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Extreme performance Graphics Card?


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#1 Brett119

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:04 PM

Hi, I have a question that has been bothering me for a while. I am going to be receiving quite a bit of cash in soon, and I have planned on constructing my own Gaming PC. I am not worried about assembling the hardware because I have taken apart many towers before. However, the thought of overclocking has me a bit on edge. I know that it can be used to make a computer run faster then intended, but I also know that if done incorrectly, I could end up damaging or even ruining the hardware. I am interested if there is a graphics card on a website such as Newegg that can run a game such as Skyrim on max settings without a hiccup. I don't plan on running everything to the max, but I would like to game online and offline on high settings without a hitch. Please post a link if you find something!

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#2 killerx525

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:25 PM

Well since you haven't mentioned a budget then this currently the fastest single chip gpu on the market. But at the moment, all the GTX680 are out of stock, so your gonna have to wait. Also to get some pretty good performance in Skyrim, you need a solid cpu. Can you please specify your system specifications?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#3 Brett119

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:20 AM

Right now I don't have any idea on what components I plan on using to build the tower. All I know right now is that I plan on using a full tower. My budget will probably be right around $2000-$2500.

#4 killerx525

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

With that budget, you can get really "beastly" gaming desktop.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#5 Brett119

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:02 PM

Well, I'm not looking for top of the line components for everything. I just want a powerful gaming PC without overclocking. Even with the budget, I would still like to keep it as cheap as possible. What would you recommend?

Edited by Brett119, 11 April 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

With that budget, you can get a really high-end PC. You have two paths you can take, I will start with the hardware that will common between the two.

Common Hardware - This hardware can be used regardless of choice of CPU.

Case: LIAN LI PC-A70F USB3.0 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - When buying cases, aluminum is usually higher grade and any side vents or fans will increase the amount of noise it produces. Lian Li makes some great cases and I suggest a full ATX due to space and thermal issues with large graphics cards. $179

GPU: XFX Double D FX-797A-TDFC Radeon HD 7970 3GB - If you can find the GTX 680 in stock, get that, otherwise, this is the next best. $559

PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-NLB9) 850W - This should be more than enough, unless you use Crossfire/SLI, in which case, the XFX ProSeries P1-1000-BELX 1000W is great. $126

SSD: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III - This is to be used for only your OS and most frequently used programs. $159

SSD Mount: BYTECC Bracket-35225 2.5 Inch HDD/SSD Mounting Kit - You will need this to mount your SSD. $5

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache - This is your data drive. $139

RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - This is a single 8GB stick of DDR3 memory, I would get two. $139 ($69 times two sticks)

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Since you aren't overclocking and you're gaming, this will give better performance over a stock fan. Just remember, HDT coolers have a different thermal compound application method than the traditional dot-in-the-middle. $29

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - You need this. $99


AMD CPU/Motherboard

Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX - This is a great motherboard with plenty of options. $184

CPU: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz - The 8120 is very similar in terms of performance to the i5/i7 2500K/2600K depending on workload. Most games are GPU bound, so it really won't make that much difference between an AMD or Intel CPU. $189


Intel CPU/Motherboard

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - This doesn't have quite the same amount of PCI-E X16 bandwidth, but in reality, it won't make much difference. $209

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz - Very similar performance to the 8120 above. $219

Grand Total (AMD): $1,816
Grand Total (Intel): $1,871

This is using fairly high-end quality components. If you want to save some cash, decrease the wattage of the PSU down to 750W and get a Corsair or Enermax PSU, wait for a GTX 680 to come into stock (They are faster and cost less), decrease the RAM to one stick, get a lower capacity HDD, lower the quality of the case, remove the aftermarket CPU cooler (Stock fans get loud and don't do as good of job), and/or go AMD.

Edited by DJBPace07, 11 April 2012 - 05:21 PM.

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#7 Brett119

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:14 PM

Wow, that looks like it would be perfect! Thanks a lot Pace!

#8 diggi

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:29 AM

Alternates you could look at
Case: Cougar Evolution Black Full Tower Case $95 +$20 s&h

SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB $160, $140 After MIR comes with bracket

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $70 If u want to use the stock

cpu cooler this ram should work perfectly It has lower voltage @ 1.5v

Option 2: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 $60

CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper N 520 $29 +$4 s&h

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit - OEM $140 Microsoft will always support Pro licences longer than Home versions, plus it has more features. OTOH if you like changinging your OS everytime there's a new release then stick with Home for now.

Mobo-CPU Combo: Stick with Intel, AMD has some catching up to do. I'd say get either an i5 2500/k with a z68 or P67 Asus or better still the new Z77ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 $235 or ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 $210 and you can combine that with an Ivy bridge Cpu later on

Or get an Intel Core i3-2100 $125 and a Z77 mobo and wait for Ivy bridge

Microcenter has some very good deals on Intel CPUs as well as cpu- mobo combos for both intel and AMD, even better than Newegg

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:20 AM

There are a few differences between diggi's and my build.

With the case, the Lian Li is a full aluminum model with no windows or vents. Lian Li cases are usually a little more expensive. The Cougar is great if you want to keep costs down, but don't care about the noise.

I've been a little hesitant with OCZ in general given how they operate as business. That's not to say they are bad or anything. With SSD's, I stick to Intel, Samsung, Crucial, and Corsair.

I did consider that RAM, or a less expensive variant thereof. I chose the model I did due to the heatsink. Tall heatsinks sometimes have issues clearing aftermarket CPU coolers, suggesting one with a lower profile avoids this. DDR3-1600 is considered stock by Intel and is typically an O.C. speed for AMD as they are DDR3-1333. Selecting O.C. speeds often requires a BIOS adjustment and can be a little tricky if there are issues, which is why I went for DDR3-1600.

The CPU cooler on mine uses a 120mm fan, which spins slower to move a larger portion of air. This often results in lower noise and greater performance. Both are decent coolers, but if you can use a larger fan, you should.

As for the OS, Microsoft only did that with specific versions of Windows XP. There is no difference between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional in terms of the support period. The only exception to this might be with businesses who have long-term support agreements with Microsoft. As for code differences between Professional and Home Premium, there are few. If you need EFS or backup over a network, go for Professional.

With the motherboard and CPU, there is little actual performance difference between AMD and Intel at a certain level with gaming. You won't go wrong with either as both sockets, AM3+ and LGA 1155, are current and receiving new CPU's. You are going to be looking at a $200-ish CPU in a gaming PC.

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#10 Brett119

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:33 AM

Will the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX will be compatible with the Ivy Bridge CPUs when they come out? I ask because I may not get the money until later this year.

Also, I had been looking at a case for a while now, and I hope it would also work with the setup - COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel

Edited by Brett119, 12 April 2012 - 11:34 AM.


#11 diggi

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

Will the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX will be compatible with the Ivy Bridge CPUs when they come out? I ask because I may not get the money until later this year.

Also, I had been looking at a case for a while now, and I hope it would also work with the setup - COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel


No they are not compatible, the 990 fX is AMD chipset
By the end of the year Ivy bridge (intel) cpus should be out, that should drop sandy bridge(intel) prices and you'll have more options

My OCZ SSD is working fine,even though I did RMA the first one, BTW with regards to SSD performance Intel>AMD, the same way Giga >ASus

Aside from gaming, an intel based PC should be quicker doing everyday tasks like opening and closing programs, virus scans, startup, shutdowns etc based on faster processors and SSD throughput, plus the ASUS Z77 chipset has a new technololgy that's supposed to improve RAM speeds beyond the Z68 or other manufacturers Z77 motherboards

#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

Aside from gaming, an intel based PC should be quicker doing everyday tasks like opening and closing programs, virus scans, startup, shutdowns etc based on faster processors and SSD throughput, plus the ASUS Z77 chipset has a new technololgy that's supposed to improve RAM speeds beyond the Z68 or other manufacturers Z77 motherboards

Whether your PC is AMD or Intel based has almost no bearing on everyday tasks. Games are driven mostly by GPU performance. Traditional HDD or SSD, will, however, make a huge difference in speed regardless of who made your CPU.

As with most performance metrics, it all boils down to your use case. It doesn't really matter which CPU you get unless you are rendering or crunching data all day. With motherboards, they operate the same way with minor performance differences between the manufacturers. The main differences with motherboards lie in their included bundles, warranties, component choices, and quality. Even Z77 motherboards list anything past DDR3-1600 as O.C., most Intel CPU'd boards do allow for XMP, but that is a very minor feature often targeted towards overclockers. Asus' Hyper DIMM support is basically them saying that anything which uses XMP can be automatically set to faster speeds if the RAM supports it, so, if the motherboard has the capability to run an O.C. memory like DDR3-1866 and you get a module that uses XMP, the board should automatically adjust itself for that speed. With SSD speeds, both 990FX and Z77 will take SATA 6 drives and it will be blazing fast on either motherboard, differences in performance, again, are going to be mostly unnoticed by the end user.

Given how Intel is, I don't expect prices on Sandy Bridge to drop very much, I do expect them to be replaced by Ivy Bridge while maintaining about the same price.

Disclaimer #1: I own an Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard and an FX-8150.
Disclaimer #2: I recently built a PC with an Intel 2500K for a neighbor.
Disclaimer #3: Both have SSD's, 8GB of DDR3-1600, with the AMD having a Radeon 5850 and the Intel having a Radeon 6870.
Disclaimer #4: Having tested performance with both, I can say that in everyday tasks, they are nearly identical. Games are similar too, but I use VSYNC as I hate screen tearing.

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#13 diggi

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:58 PM


Aside from gaming, an intel based PC should be quicker doing everyday tasks like opening and closing programs, virus scans, startup, shutdowns etc based on faster processors and SSD throughput, plus the ASUS Z77 chipset has a new technololgy that's supposed to improve RAM speeds beyond the Z68 or other manufacturers Z77 motherboards

Whether your PC is AMD or Intel based has almost no bearing on everyday tasks. Games are driven mostly by GPU performance. Traditional HDD or SSD, will, however, make a huge difference in speed regardless of who made your CPU.

As with most performance metrics, it all boils down to your use case. It doesn't really matter which CPU you get unless you are rendering or crunching data all day. With motherboards, they operate the same way with minor performance differences between the manufacturers. The main differences with motherboards lie in their included bundles, warranties, component choices, and quality. Even Z77 motherboards list anything past DDR3-1600 as O.C., most Intel CPU'd boards do allow for XMP, but that is a very minor feature often targeted towards overclockers. Asus' Hyper DIMM support is basically them saying that anything which uses XMP can be automatically set to faster speeds if the RAM supports it, so, if the motherboard has the capability to run an O.C. memory like DDR3-1866 and you get a module that uses XMP, the board should automatically adjust itself for that speed. With SSD speeds, both 990FX and Z77 will take SATA 6 drives and it will be blazing fast on either motherboard, differences in performance, again, are going to be mostly unnoticed by the end user.

Given how Intel is, I don't expect prices on Sandy Bridge to drop very much, I do expect them to be replaced by Ivy Bridge while maintaining about the same price.

Disclaimer #1: I own an Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard and an FX-8150.
Disclaimer #2: I recently built a PC with an Intel 2500K for a neighbor.
Disclaimer #3: Both have SSD's, 8GB of DDR3-1600, with the AMD having a Radeon 5850 and the Intel having a Radeon 6870.
Disclaimer #4: Having tested performance with both, I can say that in everyday tasks, they are nearly identical. Games are similar too, but I use VSYNC as I hate screen tearing.


Dude My AMD Based PC is slower than my previous Sandy bridge both using the same SSD and I've even have more RAM on the AMD 12gb vs 8gb both running at 1600mhz.
The intel was snappier period! I noticed the difference, just like the difference between 1333 and 1600mhz Ram, but some folks will tell you its all the same but its not
Read this review at Tweaktown with emphasis on SSD and Memory benches

#14 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:00 AM

I didn't notice a difference between the two, but they were both new systems without loads of hardware installed. There could be software environment differences. Having read that article, how do those synthetic benchmark scores translate into end-user response in number of seconds? Most professional reviewers seem to agree that the difference between DDR3-1333 and 1600 is so minor, it is hardly an issue. In fact, some go so far as to say if they had to choose between more RAM and faster RAM, they would choose more RAM. See This Week in Computer Hardware #164. The difference between DDR2-800 and DDR3-1600 is a more noticeable one. It's a bit old, but Tom's Hardware has an article comparing fast gamer memory and mainstream memory. Though, there is little benefit for non-gamers past 8GB unless you are rendering or crunching numbers with a native 64-bit executable.

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#15 diggi

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

I didn't notice a difference between the two, but they were both new systems without loads of hardware installed. There could be software environment differences. Having read that article, how do those synthetic benchmark scores translate into end-user response in number of seconds? Most professional reviewers seem to agree that the difference between DDR3-1333 and 1600 is so minor, it is hardly an issue. In fact, some go so far as to say if they had to choose between more RAM and faster RAM, they would choose more RAM. See This Week in Computer Hardware #164. The difference between DDR2-800 and DDR3-1600 is a more noticeable one. It's a bit old, but Tom's Hardware has an article comparing fast gamer memory and mainstream memory. Though, there is little benefit for non-gamers past 8GB unless you are rendering or crunching numbers with a native 64-bit executable.


I am going off my own experience here and not just repeating opinions of professional reviewers. I overclocked my ram from 1333 to 1600 and it was quicker doing everyday things like opening and closing files, programs, getting to desktop etc. if I had known this I would have probably got 1600 from the get go, but I listened to what the reviewers said and got the 1333mhz sticks instead.

I currently have 12Gb on the one Machine and guess what, the most ram I have used is 11.5 gb just doing everyday stuff like surfing the web and having other programs open. I normally have 2 or 3 browsers running with several tabs open. In my experience More RAM and more bandwidth is always better. My Next ram purchase will be nothing less than 1866 mhz and I'm shooting for 16gb also any RAM leftover can be used for a RAMDisk




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