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Sandy bridge worth it for gaming?

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a b 4 Gaming
January 8, 2011 8:36:54 PM

Hey guys, i'm thinking of putting a new gaming rig together for around £650. ($1000) I also already have a Palit GTX 460 1GB graphics card. I have asked around on a few forums and it seemed like my best bet was to go for:

CPU: Intel Core i5 760 2.8Ghz (Probably overclock to around 3.2-2.6 if possible)
RAM: 2x2gb Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz
Mobo: Asus P7P55D PRO
GPU: 2x Palit GTX 460 1GB
HDD: 500GB WD Black
Case: Coolermaster Gladiator 600
CPU Fan: Coolermaster Hyper 212
PSU: XFX Pro Series 850W
Case Fans: 3x Zaward Golf (2x 140mm, 1x 120mm)

Now that Sandy Bridge is out im not sure. For a rig that is purely meant for gaming, is it worth me paying the extra for an ASUS P8P67 PRO and an i5 2500k? I suppose ill need a different CPU cooler too, any suggestions on a decent cooler for £20-25 or so?

Also i welcome any suggestions for improving that build. I use my PC for gaming, music, web browsing and audio recording/editing (i have an audio interface. It's also worth noting that audio editing/recording doesnt require a huge amount from my CPU, my E7500 copes fine atm)

Thanks in advance guys! :) 

January 8, 2011 8:42:12 PM

I think that if you want this build to last you as long as possible, yes, it would be smart to buy Sandy Bridge. They are supposed to be a BIG improvement over the old i5/i7 series.
January 8, 2011 8:58:15 PM

How much more $$$ are we talking here, 50$ more, 100$ more? Since you plan on OCing, I think SB would be worth it for you should be able to push it to 4.0-4.4GHz. You also have to consider that there will probably no more CPU released for LGA1156 so if you go that way, you won't be able to upgrade your CPU to anything else with that board. With LGA1155, you could potentially upgrade to an Ivy Bridge (22nm Sandy Bridge) when they are released if MB manufacturer can release BIOS updates. Then again, Intel proved that assumption wrong again and again with P4->Core2, with C2D->C2Q and even with Core->Peryn so even the 1st gen P67s might be dead-ends.

I think any LGA1156 cooler will fit the LGA1155, the mounting for HSF hasn't changed.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2011 12:18:46 AM

Hi, thanks for the replies. Looking at about £30 more for the CPU and about £40 more for the mobo. Id prefer to keep the costs lower unless sandy bridge is much faster or i save money in the long run by not having to buy another mobo.

Another question: if i find a PSU that has the right amount of power but not the right connectors, if i get some molex to PCIe adapters for example, is it likely to run the same as if the PCIe cable came straight from the PSU without an adapter? The thing is, there are many way cheaper PSU's than that one which may do the same job but dont have have right connectors. I also dont understand this single rail/dual rail business. Can anyone here suggest a good PSU for that setup? I just need the cheapest one that will work and is likely to last a few years of very heavy use.

Thanks again :) 
January 9, 2011 3:15:25 AM

jmsellars1 said:
Hi, thanks for the replies. Looking at about £30 more for the CPU and about £40 more for the mobo. Id prefer to keep the costs lower unless sandy bridge is much faster or i save money in the long run by not having to buy another mobo.
For sure an LGA1156 will be a "dead-end", you next CPU will require a new motherboard. With LGA1155 you might have a chance that next CPUs will work on it, no guarantee. As for "much faster", I think Sandy Bridge is pretty much as performant as the "old" i7 line on an "equal clock comparison". However, Sandy Bridge is much more aggressively clocked. The i5-760 runs at 2.8GHz and the i5-2500K runs at 3.3GHz which is already a 18% increase. For OC, you think you can push the i7-760 to 3.6GHz top, but Sandy Bridge can probably reach 4.4GHz with the same cooler, that is 22% more. So as long as price increase is lower than 18-22%, your price/performance ratio would be better with Sandy Bridge.
jmsellars1 said:
Another question: if i find a PSU that has the right amount of power but not the right connectors, if i get some molex to PCIe adapters for example, is it likely to run the same as if the PCIe cable came straight from the PSU without an adapter? The thing is, there are many way cheaper PSU's than that one which may do the same job but dont have have right connectors. I also dont understand this single rail/dual rail business. Can anyone here suggest a good PSU for that setup? I just need the cheapest one that will work and is likely to last a few years of very heavy use.
Don't buy cheap PSUs, never, never, never. For a setup such as yours, a good 650W (put 750W if you want more headroom). Cheap one's output could fluctuate and dammage your PC or at least make it crash.
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2011 5:57:44 AM

Price is around 20-25% more for the cpu alone then that again for the mobo but i think i might just go for it anyway to be honest, good chance i wont buy for at least another month anyway so the price may drop. As for the PSU, i was told that 850w would be a good idea because the capacitors wear out and i leave my pc on quite a lot and ill probably want this setup to last around 3-5 years. Do you think this is a good idea or will i be ok with a 750w for a good few years of very heavy usage?
January 9, 2011 2:43:39 PM

jmsellars1 said:
Price is around 20-25% more for the cpu alone then that again for the mobo but i think i might just go for it anyway to be honest, good chance i wont buy for at least another month anyway so the price may drop. As for the PSU, i was told that 850w would be a good idea because the capacitors wear out and i leave my pc on quite a lot and ill probably want this setup to last around 3-5 years. Do you think this is a good idea or will i be ok with a 750w for a good few years of very heavy usage?
I usually use this PSU calculator, it can take capacitor aging into account and even OC. With your built, I think it gave something around 550W even with SLI so ...
a c 223 4 Gaming
January 9, 2011 2:47:58 PM

Yes, the 5 GHz threshold's already been passed, well w/ a bit of help from Asus' DIGI+ VRM

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k
RAM: 2x2gb Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 Deluxe for huge OC's...... Save $50 if ya not shooting that hi and get the Pro version
GPU: 2x Palit GTX 460 1GB
HDD: 500GB WD Black
Case: Coolermaster HAF-922 (worth the $40, and you'll save on the extra fans)
CPU Fan: Coolermaster Hyper 212 (no longer in top 20 .... Sythe SCMG-2100 is now No. 2 performer for $10 more)
PSU: XFX Black Edition 850W (10.0 peformance Rating on jonnyguru and only $110)
Case Fans: already in HAF can fit one more one if ya want
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2011 10:37:45 PM

Thanks guys, i think ill go for a decent 750w PSU with the P8P67 PRO. On the case, i have read reviews on the HAF series and apparently the cooling isnt that great compared to something like an Antec 902 which also looks better in my opinion. I think i will ditch the extra fans and possibly the cooler for the Antec 902

CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k
RAM: 2x2gb Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz
Mobo: ASUS P8P67 PRO
GPU: 2x Palit GTX 460 1GB
HDD: 500GB WD Black
Case: Antec 902
CPU Fan: Stock or something cheap (~£20/$30)
PSU: XFX Pro 750W or OCZ Fatal1ty 750W
January 9, 2011 11:01:37 PM

I own an Antec 902 and yes it is a good case, but a few things are bugging me to the point where I might get a HAF X for my next build.
  • You need to remove both side panel if you want to clean the front air filters.
  • You need to remove the whole HDD cage so add/remove a HDD.
  • No air intake at the bottom so if your PSU has a bottom fan, you need to mount it upside down. (this "wastes" some of the length of the PSU cables)
  • The tower isn't as long as I with it would be, my GTX 260 barely fits in the casing, a longer card wouldn't.
  • Front panel audio is a joke, the wires are unshielded and there is so much noise that it is unusable.

    It's a shame because otherwise this is a really good quality built case.
    a b 4 Gaming
    January 10, 2011 3:03:07 AM

    I think the only one that might bother me there is the upside down PSU because it's very rare that i will clean the filters or add a hdd and the GTX 460 is tiny. Also i never use any of the front panel stuff, its not even plugged in on my current case. I'm just leaning toward the Antec because its looks great and the cooling is meant to be very very good
    a b 4 Gaming
    January 11, 2011 8:31:05 AM

    Hi, I just bought the Antec 902 and it seems HUGE lol its so heavy too, like a frickin tank. You were right about it being a bit of a pain to build into but the temps are awesome and it looks ok.
    !