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[New Build] Do I need to upgrade?

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January 1, 2012 8:07:49 PM

Happy New Year, good people of Tom's. I've been building computers for 10-12 years but I'm not good at keeping up with tech requirements. That said, I'll be a good boy and ask this appropriately:


Approximate Purchase Date: Most Parts Purchased w/in the last month

Budget Range: ~$1,000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Dual Monitor, Low-Level Multimedia Whore (PS, Video Editing, etc.)

Parts Not Required: MoBo, CPU, GPU, PSU, HDD/SSD, RAM, KB/Mouse, Multimedia Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, MC, Fry's, Amazon, etc.

Country: US

Parts Preferences: No brand loyalty

Overclocking: Maybe (nothing drastic... I prefer low-noise, low-heat, minimal fussing... OCing is frequently too much of a headache for me)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 (hence my question)

Additional Comments: What started as an upgrade to my 4 yo, woefully-out-of-date rig has become a full-on new build (wanna play BF3/Crysis 2 on Ultra). However, I'm debating on whether I need to upgrade my monitor(s) and case.

I've purchased: Z68XP-UD3 / i5-2500k / GB Radeon 6950 1gb / Corsair 650w / 80GB SSD / 1TB HDD / Corsair 8GB (2x4) DDR3
I'm recycling from my old rig: Sony DVD Drive, Keyboard/Mouse, Speakers

My question is two-fold: Given what I've purchased, should I use a HAF 912 case (purchased a while ago for another build but never used) or do I need something more substantial? I don't plan on doing much OCing (too many bad experiences) but I'd like to avoid frying parts at all cost and minimize noise and heat. Also, my current monitor setup is 2 Samsung Syncmaster 2253BWs which max out at 1680x1050. I'd rather not buy (a) new monitor(s), but if I'm leaving significant performance on the table, I'll bite the bullet. Should I upgrade my case/monitors?

I don't have any particular brand loyalty... just looking for durable, quality parts. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

More about : build upgrade

January 1, 2012 8:51:49 PM

the HAF will be fine . Maybe some fans , but thats optional
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January 1, 2012 8:59:29 PM

Get a cpu cooler - you will be happy about how easy you will get past 4.0GHz with your 2500K.
-Bruce
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January 1, 2012 9:07:44 PM

Yep. Hyper 212 EVO.
The HAF's definitely good.
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January 1, 2012 9:20:33 PM

Thanks for the recommendations. Guess the 912 will suffice.

Wasn't going to get a cooler since I didn't really plan on OCing much if at all, but if I do, is there any major temp/performance difference between the Hyper 212 Plus and the EVO? Obviously I'm not gonna get bent out of shape over $20 after dropping close to $1k, but for someone with only modest cooling needs is there a particular reason to go with the EVO over just the Plus?

Also any recommendations on the monitor situation? I'm hooked on dual screening/extended desktop, but I'm not averse to spending another couple hundred bucks to get a monitor more in line with what I'm running.
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January 1, 2012 9:29:09 PM

You'll get a few degrees, which IMO is worth $5.
1920x1080 would be nice for gaming, but see what you can do with these. Maybe put 'em side by side in portrait.
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January 1, 2012 9:40:12 PM

cooling:
the lower you can get temps the longer parts will last. that said there is about a 20 degree difference between the stock and hyper 212+. there is probably a couple degrees difference between the + and evo but they are both still very much an entry level solution.

monitor:
the picture will be more clear and more things will fit onto the screen at one time and your gpu would still be able to max bf3 except lowering AF and AA a little but at such a high resolution thats not a big deal.

id get one if you have the money.
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January 1, 2012 9:48:16 PM

dish_moose said:
Get a cpu cooler - you will be happy about how easy you will get past 4.0GHz with your 2500K.
-Bruce


Dont bother overclocking . For gaming it wont make any difference because the graphics card will be the limitiation
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January 1, 2012 10:07:15 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Dont bother overclocking . For gaming it wont make any difference because the graphics card will be the limitiation


This was my understanding with this setup as currently configured. Although with a 6950, I should still be able to run the VAST majority of games at max settings, no?

Re: Cooler, I guess I'll snag a 212 Evo since there's such a negligible price difference on Newegg right now. Durability is definitely important to me and even if I don't do any overclocking, I'd rather play it safe.

Does the HAF 912 come with sufficient stock fans or would it be worthwhile to invest in additional cooling?

Re: Monitors, I'll make that decision after I've built it and see if I'm happy with the available resolution options. If not, I'll hunt for a deal on something a little more sexy.

Once again, thanks for all of the help. My apologies for the barrage of questions, I've been out of the game for a couple years and I've always built budget boxes that didn't have as many things to consider. :D 
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January 1, 2012 10:24:31 PM

The 6950 is a great gaming card and will do well .

I mentioned the OCing because its a common misconception . 5 years ago OCing a processor helped for gaming . But when you you run newer games on high detail settings thats no longer true .
There are benchmarks showing relatively weak AMD fusion APU's or Phenoms producing much the same FPS as a 2500K when paired with a top end graphics card and running high resolutions . CPU power is not usually the limitation for gamers .
Encoders will benefit much more .

Yes I would add a couple of fans to the HF .
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January 1, 2012 10:31:21 PM

dark-schneider said:
This was my understanding with this setup as currently configured. Although with a 6950, I should still be able to run the VAST majority of games at max settings, no?

You will not be able to max the most recent games. When I say max, I mean a relatively consistent 60fps at the maximum possible settings with 4xAA. With Crysis 2, JC2 and BF3 you'll have to lower a few settings. You will max things like WOW, Skyrim (CPU-dependent; you may want to OC to 4.0 ghz there) and Dirt, yes, and all older games except Crysis 1.
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January 1, 2012 10:44:28 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Dont bother overclocking . For gaming it wont make any difference because the graphics card will be the limitiation


wrong wrong and did i mention wrong. see exhibit skyrim and bf3(MP) which see benefits up to 4.0 ghz on sandy bridge. there is no negative to overclocking to atleast 4.0. there is no grounds for your comment.

Outlander_04 said:
The 6950 is a great gaming card and will do well .

I mentioned the OCing because its a common misconception . 5 years ago OCing a processor helped for gaming . But when you you run newer games on high detail settings thats no longer true .
There are benchmarks showing relatively weak AMD fusion APU's or Phenoms producing much the same FPS as a 2500K when paired with a top end graphics card and running high resolutions . CPU power is not usually the limitation for gamers .
Encoders will benefit much more .

Yes I would add a couple of fans to the HF .


i bet an A8-3870k could get the same fps in skyrim, bf3 and many other games. the fact that gpus are more important now a days is true but the importance of a good cpu is not that far behind and some games show this.

kajabla said:
You will not be able to max the most recent games. When I say max, I mean a relatively consistent 60fps at the maximum possible settings with 4xAA. With Crysis 2, JC2 and BF3 you'll have to lower a few settings. You will max things like WOW, Skyrim (CPU-dependent; you may want to OC to 4.0 ghz there) and Dirt, yes, and all older games except Crysis 1.


while this is true, you will be able to have max texture, shawdows, and that type of thing maxed with AF and AA turned down a little. which for a 1080p monitor is not a big deal.
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January 1, 2012 10:55:23 PM

cbrunnem said:
wrong wrong and did i mention wrong. see exhibit skyrim and bf3(MP) which see benefits up to 4.0 ghz on sandy bridge. there is no negative to overclocking to atleast 4.0. there is no grounds for your comment.

Skyrim is CPU-limited, yes, so it'll benefit.
You're totally wrong about BF3, I think. Quote from this review: "Battlefield 3's single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a $130 Core i3 or $315 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules. It just. Doesn’t. Care." http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

OCing will slightly decrease the lifetime of your CPU by increasing temperatures, but I don't think it'll be over a timescale that's important in the tech world.
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January 1, 2012 11:15:35 PM

kajabla said:
Skyrim is CPU-limited, yes, so it'll benefit.
You're totally wrong about BF3, I think. Quote from this review: "Battlefield 3's single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a $130 Core i3 or $315 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules. It just. Doesn’t. Care." http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...

OCing will slightly decrease the lifetime of your CPU by increasing temperatures, but I don't think it'll be over a timescale that's important in the tech world.


dude who plays the single player??? NO ONE. the MP will use every core you give it up to four and it uses them A LOT. i cant play BF3 using only two cores at the settings I play at.

you must not play bf3.
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January 1, 2012 11:18:12 PM

Oh, THAT's what you means by MP. No, I don't play it. Gotcha.
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