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Processor and Processor cooler

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May 10, 2012 10:47:57 PM

I'm building a new computer, and I'm not sure what Processor and cooler I should get. The rest of my build that I have is as follows:

Case: Antec 1200
Power Supply: Zalman ZM-1000HP
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68 V-Pro/gen3
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x8GB (X series)
Graphics Card: Zotac GTX 560 1gb
Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB 7200 RPM

I'm not sure of the Processor I want. I'm torn between the i7-2600k, and the i5-2500k. I'll eventually be overclocking, and it's nicer to have the lower temperatures, as well as the lower prices. And being able to overclock higher is a plus. I don't like that the Ivy Bridge Processors run hotter.

The cooler I would prefer is the Thermalright Silverarrow, but I'm not sure if it will fit in my case.

I will be playing games like Skyrim, Counter Strike, StarCraftII, Diablo 3, Mass Effect, perhaps Battlefield 3, and others, as well as also doing some things with Maya, UDK, and the like.

What's the advantage of hyper-threading? How much does it actually increase performance in applications that take advantage of it?

If the Silverarrow doesn't fit, what's a smaller cooler with similar performance? Or if it does, is there anything within it's price range with better performance?

Thank you for your time. Hopefully you all here at Tom's can help enlighten me.
May 10, 2012 10:55:16 PM

Hyperthreading means that you have twice as many threads as cores. It will not make a difference for gaming because few games use 4 threads, and none use 8. I5 is as high as you need to go for gaming. I7 is for video editing. How high will you overclock? If it is less than 4.5 GHz you can safely do it with a stock cooler. up to 5, maybe a little more can be done with the Coolermaster 212 Evo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 10, 2012 11:31:03 PM

Hyperthreading uses unused cycles of the main thread to dispatch extra work.
Think of it as an added 4 cores with the processing power each of perhaps 1/4 of a core.

For gaming, the extra $100 you will spend on a 2600K over a 2500K is not worth it.
As adgjlsfhk said games rarely use more than 2 or 3 cores.
Also, the 2500K will OC to about the same levels as the 2600K.
For gaming, spend the extra $100 on a better graphics card.

But... For a new build today, I suggest the newer 3570K. and a Z77 motherboard.
At stock, it is faster than the 2500K. It starts with a higher multiplier, and the efficiency(IPC) per clock is 5-10% better. With any sane OC you will have a great gaming chip.
Do not be put off by the higher temperatures at a max OC. The chip can tolerate it, but a record high OC is not necessary for gaming.
A $20 cooler like the CM hyper212 is really all you need.
The silver arrow is a normal height cooler(160cm) which will fit in almost any mid size tower, so you are good there.

I think you would have a more balanced system with a stronger graphics card and a 650w psu.
Nothing wrong with a smaller case too.

For a new build today in this budget range, I would include a 120gb ssd for the os and some games. Look at the Intel 330 series.
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May 10, 2012 11:36:44 PM

I would go with the hyper 212 evo because it is $20 which is not much. For this build an ssd would be nice, but you could save a little and get a 60 gb vertex 3. It will store you os and a few games, and you do not need more speed.
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May 10, 2012 11:40:38 PM

I know hyper-threading allows more threads per core. And games may not currently use more than four threads, but DX11 can use multiple threads to render, just not every game uses that aspect of DX11, but developers may use that aspect in the future. I'm just not sure how much hyper-threading actually effects the performance of rendering/ect. If it's negligible, then it's easy for me to save $100. I'm not currently sure how high I will overclock at the moment. I've also heard the stock cooler is absolutely terrible in comparison to a good aftermarket cooler.
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May 11, 2012 12:00:36 AM

The Intel stock cooler is reasonable, not terrible.
Under load the fan will spin up and be noisy, but it will cool well enough to keep the cpu running full out.
If you OC, then a aftermarket cooler will be quieter at all speeds, and will let you oc higher.
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May 12, 2012 12:03:20 AM

Would the CM V6GT fit into the Antec 1200?
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May 12, 2012 1:06:37 AM

Dogrom said:
Would the CM V6GT fit into the Antec 1200?


I can't think of ANY cooler that will not fit in the Antec 1200.
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May 13, 2012 1:10:04 AM

While I have to wait for more funds to get Windows 7, I'll have to use Windows XP. I like XP, so I don't want to do the 'upgrade' to 7 for $120. I'd prefer not to have an OEM version so I have the ability to upgrade.

Like when games that were made in XP have rainbow coloring when run in Windows 7, are there any games that work in Windows 7 that don't work properly in XP (I know games that only run in DX10/11 won't run)?

Also, is there a cheaper alternative to get a non-OEM version of Windows 7 without giving up my version of XP?
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May 13, 2012 1:55:28 AM

Dogrom said:
While I have to wait for more funds to get Windows 7, I'll have to use Windows XP. I like XP, so I don't want to do the 'upgrade' to 7 for $120. I'd prefer not to have an OEM version so I have the ability to upgrade.

Like when games that were made in XP have rainbow coloring when run in Windows 7, are there any games that work in Windows 7 that don't work properly in XP (I know games that only run in DX10/11 won't run)?

Also, is there a cheaper alternative to get a non-OEM version of Windows 7 without giving up my version of XP?


The upgrade version of windows 7 costs about the same as oem.
But, it is considered as retail, so in the future, you can freely gransfer the license to a different motherboard.
It also comes with both the 32 bit and 64 bit DVD's.
If you happen to need two or more upgrade licenses, there is a family pack three license package that costs something like $140.
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May 13, 2012 1:57:47 AM

Have you already bought the parts on your list, or is this only for shopping?

A 1000w psu seems totally unnecessary for example.
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May 13, 2012 2:14:27 AM

I've purchased all of the parts listed, and I actually got the power supply for a really great price. I'm not sure of the processor at this point, but I really like the TPC-812 as the cooler. Again, I'd like to not have to give up my XP for 7, in addition to paying $120 for it.

Also, on the Microsoft Website, they have an option for 'students', does that count for all students (say, High School), or only College students? If so, they have Pro for 'students' for about $65.
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May 13, 2012 3:44:34 AM

Nothing wrong with the TPC-812, but it appears to be nothing special.
You would do about as well with a cm hyper212 at half the price.
If price is no object, look at the Noctua NH-D14.
To satisfy yourself if a cooler will fit, look at the dimensiona, perticularly the height.
For most, that is about 160cm, or 6.3".
The Antec 1200 is 8.4" wide which should be plenty of room, even allowing for the raised motherboard.

I think the test for qualifying as a student is having a .EDU e-mail address.
I could be wrong there, so a call might give you some results or an exception.
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May 13, 2012 2:15:19 PM

Most water cooling or air cooling that costs over $40 is not needed for an I5. Expensive cooling is really designed for sandy bridge E. The $30 hyper 212 evo will be plenty.
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May 13, 2012 5:21:18 PM

Dogrom said:
So... Is Frostytech horribly wrong about this, then?

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=265...

According to that, it's better than the D14, and is cheaper.


Not exactly.

You have to look at the balance between cooling capability, and noise.
A higher rpm stock fan will provide more cooling, but at a higher noise level.
If you care about noise, you want slower turning fans.

In the case of Noctua, they include about the best fans around. They seem to be a bit more efficient per rpm, with a lower noise level.
They also provide voltage reduction fan cables so you can adjust the fan speeds to your liking.

In reality, almost any aftermarket cpu cooler with a 120mm fan will do the job adequately.
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May 21, 2012 9:50:54 PM

What is the best air CPU cooler that allows use of all four RAM slots?
EDIT: Disregard noise factor, as long as it doesn't sound like a jet engine.
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May 21, 2012 11:57:05 PM

Why do you need more than 16 gigs of ram?
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May 22, 2012 4:13:36 AM

If the option is there, I want it to be there. I don't want to have a cooler that obstructs them.

It's not that I need more than 16GB of RAM, it's that I want the option to do it if the board provides the option.
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May 22, 2012 2:04:37 PM

Dogrom said:
What is the best air CPU cooler that allows use of all four RAM slots?
EDIT: Disregard noise factor, as long as it doesn't sound like a jet engine.


Best in what way? Price, cooling, quiet, install ease?

I think the cm hiper212 is probably the best when considering several factors:

1) At about $20 it is about as inexpensive as you can get.
2) It is a very effective cooler. It will do the job for anything but the most extreme of overclocks.
3) The 120mm fan will be quiet. Certainly quieter than intel stock.
4) The backplate mount is easier than the stock Intel pushpins.
5) It is a fairly narrow cooler. If you install your two 8gb sticks in slots 2 & 4, you will not be impacted.
If you get two more sticks, you are probably still good. If not, you can install the fan in a pull position which will clear even the tallest of heat spreaders.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 22, 2012 7:52:46 PM

I meant "Best" as in the one that will keep my CPU the coolest.

Thanks for the suggestion for the Hyper212. I've looked at it quite a bit, and it seems to be the "go-to" for budget cooling.

EDIT: Also, Would the i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i7-2600k, or i7-3770k be the best choice for me? I plan to overclock to around 4.5Ghz eventually.

EDIT #2: How much better is PCIE 3 compared to PCIE 2? As I know the Sandy Bridge CPUs don't support PCIE 3, but my motherboard does. Would the Ivy be worth it?
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May 22, 2012 9:48:35 PM

I would get ivy because even though you can not OC as well, a lower OC yields higher results than on a sandy bridge cpu. PSIE 3 is at 8 gigabytes/second, while PCIE 2 is 5 gigabytes/second. For real world applications, this means you get a couple % better with GTX 670, 680, or 690 (or AMD equivalents). Graphics cards in the next 2-3 years will get a big improvement with PCIE 3, so for upgradability, I would get Ivy bridge
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May 22, 2012 10:36:24 PM

Dogrom said:
I meant "Best" as in the one that will keep my CPU the coolest.

Thanks for the suggestion for the Hyper212. I've looked at it quite a bit, and it seems to be the "go-to" for budget cooling.

EDIT: Also, Would the i5-2500k, i5-3570k, i7-2600k, or i7-3770k be the best choice for me? I plan to overclock to around 4.5Ghz eventually.

EDIT #2: How much better is PCIE 3 compared to PCIE 2? As I know the Sandy Bridge CPUs don't support PCIE 3, but my motherboard does. Would the Ivy be worth it?


For gaming, all 4 would be very close.
If the extra $100 for the 2600K or 3770K is not that important to you, the extra threads can be put to good use if your other apps can use multiple threads. There is no downside except for price.
Today, I would pick the ivy bridge variants, simply because they are newer. and really cost little more.

Pcie 2/3 is not an issue. First because even the strongest graphics cards of today are not limited by even pcie 2.0.
Second, because it matters little if the pcie 3.0 implementation is done via the intel chip in the newer motherboards, or by a separate discrete chip in some older motherboards.
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May 23, 2012 2:26:56 AM

Actually, I can currently get the 2600k for $300, with ME3.

I don't get what you mean about external PCIE 3 support. Could you explain?
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May 23, 2012 11:09:52 AM

He is saying that some Z68 motherboards have PCIE 3 on the motherboard. Even at $300, I would get an I5-3570k because it still costs less and you can put the money into a better gpu.
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