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I7-860 P55 @ $1400

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November 21, 2009 7:11:37 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 week, after reviewing Thanksgiving deals

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, video/graphic editing, 3D modeling

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Up to 2

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Will upgrade soon to a 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am near my max. budget with this setup. Looking for a solid system to last for a few years.

FUTURE PLANS: In a year planning to...
1. Upgrade to dual video cards (same or later series).
2. Adding an extra hard drive for backup.
3. Possibly adding another monitor.
4. Considering adding a liquid-cooling system to cut back on fan noise.
What do you think?


Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: (2) CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Drivers: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: When more money is available I will probably upgrade the card but for now these are within my budget. Not sure which card is better?
SAPPHIRE 100269HDMI Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any suggestions or advice is greatly accepted!

More about : 860 p55 1400

November 21, 2009 7:20:14 PM

The 4890 is generally a faster card than the 260. You should go with that one.
November 21, 2009 7:25:15 PM

I would go for a HX PSU from Corsair, thats modular
I would go for a socket 1366 mobo, if you want SLI/Crossfire
and I would go for The GTX260, the ATI' drivers aren't as good as nvidia's drivers (which include physX). On the other hand, if you want DirectX 11, you can go with a 5770 or 5850 from ATI, and live with the lesser drivers.
Would advise to go with the samsung spinpoint F3 1TB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 21, 2009 7:35:04 PM

Instead of getting 8 Gig of RAM, just use 4, its more than enough. Then just put that extra $100 towards getting a 5850. Done.
November 21, 2009 7:35:44 PM

Driver problems are mostly a thing of the past. Check some benchmarks around the internet and you'll see that the 4890 is generally the faster card.
November 21, 2009 7:54:07 PM

Wait, I just looked at the budget. Why not go for an LGA 1366 build? This will give you dual x16 PCIe lanes for when you eventually upgrade to a DX11 card or two.
November 21, 2009 9:48:27 PM

The x16 lanes vs the x8 have been shown to be near insignificant.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-meets-pci...
Within 7 FPS, thats not worth it.
Go with the 4890 or 5770, get a 650w Corsair with both of those, it will be enough for crossfire later.
Get a Spinpoint f3, its faster and cheaper per gb. Blacks are horribly overpriced right now.
A case like the 932 isnt going to be loud, not worth water cool.
As said above, 4gb of ram is plenty.
The Sabertooth is a really nice board, I love mine. If you don't need a full tower case look at the Lian Li PC-K62, its very very cool and really silent.
November 21, 2009 10:22:47 PM

^+1
November 21, 2009 10:54:22 PM

Thank you everyone for the advice. Upon reading your comments and further research I have decided to make the following revisions:

Motherboard: ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the same price I have upgraded the chip and socket. Hopefully this will provide greater option when upgrading down the road. As for the board, its on point with my budget. I have not found a clear reason yet to invest an extra $20-50 in the Deluxe or Deluxe V2. Any advice for a mother board at this price?
November 22, 2009 2:11:58 PM

sonic-boom said:
The x16 lanes vs the x8 have been shown to be near insignificant.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-meets-pci...
Within 7 FPS, thats not worth it.
Go with the 4890 or 5770, get a 650w Corsair with both of those, it will be enough for crossfire later.
Get a Spinpoint f3, its faster and cheaper per gb. Blacks are horribly overpriced right now.
A case like the 932 isnt going to be loud, not worth water cool.
As said above, 4gb of ram is plenty.
The Sabertooth is a really nice board, I love mine. If you don't need a full tower case look at the Lian Li PC-K62, its very very cool and really silent.


Yeah, that's right NOW, but the OP said that he/she would be upgrading to dual video card setup in the future. And that probably means 2 DX11 cards, which are about twice as powerful as the cards used in the comparison you linked. If you're losing 7 frames on this generation of cards, will the problem get better or worse when your system eventually needs to support two 5850s? Just something to consider especially since it wouldn't stress the budget.

EDIT: Holy ***. I didn't look at first, but that link you gave was using cards as-powerful-as the 3850? And so the conclusion is that a small bottleneck on a 3850 crossfire translates to the same bottleneck or not as much of a bottleneck on two 4890s or two 5850s? That seems incorrect to me.

Quote:
It remains to be seen what the situation will be when newer graphics cards such as the Geforce 9 or the Radeon 4xx0 begin transferring larger amounts of data over the bus. At any rate, the P35 and 975 chipsets are easily sufficient for the current generation of cards.


^that's how dated that article is.
November 22, 2009 4:25:18 PM

Quote:
Add the second card, though, and the inflexible x8/x8 design actually turns into a detriment, as the X58’s dual x16 links allow it the lead across the board. The good news for mainstream gamers who weren’t even considering X58, however, is that Core i5 is still able to best Intel’s Core 2 Quad and its P45 platform. Incidentally, in two of the three tests, AMD’s Phenom II X4 920 also slides past the Core 2 Quad (falling short of the i5).


referring to 3D Mark Vantage comparison.

The crysis benchmark even shows core i5 /losing/ performance in the crossfire configuration. Why bother with something that's already having difficulty with crossfire if the OP wants something that will "last a few years" and is thinking about "upgrading to dual video cards"?
November 22, 2009 5:36:02 PM

mortonww said:
Quote:
Add the second card, though, and the inflexible x8/x8 design actually turns into a detriment, as the X58’s dual x16 links allow it the lead across the board. The good news for mainstream gamers who weren’t even considering X58, however, is that Core i5 is still able to best Intel’s Core 2 Quad and its P45 platform. Incidentally, in two of the three tests, AMD’s Phenom II X4 920 also slides past the Core 2 Quad (falling short of the i5).


referring to 3D Mark Vantage comparison.

The crysis benchmark even shows core i5 /losing/ performance in the crossfire configuration. Why bother with something that's already having difficulty with crossfire if the OP wants something that will "last a few years" and is thinking about "upgrading to dual video cards"?


It only loses performance at 1680x1050 at High Details, no AA, no AF (in that regards it fares better than C2Q and Phenom II which also lose at that res with 4xAA). At 2560x1600 it gains ~19% FPS.

Noakes, since you are looking at the i7 860 it's also fair to pull this quote out of the conclusion:
Quote:
Are eight lanes per card enough? Almost certainly, yes…in this story. There is a perceivable performance ding associated with halving PCI Express bandwidth when two cards are installed. However, if you flip over to our Core i5 and Core i7 gaming analysis, which tests these two new chips with Turbo Boost turned on, you'll see that in most cases, the higher clocks measured there are able to make up some of the losses at low resolutions, while high-res tests demonstrate very close performance between the mainstream P55 platform and higher-end X58-based configurations.



Don't get me wrong. There is a difference between the x16,x16 and x8,x8 setup, but it is most-notable only at the highest-end GPUs. For example, you get more out of quad-core CF/SLI GPUs (such as 2x 4870x2) when dealing with x16,x16. However, at 2x single card setups the gains seem to be much more modest. Marginal even. It depends on your GPU. I've found 3 articles in particular to be helpful sorting through the situation.

Sonic-Boom already linked to this Tom's article which was quoted above. It has lots of good data, but is using quad-GPU setups. The conclusion puts things in perspective (all of the points, not just the one I quoted above, provide a better perspective and balance).
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-lynnfield,2...

Here's a second article, it's older but helps give a picture of the recent history of CF/SLI performance. I pulled out this quote but the article is worth a read: "The P45 offers dual PCI Express x8 operation in CrossFire mode compared to dual x16 on the 790FX, X48, and X58 boards. However, we did not notice any performance differences between dual x8 and dual x16 operation when comparing the P45 to the X48 in offline testing utilizing our resolutions and quality settings."
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=3506&p=1

Finally, from a review of Lynnfield (comparing to CF/SLI on Bloomfield), when dealing with dual (2x single) GPUs "For the most part, the X58 platform was only a couple of percent better in scaling." However when moving up to more intensive, and more expensive, quad (2x dual) GPUs "Almost across the board the quad-GPU results significantly favor X58."
Keep in mind this is in a stress test running all settings at their max, resolution at 2560 x 1600 but with no AA. You can read this here:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...
!