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 Post subject: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:52 pm 
8086
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Hello Everyone I need some advice on my next gaming/budget rig. My main concern is CPU and GPU. With CPU, I've been looking at 2500k, 2600k and looking into Ivy Bridge. Also I found some reviews online about the E3-1230 server CPU saying that I could put it into desktop mobo's (one review on newegg) and use it as non server CPU because apparently it's much better than other Intel CPU's in it's price range but I wondered if it would create some stability problems. So my question here is if I can use a Server CPU should I? Futhermore if Ivy Bridge will have some server CPU's, can I use those or should I just wait for the Desktop Ivy CPU's?

On the GPU side I'm pretty confident that Nvidia will release new units in response to the new Radeon's and hope that they will be within a good price/performance ratio. Any leaks in news about new GPU's? I was looking at SLI 570's or those Upgraded 560's in SLI but I'm trying to be patient. My budget currently for my new build will be no more than $1,500. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:42 am 
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Welcome to the forum!

First question, what is your current system specs? What games and other applications do you plan to use with this new rig? Are you recycling any parts from older builds? Do you need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset and/or OS in your budget? Do you plan to overclock?


First of all, The E3 1230 chip is an entry level xeon server class processor that's meant for budget minded 1P workstation or server environments. They were specifically made for the newer C20x series (C204 is the more common type) motherboard chipset with more IT/server level features like vPro, VT-d and ECC ram. While the price is very tantalizing, do note you will not have any overclocking abilities have limited support on consumer level motherboards.

Most manufacturers don't even list the Xeon chips on their P67 or Z68 LGA 1155 socket boards, probably due to bios support, so its a hit or miss in most setups. The only company I know of that states E3 xeon on their cpu support list is Asus (as well as their line of Asrock boards), but Intel doesn't officially support any server based processors on consumer level desktop boards. Some people on Hard OCP and Tweaktown forums have mentioned great success running the E3 with Z68 Pro3-M boards with the latest firmware (provided that you get the board shipped with a supporting bios); others have tried MSi Z68 versions as well.

All things considered, for a gaming rig, I'd still stick with the consumer level version of Sandy bridge like the 2500k or 2600k or even just wait for Ivy Bridge versions in April.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:29 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Hey JBaz, thanks for the warm welcome :). My current system specs are :
CPU: LGA 775 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
RAM: OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
GPU: EVGA Superclocked GTX 260
Optical: ASUS Black Blu-Ray Combo
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black
Mobo: ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 Mobo
Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster T190

The only things I was going to recycle was the Blu-Ray drive, Case, mouse, keyboard and Monitor although my ultimate plan was to hook it up to my HDTV just for a bigger screen but keeping the monitor just in case I'm watching the tv. I was planning on OCing but not to crazy because I'm really not going to stress it out that much. I bought the CM Hyper 212 Plus in anticipation and considering all the reviews, I thought it would be a adequate fan for 2500k, 2600k and most likely Ivy Bridge, I hope. Also thankfully I already have OS's here, I was going to run Win 7 Ultimate but Ultimate is on 64 bit so I wanted to get at least 16gb of RAM and maybe even have a RAMDisk. Your thoughts?

The main reason I want a new rig is so I can keep up with all the latest games without fps issues, maybe even test out BF3 but never played any of the series. However I don't really run any ridiculous apps that would stress it out, after all if I was, I think by now this E8400 would've felt the effects but shes running like shes brand new :)


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Go with a 2500k and a Z68 board. If you ever need more power, the Z68 will support Ivy Bridge as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:05 am 
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Well honestly, since we are so close to Ivy Bridge release, its hard not to tell people to just wait it out for 2 more months. Your E8400 isn't exactly the slowest chip and the gtx 260 should hold you out for a bit; it can still play BF3 on medium to low settings just fine (and honestly, even on low settings, the game looks crazy good).

As for GPU, again, its hard to push for one since AMD should be releasing their budget level 7k series with Kepler just around the corner. I'm hopeful that by the time Ivy Bridge comes out, prices on older AMD 6k series and Nvidia 500 series drop down. You would be fine adding a newer gen GPU first if you can't wait to have more gpu power.

Also what is your budget?


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:49 am 
8086
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Airhead: That's what I was thinking of doing but like JBaz says since Ivy Bridge is right around the corner, and since it uses less power but delivers same performance I thought it was a no brainer.

JBaz: Do you know if they are coming out with any Ivy's for LGA 2011? If so I would wait for those because I would love to have the 8 RAM slots (with the 8 slots, I could have a bigger RAMDisk) available to me but if not I'll stick with LGA 1155. On the GPU side, I know Radeon is known for being better on bigger displays and since I wanted to hook it up to m TV that should be the way to go but I wanted to shoot for either Crossfire or SLI if it made sense. My budget right now is $1,500. I really don't mind waiting because I learned my lesson with my first build, the E8400, spent $1,450 on it while my second build (my fathers) was about $200 less and is at least 10 times better than mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Desktop versions of Ivy Bridge is only LGA 1155 socket.

There will be a new LGA 2011 sandy bridge e chip that'll hit the lower price point of the upper consumer level i7's ($300, release sometime this month); the 3920, but its a limited unlocked chip and its only quad core. There should also be a number of 1P Xeon 2011 chips that'll be released in the next month or two that'll hit similar price points of the current sandy-e models for businesses.

The prices on the 2011 chips aren't expected to drop in price even after Ivy Bridge releases so if you are looking that route, then just keep an eye on current deals; but they only have the $600 3930k and the $1000 3960k right now. Even if you went with the $300 2011 quad core, you are still looking to spend 200-400 for a proper motherboard compare to 1155 versions; hard to justify the cost for quad channel RAM considering Ivy Bridge will still offer similar features as the bigger brother for less cost.

The only reason you'd want to grab a 2011 is if you need a powerful 1P cpu setup, need all 40 dedicate pcie 3.0 lanes for a triple or quad SLI/xfire setup or hate the idea of being sensible with your money.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:23 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
I see your points, so stick with a 1155 Ivy and mobo combo so it should be less than $500 for the combo and then work around that. Would you recommend Crossfire or SLI more though? I think SLI would fit in to my $1,500 budget better but I need more opinions :)


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:05 am 
Coppermine
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I have to agree with JB on waiting for the Ivy Bridge release. I built this rig in Sept. around the 2600k. The 2500k I equally as good and can save some money. The only real thing you are giving up is the HT capability. AS for the 2700k, what little performance boost there may be over the 2600k, does not justify the big difference in price. As the others have pointed out, you do want to go with a Z68 based motherboard ( I went with the ASUS p8Z68-VPro ). Don't know if I will move to an Ivy Bridge or not at this point. We'll just wait and see.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:17 am 
8086
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Yea thanks guys, I will wait for IB. Here is a rough draft of what I was going towards in my $1,500 budget NOTE: I put the 2500k in there just to get a rough quote of what I'm willing to pay for a IB. Also all these prices are from newegg in case you want to show me something better:

Optical: Recycling my old drive
Monitor: Recycling from old build
Mouse, Keyboard: Recycling from old build.
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K $229.99
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 $129.99
RAM: GeIL Evo Two 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 $139.99
PSU: AZZA Dynamo 850 850W $84.00
GPU : 2 MSI N560GTX-Ti 448 GTX 560 Ti - 448 Cores (Fermi) 1280MB $589.98
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM $269.99

With shipping, this all comes out to $1,458.11 . A little under my budget. I'm pretty sure there is room for improvement somewhere because if I'm investing this kind of money, I want to make sure it's all worth it :). Also I want to wait until HDD prices drop because of the flood in Thailand. back in the day, that 3TB drive would be about half that price, maybe more than half. If it does drop, then I will have more money for improvement elsewhere. I seriously want your opinion on this. Thanks for all the input guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:27 am 
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use pcpartpicker.com to help get your build list. It's pretty good at helping you find compatible parts with some current deals; stays pretty upto date with prices, but you have to click on the links to make sure the item is still on sale or in stock. Plus it fools you sometimes if its an in-store only item. Most of the time, newegg or NCIX US will hit good prices.

Here's a quick list

I swapped out the 560ti 448's for the slower versions, but that have 2GB frame buffers. They are on sale for $240 a piece and perform close to the 6950's. I went with the Asrock only because its a nice board, with good caps, pcie 3.0 and UEFI bios for the same price.

Also, I'd priced for a 4x4GB ram set for $90 instead of paying $140 for a 2x8GB set. You honestly won't use 16gb for a gaming rig so don't even spend the premium for 8gb sticks that run a slower timing (10-10-10 vs 9-9-9). Even current games won't use more than 1-2GB of ram while Skyrim is the only game that can address up to 4gb... provided you tweak the game engine with custom graphical mods.

As for the PSU, don't cheap out here; get good quality brands. AZZA isn't exactly known for quality. You can stick with a 750w PSU since you'll be running mid-range powered gpu's; even with a little bit of overclocking, you'll have enough performance. I selected the OCZ 750 since they are pretty damn good value for the price, but you should look at Corsair, Antec, Seasonic and Silverstone offerings. If you want to get an 850w to have a higher wattage headroom, then it still wouldn't be a bad idea.

I'd also recommend sticking with your 500gb hard drive for now. You will be paying a huge premium for mechanical hard drives until the market normalizes later in the year because of the floods in Thailand. WD has already scaled their production back up to almost near pre-floods capacity so it could be a lot sooner than the end of the year for $80 2TB 7200 drives again.

Another alternative is to graduate to the SSD level, grab a modern 120gb SATAIII drive for around $150 then pair it with a cheap 2TB green drive for $100-120 for storage.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:26 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Wow that's a awesome price for the 2500k, makes me want to buy it now but I'll still wait for IB. I wish I could get to micro center but I don't have a car :(, hope I can ask a friend. But if those pieces only come out to $900, then couldn't I upgrade the GPU's and PSU to better models?

My other concern is the HDD, since mine is only 500GB, its almost filled to capacity, I only have about 60GB left. Also won't the SSD and HDD combo throw my price much higher than just doing the RAMDisk? According to MaximumPC's last issue(March 2012 I believe) a RAMDisk is potentially faster and much cheaper than a SSD option and I only really wanted a SSD for faster boot times. Your thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:15 pm 
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setting up a RAM disk is way more expensive and its volatile ($4/gb+); you can't put your OS on it... Plus most consumer motherboards/chipsets are limited to 32 or 64gb of system ram. If you were planning on spending $270 for a 3TB drive, its best to do what I said before, split it with an SSD and a slow 2tb green drive.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:38 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Ok basically I should do something like this?:

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB SATA 6.0Gb/s

Secondly, should I get better GPU's than the 560's if my budget allows? If so, which cards do you recommend and which PSU do I pair them with?


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:46 pm 
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For a $1500 budget, it would be hard to squeeze more gpu power out of it than a pair of 560ti or 6950's. The price bracket jumps up by another $50-100 for the next teir and will put you over budget.

And yeah, You could go with m4, but honestly, its pretty expensive compared to some others on the market. Newegg has the Corsair Force Series GT 120gb for $135 that has stellar performance and very reliable. (link)


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:55 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
hm ok guess I'll settle for the 560's then. I already have the Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus so that should be sufficient as long as I don't overclock a lot right?

Hopefully since WD is lowering the HDD prices, I can save more money by waiting a bit more and Hopefully Ivy will be affordable enough for a powerful CPU. Thanks for all your help! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Ivy Bridge will replace the whole current like of i5 and i7's between the $200-300 price bracket.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:07 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
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Do you know if they will have a equivalent of i7 2600k at the $300 range? I could potentially squeeze that into the budget, but is it worth it versus a i5 2500k version of Ivy?


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:06 pm 
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its going to be the exact same current cpu replacements. So there will be an i5 2500k and i7 2700k versions in Ivy Bridge for the same price range. I'm not sure what the price during launch day will be, but I'd bet they'll be 20-40 bucks higher than the similar i5 2500k/2600k since they'll be new items.


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 Post subject: Re: Can't Decide on CPU and GPU
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:29 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Posts: 43
Sounds good, I think by the time I actually purchase everything, I'll be able to purchase the i7 version as long as the prices for the other components drop and I'm sure they will since new items will be better and what not, maybe they will give me more options. Seriously Thanks for all your help :). I now have a much better idea on what to get.


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