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Two $2500 builds, which would you choose?

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December 30, 2011 3:22:19 PM

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

This is a 6950x3 trifire Eyefinity build with 3x Dell 2412. It's Z68(nf200)/2500k with a 20GB Intel SLC ssd for SRT. There's no doubt in my mind that this is the better performer of the two from a gaming standpoint, but it's also a build that is pretty much capped from an upgrade standpoint and the storage subsystem is serviceable at best.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

This is a X79 3820 (960 placeholder) with a single 7950 (580 placeholder) build. This build features 4x 60GB Vertex 3 SSDs that will be in RAID0. It also sports 32GB ram so I can setup a 20GB Superspeed Supercache buffer. I have no illusions that the single 7950 will come close to 3x6950, and giving up the Eyefinity 3600x1920 configuration in lieu of a single 1920x1200 2412 is a tough pill. With that being said this is a build that can be upgraded at a later point to support Eyefinity by adding a 2nd 7950 and 2x more monitors while still offering scorching performance from the SSDs.

I look back at 775 vs 1366 and it's obvious now that it was worthwhile to go the X58 route. There are still plenty of 920 rigs out there today that are still going strong 4 years into their lifecycle. Not so much for the Q6600 builds.

I could do a hybrid of both and probably get a X79 2x7950 3x2412 setup and still stay under my $2500 budget, but I'd also be sacrificing quality elsewhere. I don't like this route at all.

I understand about TRIM, and I'm fine with Garbage Collection. My current rig still runs strong with SSDs in RAID0.

Either system is going to push the latest games at 60+ fps. One will do it with 3x monitors today, the other will do it with a single monitor but with silky smooth performance everywhere else, while being easily upgraded down the road.

More about : 2500 builds choose

December 31, 2011 12:47:27 AM

I would take the first:
the ultrasharp monitors a great monitors. but their response times are very slow. I would wait untill the 7970's come out on Jan 9 and crossfire those. the psu should be fine. i think an 850w one should run it though.

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

with the money saved get a 120gb or 128gb ssd.

other than that it looks good
December 31, 2011 2:36:58 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
I would take the first:
the ultrasharp monitors a great monitors. but their response times are very slow. I would wait untill the 7970's come out on Jan 9 and crossfire those. the psu should be fine. i think an 850w one should run it though.

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

with the money saved get a 120gb or 128gb ssd.

other than that it looks good


The problem is the HP is a TN screen and in Portrait mode the viewing angles create major issues on the outside screens (far right more than left for some reason.) Even viewing them directly with slight inward angles this effect is obvious.

While the response times are slow compared to a TN screen, the input lag of 2412m actually outperforms other 24" comparable TN screens.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/s242hl-bid-u2412m-t...

I'm currently using 3x 22" IPS 2209wa, it's a reported 6ms response time vs the 2412m reported 8ms. I'm far from a competitive FPS gamer where that kind of difference might bother me.

I've definitely considered the 7970. The problem is the only way to budget a crossfire setup would be to do it on 1155. This also means losing pci-e 3.0 which at typical resolutions might not be a problem at all, at eyefinity resolutions could very well.. That and until I have definitive evidence that microstuttering has been resolved with the 7xxx series, I'm going to avoid 2x crossfire at all costs.

I greatly appreciate your input though, and count One for Eyefinity, Zero for X79.
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December 31, 2011 2:58:13 PM

do the 1155 with nf2000 not support 2 pcie 3.0 cards? in the tomshardware microstuttering article it said that in cards more or as powerful as the 560 ti or 6950 when put in sli/crossfire the microstuttering is so minimal it is almost unnoticeable. so i would not worry about microstuttering with a gpu as powerful as the 7970

will any of these monitors suit?: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , http://www.amazon.com/Viewsonic-VP2365-LED-23-Inch-Moni... , http://www.amazon.com/ViewSonic-VP2365WB-23-Inch-IPS-Mo...

you know that the 960 wont be a good placeholder right? it is not the same socket as sandy bridge-e and it will not work in that motherboard. here are some that will work but they may come with some sticker shock- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 31, 2011 3:07:22 PM

also i just checked out the specks for the extreme 7- dual at PCIE 2.0 x16 (PCIE1) / PCIE 2.0 x16 (PCIE4) you can get them both to run at x16 which seems to be enough considering how powerful it is (no need for pcie 3.0). but notice it is pice1 and pcie4 which means you would need a very long crossfire bridge.
December 31, 2011 3:34:46 PM

mjmjpfaff said:
do the 1155 with nf2000 not support 2 pcie 3.0 cards? in the tomshardware microstuttering article it said that in cards more or as powerful as the 560 ti or 6950 when put in sli/crossfire the microstuttering is so minimal it is almost unnoticeable. so i would not worry about microstuttering with a gpu as powerful as the 7970

To be honest I don't know. If they use the cheap switches like Gigabyte did on their boards than no. Either way I wouldn't make the jump to IB as I tend to not make incremental upgrades. So pci-e 3.0 would be lost either way. I think the issue with microstuttering is more about your fps than the cards. The 580 SLI and 6970 crossfire (6990 and 590 too) do microstutter, it's just that their FPS are typically well above 60 in most situations so it's not noticeable. In 3600x1920 that's not going to be the case. There is a crossfire review of the 7970 out there, and from the graphs it would appear that microstuttering has been eliminated. Typically microstutter has a very unique signature of high to low fps spikes. This wasn't the case with the 7970 crossfire, but no mention was made one way or the other. It's just going to take more time and more reviews of these cards in crossfire to determine one way or the other, but initially it looks good.


They are all 1920x1080 screens. See the difference for yourself:




The top image is using 1920x1080 TN screens. Notice how narrow they look, how pronounced the bezels are compared to the lower image which are 1920x1200 IPS. You can also really see how the TNs limited viewing angles are causing really bad imaging in portrait.

Quote:

you know that the 960 wont be a good placeholder right? it is not the same socket as sandy bridge-e and it will not work in that motherboard. here are some that will work but they may come with some sticker shock- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 960 is used because it's 289.99 the same price as the 3820 when it ships. It lets me put something in there that accurately reflects the end budget.

Quote:
also i just checked out the specks for the extreme 7- dual at PCIE 2.0 x16 (PCIE1) / PCIE 2.0 x16 (PCIE4) you can get them both to run at x16 which seems to be enough considering how powerful it is (no need for pcie 3.0). but notice it is pice1 and pcie4 which means you would need a very long crossfire bridge.

Yeah, it's the NF200 board that I am considering on the 1155 trifire build. Lets look at something...

i5-2500k ($220) + Extreme7 ($270) = $490 x16/x16 solution
i7-3820 ($290) + X79 Extreme3 ($215) = $505 x16/x16 solution

So now we're at a $15 difference between 1155 and 2011. At the end of the day I think this is a perfect example of why if you're considering multicard solutions that would require the nf200 you should just make the jump to X79. Now that you mention it I think I'll drop the Z68/2500k all together.
January 1, 2012 4:00:13 PM

ya i agree go with the x79 build. i had no idea the 3820 would be 290$. i still think you should keep most of the first build. go with the x79 extreme3 motherboard to keep the costs down. and wait for the 7970's.

at amazon you can get that raven for much less $ because they have free shipping and lower prices. http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Steel-Computer-Window... 178$ free shipping

hitachi does not make the best hdd's- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this psu will save you 5$. the 7970's will only need an 850w psu. but you can go to the safe side and get stick with that 950w psu.

i would try and fit in a bigger ssd- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... / http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

January 2, 2012 3:00:19 AM

I do really like the RV02, that being said I was really only going to spend that kind of money because of the trifire setup and the heat it generates. In a single or even double card setup I'd probably stick with the 690 II Advanced which is $100 savings on the case alone.

Yeah, there's no doubt the Hitachi drives are suspect. When I was picking out parts I really just looked at the least expensive 500GB drive. It wasn't until later that I realized you could get the Seagate for only $5 bucks more. It'd definitely get switched.

As far as the SSD is concerned. With SRT you're really just using the SSD as a supersized cache for your HDD. While the Intel is only 20GB it's still more than enough to achieve this, while also being SLC vs MLC. You're not actually installing anything on the drive itself so size is less important. That being said I'm not really satisfied with the performance of SRT and budget permitting would like to go with a minimum of 2x 60gb drives in RAID0.

At this point I'm 90% sure I'm going to drop Eyefinity. It's not that I don't like the setup, as I'm currently running a 3x Eyefinity rig now, but there's issues other than just price. For one, game support. Most games do ship today with at least the ability to be hacked into supporting it. MW2 and SC2 have been the main exceptions in the past, and D3 is the HUGE exception in the future. It's already been stated that it will not support Eyefinity and while beta players have reported hacks to bypass it, I doubt that makes it live, SC2 was the same way.

The next problem with Eyefinity is that it kinda takes a back burner for driver support. Even today there are issues like DP>DVI converters that while should work, don't or have such bad blinking issues that it's impossible to use. This is something that if AMD had the inclination could fix via driver. 10.2 alleviated this problem, and then every subsequent driver broke it again. AMD just doesn't seem to care. 5x1 support is another driver issue that should have been resolved over a year ago when the Eyefinity 6 cards shipped. Instead it was only available a few months ago, and there are still a TON of games that it just doesn't work on.

I wouldn't try to talk someone out of Eyefinity based on these things. But for myself after almost 2 years of going from early adopter to frustrated user... Maybe it's time to give a single monitor system a shot again.

I really appreciate you talking these things through with me. I find it to be very helpful to have someone else to bounce ideas back and forth with.
January 2, 2012 3:23:47 AM

Quote:
As far as the SSD is concerned. With SRT you're really just using the SSD as a supersized cache for your HDD. While the Intel is only 20GB it's still more than enough to achieve this, while also being SLC vs MLC. You're not actually installing anything on the drive itself so size is less important. That being said I'm not really satisfied with the performance of SRT and budget permitting would like to go with a minimum of 2x 60gb drives in RAID0.

sounds like a good plan.


Quote:
The next problem with Eyefinity is that it kinda takes a back burner for driver support. Even today there are issues like DP>DVI converters that while should work, don't or have such bad blinking issues that it's impossible to use. This is something that if AMD had the inclination could fix via driver. 10.2 alleviated this problem, and then every subsequent driver broke it again. AMD just doesn't seem to care. 5x1 support is another driver issue that should have been resolved over a year ago when the Eyefinity 6 cards shipped. Instead it was only available a few months ago, and there are still a TON of games that it just doesn't work on.

ya i have read about that problem. Like you said drivers can fix it which is sad because the problem isnt fixed.


Quote:
I really appreciate you talking these things through with me. I find it to be very helpful to have someone else to bounce ideas back and forth with.

you are welcome. you can send me a pm if you need any additional help.
January 11, 2012 2:26:28 AM

here is something on crossfire 7970's with eyefinity- http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1372/pg5/powercol... at the bottom with aa off and af on it looks like it is not too abrupt with the fps changes when you consider the graph is 120 sec long. and it stays mostly over 60fps which is pretty awesome.
January 11, 2012 5:13:17 AM

mjmjpfaff said:
here is something on crossfire 7970's with eyefinity- http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1372/pg5/powercol... at the bottom with aa off and af on it looks like it is not too abrupt with the fps changes when you consider the graph is 120 sec long. and it stays mostly over 60fps which is pretty awesome.


Yeah I saw that. It doesn't seem to have the same micro-stutter min/max spikes, but I've yet to see a crossfire review that mentions it one way or another.

With the way these cards are overclocking it wouldn't surprise me to see a single 7970 catch the 6990 and 590 in more than a few benches.

I'm still so up in the air at this point. I keep thinking about Diablo 3 and how it isn't going to support Eyefinity, and then I think about all the headaches I've had with it in the past two years and it really makes me question if I want to go that route again. Don't get me wrong, when it's working properly there's not a lot that can compete with the immersion factor but getting it to work properly can be a pain at times.

At this point I'm really leaning more towards a single 120hz monitor for 2D, a single gpu, probably a 7970 and something along the lines of OCZ Synapse Cache Drive. At least with a build like that I can just play instead of worrying about crossfire profiles, eyefinity support, write thrashing and runaway growth.
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