Comprehensive Gaming PC Guide Discussion - VI

90 Human Warrior
13640
Update

I went ahead and ordered http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202001

I should have it on 5/13/13 and will report back with an update.

Thanks
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90 Blood Elf Mage
0
Ok, think I am ready to move forward towards doing an upgrade in the next month or so. Running Windows 7. Will probably pay a shop to actually do the upgrade work since that isn't that much.

This is what I think I will be doing. I am trying to double check that I'm not making a mistake and that I've got the right parts list that will work together properly and that I'm not mismatching parts.



Cooler CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ $25.99

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 @ $105

CPU AMD FX-8320 (Vishera) @ $175


I have a Radeon 6870 gpu. Will that be enough or do I need to get a second and cross fire them?

Needs DDR3 memory, so I can't reuse the DDR2 that I have. I understand that I should get matched memory modules, 2x4 gig if I want 8 gig of memory. For corsair vengeance I understand it will cost about $70.00 and that 8 gig will be enough.

Already have an upgraded modular power supply.

Anticipate using the same box that I currently have unless you think that is a bad idea. Do I need to pay for a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119240 or something similar.

Look forward to advice. My original box/system was a gateway LX6200-01 for the box design. It has the ports in convenient locations. WoW is the only game with any system demands that I use on it. With Cataclysm I've had to move from high/ultra to low to avoid framelock in raids.

Thank you.
Edited by Bitterhope on 5/11/2013 6:53 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
0
Dang, a second card is still pricy. Just price checked. http://www.amazon.com/MSI-CrossFireX-R6870-Twin-Frozr/dp/B004FPYL88

I'm assuming I want the cards to be identical in brand, etc.

Also wondering if Raid 5 is worth picking up two more hard drives to get. If I only need 500 gig of space, do you have recommendations for hard drives?
Edited by Bitterhope on 5/11/2013 6:49 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
0
Getting closer to actually completing the project. Looks like I'm going to go for more normal RAID arrays (I used to really like 4/5 and it doesn't really seem to be an option any more).

Any input valued.
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63 Draenei Shaman
5600
Getting a 2nd video card for crossfire is useless and I'll tell you why.

1.) 2 1GB video cards only have 1GB of usable Vram. Yes at 60 fps, each card only renders 30 frames which means less chance of eating up 1GB of Vram from being clogged with high resolution, texture resolution AA and/or AS.

2.) Crossfire is iffy atm with bad frame times and latency. IE, you may see 60 FPS on the screen, but the game is only rendering 35 full frames. The other 25 frames are partial/fraction frames, but the game/fraps only displays what it calls for rather than what is actually rendered.

This is known and being worked on by AMD but don't expect a permanent fix soon, maybe 8-12 weeks from now.

3.) 1 powerful single card is always better, except when you already have a powerful single card and it isn't enough (like me). Then you SLI/CF.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
7355
Oh, hi!
I guess I'm a little late... but I'd expect the FX-4350 and FX-6350 would now be considerable in this guide. I haven't read any reviews, but the 4350 ought to be substantially better than 4300 (as in "any good").
Before Vishera's release, 4350 was what I wanted to get... I just didn't want to wait. :) I think it'd be good for AMD to have a good quad-core.
http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2013/2013043001_AMD_launches_FX-4350_and_FX-6350_CPUs.html

++++
Edited by Plusfour on 5/19/2013 10:33 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
GTX 780 review is out.

As expected, it's very pricey, but at least it doesn't perform badly.
Edited by Kalganized on 5/23/2013 6:23 AM PDT
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22 Tauren Hunter
1935
Would you recommend it for 1440p gaming Kal?
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
5740
Would you recommend it for 1440p gaming Kal?


Well for 650 I would not. 3GB of Vram instead of 5GB, granted it's the Gk110-300 die, still would lose to HD 7970 CF pretty badly. Power color has HD 7970's for 330 atm.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
GTX 780 is just like TITAN: Basically, you buy it for the top-end performance regardless of how much it costs you. Performance-to-dollars ratio, the HD 7970 remains the best choice.

So, if you have lots of disposable cash to throw at nVidia, you buy GTX 780 or even TITAN. Otherwise, you would still want the HD 7970.
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90 Troll Warlock
19760
Hey, I'm back! After building most of a computer from last time, I gotta say I'm incredibly happy with the upgrades.

The CPU fan is still loud, and I think I figured out why. In the manual for the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3) for CPU fan it shows 4 pins, the fourth being Speed Control. But the current fan only has a 3 pin connector. So I'm assuming its causing the fan to basically run at 100% regardless of temperature and SpeedFan doesn't seem to help either.

With that said, I'm looking to upgrade the CPU fan now to make it quieter. I'd like to not buy a super crazy fan or spend more than $30-40.

My motherboard is: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3
My CPU is: AMD Phenom II x4 960
If you need anymore information to help find an appropriate CPU fan, just ask.

Thanks again in advance for any help!
Edited by Creedyz on 5/28/2013 12:55 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Mage
0
87954514936:
Getting a 2nd video card for crossfire is useless and I'll tell you why.

1.) 2 1GB video cards only have 1GB of usable Vram. Yes at 60 fps, each card only renders 30 frames which means less chance of eating up 1GB of Vram from being clogged with high resolution, texture resolution AA and/or AS.

2.) Crossfire is iffy atm with bad frame times and latency. IE, you may see 60 FPS on the screen, but the game is only rendering 35 full frames. The other 25 frames are partial/fraction frames, but the game/fraps only displays what it calls for rather than what is actually rendered.

This is known and being worked on by AMD but don't expect a permanent fix soon, maybe 8-12 weeks from now.

3.) 1 powerful single card is always better, except when you already have a powerful single card and it isn't enough (like me). Then you SLI/CF.


Thanks!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
GTX 770 is out.

Although it sports the moniker of "770", it's actually a GTX 680 with a:

Price cut
Faster VRAM
A small GPU clock boost + new GPU Boost tech

Anyway, it's competitive vs. HD 7970 GHz Edition, and is also priced to fight it.

So, I will now recommend GTX 770 alongside the HD 7970 GHz Edition, with a note that depending on your preference, you may go one over the other.
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
Haswell benchmarks and reviews are rolling out!

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Processors/Haswell-Review-Intel-Core-i7-4770K-Performance-and-Architecture

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-4770k-haswell-review,3521.html

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/06/haswell-is-here-intel-announces-first-4th-generation-core-cpus/

From everything I've read so far, it's about what I thought it would be. I'm finally going to be making the jump from my first-generation Nehalem Core i7. The unlocked multiplier, Z87 chipset and better power efficiency are all quite enticing.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 2.8GHz | 24GB RAM | RADEON HD 7970 | F120 SSD
Unofficial Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
5740
GTX 770 is having major issues with boost 2.0, but in theory at 1080 it seems to beat an HD 7970GHz when boost 2.0 is working, when overclocked they are close, 1440p they trade blows.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Seems the Haswell is, just as Ivy Bridge was, a small upgrade from Sandy / Ivy users.

A notable problem is that a new power supply may be required, which will increase $ needed to upgrade.

I am not sure if I should recommend Haswell.
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
A notable problem is that a new power supply may be required, which will increase $ needed to upgrade.


A new power supply won't be required. Many power supplies are already compatible (my ~2.5-year-old one is) and those that aren't will still work. It's possible to disable the C6/C7 power states in the BIOS.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 2.8GHz | 24GB RAM | RADEON HD 7970 | F120 SSD
Unofficial Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Seeing the reviews, it seems Haswell is a terrible overclocker. It may be addressed with later steppings, but for now, I can only recommend it for users that won't overclock.
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
I'm absolutely loving Haswell so far! The performance difference between my old Core i7 920 and this new i7 4770K is unbelievable. I'm seeing more than double the framerate in raids and populated areas, and even random zones are performing far better than anticipated. Mind you, this was on stock clocks.

I tried my hand at some quick and simple overclocking by simply raising the multiplier to 43 (with a BCLK of 100 MHz). Many reviewers started running into scaling issues in the ~4.4-4.6 GHz ranges and I see no reason to go that high; I'd like to keep the system fairly efficient. On top of this, I also managed to tighten memory timings from 11-11-11-28 to 9-9-9-24, which is what the manufacturer rates it at. I haven't adjusted any voltages for anything inside the computer. Here's the result:

http://valid.canardpc.com/2823200

Temperatures are hovering around ~65-80C under maximum load with the latest version of Prime95 (which stresses AVX instructions a good bit). This is exactly my target mark. Temps, power usage, performance, and stability (thus far) are exactly where I want them to be. I couldn't be happier.

Oh, and Haswell's extremely liberal power-savings features are nice too! The chip has no qualms with clocking itself down to 800 MHz and dropping the core voltage to ridiculously low values! Temps drop from ~80C to <30C just mere seconds after closing a stress test.

For anyone on an LGA 1366 or similarly old platform, I can definitely vouch for upgrading! Sandy and Ivy owners won't see enough benefit to justify the cost, but this is definitely solid quality. On top of just the CPU, the entire chipset is altogether better. I now have access to good SATA III ports, USB 3.0 ports, and far more PCI-Express bandwidth than before. The chipset had a die shrink as well, and just like the CPU performs far more efficiently than the X58 I was running.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 4770K | 16 GB DDR3-1600 | RADEON HD 7970
Unofficial Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 6/5/2013 12:46 AM PDT
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
I decided to try a few different stress tests and found that Intel's BurnIn Test, Prime95 with small FFTs, and really anything that pushed the AVX instructions hard caused the system to heat up far more than most tests. I was hitting ~95-100C, which was well above where I wanted to keep this chip. I decided to scale down the voltage while attempting to keep the CPU at 4.3 GHz - no dice. 1.2, 1.22, and 1.25 volts were all unstable. Above that and I would be heading back into the range that the automatic voltage regulation was pushing it to.

I could keep things "cool" and stable with more volts than I decided to push, but I built this system with efficiency in mind and I'm not going to sacrifice so much power for such a marginal gain in performance. I ultimately wound up at 4 GHz using the automatic voltage and ASUS's "EPU" feature on this motherboard that I'm testing. This should scale down voltages when it can and keep things a bit cooler and more energy-efficient. 4000 MHz -> 4300 MHz is a theoretical 7.5% gain at most and not at all worth sacrificing temps and power for.

My stress testing so far is clocking the CPU in at 70-80 degrees Celsius under absolute maximum load, which is a whopping 20-30C decrease in temps from 4.3 GHz at 1.3V+.

This definitely isn't a golden chip, to say the least! Some reviewers were able to reach ~4.7 GHz on 1.2V, but I can't even get close.

I am still extremely satisfied with this processor's performance and power-saving features, though. I was due for an upgrade. Even at "only" 4 GHz, I'm still getting a cozy 50-60 FPS in Shrine of the Two Moons, Orgrimmar, and raids. This is a welcome improvement over the roughly 25-40 FPS that my Core i7 920 was able to churn out.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 4770K | 16 GB DDR3-1600 | RADEON HD 7970
Unofficial Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 6/5/2013 9:53 PM PDT
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