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Gaming upgrade

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April 7, 2011 6:51:12 AM

I'm new to this site, but can use some help, as I am playing Battlefield 2 Bad Company, which plays ok once it loads, but it does get notchy at times.
Plus, I want it to fly when BF 3 comes out (later this year?).

I plan to soon upgrade my Core2 Duo E6300 system (4GB RAM). What I hope to use from my current rig are:

OCZ Modstream 600W PSU
EVGA GTX 460 1GB (lifetime warranty version)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drive
Win 7 64-bit

What I want to do is go i5 2500K, and add a second, identical GPU for SLI (no experience with SLI, but read great things about it).

So, I need assistance in suggesting a mobo, memory, and if I can get by with my PSU.
I am also planning to keep my Antec Sonata II case, optical drives, etc.

Also, I want to give my 22" 1650x1080 monitor to my son and get a 24-25" LCD, obviously something that will make the game pop.

I would like to OC a bit, but haven't had much luck with my current setup, as I can't seem to change the RAM timing to what the factory specs are (Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 rev 1.0)

Also, do I need a SSD? Would it help much?

Budget? None, but prefer good value, nothing overkill, but not to cheap out either. I'd like it reliable.

Thank you.



More about : gaming upgrade

April 7, 2011 7:36:26 PM

Karch_32 said:
I'm new to this site, but can use some help, as I am playing Battlefield 2 Bad Company, which plays ok once it loads, but it does get notchy at times.
Plus, I want it to fly when BF 3 comes out (later this year?).

I plan to soon upgrade my Core2 Duo E6300 system (4GB RAM). What I hope to use from my current rig are:

OCZ Modstream 600W PSU
EVGA GTX 460 1GB (lifetime warranty version)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB drive
Win 7 64-bit

What I want to do is go i5 2500K, and add a second, identical GPU for SLI (no experience with SLI, but read great things about it).

So, I need assistance in suggesting a mobo, memory, and if I can get by with my PSU.
I am also planning to keep my Antec Sonata II case, optical drives, etc.

Also, I want to give my 22" 1650x1080 monitor to my son and get a 24-25" LCD, obviously something that will make the game pop.

I would like to OC a bit, but haven't had much luck with my current setup, as I can't seem to change the RAM timing to what the factory specs are (Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 rev 1.0)

Also, do I need a SSD? Would it help much?

Budget? None, but prefer good value, nothing overkill, but not to cheap out either. I'd like it reliable.

Thank you.



I'm on the verge of soon buying i5-2500K parts and building a new system. Since you say you want to get a 24-25" LCD, have you ever considered going AMD Eyefinity? AMD Eyefinity will definitely make your gaming experience POP.
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April 7, 2011 8:47:12 PM

ndositwe said:
I'm on the verge of soon buying i5-2500K parts and building a new system. Since you say you want to get a 24-25" LCD, have you ever considered going AMD Eyefinity? AMD Eyefinity will definitely make your gaming experience POP.


If Eyefinity is the multi-display arrangement, then no, I haven't considered it, and now that I see it, I just don't want to commit the resources (space and money) for that.

I've got a laptop on my desk as well, for work, and an iPad, not to mention too many piles of papers and various projects.

Thanks for your reply, but I just don't want to head down that road at this time.
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April 7, 2011 8:48:13 PM

it would help if you gave us a budget?

your PSU won't support beefy GPU's in SLI or Xfire. it will be ok for a Single GPU though.
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April 7, 2011 10:11:15 PM

Budget? No budget limits, really, but not wanting to waste any money either.

If I need a new PSU, that's ok, but rather not spend more than necessary.

I realize this isn't a definitive answer, but $20 more on a quality PSU vs. a cheap one is ok, and I'll send the OCZ 600W to my son's machine.

I am thinking $225 or so for the i5, another $150-$200 for the mobo. What ram is recommended, and how much memory is needed to run games well?

Also, I was thinking of an Asus 24" LCD, and those are around $190-$225 or so, depending on the model.

I'm not a hardcore gamer, but my wife and I like to play BF2BC, and we are looking forward to BF3, and I don't like lag or turning down the graphics.

Thank you.
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April 7, 2011 11:00:33 PM

ok, let start with the SSD con's vs pro's for gamers. Do you play games that have load screens, if the answer is yes then how annoying are those load screens. If the answer is between extremely annoying, and I don't really care then you should be fine purchasing a small fast SSD for your operating system and a few choice applications. If its extremely annoying and you never want to see a load screen again, then go full on sata6 SSD raid. If you could care less then don't blow the $ on the SSD. If you don’t play games with load screens then go back to Farmville! hehe
You said you may want to overclock, so you will want to buy a midrange enthusiast board. These cost a few extra pennies, but are well worth it. Seeing that you have an EVGA video card, and are happy with it, I would normally recommend buying an EVGA motherboard also. That being said EVGA doesn’t make LGA1155 boards yet (needed for the i7-2500k) My manufacturer of choice is Asus.
Memory is dirt cheap. There is no reason to skimp in this department if your going to a 64biit OS. Load it to bear with at least 8GB of memory, and if your looking for potential overclocking then buy a couple bins of speed higher than your chipset officially supports.
Power supplies is a no brainer, buy a corsair, for SLI you will want something rather beefy like the 850. If you want modular (less cable clutter) then buy the HX line. If you don’t care about clutter then purchase the TX line.

SSD - I would recommend the C300 for the bang/buck ratio http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you want the ultimate in performance go for a Vertex3 though
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MB – Asus Sabertooth P67
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory – Corsair ddr3 – 2000
2x2gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2x4gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply – Corsair wins again
HX 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TX 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 7, 2011 11:30:56 PM

Thanks for the guidance.

A couple of thoughts:

RAM, I agree, and I think 8GB should be right.
SSD, I think I can wait, but probably will add that in 6-12 months. My F3 drive is pretty quick, but BF2BC does take a bit to load, but I think it has to do with my 5 year old system.

PSU- YIKES. I can't believe how much these are. Do I really need that much, or expensive? Can I get away, successfully, with one under $100?

Lastly, I did see Sabertooth today at Fry's. It's very nice, but how much would I sacrifice by getting the P8P67 Pro from Asus? It's $30 less, is the Sabertooth worth the extra coin?

Thank you again.
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April 8, 2011 12:26:34 AM

As a rule of thumb I never like to load anything beyond 80% capacity, but power supplies are rated in output power so lets refine your power needs. I will be listing the near maximum for all the devices just to ensure we don't run out of power. The GPU's take up to 200w of power each, the cpu up to an additional 130w.DVD 10w, 7200RPM HDD 20w, Ram 10w, Motherboard 50w.
200+200+130+10+10+20+50=620w excluding usb devices

Misc power- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-powe...
GPU power- http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/evga-geforce-gtx-46...
CPU power- http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37147l

Looking at the numbers you could hypothetically run this system with a good 650 but you would be in the 95%+ power utilization. anything lower than a 650 and your system would be unstable. I wouldn't go lower then a 750 myself, but a 650 could technically work for you, and is under the $100 mark.

TX 750 $109 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TX 650 $89 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The sabertooth's are nice boards, but they are a bit overkill, but its one of the few boards that supports x8/x8 for SLI on its pci-x/x16 bus. The P8P67 pro is essentially the same board, so you would be fine using that one instead.


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April 8, 2011 1:42:34 AM

I hear what you are saying. I didn't realize the GTX 460 consumes so much power, nor did I realize these PSU's are so expensive.

I would rather have a bit of excess power available, so I don't experience a voltage drop.

Can you explain what the x8/x8 on the PCI bus is, so I can associate it with the extra cost?

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April 8, 2011 2:31:59 AM

Essentially all current motherboard manufacturers lie about the speed of their PCI Express slots. Every P67 board lists that it has at least 2 PCI Express x16 slots (the x16 is the speed) This is a flat out lie as the P67 northbridge is not capable of the bandwidth for 32 pci Express lanes. The manufacturers have listed how fast the slots work when more than one of them is populated. Most boards will run at 16x / 4x. This is ok for single video card setups, but not good for a fast SLI system as a 4x bus might not be fast enough for the cards to talk to the CPU.

The sabertooth and P8P67 pro both run their PCI Express slots in x8/x8. This is a more ideal setup for SLI as both cards would have the same amount of bandwidth with the CPU and Memory of the host system.

Either one of these boards would be sufficient for an SLI setup.
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April 8, 2011 6:25:26 AM

Look at power supply reviews - jonnyguru and hardwaresecrets aregood sites - and you'll find yourself a reliable psu for less.
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April 8, 2011 3:21:33 PM

Any corsair power supply wont dissapoint you. A 950 might be overkill, but if you can get a good deal then go for it
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April 8, 2011 3:31:20 PM

As for motherboards to syupport any sandy Bridge system the ASUS P8P67 range consistantly comes out near the top of the pile.
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April 14, 2011 1:11:06 AM

Update:

I just picked up an i5 2500K, partially because I was a few blocks from a Micro Center.

I am thinking that I will buy the Asus P8P67 Pro, but hold off and run my GTX 460 in single card for now, saving on the PSU and GPU for a few months.

With that said, can you tell me what the differences are between the Corsair memory listed above and the Corsair Vengeance series?

Also, I am leaning toward an SSD, due in part because of the 'freed up' resources. I plan to put the OS (Win 7 64 OEM) on, as I have it on my hdd now, and perhaps Battlefield, but probably not much else.

That being the case, what would be a price consensus recommendation for an SSD?

Thank you again.
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April 14, 2011 1:29:52 AM

The Vengeance line is a higher quality chip than the XMS line, but below the Dominator line. Its made to work at stock bus speeds for 2nd gen I series CPU's. It looks cool, and its priced pretty descent. For the SSD, I wouldn't buy less than 60GB for your OS drive. I still think the 64gb C300 is great for the price tag, but go with a 120gb+ vertex3 if you want the king.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 14, 2011 2:10:34 AM

The Vengeance line of DDR3 is higher quality than the XMS? I thought I was seeing the Vengeance as quite a bit less expensive, if I'm not mistaken (a big if).

Should I opt for the 1600 MHz variety?

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April 14, 2011 10:01:31 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 4/22
Budget Range: $500 or so

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (BF2BC, BF3, Crysis, Crysis 2 maybe), surfing, MS Office
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, HDD, PSU, GPU, CPU

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Tigerdirect, Newegg (love Newegg, but sick of giving the state another 10% of tax at point of sale)


Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: ASUS

Overclocking: Yes, I just started OC'ing my Core2Duo, and it's quite a bit of fun (I'm a car hot-rodder)
SLI or Crossfire: In about 6-9 months, as I just found out I'll need a new PSU, so I am holding off for now.

Monitor Resolution: I would like to buy a new, 24" (or so) monitor, probably 1920x1080


Additional Comments: In listening and reading, I've decided that I think I should get an SSD drive, and load my Win 7 64 on it, and probably BF2BC, but I don't really care if MS Office and other programs take a bit more time to load, so I'll keep them on my Samsung F3 1TB drive (it's quite fast).

I picked up the CPU from Micro Center yesterday, an i5 2500K, but I need recommendations for RAM (I am leaning toward 2x4GB), and a new display.

I am leaning toward the ASUS P8P67 Pro mobo, but will do the Sabertooth if it's really that much better (I like the idea of Bluetooth, though not sure what it's used for today).

Also, I am thinking the CM Hyper 212 Plus is the cooler to get, right?
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I currently have an OCZ ModXstream 600W PSU and an EVGA GTX 460 1GB (the lifetime warranty version). I plan/hope to buy another one of these GPU's later in the year for SLI (that's a new experience for me as well). I had planned to do that now, but with the need for a new PSU to run these in SLI, I think I'll wait, as I am told the GPU should play BF2BC well.

Please note: I am an engineer, so I love explanations on why something is suggested over another. Memory clock speed being a great example.
While I'd love to get the Vertex SSD that I am hearing about, I just don't think it's worth it, with my budget. In fact, getting an SSD is very new to me, as I never considered one before, but you guys keep mentioning how great they are, even if only the C300.


Thank you.
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April 16, 2011 12:11:39 AM

The CM Hyper 212 Cooler offers great cooling performance for the price and with a 2500k and overclocking in mind, this should perform excellent .

For the motherboard the sabertooth is just an armored version of the P8P67. Neither of them have Bluetooth, but if you plan on using a wireless keyboard or mouse, then a Bluetooth adapter might be a worthwhile investment.

Using the 2500k your memory speed isn't quite as important, but as a rule of thumb, I always buy memory binned for one speed step higher than I think I will need(need 1333, buy 1600) Here is a set of 1866 ram from corsair for $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the displays I think its always best to shop a Fry's / Circuit City / Costco. No matter how many reviews I read there is nothing like checking it out in person to see if you like it. Even if you buy online, go to one of these stores and look at the different models to help you decide which color profile looks the most natural to your eye's.
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April 16, 2011 2:48:07 AM

Thanks for the information. Will this memory work with the CM Hyper 212 Plus on the P8P67 Pro mobo? Just concerned if it's too tall or not.

I think I'm going to start placing orders soon, but will wait until I get the go-ahead.

Also, there are some nice memory combos on Newegg right now with this mobo. Would I be better off with one of them?

Such as:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
for $40 off

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... for $35 off

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
also $35 off

I really appreciate your help :) 

PS- does it matter if a given memory isn't on the ASUS qualified vendor list?
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April 17, 2011 3:52:26 AM

I wound up buying this, as I thought it was a good buy. I hope I did alright.

1 x ($6.99) FLDRV 2G|KST DTIG3/2GBZ R $6.99

1 x ($174.99) MB ASUS|P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) P67 R $174.99

1 x ($119.99) MEM 4Gx2|GSKILL F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM $119.99

1 x ($-40.00) DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #633314$-40.00

1 x ($-6.99) DISCOUNT FOR AUTOADD #30557$-6.99

1 x ($-12.00) DISCOUNT FOR PROMOTION CODE$-12.00

Also bought the Hyper 212 Plus for $27 and change from amazon.

Thank you.
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April 22, 2011 4:28:13 PM

Parts are arriving, and I have a question:

What is the process from moving my hard drive from my current rig to my new one?
It's Win 7 64 bit OEM.

Do I remove the drivers, and just boot it up and start installing new drivers? Can I assume I can use my existing graphics driver that I just updated yesterday?

This is probably a precursor to installing a SSD later this year.

If there's an article on this, please feel free to merely post the link, as I am not trying to reinvent the wheel.

Thank you.
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