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codyleemanofaction

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Dec 29, 2012
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All that said- the $800 build might just be the sweet spot. I'm guessing 3570k/7870LE overclocked pretty well. I like this $600 level, it FORCES you to choose what you really want in your build... hence the i3 v i5 and accommodating GPU. At $800, you can settle that debate and go for the best of both... then you start battling yourself for the rest of the components.
I like this build pauldh, and for the lowest price point, I am hoping you get some serious value points :)
The only thing I'd like to see is a different budget case - but as we all know - good ones are rare.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]Novuake[/nom]No I did not unfortunately as I did not even consider the possibility at the time. But I am using the board at this very moment(with lower voltage RAM though). I am sure a quick test with the old RAM is safe enough. Obviously there will be more variable since it is a different Ivy chip, but perhaps I can set my fears to rest. Thanks for the suggestion. Will revert back again.[/citation]
Well, it's possible the board was overvolting, it does happen.

Just so you know, we are discussing this internally, and will be re-evaluating our own safe mem voltage for long term use, on both Ivy and Sandy. Any horror stories you can link, similar to your own, is appreciated. Feel free to send me an email if you have added info to share... we are looking for any trend of Ivy Bridge problems with memory above 1.5V.

We've generally held 1.6V is safe, as we have not had, nor heard of problems, and the overclocking community pushes things higher on air (1.65-1.75V) , and far higher(1.8V+) with extreme cooling.

Intel's data sheets state 1.5V with a +- combined AC/DC tolerance of 5%. My take on that is RAM voltage needs to stay within an actual 1.425V and 1.575V range to stay within spec. Outside of that, up or down, you are on you own (warranty-wise) unless you purchase their K-series Tuning Plan, which will replace a K-series processor one time when Tinkering outside spec. Anyway, that's nothing official, just my early take on the Intel data sheets.
 
As far as I can see this intel i5 budget build is a bit of a disaster for a gamer on a budget
The processor + mb + graphics card cost $421 at Newegg

For $425 you could have
AMD FX 6300
Asrock 970 Pro3 mb
and a RADEON 7870

Yes the intel has a stronger processor , but spending so much on it has crippled the gaming potential of the build
 

tonync_01

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Feb 18, 2012
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I don't get it.

A FX-6300 and an HD 7870 would be a way better gaming build for this budget. It's pretty clear that AMD has the best cpus under $200 in cost-effectiveness. Most people in the forums wouldn't recommend a locked i5 for a $600 build.
 
[citation][nom]de5_Roy[/nom]Nice. going with a core i3 and 7870xt woulda allowed for better gpu-bound gaming experience, but imo a core i5 will likely offer better online multiplayer gaming experience than dual cores and amd counterparts. core i5's overclocked power consumption looks impressive, nearly same as sb pentium's with prime 95... i guess.[/citation]

Multi-player is one of the areas where AMd's six and eight core models shine the most. Why are you throwing AMD in with Intel's dual-cores for that?
 
[citation][nom]ingtar33[/nom]shoot.... here is a repost.PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gfx8Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gfx8/by_merchant/Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gfx8/benchmarks/CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter) Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg) Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.50 @ Newegg) Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($39.99 @ Microcenter) Video Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg) Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($25.98 @ Newegg) Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg) Total: $579.48(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-26 21:39 EST-0500)[/citation]

If you want to argue the advantages of a more graphics-focused budget, then fine. but please do so with a PSU that can actually do the job well when overclocking is considered. Also, SBM systems are Newegg-only, so it seems unfair to use other sites in a comparison against Tom's builds unless you add this fact for context.

The main issue with counting the price advantage of the AMD CPUs and also Intel's i3s and such is that most of the price advantage gets eaten by the better PSU that is needed to support a graphics card that needs more than just a 6-pin PCIe power connector and the PCIe slot to supply power to the card. That makes the price advantage really not an advantage, but a trade-off where both choices have advantages in some areas. Whether or not you'd make that trade off doesn't change the fact that it is then a subjective choice, not an objective fact that your choice of more focus on graphics is better than the other choice.

[citation][nom]tonync_01[/nom]I don't get it. A FX-6300 and an HD 7870 would be a way better gaming build for this budget. It's pretty clear that AMD has the best cpus under $200 in cost-effectiveness. Most people in the forums wouldn't recommend a locked i5 for a $600 build.[/citation]

Most people in the forums might not know that even locked i5s can overclock by around 20-25% through Turbo frequency manipulation.
 

if the 3350p would get an igpu, it'd very likely be the hd2500. intel 'awarded' hd4k to only select few cpus. :p
yeah, no igpu, no quick sync. look on the bright side, you also lose intel's shady 'intel insider'(tm) drm technology(flop). :D
edit: here's a comparison from intel's site
http://ark.intel.com/compare/65520,69114

first i did say core i3, then i said dual cores to generalize all dual core cpus, not just intel's dual cores. :)
since multiplayer gaming (especially with games like bf3) is where it's nearly impossible to build a repeatable benchmark, my estimation is based on the experiences people discuss with fx, dual cores (i3, c2d, pentium, a4 apus and so on) and core i5. for multiplayer, fx will obviously trounce any dual core cpu. in this quarter's sbm build, there were options for fx8320/6300/corei3/pentium+7870/7870xt (may be with a cooler like cm hyper 212 evo) but the choice of core i5 has a better effect on mp gaming than all those. so i lumped the possible cpu choices together knowing people would understand the difference between dual cores(both intel and amd) and fx in mp gaming. my saying that core i5 is better than fx and dual cores in mp gaming does not mean fx and dual core cpus are equal in mp gaming. it's like saying gtx 670 is better for gaming than radeon 6870 and 6950.
 
[citation][nom]tonync_01[/nom]I don't get it. A FX-6300 and an HD 7870 would be a way better gaming build for this budget. It's pretty clear that AMD has the best cpus under $200 in cost-effectiveness. Most people in the forums wouldn't recommend a locked i5 for a $600 build.[/citation]
Reading the conclusions its obvious even the Tomshardware reviewers know they didnt get an optimum build for $600
 
The people who gave a thumbs down to

"Reading the conclusions its obvious even the Tomshardware reviewers know they didnt get an optimum build for $600"

should probably go re-read the article or at least the conclusion . If they are literate , that is
 

demonhorde665

Distinguished
Jul 13, 2008
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"Unfortunately, memory prices are back up after last quarter's System Builder Marathon, forcing us back down to 4 GB of capacity."


no offence but ... did you fall off the stupid tree and hit ever branch on the way down ??? you seriously couldnt have tacked on 12 bucks over your 600 range for 8 gigs of ram (quite a few 8 gig memory kits run right at 41 or 42 bucks and yes i talking about pricing when you did this build niot just the Now prices) seriously going over budget by 12 bucks won't kill most gamers even budget gamers. tsk tsk ...
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]Outlander_04[/nom]Reading the conclusions its obvious even the Tomshardware reviewers know they didnt get an optimum build for $600[/citation]
Actually, you are reading into that wrong, and folks are voting you down for it.

The goal for this system was to grab the most overall bang from $600, on our day of purchase. Plain and simple, it was ultimately built to try and win the final bang-for-buck analysis while not dropping graphics/gaming abilities. For that goal, I would change absolutely nothing if rebuilding it back on that same day. Win or lose, I don't believe more overall bang (while maintaining HD7850 for gaming) could have been achieved by another CPU/GPU combo at my disposal.

But unlike the past 4 "Gaming PC's" I've built, no attempt was made to improve 1920x1080 gaming this time beyond benefits from the CPU. That's where the final paragraph was going.This is not the best all out gaming PC money could buy, but had I built a pure gaming PC, using less CPU and more GPU, the system would have without doubt failed at it's primary goal.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]rasmusdf[/nom]Why on earth not use an AMD FX 6300 paired with a 7870?[/citation]
Because the goal was to win the SBM, if possible, at $600 firm. FX 6300 + HD7870 would not accomplish that goal in a contest weighted 30% games, 60% Applications, and 10% storage.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]demonhorde665[/nom]"Unfortunately, memory prices are back up after last quarter's System Builder Marathon, forcing us back down to 4 GB of capacity."no offence but ... did you fall off the stupid tree and hit ever branch on the way down ??? you seriously couldnt have tacked on 12 bucks over your 600 range for 8 gigs of ram (quite a few 8 gig memory kits run right at 41 or 42 bucks and yes i talking about pricing when you did this build niot just the Now prices) seriously going over budget by 12 bucks won't kill most gamers even budget gamers. tsk tsk ...[/citation]
I haven't broken budget for well over a year, based mainly on reader feedback. There was no way what so ever I would start "cheating" in this $600/$800/$1000 bang for buck comparison. Moreso than ever, pressure was on here to make this a firm budget. I could have grabbed 8GB DDR3-1333 for $41-42, but the only DDR3-1600 kit that cheap had a 56% one-star rating by Newegg readers... a scary gamble. And then I'd have to defend why I cheated and built a $610+ machine, not to mention have my price/performance baseline lowered from the extra cost. I submited a $597 build that became $600 by order time.
 
[citation][nom]pauldh[/nom]Hello! Make no mistake, overclocking is done at your own risk. Intel does not resume responsibility, nor do they recommend more that 1.5V DRAM for Ivy or Sandy. However, overclocking has always been a huge part of the System Builder Marathons, and our readership generally values that aspect of the data more than the stock testing. Here we buy retail parts, avoiding the possibility of cherry picked review samples. We've been using 1.6V RAM overclocks for Ivy and Sandy without problems, in SBM's, RAM & Mobo reviews, and most other stories. Have you ever expressed this concern before?We do not tolerate any instability for our overclocks. But the only death of a Ivy CPU I've ever heard of happened well north of 1.6V, using 1.65V RAM.[/citation]


OK gave it a run, in four hours under prime95, the 1.6V memory peaked at 1.608V.

I believe that is not outside of normal? Any other suggestions while I am doing this?

Considering that it was a different CPU, its possible that the old I3s memory controller was faulty. Although very unlikely me thinks...
 

ingtar33

Illustrious
well that build still is under 600 with all the parts coming from newegg.

i mean seriously... if you can get a tahiti core gpu into a 6 core cpu build... and match the tom's build part for part, even sticking 4 gig more (and better) Ram into it... when you consider the almost negligable difference between the fx6300 and the i5 in gaming, the difference in the systems will come down to the GPU... and i'm sorry Tom's, but an HD 7870 (tahiti core) will curb stomp any system (no matter what the cpu is) running with a 7850.

Fail build is fail.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
[citation][nom]ingtar33[/nom]well that build still is under 600 with all the parts coming from newegg.i mean seriously... if you can get a tahiti core gpu into a 6 core cpu build... and match the tom's build part for part, even sticking 4 gig more (and better) Ram into it... when you consider the almost negligable difference between the fx6300 and the i5 in gaming, the difference in the systems will come down to the GPU... and i'm sorry Tom's, but an HD 7870 (tahiti core) will curb stomp any system (no matter what the cpu is) running with a 7850.Fail build is fail.[/citation]

No it's not! Stop spreading false information please. Your build is currently sitting in my Newegg cart and is $664.93, and that is without an optical drive! Besides that, it would still lose to this $600 build in this competion, and I am talking sheer overall performance, not value which would dock you for added cost.

And the day we ordered my system, that graphics card was $260 , not $240. Matter of fact, the next day I know it was still $260. Daily price fluctuation happen both directions, and Don got lucky, since it dropped two days later when his parts were ordered. We have an order week, not a specific day. And my order got rushed out a bit early (and overnighted) since I was ready to start the build immediately, while the others were still finishing another story and had no rush to get their parts.
 
[citation][nom]pauldh[/nom]No it's not! Stop spreading false information please. Your build is currently sitting in my Newegg cart and is $664.93, and that is without an optical drive! Besides that, it would still lose to this $600 build in this competion, and I am talking sheer overall performance, not value which would dock you for added cost. And the day we ordered my system, that graphics card was $260 , not $240. Matter of fact, the next day I know it was still $260. Daily price fluctuation happen both directions, and Don got lucky, since it dropped two days later when his parts were ordered. We have an order week, not a specific day. And my order got rushed out a bit early (and overnighted) since I was ready to start the build immediately, while the others were still finishing another story and had no rush to get their parts.[/citation]

Don't feed the trolls... Did your guide to the Internet never teach that to you? :D
 

zuluprime

Honorable
Oct 2, 2012
24
0
10,510
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This is awesome. It is a great start, and you have a lot of room for upgrade down the road. The extra PCIx slot to CrossFire, more ram slots, more hard drive space.
 

pauldh

Illustrious
^ LOL, ya got me there Noviake. Occasionally I assume vocal fanboi rather than pure troll. I had priced a similar system, and knew he was way off in pricing, so was curious by how much. =)

BTW, on page 4 of the comments, I responded to you about RAM. We are gathering official and user trend information, so email me if you have any links that share Ivy death problems at 1.6V (or even any out of spec) mem voltage.
 

pauldh

Illustrious

Thanks. There is plenty of room to upgrade, more than anything I'd want an SSD system drive for starters, (assuming the HD7850 can fill your gaming needs). But the Z75/Z77 pro 3 series boards only offer x16/x4 PCI Express lanes. CrossFire will certainly work, but it's not as ideal as board's offering x8/x8 connectivity.
 
[citation][nom]pauldh[/nom]^ LOL, ya got me there Noviake. Occasionally I assume vocal fanboi rather than pure troll. I had priced a similar system, and knew he was way off in pricing, so was curious by how much. =) BTW, on page 4 of the comments, I responded to you about RAM. We are gathering official and user trend information, so email me if you have any links that share Ivy death problems at 1.6V (or even any out of spec) mem voltage.[/citation]
[citation][nom]pauldh[/nom]Well, it's possible the board was overvolting, it does happen. Just so you know, we are discussing this internally, and will be re-evaluating our own safe mem voltage for long term use, on both Ivy and Sandy. Any horror stories you can link, similar to your own, is appreciated. Feel free to send me an email if you have added info to share... we are looking for any trend of Ivy Bridge problems with memory above 1.5V. We've generally held 1.6V is safe, as we have not had, nor heard of problems, and the overclocking community pushes things higher on air (1.65-1.75V) , and far higher(1.8V+) with extreme cooling.Intel's data sheets state 1.5V with a +- combined AC/DC tolerance of 5%. My take on that is RAM voltage needs to stay within an actual 1.425V and 1.575V range to stay within spec. Outside of that, up or down, you are on you own (warranty-wise) unless you purchase their K-series Tuning Plan, which will replace a K-series processor one time when Tinkering outside spec. Anyway, that's nothing official, just my early take on the Intel data sheets.[/citation]

Ah missed that, thanks! Awesome that you are so interactive with your community. Cudos! I remember a few forum posts that are related. Will see if I can find them again and send you a PM.


 

cravin

Honorable
Jan 22, 2013
155
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Why not just get a 3770k instead of that i5. Then for gpu you can get a 7870 (or a 7950) and then get the free games in the never settle bundle. $60 for a 500gb hdd is a terrible deal when for $130 you can get a 3tb segate 7200.14 drive, or for $70 you can get 1tb

My under $600 build
phenom ii x4 830 ($50 on sale at micro center, OC'd)
970 am3+ mobo extreme 4 ($90)
gtx 660 ti ($230 on sale + $150 in nvidia f2p game bundle)
550w gold rated seasonic psu - ($80)
16gb ram $80 (on sale newegg)
my old case ($0)
1tb segate 7200.14 ($60)

And thats $590. ******* epic build. The 660 ti flies with gaming (metro 2033 max settings 40fps) and with video editing (adobe cs6).


You guys should totally just do a cpu/mobo/gpu series. The ram,hard drive,optical drive, case and other stuff arent going to make an actual difference in gaming. Maybe $300 cpu/gpu/mobo setup, $400, $500, etc•
 

Sakkura

Illustrious

Having an Asrock Z75 Pro3 myself, I was about to point that out. But since you took care of that, here's a question and/or an idea for an article: What is the impact of the PCIe lanes/bandwidth available on performance in Crossfire?

I have seen some very good testing of the impact it has when using single graphics cards (seems to hurt a GTX 680 a little more than an HD 7970), but I'm wondering whether those numbers are applicable for Crossfire configurations (or SLI, but SLI isn't even available with x4 links, so it's kinda pointless; you can only get x8/x8 SLI with an LGA1155 motherboard).

For example, an HD 7970 only loses ~6% performance by stepping down to PCIe 2.0 x4, but would a pair of 7970s in Crossfire be hurt more than that in an x16/x4 configuration? Or you could scale it down to more affordable cards; 7950s or 7870s in Crossfire is probably relevant to a lot more people.
 
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