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Advice on 'monster' set-up

RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

 

-Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge (OC'd) ~314$


 


-ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67~255$


 


SLI MSI 580GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) ~1050$


 


-G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ~100$


 


-CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ~ 280$


 


-COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case ~189$


 


 2 xMushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL120GB, RAID 1~410$


 


 Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB~70$


 


  ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-R 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Red LED~80$


 


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit ~100$


 


ASUS VE278Q Black 27" 1920x1080 2ms Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 300 cd/m2 ASCR 10,000,000:1 ~ 340$


 


Total = $3188.00


*Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
*Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
* Radeon HD 7970
*8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
*240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

«13

Comments

  • huskie77huskie77 Member Posts: 354

    That is a very nice set up and is currently an outstanding machine. With all of that technology you must sacrifice value although you are somewhat future-proof. By lowering specs you might achieve more value while losing some of your long term performance. The one area I can advise you on is using just a single graphics card at this point (the 580 is still awesome) with the option to upgrade to a second if it is needed in 12-18 months to stay cutting edge.

    I'm sure you will enjoy this machine a lot. Where are you ordering from?

    image
  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    I'm still Shopping around. Haven't finalized it. I will build it with my friends help we're thinking. Or else i might order from cyber power , Although I do not like the mark-ups, I have some discounts. So you think 1x gtx590 for now, then later on down the road SLI it with another to stay up to date. That had crossed my mind a few times. I won't be finalizing the orders for a few more months because I won't be home until then. And i'm also hoping they get the driver updates fixed with the 590s.. that i keep hearing about.

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    First of all, there are some narrow uses for which a Core i7 990X makes sense.  Gaming is not one of them, however.  A Core i5 2500K is a far superior gaming processor to a Core i7 990X, at less than 1/4 of the cost.  If you really want to spend a fortune for the best gaming processor, then you could get a Core i7 2600K for around $300, which is still a lot cheaper than a Core i7 990X at $1000.

    A Core i5 2500K or Core i7 2600K will take an LGA 1155 motherboard and a P67 chipset.  That has less PCI Express bandwidth than X58, though you can get some high end motherboards for it that do offer x16/x16 bandwidth.  Alternatively, you could wait for Zambezi to launch, probably in June, and get an eight core processor with a high end AMD 990FX chipset.

    -----

    Don't expect miracles from the Bigfoot Killer 2100.  It will do what it promises, and get latency due to your network card down to a small fraction of a millisecond.  But that's not most of your Internet latency.  You can realistically expect it to take several milliseconds (e.g., 3 or 5 ms) off of your ping times, and maybe sometimes get you an extra frame per second (singular) or so.  On your budget, it's worth considering.  Just don't expect it to slash your ping times by 50 ms, as it won't.

    -----

    The GeForce GTX 590 is a bad card, and I'd strongly advise against buying it, no matter what your circumstances.  There is probably not a single person in the entire world for whom a GeForce GTX 590 makes sense.  The card runs dangerously hot, as while it can keep the GPUs adequately cooled, it doesn't properly cool the rest of the card.  The power circuitry is woefully inadequate, and the MOSFETs are prone to explode.

    The problem is that Nvidia loses badly on performance per watt to AMD, so in order to compete with the 375 W Radeon HD 6990, Nvidia had to push the GeForce GTX 590 to about 450 W, which is unsafe.  Nvidia has no answer to the hardware-enforced TDP of AMD's PowerTune, making the GeForce GTX 590 prone to spike up to much higher power consumption yet.

    If you're looking for a super high end video card setup, you might want to note how badly AMD destroys Nvidia at the high end.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/28/nvidia_geforce_3way_sli_radeon_trifire_review

    Radeon HD 6990+6970 "TriFire" beats GeForce GTX 580 3-way SLI, for $500 and 200 W less.  Naturally, it beats GeForce GTX 580 2-way SLI by a lot more in performance.

    Then again, what do you need that much video card power for?  It really only makes sense at monitor resolutions of 2560x1600 or above.  Though if you want to run an Eyefinity setup, go ahead.

    -----

    You don't say which 1100 W power supply you're looking at.  New Egg is only aware of two (ABS Majesty and Xion PowerReal), and they're both garbage.  If you're serious about cobbling together a super high end system, then just pay what it takes to get a Corsair AX1200 or an Antec High Current Pro 1200 W.  Those are the best power supplies on the market at that high of wattages.  The high quality power supplies of lower wattages usually don't go over 850 W, though I think Super Flower's high end platform (NXZT Hale90, Kingwin LZG, Super Flower Golden Green) has a 1000 W version.

    -----

    If you're spending that much money, I'd get a larger SSD, at least in the vicinity of 120 GB.  You don't want to run out of space and constantly have to shuffle things on and off of it.  Get something based on a Marvell or SandForce controller, too, as Intel's SSD controller is rather dated by now, and really only worth buying if you can get it at a discount.  Which you can't, as Intel doesn't do discounts.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061

    When looking at a rig like this, "Saving money" should not be an objective. Your well past the "saving money" part on some of the serious top-end toys, where the performance is king, but the price vs performance ratio is very much skewed towards the "price" and less toward the "performance".


    The i7-990x is the defacto fastest CPU right now, and goes back and forth with the Sandy Bridge i5/i7 - most benchmarks show the 990x being faster at stock speeds than the i5/i7's, but when you OC the i5/i7, they clearly take the lead, as the 990x just can't overclock nearly as well as the Sandy Bridges. And they cost 1/4 the price as the Gulftown you have picked out. The only think you would really miss out on is triple channel memory (Sandy Bridge only has dual channel), but that has almost no effect on gaming what so ever.

    2x580 is much faster than 1x590. The 590 card is more akin to 2x570. 3x6970 (or 6990+6970) is faster yet, beats out 2x and 3x580, and uses about the same power as 2x580, for about the same price as 2x580.

    If you are looking at that much video card power, you really need to think about multi-monitor gaming. A single 6870/570/580 is more than enough to drive a single monitor, with horsepower to spare, even in some of the most demanding games that exist right now. SLI/CF'ing them will give you absolutely no advantage (and probably not for the next 2-4 years) unless you are looking at 3x/5x/6x monitor setups.

    Make sure that power supply is high quality. 2x580 (or any other video card combination in that class) will take serious power, and will absolutely destroy a weak power supply, and probably fry your system in the process.

    Skip out on the bigfoot. It is negligible in gaming performance, for a whole lot of money. Sure, your ping goes down slightly, but it kills your throughput doing so.

    Anything with 2x580 (or other combination of upper tier video cards), or the 6-core Gulftowns or overclocked CPUs, and your going to have thermal issues in a mid-tower case. While it's possible to keep them all cool and keep the airflow going, your basically going to have a case that is 100% covered in exhaust fans and still have to shoehorn those video cards in there against the hard drive bays. Consider biting the bullet and bumping to the full sized tower - it'll be easier to cool, easier to assemble, and easier to upgrade later on.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    When looking at a rig like this, "Saving money" should not be an objective. Your well past the "saving money" part on some of the serious top-end toys, where the performance is king, but the price vs performance ratio is very much skewed towards the "price" and less toward the "performance".

    In programs that scale well to 12 threads, yes.  In programs that don't scale beyond four cores, no.  A Sandy Bridge core is unambiguously better than a Gulftown core.  At stock speeds, it will clock higher, due to a more agressive turbo boost.  It also offers better IPC, and hence better performance at the same clock speed.  The only advantage Gulftown offers is six cores rather than four.  That's only an advantage if you can make use of the extra cores.  Games can't.  If you're going to use other processor-intensive programs that can push the extra cores, then go ahead.

    The other advantage of Gulftown is the X58 chipset, which does offer more PCI Express bandwidth than the P67 chipset of Sandy Bridge.  But that's fixable with an NF200 chip on the motherboard.  You can get a Core i7 2600K plus a high end motherboard such as a Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7 or an Asus Maximus IV Extreme, all for hundreds less than a Core i7-990X alone, even without the motherboard.  That will let you get your x16/x16 bandwidth, and have a faster processor for it, too.  It's not just, get this because it's cheaper.  It's, get this because it's both better and cheaper, at least for gaming.

    -----

    Also, on your budget, you might want to look at multiple monitors.  Spreading a game across three monitors, for a 5760x1080 or 3240x1920 or whatever resolution is the way to go over 2560x1600.  In some games, being able to see more because of a higher resolution can be nice.  It's not just inches; pixels matter, too.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061


    Originally posted by Quizzical

    In programs that scale well to 12 threads, yes.  In programs that don't scale beyond four cores, no.  A Sandy Bridge core is unambiguously better than a Gulftown core.  At stock speeds, it will clock higher, due to a more agressive turbo boost.  It also offers better IPC, and hence better performance at the same clock speed.  The only advantage Gulftown offers is six cores rather than four.  That's only an advantage if you can make use of the extra cores.  Games can't.  If you're going to use other processor-intensive programs that can push the extra cores, then go ahead.

    In theory I agree with you. However:

    http://hardocp.com/article/2011/01/03/intel_sandy_bridge_2600k_2500k_processors_review/4

    The 980x wins every time when it's overclocked, and most of the time at stock speeds. Granted, it costs 4x as much, and wins by very slight margins, but it still wins. And these games that are benchmarked are not 12-Core scaleable exceptions. Most are barely dual core capable.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    That's measuring the difference between x8/x8 PCI Express bandwidth and x16/x16.  If you use the former for Sandy Bridge and the latter for Gulftown, then yes, Gulftown will win sometimes.  Use x16/x16 for both, and Sandy Bridge will win.

    Now, it takes a $300 or so motherboard to offer x16/x16 PCI Express bandwidth on P67, as you need an extra NF200 chip.  Most people who get a Sandy Bridge system won't, and shouldn't, pay that.  But if the alternative is spending an extra $700 on a processor, then getting a $300 motherboard instead of a $200 motherboard is a pittance by comparison.

  • gekkothegreygekkothegrey Member Posts: 236

    The ram is a bit of overkill, so I would drop that to 8gb, and spend the extra money on a full tower case. I will never own another mid tower anytime you have to work on them its a pain in the butt with trying to fit things, and with todays video card size, its even more so.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061


    Originally posted by Quizzical
    That's measuring the difference between x8/x8 PCI Express bandwidth and x16/x16.  If you use the former for Sandy Bridge and the latter for Gulftown, then yes, Gulftown will win sometimes.  

    Nope. Those tests were run at extremely low resolutions with a single video card (an nVidia 470), which makes pretty much everything CPU bound. So it's the difference between... x16 and x16... which means it's all CPU power and maybe, you could argue, triple channel memory.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     




    Originally posted by Quizzical

    That's measuring the difference between x8/x8 PCI Express bandwidth and x16/x16.  If you use the former for Sandy Bridge and the latter for Gulftown, then yes, Gulftown will win sometimes.  




     

    Nope. Those tests were run at extremely low resolutions with a single video card (an nVidia 470), which makes pretty much everything CPU bound. So it's the difference between... x16 and x16... which means it's all CPU power and maybe, you could argue, triple channel memory.

    You're right about the video card.  I didn't read it carefully enough.  But I'd still argue that the Core i7 2600K will be a better gaming processor.

    Look at the results in the games that Hard OCP picked out.  In two of them, the Core i7 2600K destroys the Core i5 2500K.  That's got to be hyperthreading, so those games are scaling to more than four cores.  In games that can push six cores, yes, Gulftown is likely to win.  But does the difference between 1556 and 1366 frames per second really matter?  If that's what the processor can crank out, then you're going to turn up video settings far enough that the processor isn't a meaningful bottleneck.

    What matters is, which processor will give you better performance, in situations where at least one of them is a meaningful bottleneck.  Above, when I said games don't scale to more than four threads, that wasn't entirely true.  When games are multi-threaded, they aren't targeted at a particular number of cores.  They try to scale as well as they can to as many cores as possible.  What I should have said is, if your processor is a meaningful bottleneck on a quad core processor, then it will almost certainly be in a game that doesn't scale to more than four cores--and probably doesn't even scale to four.  And in that situation, Sandy Bridge wins.

  • Xero_ChanceXero_Chance Member Posts: 519

    Why spend $3k on a gaming computer when it's going to be obsolete or break down within 5 years?

    Buy mid-range, don't spend any more than $1k.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    ok soooo how is this looking...


    -Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge~ 314$


    -ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58~ 284$


    -Kingston HyperX T1 Series 8GB ~208$


    -CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ~225$


    -COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case~189$


    -(SSD) Corsair Force CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT 2.5" 120GB 225$


    -Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB~159$


    Total =  1604.00$


     


    *as for the cooling and Video cards, what would you guys suggest?


     


     I plan on running on a 27-30' mon. very high resolution. I was Looking at the 6990, a single one at that. The noise problem i keep hearing about is sounding rough and is that Trifire worth the effort for high-end gaming?  Or run a single OC'd gtx 580 and later add another for more  umph?..


     


     


    And no I don't see the point in buying a 1000.00$ gaming rig at this point with all these high end visually amazing games arriving soon. My computer budget is set around 2500-3000$ (including mouse, keyboard and Mon. ect..) any money saved is good but I'm prepared to pay a decent amount for some stunning visuals and entertainment.  And no incase you guys haven't noticed, I'm not anywhere near a computer wiz, I just understand the concepts to an extent.

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    If you're going to get a Sandy Bridge processor, then you need an LGA 1155 motherboard for it, in order to have the right processor socket.  Get one with a P67 chipset.  Also get a decent aftermarket cooler, as the stock cooler is awful.  Even a $30 heatsink can be an enormous improvement.

    -----

    The memory is massively overpriced.  For Sandy Bridge, anything above 1600 MHz memory is a waste of money.  If you want 8 GB, then make it two 4 GB modules, with a stock voltage of 1.5 V.  Even at 1600 MHz, that shouldn't cost you more than $100.

    -----

    If you're buying parts and assembling them yourself, then try this SSD instead:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226152

    That might be exactly the same as what you picked, except with a different sticker on it.  And if it's different, it's probably better, as Corsair did some goofy stuff with their firmware.

    For the price of that hard drive, you might as well get a Western Digital Caviar Black of the same capacity.  Though if you're getting both an SSD and a hard drive, the speed of the hard drive matters less, so you could also consider getting something cheaper.

    -----

    I wouldn't get a Radeon HD 6990 unless you're going to get two of them, or at least one plus a 6970.  It's easier to cool two separate cards than just one, and that's why the 6990s get so noisy.  For a single monitor with a very high resolution, I'd probably favor a pair of Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire.  With that, you wouldn't need to go for outlandishly high wattages on the power supply, and could get something like this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121076

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    -Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge ~314$


     


    -ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ~180$


     


    2x MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit (Crossfire) ~772$


     


    -Kingston HyperX 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K4/8GX ~99$


     


    -CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ~225$


     


    -COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case ~189$


     


    -(SSD) Corsair Force CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT 2.5" 120GB  ~225$


     


    ~Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive  ~60$


     


    ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler ~65$


     


    Total= $2129.00


     


    I read up on the crossfire 6970s and I like it


     


    Will this heatsink work ? ..or would it be safe to go with something more?

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    swap out the CORSAIR HX Power supply for this maybe and save 55$

    COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ~170$

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    If you want 8 GB of memory, then make it a kit with two 4 GB modules, not four 2 GB modules.  It costs about the same either way.  Two modules rather than four means less stress on the memory controller, lower power consumption, better airflow over the memory, and room to expand in the future if you need to.  Make sure the memory has a stock voltage of 1.5 V, as you don't want to have to overvolt it from the DDR3 stock voltage of 1.5 V just to hit the nominal rated clock speeds.

    -----

    While an Asus P8P67 Pro will probably work well for you, you should note that if you use CrossFire, it will have to run both slots at PCI Express 2.0 x8 bandwidth, not x16.  Running at x8/x8 rather than x16/x16 won't make a measurable difference in some games.  In others, it could knock your frame rates by as much as 20%, though that's pretty much an outlier case.  On average, it will make a difference of perhaps a few percent in your frame rates.  The cheapest P67 motherboard that I'm aware of that can get you x16/x16 bandwidth is the Asus P8P67 WS Revolution:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131714

    I'm not saying that you should pay the extra $80 to get that.  But on your budget, it's worth considering, so I thought I'd bring it up.

    -----

    The heatsink should work well for you unless you're going for an unreasonably large overclock that would risk frying your processor even if you had a cooler that could keep it exactly at room temperature--which is possible with some exotic cooling systems, but not air or water.

    -----

    With two Radeon HD 6970s and a Core i7 2600K, you're probably looking at peak power draw from the power supply of around 600 W at stock speeds, or maybe 700 W if you heavily overclock the processor.  Realistic gaming loads would be far less than that, of course.  An excellent quality 850 W power supply would be ample for that, and would make more sense than a 1000 W power supply that is merely pretty good quality.

    At current New Egg prices, the Kingwin Lazer Gold 850 W that I linked above would be my recommendation.  If you could get a Seasonic X-850 or a Corsair AX850 (the latter is a rebranded version of the former) for about the same price, that would be good, too, though those seem to be more expensive.

    A Cooler Master Silent Pro is a decent power supply, but it's not in the same league as the ones I mentioned in the above paragraph.  It is in the same price range, though, so I wouldn't get it.  Actually, even if it were cheaper, I still wouldn't get it.

    If you want to leave room for upgrades later, in case you decide you want to swap in some much higher power parts, then just get the Corsair AX1200 and call it a day.  Yes, that's more expensive, and there's quite a gap between 850 W and 1200 W.  And it's not something I'd do.  But there aren't any power supplies strictly between 850 and 1200 W that I'd get.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    Okay, I have taken your advice, here's the new (updated) set-up

     


    -Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge (OC'd) ~314$


     


    ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX AMD Motherboard~ 300$


     


    2x MSI R6970 Lightning Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit (Crossfire) ~772$


     


    -G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ~100$


     


    -CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ~ 280$


     


    -COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case ~189$


     


    -(SSD) Corsair Force CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT 2.5" 120GB  ~225$


     


    ~Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive  ~60$


     


    ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler ~65$


     


    total = $2305.00


     


    whats the deal with the new processors coming out late this year? would it be wise to wait and snatch one of them?


     


     

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    I just pretty much built this same computer on the digital storm website, its running for almost 3800$ lol.. pretty pricey mark up (~55%) for the service...I know they have a 3 year warrenty and pre-test, but is that worth it lol?

    oh, and a free shirt

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    Originally posted by Robgmur

    -Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge (OC'd) ~314$


     


    ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX AMD Motherboard~ 300$


     

    Big problem right there.  The processor requires Socket LGA 1155, while the motherboard offers Socket AM3.  Those aren't compatible.

    -----

    If you'd like to know what's coming, AMD's Llano processors launch in about a week or so.  Those are a big deal for gaming desktops on a tight budget, and an enormous deal for gaming laptops, as they'll bring the first budget gaming laptops, and also the first gaming laptops not prone to heat problems.  Llano doesn't offer the level of performance you're after, though, so it's not of interest to you.

    Sometime in May or June, AMD will launch Zambezi, the desktop version of its Bulldozer architecture.  Rumors on this say June, and AMD will only say sometime in the second quarter of 2011.  Bulldozer will have up to eight cores, and with chipsets ranging from the high end 990FX to the low end 970.  As a gaming processor, it will probably be roughly a match for the Core i7 2600K you're looking at.  Getting 40 or so PCI Express lanes in the chipset would likely be of interest to you, though.  If you weren't sure whether to buy now or wait a couple of months, then you might as well wait for Bulldozer.

    The high end version of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors will launch late this year.  That's the same processor architecture, but with six cores, and a high end chipset.  That's Intel's real answer to Bulldozer.  I don't think it's worth waiting for, as it's six or so months away.

    Intel will launch Ivy Bridge early next year.  That will be a die shrink of Sandy Bridge, and probably a little better, but not a lot better.  That's also next year, so I wouldn't want to wait.

    -----

    On the video card side, Southern Islands has taped out, and if all goes well, the Radeon HD 7970 (I'm guessing on the name) could launch as soon as July.  There is good reason to believe that all will not go well, though, and AMD has probably already made the decision on whether to order a volume production run of the chip, though the details haven't leaked out yet.  My guess is that it's coming in the fall, along with some lower end cards in the Southern Islands generation.  But that's only a guess, and depends tremendously on how quickly TSMC and Global Foundries can get their 28 nm HKMG process nodes working properly.

    Nvidia's Kepler architecture is supposedly scheduled to launch this year.  Of course, the same slide that announced that also put Fermi in 2009, by which Nvidia apparently meant, April 2010 for the first cards, and July 2010 for the first cards that were actually any good, and November 2010 for the high end card that Nvidia had initially promised.  My guess is that Kepler will launch in early 2012, but again, that's only a guess.

    AMD's Southern Islands and Nvidia's Kepler will both be a huge deal, as they transition from a 40 nm bulk silicon process node to 28 nm HKMG.  A full node die shrink is always a huge deal, and moving from bulk silicon to HKMG is a big deal, too.  Nvidia in particular has a lot of room to improve, because Fermi was such a diaster.

    Lower end AMD cards of the Southern Islands generation will be built at Global Foundries, but those probably aren't of interest to you.  They should be great for gaming laptops, thoguh.

    The high end cards from both AMD and Nvidia will be built at TSMC.  Their 28 nm HKMG process node will be good enough for mass production whenever it is, which might have already happened, or might take another year to properly mature.  You can wait or not, but you should understand that if you choose to wait, you could end up waiting a lot longer than you were expecting.

    This is very unlike Llano and Bulldozer, however.  AMD has already fabbed the chips, gotten them back from the foundry, seen that they worked, and ordered mass production runs.  For Llano, the order for mass production probably had to come in January, or early February at the latest.  They've been shipping Llano for revenue since March (e.g., New Egg could buy processors, but can't sell them yet), but it takes a while to have sufficient stocks to do a proper launch, with enough on hand that everyone who wants one can buy one on launch day.  You don't want to do a paper launch before that, or else you kill sales of your old products.  Bulldozer is a little further behind Llano than that.  But Zambezi will be out by the end of June, barring something catastrophic like an earthquake that greatly damages the relevant foundry.

    ------

    If you want to know what video card you're looking at, the basic theme of the MSI Lightning Edition cards is to go massively overkill on the power circuitry, and give the card a very good heatsink and fans.  For someone who wants to use a bunch of liquid nitrogen and see if he can push it to 1.5 GHz, that's the ideal card.  It's kind of meant to be overclocked, and to be able to handle a pretty good overclock from the end user.  The factory overclock really doesn't push the card to its limits, the way it would with, for example, Gigabyte's Super Overclock cards.  There is some value in going overkill on power circuitry even if you're not going to overclock it, though, as that's the way to guarantee that power delivery will never be a problem for you.

    The MSI Lightning Edition 6970 is internal exhaust, which means, rather than expelling hot air out the back of the card, it sprays it all over in the case.  Having two of them doing that means that you'll need a big case with massive amounts of airflow.  A Cooler Master HAF X certainly qualifies as that, so it will work well for you.  It's easier to keep the card cool if you can spray heat every which way with an internal exhaust card, rather than trying to funnel it out of the case with an external exhaust card, so even if you bump the voltage a bit and push the clock speed as high as you can, there's not much risk of overheating the card.  Killing the GPU by electromigration is a different matter, though, and is a major risk if you increase the voltage by a lot.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67 ~255$ the best choice?

    Also, do you recommend the selected crossfire video cards? i have a few hundred more $$ I can use to upgrade slightly if possible

    and sorry I can't view links on this Govt. computer

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • Xero_ChanceXero_Chance Member Posts: 519


    Originally posted by Robgmur
    ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION LGA 1155 Intel P67 ~255$ the best choice?

    That's almost half as much as I paid for my entire computer and I can handle almost any game at full graphics with no framerate loss due to hardware. I need a new computer because games are just now starting to get too intensive for me to handle at full graphics and I'm only going to drop about $750-ish altogether if I splurge.

    Go ahead and spend $255 on a processor.

    I'll play the same games with my 5 year old $500 Dell at nearly the same graphical quality.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    I don't really see that being all possible, this computer I'm building is for future gaming (Skyrim, Battlefield 3 ect.) I don't really care for maxing out graphics nor even playing older games(early-mid 2000s). And i'm going to run on high resolution 27 to 30'' mon. I don't see how a 700-1000$ computer could max those settings, but if you have the layout..I'm all ears

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    It depends some on what you're planning on doing with the processor clock speed.  The Asus P8P67 WS Revolution is designed for workstations, not really for gaming computers.  But most of the features that a higher end motherboard would have that it lacks are goofy things that no one would use, anyway.  For example, six USB 3.0 ports, rather than two.

    Note that if you use the Asus P8P67 WS Revolution motherboard, you want to put the two video cards in the blue PCI Express slots, not the black ones.  That means you'll need an extra long CrossFire bridge, which it looks like ships with the motherboard.  Ordinary CrossFire bridges only connect cards three slots part, but your cards will be four.

    A couple other motherboards that I could find that can do x16/x16 are the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128480

    and the Asus Maximus IV Extreme:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131700

    The downside is that, in order to do x16/x16 PCI Express bandwidth, you'd need to use two PCI Express slots that are two apart.  That means one video card pressing against the other, and obstructing airflow.  I don't think that would that bad for the video cards you're looking at, but it is undesirable.

    Those are both higher end motherboards that go completely nuts with power circuitry and random features that no one will have any use for.  If you want to see what you can do with liquid nitrogen, they'd both outperform the Asus P8P67 WS Revolution.  But they're also both more expensive.

    It looks like MSI's top end motherboard, the Big Bang Marshal, would also work nicely.  But that's $400, for not much advantage.  Actually, that's what I'd probably get on an infinite budget.  But $3000 isn't infinite, and it's a goofy form factor that you probably don't want to have to build around.  Of course, on an infinite budget, getting a 500 GB or so SSD would be an easy call, too.

    ECS has a high end motherboard that has the extra PCI Express bandwidth, but I wouldn't buy that one just because it's ECS, which means that something else random will probably be completely non-functional or work all wrong.

    So basically, I'm not sure.  If it were for my own use, on a $3000 budget, I'd probably go with the Asus P8P67 WS Revolution.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,135

    Originally posted by Robgmur

    I don't really see that being all possible, this computer I'm building is for future gaming (Skyrim, Battlefield 3 ect.) I don't really care for maxing out graphics nor even playing older games(early-mid 2000s). And i'm going to run on high resolution 27 to 30'' mon. I don't see how a 700-100$ computer could max those settings, but if you have the layout..I'm all ears

    It depends on what games you play, and what frame rates you expect.  I can max settings and get smooth frame rates in Guild Wars on my netbook.

    When I played Vanguard on an older computer, I complained about only getting 20 frames per second, and people there thought I was nuts to think that wasn't enough.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    And yes, It might seem over kill.. but what seemed over kill a year ago is now mediocre good. I want something that can blast through high end visuals and have fun doing so for the next 2 years or so. $$ doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot to some people. i understand how some people run on tight budgets and brag about having better stuff, Whatever floats your boat. This is just a treat for myself for working hard and being away from home for almost 2 years. I'm also still very open to suggestions that can lower the 'price' to preformance ratio. Anything less than amazing isn't worth it to me though.

    *Corsair Obsidian Series 650D *i5-2500K OC'd ~ 4.5
    *Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 mother board
    * Radeon HD 7970
    *8GB (4GBx2) 1600MHz Kingston HyperX
    *240GB Corsair Force GT Series SATA-III SSD

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