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Need opinion on "budget" gaming build

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October 22, 2009 5:23:28 PM

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE 2.8GHz
VGA: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850
MB: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GT-UD3H AM3 ATX
RAM: 4x2GB DDR3 Corsair PC10600 9CL
HD: INTEL X25-M G2 34nm 80GB

My instinct tells me the CPU will be the bottleneck here... But what do you guys/ladies think?? Will this machine be able to feed the 5850 properly in 3D games?? I intend to OC to 3.5GHz at least (let's find the breakpoint of this baby), maybe even unlock the 4th core, though that would be a lucky strike(don't even know if it's possible on the 785G chipset).

I want to game at 1920x1080 with maximum quality(all options checked) on the latest titles.... Woud it be possible?? Or am I just dreaming again..?
October 22, 2009 7:31:43 PM

The processor could be a bottleneck for the GPU, buy a Phenom II X4 955 is really good.
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October 22, 2009 7:34:13 PM

Not everything is multi-threaded so the CPU probably won't be a bottleneck for awhile, especially since he espressed interest in OCing it. I'd say he probably be fine with it. So all it really is a question of is does he want a guaranteed 3 or 4 core processor (as he might be able to unlock the 4th core and be stable if the mobo is capable)
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October 22, 2009 7:45:13 PM

It's right now all about games... So how common is it for 3D games to really push more than 3 cores.... Are they really all that multithreaded??? I'm planning for a gulftown upgrade down the road(ok, probably 2 years+ from now), but how about current titles, will I be beating my head because the frame rate is too slow on new titles???
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October 22, 2009 8:05:58 PM

Most games still only use one core anyway. Even if that CPU is your bottleneck it should be fast enough to run almost everything like you want. There are a few games (like Crysis) that even a single 5870 is arguably not fast enough for but games like that are rare. There are a couple games (like GTA4) that really use multiple cores and would run faster on a quad, but once again its pretty rare. For the next 2-3 years that system will be great.
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October 22, 2009 8:20:16 PM

DND, thanks!
You'd say in my build games like crysis will still make my GPU the bottleneck and not the CPU?? (thought the 5850 would take care of the GPU bottleneck on this system).
My plans are to upgrade the MB and CPU down the road to a 1366 with USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb(whenever they actually get these things into the mainstream) + gulftown or some sort of not too expensive 1366 CPU(maybe very much cheaper i7 920 or such).. And then add another 5850 for crossfire, that ought to fix the GPU bottleneck I then face I'd guess..

Of course you never know what AMD comes up with by then, maybe they'll even give the 1366 platform a run for the money??

Good to hear that someone believes in the build at least for now ;) 
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October 22, 2009 8:21:11 PM

I agree with dndhatcher, but I thought I'd add that I would drop the SSD, get cheaper RAM, and even switch to a 770 board in order to afford a 955.
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October 22, 2009 8:29:41 PM

jonasf said:
DND, thanks!
You'd say in my build games like crysis will still make my GPU the bottleneck and not the CPU?? (thought the 5850 would take care of the GPU bottleneck on this system).

Even on an i7-975 (the fastest quad available today) a single 5870 wont play crysis well at full settings and 1920x1200. Its has nothing to do with bottlenecking, the game just requires excessive GPU power.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...
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October 22, 2009 8:35:25 PM

JBaker.... I hear you, but I can't stand long load times, for anything..... It just makes my brand new system feels old and slow!!! Just went through Never winter nights on this slow old hog of mine Athlon XP 1600, 1 Gb RAM, Geforce 6600 512Mb and the load times going from one area to another.. Or one level to another on other games, it's like a stutter in frame rates, only the stutter takes like half a minute...

I intend to put my most used apps on the SSD and image files, crucial game files, browsing cache and other stuff that needs real speed on a ramdisk(see that 8Gb ram in the spec). Like when I know I' busy finishing one particular game I'll put all save files, area images etc on a ramdisk while playnig and havnig the full application installed on the SSD.....

I just hate the load times... :-(
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October 22, 2009 8:49:13 PM

Are you implying that you do not intend to have a disk drive? If so, you should do a little more reading about the cycle life of SSDs. Why not raid 0 a set of 3 or 4 drives for the cost of your SSD?
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October 22, 2009 9:04:01 PM

Oneold.... I intend to add "storage", that's how I think of HDs these days.. OK here it goes:
2 x SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F1 1TB SATA/300 7200RPM 32MB

These will run in Raid 1 to make sure I still have the data there, I'd hate to loose all photos, documents and other stuff I've done through the years because some mechanical component felt a bit old and worn down.. But you could see this as my way of adding a "USB store book" or whatever creative names they come up with for those HDs with a USB connection to them. I just don't see them as something that adds performance, even with 4 raptor drives in raid 0 you'd be looking at appalling random read speed.... Just loading the OS on those would be way slower than an Intel SSD. Traditional HDs just can't compete in that way (in my opinion)
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October 22, 2009 9:10:03 PM

Oneold, BTW write intensitive stuff will go on the ramdisk which will be mirrored to the storage array(small partition, first sectors of the disks). That way I can minimize wear and tear on the SSD which should only be used for reads...(almost anyway).
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