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Advice on budget hexa-core build

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Last response: in Systems
June 5, 2010 9:11:24 PM

Ok, so I'm trying to build a pc mainly for gaming, but also for some video encoding and normal usage.

Approximate purchase date: Late June/Early July

Parts not required: Monitor(s), keyboard, speakers, hard drive, dvd-drive

Preferred websites: Newegg, Tigerdirect, Amazon, Microcenter

Overclocking: Yes

Crossfire/SLI: Lucid Hydra (otherwise Crossfire)

Monitor Resolution: 3 x 1280 x 1024 (may or may not be upgraded)

I'd like to use Eyefinity and Powercolor's upcoming HD 5770 Evolution with built-in Hydra so that I can still use my Galaxy GT 240. Otherwise, I might just get a HD 5830 and use the GT 240 for PhysX.

Here's the build so far:

ASRock 890FX DELUXE3 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard - $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T + OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB DDR3 1600 - $310 with $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $20
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

NZXT Tempest EVO - $110 with $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXstream - $60 with $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $654.96 before rebates and w/o graphics card

So im guessing the 5770 evolution will be about $185. If they don't plan on releasing it for a while, then I'll just get this:

HIS HD 5830 MW2 Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Please tell me what you think, especially on the ASRock board.

More about : advice budget hexa core build

June 5, 2010 9:49:20 PM

The Hex will get you nothing unless your app actually sees and uses more than 4 threads ... few and far between, at this point. Did not see any specific apps (pjhotoshop CS5 VegasPro) that would need that.

At the other extreme ... just to ponder ...

Fact: An x3 440(OCd) @ $75, on an 890 mobo will not bottleneck a (mere) 5770, and less than half the current crop of games can even use/see the 3rd core !

Seventy Five Bucks !!!

Limp on that, for only 10~12 months, and you will reduce your system life cost AND get a free x3 proc, for another build (like an audio workstation or surf-box).

I know you have a full head of steam with regard to the Hex, but they will be cheaper, by more than $75, within a year.

Anyway ... If you have your mind set on a Hex, then you should go ahead and step up to socket 1366 and a 930 with 6GB of 3 channel DDR3 becuse INTEL will ultimately go to 12 (HyperThreading) Cores (24 threads), on socket 1366 (1366 pin-outs vs. AM3's 980 = 386 more pins out) ... and, AMD has only one thread per core.

AM3 is cobbled in that it is the 3rd gen of the same backward-compatible socket standard ... AM2,AM2+,AM3 ... it is an OLD socket

So ... phenom-II x4 core running at full OC is the final and ultimate, efficient evolution of the AM3 socket ... not so much my opinion as it is a fact.

YES ... I have seen (can post) the comparative benches (some "neck-n-neck") of the Hex and a 930, but the 930 will clock higher and, as I said, THAT comparison (Hex vs. 930) is really the VERY final "hurrah!" for the AM3 socket ... Why buy such an expensive proc and put it in a dead socket?

= just havin' fun blabbin' ... take it or leave it =

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June 7, 2010 2:11:23 AM

So would going with an OEM x3 720 ($100) and upgrading later on when bulldozer comes out be a better idea?
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June 7, 2010 3:14:12 AM

Actually ... I just read an article on Thuban ... If you get the slower 6-core, at ~$205 USD ... And just clock the snot out of it ... that would prolly be the best route after all.

as long as you don't mind a bit of fan noise ... you should be able to push it to 3.6 or 3.9GHz ... The ASROCK 890FX Deluxe lets you switch OC on and off ... purported to have a really slick BIOS setup.

I am finding the hardest part of building is getting a high OC without much noise .

Can be done ... within reason. Less Decibels means slower OC, tho. Good fans are out there but the research is a biotch.

= Al =
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June 7, 2010 3:31:23 AM

Well, the Tempest EVO has like 5 fans anyways... xD

I think I'm gunna go with the CM Hyper 212+ with an extra fan, I've heard its a really good air cooler.

Do you really think the ASRock board will be good? I'm kinda nervous about it...

Oh, BTW, can I have a link to the article?
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June 7, 2010 3:45:12 AM

Here are the first 11 owner reviews ... it is a new part:

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

here is the THG sidebar comparison of 5 890FX mobos ...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-890fx-crosshair...

http://en.ocworkbench.com/tech/asrock-introduces-asrock...

Search Google on "ASROCK 890FX REVIEW" for more OC reviews.

Finally ... Let me just say that the PCIe Lane assignments are the most appropriate for studio and edit use because it is 16x16x4, rather than 16x8x8 or 8x8x8x8 ... If you put two CUDA cards, in there, for up to 4 monitors (ever) ... Well ... You want to be able to have 2x16 GPUs and still add an SSD slot drive or an External RAID, etc., without dragging either of the two GPUs down to 4X ...

It is also cheaper and lets you gfo "stock" or "OC" at the flip of a (sw) switch ... VERY nice because you can make it almost silent, when not pulling long/hard renders.

= Al = I just put one (ASROCK DELUXE) in my own cart, last night.

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June 7, 2010 5:47:46 AM

sw=software
hw=hardware
ts=troubleshoot
OC=overclock
hsf=heat-sink-fan
etc. The context usually helps.

Here is the best RAM kit for that mobo and proc and HSF (BTW .. that 212+ can use 2 fans in push-pull but you need to source screws (many posts give spec) and most folks say that the fan that comes with the 212+ is too noisy ... go noctua or scythe. Also ... the 212+ comes with good thermal paste.

Ripjaws 1600c7
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
1x Winner of Customer Choice Award @ ~$115 USD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

****************************************************************

I did not know you were considering a 240 but it is a good idea (for graphics/edit) ...

All 4 of these cards will SLI but that mobo (890) does not support it (only crossfire).

There IS an AM3 mobo (hex ready) that will SLI but it is an nVidia chipset and, well, I plan to use nVidia cards in the 890FX and not SLI ... And a Blackmagic Design Intensity card (from B&H Photo). But if you select AM3 and SLI-ready in power-search, you will find at least one good nForce board ... but no future ports, etc.

ALL THESE CARDS HAVE CUDA , OpenGL 3.2, and nVidia architechture ... all 1GB.

First ... The FERMI 470 is $350 ... a lil hot-n-noisy ... power hungry but will rip on CS5-3D stuff and any sort of particle or motion title effects. It games like a 5850 (a bit better) AND has DirectX 11. Needs a 650Watt PSU (for one).


Second is the very affordable ZOTAC 250 (active fan and OC) but this is a full 2-slot solution and will hog an extra slot ... but it is much shorter than the 470 and usually costs around $130 ... Good for most games (not Crysis, etc., tho ).

ZOTAC ZT-20110-10P GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $119.99 (Does support OpenGL 3.2).

Third is the PNY 9800GTS-EE ("PB" sub-model! ... Tiger has the correct sub-model ... egg does not!) ... ONLY **THIS** EXACT MODEL# (supports OpenGL 3.0 ... OK ).

This is a TRUE SINGLE SLOT / LOW POWER / SLI graphics solution (for low-pros) and pulls 75Watts directly (only) from the cardbus (does not require a 6-pin pwr cable).

USUALLY ABOUT $109 USD
PNY VCG98GTEE1XPB GeForce 9800 GT EE 1024MB Graphics Card - 1024MB, GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, Stereo, Dual VGA Support

Finally ... In my cart ... is this silent (passive cooled, lower power) ZOTAC 240 that takes a full two slots and still does need some kind of fan pointed in it's direction ... But a 120mm 15db fan (slipstream) that can just help move some air past it will do.

I can disable or "turn down" the fans for live recording (and pull the "spinner"(HDD) trays out) ... because I have TWO SSDs (128GB Corsair P128 for render-to and audio recording (silent).

All the ZOTACS support OpenGL 3.2 ... Other nVidia GeForce cards DO NOT !! ('cept PNY and select EVGA cards)

ZOTAC ZT-20404-20L GeForce GT 240 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card *** Passive Fanless cooling

The egg-specs don't mention OpenGL 3.2 but the ZOTAC product page DOES.

= Al =



Next up is a ZOTAC 250 (active cooling and OC capable)
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June 7, 2010 5:57:35 AM

AND ... HERE IS YOUR (BEST AND ONLY DECENT) AM3 Hex-Ready SLI mobo ...
(I'd rather have the ATi 890FX/8550 southbridge combo for all the native SATA3 &USB3)

ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
Xtreme Design,Core Unlocker, AMD 6-Core & SLI Ready @ $140 USD

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

= if gaming is as important as CS5 =
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June 7, 2010 6:05:26 AM

No, I'm planning on getting Powercolor's new 5770 Evolution, which has Hydra built into it, so I can use the GT 240 I already own along with it. Sorry for the confusion.

Also, when adding a fan to the 212+, do I just add a regular case fan?
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June 7, 2010 12:50:53 PM

There are several threads (some recent), on that ... It is 120mm, for sure ... Some fans are 3 pin, others are 4 pin ... mobo determins which ... adapters are available.

The 212+ comes with a 120mm fan and screws for one fan ... The threads I read spoke of searching at the hardware store ... and, to help others, that OP posted the actual specs for the screws.

Fans come in different thicknessess but I am almost positive you are not bound to a given thickness, so long as you have screws which are the correct length ... You can just duplicate the fan thickness (and screws size/length) of the kit that come with your 212+ ... OR ... you can SUBTRACT the thickness DIFFERENCE, between the stock and the replacement fans and acquire screws which are of commensurate length.

SOME mobos seem to have clearance issues RAM modules vs. "Cooler Over-hang" ... So ... it seems it would behoove one (you) to get thinner fans, if you can fudge it all out (the screw lengths) ...

I SHOULD mention that I rarely (NEVER) hear of folks having issues with clearance on the Hyper 212+ as it is vertical and raised fairly high on it's heat-pipes.

= Whew = (There, now ... That wasn't so easy, now WAS it ?? )

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June 7, 2010 8:22:27 PM

xD Thanks for explaining. I kno that most mobos also use the RAM slots farther away from the CPU, and I dont plan on using all 4 slots yet...
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June 7, 2010 8:30:30 PM


Well ... That is not an entirely accurate statement and some mobos strictly govern which slots are to be populated first ... BUT ... Just forget about all-that unless owner reviews (sorted worst-first @ newegg) show a clear trend of problems for several people ... I honestly do not see a problem and the worst case is that you pay another $50 for a workable solution ... but that ain't gonna happen.

= Al =
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June 8, 2010 2:48:26 AM

Another quick question, I was looking at the Intel side, and Microcenter has a i7 860 for $200... I was curious as to whether this would be a better choice... I've seen benches where it clearly out performs the x6, but on the other hand, I've also seen several opposing articles on the lifespan of the 1156 socket... Could you (or anyone) give any advice?
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June 8, 2010 5:24:57 AM

I am not a fan of 1156 ... but, that sais ... can make a great office or HTPC rig (530/540) ... A great gaming rig (750) and a great CS5 rig (860) ... Other than those chips (for those reasons) I just don't even consider 1156 ... BUT ... I help folks build them every week ... I say my little caveat and we move on ... the 750 is realyl the GO-TO gamer's rig (maybe that new unlocked chip, too.).

= Al =
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