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#1 May 08 2010 at 10:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Good morning everyone.

I am preparing to build a new rig and have some questions regarding your opinions on a few things. Most notably the opinions of Aurelius and Flukedrk, as I have read most every post concerning hardware the two of you have been involved in and value your opinions greatly. I am, however, very open to the opinions of everyone else that graces these forums daily.

My new build will be geared towards gaming, but will also be used as an occasional home theater. Also, I attend online classes so I do a lot of homework while doing other tasks such as simple photo editing and so on. Needless to say, I am hoping to build a pc that will be future resistant, lasting quite some time before the need for upgrades.

The hardware I am considering as of right now is as follows:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4631382&sku=C283-1223

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6089168&CatId=5541

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3869717&CatId=3433

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5309345&CatId=2534

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6046441&CatId=3669

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6046364

You will note that I did not include a link for a CPU. I'm VERY torn here. I was considering the AMD 555 BE, as I have read professional reviews that have unlocked multiple cores and successfully oc'd it 4.1 on air, making it one of the "best bang for your buck" CPU's. I'm not expecting to be able to unlock usable cores though, if I can cool, if not, oh well. This CPU is only a dual, but from what I understand gaming really doesn't benefit from extra cores. However, if I'm not mistaken this CPU does have the almighty L3 cache, which I think is very beneficial to gaming (read it somewhere, may be able to find the articles again if prompted). Anyone know if FFXIV will be using multiple? lol
I am also considering a 955 BE, and one of the new Hexa core AMD BE processors. Thoughts?

Please, be considerate to myself and others posting in my thread. Looking forward to hearing from you guys! :)

*EDIT*
I will be using a Seagate 1.5TB 7200 HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium 64, and possibly a small SSD for the OS, still on the fence on the SSD though. Also, I will be OC'ing the CPU and memory. I will be going crossfire, but probably not until tax time next year lol.

Edited, May 8th 2010 12:33pm by jhariya
#2 May 08 2010 at 10:56 AM Rating: Good
HAF makes me happy in the pants. I think you'd be happy with that case. I've got the full tower version but if I was cooling my rig with air, the mid tower would have been just as good.

Motherboard looks adequate. USB3.0 would qualify as a future resistant feature. Some people might tell you its a waste because it's not seeing a lot of use right now...I say pbbbbt to them. My only quibble would be the dual channel RAM. Triple channel would give you a bit more of that future resistance if you had a little extra money in the build budget for the RAM and a step up in the motherboard.

I don't really expect to see games really throttling the limits of multi-core processors any time soon. Or, to be more clear, MMOs since at least some of the processing is done server side anyways. Being the amateur enthusiast that I am, more is always better but you have to find the right balance between performance/cost that works for you.

The CPU heat sink you have picked out is likely to be a bit of a screamer. If noise is a concern, spend the extra $30 and go for the Noctua NH D14 beast. Something worth noting about the HAF cases is that they have a lot of open space in the case which is fantastic for airflow, not so great for containing noise. The Noctua cooler will cool just as well if not better than the Thermaltake and Noctua fans are known for very quiet operation. And also, it's just fugly enough to be worth a chuckle every time you look at it ;D

Finally, if the budget allows, go Corsair for the PSU. To be completely honest, if I had to do my build over again I would have waited the extra month and gone with the Corsair HX850 or HX1000 instead of the PSU I've got. I haven't had any issues at all with my current PSU, but Corsair is as much about the peace of mind as it is about the performance.

Edited, May 8th 2010 9:57am by Aurelius
#3 May 08 2010 at 11:06 AM Rating: Good
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I don't think you need an 890FX motherboard for the hardware you're looking at. If you want to stick with USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0 Gb/s, you can step down to an 890GX and save at least $100. My current board of choice: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435&cm_re=ud3h-_-13-128-435-_-Product

This won't impact your performance in the slightest, even if you go Crossfire later. An HD 5770 won't come close to maxing out the bandwidth of an x8 PCI-E lane.

Another thing: remember to shop around. Tigerdirect has nice prices on some things, but their motherboards and RAM seem to be overpriced. You can get DDR3 1600 at several places for less than what you're paying.

Re: processor cores, I seem to remember that FFXIV will only use two cores. But with the money you're already spending, you might want to go with something stronger.
#4 May 08 2010 at 12:41 PM Rating: Good
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You should seriously consider shelling out another $160.00 and upgrading from a 5770 to a 5850.

Based on the review at Tom's Hardware, you will be looking at an average improvement of 10-30 FPS or so, depending on settings.

If DX11 isn't a big concern for you (FFXIV is DX9), you could also think about picking up a 4870. It outperforms the 5770 but can cost up to $15.00 less online.
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#5 May 08 2010 at 1:11 PM Rating: Good
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akirussan wrote:
You should seriously consider shelling out another $160.00 and upgrading from a 5770 to a 5850.

Based on the review at Tom's Hardware, you will be looking at an average improvement of 10-30 FPS or so, depending on settings.

If DX11 isn't a big concern for you (FFXIV is DX9), you could also think about picking up a 4870. It outperforms the 5770 but can cost up to $15.00 less online.


The problem is that the graphics card market pretty much sucks right now due to Nvidia's lackluster presence. The 5850 costs about 40% more than it should at this point because it has no serious competition. If I were buying today, I'd go with the cheapest option that's still adequate for modern games - something I wouldn't feel bad about tossing in a year and a half. The 5770 is that card.

The 4870 is okay too, but it has the same problem as the Nvidia cards. It's way too power-hungry compared to the 5770.

I missed this before:

Quote:
My only quibble would be the dual channel RAM. Triple channel would give you a bit more of that future resistance if you had a little extra money in the build budget for the RAM and a step up in the motherboard.

I'm pretty sure that AM3 motherboards don't support triple channel RAM. You'd have to go with an LGA 1366 build for that.
#6 May 08 2010 at 2:10 PM Rating: Good
akirussan wrote:
You should seriously consider shelling out another $160.00 and upgrading from a 5770 to a 5850.

Based on the review at Tom's Hardware, you will be looking at an average improvement of 10-30 FPS or so, depending on settings.

If DX11 isn't a big concern for you (FFXIV is DX9), you could also think about picking up a 4870. It outperforms the 5770 but can cost up to $15.00 less online.


It's worth noting that the devs said when FFXIV was first announced that it would support the most current version of DirectX that was available at the time of the beta, which would be DX11.
#7 May 08 2010 at 3:12 PM Rating: Good
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The One And Only Aurelius wrote:
It's worth noting that the devs said when FFXIV was first announced that it would support the most current version of DirectX that was available at the time of the beta, which would be DX11.


SE confirmed in Famitsu that the Alpha and Beta would be DX9.

GameWatch@TGS wrote:
Right now, the game is being developed with DirectX 9 in mind. They looked into DirectX 10 and the machines currently available on the market as well. In the end, they decided that DirectX 9 was the best choice. Tanaka says they will also work on how to incorporate new technology in the future.


DX10/11 support will definitely come at some point, but judging from the interviews I've read, I can't imagine them adding it at release, which means DX9 will be all that is needed to play FFXIV at launch.

But, if the OP really wants a "future resistant" rig and plans on adding Crossfire next year, it makes a lot more sense (at least to me) for him to invest in one 5850 now and add a second later rather than going with a single 5770 now that he will just have to replace down the road anyway.

Edited, May 8th 2010 2:27pm by akirussan
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#8 May 08 2010 at 3:45 PM Rating: Good
akirussan wrote:
The One And Only Aurelius wrote:
It's worth noting that the devs said when FFXIV was first announced that it would support the most current version of DirectX that was available at the time of the beta, which would be DX11.


SE confirmed in Famitsu that the Alpha and Beta would be DX9.

GameWatch@TGS wrote:
Right now, the game is being developed with DirectX 9 in mind. They looked into DirectX 10 and the machines currently available on the market as well. In the end, they decided that DirectX 9 was the best choice. Tanaka says they will also work on how to incorporate new technology in the future.


DX10/11 support will definitely come at some point, but judging from the interviews I've read, I can't imagine them adding it at release, which means DX9 will be all that is needed to play FFXIV at launch.


Yes, DX11 support will almost certainly come at some point, which is why it disappoints me to see people steered away from DX11 cards. DX9 is all that would be required to play XIV whether it shipped with DX11 support or not but when we're talking about a future resistant PC, excluding DX11 support from the build is questionable. It's just a really crappy time to be buying a video card right now. On one hand, the top end previous generation cards are outperforming the bottom tier current generation cards under DX9, but a year from now people spending extra for a strong performer in the DX11 category are going to be thinking they could have saved themselves a small wad of cash had they just waited.

I blame DX10 :P
#9 May 08 2010 at 4:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Borkachev,

First and foremost, thanks for the response! The Gigabyte board you mentioned was the first one I checked out when wifey gave me the go ahead on a new build. The options available with the board are very nice, as you pointed out. One thing that concerned me about the board is the northbridge chip set running rather hot (noted in a few different reviews I read, both consumer and pro). From what I understand the DIMM location is unusually close to the CPU socket.

Thanks for the heads up on the other websites as well. I know of newegg, and have used both them and tiger in the past. I haven't found any other e-tailors that compete with them as far as pricing goes, but I haven't really looked either. I have to admit, I ended up with tunnel vision while researching and didn't think about looking for other e-tailors :) This is what happens when I get excited lol, all common sense goes out the window![quote]
#10 May 08 2010 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
I blame DX10 :P


I blame XP. According to this, Windows XP still owns between 56%-64% of the market share for Windows machines, whereas XP and 7 only have 12.6% and 14.6% respectively. In other words, DX10/11 support is nowhere near cost-effective at present, given the minority of machines it actually serves.

The good news is that Windows XP is only on extended support for the next 4 years, so maybe we'll get lucky in 2014. :)
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#11 May 08 2010 at 4:23 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Quoted Text
I'd go with the cheapest option that's still adequate for modern games - something I wouldn't feel bad about tossing in a year and a half. The 5770 is that card.
Quote:
Quoted Text


This was my exact thought and why I didn't opt for the 5850. For what I'm spending already, which by the way is over budget (I figured meh....I don't get a thumbs up from my wife to do a completely new build very often) an extra $160 is going to be tough to sneak by :)

This is a thought though, next year, shortly before tax time, I will tell her that the card burned up and that I have to get a new one. That is, assuming that I am unhappy with it. If it performs well, then I will probably go with crossfire. She will never know, mostly because she is a flight attendant and is frequently gone working ;)

Borkachev is also correct by noting that AM3 boards currently don't cooperate well with triple channel ram. As far as I know, only the i series does. I could be wrong though.
#12 May 08 2010 at 4:25 PM Rating: Good
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I'm currently in the market for a new computer as well so I've been doing a ton of research. I'm not an expert in any sense of the word so take whatever I say with a grain of salt. I'm just a guy who wants the best bang for his buck.

First of all, newegg offers better prices than tiger direct for most parts. Secondly, I don't want to sound like an intel fanboi but all of the reviews I've seen rates the current intel processors to be better for games than their amd counterparts. The i5-750, for example, rates better than the 965 BE in most games and it costs $200. Someone mentioned paying more for the HD 5850 but, again, not wanting to sound like a fanboi, the gtx 470 costs the same but gets better fps in most games (and those that don't the 5850 only gets a few fps more).

I've also read many reviews saying that the hexacores aren't very good at all. I've read a few that compare them to 955 BE and it's not very good. If you want an AMD best to stick with a 955 since most games don't utilize multiple cores very well, or at all, and the hexacore don't turboboost very well.
#13 May 08 2010 at 5:55 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Aurelius wrote:
Yes, DX11 support will almost certainly come at some point, which is why it disappoints me to see people steered away from DX11 cards.


I don't think telling him he might want to "think about" picking up a 4870 if DX11 isn't a concern for him counts as "steering" him away from anything, but whatever.

jhariya wrote:
...an extra $160 is going to be tough to sneak by :)

This is a thought though, next year, shortly before tax time, I will tell her that the card burned up and that I have to get a new one.


Well hey, if lying is an option, just offer to do all the grocery shopping from now on and always ask for $20.00 cash back at checkout. If she uses online banking she won't have any way of knowing what happened unless she actually asks you for the receipt.

Eight trips later you got your 5850 or whatever else you want to spend the money on.

Edited, May 8th 2010 5:05pm by akirussan
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#14 May 08 2010 at 6:16 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Secondly, I don't want to sound like an intel fanboi but all of the reviews I've seen rates the current intel processors to be better for games than their amd counterparts. The i5-750, for example, rates better than the 965 BE in most games and it costs $200. Someone mentioned paying more for the HD 5850 but, again, not wanting to sound like a fanboi, the gtx 470 costs the same but gets better fps in most games (and those that don't the 5850 only gets a few fps more).

The i5 750 is a good choice, but it's a little more expensive than the 965. Once you take the 1156 motherboard into account, it's quite a bit more expensive.

Same sort of thing with the GTX 470... everywhere I've seen it's more expensive than the 5850. Its performance is in line with its price, but it's extremely hot and inefficient, and it has no overclocking room.
#15 May 08 2010 at 7:22 PM Rating: Good
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Borkachev wrote:
Same sort of thing with the GTX 470... everywhere I've seen it's more expensive than the 5850. Its performance is in line with its price, but it's extremely hot and inefficient, and it has no overclocking room.


Pretty much this.

The 480 might be able to survive 97 degree temps (~160 degrees surface), but my other components can't.
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#16 May 08 2010 at 8:03 PM Rating: Good
akirussan wrote:
Borkachev wrote:
Same sort of thing with the GTX 470... everywhere I've seen it's more expensive than the 5850. Its performance is in line with its price, but it's extremely hot and inefficient, and it has no overclocking room.


Pretty much this.

The 480 might be able to survive 97 degree temps (~160 degrees surface), but my other components can't.


I've been told that the 480 will come down in tempuratures significantly as the architecture evolves, but I wouldn't even want to put a water block on a card pumping out that much heat unless it was on a seperate loop or, at the very least, had its own designated radiator. That's just too **** hot for most cases.
#17 May 09 2010 at 9:25 PM Rating: Decent
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The temps approaching 100c are from people using cases too small or with poor airflow. I have 2 of these in sli in my case and the top card gets hottest at 83c under 100% load during benchmarking. I'm waiting on my new thermal paste to come in wednesday, but there are reports of people lowering their temps anywhere from 6-10c after putting some good paste on. As for power consumption it works out to around 70-80w extra draw. The cards work harder under load so it kinda makes sense, but it is a bit high I guess.

I would also have to give nVidia a slight edge in the price v performance area too. The reasons are that they're outperforming similar priced ATI cards in the minimum frame rate area by a large margin, they wipe the floor with them in DX11 and this is all on fresh drivers. When the drivers mature the cards will put the similar offerings from ATI further and further back. By then the prices on ATI cards will drop so it'll probably be fairly close anyway.
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#18 May 09 2010 at 9:48 PM Rating: Decent
FilthMcNasty wrote:
The temps approaching 100c are from people using cases too small or with poor airflow. I have 2 of these in sli in my case and the top card gets hottest at 83c under 100% load during benchmarking. I'm waiting on my new thermal paste to come in wednesday, but there are reports of people lowering their temps anywhere from 6-10c after putting some good paste on. As for power consumption it works out to around 70-80w extra draw. The cards work harder under load so it kinda makes sense, but it is a bit high I guess.

I would also have to give nVidia a slight edge in the price v performance area too. The reasons are that they're outperforming similar priced ATI cards in the minimum frame rate area by a large margin, they wipe the floor with them in DX11 and this is all on fresh drivers. When the drivers mature the cards will put the similar offerings from ATI further and further back. By then the prices on ATI cards will drop so it'll probably be fairly close anyway.


I recently read that there was also a driver issue with the cards when they were first released that was causing the fans to not throttle as they should have been doing. That and the thermal paste issue should bring the cards down to more reasonable load temperature. Still a bit toasty for my liking, but that's coming from someone cooling with water where anything over 45C makes me nervous ;D
#19 May 10 2010 at 12:40 AM Rating: Decent
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Come to think of it.

Anyone know if FFXIV supports multi threading for CPUs?

Since most game nowadays only use like 2 cores max.
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#20 May 10 2010 at 8:09 AM Rating: Good
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No games support more than 2 because let's face it, quads don't work so well in laptops where a lot of current casual gamers are investing. Also, to many duos are still produced to count them out and it is not cost effective to program for diminishing audiences by multi-threading games considering newer processors are more efficient.

Don't look at mHZ only just to see if a cpu is "faster". The current i5 750 (@2.66)is the best bang for your buck and performs much faster stock than the AMD 965 Phenom II BE (which is their current top performer for games stock clock at 3.4). With a good cooler you can overclock the i5 750 to 4.0+ but stock cooler seems to range about 3.1-3.5. The i5 750 is considered an over clockers dream and performs admirably while matching the performance of i7 9XX series of CPUs for gaming. Funnily enough, the i5 750 has been shown to be above any bottlenecks in current graphic cards. Stock or overclocked achieves the same results. Also note any higher series of Intel processors to the i5 750 do not overclock as well giving diminishing returns on cost/dollar performance ratio. Added advantage is the i5 is a power sipper in comparison to everything else (in cost/performance/power consumption ratio).

Advantages to AMD and Intel. Intel CPUs are better overall (cost for dollar performance). A big if is that Intel always needs a new motherboard for a new CPU. They hardly make it backwards compatible. Triple channel ram is intel only for i7's in the 9XX series. AMD makes their new CPUs backwards compatible to older hardware to a point therefore you can always get a new CPU while reusing your current ram and MB set-up. This factors into total cost as Windows 7 OEM license is tied to mother board (I bought win 7 oem for $130!).

I have heard problems with SATA 3 + USB 3.0 when used in conjunction with xfire/sli. Not sure how accurate it is but just throwing it out there if you are considering a SATA 3 + USB 3.0 on your motherboard. In functionality SATA 3 is still not really useful in speed compared to a SSD for OS running purposes but SSD is known to have high failure rates. SATA 3 is only useful when transferring from HDD to HDD. Sure you may shave a few seconds off a game loading screen or decrease the time a HDD "stutter" happens but price vs. performance is not useful right now.

EDIT: OK, looked it up. Apparently using SATA 3 or USB 3 drops bus speed when using 2+ video cards. The trade off is between faster talk between 2+ video cards and and 3.0 devices.

An ATI 5770 is the best bang for your buck card and by the time you need to xFire it, the price of a second card should drop dramatically. I personally got a 5850 only because it was on sale and dropped the price/performance ratio in favor of that. When pricing things, please be sure to look at taxes and shipping and adding the costs together and not just the in cart cost.

Where you should splurge is case and power supply. Good ones can last you through several upgrades/changes. They are also the most stable in prices.

HDD or just drives in general, just get the best price/gig ratio. You can always add a better/faster one later with minimal hassle.

Finally, don't forget to leave some budget for extra fans. Those are always a "surprise" cost.

One last thing about price: beware the mail in rebates. Think of it as a gamble on if you will get it back or not, check to see if people get their rebates or if there are a lot of complaints.

Edited, May 10th 2010 10:13am by Aiph

Edited, May 10th 2010 10:27am by Aiph
#21 May 10 2010 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
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Borkachev wrote:
The i5 750 is a good choice, but it's a little more expensive than the 965. Once you take the 1156 motherboard into account, it's quite a bit more expensive.


Yeah, the cpu is about 20 more expensive but it really does offer a lot more performance in gaming (I mean, a lot). The cheaper motherboards are more expensive by about the same margin but the OP has over a $200 motherboard he's planning on buying. In that range the motherboards are the same.

Borkachev wrote:
Same sort of thing with the GTX 470... everywhere I've seen it's more expensive than the 5850. Its performance is in line with its price, but it's extremely hot and inefficient, and it has no overclocking room.


It depends on the company...the 470 are all about the same price (they vary by like $10-$20) the 5850 vary widely. They start at around $30 less than the 470 but go to about $30 more. I say they average at about the same price. You're right on the heating issue though. I've actually switched to a 5850 in my future rig for that reason. More because I don't like being hot, though, and my apartment doesn't have air conditioning. I always knew that...just never connected the heat of the gpu with the heat in the room together.
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