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Buying a new PC, need your opinions

NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon

Hi

In a couple of weeks, when I get my tax returns, I'm gonna buy a new PC. I'll probably order it from komplett.no, a Norwegian web site, which gives me the option to choose parts, and then they'll put it together. This is what I'm considering, and I'd like some opinions about it. What I'm looking for, is general advice, and if some components have issues you know about, please tell.

If you think I should replace a part with something more expensive, that's ok. I'm not going anywhere this vacation, which means I can afford to spend quite a lot on this. And since I'm spending a lot, I need to know that I'm getting a good rig.

Please note that the parts I don't need advice about, are already decided and are unlikely to be subject to change. This has to do with limited selections for certain components at the mentioned web shop, and it's obvious what I have to choose. But in case you wonder, or need know to consider how well it all will work together, these are the main ones:

  • PSU: Corsair AX 850W PSU ATX 12V V2.31, 80 Plus Gold
  • Case / Mid tower: Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced
"Old" components to be used:
  • HDD: doesn't matter which I get in this configuration, I will replace it with 2x 2TB, which I already own. Therefore, I'll probably go for the cheapest one in the configuration options.
  • Monitor: will use my Philips 220s2 22". Will consider to buy a 3D later, time will show.

 

So here's the list of what of what I'm considering:

CPU. I prefer AMD over Intel. This 8 core AMD looks great, but is it?

GPU. I want one that lasts for a while. I'm thinking of the first one of these 2 cards, but should I go for the second instead? The price difference is just below $100, but I'm willing to pay that if it's worth it. Btw, the second card is the "double dissipation edition".

SSD - what to choose? To be honest, I don't know much about these, except that they're fast, so I'll get one for the OS. Will probably choose a 120 or 128 GB version of one of these, please advice:

  • Corsair SSD Force Series 3
  • Crucial m4
  • Intel® SSD 330 Series
  • Kingston HyperX
  • OCZ SSD Agility 3 Series

RAM - probably this one, must be at least 16 GB, or should I got for 32? Price difference isn't that big.

  • Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz 16GB CL9 Kit w/4x 4GB XMS3 modules, CL9-9-9-24, 1.5V, Vengeance Heatspreader

Motherboard - will be one of two, help me decide:

Any advice, particularly about SSD and one of the two motherboards, will be greatly appreciated.

Almost forgot: I'm not going to overclock anything, so there's no need to consider that at all.

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Comments

  • ichihaifuichihaifu nullPosts: 259Member Uncommon

    Go for OCZ Vertex 4 for SSD, and paying those 100$ more for Graphics card is worth it if you really want longevity.

    8 cores doesnt make difference currently because no games can properly utilize anything more than 2 cores (4 for the newer games). So I'd say go for some good 4core CPU. In this case you'd better give up on AMD and buy i5 2.5k because AMD CPU's just arent competing with intel in performance properly anymore.

     

    EDIT: Regarding RAM, 32gb is an overkill lol. Especially since those motherboards are only Dual channel, they wouldnt utilize that amount of memory properly. Go for 16gb. (I would say go for 8gb of fast RAM instead of mass amounts of ram because generally smaller amounts of faster ram results in better performance than lots of it)

  • MMOarQQMMOarQQ BoogalululuPosts: 636Member

    Go for Corsair if you want reliability along with performance for your SSD.

    I also don't believe there is a single credible selling point for current generation AMD CPUs outside of their APU line. Intel all the way.

  • sk8chalifsk8chalif Montreal, QCPosts: 599Member Uncommon

    Sorry in advance for my english,

     

    Ok for me i will help you on 2 thing. Never buy gigabyte, i had ton of problem with them, i may have been unlucky but after buying 2 pc both with gigabyte motherboad and its turned bad so i guess go for the other choice.

    Asus and Msi are my 2 choice for Motherboard now,

     

    but for the case please dont use the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced i had the sameone 2 week ago and i had to change it because the airflow was bad and you have no control over ur fan speed,You could buy cable with speed controler but why when u could just get a better casing,

    my cpu even with a corsair water cooling was going over 77c and that way to hot.

    i replaced it with a Nine hundred two from antec and since then i never passed the 35c and my room is way cooler then before lol

     

     

     

    image
    ~The only opinion that matters is your own.Everything else is just advice,~

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sk8chalif

    Sorry in advance for my english,

     

    Ok for me i will help you on 2 thing. Never buy gigabyte, i had ton of problem with them, i may have been unlucky but after buying 2 pc both with gigabyte motherboad and its turned bad so i guess go for the other choice.

    Asus and Msi are my 2 choice for Motherboard now,

     

    but for the case please dont use the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced i had the sameone 2 week ago and i had to change it because the airflow was bad and you have no control over ur fan speed,You could buy cable with speed controler but why when u could just get a better casing,

    my cpu even with a corsair water cooling was going over 77c and that way to hot.

    i replaced it with a Nine hundred two from antec and since then i never passed the 35c and my room is way cooler then before lol

     

     

     

     

    First, your English is just fine :)

    I was kinda tilting towards MSI, simply because that's a brand I know, and never had problems with. So I guess I'll go for that one, then.

    Your Cooler Master problem is a known one. According to several comments I've read elsewhere, it's fixed if you attach a top fan (there's space for it, but it's not included). That fan only costs around $25, so it's not an issue.

    @ ichihaifu

    Why OCZ Vertex 4? That one costs ~40% extra. I don't mind paying that, but if I'm going to pay extra, then there must be a reason to choose that one over others. Without any good reason, I'll probably follow MMOarQQ's advice - reliability and performance are good arguments :)

    I know 32 GB RAM is kinda "overkill", but I'm not going below 16. If I have to pay extra for higher speed, then that's not really an issue, the differences in price are quite low, at least here.

    About the CPU:

    Two votes for Intel. Interesting. I don't know much about their current processors, but I didn't like them much a few years ago. If I'm going to buy Intel, which are best? Here they tend to be much more expensive, compared to AMD, without really getting more favourable reviews. So a few more details would be appreciated :)

     

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    AMD isn't competitive at all with Intel at the high end right now.  For gaming purposes, AMD's top of the line FX-8150 might get you 2/3 or 3/4 of the performance of a Core i5-3570K, which is the standard processor for gaming.  The problem is that AMD's Bulldozer architecture is basically broken, and doesn't perform well in spite of the high clock speeds.

    If you really, really, really want to go with an AMD processor in a high end gaming system, then put the money in the bank and wait for AMD's Vishera processors to launch later this year.  The Piledriver cores of Vishera are basically fixed Bulldozer cores.  AMD's Trinity with Piledriver cores is already out, so we know that it really does fix the problem.  I don't think there will be a strong case for going with Vishera over Ivy Bridge for gaming purposes, but it won't be completely stupid to do so, the way it is right now with a Zambezi 8-core processor.

    A Radeon HD 7950 is a little better than a 7870, but it's not $100 worth of better for gaming purposes.  The price difference is more typically about $50, and even with that smaller gap, there isn't a strong case for the 7950.  Of course, the other problem that the Radeon HD 7950 has is that you can get a GeForce GTX 670 for the same price, and that's a faster card.

    All of the SSDs that you list are good.  You could just go with whichever one is the cheapest per GB.  The Corsair and OCZ SSDs that you list are basically the same thing.  The Intel one is the same thing as hardware goes, but with slightly different firmware that Intel will try to convince you is better.  The Kingston one uses faster NAND flash, which improves performance (and is basically the same thing as a Corsair Force GT, Intel SSD 520, or OCZ Vertex 3, none of which you list there).  The Crucial M4 is a different SSD entirely, but it's also good.  You probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between any of them from real-world performance alone.

    In the US, the good SSDs that tend to be cheap for the capacity are the Crucial M4 and the Mushkin Chronos (which is the same thing as the Corsair and OCZ ones that you list).  But prices might be different where you live.

    There's no gaming reason to get more than 8 GB of system memory.  The usual standard is two 4 GB modules, typically 1600 MHz, 1.5 V, and timings around 9-9-9-24 or so.

  • GarkanGarkan BirminghamPosts: 552Member
    Originally posted by MMOarQQ

    I also don't believe there is a single credible selling point for current generation AMD CPUs outside of their APU line. Intel all the way.

    This, AMD simply cannot compete with Intel in the processor market anymore. They began to lose their way when Intel released the Core 2 Duo CPUs. Back in 2008 I gambled on AMD and built a machine around the Phenom 9950 X4 @2.6GHz but it wasnt long until the Intel CPUs left the Phenoms behind in the dust.

    The new Bulldozer platform turned out to be a disapointment for AMD too. AMD CPUs do have one advantage over Intel, price. For example the quad core Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5 3550 @ 3.3GHz (3.7 with boost) costs around £160. The AMD six core Bulldozer FX-6 6100 @3.4Ghz costs only £100.

    Both CPUs are roughly comparable, the i5 takes the edge in some tests and benchmarks but in every day gaming there would be almost no differance. Anyone building a machine on a tight budget would be able to do a lot with the £60 saved, it could go towards the GPU and get a better graphics card.

    Currently playing:

    EVE online (Ruining low sec one hotdrop at a time)

    Gravity Rush,
    Dishonoured: The Knife of Dunwall.

    (Waiting for) Metro: Last Light,
    Company of Heroes II.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon

    @ Quizzical

    A very informative post, which will help me with some of my decisions, thanks for that :)

    Intel's jungle of processor families, generations, and whatever, has gotten me completely lost. I've spent an hour or so at their website now, not much smarter than before going there.

    You say i5-3570k is standard for gaming? Well, that's odd, and not what Intel recommends. I've been playing around with their "help me choose" tool, and the last (4th) question is the only one about gaming. If I choose "immersive 3D games" (other options are "basic online games" and "flash, social networking, and mainstream games"), then it will ONLY recommend the i7 family, regardless of what my other picks are.

    Ok, more odd stuff. Tried using their "Intel Processor Comparison" page. They have a short description of types. The i7 Extreme says it's for hardcore gaming, but that's the only type where they mention gaming at all on this page. Here, i5 is only a "smart performance with a speed boost for videos, fotos, email and internet". That doesn't sound good at all.

    Bottom line is, I know little about intel's processors, but they sure doesn't make it easier for me. AMD isn't the best option, if I follow the advice in this thread, still I think I'll stick with my original choice. That is, unless someone gives me good advice about an i7 (not i5) model.

    @ ichihaifu

    Not sure why you recommend i5 2500. From what I can tell, it was a good choice a year ago, but now it doesn't seem to score well compared to newer models.

  • GarkanGarkan BirminghamPosts: 552Member

    The i5 is totally for gaming, I think Intel are reffering to the i7 as the gaming CPU because they are counting it as stand alone and without using a discrete graphics card. All the Core i CPUs have a built in graphics processer. The Core i5 3000s can run HD video for example, Core i7s can play some 3D games without using a GPU.

    With a graphics card the Core i5s play games with silky smooth performance. In a synthetic enviroment Ivy Bridge i5s score higher in some benchmarks than entry level Sandy Bridge i7s.

    With a good graphics card all the Ivy Bridge i5s give great performance in games, just dont expect much without one. Here is a link to how well they perform without a graphics card: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-3570-low-power,3204-12.html

    Here are some benchmarks with a graphics card: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-3770k-i5-3570k_6.html#sect0

    Notice how in some games the Ivy Bridge i5s out perform the Sandy Bridge i7s? Also those gaming benchmarks show that the AMD FX-8150 performs worse than the intel chip in every game, sometimes by a huge amount. If gaming performance is important to you the Intel chips are the obvious choice, unless you are using the FX-8150 to save cash of course.

    If you do choose to go for an Intel CPU get an Ivy Bridge, you wont save much by getting a Sandy Bridge and you will want the Ivy Bridge features.

    Currently playing:

    EVE online (Ruining low sec one hotdrop at a time)

    Gravity Rush,
    Dishonoured: The Knife of Dunwall.

    (Waiting for) Metro: Last Light,
    Company of Heroes II.

  • simonwest80simonwest80 AshfordPosts: 173Member

    My friend you need to learn alot about marketing and ignoring advice of people who you ask for help off of.......................

    If you walk into a place and say i want the most expensive thing you have - the sales man will not say well this cheaper model is better for you are they?  They will say here is a mug with too much money i will try and shaft him with what ever i can sell him.  If you go to the intel site and say whats the best i can have they will say "the i7 - it even makes the tea and washes the dishes".

    Now a better question is why are you gonna buy the amd - people have told you its broken and you can buy an i5 for the same price, yet you decide to ignore them with nothing better than "Well i like amd, they dont have funny names", really?

    You need to learn bigger does not mean better - why do you need 8 cores and 32gb ram?  Is this going to be a server.  Remember most programs are still mainly built with them using a maximum of 2-3gb.

    My advice overal - listen people who know far more about PCs than you especially after you ask for their help.

    And just to let you know - if you want to build a decent rig that will be used 90% for gaming with the budget you are suggesting it is a Intel i5 3750k, 8gb of 1600mhz ram (though you are quite correct prices are so cheap 16gb wouldnt hurt) and anywhere from a 7850+ on a gfxs card.

    Oh and why not to bother with an 8 core system is by the time that games actually use 8 cores this machine will prob be old enough to be in a museum!

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Netspook

    @ Quizzical

    A very informative post, which will help me with some of my decisions, thanks for that :)

    Intel's jungle of processor families, generations, and whatever, has gotten me completely lost. I've spent an hour or so at their website now, not much smarter than before going there.

    You say i5-3570k is standard for gaming? Well, that's odd, and not what Intel recommends. I've been playing around with their "help me choose" tool, and the last (4th) question is the only one about gaming. If I choose "immersive 3D games" (other options are "basic online games" and "flash, social networking, and mainstream games"), then it will ONLY recommend the i7 family, regardless of what my other picks are.

    Ok, more odd stuff. Tried using their "Intel Processor Comparison" page. They have a short description of types. The i7 Extreme says it's for hardcore gaming, but that's the only type where they mention gaming at all on this page. Here, i5 is only a "smart performance with a speed boost for videos, fotos, email and internet". That doesn't sound good at all.

    Bottom line is, I know little about intel's processors, but they sure doesn't make it easier for me. AMD isn't the best option, if I follow the advice in this thread, still I think I'll stick with my original choice. That is, unless someone gives me good advice about an i7 (not i5) model.

    @ ichihaifu

    Not sure why you recommend i5 2500. From what I can tell, it was a good choice a year ago, but now it doesn't seem to score well compared to newer models.

    A Core i5-3570K and Core i7-3770K are two different bins of the same processor, so it's the same underlying processor die.  For a Core i5, Intel automatically disables some stuff that they would leave enabled on a Core i7.  (The Core i7 disables some stuff, too, such as ECC memory support.)  Basically, there are four differences between a Core i5-3570K and a Core i7-3770K:

    1)  The 3770K has 8 MB of L3 cache, while the 3570K has 6 MB.  The impact of this is very slight, and I'd expect it to usually be under 1%.

    2)  The 3770K has hyperthreading, while the 3570K does not.  In programs that would scale flawlessly to eight cores, hyperthreading can increase performance by up to 30%.  In programs that can't put more than four cores to good use, Windows will ignore hyperthreading, so it won't matter.  If a program is meaningfully processor limited on a modern quad core processor (say, an FX-4100 that is much slower than what you're considering), it's pretty much invariably because it isn't able to put enough processor cores to good use.  Hyperthreading is irrelevant for gaming.

    3)  The 3770K has a stock clock speed 100 MHz higher than the 3570K.  Both have an unlocked multiplier, however, so they'll let you set the clock speed to whatever you want.  If you like the 3770K stock clock speed better than the 3570K stock clock speed, then you can build a computer, open the BIOS, increase the CPU multiplier by 1, and then you'll have a 3570K running at 3770K speeds.

    4)  The 3770K costs about $100 more ($110 more based on current New Egg prices).

    For a gaming machine, the only difference that matters is #4, and it's the reason to go with a Core i5-3570K rather than a Core i7-3770K.

    So why the Intel recommendations of a Core i7 for gaming?  It's likely just routine marketing lies.  (Yes, you need the more expensive product!  Don't ask what you're paying extra for.)  It's also plausible that whoever made that page isn't terribly familiar with gaming and doesn't realize that games are having trouble putting even four processor cores to good use.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Netspook

    Not sure why you recommend i5 2500. From what I can tell, it was a good choice a year ago, but now it doesn't seem to score well compared to newer models.

    If you look around on forums like this one, you'll find quite a few posts giving advice to the effect of "I bought this three years ago, and I'm happy with it, and I'm not aware of anything that has released in the last three years."  Though for the Core i5-2500K, you only have to go back about a month and a half for it to be the standard processor, as Ivy Bridge launched fairly recently.  Incidentally, a Core i5-3570K is about 10% faster at stock speeds than a Core i5-2500K, but the latter overclocks further, so if you overclock both as far as they can go, they're roughly tied.

    Of course, if the goal is extreme overclocking and big numbers of GHz, then the FX-8150 fares quite well.  Get an Intel processor too cold (the easiest way to do this is liquid nitrogen) and it doesn't function properly.  But you can take a recent AMD processor as cold as you possibly can (e.g., with liquid helium that is a few degrees above absolute zero) and it still works.  You can get higher clock speeds at lower temperatures, so the overclocking records are all AMD.  That's not high performance, however; that's only high numbers of GHz.  And extreme overclocking like that isn't practical for everyday use.  But this is wandering way off topic.

  • ichihaifuichihaifu nullPosts: 259Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Netspook

    Why OCZ Vertex 4? That one costs ~40% extra. I don't mind paying that, but if I'm going to pay extra, then there must be a reason to choose that one over others. Without any good reason, I'll probably follow MMOarQQ's advice - reliability and performance are good arguments :) 

    Because vertex 4 has new Everest 2 chip, which is BIG compared to the stantard Sandforce, not it size but in usage speed.

    Everest 2 tradeoff over Sandforce is that it has lower write speeds but you wont really se able to tell. 

     

    Its also synchronous SSD, meaning its operations are generally faster than asynchronous SSD's. (In case you wonder whats the difference, wikipedia has a pretty good article on that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_synchronous_and_asynchronous_signalling )

     

    Also going back to the RAM, do you know why you dont need that much ram? Well rather do you know what ram is there for?

    RAM is there for active programs to store and use data so that it doesnt need to be written to HDD/SSD every single time something performs an operation. Generally you only need large amounts of RAM for virtualization in server environments or if you happen to emulate something big in your PC(emulating ISO files is a good example, when you mount up an .ISO image, the data is stored to RAM and it is used from there).

    - Thus you dont need that much and most likely you'll never use as much as 32gb of RAM at any given time, unless you intentionally do that. 16gb is a bit much too, but if you ABSOLUTELY MUST have extra for future and want to spend extra buck on it, then ok. But anything more than 16gb is seriously overkill.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon

    Thanks, Quizzical and Garkan :)

    You both seems to know a lot about this, and you have me convinced. I'll go for the i5, then.

    One last question:

    Here in Norway, the most expensive gaming rigs are usually delivered with Win 7 Utlimate, while cheaper models have Home Premium. I don't see much reason to pay $110 extra for Ultimate for a rig I'll mostly use to play games, watch movies, and internet. Am I correct, or is there something I am missing here?

  • GarkanGarkan BirminghamPosts: 552Member

    I am not into software so much, I cannot help much there in all honesty. Windows 7 ultimate has some extra networking features and bitlocker and it can run programs in XP mode. Most of its features are enterprise based iirc. If you want or need drive encryption then you have to go with ultimate. Full drive encryption can reduce performance in gaming machines I think, someone more into software can probably help more. Personally I would not bother with Windows 7 ultimate, I would spend the $110 elsewhere in the build. That would cover the extra $100 the HD 7950 costs over the 7870, or a bigger SSD or a fancier case :)

    If you do buy an i5 and its an Ivy Bridge make sure you have the right motherboard chipset. If your mainboards chipset is for the Sandy Bridge you will not be able to use the new Ivy Bridge features. The ones that will probably be the most use to you will be the Z75 and the Z77: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/z75-z77-express-chipset-brief.html

    They are the "performance" based chipsets, they also have loads of overclocking features.

    Currently playing:

    EVE online (Ruining low sec one hotdrop at a time)

    Gravity Rush,
    Dishonoured: The Knife of Dunwall.

    (Waiting for) Metro: Last Light,
    Company of Heroes II.

  • ichihaifuichihaifu nullPosts: 259Member Uncommon

    If you dont plan on doing anything too fancy with your PC, go for home edition.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Netspook

    Here in Norway, the most expensive gaming rigs are usually delivered with Win 7 Utlimate, while cheaper models have Home Premium. I don't see much reason to pay $110 extra for Ultimate for a rig I'll mostly use to play games, watch movies, and internet. Am I correct, or is there something I am missing here?

    You're correct.  Prebuilt computers typically are configured with whatever clueless customers can be convinced to overpay for, more so than what makes sense at a given price tag.

    Nearly all home users should get Home Premium, which includes everything that Microsoft things more than a tiny handful of home users will need.  The Professional edition is targeted at businesses, with some added features that would be very useful in a business environment with dozens of computers on a network, but basically useless to home users.  The Ultimate edition seems to exist (as opposed to folding the few Ultimate-only features into the Professional edition) mainly so that people inclined to buy the best of everything have a way to give Microsoft extra money while they're at it.

    Also, whenever I see someone post specs of a system with not that good of hardware but Windows 7 Ultimate, I think, "I bet that's pirated".

  • adoloadolo Glen Allen, VAPosts: 66Member

    I will chime in as I love to build PC's from scratch, I'm an Intel/Nvidia fanboi but I won't try to convince you of my bias...

    My favorite technical site to reference is www.tomshardware.com they always have decent writeups analysis and other details on some of the most current components. 

    For your CPU here are a couple excellent links on the product and what you can expect:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-fx-8150-overclock-9ghz-bulldozer,15853.html

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bulldozer-990fx,3043.html

    Given the articles above it sounds like a solid choice for your build.

    For your GPU, Tom's does a quarterly "Best Card for the Money" round up, here is the one from May 2012: 

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

    Tom's puts the 7870 in the $350 range, and the 7970 in the $450 range. At the end of the article above is a hierarchy chart that can give you an idea of where certain hardware types rank, and what could be a nice step up for only a few dollars here or there.

    Another point to consider, for the same $350-$450 could you instead go with a step down and run 2 cards in SLI/Crossfire giving you the same or possibly better overall performance? My personal mantra is to NEVER buy a video card for over $250 as within a few months the same card has drastically dropped in price and newer hardware has taken it's place. So you are better off spending that money in other areas that don't have the same rapid rate of decline, but that's just my opinion.

    Lucky for you, Tom's also does a Best SSD for the money, here is the link to May 2012:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-review,3194.html

    As well as a Build your own marathon, here is the link for March 2012:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-benchmark-build-a-pc,3163.html

    I would use the builder marathon to compare to the motherboards they are using and see where your choices fall in ranking.

     

    Well, like I said I just wanted to chime in and provide some additional info and options. Good luck with your build!

     

     

     

    Jules: You know the shows on TV?
    Vincent: I don't watch TV.
    Jules: Yeah, but, you are aware that there's an invention called television, and on this invention they show shows, right?

  • JandersJanders Minneapolis, MNPosts: 72Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Netspook

    Thanks, Quizzical and Garkan :)

    You both seems to know a lot about this, and you have me convinced. I'll go for the i5, then.

    One last question:

    Here in Norway, the most expensive gaming rigs are usually delivered with Win 7 Utlimate, while cheaper models have Home Premium. I don't see much reason to pay $110 extra for Ultimate for a rig I'll mostly use to play games, watch movies, and internet. Am I correct, or is there something I am missing here?

    Home premium only supports up to 8gb of ram.  So if you are going to use 16gb you would want professional.

  • Lille7Lille7 Ljungskile, AKPosts: 301Member

    I would avoid OCZ SSDs, they seem to be the most unreliable. Heres some numbers for you (in french) http://www.hardware.fr/articles/843-7/ssd.html

     

    Thats the percentage of returned faulty drives, I know it's six months old but I think it's still fairly relevant. It also doesn't list Samsung drives, but from what i heard the Samsung 830 is very good.

    My choice would probably be the Crucial M4.

     

    When it comes to CPUs listen to what has been said here and check out some reviews, the higher i5 are excellent for gaming. The biggest difference between the i5 and the i7 is that the i7 have Hyper Threading, meaning it can handle 2 threads per core simultaniously, and thats mostly useless for gaming, when it already has 4 cores.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AudricMr
    Originally posted by Netspook

    Thanks, Quizzical and Garkan :)

    You both seems to know a lot about this, and you have me convinced. I'll go for the i5, then.

    One last question:

    Here in Norway, the most expensive gaming rigs are usually delivered with Win 7 Utlimate, while cheaper models have Home Premium. I don't see much reason to pay $110 extra for Ultimate for a rig I'll mostly use to play games, watch movies, and internet. Am I correct, or is there something I am missing here?

    Home premium only supports up to 8gb of ram.  So if you are going to use 16gb you would want professional.

    No.  Home Premium supports up to 16 GB of system memory.  Professional supports up to 192 GB of system memory, but I don't know of any way to get a desktop (as opposed to a server) with more than 64 GB because of processor and motherboard limits.

  • simonwest80simonwest80 AshfordPosts: 173Member

    Didnt know about memory limits with Windows 7 - from the m/s website:

     

    Version Limit on X86 Limit on X64
    Windows 7 Ultimate

    4 GB

    192 GB

    Windows 7 Enterprise

    4 GB

    192 GB

    Windows 7 Professional

    4 GB

    192 GB

    Windows 7 Home Premium

    4 GB

    16 GB

    Windows 7 Home Basic

    4 GB

    8 GB

    Windows 7 Starter

    2 GB

    N/A

     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by adolo

    My favorite technical site to reference is www.tomshardware.com they always have decent writeups analysis and other details on some of the most current components. 

    .....

    For your GPU, Tom's does a quarterly "Best Card for the Money" round up, here is the one from May 2012: 

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

    Tom's puts the 7870 in the $350 range, and the 7970 in the $450 range. At the end of the article above is a hierarchy chart that can give you an idea of where certain hardware types rank, and what could be a nice step up for only a few dollars here or there.

    Another point to consider, for the same $350-$450 could you instead go with a step down and run 2 cards in SLI/Crossfire giving you the same or possibly better overall performance? My personal mantra is to NEVER buy a video card for over $250 as within a few months the same card has drastically dropped in price and newer hardware has taken it's place. So you are better off spending that money in other areas that don't have the same rapid rate of decline, but that's just my opinion.

    Lucky for you, Tom's also does a Best SSD for the money, here is the link to May 2012:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-review,3194.html

    As well as a Build your own marathon, here is the link for March 2012:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-benchmark-build-a-pc,3163.html

    Some sites stick to what they know.  Tom's Hardware doesn't, so their articles are of rather varying quality.  Some of their early power supply and SSD articles were embarrassingly bad.

    Their "best video card for the money" pages have some merit.  Sometimes I disagree with their recommendations, but ever since they figured out that average frame rates don't tell the whole story with CrossFire and SLI, they've managed to avoid any flagrantly bad recommendations.

    If you're going to go with SLI or CrossFire, then assume that you're going to pay $100 extra for a better case, power supply, and motherboard that can handle SLI or CrossFire, in addition to the extra cost of the video cards.  SLI and CrossFire really only make sense if you're looking for a level of performance that is unavailable in a single card, or occasionally when the top cards are outlandishly expensive relative to their performance--which isn't the case today.

    Your personal mantra on never paying over $250 for a video card is ridiculous.  For example, I bought a Radeon HD 5850 for $260 early in October 2009.  Ten months later, you could still buy a Radeon HD 5850, but not for $260 anymore.  Not only did prices not go down; they actually went up.

    Video card prices for a given level of performance do tend to drop as time passes.  It probably makes the most sense to buy a card planning to keep it for three or four years, unless you've got a really big budget.  How much to spend on the card each time you buy a new one is a question of how big your budget is.

    Tom's Hardware's "best SSD for the money" pages are completely stupid.  With video cards, you start with a budget and go looking for something that fits that budget.  With SSDs, you start with a capacity and see how much it costs to get something of that capacity.  If you need 120 GB of SSD capacity but can only afford 60 GB, then a 60 GB SSD doesn't necessarily do you much good.  It's better to wait until you can afford the capacity you need.

    I'm not a fan of Tom's Hardware's system builder marathons.  They seem to be looking for the best average frame rates they can get in a given budget, and often sacrifice reliability to get there.  They often also have goofy configurations that might make sense in certain niches, but aren't broadly sensible.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Garkan

    If you do buy an i5 and its an Ivy Bridge make sure you have the right motherboard chipset. If your mainboards chipset is for the Sandy Bridge you will not be able to use the new Ivy Bridge features. The ones that will probably be the most use to you will be the Z75 and the Z77: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/z75-z77-express-chipset-brief.html

     

    If I understand this correctly, a motherboard from the MSI Z77A series is a safe bet? They all have the Intel Z77 Express chipset.

    I know I said "one last question" earlier, but I'm not quite done yet. Apologies for still going on, but there's one I completely forgot all about. I'm considering a liquid CPU cooler. There are 4 options, all got so varied reviews that I don't know what to believe. Some say they are great, others say they're louder than a jet engine. The models are:

    • Antec Kuhler H2O 920 CPU Cooler Socket 775/1155/1156/1366, AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+, 700~2400 RPM, 110 CFM, 27.4 dBA
    • Corsair H40 Hydro Series CPU Cooler Socket 775/1155/1156/1366/, AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1, 2000 RPM, 81 CFM, 27 dBA
    • Corsair H60 Hydro Series CPU Cooler Socket 775/1155/1156/1366/2011, AM2/AM2+/AM3, 1700 RPM, 74.4 CFM, 120mm Fan
    • Corsair H80 Hydro Series CPU Cooler Socket 775/1155/1156/1366/2011, AM2/AM2+/AM3, 2600 RPM, 46~92 CFM, 22~39 dBA

    I've never had a liquid cooler, so I have no experience with them. I'm not even sure if I should get one. So, some insight would be greatly appreciated. Btw, I'm not asking about installing it, the web shop will handle that. Also, forget about prices, all are affordable.

    Again, thanks for all the great advice, guys :)

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    I don't see any sense in going with a liquid cooling system, especially if you're not going to overclock.  It's more money and more things that can go wrong without any real benefit.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon

    Ok, I'll just skip it then. Thanks.

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