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~$3000 CDN Limit. Gaming Build.

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October 18, 2010 8:00:12 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Once GPU restocks (ETA Oct.26th) & laptop refund finalized.

Budget Range: $3000 CAD after 12% tax is applied. Willing to bleed over if its a must.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming,

Parts Not Required: Monitor (1080p), Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Sound Card (listed below), OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca, DirectCanada

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: None. Experience with Intel & ATI, but annoyed with ATI and interested in an AMD rig.

Overclocking: CPU & RAM

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080p - Likely upgrade in the future.

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GAH! Stupid mouse button, I had to rewrite 90% of this.

My build is based off a config found in the Best Configs - High-End AMD Gaming PC stickied in this forum, specifically the ice919 build.

Current Configuration:
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CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz
I felt given that I will be overclocking to reduce the CPU bottleneck I'd spend the extra $20.

Motherboard: ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
Exact same motherboard, as it is one of the very few AM3 boards that do SLI, let alone SLI at x16 and x16.

RAM: GeIL Evo Two 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model GET34GB2000C6DC
This is something I am really unsure about. I've never heard of this brand, and see other kits with much tighter timings.

Graphics Card: (2) * MSI N480GTX-M2D15-B GeForce GTX 480 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Original GPU. Saw no reason to get a superclocked one when the CPU will be a bottleneck anyway.

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
The listed drive is apparently 'deactivated' on Newegg.ca, and this was the best alternative I could find.

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD3-2VTX120G 3.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Doubled the size, and moved to a 3.5" drive. Resale value is not important to me (especially with the dropping prices), and I'm one of those people which play multiple games off and on.

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Went with the Nine Hundred Two, as its strangely cheaper and I like the revisions.

Power Supply: Antec CP-1000 1000W Continuous ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Original PSU as I see no reason to change it.

DVD Burner: LITE-ON 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 Writer LightScribe Support
Jumped brands, as this one was seeing much better reviews, and has that nifty LightScribe.

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 92mm SSO CPU Cooler
Hasn't changed, as once again I do not know of a better alternative. I've only ever done air cooling.

Cannibalized(Free): Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
Cannibalizing this from my current computer. I assume it will fit on the current motherboard even with cards in SLI?

So! That, along with a extra 120mm fan, brings my total, with my outrageous 12% tax, to $2335.40 CAD.
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My concerns/questions?

1. From my understanding a 6 core processor is not worth it, such as stated in this below quote:

drinkbleach said:
Didn't Toms recent editorial 2k build massively fail with the x6 1055t and 2 480's??

The cpu was too much of bottle neck, I wonder if this applies for the x4 and ice919's build.


ice919 said:
The cpu will definitely be the bottleneck of this system but amd's next gen processors are supposed to be compatible so once they come out you could easily upgrade and get that much more performance. This is also why I added a good cooler to max out the processor as much as possible. And if 480s bottleneck the system then 5970s surely will.

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2. The RAM. Do you agree that I should get two 2x2gb kits for a total of 8Gb RAM? Or is there a 8GB kit you recommended?
I've never heard of GeIL, and have seen kits rated for much lower timings on Newegg.ca, for ~$60 more.
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3. Is there anything obvious you would change? Anything you feel would be better? I have the capacity to add ~$500 or so of product before I reach my $3000 after tax maximum. Thats not to say I'm not willing to bleed over that if you know of a must have. ;) 
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Well, there it is. Another one of those many "OMG HELP ME MAKE A COMPUTER PLZ" first post threads.

If you have taken the time to read through the whole thing know that I am appreciative.
If you have taken the time to read through the whole thing and create a helpful reply know that I am grateful.

Cheers,

-Instance
October 18, 2010 1:16:47 PM

1. From my understanding a 6 core processor is not worth it, such as stated in this below quote:

Not for gaming.

2. The RAM. Do you agree that I should get two 2x2gb kits for a total of 8Gb RAM? Or is there a 8GB kit you recommended?
I've never heard of GeIL, and have seen kits rated for much lower timings on Newegg.ca, for ~$60 more.

Not at all.. you do not need 8GB of ram, no game uses over 4.

3. Is there anything obvious you would change? Anything you feel would be better? I have the capacity to add ~$500 or so of product before I reach my $3000 after tax maximum. Thats not to say I'm not willing to bleed over that if you know of a must have.

Yep, i would change the cooler to this - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

PSU - HX1000.. the CP-XXX(X) are a waste.. they are HUGE.. for no reason.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The motherboard
Crosshair IV EXTREME - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
With the extreme version it has the hydra chip. Meaning you can have SLI, CrossfireX or X-Mode (NVIDIA and ATi on the same board)

EDIT:
RAM - G.skill eco's (overclock like mad)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I'd get a bigger case... like the HAF X
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

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Best solution

October 18, 2010 4:27:12 PM

Why amd in this price categorie intel mops the floor with amd. IMO wait for sandy bridge and see then. But whatever you'r doing that 970 is inadequate for the horsepower you want to pair it with.
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October 18, 2010 8:29:04 PM

Best answer selected by ImitationInstance.
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October 18, 2010 10:59:25 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Why amd in this price categorie intel mops the floor with amd. IMO wait for sandy bridge and see then. But whatever you'r doing that 970 is inadequate for the horsepower you want to pair it with.

Well he said he is interested in AMD.. w/e.
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October 19, 2010 5:19:20 AM

He said his main concern was for gaming, where AMD and Intel are equal in terms of computing power. Even with an overclocked i7 980x vs his overclocked PhII x4 970, there isn't going to be a big difference when it comes to gaming. With 2 GTX 480's, I doubt his FPS is going to go below 60FPS for most games, so buying a stronger CPU is unnecessary. If by any chance, he does do other things aside from gaming, then Intel is the way to go.
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October 19, 2010 3:16:43 PM

kokin said:
He said his main concern was for gaming, where AMD and Intel are equal in terms of computing power. Even with an overclocked i7 980x vs his overclocked PhII x4 970, there isn't going to be a big difference when it comes to gaming. With 2 GTX 480's, I doubt his FPS is going to go below 60FPS for most games, so buying a stronger CPU is unnecessary. If by any chance, he does do other things aside from gaming, then Intel is the way to go.


Well no CPUs bottlneck GPUs far more than most people think. Here you see that an i5 750 at 4.15 starts bottlenecking very slightly and everything below that starts making serious bottlenecks for the GPU. http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/03/11/intel-... Now we see that the 965 bottlenecks around 10% which is a very very similar cpu to the 970. Then replace the 5870 that was used in the tests with 2 480s and you get HUGGEE bottlenecks. And then when you start playing games that are actually cpu intensive were talking MASSSIIVVVEEE differences between a 980x and 970be. http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2010/03/11/intel-... In this benchmark you see the 980 being more than 50percent better than a 965(consider the 970 almost the same) whilst having half the GPU power the OP wants for this build.

You should always look at the highest overclocks because that's what the cpu is capable of. Stock vs stock amd has a massive advantage yet still loses in this categorie though.
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October 19, 2010 11:16:52 PM

Hey, I couldn't help but noticed your CPU! I was planning on using that same one for my build though I was advised not to use it. Not sure why though, it seems to be a fair CPU at 3.5ghz it's a pretty fast little bugger for the price. I was however using a different Mobo, I was planning on using the Asus Crosshair IV Formula board which, according to what I've been told, is that that board is designed more for extreme overclocking. It's 299.99 USD. Note that it supports CrossfireX, i'm not positve as I don't plan on using Nvidia cards but I think I also read that it can run SLI but just not as efficently as it does with ATI/AMD Crossfire.
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