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Bang for the buck video.

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May 15, 2012 6:40:17 PM

Going to build a new pc this week ... looking for some suggestions on video card. I know I could go online and read all kinds of articles, compare features, and spend hours doing such. But, let's hear from some of you "in the know". :p 

Building a middle road gamer ... Core i5 Sandy Bridge, P8P67 Asus Board, 8gb DDR3 (2@4gb) ... and probably an SSD for o/s install (size/speed yet to be decided), seperate HDD for data storage.

nVidia vs ATI ... for $240-$300 ... what would you pick?? Playing games like BF3 and COD. I aim to keep the build under $1300, without o/s included in the cost. Resolution would be 1920x1080.

Was considering an nVidia 560.

Chuck

More about : bang buck video

a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 6:52:12 PM

You want a 7870, 7950, or a GTX 670. 1 card will be enough with the rest of your system
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May 15, 2012 7:07:32 PM

Rockdpm said:
You want a 7870, 7950, or a GTX 670. 1 card will be enough with the rest of your system


$240-$300 .... those are priced out of range.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 8:22:09 PM

You can easily build a $1300 gaming computer with a GTX670.

The most important part of a gaming computer is the graphics card. I'm not sure if you're including a good monitor in that price too though.

Be aware though that a $200 CPU paired with a $400 graphics card is a far, far better way to go than a $400 CPU paired with a $200 graphics card.

For drives, you should have something like this:
1) SSD - 120GB (for Windows, programs etc)
2) 2TB WD Green drive (for games, downloads, media etc.)
*I have STEAM installed on my hard drive and Windows installed on my SSD. Remarkably, game loading times aren't that much quicker on an SSD as most think.

Just FYI.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 8:22:55 PM

Single card solutions:

$250 HD 7850 (low power usage)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$230 GTX 480 (high power usage, PhysX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The above cards perform similarly to each other.


2 cards - with 2 cards you will *eventually* run into microstuttering.

$280 ($200 after mail-in) 2x GTX 460
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3 cards - eliminates microstuttering issues at 3-4 cards, if your mobo can support that many

$330 ($270 after rebate) 3x HD 6770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

*$420 ($300 after rebate) 3x GTX 460 (high PSU requirements)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

* when using 3 or more pci-e 2.0 slots, 2 or more cards are limited to 4 lanes. This can hinder performance of midrange and above cards. the 6770 is approx. the most powerful card that isn't hampered by a 4 lane pci-e 2.0 limit.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 8:26:32 PM

SSD:
The best deal I've seen is the 120GB OCZ Agility for as little as $100 on sale. Connect it to the SATA3 (aka "SATA600") connector.

SLI/Crossfire:
Absolutely do NOT deal with multiple graphics cards. There is a known microstutter issue even with three cards; also if you have cards with 1GB of VRAM you still only have an effective 1GB of VRAM even with three cards (it is not added). For your money, you should be getting an HD7000 or GTX600 series card.

The best value is the HD7850, but again you should be able to build a system in your price range that includes a GTX670 which is an amazing card.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 8:34:29 PM

photonboy said:
SSD:
The best deal I've seen is the 120GB OCZ Agility for as little as $100 on sale. Connect it to the SATA3 (aka "SATA600") connector.

SLI/Crossfire:
Absolutely do NOT deal with multiple graphics cards. There is a known microstutter issue. For your money, you should be getting an HD7000 or GTX600 series card.


Microstutter *only* happens with 2 cards, not everyone is bothered by it, and even those who are only tend to notice it when the framerates drop to 40 or below. I personally avoid 2 card configurations because it bothers me, but for the sake of being thorough, i included the option.

Do yourself a favor and don't buy an asynchronous NAND drive. they'll need to drop a lot more in price to be worth it again.

$110 Crucial m4 (synchronous NAND)
http://www.compusa.com/applications/searchtools/item-de...

Toggle NAND would be even better...

$120 Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$125 Sandisk Extreme
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 15, 2012 8:54:10 PM

GTX670's out of stock at newegg ... cept for a Galaxy brand, never heard of it. Prefer EVGA myself. An 850 watt with up to 66amps on a single 12v rail enough for this beast of a video card?

I ran two cards in my previous computer. Two 9800's. Built about 3-4 years ago, hence the need for a new one. Have had several issues running the two cards. Some games work great, others constantly crash. Tired of fooling with it. Has a lot of "miles" on the machine too.

On the SSD ... I was looking at an OCZ Agility 3, 90GB Sata III at $149. Mostly for o/s load, maybe some minimal data storage. A run of the mill 1TB will probably be used to store other data, games, etc.
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a c 540 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 8:58:01 PM

GeForce GTX 670 minimum power supply requirement:

Minimum of a 500 Watt or greater power supply with a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 30 Amps or greater and with at least two 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors.

SLI (2-way SLI): A minimum 700 Watt or greater system power supply with a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 45 Amps or greater and with at least four 6-pin PCI-E Supplementary Power Connectors.
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May 15, 2012 9:00:42 PM

Then again, on the SSD ... could probably do better. I made this list of parts back in January :p  lol
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 9:55:07 PM

katfishgr said:
Then again, on the SSD ... could probably do better. I made this list of parts back in January :p  lol


The 120GB OCZ Agility 3 was on sale at NCIX at $108 but was sold out. However, NCIX frequently has SSD's on sale. It's almost annoying because several parts will go on sale, then go back to full price, then on sale again a month later. I thought there was actually a law against how often the same thing could go on sale...

Anyway, I recommend starting with NCIX to get a parts list going. Something like:
1) Asus Ivy Bridge motherboard $200 to $300
2) Intel CPU ($200 to $300)
*make sure to get a "K" version (overclockable). Probably the i5-3570K

3) Graphics card (GTX670 for $400) I have to stick with my recommend here. *read review AND the Kepler information at NVidia
4) case (Antec ONE or similar. *Get a case AND motherboard that support FRONT USB v3.0)
5) 120GB SSD
6) Power Supply (quality PSU 650W or greater. Rail amperage should not be an issue. 40Amps on the +12V rail is enough for a single GTX670)

Other:
- CPU HSF (at least $20 but much better than stock for noise/overclock)
- front-bottom case fan (the Antec ONE has top-rear fans, but I'd add a low-noise 500 to 800RPM, non-variable 120mm fan)

Cheers. Need any more help, just shout.

(Asus has some great Ivy Bridge motherboards.)
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:01:41 PM

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-...

*I'm still not entirely sure where the overheating issue is. That said, they did overclock this CPU to 5GHz (not something I recommend).

The CPU doesn't have hyperthreading, however it did match the previous similar CPU with its hyperthreading enabled. Simply put, it's hard to beat the price. Also, spending $380 on the 3770K instead of $220 provides little benefit in games and the difference in money would be best spent elsewhere, like on the graphics card.

A great gaming system comes down to the BALANCE of parts and this CPU, and a good Ivy Bridge motherboard provide a great start.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:09:54 PM

katfishgr said:
GTX670's out of stock at newegg ... cept for a Galaxy brand, never heard of it. Prefer EVGA myself. An 850 watt with up to 66amps on a single 12v rail enough for this beast of a video card?

I ran two cards in my previous computer. Two 9800's. Built about 3-4 years ago, hence the need for a new one. Have had several issues running the two cards. Some games work great, others constantly crash. Tired of fooling with it. Has a lot of "miles" on the machine too.

On the SSD ... I was looking at an OCZ Agility 3, 90GB Sata III at $149. Mostly for o/s load, maybe some minimal data storage. A run of the mill 1TB will probably be used to store other data, games, etc.


SLI/xfire support has gotten way better in 4 generations of cards :) 


That having been said, if you tend to leave you computer on for most of the day, a single 7850 is your best bet. It's the lowest power consumption of cards I'd recommend in your price range.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:12:16 PM

A 90gb agility 3 @ $149 right now is an utter rip off; is that an old price? It's ~$100 for that drive right now, and even that's not worth it for an asynchronous NAND drive.
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May 15, 2012 10:18:48 PM

AMD/ATI has buggy drivers. They always have and probably always will. Others will tell you that everybody has buggy drivers and they're right however AMD/ATI seem never to fix theirs. Personally, I've given up on them.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:21:19 PM

quilciri,
Microstutter. No point in discussing it further here as he's not going that route.

Agility 3:
I just said this SSD can be found on sale for $100. I'm not sure what you mean by "not worth it for an asynchronous NAND drive" as I have one and have benchmarked it and it performs very well. It got up to about 550MBytes/second for large reads and the 4K read/write was in line with the price and class.

*Look for an SSD that scores greater than 450MBytes/second reads. If you want to spend a lot of time reading reviews that's fine too, but basically go with that and look for SALES.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:23:45 PM

Well, the last ATI card I had before these was a 9500 pro, so I can't speak for the cards in between. I've never had any problems with the 6770's in any game. Never even had a problem with xfire support, and I've played most games on the market today with this rig.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:35:48 PM

photonboy said:
quilciri,
Microstutter. No point in discussing it further here as he's not going that route.

Agility 3:
I just said this SSD can be found on sale for $100. I'm not sure what you mean by "not worth it for an asynchronous NAND drive" as I have one and have benchmarked it and it performs very well. It got up to about 550MBytes/second for large reads and the 4K read/write was in line with the price and class.

*Look for an SSD that scores greater than 450MBytes/second reads. If you want to spend a lot of time reading reviews that's fine too, but basically go with that and look for SALES.


You need to do more SSD research. They type of NAND in an ssd influences it's performance more than anything else, including the controller.

SLC > toggle MLC > synchronous MLC > asynchronous MLC

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...

Toggle nand drives with the same controller are roughly 60% faster than asynchronous. On top of that, there is less fall off in performance as the drive fills up with toggle/synchronous nand drives than there is with asynchronous. Even more, Game data, video and music files are incompressible data, which asynchonous NAND is terrible at (componded by the sandforce controller which is also bad at incompressible data)

If you're a gamer you want *at least* synchronous NAND.

Given that the mushkin toggle drive can be had for $120, and other toggle drives for nearly as cheap, there's no point in buying an asynchronous drive at the current prices.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:42:23 PM

quilciri said:
Well, the last ATI card I had before these was a 9500 pro, so I can't speak for the cards in between. I've never had any problems with the 6770's in any game. Never even had a problem with xfire support, and I've played most games on the market today with this rig.


I've got an HD5870 and have been VERY pleased with it. Most of the current driver "issues" seem to be more about SLI vs Crossfire efficiency. Though NVidia does tend to be a bit better at tweaking drivers for improved performance. I've never had a game crash in over two years with this card.

NVidia vs AMD:
I'm not a fanboy. I was all set to get the HD7970 but thought I should wait for NVidia's cards. Well, the GTX680 beat it and the GTX670 performs on average 93% as well for only $400.

There were several reasons I went with NVidia this time (last time I avoided them because of the GTX400 hot GPU issue):
- slightly better drivers
- PhysX
- TXAA
- Adaptive VSYNC (maybe AMD will add this. It's a driver thing)
- GPU Boost
*Apparently the UNREAL 4 engine so far is only working with Kepler. Not sure of the deal there since it wouldn't make sense to limit games based on UNREAL 4 to only Kepler (GTX600 series). Sounds like some cash traded hands.

There's nothing wrong with an HD7970 or HD7950 around the $400 price range, but it's simply not possible to beat the GTX670.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:45:04 PM

photonboy said:
quilciri,
Agility 3:
I just said this SSD can be found on sale for $100. I'm not sure what you mean by "not worth it for an asynchronous NAND drive" as I have one and have benchmarked it and it performs very well. It got up to about 550MBytes/second for large reads and the 4K read/write was in line with the price and class.


You're saying your asynchrounous NAND drive hit the SATA III theoretical peak throughput? I believe I'd like to see some verified benchmarks of that. I bet OCZ would like to see that, too.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:52:26 PM

photonboy said:

There's nothing wrong with an HD7970 or HD7950 around the $400 price range, but it's simply not possible to beat the GTX670.


OP's price limit is $300, which excludes the 670 as well....

Admittedly I am biased, but not amd vs. nvidia biased. I just don't think any single card over $300 is worth the money :) 
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 10:53:37 PM

quilciri said:
You need to do more SSD research. They type of NAND in an ssd influences it's performance more than anything else, including the controller.

SLC > toggle MLC > synchronous MLC > asynchronous MLC

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...

Toggle nand drives with the same controller are roughly 60% faster than asynchronous. On top of that, there is less fall off in performance as the drive fills up with toggle/synchronous nand drives than there is with asynchronous. Even more, Game data, video and music files are incompressible data, which asynchonous NAND is terrible at (componded by the sandforce controller which is also bad at incompressible data)

If you're a gamer you want *at least* synchronous NAND.

Given that the mushkin toggle drive can be had for $120, and other toggle drives for nearly as cheap, there's no point in buying an asynchronous drive at the current prices.


SIGH.
Two points:
#1 - Here's a quote from the article you linked:
"At the end of the day, the real-world characteristics between SSD don't differ by a large degree. "

#2 - SSD performance for gamers is not that big a deal.
Don't believe me? Test it. I did. I got 700+MBytes/second on RAID0 SSD and compared it to a WD 1TB Black. Result? I never exceeded a 25% difference in load times.

There's a pretty good article on why this is. Basically it's because a lot of the game load time is limited to the CPU and GPU processing as well as intro videos. Plus, most games nowadays buffer everything into the System RAM until the next level load so it really doesn't make much difference.

That's why I recommend SSD's for Windows and HD's for games (unless the person has only a few games. $200 for a 256GB SSD makes that compelling now.)
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:01:15 PM

quilciri said:
You're saying your asynchrounous NAND drive hit the SATA III theoretical peak throughput? I believe I'd like to see some verified benchmarks of that. I bet OCZ would like to see that, too.


You know, you're starting to get a little arrogant. The point of this is to help this guy put together a $1300. If you reread this post you'll see he's leaning towards the GTX670. I don't know why you are making a huge deal out of the SSD thing either. I'm talking about VALUE and I simply said it's hard to beat a $100 (on sale) OCZ Vertex 3.

Here's a benchmark confirming 550MB/sec on the OCZ Agility 3. I bet it's very similar to the one OCZ posted as well. Come on, do a little research before flaming people. It took me under 10 seconds to google this:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Any further comments I make will be SOLELY for the benefit of the original poster; let's not get mired down in petty quarrels. Remember, building a PC is about the best VALUE for the money and that means BALANCING the different part prices for the best overall performance.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:04:47 PM

photonboy said:
SIGH.
Two points:
#1 - Here's a quote from the article you linked:
"At the end of the day, the real-world characteristics between SSD don't differ by a large degree. "

#2 - SSD performance for gamers is not that big a deal.
Don't believe me? Test it. I did. I got 700+MBytes/second on RAID0 SSD and compared it to a WD 1TB Black. Result? I never exceeded a 25% difference in load times.


No, I don't believe you. The 240gb agi tops out at just over 200 mb/s average sequential read, it sounds like you're using 120's, and ssd I/O performance scales with size.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/ocz-agility-3-review/11

I can't speak for you or the OP, but I'd notice a 60% difference in performance. Tom's hardware is speaking in comparison to a HDD. A cavalier and a camaro don't differ by a large degree when compared to a unicycle, but I bet the average person can tell the difference in performance.

Lol, Raid 0. You neglected to mention that the first time around, implying you were getting xfer speeds like that off a single drive. once again, toggle in raid 0 would obliterate it's performance.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:10:39 PM

photonboy said:
You know, you're starting to get a little arrogant. The point of this is to help this guy put together a $1300. If you reread this post you'll see he's leaning towards the GTX670.


He's already had to repeat his OP that his price range is $240-$300. The 670 is out of it. I've already recommended the 7850. Your rereading comment is ironic.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:11:55 PM

quilciri said:
No, I don't believe you. The 240gb agi tops out at just over 200 mb/s average sequential read, it sounds like you're using 120's, and ssd I/O performance scales with size.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/ocz-agility-3-review/11

I can't speak for you or the OP, but I'd notice a 60% difference in performance. Tom's hardware is speaking in comparison to a HDD. A cavalier and a camaro don't differ by a large degree when compared to a unicycle, but I bet the average person can tell the difference in performance.

Lol, Raid 0. You neglected to mention that the first time around, implying you were getting xfer speeds like that off a single drive. once again, toggle in raid 0 would obliterate it's performance.


I even SENT YOU THE LINK of the benchmark for the OCZ Agility 3 showing it gets up to 557MB/second. Sigh. Whatever, I'm done.

*Ah, you're comparing different benchmark programs. Here, click on "Specifications" and you'll note the nearly identical performance for all sizes of the Agility 3:
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-agility-3-sata-iii-2-5...
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:15:35 PM

photonboy said:
I even SENT YOU THE LINK of the benchmark for the OCZ Agility 3 showing it gets up to 557MB/second. Sigh. Whatever, I'm done.


You sent me a link to peak bandwidth transfer, something that is absolutely worthless in day to day use. Try the link I posted for a relevant-to-real-use benchmark of the agility 3.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:22:30 PM

quilciri said:
You sent me a link to peak bandwidth transfer, something that is absolutely worthless in day to day use. Try the link I posted for a relevant-to-real-use benchmark of the agility 3.


You mean the link that concludes this was the best value you could find in an SSD in their conclusion? Again, it's all about value. (I swore I was done commenting. Okay, now I'm REALLY done. Plus, Diablo 3 is calling my name.)
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:27:05 PM

photonboy said:

*Ah, you're comparing different benchmark programs. Here, click on "Specifications" and you'll note the nearly identical performance for all sizes of the Agility 3:
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-agility-3-sata-iii-2-5...


You are aware that every ssd on the market posts "up to the theoretical-max of the SATA specification" in the specifications of it's drive, right? It's part of the particular collective stretching of the truth that SSD manufacturers practice.

The "specifcations" claim the 60gb agility has the same I/O throughput...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:38:23 PM

to the OP, Try digging around tom's forums a bit on SSD's, and see what the consensus is.
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a b U Graphics card
May 15, 2012 11:42:42 PM

photonboy said:
You mean the link that concludes this was the best value you could find in an SSD in their conclusion? Again, it's all about value. (I swore I was done commenting. Okay, now I'm REALLY done. Plus, Diablo 3 is calling my name.)


You're using a year old review to claim SSD value. Prices have changed a LOT. The agi is not even close to a good value anymore.
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May 16, 2012 12:01:43 AM

Load times of games is really a non-issue. I mean think about it ... so your game loads X amount of seconds quicker than most other people playing that particular game. Just means you have to wait when playing multiplayer for the other player(s) computer to catch up before the game syncs and starts. Kind of pointless really.

I will take notethough, of the mentioned synchronous, asynchronous and toggle. Was not aware of that. Haven't kept up with SSD's lately.

GTX670 may be a possibility. Thought maybe a card under $300 might suffice, and it probably still would. But at only $100 more, it seems I can't go wrong with a 2gb 670. Was just trying to force myself into a budget lol. As most of you know, you get to looking at parts, bells and whistles, specs ... before you know it, you've blown your budget and revised said budget 10 times lol.

I could spend hours reading benchmarks ... real world is all that matters to me. I'm not an overclocker. Just like playing my games the way they were meant to be played without spending $4K on a ridiculous build. ;) 
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a b U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 12:59:24 AM

If all you play are multiplayer games in which everyone has to load in before the round starts, then you don't need an ssd at all.

good luck!
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 1:00:05 AM

katfishgr said:
Load times of games is really a non-issue. I mean think about it ... so your game loads X amount of seconds quicker than most other people playing that particular game. Just means you have to wait when playing multiplayer for the other player(s) computer to catch up before the game syncs and starts. Kind of pointless really.

I will take notethough, of the mentioned synchronous, asynchronous and toggle. Was not aware of that. Haven't kept up with SSD's lately.

GTX670 may be a possibility. Thought maybe a card under $300 might suffice, and it probably still would. But at only $100 more, it seems I can't go wrong with a 2gb 670. Was just trying to force myself into a budget lol. As most of you know, you get to looking at parts, bells and whistles, specs ... before you know it, you've blown your budget and revised said budget 10 times lol.

I could spend hours reading benchmarks ... real world is all that matters to me. I'm not an overclocker. Just like playing my games the way they were meant to be played without spending $4K on a ridiculous build. ;) 


It basically comes down to your budget.
However, the difference between a $250 and $400 graphics card is pretty huge. If you factor in your total hardware cost, Internet cost for the next three years then that $150 isn't as huge as you might think. There are also several games today that will perform far better on a card such as the GTX670, such as Batman Arkham City which will still stutter at times on max settings even with a GTX680.

Maybe read this:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

(FYI, I'm a big fan of either the MSI Frozer II, or Asus DirectCU II variants of the GTX670)
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May 16, 2012 1:18:41 AM

Have always had good dealings with evga over the years, so I tend to stick with them. MSI, not so much.

So anyway .... came up with $1335 ... less o/s, which I already have. And less standard hdd's, which i will reuse out of my other pc for data storage.

Newegg wishlist - https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

For those who don't have a Newegg login, here's the break down -

Intel Core i5-3450 - $199.99
Asus Sabertooth Z77 - $239.99
nVidia GTX670 - $399.99
Samsung 830 128gb - $129.99
LiteOn Blu-ray - $78.99
CM HAF 922 Case - $89.99
CM Silent Pro RS850 - $149.99
GSkill 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1600 - $46.99

Total - $1335.92 (right at budget)

Any input or suggestions from the peanut gallery?? :) 
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a b U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 1:32:47 AM

Solid build for the most part. Any specific reason for that particular motherboard?

I only ask because the one thing photon and I semi-agreed on was the micro-stuttering issues with 2 card setups.

also, it seems more geared towards overlcocking.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 1:40:00 AM

katfishgr said:
Have always had good dealings with evga over the years, so I tend to stick with them. MSI, not so much.

So anyway .... came up with $1335 ... less o/s, which I already have. And less standard hdd's, which i will reuse out of my other pc for data storage.

Newegg wishlist - https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

For those who don't have a Newegg login, here's the break down -

Intel Core i5-3450 - $199.99
Asus Sabertooth Z77 - $239.99
nVidia GTX670 - $399.99
Samsung 830 128gb - $129.99
LiteOn Blu-ray - $78.99
CM HAF 922 Case - $89.99
CM Silent Pro RS850 - $149.99
GSkill 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1600 - $46.99

Total - $1335.92 (right at budget)

Any input or suggestions from the peanut gallery?? :) 


Sure.
- the best CPU is a "K" (unlocked) Intel CPU. The i5-3570K is almost the same price at $220 but can be overclocked a lot higher (with a half-decent HSF $20 to $50)

- I like Asus but I think that Sabertooth had a small fan that may or may not be problematic for noise (part of the outputs). I recommended a slightly differnt Z77 from Asus in any earlier response.

- Samsung SSD. Sounds just fine, barring any review issues. The specs and price seem good.

- LiteOn BluRay. Unless he's using it for BluRay discs, a $25 LG DVD burner may be a better way to go.

- 8GB G.Skill 1600MHz. Yep. No problem there. I have 8GB of G.Skill myself.

- CM Silent Pro - probably a pretty good PSU. He could get cheaper and 650W would be adequate but that's his decision. The PSU is very important. He could likely get a good 650W quality brand on sale for under $100 at NCIX. Again, a quality PSU is important.

- CM HAF 922 case - I don't like personally but it's not for me. I strongly recommend he get front USB3 inputs on both the case AND the motherboard though. I think the Antec ONE is a pretty good value (front USB3, cable hiding, two case fans).

- GTX670 - That's my recommend. There are different versions though and the difference in price isn't huge. Some of them like the MSI Frozer III or Asus DirectCU II stand out by offering stock GTX680 performance with the overclock.

Cheers.

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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 1:44:59 AM

quilciri said:
Solid build for the most part. Any specific reason for that particular motherboard?

I only ask because the one thing photon and I semi-agreed on was the micro-stuttering issues with 2 card setups.

also, it seems more geared towards overlcocking.


Most higher-end motherboards support SLI and Crossfire. However you don't need to use those slots for that if you don't want to. The motherboard is arguably the most important part of your computer (the PSU is too). The potential to overclock also means a more stable motherboard than a cheaper one.

There's a lot of little details that make a $220 motherboard far better than a $150 board. My recommend is nearer the top. It's also an Asus Z77. Asus is known for their quality motherboards and timely BIOS updates.
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May 16, 2012 1:47:00 AM

Prefer Asus mostly. But open to suggestions. Have always owned an Asus board. Never have tried anything else.

The 5 year warranty is nice too ... aren't most boards 1-3 year?
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May 16, 2012 1:58:12 AM

Overclocking isn't an interest really. I personally don't see the point in driving up clock speeds to shave merely seconds here and there. Or to gain a few extra FPS in exchange for more heat.Or simply for bragging rights or a higher benchmark score. No disrespect to the enthusiasts out there though lol. :)  My dad was once an overclocker, back in the socket 370 days. Complete with a peltier and water cooled setup. He loved it.

For me, product quality and warranty ... then price and performance. If I can get the same warranty on the MB and expect the same quality, at a cheaper price, then it's worth looking into and reading up on.

The blu-ray ... sure I could get a DVDR half the price, or just reuse the one I have. But I have about 300gb of data that I would like to store on something other than electronic media, for safe keeping. Burning to disc seems to be a better option. Blu-ray = more data per disc.

USB 3.0 on the front?? Not really a deal breaker for me. Simple USB extension cable works fine from the back. Didn't really seen any cases that I liked that came with it in the front.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 1:59:52 AM

GTX670 and stock:
FYI, you can use the onboard graphics if need be until a card becomes available if you have difficulties finding one. It's obviously no where near as good but at least you have the option (or a previous graphics card).
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 2:10:55 AM

katfishgr said:
Overclocking isn't an interest really. I personally don't see the point in driving up clock speeds to shave merely seconds here and there. Or to gain a few extra FPS in exchange for more heat.Or simply for bragging rights or a higher benchmark score. No disrespect to the enthusiasts out there though lol. :)  My dad was once an overclocker, back in the socket 370 days. Complete with a peltier and water cooled setup. He loved it.

For me, product quality and warranty ... then price and performance. If I can get the same warranty on the MB and expect the same quality, at a cheaper price, then it's worth looking into and reading up on.

The blu-ray ... sure I could get a DVDR half the price, or just reuse the one I have. But I have about 300gb of data that I would like to store on something other than electronic media, for safe keeping. Burning to disc seems to be a better option. Blu-ray = more data per disc.

USB 3.0 on the front?? Not really a deal breaker for me. Simple USB extension cable works fine from the back. Didn't really seen any cases that I liked that came with it in the front.


Overclocking:
Sure. Your choice. The board I mention might have a better lifetime than a cheaper board though as its engineered with better Voltage Stabilization and other components.

Sound:
I believe the best onboard sound now (barring a custom X-Fi solution) is a Realtek ALC892. Something to keep in mind in case cheaper boards use a lower-end chip.

BluRay:
I've been debating this for storage as well. Verbatim DVD-R's can be found at $30 for 100 on sale. The best price I found for BluRay is 10 for $30. That is actually pretty close though on a GB/price ratio. The DVD-R's are slightly cheaper (on sale), however the BluRay discs can store large files that might not fit on a single 4.3GB disc (BluRay is 25GB before formatting).

The only big drawback I see is the potential to lose a lot of money if you start burning bad BluRay discs, but whatever. Besides, you can burn BluRay OR DVD-R discs anyway.

*Any BluRay burner you get, make sure to read at least one review.

Good luck. I'm done here barring any big questions.
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May 16, 2012 2:12:11 AM

photonboy said:
GTX670 and stock:
FYI, you can use the onboard graphics if need be until a card becomes available if you have difficulties finding one. It's obviously no where near as good but at least you have the option (or a previous graphics card).


True ... definitely a bummer, wanted to order tomorrow. But ... still digging around looking. Going to call a couple places around here tomorrow, see what they have on hand. There's a few super stores around here, tiger - frys - microseconds ... maybe I'll get lucky?? LoL
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a b U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 2:12:46 AM

photonboy said:
Most higher-end motherboards support SLI and Crossfire. However you don't need to use those slots for that if you don't want to. The motherboard is arguably the most important part of your computer (the PSU is too). The potential to overclock also means a more stable motherboard than a cheaper one.

There's a lot of little details that make a $220 motherboard far better than a $150 board. My recommend is nearer the top. It's also an Asus Z77. Asus is known for their quality motherboards and timely BIOS updates.


You assume the wrong point. Also, you should use the word "can". There's lots of little details that "can" make a $220 motherboard far better than a $150 board, but that doesn't mean that they were used in that particular board.

Asus motherboards are nice, but they've become Lexus over the years. They started out as an underdog, and made fantastic products because they were out to prove something. While they still make a quality product, they've also begun to charge for their name.

Calling a consumer motherboard stable is an educated guess at best, most reviewers haven't had it very long.

If you do go with a high end ASUS board, make sure to set performance mode in the BIOS, even if you don't overclock. This is from personal experience. The default in recent boards give you worse performance than intel's reference design.

I always roll my eyes at "military certified" boards in the enthusiast space, because the U.S. military doesn't actually use any of them. They smack of gimmick. This particular one seems to sack a few features and connectivity for it's look vs. say this ASUS board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this gigabyte board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then again, I despise LED on my case fans, so if you want the look of that board, ignore me :) 
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May 16, 2012 2:17:30 AM

Sound chip is definitely not a concern ... slight hearing loss and an infernal ringing from Motely Crue live back in the late 80's!! Hah ... I wouldn't notice any difference in the sound produced.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
May 16, 2012 2:27:02 AM

quilciri said:
You assume the wrong point. Also, you should you the word "can". There's lots of little details that "can" make a $220 motherboard far better than a $150 board, but that doesn't mean that they were used in that particular board.

Asus motherboards are nice, but they've become Lexus over the years. They started out as an underdog, and made fantastic products because they were out to prove something. While they still make a quality product, they've also begun to charge for their name.

Calling a consumer motherboard stable is an educated guess at best, most reviewers haven't had it very long.

If you do go with a high end ASUS board, make sure to set performance mode in the BIOS, even if you don't overclock. This is from personal experience. The default in recent boards give you worse performance than intel's reference design.

I always roll my eyes at "military certified" boards in the enthusiast space, because the U.S. military doesn't actually use any of them. They smack of gimmick. This particular one seems to sack features and connectivity for it's look vs. say this ASUS board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this gigabyte board.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Seriously, what the heck is your problem?

You basically insult me then recommend almost identical motherboards. I recommended an Asus Z77 for $220. You recommended almost exactly the same Asus Z77 for (normal price) of $200.

You made a point of saying Asus was now the "Lexus" of motherboards then recommend almost the same exact board for $20 less?

I spend a lot of time trying to help people out here and you just keep jumping down my throat every chance you get. That's just rude.

I even provided a link to a great review for this motherboard which gives it high praises. Seriously, what more do you want. Sigh. I guess there's always one guy who brings everybody down.

Anyway, good luck on your build. I've been convinced to move on.
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May 16, 2012 2:29:24 AM

And boards packed with wifi, bluetooth, etc ... don't really need it. I'll take the 5 year warranty over losing a couple $5 features like wifi and bluetooth.
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