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New build looming, need some help

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March 13, 2012 2:15:43 PM

I've reached a point where I am going to upgrade in the near future and need some advice. I have a 4 year old box that I built that was built for gaming and it was fine at the time but I am now experiencing the pains of old age so it's upgrade time! I have been looking around and the choices now are dizzying to the point it makes my head spin so I thought I would seek out the advice of those who are more informed with the latest rather than continue to pore through page after page of reviews and end up with a migraine at the end of the day.

My current build has an AMD Black Edition Phenom 3-core on an ASUS mobo w/8GB of OCZ ram and 8800 GTS cards which has served me well.. till I decided to try and use my 3 24" monitors and span. Not good.

For the next build I again want to stick primarily to gaming, not go over the top but allow me to play across all three if that is what I choose while maintaining good FPS on the higher settings so I can enjoy the scenery so to speak. What I have gathered is the Intel processors are the way to go. I think an i7 may be too much and tread into the overkill category. There are a number of i5's but that is where the variety is confusing. I would like a solid overclocker, but I do not need to melt my CPU in the process of going to X speed. The motherboards selections are beyond confusing with so many different possibilities. I definitely want to have enough room to upgrade at least once, ample memory, USB and SATA as well and not making my mind up on the platform of the video card(s) I think one of the mobos that would allow me the flexibility to go ATI or Nvidia is the best option. Right now it looks like ATI simply because the Eyefinity is more polished than Nvidia's 3D surround. Again I am looking for suggestions and it would be much appreciated. I would prefer to spend more on a board that has everything and go easy on the CPU vs. a budget board and a ridiculous CPU.

I don't have a dollar value for this, I'd just like to keep it within a range where I don't have to sell my kidney on the black market to pay for this. ;) 

TIA

More about : build looming

March 13, 2012 2:59:35 PM

Nice, thanks!
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March 13, 2012 4:05:30 PM

OK you must have some budget range in mind, please give us a figure to work towards I.E. $1000 or $2000 ? etc etc

Also any bits to carry over, OS, Case , HDDs, PSU ?
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March 13, 2012 6:30:58 PM

Honestly I do not have a fixed number. Do not get me wrong, I would prefer not spending something horriffic on any one or all components but I do not want to also limit myself especially when I can spread this out over a few months if it means I have the right components as well.

Essentially I am trying to figure out the right CPU / motherboard combo taking into account I am still not sold on either ATI or Nvidia for the eventual video card(s). I think the fact that I would like a mobo that allows me to run the Crossfire or SLi options. Keep in mind what prompted this is that on a whim I tried to span BF3 across my 3 - 24" monitors at 1900 x XXXX resolution and I was getting a whopping 12 fps and it looked awful as you can imagine. Ideally the next build I can do this without feeling like I was in retro playing Space Invaders.

So motherboard, CPU, heatsink/fan, memory.. if I get the multi-use mobo I can always keep my 8800 GTS cards until I have the video situation thoroughly sorted out. The rest is just bits and pieces I can pick up along the way. I have a rather hefty PSU due to the 8800's that will be repurposed and other components as well. I am looking for the guts.

Right now it looks like either the i5 2400 or 2500 since the upper level gaming is left in the Intel camp, at least what I am reading leads me to believe that. The motherboard though is what is really mind numbing. I guess on that subject it would need ample USB & SATA, memory 4 slots bare minimum but I have not seen any of the better boards with less than that.

Thanks!
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March 13, 2012 7:14:35 PM

Wait until the i5 ivy bridge is released in about 7 or 8 weeks before you buy a cpu or a mobo as the mobo will need to be compatible with ivy bridge as mobo’s currently are not compatible, i don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to get a good i5 ivy bridge bundle (cpu, mobo and ram) and save a bit of cash and again with the graphics card wait until NVidia Kepler is released before you buy, i have a feeling that they are going to destroy the amd 7000 series. Although I am a amd fan im going to wait.
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March 13, 2012 8:01:30 PM

OK all current Z68 motherboards are available and are compatible with the ivy bridge cpus.

i52400 and 2500 are not overclockable so you will need a K version chip.

If i was you if i could not wait heres what i would get

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Oh and this GPU as its eyefinity beats nvidias hands down

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 13, 2012 10:26:27 PM

Thanks for that. I was swinging towards the 2500, did not know about the K version but good info. I have seen a couple of references to the Ivy bridge CPU's but with them being brand new I am sure Intel will 'break it off' in people putting a premium price tag on them and it boils down to simple numbers. Is the cost benefit of CPU that is may be significantly priced worth it? Granted if the performance is nuts compared to the others then you have to take a serious look but it is going to be a stunner.

I think the suggestions are great, on that same token I think I can drop down more money on the motherboard and still be comfortable. If we hit over $250 I would start to consider if it is really that much more worth it. I was looking at that board though you linked.

The memory is priced really good, here I was thinking it was going to hurt buying memory but that really surprised me.

Thank you again for the suggestions!
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