I've been playing with the idea of upgrading my current laptop for new one. I've had my M17x R2 since it launched with the first gen mobile i7 processors. I've upgraded it since owning it from crossfire 4870s to crossfire 6990s. And I've put an intel X25-M 160GB SSD. But, as much as I put into it there just seems to be such a limitation on how far you can push a laptop. It can play games like the witcher 2 on high settings with 40 fps and most others in 50+ fps. So by no means is my laptop a slouch. But, I've noticed I don't really take it anywhere. So I simply want a powerful desktop to play my games. My price range is very high. But, I don't care to go over $3000 (()) for the desktop itself.
One thing I really want for this desktop is the Nvidia 690 GTX. I've read enough about it to know it's a behemoth that compares to the 680 GTX in Sli. Though since I'm making the jump from a laptop I'm wondering if it's really all that necessary to have such a beast of a card.
For a CPU and Motherboard I want something that is somewhat future proof. I'd like to use the new third gen i7 processors. If possible I'd like to have a Six core CPU but, I question are there any games that truly take advantage of such technology? And if not I should perhaps get a quad core instead. I'd also want a mother board that would be large enough for a second GPU in the future along with a sound card.
Even though my limit is $3000 that doesn't mean I wouldn't mind spending less. I also plan to get a monitor with 2560 x 1440 or 2560 x 1600 resolution. So any money I can save on the desktop without sacrificing alot of gaming potential will be used for the accessories such as monitor, speakers, etc.
Need options. Wi-Fi is already on another desktop. Just need to wirelessly connect on this rig.
As it would stand this rig would cost $2772.92 with the i7-3930K CPU or $2502.92 with the i7-3820 CPU. As mentioned already $3000 (()) is my spending limit but, anything cheaper just means more money for add-ons to the desktop. So any suggestions on lowering the price is appreciated. Or making sure everything I picked will work together.
Would the cheaper Asus Rampage IV be a good choice? Or would something like the ASUS P9X79 be alright? The 256 GB SSD is larger than my current one which is only 160GB. So it'll hold all I have and more. I can always get an HDD afterwards. I'm actually thinking towards the i7-3820 simply because from what I've read today that many games don't even fully utilize the quad cores. Let alone the six cores.
The Rampage IV you just posted is a MicroATX motherboard, your better off with the standard ATX. The P9X79 looks like a good board, looks to be like it is a new board. Its the first board I saw that says Windows 8 ready and it has no reviews yet.
When I was building my rig I was debating between x79 and z77, since I was going with a quad and not a hex I went with the z77 because its a 77W CPU as opposed to 130W SB-E CPU's.
Most games don't fully utilize 4 cores but thats slowly starting to change. Unless you do HEAVY video encoding or editting you wont benefit from a hexacore, or even from an i7, the HT feature in the i7's really helps for encoding or editting but for gaming it doesnt do anything so a i5 would suffice as well. I went with a i7 3770k over the i5 3570k because I dont plan on upgrading for atleast 2 yrs and I went with a eVGA GTX 670 FTW because I dont game above 1080p.
The jump your making from a laptop to a desktop is huge. Going from a 17" screen to a 27-30" screen is huge. And the GTX 690 is a MONSTER
I see. Never fully understood the difference in the sizes of motherboards so I'm glad you're letting my know that. From what I've read no board is perfect and most bad reviews seem to be from people buying the wrong board for their computers.
Now that's something I didn't expect to read. But, as you put it I don't want to upgrade anytime soon. Definitely, since my build will be just short of $2300 with the changes you suggested. Hopefully, all I'll want to change in this desktop down the road is the 690GTX replacement.
Now I've been thinking I'm trying to stay away from Sli or Crossfire. Main reason is when I last had my desktop it had 8800 GTX in Sli. While it did give off good performance I remember the system was just a furnace. Very warm. And crossfire I just don't like as AMD cards as I've found with my laptop have very poor support. The new HD 7000 serious practically has no support. Let alone crossfire profiles. With keeping a single in my desktop I could go for a smaller Power supply correct?
Yes I realize my jump is gonna be insanely different but, that's what I want. lol. The main reason I want a high res 27-30" screen is because the 17" screen I have is a 1920x1200 screen. If I got a 24" 1920x1200 I'd likely be disappointed with the look of my game. And are you saying the 690 GTX might be overkill?
MicroATX is typically for someone who wants to build either a home server or a media PC to stream media throughout the house, while yes it fit and work fine in a full or mid tower cases, you dont get as many ports and expansion slots because of its size.
As with anything in the PC world, anything you buy is outdated in 6 months. But thats not saying you have to upgrade. With that rig you'll have no problem running anything for a couple years as is. I didn't mention it before but the performance difference between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge is maybes less than 5%. Its main advantage over SB is the integrated GPU, the HD 4000 which offers double the performance over SB's HD 3000 but with a mid range GPU thats irrelavant, let alone the best GPU out today. The pro of IB is that it uses 77W as opposed to SB where it uses 95W so it is slightly cooler at stock speeds, it also uses Intel's new 3D transistors which makes it more efficent which is why it uses less power. The cons are that it is not as good an overclocker as SB, once you go past stock speeds on IB the temps rise dramatically compared to SB and if bump up the voltage even a bit on IB the temps go alot higher than SB as well, (so if you plan on OCing i'd recommend an aftermarket heatsink and fan). Thats why even though IB is out, people are still buying SB over IB even today. Intels next CPU, Haswell, is supposed to be its next major upgrade (where IB was a minor upgrade over SB) but intel is again changing its socket so it wouldnt be compatible with the motherboards out today. But since this is going to be a gaming machine the GPU is more important and with a GTX 690 you shouldnt need to upgrade for atleast 2 yrs.
The GTX 690 is 2 GTX 680's on 1 PCB so when you say your trying to stay away from SLI, the 690 is essentially the 2 680's SLI'd internally. But because its 2 GPU's on 1 PCB it doesnt require the same power as two seperate 680 GPU's. The 1KW PSU you posted could probably run 2 GTX 690's (which would be a quad SLI setup.)
As for the size of the screen, the resolution is more important than the actual size. Just because your laptop had a 1200p screen doesnt mean getting a 24" 1200p would look bad, it would look just as good because you would be using it at its native resolution. The easiet way to explain it would be like playing a Nintendo 64 on an older SDTV, itll look fine if its native res is 480, but plugging it to an HDTV with a native res of atleast 720 while the system only outputs 480 would make everything look so big and blurry itll be unplayable. It doesnt matter the size, thats a personel preference, its the resolution. I have a 26" 1080p monitor and I love it. I also have a XPS 15 with a 1080p monitor and the quality on it is awesome. Even tho they have the same amount of pixels, they are more densely packed on my laptop making everything look smaller compared to my monitor. You GTX 690 would be major overkill if you gamed at 1080P so when you make your final decision for your purchase, the GPU you get should depend on what monitor you'll be getting. Even gaming at 2560x1440 today's high end single GPU's can power them but a single GPU as time goes on will struggle more as newer, more power game/game engines come out. Normally what'll decide what you get would be your budget, your typical 2560x1440 monitor costs minimum of $700 (A dell uptrasharp IPS monitor at that res costs about $1100) and up, The GTX 690 currently costs $1000, realitiscally those 2 parts alone are gonna cost you $2000 not including anything else. Where you can get a single high end GPU for between $400-$500 and a 27" 1080 monitor for about $300. The price gap is huge. For the $2000 you'll spend on just 2 items, you can build an entire rig with all high end quality components WITH the monitor. and it'll prob cost you less than $2K. And because it's so easy to upgrade individual components in a desktop you can just swap out the GPU if it isnt enough or add a second down the line. I currently have a i7 3770K and a GTX 670 FTW edition (performs like a GTX680 for $100 less). Just an example I just upgraded from a first gen i7 and an AMD 5870. My CPU wasn't an issue at all and I was only on stock speeds and while my 5870 was no slouch and could play BF3 on high it was slowly starting to show its age. For a little over 2 yrs I was able to playing anything at mex res and detail. With my GTX 670 im expecting a minimum of another 2 yrs
I know your saying that price is not really an issue but its one thing to get the best of the best but its another thing to throw away money. I'm not telling you not to get them but im mainly just trying to make you consider it. Another thing you should factor in since your coming from a laptop is that a high end laptop and a high end desktop arent the same (which im sure you know which is why your going to a desktop anyway). If you do decide to get the 2560x1440 res monitor than I would say get the GTX690 since itll last you longer, but if you decide to get a 1080P monitor then I wouldn't recommend getting the GTX 690.
Hope this helps a bit. Sorry this post is so long, it actually took me some time to write it where it makes sense (mostly lol)
There is no need to apologize. I've posted here because I wanted some insight on things I'm unsure of and you're very much making this alot easier on me.
And believe me I know things outdate quick. My processor in my laptop is the first gen mobile i7. The cards would've been 4870's if I had not updated them. Even though they run well they do have their limits.
Let me explain my scared thoughts on Sli or crossfire. AMD isn't doing a good job with drivers lately. I sure you're read the 7970 literally has no driver support. And I've had to spend alot of time on forums fixing my laptops crossfire. It's currently working like a charm but, it just seems more work than it's worth. And the 690 gtx is on one card so I was hoping it would work better than a traditional sli setup. And the reduced heat was another reason I liked the idea. Chances are at $1000 a piece I'll never touch a second one until the 700 series gpu's.
I don't plan on doing any overclocking. I've had my fun with that in the past. But, I can never help but, to always try to push a component even more. So I'm just staying away from it all together. Or so I say. . . lol.
I did myself a favor and went to see my brother who has a 23" 1920 x 1080 screen. I watched him play battlefield on high setting for awhile and saw what you ment. It looks very good and I couldn't really tell it was a lower resolution than my 17" laptop. With that in mind I may consider a cheaper 680 GTX or 670 GTX. And as I've mentioned above they seem to perform fantastic on 1920 x 1080. That and you have mentioned it a few times aswell. Though if I went this route I'd be interested in a 3D monitor. Just something to think about.
I'm going to take a serious consideration for the 680 GTX and 670 GTX as I'm more confident that my lower resolution monitors will be a good fit for me. I'd be considering this 680 GTX and this 670 GTX. ((I keep choosing ASUS parts simply because I've heard alot of good things about the company.)) Though the real question is there really any benefit to using the 680 GTX over the 670 GTX? As you've said they perform similarly and the price difference is pretty significant at $100 difference.
And don't worry about long posts. Since you're the only one giving insight you had alot of ground to cover.
If you go with a vanilla GTX 670 over a GTX 680 there is some performance difference. (Maybe 10%) The 670's are about $399 plus $10 shipping. I went with the eVGA GTX 670 FTW edition for a few reasons which i'll list:
a.) It was $420 w/ free shipping so it was only a $10 difference
b.) eVGA has the best customer support of any company I have ever dealt with. (eVGA and newegg top 2 in CS)
c.) The FTW edition comes factory over clocked to higher than the GTX 680 and performs the same for $100 less
d.) The FTW edition uses a GTX 680 PCB, Fan and heatsink which is better than a standard 670, better for cooling and OCing potential
In battlefield 3 @ 1080p on Ultra detail with AA and 16xAF I get between 75-100 FPS. If I drop AA which I usually do since I dont need it at 1080 it hovers closer to the 100FPS.
Off topic but ill throw it in. Every 2 generations or so if NVIDIA is on top AMD will come out with something great and take the crown and if AMD is on top NVIDIA will come back with something and retake the crown. I started with ATI with the x800XL then went to NVIDIA with the 8800GTS 512 then to a 9800GX2 then a GTX 280, from there I back to AMD with 5870 than a 6950 and now I GTX 670. I only mention this because usually when someone makes a thread asking for advice ill throw in some suggestions from the green team or the red team. With Kepler NVIDIA has retaken the crown which is why I am only recommending the 670 or 680 instead of the 7970. Kepler uses less power and has a bunch of new features over the 5xx series Fermi. I expect my 670 to last me atleast 2 yrs.
I was considering a 3D monitor since I was going with NVIDIA because their 3D tech is more mature than AMD's but I never bit the bullet on it. Had you purchased the 1440p res monitor and for whatever reason dropped the resolution in game to lower than its native res, even to 1080p on a 1440p monitor, it would look terrible. With the saved money, you can apply it else where, like a 3D monitor.
Also in regards to driver support, I've never had an issue with either BUT my experience with GPU drivers is restricted to desktop GPU's. From what I read on the NBR forums though the mobile counterparts need some help in that area.
I didn't take notice of the FTW edition until you mentioned. So for $100 less I get a 680 GTX with 192 less CUDA cores. That's pretty wicked. Wonder how Nvidia is even selling 680 GTX's with such a thing out. Then again the 675m is the same as a 580m with a different number on it. Thank-you very much for that piece of information. And with your framerates well above 60 FPS I'm gonna go with the 670 FTW. I'll see how it works with the 3D Monitors and if I need two I'll get another. I'll have some more faith with the SLI on a desktop.
Well it's good you mention it. Glad to know I'm not the only one that has gone back a forth. Like you said Nvidia is definitely the better choice right now. Not to mention the more mature 3D as you also mentioned. Which I'm highly looking forward to trying. Hoping it'll give me a new rush while gaming. And with all the money saved with your suggestions it's a very good possibility.
You've hit the nail on the head. It's a big reason why I'm going back to a Desktop.
And just to reference I've dropped from $2772.92 or $2502.92 down to $1,589.92 for just the desktop itself. So I do thank-you for helping me with that. So I'll hopefully, be ordering the parts in the next month or so.