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Is it a good time for a new high end build?

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August 14, 2011 2:23:51 PM

I currently have a 4 year old system:

Q6600 2.4 Ghz Overclocked @3.6 Ghz - Running like this for 4 years, this CPU is unbelievable!
Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 heatsink
GTX 285
4 GB DDR2 Crucial Ballistix 4-4-4-12 Overclocked @1066 Mhz
300 Gb velociraptor
Antec 1200 Case
PC Power and Cooling 750W 825W peak PSU
Have bunch of other 2 TB hard drives, 8.1 surround sound card, DVD rom, 27" monitor, etc, but if I upgrade, all those will remain same

I love my current system, it's so quiet even over clocking at that level (pretty high if you ask me) and it's been running hassle and problem free for so many years. I can push the CPU 100% compress videos and let it open for hours (days at a time), all fans running at their quietest, the temperatures don't exceed 63C.

That being said, it's old. I want to make this entire PC NAS in my network drive and build a brand new PC. My budget is around $3000. I want to get whatever is the equivalent of Q6600 now (back then it was one level below the extreme CPU), problem is, I don't know if now is the good time to build a PC. Core i7 has been out for so long, I don't want to get it now and only realize a few months later it's ancient.

Can the expert please comment on this? Are we in a good cycle right now for CPU (or even RAM, GPU, same question applies)? Or should I wait till Q1-Q2 of next year? My current PC can run most games comfortable, it's getting slower, but it's okay.

I do know there will always be something newer, that's no problem. Problem is if Intel or Nvidia goes to a new architecture (like C2D to i7), I don't want to have a system that's in the old architecture.

Thanks for your help.
August 14, 2011 5:39:00 PM

Quote:
everything you have there is great! a Q6600 at 3.6Ghz will be able to handle most graphics cards out today, may i ask whats your current mobo?

imo you'd be better off with just a graphics card upgrade:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i cant compare the gtx285 directly but heres the closest i got:

gtx285 vs gtx460:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/313?vs=306

and then the gtx 460 vs the gtx 570:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/313?vs=306


Thanks. I have Abit IP-35 Pro motherboard which has been pretty good so far (knock on wood). The problem is, I need another computer. This one is huge (Antec 1200!), has so many 2 TB hard drives that I cannot count, and I want to basically keep this as a NAS server, connect it to my TV set and watch my videos/pictures and so on. The new build I am planning on will have 1 or 2 SSDs, a DVD-ROM, video card, sound card, and that's about it. No way I am going to get a huge case like this one again.

On a side note, while you are right about this CPU handling the newest video cards, it's not the best out there. I do a lot of 1080p video shooting and compressing/editing. Doing that in my current CPU takes a long time. I guarantee you with HT on on a high end i7, it will be 2 or 3 times faster. In addition, while the velociraptor I have is faster than a 7200 rpm hard drive, it's no match to SSDs.

The current PC I had was built 4 years ago. Aside from a graphics card swap (which was simply because the old one had died, so I sent it back and got this GTX 285 instead from eVGA), I absolutely changed nothing in terms of RAM, hard drive, mobo, CPU, cooling, PSU - just added more hard drive. Back then, I had spent $1,500 on this built and I want to do something similar with the new build. Get the best out there that has high overclock potential, build it rock solid, and use it for 4-5 years like I did with my current build. Money is of no issue (as in I don't have $10,000 to spend, but $100 or $200 here and there won't hurt me), I just need to know if I'm doing the right thing. I don't want to get an old architecture, I just have been out of this game for so long, I don't know how long I should wait.
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August 14, 2011 6:01:12 PM

Graphics cards need to be made a swear word, the most obsolete and inefficient component has become the bane of building a rig.

Seriously I don't see why spending more than $1000 dollars give or take, can be seen a intelligent. In a years time a 2500K build will be mainstream and those who waited for the CPU/MOBO market to settle down will be using more efficient IvyBridge and AMD APU builds, for a fraction of the cost.

The APU's and SSD's are the only real ingenious components out at the moment.
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August 14, 2011 6:20:44 PM

sarinaide said:
Graphics cards need to be made a swear word, the most obsolete and inefficient component has become the bane of building a rig.

Seriously I don't see why spending more than $1000 dollars give or take, can be seen a intelligent. In a years time a 2500K build will be mainstream and those who waited for the CPU/MOBO market to settle down will be using more efficient IvyBridge and AMD APU builds, for a fraction of the cost.

The APU's and SSD's are the only real ingenious components out at the moment.


CPU : $500
Motherboard : $250
PSU : $200
SSD : $500 (Might get an enterprise grade or get 2 regular ones and RAID)
GPU : $600
Case : $200
DVD-ROM : $100
CPU Cooling : $100
Misc : Cooling parts, extra fans.

That's at least $2500. You can give or take $100-200 so here and there, but with shipping costs, it will make up for itself.

The last thing I want is to get something mid-range, and then spend another grand in a years time. My current rig is a good example of importance of long lasting top end build.

Anyways, when is the replacement of Core i7 will come out? When was the most recent intel refresh and when will be the next one? What about Nvidia/ATI. I have no interest in SLI, so I'd like to get a powerful video card.
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August 14, 2011 7:29:24 PM

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_2011 found my own answer : Lga 2011, coming out november 2011. That means q1 of 2012 is the perfect time for an uograde. Buying lga 1366 would be a big mistake now for me.
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August 14, 2011 9:24:51 PM

Have you looked at LGA 1155.

the i5 2500k or even the i7 2600k are stonking CPUs with amazing performance, if you do not wish to wait.
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August 14, 2011 10:43:37 PM

Uther39 said:
Have you looked at LGA 1155.

the i5 2500k or even the i7 2600k are stonking CPUs with amazing performance, if you do not wish to wait.


I have, isn't that the mainstream chipset and LGA 1366 being the high end? Either way, both of them will be most likely discounted next year this time. I don't care buying a slower CPU in the same chipset model, but once the architectures change, you better be on the new one, or else its a problem. LGA 1366 has been out there since 2008 I think, that's 3 years. LGA 2011 will be the high end chip for at least 2 years. I'd rather buy the new chipset paying a premium and keeping it for 3-4 years, than buying the old chipset cheap. Like I said $100-200 is not a problem for me, I build my computer once every 3-5 years.
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August 14, 2011 10:55:38 PM

1155, CPUs such as 2500k and 2600k beat 1366 CPUs hands down at all tests including the i7 990x
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August 15, 2011 12:04:35 AM

derstig said:
You lost me, you are saying this quad core CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is better than this six core CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Especially when I need more cores/threads for video compression/editing?


The 2600K is better for a lot of video benchmarks. For some multi-threaded use the older 6-core is still slightly better, Intel really work hard on video processing optimisations with new architectures though. If you were to buy now and don't need the features you get on an LGA 1366 board (X58 chipset) over what you get on the LGA 1155 boards (Z67, P67, H67) then it makes little sense to go for a 6-core except for bragging rights.

Sounds to me like your best bet would be to wait and get an LGA 2011 6-core. The Core i7 3930K - a 3.2GHz 6-core with limited over-clocking abilities will be in the $600-$650 range (closer to $650 but Q1 I would think).
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August 15, 2011 12:06:38 AM

The quad core is more efficient just google 2600k v 990x
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August 15, 2011 12:09:31 AM

Umbongo said:
The 2600K is better for a lot of video benchmarks. For some multi-threaded use the older 6-core is still slightly better, Intel really work hard on video processing optimisations with new architectures though. If you were to buy now and don't need the features you get on an LGA 1366 board (X58 chipset) over what you get on the LGA 1155 boards (Z67, P67, H67) then it makes little sense to go for a 6-core except for bragging rights.

Sounds to me like your best bet would be to wait and get an LGA 2011 6-core. The Core i7 3930K - a 3.2GHz 6-core with limited over-clocking abilities will be in the $600-$650 range (closer to $650 but Q1 I would think).


Or for that matter for his need he may even be better off with an 8 core bulldozer chip depending on how well they perform.
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August 15, 2011 12:21:06 AM

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to offend anyone here, I respect your opinion, but I highly doubt the 6 core nehalem is just for bragging rights. I don't care what any efficient benchmark says. They were saying the same thing when I paid $500 for my Q6600 and when a C2D was selling half the price and everyone was saying "oh boy you are so stupid, no game in the world makes use of those 2 extra cores", guess what, now after 4 years, I can still do anything I want with my PC, I wonder where those C2Ds are. Gotta love being able to play BC2, compress 1080p video, remote login to work, upload 1000+ pictures all at once (mind you this is a very old system!).

If you know about cars, this is similar to people comparing BMW's 335 to the M3. You can google all you want "335 vs M3" and will find thousands of forum posts about how 335 is more efficient and how 335 can beat the crap out of M3 with a $600 tune and how this and how that (one costs $55,000 while the other costs $75,000 - fully loaded). But guess what, 335 is not an M, never was, never will be. I owned them both (now drive an M3) and I can tell you its not just the badge at the back that I paid the extra 20 grand for.

I would believe you if you said that most games won't make use of 6 cores, heck they will barely make use of 4 cores. I would also believe that the $300 one overclocks so good that the 6 core one barely has a lead in most day to day applications, all fine. But don't you think there is a reason one costs twice as much as the other one (and that's months after they were both introduced)? Have you tried to mess with a AVCHD video that a high quality cam corder produces? Try playing BC2 or FSX while you are doing that, and let me know if those 2 extra cores and the extra L cache makes any difference, because it does.

I just don't think it's fair to make a statement like "6 core CPU is for bragging rights", while obviously it has %50 more threads than the other one. 2600k is there simply because not everyone can afford to pay $600 for a CPU, period. Intel has to make money, so instead of making a cheap 6 core (which they will with the 2011 I'm guessing in a year's time), they made a better 4 core. I hardly think with money being no objection, any one of you here would still buy the 2600k, just because its efficient.
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August 15, 2011 12:57:30 AM

If your doing mainly vide editing and want the best money can buy, get the MSI Big Bang-Marshal 1155 mother board with a 2600k and the coolermaster V10 cooler and overclock to 5.0ghz or more. a good memory kit, (16 gigs 2133), and a couple of these bad boys. Also get Adobe CS5.
www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-detai...
Also look into this software as well. www.badaboomit.com

Welcome to the world of CUDA. Now go do your encodes in minutes, not hours.

On regards to the 990X, its not that the 2600K is better, (about the same), its the fact that the 1155 platform can have higher data throughput. Thats where the performance advantages are. The 2600K has a smaller die size so that means it is more eficient with regards to heat. Which means higher clock rates. Plus Ivory will be out next year and is 1155 compatible. Ivory WILL destroy the 990x.
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August 15, 2011 1:17:05 AM

zarrensanders said:
If your doing mainly vide editing and want the best money can buy, get the MSI Big Bang-Marshal 1155 mother board with a 2600k and the coolermaster V10 cooler and overclock to 5.0ghz or more. a good memory kit, (16 gigs 2133), and a couple of these bad boys. Also get Adobe CS5.
www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-detai...
Also look into this software as well. www.badaboomit.com

Welcome to the world of CUDA. Now go do your encodes in minutes, not hours.

On regards to the 990X, its not that the 2600K is better, (about the same), its the fact that the 1155 platform can have higher data throughput. Thats where the performance advantages are. The 2600K has a smaller die size so that means it is more eficient with regards to heat. Which means higher clock rates. Plus Ivory will be out next year and is 1155 compatible. Ivory WILL destroy the 990x.


So then why is the other 990X ones sell for 2x more?

And where does the LGA 2011 stand in all this? Will that be Ivy bridge as well or is the Ivy bridge reserve for mainstream not high end (still don't make sense to me)? Last I checked the high end CPUs and bridges cost around $500-600 with the mainstream costing half. That was a few years ago.
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August 15, 2011 6:34:04 AM

The Z68's are atleast usable with Ivy Bridge so if you buy a 2500k you will be sorted for a foreseably long time.

It will all come down to your usage preference. If you are hardcore then spending big only results in the perception that in a years time the computer is a hock of crock and needs to be replaced, thats where the snowballing effect takes place and you get hooked on spending fortunes on something that a lowend PC will be aptly able to do.

If on the other hand you are more a casual user, smart upgrading which gives a degree of future proofing, but also expansion capabilities on top of perfromance is a good way to go. For $1000-1400 you can build a solid 2500k build.
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August 15, 2011 7:23:48 AM

I've been building for over 10 years, and yes, over the last couple the whole ballgame has changed. Sandy bridge is a much better buy because 1: you CAN upgrade later with Ivory,(not yet exactly sure what LGA2011 will offer). 2: For less money, the 2600K with a good cooler can overclock above 5ghz with no issues, WHY, the die size is smaller than the 990X so the cpu runs cooler which in turn raises its overclocking limits for much higher ghz.3: The cpu has instruction sets that the 990X does not have.
4: The only reason you would need more than 4 cores is if your software directly supports it. Don't forget, the Sandy CPU's do have HT so you would end up with 8 cores in the task manager.

And last, the 990X is NOT the most powerfull or expensive 1366 cpu.
Just for shits and giggles in my next post I will list the hardware needed for the MOST powerfull desktop machine that money can possibly build.If you are super hardcore then this is for you. If you can't afford it, do yourself a faver and go with Sandy Bridge.
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August 15, 2011 7:26:20 AM

I'm not an expert on these things but I recently worked at an engineering firm that ran several heavily multithreaded programs at each user's desktop. Many of the users were recently issued i7-970 based machines. One of them was a friend of mine who also has an i7-2600K in his home PC and he often complained about how slow his home PC is in comparison when he had to work from home. So, I think it's a stretch to say that the extra price doesn't get you anything, but it is probably fair to say that there are very few programs today that will notice the difference and that the increased performance is not proportional to the increased price.

If you want the top of the line and are willing to pay for it, high end workstations can run dual lga1366 processors - 12 physical cores and 24 virtual cores. That's at least $1700 in processors/motherboards so $3000 is pretty unfeasible. I'm not saying that's what you should do - it's pretty extreme for a home computer - but if money is really no object then the sky is the limit.
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August 15, 2011 7:50:48 AM

Well I think a very good point was made, with second gen i7 due out it is pointless spending on a LGA1366 board. If the OP wants a solid i7 build, then a ASUS MAXIMUS range Mobo with the 2600k will more than surfice. That said a basic P67/Z68 with I3 will do the same, granting that it will likely be used for gaming.

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August 15, 2011 8:36:19 AM

Heres that workstation build I promised. Its a little pricey so good luck. app. 23K


Case : SILVERSTONE Temjin Series TJ11B-W
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681116317...

Power Supply : Dual SILVERSTONE Strider Gold ST1200-G (you will need 2)
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681725606...

Motherboard : EVGA Classified SR-2 270-WS-W555-A2
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681318807...

CPU : Dual Intel Xeon X5690 Westmere-EP (yes 2 of em!)
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681911725...

CPU Cooler : Two COOLER MASTER V10's (position so that each sits overtop a set of memory)
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683510305...

Ram : 4 sets CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 12GB (don't use there fan, V10 will cool them)
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682014532...

Vid card 1: PNY VCQ6000-PB Quadro 6000 Fermi Graphics Card - 6GB
www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-detai...

Vid card 2 : NVIDIA Tesla C2070 Computing Processor - 6GB (Cuda)
www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-detai...
ONLY CONNECT TESLAs TOGETHER BY SLI BRIDGE
Vid card 3 : NVIDIA Tesla C2070 Computing Processor - 6GB (Cuda)
www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-detai...

Sound card : use onboard sound

HDD workspace : OCZ VeloDrive 1.2TB
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682022772...

OP System hdd : 2 ADATA S511 Series AS511S3-240GM-C (raid 1 or 0, your choice)
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682021155...

BD Burner : 2 LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682710634...

Storage hdd : 4 Western Digital RE4 WD2003FYYS
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682213657...
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August 15, 2011 8:37:18 AM

Just wait untill LGA2011, and then by then we will all also know how Bulldozer performs.
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August 15, 2011 8:39:14 AM

SO expensive you did not even bother to tell us the total system cost, haha.
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August 15, 2011 4:33:44 PM

app $23,000 as in the first line of the post. I said 23K so kinda my bad.

At this range do you really need the exact cost?

P.S. If somebody actually builds it, I wan't 10%. LOL
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August 15, 2011 4:40:01 PM

zarrensanders said:
app $23,000 as in the first line of the post. I said 23K so kinda my bad.

At this range do you really need the exact cost?


Indeed sir indeed,

Man visits Rolls Royce show room...
Has a look at a Silver Ghost....
Salesman comes over to him....

Salesman "Can i help you Sir?"
Man "Indeed old chap you can, i was wondering, How much power does this car have?"
Salesman "It has enough Sir"
Man "Err, OK, Could you tell me then, how much it costs?"
Salesman "If you have to ask that Sir, then you clearly can not afford it"

Salesman walks away....
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August 16, 2011 3:40:47 AM

You intend to spend $3000 on a home computer build? I'm sorry but you've taken complete leave of your senses. The MOST you should spend on a new machine is $1000. Everything after that is money in the toilet. :sol: 
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August 16, 2011 5:17:55 AM

Avro Arrow said:
You intend to spend $3000 on a home computer build? I'm sorry but you've taken complete leave of your senses. The MOST you should spend on a new machine is $1000. Everything after that is money in the toilet. :sol: 


Agreed. I personally think things like the 590 are just overkill.
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August 16, 2011 7:47:31 AM

Some can afford to flush away there money.
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August 16, 2011 9:01:11 PM

i would say it is not a great time to upgrade now. after the LGA2011 processors are announced I would expect some price drops of the non enthusiast sandy bridge procs. later in the year AMD will announce their newest vid cards so we could see some price drops from that.

My suggestion is 4Q '11-1Q '12 or 2H '12-3Q-12 for upgrading.
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August 17, 2011 9:41:05 AM

I would try not to be overly influenced by Intel's charts, stating which cpus are mainstream vice high end, unless there are some relevant performance increases for the money in the tasks you actually do, i.e, encoding/decoding/rendering vs. simple gaming...

For that to occur, will will need to see some SB-E (6 and 8 core units) unleashed in a variety of benchmarks to decide if the newest $1000 cpu offers appreciable performance increases even over the $230 i5-2500k overclocked to similar 3.9 GHz (rumored turbo values of socket 2011 offerings) levels...
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