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A Shogun 2 Worthy Computer...

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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited December 2010
    More than Dual SLI/CF
    Frankly, other than the challenge of getting them all to actually WORK and not screw up your experience, few and far between are the real opportunities to use more than two cards for anything like a real need, where they are actually supported in any meaningful way for improved results. Two cards can find -some- use in a number of titles, and signficant use in enough for it not to be blatantly obvious robbery by card makers. How large a screen/resolution are we talking? If it isn't absurdly larger than 24" there is a good chance you might do better with a single more powerful card that is likely to be out by March. To date, this has almost always been our experience.

    55 vs 58 Chipsets
    The 55 series boards that the 1156 socket is paired with uses the old DMI communication standard (not QPI), is much cheaper, and uses the significantly more reasonable 2 channel memory. If you are thinking you are really going to bottleneck, you can spend more for the 58 and triple channel memory. Nota Bene, there is currently no equivalent option available from AMD, and while you are certainly entering on a much more expensive journey,
    its the i7.
    There is no substitute.
    (at least not until next year!)

    Why I would suggest the i5
    While I personally prefer the i7 900 series and own a couple for personal and family member use, you asked for a hard cash limit that does not admit that series CPU and attendant platform. The upper reaches of the i7 capability engenders more than hyperthreading (thankfully), or it would barely be worth the cost since even fewer and farther between are the opportunities to find effective support for hyperthreading than Sli. The plain old four physical cores of the i5 will find few enough places they can all actually get a fair work out right now, and that is unlikley to change for the near future, and even getting to four, it is unlikley there will be much support for real use of more than four for many years based on the typical dev lag we see today. (Heh heh heh! I like that term "Dev-Lag"! I think I shall sling it with abandon, like: "You look stoned man..." "Dude, like, you have wicked dev-lag..."). Anyway, the i5 has an incredible ability to OC beyond turbo and remain within target voltage-this is no small issue. There are few current CPUs (including most i7s, and any PII) that can match the huge in-voltage-range of the 760. As I said, it has a factory turbo to 3.33, so little enough need to crank it for most uses anyway for the moment. Ergo, both comparing it stock and at safe OC ranges, it would blow away an AMD in pure mindless data processing speed.

    Where would you like your bottleneck?
    This is not to say that cpu processing speed is the only game going on... PIIs have a special attribute insofar as they have the onboard mem processor and special "hotline" bus to the ram that is the near-but-slower version of the QPI. Thus, in a way, the PII platform can be 'nimbler'. Apples to apples on the same bandwidth bus, the HT system is less prone to bottleneck at high levels of data processing. The question at hand is really one of where do you think the bottleneck in your systems are more likely to occur most of the time, and to what degree. If you have enough Ram, fast enough, and a killer CPU, and a killer GPU with enough vram, why then, the next culprit is the bus system and chipset (well we're leaving out the HDD which can usually be partially avoided, but where it can't you would use an SSD- not part of this exercise because of budget). Because of the uses to which I put my system, I want the beefiest setup I can come up with for ALL of those variables, but if cash budget constraints limit me, I know I am a player/user-of-applications that are significantly CPU-lean. If there is going to be a bottleneck, they will show there first. For laughs, if you believe in such things, you can look at the same article you linked and see the relative placement of the i7 and i5 series in relation to the top tier AMD offerings. To wit, they are not on the same playing field for the titles they used, because bottlenecks show up in the CPU first, and more often than on the bus- reductio ad absurdum. Nota Bene: TW as a series is at LEAST as CPU leaning as these titles as a group (although Supreme Commander is hard to beat in that department).

    What's in a number
    Quad cores are just becoming more frequently useful. It has taken years, and the implementaiton (as some other posters have frequently lamented here) still leaves a great deal to be desired in nearly all titles- with some barely scratching the surface or ignoring the opportunity entirely. A 6 core at this juncture has virtually no uses except in some art and graphic rendering applications (specifically, if you use it, you will know). If you are not using one of these esoteric applications, you will probably be waiting a long time for 6 cores to be usefully and meaningfully implemented in programming, long enough in fact, that the technology contained in current platforms will probably be quite outmoded by the time a 6 core is of practical use.

    To sum up, until the i7 series, I had for nearly ten years purchased only AMD CPUs for personal, family and friend's use. With the advent of the i7/i5 series, I have reversed that trend unless cost is a severe restriction. Likewise, I had purchased NVidia cards because I much prefer the driver architecture because of my need to constantly be changing or trying various drivers, and performance was close enough that it was not a significant issue. The advent of the 5xxx and 6xxx series have severly tried this preference, and I have acquired the first AMD card for non testing use- in my life. What I am trying to say is I am not much of a fan boy for any brand, maker, or type of technology except to the extent it delivers at least what it promised, reliably, cost-effectively if possile, and maybe delivered a little extra or stood the test of time and repeated abuse. If I didn't think the i5 was a better animal in some sort of obective way for the use you will probably use it for, I wouldn't suggest it 'just because I think its cool'. If I didn't think many or most SLI/CF/6-core and other expensive techs were white elephants in some sort of objectively explicable or demonstrable way, I would say so. Whatever I may say, in the end, if YOU are building it, its up to you what makes YOU happy to be building and using. That said, wait as long as you can stand it! The prices and tech will keep on moving in your favor!

    Al
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited December 2010
    evotuc wrote: »
    PSU:
    It says this only has one ATX 12V 4 pin connector and the board calls for an 8 pin. Although, it says it has an 8 pin EPS 12V, and to be honest, I don't know what that is yet.
    Also, we start to run into the problem of multi vs. single rail and the modular cable debates.
    Board:
    For just ten dollars more, I think the MSI board would last longer and give me more options. ...

    I see I missed some specific issues:
    Briefly, the EPS 12v standard is that which requires the 8pin power plug to the mobo, and if you look at the power connectors you will see there is a 24 an 8 and a 4. Everything that you need. On the rail or rails, this issue no longer has much meaning. IN the old days, particularly AMD mobos had a tendency not to distribute power demand and supply commands in an efficient (or even logical) way. Both in this matter and the matter of stability and reliability, single/multiple rail issues are now a subject a bit akin to whether impressing merchantmen should be legal in wartime. Other than the fact that I prefer as much modularity as I can get, what exactly are you referring to in relation to modular cables?

    The MSI board you are reffering to is - I assume - the one for the AMD build, and not an option if you use the 1156 (:p). If there is an 1156 MSI for 10 bucks more, you will have to specify it as price and availability change constantly... You will also bear the responsibiloity for breaking your own limit by $3 !!! LOL
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • evotucevotuc Senior Member Posts: 983Registered Users
    edited December 2010
    A modular power supply, (from my understanding), is one that has cables which disconnect from the main unit. I have always understood it as a no-no because it is a gap which the electricity would have to jump. This supposedly eats up more amperage. On a PSU that is not modular, the cables are attached directly to the board, allowing for less resistance and less heat. I still have a lot to learn, so let me know if this is not correct.
    2% Club
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  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited December 2010
    Mmm, you have to connect the modular cables, sure, and if they are not secure, I suppose there is an opportunity to leave a bad connection or a gap either through sloppiness or bad manufacture... I suppose you could lose some very miniscule amount of amperage, perhaps. I can't imagine it being a real issue unless you didn't provide for any safety margin anyway.

    On the other hand there is the opportunity to only use what you need, hence reducing the blockage of air passages, dust collectors, and stuff that you don't need in your case. The less cramped your case is, the better, so I prefer modular cables and have never heard of any complaint from 'clients' either... Not familiar with that complaint happily (trust me there are enough others!).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
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