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  1. #1
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    New build evaluation

    Hello,
    This is my first thread here, so go easy on me.

    I'm looking to build a new computer that will last me for 5-6 years. My current build (Intel E8400, nVidia GeForce 9600GT, and a Gigabyte EX38-DS4, with 4GB of DDR2 RAM) isn't lacking in performance or anything, but I'm at a point where I probably won't have the luxury of spending over $1000 on a computer for a long time, so I want to take advantage of the opportunity while it's here. I've built computers with help before, this will be the first time I build a computer entirely on my own, and I would like to OC it as much as possible so that it gives me maximum performance for the longest amount of time without me needing to upgrade my hardware. I use my computer mostly for gaming and programming, with a little virtual machine stuff thrown in there. I don't play all the top-notch games so I don't need cutting edge performance for all those 5-6 years I'm aiming for, just something reliable and able to keep up. I've been doing a lot of research over the past week or so and these are the specs I've ended up with:

    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe
    PSU: Corsair TX650
    CPU: Intel i5-2500K
    GPU: ASUS nVidia GeForce GTX-560Ti
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X 2133MhHz (2x4GB)
    CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper212+
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    I originally wanted to go for the i7-2600K, but after reading that HT can actually slow performance on some games I decided to save myself the extra $100. Similarly, I wanted to go for the GTX-570 but others have told me that the difference in price isn't worth the difference in performance. What do you guys think on both those counts?

    That said, I do have a few specific questions pertaining to the build:

    Is there much difference in overclocking capacity between the i5 and the i7? What speeds are reachable with the two? (And yes, I'm aware that every chip is different, I'm just looking for rough guidelines.)

    Considering both the fact that I want to overclock and that in the future if my graphics card becomes a bottleneck I'll consider buying another and putting it in SLI, is my PSU sufficiently powerful for the timeframe I'm aiming for?

    Is the CPU cooler I've chosen sufficient for overclocking? I've read many good things about the Hyper 212+, but just want to be sure.

    My case. I've heard that Corsair cases don't have very good airflow. Assuming I want to stay on air, should I switch to another case to get better heat transfer? If so, what's recommended?
    Conversely, if I hypothetically wanted to get a water cooling setup somewhere down the line, is the 650D sufficiently roomy considering radiator size and stuff that would be needed to cool both the CPU and the GPU in one loop? It's unlikely I'll go this route (at least not until I save up the money to do so), but if I did I would be unwilling to do any case modding, so I'd rather get a bigger case now than have to mod one later.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderDJ View Post
    Hello,
    This is my first thread here, so go easy on me.

    I'm looking to build a new computer that will last me for 5-6 years. My current build (Intel E8400, nVidia GeForce 9600GT, and a Gigabyte EX38-DS4, with 4GB of DDR2 RAM) isn't lacking in performance or anything, but I'm at a point where I probably won't have the luxury of spending over $1000 on a computer for a long time, so I want to take advantage of the opportunity while it's here. I've built computers with help before, this will be the first time I build a computer entirely on my own, and I would like to OC it as much as possible so that it gives me maximum performance for the longest amount of time without me needing to upgrade my hardware. I use my computer mostly for gaming and programming, with a little virtual machine stuff thrown in there. I don't play all the top-notch games so I don't need cutting edge performance for all those 5-6 years I'm aiming for, just something reliable and able to keep up. I've been doing a lot of research over the past week or so and these are the specs I've ended up with:

    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe
    PSU: Corsair TX650
    CPU: Intel i5-2500K
    GPU: ASUS nVidia GeForce GTX-560Ti
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws-X 2133MhHz (2x4GB)
    CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper212+
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D

    I originally wanted to go for the i7-2600K, but after reading that HT can actually slow performance on some games I decided to save myself the extra $100. Similarly, I wanted to go for the GTX-570 but others have told me that the difference in price isn't worth the difference in performance. What do you guys think on both those counts?

    That said, I do have a few specific questions pertaining to the build:

    Is there much difference in overclocking capacity between the i5 and the i7? What speeds are reachable with the two? (And yes, I'm aware that every chip is different, I'm just looking for rough guidelines.)

    Considering both the fact that I want to overclock and that in the future if my graphics card becomes a bottleneck I'll consider buying another and putting it in SLI, is my PSU sufficiently powerful for the timeframe I'm aiming for?

    Is the CPU cooler I've chosen sufficient for overclocking? I've read many good things about the Hyper 212+, but just want to be sure.

    My case. I've heard that Corsair cases don't have very good airflow. Assuming I want to stay on air, should I switch to another case to get better heat transfer? If so, what's recommended?
    Conversely, if I hypothetically wanted to get a water cooling setup somewhere down the line, is the 650D sufficiently roomy considering radiator size and stuff that would be needed to cool both the CPU and the GPU in one loop? It's unlikely I'll go this route (at least not until I save up the money to do so), but if I did I would be unwilling to do any case modding, so I'd rather get a bigger case now than have to mod one later.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    First I want to say

    Second I want to say that you are unlikely to get 5-6 years out of the rig you listed off. even if you spent more you would still not likely get 5-6 years. That is a long time for any system.

    Now I will try to give you some pointed advice on your rig you listed.

    Your motherboard is a good board and will overclock your cpu to 99.9% of its potential.

    PSU is a good brand, if you want to SLI in the future I would suggest a minimum of 850watts to ensure future proofing.

    I would spend the extra money and get a 2600k if you want your system to last. if you are worried about HT slowing games then you can always disable it if you are running a game that doesn't take advantage of more than 4 cores. the overclockability of the i5 and i7 are about the same. on air they are able to reach 4.3-4.7 without too much trouble for 24/7 use. if you get a good chip you might even be able to get 5ghz

    your GPU is okay if you are running it on a 1920x1080 display anything higher than that and I would upgrade. I think this is going to be the section of your build that is going to be the weakest in the long run. I said 5-6 years is a long time for computers but it is pretty much an eternity for GPU's. so I am going to say be prepared to upgrade it in 2-3 years. Just being honest is all.

    the ram you chose is good stuff, since you are gonna be doing some VM stuff I am gonna advise you stay with 8gb and not go any lower. some people say 4 is more than enough but not so much now with all things considered, especially since the price of ram has dropped and you want future proof.

    the hyper 212+ is a very nice budget heatsink. it should be ample cooling to get you a nice overclock on your system. you might want to consider buying a second fan to put it in push pull to get the best temps.

    I don't know much about the case since all of my rigs are on test benches. but from the reading I just did real quick it looks like a solid case. the air flow might not be the best. but I don't think it is going to suck. but I can't really comment much on that.


    overall I would say your system is going to be okay for 2-3 years depending on your standards.

    Hope this helped a bit and once again
    SSD > PCMark 05
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  3. #3
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    That is a pretty solid build you have put together, I might be able to shed some light on a few of your questions.

    I dont know if HT can slow performance on some games, I could see that happening though. The primary difference beyond HT when considering the 2500k and the 2600k would be the available multipliers. I THINK that the 2600k has higher multipliers avalible to it, which would possibly allow more overclock.

    As for your question about the 560TI and the 570 thats a tough choice. Here is a comparison of both. Real world improvement looks like 7-15% gain, and theoretical improvements 20-29%. The question is that enough to afford the difference to you. If given the choice in your position I would pick the 570 provided budget permits it.

    Your PSU should be sufficiently powerful for SLI you might be pushing it with SLI 570s but I imagine that it should be ok considering how efficient sandy bridges are.

    The hyper 212+ isnt the greatest heatsink for 1155 but its extremely popular and is good enough for normal overclocks.

    I dont know about the case directly, but you can always change out the fans to improve airflow.
    If you wanted to do water cooling there are very few cases that DONT require modding to be able to setup a custom loop. So unless you feel like becoming a moder or buy one of very few cases dont consider water cooling.
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  4. #4
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    Thank you both. I accept that I won't be at the cutting edge for 5-6 years, but to be honest I'd be happy with mid-range. And I'd much rather have to replace my GPU 2-3 years down the line than build a whole new system, so as long as the rest of my build can keep up I'm fine with replacing the GPU more frequently. That said, I'm willing to spend a little less on the GPU at the cost of replacing it more often (or buying another one for SLI) as long as the rest of my components are catered for.

    I'm still undecided on the 2500K vs the 2600K. If the 2600K does lead to higher overclocks then I'm happy to go with it, but the main constraint here is my budget. I've been having trouble finding definitive evidence one way or the other regarding higher multipliers. (If anyone's got any, it would be appreciated.)

    Regarding hyper-threading, is that toggled in BIOS or can it be turned on/off on the fly in the OS? I'd imagine it's the former, but feel free to correct me on that, I'm by no means knowledgeable on the subject.

    I'll probably go with an 850W (or at least 750W) PSU as per bmwbaxter's recommendation; they're not that much more expensive and if I get a quality one I'll reuse it for later builds.

    If anyone's got any more input I'm all ears. Still got a month or two before I'll be gearing up to buy the parts and put it together, plenty of time to do more research/change components.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderDJ View Post
    Thank you both. I accept that I won't be at the cutting edge for 5-6 years, but to be honest I'd be happy with mid-range.
    If you keep this mindset, then the PC in your build could very well last 5 years with no problem.

    You can get one 570 now, then SLi another 570 (cheaper) later if things start getting bottlenecked for gaming. It won't automatically double performance, but it'll keep you being able to at least play games 5 years into the future at medium settings.

    The big question is what size monitor and resolution will you be running?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melee Penguin View Post
    If you keep this mindset, then the PC in your build could very well last 5 years with no problem.

    You can get one 570 now, then SLi another 570 (cheaper) later if things start getting bottlenecked for gaming. It won't automatically double performance, but it'll keep you being able to at least play games 5 years into the future at medium settings.

    The big question is what size monitor and resolution will you be running?
    My current setup is a dual monitor display, my main screen is 22" and I run it at 1680x1050 with a smaller 1280x1024 17" next to it. I only run games on the main screen though.

  7. #7
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    in that case, you're fine with the 560ti. It'll actually be overkill for 1680x1050 (I max out games at that rez on a 6850)

    as for max multiplier, both the 2500K and 2600K max out at a 57x multiplier, though maybe one chip in a million is stable at that. most top out at 4.3-4.7
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScrewySqrl View Post
    in that case, you're fine with the 560ti. It'll actually be overkill for 1680x1050 (I max out games at that rez on a 6850)

    as for max multiplier, both the 2500K and 2600K max out at a 57x multiplier, though maybe one chip in a million is stable at that. most top out at 4.3-4.7
    max multi is actually 59 for both the 2600k and the 2500k.

    most chips can do 52-53 on their multi but it requires too much voltage to be considered 24/7. but for 24/7 voltages it is around 43-45.
    SSD > PCMark 05
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  9. #9
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    Great, thanks for the info. I'll stick with the 560Ti then.
    I'm looking forward to see how far I can push my CPU for 24/7 use. Just to nitpick a bit here: if the 2500K and 2600K both have the same multipliers, is the only difference between them hyper-threading and the 100MHz difference in base clock? (Did I use that term correctly?)

    I'm also looking at SSDs. I've never had one before but I've been told that if used properly the difference in boot/load times can be outstanding. Opinions on those?

    Thanks for all your help so far, guys.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderDJ View Post
    Great, thanks for the info. I'll stick with the 560Ti then.
    I'm looking forward to see how far I can push my CPU for 24/7 use. Just to nitpick a bit here: if the 2500K and 2600K both have the same multipliers, is the only difference between them hyper-threading and the 100MHz difference in base clock? (Did I use that term correctly?)

    I'm also looking at SSDs. I've never had one before but I've been told that if used properly the difference in boot/load times can be outstanding. Opinions on those?

    Thanks for all your help so far, guys.
    hyper threading is the only thing different. it isn't the base clock that is different. the base clock for both chips is 100mhz. the difference you were talking about is the stock clocks.

    as for the ssd is that if you can afford to get one then do it since it is super nice. but make sure you get some other storage for your daily stuff. like a terabyte at least.
    SSD > PCMark 05
    freeagent - Torture is watching all these 2600k's kicking my rig in the mosfets

  11. #11
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    Right, thanks for that. Yeah, I already have two hard drives totaling to 1.5TB, so there's no problem there. We'll see how the budget goes!

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    Apologies for the double post. If I should have edited my older post instead, please let me know.

    I'm considering switching from the Corsair power supply to an Antec TruePower 750W. It's a little more expensive, but the price jump isn't huge for the extra 100W and the reviews I've read have all been pretty positive, but I'd like input from the overclockers community.

    Also, I just picked up my Hyper 212+ today (I'm staggering my purchases to avoid spending all my money at once and to motivate me somewhat to keep studying for my exams ), and as per bmwbaxter's suggestion I've decided I'd like to buy a second fan to put it in push-pull. The question is what fan? There are tons of them out there. Several reviews I've read recommend the Antec TriCool which is available at my local parts store for $15AUD, but I've read several threads from this site talking about Scythe Gentle Typhoons and Yate Loons. I'd have to buy them online (and they're more expensive), so is the performance/temp/noise difference between them and something like the TriCool worth it?

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderDJ View Post
    Apologies for the double post. If I should have edited my older post instead, please let me know.

    I'm considering switching from the Corsair power supply to an Antec TruePower 750W. It's a little more expensive, but the price jump isn't huge for the extra 100W and the reviews I've read have all been pretty positive, but I'd like input from the overclockers community.

    Also, I just picked up my Hyper 212+ today (I'm staggering my purchases to avoid spending all my money at once and to motivate me somewhat to keep studying for my exams ), and as per bmwbaxter's suggestion I've decided I'd like to buy a second fan to put it in push-pull. The question is what fan? There are tons of them out there. Several reviews I've read recommend the Antec TriCool which is available at my local parts store for $15AUD, but I've read several threads from this site talking about Scythe Gentle Typhoons and Yate Loons. I'd have to buy them online (and they're more expensive), so is the performance/temp/noise difference between them and something like the TriCool worth it?

    Thanks.
    the antec power supply should be good.

    as for the fans as long as you get are 1200rpm minimum you should be good. something in the 10-15 dollar range is probably going to be sufficient.
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  14. #14
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    Hey guys,
    Sorry for necroing the thread, but I've finally bought all my parts (with a few changes) and built the PC. Here are my final specs:

    i7-2600K
    Hyper 212+
    ASUS P8Z68-V
    G.Skill Ripjaws-X 2133MHz (2x4GB)
    eVGA GTX 560Ti Superclocked

    Now, unfortunately I'm having trouble OCing the 2600K. I've followed a few guides as well as changed settings around on my own but no matter what I do under full load the frequency doesn't change from stock (3.4GHz).

    If anyone has any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them. If you need more information such as BIOS settings etc just say so. Thanks in advance!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderDJ View Post
    Hey guys,
    Sorry for necroing the thread, but I've finally bought all my parts (with a few changes) and built the PC. Here are my final specs:

    i7-2600K
    Hyper 212+
    ASUS P8Z68-V
    G.Skill Ripjaws-X 2133MHz (2x4GB)
    eVGA GTX 560Ti Superclocked

    Now, unfortunately I'm having trouble OCing the 2600K. I've followed a few guides as well as changed settings around on my own but no matter what I do under full load the frequency doesn't change from stock (3.4GHz).

    If anyone has any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them. If you need more information such as BIOS settings etc just say so. Thanks in advance!
    speed step left on? some bios info would def help.
    SSD > PCMark 05
    freeagent - Torture is watching all these 2600k's kicking my rig in the mosfets

  16. #16
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    EIST was indeed on. Disabling it however did not remedy the problem. Here are my BIOS settings:

    Under Ai Tweaker:

    Ai Overclock Tuner - Manual
    BCLK/PCIE Frequency - 100.0
    Turbo Ratio - 40 (By All Cores)
    Internal PLL Overvoltage - Auto
    Memory Frequency - 2133MHz
    EPU Power Saving Mode - Disabled

    Under Advanced/CPU Configuration:

    CPU Ratio - Auto
    Intel Adaptive Thermal Monitor - Enabled
    Hyper-threading - Enabled
    Active Processor Cores - All
    Limit CPUID Maximum - Disabled
    Execute Disable Bit - Enabled
    Intel Virtualization Technology - Disabled
    Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology - Disabled
    Turbo Mode - Enabled
    CPU C1E - Auto
    CPU C3 Report - Disabled
    CPU C6 Report - Disabled

  17. #17
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    try setting to a max turbo ratio of 38
    SSD > PCMark 05
    freeagent - Torture is watching all these 2600k's kicking my rig in the mosfets

  18. #18
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    Just hit the auto in bios, reboot, then lower the BCLK to 100. You'll be at 4.4Ghz exactly and we'll work from there.

    What are your temperatures when you run Prime 95 stock with the hyper 212 lets make sure its on tight.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theocnoob View Post
    Just hit the auto in bios, reboot, then lower the BCLK to 100. You'll be at 4.4Ghz exactly and we'll work from there.

    What are your temperatures when you run Prime 95 stock with the hyper 212 lets make sure its on tight.
    By "the auto in BIOS" you mean reverting to default settings? BCLK is already at 100. Also with default settings it would be 3.4GHz. Unless I'm misinterpreting your post?

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