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AMD setup - longevity? upgrade ability?

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February 26, 2010 11:54:09 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: sooner than later, however may wait for 8 series amd boards BUDGET RANGE: 800-1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, movies, work bullshit

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca or anything that works. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: CANADIA


OVERCLOCKING: Y Maybe CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1680x1050)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Build for upgrade ability - and performance (doing crossfire later - 16x16 needed?)


I'm going to present two builds - I need to know if its worth upgrading the mobo for longevity, throwing in a second graphics card down the road.

First build(cheaper):


GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945FBGIBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

OR

Second build(a bit more expensive - but what I have in mind is for future upgrades):

ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... (For the 2 16x16 pcie slots, is the price worth it? or should i downgrade to one 16 or two 8x8 (keeping in mind the future and technology)

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945FBGIBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... (to support the SLI in the future)

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682... (does it even fit? work well? bios unlock to 1600 with the mobo)

rest the same

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... (I want to buy a second one in the future - chose this card because of the Shader technology and dx11 support... again longevity)

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...




Or should i scrap everything and go for an i5? Its all so confusing... but I basically widdled it down over the weeks to these two options..

Basically...is it worth the money for the second build, for longevity? or is my logic flawed (sli'ing two 5770's down the road)

Thanks for any input.

Cheers

(edit:messed up url's)

February 27, 2010 12:13:31 AM

dont be prejudice towards Canadians ;) 
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February 27, 2010 12:54:23 AM

Don't confuse longevity and "upgrade-ability". The Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 supports USB 3.0 and SATA III, while the Asus does not. To me, the Gigabyte offers greater longevity. In your case, however, since you will be CrossFiring 5770s (not "sli'ing" btw, SLI is Nvidia technology), the Asus offers better upgrade-ability and is the better choice. The first build is not an option if you want to CF 5770s, as the mobo only has one PCI-E 2.0 slot and the 500W PSU will probably be insufficient. Basically, go with the second.

The i5 and P55 platform offer neither greater longevity nor greater upgrade-ability. From the longevity perspective, the P55 platform is expected be EOL (end-of-life) within 2-3 years. Not only is Intel known for refreshing their set of platforms every few years, but Intel itself has basically declared that its support for the platform is soon to be nonexistent. (AM3 is expected to be around long enough to see hexacore CPUs. This means that in a few years, if you feel that your PII 945 is beginning to bottleneck your system, you can pop in a hexacore and be good-to-go. On that note, get a 955 instead of a 945. It's only $10 more, and it's a black edition, meaning it has an unlocked multiplier and will overclock like crazy.) From the upgrade-ability perspective, P55 supports a maximum bandwidth of x8 per PCI-E 2.0 lane. While x8/x8 CF is only estimated to perform ~4% worse than x16/x16 CF, this may change with GPUs released in the future.
In any case, P55 is not the route to go if you value longevity or upgrade-ability.

Now, if I were you and on a budget, I would compromise and go for an x8/x8 AM3 board with USB 3.0 and SATA III like this one at $160. Not too expensive, but it offers good performance, longevity, and upgrade-ability.

EDIT: Didn't notice you're from Canada. Fixed the link.
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February 27, 2010 1:23:16 AM

One other thing. Besides swapping out the mobo and CPU of the second build, I would swap out that set of OCZ RAM for one of these. Even though the CL timings on those 3 sets aren't as tight as the OCZ RAM you listed, they're still CL 7 with the bus at 1600MHz, and you won't notice much of a difference. In addition, they're all a bit cheaper and from more reliable memory brands than OCZ. Some OCZ models are great, but the rest are picky with motherboards and rather questionable. I think the set you listed is one of the latter.

Otherwise, the parts you picked out are great and all compatible. Good find on the 700W OCZ PSU especially. It actually meets the requirements for the 80 PLUS Bronze certification (and possibly Silver), and if OCZ had gone through the trouble to get that certification, it would cost quite a bit more.
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February 27, 2010 3:50:32 AM

Adding on to blackjello, AMD launching its new 880G chipset in a few days, and 890GX shortly followed, mobos for them are already being listed, these boards will support the new 6 cores and also natively support sata3 and usb3, these would be the real longevity boards.
As already touched on, the future of the 1156 platform is very uncertain right now
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February 27, 2010 4:14:52 AM

Ya with he 870/880G/890G/890FX incoming i wouldn't splash big on any 7XX AMD chipset and i like your 1st build better but if u dun do CPU intensive stuff you could also hit a AthlonII X3/X4 with that 5770 ^^
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February 28, 2010 11:32:44 PM

Thanks for the replies

Batuchka, from my understanding games aren't too cpu intensive nowadays, mostly sits with the video card, so the cpu, unless *** wont bottleneck the video card, correct?

Blackjello I appreciate the extensive response - I had chosen that ram because I thought it was specifically listed on the Asus site in the VQL as being compatible(it isnt after double checking) - the 3 you listed are not (or were you referring to the Gigabyte mobo?). Also, I have read that the drops in performance between 8x8 and 16x16 are very small as you had said, but will that prove to be the same in the future? Good eye on the 955 ;>

So, in essence I should wait a little? I am on a sub 1k CAD budget all in for a decent gaming rig.

If the new 870/880G/890G/890FX are going to be up there in price, I don't think it would matter to me right now because of that, but then again the ones that im thinking of may go down.. correct?

:/ 
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March 1, 2010 2:02:39 AM

890GX boards coming march 1st? woah thats today... well soon...
880G boards coming april 26th ish i think from memory.
And yea it should drive down the price of 7 series boards a bit i should think
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March 1, 2010 2:36:08 AM

substantially?
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March 1, 2010 3:51:55 AM

20$ US more like, you wont see good boards from asus/gigabyte drifting down below 50$ anytime soon... thats what im guessing anyway
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March 1, 2010 7:35:45 AM

WojtekG said:
Thanks for the replies

Batuchka, from my understanding games aren't too cpu intensive nowadays, mostly sits with the video card, so the cpu, unless *** wont bottleneck the video card, correct?

If the new 870/880G/890G/890FX are going to be up there in price, I don't think it would matter to me right now because of that, but then again the ones that im thinking of may go down.. correct?

:/ 


Yep Toms concluded that triple cores are preety much the sweet spot for games thses days and L3 does not impact gaming performance so the AthlonII X3 425 at just USD $71 seems like the dream budget gaming chip hehe


I wouldn't count on price drop due to 8xx chipset arrival - just look at AM2+ prices after the 1st AM3 mobos were released...and at least peeps on DDR2 had a reason to jump to AM2+
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March 1, 2010 11:13:52 AM

So if I can get an entry level 890 mobo, for a decent price (150~), its worth waiting for right?

http://www.tcmagazine.info/comments.php?shownews=32950&... ?

or

http://news.softpedia.com/news/AMD-s-890GX-Chipset-Used...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
?
Granted that I should go with an 8x8 (I have a feeling i'd be comfortable going with a board thats 16x16, like the msi one for future games using 16 channels :>)

Ok, so the quad vs triple core performance difference for games is basically nill, but the cpu ghz still affects fps, no? So even if I still got the 955 black edition and overclocked, I would see a difference between that and the 425. If not, then why do people get the new pentium cores for gaming?
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March 1, 2010 11:47:30 AM

sooo Ive been thinking, and reading reviews, and apparently the 5850 towers over the 5770 . . . If I'm to save that money on the mobo and cpu, would it be worth getting the 5850? Or would cpu bottlenecks limit it :s

And I could pick it up locally from this store @ this price... http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=4...
worth it? oh and a hasty reply would be great, since the sale ends in 2 days :|
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March 1, 2010 9:08:01 PM

I'm a youngster, thus need help.

5850 at that price, with a x3 425, or 5770 with a phenom II :>
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March 2, 2010 2:19:26 AM

For gaming easily the 5850 and tri core, will do a lot better then the 5770 and phenom II, and if your lucky you could unlock that thing to the equivalent of the phenom II :) 
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March 2, 2010 2:25:23 AM

but u can unlock a phenom II to the equivalent of something higher aswell(not cores i raelize that). Most games nowadays dont use 4 cores, but lets say battlefield bad company does, and so will newer games in the future, correct?

I'm getting the 5850 for sure.... now just the mobo .. i duno if an 8 series AMD will be released anytime soon that has 16x16 support.

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March 2, 2010 2:32:20 AM

The 890FX will be released in the next few months.. no idea actually when though.
And you cant unlock the phenom II x4 series to something higher... theyre already at the peak of the architecture, unless theyre starting to ship their faulty x6 cores as x4s or lower which i doubt
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March 2, 2010 4:08:52 AM

Just get a current 790FX board, all of them should support the new hexacores with a bios update at maximum, and plus you can always just get a board that already has usb3/sata3 added on
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March 2, 2010 10:57:18 AM

Err considering a single HD 5850 is fine for the most part i dun really see why the need for a 16x+16x CF board 790FX or 890FX @@ Just get the bang for buck $$/frames GPU w/e that may be in future (single GPU solution) IMO Remember you were initially set on a HD5770....and on just a 1680 X 1050 display...
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March 2, 2010 3:28:11 PM

p1n3apqlexpr3ss said:
Just get a current 790FX board, all of them should support the new hexacores with a bios update at maximum, and plus you can always just get a board that already has usb3/sata3 added on


wait, so a 7 series mobo will support hexacores, that are supposed to fit 8 series with a simple bios update? :/ 




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March 3, 2010 4:41:45 AM

Not sure if the 7 series will support the hexa cores... theres been no official announcement bout that yet..
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