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  • new pc for ns2

    i'm looking to put together a new computer for gaming and would like some input from the people who know more than i do on this topic. my knowledge level is fairly basic, I can assemble the pc just fine but don't know/understand all the ins and outs. I'm looking to hopefully alleviate the cpu bottleneck that i currently have for ns2. Currently play on a core 2 duo e8500 3.16ghz, gtx260, 8gb ram. usually getting around 30-50fps

    Anyway here's what i have so far. still need to add a psu and case.

    a few questions:

    any preference between ivy bridge vs haswell? i was looking at models of both. Also is i7 worth the extra money? Obviously I can assume they are better processors but is it worth it from the i5 model? I mostly play ns2, sc2/diablo, etc.

    Is getting multiple (and probably cheaper) graphics cards better to use with SLI or just one card that is better? I currently have a 760 picked out, how do they compare to the high end of the 600 series? The 660 are about $50 cheaper and the differences i've seem between them from reviews seem to be minimal.

    does anyone have experience with these types of coolers? are they worth it? or is the traditional heatsink/fan combo that i already have fine. which is what ive used in the past.

    In regards to memory, faster is better? Or is anything else i should be looking for?

    Also i've never used ssd hard drives before, brand suggestions? anything to know? I figure i'd purchase a small one for applications and OS and use a traditional hdd for media storage.

    I'd appreciate any advise/comments on what I have so far. Always good to have another set of eyes checking compatibility. am i forgetting anything? what kindof performance can i expect with a setup like this?

  • #2
    Re: new pc for ns2

    Your wish list link doesn't work.

    I'm pretty sure you want to just go with one graphics card.

    I've been using the H50 for quite some time, and I am happy with it. Using it on an AMD X3 720; I do not monitor my temps though.

    With regards to memory, faster is better.

    Intel makes the best SSDs in my opinion, and also some of the pricier ones.


    • #3
      Re: new pc for ns2

      Oh, yeah wasn't sure if that would work or not



      • #4
        Re: new pc for ns2

        Oh, yeah wasn't sure if that would work or not



        • #5
          Re: new pc for ns2

          I'll leave it to Dark or someone else more knowledgeable to help with the finer details, but on the SLI vs Single Card question: it's nearly always safer/a better bet to go with a single card for a new computer. Unless you're buying used from ebay, the price for performance is very similar too. SLI is usually best approached as something to boost performance on an existing rig a few years down the line, if necessary (although GPU requirements aren't spiking with time anywhere near as quickly as they used to).

          That's all coming from an SLI user. It's very rare that I come across something that SLI just can't handle, but there is still the odd game that just doesn't like to use 2 cards. Rome II didn't work with SLI at all for about 6 months, and it's not uncommon for new releases to require a driver update after a week or two before SLI is fully functioning/efficient.


          • #6
            Re: new pc for ns2

            From reading a lot of articles, a 2nd duplicate card in crossfire or SLI counter intuitively doesn't double the capacity, it's typically more like a 12-25% increase in the speed of the card based on various benchmarks, so I'd agree one better card is probably better than two lesser cards in most scenarios. Though for that one card you certainly don't need a latest generation 400-500$ card to get good performance, I personally like perusing the scores and relative pricing of graphics cards here

            Also for RAM make sure if you're buying more than a single pair (a lot of places like to offer 16GB kits in 4x4GB dimms instead of 2 8xGB, same can be said for 8GB kits) make sure the motherboard can handle it and that they're the same speed and same size, even better if they're the same brand as while I've seen it work mix and match, more often than not it will not work or will drop everything to the lowest common denominator, slowest speeds and capacities...


            • #7
              Re: new pc for ns2

              I agree with Retraced on the 1 v 2 card scenario. If you're going to try to utilize SLI I think the board you picked out is better for that situation. If you think you'll only use 1 card over the lifetime of the motherboard I'd suggest :


              It's about a $25 upgrade from the one you linked above but has a few smaller improvements that I myself find more attractive using a single card approach. This model has 1 extra SATA 3 port and also an eSATA port located on the back panel. However the configuration of the PCI express slots will not work for an SLI setup, but you do get the extra PCI slot if that is useful to you.


              • #8
                Re: new pc for ns2

                Also in terms of the i5 vs. i7 question: i7 is definitely faster, but arguably not worth the extra cost at this point, since the GPU is more likely going to be a bottleneck to a gaming system than the CPU. I went i7 myself on my latest build but that was because when I went to purchase the component they had a sale price for the i7s that made the price difference between the relative i5 and i7 only about 25$ and for that price delta I couldn't pass up the extra potential speed, plus the version they had in stock was the unlocked k series of the i7 so if I wanted to overclock I could.


                • #9
                  Re: new pc for ns2

                  I recently got a i5-4670k @ 3.8ghz stock speeds and I don't have a problem with NS2 even coming close to bottle necking my CPU like it always did on my dual core. My GPU is officially the bottleneck now. I'm still running on an older GTX 460 1gb and average 60-80fps (40 fps in heavy firefights) with everything maxed and ambient occlusion turned off. I usually get 70-80 fps during the heavy firefights with all details turned off, and 150ishfps at the highest.

                  When I do my video card upgrade, Yer Mom recommend I get this one:

                  Not going to blow almost $300+ on a new card when that should play NS2 with everything on at good fps.
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                  • #10
                    Re: new pc for ns2

                    Well it now a bit dated ( about a Generation old now ), here is what I built for my Gaming PC.


                    Go with an i5 for gaming, i7 is only really worth the money if you need Hyper Threading, and most games don't support more then 2 cores really. The i5 will give you 4 cores more then enough. If you do a lot of virtualization you find an i7 worth it, otherwise unless you have money to burn you want an i5.

                    When it comes to Video cards, unless you are going for the peak, or need the additional outputs, go for a single card. One good card is always better then two weaker cards in SLi.

                    I have not used a Corsair SSD drive before, only Intel and Crucial, and I personally would go with one of them. You pay a bit more for them, but I have yet to see any problems with my SSD drives.

                    I have the cooler you linked to and it works nice, but keep in mind it is a big cooler, you will need quite some room in a case to use it.
                    Current game name : Lost, Phantom Thief


                    • #11
                      Re: new pc for ns2

                      So I spent half an hour typing a helpful post and looking up part suggestions, but apparently I can't post any links. Really?

                      Regarding 3570k vs. 4670k, the difference in performance isn't very big (5-10%) but the price difference shouldn't be either. The Haswell boards are gonna get one more round of new CPUs (Haswell Refresh) so you could in theory upgrade the CPU later, though the difference is probably gonna be even smaller. So no point getting a 3570k unless you can get one very cheaply somehow. Like was mentioned, Hyper Threading doesn't really do anything when it comes to games. The i7 does have a bit more cache but not enough to justify the $100 difference.

                      Faster memory doesn't really help at all nowadays, for some reason, so don't pay a premium for that. Regarding the GPU, I'm not familiar with that EVGA card, but I can always recommend Asus DirectCU2. Very silent, such coolness: *CENSORED*

                      The GTX 760 is very similar in performance to a GTX 670. Actually it probably sits between 660 Ti and 670. The 750 Ti is a great card (and amazing when it comes to power consumption), but GTX 760 is quite a bit faster still: *CENSORED*

                      If I was buying right now I'd probably go with something like this: *CENSORED*


                      • #12
                        Re: new pc for ns2

                        I agree, definatly go with the *CENSORED*


                        • #13
                          Re: new pc for ns2

                          Put it this way.... I looked at the CPU/GPU Combo you have listed above... and nothing else in that list...

                          You'll be okay.

                          That CPU is extreme. I haven't overclocked, and it runs NS2 at a solid 50 fps constantly on ultimate settings (combat, non combat, wireframe, etc etc etc... all runs smooth and never below 40 fps) I normally maintain 70 or 80. When other people are saying "my FPS is dropping".. I'm steady. And that's before that CPU gets overclocked, which people have seen numbers as high as 6 GHZ in OC on that CPU.

                          The GPU is better than the one I have, but roughly the same.

                          I run every game I play on ultimate settings. The most taxing game I play right now is probably The Witcher 2 or Tomb Raider, and they're both on ultimate with no problems. You cannot, however, run BF4 on ultimate settings with that rig, but that's the only current game. You will be stuck at high settings, but remember, that's before overclocking.

                          DO NOT pay more than $1000 for that rig. I've got 2 of them (i5-3570k and gtx 650 ti boost tf3 in one and gtx 750 ti in the other, both 2 gb) and I paid about 800 for both. Friend of mine has the same rig built custom and he paid $2000. However, that card may be a bit more pricey than what we have, so you may be more around $1000 or so, but you certainly shouldn't pay like $1500 or $2000 for that.

                          If all you want to do with that rig is play games, you will be set for at least 2 years. Leave plenty of room on your mobo to upgrade (I can SLI still and go up to 32 gigs of RAM and upgrade to a lower I7). The BIGGEST drawback for this rig is that the 3570k is an Ivy Bridge, which is a tested a true socket, but it means that you cannot upgrade to a Haswell I7 a few years from now when they are standard. BUT, at this point (as of today), the difference between the CPUs are measured in percentages no higher than 20% or so. The only gain you will really get is hyperthreading, but that's only going to help you if you do video editting or things like that. For gaming, you're good.

                          Games lubricate the body and the mind. - Benjamin Franklin
                          Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning, it takes all kinds of kinds. -Miranda Lambert

                          You're a 34, Mom. Thirty. Four.
                          Forever Perplexed


                          • #14
                            Re: new pc for ns2

                            A bit late to the party here, but, hey, I was streaming until 3am.

                            As I usually link in these types of threads, I would recommend checking out reviews over at and as they have very good reviews, in my opinion. has very nice ones too, but they're not as active. In particular, Anandtech has a very useful "Bench" page ( ) where you can select various pairs of parts and see what the performance is like between them.

                            With all that said and out of the way:
                            For a CPU, that i5 is fine for gaming, for all intents and purposes. It is an Ivy Bridge, so it is technically a generation old now (same generation as my i7-3770k) but it is still extremely capable. Haswell is nice, but it's not going to be terribly better than the Ivy Bridge -- most benchmarks I saw when reading around launch time pegged it at an average of between 5-10% better than the Ivy Bridge models, maybe 15% for specific scenarios, but by and large, Haswell's focus was on power consumption. If you can get a Haswell for about a 5-10% price premium over that i5, go for it; otherwise, for a bang-for-buck scenario, you can't go wrong with that CPU. The only real difference between that i5 and my i7 is that the i7 has Hyperthreading, which isn't normally needed for gaming -- especially a game as heavily single-threaded as NS2. There might be differences in binning as well, but we'll not go there.

                            As far as Mom's comment on upgradeability, it is true that if you go with an Ivy Bridge CPU, you will be unable to upgrade to Haswell, because they use different sockets, but I'm fairly certain Broadwell will be another new socket anyway. Even if not, I believe Intel will be looking to time Broadwell with DDR4 going mainstream, so no matter what you do, upgrading will be difficult at this point.

                            That leads me to the Motherboard.. that one you linked should be fine, (I have the P8Z77 deluxe) and should handle whatever you need to throw at it. ASUS motherboards have a great reputation (I've used both Gigabyte and ASUS, no complaints about either) and I chose ASUS over the less expensive Gigabyte this time around specifically because of ASUS' FAN Xpert software -- self calibrating fans? Yes please!

                            Moving on to the memory, what you've listed is also okay, though I'm not sure why you went with DDR3-2400. Certainly, with the new IMC changes introduced with... was it Sandy Bridge? It was either Sandy or Ivy. Anyway, with those changes, the timings on the memory does not matter as much as it used to, though it does still make a small difference. Pure clockspeed on the memory now makes a larger impact, but as with anything, there are diminishing returns.

                            I'd direct you to look here: and see what memory you can find at a comfortable price point between where the performance starts to fall off, and price gets too high. For what it's worth, Ivy Bridge is officially meant to be paired with DDR3-1600 (up from 1333 for Sandy.) Manufacturer, you can't really go wrong with any of the bigger names -- Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, mushkin, Geil, G.Skill, Patriot, etc. Personally, I've used Corsair RAM for about a decade, and Crucial RAM before that.

                            Next up would be the GPU.
                            This one is hotly debated, depending on your Red vs. Green allegiance, and I'll not get into that. However, the card you linked sits right around the performance of my GTX-670, as mentioned above, so you can't go wrong with it. For these things though, I have slightly brand loyalty towards those with good warranty policies. EVGA is a very good player for nVidia stuff in that regard. I went with Gigabyte for my card because of its Windforce cooler (I have a large bias toward making my PC powerful AND quiet) but as a result, I have to live with their terrible warranty terms -- no cross shipping, wtf! Otherwise, I'd look for whichever is cheaper, and of course, poke at my above-mentioned sites for benchmarks. As far as SLI or Crossfire goes, don't do it.

                            The next major component then is the SSD. SSD's are now extremely affordable (comparatively speaking, of course, compared to a few years ago) and have mostly gotten out of their "growing pains" phase.
                            However, when you're looking at SSD's nowadays, you have 2 major considerations to make:

                            First, you have to decide whether you want Sandforce or not. Sandforce was a newer player into the SSD controller market, and their controller does real-time data compression and de-duplication in order to increase performance. Unfortunately, as it does sound extremely good on paper, there are certain cases of reliability issues with it, and if it encounters incompressible data, it usually performs worse than other drives. That said, your average day-to-day tasks should all be very highly compressible. Personally, I prefer the more traditional controllers from the likes of Intel and Marvell. most manufacturers are now starting to come to grips with how to write their firmware, so these drives are offering performance very competitive with Sandforce disks.

                            The second is what kind of workload your SSD will be running. Many benchmark sites will show enormous numbers for maximum sequential and random read/writes, which is fine if all you're doing is average usage, and medium-large files. However, not all drives perform similarly consistently. To that end, Anandtech has begun reviewing this aspect of SSD's -- which drives can maintain that rated/measured performance without dipping up and down so often. This largely has to do with whether or not the SSD has TRIM (all modern SSD's should have it, assuming you run an OS that recognizes the TRIM command -- Vista and above for Windows) and how the manufacturer has written the algorithm for the SSD's garbage collection routines.

                            In general, you can't go wrong with an Intel SSD, though Intel's day of glory as being the "best" SSD has passed. It no longer holds the performance nor consistency crown (talking about consumer disks, not their enterprise ones) but Intel has undoubtedly the best compatibility testing for its disks. Be careful though, Intel recently moved to including Sandforce disks in their lineup, so doublecheck which controller any model you are looking at uses.

                            For other manufacturers, you can't go wrong with Crucial (they are a subsidiary of Micron, who is a major manufacturer of NAND, so they get their own supply,) Corsair, Samsung, etc. I believe recently Sandisk got into the game and Anandtech found their Extreme II SSD is be very impressive. Again, keep in mind what you will be using for, and which measures of performance are most important for your needs here, and balance that with cost and size. With regard to size, you need to remember that you want to leave some space free on the disk, otherwise performance goes down quite a bit. Every SSD already has some spare area allocated for this purpose, as well as to cover failing NAND, but you will still want to keep ~20% of the disk free for optimal performance.

                            Now, comes the most important part of the PC.
                            It is the unsung hero of every build.
                            The power supply.

                            So many people fail to realize the importance of a good PSU. You just spent $1000 on new parts. At this point most people throw in a trash $20 PSU and call it a day. Then they cry a week later when the PSU blows up and takes out every single component with it. Even if it doesn't blow up spectacularly, a dirty feed into your components can slowly damage them over time. For PSU reviews, you can refer back to the above, or check here:

                            That guy is somewhat of an expert at PSU reviews. In general, for a single powerful card, you want somewhere in the 400-600W range. 700W and above is generally only necessary for multiple GPU configurations, or those "x2" GPU's which have 2 physical GPUs on board the single card. The reason you don't want to go crazy and get a 1000W is because your own power usage with these parts won't rise simply because you have a larger PSU. It would be about the same, but the PSU would be running at a lower total load, which is usually not as efficient, as most PSU's are rated at their top efficiency at a moderate 60-80% load. Otherwise, look for clean power distribution, tight voltage regulation, and low ripple. Finally, look for PSU's with a large +12v rail. Multiple smaller 12v rails aren't as useful.

                            For recommendations, you really cannot go wrong with Seasonic PSU's here. I have the X-650, and love it. They are the OEM for many other companies, and make extremely high quality PSU's. Corsair is another good one, though they source their PSU's from Seasonic as well. Besides them, I believe PC Power&Cooling also made nice units. I believe a relative newcomer to the US is Super Flower, and their units appear to be in line with the Seasonic units, if JonnyGuru's gushing about them is any indication.

                            With that out of the way, the last couple things are mostly subjective.
                            The case, especially so. Just pick something you like the looks of, or has enough room for you to work inside of, or is designed for cooling, or designed for quiet, etc.

                            Cooling is a bit tricky. The one you linked is a capable performer, but won't cut it if you are looking to go nuts overclocking. Otherwise, for air coolers, Thermalright (are they even still in business?) and Noctua make good ones. Water cooling is another beast entirely and I'll not cover that, but most manufacturers have been coming out with smaller, self-contained, so-called "closed-loop" water cooling solutions. You can look into those, if you don't mind the noise of a pump.

                            Otherwise, I would look at some quiet fans as well. Noctua, Nexus, Scythe (though these will be tough, as they pulled out of the US market, I think.) Those three are my go-to for quiet fans, though not all of them are made equal. Check for reviews of fans and other quiet things. I really have to stress that if you care about noise, check this site. Other review sites are horrible when it comes to measuring noise. SPCR pioneered the effort for quieter fans and PC's in general, and have built an anechoic chamber to run their tests in, so you really know how loud something is, down to 11dBA. On the other hand, I recall Anandtech trying to review noise once, and measured "dead of night at 3am" to be somewhere in the area of 30dBA ambient.

                            That was long, and I didn't really try to give specific recommendations, but I hope it's useful information to help you figure out what the best parts for you will be.

                            Good luck!


                            • #15
                              Re: new pc for ns2

                              That's a decent GPU, although to future-proof yourself I would probably get something with more vRAM if I was buying something today. You can get a GTX 760 with 4 GB of VRAM for about 10 dollars more right now. Check out

                              h t t p :// 1%20600007787%20600451269&IsNodeId=1&name=GeForce% 20GTX%20700%20series

                              Out of that list, the Gigabyte model is probably the better card, for the same reason Dark mentioned (windforce cooling is kick ass if you want to overclock it even more than it already is.) The MSI card is respectable, though, and is on sale for 269 at the moment (249 after rebate).

                              With the current generation of consoles both using a unified memory architecture (Single RAM pool that can be shared between GPU cores and CPU cores), it's likely that we'll see games coming out that really like to eat up video RAM. Also, things like anti-aliasing take up a non-trivial amount of vRAM already. Just look at the problems Watch Dogs is having right now on the PC platform. With Ultra resoultion textures and AA turned on you need at least[ 3 GB of vRAM.

                              The thing about the PC is you have separate pools for RAM and vRAM, and in order to transfer data from one to the other it has to go through the PCI Express bus. This is one of those cases where throwing more resources at the situation can solve for some problems in game coding that we'll see while developers get used to the new situation.




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