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Overclocking, CPUs, GPUs, and market prices

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April 20, 2010 8:03:06 PM

So, I was going to purchase parts for a pretty sweet build but before I do...

My budget: 650-700$ (case,psu, disk drive, gpu, cpu, motherboard, aftermarket cooling, hard drive, and ram)
Use: Tweaking, low level gaming (modern warfare II etc.) and home use

Does anyone know when six core processors are coming?
When the Fermi cards are coming? (if ever..)
What is the predicted market-impact these components will be? (would I be able to pick up a 5850 for 250$?)

How much performance difference is there between a 5770 and the 5850? Is it worth the 150$? I'll be running 1920x1080 HD.

What processor (AMD) can be tweaked and is the best value for the money? Like an old muscle car you can drop a v8 into.
And, last, what motherboard would you combine with this processor for best tweak results?

All suggestions and answers appreciated :) 

More about : overclocking cpus gpus market prices

April 20, 2010 8:11:47 PM

Six core CPUs are out. Intel's i7-980X is $1,100.

Fermi is also out. They're pretty much worthless. Prices haven't changed at all.

There is a huge performance difference between the 5850 and 5770. Like being able to play with high details at 1080p and not.

Triple cores would offer the best options for tweaking, as you can unlock the fourth core and overclock.

Frankly, for your budget, there is one future proof (ish) build:

CPU: X3 425 $70
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
GPU: HD 5770 $150
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case: Coolermaster Elite $40
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W $75
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35 (with free card reader)

Total: $687
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April 20, 2010 8:34:55 PM

antec 300 case perhaps?
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April 20, 2010 8:36:33 PM

That's another good one.
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April 20, 2010 8:48:18 PM

can the x3 425 achieve 3.0ghz+ on a stable overclock?
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April 20, 2010 8:49:13 PM

I'm 100% postitive it can. It's at 2.7 GHz at stock.
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April 20, 2010 8:56:40 PM

I'm really lovin' this build..

It seems to satisfy all my needs at my budget! Along with being futureproof-ish!

I don't know if you'd know this but would this be a quiet system? And I see the artic cooler 7 gets better reviews than the one you hyper 212.. Can you vouch for the 212 in the overclock/quiet area?
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April 20, 2010 9:01:34 PM

The Hyper 212 is easily one of the best HSF on the market. Certainly the best under $40. Also, the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro uses a 92mm fan, while the Hyper uses a 120mm fan. A larger fan automatically means it runs quieter.

Also, you seem to be worried about a quiet system. You do realize that overclocking and quiet are opposites right? The more you overclock, the hotter the CPU runs. The hotter the CPU runs, the more the CPU fan has to work. The more the CPU fan has to work, the louder the system.
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April 20, 2010 10:05:01 PM

I think it's overpriced. If you looked at the monthly "Best Gaming CPUs for the Money" article Tom's does, they don't recommend anything between the X3 440 (a newer X3 425) and the X4 955. The CPUs in that range (X4 620, X2 5xx) perform only slightly better than the X3 425 at a much higher price.

A small overclock won't make much difference with the sound level. However, by saying you want something that is able to be tweaked greatly, you're suggesting that you aren't just overclocking a little. So I guess what I'm asking is what exactly are you planning to do. Do you want this build to be an experimental rig (overclocking, testing new parts, etc.)? Do you want it as a gaming machine? Or do you want it more like an HTPC (quiet, plays videos, low processing power)?
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April 20, 2010 10:08:53 PM

I will be gaming, processing and tweaking... I don't know this for sure, but I'd assume once you overclock a processor you would be able to bring it back down?

I'd probably start by using the pc for gaming and entertainment and overclocking it over the summer to see what I can do with it.
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April 21, 2010 12:39:26 AM

Great. So that still doesn't really answer what you're doing with the build. When you say processing, do you mean AutoCAD or a similar program? Are you looking for it to do a little bit of everything?
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April 21, 2010 12:54:59 AM

elliotth said:
I will be gaming, processing and tweaking... I don't know this for sure, but I'd assume once you overclock a processor you would be able to bring it back down?

I'd probably start by using the pc for gaming and entertainment and overclocking it over the summer to see what I can do with it.


Your fan will probably working harder during the summer making more noise. :p 
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April 21, 2010 12:59:54 AM

I have a AthIIx3 435 that I overclocked stable to 3.6 very easily on a Gigabyte 770TA-UD3P (should have similar overclock features to the gigabyte 790XTA). I can unlock the 4th core but it fails overclocked at 3.2 and for the gaming I do the three cores at 3.6 performs far better than four at 2.9GHz.

I spent a little money (pure vanity) and got the Xigmatec Balder cooler. The stable temp under full load of Prime at 3.6 only goes up 5 degrees above idle. The Hyper 212 should be capable of the same thing within a couple degrees.
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April 21, 2010 1:27:32 AM

I'm going with the 440.. I know it usually would not be as cost efficient but with the combo i'm getting it seems worth it.

It is encouraging to hear that you can overclock that high, that cool, and that stable.

This computer will be for me to use through college. I will be playing outdated shooters, watching videos in high quality, and writing papers.. General use things.

Is this overkill? I'd love to cut down to 600$ if possible (more cash for a HD monitor). Everything looks like it's definitely worth its price tag. I'm just waiting for a 23" monitor to dip to <170$.

As for GPU's are there any price drops coming? Is the 5770 where price meets performance?
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April 21, 2010 1:52:56 AM

There is no sign that the GPU's price is dropping. The 5770 is about as cheap as I would get for gaming. I definitely don't think the build is overkill, unless you're just using it to check email and surf the internet. Once you throw games at it, it's a great value.
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April 21, 2010 3:11:16 AM

That's a good board. It's generally the one I recommend for non-Crossfire builds.

The problem with that logic is that by the time the 5770 is too weak, the 5770s will also have come down. Not only that, but Crossfired 5770s are a little more powerful than a single 5850. It's generally not advisable to go that route at the beginning of a build simply because it removes an upgrade path.

Also, that's a more expensive route. Let's assume the 17% price drop ($300 => 250). Right now, you go out and buy a 5770 for $150. Then in a year (or two), you go out and get the 5850 for $250. You'll have spent $400 total. If you went the Crossfire route, you'd go out and get a second 5770 for $125. That's a total of $275 spent. You'll have spent less and gotten more graphics power.

Another reason I wouldn't go with a non-Crossfire build is that you're playing at 1080p. While the games you listed aren't very graphics intense, I'd be surprised if you didn't want to play some of the newer, graphics intense games. What that means is that the 5770 will quickly become a little too weak for your uses, likely before the 5850s have come down in price. After all, these cards are around six months old, and just got their only "competition" in the GTX 470/480 a week or so ago (not that any of the cards are available to the consumers). That doesn't bode well for price drops. Chances are you'll be looking to upgrade when the 5850s are still $300 and the 5770 are still $150.
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April 23, 2010 8:36:17 PM

elliotth said:
I was thinking this mobo..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and an antec 300 case + PSU 550W antec PSU

I don't think i want to crossfire :S I figure by the time the 5770 cannot do what i want it to do the 5850's will have come down.

Thats the motherboard and case I have. Both are very good so far.

I think its far more likely that by the time the 5770 wont do what you want, you will be upgrading to a new AM3+/AM4 motherboard, Athlon III CPU and 67xx graphics card.


MadAdmiral said:
Also, that's a more expensive route. Let's assume the 17% price drop ($300 => 250). Right now, you go out and buy a 5770 for $150. Then in a year (or two), you go out and get the 5850 for $250. You'll have spent $400 total. If you went the Crossfire route, you'd go out and get a second 5770 for $125. That's a total of $275 spent. You'll have spent less and gotten more graphics power.

You are forgetting the initial extra $ for a crossfire capable motherboard and larger power supply. You are also not counting the leftover 5770 as an asset which can be sold on ebay, used to convert an old PC into an HTPC, etc. Its not as lopsided as you present.

Upgrading from a 5770 to a 5850 probably isnt enough to be worthwhile. Either plan on getting a second 5770 and get a slightly larger PSU and a crossfire motherboard now, or plan on keeping the system as-is until you buy a new PC in 3-5 years. As long as you dont care about hitting max settings at 1920x1080, the 5770 will be good for the 3-5 year lifespan of the PC.
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April 23, 2010 10:07:50 PM

dndhatcher said:
Thats the motherboard and case I have. Both are very good so far.

I think its far more likely that by the time the 5770 wont do what you want, you will be upgrading to a new AM3+/AM4 motherboard, Athlon III CPU and 67xx graphics card.



You are forgetting the initial extra $ for a crossfire capable motherboard and larger power supply. You are also not counting the leftover 5770 as an asset which can be sold on ebay, used to convert an old PC into an HTPC, etc. Its not as lopsided as you present.

Upgrading from a 5770 to a 5850 probably isnt enough to be worthwhile. Either plan on getting a second 5770 and get a slightly larger PSU and a crossfire motherboard now, or plan on keeping the system as-is until you buy a new PC in 3-5 years. As long as you dont care about hitting max settings at 1920x1080, the 5770 will be good for the 3-5 year lifespan of the PC.


My wallet-conscience half <3's you...

I think I will buy a budget system with one 5770, an 80-90$ gigabyte mobo, a 550w psu, coolermaster 690+disk drive, gaming series ram, seagate 500gb...

Should I go with athlon II x3 440 OR is it worth it to boot it up to phenom II x955? is it worth the 80$? I mean it will be an entertainment, TV streaming, first-person shooting, movie watching system (23"-24" monitor 1920x1080).... it will also write the occasional term paper.
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April 24, 2010 2:04:33 AM

Sorry, one last thing.

If I go with the Phenom II 955 then I will be using an inexpensive Linux OS.. (I don't know much about OS's but they pretty much all do the same thing right?)

If you recommend sticking with the 440 CPU then I will probably buy Windows 7 Home 64-bit for builders... That's the one I would want.. Right?
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April 24, 2010 1:36:15 PM

You aren't doing anything that really requires the X4 955. I'd just get the X3 and Windows.

I don't know much about OSs either, but my understanding is that not everything will work with Linux...
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April 24, 2010 4:00:48 PM

^ Exactly.

Linux is completely different than Windows. Most programs, even with WINE do not run properly under Linux (esp. games).

At any rate, you an always Dual Boot Windows + Linux.

I mainly use Linux for web browsing, NAS,etc. For games, CAD, Photoshop,etc I have to use Windows.
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April 24, 2010 10:30:26 PM

How does this look.. I will be running Windows XP 32 bit until I can afford Windows 7 Home... Or Linux but I guess Linux isn't supported in the games I play, so yeah..
In no particular order..
HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Wireless PCI card (with wireless N)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU (antec 550w most reliable award)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case+DVD/CD drive (I switched cases but stuck with coolermaster)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
MOBO+CPU (770TA gigabyte board with a x3 440 CPU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
RAM+GPU (how bad is CAS latency:9? radeon 5770 1gb should do everything I need)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Not too worried about extra cooling.. hopefully this all looks good cause it's right in the budget sweet spot :D 
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April 25, 2010 12:28:09 PM

Since I will be having roommates in the fall, I don't want to annoy them and this PC will be next to, or on, the desk that is next to my bed.

Could someone suggest a quiet case or anything that would make my computer quieter? I'd be willing to go somewhere around 20$ higher than the above-mentioned case if I could buy quietness.
So..
Quiet, subtle, and ships around 70$
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April 25, 2010 2:40:21 PM

The CM Elite, imo, is a bit too small for my taste. Any chance you can get a HAF 922 or keep the case you had?

That wireless card doesn't seem to be compatible with Linux, according to Newegg specs.

Everything else looks OK.

For quiet fans, take a look in to Yate Loon, and Scythe Slipstream. Also get a fan controller if needed.

A few things (if possible):

If you can, try and get a CrossFie compatible board, like the ASUS AM3 EVO (see: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ). Imo, there really is not need for USB3.0 and SATA III yet. You can add these later with a PCIe expansion card if needed. This way, you can grab a 2nd 5770 for ~$50-60 later and CrossFire.

If getting the above board, get a Corsair 650TX.
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April 25, 2010 3:10:54 PM

How about the antec 300 illusion? The haf is just out of my budget.
Yeah. I'll just run xp 32 bit cause Linux isn't compatible with much.
Alright I'll look into that board.
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April 25, 2010 4:55:41 PM

The 300 Illusion is an excellent case.
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April 25, 2010 7:48:25 PM

^ Supposedly. However, Amazon seems to be selling them already....

Quote:
The 300 Illusion is an excellent case.

+1. If the HAF922 is out of range, that case should be fine.
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