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Building a rig, need answers about what it will be able to run

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January 26, 2012 1:42:56 PM

Hey all,
I'm currently near the end of my first ever gaming PC build. I just have a few questions about some things that I'm curious about.

My specs are:

Mobo - Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155

CPU- Intel i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz stock (3.7GHz turbo)

GPU- MSI Radeon HD 6950 Twin Frozr III 2GB OC/Power Edition (About to purchase another for crossfire)

PSU- ThermalTake Black Widow 850W (80+ bronze)

Case I plan on getting- Cooler Master HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197

Besides the second card for crossfire all I have left to buy is the RAM and HDD.
I wouldn't mind some tips on what to get, at the moment I'm looking at:
2x corsair vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3, to total 16GB of ram..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820233180

I'm not too sure about HDD's though, all I know is I'd like a 1T 7200 RPM with a 64MB cache, and that's about all I know, so any pointers on what to get are welcome.

Anyway some random questions out of curiosity I have are:

1. Could this rig run games like Battlefield 3 or Crysis on ultra, (no AA or extras) on eyefinity with three 42" tv's on 1080p? Or if not on 1080p, on any resolution at all? I realize three 42" is a lot to run which is why I'm asking..

2. Just curious, are Computer monitors better quality, say for eyefinity, than tv's for gaming? (Besides the fact that 2ms response time is much better than 6.5+) Cause I'm trying to decide either three 42" LCD Tv's.. or three 27" LED monitors from the link below:.. I know the monitors would probably be better but three 42" tv's would be so epic..

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsun [...] Id=2099051

3. Would this rig run eyefinity on BF3 or Crysis on ultra 1080p on the three 27" monitors ok?

4. Last but not least, I'm new to building, (just have read a lot about the basics) But is an SSD a needed component, or just an extra accessory? Also I haven't read much about this, and will probably sound very stupid, but does the Operating system (Win 7 Home Premium)come in a part, like the Mobo etc.. or do you actually have to buy it seperate for the extra $100 or so?

I think that's about all I can think of for now.. Thanks very much in advance to anyone who answers any of these questions.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2012 3:36:45 PM

Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

Well, nice rig you have there! I'll try to answer the questions as best I can.

-First, A pair of 6950's should be able to drive BF3 (not at ultra, admittedly) at 5760x1080p. I don't know for sure though.

-Second, you don't need 16GB of ram. 8GB is plenty. Hell, you could get away with 2GB! 4GB is the standard for OEM computers. You won't be utilizing 16GB of ram unless you are a hardcore video editor or plan on running a RAM drive.

-No idea on monitors. I imagine the pixel density of computer monitors might make them easier to stare at closely but I have no experience.

-If you haven't bought the PSU yet I suggest swapping it out. Thermaltake's Black Widow series is ok but they aren't as reliable as those from Corsair or XFX.

-SSD is NOT a needed component. Highly recommended for a build of your caliber but not necessary. It basically speeds up how fast your computer "feels" by alot. Try 9 second boot times for Windows. Games launch instantly, you're the first to load in maps. Everything just feels faster. Just try and decide if the speed is worth the cost.

-Don't worry about the cache on the HDD. It doesn't really matter much.

-Windows is a separate piece of software. Home premium OEM costs $100, unless you can acquire it from other sources.

Well, I've answered your questions as best I can. Keep in mind this stuff may be my personal opinion, not fact.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2012 3:45:30 PM

^ agreed.

As far as the OS, get the x64 version or you won't be able to use over 3.5 gb of your memory.

Three 27 inch monitors are far better on the eyes that 3 42 inch TVs for extended use, they also work well at about arm's length with a nice fine pixel size. I use 3 Dell u2711's in landscape format and they work very well.

With what you will spend on video cards, the SSD is peanuts in comparison and really improves the overall system quickness. I have them in all my desktops and laptops now.
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January 26, 2012 5:20:40 PM

Thank you both so much, I was beginning to lose hope, didn't think I'd ever get a good answer, at least to all of my questions.

Unfortunately I already have the PSU.. Was going to get a Corsair but they didn't have it in stock at the time, and I was in a hurry, because my rig was suppose to be built long ago, so I guess all I can do now is hope it lasts.

Just wondering a few more things-

-Is this the right kind of OS you're talking about?

http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premium-64bit-System-Buil...

-If I don't use the tv's.. Would this be a good monitor to use eyefinity with? I like the 2ms response time for sure.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+-+27%22+LED+Monitor...

-Do either of you have any suggestions for an SSD? I know literally nothing at all about them.

Also combining both of your answers.. If the 5760x1080p could run on ultra, (which like you said I kinda doubt it will).. Would you then recommend three 42"s for epic experience or the 27"s for faster response time, and maybe better quality (not sure how quality works between monitors and tv's).. If it helps any, like Realbeast said, I don't sit at arms length necessarily.. I use a laptop tray with wireless keyboard and mouse, or long wired.. So depending how big my screens are, i just roll the tray back and sit as far back in the room as I want. So if that would change your answer about the monitors or tv's I'd be happy to know. However I probably wont use the tv's if I can't play on ultra with them on 1080p seeing as thats one of the main reason I wanted good video cards.

Thanks again to you both, and anyone else who answers these last few questions.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2012 5:28:27 PM

Yes on that OS disk.

The Samsung 27 inch are good monitors.

My favorite SSD would be Intel followed by Crucial and Samsung, although I do own some OCZ's too. HERE is some data on reliability. There is really little difference in performance between the fastest and slowest SSDs -- they all crush HDDs. I would go with as large an Intel 320 as you can afford (80, 120 or 160gb).
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2012 5:49:40 PM

I do agree with Realbeast, except on the SSD's. I'll get to that in a minute.

Those monitors are quite pricey. I'm sure you could find some cheaper alternatives if you dig around. Anything with under ~5ms is fine really. Second, I think 27" at 1080p might be cutting it close. It depends on how far you sit back but around 22" is the usual for 1080p. Like I said, depends on where you sit.

Ah, SSD's. First I will say that I do NOT suggest Intel SSD's. They are far too overpriced for what you get. Like Realbeast said Samsung and Crucial offer the same amount of reliability with FAR more bang for buck. A 128GB Crucial M4 is decent.

While OCZ definitely had problems with their 28nm SSD's (BIG problems) they are past that now. Stay away from Vertex 2's and you'll be fine. One of the best values in SSD's out there right now is the Vertex 3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It uses ONFi Synchronous NAND, meaning performance won't degenerate over time. The Vertex 3 120GB even wins the 2011 recommended buy, and is still the best buy at this price range according to Tom's: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-review-benchmar...

In summary, I suggest either a Crucial M4 128GB or an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 26, 2012 8:21:24 PM

I do not really disagree on the SSD, the machine I'm on at the moment has a Vertex 3 240 SSD.

I generally recommend Intel or Crucial for reliability, BUT you should always buy at a good price, which for me is around $1 per gb, a little higher for the higher performance models. I bought a number of Intel 320 160 gb AR for $179 each recently for some builds, but I would gladly buy the Vertex 3 240 from Newegg today at $320 for me.
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