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#1
UV_Power

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Hey everyone,

Well, that time has come. My desktop computer (described in my sig) has reached its gaming limit. Perhaps I have been in denial, but I am now ready to accept that it needs a complete overhaul. CPU, Mobo, PSU, Video Card, ... everything except the case.

This type of thing takes months of research and it will be a long time before I commit to any system. I have done a bit of research for the past few days, but I was wondering if anyone has some advice for what I should get.

Here is what I need:
- Future Proof. My current computer started about eight years ago with an Nvidia FX5200, then upgraded to a 6600, and finally to the 7800GS. The CPU, Mobo, PSU, Hard Drives, and DVD Drive have not been touched since day 1. I have, however, upgraded the memory and added a DVD Burner since it was built. I would like a similar experience with this computer. Which means the motherboard and PSU need to be given the most consideration. Once that thing is in, I want to go another 8-10 years before getting another mobo. I want to be able to throw a better version of anything else (Memory, Video Card, Hard Drives, DVD Drives, and possibly even the CPU) later down the road.
- Above average Gaming. I'm not really the kind of person that is willing to spend a few hundred extra dollars to squeeze out 5 or 10 more FPS in my games. However, I do like my games (FPS, "GTA" Free-roam type, RTS, Sims) running smoothly with most of the graphics settings set to max. At first glance, it seems like the Nvidia GTX260 seems to be the best bang for your buck ATM. Is SLI worth considering? Because I hear that not enough games focus enough on SLI for it to be worth it. That may not be true anymore, though.

I would also like my computer to handle 1080p output to the screen. Although, this is not necessary right away and will most likely be an upgrade further down the line.

I will spend some time researching all this on my own, but I thought I would get some advice here first to help me get started. What CPU/Motherboard/Video Card would you recommend? My goal is to keep everything (CPU, Mobo, Video, PSU, Memory, Hard Drives, DVD Drives) below $700, but we'll see what happens.

Thanks in advance! :)
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#2
Neil Jones

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There is no such thing as a future proofed computer. You'll do far better to either invest in Dr Who's Tardis or Dr Emmett Brown's Delorean car from the Back To The Future films, if you want a future proof option. Buy it in 2030 and bring it back to 2010. There, future proof. :)

All technology you buy today is out of date as soon as you buy it, because there is always something newer, better, faster and funkier around the next corner that's available as soon as you hand over your cash. If you wait for the next newest thing, you'll never buy anything. This is the nature of the beast.

SLI is theoretically better than a single graphics card, however it depends on the software. It is possible to SLI graphic cards together and actually get worse performance than you would out of a single card depending on what you're running.

The other thing with the research: If you say you're going to spend months researching, any system components advised now will either be not available or replaced with better alternatives when you do commit to buy. Therefore a better option would be to do your research, then canvas for components.
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#3
UV_Power

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Well, it's been a few months and, after doing some research, I have decided to revisit this thread.

There is no such thing as a future proofed computer. You'll do far better to either invest in Dr Who's Tardis or Dr Emmett Brown's Delorean car from the Back To The Future films, if you want a future proof option.

Agreed. I suppose I should rephrase that demand. What I meant was I would like a setup that is as "future-proofed" as possible while staying within a $700-$800 budget. I have managed to do just that with the below setup via some deals found on Newegg and others found in some B&M stores around here:

CPU:
Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601930

Motherboard:
ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory:
OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE1600LV4GK

Video Card:
EVGA 512-P3-1153-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Power Supply:
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular

Optical Drive:
LG Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model CH10LS20 R LightScribe Support

My goal is to build a computer that is capable (with possible upgrades to the Video Card and/or Memory) to play any video game that is released in the next five years and still achieve a decent (not necessarily stellar) framerate. Am I on the right track with building a solid foundation for what lies ahead?

I am a little concerned about the power supply. I have read good reviews about OCZ Modular power supplies, but personally have never used one myself and also don't know anyone that owns one. Since the quality of the power supply is essential for a long lasting system, I am open to suggestions about changing it out to a different brand and possibly a higher wattage, if necessary. Also, I'm not so sure 25A on the two 12V rails (50A total with 552W) is even enough since some video cards today require 40+ Amps with 600W.

Also, the Blu-ray Drive is not really necessary for me right now, so I may just get a standard SATA DVD Burner instead.

What do you think? I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Edited by UV_Power, 21 September 2010 - 08:54 AM.

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#4
Oberon75

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Well, it's been a few months and, after doing some research, I have decided to revisit this thread.

My goal is to build a computer that is capable (with possible upgrades to the Video Card and/or Memory) to play any video game that is released in the next five years and still achieve a decent (not necessarily stellar) framerate. Am I on the right track with building a solid foundation for what lies ahead?


I hope you're on the right track, as this is almost exactly what I'm ordering next week! As far as your question about the Blu-Ray drive... I'm of the opinion that if you have the funds to do it go ahead and get it now rather than regretting it in a year and spending even more money, because you never know when software might start showing up on Blu-Ray. Everybody had CD-Rom drives, and they started putting out software on DVD, so we had to get DVD drives to run the new stuff. Make sense?
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#5
UV_Power

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this is almost exactly what I'm ordering next week!

Yeah? What is your system going to have?
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#6
Oberon75

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i7-930 CPU
Sabertooth x58 MOBO
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 1333
XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W PSU
Samsung Spinpoint 320 (for OS)
Samsung Spinpoint 1.5 (for everything else)
EVGA GTS 450 GPU
LG SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo CH10LS20
Thermaltake SPINQ VT CPU Fan/heatsink
Win 7 Pro 64

Just have to wait until wed or thurs next week. Order this, then run to Best Buy for a 23" Viewsonic flat-panel. (If there's ANYTHING wrong with my monitor, I'm not willing to pay round trip shipping for a defective monitor!) I'm sinking a little extra into this so I don't have to upgrade everything just to be able to use the next latest and greatest operating system or game. It's not the absolute top of the line, by any means. But it'll do what I need for a few years with (hopefully!) no more than an upgrade in memory!
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#7
UV_Power

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After reading a bit more about it, OCZ power supplies are gaining (or have) a reputation for a good value, but not long lasting. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I have decided to go with a different power supply.

The majority of Corsair power supplies are said to more or less be manufactured by Seasonic, which I like more than OCZ regarding quality in PSUs. They also come with a better warranty.

I went a little higher in my budget for a power supply and the current favorite is the Corsair HX850. Modular, 70A on a single +12V rail, 7 year warranty.

Anyone have any insight on the matter? Is this a good power supply? Any reason why I should stay clear of Corsair PSUs?

Thanks.

Edited by UV_Power, 27 September 2010 - 02:19 AM.

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#8
UV_Power

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Well, to anyone still interested...

I have pretty much decided on a few of the components. Granted, this may change considering the holiday sales are coming up soon, but this what I have so far and it is most likely what I will end up with:

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

EVGA 512-P3-1153-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

I did end up going a bit over-budget. These five things ended up running me around $750, but I am happy with it. I still need a hard drive and DVD burner, but those two things are the least expensive items of the bunch. So, they shouldn't dig me too much deeper (I hope :D ).
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#9
Oberon75

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On video cards you're going to get many different opinions. I would spend an extra couple dollars and get the GTS450 like this one (5 dollars more, but free shipping)
It's got twice the memory and from the reviews it runs faster
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#10
UV_Power

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With regards to parts that I would like to keep for a while, I went a little overbudget. I think you will agree that the video card is much easier to upgrade than the motherboard or PSU, which is why I went big on those.

I actually wanted to start out small with the video card and upgrade later, either by getting a second card and SLI them together, or by just getting a better card in the future. I wanted to keep my options open. The GTS250 will do everything I need it to do right now. When it comes to a point where I need more, I will get more.

Also, I was using the newegg link as a point of reference. I actually got this card at a B&M store for $59 (assuming the mail-in rebate comes back :D ), so I figured it was worth it. So, I agree that the GTS450 runs faster, but it's also much more expensive.

Edited by UV_Power, 09 October 2010 - 11:13 AM.

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