Hello friends, I am working on gathering up the cash to (hopefully) build a 3 monitor setup. I plan to purchase this in 2-3 months time but if things don't quite go the way i'm hoping then perhaps up to 6 months. I'm not in big of a rush to get here.
The 3 monitor setup is to play somewhat older games such as World of Warcraft, Killing Floor, Left 4 Dead 1/2, and if at all possible the newish Modern Warfare 3. I understand that for my budget might not be able to pump out something like Battlefield 3 on all 3 but limit it to 1, and i'm A-Okay with that. Also WoW is really the only game I want to run at High/Ultra, the rest already look nice or have that feel that I don't need them to be super high detailed.
The current PC i'm using is a laptop strung into a 1080P monitor via HDMI cable from HP, I want to say a 20". Hank Hill, as I call her runs a Intel Duo 2 Core CPU, GTX 260M, a 360GB 5400RPM HDD, and running it all with 4GBs of RAM. Me and Hank go way back, about 4 years back, she is a hard working lady but I fear her time is near.
I've added the name and item number codes all for newegg.com
To the niddy!
My Budget: I want to sit at 1200-1500$ give or take a tad bit.
Things to Note: I live in the APO. So shipping costs a bit extra, ya dig?
Crossfire/SLI: For the flow of money I make, I would think that the Crossfire would be a better option for me, as I don't need to buy the same card, just a ATI card and we are good to go, but if the NVidea does that the clear force then that might be what I need.
AMD or Intel: I honestly would like an AMD just for the fact I see alot of the i5s and i7s these days I feel like in my later forum life I need to freshen up the room with an AMD. But if Intel is the way togo for what i'm doing, then Intel it should be.
What'chu doin'?: Listening to FLAC files, Steam sale buying, Internet Surfing, Shooters, WoW, Skype, and MSWord.
Now to the griddy!
I will need to buy Windows 7! 100$
Monitors: Item=N82E16824238007 130$ x 3 = $390
Famous Brand E2241V-BN Black 22"
From what I've read for the setup I need some DVI ports and a good aspect ratio, this one has 5,000,000:1. It's somewhat cheep to buy 3 and not break my bank. It's out of stock but with my buy date somewhat down the line I figure I can give it time while still keeping an eye on out on something else. (Notes: Wall mounting is right out, on base housing says nay. Figure i'll just line them up on the desk side by side if I can. Or get a bracket for them)
CPU: Item=N82E16819103962 150$
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz
I figure the 6 cores would do well with running Google Chrome, Skype, WoW, Steam, and Winamp all at once and still have room to breath. Again not to sure, I figure I just don't need a 200-500$ CPU that only gets 25% of the use. As for overclocking I figure that looking at some youtube videos and perhaps a question from you guys would be enough, nothing to big of a boost but something small and manageable to work with.
Motherboard: Item=N82E16813128514 155$
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+
Big pro for this is that it has a Digital Output on it, so my headphones will still sound nice! It all so has room for 2 cards for the crossfire/SLI. I don't mind long boot times, as i never turn my crap off or I just get up and grab some water. It's whatever.
RAM: Item=N82E16820231417 43$
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1333
I have 4GB now, I want 8-12. Fight me.
Cooling: Item=N82E16835233082 30$
XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283
This one was cheep, I don't plan the burn my CPU into hell, but i'm thinking about it. Or should I get something that is raised a bit? For RAM clearance.
HDD: Item=N82E16822148697 110$
Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM
After sitting at 5400RPM for long... yeah I'm good. I figure the large size for the FLAC files. Can always get another one down the line if need be.
PSU: Item=N82E16817139020 90$
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS
Sorry about the long bold lettering up here, I remember reading that that PSU is a large part of the build so I tried to give as much info as possible the the people who browse on by. I also remember a Mod on these forums saying that a 650W or a 750W PSU could easily handle 2 GPUs and the rest of the system with ease.
Alright so right here we are sitting at 1068$ leaving us, well me a fair amount of cash for the GPUs. Again if the Intel's are just that much better for what I want todo with my PC then that may be the path.
GPU: Item=N82E16814150563 220$ x 2 = 440$
XFX HD-687X-CNFC Radeon HD 6870 2GB
I figure two of these can handle most older games on 3 screens and work as a group to tackle something like BF3 or MW3 on a single screen, assuming I understand how crossfire works. Also, they look nice. I like that.
All done we are left with 1508$ I can work with this. But if I can make it cheaper while still getting what I would like done with a PC please let me know. Thanks for taking a look and if you left a comment, thanks for helping a guy out.
The monitors you chose were refurbished so I doubt they'll get in stock again anywhere soon. And, intel CPUs is the way to go. They really are that much better. This is what I'd go for for a budget 3-monitor setup. However, I doubt this setup would run games at good FPS before you add another 7870.
When purchasing a monitor, do not go by the dynamic contrast numbers. Those 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 numbers you see....well, guess what? Dynamic Contrast is measured with the electronics and backlight OFF. That would net a zero. Now divide by zero and see what you get. I'll wait. Yeah, so you can see how these marketers come up with the huge numbers - they can just divide by zero and make up an imaginary number that's bigger than last year's models! Yeah! Samsung does this on their TVs and I hate it.
And number of cores is less important than raw clock speed. You'll do better finding a higher clocked quad core CPU than a lower clocked hexacore CPU. The OS, browser, and skype can all sit on a single core quite comfortably as those high clock rates, and the games can have the rest. I don't think there's any game out there that even uses more than three cores anyway.
I gotta love those "digital out" 3.5mm jacks. Your headphones are digital you say? Um...no. They may have a DAC in them, but those driver units inside are pure analog. They use magnets, voice coils and spiders the same as home theater speakers. And headphone DACs are almost certainly worse than any PC/Mac/AVR's DACs (especiaily in the case of AVRs). All that matters is that you have either a good AVR for sound (if you're using optical/coaxial digital out for PCM/ 5.1 /7.1) or a decent DAC on the motherboard or on a sound card (if all you intend to use is headphones or one of those PCHTIAB packages that use one or more analog inputs.
Two of the AMD 6870s is going to be a close match to a single 6970, as those 6870s are about half as powerful as the 6970s are. A good comparison is this: the 6870 is close to (but worse than) a 5770 in overall performance, and a 6970 is close to, but slightly better/worse (depending on the test being run) than a 5870. For the 7000 series from AMD, you'll need to do some real research. They screwed with the naming scheme again and this time it's all over the board. Without a chart to tell you what you're getting with each card, you'll get burned, very easily. You also don't have to have all DVI connections. HDMI and DisplayPort/MiniDisplayPort all accept adapters that allow for connection to DVI inputs with no signal loss (the card's TMDS clock supports both DVI and DisplayPort modes, and HDMI is just DVI with audio streaming). You have flexibility with regard to the video cards. Research a bit which gives the best bang for the buck with SLI and whether or not a single high power card can handle a tri-monitor setup. You'd be surprised at what the Eyefinity capable cards can do.
Don't let marketing hype fool you, and don't skimp on CPU clock speed in favor of more cores. Quad core is plenty for your needs, and they yield higher clock rates than hexacore CPUs.
---------- Post added 2012-04-03 at 05:44 AM ----------
Originally Posted by Baelskar
A question, would the 7870/s be overkill for WoW and games at such an age?
WoW is more CPU bound than GPU bound. A 5870 paired with a 4 GHz CPU will outperform a 6890 (that's a dual GPU card) paired with a 3 GHz CPU. Any card from the 5770 and later will handle WoW just fine so long as you have a good CPU. Fail to get a good, fast CPU, and no matter what card you have, your raid/BG/city zones will suck hardcore for framerates.