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 Post subject: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Im putting together a new PC for my brother as a wedding gift and this is what he came up with for a cart. Its main use will be general gaming ("should be able to run most games" as he puts it) and do CS6 well.
Its been about 4 years since ive built a rig, so i wanted to run it past you all and see if there are any major misses.
He doesnt care about silence but I plan on making it a little more quiet than stock.


the fans will be swaped to nexus' or similar. not sure what the good tower coolers are these days, but keep in mind it has to ship across country assembled. there will be no overclocking.


-ASUS P8Z77-V LK ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $149.99 (overkill?)
-Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor $229.99 (seems like a good cost to performance ratio...)
-SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 100355L Video Card $209.99 (Looks loud! anyone heard one?)
-G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory $56.99 (is it worth it to get such fast ram?)
-Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming Computer Case $49.99 (meh)
-SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $118.99 (nice!)
-Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AZRX 500GB $79.99 (yes he only wants 500GB, dont ask me why, I might just stick a red 1TB in and not tell him.)
-Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7,i5"
Power Supply $59.99. the PSU im not sure about (other than i probably being overpowered and most likely loud...) think a seasonic g-360 would work?
LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 $17.99 ( for under $20 and for how often they dont get used anymore, who cares right?)


Thanks everyone for your valuable input!

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:43 pm 
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xan_user wrote:
not sure what the good tower coolers are these days, but keep in mind it has to ship across country assembled. there will be no overclocking.

No matter the cooler choice, you'll need to secure it from moving while being manhandled across the country :D


xan_user wrote:
-ASUS P8Z77-V LK ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $149.99 (overkill?)
Nice feature set, has Fan Xpert+ so you can preset the profile for him.
xan_user wrote:
-Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core Desktop Processor $229.99 (seems like a good cost to performance ratio...)
If no OC, then don't need the K.
xan_user wrote:
-SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 100355L Video Card $209.99 (Looks loud! anyone heard one?)
You haven't said his monitor resolution and whether you want the bling on maximum while gaming...Assuming 1920x1080: I've been tracking HD 7850 reviews here...and GTX 660 Ti reviews here. I'll let you look at the benchmarks to see which GPU is a better fit...it's a ~$200 or $300 choice. I'm enamored with the MSI Twin Frozr IV solutions for both GPUs. Awesome cooling, decent noise levels.
xan_user wrote:
-G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory $56.99 (is it worth it to get such fast ram?)
Not unless you OC. Otherwise, 1600 1T is fine. The low profile is a good choice.
xan_user wrote:
-Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming Computer Case $49.99 (meh)
My eyes! My eyes! Don't make me drive north and take a sledge to that.
xan_user wrote:
-SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128B/WW 2.5" MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $118.99 (nice!)
yep
xan_user wrote:
-Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AZRX 500GB $79.99 (yes he only wants 500GB, dont ask me why, I might just stick a red 1TB in and not tell him.)
If you don't have a digital movie collection, then 500GB is fine.
xan_user wrote:
-Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7,i5"
Power Supply $59.99. the PSU im not sure about (other than i probably being overpowered and most likely loud...) think a seasonic g-360 would work?

Your stressed load is in the 250W range with the 7850..add another 20W for the GTX 660 Ti. Hardware Secrets thought the Rosewill PSU passed muster for meeting specs, but don't know how loud it is. No reviews out yet on the Seasonic G series. The 360W model would be fine, load power-wise...but don't know what the fan profile is like - or if that matters to your bro.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:03 am 
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If you're only going to install a single GPU, then why not go for a mATX main board? They cost a bit less, have all the necessary features and it's easier to install a small mATX board in an ATX case, simply because it's smaller.

Fast RAM usually don't have any noticeable impact on performance. Have a look at this link:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sand ... est-ddr3/8

You may also have a look at the NZXT Elite 210 which has a cleaner look and costs 50 USD. It has front USB 3.0 and roughly the same fan options.

About the Seasonic G-360. I think it depends on how much you will overclock. If you're not overclocking then the wattage should definitely be fine. Quality above quantity when it comes to PSU's and here, Seasonic shine.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:25 am 
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Good selection for a new rig.
Xigmatek Gaia cooler, updated version (=mounting) of the one reviewed here.
You could swap the fan for a Scythe Slipstream PWM 1200 to improve noise.
xan_user wrote:
-Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming Computer Case $49.99 (meh)

Do you want that case and swap the fans for Nexus'. Why don't you buy a Fractal Design R4. It comes with two good 140mm fans (front and back) and with an improved fan controller compared to R3.
CA_Steve wrote:
xan_user wrote:
-SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 100355L Video Card $209.99 (Looks loud! anyone heard one?)

You haven't said his monitor resolution and whether you want the bling on maximum while gaming...Assuming 1920x1080: I've been tracking HD 7850 reviews here...and GTX 660 Ti reviews here. I'll let you look at the benchmarks to see which GPU is a better fit...it's a ~$200 or $300 choice. I'm enamored with the MSI Twin Frozr IV solutions for both GPUs. Awesome cooling, decent noise levels.

+1
Asus Direct CUII cards produce the least noise. But Asus uses the best cooler only on higher end cards $250 and up. For mid-range cards Sapphire is a good choice. The Sapphire would still be the loudest component under load (Given a fan swap on the Gaia).
Will the 7850 be fast enough?
On stock clocks they are slow for some of the top titles (future titles?). They overclock like crazy, though. They are artificially limited to 1050 MHz, but with some tricks and a good cooler you might get it up to 1200 MHz. Then it's definetly fast enough, but you should swap the cooler for an Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II.
The 660TI is faster and the Asus Direct CUII is very quiet but about $300.
Solutions in between aren't great, the 7850 can be oc'ed almost as good as the 7870 and the 7950 is more expensive than the 660TI.

Don't you want to max out the RAM for CS6, or get at least 16GB (it's really cheap)? 1600MHz RAM is fine, BTW.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:45 am 
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I knew you guys would have some great input! thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:16 am 
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You would be better of going with a cheaper CPU and spending what you save on a faster GPU. When it comes to gaming performance the CPU is not that important unless you have a top of the range graphics card running super high resolutions. Any i3 with an overclocked HD7870 will outperform the setup that you have specced and will likely be cheaper, meaning you can buy a card that has decent cooling and wont be mega-loud.

And yes, the motherboard is serious overkill. What benefits do you get from having the latest and most expensive chipset.?

Just checked the prices, that CPU over the pond is £175, you can get an i3 2120 for £95, that frees up £80 to spend on a faster GPU - that's the difference between the cheapest HD7850 and an overclocked HD7870, or add £20 more and you can get a HD7950 or 660Ti - for gaming there would be no comparison. the i3 with a faster GPU would win hands down.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:07 pm 
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I wouldn't go dual core for a gaming PC anymore for a couple of reasons.

- Horsepower. Many games are CPU intensive rather than GPU intensive. They either utilize more than 2 cores, or they just are balanced toward more CPU crunching for a given GPU load.

- Flexibility. Many users have more than just the gaming app active. There's also some VOIP (Skype, Teamspeak, Ventrilo) and maybe iTunes running as well as whatever else is happening. I know people that run Handbrake as a background task :)

In fact, the only reason I'd suggest a dual core is if the user is really strapped for cash. In any case, if money is tight, you need to drill down to the specific games running at what specific resolutions and what quality level and then figure out what's best.

Mobo: +1 sticking with a current gen board. You can save $'s by going with an H77 chipset as you aren't going to OC.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Quote:
I wouldn't go dual core for a gaming PC anymore for a couple of reasons.

- Horsepower. Many games are CPU intensive rather than GPU intensive. They either utilize more than 2 cores, or they just are balanced toward more CPU crunching for a given GPU load.

- Flexibility. Many users have more than just the gaming app active. There's also some VOIP (Skype, Teamspeak, Ventrilo) and maybe iTunes running as well as whatever else is happening. I know people that run Handbrake as a background task


I wont argue with your point that not everyone just plays games and does nothing else in the background, or that games are eventually starting to become multi-threaded, but all of the evidence shows that the best bang for your gaming buck is spent the way that I suggested if you are "just" playing a game.

Its up to the end user of the machine to decide what to do with it, in an ideal world they would have a true quad-core (i5) and a faster GPU. Perhaps its worth looking at an entry level quad core to save a few dollars and spend a little more on the GPU for a fairer balance - perhaps - just a thought if money is constrained.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:33 pm 
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non k i5. check
double the ram GB, lower speed. check.
PSU, gonna roll the dice on the g-360. mini review upcoming... ???
still kicking around GPU, but prolly sticking with the saphire...


CA_Steve wrote:

Mobo: +1 sticking with a current gen board. You can save $'s by going with an H77 chipset as you aren't going to OC.


Thanks again everyone!

@ steve got any good h77 suggestions with decent fan control? (im working on changing the case to a NXT, so no need to dig out the sledge i hope)

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Ralf Hutter JUSTpurchased a G 360 for a new build. Hopefully, we'll have more info soon.

I like Asus' Fan Xpert in all it's forms. So, take a look at their offerings and find one that meets your needs for features.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Games are already multi threaded!
Skyrim is a perfect example, in a lot of situations the games is CPU limited.
Crysis 2, Starcraft 2 these titles aren't the first installement of the respective series, multithreading in't the first priority for game developers, but it is getting more important. Here's a nice review comparing a (older) dual core to i5 in games.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Quote:
Games are already multi threaded!
Skyrim is a perfect example, in a lot of situations the games is CPU limited.


I hate to disagree with you here, Skyrim might be CPU limited in some situations, but your own linked review shows an old generation Intel Dual core CPU getting beaten by Quad, and Octo-core CPU's from AMD as well as a high-end Intel CPU, the old Intel system only has half the amount of RAM as well, none of this is surprising.

As you see here, Toms Hardware have tested this in fare more detail by taking the same basic systems and disabling cores or changing the CPU clock speed, as you will see, 4 real cores are better than 2 with hyperthreading, but the difference clockspeed makes is far superiour.

I know that other games vary a lot (starcraft for example is hugely CPU intensive), and I wont argue the case for more CPU cores, but I will stand by my case in most games, you would be best of spending extra money on your GPU rather than your CPU, if you have enough money, buy both.

For example, I have an AMD system, there wasn't any point in me upgrading to an FX CPU as it will cost a lot and I wont gain anything, so I chose to overclock. If I get the chance to sell my CPU and Motherboard I will, I will then buy whatever Intel stuff I can afford. An i3 of any type would be faster than my 3.7Ghz Athlon 2 x4 even though I loose 2 real cores for 2 hyperthreaded cores because the architecture is better, but as I have not found a buyer yet I am stuck with what I have got and I am seriously looking at a 660 Ti, will I upgrade my CPU - not unless I can sell it.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:27 pm 
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The use of multi threading in games has to be moderate, because some publishers fear negative comments (and thus reduced revenue) if their games don't run on Joe Averages hardware. I agree that most games could have been programmed to use multi core CPU power more efficiently.

After all, it's about getting your customers to buy the publisher's stuff, not to make them buy new hardware.


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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:27 am 
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andyb wrote:
Quote:
Games are already multi threaded!
Skyrim is a perfect example, in a lot of situations the games is CPU limited.


I hate to disagree with you here, Skyrim might be CPU limited in some situations, but your own linked review shows an old generation Intel Dual core CPU getting beaten by Quad, and Octo-core CPU's from AMD as well as a high-end Intel CPU, the old Intel system only has half the amount of RAM as well, none of this is surprising.

As you see here, Toms Hardware have tested this in fare more detail by taking the same basic systems and disabling cores or changing the CPU clock speed, as you will see, 4 real cores are better than 2 with hyperthreading, but the difference clockspeed makes is far superiour.

I know that other games vary a lot (starcraft for example is hugely CPU intensive), and I wont argue the case for more CPU cores, but I will stand by my case in most games, you would be best of spending extra money on your GPU rather than your CPU, if you have enough money, buy both.

For example, I have an AMD system, there wasn't any point in me upgrading to an FX CPU as it will cost a lot and I wont gain anything, so I chose to overclock. If I get the chance to sell my CPU and Motherboard I will, I will then buy whatever Intel stuff I can afford. An i3 of any type would be faster than my 3.7Ghz Athlon 2 x4 even though I loose 2 real cores for 2 hyperthreaded cores because the architecture is better, but as I have not found a buyer yet I am stuck with what I have got and I am seriously looking at a 660 Ti, will I upgrade my CPU - not unless I can sell it.
Andy

More MHz > Core Count, no argument here.
SOME games CAN be limited by CPU and I don't find the price difference compelling to recommend anything other than 3570K (btw CS6 is in the mix for this build, too).
More MHz (usually) comes with newer process nodes. More MHz for Intel only comes in K CPUs. There are only quad core K CPUs from Intel for the current socket, so I would recommend a quad core K (3570k).
I play Skyrim right now, before it was GTA and Supreme Commender. All of these games need a fast CPU. They like more MHz, but more cores, too. If you play different games your mileage may vary.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer for my brother.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:01 am 
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Just a quick update, and a big thanks to all who helped!

Very happy with the build. This was never meant to be a silent rig, but turned out to be nice and quiet, while very fast. Boot time was under 22 seconds. and temps never got above 54c at full load.
the saphire card was the loudest component, but only by a slightest bit over the WDGP 500gb. I Put one more case fan in than i would have if it was mine, but thats cause its going to operate in a hot and humid environment.
the computer apparently made its xcountry trip to the east coast in one piece, now im waiting to hear if it boots still...which might be til the end of next month, because my brother is still out on deployment.
I loved the asus fan control. whyd it take so long for mobo manufactures to figure that out? (I bet years of SPCR reviews and forum posts had something to do with it!)

Ill report back after my brother gets a chance to play on it some.

Thanks again everyone!
After building this moderate rig I now realize how overdue i am for an upgrade! :oops:

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