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Advice/Rate my first gaming build? :U

post #1 of 10
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Mini wall of text incoming, so bear with it please D:

So this going to be my first time building a PC, and I've been locked up reading guides everywhere for the past month to prepare for it. Just making it known that I have a relatively low tech level... especially when it comes to determining what a good PSU is other than going off of user reviews from Newegg, because I honestly don't understand the rail thing and PSU guides are so complicated to me. So anyway,

After trial and error, advice from friends and just reading around, this is my build that I've put together without using any Newegg deals or combos (I'll be purchasing all the parts around the end of this April).

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...umber=15880952

Total: $820.91 - I was originally intending to make a ~600 budget build, but most of the public ones featured lesser Athlon X2s which was unacceptable for me since I need a decently-clocked CPU (Pcsx2 recommends 3.2 ~ 3.5 ghz) to run PS2/DC emulators at 40+ FPS. So now my budget is ~$800 BEFORE mail-in rebates excluding monitor/mouse/keyboard. I'll upgrade my peripherals in May most likely.

Initially I had difficulty in trying to decide what my gaming needs really were, since I've never been able to play much of anything. I've used an Athlon 64 X2, 1g ram, Radeon 215 MB card for the past 6 years, and the only FPS game I can play is Halo Trial with all settings on low on 1024x600, and I still can't scope all the way with the sniper rifle because my FPS cuts to 10~... with Gamebooster on.

Basically what I'm going for is a PC that will be able to play pretty much any game out there with 30+ fps on a 1080p monitor, probably 22" (planning dual 22" monitors in the future). The reason I went with the 6870 is because after watching videos of people playing maxed Crysis, GTA4, Metro, etc. on a 5770 and being surprised/happily satisfied with the performance, I figure a 6870 would be more than enough for my needs, and hopefully the PSU will be able to support everything there, but this is where I call for your assistance.

1) How would you rate the performance it presumably would get @ 1920x1080 on some recent games with max settings?

2) Are there any unnecessarily strong parts that could be replaced to cut the total cost a bit? To recap, my needs are maxed/smooth Ps2/DC emulation and maxed PC games / MMOs (I have no problem lowering settings to get steady FPS, I've done it for this long... but I'd rather not). I don't mind if you just decide to throw together your own list instead of going through the hassle of picking weak links in mine (no combos/deals, ~$800 before mail-in RB, no peripherals in case you do)

I also have a few other tiny questions.

When running a virtual machine and you allocate, say 2 Gigs of ram to it, does that mean that the host machine will actually be running with 2 Gigs of less ram (or anything like that) to support the VM?

Will adding a second 22" monitor increase the need for a stronger PSU or GPU?

How the heck do you determine a good PSU? What would a newbie like myself look for after throwing all my parts in a PSU calculator?

I greatly appreciate anyone who reads my wall and provides some input. If I have any other questions I'll be sure to ask.
post #2 of 10
Great first post! Welcome to the forums!

Now for the build, it is good but I'd change a few things:

The video to a 6950, better chance of getting higher overclocks for roughly 30 bucks more and maybe a chance to unlock to a 6970.

The motherboard it's ok, but I would rather get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131668

Ram I would get something like this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-263-_-Product

The CPU is perfect for the price it is at.

The HDD, DVD drive are all good. The case is personal pref, personally I don't like it .

Now for your questions:

1. It would do very well, you will more likely get above 30fps with the new gear, but like I said, the 6950 would be the better investment

2. I didn't read your questions before I went nitpicking! But the build is great overall, although the case is pretty ugly and pricey . I mean everything else I tried to change would add to the price of the build, but it is quite worth it. A solid build under 1k is always great.

3.Allocating it just allows it to use MAX of 2gbs, I never used VM extensively to have any issues with running out of RAM for usage.

4. A second monitor, you won't necessarily need a new PSU or Video card, unless you are trying to game multi display, at that is a whole new level of money budget for the video and psu.

5. I believe OCZ is a great manufacturer, but many talk of SeaSonic, Corsair, PCP&C, OCZ, Antec(Seasonic makes some PSU for these guys listed).

I've been out of the computer building parts scene for a while, but I still know a bit! Hope I helped a bit!
Edited by bucdan - 4/6/11 at 1:39pm
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bucdan View Post
Great first post! Welcome to the forums!

Now for the build, it is good but I'd change a few things:

The video to a 6950, better chance of getting higher overclocks for roughly 30 bucks more and maybe a chance to unlock to a 6970.

The motherboard it's ok, but I would rather get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131668

Ram I would get something like this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-263-_-Product

The CPU is perfect for the price it is at.

The HDD, DVD drive are all good. The case is personal pref, personally I don't like it .

Now for your questions:

1. It would do very well, you will more likely get above 30fps with the new gear, but like I said, the 6950 would be the better investment

2. I didn't read your questions before I went nitpicking! But the build is great overall, although the case is pretty ugly and pricey . I mean everything else I tried to change would add to the price of the build, but it is quite worth it. A solid build under 1k is always great.

3.Allocating it just allows it to use MAX of 2gbs, I never used VM extensively to have any issues with running out of RAM for usage.

4. A second monitor, you won't necessarily need a new PSU or Video card, unless you are trying to game multi display, at that is a whole new level of money budget for the video and psu.

5. I believe OCZ is a great manufacturer, but many talk of SeaSonic, Corsair, PCP&C, OCZ, Antec(Seasonic makes some PSU for these guys listed).

I've been out of the computer building parts scene for a while, but I still know a bit! Hope I helped a bit!
Speedy response is speedy

I thought about the 6950 and other stronger cards, even an i7 cpu, but majority of the ones reviewing were posting things like "overclocks well, worth the money" or revolving around overclocked performance, etc., and I'm still a little nervous about simply going into the bios and doing whatever I have to do. I don't think I am comfortable tackling overclocking yet Lol.

It looks like the only difference in the mobo is that it has... something to do with overclocking? Why did you pick that one in particular? It's only about $15 more.

Also, why did you choose that ram? share your knowledge! Is it faster than the one I picked or something?

--

1) That sounds good. I chose the 6870 because I was more than happy with the 5770 videos, and reading benchmarks showed the 6870 was a little better, so I assumed the more expensive cards would be way overkill for what I'd be more than happy with graphically. I understand what you're saying about the 6970 being a better investment though.

2) Thanks, I'm still learning though as I know very little Ya the case is alright, but I went with it for a few reasons (probably silly ones). I figure since I'm a first time builder, I'm gonna be pretty terrible at cable management, and a large case with 5 huge fans should both make it easier on me to work in and provide good cooling in case I do a horrible wiring job. D: I was originally going to get a cheap $40 mid-tower to cut costs.

3) I see. I'm thinking about using a VM with Ubuntu and using win7 for basically running my games and emulators. I've never used Ubuntu but I like what I see in the latest videos about it. Do you know of any good or better free OS?

5) I've read many, many people condemning OCZ as an explosion waiting to happen or a box of fireworks loll. Far too many to give me peace of mind about buying them, same goes with their ram.

Yus, you've helped. Though I still would like to hear some more input from others on where I could possibly cut costs down, if I could at all for what I'm wanting out of my system (besides the case or pirating Win7 )
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear.dx-t View Post

When running a virtual machine and you allocate, say 2 Gigs of ram to it, does that mean that the host machine will actually be running with 2 Gigs of less ram (or anything like that) to support the VM?
I have a similar setup and i often use wndows 7 on a VM. I give it 1.5gb of RAM and it runs very smooth. it only uses as much as it needs fo the max amount you allow it. Having extra cores heps a lot, so i would worry more about if your CPU will unlock to an x4
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post #5 of 10
well........ my thoughts are as follows:

6950 OR 560TI

ram really doesn't matter that much in gaming

really pricey case!

sandy bridge is better cost/performance than amd at the moment, but you won't notice the difference in gaming

and i would, most definitely(personal preference) get a 650w psu, maybe a 700w for sli later on

that is my honest assessment, but to each their own, it is definitely a better build than my brother's but he spent 400 and you spent 800.... so you can see what he was going for
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attackllama View Post
I have a similar setup and i often use wndows 7 on a VM. I give it 1.5gb of RAM and it runs very smooth. it only uses as much as it needs fo the max amount you allow it. Having extra cores heps a lot, so i would worry more about if your CPU will unlock to an x4
I would much rather run Win7 on a VM than Ubuntu, but I read that you need to have a separate license in order to activate it since Microsoft considers a VM as another machine. I haven't found a definitive answer, but since I'm buying the OEM version I assume I won't be able to get Win7 on a VM using the same disk for the host machine... but I may be wrong. What experience have you had with activating it on a VM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantasmor View Post
well........ my thoughts are as follows:

6950 OR 560TI

ram really doesn't matter that much in gaming

really pricey case!

sandy bridge is better cost/performance than amd at the moment, but you won't notice the difference in gaming

and i would, most definitely(personal preference) get a 650w psu, maybe a 700w for sli later on

that is my honest assessment, but to each their own, it is definitely a better build than my brother's but he spent 400 and you spent 800.... so you can see what he was going for
Case is expensive no doubt. D: But am in love with it and it's one of the cheaper full towers that don't look ridiculous. I wish I could shave off that $100 Win7, but I have bad experience with torrents + virusdestroyingcomputer. If I could, I'd probably buy the 6950. Though after reading some 6970 2gb benchmarks, $100 more for like 10-15 fps over the 6870? I dunno if that sits well with my wallet, I'm only gonna be gaming at 1080 and I have no problem cutting some effects down if I don't meet 30 fps which I probably will

Yeah I'm going to go with a 600w~ instead. I just don't understand why the 12/5/3V rails are important, I read somewhere that, for example, a 500w PSU may not actually put out 500w where you need it or something like that? someone please explain to me what to look for in a PSU and the significance of these rails

& I would definitely notice the difference in emulators if I shelled out that much money for a CPU . A few games are poorly optimized, but on average for the ps2 emu, AMD 3.2 GHz = 35~ FPS. A 2.66 GHz i7 pulls 45+ so ye @_@
post #7 of 10
my LAPTOP pulls 55+fps on pcsx2 with a core 2 duo at 2.5 ghz intel is 1000% or more better than amd for emulation

second thing is you spent $229.99 for your 6870, a 560 ti is only $260-270 only $30-40 more for a performance boost, or you could have gone 6950 at $250-270 and the 6950 is better than the 560ti in a few cases, but to each their own( i payed $210 for my 560 ti as a side note) although there really is not too much difference there is enough to justify the $30-40

third i said 650-700w for cf or sli in the future, because that would be just epic! but that is my opinion like i said: to each their own just be sure to look at the number of connectors if it has less than 4 pcie connectors(this is if you are going to sli or cf) then make sure it has enough molex connectors to make up the difference, 2 molex for 1 pcie, and pay attention to the sata connectors as well it takes 1 molex to make up for a sata connector btw but that is all you have to worry about with a psu
Edited by phantasmor - 4/9/11 at 11:00am
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear.dx-t View Post
I would much rather run Win7 on a VM than Ubuntu, but I read that you need to have a separate license in order to activate it since Microsoft considers a VM as another machine. I haven't found a definitive answer, but since I'm buying the OEM version I assume I won't be able to get Win7 on a VM using the same disk for the host machine... but I may be wrong. What experience have you had with activating it on a VM?
sorry can't really help you with that one. Lets just say i didn't really buy the windows on my VM.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attackllama View Post
sorry can't really help you with that one. Lets just say i didn't really buy the windows on my VM.
Can PM me a link to where you got it?

-

I'm not sure if there's a thread for this anywhere, but what are some free programs that are good to have / essential after a new Win7 install? Like Firefox, CPU-Z, etc,.

And would my build be able to max out (at least 4xAA) Crysis/2, Just Cause/2, Assassin's Creed series and GTA4 with 30+ FPS @ 1080 resolution?

Aaaand another question, is it necessary to buy and apply Arctic silver 5 if I'm going to be using the stock AMD cooler and not planning to overclock?
Edited by Bear.dx-t - 4/11/11 at 8:26pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear.dx-t View Post
And would my build be able to max out (at least 4xAA) Crysis/2, Just Cause/2, Assassin's Creed series and GTA4 with 30+ FPS @ 1080 resolution?
a 6870, i would hope so... 30+fps i really don't think that will be a problem, none of those games(besides crysis) are really that demanding and the 6870 is an awesome card
Edited by phantasmor - 4/13/11 at 7:26am
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