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View Full Version : ~$1000 machine...what do you guys think?


UclaBob
11-26-10, 08:06 PM
After being out of the PC Gaming scene for a few years (currently, rocking an AMD3500 in the desktop). I've decided that Starcraft 2 dictates that I need to get my feet wet again.

I'd like to spend around $1000 (this is just a number), and not have to worry about upgrading again for quite some time. My main monitor has a default resolution of 1920x1200; but have dual monitors going during non gaming times. Also, I'm just not passionate about overclocking, so I'm looking for the best stock performance for my dollar:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.95

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

Its not a new computer, unless you have a new case to toss it into. I don't really care about flashing lights / windows. I'm more about being able to get at my components easily. This seems like it will meet my needs, and not cost too much.

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W - $94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

I don't want to ever worry about power supply issues, so this seems like a good fit for me. Thought about going with the 650W model...and still might if people seem to think that its enough. Ideally it would be modular, but I'm willing to deal with extra wires for ~$50 savings. 80% efficiency....highly rated, this seems like a good fit for me.

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz - $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211

Since I'm not a fan of overclocking, I'm willing to spend a bit more for more CPU performance. Given the recent price cuts around the I7-950, I feel that its right in the sweet spot for me, in terms of getting a high powered CPU that will last for a while.

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA - $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665

I haven't had the best experience with ASUS in the past, but they aren't terrible. This seems to be a popular mobo choice amongst the masses on this board. I think ideally, I'd getting the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, but just can't justify spending extra dollars. All I really need is integrated sound, and some PCI-E magic. All the rest of the bells / whistles, don't really appeal to me.

12GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $49.99 x 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

Thought about going more expensive + faster, but 12 GBs for ~ $150 is too good to pass up. Highly rated, feel good about this choice.

SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP - $254.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102909

This was another big decisions...I tend to be an Nvidia fan (although not a blind fan)...everything I've read about this card tells me that its well designed, and should let me get close to max settings; for a while. (after which in the worst case, I can pick up another one).

So there we are...grand total: $1019.88. I'm feeling pretty good about all of the components, and would like to pull the trigger this weekend. If I seem to have missed anything glaring, please let me know...as I'd really like to this to go smoothly.

Thanks!

Bob

bob saget
11-26-10, 08:32 PM
Do you definitely need 12gigs? I don't know how much of a performance jump you would see over 6gigs, and you can't overclock as well with more memory. I think 6 gigs is perfect match, unless you are certain you need more.

Albo
11-26-10, 08:37 PM
Do you definitely need 12gigs? I don't know how much of a performance jump you would see over 6gigs, and you can't overclock as well with more memory. I think 6 gigs is perfect match, unless you are certain you need more.

This.

ragejg
11-26-10, 08:38 PM
I'd downgrade the 12gb to 6gb and get a beefier PSU instead.

It looks like it'll be a fun gaming rig though. :)

bob saget
11-26-10, 08:45 PM
I'd downgrade the 12gb to 6gb and get a beefier PSU instead.

It looks like it'll be a fun gaming rig though. :)

You think he needs a beefier PSU for multiple graphics? 750w is not enough for 2 6870s?

ragejg
11-26-10, 08:48 PM
You think he needs a beefier PSU for multiple graphics? 750w is not enough for 2 6870s?

Aside from the 6870s, that rig looks like it wants a couple of the higher-end GPUs. I thought a beefier PSU would just be a good insurance policy in case he decided to go something like dual 6950/6970 a year from now.

bob saget
11-26-10, 08:55 PM
gotcha boss. i have been thinking about getting a second 5870 because they are becoming dirt cheap....

ragejg
11-26-10, 09:08 PM
gotcha boss. i have been thinking about getting a second 5870 because they are becoming dirt cheap....

Boss?
Good grief, Charlie Brown. :bleh:

What's the TDP of 6870 anyway? And 6970?

betterdan
11-26-10, 09:23 PM
6870 is 151W and 6970 is 300W from a quick google search

UclaBob
11-26-10, 09:39 PM
Wow...thanks for all the replies!

A couple of things: On 12 GBs of RAM. Unfortunately for me, I tend to be upgrading every 6 years or so. While I don't think I really need 12 GBs of RAM...they are pretty cheap, and it was more...me just kinda thinking that there wasn't a lot of reason not to.

Would there be perceivable benefits for beefier GPUs at 1920x1200?

I could drop down to 8 GBs of RAM, and invest in a modular power supply.

Just musing outloud...

ragejg
11-26-10, 10:46 PM
At that resolution I think the 6870 will prove to be perfect for you - for now. But it's likely that 6-9 months from now there will be a few of the most popular games coming out that will require way more tessellation and geometry than that one 6870 can handle at 1920x1200. Another one will help for games that use very light amounts of tessellation, but heavy amounts will punish even a CF 6870 setup, since it's really no better at this important DX11 feature than an HD 5870.

It remains to be seen whether future games are just going to pour on buckets of tessellation, or apply it in a more efficient and optimized fashion. Depending on what happens, NVIDIA's brute force or AMD's balanced approach will make the most sense... time will tell.

bob saget
11-27-10, 01:18 AM
if you are planning on overclocking the cpu, which you should because many games benefit from it, it is easier to do so with 6gigs of RAM, though it is generally VERY easy to overclock the i7s.
The Jump from 2 gigs to 4 is HUGE. And the jump from 4gigs to triple channel 6gigs IS noticeable, but i really doubt you will see a difference going higher than that.

grey_1
11-27-10, 06:16 AM
Good looking rig you're putting together. I'd check out a few reviews on the graphics card before buying though.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-6850-renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market/1

My main reasoning is that you mentioned possibly adding another card later, and while both camps have their multi gpu issues from time to time, I do see more complaints about crossfire than I do SLI.

Either way both companies have some great offerings these days.

bob saget
11-27-10, 11:47 AM
^ that's the only thing keeping me from buying a second 5870 atm. heaving a rock solid machine is a priority, and i really dislike having to be messing with drivers, etc etc. I was really expecting many more issues with my 5870, but it has been very solid.

grey_1
11-27-10, 11:56 AM
^ that's the only thing keeping me from buying a second 5870 atm. heaving a rock solid machine is a priority, and i really dislike having to be messing with drivers, etc etc. I was really expecting many more issues with my 5870, but it has been very solid.

I never had anything more than very minor issues running a single ATI card, but I've never rN crossfire either. It's just that the majority of multi gpu complaints I've read about seem to be in the red camp. That's all I can really go by.

UclaBob
11-27-10, 12:48 PM
Thanks again for more feedback. I think multi-GPU is something I'd like to avoid given an opportunity.

I'm currently running a machine with dual 6800GTs, and while I enjoy SLI when I have it on...having to reboot when activating it is painful (although, it could be that new drivers could serve me well).

Essentially, when putting this together...I picked out all of the parts besides the GPU, and then tried to get the best for the money I had left.

In other news...its seems that the PSU that I selected now has a $25 rebate, total cost is now under $1000 (and under $950 if I drop 4 GBs of RAM as Bob Saget suggets)

Johnny C
11-27-10, 05:18 PM
with a budget, and building for gaming you should be building a phenom X6 rig.

betterdan
11-27-10, 07:44 PM
According to some benchmarks I saw in this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/294111-28-phenom-1090t-gaming even my older Q9550 is just about as good as a Phenom x6.

ragejg
11-28-10, 04:18 AM
According to some benchmarks I saw in this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/294111-28-phenom-1090t-gaming even my older Q9550 is just about as good as a Phenom x6.

... And conversely, according to plenty of other reviews, a not too highly overclocked x3 chip around 3.5ghz plays a lot of games in i7 920 territory, and those it's behind in it's not getting dusted or making anything unplayable by any means. ... and an x4 and/or an x6 around the same speeds close the gap or eliminate it altogether.

betterdan
11-28-10, 05:44 AM
Yep but if I had the choice between an i7 950 or an AMD x6 I'd take the i7 950 easily.

grey_1
11-28-10, 05:56 AM
Yep but if I had the choice between an i7 950 or an AMD x6 I'd take the i7 950 easily.

The i7 would probably be the best bet here. UclaBob already said he isn't interested in overclocking. Without overclocking the i7 would give him the best performance.

BCKator
11-28-10, 04:35 PM
I have that PSU and 4G of, I think, the same memory w/ an i5-750, ATI 5870, 3HD (2 mech, 1SSD). I think that the PSU should be fine assuming 1 graphics card. I don't realy like modular PSUs (unless space restrictions demand it); they just provide an additional point of failure (extra connection) and I would rather my money go to the PSU components and design vs connectors. I would go w/ 6G mem and possibly cheaper CPU and move that money towards a better graphics card or perhaps some extra/better fans. I wouldn't discount overclocking; most MBs these days come w/ utilities which make simple OC'ing very easy so, why wouldn't you take an extra few % of performance? You didnt' mention anything about HDs, OS, opty, keyboard, mouse, etc., do you have all of those already?

UclaBob
11-29-10, 01:11 AM
Wow...so much great info; I really do appreciate all of the feedback.

A couple of things:

@abtomat74 - Microcenter sounds like an awesome place. Unfortunately, checking their store locations....the nearest one is in California...which is currently two states away from me. Drat! Newegg will have to do for me.

The Phenom X6 is intriguing...but not being too interested in overclocking (yeah, I know...I'm weird or maybe just nervous and scared...just like high school all over again :P); the Intel I7 seems to make more sense....and if I get into overclocking, I'll overclock my 950 and see how that goes.

@BCKator - I think you're right...and the extra bang for the buck just isn't there for a modular PSU. I think I'm going to order the one that you have. So if I scale down to 8 GBs of RAM....that gives me $50 more to spend on a graphics card. That would take me up into the price range of a 470. This has caused me to think about this a lot. The 470 seems to outbench the 6870, but also seems to be much less efficient both power / temperature wise.

I think ideally, I'd just get a 580...but that is definitely out of my price range. :cool:

I'm going to order all of the non video card components, but take a some extra time (since the Sapphire 6870 is sold out anyway) to think about getting the 470. Any insight is always welcome!

Redeemed
11-29-10, 01:53 AM
If efficiency is what you're after, AMD owns that market. If you are more concerned about raw power, nvidia is the way to go. :)