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  1. #1

    Request: Adivce choosing a CPU & GPU

    Hello everyone. I've built my own computers in the past, but it has been a while and (despite recent efforts) I'm a bit out of touch with current hardware and what kind of performance to expect out of it. I was hoping you guys could help stear me to a CPU & GPU. I'll give you as much information as I can, but I've been avoiding compiling complete builds since several things are up in the air. I'm willing to put together a complete build after choosing the CPU & GPU, but I certainly won't turn down advice on other parts.

    * Desired use: Aside from playing games, I'd also like to record (FRAPs) gameplay, do some video editing, programming, and learn 3D modelling (Blender).
    * Games: I'm a heavy MMO player, but I do enjoy games from other genres. (Mechwarrior Online, Skyrim, etc.)
    * Resolution: I currently have two monitors (old 1600x1200, and a Dell ~2007 1680x1050). I'm entertaining the thought of trying out a 3-4 monitor setup (3 for gaming, 1 for non-gaming).
    * Reusable parts - Pretty much nothing aside from the keyboard, mouse, [edit: speakers], and monitor(s). My current system has parts ranging from 4-6 years old.
    * Budget: I expect to spend ~$2,000 for the system itself (excluding extras like new monitors), but willing to entertain a higher budget.
    * Other comments - I'm planning on a 1 ssd, 2 hdd setup. One hdd for infrequently used / performance indifferent apps and storage. Second hdd for FRAPs recording. I'm thinking 16-32gb of RAM. [edit: I'm planning on placing a blu-ray optical drive in, as I'll be watching movies on this system.] Given my past history, it's likely this build will be used with minimal changes for quite a while.

    With that said, I see three different CPU paths and three different GPU paths:
    (Not starting a discussion / flame, but I prefer Intel & Nvidia products.)

    CPU
    * Intel I7 3770k - As I understand it, this is a very good CPU and has a lot of bang for it's buck. What I don't know is how being limited to dual channel will affect performance.
    * Intel I7 3820 - A weaker CPU, but it supports quad channel. Generally inferior to the 3770k except with absurd overclocking, right?
    * Intel I7 3930k - Extremely expensive for the performance. Extra cores most likely won't be utilized in any gaming situations, but are very useful for video encoding & 3D modelling. Like the 3820, it is quad channel. Choosing this will pretty much gurantee blowing the initial $2k budget.

    GPU
    * GeForce 670 - The 3770k of GPUs.
    * GeForce 680 - The 3930k of GPUs. (Well, that'd be the 690, which is basically two cards in one.)
    * SLI (no idea on which card I'd use) - The main reason I've even considered this option is if I decide to damn the torpedos and go with a 3-4 monitor setup and single GPU can't handle it. What I worry about is wasted money / performance with non-SLI games. I've only ever built single GPU systems, so I'm not familiar with how different architectures (dual / quad channel) interact with SLI, if at all. I do understand the difference between CPU (like most MMOs) & GPU limited games.


    So, with that wall of text out of the way (but hopefully still read), what would your opinions be on a CPU/GPU for a dual monitor setup vs tri/quad monitor?
    Last edited by Alindra; 2012-12-31 at 05:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Depending on how much rendering you intend to do, you might want to consider the i5 3570K too.
    Intel i5 2500K (4.5 GHz) | Asus Z77 Sabertooth | 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz | Gigabyte Windforcex3 HD 7950 | Crucial M4 128GB | Crucial M550 256GB | 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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  3. #3
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($181.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($468.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.28 @ CompUSA)
    Total: $1738.15
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-31 13:15 EST-0500)

    options to fill up the budget with , raid 0 ssd/hdd for faster storage speeds or even more capacity.
    SLI 670's is also an option. (maybe 7970's CF but not sure on pricing on those currently)
    and still a nice case to pick since that is highly personal choice.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    Depending on how much rendering you intend to do, you might want to consider the i5 3570K too.
    If I don't intend to do a lot, correct? I plan on doing enough to make at least the 3770k worth it - not to mention my MMO tendencies (which are more CPU intensive).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Alindra View Post
    If I don't intend to do a lot, correct? I plan on doing enough to make at least the 3770k worth it - not to mention my MMO tendencies (which are more CPU intensive).
    The problem with the MMO argument is that they still barely scratch a quad core let alone 8 virtual cores from an i7
    Personally I'd recommend the 3570 with a high level overclock and SLI 670s, reasoning being that unless you plan on doing live streaming, the difference in the i7 will be barely noticeable, with that said though, time is valuable and the difference between the i5 and i7 price is minimal, so theres going to be a lot of personal preference there

  6. #6
    As far as I understand it, the 3570K actually performs better than the 3770K when gaming. Performing tasks that will make use of the hyperthreading available in 3770k (such as video rendering) will result in that one coming out ahead. Since OP mentions tasks that would make use of that, I would go ahead and grab the 3770K.

    As far as 670/680 goes, I would take a look at: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/598?vs=555 and see if you can justify the cost difference between the two for the difference in performance.

    Sidenote: 16GB of RAM will be plenty. I don't think you'll ever max out 16 GB with what you're looking at accomplishing with your new PC.

    Just my suggestions.

  7. #7
    With the resolutions of your monitors listed Im pretty sure a single 670 would be perfectly fine and wasting ~100ish on a 680 or even sli would be pretty pointless, step up to the full hd 1920x1080 or higher than I could see a point for going bigger and better. But in all honesty the 680 isnt really worth it when its only a few % better than a 670 and a 670 can easily be Oc'ed within the same range of a 680.
    CPU:i5 [email protected] GPU:Gigabyte GTX760 WF3 Mobo:Asrock Z87E-ITX RAM:8Gb GSkill Ares@1600MhzCase:Atomic Orange Bit Fenix Profigy Cooling: Corsair H100i HDD:1Tb WD Cav Black SSD: Samsung 830 128Gb PSU:Seasonic M2II620 KB:Razer Black Widow Mouse:Razer Naga 2014

  8. #8
    For 1080p gaming, this will max out almost every game. If you intend on going multi-monitor you could always add another GTX 670 in SLI.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.00 @ B&H)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($384.98 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 650D ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.93 @ Mac Connection)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1203.83
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-31 15:28 EST-0500)
    System Specs -
    CPU - i5 2500k @ 5ghz | CPU Cooler - RASA RX240 | Motherboard - Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3| GPU - Nvidia GTX 590|
    SSD - Crucial M4 128GB | RAM - 8GB Corsair Vengeance | PSU - Corsair TX850M | Case - CoolerMaster HAF 922
    | Monitor - Crossover 27Q (2560x1440) | Sidewinder X4 Keyboard |


  9. #9
    for gaming, the i5 3570k is just as good as any i7 processor. i7 processors are only for a more professonal level of video editing and such, so I don't know how deep you plan on getting into such a thing.

    I could use more research into dual and quad channel for workstations, but the way I currently understand it, it really doesn't matter.

    and you don't really need anything more than a 670 if you resolution is 1920x1200 or lower. Also, I read a few things about high end Radeon cards like the 7950 or 7970 being very good for some type of workstation since they have way more of something that Geforce cards don't usually have much of. I'd refresh my memory instead of half assing it like this but I have to go, so you may want to check into that.

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asurakai View Post
    for gaming, the i5 3570k is just as good as any i7 processor. i7 processors are only for a more professonal level of video editing and such, so I don't know how deep you plan on getting into such a thing.

    I could use more research into dual and quad channel for workstations, but the way I currently understand it, it really doesn't matter.

    and you don't really need anything more than a 670 if you resolution is 1920x1200 or lower. Also, I read a few things about high end Radeon cards like the 7950 or 7970 being very good for some type of workstation since they have way more of something that Geforce cards don't usually have much of. I'd refresh my memory instead of half assing it like this but I have to go, so you may want to check into that.
    openGL computing force is the aspect you were after i think.
    also OP some input/feedback would work in order for us to further refine builds.

  11. #11
    clock for clock the i5 is actually stronger than the i7 by a tiny bit. HT is awesome for rendering and heavy multitasking though, but having 8 logical cores on 4 physical cores makes the single core performance a bit slower. It's not much though and the 100 extra MhZ you get on the stock i7 makes it faster at stock clock.

    Is the 3D rendering program you are planning to use benefiting from cuda cores? Lots of 3D rendering programs actually do and makes nvidia cards quite superior for that despite having les GPGPU/compute power than the AMD cards. If it does benefit from cuda you should be looking for a 670/680 and not an AMD card.

  12. #12
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    clock for clock the i5 is actually stronger than the i7 by a tiny bit. HT is awesome for rendering and heavy multitasking though, but having 8 logical cores on 4 physical cores makes the single core performance a bit slower. It's not much though and the 100 extra MhZ you get on the stock i7 makes it faster at stock clock.

    Is the 3D rendering program you are planning to use benefiting from cuda cores? Lots of 3D rendering programs actually do and makes nvidia cards quite superior for that despite having les GPGPU/compute power than the AMD cards. If it does benefit from cuda you should be looking for a 670/680 and not an AMD card.
    moot point once you start to include oc'ing.
    HT is very fine to have for rendering it is as close as you can get to double performance in certain situations.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    also OP some input/feedback would work in order for us to further refine builds.
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. New Years was a bit busier than I expected, so I haven't had time earlier to sit down and write a proper response to them all, and half assing one just wouldn't do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xs View Post
    The problem with the MMO argument is that they still barely scratch a quad core let alone 8 virtual cores from an i7
    Personally I'd recommend the 3570 with a high level overclock and SLI 670s, reasoning being that unless you plan on doing live streaming, the difference in the i7 will be barely noticeable, with that said though, time is valuable and the difference between the i5 and i7 price is minimal, so theres going to be a lot of personal preference there
    Nope, live streaming isn't something that I plan on doing, but I'd think the extra core would be valuable for reducing render times for videos.

    I will admit that I have not done any overclocking in the past, but it's not something I'd rule out. While this wouldn't be a problem in the winter, I don't have air conditioning (not common in my area) and some summer days can reach 80F (not uncommon) to 90F (maybe 5-10 days a year). Would you still consider overclocking under those circumstances?

    If the 3770k could handle the load while running cooler, that may be a better idea. (I didn't forget about heat when thinking about GPUs, btw. Forget to list it in the OP? Yeah, guilty.)

    Quote Originally Posted by theoffice View Post
    As far as I understand it, the 3570K actually performs better than the 3770K when gaming. Performing tasks that will make use of the hyperthreading available in 3770k (such as video rendering) will result in that one coming out ahead. Since OP mentions tasks that would make use of that, I would go ahead and grab the 3770K.

    As far as 670/680 goes, I would take a look at: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/598?vs=555 and see if you can justify the cost difference between the two for the difference in performance.

    Sidenote: 16GB of RAM will be plenty. I don't think you'll ever max out 16 GB with what you're looking at accomplishing with your new PC.

    Just my suggestions.
    Thanks for that link. That is surprising, I would've expected a bigger difference between the two, especially at the higher resolutions (5760x1200) there was never more than a 6 fps difference. Hrmm...

    While 16GB of RAM may be plenty, having extra has served me well in the past and it isn't an extravegant cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by demonskies View Post
    With the resolutions of your monitors listed Im pretty sure a single 670 would be perfectly fine and wasting ~100ish on a 680 or even sli would be pretty pointless, step up to the full hd 1920x1080 or higher than I could see a point for going bigger and better. But in all honesty the 680 isnt really worth it when its only a few % better than a 670 and a 670 can easily be Oc'ed within the same range of a 680.
    Given the parts / builds people are suggesting, I'm considering the 3-4 monitor setup more. I was under the impression the jump from 1 to 3 would've required a bigger bump in hardware making it harder to justify. How feasible would FRAPsing a 3 monitor 1920x1080 setup be (aside from the obvious filesize increase). In the past when I used FRAPs (it's been a little while) I never had a separate hdd to record to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    Is the 3D rendering program you are planning to use benefiting from cuda cores? Lots of 3D rendering programs actually do and makes nvidia cards quite superior for that despite having les GPGPU/compute power than the AMD cards. If it does benefit from cuda you should be looking for a 670/680 and not an AMD card.
    Yes, I believe it is CUDA compatible. I can't test it for myself since my current card is.. well, not CUDA.


    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($144.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($181.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card ($468.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHOS104-06 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Drive ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($87.28 @ CompUSA)
    Total: $1738.15
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-31 13:15 EST-0500)

    options to fill up the budget with , raid 0 ssd/hdd for faster storage speeds or even more capacity.
    SLI 670's is also an option. (maybe 7970's CF but not sure on pricing on those currently)
    and still a nice case to pick since that is highly personal choice.
    That's a mighty fine build, shroudster. Just a couple questions/comments:

    1) Would that RAM fit with the Noctua heatsink? I've seen it suggested before, and I saw some people suggesting the use of low-profile RAM to avoid size conflicts.
    2) Using the Caviar Green (2TB 5400 RPM) for FRAPs since seek time isn't as important, right? Clever! Would that have enough throughput with extreme resolutions? (2012 HDD Write Throughput)
    3) I haven't touched Win 8, but I'm not liking the direction nor what I've heard from friends about it so far. I'd be going with Win 7.



    Thanks again, everyone.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Alindra View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. New Years was a bit busier than I expected, so I haven't had time earlier to sit down and write a proper response to them all, and half assing one just wouldn't do.



    Nope, live streaming isn't something that I plan on doing, but I'd think the extra core would be valuable for reducing render times for videos.

    I will admit that I have not done any overclocking in the past, but it's not something I'd rule out. While this wouldn't be a problem in the winter, I don't have air conditioning (not common in my area) and some summer days can reach 80F (not uncommon) to 90F (maybe 5-10 days a year). Would you still consider overclocking under those circumstances?

    If the 3770k could handle the load while running cooler, that may be a better idea. (I didn't forget about heat when thinking about GPUs, btw. Forget to list it in the OP? Yeah, guilty.)



    Thanks for that link. That is surprising, I would've expected a bigger difference between the two, especially at the higher resolutions (5760x1200) there was never more than a 6 fps difference. Hrmm...

    While 16GB of RAM may be plenty, having extra has served me well in the past and it isn't an extravegant cost.



    Given the parts / builds people are suggesting, I'm considering the 3-4 monitor setup more. I was under the impression the jump from 1 to 3 would've required a bigger bump in hardware making it harder to justify. How feasible would FRAPsing a 3 monitor 1920x1080 setup be (aside from the obvious filesize increase). In the past when I used FRAPs (it's been a little while) I never had a separate hdd to record to.



    Yes, I believe it is CUDA compatible. I can't test it for myself since my current card is.. well, not CUDA.




    That's a mighty fine build, shroudster. Just a couple questions/comments:

    1) Would that RAM fit with the Noctua heatsink? I've seen it suggested before, and I saw some people suggesting the use of low-profile RAM to avoid size conflicts.
    2) Using the Caviar Green (2TB 5400 RPM) for FRAPs since seek time isn't as important, right? Clever! Would that have enough throughput with extreme resolutions? (2012 HDD Write Throughput)
    3) I haven't touched Win 8, but I'm not liking the direction nor what I've heard from friends about it so far. I'd be going with Win 7.



    Thanks again, everyone.
    1) You really should go for low profile versions of that RAM. No need to have huge heat spreaders and big cpu coolers tend to conflict.
    2) Seek time isn't important that is true, but write speed is and the HDD is your biggest bottleneck in fraps. It decides what fps you will be recording at. I'd stick two really fast HDD's in RAID to widen the bottleneck abit.
    3) Windows 8 is fine, infact, I dare say it's better than 7. If you don't like Metro UI all you have to do is download Classic Shell or Start 8 and you got something resembling windows 7 with much more responsiveness and insane power on/power off times. Win8 > Win7 AND the price of Win8 at the moment is ridiculous. It's the same as Mac OS's and is a much, much bigger upgrade.

    ps: If it's CUDA compatible the choice of GPU is easy. You want as many CUDA cores as possible. This can be done with a GTX680 or GTX670 in SLI. I would recommend a single video card over SLI though.

  15. #15
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alindra View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. New Years was a bit busier than I expected, so I haven't had time earlier to sit down and write a proper response to them all, and half assing one just wouldn't do.



    Nope, live streaming isn't something that I plan on doing, but I'd think the extra core would be valuable for reducing render times for videos.

    I will admit that I have not done any overclocking in the past, but it's not something I'd rule out. While this wouldn't be a problem in the winter, I don't have air conditioning (not common in my area) and some summer days can reach 80F (not uncommon) to 90F (maybe 5-10 days a year). Would you still consider overclocking under those circumstances?

    If the 3770k could handle the load while running cooler, that may be a better idea. (I didn't forget about heat when thinking about GPUs, btw. Forget to list it in the OP? Yeah, guilty.)



    Thanks for that link. That is surprising, I would've expected a bigger difference between the two, especially at the higher resolutions (5760x1200) there was never more than a 6 fps difference. Hrmm...

    While 16GB of RAM may be plenty, having extra has served me well in the past and it isn't an extravegant cost.



    Given the parts / builds people are suggesting, I'm considering the 3-4 monitor setup more. I was under the impression the jump from 1 to 3 would've required a bigger bump in hardware making it harder to justify. How feasible would FRAPsing a 3 monitor 1920x1080 setup be (aside from the obvious filesize increase). In the past when I used FRAPs (it's been a little while) I never had a separate hdd to record to.



    Yes, I believe it is CUDA compatible. I can't test it for myself since my current card is.. well, not CUDA.




    That's a mighty fine build, shroudster. Just a couple questions/comments:

    1) Would that RAM fit with the Noctua heatsink? I've seen it suggested before, and I saw some people suggesting the use of low-profile RAM to avoid size conflicts.
    2) Using the Caviar Green (2TB 5400 RPM) for FRAPs since seek time isn't as important, right? Clever! Would that have enough throughput with extreme resolutions? (2012 HDD Write Throughput)
    3) I haven't touched Win 8, but I'm not liking the direction nor what I've heard from friends about it so far. I'd be going with Win 7.



    Thanks again, everyone.
    1, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233304, this ram will suit you fine then bit tricky to find a 32gb set with LP.
    2, well i picked the WD green because they are known for capacity and still got decent writes (115mb/s last time i benched my 3TB WD green).
    However im not sure on how well it would handle fraps with extreme resolutions but if you stay below the write speed and don't use the drive for something else it seems possible.
    3 personal choice , you could also just get W8 and download a shell to make it look and work like W7. (so in essence you still get those minor system tweaks and lightning fast boot)

    gpu: if budget allows go for double 670's else just get the meanest 680 you can find. (do check what kind of cooler you pick because there is a difference)

  16. #16
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    You don't need 32GB of RAM. You're not running a server, even 16GB will be overkill

    i7 3770K; since money isn't a huge issue I'd get it. It will help greatly with rendering

    Stick with a single GTX 670. If you need another one later, you can buy a second. No point in wasting money if you aren't going to put it to use

    Get a 256GB SSD, install all program and games on it (and windows, of course)

    Get a large (think 2TB) drive that's 7200RPM for anything else. If you want, run two and run them in RAID1 for redundancy. If you really have a lot of stuff, get a 2TB for all your documents and such, and a 3TB drive for fraps and don't run RAID

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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  17. #17
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    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.95 @ B&H)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Corsair CC650DW ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.93 @ Mac Connection)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($135.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.98 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $1621.76
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-02 18:06 EST-0500)

    Add any second HDD for storage if you need/want. As demon mentioned stick with a single GPU and add one later on if you need. Bigger SSD so you don't have to micromanage as much.
    CPU: Intel i5-3570k (4.5GHz) MB: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth (uefi 2003)
    GPU: Asus 280X TOP (1130MHz/1750MHz) RAM: Corsair LP/LV white 8GB 1600MHz
    SSD: Samsung 840Pro 256GB + Crucial m4 128GB (040H) PSU: Seasonic 620M CASE: Corsair 500R (White/Black) Monitor: LG 237L-BN IPS
    Current build! ||Old Build || Bitdefender Total Security 2015 || AV-TEST 2014

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    1) You really should go for low profile versions of that RAM. No need to have huge heat spreaders and big cpu coolers tend to conflict.
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    1, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233304, this ram will suit you fine then bit tricky to find a 32gb set with LP.
    1) Alright, so my memory (no pun intended!) and concern was justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    2) Seek time isn't important that is true, but write speed is and the HDD is your biggest bottleneck in fraps. It decides what fps you will be recording at. I'd stick two really fast HDD's in RAID to widen the bottleneck abit.
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    2, well i picked the WD green because they are known for capacity and still got decent writes (115mb/s last time i benched my 3TB WD green).
    However im not sure on how well it would handle fraps with extreme resolutions but if you stay below the write speed and don't use the drive for something else it seems possible.
    2) True, Lemmiwink, but higher density disks can compensate a bit for lower RPMs. I'll see if I can't scrounge up either examples or a way to calculate FRAPs bitrates for arbitrary resolutions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    3) Windows 8 is fine, infact, I dare say it's better than 7. If you don't like Metro UI all you have to do is download Classic Shell or Start 8 and you got something resembling windows 7 with much more responsiveness and insane power on/power off times. Win8 > Win7 AND the price of Win8 at the moment is ridiculous. It's the same as Mac OS's and is a much, much bigger upgrade.
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    3 personal choice , you could also just get W8 and download a shell to make it look and work like W7. (so in essence you still get those minor system tweaks and lightning fast boot)
    3) Another considration is the OS compatibility of my regularly used apps. I'll have to think about this one. Luckily, this is something that won't influence other hardware considrations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    ps: If it's CUDA compatible the choice of GPU is easy. You want as many CUDA cores as possible. This can be done with a GTX680 or GTX670 in SLI. I would recommend a single video card over SLI though.
    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    gpu: if budget allows go for double 670's else just get the meanest 680 you can find. (do check what kind of cooler you pick because there is a difference)
    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    Stick with a single GTX 670. If you need another one later, you can buy a second. No point in wasting money if you aren't going to put it to use
    4) Let me see if I understand the pros / cons to the 670 and 680:

    670:
    * Cheaper upfront; another can be purchased if performance isn't good enough.
    * If two are used, then more CUDA cores are available. (3D modelling)
    * Lower power consumption and heat generation if used by itself.

    680:
    * Always runs well; no bi-polar performanced depending on SLI support.
    * Cheaper than SLI 670.
    * Lower power consumption and heat generation vs SLI 670s.

    Does that sound about right?

    Quote Originally Posted by llDemonll View Post
    Get a 256GB SSD, install all program and games on it (and windows, of course)

    Get a large (think 2TB) drive that's 7200RPM for anything else. If you want, run two and run them in RAID1 for redundancy. If you really have a lot of stuff, get a 2TB for all your documents and such, and a 3TB drive for fraps and don't run RAID
    A larger SSD did cross my mind, but since I haven't ironed out the hdd configuration, I didn't mention it earlier.

    That said, I'm dubious even a 256gb would be big enough for me to confidently stuff all my programs in there - especially looking towards the future. Heck, some MMOs can hog upwards of 20-30gb all by themselves, and I leave several installed just in case I decide to check another out in the future. I hate redownloading huge clients if I can avoid it. Of course, some clients can be relocated safely... Hrmm...



    Thanks again for the advice and patience for my less than speedy response time.

  19. #19
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alindra View Post
    1) Alright, so my memory (no pun intended!) and concern was justified.




    2) True, Lemmiwink, but higher density disks can compensate a bit for lower RPMs. I'll see if I can't scrounge up either examples or a way to calculate FRAPs bitrates for arbitrary resolutions.




    3) Another considration is the OS compatibility of my regularly used apps. I'll have to think about this one. Luckily, this is something that won't influence other hardware considrations.





    4) Let me see if I understand the pros / cons to the 670 and 680:

    670:
    * Cheaper upfront; another can be purchased if performance isn't good enough.
    * If two are used, then more CUDA cores are available. (3D modelling)
    * Lower power consumption and heat generation if used by itself.

    680:
    * Always runs well; no bi-polar performanced depending on SLI support.
    * Cheaper than SLI 670.
    * Lower power consumption and heat generation vs SLI 670s.

    Does that sound about right?



    A larger SSD did cross my mind, but since I haven't ironed out the hdd configuration, I didn't mention it earlier.

    That said, I'm dubious even a 256gb would be big enough for me to confidently stuff all my programs in there - especially looking towards the future. Heck, some MMOs can hog upwards of 20-30gb all by themselves, and I leave several installed just in case I decide to check another out in the future. I hate redownloading huge clients if I can avoid it. Of course, some clients can be relocated safely... Hrmm...



    Thanks again for the advice and patience for my less than speedy response time.
    you seem on the right track.
    1, well non LP can work once you can fit it underneath that cooler but it will never be accesable again xD (and due to possible risk of contact it is usually better to avoid)
    2,tricky to find out likely but do share the results if you find any? (still that WD green will likely suffice and else perhaps toss in a raid 0 setup for it?)
    3, just go for 8 you won't regret it after a week. (for desktop the shell to make it look/work like w7 does seem mandatory, where as i can work without it easy on my laptop)
    4, don't forget a 670 can usually be oc'ed to perform similar to a standard/lightly oc'ed 680. also SLI support has improved greatly the last few years.

    bonus ssd, not sure what you want to store on that ssd but don't install all games on it usually just the most played ones(wow?) and dump the rest on another hdd (wd black for example)

  20. #20
    Fluffy Kitten llDemonll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.98 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.95 @ B&H)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($369.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Corsair CC650DW ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.93 @ Mac Connection)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($135.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($55.98 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $1621.76
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-02 18:06 EST-0500)

    Add any second HDD for storage if you need/want. As demon mentioned stick with a single GPU and add one later on if you need. Bigger SSD so you don't have to micromanage as much.
    This would be a very nice build for you budget

    If it's a game you don't think you'd play often, just install it to the mechanical drive. Like me, I play DOTA2 a lot so it's on my SSD (128GB) but I have LOL installed also but rarely play it except when I do in-house games with friends, so it's on my mechanical drive. I don't play it nearly enough to justify it on the SSD and I don't mind the extra time it takes to load because I don't play it much

    "I'm glad you play better than you read/post on forums." -Ninety
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