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Gaming/Multi-media build.

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January 30, 2012 3:07:28 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Between now and beginning of March.

Budget Range: 2,500-3,500. Selling old PC, will get ~300, receiving additional ~300 for the build as a belated Christmas gift, in addition to the aforementioned budget.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, digital media, ... , home theater

Parts Not Required: N/A

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.

Country: U.S.

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel CPUs

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes.

Monitor Resolution: 5760*1800

Additional Comments:

Building a PC for an immersive gaming experience. The goal is to play most games at ~60 FPS at each game's highest settings on a resolution of 5760*1080. Here is a list of a short sample of the games I currently own, play, or wish to play.

-World of Warcraft
-Mass Effect
-Mass Effect 2
-Assassin's Creed
-The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
-Dead Island
-Portal 2

Above all, I want this build to run Mass Effect 3 with high FPS and maximum graphics settings. Ultra and beyond, even. Suffice it to say, I am building this PC for that game.

I do prefer nVidia GPUs, but since they are not releasing their Kepler series until after ME3 releases, I have been considering Radeon's 7970 GPUs. It looks like they may be difficult to get, though.

At first I was certain I wanted to use the i7-2600k, but now I'm curious about the i7-3930k. I am building this PC to last for at least half a decade, so I would like to be able to choose a CPU with the confidence I won't have to compromise my graphic settings for performance for the next couple of years.

Also I'm not sure about my selected mobo. I'm looking for something that will allow room to upgrade.

I have never overclocked before, but I am interested in doing so.

General Questions:

Regarding CPUs for gaming, I hear I would not notice much of a different between a 2600k and a 3930k. Will future games make more use of hyperthreading than they do now? I also heard that the 3930k offers PCIe 3.0 support. How soon might PCIe 3.0 be the dominant force?

What are the most important features of a motherboard that determine how well it functions?

Components so far (Assuming i7-2600k, assuming Radeon).

Case: Cooler Master HAF X
CPU: i7-2600k
Mobo: Sabertooth P67
GPU: HD 7970 x2
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB
PSU: Corsair Gold AX1200W
HDD: 2TB Caviar Black
SDD: Crucial something-or-other

Miscellaneous parts: CD/DVD Drive, sound card, speakers, etc, etc.
January 30, 2012 4:49:06 PM

You don't need a 2600k, get the 2500k. DOn't need 1866 RAM, get 1600. Crucial m4 is the best SSD around, SAmsung SSDs preform POORLY. No way you'll need 1050W, go with 900 or 1000W. No need for HAF X, 932 or 600T/650D will be fine. XFX 7970s have better cooling, which = better OCing = better eyefinity
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January 30, 2012 5:41:26 PM

Bear in mind that I'm keeping an eye to the future as well. Sure, a 2500k is enough for gaming, but how long until other processors become viable? Also, I'm not doing just gaming. I want to get into digital media as well, things I may need hyperthreading for, maybe?

I'm still looking for some info on how soon we'll be seeing components on a PCIe 3.0 as a standard.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 30, 2012 5:58:05 PM

Not even pcie 2.0 is fully utilized, so pcie 3.0 is a while away in being fully standardized or utilized.
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January 30, 2012 6:29:19 PM

That's some information that I can use.

How much longer will an 2500k be 'good enough' for gaming? If it's only got about two years of being a solid choice for gaming builds, I'll throw some cash at a better CPU for longevity's sake.
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January 30, 2012 8:50:52 PM

I should probably make note that I want to future-proof this computer to a reasonable degree. That doesn't mean I want top-of-the-line components, per se, but I want to get some longevity.

So now I'm deciding between an i7-2600k or an i7-3930k.
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January 31, 2012 2:34:05 PM

I am not building a budget PC, and I don't mind spending a bit more on my components if it means I'll get some more life out of them.

I'm sure an overclocked 2500k can beat a stock 2600k. Though, I'm certain if both were overclocked, the 2600k would be the best between them, no?

I understand that the 2500k is good for 'right now'. Will it still be good in three years?
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January 31, 2012 2:35:50 PM

haha, the performance gap between stock 2500k and stock 2600k is 2% max.
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January 31, 2012 2:36:16 PM

and answering your last question, yes
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January 31, 2012 2:46:08 PM

Angaddev, I'm glad you've decided to be at least somewhat constructive now.

The i5 doesn't have hyperthreading. I hear that games coming out will eventually utilize it, and I'm interesting in doing more than just gaming on my computer. I'll admit, I don't know exactly which programs use hyperthreading, or to what extent, but I'm still researching it.

I really feel like if I choose an i5, I'll be limiting myself to -only- gaming.

What can you tell me about the future of hyperthreading in games and other multi-media applications?
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February 1, 2012 12:33:42 AM

Right now, I know only a handful of games utilize hyperthreading, and the different in the rendering isn't always noticeable, but I wonder for the future.

In the next few years as video games get more and more demanding, will hyperthreading become more necessary? If the chances are that it will, then I'll be using going with an i7 processor instead of the i5.
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