Advice on PC gaming rig

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by irishgrizzly, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    You can do better by DIY method. Also, bear in mind, SNB has terrible upgrade path for dual GPU setups.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    What monitor do you have? What games are you going to play? Looks overpriced IMO and maybe something not as powerful would be fine if you're not going to play at 1440p or 1600p.
     
  4. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #4
    27" dell @ 1900x1200, will be playing games like Battlefield 3 and Shogun 2. Can you explain SNB and why it is bad for upgrades.
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #5
    SNB = Sandy Bridge.

    It is not the best for multi-GPU upgrades because the PCIe lanes on it are limited to x16 only, so if you add a second GPU, the bandwidth will be halved to x8 x8. Also take into consideration that USB 3.0 is not supported and thus, that USB 3.0 chipset links via PCIe which is already cluttered.

    If you ever want a decent multi GPU support, and don't want to wait for the SNB refresh, current X58 does fine with 36x PCIe 2.0 lanes available. Not only that, if you do end up waiting, the SNB refresh of the LGA1366 line will be the LGA2011 line which is expected to have again 36x PCIe lanes, but these lanes are running at double speeds, from 500MB/s per lane to 1GB/s per PCIe lane under the newer PCIe 3.0 specification.

    So yeah, more bandwidth for the GPU is always better if you need multi-GPU support.

    Also, at 1920x1200, you need a pretty powerful GPU, nothing under HD 6870 on the ATI side, and GTX 570 on the nVidia side.
     
  6. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #6
    Thanks for the info. Is the refresh due this year?
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    LGA 2011 parts are expected to be released in Q4 2011.
     
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #8
    Supposedly the second half of this year.
     
  9. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

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    #9
    Build your own PC, I can help you with that if you want. Also, i would just get a Sandy bridge mobo with the NF200 that adds an additional 16 PCIe lanes if you need them.
     
  10. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #10
    Again, thanks for the replies. Can anyone give me an idea how much of a bottleneck having only 16 lanes between 2 cards would cause? Does this translate to lower fps in games? (will only use this for gaming). Or is it that future cards will require all these lanes for just one card – making it impossible to use two?
     
  11. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #11
    See, PCIe lane transport the data from the GPU to the CPU and rest of the chipset and vice-versa. The more lanes, the more bandwidth the GPU has and thus more data can be transmitted. This is even more important since in CrossFire and SLI configurations, the PCIe lanes are used for cross GPU communication and synchronization. True there are the SLI or CrossFire bridge to help out, but those have so much bandwidth before PCIe lanes are needed. In general, it is always recommended that your GPU(s) always have access to x16 lanes at the fastest speed possible. Moreover, PCIe lanes are also used to connect other third party chip controllers, like USB 3.0.

    Now, why is this important on LGA1155 SNB motherboards? Well basically, these motherboards only are given x20 PCIe lanes. Of those 4x are reserved for the DMI, so in general you will only see x16. So, under one GPU the entire system will do fine to a certain point. This point is determined by the first bottleneck, which in many cases, is the GPU. The solution to this is either, buy a better and faster GPU or buy a second GPU of the same class, model and generation and put them to work as one. This increases in many cases efficiency and reduces that bottleneck. However, in LGA1155 motherboards there are not enough PCIe lanes to feed x16 to each GPU, so manufacturers like ASUS make the BIOS split the amount of lanes between each GPU. In LGA1155's case each GPU gets x8 thus reducing the available bandwidth to half per GPU.

    Anandtech.com reviewed what happens in those cases (this was for the old P55 or LGA1156 chipset) and found that drops in frame rates were along the 10% to 8% loss. For an enthusiasts or heavy gamer, a big no-no; but a minor tradeoff for the average user/gamer. On the new LGA1155 this problem isn't so steep since the old LGA1156 has some of its PCIe lanes running in PCIe 1.x mode, where as others at full PCIe 2.x mode. The difference is the data rate. PCIe 1.x mode is only 250MB/s and PCIe 2.x is double that at 500MB/s. So you always want a motherboard with full PCIe 2.x support. The new LGA1155 gives full PCIe 2.x support to all x16 lanes but that is still bandwidth lackluster and leaves the entire chipset starved for bandwidth.

    Now this is not the case with X58 or LGA1366 or the future LGA2011. Why? These chipsets are given x40 PCIe lanes, with x4 of those dedicated to the DMI, so in the end you will see x36. LGA1366 offers x36 lanes at full PCIe 2.0 speeds, giving all extreme setups more than enough bandwidth. You could have dual, triple and even quad SLI/Crossfire solutions with this much bandwidth (at either x16/x16, x16/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8). Even after that you are still left with x4 PCIe lanes for any bonus peripheral controllers any manufacturer wishes to add. As of late and in many cases, with LGA 1366, those x4 PCIe lanes are split in two x2 to serve bandwidth to a Marvell SATA 6Gb/s controller and/or a NEC USB 3.0 controller.

    Questions? Just ask!:D
     
  12. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #12
    Wow, thanks for explaining. This info makes me want to hold out for the motherboard refresh talked about earlier. If the current sli configuration is banging it's head off the available bandwidth this is only going to get worse with faster cards in the future, which are always the first component to be replaced.

    I'd like to put together a machine where all the parts complement each other as best as possible, so am wiling to wait.
     
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #13
    Oh forgot to mention that the new LGA2011 (the Sandy Bridge refresh of X58) will not have PCIe 2.0 support. It will have PCIe 3.0 support for double data rates from 500MB/s per x1 lane found on current X58 chipsets to 1GB/s per x1 lane on the new LGA2011 chipsets.
     
  14. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    #14
    If you really need to go sandy right now, LGA 1155, then get a board with Nvidia NF200 Chipset. That will give you some extra lanes to run with.

    Edit: Man I do not like that reference GTX 580. Better off getting a GTX 570 from Palit and SLI that damn thing.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    But luckily, PCIe is backwards compatible so you can use PCIe 2.0 GPU (or other card) in PCIe 3.0 slot ;) (Your post was a bit confusing IMO by stating no PCIe 2.0 support)
     
  16. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #16
    Can you explain this please, what do you not like about that 580?
     
  17. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #17
    Digging up this old thread and thinking of getting this put together;

    Mobo: ASUS P8P67 DELUXE Rev 3.0, Sockel 1155, ATX, DDR3
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 580, 1536MB DDR5
    SSD: OCZ SSD Vertex 2 120GB 8,9cm (3,5") (for boot, will use an F3 for storage).
    RAM: 8GB-Kit G.Skill PC3-10667U CL9
    Case: Cooler Master HAF X, ATX
    power: Corsair AX850, 850 Watt

    Any thoughts?
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Looks good. You could consider AMD 6970 instead though. It's over 150$ cheaper (looking at NewEgg) but not that much slower. GTX 580 is definitely faster so if you want the best GPU, then get it but IMO 6970 would give you a better bang for buck.
     
  19. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

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    #19
    Forget pre-built. Build a custom one @ http://scan.co.uk - you'll get much more for your money. Or if you're from USA, Newegg.com - Buying pre-built you're paying about £250 ($400-600) just for them to build it..
     
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #20
    Might wanna boost the PSU to either 1kW or 950 W. Why? Just incase you have any future GPU upgrade, or more HDDs or components require a bit more breathe room.

    Also, in case you overclock you have enough headroom on CPU and GPU overclock.
     
  21. layte macrumors regular

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  22. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #22
    You can get all the parts and have a store such as MicroCenter put it together and test it. The fee is under $100. Definitely worth it if you don't want the hassle of trouble shooting parts / the build.
     

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