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Torn between CPU vs Storage, Performance vs Price

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May 20, 2011 2:41:06 AM

First off, I've built a few systems, but I'm no expert. Also, I'm not planning on overclocking.

I'm building a new budget gaming system and have narrowed it down to one of two prospective builds. I already have an old Radeon 4800, which I plan to upgrade soon. The price difference between the following builds is only about $20. I'm interested in getting some opinions about which build would provide the best overall gaming experience. Thank you all in advance.

Common Elements:
OS:
Win7 64

MB:
ASRock H61M/U3S3

RAM:
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB)

Case:
RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply


Build A: (favors storage speed over CPU speed)
CPU:
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge

Storage:
OS - OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Gaming (Onboard RAID 0): 2 X Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA

Build B: (favors CPU speed over Storage speed)
CPU:
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge

Storage:
OS & Gaming (one drive for each): 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA

Best solution

a b à CPUs
May 20, 2011 2:58:57 AM

In my opinion, definitely build 2, but with a slight modification. You are using a h61 board, which means no overclocking. Grab an i5-2400 it's the same chip but without the unlocked multiplier.

The reason is that SSD's will only get cheaper and faster. They are new tech, and the way of the future. All an SSD does is increase boot times. A better CPU means higher FPS which equals better gaming experience.
Which would you choose?
Also, consider getting these drives: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern... Faster drive. Save $60 or get 2x storage for same price!
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May 20, 2011 3:47:13 AM

Thanks. Maybe I'll drop down to the i5-2400, go with a single Spinpoint for games and keep the SSD for the OS. I've seen some incredible benefits of SSD beyond boot speeds. I should add that I'll be installing some design software on the SSD as well. I'm not going to crowd it, but it won't be just the OS on there.
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a b à CPUs
May 20, 2011 3:51:17 AM

If the cost/performance is worth it to you, grab an SSD. I was stating that they are like phones. You get the awesome/fast/expensive one, only to have the one with LTE roll in at $50 less 2 months later (not personal at all >.>)
So, keep in mind that if you wait as little as a few months, there will be much better deals on SSD's. But if you need one now, go ahead and get one! They are super cool :) 
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May 20, 2011 11:38:28 AM

You're totally right. Were I wiser or in possession of sufficient self-control, I'm sure I would just go with HDD's for now. It's really the only non-budget indulgence on the list, so I'm going to go for it. You've improved my build. Thanks for the advice.
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a b à CPUs
May 20, 2011 6:35:15 PM

striker410 said:
In my opinion, definitely build 2, but with a slight modification. You are using a h61 board, which means no overclocking. Grab an i5-2400 it's the same chip but without the unlocked multiplier.

The reason is that SSD's will only get cheaper and faster. They are new tech, and the way of the future. All an SSD does is increase boot times. A better CPU means higher FPS which equals better gaming experience.
Which would you choose?
Also, consider getting these drives: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Intern... Faster drive. Save $60 or get 2x storage for same price!


+ a million :) 

My older WD SiliconEdge Blue SSD, although a generation or two old, still boots in 30 seconds. I have W7 and Office installed and they're very snappy, but my 7200RPM Hitachi HDD still loads games very quickly.

EDIT: You'll want a 60+ GB SSD because W7 alone takes up ~30GB after updates. I have about 10GB free on my 64GB.

The WD Black drives are a ripoff. They charge a huge price simply because they've built up a reputation in the last ~2-3 years and people have begun to default to them (no offense; I used to default to WD before the new HDDs came out). Buy up the F3s while you can, because Samsung sold their HDD division to Seagate, who has really been faltering lately.
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May 20, 2011 7:31:50 PM

so.... what graphics card do you plan on getting?
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May 20, 2011 8:16:18 PM

Thanks, everyone for the advice. I ordered the parts this morning. Care to start a pool on what parts will be DOA? ;) 

I went with the i5-2400, the 1TB Spinpoint and the 30GB SSD. Unfortunately I ordered before your tip on Win 7's foorprint, Boiler1990. I suppose I could add another later on and put them in RAID 0 if I run out of room.

I haven't even begun the research on the video card yet. I'll give it a couple of months. Any decision I make now will be useless by then.

My old system was an Asus A8NSLI Deluxe with a AMD64 dual core processor. That rig was amazing in its day, which was a long long time ago.

Thanks again everyone.

BTW, I ordered everything from Newegg this morning, and had my tracking numbers within 4 hours. But you folks already knew they were awesome.
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May 20, 2011 8:29:51 PM

No parts DOA hopefully, and good luck on the build! At least I didn't have any that needed to be RMA'd, I wonder what the frequency is of at least 1 part being faulty in a build.
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May 20, 2011 8:44:39 PM

Best answer selected by 13ruce.
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May 20, 2011 8:51:46 PM

I've only ordered a few complete builds to assemble, but I've yet to receive a 100% healthy lot. I suppose I'm a bit cynical in that regard, but it really isn't that big of a deal in the end. When your mobo comes in with a boot print on the box, it's pretty obvious that the retailers and vendors aren't to blame in many cases. And shipping 50lb of junk across the 50 states for $10 is a small price to pay, even if an item or two bites it on the way. It's all good. Just my opinion.
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a b à CPUs
May 20, 2011 9:50:02 PM

I've yet to receive a bad part from retail *knock on wood*. The only bad part I had came used from a forum.

HDDs tend to be the bad ones though, since some UPS couriers like to play football with the packages...
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