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new build, questions for CPU, MOBO, RAM etc...

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September 11, 2011 6:06:36 PM

Long time reader, First time poster here. So I am going to finally upgrade and build a new computer since my old socket 939 and radeon x850 xt is really obsolete for modern gaming. For the longest time, I was just content with CS but recently started to play newer games on friends PC's and I am ready to put the 939 in the closet.

I have been searching many forums on this debate about the amd phenom ii x6 1100T and the i5 2500k. Couldn't really find an answer to my question as the arguments were so broad.

I want to know which one to go with in my new build. So I know the 2500k blows the 1100T out of the water across the board in benchmarks ( http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=288 ). Is it also better in OC'ing? I've never OC'd before so I am hesitant to OC unless I absolutely have to down the road a few years when this build is obsolete. I also wanted to know for the long run, would it be better to go with the hexcore? They will eventually have games and programs that will need to run six cores right? My main purpose for this build will be for gaming but I did want to start dabbling in video editing for the upcoming snow season.

Approximate Purchase Date: A few weeks, possibly a month

Budget Range: $200 max for Mobo, $200 CPU (might go up or down $20), $150 for RAM, $100ish for cooling whatever that will cover inside the case. Not sure what is necessary to cool besides the CPU, would like to have nice flow in the case

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, possibly video editing, CS5

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, Case, PSU, and GPU (just got an 8800 Ultra last week for $50, I know it's not current standards but it will do the trick until i have enough to pick up a really nice card)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I don't care as long as it's reputable (stand by warranties and dont have me jumping through hoops in case there are any DOAs or defects) and best price for my build.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: either the 1100T or 2500K processor ( please keep in my that I am leaning more on the future proof build), 16gb ram preferably 1600 or 1866, a recommendation on MOBO for each processor if you could stay within my budget of $200 I've been looking at Gigabyte boards because the black on black is so sexy and they make budget friendly mobo but still open to other suggestions. Water cooling system

Overclocking: Would love to give it a shot if anyone would be kind enough to walk me through it... I've been reading a lot on that subject for the past couple weeks and it gets more confusing with each thread I read. People don't speak in laments terms, so ii'm completely lost in translation.

SLI or Crossfire: Not now

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200


Here are the combos I wanted to put together, please tell me if any of the hardware will conflict with eachother:

AMD Build:

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

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


Intel Build:

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

Wasn't sure on differences of P67 and Z68 and which one to choose to be economic but at the same time OC friendly

RAM: same as above

Again, not sure how certain ram conflicts with mobos or cpus, please advise

Best solution

September 11, 2011 6:59:38 PM

Gaming needs two or three fast cores.
To that end, a 6 core 1100T is a poor gaming processor. The extra cores will not be used, and the cores are much less effective than sandy bridge.
The 2500K is as good as it gets today, and will drive any graphics configuration well.

P68 and Z68 will OC exactly the same. For gaming, using a discrete graphics card, you will not benefit from a Z68.

For gaming, get a single great graphics card. I don't much like dual gpu's when a good single one will do the job.

For ram, 8gb(2 x 4gb) is the sweet spot. 16gb is of no great benefit unless you have a 64 bit enabled app like photoshop.
You want documented ram compatibility. If you should ever have a problem, you want supported ram.
Otherwise, you risk a finger pointing battle between the ram and motherboard support sites, claiming "not my problem".
One place to check is your motherboards web site.
Look for the ram QVL list. It lists all of the ram kits that have been tested with that particular motherboard.
Sometimes the QVL list is not updated after the motherboard is released.
For more current info, go to a ram vendor's web site and access their ram selection configurator.
Enter your motherboard, and you will get a list of compatible ram kits.
While today's motherboards are more tolerant of different ram, it makes sense to buy ram that is known to work and is supported.

The current Intel nehalem and sandy bridge cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.

Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.

Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.

Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.
Read this Anandtech article on memory scaling:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...
---------------bottom line------------

DDR3 1600 is the sweet spot.

I think you could pick any of the motherboards. No need to pay a premium unless there is a specfic feature that you need. Pick the cheapest.
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September 11, 2011 8:31:09 PM

Ok, thanks for the advice... looks like I'm leaning more towards intel right now... quick question between mobos tho....

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

and

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

not sure about the differences between these two. side by side comparison in newegg looks almost 100% identical. only differences i see were the ud3h having one extra pcie x1 slot, one less sata 3gbs, and has onboard display ports like hdmi,dvi,dsub etc... but the ud4 has more usb ports... since I am using a discrete gpu, the UD4 would be the better choice? I'm not sure if i'm overlooking any features. Both are same price.
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September 11, 2011 10:29:48 PM

and with how i'm not super knowledgeable and didn't completely understand the anandtech link you posted.... im still not sure of what ram to go with. Here are comparisons of RAM side by side. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-428^20-231-428-TS%2C20-231-314^20-231-314-TS%2C20-231-445^20-231-445-TS%2C20-233-185^20-233-185-TS%2C20-231-401^20-231-401-TS

is it worth the extra money (almost double of) to go for the lower cas latency of 7? out of these 5 kits, which would be best bang for buck?

Thanks in advance for answers/advice
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September 11, 2011 10:39:09 PM

chiefkikaho said:
and with how i'm not super knowledgeable and didn't completely understand the anandtech link you posted.... im still not sure of what ram to go with. Here are comparisons of RAM side by side. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-428^20-231-428-TS%2C20-231-314^20-231-314-TS%2C20-231-445^20-231-445-TS%2C20-233-185^20-233-185-TS%2C20-231-401^20-231-401-TS

is it worth the extra money (almost double of) to go for the lower cas latency of 7? out of these 5 kits, which would be best bang for buck?

Thanks in advance for answers/advice

First things first, before choosing any RAM, you need to visit your motherboard's website and read the QVL List of supported memory for the specific motherboard, and get a model# that is known compatible. If you don't get supported RAM and have issues, the motherboard manufacturer will not help you.
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September 11, 2011 11:29:18 PM

steelbeast said:
First things first, before choosing any RAM, you need to visit your motherboard's website and read the QVL List of supported memory for the specific motherboard, and get a model# that is known compatible. If you don't get supported RAM and have issues, the motherboard manufacturer will not help you.

well 3 of those are on gigabyte's list.... so lets say kit A is $55 at 9 CAS latency, kit B $70 at 8 CAS latency, and kit C is $120 at 7 CAS latency.... is the price jump justified if I were to go for kit C over A or B?
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September 11, 2011 11:52:19 PM

chiefkikaho said:
and with how i'm not super knowledgeable and didn't completely understand the anandtech link you posted.... im still not sure of what ram to go with. Here are comparisons of RAM side by side. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-428^20-231-428-TS%2C20-231-314^20-231-314-TS%2C20-231-445^20-231-445-TS%2C20-233-185^20-233-185-TS%2C20-231-401^20-231-401-TS

is it worth the extra money (almost double of) to go for the lower cas latency of 7? out of these 5 kits, which would be best bang for buck?

Thanks in advance for answers/advice


There is, perhaps a 1-3% difference in real application performance or FPS performance between the slowest 1333 ram and the fastest 2000 ram.
Not worth much of a premium to me. It takes synthetic benchmarks to show any real difference. The fastest ram is of value to those seeking record overclocks or bragging rights. You will get more bang for the buck with more ram.
Of the ram you listed, the most expensive ram is 1.5v ram pre-overclocked to 1.6v, giving it faster timings. Still not worth much to me. Just get the cheapest supported 1600 1.5v ddr3 ram.
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September 12, 2011 12:59:38 AM

geofelt said:
There is, perhaps a 1-3% difference in real application performance or FPS performance between the slowest 1333 ram and the fastest 2000 ram.
Not worth much of a premium to me. It takes synthetic benchmarks to show any real difference. The fastest ram is of value to those seeking record overclocks or bragging rights. You will get more bang for the buck with more ram.
Of the ram you listed, the most expensive ram is 1.5v ram pre-overclocked to 1.6v, giving it faster timings. Still not worth much to me. Just get the cheapest supported 1600 1.5v ddr3 ram.

wow... only that much of a difference? thanks for the insight. I will look further into my options with that mobo
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September 12, 2011 7:06:03 AM

I just found a deal for 2x GTS250 GPU's... Im an impulse buyer so I jumped on the deal for $100 shipped.... Will these cards run nicely in SLI or should I just resell them. Im sure i could turn a small profit on these if I had to... if its not much of a jump from an 8800 Ultra, I'll just sell them and put that towards this new build.... there were only 6 left after my purchase so if you are interested.... http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/BFG-BFGEGTS2501024...
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September 12, 2011 7:12:29 AM

I didn't pay much attention to anything else, I just wanted to express my opinion on the i5-2500k. It's really good, the i5-2500k and i7-2600k are the best intel CPUs on the market right now. (In my opinion) They have the highest bang for buck ratio out of all other high end intel CPUS right now. the i5-2500 and i7-2600 are both really fast. The i7 is just 1 more step higher then the i5. The plain versions, don't have a "K", what the K means I don't know but what I DO know, is that the K versions are for overclockers and the plain ones are fine if you don't overclock. You can easily overclock out of this world as far as I know. (If you know how to overclock)
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September 12, 2011 2:30:56 PM

chiefkikaho said:
I just found a deal for 2x GTS250 GPU's... Im an impulse buyer so I jumped on the deal for $100 shipped.... Will these cards run nicely in SLI or should I just resell them. Im sure i could turn a small profit on these if I had to... if its not much of a jump from an 8800 Ultra, I'll just sell them and put that towards this new build.... there were only 6 left after my purchase so if you are interested.... http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/BFG-BFGEGTS2501024...


I think you got a great deal.

A single GTS250 is about equivalent in performance to a 8800 Ultra.
So, sli GTS250 should be worth trying.
If it does not work out, you should be able to recoup your money reselling them.

That said, I do not like sli of lower powered cards, compared to a single strong card.
Some games do not like sli, and dual gpu's may expose you to microstuttering which can be annoying.
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September 12, 2011 4:19:17 PM

geofelt said:
I think you got a great deal.

A single GTS250 is about equivalent in performance to a 8800 Ultra.
So, sli GTS250 should be worth trying.
If it does not work out, you should be able to recoup your money reselling them.

That said, I do not like sli of lower powered cards, compared to a single strong card.
Some games do not like sli, and dual gpu's may expose you to microstuttering which can be annoying.

i've always been a single card guy myself. Less power consumption, less electricity used, less heat in the case, less noise... kind of a less is more situation. Always wondered about the hype though and at that price, I couldn't resist. Now that i just reminded myself of all the pros of a single card, I'm looking to sell now
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September 12, 2011 4:28:59 PM

chiefkikaho said:
i've always been a single card guy myself. Less power consumption, less electricity used, less heat in the case, less noise... kind of a less is more situation. Always wondered about the hype though and at that price, I couldn't resist. Now that i just reminded myself of all the pros of a single card, I'm looking to sell now

As a side note, make sure you have an SLI Connector. Quite a bit of budget cards dont come with them.
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September 19, 2011 3:09:03 AM

Best answer selected by chiefkikaho.
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