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BF3 Has Arrived.. Time To Build A Computer! Help!

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October 26, 2011 5:40:25 PM

So, I've been out of the scene since my Athlon 1800 XP chip in college.. I think it was 2000.. Anyway, I just got some 22" dual screen action going on at work, on an i5 chip, the Dell special, mind you.. And, I am addicted, I want to build my own for home use... Specifically BF3 gaming, I don't play anything else...
So, here is my thought so far, and I'm pretty much already breaking the bank...
Core i7-2700K (which I'm reading a 2600k will do the trick) ($369), Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z ($359), Corsair Dominator GT 8GB ($149), (2) EVGA GeForce GTX 570 ($359x2= 718),Corsair Carbide 500R ($140), Crucial M4 2.5 64GB SATAIII SSD ($110), that brings me to $1794....
1) Do these components make sense?
2) Am I going overkill on the video cards? Should I scale them back to a 480, or maybe only go for one? Or is SLI pretty much a necessity, especially if I'm going to want to run dual monitor - or should I get one big one?
3) Should I change up the case selection for any reason?
4) Which PSU should I go for? I love Corsair's quality of product, should I go for the Corsair SLI unit? (which is $230?!)
5) I'm not much of an OC'er, but I like the concept of being able to if I wanted...

All and any thoughts/contributions are greatly appreciated! I've been a very long time lurker of Tom's, I just never joined because I didn't think I had any knowledge worth sharing, you guys are the pros! However, I'm excited for my new build, as well as becoming a new member!

Thanks
October 26, 2011 5:45:47 PM

Edit: It looks like I'll be changing my case (per another threads recommendation) to the Corsair 400R
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October 26, 2011 5:59:07 PM

Wow doesn't look like you're hold back at all! My only though is that you could easily drop to an i5-2500k and save some money. The i7 is a great processor but you really don't get any benefit from it unless you plan on using hyperthreading. Both can be overclocked and have similar performance so again unless you have specif needs for hyperthreading you could save yourself 100 bucks.

Regarding your case I would recommend the Antec 902 V3. I have this case and I love it. Same as the 900 just has a few upgrades like a mount for an SSD. Other options include the very popular Coolermaster HAF series.

PSU wise Corsair is great. Not sure if you need 1000W from the SLI but you might be able to get away with the one below. I'm not sure though. Can anyone else confirm this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 26, 2011 6:04:42 PM

Yeah, I wasn't holding back.. Until I started reading about how I could use the i5 instead.. I mean, there will be some homework going on with this thing, but nothing intense - mere editing of spreadsheets for my website, etc... Nothing too demanding at all.. So, it looks like the i5-2500k scale down is in effect...
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October 26, 2011 6:06:14 PM

Yeah, OK. You're spending too much. Indeed, go with the i5 for gaming, anything else is superfluous. That mobo is priced ridiculously. You want higher end, get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also 8 GBs of RAM can be had for $50.

Change the GPUs to two 6950 2 GB ones, that'll save some money and offer comparable performance; certainly better performance/dollar. If you're an nVidia enthusiast, go with 560 Tis.

Change to an M4 128 GB SSD, that way you can install a couple of games there without running out of space - with the changes I proposed you'll still have money left over.
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October 26, 2011 6:24:46 PM

From what i've seen the 2700k is the same as the 2600k with a 100MHz increase ( Correct me if i'm wrong ) and if the main purpose of the system is to game then all you really need is an i5 2500k unless your going to be doing some major graphical work. I can't remember the exact figures but it's something like the 2600k gets the same fps as the 2500k at 4GHz + ( again correct me if i'm wrong ).

So that would take you down to $214 on cpu
The mobo i guess should be fine if your set on that, same with ram

With the Graphics cards might i recommend 2x 6970 2GB instead? They are cheaper and perform better in most cases. Also the extra VRam will help out at the higher resolutions you will be playing at.

Which leads me onto the final point. Get 3 monitors over 2. With 2 monitors your crosshair will be split right down the middle and leave you with a dead spot in the place you need to see most.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for the psu should do.

I'm a tad confused though, you say you only play BF3 which would give the impression that your a casual gamer in a way. Yet your going for the highest end components and a high budget ^^ anyhow, good luck with your build.
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October 26, 2011 6:34:40 PM

problem with 560ti sli is 1gb of memory. when you gain gpu performance from crossfire or sli you greatly raise your chances of being able to use more than 1 gig of memory with decent fps. although games, now, are primarily designed with 1 gig in mind, some games... with full textures and AA are quite capable of using 2. BF3 for instance. consider we are looking forwards and 2 gigs is a no brainer.
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October 26, 2011 6:37:32 PM

Hah, yeah, I'm just a Battlefield Addict! I started playing with BF1942, and dammit, that was my gateway drug... I'm a bit of an elitist poseur, as quite frankly I don't stay in tune enough to be considered a true elitist... But, I just want something that is going to last me awhile, and I'll be well satisfied with. I've never been able to run BF on high, and I want to.
And definitely an interesting concept with the deadspot, perhaps I should just go for one big monster for a screen?
I might dabble in some other games, but I have not even purchased any other video game (including on my ps3) other than Battlefield for awhile now. I'm not much for singleplayer, so I only play multi, and that's really all I have time for. I don't even want to know what other games might get me as hooked as the BF series did, and has... My main addiction is really jetskis/waverunners, and they occupy most of my time... Along with my business that I run.
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October 26, 2011 6:52:20 PM

I would take 3x22" monitors over one big screen any day. Most of the people who jump to eyefinity/surround love it and the bezels are barely noticeable. A large HDTV will likely run at 1920x1080 however the 3 monitors in eyefinity/surround would run at 5760 x 1080 or higher depending on the resolution of the screens. 3 Monitors is alot more immersive then even 1 big screen as you are nearly surrounded by the image rather than it being a flat surface.
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October 26, 2011 6:59:07 PM

Now, are we talking 3x 22" widescreens as well? Also, is there some sort of 1:1 card to monitor ratio to follow? How would two cards run three monitors?
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October 26, 2011 7:32:18 PM

Nope, the 3 monitors will be treated as one big one ( 5760 x 1080 for 3 1920x1080 screens ) Therefore xfire will work the same way as it would with a single monitor. the only difference is all 3 monitors have to be plugged into 1 card on the Amd/Eyefinity setup I don't know about the nvidia surround though. I've been searching for some benchmarks for eyefinity on crossfire cards however haven't found many for BF. Your FPS will definitely take a hit without a doubt but it depends on what you will be satisfied with, are you someone that wants 100+ fps completely maxed out? or would you be happy on 60+fps on high? This is what i found for xfire 6970's completely maxed out. i know its not BF but it gives you an idea of what to expect. I'll try and find some benches for you.

F1 2010 Maxed - http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1084/pg17/xfx-rad...
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October 26, 2011 7:43:02 PM

Here's what I have on the menu - for now...:
Asus VE247, 23.6" 2ms, Full HD HDMI LED Backlight, has speakers - should I find w/o?
i5-2500k
ASRock z68 Extreme 4
Corsair Vengeance 8gb DDR3 1600
Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB x 2
Corsair Carbide 500R ATX Mid Tower
Corsair Enthusiast TX850 Bronze Certified
Crucial M4 128GB Sata III SSD
WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200 32MB Cache
Lite-On 12x BD-R
...$1694, prior to pricewatch.com- ing...
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October 26, 2011 8:14:27 PM

neonneophyte said:
problem with 560ti sli is 1gb of memory. when you gain gpu performance from crossfire or sli you greatly raise your chances of being able to use more than 1 gig of memory with decent fps. although games, now, are primarily designed with 1 gig in mind, some games... with full textures and AA are quite capable of using 2. BF3 for instance. consider we are looking forwards and 2 gigs is a no brainer.


Yeah, that's why I recommended the AMD cards. I only mentioned the 560 Tis in case he was a hardcore nVidia enthusiast - the 570 only has 1280MBs too.
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October 26, 2011 8:25:03 PM

Thanks for the help guys... So, what do you think of my current component list as above..? Here it is again...:
Asus VE247, 23.6" 2ms, Full HD HDMI LED Backlight, has speakers - should I find w/o?
i5-2500k
ASRock z68 Extreme 4
Corsair Vengeance 8gb DDR3 1600
Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB x 2
Corsair Carbide 500R ATX Mid Tower
Corsair Enthusiast TX850 Bronze Certified
Crucial M4 128GB Sata III SSD
WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200 32MB Cache
Lite-On 12x BD-R
...$1694, prior to pricewatch.com- ing...
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October 26, 2011 8:30:20 PM

I think that's a lot better *and* cheaper :) 
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October 26, 2011 9:50:47 PM

-With money ya spending....I'd start out with a killer case ....and the on I am drooling over right now is the Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow. Great cooling, hinged door, hot swappable pre-wired SATA backplane, best cable management evah, filters, front USB 2 and 3....

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

-For where you're going, I'd suggest a 120Mhz monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-I definitely would not be investing close to $2k on a MoBo that doesn't offer a 3 year warranty. I'd be in one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

-For GFX, just how far are you going ? Twin 6970's is nice for a multi-monitor setup....if Y a want three cards, I'd stick w/ nVidia ans ATI still hasn't seemed to have gotten the knack of 3-way CF

-The TX series is Corsair's 2nd tier to the HX or AX series. If you going to OC, I'd want the HX. Seasonic X series, Antec SG or CP series are other considerations.

-Make sure the RAM is low profile w/o the toothy heat sinks.
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October 26, 2011 11:39:30 PM


spend half of what you are spending now ... you won't notice the difference, but your wallet will ...

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October 27, 2011 12:50:32 AM

I strongly recommend a 3 monitor set-up. It is more than just more real estate, it actually gives you an advantage. The one thing I never liked about the first person shooter is there was no sense of periferal vision. With each monitor on the sides it feels more comfortable for me.

Also the distinct advantage it adds. Imagine you're standing at a 4 way intersection. In a 1 monitor set up, you can see down the street in front of you. In a 3 monitor set up you can see down 2 streets for sure, and possible 3 of the 4 streets. This provides more information to your eyes. In fact for me, the outside monitors act EXACTLY like periferal vision, in that I am concentrating on the center monitor, but I notice motion on the side monitors.

It's a definite advantage. Check out this video on you tube.

Also can you provide links to the components? For example the RAM you have listed is kind of vague. I like to see latencies and voltages etc. If not no biggie, but I like as much information as possible to help you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1BS-edKw0k

Even though the player is kind of a grenade magnet, you can see the advantage. More so if when you play the video you cover the left and right screens with your hands to see what a normal resolution provides by comparison.
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October 27, 2011 1:37:13 AM

Good choice switching to the intel core i5 2500k, best bang for your buck imo gaming that is.
I would still go with the sli gtx 570 but it really depends who you like more and what monitor resolution you plan on gaming with.
Anyway good luck with your system, you wont be disappointed, no matter which graphics set up you take. I have one gtx 570 and I am killing it :) 
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October 27, 2011 6:11:25 PM

Ok, so I'm definitely digging the eyefinity, thanks for the pointers cmcghee, and true on the grenade magnet, still fun to watch though.. My veins are now crawling, and I now have the anticipation chits.. Just kidding.. ;cP
As for the cards, will (2) 2GB cards do for high settings on (3) monitors? 120mHz is probably what I'll be leaning towards... Should I go 24"? Or lose my shirt on some 30"ers?
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October 27, 2011 10:33:41 PM

Well the 30" will most likely be 2560x1600 and if thats across an Eyefinity/Surround set up you're going to be struggling.

I personally would do 3x23.6" monitors. Make sure your primary GPU has alot of memory, because the primary cards memory is the only memory used as a frame buffer. And for large resolutions, frame buffer is really important

2GB is good for primary. If you want to do 3x30" you're going to need a 3 GB or possibly 4 GB beast card, and it's going to get really expensive.

I'd look at either 2 6970s or 2 570s if you're trying to run 3 monitors. With my personal preference going to the 6970s because of the 2GB of frame buffer.

Or you could wait until december-ish for the 7000 series GPUs from AMD. But you can't do the waiting game forever because then you'll never build.
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November 9, 2011 2:49:42 PM

So many options to look at, this stuff is driving me nuts... So, apparently you can flash the 6950 up to 6970 performance in most cases... I think I'm going to go with that, as I will be buying two of them, which would save me $100 ea/ $200 total - to be spent elsewhere.

As for monitors, I'm hearing display port is the way to go on connections?

On the CPU, for an extra $100, I can go i7-2600k, and get 44% faster according to Portatech? Wouldn't that be worth the extra bill? I would think so..? Or is that 44% in reference to the HT that will not help me for my main purposes of gaming..?
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November 9, 2011 4:00:49 PM

seaneboy said:
So many options to look at, this stuff is driving me nuts... So, apparently you can flash the 6950 up to 6970 performance in most cases... I think I'm going to go with that, as I will be buying two of them, which would save me $100 ea/ $200 total - to be spent elsewhere.

As for monitors, I'm hearing display port is the way to go on connections?

On the CPU, for an extra $100, I can go i7-2600k, and get 44% faster according to Portatech? Wouldn't that be worth the extra bill? I would think so..? Or is that 44% in reference to the HT that will not help me for my main purposes of gaming..?


You'll have to find one with a dual bios switch, as now many cards have had the switch removed. I think the saphire 6950 2gb Toxic edition still has it and flashes to 6970 speeds without the extra shaders. ( Don't quote me on that )
However that's pushing on £240 and for £15 more you could get a 6970, upto you.

6970 - http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/10816086/art/vtx3d/rade...
6950 - http://www.cclonline.com/product/65489/11188-07-40R/Gra...

I'm not sure what the fans are like on the VTX3D, it's not exactly the highest quality but the company is under TUL which also owns powercolor. The toxic edition looks like the reference cooler, which if it's anything like my HIS one isn't admirable.

For eyefinity you NEED to use at least one display port, however you can quite easily use an active DP to DVI cable. So yes i suppose getting a DP monitor is a good idea, just make sure it also has DVI as there are only 2 DP ports on the card and all connections need to be made on 1 card.

Unless you use multi threaded apps and do alot of video editing and stuff then you won't see much of a difference between the 2500k and 2600k. That said if you have the money it may be worth waiting for either Ivy bridge or Sandybridge-E which will be released soon.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-3960x-x79-p... Again looking at these results the 2500k still looks like the better purchase.
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November 10, 2011 12:49:25 PM

My veins are crawling.. I need to get in on this.. I have it on PS3, and it's just a foretaste of the PC game.. Then again, the sound is killer on my Pioneer deck, with Klipsch floor standers, etc. I think it's time for a revised layout post... Dammit, but I cannot find the dual bios version - is that necessary for flashing up to 6970?
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November 10, 2011 10:17:12 PM

So, it looks like not all is fine an dandy with flashing the bios...

"If your thinking of flashing your 6950 flex edition card. Dont do it if your planning on using eyefinity. The card already has the shaders unlocked in bios 1. And if you flash using any of the standard 6970 bios, you will get all the advantages of the 6970. But, you will also disable your second DVI port that makes it a flex edition. So, if you dont care about a 3 monitor eyefinity set-up, flash away. OK, back to my point of this post.)"

"Thanks for great article, too bad it didn't work for me as well as I hoped. I managed to flash my card, needed to do 'extra work' and everything looked good. Resolution went weird, so I installed drivers again and thats when problems started. Computer started to freeze on Windows or if it didn't freeze, BF3 or 3DMark 11 didn't work. I tried everything, installing drivers, full sweep with Driver Sweeper, installing DirectX and so on, but nothing. Lastly had to put 6950 BIOS inside and now everything works perfectly.

Card: Asus 6950 DirectCU II 2GB

Thanks anyway!

E: I used Asus 6970 BIOS, not that Sapphire what that article says. Don't know does it matter? "

FYI, I found two of these cards for around $500... :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But, does anyone have any knowledge of running (2) 6950's unlocked with eyefinity? I'm searching for this now...
At this point, I'm willing to shed over a couple extra bucks to just get in the game already... Who cares if I have to suspend the damn monitors from my ceiling due to lack of wallspace in my room.. ;c)
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November 11, 2011 1:07:53 PM

Gotcha... So, it's definitely coming time to pull the trigger... I'm thinking this (2) 6950's for $500 is a good enough deal to pounce on, dual bios and all. Now, the question arises, what mobo is going to fit two of these things without airflow/cooling issues?
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December 2, 2011 2:16:45 PM

So, been a few since I've updated.. I'm still on the search... Latest questions are... 120hz, vs eyefinity.. There's no such thing as 3D eyefinity, correct?

I'm looking at $1945 right now with the following (2 Sapphires in CF), no monitors yet:

Here is the list of components so far... I threw the GT Snow in there for now, not sure if I'll bite on that, but I very well might...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL9D-8GBXM
OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal 12X Super Multi Blue with 3D Playback Blu-ray Disc Rewriter WH12LS38 LightScribe Support - OEM
SAPPHIRE 100312-3SR Radeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX850 (CMPSU-850AX) 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition (VN10006W2N) White and Black SECC / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case with Four Fans-1x 200mm Colorshift side fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift top fan, 1x 200mm Colorshift front fan and 1x 140mm rear fan
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December 2, 2011 4:12:28 PM

Just info you: From what I've read on multiple forums, there is a severe issue with Crossfire scaling on BF3. As in, it doesn't use the 2nd graphics card. There are some work arounds like going back to previous driver versions(11.9 CAP 4) but it's not 100%.

Still waiting on a firm update
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December 2, 2011 4:20:57 PM

Thanks very much for that heads up.. I've also read about that issue! Considering you were the one recommending the 120hz... I'm wondering if I should just be comfortable going eyefinity, versus 120hz.. 120hz = 3D capability, right?
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December 3, 2011 2:12:43 PM

I suspect at this point in time you should wait out the new 7k XTs.

If you don't like the price/performance, Cayman can be your 'fall-back'

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December 3, 2011 3:08:48 PM

okay i just finished reading the entire thread,
ive been looking at an asrock p67 extreme4 gen3 and i think it looks like a really good mobo, im considering picking one up myself.

i5 2500k is a really good choice.
that case imo is really cool looking, really costly though.
newegg has a really good deal on g.skill 8gb 1600mhz ram right now, $30 w/free shipping.
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December 7, 2011 3:46:16 PM

The 7k XT's will most likely cost about 7k to start.. So, I'm sure I will be shying away from those.. However, perhaps their being released will bring down the price of the caymans.. Those might become more attractive. As for Asrock.. That board does seem to have some good reviews.. I am going to try and OC the 2500k up to 4.5 which sounds fairly common..
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