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Rate my Gaming Build: Three to Four Year replacement cycle

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July 8, 2010 9:02:36 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month

BUDGET RANGE: $1800 max

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming - I am equal opportunity gamer with preferences in order being MMO, FPS, Role playing, strategy, flight sims, Other uses in order: Video editing/ encoding, photo editing, general use (internet, streaming video, etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Case (Antec Performance one P180), Power supply (Kingwin ABT-600MA1W Mach 1 600W Modular Power Supply), Keyboard (G15), Mouse (MS Optical-may upgrade)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, zipzoomfly (possible) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe -though i build systems with the capability I have yet felt the need to do it.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the Future, don't drive big enough monitors to see benefit.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dual monitors at 1680x1050 or single at 1920x1080, Also like to plug it into either the 55 ich or 40 inch LCD TVs on the wall with an hdmi cable that are both 1080p.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have been out of computer world for a couple years so this is largely based on a couple days research. Basically I need a computer that will last me around 3 -4 years for my typical update cycle. It would hopefully perform decent on most games and only part outside of repair that i would replace is possibly video card around 2-3 years. Noise is now an issue as my current computer sounds like a jet engine, therefore i am updating my case fans and looking at aftermarket GPU cooler.
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Case: Antec Performance one (have no cost)

Power Supply: Kingwin ABT-600MA1W Mach 1 600W Modular Power Supply (have no cost)

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $209.99

CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz $289.99

Memory: G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9T-6GBTD $189.99

Video Card: HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB $329.99

Hard Drive #1: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $144.99

Note: 30 gb operating system partition, 34 gb core program partition)

Hard Drive # 2: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $94.99

Note: 3 partions of 400/400/200 - One for games/programs, one for downloads, one for Media)

Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner $159.99

CPU Cooling:
Noctua NH-U12DX 1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler $79.99
Arctic Silver $12.99

Video Card Cooling:
Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX Six Heat Pipe Universal Video Card Cooler $56.95
Thermalright VRM-R3 VGA Voltage Regulator Cooler (ATI HD 5870/5850) $29.95

Case Cooling: Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler and Case Fan $19.99 X3 = $59.97

Operating System: Windows 7 Premium $99.99

Other items: SATA III Flat cables
Anti Vibration kits for 120 mm fans

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST $1760 +shipping


QUESTIONS to be answered:

1. Is the SSD hard drive worth it? Its an additional $145 I could cut if I just used the 1tb hard drive. I would need to see huge difference to see a worthwhile purchase. The operating system and likely whatever current game im engrossed in would go on it. Not sure if it will increase gaming performance on say an MMO. I would likely duplicate the 1 tb hard drive in the future should i need to. Backups will be on the Blue ray burner.

2. Is the GSkill Memory I chose the best option for the money with my motherboard and CPU choice?

3. VPU cooling is $90.00, is it needed or not? Worried most about noise and I dont know anybody with new Radeons to judge the noise. I do not plan to OC the vid card unless I would see huge performance increase. It is my understanding most games today do not need new vid card speeds to run on high/ultra mode at 1920x1080. I could be wrong however.

4. Blue ray drive? I like the idea of BR drive for 25gb capacity per disk, however I could probably skimp on that for a standard DVR drive for backups. Never burned or encoded HD movies but would like to try if it is easy to do. this will be only computer with BR drive but i do have BR players on the tvs.

Any further suggestions/comments much appreciated

More about : rate gaming build year replacement cycle

July 8, 2010 9:16:48 PM

1> SSDs are great for boot speed and making the computer not feel sluggish as it jumps from task to task. Im not sure that is the correct SSD. I dont think SATA3 is mainstream yet and 64GB is a bit small. If you can get a larger SATA2 SSD (research articles for performance and trim compatibility) you would probably get better performance. I also dont think you want to partition an SSD like that. Leave it as a single partition. its random access is so fast you would only risk problems by having on of the partitions get too full and the other having excess free space. You dont want an SSD getting even half full for optimum performance.

2> That looks like CAS9 DDR3-2000 memory; getting some tighter timing CAS7 DDR3-1600 for the same price will run about as fast and give you more overclocking options.

3> The 5850 is already a cool running GPU, the aftermarket cooler is a waste unless you intend to severely overclock it (mildly overclocking with the ATI overdrive software that comes with the drivers seems much wiser to me).

4> The question is "will you use it". If you end up never burning a blue-ray it will have been a waste of money. If you end up burning alot then it will be worth it. If your main concern is backups then IMO an external USB HDD and a DVD burner would make more sense.
July 8, 2010 9:32:27 PM

I will tell you what to do from my experience .First you must NEVER and i repeat NEVER buy i pre-build pc from a company.Of course i do not know if the rig you mention is a pre-build one , but if it is dont buy it .Always build your pc by spare parts yourself it is not difficult and you will get better hardware.You should always have in mind that the most important part is the graphics card.Your choice is very good , 5850 is a great card also consider gtx 470.Too much money for your motherboard , 100-130 dollars you will find great mainboards.As for cpu never give more than 200-230 dollars,but always buy a good cpu cooler .As for the ssd they are very expensive nowadays and will not help you in gaming , do not spend money yet on ssd.In the near future they will be cheaper.In order to build a gaming pc you DONT have to spend a fortune , fortunes are spent by rich guys or overclockers , but you dont have to spend much money for playing video games on max settings.In the end i think 1800 dollars is too much money for gaming , do a better search and dont buy -im saying it again-a pc built by a company.Hope ive helped.
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July 8, 2010 9:53:38 PM

jibibull said:
I will tell you what to do from my experience .First you must NEVER and i repeat NEVER buy i pre-build pc from a company.Of course i do not know if the rig you mention is a pre-build one , but if it is dont buy it .Always build your pc by spare parts yourself it is not difficult and you will get better hardware.You should always have in mind that the most important part is the graphics card.Your choice is very good , 5850 is a great card also consider gtx 470.Too much money for your motherboard , 100-130 dollars you will find great mainboards.As for cpu never give more than 200-230 dollars,but always buy a good cpu cooler .As for the ssd they are very expensive nowadays and will not help you in gaming , do not spend money yet on ssd.In the near future they will be cheaper.In order to build a gaming pc you DONT have to spend a fortune , fortunes are spent by rich guys or overclockers , but you dont have to spend much money for playing video games on max settings.In the end i think 1800 dollars is too much money for gaming , do a better search and dont buy -im saying it again-a pc built by a company.Hope ive helped.


You've posted twice on a build which is leaning towards a 930 which costs 300 that 200-230 is the max. Are you saying that the 930 is a bad cpu? which would you reccomend in it's place?

And yes SSDs are expensive but they SIGNIFICANTLY improve load times and system responsiveness.

And IMO 1800 is far from too much to spend. I have a far more expensive system and don't regret it one bit. For me the limit comes when you've got the best of the best. Which is at maybe 30000.
July 8, 2010 10:25:22 PM

Quote:
1> SSDs are great for boot speed and making the computer not feel sluggish as it jumps from task to task. Im not sure that is the correct SSD. I dont think SATA3 is mainstream yet and 64GB is a bit small. If you can get a larger SATA2 SSD (research articles for performance and trim compatibility) you would probably get better performance. I also dont think you want to partition an SSD like that. Leave it as a single partition. its random access is so fast you would only risk problems by having on of the partitions get too full and the other having excess free space. You dont want an SSD getting even half full for optimum performance.

2> That looks like CAS9 DDR3-2000 memory; getting some tighter timing CAS7 DDR3-1600 for the same price will run about as fast and give you more overclocking options.

3> The 5850 is already a cool running GPU, the aftermarket cooler is a waste unless you intend to severely overclock it (mildly overclocking with the ATI overdrive software that comes with the drivers seems much wiser to me).

4> The question is "will you use it". If you end up never burning a blue-ray it will have been a waste of money. If you end up burning alot then it will be worth it. If your main concern is backups then IMO an external USB HDD and a DVD burner would make more sense.


Thank you for your response. As you can see im a complete noob to building computers.

On 1. the 64gb is because of the cost and from your discussion I will not partition a ssd if i get one. I was looking toward the futre and that is why i picked a SATA III mb and figured i might as well get a SATA III hard drives. Per your discussion I am leaning away from an SSD due to cost, though I will accept other opinions.

2.) thanks for that information I will look fro CAS& DDR3-1600 memory. PErhaps G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI Not that i am partial to Gskill, I would look at corsair etc.

3.)thanks for that comment, How is the noise on the Radeon 5850 cards, that is mainly why i was lookign at aftermarket cooling.

4) I dont know yet. Though if the wife has any say I would be stuck with a dvd-r. We have an external hardrive but its on 500gb. I am only looking at backing up media- we are huge picture takers and packrats at that and have about 50gb of digital pics right now.

One use we are lookign toward is a grey area, we prefer to get TV shows online to watch even though we maintain cable. Cant stand cliffhangers where you wait till the next week to see it and commercials drive me nuts. So we wait for seasons to be over and either rent the season if available or download it and watch it. DVR work for this now, but we cant take that on travel with us. Blue ray burner may fit a need of creating dvds to watch entire seasons on one disk. I am leaning towards possible future upgrade though and possibly putting more money into a extra 2TB hard drive in lieu of the blue ray burner and ssd.

Once again thank you for your reply.


Quote:
jibibull wrote :

I will tell you what to do from my experience .......


I always build my computers, and i usually spend 1800 every 3-4 years. I get top of the line products so they last me 3 years. I will look at the 470x. Never had a nvidia card in my main machine, been using ATI since my old 9800. though im not a fanboy, just seems benchmarks always puts ATI ahead on my build cycle. But your comment was appreciated.


Quote:
Somebody_007


Do you think SSDs will help in gaming at all
July 8, 2010 10:38:30 PM

1> From a price/performance standpoint I would buy an SSD over a Blue ray burner. That said, I still havent bought one myself. I had a hard enough time convincing my wife that a $50 graphics card was not good enough and I needed the $170 one. Those people that have them (good ones, anyway) all say they are worth it, if you can get past the expense you probably will also.

2> I really like Corsair RAM, but they have been overpriced for the past year. Gskill seems to be the current price/performance choice most of the time recently. Mushkin and Geil also sometimes.

3> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...
I dont know what to say other than since the release of the 5000 series, Toms hasnt bothered to update their graphics card sound charts. Its basically a non-issue with these newer, more power efficient cards.
July 8, 2010 10:49:35 PM

If $1800 is your max, an SSD is a questionable option, in that at $2k, it's pretty much a given, and it's not really an option below $1500 or so. It's really nice for the day-to-day experience, but it won't provide any real in-game benefit.

If you're looking for more info on buying one, Tech Report and Bit-Tech just posted some recent guides on buying SSDs, and Anandtech's SSD Relapse is a pretty definitive review of the tech, if a few months out of date on specific hardware.

I'd say that 64 GB is a little small for a boot/game drive, as you want to leave some free space so that the SSD can shuffle the 1s and 0s around. If you just put the OS and 1-2 games on, it might be fine, but I tend to think that 80 GB is a more realistic minimum, and 100-128 is better. You know your data habits better than anyone else does, but I know that I'd have trouble not filling up 64 GB pretty quickly.
July 8, 2010 11:55:52 PM

Quote:
If $1800 is your max, an SSD is a questionable option, in that at $2k, it's pretty much a given, and it's not really an option below $1500 or so. It's really nice for the day-to-day experience, but it won't provide any real in-game benefit.

If you're looking for more info on buying one, Tech Report and Bit-Tech just posted some recent guides on buying SSDs, and Anandtech's SSD Relapse is a pretty definitive review of the tech, if a few months out of date on specific hardware.

I'd say that 64 GB is a little small for a boot/game drive, as you want to leave some free space so that the SSD can shuffle the 1s and 0s around. If you just put the OS and 1-2 games on, it might be fine, but I tend to think that 80 GB is a more realistic minimum, and 100-128 is better. You know your data habits better than anyone else does, but I know that I'd have trouble not filling up 64 GB pretty quickly.


Well the $1800 is there because the wife said it is, I could cheat a little but I would like to stay under it. Day to day benefit would be windows load time...what else. Photoshop, etc would be directed to the larger drives Would it effect internet browsing.

As for size I would only put the OS, one game with max size of 15gb (e.g. MMO i am currently playing) and then core programs like firefox, the drivers, etc. By my calculation that would use at most half to 75% of the drive (20gb for OS and core programs, 15gb for game leaving 30 gb free for any expansion). I wouldn't try more than one game.

I am pretty good to direct all installs, downloads, etc to alternate data drives. I usually make a game partition of a second hard drive for my FPS, and other games i dabble is from time to time. More than likely the SSD would only have starcraft II the OS, and core programs when i finally build the system.

Once again thanks for all the responses and sorry about the noob questions
July 9, 2010 12:18:17 AM

I have the 128 GB Corsair C300, and I enjoy it. It feels like it speeds up web browsing, but that could be because my old C2D couldn't handle me starting up 10+ tabs as my "home page". I'd put the Photoshop program files on the SSD for faster loading if you can, as well as whatever game you're currently focused on. That should all fit.

It's mostly load times & program launching. If you haven't played with a computer that has an SSD, I highly recommend going to Best Buy, an Apple store, whatever, and boot a machine, launch a ton of programs, whatever you can. It's hard to describe how much it changes the normal interactions.

If you think you can limit yourself, and it fits your budget better, 64 GB is a reasonable choice. I see that the 64 GB C300 is out of stock right now, if it's not back in stock when you order, the Intel X25-M is still well-regarded, if a little more expensive. The Corsair Reactor is a little less than the C300, and recommended by one of the articles I linked, but I haven't seen any full reviews on it yet.
July 9, 2010 7:01:26 AM

I think peripherals are far more important than SSDs. If you've got very good peripherals then an SSD would be a good idea but in my eyes they are still expensive for what you get.

As for which SSD as coldsleep said the x25-m and c300 are good options. I wouldn't get the corsair reactor though it's rather slow. The corsair nova is another good option though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 10, 2010 8:49:09 PM

First i want to thank everybody that replied to my thread, with your advice and others I went ahead and made my purchase.

I changed a few things from your comments:

First I Dropped the Blue ray burner and the video card cooling solution i had originally posted

With the saved money from those, and at the suggestion of those that have experience ssd hard drives, I upgraded the 64gb C300 SSD hard drive to the 128 gb C300 SSD hard drive.

I also switched out the memory from dndhatchers suggestion to 1600 cas 7 timing memory. I ended up getting G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI . for roughly the same cost. From differnt sources this memory seems to run with no problem on the gigabyte motherboard I selected.

From a multitude of forums searching for quiet Video cards I found good reviews on 5850 Sapphire cards and decided to upgrade the video card to the SAPPHIRE Toxic 100282-2GTXSR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card, not sure if 2gb of memory is better than 1 but what the hell, the clock speed is higher, i have had a sapphire card in the past and liked it, and reviews say its quiet.

Once again thanks eveybody
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