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Feedback to my Mid-Budget Gaming Setup....

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December 21, 2011 7:19:54 PM

Hi all,

I am hoping I can recieve some feedback for my first ever gaming rig. Running at a resolution of 1600x900. Mostly with playing Batman arkham city and Battlefield 3 in mind at high.

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor
Official Intel Socket 1155 Cooler
Asus GeForce GTX 560 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
8GB Exceleram Rippler Sandybridge-Series (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz - ERS303A
1TB Samsung HD103SJ SpinPoint F3 SATA-II 3.5" Hard Drive
Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard
550W XFX Core Edition Power Supply
Coolermaster Elite 430 Midi Tower Chassis
LG 22x DVD-RW SATA Black Optical ReWriter Drive

I got the asus gtx 560 really cheap off a local (£90) so I settled for that instead of the more expensive gtx 560Ti which I admit is better. The 560 itself is still a good card.

Feel free to criticise, hopefully I can do better next time around!

Max


a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2011 12:03:57 PM

It all looks good. I don't know much about Exceleram so I would have probably gone with something else, but that's about all I would change. I would also have recommended a 560ti like you mentioned but at 1600x900 the 560 should do fine.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2011 1:08:47 PM

Nothing really stands out as worthy of being commented on.

I also haven't heard of that RAM, but if it works then it works.

It looks to be a regular solid build with no serious flaws.

None of those parts really strike me as being a waste of money or anything.

You could have gotten a micro board for half the cost as that one that would support all those parts perfectly fine as well, but then you don't leave yourself any 2x video card potential later if you want to go that route.

You also wouldn't have the potential for 16 GBs of RAM with a micro board, but that is pretty excessive for today's standards in most applications. If you did happen to need another 8 later you wouldn't be able to get it with a micro board.

Anyway, I would have gotten a micro board if I was sure that 8 GB RAM and 1x video card was all I was ever going to use (for me it is and I do have a micro board).

If you wanted to 2x video cards later you probably should have considered a larger PSU up front, like an xfx 750 or something instead.

Other than that I don't see anything noteworthy.
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December 22, 2011 1:12:02 PM

You could have gotten a slightly better cooler for around £20...
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2011 1:52:23 PM

I agree with the points that Raddinn made but for thread continuity I want to clear up some facts.

When he says that a micro board won't support 16GB of RAM I assume you mean that they only have 2 DIMM slots but there are plenty of micro ATX boards with 4 DIMM memory. Some only have two DIMM slots but I would go as far as to say most boards have 4 slots. Also it is definitely true that most micro ATX boards only have one PCIe x16 slot but there does exist one that has two (maximus IV gene-z) although it would be more expensive that the original Gigabyte board.

Also there are some applications for over 8GB of RAM. Larger and more professional encoding programs use over 8GB of RAM and I have written programs of my own that surpass 8GB. I certainly agree that most every enthusiast should start with 8GB of RAM but for enthusiasts it doesn't seem advisable for anyone to put themselves in a position where they can't add another 8GB in a year or two because by then we could have games that surpass of 8GB RAM.

As Raddinn says, the power supply won't support SLI. However that's not because it doesn't supply enough power. The GTX 560 is rated at a peak power of 12.5A meaning two would take 25A. The 550W XFX Core Edition supplies 44A to the +12V rail which is plenty. However, each 560 needs two 6-pin connection and the particular XFX model only has two 6-pin connectors meaning it it doesn't have the connections for two 560's in SLI.
December 22, 2011 3:24:16 PM

Thanks for the reply guys.

For the RAM i researched extensively e.g. http://www.eteknix.com/reviews/memory/exceleram-ddr3-pc...

I'm happy with it, if it turns out bad I'll grab some corsair.

I don't see myself going for a SLI setup in the near future so I am not too concerned about this.

I will be getting a 21.5 inch monitor with a native 1920 x 1080 resolution, but I will be lowering it down to 1600 x 900 within the game for better performance if required. Would this be fine? Would it be better for a monitor with native 1600 resolution at a lower price?
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2011 5:57:56 PM

There are two ways to go about this exercise.

One is to buy more expensive parts now and leave yourself the potential to upgrade stuff later if you would like to.

The other is to consider the current build to be essentially final and to cut corners when it doesn't impact performance and use the excess resources to get the maximum long term performance.

It really depends on how the OP sees this going which one is preferable.

My response assumed the build was final, but the assumption may be invalid.

In any event, the graphics card has 2x 6 pin connectors which puts their max draw at 225w. That is in hardware. OCing the cards and torture testing them can bring them to that level and no more. Combined with a 125w CPU that is potentially 575w without anything else pulling any power.

It is pretty convenient that a 550w PSU has support for only 1 card because it would overload the PSU easily with pretty much any 2 current gen cards with even minimal OCing.

PSUs tend to have cables for what they are designed to handle and this one clearly isn't designed for 2x video cards.

If the RAM is researched I guess it is fine then.

If you intend to only play games at 1600 x 900 and you don't intend to do much other than gaming with the PC then I see no reason not to go with a 1600 x 900 native monitor.
December 22, 2011 7:00:25 PM


That was a very helpful response. I can pretty much confirm that I won't be going for a 2xvideo card setup in the future as I would had considered atleast a 650w + power supply. A single gpu card setup would suffice. I am happy with the build as it is, especially with the CPU. The is a system that I intend on using in the long term for both gaming and work purposes.


The power supply unit I have extensively researched to be a very solid unit, even better then some so called '600 - 650w units' especially in amerage. I believe people have run the 560ti with this psu and done some OC'ing. The max load for the system is about 350w so I believe I can do some OC'ing of the gtx card if I wanted to (I won't bother).


Regarding the monitor setup, I have found a well priced native 1920 x 1080 monitor. If I were to purchase this monitor and play at 1600 x 900, what difference in terms of performance would it have if I were to play the same game but in a native 1600 x 900 monitor setup? I am just thinking here as the 1920 x 1080 in the future will become more common and it may become a wasted purchase if I get the 1600 display.







December 22, 2011 7:18:16 PM

The only choice that stands out as odd to me is the Z68 board. If your're not going to use an SSD cache or the GPU switching you could have saved a couple of bucks by going with the slightly older P67 variant. Other than that it looks like a decent budget conscious build.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2011 7:48:57 PM

The future is definitely moving in the direction of standardizing 1920 x 1080. Moving along with the standard isn't a horrible idea.

That being said, there is no good reason I know of that you wouldn't be just fine with 1600 x 900.

You should be able to set the display to that size for any game, but it is conceivable that at some point in the future games would stop supporting it entirely.

If you are worried about that eventuality, just buy the 1920 x 1080.

I wouldn't worry too much about this if it were me, indeed my monitor is an old DELL 1907FP 19" that probably can't even display that and I haven't had any problems yet.
December 22, 2011 8:10:55 PM

Thanks for the responses guys, this thread has been brill.

I am fairly confident of the system being able to play at 1920 x 1080 with decent fps, but there would be times where perhaps to get the most out of highly demanding games, especially forthcoming games that I would need to drop to a lower resolution if its struggling. I am also thinking about other activities such as watching movies etc which would look more crisperand better on the 1920 1080 monitor.

I was just concerned about when playing games on the 1920 x 1080 whether the in game settings would screw up (e.g. look pixelated) when playing at the lower resolution as its not the the native recommended res, e.g. to 1600 x 900 or even the 1280 x 720. I suppose I'll take the plunge and go for the 1920 res.
!