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PC Hardware Buyer's Guide February 2011

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sp4nky 10th February 2011, 08:52 Quote
"When it comes to PSUs, our sister mag Custom PC..."

I hadn't realised that Custom PC was feminine. Is it on newsagents shelves next to Hello! and such?

EDIT: By the way, nice to see the PC guide back after its Christmas break ;)
Singularity 10th February 2011, 09:23 Quote
The recommendation of the Corsair cx 430W made me cringe. Corsair's refusal to give them out for review, coupled with the number of DOA units I've heard of recently just makes it looks like a horrible POS PSU...
I'd much rather go with a cheaper case (one of the smaller CM elite cases for example, or a Xigmatek Asgard) and get a better PSU for the price difference (say, a Seasonic 430W)
Synalar 10th February 2011, 09:39 Quote
I have few doubts about the Premium Player rig:

1. GTX580; this card costs 40% more than GTX570 and offers cca. 16% more performance (at 1920); if the game is not playable with GTX570 it's not with GTX580. for AAA games, that have such high demand, a GTX570SLI would prove better (SLI drivers support most popular games).

2.Premium is also about noise; a Corsair AX or Seasonic Gold PSUs provide much better noise quality at idle or everyday work.

3.X58 platform; I would appreciate a test comparing this motherboard versus AsusP8P67Pro with 2xGTX580(SLI). I think it would give an indication of the situation in November when the new 28nm Nvidia Kepler and AMD Southern Islands hit the shops. Nobody wants a premium rig that it's not upgradable in 6 moths time.
sp4nky 10th February 2011, 10:09 Quote
I thought the Premium Player rig was about having what's best right now, not speculating about what's going to be best in six months time.
rollo 10th February 2011, 10:19 Quote
synalar they never recomend sli either
wuyanxu 10th February 2011, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synalar
1. GTX580; this card costs 40% more than GTX570 and offers cca. 16% more performance (at 1920); if the game is not playable with GTX570 it's not with GTX580. for AAA games, that have such high demand, a GTX570SLI would prove better (SLI drivers support most popular games).

there is a rather large difference between gtx 570 and gtx 580. you may find for premium players that has high resolution (:D) games are only playable on gtx 580. such generalization is foolish.

gtx 580 is the fastest single GPU card at the moment, there is absolutely every reason to use it in premium player. most people spending that amount of money (£300+) on graphics department doesn't want to be bothered by drivers.
Claave 10th February 2011, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
The recommendation of the Corsair cx 430W made me cringe. Corsair's refusal to give them out for review, coupled with the number of DOA units I've heard of recently just makes it looks like a horrible POS PSU...
I'd much rather go with a cheaper case (one of the smaller CM elite cases for example, or a Xigmatek Asgard) and get a better PSU for the price difference (say, a Seasonic 430W)

We'd actually intended to change that, but we hit the Publish button too quickly. It's changed to the Antec Earthwatts 380W:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The article
Finally, we've updated the PSU from the Corsair SU-430CX 430W to a PSU we have reviewed: the Antec Earthwatts 380W. We said in Custom PC that it 'proved able to output a stable voltage from all of its rails [and] it’s also reasonably efficient'. As this isn't a monster PC, a 380W power supply is fine.
memeroot 10th February 2011, 10:57 Quote
got to admit I like having 3 screens to much to have just one graphics card (and want 3d) so 2 nvidia cards are a must.

however since moving to 2 570's I cant seem to get them to run 3 monitors at present without them rebooting the computer... so its not plug an play perfect yet.

with the issues over SI I'm suprised that you didn't hold off a month but I guess some readers might explode lol.
Repo 10th February 2011, 11:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4nky
"When it comes to PSUs, our sister mag Custom PC..."

I hadn't realised that Custom PC was feminine. Is it on newsagents shelves next to Hello! and such?

EDIT: By the way, nice to see the PC guide back after its Christmas break
You can find it in the Womens Monthlies section...

/gets coat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Singularity
The recommendation of the Corsair cx 430W made me cringe. Corsair's refusal to give them out for review, coupled with the number of DOA units I've heard of recently just makes it looks like a horrible POS PSU...
I'd much rather go with a cheaper case (one of the smaller CM elite cases for example, or a Xigmatek Asgard) and get a better PSU for the price difference (say, a Seasonic 430W)
Yup, the CX430 has a bad rep, which is a shame as the Builder CX400 (it's predecesor) was a great unit in it's class.
[PUNK] crompers 10th February 2011, 11:46 Quote
premium player is an interesting one this week, didnt see an i7 recommendation coming at all! Although if i was buying a new rig now i'd just wait until march
Tangster 10th February 2011, 11:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit-tech
expensive now that SilverStone has stared shipping the case with its excellent Air Penetrator fans.
:)
Xir 10th February 2011, 12:14 Quote
I'd have expected 8GB RAM "Gaming Workhorse" rig, and find the jump between the mid-range GTX560 and the Top-End GTX580 rather high.
Also, while the SB Chips are undeniably great once the current problem has been solved, it would have been nice to at least mention chips-and-boards that come without errors. :D
Hustler 10th February 2011, 12:17 Quote
Yikes!!!....clean sweep for Intel on the CPU front.

AMD....Bulldozer cant come soon enough.
Kasius 10th February 2011, 12:19 Quote
Going to hold out for z68 and still take the Sandbridge route still i think. Will have to wait till Q2 though :(
Snips 10th February 2011, 13:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Yikes!!!....clean sweep for Intel on the CPU front.

AMD....Bulldozer cant come soon enough.

Counting chickens before they've hatched me thinks.
Singularity 10th February 2011, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
We'd actually intended to change that, but we hit the Publish button too quickly. It's changed to the Antec Earthwatts 380W:

Hurray! A much better option in my opinion! :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repo
Yup, the CX430 has a bad rep, which is a shame as the Builder CX400 (it's predecesor) was a great unit in it's class.

Very true, the old CX400 was light years ahead of this low-end stuff.
rasmusdf 10th February 2011, 13:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Yikes!!!....clean sweep for Intel on the CPU front.

AMD....Bulldozer cant come soon enough.

Why on earth don't they recommend the Athlon II X3 for the gaming build????
Also - a Phenom II X4 + mobo is quite a bit cheaper than the Intel equivalents, allowing for a bigger GPU - why is this not considered?

Perhaps bit-tech is just an Intel shill.
xaser04 10th February 2011, 16:17 Quote
A couple of points on the Affordable all rounder:

1) Drop the Antec 300 in favour of the confusingly named but superior Antec 100. The latter has far better asthetics and cable management facilities (well it actually has cable management....)

2) Where are you getting your memory prices from? DDR3 PC12800 (1600MT/s) is easily available for sub £35 (and in some cases sub £30).

3) Drop the G6950 for the i3 540. It is only a few £ more but offers HT and a higher stock clock frequency to counter (thus more performance clock for clock).

4) Put back in the HD6850 1GB or replace it with the GTX460 1GB. Realistically looking forward 768MB of memory isn't enough for future games at 1680x1050. Heck, current games can easily blow past that limit at 1680x1050 with some AA & AF (something either the HD6850 or GTX460 are perfectly capable of).
play_boy_2000 10th February 2011, 17:03 Quote
With the price of memory so low, theres no reason for anything except the budget build to have less than 8GB of RAM. 6GB is ok, but lets face it, if your paying for x58, then $145 (/w 15% promo code) US$ (Its the same price for me in canuckastan) for 12GB 1600mhz (3x 4GB) is easy money to spend for such a large epeen expansion.


With apoligies to you UK folks who seem to pay a premium on everything and then VAT on top of that, just to add insult to injury.
Pete J 10th February 2011, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
I'd have expected 8GB RAM "Gaming Workhorse" rig
Well, if you absolutely have to run FEA and/or have multiple programmes running while you game, then I suppose you do need 8GB :D .

Otherwise I've yet to see a system use more than ~3.8GB while gaming - and usually they hover around 2.7GB.
digitaldunc 10th February 2011, 18:37 Quote
From the premium player recommendation:

"What’s tipped our recommendation in favor of an LGA1366 build, though, is the well publicised problems Intel is having with its P67 and H67 chipsets. As a result, you’re better off opting for an X58-based board right now."

If you believe this is the case, why recommend Sandy bridge components for the other builds? I fail to see why this is only an issue with the premium player rig.

Following your previous conventions, surely a 2600K based build would be more sensible? According to your own benchmarks the 9xx range is eclipsed, hexcore notwithstanding.

Additionally, the cited advantages regarding triple channel memory and additional PCI-E lanes are arguably negligible, especially in terms of real world performance.
the_kille4 10th February 2011, 19:08 Quote
Hmmm... still waiting for LGA 1356 to come out to replace x58
Pete J 10th February 2011, 20:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldunc
From the premium player recommendation:

"What’s tipped our recommendation in favor of an LGA1366 build, though, is the well publicised problems Intel is having with its P67 and H67 chipsets. As a result, you’re better off opting for an X58-based board right now."

If you believe this is the case, why recommend Sandy bridge components for the other builds? I fail to see why this is only an issue with the premium player rig.

Following your previous conventions, surely a 2600K based build would be more sensible? According to your own benchmarks the 9xx range is eclipsed, hexcore notwithstanding.

Additionally, the cited advantages regarding triple channel memory and additional PCI-E lanes are arguably negligible, especially in terms of real world performance.
Have to agree...
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_kille4
Hmmm... still waiting for LGA 1356 to come out to replace x58
I think you mean LGA2011!
Bindibadgi 11th February 2011, 05:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasmusdf
Why on earth don't they recommend the Athlon II X3 for the gaming build????
Also - a Phenom II X4 + mobo is quite a bit cheaper than the Intel equivalents, allowing for a bigger GPU - why is this not considered?

Perhaps bit-tech is just an Intel shill.

Since you're new I'll forgive you ;) for not knowing the Affordable All-Rounder had an AMD CPU for every single buyers guide (in memory) until very recently. The G6950 is just better than the Athlon II X3 when overclocked, and the Gigabyte H55 board is excellent and cheaper than ever. http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/06/24/intel-pentium-g6950-cpu-review/1
rasmusdf 11th February 2011, 07:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Since you're new I'll forgive you ;) for not knowing the Affordable All-Rounder had an AMD CPU for every single buyers guide (in memory) until very recently. The G6950 is just better than the Athlon II X3 when overclocked, and the Gigabyte H55 board is excellent and cheaper than ever. http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/06/24/intel-pentium-g6950-cpu-review/1

Ok, I accept you are not shilling for Intel (sorry) ;-) Still, for gaming is a 3.2 GHz 3-core not a better bet? I can accept it is debatable.

On the mid-level build: The Core i5 is an awesome CPU, no doubt about it. Still, Core i5 + motherboard is £300. For around £170 toy can get an AMD Phenom II X4 + motherboard, that leaves an extra £130 for a stronger GPU. I think it would be interesting to explore if this was a stronger bet for a gaming PC.
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