Update: As some have expressed qualms about going Intel with the recent Field-Effect Transistor biasing issue (potentially affecting SATA 3GB/s on some Sandybridge), I have included an alternative AMD/ATI option.
RIFTER 2500 TITANIUM
Rift is coming out in a matter of weeks and I know many of you out there are looking to upgrade or get a new computer that can comfortably run Rift. Look no further. If your budget is around £700 (or roughly it’s equivalent in USD or any other currency) then you can get a system that can not only run Rift on ultra settings and 1080p or 1200p resolution, but also max out every setting when you need things to look great.
So named because
- It plays Rift awesomely well
- It’s got one of the new Core i5 2500 Sandybridge processors that offer incredible gaming performance.
- It is powered by the all-new GTX 560 Ti (Titanium!) graphics card. This particular one comes with its core overclocked to an awesome 900 MHz. You should be able to get it to 950 MHz core without much trouble.
Pros & Cons
This will probably play Rift well even at 2560×1600 resolution, but if you’re gaming on such a large monitor you should really be investing in a GTX 570 or GTX 580. The strong points of this build are:
- Features the new Sandybridge processor
- 1TB Samsung F3 provides both fast read/write access as well as lots of space for other stuff.
- The rig will play Rift virtually any game on the market at the highest settings
- The PSU comes with a single 12V rail capable of sourcing 52A of current. That’s more than enough to run a GTX 580 for a future upgrade, and perhaps even a GTX 590 when that comes out.
On the downside the board does not have SLI, but it’s probably best to save some money now and just get a powerful next-gen graphics 2 years down the line.
The Components & Costs
|Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560Ti OC 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card||£191.99 (£159.99)||£191.99 (£159.99)|
|Intel Core i5-2400 3.10GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor – Retail||£154.99 (£129.16)||£154.99 (£129.16)|
|G.Skill RipJawsX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM)||£52.79 (£43.99)||£52.79 (£43.99)|
|Asrock H67M Intel H67 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Micro-ATX Motherboard – (Sandybridge)||£74.99 (£62.49)||£74.99 (£62.49)|
|Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK)||£70.99 (£59.16)||£70.99 (£59.16)|
|Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus Case – Black||£49.98 (£41.65)||£49.98 (£41.65)|
|Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache – OEM (HD103SJ)||£40.99 (£34.16)||£40.99 (£34.16)|
|OcUK 24x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) – OEM||£13.19 (£10.99)||£13.19 (£10.99)|
Grand Total: £664.91 (With Shipping and VAT)
The operating system isn’t included in the costs, but you should be able to get Windows 7 Home Premium off Amazon for about £70-£80.
The Non-Sandybridge Option
Introducing the alternative AMD/ATI system, a meaner modern version of AMD’s Dragon platform, I give you…
RIFTER X4 CAYMAN
The name derives from the Phenom II X4 processor paired with a Cayman 6950 GPU.
The Components, Costs & Rationale
Intel engineers tested the current B2 stepping of the H67/P67 chipsets used in Sandybridge boards and found possible SATA II related errors that could arise in 5% of cases which stress the SATA ports heavily. Intel is fixing this with the upcoming B3 stepping of the chipset. As some of you are having qualms about Sandybridge so I decided to do a revised alternative build. Personally I’d still go for the SB boards after getting a guarantee from the retailer that they will swap out my board for a newer B3 stepping board of comparable price. But at any rate, let me present the alternative.
I decided to go the whole hog and present an entire alternative platform featuring Crossfire support @ PCI-E x16/x16 and a quad core Black Edition processor. Throw in a third-party cooler and overclocking on this should be a breeze. I also swapped out the GTX 560 for its ATI rival: HD 6950 with 2GB of RAM. This should help with high-resolution, AF and AA settings. However, sometimes there is no performance improvement for a 2GB frame buffer and you may just want to swap it out for a standard 1GB card. The interesting thing is, just for this week the 2GB card is cheaper on OC UK.
Just go ahead and swap out the i5 2500, the H67 board and the GTX 560 Ti.
|Asus ATI Radeon HD 6950 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card||£211.99
|||Asus Crosshair III Formula AMD 790FX (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard||£119.98
|AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition “125W Edition” 3.20GHz (Socket AM3) – Retail||£107.99
Grand Total: £682.90 including VAT and delivery.
Both these builds seen are designed to play Rift and other games extremely well at full HD or super HD resolutions. And they manage this by positioning themselves as mid-range/mid-priced systems with plenty of overclock potential.
You can go ahead and substitute some components to suit your needs. For example, an SLI mainboard would be a good idea if you’re deadset on it. There’s nothing out there that could possibly give twin GTX 560s in SLI a hard time.
In the US and other countries without VAT you should be able to get this about 20% cheaper. Newegg.com also has some great rebates on offer that will bring down the cost further.
That’s about it from me. Happy Rifting!