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Wolfenswan
16-07-2012, 11:51 PM
It's Time to retire the good old P965-DS4, HD4870 and Q6600. After reading one exciting list after the other I've finally narrowed down my choices. Criticism welcome.

Mobo:
Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H. (~100€)
Motherboard specifications scare me, i went entirely by recommendations here.

PSU:
Corsair Modular TX650M

CPU:
i5-2500k (about 185€ as tray, ca. 201€ boxed)

CPU-Cooler:
Cooler Master Hyper212 Evo.

GPU:
EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - 340€

RAM:
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9, Vengeance (2x4GB) ~ 45-50€
I don't know why I'd need more than 8GB. Alternatively I could go for the 1866 but I've no idea if that's worth it. Also, I could pay about 5€ more for a CL8 timing.

Case:
Xigmatek Midgard II

HDD:
Western Digital Black 1TB, 6 GB/S
128GB SSD (Crucial M4)


All together this checks out at roughly 1050€ (including minor stuff like case coolers). I think what I have so far is pretty solid but I can probably save some bucks on the PSU and case.

Sakkura
17-07-2012, 12:07 AM
CPU:
i5-3570k. (~210)

I5-2570k and i5-2500k make a difference of about 20-30 in most online store so it's not really worth it.

CPU-Cooler:
Cooler Master Hyper212. No preference here, this one seems solid. I'm happy if it's quiet, doesn't have LEDs and I can OC should the need arise.

GPU:
EVGA Geforce GTX 670 ~ 375
Radeon HD 7870 would be the obvious alternative.

RAM:
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9, Vengeance (2x4GB) ~ 45-50
I don't know why I'd need more than 8GB. Alternatively I could go for the 1866 but I've no idea if that's worth it. Also, I could pay about 5 more for a CL8 timing.

HDD:
Seagate ST1000DM003 1 TB, Barracuda 7200.14
With ~80 to 85 the cheapest 1TB 7200 HDD I could find. It'll back up the 1.5TB Black Caviar from my current system.

Not sure what you mean by i5-2570k. Anyway, the 3570k is a very modest upgrade over the 2500k, especially with both of them overclocked. You would be absolutely fine with the 2500k, so I'd save some cash there unless you really have money to burn.

@CPU cooler you might want to get the Hyper212 Evo. It's the better version and still dirt cheap.

The HD 7870 isn't really an alternative the the GTX 670. The GTX 670 is ahead of the 7950 in most areas, and can surpass the 7970 as well. Of course, the 7870 is a lot cheaper and still serves up good performance... but the extra money for the 670 is well spent if you want top of the line performance.

@RAM, 8 GB is fine for gaming, 1600 MT/s is fine too. 1866 shows only very limited improvements in benchmarks.

As for the HDD, why don't you get an SSD instead, and use your current HDD for storage?

Wolfenswan
17-07-2012, 12:21 AM
you might want to get the Hyper212 Evo


Meant the Evo, Typo.



he HD 7870 isn't really an alternative the the GTX 670.

You're right, updated that part to reflect that.




As for the HDD, why don't you get an SSD instead, and use your current HDD for storage?


For some reason SSDs just don't appeal to me and even with my current 2,5 TB I'm constantly running out of HDD space. But I'm considering a small SSD (64-80GB) for the OS.

Finicky
17-07-2012, 12:37 AM
Definitely go with Nvidia, as AMD user I'd say over the past 2 years at least 15 percent of the games I have bought have had issues with amd, sometimes they were patched, often they were not.

Take nvidia benchmarks with a big grain of salt when comparing them to amd equivalents, gtx 6xx cards have a turbo boost function now that makes it overclock itself skewing benchmark results, it makes them seem faster than they really are.

That psu is far too expensive, there are nice 600W psus of good quality for 50-60 euros.

The advice to get an SSD isn't bad if you already have a big HDD in your current system, HDD prices are ridiculous atm and SSD prices have finally dropped a bit. Unless of course the 2GB is some uber slow 5400 rpm drive, then it'll be rubbish for any game that has to stream textures (all ue3 games, rage ).

As for the ram, 8GB will be plenty for now and for the next few years, hell if you don't multitask like crazy then even 2GB is usually enough for games with a few exceptions so don't worry about that.
Cas 8 ram could be nice if the cost is small, the biggest problem with ddr3 is/was the much higher latencies than ddr2 ram which made for example ddr3 1333 no faster than ddr2 800 ram with low latency.
The difference will be minimal but if the cost is too then why not, right?

Sakkura
17-07-2012, 12:38 AM
Constantly running out of space on a 2.5 TB drive? You know, you can let the internet keep some of its porn. You don't need all of it on your computer... :p

Okay, when you use that much space you obviously need to get a big HDD first. If there's money left over for an SSD for Windows, it's still worth it though. Makes things delightfully snappy.

soldant
17-07-2012, 01:18 AM
I'd echo what the others say about an SSD. It doesn't have to be a large one; 120GB is ample for a system drive. It will make a big difference to general system usage, and it'll cut down load times if you do decide to put a few games on there.

PasPossible
17-07-2012, 06:43 AM
"Motherboard specifications scare me": me too, until I learned to stop fearing and loved the details :)

a) Motherboard:
Gigabyte mid to high range models are very reliable so far (used their motherboards for 5 rigs, never had a single problem - the price is often higher for the same features, as the components are often of a better quality), so it's a good choice for a high-end rig.

Once you picked your processor you know the corresponding socket (here it's the LGA 1155), then you'll want to know:
- do I want to overclock ? (you'll need a good NorthBridge and VRMs to o/c correctly)
- do I want USB 3.0 ports ? if yes, how many of them ?
- do I want SATA 3.0 ports (aka "6 GB/s") ? if yes, how many of them ?
- do I want to have a multiple graphic cards setup ? (crossfire/sli)
- how many RAM slots do I want ?
- do I want to get a RAID setup ?

Details of Intel 1155 chipsets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155#Ivy_Bridge_Chipsets

- By getting the Z77, you're sure to have complete overclocking capacity (CPU+GPU+RAM).
- If you pick the Z75, you no longer have Intel's solution using SSD drive as a cache for a normal HDD (it's working well for 5-7 applications, but with more applications => uncaching => back to HDD speed).
- the H77 and Q77 have the Intel SSD caching, but the overclock is based on the BCLK (Base Clock, affecting the uncore components such as RAM at the same time), and the second GPU in a SLI/crossfire rig won't have a 8x PCI-E slot (only a 2x slot).
- the Q75 and B75 no longer have the Intel SSD caching, the overclocking is using the Base Clock, the 2nd GPU is not getting a 8x PCI-E slot, and has only one SATA 3.0 port (6 GB/s) (instead of two ports in the other chipsets).

b) Processor:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-core-i5-3570k-cpu-review/6
=> a benchmark, including the 3570k and the 2500k, both vanilla and 5 GHz overclock, on ArmA II OA and TW Shogun 2 (in the video games category).

As you can see, the 3570k has only 3-to-6 more fps (on the 90-100 fps base) than the 2500k. Meanwhile, the promised lower power consumption is only noticeable (thanks to the transition from 32 mm to 22 mm) when idling or on low loads.
The only interesting difference (for gaming) is the PCI-Express 3.0 support, however you can't currently saturate the PCI-E 2.0 (even with a SLI/Crossfire), it will matters for gamers in 2 or 3 years (and by that time, you'll be better off changing the processor).

nb: if you plan on overclocking (and it helps quite a lot on these i5), you'll have to change the thermal paste (TIM) on the 3570k, as Intel chose a worse (in terms of thermal conductivity) paste that last longer in the box, and since the die is smaller than the 2500k the thermal density gets higher (= higher temp). See details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_%28microarchitecture%29#Heat_issue_when _overclocked

Just go with the 2500k, and with the extra available money get the right CPU cooler and the right TIM (thermal paste). The Hyper212 Evo is an excellent choice for not-extreme o/c.

c) Graphic card:
As Sakkura said, the GTX 670 is a better choice. It's delivering between 5% to 20% more FPS than the 7950, depending on game and the settings. Why ? The two cards have different GPU architectures, while globally Radeon are currently sligthly more focused on memory bandwidth and GFLOPS, Geforce are sligthly more focused on pixel and texel rate.

On ArmA II OA, it's closer to +5% for the GTX 670, as it's a game heavily relying on the CPU. I have no idea regarding ArmA III.

Now regarding the 7970, the GTX 670 is performing better in some titles, but most of the time the 7970 is delivering +10% FPS. However, the Radeons are consuming more watts (approximately +10% for the 7950, +25% for the 7970) and producing more heat, resulting in more noise from the cooling system. The stock 7950 is 3 dB louder than the GTX 670, while the stock 7970 is 5 to 7 dB louder than the GTX 670.

Finally, the flamewar is still well alive, but globally you have to know that thanks to its stronger expertise and bigger devteams, nVidia has good drivers and hotfixes earlier than AMD. Earlier, which mean AMD also has good drivers, but sometime it's taking longer than it should to get a fixed version (that's important when buying very recently released new GPUs).

And, because nVidia is dedicating a noticeable amount of money in its optimization program (visible in the "The Way It's Meant to be Played" logos displayed in games whose devs used that program iirc), which is providing engineers and devs for drivers hotfixes and engine optimization, and providing an access to a nVidia rigs test farm (all recent nVidia GPU available), many games are showing slightly better performance on nVidia GPU upon launch. This is also why a few games had crash-on-launch problems on ATI cards, as the devs hadn't tested the game on these GPUs.

On ArmA II OA (7950, 670, 7970) : http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/05/10/nvidia-geforce-gtx-670-2gb-review/4
On various games (7950 vs 670) : http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/550?vs=598
(7970 vs 670 =>) http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/508?vs=598
Technical comparison and links to several reviews: http://www.gpureview.com/show_cards.php/show_cards.php?card1=664&card2=669

ps: the EVGA brand has a pretty good reputation. I bought one from them 1 year ago and hadn't a single problem with it.

ps 2: The "Turbo" mode (in the Geforce GTX 6xx series, as mentioned above by Finicky) will boost the shader units frequency from 5% to 15%, depending on your luck (= the quality of the GPU you'll get). It will result in a 1% to 8% FPS gain over stock speed, depending on the game.

d) RAM:
I confirm what Sakkura wrote, 2x4 GB of DDR3-1600 is enough. The CL8 is not worth it (at the very best it's a 1-2% performance gain in games), the most important is the brand (last time I checked, G.Skill - Corsair - Kingston are all great brands) and the voltage (lower is better, as it leaves room for o/c and shows it doesn't need higher voltage to be stable and keep its timing).

e) PSU:
You're right, you don't need more than 500W (especially if you don't o/c everything to the max).
Regarding the TX650M:
1- Corsair has made a serious effort in making good PSU in the last 2-3 years, first by simply using Seasonic designs (with louder fans and less cables to be cheaper), then by having half of its PSU models manufactured in Seasonic's factories. It is a very good PSU brand (for now).
2- the TX 650M, even though it is produced in Channel Well Technology's factories, who's producing almost half of all PSU models (from various brands) and was responsible for the crappy Antec PSU (nb: now most Antec models are really good), that model seems to be produced in the "high quality" factories (and Corsair wouldn't tolerate bad quality when they're trying to get a good reputation), as reviews show excellent results (really good stability of the 12V, EPS/Molex/PCIE, both in idle and under stress).
* Also it is a modular PSU which mean you won't have to worry about having enough PCI-E cables for your GPU.

Go with that model, you'll be able to o/c your processor correctly without overloading the PSU.

nb: aging PSU can deliver less watts for the same quality/stability (they'll often still deliver the watts, but the voltage won't be as good as in the early days). Having a good 650W means you'll get proper 550W-600W, even after 4-5 years.

Quick list of manufacturers for the most popular PSU models: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/psu_manufacturers
Complete informations (including manufacturers) database about PSUs: http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page541.htm

f) HDD:
You should try the SSD way. Like you said, pick a small one for the OS and see how it's going. The prices are now affordable and the results are there, it's no longer an experimental thing.

On the HDD side, Seagate (Barracuda) and Western Digital (Caviar Blue) are great 7200 rpm brands.

Regarding SSD, I don't really know the technical details, but the Samsung 830 and the Crucial M4 are often cited as the most reliable models.
As long as you stay with the big names (Samsung, Corsair, Crucial, OCZ - for Intel models I heard their own controllers aren't all good, but they're using good third-party controllers on the recent models... need to check before buying), it should be ok.

g) Case: the biggest you can find (it has to fit under your desk though).
It will make assembly and upgrading much easier (and sometime, possible) and will allow a bigger airflow inside the case. Of course, a PSU-less case so you don't pay twice for the same thing.

If it was easy to choose between the bazillion cases available, you might want to get one with a higher vibration threshold, with sound-suppressing HDD slots if possible, with several grids (and the necessary 4 screws threads if you want to add fans on them) so the air can circulate.

If the case comes with its own fans, why not, but it could be noisy cheap fans (that you won't use or will have to endure). Depending on the room air flow and temperature, you might need additional (along with the CPU+GPU+PSU) fans on your case - you can always buy one later and make sure to get an efficient & silent model (or you can salvage one from your previous components).

=> Unless your previous rig was overheating, you probably won't need more fans (the GTX 670 doesn't seem to overheat easily, the 2500k will have its Hyper212 Evo), so don't make the lack of fans a deal breaker. Meanwhile, removing the dust every 3 months is important.

Wolfenswan
17-07-2012, 11:15 AM
Thanks a ton Pas; lots of useful info.

Any oppinion on Sharkoon PSUs? There's a modular 600W (WPM600) one for only 50€ and the on-site reviews are positive but the low price makes me suspicious.


right TIM

any suggestions here? It's been ages since I used a third party TIM as the one's that came with the Core2Duos and Q-Series were pretty solid.


Also I'm not 100% sure about the GTX 670. Might it be wiser to buy a (2GB) card that's 100+ cheaper and upgrade in a few years? The most demanding game I'll play in the future would be Arma 3. I might wait until the public Alpha is released so I'll know what to expect in terms of requirements.

byteCrunch
17-07-2012, 12:24 PM
I continue to recommend a 2500k over an Ivy-Bridge, Sandy-Bridge are better overclockers, generate less heat, cheaper, the only thing they lose in is power consumption, which is a non-issue for a desktop, and even more of a non-issue when you start overclocking and that advantage disappears altogether.

Sakkura
17-07-2012, 03:34 PM
b) Processor:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-core-i5-3570k-cpu-review/6
=> a benchmark, including the 3570k and the 2500k, both vanilla and 5 GHz overclock, on ArmA II OA and TW Shogun 2 (in the video games category).

As you can see, the 3570k has only 3-to-6 more fps (on the 90-100 fps base) than the 2500k. Meanwhile, the promised lower power consumption is only noticeable (thanks to the transition from 32 mm to 22 mm) when idling or on low loads.
The only interesting difference (for gaming) is the PCI-Express 3.0 support, however you can't currently saturate the PCI-E 2.0 (even with a SLI/Crossfire), it will matters for gamers in 2 or 3 years (and by that time, you'll be better off changing the processor).

nb: if you plan on overclocking (and it helps quite a lot on these i5), you'll have to change the thermal paste (TIM) on the 3570k, as Intel chose a worse (in terms of thermal conductivity) paste that last longer in the box, and since the die is smaller than the 2500k the thermal density gets higher (= higher temp). See details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_%28microarchitecture%29#Heat_issue_when _overclocked

Just go with the 2500k, and with the extra available money get the right CPU cooler and the right TIM (thermal paste). The Hyper212 Evo is an excellent choice for not-extreme o/c.
Actually, the thing with the 3570k isn't poor thermal paste in the normal place. What they did is place thermal paste inside what you'd normally think of as the CPU. The actual CPU is smaller than the thing you get out of the box; it's sheltered below a metallic cap called a heatspreader, with some material filling the room between the CPU (they're getting smaller and smaller) and the heatspreader. On the 2500k they used fluxless solder in there, on the 3570k they're using a thermal paste that is much worse at conducting heat.

(all thermal paste is actually pretty poor at conducting heat - the only reason you want any of it between the CPU heatspreader and the heatsink is that air is an even worse heat conductor)

Wolfenswan
17-07-2012, 03:45 PM
I'm currently narrowing down my choices (OP has been updated to reflect those).

Regarding the CPU cooler:
How heavy is the Hyper 212 Evo and how firmly does it rest in place? This system might see a few moves (at least one including a ferry) so I wouldn't want it to break off because of some rocking back and forth. Should I go with the boxed version and buy a new cooler when I really need to OC?

In terms of cases i've decided against the silencio because of poor thermal perfomance according to some reviews and am now looking at either the fractal design 3000 or corsair carbide 400r. The latter's heavier but has USB 3.0 (2x) and e-sata (1x) ports at the front while the first is smaller, 2kg lighter and cheaper but with only USB 2.0 (4x) at the front. The built in coolers of the carbide are rather noisy according to reviews.

The BitFenix Shinobi is an attractive alternative to the fractal design 3000 and about 10€ cheaper.

I haven't looked at any cases over 80€.

PasPossible
18-07-2012, 05:51 AM
Actually, the thing with the 3570k isn't poor thermal paste in the normal place. What they did is place thermal paste inside what you'd normally think of as the CPU. The actual CPU is smaller than the thing you get out of the box; it's sheltered below a metallic cap called a heatspreader, with some material filling the room between the CPU (they're getting smaller and smaller) and the heatspreader. On the 2500k they used fluxless solder in there, on the 3570k they're using a thermal paste that is much worse at conducting heat.

(all thermal paste is actually pretty poor at conducting heat - the only reason you want any of it between the CPU heatspreader and the heatsink is that air is an even worse heat conductor)Oh my, that's indeed worse than I thought o_o thanks for the information Sakkura, now it's clear you can't "fix" the 3570k o/c overheating issues with just some new TIM.


Any opinion on Sharkoon PSUs? There's a modular 600W (WPM600) one for only 50€ and the on-site reviews are positive but the low price makes me suspicious.
Well, it seems it's a good "budget" PSU.

If you're going to go for a high-end rig, I find it strange to go for a PSU barely reaching the 80% efficiency mark (the Corsair one is at 86-87%), from a 10 years old company selling various accessories who recently started making PSUs.

At least it's produced in Channel Well Technology factories, so there's good chance it won't fry up your components (otherwise their reputation among other PSUs brands would plumet), but if you want to o/c + a strong GPU and still have a durable (3-4 years) and stable voltage, I think it's a little bit too low.





any suggestions here? It's been ages since I used a third party TIM as the one's that came with the Core2Duos and Q-Series were pretty solid.Well, last time I set up a rig (6 months ago I think) I used some Artic Silver 5 (already used on 6 other rigs - you need very little paste for each application). It's a pretty good paste (for non-extreme o/c), and most importantly you get to apply it yourself:

cleaning the old paste
smoothly sandpapering it if it's not a mirror (or close to a mirror) (3 stages of sandpapering)
applying a thin layer
spreading it around again and again until a very thin layer is uniformly covering the entire block


To choose a TIM, here's a good review of 80 different TIMs (2009 review): http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=13

Some sort of paste-applying guide: http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=170&Itemid=38

In my opinion it's lacking a visual guide on actually applying and spreading the paste, in my case I proceed like that:

shake the tube/syringes like hell, as the solvent will partially separate itself from the main ingredient overtime.
put some of the paste on the die, mix it up so the solvent is correctly diluting the paste.
use a folded post-it (flexible but still a little bit rigid, white paper post-its) for the first spreading draft (square die = a square of paste put on it, then "pull" each side of this square it toward each side of the die).
then food-preserving cellophane on the index to equally spread it (you need to tense it all around the pulp, swirl the extra cellophane at the back, then hold it between the middle-finder and the index), mostly for the corners/borders.
then, like when you need to paint a difficult part, cover a hole or a dark stain on a light-coloured wall, make several passes with the folded post-it, with different directions, equally (left and right) and lightly pushing on the pasta to spread it, but not too much or you'll take some of it off as the paste is progressively drying up.
if such problem happens, don't be afraid of putting a tiny amount of fresh paste, spread with the post-it again, you'll most likely end up removing most of what you added, but the hole will be nicely filled.




Also I'm not 100% sure about the GTX 670. Might it be wiser to buy a (2GB) card that's 100+ cheaper and upgrade in a few years? The most demanding game I'll play in the future would be Arma 3. I might wait until the public Alpha is released so I'll know what to expect in terms of requirements.If you mostly plan on playing ArmA 3, and it is the only demanding game you'll want to play comfortably, you're right: wait for the Alpha.

The ArmA engine mostly depends on the CPU so far, but it's possible ArmA III really benefits from the GPU this time (one can dream...).

As you could see in the bit-tech.net reviews, only the two most expensive GPUs (at that time)(6990 and GTX 690, 4 GB) could take off a little and get a 75+ average FPS in ArmA II OA, while the 2500k was delivering 85-100 FPS (stock speed) and 105-120 FPS (o/c @ 5 GHz) easily. How much the GPU matters for ArmA III will decide which GPU you should get.


I'm currently narrowing down my choices (OP has been updated to reflect those).

Regarding the CPU cooler:
How heavy is the Hyper 212 Evo and how firmly does it rest in place? This system might see a few moves (at least one including a ferry) so I wouldn't want it to break off because of some rocking back and forth. Should I go with the boxed version and buy a new cooler when I really need to OC?I haven't looked into coolers for years, as I usually go for a small o/c with the boxed, doesn't care about noise (headphone) and isn't much fond of graphical shinies.

That cooler design (3 copper heatpipes going into a tower of aluminium plates, with a ventilator on the side) is the most used by the average overclockers looking for a few FPS boost for the cheap. It seems the Xigmatek Gaia SD1283, with the same design, has a better cooling and is making less noise ( http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2595&page=5 ), it sounds like a good choice.

Regarding moving it around, I don't really know as I never had such "big tower of alu plates" cooler. As long as you have some TIM, removing the cooler for the transport (if it's once every 6 months) is possible.


In terms of cases i've decided against the silencio because of poor thermal perfomance according to some reviews and am now looking at either the fractal design 3000 or corsair carbide 400r. The latter's heavier but has USB 3.0 (2x) and e-sata (1x) ports at the front while the first is smaller, 2kg lighter and cheaper but with only USB 2.0 (4x) at the front. The built in coolers of the carbide are rather noisy according to reviews.

The BitFenix Shinobi is an attractive alternative to the fractal design 3000 and about 10€ cheaper.

I haven't looked at any cases over 80€.If don't know if a case that is light, full of front connectors, has a good air circulation and cooling, is cheap, actually exist. I think you'll need to choose for specific goals.

Regarding front panel connectors, you can always use an extension cord (unless you really need maximum transfer speed), or use the pins/connectors on the motherboard, a cable and removing one of the DVD/BR reader/burner panel at the front to let the cables out (unusual style though - I did that on my 2 cases to get all the ports I needed on the front). You can always make a proper cover later.

harakka
18-07-2012, 10:18 AM
Also I'm not 100% sure about the GTX 670. Might it be wiser to buy a (2GB) card that's 100+ cheaper and upgrade in a few years?

You won't really benefit from VRAM above 1GB, unless you're venturing into resolutions beyond 1680x1050 or thereabouts. Definitely do not get any kind of medium-range card with 2GB, as memory will not be the potential bottleneck.

Wolfenswan
18-07-2012, 01:49 PM
Is there a reason one should pick the 2500k over the 2550k? I don't need the integrated graphics and it's cheaper.

Sakkura
18-07-2012, 02:18 PM
Oh my, that's indeed worse than I thought o_o thanks for the information Sakkura, now it's clear you can't "fix" the 3570k o/c overheating issues with just some new TIM.
Well, unless you're a DIY master with balls of steel. It is possible to crack open the CPU, scrape out the thermal paste, and replace it with a better alternative. This apparently shows significant benefit, but it's also on a level of crazy right up there with liquid nitrogen overclocking.


Is there a reason one should pick the 2500k over the 2550k? I don't need the integrated graphics and it's cheaper.
The only differences are the IGP and the price. Buy whatever's cheaper.

Sakkura
18-07-2012, 02:35 PM
Regarding the CPU cooler:
How heavy is the Hyper 212 Evo and how firmly does it rest in place? This system might see a few moves (at least one including a ferry) so I wouldn't want it to break off because of some rocking back and forth. Should I go with the boxed version and buy a new cooler when I really need to OC?

In terms of cases i've decided against the silencio because of poor thermal perfomance according to some reviews and am now looking at either the fractal design 3000 or corsair carbide 400r. The latter's heavier but has USB 3.0 (2x) and e-sata (1x) ports at the front while the first is smaller, 2kg lighter and cheaper but with only USB 2.0 (4x) at the front. The built in coolers of the carbide are rather noisy according to reviews.

The BitFenix Shinobi is an attractive alternative to the fractal design 3000 and about 10€ cheaper.

I haven't looked at any cases over 80€.
The hyper 212 evo is not the heaviest cooling solution around, weighing about a pound (little less than half a kg). It's attached with a bracket to a backplate behind the motherboard, so it's quite securely attached.

Cases are a bit of a personal choice, but it looks like the fractal design 3000 is quite a bit smaller than the carbide 400r, which can make it a little more fiddly during installation. Along with the USB3.0 front connectors, I'd personally prefer the 400r.

Finicky
19-07-2012, 01:17 AM
You won't really benefit from VRAM above 1GB, unless you're venturing into resolutions beyond 1680x1050 or thereabouts. Definitely do not get any kind of medium-range card with 2GB, as memory will not be the potential bottleneck.

There are a few games that need more than 1GB vram (bf3 for example , I know because it stutters something fierce on ultra textures and runs smoothly on high textures on my 1GB hd6870) and that's a bizarre statement to say 'unless you venture above 1680x1050', who 'ventures' there on a desktop pc?

Besides you want SSAA in most recent ish games if you have a decent GPU because so few games have any kind of proper AA support (deferred rendering really needs to go die until they ever solve that).

1.5-2GB vram is not a waste (and indeed as you said there is no point buying some weaker card just because it has 2 GB vram, that is just counterproductive)

soldant
19-07-2012, 05:33 AM
Extra VRAM is good, but not at the expense of a slower card. I don't know why it's become so popular for a GPU's VRAM to take pride of place these days. Going to a cheaper but slower card with more VRAM is pointless.

harakka
19-07-2012, 10:20 AM
that's a bizarre statement to say 'unless you venture above 1680x1050', who 'ventures' there on a desktop pc?
People generally want to play at their monitor's native resolution. One usually ventures above 1680x1050 when going for a monitor larger than 20". For reference 1920x1080 is currently the most popular resolution in Steam hardware survey, so this is not an uncommon situation.