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Future-proof gaming build advice

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October 28, 2012 1:50:22 AM

Hi, I am considering getting this (http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/sys/3355567673.html) computer to play bf3, but I am wondering whether this is a good idea. The seller says that this setup can play bf3 using ultra settings at 40-60 fps, but is this system “future proof”?
I want to see how cheaply I can buy (or build if that would be better) a gaming computer that will last for several years that can play bf3 well now and either can be upgraded later or would stand a chance without needing an immediate upgrade.
Would the computer I mentioned be a good idea to get if I planned on using another card with sli?(also, do the cards need to be exactly the same for that to work?)
October 28, 2012 1:57:38 AM

Lol, no. He's lying.
The 550 Ti isn't really that great.




You're better off building your own PC.
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October 28, 2012 2:00:17 AM

What would be the cheapest build setup that will not become obsolete in a year?
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October 28, 2012 2:24:00 AM


Approximate Purchase Date: not sure yet, probably this year

Budget Range: would like to see what is possible at 500-700, but can go to 1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (bf3,finishing portal 2(old computer melted), possibly skyrim, minecraft, will want to be able to upgrade to bf4), surfing the internet (wireless), audio editing, image editing, file backup, may consider BOINC again if it will not cause sudden shutdowns (again, old computer melted)

Are you buying a monitor: If the 18.5'' I mentioned before is not good enough, let me know.

Do you need to buy OS: I only need Windows for playing BF3, as Wine doesn't support it yet. I might dual boot to Ubuntu, since I'm used to it and it's free. Is Wine going to have support for bf3 in the future?

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Illinois, USA

Parts Preferences: I was interested in the AMD FX 8120 8 core, but I heard that it isn't as good as many intel quad cores (correct me if I'm wrong), so I want either a low intel i7 or a high i5
Overclocking: Yes, but safely (only if the case allows for safe oc)

SLI or Crossfire: I want to be able to upgrade to multiple cards, but should I start with that?

Your Monitor Resolution: 1366x768 if I keep my monitor, higher if not

Also, according to http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/367285-33-nvidia , nvidia is better for bf3, skyrim and minecraft because it has Physx enabled. Is this true, and does this mean I should get only nvidia, or should I use some combination ati/nvidia?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: The last computer I was using barely played Portal 2, and since it nearly melted, I am considering getting a much newer computer (the old one was a vista laptop )
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October 28, 2012 2:31:20 AM

Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore#module14669582...
To the AMD Piledriver doubters here's some benchmarks:
http://www.techspot.com/review/586-amd-fx-8350-fx-6300/...

As for the GPU, AMD does pretty solid in all those games, BF3 does have the tendency to favor Nvidia but overall it's pretty close. I'd go AMD mainly because their GPUs have a much better overall performance on all games.

Overall, the build will save you money, give you great performance for editing. PLUS the 7870 will supply well enough performance in games:
http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/amd_hd7870_2gb_gdd...
At 1080P + 4X AA, the 7870 supplies about 60 FPS. So you'll be solid. If you don't turn on AA, even better.
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October 28, 2012 2:31:51 AM

Any decent mid-high range video card we suggest will be overkill for your monitor resolution. Get at least 21.5" for 1920x1080.

Also, the 8120 sucks, yes. The newly released(a few days ago) Piledriver series is a great improvement though.

If your highest priority is BF3 and possibly BF4(?) with multiplayer, yes you'll be better off with a nVidia GPU and an FX-8320.
Though +1 to the above, AMD cards right now perform better overall.

You'll need to decide now on those, then I'll give a suggestion of parts.
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October 28, 2012 2:43:52 AM

Is Piledriver better than i7 3770 ?
and is there any reason to avoid an AMD cpu when using a nvidia gpu?
(also, gpu can refer to any video card/chip, not just to integrated graphics, right?)

Thanks a ton for answering all these questions.
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October 28, 2012 2:50:11 AM

No, the i7-3770/K is still better.
Though the 8320/8350 performs quite fairly against it in terms of multi-threaded performance, for a much lower price.

And no, I don't think AMD discriminated nVidia GPUs.

Integrated graphics are much more commonly referred to as "IGP".
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October 28, 2012 3:45:37 AM

Those are all false facts when people say you HAVE to go Intel/Nvidia or AMD/ATI. You will have no performance difference with pairings, it'll just be platform differential.

As for the i7 3770 vs Piledriver, the 8350 is actually pretty good in multi-thread in comparison. Specially for about $100 less.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...
Pretty much RIGHT on top of the i7's tail for much less. The FX-6300 is also a solid choice, after OCs it performs super well.
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October 28, 2012 2:16:44 PM

I remember I read this article a week ago (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/100583-analyzing-b...) about the amd bulldozer, and although I had trouble understanding parts of it, it seemed to indicate that intel cpus are better organized/managed.

Has piledriver fixed those issues? Because the fx 8350 has 4 ghz, where the i7 3770 has 3.5 ghz, and the only advantage I can see for intel is the smaller 22nm lithography. (also, does smaller size lead to higher risk of overheating?)

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October 28, 2012 6:52:24 PM

I just read this article (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev...) that says although the fx8350 is better than the 8150, the intel quad cores are still somehow better.
"Notice that the Core i7 is listed as a quad-core CPU capable of addressing four threads. I disabled Hyper-Threading in this test to isolate core performance. Had it been turned on, Intel's client flagship would have likely finished in first place."

For the build I am thinking about, do I need to worry about minute differences between these cpus, or is there an actually noticable difference?
Is 8 core more futureproof, or is quad core enough?
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October 28, 2012 7:06:04 PM

i got some builds for you
Assuming that we are playing WoW in these following settings:-
1920x1080 resolution
All ultra, except shadows set to high
DirectX 11 mode, WoW 64-bit client
Multisampling 1x, Anisotropic Filtering Trilinear
Playing in a 25-man raid / crowded cities. Anywhere else? Let's just say high enough FPS
-------------------------------------------------------
** Build 0: Absolute MAXIMUM CHEAPEST Build
Warning: Take this build ONLY and ONLY IF you will upgrade the CPU down the road. If not, take the above Trinity build.

CPU: Celeron G540
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1333, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6670 (It MUST mention that it is GDDR5 in the name/VRAM)
Power Supply: Seasonic SS-350ET 350W
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB or -smaller- if you are fine with it.
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: Cheap ATX mid-tower case with at least 1 fan

Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hQQ4

Estimated cost: ~$375
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~30
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 1: Tight Budget Build
Warning: Take this build ONLY and ONLY IF you will upgrade the CPU down the road. If not, take the above Trinity build.

CPU: Pentium G850
Motherboard: Any B75 motherboard
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7770
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W or other similar power supplies
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: Cheap ATX mid-tower case with at least 2 fans

Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kfIb

Estimated cost: ~$485
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~40
------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 2: Best build for good gaming without spending big $

CPU: AMD FX-6300
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: Any 990FX motherboard, recommending great OC board
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7850 1GB
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W or other similar power supplies
SSD: Optional, recommending 120/128GB budget SSDs
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer or similar mid-tower case with at least 2 fans

Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lfYt

Estimated cost: ~$750
+SSD cost if you choose to add an SSD.
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~50+
-------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 3: Give me a pretty good system just under 1k

Note: If you want the capacity to run SLi / CrossFireX with the Intel i5 CPU, you will have to upgrade the motherboard to one of the recommended Z77 motherboards.

Note: Many motherboards only come with 2 SATA cables, and some SSDs do not come with an extra SATA cable. Check the motherboard and SSD content details, and ensure you have enough SATA cables.

CPU: (Intel) i5-3330 / i5-3450 / i5-3470 (Get cheapest one) / (AMD) AMD FX-8320
CPU Cooler: (AMD) CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: (Intel) Any B75 motherboard / (AMD) Any 990FX motherboard
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7870 2GB
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W or other similar power supplies
SSD: Any of the 120/128GB performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB or above if wanted
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer or similar mid-tower case with at least 2 fans

(Intel) Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ikTQ
(AMD) Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lfZO

Estimated cost: (Intel) ~$875 ~ +++ / (AMD) ~$965 ~ +++
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~55+
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
** Build 4: Yay overkill!
Note: This build assumes you will overclock the CPU. If you will not, replace CPU with i5-3330, and don't buy the CPU cooler. Motherboard can be kept if you NEED SLi/CrossFireX. Otherwise, get a B75 motherboard.

Note: Many motherboards only come with 2 SATA cables, and some SSDs do not come withi an extra SATA cable. Check the motherboard and SSD content details, and ensure you have enough SATA cables.

Example build assumes you will overclock.

CPU: i5-3570k
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: Any of the recommended Z77 motherboards
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W or above if wanted
SSD: Any of the 256GB (or bigger) performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB or above if wanted
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD Burner
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer or above

Example Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lg0z

Estimated cost: ~$1285 ~ +++
Estimated FPS: Do we really need to say this?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Build 5 The Medium
CPU Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor

Motherboard ASRock B75M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Memory Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card

Case Rosewill REDBONE ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply Antec Basiq 500W ATX12V Power Supply

Optical Drive Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer $
NOTE: Only Take this build if you're not thinking of upgrading any time soon and want to settle down with a Rig for a year or two without upgrading Ofcourse you will OC
FPS: 45+ SOLID
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October 28, 2012 10:26:34 PM

CustomPc:

I'm glad that you put in the time and effort to create that list, but I'm intending to use this build to play BF3 (Battlefield 3), not Wow (which I assume is world of warcraft).

I thought that BF3 needed a much stronger build than wow, but correct me if I'm wrong.
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October 28, 2012 10:41:01 PM

Honestly Timelord, it would be nice to have 8 cores but it's not future proofing. I don't believe we are headed in that path, I think 4 will remain the standard for Intel for a while. AMD's 8 cores are kind of a marketing platform, although it does work because it would indicate better multi-threading and it does multi-thread better than the i5 3570K which is at the same price point.

Piledriver fixes much of the inefficiencies of Bulldozer, not completely but by a large margin. Definitely another benefit of Piledriver is the low price but the ability to overclock at a low price, the performance still gets up to the i5/i7's performance. Specially to the i7's multi-threading with HT.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...
According to these benches, the FX-8350 can hold off the i7 3770K @ stock. The AnAndTech review shows that they didn't disable threads for the i7 3770K. You should also keep in mind that the i7 3770K is about $100 more than the 8350.
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October 28, 2012 10:51:03 PM

I probably won't wait this long, but will Intel eventually release 8 core cpus? (but without inefficiencies?)

Are the AMD 8 cores a good investment assuming future programs will be built for 8 threads, or by that time will intel have better 8 cores?
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October 28, 2012 11:00:24 PM

Intel will take a while before releasing 8 cores, Haswell at least.

YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND: 8 CORES doesn't mean FUTURE PROOFING. It takes a while before the industry integrates things like 8-Cores or USB 3.0, ETC. USB 3.0 is still not that widely used and its been a few years.

8 Threads has been around for awhile, The i7 3770K already uses 8 threads. So does the FX-8350 obviously.
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October 28, 2012 11:19:01 PM

That makes sense, but I'm wondering how long there is until quad cores are obsolete.
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October 28, 2012 11:23:26 PM

Probably never, Quad-cores will be the standard soon as it seems that way. Tablets/Phones already push for it with the Snapdragon S4 Pro and the Tegra 3 chips, so it'll be a while before Quads will become obsolete, probably never in fact.
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October 29, 2012 12:42:11 AM

I don't see how it relates. I just did a quick scroll but from what I saw, they were talking about the lithography of a CPU (22nm or 13/16nm that Haswell is trying to push), Cores wise it would make less sense when most are optimized for quads right now and it took about 5-6 years to optimize for them. Most games still run with dual core optimization.

Just know, within the timeframe of you using Piledriver, by the time Octo-cores are optimized you'll have moved on to Steamroller or the next series after from AMD.
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October 29, 2012 1:02:09 AM

So, for now, Intel quad cores are probably a better choice?
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October 29, 2012 2:37:21 AM

Yes, but per your budget and what you want to do, the FX-8350 would be a better choice and save money...
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October 29, 2012 2:42:53 AM

I think the 8320 would be wiser to get. That's ~$45 for a 0.5GHz difference that can be overclocked anyway.
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October 29, 2012 8:57:38 AM

timelord989 said:
CustomPc:

I'm glad that you put in the time and effort to create that list, but I'm intending to use this build to play BF3 (Battlefield 3), not Wow (which I assume is world of warcraft).

I thought that BF3 needed a much stronger build than wow, but correct me if I'm wrong.


Build 3 and 4 would run BF3 SMOOTHLY
Build 5 would run bf3 SMOOTHLY but you will need to lower some graphics :) 
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October 29, 2012 7:51:37 PM

CustomPc said:
Build 3 and 4 would run BF3 SMOOTHLY
Build 5 would run bf3 SMOOTHLY but you will need to lower some graphics :) 


I see what you mean, though I'm really surprised that wow would need such high specs.
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October 29, 2012 7:53:36 PM

aznshinobi said:
Yes, but per your budget and what you want to do, the FX-8350 would be a better choice and save money...

So, intel quad is basically better by a little, but costs $100 more than amd octo, and that difference is not likely to be very noticable, right?
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October 29, 2012 8:01:05 PM

I'm thinking I might go with an amd octo cpu, and get a nvidia gpu (due to the Phsyx advantage(excella1221: "If your highest priority is BF3 and possibly BF4(?) with multiplayer, yes you'll be better off with a nVidia GPU and an FX-8320.")).

However, would it be better to get intel quad cpu then ati gpu ( aznshinobi : "As for the GPU, AMD does pretty solid in all those games, BF3 does have the tendency to favor Nvidia but overall it's pretty close. I'd go AMD mainly because their GPUs have a much better overall performance on all games.")
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October 29, 2012 10:09:43 PM

Yes...

We've already said that no CPU brand favors another brand of GPU... You could go AMD or Nvidia it really doesn't matter Timelord, but AMD has better GPUs per price, the 7950 is better than the GTX 660 Ti at the same price, the 7950 can overclock to surpass an overclocked GTX 670 as well.
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October 30, 2012 2:07:51 AM

On this page (http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=113,71&sort...),
the 7950 appears to have 3Gb ram but usually 850-950MHz core clock, while
the GTX 660 Ti has 2Gb ram and up to 1 GHz core clock. Which is more important, ram size or core clock?

Also, how much of an impact does the physx thing I mentioned earlier really make in a game like bf3? (the physx is the only reason I would favor nvidia over ati currently)

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October 30, 2012 2:50:27 AM

Core clock doesn't matter a whole lot if the GPU itself sucks. It has been proven, it's kind of like Bulldozer, clocked high but the performance wasn't so great in comparison to Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge. Now Piledriver, although not GREAT is much better per clock.

Anyways, the 7950 is better than the 660 Ti hands down. Especially when you push overclocks it's much better. Physx doesn't impact games at all if they don't have Physx certification, not many games really take advantage of it. IMO, you have enough mods you can do on PC that make Physx unnecessary and you should be looking at which cards get more performance for the money:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_66...
As you can see, an OC'd 660 Ti vs OC'd 670 vs OC'd 7950, the 7950 comes out on top.

VRAM is kinda important. At high resolutions more VRAM is better, but I don't know how large the margin of difference is. 2GB is pretty much the minimum for a card now, but you can function fine with 1GB. Most games don't really use that much VRAM, marketing makes people think otherwise though. But it'd better to get at least 2GB in a card for nowadays.
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October 30, 2012 3:27:47 AM

You'll only ever have to worry about exceeding 1gb of VRAM when:
a) On 1080p
b) 2 or more monitors
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October 31, 2012 12:22:24 AM

In that article on 7950 vs 670, I was confused for a bit, but it does seem that the 7950 does better than the 660 and 670, but the conclusion on the next page indicates that both the 7950 and the 670 were custom-built cards with voltage control and cooling, but the 660 ti was stock but factory overclocked. I am probably not going to buy a custom card, especially since I didn't know they could be customized. Would a stock 7950 still overclock better than a stock factory oc 660ti?

Side question: I found win 7 and win 8 oem's for $100. I should probably get 8, right?
( I thought I read somewhere that 8 is supposedly better multithreaded)
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October 31, 2012 12:53:44 AM

Also, if I did not overclock, would stock 7950 still beat 660 Ti, 670 and 660 Ti factory OC?

*this post is posted because I have not overclocked a computer, let alone built one before, so I'm just being cautious.

again, thanks everyone for answering these questions!
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October 31, 2012 2:30:44 AM

99% of every card you can buy are customized by brand partners of AMD and nVidia.

Also, I'm pretty sure only nVidia locks voltages.
The 7950 (was) locked, but it was removed on a latest BIOS update.

The 7950 will beat the 660 Ti and 660 Ti OC, but the 670 slightly has an edge on it.
Though I'd like to point out, at the 670's price point, the 7970 is already there and a much better buy.
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October 31, 2012 3:35:26 AM

^+1

Explained perfectly, all cards are generally not reference design. If it is slightly longer or slightly shorter than reference, then it has been tweaked slightly to a custom cooler. With that said, the 7950, as Excella stated, is a better buy.
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November 1, 2012 2:21:05 AM

Totally agree on the price point, another $100 doesn't justify .1 or .2 more Ghz, so I'm probably going to go with the 7950.

I found the card that the test mentioned above used (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), and I found another 7950(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) that appears to have the same specs on everything except for some extra features at the bottom of the details page. Are these features what makes the xfx card stand out, or is there virtually no difference?
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November 1, 2012 2:28:16 AM

Also, ATI has stream processors, while Nvidia has cuda cores. Are these about the same thing? (can I compare cards based on this, or is it not a 1:1 ratio?)

Is a larger memory interface (e.x. 384 bit) better?

The gigabyte card in the last post has 3 fans, while the xfx has 2. Does # of fans really make a difference?
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November 1, 2012 2:39:09 AM

Virtually no difference and you should just go with the Gigabyte. As for the Cuda vs Stream, no it's not quite comparable. There is a wider support for acceleration with CUDA, Stream proccessing is nice, but not many things take advantage of the AMD solution to CUDA.

Fans don't make a huge difference depending on the cooler. Gigabyte does make some pretty nice coolers though, better than XFX at least.
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November 1, 2012 3:53:54 AM

Actually, while nVidia makes use of CUDA, AMD on the other hand has a better support on OpenGL/CL.
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November 2, 2012 2:14:14 AM

On another thread about a bf3 build (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/368537-31-battlefield...), one user said that the new Catalyst drivers made up for the advantage in Physx nvidia had, but another said that nvidia also had new drivers. Is there still an advantage with nvidia?(the 7950 is probably still a better deal, but I'd feel better about it if the Physx thing was no longer relavant).

Later on in that same thread, piledriver is mentioned:
"
why would you? [piledriver] draws power like a hog (less than bulldozer but still takes a ton of power) and would perform around a i3.

and its not 4 cores



Definitely for Battlefield 3 multiplayer, an FX-8320 or 8350 would be nothing close to an i3 - BF3 Multiplayer definitely is well threaded and will make use of all of the cores of the 8350. The problem with the FX-8320 or 8350's right now is that A) they are (or were last time I checked) selling over MSRP, and they use a lot of power. At a small discount to MSRP like you can usually find the intel processors, you'd be able to build a comparable to better system for BF3 for the same price. But you'd pay more in your power bill, and you'd not have the upgrade path you might if you bought say, a Z77 board and an i3 - AMD doesn't have anything that compares to an I7-3770k.
That's why at the right price the A10's make more sense vs intels at a similar price point - the power draw is much closer since the comparison is CPU only vs CPU + Discrete graphics card, and FM2 will ultimately have an upgrade path as well.
"
Is Piledriver really that heavy on power consumption, and does it limit upgrade potential? (not sure if I would, but in several years I might)
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November 2, 2012 2:27:46 AM

timelord989 said:
Hi, I am considering getting this (http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/sys/3355567673.html) computer to play bf3, but I am wondering whether this is a good idea. The seller says that this setup can play bf3 using ultra settings at 40-60 fps, but is this system “future proof”?
I want to see how cheaply I can buy (or build if that would be better) a gaming computer that will last for several years that can play bf3 well now and either can be upgraded later or would stand a chance without needing an immediate upgrade.
Would the computer I mentioned be a good idea to get if I planned on using another card with sli?(also, do the cards need to be exactly the same for that to work?)


If you want a GAMING PC then you wont be interested in intel's i7-3770, why? because hyperthreading does not improve games and without it you get nearly the exact same performance as Intels i5-3570. AMD's Piledriver FX-8320 / 8350 will not out perform the i5-3570k in gaming though they do beat Bulldozer. I went thru and read so many people replying to you yet nobody seemed to have taken the time to explain what I did about hyperthreading and Intel chips.
There are no games that take advantage of more then 4 cores of a CPU so even though AMD's chips have 8, they don't get utilized in games just like INTEL's chip i7's hyperthreading does not benefit gaming at all.


Also you said that the seller of that system stated: "The seller says that this setup can play bf3 using ultra settings at 40-60 fps" he's a liar! flat out he's lieing to try and sell the system there is no way in hell that GPU and setup can run BF3 on all Ultra settings and give 40-60FPS.
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November 2, 2012 2:40:53 AM

Also OP, I play BF3 with all Ultra settings with a GTX 670. I've been playing awhile and I frequent the BF3 forums. NOBODY with a 7950 has come close to the FPS that the GTX 670's have been putting out in that game. I've seen way to many people with the 7950 expecting to get the same performance crying because people on this website recommend it and give advice without hands on knowledge.
You asked if a stock 7950 can match a GTX 670? only if the GTX 670 was broken. There is no way in hell the stock 7950 can compare.
you also asked " Is there still an advantage with nvidia?" and yes Nvidia cards are still playing the game better then Radeon cards as up till this point. it is quite known that BF3 was designed with Nvidia in mind.

All the garbage you read from people trying to justify the lower priced Radeon cards are typically from people who want to justify their purchase but most of the time don't have any hands on testing or experience with them at all.

I play with a lot of people as an outfit in BF3 and Planetside 2. My system is identical to others in my outfit with the only difference being the graphics. A couple have the 7950, one has the GTX 680 and a few have the 7970. The individuals running the 7950 have the lowest performance out of all of us with similar systems. Just saying graphs and charts are nice but in game benchmarks do tell alot more.

You can find deals on non reference GTX 670's that make it worth the purchase and when over clocked compared to the same card but overclocked GTX 680 you can get within 2-5 FPS difference. That WILL NOT be likely to happen if you get a 7950. You can visit the battlefield forums yourself and go see those who are disappointed thinking they would, should have the higher performance.

Also I do not understand why anyone is encouraging you to go with more then a 4 core processor, you are building a gaming machine, you wont benefit with a multi core processor unless you do HEAVY rendering and editing.
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November 2, 2012 2:53:36 AM

timelord989 said:

Definitely for Battlefield 3 multiplayer, an FX-8320 or 8350 would be nothing close to an i3 - BF3 Multiplayer definitely is well threaded and will make use of all of the cores of the 8350.


That statement by itself is flat out ignorant: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2055/5/

timelord989 said:

The problem with the FX-8320 or 8350's right now is that A) they are (or were last time I checked) selling over MSRP, and they use a lot of power. At a small discount to MSRP like you can usually find the intel processors, you'd be able to build a comparable to better system for BF3 for the same price. But you'd pay more in your power bill, and you'd not have the upgrade path you might if you bought say, a Z77 board and an i3 - AMD doesn't have anything that compares to an I7-3770k.
That's why at the right price the A10's make more sense vs intels at a similar price point - the power draw is much closer since the comparison is CPU only vs CPU + Discrete graphics card, and FM2 will ultimately have an upgrade path as well.


Another ignorant statement from whoever made that. The FX-8350 improves much upon what Bulldozer was, it increases the performance per core that Bulldozer had. There is a MUCH better upgrade path for Piledriver/AM3+ than there is Ivy Bridge. The i5 3570K and i7 3770K are the last line of Z68/Z77 chips, next year Haswell will be Intel's main chips and they will be changing the socket. With that said, you'll have to buy a new motherboard if you want to upgrade.

HOWEVER, with AMD, Piledriver is AM3+, and the next step, Steamroller, will also be AM3+ as will. I've heard that the next line up after Steamroller will also be AM3+ with that said, the upgrade path will be just as good if not better than Intel's Ivy Bridge lineup. If AMD promises are true and each line after Piledriver will show the 10-15% increase than Piledriver showed from BD, then the signs are obvious. The Steamroller will surpass Ivy Bridge.

Another thing to note, YOUR ENERGY BILL BARELY CHANGES! You'll see maybe a few cent increase in it... So... That's something to note.

Also Apropo, the benches we listed here:
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/08/23/galaxy_gtx_66...
Clock for clock we can clearly see the 7950 is better than the GTX 670. Also, There are just as many stock OC'd 7950 as there are GTX 670 that put the performance above its standard clocks. The 7950 is a better buy being $100 less. If you read the OPS budget, the OP has a budget of 500-700, that's why AMD is relevant in the budget.
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November 2, 2012 3:03:14 AM

Ya and those benchs are crap, I play with people with those cards and they don't get that kind of performance at the highest stable overclocks. SO NO most people wont get that performance period. my friends with the 7950 do not perform as well as I do at the same clock speeds. So yes that chart is garbage.

Yes AMD is relevant but for gaming he wont benefit from the 8cores he utilize more from the 4xxx or the 6xxx alot better.

He also said he could go to 1k so here is a build that I'd suggest and you wouldn't be disappointed like the people I know who own 7950's:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mdfF

** edit i forgot ram ** lmao

This build leaves you room to grow, You wont need to overclock and if you choose to overclock you can add a Cooler later, it will run fine at stock speeds until then. Also the GPU will perform and perform well as well as overclock to within 2-5 FPS of its same style of card GTX 680 with it being overclocked too.

Also you can add an SSD later to improve load speeds of not only windows but the games you put on it too.

So from someone with real hands on comparisons and experience I'd say go the route that is proven not some chart that has bloated over exaggerated numbers.
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November 2, 2012 5:00:26 AM

Apropo said:
Ya and those benchs are crap, I play with people with those cards and they don't get that kind of performance at the highest stable overclocks. SO NO most people wont get that performance period. my friends with the 7950 do not perform as well as I do at the same clock speeds. So yes that chart is garbage.

Yes AMD is relevant but for gaming he wont benefit from the 8cores he utilize more from the 4xxx or the 6xxx alot better.

He also said he could go to 1k so here is a build that I'd suggest and you wouldn't be disappointed like the people I know who own 7950's:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mdfF

** edit i forgot ram ** lmao

This build leaves you room to grow, You wont need to overclock and if you choose to overclock you can add a Cooler later, it will run fine at stock speeds until then. Also the GPU will perform and perform well as well as overclock to within 2-5 FPS of its same style of card GTX 680 with it being overclocked too.

Also you can add an SSD later to improve load speeds of not only windows but the games you put on it too.

So from someone with real hands on comparisons and experience I'd say go the route that is proven not some chart that has bloated over exaggerated numbers.


But would it be preferred? Just because you can go that high doesn't mean people want to push their budget to their highest possible limit. Also, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE REVIEW HAS SHOWN THAT THE FX-8350 IS BETTER THAN THE FX-6xxx and FX-4xxx at GAMING. EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT CORE UTILIZATION, it is an effect BUT IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. You have to look at architecture too and benchmarks... BF3 isn't even a CPU utilizing game:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2055/5/
As shown there the FX-8350 PLAYS LIKE AN i7 3770K...

Also, I'll concede about the 7950 vs 670, still, the margins are close enough that if you overclock the 7950 slightly more I'd say the 7950 being about $70 less it's slightly worth it.
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1552/pg7/nvidia-g...
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November 2, 2012 5:15:11 AM

I'm only giving my advice based on my hands on experience and knowledge with the exact game the OP is interested in and GPU's that are being recommended.

Why based on the OP's usage are FX-8350 and i7-3770 being recommended period? That makes no sense to me, When the i5-3570k is the goto gaming CPU for the price closer to the FX-8350.
quotes from the legitreview:
"Whether we were running the 4GHz AMD FX-8350 octo-core processor or the 3.0GHz quad-core A8-3870K APU there was virtually no difference in Battlefield 3 "

Most of the differences were at 1280x1024 due to the fact that we were becoming GPU limited by our AMD Radeon HD 7950 at higher resolutions"

Which means a stronger GPU should be recommended not extra cores / hyperthreading. The i5-3570k remains the recommended "Gaming" cpu imo.

I can put up links too:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/amd-fx-835...
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November 2, 2012 5:45:29 AM

If you were willing to push your budget this is what I'd recommend:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mdTB for the INTEL
or
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/mdUb for the AMD

unless you plan to overclock out of the box, which you wont need to, you don't need a additional cooler. Stock coolers will work fine at stock clocks. otherwise for 20-30bucks you can grab a Coolermaster 212 Evo.

This build gives you the ability to add an additional card later for future proofing, add cooler for overclocking, and more RAM if needed. You wont wonder if you chose the right / wrong card because you'll be out performing most 7950's and performing nearly as good as most GTX 680's. You can add an SSD later to improve load times.
Hope this helps.
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November 2, 2012 6:30:43 PM

Is the AMD fx 4170 as good as the i5 3570?
Also, I'm not sure why the 7950 would do worse than the 670, as the 7950 has 384 bit memory and 900 mhz. Does the extra .8 mhz clock and Phsx really make up the difference?
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November 2, 2012 6:33:05 PM

timelord989 said:
Is the AMD fx 4170 as good as the i5 3570?
Also, I'm not sure why the 7950 would do worse than the 670, as the 7950 has 384 bit memory and 900 mhz. Does the extra .8 mhz clock and Phsx really make up the difference?


the top of the line Pile driver that costs $200+ barely compares to the i5-3570k - Gaming specific. The 4170 doesn't come close at all, infact sits at the bottom of the heap in performance compared to the i5-3570k.

Let me put it simple the i5-3570k is the top gaming choice CPU for a system that is for mainly gaming use.

Here is a link that discusses and benchmarks this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev...

the i5 compares to the performance in gaming with the i7, it just doesn't have the hyper threading which isn't used in gaming. the 4170 is on this chart at nearly the rock bottom.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+FX-4170+Qua...
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