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KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
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I should have probably said something along the lines of the 750/Ti being the same manufacturing process as kepler cards, your article touches on that point.

The whole point of The new Maxwell Architecture is a smaller more efficient 20nm chip, and a small on-board ARM Esqe processor to "Make it more independent form the CPU", whatever that means.

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Hi everyone, I've been thinking about upgrading so I thought I would try to collect your'alls thoughts.

I tend to upgrade my computer on a roughly 4 year cycle. These are the current specs:

  • ASUS M4A89GTD PRO
  • Radeon HD 5750 1GB
  • AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz

I'm giving myself a roughly $500 budget for an upgrade and have been looking at these components:

  • i5 3570K
  • GTX 660
  • ASUS P8Z77

Do you suppose I'll see much of a performance increase? Might I see better performance with this budget by selecting different parts? One objection I foresee is that, on paper at least, the Intel processor is not a huge step up from the old AMD one. One of the things motivating the upgrade is that the current AMD cpu has been running extremely hot (~80C) lately, even when idle. I suspect a temperature sensor has failed. Anyway I'm treating this as an opportunity to switch to a more KSP friendly processor with better single core performance. What do you guys think?

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Hi everyone, I've been thinking about upgrading so I thought I would try to collect your'alls thoughts.

I tend to upgrade my computer on a roughly 4 year cycle. These are the current specs:

  • ASUS M4A89GTD PRO
  • Radeon HD 5750 1GB
  • AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz

I'm giving myself a roughly $500 budget for an upgrade and have been looking at these components:

  • i5 3570K
  • GTX 660
  • ASUS P8Z77

Do you suppose I'll see much of a performance increase? Might I see better performance with this budget by selecting different parts? One objection I foresee is that, on paper at least, the Intel processor is not a huge step up from the old AMD one. One of the things motivating the upgrade is that the current AMD cpu has been running extremely hot (~80C) lately, even when idle. I suspect a temperature sensor has failed. Anyway I'm treating this as an opportunity to switch to a more KSP friendly processor with better single core performance. What do you guys think?

Do you really need the K model of processor?, the 3570 is pretty potent as is and even the non k variant has the ability to have a mild overclock if you need it to.

The GTX 660 is a solid card, i would recommend it to anyone, you could probably squeeze in a GTX 760 if you upped your budget a little, The 760 is defiantly worth the extra 30-40 USD

The Mobo is a good one, but do you need all the features of a Z77 Motherboard?, you could probably go down a chipset to like the H77 and be alright.

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Do you really need the K model of processor?, the 3570 is pretty potent as is and even the non k variant has the ability to have a mild overclock if you need it to.

The GTX 660 is a solid card, i would recommend it to anyone, you could probably squeeze in a GTX 760 if you upped your budget a little, The 760 is defiantly worth the extra 30-40 USD

The Mobo is a good one, but do you need all the features of a Z77 Motherboard?, you could probably go down a chipset to like the H77 and be alright.

Leonov, thanks for the helpful suggestions! I don't plan on using SLI, but I would like to do as much overclocking as I can get away with using the stock heatsink (this is also the reason I was looking at the 3570K). It looks like the H77 doesn't have much overclocking support and may only be $20-30 cheaper. What do you think?

Edited by architeuthis
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Leonov, thanks for the helpful suggestions! I don't plan on using SLI, but I would like to do as much overclocking as I can get away with using the stock heatsink (this is also the reason I was looking at the 3570K). It looks like the H77 doesn't have much overclocking support and may only be $20-30 cheaper. What do you think?

After doing some research, you could totally do this and be better off and well within your budget. Honestly all it takes is a modern architecture CPU to play KSP. The phenom II's are starting to show their age, The A-10s are a great budget upgrade from them, AND the AM2+ socket is still being developed on so you will have more choices for upgrades in the future(Kaveri).

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After doing some research, you could totally do this and be better off and well within your budget. Honestly all it takes is a modern architecture CPU to play KSP. The phenom II's are starting to show their age, The A-10s are a great budget upgrade from them, AND the AM2+ socket is still being developed on so you will have more choices for upgrades in the future(Kaveri).

Thanks for your help Leonov:) This is an interesting idea that I hadn't at all considered. I've read though that for single thread processes the 3570 performs substantially better on benchmark (like 30-40% better) than the A10-6800. I don't build terribly big craft in KSP, but I do look forward to less lag so I'm interested in the single thread performance angle. This selection would only cost about $20 more overall. Also I'm not terribly concerned about future proofing my socket choice, I likely won't be upgrading again for another 3-4 years down the road. What are your thoughts?

Edited by architeuthis
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Your right future proofing is a little redundant. 3-4 years from now we will be doing this same song and dance. If your really going to overclock on modern CPUs make sure you have adequate cooling. Your second list looks good, your upgrades in the next years should only really be a better GPU if you start playing more intensive games.

Edited by Leonov
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Hi everyone,

I'm planning to buy a new computer and I would like to know waht you think.

First, I will mostly use it for gaming (KSP :) ,Space Engine, Battlefield) and the usual stuff. My budget is about 1000/1100€ and I'm buying from France.

I've been thinking about it for a few months and this is what I came up with:

CPU: i5-4560K (I don't plan to overclock right now, but a future overcloking is considerated, hence the K)

Motherborad: I don't really know (100€-ish ?) (no SLI or CF needed)

RAM: 8G

HDD: 500G Western Digital Caviar Blue ? 50€

SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 120G

Graphic Card: GTX 760 (don't know the brand and the model) I prefer a nVidia because they are compatible with a software I use

Cooling system: What you think is good

Case: Fractal Design R4 (or something with the same design like the antec P100)

PSU: don't really know (600W ?)

OS: Windows

I don't need any screen.

Do you think a standard keybord and mouse will be ok.

Right now I have an old computer with a Pentium 4 and 1.5G of RAM so anything should be a huge improvement.

(Sorry if I made some mistakes, I'm still learning english)

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Hey peeps!

I just wanted to pop back to this thread and say thank you to everyone here for helping me with my build :D

This is what I ended up getting:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Rassa_Farlander/saved/3bYE

I got it together in the early part of December and it has been great! The thing runs like a clock :D I bought the parts at my local Micro Center. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out :) Thanks again for all the help here everyone :)

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I would also suggest getting a Crucial M500 instead of a Samsung. A better technology is used for the chips and it has power caps, both of which increase reliability. Especially the extra protection against unsafe powerdowns (POR count) is worthwhile. The small difference in speed is absolutely unnoticable.

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I would also suggest getting a Crucial M500 instead of a Samsung. A better technology is used for the chips and it has power caps, both of which increase reliability. Especially the extra protection against unsafe powerdowns (POR count) is worthwhile. The small difference in speed is absolutely unnoticable.

If your worried about loosing data during a sudden power loss event, you should really invest in a UPS. These PLP Systems still have a chance of failing during a sudden power loss event.

The Intel line of SSDs have better Power Loss Protection Systems than Crucial at this time.

I found a decent article about this very problem.

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If your worried about loosing data during a sudden power loss event, you should really invest in a UPS. These PLP Systems still have a chance of failing during a sudden power loss event.

Of course, an UPS is superior, especially combined with a back up generator. However, I think we can agree that those are precautions that are in a bit of a different league. They cost a lot of money and are, frankly, not suitable for most people, even enthousiasts.

As it stands, the SSD has one major weakness when it comes to data security and that is power loss protection. Unseen damage can easily be done to unprotected drives, so it pays to take a look at alternatives that try to provide some remedy. It will most likely not be watertight, but should alleviate most of the woes of drives that do nothing to fix the problem at all.

The Intel line of SSDs have better Power Loss Protection Systems than Crucial at this time.

I found a decent article about this very problem.

That is an interesting read :) Although I do feel the test is a bit too limited in scope (number of models) and methods used/described, it nicely illustrates the point that it is not a theoretical matter. The fastest Samsung models are very nice, but they have made a deliberate design decision not to attempt to fix these problems. That is something people should be aware of before buying them - or any competition that does the same.*

To be honest, I do not think the M4 was ever marketed as having power protection capacitors. The M500 has those, so it would be interesting to see how it does in the same test.

*Please note that I own a Samsung SSD myself. No hate here.

Edited by Camacha
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It's seems really good to me.

So, I think I will go for a 1TB HDD as advised.

For the SSD I don't need extra-safety against power loss (I hope), but if you say a Crucial SSD is better then I'll take it.

As I said I'm considering to overclock my CPU one day or another. I've heard that you need a Z87 chipset to be able to do it, but some motherboard manufacturers seem to have made a special change to be able to overclock with a non-Z87 chipset. Is the Asus H-81M Plus one of these motherboards ? (If you think that overclocking isn't not interesting, let me now (exemple: not worth the price of a more expensive motherboard, too hard, ...))

Also, I was wondering: why choose an Asus H-81M PLus which has a mATX form factor instead of a H-81 Plus in ATX ? Because bigger is better, right ?

That pretty much all my questions, so let me know what you think.

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It's seems really good to me.

So, I think I will go for a 1TB HDD as advised.

For the SSD I don't need extra-safety against power loss (I hope), but if you say a Crucial SSD is better then I'll take it.

Not any Crucial SSD, but the M500. There are other brands and options too, but that one has added protection and comes at a good pricepoint (although it does depend on local pricing, be sure to check that).

If you can afford it at all I would advise to get a 256 GB version, as I own a 128 GB SSD and it feels a bit frugal at times. If you really need the cash elsewhere, 128 GB will suffice.

As I said I'm considering to overclock my CPU one day or another. I've heard that you need a Z87 chipset to be able to do it, but some motherboard manufacturers seem to have made a special change to be able to overclock with a non-Z87 chipset. Is the Asus H-81M Plus one of these motherboards ? (If you think that overclocking isn't not interesting, let me now (exemple: not worth the price of a more expensive motherboard, too hard, ...))

Overclocking has rarely been easier. It also gives you noticable performance gains. You do need to realize that a lot of components are influenced by it, so prepare to spend a little extra money. You need a different motherbord, unlocked chip, better cooling, and a case that can handle the heat.

A good PSU is also advisable, but that is good practice even when not overclocking. Good means decently built (A-brand), not necessarily some crazy high wattage PSU.

Also, I was wondering: why choose an Asus H-81M PLus which has a mATX form factor instead of a H-81 Plus in ATX ? Because bigger is better, right

Personally I like the bigger boards because they give you a little more working room and usually more ports, but a smaller form factor is preferred by other people. Buy what you think is best.

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Hi Guys, I originally posted this as its own thread and one second later saw the megathread. So here goes :)

I'm currently reading up on what current hardware looks like (I haven't really kept up for the past few years) and so far I've come up with the following. Please do tell if I'm missing great synergies, bargain price/performance ratios or superior options at a relatively modest amount of $ extra. You know, consumer stuff.

So far I've come up with

GPU: R9 290- Reasoning: Good high end card, but I think the upgrade to the X isn't worth the extra cost.

Memory: DDR3 1600Mhz 8GB. Or 16. Undecided on whether to get it 4x2, 2x4, 2x8 or 1x8. It's all approx the same price/GB, anything to note about that?

CPU: i5 4670- Reasoning: Best price/performance. I'm going to do mostly gaming and scrypt mining (for which the cpu doesn't really matter). I want to be current and not be bottlenecked, but don't need breakneck CPU performance.

Storage: Looking at a 240GB SSD from one of the more reputable brands which I'll supplement with my junk 5400RPM TB drive for unimportant/slow storage. Might add a new regular HDD for data that's important yet doesn't need to be fast.

PSU: A high-end KW+ unit from a good brand.- Reasoning: If the scrypt mining works out and stays profitable I'm going to add a second R290 and I want the psu to be able to handle it.

Motherboard: Not a clue. They range from 50-300 bucks and for the life of me I can't spot the difference. Apart from the obvious stuff like how many slots of which kind they have I don't know what to look for here. The 300 buck one had an NFC on-switch which is neat but not worth hundreds of extra bucks

So that's what I'm looking at. As I said, please enlighten me on any things I might be overlooking!

For comparison's sake (and to see why I'm quite looking forward to getting new toys!) here's my current specs

-AMD HD5770

-AMD Phenom x4 955

-4GB DDR3

-Two 10 year old HDDs

-a PSU that rattles like an old soviet truck most of the time

Cheers!

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-snip-

The only way you are going to be profitable mining cryptocurrencies is by buying an ASIC Unit and mine Bitcoins. Yes their market is a little unstable, even with this serious problem Bitcoins still have a Value of $560USD as tihs post was typed. Sure its fun to do some other mining on the side, but building a rig for the purpose of minning Dodgecoins or other scrypt based cryptocurrencies will never be profitable once you factor in initial investment, power used, and other fees associated with setting up these systems.

/rant

My Advice, don't use your money on a high end gaming rig unless you want to do some gaming.

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The only way you are going to be profitable mining cryptocurrencies is by buying an ASIC Unit and mine Bitcoins. Yes their market is a little unstable, even with this serious problem Bitcoins still have a Value of $560USD as tihs post was typed. Sure its fun to do some other mining on the side, but building a rig for the purpose of minning Dodgecoins or other scrypt based cryptocurrencies will never be profitable once you factor in initial investment, power used, and other fees associated with setting up these systems.

I think you are confusing BitCoins with scrypt currency. The former is not feasible without ASIC's, the latter - at the moment - still is. You might have to switch regularly for maximum profit and the margins are dwindling, but there is quite a contrast between the two.

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Yeah, I'm definitely planning on doing some gaming :) The whole cryptocurrency game is more of a hobby. I love keeping semi up to date with it and buying into it a little bit (so if another bitcoin explosion happens I could get rich. Like a lottery :P), but if I never make a penny with it it's totally fine. It's enough of a factor though to not go with an Nvidia card. Atm the power costs and coin exchange rates work out to about 2-3 USD profit per day. Not quite enough to jump into it with a real investment, but enough to skew my choice of graphics card to the higher end without feeling stupid by spending so much on gaming hardware.

Yes. I'm aware that's mostly self-rationalisation for spending cash on fancy graphics.

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That M500 is becoming really cheap. Although my 128 GB 830 will do for a while, it is becoming very tempting to upgrade to 480 GB. On the other hand, I could also use a new GPU, new harddrives, more RAM, another screen, et cetera.

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I think you are confusing BitCoins with scrypt currency. The former is not feasible without ASIC's, the latter - at the moment - still is. You might have to switch regularly for maximum profit and the margins are dwindling, but there is quite a contrast between the two.

I know the difference Camacha, I know that ASICs cant be used for scrypt minning, yet. And that bitcoin is dominated by ASIC units.

My point in that spiel was that other than bitcoin I wouldnt bother with other crypto-currencies. I mined some Doge with my GTX 660, the hardest part is cashing it out, you'll see that if you ever get to that point.

Edited by Leonov
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My point in that spiel was that other than bitcoin I wouldnt bother with other crypto-currencies. I mined some Doge with my GTX 660, the hardest part is cashing it out, you'll see that if you ever get to that point.

It was my point exactly that you would not need to bother unless it is anything else than BitCoin :) BitCoin mining is for the big league boys now. With scrypt you stand to make a buck, although it is probably less than a lot of people think, or better, hope.

I know what is involved, a number of people I know do this to various degrees. One actually runs a farm - we chat about this every once in a while.

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