Hell, Its About Time.

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Hell, Its About Time.

Post by h2o » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:42 am

So yeah, after I've been playing Starcraft II its just become really obvious that my good ol' 8800GTS aint quite up for the task anymore. Neither is my RAM tbh. And I do wanna play Mafia II at some proper resolutions...

So its time for an upgrade! Its just that this has probably been the most confusing upgrade I've ever done. What I've got so far is:
  • Intel i5 760 2.8 Ghz 8MB
    Gigabyte GA-P55A UD4
    Gigabyte Geforce GTX 460 OC 1GB
    Corsair 2x2GB DDR3 2000MHz CL8 DOMINATOR GT @ 8-9-8-24
The issue is the mobo. I'm thinking of getting another 460GTX for SLI in a year or so when Diablo III comes out. I'm just not sure how important having both cards getting 16x is? It would obviously be preferable if both got 16x lanes but a mobo that's offering 2x PCIe 16x slots are slightly over my budget. I'm not too bothered with worrying about SATA III or USB3.0 atm.

As for the timings on the DIMMs, I figured that going for a CL8 @ 2000mhz instead of CL7 (7-7-7-20) @ 1600mhz would even it out a bit. I'm also considering on adding another 4GB sometime next year, perhaps when Diablo III comes out and I go for SLI :)

I know that the performance difference between 2 16x slots and 2 8x slots aint that big, 8% it seemed over at http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci ... 696-9.html...

And I'm not quite sure if my Seasonic 430W is enough for the new PCU & GFX. It seems that its just underneath the minimum of what I need (Loosely calculated almost 490w).

That's it. So far.

Edited to add: If I do get a new PSU, its for being capable of SLI with 2x 460GTX. That pumps upp the watt usage quite a lot but a Seasonic X-750 should do the trick.

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Post by kuzzia » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:25 am

HardOCP has also made a thorough review of the performance of SLI. They even reviewed the Geforce 460 in SLI and at high resolutions.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/ ... vs_x16x8/5


They've also made a review of the SLI performance when in 8x/8x mode, but that was with a pair of Geforce 480.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/ ... 16_vs_x8x8

They concluded that 460 in 16x/8x SLI was practically as good as in 16x/16x .

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Post by jamesbundy » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:55 am

That's a pretty sweet gaming setup you are putting together :P

For a pair of current midrange graphics cards in SLI, 2 pci-e x16 slots offer no real world benefits over 2 pci-e x8 slots.

HardOCP's findings corroborates those of Tomshardware: 7% better performance on a high end SLI setup with everything cranked up at ultra high resolutions. 2 x8 will be just dandy for a pair of 460GTX's :)

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/ ... _vs_x8x8/3

A mid-range A-brand PSU like your Seasonic will handle a single GTX 460 just fine. Bittech measured the wattage needed for its complete test system at around 270W under load with a GTX 460 1GB. Their test system is based around an X58 board with an i7 965 and 6 gigs of ram. Your P55 system will be substantially more frugal.

PSU calculators usually overestimate the wattage that is required. And graphics card manufacturers usually recommend a much higher wattage than needed because there are alot of $20 "500+ W" power supplies out there.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphi ... -review/11

If you do choose to go SLI, definitely upgrade the power supply to something beefier, the X-750 is indeed an excellent choice.

Don't worry too much about high RAM speeds and tight timings. They have a minimal impact on the complete system performance and only make sense when you want to get that last 5% of performance out of your rig for benching or overclocking. CL 8 at 1600Mhz is already plenty fast for a gaming rig.

If you can spare the cash, go for an SSD for your OS and application drive. Generally, it will cut the map loading times / boot time in half compared to a traditional hard drive and it will make your pc feel much snappier in everyday use as well.

Have fun building/gaming! :D

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Post by h2o » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:46 am

Thanks for the replies dudes. I know they usually pump up the wattage "required"... Hm. Yeah I'll stick to the 430 for now.

I'm on a P182 Chassi with 2x 120mm for negative pressure in the case, 1TB Samsung F1 Spinpoint and a CD-DVD RW combo player. A friend of mine just got a i5 760 and he's pleased with the stock cooler on it. I'm not so sure if I'll be since I'm a bit more into a silent pc, my current Zalman cooler is awesome, gonna see if there's a clip that'll adapt it to a 1156 board...

Ah, just found one. Awesome.

I'll go for a bigger PSU when I go SLI & 4GB more RAM. All I want to to do now is find some proper noise reviews of the Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB...

As for an SSD... I'm not sure. Its seems a bit pointless if you have to install the games on it as well? Since I play quite a lot of games... and many are Steam-based and will take up way too much space. I don't see myself going for anything fancier then say a Corsair 60GB Force Series F60. Is it really worth it? Gotta Google how much space Win 7 Ultimate uses :)

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Post by Cerb » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:13 pm

If you're going to go SLI, do it now, and get 2GB 460 cards. In a year or so, you can just upgrade to a new 28nm GPU. What resolution is your monitor, anyway? If it's 1080p or lower, you're probably better off ignoring SLI. As you start moving up higher, though, GTX 460 in SLI are pretty good, esp. the 2GB ones (2GB for single card setup doesn't seem to help, over 1GB). Thinking of going SLI in the future generally just means wasting money on a motherboard, because you'll find you don't need it; or, there will be something much faster than your SLI setup would be, with newer features, using less power, at a good price.

You can get a benefit from it now in games like Mafia 2, provided you are running a decently high resolution. However, I would be exceptionally surprised if it were to offer any meaningful benefit to a game like D3. Blizzard puts everything they can on the CPU, since most people have no or slow video cards.

RAM: Are you overclocking? If so, get fastest rated RAM at reasonable voltages that you can. Otherwise, get cheap 1333.

CPU cooler: get something quieter. Intel's coolers still have the same kind of annoying sound to them they have had for years and years.

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Re: Hell, Its About Time.

Post by danimal » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:33 pm

h2o wrote:As for the timings on the DIMMs, I figured that going for a CL8 @ 2000mhz instead of CL7 (7-7-7-20) @ 1600mhz would even it out a bit.
pretty much a complete waste of money... you gain nothing with that, and adding sticks to it later will slow down the overclocking capability.

i have the corsair 7-8-7-20 1600 sticks, they are rock solid even when overclocked.

if you want both overclocking and more ram, it might be smarter to abandon the crippled 1156 platform, and go for the 1366 from the beginning... i7-930 would be overkill for gaming, but when the cpu costs less than some i5 cpu's, you don't have to feel so bad about it.

you can hack the antec cp-850 into the p180 without too much drama, it's about the best bang for the buck there is.

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Post by h2o » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:05 am

Well, the 2000mhz CL8's were about 30$ cheaper then CL7 1600's so that's what I went for :P

As for SLI, I've decided against it. Thanks Cerb for the advice, I'm just not playing at the highest resolutions due to my 22" screen being 1680x1050.

Overall, I'm really happy with my build.

Got a Gigabyte GA-P55A UD5 (The 4 wasn't in stock and the 5 has a bit more space between the 1st PCIe slot and the Heatsink below the CPU).

Only 2 things gave me trouble, the 2,5" Corsair didn't come with 3,5" adapter kit so I had to get that separetely and my Antec P180 screws for using the dampers didn't fit in the 3,5" slides. Bit annoying but I fixed it by using another set of screws.

Then there was the 8pin cord from my Seasonic 430. It ofcourse wasn't long enough to pull around the back... or under the GFX card. So at the moment my PSU is propped up on the Gigabyte Mobo's Manual. Leaving for the store in a few minutes to grab a 8pin extensioncord :)

Also, the Dominator's cooling fan probably won't fit when I install my Zalman cooler (Went for the stock cooler just to try the system out). Altho I'm not sure I need it anyway :)

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