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Building new computer - Help needed.

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November 16, 2011 10:44:29 PM

Hey guys,

I'm currently in need of a new PC which can only be delayed until December 1st. That's because I've started a gaming news blog (http://www.betacake.net) and I will need the new computer for testing out games in Beta phase starting December 8th with ArcheAge by XLGAMES (its a Korean mmorpg).

My current setup is :

E8200 @ 3.20 Ghz
Vapor-X ATI Radeon HD 4890 2 GB
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3l
Corsair CM2X2048-6400C5 (4GB Ram @800Hz)
Tagan TG700-U33 2-ForceII Series (700W PSU)
Case / Cooling : Thermaltake Armor+LCS Case with integrated watercooling for CPU (http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1277&ID=1480#Tab0)


What I want to build is a computer for video games. My resolution will never be above 1920x1080, currently still using a 17" monitor at 1280x1024.
I will not be buying the monitor yet, I'm waiting for some further price drops on a 120hz 3D LED Full HD 1080p monitor that I'm keeping an eye on. Hopefully the monitor will come around x-mas.

The computer now. I need the following parts :

CPU
GPU
Motherboard
RAM


My budget is 900€(~$1200), strictly.
Might be able to pay another 20€ or 40€ but anything above that is a big NO-NO. Anything below is a big YES-YES :mrgreen:

So, I want the new computer to last at least 2 full years of playing video games at the best possible graphics settings, preferably maximum. I don't mind losing some shadow quality and I certainly don't mind using 2xAA instead of 8x or even 16x.

I'm one of those people who claim to be able to feel the difference between 45 FPS and 85 FPS. The first is unplayable for me. Any game must be running above 60 FPS.

So I was thinking something among these lines :

CPU : i5 2500k - 196€
RAM : G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 RIPJAWS DUAL CHANNEL KIT [9-9-9-24 @ 1600] - 50€
Mobo : Asus Sabertooth P67 B3 - 170€ or Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z Republic of Gamers - 170€
GFX : 2 x Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Edition (http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?psn=0001&pid=1021&lid=1) - 480€


My main concern is the graphics solution. Should I go Crossfire? Should I go SLI instead?
Are two cards going to benefit me in games like Skyrim, BF3, etc?

Let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance.
November 16, 2011 11:04:13 PM

Whatever you do today, you run the risk of buyer's remorse when the 28nm cards from amd and nvidia appear at the end of the year.

At your lower 1280x102 resolution, I would be inclined to see how well your 4890 does with the new cpu. Make your decisions later.

I think a single good card will run those games well, certainly at a lower resolution. I would avoid the issues with multiple cards if I could.

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November 16, 2011 11:10:43 PM

SLI and Crossfire are completely dependent on your gpu. If you have nvidia, you use SLI, if you have ati, you use crossifre. You have no choice. Since you chose an ati gpu, you will be crossfiring. 2 cards will definitely benefit you for fps if you have the money.
For the motherboard, you may want to consider one with PCIe 3.0. This is the slot the next generation of gpus will use so getting a motherboard with it already built in will help to future proof your build.
November 16, 2011 11:34:35 PM

roblaw42 said:
SLI and Crossfire are completely dependent on your gpu. If you have nvidia, you use SLI, if you have ati, you use crossifre. You have no choice. Since you chose an ati gpu, you will be crossfiring. 2 cards will definitely benefit you for fps if you have the money.
For the motherboard, you may want to consider one with PCIe 3.0. This is the slot the next generation of gpus will use so getting a motherboard with it already built in will help to future proof your build.


Could you link me to a decent mobo with PCIe 3.0 in the 200€ range please?



geofelt said:
Whatever you do today, you run the risk of buyer's remorse when the 28nm cards from amd and nvidia appear at the end of the year.

At your lower 1280x102 resolution, I would be inclined to see how well your 4890 does with the new cpu. Make your decisions later.

I think a single good card will run those games well, certainly at a lower resolution. I would avoid the issues with multiple cards if I could.


Tell me about it, I have been waiting for about 4 months now for an announcement on the new 28nm cards but it has come to the point where I simply cannot avoid upgrading.

I'm one of the very few people who will be covering that specific game for the Western market and since all footage taken will be worldwide exclusive, I'd like it to be of high quality as well.

Not to mention, the new 28nm cards will be expensive and out of my budget anyway. For example look at the new Sandy Bridge-E price range. Utterly ridiculous imo.

I'm getting a monitor on x-mas, waiting for holiday season's sales to start.


Also, could you please explain to me what the implications are when running a CF or SLI setup? I've never had a system like that before, my friends either, so I'm completely oblivious to any problems CF or SLI could cause.

Thanks for your feedback guys.
November 16, 2011 11:56:28 PM

Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

1) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single GTX580 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.

2) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

3) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

4) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.
!