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Upgrade Build

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 6:32:49 AM

Hey,
due to a broken mainboard and way outdated hardware, I'm pretty much forced to upgrade my computer at this point.

It's gonna be mostly used for computer graphic stuff, such as 3d modeling and rendering in 3dsmax, Maya and ZBrush, while also occasionally being used for gaming.

Would like for you guys to check it for its compability, as I haven't been into this stuff for several years.
Here's what I got:




Mainboard:
GigaByte GA-Z68AP-D3


CPU:
Intel i5-3570


GPU:
Gigabyte NVIDIA GTX 650 TI


PSU:
OCZ ModXStream 500W


Memory:
Corsair Vengenance 2 x 4GB


Cooler:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo



Thanks in advance.

More about : upgrade build

November 28, 2012 2:11:13 PM

That's bad luck about the motherboard. Your new one is better off being Z77 though for out-of-the-box support for the newer CPU you've chosen. That CPU will come with a cooler included if it's a retail boxed version, so you won't need a separate cooler. Alternatively, if you want that cooler for overclocking then take the 3570K instead - the non-K model is multiplier-locked. That's a nice little graphics card but it's only slightly cheaper than the hugely superior GTX660, so maybe add the cooler cost to your graphics?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 3:09:12 PM

Quote:
Hey,
due to a broken mainboard and way outdated hardware, I'm pretty much forced to upgrade my computer at this point.

It's gonna be mostly used for computer graphic stuff, such as 3d modeling and rendering in 3dsmax, Maya and ZBrush, while also occasionally being used for gaming.

What I'm hearing is that you need a computer with a badass CPU, reasonable GPU and loads of memory. Can do!

Quote:
Mainboard:
GigaByte GA-Z68AP-D3

Get a Z77 board instead. Absolutely no reason to get a Z68. The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 is a good board on the low end of mid range (can be found for $130 or so last I checked) and is a phenomenal overclocker. I hope you're comfortable with overclocking, because that's going to give you a ton of free performance.

Quote:
CPU:
Intel i5-3570

I'd very, very strongly recommend a K version so you can overclock. Also, this is one of those times when Hyperthreading really does help, so the extra $100 for the 3770k is worth it, if it's in the budget.

Quote:
GPU:
Gigabyte NVIDIA GTX 650 TI

The GTX 670 is going to cost quite a bit more, but is great for CUDA acceleration which will improve render times by a gigantic amount. If you can swing it, I'd very strongly recommend it. Better still are going to be the workstation cards from either Nvidia or AMD, but they're incredibly expensive. If you're going that route, you're probably looking at a $5k workstation.

Quote:
PSU:
OCZ ModXStream 500W

Nothing wrong here, but I'm a bit biased against OCZ (mainly because of the way they tried to exploit overclockers by selling overpriced "optimized for overclocking" hardware back when they started) so I'd recommend one of Corsair's lower end Builder series PSUs.

Quote:
Memory:
Corsair Vengenance 2 x 4GB

Rendering can make use of as much memory as you give it. The more you have, the faster it will go. Get 16GB minimum, 32GB if you can manage. Speed is less important than capacity.

Quote:
Cooler:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

If you're going to overclock, this is a smart buy. Otherwise, the cooler that comes bundled with the processor is fine.
Related resources
November 28, 2012 3:41:28 PM

One thing to point out with regards to overclocking is that you will void your warranty. If that processor fails in the first three years while running at its normal speed, Intel will replace it. If it fails after the frequencies have been manually adjusted via overclocking then they won't. That's regardless of whether or not it was actually the overclock that caused the processor to die.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 4:15:57 PM

sam_p_lay said:
One thing to point out with regards to overclocking is that you will void your warranty. If that processor fails in the first three years while running at its normal speed, Intel will replace it. If it fails after the frequencies have been manually adjusted via overclocking then they won't. That's regardless of whether or not it was actually the overclock that caused the processor to die.

This is not true. You can actually buy overclocking insurance from Intel for $25. You can put 10v through your chip and incinerate it, then send it back to Intel and they'll replace it no questions asked. One time deal, though.

Also, it's not possible to tell if a chip has been overclocked unless you physically take it apart and examine it with a electron microscope to see the effects of electromigration. Even then, CPUs die so rarely (even when overclocked by huge amounts) that this isn't even worth considering.
November 28, 2012 4:20:13 PM

I'm aware of their 'performance tuning protection plan' but wasn't aware the OP was purchasing the additional cover. Intel have said that if the processor fails at non-stock clock frequencies that warranty is void regardless of the cause of the failure.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 4:33:47 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Intel have said that if the processor fails at non-stock clock frequencies that warranty is void regardless of the cause of the failure.

And what I'm saying is that such failures are so rare as to be not worth mentioning, and that even when it does happen Intel has no way to enforce that provision of the warranty. It's a moot point, especially when you consider that even if the above weren't true, you can get around it entirely for a small price, even after your chip dies.
November 28, 2012 4:40:40 PM

Do you not have to buy the insurance in advance? And Intel seem to think they can tell if it has been overclocked. You obviously know more about electromigration etc than I do, though surely the default scaling of clock frequencies would have the same effect? Obviously Intel would say that they know when you've overclocked, but personally I wouldn't roll the dice on it.

Anyway, it's something worth making people aware of so they can make their own decision about it, rather than just covering the issue up and pretending it doesn't exist.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 4:51:49 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Do you not have to buy the insurance in advance?

How would Intel know? You just provide them the serial number for your chip. The way they combat this "buy after it dies" problem is by having a waiting period after activating the policy before you can redeem it. So worst case scenario, it takes a month or so after it dies to get it replaced. I'd just go ahead and pay the $25 up front.

Quote:
And Intel seem to think they can tell if it has been overclocked.

Only if it's obvious. As far as I'm aware, clock settings are not stored in any way on the chip. The only way to tell if the chip has been overclocked would be to look for the signs of overclocking, which requires an electron microscope (again, as far as I know).

Quote:
You obviously know more about electromigration etc than I do, though surely the default scaling of clock frequencies would have the same effect?

No. Electromigration happens regardless of the chip settings, but occurs at much greater rates as voltage and heat increase. What's happening is the force of the current is literally stripping particles off the transistors. Keep your chip cool and voltage low, and it isn't an issue. Overclock at the edge of what your chip can do, and you'll gradually degrade your chip.

Quote:
Anyway, it's something worth making people aware of so they can make their own decision about it, rather than just covering the issue up and pretending it doesn't exist.

I'm not covering it up or pretending it doesn't exist, I'm simply explaining why overclocking is perfectly safe. I haven't run any of my hardware at stock frequencies since the mid 90s (first overclock was taking a 133 MHz chip to 166 Mhz).

Do you know how many pieces of hardware I've had die on me? Zero. None. Not a single damn one, and I push my hardware really, really hard. Just look at the overclocks in my sig. I'm using more than the safe voltage pushing the chips well past standard overclocks. Both chips still work fine, and I benched the *** out of them at those speeds, running them at 80-90c for hours.
November 28, 2012 4:55:55 PM

Zero failures? Well I'm not going to call you a liar and I can hardly ask you to prove it, but it seems dubious. I stopped overclocking when I was 14 and in over a decade since I've had quite a few components fail, even at stock. Not even a PSU? If you're not forgetting something then you've been extremely fortunate.

I'm curious - you advise keeping voltage low, but I thought a voltage increase was needed to hit the kinds of frequencies you've achieved?
November 28, 2012 5:07:22 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Zero failures? Well I'm not going to call you a liar and I can hardly ask you to prove it, but it seems dubious. I stopped overclocking when I was 14 and in over a decade since I've had quite a few components fail, even at stock. Not even a PSU? If you're not forgetting something then you've been extremely fortunate.

I'm curious - you advise keeping voltage low, but I thought a voltage increase was needed to hit the kinds of frequencies you've achieved?


Overclocking is kind of like a puzzle..
The quickest way to high frequencies and burnt out components is voltage.
The best, highest, and most reliable way is tuning everything separately.
Core Clock, Multiplier, Voltage, etc..

The voltage is the last thing to move up, and when you move it up you go back to square one until everything is running stable, reliable, and where you want it.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 28, 2012 6:01:31 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Zero failures? Well I'm not going to call you a liar and I can hardly ask you to prove it, but it seems dubious.

I'm sorry, I should clarify. Zero failures related to overclocking and zero failures of overclocked parts. I didn't say this before because I thought it was obvious. Of course parts go bad, what I was getting at is that over fifteen years of overclocking it has resulted in no damage whatsoever to my components.

Pretty much the only components I've never had fail are the motherboard, CPU, GPU and memory. They're also the components I push the hardest.

Quote:
I'm curious - you advise keeping voltage low, but I thought a voltage increase was needed to hit the kinds of frequencies you've achieved?

Welcome to overclocking. High voltages enable high speeds, but increase temperatures and reduce lifespan. Temperature increases with the square of the voltage increase, so it's absolutely critical to find the minimum voltage that makes your chip stable.

Using Intel's published VID is a good starting point and "do not exceed" point, though I regularly do. I think the VID for the 2500k is 1.45v, and I've put as much as 1.65v through mine (to get it stable at 5.35 GHz long enough for a validation).
November 28, 2012 6:34:37 PM

So what would voltage be at default? Back when I did overclock, I'm not even sure if voltage was a thing you could control. If it was, it wasn't widely known... what do you mean by validation? Validated as running stably, or just as running at all at that frequency?

Also, do you know if AMD has a similar thing to Intel's 'performance tuning protection plan'? AMD has nothing to interest me at the moment, but it would be good to know.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 29, 2012 1:55:42 PM

sam_p_lay said:
So what would voltage be at default? Back when I did overclock, I'm not even sure if voltage was a thing you could control. If it was, it wasn't widely known...

Unless you were overclocking with jumpers or dip switches (man did that suck, they usually weren't even labeled), voltage control was probably already standard. Back in the early days, voltage was regulated automatically by the motherboard and CPU. That all changed sometime in the late 90s during the Pentium II era when motherboard manufacturers started allowing core voltage control to overclockers in specialty boards. I'm guessing your motherboard simply didn't support it. Wasn't a standard feature for mainstream boards until several years ago, overclockers had to buy specific models to get the features they needed.

Quote:
what do you mean by validation? Validated as running stably, or just as running at all at that frequency?

Validated as in the links in my sig. It's a program called CPU-z that records and verifies your computer's stats, then submits them to a central server for proof. It's called a validation.

Quote:
Also, do you know if AMD has a similar thing to Intel's 'performance tuning protection plan'? AMD has nothing to interest me at the moment, but it would be good to know.

Not that I'm aware of.
!