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$1800 Gaming, 3D Application, and Photoshop Build

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July 5, 2010 12:07:33 AM

Hey, all. I'm pretty close to actually, finally building a new PC. I had parts picked out, but that was about 9-10 months ago, and now there are newer, better, cheaper components out, and so I'm currently out of the loop. Any help is greatly appreciated.

--

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 months from now

BUDGET RANGE: $1,800 ($2,000 max)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Photoshop, 3D rendering, web browsing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard/mouse, speakers, OS (I'll be using Windows 7), case (I'll probably go with an Antec case)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com (USA)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU, no preference for GPU, though.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200, but it's not necessary to recommend a monitor; I'll probably decide on that one myself.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'll probably go with the Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz Quad and pick it up in-store at Microcenter for $199. And I would prefer to have two GPU's. Also, I thought I read the other day that Intel is expected to drop prices and/or introduce some different CPUs -- should I have any reason to worry about this or delay my purchases? And I'd like to go with a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, as well. USB 3.0 would be nice, but not essential.

I have no idea what GPUs are good anymore (I've no clue whether DX11 is supported across the board, now), so some advice about which to go with (pros/cons) would be appreciated. And I'm lost when it comes to RAM, too. Sorry for being out of the loop for such a long time. :( 

Thank you so, so much.

tbc

P.S. - Is the Xigmatek Dark Knight still a great heatsink/fan for socket 1366? And if you can think of a reason why I shouldn't run two video cards, then please inform me. It's just that if I don't get a second video card now, I won't be able to get another for a couple years.

More about : 1800 gaming application photoshop build

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July 5, 2010 3:04:21 AM

Big question, do you know what CUDA is, does your software utilize it?
If so, you'll have to go nvidia. If not I'd recommend a ATI GPU. Current Nvidia GPu's are very hot ad very power hungry, and at MSRP, not worth the price performance wise.

However, there are some very nice deals ATM, making them price/performance pretty competitive, and if you want CUDA you have no other choice.

Summary of difference btwn GPU's.
Quote:
The price gap between it and the Radeon 5870 is well above the current performance gap, but this has always been true about the high-end. Bigger than price though is the tradeoff for going with the GTX 480 and its much bigger GPU – it’s hotter, it’s noisier, and it’s more power hungry, all for 10-15% more performance...

Moving on, we have the GTX 470 to discuss. It’s not NVIDIA’s headliner so it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. With a price right between the 5850 and 5870, it delivers performance right where you’d expect it to be. At 5-10% slower than the 5870 on average, it’s actually a straightforward value proposition: you get 90-95% of the performance for around 87% of the price. It’s not a huge bargain, but it’s competitively priced against the 5870. Against the 5850 this is less true where it’s a mere 2-8% faster


http://www.anandtech.com/show/2977/nvidia-s-geforce-gtx...

CUDA based build.

Optical
Grab a random SATA burner $20 off newegg. Doesn't make a difference.

HD
1Tb spinpoint F3 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Best bank for buck available.

RAM
G Skill Pi 1600 cas 7 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Excellent kit for a great price. Also very good voltage at 1.5v.

HSF
Scythe Mugen $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best HSF atm thanks to Hyper 212 plus price gauging.

Mobo/Case
P6X58D-E and Antec 902 $310 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU/PSU
GTX 480 and 850TX $590
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU
i7-930 $200 microcenter

Total: $1405 before shipping and Rebates







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July 5, 2010 3:04:42 AM

No Dark Knight is not a good HSF
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July 6, 2010 7:25:40 PM

banthracis said:
Big question, do you know what CUDA is, does your software utilize it?
If so, you'll have to go nvidia. If not I'd recommend a ATI GPU. Current Nvidia GPu's are very hot ad very power hungry, and at MSRP, not worth the price performance wise.

However, there are some very nice deals ATM, making them price/performance pretty competitive, and if you want CUDA you have no other choice.

Summary of difference btwn GPU's.
Quote:
The price gap between it and the Radeon 5870 is well above the current performance gap, but this has always been true about the high-end. Bigger than price though is the tradeoff for going with the GTX 480 and its much bigger GPU – it’s hotter, it’s noisier, and it’s more power hungry, all for 10-15% more performance...

Moving on, we have the GTX 470 to discuss. It’s not NVIDIA’s headliner so it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. With a price right between the 5850 and 5870, it delivers performance right where you’d expect it to be. At 5-10% slower than the 5870 on average, it’s actually a straightforward value proposition: you get 90-95% of the performance for around 87% of the price. It’s not a huge bargain, but it’s competitively priced against the 5870. Against the 5850 this is less true where it’s a mere 2-8% faster


http://www.anandtech.com/show/2977/nvidia-s-geforce-gtx...

CUDA based build.

Optical
Grab a random SATA burner $20 off newegg. Doesn't make a difference.

HD
1Tb spinpoint F3 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Best bank for buck available.

RAM
G Skill Pi 1600 cas 7 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Excellent kit for a great price. Also very good voltage at 1.5v.

HSF
Scythe Mugen $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best HSF atm thanks to Hyper 212 plus price gauging.

Mobo/Case
P6X58D-E and Antec 902 $310 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU/PSU
GTX 480 and 850TX $590
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU
i7-930 $200 microcenter

Total: $1405 before shipping and Rebates


Wow, thank you so much. Great post.

I really don't know what CUDA is (well, I did just wiki it after you asked). I've heard the term shot around these parts before. I searched around read that CUDA seems to be implemented in some of the software I use, like Photoshop and the range of Adobe products. I don't paying a little more. So, do you think it's best that I go with a single, beefy video card, rather than two less powerful ones? Cause I always remember reading how two less powerful cards generally whoop single powerhouse cards.

The build you suggested looks great (though I might go with the Antec 300), but I do have a concern. I read another thread here and there was mention of a potential problem fitting that HSF next to the RAM because of the heatspreaders. Should I worry about this?
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July 6, 2010 7:39:21 PM

Only adobe products that use CUDA ATM are premier and after effects, though that may change in the future.

Two cheap cards do generally offer better price/performance than 1 good one, but at the same time, it effectively maxes out a build right off the bat. Good if you're doing a best bang for buck contest, not so good if you plan on keeping the system for a few years. Also, bear in mind the benefit of sli/xfire varies greatly from game to game. In some cases, SLI/xfire may give worse performance or may not be playable at all.

Theoretically the Mugen and Pi should work, though I've never tried it.

However, if you'd rather not take the risk, just grab a CM HYper 212 Plus, which is almost the same performance, for less money.
$30
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...
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July 6, 2010 8:06:34 PM

banthracis said:
Only adobe products that use CUDA ATM are premier and after effects, though that may change in the future.

Two cheap cards do generally offer better price/performance than 1 good one, but at the same time, it effectively maxes out a build right off the bat. Good if you're doing a best bang for buck contest, not so good if you plan on keeping the system for a few years. Also, bear in mind the benefit of sli/xfire varies greatly from game to game. In some cases, SLI/xfire may give worse performance or may not be playable at all.

Theoretically the Mugen and Pi should work, though I've never tried it.

However, if you'd rather not take the risk, just grab a CM HYper 212 Plus, which is almost the same performance, for less money.
$30
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...


I saw several articles talking about CUDA acceleration in Photoshop. Not across every facet of the app, but certain select ones. But not a big concern. I will be using After Effects, though.

Thanks for the thoughts and info on the video cards. Good points. I think I will go with that GPU unless some crazy info comes out that changes things.

Thanks a bunch, really. And I'm still open to suggestions and probably will be for at least a few weeks until I do decide on a day to purchase.
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July 13, 2010 11:33:51 PM

Hey, I hate to bump threads, but I hate even more to start a new one. I'm looking for other suggestions (although I'm certainly pleased with banthracis's recommendations). Specifically in the area of graphics cards. I'm looking for arguments from both sides (NVIDIA/ATI), as well as the pros/cons of SLI/Crossfire.

Thanks again.
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July 20, 2010 6:17:42 PM

Best answer selected by thebluecasket.
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!