Part 4: Building A Balanced Gaming PC

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wildeast

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"such as NVidia’s GeForce GTX 400-series and revamp the benchmark suite with some new DirectX 11 titles."
i'll be waiting for that, and maybe some i5 cpu to see what fit sli best
 

jsowoc

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"We set forth to measure the perfect balance in seven different games and four resolutions in this third of many parts." (?)

I think you copied this paragraph from part 3 and forgot to change it to 4... ;-)
 

theshonen8899

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With the amount of love you guys have for the Athlon x3 I was really hoping to see it on here :\
I guess I can kind of predict where it'd fall though.
 

L0tus

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Brilliant piece.

I wish I had read this before building my system as I can see that I clearly spent too much on my CPU instead of GPU (i5-750 + HD5770) . Would have done much better with (X2 550 BE + HD5850) !

...ain't hind sight a b***h!

Also interesting to see how GPUs really start to distinguish themselves at higher resolutions. Again, brilliant work.
 

TheStealthyOne

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I built a computer for my brother using a Phenom ii 550 paired with a 5770, and it screams! Fantastic gaming chip! It just goes to show you can achieve fantastic performance by planning and balance.
 

garlik_bread

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Personally, i'd be interested to see results from a card with less han 1GB RAM on the GPU.

On the lower end of the spectrum, with the lower resolutions, is the 1GB really necessary?

Basically, i have a 512MB Asus 5770 and want to validate my purchase :D
 

plasmastorm

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Still running a Maximus formula 775 board with a Q6600, 8gb ram and a Radeon 5850 but this is certainly handy for future reference.
Probably skipping the i5/i7 generation as I can still play anything at max settings on my 22" monitor while running a 2nd for a film tho :)
 

descendency

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[citation][nom]plasmastorm[/nom]Still running a Maximus formula 775 board with a Q6600, 8gb ram and a Radeon 5850 but this is certainly handy for future reference.Probably skipping the i5/i7 generation as I can still play anything at max settings on my 22" monitor while running a 2nd for a film tho[/citation]

i5/i7 isn't a generation. it's like 5 or so.

It's the same thing as C2D and C2Q
 

jonpaul37

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[citation][nom]plasmastorm[/nom]Still running a Maximus formula 775 board with a Q6600, 8gb ram and a Radeon 5850 but this is certainly handy for future reference.Probably skipping the i5/i7 generation as I can still play anything at max settings on my 22" monitor while running a 2nd for a film tho[/citation]

I hear ya man, i have a Q6600 @ 3.6 and a GTX 285 and i can rock anything i play with really nice settings at 1920 x 1080 so it looks like i will be holding out for another year or two...
 
Very nice. I really like this series.
Suggestions: there's no need to draw curves; they should be point-to-point lines, as the data is discrete rather than continuous.
For the RPG, I would suggest Dragon Age: Origins as being more demanding at higher settings, and/or Sacred 2 because of its use of PhysX. The latter runs the risk of becoming an ATi vs. nVidia comparison, but still may be useful.
It would also be useful to have commentary on what bare minimum lowering of a setting or two is most likely to restore playability without sacrificing appearance too much.
 

lunyone

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This totally makes my point, when I say a ~$100 CPU and a $200-$300 GPU are a the best budget gaming machines you can get. I usually make ~$100 CPU choices and ~$100-150 GPU choices when I'm building a budget gaming rig!! :)
 
Great article. Good to see how a faster CPU can really pull out better FPS, and it seems to make much more difference when having dual GPUs - I can only assume the trend would hold true on dual card (sli/cf) set ups, which makes me even happier to have an i5 750 @ 4ghz with my two 5850s.

I hope Part 5 has i3, i5, i7, X955, X965, 1055T, 1090T and concentrates on DX11 performance (4xx vs 5xxx). I'd also LOVE to see a more in depth look at CF/SLI configs. There's not a lot of in depth looks at CF5770, CF5850, SLI470... there's some, but not a lot and none comparing these set ups to different CPUs.
 

felang

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Catalyst 9.12 and only outdated games... is this January 2010 or what? you should at least test BFBC2, it uses as many cpu cores as you can throw at it...
 

DXRick

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Very nice article! I noticed that HD5970 and GTX295 benefited the most from the i7-920 CPU. This implies that Crossfire and SLI (multi-GPU setups) scale better with faster quads (and duals?). Thus, it would be nice to see how various CF and SLI setups depend on the CPUs in this test.

Why did you use the older generation of Nvidia GPUs in this test? We are looking at the GTX460/470/480 now, with numerous test showing how well two 460's in SLI do.
 
Nice article, as for the L3 assessment I do agree that the lack of L3 cache does negatively impact performance but at least its not catastrophic as seen with the early days of the Celeron. Personally I use a meager 8250e that I nuked to 2.57ghz and it gets the job done plus it was dirt cheap. $16 after selling off some junked parts.
 

tognetta

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I would like to see the great GTX460 here too ...

Great job, i am thankful that i read it before building my next gaming machine !
 
G

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I suppose the Radeon HD 5750 is overclocked to just below the HD 5770?
 

Stardude82

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Gee willikers you guys did a lot of work for this article.

The Thuban made me sad because nothing takes advantage of more than 4 core and I didn't see any previous indication that anybody would have thought of using it for a gaming PC.. I wish you did the i5 750/760 instead or even the Athlon II 4xx or i3 3xx!
 

buzznut

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I think the X6 showed some gains over the X4 955 in most games, this seems contrary to popular opinion that the 1055T (and 1090T) are not good choices for gaming rigs.
I think I would recommend the 1055T for a high end AMD rig as it seems likely games in the future will be more highly threaded. Overclocking in 64bit OS being a bonus.
 
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