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New gaming rig with HD 5970

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November 20, 2009 11:17:27 AM

New member here! :hello: 

So I decided to buy parts for a new computer and have my friend build it. My girlfriend got me an early birthday present today (Diamond Radeon HD 5970 for ~$700 with tax), and I need to buy components commensurate with the Radeon's performance.

I've been researching for days but there is just too much information to crunch because I'm buying parts this Saturday :pt1cable: 

I've been able to narrow it down to:
Intel Core i7-920 with an x58 motherboard
6GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM

Other than that, I have no idea what I need (power supply, hard drive, optical drive, etc).

What would you guys suggest? I'd like to keep the cost of everything (besides the video card, mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speakers) under $1000.

TIA :) 

More about : gaming rig 5970

November 20, 2009 11:18:45 AM

Forgot to add, I will be buying all the parts from Fry's Electronics.
November 20, 2009 1:20:04 PM

You lucky son of a *, what an awesome girlfriend!


frys
* Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 920
* Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P Motherboard
* Kingston 6GB DDR3 1600MHz
* Corsair CMPSU-750TX
* Pioneer 20x Internal DVR-1910B5PK
* SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F1 1TB
$928.94

Why do you want to buy there? Their assortment is rather limited and outdated.


newegg
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...
$936.94

It's basically the same apart from a better/newer HDD, optical drive and a different RAM (not better but afaik not worse either).


If you need a case it will probably blow the budget by a few bucks.
Related resources
November 20, 2009 1:32:31 PM

I want to buy the components at a physical location so I can have the system built and running on Saturday.

So all I would have to buy are those components? What kind of case should I get? I understand that my video card is humongous.. do I need to get an unusually large case to fit it?
November 20, 2009 1:55:13 PM

The typical recommendation is to get a HAF 932 or HAF 922. Both are fairly large mid tower cases with good airflow.
November 20, 2009 2:46:49 PM

You may want to consider getting a larger PSU. Normally 750w is enough for pretty much anything, but the 5970 is made to be overclocked and it will eat 400 watts if overclocked the way it was meant to be. The 5970 at stock is an underclocked card so as to use less than 300 watts so it can claim to be pcie 2.0 compliant. Also, make sure your PSU has 2 8 pin connectors. I think anything with 4 pcie connections will suffice.
November 20, 2009 3:03:18 PM

I am not planning to overclock the card, because any overclocking voids the warranty. If anything, I'll just get another 5970 and run crossfire (much) later down the line.

So my PSU should have two 8 pin connectors? Other things I'm reading tell me it requires one 6 pin and one 8 pin connector?

And if I can't get all the components including the case for under $1,000, should I consider using an i7-8xx processor, or will it severely bottleneck the 5970?
November 20, 2009 3:13:10 PM

KidHorn said:
You may want to consider getting a larger PSU. Normally 750w is enough for pretty much anything, but the 5970 is made to be overclocked and it will eat 400 watts if overclocked the way it was meant to be. The 5970 at stock is an underclocked card so as to use less than 300 watts so it can claim to be pcie 2.0 compliant. Also, make sure your PSU has 2 8 pin connectors. I think anything with 4 pcie connections will suffice.



@Kidhorn, am I to understand a crossfire 5970 OC'ed would eat about 800 wts?? :pt1cable: 
November 20, 2009 3:26:27 PM

Hm, I've been reading more about the processors, and it seems to me that the best bang for the buck processor is the i7-920.
So, if I were to get these components:
* Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 920
* Gigabyte
GA-EX58-UD4P Motherboard
* Kingston 6GB DDR3 1600MHz
* Corsair CMPSU-750TX
* Pioneer 20x Internal DVR-1910B5PK
* SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F1 1TB

and also a mid-tower case, I could finish building the computer?
November 20, 2009 4:33:40 PM

waynegman said:
@Kidhorn, am I to understand a crossfire 5970 OC'ed would eat about 800 wts?? :pt1cable: 


Based on what I've read, yes.

1 5970 is basically 2 5870's that are downclocked. So a crossfired, OC'd, 5970 would basically be 4 5870's running at stock.
November 20, 2009 4:37:23 PM

ckim2116 said:

So my PSU should have two 8 pin connectors? Other things I'm reading tell me it requires one 6 pin and one 8 pin connector?


Actually, I'm not 100% sure. I don't own one or have even seen one. I've just read a couple of reviews. As long as you don't OC, you only need a 6 pin and an 8 pin. If you plan on OC'ing, you may need 2 8 pins since a 6 pin can only handle 150 watts by itself. I think the board can take 2 8 pins or an 8 pin and a 6 pin. I have to admit, reading about the 8 and 6 pin connections was kind of confusing to me and I may be way off.

Edit:
Look at
http://www.trustedreviews.com/graphics/review/2009/11/1...

"AMD also pointed out that OEMs will have the option to use two 8-pin power connectors and significantly overclock its cards to sell at a premium. It will be some time before such cards arrive though."

So it sounds like currently you will use a 6 pin and an 8 pin, but the card has the option of having 2 8 pin connections for better overclocking.
November 20, 2009 4:45:41 PM

I would go to the fry's you live near and check out what they have.

Their website is downright awful. I went to to a frys in DFW and they had way more choices on nearly everything compared to the website.
November 20, 2009 5:46:07 PM

ckim2116 said:
I am not planning to overclock the card, because any overclocking voids the warranty. If anything, I'll just get another 5970 and run crossfire (much) later down the line.

So my PSU should have two 8 pin connectors? Other things I'm reading tell me it requires one 6 pin and one 8 pin connector?

And if I can't get all the components including the case for under $1,000, should I consider using an i7-8xx processor, or will it severely bottleneck the 5970?


You need one 8 pin and one 6 pin connector and plug-in both into the card.

I think even the 920 will bottleneck at some point.

If you really want to CF then get a bigger PSU. A single 5970 system consumes around 450W or more, add 300 (5970), 100 (safety margin) and you will end up with 850W.
Corsair TX850W or HX850W (modular) or another quality brand!
Though, I don't see the point in CFing, unless you want to use Eyefinity. :D 
November 20, 2009 6:12:00 PM

Where are you guys getting all this math from. A 650w psu (Corsair) will run a non oced 5970. ATI recommends even a 650w. A Corsair is already downrated about 100w from to get go. ATI will obviously give you headroom in the recommended watts for liability reasons, if you underspecified the watts required you know how many nasty phone calls they would get from people who bought to small of PSUs?? A Corsair 650w will be sufficient for one 5970.

PROOF:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
MAXIMUM BOARD POWER:294W



November 20, 2009 6:40:59 PM

650 may be enough for a non OCed but for OC I'd get the 750.
As you can see in my last posting, I was talking about CF (CrossFire) where I did recommend a 850W PSU.
November 20, 2009 6:43:59 PM

The OP said he IS NOT OC'ing.
Even overclocked a 650 is enough.
November 20, 2009 6:58:30 PM

He didn't say anything at first, thus I recommended the 750 since 5970 begs to be overclocked. I much rather be safe when overclocking to be honest.
November 20, 2009 11:29:17 PM

Alright, just got back from Fry's :) 
I already have the Radeon HD 5970, so I bought:

1. Intel Core i7-920
2. DDR3 6GB 1333MHz Tri Channel
3. Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
4. Corsair CMPSU-650TX- 650W
5. WD 750GB Serial ATA/300HD, 32 MB buffer
6. Cooler Master HAF 932
7. Lite-On 24X SATA DVD-RW Gen II
8. Netgear WG311 G PCI 54 Mbps Wireless-G PCI Adapter
9. Windows 7 Home Premium

Anything you guys would change with this setup? I hope this build works; I really don't want to drive back to Fry's again :( 
November 20, 2009 11:31:24 PM

I would've gone with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB HDD mentioned by ckim, but that's a minor thing...
November 23, 2009 4:52:57 AM

Hey you can have Fry's price match for the i7 920 to Match Microcenters i7 920 price. I do it all the time. ;)  $199 for the i7 920.
November 23, 2009 10:53:24 AM

Don't get a wireless G card. G is out. N is in. An N card should work with a G router.
November 23, 2009 11:52:22 AM

KidHorn said:
Don't get a wireless G card. G is out. N is in. An N card should work with a G router.


Most N cards are backwards compatible. Just double-check before you buy. The N-band cards offer two advantages:
1) Better signal (N-band routers deliver a stronger signal from further away).
2) Significantly better wireless data transfer rates. Useful for in-home networking (if you have a Network-Storage device that you use). N-band can push up to 300 Mb/s (which equates to 37.5 MegaBytes/second). A G-band router usually runs about 54 Mb/s (or around 7 MB/s).

PS - yeah I know bits and bytes are confusing. It's all thanks to the marketing department taking advantage of computer terms which 90% of the population doesn't understand. There are 8 bits to a byte. Bits are denoted by a lower-case b, bytes are denoted by an upper-case B.


PPS - Wired connections will still always give you better in-home networking speeds. The new routers and the new CAT 6 cables offer 1 Gb/s (125 MB/s) transfer speeds, or three times faster than the best wireless speeds. Wired Gigabit-links are cheaper too.
November 24, 2009 5:58:10 AM

ckim2116 said:
Alright, just got back from Fry's :) 
I already have the Radeon HD 5970, so I bought:

1. Intel Core i7-920
2. DDR3 6GB 1333MHz Tri Channel
3. Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
4. Corsair CMPSU-650TX- 650W
5. WD 750GB Serial ATA/300HD, 32 MB buffer
6. Cooler Master HAF 932
7. Lite-On 24X SATA DVD-RW Gen II
8. Netgear WG311 G PCI 54 Mbps Wireless-G PCI Adapter
9. Windows 7 Home Premium

Anything you guys would change with this setup? I hope this build works; I really don't want to drive back to Fry's again :( 



Since parts bought I'd check Ebay for a 300GB VelociRaptor to use as your C: drive and make the 750GB D:, a CPU regardless what it is can only work as fast as it can swap out Windows and Program files.

Two types of drive speed one's long term high volumes of data mostly booting for our use while servers transfer a lot of data for web sites too.

C: or your main drive response time matters or burst speeds, the VelociRaptor replaced the old 150GB Raptor with 2 advantages one 35% quicker but the 300GB size change since allows Windows and Programs to run on the main drive. The 2nd drive should be at least 500GB to 1TB and used for backups of C: of no other method and of course your downloads.

Only problem is your main drive is the only part more of a hassle to upgrade than your Mobo so if possible decide now. Ebay prices run from list to half when an item has good availability, one 300GB VR is around $170 now while most almost double. If in a hurry I have no new ones but a few used they're for builds but could be replaced

General Comment: If you Ebay check QX9770 CPUs daily if have time. they require an X48 Board but those can be found. The QX9770 was the only 1600 FSB Intel CPU and is still highly sought after long after no longer built. I'd use them over most any CPU if they didn't run used near the same price as the 975. Makes a great OC Period and a 1st OC too - just get a Zalman 9700 Cooler (or same level) set the voltage at 1.39 and change multiplier from 8 to 10, They run Windows stable at 4Ghz on Air, am Running one now actually.
November 26, 2009 9:35:12 AM

nofun said:
Most N cards are backwards compatible. Just double-check before you buy. The N-band cards offer two advantages:
1) Better signal (N-band routers deliver a stronger signal from further away).
2) Significantly better wireless data transfer rates. Useful for in-home networking (if you have a Network-Storage device that you use). N-band can push up to 300 Mb/s (which equates to 37.5 MegaBytes/second). A G-band router usually runs about 54 Mb/s (or around 7 MB/s).

PS - yeah I know bits and bytes are confusing. It's all thanks to the marketing department taking advantage of computer terms which 90% of the population doesn't understand. There are 8 bits to a byte. Bits are denoted by a lower-case b, bytes are denoted by an upper-case B.


PPS - Wired connections will still always give you better in-home networking speeds. The new routers and the new CAT 6 cables offer 1 Gb/s (125 MB/s) transfer speeds, or three times faster than the best wireless speeds. Wired Gigabit-links are cheaper too.


I'm actually very interested in these N cards. I had no info about these cards when I bought it, and the salesman at Fry's recommended this one. Not only is it a G card, which apparently is much slower than N, it also does not work even with all the drivers installed. Is it possible that the card I bought isn't compatible with my build?
November 26, 2009 11:05:32 AM

ckim2116 said:
I'm actually very interested in these N cards. I had no info about these cards when I bought it, and the salesman at Fry's recommended this one. Not only is it a G card, which apparently is much slower than N, it also does not work even with all the drivers installed. Is it possible that the card I bought isn't compatible with my build?


I haven't the foggiest idea :(  Networking opens a whole can of worms unfortunately. Are you sure that your card isn't being recognized by your machine? That would be a hardware issue. If your card isn't picking up your in-home network (but does appear to be recognized by your machine), then something else is going on. Could always be a defective card.

Again, for a desktop machine, why not just go for a wired connection? Will the cables just get in the way? Can you run them through your attic and drop them down into another room? this will give better speed, and will probably cost a little less.
November 27, 2009 11:37:42 AM

KidHorn said:
Actually, I'm not 100% sure. I don't own one or have even seen one. I've just read a couple of reviews. As long as you don't OC, you only need a 6 pin and an 8 pin. If you plan on OC'ing, you may need 2 8 pins since a 6 pin can only handle 150 watts by itself. I think the board can take 2 8 pins or an 8 pin and a 6 pin. I have to admit, reading about the 8 and 6 pin connections was kind of confusing to me and I may be way off.

Edit:
Look at
http://www.trustedreviews.com/graphics/review/2009/11/1...

"AMD also pointed out that OEMs will have the option to use two 8-pin power connectors and significantly overclock its cards to sell at a premium. It will be some time before such cards arrive though."

So it sounds like currently you will use a 6 pin and an 8 pin, but the card has the option of having 2 8 pin connections for better overclocking.



Card Photos show same as the HD4870X2 on the HD5970, one 6 pin one 8 pin
!