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Want you guys' opinion. $3000 new build

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a b B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2011 7:44:12 PM

So the wife is coming in to some money, so I think I'm going to pass on my AMD build to either her or my daughter.

I have a really rough idea what I'm going to buy, I'd like to see what you guys come up with.

Approximate Purchase Date: May-July

Budget Range: $3000 don't include rebates I never do them

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Mouse, I also have a 5870 2GB that I would consider Xfiring. But I'd prefer a 6xxx or 7xxx series(or nVidia equivalent 5xx 6xx). But if I can get good performance by cheaply adding another 5870 that's ok too.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com only. Loyal.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Because of the budget, I prefer Intel. I have a mild preference for AMD for GPUs just because of the power efficiency. But I'm posting this to get other viewpoints so do what you please for build recommendations. I'd like a Noctua NH-D14 air cooler and 80 PLUS GOLD PSU. Also my preference is for a single card GPU solution. But Xfire/SLI will be considered. Motherboard should be 8x/8x minimum

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Will need 3 monitors 1920x1080 each totalling 5760x1080

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)
a b B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2011 9:26:44 PM

7XXX series? You time traveling on us again? =D

Anyway, don't really need a whole $3k to do a very nice build. Here's what I'll be doing in the near future for a near silent eyefinity PC.

I would recommend waiting till Z68 comes out though.

optical $21 free ship w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Silverstone FT02 $240
http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Aluminum-Uni-Body-Com...

$10 cheaper and free ship on amazon over newegg.

HSF
Thermalright HR-02
http://www.amazon.com/THERMALRIGHT-HR-02-FANLESS-DESIGN...

Fanless CPU cooler. Not passive since it's btwn the AP 181 fan below it, and exhaust fan above it, it's getting plenty of airflow.
If you want a fanned one, a thermalright silver arrow is the new top active air cooler.

HD
Spinpoint F3 1tb $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD Intel 320 120gb $210 w/ Promo Code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
MSI 6950 2gb x2 $275 each, $550 total
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I don't like MSI that much, but they're the best stock cooler option.
Alternative is sapphire ones on amazon for $8 more each.

Mobo/RAM
GA p67a ud4 and g skill ddr3 1600 8gb cas 8 $275
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/PSU
Corsair AX850 and i5-2500k $380
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

don't really need the 850, but thanks to combo, ends up cheaper than AX750.

OS
win 7 $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
Dell Ultrasharp 21.5" 1080p IPS x3 $218 each $654 total
http://www.provantage.com/dell-468-7485~7DELL0L9.htm

Grand total $2564, $2624 w/o the promo codes

I'd also suggest trying 3240 x 1920. I actually like it more than 5760x1080. Less space wasted on peripheral vision and more immersive really.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 25, 2011 9:30:53 PM

I'm personally going for as quiet as I can get, so I'll be grabbing the ASus Revolution for slot 1/5 PCIe GPU placement. This'll hopefully give me cooler air for the GPU's.

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

I'll also be replacing the provided sound foam with some acoustipack, then add in a new custom milled aluminum front panel to cover 5.25" bays.
Related resources
April 25, 2011 9:50:04 PM

If your looking for quiet + performance this is the way to go at least for the GPU.

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

I have that card if you look at my sig its way OC and its much quieter than the reference card (XFX 6950) I had before. Its also much quieter. Its the BOSS lol.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 2:56:45 PM

The issue with using those with a FT02 is that the blower ends up blowing in the opposite direction of the AP181 fans, resulting in deadspots for airflow.

Idle noise of that GPU is definitely quieter than stock by a few DB, though load is the same.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_6950_Twin_Fro...

I've been playing around with an Asus Direct CU 5850 and stock cooling 5850 in a borrowed RV02-E to try and figure out which HSF type is quieter. Technically, the direct CU is supposed to be quieter by a few db, though I haven't been able to tell.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/EAH_5850_TOP_Di...

Temp wise they're about the same though I'll need to do some more thorough testing to eliminate slot placement and whether being primary or secondary card makes a diff.

Unfortunately that'll have to wait until I get PCIe 1/5 slot z68 mobo.
April 26, 2011 4:26:34 PM

banthracis said:
The issue with using those with a FT02 is that the blower ends up blowing in the opposite direction of the AP181 fans, resulting in deadspots for airflow.

Idle noise of that GPU is definitely quieter than stock by a few DB, though load is the same.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_6950_Twin_Fro...

I've been playing around with an Asus Direct CU 5850 and stock cooling 5850 in a borrowed RV02-E to try and figure out which HSF type is quieter. Technically, the direct CU is supposed to be quieter by a few db, though I haven't been able to tell.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/EAH_5850_TOP_Di...

Temp wise they're about the same though I'll need to do some more thorough testing to eliminate slot placement and whether being primary or secondary card makes a diff.

Unfortunately that'll have to wait until I get PCIe 1/5 slot z68 mobo.

Your going to want to pay attention to these results:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_6950_Twin_Fro...

The OC ability of this card is crazy. And I can tell you that I have had a reference version and have tried OC/unlocking the reference 6950 and both work but they get very hot and when they get hot thats were you see the difference in sound. I would bet my next 10 paychecks that this card would out perform the 5850 no prob just look here.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-gaming-graphics...

Im not just saying this card is great because I have it im saying it because I swapped out 4 different cards in 2 months and this one is great. Also the chart comparing performance does not count the OCing ability on the MSI card. Unless your trying to save money gong for the older card will only hurt your system going forward.

So if your looking for free performance increase from OC this card is awesome and cheap. If you will never OC this card still gets better ratings as far as performance goes than any 5850 out there. And its more open as far as the shroud goes so if you had a 200mm side case fan ( 20mm should be plenty quiet) the extra airflow would cool these cards were as a sealed shroud does not benefit from extra airflow because all it gets is what the blower can pull.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 5:00:02 PM

I'm playing around with the 5850's because I have them on hand. Haven't started building new PC yet. I'm trying to figure out cooler type/placement that'll work the best before buying new parts. I obviously won't be using 5850's for a 3240x1920 build.

I've been playing around with an Asus Direct CU 5850 and stock cooling 5850 in a borrowed RV02-E to try and figure out which HSF type is quieter.

FT02 doesn't have a side fan. It's a 90 degree rotated motherboard design with air sucked in the bottom and exhausted out the top. Blower type coolers perform poorly in this design because it ends up pushing air down against the AP181 fans, which are pushing air up, leading to thermal dead zones.

That card makes sense in a traditional PC case, in a 90degree rotated mobo case, it makes less sense.

I'm not sure what cmc's plans are, but mine are to have a system that runs under 20db at idle, and if a blower style GPU ends up requiring a higher fan speed to get the same temps as a shroud type, I'll go with a shroud type.
April 26, 2011 5:29:50 PM

banthracis said:
I'm playing around with the 5850's because I have them on hand. Haven't started building new PC yet. I'm trying to figure out cooler type/placement that'll work the best before buying new parts. I obviously won't be using 5850's for a 3240x1920 build.

I've been playing around with an Asus Direct CU 5850 and stock cooling 5850 in a borrowed RV02-E to try and figure out which HSF type is quieter.

FT02 doesn't have a side fan. It's a 90 degree rotated motherboard design with air sucked in the bottom and exhausted out the top. Blower type coolers perform poorly in this design because it ends up pushing air down against the AP181 fans, which are pushing air up, leading to thermal dead zones.

That card makes sense in a traditional PC case, in a 90degree rotated mobo case, it makes less sense.

I'm not sure what cmc's plans are, but mine are to have a system that runs under 20db at idle, and if a blower style GPU ends up requiring a higher fan speed to get the same temps as a shroud type, I'll go with a shroud type.

I guess if the OP wants to go with that specific case I see the problem however 98% of the cases he has to choose from will not have that issue and will still be plenty quiet.

The reason I recommended that card is for way more than the fact its quiet. It OC's like a beast from both other sites benches and my personal experience. It is by far more than a few db's quieter than reference cards when in real time use IF you are trying to keep temps down.

You see the reference card will allow temps to get up to 90c without turning the fans up in order to keep it quiet. Thats ok but if you would prefer a cooler case overall you will want to turn the fan up to about 50% now at 50% I can tell you that the reference cards are by far loud were I can turn this card to 60% and not hear it over my case fans.

If I was going for a silent case this card would still win. Because it will be ok up to 90c you could turn fan speeds all the way down to 25% and the card would not over heat and be super quiet. At a set speed of 25% you will not here this cards fans unless you are not playing the game and instead have your ear to the case lol.

It seems he wants to go as new as possible and Nvidia cards are both hot and loud so for a quiet card he would want AMD. And to get the most performance from AMD he will want to go for a 6970 or OC/unlock a 6950. Going the 6970 route will be louder and I can tell you based on Benchmarks from 3D Mark 11 and Metro 2033 the overclock I have on this 6950 it out performs the stock 6970 wile being quieter and cooler :) .

AS far as quiet cases go I dont know what the OP is looking for exactly But my case ( HAF 922 it big though so not for everybody lol) Is plenty quiet if you were to use all large fans. You could have the front fan add a second 200mm side intake fan and keep the stock 200mm top exhaust fan. That would be quiet and keep this case super chilly, then pick your mobo of choice depending on what CPU you want and add a quiet CPU cooler with this MSI Twin Frozer 2 6970.

That would give you great perfomance low temps and a quiet setup. I would take the point of view that the ultimate goal is perofrmance so picking a case first and then picking part to work with that case is sort of backwards. Instead pick the parts that will give you what you are looking for IMO the GPU im recommending with a quiet CPU cooler will give you max performance with low temps and noise. If you choose that setup you then find a case that will hold all of those parts and meet you sound/space/cooling requierments.

If you start with the case then all of a sudden you cant use this card even though its the best choice. Well Im sure you could I would be willing to bet if you built this card into that case with a good CPU cooler you would be fine in the temps as fas as your CPU and GPU but if your picky about temps in the case why would you stop there and not be picky about temps on your GPU and CPU. You rarely get to have your cake and eat it to, it seems with that case you get a quiet case at the expense of the case being much different than what most components are designed for. Most fans and cooling solutions are not designed for the mobo to be turned a diff way there by changing the airflow coming from the GPU AND CPU so it would seem for that case yu give up cooling for the quietness (is that a word lol)
April 26, 2011 5:32:46 PM

Gaming? As for monitors, I must suggest 120hz. Worth the extra money, I can't go back. Seems to make a difference, and you will also be 3d ready, should you decide to attempt that route.
April 26, 2011 6:06:22 PM

cmcghee358 said:
So the wife is coming in to some money, so I think I'm going to pass on my AMD build to either her or my daughter.

I have a really rough idea what I'm going to buy, I'd like to see what you guys come up with.

Approximate Purchase Date: May-July

Budget Range: $3000 don't include rebates I never do them

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Mouse, I also have a 5870 2GB that I would consider Xfiring. But I'd prefer a 6xxx or 7xxx series(or nVidia equivalent 5xx 6xx). But if I can get good performance by cheaply adding another 5870 that's ok too.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com only. Loyal.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Because of the budget, I prefer Intel. I have a mild preference for AMD for GPUs just because of the power efficiency. But I'm posting this to get other viewpoints so do what you please for build recommendations. I'd like a Noctua NH-D14 air cooler and 80 PLUS GOLD PSU. Also my preference is for a single card GPU solution. But Xfire/SLI will be considered. Motherboard should be 8x/8x minimum

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Will need 3 monitors 1920x1080 each totalling 5760x1080

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)


Ill take a shot at a $3000 build here lol.

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $314

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $269

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... X2 $600

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $182

SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... X2 ( raid 0+1) $400

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84

BRD/DVD/CD BURNER: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109

CASE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99

CPU FAN : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29 ( this is quiet you could go els were for better cooling)

TOTAL PRICE: $2313 add $99 if you need windows

This would be plenty quiet as is and you also have a lot of room to choose a diff case and diff fans and what not. This would also demolish most systems out there BTW lol.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 6:52:40 PM

Um, Cburke, the OP doesn't want a silent gaming case... I posted for him the silent gaming case I'm working on.

For my scenario, the only way to get enough airflow and keep it under 20db is by using a FT02 or Raven 2 case. The reason being any case with fans at the edges will transfer a ton of noise into the air because there's nothing to insulate the user from the sound. The Silverstone designs avoid this by having the big fans at the bottom of the case with tons of components and metal to insulate the sound.

This isn't something I've been just theory crafting, I've been talking with Mike Chin over at SPCR, who's got a 11db floor anechoic chamber to actually test things.

For cases with large fans right at the edges + side fans, you're looking at 24 dba minimum such as the Antec 1200 for ex. It's actually even higher for a 932, in the 26-27dba range, much too high for my build.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article993-page4.html

20dba is VERY quiet, equivalent of a recording studio. Mike managed a RV02 system at 21dba at idle with a dual 4870 setup.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1002-page7.html
With the addition of acoustipack I'm hoping to get a xfire system to under 20dba.

For comparison, a side/front fan case with identical setup was 32dba at idle, which is the equivalent to a suburban bedroom at night, but too high for my goals.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article993-page6.html

Mike hasn't tested a 922, but in his experience nothing with a side fan or front fans w/o an insulting panel has hit below 28dba with that setup. Even with a front insulating panel like the P183, it still hit 23dba at idle.

Basically, as far as I know, there is not other air cooling choice for me besides a RV02 or FT02, or perhaps the new RV03 to possible get under 20dba with a xfire setup.

User experience over at [H]ocp and silverstone own testing has pretty much agreed that shroud type coolers give the best performance for the 90 degree rotated cases.

Unfortunately, there really isn't much info out there for building silent eyefinity xfire gaming PC's, hence why I'm experimenting with a borrowed RV02-E.
April 26, 2011 7:22:11 PM

banthracis said:
Um, Cburke, the OP doesn't want a silent gaming case... I posted for him the silent gaming case I'm working on.

For my scenario, the only way to get enough airflow and keep it under 20db is by using a FT02 or Raven 2 case. The reason being any case with fans at the edges will transfer a ton of noise into the air because there's nothing to insulate the user from the sound. The Silverstone designs avoid this by having the big fans at the bottom of the case with tons of components and metal to insulate the sound.

This isn't something I've been just theory crafting, I've been talking with Mike Chin over at SPCR, who's got a 11db floor anechoic chamber to actually test things.

For cases with large fans right at the edges + side fans, you're looking at 24 dba minimum such as the Antec 1200 for ex. It's actually even higher for a 932, in the 26-27dba range, much too high for my build.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article993-page4.html

20dba is VERY quiet, equivalent of a recording studio. Mike managed a RV02 system at 21dba at idle with a dual 4870 setup.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1002-page7.html
With the addition of acoustipack I'm hoping to get a xfire system to under 20dba.

For comparison, a side/front fan case with identical setup was 32dba at idle, which is the equivalent to a suburban bedroom at night, but too high for my goals.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article993-page6.html

Mike hasn't tested a 922, but in his experience nothing with a side fan or front fans w/o an insulting panel has hit below 28dba with that setup. Even with a front insulating panel like the P183, it still hit 23dba at idle.

Basically, as far as I know, there is not other air cooling choice for me besides a RV02 or FT02, or perhaps the new RV03 to possible get under 20dba with a xfire setup.

User experience over at [H]ocp and silverstone own testing has pretty much agreed that shroud type coolers give the best performance for the 90 degree rotated cases.

Unfortunately, there really isn't much info out there for building silent eyefinity xfire gaming PC's, hence why I'm experimenting with a borrowed RV02-E.

The OP does not need a silent case he does want a quite case. What I dont understand is why you would post recommendations based on your needs and not his? See I was posting a recommendation for a GPU based on what the OP had posted and you replied to that as if I was talking about your silent build and that reply could have made the OP think that card would cause issues when in 99% of the cases it will not.

Anyway the build I posted will work and has room left over for the OP to customise part to his/her need based on performance and space requirements it will be quiet and cool wile performing better than most systems and not using the full $3000. He could add another card for 3Xcrossfire and still be under the $3000 mark :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 7:28:35 PM

cburke82 said:
The OP does not need a silent case he does want a quite case. What I dont understand is why you would post recommendations based on your needs and not his? See I was posting a recommendation for a GPU based on what the OP had posted and you replied to that as if I was talking about your silent build and that reply could have made the OP think that card would cause issues when in 99% of the cases it will not.

Anyway the build I posted will work and has room left over for the OP to customise part to his/her need based on performance and space requirements it will be quiet and cool wile performing better than most systems and not using the full $3000. He could add another card for 3Xcrossfire and still be under the $3000 mark :) 


Your build is pretty close to what I had in mind. Just gotta add 3 monitors to it. Also to settle the case debate, I'll either be getting a HAF-X or a Corsair 800D
April 26, 2011 7:37:43 PM

cmcghee358 said:
Your build is pretty close to what I had in mind. Just gotta add 3 monitors to it. Also to settle the case debate, I'll either be getting a HAF-X or a Corsair 800D

I wanted the corsair case it was out of my budget :(  lol. I think that build would have room for 3 monitors and that case? I didnt even look at any rebates or anything so with that build I would be 100% jealous of your PC lol.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 7:39:45 PM

What I'm currently debating is waiting for the Z68 i7s. Just not sure at the moment...

Might slave a Bulldozer into my 890FX to hold me over. DECISIONS!
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 8:06:05 PM

Quote:
Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)


cmc didn't write they quiet PC window and bling part, that's just part of the instructions copy/pasted from the default form.

He didn't give any other major concerns besides eyefinity gaming and asked for others idea's for a $3,000 build so I just gave him mine.

I don't get why you're attacking my post and idea's when I clearly stated that it was for MY future near silent eyefinity gaming build.
April 26, 2011 8:14:24 PM

banthracis said:
Quote:
Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC)


cmc didn't write they quiet PC window and bling part, that's just part of the instructions copy/pasted from the default form.

He didn't give any other major concerns besides eyefinity gaming and asked for others idea's for a $3,000 build so I just gave him mine.

I don't get why you're attacking my post and idea's when I clearly stated that it was for MY future near silent eyefinity gaming build.

WELL......... I recommended a GPU that works great and you wrot this.

""The issue with using those with a FT02 is that the blower ends up blowing in the opposite direction of the AP181 fans, resulting in deadspots for airflow.

Idle noise of that GPU is definitely quieter than stock by a few DB, though load is the same.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] II/27.html

I've been playing around with an Asus Direct CU 5850 and stock cooling 5850 in a borrowed RV02-E to try and figure out which HSF type is quieter. Technically, the direct CU is supposed to be quieter by a few db, though I haven't been able to tell.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews [...] Cu/27.html

Temp wise they're about the same though I'll need to do some more thorough testing to eliminate slot placement and whether being primary or secondary card makes a diff.

Unfortunately that'll have to wait until I get PCIe 1/5 slot z68 mobo."""

So it seems to me that you were confusing my reco for the OP with a reco for your PC wile I never addressed you. So im simply stating reasons as to why this is a good card and for the OP none of the reasons you list as to why it may not be apply. Any that si all
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 9:21:59 PM

You said

cburke82 said:
If your looking for quiet + performance this is the way to go at least for the GPU.



Since the OP never requested quiet + performance that statement seems pretty clearly addressed to me.
April 26, 2011 9:25:44 PM

banthracis said:
You said



Since the OP never requested quiet + performance that statement seems pretty clearly addressed to me.

Additional Comments: (e.g.: Need to have a window and lots of bling, I would like a quiet PC) so is that him saying he would like a quiet pc? Anyhow I was not commenting on your build sorry for any confusion :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 9:49:06 PM

No he's right, I forgot to edit out the standard text for additional comments
April 26, 2011 9:54:46 PM

cmcghee358 said:
No he's right, I forgot to edit out the standard text for additional comments

Cool happy building anything like that build will be a great PC for a good wile to come :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 10:50:21 PM

cburke82 said:
Anyhow I was not commenting on your build sorry for any confusion :) 


Thanks fine, apology accepted, and glad we were able to clear all that out.

As for monitor choice, I do recommend grabbing some IPS monitors and trying portrait mode eyefinity.

Before the whole, but IPS monitor has 8ms response time, a 120hz 2ms TN monitor is better for gaming, stuff gets in I'll explain.

TN panels have 2 reason's for their popularity; fast response time and extremely low cost. However, TN monitors depend upon that fast response time as they can only output 6-bit color per channel (red/green/blue are channels). What this means is that instead of producing 8-bit per channel like PVA and IPS panels for a nice TRUE 16 777 216 colors, it can only produce 262 144, and to produce the mention 16.7 million colors, it takes 2 colors from it's pallet and switches between them really fast to trick your eyes into seeing the proper color. An IPS monitor can just display the correct color. While this doesn't mean quite halving of response time, a 8ms IPS panel is equivalent to ~5ms TN panel.

This trickery is also why you don't see the right colors. Red can be orange, or/and Green is yellow green'ish, and so on. Now imagine the color switching happening in games WITH a moving picture... well the response time appear a tiny bit slower than the mention 2ms. Either way, at <10ms you really don't see any difference unless you are a pro gamer with lightning fast reflexes.

Also, TN makers aren't exactly honest with response time ratings. Raymond Soneira, PhD wrote up a great article on the marketing myths companies use for 120hz monitors.
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/display_myths...
a b B Homebuilt system
April 26, 2011 11:13:15 PM

That's some interesting information about the TN IPS monitors.

I am fairly ignorant on the specifics, but I thought that the response time directly translated into refresh rate. Such as, 5ms monitors usually have a 60Hz refresh rate, where-as 2ms monitors usually have a 120Hz refresh rate.

Now these refresh rates act as a ceiling for FPS, regardless of the GPU output. So if I get an 8 ms IPS monitor, I guesstimate it will be around a 30Hz refresh rate, wouldn't that limit my FPS to 30? Albeit a very fancy and nice 30 FPS
a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 12:44:02 AM

Nope, response time and FPS are different measurements. the Dell ultrasharps are 60HZ.

Response time refers to how quickly a monitor can cycle through it's color spectrum.
The technical definition is the time required for a liquid crystal to change orientation.

What that means in reality is how long it takes to to go from gray to white and back to gray. The problem is without a standard for measurement, companies often pad their numbers to look better for TN monitors.

Refresh Rate's technical definition is actual a mathematical equation where Refresh Rate=The time alloted for each frame of video to be displayed on the screen/ (divided by) one second

In real terms it to how many times a second a monitor can synch with an input. This of course then leads to the question of, well if my monitors displays 60FPS, wouldn't a 1/60 or 16 MS response time be enough to mean no blurring at all?

The answer is YES, IF the rated specs were slowest possible rather than best case scenario + padding numbers. In reality a 8ms monitor can take anywhere from 8 to 30 MS depending on a buncha factors.

For TN panels it's worse because if it's displaying a color it can't normally do, (ie most of them) and have to rely on a quick color switch trick, you're effectively doubling the response time to depict that color.

The other thing to consider is that a 120hz monitor isn't really 120hz, that's part of the marketing nonsense. 120Hz monitors still only synch 60 times a second, what is does is drop an interpolated frame into the picture stream.

That's just a fancy term to describe something that's been used in animation for a long time. Basically, lets imagine a dude doing a fast 1 second wave. You can do this by displaying 20 frames of the hand down, 20 of the hand up in the air, and 20 with the hand back down.

Another way is to do 10 with hand down, 10 of hand halfway up in the air, 20 of the hand in the air, 10 of the hand halfway down, and 10 with hand down. You're still only displaying 60 frames, but by adding those half way down images, it theoretically looks smoother. If you've ever used a flipbook to simulate animation you'll have an idea of what this is.

Now, monitor companies in marketing consider these in between frames as the equivalent of 2 frames (sounds better than a 60hz monitor that automatically does in betweening).

To get a true 120 synchs per second, you'll need to go back to CRT. LCD tech is limited to 60 refreshes a second due to a buncha technical stuff having to do with the RC constant of the capacitors/resistors that make up the LCD. This is being worked on, though I'm not aware of any practical solutions yet.

TL:D R version - Response rate and refresh rate are 2 different things. A 60hz TN for ex is commonly found with 2-8ms marketed (not true) response time. Those Dells are 60HZ.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 12:46:28 AM

Wow, I just learned alot, thanks! With my budget I'll definitely be looking at IPS monitors!
April 27, 2011 4:10:20 AM

This is just my two cents: if I were going to spend a bunch of money on monitors, I would get a 30" 2650x1600 monitor over 3x 1920x1080. Just for feedback on how system specs, I recently bought two 6950s (stock HIS models) and am very impressed with their performance. I can max out literally every game that I've tried at 1920x1080 with 60 frames per second. (Yes, including crysis... With the settings all at very high with 8xaa, I got 60.5 frames per second average according to the built in benchmark) I think you'll be very happy with the 6950s. I'm running:
core i7 930@4.0ghz (OC'd)
6 gigs corsair xms3 1600mhz ddr3 ram
asus p6x58d premium
corsair hx1000 psu
500gb 7200rpm seagate barracuda hdd

For CPU cooling, I'm using the Prolimatech Megahalems Rev B., which are reviewed very similarly to the heatsink that you listed. The noticeable thing about the Megahalems is that it has the best mounting system that I have EVER seen for a heatsink. It is very very very easy to mount it evenly and with a good amount of pressure. Best heatsink that I've ever owned. Just something you could consider. The heatsink you listed looks good as well.
April 27, 2011 3:30:25 PM

banthracis said:
...

The other thing to consider is that a 120hz monitor isn't really 120hz, that's part of the marketing nonsense. 120Hz monitors still only synch 60 times a second, what is does is drop an interpolated frame into the picture stream.

That's just a fancy term to describe something that's been used in animation for a long time. Basically, lets imagine a dude doing a fast 1 second wave. You can do this by displaying 20 frames of the hand down, 20 of the hand up in the air, and 20 with the hand back down.

Another way is to do 10 with hand down, 10 of hand halfway up in the air, 20 of the hand in the air, 10 of the hand halfway down, and 10 with hand down. You're still only displaying 60 frames, but by adding those half way down images, it theoretically looks smoother. If you've ever used a flipbook to simulate animation you'll have an idea of what this is.

Now, monitor companies in marketing consider these in between frames as the equivalent of 2 frames (sounds better than a 60hz monitor that automatically does in betweening).

To get a true 120 synchs per second, you'll need to go back to CRT. LCD tech is limited to 60 refreshes a second due to a buncha technical stuff having to do with the RC constant of the capacitors/resistors that make up the LCD. This is being worked on, though I'm not aware of any practical solutions yet.

TL:D R version - Response rate and refresh rate are 2 different things. A 60hz TN for ex is commonly found with 2-8ms marketed (not true) response time. Those Dells are 60HZ.


Only partially true. 120hz TN monitors require DVI Dual link for a reason. This is not trickery or marketing nonsense, this is the graphics card having to push out more fps at a higher refresh rate. There is no 'technical stuff' having to do with the 'RC constant of the caps/resistors'. First off this would have nothing to do with resistors whatsoever, and second off capacitors can charge and discharge at any rate chosen by circuit design (within current technological and/or cost restraints).

Please don't just repeat something you think you heard somewhere about something...

If anyone has any other questions about 120hz TN monitors, either look up the technicalities, or go the easier route, and read some reviews. It doesn't take a genius to read all the favorable reviews in regard to faster refresh rate monitors (not just CRT) and gaming fluidity.

With all that said, IPS is the way to go for true color accuracy. However, if you choose a quality TN panel, the noticeable difference will be slim, unless you frequently work with Photoshop or something else at a professional level.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 9:01:15 PM

Ugh, why does this have to happen every time.

Ok, first, 120 HZ is pointless, Normal human's can't even perceive more than about 60FPS. Classic example is flourescent lights. These flicker btwn 100hz and 120hz. Do you see flickering light or a solid stream of light? If you see a solid stream, guess what, you're not seeing 120fps.

Now you probably won't me believe on that point, but fortunately, Andrew B. Watson, Ph.D. NASA's Senior Scientist for Vision Research writes it all up for us.

http://human-factors.arc.nasa.gov/techareas/tech_faq/wa...

Second, color accuracy, even good TN monitors are limited to 6 bit, that's a limitation of TN tech. Most companies won't even rate their monitors color gamut, Dell however does so lets use them as an example.

A dell TN professional P2311H covers 68% of the 16.7 million colors.
http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us...

A dell IPS ultrasharp covers 82% of the possible 16.7 million colors. Including 100% of sRGB
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c...

This is a pretty significant difference.
Course, you won't believe me, so I'll give you some samples.

First is an image taken from an old Powerbooks color gamut, and converted to sRGB for web posting.
http://www.getcolormanaged.com/images/Blog/Screenshot_s...

The second image is in full sRGB.
http://www.getcolormanaged.com/images/Blog/SavedForWeb_...

The difference is pretty noticeable even on a TN monitor thanks to that old powerbook having a color gamut less than a good modern TN. That'll give you an idea of the color difference.

Ok next, RC constant and LCD screens.
Yes LCD's are essentially capacitor/resistor networks, and yes RC Constant is a limiting factor in LCD design. In fact, it's the primary reason why Al is used in signal bus design. The slow response time of Liquid crystals is a well known issue in the field, I'm not sure why you think I randomly picked that outta the internet.

If you want the full technical details on how an LCD display works, take a look here.
http://www.lcd-tv-reviews.com/pages/tft_device_design.p...

Now, onto the last part, dual link DVI 120HZ monitors. Not many of these around, all of them at least $500, though actually more than I thought, so my apologies for not mentioning this exception.

Anyway, these do truly display 120 frames per second, as opposed to the the commonly advertised 120hz monitors which interpolate or duplicate frames above 60. However, these monitors are still limited to 60 synchs per second.

These showed up after my formal training so I'm not 100% sure of the tech behind it. However, a quick library search brought up this paper
http://www.k-ids.or.kr/storage/journal/B/9_1/861/articl...
Haven't read through it carefully yet, but it looks like 2 solutions were usage of quasi impulse driving to allow black frame insertions, and backlight flashing.

Not quite sure which one is used, or if diff companies use a diff solution, but I can't seem to find a white paper from one of the companies that actually make these. Perhaps you've got one on hand umennis?
April 27, 2011 9:38:54 PM

Okay, first off. Let's drop the color gamut 'argument', although not sure there was ever really one to be had. I completely agree with IPS output being superior to TN. However, we can throw around numbers and percentages all day, the fact of the matter is simply that the 'missing colors', so to speak, are usually not all that missed, unless the user is a professional or quite the enthusiast. The state of the current market tells us that much, simply by looking at market share.

Second off. If you really want to get technical, the human eye isn't supposed to be able to see much above 30 frames per second. Yet we know this is quite often far from the truth. And in regard to your florescent bulb reference, the fact is that some people CAN see the flickering, and it all is not nearly as cut and dry as had been previously believed.

I own a Samsung 2233rz, a true 120hz TN monitor. It is no longer manufactured for whatever reason, but it got nothing but spectacular reviews, and was quite less than the $500 minimum price you stated.
April 27, 2011 10:19:46 PM

UmeNNis said:
Okay, first off. Let's drop the color gamut 'argument', although not sure there was ever really one to be had. I completely agree with IPS output being superior to TN. However, we can throw around numbers and percentages all day, the fact of the matter is simply that the 'missing colors', so to speak, are usually not all that missed, unless the user is a professional or quite the enthusiast. The state of the current market tells us that much, simply by looking at market share.

Second off. If you really want to get technical, the human eye isn't supposed to be able to see much above 30 frames per second. Yet we know this is quite often far from the truth. And in regard to your florescent bulb reference, the fact is that some people CAN see the flickering, and it all is not nearly as cut and dry as had been previously believed.

I own a Samsung 2233rz, a true 120hz TN monitor. It is no longer manufactured for whatever reason, but it got nothing but spectacular reviews, and was quite less than the $500 minimum price you stated.

I guess the easy way to see if its putting out more than 60 real frames is if you can run it with no v-sync and go 0 screen tearing. I know some games are better than others so pick a game that is a known screen tearing nightmare and run is on settings that allow you to average 100fps or more and see what happens???

I was a console gamer for a long time and so to me 30 FPS look fine as long as its not going up and down. I would think we tend to see the changes in frame rate more than the FPS. So a game synced to 60FPS that is not dropping below that would seem smoother than one synced to 120FPS that is ranging from 80-120FPS.

I would think you would notice that 40FPS swing and see that as looking ever so slightly choppy. Were as the solid stream of 60FPS would look smooth because it is a constant. At anyrate I know its just my personal preference but with PC tech ever changing it would seem that there are better things to spend money on that 120hz monitors.

Lets say its $100 more for the 120hz for a 3 monitor set up thats $300....Thats your next GPU when the current ones go out of date. Also as soon as your computer is aged to the point were it can no longer play games at 120 FPS you loose any possible benefit. If your running games at 70 FPS its no longer worth $100 for the 10FPS you may or may not be seeing.

Were as a better GPU or a monitor that displays a higher res or more accurate color will always have that added benefit. And I may be wrong here but how many GPU setups can run 3 monitors on very high setting that far past 60 FPS avg anyhow? Also in order to really see that extra FPS you would need to not drop below 60 FPS to tale full advantage and again if your going super high res or 3 monitor how long will a current 2-3 card setup run newer games at that high of a rate?
April 27, 2011 10:48:37 PM

cburke82 said:
...
Were as a better GPU or a monitor that displays a higher res or more accurate color will always have that added benefit. And I may be wrong here but how many GPU setups can run 3 monitors on very high setting that far past 60 FPS avg anyhow? Also in order to really see that extra FPS you would need to not drop below 60 FPS to tale full advantage and again if your going super high res or 3 monitor how long will a current 2-3 card setup run newer games at that high of a rate?


Now here is an argument that makes more sense. The multiple monitor setup I have given less thought to, as I currently run a single monitor, and therefore haven't had to worry about lower frame rates.

Seeing as how everyone is coming up with budgets far less than the op's allowable budget, however, without including more expensive monitors, it doesn't seem to be that outlandish to spend extra on what may be only a short to mid-term benefit. And this is technology we're talking about anyway, is it not? Aren't these benefits often short to mid-term anyways? :cry: 

And to answer your question, I never use v sync with this monitor, and experience no noticeable tearing.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 11:43:16 PM

$500 was referring to 1080p 120hz monitors, the requested resolution by the OP.

Also, rereading my initial post I guess I wasn't exactly clear about a couple things, so my apologies about that, and the clarifications.
1. There a difference between synchs and frames. 120hz monitors will all display 120 frames in a second that part is true, but they're not 120 distinct images from a source. The cheapest ones accomplish this by duplicating frames, the slightly better ones do it through interpolation as described above.
2. The analogy is also a bit off since it's animation interpolation rather than digital interpolation. Outside the high end top 120hz monitors, the majority of then either duplicate a frame to give 60fps, or insert one of these in between frames in between 2 actual or key frames. The source is still only providing it with 60 images a second, but it's using above techniques to turn it into 120 images.


Cburke re: your question about the FPS of current gpu's with 3 1080p monitors, you can find them here. Basically at those resolution, even 2 6970's are only getting 30's-40's
http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/AMD_Radeon_68...
April 28, 2011 12:09:58 AM

UmeNNis said:
Now here is an argument that makes more sense. The multiple monitor setup I have given less thought to, as I currently run a single monitor, and therefore haven't had to worry about lower frame rates.

Seeing as how everyone is coming up with budgets far less than the op's allowable budget, however, without including more expensive monitors, it doesn't seem to be that outlandish to spend extra on what may be only a short to mid-term benefit. And this is technology we're talking about anyway, is it not? Aren't these benefits often short to mid-term anyways? :cry: 

And to answer your question, I never use v sync with this monitor, and experience no noticeable tearing.

My budget would be very close to $3000 after purchasing 3 quality monitors depending on what size was purchased.
April 28, 2011 12:10:50 AM

UmeNNis said:
Now here is an argument that makes more sense. The multiple monitor setup I have given less thought to, as I currently run a single monitor, and therefore haven't had to worry about lower frame rates.

Seeing as how everyone is coming up with budgets far less than the op's allowable budget, however, without including more expensive monitors, it doesn't seem to be that outlandish to spend extra on what may be only a short to mid-term benefit. And this is technology we're talking about anyway, is it not? Aren't these benefits often short to mid-term anyways? :cry: 

And to answer your question, I never use v sync with this monitor, and experience no noticeable tearing.

Try turning v-sync on and seeing were it syncs to... just for shiets and giggles lol
a b B Homebuilt system
May 2, 2011 5:02:31 AM

So after much debate, I'd like to post what I intend to build when the money starts raining
(Also my current build will be going to my 6 year old in a pretty pink Cool Master case)

Case: Cooler Master HAF-X 189.99

Fan Controller NZXT Sentry 2 5.25" Fan Controller 24.99

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 54.99

Monitors(x3): Acer 23.6" LED-LCD 1920x1080 monitors 149.99 each(449.97)

GPU(x2): HIS Radeon 6950 2GB DDR5 Eyefinity Video Card 269.99 each(539.98)

Keyboard: Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard 79.99

RAM: G.SKILL 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CAS 7 RAM 149.99

Motherboard: ASUS WS Revolution P67 NF200 Motherboard 254.99

CPU: Intel Sandy Bridge i7-2600k 314.99

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 fan 89.99 with added 120mm fan 24.99

OS Drive: OCZ Vertex 2 120GB MLC SSD 209.99

PSU+OS Combo: Corsair AX850 Modular 80 PLUS GOLD/Windows 7 64 bit Professional 307.98

Total with shipping: 2692.83
May 2, 2011 5:06:04 AM

The fan controller is a complete waste of money. My .02.
Everything else looks pretty good :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 2, 2011 5:30:08 AM

I disagree. I just built an i5-2500k build for my friend and the fan controller kept the fans at 50%, substantially reducing case noise.

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
May 2, 2011 1:32:04 PM
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You've heard about the whole vertex 2 fiasco right cmc?

I'd go with an Intel 320 personally.

The NZXT fan controller have a pretty limited range of control, as in it'll go down to I think 6v and that's it. So long as you're ok with that it's fine.

As for the mobo, if you don't plan on getting a 3rd GPU, Tom's did an article few weeks ago where they showed the NF200 chip only netted a 2% improvement over a standard x8/x8 mobo, so if you're getting it for the increased performance may not be worth the ~$65 over a GA UD4P or p8p67 pro.

I'd also spend the extra ~$210 and upgrade to IPS monitors, but that's just me.


a b B Homebuilt system
May 4, 2011 1:00:57 AM

Best answer selected by cmcghee358.
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