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2900xt (gddr4 1024mb) rig

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July 31, 2007 9:16:26 PM

howdy,
i'm lookin to build a gaming system to carry me for a while through DX10/Vista/etc...
the main hold up now is which processor/mobo setup to get. i'd much rather get an AMD but Intel's chips simply the best bang for the buck right now, and OC very well. The other pieces are as follows:

Custom case w/ liquid cooling
2x HIS 2900xt 1024mb GDDR4
4 GB Crucial Ballistix 1066mhz
thermaltake toughpower 1000W
Western Digital 74G Raptor HD
Seagate 320gb HD

If AMD CPU: Windsor 3000+
If Intel CPU: E or Q6600 -ish w/ 1066 bus

I'm not sure about which mobo to get for either setup, so if you all have any suggestions they are much appreciated.

I'm hoping to eventually get a 30" apple cinema display, though its gonna be a while, but that's why I've picked two 2900's. At higher resolutions, CPU speed doesn't matter as much, right(?) since the hold up would be video processing power instead.
August 1, 2007 7:48:31 AM

Get a Q6600 ,
if u want DDR2 : GA P35 DS3R
Ifu want Both DDR2 and DDR3 : ASUS P5KC
August 1, 2007 9:21:12 AM

frodopants said:

If AMD CPU: Windsor 3000+
At higher resolutions, CPU speed doesn't matter as much, right(?) since the hold up would be video processing power instead.

what?????????? 3000+ ???? you mean 6000+?. yeas at high resolutions the cpu doesnt matter that much. on tomshardware test athlon x2 3800+ with a gtx beat intel e6600 with gts

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/11/system_builder_m... l
Related resources
August 1, 2007 9:35:04 AM

but in non gaming apps , e6600 blows a x2 3800 away , but as Valdis said ,in many games , CPU isnt much important as GPU is
August 1, 2007 9:38:43 AM

hes building a gaming rig ^
August 1, 2007 10:17:30 AM

If you're building a gaming rig, you don't want a Q6600. There's no performance benefit in the extra cores and it doesn't overclock as good as its dual core cousins....

Just my 2 cents...
August 1, 2007 11:06:39 AM

look at my rig mate, pretty much the same, i think that you should go for something like this, but instead of the E4300 go for an E4500 or an E6600
August 1, 2007 12:24:48 PM

Definitely get the Intel chip if you're going to overclock.

You might consider getting an SLI board and getting 2 8800GTX's if you are going to be playing on a 30" panel.
August 1, 2007 12:59:45 PM

frodopants said:
howdy,
i'm lookin to build a gaming system to carry me for a while through DX10/Vista/etc...
the main hold up now is which processor/mobo setup to get. i'd much rather get an AMD but Intel's chips simply the best bang for the buck right now, and OC very well. The other pieces are as follows:

Custom case w/ liquid cooling
2x HIS 2900xt 1024mb GDDR4
4 GB Crucial Ballistix 1066mhz
thermaltake toughpower 1000W
Western Digital 74G Raptor HD
Seagate 320gb HD

If AMD CPU: Windsor 3000+
If Intel CPU: E or Q6600 -ish w/ 1066 bus

I'm not sure about which mobo to get for either setup, so if you all have any suggestions they are much appreciated.

I'm hoping to eventually get a 30" apple cinema display, though its gonna be a while, but that's why I've picked two 2900's. At higher resolutions, CPU speed doesn't matter as much, right(?) since the hold up would be video processing power instead.

I would suggest your AMD choice be an X2 3600+ brisbane. Given the right mobo and H/F you can hit 3GHz.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The best bang for the buck would be between the X2 3600+, E2140, and the Q6600. The E2140 can OC to 3.1~3.2GHz which does match X6850 performance. If you have the extra cash you should get the Q6600 no question. The Q6600 B3 can hit 3.5GHz and G0 3.6GHz which any dual core would have a hard time beating in none quad core compatible programs. In quad core compatible programs no dual core can match.

Doubling the cores is equal to an 80% increase which at 3GHz equals a 5.4GHz dual core. So The Q6600 is a great choice for current and the future programs.
August 1, 2007 1:12:38 PM

Elbert...read the article Maziar posted bro
August 1, 2007 2:29:22 PM

yo,
hey thanks for all of the replies, you've all been very helpful.
i did mean 6000+ (3ghz) not 3000+.

also good to know that i don't need to get a quad core yet, i'm reaching the max price anyhow and may need to cut back a few places. leaning more towards the e6750 or 6850, though the $100 difference might push me towards the 6750.

i do love AMD's stuff though, but i can't see any reason other than brand loyalty to build this system with one. that being said, would a 6000+ or 3800+ be a reasonable choice? would i be able to get the bus speed up to 1066 and higher so that i'm not underclocking the ram?
August 1, 2007 3:22:18 PM

The 6000+ smokes my OC'd E6600 in gaming. You need pretty good cooling though because the 6000+ runs fairly hot. Honestly, it's nice to be able to over clock the core2's so well, but all hype aside, I find the 6000+ to be a stronger performer. I know many benchmarks state otherwise. But benchmarks don't always tell the whole story. For multitasking, the core2 seems to encounter occasional bottlenecks that translate into annoying little delays. All in all, they are both great processors, but having experienced them both, I would go with the 6000+ hands down.

Note. If you wanted to wait a little longer, the 6400+ is on it's way out. But it's probably going to run so hot you could fry an egg on it.
August 1, 2007 7:42:57 PM

I think I've decided to stick with AMD, mainly because it's been difficult to find a crossfire intel mobo with dual 16x pci-e slots. From my understanding, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, this MSI board can run two ATI's in XF mode - both at 16x.

MSI K9A Platinum Socket AM2 ATI CrossFire Radeon Xpress 3200 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: K9A Platinum

2 HIS Hightech H290XT1GG4DVN-R Radeon HD 2900XT 1GB GDDR4 PCI Express x16 VIVO Video Card - OEM
Model #: H290XT1GG4DVN-R


1 Thermaltake Toughpower W0132RU ATX12V / EPS12V 1000W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: W0132RU

1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADX6000CZBOX - Retail
Model #: ADX6000CZBOX

2 Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AL1065 - Retail
Model #: BL2KIT12864AL1065

1 Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD740ADFD

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620AS

1 SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
Model #: SH-S183L

If you all have any suggestions - you've all been a tremendous help thus far - please feel free to put them in. Thanks a ton! Also, is the 1066 RAM okay, or should I drop down to a low latency 800 set?
August 1, 2007 9:09:17 PM

the most funniest thing i have ever heared in my whole life :

The 6000+ smokes my OC'd E6600 in gaming.

lol i cant stop laughing,
u r right , sometime benchmarks dont say the truth and sometimes many people dont say the truth
August 1, 2007 10:01:33 PM

all haterade aside....,

can anyone can recommend a solid intel mobo that supports crossfire, with both pci-e slots at 16x? this would more than likely sway me towards intel, as they have the better products on the market right now.
August 2, 2007 8:50:55 AM

To the op dont you think dual 2900xt's 1gb ddr4 is overkill. Have you read the reviews for these cards. All the ones I have read show no discernable difference in performance to the standard 512mb. In crossfire the performance is worse than the standard cards. Save yourself the money to spend on something else.

I know you said its only going to be a gaming pc but nobody ever just games on their pc. Use the extra money to get a Intel quad (or wait for phenom if you dare). In 6 months time you be kicking yourself for buying the dual core. The benefits will eventually appear. I made the mistake of buying a single core cpu about a year ago when everyone kept saying dual core is pointless because no games are multithreaded then 6 months later I bought a dual core cpu because all of a sudden everything was multithreaded. Anyway toms is doing an article next week on the which is better higher clock speed or more cores.

Main point dont waste your money on x2 hd2900xt 1gb!!!

[http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/diamond_radeon_2900... t.asp]
August 2, 2007 9:14:39 AM

the 1024s are VERY nice but are not really worth it. Why get 1 card for $600 when you can get 2 for $800? Also the 1024 is not very happy with the drivers right now.
August 2, 2007 12:52:58 PM

Maz - Yes, I've read about the Blitz and it sounds sick, but where can you find one? I haven't seen it for sale anywhere.

pip - I've read the reviews, and if you read the closely you notice that the vast majority are done using the 512 ddr3 version, which isn't as good as nvidia's offerings. The ddr4 version, however, pwns everything else right now (link: http://www.falcon-nw.com/keltstake/ati_2900xtx.asp) That review you posted also says that the site "isn't quite done" with the card for a few reasons: give the drivers time to mature, and allow the software to natively support all of the bells and whistles on the 2900xt. At the resolutions that I'm hoping to play at, CPU power won't matter as much as GPU power, and these cards are the most forward looking and powerful ones available.

As for the CPU, can the majority of today's software even fully utilize two cores? Single CPU's had been the norm forever when dual cores first came out, but multi core processing has only been around maybe 2 years? I don't think the reasons for not going from 1 to 2 cores are quite the same as not going from 2 to 4.

The main reasoning for the video cards is that (this is a long shot) I was hoping to get a larger LCD and play at higher resolutions.
August 2, 2007 1:27:18 PM

I probably should have specified, but I'm in the U.S., and would honestly prefer not to pay to have it shipped overseas.

Would the 1066mhz ram be underclocked when using an x2 6000+?
August 2, 2007 1:56:03 PM

Hey Im just giving you my advice. I take your point about the difference between going from 1 core to 2 and 2 to 4. I dont think you read the right review tho. All 1gb 2900xt's are gddr4. And they are CF in every test.

http://firingsquad.com/hardware/diamond_radeon_2900_xt_1gb/

I put the link up again cause I just realised the other link doesnt work.

At the end of the its your money. You came here asking advice. Mine is buy two standard hd2900xt's its enough even for the res your looking at in the future. Use the spare cash to buy a quad or put into the monitor fund.
August 2, 2007 2:29:42 PM

pip,
sorry yo, i didn't mean to sound hostile. the 1gb versions are indeed all ddr4, but the other 512 versions are all ddr3. and if i'm going to get an ati card, i might as well get the ddr4 version, though two may be excess. i'd rather stick to ATI for graphics, and these are the best they have atm. i'm hoping the price will come down a bit before i make the plunge.

and my bad, what good is advice if i'm not open-minded enough to listen to it; i'll try not to get tunnel vision and insist that my setup is better. i say again, you've all been extremely helpful. and anyhow the woman is wanting a new tv so i think this may never come to fruition. ah well, its fun as hell to draw it up though.
August 2, 2007 3:41:40 PM

Thats cool m8. I sounded a bit arsy to be honest. I know what its like to dream. Hey I wish I had the money to spend. My other hobby is home cinema which is just as pricey as this and have uni, missus and rent.lol!

I dont know what the price diff is between 512mb and 1gb versions are in your country but in the UK your looking at an extra £150 for the two over the 512mb versions for very little performance increase.

I dont see any other probs with your setup its and nice system. I agree with the amd/ati preference. Thats always been my choice. I have no problem admitting I am fanboy. But only with my money and my own time. When it comes to giving other people advise it is what offers the performance for price. In the UK 2x 8800gtx are the same price as 2x 2900xt's 1gb. So I would advise someone to buy the 8800gtx's because they are the better performers but I would always buy the 2900xt's with my own money. Im not some kid im a mature student I dont need to make sure everyone likes what I like.

Anyway iv finished my little rant. If you get permission from the boss (a massage usually helps amoung other things!) get that system built you will have a good gaming system on your hands.
!