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1600$ gaming + monitor

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Last response: in Systems
August 21, 2011 5:14:29 PM

Ok, I now finally got everything in place and here is the semi-final version of my build. ;) 

Your comments, please. ;) 

Aim - browsing, games, office apps, movies + VMs working in background, some video encoding from time to time.


Approximate Purchase Date: This week.

Budget Range: ~1600$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: games, VMs, apps, movies, video encoding

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Have limitations compared to stock at newegg.com

Country of Origin: Europe

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (future)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: quiet PC



Monitor
ASUS PA246Q - LCD display - TFT - 24.1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The only real alternative is DELL UltraSharp U2410 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
I need 1920x1200, good color, viewing angles and I've got spooked by DELL's 1 year warranty.

Motherboard
MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) - motherboard - ATX - LGA1155 Socket - Z68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't have ASRock available.
Gigabyte has a lot of negative reviews (infinite boot cycle + I do have experience with their Z68 board in production on over 30 PCs - blue screens, failure to power on, sleep mode issues, etc).
Can possibly consider ASUS.

Processor
Intel Core i5 2500K / 3.3 GHz processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've decided to pass on i7, even though it might be useful in some future virtualization technologies - I will just test that on newer work hardware if it's needed.


CPU Cooler
ZALMAN CNPS 10X Performa - processor cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't have alternatives. :( 

Memory
Kingston ValueRAM memory - 4 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR3 x 4
I'm not buying branded (and don't have them available). Need a lot for VMs + it's cheap + lifetime warranty.


Graphics
Video Card SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6950 Toxic GDDR5 2GB/256bit, 880MHz/1300MH
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A few extra bucks for Toxic version, 2 GB for dual monitors.


Hard Drives
Kingston SSDNow V+100 - solid state drive - 96 GB - SATA-300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This drive is a steal. Couldn't pass on it. Will use as boot + 1-2 critical apps.

I already have + 3 HDDs

Case
Antec Three Hundred - tower - ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's cheap, it get's the job done, it's stylish.

Power
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 - power supply - 750 Watt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
For future Crossfire use + some reserved power for OC. Don't need modular PRO version. Has a 5 year warranty.

My concerns:
Will have SATA3, but not using it.
Did not study all the technology options offered by the MB.

More about : 1600 gaming monitor

August 21, 2011 6:30:51 PM

This is what I would change

Get i7 2600. Yes not the K one. You lose some Virtualizations technologies with 2600K, and considering this is a very powerful CPU you don't need to overclock. If you want it nearly silent, buy a Scythe Mugen and you're done!

2600 specs here:
http://ark.intel.com/products/52213

and

2600K specs here:
http://ark.intel.com/products/52214/Intel-Core-i7-2600K...

Every single company has occasionally problems with it's hardware. Things were heard about MSI, Asus etc motherboards too! For now, Gigabyte gives guaranteed upgradebility to Ivy Bridge and PCI-E 3.0 with a simple BIOS update, so I would prefer it for now. Here's a great model

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For SSD I would prefer a Crucial M4 128GB. Great perfomance plus reliability! If they aren't available you can get an Intel 510 Series 120GB. Also you don't have to pay the premium 6950. You can pretty much o/c it yourself..Plus this model has lifetime warranty!

XFX HD-695X-ZNDC Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


August 21, 2011 7:19:56 PM

Hello michxymi,

i7 2600 has the following virtualization technology:
Intel® Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d) Yes

I am not sure which software products on the market support this (I know even the most advanced RemoteFX for Server 2008 R2 does not require this, maybe VMWARE has something I'm not aware of?). Can you please specify what are the current software appliances for this technology?

Gigabyte has infinite restart loop and I've personally seen their boards in prod, no way I'm buying that.

Crucial m4 is twice as expensive and the speed gain will not be noticeable in standard set of tasks.

Why are you suggestions 1 GB card? I've wanted a 2 GIG and the price difference between the standard and OC version is like 14 bucks.
Related resources
August 21, 2011 7:40:59 PM

Sorry about the 1GB card...didn't noticed it...thought It was the 2GB model. It's up too you, but I would prefer buying a 2GB lifetime warranty model than an O/C model with 1 - 2 years.

I really don't know, because I haven't use VMWare or Virtualization yet. I found this article for you

http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2009/06/25/unders...

As for Gigabyte. I'm a proud owner of a 990FX-UD3, and 770T before. I didn't notice such problems. As I said before, every company has it's advantages / disadvantages and Gigabyte is a serious company that offers warranty and support for It's products. A bad Gigabyte motherboard doesn't mean that Gigabyte is making bad motherboards.. Again it's up too you.

The difference about the SSD, will be notice able plus Kingston isn't that good at SSD Market.
August 21, 2011 8:03:05 PM

michxymi said:
Sorry about the 1GB card...didn't noticed it...thought It was the 2GB model. It's up too you, but I would prefer buying a 2GB lifetime warranty model than an O/C model with 1 - 2 years.

I really don't know, because I haven't use VMWare or Virtualization yet. I found this article for you

http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2009/06/25/unders...

As for Gigabyte. I'm a proud owner of a 990FX-UD3, and 770T before. I didn't notice such problems. As I said before, every company has it's advantages / disadvantages and Gigabyte is a serious company that offers warranty and support for It's products. A bad Gigabyte motherboard doesn't mean that Gigabyte is making bad motherboards.. Again it's up too you.

The difference about the SSD, will be notice able plus Kingston isn't that good at SSD Market.

Thank you for the links.

I know Kingston isn't top, but hell, it's a steal.

Which vendors provide lifetime warranty for video?
August 21, 2011 8:06:55 PM

I found that XFX's 6950 2GB has lifetime warranty!

XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And when you have such a big budget, you should concern about quality and perfomance.

August 21, 2011 8:36:37 PM

michxymi said:
I found that XFX's 6950 2GB has lifetime warranty!

XFX HD-695X-CNFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And when you have such a big budget, you should concern about quality and perfomance.

michxymi
If you subtract the monitor cost - it's not that high of a budget. ;) 

Thank you for the info, but I will possibly pass on this model due to heating and noise complains in the feedbacks.
August 21, 2011 8:56:33 PM

Intel Z68 don't support Intel VT-d, you will need a business or server chipset.
August 21, 2011 10:20:12 PM

lp231 said:
Intel Z68 don't support Intel VT-d, you will need a business or server chipset.

Hmm, a very helpful comment, can you please link the information source?
August 22, 2011 2:04:58 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - this is an IPS monitor for $380, and it's previous version - this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is better as the ASUS, Dell makes very good monitors, but the one you point is not an IPS, so the quality probably will not match.
Another cheap alternative is this NEC /also usually great monitors/: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - but again it's not IPS, and if you want better color gamut and viewing angles IPS is just better
August 22, 2011 2:21:53 AM

pepe2907 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - this is an IPS monitor for $380, and it's previous version - this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is better as the ASUS, Dell makes very good monitors, but the one you point is not an IPS, so the quality probably will not match.
Another cheap alternative is this NEC /also usually great monitors/: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - but again it's not IPS, and if you want better color gamut and viewing angles IPS is just better

I would definitely grab HP ZR24w Black 24" 7ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 1000:1
if it had 380$ price tag attached, problem is - it costs 520$+ here and even more for the HP ZR24w 24'' 7ms S-IPS version (it's like 750-800$).

NEC is not an option, really need that viewing angle.


leandrodafontoura said:
Friend, that monitor is extremely overpriced. You can get 1080p monitors for 200 dollars or less. Take a look at this:

http://www.amazon.com/Viewsonic-VX2450WM-LED-23-6-Inch-...

The ultimate 1080p cheap alternative would have to be BenQ EW2420
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I need 1920x1200 + viewing angles + quality colors and there aren't really many options here.
August 22, 2011 3:14:39 AM

I have some arguments I would like to share.

You wont be using 1920x1200, thats a 16:10 ratio, wich is more utilized in widescreen notebooks, wich have screens built in 16:10. For a 16:9 ratio, you will use 1080p.

Monitors are built in 16:9, therefore, you will set your resolution to 1080p, unless you want your circles to look oval and your sqaures to look retangular. I may also add that 1080p is a insane resolution and its really hard to read while in that resolutuion. You will most likely use 1600x900 or a little higher, unless of couse you monitor is dangeroulsy placed too close to your eyes.

And IMO, viewing angles and quality colors are amazing on ANY LED monitor, the diference from each monitor is the design, they get their screens from the same manufacturer.
August 22, 2011 4:15:46 AM

leandrodafontoura you are not right. 1920x1200 is the original resolution for 24" monitors, and although currently cheap monitors are made 1920x1080 /exactly to be cheap, because obviously making a 16:9 matrix is much cheaper as 16:10 for some reasons and the slogan "full HD" works well for the mass consumer/ all quality and professional widescreen monitors are 16:10, and the circles are not oval on them, don't worry about that.
And there are significant differences between different monitors /and monitor technologies/ regarding things like color space coverage, color linearity and correctness, viewing angles, uniformity of the picture on the screen and even subective perception.
August 22, 2011 4:22:12 AM

To my knowledge, the production of widescreen monitors is cheap because they share a common format with TV displays. Please confirm this? ;)  Would be interesting to know.

leandrodafontoura is right in terms of pricing on that monitor, it's totally killing me. ;)  For that money I can even buy an extra graphics card and go for crossfire straight away. Doh. :) 

Monitor is the only part now that's up for discussion. Other pieces are more or less confirmed. Would be nice to hear some feedback about MB choice though.

I've also wanted to know one thing about MB specifications,

In the official vendor white papers it says that only 1.5 voltage memory is supported.
http://www.msi.com/product/mb/Z68A-GD65--G3-.html#?div=...

But if we're looking at the 1600 MHz memory market (as I understand this is the way to go if I'm planning on doing some overclocking) most common solutions use 1.6V-1.65V.

Will going with a 1.65V memory cause conflicts with the MB?

P.S. I know G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series are great (and they do use 1.5V), but they're not available to me. :( 
August 22, 2011 4:48:18 AM

Ha, I wasnt aware that some screens were manufactured in 16:10, sorry for my mistake. I tought they were exclusive to notebooks. However, a 1920x1200 resolutuion on a 24" 16:9 would still look out of ratio right? And either way, 16:9 is more "widescreen" than 16:10. Can you provide links to 16:10 monitors? Im curious to check them out.

Going back to monitor choices, If Im not mistaken, Apple Cinema Display has a resolution of 2560x1440 and they are certainly great in terms of quality build. If you are going to spend $500, they are worth taking a look.

Now Im still behind the idea that all monitors look the same, you put them side by side and its hard to tell the diference.
August 22, 2011 4:10:24 PM

leandrodafontoura said:
Ha, I wasnt aware that some screens were manufactured in 16:10, sorry for my mistake. I tought they were exclusive to notebooks. However, a 1920x1200 resolutuion on a 24" 16:9 would still look out of ratio right? And either way, 16:9 is more "widescreen" than 16:10. Can you provide links to 16:10 monitors? Im curious to check them out.

Going back to monitor choices, If Im not mistaken, Apple Cinema Display has a resolution of 2560x1440 and they are certainly great in terms of quality build. If you are going to spend $500, they are worth taking a look.

Now Im still behind the idea that all monitors look the same, you put them side by side and its hard to tell the diference.


1920x1200 is 16:10
1920x1080 is 16:9

True 24" runs at 1920x1200 with a aspect ratio of 16:10. This gives users more screen real estate as you get 120 more horizontal lines. To put that in elementary terms, it's about 2 inches more of screen space. This makes what you see on the screen don't feel squish and there is less scrolling when it comes to reading text.

Monitors at 1920x1080 have a ratio of 16:9. This is because of Blu-ray format which adopt a resolution of
1920x1080. Since 1920x1080 is consider HD-high definition, manufactures heavily market this as the best viewing experience. Consumers who don't do research falls in to this BS and thinks this is the best out there because their is nothing better out there than "HD".

Apple Cinema 27" is 16:9 which most pro won't consider on buying because it's similar to those 24". You get less screen real estate. They will mostly go with the 30".
27" 2560x1440/ 16:9
30" 2560x1600/ 16:10

You loose 160 horizontal lines if you opt for the 27"
Here is a comparison to give you a better idea
http://tvcalculator.com/index.html?de795d5584ad391bfd4d...
BTW: Apple 27" is $1,000