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Critique My Next Rig!

Last response: in Systems
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January 5, 2011 1:58:40 AM

Hi.

I'm going to be building a new rig this week and I am curious as to what the community feels about it. I'll list it here and then comment after for all those who don't like TL;DR.

Initial Build
-------------------------------------------------
[Budget]: ~1000

Old ::[Part]:: New

Core 2 Duo E7400 ::[CPU]:: Phenom II x4 955
eVGA 8800GT 512MB ::[GPU]:: Gigabyte 6850 (Alt: XFX 6850)
Gigabyte G31M-ES2L ::[MOBO]:: Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H AM3
GSkill 4GB DDR2 ::[RAM]:: Mushkin 8GB DDR3 PC1333 (2x4GB)
None ::[SSD]:: OCZ 80GB Vertex 2 SATA2 (Sandforce)
WD Caviar Blue 320GB x2 RAID 0 ::[HDD]:: WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA3
Aerocool mATX::[CASE]:: Thermaltake V9 BlacX
OCZ 750W ::[PSU]:: Corsair HX650W Modular
2x Lite-on DVDRW ::[ODD]:: Samsung DL DVDRW 22x

So my main conundrum is whether or not I should switch to an i5 760. I can't afford an i7 build so that is out of the question. I can't go much more than 1000 right now and I don't want to wait a lot longer. I'm starting to notice my rig lagging behind in some games and I want to change that after I bought a million games on Steam deals. xD I don't need ridiculous amounts of power, my current rig suffices well, I just want newer parts and a bit more power so I can pump out max graphics on the newer games.

Later in the year I plan on adding Blu-ray, crossfiring the 6850, adding another SSD or two and modding the hell out of the case and the addon slots.

I'm not huge on overclocking, but I don't mind hitting up the CPU since it is a Black Edition.

I run two monitors (1680x1050 and 1280x1024) currently and I plan on adding a third later in the year (1920x1080) which is why I am choosing a Radeon as opposed to nVidia.

I play all kinds of games and do quite a bit of multitasking. Computers are also my profession.

Hope all that helps. I'll probably be deciding in the next day or two (choosing the above build) unless you guys tell me otherwise!

Oh, and if you are going to suggest something can you provide a reason why or a link? I'd rather not just hear "do this because it's better."

Thanks.

More about : critique rig

January 5, 2011 2:09:05 AM

That looks like a good build to me. Looking into Sandy Bridge though would be my other option.
January 5, 2011 2:23:17 AM

The thing about Sandy Bridge is that would not only delay my build, but probably cost a bit more. Admittedly I haven't looked into SB as much as I probably should have. I've been meaning to read Toms articles on it but I haven't gotten around to is yet.

I don't mind paying a couple hundred more if the performance gain is going to be that significant. Like I said, I don't need super power parts, just good price/performance that will last for a couple years with upgrades.

I usually upgrade every couple years or so and build at least 2 machines within the time frame. I have various types of machines I like to build. I run 2 or 3 computers at a time for different things (virtualization, servers, storage, OS testing, etc.)
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January 5, 2011 2:27:24 AM

I read the articles (SB) today and it not only performance it is very power efficient as well. But then again your AMD build is solid and should last 2 years.
January 5, 2011 2:42:17 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. It is greatly appreciated! I feel a bit better now about my choices. I worry that my choice of AMD will bite me in the ass before I am prepared to upgrade again.

Anyone else got any feedback?
January 5, 2011 3:05:41 AM

Go with Sandy Bridge it really on really delay your build about 5 or so days (just an estimate)

The rest of your build looks great, good job :bounce: 
January 5, 2011 3:15:27 AM

If I go with Sandy Bridge, can I keep the RAM/everything else and just swap out the MOBO and CPU in my build? Or do I have to use triple channel with Intel SB for optimal performance? I don't really want to pay for 12GB triple channel and I don't want less than 8GB in my system.

And thanks for the kudos. :)  This will be my fourth or fifth build, but it is always nice to hear.
January 5, 2011 3:35:21 AM

SB is dual channel so you don't have to worry about tri-channel nonsense also I would wait to buy the RAM until you decide on your mobo because you want to check the QVL to make sure it's supported or send a ticket to the RAM manufacturer
January 5, 2011 12:01:28 PM

Okay, thanks for that info. If I go with SB should I be looking at the i5 2500k? Also, the Toms review suggests a P67 mobo for gamers. Are there any estimated dates/costs for these yet? I can't seem to find any.
January 5, 2011 1:04:01 PM

Yeah if you go with SB the i5 2500k would be the ideal choice if you overclocking, but if not you can go with a cheaper model

price estimate (read this on some other thread)

i5 2500k~230
P67 mobo w/Crossfire and SLI~150-200
January 5, 2011 1:06:31 PM

Hmm, well that isn't too much more expensive than my current setup. I can get all the parts I listed for a total of 991.97 (before taxes), so another 150 would be tolerable for SB.


Also, after mulling it over for a night, I am leaning a bit more towards the AMD build and gambling on Bulldozer working with only a mobo upgrade. Kind of like what AMD did with the AM2+/AM3 system. That way I could change my mobo when Bulldozer comes out and still use all my current parts until I want to pop in a Bulldozer chip. Any thoughts on this? I realize it may be a big gamble that a) AMD does this kind of upgrade path and b) Bulldozer lives up to the hype. Has there been any word on how AMD will socket Bulldozer yet?
January 5, 2011 1:52:07 PM

Anyone got insights on this or some good links for Bulldozer? I don't mean to be hasty, but I do have good sale prices on the parts but only until Friday.
January 5, 2011 2:02:41 PM

Bulldozer is socket AM3+, so you'll need a new mobo.

Spending $150 on a CPU and $140 on a mobo now, only to replace them both in a few months is a dumb idea. Either build a SB system now, or wait until Bulldozer comes out.

Or you could just build a Phenom II rig and be happy with it.
January 5, 2011 2:47:31 PM

If Bulldozer is AM3+ then I wouldn't replace the CPU, but only the mobo when it comes out. That way I could still use my Phenom II in the AM3+ until I want to upgrade to bulldozer (probably in a year or so) while keeping all the rest of my parts the same. Is that correct with the AM3+ or will my AM3 not work in an AM3+?

So essentially the mobo I selected here would be interim until a bulldozer one comes out. So my build would be then compatible for cpu upgrades in the future as well.

I upgrade my parts every few months anyways during my build years because I use them to build other computers. I usually build two ro three computers within my build year for different purposes and then I sit on those pc's for a couple years. Rinse and repeat. So upgrading in a few months is not outrageous to me.
January 6, 2011 12:46:00 PM

AM3+ is supposed to be backwards compatible so yes, AM3 CPU's will work in AM3+.
!