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Building a new rig, looking for thoughts/advice

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December 30, 2010 8:22:40 AM

Hi everyone, first time forum poster, but long time reader of tom's hardware. Going to be building a new PC this month, mostly to be used for gaming, 3D modeling (blender), game development in Unity, video streaming to other devices around the house, and some occasional video editing and photoshopping. Looking for some comments, advice, that sorta thing.

Ok, so here's the new system i'm planning to build:

  • Mobo: Asus Rampage III Extreme
  • Proc: Intel Core i7 950 Bloomfield
  • RAM: 4GB stick of Corsair XMS 1600mhz DDR3 (7-8-7-20, CAS 7)
  • VGA: Gigabyte Super Overclock 1GB GTX 460 (fermi)
  • PSU: 750W Corsair CMPSU-750TX

    That's pretty much it for the initial build. Will be looking to gradually add more RAM in 4GB increments, and throw in another video card or two for some SLI action in the future. And of course, going to be overclocking it to push out some extra bang for the buck (probably not until I get a decent cooling setup on the go though)

    EDIT: Been doing some poking around, and am now thinking of going with a ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 over the SOC GTX 460. Although I've traditionally gone with nvidia cards in the past, is there much of a difference between ATI/AMD and Nvidia these days? How well does each companys cards generally scale in SLI/CFX? Also, any thoughts on the GTX 460 vs HD 5850?
    a b B Homebuilt system
    December 30, 2010 10:55:30 AM

    THG guide has a video scaling article from ealrier this month.....; there, you can compare directly the 460 with 5850...
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    December 30, 2010 10:57:07 AM

    xorgate said:
    Hi everyone, first time forum poster, but long time reader of tom's hardware. Going to be building a new PC this month, mostly to be used for gaming, 3D modeling (blender), game development in Unity, video streaming to other devices around the house, and some occasional video editing and photoshopping. Looking for some comments, advice, that sorta thing.

    Ok, so here's the new system i'm planning to build:

  • Mobo: Asus Rampage III Extreme
  • Proc: Intel Core i7 950 Bloomfield
  • RAM: 4GB stick of Corsair XMS 1600mhz DDR3 (7-8-7-20, CAS 7)
  • VGA: Gigabyte Super Overclock 1GB GTX 460 (fermi)
  • PSU: 750W Corsair CMPSU-750TX

    That's pretty much it for the initial build. Will be looking to gradually add more RAM in 4GB increments, and throw in another video card or two for some SLI action in the future. And of course, going to be overclocking it to push out some extra bang for the buck (probably not until I get a decent cooling setup on the go though)

    EDIT: Been doing some poking around, and am now thinking of going with a ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU TOP/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5850 over the SOC GTX 460. Although I've traditionally gone with nvidia cards in the past, is there much of a difference between ATI/AMD and Nvidia these days? Also, any thoughts on the GTX 460 vs HD 5850?

  • Well I think the GTX 460 is going to be suitable for your needs. I'm not sure how much more you'll get from the 5850, it may be slightly overpriced for the performance. But I wouldn't stop you if thats what you wanted. The HD6850 and GTX 460 are the best bang for buck right now.
    I am more confused by the ram. I think you should get triple channel for the X58 board. Get 6 gigs and you shouldn't need more.
    Also I would def consider getting an SSD boot drive for this rig. Everything else is top notch. I recommend the 100GB OCZ Vertex 2 or something similar.

    Also most folks are waiting for the new Intel CPU's (2 weeks is the word) to come out. If you still want the i7, they should come down a bit.
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    December 30, 2010 11:21:00 AM

    buzznut said:
    Well I think the GTX 460 is going to be suitable for your needs. I'm not sure how much more you'll get from the 5850, it may be slightly overpriced for the performance. But I wouldn't stop you if thats what you wanted. The HD6850 and GTX 460 are the best bang for buck right now.
    I am more confused by the ram. I think you should get triple channel for the X58 board. Get 6 gigs and you shouldn't need more.
    Also I would def consider getting an SSD boot drive for this rig. Everything else is top notch. I recommend the 100GB OCZ Vertex 2 or something similar.

    Also most folks are waiting for the new Intel CPU's (2 weeks is the word) to come out. If you still want the i7, they should come down a bit.


    Well, the 5850 is on sale on newegg (where i plan on buying the parts) atm, and is $10 cheaper than the GTX 460. Only thing really making me iffy on the subject was the fact I've never bought an AMD video card before.

    As for the RAM I was going to pick up another two 4GB sticks and triple channel for 12GB, which is overkill, but at least i'll be prepared for the future :lol: 

    As for the SSD, yeah, I'll def be picking one up pretty soon, but as it stands I'm going to be using a case and HDDs I already have to save a little $$$ in the short term. Same deal with the video card really, looking for a single card that'll run anything out there today, but planning on picking up two beefier cards later.

    As for the new Intel CPUs, what kinda price range are they expected to be in? Hopefully not $1G+, like their hexacore processor :whistle:  and how much do you think the current i7s will go down as a result of their release?

    Also, thank you mdd1963 for pointing out that article. I'll be sure to check it out.
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    December 30, 2010 8:02:38 PM

    Ok that is a good deal on the 5850. ATI cards and nVidia cards are about the same. nVidia has CUDA processing and 3D vision on its side and ATi has multimonitor support.

    Running 4 gigs in single channel will not give you the performance of triple channel memory. The pb is that most folks will have a hard time buying upgrades after the initial purchase. I have always talked about adding a second video card but I never have, mostly because I can't justify the cost of the purchase on a machine that already works.
    You won't need 12 gigs of memory.
    I imagine the new Intel CPU's and motherboards will be a premium at first. They will probably have a model that is quite pricey. I can't speculate on specifics as I could be very wrong. I think its safe to say that the current line up of processors could drop 10-30 bucks, depending on the model. Don't look for a huge drop on the 980X, Intel is selling these to enthusiasts and will continue to do so. It is def a niche market though as most of us can't afford such things.
    I think there will be models in the 300-400US range.
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    December 30, 2010 8:35:45 PM

    While I don't peg myself as the type who has trouble buying upgrades, I have decided to grab a triple channel kit instead. 6GB of Corsair XMS DDR3 at 1600mhz, currently on sale for $66.99. The timings are higher, 9-9-9-24, CAS 9, but it is significantly cheaper than the single stick i was going to pick up.

    Also, I don't think I'll wait for the sandy bridge release as right now the video card is $50 off, the mobo is $20 off, and the ram is $20 off. Plus, I doubt they'll have a mobo quite this nice on launch

    And I'm certainly going with the 5850, but I'll probably end up buying Nvidia once I wanna go duel-card. Unless of course, the card really manages to impress me. Maybe it could singly handidly end my Nvidia fanboyism :lol: 
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    December 30, 2010 9:02:16 PM

    Wise choice on the ram, you really are saving money on that. Well it looks like a fine build, best of luck. Have fun!
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    December 30, 2010 11:14:24 PM

    Your RAM needs a fix ... you'll want a 3 X 2GB set fo the R3E.

    The 5850 will hamper you for your planned usage. #D modeling and video editing benefit fro CUDA which only nVidia cards support.

    The 460 is a bit underwhelming for the rest of your components. With 470's at the $200 mark these days, they hars to resist. If your not going to add more GFX cards, I wouldn't bother with the R3E. And to do that, you'll want an 850 watta PSU with twin 470's .... Corsair HX7850, XFX Black Edition 850, Antec SG850 / CP850+

    * Requires compatible Antec case
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    December 31, 2010 5:33:39 AM

    JackNaylorPE said:
    Your RAM needs a fix ... you'll want a 3 X 2GB set fo the R3E.

    The 5850 will hamper you for your planned usage. #D modeling and video editing benefit fro CUDA which only nVidia cards support.

    The 460 is a bit underwhelming for the rest of your components. With 470's at the $200 mark these days, they hars to resist. If your not going to add more GFX cards, I wouldn't bother with the R3E. And to do that, you'll want an 850 watta PSU with twin 470's .... Corsair HX7850, XFX Black Edition 850, Antec SG850 / CP850+

    * Requires compatible Antec case


    Yeah, I know. But to be honest the build is already going $115 over my current budget (looks like I'll be eating noodles, oh, every day this month :lol: ) and the 5850 on sale seems to be the best choice for a single card atm. Although like I said, when I go to pick up duel cards (probably get the first in Feb, second the following month) I'll be going Nvidia, especially if 3D modeling benefits from CUDA. As for the power supply, it's one I've already got so it'll have to do for now. I don't think it'll have much trouble powering the initial build.

    So yeah, I'm thinking 5850 now, Nvidia card + new psu in feb, second Nvidia card in March. Come march I should have a pretty beefy system :sol: 
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    January 7, 2011 4:23:52 AM

    Best answer selected by xorgate.
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