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Gaming build

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April 5, 2011 7:46:11 AM

Hello,

I am planning to buy a new rig mainly for gaming and movies. These are the components I have in mind:

GPU - MSI Radeon 6950 2GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-...
CPU - Intel Core i5-2500K:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard - MSI P67A-GD65:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SSD - Possibly if they are worth it
PSU - Looking for one around 700W
Case - Anything that the components will fit into

Overclocking - Yes
SLI - I wish
Current Monitor - 22 inch with 1680 x 1050 res

Are these components compatible? Any recomendations?

More about : gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 1:25:08 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
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April 5, 2011 3:57:55 PM

Are SSDs worth it?

It depends 100% on your budget. If you can get the performance you want out of the CPU and GPU, which the 6950 and i5 2500k will get you, and then can spec out the rest of the PC - 8gb of RAM, suitable Mobo, *GOOD* PSU (XFX or Corsair, and I buy Silver Plus Certified for the energy efficiency), a case you like to look at, and a storage drive and have money left over, of course get an SSD.

If you're struggling to fit things into your budget and are considering cutting corners to get an SSD - don't. They provide significantly faster boot times, but insufficient performance boost once the computer is running to be worth cutting back on other components.

In my opinion looking at your build if it comes down to either a SSD or a 23 or 24 inch 1080p monitor you would do much better going with a new primary monitor (you can still obviously use the current one as a secondary) go with the monitor.

Also keep in mind, since you didn't list anything as not needed, you might need to drop some money on an operating system and optical drive, which can get expensive if you happen to be a Blue-Ray snob.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 4:14:16 PM

XXF said:
Are SSDs worth it?

It depends 100% on your budget. If you can get the performance you want out of the CPU and GPU, which the 6950 and i5 2500k will get you, and then can spec out the rest of the PC - 8gb of RAM, suitable Mobo, *GOOD* PSU (XFX or Corsair, and I buy Silver Plus Certified for the energy efficiency), a case you like to look at, and a storage drive and have money left over, of course get an SSD.

If you're struggling to fit things into your budget and are considering cutting corners to get an SSD - don't. They provide significantly faster boot times, but insufficient performance boost once the computer is running to be worth cutting back on other components.

In my opinion looking at your build if it comes down to either a SSD or a 23 or 24 inch 1080p monitor you would do much better going with a new primary monitor (you can still obviously use the current one as a secondary) go with the monitor.

Also keep in mind, since you didn't list anything as not needed, you might need to drop some money on an operating system and optical drive, which can get expensive if you happen to be a Blue-Ray snob.

+1 with everything on that post with the exception of the 8GB of RAM. 4GB is more than plenty for a gaming build imo and it leaves the option to add another 4GB later down the road. I see a lot of tight budget builds lately with 8GB for gaming builds when that's a luxury for a large budget and/or a necessity for a photo shop/video editing/CAD build/etc..
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April 6, 2011 1:29:11 AM

Why_Me said:
+1 with everything on that post with the exception of the 8GB of RAM. 4GB is more than plenty for a gaming build imo and it leaves the option to add another 4GB later down the road. I see a lot of tight budget builds lately with 8GB for gaming builds when that's a luxury for a large budget and/or a necessity for a photo shop/video editing/CAD build/etc..



Memory is so cheap now that this is almost a moot point. I got my 8 GB for $40 after rebate. Just check out the slickdeals forum and you'll get some great prices on memory.
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April 6, 2011 4:53:14 AM

1080p is definitely the way to go. Also, SSD's are great but don't get anything less than 120GB. My Velociraptor 150GB boot drive is over half full with just Windows 7 Ultimate 64, 3 games, and several programs....
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 5:27:07 AM

^ That's a lie. I have a plethora of movies on my SSD that's within my laptop. It's running a 60gb Kingston and still has 45gb+ left. Games are lets say 7 gigs each, win7 ult takes just about 7 as well. That's about 28gb. So if you think about it you could still put just about 32gb left. So even a 60gb would be a reasonable amount. No need to spend for a 120gb.
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April 6, 2011 5:40:23 AM

It depends on how well you use your space on the ssd. Shutting of hibernate can more than half the space win7 takes on your storage decive. If properly used you can get away with suprisingly little SSD storage space. You can also use a cache type system like HDD boost or the built in ones of momentus XT drives which work far better even. 2 Momentus XT drives in raid0 have a combined speed of almost that of a good single SSD, the size of a large HDD(1Tb) whilst only having 8gb of ssd space and only costing 200usd for both

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 5:45:26 AM

^ True true. Has a point.

The plus to SSDs though.
- Quiet
- Low power usage
- Less risk, with the Momentus XT if one fails in RAID your files are screwed.

Pros to the Momentus
- Large space
- Fast for an HDD
- Good RAID 0 but refer to risk
- Unsure, but if it is anything like the VelociRaptors, it'll be loud.
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April 6, 2011 6:46:47 AM

I don't think my advice is terrible as this drive has come down in price massively over the last year, and i own the 128gb version and i have never regretted buying it.

TBH i didn't know about the new sandforce controller being released, and i thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Momentus XT isn't loud but, does hit a sweet spot between performance and cost. Although this will be very short lived.

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April 6, 2011 7:24:01 AM

Thank you for your replys

I might have some trouble fitting both a SSD and a new monitor into my budget, but I will see what I can do.

I found this monitor: http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7275
Its a 24"LED backlit monitor for $200. (I can't buy the monitor from the USA as I am from Australia and it is too big to bring back with me)

As for the SSD I found this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Internal-Technology-2-5-Inc...
Its an intel 120GB SSD with very good reviews, it is only 3 GB SATA II but I have no idea if 6 GB even helps that much with performance.




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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 7:38:57 AM

http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=3890
Saves you 70 bucks. Not a terrible monitor. Though for me, all monitors must be seen in person, not just looking at the specs.

Rip off for that X25M The new ones are already out (Intel 510 series). Your better off waiting for the Vertex 3's or just getting the Vertex 2/SF1xxx 120gb ones. Best overall performance.
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April 6, 2011 7:46:41 AM

Would it not be better just to spend $70 extra and get a monitor that is LED backlit and is 2.5" larger?

As for the SSD is SATA 6Gb/s worth an extra $50+ for the same storage size?
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 7:50:14 AM

That is really up to you as the OP. The 70$ saved can be allocated to better graphics or just a different SSD. Wait I just looked at your current setup, your monitor is fine. Why upgrade?

That X25M isn't SATA III. It's SATA II. The Intel 510/520 series SSDs are SATA III SSDs.

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April 6, 2011 7:58:38 AM

Since I will be spending about $1000 on the computer, I guess I might as well buy a nice monitor to go with the nice components.

OK if the SSD I found is no good, then please direct me to one (low $200's) which would be better.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 8:06:27 AM

I'm not saying it's no good. I'm just saying thats 40$ more than the standard 120gb pricing. BTW Intel SSDs aren't really as good as SF-xxxx controller SSDs.

Either wait for the Vertex 3's or get the SF-1220 SSDs.
Correction, the Vertex 3's are already out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You should wait for the Patriot Wildfires that'll be cheaper 64gb is all you need and the Patriots come in the size. If you really want 120gb+
This:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 6, 2011 8:13:00 AM

Thanks for the advice

I noticed that the Vertex 3 one you showed me says it will read/write in speeds up to 500MB/s, while the other two were only in the 200'sMB/s.
Does that actually translate to double the speed? If so it sounds like a great deal.
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April 6, 2011 3:27:27 PM

My point about having a larger SSD is that you don't want to come close to running out of room for programs and games. Better to spend for 120GB now then run out of room 6 months down the road and kick yourself for it....
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 8:39:46 PM

^ Why would store any more games in your SSD? I would only imagine storing CS5 on my SSD. The games on my main HDD. There is no performance difference by storing the game on the SSD. Only load times are affected. And in my personal experience as I'm loading Crysis 2 off my F3, the wait times are not unbearably.

@Geforces Yes that is why waiting for the SATA III SF2200 SSDs would be smart decision.
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April 6, 2011 11:51:16 PM

That's just crazy! Of course you would want to put games on the ssd! What's the point for a gamer otherwise? To sit around loading and reloading Windows? Lol. The whole purpose of a fast system drive is to be able to load programs (including games) quickly. That's why I recommend enough size to encompass Windows and any other program you may want to install. I personally don't want to be running different programs off of multiple drives and I certainly don't ever want to be worrying about only having 64GB to work with in my supposed super gaming machine....
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a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 12:31:26 AM

^ Wtf?

It takes me 10 seconds to load a mission on Crysis 2. How much more different can an SSD make? The SSD would be more benefitial to Windows7 boots. I boot CSS in about 10 seconds as well? What difference is 2 more seconds?

I just think 100$ saved can be allocated differently to something like a 580 or 570. Or just SLI 560. That or CF 6950.
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April 7, 2011 6:13:28 AM

An SSD would be very nice, it is anoying that they are so expensive though.
I noticed that for the same price as the Vertex 3 SSD I could CF the 6950. Since my computer will be primarily for gaming will it be better just to CF? I can handle an exta 15 seconds boot time for an extra 40 FPS ingame.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 6:34:30 AM

^ Exactly my point.

In game the boot is more like 15 seconds vs 6 seconds. Not a huge difference.
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April 7, 2011 6:51:54 AM

Nice I guess I will CF my GPU then, I will go for either the Radeon 6950 or possibly the Nvidia 560 ti.
BTW when I said 15 seconds I was refering to system boot time, I knew the game boot time would not be much different.
Is the motherboard I was orignaly looking at any good for CF? As long as it will run smooth I don't particually care. Also I don't want to spend any more than $200 on a MOB.

Thanks for everyones help so far
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a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 7:52:22 AM

Oh that's different boot times for an HDD prob around 1.5-2 minutes depending on how many programs you start @ boot. For an SSD it's around 20-50 seconds.
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April 7, 2011 8:43:41 AM

OK thanks for the boot times.

Does anyone know if the motherboard I am looking at is any good at CF? And should I go Geforce 560 ti SLI or Radeon 6950 CF?

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a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 9:33:10 AM

They only support CF. Get the 6950, more expensive boards 160$+ usually support the SLI.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 10:18:59 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's 500$, The MSI cooler for the 6950 is the Hawk version, the 560 Ti Twin Frozr is the II version, not the III (hence 6950 Twin Frozr III)

It all depends, the 6950 CF is going to perform a bit better than the 560 Ti so, its all your choice.

6970 CF vs 580 SLI
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/298?vs=308

So 6970 CF vs 570 SLI wasn't working. That would simulate an overclocked 6950 vs an overclocked 560 Ti. (Since on AnAndTech they don't have the bench for 560 Ti SLI)

6950 2GB vs 560 Ti
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293?vs=330
As you can see the 6950 2gb wins out most of the time. Course there is the exception of games favoring Nvidia cards IE HAWX or Civ5.
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April 7, 2011 10:51:33 AM

By looking at the below review it looks like the 560 SLI is better value:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re...
(Scroll down the linked page to see the 560 sli vs 6950 CF)

If that review is correct there seems to be only about 7 FPS difference for $100, just does not seem worth it to me.

I have therefore revised my wanted build to this:

GPU- Nvidia 560 ti in SLI
CPU- Intel Core i5 2500k
RAM- G Skill 8GB 1600MHz
MOB- MSI P67A-GD65
PSU- I will buy one that is 700W+
HDD- Western Digital Caviar 1TB SATA III 6.0 GB/s 64MB Cache

Components not needed:
OS
Keyboard
Mouse
Headset
Monitor

Does it look all good?
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 6:42:25 PM

Where are you getting 100$ from? SLI 560's is 460$, CF 6950 2GB is 500$ WHERE ARE YOU GETTING 100$

Well it's your choice as OP. It looks good. Drop the WD Black for a Samsung F3.
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April 8, 2011 7:05:27 AM

Best answer selected by GeForces.
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April 8, 2011 7:10:34 AM

It is an extra $100 if you buy the Radeon 6950 Twin Forzr III CF. I will review the performances of the cards more thoroughly before deciding which to buy.

Thanks for your help AznShinobi
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a b 4 Gaming
April 8, 2011 7:50:11 AM

No problem.

Well I have to admit myself the 560 Ti's are a better buy, not by much if you take into account of cheaper 6950.
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April 9, 2011 8:16:51 PM

I already have one 560Ti so obviously I would go for another one for SLI. The 6950's are great cards too but their value is slightly less impressive than the 560Ti. Either setup will be more than enough for any game (and I doubt outside of a benchmark that you would even notice a difference between either setup) therefore go with the cheaper option, which is the GTX 560Ti....
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