How's this setup?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by overslept, Nov 21, 2010.

Nov 21, 2010

How's this setup? by overslept at 2:42 AM (2,470 Views / 0 Likes) 34 replies

  1. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    Hi, first-time PC builder here. I'm narrowing down my part selections so I can hopefully order them on Black Friday.

    My question is, can any of you PC vets foresee any problems that might occur with these parts? Or will they all play nicely together?

    AMD PhenomII X4 955BE 3.2GHz 6MB Quad-Core 125W

    ASRock 880G EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6GB/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 CAS 9

    Two SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850s in Crossfire

    Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 64mb Cache 7200RPM 6.0GB/s

    LITE-ON Black 24X SATA CD/DVD Burner

    Antec TruePower TP-750 750W 80+ Certified Crossfire Ready

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler

    ARCTIC COOLING MX-4 Thermal Compound

    Also: Does anybody know where I might be able to snag some nice Black Friday deals on any of these components? Thanks!
     


  2. exangel

    Member exangel executioner angel

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    By first-time build, do you mean:

    A) Never upgraded a computer by myself in my life and I'm putting this one together to save money
    B) I've done some hardware upgrades before and I feel comfortable working with a whole system from scratch, and I want more power per dollar
    C) Not very experienced with hardware, but I am willing to spend several days getting a custom system working for absolute performance and am also open to suggestions on changing or adding some components
    D) Some combination of the above that you'd prefer to better define yourself

    I ask because, that's a fairly good build, and I have used some or similar components in your list myself in my own desktop computer, and I'd have some suggestions as well as back up suggestions in case (as is often the case with Black Friday promotions) anything in your list is out of stock.
    My suggestions would change based on your experience and willingness to do research necessary to make certain options worth it -- in the end, providing for performance improvement as well as potential savings (although the savings may be more through futureproofing than initial dollar investment).
     
  3. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    B. I've upgraded my video card before, but that was about the only upgrade I could make since my current computer is this crappy Dell comp from 2001 that can't be upgraded.

    I'm handy and feel pretty comfortable building a system. I've watched a few videos and it seems fairly easy. Also, I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck. This rig is like $850 right now.
     
  4. Evo.lve

    Member Evo.lve All that you could be.

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    It looks good, but personally, I'd recommend having a "cheap" 32GB SSD to boot your OS and favourite applications off to make your computer faster.

    Also, that PSU sounds overkill-y to me for such a system.
     
  5. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    SSDs aren't cheap enough for me to splurge on one yet [​IMG]

    I chose the PSU because I'll be running two Radeon HD 6850s, which will use a lot of juice and I'd also like the freedom of overclocking later on down the road.

    EDIT: Can anybody here predict bottlenecking occurring? I'd hate for that to happen.
     
  6. Evo.lve

    Member Evo.lve All that you could be.

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    Oh, sorry, didn't notice the GPUs. If you can afford it, I'd recommend one of the Gigabyte USB 3.0-compatible motherboards.

    Also, if you're serious about overclocking, and noticing how you said that this setup is $850, I'd splurge out on a water cooler, but they're quite expensive (if you do get one, it's one less cost for later).
     
  7. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    The ASROCK mobo is USB 3.0 compatible, and it fits my price range [​IMG]

    I think I'll stick with the Zalman CPU cooler. I love your suggestions, but I can't really afford to splurge right now. I'm trying to build something powerful for now and somewhat future proof for later.

    I have a sinking feeling I'm going to need a liquid cooler later anyways. Thanks though.

    EDIT: Few more questions. How would this rig handle emus? I've always wanted to try the PS2 emulator or the Gamecube one.
     
  8. Evo.lve

    Member Evo.lve All that you could be.

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    Considering a quad-core 3.2GHz Phenom II and 4GB of DDR3 running at 1333MHz, I'd say perfectly, but I wouldn't keep like, 7 running at once.
     
  9. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    Haha cool [​IMG] But I thought my RAM was 1600Mhz?
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    First question: Are you aiming for a particular budget with that system, and if so, what is it? The reason for asking is to see if you can switch from mid-range components to high-end components.

    Second question: What is the reason for opting for 2 mid-range ATI cards in CrossFire? Most (older) games cannot use the second GPU and it's common for graphical glitches to occur in CrossFire setups. Also the HD6850 is strictly a mid-ranged graphics card. The high-end HD6900 series is due to be released in a month to compete with nVidia's GTX 580 launch next month.

    And that's it. Aside from the choice of graphics, it looks like a pretty good system.

    EDIT: To add, performance gains are virtually negligable between 1333 and 1600 Mhz RAM except when overclocking (where the RAM frequency is typically dropped anyway, and even then 1600 is as high as you want to go since it'll prolly drop down to around 1400Mhz). Also, it should handle PS2 and GC emulation pretty well, but that depends on the game. AMD CPUs process around 30% less Instruction Per Second compared to equivolent Intel CPUs, which is important for gaming, but also for emulation since emulation is mostly CPU dependant.
     
  11. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    I don't want to go over $1000. I built upon the $700 build I found on Hardware Revolution.

    I was originally going to go with 2 GTX 460 1gb in SLI, but the 6850s were recently released and they perform better.

    What do you mean by older games cannot use the second GPU? Are you saying they won't run at all, or that they will only utilize the 1gb of vram? If they're older games, then they wouldn't really need the 2nd gb anyways would they [​IMG] Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here.
     
  12. hullo8d

    Member hullo8d GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    This seems like a pretty decent build, the only suggestions I'd like to make is to drop the WD Black and go with this F3 Spinpoint, Samsung produces durable HDs and this one is cheaper and has a better benchmark. I'd also probably drop the DVD drive and scrap one form an old computer, and try to upgrade your Phenom II 955 to a Phenom II 1055T with the money you save since there is a big gap between their performance. The CPU cooler you have looks a bit meh, if I were you I'd push for a Corsair H50 since you'd probably want to do some overclocking in the future.
     
  13. GundamXXX

    Member GundamXXX Ergo Ego

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    I have the same CPU and its a dream. If possible get more RAM, you have a 64 bit system and they can handle more then 4GB so might aswell stick in another 2GB or a 4GB+2GB you will notice the difference considering that will be the bottleneck of your proposed system (because God knows it wont be the CPU or GPU lol)

    Also get a 800W PSU. Why? Because you have a system thats worth about 700W and if you ever want to upgrade the GPU's CPU then you will need that 50 extra, just an idea

    And HDD go for Samsung F3 Spinpoint like hullo said, its so damn sexy and good ;x

    Otherwise it looks like a pretty awesome system, maybe get an ASUS motherboard because they have an awesome program installed that allows you to turn down the fans of the CPU, HDD and main fans, and if you have an ASUS GPU that aswell. It works brilliantly, when your just on the internet or something simple have it on powersave mode and when playing a game or using any other intensive program put it on Max Performance. Not only will you save alot of power but the noise will be reduced immensely. My pc sounds like an aeroplane when on Performance mode but is as quiet as a laptop on Energy Saver mode
     
  14. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    How a game performs in a dual-GPU setup often depends heavily on the SLI/CrossFire drivers and how the game is coded. Most games will use the primary GPU only and pretend the second doesn't exist, because even today most systems only have 1 graphics card in them. The only games that will use the second GPU are the games that try to push their 3D performance like Crysis. In most cases, it's simply better to buy a powerful high-end single-GPU graphics card than 2 mid-ranged graphics card and stick them in SLI/CrossFire.

    To this end, I do suggest waiting a month for the HD6970 and GTX 580 to come out before making your decision.

    The obvious exceptions are games coded for multi-GPU systems, folding systems and GPU heavy applications like modelling, animation and rendering (the kind of programs where speed/workforce is measured in FLOPS).
     
  15. overslept
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    Member overslept WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WALLY WORLD

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    I'd love for a single GPU. I could save on a mobo and wouldn't need that big of a PSU.

    But remember, I need to order these around or on Black Friday. The Crossfire 6850s also did good on their benchmarks.

    Besides, I think if a game is old enough to not support dual GPUs, then 1gb should be enough [​IMG]
     
  16. myuusmeow

    Member myuusmeow GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    AMD six cores are great for overclocking. It's unusual for one to not get to 4.0GHz on a good motherboard easily.
     
  17. exangel

    Member exangel executioner angel

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    If you've got a budget between 700-1000 dollars, I think you should consider doing something that I did that corresponds to what Originality mentioned.

    When I originally built my system (I stuck it in an Antec Three Hundred case like you mentioned and that thing is a fucking dream, and I've worked in Lian-Li and other high end cases before.. The three hundred is the best budget-brand-name case I've ever worked with)...anyway..

    When I originally built that system ("Virgo"), I knew that the Radeon HD 4850/4870 would be coming out or coming down in price after not too long, and I decided to get a "stand-in" graphics card to do the job until the high end card's release.
    (I actually have onboard video on the motherboard in that build, but I have always run with it disabled in the BIOS, because the only reason I choose onboard video in motherboards is to have it available in case the main graphics fail- then I only have to switch the onboard video on in the mobo BIOS and move the cable, and I can boot the system without opening the case, to troubleshoot or do any necessary backup before doing actual surgery to the build.)

    Because I knew that I wouldn't be able to do the top-end stuff right off the bat with the 128-bit 512MB video card I got for use until the 4870's were available (and at a fair price), I decided to save a bit of money on the CPU as well.
    Bargaining on the CPU isn't something I would ordinarily recommend to anyone, but I had a smaller initial budget (Only ~$500 at the time) than you.

    However, if you think that you'd be interested in getting an SSD after price-per-gig decreases a bit more, maybe it would be something to consider: topping out on certain components and going low end on others with the intention of replacing those after a few months. It may seem kind of wasteful (you could eBay what you used!) but I've been building custom systems for 8+ years and working with hardware/manual upgrades for 13, and this experience has taught me that it isn't always best to top out everything all at once if you know what to expect from the market.
    That strategy also helps prevent the feeling of going to newegg in half a year and wishing you could have the money and/or a good reason to get the new graphics/cpu/blu-ray/whatever, if you tend to keep up on things like that.. but anyhow...
    If your intention is to build once and NOT plan for upgrading then all I've said so far isn't that much help.

    As far as Overclocking goes, you could probably plan a system where that won't be necessary, at least for a couple years. I used to overclock all the time because I thought it was fun, but I live in the desert and could never afford anything better than air cooling, so I decided that making my computer run hotter just for fun is probably a bad idea, so when I build, I build with the capability, but don't actually do it. Since I might move out of the desert, or actually need to boost my performance later on.

    I have a mostly 5-year old build set up in this room running windows 7 x64 ultimate, and it's fast enough to run WoW at 1080p at fair/mid settings because I managed to snag one of the best graphics cards made for AGP right before AGP cards got phased out of retail.
    Planning for upgradability is an important part of futureproofing, but part of that requires a commitment to paying attention to whats happening with certain computer platforms/hardware (which you seem to be into enough, knowing that you want USB 3.0 in your mobo).
     
  18. hullo8d

    Member hullo8d GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The F3 is a faster hard drive then the WD Black you posted, if you ever tried doing research on your products you'd know that. Also just because a CPU is clocked higher doesn't make it a faster processor, the 1055t left at 2.8 has performs a lot better then the 955 and it overclocks better as well. Your CPU cooler makes a BIG difference on how well you can overclock your CPU, just a standard fan like the one you posted won't let you overclock to it's full extent.
     
  19. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    you have to mess in the bios to overclock regardless
     
  20. Velveteer

    Member Velveteer GBAtemp Regular

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    The Blacks are also noisy. Both in terms of seek and platter spin noise. Speed-wise, the difference between the F3 and Black is negligible, anyway, so go with the quieter F3. Although the Black has a 5 year warranty, being 2 years more.

    Don't go with dual-cards off the bat. It's counter-productive. They use more power, take up more space, and don't perform across the board. It's not just a matter of old games. You need crossfire profiles and whatnot, and it makes it much harder to overclock the cards when there is two. Just go with a 480 or something.

    As for the CPU, if you are running emulators, there are two choices. If you aren't overclocking or don't want mess in the BIOS, go with a BE Quad. If you are fine with OCing, go with a Thuban Hex. People forget that Emulators and indeed most games care more for clock speed than cores. Especially Emu.

    Joe88, in actual fact, having a BE quad does make it possible to OC without touching the BIOS, via AMD Overdrive, as you can just push up the Multipliers. With a non-BE, you have to OC via the HT Ref Clock, which of course is going to cap out with the RAM. You can drop the RAM multis, but this needs to be done in the BIOS.
     

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