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‚1000 € build, a bit specific

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March 5, 2012 7:01:54 PM

!!!!!--- I've posted this same thread an hour or so ago but due to putting the € character in thread title, said title does not appear at all. I would politely ask you to reply to this thread instead and to any potential moderators to delete the one with no title appearing. I cannot do it, it simply says I don't have permission to do it. My apologies. ---!!!!!


Approximate Purchase Date: In a month, heavily depends on Ivy Bridge, details below

Budget Range: Ends at €1000(NOT $)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game testing(alpha and beta builds), occasional Photoshop or sound editing, movies, internet

Parts Not Required: 1st GPU (Asus 6950 reference card, implies unlocking shaders :p ), keyboard, mouse, possibly monitor, again, details below

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I live in Slovenia so any Newegg, Amazon or Ebay or any other US retailer is pretty much out of the picture. I can seek out deals, mostly I'm looking for recommendations on parts rather than on stores.

Country: Slovenia (east of Italy, south of Austria, west of Hungary, north of Croatia)

Parts Preferences: None, form follows function

Overclocking: Definetly

SLI or Crossfire: Definetly

Monitor Resolution: Eyefinity 3 x 1280x1024 most likely

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Now comes the specific part. Any part I'm considering will be followed by the cheapest price I could dig up.

The CPU I'd like to overclock, so here are the questions:
-i5 2500k (€202,00) seems to have a major consensus, buy it or wait for Ivy Bridge(I'm tempted by PCIE 3.0, mainly because it will probably deal better with Eyefinity)
-Since I'm overclocking, I'll use an air cooler, most likely a Corsair A70 (€49,00), however I'm also looking at the Noctua NH-D14 (€66,00 or €70,00 with a 2011 mounting kit)
-Alternatives?

RAM is anything that has 8GB, a 1600 frequency and is even remotely capable of an overclock (futureproofing). Currently looking at a Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1600MHz cl9 1.50V (€52,80)

MOTHERBOARD
A tricky one. I'd like a motherboard that supports AT LEAST an x16 and an 8x PCIE connection working in parallel(again, Eyefinity will work better). An x8 x8 setup will, or so I've heard, impact Eyefinity performance. If this is not true at my resolution, I'd like to know. If there is any way of making it futureproof I'd also like to know. I'm only installing 2 RAM modules (low profile ones, notice the cooler), USB 3.0 support is very much preferred, while a PS/2 connector is a must (Steelseries keyboard).
Is it worth waiting for Ivy Bridge and hoping that any relatively cheap processor would overclock as good as the 2500k does?

HDD
1TB, 32/64MB(does it matter?), 7200RPM. That's all it has to be.

GPU
As mentioned, I already have one 6950 2GB reference card (got it for €200), I WILL unlock it. This is for now, adding another in no more than 6 months (might be a bit long but I've got a driving license to obtain). That one is being unlocked too. It also might be worth mentioning that the second one will most likely be an XFX, as there is no other reference card being sold that is either a different brand or is any good at unlocking. They are not going to be overclocked.

OPTIC DRIVES
I'm in a dilemma here, do I go for only a DVD drive or do I go for a BD drive? If the latter, keep in mind it's going to be BD READ ONLY. I don't need a BD burner at all.

PSU
I was thinking of an ANTEC High Current Gamer HCG-900 900W (€135,73). Is this enough?

CASE
I want something with good airflow. I'll have one fan in front of the case(HDD compartment) pushing air in, one at the bottom doing the same in addition to the PSU, also with the fan at the bottom and blowing air out at the back(if it's not obvious by now, the PSU is going to be at the bottom). I'm also having a rear fan and the CPU cooler both blowing horizontally as well as a top fan for exhaust. Negative pressure would in my case be better considering the graphics cards have the ability to dissipate heat at the rear. Would I in this case need a side fan?
Of course, fan filters are going to be included. What case do you recommend?

I'm considering an SSD, but I'm unsure of the advantages I could actually see in the performance.

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If there is an option to make the computer noticeably better I'm willing to go over the €1000 mark.
And now for the final issue:
MONITORS (NOT INCLUDED IN THE BUILD PRICE)

I'm currently in possession of a 4:3(or 5:4, I'm not sure) 43cm(that's a 17" ) monitor with a 1280x1024 resolution. I'm planning on getting another of the same type(both have a regular VGA connection, of of them will be through a DiplayPort adapter) and one with a DVI connector. Now, as the games I play are racing sims, FPS and indie platformers, I was wondering if maybe three 48cm(19" ) monitors would be a better fit, also seeing how they are somehow less tiring for the eye(or so I've heard, though I have some experience of eyestrain when translating on the two monitors I have now, them being a 43cm 16:9 laptop screen and a 43cm 4:3 monitor as secondary).
Since the resolution is not likely to change on 5cm of diagonal length, which would the community prefer?
And as a side note, I prefer 4:3 and 5:4 monitors over their 16:9 counterparts.

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Right, that's it. Any suggestions? Have I done my job of explaining my expectations well enough? :D 
March 5, 2012 7:32:15 PM

1. Yes do wait for Ivybridge
2. NH-D14 is beast if you can afford it go for it if not Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo
3.BD drive definitely not worth it, do you really need an optical drive at all games from steam, latest drivers from manufacturer site??
4. Consider Corsair TX 850 or XFX 850 PSU as they have a single 12v rail, 850W is overkill but gives plenty of room for OCing or other hardware you could easily use a 750W
5. Case wise CM Storm trooper, BitFenix Shinobi XL, Nzxt Switch 810 (cases are very personal choice though)
6. Everyone recommends getting an SSD to at least use as a boot drive if you can so 60 or 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 or Crucial m4
March 5, 2012 8:12:11 PM

1. Alright, will do.

2. For €2 more I get the CM Hyper 412S, any significant differences? And what exactly do you mean by beast, is the OC ceiling increased by a noticeable amount?

3. A DVD drive is a must, I've got lots of discs with backups, also I'm more of the retail copy kind.

4. Looked around and found these:
-XFX PRO850W Core Edition (108,94 €)
-XFX Black Edition 850W ATX 2. 3 - "MPS" (148,00 €) <- modular this one
-CORSAIR CMPSU-850TXV2 850W (123,50 €)
-Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular TX850M 850W - 80+ Bronze <- same as above but modular and not V2

5. I liked the Shinobi, but I'm a bit concerned about it not having any side mesh or anything. Of course, if side ventilation is not necessary, +1 because I'd be able to do negative pressure cooling.
I don't want anything outlandish in a case, such as spikes and machineguns sprouting out of it. Just nice, clean, elegant looks. If I have to wait for Ivy Bridge then some extra money for the case shouldn't be too hard to acquire, such that I could go for a Corsair Carbide 400R/500R or even the Graphite 600T. Or I could get a cheaper one(Silverstone Precision PS03B doesn't seem too bad) and spend the extra money on another part.
Links to all aforementioned cases below:
http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/carbide-series-pc-case/...
http://www.corsair.com/carbide-series-500r-mid-tower-ca...
http://www.corsair.com/pc-cases/graphite-series-pc-case...
http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=250&area=...

6.Found them cheap enough to include them, thanks!


On a side note, would anyone here recommend I sell my 6950 2GB and buy a single 7xxx series card? What would the performance difference be like/would it still work as good in Eyefinity?
Related resources
March 5, 2012 8:27:57 PM

I want to get back to this one. I'll make some general recommendations later.

On the GPU, I think you would want a 7900 series to replace that card. 7870 is faster yes, but doesn't seem like enough upgrade to make it worthwhile. And Kepler will be out a few weeks later. Stick with the 6950 for now.
March 5, 2012 8:28:50 PM

ivy bridge has been delayed until june
March 6, 2012 12:08:12 AM

Ivy Bridge should be very nice, but I think the i5 is a good choice. For your usage, you just won't need more. At least for 3 years.

Are you planning to aggressively overclock? You might not need to spend so much there, on a cooler. There are many less expensive air coolers that are just one or two degrees Celsius less effective.

Any LGA 1155 motherboard that claims more PCI-E bandwidth than x8,x8, is providing that bandwidth before the bottleneck that exists in the CPU. These boards are using special chips that coordinate the PCI-E bandwidth before it gets to the bottleneck... so while they help it's not like true x16,x16.

And I have never seen any proof that the bandwidth is needed at all. I have seen proof that it did not make any real difference with single monitors, but don't think there is a study using Eyefinity.

IF that were the case and the difference was that large, then you would be advised to NOT use LGA 1155 at all but use LGA 2011.

I like my BD combo drive. It's fast with DVDs and I use it for the occasional Blu-ray movie. Cost is not so high these days either.

Antec 900W is probably overkill. The new GPUs will all be less power hungry and CF 6950 does not need so much. 750W would be fine there.

As a tester, fast boot times, fast installation times, fast load times.... I would not be without a good SSD. Preferably a quality one from Samsung, Intel, or Crucial.

Cooler Master Storm Trooper, In Win Dragon Rider, might be a few cases for you to look at.
March 6, 2012 7:53:38 AM

So a simultaneous IvyBridge and supporting motherboard upgrade on my next upgrade would make more sense then? Or a SandyBridge i5 2500k and an IvyBridge board now and only a processor update later after 2 or 3 years? I'd also take into consideration that IvyBridge probably won't be as cheap on release and that the current 2500k could even get a price cut. Speculations sure, but it's happened before.

I am going to try to get al least 4.5GHz, so I'd say yes. When dealing with possibly frying my processor I would like to have some headroom in my cooler.

There is a slight difference above 4 Mpx, which is after some calculations not something I'll overstep. x8x8 won't cause that much problems then. To merge with your GPU response, I'm asking because an XFX Radeon HD7950 Black Edition will cost just as much as the two refence 6950's combined, possibly less if I sell my current one for more than €210(also makes €10 profit :D  ). And in that case I'd only need a single x16 slot, which would also enable me to get a PCIE 3.0 capable board, and thus PCIE 3.0 x16.

I already have an HDTV and a BR player in my living room, there's no need for one on my computer just so that I could watch movies there too. Couch wins in this case.

The 900W Antec was mentioned because it's more or less in the same price bracket as the 850W Corsair and XFX I've posted above. I probably won't go for it now, since I know I won't need that much, just to clarify.

I've mentioned I'm getting an SSD. The only thing now is either a 120GB or more. That's my next question. 120GB will probably be enough for the games I'm testing+operating system.

The problem I have with the InWin Dragon Rider and to a lesser extent the Storm Trooper is that they are outlandish and just scream GAMER!!!!! Not that I'm ashamed of being one, but a more elegant professional look is what I've been looking for. The Corsairs mentioned in my previous post barely fit what I'd like to see, however they are roomy and have good airflow.
March 6, 2012 9:12:55 AM

Seems like the Corsair 400R would be a good choice for you.

If you can get a good price for your 6950 it probably would be worthwhile to upgrade.
March 6, 2012 1:58:43 PM

Pre-final list of components, this is for one last review before I "seal the deal". Everything, if not explicitly specified, is going to be ordered from a single retailer, as that gives me warranty benefits.

MOTHERBOARD
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 (€172,75): Seems like a good motherboard, also recommended by this site if I recall correctly. Gives me IvyBridge support so I won't have to swap motherboards when buying a new CPU and PCIE 3.0 with enough lanes for my resolution.

CPU
Intel Core i5 2500k 3.3GHz 6MB(€206,35): Overclocks well, is constantly praised by this site, seems like I won't have to change processors for a while if I go with it.

CPU COOLER
Cooler Master Hyper 412S (€37,13): Is only €2 more expensive than the 212 Evo

RAM
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile DDR3 8GB 1600MHz (2 modules each 4GB) (€51,89): High quality, high frequency, voltage is 1.5V so overclocking them is a possibility

HDD
SEAGATE ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64M (€109,31)

SSD
CORSAIR Force 3 120GB (€147,48)

CASE
Corsair Carbide 400R (€95,00): Recommended by Proximon, fits what I was looking for

PSU
XFX PRO850 850W Core Edition (€108,94): Only €7 price difference between it and the 750W model

GPU
My already owned Radeon 6950 2GB, unlocked to 6970 specs, clock and memory speed will be somewhat lessened so the fan doesn't choke on itself.

OPTIC DRIVE
Samsung SH-S224L-BEBE LightScribe DVDRW (€19,23): Don't need a Blu ray drive
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This makes for a total amount of €948,23. This leaves some room for your suggestions, as well as gives me breathing room when picking monitors for my Eyefinity setup.
While I'm on the subject, would three 19" monitors be a better solution than three 17", given that I already have one?

I'm going to add a second 6950 2GB card and unlock it later when I need it and when prices drop, should save me some money
March 6, 2012 8:29:31 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Proximon, much appreciated!
!