Approximate Purchase Date: I would like to purchase parts for a complete system over the next three months. I would rather buy the right ones over time than be in a hurry and get the wrong ones!
Budget Range: 800 - 1200$ before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming/Multi-tasking (online gaming, online voice chat, media player, and web browsing) Movies (streaming Netflix), A/V burning, Video chat (Skype)
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: I have no parts preference. I am on the other hand looking for quality, longevity and upgrade-ability.
Overclocking: I have no plans on overclocking at this time, but am not opposed to purchasing stable overclocked components. I would like to keep my options open though and could be persuaded to overclock in the future based on educating myself further.
SLI or Crossfire: In my initial build, I am not looking to run multiple GPU's, but am looking for a good single card that I can later pair up with another card maybe a year from now.
Monitor Resolution: No monitor at this time, after the system build i will look to purchase.
Additional Comments: The bottom line is: I am looking to build a good stable overall system that through upgrades over time (additional: GPU / RAM) will be a contender for some years to come. I would like to purchase a CPU and MOBO with the plans on keeping them through the upgrade process and life of this system, while not creating bottleneck problems. I do not need or desire Blueray but would not be opposed to it if quality/price is comparable. I am, on the other hand looking to run multiple monitors (up to 3) in the near future. I am looking to air-cool my case and the Silverston Raven02 caught my eye in a SBM earlier this year. In addition I like the looks of the SB i5 2500k but will not wait to see what BD has to offer as a rebutle. (Not that i am sold on any one manufacturer/model of CPU's at this time)
I appreciate any and all help, as i look to the Tom's Community for just about all of my tech advice. My rig is old and needs to jump or be pushed out the window!
Rig - 6yr old gateway 500s, 2gb ram, P4, Geforce6200, WD 3200 caviar SE
Great start! If you have the extra cash, grab 8GB of RAM. Also, if you know you will be getting a second card later, grab at least a 650W psu. That will be fine for the 6850 or 6870's. $400 is a big range for your budget. I would hang closer to the 850 range and use the additional money to start grabbing some monitors.
With eyefinity from the 6850, you should be able to run 3 monitors from that one card. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
Thank you both for your very quick replies! So far it looks like both reco's are for radeon cards. Is there a Mobo out there that is preffered/proven better for a radeon card(s)? Also, thanks for the heads up on PSU with plans on a second card in the future
Will a single 6850 or 6870 be sufficient as i start to break into more intensive games, or will i need the second card before i can truly experience a graphic intensive game the way it is meant to be played? At this time with my current rig, its a chore to just play WoW with the Cata expansion, i havent wasted money on any current games for lack of a capable machine.
I was just mentioning the SB i5 2500k as a possible interest, is that they way i should go or would a phenomII or i7 be more appropriate for my longevity/quality build? No matter which way i go, i am willing to pay 200-300ish$ for a very capable CPU.
Overall, the graphics frame rate performance has the AMD Radeon HD 6970 matched nicely to the GeForce GTX 570. Measured at stock (reference) speeds in ten different tests, the Radeon HD 6970 was either slightly ahead in half of them or deeply trailed in the other half. We've excluded HAWX 2 from this review, until AMD drivers can compensate for the performance skew. The DirectX 10 tests seemed to really score the GeForce GTX 570 way ahead, while many of the DirectX 11 tests pulled the Radeon HD 6970 ahead by a few FPS:
3DMark Vantage has the 6970 ahead by 2.9% (1680x1050) or 5.8% (1920x1200) on the Jane Nash test, but then sinks 16.9/9.4% for New Calico. Crysis Warhead pushed the GTX 570 16.2/9.4% ahead, but then DX11 Aliens vs Predator pushed back 10.4/12.3% in favor of the Radeon HD 6970. Shader intensive games such as Battlefield Bad Company 2 really strained the Radeon HD 6970, giving the GTX 570 a 31.9/25.3% lead. BattleForge did the same, giving the GTX 570 a 53.5/57.1% lead over the 6970. Lost Planet 2 dog-piled also the results in favor the GTX 570, resulting in a 45.1/41.9% lead over the 6970. Then, thankfully, the Radeon HD 6970 fought back in NVIDIA-strong games like Mafia II, producing a 0.9/6.0% lead over the GTX 570. Metro 2033 gave the 6970 a 3.1/5.2% edge, and then the Heaven 2.1 benchmark offered a 2.0/7.5% difference in favor of the 6970.