Buying new Computer for Gaming

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mitch1423
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Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:02 pm UTC

Where should I start? I've got a budget of around $1000-$1500 for it, but I'm not sure where to look. My brother has been looking at Alienware computers, but I've heard they cost a lot more than they are worth. Thanks for any help.

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Endless Mike
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

Build one. You can put something great together in that budget and have money left over.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:21 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Build one. You can put something great together in that budget and have money left over.

I agree on the first point. On the second, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out how to spend it without going extremely overboard, especially if you need stuff like a monitor. :-) Heck, it wouldn't be particularly unreasonable to spend 1/3 of that budget ($400, for 300-500GB) on an SSD.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby PeteP » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

While I would get an ssd I wouldn't get a 500gb one. I would get 200 gb or less and a normal HD for data. Though it might make sense if you have so many programs that they take more place than that.
Also I recommend 2 monitors, honestly I think that's much more useful than a bit more power.
And don't be stingy when buying the power supply I would get one with an high efficiency. However don't get one which is unnecessarily big.
Beside that: I would never get the strongest graka model (and the same goes for cpu.) I recommend a middle class model and getting a new when necessary. But that might depend on your activities maybe you do need the strongest model you can get.
Oh and if you haven't built PCs yourself till now, don't worry it isn't hard.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:While I would get an ssd I wouldn't get a 500gb one. I would get 200 gb or less and a normal HD for data. Though it might make sense if you have so many programs that they take more place than that.

I'd say that totally depends on what you do. Here's the thing: I think that, for me, even 200 GB is too small. The problems with smaller are manyfold. Edit: for a couple reasons I was forgetting about the SSD caching features on modern chipsets. I would suspect that those go a substantial way toward alleviating many of my concerns, and I'd rethink my recommendation for a larger drive as a result -- I think that SSD caching is an alternative way to get acceptable results given the problems I outline.

For instance, take Windows. The Win 7 system requirements say 20 GB for the 64-bit version, but this is ludicrously low. As you start to actually use your system, it will install updates and take system restore points and cache program installers and assemblies and who knows what else. My Windows directory alone is currently 32.8 GB. And then you have a bunch of crappy software that either installs itself to the system drive without asking or installs significant components there even if the bulk goes elsewhere, and your roaming profile, etc. My current rule of thumb is that once you count all of that, the system partition should be about 100 GB. (Mine is about 100 GB, there are 17 GB free, and only about 6.5 GB of that is stuff that I could easily move around -- contents of the Download folder and Desktop.) Whether you give that its own partition like me or just say "I'll conceptually reserve 100 GB for these things" is up to you. So already we've "used" half of that 200 GB drive.

Now, browsing around, I figure that the total space occupied by the games that I have played at some point in the last month or so is about 65 GB. There's at least another 25 GB or so of games that I have on more than one occasion gotten a sudden urge to play and done so. Keeping these off of the SSD would either require convincing Steam to put some games on the SSD and some not (may be possible directly but I don't know how, or you could probably do it with some obnoxious symlink manipulation), shuffling games around between SSD and a HDD manually, uninstalling and reinstalling as I want them, or just not being able to go "oh, let's do a HL2 day!" And you could probably easily find 10 more GB of programs to use to fill that up. (Visual Studio 10, for instance, is almost 2 GB. Or I have another ~55 GB of games installed just in Steam that aren't counted above, most of which I do actually want to get back to and finish at some point but doubt I will any time soon.)

So there, I just filled 200 GB with what I have right now, already installed, and mostly in active use. If this really is a gaming PC, it really doesn't take much to get there. :-) For me, I'd also want 50 GB or so for programming projects too, which seem like they'd benefit a ton from SSD speeds. (A usually-I/O-bound task operating on a ton of little files.) Add some room to expand, and for my main desktop I wouldn't even consider an SSD less than about 300 GB. And even there I suspect it wouldn't be long before I needed to start moving things from SSD to HDD to free up space. And that manual effort, for me, isn't worth it. I'd rather wait until SSDs come down in price.

(Heck, I could fill a 200 GB SSD with just my photo library, which I also think would benefit a ton from SSDs. (I shoot RAW with an 18 megapixel camera and don't like to use the delete key. :-)))

Obviously the above analysis doesn't apply to everyone, and that's great! It doesn't even apply to me always -- I put a 128GB SSD into a small, lower-powered Linux box I built a couple months ago. But at the same time, with AAA games now often reaching well into the teens of gigabytes, smaller drives can fill up pretty darn quickly for some people.

Also I recommend 2 monitors, honestly I think that's much more useful than a bit more power.

I also recommend this, with a couple caveats.

1) For a rig that will really be used primarily for gaming, I think it's less useful. It's both harder to say "yes, I get a real productivity gain by using the second monitor" and pretty natural to game on just one. (I've had two monitors for ages and haven't even bothered to figure out how to get them both working in games.) And two monitors can present challenges... like if you span the two screens in a FPS, either your view will be weirdly lopsided or the center of the screen will be right at the seam between the two monitors. (Unless you get three!)

2) For some time I've recommended IPS monitors, which have been pretty affordable for a while now, albeit rather more expensive than TNs. Having had a TN and an IPS sitting next to each other, the difference was like night and day. I would weakly recommend one IPS monitor over two TN monitors if you have to make that choice. After all, you can always add a second monitor later; you can't upgrade TN to IPS except by totally replacing it. (OTOH, supposedly IPS are still not as fast as TN. I definitely don't notice any problems when gaming, but there are a few either exceptional or delusional people who swear that IPS is too slow. :-))

3) I think I had a third but I forget what it was.

And don't be stingy when buying the power supply I would get one with an high efficiency. However don't get one which is unnecessarily big.

Agreed. (E.g. 550W is probably more than enough for anything that doesn't have SLI, which you probably don't want at your budget.)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:27 am UTC

Okay thanks a lot for the advice guys. I think I will build this PC. The only problem I'm seeing here is knowing when I have all the parts. I know the basic parts a computer needs, but I think I'm probably missing one or two in my list. Also where can I get a tower/case for the parts to be put in and how do I know they will all fit? How will I know what parts to order? I know more than the average person about computers, but it seems like a huge list of CPUs, GPUs, Power Supplies, Motherboards, and some other parts I could buy.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:57 am UTC

Where do you live? Newegg is good in the US. (Though both of my monitors are from Dell.)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Obby » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:18 am UTC

EvanED wrote:For instance, take Windows. The Win 7 system requirements say 20 GB for the 64-bit version, but this is ludicrously low. As you start to actually use your system, it will install updates and take system restore points and cache program installers and assemblies and who knows what else. My Windows directory alone is currently 32.8 GB. And then you have a bunch of crappy software that either installs itself to the system drive without asking or installs significant components there even if the bulk goes elsewhere, and your roaming profile, etc. My current rule of thumb is that once you count all of that, the system partition should be about 100 GB. (Mine is about 100 GB, there are 17 GB free, and only about 6.5 GB of that is stuff that I could easily move around -- contents of the Download folder and Desktop.) Whether you give that its own partition like me or just say "I'll conceptually reserve 100 GB for these things" is up to you. So already we've "used" half of that 200 GB drive.

Now, browsing around, I figure that the total space occupied by the games that I have played at some point in the last month or so is about 65 GB. There's at least another 25 GB or so of games that I have on more than one occasion gotten a sudden urge to play and done so. Keeping these off of the SSD would either require convincing Steam to put some games on the SSD and some not (may be possible directly but I don't know how, or you could probably do it with some obnoxious symlink manipulation), shuffling games around between SSD and a HDD manually, uninstalling and reinstalling as I want them, or just not being able to go "oh, let's do a HL2 day!" And you could probably easily find 10 more GB of programs to use to fill that up. (Visual Studio 10, for instance, is almost 2 GB. Or I have another ~55 GB of games installed just in Steam that aren't counted above, most of which I do actually want to get back to and finish at some point but doubt I will any time soon.)

So there, I just filled 200 GB with what I have right now, already installed, and mostly in active use. If this really is a gaming PC, it really doesn't take much to get there. :-) For me, I'd also want 50 GB or so for programming projects too, which seem like they'd benefit a ton from SSD speeds. (A usually-I/O-bound task operating on a ton of little files.) Add some room to expand, and for my main desktop I wouldn't even consider an SSD less than about 300 GB. And even there I suspect it wouldn't be long before I needed to start moving things from SSD to HDD to free up space. And that manual effort, for me, isn't worth it. I'd rather wait until SSDs come down in price.


See, that's not how I would use a SSD, were I to get one. Unless SSD technology has changed significantly in the past year or so, the more read/write operations you have on a SSD the quicker it will die. That's why putting things like torrents or media files on a SSD is a horrible, horrible idea, because it will murder your drive pretty quickly.

Personally, I'd just stick the OS on the SSD, and put nothing else on there, that way I get really quick boot times. Then have other drives for everything else. Personally, I like to have a "things I care about losing" drive/partition (like music, movies, photos, generally things that are irreplaceable or very expensive/time consuming to replace if lost) and a "things I don't care about losing" drive/partition (things like games and random programs that are relatively easy and quick to reinstall). That way all of my data is compartmentalized. My optimum setup would be 3 drives: a small SSD (<150GB) for the OS, a largeish regular drive (500GB-1TB) for games and assorted installations, and a large drive (>1TB) for media purposes.

But that's just me. Other people like different things from their computers.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:Okay thanks a lot for the advice guys. I think I will build this PC. The only problem I'm seeing here is knowing when I have all the parts. I know the basic parts a computer needs, but I think I'm probably missing one or two in my list. Also where can I get a tower/case for the parts to be put in and how do I know they will all fit? How will I know what parts to order? I know more than the average person about computers, but it seems like a huge list of CPUs, GPUs, Power Supplies, Motherboards, and some other parts I could buy.

I'll assume you are starting with literally nothing. You need:

Case
Power supply
Motherboard
CPU
CPU heatsink (optional - most retail units ship with one, but you may want something better if you ever intend to overclock)
RAM
GPU
Hard drive/SSD (possibly both or multiples of one or the other)
Optical drive (optional)
Case fans (optional - depends on what case comes with)
Card reader (optional)
Wifi card (optional if you have ethernet access)
Keyboard
Mouse
Monitor
Copy of OS
Maybe some cables (but probably not)
A tool kit might be useful (basically a screwdriver and hex driver), though you might have the necessary tools on hand already

Feel free to do some research and post a potential build here! We're all willing to help out, and there's numerous threads for it. (You might even start there and see what you can put together based on other people's builds.)
Obby wrote:See, that's not how I would use a SSD, were I to get one. Unless SSD technology has changed significantly in the past year or so, the more read/write operations you have on a SSD the quicker it will die. That's why putting things like torrents or media files on a SSD is a horrible, horrible idea, because it will murder your drive pretty quickly.

This isn't really true. With SSDs, only writes count towards drive life (reading doesn't change a data cell, which is what wears an SSD), and every current drive is designed with load averaging in mind. A good SSD (basically anyone except OCZ) will last longer than the rest of the computer.

Practically, I'm more like you in how I use my SSD, but that's mostly due to cost factors. Even still, the 128 GB I have installed is more than enough when I shove all my media on other drives.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:41 pm UTC

Obby wrote:Personally, I'd just stick the OS on the SSD, and put nothing else on there, that way I get really quick boot times.

Boot times, boot times, schmoot shmimes.

I don't get this obsession with boot times. (Or more precisely, it doesn't really apply to the way I use computers.) I boot my desktop basically once a month, courtesy of Patch Tuesday. (Heck, really probably less than that to be honest -- I tend to procrastinate on doing the installation, and sometimes pass the next Patch Tuesday.) My desktop could increase in boot times to 10 minutes and I'd barely care. My laptop is a bit of a different story because I switch OSs a fair bit, though even my usual MO in Windows is to hibernate instead of doing a full reboot. (I'm too lazy to set up a swap partition for Linux so that it can hibernate, or the same would be true with it.)

Obviously you get other benefits from putting your OS on the SSD, but those are a lot less clear. I could see it helping a lot or not much at all. But I'd much rather cut the level load time in Portal 2 and other games, or the compilation time on some of my programming projects, than the time my computer takes to boot.

Endless Mike wrote:CPU heatsink (optional - most retail units ship with one, but you may want something better if you ever intend to overclock)

Or if you're trying to do a noise-sensitive build.

Optical drive (optional)

Optional, but I'd highly recommend it. IMO there's way too much media out there on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray to get away without one.

Keyboard, Mouse

I'll also repeat my standard advice here: especially given that you have a moderately large budget, take some time to find a good keyboard and mouse. It amazes me how often people spend a thousand dollars on a computer and then go get the cheapest input devices that plug into it. If you actively like those keyboards, then that's great for you -- but keep in mind that these (and the monitor) are the only parts of the system that you actually use. (Well, there's the power button and optical drive tray, but you get what I mean.) It's worth it to find a good set that's comfortable and such.

A tool kit might be useful (basically a screwdriver and hex driver), though you might have the necessary tools on hand already

Possibly I'm forgetting something, but I don't think I've ever needed anything besides a couple sizes of phillips screwdrivers for screws and a flathead screwdriver for help installing the heat sink. (Not sure if that was necessary on my latest build.)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:49 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Possibly I'm forgetting something, but I don't think I've ever needed anything besides a couple sizes of phillips screwdrivers for screws and a flathead screwdriver for help installing the heat sink. (Not sure if that was necessary on my latest build.)

Motherboard standoffs need a hex driver, though I guess you could do them with your fingers.

Image

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

Ah, okay. I probably just put those in finger-tight. Haven't had any problems with them falling out. :-)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:49 pm UTC

Okay here is my potential build so far in a randomish order:

$230 SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147164
$110/$120 Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053
$140 Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512
$105/$60 Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231568 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231550
$200 CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116506
$280 GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130683
$100 PSU: http://www.jr.com/antec/pe/ANT_EA650PLATIN/
$120 HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148681
$17 CD/DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151244
$20 CD/DVD Reader: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276

Notes:
I already have a keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
I didn't know what I was looking for at all for the power supply, and I couldn't find anywhere that newegg was selling them.
For memory, is 16 GB worth it?
For the GPU and CPU I didn't know too much what I was looking at. No idea what the difference between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge is.
Why are 1TB hard drives priced almost exactly the same as 2TB hard drives?
Will either case accommodate all these parts?
Did I miss anything?
Feedback?

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:36 pm UTC


I'm personally of the opinion that 650W is a bit more than necessary; you could probably do fine with, say, 550W. Probably even less.

BTW, here is newegg's PSU section, and here is your choice there.


This is the biggest comment I have. (I don't have the best sense of the hardware market out there; other people can give better advice about CPU/mobo/GPU.) To be blunt, I think that's almost certainly dumb. About the only reason that you'd need two drives is if you wanted to copy a lot of CDs from one drive to the other -- but how often are you going to be doing that really? (Remember, if you want to do it occasionally, you can always make an image of the disk on your hard drive then burn that image. It's a couple extra steps and takes longer but will save you the money of the second drive and the (very slight) problems caused by two drives. (Is this one E: or F:?)

For instance, for just a bit more than the price of those two drives you could get a Blu-Ray reader. This drive can also burn CDs and DVD +/- R/RW/R DL. If you think you may want to watch movies on your computer over the next few years, this seems like it's likely to be a much better idea than two drives. Or you could just drop the non-burner and have one optical drive.

I didn't know what I was looking for at all for the power supply, and I couldn't find anywhere that newegg was selling them.

Antec is supposedly a good brand, so you picked out a good one aside from it being overprovisioned.

For memory, is 16 GB worth it?

Eh, personally I'd say you're probably not in the crowd who would benefit a lot from it. On the other hand, it's not like it's all that much more expensive. I feel like that could go either way. I'd personally spring for it probably, but I also have been heavily memory-bound with some of the weird things I do.

Will either case accommodate all these parts?

It's pretty safe to say "yes" to that question. :-)

Did I miss anything?

Do you need or want wi-fi access?

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:08 am UTC

Thanks for the advice on lowering the wattage on the PSU, I wasn't sure. I didn't know that the CD/DVD Burner doubled as a reader, wasn't thinking too hard there. :p I thought the same thing about you on the memory, it was what, like $40 more for 8 more GB memory. I thought that was pretty worth it. Also, thanks for reminding me of the wifi card. Anyone else who can help me with GPU, CPU, or Motherboard?

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby GeorgeH » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:29 am UTC

EvanED wrote:Keeping these off of the SSD would either require convincing Steam to put some games on the SSD and some not (may be possible directly but I don't know how, or you could probably do it with some obnoxious symlink manipulation), shuffling games around between SSD and a HDD manually, uninstalling and reinstalling as I want them, or just not being able to go "oh, let's do a HL2 day!"

A little OT at this point, but Steam Mover is pretty nifty and solves pretty much everything there (and no, you can't do it from within Steam - it's actually pretty ridiculous how many usability holes Steam has.) My boot drive is still a 64GB SSD, with 23GB free (I have another ~500GB on a local spinny disk and a few TB of network storage backing up that SSD.) For the vast majority of people I'd say that the sweet spot is ~128GB with anything over ~256GB being a waste.

For the OP's build, your motherboard is all wrong (it's a Z68). While it will work, if you're buying new it'd be silly not to get a newer 7 series chipset - Z77 would be my choice. If you're dropping that much on a build, it'd also be silly not to get a 3570K CPU. 8GB of RAM will do you fine, but if seeing 16GB makes you happy there are worse ways to spend money. Case wise I'd go with a mATX motherboard and a SilverStone TJ08-E - ATX is starting to become a relic of a bygone era.

The 560 is a very nice GPU, but the 660 series will be dropping shortly and I'd hate to see you get buyer's remorse (although if you stick with EVGA their Step-Up program could be of use there.) If I were spending ~$300 on a GPU I'd be looking at ASUS' Direct CU line (DC2) - EVGA is a great company, but I've been very impressed by how quiet Asus' cooler can be; the videos on this page can give you an idea of what to expect, especially when comparing reference blower coolers to other designs.

For PSU wattage you'll need maybe ~350W, but look in the ~500W range; there aren't many high quality PSUs below that mark. Also "Platinum", "Gold", "Bronze" and the like mean just about nothing in determining if a PSU is any good - while good PSUs tend to be on the "better" end of that spectrum, a PSU can have nice efficiency while still being garbage.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Obby » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:08 am UTC

Also, a comment about power supplies:

My preferred brand is Corsair. I've had the same 650W Corsair supply for almost 7 years now, and this baby is still rock solid. I test it semi-regularly (once every 6 months or so, typically when I think "oh yeah, I haven't done that in a while") and it's still just as steady as the day I got it. Similarly, my girlfriend has had the same 600W Corsair for almost 2 years now with no issues. They're a high quality builder, and definitely worth considering alongside Antec (or even higher than them, IMO).
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Endless Mike » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:49 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:Okay here is my potential build so far in a randomish order:

$230 SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147164
$110/$120 Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053
$140 Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512
$105/$60 Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231568 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231550
$200 CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116506
$280 GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130683
$100 PSU: http://www.jr.com/antec/pe/ANT_EA650PLATIN/
$120 HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148681
$17 CD/DVD Burner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151244
$20 CD/DVD Reader: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276

Notes:
I already have a keyboard, mouse, and speakers.
I didn't know what I was looking for at all for the power supply, and I couldn't find anywhere that newegg was selling them.
For memory, is 16 GB worth it?
For the GPU and CPU I didn't know too much what I was looking at. No idea what the difference between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge is.
Why are 1TB hard drives priced almost exactly the same as 2TB hard drives?
Will either case accommodate all these parts?
Did I miss anything?
Feedback?

Well, as noted above, the choice of a Z68 motherboard is a bit odd. Since you're getting an Ivy Bridge CPU, you should be getting a Z77. A Z68 will work, but it might be missing some features and won't save you any money. Here's one that's a bit cheaper and should offer the same capabilities plus USB 3.0: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131824

Also as noted, you should really try to budge for an i5-3570K: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116504

You really, really don't need two optical drives. I would almost bet that if you have a computer right now, it might have one that would work.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 am UTC

What is the difference between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge? Why do I want a i5-3570K processor over the one I picked? Why was the motherboard wrong? I'm omitting the optical drives in favor of a just one. Does anyone know a good way to check how big of a power supply I need, I don't want to get too much or not enough.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:What is the difference between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge? Why do I want a i5-3570K processor over the one I picked? Why was the motherboard wrong? I'm omitting the optical drives in favor of a just one. Does anyone know a good way to check how big of a power supply I need, I don't want to get too much or not enough.

Ivy Bridge is a new architecture than Sandy Bridge. Basically, it uses less power for similar performance (it's essentially Sandy Bridge constructed with a smaller process and a more powerful GPU, though that's not terribly important).

Two reasons for the processor: the K at the end means you can overclock it if desired (and you might not, but it's not a bad idea to have the capability should you want it), and it performs better for not a whole lot more money. If you think you'll absolutely never want to overclock, there's also an i5-3570 available for a little cheaper. The motherboard isn't "wrong," just that it's using an older chipset. It will work with a current CPU, though it might require a BIOS update which can make building a computer a bit annoying. As noted, the price difference isn't huge.

Also, another thing I noticed: your hard drive is a 5900 RPM drive. Don't get that for a main drive. It will be very slow, and the Green line especially so as they're designed for power savings rather than performance. (I wouldn't get it as anything more than a backup drive, but that's just me.) I *think* this goes to your question about drive costs: I would guess that you are comparing 7200 RPM 1 TB drives (or even 10k RPM) to 5600 RPM 2 TB drives. Also, if that will be your only drive, I would highly recommend getting a retail box rather than OEM since it will get you a much longer warranty. This, for instance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136786


Here's a simple PSU calculator tool: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
I made a sample build based on what you're looking to put together and it gave me 362W. (Personally, I will generally go with what the GPU manufacturer recommends as a minimum for a given card, but it's probably not necessary. Nvidia recommend 500W: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop ... ifications)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby Kalatash » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:55 am UTC

Heh, I wonder if I should be getting some advice from this thread as well.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:33 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:Also, another thing I noticed: your hard drive is a 5900 RPM drive. Don't get that for a main drive. It will be very slow, and the Green line especially so as they're designed for power savings rather than performance. (I wouldn't get it as anything more than a backup drive, but that's just me.) I *think* this goes to your question about drive costs: I would guess that you are comparing 7200 RPM 1 TB drives (or even 10k RPM) to 5600 RPM 2 TB drives. Also, if that will be your only drive, I would highly recommend getting a retail box rather than OEM since it will get you a much longer warranty. This, for instance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136786


Mike: he's got a SSD. So it isn't a primary drive.

Nonetheless, even as a secondary drive, I'm gonna agree with Mike. I used a "green" drive as a secondary drive before. At least the one from WD would spin down when not in use. There was noticable startup lag, measurable in seconds, on just about everything when that happened. (Mind you, the benchmarks were fine... because benchmarks work the disk enough to "keep it on". It was all about spinup times which isn't benchmarked easily). I dunno if Barracuda does the same thing with their "green" drives, but I'd at least go for a standard hard drive.

Green drives seem like a good idea on say... a 4-disk NAS or something. There, that kind of feature ought to actually save some power in the long run. But on a normal computer, especially as a secondary drive, everything that you do on that secondary drive will have to wait for the hard drive to wake all the way back up. (Because chances are... you haven't been using that drive for the past 10 minutes. At least, if you put all of your primary stuff on the SSD like you're supposed to). Your secondary drive will probably have to wait seconds every time you use it.

And its strange, cause those green drives perform well on benchmarks. Its just that blasted "spin down" that they do to conserve power. It really kills performance when you use the drive rarely.

Anyway... Hard Drive prices are still a bit funky due to the flood in Taiwan. Some say that hard drive prices won't return till 2014 though. But don't cheap out on it. Just spend the extra money on a "non-green" drive, and you'll thank me later for it.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:47 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Nonetheless, even as a secondary drive, I'm gonna agree with Mike. I used a "green" drive as a secondary drive before. At least the one from WD would spin down when not in use. There was noticable startup lag, measurable in seconds, on just about everything when that happened. (Mind you, the benchmarks were fine... because benchmarks work the disk enough to "keep it on". It was all about spinup times which isn't benchmarked easily). I dunno if Barracuda does the same thing with their "green" drives, but I'd at least go for a standard hard drive.

I can second this observation with the additional information that it's not just "a second or two" but more like "five seconds, and maybe more"; but in my experience, it's not terribly common. Personally, I've gotten used to it, but I could see how it could be annoying. I don't regret getting one for my secondary drive though.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:52 am UTC

EvanED wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Nonetheless, even as a secondary drive, I'm gonna agree with Mike. I used a "green" drive as a secondary drive before. At least the one from WD would spin down when not in use. There was noticable startup lag, measurable in seconds, on just about everything when that happened. (Mind you, the benchmarks were fine... because benchmarks work the disk enough to "keep it on". It was all about spinup times which isn't benchmarked easily). I dunno if Barracuda does the same thing with their "green" drives, but I'd at least go for a standard hard drive.

I can second this observation with the additional information that it's not just "a second or two" but more like "five seconds, and maybe more"; but in my experience, it's not terribly common. Personally, I've gotten used to it, but I could see how it could be annoying. I don't regret getting one for my secondary drive though.


Well, you leave your computer on all the time. On a build like that, a Green Drive actually makes sense.

I turn mine on / off because its in my room. I can't sleep with all of the LEDs blinking and such. And so... the "green" feature that automatically turns off the hard drive platters doesn't really give me any benefit. I guess ultimately, its mitch1423's decision.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Thanks a lot everyone who contributed, you guys are awesome. I'll be posting a revised build later today and trying to incorporate all the advice.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:01 am UTC

$130 Motherboard - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130645
$126 Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053

$133 HDD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136786
$230 SSD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147164
$105 RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231568

$135 PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139035
$250 GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121625
$230 CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

$18 CD/DVD Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136247

This is pretty much my final build. I changed the CPU to an i5-3570K, and changed the motherboard to a Z77. Since I don't much want to wait for the next line of GPUs I switched to an ASUS DCII GPU GTX 560 as suggested. Changed the HDD to a retail box as suggested for the longer warranty and made sure to get a 7200 RPM, I considered a 10k RPM, but I decided that since it wasn't the main drive I would be fine with 7200. I just got one optical drive, instead of two. I chose the more expensive case that I had picked in the first place because it seems to have the best reviews/prices of the ones I looked at and the ones that were suggested were too expensive I felt. The SSD and the RAM didn't get any complaints from you and I looked over them again with favor.

Questions:
Does your motherboard have to be explicitly supported by the case? I could not find a case that said it supported MSI motherboards.
Is there anything that is incompatible with anything else?
Will everything easily fit in my chosen case?
Any comments?

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:30 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:Does your motherboard have to be explicitly supported by the case? I could not find a case that said it supported MSI motherboards.


Yes it does. But your motherboard / case combination is compatible.

The "size" of your motherboard is called ATX. You can see it in both the title of the motherboard, and in the "Form Factor ATX" inside of the Newegg specs. According to the Newegg specs, your case supports: MicroATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX size motherboards.

Will everything easily fit in my chosen case?


Everything should fit though according to the specs. Whether or not they fit "easily" is a matter of build quality. I would hope that a $120+ case would be easy to work with. I personally prefer to pickup my cases at a local store so that I can see and feel them before I buy. But your case seems to have good reviews, I just can't really comment on it in particular.

Any comments?


I feel like you're overspending on the PSU. The equivalent 80% Certified Corsair only costs $70. According to my Kill-a-watt, I'd spend $18 per year on power if my rig is running all day, every day. (My rig is i7-2600K, 560TI, with 4 hard drives in RAID 10). The energy savings between "80%" and "87% Gold" is the difference between $18/year and $15.5/year.

You are spending $65 to save literally $2.5/year in the worst case. Since you're using Ivy Bridge parts and less hard drives, your rig uses less power. And if you ever turn off your system, you'll be saving less energy than that.

I also concur with Endless Mike's 500W recommendation. If you drop down to this Corsair Bronze 500W power supply, you're down to $60 on your PSU.

-----------

Downgrading to 1333 MHz RAM will save you $20. And currently, there is a $15 sale on top of that (if you buy before 8/15) ! Easy $35 in savings. Its very important to get two sticks of RAM, (which doubles your RAM bandwidth on Dual-Channel CPUs like the i5)... but I have never seen a benchmark with discrete graphics where you significantly benefit from faster RAM.

----------

Combining the two downgrades together, you'll save $105 on your system. Thats enough to upgrade to an i7. IMO, just save the money and get yourself two nice games with your high-quality gaming rig and call it a day.

-----------

Another thing to note is that you don't have any legacy PCI slots on your motherboard. If you ever buy new cards in the future, just know that you MUST use PCIe slots. Not necessarily a bad thing mind you (most people don't need a legacy PCI slot). But just something to keep in mind. The PCI legacy slot is dying out...

Damn, I still remember putting together ISA parts. I'm old :evil:
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby GeorgeH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:39 pm UTC

The difference between the CX and AX isn’t just the power rating, but also fully modular cabling, higher build quality, a warranty that’s over twice as long, and (I’d bet) much cleaner power delivery. $135 is far from cheap, but you’re getting more than the potential for better efficiency.

The difference between 1600 and 1333 is actually pretty large for RAM, for the small price difference I’d choose the 1600.

The only bad (non-subjective, anyway) thing I have to say about that case is that it’s pretty big. You might want to break out a tape measure and make a mockup to make sure that the size won’t be an issue.

You might consider an aftermarket heatsink for the CPU, although you can always throw one on later if you decide you want something better than the Intel one.

PCI. Ick. Z chipsets don’t even support PCI; any PCI slots you see on those boards are being driven by add on devices of unknown quality. You can also convert a PCIe slot to a PCI slot with an add-on card if you discover that you must have PCI later on, but the reverse isn’t true.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:53 pm UTC

The difference between 1600 and 1333 is actually pretty large for RAM, for the small price difference I’d choose the 1600.


No doubt the RAM is much faster. But its a matter of whats important for his build. He's got a dual-channel computer with a powerful discrete graphics card. The benchmarks for this kind of system just show that faster RAM doesn't help very much.

Gaming barely benefits from the faster RAM. (Hell, they matter so little that in this test, the 1333 9-9-9 RAM was faster than the 1600 9-9-9. Variance in between the tests screwed things up). The 0% to 2% increases in speed were in like, synthetic benchmarks and decompressing files.

Whenever I see faster RAM benefiting a build, its with an Integrated Graphics build like this one. But mitch isn't building an AMD computer, he's building an Intel computer with Discrete Graphics. So yeah, faster RAM can be useful for some builds. But for his current build, I don't expect any benefit.

The difference between the CX and AX isn’t just the power rating, but also fully modular cabling, higher build quality, a warranty that’s over twice as long, and (I’d bet) much cleaner power delivery. $135 is far from cheap, but you’re getting more than the potential for better efficiency.


Good catch on that. Yeah, the price for that makes more sense to me now. If you want less cables inside of your rig, that does look like the cheapest full modular-cable Corsair model. I personally would be fine without those features though, and would still push for a more standard 500W model on the PSU. (or the cheaper semi-modular PSU). But yeah, after looking up those features, the price doesn't seem unreasonable. If I cared about that sort of thing, I'd still drop down to the semi-modular version.

If he does go for the $135 model, that means he'd be expecting to reuse the power supply for later builds, when this computer is long dead and gone.

PCI. Ick. Z chipsets don’t even support PCI; any PCI slots you see on those boards are being driven by add on devices of unknown quality. You can also convert a PCIe slot to a PCI slot with an add-on card if you discover that you must have PCI later on, but the reverse isn’t true.


Yeah, he probably doesn't need PCI slots.

But there are still PCI expansion cards on the market. So I figure he should know what his board doesn't support. For everything I've used, I know there are PCIe equivalents that cost the same amount (serial port adapters, an extra NIC card, etc. etc.). Its more of a word of caution: stick with the new PCIe cards and he'll be fine.

Again, it wasn't criticism, it was more of an FYI.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:38 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby GeorgeH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote: The benchmarks for this kind of system just show that faster RAM doesn't help very much.

Linked AnandTech Article wrote: It's only when you get down to DDR3-1333 that you see a minor performance penalty. The sweet spot appears to be at DDR3-1600, where you will see a minor performance increase over DDR3-1333 with only a slight increase in cost.

:wink:

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:42 pm UTC

GeorgeH wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote: The benchmarks for this kind of system just show that faster RAM doesn't help very much.

Linked AnandTech Article wrote: It's only when you get down to DDR3-1333 that you see a minor performance penalty. The sweet spot appears to be at DDR3-1600, where you will see a minor performance increase over DDR3-1333 with only a slight increase in cost.

:wink:


Well, the "slight" increase in cost is a difference of $35 if he buys the 1333 RAM before August 15th, due to NewEgg having a sale on the slower 1333 RAM. The article was only expecting a $10 difference in price. :wink:
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

Thanks for all the advice guys, I'm thinking about going with the slower RAM. We'll see. About the PSU, what is modular cabling? I don't understand what that is. (This is my first build.)

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:Thanks for all the advice guys, I'm thinking about going with the slower RAM. We'll see. About the PSU, what is modular cabling? I don't understand what that is. (This is my first build.)


Modular cabling is when you can take out some of the cables that are on the power supply. Its for neat freaks who think there are too many cables sitting inside of the case... although the more aggressive overclockers benefit from it because there's more room for air-flow inside of the case. Less cables == more air-flow.

It doesn't seem like you're really planning to overclock this build too hard though. So I think the main purpose of modular cabling for you is to make the inside of the case cleaner. If you ever get a new (modular) power supply, you can leave all the cables inside of the case and swap out the old power supply easily. (because modular power supplies detatch from both sides). Though frankly, if you're spending $135 on a power supply, you shouldn't ever replace it.

Normal power supplies look like this. All of the cables are attached internally to the power supply:

Image

Modular power supplies look like this. Cables can be added or removed to make the inside of your case easier to work with:
Image

Personally, I'd save the $70, and just tie up the extra cables in the corner of my case with twist-ties or rubber bands. (Kinda like this case). Do note that Corsair cables are really thick though.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby mitch1423 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

The cables still come with the PSU though right? On another note, will I need to buy certain cables that won't come with the parts?

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:00 pm UTC

mitch1423 wrote:The cables still come with the PSU though right? On another note, will I need to buy certain cables that won't come with the parts?


Oh yeah, the cables come with the PSU. I guess if you lose them, you might have to buy them again. (and you can't really "lose a cable" on a non-modular power supply... since they're permanently attached to the darn thing)
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby GeorgeH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Well, the "slight" increase in cost is a difference of $35 if he buys the 1333 RAM before August 15th, due to NewEgg having a sale on the slower 1333 RAM. The article was only expecting a $10 difference in price. :wink:

Well, the article does state a difference of ~$10 for 4GB - after carrying the two and factoring the seven, I'm thinking that'd be $40 for 16GB. (Yes, I did see the 8GB kits - but they don't fit my narrative. :P )

If I were spending $1000+ on a box I'd probably still spring for a 1600 kit even if 1333 were free. The performance difference is small, but that's okay; I already know that I could build a $500 box that'd offer an essentially indistinguishable gaming experience. I'm spending $1000 because I want the best (without getting too silly) and that means DDR3-1600.

Bottom line, my impression was that mitch1423 wants to spend $1000-1500. It'd be very easy to spend less without cutting any terribly significant corners, but unless I see otherwise I'm going to assume that's not the objective.

mitch1423 wrote:The cables still come with the PSU though right? On another note, will I need to buy certain cables that won't come with the parts?

Assuming you don't end up with cables that are too short for your case, you'll be just fine. In fact you'll end up with a small pile of random thingamajiggs that you don't need.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:30 pm UTC

But from that perspective, that money can be spent to upgrade his GPU to a GTX 570, which benchmarks 20% faster than the GTX 560Ti. (This GTX 570 is $270 btw)

Or he can buy a GTX 670 GPU right now for $140 more. When the GTX 660 drops he can laugh at everyone else because the GTX 670 is going to still be superior to it. Or he can upgrade to an Ivy Bridge i7 for another $100.

I mean, whats better? A 0% to 2% increase in gaming capacity from upgraded RAM ($35)? Or a solid 20% increase in gaming capacity for $50? RAM is definitely the last thing I look at to upgrade. As his build stands, both the CPU and GPU can still be upgraded, why not spend money on those and get real solid performance increases? Only after those have been upgraded would I even consider upgrading the RAM.

------------------

EDIT: A brief rundown on NVidia Graphics cards:

The first number is the generation. The second number is the price point within that generation. Usually, the newer and more expensive the chip, the better.

So, a 560 is better than a 550. A 480 is very hard to compare to the 5xx series, because there is a generational gap. Apparently, 480 compares with the 570. We usually make the assumption that the later generations are better. The 660 will probably be better than a 560. No guarentees before the benchmarks come in, but its a safe assumption. However, I know for sure that the 670 (which is out right now) will remain better than the 660 when it comes out. (That... because the 670 and 660's specifications were leaked)

Every now and then, you get weird cases like the 670 benchmarking approximately the same as the 680, despite the latter costing like $100 more. (Although the 680 has more CUDA cores. So the money is worth it to some people)

AMD/ATI has a completely different numbering scheme that I don't understand :evil:. (I'll study them later...) But the above works for recent NVidia cards.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby GeorgeH » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:46 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:As his build stands, both the CPU and GPU can still be upgraded, why not spend money on those and get real solid performance increases?

Because GPUs and CPUs aren’t RAM, and I view a PC as having four components: Motherboard\CPU\RAM, Case\PSU\ODD, HDD\SSD, and GPU.

The first three go together because Intel has been changing sockets with every new microarchitecture, so there will never be a worthwhile CPU upgrade from a 2500K/3570K that doesn’t require a new motherboard. By the time either CPU is even remotely inadequate, DDR4 (or low voltage DDR3) will have supplanted current DDR3. Whatever you buy now, this group will last for 5 years or more, so any upgrades have to be considered against that timeframe. That’s why the 3570K and Z77 were suggested; easy overclocking will make them age gracefully. The 3770K isn’t suggested because the areas where its hyperthreading prove advantageous are moving to the GPU, and it won’t really overclock any better than the 3570K.

A good case and power supply have the potential to last for 10 years (if not more) so a really expensive PSU like the one selected doesn’t bother me that much, as it’s being considered over a very long period of time. I do dislike the case on a subjective level, but there’s no reason to suppose that it won’t be just fine (after a few fan replacements, anyway) a decade from now. The ODD goes here because they’re disposable; it almost always isn’t worth your time to pull an ODD from a case when the case gets junked.

HDD and SSD go together because they have the same problem – capacity and speed go up very rapidly with time as cost goes down, so buying any more than you need today is silly. That’s why the thing that bugs me the most about this build is the SSD – it seems way too big to me, but storage capacity requirements vary wildly from person to person.

GPUs get their own group because I typically upgrade them on a 2 year (and often less) timeframe. I also almost never buy anything over $250 or so. The reason I do this is because $250 cards almost always max any game at mainstream resolutions when they’re released. By the time they don’t, there will be new $250 card that will outperform the old $500 rocketship while consuming less power and often providing new features. The 570 may be a significant 20% faster than the 560Ti today, but that difference will shrink dramatically as time goes on (what’s the difference between a GTX260 and a GTX280 today?)

When I look at a RAM upgrade, I see a component that’ll be with me for about three times as long as a potential GPU upgrade. So long as the GPU I’m considering is already very fast, I’m more inclined to throw money at the RAM. I personally wouldn’t buy a 560 or a 570; I’d wait for the 660 (which has a high probability of being both faster and cheaper than the 570.) The OP doesn’t want to wait, though, so I’m content to see them get a very competent card at a decent price.

Hopefully that clears up my thought process a little bit.


KnightExemplar wrote:So, a 560 is better than a 550. A 480 is very hard to compare to the 5xx series, because there is a generational gap. Apparently, 480 compares with the 570.

The GTX480 and the higher end 5 series are actually very comparable; the 570/580 are basically the 470/480 with some bugfixes. There's also a little bit more to performance differences than simple numbers might suggest; for example the 560Ti is significantly better than the 550Ti, while the 580 and the 570 are very similar. The 670/680 can also be significantly slower than the 570/580 in compute tasks (a lowly 560 will sometimes trump the 680) muddying the waters even further. Look at AMD and you'll find that the 5870 is faster than 6870; I could go on, but hopefully the point is made. Numbers are a good starting point, but you really need to look a little deeper.

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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:17 am UTC

GeorgeH wrote:The first three go together because Intel has been changing sockets with every new microarchitecture, so there will never be a worthwhile CPU upgrade from a 2500K/3570K that doesn’t require a new motherboard. By the time either CPU is even remotely inadequate, DDR4 (or low voltage DDR3) will have supplanted current DDR3. Whatever you buy now, this group will last for 5 years or more, so any upgrades have to be considered against that timeframe. That’s why the 3570K and Z77 were suggested; easy overclocking will make them age gracefully. The 3770K isn’t suggested because the areas where its hyperthreading prove advantageous are moving to the GPU, and it won’t really overclock any better than the 3570K.


GPUs get their own group because I typically upgrade them on a 2 year (and often less) timeframe. I also almost never buy anything over $250 or so. The reason I do this is because $250 cards almost always max any game at mainstream resolutions when they’re released. By the time they don’t, there will be new $250 card that will outperform the old $500 rocketship while consuming less power and often providing new features. The 570 may be a significant 20% faster than the 560Ti today, but that difference will shrink dramatically as time goes on (what’s the difference between a GTX260 and a GTX280 today?)


Wait, mentioning major architectural shifts works against your argument.

Consider this, how much is that overclocked DDR2 RAM worth in a modern build?
Answer: Ziltch. No modern motherboard takes DDR2 RAM. Its completely obsolete. Its only useful for much older legacy computers.

Now, how much is that 4-year old GTX285 worth? Perhaps its not worth even $100 anymore, but it will still play modern games like Skyrim at 1920x1200 at a reasonable framerate. It still fits in everyone's PCIe x16 slot, and can be upgraded with another GTX285 in SLI configuration to double its power output to keep up with newer cards. The DDR2 vs DDR3 comparison is fair, because the GTX285 has also gone through an architectural shift: it cannot play DirectX11 games. But Game Designers are still releasing games in DirectX9 mode for backwards compatibility purposes. Its more or less impossible for a motherboard maker make backwards compatible RAM slots.

I'm fairly certain a more expensive GPU is both more forward looking and more cost efficient, no matter how you try to spin it.
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Re: Buying new Computer for Gaming

Postby EvanED » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:47 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Damn, I still remember putting together ISA parts. I'm old :evil:

*remembers IRQs*
*goes and buries his head in a pillow to scream a bit*

GeorgeH wrote:A good case and power supply have the potential to last for 10 years (if not more)

It's interesting. I bought a pretty spendy case for my current computer (this guy -- a little under $150 inflation-adjusted dollars). My thinking was the same -- I could carry the case forward to my next computer, while moving the guts of my current computer into the case of my current-previous computer. And it really is a great case.

But you know, I'm not sure I will actually do that. I look at some of the cases you see today with the really huge fan mounts and stuff like that, which my case doesn't have, and I get a little bit jealous. (I am a bit of a stickler for sound, so larger and thus hopefully quieter (and maybe even more reliable; that'd be nice) fans appeal to me.) And of course changing the insides of a box you never see isn't quite the same as plonking down a shiny new thing. So we'll see. (And of course there's always the very unlikely event that ATX will be supplanted by something else.)

I guess my point is that splurging on a nice case with the thought that you can carry it far forward with new computers is a perfectly fine plan for the future -- but as such, don't be surprised if your plan changes. :-)

GeorgeH wrote:HDD and SSD go together because they have the same problem – capacity and speed go up very rapidly with time as cost goes down, so buying any more than you need today is silly. That’s why the thing that bugs me the most about this build is the SSD – it seems way too big to me, but storage capacity requirements vary wildly from person to person.

I have two counterpoints.

First, re. your first point (buying more than you need today is silly), I think it's crazy to not overprovision HDD by at least a bit. Suppose you underprovision. Expanding can be a bit of a pain, because you need to either artifically introduce a new volume if you just add the disk (I'm assuming no fancy LVM crap here, which I'm not convinced is a good idea for other reasons) and then keep two drives in your box, and/or you need to shuffle a bunch of files around and even potentially do a system reinstall. Granted, it's not a big deal, but it's still something that's worth paying a little money to avoid. (It also saves you from having to make another order and wait for its arrival.) And further, you won't even necessarily save that money! If you look at the price/size as it relates to the drive size, it starts off "high", then decreases to a minimum, then increases again at the super-large end. If your data needs put you in an area that is in the first part, where the price/gb is decreasing as size increases, you can sometimes do things like double the size of the drive by quite a lot while adding $20 or $30. Mitch isn't in that range, but some people would be. And what would you tell them? Get what you need now so you can save that $30 and spend it when you need to upgrade? What are you going to spend it on then? You can't get a drive for $30. The cheapest non-refurbished (non 6GB microdrive) drive that Newegg has is $65. (And personally, if you'd put data on a refurbished drive, I think you're either nuts or are silly for cheaping out on a drive when you've put so much time and money into an outstanding backup setup. :-))

Second, re. your second point (the SSD is too big), when you put these things together, for the reasons I stated earlier in this thread (you were part of that discussion), I wouldn't even consider getting a smaller drive for a box like this unless I was going to dedicate the entire thing to SSD caching. I think 256 GB is very reasonably-sized for a gaming computer.

Obviously Mitch needs to decide whose argument about an appropriately-sized SSDs is more applicable to his situation and values.

The 570 may be a significant 20% faster than the 560Ti today, but that difference will shrink dramatically as time goes on (what’s the difference between a GTX260 and a GTX280 today?)

As a counterpoint, if the 0-2% figure is right, probably still bigger than the difference between the RAM speeds. :-)
Last edited by EvanED on Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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