To spend more or to spend less, that's what I need answered... :)

Hey folks, I'm looking to build a new PC finally. It's been since about 2000 since I built one for myself. Anyhow I'm torn between a few things. I want my PC to last a while and really have no intentions of upgradeing it for at least 5 years maybe more.

I'm looking to play games on ultra/maxxed such as Diablo 3, SC2, WOW, some FPS games, and whatever may be out next. My issue and train of thought is this. Do I spend more $$$ now to get better components or do I go middle of the road and take that $$$ I saved and build a new box in a couple of years?

Below is what I've been looking at picking up. I will run multi monitors down the road and possibly sli/xfire. Have at it and tell me my options. Looking at a budget of 1500-2000 maybe a bit more or a bit less not set in stone.

Mobo - ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 269.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131791

CPU - Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 369.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115095

The 2600k is out of stock and I'm up in the air if I should go I5 2500k instead.

Ram - CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB 94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233198

PSU - SeaSonic X-1250 1250W 269.99 (15% off brings it to 229.49)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151109

Optical - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335 25.99

Debating if I should get another and run 2 opticals.

HD - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 124.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840

Was looking at the WD Black drives beacuse of better warranty but not sure. Also not sure if I should grab 2 drives and run in raid 0. Not sure if it's worth the $$ for the 1-3 fps I'd get from it.

Case - COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942 199.99 -20 MIB = 179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119225

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade 185.48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116715

Total with shipping before GPU, discounts, and MIB's is at 1541.41 .

I'm thinking of grabbing a moniter but it isn't needed I've got some I can use currently. As far as video cards I'm thinking 7970 the XFX black variation but no one has them in stock that I've seen. So there we have it. Thanks folks.
6 answers Last reply
More about spend spend less that answered
  1. I have a problem with your links.

    There is always something better coming down the line. I would favor modest/modest, so long asyour build will do what you want today, and then some.

    Games, particularly on ultra settings are mostly dependent on the graphics card. Fortunately, they are easy to replace.

    For your list, I do not think the 2700K is the right thing to do, at least today. For a $300 price premium over a 2500K, you are not getting much, at least for gaming.
    Few games today, use more than two or three cores, so the extra hyperthreads of the 2600K or 2700K are not worth much. The value of the extra cache is also not really known. The"K" series is intended to be overclockes, and any of them, 2500k,2600K, 2700K will reach about the same maximum overclock, perhaps in the 4.5 range. Today, a 2500k @4.0 can drive any single graphics card as high as you could ever need for a single monitor. Ivy bridge in april may be 10% faster to start, and may oc better. But, that is not what will limit you.

    As to the graphics, if you will be using a single 1080P monitor, a GTX580 or 7950 will run most games very well at high eye candy. 7970 is about as good as you can get today. I would pass on the 6990 or GTX590 dual gpu cards even though they might bench a bit better. When the time comes that you want triple monitors, or perhaps even 2560 x 1600 monitors, then possibly cf/sli will be a good upgrade path. Keep that option open. Kepler in april may well do even better.

    The motherboard is fine, and I can't argue against 16gb of ram. Ram is cheap. No game will use more than 2-3gb of ram, though.

    Currently, a GTX580 needs a 600w psu, and a 7970 needs only a 500w psu. If you were to run two of them, add 300w to the base requirements.
    I don't see the need for 1250w. Future 28nm kepler cards from nvidia should be more like the 7970 amd cards. I do like Seasonic, and there is no real negative to a higher rated psu than you need. I think their 1050w gold rated psu would be fine.

    DVD drives are cheap. If you can use two, get them.

    For a high end pc, you MUST start with a SSD for the os and some games. Today, intel seems to be the most reliable, but samsung is very good also, and cheaper.
    I would look for at least a 120gb drive, but if you can, get a 180 or 256gb drive. 120gb will hold the os, and perhaps 6-10 games. Hold off on the hard drive for now, because the prices are crazy. If you develop a need for lots of storage space, then prices may be back to normal.
    From what I have read, the newly launched intel 520 drives are very good. Perhaps the 180gb size would be a good compromise.

    Raid-0 is overhyped as a performance enhancer. It truly does nothing for the average desktop user, despite glowing synthetic sequential benchmarks.
    The reason is, that we do nto access our hard drives with overlapped sequential operations to any meaningful extent. A SSD will be 50x faster in random i/o and 2-3x faster in sequential. Use hard drives for bulk storage, and not for performance.

    Do you really need window 7 ultimate? There are very few features that home premium won't give you for the desktop gamer. If you should develop such a need, you can pay the charge and upgrade to pro or ultimate in place.

    I would get an aftermarket cpu cooler up front. It need not be expensive to do the job. The $30 cm hyper212 or Xigmatek gaia are two good ones.

    Do you truly love the case? If so, buy it. But, take the time to look at others, in person, if you can. A case will last you a long time, and you will need to look at it every day. Most cases with two 120mm intake fans at least will do the job. Look at lian li, silverstone, antec and NZXT to see if there is one you might like better. At a $200 price point there will be many choices. Even if you see a $400 case you lust after, it will be money well spent.
  2. Sorry, fixed the links. I just don't know if I should go this route and spend the $$$ or trim down the fat and spend a lot less and plan on building a new rig sooner.

    I don't know what would be best. Spend it now or later? Is it better to go middle of the road now, then middle of the road later? This is why I hate pc's!! :)
  3. I want to strongly echo what geofelt touched on. It looks like you're spending money for the sake of spending money...it's better to pick at the upper end sweet spot of price/performance and save yourself some $$ for incremental upgrades in the future. You can easily make a system last 5 years going this route AND you will be getting better value for your dollar.

    IMO you're wasting money on i7-2700K vs i5-2500K. stick with the i5-2500K and put that money towards a better SSD- You absolutely positively should get a SSD and use that for your OS and key apps/games, it's just such a night and day difference to regular hard drives it's not even close.

    Things that you need to run fast = on the SSD; media and large storage on regular or external hard disk drive...you can find 2TB USB 3.0 external drives for 80 bucks if you are watching closely :)

    For SSD 120 GB minimum if you'd like to be able to fit your games on it. If i was going to spend a little more money I'd go for a larger SSD, their performance scales with size.

    heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus for 25 bucks or so has excellent reviews

    Personally I would never spend so much on a motherboard + powersupply but I guess I'm just more frugal than some people.
  4. So what do you suggest I do then? What parts do you suggest?
  5. @ the OP

    Wait until April when the new Intel Ivy Bridge cpu's are due out. Those cpu's along with the new Nvidia Kepler cards will allow you PCI-E 3.0 which should last you a while...whatever awhile means in tech. Those cpu's will run PCI-E 3.0 on any 1155 Gen3 motherboard.

    http://www.asrock.com/microsite/PCIe3/overview.html <------ Here's a brief overview of Gen3 board + Ivy Bridge + PCI-E 3.0 cards.


    Also you can cut some cost without cutting performance like this psu down below that's manufactured by Seasonic for XFX.

    http://www.amazon.com/XFX-PRO1050W-Compatible-Certified-P11050BEFX/dp/B0066AH46G/ref=sr_1_5?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1328665462&sr=1-5 $215.78 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    XFX PRO1050W Black Edition Full Modular 80PLUS Gold PSU Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD Phenom, FX ATX 1050 Energy Star Certified Power Supply P11050BEFX

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157269 $249.99 FREE SHIPPING
    ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  6. The key to your planning is how you feel about multiple graphics cards.
    How likely are you to buy into triple monitor gaming?
    That is the only scenario that I see that justifies a sli/cf plan.
    For a single monitor, even a 2560 x 1600 monitor, there are single cards that will drive it to whatever specs you want.

    Here are my thoughts on dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.

    a) How good do you really need to be?
    A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

    A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
    Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
    A single 7970 is about as good as it gets.

    b) The costs for a single card are lower.
    You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
    Even a ITX motherboard will do.

    Your psu costs are less.
    A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu. 500w for the newer 28nm 7970.
    When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-300w to your psu requirements.

    Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
    That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
    You will also look at more noise.

    c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
    The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
    Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stutter-crossfire,2995.html

    d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.


    e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
    It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

    As to upgrades, remember that anything you can buy, you can sell later.
    If a 2500K turns out to be limiting, sell it and replace it with a ivy bridge cpu. They are compatible.

    If a 7970 turns out to be insufficient, sell it and replace it with the 7970X2 or kepler of some sort. They go in the same pcie slot, and native pci-e 3.0 is no big deal.
    Ivy bridge will have it native, current motherboards have an extra chip. Pcie 2.0 vs 3.0 is not a significant performance hit anyway. You are looking at 2-3% FPS difference perhaps which can only be detected with a synthetic benchmark.

    Bottom line:
    _________________________________________________________________

    If you have the itch... scratch it.
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