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Best Intel Gaming Build for Low Res max of new games

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November 2, 2011 3:41:03 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: As deals show up I will complete this beauty. Bulldozer has proven a disappointment in single threaded applications and isn't worth the price as this rig will be intended for gaming.

Budget Range: As cheap as possible as long as it can max all modern and near future upcoming games at minimum of 30 fps. This should be pretty easy thanks to my low resolution. I'm looking to max out BF3, Mass Effect 3, Arkham City, Deus Ex Human Revolution: pretty much everything new and under the sun.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Case, RAM, HDD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Wherever they offer the best deals and customer service. So far Newegg is looking more promising than the others.

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: NA as long as they have good warranty.

Overclocking: Maybe in the near future

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1360x768 (720P HD 26 inch LCD TV via HDMI)

Additional Comments: Case needs good cooling obviously. Needs to support SLI or both SLI and Crossfire if possible. Needs to not be bottle-necked in SLI significantly as a result of PCI-E slot speeds. Needs to have CPU that can handle all modern games and a couple of years down the line without bottle-kneck. Needs an upgradable path. I hate wasting money on things I'll just be forced to chuck them out the window only to start from scratch again. Thus why I've dumped console gaming completely except for a handful of titles.

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Processor: I'm thinking to go with the intel core i3-2100 as it seems to be the premier bang for buck CPU as this rig be almost exclusively for gaming and it's hyperthreading make's up for it's lack of quad core architecture.

DVD player
Lite-On DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106289

Case
Antec 300 illusion: Already purchased for $45 on newegg sale

HDD
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM bought it for a steal yesterday at best buy for $71 and change. Last one in stock and a small blessing considering New-egg wants nearly $60 more for the same product with only 2 year warranty(mine has a 5 year warranty). Taiwanese floods are really hitting us consumers hard in the HDD department. Have watched drives literally nearly double in price in a matter of weeks. Hopefully things get better over there.

Motherboard
MSI P67A-G43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
Very conflicted between
XFX HD-685X-ZNDC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
MSI N460GTX Hawk 1Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Both cards can handle the 3 most demanding games of our current time in Crysis,Metro 2033, and Battlefield 3 on maximum settings above 30fps at my resolution from what I've researched. I could be wrong though. Keep in mind 30 FPS should be the minimum not the average FPS I want for my games. The last thing I want is laggy visuals or screen tearing even if it is a very demanding game like Metro.

PSU
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'm thinking this will be enough to crossfire 6850's later on. If not it's ok ill be able to get this for just over $40 and upgrade later

RAM
Already purchased G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) for $35 on sale on Newegg. Was at a price I couldn't pass up.

Any and all advice/recommended substitute parts would be would be welcome please. I'm always looking for 2nd opinions in case I've overlooked something. Thanks for the help.

More about : intel gaming build low res max games

November 2, 2011 3:50:51 AM

If you want upgrade capability you need a Z68 mother board with Gen 3. Meaning ivy bridge support and PciExpress 3.0 support.

AsRock Extreme 3 Gen3 is the least expensive
AsRock Extreme4 Gen3 is better with more features.

If you want your cpu to last, an i3 is garbage you'd be better off with AMD, it's only dual core which means it's almost outdated right now. You need at least an i5-2400 or 2500k if you want to overclock.

For GPU a 460 1gb is a good card, SLIing them makes them better than the best single card solution available today. But SLIing off the bat leaves little to no room for improvement down the road. Look into getting a 560ti, it's a good card now that will max your games at your res for another year and if you start slowing down you can SLI those for another 2 or 3 years, no problem.

I do not know OCZ power supplies too well, but I only recommend and build with Seasonic or it's guts or Corsair.

Unless you got that RAM for $20 it wasn't the best, 1600 Mhz is much better RAM and a noticeable upgrade over 1333.
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November 2, 2011 4:01:52 AM

I3 is temporary. Buying cheap now in anticipation of ivy. Overclocking is not in the imminent future as the i3 has locked multiplier. That will be saved for Ivy. Gaming in the meantime is the priority. Hyperthreading capability of I3 shows it keeps up with the much more expensive i5 quad cores in gaming: (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...)
OCZ PSU has a good warranty and reviews on it so I'm not worried. It's 8 gigs of RAM for $35 from a good company with a long warranty. 8 gigs is still alot of RAM to this day. Next year I won't be able to say the same come Windows 8.
I do like your idea for the motherboard though to futurepath the build. Thank you.
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November 2, 2011 4:04:02 AM

Yes especially if you plan on ivy. The board you selected does not have ivy support, so you need a different mobo.

For another 6-8 months the i3 will keep up, then gaming will begin using more than 2 cores predominantly and the i5 will leap ahead of the i3, because hyperthreading is not the same as 4 physical cores.

Thoughts on my gpu suggestion?
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November 2, 2011 4:12:14 AM

Is a 560ti considered overkill at my current resolution? I like 560 ti. I was looking to go EVGA as they offer lifetime warranties on many cards and are a good company as well as their current promotion of offering arkham city as a freebie with their 500 series cards. I was curious what you'd recommend AMD-wise. They seem to use less power and that would save the cost on the PSU upgrade that will eventually come around later. I was thinking a XFX 6850 now and then crossfire it later as the PSU i picked has enough wattage to spare with 2 6850 running on it as well as both cards having lifetime warranty. Not the same case for the 460 unfortunately. I'm trying to make a cost effective build with the best warranties possible. I do like the 560 TI I'm just looking to examine all possible avenues before I say "That's the one" you know?
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November 2, 2011 4:18:17 AM

If you are looking comparable to the 560ti it's probably either the 6850 or the 6950.

Is it overkill? Maybe for a little while, but it's a very good single card solution for your resolution.

AMD's definitely use less power, but they have lower performance. If you want to SLI or CF you need at minimum an 850W PSU, more than likely. That is my threshold for SLI or CF.

The EVGA is a great company that makes great cards that work well, I have a 460 EVGA in one of my machines and it works beautifully.

The 560ti will be an effective card for quite a while for you, if you plan on SLIing you need more power but it won't need to be SLId anytime soon.
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November 2, 2011 4:25:43 AM

No, the 560 ti isn't overkill, it's a great card for that res. It's also a great value. You could SLI when you need to and probably max out everything released through the end of next year.
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November 2, 2011 5:24:26 AM

The GD65 is my recommended mother board right now for less than 200. Great features, great quality components, the MSI bios is a favorite of mine.
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November 2, 2011 5:35:16 AM

Isn't Ivy supposed to be backwards compatible with p67 motherboards? I'm thinking ill just get a cheap P67 mobo in the meantime until a wider selection of Ivy boards become available which will drive costs down across the line. As of right now I think there isn't enough choice in Ivy boards that can fully utilize the new CPU obviously because it has yet to be released.
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November 2, 2011 6:12:30 AM

by the time enough ivy board shows up Haswell will be around the corner and who knows how will work out. But both p67 and z68 are suppose to support ivy, just some don't support true pcie 3.0 but no graphic card need it right now especially not 560ti or below.

low screen res (low performance) and SLI (high performance) does go well with each other. Assuming you want to increase screen res to take advantage of SLI then it make sense to get a good performance card now so it can run will when you got more demanding stuff.

think 600w is just on the edge of supporting 2 560ti, not by much

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Best solution

November 2, 2011 7:23:51 AM

The i3 2100 is perfectly fine for gaming. If you plan on changing it along the road it is a very good choice. So is the i5 2400 if you don't plan on overclocking.

If you want to futureproof you will go to a gen3 mobo. I don't like msi coz of big rate of DOA and funny/cramped mobo layout. Asrock z68 extreme 3 gen3 or the extreme4 if you feel like paying 50$ more for 2 more sata3 and 2 more usb3. Other than that, they are identical.

GPU - Any 6950 or 570 will do. I advise against 560 because sli will produce a visible effect of microstuttering in contrast to the 6950 or 570.

OCZ is a good psu company. Makes the most budget but stable psus around. Just stay away from the fatal1ty ocz psu, that one turned out to be a dud. If you are going to SLI or Xfire + add a cpu that you are going to OC then i would go for 850watts. What you chose will work perfectly, even have a good headroom to spare for your setup. (power draw about 350, easily supporting another 560)

Conclusion: You want to spend your money on futureproofing, while having a good machine to play your games at max. Very well. A Gen3 mobo and a 850watt psu covers the futureproofing part. A 6950 will play all your games for a long time and adding another will allow you to push every game to ultra. The 570 is more expensive but equally good. It's problem is that for the money 2x6850 will outperform it - though cause micro stuttering and hurt your eyes. Investing on a i3 2100 is a good idea if you are sure you are going to upgrade in the future. As long as it is for gaming.
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November 2, 2011 7:39:41 AM

Im liking the dual 6850 route. From the benchmarks ive read those plus the I3 in current gaming are awesome. I'm going to start out with 1 6850 and move up to crossfire when i have enough for a 2nd. I've never personally noticed microstuttering because im not an enthusiast lol. Just a gamer who's dumping his consoles for something better. Microstuttering will get worked out eventually by AMD and Nvidia. Too much business on the line for the budget users.
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November 2, 2011 8:56:41 AM

amo10 said:
Im liking the dual 6850 route. From the benchmarks ive read those plus the I3 in current gaming are awesome. I'm going to start out with 1 6850 and move up to crossfire when i have enough for a 2nd. I've never personally noticed microstuttering because im not an enthusiast lol. Just a gamer who's dumping his consoles for something better. Microstuttering will get worked out eventually by AMD and Nvidia. Too much business on the line for the budget users.



The problem is the budget users don't crossfire or sli. The budget users maintain one card solutions until they upgrade.

Microstuttering is an inherent problem in having two cards function as one. It is present in all two card solutions. It is more or less pronounced based on the card's architecture, speed, and the drivers.
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November 3, 2011 7:17:30 AM

Cinci555 said:
The problem is the budget users don't crossfire or sli. The budget users maintain one card solutions until they upgrade.

Microstuttering is an inherent problem in having two cards function as one. It is present in all two card solutions. It is more or less pronounced based on the card's architecture, speed, and the drivers.


I understand what you're saying but for this particular budget build a 6850 will suffice on it's own and will allow a future path for new upgrades by maintaining an extra pcie slot for when the current gpu starts getting pushed to it's limit rather than dropping alot of money now in one single card im thinking ill get a good bang for buck card now and by the time i buy a 2nd one it will be even cheaper to upgrade. Actually just found a combo for the i3 and xfx 6870 im going to go with that.
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November 10, 2011 4:00:58 AM

Best answer selected by amo10.
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