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Gaming build help

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September 16, 2011 2:12:21 PM

Hello,
I've finally decided to not wait for the new AMD cpus anymore and buy now. Got to a point where some of the games I like aren't running as smooth as I'd want them to (such as FFXIV, Witcher 2 and such).
First of all, what I currently have is: e8200 (overclocked to 3.2 ghz, 4g ddr, ati hd 5850, 500gb WD hdd)
What I plan to get (I will still use my "old" ATI HD 5850 and 500 hdd for some extra storage):

CPU: Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz, s1155, 6MB, GPU Core, Tray
CPU cooler: none (I plan to either not OC at all or very minor OC)
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LE s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1600, 2xPCI-E
Memory: DDR3 1600Mhz 4x4GB G.Skill SNIPER Edition Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24
GPU: My old ATI HD 5850
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB IntelliPower, 64MB Sata III WD20EARX
and my old WD 500gb
Case: CoolerMaster Elite 370 Black (No PSU)
PSU: Corsair CX 600W Active PFC 12cm Fan


Thanks in advance :) 

More about : gaming build

September 16, 2011 2:40:41 PM

If you want the best gaming perfomance, I would go for another 5850 and Crossfire. That really depends on your budget though. Give us more information (budget and monitor resolution) and we will help ;) 
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September 16, 2011 2:43:49 PM

looks like a fine system, i personally would switch out the motherboard for a GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, its cheaper by $25 on newegg.com and the 3 PCI-E slots are 16x/8x/4x. for later crossfire if you want. you lose uefi bios but get touch bios, a windows based uefi.
use promo code EMCKAKA32 for the last 10$ off
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September 16, 2011 2:47:13 PM

The memory you chose is good, but I would drop the amount down to 8 GB, 16 is overkill and you wont see much difference between the two.

Do NOT go with that WD Caviar Green. That hard drive is garbage. Go for a Samsung Spinpoint F3. Its faster and much more reliable.

I would also suggest adding a SSD to your build. Since you are getting the Z68 chipset it would really be optimized and you would see much faster boot/loading speeds.
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September 16, 2011 3:06:59 PM

dalmvern said:

Do NOT go with that WD Caviar Green. That hard drive is garbage. Go for a Samsung Spinpoint F3. Its faster and much more reliable.

Agreed. Either the Spinpoint or a Western Digital Caviar Black.
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September 16, 2011 3:14:59 PM

Thank you for the replies.

michxymi, I plan on adding another 5850 later on, when a single one isn't enough. For now, I don't believe I'll need all that power.
My resolution is 1920x1080 (32" hdtv) and my budget is flexible.

farrengottu, even though that motherboard is cheaper, I'm really looking forward to 4 USB 3.0 slots. I plan to use two of them on the front and two others for the back panel. I think they alone are worth the money difference. Moreover, I have bad experience with GIGABYTE motherboards (twice...) and would rather go for a more stable (in my eyes) asus :) 

dalmvern, I'm considering going with only 8 GB ddr as well, will have to give it another thought, thanks :) 
Thing is, I also use my pc for work, and more often than not, I have rdp open, some game in a background, lots of chrome bars and some coding gui as well. I thought every gb would help (especially with that Windows 8 coming...)
And I was first planning to buy Caviar Black 1TB instead of Green 2TB but after reading some reviews, it seemed like Green is just as good for my needs.
SSD prices in my country are idiotic (Israel) and horribly overpriced. I can't see myself adding an SSD to this build only to have my system load 20 seconds faster than it already does. And, considering the size of current pc games, anything but a 100gb ssd won't really help in gaming because I simply won't be able to install my games on the SSD drive, so I've decided to skip on the SSD for now...
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September 16, 2011 3:15:29 PM

The WD Caviar Green isn't garbage if it meets your needs. I'm running two of them in my server and they are more than sufficient. If you need 2TB and don't need a lot of speed than it is the cheapest reliable option. If you don't really need 2TB, then switching it out would be a good idea.

I agree that you should drop the RAM to 8GB and use the money elsewhere. You can always upgrade to 16GB later if you really need it, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.
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September 16, 2011 3:41:28 PM

Thank you, nordlead.

I'm now considering dropping the memory to:
DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB G.Skill SNIPER Edition Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24 (Low Voltage)

And changing storage to either:
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA III WD1002FAEX

or:

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA III WD1002FAEX
Intel Intel 120GB SSD 320 Series Sata II 2.5'' SSDSA2CW120G3K5 (Retail)


There are many other SSDs I could choose (like G-Skill 115GB SATA II) but I'm now sure which one is better (maybe a 80GB or 60GB SATA III?)
I must admit that I know very little about SSDs and am not sure how much will I contribute from getting a SATA III SSD and how much difference will it make overall for gaming. I never felt like I need to increase my performance outside of gaming, to be honest. I feel like my old WD 500gb drive is doing a good job...
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September 16, 2011 4:49:44 PM

SSD won't improve gaming performance once the game/stage is loaded. Gaming performance is almost entirely determined by CPU, GPU, and RAM.

All a SSD will do is make booting windows faster and programs loaded on the SSD will load faster. Programs that manipulate files will perform faster if those files are located on an SSD.

They are nice to have and I would like one myself, but aren't needed and I still think they are on the expensive side. If your primary purpose is gaming and web browsing, I don't see much of a need for one.

If you do get one, the Crucial M4's are supposedly reliable and are at a good price point. 60GB would be enough for Windows (~30GB) and a few games, but not much more.
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September 16, 2011 5:05:26 PM

Agreed, a SSD will not improve game performance, but it will improve the overall computer.

I also believe that a 60GB or 80GB SSD is all you really need, but 120GB is definitely better. Just try to put as little as possible on the SSD...your operating system and your most played games.
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September 16, 2011 8:31:36 PM

Thanks a lot for the help, everybody. I did my research on SSD's and have decided to not buy one at this point (I will always be able to just add it later on if I absolutely feel the need for it)
My current build looks like:

CPU: Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz, s1155, 6MB, GPU Core, Tray
CPU cooler: none (I plan to either not OC at all or very minor OC)
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V LE s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1600, 2xPCI-E
Memory: DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB G.Skill SNIPER Edition Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24 (Low Voltage)
GPU: My old ATI HD 5850
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA III WD1002FAEX
and my old WD 500gb
Case: CoolerMaster Elite 370 Black (No PSU)
PSU: Corsair CX 600W Active PFC 12cm Fan


That is unless anybody else thinks I should do something differently :) 
I could possibly spend another 300$ or so on something but really don't see the need to do so with this build / my needs.
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September 16, 2011 8:47:32 PM

Why Z68 ?

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

Quote:
Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?

The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.

Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.

Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.

If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.


Based upon the above, unless you doing the itty bitty SSD thing, or into one of the other specialty areas, I don't see the Z68 as worth the investment

As fr RAM, consider some alternatives:

$50 Corsair http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$53 Corsair Vengeance http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54 Mushkin Radioactive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for HD - Green = Slow

You do see some performance improvement after loading with an SSD..... don't forget page and temp filed will still be written to the SSDunless you chnage default behavior. However, given the number of puters that wind up back on my workbench 6 - 12 months later from users who said to me "all I need is 60 GB", I'd suggest not bothering w/ an SSD unless you are savvy about where windows puts its files by default, how to change them, how to "prune" unnecessary windows files (i.e. Windows Update undo files) and don't have all those important e-mails that you need stored on ya boot drive.
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September 16, 2011 9:01:09 PM

Thank you for the reply, Jack.
First of all, I chose this mobo instead of P67 because it has 4x USB 3.0 and it costs almost like the P67
Secondly, could you please tell me a bit more why is the RAM I've chosen not good?
I could switch it for DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance B Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24 as you proposed if the reason is good enough :p 
HD is being switched to 1TB Caviar Black, as I've posted earlier, thanks again for proving others right :) 
As for SSD, I'm mainly not buying one because after a lot of reading, I'm still not convinced that it's worth the buck for the slight (as it seems) performance boost it gives in loading times ONLY. That's something that never bothered me until today and I cannot see it being a problem later on.

By the way, I was told on another forum that my case and PSU are bad choices because the case is very small and PSU is badly made (quality wise). Can anybody please comment on that? Thanks in advance.
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September 16, 2011 9:24:18 PM

that mobo will not be able to CF ur GPus
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September 16, 2011 9:32:56 PM

madchemist83 said:
that mobo will not be able to CF ur GPus


Thank you, not being able to do that would be a bummer...
Would a mobo proposed by farrengottu be better then?

GIGABYTE Z68MA-D2H-B3 s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1333, 3xPCI-E, DVI, HDMI
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September 16, 2011 9:58:58 PM

it's better cause it has a possibility of x8/x8 CF .. the only problem that it's microATX board so all the components will be cramped and second GPU will most likely cover most if not all SATA slots
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September 16, 2011 10:07:06 PM

madchemist83 said:
the only problem that it's microATX board so all the components will be cramped and second GPU will most likely cover most if not all SATA slots

Thank you. Does that mean that I won't physically be able to install a second GPU because I will have to disconnect the hard drives? :/  That isn't good either...
Could you please recommend me a fitting motherboard for my case?

By the way, I'm being told that it will be very problematic to not buy a cpu cooler (I was planning on using the default one). Any comments on this?
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September 16, 2011 10:17:11 PM

Quote:
go for a msi p67a-dg53 motherboard it does sli and crossfire with 8x/8x bandwidth.


Sadly, that motherboard isn't an option, it's not on sell in the store I'm buying from.
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September 16, 2011 10:22:41 PM

what store r u buying it from ? is it online or store-in only?
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September 16, 2011 10:27:26 PM

Well, the only coolermasters I can buy are v8 and v10 and those babies are quite expensive. What about Arctic Freezer 13? It seems to be a nice middle-end-don't-overclock-me-too-much cooler :) 

madchemist83, it's online as well, you can see their products at:
http://ksp.co.il/main.php?now_snif=ksptelaviv
Computers > Select your computer parts

Edited:
I am now also considering a new case with some preinstalled fans for better airflow:
http://www.sharkoon.com/?q=en/content/t5-value
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September 16, 2011 10:51:49 PM

check if u can get BitFenix Shinobi case
for mobo
P8Z68-V s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1600, 3xPCI-E
or
P8Z68-V PRO s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1600, 3xPCI-E
or
Z68X-UD3H-B3 s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 2133, 2xPCI-E
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September 16, 2011 11:13:02 PM

Thank you!

I am unable to find that case but I've now moved on to T9 Value. I think my build is ready now... This seems to be the final version:

Core i5 2500K 3.3Ghz, s1155, 6MB, GPU Core, Tray
CPU Coolers Arctic Freezer 13
ASUS P8Z68-V s1155 Core i3/i5/i7, Intel Z68, DDR3 1600, 3xPCI-E
(I was unsure which one to pick form the ones you listed and since the price is almost the same, I picked asus only because I like their products more...)
DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB G.Skill SNIPER Edition Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24 (Low Voltage)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA III WD1002FAEX
G.Skill G.Skill Phoenix Evo Series 115GB SSD Sata II MLC 2.5'' Retail
(Highly optional!)
Sharkoon T9 Value Black ATX Case (No PSU)
SeaSonic 620W 80+ Bronze Active PFC 12cm Fan S12II-620 (Retail)


Please let me know if you find it ok
Thanks once again :) 
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Best solution

September 16, 2011 11:21:48 PM

for the RAM u want 1.5V
otherwise looking good
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September 16, 2011 11:28:40 PM

madchemist83 said:
for the RAM u want 1.5V
otherwise looking good

Thank you. Is this memory allright?
DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance B Dual Channel CL9-9-9-24

And do you think that a 620W PSU will be enough even if I decide to add another gpu? I'm a bit worried that it might not be enough down the road.
Thanks.
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September 16, 2011 11:45:59 PM

Hd 5850 rated 151W at it's load so 2 of those with CPU (~100W) and other components should be fine
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September 17, 2011 7:53:33 AM

Thank you, madchemist.
Can anybody please comment on the cpu cooler and case?
Sharkoon T9 Value Black ATX Case (No PSU)
CPU Coolers Arctic Freezer 13

Thanks in advance
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September 17, 2011 7:57:02 AM

I think that cooler is not the best choice but I don't know what ur choice is .. so maybe it is
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September 17, 2011 1:27:56 PM

Newegg probably don't ship to Israel (is that where you live) plus what are you gonna need 4 3.0 USB slots for
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September 17, 2011 7:52:48 PM

Thank you for the help, everybody.

The build is pretty much all done. Strongly considering to buy a 120GB ssd and a 2TB Caviar Green for storage only.

I'm now only deciding which SSD to buy (if at all...). Trying to decide between these three models, basically:



G.Skill Phoenix Evo Series 115GB SSD Sata II MLC 2.5'' Retail

Mushkin Callisto DX2 Series 115GB SSD Sata II MLC 2.5'' Retail

Intel 120GB SSD 320 Series Sata II 2.5'' SSDSA2CW120G3K5 (Retail) ( a bit pricey but doable )
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September 18, 2011 5:23:19 PM

Would love to thank everybody for the help, I bought the PC today (will be built in one week or less)
The thread can be closed.
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September 18, 2011 6:03:42 PM

choose a best answer and close the thread
I hope it'll work out good for u .. keep us posted
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September 24, 2011 3:00:52 PM

Best answer selected by sud0.
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!