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Building a gaming machine

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I want to build a good machine that is somewhat future proof and will be able to handle Crysis reasonably at 1680x1200 Here is what I've got so far If I went Intel: CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036 Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188026 or AMD CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103228 Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131593 2x GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143118 Suggestions? I would prefer the Intel because of less heat and a lot less power consumption.

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Current gen Intels are also a bajillion times faster than current gen AMDs (something like 1.5 - 2x faster, but i'm just pulling those #s out of my ass). Motherboard seems fine.

I think a single 8800 GTX is faster than 2 SLI'd 8800 GTs, you should check out Tom's Hardware for performance charts.

Also, don't skimp on the power supply. It's probably one of the most important components. If you're underpowered or have a cheap flakey PSU, you're going to have all kinds of terrible stability problems. PC Power & Cooling is one of the top rated brands (but are significantly more expensive)

If you're splurging, you should also look into setting up a RAID. HD access is one of the current biggest performance hits in gaming. Western Digital's Raptor series are still the kings of SATA drives, basically offering close to SCSI performance at a little more than a normal SATA price.

-me

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Check out toms hadware

http://www.tomshardware.com

they have charts that show you speed of gpus etc

gpu 9800gx2 or 8800 ultra not much in them

cpu E8500 is about the fastest gaming chip out there until the quads get more support. but saying that quad support will become more and more significant in the next few years.

as for mobos the best is the asus striker ii extream, but this cost. if money is a problem the the next best is the asus p5k3,

as for memory DDR3 is not that much faster than DDR2 in real terms

how ever by the time you have finished reading this the system will be old ;)

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Quote:
Original post by Palidine

If you're splurging, you should also look into setting up a RAID. HD access is one of the current biggest performance hits in gaming. Western Digital's Raptor series are still the kings of SATA drives, basically offering close to SCSI performance at a little more than a normal SATA price.

-me


Forget about raid, it is not any faster than a single hard disk.

Singe drive (SD) throughput 70.1 mbs
Raid 123 mbs

Real world

COH Load time
SD 23 secs
Raid 22 secs

WIC Load time
SD 15
Raid 15

Crisis Load time
SD 37 secs
Raid 38 secs

Salker Load time
17.33 secs
Raid 15 secs

up to you tho

times taken from pc format

[Edited by - AnthonyN1974 on June 25, 2008 3:58:49 PM]

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Original post by AnthonyN1974
Quote:
Original post by Palidine

If you're splurging, you should also look into setting up a RAID. HD access is one of the current biggest performance hits in gaming. Western Digital's Raptor series are still the kings of SATA drives, basically offering close to SCSI performance at a little more than a normal SATA price.

-me


Forget about raid, it is not any faster than a single hard disk.



Few questions.
1. Where are those numbers from?
2. What is the actual RAID setup and hardware used?

If you are using a cheap RAID controller and motherboard, then no, don't expect things to greatly improve. After an update to a server I use from a group of Raptors (Each a stand alone drive) to new standard harddrives in a RAID with about 6 500gb drives we halved transfer times and have over 4 times the storage space. Sadly, I don't know the details of the hardware.

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Quote:
Original post by AnthonyN1974
Quote:
Original post by Palidine

If you're splurging, you should also look into setting up a RAID. HD access is one of the current biggest performance hits in gaming. Western Digital's Raptor series are still the kings of SATA drives, basically offering close to SCSI performance at a little more than a normal SATA price.

-me


Forget about raid, it is not any faster than a single hard disk.

Currently i have two 150 gig raptor x's in raid 0 with a throughput of 170 mb/s (max) and an access time of 8 ms (access times double per hard drive added, so 8 ms is damn nice). Soon i'll be adding two more and making it a raid 10 setup.
I actually put together a server for work which is a raid 10 setup too.
Now, from my experience, your post is a bunch of nonsense, no offense.
But as said, maybe if you're doing raid 1 (simple mirror), or using a cheap controller, then yeah, you won't see much of a difference. But if you're using a quality controller and good choice hard drives, the difference is quite large. Not to mention all raids except raid 0 offer redundancy and protection against data loss.

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It is not nonsense, if you want to go and spend 200+ gbp on a raid controller + the cost of an extra drive then go ahead. most people will just use the onboard chipset on there mombo. imho there is much more to gain in getting a better cpu or another gfx card than there is for raid in a games rig

btw The stats I have shown are taken from PC Format, and I am a systems architect so I do know the benefits of having raid.

Raid systems are just the job for Servers but to shave off a few seconds load time in a game rig is just a waste of cash imo.

as you can see in my first post the figure I gave for Mbs has almost doubled to 123 mbs from 70, however when loading a game it has made no real advantage. so it is fine quoting max burst rates, but what are the real stats when loading crysis with and without raid.

of course having a proper raid card will improve the results, but how many people will opt for the standard raid in there mobos and get 2 10,000 RPM drives and just slap them in. most people.

ps. just so people know the system was tested with the mobos chipset, I can not remember the drives used but I think they was raptor or another 10k rpm drive.


[Edited by - AnthonyN1974 on June 25, 2008 3:28:41 PM]

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Original post by AnthonyN1974
It is not nonsense, if you want to go and spend 200+ gbp on a raid controller + the cost of an extra drive then go ahead. most people will just use the onboard chipset on there mombo. imho there is much more to gain in getting a better cpu or another gfx card than there is for raid in a games rig

btw The stats I have shown are taken from PC Format, and I am a systems architect so I do know the benefits of having raid.

Raid systems are just the job for Servers but to shave off a few seconds load time in a game rig is just a waste of cash imo.

as you can see in my first post the figure I gave for Mbs has almost doubled to 123 mbs from 70, however when loading a game it has made no real advantage. so it is fine quoting max burst rates, but what are the real stats when loading crysis with and without raid.

ps. just so people know the system was tested with the mobos chipset

First you say raid is no faster than a single hard drive (a blatantly false statement), and now you're throwing credentials around. To be honest, credentials mean nothing when you're wrong.
First lets note a few things, raid controllers that offer only the basics but good performance are actually quite cheap. I finished setting up that raid 10 for my work server, i used 4 spinpoint f1 320 gig hard drives, which offer nice transfer speeds because of their high platter density. I then was able to get a nice adaptec raid controller (pci-e) for $76 oem. Now adding that up, that's $352 total for all needed to setup the raid. Now, this is a raid ten setup, you can get cheaper raid cards,and you could get cheaper hard drives, meaning setting up a raid can be even cheaper than this.
In this real world example, a single hard drive gave 60 MB/s max. Compared to 158 MB/s max in raid, average was 150 MB/s (since you stated only quoting burst rates). And yes, this is real world data measurements taken from perf monitor while doing hard drive intensive activities, in a single user (aka non-server) environment.
Next we move on to the other point as to why raid is good. REDUNDANCY! What happens with a regular hard drive dies? You loose everything, all settings, all data, everything. What happens when a raid setup has a hard drive failure? Nothing! You can go about your business. Heck, in raid 10 you can have two hard drive failures and still keep on trucking (one from each mirrored pair). After you experience a failure you simply just need to plug in a new drive to replace the dead one, and the raid will rebuild itself. Even ignoring the obvious performance benefits, it is hard to argue that the redundancy raid offers does not benefit every user. Even better are the raid controllers that offer a hot spare. Meaning, if you have a drive failure, you can go about your business and your spare will automatically replace the dead drive and rebuild the array.
Next i must address your false belief that raid performance benefits only affect load time, and after that it does not matter. As a system architect you should be well aware of os memory management techniques. One of the biggies being the use of virtual memory address space, which corresponds to real memory space through use of a lookup table. With this system, especially in windows systems, you have a metric called pages. Paging itself occurs by the act of optimizing the balance between real and virtual memory by moving least recently used pages (as one example, other types of logic are used to determine priority) to keep the real memory address space plentiful, although it also occurs sometimes by force since the virtual address space is usually larger than the actual physical address space (an overflow can occur). So where do these pages get swapped to? The hard drive. The act of paging occurs, no matter how much ram you have, all the time, and shows the bottleneck of hard drives, usually causing fetching of data to ram to be slowed even further because the data must first be paged out before the new data can mapped to ram. Increasing the hard drive speed can speed up this process a great deal. Increasing your hard drive throughput you increase your memory subsystem in a way. Furthermore you often have some parts of the executive branch of the os being paged (though there is a reg tweak for this).
I am with you that it may be more expensive than no raid. But it is not that much more expensive, and is just plain non-sense to state it has no real impact on performance and provides no other benefit.

p.s. As i mentioned in my last post, you will generally not see good results with those extremely cheap raid controllers they have onboard motherboards. A better raid controller can be had for $30 and up.

p.s. -2: When stating throughput please watch your capitalization. 120 mbs = 120 mega bits per second. Where 120 MB/s = 120 mega bytes per second.

[Edited by - Jarrod1937 on June 25, 2008 4:31:14 PM]

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of course raid has other benifits, i have never stated otherwise. if you read my post again you will find I am quoting only about gaming performance. not many games will benifit from having a raid system when the game is running. sorry but that is fact. because this is about gamimg only what people are looking at are load speeds, yes in game loading too.

since you keep harping on about REDUNDANCY, you can easly get around this on a home pc with just a backup once a week. how much changes on a games pc from week to week, a few save files that are important to the user? maybe a internet site.

as I have said before. all most people will do, when people say
Quote:
If you're splurging, you should also look into setting up a RAID. HD access is one of the current biggest performance hits in gaming
.
Is slap another hard disk in a pc. "Because the motherboard says it supports raid" and not notice much diffrence.

[Edited by - AnthonyN1974 on June 26, 2008 3:57:00 AM]

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