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Heavy Gaming Machine

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August 25, 2010 9:37:31 AM

Hey all, sorry ive been askign alot of questions and finally got my choices down to these two options of my final build for a heavy gaming machine.

AMD Setup £593.25
CPU Phenom II X6 1055T
MBOARD Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
RAM G-Skill Ripjaw 2x2gb DDR3 1600mhz
CASE NZXT Hades
COOLER Zalman CNPS10X
HDD Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
PSU XFX 650W XXX
DVD RW LiteOn IHAS124-19
SOUND Creative SoundBlaster X-FI Xtreme PCI-E

Intel Setup £656.30
CPU i7 860 (1156)
MBOARD Asus P7P55D LE
RAM G-Skill Ripjaw 2x2gb DDR3 1600mhz
CASE NZXT Hades
COOLER Zalman CNPS10X
HDD Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
PSU XFX 650W XXX
DVD RW LiteOn IHAS124-19
SOUND Creative SoundBlaster X-FI Xtreme PCI-E

I already have a Palit GTX 470 GPU hense why the major high spec upgrade.

Price is always a concern and the cheaper the better, but in the case of longtivity and performance wise, which system is the better for Heavy Gaming at 1920x1200 (i think)

My main concern is my lack of knowleadge of the motherboards on either system, as i dont quite understand which chipset is better, what the numbers mean or why is one Evo, or SE or L etc.. So i have just gone for a middle range going on pure judgement (if anyone could suggest anything better, please feel free)

Also, the last 3 components i already have in the fact of a Huntkey 650W PSU, IDE DVD-RW and a PCI Creative SB Audigy SE Sound card - So if i dont upgrade these, i save £122.55 on both systems, MAYBE meaning upgrading other components.

I will be using ebuyer and or overlockers.co.uk

Any info or Advise is very much apprecaited, as i will be purchasing either or by friday :-) (Very excited btw lol)

Cheers
Jamie

More about : heavy gaming machine

a b 4 Gaming
August 25, 2010 9:53:28 AM

^ I would rather suggest X4 955/ 965 over 1055T and i5 750/ 760 over the i7 860 for a pure gaming machine...

As for the 3 components that you have, IMO if the PSU is not old, it would suffice...As for the DVD its fine if you use the IDE if its working properly(except for the difference in the cable, you wont notice any difference in performance)
As for the sound card, IMO better to stay with onboard as these days, you get HD audio onboard...

And get a different case -
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-computer-cas...
August 25, 2010 11:34:52 AM

Quote:
The i7 would be the best choice for heavy gaming.


Why? The only advantages 1156 I7 will give over I5 is the ability to hyperthread (most games will struggle to thread to 4 let alone 8) and (i think) better turbo boost alongside a menial stock clock increase. The memory controller is still dual channel which gives maximum 4GB to run at dual channel.

If you're looking at it financially, I5 is the more sensible choice for gaming.
Related resources
August 25, 2010 2:37:28 PM

This my research and pricing guide on what ive found and how each item costs both from ebuyer and overclockers.

I have also including now, the "Hardcore" out of the 3 in the bottom left and right (same system just from different online sources)



Is it viable for the difference in the price from the AMD/Intel to the I7 930? (£195 min more)

Considering the options and future planning, i will overclock eventually and would want to SLI my system. I say SLI becuase i already have a GTX 470 and SLI is by the looks after many hours of trawling the internet, a rare thing nowadays, as ATI Crossfire is more dominant.

Basically i dont wanna go out and spend over the top odds or pay bottom book for a system which needs upgrading come a years time..

Much Appreciated
August 25, 2010 2:50:27 PM

Just regarding the Phenom X6, games barely thread to 4 cores and that won't change for a while as the focus is on the GPU. Save yourself a bit of money and go for a black edition quad core Phenom that you can overclock later on.

Also, almost all modern motherboards give you HD sound on-board, there is absolutely no need for a separate graphics card for gaming, you'll do just fine with on-board.

There is very little performance difference between 1600Mhz and 1333Mhz RAM so that might be a money saving area too.

My personal opinion, go for the top right I7 860 setup and do the following to it:
Swap the 860 to an I5 750
Downgrade the ripjaws to 1333
Swap the Zalman heatsink to a Titan Fenrir (best LGA 1156 air cooler, proven fact)
Get rid of the Creative sound card, not needed

That should save you a bit of money.
August 25, 2010 3:04:16 PM

if you know you want to SLI/crossfire in the future, the i7 900 line is your best option with 16x/16x, if youre willing to pay the premium. otherwise, go with an i5 750/760.
August 25, 2010 3:16:10 PM

rainvie1 said:
if you know you want to SLI/crossfire in the future, the i7 900 line is your best option with 16x/16x, if youre willing to pay the premium. otherwise, go with an i5 750/760.


The performance hit between x16/x16 and x8/x8 is at most 4%, which is the main reason why gaming rigs are more justified on I5.
August 25, 2010 3:18:21 PM

The last 3 options on the PSU/DVD/SOUND are optional extras, just incase my exsiting items are unusable, or 100% need upgrading.

Its just the first 6 on the List which im looking to upgrade thats all.

May i ask.

Whats the main difference (apart from price) from the AMD's TOP end CPU's to what seems to be the middle range to Intels. My impression is that the equivilent of AMDs to Intels would be like below?

AMD X4 555 ---> Intel i3 xxx
AMD X4 955 ---> Intel i5 xxx
AMD X6 1050 --> Intel i7 xxx

Sorry for all the confusion, ive always been an AMD man, so kinda know what AMD are currently performaing compared to its own range effectively the higher the number within its own range the better (like eg - X2 5600 is better than a X2 4200), where as Intel, it seems the i5 high range out performs the i7's middle range, but seems less advanced than the higher i7's..

Ive confused myself - basically i meaning i dont understand what Intels CPU Model range means..

Many Thanks
August 25, 2010 3:23:36 PM

i7s have hyperthreading, so 4 physical cores can become 8 threads. great for productivity, but a lot of apps and most games dont take full advantage of four cores. thus, the cheaper i5s are a better choice for gaming.

the i7 900s also have improved memory, PCI-e lane, etc. options however.
a b 4 Gaming
August 25, 2010 3:55:20 PM

reccy said:

AMD X4 555 ---> Intel i3 xxx
AMD X4 955 ---> Intel i5 xxx
AMD X6 1050 --> Intel i7 xxx


That's pretty much accurate, though I'd suggest that the Athlon II X3s are a more direct competitor to the Intel i3 line.

As rainvie1 says, the i7s have hyperthreading, which is great for maximizing loosely-threaded apps, and the turbo boost allows the i5s & i7s to perform better on single-thread apps.

Here's Anandtech's comparison of the Phenom II X4 955 vs. i5-750. By and large, the gaming performance (except Far Cry 2) is pretty similar. On other applications, the turbo boost tends to show its advantages.

To address an earlier question, CrossFire is more prevalent because most AMD mobos only support CrossFire, not SLI. On AMD, you need an nVidia northbridge mobo for SLI, and most of those boards are older and/or less reviewed.
August 26, 2010 9:47:07 AM

The main differences within Intels I range is the features and number of cores each processor type has. I7 is full fat, quad core with hyperthreading and up to triple channel memory. I5 is more conservative, still up to quad core but no hyperthreading and only dual channel memory at a very reasonable price but still with enough grunt to power games fine. I3 is what you COULD call the budget line but i prefer to call it the low power user line, dual core, dual channel memory BUT with the addition of a built in GPU so you don't have to buy a discrete graphics card if you dont need one (dual core I5's also have these GPU's). All the range still work off the Nehalem architecture, as illustrated the only main differences are features etc.

coldsleep's explanation of SLI motherboards hits the nail on the head, you'll find SLI setups more prevalent in Intel configurations as the Nehalem boards accept both SLI and Crossfire (not at the same time mind, that reserved for boards that make use of the Lucid Hydra chip). Saying this, arent the new 980a AMD boards SLI capable? I'm not 100% on that one.
August 26, 2010 10:48:03 AM

I knew i'd forgotten something abot the I3, thanks for that.
!