*Complete!* Gathering info for (mid range) gaming build

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*Complete!* Gathering info for (mid range) gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Hey all,

So I'm looking, very long term, to put together a gaming build since I'm not thrilled with the news I'm hearing about the next gen consoles. I’m looking to buy brand-new PC games cheaper to make up for the lack of used games on consoles (if the rumors turn out to be true). I've been a major console gamer, and part time, low-end/classic PC gamer forever (just got Tie Fighter running on my netbook for kicks).

My timeframe is November 2013 (yes, I like to plan... and save!) with a budget around $800 (wouldn't be surprised to see it creep to $900) including everything except optical drive and non-SSD storage. I've built a PC once before - my HTPC that I built with great crowd-sourced help from right here on the forums- and I've read the most recent system guide. I figure the earlier I start planning the better I can execute if/when price deals happen later in the year, even leading up to Black Friday.

Initially I plan on gaming only on my 32inch 720p LCD TV since there won't be any money for a larger 1080p TV or higher res monitor - the highest res I'd ever go is 1080p, and that only with a TV and that TV may end up being my 6 year old Samsung that I steal back from the living room. Anyone have any special tips for PC gaming on a TV? Obviously I don't care about being able to push faster than 60fps at 1080p since neither TV would handle that. That said, I'm very interested in getting to 60 frames on the 720p screen and high 40s on the 1080p screen.

In November, I’d be looking to play Skyrim, Borderlands 2, ACIII, and some older Steam games I got from the THQ Humble Bundle. I’m not big into multiplayer shooters since they just turn into exercises in frustration since I don’t play enough to be amazing.

In my build, I'd like to future-proof as much as possible while still staying within budget. I'm counting on big discounts on previous year hardware, with appropriate overclocking if needed, to make that all happen. Here is what I'm envisioning:

Core i5-3570k - $180
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 or some other overclocking friendly Z77 MoBo - $60-$80 at Microcenter with processor bundle
Cooler Master aftermarket cooler - $35
2gb Overclockable version of either GTX 660 or HD 7870, preferably with dual fans - $200-$250 (leaning towards Nvidia since they seem to be better on the drivers side)
ATX Mid-tower like the Phantom 410 (as long as it can fit the Cooler master cooler in it) - $65-$100
8gb of Corsair Vengeance or g.Skill ram (2x4gb) -$45
500W power supply, 80 plus bronze - $60
128 or 256GB Crucial m4, OCZ Vertex, Intel or Samsung 840 Pro SSD - $110-$250
Windows 7 Home Premium - $100

Already have:
Non-SSD storage
Optical drive

Total Cost based on current pricing: $855 - $1100

What do you all think? I could have gotten some things wrong up there since I’m new to the overclocking and graphics card world. Also, obviously, decisions can change dramatically depending on what Intel, Nvidia and AMD come out with.

Am I going overkill here with any of this? I know I’m going overboard for current needs, but I’m trying to spend just enough to make sure I can comfortably game on this for at least 3-4 years, if not longer. I figure with an overclockable processor along with overclockable graphics cards (and lots of cooling!) I should be set for years at 720p and a decent amount of time at 1080p if I turn the settings down a bit. I’m a console convert, so I shouldn’t be too hard to impress, but I’d really like to get away from sub 30fps rates. On that note, should I bother with getting overclock-ready equipment to try to future proof myself? I’m only trying to do that since I know I can’t spend $800 again on something like this for several years (wife would seriously maim me). I figure the i5-3570k make sense since it’s only $15 more than the regular 3570 and offers more versatility. I can also forgo the aftermarket cooler for now and just get it when I’m looking to overclock down the road.

Other question: Would Windows XP work for a gaming system these days? I can get XP on the cheap, though I’m hoping Windows 7 goes down in price this year.

Thanks for the help and advice!

SoCo
Last edited by southrncomfortjm on Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:27 pm

If you're going to purchase in November then you don't need to pick components until October.

Haswell will launch before November.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:43 pm

flip-mode wrote:If you're going to purchase in November then you don't need to pick components until October.

Haswell will launch before November.


Well, I'm thinking about it now and there were more than just "which parts should I use" questions/issues in there like:

1) Is it a good idea to try to future proof with overclockable components a good idea? Or is overclocking more about getting greater performance now but you still need to upgrade after a short time because of architecture changes?

2) Anyone else PC game on a 720p/768p TV? How's it work compared to a monitor or using an Xbox for the same kinds of games?

3) Are the GTX 660/HD 7870 good choices for a 32 inch, 768p tv for the next few years? I won't be changing over to a 1080p tv anytime soon, so I'm wondering if either of them are crazy overkill for the next 2.5 to 3 years. I'm thinking not since I want that better Direct X11 compatibility, but I'm not sure.

4) Is Windows XP still a viable gaming OS? Or is Windows 7 basically required?

Looking for some discussion on those if anyone is willing.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:18 pm

True enough!

1) Opinions vary; my opinion is that overclocking doesn't add much life to a computer. But, lets look at it. Let's stipulate a 10% per year performance increase (probably not an accurate assumption). Let's also say that normally you would replace your CPU on it's 4th birthday. So that each new generation of CPU gets you the following level of performance:
Y1: 110%
Y2: 121%
Y3: 133%
Y4: 146%
Y5: 160%

I think a typical 3570K is good for a 40% overclock on a good air cooler. So by your CPU's 4th birthday, a stock CPU will run just as fast as your overclocked CPU. By year 5, though, your CPU could justifiably be replaced. So it might buy you a year. Judging by Intel's progress over the last four years, this figure seems conservative to me and performance has probably increased by more than 10% on average. At 12% per year, Y4 = 157%, Y5 = 176%.

It also depends on what you do with your CPU. Really, what I think happens is that after 4 years, a computer is ready for it's "second career". It's not powerful enough for bleeding edge performance, but it'll do easier tasks with aplomb. So you put it in some other role such as "kids computer" or "secondary computer" or whatever, and possibly get a new computer to use as your primary machine. Or, you just upgrade the core components for a few hundred bucks and start an "old computer parts collection" in you attic.

For what it's worth, my computer is 3.5 years old Phenom II X4 955. Overclocking it doesn't do any good. I just leave it run at stock because I don't like the idea of all that extra voltage and heat for a gain that isn't really noticeable. My CPU could definitely stand to be replaced, but at the same time it would server a lot of people - such as my dad - very well for, gosh, another 5 years at least.

2) I don't game anymore, so, nope.

3) GTX 660 or HD 7870 are probably very much overkill for 760p gaming. You'd probably be just fine with a HD 7770. 760p is the equivalent of a 17" 1280x1024 PC monitor.

4) XP = no. Windows 7 or Windows 8. Despite all the nerd rage about Windows 8, it's actually technologically better than Windows 7. I'm still having a good number of issues on a domain network with Windows 8, but as a home computer OS, it's absolutely fine. And if you don't want to consider Windows 8, Windows 7 is perfectly fine too. But Windows XP would be a great big mistake. You want a modern operating system, a 64 bit operating system, and a system that not just Microsoft but other software vendors are still paying attention to. Windows XP is very very much in the retirement home, as in, it's still around, but it's has most definitely handed over the reigns to the next generation.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:04 pm

1) If future consoles are going to be 8-core, then you have to assume that future games will be well-threaded, and an i7 might make more sense. Wait for Haswell and see what the games landscape looks like then.

2) I have a 360 and this HTPC hooked up to a 1080p TV, but I actually tend to run it at 720p for both console and PC most of the time. Size, distance from screen, dpi-scaling issues in Windows etc. The easier solution is 720p. Some games do look better at 1080p; Art-rich games like Diablo III or RTS like SupCom where you want more detail. Still, for your average console port, 720p with the game details maxed out usually looks pretty damn good (and in the case of Mass Effect which I own for both platforms - a whole lot better/smoother on a PC)

3) Can't predicit the future but those cards are overkill for 720/768p at the moment. A lowly GT640 or 7750 can handle 720p well. I'm able to run everything current at 1080p with my 7850. no problems.

4) WIndows XP = DirectX 9 only, so whilst most games actually still run on it, you're losing out on a lot of DX10 and DX11 features. Plus, the 64-bit version of XP is not well supported and that means you have to use 32-bit XP, which means only 4GB of RAM which is not much good these days. Also, no TRIM so your SSD will suck in XP after a few months of use. Oh, and it's widely exploitable. Neither Nvidia nor AMD are putting their driver efforts into obsolete DirectX 9 progress. With a little luck, MS will have ironed (or beaten) the dents out of Windows 8 by the time you are ready to buy.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:05 pm

flip-mode wrote:If you're going to purchase in November then you don't need to pick components until October.
QFT!
The marketplace nine months from now will be different. Come back in 8 or 9 months.

flip-mode wrote:Really, what I think happens is that after 4 years, a computer is ready for it's "second career". It's not powerful enough for bleeding edge performance, but it'll do easier tasks with aplomb. So you put it in some other role such as "kids computer" or "secondary computer" or whatever, and possibly get a new computer to use as your primary machine.
I'm a big believer in the "trickle-down" theory of computer upgrades. However, my upgrade cycle tends to be much shorter than four years.

southrncomfortjm wrote: 4) Is Windows XP still a viable gaming OS?
No. You'll probably want the 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:45 pm

So maybe i change things up a but and just add a graphics card to my htpc that's listed in my sig. ? I would use my 1080p tv for this since that is where my htpc is. Like Chrispy was saying i could just run games at 720p and let my TV do the upscaling or just run at 1080p if that causes too much latency.

What graphics card would you all recommend in that situation given my PSU and mobo and other components? I would turn of my TV tuner when gaming to reduce power draw and CPU use when gaming.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:57 am

Your Antec EarthWatts EA-380D power supply should be adequate as long as you don't go too crazy. The power draw of your TV tuner is not worth worrying about. Just let it keep doing its thing in the background.

A Radeon HD7770 is acceptable for most games at 1080p. I suggest the Sapphire 100358OCL for the 10% speed bump from the factory.

You could get very good gaming performance with a mid-range GPU like a Radeon HD7850 1GB or 2GB, GeForce GTX660 or Radeon HD7870.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:48 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Your Antec EarthWatts EA-380D power supply should be adequate as long as you don't go too crazy. The power draw of your TV tuner is not worth worrying about. Just let it keep doing its thing in the background.

A Radeon HD7770 is acceptable for most games at 1080p. I suggest the Sapphire 100358OCL for the 10% speed bump from the factory.

You could get very good gaming performance with a mid-range GPU like a Radeon HD7850 1GB or 2GB, GeForce GTX660 or Radeon HD7870.



I like the Gtx 660 so far, mostly because of the seemingly better driver support. I'd probably go with the EVGA or MSI variant for a bit of overclocking out of the box. would my CPU become a bottleneck here?
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:56 am

Your Core i3-3225 processor will run most games very well. A few titles would run even better on a Core i5 (Dragon Age: Origins, Battlefield 3, Civilization V, etc.), but you'll be fine with what you have.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:45 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Your Core i3-3225 processor will run most games very well. A few titles would run even better on a Core i5 (Dragon Age: Origins, Battlefield 3, Civilization V, etc.), but you'll be fine with what you have.


Great. I can just get a GTX 660 the next time they are on sale and use it in my HTPC. Then, if I feel like it, I can build a gaming rig later and use the 660 in that. Lets me start staggering my upgrades a bit.

Other question: Can I disable the 660 in device manager when I know I won't be using it for a while to save on power? I know its not a lot since those cards idle well, but I know there will be times I won't use it for 2 or 3 weeks. Figure disabling it in device manager is easier than actually pulling the card out.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:31 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:I can just get a GTX 660 the next time they are on sale and use it in my HTPC. Then, if I feel like it, I can build a gaming rig later and use the 660 in that.

That sounds like a great idea. You get the gaming prowess of the GTX 660 now which will help you wait for prices to come down on Haswell. (when that time comes watch Microcenter for their great combo deals.)

southrncomfortjm wrote:Can I disable the 660 in device manager when I know I won't be using it for a while to save on power?

Too bad your mobo doesn't come with Lucid Virtu MVP. If it did, you could've ran it in iMode. Regardless, I wouldn't worry about 60W system power consumption with the GPU idle. If you make an effort to turn lights off more frequently, you'll come out ahead.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:53 pm

Welcome to PC gaming! I would say be weary though, if your looking to future proof your system with gaming in mind, the tendency is to go overboard ...Reason I say this is once you see the difference in quality and performance with PC gaming, upgrading can be addicting. And after new games come out and you start to see the quality decline with your hardware, the thirst for beefier gear is endless. It might just be me, but I dont like knowing that I'm not playing something in all its glory...I dunno...its just hard for me to settle with 30fps, watered down textures, no-aa, etc...

As far as advice towards hardware, I have built two systems based on the build guides here and both perform like champs...I'm just now starting to have to cut corners for better playability with my 2010 "sweeter spot" build for ~$1,400.

Good luck with your build!
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:44 am

Thanks! I hear that Steel-the-deal. Ignorance has been bliss with console gaming since, with the same hardware, we seem to have the opposite experience than PC gamers as our games better graphically the longer we have the console. Just compare Halo 3 to Halo: Reach - hard to believe they are on the same hardware. Console gamers are, of course, also used to lower frame rates, less detailed textures and and fewer cool effects.

Thanks for the warning too. I know I will get addicted to 50+fps, high quality textures and all that crazy filtering that I know nothing about. I'm hoping to have a rolling set of updates. So, now I get the graphics card - still leaning towards a 660, but also considering a 660 Ti and will definitely consider a Radeon if they address those frame latency issues with a driver fix. Next, around Black Friday I build the rest of the system, maybe with a Haswell in it, maybe with a cheaper 3570k. Next up would be a few years down the road when I upgrade the graphics card again. We'll see how that works out. Just wonder if I'll think its worth it to average spending $200 a year on hardware.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:51 pm

The GTX 660 and 7870 perform roughly the same. If you require the smooth frame rates fix, I wouldn't purchase an AMD card "hoping" for a universal driver fix. Yes, they've shown they can fix the problem on a couple choice games, but who knows how long it will take to get every game straightened out. If you're purchasing now, buy the card for what it is now.

The best way to not get sucked into the vortex of addiction to expensive GPUs is to not spoil yourself with one in the first place. I wouldn't spend more than about $200 on a GPU. They're the most frequently upgraded component in a gaming system.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:50 pm

Well shoot, based on that advice I should just go for:

a GTX 650 Ti 1GB for about $110

an open box GTX 660 2gb for $175 (don't know what, if anything is missing), $200 if new

or a GTX 650 Ti 2gb for $160.

Mainly, I want to play Skyrim (on sale for $28 at Amazon), Metro 2033 and Borderlands 2. Seems like any of these cards can handle them at 60+fps/1080p. If there isn't much of a difference between 1gb and 2gb, I'll go for the GTX 650 ti 1gb. If 2gb is needed, I think I'd spend the extra $15 on the open box 660. I'm really leaning towards the 660 since I can't seem to find a good 1 gb to 2gb comparison of the 650 Ti using Tech Report's frame latency technique. There doesn't seem to be a huge difference between the 2gb 650 Ti and the 660, but I have to figure those exta CUDA cores will come in handy down the road. Thoughts?
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:26 pm

If you're going to plan to pass this card along to a future gaming PC, you should probably get something other than the GeForce GTX650Ti.

http://techreport.com/review/24350/tr-f ... em-guide/2
TR's System Guide wrote: Nvidia still doesn't have a very compelling alternative to the Radeon HD 7770. The GeForce GTX 650 is slower overall than its AMD rival. The GTX 650 Ti is slightly quicker, but it's also priced within spitting distance of the Radeon HD 7850 1GB, an even faster solution—and one that we've included in the alternatives section on the next page. We think AMD cards offer better value for the money in this price range.

http://techreport.com/review/24350/tr-f ... em-guide/3
TR's System Guide wrote: Nvidia's sub-$200 graphics offerings aren't quite up to par with the AMD solutions, so the best alternative to the Radeon HD 7770 is another AMD card: the Radeon HD 7850 1GB.

The 7850 1GB is noticeably faster than the 7770. In fact, it's quick enough to handle almost all games at 1080p with the detail settings cranked up. You'll only start to see performance suffer in titles like Skyrim, whose ultra-high-resolution textures can butt up against the 1GB memory limit—especially if you turn up the antialiasing, too. The 7850 1GB is a fairly inexpensive upgrade. PowerColor's version is available for around $170. As a bonus, it comes with free copies of BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider.

Nvidia regains the upper hand above the $200 mark.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:35 pm

Okay, so its looking like the 660, higher, or bust - I'm still not liking the fact that AMD seems a bit behind on the drivers front. I'll probably wait a bit longer and see if AMD comes out with their new cards/drivers. I'm a year behind in games I want to play anyway, so another month or so won't hurt too bad. Also not feeling the silly free-to-play game credit that Nvidia is currently offering for their cards and not terribly interested in Bioshock or Tomb Raider from AMD.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:12 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:still leaning towards a 660, but also considering a 660 Ti and will definitely consider a Radeon if they address those frame latency issues with a driver fix.


AMD recently launched the Catalyst 13.2 Beta drivers, they seem to have fixed issues in the games that you mentioned you liked (Borderlands 2 and Skyrim). I have both games, and I have not tried the new drivers but I know what they are talking about. I was able to play the games fine with my 5850...the frame skipping was a bit annoying in some areas but it didn't really distract me at all from playing the games. Go with the best bang for your buck.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:20 am

steel-the-deal wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:still leaning towards a 660, but also considering a 660 Ti and will definitely consider a Radeon if they address those frame latency issues with a driver fix.


AMD recently launched the Catalyst 13.2 Beta drivers, they seem to have fixed issues in the games that you mentioned you liked (Borderlands 2 and Skyrim). I have both games, and I have not tried the new drivers but I know what they are talking about. I was able to play the games fine with my 5850...the frame skipping was a bit annoying in some areas but it didn't really distract me at all from playing the games. Go with the best bang for your buck.


Here's hoping Tech Report does a review of the new drivers compared to the 660 and 660 Ti (also hoping they use something other than the top of the line i7 processor).

EDIT: Looks like TR already did do a look at the new drivers. I guess I missed that before. Looks like the issues have been addressed in a significant way with the 660 Ti still having a small edge over the 7950. Would be great to see a 660 to 7850/7870 comparison of the same drivers though.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
southrncomfortjm
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:46 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:EDIT: Looks like TR already did do a look at the new drivers. I guess I missed that before. Looks like the issues have been addressed in a significant way with the 660 Ti still having a small edge over the 7950. Would be great to see a 660 to 7850/7870 comparison of the same drivers though.
I'm not fond of the 660Ti's 192-bit memory bus. (ఠ_ఠ;) Sure, it performs okay in games, but you start cranking up the MSAA or (especially) the SSAA, and the performance just tanks compared to the equivalent Radeons. Even the 7870 can match a 660Ti with high levels of AA, or Crossfired 7770s (although I don't envy the subjective experience on 7770 Crossfire...)

For me, personally, it's 670/680/Titan for current-generation Geforces, and I'm still not wild about 256-bit memory on a top-end card (considering the Titan as an over-the-top nonsense part.) For anything under 670 prices, I'd definitely get a Radeon.
i5-3570K @ 4.4 (NH-C14), 4x8GB DDR3-1866, GA-Z68MA-D3H-B2, ASUS GTXTITAN-6GD5, 128GB Vertex 4 / 2x60GB Vertex Plus R2 / 2x2TB Barracuda 7200.14 RAID0 / ANS-9010 (4x4GB), SST-DA1000 (PSU), 2x VS229H-P, 1x VG248QE, 1x MIMO 720F, Corsair Vengeance K90+M95
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:29 pm

auxy wrote:(considering the Titan as an over-the-top nonsense part.)

"Nonsense", eh? :wink:
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:37 pm

JohnC wrote:
auxy wrote:(considering the Titan as an over-the-top nonsense part.)

"Nonsense", eh? :wink:
Eheh, well ... (;゙°´ω°´)
You know, I mean, in terms of performance-per-dollar, that is, errm, compared to, you know... (゙°´ω°´;)
i5-3570K @ 4.4 (NH-C14), 4x8GB DDR3-1866, GA-Z68MA-D3H-B2, ASUS GTXTITAN-6GD5, 128GB Vertex 4 / 2x60GB Vertex Plus R2 / 2x2TB Barracuda 7200.14 RAID0 / ANS-9010 (4x4GB), SST-DA1000 (PSU), 2x VS229H-P, 1x VG248QE, 1x MIMO 720F, Corsair Vengeance K90+M95
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:17 am

Okay, so I've done some thinking and some research and came up with a new full build. The graphics card in the HTPC is just not going to cut it since I'll never get to use it. I've also decided to move up my timeline since there may not be great advancements in the next few months.

This build should come in around $800 with taxes - most shipping will be free with Shoprunner, Prime or in-store pickup. Its got some room for overclocking and should be more than enough for 720p or even 1080p gaming for a while. A simple swap of the graphics card in a few years, and maybe switching the ram to a 16gb set, should do wonders to refresh this system:

Processor - Core i5 3570k - $190 at Microcenter
Mobo - AsRock z77-Pro4m - $60 at Microcenter after $50 combo deal
CPU cooler- Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26 at Newegg
RAM - Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1660 CAS 9, 2x4gb - $56 at Newegg
GPU - MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Twin Frozr OC - $170 at Newegg
HDD - WD Caviar Blue 1TB 7200rpm - $74 at Amazon
Case - Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid-Tower - $75 at Amazon
PSU – Cooler Master 450W 80plus bronze - $45 at Newegg
OS - Windows 8 OEM or Full

The CPU needs no introduction. Hope I get one that overclocks nicely.

I went with a micro ATX board since, when I retire the CPU/MoBo, I can use them as the main pieces in my next HTPC, then retire my current HTPC for use as a media extender or something else. Would probably replace that Biostar Mobo for a Mini ITX. I don't plan on doing much other than gaming on this new build, so I don't need a ton of space for extra cards or drives.

The board itself seems to have all features except an old PCI slot. Overclock friendly and everything.

I went with the Hyper 212 Plus since its $8 cheaper than the Evo and seems to be rated just as highly. Every penny counts! But obviously I'd go with the Evo if that really is better.

Went with low profile ram to avoid issues with the 212. Decided against 16gb since it was $30-$40 more. At the end of the day, I may just go for it since I’ve heard that games will use extra RAM as a cache when using a mechanical drive. RAM should overclock a bit.

The 7850 GPU should do everything I want it to do easily and it comes with two games on top of being $70 cheaper than a comparable GTX 660. I still like Nvidia cards better since Nvidia seems to be more on the ball with drivers, but I can’t argue with this kind of value.

I know, I know, I should really include an SSD, but its just not in the budget. I'll stick with the mechanical drive for now and will explore short stroking it to get better transfer speeds out of it. That should hold me over until I can get an SSD in there.

PSU seems like pretty standard stuff. With system power usage I should land in a pretty efficient range. Too bad it’s not modular, but at least the case has decent cable management space.

I decided on Windows 8 after reading some reviews that showed some decent performance gains in some games. Not thrilled about the choice since I like Windows 7, so I can be easily talked out of it haha.

And that about does it. What do you all think? Assuming the world doesn’t end with this government budget stuff I could probably do this build soon.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:29 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:RAM - Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1660 CAS 9, 2x4gb - $56 at Newegg
How about one of these?
$52 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial BLT2K4G3D1608ET3LX0 (DDR3-1600, CAS 8, 1.35 V)
$55 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-8GAB (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
$60 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 Crucial BLT2KIT4G3D1869DT1TX0 (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:31 am

Do you know any college students that could get you a Windows license from school. Many colleges (state colleges in particular from my experience) offer Windows licenses for ~$30 to students. That would open up about $100 toward an SSD which can get you into the 120GB range.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:57 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:RAM - Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1660 CAS 9, 2x4gb - $56 at Newegg
How about one of these?
$52 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial BLT2K4G3D1608ET3LX0 (DDR3-1600, CAS 8, 1.35 V)
$55 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-8GAB (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
$60 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 Crucial BLT2KIT4G3D1869DT1TX0 (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)


Trying to squeeze me out a bit more performance huh? I guess the question comes down to latency v. speed. Either the CAS 8 Crucial or the 1866 Ares look good. Will have to ponder that since either one should give just a bit more performance for even less money. I know there is a formula out there to determine response time, anyone have that handy? I'd go with whichever set of ram offers the fastest response time.

DPete27 wrote:Do you know any college students that could get you a Windows license from school. Many colleges (state colleges in particular from my experience) offer Windows licenses for ~$30 to students. That would open up about $100 toward an SSD which can get you into the 120GB range.


Good idea. I teach part time at a local university. Going to see if that qualifies me for a discount, but it seems like it would only drop it to $70 for me. I'd obviously um, do some school work on this computer too.

Any other comments on the build? I'm wondering if you all think 16gb would be a big performance increase or if you all have some real world experience with short stroking for gaming performance (lewd comments aside).

And shoot... nevermind, the 7850 sold out. I was literally 5 seconds away from buying it too.

Nevermind the nevermind. The card showed in stock again so I nabbed it - moral is that the first "sell out" at Newegg is rarely a total sellout, seems like they can always scrounge up a few more. $170 for a good mid-range card, plus 2 AAA games and a 3D Mark licen - gotta be the best deal in gaming going at the moment.

Will keep and eye out for deals on other parts going forward.
Last edited by southrncomfortjm on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:11 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:Good idea. I teach part time at a local university. Going to see if that qualifies me for a discount, but it seems like it would only drop it to $70 for me. I'd obviously um, do some school work on this computer too.

Professors at my University could get Windows for $20 while I was in school there. I would definetly check into it.

Oh, and don't worry if it's just an "Upgrade" license. There's a simple workaround.
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:23 pm

DPete27 wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:Good idea. I teach part time at a local university. Going to see if that qualifies me for a discount, but it seems like it would only drop it to $70 for me. I'd obviously um, do some school work on this computer too.

Professors at my University could get Windows for $20 while I was in school there. I would definetly check into it.

Oh, and don't worry if it's just an "Upgrade" license. There's a simple workaround.


MS hasn't patched that yet? Insane. Looks like I can get Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $70. Sounds like a deal to me, though I'd rather have plain old Windows 8 for $20-30.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
southrncomfortjm
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Re: Gathering info for future gaming build

Postposted on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:11 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:RAM - Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 CAS 9, 2x4gb - $56 at Newegg
Went with low profile ram to avoid issues with the 212. Decided against 16gb since it was $30-$40 more. At the end of the day, I may just go for it since I’ve heard that games will use extra RAM as a cache when using a mechanical drive. RAM should overclock a bit.
JustAnEngineer wrote:How about one of these?
$52 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Crucial BLT2K4G3D1608ET3LX0 (DDR3-1600, CAS 8, 1.35 V)
$55 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-8GAB (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
$60 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 Crucial BLT2KIT4G3D1869DT1TX0 (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
southrncomfortjm wrote: Trying to squeeze me out a bit more performance huh? I guess the question comes down to latency v. speed. Either the CAS 8 Crucial or the 1866 Ares look good. Will have to ponder that since either one should give just a bit more performance for even less money. I know there is a formula out there to determine response time, anyone have that handy? I'd go with whichever set of ram offers the fastest response time.

The lower-latency PC3-12800 is probably good. That's the "officially-supported" memory speed for Ivy Bridge. Current AMD processors or future Intel products may be validated for faster memory. You might also consider:
$100 2x8 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-16GSR (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)

However, if I were adding cost to your system, I'd try to get an SSD before the extra memory.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
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