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Underutilized potential

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Last response: in Systems
September 29, 2010 8:23:20 PM

My system priorities are 1) quiet, 2) power, 3) cool (for stability's sake)

My self-imposed restrictions: single graphics card, air cooled, stock clock.

Requirements: Ability to run 1920x1200 or higher, smoothly, even if not at full detail.

Other tidbits: don't really care about hex-cores, will most likely go with a quad-core.

Application: home desktop. mostly gaming on a 24" monitor, looking at going to a 30" soon, however. Little to no video editing.

Current rig:
Asus Rampage Formula
Q9550
8 GB 4CL HyperX
EVGA GTX260 (192)
Intel X-25M OS
WD 1TB green
Dell 2407WFP-HC

Quiet is accomplished by a Seasonic S12 550, and an Apevia X-Plorer with 120s front and back, an 80 on top, and a 240 on the side panel, and a scythe infinity with a 120. Even at the lowest fan speeds, cooling hasn't really been an issue.

My build budgets typically are around $800-$1K, And i'll tend to go with lower CPUs in a socket series at first, and incrementally upgrade as prices drop. The current rig, in my opinion, is ready for a socket change.

My questions:

1) Is the quality of components that are aimed at overclockers any different from those that are not? I have a tendency to underutilize my systems by having good OC components, but running them at stock clocks. in other words, for my next build, do i need to be pricing out the OC boards, or should I be setting my sights lower and saving some cash?

2) Along the same lines, since I don't use multi-gpu setups, am I wasting money going after 1366 socket components, or are the 1156 chips and boards more than sufficient given my priorities and limitations?

I'll also say I'm not going to bother waiting for sandybridge components, unless it's to get these components more cheaply.

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September 29, 2010 9:06:14 PM

1) Everything is now overclock friendly, self-overclocking or already factory overclocked. There is no significant distinction between gaming components and enthusiast overclocker gaming components.

2) For gaming with a single GPU, 1366 is a waste of money. An i5 760 and P55 mobo will match gaming performance of anything you can buy at any price.


I think you will be undewhelmed by any performance increase you get by changing that CPU. At best you will get maybe a 25% increase in gaming performance with an i5 760. Overclocking the 9550 and getting a stronger graphics card would make alot more sense to me.
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September 29, 2010 11:53:36 PM

1) Yes, OC-higher end boards usually have higher quality materials compared to bare-minimum boards. But the quality difference between mid-range Mobos and "entusiast" parts is pretty slim, aside from OC functions and colors, example would be the Maximus III Formula and P7P55D-E Pro.

2) For single GPU setups, the difference between 1156 and 1366 is triple channel RAM, which doesnt benifit in 95% of games.

However, I do not advise you to upgrade now. The 1156 socket is already "dead" as no architecturally new CPUs will be relaesed on it due to SB's switch to 1155. So Id suggest you wait a month or two for them. However, your current setup is perfectly adequate CPU-wise, as whats really holding you back is the GPU. A simple GPU upgrade will benifit you much more than a paltform swap.

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September 30, 2010 9:24:52 AM

coloradoleo76 said:
1) Is the quality of components that are aimed at overclockers any different from those that are not? I have a tendency to underutilize my systems by having good OC components, but running them at stock clocks. in other words, for my next build, do i need to be pricing out the OC boards, or should I be setting my sights lower and saving some cash?

You won't notice the difference in quality between standard and high-end overclocking motherboards. Up to around $200 you are paying for physical features (Onboard USB 3.0 & SATA III, Number of PCI-E x16 slots, PCI-E 8x/8x or 16x/16x mode).

coloradoleo76 said:
I'll also say I'm not going to bother waiting for sandybridge components, unless it's to get these components more cheaply.

Current processors have already come down in price in preparation for Sandy Bridge; they probably won't decrease in price much more after it is released (especially if you can purchase from Micro Center). There will probably be some very good prices on LGA 1156 motherboards next year, however.
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October 5, 2010 9:34:51 PM

Best answer selected by coloradoleo76.
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