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$1500 Starcraft Build for Friend: Ivy or Haswell?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hey, I got a friend looking to build his first computer for daily tasks and Starcraft HOTS gaming. I helped him come up with the build below. He's still deciding whether to wait for Haswell (he's pretty much ready to buy now) or stay with Ivybridge. The incentives with Ivy are that Haswell will most likely be slightly more expensive, he doesn't have to wait, and there's a bundle CPU/mobo at microcenter that has a $40 dollar discount. He wants to keep SLI option open as well as overclocking. 1500 is the max budget but I don't know if he'll see much visible improvement by spending more.

Suggestions welcome and are especially needed on the monitor.



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (Purchased For $254.98)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.69 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (In bundle with CPU @Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($61.20 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($289.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($126.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Monitor ($127.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $1263.72
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-27 01:43 EDT-0400)
Edited by TemurAmir - 5/26/13 at 10:45pm
post #2 of 53
That system is more than enough to play not only starcraft but most if not all games thumb.gif

Of course if the budget is $1500 i would invest it in another card, maybe a 7970 or a GTX 780?

Check my monitor out, i really really like it biggrin.gif
    
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post #3 of 53
way more on video card, cut corners everywhere else. if primarily sc2 any 4 core will do if u overclock it.

getting a 23" or 24" monitor also shouldn't be a problem on that budget. maybe add $20-30 US. its worth it unless for some reason u sure u love 21" monitors.

having owned dozens of monitors, I prefer Samsung and acer. I have never had a Samsung die on me. ever. we have like 8. also they consistently get good reviews on picture quality and so on.

everything you have looks good though. you might consider nifty things like a fan controller if u like overclocking your gcards, or a 5"bay microSD reader. that's if your like trying to reach $1500 wink.gif

**actualy I will edit that to clarify, this is a great rig, you *could* spend more on the gcard, that one is quite good though.

cpu is great/slight overkill for sc2 if u OC it. great for other games.

*edit 2 - 650w might be a bit light for sli if you OC cpu and cards heavy. im not sure, someone will let you know if its enough.
Edited by Jollyburner - 5/27/13 at 2:50am
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post #4 of 53
Wait for Haswell. Starcraft loves a fast IPC
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post #5 of 53
Haswell could be worth it if he likes to play 4vs4 on ultra but in 1vs1 not really. In general its always worth it to wait for new technologie but the improvments are not really big.
Is he a "normal" Gamer or more professional gamer? I dont know its possible biggrin.gif
Does he wants to stream in Sc2?

You could consider a AMD 7950 for more GPU power if its not only for sc2. He could also wait for the Gtx 770, it will cost around 400 but the budget allows it. When he knows the pc is only for sc2 the gtx 660 is fine.

Get a 24" screen. 21,5 is meh...
Edited by Pandora51 - 5/27/13 at 3:16am
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post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
I think I'll suggest to him this monitor: ASUS VS239H-P 1080p LED IPS Monitor it's IPS and seems to be a good price as well.
He's more of a "casual" gamer, and doesn't play many games other than Starcraft and won't be streaming, which is why I went with Nvidia. Yeah, his budget can definitely allow for better graphics card, but since he'll be getting ~60+ fps with the 660TI on this build, I thought maybe he could put that money away for future GPU upgrades.
He will only be overclocking CPU, not GPU so I assumed 650W would be fine for SLI. This page recommended 620W.

As for Haswell, I guess I'll talk to him about it again. I think he does like playing some big custom maps/4v4s occasionally.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by TemurAmir View Post

. Yeah, his budget can definitely allow for better graphics card, but since he'll be getting ~60+ fps with the 660TI on this build, I thought maybe he could put that money away for future GPU upgrades.
He will only be overclocking CPU, not GPU so I assumed 650W would be fine for SLI. This page recommended 620W.

As for Haswell, I guess I'll talk to him about it again. I think he does like playing some big custom maps/4v4s occasionally.

ya im just power paranoid, use a calc if you are not sure. psus degrade capacity over time.

nice thing about choosing any 660 series gcard is you wont have too much trouble finding a used one for sli later.

so far from what ive seen haswell isn't going to be any sort of miracle, small to no gains over ivy c4c for most tasks, the best thing you can do if u want sc2 to run good in heavy maps is overclock your cpu as high as you are comfortable with. once over 4.5GHz I doubt you will notice any lag/stuttering whatever. whichever platform is better $/performance, if haswells come out overclocking higher and cooler than ivys it might be an option, but your likely to add $$ to your build cost with the newer platform.

afaik there is no new mobo features coming out with 1150 to consider, 1155 has all the same crap. (im sure theres something, but nothing any1 seems to want)
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post #8 of 53
Nice build Temur, really good. I would have picked just about those parts exactly if I was going to do a build for you.

I would say buy now, Haswell wont be much better than ivy and like you say will likely be more expensive.
post #9 of 53
Cut the 660ti, get a 7750, 7770, 7790 unless you want to throw money at it. If the build is over $700 or so you want to start throwing money into a better board (not sure which versions of the p8z77-v were ****ty, but there's at least one or two) and a high end cooler, to get that 300 or 400mhz over the 212 that you can probably get. The 212+ is a sweet heatsink - for $20 - and a lot of boards are great for light overclocks - but with a higher end board than some of the worst ones (gigabyte make nice ones) and good cooling, particularly if you wanna delid, you can just go so much further than a 212 and it's the only way really to scale up game performance, unless you're getting some nice ram high frequency tight timings but that's very limited performance increase (at best maybe 10% from 1600cl9 to crazy ram OC)

sc2 is incredibly gpu light to the point where in a 2v2 benchmark that i set up, i saw gpu usage not even passing 40% on 1920x1080 max settings on a gtx260. Modern low end ****s all over it. GPU requirements drop as game gets more intense, not rise (because you are capped so hard by singlethreaded performance)

sc2 responds greater than linear for minimum framerate with cpu strengh, all the way to 5ghz+. If you're spending more on GPU, you're doing it for other games, or using forced AA that makes the game look **** (blurred textures, text in ui, minimap) as the ingame fxaa looks like **** and is almost free performance-wise anyway

I dont understand the PSU, why not get a rosewill capstone 450w or something?

It just doesn't make sense to settle for a lower end OC when you are spending a lot on gpu, psu, buying windows etc - right away, i could shave enough off this to get a swiftech h220 or something silly and then delid and run the cpu to it's voltage limits (i'd hang around 1.45 for 24/7 with ivy to be safe) which, on my cpu, means going 4.6ghz to 5.1-5.2 (from the voltage increase) you can do that with acceptable temps on an nh-d14 or equivalent though.

Even if you're not delidding it's worth spending on a board that can run ~1.35v well and a mid-high range cooler, cause nothing else actually helps game performance where it matters

Just reread wanting to keep sli option open and overclocking; You gotta overclock man. 100%. 3.4 to 4.8ghz is something silly like a 60% minimum FPS boost. SLI while acceptable and great for some, it's kinda bad for sc2 and random desktop tasks (you already have silly overkill on gpu) so it's more for other games.
Quote:
once over 4.5GHz I doubt you will notice any lag/stuttering whatever

Well it's pretty nasty, no stock CPU has over ~30fps minimums in 1v1 right now, doubling unit counts for 2v2 if you go to quad max situation is not pretty, and insane mass unit benches (simulating 8 player max out etc) run pretty much any cpu at single digit fps =P

And then if you're trying to run a higher end stream, you can expect that awful FPS cut in half in the process between grabbing the image of the screen/game before encoding that you can't prevent, so we'll still be hungry for more performance in sc2 for more than a decade at this rate of progress, though those minimums are not reached too often, and med-high oc ivy runs the game well enough in general so that you only get pulled out of the game when **** is really going down, instead of with my cpu for example (bloomsfield@4ghz) where my cpu just starts floating in the 20's-40's whenever max out happens in 2v2, even without any kind of battle or event going on. FPS drops a ton in battle but you can remove a lot of the drop by disabling effects, physics, reflections options (which are cpu options, not graphics options, and should be treated as such) but in general unless you like slowdown, "good enough" performance doesn't exist

I have numbers actually, in order, c2duo@3ghz, bloomsfield@4ghz and 3570k@5ghz, ~8fps min, ~19fps min, ~33fps min in the same battle, with cpu options maxed. That wasn't with supply caps, and unit counts were actually pretty low because lots of high tech stuff (thors, ultralisks etc, 1 thor is much more forgiving on performance than 12 zerglings for cheaper cost and same supply) but if you want to improve performance, you do it through cpu oc, not through buying a 660ti (:
Edited by Cyro999 - 5/27/13 at 5:08pm
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post #10 of 53
Get a thermalright True 120 instead of 212 Evo, it's quieter and cooler.
http://www.nansgaminggear.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TS-120M
$10 more on superbiiz http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-TS120

Macho 120 on Superbiiz, $36 http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=CA-MH120

Other coolers $10 more: http://www.nansgaminggear.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MACHO-120 , http://www.nansgaminggear.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MACHO-REV-A-BW , or http://www.nansgaminggear.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TS-140

also on http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-TS140

Would also swap GPU to a $240ish HD7870XT to save over $60 (unless you need CUDA) http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=AT-7870XT2
*You can ignore this if you are purchasing within 90 days of 700 series launch and make use of EVGA's step-up program

GTX 660 or above is overkill (no need to SLI) for Starcraft 2 anyhow at 1080p,


Fractal Design Define R4 is $70 til 12 midnight PST... www.overclock.net/t/1394932/ncix-fractal-design-arc-midi-r2-tower-60-fs-r4-70-fs-wd-red-3tb-135-red-2tb-105-corsair-h40-40
Edited by AlphaC - 5/27/13 at 5:07pm
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