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New build, need input

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December 28, 2011 10:44:14 PM

More about : build input

December 29, 2011 1:55:56 AM

Do you intend to overclock the i5-2500K beyond 4.4GHz? If not then you can get a cheaper motherboard without losing performance because expensive motherboards are generally for huge overclocks.

Also, fast RAM like that doesn't increase performance by much. In gaming it only increases the minimum frame rates, not the maximumrates so it might increase the smoothness slightly but nothing more. Since it is only $40-45 more than the cheaper RAM I won't say it is a bad investment (you found a decent price) but don't expect huge gains over RAM running at 1600MHz that is half the price.

The only other problem I see is the case. Okay it isn't a problem case but I would never spend $270 on a case, I would rather save 80% of that money and buy a cheaper case.

Either keep the money for something else or get better components with it, like an SSD that will significantly increase performance in most situations. Once again it won't increase anything but minimum frame rates in the games but like the faster RAM it can and will help non-gaming aspects of the computer, especially anything storage bound like Windows boot time and the paging file and program launch time.

The best minimum frame rate improvements will be made in games that often load lots of data from the installation folder to the memory or video card during game play.


Everything you chose should be compatible but like I said you might want to make a few minor and not so minor changes.
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December 29, 2011 2:06:59 AM

I'd drop the RAM speed and maybe get a case even cheaper than the 932. Choose by stylistic preference: go for the 932 if you really like its look, but otherwise just trawl Newegg and see what catches your eye. Almost all cases over $60, and many under as well, will perform perfectly well. Just check here to see if it'll work out.
I support the addition of an SSD.
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December 29, 2011 2:40:25 AM

To be honest I spent $27 on my ATX case and the only problem is a poorly placed bolt makes addition/removal of cards in the primary PCIe x16 slot a little more difficult, nothing horrible. It had four 3.5" bays (one of which is open to outside the case), 1 dual 2.5"/3.5" bay, and four 5.25" bays so plenty of storage room. It even came with a 480w PSU in addition to a(n expected but none the less appreciated) 92mm blue LED rear exhaust fan.

All I had to do to make it great was replace the 92mm LED rear exhaust fan it came with with a 120mm fan I had from my previous machine and I was set. I have since been given an E-ATX case for free from a friend and switched over just because it was free and looked better but I would have been just fine with that cheap case I bought.

The RAM will definitely help and your budget is high enough to get it but you might be able to get a 1600MHz low voltage kit or a 1866MHz kit to overclock to 2133MHz for a lot less money.
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December 29, 2011 3:04:28 AM

Already have the case, thanks though... not quite sure where you're getting 270$ from. good buddy of mine has it and said it was pretty good.

As for an SSD.. whats a good one? I'm completely noob when it comes to SSDs.. I know nothing about them other than you install windows on them so it boots faster. If its something I can order down the road I'll probably do that.

I forgot to mention I am applying a 250$ newegg gift card to my order, so it won't be as expensive as it looks.

As for Overclocking? Yeah probably.. higher than 4.5? Probably not.

My budget is pretty beefy.. I'm not exactly looking to cut corners when its like 30$. But by all means link me stuff if you think its better!! :D 

Maybe this SSD?

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Guessing 60GB is gonna be too small though
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December 29, 2011 3:54:24 AM

Ah, sorry about the case cost mix-up I got it confused with a different forum thread? I have about 40 forum threads open and mixed this one up with the next one there :( 

Either way I wouldn't spend that much on a case anyway but that's me. I wanted to spend next to nothing so I went and found a $45 case and then got a used one from Amazon for $27 and it doesn't make my computer any slower than using $150 or $300 cases.

As for the SSDs, I have heard good things about the Crucial M4 and Samsung 830. Intel's latest lineup is reported to be among the most reliable drives out there but I don't remember it's name. Yeah 60GB is a little small, try something above 64GB but not much more than 128GB. Keep in mind that good SSDs tend to have a very roughly $2 per gigabyte cost so a 128GB drive may cost between $220 and $280 price tag, I don't know if you want to spend that much.
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December 29, 2011 4:00:57 AM

blazorthon said:
Ah, sorry about the case cost mix-up I got it confused with a different forum thread? I have about 40 forum threads open and mixed this one up with the next one there :( 

Either way I wouldn't spend that much on a case anyway but that's me. I wanted to spend next to nothing so I went and found a $45 case and then got a used one from Amazon for $27 and it doesn't make my computer any slower than using $150 or $300 cases.

As for the SSDs, I have heard good things about the Crucial M4 and Samsung 830. Intel's latest lineup is reported to be among the most reliable drives out there but I don't remember it's name. Yeah 60GB is a little small, try something above 64GB but not much more than 128GB. Keep in mind that good SSDs tend to have a very roughly $2 per gigabyte cost so a 128GB drive may cost between $220 and $280 price tag, I don't know if you want to spend that much.



Hrm, there doesn't seem to be an inbetween on 64 and 128 GB

200 for an ssd seems a bit steep to me

I could switch out the seagate 1tb for a 500gb and save some money there.
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December 29, 2011 4:47:42 AM

There are 80GB, 90GB 96GB 100GB, 110GB, 115GB, and 120GB between 64GB and 128GB.

SSD capacities don't need to double like RAM does.
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December 29, 2011 5:05:45 AM

this is a good setup, and if you have a beefy budget then get the SSD. for a gaming machine, all it will do is speed up boot time and the time it takes to launch games.

HOWEVER, since you have a beefy budget i don't know why you would do crossfire 6870s. to me, xfire/SLI is only a good option if you want to get a GPU performance boost but don't have the money for a new GPU. i would reccomend the 6970, since it's one of the two most powerful single-gpu cards available. i haven't seen any benchmarks comparing it to two 6870s, so if the performance for the xfire 6870s is more than 10 FPS greater than the 6970, i guess it might be worth it.
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December 29, 2011 5:27:48 AM

paradoxeternal said:
this is a good setup, and if you have a beefy budget then get the SSD. for a gaming machine, all it will do is speed up boot time and the time it takes to launch games.

HOWEVER, since you have a beefy budget i don't know why you would do crossfire 6870s. to me, xfire/SLI is only a good option if you want to get a GPU performance boost but don't have the money for a new GPU. i would reccomend the 6970, since it's one of the two most powerful single-gpu cards available. i haven't seen any benchmarks comparing it to two 6870s, so if the performance for the xfire 6870s is more than 10 FPS greater than the 6970, i guess it might be worth it.


Two 6870s would be similar in price to the 6970 but beat even the GTX 580 in performance, meaning much better than a 6970.

The 6970 may be the second most powerful GPU but it is exceptionally far from the GTX 580 GPU. The GTX 580 is around 60% of a GTX 590 and Radeon 6990, which are both about twice as fast as the 6970 so it is way faster than the 6970. Also way more expensive (you can get two 6950s that hammer the GTX 580 for similar prices).
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December 29, 2011 5:46:47 AM

blazorthon said:
Two 6870s would be similar in price to the 6970 but beat even the GTX 580 in performance, meaning much better than a 6970.

The 6970 may be the second most powerful GPU but it is exceptionally far from the GTX 580 GPU. The GTX 580 is around 60% of a GTX 590 and Radeon 6990, which are both about twice as fast as the 6970 so it is way faster than the 6970. Also way more expensive (you can get two 6950s that hammer the GTX 580 for similar prices).


http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=305

in game FPS, the GTX 580 beats the 6970 in only a few games, and almost never by more than 10 FPS. the rest of the games are practically a tie or go to the 6970 so since the GTX 580 doesn't get 30 FPS more in most games it isn't "exceptionally far" ahead of the 6970. and considering that the 2GB version of the 6970 is cheaper than the 1.5 GB version of the GTX 580 (and uses MUCH less power, reducing the price for a heftier PSU), i would say that the 6970 is the better option for a fast single-GPU.

as for xfire 6870s, they are definitely more powerful than either 6970 or gtx 580. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=301
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December 29, 2011 5:49:21 AM

also, unless you're doing EXTREME overclocking, you should spend no more than $200 on a mobo. $150 to $200 is a good spot. also, OCing past 4.0 ghz doesn't yield much greater performance; i've heard the most needed for gaming is 4 ghz.
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December 29, 2011 5:55:06 AM

The only reason the GTX has less RAM is because putting more would have meant changing the memory controller to the weaker 256 bit one that the Radeon 6000 series has or increasing to 3GB like some GTX 580s did. I have to question the CPU(s) used on that review because I do think the GTX 580 is much better than the Radeon 6970 and so does tomshardware.com and everywhere else I have seen.

The only time I have seen the GTX 580 lose to the Radeon 6970 is in games that are bottlenecked by the CPU being used for the test and that game prefers AMD over Nvidia. Otherwise the GTX 580 is so far ahead of the 6970 in everything else I have seen in every other benchmark.
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December 29, 2011 6:01:39 AM

paradoxeternal said:
also, unless you're doing EXTREME overclocking, you should spend no more than $200 on a mobo. $150 to $200 is a good spot. also, OCing past 4.0 ghz doesn't yield much greater performance; i've heard the most needed for gaming is 4 ghz.


That depends entirely on what game you are playing. Some need more CPU horsepower, some couldn't care less about CPU horsepower.

BF3, for example, is very CPU intensive. However, for most games yes 4-4.5GHz offers the pinnacle of performance and going further up will not help much.

I would not spend more than $140 on a Sandy bridge motherboard that isn't taking extreme overclocking. Extreme being over 4.4GHz since it costs about the same as getting 4.0GHz.
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December 29, 2011 11:52:24 AM

Thanks for the help so far, I think I can fit an SSD into the budget.

The reason I am crossfiring 6870s instead of buying a 6970 is because I already own 1 6870. I figured I'd add another and crossfire, save a few bucks. Not to mention I've been extremely pleased with its performance on my old current computer. Haven't really been a fan of nVidia cards for a while now.. the power consumption and the price compared to ATi cards is getting silly. 7000 series should pwn the Keplers

UNLESS my friend wants to purchase my current computer, if he does that then I would get a 6970.

But uhh yeah, back to SSDs... which one do I get?


You guys make it sound like you can install games to the SSD too so.. I'm guessing I would be installing Windows 7 and SWTOR.. thats pretty close to 60GB between the 2 of them alone.

Someone was telling me analysts expect a price dive on SSDs in Q2 2012? Can anyone confirm that? I'll just wait on the SSD if this is the case. Why buy it for 200 now if its gonna drop in a few months.
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December 29, 2011 1:25:05 PM

Crucial M4 SSDs have been reported as great lately. Also there is the Samsung 830s and I've heard their okay.
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December 29, 2011 1:47:07 PM

blazorthon said:
Crucial M4 SSDs have been reported as great lately. Also there is the Samsung 830s and I've heard their okay.



Think ill hold off on the ssd for now and just got with my 1 6870 instead of adding another

both items are something I can add later down the road if I wanted to, especially if people are expecting ssd prices to drop

can I get by with the 64mb crucial SSD? i dont see putting more than windows 7 and a game or 2 on it

if i knew more about them i probably wouldnt be so hesistant to buy one
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December 29, 2011 2:01:26 PM

It's your machine, your choice with what to do but an SSD will improve windows boot time hugely and the same to program launch speeds and also anything that is storage heavy.

Well priced SSDs tend to cost (roughly) about $2 per gigabyte right now. How much capacity you get depends entirely on how much you are willing to pay. Increased capacities tends to increase performance too. I think something of 80GB 90GB, or 96GB would be where you should be looking if you get one. That would allow windows and several games with a little room to spare for other small stuff and updates to the games and windows.

You can install whatever you want on an SSD, it is used as a hard drive with incredible performance.
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December 29, 2011 2:24:49 PM

blazorthon said:
It's your machine, your choice with what to do but an SSD will improve windows boot time hugely and the same to program launch speeds and also anything that is storage heavy.

Well priced SSDs tend to cost (roughly) about $2 per gigabyte right now. How much capacity you get depends entirely on how much you are willing to pay. Increased capacities tends to increase performance too. I think something of 80GB 90GB, or 96GB would be where you should be looking if you get one. That would allow windows and several games with a little room to spare for other small stuff and updates to the games and windows.

You can install whatever you want on an SSD, it is used as a hard drive with incredible performance.


Do I need an adapter for the SSD to fit? being that they are 2.5 and bays in the case are 3.5?

I won't need that HDD either I guess if I get an SSD.. so what would be a cheaper HDD to get in its place?

Also I switched out the ram for this now

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...

so with these and a 500gb western digital caviar black for 108 on amazon my total would be less than before WITH an ssd

so I think I'm good to go now?? lol
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December 29, 2011 4:36:37 PM

about your decision to go with your single 6870, if you have the money i wouldn't. when i bought my 6870 i thought it would be enough, but i regret not getting a 6970. i probably can't fit another 6870 in my case and/or my PSU couldn't handle it, so i won't go that route. so in my opinion you might regret just sticking with a single 6870.

as for the SSD, i haven't heard of that prediction. but if it comes from any type of reliable source, hold off until the mid-summer and if they haven't dropped by then you should spring for one.
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December 29, 2011 4:56:03 PM

Here is a very fast 90GB drive that only costs $119.99 including the rebate and has free shipping:

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

OCO Verterx 3 VTX3-25SAT3-90G
SATA 6Gb/s drive, it will be FAST. Forget what I said about $2 per gigabyte there seems to be much cheaper drives that don't sacrifice performance.

I also kinda agree with the above statement about a single 6870 not being enough... It will be better to get a 6970 or even better to get dual 6870s. Dual 6870s would be faster than a single Nvidia GTX 580, the fastest single GPU card in the market right now.

Dual 6870s would also cost a LOT less than a GTX 580 even though they are faster.
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December 29, 2011 9:55:28 PM

sorry for the confusion, this is the build I ended up going with.

Note that my friend is buying my current computer (6870 included)

So I'll be buying a 6970 for my computer.

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...

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...

And 500GB WD Caviar Black

Gonna buy this soon

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

I ended up spending a little more money but thats because my friends buying this computer off me.

Thanks for the input guys.

I guess I'll be running with 1 card on this setup because 2 6970s requires more than 850 watts :o 
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December 29, 2011 10:43:45 PM

Two 6870s fit within a 850 watts but two 6950s might need 1000 watts.
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December 30, 2011 1:56:37 AM

The video card situation is up in the air until my friend buys my computer, he may buy it with the video card, he may buy it without.

If he buys it with, i'll get a 6970

If he doesn't, I'll add another 6870.

Everything shipped today, I live an hour away from my Newegg warehouse so hopefully I get it tomorrow, parts from Amazon are gaurenteed tomorrow delivery.

The more and more I read about crossfire though, makes me want to go with a single GPU solution.

So.. let me ask this

HD 6970

or

GTX 570 ?

Judging by some quick reading it seems like its more of a who do you like ..
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December 30, 2011 2:04:40 PM

Just keep in mind that two 6870s are much faster than a 6970 and about the same price. The Radeon 6870 has very high performance for its cost.
I think the GTX 570 is similar to the 6970 in performance but a is little faster than the 6970.

I'm not biased towards AMD I just look where there is more performance for the same or cheaper price and in video cards that tends to be AMD. When it comes to CPUs AMD has fallen out of line with that and I now recommend Intel CPUs to anyone whom wants a gaming computer or otherwise high-performance computer.

I don't recommend AMD video cards for GPGPU situations because Nvidia's CUDA acceleration is way better than AMD cards can offer right now but that seems to be changing with the Radeon 7000 series. Even if the Radeons don't beat the GTX cards the gap between the two looks like it was closed significantly with AMD's new micro-architecture.

EDIT: I also think waiting for the Radeon 7000 series to come out is a good idea. Even if it isn't better in some way it will undoubtedly force the current generation cards further down in price.
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December 30, 2011 2:31:55 PM

blazorthon said:

EDIT: I also think waiting for the Radeon 7000 series to come out is a good idea. Even if it isn't better in some way it will undoubtedly force the current generation cards further down in price.



Yes. This is the conclusion I have come to as well. I cannot justify the 340$ price tag on either the 6970 or the 570 GTX when the 7000 Series is rolling out over the next month.

I'll stick with my single 6870 until the 7000 series comes out.

If my friend needs my card well then I guess I'll just have to be computerless until the 7000 series comes out? lol

Both my orders from newegg and amazon shipped yesterday and are due to arrive today so I should be able to setup tonight.

Interesting though, I just stumbled on this article about the 7950 not releasing January 9th

http://www.fudzilla.com/graphics/item/25380-amd-hd-7950...

Quote:
In case the HD 7970 has a too steep price for your taste and you were looking forward to the Tahiti Pro HD 7950, we are afraid that we have some bad news as, according to our sources, there is simply no way that this one will be available on January 9th.

The scheduled launch date set at January 9th still stands, according to some major players in the AIB business, but they won't have the card ready by the 9th of January. We guess that we might see a couple of reviews on that date, but these cards will probably come directly from AMD. Unfortunately, there are no precise details regarding the delay and partners simply have no explanation. It seems the HD 7950 might show up somewhere around the Chinese New Year, or February.

Of course, the Tahiti XT HD 7970 should start selling on January 9th, but for now the cheaper HD 7950 won't.


If there was a 7000 series card to pick, I'd pick the 7850 @ 249$

The power consumption on these 7000 series is mind blowingly low. 90 watts @ 7850 vs 250 @ the 6970
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December 30, 2011 9:11:21 PM

Supposedly Nvidia also made huge improvements in power consumption, or more accurately performance per watt.

I think the 7950 will not be released until after the 7970 and that it will have both a 3GB and a 1.5GB version. The 7950 will probably be similar to the GTX 580 in performance so don't expect it to be cheap. It will likely cost more than the 6970, if the performance is where I expect it to be it's price range will probably be somewhere between $350 and $425 for the 1.5GB and $375 to $450 for the 3GB version.

I don't know if the cards besides the 7900 series will be coming out with the 7950 but I suspect that they will come even later.
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January 12, 2012 2:29:21 PM

The 7970 is out, going for between $500 and $600 on newegg.com last I checked. It is in the same price range as the 3GB GTX 580 cards but averages 15-25% faster. Benchmarks are probably out to prove/disprove this so you can Google some but I haven't done searched yet.

Here's a link to newegg's cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

The 7950 and all other cards don't seem to be out yet but some more cards should follow within a month.

The 7770 (not out yet of course) is almost as fast as the 6850 so I assume the 7850 mentioned above will be in the 6900 speed range, probably inching up to the 6950.
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