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Thread: (near?) Future Build

  1. #1
    Playstuff Member .ps
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    (near?) Future Build

    So I'm tired of gaming on a laptop since I came to uni (and crappy spec computers before then). I'm looking into building myself a new rig that's relatively future-proof. I'm thinking a ceiling of 900-1000, if not lower - and it has to include a monitor. I'm sure I can scramble a couple of quid for a semi-alright keyboard and mouse, too, so that's not a problem. I'm skipping out on a dedi soundcard unless I end up having a decent excess at the end and I find a cheap one. Basically, here's my build so far:


    28qvqj7.jpg

    Things to note:
    - optical drive is just off the top, some cheapy 13 thing that'll just about do the job.
    - this is a newer build list that has the FX-8120 instead of the i5-2500k.
    - this has a 7870 (PCI-E 3.0 [futureproofin', sorta]), which is still a maybe. i could swap this out for a 6970 and save 40+, or 60+ if I go to a 7850 or a 570.
    - prices might end up going down if i find the same or similar item on another website for less, i won't be sticking to just dabs.
    - this will be 90% used just for gaming, ngl. that's why i want it to last, hence investment. every card i'm looking at is going to be able of running most modern games on ultra, and i'd like 'high' for a good while yet.
    - that monitor was just thrown in for budget's sake - i'm looking at that sort of price - without a massive amount of stress on size over response time etc., but i don't know a huge amount about monitors and what to look for.

    so, basically, thoughts on:
    - build in general
    - FX-8120 vs i5.2500k (having 8 cores vs. overclocking like a mothaphuqa, and it's actually cheaper than a 2500k. baring in mind the whole 8-cores thing is more of a future-proofing thing than genuinely thinking i'll always be using all 8 cores for everything ever ever for all time ever forever)
    - 7870 vs 7850 vs 570 vs 6970 (prices and performance)
    - what to look for in a good-quality fast-response monitor at a reasonable size (21"ish+-)


    i'll be spending some of the rest of the money on games to kit this out with to spend my time on before my placement starts in july >_>

  2. #2
    Playstuff Member .ps Krazko's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    I would prob switch the ram to 1x 4 gb should be able to find that cheaper than that price (when I ordered my second stick it was something like 20) and will be easy to upgrade to 2x4 at a later date...
    the case is a really good one (I have it and really like it)
    other than that I can't realy say to much
    maybe look at a bigger screen, I think I have 23" and it's really quite a big difference, or at least feels that way
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    Moderator 3agle's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Personally I'd say you are better off with an overclocked quadcore than an 8-core.
    Future-proofing is really reliant on motherboard so you'd have to dump a lot of money into the mobo for the cpu choice to have any effect on a future-proof pc.
    Might as well get a powerful quad core for the time that your motherboard is going to be relevant.

    As for monitors, I personally think the super-fast response times are a kind of snake oil, it's really not going to affect much, just get a good contrast ratio and decent size-to-resolution ratio and you're golden. (stick to 5ms unless a <5ms is pretty cheap)

    No idea about amd graphics cards so I'd just recommend you check that the brand you go with is the best of the lot, it can make a great deal of difference.
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    Playstuff Member .ps Tasku's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    That mainboard and CPU have dual channel memory capability, why have you chosen triple channel memory kit? If you don't install RAM in pairs then the motherboard will revert to single channel mode, i.e. if you install one or three sticks of RAM you will lose about 5-10% in performance compared to two or four stick configuration. For gaming purposes 8GB (2x4GB) would be minimum by today's standards.
    I haven't followed the CPU front very closely lately, but I believe that Intel CPU's will outperform any AMD offerings clock-per-clock and there is no need for octocore CPU for gaming purposes, quadcore will be quite enough even on a long run.

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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tasku View Post
    That mainboard and CPU have dual channel memory capability, why have you chosen triple channel memory kit?

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I like to get second opinions when building at 2am. Definitely would've missed that, thanks!

    I was thinking 6GB as a middle-way between 4 and 8, as 8 seems a bit excessive - and I was focusing more on speed than anything else. I'll look around.
    Intel are on the whole better quality, and AMD's processors are more bang-for-buck, but still according to a few benchmarks this one outperforms the i5-2500k (source, although not 100% sure on the details - if it can perform the same as an i5-2500k for that price and still have 8 cores that might be useful in the future-proofing domain then i'd be happy).

    And motherboard-wise I agree, but for now reasonably-priced motherboards will do the trick until that future comes about, and I'll be able to upgrade for cheaper than a processor or graphics card etc - especially if I sell the old 'un.

    What sort of numbers are we thinking for contrast ratio etc.? I'm not amazingly fussed about monitor size, because the missus isn't a fan of huge screens - but if there's a reasonably priced one at decent spec I won't say no. How about this? bowchikawowwow.

    Haha, I was thinking Antec was a good brand to go for when it came to cases, glad I chose well.

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    Moderator 3agle's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Xearo View Post
    Intel are on the whole better quality, and AMD's processors are more bang-for-buck, but still according to a few benchmarks this one outperforms the i5-2500k (source, although not 100% sure on the details - if it can perform the same as an i5-2500k for that price and still have 8 cores that might be useful in the future-proofing domain then i'd be happy).
    Note that those benchmarks are for number-crunching programs. They don't necessarily relate to game performance.
    an amd 8-core outperforming a multiplier unlocked quad in game performance would be strange. (at least within the same price-range)
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    Badministrator grom's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    As far as a monitor goes, I've paid hundreds/thousands of s for good monitors in the past but I currently use a pretty bog standard Dell21" as my second screen and an LG 23" flat screen full hd tv as my main monitor and it blows most of my previous screens out of the water. I calibrated it the same as I always have done (using an old Spyder colorimeter) to get the colours close to accurate (only important if you do art work really) but the LG tv has low >5ms response so great for games and was about 130. The kids use it as a tv and I can still use the pc.

    Bottom line, some cheap tvs are every bit as good as expensive monitors.
    Have a look at something like this. http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-M2262DP-P...dp/B005680TYS/

    Think about what you can easily upgrade in the future - RAM, GFX card, Hard drives. Spend less on those things if you start hitting your budget limit and divert the savings to the things you really don't want the hassle of upgrading - motherboard, cpu, case etc.

    Definitely consider getting a 120Gb or more SSD drive just for OS and programs you use a lot - keep the rest of the data on normal drives but having boot up on SSD makes a huge difference - I went from 1min40 boot up to 20 seconds which makes a surprising change - I no longer power up and walk away to make a drink, I just sit down and start.


    Finally, use pcpartpicker - it's great.
    *Edit - I've put most of your parts into pcpartpicker for you here You can edit this or start from scratch (only takes a few minutes and worth checking out the recommendations on there.
    Last edited by grom; 26-04-2012 at 15:07.
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    Playstuff Member .ps Tasku's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    All considered I figure that i5-2500K would be the cheaper option, it consumes less power (electricity doesn't come free) and runs cooler, if you plan to OC you will need better (expensive) cooler for the AMD.
    Futureproofing is a b***h, there are some things that you can prepare for, but I doubt that having bunch of cores will make that much of a difference... at some point all the hype was about PSU's having multiple 12 Volt rails, now the hype is turning around - PSU with single big 12V rail is the way to go.
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Awesome, thanks very much guys. I'll stick with the i5-2500k for now, then, because in reality I am only going to be gaming and if I need to upgrade in the future it'll probably be worth it, considering the potential for OC-ing. The only thing to consider now is the graphics card, but that's a tricky one. The 6970 is essentially on par with the 570 at the same sort of price and performance, although the 570 seems only a few FPS better on most games with an i5-2500k compared to the massive amount of power consumption compared to the 6970. It's looking more like I'll be comparing the 7850/7870 to a 6970. It might be the 7870 after all; hopefully by the time my money comes through it'll have gone down in price. Also, cookies for all! 8D

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    Moderator 3agle's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    If there isn't much difference in price + performance, go with nVidia, much better drivers + more often updated.
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    Playstuff Member .ps Tasku's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Stay away from graphics cards with reference coolers! They are hard to clean, canned air will not reach every corner and dust will build up in some areas, then these areas will start overheating and bake the thermal paste... taking apart the reference cooler for cleaning is a big chore and will require replacement of thermal paste every time. Also the axial fans on the reference coolers are usually noisier than normal radial fan with similar productivity. Good custom cooler will allow you to clean it with minimal or no disassembly (usually matter of releasing 4 screws and lifting the plastic cover with fan(-s) off the heatsink).
    As for nVidia vs. AMD I wouldn't count on better/worse drivers, this will change from time-to-time, sometimes nVidia is ahead and sometimes AMD. I would choose the graphics by mainboard, if it is SLI or CFX capable, since this may be one viable upgrade path in future (I don't know about nVidia, but AMD HD6000 series scale on CFX very nicely). You can also check the games benchmarks, if the games you play are optimised mostly for nVidia or AMD.

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    Playstuff Member .ps
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    I was thinkin' the 7800 series cards because of the PCI-E 3.0 capability, but I won't lie, I have very little understanding of what's going on with getting a compliant motherboard.
    I was generally thinking nVidia due to drivers, yeah, but I was also looking around at how long cards have been out etc. - 570's 2010 vs 7800's 2012. The 7870 beats the 570 performance-wise, but not so much price-wise, and I'm not sure whether I'd need to find a better motherboard to get 100% out of it.

    On further inspection, the (potentially 185) 200-ish 7850 seems to be on-par or to just about beat the 570 (source). Might be worth going for the 7850 and going for a high-quality brand/make. Looks like I'll probably be going with that, unless the 7870 takes a dip in price by the time I get around to building this.

    Draft price: 870, with a 23.6" 2-5ms monitor, 7850, i5-2500k and compatible motherboard, and an upgrade to 8GB 1600mhz RAM for like 2. Recent price drop. Including saving 10-ish on i5/motherboard OS/HDD bundles, and then 6 delivery.

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    Greater crested hermit ninja Boylee's Avatar
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Sounds like a good deal, I spend about 900 on my rig for a similar spec about a year ago (without a monitor).
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    Playstuff Member .ps
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    Re: (near?) Future Build

    Just ordered all the components! Settled for the i5-2500k and the 7850 - had to change my heatsink because apparently it's fan covers two of the four RAM docks on my motherboard, and I decided to go without the monitor and just use the TV we have here and buy a monitor if it's no good. Might upload pics/screenshots of how it runs once I get it up and running, hopefully around the 9th after I've got some exams out of the way.
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