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Building New System. Veteren Advice Appreciated.

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April 6, 2012 11:29:23 AM

What's the best value for money MOBO/CPU/GPU/RAM?

I'll warn ye now it's a bit of reading but I've gone to a lot of effort to reduce the normal hassle and have tried to make it as efficient as possible while still detailed.

These are the necessities for computer.

  • preferably under $1500.
  • A socket 1155 or (preferable for upgradability)socket 2011 Mobo.
  • A quality CPU that won't be a bottleneck anytime soon.
  • 4 x DDR3 RAM slots for a minimum of 16-32gig ram so there is no real reason for upgrading RAM anytime soon. I'd prefer 16gig of ultra quick RAM to 32 of average RAM.
  • 1 or preferably 2 PCIe 3.0 slots for a graphics card, then maybe when upgrading graphics card in a few years when outdated a spot to put old one as a Physx card. I do understand that the PCIe slot for the physx card does not need to be as quick, but if it is. Bonus. If there is a real price difference for a single PCIe MOBO it will definitely be considered.
  • 1 or preferably 2 PCI slots for expandability eg; a sound card and maybe 1 or 2 others. Even though MOBO sound has improved a lot it ain't got nothing on a dedicated sound card.
  • Still undecided about spending $500 on a GPU now or $200 and spending leftover on better CPU/GPU then upgrading GPU in a year or 2. so suggestions for both price ranges are welcome.
  • PSU with at least 100 or 200 watt spare so there is plenty of room for upgrading.

    Getting a 23'' screen that's about $200 but if you can recommend one that's exceptional value I'm happy to listen.

    Getting a SSD Drive after building.

    Case is not a concern as that is easy to figure out, so is most of the cooling, but I will be doing some research on after market coolers for CPU if it starts to become a bottleneck when upgrading GPU and need to Overclock it but it should be ok for now.

    Peripherals are not a concern.

    I'd probably prefer a Intel/Nvidia build at the moment because it seems as if they are a little bit better at the moment (AMD don't look like hittin stride until next CPU build and Nvdia's framerate's are smoother and they are physx capable even if some of AMD's budget cards are quality). Although I've heard a Overclocked 7970 gets nearish a 680 but the 680 is a lot smoother.

    I do understand most of the technical terms and what they mean so don't be scared of big words, simply don't normally research parts until building a system because they change every month. At the very least I'm not afraid of a bit of research.

    I'll be doing some research myself but I know there's some real Tech fiends on here so if you've got something you already know and would recommend I'd be happy to listen and consider what you say. But don't go too much outta your way. When I do find a part that is a possibility I'll edit this post and leave it at the end of this post. I'll also put some possible builds at end of post.

    If you are able to assist with researching these purchases. Or if your like me and even like hypothesizing about possible builds and wanna throw one I'm happy to listen and consider. Thank you.



    Here's some parts I'm choosing between. What could be efficient spending so far? This will get edited regularly if there is some worthy suggestions or scathing hate for a particular part while figuring out options:

    MOBO & CPU's

    2011 socket

    MOBO:

    ASRock X79 Extreme4-M - $245.00
    ASUS P9X79 - $269.00
    Intel DX79S - $319.00
    Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 - $325.00
    ASRock X79 Extreme7 - $329.00
    ASUS P9X79 Pro - $335.00
    ASUS Sabertooth X79 - $365.00
    ASRock X79 Extreme9 - $375.00
    Gigabyte G1.Assassin2 - $429.00
    ASUS P9X79-WS - $499.00

    CPU :

    Intel Core i7 3820 - $305.00
    Intel Core i7 3930K - $629.00
    Any other decent 2011 socket CPU's gettin released soon?

    1155 socket

    MOBO :

    Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 - $129.00
    Intel DH61AG - $129.00
    ASUS P8Z68-V LE - $145.00
    ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 - $169.00
    Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 - $199.00
    ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M - $215.00
    Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 - $259.00
    ASUS Sabertooth Z77 - $275.00
    ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional - $289.00
    ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe Gen3 - $289.00
    ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE - $339.00
    ASUS Maximus IV Extreme Z - $399.00

    CPU :

    Intel Core i5 2500 - $205.00
    Intel Core i5 2500K - $215.00
    Intel Core i7 2600 - $289.00
    Intel Core i7 2600K - $309.00
    Intel Core i7 2700K - $329.00

    GPU's

    Nvidia :

    Gigabyte GeForce GT 440 1GB - $75.00
    ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB DirectCU - $129.00
    ASUS GeForce GTX 560Ti DirectCU II TOP 1GB - $255.00
    Gigabyte Geforce GTX 570 Super Overclock 1280MB - $389.00
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 Ultra Durable - $449.00
    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2WIN 2GB - $619.00
    ASUS GeForce GTX 680 2GB - $699.00

    AMD :

    Gigabyte Radeon HD6670 1GB Overclocked - $79.00
    ASUS Radeon HD6850 DirectCU V2 - $149.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7770 DirectCU 1GB - $185.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7850 DirectCU II 2GB - $339.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7870 DirectCu II 2GB - $439.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7950 DirectCu II TOP 3GB - $549.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7970 3GB - $619.00
    ASUS Radeon HD7970 DirectCU II TOP 3GB - $709.00

    Rest of them don't particularly need a link but if required holla at me and I'll add one.

    RAM

    Dual Channel Kits

    Corsair 8GB 1600MHz - $59.00
    G.Skill 8GB 2133MHz - $89.00

    Quad Channel Kits

    Corsair 16GB 1600MHz - $115.00
    Corsair 16GB 1866MHz - $169.00
    G.Skill 32GB 1333MHz - $249.00
    Corsair 16GB 2133MHz - $289.00
    G.Skill 32GB 1600 MHz - $299.00

    Hard Drives

    SG Baracuda 1TB - $99.00
    WD Digital Green 1TB - $99.00
    WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    SG Baracuda 2TB - $139.00
    WD Green 3TB - $205.00
    SG Baracuda 3TB - $239.00
    Hitachi 4TB - $379.00

    Optical Drives

    Sony DVDRW - $19.00
    LG BR Reader DVD Burner - $65.00
    LiteOn BR/DVD Burner - $85.00
    Pioneer BR/DVD Burner - $115.00
    Sony BR/DVD Burner - $149.00

    PSU

    Antec EarthWatts 650W Green - $95.00
    Corsair GS-600 Power Supply - $99.00
    Antec EarthWatts 750W Green - $125.00
    Seasonic M12II 620W Power Supply - $131.00
    Corsair TX-750 V2 Power Supply - $141.00
    Antec High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply HCG-900 - $155.00
    Corsair TX-850 V2 Power Supply - $171.00
    Seasonic M12II 750W Power Supply - $189.00
    Antec High Current Pro 750W Power Supply HCP-750 - $189.00
    Antec TruePower Quattro 1200W TPQ-1200 - $265.00
    Corsair HX-1050 80 PLUS Silver Power Supply - $265.00
    Seasonic X-850 80Plus Gold 850W - $269.00
    Seasonic XP-1000 Platinum 1000W Power Supply - $305.00
    Seasonic X-1250 80Plus Gold 1250W - $349.00
    Corsair AX1200 Gold Power Supply - $359.00

    Possible Builds :

    Initial Builds (were quickly thrown together late at night after fiddling with this for hours.)
    Spoiler

    Get GPU with build :

    MOBO : ASUS P9X79 - $269.00
    CPU : Intel Core i7 3820 - $305.00
    GPU : ASUS GeForce GTX 680 2GB - $699.00
    or
    ASUS Radeon HD7970 3GB - $619.00
    RAM : G.Skill 8GB 2133MHz - $89.00
    HD : WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    BRNR : Sony DVDRW - $19.00
    PSU : PSU : CoolerMaster eXtreme Power Plus 700W - $89.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00 (not included in count(plenty of monitors sitting around couple weeks without a 23'' ain't gonna hurt much))
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Nvidia Total : $1595

    AMD Total: $1515


    Get GPU after build :

    MOBO : ASUS P9X79 - $269.00
    CPU : Intel Core i7 3820 - $305.00
    GPU : ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB DirectCU - $129.00
    RAM : Corsair 16GB 2133MHz - $289.00
    HD : WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    BRNR : LiteOn BR/DVD Burner - $85.00
    PSU : CoolerMaster eXtreme Power Plus 700W - $89.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Total : $1456


    Builds from next morn :

    Get GPU with build :

    MOBO : ASUS P8Z68-V LE - $145.00
    CPU : Intel Core i5 2500K - $215.00
    GPU : ASUS GeForce GTX 680 2GB - $699.00
    RAM : Corsair 8GB 1600MHz - $59.00
    HD : SG Baracuda 1TB - $99.00
    BRNR : Sony DVDRW - $19.00
    PSU : Antec EarthWatts 650W Green - $95.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Total : $1496

    (The spacing on that MOBO seemed pretty reasonable)

    Get GPU after build :

    MOBO : ASUS P9X79 - $269.00
    CPU : Intel Core i7 3820 - $305.00
    GPU : ASUS GeForce GTX 560Ti DirectCU II TOP 1GB - $255.00
    RAM : G.Skill 8GB 2133MHz - $89.00
    HD : WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    BRNR : LiteOn BR/DVD Burner - $85.00
    PSU : Antec EarthWatts 750W Green - $125.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Total : $1418 (Or $1862 with the 680)

    (since getting GPU after build with that latter system it's tempting to go for a gnarlier MOBO, I shall investigate such options there)

    (while I'm at it)
    Spoiler

    Brutal Build :

    MOBO : ASUS P9X79-WS - $499.00
    CPU : i7-3770K - $332
    GPU : ASUS GeForce GTX 680 2GB - $699.00
    RAM : Corsair 16GB 2133MHz - $289.00
    HD : WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    BRNR : LiteOn BR/DVD Burner - $85.00
    PSU : Antec High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply HCG-900 - $155.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ $100(ish)

    Total : $2578.99

    Ultra Brutal Build

    MOBO : ASUS P9X79-WS - $499.00
    CPU : i7-3770K - $332
    GPU : 3x ASUS GeForce GTX 680 2GB - $2097.00
    RAM : Corsair 16GB 2133MHz - $289.00
    HD : Hitachi 4TB - $379.00
    SSD : 3 x Seagate Pulsar.2 200GB Enterprise SSD - $5097
    BRNR : Sony BR/DVD Burner - $149.00
    PSU : Corsair AX1200 Gold Power Supply - $359.00
    Screen : 3 x 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor - $1800 'or so'
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ $100(ish)
    Cooling : 2 x EK-KIT H3O 360 HFX Cooling Kit $698
    Case : Thermaltake Level 10 Case - $799.00

    Total : $12727.99


    Build suggested by Raiddinn

    Intel Core i5 2500K - $215.00
    Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 - $108 (328)
    Crucial 2x 4GB 1333 CT2KIT51264BA1339 - $43 (371)
    XFX Pro 650w Core - $80 (451)
    HAF 912 - $55 (506)
    Hyper 212 EVO - $35 (551)
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB 7200 RPM - $92 (643)
    Asus 24x DVD - $25 (668)
    Crucial M4 128 GB - $160 (828)
    HD 7970 (it is actually in stock!) - $560 (1388)

    If anyone's got a suggestion about maybe replacing CPU with a different one and overclocking or a better value for money GPU or something I'd appreciate hearing of it.
    April 6, 2012 2:40:27 PM

    16 GBs of RAM (much less 32gbs) is entirely too much for most people. Also, you get no more FPS in most games having 2133 RAM instead of 1333 RAM and the former gives people hugely more problems trying to get the thing to work right while the latter always works right if you choose a good set of sticks.

    The difference between CT2KIT51264BA1339 for $40 and some crazy 4x 8GB 1866 setup for $340 is like 1 FPS, I am not kidding you.

    If you even get that 1 FPS, it will probably cost you many hours of time messing around with the BIOS just to try and get the things to recognize too.

    It just isn't worth it.

    Additionally, 2x graphics cards is worse in almost every way compared to 1x of a better graphics card. There is no good reason to prepare for buying 2x or more graphics cards unless they are all going to be 680s and there is no option for 1x video card that costs twice as much.

    With a $1500 budget, you aren't going to be getting 2x 680s anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about the potential of adding another video card at this point. When the time comes that 1x 680 is just not cutting it anymore (a long way out) you can just ebay it and buy a better 1x card at that time.

    That avoids tons of configuration problems and longevity problems and stuff like that.

    Again, the extra is "nice" to have (sometimes, not even always), but its just not worth actually doing it.

    Most boards you would be looking at are going to have 2x slots anyway, but to change your choices in order to better allow these things is just not the greatest idea.

    Some of it depends on what you want to do with the PC. If it is strictly gaming then you definitely don't need more than 8 GBs of RAM because games don't use more than 2GBs and its not like you are going to be playing 8 games at the same time.

    If you were planning to do a lot of audio/visual editing, sure it helps to have 16 GBs sometimes, but only in those cases. Otherwise it is just a waste of $40 that could be better spent elsewhere.

    Here is a build I would suggest if all you plan on doing is gaming

    i5-2500k - $220
    Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 - $108 (328)
    Crucial 2x 4GB 1333 CT2KIT51264BA1339 - $43 (371)
    XFX Pro 650w Core - $80 (451)
    HAF 912 - $55 (506)
    Hyper 212 EVO - $35 (551)
    Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB 7200 RPM - $92 (643)
    Asus 24x DVD - $25 (668)
    Crucial M4 128 GB - $160 (828)
    HD 7970 (it is actually in stock!) - $560 (1388)

    Total = $1388

    Every part is of the highest quality possible and its just generally about the most cost effective gamer PC you can make right now.

    Most of those parts I would have still chosen if the budget were $5000 instead.

    - Edit - If you want to upsize in one or two areas, you still have $112 to play around with when you are doing so. If I had the $1500 to spend, I would get the build I listed and keep the extra $112 to buy games with, but if you want to have a $200 motherboard or whatever you can throw the change at that if you want.

    - Edit 2 - I know I picked a lot of parts not on your list, but I picked them because they are the best parts in their class and worth getting to the exclusion of everything else in their class. I honestly just skipped over all the parts you listed and wrote in what I know that has the longest and best track records of any parts. I didn't even bother to see if they were on the lists till after I posted this.
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    April 6, 2012 4:14:42 PM

    If you're looking at a gaming build under $1500, LGA 2011 is NOT for you. You need good GPU horsepower, so you should be trying to get the best GPU/GPU combo money can buy. Most games today are not really dependent on the CPU - even Skyrim, a truly CPU-intensive game, can still run extremely well on an LGA 1155 Pentium G with a good GPU. I run fine with my i3-2120 and GTX 560Ti @ 1920x1080 since my GPU is OCed to GTX 570 speeds.

    Raiddinn's build makes a lot of sense, but I would wait a few weeks for Ivy Bridge to come out (unless you really need this PC now), since it will be releasing similar chips at the current price points (i.e. 2500K equivalent is launching at 2500K price). It'll either be worth the money to buy or it will drive down existing prices.

    Quote:
    Additionally, 2x graphics cards is worse in almost every way compared to 1x of a better graphics card. There is no good reason to prepare for buying 2x or more graphics cards unless they are all going to be 680s and there is no option for 1x video card that costs twice as much.

    I respectfully disagree. 2x GPUs such as the 560Tis will outperform a single GPU for the same price (GTX 580), and by the time you upgrade again (6-12 months) there will be a better GPU/GPU combo on the market.

    If you wait for Ivy Bridge, it'll be worth waiting for NVIDIA's new GPUs, since you might get an SLI combo that's better than a single GTX 680/7970.

    There are concerns about microstuttering, but TBH I've never seen it (owned 3 multi GPU setups in the last 2 years) and I've personally had more driver issues that have limited my performance than some stuttering. I also think the stuttering stems from the drivers as well.
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    Related resources
    April 6, 2012 4:39:03 PM

    A most excellent post raiddin!

    Ivy bridge is imminent, we should see Z77 motherboards next week, and ivy bridge quads by the end of the month.
    Ivy bridge looks to bring 10% more performance for the same price.

    I think the GTX680 is a better buy at the released $500 price point, but it may be a month before the supply is replenished. The quick sell out is a testament to the card's value.

    Permit me a rant 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 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

    Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
    Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

    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.
    When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
    A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.

    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-stut...

    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.

    Few games use more than 2 or 3 fast cores, so 6/8 core cpu's will go largely unused. If you will be running multithreaded apps, then something like a 2600K with hyperthreading can be useful. Otherwise, save $100 and get a 2500K.

    The only psu on your list that I might buy is the antec 900w, and that is overkill.
    The antec 850 is a specialized psu that fits only certain antec cases.
    The other brands are not high on my quality list. In addition to antec, seasonic, corsair, xfx, or pc p&c are quality brands you can trust.

    A single 7970 or GTX680 needs only a 550w psu. The newer 28nm graphics cards are more efficient.
    If you anticipate a faster version of kepler, or a dual gpu version, a 650w or 750w psu would be plenty.

    With your budget, get the best monitor you can afford to pay for. You will be looking at it for a long time.
    Bust your budget for a 27" 2560 x 1440 monitor. It will cost you $600 or so, but you will not regret it.

    Hard drive prices are still high. I suggest you start your build with a good 120gb ssd, and buy a hard drive for expansion later. 120gb will hold the os, and 6-8 games.
    I think that Intel and samsung are the best ones to buy today.
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    April 6, 2012 4:49:27 PM

    Ivy Bridge is due out April 29th.

    http://pcper.com/news/Processors/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-Proce... <----- Here's a price run down of the Ivy Bridge cpu's in $USD

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=1155 <---- Asrocks Z77 and Z75 boards to date. They all get released with Ivy Bridge.

    http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Inte... <---- Asus Z77 board lineup to date.

    http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=2&p=... <----- Gigabyte Z77 board lineup to date.

    http://us.msi.com/product/mb/#/?sk=Socket%201155%20(Intel%20i3/i5/i7) <----- MSI Z77 board lineup to date.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5626/ivy-bridge-preview-c... <---- Ivy Bridge cpu review with benchmarks



    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-680-overclock... <----- Overclocking the gtx 680 w/benchmarks




    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z77%20Extre... $150 +/- $15
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4

    http://www.amazon.com/XFX-ATX-850-Power-Supply/dp/B0050... $122.75 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    XFX PRO850W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80 Plus Silver Certified 850 Watt Active PFC Power Supply

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $499.99
    ASUS GTX680-2GD5 GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
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    April 6, 2012 4:58:10 PM

    Geofelt mostly explained things how I would have in relation to why I think 1x video card is superior to 2x video cards.

    You get a lower FPS with 1x cards, but in pretty much every other way the 1x is superior. If you count the fact that you can spend less on motherboards, less on PSUs, less on cases, and all that and buy a larger video card, often the FPS is also better from 1 card instead of 2.

    One thing he didn't point out that I usually like to point out is that if you get a board with 2x PCIE slots, they are sometimes so close together that the top most card (the one with the least open space between its fan and the closest airflow obstructor (the card right below it) often can't "breathe".

    If the cards are so close together that the fan of one card has trouble bringing air in to blow onto the card, then the temperatures of the card without adequate airflow will be much higher than the temps of the other card. It will be much more likely to break and if it does it will break much sooner.

    These are problems borne out in practice too, not theoretical ones. It is almost always the top card that fails first in a 2 card setup. The lives of the top card in a 2x card setup is often much shorter than that of the card directly below.

    - Edit - I just wanted to point it out that I don't usually suggest anything other than what is currently available. Even if Ivy Bridge comes out soon, supplies may not be available in stores soon because they are permanently sold out. Sorta like the 680s are now. I usually just assume people want computers now rather than a month or two months from now as the default assumption.

    If the OP is willing to wait, he can probably get more bang for his buck with some components that are currently sold out or will be released soon, yes.
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    April 7, 2012 12:20:13 AM

    @Raiddinn :
    My reasons for getting higher quality parts that are normally skimmed over(even I normally skim over them when building a system) is that even in 5 years time they won't need a upgrade. Only thing that'll need upgrading is the GPU(or if something burns out). EG in 5 years time the requirements for RAM will of risen quite a lot, The only reason RAM has stayed at about the same lvl is because of PS3's and 360's having rather limited amounts so game company's don't make games that require more than that and both Sony and Xbox have got a new system out in probably the next year or 2. Same with thing's like the BR/DVD BRNR, instead of a normal DVD brnr, I remember a few years before DVD's became popular it was like $10 for a dvd and people were saying, ohh these'll never become mainstream, look what happened there eh.

    And yes I am aware that 2x graphics cards are useless. Perhaps you misunderstood me mate. I meant the extra graphics card acting as a dedicated physx card when upgrading. As even a relatively cheap card like the 550ti would chew up and spit out any game going near it for the next year or 2 which is more than enough time to replace it, and we'll probably see the Nvidia 700 series by then. I've been extremely anti 2 graphics card since reading this. The dedicated Physx thing is the main reason I prefer Nvidia at the moment(that and their frame mates are smoother). With systems I normally say either 1GPU/3GPU/4GPU with the possible addition of a PPU to take some of the work load off of the GPU('s)

    However I do appreciate your advice and am going to go study your suggstions for next half hour or so and will try and replicate that system you suggested as close as possible with parts available from the site was considering purchasing from. And to be real, those initial systems were very quickly chucked together, already wasted a few hours on it that day and needed a rest, was gonna look at it for another couple hours this morn.

    @geofelt :
    hahaha I linked same thing before even reading your post. SNAP! XD
    And as for the PSU's It's one of the only area's I'm not overly familiar with, after your suggestions will modify list. To be real most of the items on that list are what appeared to be best value in different price ranges at a quick(ish) glance.
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    April 7, 2012 12:42:43 AM

    IMHO, it isn't worth using a PhysX card.

    How many games even use PhysX? I use AMD cards and I have only had 1 game that ever wanted to install the software emulated PhysX card. I have played a lot of games too.

    PhysX is just not that popular that I am aware of.

    If you get a card for PhysX, or use your current card for PhysX, you would still have most of the drawbacks and none of the advantages just like you were SLIing.

    The top card (most likely the one you are using for graphics) will still have trouble breathing. Your computer will still suck down the extra power from the second card. You would still have to have a PSU capable of powering both. You would still have to have a motherboard that can hold both. Etc.

    I would advise you to sell an extra video card on ebay rather than using it as a PhysX card.

    Also, I wanted to say that it isn't because of the PS3 that computers still only have 8 GBs of RAM. It is because of the way memory is allocated inside of a computer.

    Something programmed into OSs these days tries to limit the potential damage that stuff like viruses can do. One way they do that is by making sure that any single program can't use more than X amount of memory. That is currently 2 GBs. There is a fancy way to program things so that you can use 3 GBs, but other than that you are kinda stuck.

    To use more than that, you have to spawn multiple copies of the same program OR to trick the computer into counting different pieces of the same program separately.

    The theory is if you get a virus intent on consuming all your computer's resources, it will be blocked once it gets to a certain size and it can't grow farther than that.

    Games, however, suffer the same limitation, as does every other program. That is why no game takes more than 2 GBs of RAM. They straight up can't even if they want to.

    Maybe it has changed now, but I doubt it. These things have been this way for a long time now.

    - Edit - The Corsair CX 600 may be the closest you can get to the XFX 650w. If you go with that you should probably still be OK.
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    April 7, 2012 1:46:28 AM

    Hmm yes it would be a fiddle, but hey I enjoy fiddling with things. From some of the vids I've seen when physx does work, it works incredibly. I spose that'll depend largely on the MOBO chosen if going for Physx or not. Another factor may be that if upgrading GPU going for liquid cooling could be a possibility, negating the need for much of the airflow. I have run into problems with a sound card blocking airflow to a GPU but I got around that by adding in a extra few fans and changing airflow a bit, not sure how possible that'd be with the new cards with the large casing on them. I really do want to go for a quality MOBO/CPU though as with most forms of building foundations are important. And as for PSU I like to go a extra 100 or 200 watts usually simply so that when upgrading it's not even something I need to think about.

    In regards to RAM; That may be a large part of it but I really don't expect it to stay that way forever, especially not after 5 years or so. Maybe 8 gig would be the way to go there. RAM's got a habit of burning out after a few years and by the time comp needs more than 8gig of ultra quick RAM it'll be cheap enough to buy more than that. And yes I know the PS3 is not the only reason but it is a contributing factor. If game makers started making games that actually required more Microsoft would probably patch something in that fixed that.

    Righto time to do some weighing up and shuffling stuff around.

    Edit : Righto updated list of PSU's to only include those you listed as quality manafacturers.
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    April 7, 2012 2:26:55 AM

    Actually, just so you are aware, RAM prices are unsustainably low.

    So low in fact that one of the biggest RAM makers just went bankrupt (Elpida). They are ceasing operations rather than trying to cast off their debt and begin anew (IIRC).

    That means there are set to be fewer competitors marketing RAM. BTW, OCZ got out of the RAM business recently too.

    That makes two major players gone in a very short time span in RL.

    RAM prices will probably not stay unsustainably low for very much longer. Especially not if another major player goes bankrupt or leaves the RAM business.

    RAM prices may go up rather than down in the future.

    It is a possibility to be aware of, at least. As hard drive prices have shown, disruptions in supply can cause large increases in price and quite quickly too.

    As for ultra quick RAM, all that will do is help you zip files faster or run processor integrated graphics better. Nothing else.
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    April 7, 2012 2:30:09 AM

    But for $50 difference that's not really gonna hurt is it? I'm jus tryin to cover as many vectors as I can if ye know what I mean. Future proof as much as possible so that in 3-5 years it'll still be a solid machine.
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    April 7, 2012 2:49:37 AM

    If you are going to spend another $50 on the system as a whole, I don't think that spending it on RAM would be the best thing to do, if that is what you are asking.

    If you don't really care to get the most bang for your buck either now or in 3 - 5 years, go ahead and spend it on RAM.

    If you want the most cost effective place to spend it instead, I would go for either a better hard drive, Blu Ray, or maybe wait for Ivy Bridge and spend the overage on a better processor.
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    April 7, 2012 3:01:11 AM

    Mate what's that? A slab? Yeah I know that but there's only $30 difference between the Intel Core i7 3820 - $305.00 and the i7-3770K - $332, I'll spend more than that on booze on a quiet weekend. 2TB hard drive is more than enough for now, BR Burner's already included.

    What do you think of this as a basis to work on?

    Budget Parts :

    MOBO :
    CPU :
    GPU :
    RAM : Corsair 8GB 1600MHz - $59.00
    HD : SG Baracuda 1TB - $99.00
    BRNR : Sony DVDRW - $19.00
    PSU : Antec EarthWatts 650W Green - $95.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Total $437

    Cut Above Parts :

    MOBO :
    CPU :
    GPU :
    RAM : G.Skill 8GB 2133MHz - $89.00
    HD : WD Digital Green 2TB - $125.00
    BRNR : LiteOn BR/DVD Burner - $85.00
    PSU : Antec EarthWatts 750W Green - $125.00
    Screen : 23" LG IPS LCD $165.00
    K/b : Corsair K90 - $129.99 (not included in count)
    Moose : Rokkat Kone+ - $100(ish) (not included in count)

    Total : $589

    Every bit is jus a cut above the average for minimal price difference. And it leaves about a K to work with for MOBO/CPU/GPU which is more than respectable.

    Edit : Jus added in a extra couple builds, and got rid of old ones as was not happy with them. Opinions are welcome.

    Edit : $1500 seems to be a awkward middle ground between mid range and enthusiast.
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    April 7, 2012 7:49:59 AM

    geofelt said:
    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 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

    Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
    Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.


    That's a large part of why I think the 'Get GPU after build' could be a much better system and cheaper in the long run as every part is a cut above, sure the other one would go strong for 3 years, but that one would run everything for 2 years without breaking a sweat, when ya down to medium settings in 2 years buy a new GPU it'll be cool for another 2-3 years no sweat.
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    April 8, 2012 1:34:21 AM

    This mobo?

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

    Or this mobo?

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

    I'm sorta leaning towards the latter at the moment even if it is slightly more. It's got some thing called a TPU that I've never heard of before but apparently it helps to adjust power distribution and such to make sure everything is running efficiently. But the other one normally costs a bit more and is a bargain at the moment so it must have some sort of boon to it. Perhaps its because it supports 3xpcie16 or something?
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    April 8, 2012 2:11:23 AM

    ASUS is more reliable, so go with it.
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    !