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Hardware  » Need some advice on a few things regarding a new computer.

6 posts found
  lzanon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 313

 
OP  1/24/13 3:34:57 PM#1
Well a bit more. I do not intend to overclock a processor or video card because im a hardware klutz and due to a disability I am not one who can assemble computers on my own.  I do have some money to spend and so far im using websites like Ibuypower.com and cyberpower.com to make my purchase. Yeah i know i can save a about 150 to 200$ or so if i buy the parts myself (i did my homework)

My first concerns comes with the grafics cards. I am happy with my last Ati 6870 which is prompting me to try out their new cards.  I am thinking on crossfiring two ati 7870's or just buy one 7970 however i am not so good on knowing which of the two options will give me the most bang for my $$ currently Ibuypower has a deal going on that has the 7870 at a discount price where 2 cost 12$ less than the 7970. But then i will need more wattage. But that i do not mind, the question is. What preforms better.?

The next is ram. I plan to get 16 gigs of ram. Some of my friends say 32 gigs is overkill for gaming and you just wont use em all. However these same people could not advise me of the above question which has me skeptical on their opinion about the ram. What do you guys think. Is 16gigs of ram ok to play games that are comming out now?

Lastly boils down to the processor. I am not sure if i should get an intel i5 3570 processor or the i7 3770 processor. I know i can go for the 3570k  version and 3770k version for like 10% more but like i said before not planning on overclocking. if the k version out of the box outpreform their regular counterparts and its worth the 10$ difference then I will go for it. So this one would be a money saver is there really that big of a preformance issue from the intel i5 3570 to the i7 3770 in terms of gaming?

I will appreciate any input given to me.
                              
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13393

1/24/13 4:30:31 PM#2

CrossFire, like SLI, can be rather hit and miss.  When they work well, they can nearly double your average frame rate, though they often have frame latency problems so that two of card X in CrossFire or SLI isn't nearly as good as one of a card twice as fast as card X.  And when they don't work well, two of card X can be outright worse than what you'd get by yanking one card out of the machine entirely.  If one high end card isn't good enough for you, then go ahead and get two high end cards in CrossFire or SLI.  But not two mid-range cards.  I'd recommend a single 7970 over two 7870s if that's what you're looking to spend.

Nearly all games are still 32-bit, which means that the program can only address 2 GB of system memory on its own.  Due to that, 4 GB is enough system memory for most people today.  Because it's cheap, I usually recommend at least doubling that to 8 GB, as 4 GB might not be plenty for all that much longer.  If games make a transition to 64-bit programs, system memory needs could go up in a hurry, so on a sufficiently large budget, you can justify getting 16 GB (as two 8 GB modules, not four 4 GB modules) because that's not that expensive, either.  But getting more than 16 GB is ridiculous unless you have unusual needs.

If you're certain that not only will you not overclock the computer yourself, but neither will you ever sell the computer to someone else who wants to overclock it, then go ahead and save some money by getting a non-K version of a CPU.  But even if you don't want to overclock the processor right away, it can be nice to have the opportunity to overclock a few years down the road if you decide its performance isn't good enough anymore.  That might get you good enough performance to justify keeping the computer an extra year or so before you decide that you need to replace it.

A Core i5-3570 and a Core i7-3770 are nearly identical except that the latter has hyperthreading and costs a lot more.  In programs that scale well to eight cores, hyperthreading can increase performance by up to 30%.  In programs that don't scale past four cores, Windows won't even use hyperthreading, as the only possible effects of using it are bad.  Someday, four fast cores probably won't be enough anymore, and a Core i7-3770 might be viable for a while longer while a Core i5-3570 isn't.  But the real solution will be to get a then-modern 12- or 16-core processor, or whatever we're using by then.  If you've got a ridiculous budget, you could justify getting a Core i7-3770.  But most high end gaming rigs should stick to the Core i5-3570 (or 3570K).

You notably only asked about some of the easier components to pick, and not the power supply or storage, which are the trickiest ones.  So I'll answer the questions you should have asked.

iBuyPower's site doesn't work right on my computer for some reason, but if you buy from CyberPower PC, you want either a Corsair TX750 V2 or a Corsair AX750 as your power supply.  The former is fairly nice, and the latter is high end.  You don't save any money by going with lower wattage unless you also give up a lot of quality.  If you're not overclocking, the 750 W is already way overkill for your needs, so paying extra for more than 750 W would be ridiculous.

For storage, at Cyber Power PC's current prices, you want either a 120 GB Intel SSD 330, a 120 GB Samsung 840, a 240 GB Intel SSD 335, a 240 GB OCZ Agility 3, or a 250 GB Samsung 840 as your main drive.  If you need more capacity than that, then you also buy a hard drive of whatever capacity you need.  A quick rule of thumb on how much capacity you need is to see how much you're using now and double it.

  jdnewell

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 1847

1/24/13 5:07:37 PM#3

- Get a single 7970 instead of xfire/ sli setup. Or maybe even a single 680.

-16G of RAM is more than enough. I have 16g and its overkill honestly.

-I would get a ' K " cpu. You may not want to OC now, but having the option is nice. And once you see just how easy it is to OC that cpu you may decide later you want to. Especially down the road a few years, bumping up from say 3.4 to a 4.5ghz to get some more milage out of cpu is never a bad option to have.

- Just make sure you get a solid decent power supply when ordering from a vendor. Quality over wattage goes a long way IMO.

 

My 2cp

Edit: Oh yeah, get an SSD for sure. It makes a big difference IMO.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3394

1/24/13 5:45:57 PM#4

To kinda TL;DR Quiz here:

Don't SLI/CFX unless you absolutely have to. If your video card budget is $500+, get a single 680GTX or 7970Ghz - you won't have to fight with driver support, microstuddering, and game incompatibilities. Not to mention power, heat and noise.

8G of RAM is overkill for most people. You have to really try to use more than 4G. But it's cheap, so get whatever fits in your budget.

There is nearly no difference at stock clocks between the K and non-K edition CPU's. The K editions just allow you to adjust the multiplier. The non-K editions are maybe 100Mhz slower stock (but Turbo to the same value), and different on-chip video (which you won't use) so the difference is negligible.

The difference in the i5 and i7 is hyperthreading, which lets each core pretend to be 2 (so both are technically quad-core CPUs, but the i7 looks like an 8-core to Windows). A hyperthreaded core is about 30% the speed of a real core, so if you have something that can scale perfectly to 8 cores, the i7 will be about 30% faster. For anything that is 4 cores or less, the difference is .. maybe 2% (due to cache differences).

I can't think of any mainstream games that scale past 4 cores. I can only think of a couple that make it all the way out to 4 cores, and the vast majority released in the last few years have been dual core optimized. I can only think of a handful of software period that can scale out past 8 cores (some video rendering, some high-end processing suites, etc).

Also - something to consider. If you buy the parts yourself, you can pay someone local to put them together for you, usually for very reasonable. A local mom&pop shop may charge $50-100, a local hobbiest/enthusiast may do it for a case of beer (or Mt.Dew).

  lzanon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 313

 
OP  1/24/13 6:30:53 PM#5
I do apprecieate everyone who took their time to reply. This did help me make some good desisions and shave off the cost of my next computer. So thanks to all of your input especially about the sLi /crossfire comments.
  Asm0deus

Elite Member

Joined: 9/06/10
Posts: 829

1/24/13 6:34:34 PM#6

Having used xfired cards for the last few years I agree with the previous posters and just a fyi 2 cards xfired does not equal double the power of one.

 

When I update my gpu I will be getting one really good card instead of xfiring again.

case: Coolermaster HAF932
PSU: Antec EA 750watt
RAM: 2x2g G-SKILL DDR3-1600mhz 9-9-9-24
Mb:Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P
CPU: i5-750 @4ghz
GPU: gtx msi N760 TF 2GD5/OC
cooling: Noctua NH-D14
storage: seagate 600 240GB SSD, 500GB x7200rpm HDD