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Looking for some advice on a gaming rig.

MeatplowMeatplow Member Posts: 4

So after playing on prebuilt rigs my entire life I decided it's time to put on my big boy pants and build my own toy. The only problem is I know next to nothing about compatibility between parts. I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject of building, mostly on this hardware forum and over on Tom's Hardware but I still feel like I know jack when it comes to picking parts that are quality and will work together which brings me to this post.


I'm looking to spend about $2000, give or take a bit. I've complied a list of things I need, don't need, am not sure of and concerns but am at a loss when it comes to the specific parts to fill those categories with which is why I am here.



-NEEDED-

GPU-

CPU

Mother Board

Case

Power Supply

RAM

Hard Drive(s)

Sound Card

DVD/CD Drive

Ethernet Card?



-NOT NEEDED-

Mouse

Keyboard

Monitor

Operating System



-UNKNOWN-

Additional Fans, Cables, Wires, Heat Sinks, etc etc.

Anything else I don't know about.



-Purpose and Specifics-



Gaming. Net Use. Possibly some music recording.

Battlefield 3, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim are the targets. Would like to be able to run these on at least high settings. Yes I know there are not really system reqs out for these. Just kind of ballpark it based on current gen system reqs.


I don't want to skimp when it comes to the RAM, CPU and GPU. If I have to spend a bit more than 2k to make sure I have good quality in these areas so be it.



No over clocking. I'm not sure I want to step into this realm just yet since this is my first build.



Single GPU. Preferably Nvidia. I had initially thought of doing an SLI config but the heat 2 high end cards would put out coupled with the problems of case size and driver issues as well as cost vs reward have changed my mind on this.



Intel processor with compatible mother board. I've been looking at the i5 processors specifically. From what I've read they make for a better gaming processor than the i7 and are cheaper as well but I am open to any suggestions.


I know nothing about mobos other than the processor and board have to have compatible pin configs. Also on the topic of processors, I'm quite worried about putting this in correctly. The thought of messing up the thermal paste and ruining the processor/mobo if probably my biggest concern with attempting this. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated.



At least 8 gigs of ram. Maybe more if possible/necessary.



A 120g SSD for the OS and possibly whatever current game I cam playing.



At minimum a 500gig 7200 rpm HD for mass storage. I also have a 1.5tb external for additional storage.



A decent sound card. It doesn't have to be the most amazing thing ever but I'm not looking for bottom of the barrel either.


 


 


I think that about covers anything I can think of at this moment. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    You probably also need a surge protector and speakers.  If you already have ones that you're happy with, then you can keep what you have.

    All prices including shipping and before rebates:

    Motherboard:  $160

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131705

    Or if you'd like to try an open box model that someone else returned, in order to get a higher end motherboard for cheaper, there are some options:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128478R

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131704R

    The first one I linked has all the features that you'd be likely to make use of, though.  The main thing that higher end motherboards add is proper CrossFire/SLI support, which you said you won't use.

    Processor/heatsink combo deal:  $227

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.640921

    A Core i7 processor of a given architecture and TDP is invariably better than a Core i5 of the same architecture and TDP.  The Core i7 is basically a higher bin of the same chip.  The question is whether it's $100 worth of better, and sometimes the answer to that is "no".  For Sandy Bridge, the Core i7 gets you hyperthreading, which only matters in programs that scale well to more than four cores.  It also gets you an extra 100 MHz of clock speed, though if that mattered, you could just get the Core i5 2500K and overclock it by 100 MHz.

    I realize that you're not overclocking, but the heatsink that comes with Sandy Bridge processors is terrible.  So the combo deal gets you a much better heatsink for an extra $17, which should keep the processor much cooler, and likely be quieter, too.

    Video card:  $315, before a $15 rebate

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127552

    An extra $150 could get you a GeForce GTX 580, which is about 20% faster.  I don't think that's a good value for the money proposition, though.  Don't overclock a reference GTX 570, as while the power circuitry is good enough for stock speeds, it may fry if you overclock it.

    If you've been looking at Tom's Hardware, they basically say nearly everyone should go CrossFire or SLI.  That's simply nuts.  The reason they do that is that they ignore some of the drawbacks of CrossFire and SLI.  This includes having to pay an extra $100 or so to get a higher end motherboard, case, and power supply to support it properly, and ignoring that expense does tend to skew things in favor of multi-card setups.  It also ignores difficulties in getting both video cards to work together properly, as some games simply don't like CrossFire or SLI.  And then, due to latency, a given frame rate from an SLI setup isn't as good as exactly the same nominal frame rate from a single card.

    You say you prefer Nvidia, and that's fine if you do.  I might as well mention that AMD has a better feature set and better performance per watt right now, but both AMD and Nvidia support DirectX 11, which is probably the most important feature that you're looking for.  The GTX 570 is priced competitively as compared to AMD's high end cards, so you could go either way and get good value for the money in about the $150-$700 price range.

    Case:  $90, before a $10 rebate

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119196

    For a single video card setup that leaves things at stock speed, there's no need for an enormous full tower case.  But on a $2000 budget, there's no need to go with something tiny, either.  So how about a good price on a fairly nice case that could handle an SLI setup if you wanted to go that route?

    SSD:  $220, before a $25 rebate

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227729

    That uses the second generation SandForce controller, which is the best on the market.  And it saves money by going with cheaper, slower NAND flash, which will sometimes (but not always) cost you some performance, but it's still blazing fast.  The higher end Vertex 3 that uses the faster NAND flash costs over $300 for the same capacity.

    Hard drive:  $70

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136794

    You said you wanted "at least 500 GB", so this is 750 GB.  You could save $10 to get 500 GB if so inclined.  You could also get a cheaper, slower hard drive if so inclined, but on your budget, I don't see any real need to skimp there.

    Power supply:  $113 with promo code

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817322009

    That's Super Flower's gold platform, which is among the best on the market.  Energy efficiency, build quality, ripple suppression, and voltage regulation are all very good or great.

    Memory:  $80

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231460

    You wanted 8 GB, so there it is.  The memory is rated at 1866 MHz, but the Sandy Bridge memory controller only officially supports up to 1333 MHz.  Given that the older Lynnfield memory controller supported 1600 MHz, I think Intel is probably just being absurdly conservative here.  But you can clock it however you like, and being rated for 9-10-9-28 latency timings at 1866 MHz means it should be able to do something like 7-7-7-20 at 1333 MHz if you don't want to clock it higher.

    I don't think getting more than 8 GB of system memory makes sense right now.  You'll probably never need more than 8 GB in the useful life of the computer, and even if you someday do, you can buy more then.

    Optical drive:  $19

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136216

    They're a commodity, so get one that is cheap.

    Total:  $1294, before $50 in rebates

    You said you wanted a sound card, but I didn't pick one.  Unless you have some really fancy speaker setup, try using the onboard sound on the motherboard first.  That's plenty good enough for most people, and it only makes sense to get a discrete sound card if you try the onboard sound and decide it isn't good enough.

    The motherboard will come with built-in ethernet.  You could get a Bigfoot Killer 2100 discrete network card for $92, and it will take several ms off of your ping times.  But "several" means something like 3 or 5, and not something like 50.  Is that worth $92?  Most people would say "no", but it's up to you.

    I realize that doesn't come anywhere near using up your budget.  That leaves a question of, what else do you want for that money?  One option would be, you don't have to spend it all.  There aren't any cut corners in the above build.

    You said you don't need a new monitor, but if you only have one, you might want to consider picking up a second monitor.  It's convenient to have two different programs running on two different monitors.  You could have a game on one monitor, for example, and a web browser or spreadsheet or something else on a second monitor, to keep track of what you're doing in the game.

    Another option is going with three monitors, and spreading a game window across three monitors.  You'd have to go with an AMD video card to do this on a single card, though.  Nvidia can kind of do it, but it requires two cards in SLI, and is far more restrictive in what you can do, since Nvidia had to hack something together in drivers to compete with a feature that AMD's GPU chips have proper hardware support for.

    Another possibility that I'll bring up is an uninterruptible power supply, which is basically a battery backup for your computer.  For $150 or so, you can get a UPS that will ensure that if you lose power briefly, the computer keeps running as normal, rather than crashing for lack of power.  More importantly, power spikes and outages never make it to your computer, and therefore, can't damage your hardware.  Well, if your house gets struck by lightning directly, that can jump across even a connection that is physically broken and still fry things, but that's very unlikely.  If you get several brief power outages a year, then having a UPS can be really nice, but if you can't remember the last time you had power issues where you live, there's no real need for one.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    Sounds like you are on the right track. I won't go picking out parts for you, but give you some suggestions for looking on your own.

    Core i5 processors are only "better" gaming CPU's from the standpoint that you get near equal performance as a Core i7, but at a significantly lower price. There are a few titles which will see minor performance boosts from a Core i7, and many multicore-aware applications will perform significantly better on a Core i7. So, in terms of performance, the i7 is the better CPU, but in terms of "Bang for the Buck" it's more debatable. If you pay an extra $20 or so, you can get the K-series CPU, which is overclock enabled. Overclocking is certainly optional though.

    The only real hard part is going to be picking out a motherboard, because there are a lot of options there. Motherboards are based on their Chipset (the chip that glues the CPU to the PCI bus, and often provides other features such as ethernet, usb, SATA, etc). With an Intel setup, you want to look for a motherboard based on the P67 chipset (this is the overclock-compatible, high Turbo-Boost, performance-oriented chipset). Some Z68 chipsets may also fit the bill, but they are less consistent about their features than the P67 is.

    Most all motherboards come with built-in ethernet and sound that is decent enough that you don't usually need separate devices for these. Some come with built-in WiFi (although it's usually kinda junky).

    Video cards tend to come in price/performance tiers. I usually pick this out first, and work my entire budget around getting the best video card I can while keeping all the rest of the bits within my budget. At $2000, you can look at the upper tiers of video cards: nVidia 580 is the fastest single-GPU card there is, but it is hardly a good deal for the performance you get out of it. The next tier down are the ATI 6970 and nVidia 570's. These are a pretty good deal for the performance you get. On your budget, there isn't much reason to look much lower than that. I do not recommend the multi-GPU video cards (the nVidia 590/ATI 6990) - they are not very good cards.

    Inside of the same tiers, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the performance of nVidia and ATI. One may be a bit faster in one game, and then the next title that can easily flip, but they usually match each other pretty closely. ATI still has a big advantage on power use and vastly better power management, but nVidia has better stock fans (aftermarket fans level this advantage out though).

    RAM is pretty easy. 4G is enough, but there are no drawbacks going to 8G: you'll probably never run out with 4G, but you almost certainly won't with 8G. There are a lot of companies that sell RAM, but the only difference between them is the warranty/return policy. You want to pay a bit extra for a decent warranty/return policy. RAM is the single most likely part to be DOA when you order it. I have good luck with Kingston, others like G.Skill, there are a few other decent brands as well. As far as compatibility goes: DDR3 pretty much means it will work; past that, PC-1333 is good enough, PC-1600 isn't bad if you don't pay much extra for it. Lower latency numbers are better (9 is average, 7 is good), and lower voltages are better (1.55 is about average). Faster RAM doesn't really mean much better performance though, so don't get suckered into paying a lot of money for 1 or 2 better latency or speed; it won't make your computer that much faster unfortunately.

    Hard Drives - there are two ways to go with this. The easiest and cheapest is to just get your normal hard drive and be done with it. Western Digital Caviar Black is pretty well the standard gaming hard drive these days. The faster alternative (which should fit on your budget), is to get an SSD drive for your boot volume and most frequently used programs, then get a large bulk data drive for just storing everything else. SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives, but they are not very big: 256G are extremely expensive and about as large as they come. Most people going this route get 60-120G. It does take a little bit of management to get your programs installed on the right drive, but the performance gains are huge.

    DVD/CD - pick any SATA DVD-RW drive you want, these are cheap ($25) and there really isn't any big difference in them.

    Power Supply is a big deal: there are lots and lots of really crappy ones, and only a few good ones. This can easily make the difference between a rock solid and reliable build for years, or an utter piece of crap that blows up parts left and right and crashes every 15 minutes in a game. There are a few brands that tend to be better overall (Corsair, Seasonic, Antec), but even within those brands the quality can vary some. Once you pick out your video card, you'll know about what size to be looking for, and then you can start picking out specific power supply models.

    Cases: if your using a single video card, a mid-tower case is probably enough. If you think you ever want to SLI/Crossfire, or just want for something easy to work with, a fullsized tower is nice, but takes up a lot of space. Basically just look for something that looks good to you, and has plenty of built-in ventilation options. If you get something cheap here, it will make your installation harder. A good case can last through 2-3 computer rebuilds.

    As far as additional fans/etc. You will want an aftermarket heatsink for the Core i5/i7. The standard Intel heatsink is a bit crappy - it runs ok at stock clock speeds, but it runs hot. There are a lot of options for this, and the biggest factor is usually your case, as some of them are big - really big.

    Other fans/etc, depends on your case. Often times a case will come with a few fans built in, and in a good case, they will be enough. In a bad case, you may end up needing to cut new holes to mount fans to get it to run acceptably.

  • KalferKalfer Member Posts: 779

    When was the last time you went SLI/Crossfire?

    I think SLI is good!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    SLI/Crossfire has it's place, but it's definitely a niche market. It really only makes sense if you are trying to get more performance from the top tier cards where no faster single-GPU card exists. Most everyone considering SLI would find equivalent performance and less hassle from a single faster video card in the first place.

    Even in the case of the 580 vs the 560, or the 480 vs the 460, where the price of two lower video cards is less than the price of the single higher video card: by the time you get the bigger power supply, the motherboard that supports SLI, give up the space and slot inside your case, and pay for the extra electricity it takes to run them, you still come out overall cheaper with a single faster video card.

    Not to mention that SLI/Crossfire performance is extremely dependent on driver profiles. The benefit of SLI/CF varies widely, and it's not unusual for decent profiles to take weeks or months after the game is released. You don't have nearly as many issues with a single GPU, the performance is much more consistent.

    And there is the point to consider that for the last 2-3 video card generations, single-GPU video cards have had enough horsepower to drive most every game at high or highest options on a single display. Monitor displays have soft-capped themselves at 1080p (for whatever reason), and software has more or less hitched their wagon to the console train so it's been limited in scope as well. To drive most modern games on a modern 1080p display with high or highest options, you typically just don't need SLI/CF to do that. GPU hardware has been out-advancing software and monitors; you really need a multi-monitor setup to really take advantage of the extra performance that SLI/CF can give you.

    I had SLI just 6 months ago. So I'm not that far removed from it. It's not that SLI/CF is bad, it's just that you have to go into it from the beginning with your build and design the entire system around it: power supply, case with ventilation, motherboard with x16/x16 (or at least x8/x8) lanes, 1x3 or 2x3 monitor arrangement, and even then realize it's going to be limited by the need for application profiles. For the hassle and expense involved, it really only makes sense for someone trying to get to a performance level that just isn't otherwise possible with a single video card, and that means SLI/CF on top-tier cards to get the added performance, with multiple-monitor resolutions that need that extra performance.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    When was the last time you went SLI/Crossfire?

    I think SLI is good!

    what most people dont realize with xfire/SLi is how loud and hot your room gets when the machine is on:D   unless you are playing a game a higher resolution then 1080P there isnt any need for SLi/xfire.  

    in fact, most people dont really even know what all the video effects they are turning on when they go with max setting...  personally, I HATE bloom effect, but it takes more horsepower to drive that effect....   if you REALLY think about it, do you ACTUALLY need AA when you are at 1080P resolution or higher?  i really cant see the pixelation at that resolution unless i'm purposly looking for it....  especially when you are playing a 1st person shooter where you are always moving around from spot to spot.  human brain cant register the pixelation when you are moving that fast.  your mind blurs it out anyway. 

    there are alot of "silly" effects that dev's program into the game just to say they have it...  taking effects that photographers try to REMOVE from their pictures (many lensing effect) and putting it into the game is pretty much "silly" IMO....    kinda like how some games have "dirty" scopes on their sniper rifles...   eventually they'll be programming cracked and scratched lense into their sniper scopes that makes it pretty damn useless:D

    anyway. if you really want to go xfire/SLi, make sure you are using headphones or very loud sound system to drown out the noise your machine is putting out, AND make sure you put the machine in a room with adequate cooling or your will be sweating through your gaming sessions cuz your room is going to be about 90 degrees from the heat your machine is pumping out:D

  • zereelistzereelist Member Posts: 373

    Honestly you really should consider overclocking the i5 2500k CPU.  They made it so ridiculously easy now, it would be a shame not to.  You can get an extra 1ghz on a 2500k by simply changing the multiplier from 33 to 43 and it will run rock solid and cool without even testing it.  It would take literally 25 seconds to drastically improve your CPU performance. 

    Either way you should still just pay the extra $15 for a K version of the 2500, just in case you change your mind.  It's a very small amount of money for a huge amount of performance.

    This short guide will make you feel pretty comfortable overclocking a 2500k.  Just read step 1, the rest of the steps are for people that want to get the absolute maximum OC on their chip.

  • MeatplowMeatplow Member Posts: 4

    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions to those of you that posted.

    After reading over the replies here and doing some research I have a few more questions.

    For the sake of having more time before upgrading again, If I did want to move up to an i7 would the motherboard linked in the post by Quizzical function for this as well? I want to be sure I'm reading the specs correctly.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115070

    Since that is a Sand Bridge CPU i'm assuming what was said about the stock fan on the i5 holds true for that i7 as well which means an after market fan. The combo deal is no longer available and this is fan I'm looking at  but I'm not sure if it is to much, not enough or even the correct choice. The reviews were generally positive and  I'm pretty sure it will fit into the case without a problem.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by psyclum

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    When was the last time you went SLI/Crossfire?

    I think SLI is good!

    what most people dont realize with xfire/SLi is how loud and hot your room gets when the machine is on:D   unless you are playing a game a higher resolution then 1080P there isnt any need for SLi/xfire.  

    in fact, most people dont really even know what all the video effects they are turning on when they go with max setting...  personally, I HATE bloom effect, but it takes more horsepower to drive that effect....   if you REALLY think about it, do you ACTUALLY need AA when you are at 1080P resolution or higher?  i really cant see the pixelation at that resolution unless i'm purposly looking for it....  especially when you are playing a 1st person shooter where you are always moving around from spot to spot.  human brain cant register the pixelation when you are moving that fast.  your mind blurs it out anyway. 

    there are alot of "silly" effects that dev's program into the game just to say they have it...  taking effects that photographers try to REMOVE from their pictures (many lensing effect) and putting it into the game is pretty much "silly" IMO....    kinda like how some games have "dirty" scopes on their sniper rifles...   eventually they'll be programming cracked and scratched lense into their sniper scopes that makes it pretty damn useless:D

    anyway. if you really want to go xfire/SLi, make sure you are using headphones or very loud sound system to drown out the noise your machine is putting out, AND make sure you put the machine in a room with adequate cooling or your will be sweating through your gaming sessions cuz your room is going to be about 90 degrees from the heat your machine is pumping out:D

    Certain effects, like DOF, make sense, because that's really how we see the world (and because it can obscure things like lack of detail further out, making a more pleasing game).

    Still, it is pretty hillarious when you see massive lens flares in games, because people simply don't see that when they walk outside into the sun.

  • MeltdownMeltdown Member UncommonPosts: 1,183

    After going SLI for my last build I will probably never do it again. Real estate in cases is disappearing, only certain games are optimized for SLI, and I would much rather have 1 beastly card that costs the same as the two no-name brand cards that I have. I still will be buying Nvidia for all my gaming rigs, but SLI was meh for me. 

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Yeah, that fan will work properly with the processor.  If you're not overclocking, you could get something nearly as good for quite a bit cheaper:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.659361

    There are three differences between a Core i7 2600 and a Core i7 2600K.  First, the 2600K has better (or perhaps rather, less bad) integrated graphics built into the die.  You're not using the graphics anyway, so that's irrelevant to you.  Second, the 2600K allows for higher overclocking, rather than artifically capping it at 3.8 GHz.  But that doesn't matter if you're not going to overclock it.  Third, the 2600K costs $15 more.  And that does matter.

    If you want to overclock the processor, or think there's a substantial chance that will will in the future, then get the 2600K.  Otherwise, save the $15 and get the Core i7 2600 instead.  It also comes in a combo deal with the same heatsink that I linked above.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.659362

    For a processor at stock speeds, the difference between an aftermarket heatsink that is kind of all right and one that is really great doesn't matter much.  But a cheap aftermarket heatsink is still vastly better than the stock cooler.  See here, for example:

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Frio-OCK-CPU-Cooler-Review/1278/6

    Technically they tested with a different processor, but it's the same TDP and the same stock heatsink, so using Sandy Bridge rather than Lynnfield should give similar results.  That shows the stock heatsink and 36 aftermarket heatsinks.  All but two of the aftermarket heatsinks beat the stock heatsink by at least 21 C, and many of them are quieter, too.  There are trade-offs between cooling performance and noise (a given heatsink will keep a processor cooler if you run the fan faster, but this creates more noise), so for the stock heatsink to also be noisier in addition to cooling much worse is really pathetic.

    The only two aftermarket heatsinks on that page that don't perform well are tiny things that don't use the usual setup of heatpipes with an upright heatsink and a fan blowing parallel to the motherboard.

    For what it's worth, even if you think you might want to overclock eventually, I wouldn't recommend doing so as soon as you get the computer, unless it's just to test it and then revert to stock speeds.  Rather, wait until you pick up a program where you could make use of more processor performance, and then overclock the processor.  Overclocking a processor means more power consumption, more heat, and more strain on the processor, motherboard, and power supply.  That can be worth it sometimes for the sake of more performance.  But only if performance matters, and overclocking your processor will only help in programs that are meaningfully limited by processor speed.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    OP, for the most part, it's true that a practical gaming machine doesn't need a high end Crossfire/SLI setup. Sometimes you can get better bang for your buck putting two mid-range cards into such a setup over one high-end card, but it's almost never worth the drawbacks. When I built my system at the beginning of 2010, Radeon HD 5870s were still $400, while a pair of Radeon HD 5770s matched or beat one in perofrmance for about $300. Shaving 25% off my GPU budget seemed like a good idea at the time, and I still dont' regret it, but most of the time, it probably won't work out that well (and it has made for a noisier machine).

     

    All that said, you also have a ~$2000 budget, which means that if you really wanted to, you could probably pair up 6970s and get a triple monitor setup. it would be a squeeze (probably just buy two more monitors like what you have), and frankly, that's just getting to silly levels of spending there, but if you really had no problem spending that sort of cash, as opposed to say, building yourself a ~$1200 machine for gaming on a single monitor, then that's certainly an option for you.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by Catamount

    Certain effects, like DOF, make sense, because that's really how we see the world (and because it can obscure things like lack of detail further out, making a more pleasing game).

    Let's not go around taking artifacts that don't make things look better in real life, and then implement them into games, too.  That makes games look worse, not better, even apart from the performance hit.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Originally posted by Catamount

    Certain effects, like DOF, make sense, because that's really how we see the world (and because it can obscure things like lack of detail further out, making a more pleasing game).

    Let's not go around taking artifacts that don't make things look better in real life, and then implement them into games, too.  That makes games look worse, not better, even apart from the performance hit.

    It's funny how you're talking about one of the most common intentionally implemented features in photography.

    If you personally don't like it, don't enable it. I personally have found that in many games with far view distances, draw-distance limitations already make things look bad, so if having a bit of DOF covers that up, then why not? It's not going to look pretty one way or the other. I mean, I know I do so much else with all that graphical horsepower when playing a game besides rendering the game, but you know...

     

    Edit: I'd also note that I've seen it implemented for purely artistic purposes to a limited extent in some games (exactly the reason photographers do it). If the effect is getting in the way of anything, then certainly it hasn't been implemented well, but it's hardly a case of it never being desireable.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    When was the last time you went SLI/Crossfire?

    I think SLI is good!

    Yes it is, but only with 2 state of the art cards.

    With anything under that you get a lot more performance out of a single better card instead.

    2 cards does not double the performance, it increases it about 20% in games supporting several cards (give or take 10% depending on the game)

    With a huge budget you can buy 2 of the best cards out there and SLI them and getting the best possible performance. 2 mid range cards is just a wast e of money, I have used it mydelf more than once but just because I had 1 card and got a great deal on the second.

    I reccomend a check on the benchtests from Toms hardware, they talk for themselves.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    When was the last time you went SLI/Crossfire?

    I think SLI is good!

    Yes it is, but only with 2 state of the art cards.

    With anything under that you get a lot more performance out of a single better card instead.

    2 cards does not double the performance, it increases it about 20% in games supporting several cards (give or take 10% depending on the game)

    With a huge budget you can buy 2 of the best cards out there and SLI them and getting the best possible performance. 2 mid range cards is just a wast e of money, I have used it mydelf more than once but just because I had 1 card and got a great deal on the second.

    I reccomend a check on the benchtests from Toms hardware, they talk for themselves.

    Crossfire/SLI scaling is definitely NOT 20%. I'm not sure it was that bad even in the first generation of implementation.

    These days, it's usually pretty close to 100% going from one card to two, so two cards are about twice as fast, and it's very seldom ever worse than 70-80%

     

    Now, dual-card configurations have their own problems. They're usually loud, often power-hungry, can create latency issues, do not always work right away in new games. SLI and Crossfire are hardly one-size-fits-all solutions (I probably won't ever do it again), but they also do what they advertise (until you hit 3/4 cards, at which point scaling often DOES tank).

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Member RarePosts: 3,476

    Cooler Master large tower, take a look ease of installing componets and the best air flow there is. After that its a matter of what you want to install in it. Large tower is the key.

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  • MeatplowMeatplow Member Posts: 4

    I've ordered the parts, going with the i7 2600k CPU, minus the video card and SSD for now to get me going.


     


    I decided to wait on the video card since I have a decent one as it is (about a year and a half old GTX 260) and figured I'd wait till it's closer to the release date of the previously mentioned software since by then I'll be able to get something even better coupled with a better knowledge of exact hardware demands.


     


    After all the reading I've done specifically related to the SSD I feel like I know enough to know I don't know enough.


    Some things involving editing registry entries to move certain parts of windows off the SSD over to the mass storage HD to alleviate excessive read/write issues on the disk. ( I think this involved the user folder but I can't seem to find the article at the moment to link). There also seems to be some issues with Steam not liking it when you move some games to a separate (in this case off of the mass storage and onto the SSD) which leads to having to create some kind of hard link or something like that to get things to function properly.


    While all of that may even be wrong it's enough to make me not want to dick around with an expensive piece of hardware on my 1st build until I know a bit better.


    I'm not even certain if the above info is completely correct which is why, while I  want to get the OS onto an SSD for the speed benefit I definitely need to learn more so that I can fully utilize the hardware and feel comfortable while doing it correctly.


     


    Thanks again to all of you for the information. It has been immensely helpful and greatly appreciated.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Prices change, and the OCZ Solid 3 that I linked before is now rather overpriced.  If you want an SSD today, then try this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

    It sounds like you've read some stuff that makes it sound like using an SSD is enormously complicated, which is incorrect.  There are several reasons why it could be complicated, none of which apply to you:

    1)  Using an older operating system such as Vista or XP that doesn't know what to do with an SSD.  Windows 7 does, so that won't be a problem.

    2)  Getting too small of an SSD so that you're constantly running out of room.  The one I linked above is 119 GB of usable capacity.  You can install the OS on that and let it put the swap file, recycle bin, my documents, and everything else that Windows wants to do automatically on the SSD, and still have about 90 GB of capacity left over.  There's no real need to make it complicated.

    3)  People using older SSDs, before the technology had matured.  There are a variety of reasons why this was a problem two or three years ago, but the SSD market is pretty mature now.

    4)  Enthusiasts who like tinkering with hardware to squeeze out every last drop of performance.  You can make installing a lot of particular parts into quite an ordeal if you want to tweak every little thing.  Such tweaks may offer slight performance increases, but they're usually negligible--or may actually make performance worse, when people try to get too clever.

    5)  Paranoia from people who know that SSDs can only handle so many writes before they wear out, and don't realize that capping lifetime writes at something on the order of a petabyte just isn't a meaningful restriction for home users.  It's really only a problem for servers that will aggressively write to the drive all day every day--and most servers don't do that, even.

    There are really only three things that you may need to do differently with an SSD rather than a hard drive.

    1)  Turn off defragmentation for the SSD.  This is a one time fix after you install Windows.  Windows 7 is supposed to recognize an SSD and refrain from defragmenting it on its own, but sometimes it doesn't work.  If you don't do this, it may shorten the drive's lifetime.  Of course, that might be the difference between 100 years of use before you use up all of the write cycles, versus 80 years of use, so it's not completely critical.

    2)  Plug the SSD into a SATA 3 port rather than a SATA 2 port.  They're right next to each other on the motherboard.  For some SSDs, this doesn't matter, and even for the ones where it does matter, if you plug it into the wrong port, it will only make the SSD somewhat slower.  It will still be very fast, but just not as fast as it could have been.

    3)  Put the SSD in a 2.5" drive bay rather than a 3.5" drive bay, or else use a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter.  This will be pretty self-explanatory when you assemble the computer.  SSDs are nearly indestructible, so even if you're completely reckless and "mount" an SSD by duct-taping it to the side of the case, it won't matter.  (I don't recommend actually doing that; I'm just trying to make a point.)

    Beyond that, for maintenance purposes, having both an SSD and a hard drive is kind of like having two hard drives.  Whenever you install something or save it, the computer will ask where you want to put it.  And you can put it on either the SSD or the hard drive.  It will be something like, everything in the C: drive is on the SSD, and everything in the D: drive is on the hard drive.

    In particular, there's no need to edit the registry to make use of an SSD.

  • DeathofsageDeathofsage Member UncommonPosts: 1,102

    Originally posted by Elsabolts

    Cooler Master large tower, take a look ease of installing componets and the best air flow there is. After that its a matter of what you want to install in it. Large tower is the key.

    +!. I have the HAF 932 and there's so much room for everything, not to mention the system never heats up. Even playing AION or RIFT on full, my card almost never cracks 55c. The case also has so much room for expansion. I got a a 560 Ti and should it ever not be performing like I like, I'll drop another one in there. The case offers me plenty of room and adequate ventilation for that.

    And that's with no additional fans yet, just the case's, the stock cpu fan and the gpu's onboard fans

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261099&cm_re=palit_560_ti-_-14-261-099-_-Product

    * * *

    Also, thanks as always for the great insight into SSDs Quiz, that's the major upgrade I want to make.

    Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
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