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Thread: Lemur's New Rig

  1. #1
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Arrow Lemur's New Rig

    Okay, my Core2Duo has served me faithfully for about six years. I'm about to get a no-strings-attached check. It's time.

    Here's my build proposal. Criticism and suggestion is welcome.

    CPU: i5 (Haswell)
    Cooler: CM Hyper 212
    Mobo: MSI Z87-G45
    RAM: 16 gigs of medium-fast GSKILL
    Case: NZXT H630 CA-H630F-M1 "Silent" (let's hope)
    Power supply: Corsaid AX series AX760 760W
    Video card: ASUS R9270X-DC2T-2GD5 Radeon R9 270X (seems like the sweet spot of price/performance)
    SSD: SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" 500GB
    Data drive: Seagate Hybrid Drive ST2000DX001 2TB

    Then I'm updating monitor and wireless network dongle, but the above parts form the core of the new beast.

    Probably won't pull the trigger for a week, so please feel at ease scrutinizing my choices.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  2. #2
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Ya don't wanna cough up another $60 for the i7 Haswell? You gain 2MB of cache as well as Hyperthreading, giving you a total of 8 "virtual" cores... You could drop down to 8GB of RAM and it'd probably be a wash pricewise. Should 8GB not be enough, that's a little bit easier of an upgrade than the CPU.
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  3. #3
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Hmm, the most demanding tasks I do on the PC are typically single thread, or close enough that it makes no nevermind. SO really the only benefit I'd see would be the extra cache.

    And then there's the flexibility. Overclocking has been part of what kept my old C2D relevant even as games got more demanding. An unlocked "k" i5 is $240, whereas an unlocked i7 is $340.

    So ... it's more like $100 for more cores and a bit of cache.

    Also, the i5 seems to be the default gamer chip. I AM A HERD ANIMAL.

    Also: Value of >4 cores in modern gaming is questionable from a price/performance angle..
    Last edited by Lemur; 12-15-2013 at 01:54.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  4. #4
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    I don't know about this one in particular, but after a faulty GPU and a Notebook with all kinds of small problems (it was already a replacement for the one I got first, which had a loose mobo battery dangling around inside), I do not really trust MSI a lot anymore.
    YMMV of course.


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  5. #5
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Hmm. The mobo I picked has 134 customer reviews averaging 4 stars on NewEgg. But you're right, I don't think of MSI as a particularly great manufacturer. Much more comfortable with Asus, for example.

    I'm guessing I have about a week before the cash-monies arrive. Plenty of time to consider.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  6. #6
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    I still think 16GB of RAM is overkill. Personally, I'd take 8GB and put the money somewhere else. I'm a fan of the i7 processors, but maybe you could dump it into your GPU instead.... or just save the money?

    But it's your rig, build it as you see fit.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 12-16-2013 at 00:49.
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  7. #7
    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    I've heard about the comeback of AMD with R9 270X too and I'm curious about how they fare against GTX 780s, for example.

  8. #8
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Hmm. The mobo I picked has 134 customer reviews averaging 4 stars on NewEgg. But you're right, I don't think of MSI as a particularly great manufacturer. Much more comfortable with Asus, for example.

    I'm guessing I have about a week before the cash-monies arrive. Plenty of time to consider.
    55% gave 5 stars, I assume the rest had some sort of problem with it.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    For example that the delivery came one day late.
    Do American customers also consider this in product ratings sometimes like that somehow affects the quality of the product?


    I agree about 8GB being enough, for now, but if you just leave 2 slots open you can easily upgrade that later, as Xiahou says.
    Last edited by Husar; 12-16-2013 at 10:35.


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  9. #9
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftEyeNine View Post
    I've heard about the comeback of AMD with R9 270X too and I'm curious about how they fare against GTX 780s, for example.
    The 270 is much cheaper and slightly slower than a 780. There's a kinda-sorta ranking of the current-gen cards over here at Anandtech.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  10. #10
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    You should really invest into the future and go for the NVidia 4K gaming option with PhysX!

    The latter is actually quite nice in some games and I like how I never need to update NVidia drivers beyond a certain point where they actually work worse with older cards in my experience. And I never noticed any problems with newer games and an older driver that works fine with my card. Not to forget that AMD has a history of reducing default driver graphics quality to gain more performance. Their AF is more likely to produce flickering etc.

    I know some people really like AMD and I would also prefer to have some more competition but sadly they really struggle to keep up quality-wise IMO. If you're happy with them, go ahead though.


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  11. #11
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Hmm, I've always been an AMD guy when it comes to graphics, but that's not a religious thing, more of an accident of timing. Each time I've built a new rig (counting back, this will be my 3rd ground-up build over the past, eh, twelve or thirteen years or so), AMD/ATI has simply had a nice point on the price/performance curve.

    But I'm hardly married to 'em. Can you refer me to any articles or discussions about the Nvidia side of things, and why they're in a better position? I like to learn.

    And why's everybody hatin' on my 16 gigs of RAM? It's cheap enough, and it would be nice to have the acres of living space for some work-related stuff. (I prolly should have clarified that the new Lemur Rig will also serve as my work machine, in an unofficial capacity. IT provides laptops, but I use them for email and time clocking, no more. They're your basic Dell cheapo-lappie, and I don't like to do real work on 'em. I have an unofficial sanction from the Director of IT to use my own gear, so long as I don't talk about it around the Powers That Be.)
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  12. #12
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    I laughed because it seemed biased at first but it seems to provide a good overview with links to less biased sites:

    http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2010/11...image-quality/

    For some reason all of the magazines that discovered the problems are German, I originally read about it on ComputerBase.
    I'm also not sure how it has developed, I just trust AMD a little less to provide the same graphics per default or without workarounds now.

    Not to forget that most of the time a game needs a patch to remove artifacts or other graphical issues, it's related to AMD cards, at least as far as I hear about it/perceive it. I have no statistical data and am not aware of anyone who has, it's just an accumulated feeling of all the times I thought "oh, it's just the AMD guys having artifacts/problems again", which may be related to my choice of favourite games of course.


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  13. #13
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    nice rig.

    i'm with you on 16gb, why the hell not. :D

    only difference i would have gone for is the crucial m500 ssd's, but that is preference nothing more.
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  14. #14
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    I laughed because it seemed biased at first but it seems to provide a good overview with links to less biased sites:

    http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2010/11...image-quality/ [...]

    I'm also not sure how it has developed, I just trust AMD a little less to provide the same graphics per default or without workarounds now.
    Hmm, okay, trying to wrap my brain around this. Not helpful that the blog post is three years old ... and the blog post gets roundly booed in the comment section ...

    I guess this was to do with image quality and the 10.10 Catalyst drivers?
    @Husar, is there anything more recent to which you can refer me?

    To illustrate the price/performance curve, here's the current lineup of cards ranked by price in USD$ (and note that I intend to game in 1080):

    Last edited by Lemur; 12-16-2013 at 20:38.
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  15. #15
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    No, there is nothing more recent and I doubt people check it thoroughly with every driver update.
    AMD drivers may use normal settings now, it just shattered my trust in them to do that behind peoples' backs to look better in performance rankings.

    I use a GTX 660 (slightly overclocked, see below) and play at 1920x1200 in a proper 16 to 10 format as the lord intended. I don't have any demanding shooters beyond Crysis (which worked mighty fine on this card with High or Very High settings when testing hastily from a few old savegames) but it runs pretty much every game I play (at the moment not the most demanding ones as those don't interest me a lot, think Mafia 2, Wargame ALB, World of Tanks, also Shogun 2 etc.) very well. The R9 270X seems to be 14% faster in games (at FullHD, 4x AA, 16x AF, compared to a normally clocked GTX 660) according to ComputerBase.

    The GTX 660Ti is rated as 3% faster than the Radeon and the GTX 760 as 4% faster (average rating over all tested games that is). That's definitely not worth a 50$ markup for the 760, I agree there.

    This is the card I have, it's overclocked to get closer to a 660 Ti and the cooler is just great, silent and cools it very well: http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-PCI-E...0+Ti+Windforce

    The 660 Ti seems to be hardly available and have high prices, I got lucky at the time and got mine (still not a Ti though) at a local store for a lower price than non-overclocked ones from other manufacturers. So maybe don't just stick to Newegg whatever you do anyway.
    It seems like the Radeon is a nice choice, but an NVidia card still gives me flying debris and other physics in Mafia 2 and some other games.
    In the latter matter, the dark side is also calling you with PhysX-porn: https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...post2053563021
    Last edited by Husar; 12-17-2013 at 11:04.


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  16. #16
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Well, I'd say the part I am least settled on is the GPU, so I'd love to hear suggestions.

    Like I said, I intend to game in 1080.

    I want quiet. I want low driver hassle. I want something that's not going to need replacing for at least a couple of years. (Swapping out the GPU is always my first step in nursing 6–7 years out of a rig.)

    I'm open to suggestions. Talk to me!
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  17. #17
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    I don't think the GTX 660 is going to last several years, and neither may a card that is only 14% faster, although it depends on what you understand by "last". Personally I abhorr Medium and Low setings somewhat because they often look worse than High Settings on older games my hardware can run. So it ends up like I have the same raw processing power but games start to actually look worse once I have to go down with the settings...

    And the reason I feel nothing you can buy now will last for a lot of years is that we just got new consoles with a lot more power than the last ones. The old console generation seemed to slow down the development in terms of GPU demands for a few years, if all those incoming console ports will be adjusted for the more glorious new generation capabilities, we may just see rising demands on the PC again until the consoles grow old and reach their maximum potential again.

    I only have experiences with midrange cards because they're usually all I can or want to afford and I am pretty sure that cards that cost twice as much don't last twice as long, so yeah, midrange is where I usually go.

    The R9 270X is also available with the Windforce cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125476
    Funny story, I clicked on the rating and the first reviewer says AMD need to tweak their drivers and assumes everybody has to. Well, I'm currently on 306.97 and 331.82 is the newest driver but I haven't noticed any problems so far. In the past I have noticed that when I upgrade my NVidia drivers once a new generation of cards has been released, it usually causes more trouble than it improves things.

    One could assume they do this on purpose to make people buy newer cards but maybe they also just focus on the new cards and ignore any effects their tweaks have on older ones. As long as my old driver doesn't cause any trouble, it's fine with me though, because it saves me the hassle of having to swap drivers every month. The often-promised fps increases never really convinced me when I tried a new driver, or were for games I did not own anyway, so YMMV again.

    So that's my NVidia driver philosophy, regarding AMD I only have rather unfond memories from very long ago, I've always thought about switching back to them and then always decided for NVidia again in the end after researching the power, costs, potential issues and so on.

    I'm not fully in the loop though as I do not plan to replace anything soon and I do have a Phenom II still. Would be nice to have something that guzzles less energy (the power saving stuff does not work anymore since Vista or 7 when Microsoft changed something there, it's constantly running at 4x3GHz) but Intels always scare me away with the sheer cost of Mobo,CPU and the required DDR 3 RAM, even if you go for a midrange config, you have to spend easily 350-400€ and more, thanks Intel monopoly!


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  18. #18

    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Meh that blog post about visuals is much ado about nothing. It's an apples to organes comparison with people getting upset that the exact number of "points" tied to a label is changed between one driver revision and the next. AFAIK the AMD AA levels correspond to a slightly more expensive algorithm than Nvidia AA levels do for a slightly better visual quality if you were to compare points for points. Which, as you can now see is by definition is as apples to oranges. So meh.

    Get the card that is a good deal/steal now, and if you must do yourself a favour and buy a better monitor. That will put the marginal increase you get in a hypothetical scenario (as you'll know, you can manually configure the exact level of "points" for each setting anyway) in perspective for a real and undeniable improvement in fidelity. Then you can indulge in the next obsession of colour calibrating and correcting your screen...
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  19. #19
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Didn't include the monitor on the parts list up top, but I am, in fact, buying a nicer monitor than I have ever owned. My first non-TN panel.

    That's right, homies, I'm moving to the IPS side of town.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  20. #20
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Some people reported quite some flickering of textures, which was one of the main problems with those ATI drivers, I wouldn't call it marginal if it gets on your nerves a lot while you play. Like I said, it may not be an issue anymore, I just trust them a little less.

    IPS sounds good, my iPhone 4 has the best display I own, but my old 24" Benq TN monitor is a very good second. Next one should be IPS as well for me, hopefully also in 16:10.


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  21. #21
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Can't find the source, but I recently read a system builder (Origin? Maingear?) talking about failure rates of videocards in their 2013 RMA process.

    As I recall, he was saying that Nvidia cards failed at a two-point-something percent rate in their rigs, and AMD cards failed at a three-point-something percent rate.

    Now, this was a boutique PC builder, so doubtless they're pushing the newest, biggest, and (literally) hottest cards. I expect mid-range cards like I'm considering would fail much less often.
    Last edited by Lemur; 12-17-2013 at 21:06. Reason: Typos, dang it
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  22. #22
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Oh yes, NVidia cards are cooler and use less energy in some (comparable) ranges, which may not be a concern for you but I already pay way too much for my electric energy and that certainly influenced me since I was also eyeing and ATI card at the time.


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  23. #23
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Hmm, I wonder if the Litecoin crash is going to mean a whole lotta discounted R9 videocards hitting the market. I hope it does—couldn't time out better for me.

    Did some late-night reading about the mid-range cards. Hard to get clarity on what's going to work best—the info about the 270x, 280x, 760, 770 ... maybe I shouldn't do GPU research right before bed ...
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  24. #24
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Well, forget all of that, the post-Christmas sales swayed me, shaving maybe $150 off the overall cost of the build. I done pulled the trigger, and ordered the parts from NewEgg.

    IT IS DONE.

    Now I can switch from obsessing over the build to obsessing over the shipment tracking.

    If y'all want unboxing and/or build pics, I can oblige. Since I only do a new build every 6–7 years, this kinda feels like an event.
    Last edited by Lemur; 12-26-2013 at 20:41.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  25. #25
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Pictures or it didn't happen when it does.
    This space intentionally left blank

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  26. #26
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Changed my mind about a number of the components, when all was said and done.*

    Not least of which was the case. Wound up going with a Carbide 540 Air.






    *In fact, looking at the original list I posted, the only thing that stayed the same was the SSD from Samsung.
    Last edited by Lemur; 12-27-2013 at 20:52.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  27. #27

    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Whoa, check out Lemur's new gig!
    Vitiate Man.

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    The glib replies, the same defeats


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  28. #28
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    sorry, i skipped over the second half of the thread, but did anyone ask you what you were using the PC for?

    I ask because this is pretty much the main idea that you'd build your rig around.
    A gaming PC is different to a design+production workstation, which is different to a server, which is different to a crypto-currency miner, which is also different to the dual-purpose email reader/paperweight.

    But you've made the purchase already, so i suppose it doesn't matter too much at this point anymore.
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  29. #29
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    Changed my mind about a number of the components, when all was said and done.*

    Not least of which was the case. Wound up going with a Carbide 540 Air.






    *In fact, looking at the original list I posted, the only thing that stayed the same was the SSD from Samsung.
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  30. #30
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lemur's New Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz View Post
    what you were using the PC for?
    In order of PC-taxing activities:

    • Gaming
    • Transcoding video for work
    • Work (mostly in MS Word and Outlook, I know, I know)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post
    [H]ave you worked on the build yet? That case looks huge.
    The case really isn't that big. Fat, but short. The way I like my men.

    I will confess that I am going to cheat on the build. My Wisconsin BFF is a guy who ran his own IT company for years, and has built hundreds of rigs. I'm going to supply the beer, and maybe open some boxes. He can whip a machine together in the time it would take me to figure out the pin-out for the front panel. So yeah, I am a lying cheater and a cheating liar, and Imma let my buddy do the build.

    Will post pics!
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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