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New system - where to start?

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May 9, 2010 7:04:57 PM

So I'm starting to put together a components list for a new system build, and hope I can get some suggestions on where to start. It's been a few years since my last new build so I'm a little out of touch with the newer tech. This is replacing an older Gigabyte K9N system with a single-core AMD x64 CPU (which will be retired/demoted to the wife.) There's no rush in this as parts will probably be ordered over a few months timeline as budget allows.

This will be used primarily for (in order of importance): graphic design/gaming/video editing/general

I'm liking the new AMD Phenom II x6 CPUs. Using Adobe CS5 software, the additional cores in PhotoShop and the other apps will be nice. BUT, apparently CS5 (x64) has been engineered to favor the nVidia chipset. With that, and my history and good experience having only used nVidia graphics, I'd prefer to stay with them, hopefully running in SLI. I do currently run 2 20" CRT monitors off an older 9800GT, but I do intend to upgrade to larger, dual LCD screens (prob. 24") within the year. This doesn't need to be a "top-of-the-line" system, but future-proofing is welcomed and encouraged.

Also due to the graphics requirements, I'd like a MB that can accommodate as much memory as possible, min. of 8GB, pref. 16GB. Purchases will mainly be from NewEgg. I've dealt with them for years and like the service and prices I always get.

From what I've been able to decipher reading TH, it seems to me that only Intel CPUs work with nVidia SLI combinations and that AMD has switched over to Radeon GPUs. If that's the case, that's really going to impact the budget having to pay the extra $$$ for Intel again (last Intel CPU I owned was a Pentium 100MHz! lol)

My main questions are:
  • Are there any good AMD motherboards that support both the new X6 CPUs AND nVidia SLI GPU combinations?
  • If I do have to go Intel, what CPU would be comparable to the 6 core CPUs from AMD without breaking the bank (i.e. the i7 cores)
  • Recommendations for a good SLI pairing of GPUs?

    What I will NOT need in this build (keeping from current system):
    hard drives, optical drives, keyboard, mouse, monitors

    Lastly, while not necessary, it would be nice if the new setup could support my home theater setup (1080P) for streaming A/V. Basically, this system will be the powerhouse station and needs to be flexible in all uses.

    Any and all help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!! Thanks all!
  • More about : system start

    May 9, 2010 7:14:43 PM

    fill in the form from the sticky although you've mentioned bassically everything there are still be people who will whine about the sticky. Although I realy need to know the budget.

    Intels aren't more expensive than the AMDs if you OC them to the level of the AMDs you'll have a bassically equal price/performance ratio.

    Bassically all motherboards support intel with ati.

    An i7 930 will be on par with the best amd 6core overall. The intel will be better in games and small threaded operations while the thuban will win in multitasking. It's similar though. The i7 has tripple channel ram though so thats 50percent faster ram in total.
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    May 9, 2010 7:15:03 PM

    Bummer !!! AMD DOES NOT SUPPORT SLI ... That is why I moved my TWO OpenGL 3.2 (check for this!) 250GTS cards to a 1366/930 platform ... OUCH !
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    May 9, 2010 7:21:53 PM

    Very sorry 007 ... everything you just said .. almost every point is patently untrue and can be easily defeated with ready documentation ... I like you just fine but you are WAY off ... WAY ... I ain't gonna even joust with you ... I'll just advise OP to ignore.

    ... sorry .. you are just blowing wind with a bunch of wild and totally unfounded assumptions and flat-out false-hoods (or mis-statements) ...

    = Al =
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    May 9, 2010 7:23:36 PM

    firstly a six core cpu at $ 200 from intel ??? no way... so if u are into multi-threaded apps(adobe cs5 suite of course !!) get amd x6 eyes closed...

    next as for the gpu... nvidia was very reliable(and still is lol) but the radeons have gotten better... trust me a 5xxx series ati card is still a bang for the buck product...

    but if u are hesitant on using ati, there are a lot of amd chipset mobos that support sli...

    the starting point would be to allocate the budget for this new build... if u can tell us the money u are willing to spend for ur products... then we here at toms can give u personalized solutions and help u with ur build..
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    May 9, 2010 7:26:34 PM

    pls correct me then because I'd like to know the truth that I don't continue to missinform people
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    May 9, 2010 7:33:40 PM

    Problem is that there is so much wrong, there ...

    Zeppelin is also blowin it out his arse .. You guys are not graphics pros and have not done the research ... First stop? ... Anantech Benchmark Comparison tool ... Then adjust for common overclocks.

    next stop ?? Learn the difference between cores and threads ...

    After that ? ... Learn the diff between 2 channel and 3 channel memory.

    What else ?? ... AMD DOES NOT SUPPORT nVidia SLI !!!

    I could go on and on and on .... and ... on. (etc., ad nauseum) !

    = Regards =
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    May 9, 2010 7:36:22 PM

    Lol you ammuse me alvin. I actually did do some research on the cpu's. I don't know anything about graphics though. And won't tripple channel memory be faster than dual channel?
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    May 9, 2010 7:36:26 PM

    All three of you ... read this thread ... covers most of the concerns.

    Flame at will !! But I am gettin a little too old to prove this stuff, over and over.

    ... I guess I may have to train-you-up ... so I can move on to other (editing) forums, in good conscience !

    = Al =
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    May 9, 2010 7:43:48 PM

    Thanks guys. On the budget, there's not really one on this build. As I said, I'll be buying parts as the household budget allows, probably in $200-$400 orders (depending upon individual component prices at time of order.) I'd rather get quality components that will last and take longer buying them than try to do it all at once on a more limited budget. First part will probably be motherboard/cpu, then RAM, case, psu, then video card.

    From what I'd read, I didn't think AMD was supporting SLI anymore, just wanted verification of it. As for the Intel i7 cpu, I was thinking more of the newer ones and not wanting to pay upwards of $700-$1000 just for the CPU. If there's a comparable i7 that can be had for under $400, that's fine.

    Main things I'm focused on, getting most bang for my buck while still getting good performance using the CS5 suite, gaming, and video (editing and outputting to home theater). If I can get all that with the parts I'll need for under $1000, then great! Again, I don't need top-of-the-line, newest baddest thing around, but also don't want a system that will be outdated before it even gets good use.

    Looks like I'll be going Intel on this build to stick with support for nVidia.
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    May 9, 2010 7:46:11 PM

    And oh yea Alvin, thanks for pointing me to that thread. It definitely helps and gets me pointed in a good direction!
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    May 9, 2010 7:58:45 PM

    Sorry, guys ... didn't mean to condescend or get prissy ... just that IMO you were adding confusion and (some) bad dope to an already complex requirement profile.

    ... trust that I am not the world's premiere expert and final authority ... BUT ... I have been researching my third PRO-FESSIONAL Non-Linear edit rig, here and all over the net, Since the new year and I have a very clear picture of the BROADER industry wide OVERALL compatibility requirements ... READ THAT THREAD ... it ONLY BEGINS to point at all the technical cross-requirements between both hardware and software toolsets AND is also governed by media formats of various protocols densities/second.

    Just trying to do all that with a 1366 (rather than a dual XEON WS) is cheating the piper ... Trying to got AMD with dual ch ram and one thread per core and ignoring clearly stated system requirements from the biggest players is ... well ... "folly".

    = Al =
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    May 9, 2010 7:59:40 PM

    fill in the form from the sticky although you've mentioned bassically everything there are still be people who will whine about the sticky. Although I realy need to know the budget.

    "Intels aren't more expensive than the AMDs if you OC them to the level of the AMDs you'll have a bassically equal price/performance ratio." Thats what I thought( talking about high end cpu's here"

    "Bassically all motherboards support intel with ati." meant all intel x58 chipsets since thats what we were talking about

    "An i7 930 will be on par with the best amd 6core overall. The intel will be better in games and small threaded operations while the thuban will win in multitasking. It's similar though. The i7 has tripple channel ram though so thats 50percent faster ram in total." :I did some research on this and still think the some(I'm probably wrong though). Whether AMD is a good choice on this build is another question since I don't know anything about amd being compatible with nvidia or not as you said. And I read that tripple channel is theoretically faster than dual of course in practise this isn't the case.
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    May 9, 2010 8:01:36 PM

    Ooh and Alvin I don't doubt you I know your universes ahead of me when it comes to knowledge about computers. I just would like to know the things I said wrong since I obviously would prefer have the correct information.
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    May 9, 2010 8:50:35 PM

    Somebody_007 said:
    Intels aren't more expensive than the AMDs if you OC them to the level of the AMDs you'll have a bassically equal price/performance ratio.


    The INTELs ARE more expensive ... any way you slice it ... This is proven out both thru benchmarks (cost/op) and by costing out "compute cores" which consist of CPU/RAM/Mobo for a given platform/class ... Any senior tech on this forum will attest.

    Somebody_007 said:


    Bassically all motherboards support intel with ati.



    I don't even understand what this is refering to ... Intel What? ... ATi What?
    ... When I finally DO understand what it means ... I will prove this wrong.

    Somebody_007 said:


    An i7 930 will be on par with the best amd 6core overall.



    "On Par" would be a stretch ... "In the ball park" would be fairly apt.
    ... AM3 socket has how many pins? .. Like 980?? ... Six *SINGLE* threaded cores and NO HYPERTHREADING trying to suck air through a 980 pin socket??? ... I'd say the Hex is the end of the road for AM3, who's days are very clearly numbered. Turbo Boost? Nope. Extensions? Nope.
    ... 1366 will be going to 12 hyperthreaded cores with DDR3x3ch

    Somebody_007 said:


    The intel will be better in games and small threaded operations while the thuban will win in multitasking.


    WTF??? On one stupid applications bench? ... dude ... Thuban is better than previous AMDs ... that's about all you can say. Better in
    "multi-tasking" ... I can design a so called "multi-tasking" benchmark for any given premise ... Whatever the hell "mult-tasking" means ... INTEL prolly kicks thuban's ass and then some (wild speculation) and, let's not confuse multi-tasking with "multi-threaded" apps ... WHOLE different animal and any 1366 will lay thuban to waste, there.

    Somebody_007 said:

    It's similar though. The i7 has tripple channel ram though so thats 50percent faster ram in total.


    Again .. just guessing that, since 3ch is "tighter" than 2ch RAM and since there is always some sacrifice for management overhead ... 3ch will prolly be closer to 25% faster than to 50% ... Can't pull THAT benchmark out of my poop-valve but I'll eat my helmet if YOU can prove me wrong !


    C'mon, kid ... Slap me down ... but do it well. (I love a good slap-down ... even when I am the "slappee"!)

    = yer pal = WOULD NOT take this time if I didn't like you bunches.

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    May 9, 2010 8:59:56 PM

    And that was just one post and i take (some) issue with each and every statement, which I did so lovingly dissect.

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    May 10, 2010 6:07:22 AM

    Some of those things I think you misunderstood(because I didn't explain correctly) since the things you said to prove them wrong are actually what I meant to say in the first place.

    And you seem to say that the intel 930 is better than the thuban in almost every way yet you maintain that intels are more expensive. What's up with that? Because when I said they're equal I was talking about performance as in speed not cores or anything. And most benchmarks I've seen still confirm that the thuban is faster in multithreaded apps and that the 930 is faster in games http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/amd_...
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    May 10, 2010 7:26:09 AM

    Enough of this BS guys. I started this thread to ask for some help and direction of where to start piecing a new build together, not to provide a forum for adolescent bickering and insults.

    If someone posts incorrect info, then by all means, post a reply stating so with supportive documentation and facts. Beyond that...move on. I mean really, what's next? Someone going to go crying to the other person's mother? Wow. Let it go and move on, but please, no more of this here. If you're not addressing the topic, MY query, then find somewhere else to take this crap.
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    May 10, 2010 2:46:38 PM

    Ok back to the topic then. So I think it would be best if you take either an i7 930 or amd 1090t (which does support sli if you have the correct mobo such as this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... am I correct alvin?). Bassically which one you choose is down to personal preference IMO as none is definately better than the other they are just different. As a gpu you might want to go for a 470gtx if it fits your budget. I think it would be best to choose a gpu and cpu and then choose the rest.
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    May 10, 2010 6:21:21 PM

    470 ... Hmmm ... Why do I not have a 470 in my own basket? ... Well, there is the obvious price factor, but there is way much more that I am considering, and that is why I am still on this forum, in limbo, to this day.

    1) Hot, Huge, Pricey, Power !

    2) Would rather balance expense and CUDA and OpenGL and up to 4 mons across 2 GPU cards.

    3) Would definately consider two "450"s (one at first) , if available in time (Druthers!).

    But the reality is that the 450s won't be out for months and won't be very cheap when they do come out.

    Best course ? ... Over these past months, I have had 2x220s(see review), two 5670s(eyefinity), two 9800GT-EEs (a good choice) ... But, now, I finally found a 250GTS that DOES support OpenGL3.2 ... Best of all worlds (IMO) ... For ~$130 I can limp on one card and wait to get one 450 ... OR ... I can get TWO 250s for $260 and SLI and skate for a few years, with 4 monitors (ultimately).

    I only have two monitors (1080P) so I only need one card, right now BUT I definately DO want 4 (because my current setup is a 52" and a 22" ... bad matchup).

    So do I REALLY want to get that 2nd 250 or limp on 2 mons and apply those monies in future.

    ... That is where I am stuck, right now ... Part of me says I should snag the 2nd card for matched SLI now ... rather than to try to hunt one down, later ... The price is not terrible but it is not chicken-feed, either ... I can purchase a 32GB SD card for my camcorder, instead ... see?

    Comes down to budget, but with content creation, there is so much hw/sw stuff to buy ... even rich folks have to draw the line somewhere.

    = Al =

    PS: If I game, I am most likely to go PlayStation.
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    May 10, 2010 6:46:52 PM

    yeah it seems x58 is the way to go. I tottally agree I just added that to keep the man's options open.
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    May 10, 2010 6:49:25 PM

    And as alvin says the 470 isn't the best choice. If it fits your budget though and you don't want 4 monitors it isn't a bad one either IMO.
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    May 10, 2010 6:55:44 PM

    Glad to see things back on topic. Thanks guys.

    Thanks for the link to the AM3 SLI board. Nice to see there IS an option beside Intel. The i7-980x and i7-975's are nice, but for the 3X the price of the 1090T, I can't imagine anyone being able to justify the added price (other than for bragging rights.) That aside, there seems to be minimal difference in the 920's and 930's vs. the 1090T. Given that and my history/preference for AMD, I think that's the way I'm leaning now.

    As for a video card, I'm more in line with Alvin. the 470's, while nice, are just too expensive (the kids get bitchy when they aren't fed, lol), but the idea of a couple of 250GTS's SLI'd sounds like a good solution and within the $$$ range of being doable.

    And for Al, my 2 cents, I'd get the 2nd vid card now, then work on correcting/leveling the monitor situation. The price you'd pay for 450's when they come out would probably pay for a whole new set of monitors, which you'd still be left needing to buy if you wait and go for the 450's. And you know by then, there'll be something newer and better on the horizon. I'd save big ticket items like that for your next major build, and just focus on improving what you have now.

    Thanks guys. I'll keep an eye for more replies and thoughts.
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    May 10, 2010 7:13:07 PM

    For alvin's situation I have to agree with rmm64 especially since the 450's will I think be more focused on gaming purposes. And rmm64 I wouldn't consider the 980x its about twice as good as the 930 but 4 times the price.
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    May 10, 2010 7:24:52 PM

    Somebody_007 said:
    I wouldn't consider the 980x its about twice as good as the 930 but 4 times the price.

    Thanks some, but if you read my response, I'm not really considering ANY Intel chips now. For the price, I think the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is my CPU of choice. I agree, the i980x is nice, but not with such a high price point. I could save about $100 with the 1055T, but like the added speed with the 3.2GHz. Looks as though it OCs fairly nice.
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    May 10, 2010 7:35:47 PM

    apperently the geforce chipsets aren't terribly good as I've read in some reviews so you might want to reconsider.

    And @ alvin: Does fotoshop work well with ati if it does at all?
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    May 10, 2010 7:39:55 PM

    Just a little fact which prolly does not apply, but good for all to know ...

    ... The consumer version ov VEGAS will let you config it to utilize up to 4 threads ...

    . ... The pro version will allow you to use up to 8 threads (version Pro9) ...

    Sure to change, at some point, obviously.


    = Al =
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    May 10, 2010 7:50:12 PM

    rmm64 said:
    And for Al, my 2 cents, I'd get the 2nd vid card now, then work on correcting/leveling the monitor situation. The price you'd pay for 450's when they come out would probably pay for a whole new set of monitors, which you'd still be left needing to buy if you wait and go for the 450's. And you know by then, there'll be something newer and better on the horizon. I'd save big ticket items like that for your next major build, and just focus on improving what you have now..


    Yup ... I sort of have a feeling that this fairly rare and very affordable option may not be available by end of summer ... Two 250GTS with OGL3.2 (probably SLI) would best distribute the compute performance and I/O over the most PCIe Lanes and will add an extra 1GB GDDR3 to my compute resources ... Also ... if one 250 should fail ... I'll be able to limp on one, until I can suss a solution. All for $260 up front ...

    Hell, i might even sneak a copy of some "mech-warrior" fps game into my cart (while nobody's lookin' ).

    Actually ... I really WOULD liked to get hooked up with some decent HOTAS and do the ACM thing. ... Maybe I will, now.

    = Al =
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