Advice needed - £400 for Haswell refresh

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Hi all,

I have around £400 for a motherboard, processor and ram refresh. I've decided to go the Haswell route, and thinking of an i5.

The computer will mainly be used for Gaming, Work (Solidedge/Abaqus/Catia/PS etc), and general every day use.

Case/PSU (750w), GPU (GTX760), Storage (3.5"+SSD) and the rest of the peripherals are already available.

I've been looking at the OcUK bundles and the Quasar 240i seems pretty appealing as I dont have much know-how to overclock it myself. I dont think I'll ever use a dual gpu set up, but would the option for SLI be something worth looking for on the mobo, or would the Gigabyte mobo in the Quasar bundle, which only supports Crossfire, be suitable for the needs suggested above? Or would I be better buying other parts from OcUK and learning to overclock with some caution. I am not completely illiterate on the subject and as an engineer I pick things up quite well.

So, what would be the best options for me, with the £400 budget?
 
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Underboss
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95% of people who buy a PC with the intention of upgrading it using SLI or CrossFire never do. (Warning, statistic made up on the spot - but the point stands)

In most cases, anyway, if you take more than about a year/18 months to upgrade, you'd be better off taking your upgrade money, selling your single GPU and adding the two together to just buy a more expensive single card. The performance increases in that time, plus the lower heat output/energy consumption, mean that a new single card usually works out better all around than two of the (now 1-2 year old card) in SLI/CrossFire.

As such, I wouldn't worry about the motherboard and SLI/CrossFire. The bundle mentioned should do the job nicely with the 760T (edit: GTX760 - 760T is the model number of my TV :p ), although if you specify what games you play, the resolution/settings you like (are you interested in framerate or quality/AA?) and the type of 3D/graphical/video work or whatever you do (resolution, polygon count...whatever's relevant to that field) we can give better advice.

That should handle pretty much current games on high settings, however, and I doubt you'll struggle for at least a couple of years. It'll eat general everyday (web, office etc) use alive.

I'd strongly recommend an SSD, if you don't have one
 
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Associate
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I think I would fall into that statistical group to be fair! What was holding me back was the thought, that if I'm spending a fair amount on a motherboard, should I at least cover my back incase it ever happens and spend the same amount, on a different boar with SLI rather than Crossfire support (even if I doubt it will ever be used). Or just stick to that pre built, tested and ready to roll overclocked bundle?

Im mainly dealing with relatively small CAD assemblies and light FE simulations of no fixed mesh size really. Resolution is at 1920x1080 on a 24" monitor. For the FE, I tend to mesh it according to accuracy required, safety concerns and size of the assembly, but I've been using some builds that wouldnt be as advanced as this which were perfectly usable. Im not 100% on the polygon count though.

For the games, mostly online multiplayer. BF3, Grid 2 and maybe a few others for now. Looking ahead, possible games such as Elder Scrolls online.

Thanks a lot for the links you've supplied ExRayTed.

Would this MSI board be much the same as that Gigabyte board?

Or would it be worth my while paying a few quid extra for a board such as this ASRock one which supports SLI and Crossfire (aswell as having a few extras)
 
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So how does this whole pre overclocking thing work. Assuming they overclock it in the BIOS what happens if the CMOS battery fails on the mobo, what happens when you need to flash the BIOS ? In both cases the overclock will be lost and need re overclocking. Or do they give you a list of all the overclock details for you do go into BIOS yourself and re overclock yourself ?
 
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As far as I know, they save an overclock profile on the BIOS, but with regards the CMOS battery dying or being removed, I've no idea if it'll still be available.

I assume you could take a note of the OC in the BIOS before flashing it? I'm almost sure flashing it would void the warranty with the OC though.


Here's the thread I read earlier:

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18383232


However it states this on the page for the bundles:

Note - Please note that adding in additional memory to the spare slots will require new BIOS settings and the maximum clock speed attainable may be significantly reduced. OcUK recommend a quality brand PSU for use with all our bundles such as the Corsair TX & HX range. Updating the BIOS on the overclocked bundle range will void the warranty on the overclock. If you update the BIOS we will no longer be able to provide support for configuring and maintaining the CPU overclock.
 
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Soldato
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As far as I know, they save an overclock profile on the BIOS, but with regards the CMOS battery dying or being removed, I've no idea if it'll still be available.

I assume you could take a note of the OC in the BIOS before flashing it? I'm almost sure flashing it would void the warranty with the OC though.


Here's the thread I read earlier:

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18383232


However it states this on the page for the bundles:

The link explains how to save to bios OC to USB drive.

http://forum.hwbot.org/showthread.php?t=55604
 
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That's reassuring. As I said previously, I've never done any OC before, so I'm not sure I'd be comfortable to do it myself, hence looking at the OC bundles.

Although, if there isnt much performance gains or advantages in that bundle over the bundle above, I think the extra ram may be worthwhile instead. The K series i5 and that motherboard will always leave that door open incase I grow a set and try it myself!
 
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Would the general concensus be to go for a bundle similar to ExRayTed's proposed buy, or with a stable pre-overclocked bundle, with less ram?

Would it be likely I would be able to overclock the processor myself with due care, attention and a bit of research? Or am I being really ignorant and underestimating the complexity of a good, stable overclock?

Or maybe as ExRayTed said also, that overclocking wont offer significant benefit?
 
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95% of people who buy a PC with the intention of upgrading it using SLI or CrossFire never do. (Warning, statistic made up on the spot - but the point stands)

In most cases, anyway, if you take more than about a year/18 months to upgrade, you'd be better off taking your upgrade money, selling your single GPU and adding the two together to just buy a more expensive single card. The performance increases in that time, plus the lower heat output/energy consumption, mean that a new single card usually works out better all around than two of the (now 1-2 year old card) in SLI/CrossFire.

As such, I wouldn't worry about the motherboard and SLI/CrossFire. The bundle mentioned should do the job nicely with the 760T (edit: GTX760 - 760T is the model number of my TV :p ), although if you specify what games you play, the resolution/settings you like (are you interested in framerate or quality/AA?) and the type of 3D/graphical/video work or whatever you do (resolution, polygon count...whatever's relevant to that field) we can give better advice.

That should handle pretty much current games on high settings, however, and I doubt you'll struggle for at least a couple of years. It'll eat general everyday (web, office etc) use alive.

I'd strongly recommend an SSD, if you don't have one

87.49% of statistics are made up on the spot.
 
Associate
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Well, decided on these in the end!

YOUR BASKET
1 x Intel Core i5-4670K 3.40GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor - OEM with FREE Grid 2 PC Game £187.99
1 x MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Series Intel Z87 (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard £124.99
1 x TeamGroup Elite Black 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (TED38GM1600HC11DC01) £47.99
1 x Thermalright True Spirit 140 CPU Cooler (Socket 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / FM1 / FM2) £28.99
1 x Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse (910-002489) £24.98
1 x OcUK 20x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £11.99
1 x OcUK Black Gaming Keyboard - With Free Gaming Mouse Pad (5105GU) £10.99
1 x Aerocool Shark Devil Red Edition LED Fan - 140mm £7.99
Total : £457.32 (includes shipping : £9.50).



Between looking at the MSI board and the Gigabyte ones, reading reviews and watching people use the BIOS, I'm fairly confident I could achieve, cpu permitting, a relatively conservative 4.2ghz OC. The MSI BIOS looks fairly easy to navigate also with a few videos online showing overclocks. I also chose it for aesthetic reasons as the connectors and stuff weren't much different. It does however have the sli option which I think although I tried to not think about, subconsciously had an influence.

I'm going to run with 8gb of ram for now with the option of upgrading another 8gb in the future if required. I checked the systems I normally use and they're all 8gb.
 
Underboss
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Well, decided on these in the end!

YOUR BASKET
1 x Intel Core i5-4670K 3.40GHz (Haswell) Socket LGA1150 Processor - OEM with FREE Grid 2 PC Game £187.99
1 x MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Series Intel Z87 (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard £124.99
1 x TeamGroup Elite Black 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (TED38GM1600HC11DC01) £47.99
1 x Thermalright True Spirit 140 CPU Cooler (Socket 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / FM1 / FM2) £28.99
1 x Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse (910-002489) £24.98
1 x OcUK 20x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £11.99
1 x OcUK Black Gaming Keyboard - With Free Gaming Mouse Pad (5105GU) £10.99
1 x Aerocool Shark Devil Red Edition LED Fan - 140mm £7.99
Total : £457.32 (includes shipping : £9.50).



Between looking at the MSI board and the Gigabyte ones, reading reviews and watching people use the BIOS, I'm fairly confident I could achieve, cpu permitting, a relatively conservative 4.2ghz OC. The MSI BIOS looks fairly easy to navigate also with a few videos online showing overclocks. I also chose it for aesthetic reasons as the connectors and stuff weren't much different. It does however have the sli option which I think although I tried to not think about, subconsciously had an influence.

I'm going to run with 8gb of ram for now with the option of upgrading another 8gb in the future if required. I checked the systems I normally use and they're all 8gb.

Good choices there. I can't help feeling that a new SSD would benefit you more than a new keyboard, mouse, DVDR/W etc, no matter though. Enjoy your new build :D
 
Associate
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I have a 120gb ssd ExRayTed. In the first post I mentioned having a 3.5" and an SSD available.

The peripherals were something I always needed so were surplus to the budget :)
 
Associate
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1 Jul 2013
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Haha, cheers mate. Appreciate the help and advice. I always thought overclocking was way above my skillset or understanding but having done a fair amount of reading on it, and seeing some of the tutorials for these new motherboards with the new UI in the BIOS, it seems ok.

I am weary though that it may be something to do very badly very easily, but to do it well requires a lot of understanding outside of my scope of knowledge but we'll see how I get on with a bit more reading and watching!

It was delivered today, so hopefully have it towards the end of the week with the hope of building it early next week or even over the weekend if possible. Will keep yas updated!

Thanks again!
 
Associate
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87.49% of statistics are made up on the spot.

Exactly. I did mention that I'd made it up... but going off the numbers of people I know or on the forum who have SLI, and the number of "spec me" threads which recommend or ask for an SLI/CrossFire capable motherboard, however, I'm still fairly confident that it's a high percentage of people who plan it but never go ahead with it.

The simple fact, for me, is that your kit deprecates at the same rate as anyone else's, and that deprecation is in direct proportion to how much extra performance the newer generations of kit have - if the new cards are a lot better, the old ones will deprecate more (just look at the longevity the Q6600 had when it wasn't properly surpassed for years). If I spend £100 on a non-crossfire motherboard, and the crossfire one is £120, then in 2 years they both halve in value... I can just sell mine for £50 and buy a £55 one the same age.

Similarly GPU power is increasing at, if not 100% every 18 months (Moore's law) it's not too far behind - comparable to the difference between single card and SLI/Crossfire

So, for example, if you buy a £100 card, then in 2 years you can either buy another for £50, or you can sell yours for £50 and buy another, new £100 card at the original price point (ie probably fitting your requirements anyway for the newest games. These are only example numbers, but it works out roughly the same amount of money for the same performance, and you avoid the electricity costs, extra heat, extra cabling and need to spec a higher PSU and motherboard to start with.
 
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