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Help needed with new computer (particularly w. graphics card)

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May 19, 2011 8:48:56 AM

Hi all,


I'm going to buy and build a new computer next month (June), and, therefore I thought it might be wise to run it by this forum before I buy everything. The primary function for this new computer is to run the lastest games in the Total War-series (Empire, Napoleon and Shogun 2) with high settings and huge numbers of men (10-15000 or more if possible).


Approximate Purchase Date: Beginning of June

Budget Range: 7500 DKK ~ 1434.225 U.S dollars

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, writing school assignments etc)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.proshop.dk or http://edbpriser.dk (this is the Danish equivalent of newegg.com etc)

Country of Origin: Denmark

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Current specs:
CPU (Core i5 2500K - will OC to 4.3 GHz, or more if it's safe):
Cooler (Scythe Mugen 2 rev.B SCMG-2100):
Mainboard (ASUS P8P67 Pro B3 Revision):
RAM (Corsair XMS3 2 x 2 GB): (DDR3, PC12800, 1600MHz, CAS latency, 8-8-8-24)
Graphics card (MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC 1 GB)
Harddrive (WD Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1 TB)
PSU (Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 V2)
DVD-drive (Samsung Super-WriteMaster SH-S223C (Black))
Case (Antec Three Hundred - EU)

Additional Comments:
As some of you might notice, some components are quite cheap, and on a whole the rest is not the newest and fastest components. The reason for this is that I have a limited budget, and that I want to save a little money for future upgrades and a few games on Steam. It would be fair to say that I have been looking for "the best bang for the buck" components. Yet if any of you guys find that one or more components are not "the best bang for the buck" please feel welcome to make other suggestions.

After reading some of the discussions on the graphics cards forum, the component that really has me confused is the graphics card, as I would like one that is also worth something a year or two from now. In short I'm trying to figure out whether to buy the N560GTX-Ti or a AMD HD6950 1 or 2GB. As far as I know the Total War games are some of the most VRAM heavy games on the market and therefore a 2GB card seems to be the best choice, however, Nvidia cards are recommended for the Total War games?

On a side note here is a overview of the tally with the above components (prices are i Danish Kroner (DKK), as I live in Denmark and am going to buy the parts here from proshop.dk - I apoligize if this makes things unecessarily complicated)

Prices
Proshop.dk
CPU 1419
Cooler 344
Mainboard 1169
RAM 395
Graphics card 1776
Harddrive 567
PSU 620
DVD-drive 147
Case 431
Total 6868 ~ approx. 1313.36764 U.S. dollars

Here are the alternatives I'm considering and last is the one I'm currently going to buy.

XFX-Radeon-HD-6950-(2-GB)
XFX-Radeon-HD6950-(1-GB)
MSI-N560GTX-Ti-Twin-Frozr-II-OC-(1-GB)

Just to make it clear my maximum budget in Danish Kroner (DKK) is 7500 ~ 1 434.225 U.S. dollars.

Off topic: Can you guys recommend other places (perhaps online) to buy the components?

I hope you guys can help on this matter


Thanks a lot in advance,
Benjamin
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 9:00:05 AM

That build looks quite nice! As for the GPU, what resolution are you gaming at,? Also, a tip for the url tags put the title you want to appear after the first closing bracket: ]Here[/ url]
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May 19, 2011 9:37:28 AM

Thanks dude, glad to hear that.

My LCD monitors native resolution is 1920x1200.

BTW, should I look into Z68-chipset motherboards?

And is the layout of my thread okay, I didn't use the recommeded layout... :??: 
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 9:43:20 AM

After trying to do a little searching on proshop it seems the Z68 boards have a price premium over the P67 ones, so if this is the case, I don't see much reason to pay extra for one (for your uses).
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May 19, 2011 10:13:49 AM

I see, but would I get any additional benefits from buying a Z68 board. I'm mainly thinking about the ability to take advantage of the integrated graphics in the CPU, would that give any added performance in gaming?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 10:19:08 AM

No, the IGP would not benefit gaming if you are using a discrete GPU as well. Virtu lets you switch between the two graphics modes, so that the most effective one is used for each task, but it's not like crossfire where they work together. It's mostly so transcoding can utilize the IGP and gaming can still use a discrete card. As for other benefits, the other main one is SRT or SSD Caching which lets you use a SSD in combination with a mechanical HDD as a cache for your most recently used applications. This, in theory, gives you SSD-like performance on those applications. A true SSD+HDD setup will outperform it still, but there are advantages to both.
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May 19, 2011 10:24:47 AM

Aha, I'll stick with my original choice then.

What about the graphics card I have chosen, would you recommend the Radeon 6950 (2 GB) instead?

Most people on the graphics cards forum recommend the Radeon card, but I'm unsure as to what to buy.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 11:00:02 AM

For Total War, if the price difference wasn't that great I would get the 2GB (especially if you might crossfire in the future).
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May 19, 2011 11:15:46 AM

You don't think extra cost is worth it? I've been wanting to build a computer like this for years, so the extra cost is acceptable.

Is XFX the best Radeon brand on the market?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 20, 2011 12:15:01 AM

I'd say get the 2GB. XFX has the best warranty - double lifetime. The coolers and housings vary between the different models, so it's hard to say.
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June 5, 2011 6:23:55 PM

I finally have the money on hand. :D 


I have changed my original computer setup a bit based on reviews I've read:


Mainboard:MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) (Has 2 x16 PCI Express slots)

CPU:Intel Core i5 2500K Sandy Bridge

Cooler:Scythe Mugen 2 rev.B SCMG-2100

RAM:Kingston HyperX blu 2 x 4 GB (PC 10600, 1333 MHz CAS-9-9-9-24)

Graphicscard:2xASUS EAH6870 DC/2DI2S/1GD5 (1 GB)

Harddrive:WD Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1 TB

DVD-drive:Samsung SH-S223C SATA Sort

PSU:Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850 V2

Case:Antec Three Hundred - EU

You might notice the single graphics card has changed to two HD6870s, this decision was primarily based on this chart.



What do you think of this setup compared to the first setup?? Is anything overkill or too slow?


Thanks
Dane


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