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Final thoughts on gaming pc, 1500$

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December 19, 2010 7:41:43 PM

Hi people, could use some final inputs/thoughts on this one - just getting the formalities out of the way:

Approximate Purchase Date: Hopefully before new year, see notes
Budget Range: 1400-1500$
System Usage: Primarily gaming.
Parts Not Required: Everything is needed, but said budget is for the computer itself
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Preferably all parts from same site, as shipping will be easier for me (shipping across the pacific)
Parts Preferences: Nothing in particular
Overclocking: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: Later, I hope
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: Would like to keep this upgrade-friendly.

Now for my current selection:

Mobo: ASUS Maximus III GENE LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - 160$
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM - 120$
CPU: Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 - 205$
PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RS800-80+ Gold 800W - 145$ (in combo with cpu)
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 Mid Tower Computer Case - 90$
Video: EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 570 - 370$
CD/DVD Burner: ASUS Black DvD Burner - 17$
SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB SATA II -220$
Harddrive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 3.5" - 90$
CPU Sink/fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus - 30$

Total: 1450$
Thoughts and concerns:
I would really like to add another 570 later, but would that be overkill in comparison to the rest of the system?
Thoughts on the PSU?
How much will the Sandy Bridge release affect i5 price? Purely speculations of course, but is it worth waiting for?

Thanks a lot for inputs!
December 19, 2010 7:50:07 PM

I like the ssd u chose i have the same one:) 
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December 19, 2010 7:51:00 PM

I think you could do better on the cpu fan.
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December 19, 2010 7:57:35 PM

Everything looks really good actually. Heres a cheaper and still very good psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You might wanna drop the ram to 4gb though. In gaming you'll never max out the 4gb and its enough to run pretty much anything. As long as you oc your processor above 3.8 or so then you dont need to really worry about bottle necking the 2 570's. Shouldnt be a problem with the hyper 212+.

Another thing, i dont know if you considered droping down to 60gb or 90gb for the ssd? I would just put your os and commonly used programs like firefox, word, etc, then put all your games on your hdd as the only thing the ssd will effect is load times of level, which will change by seconds so its not really a big deal. I feel if you drop down to 60gb there and get 4gb of ram you'll save some money to get another 570 sooner.
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December 19, 2010 8:06:51 PM

Hello,

If I were you, I wouldn't buy a Clarkdale or Lynfield processor...they are DOOMED. With the Sandy Bridge socket LGA 1155 released next year (Q1'2011), the LGA1556 socket will become upsolete. So definitively NOT update friendly.
If you were to go for a Bloomfield or Gulftown processor, you'd have a little bit more time. The Sandy Bridge socket LGA 2011 (Patsburg), which will be replacing the 1366, will come out at the very end of Q4'2011 and beginning of Q1'2012.
So whatever you do, you'd buy a doomed socket. There's one more update left for the 1366 socket (spring 2011) and after that...KABOUM. The Sandy Bridge will take over.
The i7 started in 2008, which means its 3 years old. There's never been a socket that lasted this long before. The Sandy Bridge will outperform the i7 in every possible way.
So if I were you, I'd buy a Bloomfield processor in the spring of 2011, where the prices will be at their lowest ever.
The Sandy Bridge will be VERY expensive when they come out...so buying them is not the wisest thing to do.

If I were you, I'd buy an i7 950, with an Asus or EVGA 3-way SLI compatible motherboard.
For the CPU cooler, I'd get the Corsair H70 or H50.
For the RAM, NEVER use multiples of 2 with DDR3. It's always 3 or 6 (With DDR2, it was 2 or 4). Your computer would work with only 2 DIMMs, but you wouldn't be able to use the full potential of DDR3. So get some Corsair Dominator GT (3x2Gb or 3x4Gb) or OCZ or Mushkin memory. They're the best out there IMO.
For overclocking, you can easily obtain 4GHz with the i7 950 and 2000MHz on the RAM. If you plan on overclocking, get only 3 DIMMs, not 6, because the latter stresses more the mobo (you need more voltage...more heat...less overcloking possibilities)

So I hope this helped !
al360ex
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December 19, 2010 10:12:33 PM

Quote:
So definitively NOT update friendly.

well I wouldn't say that.. just not CPU upgrade friendly, and an i5 will still handle any game to come out for a long time I'm sure.

PS. to the OP, theres a $25 promo code on the i5 760 atm, EMCZNV73. making it $179.99
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December 19, 2010 10:28:33 PM

vindictive said:
Quote:
So definitively NOT update friendly.

well I wouldn't say that.. just not CPU upgrade friendly, and an i5 will still handle any game to come out for a long time I'm sure.

PS. to the OP, theres a $25 promo code on the i5 760 atm, EMCZNV73. making it $179.99


Well, not CPU updrade friendly, nor motherboard upgrade friendly. As for games, nowadays, CPUs are very often bottlenecks. Plus the i5 does not have HT and uses dual channel memory. http://www.brighthub.com/computing/hardware/articles/48...

Application are already starting to be developped optimised for triple-channel memory, so this would be a disadvantage in the future.
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December 20, 2010 12:14:18 AM

Quote:
Application are already starting to be developped optimised for triple-channel memory, so this would be a disadvantage in the future.

interesting since SandyBridge is supposed to operate in Dual-Channel Memory as well.

the i5 2500k ($209) won't have HT either and generally HT doesn't do much for gaming, since this is a gaming computer, no biggie.

I think an i5 760 doesn't become a bottleneck till you start running 4x gtx 480's. lol.
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December 20, 2010 12:17:58 AM

and by all means, I'm not suggesting not to wait for SB the performance is amazing and should cost the same as their predecessors. I was just telling you I don't see an i5 not being capable of gaming for a good while.
I just bought one last month actually.
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December 20, 2010 1:00:30 AM

vindictive said:
Quote:
Application are already starting to be developped optimised for triple-channel memory, so this would be a disadvantage in the future.

interesting since SandyBridge is supposed to operate in Dual-Channel Memory as well.

the i5 2500k ($209) won't have HT either and generally HT doesn't do much for gaming, since this is a gaming computer, no biggie.

I think an i5 760 doesn't become a bottleneck till you start running 4x gtx 480's. lol.


It will be Dual Channel for the "mainstream" version (socket 1155, replaces the 1156). But for the "Entuisiasts" (Patsburg platform, socket 2011, replaces the 1366) it will be DDR3 Four Channel. I guess the good old Three Channel is dead then...
Source : http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/04/21/intel-...
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December 20, 2010 4:29:55 PM

Thanks for your inputs guys! I took nicks and nooks from everyone, so selecting a "best answer" is going to be hard ;) 
@Bavman: Followed your advice on both PSU and SSD. The SSD saved me quite the money, and when you mention it, games are just as good on the storage. Aiming for a 60GB now

@al360ex: Thanks for the memory tip, didn't know that. 3x2GB set now.

@vindictive: Thanks for the promo code!

@everyone: going to have to let the majority "decide", and go for the i5. I did consider your bloomfield alternative al360ex, but decided I won't be getting a new CPU by 2012, or earlier, anyways. So my next CPU upgrade will be a new socket anyways. Also if it doesn't bottleneck the video cards, I'm good for a while.

Thanks again people!
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December 20, 2010 4:38:08 PM

Gacale said:
Thanks for your inputs guys! I took nicks and nooks from everyone, so selecting a "best answer" is going to be hard ;) 
@Bavman: Followed your advice on both PSU and SSD. The SSD saved me quite the money, and when you mention it, games are just as good on the storage. Aiming for a 60GB now

@al360ex: Thanks for the memory tip, didn't know that. 3x2GB set now.

@vindictive: Thanks for the promo code!

@everyone: going to have to let the majority "decide", and go for the i5. I did consider your bloomfield alternative al360ex, but decided I won't be getting a new CPU by 2012, or earlier, anyways. So my next CPU upgrade will be a new socket anyways. Also if it doesn't bottleneck the video cards, I'm good for a while.

Thanks again people!


The 3x2Gb set is only for DDR3 TRIPLE channel (on the i7). On the i5 it is DDR3 memory DUAL channel (so 2x2Gb for the best performance, the same as with DDR2)
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December 20, 2010 4:44:00 PM

al360ex said:
Well, not CPU updrade friendly, nor motherboard upgrade friendly. As for games, nowadays, CPUs are very often bottlenecks.


At what resolutions does 'significant' cpu scaling occur? (admi8ttedly, some games scale 'better' than others)

ANswer-however, most games scale well usually below 1080P, IMO....
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December 20, 2010 5:01:43 PM

mdd1963 said:
At what resolutions does 'significant' cpu scaling occur? (admi8ttedly, some games scale 'better' than others)

ANswer-however, most games scale well usually below 1080P, IMO....


It depends how well the game itself is coded. If you take Metro 2033 (very badly coded), the CPU is always the bottleneck at resolutions of 1080p and over. But that's only the experience I've had with the game. I might be wrong.
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December 21, 2010 10:58:14 AM

Best answer selected by Gacale.
nReason: Money is power, and this saved me most. Thanks again everyone!
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