System Builder Marathon Q1 2015: Alternative $1750 PC

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Rancifer7

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Its great to see a build that shows just how much of a difference a good CPU and updated architecture can make within the same budget. Well done, thank you.
 

Grognak

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"A smaller but equally vocal group of enthusiasts suggested that a six-core CPU would be the true answer to overall system performance"

Yeah because as everyone knows, higher definitions need more cores, right? And we don't have thousands of benchmarks showing that there's less than 1% improvement between a regular i7 and an hexacore one when it comes to games. We also don't have benchmarks showing that the 4770k outperforms the 5820k in just about every game thanks to the higher frequency. Clearly this is worth the $200 premium and weaker graphics.
 

Crashman

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Er, wow, OK! Thanks for the input!

Edit: Just to clarify, you think we should ditch the non-gaming benchmarks right?
 
To properly showcase the 6 and 8 core Haswells you need to be gaming while recording/streaming in high quality. The lesser CPUs, especially the quads without HT simply can't keep up at this task. There is a rapidly growing market for making videos of gameplay. Not my thing, but it's something I might attempt if I had the hardware to do it.
 

Gurg

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@Crashman Even though I don't know what most of the non-gaming benchmarks are used for, keep them for those for whom they are important. But from what I saw, in a pretty direct comparison, an overclocked 5820K beats a 4790k for ultra settings at higher resolutions.

Seems like time to drop the 4790k and replace it with the 5820k in the March gaming CPU recommendations. The earlier Haswell E review also appears outdated as better bios, motherboards and ddr4 ram have become available. The cost difference between a 97 and 99 platform have also narrowed considerably.
 

firefoxx04

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He we go with the "more cores suxxxxxx dude!!!" comments.

Do you idiots really think that people who spend over $1500 on a system ONLY play games? Really?

Some people do more than just game. They record their gameplay at top notch quality. Some people run lots of virtual machines. Some people like to run folding at home on a couple cores while gaming or doing other things. Video editors love lots of cores too.

When quad cores became mainstream everyone said "pointless!!! Because games only use 2 cores!!! That statement has turned into, "pointless!!! Games only use 4 cores!!!!.

The same thing was said about having lots of system ram. Remember when 64mb was the thing? Now im sitting here frustrated that my 8GB ddr3 set is not enough. Same thing with hard drive space. People always tell me, 500gb will take forever to fill up yet im sitting right here with 3TB of storage and I want more.

This refusal to let better hardware become mainstream is frustrating, and a majority of the people against more cores (and other things) are the same people that watched mainstream go from 2 cores to 4 cores in only a couple years.
 

caj

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@firefoxx4

i cudnt agree without you less. people always refer that i7 are just a waste of money but they forget th endless opportunities that a pc can perform. till now a i7 870 hasnt yet failed me from 4 gpus goin from a 6850, 7850, 7970 and finally 280x. i often use my computer for many purposes. like they say its better to have and not need than to need and not have. the same people who kept saying that 8gb is more than enough while right now i feel more comfortable with 16 gb
 

MasterMace

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I agree with your decision to go with a 6 core Intel and not SLI your graphics, although I am curious as to the lack of a HDD for storage. At this pricepoint, removing the HDD is not something I feel to be appropriate. Perhaps at the $1200 pricepoint, you could use the SSD in lieu of the HDD, but at $1800, it feels mandatory. The problem is between your graphics and CPU you're using over 50% of your budget (which is great for gaming, funny enough)
 

cknobman

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I think that given the gaming tests you ran for this marathon I prefer the alternative high end build as the SLI config goes to waste mostly until you get into 4k gaming.
 

mdsiu

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@r0llinlacs

I'm a big supporter of AMD because I like competition and I like to get the most for my money. As someone who is still running an AMD Phenom II x4 965BE, I can tell you that nothing AMD has released in the past 3-4 years has been worth upgrading to. The Bulldozer architecture and it's iterative updates should have been marketed to enterprise clients for servers only - they are great for VMs. Sad to say, but they are not even competing with Intel right now in the enthusiast space. It doesn't make any sense to have an enthusiast build using AMD chips. Intel simply outclasses them. Recently released Kaveri and now Carrizo were designed around high performance at low TDP. Still waiting on Zen... Hoping for a 14 nm chip worth upgrading to.
 

CaedenV

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AAAAHHHH! Who spend $1750 on a PC and only puts 256 GB of storage in it!?!?!
Technically that is what I did. Granted, I have a NAS which serves up 9TB of storage for things like movies, music, and such... but 256GB is enough (if just barely) for productivity software, games, and working files.
My bet is that if you have nearly $2K to drop on a computer then you likely already have a NAS solution, or one is very near in your future.
 

yyk71200

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I would take the alternative one over the first one. I do blender renders, so six cores will help. Hard drives are not really expensive and easy to add. Using the same processor as the first build will make the builds too similar and will defeat the whole purpose of the second build to be alternative.
 

CaedenV

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@firefoxx4

i cudnt agree without you less. people always refer that i7 are just a waste of money but they forget th endless opportunities that a pc can perform. till now a i7 870 hasnt yet failed me from 4 gpus goin from a 6850, 7850, 7970 and finally 280x. i often use my computer for many purposes. like they say its better to have and not need than to need and not have. the same people who kept saying that 8gb is more than enough while right now i feel more comfortable with 16 gb
It really depends on what you are doing. I do office, games, and the occasional VM or video editing and rarely does my RAM usage ever go north of 6GB in use. 8GB really truly is enough for most people these days, and for the foreseeable future. If you are doing more than that, or all of that at the same time then having 16+GB of ram is a good thing, but keep in mind that this does not apply to most people. I would even dare say it does not apply to most people on this site. Besides, you can always get 8GB of ram using half of your available slots and upgrade to 16GB later.

The i5 vs i7 argument I agree with you on. For today's games a quad core i5 really truly is all you need... but other workloads are getting much better at utilizing more cores lately, and with the new(ish) x86 consoles it will not be long until we see games get beyond 4 cores more regularly. But if you do any video editing/rendering/transcoding or other heavy lifting then the more cores the better, though I would be hesitant to sacrifice core speed for core count. It is easy to upgrade RAM... but upgrading a CPU typically means upgrading a lot of other expensive things as well, so it is best to start off with the best you think you will ever need during the life of a system.
 

cmi86

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I like this build because it is more centered on being a well rounded, quality build. I can't help feeling like all the other SBM builds cut some corners for speed at times. I don;t feel like that with this build. Only gripe is no HDD, chuck a 2TB in it for $75 bucks and I am happy as a clam.
 

manicmike

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Honestly, I'm disappointed.

Given that Windows 8.1 with all the updates, hiberfile.sys, and pagefile will take up about 30GB in and of itself, after 2-3 games, you'd have hardly any space for video capture, music/video, etc. I like The builds overall, but for that price I'd expect at least a 1TB mechanical for storage. At this price range, I'd hope for a system that I didn't need to add to in a month or so.
 

Crashman

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That would make the system pretty close to worthless, wouldn't it? Put full load on both cards and once and watch the CPU clock tank. You do realize that Newegg has Zero, count them, Zero R9 290s with the blower-style coolers that would be required to keep the heat out of the CPU right?

Honestly? I don't think you are. The reason this part was intentionally left out is explained in the intro, and since the part was already on the list for next time, your comment isn't even constructive. At least the other guy's R9 290 XFire recommendation might be useful if Newegg offers a card with external exhaust in the future.
 

vertexx

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+1 on the 5820K! As I was following this series, I was hoping you would be doing this with the alternative build.

Perhaps the 1TB storage drive needs to be included with the non-performing parts like the optical drive.

+1 also to testing the dual 970 for kicks - would be cool to see that pitted against the 4790K

Are you guys going to ever do gaming+ tests? That would be a real interesting read.

Overall, this build feels like the best one of the bunch this round. Nice work!
 
Why is Arma 3 in the benchmark to begin with? It's only CPU-bound all the way. You can see it clearly when the SLI-system gets same FPS as a single card. So it's a straight up CPU-test, nothing more. Hardly the norm when it comes to gaming, quite the opposite is true. Arma 3 is the freak.
 

Crashman

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Last I checked 52.2>36.2. Sorry I had to use columns rather than bars to fit that many systems into the chart dimensions.

 
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