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New gaming PC

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August 27, 2010 5:46:05 PM

Okay so this will be my first build ever. I have a buddy helping me put it together but he doesn't know much about newer games he stuck on warcraft. Anyways, I have about a 600-800 spending budget, not needing an OS, already have windows 7 64 bit. I dunno anything about picking parts either really whats compatible with what. Just like I dunno if Intel is better or AMD. Everything I have read on here seems like everything is built with AMD, but Intel is suppose to be better from what I heard with performance. If anyone can help that would be great :) 

newegg.com is probably best bet. I'm in the US on east coast.

Game Resolution is 1920 x 1200.

I dunno if u need some more information just let me know

More about : gaming

August 27, 2010 6:05:57 PM

I'd highly recommend following the guidelines. There's a link in my signature.

Here's a very rough $800 build:

I'm making sure the combos are still there or if there's any better deals.

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5850 $348
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $98
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $115 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $18

Total: $744. You could also change the CPU to a X4 955 (with 5850), if you don't mind being a over budget by $15

If you need it cheaper, switch the following:

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5770 $198 after rebate
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August 27, 2010 8:08:10 PM

You could cut/paste that build as the answer to nearly half the build questions on the forum. All solid choices as usual.


I just found a good deal (through 9/1 with promo code EMCYWNT33). WD Black 1TB WD1002FAEX is only $79 with free shipping. Thats the new 500GB platter, "SATA 6GB" model. Its a bit faster than the Samsung F3 because the cache is bigger.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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August 27, 2010 10:42:58 PM

how does the above ASRock motherboard compare to

GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H

or to

to GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3


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August 27, 2010 10:55:12 PM

The ASRock has good reviews. As long as it works its a better value. My concern about ASRock is they just recently spun off from ASUStek and are now a subsidiary of Pegatron. The support may not be as good as ASUS anymore.

The Gigabyte UD2H is a microATX (smaller) motherboard size.

The Gigabyte 870a-ud3 is not capable of x8/x8 crossfire but other than that looks comparable to the ASRock. Gigabyte has a better rep for consistent quality than ASRock even before the spinoff.
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August 28, 2010 7:15:34 AM

MadAdmiral said:
I'd highly recommend following the guidelines. There's a link in my signature.

Here's a very rough $800 build:

I'm making sure the combos are still there or if there's any better deals.

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5850 $348
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $98
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $115 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $18

Total: $744. You could also change the CPU to a X4 955 (with 5850), if you don't mind being a over budget by $15

If you need it cheaper, switch the following:

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5770 $198 after rebate


I second this build. I have a 5850 and the only game I've played that can't be run on full 1980 x 1080 is Metro 2033, which still looks great on modest settings.
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August 28, 2010 12:01:38 PM

I like that build, but this ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

is identical but 1.35 voltage and 1$ more expensive, which means you'll have better overclocking on your CPU, less heat/energy (will pay for itself), and as it's lower voltage is more likely to work with future CPUs (a 32nm CPU has a harder time handing 1.65 voltage, seeing as they run at less than a volt compared to 1.2 for current 45nm chips).

Additionally, you could upgrade to an AMD Athlon X4+GTX 470 (from the X3+5850) for the same money. Both would be moderate jumps in performance for gaming.

X4 99$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
470 (240-270$) http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-3463938-10521304?sid=efqxt...
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August 28, 2010 1:46:46 PM

Actually, the X4 would be a decrease in gaming performance. The cheaper X4s aren't as good for gaming, with the exclusion of a couple of games, such as GTA IV.

Also, the 470 isn't the best idea either. Since AMD boards don't natively support SLI, you can't add a second card with most boards. The best one that would allow you to use SLI is a good $50 more expensive. That means you'd be stuck with a single 470, which wouldn't be an improvement in the long run. In addition, that board doesn't support USB 3/SATA III, so it's less future proof in that regard as well. It's also of questionable quality, as nVidia chipsets and AMD CPUs have a history of compatibility issues.

Even if you did spend the extra for the SLI board, you'd need a bigger PSU to support a second 470. They require a massive amount of power. Reviewers found they used about 100W more than a single 5850 at load. That's a massive increase in your energy costs (and so help me God, sp, if you say that's it's only $17 per 3 years, I'm going to break something...).

Finally, the newer nVidia cards are notorious for the amount of heat they produce. I have heard that the actual temperature of the entire case only increases a few degrees, but the GPUs themselves run very hot. Heat is the major enemy to a computer. It will wear out parts faster and case parts to stop working.

All of that together makes the 470 a poor choice today. Even given it's (questionable) performance bump and price savings (also questionable, given combos and general fluctuations).

The Eco RAM mentioned above is good though. I was just used to the Ripjaws being $10 cheaper.
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August 28, 2010 2:42:53 PM

What do you mean? It's a quad core vs. tricore. It's a newer stepping, and the additional core more than makes up for the .1ghz loss (3%), even if it's just offloading windows background tasks. Not to mention it'll be more fluid with general desktop work, and 33% faster for anything threaded.

I agree -- avoid Nvidia-based motherboards. They suck. If you really want SLI on an AMD platform you're better off editing the SLI driver profile to P55's.

This is all theoretical for a second card up until the fourth paragraph. If you're super concerned about power consumption, get the MSI version with the solid caps. Matches a 5870's power consumption. I don't think SLI ever makes a good ugprade path because you can typically get higher performance on a single-GPU by the time your old one is cheap/unable to perform.

The GPU themselves are silicon, the only components in that chip that have a risk of being fried is the organic parts of the chip package -- a small concern IMO considering you have to reach 120 degrees for those to be damaged. Granted, temperature and lifespan are correlated, but not if it's within safe ranges. If the card vents outside of the case it won't affect other components either.

I don't think there's anything questionable about the 470 having higher performance (with current drivers), nor are the price savings all that questionable -- there's consistently a 250$ or less 470 every three days (at least, for the past 2 weeks). They've been at 270 or less for the past month.
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August 28, 2010 7:12:48 PM

Quad cores actually DECREASE gaming performance. It seems counterintuitive, but Tom's did a review about it a while ago (here's my source: How Many CPU Cores Do You Need? (Part I) and Part II). They found that there were massive gaming performance jumps for the second and third core, but it actually dropped (very slightly) with the fourth (in Part I). In Part II, when they considered truly shared caches (opposed to partially shared), the performance was basically the same. Since very few games actually use more than three cores, it doesn't get the benefit of dropping other processes to the other cores.

I'll also point out that for gaming, the X3 440 is recommended over the X4. Check out Tom's monthly "Best Gaming CPUs for the Money" article for the details. The X3 and X4 perform basically the same for gaming. No reason to spend more for on the X4.

The questionable part of the price is the combos available for the 5850. There's a lot of very good ones. In addition, the 5850 was as low as $255 (without combos) last week. That makes it questionable on the price.

As for performance, I don't consider what drivers give you. Drivers change frequently and the amount of performance you get out them varies. Right now, nVidia has good drivers, but ATI just released new ones as well. In addition, if you're looking long term, you can't factor in the drivers. You have to consider just the raw power of the cards.

SLI/CF is a great upgrade path. It'll get you a good 65%+ performance increase for very cheap. Yes, you could drop in a different card, but to get that kind of performance gain, you'll easily spend three to four times how much you'll spend on a second card. For example, I'd say when you'd need to upgrade the 5850, you'll likely be able to find them for $100. To get a new card that'll give you comparable performance to 5850 CF, you'll likely spend $400. That makes SLI/CF an almost required option for future proofing simply because it's so cheap.

Given that SLI with AMD is a bad idea, and an Intel chipset is completely out of budget, I can't recommend a nVidia card.
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August 28, 2010 8:30:43 PM

Assuming at least daul-threaded games, the 4 will be a better performer. Those articles are more than a year old.

Yes, the 470 has higher raw performance. It had worse on launch because the drivers were immature, my point was that now the 470 has had 3 releases to mature it's a stronger card.

Eh, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Crossfire has some nasty issues like doubled power consumption/heat output, microstutter, and game-dependent scaling. If you wait until next gen, the cost of a card 2x as powerful as a 5850 is 270$ (doubled performance every generation at the same price point). If you wait until next-next gen, then you're looking at a 135$ part.

And the money spent on a crossfire mobo+PSU now means a worse GPU now as well.
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August 28, 2010 8:58:26 PM

man I dont understand anything you guys are saying :(  I was talking to a friend of mine that built his computer about 6 years ago and its a AMD and its still going but all this fight over sli and nvidea over ati gpu's im confused :( 
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August 28, 2010 9:34:11 PM

Computer parts are not likely to die dramatically in 6 years, however, they remain as powerful as they are on release, but programs become more intensive. As time goes on a CPU that was once the most powerful thing on earth is considered too slow to be useful.

Just 2 years ago people spent 1000$ on the Extreme Core2Quad processor. However, now just 2 years later a 200$ processor is faster while consuming less power.
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August 28, 2010 10:32:28 PM

sp12 said:
Assuming at least daul-threaded games, the 4 will be a better performer. Those articles are more than a year old.

Yes, the 470 has higher raw performance. It had worse on launch because the drivers were immature, my point was that now the 470 has had 3 releases to mature it's a stronger card.

Eh, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Crossfire has some nasty issues like doubled power consumption/heat output, microstutter, and game-dependent scaling. If you wait until next gen, the cost of a card 2x as powerful as a 5850 is 270$ (doubled performance every generation at the same price point). If you wait until next-next gen, then you're looking at a 135$ part.

And the money spent on a crossfire mobo+PSU now means a worse GPU now as well.


The articles are old, but the CPUs on today's market are at about that old. Excluding the 6 core CPUs, there haven't been any changes.

Right there is why triple cores are better. Games are mostly only dual-threaded. They can only use at most two cores. The background/excess processes are pushed off to the third core, allowing the two cores running the game to maximize their output. So what's the fourth core doing? Absolutely nothing.

The 470 may be stronger than it was at release, but so is every other card as well. That's what I'm saying about the drivers. You can't just look at what's out at any one point in time. You have to look at the raw performance. The 470's raw performance and the 5850's is fairly close. I'll give you that the 470 is a touch faster, but it's also a good 9 months newer, so that's expecting.

Every dual card solution (SLI and Crossfire) have "double power consumption/heat output". It's the fact that there are two cards in the build instead of one. Microstutter isn't much of an issue. It's rare and it's barely noticeable, if at all. As for game dependent-scaling, that's also a problem for both SLI and Crossfire. Some games use dual cards better than others.

Power doesn't double every generation. That'd be insane. For example, the HD 4850 and HD 5750 are roughly the cards at the same price point in two different generations. The 5750 isn't twice as powerful as the 4850. It's something like 10-15%, depending on overclocking.


Except that the money spent on a Crossfire board and PSU aren't much. We're talking $15 extra for the board (ASRock 770 Extreme3 vs. 870) and $10-20 for the PSU (550W vs. 650W). To get SLI with AMD, you'll need to spend another $50 on top of that for the board and another $30-50 for the PSU (650W vs. 850W).

@Stevex: Computer parts do last a while, but the become less powerful relative to the activities you want to do. The main technical thing that changes is the efficiency. As parts age, the heat they've put off wears them out. Older parts need more power to run than brand new ones, even if they're the exact same parts.

The argument is between the GTX 470 (a nVidia video card) and the HD 5850 (ATI's card). The two company's dual card solution (where you use two of the same card together as one) are called SLI (nVidia) and Crossfire (ATI). There are benefits and drawbacks to using both companies.

Right now, nVidia's cards run very hot, need a lot of power to run, and generally cost more. However, the raw power of their cards is slightly higher. In addition, their cards get better scaling (the percentage performance gain from adding a second GPU in SLI/CF). The main issue with using them in lower budget builds (like this one) is that AMD (who ones ATI) doesn't make their boards to support SLI. SLI needs some additional technical requirements than just having open video card slots on the board. Due to this lack of support, SLI is not possible on the vast majority of AMD boards. The ones that have support for it are expensive, lack many current features (mainly USB 3/SATA III support) and typically have issues.

On the other hand, ATI's card are fairly cheap. In addition, the run very cool and don't use a lot of power. However, they lack some special features that nVidia cards have (CUDA, PhysX, etc.), but none of them matter for gaming. In addition, Crossfire scaling is slightly lower. You can Crossfire cards as long as there are two PCIe 2.0 slots on a board.
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August 28, 2010 11:28:46 PM

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitl... someone else told me this was a good build in another topic. I just dunno what mobo i want which one is going to work for me in the long run. But I don't want how roaring parts that are going to burn themselves out in 3-4 years, but that is what its starting to look like lol. I have always liked nvidia, but then again I have never had an ati or anything to do with amd ? so I's lost :( 
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August 29, 2010 2:59:58 AM

It's not that great actually. You've got a very low quality board (Biostar's about the lowest of the low) and a lower quality PSU. The 460 1 GB is good, but the 768 MB version is a touch under powered for the price.

I'd highly recommend dropping the CPU to the X3 440 and get a quality board at least.

nVidia has the history behind them. In the old days (like five or six years ago), ATI's cards had all kinds of problems. However, when AMD bought them about four years ago, they improved an incredible amount.

I wouldn't say nVidia's cards would wear themselves out in three or four years. However, if you tried overclocking them a lot and running them at full load often, then you'd be increasing the odds of the card failing in that time frame.

Your budget locks you into an AMD CPU. The cheapest Intel option will easily cost you $400 for the CPU and board alone. I find that the cheapest build must spend around $150-200 for the non-performance parts (RAM, HDD, case, PSU, and optical). That would leave you with not a lot to spend on the main gaming part, the GPU.

Conversely, if you went with AMD's top-of-the-line CPU, the X4 955 (for gaming at least), you'd spend something like $250 on the board and CPU. That'd leave you with a lot more to spend on the GPU. The difference would be being able to play most games at 1600x resolutions and being able to play every game at 1920x1080 resolutions (a.k.a. full HD). It's a big difference.
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August 29, 2010 4:05:23 AM

MadAdmiral said:
It's not that great actually. You've got a very low quality board (Biostar's about the lowest of the low) and a lower quality PSU. The 460 1 GB is good, but the 768 MB version is a touch under powered for the price.

I'd highly recommend dropping the CPU to the X3 440 and get a quality board at least.

nVidia has the history behind them. In the old days (like five or six years ago), ATI's cards had all kinds of problems. However, when AMD bought them about four years ago, they improved an incredible amount.

I wouldn't say nVidia's cards would wear themselves out in three or four years. However, if you tried overclocking them a lot and running them at full load often, then you'd be increasing the odds of the card failing in that time frame.

Your budget locks you into an AMD CPU. The cheapest Intel option will easily cost you $400 for the CPU and board alone. I find that the cheapest build must spend around $150-200 for the non-performance parts (RAM, HDD, case, PSU, and optical). That would leave you with not a lot to spend on the main gaming part, the GPU.

Conversely, if you went with AMD's top-of-the-line CPU, the X4 955 (for gaming at least), you'd spend something like $250 on the board and CPU. That'd leave you with a lot more to spend on the GPU. The difference would be being able to play most games at 1600x resolutions and being able to play every game at 1920x1080 resolutions (a.k.a. full HD). It's a big difference.

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August 29, 2010 4:19:30 AM

how much more do u think I would need to spend on a better build ?
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August 29, 2010 4:37:22 AM

2176023,14,511676 said:
The articles are old, but the CPUs on today's market are at about that old. Excluding the 6 core CPUs, there haven't been any changes. But software has. Even dual-thread games show improvement with a quad. The additional core applies to a lot of games. Look at the source-engine, it uses 4 cores well. Look at BCBC2, or MW2, both use quads.

Quote:
The 470 may be stronger than it was at release, but so is every other card as well. That's what I'm saying about the drivers. You can't just look at what's out at any one point in time. You have to look at the raw performance. The 470's raw performance and the 5850's is fairly close. I'll give you that the 470 is a touch faster, but it's also a good 9 months newer, so that's expecting.


I mean the 470 was significantly worse when it came out, the 5850 had 9 months of driver developments whereas the 470 was running on launch drivers. If it's currently less expensive and 15% faster it's a better buy IMO.

Quote:
Every dual card solution (SLI and Crossfire) have "double power consumption/heat output". It's the fact that there are two cards in the build instead of one. Microstutter isn't much of an issue. It's rare and it's barely noticeable, if at all. As for game dependent-scaling, that's also a problem for both SLI and Crossfire. Some games use dual cards better than others.


Both of them have microstutter, and TBH in some games it's terrible. I'm not going to argue between SLI/crossfire because they both suck in my opinion.

Quote:
Power doesn't double every generation. That'd be insane. For example, the HD 4850 and HD 5750 are roughly the cards at the same price point in two different generations. The 5750 isn't twice as powerful as the 4850. It's something like 10-15%, depending on overclocking.


That's an incorrect comparison. Last-gen cards were so cheap because Nvidia and ATI both had solid performers out at the same time. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/162?vs=176 It's pretty close to twice as fast depending on the game, although the 4xxx-5xxxx jump fell short from the 3xxx-4xxx jump. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/176?vs=179


Quote:
Right now, nVidia's cards run very hot, need a lot of power to run, and generally cost more. However, the raw power of their cards is slightly higher.


Good up until the cost is generally higher. Nvidia's currently in the price/performance arena, so their prices are more competitive.

Quote:
SLI needs some additional technical requirements than just having open video card slots on the board. Due to this lack of support, SLI is not possible on the vast majority of AMD boards. The ones that have support for it are expensive, lack many current features (mainly USB 3/SATA III support) and typically have issues.


Not 100% accurate. There are no additional technical requirements, there's simply an Nvidia-led block to disable SLI unless the drivers see your board as SLI-certified. The only boards with Nvidia-sanctioned sli suck, and I agree -- avoid them.

In my opinion you don't need to spend a whole lot more. The build Admiral listed in the second post looks good with the exception of the ram and potentially CPU/GPU.
[/quote]
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August 29, 2010 5:07:16 AM

If the 4xxx to the 5xxx jump isn't a fair comparison, you can't say that you'll see a massive power jump in every generation. Do you really think there's going to be a large jump between the 5xxx and 6xxx cards?

I'd say you're more likely to see a large jump every time you upgrade the PCI slot, which is probably every three or four generations (or every four or five years). The PCI slots have been upgraded since the 3xxx series, and will likely go through an upgrade after the 8xxx series, possibly the 7xxx series.

However, there is another factor to the power increases. They're called consoles. Back when 3xxx series was planned and released, PC gaming was still the majority. Since then, people have switched to gaming on consoles. Given the desire to make games that work across all consoles and the PC, games aren't going to require an increase in power year-over-year. They'll likely need large power jumps every three or four years, depending on the console's upgrade. For example, whatever you need to play games right now will be the same until they release the next XBox and the PS4.

What this means is that the "trend" (which I've already disproved above) of power expansion isn't going to continue. The performance gains in the new generations aren't going to be as big. That includes the yearly releases (i.e. 3xxx to 4xxx to 5xxx to 6xxx) and overall (i.e. 3xxx to 5xxx). Gaming hardware is driven by the games, and the gaming companies aren't going to make a game that only a small percentage of gamers can play. There's no money in it. Right now, PC gamers with new hardware are an extreme minority.
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August 29, 2010 7:09:45 AM

sp12 said:
2176023,14,511676 said:
The articles are old, but the CPUs on today's market are at about that old. Excluding the 6 core CPUs, there haven't been any changes. But software has. Even dual-thread games show improvement with a quad. The additional core applies to a lot of games. Look at the source-engine, it uses 4 cores well. Look at BCBC2, or MW2, both use quads.

Quote:
The 470 may be stronger than it was at release, but so is every other card as well. That's what I'm saying about the drivers. You can't just look at what's out at any one point in time. You have to look at the raw performance. The 470's raw performance and the 5850's is fairly close. I'll give you that the 470 is a touch faster, but it's also a good 9 months newer, so that's expecting.


I mean the 470 was significantly worse when it came out, the 5850 had 9 months of driver developments whereas the 470 was running on launch drivers. If it's currently less expensive and 15% faster it's a better buy IMO.

Quote:
Every dual card solution (SLI and Crossfire) have "double power consumption/heat output". It's the fact that there are two cards in the build instead of one. Microstutter isn't much of an issue. It's rare and it's barely noticeable, if at all. As for game dependent-scaling, that's also a problem for both SLI and Crossfire. Some games use dual cards better than others.


Both of them have microstutter, and TBH in some games it's terrible. I'm not going to argue between SLI/crossfire because they both suck in my opinion.

Quote:
Power doesn't double every generation. That'd be insane. For example, the HD 4850 and HD 5750 are roughly the cards at the same price point in two different generations. The 5750 isn't twice as powerful as the 4850. It's something like 10-15%, depending on overclocking.


That's an incorrect comparison. Last-gen cards were so cheap because Nvidia and ATI both had solid performers out at the same time. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/162?vs=176 It's pretty close to twice as fast depending on the game, although the 4xxx-5xxxx jump fell short from the 3xxx-4xxx jump. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/176?vs=179


Quote:
Right now, nVidia's cards run very hot, need a lot of power to run, and generally cost more. However, the raw power of their cards is slightly higher.


Good up until the cost is generally higher. Nvidia's currently in the price/performance arena, so their prices are more competitive.

Quote:
SLI needs some additional technical requirements than just having open video card slots on the board. Due to this lack of support, SLI is not possible on the vast majority of AMD boards. The ones that have support for it are expensive, lack many current features (mainly USB 3/SATA III support) and typically have issues.


Not 100% accurate. There are no additional technical requirements, there's simply an Nvidia-led block to disable SLI unless the drivers see your board as SLI-certified. The only boards with Nvidia-sanctioned sli suck, and I agree -- avoid them.

In my opinion you don't need to spend a whole lot more. The build Admiral listed in the second post looks good with the exception of the ram and potentially CPU/GPU.
[/quote]
said:



So what cpu/gpu would you go with if you were the one buying this ? I just dont understand a 2.8g intel cpu is 289 bucks while a 3.2 x4 amd is only 75. I'm so lost right now. yes I understand that amd is better for the pocket but this much ?
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August 29, 2010 7:15:56 AM

also I might consider buying a new montior but not in this budget any recommendations ?
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August 29, 2010 12:14:21 PM

The Intel CPU you're talking about is the i7-930, and is overpriced.

Besides that, Intel CPUs are currently faster than AMD CPU. Even at 2.8g, the Intel is faster than an AMD at ~4g. The Intel CPU is faster, but more so than if cost increased directly as performance did. For gaming, the most important part of the build is your GPU, with the 2nd most important being a CPU that will not bottleneck your GPU. I would grab an X4+470 if it's the same price as an X3+5850, as you'd be seeing higher performance with the X4 for the same money.


Quote:
If the 4xxx to the 5xxx jump isn't a fair comparison, you can't say that you'll see a massive power jump in every generation. Do you really think there's going to be a large jump between the 5xxx and 6xxx cards?

I'd say you're more likely to see a large jump every time you upgrade the PCI slot, which is probably every three or four generations (or every four or five years). The PCI slots have been upgraded since the 3xxx series, and will likely go through an upgrade after the 8xxx series, possibly the 7xxx series.


I meant you were comparing the wrong cards for a generation comparison. The 3870-->4870 is more accurate to reflect the parts the cards held. I can say that because the 3-4 jump was like a 70% increase, while the 4-5 jump is a ~40% increase.

I definitely agree on the console-led hardware front, however, you'll continue to see that jump every year for a different, yet related reason -- cost. It was just this year that you could build a PC able to game as well as the Xbox for less than 800$.
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August 29, 2010 2:21:43 PM

stevex033 said:
how much more do u think I would need to spend on a better build ?


Absolutely nothing. You can get a good build for $600.

Take the build I posted in my first response and switch the CPU/GPU for the X3 440 and HD 5770. That's all you need to change. The total is then $594.

For a monitor, I know Asus has several great ones around $150-200. I would definitely get a 1920x1080 one. After that, get the biggest one you can afford. I find that anything over 24" gets extremely expensive. The one I currently throw into most of my recommendations is Asus' 23.6" 1080p model for $180.

@sp: I'm not sure why you think you can't compare the 4xxx and 5xxx for a generation comparison. The 5xxx series was released to replace the entire line of 4xxx cards. That's kind of the definition of a new generation. Any time something is released and intended to replace what is currently out there is a new generation.

I should also point out that the power jump between the 4xxx and 5xxx isn't even 40%. It's more like 10%. The cards brought a lot of improvements that weren't related to raw performance, specifically efficiency and DirectX 11.
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August 29, 2010 4:07:39 PM

I mean you're comparing a 4850 to a 5750, which is not a correct comparison. It's definitely at least 40%. Just look at the first 3 benchmarks, 58% of the 5870, 57% of the 5870, 56%, the worst-case scenario of CPU-limited L4D2 is only 33% slower, with an average of 78% higher framerates overall for the 4870-5870 jump. Wolfinstein is 89% faster.

IMO I agree that the X3+5770 from the first build is fine, but not for longevity at 1920 resolutions. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/172 at 1920 resolutions it regularly delivers average below 40 (meaning minimums well below 30), and that's with current games. It's fine as long as you plan on upgrading it within a year or so/turning down visual quality at 1920.

Make sure you grab the lower-voltage ram for 1$ more.
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August 29, 2010 5:51:55 PM

I am trying to get a build together thats going to last me 3-4 years plus. and i am wanting something thats going to give me good fps in new games and 30-40 is like what I am getting now with this old piece of crap dell. I am just now wanting to get into the new games thats why I am building a new comp. I dunno let me know guys :( 
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August 29, 2010 6:39:38 PM



I dunno if this is a good build or not, my friend did it and I dont think he knew what he was doing :( 

Yes I know its completely out of budget, I dunno if there is anyway to stay in budget really, I dunno even what my budget is right now, I might be getting more $$ for it.
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August 29, 2010 9:55:02 PM

That's a decent build. I'd definitely swap the board for an Asus P7P55D-E Pro though. Gigabyte's P55 boards will let you either use USB 3/SATA III or dual cards, not both.

That said, I'd highly consider sticking to AMD. Intel is replacing their current sockets in the next few months. The LGA 1156 socket is going to be replaced by the LGA 1155 by the end of the year. In addition, for lower budget builds, AMD will allow you to put more money towards the GPU, which is the major determinate of what games you can play. The X4 955 (comparable to the i5) will cost you over $100 less, counting the cost of the board.

If you're looking for 30-40 FPS in every game with max details at 1080p right now, the cheapest build you'll be able to find is going to be an X3 440 paired with the 5870. It'll be about $80-100 more expensive than the first build I posted.

@sp: I see our problem. The 4xxx cards didn't match up to the 5xxx cards by number alone (i.e. the 4850 wasn't replaced by the 5850). I'm fairly certain the 4850 matches the 5750, the 4870 matches the 5770, and the 4890 matches the 5850. The reason AMD did this was because they need some extra numbers at the top of the line. The 5870 was a brand new GPU and didn't technically replace anything, and there was the possibility of a 5890 for a while. The renumbering is the reason for your overstate performance increases.

As for the 5770 not handling itself at 1080p, I agree. However, I wouldn't buy a monitor with a native resolution under 1080p right now, and the 5770 is the only card that fits a $600 budget.
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August 29, 2010 10:03:22 PM

The 4870 matches the 5770 (or at least, is very close), but the 5750 is not equal to a 4850. The 4850 was simply lower clocked, while the 5750 is lower-clocked and has parts disabled. The 5870 replaced the 4870, and offered almost exactly twice the performance at the same price bracket.

And actually the cheapest you're looking at is an X4+470. The X3 is becoming a bottleneck with high-end cards as of late, while the 470 performs comparably to the 5870 at a majority of apps.
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August 29, 2010 10:32:34 PM

^If you don't mind the excess heat, massive amounts of power needed, and don't mind not having a cheap upgrade path. It's debatable if the 470 actually performs that well too.

I'm still going to argue with you on the X4 vs. X3. I don't think Tom's (and other places) would constantly recommend the X3 over the X4 if it was a bottleneck. Games are a good number of years out from needing a quad core, with the exclusion of a few games. After all, none of the consoles use one yet. In addition, the X3 can be unlocked into a quad core, so it's not that important.
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August 29, 2010 10:52:14 PM

In apps that don't use 2 cores, sure, but games do use 3 cores (after all, the consoles do), so the fourth core handles background processes. In multithreaded games (almost all new games) quads offer higher performance than tris. BFBC2? MW2? GTA4? All get 33% better performance from a quad than a tri. There's just no reason to cut into your longevity for 25$, even when that represents 3% of the budget.

And the X3 MIGHT be able to unlock to an X4, it's not like it's assured.

If you don't want the heat/power of the 470 just get the MSI version I have listed, it's the same TDP/energy as a stock 5870, but for 270$. IMO I would just grab the 240$ gigabyte anyway.

If you really want an ATI card get a 5850, 5870 is a bad price/performance buy.
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August 30, 2010 2:24:37 AM

sp12 said:
In apps that don't use 2 cores, sure, but games do use 3 cores (after all, the consoles do), so the fourth core handles background processes. In multithreaded games (almost all new games) quads offer higher performance than tris. BFBC2? MW2? GTA4? All get 33% better performance from a quad than a tri. There's just no reason to cut into your longevity for 25$, even when that represents 3% of the budget.

And the X3 MIGHT be able to unlock to an X4, it's not like it's assured.

If you don't want the heat/power of the 470 just get the MSI version I have listed, it's the same TDP/energy as a stock 5870, but for 270$. IMO I would just grab the 240$ gigabyte anyway.

If you really want an ATI card get a 5850, 5870 is a bad price/performance buy.



I dont want a card I am going to have to repleace within 2 years. Hopefully I wont have to upgrade my pc with 3-4 years. Also, I have noticed alot more builds with the x3 over there x4, I understand that games in the most part only use the 3 cores but like sp12 is saying wouldnt it be nice to have that 4th core there to handle stupid background processes that take up that little memory. Also, how many fps are good in the newer games, I always though you wanted to see 100 fps + in games, but they way I am understanding it from you guys is 30-40 fps arent bad. Like back in the day I use to play Counter Strike and if you didnt have 100 fps you were a loser lol. Then again im use to my montior a dell ultrasharp 1800fp 19" monitor that only handles 1280 resolution, and with my nvidia 5200 128mb gpu maybe I am just so old I dont know wtf I am talking about
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August 30, 2010 2:40:56 AM

100+ FPS you can't actually see. 60 FPS (a.k.a. 60 Hz) is generally the maximum monitors can display.

Playable FPS is generally defined as either 30 FPS at minimum or 40 FPS average. Any one who says you need more than that has not idea what they're talking about.
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August 30, 2010 2:47:59 AM

In general, FPS beyond 60 have very limited impact except for causing screen tearing, or in some fringe cases making inputs feel smoother. You will notice the difference between 60 and 30 FPS, but as long as your minimums stay above 30 it will be a generally good experience.
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August 30, 2010 2:48:30 AM

SO what am I looking at in new games if I see 45 fps range im good ? Like I am looking into buying the new starcraft game because a bunch of my friends bought it. They all just bought brand new prebuilt computers and I know they aint going to be laggng .Thats how I wanna be but I dont wanna spend 1500-2000 on a computer i wanna be smart and spend a quarter to half of that. and I do still play cs and when my computer now its a couple of maps on counter-strike and it says my fps drops from 75 to 15 I lagg out the ass and die, because I play it on the 1280 setting and high and *** laggs and everything skips and my lms jumps to over 100 and it sux. I want to be able to play WOW with a couple of friends and *** and not lagg out the ass and have to wait 20 minutes to load in a big city. and I tried play l4d2 and it pretty much crashed on me every time I tried to load it and got a refund from STEAM.
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August 30, 2010 2:51:18 AM

An X4+460 would handle all of those games well at 1280 resolutions. As long as you keep the AA below 4/8x they'll run fine.

Loading on wow is probably determined most by your hard drive.
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August 30, 2010 2:56:54 AM

ya but i dont wanna play this games at the 1280 setting I wanna go full 1920 because I am going to buy the new monitor and everything too not included in this budget. and I dunno what that AA 4/8x is
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August 30, 2010 3:17:17 AM

At 1920 a 5770 would still push SC2, WoW, and all source engine games well. A 460 would give you better longevity with new games/higher performance in those.
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August 30, 2010 3:21:06 AM

can u find me a link to that x4+470 product ? and with everything madadmiral posted in his first post on this thread would be good ?

Also I will be trying to play FFXIV, I Havent even looked at the sys req for it yet.

Also I do have a microcenter close by, if I could find better prices ?
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