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Sooth Slayer

Seeking advice on a $1500 build

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I was running a MSI Z68 GD80 (B3) I do understand the (G3) was listed but I had major issues with the SATA 3 ports on the board, I returned it and went with an ASRock Z68 Extreme 7 gen 3 and could not be happier. Sure the ASRock cost a bit more but the lack of the heart aches I had with it versus the Gigabyte or MSI boards I tried made it money well spent.

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So are you and Sooth Slayer building this rig together as you use the term "we" a few times? /sarcastic comedy

 

I use the term we meaning the general group, which apparently isn't so general any more.

 

The point you are making is to play MW3 or another "high end" game at MAX settings, what cheap single card solution do you propose can do this? Capi made a great suggestion on a way the OP could actually play a game right now maxed for around $200, I still have yet to hear a better suggestion to do this! He could always sell the 460's down the line when he was ready to upgrade. Which I might add will probably still be desired by buyers and if he got a great deal on them now (like Capi said they are out there) he could even come out to close to even on the sale, basically "renting" so to speak a very nice GPU setup that will actually max out games. But if you have a better single card solution that will in fact max current games out, please....I'm all ears (not holding my breath though ;))

 

What cheap AMD card are you suggesting Angel?

 

The 6590. I meant cheap as compared to the 580.

 

 

So the point here is to wait for a next gen card that reach close to 6990 speeds? This is just funny to me since the $200ish (2) GTX 460 SLI setup beat the 5970, and is probably "closer"to the 6990 speeds than most people realize....Did I say for $200ish??????

 

Capi, maybe it's just time you stop giving great GTX 460 SLI advice, which will in turn allow me to stop agreeing with you :lol:

 

UHhhhhhhhhhhhh both of you need to do some research. A 560 beats it out and a 6950 beats it out too. A lot of people have shown how a 460 sli setup beats a gtx 480 in most tests (most being key word) but anything beyond a 550ti it has a hard time beating. Secondly, I don't know where you are getting your prices from. A MSI card for the 460 is 140 after rebate times 2 is 280 (round up and you are closer to 300, not 200) and the same card except with the 6590 is 260. So the 6590 is cheaper. Then you can unlock the cores to a 6970 which really out performs the 460's in sli and you still have only spent 260.

 

Let me make this perfectly clear...The new cards coming out are intended to trump the 6990. If you want two 460's, be my guest. However 300 dollars is going to get you 300 dollars worth of performance. Plain and simple. If that weren't true, then every one under the sun would be cramming 460s into their build and claim that they only spent 300 bucks for something that equals 600 dollars in performance. That just is not true. Newegg would not sell a single 580, 590, or 6990 because no one would have a need for them.

 

A single card is great for another reason. It is easier to sell. If Sooth upgrades, he might want to sell his older parts. The 6950 has greater resell value than a gtx 460 (at least form what I have seen on ebay). This makes it better for a sort of rent a card approach. While you might be able to sneak away with selling it as an SLI set, I guarantee you no one (no one referring to people who have tech knowledge) would be interested because it is too old of a generation. The 6590 would get about the same performance (unless you have heaven benchmarks or something with a frame rate count, please don't post any scores) once flashed to the 6970.

 

 

So I am really sorry to say, but the gtx 460 sli config is not a good setup for new builds these days, and unless you have some revelation you would like to share with us, you argument is dead in the water.

 

Next, don't go with the m4. It's reads and write speeds are lower than the vertex 3, and the vertex 3 is cheaper. Keep it simple and go that route instead. I wasn't aware that you weren't going to go with out a HDD. I apologize for falling asleep at the wheel there. You still could go one other way that would be a little adventurous. You could get two 60GB and raid them together for the time being. Show all your friends you drive speed and laugh. Then when you feel like you can stomach the price of an HDD then reformat the drives and use one as a boot and the other as a cache. I am well aware that not be a good option, but it certainly would be a fun one. Something to keep in mind though is that one way or another, you should not ignore the bennifits of caching a drive. So when you do buy an HDD, buy a 60GB SSD too.

 

I understand the IBM keyboard. When you have something you like and trust, keep it. :thumbsup:

 

If you want to go with the XFX PSU, I don't see why not. Just make sure you tell us about your experience with it because I for one would like to know if such a awkward company can be trusted. :popcorn:

Edited by Tjj226_Angel

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I was running a MSI Z68 GD80 (B3) I do understand the (G3) was listed but I had major issues with the SATA 3 ports on the board, I returned it and went with an ASRock Z68 Extreme 7 gen 3 and could not be happier. Sure the ASRock cost a bit more but the lack of the heart aches I had with it versus the Gigabyte or MSI boards I tried made it money well spent.

 

Huh, could you elaborate? I am looking at upgrading my PC to ivy bridge in the future and I was looking at the MSI board a little bit above yours. I am curious to hear what exactly the problem was so that I don't purchase a faulty board. :popcorn:

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So are you and Sooth Slayer building this rig together as you use the term "we" a few times? /sarcastic comedy

 

The point you are making is to play MW3 or another "high end" game at MAX settings, what cheap single card solution do you propose can do this?

 

To be fair, the OP never said he needed max settings right away. We were focusing more on the 'cheap single card solution' than the 'MAX settings'. That's what the next gen is for.

 

And to answer your first question, yes, we are! The OP is throwing a building party. Angel's bringing a 6950 for us to unlock and bench. You can come, too, if you bring a 460 for us to SLI. :lol:

 

As far as the $200 thing goes, they were basing that off of second-hand merch and open-box deals, as opposed to retail pricing. Not that that changes any of the arguments, but that's where that figure came from.

 

Based solely on your conviction, Angel, I'm taking another look at the SF-2281. I haven't changed my mind, but I'm giving it another shot.

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To be fair, the OP never said he needed max settings right away. We were focusing more on the 'cheap single card solution' than the 'MAX settings'. That's what the next gen is for.

 

And to answer your first question, yes, we are! The OP is throwing a building party. Angel's bringing a 6950 for us to unlock and bench. You can come, too, if you bring a 460 for us to SLI. :lol:

 

As far as the $200 thing goes, they were basing that off of second-hand merch and open-box deals, as opposed to retail pricing. Not that that changes any of the arguments, but that's where that figure came from.

 

Based solely on your conviction, Angel, I'm taking another look at the SF-2281. I haven't changed my mind, but I'm giving it another shot.

 

 

You should give it another look, and if nothing else you might learn something so that you can help others on the site :biggrin: .

 

As for the party, heck yeah! I will also bring my compressor and some liquid nitrogen and overclock the poop out of your new CPU. Speedway can pick up some dry ice for the chipset and some one can bring some dominator gt ram and we would be all set :lol: !

 

Purely as an FYI, never buy video cards second hand. As soon as anything goes wrong with the card you are alone. I would much rather pay an extra 30 bucks and get the warranty for RMAs just in case.

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Purely as an FYI, never buy video cards second hand. As soon as anything goes wrong with the card you are alone. I would much rather pay an extra 30 bucks and get the warranty for RMAs just in case.

That is bogus. ASUS and MSI always have serial based warranties. As long as you have the serial number on the card, you can always RMA it, if the cards still have warranty left.

 

I buy, sell, trade all the time. I haven't gotten screwed over, yet.

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I started my build with a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. From the start I was having random lock ups and windows refusing to restart properly. I did about 5 reinstalls of Windows 7 over th ecourse of a weekend. I contacted Gigabyte tech support on that Monday and was that the issue had to be my SSD drives causeing the issue. I took my SSDs out of the system and tried with my Velociraptors and ended up with the same results. One thing I had noticed about the Gigabyte board was it had an extremely long post time on it before it even started to load windows. I was not happy with the answers that were recieved from Gigabyte tech support so I RMAed the board to Newegg and tried the MSI.

 

The MSI was the Z68A-GD80 (B3) now that board loaded up and started to run at the begining. I had set up my SSDs (Corsair Force 3 90gb) in a Raid 0 config and went for broke. Well after my initial windows install runnign thru updates and everything I did a system restart. On the restart I got a message saying the raid had failed. I went into bios and the raid util and saw both drives were present yet the system would not allow me to boot into windows sayign I needed a system disk. So I unplugged one of the drives and set up the system on a single SSD and it was working fine. After getting into windows and installing drivers I looked and my Raptors were missing from device manager. I shut down the system and checked all th ecables and they were present in Bios but would not show up in windows. I played with it like that for a day or 2 trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Well when I contacted MSI support I was emaile da beta bios to try on the board and it seemed like the tech John To knew exactly what my issue was. We talked for a few moment about what my system was doing and how the beta Bios did not do a thing for me. The issue was in fac tyou could use 1 of the SATA 3 ports but not both at the same time. To me spending over $200.00 on a mother board and not being able to use all the features you pay for is about a joke. The Tech aggreed it had to be a south bridge issue or just the ports on the board were bad. He explained to RMA it back to where I got it from because being les sthen a week old it should be exchanged for a new board and not sent to MSI where I would get a rebuilt board.

 

My third board for this build is an ASRock Z68 Extreme 7 gen 3. I have installed the exact same hardware I was tryign to use on the other boards with out issue. I have my SSDs in a Raid 0 on the Intel chip and the velociraptors running on the ASMedia. One thing I do not like about the board is it does not offer Raid on the ASMedia SATA 3 controller. The board does however offer 16X on 2 of the PCIe slots at the same time by using a Nvidia NF200 chip. Or you can have 16X, 8X, 8X for tri SLI. I am runnign dual GXT 590's so the need to fill the 3rd slot is not really needed.

 

I had made up my mind if the ASRock gave me any issues this build was not meant to be and I was going back to my 1156 and i5-750 that has served me since the release of the chip.

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I started my build with a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. From the start I was having random lock ups and windows refusing to restart properly. I did about 5 reinstalls of Windows 7 over th ecourse of a weekend. I contacted Gigabyte tech support on that Monday and was that the issue had to be my SSD drives causeing the issue. I took my SSDs out of the system and tried with my Velociraptors and ended up with the same results. One thing I had noticed about the Gigabyte board was it had an extremely long post time on it before it even started to load windows. I was not happy with the answers that were recieved from Gigabyte tech support so I RMAed the board to Newegg and tried the MSI.

 

The MSI was the Z68A-GD80 (B3) now that board loaded up and started to run at the begining. I had set up my SSDs (Corsair Force 3 90gb) in a Raid 0 config and went for broke. Well after my initial windows install runnign thru updates and everything I did a system restart. On the restart I got a message saying the raid had failed. I went into bios and the raid util and saw both drives were present yet the system would not allow me to boot into windows sayign I needed a system disk. So I unplugged one of the drives and set up the system on a single SSD and it was working fine. After getting into windows and installing drivers I looked and my Raptors were missing from device manager. I shut down the system and checked all th ecables and they were present in Bios but would not show up in windows. I played with it like that for a day or 2 trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Well when I contacted MSI support I was emaile da beta bios to try on the board and it seemed like the tech John To knew exactly what my issue was. We talked for a few moment about what my system was doing and how the beta Bios did not do a thing for me. The issue was in fac tyou could use 1 of the SATA 3 ports but not both at the same time. To me spending over $200.00 on a mother board and not being able to use all the features you pay for is about a joke. The Tech aggreed it had to be a south bridge issue or just the ports on the board were bad. He explained to RMA it back to where I got it from because being les sthen a week old it should be exchanged for a new board and not sent to MSI where I would get a rebuilt board.

 

My third board for this build is an ASRock Z68 Extreme 7 gen 3. I have installed the exact same hardware I was tryign to use on the other boards with out issue. I have my SSDs in a Raid 0 on the Intel chip and the velociraptors running on the ASMedia. One thing I do not like about the board is it does not offer Raid on the ASMedia SATA 3 controller. The board does however offer 16X on 2 of the PCIe slots at the same time by using a Nvidia NF200 chip. Or you can have 16X, 8X, 8X for tri SLI. I am runnign dual GXT 590's so the need to fill the 3rd slot is not really needed.

 

I had made up my mind if the ASRock gave me any issues this build was not meant to be and I was going back to my 1156 and i5-750 that has served me since the release of the chip.

 

Wow :O

 

That is really good to know. That is really stupid to only be able to use 1 sata 3 port. Especially on a Z68 board where a consumer normally pairs an SSD with an HDD on the sata 3 ports. If that is the sort of stuff going into their boards, would you mind if I save your post to show to people to get them to avoid MSI boards?

 

Now I need to do a lot of reading on the situation. I am afraid I have suggested that board to too many new builders on this site, and I now need to go try to retract what I have told them.

 

From now on I am sticking to my favorite company Asus for boards, though I might be swayed to go with an EVGA board when they come out with 2 pci gen 3 slots (or more).

 

Did the guy say anything about the board? Like are they working on making a bios that allows you to use both sata ports, or anything like that?

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UHhhhhhhhhhhhh both of you need to do some research. A 560 beats it out and a 6950 beats it out too. A lot of people have shown how a 460 sli setup beats a gtx 480 in most tests (most being key word) but anything beyond a 550ti it has a hard time beating. Secondly, I don't know where you are getting your prices from. A MSI card for the 460 is 140 after rebate times 2 is 280 (round up and you are closer to 300, not 200) and the same card except with the 6590 is 260. So the 6590 is cheaper. Then you can unlock the cores to a 6970 which really out performs the 460's in sli and you still have only spent 260.

 

Let me make this perfectly clear...The new cards coming out are intended to trump the 6990. If you want two 460's, be my guest. However 300 dollars is going to get you 300 dollars worth of performance. Plain and simple. If that weren't true, then every one under the sun would be cramming 460s into their build and claim that they only spent 300 bucks for something that equals 600 dollars in performance. That just is not true. Newegg would not sell a single 580, 590, or 6990 because no one would have a need for them.

 

So I am really sorry to say, but the gtx 460 sli config is not a good setup for new builds these days, and unless you have some revelation you would like to share with us, you argument is dead in the water.

 

Sorry Angel, but you my friend are the one who needs to do the research! The SLI GTX 460 setup beats the GTX 580 in "most" games, and kills the rest of single card configs you mentioned (which was everything above a 550ti basically). You are saying the SLI GTX 460's beat the GTX 480 in "most", because everything I read back when the big question was "SLI GTX 460's or GTX 580?" showed them beating the GTX 580 in "most" games! But, I think a quick Google search could help you learn something! Also, Capi and I were very clear on our points of finding these cards near the $100 mark, which is very possible!

 

Your 2nd paragraph is just rediculous. You are saying that if SLI'd 460's matched the performance of say a single GTX 580 (which they DO, and usually beat) then nobody would buy a 580???? :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: What the heck are you talking about? Some reasons why people would still buy a GTX 580 in no order of importance: single PCIe slot, slight RAM increase for higher res, want to have SLI'd, 3-way SLI, or even Quad SLI GTX 580's. Point is there are many reasons why people would still buy high end graphics cards! I'm seriously so confused I even have to say this :pfp:

 

As far as your "sorry to say, but the gtx 460 sli config is not a good setup for new builds these days" that makes no sense at all! Just because it isn't the latest gen card, doesn't mean anything! I think if I recall, the OP (Sooth Sayer) was talking about a GTX 580, and anytime someone is talking about a GTX 580 (if not planning on another for SLI) then the SLI GTX 460 arguement always needs to be raised! You suggest a 6950? Great card, and I love my 6970's, but for the same money, a SLI GTX 460 setup beats the single 6950, 6950 flashed, 6970, and usually the GTX 580!

 

Regardless if the OP isn't going with SLI'd 460's or not, basically everything you have said about them is NOT accurate.

 

Sooth if you don't want to look at them, it's your building party :cheers: But, you are talking about maxing games next gen, then why wait when SLI'd GTX 460's will do a great job at maxing them now....just my 2 cents :thumbsup: But, since it's your building party, and your games aren't "maxed" you can cry if you want to :lol:

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He was under the impression that the beta Bios he sent to me would correct the issue. I was just at the end of wasting my time installing and reinstalling windows by the time he gave me the bios. I have always liked MSI boards in the past and never really had issues with one. I only started thsi build with a GB board because of how many people raved about it, and my second system is running the GB board I built it with. The 1156 has had zero issues since day one. I have had other issues in the past where GB tech support was less then useful.

 

As I have said I would recomend the ASRock Extreme 7 to any one willing to pay that much for a board. The thing has been rock solid since the first push of the power button.

 

In my post I am not saying MSI is a bad board just the one I got had me pulling my hair out, which is not the norm for an MSI board. the GD80 has alot of features for the money.

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Sorry Angel, but you my friend are the one who needs to do the research! The SLI GTX 460 setup beats the GTX 580 in "most" games, and kills the rest of single card configs you mentioned (which was everything above a 550ti basically). You are saying the SLI GTX 460's beat the GTX 480 in "most", because everything I read back when the big question was "SLI GTX 460's or GTX 580?" showed them beating the GTX 580 in "most" games! But, I think a quick Google search could help you learn something! Also, Capi and I were very clear on our points of finding these cards near the $100 mark, which is very possible!

 

Your 2nd paragraph is just rediculous. You are saying that if SLI'd 460's matched the performance of say a single GTX 580 (which they DO, and usually beat) then nobody would buy a 580???? :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh: What the heck are you talking about? Some reasons why people would still buy a GTX 580 in no order of importance: single PCIe slot, slight RAM increase for higher res, want to have SLI'd, 3-way SLI, or even Quad SLI GTX 580's. Point is there are many reasons why people would still buy high end graphics cards! I'm seriously so confused I even have to say this :pfp:

 

As far as your "sorry to say, but the gtx 460 sli config is not a good setup for new builds these days" that makes no sense at all! Just because it isn't the latest gen card, doesn't mean anything! I think if I recall, the OP (Sooth Sayer) was talking about a GTX 580, and anytime someone is talking about a GTX 580 (if not planning on another for SLI) then the SLI GTX 460 arguement always needs to be raised! You suggest a 6950? Great card, and I love my 6970's, but for the same money, a SLI GTX 460 setup beats the single 6950, 6950 flashed, 6970, and usually the GTX 580!

 

Regardless if the OP isn't going with SLI'd 460's or not, basically everything you have said about them is NOT accurate.

 

Sooth if you don't want to look at them, it's your building party :cheers: But, you are talking about maxing games next gen, then why wait when SLI'd GTX 460's will do a great job at maxing them now....just my 2 cents :thumbsup: But, since it's your building party, and your games aren't "maxed" you can cry if you want to :lol:

 

First, let me say that I apologize for not being clear, I get tired very easily because I usually read through a few articles before I post, and by few I mean a lot and I freaking hate to read.

 

I am doing more research, and while I will admit the gtx 460s in SLI hold their own in some benchmarks, they are still beating out single cards. However, a lot of the data is invalid. They aren't using a control for their experiments, and people aren't using similar enough cards with similar specs to give accurate results. I am trying to find benchmarks of particular cards so that I know that data wont be uneven, and if I find anything the just utterly blows away the 6950 by about 10 to 15 frame rates, then I will say you were right and I will eat my words. If it about 6 to 8 fps faster, then it won't matter because going with a single card when it is that close in terms of frame rate is always best because you can always alter the card to meet with those extra frame rates. Any benchmarks, or particular cards you would like to point out will help me out.

 

I meant to erase that first sentence in the second paragraph, and what I was trying to say in my daze was basically "if sli 460's were that good, then every one would be doing it." There would be no reason to buy a gtx 580 (and yes I am talking about a 1900 by 1200 resolution, I am well aware you can get higher res with the 580) because you could get quad gtx 460's for the same price and really outperform the asus mars 2 and most of the new cards coming out.

 

The sentence that I meant to take out was supposed to say the new 7000 and 600 series are supposed to beat out the Asus Mars 2 by about 30%. I know a guy that works for Asus and I called him up because of what people are saying about the new cards. He said that the the equivalent of the of the 580 in the 600 series will beat out 2 mars 2's in SLI. Now whether or not this will remain true, I don't know. They could pull back the performance a lot because of budget cuts. However, I think it is safe to say that this nonsense of the new generation of cards being close in performance to the old cards is complete nonsense

Edited by Tjj226_Angel

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Well, since we're veering this way, here goes.

 

The reason why it's difficult to have controlled experiments is that before the 990FX motherboards came out, the only way to do SLI on AMD cards, besides having an Nvidia chipset, was to do an SLI hack. Most typical users wouldn't go SLI anyway, and would definitely not try the SLI hack for fear of doing something wrong.

 

Thus, many AM2/AM3 users typically went with AMD cards if they went with multiple graphics card setups.

 

However, that didn't stop anyone from using an Intel set-up for going either SLI or Xfire without having that issue. Thus, controlled experiments, while useful for non-biased data, isn't always necessary. If you gather all the data there is on the net, you'll find that there's barely any gaming FPS differences between two cards in x8/x8 and x16/x16 PCIE2.0 lanes. You'll also find that between a 1090T at 4.0GHz and an i7 950 at 4.34GHz, there also won't be a drastic difference in gaming FPS.

 

At any rate, I myself have two GTX 580's, two GTX 570's, two HD 6970's (and sold two HG 6870's after benching them), and two GTX 460 1GB's to test with. I even have a GTX 560 Ti, but I'm not sure if I'll get another to SLI or just sell it. At any rate, contrary to what the public or most others will have you believe, they will tell you to always go with something from review data found elsewhere. However, with me playing with different set-ups (and getting them to be equally configured with the same PSU's, memory, and watercooling), I've found the GTX 460 1GB's in SLI are able to compete with the top dogs from AMD, and the performance of the GTX 570 to be very close to that of a GTX 580 when both are overclocked.

 

Thus, you'll always see me recommending two GTX 460 1GB's in SLI or a single GTX 570 over a single GTX 580 or a single HD 6970. Price per performance is what I usually recommend, and if other people want to recommend otherwise, that's fine. People want what they want for one reason or another.

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