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February 20, 2010 7:14:47 AM


Hey,

I'm new to the forums and I'm from the UK :ange: 

Firstly I have several questions Id like to ask about CPUs. I'm thinking of getting a completely new rig with something along the lines of a gtx 295, and I was thinking maybe an i7 920 might be a good idea. But firstly there's some things Id like to learn first.

(Note, I will be probably using a build something along the lines of: GTX 295, OS:XP 64-BIT or maybe vista or windows 7, RAM: 1600mhz, 700watt power supply – may get higher if needed and the rest is undecided and will be using a native resolution of 1920x1200)

1. Are sockets really that important, do they even come with the CPU or do you have to buy them separately/can you buy them separately?

2.Is it possible to overclock it to any amount (10ghz for example)?

3. I do a lot of multitasking (in between 10-100 Mozilla firefoxes open at a time, steam, game, email, music, windows media player and possibly ventrillo in future etc), could a core CPU handle this and would this make much of a difference anyway? If so please state whether the Mozilla Firefox's make much of a difference please

4.Name me some programmes (including games) that multithread and explain what they do

5.Is the i7 920 overkill for one gtx 295 at 1920x1200?

6. Is it good enough for 2 or 3 in SLI?

7.What is your opinion on the i7 920 vs AMD PHENOM II X4 965?

8. If you think there are more necessary processors out there to meet my needs please tell me, and maybe if you think Id be better off with dual processors (money wise and performance)

Thanks

More about : cpus

a c 131 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 8:24:06 AM

1. A socket is where the CPU goes on the motherboard. All components go into the motherboard do yes, it is very important or your computer will not work. Also, a cpu is only compatible with one socket.

2. No. Well, you can set any amount but it won't work for the same reason you can't buy a 10GHz CPU. Each CPU is a little different. The limitations when overclocking will be hit by heat and stability. If a cpu becomes unstable, it will give logic error (example, 2+2=4.01) and will crash your computer. This is why people use programs such as prime95 to test for stability.

3. The operating system will distribute the processes and threads across the cpu cores to provide best performance. When you ask if it makes a difference, you failed to tell us what we are comparing it to. I'm going to assume you mean against a CPU with less cores. Yes it makes a difference, especially with that many tabs. I have a dual core laptop and a quad desktop, although clock speed is also a factor. I like to open lots of tabs and find my quad more responsive so that is from a "feel" perspective. Then again it's all a matter of opinion. You could do all that with an athlon IIx2. It would work faster with a faster processor.

4. I don't know. Dragon Age is well core optimized as are a hell of a lot of programs these days. I am not a programmer so I do not know the programming details but the idea is to split the workload into multiple "threads" which can each be processed by one core. So the more threads the better because since each thread can be processed by a core, 4 cores would run 4 threads at a time. If there was only one thread, the program would only be able to utilize 1 core and therefore there would be no parallel processing.

5. I don't think so based on this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...
In most of the benchmarks, the 295 scaled better with the most powerful processor. Notice how in most games it is worse than the "worse" cards when paired with the dual core. I would rather go with a 5870 or 5870 but that's just me.

6. Is what good enough for 2 or 3 way SLI? The CPU? Well, if it isn't, it's not like there are any better choices. I'm sure it will be fine though.

7. I think the i7 is not worth it's cost over the Phenom II x4 965 but it is the clear winner. You would not regret a phenom II 965 it would be powerful enough and overclock pretty good. A disadvantage is that the motherboard that support it will either have SLI or Crossfire support, not both like the i7 system would.

8. Any processor above the 720 will not give returns for your $$$. Dual cores are going the way of single cores. Parallel processing is the future. Though, without you telling us what you intend to do with the computer, we really can't help you anymore. you said "game" but not what games. Each game is different.

Alright now I'm going to state my personal opinion based on what I think you are doing with your computer:
Cost effective, I personally would prefer a system of the following to do what you want:
-Phenom IIx4 955 (the 965 is great but costs more. Besides I can overclock the 955 to 965 speeds just by changing the multiplier. Why not a 920? I think it's overpriced.
-ATI Radeon 5870 (The most powerful single card today. I prefer the single cards over the dual cards (5970, GTX295 etc) or crossfire/SLI because of the more consistent performance. Not all games can take advantage or full advantage of the crossfire/SLI so I prefer the best single card. Although it is not as powerful as a GTX295 overall, it still beats it in some things)
-Ram with good timings. Don't just look at the MHz. DDR3-1600MHz at 9-9-9-28 will be slower than DDR3 1200MHz at 7-7-7-24. 4-6GB should be good. Any more is wasted.

Anyway I hope I answered your questions. If you have anymore or need clarification on one of my answers let me know.
February 20, 2010 2:30:00 PM

7. The i7 blows the AMD out of the water. I have a AMD quad 3.0, I've used the i7 and there is a huge difference in the 2 my next rig will be intell for sure.

On a personal note ATI drivers are BAD, i would wait a month untill nVidia drops the 485 if your going to build a great rig I think intell/nVidia is the way to go, if you want a comparable rig but dont want to spend huge money go with amd/ati.
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a c 229 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 3:20:41 PM

1. Sockets are a component on the Motherboard (MoBo). A 920 requires a 1366 socket. A 750 requires a 1156 socket. In general, you want 1366 over the 1156 if:

a) You will run programs that use multiple threads are a lot of multitasking
b) You anticipate a future upgrade to a hexacore processor some time between March 16, 2010 and the next few years.
c) You can take advanatatge of triple channel memory which the haxacores will be able to do at a greater extent than the quad cores
d) You anticipate using high bandwidth devices like professional RAID, SAS, SATAIII
e) You anticipate using multiple hi end GFX cards

2. IIRC, the OC record is around 8 Ghz using LN2. A good 24/7 target for the 920 (2.66 "stock") is 3.6 - 3.8 w/ all BIOS features enabled (i.e. HT). For gaming, ya can disable HT and leave most other BIOS settings alone and hit 4.2 - 4.4 Ghz

3. Multitasking pushes you to 1366.

4. Adobe products are known to utilize multiple threads as are design programs.

5. No if anything, the other way around.

6. As good as anything else.

7. I'd take the 920 over the 965?

As to the rest .....

-Forget Vista

-The 1st place you should start is picking a good Case / PSU as it serves as the basis for everything else. If you think you might ever go with a 2nd or 3rd GFX card, and you are going to overclock, then a full tower case is highly recommended. The best choices available today are:

Antec 1200 / Antec CP-850 - This combo uses the somewhat uniusual CPX form factor (common to only 5 cases to date) which allows for slightly larger PSU's which, with the added room, can run more effficiently and cooler. The PSU is placed at the bottom of the case and therefore the PSU intake comes from outside the case air rather than heated CPU air. It also allows manufacturer to produce and extremely high quality PSU which is also very quiet while drastically reducing cost. Note that a CPX form factor case will fit a ATX form factor PSU but a CPX form factor PSU will not normally fit in an ATX form Factor case.

The 1200 / CP-850 combo costs $244 at newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The alternate to this full tower combo is the HAF 932 / Corsair HX850 which goes from $340 - $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you must have a mid tower....these combos are available for $180

The Antec 900 / EA-650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HAF 922 / Corsair TX650 ($210 - $10 MIR - $20 MIR)

NOTE: Antec, Coolermaster, thermaltake, etc all had hot new products at CES which are due to be released on mid March. The Antec Dark Fleet series looks particularly interesting.

-CPU - The 920 is the populist's choice. While many will argue that anything above the 920 is a waste cause the 920 can be OC'd to 940 , 950, 965, 975 "stock" speeds....it also must be recognized that given the same BCLK, the higher CPU multipliers on the more expensive CPU's result in higher OC's.

NOTE: the 930 is right around the corner and the 1st hexacore hits on march 16.

-MoBo - With new CPU's arriving, it's that time of year when new MoBos hit the shelves. Instant case of Buyer's Remorse when you go out and buy the Rampage II Extreme and then see the Rampage III Extreme drop 2 weeks later. With DX11 putting what THG called a "colossal" hit in GFX card performance, I think it's a given that any card made today will likely be humbled by the more demanding games of XMas 2011. If you agree, a MoBo with Xfire / SLI capability should be a given....personally I wouldn't build w/o the capability to do 3 cards, one of which might be a dedicated PhysX card.

-Memory - Get DDR3-1600 at the lowest CAS # you can afford. The CAS 6 Mushkin Redline series go for $240ish in 3 x 2GB, Corsair CAS 7 at about $180ish

-Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):

(http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...[2371]=on&prod[2770]=on)

Also look at the new HD's here including the Seagate SATA III XT (not that the new interface will speed things up but it is the quickest of the 3 drives in the article in application performance)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/HDD-6Gbit,2528.html

GFX Cards - Market's a but whacked this year w/ nVidia missing the pre XMas release of fermi cards. OTOH, ATI's been stifled by an inability to get enough cards to market, resulting in proces well above MSRP for both the new DX11 cards as well as skyrocketing prices on older generation cards. nVidia's obviously not exactly hurting w/ GTX 260's selling at $50-60 above what they were 3 months ago.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-financials-GPU-...

Quote:
Nvidia this week reported revenue of $982.5 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 ended Jan. 31, 2010, up 9 percent from the previous quarter and more than double the $481.1 million reported in the same period a year earlier. Quarter on quarter, desktop GPU revenue was up 19 percent, notebook GPU revenue was up 27


In the December and January GFX card roundups, THG had no winner in the $380 and up categories but gave "Honorable Mentions" to the 5870, 295 GTX and 5970 in their respective price categories. The 5870 is $30 more than it was in November, the 295 is up $65 and the 5970 is up $100 since then. Given that they are all well up in price, I can't quite fathom why the price category between the $400 and $680 price points was dropped from the roundup. Perhaps because supply has just about dried up is my best guess.

So, unless you totally have no interest in Dx11, I would cross the 295 off my shopping list and wait to see what fermi's release brings to the table. Grab something like a 1 GB 250 to serve ya for the time being, and then once the market settles in say may - June, grab or or 2 cards in Xfire / SLI and use the 250 as a dedicated PhysX card.

HS & fans - Since ya asking about overclocking, ya must be thinking about an aftermarket heat sink. Expect to invest between $50 for a good budget solution like the Xigmatek S1283 to about $90 for the Prolimatech Megahalems. Check out these rankings and pick something from the top 3 or 4
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Recommended_Heatsinks
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Pick a TIM from the top few here:
http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/therma...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

For performance and ease of installation, here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($95 for the HS, TIM, two PWM fans and a Y cable splitter). Skip the splitter and 2nd fan if your max OC will be moderate (under 3.5 ish)

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8807/cpu-pro-01/Proli...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7038/thr-41/Innovatio...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10026/fan-639/Scythe_...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8418/cab-150/FrozenCP...
February 21, 2010 9:24:41 AM

Wow, thank you so much for your reply, t'was was quite detailed. You see I forgot to put in I was going to get about 4-6gb of ram haha :lol: . Anways I have some more questions :D , you claim cas latency is more important that mhz. Do you have any idea how much more important it is? For example: DDR3-800 MHz at 7-7-7-24 > DDR3 1600MHz at 9-9-9-28, but if it was: 7-7-7-24 < DDR3 3200MHz at 9-9-9-28?

Secondly can you please explain to me about stability? Is it only affected by heat or how how much the CPU itself can handle (for example, not enough transistors)?

Thirdly, here you claim single cards are more consistent, why is this?

Fourthly how do you think the Phenom II x4 955 and the i7 920 would handle:
A) 5870
B) 5970x2
C) 5970x3
D) 5970x4

I am worried about being bottlenecked and wish to think longterm.

Thanks

February 21, 2010 9:52:35 AM

@Jack Thanks a lot for you reply as well, t'was also very detailed. You see about the cases I havent been able to decide for a while. At first I was looking for full tower cases but a mid tower case might be fine, and a money saver. The reason was because I wanted to ability to mount 2 PSUs. The problem I noticed was you would have to remove the fan/fans on the roof of the case to actually mount it, whats your opinion about this, dont do dual power supplies at all, mount fans somewhere else (although they'd be smaller)? I thought it would be very good long term thinking, cheaper to buy 2 700 watt power supplies rather than 1 1000 power supply for example - more power and 1000 watts may not be enough in future for: 4 5870s for example.

The cases I was debating about were: antec 1200, haf 932 and the ATCS 840 (most features but very expensive). What I didnt understand was how flexible the cases were (please explain to me about this) . Meaning can I say for example take the dust filters out and wash them rather than having to take the case apart and take them out that way. And you may also have to houver/blow out the dust that isnt gathering on the fans anyway, although this may only have to be done every 6-8 months, oposed to every month for the fans.

Anyways I have some questions lol :D 

Are heatsinks better than fans, just more expensive?

If a graphics card supports Dx 11, would it not be able to use applications that require Dx 9,10 for example?

And lastly, if cases dont come with TIMs, why not?
a c 229 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:31:22 PM

Quote:
you claim cas latency is more important that mhz. Do you have any idea how much more important it is? For example: DDR3-800 MHz at 7-7-7-24 > DDR3 1600MHz at 9-9-9-28, but if it was: 7-7-7-24 < DDR3 3200MHz at 9-9-9-28?


MHz is the speed that the RAM operates, this is controlled by the memory controller in the CPU.

At stock speeds, BCLK = 133 x 8 memory multiplier = 1066 MHz and 133 x 20 = 2.66 GHz CPU speed
At an overclocked BCLK = 200 x 8 memory multiplier = 1600 MHz and 200 x 20 = 4.00 GHz CPU speed

That's why MHz is important....you want a 4.0 GHz OC, 1600 mHz will do it for you at the default memory multiplier of 8, 1066 ram ain't gonna get you there.

Quote:
Secondly can you please explain to me about stability?


When RAM runs faster than it is rated, it becomes unstable and will do things like 2 x 2 = 4.01

When systems draw more power than the PSU can handle, voltage fluctuates and then varying voltages are sent to system components....unstable voltages result in the CPU / memory not getting precisely controlled voltages which makes them unstable.

A heat sink is the big metal thing which sits on a CPU or other processor / chip. The fan is the thing that blows air across the metal fins on the heat sink. Metal to Metal contact is more thermally conductive. So the heat sink take the heat off the 1 square inch square CPU in the most efficient way possible and provides say 100 square inches of metal to air interface to accommodate the less efficient air to metal heat transfer.

Quote:
I thought it would be very good long term thinking, cheaper to buy 2 700 watt power supplies rather than 1 1000 power supply for example - more power and 1000 watts may not be enough in future for: 4 5870s for example.


This says that twin 5870's draws 190 watts, by extension, 4 draws 380. Two 5970's draw 310. Run the rest of your components thru to see what ya need. The CP-1000 should be more than you need.....the SG-1200 should drop next month....the 1st Gold Certified PSU over 1000 watts.

Dust filters can be a PITA on the 1200 if you gonna take them out and wash them....prices can be completed simply by passing the vacuum cleaner hose in front of the case opening when ya clean the room it's in. If you are not in a rush, Antec's new Dark Fleet DF-85 should drop in 2-3 weeks and this case has very easy to clean filters.

http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=8230

DX is backwards compatible.....DX11 plays 11, 10.1, 10, 9

TIM - Thermal Interface Material. It's the stuff that you put on the CPU before mounting the heat sink on it.

http://www.innovationcooling.com/applicationinstruction...
February 21, 2010 2:45:27 PM

Hardwaremann said:
Wow, thank you so much for your reply, t'was was quite detailed. You see I forgot to put in I was going to get about 4-6gb of ram haha :lol: . Anways I have some more questions :D , you claim cas latency is more important that mhz. Do you have any idea how much more important it is? For example: DDR3-800 MHz at 7-7-7-24 > DDR3 1600MHz at 9-9-9-28, but if it was: 7-7-7-24 < DDR3 3200MHz at 9-9-9-28?

Secondly can you please explain to me about stability? Is it only affected by heat or how how much the CPU itself can handle (for example, not enough transistors)?

Thirdly, here you claim single cards are more consistent, why is this?

Fourthly how do you think the Phenom II x4 955 and the i7 920 would handle:
A) 5870
B) 5970x2
C) 5970x3
D) 5970x4

I am worried about being bottlenecked and wish to think longterm.

Thanks


I don't think any GPU will be bottlenecked by a i7 for a long time. If you're going to build a i7 + 5970 system you can use it for at least 4 years imo. After 4 years it will probably be medicore system but still very usable.
a c 172 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 3:06:12 PM

Do not use 2 PSU's. Plan your current (that's amps, not time) needs and get a PSU 30% - 50% larger.
a c 131 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 4:07:17 PM

MHz is not more important than timings; it is about as important as timings.

Don't worry about "bottlenecking". At that CPU level it's not "bottlenecking".
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