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i3 2120 & 560ti Balanced?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am most likely going to start a building one of my first PC's quite soon. I've done a considerable amount of research and wanted to make sure I had my information correct. The build will be used mainly for gaming, (TF2, Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Skyrim etc.) but also handle all my day to day activities. I have a budget of around 600$ and wanted to ask a few questions:
  • Would a i3 2120 and 560ti create a balanced gaming environment, no bottlenecks and such?
  • Do SSD's have a big enough impact on game performance to justify their price tag?
  • What wattage power supply would be sufficient to power the ladder as well as a WiFi and sound card?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Edited by Tastel3ss - 8/25/12 at 4:36pm
post #2 of 5
The i3 can hold its own with a 560ti, or even much better (so long as you're sticking to single gpu).

An SSD should result in somewhat faster loading times. I've seen studies that suggest better gaming performance all around, but I've never really noticed it. Gaming or not, an SSD is worth every penny for its overall affect on general computing. I cannot overstate that.

I'm not an expert on psus (or anything really..well maybe fans), but I think I'd go with a 500/550 watt. You could go lower, but the selection really increases after 500, resulting in some good values on high efficiency gold/silver rated units. It'll give you some breathing room as well. Imo go for modular. Some people don't care, but I think it makes the build experience more pleasant.
Edited by Otterclock - 8/25/12 at 2:40pm
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570k@4.5ghz 1.21v Gigabyte Sniper M3 Sapphire 6950 Samsung 8g1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 830 Samsung F1 500 Crucial M4 64 (SRC) cpu:Noc NF-F12 / case:4x TY-141/gpu: 2x NB-Multi 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Venomous X, Accelero TT Win 7 64 Acer X213H Saitek Eclipse 
PowerCaseMouse
Superflower 650 plat Fractal Arc Midi G500 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Great! What are the limits of the i3 exactly? Say if I were to up it to a 660ti, would I be pushing it a little?

As far as the SSD, I have over 100GB worth of games on my Steam account, I would probably be looking at a 128GB SSD. I want to have some extra room for movies, music etc. If I used the SSD for a boot drive then got say a 500GB HHD and stuck the majority of my games, music etc. on the HHD would I still reap the performance of the SSD? I know about SSD caching but I won't be purchasing a Z68+ motherboard.

For the PSU, I know I'll be more than safe with the one I have, the Seasonic X-Series 650W, I was just thinking maybe I should sell, it get a cheaper one and use the money elsewhere. But alas... my OCD loves the fully modular cables.
Edited by Tastel3ss - 8/25/12 at 4:36pm
post #4 of 5
i3 would not bottleneck a 660ti. There may be limitation with some cpu-intensive games, which is another matter.

You could use a 128 ssd and just be a little conservative when it comes to installing steam games, only putting a few on there that you are currently playing. Or you could install steam on your storage drive, download games to your hearts content, and use a program like Steam Library Manager to copy select games to and from the SSD. I use it.

I doubt selling the psu and getting a cheaper one would net you a gain that would make it worth it. I'd keep the Seasonic.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570k@4.5ghz 1.21v Gigabyte Sniper M3 Sapphire 6950 Samsung 8g1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 830 Samsung F1 500 Crucial M4 64 (SRC) cpu:Noc NF-F12 / case:4x TY-141/gpu: 2x NB-Multi 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Venomous X, Accelero TT Win 7 64 Acer X213H Saitek Eclipse 
PowerCaseMouse
Superflower 650 plat Fractal Arc Midi G500 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570k@4.5ghz 1.21v Gigabyte Sniper M3 Sapphire 6950 Samsung 8g1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 830 Samsung F1 500 Crucial M4 64 (SRC) cpu:Noc NF-F12 / case:4x TY-141/gpu: 2x NB-Multi 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Venomous X, Accelero TT Win 7 64 Acer X213H Saitek Eclipse 
PowerCaseMouse
Superflower 650 plat Fractal Arc Midi G500 
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Reply
post #5 of 5
The i3 would become CPU limited in games before it limits a single GPU. Either a 560ti or 660ti would be fine.

The SSD is a wonderful upgrade, but on your budget it's not worth it. That setup you described will absolutely net you the main performance benefits of an SSD, but you can upgrade to it. Go for a larger HDD now - say a 7200rpm 1TB HDD, and upgrade to an SSD for your O/S later. It is a wonderful upgrade, but not necessary when starting out. Save the money and invest in a better CPU/GPU.

The Seasonic PSU is more than fine for this build and future upgrades (quad-core CPU and top-end GPU. You really don't need that much. A solid 500wat Seasonic would be more than enough, and I'm sure that the PSU gods around here will swear that you could get away with a good 430watt PSU.

Good luck! biggrin.gif
Edited by willibj - 8/26/12 at 7:06pm
 
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