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Thread: Zekk Pacus' I am not good at naming these hardware thread, Feb '15

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    Movember 2012 Zekk Pacus's Avatar
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    Zekk Pacus' I am not good at naming these hardware thread, Feb '15

    OP HAS BEEN TWEAKED READ IT

    Usual rules, except slightly different. I've used PC Part Picker (hint always use PC Part Picker) so you can localize the builds. I've stuck to my own pricepoints but they should translate reasonably well. The rule about personal perference still stands, you can tweak these builds. I still don't include operating systems or peripherals, add £70-100 for your chosen copy of Windows and whatever you want to spend on peripherals.

    AMD Low Budget Feb '15

    As with the last AMD system, it's a cheap bare-ish system. However, MX100 SSDs are so cheap right now that it ALMOST makes sense to drop the harddrive, stick with the 256GB for now, and add a cheap graphics card. It's a system on a hard budget but for £400 you get a lot of PC.

    Intel Low Budget Feb '15

    I'll be honest - this is an entirely speculative build based around the unlocked Pentium. You can hit 4.5Ghz reasonably reliably with an aftermarket cooler on the CPU - I haven't included one but there are several reliable £20-30 ones on the market, look at Coolermaster. It's basically Intel on a budget as much as possible in order to fit a solid graphics card in. I like it as a theory but at this budget I'd probably pick up the AMD machine and add a graphics card.

    AMD Mid Range Feb '15

    Still slightly over budget, but less so, and now has an aftermarket graphics card. Still not a good machine in reality, but if you absolutely have to have a top end card and you're not CPU bound it's a reasonable build.

    Intel Mid Range Feb '15

    Cut the costs down and changed from the 970 to the 290x in light of the 970's scalability issues. Basically both of the mid-range machines I have tried to leave as much budget room as possible for when the 300 series launches from AMD.
    Last edited by Zekk Pacus; February 8 2015 at 09:50:29 PM.
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    As usual, I pretty much agree with the above - at least the Intel builds. Some comments, though;

    - There's a few quid to be saved on the Pentium system by going for a B85 mobo rather than a Z97. Now that B85s can overclock the Z97's only real advantage is the capability to do 8x/8x PCI-e for Crossfire/SLI.
    - I think the G3258 has mostly obsoleted the A10. I have one running at a fairly conservative 4.4GHz and it's an insane chip, it basically has twice the single-thread performance of an A10. Given that a Pentium plus a Radeon 250X only costs about £20 more than an A10-7700K, I'm not sure what niche it (or any higher-end APU, for that matter) fills any more.
    - A mid-range AMD gaming system is impossible to do now without major compromises tbh, the FX CPUs and 990 chipset are just completely outclassed.
    - I'm no fan of the GF 980 at the moment. Great card, but NVidia pricing it almost as high as a pair of R9 290Xs or 780s is plain silly.

    If I had ~£1000 to spend on a system today it would be something like this:

    2 x Powercolor Radeon R9 290X 4096MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £239.99 (£479.98)
    1 x Intel Core i5-4690K 3.50GHz (Devil's Canyon) Socket LGA1150 Processor - Retail £169.99
    1 x Crucial MX100 256GB SATA 2.5” 7mm SSD + 9.5mm Adapter (CT256MX100SSD1) £79.99
    1 x Seasonic M12II EVO Edition 850W '80 Plus Bronze' Fully Modular Power Supply £79.99
    1 x MSI Z97-G43 Intel Z97 (Socket 1150) ATX Motherboard £69.95
    1 x Cooler Master Centurion 6 Case - Black/Silver £64.99
    1 x TeamGroup Elite Black 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (TPKD38G1600HC11DC01) £62.99
    1 x Xigmatek Gaia II Heatpipe CPU Cooler - 120mm £22.99
    Total : £1,047.37 (includes shipping : £13.75).

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    Most of those builds could use the Corsair cx430m. Might be a few bucks or quids cheaper but it's modular.

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    Cobbled together a parts list, based on Zekk's post and some digging/part filtering of my own. Thoughts?

    EDIT: Actually nvm, I tweaked some more and now it's basically Zekk's first list. Disregard.
    Last edited by Steph; October 10 2014 at 04:31:06 AM.
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    The pentium is overlockability in a cheap system, which is pretty neat. Realistically though an i3 outperforms it, even when OC'd.

    The single SSD for storage is cool, but decadent at that price level I think. I'd make do with a HDD and try to fit in an i3 or even a non K i5, which won't hold back the 280. I think an i5 + r9 280 is possible under 500 pounds which would be quite a bit more powerful I think.

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    How difficult is it to overclock a CPU? I've never tried.
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    Donor Aea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    How difficult is it to overclock a CPU? I've never tried.
    Quite simple to gain a little bit of performance and basically rocket surgery on the extreme end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aea View Post
    rocket surgery

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool09 View Post
    The pentium is overlockability in a cheap system, which is pretty neat. Realistically though an i3 outperforms it, even when OC'd.
    It comes down to what software you're running. There are some heavily threaded games and apps where the i3's hyper-threading overcomes the higher clocks of an OC'd Pentium. On the flip side there is still plenty of software that doesn't scale well above 2 threads, and there the Pentium is very impressive. For a cheap build I'd pretty much always take a G3258 over an i3 and invest the £45 saving in a better graphics card.

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    Super Maderator DonorGlobal Moderator Hels's Avatar
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    We need a new mod for this forum.

    Anyways, when do the next cycle of GPUs hit?

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    Nvidia just released the 970 and 980, wont see anything big from AMD until next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    How difficult is it to overclock a CPU? I've never tried.
    It is a lot easier nowadays that you don't need to juggle FSB and RAM frequencies with a locked CPU multiplier. Basically for Intel K CPUs it's set 1.35V, set CPU multiplier to 45, stock RAM and everything else, see if it boots. Then go from there, if you want 24/7 usage or see the CPU capabilities, you need to lower voltage and see if it still boots or increase CPU frequency, respectively. When it stops booting, revert to the previous voltage that allowed booting and run a CPU stress test for at least 8 hours, be it OCCT, Prime95, Intel Burn test or LinX. Check on temps frequently. Tweak either voltage or frequency until you achieve a nice, stable balance. To end the testing, run a full suite of 3D testing stuffs starting with 3DM2001SE and ending with the newest, in my experience 2001SE is best testing the whole system (in short, car tests = CPU, lobby tests = RAM, Dragothic both + little video, Nature = video mostly).

    When tweaking to get the last MHz, it becomes a bit harder and you need to juggle vTT, vTT2, vPCH, vQPI, but not really complicated. Imagine that a few years ago you needed to dwell in the RAM timings and check and set 24-30 RAM parameters, tweak and modify, etc.

    You obviously need a nice aftermarket cooler and a well-ventilated case. It's extremely hard to kill a CPU by doing this, by the way, there are big chances the motherboard dies first when clocking. CPUs mostly die if the 24/7 settings are exagerrated.
    Last edited by Cosmin; October 11 2014 at 10:07:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    How difficult is it to overclock a CPU? I've never tried.



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    Interested as to why you went 980 for the mid range systems? The 970 is almost as good at a fraction of the price and would have helped with the budget a lot better.
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    Only thing I've ever overclocked is a 175 mhz Pentium to 199 mhz. Had to move a jumper.
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    Movember 2012 Zekk Pacus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Interested as to why you went 980 for the mid range systems? The 970 is almost as good at a fraction of the price and would have helped with the budget a lot better.
    Because it's the only way to keep that system competitive. The FX chip loses to the 4690K at every point, so the only advantage is that it's cheaper.

    You could go for a dual 290 or 970 setup as well within the same pricepoint. The entire build is based around the fact that the AMD parts are cheaper so you've got more budget for the graphics card.

    The Intel machine has a 970 because I couldn't keep the 980 within the budget. Yes, the 970 is almost as good a card. The Intel build is a more balanced build and the build I would recommend unless you are a die-hard AMD fan or you need the AMD-specific single-threaded performance.

    I've changed some of the builds based on some comments here. Still slightly leery on recommending a dual GPU setup for general use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zekk Pacus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Interested as to why you went 980 for the mid range systems? The 970 is almost as good at a fraction of the price and would have helped with the budget a lot better.
    Because it's the only way to keep that system competitive. The FX chip loses to the 4690K at every point, so the only advantage is that it's cheaper.

    You could go for a dual 290 or 970 setup as well within the same pricepoint. The entire build is based around the fact that the AMD parts are cheaper so you've got more budget for the graphics card.

    The Intel machine has a 970 because I couldn't keep the 980 within the budget. Yes, the 970 is almost as good a card. The Intel build is a more balanced build and the build I would recommend unless you are a die-hard AMD fan or you need the AMD-specific single-threaded performance.

    I've changed some of the builds based on some comments here. Still slightly leery on recommending a dual GPU setup for general use.
    Fair enough. It does seem a bit of an odd combination to me but I see the reasoning.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zekk Pacus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Interested as to why you went 980 for the mid range systems? The 970 is almost as good at a fraction of the price and would have helped with the budget a lot better.
    Because it's the only way to keep that system competitive. The FX chip loses to the 4690K at every point, so the only advantage is that it's cheaper.

    You could go for a dual 290 or 970 setup as well within the same pricepoint. The entire build is based around the fact that the AMD parts are cheaper so you've got more budget for the graphics card.

    The Intel machine has a 970 because I couldn't keep the 980 within the budget. Yes, the 970 is almost as good a card. The Intel build is a more balanced build and the build I would recommend unless you are a die-hard AMD fan or you need the AMD-specific single-threaded performance.

    I've changed some of the builds based on some comments here. Still slightly leery on recommending a dual GPU setup for general use.
    Fair enough. It does seem a bit of an odd combination to me but I see the reasoning.
    The strange things that happen when you have an arbitrary goal set and no communication with the enduser. Dual 970's seem to be pretty special and that's what I am planning on doing when the Oculus hits (75 - 90 fps at 2560 x 1440) and i don't have to worry about SLI only working for full screen applications :/

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    Movember 2012 Zekk Pacus's Avatar
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    Various quirks with multi-GPU setups stop me from recommending them as standard. If it's within the budget and end-user is happy to deal with it, yes, it can be a better option.

    That said I'd recommend CrossFire over SLI as at the moment it scales better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailn View Post
    The strange things that happen when you have an arbitrary goal set and no communication with the enduser. Dual 970's seem to be pretty special and that's what I am planning on doing when the Oculus hits (75 - 90 fps at 2560 x 1440) and i don't have to worry about SLI only working for full screen applications :/
    I heard somewhere that Oculus cannot into SLI/Crossfire for latency related reasons. Not sure if still accurate but perhaps worth investigating before spending moneys.
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