Its been a looong time since I've built a rig from the ground up(been in lappy land). So I had some questions (building a rig for near ultra setting gaming at 1080p at 50-60 fps though I don't mind sacrificing some insane levels of AA).
1) As there's no 660 GTX comming out any time soon I keep going back and forth between either using a Radeon 7850 or Radeon 7870 (and taking my first stab at non voltage increased overclocking). But the one thing I've noticed is all newer cards are freakin huge, especially with their coolers(and I'm looking at one with dual fans for quietness/more cooling). If I cheap out by going with a microatx board do I need to fear it not fitting in the 3.0 PCIE slot that they keep shoving up against the CPU/Ram(dimensionally)? One of the boards I'm looking at is this:
2) Also where should I be aiming on Power Supply roughly for overshoot? I never plan on crossfiring, and everything should be relatively power efficient but I'd like a bigger PSU for future upgrades (600-650Watts) do I need to downsize it to keep it above a certain minimum capacity?
3) Do I need to run sticks in sets of 3 to get the full effect of the DDR3? My reading seems to indicate yes but many computer store websites just list "dual channel" even though its a DDR3 board so I'm confused.
The Heart of the System I'm Building
Z77/Z75 based mother board possibly the one linked above.
Radeon 7850/7870 with mild OC
7200 RPM HD
Standard Optical HD
3 sticks 2 GB RAM DDR3 1600
Get 2x4 GB of dual channel DDR3-1600. It can be had for around $45 bucks.
If you are going the 7850/7870 route, save the money and get a 7850. They can be OC to match or maybe slightly exceed 7870 stock speeds and it will save you $100 bucks. Depending on the game, you may or may not get super maxxed out settings at 60fps with either of those cards.
Ya I have to admit the value of the 7850 is hard to beat (none of the newer cards really match its price to performance and have some sort of extra premium attached to it).
I plan to oc either way(though first time) since everywhere i've read its just so easy. I've found a 7870 for about 80 more after crediting the software value that I actually want. But there's still a slight premium per fps I'm not liking. That and the fact that you spend less now can upgrade sooner later. Just wish BF3 and Witcher 2 ran better on the 7850 right out the gate.
Agreed though 7870 at full price 360 or whatever though is a rip off compared to 7850 and way to close to too many other things that for minimum extra money that will rip it up. Especially when considering that games now tend to run either at obscene frame rates even on something like the 7850 or kill everything thats not a 400+ card.
Thanks for correcting me on the RAM I thought Ivybridge had gone trichannel, evidentally not. So you guys just saved me from a mistake. Motherboard still worries me with the RAM slots how they are about either of the cards i'm looking at fitting, but no one else seems to think it'll be a problem so I'll probably give it a whirl.
Like you said the 7850 is such a good value at $250. My feeling on a card like the 7870 for $360 is, at that point, you might as well spend an extra $40 and get a GTX670 which is a far better card.
At the end of your post, are you referring to the video card being too close to the RAM slots? If so, don't worry, the bulk of the card faces the other way while the flat back side sits along the axis where the PCI slot is.
Just realized from your sig you're running like real dang similiar to the rig I'm building. You don't happen to play BF3 and Witcher 2 do you? They were like the only games I was worried about from the benchmarks of how much I'd have to turn off to get them mostly 50-60 fps .
7850 with dual fan cooler to oc a bit (figured 85 bucks is a good chunk into a 8000 or 9000 series card later on)
650 watt OCZ bronze psu
2 X 4 GB DD3 1600 RAM
1 TB HD 7200 rpm (rather have space than the speed)
Guess we'll see how it all assembles and if I have to come back for help XD. But yes.. I know of the google, just noticed there's a huge spread of variation in the benchmarks for that card. Some showing it running near or at 60 fps on ultra, and others showing it at 31 fps (at 1080p). Only thing I could figure is maybe it was the type of AA doing it as it doesn't seem to like doing MSAA. That was why I asked, not due to laziness =)