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Time for a new gaming rig, please critique. BUDGET REVISED

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February 11, 2012 4:58:29 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible.
Budget Range: Around $1000 not including Monitors
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Movies, Music, Surfing, Photo Editing.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, or Speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com and wherever i can get parts cheaper?
Country: US
Parts Preferences: None really.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: One goal i want to achieve is Quiet and Efficient. I have an Antec 900 now and i hate it. I don't need flashy LED's and it's just way too loud for my liking.

This is what I've built so far. What I'd like to do is trim it back a bit and cut a little cost.

Antec Sonata Series SOLO IICase
Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W
ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0)
Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest)120GB SSD
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5

Totaling, roughly $1500.

I'd like to be closer to $1000. Suggestions?

Some other notes:
- I most likely will not be Over Clocking.
- I don't need any HDD (have 3).
- I don't need any optical drives either, will keep my Combo for now.

I need Monitor suggestions as well, currently set up with 2 Samsung 2253bw but one has a bit of blurring/off color spot due to an unknown reason. Plus I'd like to go higher res. My set up goal is Dual monitors and a HDTV for watching movies and what not. The 3 of them most likely will not be used at the same time, either HDTV only or Dual Monitors.

Thanks!!!
February 11, 2012 5:48:27 PM

I'd suggest the Antec P183 w/ CP-850 so as to allow the addition of another GFX card in the future ..... case is $5 and PSU is same price....and the CP-850 is worlds above the EA series.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.

You'll get a dozen posts saying "get the new Z68" but unless there's something that Z68 offers you that Im not seeing, I'm just fine w/ the P67 series. Read this to decide

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

The Deluxe is $210 and ya can save $15 buying it in a combo w/ the 2600k ya listed (also available w/ 2500k and 2700k)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

However, for just $15 more ya can get the WS Revolution which is an outstanding board. It's basically teh Deluxe with a bunch more features and a NF200 chipo which will allow ya GFX cards to operate in x16 x16 when in SLI or CF as opposed to x8 x8. See it trash the competition here:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3795/asus_p8p67_ws_rev...

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

RAM: Lower CAS will help much in photo / video work....not so much in gaming

16GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9 $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

16GB DDR3-1600 CAS 7 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 510 $240) is a Tier 5 SSD ....
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-review-benchmar...

this Tier 3 (21% faster) is $70 cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$230 - $40 MIR - $20 off w/ promo code HARDOCPX2X8E, ends 2/14

Other Tier 3's include Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120 GB, Samsung 830 SSD 128 all of which are the same or cheaper than the 510GB

It's also available in the same combos w/ 2500k, 2600k and 2700k however the combo discount is bigger here negating a good part of that $15 increase depending on what CPU ya choose.

I'm assuming ya selected the 2600k cause ya wanted hyperthreading ..... gaming doesn't benefit from HT so if that's the primary goal, consider saving $100 and getting the 2500k ..... however, if ya can justify the +$100 2600k, I can't see why ya wouldn't spend another $35 and get the 2700k

WS Revolution w/ 2700k - $591 ... $35 more than w/ 2600k .... $135 more than w/ 2500k
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If photo editing is going to extend to video editing, CUDA (nVidia) should be on the table.

In any case consider the following:

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48

As you can see, the factory OC'd 6950 and 560 Ti run neck and neck with 484 and 495 fps respectively. So, ignoring the $35 cost premium, it's a toss up between the two.

But if there's a potential upgrade to a 2nd card in the future.....the 560's superior scaling to 862 fps is over 100 fps higher than the 6950's 759 fps....The Gigabyte and Asus both have 7 phase VRM's so te Gigabyte should be able to hit the same OC's (up to 30%) exhibited by the Asus card

http://www.pureoverclock.com/review.php?id=1201&page=17
$205 Gigabyte http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$225 Asus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the monitor .....

60 Hz $170 ASUS VH242H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
120 Hz ASUS VG236HE $290 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Son No. 3's box has twin 560's at 1000 Mhz running the 120Hz model .... I don't get to play on it much but Batman Arkham City in 3D was a pretty eye opening experience. I thought I'd encounter some issues with the double rendering, PhysX and all that but the game ran smooth as silk .... when I could get on it :)  .... was much more impressive than I expected.
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February 11, 2012 6:03:15 PM

Take at look at this build. It's full and should meet all needs:
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February 11, 2012 6:12:32 PM

JackNaylorPE said:


You'll get a dozen posts saying "get the new Z68" but unless there's something that Z68 offers you that Im not seeing, I'm just fine w/ the P67 series. Read this to decide

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...


First I want to say that I respect the advice you give people because typically it's well-informed and just plain good advice, so I hope you take this as a difference of opinion, and not as an attack on your suggestions.

The price difference between Z68 and P67 is such a narrow gap, that while I agree most of the improvements such as SRT and the ability to support an IGP, virtulucid and such are not must have solutions, but they do represent upgrades that are exceptionally cost effective.

Quote:

The Deluxe is $210 and ya can save $15 buying it in a combo w/ the 2600k ya listed (also available w/ 2500k and 2700k)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

However, for just $15 more ya can get the WS Revolution which is an outstanding board. It's basically teh Deluxe with a bunch more features and a NF200 chipo which will allow ya GFX cards to operate in x16 x16 when in SLI or CF as opposed to x8 x8. See it trash the competition here:


The WS Revolution is indeed a great board, but for a $101 the Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 offers everything the $240 WS offers with the exception of supporting a 3rd gpu, which is something only a tiny fraction of the population will consider.


Quote:
..... however, if ya can justify the +$100 2600k, I can't see why ya wouldn't spend another $35 and get the 2700kp


Why? How about $35 for only a single stepping increase? 100mhz is going to provide no useable difference and if and when the OP decides to overclock there's no evidence whatsoever that the 2600K cannot reach or exceed the 2700K as it appears as though they're the same exact binning.

Quote:

Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI:

$ 240.00 6950 Frozr OC (484/759) $ 0.50 - $ 0.63
$ 205.00 560 Ti (455/792) $ 0.45 - $ 0.52
$ 320.00 6970 (526/825) $ 0.61 - $ 0.78
$ 205.00 560 Ti - 900 Mhz (495/862) $ 0.41 - $ 0.48

As you can see, the factory OC'd 6950 and 560 Ti run neck and neck with 484 and 495 fps respectively. So, ignoring the $35 cost premium, it's a toss up between the two.

But if there's a potential upgrade to a 2nd card in the future.....the 560's superior scaling to 862 fps is over 100 fps higher than the 6950's 759 fps....The Gigabyte and Asus both have 7 phase VRM's so te Gigabyte should be able to hit the same OC's (up to 30%) exhibited by the Asus card


I'm sorry but your numbers are being skewed by both BC2 and Dirt2 which notoriously had issues with AMD drivers and the 6950 in particular. 6xxx series crossfire scaling is well known to be superior to nVidia's current offerings. There is also little doubt that the 6950 out performs the 560ti by significant margins in most games. Meanwhile SLI numbers for the 560ti are embarrassing at times getting outpaced by even the 6870x2.

Again, this is just another point of view and I do tend to completely agree with everything else you've posted.
February 11, 2012 7:09:11 PM

Wow! Thanks for the responses and all the great information. I took some of your advice and have changed it up a bit.

Antec P280 Case
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Antec CP-850 850W
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz
Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2
GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 Motherboard
Windows 7 Premium 64-Bit

With the combos and rebates, its totaling $1300.00, I initially forgot about the OS!

JackNaylorPE, I took your advice on the PS, for the same price it looks like ill be getting a much nicer PS. I didn't really like the P183 Case, but found the P280 whilst browsing and liked that much better. I don't do enough photo editing to really warrant Lower CAS memory. I swapped out the Intel SSD to the Patriot Wildfire. I also swapped out the i7 2700 for the i5 2500.

a4mula, I took your advice and went with the Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 mobo, it seemed like a logical move.



Any ideas on how to drop it a bit further?
February 12, 2012 10:20:32 PM

Well, I've decided to up my budget. This is my current build, without Monitors and GPU:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($36.98 @ PC Mall)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($160.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Case ($112.30 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.49 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $934.71

I will be purchasing most of this through Amazon, seeing as Newegg is either down or for some other reason i can access it.

I also found the SSD at Buy.com for $155.00, so that's a good deal.

My main question is do I go with a 7970 or back down to 2 6970 in crossfire? I'm finding that its comparable, please school me otherwise.

Seeing as Amazon does not good deals on GPUs I will have to wait a bit to purchase.

Will i be all set with that MB regardless of what i choose to do for GPU?
!