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BestConfigs - High-End AMD Gaming PC

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August 30, 2010 8:09:50 PM

We're updating the Tom's Hardware BestConfigs and are opening the field to user recommendations! Post the best configuration you can put together for the following build category and our editorial team will pick 5 recommendations in each category to put to a public vote. The top-ranking build will go on to become one of Tom's Hardware's BestConfigs, and you'll get the credit for having put together a brilliant build with special notice in the feature article.

Post your entries to this thread for the category of High-End AMD Gaming PC, stay within $2000 and be sure to list the following components-

Processor:
Motherboard:
RAM:
Graphics Card:
Hard Drive:
Case:
Power Supply:
DVD Burner:

Good luck, and may the best builds win!
August 30, 2010 8:28:53 PM

Processor: Phenom II x6 1090t
Motherboard: Asus Crosshair IV Formula
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 1600mhz C7
Graphics Card: XFX 2GB 5970
Hard Drive: 150GB Velicoraptor x2 RAID 0
Case: Haf X
Power Supply: AX850
DVD Burner: Cheap SATA
August 30, 2010 9:13:42 PM

Processor: Phenom II X4 955

Motherboard:msi 890fxa-gd70

Ram: G.Skill Flare DDR3 2000 MHZ C7

Graphics card : XFX HD-587A-CNF9 Radeon HD 5870 2GB

Harddrive: gskill [ PHOENIX PRO ] FM-25S2S-120GBP2 120gb Main + western digital caviar black WD1002FAEX storage

Case: Coolermaster Storm Sniper Black mesh

Power suply: coolermaster silentpro M850

Dvd Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
Related resources
August 30, 2010 11:04:57 PM

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2Ghz $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: MSI 890FXA-GD70 $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: HIS H587FN1GD Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $350 x3= $1050
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: NZXT Hale90-1000M 1000W 80Plus Gold Modular $221
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Sony Optiarc $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink:
Thermalright Silver Arrow $80
http://www.svc.com/silverarrow.html

Total: $1995
August 31, 2010 1:52:54 AM

Processor:
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX - $290.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $229.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - $98.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card:
GIGABYTE GV-R587OC-1GD Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - X2 $719.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive:
G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-120GBP2 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - $279.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

&

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $42.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP Black Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Professional Series AX750 750W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $169.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner:
SAMSUNG 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 4X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM - $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1996.90
August 31, 2010 3:06:36 AM

Processor: Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition $165.99
Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 $214.99
RAM: 2 x 2GB G.Skill Ripjaws Series DDR3 1600 $92.99
Graphics Card: 2 x XFX HD 5870 HD587X-ZNFC 1GB $779.98
Hard Drive 1: 120 GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro FM-25S2S-120GBP2 Series 2.5" $279.99
Hard Drive 2: 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS $87.99
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 RC-922-KKN1-GP ATX Mid Tower $89.98
Power Supply: Antec 1000W 80 Plus Bronze Certified Modular $179.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON 24x DVD Burner $25.99
Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm CPU Cooler $79.99

Total= $1997.88

This system has got everything you could ask for; a reliable cpu, an impressive graphics card setup, one of the best SSDs on the market, a powerful psu, and plenty of storage. The water cooling unit allows for a lot of over-clocking headroom on this rig, and the HAF and 1000W psu should support such endeavors nicely. With a perfectly sufficient 4 GB of DDR3 1600, there is still room for adding more modules if so desired later on. Great Rig!

thanks firebean for catching my gaff
August 31, 2010 3:49:12 AM

ragingmercenary said:
Processor: Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition $165.99
Motherboard: MSI 890FX 890FXA-GD70 ATX $109.99
RAM: 2 x 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 $199.99
Graphics Card: 2 x EVGA GTX 470 012-P3-1472-AR SuperClocked to 625Mhz/1250Mhz 1280MB $699.98
Hard Drive 1: 120 GB G.Skill Phoenix Pro FM-25S2S-120GBP2 Series 2.5" $279.99
Hard Drive 2: 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS $87.99
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP ATX Full Tower $129.98
Power Supply: Antec 1000W 80 Plus Bronze Certified Modular $179.99
DVD Burner: LITE-ON 24x DVD Burner $25.99
Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm CPU Cooler $79.99

Total= $1959.89

This system has got everything you could ask for; a reliable cpu, an impressive graphics card setup, one of the best SSDs on the market, a powerful psu, and plenty of storage. The water cooling unit allows for a lot of over-clocking headroom on this rig, and the HAF and 1000W psu should support such endeavors nicely. With a perfectly sufficient 4 GB of DDR3 1600, there is still room for adding more modules if so desired later on. Great Rig!



Sooo... How would you get SLI to work in that? I'd love to know how...
August 31, 2010 4:27:49 AM

Here is a config, but too bad it goes over $2K though...

CPU - X6 1090T

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD7 - IMO a better option than the Rampage because of the slot placement and the available space

CASE - HAF X Certainly

PSU - Silverstone OP 1000W/ Antec TP 1000W

RAM - GSKilz Flare 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Desktop Memory Model F3-14400CL7D-4GBFLS

SSD for boot - OCZ Agility 60GB

HDD for Data - Hitachi 0F10452 2TB

BD Combo - SAMSUNG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Combo Drive - Bulk Model SH-B083L/BSBP LightScribe Support - OEM

Graphics card - HIS HD 5970 - Cheapest HD 5970 (With the money saved there, would get the Accelero XTREME 5970
http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalog/product_info.php?...

Hope you people like this...
August 31, 2010 5:41:05 AM

cpu - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD7
case - Antec P193 + free extra 585w psu
psu - Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ-1000 1000W
ram - G.SKILL PIS Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2200
GPU - SAPPHIRE 100280SR Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB
dvd burner / combo - SAMSUNG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM

Grand Total = $1,910.93
August 31, 2010 6:20:21 AM

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Trident 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: 2x MSI R5870 Lightning II Radeon HD 5870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX50G 2.5" 50GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply:XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink: Noctua NH-U9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $2002 after MIR
August 31, 2010 9:41:52 AM

Processor: Phenom II X4 965
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GV-R597D5-2GD-B Radeon HD 5970
Hard Drive(s): 2x Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC SSD
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
DVD Burner: SAMSUNG 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner

All parts from Newegg
Total: 1985$
August 31, 2010 1:29:13 PM

Processor-Phenom 2 X6 1090T-290.00
Motherboard-MSI 890FXA-GD70-199.99
Ram-GSkill Ripjaws DDR3 1333 8gb (2x4gb) F3-1066CL9D-8GBRL-174.99
Harddrive-Micron Real SSD C300 128gb MTFDDAC128MAG-1G1-249.99
Harddrive 2-Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB-74.99
Case-Coolermaster ATCS 840-169.99
DVD Burner-Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive B083L/BSBP-69.99
PSU-Corsair 750W CMPSU-750-TX-109.99
Graphics Card- Zotac Amp Geforce GTX480 ZT-40102-10P-514.99
Cpu Cooler-Thermalright HR-02-79.95, AM3 Boltdown Kit 9.95,Scythe 120mm fan SY1225SL12LMP-9.99
3 Pin Cable Splitter-2.50 (for the top 2 fans of the Coolermaster case. To be connected to a temperature controlled fan header on motherboard)

Total-1957.31

I believe this will meet my goals of:
1-Quietness ( I bet pretty close to watercooling noise levels)
2-No Sli or Crossfire X
3-No noisy stock heatsinks
4-Must have Phys-X
August 31, 2010 4:22:45 PM

EDIT: Prices updated as of 9/1

CPU: X4 955 $150
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-890XA-UD3 $105 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $99
GPU: 2x HD 5970 $1,300
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75 (not sure if the $15 off promo counts)
Case: HAF 922 $90
PSU: Corsair 950W $120 after rebate. I switched from the 850HX to add some extra room for overclocking and what not.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $18

Total: $1,957. Could be cheaper with combos/the HDD's promo code.

Thats right. DUAL 5970s. Only an 8x/8x board, but that's only like 2-3% performance difference anyway. No SSD, but I think that's a very minor sacrfice given the massive GPU power in this build.
I'm not sure if we needed to include a HSF, but if I do, swap the HDD for a Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB ($55) and pick up the Sycthe SCMG-2100 ($40). That makes the total $1,992.

If the promo price on the HDD counts, then I'd just throw in the HSF and be at $1,997.

EDIT: On 9/1, HIS's 5970 was available for $600(with $30 rebate), but I'm not sure how good their's are. They're not getting good reviews. So it's possible to shave off another $130 there. If we're not counting the quality of the GPU (which I'm not sure if HIS's is actually that bad), I'd use that and throw in the X6 1090T, and have a total of $1,957.
August 31, 2010 5:18:14 PM

Hmmm 2x5970's in Xfire on a PII X4 955........ this is "little" unbalanced imo.
August 31, 2010 5:30:13 PM

Gaming is inherently unbalanced. I also doubt that the 955 would become the bottleneck.

If you'd prefer, I could swap in the X6 1055T for the 955. That'd put me $6 over, but I could drop the HDD to the 500 GB model.
August 31, 2010 5:35:33 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Gaming is inherently unbalanced. I also doubt that the 955 would become the bottleneck.

If you'd prefer, I could swap in the X6 1055T for the 955. That'd put me $6 over, but I could drop the HDD to the 500 GB model.


Oh well, as long as an additional CPU cooler is included in the build, then keep the X4 955. The end user will probably OC, so with an additional cooler, it should easily hit 3.8GHz+ .
August 31, 2010 5:41:58 PM

That's the idea. Since the opening post didn't say anything about including a HSF I left it out. You can easily throw a good one in there and still be close to budget.

Besides, if you were really buying this, I'd find some combos to make it cheaper, allowing for the HSF or some other improvements. Heck, even just using the F3's promo code would allow for a good HSF...
August 31, 2010 5:46:24 PM

MadAdmiral said:
That's the idea. Since the opening post didn't say anything about including a HSF I left it out. You can easily throw a good one in there and still be close to budget.

Besides, if you were really buying this, I'd find some combos to make it cheaper, allowing for the HSF or some other improvements. Heck, even just using the F3's promo code would allow for a good HSF...


Yup.
August 31, 2010 6:53:42 PM
August 31, 2010 8:05:53 PM
August 31, 2010 8:07:52 PM

FireBean said:
Sooo... How would you get SLI to work in that? I'd love to know how...


Do u hear about hack? Crossfire and SLI can run in any mobo with any chipset.

My configuration:

1- For now:

CPU: Phenom II X6 1090T
Mobo: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7
RAM: G.Skill PI 1600 8GB
GPU: 2x5870
SSD: Crucial SSD C300 128GB
HD: WD Velociraptor 600GB SATA III
Case: HAF X
PSU: Corsair AX1200W (Over kill I know)
DVD Burner: LITE-ON Black
Cooling: Own LCS or Swiftech H20-220-APEX ULTIMA
Fans: :lol: 

Price: $ 2918.31 a little more or little less.

2- Wait for Bulldozer :sol:  :kaola:  :lol: 
August 31, 2010 8:38:04 PM

^Are you in the right section?
August 31, 2010 11:16:55 PM

Lol a $3k build and a $1.2k build back to back.


Epic fails FTW!
August 31, 2010 11:44:30 PM

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban ($199.99)
CPU

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula ($214.99)
Motherboard

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ($98.99)
RAM

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ($169.99)
PSU

SAPPHIRE 100280SR Radeon HD 5970 ($649.99)
GPU

COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case ($169.99)
Case

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB ($74.99)
HDD

LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray ($79.99)
BlueRay

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 2.5" 128GB ($276.00)
SSD

Total = $1,934.32
September 1, 2010 6:15:26 AM

Heres a AMD/SLi build:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
M/B: MSI NF980-G65
RAM: G.Skill Trident 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600
GPU: 2 MSI GTX480 SLI
SDD: G.Skill Phoenix 60GB (Main)
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB (Storage)
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred
PSU: XFX Black Edition XPS-850W-BES
ODD: LG Black Blu-Ray Burner

Total: $1993 US, thats before rebate, W/Shipping.

September 1, 2010 9:43:18 AM

Processor: AMD 965 BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5
http://204.14.213.185/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.Skill Eco CAS 7 - 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 5970
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: HAF 932
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Corsair 850 HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Lite on SATA CD/DVD burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$1,626.89 (CA Tax + Shipping)


I purchased these exact items plus others. After complete rig was built (24" 1080P monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc.) the total was $1994.49

Edit: Newegg didn't update the price properly until a few refresh actions.
September 1, 2010 3:58:28 PM

MadAdmiral said:
^Are you in the right section?


Throw on another 5850 and your set, (5850 performs close to the 5870 comparatively in crossfire)

I know the x8 limitation on my motherboard choice, but I tend to favor upgrade paths when making computer (integrated graphics), besides when Bulldozer finally does come out most likely a new motherboard+proc will be needed; I'd hate to buy top of the line, only to upgrade in a year for hopefully a 25-40% increase in computer power. But hey I could also subtract the 5850 and add a ASUS ARES and look like a real fool; that will get me to the $2000 price. Of course a real question would be -- does highend equate to gaming performance, or overclocking; or values I prefer like quietness, and persistence/endurance, balance. If purely gaming performance then sacrificing EVERYTHING for graphics would be ideal and go for 2x 5970.

Processor: x4 955 ($150)
Motherboard: Asus M4A79T Deluxe ($140) (2 x16)
RAM: Cheap ($90-100)
Graphics Card: 2x 5970 (2x $630 = $1260)
Hard Drive: cheap 500GB ($40)
Case: CM HAF 922 ($90)
Power Supply: Cosair 850TX ($130)
DVD Burner: $20

$1920 TOTAL

+ CM Hyper 212 plus ($20-30)
OR
+ Thermalright Ultra 120 ($70)
September 1, 2010 4:22:00 PM

coldmast said:
Throw on another 5850 and your set, (5850 performs close to the 5870 comparatively in crossfire)

I know the x8 limitation on my motherboard choice, but I tend to favor upgrade paths when making computer (integrated graphics), besides when Bulldozer finally does come out most likely a new motherboard+proc will be needed; I'd hate to buy top of the line, only to upgrade in a year for hopefully a 25-40% increase in computer power. But hey I could also subtract the 5850 and add a ASUS ARES and look like a real fool; that will get me to the $2000 price. Of course a real question would be -- does highend equate to gaming performance, or overclocking; or values I prefer like quietness, and persistence/endurance, balance. If purely gaming performance then sacrificing EVERYTHING for graphics would be ideal and go for 2x 5970.


The 5850 CF absolutely destroys the 5870. It performs more like a single 5970, but loses some overclocking ability. The 5970 is technically two 5870 GPUs on a single card, but they've been downclocked to match the 5850's speeds. So at stock, the 5970 IS 5850 CF. Where you start having an argument is when you try to say the 5970 is the same as 5870 CF because of overclocking differences. Still, I don't know anyone who'd want to pay $740 rather than $650 for roughly the same amount of power.

As for the 8x/8x issue, it's a completely non-issue. Tom's already has done a number of reviews showing that the performance loss is minimal at most. It's not significant in any way. I believe the loss is around 2-3% (it's only 9% for 4x too), which is nothing.

I don't believe you actually have to sacrifice anything of real important to get dual 5970s. I fit them into my build, and all I had to leave out was the X6 (which doesn't help gaming, and offers questionable performance in other applications) and a SSD (which while nice to have, but way too expensive right now).
September 1, 2010 5:18:55 PM

MadAdmiral said:
The 5850 CF absolutely destroys the 5870.

loss is around 2-3% which is nothing.

I don't believe you actually have to sacrifice anything of real importance to get dual 5970s.


- I was referring to 5850 CF vs 5870 CF; loss when going down to 5850 upto 12% @ 1920x1200 (with my crappy build).

- On the 5970 CF, it would be a tiny bit higher (I'm guessing 4-5% {no source}) (than single GPU CF/SLI); plus toms did scaling in one article that still had only 16x to the proc with the with NV200 doubling the bandwidth between graphics cards (not a completely fair example). But who really cares, if you would spend $1200 on 2x 5970s chances are that they would be paired up with a an i7 9xx.

- You have to sacrifice money, maybe a girlfriend (not a personal attack, just directed generally to everyone as a joke) :) 
September 1, 2010 5:23:11 PM

Hi, I heard that since 5970 cf = quadfire it does not scale as good as 3 cards in tri.

That is why i chose to cf 5970 + 5870 and you can increase the 5970 clock to match the 5870 essentially having 3 5870's

I found this online site that shows some good benches

it shows that the 3 5870 perform better than the 5970 but the 3-way SLI GTX 480 still wins

But I suspect as drivers mature that the quadfire will eventually outperform the 3 5870's

I wish I had 2k now :( 
September 1, 2010 5:33:50 PM

^That's actually not true. I've seen a few reviews (there aren't many out there) with the 5970 getting better scaling than three card solutions. The one review that sticks in my mind was down by some foreign site (I couldn't read the article, but they had some great data in charts and tables). In their testing, they used up to three GTX 470s, three 480s, the 5970 with a 5870 and dual 5970s. They found that the SLI scaling was roughly 70% on the first two, which dropped to around 60-65% for the third. The 5970 scaled about 65% with both the 5870 and 5970. No idea why though. Might have been explained in the writing.

I really wish I kept that article. I didn't look at what site did the review hard enough to be able to find it again.

Of course 3 5870s would perform better than a single 5970. That's just common sense. Three of the same GPU will outperform two all the time.

Quadfire will always out perform Trifire. It's an inherent property. It's not like you're going to get NEGATIVE scaling. Sure, it might be that the scaling isn't as high (i.e. 55% instead of 65%, which are made up numbers), but it still performs better. The raw FPS will always be higher for quad GPU systems than for triple GPU systems.
September 1, 2010 5:34:43 PM

drinkbleach said:
Hi, I heard that since 5970 cf = quadfire it does not scale as good as 3 cards in tri.


Good point, I should switch my second build to triple 5870 and then up PSU; but is that info with the latest CCC drivers?
September 1, 2010 6:17:01 PM

coldmast said:
Good point, I should switch my second build to triple 5870 and then up PSU; but is that info with the latest CCC drivers?



Article was written. April 20, so little older. ATI just released new 10.8 that has some updates for eyefinity in quad.

Yeah not many reviews on these super high end graphics solutions.

I wonder how 3 5970 perform. What would that be? - SEXfire !!!

:o 
September 2, 2010 7:34:15 PM

Here is what i recommend:

CPU: Phenom II X6 1055T
Mobo: MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
GPU: 2x SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB
Case: COOLER MASTER COSMOS S RC-1100-KKN1-GP Black
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Optical drive: LG 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe
CPU cooler: CORSAIR H50 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler
Uppgrade for CPU cooler: 2x SilenX IXP-76-18 120mm Case Fan

Grand Total:* $1,977.88


A SSD is not a must have but a good CPU cooler for overclocking it is. Also the case has a side fan that blows cool air directly on the video cards and the design is just superb. 1000W power supply for high overclocking, just great for this power hungry system.
Great balance in terms of design(case), multimedia(blu ray RW) and gaming performance(2x5870).
September 3, 2010 4:47:02 PM

Like I've been posting in the other threads, if you're going for absolute best benchmarker for the money type build and allow combo's/promo's/MIR then:

Optical
Sony $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
HAF 922 $90 code EMCYWPZ34 for free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
Spinpoint F3 $60 w/ promo code EMCYWPZ27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD
OCZ 100gb Phoenix $260
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PSU
XFX 850w 80+ silver $127.50 w/ promo code XFXPOWER, $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
GA-x58-ud3R $189 w/ promo code MBTEN92
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G SKill Eco 4gb 7-8-7-24 $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
Sapphire 5970 $650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU/CPU
Phenom II x4 955 and 5870 $480
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Promo codes used: XFXPOWER,EMCYWPZ27,EMCYWPZ34
Total MIR: $20

Total price after shipping and rebates: $1983.16


Top of the line PSU, excellent low v and tight timing RAM, and you can take the 5970 and OC it up to the 5870's speeds or more, which will give you essentially, 3 5870's level of performance.

This build is of course completely overkill, and as mentioned, is in the spirit of the system builder marathon kinda idea of max benchmarking performance for the money.
September 3, 2010 5:02:56 PM

I don't think that was the exact one, but it gets the idea. The one I saw had dual 5970s and had roughly the same scaling as with the 5970 and 5870.

I was WAY off with the triple card scaling. It's less than 30% for the third card with nVidia. I was think it was at least in the mid 50s. For ATI, it's still in the 50%, which isn't close to my guesss of 60ish. Still, that's better than nVidia's by a long shot.

As for the drivers, they may be old, but that just means the scaling is better. I know ATI's drivers have been steadily improving triple and quad card scaling for a while.
September 3, 2010 5:14:19 PM

No, but you overclock one 5970 to match two 5870s. banthracis has a 5970 and a 5870 (combo with the CPU). That makes technically three 5870s.
September 3, 2010 5:23:00 PM

Yea, I used combo's/promo's and rebates to squeeze in a 3rd GPU over the other builds posted.

In the past I've seen the Tom's people use rebates and combo's in their SBM prices (not sure about promo's though).

Still, they really do need to clarify exact rules they want for type of build and how budget works.
September 3, 2010 5:24:00 PM

Ahh ic.

I love AMD pricing compared to intel you can get so much GPU power in the saving you get from the cpu. :) 
September 3, 2010 6:08:32 PM

I think that the rigs should be posted without promo codes or MIR since those are only for a limited time.
September 3, 2010 6:18:31 PM

I'd say without promos and combos. MIRs are more steady, and many of them last for a month or more.
September 3, 2010 6:31:34 PM

^Yeah I forgot the combos too, those are for a limited time.

The idea is build a rig that u can build in any moment without have to wait for promo code or combos.
September 5, 2010 5:52:44 AM

MadAdmiral said:
Gaming is inherently unbalanced. I also doubt that the 955 would become the bottleneck.

If you'd prefer, I could swap in the X6 1055T for the 955. That'd put me $6 over, but I could drop the HDD to the 500 GB model.


MadAdmiral said:
The 5850 CF absolutely destroys the 5870. It performs more like a single 5970, but loses some overclocking ability. The 5970 is technically two 5870 GPUs on a single card, but they've been downclocked to match the 5850's speeds. So at stock, the 5970 IS 5850 CF. Where you start having an argument is when you try to say the 5970 is the same as 5870 CF because of overclocking differences. Still, I don't know anyone who'd want to pay $740 rather than $650 for roughly the same amount of power.

As for the 8x/8x issue, it's a completely non-issue. Tom's already has done a number of reviews showing that the performance loss is minimal at most. It's not significant in any way. I believe the loss is around 2-3% (it's only 9% for 4x too), which is nothing.

I don't believe you actually have to sacrifice anything of real important to get dual 5970s. I fit them into my build, and all I had to leave out was the X6 (which doesn't help gaming, and offers questionable performance in other applications) and a SSD (which while nice to have, but way too expensive right now).



a 5970 is not the same as 5850 xfire... if it was the same they wouldnt say 2 5870's clocked at 5850 speeds... they would say 2 5850's

a 5870 has 1600 stream processors while the 5850 only has 1440

so its 3200 stream processors clocked at 5850 speeds... not 2880 stream processors clocked at 5850 speeds



and a 955 would destroy a 1055t.. and would not get beaten by a 1090t in gaming
September 5, 2010 6:35:05 AM

I'm not sure you know what you're saying or what I said. What I was saying is that the 5970 is technically 5870 CF. That is, the single card has two 5870 GPUs on it. However, the GPUs have been handicapped, making it perform almost exactly like 5850 CF out of the box. So it's not 5850 CF, it just performs like it at stock. Overclocking it will easily push it towards the 5870's level.

The 955 does not destroy either of the X6s. It matches them in gaming benchmarks, but doesn't beat them. It will lose outside of gaming though.
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