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High End AMD Build advice/criticism

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September 23, 2010 9:26:06 PM

It's been a while since I built a comp from scratch, so I'm a bit behind on the cutting edge tech. My prelim research suggests this is a good high end build. Any feedback you guys might have would be greatly appreciated. If you have different/better suggestions, please don't hesitate to advise.

Thanks!

PROCESSOR: Phenom II x6 1090t

MOTHERBOARD: Asus Crosshair IV Formula

RAM: G.SKILL Flare 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000)

GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5970 2 GB DDR5 PCIE2.0 X 16 HDMI/2DVI

DRIVES:
SSD (BOOT): G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-120GBP2 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

HDD (STORAGE): Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch

BR-DVD (BURNER): HP BD340I 12X

CASE: Haf X

COOLING: Corsair Hydro Series 50

POWER SUPPLY: Cooler Master RS-A00-80GAD3-US Silent Pro Gold 1000W Power Supply

More about : high end amd build advice criticism

September 23, 2010 11:56:07 PM

Looks pretty good, but you could get 2 Samsung Spinpoint f3 1tb's for cheaper and RAID them, they would be faster then that single drive.
September 24, 2010 12:48:02 AM

True. Such a setup could be faster. That said, splitting my files between two drives always makes me feel I'm doubling my chance of a drive failure and thus losing all my data.
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September 24, 2010 1:50:17 AM

The 5970 tells me that this is a gaming build. It is the fastest single card around today, and should run anything well.
You might want to wait for the October 6000 ati series; there are supposed to be some improvements, and perhaps pricing.

The 6 core AMD 1090t is a very capable processor for multi thread enabled workloads, but not for games.
It is a second tier processor for gaming, ranking below the i5-750 on tom's gaming cpu heirarchy chart.
You might want to read the article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
Intel "sandy bridge" is due to launch in January. I think it will be a blockbuster.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

Closer in will be the gen3 SSD's, this fall. Built on a 25nm process, they should be bigger, faster, and cheaper.

All in all, I think anyone building a long term PC today is in danger of suffering buyer's remorse within the next few months.

I think liquid cooling is not necessary with a high airflow case like the haf series. A decent oem cooler will do just about as well, and cost <$40.

A 1000w psu is overkill. AMD recommends a good 650w psu for the 5970, and a 850w unit for dual cards:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
September 24, 2010 4:56:59 PM

Definitely going to be used for gaming, but also for major photoshop and painter etc work. Just learned about the 6xxx's coming out, but hadn't read about the 3rd gen of ssds. Any actual time frame on those yet? Or is everyone just saying 'fall'?

Will definitely put off both if they are that close to coming up. At this point, then, will probably buy during the thanksgiving-christmas sales (and that is really putting things off - don't know if can wait longer than that for the Jan intel stuff :(  )

As to the 1000w being overkill, I am surprised. All the reviews/recommendations for a system with this type of cpu / graphics card etc indicate going with 1000w average. Yet, as you show, amd itself does recommend lower (at least as the min). Perhaps the others are just trying to anticipate future updates/usage. Besides price of course, is there a downside to going with more than recommended (ie overkill)?
September 24, 2010 5:59:14 PM

RadCap said:
Definitely going to be used for gaming, but also for major photoshop and painter etc work. Just learned about the 6xxx's coming out, but hadn't read about the 3rd gen of ssds. Any actual time frame on those yet? Or is everyone just saying 'fall'?

Will definitely put off both if they are that close to coming up. At this point, then, will probably buy during the thanksgiving-christmas sales (and that is really putting things off - don't know if can wait longer than that for the Jan intel stuff :(  )

As to the 1000w being overkill, I am surprised. All the reviews/recommendations for a system with this type of cpu / graphics card etc indicate going with 1000w average. Yet, as you show, amd itself does recommend lower (at least as the min). Perhaps the others are just trying to anticipate future updates/usage. Besides price of course, is there a downside to going with more than recommended (ie overkill)?


Intel is now producing the 25nm chips, and some products were shown from others ssd vendors at IDF2010. However, there was an article that said that launch of intel's new SSD would be delayed to February in order to avoid the shortages that happened when the last generation was launched. That does not make much sense to me, since an improved product can command a higher price in a supply constrained environment. Who knows?

The one caveat on a much overstrength psu is that it will loaf along, and may operate at a lower point of the efficiency curve. Most psu's are most efficient in the middle third of their capability. Gold certified is very good, but I do not normally think of Cooler master as a top tier psu maker. I like Seasonic, Corsair, PC P&C, XFX and Antec. How about the XFX750w unit?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Modular, silver efficient, and well reviewed.

You might want to check out some comparisons on the Intel vs amd for photoshop also. Intel seems to be able to deliver more work per clock.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=47 Even the i5-750 shows well. The Intel processors are also very good overclockers, and a conservative overclock to 3.3 or so is trivial.

If you have access to a microcenter, they will sell you a i7-930 for $199. A very good deal which makes a X58 based system competitively priced.

Photoshop makes very good use of all the ram you can give it. Perhaps your 8gb should be 16gb.
If you go the i7-930 and X58 route, you will get 6 ram slots enabling you to use 24gb of triple channel ram. Note that >16gb will require Windows-7 professional.
September 24, 2010 6:11:58 PM

RadCap said:
I'm probably just blind, but in what way is this:

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

better than this?

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


The first has lower latency and a lower price.

The second is advertised for phenom x6 only. I do not have a clue why.
It also has a cooling fan which adds to the cost.

Fancy heat spreaders and fans are marketing gimmicks and are not useful to anybody but record seeking overclockers.

Regardless, you should verify that any ram you select is suitable for your motherboard. The motherboard will have a QVL list of ram that has been successfully tested on that particular motherboard. Alternatively, go to the ram vendor's site and use their configurator to get a list of ram that is compatible with your motherboard. Other ram may well work, but if you have a problem, you want to deal with explicitly supported products.

For what it is worth, on the Intel systems, of which I am more familiar than amd, ram speed and timings have minimal effect on real(vs. synthetic benchmark) performance or FPS. Think 1-2% .
September 24, 2010 7:00:45 PM

Good point about the psu and usage. At this point, given the impending 6xxx series, I'm going to hold off on a decision on the psu until the power recommendations on those gpus are made known. As to the SSD, if it does look like the next gen wont be out until after the holidays, I'll probably stick with the above, then get a new one after (transferring this to an older system).

I am unfamiliar with microcenters, but according to google there are a few near me (LA, Ca). That is certainly a good price for the cpu. Do you have any recommendations for a very good board to go along with it?

As to going the 16gb mem route, that was my ultimate goal. I just planned on doing a couple things incrementally (mem and dual gpu etc).
September 24, 2010 9:02:29 PM

RadCap said:
Good point about the psu and usage. At this point, given the impending 6xxx series, I'm going to hold off on a decision on the psu until the power recommendations on those gpus are made known. As to the SSD, if it does look like the next gen wont be out until after the holidays, I'll probably stick with the above, then get a new one after (transferring this to an older system).

I am unfamiliar with microcenters, but according to google there are a few near me (LA, Ca). That is certainly a good price for the cpu. Do you have any recommendations for a very good board to go along with it?

As to going the 16gb mem route, that was my ultimate goal. I just planned on doing a couple things incrementally (mem and dual gpu etc).


Asus, EVGA, and Gigabyte are all good. You can get a $200 X58 motherboard that will be all you need. It will have usb3.0, and two 6gb sata ports for when SSD's become really fast. All will have 6 ram slots. Here is a comparison list:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

I might get the Asus sabretooth version, based on the better 5 year warranty.

You will want a three stick ram kit. That will be either 6gb(23 x 2gb), or a 12gb kit(3 x 4gb)
Here is a patriot 12gb kit that should work; check it out yourself first:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is best to get all of your ram in one kit if possible. Manufacturing processes can change, so there is no guarantee that additional kits, even of the same part number are exactly the same.
September 26, 2010 12:42:26 AM

I think I'm simply going to have to revisit this build once the new 6xxx stuff comes out - and see what is what then.

Thanks for all the advice. You've been really helpful and generally prevented me from getting too little too soon. I'll be back. :) 
!