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Author Topic: The 'Build Me A PC' Thread  (Read 161064 times)
SnakeCharmer
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on: December 12, 2009, 05:52:52 PM

Sold my current rig to a buddy, so time to build a new one.

Budget:
2500.00 USD, including shipping, after MIR's if applicable.  Shipping to 36601 zipcode.
Requirements: 
I'm pushing 1920x1200 resolution, and am a bleeding edge graphics whore.  So everything is usually jacked up as high as it goes.  I want it to be quiet, which may be tough considering the budget/use.  Prefer single card/GPU solution, but not averse to SLI or Crossfire, so in that regard an SLI mobo is probably the way to go for later (just in case), same for the PSU.  Prefer Intel and nVidia, but not married to it.  I'm not scared of overclocking.  I'm tempted to look into watercooling, but someone would have to really try hard to convince me to do it.  Nothing loud about the case at all, from sound/fans to graphics or LEDs (black never goes out of style).
Primary use:
Gaming 99 percent of the time.  Burning movies/audio 1 percent of the time.  If a BR drive/burner(s) can be squeezed in, awesome, but not a requirement.  Mostly play FPSs and MMOs.
Do not need: 
Any peripherals.  Large amounts of storage.  I back the important stuff up to DVD, and have a couple external 1TB HDD's.  250GB to 350GB HDD should be more than enough.  500GB and higher would be overkill.  Do not need to worry about multiple monitors.  My single 24" works just fine.
On The Fence wants/wishes (i.e. if budget allows):
NIC.  Dedicated sound card with digital optical sound out and 5.1 support.  Bluetooth capabilities.  Lots of USB ports (6+ on the back alone).

Is nVidia ever going to come out with their 300 series cards?  Is DX11 worth worrying about for the next couple years (by which time it is, new/better GPUs will be on the market)?  Is it worth it to just game on my laptop until after the 1st of the year and take a look at building then?
Trippy
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Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 06:41:09 PM

If you know what you want why can't you spec your own?
SnakeCharmer
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Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 07:37:26 PM

Because I'm completely behind the times and don't want to handcuff a rig by being cpu or gpu bound, or any other number of factors.  Plus, the obvious, of looking advice from people that know better, especially in terms of quiet components (psu, case, etc).  Some things I'm just going to have to live with as far as noise is concerned, but I'd like to mitigate it was much as possible. 

Knowing what I want out of a rig isn't quite the same as knowing how to achieve it.  Seems to me that simply going through newegg or whatever and automatically clicking the most expensive component by default is a bad idea.
dusematic
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Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 07:39:54 PM

Salamok
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Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 09:47:50 PM

If I was looking to build a $2500 rig I think I would try and squeeze a 160gb Intel SSD in and live with that as my primary OS Drive.  Probably offload all other storage to NAS.  I think 2010 is definitely going to be the year of the SSD, performance glitches have been overcome and the price/gb is dropping down to mainstream levels.  Just need to clear out all the OEM contracts with the crappy SSD providers and replace them with the guys that are actually delivering the decent products. 

Cold Boot to logged in with Photoshop open in 6 seconds is definitely a performance boost that will be noticed. 

Sounds like we have similar taste in cases, so I'll recommend mine yet again Coolermaster Sileo 500
Trippy
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Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 11:34:16 PM

My comments:

If you want the option of SLI/Crossfire you should go with LGA 1366 as the companion X58 chipset supports more PCIe lanes than the equivalent LGA 1156/P55 setup. You can do SLI/Crossfire on LGA 1156 but you aren't getting a full 16 lanes on your second card unless the MB maker has hacked in some extra lanes.

If you are willing to overclock I'd recommend the i7-920 as it overclocks really well. Otherwise since your budget is so large go for the i7-950.

For a single GPU video card you'll want the 5870 assuming you don't want to get something cheap(er) now and wait to see what NVIDIA comes out with next year. If you want the dual-GPU 5970 you'll have to drop down to the i7-920 to fit that in (~$650 assuming you can find one).

Here's an example build with no case or accessories that comes out to ~$2200.00 (inc. rebates)


Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819115211
$569.99

Noctua NH-U12P SE2 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16835608014
$74.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-1000HX 1000W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817139007
$239.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16832116762
$174.99

MSI Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) R5870-PM2D1G Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814127449
$429.99

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813128362
$268.99

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drives -Bare
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16822136284
$99.99
   
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820145258
$154.99

LG Black 8X Blu-ray Burner SATA Model WH08LS20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16827136176
$189.99

*Grand Total:*   $2,203.91
schild
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Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 11:47:05 PM

I really can't see building a PC today costing $2500. This entire concept is flat out insane. Buy a 5870, take your pick of an i7 and mobo, throw in a couple WD Blacks for $100, 8GB of RAM is a trivial amount, put it all in a cardboard box and buy a 500" monitor because I still don't see how you're spending $2500 on a PC in 2009.

Edit: Yes, I see Trippy's post. But spending telling him to spend $569 on a processor is obviously just so he can laugh at him later. And $300 on a power supply? lol
Bill
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Reply #7 on: December 14, 2009, 03:13:14 AM

What Schild said. I spent around the same amount (GBP so a couple of hundred went on VAT) on my rig and that included two 22" Samsung monitors. Just make sure to get at least 6gb of decent RAM, nice and fast alongside an i7 on a decent board. Personally I can reommend the ASUS P6T range (based on 6 months of it being great and lots of review reading prior to purchase). 5870 certainly looks like the way to if you want "bang for buck"... wow, there's a phrase I never thought I'd type.
Kageh
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Reply #8 on: December 14, 2009, 05:53:53 AM

I second the i7-920/LGA-1366/X58 recommendations, that is IMO the cheapest (read "cost-efficient") high-end setup you can buy, and it is pretty future-proof.

WD Caviar Black is pretty much the best "mainstream" HDD you can buy, buy two of those at 1TB so you can RAID 1 them and have permanent backup. The X58 mobos all should come with integrated raid controllers for that.

Get a 5870 if they are available, a solid 6GB tri-channel kit (something that does DDR3-1600 at CL8 is quite okay).

Power Supply, something at 500-600W should suffice for starters, the 1000W Trippy listed is quite a beast and definitely needed if you plan for some big SLI/Crossfire deal later, but you can always upgrade that a later time too.
Engels
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Reply #9 on: December 14, 2009, 08:46:01 AM

Maybe you all missed the part where SnakeCharmer is a graphics ho. IF he wants the best, he needs expensive motherboard, expensive video card(s) and to protect that asset, an expensive power supply that isn't going to fizzle and wreck his system under load 5 months down the line. Trippy's choices are reasonable for a high graphics performance system.

However, that said, it seems very silly to spend that much on a system and then getting a cheap monitor. I mean, after all, the point is to get very good visuals, and you can't do that without dropping at least 500 more on a monitor. Even that seems penny wise pound foolish, since for the most part, monitors can outlive systems by a generation or two.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

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01101010
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Reply #10 on: December 14, 2009, 09:07:24 AM

  I think 2010 is definitely going to be the year of the SSD, performance glitches have been overcome and the price/gb is dropping down to mainstream levels.  Just need to clear out all the OEM contracts with the crappy SSD providers and replace them with the guys that are actually delivering the decent products. 

This would not surprise me. SSD for the system and a portable HDD for storage. I can see that as being the norm is a few years.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
SnakeCharmer
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Reply #11 on: December 14, 2009, 09:41:26 AM

Trippy - Thanks for the info, most appreciated.  That's actually pretty close to what I had pieced together, but was going with the 920 and OC it.  I figure the price difference would be better spent on a better video card (or cards), or more RAM possibly.

Schild - Hush.  Going cheap on a PSU is a quick road to an early death.

Kageh - I figure I'm going to go ahead and buy a 850w or higher PSU.  No point in upgrading to SLI/Crossfire later on and be stuck with an inadequate PSU that I won't need anymore, and end up spending more money in the long run.  I look at it like kind of like woodwork - measure twice, cut once.

Engels - My monitor is fine (Gateway FHD2400).  TN panel, tiny bit of backlight bleedthrough and some color shifting, but overall, I'm happy with it.  Might upgrade down the road; just need to get my kid to sling a toy through the current one to justify a purchase of a new monitor with the wife  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS.
Engels
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Reply #12 on: December 14, 2009, 09:49:37 AM


I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something.

-Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

"let go of my dick you mother fucker!"  - Jimbo
schild
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Reply #13 on: December 14, 2009, 10:08:23 AM

Quote
Schild - Hush.  Going cheap on a PSU is a quick road to an early death.

I don't go cheap on PSUs, in fact I buy the best rated on the market. You don't need to spend $300 to be safe.

You could build a gaming rig for a good deal less than above, and see almost no performance difference and donate $1,000 to f13 (money saved!) for servers.

Point being, you're pissing money away spending $2500 on a PC these days.
patience
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Reply #14 on: December 14, 2009, 07:55:58 PM

If the results from this hold up and you get the best graphics card out there (which only comes from AMD at this point) you can cheap out and get the 1156 socket i5 or an X3 Phenom instead of the 1336 socket i7 because AMD cards unlike Nvidia don't rely on a strong CPU to maximize their performance.

I agree with Trippy in that if you want a silent high performance cooler get the Noctua 120mm fan model NH-U12P.

But if you want to take the risk of using a ridiculously large CPU cooler that could be a hassle to fit on your mobo, the newer 140 mm fan version offers better thermal performance while taking a hit on the acoustics performance.

I don't agree with the PSU. The Corsair is overkill if you aren't going for a tri or quad gpu setup. I would recommend the seasonic 750X if you lived in a state with high energy prices like New York but a quick look at the state you are coming from tells me the savings you would get for the 80 gold wouldn't make up for the upfront cost unlike the Seasonic M12D 750 which is vastly cheaper and is highly rated as a quiet PSU.

2500 Budget is overkill. I barely break that with my wishlist which includes a monitor. Since you want silent performance you have the option of getting a 160 GB Intel X-25M solid state drive even though it is somewhat an excessive expense.

Since you like to overclock you'll want a board with great capacitors and bios to do your tweaking. Since you want to spend the money on a dedicated sound card I think you would want to look at Gigabyte and ASrock boards instead of Asus or EVGA which use high end integrated audio parts which help inflate the price of their high end overclocking boards.

Your biggest source of noise will come from the GPU. You aren't going to be able to get a quiet card through air cooling even though the ATI 5870 is very power efficient unlike some of the past heat hogs. I strongly suggest you consider using a water block. I've never done watercooling myself though so I can't make any recommendations other than you won't get silence unless you are using your GPU to push the limits of Runescape and Peggle.

OP is assuming its somewhat of a design-goal of eve to make players happy.
this is however not the case.
schild
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Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 07:57:08 PM

The 5870 isn't near as loud as one would think. It's whisper quiet compared to a Nvidia 285/295.
Evil Elvis
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Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 08:13:04 PM

If you're spending $1700+, and not getting a SSD, you're doing it wrong.

Get an OCZ or Intel SSD for your OS drive.
Strazos
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Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 08:33:17 PM

Wait, OCZ makes products that are not utter shite?

Fear the Backstab!
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Evil Elvis
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Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 09:01:40 PM

I've no idea what OCZ's rep is on other components, but their Vertex SSD's are arguably on par with the Intel drives.

I've got the 30gb Vertex drive, and its great.
Salamok
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Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 09:13:11 PM

I've no idea what OCZ's rep is on other components, but their Vertex SSD's are arguably on par with the Intel drives.

I've got the 30gb Vertex drive, and its great.

AFAIK the new Intel SSD g2r5 is the only drive on the market that supports the TRIM command, although the price per gb is slightly better on some of the OCZ stuff it is still in the same ballpark as the Intel SSD.  If you are running w7 (an OS that supports TRIM) then the Intel drive is the one to go with as the price difference isn't really all that different and performance-wise Intel has been and still is leading the pack.  The only big negative with Intel is they have their head up their ass on firmware updates and have bricked a few drives in the process.  Fortunately if you get the latest drive revision with the TRIM support already included there won't be some major reason to flash the firmware ASAP (ie before they dork a few drives and pull it back).
Kageh
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Reply #20 on: December 15, 2009, 12:56:25 AM

Hmmm, TRIM has been supported by Indilinx controllers for quite some time AFAIK, it's just that OS-wise it was only supported by Linux until W7 launched.

About PSU Watts needed: Watts and Amperage are two different things. The figure you are actually needing is the maximum current on the 12v rails, not the maximum electrical power. You can run an overclocked i7 with an SLI setup on a good 650W-750W PSU easily, once you get to 50-55+ A on 12V. There are also fantastic PSUs in that range without having to push to 1000W, which will not fry on you and not burn out or damage your system. The 1000W figure sizing is way too conservative. I'm talking $150+ savings there which you can spend on additional stuff.

One more thing you should consider, for that price range, if waiting another few months is an option: First NVidia Fermi benchmarks (leaked from NVidia, yo  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?)are starting to show up, and that thing is apparently dominating the ATI5xxx. Conservative estimates put the mainstream launch around march 2010, which isn't that far away.
Trippy
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Reply #21 on: December 15, 2009, 01:28:55 AM

About PSU Watts needed: Watts and Amperage are two different things. The figure you are actually needing is the maximum current on the 12v rails, not the maximum electrical power. You can run an overclocked i7 with an SLI setup on a good 650W-750W PSU easily, once you get to 50-55+ A on 12V. There are also fantastic PSUs in that range without having to push to 1000W, which will not fry on you and not burn out or damage your system. The 1000W figure sizing is way too conservative. I'm talking $150+ savings there which you can spend on additional stuff.
Power supply math is funny, though. Even though a 650W may say it can put out, say, 52A on the +12V line, that's 624W right there meaning it can only output 26W for all the other lines assuming you somehow maxed out the +12V line (and assuming 100% efficiency). In other words the total power output of the power supply is the number you see stated, not the sum of the wattages on all the different lines (it's even more complicated cause +3.3V and +5V typically "share" a max wattage value as well).

More realistically let's say your top-end SLI setup is consuming 40A at +12V (=480W) and you've got a 130W TDP CPU (yes I know the TDP rating isn't the same as the actual power draw but it's a good approximation). Now you are kind of screwed if you only have a 650W power supply, especially once you take efficiency into account. 1000W may be overkill but for what SnakeCharmer may want to do in the future 650W is very likely to be too small. And this doesn't take overclocking/overvoltaging into account.

Edit: also power supplies typically are less efficient at low loads and very high loads and they run hotter at higher loads so it's best to run them around 1/2 to 3/4 load. This is less of an issue than it was in the past as "enthusiast" PS designs are often quite efficient these days (many are in the 80% efficiency range with some in 90% range) but it's still something to consider.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 01:40:32 AM by Trippy »
Kageh
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Reply #22 on: December 15, 2009, 02:25:56 AM

I agree with the math Trippy, very well put and sound logic.

I'm actually running an overclocked/undervolted i7 (3.6GHz at 1.15 VCore, yay for Xeon) with 2x260 (55nm) SLI on a 650W TT QFan, but it's probably close. I'm just used to be conservative about PSUs, as I'm seeing too much overkill with them.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #23 on: December 17, 2009, 08:56:19 AM

Well, technically I went $52 over, you could always shave a little money on the HDD.  Should show that, it's a public wishlist.

> 1 SAMSUNG 2494SW Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
> Item #: N82E16824001338
> Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy -$60.00 Instant
> $269.99
> $209.99
> 1 ABS Diablo ADV Black Finish + Titanium bezel Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
> Item #: N82E16811215013
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$50.00 Instant
> $159.99
> $109.99
> 1 G.SKILL Trident 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9Q-8GBTD
> Item #: N82E16820231332
> Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $259.99
> 1 HITACHI Deskstar HD32000 IDK/7K 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Retail
> Item #: N82E16822145276
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $169.99
> 1 COOLMAX ZP-1000B 1000W ATX 12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
> Item #: N82E16817159116
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$50.00 Instant
> $30.00 Mail-in Rebate
> $179.99
> $129.99
> 1 Thermaltake A2384 Noise Dampening Kit
> Item #: N82E16800999369
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $8.99
> 2 HIS H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
> Item #: N82E16814161276
> Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy $399.98
> 1 OCZ Colossus OCZSSD2-1CLS120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD)
> Item #: N82E16820227472
> Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy $549.00
> 1 LG Black 8X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA Model WH08LS20K
> Item #: N82E16827136175
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $149.99
> 1 MSI 790GX-G65 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
> Item #: N82E16813130224
> Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy $119.99
> 1 Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
> Item #: N82E16832116762
> Return Policy: Software Return Policy $174.99
> 1 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
> Item #: N82E16819103727
> Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy $195.00
> 1 ZALMAN CNPS10X Extreme 120mm CPU Cooler with Worlds first PWM Fan Speed Controller
> Item #: N82E16835118051
> Return Policy: Standard Return Policy $75.03
>

EDIT: Just wanted to show what you could get if you stepped entirely away from Intel/NVidia.  For another $80, you can get true x16 on both PCIe slots.

--Dave
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 09:25:26 AM by MahrinSkel »

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Salamok
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Reply #24 on: December 17, 2009, 09:37:16 AM

I think I would take the 160gb Intel SSD over a 120gb OCZ SSD any day of the week.

edit: Also, I am getting really close to taking this plunge and my new train of thought is I can get 2x80gb Intel SSD's cheaper than I can get 1x160gb Intel SSD.  RAID 0 for even faster performance, nearly the same storage and be out the door for less $$.

edit #2: Also, the Intel is a 2.5" drive compared to the OCZ 3.5 inch.  This adds some longevity, if you upgrade this thing later on you can dump the old one into your laptop.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 09:40:54 AM by Salamok »
Kageh
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Reply #25 on: December 17, 2009, 04:49:39 PM

I think that if you buy Crossfire currently, you're just punishing yourself. ATI has a long way to go to get microstuttering under control. SLI is way more matured, but still pretty much a luxury and the individual NVidia highend cards (GT200) are currently inferior to their ATI counterparts (5xxx models).

With something like 2x4890 or 2x5850/2x5870 you might brute-force your way around micro-stuttering by simply crunching enough frames to stay ahead of the magical 30FPS barrier, but the higher you crank quality up, the more you're likely to get there.
Goreschach
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Reply #26 on: December 17, 2009, 07:45:06 PM

Crossfire/SLI are both bullshit. A high end 5XXX card will run any game(except maybe Crysis, which sucks) maxed out for the next several years. It's just wasted money for extra e-peen and stability issues.

300 for a power supply is complete snake oil. You can pick up one just fine for around 100, even to power a 5970. I'd recommend a Corsair. They're fairly new to psu's, but they've put out some good ones.

If you're looking mainly for gaming, skip the bloomfields and pick up a lynnfield. The decreased max memory is of no concern, and it has an integrated pci-e controller.

Really, these days the only justifiable purchase to spurge on is an SSD. Either pick up an Intel or a drive with an indilinx controller.
Trippy
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Reply #27 on: December 17, 2009, 08:34:12 PM

Well, technically I went $52 over, you could always shave a little money on the HDD.  Should show that, it's a public wishlist.

EDIT: Just wanted to show what you could get if you stepped entirely away from Intel/NVidia.  For another $80, you can get true x16 on both PCIe slots.

--Dave
Your CPU less powerful than the i5-750 and only slightly cheaper (by $5). Or to put it another way AMD's top-end CPU is not even a match for Intel's lowest end LGA 1156 CPU. If I was going to spend that much on a computer I'd prefer something with more "headroom" for the future, but I'm the type that will upgrade CPUs. I also prefer to spend more on the CPU itself initially as it *is* a pain to upgrade, unlike a video card, so I prefer to upgrade CPUs as infrequently as possible.

Dual 4890s is about the same as a single 5870 (some games 2x4890 is faster, some games the 5870 is faster) so I don't think it's worth putting up with Crossfire (as Goreschach described above) for roughly the same performance/price.

If you wanted to build a lower-end machine AMD is a very good choice as Intel isn't competitive down in that price range but for a $2500 system it seems odd to gimp your CPU.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #28 on: December 17, 2009, 10:30:15 PM

Yeah, it was mostly a "what if" exercise.  High-end CPU's have tilted towards Intel for several years now, but low-end and mid-range is all AMD.  Personally, I think $2500 is an insane amount to spend on a gaming rig, you can get 90% of the performance for $1000 and still have plenty of upgrade headroom.  I actually just de-SLI'd my rig, putting the pair of 7800GT's the original owner probably spent $800 for into family computers and replacing them with a single 4870 (not much performance boost, but it let me work out a significant upgrade for everyone in the house, including two everything-but-the-HDD rebuilds for 5 year old systems, for $700 total).

--Dave

EDIT As for OCZ vs. Intel SSD; The OCZ has a far higher write speed, and a bigger cache, as well as a 25% higher MTBF rating.  I can see your point, but if I wanted to RAID brute-force the problem, I'd probably work around this little unit, RAID 5 with four or five of those.  I've got 6 SATA ports on my mobo, and it's not hard to find them with 8 or 10.  What else are you going to do with them?  Actually, that's probably exactly what I'll do for my next major upgrade on this rig.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 10:53:16 PM by MahrinSkel »

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Salamok
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Reply #29 on: December 17, 2009, 11:24:09 PM

EDIT As for OCZ vs. Intel SSD; The OCZ has a far higher write speed, and a bigger cache, as well as a 25% higher MTBF rating. 

That colossus OCZ drive doesn't support TRIM and is pretty expensive per gb even for a SSD.  The performance on it is faster because it is built like 4 SSD's crammed into 1 package with a built in RAID controller.  On the flip side I just read somewhere that if you RAID the Intel SSD's they do not support TRIM either, so I am back to looking at a single 160gb Intel drive.
OcellotJenkins
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Reply #30 on: December 18, 2009, 09:59:59 AM

I have a question about SSDs.  If you have your OS installed on one of these, and your games/apps on say a Caviar Black drive, will you still see a significant performance improvement?  I mean it stands to reason the machine will boot quicker, but will game/app performance improve enough to warrant the upgrade cost?  
Salamok
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Reply #31 on: December 18, 2009, 12:24:52 PM

I have a question about SSDs.  If you have your OS installed on one of these, and your games/apps on say a Caviar Black drive, will you still see a significant performance improvement?  I mean it stands to reason the machine will boot quicker, but will game/app performance improve enough to warrant the upgrade cost?  

I would load key apps (photoshop/office) on the SSD, yes you will see overall improvement as the OS will be on the SSD, but no a game loaded on a 2nd non SSD drive will not open noticeably faster.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #32 on: December 18, 2009, 02:59:31 PM

MMO's show some of the biggest performance gains from an SSD, because they were the worst for randomly wanting to load bits of texture.  But games in general get a big performance gain from the SSD.  Order of magnitude improvements in cold boot and game startup/level loading times are typical, it also vastly improves pagefile performance (meaning app switching is no longer as big a deal).  RAID 0 or RAID 5 arrays of 5+ good drives can approach the theoretical limits of SATA 1 throughput.

But it means you have to pick and choose which games you really want to play, unless you're prepared to pay a really large amount to get enough capacity.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Kageh
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Reply #33 on: December 18, 2009, 03:26:49 PM

I have a question about SSDs.  If you have your OS installed on one of these, and your games/apps on say a Caviar Black drive, will you still see a significant performance improvement?  I mean it stands to reason the machine will boot quicker, but will game/app performance improve enough to warrant the upgrade cost?  

I own an Indilinx-controller 64 GB SSD, a JMicron 32GB SSD (POS, bought before I realized what that means), 2 WD Black Drives in Raid 0. I tried lots of possible combinations with that.

Regardless of what people say and the theoretical benchmarks, aside from the extremely fast random access time, for gaming the SSD offers little perceivable advantage over a RAID 0 array, which in turn offers little perceivable difference over a single WD Black for me.

After trying various options, I settled to:

  • Indilinx-SSD as boot/OS/app drive (64 GB is plenty for everything, including Office/Photoshop and so on. I think I'm at 33 GB usage or so with all that I could think of installed)
  • Raid 0 array as my gaming drive and hosting the page file. It doesn't make a hell of a difference, but hey, I can do it, so why not. If one drive fails, all my game installs are fubared, I don't care much.
  • Raid 1 array as my "data" drive, symlinked for the user home directory under Windows 7. So all my documents, music, videos etc. are redundant, I never worry about backups.
  • JMicron crap as portable "USB HDD", as it actually has a mini-USB connector and I couldn't figure another use for it.

The raid 0/raid 1 stuff is actually a matrix raid on an ICH10R controller, meaning it uses partitions from two physical drives for two different types of raids, which is cool. I wouldn't know what to do with 2TB of storage otherwise.

Page file on raid 0, mainly to not hog the SSD down and saves me space on the SSD. I even ran with page file disabled for quite some time without any troubles, except for when I decided to 5-box WoW and the damn Firefox memory leak crashed me. Then I enabled page file back on and switched to Chrome!
OcellotJenkins
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Reply #34 on: December 18, 2009, 04:28:29 PM

Thanks for the information guys, that is certainly helpful.  I think I'll probably wait until about this time next year to take the SSD plunge.
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