Barebones vs. Scratch?

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Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:37 pm

So over the last few weeks now I've been trying to see what options I have to boost my system performance while playing SWTOR (Getting 10FPS in Warzones & 1 to 2 minute load screens) and unfortunately it appears I'm going to need to get pretty much an entire new setup.

This time I want to do it right, I don't want to just go spend $500 at the local bestbuy for some random rig with a built on GFX Card..

I also didn't really see the point in building a COMPLETELY new rig when I could just get a reasonable barebones kit + a GFX Card then use my HDD, SSD & Disk Drive.

I spent the day looking at Tigerdirect and this is what I believe looks like something in my budget $600-$800. Note: I was also considering the GFX Card they offer if you buy it and wasn't sure if it was worth it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... CatId=4910

Please let me know your thoughts, feedback, recommendations ect ect.

Is I5 good enough to handle GOOD FPS & Load times for SWTOR?

Specs:
Code: Select all
$609 ($20 Rebate)
MSI P67A-C43 B3 Corsair Barebones Kit

This Bundle Includes:

MSI P67A-C43 B3 Intel P67 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel P67 Express, DDR3 2133MHz (O.C.), SATA 6.0 Gb/s, Gigabit LAN, 1 x PCI-Express x16, USB 3.0
Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500 Unlocked Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.70 GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 95W, Fan, Retail
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB PC12800 DDR3 RAM - 1600MHz, 2x4096MB, Non-ECC, Unbuffered
Corsair CC-9011011-WW Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Case - ATX, mATX, 4x Ext 5.25" Bays, 6x Int 3.5" Bays, 2x 120mm White LED Fans, 1x 120mm Fan, 2x USB 3.0 and 1x FireWire Front Ports
Corsair TX850W Power Supply - 850W, ATX, 80Plus

They recommend for $50 getting the
EVGA 01G-P3-1526-KR GeForce GT 520 Video Card
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:30 pm

I also wanted to say that I know building PC's for some people is something they absolutely love to do, a hobby or maybe even their profession so if you can make a better recommendation (within the same general price range) than PLEASE PLEASE do so.

I don't care if I have to order a case from Asus, CPU from Newegg and other crap from Tigerdirect.. as long as once it's all ordered the PC & Price is good I'm pretty easy to please.

Work that magic! :)

Thanks again for everyone being so helpful.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Gab » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:30 pm

Not sure what kind of a discount they are giving for packaging those together but I'd go with a Z68 over a P67 mobo if possible. Although for what you might be using it for it may not matter too much. Here's a pretty good article detailing the differences.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/43205-intel-z68-review-sandy-bridge-platform-expands.html

Is I5 good enough to handle GOOD FPS & Load times for SWTOR?


Definitely... The i5-2500k is one of the best processors on the market. However it largely depends on what video card you choose. The 520 is getting a bit dated but should be able to handle SW decently. I'd look at a 560 or Radeon 6870. Both are a bit more pricey but you should be able to run most new games at max settings (might have to disable AA).

Sorry kinda short and hurried. Trying to get out the door.

Edit: The 520 isn't really considered a "gaming" card, it's more just a multi media card. And 50$ sounds about right, you aren't getting much of a discount. If you skimp on the vid card that's definitely going to be your bottle neck in that system.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Gab wrote:Not sure what kind of a discount they are giving for packaging those together but I'd go with a Z68 over a P67 mobo if possible. Although for what you might be using it for it may not matter too much. Here's a pretty good article detailing the differences.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/43205-intel-z68-review-sandy-bridge-platform-expands.html

Is I5 good enough to handle GOOD FPS & Load times for SWTOR?


Definitely... The i5-2500k is one of the best processors on the market. However it largely depends on what video card you choose. The 520 is getting a bit dated but should be able to handle SW decently. I'd look at a 560 or Radeon 6870. Both are a bit more pricey but you should be able to run most new games at max settings (might have to disable AA).

Sorry kinda short and hurried. Trying to get out the door.

Edit: The 520 isn't really considered a "gaming" card, it's more just a multi media card. And 50$ sounds about right, you aren't getting much of a discount. If you skimp on the vid card that's definitely going to be your bottle neck in that system.



Good review, looks like quite a nice change for not much more money..

Would you be able to recommend a build using that? or would you just say to sub that in w/ everything else?

I was worried about the GFX card listed I'm willing to spend a little more to get a good one.

Thx again for the help.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Talaii » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:43 am

Honestly, if you're mostly gaming, it'll be hard to get into a situation where your video card is NOT the bottleneck. I have a Radeon 6970, and it's the bottleneck in almost every game I play (the couple that are CPU-limited generally run at 100+ FPS). That's with a CPU that is quite a bit slower than a 2500k (I have an i5 760). I wouldn't cut it too far - having a good quad-core CPU is important for some games, and will get more so as time goes by; so I'd try and stick with an i5. But certainly, once you're over a certain minimuum CPU level (and an i5 is well above that), a better CPU makes very little difference in games, and the video card is the main bottleneck.

So if the only systems-intensive thing you are doing with the computer is playing games, it's probably worth spending less on the CPU, and sinking the extra money into the graphics card. I could nitpick at the bundle some more (an 850W power supply with a motherboard that doesn't support SLI/Crossfire? Why waste all that money on something you'll never really use), but instead I'll do something productive and post some recommendations.

Cheap option:
$159.99, $20 Rebate XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 Video Card
$42.99 Corsair 8GB Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 Latency, 240-pin DIMM, 1.5V
$89.99 MSI H67MA-E35 B3 Intel 6 Series Motherboard
$139.99, $20 Rebate C11-1116 ::Corsair Carbide 400R Mid Case w/ CX 430W PSU
$189.99 Intel Core i5-2400
Total: $622.95; $582.95 including rebates
Will play most games at high details at 1080p. There's not a competitive Geforce card at this price level (the 550Ti is slower, and not really any cheaper than the 6850), so unless you really need CUDA support or something, stick with the AMD card.

Better option:
$42.99 Corsair 8GB Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 Latency, 240-pin DIMM, 1.5V
$89.99 MSI H67MA-E35 B3 Intel 6 Series Motherboard
$189.99 Intel Core i5-2400
$59.99, $10 rebate Corsair CX500 Power supply
$99.99 Corsair Carbide 400R
$249.99 Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 Video Card
--OR--
$234.99, $15 Rebate GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Video Card
Price: $732.94 ($722.94 after rebates) with Radeon, 717.94 ($687.94 after rebates) for the Nvidia. Will let you play any current game maxxed out at 1080p, basically. The two video cards are about the same speed; choose based on which company you'd prefer; or just go with the Nvidia card because it's cheaper. Also note that there are two Geforce 560 models: The Geforce 560 (no Ti) is quite comparable with a Radeon 6870; the Geforce 560 Ti is quite a bit faster; and comparable with the 6950.

If you want to overclock, replace the motherboard with a P67 or Z68 chipset one, and the 2400 with a 2500k, and buy a decent aftermarket CPU cooler (Coolermaster Hyper 212+ or 212 Evo is cheap and good). Overclocking isn't hard, but getting a faster CPU isn't exactly a massive boost as far as gaming performance goes.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Talaii » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:45 am

As far as building the computer goes: It's mostly just following instructions. Find a youtube video to make sure you don't forget anything, but the only vaguely tricky thing is installing the heatsink over the CPU. Just take it slow, be careful, and don't force anything. Most of it is just plugging different bits into wherever on the motherboard they'll fit.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:55 am

It's like building a Lego set, but the pieces only fit together one way.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Skye1013 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:23 am

3D puzzle for the win! :D
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:52 am

Talaii wrote:As far as building the computer goes: It's mostly just following instructions. Find a youtube video to make sure you don't forget anything, but the only vaguely tricky thing is installing the heatsink over the CPU. Just take it slow, be careful, and don't force anything. Most of it is just plugging different bits into wherever on the motherboard they'll fit.


Luckily I know (enough of) my way around installing or changing out components so I'm not too worried about the assembly.

I could be wrong but I had recently read that a proper overclock can net you a large FPS increase in gaming sometimes more than a GFX card upgrade.

Also I heard Intel has horrible heatsinks / fans so if I overclock then I would HAVE to buy replacements, anyone else know about this?

Once again, thanks for the help this feedback is all very useful and I'm weighing my options and I truthfully can't see myself waiting more than just a day or so to make an order.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:39 am

Shyrtandros wrote:
Talaii wrote:As far as building the computer goes: It's mostly just following instructions. Find a youtube video to make sure you don't forget anything, but the only vaguely tricky thing is installing the heatsink over the CPU. Just take it slow, be careful, and don't force anything. Most of it is just plugging different bits into wherever on the motherboard they'll fit.


Luckily I know (enough of) my way around installing or changing out components so I'm not too worried about the assembly.

I could be wrong but I had recently read that a proper overclock can net you a large FPS increase in gaming sometimes more than a GFX card upgrade.

Also I heard Intel has horrible heatsinks / fans so if I overclock then I would HAVE to buy replacements, anyone else know about this?

Once again, thanks for the help this feedback is all very useful and I'm weighing my options and I truthfully can't see myself waiting more than just a day or so to make an order.

There is some truth to that, my graphic benchmarks make a rather large improvement when I overclock my CPU/memory, which indicates I have some head room on the gfx card. Obviously, it will depend a bit on the setup though, and that will not always be the case. I bought a high end gfx card with a CPU that I knew overclocked well, but wasn't the top end clock speed at the time because that costs a premium.

Now that said, mine still handles SWTOR without any problems without overclocking, so I don't bother. My computer was built from scratch using pretty good components, so it was reasonably expensive for a pc (probably around $1300 sans monitor) but here it is 5 years later and it doesn't break a sweat on stuff like SWTOR.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:21 am

Looking at the cases I was pleased to find the Corsair 500R for just $5.00 more (After $15 Rebate) than the Corsair 400R!

The Corsair Carbide Series 500R is an upgraded version of the 400R. You get a 200mm side fan, three step fan speed controller, support for a 240mm radiator, air filter on the top panel, hard drive bays in a two-cage configuration, and support for longer video cards if the hard drive cage is removed.


I don’t know what a “radiator :?: ” is or how to operate a “Fan speed controller :?: ” but I can say that for $5.00 the extra fan & the Hard Drive Cages seem to be a no brainer upgrade :D .

*Edit Addition*
Crap.. looked at the bundle deal for the 400R & Corsair 430W Power Supply and now I can't tell which is a better option..

WTB 500R + CX CPU bundle to be a happy camper.. LOL
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Gab » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:58 am

Talaii wrote:Cheap option:
$159.99, $20 Rebate XFX HD-685X-ZCFC Radeon HD 6850 Video Card
$42.99 Corsair 8GB Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 Latency, 240-pin DIMM, 1.5V
$89.99 MSI H67MA-E35 B3 Intel 6 Series Motherboard
$139.99, $20 Rebate C11-1116 ::Corsair Carbide 400R Mid Case w/ CX 430W PSU
$189.99 Intel Core i5-2400
Total: $622.95; $582.95 including rebates
Will play most games at high details at 1080p. There's not a competitive Geforce card at this price level (the 550Ti is slower, and not really any cheaper than the 6850), so unless you really need CUDA support or something, stick with the AMD card.

Better option:
$42.99 Corsair 8GB Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC10666, DDR3-1333MHz, 9-9-9-24 Latency, 240-pin DIMM, 1.5V
$89.99 MSI H67MA-E35 B3 Intel 6 Series Motherboard
$189.99 Intel Core i5-2400
$59.99, $10 rebate Corsair CX500 Power supply
$99.99 Corsair Carbide 400R
$249.99 Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 Video Card
--OR--
$234.99, $15 Rebate GV-N560OC-1GI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Video Card
Price: $732.94 ($722.94 after rebates) with Radeon, 717.94 ($687.94 after rebates) for the Nvidia. Will let you play any current game maxxed out at 1080p, basically. The two video cards are about the same speed; choose based on which company you'd prefer; or just go with the Nvidia card because it's cheaper. Also note that there are two Geforce 560 models: The Geforce 560 (no Ti) is quite comparable with a Radeon 6870; the Geforce 560 Ti is quite a bit faster; and comparable with the 6950.

If you want to overclock, replace the motherboard with a P67 or Z68 chipset one, and the 2400 with a 2500k, and buy a decent aftermarket CPU cooler (Coolermaster Hyper 212+ or 212 Evo is cheap and good). Overclocking isn't hard, but getting a faster CPU isn't exactly a massive boost as far as gaming performance goes.


Just wanted to expand on your options a bit.

The 6870 still performs quite well. For the first recommendation it's only a ~20$ dollar increase and for the second reccomendation it would be a ~70$ decrease. Depending on what make you get.

As far as the i5-2400 why not just spend the extra 30$ and get the 2500k? A better chip with a lot more potential for overclocking. Even if you don't plan on ocing atm it's still a very cost effective upgrade and there is always the option to tweak the thing out.

If you plan on overclocking and are not all that savvy most of the Z68 boards are much more friendly for ocing although some P67s aren't bad as Talaii said.

Also agree the power supply is extreme over kill, you could save some money there, although you still want a decently rated one. A 500W is more than enough for any of the above rigs.

Edit 1: Just saw this on Tom's. Interesting breakdown of video cards by price point with links to all of their original full card reviews. Might be worth a look for you.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

and Edit 2: A breakdown of performance by video card and game settings for Star Wars, sadly the 6870 was not tested. The system that was used for the test is similar to what you plan on building, might give you a better idea of what you are looking for. Keep in mind the 460 is SLI mode.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/star-wars-gaming-tests-review,3087.html
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Shyrtandros » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:19 pm

Um.. help?

I went to Newegg and searched "Radeon HD 6870" and got like 6 results with varying prices that all appear to be the exact same thing..
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Gab » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:01 pm

Shyrtandros wrote:Um.. help?

I went to Newegg and searched "Radeon HD 6870" and got like 6 results with varying prices that all appear to be the exact same thing..


I'd go with the Sapphire due to price point and past experiences with them. A little more detailed explanation can be found here: http://www.upgradevideocards.com/brands.html

Edit: Can't click link or TL:DR
They are all more or less the same thing, pick whatever is the best price from a manufacturer that has a decent reputation.
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Re: Barebones vs. Scratch?

Postby Gab » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:17 pm

Shyrtandros wrote:Also I heard Intel has horrible heatsinks / fans so if I overclock then I would HAVE to buy replacements, anyone else know about this?


Yeah if you decide to OC it buy a Coolermaster Hyper 212 or 212 evo like previously suggested. They are only $30 and $35 respectively and I have seen the 212 on sale for as low as $20 or so. Don't rely on the stock fan.
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