Feelin' the itch again

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Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:36 pm

Hello mighty gerbils,

First off, I wanted to thank you all for helping me build my system last go around (ca. 2008). It's still running great, but I was feeling the need to upgrade. The system is used mostly for gaming, and I just wanted to know if the parts listed below would show a noticeable performance difference than what is currently in my system. The build is based off the econobox system guide, and my budget is as close to $500 as I can stay. But, I really don't want to go over $600 if possible. Additionally, I don't plan to overclock - I thought I might with this past build; but since it never happened, it probably won't with this build either. The parts which I plan on upgrading are:

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-V $104.99
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 $124.00
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 $134.00
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 $41.99
Adding an SSD: Samsung 830 Series SSD 64 GB $119.99
(I was only planning on having this as a boot drive, with music and stuff stored on my old hard drives)

Total: $526.95

Here is my old system for reference:

Motherboard: Gigabyte P45 (I forget exactly what model)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 4870
RAM: 4 GB DDR2 (I forget the brand and timings)

Here are the parts I plan to re-use from my current build:

Case: Antec P182
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520W Modular PSU
DVD Drive: It's in there, it still works
HDD: 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB
Monitor: Dell 2007WP (I think that's the name?) ~22 inch 1600x1200 MVA Panel


Let me know what you all think! Thanks for all your help!
i5 3570K | ASRock Z77 Pro4 | 12GB | HD7850 | 120GB Corsair Force 3 | 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB | 3x U2412M | P182
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:48 pm

Can you resist scratching that itch until the end of April? Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPUs and AMD's new Radeon HD7870/7850 GPUs will be available by then.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Erazor GTX wrote:The system is used mostly for gaming

Drop SSD and invest these saved $$$ into better video card (so you could afford something like Nvidia's 560ti-based or ATI/AMD's 6950-based models).
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:56 pm

Get an SSD now to sastisfy your itch and see how you feel...whether you 'need' an upgrade (a certain game doesnt't run very well) or you just 'want' one. I think it's the latter from your post but I don't see a huge drop in SSD prices in the next few months. Then you can see how much replacing the other core parts will cost when some new stuff that JAE mentioned is out.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:03 pm

Erazor GTX wrote: Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-V $112½
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 $125
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 $42
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 $135
SSD: Samsung 830 Series SSD 64 GB $120

Here is my old system for reference:
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
RAM: 2x2 GiB PC2-6400 DDR2
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 4870

Here are the parts I plan to re-use from my current build:
HDD: 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB
DVD-RW: Samsung SH-S223Q
Case: Antec P182
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520W Modular PSU
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 2007FP

Here's a Z68 motherboard for less than that H67 board:
$119 -11 code "GAMB210216" Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 (R2.0)


This Sandy Bridge processor is 200 MHz faster than the Core i3-2100 for just $5 more:
$130 Intel Core i3-2120 hyperthreading dual-core 3.3 GHz LGA1155 processor with HSF
Here are some appealing combination deals with the Core i3-2120 CPU: ASRock Z68 Pro3, Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, ASRock Z68 Pro3-M, CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo


PC3-12800 memory is not any more expensive than PC3-10600:
$42 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Patriot PSD38G1600KH (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $45 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $50 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.25 V)
or $50 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9W (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.35 V)


If you have to buy a GPU right now, you may want to consider spending just a bit more to get the Radeon HD6870 rather than the HD6850.

An SSD based on the SandForce SF-2200 series controller (e.g.: Corsair Force series 3 or Force GT) in the 90 or 120 GB range might be less claustrophobic and a better value than a 64 GB SSD.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:53 pm

Hey all,

Thanks for the great insight so far!

Get an SSD now to sastisfy your itch and see how you feel...whether you 'need' an upgrade (a certain game doesnt't run very well) or you just 'want' one.


I definitely think that this upgrade would fall into the 'want' category. All of the games that I play on this thing run well. I was thinking about adding an SSD as a boot drive, which is probably what got this whole upgrade idea started. My thought process was something like: If I'm going to have to re-install / re-format my computer to install an SSD boot drive, why not just go the whole nine yards and upgrade everything else too? To be honest, I'm not sure how flawed that line of reasoning is.

Can you resist scratching that itch until the end of April? Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPUs and AMD's new Radeon HD7870/7850 GPUs will be available by then.


So to answer JAE's question, I could probably wait till the end of April. Just buying an SSD now, and waiting for Ivy and AMD's next gen GPUs would save me money and probably make me happier in the long run.

An SSD based on the SandForce SF-2200 series controller (e.g.: Corsair Force series 3 or Force GT) in the 90 or 120 GB range might be less claustrophobic and a better value than a 64 GB SSD.


Do you have any recommendations for say ~$150 budget? Also, do you all have any recommendations on how to configure a computer so that most things install and are stored on the HDDs, but everything that windows needs to access is on the SSD? My apologies - I'm sure this is relatively simple, but I don't know my way around the inner workings of MS's OS all too well.
i5 3570K | ASRock Z77 Pro4 | 12GB | HD7850 | 120GB Corsair Force 3 | 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB | 3x U2412M | P182
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:18 pm

JohnC wrote:
Erazor GTX wrote:The system is used mostly for gaming

Drop SSD and invest these saved $$$ into better video card (so you could afford something like Nvidia's 560ti-based or ATI/AMD's 6950-based models).

I second this. SSDs are fantastic, yes, but they don't make your games play any better. Drop the SSD and you're able to move up to a 6950 or 560 TI or maybe even a 6970 / 570 if you stretch a little bit. A 6970 / 570 would be an immense improvement over a 6870.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:22 pm

Erazor GTX wrote:Also, do you all have any recommendations on how to configure a computer so that most things install and are stored on the HDDs, but everything that windows needs to access is on the SSD?

When you're installing some game or program, it usually asks you where you want to install it (like whether you want to install it on C:\ drive or somewhere else)... When it asks, just point it to your HDD instead of SSD.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:35 pm

flip-mode wrote:but they don't make your games play any better.

Technically they kinda do if you fully install the game onto them and store your savegames on them - you'll get a slightly lower load times for savegame loads or when game changes levels (that's why I got the highest capacity Crucial M4 and that's why I always uninstall ALL games which I don't plan on re-playing in any near future), it's just (IMO) they should be a much, MUCH lower "priority" for a gaming PC (especially if you don't have $$$ on a high capacity SSD) than a powerful video card (I got my SSD only after I got my 6970 card and determined that this card's performance is acceptable enough to play every game I have at max in-game settings). That is especially considering the FACT that not all games/game engines are very "well-optimized"; some recently released ones can run extremely poorly even on powerful video cards, such as in this example:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sta ... 087-7.html (yea, I know it's an "exception" but you can never be sure if the next game you're looking up to will be more "optimized" or will run as poorly as in this example).
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:05 am

JohnC wrote:
flip-mode wrote:but they don't make your games play any better.
Technically they kinda do if you fully install the game onto them and store your savegames on them - you'll get a slightly lower load times for savegame loads or when game changes levels

That's not game play. That's game load. I'd take a 6970 and a 640 GB HDD over a 6870 and a 120 GB SSD any day, and I'll be able to play games with higher details, better frame rates and frame latencies than if I'd have compromised the video card to get the SSD.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:45 am

1) I'm in the same boat as you are with roughly the same system. I was feeling the itch last year and got myself a SSD and it really helped reduce my cravings. I would definetly recommend getting one. Like JAE said, a sandforce based async SSD like a Corsair Force 3 or OCZ Agility 3 is all you need. The benefits of buying the "higher performance" drives are small compared to the extra cost. You can get a 90 - 120 GB for $1.15/GB pretty regularly on sales and sometimes down to $1/GB. Even though SSD's will not increase your FPS much/at all in games, they do make your system feel MUCH snappier.

2) The OP has a 22" monitor. A 6970 would be overkill
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:59 am

DPete27 wrote:A 6970 for a 22" monitor? Overkill much flip-mode?

It really does depend on the game and the settings, but there are games that can push a 6950 to the edge of playability even at 1600x1200. Not many games, admittedly, but that's right this minute. In two or three years game devs just might decide to bless us with a few more.

It's my opinion, but I've always abided by the rule that if you are a gamer then get the best card you can, even if it seems overkill at the moment. I'm sure you can think of previous cards that seemed like complete overkill at 1600x1200 that are no longer nearly powerful enough.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:16 pm

So, I went ahead an pulled the trigger on a 120 GB Force 3 Corsair SSD! WooHoo! This should hold me over until Ivy Bridge.
i5 3570K | ASRock Z77 Pro4 | 12GB | HD7850 | 120GB Corsair Force 3 | 2x WD Caviar Black 640 GB | 3x U2412M | P182
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:42 pm

Oofta, I hope you didn't pay $170 for it. 120GB Vertex 3's and Force GT's are going for $150 for cryin out loud
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:23 pm

DPete27 wrote:Oofta, I hope you didn't pay $170 for it. 120GB Vertex 3's and Force GT's are going for $150 for cryin out loud

$20 isn't the end of the world, at least.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:09 pm

120 GB Agility 3's and Corsair Force 3's can be had for ~$120 after MIR pretty regularly ($112 was the lowest I've seen for an Agility 3, but that was on shell shocker) By linking my forum topic on SSD price history I was trying to prevent the OP from overspending. While it's true that spending an extra $50 isn't the end of the world, it could have been money in the bank if the OP had waited a couple weeks.
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Re: Feelin' the itch again

Postposted on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:59 pm

At some point you 'Ju\sdt have to do it' and get over checking prices constantly. My Vertex 2 (free upgrade from OCZ from an Agility 2) is just such an example...it was on a deal w/ MIR, and I am pleased overall with the purchase. Now if you're talking missing a huge MIR by a day, then yeah, like say you had missed the Intel 320 recent huge rebates, but otherwise once you pull the trigger it's best to lay off price checking for at least a few weeks. I've done so and felt bad about it a few times so simple 'ignorance is bliss' works well in such cases.
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