Putting together a new rig

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Glaucon
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Putting together a new rig

Postby Glaucon » Wed May 02, 2012 2:10 pm

Hmmm, might be off-topic, but...

I am about to buy a new rig. Used for lots of stuff, but the most demanding stuff? Gaming (including SL, of course). Price range about 1300 to 1700 USD (about 1000-1300 Euro). Any suggestions or would be welcome.

This is what I came up with so far:

Processor: i5-2550K, s1155
Motherboard: Something compatible, like Asus P8Z77-V,s1155
Memory: 8 GB DDR3, 1600MHz, maybe Corsair. Not sure if 16 GB would be any use to me (I am used to 3 GB now).
Solid State Drive 128 GB (maybe Samsung 830). Because I don't like waiting for 5 minutes for my PC to start up fully.
2 Terrabite Drive (for example Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001).
Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon HD7850 2GB
Plus coolers, tower, a hopefully silent Power supply of about 600-700 watts, and a legit windows 7 (because I am such an honest guy... or rather, I want to make sure they make sure the thing actually WORKS before they hand it to me, because I hate hassle with stuff like that).

Like I said... any expert (or non-expert) willing to give an opinion or offer some advice... that would be most welcome.
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~pancake~
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby ~pancake~ » Wed May 02, 2012 3:28 pm

Are you having it custom built?

I am really really happy I decided to go that route. Chosing my own parts, having the option to decide if I wanted to spend my money on CPU vs. GPU and leaving myself lots of room for future upgrades was the best thing I did.

They only charged me I think it was something like 70$ to build it after I paid for my parts. If you have an old case, they can even reuse that too.

The computers in stores either had too much or not enough of certain things I wanted. In the end it cost me less than prepackaged models at most stores too.
Last edited by ~pancake~ on Wed May 02, 2012 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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~pancake~
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby ~pancake~ » Wed May 02, 2012 3:42 pm

I also found the Passmark site really helpful when I was chosing my components. I went ahead and searched for the items you mentioned as a sample.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+3.40GHz

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.p ... on+HD+7850

It was really helpful for me to compare price vs performance. As a non techy I found myself confused with comparing product from one line to another. For example, I would have thought i7 better than i5 because it's a higher/bigger number right? Not only is that not so but many i7s would have been more than what I needed so not worth the money for me.

PS - This was almost a year ago now, but I went with the NVIDIA GTX 560Ti, thinking I'd upgrade later if need be, but I'm thrilled with it. Even with all my settings maxed out I get decent FPS and on average settings I can get over 100 easily.

Since buying it, I've been hearing nothing but great things now from users of all levels in SL and other venues saying it's the best bang for your buck performance wise and very few issues with compatibility with SL.
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Glaucon
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Glaucon » Wed May 02, 2012 7:04 pm

Yes, having it custom build (well, by the same shop selling me the parts). Looked at some pre-build models (like those sold by Dell), but yes... a lot seem to offer something a little different from what I want and it isn't always that clear what is in such PC's. (Plus, their site has lost most of it's transparency). And I had one bad experience with Dell: my old graphic card burned out and I had to replace it with a new model, but... the power supply JUST supported the stuff in the machine, and new cards used a bit more power. Took a while to order a card that was more energy efficient. So... I prefer to have a little to spare, this time around.

I think I am sticking with the card I selected. In the links handy you posted, it seems to preform better than that card you have and it is only a little bit more expensive. Plus, it got general positive reviews as well. (And it is a bit newer than your card). I just hope there isn't some nasty SL incompatibility issue.

Didn't go all out on the CPU. A matter of balancing that vs the graphics card (and the cost).

Still not quite sure whether to go for 8 or 16 memory. 8 seems to be enough for pretty most everything, but... well... not sure.

Also, still a bit unsure about the motherboard. Hard to tell what is good and what isn't. And how expensive does it have to be to be good enough? May try some comparisons with that link of yours. Thanks for those. :)
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Anarch Allegiere
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Wed May 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Second Life is a lot more CPU and RAM dependant than graphics card dependant. 8 Gb will take you a long way, 16 Gb will take you further if you think to go to very crowded sims a lot (or do a lot of huge GE raids). Second Life is a RAM eating program, the more RAM you have the longer it'll take for you to start experiencing ""lag"" after you've been online for a a period of time. (It also seems very directly related to draw distance, how long RAM can keep you without lag in SL). Also SL prefers Nvidia cards over ATI graphics cards.

And that's the problem with Second Life, because everything I just said tends to be the opposite for pretty much all other games out there.
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Allison Millet
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Allison Millet » Wed May 02, 2012 7:59 pm

Get the 16 gigs of ram, as for the rest looks nice, but get a motherboard that leaves room to pair two ati cards on it if thats the route your going with ati, into there crossfire set up, I screwed up when I redid mine last fall and now it will cost me alot more to go to sli setup for my 460's like I wanted to do. Oh and yea just get a big power supply to start, that was my other mistake as well...650 just isnt big enough for sli either for me.
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Glaucon
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Glaucon » Thu May 03, 2012 3:18 am

Switching to 16 gigs of ram, I think, based on the above comments. Sticking with the ATI choice (over NVIDIA) I think. Don't know why... maybe because that card that burned out on me was an NVIDIA one and because I hear that the HD 7850 I have in mind is fairly energy efficient and doesn't heat up so much (less heat means less chance of malfunction over time, I hear). Also, I browsed for any possible problems with this card and second life and didn't come up with anything.

Too bad they don't benchmark graphic cards for second life specifically, somewhere.

Thanks, all.
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~pancake~
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby ~pancake~ » Thu May 03, 2012 11:17 am

Glaucon wrote:
I think I am sticking with the card I selected. In the links handy you posted, it seems to preform better than that card you have and it is only a little bit more expensive. Plus, it got general positive reviews as well. (And it is a bit newer than your card). I just hope there isn't some nasty SL incompatibility issue.


That makes sense. If I was building something now I might chose something different then I did last year, but I'm really happy with it so far. Also, if I'd have gone something other than Nvidia there are several in my life and SL that would have probably mocked me into eternity if I had SL issues :lol:


Glaucon wrote:Too bad they don't benchmark graphic cards for second life specifically, somewhere.


There was one done last year by the developer of Kirstens's viewer, rated the top 10 graphic cards for SL, and the one I chose came out on top for value/performance which was part of my decision back then. I posted the link above but took it out when I realized it's a dead link now. I've been looking to see if I can find another version of it archived somewhere, or if she has a 2012 one that would suit your needs better.
Tantus
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Tantus » Thu May 03, 2012 11:45 am

Without sounding like I'm delving into your RL computing habits... do you really need 2TB of local disk space?

NAS(Network attached Storage) boxes are worth the £200 or so of their cost. I've used one from Synology for years and couldn't do without it now, similar to this model. I'd say these are essential if you have more than one PC/device in the home and share files between them, or if you download from torrents, newsgroups, metalinks etc, and you can host your own webserver from home and give your friends/family easy access to files you're hosting for them.

For my next upgrade, I'll switch to 2x SSDs and that'll be enough as most of my files are stored onto the network.

When I'm upgrading, I'll browse through forums like Overclockers, which'll bring you up to speed on the best performing components to suit your budget.
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Glaucon
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Re: Putting together a new rig

Postby Glaucon » Thu May 03, 2012 4:16 pm

@ Tantus: No, I do not really need 2 Terra of drive space. If you have the space, you will use it, eventually, but 1 terra should be plenty, really (as I have an external 1 terra unit as well, which is what I used for storing downloaded stuff, mostly). I changed that around to 1 terra (though the disk is still expensive, as I am probably going with a West-something black series one (because it is supposed to be both fast and reliable, and having a harddrive break down is very unpleasant).

2 SSD's... would be a bit pricey for me, right now. And I do like to be able to have quite a few programs installed, so I would use up the space fairly quickly.

@ Pancake: Yes, the card I selected is a bit newer, and quite popular. I went down with my CPU selection, btw... to i52500 (330) from i52550 (340) because the first one has a small integrated graphics chip (nice should the GPU stop working) and well... basically, because it is a bit cheaper and sells a lot. I am a strong believer in buying stuff that sells a lot: the kinks will mostly have been ironed out by the producers and software developers will tend to 'care' about you and your drivers (since they want you to use their software).

That is what I heard about most graphics card issues with SL: that it is mostly a driver issue, now. Getting a new PC should get me up-to-date drivers, I suppose.

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