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It's been months...still not sure about this computer build...

I have been contemplating a new pc build for the newer games such as Skyrim, BF3 and Guild wars 2. I have been thinking and reviewing for months now and have still not come to terms with which hardware to settle on. I have learned a lot in this time, but still do not know. The problem is...I cannot go test this equipment out so I will never fully know until I just gamble and buy it. How can i really know how much better the 6950 2gb card will run BF3 then say a 560ti?? I can look at youtube videos and I can read forums, but I'll never trully know until I pull the trigger and hope I chose the right one. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and so it's hard for me to do that... So far this is a few of the hardware items I have been debating upon. Maybe after some talk on here I can finally come to terms with what pieces are worth the buy.

 

Case:

FT02: I was suggested this one a long time ago, but it's just soooo expensive and just does not seem justifiable to me.

Cooler master elite 430: I love the way this case looks and it is only $50 on newegg. It does not have as many features as the storm scout, but it's very cheap

Storm Scout: Pretty sweet design, has great features and is not to bad in price, $85

Azza Triton Black: VERY cheap. About $35 after rebate and has a lot of features...it's just a bit ugly.

 

CPU:

2500k: Yes, I know this one is supposedly the best price to performance for gaming, but it's pretty expensive

i3 2100: I have seen benchmarks stating that this is much better at gaming then the amd x4's even though it is only a dual core. Though I have often wondered if that is only because it was benchmarking games that only utilized two cores...so I'm not sure how it would hold up in the newer games.

x4 965: A cheap quad core that supposedly runs games quit well...I have thought about getting this one quite a lot since I really only game with my computer..besides the occasional youtube watching and such, but the only thing that I do that pushes it is gaming. Seems like a great choice, but I have heard that going with intel was a better upgrade path.

 

Motherboard:

Intel: Really it's between an intel motherboard and an amd one which also coincides with the cpu obviously. I'm a bit confused about these boards.. I have heard z68, h67 and p67 will support ivy bridge and that's great and all, but damn they are up there in price.. Not sure if they are really worth it for gaming..

AMD: I have only come across one or two am3+ boards that have decent reviews and they are from GIGABYTE. This is of course only looking at user reviews from newegg so I'm not sure how accurate they really are, but everything else seemed to have a high DOA rating and that's no good.. Though I would not want to get an am3 because then I can't upgrade to bulldozer later :/

 

RAM:

Pretty much I was planning on going with 8gb that has a low failure rating at 1600mhz speeds. I have read that past 1600 was very little performance gain....and thats all i really know about ram besides it has to be dual/triple channel depending on your mobo.

 

GPU:

There are several cards that I have been comtemplating, but I just don't know how well they will run games :/ It's so hard to tell.... So far I have been debating upon: 6870, 560 ti, and 6950 2gb. That's the main three. I would honestly just love to go with the 6870 since it's the cheapest, but I also don't want to be dissapointed in the performance..

 

PSU: 

I don't know how to completely check the wattage and what +12V means... I don't know about any of that besides that 650w  is supposed to be plenty for a single gpu and about 750w for dual?

 

Anyways, whoever has got this far and can give me some advice would be greatly appreciated....thanks. Hopefully together we can solve my curse of perfectionism...

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Comments

  • WaldoCornWaldoCorn Member UncommonPosts: 235

    From what Ive read and been told, the 6950 would be my choice.

    Whats your budget for your build?

     

    See the world and all within it.
    Live a lifetime in every minute.

  • I would not like to go much over $700 if possible.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    Since you're already spending a decent amount of $$.. I would grab a gtx 570 (~100$$ more) , 2500k cpu and the storm scout case.. It might run you some more $$ but you will be very happy with the performance and have a great piece of mind for the next few years. Or you can wait a few months (which I'm sure other people will chime in and say) but if you're like me and want the goods asap, I would go with that rig and enjoy your games.

    *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

    Originally posted by Nunez1212

    I would not like to go much over $700 if possible.

     on that note: I would get the 560 ti over clocked and get the 2500k with the Scout or coolmaster (to save some $$)

    *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

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375

    I think your original concern is still valid.

    There really is no way you will know how XXX piece of hardware will run on YYY game that isn't released - until it's been released and probably patched a time or two.

    That applies for Skyrim and GW2, BF3 is available now, but drivers and patches still haven't had time to show the real picture so anything could still change with regard to current performance.

    And by the time all of these are released, we could see a new generation of CPU's from Intel (or two, depending on how far away GW2 really is), new video cards from AMD, and maybe another surprise or two.

    The other way of looking at it, is of course: Life is a gamble, do the best with what you got and roll the dice. Any decent gaming computer you build today will continue to be decent for a couple-three years, and still be able to survive past that with just a few more tweaks and upgrades.

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759

    PSU: Watts mean nothing, you must look at how many amps it can pull - sometimes a 600W is better than a 1200W. Price is normally a good indicator for quality.

    Coolers: gfx and processors can now really munch through incredible amount of data, but it will need heavy cooling.

    Noise is the biproduct, and it becomes even more apparant when the coolers spin up and down to cope with what heat the processors produce. So get good low noice coolers, and save some on other components. Look for a graphics card that can satisfy your needs right now and is also lownoise ... there is no need to buy the top gfx if you dont need it, when your needs change your pc will probably be outdated anyways.

    You might be tempted to get a ssd, I was too but settled for a normal hd since it cost so little and I can always smack in a ssd later = loads of money saved for other components.

     

    Just got me a (z67, i72600k, 16g dominator ram, gf570, CM haf912+) - and I can really recommend these monitors: Dell U2412M (although if mainly used for fps gaming go for a tn panel).

     

    That is my advice.

     

    ps. gfx cards are huge, cpu coolers are enormous, make sure you get a good sized case .. also to allow good airflow. I went for Cooler Master RAF 912+ which is very good for arflow, huge intake and outtake fans and very good wiring options for optimal airflow... it lacks dustfilters though.

    And .. lol, dual/tri gfx is cool and all and you can get a bit more performance for you money, but you also buy more noise and problems and need a better psu.

    And everyone ! keep preventing your idiot friend from buying a "gaming laptop" :)

    And (promise this is the last and) .. when you read a good review, you MUST buy that exact model number because you cannot assume the model x2 is anywhere near model x1 in a series.

     

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    Originally posted by kjempff

    PSU: Watts mean nothing, you must look at how many amps it can pull - sometimes a 600W is better than a 1200W. Price is normally a good indicator for quality.

    Coolers: gfx and processors can now really munch through incredible amount of data, but it will need heavy cooling.

    Noise is the biproduct, and it becomes even more apparant when the coolers spin up and down to cope with what heat the processors produce. So get good low noice coolers, and save some on other components. Look for a graphics card that can satisfy your needs right now and is also lownoise ... there is no need to buy the top gfx if you dont need it, when your needs change your pc will probably be outdated anyways.

    You might be tempted to get a ssd, I was too but settled for a normal hd since it cost so little and I can always smack in a ssd later = loads of money saved for other components.

     

    Just got me a (z67, i72600k, 16g dominator ram, gf570, CM haf912+) - and I can really recommend these monitors: Dell U2412M (although if mainly used for fps gaming go for a tn panel).

     

    That is my advice.

     

    ps. gfx cards are huge, cpu coolers are enormous, make sure you get a good sized case .. also to allow good airflow. I went for Cooler Master RAF 912+ which is very good for arflow, huge intake and outtake fans and very good wiring options for optimal airflow... it lacks dustfilters though.

    And .. lol, dual/tri gfx is cool and all and you can get a bit more performance for you money, but you also buy more noise and problems and need a better psu.

    And everyone ! keep preventing your idiot friend from buying a "gaming laptop" :)

    And (promise this is the last and) .. when you read a good review, you MUST buy that exact model number because you cannot assume the model x2 is anywhere near model x1 in a series.

     

     how about " prevent him/her from buying one unless they need it"

    And what's wrong with gaming laptops anyways?

    *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

  • KabaalKabaal Member UncommonPosts: 3,042

    At this point you need to just make a decision and go buy your PC fella. Any and all information you need has already been given to you in your various threads and the longer you leave taking the advice you ask for, the less relevant it becomes.

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759

    And everyone ! keep preventing your idiot friend from buying a "gaming laptop" :)

     how about " prevent him/her from buying one unless they need it"

    And what's wrong with gaming laptops anyways?

    There .. is .. no .. such .. thing .. as .. a .. gaming .. laptop. (at this time)

    You can get a laptop that can play some games, but it is still not a gaming machine. What I am saying is, go ahead buy a laptop if you need to move around, but just dont think you bough a gaming machine.

     

    Go buy the most expensive "gaming laptop" on the marked and see if it can run a modern 3d game at good settings.. generally it wont.

     

  • marinridermarinrider Member UncommonPosts: 1,556

    Originally posted by kjempff

    And everyone ! keep preventing your idiot friend from buying a "gaming laptop" :)

     how about " prevent him/her from buying one unless they need it"

    And what's wrong with gaming laptops anyways?

    There .. is .. no .. such .. thing .. as .. a .. gaming .. laptop.

    You can get a laptop that can play some games, but it is still not a gaming machine. What I am saying is, go ahead buy a laptop if you need to move around, but just dont think you bough a gaming machine.

     

    Go buy the most expensive "gaming laptop" on the marked and see if it can run a modern 3d game at good settings.. generally it wont.

     

    My computer is a gaming computer.  It can play most games at max settings.

    There are laptops more powerful than my computer

    Therefore, there is such this a gaming laptop.

     

    Now, a gaming laptop that is easy to carry around?  Thats another story.  I'm also not saying its worth it to buy a gaming laptop.  By all means, if you can go the desktop route then do that every time.  But for those with too much money, or are always on the move then you can actually get a gaming laptop.  

     

    Edit - Gaming laptop: http://www.originpc.com/eon17-gaming-laptop-features.asp

    One of these Origins can run Dual 580M's.

    Edit2: Heres another : http://www.digitalstormonline.com/laptoploadx17E.asp?id=568653

    Benchmarks for GTX 560M : http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-560M.48313.0.html

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    Originally posted by kjempff

    And everyone ! keep preventing your idiot friend from buying a "gaming laptop" :)

     how about " prevent him/her from buying one unless they need it"

    And what's wrong with gaming laptops anyways?

    There .. is .. no .. such .. thing .. as .. a .. gaming .. laptop. (at this time)

    You can get a laptop that can play some games, but it is still not a gaming machine. What I am saying is, go ahead buy a laptop if you need to move around, but just dont think you bough a gaming machine.

     

    Go buy the most expensive "gaming laptop" on the marked and see if it can run a modern 3d game at good settings.. generally it wont.

     

     My "gaming laptop"s gpu is basically a 560 ti and the CPU is outragously powerfull, and it's not a massive laptop either.. check the specs in the sig. I run any game on high/max settings with no problem at all. So yes there is such things as gaming laptops'.  I don't always have the luxery of taking my full size tower PC with me over seas/traveling. As long as your okay with spending $$ and find the need for one, yes they do exsist.

    *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

  • drazzahdrazzah Member UncommonPosts: 437

    Honestly, you could go with the i3-2100 and be perfectly fine. Of course its not as good as the i5-2500k, but on the other hand you wont see a major difference when gaming.

     

    If your budget is $700, i would spend ~$200 of that on a graphic card, and rest throughout the other parts.

    image

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759

    Quote from the link you provided of notebook test:

    The performance of the GeForce GTX 560M is compareable to the older GeForce GTX 480M. In our tests (see benchmarks below), the GTX 560M was on average 13% faster than the old GTX 460M. Therefore, only the very demanding games Crysis 1, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 and Metro 2033 were not fluently playable at highest settings, Full HD resolution and Anti Aliasing. All other current and older games can be played with maxed out settings. See at the end of this page for detailled gaming benchmarks of many current games.

     

    But you will probably just give more examples and arguments that wont hold when you get down to the specifics.

  • RobgmurRobgmur Member Posts: 322

    Originally posted by kjempff

    Quote from the link you provided of notebook test:

    The performance of the GeForce GTX 560M is compareable to the older GeForce GTX 480M. In our tests (see benchmarks below), the GTX 560M was on average 13% faster than the old GTX 460M. Therefore, only the very demanding games Crysis 1, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 and Metro 2033 were not fluently playable at highest settings, Full HD resolution and Anti Aliasing. All other current and older games can be played with maxed out settings. See at the end of this page for detailled gaming benchmarks of many current games.

     

    But you will probably just give more examples and arguments that wont hold when you get down to the specifics.

     examples like -my mobile gpu is an over-clocked gtx 580m and not a stock gtx 560m lol? the OC'd gtx 580m is roughly 45-50% faster than the 560m. I  play crisis 1 and 2 maxed out.. and metro 2033 on high, Witcher 2 on high and just about all others maxed..? The OC'd gtx 580m is pound for pound the gtx 560ti desktop gpu, that is a fact.

    *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

  • KabaalKabaal Member UncommonPosts: 3,042

    Originally posted by Robgmur

    Originally posted by kjempff

    Quote from the link you provided of notebook test:

    The performance of the GeForce GTX 560M is compareable to the older GeForce GTX 480M. In our tests (see benchmarks below), the GTX 560M was on average 13% faster than the old GTX 460M. Therefore, only the very demanding games Crysis 1, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 and Metro 2033 were not fluently playable at highest settings, Full HD resolution and Anti Aliasing. All other current and older games can be played with maxed out settings. See at the end of this page for detailled gaming benchmarks of many current games.

     

    But you will probably just give more examples and arguments that wont hold when you get down to the specifics.

     examples like -my mobile gpu is an over-clocked gtx 580m and not a stock gtx 560m lol? the OC'd gtx 580m is roughly 45-50% faster than the 560m. I  play crisis 1 and 2 maxed out.. and metro 2033 on high, Witcher 2 on high and just about all others maxed..? The OC'd gtx 580m is pound for pound the gtx 560ti desktop gpu, that is a fact.

    Depends how much of an overclock you have on it, they're pretty much the same card except the 560ti clock speed is about 40% higher.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Besides, when did the definition of a gaming laptop become "can run all games, fluently, at their highest settings"?

     

    Even the definition Kjempff gave earlier is rather subjective and non-specific. "run a modern 3d game at good settings"? What games? What exact settings? At what resolution? At what framerate? When did that become arbitrated to be the standard of a "gaming laptop"? On what basis?

     

    There are games that a single 6870 or GTX 560 can't run with all of their settings turned completely up, with 8x MSAA, at 1080P, at 60fps and by extension, the similar mobile 6990 and 580 also can't run these games at such settings (even overclocked). Does that mean people who have these cards in their desktops or laptops don't have real gaming machines? That's rather elitist, and again, rather subjective.

     

    What, precisely, is the minimum standard being set here? Why should anyone consider it anything but a completely meaningless and subjective standard?

     

    I think most gaming laptops are terrible. They're prone to relatively high weight, high heat output, and short battery life, and largely defeat the point of having a laptop unless mobile gaming capability is absolutely crucial (like it was for me a couple of years ago). I may own a laptop that I use for moderate gaming (Core i7 720QM, Mobility Radeon HD 5730; not bad for an 18 month old machine), but it's not my primary machine; I have a desktop for that.

     

    That said, saying there's no such thing a gaming laptop, based on a definition of gaming laptops that seems designed to exlude any that exist, is both silly and circular.

  • image

    I already have a salvagable HDD and a few fams, so I was wondering how this build would hold up?

    I know it's tiny...but hopefully everyone can see it well enough :/

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Nunez1212

    image

    I already have a salvagable HDD and a few fams, so I was wondering how this build would hold up?

    I know it's tiny...but hopefully everyone can see it well enough :/

    It's pretty good.

     

    Right now, you can save a little bit by going with a Radeon HD 6870 instead of Geforce GTX 560. They're presently on newegg for $159.99 after promo code and rebate, or $169.99 with no rebate. That's $25-$30 cheaper for a card that's just about the same speed (faster in some games, slower in others, about a wash overall).

    That money saved would go a long ways towards upgrading that CPU, and really, I think you should if you can squeeze it in. Right now, the Core i5 2500 (non k) is only $195 with the promo code on Newegg. The dual core will be okay, and won't bottleneck you in the least today, but I'm a little concerned about where you'll be down the road. A new generation of consoles is going to be out before long, which means the bottleneck on game requirements is going to be lifted enormously, games are starting to recommend quad cores in larger numbers, and while games are way heavier on the GPU than the CPU, if you find the CPU inadequate, you can't turn down settings like you can with a GPU.

  • 1) How do I use this 'promo' code?

    2) The only reason I was choosing the 560 over the 6870 is because I heard the 6870 was not near the performer as the 560.

  • xersentxersent Member Posts: 613

    Originally posted by kjempff

    Quote from the link you provided of notebook test:

    The performance of the GeForce GTX 560M is compareable to the older GeForce GTX 480M. In our tests (see benchmarks below), the GTX 560M was on average 13% faster than the old GTX 460M. Therefore, only the very demanding games Crysis 1, Crysis 2, Dirt 3 and Metro 2033 were not fluently playable at highest settings, Full HD resolution and Anti Aliasing. All other current and older games can be played with maxed out settings. See at the end of this page for detailled gaming benchmarks of many current games.

     

    But you will probably just give more examples and arguments that wont hold when you get down to the specifics.

    Gameing laptop :

     

     


    imageIncluded in your system:

    COLOUR CHOICE

    Alienware M18x Stealth Black

    edit

    PROCESSOR

    Intel® Core™ i7 2960XM Overclocked Turbo Boost (8MB Cache)

    edit

    OPERATING SYSTEM

    English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)

    edit

    GRAPHICS CARD

    Dual 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 580M SLI™

    edit

    MEMORY

    32768MB (4x8GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel

    edit

    HARD DRIVE

    512GB (2x256GB) Solid State Drive Raid 0 "Stripe" Dual HDD

    edit

    LCD

    18.4" (47 cm) WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD

    edit

    OPTICAL DRIVE

    Blu-Ray ROM Combo (Blu-ray read only, DVD, CD read and write) Drive

    edit

    WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY

    Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300 a/g/n 3x3 - Europe

    edit

    BLUETOOTH

    Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Card - EUR

    edit

    PRIMARY BATTERY

    Primary 12-cell 96W/HR LI-ION

    edit

    SECURITY SOFTWARE

    No Antivirus Software

    edit

    SERVICES AND SUPPORT

    1Yr Collect & Returns Warranty – No upgrade selected

    edit

    ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE PROTECTION

    No Accidental Damage Protection

    edit

    imageAccessories

    AVATAR

    Alienhead 3D

    edit

    STEAM AND PORTAL

    Steam® Client and Portal™ Game - Factory Installed

    edit

    imageAlso included with your system

    Keyboard

    Internal US/International Qwerty Keyboard

     

    Cables

    UK 2M 250V Power Cord

     

    Shipping Documents

    English Documentation

     

    Gedis Bundle Reference

    N11W1801

     

    Standard Warranty

    1 year Next Business Day Hardware Support included with your PC

     

    Order Information

    Alienware M18x Order - UK

     

    Carrying Cases

    No Carrying Case

     

    Dell System Media Kit

    Alienware Resource DVD

     

    Camera

    Integrated 3.0 Mega Pixel HD Camera

     

    Hidden NamePlate Engraving

    Generic Name Plate Engraving

     

    AutoMatic Updates

    AutoMatic updates - On

     

    Power Supply

    330W AC Adapter

     

    SOUND SOFTWARE

    Integrated High-Definition 5.1 Performance Audio Powered by Klipsch®

    This will cost around £6,164 so its not cheap , but it could run anything u throw at it.

    image

  • Ok. Here is a request! Can everyone stop jacking my thread for a gaming laptop discussion??!! I came here to ask a question and apparantly half the people here think it is totally fine to just ignore my question and debate on a gaming laptop. Go start your own thread if you want to argue about laptops!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375


    Originally posted by Nunez1212
    Ok. Here is a request! Can everyone stop jacking my thread for a gaming laptop discussion??!! I came here to ask a question and apparantly half the people here think it is totally fine to just ignore my question and debate on a gaming laptop. Go start your own thread if you want to argue about laptops!

    Whenever I see people start to argue about laptop gaming specs, I just wanna shout
    CRIPPLE FIGHT
    and let them continue to bicker.

    Anyway, there are two different 560's. The 560Ti, and the 560. A Ti edition will be just a hair faster than a 6870 (but only just barely). The 560 version is nearly identical to a 6870. The 6870 is almost half the power consumption of either card though.

    A good review which compares 560, 560Ti, and the 6870
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-560-amp-edition-gtx-560-directcu-ii-top,2944.html

    All in all, I would get whichever was cheapest, or had the specific aftermarket items you are looking for (custom cooler, factory over clock, warranty, etc). The difference in performance between the 3 different cards isn't that big.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Nunez1212

    1) How do I use this 'promo' code?

    2) The only reason I was choosing the 560 over the 6870 is because I heard the 6870 was not near the performer as the 560.

    There are two cards you may be confusing. The Geforce GTX 560 is about the same speed as the 6870; the 560ti, another card, is more expensive, and roughly comparable to the 6950.

    The promo code is on the item page; you just enter it during checkout

  • Ok how about this combo?

    image

     

    It's got the 6870 with the i5 2500k. Though that's slower then the 560ti which someone said is comparable to the 6950, is the up in price really worth it?

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,375


    Originally posted by Nunez1212
    Ok how about this combo?

     
    It's got the 6870 with the i5 2500k. Though that's slower then the 560ti which someone said is comparable to the 6950, is the up in price really worth it?


    "Worth it" is totally subjective.

    If I were just comparing the 6950/560Ti to a 6870, I would say it's worth it - it's hard to beat the price vs performance plus PowerTune that the 6950 brings to the table (the 560Ti less so, as it doesn't have PowerTune or anything like it). But if your looking at a total package, and the difference is a Core i3 or AMD Phenom II with a 6950/560Ti versus a Core i5 with a 6870, I would say the Core i5 package is the better deal.

    The reason I would say it's a better deal, is that right now, both cards can give very good performance in all games, it's just a matter of what graphical options you juggle. Both will give you 1080p with Very High or Ultra settings, it's just a matter of adjusting the FSAA minorly, or turning off a couple of options here or there, to keep 60FPS.

    Right now, most games are dual-core optimized, but they are increasingly starting to recommend quad-cores, and that's a good thing.

    There is a bigger jump in available computing power going with the Core i5 over the other CPU's, than there is going from the 6870 to the 6950/560Ti. Right now, games don't really stress either the GPU or CPU at that level, but as games do start to stress it, you have more legs with the more powerful CPU.

    Video cards are not motherboard specific: you get a video card, you need a PCI slot (which most motherboards have). CPU's, however, are motherboard specific. So if you wanted to upgrade your CPU in 2-3 years, you'd have a hell of a time, whereas if you want to upgrade your Video card, it will be pretty easy. A Core i5 will give you a lot more longevity than a Core i3 or a Phenom II - they all will perform adequately now, but if you go to upgrade them in the future, your probably going to need a CPU + Motherboard. (Yes, there is supposed to be Socket 1155 backwards compatibility with Ivy Bridge, and yes there is supposed to be some AM3+ reusability, but that road map really only covers until next year, whereas video cards are going to be PCI 2.1 compatibile for the next several years (with 3.0 Backwards comptibility almost guaranteed)).

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