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Sgt.Jonny January 4, 2012 11:01 PM

Computer Build Questions
Hello everyone!

I've come to these fourms, A, because I love LinusTechTips and B, because I need help deciding on parts for my upcoming computer build. I'll cut to the chase.

My family already owns a Core i7 860 desktop that came with a dedicated 5570 that can run BF3 at medium-high at 720p at 30fps (BF3 is my game of choice). Dissatisfied, I recently purchased the 6870 from gigabyte for my upcoming build and I love it in the i7 machine, runs BF3 ultra 1080p no problem.

I'm really satisfied with the 500w corsair power supply I bought as well as the 6870, but with $400-$500 US dollars left to spend I'm wondering what to get and I came here to get the expertise of Linus and the rest of the hardware canucks.

Originally, when I first planned the build I was planning on a Phenom II X6 1035T which at the time was around 100 bucks but I'm not sure about performance vs something like the i7 860.

My next thought was an A6 APU to try and get more GPU performance but the benchmarks weren't conclusive.

Now I'm wondering if I should go sandy bridge, but price may not be right on a lot of them, and should I be worried about compatibility?

Basically all I'm looking for is the most badass motherboard, CPU, Case and possibly SSD for under $450 US.


Dragonstongue January 5, 2012 02:51 PM

Well there is no compatibility for first gen i7 with the newer ones.

If it is just for gaming, i7 2500 or 2500k seem to be the best in cost/performance
Motherboard there is alot of really good P67 and Z68 boards, I would go Sabertooth for P67 or Z68 V or V-Pro which all 3 are excellent boards
Case, well there just is a heck of alot of choices, and depends on the user, I have a Raven 3 case and love it, however, you do need longer then usualy sata cables, and need to spend a while wiring it to get the best of it. There is also HAF 922/932, Raidmax Viper are also very good choices, the Viper comes in a few color choices as well
SSD, well I am using an Agility 3 60gb, as long as you watch what you are putting on it 60GB is plenty of space, if you want to worry a bit less, go with a 120gb drive. Agility 3 or Vertex 3, Crucial M4, Cosair Force or Force GT are all good choices.

Cpu without a different cooler(Hyper 212+ with 2 of the stock blademaster fans is my choice for $50 and an excellent cooler with some very good headroom for overclocking) 2500K would be around $180-$220
Motherboard depending $135-$225
Case depending $45-$125
SSD depending on which model and capacity $65-$165 or so.
$425-$740 really just depends on variables, also, current i5/i7 like 2500k or the 860 you mentioned, you use DDR3 in them, you do not "need" a dual or triple channel kit, you can use odd sets as long as they are the same capacity, speed, timings, voltage and such. A good set of Gskill Ripjaw ddr3 1600 dual channel kit 8gb capacity will cost $60 or so, if you already have some ddr3 around, then you can just use that as well.

Now as far as 1035T that you mentioned, AMD does make good chips in my opinion, but Intel makes faster ones, the Intel ones "generally" cost more, but they usually offer more performance for that price as well.

Myself I am using a 955BE quad core, and love it, to me its very fast, and does what I need it to do, but, to get the most out of it, its better to overclock it and such.

For my setup, Radeon 6870, raven 3, cpu, cpu cooler, ssd, power supply, and all that stuff would cost around $1k top to bottom, if you trim it to motherboard, cpu, ram,cooler, SSD, it would cost around $450.

I think, for you to get a performance boost from the i7 860 desktop, you would not want to go with anything less then an i7 900 series setup(someone is selling a chip/motherboard in HWC for a very good price) or an i5 2500, to go with an AMD build, I honestly doubt you will find it any faster then what you are used to using, still will be fast, but it most certainly will not directly be an upgrade either.

The 1035t is a slow 6 core cpu, A6 is basically a Athlon II/Phenom II with a decent IGP which compares nothing close to your 6870, the i5 2500 however is very much faster then your current setup, but like I stated, the only thing you could use from current one is the ram, the cpu is not compatible, not is the socket on the motherboard.

Anyways, hope this helps, and just an FYI, although I am sure the 500w power supply you have works fine, I most honestly would not be overclocking to hard, not putting much larger then a 6870 on it, 500w is the bare minimum I would go for a "mid range" setup, dual cards, overclocking, or a more powerfull gpu I would be going for a more hefty power supply 650-750 watt at minimum just to play it safe.

bigFOIG January 5, 2012 03:35 PM

I'd say you should get an SSD to start off with. One of the biggest noticable upgrades you can do these days.

What kind of case are you using right now? Or was it a Pre-built?

bigFOIG January 5, 2012 03:57 PM

NCIX US - Buy BX80623I52500K - Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB - Intel - Great price and fast delivery
NCIX US - Buy GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard - Gigabyte - Great price and fast delivery
NCIX US - Buy RC-912-KKN1 - Coolermaster Haf 912 Black Mid Tower ATX Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB Sound - COOLERMASTER - Great price and fast delivery

2500k + Z68 board + HAF 912 = $400 USD before tax.

Squeeze out a bit more for a 60GB boot SSD. and you're all good for about 500.

Sgt.Jonny January 17, 2012 02:52 PM

No fan control
Thanks a lot! I'm just replying to say I built the computer with those parts and all went well!

Only problem is I installed a few cooler master fans in the HAF 912 (2 120mm in the front and 1 200mm on top). This thing now really looks like a monster but my only problem is that I can't seem to control any of the fan speeds. It's loud as hell with the 200mm going at max and speedfan won't do a thing. I really don't wanna spend the money on a fan controller right now...


PerryC January 17, 2012 04:21 PM

Are your fans connected to your motherboard, or directly to your power supply? If they are straight to the power supply there is no way to control them, they will run at 100% all the time.

You could try one of these:

Newegg.com - NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watts Channels

Fairly inexpensive, and will probably work well for you. I have one in my HAF 912 and they look really good together.

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