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I confirm, there is a lot of deciding factors that go into such a decision and even more personal preference. I think if you are looking at long term it's best to do as was suggested and go overpowered in your CPU/mobo/RAM....get something with xfire or SLI support as this makes upgrading down the road a bit easier and systematic, throw in a midrange graphics card to start (250.00 price point) then over time as needed add a twin - even further down the road jump up to a higher powered single card then "rinse and repeat" this is the approach I took and about 4 years later my rig is still hanging in with minimal upgrades along the way....of course at some point the cycle starts over but that is our burden to bear as the elite gamers of the world....such is the nature of the beast. hope I was of help!
For the time to come Ill be using a single kinda cheap video card. And perhaps the next month ill get somwthing like this to replace my current 9800 GT.
Nah, you don't want that one. Its got a 192 bit interface. Its a 768MB GTX 460 masquerading as the full fledged 1GB 256 bit GTX 460. Its the full fledged one that was the proper card. Unfortunately, the proper bang for your buck GTX 460 is very hard to find now.
Assuming you will be planning to add another card down the road, it is best to buy a modern card that will still be available a year from now so you can SLI/Crossfire it. The 4xx series is almost completely phased out now in preparation for the upcoming 6xx series.
For flexibilities sake, try to pick one with the stock cooler, and not factory overclocked (Depending how far away you plan to pair a second card). That way when the time comes you wont have trouble finding a good match. And note, you dont necessarily need to get Nvidia. Personally I run a pair of Nvidia cards, but if I were buying right now, I'd pick up an ATI card in that price range. Something like a 68xx or 67xx series.
Use the link I gave you about the best price/performance cards this month or next month to help you decide. Just keep in mind that if you catch a sale at the right time you can really luck out.
I have a 5970 that runs excellent and I picked it up for about 200 bucks from bens outlet - its not really top end but it runs most games fairly easy - at high on BF3 I average around 70 frames which isn't half bad - put 2 of them in and you would have some considerable GFX power. Just my 2 cents....good luck! Link below
Ive had lots of troubles with ATI in the past so I think ill stick to nvidia. I was checking those links and found out that im really phased out about video card knowdlege. Will try to find for the next month one in the range of $150-200.
Thanks for all the help, everyones been really helpful.
To sum it up Im going as hard as I can afford with the mobo and processor. The z68 and the 2500\2500k. Hopefulle my current psu can handle it.
Your current PSU will be able to handle a $200 graphics card no problem when paired with a 2500K. So that you won;t need to worry about. It's only when adding a second card that you might want to figure out just how much power you are using under peak load, and the power efficiency of your current PSU.
And yea, in the past, ATI has had cross fire scaling issues, and a lot of problems with compatibility between different manufacturers even with the same base model card. In some respects, Nvidia is still better when it comes to multiple graphics card setups, but if you do your research, ATI is still a viable option today. There are several articles out there that do a thorough comparison between Crossfire and SLI with modern cards with modern games. You can also see the muscle you can get out of crossfire ATI cards in that BF3 article.
Is there too much difference between the 2500 and 2500K? Besides overclocking abilities? (dont get confident, I have no idea how to do this, someone just told me :P)
If you planned to leave things at stock speeds, it is better to get the 2500. However, you can OC the 2500K without applying voltage or an after-market heat sink to some extent. If you want to try overclocking with extra voltage, you will want to invest in something cost effective yet capable like a cooler master hyper 212. Overclocking would not be necessary for gaming unless you had at least 2 mid range video cards.
However, if you plan to do video editing or transcoding work with your computer, overclocking would show a measurable improvement. It also depends on the game. Strategy games or racing games with a lot of emphasis on accurate physics will be more demanding on your CPU. Meanwhile, other games like BF3 will stress your graphics cards more.
As a rough example, I run two GTX 580s while playing BF3 @ 2560X1440 resolution with max settings other than AA (In multiplayer game play). In a full 64 player map, my graphics cards push a average of around 50-60 fps, and they are going full speed, 100% on each. My 2600K @ 4.5 GHz runs at 40-60% most of the time. I could get away without overclocking it I imagine, but then again, I hate waiting for videos to transcode.
Most likely Ill leave stock speeds for now since I would need a new case in order to set new fans to prevent overheating from overclocking. But anyway, the difference is not much, $20ish is worth for a longer vision.
Ive been reading more about this new 2500K processor and Ive found out that they use a completely new socket LGA 1155, so; what are the odds that by getting this mobo and processor Ill need to completely change all my parts for a next upgrade? The new processor will most likely come with this socket?
On a side note, dont 2500K have hyper threading?
Also, Im getting ready to make the buy shortly but Im getting confused about this products, hughe price difference and so far I cant notice one being better than the other.
or even worst, this one:
Also, I read that it only supports DX 10, is that right? 0o
PS. If you anyone knows of a good site do buy BF3 thats cheaper than $40 Ill appreciate it. :D
Edit: I just read this
So assuming those Ivy Bridge will also use LGA1155 Im OK :)
Note: Many LGA 1155 motherboards will be compatible with the next gen of intel processors (Ivy bridge) that come out later, as well as PCIE 3.0. So if you go that route you'll have a good upgrade path to branch from as needed.
Exactly, Your edit beat me to it. The pin out and wiring for both PCIE 3.0 and Ivy bridge are the same as Sandy bridge (2500K) and PCIE 2.0. When they are released, you can expect to find BIOS updates to support the new stuff. However, although Ivy Bridge should be supported with a BIOS update, PCIE 3.0 isn't a guarantee. It's helpful to make sure it mentions PCIE 3.0 ready if you want to go that route. However, I wouldn't worry since even the really high end graphics cards of today have difficulty saturating a PCIE 2.0 X16 slot.
As for those motherboards, I see you are a fan of ASUS. Not a bad choice considering their track record. But Amazon is really hit and miss when it comes to purchasing computer hardware. Of those 3 links, 2 models are almost the exact same, but priced wildly differently. The really expensive one is actually older, and doesn't advertise that it is PCIE 3.0 ready. In any case, you should be aiming to purchase a motherboard around $150 for the features you'd want.
Now you may be asking, what is it that I actually want? Well, lets use that inexpensive board as a base line. It has USB 3.0, and SATA 6Gbps connectors, and it has 2 x16 length PCIE slots, BUT one is only wired to function as a x4, so that could be a bottleneck down the road when it comes to using 2 cards. So since it's not built for 2 graphics cards, you'll notice it doesn;t support SLI because there is no point in pushing the price up by purchasing the licensing for SLI support. But you'll notice they market Crossfire since it's free ;). The other thing to look out for is the lack of heat sinks around the CPU socket. This means the board would hold you back if you tried overclocking too high with voltage. It can also make performance RAM more picky if you try to push that as well. Other than that it has what you need.
That PRO model has everything you need, but then extras you don't, like more USB 3 ports, and more SATA 6Gb/s ports. This stuff isn't needed. Other features like finer control over voltage, buttons, etc just make overclocking more convenient. Also, it has extra PCIE slots, and e-sata.
So what you want, assuming you have your heart set on ATX vs mATX is something imbetween, like this: http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/I...specifications
It's like a stripped down version of the PRO, but retains the heat sinks, and the two x16 slots that would operate at x8 for each. There is also a GEN 3 version of that board, but it would probably be more expensive.
The trick now would be finding a store that has some kind of sale. But remember, it doesn't have to be ASUS, it can be Gigabyte (very similar reputation) or any number of other vendors. You may even be able to find a M-ATX version with the same features (slightly smaller motherboard).
EDIT: This one from gigabyte is exactly what you should be looking for. It's almost the same as that ASUS board, but doesn't have the heat sink across the MOSFETs above the CPU socket: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128512
EDIT2: Woups forgot to mention. No, the 2500K is not hyperthreaded. But when it comes to games, that's no big deal. Games don't get that much of a boost from hyperthreading to begin with. You'll still have 4 very fast cores, so you're set really. Hyperthreading only comes into play once you bump up to the i7 quad core models, and higher. I guess they left it out to differentiate the 2500 more from the higher end stuff. But it is an odd thing to do when the lower models have hyperthreading...I guess some guy decided the 2nd gen i3 and i5's could only have 4 threads max regardless of core cound :s