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-   -   Affordable Gaming rig, need opinions (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/new-builds/45641-affordable-gaming-rig-need-opinions.html)

Valamyr August 14, 2011 01:26 PM

Affordable Gaming rig, need opinions
 
A few days ago I was thinking about upgrading my video card and getting more RAM for my current box, but after all the good advice I got here, I realized it might be a much better idea to upgrade all the core components of the system. I couldn't get more of my old memory, and any decent video card upgrade would be partly wasted on my aging system. Money's finite, but good hardware seems cheaper than it used to be and I threw together this system which I'd like your feedback on!

The only thing I do with it that's somewhat demanding is playing games (sometimes modded games) in 1920*1200. Occasionally I re-encode videos for use on my phone. Other uses like surfing and watching videos and listening to music aren't worth mentioning I guess.

ASUS P8P67 Pro REV3.0 ATX P67 LGA1155 DDR3 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard

Just checking, this board is rated well, but how future-proof is it? The 22nm Ivy Bridges CPUs will require new motherboards, right? (Newbie question, I know!)

Intel Core i7 2600K Quad Core Unlocked Hyperthreading Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Sandy Bridge 8MB
or Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB
I hesitated between the CPU above and the non-hyperthreading 3.3GHZ one thats almost 100$ cheaper. Advice welcome on whether its worth it. My understanding is that having more cores diminish the value of hyper-threading quite a bit for most applications (especially games) and that 2600K might not be worth it for gamers who don't do alot of encoding, etc.

Coolermaster Hyper TX Series Aluminum 3-HEATPIPE CPU Cooler S1155/1156/775/AM3/AM2/939/940

Cheap cooling I know but I've read a review saying it allowed amazing OCs on Sandybridge CPUs. I assume much better than stock cooling.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

I dont like the timings much but it's rated well, cheap, and it appears the timings I'm used to on DDR2 aren't possible at 1600mhz anyway. Is this brand OK?

Kingston SSDNow V100 Series 64GB 2.5IN SSD SATA Solid State Disk Flash Drive

My first SSD! :thumb: For the OS and core programs. Maybe I can put a couple of my most-played games on it too.

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI DisplayPort Video Card

This card seems fairly kickass. It trashes the 560Ti I think, and I'm not overly impressed by the GTX570 (closest competitor in the price range I think?) and also, it can be flashed to a full-fleged 6970 (!) Havent had a ATI card in a long time, but I'm told drivers have improved. Do they work as well on Intel systems than AMD systems?

Total price $892 or $797 (free shipping, +5% tax). It seems a fairly reasonable price for all that hardware.

As for stuff I already own:

This is my PSU, which I got not long ago and plan to use for this... PSU calculators tells me there's enough juice. I never SLI or anything like that anyhow. Twas my first modular PSU and I'm never looking back.
Review - Cooler Master Silent Pro 700W | bit-tech.net

I also already have a nice Antec full tower, 3 HDDs which would be relegated to storage (2 are Green drives for storage), a DVDrom, DVD writer, Logitech G15 keyboard and a G500 mouse which will go with this setup. Also, two 24-inch monitors, native resolutions 1920*1200 and 1920*1080.

I'd like your thoughts on this upgrade. Anything I should be wary of or wait for? I haven't brought hardware in years though I spent the day researching this a bit, so I really appreciate any input. :)

Edit: I should say I plan to try and flash that GPU to 6970, and also OC the Sandybridge, in case I'm shorter on power than I think.

_dangtx_ August 14, 2011 02:14 PM

because of 'Occasionally I re-encode videos for use on my phone' i say get the 2500k.

212+ or macho for cooler.

6950 for the win!!!

at stock that psu should be ok. for single card.

Valamyr August 14, 2011 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by _dangtx_ (Post 540981)
because of 'Occasionally I re-encode videos for use on my phone' i say get the 2500k.

212+ or macho for cooler.

6950 for the win!!!

at stock that psu should be ok. for single card.

Thanks a ton. I'll go for the 2500K!

I'm okay with switching to the 212+, but I'm a bit afraid of its size haha. I guess it should fit, my tower is pretty big; http://ncix.com/products/?sku=14122

Oh, and another question: would it be better to grab a Z68 Motherboard over P67 for SSD caching?

_dangtx_ August 14, 2011 04:15 PM

yup. go for it

or use a 120+ ssd for the os and such

Valamyr August 14, 2011 04:27 PM

Yes after reading some stuff I think Z68 has definitely more potential... and also fully compatible with Ivy bridge for future proofing. :clap:

Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard

Looking into this one now.

Cant afford a 120+gb SSD for now, it's going to be my first SSD and I'm not too sure what I can expect from it, so my budget is just around 100$ for that part. I have several terrabytes of conventional disks after all. I think I can totally put my OS on a 64gb disk tho, with some space leftover for caching.

_dangtx_ August 14, 2011 04:39 PM

also some mobos come with a 20 gig ssd, like some dude pointed out ..wait,that may be it

Valamyr August 14, 2011 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by _dangtx_ (Post 541010)
also some mobos come with a 20 gig ssd, like some dude pointed out ..wait,that may be it

Hm, the Gigabyte board boasts "smart response" but doesn't state plainly it comes with built-in SSD and then goes on to list "Intel Smart Response SSD Available Vender List" ... kinda makes it sound like its sold separately. This board would be my choice if I could be proven wrong on that point.

Otherwise I might have to go with the pricier ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Z68 LGA1155 ATX 3PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2 PCI B3 Motherboard which at least has the decency to explain the feature in english; "It uses an installed fast SSD (min 18.6GB available) as a cache for frequently accessed operations"

Gotta love the hardware market. You need a degree to sort through some of this stuff.

Edit: after researching more lengthily, I'm fairly convinced these two sub-200$ motherboards dont actually come with any SSD. Asus' wording is merely confusing by suggesting so. I've read comparative reviews of both and none suggest the SSD comes for free. Not to mention, with these kinds of basic 20Go SSDs easily worth 40-60$, it would have been surprising to find one "in the box" with either a 165$ or 190$ board.

Valamyr August 14, 2011 05:28 PM

Updated choices. Will buy on the morrow if no objections are raised in the meantime ;)

Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 Z68 DDR3 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard

Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM

G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory

Crucial M4 SSD Micron C400 64GB 2.5IN Solid State Disk Flash Drive SATA3 6Gbps

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI DisplayPort Video Card

New price: 814$ before 5% tax, free shipping.

_dangtx_ August 14, 2011 05:35 PM

core i5 2500k + radeon hd6950 + cm 912 in a system build = win :)

Bond007 August 14, 2011 05:58 PM

Updated build looks solid.


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