Short and sweet

Grauniad · 2815

Grauniad

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on: August 11, 2013, 06:28:50 pm
I was communicating with a guy that probably spends more money on computers than he spends on cars. and this is what he had to say about building high-performance systems currently. Of course, this may all change in 2 months' time, but for now....

For cost, performance and reliability at the moment I'd go with an Intel i7 3770k ($229 at Micro Center when on an in-store sale), ASRock Extreme6 mobo, 16 or 32GB of G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1866, MSI HD 7950 OC GPU ($209 after rebate at Newegg at the moment), Seasonic 750 watt modular power supply, Corsair H110 cooler, Corsair C70 Vengeance case, Samsung 840 Pro SSD, Seagate 2TB hard drive, Asus Xonar D2X audio (an Ebay item, Asus quit selling them in the US two years ago. If you can get one for under $100 including shipping buy it), Windows 7 Pro 64-bit (get the cheaper upgrade, they'll install like the full version), any LiteOn 24x DVD burner. Sadly AMD isn't in the same ballpark at this point when it comes to CPU's and mobo chipsets, Their GPU's however are my first choices for cost, performance, running cool and durability. The MSI HD 7950 OC will easily overclock to better than stock 7970 speeds and do it for a little over $200 after rebates.

If you want to go higher and have the money to spend go Intel X79 chipset with an Asus Sabertooth X79 mobo, 3930k CPU (I got mine for $399 at Micro Center on an in-store deal) and as much RAM as you can afford. The X79 Sabertooth will take up to 64GB of RAM. I own everything on this list and it's all been trouble free.


It was interesting how many  of my recommendations and current components corresponded with his. :)

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


Blaze

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Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 06:34:35 pm
64 GB of RAM?

I have eight and thought it only went up to sixteen, how in the world do you get that much RAM?
I priced two 8 GB sticks of ram for upgrading to 16 GB and it's expensive!
I can't even imagine how much 64 GB would cost...


Grauniad

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Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 06:44:24 pm
the Intel x79 chipset and LGA 2011 motherboards (as well as the Intel CPUs that fit in those support that much. Intel Xeon processors can support much, much more. The LGA 2011 extra pins are specifically for additional data paths into the processors. At current prices, for DDR3 1600, count on about $50/8GB, Gets a bit pricier for faster memory that you can overclock with an XMP profile.

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


thepenguin

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Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 08:55:15 pm
I do have to wonder what exactly someone would use 64GB of RAM for, though.

I can understand 16GB (I'm looking at it for my next computer), but 64 seems like overkill.

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Grauniad

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Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 09:17:35 pm
That guy does an awful lot - and none of it is playing games. :) He's also the best overclocker I know. His i7-3770s all run at 4.8-5.0 GHz. Not just for benchmarking, but constantly.

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


Blaze

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Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 09:34:20 pm
How much RAM is enough for gaming then?
I'm on 8 GB and wanted to upgrade to 16 GB (through two eight sticks as I only have two slots on my motherboard), would that even impact my performance at all?

My fps seems to drop mostly when a lot of physics stuff goes on, and from the Anti-Aliasing on a lot of player characters.
I'm asking if 16 GB of RAM would impact that enough to warrant the cost.


Grauniad

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Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 10:08:13 pm
How much RAM is enough for gaming then?
I'm on 8 GB and wanted to upgrade to 16 GB (through two eight sticks as I only have two slots on my motherboard), would that even impact my performance at all?

My fps seems to drop mostly when a lot of physics stuff goes on, and from the Anti-Aliasing on a lot of player characters.
I'm asking if 16 GB of RAM would impact that enough to warrant the cost.

In many situations 8 GB of RAM is quite sufficient. If your processor can't move the data fast enough, or if the programs are small, then you don't need more.

You can run a CPU at 100% running Mersenne Prime with no load on memory - everything can be in processor cache.

Or you can process enormous data sets and then your processor will be waiting on either disk I/O or paging. In these cases it makes sense to upgrade.

I can't comment on your specific situation, but in Task Manger there is a tab for Resource Monitor. Open that and look at your memory and processor profiles when you're doing the things you're hoping can be done faster.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 10:00:35 am by Grauniad »

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


knucracker

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Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 09:20:33 am
If I had that much RAM in a system I'd probably run 32G of it as a ramdrive.  On a system with a nice UPS, I might even copy the whole source tree for my projects to the ram drive and have it sync'd to the local hard drive upon shutdown (and at fixed points in the day).  With gazillions of little files coming and going hundreds of times daily, that kind of setup might speed builds up nicely.




Grauniad

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Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 09:37:20 am
That's a pretty good use for memory >32GB.

Talking about UPS.. I had a power hiccup yesterday that took out all my systems, but was not long enough to even affect the clock on the coffee maker.. :(

I started pricing UPS systems, but those things run expensive real fast and it's the first outage we've had in years. Used to have a UPS years back but I used it so little that when the battery dies I just got rid of it. Those batteries were as expensive as replacing the UPS, almost.

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


MizInIA

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Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 09:46:07 am
That's a pretty good use for memory >32GB.

Talking about UPS.. I had a power hiccup yesterday that took out all my systems, but was not long enough to even affect the clock on the coffee maker.. :(

I started pricing UPS systems, but those things run expensive real fast and it's the first outage we've had in years. Used to have a UPS years back but I used it so little that when the battery dies I just got rid of it. Those batteries were as expensive as replacing the UPS, almost.

For really quick power hiccups like that a line conditioner works wonders. Then you don't have to worry about batteries. I have seen them for as little as $45 or as you know the sky is the limit if you want it to condition the power for the whole house.



knucracker

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Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 09:52:15 am
They aren't super cheap for something that just sits there.  But I get so many power drops here in the Peak of Good Living (that's what the town of Apex calls itself... seriously) that I couldn't live without them.

I have them on everything, even the DVR :)
This is the biggest one I have:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842107113

Had it for about 4 years now and have not replaced the batteries in it yet.  When I do replace batteries, I swap them out at the local Batteries Plus store.

About twice a month the house erupts in chirps as you hear relays clicking on and the hum as UPSs engage (it is that common here).  I usually don't even stop typing since my monitor, my computer, my speakers, the switch, the gateway, the cable modem... are all on a UPS.  I don't even react unless the power is off for more than a minute (that only happens about once every 6 months on average).




Grauniad

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Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 09:54:32 am
That's an awesome price. The ones I looked at started at about $220 and ran up to $1K real fast. For about 750VA. Still after having built 2 computers already this year, I'm laying low on buying gadgets for a while. The urge is much subdued. :)

A goodnight to all and to all a good night - Goodnight Moon


Blaze

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Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 10:57:40 am
I've got a UPS that's saved me from losing work several time, and it was free too.
My dad's work was just going to throw them out, so he brought them home, and I took the best one from the bunch.

Power went out during a storm for a few minutes, and it kept my computer running even while playing a game.

Speaking of, just tested and my RAM is idle at a little over 3 GB used, going up to 4.50 GB while playing a game, and the CPU is around 50% as well.
I guess I gotta drop down my Anti-Aliasing some if I want full frame rate back. ::)

I'll stick with the RAM I have and upgrade it when I further upgrade my computer later on in life.
Until then I'll deal with my frame drops that are far and few between.

The worst it gets to is just about 25 fps in an eight player raid, which is more than playable for me seeing as I played some games at ~5 fps for a few years. :D
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 10:59:37 am by Blaze »



lich98

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Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 01:05:06 pm
The worst it gets to is just about 25 fps in an eight player raid, which is more than playable for me seeing as I played some games at ~5 fps for a few years. :D

5 fps that was my computer on some CW2 maps. (The ones with lots of stuff going on :P) That was EXCRUCIATING to play, but I did it anyway.

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Helper

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Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 11:56:02 am
@G - thank you for the link to this forum. I'd seen it, but never dropped by.

I am in 'compiling mode' for a new system and will keep track of the recommendations.
H