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How good is my PC?

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September 7, 2012 4:01:08 PM

Hi everyone, This is my Pc spec that I'm gonna build. I was wondering how good it will be and if I need to change any parts
My Pc
i5 2500K 3.3 ghz processor
8GB DDR3 RAM
Motherboard- Gigabyte H61M (The motherboard, processor and RAM come as a Bundle) £256
Radeon HD 6950 £130
Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD £60
LiteOnIHas 124-9C CD Drive £15
Cit Vantage case £30
Power supply- XFX Pro Series Core Edition P1-550S-UKB9 550W £50

I can build this Pc for about £541 and I dont have enough money to expand on that budget but if there are any components that cost the same but are better, any help would be gratefully received
Thanks. Also if you guys could tell me how well I would be able to run the latest games like BattleField 3 and Crysis 2 that would be appreciated.
Cheers :) 

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September 7, 2012 5:04:30 PM

Pay a bit more for the case - those cheap cases are not very solidly built. Get something from Cooler Master, Corsair, or Antec.

And then it's completely pointless to pair a 2500K with H61 because you lose access to the multiplier. And a Radeon 7850 is a better GPU than the 6950 is.

In fact I'd scrap that whole build and get something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£142.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£72.99 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.90 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£64.80 @ Novatech)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£154.79 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case (£37.72 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£52.92 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD/CD Writer (£20.87 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £588.97
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-07 18:07 BST+0100)
September 7, 2012 5:15:32 PM

Well, with a h61 mobo you can't OC the i5 2500k, but you didn't include an aftermarket
heatsink/fan, so I guess you'll run it on the intel cooler and enjoy stock speeds. Hard
to beat that combo of parts for the price in the UK.

HD 6950 seems like a steal at that price.

Decent hdd. You could maybe save a few pounds at that capacity, but not much.

Same goes for optical. You could switch brands/vendors and save a couple pounds.

The power supply is pretty great for the price. Not sure you need that much, though.

Can you post one or more links to pics of the inside of that case? I'm wondering how well
an HD6950 would fit. Most of those are fairly long cards.(tryed google image search. Nada)

Edit:@g-unit1111: The OP is already at max budget and would like to either spend less
or get better parts at the same price if possible. Also, the cx600 v2 is worse than the
xfx pro 550w. cx600 has only 44A on the +12v rail while the xfx has 44A. The cx600
has a quieter but shorter life sleeve bearing fan while the xfx has a slightly louder but
longer living ball bearing fan. And the xfx is a few pounds cheaper.

Edit:@OP: Sorry, forgot. These should run BF3 and Crysis 2 quite well at 1080p or lower.
Not sure about a higher res monitior, though.
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September 7, 2012 5:30:24 PM

Yeah, it's kind of a shame to pair an unlocked CPU on a mobo that can't use it. I know it's part of the combo, but it would be worth having only 4GB of RAM if you can get a Z68 or Z77 mobo able to overclock that CPU. Or, is there a similar, possibly cheaper combo available with a locked CPU, like an i5-2400 or i5-3450?
I'd take that Seasonic-built XFX PSU over the CWT-built Corsair Builder any day.
If you can, get a WD Black drive instead. They still have five year warranties. The Seagate will have one or two.
Regardless, that's still a strong build for games, and I'm sure you'd be happy with its performance.
September 7, 2012 5:43:01 PM

Quote:


Edit:@g-unit1111: The OP is already at max budget and would like to either spend less
or get better parts at the same price if possible. Also, the cx600 v2 is worse than the
xfx pro 550w. cx600 has only 44A on the +12v rail while the xfx has 44A. The cx600
has a quieter but shorter life sleeve bearing fan while the xfx has a slightly louder but
longer living ball bearing fan. And the xfx is a few pounds cheaper.


I've heard that about the CX600. The only reason it goes over budget is because of the use of the i5-3450 - if you want to stay in budget either go with the i3-2120 or Phenom II 965.
September 7, 2012 5:44:06 PM

@jtt283:Yeah, combo is bittersweet(good price/perf., but clipping the 2500k's wings).
The gpu won't be bottlenecked in games with 2500k at stock, though.

Unless reubenno says otherwise we should stick to 8GB of ram.

reubenno, what do you want to do with this PC? If we know your intentions with it we may
be able to suggest cuts in spots to either save money or allocate more funds to parts that
will better serve your purpose. If gaming, what games? On what res screen? Do you want
to max stuff out with aa too? What about other uses? Heavy multithreaded workloads?

Edit: reubenno I guess your initial post implies the primary focus is gaming. I need to
learn to read a little more carefully.
September 7, 2012 5:56:08 PM

I never considered the i3 and never would since it is too much lower than i5 in games that
take advantage of multithreading(not many and not what reubenno is playing now, but
people don't play the same games forever do they?). I thought about Phenom II x4 965BE
because you can get it cheap in the US(not sure about UK tho) but if you bump it up 3 bins
matching 980BE it only trades blows with i5 2300 at 2.8 ghz. Even if ruebenno got a good
cooler and exceeded 4ghz it wouldn't be as fast as i5 2500k at stock. Plus, the 2500k can
take advantage of turbo too. It would be a step down(although in gaming a mild to moderate overclock on a 965BE shouldn't really bottleneck any games).

Edit: early benchmarks of fx8350 on am3+ look promising(trades blows with i7k quads),
but the price on it isn't available as far as I can tell.
September 7, 2012 6:00:12 PM

jtenorj said:
I never considered the i3 and never would since it is too much lower than i5 in games that
take advantage of multithreading(not many and not what reubenno is playing now, but
people don't play the same games forever do they?). I thought about Phenom II x4 965BE
because you can get it cheap in the US(not sure about UK tho) but if you bump it up 3 bins
matching 980BE it only trades blows with i5 2300 at 2.8 ghz. Even if ruebenno got a good
cooler and exceeded 4ghz it wouldn't be as fast as i5 2500k at stock. Plus, the 2500k can
take advantage of turbo too. It would be a step down(although in gaming a mild to moderate overclock on a 965BE shouldn't really bottleneck any games).


Not necessarily - most games as it is right now - even GPU hogs like BF3 and Skyrim - only use one or two cores at most. If you're playing strategy games like Civ V or Diablo III where there's multiple turns and multiple units being controlled then I can see where the extra cores would come in handy.

Quote:
Edit: early benchmarks of fx8350 on am3+ look promising(trades blows with i7k quads),


But it's still on AM3+ though - a socket that's been around for 7 years now, the 1155 socket is still relatively new.
September 7, 2012 6:14:16 PM

@ gUnit
um... my skyrim takes advantage of all 4 physical cores on my i7. Not saying that it would not run fine on an i3 (especially one of the new IB i3's), but it deffinately utilizes the hardware when it is there.
September 7, 2012 11:36:50 PM

g-unit1111 said:

But it's still on AM3+ though - a socket that's been around for 7 years now, the 1155 socket is still relatively new.


Uh, am2 (940pins) debuted in the summer of 2006 as an update to the venerable socket
939 and moved amd from ddr to ddr2. am3/am3+ are not as new as 1155, but they aren't
as old as you think. There is also more life in them, what with piledriver coming(not sure if
steamroller will still be on the same socket or a new one next year). I think it is abundantly
clear that besides maybe a few speed bumps on the ivy arch., 1155 is essentially dead.
I'm pretty sure Haswell is going to be on a new socket, so no upgrade path for socket
1155 beyond what is pretty much already out.

Edit: I believe am2 was enhanced to am2+ to support the first 65nm phenoms(the
ones with first a flawed tlb bug and also a cold bug not letting them get past 2.6

am2+ then supported the first phenom IIs, and am3 switched amd over to ddr3. am3+
was an enhancement of am3 that allowed for the use of the Bulldozer FX processors.
Piledriver and steamroller are just further enhancements of bulldozer.
September 8, 2012 1:25:38 AM

AM3/+ is actuially at the end of it's lifecycle. My understanding is that there will be a few more chips released for this current gen chips, but that they will be moving on to something else for steamroller.
September 10, 2012 4:00:36 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. I think I might improve the case as I don't want to run out of space. Also I have had a look at the 7850 but the 6950 seems to be better. I will be using the PC for gaming but also for video editing such as stop motion animation which requires quite a lot of processing power.
Thoughts?
September 10, 2012 4:20:13 PM

CaedenV said:
AM3/+ is actuially at the end of it's lifecycle. My understanding is that there will be a few more chips released for this current gen chips, but that they will be moving on to something else for steamroller.


The biggest problem with AMD is that they drag out their sockets way past the point of usefulness.
September 10, 2012 4:33:29 PM

g-unit1111 said:
The biggest problem with AMD is that they drag out their sockets way past the point of usefulness.

No kidding, you have Intel which changes sockets every 2 revisions, and generally has 3 tiers (consumer, high end, and professional), but (with rare exception) if the chip fits then it will work.
On the other hand you have AMD who makes sockets that last FOREVER. The nice thing is that you can get your mobo to limp along for a very long time. The bad thing is that you always need to make sure that your CPU, socket, firmware, and northbridge all work together, which is simply too complicated for most of us to care about keeping up with. And by the end of a sockets life it can typically fit CPUs in it which are severely bottle-necked by the buss speeds and feature sets available by older boards, or fit extremely underpowered CPUs into brand new mobos.

Surely somewhere between the 2 methodologies there is a good middle ground of a socket that lasts for 3 years or so? Or have a persistant low-end socked like 775 that lives on forever through several CPU architectures with a minimal fuss about firmware updates... but then again I guess we did not see a whole lot of interface and buss speed innovation through the 775 era.
September 10, 2012 5:00:49 PM

CaedenV said:
No kidding, you have Intel which changes sockets every 2 revisions, and generally has 3 tiers (consumer, high end, and professional), but (with rare exception) if the chip fits then it will work.
On the other hand you have AMD who makes sockets that last FOREVER. The nice thing is that you can get your mobo to limp along for a very long time. The bad thing is that you always need to make sure that your CPU, socket, firmware, and northbridge all work together, which is simply too complicated for most of us to care about keeping up with. And by the end of a sockets life it can typically fit CPUs in it which are severely bottle-necked by the buss speeds and feature sets available by older boards, or fit extremely underpowered CPUs into brand new mobos.

Surely somewhere between the 2 methodologies there is a good middle ground of a socket that lasts for 3 years or so? Or have a persistant low-end socked like 775 that lives on forever through several CPU architectures with a minimal fuss about firmware updates... but then again I guess we did not see a whole lot of interface and buss speed innovation through the 775 era.


That's the biggest problem I have with AMD. Sure the socket lasts years but you never know if your new CPU is going to work in your motherboard, and I've actually fried a couple of AMD builds that way - including my own, I was using a Phenom II in a motherboard that was using a socket 880 chipset, and the voltages didn't match, and the motherboard eventually died as a result. You could build something like 775 that lasts a lifetime but even then the CPU and supported RAM list dwindles over time making the chipsets useless again.
September 10, 2012 6:28:34 PM

I have been unable to find a bundle with a MotherBoard that would enable me to overclock the CPU so I might just get it all separately. Do you guys have any suggestions of a motherboard and a 8GB of RAM that would come to around £120 bearing in mind that I would want to overclock the CPU
September 11, 2012 12:26:03 AM

I think you are out of luck with that budget. The most basic z67 and z77 motherboards that allow for overclocking start at $100 USD, and the ones built with enough quality to last a while start at $130... so that puts you at 81 pounds for just the motherboard alone.

Then the CPU has to have a K at the end of it, meaning an i5 2500K or 3770K which goes for ~$220 USD and brings your total to $350 USD, or 220 pounds, and you still need to buy Ram before getting a basic working system. And I am sure that prices over there are a lot higher than they are over here to begin with, so that really kills the budget.

If you are dead set on hobby overclocking then you have to stick with AMD. But if you are willing to not OC then you can get a B75 mobo for 1/2 the price but most of the features, and an i3 or low end i5 CPU should be enough to play the games you listed originally with high settings (assuming you have a good GPU). But just know that the AMD is barely going to catch the Intel stuff even after overclocking.
September 11, 2012 6:50:44 PM

Thanks I am probably just gonna go with the original bundle as I can get it cheap and overclocking isn't really something tat I would rather spend an extra £150 plus to do
September 11, 2012 9:54:59 PM

reubenno said:
Thanks I am probably just gonna go with the original bundle as I can get it cheap and overclocking isn't really something tat I would rather spend an extra £150 plus to do


What we're trying to say is that it's pointless to pair a 2500K with H61 because you forfeit use of the multiplier. If you're not going to overclock go with what I suggested - H77 and i5-3450, that won't alter the cost much and it's a far newer CPU. H61 will have very limited longevity.
September 12, 2012 7:32:17 AM

reubenno said:
Hi everyone, This is my Pc spec that I'm gonna build. I was wondering how good it will be and if I need to change any parts
My Pc
i5 2500K 3.3 ghz processor
8GB DDR3 RAM
Motherboard- Gigabyte H61M (The motherboard, processor and RAM come as a Bundle) £256
Radeon HD 6950 £130
Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD £60
LiteOnIHas 124-9C CD Drive £15
Cit Vantage case £30
Power supply- XFX Pro Series Core Edition P1-550S-UKB9 550W £50

I can build this Pc for about £541 and I dont have enough money to expand on that budget but if there are any components that cost the same but are better, any help would be gratefully received
Thanks. Also if you guys could tell me how well I would be able to run the latest games like BattleField 3 and Crysis 2 that would be appreciated.
Cheers :) 


Get a i5 3570k new tech, then a z77 board like, ASUS P8Z77 OR GA-Z77-***.
September 12, 2012 9:36:07 PM

I'd like to point out that while these new parts will allow you to overclock the i5 2500K, they do cost a total of 30
pounds more than your original combo. Plus, if you want to really oc i5 2500k, you will want to spend even more
money on a decent after market cooler. The stock intel cooler works ok for stock speeds (turbo, even), but if you
don't have the funds to increase your original budget, OCing i5 2500k may be a path you are not destined to go down.
You should be quite satisfied with the stock performance of the i5 2500k compared to some of the alternatives.

I still wonder about that case. Would it be tall enough to fit a decent size tower cooler? And the HD6950? Those
are usually 10.5 inches long. In many tests the HD 7850 is as fast as hd6970/gtx570, and it is usually a much
shorter card. Plus, it has tons of overclocking potential. And, if you are looking at benchmarks from hd7850 launch
comparing it to hd6950, keep in mind that driver updates from amd in the last few months have boosted the
speed of all the newer gcn architecture chips. Now hd 7000 series cards from hd7750 on up perform better than ever.
September 14, 2012 4:59:06 PM

Thanks jtenorj. Im gonna get the HD 7850 as I have seen it for the same price as the 6950. I am looking to build a Pc that will last me quite a few years. Do you think the i5 processor without overclocking will be fine for that? Plus would it be worth spending an extra £30 if the motherboard would last me longer too?
Thanks
September 14, 2012 10:53:01 PM

That i5 at stock should suit you for quite some time.

You might want to look into a newer mobo that supports usb 3.0 and sata 6gbps.
September 15, 2012 6:33:55 PM

so should I get a Z77 Mobo?
September 16, 2012 12:46:25 AM

If you are getting an unlocked CPU (K) then absolutely yes, get a z77. If not then look into B76 or H76
September 16, 2012 8:14:57 AM

Okay, I think as I am looking for a long lasting PC I wont overclock as I have heard that it reduces the lifespan of the processor. What about getting an i5 3450@3.1Ghz? I can get that in a bundle with 8GB of RAM and a Z77 DH3 Gigabyte mobo for £280. Will this last me longer than getting a 2500K with a Z77 mobo?
September 16, 2012 8:41:04 AM

Or should I spend a bit more and get an i5 570K?
September 16, 2012 8:45:21 AM

* i5 3570K
September 16, 2012 11:25:03 AM

Well, the 3570k is another unlocked, overclockable cpu. As far as the life of the cpu goes,
if you don't go nuts with the frequency and voltage, you should get a decent overclock
that will last a very long time. You will probably want to upgrade again before it would
give out do to extra stress applied by overclocking. You will need at least a decent
tower style air cooler to get there, though.(both add more cost to the build again).

If you want to save money on a i5 3450/z77 combo(and 8 gigs of ram), you should get
about the same performance as a non overclocked i5 2500k. the 3450 turbo boosts by
2,2,3,and 4 100mhz speed bins on 4,3,2, or 1 core(s) respectively(starts at 3.1). 2500k
boosts by 1,2,3,and 4 100mhz speed bins on 4,3,2, or 1 core(s) respectively(starting at
3.3). The 3450 has what, an approximately 6%? performance advantage per clock
(largely due to running ddr3 1600 vs the the 2500k on ddr 1333)?

If you get the 3450/z77 combo now, you can run the 3450 at stock on the intel cooler
and throw in an unlocked i7 and decent cooler later if you need more performance.

That is as long as it is a decent z77 mobo and decent latency, low voltage(preferably
low profile)ddr3 1600. What brand and model mobo/ram are in that combo?
September 16, 2012 5:46:22 PM

The mobo is a Gigabyte and the RAM is Patriot. If I can get the 3570K for the same price as the 3450 and 2500K which one should I get? In terms of running at stock speeds.
September 16, 2012 6:28:16 PM

Definitely get the i5 3570k. Fastest at stock.

What speed is the patriot ram? timings? voltage?

Do you have the model number for that Gigabyte board?
September 16, 2012 6:36:11 PM

Well I can get the i5 3570k and an Asus P8z77 mobo for about £270 and then I was thinking about getting 8GB of ripjaw RAM which would bring the CPU, Mobo and RAM to an overall price of £300 whereas I could get the 2500K and a H61M and the same RAM for £250, is it worth the extra £50 for the better processor and mobo?
September 16, 2012 6:59:40 PM

In general, I would say yes, the newer platform is better, for a few reasons. One is that the
i5 3570K is faster at stock speed than i5 2500K. Another is that the i5 3570K paired with
that mobo adds support for pcie 3.0 and DDR3 1600(neither 1 is all that big of a deal right
now). The Z77 mobo also adds usb 3.0 and sata 6gbps versus the H61 mobo. The i5 3570K
will use about 20w less power than i5 2500k. Finally, you can save money with the stock
cooler now, but should you care to overclock later for substantially more performance than
stock, the Z77 mobo will let you push that i5 3570K(on a decent air cooler) while the H61
mobo will not let you do anything else to increase i5 2500K's performance.

I am not a huge fan of G.skill's ripjaws line of ram, mainly due to most kits having those
practically pointless tall heat spreaders that may interfere with the installation of some
larger air coolers. If you can get DDR3 1600 from a decent company(crucial, corsair, gskill,
patriot, geil, kingston, mushkin) with decent timings(CL9 or lower), low voltage(1.5v) and
low profile heat spreaders(that don't stick up) for a decent price(around 40 for 2x4GB)
then go for that.

Most varieties of ASUS P8Z77 mobos are rated fairly high at newegg, but maybe one or
2 are less than stellar. What is the exact model number on that mobo?
September 16, 2012 11:22:09 PM

overclocking does not shorten the life of your CPU/mobo, changing voltages does. So long as you keep to the stock voltage then you can OC as much as it will let you. Typically you can hit 4-4.5GHz even at stock voltage. My own 2600 (nonK) hits 4.2GHz with no problem
September 17, 2012 3:15:52 PM

The mobo is an ASUS P8Z77-VLX and I will probably go for corsair then
September 17, 2012 4:27:48 PM

Corsair is a good choice for memory(ddr3 1600, low latency/voltage/profile, right?).

On first glance that mobo looks decent compared to the other Asus P8Z77 mobos
on newegg(4/5 eggs) but I suggest reading the individual user reviews(not many,
won't take you long). Make sure your ram is on Asus' QVL. Plug SATA cables and
power cables in tight.

September 18, 2012 1:24:03 PM

Okay. Just a quick enquiry about the graphis card. I am on a budget of about £130 but could stretch it to about £140 if necessary.I was looking at the Radeon HD 7850 and I was wondering whether it would be worth it to go for the 2gb model. Would this help futureproof my pc?
Also I was also looking at the Radeon HD 7870, any thoughts on that card too?
September 19, 2012 3:26:02 AM

The cheapest HD7850 2GB I can find in the UK on pcpartpicker.com is ~160 pounds inc VAT
and shipping/carriage/delivery at overclockers.co.uk(a HIS model). 2GB is definitely worth
it as far a future proofing goes(its much more desirable than 1GB in some games now).

All these cards with a 28nm gpu beg to be overclocked. You can buy a hd7870, but it will
probably cost more. It has more shaders but less overclocking headroom. You can overclock
hd7850 to perform as good as/better than a gtx660(non ti) or hd7870. On a different note...

Here's a link to the asus support page for that mobo(click the most recent dated QVL link) :

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z7...

This will let you know whether the ram you're considering will work or not.
September 19, 2012 7:01:54 PM

Thanks
September 19, 2012 10:17:11 PM

You're welcome.
!