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Advice on Gaming build for 3 years minimum

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October 24, 2011 8:00:24 PM

Hi all. I would appreciate any help you can provide me. I plan to buy now a PC for at least 3-4 years (I'm doing a postgraduate and I don't plan to make any further update until finish it).
My main purpose will be gaming, specially: BF3, MW3, SC2, Diablo III and Guild Wars 2. Secondary use will be CFD/FEA calculations (more cores are preferred, but gaming is my main priority by far).

I'm just between these two options. i5 2500k or Phenom X6 1090t. I can't afford a 2600k. I was initially decided about the i5 2500k, but some people told me that int he future a CPU with 6 cores will be more future proof (they talked me about the Intel quad cores and their long life). Or maybe I should consider the new FX-8150 as another candidate for lifespan?

My two specs would be (prices based on UK):

i5 2500k build:

CPU: i5 2500k : 172£
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3-B3: 96£
Cooler: CM Hyper 212: 25£
GPU: GTX 560Ti: 170£
RAM: G-Skill 4GB DDR3 1300Mhz: 19£
CASE+PSU: CM Storm Enforcer + Coolermaster GX 650W (This is a bundle): 99£

Total: 581£

x6 1090t build:

CPU: Phenom X6 1090t: 136£
Mobo: Asus M5A99X EVO: 99£
Cooler: CM Hyper 212: 25£
GPU: ATI 6950 2GB: 190£
RAM: G-Skill 4GB DDR3 1300Mhz: 19£
CASE+PSU: CM Storm Enforcer + Coolermaster GX 650W (This is a bundle): 99£

Total: 568£

I will play on a 23" LED Monitor with 1920x1080 resolution.

I'm also welcome to any suggestions about my build. I am very noob with the current market and I am open to increase budget 50-60£ if it's worth it/justified.

I also wonder if it's worth it to buy a motherboard open to SLI/CF or afford for a better one in quality without SLI/CF. I am also open to suggestions about SLI/CF options at the same price of 1 of the aboves single graphic card

Many thanks
October 24, 2011 8:13:43 PM

2500K>any AMD CPU sadly.
Get an HD 6870 for GPU.
October 24, 2011 8:15:18 PM

xcomvic said:
2500K>any AMD CPU sadly.
Get an HD 6870 for GPU.


Any reason why I should go for 6870 instead of the 560ti?

Thanks :) 
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a c 288 4 Gaming
October 24, 2011 8:43:16 PM

ista said:
Any reason why I should go for 6870 instead of the 560ti?

Thanks :) 


I think that's mainly personal preference. Both AMD and NVIDIA make excellent GPUs. The biggest difference between choosing the two is that AMD Eyefinity is awesome for setting up multiple monitors where NVIDIA doesn't have anything remotely equivalent. But you can run any GPU with your choice of CPU, that doesn't matter - right now I'm running an AMD 5830 on an Intel Core i3 system. Your choice of i5 components will blow away the AMD ones any day of the week, and that Gigabyte board is excellent.

Also with RAM super cheap these days I'd definitely recommend getting at least 8GB - 4GB wont get you very far these days.

And the thing with SLI / Crossfire - what I'd do is get the single card and get the build setup first. Once you get the build up and running, and you get your benchmarks run, you can determine if a second card suits you or not. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't - it all depends on the rig.
October 24, 2011 8:48:56 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I think that's mainly personal preference. Both AMD and NVIDIA make excellent GPUs. The biggest difference between choosing the two is that AMD Eyefinity is awesome for setting up multiple monitors where NVIDIA doesn't have anything remotely equivalent. Your choice of i5 components will blow away the AMD ones any day of the week, and that Gigabyte board is excellent.


Thanks for the advice, I forgot to mention that I will play on 1920x1080 23" Screen only. I also wonder if I should try to go for a bulldozer fx-8150 or i5-2500k (considering lifespan for 3 years).

I also have one wonder about the i5 motherboard. What is that thing called phases? I heard is better for OC, so maybe I should go for my other candidate: Asus p8p67 (12 phases, no SLI) compared with that gigabyte motherboard (7 phasesm I think, SLI)

Many thanks :) 
a c 288 4 Gaming
October 24, 2011 10:21:05 PM

ista said:
Thanks for the advice, I forgot to mention that I will play on 1920x1080 23" Screen only. I also wonder if I should try to go for a bulldozer fx-8150 or i5-2500k (considering lifespan for 3 years).

I also have one wonder about the i5 motherboard. What is that thing called phases? I heard is better for OC, so maybe I should go for my other candidate: Asus p8p67 (12 phases, no SLI) compared with that gigabyte motherboard (7 phasesm I think, SLI)

Many thanks :) 


Either video card will handle 1080p easily. I will say that Eyefinity setups are absolutely amazing when pulled off correctly, but either GPU isn't a bad choice.

The Bulldozer I think needs a couple of generations before it's perfected - the initial benchmark reviews I've read suggest that it's rather disappointing initially. Go for the 2500K if you want stability and longevity. The z68 chipset will be able to handle the transition to Ivy Bridge easily but I think FX-8--- series will probably be the end of the line for the AMD 990FX.

And Asus makes good motherboards, but a lot of their stuff is hit or miss. I personally like Gigabyte better but that's just personal preference. If you really wanted to go for longevity, check out the EVGA Z68 FTW. It'll run you a few dollars more, but it pretty much comes with everything but the kitchen sink.
October 24, 2011 10:36:30 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Either video card will handle 1080p easily. I will say that Eyefinity setups are absolutely amazing when pulled off correctly, but either GPU isn't a bad choice.

The Bulldozer I think needs a couple of generations before it's perfected - the initial benchmark reviews I've read suggest that it's rather disappointing initially. Go for the 2500K if you want stability and longevity. The z68 chipset will be able to handle the transition to Ivy Bridge easily but I think FX-8--- series will probably be the end of the line for the AMD 990FX.

And Asus makes good motherboards, but a lot of their stuff is hit or miss. I personally like Gigabyte better but that's just personal preference. If you really wanted to go for longevity, check out the EVGA Z68 FTW. It'll run you a few dollars more, but it pretty much comes with everything but the kitchen sink.


Again thanks for your advice. I don't have any problems with gigabyte at all. In fact this is my first "decent" build, so I never tried ASUS or Gigabyte before (I just had ECS and asrock). It's difficult to find EVGAs mobos here in UK, but I'll try. If i don't find anything interesting I'll go for that gigabyte (I hope to have a good OC margin. I never did OC before and I want to play with this :) ).

My last concern is about the RAM. I want to start with 1 module of 4GB. Should I go for 1333Mhz and 1600MHz. I'm lost with this.

Thanks :) 
a c 288 4 Gaming
October 24, 2011 10:45:55 PM

ista said:
Again thanks for your advice. I don't have any problems with gigabyte at all. In fact this is my first "decent" build, so I never tried ASUS or Gigabyte before (I just had ECS and asrock). It's difficult to find EVGAs mobos here in UK, but I'll try. If i don't find anything interesting I'll go for that gigabyte (I hope to have a good OC margin. I never did OC before and I want to play with this :) ).

My last concern is about the RAM. I want to start with 1 module of 4GB. Should I go for 1333Mhz and 1600MHz. I'm lost with this.

Thanks :) 



No. RAM is so cheap right now that you can get 8GB for $50 (US) or 16GB for $100. 8GB is plenty but maxing out your RAM is always better in the long run. As for the speeds - 1600 is pretty standard right now but I'm running 1333 - just make sure you get dual channel RAM instead of tri channel. No matter what speed you get - as long as you don't OC your RAM (which isn't a good idea to begin with), your motherboard will always default to the lowest speed it can handle.

October 24, 2011 11:06:22 PM

g-unit1111 said:
No. RAM is so cheap right now that you can get 8GB for $50 (US) or 16GB for $100. 8GB is plenty but maxing out your RAM is always better in the long run. As for the speeds - 1600 is pretty standard right now but I'm running 1333 - just make sure you get dual channel RAM instead of tri channel. No matter what speed you get - as long as you don't OC your RAM (which isn't a good idea to begin with), your motherboard will always default to the lowest speed it can handle.


Ok! I am totally decided now. Thank you so much! I've been searching for EVGA motherboard but it would be difficult to find some in UK.

About the OC (last question I promise). Can I expect good OC from that gigabyte mobo? I read something about phases and WRM. I think that one has 7 phases. I don't know what is exactly the WRM and its importance in OC. The ASUS p8p67 has 12-16 phases (I think so). Is this better?

Many thanks :) 
a c 288 4 Gaming
October 24, 2011 11:52:01 PM

I don't know much about overclocking - I've been learning - but you may want to go to that board and get some advice. You want to make sure that you get a motherboard that has UEFI (sometimes called touch BIOS) that will allow you to work with the BIOS in Windows, that will make OC'ing a lot easier.
!