Thoughts on this build?

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bocochoco
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Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:24 am UTC

Going to build a new comp shortly, and I figured I'd give more thought to my components than I have in previous builds.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2ghz
CPU Cooler: Corsair h50
Motherboard: Asus Crosshair IV Formula
Memory: G.Skill Flare 4GB (2x2GB) 7-9-7-24
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870
Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W
Hard Drive: WD VelociRaptor 450GB 10k RPM SATA6.0


I do a great deal of gaming, so I kinda lean towards performance. The Radeon 6870 performs almost as well as the 5870 without the cost. What do you think? I don't think I forgot anything, but I have before.
Last edited by bocochoco on Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:35 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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enk
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby enk » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:31 pm UTC

I'd guess a 750W PSU is a bit excessive, even for overclocking (but Corsair ftw).

And if you're going with a Velociraptor, why not go for the full 600GB? It's faster :)
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Polah
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Polah » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

I wouldn't get an Phenom II X6. Perhaps a Phenom II X4 965 (3.4Ghz), it's ~$100 cheaper.

Take into account that most games don't particularly use multicore processing, so unless you're going to be CPU-intensive things like video encoding, an X6 isn't really worth the price.

Perhaps a larger hard drive, unless you know you won't need more than 450GB although you could just get another drive further down the line.

GPU-wise, you should certainly get the 6870. It's the latest release so it's as up to date as possible and is only ever so slightly weaker than the 5870, it's barely noticeable really. Especially considering the 5870 is 1.5-2 times more expensive, although that could be in part to do with it's being discontinued now.

In response to Enk's post, a 750W PSU is fine. The 5870 consumes ~250 watts under load if I remember correctly and the Phenom II X4s and X6s consume ~130W.

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Jplus
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Jplus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:42 pm UTC

Just a question out of curiosity: why choose for an AMD Phenom II, rather than an Intel Westmere?
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bocochoco
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

enk wrote:I'd guess a 750W PSU is a bit excessive, even for overclocking (but Corsair ftw).

And if you're going with a Velociraptor, why not go for the full 600GB? It's faster :)

I'm thinking about the future as well. May end up adding a second 6870 to the mix, or wind up upgrading the cpu to something that uses more power. I doubt that I would use 750W, but I don't want to run into the problem of having not enough power. Plus Corsair is win.

Well, the plan is to use my existing 120gb SSD (Sandforce controller) to house Windows and assorted program files, etc. And use the velociraptor almost exclusively to house my games. I also have a 1TB drive that holds music and other assorted crap.

Polah wrote:I wouldn't get an Phenom II X6. Perhaps a Phenom II X4 965 (3.4Ghz), it's ~$100 cheaper.

Take into account that most games don't particularly use multicore processing, so unless you're going to be CPU-intensive things like video encoding, an X6 isn't really worth the price.

Perhaps a larger hard drive, unless you know you won't need more than 450GB although you could just get another drive further down the line.

GPU-wise, you should certainly get the 6870. It's the latest release so it's as up to date as possible and is only ever so slightly weaker than the 5870, it's barely noticeable really. Especially considering the 5870 is 1.5-2 times more expensive, although that could be in part to do with it's being discontinued now.

In response to Enk's post, a 750W PSU is fine. The 5870 consumes ~250 watts under load if I remember correctly and the Phenom II X4s and X6s consume ~130W.

Hmm, I hadn't considered that. I just saw 6 cores and started to drool. The faster X4 is probably the better choice. Thank you :)

Jplus wrote:Just a question out of curiosity: why choose for an AMD Phenom II, rather than an Intel Westmere?

Because intel is overpriced as all hell. I've been using AMD processors for years and I think I'd like to keep it that way. Also arent the westmeres server processors?
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Jplus » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

Westmere is just Intel's generic architecture that they're currently using in almost all their products. i3, i5, i7 and Xeon are all Westmeres.

I doubt that Intel is really overpriced, as their current CPUs are said to offer much higher performance per watt than AMD CPUs. But that's probably less of a concern for you.
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bocochoco
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:Westmere is just Intel's generic architecture that they're currently using in almost all their products. i3, i5, i7 and Xeon are all Westmeres.

I doubt that Intel is really overpriced, as their current CPUs are said to offer much higher performance per watt than AMD CPUs. But that's probably less of a concern for you.

The Intel chips probably would offer higher performance, but I'm also budget conscious, and after doing an intel build with an i7 960 bloomfield, its over $600 difference. It's just not worth it.
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby GeorgeH » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:44 am UTC

That build looks very strange. It looks like you’re wanting to primarily build a gaming PC; with that in mind:

CPU – as was mentioned, ditch the X6. Personally, I’d go for the X4 955. If you’re playing games at decent resolutions, there’s going to be no perceptible difference between a 955 and a 970. When overclocked, a 955 will probably get you to ~3.8GHz, while a 970 will probably get you to ~4.1GHz. For $40, would you rather have an extra ~300MHz that you’ll never notice outside of benchmarks, or another game?

Motherboard – Serious overkill. If you’re spending $200+ on a motherboard and using fewer than 3 GPUs, you need to be looking at X58. Look for a nice 870 board in the ~$100 range.

RAM – I’ve never used that particular kit, but it looks like a silly amount of flash (and markup) for no real benefit. You should be able to find a very nice OC kit for ~$100. Personally, I’d go for one of the ~$85 kits – one of the benefits of an unlocked multiplier (as on the 955 BE) is you don’t have to screw with memory clocks while you’re bumping up CPU clockspeed.

Video Card – Looks fine, the 6870 is a nice gaming card.

PSU - Overkill^10, but if you have the money I like that in a PSU. Personally I’d go with the Seasonic X650, but that’s nothing more than brand snobbery when spending $150 on a PSU – the 750HX is a fantastic unit that should last you a very long time.

Hard Drive – Just say no to Velociraptors. They had their place (I have fond memories of being blown away by my RAID array of Gen-1 Raptors) but at this point they’re selling on marketing, not tangible performance. For a games drive, I’d grab a $90 1TB drive. $180 to load a game ~5% faster is ridiculous in a gaming machine with a single $240 GPU. Spend that extra cash on a 69xx ($420 should buy you a 6950), another 6870 for Crossfire, a fancy mouse, keyboard, or other input device, another monitor, a sweet set of headphones or speakers, a “real” water cooling loop, ~4 Day-1 AAA game releases - anything but a Velociraptor.

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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby psykx » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:20 am UTC

I'd look into building a raid array (raid 5 or 1,0) instead of the veloseraptor, I'm not sure what the deal is with current raid cards as I'd use linux software raid or a server.
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Game_boy » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:46 pm UTC

@Jplus

Nehalem is Intel's 2008 architecture, 45nm, used in quad-core Bloomfield and Lynnfield (Clarksfield).
Westmere is the 32nm version of Nehalem, manifesting as dual-cores Clarkdale (Arrandale) and hex-core Gulftown

So only the 32nm duals and hex-cores are Westmere. If you buy a quad it's the 45nm Nehalem.
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Jplus » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:@Jplus

Nehalem is Intel's 2008 architecture, 45nm, used in quad-core Bloomfield and Lynnfield (Clarksfield).
Westmere is the 32nm version of Nehalem, manifesting as dual-cores Clarkdale (Arrandale) and hex-core Gulftown

So only the 32nm duals and hex-cores are Westmere. If you buy a quad it's the 45nm Nehalem.

Ok, so not all i5s and i7s are Westmeres. Dualcore (with hyperthreading, in this case) is certainly good enough for gaming though.
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bocochoco
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:06 pm UTC

Lots of good thoughts here. I've changed my build taking most of it into account. I need to stop throwing random parts together at 3am in a half-daze.

CPU: Phenom II X4 965
Motherboard: AsRock 890FX Deluxe4
Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback 4GB 6-8-6-24
HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 64MB
PSU: Corsair HX 750w
Video: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870

I already have one of those h50's, it works great. Already have an astro a40 headset and a nice 32" screen. logitech g9x mouse. I'm pretty set for just about everything else, just need to build a new box before my current cpu explodes. It's been running far too hot, so I'm using that as an excuse to build a new one :D
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby GeorgeH » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:36 pm UTC

Looks nice. The only think I'd mention is that ASRock boards are sometimes a bit harder to get working right (a few more gremlins you need to chase down with a slightly less friendly BIOS), but once setup correctly they're typically just as solid as other brands. Are you sticking with 890FX because you see Crossfire or a lot of add-on cards in your future?


Game_boy wrote:So only the 32nm duals and hex-cores are Westmere. If you buy a quad it's the 45nm Nehalem.

Ignoring the 32nm Xeon quad cores, of course. ;) I was hoping that Intel would release a 32nm Nehalem-architecture quad core for the consumer market, but at this point it's probably not going to happen. Pity, too, because if they weren't hampered by low multipliers, there's every indication that a relatively high percentage of those Xeon quad cores could be overclocked to 5GHz+ fairly easily - which is probably the reason Intel hasn't released one. It wouldn't be wise to have a cheap quad core outperform your $1000 hex core halo chip.

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bocochoco
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:15 am UTC

GeorgeH wrote:Looks nice. The only think I'd mention is that ASRock boards are sometimes a bit harder to get working right (a few more gremlins you need to chase down with a slightly less friendly BIOS), but once setup correctly they're typically just as solid as other brands. Are you sticking with 890FX because you see Crossfire or a lot of add-on cards in your future?

Yep. I see a very high possibility to run Crossfire. The price of that card just screams crossfire to me :D The other board I was looking at is the ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3. Seems very comparable to the 890FX.

What part of ASRock boards are difficult to get working right?
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby GeorgeH » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

The following is all from anecdotal evidence, but -

ASRock boards don't always get the QA testing some other boards receive. With Asus and Gigabyte, for example, if you put all the components in the component shaped holes everything will probably work just fine. Whatever out of date BIOS they ship with will typically work well enough with everything set to default or "Auto", simply because Asus and Gigabyte do enough testing to make their boards mostly idiot proof.

With ASRock, I would generally expect to have to flash the BIOS at least once, adjust/verify pretty much every BIOS setting manually, and do a few runs of Memtest followed by more BIOS tweaks to get the RAM stable. To me that's not really a bad thing (it's basically the same process and number of headaches as building a PC with top-shelf components from the late 90s, and what you really should be doing with any board anyway) but for people used to things just magically working when they plug them in, ASRock boards can end up being frustrating.

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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby bocochoco » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:33 pm UTC

GeorgeH wrote:The following is all from anecdotal evidence, but -

ASRock boards don't always get the QA testing some other boards receive. With Asus and Gigabyte, for example, if you put all the components in the component shaped holes everything will probably work just fine. Whatever out of date BIOS they ship with will typically work well enough with everything set to default or "Auto", simply because Asus and Gigabyte do enough testing to make their boards mostly idiot proof.

With ASRock, I would generally expect to have to flash the BIOS at least once, adjust/verify pretty much every BIOS setting manually, and do a few runs of Memtest followed by more BIOS tweaks to get the RAM stable. To me that's not really a bad thing (it's basically the same process and number of headaches as building a PC with top-shelf components from the late 90s, and what you really should be doing with any board anyway) but for people used to things just magically working when they plug them in, ASRock boards can end up being frustrating.


Hmm, I generally do flash the bios to the latest revision before I do anything else. It would be nice to be able to configure memory timings and such without going through a "smart O.C" utility.
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Re: Thoughts on this build?

Postby Game_boy » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

@GeorgeH

The quad Xeons are Gulftowns of course.
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