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Whats the Holdup?

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March 31, 2010 3:19:42 PM

I recently accomplished my first build around christmas time, went smooth, but I can't say after 3 months have past that I would buy all the same parts.. My old alienware I got back in 04 was much faster responding for many many years and has managed to survive easily 2 years of hardcore gameing with much much neglect within the case and inside the system... Proud to say its held up to this moment even though it was a p4 3.2 w/ 1gb 400mhz / x800pro / p4c800e deluxe I don't see how it could stand the abuse/time without ending up bursting into flames or just breaking.

I come with this question, What would be the biggest upgrades/improvements I could purchase or possible do to cure my impatience feeling I get watching a Loading Bar poke along. If you know what piece of hardware is bottlenecking if possible.

Heres the Build:


GRAPHICS CARD = XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

MOTHERBOARD = ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

CPU = AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail

RAM = G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

CASE = Rosewill Wind Knight Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with pre-installed 2x 120mm Fan

OPTICAL = Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model

HARD DRIVE 1 = SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
HARD DRIVE 2 = (off the old alienware system) Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST380013AS 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive

POWER SUPPLY = Tuniq Potency PSU-POT650-BK 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Operating System = Windows Xp Professional 64bit

Also I have many fans installed on along with the ones that came with chassis.

Temps during low Usage like now read
CPU = 35C
MB = 27C
GPU = 33
1st HD = 23C
2nd HD (the old one) = 32C

Jw if those are normal or need some attention because im usually playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 which I know can be stressful on the hardware and the player haha.

More about : whats holdup

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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2010 4:38:04 PM

Your single biggest upgrade to make load times faster, is to purchase a newer / faster hard drive. I would first start with the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, which is one of the fastest hard drives you can purchase (outside of a SSD). If your pockets are a little deeper, you can't go wrong with adding a SSD to your current line up, which will speed up those load times.... Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64G SSD or Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB

You have the CPU power (maybe look to overclock, if not already), so your older hard drives are holding your system back.

edit: Side Note: I would look to make the jump to Windows 7 64-bit sometime in the near future, as XP 64-bit was never the greatest support 64-bit OS.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2010 9:35:46 PM

I would start with the Windows 7 upgrade. It's a huge difference right there. Also, are you booting from the 750 GB HDD or the 80 GB? The 80 GB drive is going to be a lot slower already, so if you're using that to hold the OS and apps, you're losing a lot of speed right there.

After that, I would definitely get the HDD/SSD mentioned above. I can personally attest to the Spinpoint F3's speed.

If you're a gamer, or run a lot of apps, an 80 GB SSD may not be big enough. Here's a good, larger one: Corsair Nova 128 GB. Keep in mind when determining the size of the SSD you need that SSDs like to have at least 20% free space. Also, you don't want to be storing data on the SSD. Use it only for the OS and applications.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2010 10:18:31 PM

No one thought to mention overclocking the CPU would also speed the machine up and cost very little? Make sure you have a decent CPU heat sink.

With that motherboard you could also add a second 5700 and have slightly faster graphics than a 5870.
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April 1, 2010 1:09:27 AM

dndhatcher said:
No one thought to mention overclocking the CPU would also speed the machine up and cost very little? Make sure you have a decent CPU heat sink.

With that motherboard you could also add a second 5700 and have slightly faster graphics than a 5870.



The 2nd pci express is only 8x, how hot should I let the cpu get
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2010 1:26:54 AM

How hot is it now?

You will want to keep it under 62C on a full load using Prime95 for an hour or two. This will provide enough stress to ensure your overclock temps are safe.

edit: 8x is an acceptable speed for your PCI-e. You will see little difference at 16x,8x versus 16x,16x. IMO, adding a second GPU will have the lowest effect on load times out of the recommendations. It'll have the biggest effect on FPS in gaming.
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April 2, 2010 3:56:18 AM

right now with after switcfhing between picasa/9tabs on chrome/office/winamp its at 40C with 40% fan speed.... I don't see point in buying another 5700 series if I wouldn't be able to put it to full use, 150$+ for 8x performance? Couldn't I just buy a lower series and then crossfire them? Or do they have to be same?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 2, 2010 4:52:19 AM

Sheeblasta said:
right now with after switcfhing between picasa/9tabs on chrome/office/winamp its at 40C with 40% fan speed.... I don't see point in buying another 5700 series if I wouldn't be able to put it to full use, 150$+ for 8x performance? Couldn't I just buy a lower series and then crossfire them? Or do they have to be same?


You should buy same-model cards to CrossFire. If you buy a lower-end model, the best case scenario is that they perform at the speed of the weaker one.

The 8x lane is only a bottleneck if you're trying to CrossFire 2 5970s. Otherwise, it isn't an issue.
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April 2, 2010 4:57:15 AM

wow that makes it sound like the lower series aren't even taking advantage of the x16
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 2, 2010 7:17:42 AM

Your pokey loading bar has nothing to do with CPU or GPU. The first advice you got was the best. A faster HD is what you need. Possibly you could get some relief from Win 7 also.
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April 2, 2010 7:36:12 AM

Best answer selected by sheeblasta.
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