Felixeab, on 03 September 2011 - 03:32 AM, said:
I would get the i3 2100, because it is much cheaper, but if you really want some bang, go for an i5 K series. These are unlocked, and are more powerful than the i3's, and about $30-$70 more, but allow for a good overclock, which if you do, can get you a great processor for the price of a good one.
People new to building computers should just avoid overclocking (which is all the unlocked part of the K series intels does is allow you to overclock; Black Edition AMD's allow you to do it easier). Why? You need an aftermarket cooler, a good case with good airflow, hours (at least 12) of stability testing with prime95 with no errors (one error means you could crash at any time) and if you do it wrong, kiss your 200 dollar processor goodbye. Oh, and overclocking voids the warranty, so you get to pay to replace it yourself.
Don't go for the ATI (AMD) 5000x series.
Yes, by all means avoid LAST GENERATION ATI video cards, they don't have good tessellation. Of course, if the heat comment is bullshit anyway, I'll get to that in a second. And as for 3D viewing--both the 6000 series Radeons and Nvidia have it, there just aren't many monitors supporting the Radeon version because it hasn't been out long, and well, you need a 350 dollar video card from either company to get the most out of it.
If anything, you should a new Nvidia card, because of the integration with some new Intel proccessors, and the have many cool features and thing that ATI/AMD does not have, including PhysX
Physx only supports 20 some odd titles. CUDA is useful if you're running Photoshop or something similar, but means jack shit in games. Nvidia renders about the same as AMD/ATI--Nvidia fakes performance by paying titles to code in their favor (you know, all the titles with the The Way It's Meant to be Play logo, the only ones Nvidia does very good in), Tessellation in the 6770, 6750 and 5000 series sucks, but the 6790, 6800 series and 6900 series handles it exceptionally well.
In fact, even if you take the TWIMTBP games into consideration, the Nvidia isn't doing nearly as well as they were doing before during the 8800/9800 era. The GTS 550 ti is only slightly better than the 5770 but costs the same as the Radeon 6790, which itself is slightly more powerful than the 550. The older GTX 460 1GB competes with the Radeon 6850, but doesn't perform as well. The GTX 560 (non-ti) and the Radeon 6870 trade blows so often they're pretty much identical. The GTX 560 Ti is inferior to the Radeon 6950 1GB--unless you get one of the flakey 1000 MHz pre-overclocked models. The GTX 570 used to trade blows with the Radeon 6870, the but the Radeon has pulled ahead. The GTX 580 has no competetion, but is extreme overkill for 1920 x 1200 or lower. Both the Radeon 6990 and the GTX 590 are basically two video cards on one board, require the appropriate drivers to use, and an 850 watt power supply with absolutely insane amperage. They also perform exactly the same.
FYI, I have an XFX Radeon 6950--it maxes out at 64 degrees under stress. Granted, I have a dual fan model, but you can get one of these from Sapphire for 240 bucks--10 dollars less than a GTX 560 Ti, which isn't as powerful.
In short, if you have one of the handful of games that has phsyx or are planning on running Photoshop, get nVidia. If not, look at benchmarks of similarly priced cards, find one with the games you're playing, and get the card that performs the best.
Also, the 560 ti is a MODEL, not a series.
The Sparkle is one of the cheapest and tend to have fans that die and customer support that don't give a damn, and the MSI is one of the best as long as you don't need a lifetime warranty
You can also "SLI" the Nvidia Cards I gave, which means you link two ( or more) cards, and this will give you room to upgrade later without breaking the bank. This basically makes the cards act as one, and give tremendous power.
So much wrong with this statement. Okay, first, SLI is does not make two cards act as one. It uses a percentage of the second card to enhance the first card's power. It isn't something that just happens--you need to set it up, and the game needs to support it. Not all games do, and not all that do do it well. SLI system are much less stable and more prone to glitches and crashes. You'll also use twice as much power--you'll have to look into a 700, 800 or even 850 watt power supply with insane amperage on the 12-volt rails. You need an SLI certified motherboard to do this, with at least TWO PCIe x 16 2.0 or 2.1 slots. And here's the best part: ATI/AMD has their own version of it, called Crossfire, which has all the positives and all the negatives of SLI.
500W-600W (Watt) from Antec, Inland, or Cooler Master. They are about $40-$70, and very good quailty. Try to get a 80Plus Gold rating, for power efficiency.
Don't know Inland, so if they're available in the US, skip em. Antec's good if you stick to the High End Current series, older ones are hit and miss with a tendency toward hit. Cooler Master consists of absolutely nothing but mediocre power supplies priced way to high, with high quality models from Antec, Seasonic, Corsair and Silverstone being priced either identically or lower. And there's nothing wrong with bronze performance--hell, the Seasonic S12IIB/M12IIB series (and by default, the 400 watt, 520 watt and 620 watt models of Antec High Current Gamer) have 87 percent efficiency at high loads. Gold? About 92%.