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November 22, 2011 3:03:23 PM

First off I know enough to build a system myself although there are alot of variables in this build that have me questing which road to take therefore I would like some advise on this build.

Here is my situation:
- New rig used for gaming & transcoding (in that order) with a budget of $1500
- Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, OS, & PSU (maybe) not required
- I plan on doing some light overclocking

My preferences:
- If Intel then a i7 2600K
- If AMD then a FX-8150 with a Radeon GPU solution
- Want the ability to swap out CPU for newest chips (ex. Ivy Bridge, Piledrivers) at least into 2013 before I need a mobo upgrade.
- Would like to have the ability to upgrade to Crossfire or SLi config. in the future
- I prefer a single large res. monitors to multiple monitors (aka. no use for EyeFinity)
- If the performance & price of the setup is similar I would prefer the AMD processor from a programming aspect (I want to play w/ those BD modules :D )

My concerns & thoughts:
- My PSU that I would like to reuse is 650W limiting my future CF or SLi upgrades
- Heat and noise concerns on the Fermi GPU's, especially if I upgrade to SLi config.
- Micro-stuttering of the Radeon series upon CF upgrade
- Added cost of the Intel/Nvidia setup (nearly +$100 due to CPU & motherboard)
- Rumors of the 7-series radeon chip coming out very soon
- Software upgrades seems to show a 5% improvement in current BD speeds
- Micro-stuttering can be fixed via driver updates

What I am leaning toward at the moment:
- FX-8150 & (1) 6970 now
- Adding larger PSU, another 6970 (or 7-series), & Piledriver in the future.

More about : amd intel

November 22, 2011 3:15:45 PM

i5-2500k over everything for gaming.
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November 22, 2011 4:42:27 PM

cutebeans said:
i5-2500k over everything for gaming.


Although it does have admirable performance per price I am not interested because I need the i7's hyper-threading for transcoding or the FX-8150 which performs in between the two processors. Also, this decision is not just based on the CPU alone but the CPU/GPU configuration weighing all of the factors I have listed above. For more information; I have ~$800 to spend between CPU, GPU, & Mobo.
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November 22, 2011 5:52:53 PM

Rumor has it that the piledriver chips will use a new socket. I don't know how true this is. The Radeon 7xxx series is rumored to have the top end cards out by Dec, but I don't believe that you'll be able to buy any until at least January. I'd only wait for the 7xxx series of cards if you have a current rig that meets your needs.

I'd stick with your PSU (so long as it is a quality unit) until you go SLI/CF. No reason to pay for an upgrade you aren't currently using. You can power a GTX580 with a 650W PSU.

Microstuttering is a problem on both NVidia and Radeon graphics cards. Supposedly it is slightly worse on Radeon cards. Also, there are other considerations when it comes to SLI vs Crossfire. For example, unless you have reference design cards, a SLI setup may not work from different vendors, so i'll be easier to find cards for CF setup than SLI if you buy the second card years later. Read this for more info - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

For transcoding, Intel Quick Sync gives very good results at a much faster rate than any other CPU or GPU solution. You don't need an i7 for transcoding unless you must have the x86 codepath since quicksync will be equivalent on either chip. Unless you need the best quality transcoding results I'd go with a i5-2500k.

Read this to get an idea of how fast quicksync is and how good the transcoding is. The only drawback is there isn't a lot of software support right now. I think there are approximately 10 software programs that use it. MediaEspresso and MediaConverter are the two cheapest strictly transcoding software programs available.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
Let's just say that after reading the above review, I decided that the i5 was the best chip for the money when it came to gaming and editing/trascoding home videos.

Sticking with an i7, you could do something like...

CPU: i7-2600k - $320
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - $25 - sufficient for light overclocking
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 - $125 - SLI/CF, USB3.0, Z chipset, Sata III, and more than suitable for light overclocking
RAM: 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5V - $45 or less depending on if you find some on sale since the prices change close to daily.
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R - $90
DVD: whatever - $20
SSD: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 120GB - $195
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB - $150

Before GPU(s) and PSU: $970

With $500 you have enough for a Radeon 6970 and a new PSU, or a GTX580. You can easily shave $200 off the above build by stepping down to a i5, and a 64GB SSD and have enough for 2x$300 graphic cards and a $100 PSU.
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November 22, 2011 6:46:53 PM

nordlead said:
Rumor has it that the piledriver chips will use a new socket. I don't know how true this is. The Radeon 7xxx series is rumored to have the top end cards out by Dec, but I don't believe that you'll be able to buy any until at least January. I'd only wait for the 7xxx series of cards if you have a current rig that meets your needs.

I'd stick with your PSU (so long as it is a quality unit) until you go SLI/CF. No reason to pay for an upgrade you aren't currently using. You can power a GTX580 with a 650W PSU.

Microstuttering is a problem on both NVidia and Radeon graphics cards. Supposedly it is slightly worse on Radeon cards. Also, there are other considerations when it comes to SLI vs Crossfire. For example, unless you have reference design cards, a SLI setup may not work from different vendors, so i'll be easier to find cards for CF setup than SLI if you buy the second card years later. Read this for more info - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

For transcoding, Intel Quick Sync gives very good results at a much faster rate than any other CPU or GPU solution. You don't need an i7 for transcoding unless you must have the x86 codepath since quicksync will be equivalent on either chip. Unless you need the best quality transcoding results I'd go with a i5-2500k.

Read this to get an idea of how fast quicksync is and how good the transcoding is. The only drawback is there isn't a lot of software support right now. I think there are approximately 10 software programs that use it. MediaEspresso and MediaConverter are the two cheapest strictly transcoding software programs available.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
Let's just say that after reading the above review, I decided that the i5 was the best chip for the money when it came to gaming and editing/trascoding home videos.

Sticking with an i7, you could do something like...

CPU: i7-2600k - $320
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ - $25 - sufficient for light overclocking
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 - $125 - SLI/CF, USB3.0, Z chipset, Sata III, and more than suitable for light overclocking
RAM: 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 1.5V - $45 or less depending on if you find some on sale since the prices change close to daily.
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R - $90
DVD: whatever - $20
SSD: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 120GB - $195
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB - $150

Before GPU(s) and PSU: $970

With $500 you have enough for a Radeon 6970 and a new PSU, or a GTX580. You can easily shave $200 off the above build by stepping down to a i5, and a 64GB SSD and have enough for 2x$300 graphic cards and a $100 PSU.


Thank you for the information and links. I was not aware that the BD chip will be using the rumored FM2 socket rather then the AM3+ which cause series concern for an upgrade path. After looking at the links and doing some more research (specifically on the Quick Sync) I am leaning toward an i7 with a Radeon card for future CF upgrades. Now the question I have is: Is there any significant stock performance gains rumored in Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge as it is a simple die shrink? If Ivy Bridge will have significant performance gains I will use an i5 for my current build then upgrade, if not then i will use the i7 and not upgrade the CPU. Still punching the numbers though.
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November 22, 2011 9:01:26 PM

It is a die shrink and I think there are a few minor changes. But it isn't an re-design, so I wouldn't expect much of an increased clock cycle efficiency. It will be lower power and/or higher stock clock speeds across the board. I think we'll see ~10% increase in stock performance, but it partly depends on how Intel clocks the chips.

However, I've heard they improved the integrated graphics significantly (4 more execution units for a supposed 60% increase in performance) which would directly affect quick sync performance.
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November 22, 2011 9:42:04 PM

With that budget there is no reason to look at any AMD CPU's
If hyperthreading is important then 2600K is your easy choice.
The old 650 may not power CF 570's but should be enough for
560 ti's in SLI

But at this moment
Motherboards
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3
ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0)
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA

Whatever you prefer all really good boards with cf/sli and decent overclockers


CPU 2600K

Cooler of your choice.
Mugen 3 1
Scythe SCMG-3000
Or a Cheap CM 212

MEMORY 16 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Whatever you want from this page.

GPU
NV GTX 570 or 580 I would look at a nice 570

SSD
120GB OCZ vertex 2

Mech Drive
A 1 or 2 TB drive for storage (bummer they now cost 2x as much)

The case is all preference.
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November 22, 2011 10:16:59 PM

venom4u said:
Although it does have admirable performance per price I am not interested because I need the i7's hyper-threading for transcoding or the FX-8150 which performs in between the two processors. Also, this decision is not just based on the CPU alone but the CPU/GPU configuration weighing all of the factors I have listed above. For more information; I have ~$800 to spend between CPU, GPU, & Mobo.
Uhh...the i5-2500K costs less than Bulldozer and outperforms in in transcoding by a landslide (look up Quicksync). It outperforms it in all other tasks (except for a select few heavily threaded rare apps): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bul...

Btw, what is your old 650W PSU? Depending on the brand, it may or may not be adequate.
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November 22, 2011 10:19:57 PM

spentshells said:
With that budget there is no reason to look at any AMD CPU's
If hyperthreading is important then 2600K is your easy choice.
The old 650 may not power CF 570's but should be enough for
560 ti's in SLI

But at this moment
Motherboards
ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3
ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0)
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA

Whatever you prefer all really good boards with cf/sli and decent overclockers...

He does transcoding. That means Z68 ONLY.
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November 22, 2011 10:21:36 PM

OP, do you have a Micro Center nearby? Can you provide us a list of all the parts you currently own? For the hard drive, you should get a 120GB SSD at your budget and buy an external HDD (then crack it open) for data: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3585146
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November 23, 2011 12:40:09 AM

dalauder said:
He does transcoding. That means Z68 ONLY.


How do you suppose to know that ? Maybe he has software he is already using. There are reasons to offer lots of choices. You are not savy to all the possibilities you only assume you are.

Ill suggest you help the OP by making better suggestions or perhaps confirm how he plans to transcode what applications he may be using perhaps he uses apps optimized for cuda ? Since you don't know maybe just focus on how you can help or ask a question in place of being a peanuthead. I offered choices and you presumed... who is being helpfull and who is not ? Yes it is a rehtorical question.
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November 23, 2011 12:42:00 AM

dalauder said:
Uhh...the i5-2500K costs less than Bulldozer and outperforms in in transcoding by a landslide (look up Quicksync). It outperforms it in all other tasks (except for a select few heavily threaded rare apps): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bul...

Btw, what is your old 650W PSU? Depending on the brand, it may or may not be adequate.


The old PSU is a Ultra X4 600W Modular. I thought it was a 650W but I cannot find a 650W version via google so I may have been mistaken. The current monitor is a Acer 20" LCD with 1680x1050 res. I plan on upgrading at a later date (probably with the CF update).

My current parts list:

- i7 2600K $319.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 $189.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- G.SKILL Sniper (2x4GB) $69.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Cooler Master HAF X $179.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- XIGMATEK Gaia 120mm $24.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Asus Blueray Drive $57.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- MSi Lightning R6970 $389.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- OCZ Agility 3 240GB $329.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1562.92
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November 23, 2011 12:46:02 AM

Or stream...
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November 23, 2011 2:29:30 AM

spentshells said:
How do you suppose to know that ? Maybe he has software he is already using. There are reasons to offer lots of choices. You are not savy to all the possibilities you only assume you are.

Ill suggest you help the OP by making better suggestions or perhaps confirm how he plans to transcode what applications he may be using perhaps he uses apps optimized for cuda ? Since you don't know maybe just focus on how you can help or ask a question in place of being a peanuthead. I offered choices and you presumed... who is being helpfull and who is not ? Yes it is a rehtorical question.
He plans to transcode and I intend to leave him the option of Quicksync down the line if he encounters it since Z68 doesn't cost more than P67. But you're right that I could use more tact. I don't think asking what programs the OP is relevant though since he may switch if he has a Quicksync capable CPU & mobo.
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November 23, 2011 2:57:25 AM

venom4u said:
The old PSU is a Ultra X4 600W Modular. I thought it was a 650W but I cannot find a 650W version via google so I may have been mistaken. The current monitor is a Acer 20" LCD with 1680x1050 res. I plan on upgrading at a later date (probably with the CF update).

My current parts list:

- i7 2600K $319.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 $189.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- G.SKILL Sniper (2x4GB) $69.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Cooler Master HAF X $179.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- XIGMATEK Gaia 120mm $24.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Asus Blueray Drive $57.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- MSi Lightning R6970 $389.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- OCZ Agility 3 240GB $329.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1562.92
That list looks pretty good. A few things...

CPU: I would attempt to get NCIX to price match Micro Center's i7-2600K price--maybe you can get it under $300.

RAM: I'd get some $40 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz CL9 stuff or this 16GB (4x4GB) kit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spentshells gave you a good page to choose from earlier.

Case: I'd spend less, but that case is solid. This Corsair Carbide is solid (but smaller) and $90 cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: I'd get a cheaper 6970...but I assume you have your reasons.

SSD: I'd get a 120GB Agility 3, but that's just me. The 240GB will be VERY nice.

Mobo: Is that better than the ASRock Extreme4 Z68?
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November 23, 2011 7:07:56 PM

I am still on the fence about the model of CPU, RAM, & SSD.

My thought process is that if the Ivy Bridge processor will have a performance boost worth while to upgrade then instead of going with an i7 2600K i could save money and go with an i5 2500K or maybe even a i5 2300. That being said if Ivy would be worth upgrading to then I want to buy memory that fully utilizes its memory controller's speed. So what would you guys recommend?

Also, I am considering going to the Agility 3 120GB SSD as was suggested although I have concerns of this possibly not being enough storage. I may just go with the 120GB then upgrade to two 120GB SSD in RAID 0 in the future :D 

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November 24, 2011 7:04:35 PM

I think only the 2500k and 2600k have HD3000 graphics. Most of the other chips have HD2000 graphics, and the pentium and celeron sandy bridge CPUs have just regular HD graphics.

If you intend to use Quick Sync for transcoding you're best off with HD3000 graphics.
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November 27, 2011 8:55:49 PM

venom4u said:
I am still on the fence about the model of CPU, RAM, & SSD.

My thought process is that if the Ivy Bridge processor will have a performance boost worth while to upgrade then instead of going with an i7 2600K i could save money and go with an i5 2500K or maybe even a i5 2300. That being said if Ivy would be worth upgrading to then I want to buy memory that fully utilizes its memory controller's speed. So what would you guys recommend?

Also, I am considering going to the Agility 3 120GB SSD as was suggested although I have concerns of this possibly not being enough storage. I may just go with the 120GB then upgrade to two 120GB SSD in RAID 0 in the future :D 
You lose Trim support when you use SSDs in RAID--that's what killed my SSD RAID 0 dream. You can always add a large magnetic hard drive when prices drop in six months or so. That, or buy one of the external HDDs that retailer's haven't realized contain internal HDDs. You can check slickdeals.net to see if people find then or walk into Best Buy/Staples/Office Depot and poke around.

I still say i5-2500K for the CPU. Over the weekend, 8GB (2x4GB) of DDR3 1600CL9 was $30. If it's that cheap, just buy it like that and completely replace it if a switch to Ivy Bridge justifies it. The "K" series is well worth it because you'll get a sizeable performance boost when you overclock.

EDIT: RAID Trim support is coming http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-RST-SSD-TRIM-RAI...
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November 28, 2011 12:28:56 PM

dalauder said:
You lose Trim support when you use SSDs in RAID--that's what killed my SSD RAID 0 dream. You can always add a large magnetic hard drive when prices drop in six months or so. That, or buy one of the external HDDs that retailer's haven't realized contain internal HDDs. You can check slickdeals.net to see if people find then or walk into Best Buy/Staples/Office Depot and poke around.

I still say i5-2500K for the CPU. Over the weekend, 8GB (2x4GB) of DDR3 1600CL9 was $30. If it's that cheap, just buy it like that and completely replace it if a switch to Ivy Bridge justifies it. The "K" series is well worth it because you'll get a sizeable performance boost when you overclock.

EDIT: RAID Trim support is coming http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Intel-RST-SSD-TRIM-RAI...


Thanks for the RAID info, I will def. consider that when upgrading. I went ahead and pulled the trigger due to newegg's black friday deals and here is the final config:
- G.SKILL Ripjaws X (2x4GB) 1600MHz
- LG Black Bluray Writer
- Cooler Master HAF X
- OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD
- XIGMATEK Gaia 120mm Heatsink & Fan
- i7 2600K
- MSi 6970 2GB
- Asus P8Z68-V PRO
- Two Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm fans for push pull on CPU heatsink (default fan is meh)
- Hauppauge WinTV TV Tuner
- Cooler Master 460W PSU

The last two items are for my current PC to keep it running and convert it to a home server/media center. I wanted to get an i5 2500K as it was on sale for $199.99 but they sold out before I could get it built on newegg's page so I went with the i7 which was $319.99 (normal price) but with a $20 newegg gift card. In total I saved/got:
- About $100 instant savings on the parts
- Total of $110 in mail-in rebates
- $20 newegg gift card
- Free Dirt 3 coupon
- Some blank Blueray disks

Total cost was $1454 with S/H so I think i fairly good on the build :D 

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November 28, 2011 9:55:52 PM

Intel is by far better. Good choice on the 2600K, though for a little more money, you could have gone for the 2700K.
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November 28, 2011 9:56:33 PM

I agree, get a diff psu
there is a antec 500 basiq for 23 or so today with free shipping
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November 29, 2011 12:14:48 AM

Eddie C said:
Intel is by far better. Good choice on the 2600K, though for a little more money, you could have gone for the 2700K.
How's the 2700K better than the 2600K?
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November 29, 2011 12:33:05 AM

it costs more !
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November 30, 2011 4:07:22 PM

Best answer selected by venom4u.
n
nSelection based on who I felt was most helpful :) 
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