I'm building a new AMD gaming rig basically from scratch (already have a pws in place but that's it!) and I'm hoping for some feedback before I pull the trigger here.
This is what I'm thinking about:
Mboard: Asus Crosshair IV Formula
Case: Antec Lanboy
CPU: Phenom II x6 1090T
RAM: G.Skill 8GB Ripjaw DDR3 1600
SSD: G.Skill Sniper 120GB
HDD: 2x Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black (SATA 6.0Gb/s)
Graphics: 2x Sapphire Radeon HD 6870
This puts me around $1700 from NewEgg and I don't want to get TOO far away from that (I can't afford to put four 600GB Raptors in a RAID array, for example) but I'm interested in any feedback as far as alternate parts or configurations you might be able to offer.
Thanks in advance.
There's no reason to get the SATA 6.0 Gb/s version of the Caviar Black. Mechanical hard drives don't saturate SATA 3.0 Gb/s, much less 6.0. Less expensive, but equivalent drives would be the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB - $70, and the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $75.
Have you thought about waiting for the 69xx series cards to come out?
The build you have should work fine, though I think you would get better value by making some of the changes suggested above.
Obviously, you could save some money by going with a different case, but if you like the Lanboy, go for it.
I took a look at the benchmarks coldsleep referred me to and he's right.. the 1090T doesn't produce a lot more than an X4 for gaming. With the discounts NewEgg is offering right now it's about $50 difference in price. So either I'm "future proofing" a little bit by going with the 1090T or I am just throwing away money on extra cores that won't really see any use. I guess the better question is this: By the time games (and most other apps) catch up with 6 cores will I be looking to upgrade the CPU ANYWAY?
Thanks for the heads up on the HDDs too. I'll definitely check out the Samsung and Seagate drives and will abandon the 6Gb/s
As far as RAM goes... what should I be looking for as far as timings? The G.Skill Ripjaw that I have picked out is 7-8-7-24-2N which is about the best timing I found on the QVL for this MB.
Excellent advice on the CPU cooler too. I'll definitely be dumping the stock cooler for another one.
As for the case... I'm wavering between the Antec Lanboy and the Coolermaster 932. About a $40 difference between the two right now. Anybody have any input on either of those?
Honestly, for gaming, past a certain point, CPU doesn't matter nearly as much as your graphics card. The X4 should be more than enough for a while, very few modern games use 4 cores, most use just one or two. Programmers have a hard time with parallelization in gaming, and I don't think 4+ cores is going to become the standard anytime soon. Or, it will be standard on computers long before games actually require it. The X6 is a fine processor, it's just overkill for a purely gaming rig.
7-8-7 1600 MHz is pretty good, CAS 7 1600 MHz has been the sweet spot for value for a while now. I wouldn't worry about the QVL too much, RAM is RAM. The stuff on the QVL is just what they bothered to test, or what people paid to test. If you managed to find CAS 6 1600 MHz or CAS 9 2000 MHz for a similar price, you might go for that, but it's not worth paying a lot more for if you're on a budget/not extreme overclocking.
Lots of people like the HAF 932...it has a lot of great features, lots of room, etc. The 922 is also highly praised for having nearly as much room as a full tower, and it has a switch to turn off the LED fans. I think they're both ugly as sin though, so they're not for me. I haven't heard a lot about the Lanboy, you might try googling reviews on it. Case aesthetics are fairly personal, I don't really like outright telling people what to get.
I'll agree with coldsleep on pretty much everything here. The 1090t isn't better on any gaming benchmarks for the most part, it's for other things, or else just to say 'I have a freaking hexacore.'
As for cases, all of the ones that you have are great for airflow obviously, just pick what you will want to look at for a while. One nice thing about the Lanboy is that you can customize everything about it, where the drives go, PSU goes, etc, but I've heard it's cable management is brutal. I've got a NZXT Tempest EVO right now for my gaming case (which is pretty nice), but if I were to buy one right now, I'd grab a Corsair Graphite 600t...
As for memory, I picked up some Mushkin CAS7 2000mhz stuff a few weeks ago to test out - and it's pretty sweet. Right now they go for $125 on the US newegg site with free shipping (Ridgeback I believe). Matches the board nicely too.