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Which GPU/CPU combo?

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February 7, 2011 11:12:53 PM

Hello, I'm in need of you all's expertise. I asked a while back about help on a new build, and the overwhelming response was "Sandy Bridge is awesome". The community had convinced me to buy a 2500 Sandy Bridge. Then my funding got delayed, and they pulled Sandy Bridge and motherboards. Well my funding should finally arrive next week and I've read up on everything I can find, but the whole GPU/CPU bottlenecking thing and how the parts actually perform is something I can't quite grasp. I imagine most things out there now would be impressive to my current (and failing) Athlon x2 4000+ and 8800GT 512.

Most of the parts I have are set in stone (case, mouse, kb, RAM and such), the only real issue is what CPU/MB/GPU combo I need. This PC will mostly be for Nvidia 3D Vision (World of Warcraft and Blu Ray 3D) but I really want something that can get me through Crysis/Warhead/Crysis 2 at a pretty high detail. Here's the build details:

Funding for CPU/motherboard/GPU is about 600$ max.

The PSU will be:
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM will be:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And it will be played on a screen from the 3D Vision combo kit with glasses and screen, which does 1080p res, 120hz, and 2ms response. So the resolution required will probably be the 1080p standard. And the 3D will mostly be used on World of Warcraft, Blu Rays and slightly older games, not Crysis.

Now it has to be an Nvidia card to work with the 3D. Right now I have a Phenom 2 x4 965 and a GeForce 570GTX in cart. If anyone can give me suggestions on how well that setup would work, please please help.

If someone knows where to get ahold of a sandy bridge 2500 and MB, with an Nvidia GPU that would perform gaming as well, I would still get it, willing to use the alternate SATA ports and would probably just replace MB next year if it shows signs of anything. I'm guessing if I could pull a 2500 and a 560Ti overclocked it would be good on Crysis/Crysis 2?

Also I cannot wait for the new sandy MBs. My PC is failing and is old enough I don't want to put more money in it. I need a new one ASAP.

More about : gpu cpu combo

February 8, 2011 12:08:33 AM

Nice find on the AmpX, actually matches my theme as well. And I'm using the old DDR2 version of AmpX in my failing PC. (actually one of the 2 AmpX chips I have now failed) If I do get the 560Ti it will be the super overclock 1000mhz one. Worth the extra 10-20$ I think.

i5 760 is better than Phenom 2 x4? Looks like you are steering me down some pretty good paths here, thanks for the help!

Anyone else? I would still get a Sandy 2500 if anyone knows where, even with the SATA2 issues. Much more future proof to buy a MB later than a whole MB/CPU combo.
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February 8, 2011 12:16:02 AM

The gigabyte is a great card, just expensive if you can fit it in go for it. the Asus will be able to clock similarly but it might run hotter.

Yes, I chose intel for SLI support and also because it will overclock better (if you do overclock I recommend buying an aftermarket cooler and TIM scmg-2100+shin etsu or hyper 212++shin etsu)
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February 8, 2011 12:20:13 AM

Not really planning to do any SLI or overclocking though, should I go with something else if I don't plan on doing that? Or still good enough with the i5?

Sorry just been building PCs since late 90s but haven't done one in 4 years, and haven't ever used ATi and haven't had an Intel since I had a 500mhz Celeron haha.
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Best solution

February 8, 2011 12:29:59 AM

If no overclocking and SLI I would recommend the 955 BE

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($139)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ($360)

total: $559 (no additional savings accounted for)

the 955 might hold back the GPU unless it is overclocked buy the scmg-2100 and shin etsu g751 and look up a couple guides and try it to prevent this from happening

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February 8, 2011 1:33:49 AM

Holding back the GPU or not, if it could get me through 1 more year and do OK on Crysis/Crysis 2, would be fine. Sometime in there will probably go to the newest gen CPU/MB when they come out, be it sandy bridge, bulldozer or whatever else may come up. Until then, I've heard its easy to OC the Phenoms, so I'll check out those things you mentioned and see what I can do. I figure an OC to 3.8-ish would be pretty doable if not more from what I've read so far.

I know about anything can handle WoW, heck I have it running the DX10 features that it can with everything at max settings on this old PC, with slowdowns in some spots but for the most part does perfect 1680x1050, even AA at max.

And I will do some slight fixes to this one for my wife to use (need PSU at the least), the cooling fan died in her laptop and she needs a websurfer.
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February 8, 2011 1:36:54 AM

Yeah 3.6ghz will be enough
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February 8, 2011 1:45:02 AM

Alright, I'll aim for the Phenom 2 x4 BE with OC to 3.6-4.0 if I can manage, and probably will end up with a sandy bridge in the future where the heatsink would be a good thing to transfer over anyway. Heck may even do the 2600k and overclock and add a second GPU then.

You've been a great help, thanks for all the input.
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February 8, 2011 1:45:18 AM

Best answer selected by TheTygur.
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February 8, 2011 2:33:03 AM

The i5 760 is quite a bit better than the 955 BE. Heck, the i5 750 eats it for breakfast - Especially in gaming. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=109

Thats the i5 750 v 955 (They don't have comparisons between 760 and 955... but compare the 750 / 955 and 750/760....) and you'll see that it may well be worth the money. Also, note that "GHZ" is not representative really.

Consider a GHZ as a worker - 3.4 weak labourers may do less labour than strong 2.8 labourers. In this case, 'intel' ghz are 'better' per GHZ than AMD.


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February 8, 2011 3:08:14 AM

Its price for performance that matters most now. If I can get something that is good enough, I will replace it later with sandy bridge or better.

Trust me I know the meaning of the hertz of the processor and the workload per cycle, was actually A+, CCNA and MCSE certified 10 years ago, just haven't kept up.

The price point at the moment is the sticky thing though. i5s are pretty danged expensive compared to a 955BE. I just want to get through a few demanding things before I go with the next gen CPUs. The GPU can be the higher priced item here, as it will stay after the new CPU/MB.

This is because the PC has to let me do my own thing and also be the show model for tech, after all this time, I'm starting up my PC building business again and this is my foray into the current gen, a refresher if you will.

Thanks for the solid advice. I will definitely take it into consideration if I can find a good price point on it. As for the comparison you showed, the real reason I need it is I want to show off what can be achieved with a gaming PC to customers, hence the theme I mentioned. Its a show model, and from that comparison, both get equivalent Crysis Warhead scored, which is basically going to be my showoff piece. With the AMD on an OC it seems it may even beat it.
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February 8, 2011 3:23:23 AM

For a show-off piece I would consider much more pricey options, but as a refresher the AMD system will be great

for show-off have EVGA SR-2 4 gtx 580s etc.
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February 8, 2011 3:39:19 AM

Haha So very true, but tis only a small business in a small town, without a loan, run out of my home actually, and as such, my budget is limited. Maybe someday, but I find a lot of people around here unfortunately don't even know AMD is a company or what a video card is.
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February 8, 2011 9:37:14 PM

So true, One of my friends didn't know what the windows experience index was, and thought DX11 didn't exist
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