Ultra Battlebox: Building a Battlefield 3 PC For Under $1,600

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Vic

Did I miss them or were the benchmarks not given for this system as always done in true MPC fashion? I would also like to see how this system matches up to the dual gpu system that MPC did recently at the same $1,600 price point.

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Jc61990

Im a little concerned with the memory used in this rig.

I have a very similar build, but ran into some issues down the road.

 

What gets me worried is the memory used in the above build is 1600Mhz.  Now the i5-2500k supports UP TO DDR3-1333.

 

In my build i have a i5-2500k combined with a z68 board and 1866MHz dual channel memory. about a week after my build was finished with no overclocks of any kind, the cpu burnt out.  

After calling gigabyte, and intel several times,  intel let me know that the i5 cpu must be used with DDR3-1333, and thats it.  The board may support the higher frequencies, but the cpu can not.  

This made me very upset with the i5, and the fact that i bought expensive mushkin memory that i cant even use.

i dont want to say this article is wrong, but i just want to let everyone be aware of what intel has told me 

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Beldorx

How would you compare the gaming specs of two recent builds from MPC: this one and the one from Oct 17th for virtually the same price?

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/can_you_build_2560_x_1600_gaming_rig_without_breaking_bank_we_find_out

 

 

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ExportGuru

I want to build this machine but cannot quite figure out the hard drive.  Is it a 3TB Hitachi Deskstar 7k3000, actually a 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 2000, or is there such a thing as a 2 TB Hitachi Deskstar 3000?  Hitachi's webpage only seems to offer options one and two.  Which should I buy?

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Mizufall

In stead of the 750w corsair psu I purchased the coolermaster 850w psu (they are the same price) and it runs like a champ. Just a suggestion, it never hurts to have some more name brand psu power :)

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nightfly

A little shopping got me this beast for $1100:
Asus p8p67-m            $135 amazon
i5 2500k                        $179 thx microcenter
8 gig ram                     $45 newegg
ati 5970                       $300 thx newegg!
Antec H62 kuhler    $59 ebay
Antec 900w power supply $129 newegg
Silverstone sg02 case  $65
Dell Oem slimline optical off of ebay $29
OCZ vertex2 120GB SSD   $145 Tigerdirect
WD 500 gb HD already had from last sale at Microcenter $49

 

I put the kuhler in the top optical bay, squeezes in just above the slimline optical drive fine.

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Woden501

Just upgraded mine in part to play BF3, and with my current setup I get between 50 and 60 fps on Ultra at 1920x1200.  No overclocking at all so far.

i5 2500K ($220)

Crossfire ATi Radeon 5870 1GB ($300)

8BG DDR3 1600 RAM ($45)

Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Mobo ($130)

OCZ Vertex 2 160GB SSD (had previously)

I essentially replaced everything except the hard drives and case, and ended up spending around $800 after adding in the power supply I had to replace to be able to crossfire the 5870's..

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std error

How about another article for BF3 Eyefinity/Surround testing? Surely triple monitor testing adds some "max" in maximumpc?

hardocp has an article in the works.... but it's taking them forever to get it out!

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JcHc3in1

I second that motion!

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JcHc3in1

Delete

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nadako

At compusa in arlington texas we have an amd xfx 6 core with 14mb of cach for $170 and a gigabyte motherboard for $150 wouldnt this give you the same or better performance this would also save you $100.

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MrPC2010

Ahaha, eat that consoles :p

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Gumby

I have a Phenom X4 955 4GB RAM and a Radeon HD6870 1GB both CPU and GPU at stock speeds.  I have no problems running BF3 at 1920x1080 (native for my monitor)

On the single player campaign, I ran everything at ultra with no issues.

In multiplayer, I drop it down to high on everything and drop out all the AA and motion blur.  The game looks great and never feels like it stutters.  I am upgrading to 8GB of RAM because it is just so cheap right now.  But I do not have to do that for BF3 to run great for me.  I could probably Crossfire and run ultra even in mulitiplayer if I wanted to.  I imagine that my rig plus the 8GB and Crossfire would cost significantly less than $1600 if I built it today and play this game just as well.

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sbud4u

 

I plan on building a PC similar to this for my daughter's Christmas present, except instead of a Battlefield 3 pc it will be a Skyrim/SWTOR pc. My question is, is there a good free app to burn in/stress test the rig after I get it built. I would hate to have her start using it Christmas day and have it crash. What would be a good amount of time for the burn in? 24 to 48 hours? Thanks!!

 

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std error

Prime95 and LinX for the CPU.

For GPU download Unengine Heaven or Furmark. I do 24 hours 

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sbud4u

Thanks!!

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Fusereactor

I don't understand why not go for a 6870 x2 or 560 ti x2 confirguration (or better) at this price range. It is surely doable at even 1.1k if you skip out on SSD (and HDD prices were at normal levels). Is it because of microstuttering that dual-GPU configurations are skipped? Or is a single 6970 capable of maxing BF3 at this resolution?

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noobstix

I have an AMD Phenom II 955 BE paired with a MSI Radeon HD 6870 TF II (both are at stock clocks) and I was able to get pretty good framerates and no significant hiccups with everything on/maxxed (even on 1920x1080 resolution).  My whole system costs only half (maybe even 1/3) of what this build does and yet it does comparatively well.  One thing I have to say about the FB2 engine is that it makes NFS: The Run a bit of an annoying game to play since one of the factors is the blinding sunlight (which is more annoying than flashlighting someone in BF3).

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cisx

BAH.... IVE GOT A PHENOM II 955@4.01 GHZ STOCK COOLING, 6GB DDR3 DOUBLE CHANNEL, GTX 550 TI , AND BATTLEFIELD3 RUNS GREAT

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KenLV

“BATTLEFIELD3 RUNS GREAT”

Really? At 1900 x 1200 on full Ultra settings and keep it above 35fps?  I find that difficult to believe when they couldn’t keep it above 35 with a 560.

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cisx

1280x1024 is ok for me

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Brad Nimbus

I got a 6870 paired with a 2600 and I'm running the game perfect with the AA turned down a notch just because of blur issues. Even with AA fully on I will still get over 40 at 1920 1080.

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KenLV

But that’s a 230,000+ pixel advantage over the 1920 X 1200 target resolution AND you’re running an i7 vs. their choice of an i5.  Apples vs. oranges.  Well, at least Tangerines vs. oranges. :)  Plus your savings on the card was eaten up by your more expensive proc.

Don’t get me wrong, that's a nice foundation and these are the exact decisions I made this last weekend, along with should I go with 2 X 6870s or 2 X 6950s vs. 1 X 6970.  When it turned out I could get the 2600K for just $90 more than the i5 I couldn’t resist.  And the single 6970, while NOT as powerful as a 6870/6950 Crossfire setup, it was a) $70-$100 cheaper b) there are STILL a lot of Crossfire issues that need resolving with BF (even with the latest drivers/profiles) and c) vs. replacing the crossfire setup, I have a far less costly upgrade path in 6 months by grabbing a second 6970 - after prices have dropped thanks to the next gen ATIs being well out.

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Brad Nimbus

You think the hyper threading could make that much of a difference? I'm not too sure about that.

I would take a single Gpu over crossfire anyday, when I built my rig I wanted to go Nvidia but I got the card for $100 and it was too good to pass up.

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KenLV

No, not much, but if you put otherwise identical i5 2500K and i7 2600K systems next to each other, you have to say the i7 will have some advantage.

The real advantage is the 230,000+ less pixels you're rendering.

Yes, at $100 you can’t argue with any 68X0 series card.

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Brad Nimbus

Sorry I totally forgot to mention that in my last post (got to lay off the bong) I ran the game at 120o on the telly and yeah there is a pretty big fps decrease, that could be the tv but I would assume the res would slow it down on anything.  1920/1080 looks decent enough for me.

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gandalthewhite

I got a new HP laptop that I've seen videos of playing BF3 on high settings at 1366x768. Worth $1400, cost $900. Win!

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MastaGuy

You guy's gotta stop using SSD's. They're great and all, but those are good for people that have the money. Your saving $220 for a really fast hard drive essentially. 

 

Also, why don't you use AMD. You can get a cheaper 8-core processor. And it will do the same job as the 2500k

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Supfresh

because amd cpu has almost no place in a $1600 gaming rig. Sub 700-800, possibly worth comparing pros/cons. 8 cores is useless for gaming.

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MastaGuy

If you look at posts above, people are using Phenom II 955's and playing BF3. And that's with 4 cores. And yes I've seen people using 8 cores for gaming. I do agree it's overkill, but its only $250 for the FX-8150, compared to a six-core Intel for $1000

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blimpboy3

I agree on the SSD part. $220 is a lot that can be used for say a 6950 crossfire or a 560 ti setup instead. Shave an extra few seconds off load times over nearly double the frame rates? No thanks.  As for the processor, an 8 core bulldozer is not cheaper than a 2500k. 8150 is $240 while the 2500k is only $220, or $180 at microcenter.  Its better than bulldozer in every way.

I also disagree on the motherboard selections. Why do people spend $200 on a motherboard when a cheap MSI p67 g45 or g55 can do the same including crossfire and sli. Sure it might not get the same overclocking potential but would 300mhz really make a difference? 4.5 vs 4.8, no difference in game so why waste money on such an expensive mobo. Seems like the bang for the buck ideology goes out the window when it comes to mobos on maxpc.

Also, is this article old since it lists 8 gigs of ram for 80 bucks when you can get it for under 30 these days.

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JcHc3in1

What's the difference between the Asus P8Z68-V Pro recommended here and the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe? In laymans terms if you could please. I am pricing out a new build now. Would an upgraded/overclocked CPU help make up the difference between a NVidia GTX 570 and the recommended 580?

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CHR15x94

The difference between the P8Z68-V Pro and the P8P67 Deluxe is the chipset used. The Z68 chipset is basically a new enthusiast chipset meant to replace the P67. It offers a few new features, like SSD caching (uses a small SSD to speed up transfer to/from your mechanical drive) and allows you to use the built-in GPU of your processor as well as overclock it and the CPU, as well as two more SATA 6Gb/s ports, but other than that, really the same deal as the P67.

Really not worth paying extra for from a gamer's standpoint (IMO), but if you can get a Z68 board for <= the price of a P67 board, I'd get the Z68.

You can find comparisons of the Z68 and P67 chipset features online if you want more specific details.

As far as 570 vs 580, both are kick ass cards. The 570 would probably be better bang for your buck and wouldn't suck as much power. It'll also play BF3 and just about every game out there very well. Overclocking the processor would give you a boost in performance, but I wouldn't expect too much. Your GPU is playing the largest role in any game's graphics quality.

You could also wait for AMD and nVidia to release their new graphics cards. They'll be using a 28nm manufacturing process which will reduce power consumption and prices, as well as provide a large jump in performance. (I'd expect somewhere between a 1.5x and 2.0x performance jump, but that's just speculation based on the manufacturing process size, so take with a few grains of salt)

If you have any more questions or whatever, or I'm being too technical/unclear, feel free to tell/ask me, I love answering stuff like this. :P

 

By the way, here's my system if you want to compare. I only played the BF3 beta a few times (found it a little slow paced), but my system played it quite well:

Core i5 2500K, 8GB (2 x 4GB) G-Skill DDR3 RAM @ 1333MHz, Radeon HD 6950 1GB, all at stock speeds.

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JcHc3in1

The P8P67 Deluxe is actually more expensive which is one reason why I asked.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131701

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790

The setup I am looking at getting:

i7 2600K 3.40GHz overclocked to 4.0GHz

8GB DDR3 1600MHz Corsair Dominator DHX

1050W Corsair Pro Silver 1050HX (for the headroom)

1x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1.2GB (EVGA Edition)

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CHR15x94

Nice setup. I'd get a 2500K if you'd like to save $100. Unless you really want the tiny performance increase it has (because of cache and clock bump).

Also, I tried to edit this, but it MaxPC wouldn't let me. Z68 still has the same amount of SATA 6Gb/s ports as P68 (that would be two), the NewEgg descriptions that I quickly glanced at just grouped them together for the Z68 board rather than P67 (they specify that two of the 6Gb/s ports are provided by the chipset and two by an extra controller on the P67 description). Checked MaxPC's Z68 article

I also noticed the P67 board was more too. Not sure why.

You could save some on the PSU. You'd only need that for SLI/CrossFire of really high-end GPUs. I've got a Corsair 650W, even thats a little more than I need for a 6950.

But it really looks like a good PC. Just check reviews of things online for performance and reliability. I have an ASUS P8P67-M PRO motherboard. The first one died on me after four or five months. Worked fine otherwise but ASUS seems to pay less attention to the quality of their cheaper boards. The reviews on NewEgg seem to reflect that.

I only bought this one because the boards were just coming back in stock after the SATA chipset bug recalled all of them, and I was impatient.

 

Also, please fix the spam filter. Bleh!

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JcHc3in1

I intend on going SLI when the 570s drop in price next year, plus I like the headroom for the overclocking. I do intend on getting a mid-tower rather than full tower this time. We have two full towers now and the size just dominates the office. Would the 1050w help keep things more quiet than a PSU that gets more taxed running the hardware?

I agree about the SPAM!

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CHR15x94

I imagine it would keep temps and noise level lower. But I don't really hear my PSU. My graphics card on the other hand gets a little loud when it's working hard. Good thing I've got headphones.

I'd check some other websites on Google for reviews of the PSU you're looking at, and maybe ones you've already got or would consider getting. They usually have graphs and what not comparing load vs temp vs noise levels. Noise level usually spikes after certain amounts of load. Try OverclockersClub or AnandTech.

This is my first real build. The PC I had before this was just an HP Elite with a Core 2 Quad (Q6600) in it and an upgraded Corsair 450W PSU and Radeon HD 5750. That got quite loud and hot, but then again, the case had next to no ventilation and was small and packed with the cords from the PSU.

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JcHc3in1

This is going to be my first build without a dedicated soundcard. It feels weird, but I have an inexpensive 2.1 speaker setup and can just rip the X-Fi out of old one if I really want to.

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CHR15x94

... Z68 still has the same amount of SATA 6Gb/s ports as P67...*

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