lanes)
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 2:58:51 PM

Um what's a Mini?

Overclocking is used to get more performance out of a CPU. It allows you to get the performance of an expensive chip for much less price.

For example, every i7 9XX CPU is actually the same chip, from the $280 i7-920 to the $1,000 i7-975 (exception is the hexacore i7-980x). The difference between these is merely the clock speed. By overclocking, you can take a $280 i7-920 and have it perform as well, or better than the $1,000 i7-975.

The downside is voided warranty, increased heat and power use and reduced lifespan of the CPU.

For gaming the i7 CPU's are not worth it. Their performance is not better than an i5-750 (worse actually sometimes), despite their much higher cost.

The exception is if you plan on using more than 2 GPU's. the p55 chipset is limited to 16 lanes of PCIe 2.0 for GPU's. This becomes an issue once you use more than 2 GPU's. For that case, you'll need x58 with it's 32 lanes of PCIe 2.0

SSD's are faster than HD's. Not just by a bit, but by orders of magnitude in some cases. You could Raid 0 100 mechanical drives and not reach a fraction of an SSD's random read/write speeds (most important bench for system responsiveness).

Even velociraptors aren't on the graph when compared to SSD's.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/22

SSD'd however, do NOT increase FPS in games. They significantly speed up system responsiveness, boot speeds, and allow infinite number of apps/programs to be opened simultaneously up to bandwidth limit.

If none of your works needs utilize highly threaded software then a i5-750 build would be the way to go.

Keyboard and mice are really personal preference. I've included 2 often recommend basic gaming ones. However, if you want fancy macro buttons, on the fly programming etc, then you'll have to look at others.

i5-750 build

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

Case
HAF 922 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
Spinpoint F3 1tb $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD
Intel X25-m 80 Gb $225
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
Asus 23.6" 1920x1080 $200 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

PSU
Corsair 750TX $110 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G Skill Ripjaw 1600 CAS 7 $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/MOBO
i5-750 and ASUS P7P55D-E Pro $375
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HSF
Hyper 212 Plus $30
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...

OS
Win 7 Premium 64 bit OEM $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Speakers
Logitech 5.1 system $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keyboard
Saitek Eclipse $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mouse
MX518 $42
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total:$2203 before $20 MIR and shipping

June 10, 2010 3:02:50 PM

banthracis - Do you have builds already made or do you just like to make them for fun? It seems like alot of work for someone who wants help but isnt willing to help himself (or herself).
June 10, 2010 3:04:39 PM

Somebody_007 has a point, they are not future PROOF but the higher end builds will last you longer before you need to switch over to a new setup.

I prefer getting the lower end of the good stuff, because i like to upgrade around every year. Example: Cheap i7 with DDR3 tri channel and a 360gtx instead of a 380.
June 10, 2010 3:24:17 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm prob missing something. You guys suggested that I give you a starting point...what else was my first post about? If you're asking me to list specs then you did not READ my first post...

I can't decide the CPU...hence I can't decide on the MB.
I can't decide on the RAM
I can't decide on the storage

If I can't decide on those three things, I can't give you a spec listing point. Hence I posted on the two things I AM sure about...the first being my price range, the second being my needs.

I was hoping that this would be more of a discussion on which processor/socket unit a gamer should go for. I am going to purchase the actual parts 2 months from now, so getting the specifics in a hurry isn't really the point.

PS a mini is a netbook. HP calls it's netbooks minis.
And sorry if I sounded mean :( 
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 3:36:38 PM

thebu1ld said:
I'm sorry, but I'm prob missing something. You guys suggested that I give you a starting point...what else was my first post about? If you're asking me to list specs then you did not READ my first post...


Don't listen to them. Your first post was perfectly fine.

Banthracis' build is quite good.

You could also consider going with an AMD Phenom II 955 X4 and a 790FX/890FX motherboard, which may have a little longer upgrade life than the i5-750, but if you're not going to upgrade within a year or two after building the computer, it is probably not worth it.

At a $2000+ budget for a gaming rig, you can afford (and should consider) pretty much any non-$1k processor. The processors that will give you the most value at that budget are:
i7-930 - a good choice if you plan on doing other tasks that will make use of hyperthreading, a little pricey if not - $290
i5-750 - best Intel chip for gaming value - $200
Phenom II X4 955/965 - best AMD gaming chip, slightly more viable upgrade path - $150-$180

The i7-930 has additional costs above the i5-750/Phenom II, as it's recommended to buy a triple-channel RAM kit, and the socket 1366 motherboards tend to be a little more expensive.

If you're not comfortable getting a 5970, you could consider a 5870 and think about CrossFire in a year or two, or a 470/480 an think about SLI in the same timeframe.
June 10, 2010 3:40:01 PM

Banthracis...ty for the post and information, I've read your guides and seen your posts on numerous other threads before.

A few questions (and these may make me seem like a "noob")

1) If an i5 is good enough for gamers, then is the i7 line made solely for those who do a lot of video rendering and use programs such as Adobe MS or Autocad? Are there any issues a year or two from now (such as performance decrease) that would be in the i5 and NOT in the i7?

2) Say I want to sell my unit after two years and want to recoup some of my money. What is the depreciation rate of these machines and which unit (a higher i7/1336 socket or the i5) will hold it's value more? Or will it be an insignificant difference? For example if I buy an i7 machine with the 1600 RAM for 2300, will I be able to sell it for say 70% or $1600. Will a similar i5 depreciate at a much faster rate?

3) When would you suggest I actually buy this system? I was thinking August/September, but do you think I should wait for any upcoming major advancements?
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 3:48:27 PM

magruder13 said:
banthracis - Do you have builds already made or do you just like to make them for fun? It seems like alot of work for someone who wants help but isnt willing to help himself (or herself).


I tailor builds to people as much as possible. More info I get the better tailored I can make it.

One of the advantages/disadvantages of my job is that I have lots of downtime while waiting for my staff and staff at our partner institutions to get stuff done before I can proceed with projects.

Builds take ~10 minutes, which is a good way to not be bored during downtime. I also spend a lot of time on conference calls so I just do builds when I'm not talking.
June 10, 2010 3:48:52 PM

"You could also consider going with an AMD Phenom II 955 X4 and a 790FX/890FX motherboard, which may have a little longer upgrade life than the i5-750, but if you're not going to upgrade within a year or two after building the computer, it is probably not worth it.

At a $2000+ budget for a gaming rig, you can afford (and should consider) pretty much any non-$1k processor. The processors that will give you the most value at that budget are:
i7-930 - a good choice if you plan on doing other tasks that will make use of hyperthreading, a little pricey if not - $290
i5-750 - best Intel chip for gaming value - $200
Phenom II X4 955/965 - best AMD gaming chip, slightly more viable upgrade path - $150-$180

The i7-930 has additional costs above the i5-750/Phenom II, as it's recommended to buy a triple-channel RAM kit, and the socket 1366 motherboards tend to be a little more expensive.

If you're not comfortable getting a 5970, you could consider a 5870 and think about CrossFire in a year or two, or a 470/480 an think about SLI in the same timeframe.[/quotemsg]"

Thanks for your post and advice.

I've never had an AMD before and while I said I am open to all suggestions, I do have an Intel bias when it comes to processors for gaming.
And I tend to agree on your point in regards to the 5870. Am I really going to see a difference in FPS or gaming on a 60Hz monitor on MOST games between the two cards that would justify the $300 price difference? And is the triple-channel RAM kit really going to help boost my over all system performance?
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:04:24 PM

thebu1ld said:
Banthracis...ty for the post and information, I've read your guides and seen your posts on numerous other threads before.

A few questions (and these may make me seem like a "noob")

1) If an i5 is good enough for gamers, then is the i7 line made solely for those who do a lot of video rendering and use programs such as Adobe MS or Autocad? Are there any issues a year or two from now (such as performance decrease) that would be in the i5 and NOT in the i7?

2) Say I want to sell my unit after two years and want to recoup some of my money. What is the depreciation rate of these machines and which unit (a higher i7/1336 socket or the i5) will hold it's value more? Or will it be an insignificant difference? For example if I buy an i7 machine with the 1600 RAM for 2300, will I be able to sell it for say 70% or $1600. Will a similar i5 depreciate at a much faster rate?

3) When would you suggest I actually buy this system? I was thinking August/September, but do you think I should wait for any upcoming major advancements?


1. Gaming is GPU limited not CPU. Despite Intel's advertising, you could honestly probably max out even a 5970 at 1920x1080 with an athlon ii x3 if you OC enough. Gaming industry as a whole is being help back due to the extremely long cycle of the current consoles. They won't be replaced until 2014 earliest according to MS and Sony.

As a result, all major companies create games that run on 4 yr old hardware and DX 9. Any DX10/11 stuff you see if mostly marketing gimmicks. Take a look at the Heaven Benchmark if you want to see what a native DX11 game should look like.

That said, outside 3D and eyefinity like giant resolutions, there won't be much push towards higher hardware requirements until next gen consoles. It's simple cost/benefit. No point making a game a huge % of the audience can't play (crytek learned this the hard way with Crysis).

Like I said, only reason to go x58 for gaming is if you need more than 2 GPU's. Only thing in the next few years I see needing that is eyefinity and 3d.

2. PC depreciate fast. However, if you time things right you can sell a custom made system for about cost a year later. For example, I built my last rig back in october 09 for $1750 ish. i5-750, Ga-UD4 (pre USB 3/sata 6) xfire 5850, win 7 pro, x25-m 80gb, 4gb g skill ripjaw, Element G case, corsair 750tx, 2 spinpoint f3 1tb, random optical, 24" monitor.

If I were to sell this system this October before sandy bridge comes out, I'd probably be able to sell it for $1,750 ish, since it would still be a top of the line gaming build. Actually, funny part is that this RIG is actually MORE expensive to build today then back then, LOL ( I got my 5850's at $259).

However, if I waited till next year after Sandy bridge and possibly the HD 6xxx series comes out, the value of the system would be a lot less. Exact value would depend on performance increase and price of the newest components. This would be the same for either i5 or i7. the i7-9xx line is actually older tech than i5-750.

3. Honestly, if you find a time with good deals it's often cheaper than waiting for a holiday. Example, currently the Samsung F3 1tb drives are $70, a very good price. Only exception is really cyber monday (mon after thanksgiving). But, if you're waiting that long, might as well wait for Sandy Bridge.


June 10, 2010 4:07:09 PM

First of all srry about saying your first post was bad having read over it it actually contains quite some information. But there are some who just say I have this budget build me a system and I hate it when they do that. So sorry about that.

Then about the system prices going down. It's pretty hard to predict. First of all the element of luck plays quite a role. Also I think if you want to sell for as much as possible I think the i7 would be better as it has those features like 16/16 and tripple channel which make it very upgradeable. For example you could make it have very fast ram, have a 6-core and go 4-way sli so it has some possibilities.

Tripple channel does improve ram speed by quite a lot. But then again even such an increase in ram speed shouldn't increase real world performance by much.

About the ssd. As far as I know raid0 on 2 fast Hdd's will perform similarly in most ways exept response time. So if you open some proggrams simoultaniously the ssd will be superior with quite a lead actually.

I wouldn't go amd though. For a high end build like this i5 and i7 should be the way to go.

I find the 5970 a very bad choice actually it's bassically on par with 5850 CF sometimes slower while priced higher and being far hotter. I think that 5870 and adding more later is the way to go.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:10:53 PM

thebu1ld said:

Thanks for your post and advice.

I've never had an AMD before and while I said I am open to all suggestions, I do have an Intel bias when it comes to processors for gaming.


Well, you certainly have the money to afford an Intel processor. :) 

Here's a comparison of the i5-750 vs. the Phenom II X4 955. Except for Far Cry 2, they seem pretty similar in performance, and that's at a lower resolution, where differences are emphasized. At 1920xNNNN, the graphics card is going to matter a lot more than the CPU.

To give some perspective, I just recently built a new rig after researching (mostly on here) for about 6 months. I had intended to go with an i7-920/930 up until about April, but after Intel announced that they're replacing Socket 1366 next year, I decided to go with AMD, as the AM3 socket is still on the roadmap next year (and they have a better history of providing upgrade paths).

However, I'm likely to upgrade to a new processor next year when AMD comes out with their new line. If you're likely to just keep the build without upgrading (aside from a video card), then Intel is a great choice.

Don't get me wrong, both Intel & AMD provide fine products. Pick the one that suits your needs & budget.

And I tend to agree on your point in regards to the 5870. Am I really going to see a difference in FPS or gaming on a 60Hz monitor on MOST games between the two cards that would justify the $300 price difference? And is the triple-channel RAM kit really going to help boost my over all system performance? said:
And I tend to agree on your point in regards to the 5870. Am I really going to see a difference in FPS or gaming on a 60Hz monitor on MOST games between the two cards that would justify the $300 price difference? And is the triple-channel RAM kit really going to help boost my over all system performance?


On one monitor, you're unlikely to see much difference between a 5870 and a 5970. Going to 3 monitors, you'd notice, I'm sure. And no, RAM never really adds much to gaming once you've got enough to run the game and any background tasks comfortably. Today, 4 GB is more than enough for gaming, you would just want to stick with triple-channel for the i7-930 so that you don't end up dropping down to single-channel (which might be a noticeable difference).

And regarding storage...at your budget, you should really get an SSD for a boot drive. As banthracis mentioned, it's not going to improve gaming (except for level loading times), but it will really improve the general computing experience. Your computer will feel much snappier than with a traditional hard drive. Anandtech's SSD Relapse is an excellent overview, though it's a couple months old, and one or two new products have come out since then.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:14:10 PM

thebu1ld said:

And I tend to agree on your point in regards to the 5870. Am I really going to see a difference in FPS or gaming on a 60Hz monitor on MOST games between the two cards that would justify the $300 price difference? And is the triple-channel RAM kit really going to help boost my over all system performance?


Depends on the game really.

In general at 1920x1080 not really.
2560x1600, yes.

Triple channel won't help gaming much. It's more aimed towards graphic design/rendering.

June 10, 2010 4:17:47 PM

the element G rocks man!!! I have an overkill(I mean seriously this thing is colourful and everything but cool :D ) useless v12xt. And it fits perfectly with the already overkill(with all the lights and stuff). You might want to consider an element G.

And bantracis are you saying that from 2014 games will look like heaven benchmark? Thatwould be really sweet because that just looks awesome.
June 10, 2010 4:35:43 PM

Alright so this is my i7 build:

Case - $140 - COOLER MASTER HAF 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $290 - Intel Core i7-930
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink - $60 - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MotherBoard - $230 - ASUS P6T LGA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Storage - $225 - Intel X25-M
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Storage - $55 - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $175 - G.SKILL 6GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $390 - XFX HD-587X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
- $120 - Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical - $40 - PLEXTOR Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS - $100 - Windows 7 Home Premium OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor - $300 - SAMSUNG XL2370-1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL - $2125.00
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:44:58 PM

Somebody_007 said:


And bantracis are you saying that from 2014 games will look like heaven benchmark? Thatwould be really sweet because that just looks awesome.


I wish lol. What I meant is that a native DX11 game should look like that. If/when someone ever makes one I have no idea.

Certainly not before next gen consoles though (we'll probably be on dx12 by then).
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:46:00 PM

Somebody_007 said:

I find the 5970 a very bad choice actually it's bassically on par with 5850 CF sometimes slower while priced higher and being far hotter. I think that 5870 and adding more later is the way to go.



???

It'll vary from game to game, but in general it's pretty much smack in the middle btwn xfire 5870's and 5850's at 1920x1080.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5970,2474...

The other big advantage to the card is that it's really 2 5870 chips underclocked to 5850 speeds to keep it under 300 TDP. However, with a little Ocing you can bring the card up to 5870 speeds and beyond, netting a 20-25% FPS increase.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/overclock-radeon-5970-gui...

So yes, at stock it can be compared to xfire 5850's, but in reality, this card is purposely sold underclocked to fit into the 300tdp limit. Yes you can OC 5850's as well, but not close to the performance gain you'll get here thanks to the 5970 having the same SIMD's as xfire 5870's.

Even just OC up to 5870 speeds you'll see that the performance is pretty much on par with 5870 xfire.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2877/8

Basically, if you're willing to OC, the 5970 is $700 for 2 5870's.
June 10, 2010 4:46:19 PM
June 10, 2010 4:49:38 PM

oohh and about the 5970 and 5850 Cf they are pretty much on par on stock. And yes the 5970 can be OC'd much further but whithout watercooling or any other heavy duty cooling system I don't see that happening. You just can't expect 2 gpu's to be cool in half the space.

Btw do you know anything about setting up raid? If you do pls comment on this thread because I'm stuck http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/287831-13-raid0-sys...
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:50:08 PM

Looks good, except:

The Hyper 212 isn't a great buy at $60. At $30 (check Amazon), it's a great budget buy. Once you're spending $60, pick the Frostytech top heatsinks that best fits your budget.

I like Samsung, but you can probably find a cheaper 1920x1080 monitor with similar specs. This LG, for example. Slightly smaller, but still 1920x1080 and LED backlit. If you can do without the LED backlighting, you can probably get a larger screen and still stay between $200-250.
June 10, 2010 4:55:51 PM

I wouldn't look at the frosytech thing to much because there is quite a difference between 1366 cooling performance and 775 cooling performance. The tuniq extreme for example on an i7 is far inferior to a d14 which contradicts those charts.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:58:58 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I wouldn't look at the frosytech thing to much because there is quite a difference between 1366 cooling performance and 775 cooling performance. The tuniq extreme for example on an i7 is far inferior to a d14 which contradicts those charts.


If you have a suggestion of somewhere else to look for comparisons, I'd be interested in seeing it.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 5:04:49 PM

Read the links about the 5970 OC. Those are all done with stock parts on air.

The 5970 is purposely sold underclocked to fit within 300 TDP. It's designed to be brought back to 5870 levels.

Incidentally, if you read Anandtech's article. The OC 5970 is 93 C on load, on par with a stock GTX 480.

In my book if it'll OC to the same performance as xfire 5870's for $100 less, yet does not generate more heat than the competitions GPU's at stock, it's worth the money.
June 10, 2010 5:15:03 PM

It's a good buy if you OC I'll give you that but you're blowing out of porportion. First of all it won't OC as high as 5870's simply because they are cooler. 480's use a tottally different architecture which can operate at higher temps. And lastly even if it is a better buy than 5870 xfire that doesn't mean thebu1ld wants OC.
June 10, 2010 5:44:34 PM

What's a really fast and good 7200 RPM, SATA 6.0Gb/s, 500gb (maybe 300gb) or less HDD?
June 10, 2010 5:47:00 PM

I'm not really educated on the topic but the smallest reasonably priced sataIII HDD I can think of is a wd black 640gb.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 5:53:47 PM

Anytime you see a Mechanical HD advertising SATA III it's nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Mechanical drives barely saturate the original SATA I 1.5 gbps bandwidth. Doesn't approach SATA II 3.0 gbps limit and certainly doesn't require SATA III.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2866/3
June 10, 2010 8:17:32 PM

Branthacis, so my build and your build come up to basically the same price except:

1) Your build has 2gb Ram less
2) Your build has a 5970, mine has a 5870
3) I have an i7

Also, I saw this $240 Asus motherboard, can you link me on it again please
June 10, 2010 8:24:52 PM

Banthracis, you should put together a site with options and stuff for building a computer. OR Tom's hardware should do it and they could incoporate their charts with top motherboard awards and best part for the price stuff.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 9:10:20 PM

thebu1ld said:
Branthacis, so my build and your build come up to basically the same price except:

1) Your build has 2gb Ram less
2) Your build has a 5970, mine has a 5870
3) I have an i7

Also, I saw this $240 Asus motherboard, can you link me on it again please



We'll your build lacks keyboard, mouse and speakers which was a good $170 in my build.

In terms of gaming FPS wise, your x58 build will be significantly less. There are games a 5870 can not run maxed out at 1920x1080 with 40fps average 25fps min. There is no current game a 5970 can't do that it.

Rest of your analysis is correct.

There are several Asus MOBO's in that price range. You talking x58 or p55?
x58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As others mentioned, your build has a lot of wasted money.

932 instead of 922
$60 Hyper 212 plus...
GA board would be cheaper.
Wrong RAM
Overpriced optical, etc.





a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 9:10:37 PM

magruder13 said:
Banthracis, you should put together a site with options and stuff for building a computer. OR Tom's hardware should do it and they could incoporate their charts with top motherboard awards and best part for the price stuff.


The problem here is that "best" part for build changes rapidly depending on current deals and prices. The stickied recommended builds are pretty good, and besides that it's just pointing people to combo's, deals and any new parts that recently came out that are good alternatives.

GPU choice especially varies alot as prices change practically daily. I don't mean 5850 v 5870 v 480 v 470. More of, is it cheaper to go with the XFX 5850, or the Combo'd Gigabyte 1 that cheaper after combo with a PSU, but then prevents other PSU combo's that if used instead would lower price of overall build.
a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 10:01:20 PM

thebu1ld said:
Branthacis, so my build and your build come up to basically the same price except:

1) Your build has 2gb Ram less
2) Your build has a 5970, mine has a 5870
3) I have an i7


Banthracis has already covered most of it, but here are a few more supporting points.

1) 4 GB vs. 6 GB RAM isn't going to make a difference in gaming. Actually, anything more than 4 GB doesn't help gaming. (It doesn't hurt either, but it isn't going to add fps.)
2) Theoretically, the 5970 should be relevant a little longer than the 5870. It is an excellent GPU, and while the 5870 will destroy most games today, the 5970 will continue to produce higher fps for longer than the 5870.
3) The i7 doesn't do anything special for your uses. You don't need hyperthreading for gaming/movies/multimedia. The cost of the i7 vs. an i5 build is about $200-300 additional for the i7 build, all in processor, RAM, mobo. None of which adds to gaming.

The short version of the above: the i7 is overkill for what you're doing, it's more expensive, and it doesn't improve your gaming experience, which is the most demanding task you have indicated.

You don't have to buy a 5970...you could just get a 5870 and save the $300 or so. Buying an i7 doesn't make much sense for what you've indicated you'll be doing. If you're ok with that, you can buy the i7, just be aware that it's not going to significantly improve your experience in anything you've listed.
June 11, 2010 5:18:33 AM

I just have to disagree here. Allthough everything said here is true and yes all that extra money won't improve gameplay. Whereas putting 200-300 in good pheriphirals will make it a dream gaming rig while an i7 makes it Overkill.

The fact just is however overkill an i7 may be now. In a few years you might want to upgrade instead of buying a new system and then you'd be held back by your cpu. As an i7 is more than 50% than an i5. You could also upgrade your cpu then but then you need spend more.

Which option you go for is personal preference. I went for the i7 because that cpu should last me around 4 years and then when its demoted to my mom it should still be reasonably fast. Although I have some nice periphirals aswell and let me tell yoou its worth it.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 1:53:58 PM

Somebody_007 said:

The fact just is however overkill an i7 may be now. In a few years you might want to upgrade instead of buying a new system and then you'd be held back by your cpu. As an i7 is more than 50% than an i5. You could also upgrade your cpu then but then you need spend more.


Having a nice and comfortable mouse and keyboard allows for more enjoyable gaming. Having a nice sound system makes games and movies both more immersive.

Having an i7 over an i5 makes no difference in gaming. In fact, unless you look at system specs, there's no way to tell the difference.

That's why the peripherals are worth it, but not the processor upgrade.

Why are you recommending someone get a workstation oriented CPU for gaming? It makes no sense. Look at the benchmarks yourself. Outside heavily multithreaded software, the i7 920/930 has no benefit over the i5-750. In fact, the 920 is actually outmatched.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/47?vs=109

For daily usage, of surfing internet, MS office, e-mail ,etc. Muilti threading has no benefit. In 4 years, the i7 will be no better than an i5 at these task's. None of these tasks are multi-threaded nor is there any need to multi thread them.

If you have evidence to base your claim of i7 being "50% more than an i5" assumption on, then link us to the source.

That claim is completely false and purposely misleading people coming here for advise with outlandish claims is unwelcome, and harmful.
June 11, 2010 3:19:57 PM

I know i5 would be better in this case thats why I reccomended investing in peripherals. As an i5 is more than good enough.

BUT the i7 is simply faster and if you want your cpu to last 6years+ it may be worth it.

I reccomend the i5 but you need to keep an open mind.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

there you see the i7 having almost a 50percent better score than the i5, it has hyperthreading and has quite some OC potential.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 4:10:28 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I know i5 would be better in this case thats why I reccomended investing in peripherals. As an i5 is more than good enough.

BUT the i7 is simply faster and if you want your cpu to last 6years+ it may be worth it.

I reccomend the i5 but you need to keep an open mind.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

there you see the i7 having almost a 50percent better score than the i5, it has hyperthreading and has quite some OC potential.


Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.67GHz 4197
Intel Core i7 930 @ 2.80GHz 5831

Score difference 1634 points. That is a 39% higher score, not 50%

This is also a single highly threaded synthetic benchmark. IE, does not accurately represent a CPU's overall performance.

The anandtech analysis is based on dozens of test's including multiple synthetics, productivity, encoding software, games, etc.

This type of analysis is the scientifically correct way to compare, on the other hand, cherry picking a single benchmark to base a conclusion on is scientifically unsound and inaccurate.

The i7 is definitely a better workstation processor. Of that I have no argument. However, for a gaming system, the benchmarks show equal performance, and in no way is the $90, (45%) price increase justified.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 4:14:55 PM

Somebody_007 said:
I know i5 would be better in this case thats why I reccomended investing in peripherals. As an i5 is more than good enough.

BUT the i7 is simply faster and if you want your cpu to last 6years+ it may be worth it.

I reccomend the i5 but you need to keep an open mind.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

there you see the i7 having almost a 50percent better score than the i5, it has hyperthreading and has quite some OC potential.


Wow, the i7 does indeed have a larger number than the i5. /sarcasm

Do you have any idea what exactly PassMark is measuring? Does it actually have any application to gaming? Try linking real benchmarks, not just some isolated score from a single application.

Let's go over this once more.

i5-750 - quad core, 2.66 GHz, no hyperthreading, $200
i7-930 - quad core, 2.8 GHz, hyperthreading, $290

The i7-930 has slightly faster clock speeds, but not $90 faster. The i7-930 has hyperthreading which doesn't (currently) affect games. For the OP's stated usage, that's not worth $90.

It's unlikely that the i7-930 is going to be any more capable than the i5-750 in 6 years. They will both still run general productivity software, browse the web (unless there's some crazy new Java/Flash-like app that is a huge CPU hog), and play movies just fine at that time. Hyperthreading isn't going to have a disproportionate effect on the processing power in 4 years...it doesn't matter for what the OP wants to do now, either.
June 11, 2010 4:31:38 PM

I know it isn't better for gaming I think we've covered that ^^

But that doesn't change the fact that the i7 is a significantly better cpu.

I was just trying to clarify what the diffence between an i5 and i7 was.
Because I don't like when people just tell me a product is better so I try to give as much information as possible.

And stop telling me that an i7 doesn't improve gaming. I'm not a retard.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 4:40:32 PM

Somebody_007 said:
But that doesn't change the fact that the i7 is a significantly better cpu.


It's not significantly better at anything the OP is trying to do.

It's more expensive. It has hyperthreading. If the OP was interested in anything that utilized hyperthreading, then it might be worth talking about. If the OP was concerned about the ~4-5% difference in SLI/Crossfire 16x/16x vs. 8x/8x, then it might be something to talk about too. But that's 4-5% performance gained for $200-300 not counting the $1k+ that you'd need to blow on graphics cards for it to matter.

The i7-930 is a better CPU at workstation tasks, yes. It's not "significantly better" at anything else...therefore, it is not a significantly better CPU for the OP.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 4:45:20 PM

Somebody. The purpose of this thread is to advise the OP on which CPU to buy for his needs.

You seem to have habit of turning threads meant to advise people on their builds, into general X vs Y threads.

If you want to argue X vs Y in general, start your own thread with that topic. Stop needlessly starting arguments if they don't apply to the topic at hand.
June 11, 2010 4:48:59 PM

Things would go faster if people just agreed with me lol.

I just think it's important that he knows why he's buying the components he is and how they are different from other compenents he is considering.

People need to know what they want. If I say a component then they say I need to provide evidence why that is a good component. If I do they say I shouldn't.

Nothing but trouble with humans
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 5:01:53 PM

We're the ones linking scientifically sound evidence explaining why he should get an i5 for gaming.

You claim to be recommending him an i5 yet you say things like

Quote:
The fact just is however overkill an i7 may be now. In a few years you might want to upgrade instead of buying a new system and then you'd be held back by your cpu. As an i7 is more than 50% than an i5. You could also upgrade your cpu then but then you need spend more.


Stop confusing the OP. Either recommend an i5 or recommend an i7.

We're telling you to provide evidence that the i7 would be better than an i5 for the OP. Based on the statement above which makes it sound like you're recommending an i7.

We want you to link scientifically valid data and analysis. There's a difference between a sound scientific conclusion based on a large body of evidence, and a single cherry picked benchmark.
June 13, 2010 2:26:18 AM

So Branch, are you sticking with your originally posted build? No adjustments? Is there anything I need to keep in mind (besides the obvious checking of deals @ the time of purchase) considering I'm not going to be buying these components for at least two months?

And I was planning on going for the i7 based solely on resale value, I thought it might depreciate slower...give me clarity on that point as well please.
June 13, 2010 9:48:57 AM

It's difficult to predict what will happen in the future, but I think both systems will depreciate very rapidly after the new cpu's come out.

Although from what I've read the x58 will remain the highest and platform from intel for a while.
a b 4 Gaming
June 13, 2010 4:54:46 PM

thebu1ld said:
So Branch, are you sticking with your originally posted build? No adjustments? Is there anything I need to keep in mind (besides the obvious checking of deals @ the time of purchase) considering I'm not going to be buying these components for at least two months?

And I was planning on going for the i7 based solely on resale value, I thought it might depreciate slower...give me clarity on that point as well please.



Quote:
thebu1ld said:



2. PC depreciate fast. However, if you time things right you can sell a custom made system for about cost a year later. For example, I built my last rig back in october 09 for $1750 ish. i5-750, Ga-UD4 (pre USB 3/sata 6) xfire 5850, win 7 pro, x25-m 80gb, 4gb g skill ripjaw, Element G case, corsair 750tx, 2 spinpoint f3 1tb, random optical, 24" monitor.

If I were to sell this system this October before sandy bridge comes out, I'd probably be able to sell it for $1,750 ish, since it would still be a top of the line gaming build. Actually, funny part is that this RIG is actually MORE expensive to build today then back then, LOL ( I got my 5850's at $259).

However, if I waited till next year after Sandy bridge and possibly the HD 6xxx series comes out, the value of the system would be a lot less. Exact value would depend on performance increase and price of the newest components. This would be the same for either i5 or i7. the i7-9xx line is actually older tech than i5-750.


Socket 1156 will be replaced with 1155 this year, with the release of Sandy Bridge. Initially 4 cores, 6 and 8 cores are possible Q2 next year. Socket 1155 will feature a new Southbridge, allow light peak support.
http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/2010041...

Next year 1366 will be replaced with 1356 and an entire new chipset, x68 will be introduced.
http://www.overclockers.com/intel-replace-lga1366-socke...

In summary:
Both 1156 and 1366 obsolete by next year.
Neither have native USB/SATA 6 support or Lightpeak support, a feature that will be added with the launch of Sandy Bridge Q4 this year.

Please do some research before posting advice. Intel's only been blasting this news as often and much as they can all year.



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