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CPU, GPU + MoBo Advice

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June 7, 2010 8:01:46 PM

Hey all,
Purchased a Dell Vostro 400 (E4600) 2 or 3 years ago, added an 8800GT and at the time, it was great. However I'm already finding myself having great trouble playing the latest games and even dropping large amounts of FPS in older games such as TF2. With the Dell BIOS, overclocking the CPU appears to be out of the question unfortunately. I've also tried over-clocking the 8800GT with Riva but no noticeable difference. Looking for a more 'future proof' pc this time.
This will be purely for gaming, anything else is a bonus.

The plan is :

Antec 1200 Twelve Hundred Full Tower Case --> 3 front, 2 rear and 1 top fan

Sapphire HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Display Port PCI-E Graphics Card

AMD Phenom II x6 1090T

From current PC - 4GB DDR2, 700W PSU, 1Terra HD.

I'm unsure about the Motherboard at the moment, not too familiar with pc building but MoBos are one area I know next to nothing of. Any recommendation for the MoBo would be great. My budget is around £600-£700 ($900).

Would there be any better alternatives for the CPU/GPU?
Also, with the 5850, I've seen a 2GB version for £90 more, is it worth the cost or would a 5870 be a better choice (same price as 2GB 5850)?

Cheers

More about : cpu gpu mobo advice

a c 160 à CPUs
June 7, 2010 8:44:23 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

I would go for a cheapest case and buy a mobo AM3 and DDR3, the DDR2 RAM will bottleneck ur CPU and GPU.

A good mobo for the 1090T is this Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 and for the RAM this G.Skill 4GB 1600 are very good.

Currently I have the 890FXA-UD5 but with a different RAM more expensive.

For the GPU, I think that is better got with the 5870 over the 5850 2GB.
a c 81 à CPUs
June 7, 2010 8:53:18 PM

Do you insist on AMD or are you flexible with your choice.? Coz for a pure gaming build, i don't see the need for a hexa core right now.. You can build up a rig with a Phenom II X4 955 BE, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a radeon HD 5870.. You can get a quality motherboard based on the new 890GX chipset which would allow you to get hold of a 6 core processor when they become relevant especially with regards to gaming.. The additional components could be two seagate 7200.12 1TB hard drives in RAID 0, a good aftermarket cpu cooler like the cooler master hyper 212+, a nice PSU like the corsair HX 750W and a good airflow case like the antec 902 (optional in case you don't plan on using your existing case)..
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June 7, 2010 9:00:29 PM

Get ddr3 RAM. I prob would just go with a quad core myself as I don't see 6 cores being used for much of anything in terms of gaming for awhile. Use the extra $$ towards a gpu like a 5870 or something.
June 7, 2010 10:38:03 PM

Thanks for the quick replies, another quick question.
I read the CPU buyers thread and it's basically saying not to buy the Phenom x4 965, get the i5 750 instead. Just wondering, why would the i5 750 be better when it's only 2.66Ghz compared to the Phenom 965s 3.4Ghz?
June 7, 2010 11:51:20 PM

I haven't read it so I'm not sure why it would say that. I have an i5 750 for my build and I love it, but I'm going to build my stepson a pc with a x4 965 in the near future hopefully. Could be because the i5 OCs very well? Not sure how the 965 OCs.
a c 103 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 12:09:33 AM

I think at stock the 965 and i5 750 are very close in gaming performance. The i5 overclocks better but the AMD motherboards are much better for the price (or just cheaper depending on how you look at it). Either chip should be easily good enough for a 5850 or 70 and shouldn't hold up 2 of them much.
June 8, 2010 1:18:50 AM

Thanks again, how about this? :

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition 125W C3
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/AMD+...

Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

Intel Core i5 750 2.66Ghz (Lynnfield) (Socket LGA1156) Processor - Retail
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Proc...
OR
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/186428
OR
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8GHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/204939

Antec 1200 Twelve Hundred Full Tower Case
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143852

Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 890FX Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/218919

G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490

Still a bit lost on the processors though, had a look few a few charts and overall the 1090T seems to be the top of the three whereas the other two are £50-80 cheaper and have strengths over each other.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 1:33:41 AM

Like i say in my 1st post I would go with the 1055T since have more future proof for be a six core and even u can OC it to get the same 3.4GHz of the 965.

If u go with the i5-750 u need change the mobo and a very good mobo for that CPU is the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro yeah, more expensive that AMD.
a c 81 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 4:57:30 AM

The i5 750 has a better architecture and thus will perform overall better than the X4 965.. But considering just gaming, either of the two will suffice.. The 965 gets recommendation as It'll get you a platform with a longer life.. And getting a X4 955 now is a better investment since down the line, there will be better hexa cores available and games might start benefitting from them.. But as for present, the black edition quad core is a better choice for gaming..
June 8, 2010 11:34:07 AM

Ok, I'll change the processor for the Phenom II x4 955.
Thanks for all the great help guys!
I'll be ordering tonight I guess, will check back later before I do incase anyone has any other suggestions.

Thanks again :) 
June 8, 2010 11:46:49 AM

Sorry, one more question.

With the 5850 and the 5870, there's a variety of manufacturers, Gigabyte, Sapphire etc.
Is there any difference in the architecture between these or just brand name?

(Sorry for double post, wouldn't let me edit my previous.)
a c 160 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 1:09:50 PM

Not much, in architecture are very similar the only difference is the OC capabilities and the core clock because for example some 5870 have a core clock of 850 other 875 others 900 and others 950.

But all those are very similar which one u should buy? Shapphire, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI are good brands
June 8, 2010 1:31:40 PM

saint19 said:
Not much, in architecture are very similar the only difference is the OC capabilities and the core clock because for example some 5870 have a core clock of 850 other 875 others 900 and others 950.

But all those are very similar which one u should buy? Shapphire, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI are good brands


Thanks Saint,
I been looking at this one:

MSI R5870 Lightning 1GB GDDR5
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/199922

It's mid price but the core clock is also set 50mhz higher.

However MSI also have another for £30 more:
MSI HD 5870 1GB GDDR5
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/175689

Is there any sense in paying for the latter?
a c 160 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 1:50:37 PM

Well the Lightning edition have a better cooling system and is more cheap with the discount because the original price is £387.99.

I would go with the Lightning edition IMO is a very good option.
June 8, 2010 3:47:43 PM

saint19 said:
Well the Lightning edition have a better cooling system and is more cheap with the discount because the original price is £387.99.

I would go with the Lightning edition IMO is a very good option.

Great, thanks again. Sorry for the stupid questions ;) 
Will be ordering tonight.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 3:58:42 PM

That's not a stupid question is a very valid question. If u need more help come back to the forum btw enjoy ur rig.
a c 81 à CPUs
June 8, 2010 7:34:07 PM

Am not sure how much a improvement (if any) a 50 MHz clock increase will show but am sure fully in support of that video card just for the aftermarket cooler.. I reproally love the sapphire vapor-x series though when it comes to non reference cooling solutions..
a b à CPUs
June 8, 2010 10:11:10 PM

Geez so much hate for DDR2. I can push some mighty frames with my RAM.

However in this case, I'd take AM3 over AM2+ anyways so DDR3 FTW! :) 
June 8, 2010 11:21:11 PM

Stumbled upon another problem.
Which one?

G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C8 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V
G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

Also, would I be better off getting a different Motherboard(Gigabyte 980FXA-UD5) and Memory(G-Skill Ripjaw) now that I'm going for the AMD 955 instead of the AMD 1090T?
a c 160 à CPUs
June 9, 2010 2:59:51 AM

For RAM this G.Skill 1600 are very good for price/performance.

For the mobo I think that the UD5 is a solid mobo and u get a mobo with future proof for a future CPU upgrade, but if u prefer safe a little money this ASUS M4A79XTD EVO is a solid option.
a c 81 à CPUs
June 9, 2010 6:08:47 AM

Jailbreak1 said:
Stumbled upon another problem.
Which one?

G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C8 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V
G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

Also, would I be better off getting a different Motherboard(Gigabyte 980FXA-UD5) and Memory(G-Skill Ripjaw) now that I'm going for the AMD 955 instead of the AMD 1090T?


Yeah.. Getting a good platform is essential.. The Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 is a lovely motherboard.. And about the RAM, just look at the below link

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 9, 2010 9:54:11 AM

saint19 said:
For RAM this G.Skill 1600 are very good for price/performance.

For the mobo I think that the UD5 is a solid mobo and u get a mobo with future proof for a future CPU upgrade, but if u prefer safe a little money this ASUS M4A79XTD EVO is a solid option.


So stick with the CL7 RAM right?
Going to be ordering today sometime.

Also, thanks for the confirmation Emperus, will be sticking with the Gigabyte one.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 9, 2010 12:56:56 PM

Yeah since the price isn't high is better go with CL7 and if I were u i would avoid that OCZ reaper.

If u need some help with the UD5 let me know since my UD5 arrives today or tomorrow.
June 14, 2010 2:23:41 PM

saint19 said:
Yeah since the price isn't high is better go with CL7 and if I were u i would avoid that OCZ reaper.

If u need some help with the UD5 let me know since my UD5 arrives today or tomorrow.


Hi saint,
Got the parts today but stumbled across a problem. Using my previous 700W Arctic PSU and the motherboard needs the two 4pin Yellow/Black ATX leads to make an 8 pin for motherboard but there doesn't seem to be any for the graphic card (5870) which takes 2x8pin.
Here's the Arctic 700 specs, not sure if I've done the cabling wrong.
Features:

* Support latest Intel ATX 12v and AMD
* 24 (20+4 pin)
* 6 pin PCI-Express Power Connector
* Support NVidia SLI Technology
* 8 (4+4) pin supports two sockes server
* Super Quiet Technology: Smart fan control function
* Over Voltage Protection (OVP)
* Over Power Protection (OPP)
* Short-Circuit Protection (SCP)
* 80mm fan to maximise airflow
* 100% Hi-pot, Chroma and Burn-in function


Connectors:
Universal 24pin (20+4pin) Main ATX power
4 pin ATX12V power connector x1
3x 4 pin Molex Connector(for HDD, CD-ROM)
2x Floppy connector (4pin)
4x SATA Hard Drive Power connector
1x 6pin PCI-Express Connector (via 4pin Molex Adaptor)
4 pin Molex to 8 (4+4) pin + 12V Power Adapter
Velcro Cable Tie x2

Should I order some additional 4 pin -> 8pin/pin converters?

All I got free is either, 2x 4 pin or 1x 6pin(can be conv to 8pin), however at least 8 is needed for the MoBo.
5870 wants 2x 8pin
Cheers


a c 160 à CPUs
June 14, 2010 6:02:25 PM

Ur GPU must have some converters but my question is why do u need the 8 pin for the GPU if the GPUs that exust today works with 2x6 pin PCI-E.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 14, 2010 7:21:17 PM

Here are the system requirements for the 5850.

ATI Radeon™ HD 5850 System Requirements

PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard
500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products
Minimum 1GB of system memory
Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
DVD playback requires DVD drive
Blu-ray™ playback requires Blu-ray drive
For an ATI CrossFireX™ system, a second ATI Radeon™ HD 5850 graphics card, an ATI CrossFireX Ready motherboard and one ATI CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect cable per graphics card (included) are required


Where says that need one 150W 8pin connector?
June 14, 2010 7:21:23 PM

saint19 said:
Ur GPU must have some converters but my question is why do u need the 8 pin for the GPU if the GPUs that exust today works with 2x6 pin PCI-E.

Manual is saying
"600W or greater PSU with one 150W 8pin PICI-E connector and one 75W 6pin PCI-E(Recommended to use two power supply with two 150W 8-pin PCI-E power connectors for best performance.)"
Problem is, all I can use is either a 6pin or a converted 6pin to 8pin. Can't get two 8 pins or a 6 and 8.

Only converters in box were 2x 6--> 8
June 14, 2010 9:31:14 PM

saint19 said:
Here are the system requirements for the 5850.

ATI Radeon™ HD 5850 System Requirements

PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard
500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products
Minimum 1GB of system memory
Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
DVD playback requires DVD drive
Blu-ray™ playback requires Blu-ray drive
For an ATI CrossFireX™ system, a second ATI Radeon™ HD 5850 graphics card, an ATI CrossFireX Ready motherboard and one ATI CrossFireX Bridge Interconnect cable per graphics card (included) are required


Where says that need one 150W 8pin connector?


5870 mate, not 5850.
For now think I'm going to have to use on 6/8pin and get a converter sometime for the other unless you can think of a newbie error I may have made in the cabling.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 14, 2010 9:40:20 PM

Now I see, u have the 5870 Eyefinity 6, so, yeah u need use the converter.
June 14, 2010 10:18:42 PM

saint19 said:
Now I see, u have the 5870 Eyefinity 6, so, yeah u need use the converter.

I'd also need to convert one of the 4 pins to another 8 pin right in order to get the most out of it?
a c 160 à CPUs
June 14, 2010 10:29:23 PM

Yeah, since u need 8pin connector not 4 pin connector.
June 14, 2010 11:25:03 PM

saint19 said:
Yeah, since u need 8pin connector not 4 pin connector.

Great, I'll get one ASAP.

Put it all together and receiving a lovely beep code.
One short, one long.
Looked over net but found nothing on this one, just for HP computers which indicates a memory problem, tried removing memory, single memory different slotes etc but no luck.
Tried removing dvd, usbs etc.
Going for GPU now, if not, CPU next.

EDIT: Just removed GPU and the beep codes gone, not sure what the problem is. Will try a different slot then use a 6 pin instead of 8 pin.

EDIT: Made no difference, still giving one short beep, one long beep with GPU in. Is it strange that the GPU box was not wrapped at all when I received it, had small damage on the corners?

EDIT: Moved GPU to bottom slot, three short beeps and one long beep.
a c 81 à CPUs
June 15, 2010 5:58:39 AM

Can't tell about the GPU damage but it may as well be caused by the PSU.. Test it at your friends place.. Change your PSU if you can..
June 15, 2010 12:12:06 PM

Emperus said:
Can't tell about the GPU damage but it may as well be caused by the PSU.. Test it at your friends place.. Change your PSU if you can..

Hi Emperus,
tried PSU in a different computer and it's working fine.
Should have also mentioned, all fans are working when swiched on, including the GPU but no boot or POST beep when the GPU is disconnected.
June 16, 2010 1:01:31 PM

Managed to narrow down the problem to the GPU, either dead or not enough power. Posting a follow up in Power Supply section.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 16, 2010 3:52:22 PM

^He don't need create another thread with this thread is enough for try to solve the problem.
June 17, 2010 1:26:42 PM

saint19 said:
^He don't need create another thread with this thread is enough for try to solve the problem.

Hi Saint, I ordered three cable adapters and a new 950W PSU and the whole system is working fine now. Thanks alot for all the help, showing 6 green LED and 6 red LED on the 5870 Lightning. Majority of forum posts say this is normal. Glad it wasn't a bigger problem as first thought.
a c 160 à CPUs
June 17, 2010 1:48:13 PM

Good news for u, now enjoy ur rig ;) 
!