Tech inept

So, I've been looking about to buy a new beast of a gaming computer after using nothing but gaming laptops for years. A little background... I cannot and will not build a computer myself, so don't suggest it (And I live in the south, computer shops? What's that?). That would be like giving a hammer to a sadisic minded toddler and turning him loose in a crowded daycare.

So anyway, I was going to build a massively powerful PC over on cyberpower
I came up with this

CARE1: Ultra Enhanced Packaging Solution - Protect Your Dream System During Transit [+19]
CARE2: CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance CPU - Thermal Compound Optimized for Thermal Dissipation [+10]
CARE3: Professional Wiring for All WIRING Inside The System Chassis - Minimize Cable Exposure, Maximize Airflow in Your System [+19]
CAS: * Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower Gaming Case
CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
COOLANT: Standard Coolant
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-960 3.20 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
CS_FAN: Maximum 120MM Case Cooling Fans for your selected case [+9]
FAN: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Single Standard 120MM Fan)
FREEBIE_VC1: FREE Just Cause 2 Game Coupon [+0]
FREEBIE_VC2: FREE Game Coupon Batman: Arkham City [+0]
HDD: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
IUSB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
MEMORY: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair XMS Gaming Memory with Heat Spreader)
MOTHERBOARD: * (3-Way SLI Support) GigaByte G1.Guerrilla Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Triple-Channel DDR3 E-ATX w/ 7.1 Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity Audio, Bigfoot Killer E2100 GbLAN, eSATA, USB3, 2x SATA3 RAID, 3 Gen2 PCIe, 2 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
OS: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium [+104] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY: 850 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2 80 Plus Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready [+56]
SPEAKERS: Logitech S120 2.0 Stereo Speaker Set [+19] (Black Color)
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X PCIe Video Card [+177] (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
WNC: Zonet ZEW1642S IEEE 802.11b/g/n 300Mbps PCI Wireless Adapter Network Card [+29]
XWNC1: Asus USB-N13 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 300Mbps Wireless USB Adapter [+0]

The end price came out to around 1641.00, and with a coupon got down to $1,558.95 AND free shipping :)

Then... I stumbled across this little number on Newegg.

So my questions are (google failed me on all of these, or it was user error because Derp)...
what's the difference in processor power between the two? I have a feeling the 2600 is a lot less powerful, is it?

The graphics card is a bit weaker too but how much weaker? 500 bucks worth? Is there somewhere I could see a comparison of the 500 series of the nvidia cards to decide (Please don't suggest pick AMD instead... I have had endless issues with their stuff)?

And... do the motherboards really matter when it comes to performance? If so, is the cheaper computers motherboard decent in comparison?

Lots of questions, I know... have pity on a tech-ignorant gamer girl @_@
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    First, what games are you playing/ plan on playing? Also what is your monitor resolution?

    Actually the i7-960 is slower than the 2600. To give you an idea look here there is no 960 so just use the 950 as a comparison.

    The graphics is weaker, how much weaker depends on the resolution roughly half of GTX580 and no it is not $500 worth more like $200. The difference in price also comes from the CPU/motherboard/memory combination of you build.

    Depending on the games and the resolution you play this might be a bit more than you need: Customized Mega Special III

    This without accessories and a monitor.

    Note to other forum member, yes I know she doesn't need a 850w power supply but cyberpower wants me to put in a 700w or more. Also the 850w is only $20 more than the 650TX V2.
  2. Hmm... I wasn't expecting that on the processor :P

    Basically what I'm looking to get is the best possible graphics. I want to play MMOs (Most notably City of Heroes on the highest settings possible, and later SWTOR). I want to play Skyrim on max when it comes out. Basically, I want the best I can possibly get for the moment while not setting fire to my wallet XD

    So, question about the one you linked.. is the 2600 a lot better than the 2500? Like physically noticeable in game and stuff? (the numbers in the link you gave mean little to me >.<

    Thank you so much for the help btw... ^_^

    Oh! I forgot, the monitor. I haven't gotten one yet, I'm gonna buy that separate since I've been told the ones ibuypower sells is generally overpriced and not good quality.

    I'm going to aim for 1920 x 1080 which is what my current gaming laptop is =)
  3. A lot of people don't expect it on the processor.

    MMOs generally aren't that demanding with the exception of Age of conan when it came out :p

    Skyrim is not released yet so I am not sure what it be at max settings. You never said what resolution you are going to play at?

    The 2600 is only slightly better than the 2500, it is on the charts too. Didn't you see it? basically you want 40+ fps, most monitors only go up to 60 so anything beyond is not noticeable. Under 30 will be laggy, does that make a bit more sense now?
    Also those tests were done with a GTX580.

    For gaming the 2500k is more than enough, 2600 is more for professional uses like video editing etc
  4. Sure does make a lot more sense XD

    City of Heroes I think requires a LOT better performance these days, they added in some pretty hefty graphics updates and such.

    So basically you think that the mega special 3 one will do great for every game that's out there on high settings pretty much? That's my mark if I can get to it ^_^

    I guess you could classify me as heavy gaming... hours a day with sometimes very graphic intensive games

    I played dead island on my Asus g73h laptop on max settings and it shut itself off due to overheating within the first ten minutes of playing :P
  5. Well if you want the absolute best you can have at the moment you're going to want an SSD and GTX 580s in SLI which will put a build closer to or above $2,000. Do you have a budget since you say you on't want it to burn your wallet? Any modern computer should be able to play city of heroes at max but since skyrim isn't out for another couple of weeks we don't know yet what it will take to max it out.
  6. Yeah 2k is way too high. I was even reluctant to go with the 1500 one :P

    What's an SSD?
  7. I've never played city of heroes so I wouldn't know how the graphics are now or before lol.

    It will run every game out there on high if not ultra. It definitely run the 3 games you listed on very high settings at 1920x1080.

    Don't forgot to add your mouse, keyboard, speakers etc before you order.

    A SSD is a replacement for a hard drive, where you store your programs and games. For $244 extra you can get a 120GB one which is about enough for windows + programs + 3-5 games. Then you can store your photo, songs and videos on the hard drive.

    The SSD will be faster when you boot up windows, open programs and load levels/maps in your games.
    The reason I didn't mention SSD is because there is quite a bit of set-up associated with it, just makes it more confusing.
  8. Most excellent! I love you <3
  9. Are case fans worth an upgrade? Do they help with cooling in a big way?

    Oh and... CoolerMaster Thermal Fusion 400 Extreme Performance CPU - Thermal Compound Optimized for Thermal Dissipation

    I know it's supposed to help with heat, is it worth the money?
  10. It is not worth upgrading case fan but it might be worth adding more fans.

    Where is the thermal compound listed, I can't seem to find it.
  11. It's on the last page next to the advanced packaging and pro wiring thing. I'm gonna get those too because I've heard bad things about improper packaging messing up PCs
  12. You can get it if you want, it would only make a 2-5 degrees difference.
  13. I agree about the thermal compound, not necessarily worth it.

    For the SSD should you decide to choose one I would only consider the 96GB Kingston V+ or the 128GB Plextor out of the ones they have listed. All the other ones have potential issues that could keep you having to send your PC in for service :-P

    One front and one rear case fan should be more than adequate as well. Once you start adding more you can actually screw up the airflow as well as it will make the system noisier. In which case upgrading the standard ones might not be bad if it's cheaper than adding more and it's something you are concerned about but I otherwise wouldn't say it's necessary.
  14. I've been a laptop owner for nearly 7 years. You could say I'm extremely paranoid about heating issues as it's -always- been the inevitable downfall of every machine I owned :P If you say the fans should be fine though, I trust you XD
    If I were to upgrade the fans which one is more effective, case fan upgrade or regular ol' cooling fans?

    Edit: Just found this
    You really know your stuff, that fan you picked is tops and low priced XD

    Or does liquid cooling blow them both out of the water? (sorry I had to make the pun *shame face*)
    They have Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) on there which is actually cheaper than the cooling fan you had selected. I'd definitely be willing to pay a tiny bit more for some better liquid cooling if it's gonna prevent my stuff from melting ^_^

    My budget might be less of a beating as I'm gonna see if I can sell my ASUS G73H laptop (which is in pretty prime condition aside from the heat problem...but I think it's probably a product of dust and the thermal paste being gone after so much use XD) since I'll have this instead. Guess it'll depend on what I can get for it :P
  15. Personally for a non-tech minded person I would say avoid watercooling, it will require maintenance over the long haul. It also wouldn't show significantly temperature improvements in most cases. Sandy bridge CPUs run pretty cool compared to previous generation chips, you will be fine in any environment with an upgraded air cooler (ie. not stock). For instance I live in the tropics and have a $50 heatsink/fan combo and it stays around 60C under load on the hottest days.
  16. Regular ol' cooling fan? lol do you mean the CPU fan?

    There isn't much of a improvement from the hyper 212 unless you go with a proper water cooling system. The Asetek 510LC is an all-in-on closed loop system which isn't that much better than the top air coolers.

    The only true water cooling is the CyberPower Xtreme Hydro Liquid Cooling Kit 360MM w/ Triple Fan, you would also need to upgrade one of the full tower cases (big cases). This would need maintenance and there is the risk of something going wrong while in transit and leaking all over your components.

    A desktop has better cooling than a laptop. It would be fine as long as you remove the dust on it once in a while.
  17. Sounds like a plan then :) Thanks again for all your help to both of you!

    And yes I did mean the cooling fan XD
  18. Best answer selected by helplessgamergirl.
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