1. #1

    Chaud's latest builds and me

    I have been wanting to build a new PC for a while now, and after seeing Chaud's builds for this month I have some questions:

    1. Why is Amazon always used for the parts? I am sure there are a lot of great deals on Newegg and TigerDirect he could take advantage of.

    2. Would the Puppy/Dolphin builds fulfill these requirements? (A few of these I am almost certain it will work, like the hard drives and monitors, but I want to make sure.)

    A. Plays WoW:MoP, Skyrim, AC3 on high/max settings?
    B. Be able to handle games in requirement 1 while having multiple (3-10) Chrome tabs open and possibly one other application (like MS Word/Excel)
    C. Allows multiple Hard Drives (2-4), with a mix between SSD and HDD
    D. Allow at least 2 monitors?




    Also, I don't keep up with the technology, it seems like just yesterday the 8800GT was the best card on the market. So I have a few questions you guys might be able to answer:

    I. I have read that Ivy bridge processors are slightly faster and use less power than Sandy bridge. Will the differences matter to an average user like me, or is this more of an argument for overclockers?

    II. Are Solid State drives worth it? Will I see noticably better performance in gaming and multitasking (could care less about boot times, care more about seek time)

    III. What are the strengths/weaknesses of the Puppy/Dolphin builds? Are they using close to obsolete technology? Are they slow with multi-tasking? Etc.




    This is my current setup. I cannot post links or I would, but you can easily copy/paste each into Newegg to see their full specs:

    Case: Antec Mini P180 case
    MoBo: P5Q-EM Mini-ATX Motherboard
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896-P3-1255-AR Video Card
    Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W
    CPU: I got this handed down from a friend, so I don't have the exact specs right now (at work), but its a low end Dual Core 775 socket, somewhere around 2.0GHz

    I am pretty sure the processor is my big bottleneck, the thing tops out easily
    Last edited by Mormodes; 2012-07-08 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    1. Why is Amazon always used for the parts? I am sure there are a lot of great deals on Newegg and TigerDirect he could take advantage of.
    Have to use somewhere and it is a nice mostly global resource. Both of your suggestions aren't available in most of the world, but yes you can find great deals if you shop around so I' dsuggest doing so.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    2. Would the Puppy/Dolphin builds fulfill these requirements? (A few of these I am almost certain it will work, like the hard drives and monitors, but I want to make sure.)
    ]A. Plays WoW:MoP, Skyrim, AC3 on high/max settings?
    B. Be able to handle games in requirement 1 while having multiple (3-10) Chrome tabs open and possibly one other application (like MS Word/Excel)
    C. Allows multiple Hard Drives (2-4), with a mix between SSD and HDD
    D. Allow at least 2 monitors?
    Puppy should handle all of those to the specifications you wanted, Dolphin might struggle with maxing Skyrim and you aren't likely to see 60 fps cap in a 25 raid with max settings on either (but you should maintain more than acceptable fps).

    The case used in both builds has room for multiple hard drives and the mobo has room for 6 Sata hookups (off memory I will double check) so no issues there either. The SSD should come with a mount to allow it to fit into a hard drive tray but if it doesn't they have minimal moving parts any ways you can double sided tape it to the case if needed and it will work fine (though you wont have to).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    I. I have read that Ivy bridge processors are slightly faster and use less power than Sandy bridge. Will the differences matter to an average user like me, or is this more of an argument for overclockers?
    You read correctly, there isn't a huge difference but it is enough to notice if you've experienced both. That said you wont be disappointed by either generation. I'd still go for the Ivy personally but I'd recommend saving the money and getting the sandy for most people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    II. Are Solid State drives worth it? Will I see noticably better performance in gaming and multitasking (could care less about boot times, care more about seek time)
    You'll see significant load times in things which have a lot of loading (I can load mid Orgrimmar including all character armour/textures nearly instantly on an SSD but it will take 10-15 seconds on an HDD) but you wont see any increases other than loading or really any increase in genres like FPS where there is very little loading. The boot time however as you mentioned is god like and you will learn to love it even if you don't think you'd notice I'll never go back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    III. What are the strengths/weaknesses of the Puppy/Dolphin builds? Are they using close to obsolete technology? Are they slow with multi-tasking? Etc.
    The technology is for the most part about as new they just use more economical options, the strengths are the cost the weakness is the performance.


    I'd probably suggest the Narwhal for the kind of usage you want it for if you can afford it(much better future proofing and a significant increase for the cost) but hopefully this helps you decide.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Zulandia View Post
    I'd probably suggest the Narwhal for the kind of usage you want it for if you can afford it(much better future proofing and a significant increase for the cost) but hopefully this helps you decide.
    I am a bit worried about FPS in 25 mans. I am in a 10 man guild, but I do LFR all the time on alts, and my FPS in those tanks sometimes, as low as 10FPS during Zon'ozz's Black Blood Phase. I can get it to like 20FPS if I turn off Recount, but I don't want to have to do that just to play. I always play at lowest settings, I haven't been able to see that pretty water texture since it came out because it just destroys my PC.

    So you think the Narwhal would fix this issue and allow me to have high FPS even during those graphically intense 25 man fights?

    I can also see some things I could trim from the Narwhal anyway, like the HDDs since I would trade my current ones over. And I could probably find some decent deals on the other parts if I keep my eyes open.

    My current build has a 750W PSU, this is way too much right? What would it run off, because one idea would be to use the 750W in the Narwhal, then buy a cheap 450W or something and put that in my old PC. Good idea, bad idea?

  4. #4
    The Patient Sorphius's Avatar
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    I recently built a new rig using a cobbled together mix of Chaud's Dolphin/Narwhal and Marest's Gamer 1050 from the Computer Builds subforum. You might also consider looking there, since Marest's sticky of build templates is regularly updated and the people are very good about providing prompt and honest feedback.

    As far as the SSD, no you won't notice a tremendous difference in actual in-game performance, but the difference in loadtimes in games with a lot of loading screens (Skyrim, D3, Star Trek Online, etc.) is tremendous. I have the Crucial m4 as my main drive and go from a cold boot to the middle of Stormwind's trade district on a high super-high pop server in 45s to 1 minute. I almost didn't get the SSD for the same reason you're shying away from it, but now that I've experienced it I don't think I want to ever go back to a traditional HDD.

  5. #5
    but the difference in loadtimes in games with a lot of loading screens (Skyrim, D3, Star Trek Online, etc.) is tremendous.
    Skyrim and D3 have loading screens?
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  6. #6
    The Patient Sorphius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    I am a bit worried about FPS in 25 mans. I am in a 10 man guild, but I do LFR all the time on alts, and my FPS in those tanks sometimes, as low as 10FPS during Zon'ozz's Black Blood Phase. I can get it to like 20FPS if I turn off Recount, but I don't want to have to do that just to play. I always play at lowest settings, I haven't been able to see that pretty water texture since it came out because it just destroys my PC.

    So you think the Narwhal would fix this issue and allow me to have high FPS even during those graphically intense 25 man fights?
    You'll be hard-pressed to pull 60 frames on ultra with ANY rig, but as I said a second ago my current machine is basically a hybrid between the Narwhal and Marest's Gamer 1050, and I'm steady between 25-40 frames at ultra settings on LFR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    My current build has a 750W PSU, this is way too much right? What would it run off, because one idea would be to use the 750W in the Narwhal, then buy a cheap 450W or something and put that in my old PC. Good idea, bad idea?
    Your current 750w PSU would be more than sufficient to run the Narwhal. As for your old PC, it's tough to say for sure without knowing your gpu, but 400w should be plenty unless you've got something monstrous in there that you haven't told us about.

    *edit: just re-read your original and saw you have the GTX 260. A good 400w psu is plenty for your current rig.
    Last edited by Sorphius; 2012-07-08 at 08:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the honest and quick feedback. I will take a look at Marest's sticky and post my patchwork builds there to make sure they are viable.

    I really want to spend at the very max 700 dollars, but I am not sure if I can get a good enough computer for that much.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    Thank you all for the honest and quick feedback. I will take a look at Marest's sticky and post my patchwork builds there to make sure they are viable.

    I really want to spend at the very max 700 dollars, but I am not sure if I can get a good enough computer for that much.
    Why don't you reuse the case and PSU you have now, that would save you a bunch of money and later on if you feel you need to use that second PC you could get a cheap case and PSU for that?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by n0cturnal View Post
    Why don't you reuse the case and PSU you have now, that would save you a bunch of money and later on if you feel you need to use that second PC you could get a cheap case and PSU for that?
    Solid idea, this combined with salvaging the HDD's would save you 200 easy.

  10. #10
    The Patient Sorphius's Avatar
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    They've got a good point about just cannibalizing your current PC. If you want to keep it in working condition though, here's something I quickly cobbled together for the ~700 range. The case comes loaded with a 450w PSU that you could trade out with your old rig.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2310 2.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($175.98 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Apevia X-TRP-NW-BK/450 ATX Mid Tower Case w/450W Power Supply ($64.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $662.47
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

    Of course, if you're willing to not keep your old machine in working condition, as the previous poster said you can cannibalize your case and HDD and use the extra money for a better processor and/or gpu. The biggest potential pitfall I can foresee with that scenario would be not knowing what size/type of case you currently have. Depending on what it is, space and/or cooling may be an issue with a more powerful pcu and gpu.

  11. #11
    I'd take the 3.0 GHz Pentium G860 dualcore for under 90 dollars over the i5 2310 tbh. Also an HD 6870 for ~170 is a better deal than the 560ti.

    How about

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($88.95 @ CompUSA)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($41.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($145.51 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Antec One Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.95 @ B&H)
    Total: $702.34
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    Last edited by Butler Log; 2012-07-08 at 08:54 PM.
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  12. #12
    I should have mentioned before that I do not want a micro ATX case anymore. I didn't mind it at first, but it is such a pain to deal with on the inside. The GTX260 card completed blocks the SATA ports and wire management is a nightmare because everything is so compact.

    The only two things I wouldn't mind cannibalizing include the PSU, GPU and hard drives. If I get a new PC, I want to be able to just take my current HDD out and put it right into the new PC. (This would work right? The HDD has nothing to do with BIOS or other parts, the only thing the OS would have to do is refresh its hardware lists, right?)

    If I do get a new Hard Drive with the computer, I would want it to be Solid State, otherwise I have no reason for a new HDD since I already have 2 500g drives and they aren't anywhere close to being full (I am not a digital pack rat)


    Pretty awesome you came up with that build right out of the blue Sorphius, thanks! I could drop the Hard Drive from that and make it around $600 probably. This thing would pack enough punch for the requirements I listed in OP (minus the 60fps in 25 man raids, maybe 40fps?)

  13. #13
    The Patient Sorphius's Avatar
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    Fps really depends on settings. Ultra? No way. Medium-good? No doubt.

    Either way, it'd be a huge boost from where you are now.

  14. #14
    Mine would run WoW ten man raids around 50-60 fps and 25 man raids 30-40 fps, each with ~15 fps dips when it gets all intensive like ultraxion or final phase madness.
    You would need to re-install Windows if you re-used the system disk from another computer.
    Last edited by Butler Log; 2012-07-08 at 09:00 PM.
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    Tanking with the Blessing of Kings - The TankSpot Guide to the Protection Paladin - Updated for Patch 5.4!

  15. #15
    I am really thinking about the SSD. If I need to reinstall wow, I might as well do a full system reinstall. I don't use the other programs heavily, and if I do they are easily reinstalled (like Notepad++ and Wamp)

    I definitely won't need another copy of windows, as you had butler, and would want the bare minimum PSU for my old computer. Sorphuis suggests that a 450W PSU would work for my old rig, so that would also be cheap.

    Only thing I would be worried about your build, Butler, is the ~15 FPS drops in raids from 30-40fps. That seems pretty steep. Currently with my setup I hit about 10fps in 25 mans and that is only if there are some intense animations or recount is taking in a lot of data, otherwise its around 20fps. So if I am really only getting 10-20 more FPS out of a machine that costs $600-$700, maybe I should wait until I can afford something that is a bigger upgrade.

  16. #16
    I am really thinking about the SSD. If I need to reinstall wow, I might as well do a full system reinstall. I don't use the other programs heavily, and if I do they are easily reinstalled (like Notepad++ and Wamp)
    SSDs are wonderful. You soon forget that games even have loading screens, and you can forget going to make a coffee while the computer boots.

    I definitely won't need another copy of windows, as you had butler, and would want the bare minimum PSU for my old computer. Sorphuis suggests that a 450W PSU would work for my old rig, so that would also be cheap.
    Just make sure the 12V rail can supply enough power.

    Only thing I would be worried about your build, Butler, is the ~15 FPS drops in raids from 30-40fps. That seems pretty steep. Currently with my setup I hit about 10fps in 25 mans and that is only if there are some intense animations or recount is taking in a lot of data, otherwise its around 20fps. So if I am really only getting 10-20 more FPS out of a machine that costs $600-$700, maybe I should wait until I can afford something that is a bigger upgrade.
    You are going to get that drop in very intense scenarios regardless of the computer. You will only get it for short periods of time in 25 man raids (or maybe my pc is too powerful to see it happen in ten man raids). The same thing will happen with Sorphius' build. Heck, I see it to a certain degree with my computer. You won't be able to build a PC that doesn't have this happen.
    Intel i5 2500K (4.5 GHz) | Asus Z77 Sabertooth | 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz | Gigabyte Windforcex3 HD 7950 | Crucial M4 128GB | Asus Xonar DGX | Samson SR 850 | Zalman ZM-Mic1 | Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB | Noctua NH-U12P SE2 | Fractal Design Arc Midi | Corsair HX650

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  17. #17
    The Patient Sorphius's Avatar
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    Well Butler is referring to 25m. Since you said you run mainly 10s, I personally wouldn't put that high a premium on 25m performance since even the most high-end machines will dip into the 25-30 range during very intensive 25m encounters when trying to run them on ultra. If you lock it in on normal or even 'good' settings, you should be pretty stable all around.

    I re-did that build and added a SSD. I plugged in the Crucial m4, which has a very good reputation but is a little more pricey than similar (albeit less reliable) offerings from OCZ. Feel free to mix-and-match to suit your budget and desires. Butler's point on the 6870 vs 560ti is also valid. The 560 is your better card, but you pay an extra $50 or so for what the benchmarks have as a 10-15% boost in performance. At the end of the day, if you need to trim some fat, that's the place to do it.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2310 2.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($175.98 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($97.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($104.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Apevia X-TRP-NW-BK/450 ATX Mid Tower Case w/450W Power Supply ($64.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $702.47
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post

    Just make sure the 12V rail can supply enough power.
    I don't have enough experience to know what you mean by this. This is the exact MoBo I have here: asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_775/P5QEM/#overview

    I cannot seem to find the required PSU for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post

    You are going to get that drop in very intense scenarios regardless of the computer. You will only get it for short periods of time in 25 man raids (or maybe my pc is too powerful to see it happen in ten man raids). The same thing will happen with Sorphius' build. Heck, I see it to a certain degree with my computer. You won't be able to build a PC that doesn't have this happen.
    In 10 mans even on my machines I seem to get good performance. I think that may only be because my settings are on low, maybe that is what I was missing from your other post. I really do want to be able to play the game with high/ultra settings WHILE I am actually killing things. I am tired of the old water models and the constant 2005 graphics I am getting with my current build.

    So are those FPS estimates based on having the settings on high/ultra? If so that seems pretty good. And finally:

    The most important part of a new computer for me will be its ability to multitask. I am constantly doing more than just playing. I am listening to music, sometimes streaming video or just playing it (usually off my second hard drive). I am sometimes developing, or doing Excel work. So this computer needs to be able to handle quite a few things.

    Now that I am back from work, here is a list of what I have running right now in addition to WoW:

    1. Skype
    2. Steam
    3. Logitech/Razer gaming profile stuff (keyboard/mouse)
    4. VLC playing video
    5. 10 Chrome tabs (usually 15-20 depending on what I am doing)
    6. Other odd stuff like calculator and Sticky Notes which I am sure take up no processing power.

  19. #19
    I know his old PC isn't that too power hungry, but I would still shy away from any PSU that came bundled with a case. A good PSU is like buying insurance that the computer will survive for years to come, it is definitely worth investing in a good one.

    At the end of the day, if you need to trim some fat, that's the place to do it.
    I would also recommend the drop to a G860 (half the price, and only a 10-20% drop in performance). See http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Produ...29.64.50.49.48 (bear in mind that is an i5 2400 it is compared to, which is more powerful than a 2310, and a G850, which is less powerful than a G860 so the difference would be rather less). Yes, it might "only" be a dual core, but that really doesn't matter so much with games like WoW and D3.
    Last edited by Butler Log; 2012-07-08 at 10:10 PM.
    Intel i5 2500K (4.5 GHz) | Asus Z77 Sabertooth | 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz | Gigabyte Windforcex3 HD 7950 | Crucial M4 128GB | Asus Xonar DGX | Samson SR 850 | Zalman ZM-Mic1 | Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB | Noctua NH-U12P SE2 | Fractal Design Arc Midi | Corsair HX650

    Tanking with the Blessing of Kings - The TankSpot Guide to the Protection Paladin - Updated for Patch 5.4!

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