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Is This Setup Feasible?

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October 19, 2008 1:08:29 AM

I am building a new computer, and I've chosen the following components.

Motherboard: ASRock K10N780SLIX3-WiFi AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.1GHz Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor Model ADV60000DOBOX - Retail

Video Card 1: ASUS EN9800GT ULTIMATE/HTDP/512M GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Video Card 2: ASUS EN9800GT ULTIMATE/HTDP/512M GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Memory: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

Optical Drive:LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM

($834.87 from newegg, after rebates+1 promo code, and including shipping. Each link points to the respective product on newegg. I also already have a 19" monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.)

And basically, I'm just wondering if this will work. Will it all fit in the case; is it all compatible; do I need a new Heat Sink/Fan for the processor; will SLI work with these two cards, is it efficient, will both cards fit in my Motherboard and leave room for the necessary SATA cables and such; is the power supply sufficient etc.? I just thought it would be a good idea to get the go-ahead from someone who actually knows what they're talking about before buying all of this.

Additionally, I'm wondering if you guys think these are good choices; I'm very open to advice regarding different components or whatever, and would be grateful for any tips you can give me. The only thing is that I want it to be AMD as opposed to Intel. Other notes: Though you probably could've guessed from the dual 9800GT's I'm going to be using this rig for gaming. I will probably be running Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit, and probably also Windows XP Professional. I might throw Ubuntu on it for good measure. I apologize if I've forgotten anything.

Edit: Changed a couple of things.
Edit2: Links now work.

Thank You!!!

More about : setup feasible

a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2008 11:47:30 AM

Your links are all broken... you put something extra into the front of each link.

That processor will be too limiting. If you need to come in around this price point, I would suggest dropping the whole AMD and SLI thing.

4870 $220

ASUS P5QL-E $106.00

E7200 $120.00
Comes in combo with your PSU choice, but you could buy a bit less PSU if you need to.
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October 19, 2008 5:40:57 PM

Well it might but the SLI is still rather pointless. You are basically using two old card when one new one would do a better job around the same price point.

I second Proximon's design using Intel, ATi solution.

Jeremy
October 19, 2008 6:14:58 PM

I'm saying that using 2x 9800GT is not worth it.

I would probably go for 4870 rather than 260. (In fact I did!)

Jeremy
October 19, 2008 6:28:27 PM

Alright, in that case I have two questions:

1. If I do choose the HD 4870 what motherboard should I get?

2. Should I go with the 512mb ($240) or 1GB ($270) HD4870?

Thanks.
October 19, 2008 7:16:24 PM

You will need an intel base. Probably P45 is best. Try offerings from Gigabyte or Asus. The Asus P5Q was well regarded but I don't know if there are newer offerings.

Probably the 1Gb version if it is only $30 more.

Jeremy
October 19, 2008 7:25:28 PM

I'd still rather use AMD, if possible.
October 19, 2008 7:31:30 PM

Generally the reasons people go for Intel are as follows:
- Intel's chipsets are better
- Intel's processors give a better performance for the price
- Intel's processor overclock better
- Intel is about to produce a new tech line and you might, if you are smart, be able to pick up a fast LGA775 socket processor cheaply this time next year.
- Putting two ATi graphics cards together also seems to be superior to NVidia. To do that you need an Intel chipset because NVidia chipsets don't support ATi Xfire.

AMD is still a possibility and they are factoring back in with some price cuts, but still Intel holds most, if not all, the cards.

Jeremy

October 19, 2008 11:12:06 PM

Regarding Intel: I'm not denying any of this; however, between a Phenom 9950 and a Q6600 (which cost the same) there's barely any difference in performance, and I'm not greedy when it comes to overclocking. The Q9300, Q9400 etc. would simply be too expensive, and I don't think it makes sense to pay that kind of money when both AMD and Intel are going to be releasing their next generation of processors soon (Deneb + Nehalem).

Anyway, here's my updated component list:

Motherboard: Foxconn A7DA-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Processor: AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HD995ZXAGHBOX - Retail

Video Card: MSI R4870 T2D1G OC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Memory: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

Optical Drive:LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM

It comes to a grand total of $874.19, which I'm happy with. I'm still not sure about the motherboard though; it says it has two PCIE x16 2.0 slots in the specifications, but here's a comment that was on newegg:

"I'm seriously considering an RMA on this one. PCIe X16 only applies to first X16 slot, second slot is X8 so discrete crossfire setup would actually only be running at X8."

So I'm not exactly sure what to think. It's quite unlikely that I'll use crossfire, but I don't really understand what the implications of this guy's comment are, in case I do decide I want to use crossfire. Will this significantly affect the performance of dual 4870's?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2008 5:29:10 AM

I have no objection to a 9950 actually. You are correct on the similarity to Q6600.

However, keep in mind that you will not have much of an upgrade option on that processor, where an Intel CPU would leave you with some upgrade room.

790GX is a good choice for the MB.

Consider getting a retail burner for a few bucks more... because they come with burning software.
October 20, 2008 6:47:49 PM

Thanks Proximon, though could you tell me more about upgrading potential? Aren't the socket AM3 next generation AMD processors going to fit in my motherboard?

Also I'm thinking of switching to this motherboard: Alright I switched to this motherboard:DFI LANPARTY DK 790FX-M2RS AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Would that be a good idea?

And I changed the Hard Drive to this one: Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

which has a 32Gb cache and is only $5 more.

And I added this CPU Heatsink/Fan: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm "Core Contact Freezer" CPU Cooler - Retail

Any comments on these? Good decisions?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
October 21, 2008 1:02:10 AM

Rumor has it that Deneb will not run on current motherboards, although I have nothing official.

There are perhaps one or two CPUs in the future planned to upgrade the 9950... but they will likely be small upgrades and not worth the bother. hence, my comment. You could buy a faster E8400 dual core for less, or a Q6600 for about the same price, and have upgrade options that would actually be worthwhile in a year, since the Intel Q9650is a good deal faster.

If you still must do AMD, thats a very good chipset. A good budget choice on the DFI.

Did someone tell you to change the HD? the WD is faster. 32Mb cache is not an improvement in HDs.

The Sunbeam is the best, but I don't like the push-pins. I prefer the optional bolt down system of the Xigmatek S-1283 + bracket.
October 21, 2008 2:19:19 AM

Yeah I decided the first hard drive would actually be better.

Now I'm not sure what case I want though, I'm considering this one: RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEBP 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB

or perhaps this one: COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel

Do you think all my components will fit in those cases (even if I decided to get another HD4780 and run them in Crossfire)? Also would the cooling be sufficient to overclock to 3.0GHz? Any recommendations?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
October 21, 2008 2:48:55 AM

The Raidmax is interesting but a bit cramped and the airflow is not the best. The PSU that comes with it is crap of course.

The Cooler master case is OK IF you are using a stock CPU cooler and install an extra fan in the front. Otherwise the hole and cone over the CPU are just in the way.

It's hard to argue with the basic design of the Antec 300, although you would need to add some fans.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This NZXT also looks to be decent:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 23, 2008 2:20:46 AM

Alright, I've further revised my setup and here's what I've come up with:

Motherboard: DFI LANPARTY DK 790FX-M2RS AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Processor: AMD Phenom 9950 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HD995ZFAJ4BGH - OEM

Video Card: EVGA 896-P3-1265-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Memory: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail

Power Supply: Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Optical Drive:LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM

CPU Cooler: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm "Core Contact Freezer" CPU Cooler - Retail

Case Fans: 2x APEVIA CF12SL-UBL 120mm Blue LED Case Fan - Retail

I found a pretty epic combo deal that allowed me to get the GTX 260 216-core and the 750W PSU for only $330 after mail-in rebates. Though I could also get:


  • Thermaltake W0106RU 700W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
  • GIGABYTE GV-R487-512H-B Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    that^ for only $265 which is ridiculously cheap, but the card doesn't have the greatest reviews and the PSU is 700W

    So are the extra 2 fans a good idea? Is the Antec 300 good? Do you guys think all this will fit? Should I get an nForce motherboard instead (though I seriously doubt I'm going to use SLI if I get this card), and overall what do you think of this setup? Should I go with the HD 4870? Do you guys agree with my choices (other than the 9550 which I know no one will ;) )?

    Altogether it costs $850, after shipping and mail-in rebates.

    I really appreciate anyone taking the time to respond to this! Thank you.
    a b U Graphics card
    October 23, 2008 4:17:31 PM

    I would definitely go back to the HD 4870 since that motherboard supports crossfire. Even if you don't think you'll ever add a second card, at least the option is there.
    a c 106 U Graphics card
    October 23, 2008 8:12:35 PM

    Seems like you're being torn in every which direction there :) . Anyway those 9800GTs you originally picked out are more like a GTX due to the number of shaders and clock speeds as they only seem slightly deficient to a GTX in memory speed. In most cases those two cards in SLi would be faster than any single GPU card. Considering though that such a setup would basically be equal in performance to a 9800GX2, the GX2 seems like a better choice than those two 9800GTs you originally picked :D . Anyway I do think that an AMD chipset with a Radeon 4800 series card is a better option. Since you aren't going to overclock you don't need the SB750 so I would go with this board, which is what I have

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 $109.99 + 9.39 ship
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Or this 790FX board

    MSI K9A2 Platinum $149.99 + 9.39 ship
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Having a board with two 16x slots will give you slightly better performance with crossfire than a board with two 8x slots, but to be honest it only seems to be noticeable when dealing with two 4870X2s. If you consider a different board then I recommend going with ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, or MSI. I really don't like the support of Foxconn and am not crazy about ECS, but the choice is yours. As for a video card I would say go with two of the following.

    ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/1G Radeon HD 4850 1GB $199.99 + 8.97 ship
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    HIS Hightech H485QS1GP Radeon HD 4850 1GB $229.99 + 8.97 ship
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB $159.99 + 8.25
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M $169.99 + 8.97 ship
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    The cooling solution used on the ASUS cards is very quiet, or at least the one on mine is. The 1GB cards are more expensive, but certain games, such as GRID, are already showing a benefit from the extra memory. You could get a single 1GB card now, and then add another one latter should you feel the need for more performance.
    !