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I'm about to buy a new PC => need help
It's finally time to buy a new PC and I must admit the only thing that is really important is that I can play as many PS2 games as I can in excellent conditions. I don't know PCSX2 (and PC in general) very well so I need your advice...

Actually the only certainty is the processor: an i7 2600K (I know 2500K could be enough but still...). As far as the GPU is concerned, it will be a GeForce (I don't like ATI that much when it comes to emulators).

Could you please help me to complete the list? My budget is good (let's say 1200$ but I could go higher if it's worth it) but I don't want to buy something that would be overkilled (I know I don't need the best GPU ever for example).

CPU: i7 2600K

GPU: GeForce

HD: a 2 Tb one (perhaps an SSD one too for the OS and programs)

Power supply: I would like to overclock until 4.5 Ghz if it can help

Heatsink: something that can handle my overclocking


Ram: 4 Gb I guess but there are many different ones (Corsair is often recommended I think)


Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for your answers! As you can see I'm a little bit lost...

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Thread moved to: Hardware/software discussion

If not wanting to be overkill, why waste the extra $100 on a 2600K? It's not like it's really any better for PCSX2. You might even find yourself wanting to disable HT, which is the only real thing the 2600K has over a 2500K.

But, I guess with such a hefty budget, you might as well. Smile

with nVidia, just make sure it's a GTX card, and preferably newer. A GTX 460 does great with PCSX2, anything better is basically just for higher resolution.

Generally, look to spend ~$100 or more on a PSU. Something that is "80 Plus" certified is a good choice, and something more than 500W would definitely be ideal. Brands you can usually trust include: SeaSonic, Corsair, Antec, Thermaltake... Those are what cross my mind at this time.

Heatsinks for these processors to reach those spiffy OCs are nothing too special. A good air cooler can do just fine. Mine is a $30 Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus.

Tower: .....? You gave my nothing to go by here. Tongue

Corsair is definitely good RAM. I personally recommend G.Skill. Awesome stuff, at great prices. Typically, you may just want to go with 1.5v stuff with Sandy Bridge. Other than that, just get the fastest stuff in your budget. 4gb would do fine, but 8gb would be nice (it won't help PCSX2, though).

Motherboard: .... Again, not much to go by. You wanna overclock, right? Get a P67 board. I recommend: Asus, Gigabyte or MSI.
First off, right now is a terrible time to build a new computer. Wait until March-April 2012 when Ivy Bridge is released. It is supposed to be 30% faster than sandy bridge, according to Intel. It will be the first CPU with 3D transistors and will be crazy fast. Next, nvidia is releasing the Keplar GPUs at the end of the year which they state as being 2.7x as fast as the 500 series, so it will probably be more like 2x as fast. So both of these technologies will be out by March-April 2012 and that will be the best time to upgrade. You will want the i5-2500k equivalent when you buy an Ivy Bridge CPU because the i7-2600k is about $100 more and only ever so slightly faster (really not noticeable) than the i5-2500k unless you are working with big programs dealing with photo/video editting or 3d modeling programs since the hyper threading will pay off. But from my experience using an i7-860 in hyper threading in PCSX2 actually gave me slower performance than when I had hyper threading turned off. Basically the 4 cores are enough.

If you cant wait until March-April 2012, Intel is releasing the x79 chipset at the end of this year which is for enthusiasts. It is basically replacing the x58. I do not know everything there is to know about the x79, such as whether it uses Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge. I am fairly certain it uses Sandy Bridge so it would be prob better to wait for Ivy Bridge. But another determining factor would be the fact that the Ivy Bridge will def have PCI Express 3.0 32x which will allow you to hold off on upgrading for quite some time especially with that crazy powerful CPU. But if the x79 doesnt have PCI Express 3.0, then def wait until Ivy Bridge is released March-April 2012. People may say that you do not need PCI Express 3.0 32x, because you dont use all the bandwidth in PCI Express 2.0 16x. But having it saves you from having to upgrade later and it CAN increase the speed due to the change of the interface. For example, disk based hard drives dont use up the bandwidth on a 3Gb/sec SATA interface, but will perform better on a 6GB/sec interface due to the more efficient data transfer methods. Benchmarks have proven this, however the difference is minor, and I am sure the same will apply for PCI Express 3.0. But still worth it for being able to hold off on upgrading later on.
Thanks to both for your answers!

Rezard => I had chosen the 2600K because someone told me it offered better possibilities for overclocking (less voltage needed or something like that) and it would help me in the future. I was surprised because of the only 100 Mghz difference and you and ryanboyl confirm what I thought. I'll go with the 2500K! My budget is good but that's not a reason for buying useless things.

I was thinking about a GTX 4XX for the GPU but what do you mean with resolution? I play on a 32 inch HD TV in 1920 x 1080 if it can help, so can I buy a GTX 460 or should I take something better?

I didn't know a PSU could be so expensive but I guess that's important :p

I'll buy the same air cooler than you since it's one that I often see mentioned.

For the ram I'll definitely go with 4 Gb. Anything useless for PCSX2 or Dolphin doesn't interest me :p By the time there will be PS3 emulators I guess I'll have gotten a new PC. And I don't even need a PS3 emulator since I only use emulators because that's a good way to play old games on a HD TV without them looking bad.

Asus P67 seems to be a good choice!

ryanboyl => I can't afford to wait 9 more months :/ My PC is getting old (it can't even run PS One games at full speed but I think it's because of my GPU) and to make matters worse the hard drive where was installed my OS is dead and I lost the CD so I can't install it anymore. Since it's a brand PC I can only install the OS that they gave me. They can send it to me for 65$ though.

However I must say your arguments are good... (if what Intel and Nvidia announce is right of course)

I'm under the impression that I keep waiting for an upgrade... When Sandy Bridge was released people said it was the perfect time to upgrade (for those who had an old PC) and now we should wait for the Ivy Bridge? :/ When this one will be out I'll be told to wait for the Haswell, then the Skylake...

Does that emulator (or more precisely some specific games) really need that much power? Won't it be better with next releases of that emulator? I guess some things could be optimized or fixed.

Of course I'll remember what you say in a year. Do you think that Ivy Bridge will be compatible with an Asus P67? If I "only" have to change my CPU that's not a problem (hopefully it will be as cheap as the 2500K).

From what you say those Keplar GPUs look great but once again, is PCSX2 really that much GPU dependent?

Thanks again!

Edit: I just read that (from Rezard :p) in another topic: "If I understand correctly, Ivy Bridge is supposed to retain the 1155 socket, too."

That made my day! (well, I hope Rezard understands correctly =))
Here are the results of my research!

CPU: Intel i5 2500K
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67-M Pro
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
GPU: GTX 560 Ti
Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2048Mo PC12800 Dual Channel CAS9 (F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)
Power supply: Antec High Current Gamer 520 - Alimentation 520 Watts ATX12V 2.3 80 PLUS Bronze
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 To 7200 RPM 32 Mo Serial ATA 6Gb/s - WD10EALX (bulk)

Is that good? My budget allows me to get a GTX 560 instead of a GTX 460.
Your sandy bridge CPU will be compatible with the motherboards that come out for Ivy Bridge. Pretty sure everyone wants it to be the other way around, that is unless your mobo were to die on you.

I recommend this PSU:

Here is a chart of nvidia's roadmap showing the performance increase per generation:

Seems like you may have no choice but to get a new computer now, sucks tho because getting a $250 vid card for Keplar will have twice the power as a $250 vid card that is out now.

Also, that vid card is not powerful enough for all the games that are out now at max settings, let alone games that are coming out. If you are planning on playing PC games, then depending on what those games are it is not enough. I am going to predict that you are going to want to play PC Games that will really require the power and extra VRAM the 570 provides. I recommend buying your vid card from EVGA and only other change I would make is buying this hard drive:

I would also go with an Antec case, possibly this one which SHOULD fit your heatsink and great when on a budget:
Altho I would go with this one due to higher airflow which will allow you to overclock more and has airfilters and plenty of room (I built a PC for a friend using this case, it is def better than my Cooler Master HAF 932):
OK, thanks for your advice! Actually I wasn't too sure about the hard drive and the PSU so I appreciate your comment.

I'm sure I won't play PC games in the future (I haven't played any computer games since 1984 and my Amstrad CPC) and you are probably right when you say a GTX 560 would be overkill for the sole purpose of emulators. I'm still wondering if I shouldn't get a GTX 460 instead but who knows, perhaps some PS2 games (or some future features of PCSX2) might need more power from the GPU?
(06-07-2011, 10:05 PM)Tetris Wrote: OK, thanks for your advice! Actually I wasn't too sure about the hard drive and the PSU so I appreciate your comment.

I'm sure I won't play PC games in the future (I haven't played any computer games since 1984 and my Amstrad CPC) and you are probably right when you say a GTX 560 would be overkill for the sole purpose of emulators. I'm still wondering if I shouldn't get a GTX 460 instead but who knows, perhaps some PS2 games (or some future features of PCSX2) might need more power from the GPU?

I take back what I said, go with the 560ti for using PCSX2. Ran a quick test using Valkyrie Profile 2 with the resolution at 5X scalability. My GTX 275 was basically maxed out, but the game was running smoothly. The 460 is a bit faster than my 275, and the 560ti would def seal the deal as far as definitely providing the power you need for PCSX2 with the extra tweaks applied in hardware mode.
maxed out with vram use or gpu?
(06-07-2011, 10:31 PM)Squall Leonhart Wrote: maxed out with vram use or gpu?

GPU, it would hold at about 97 percent, I have never seen it hit 100 percent tho in any PC game even if my fps are terrible. I have 1792MB VRAM so I cant imagine PCSX2 maxing that out : P

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