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New gaming build for 30" (2560x1600) monitor?

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November 15, 2011 12:17:30 AM

Hey folks,

I'm putting together a new gaming PC build to drive my existing 30" (2560x1600) monitor. I think the system itself is pretty solid, but I'd like to avoid SLI if possible (due to the jitter issue as well as the fact that I've had bad luck with SLI in the past) so I'm going with a high end single card solution. I'm currently baselining the 1.5GB superclocked GTX580 but I've heard that the 3GB may be a better choice for large screen resolutions. I may also hold out for the GTX 585 which was just released. If SLI is necessary, I can go that way, but I'd probably end up going with something like the GTX 590 one-card option in that case.

I thought I'd ask for advice and comments here.

Case: CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced (Mid-Tower)
CPU: Intel i5-2500K
Cooling Fan: Asetek 550LC Liquid Cooling System - 120MM Radiator & Dual Standard 120MM Fans (Push-Pull)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro/Gen3
Memory: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS Gaming Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB 16X (EVGA Superclocked)
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-850TXv2
Main Hard Drive: 120GB Corsair Force GT SSD
Data Hard Drive: 1.0 TB 7200RPM HDD
Optical Drive: LG 12X Internal Super Multi Blu-Ray Rewriter
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)

Thanks in advance!

-D
a b 4 Gaming
November 15, 2011 1:28:58 AM

The "585" (560 Ti 2Win) and 590 are SLI setups on single cards, and they have the same issues as normal SLI setups. Microstuttering is only a significant issue on low-to-mid-end SLI setups, though, so SLI 570s or 580s, or the 2Win/"585" would be fine. If you do go the single-card SLI route, though, stick to the 2Win and stay away from the 590, which is overpriced and underclocked. IMO it would be safer to stick with a simple SLI setup with two actual cards. 570s, for instance, will outperform and cost less than a 590.
Edit: done some 2Win research. It's cool and not ridiculously overpriced, but you could get two HAWK Ti's for the same price with better cooling and clocks (both stock and, I'm guessing, possible OC).
The 580 remains the best possible non-SLI option.
PSU: A 580 will be comfortable on 600W. Two will take 850W without complaint but 900W more efficiently, and a "585" will take around 750W.
More VRAM won't help you until multi-monitor resolutions. 1.5gb, or the 570's 1280mb, will be fine here.
I think you wouldn't see much difference with a cheaper SSD, like a Crucial M4. The GT is better in benchmarks, but the subjective difference is very small. If it matters to you, go ahead.
A Mugen 3 would also be good at $50. It's quite close to the Noctua.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 15, 2011 1:46:25 AM

I have two 2560 x 1600 monitors and a evga superclocked GTX580 1.5gb. I run just fine. I game on one, and use the other for e-mail, monitors and such.

As I recall, the 3gb units will cost $100 more. If you are on a budget, they are probably not worth it.
At the end of the year, we should see 28nm cards arrive. You will have a better idea of upgrade options then.

On your build, I would not bother with a high end cpu cooler, particularly with a well ventilated case.

Unless you are looking for high voltage max overclocks, I would not bother. A $30 cooler like the Xigmatek gaia or cm hyper212 will be good enough. Or, look at the noctua NH-D14 which is about $85 for the very best.

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November 15, 2011 5:19:09 AM

Thanks for the feedback!

Yeah I didn't realize initially that I was talking about the 560 Ti 2Win... I just read the blurb email that eVGA sent me announcing it wherein they were calling it a "585" as something of a joke I guess. :)  But yeah, that thing looks pretty cool and seemed a better deal then the 590. I still think I'd prefer to avoid SLI if I can, since last time I did so (several years back, I pre-ordered GTX280's for it) they ended up giving me nothing but trouble and other than a few games I didn't really see a big improvement in frame rates. Plus I had to run a 1200W PSU to power the things properly and that system has issues if anything else is plugged into the same circuit when I try to power it on. So I figure I'll avoid that pain this time since that system was was way overkill and too pricey, so I'm trying to work within a reasonable budget this time.

The GTX580 3GB doesn't seem to support factory superclock, but given I don't need the extra VRAM anyway, the 1.5GB version would work fine. I have been considering holding off for the new 28nm cards, but I figured at worst if I go with the GTX580 I can swap that over to my older system with the GTX280's and upgrade the main box with something new next spring or something. If it looks like the new cards will be here in the next 3-4 weeks tho I may just wait but I thought they weren't coming out until early next year.

I figured the 850W PSU was overkill for a single card solution but wasn't sure if I needed the extra headroom... particularly if I ended up having to run with a SLI system after all to get decent performance at 2560x1600, but apparently that isn't necessary with the GTX580. I could save $20 by dropping wattage down to the Corsair 650-TXv2, or I can pay $50 more and get the Corsair AX-750, which is higher rated but probably overkill for a single card solution. If I ended up with the 560 Ti 2Win tho, I might be better off with the 750W or 850W PSU's.

I was originally planning to get an i7-2600K or i7-2700K but then realized I could overclock the i5-2500k to be as good or better and save $150 in the process, and figured I didn't really need the hyperthreading (though I do a bit of transcoding and video editing from time to time, so it may not be too bad.) So being able to get a decent overclock is important, thus this CPU cooler instead of something a bit cheaper. The difference is less than $20 and I've had good experiences with the Asetek in the past, so I'll probably just stick with that and enjoy the extra headroom.

As for the SSD, I was originally looking at the ADATA S511 which has nearly the same benchmarks and is $30 cheaper, but the Force GT has more and better reviews. I looked at the Crucial M4 128 but it is a bit slower and is $20 more expensive then the Force Series GT so I didn't consider that. My bigger issue is what to do about the data drive... I don't really want one, but SSD's over 120GB are too expensive, but then again mechanical HD's aren't very price effective right now either. So I plan to throw in a 500GB or 1TB 7200 RPM SATA III drive for now and see how that goes.

Thanks again!

-D
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a b 4 Gaming
November 15, 2011 1:25:36 PM

The last I heard was that amd might announce their 28nm cards before the end of the year, but any sort of availability would not be until next year. Nvidia kepler is supposed to lag a bit behind in schedule, but you can bet they will be trying to keep pace.
If you want the absolute best card available now, $600 buys you an evga GTX580 classified which has 3gb ram and a high factory overclock with more available.
In time, whenever you might want to resell, the top cards seem to hold their value best. If $100 is not that important to you, I would consider it.
They seem to be scarce, but here is one:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

On the ssd side, 120gb is not bad. That is exactly what I have. I am using 85gb of the 111gb available. In addition to the os and some photos, I have 6/8 games installed, including FSX which is large. When I run out of room, in the short run, I can install an old hard drive for overflow. But, I think I will move the 120gb drive to a laptop and replace it with a 160/240gb Intel 520 ssd the expected launch date is this year.
For reliability, I would go with Intel, pr perhaps Samsung.
Here is a report on component return rates where Intel shows up best by far:
http://www.behardware.com/articles/831-7/components-ret...

Any modern SSD will give you excellent performance. I think the synthetic benchmark race is mostly marketing, and you will be hard pressed to tell the difference in actual usage without a benchmark.
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November 16, 2011 12:45:35 AM

If I don't need the 3GB of VRAM I don't see the reason to pay the extra $100 for it. I mostly want a unit with factory overclocking since those tend to be higher binned so they are more reliable and support better manual overclocking when needed.

Speaking of alternative video cards, it looks like eVGA is getting ready to come out with a GTX580 Classified w/1.5GB of VRAM (at least its listed as available for pre-order on their web site.) Not sure how far off that is though... so I might have to go with the superclock and then trade up to the classified when it comes out, assuming that is eligible for their trade-up program. (In general I prefer eVGA anyway since they tend to have one of the best warranty and trade up programs.)

Just for fun I looked at the ASUS Mars II as well... that thing looks like a beast, but is way too expensive. :) 

As for drives... since I do have some room in the budget, I'm thinking I might just drop the mechanical drive all together and go with a 240GB SSD instead. I'm pretty sure 120GB won't go far enough, and it seems a waste to drop $120-$150 on a 500GB 7200 RPM drive when I can just double the size of the SSD for roughly the same cost.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 16, 2011 12:50:18 AM

That's what the AMP! is. Super OCed. Zotac has a normal version too.
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November 30, 2011 9:55:34 PM

Take a look at this review:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-geforce-gtx-560-ti-2...

I am looking for the right video card for my 2560x1600 monitor.

VRAM is the issue. The mid-range nVidia cards don't have it...I have a superclocked 570 w/ 1.2G and I'm running into problems.

I thought the 2win would be a nice compromise....but it has a limit of 1GB per GPU.

nVidia just isn't making good cards for the high end resolution at a reasonable price point... and the SLI/CrossFire microstuttering issue can create some problems too.

I've decided to hold and see what comes up in 2012 Q1. Hopefully the new year will bring in more VRAM for single card/GPU solutions...
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December 7, 2011 11:04:49 PM

Yeah I've decided to hold off on building my new rig until after the holidays as well, since the new cards will be out by then, plus the prices on pc building components should drop down again. I didn't realize this, but apparently most component prices start going up right around Thanksgiving now... I thought prices dropped before xmas, but looks like that was an incorrect assumption.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 7, 2011 11:11:13 PM

Prices, according to a recent Times article, should be at their lowest in the next week or so before kicking up again right before Christmas.
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