Help with new system build

I've been on a socket 939 setup for something like 5 years. Damn these 939 board life is crap and I've always loved Asus mobos but the A8N32 SLI boards die fast. I went threw 4 of them and lost another the other day so I give up and I'm putting a new system together but have my dillema on choice. My choice in motherboard is again Asus..always had great success until that A8N32 so not sure I'm ready to shoot them yet. The two boards I like are the

M4A89TD PRO (AMD 890FX chipset)
M4N98TD EVO (Nvidia 980a chipset)

The M4N uses Nvidia chipset and because of my experience with the A8N32(also Nvidia chipset) I'm sceptical. But it supports SLI and I have two Nvidia video cards so they could be used. The M4A uses AMD's chips so that is Crossfire technology and they are not compatible with SLI so I could only use single graphics card. However the M4N has some other strong for USB 3.0 & SATA 6gb/sec. Not sure how important that is to me or not I have a WD Raptor 10k RPM drive that's pretty damn fast and from what I've read we have not even maxed out the SATA 3gb/sec so an increase to 6gb/sec I'm not so sure means much for real world performance can widen a 4 lane highway all you want but if only a couple cars travel the route what's the point.
I guess I'm looking for reliability more than anything but staying with an Nvidia chipset I still get to keep SLI. For all I know my bad experience with the A8N32 might just have been a terrible line by Asus...hey even Toyota had some blunders so it happens but doesn't mean everything they produce is crap. So here's what i've got thus far.

AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
CORSAIR Professional Series AX750 750W
Windows 7 Pro x64

That puts me in mid $800. range so only thing left is video card and what I have for SLI will suffice until and if I want to upgrade. My WD Raptor drive is plenty sufficient and fast...I upgraded that a bit over a year ago.
Only other thing I was wondering if I should splurge a bit more for DDR3 1600? Not so sure the added wait states over the DDR3 1333 is all that big a difference.
16 answers Last reply
More about help system build
  1. if you have $800, try a whole new Sandy Bridge build:

    HD 6850: $179.99

    Everything else in a combo: $596.99

    (i5-2500K, 1 TB drive, Asus P67, 4 GB DDR3-1333, a thermaltake case and 600W PSU, and DVD burner)


    If you want to step up to a HD6870 that brings it to $836.98 instead
  2. I appreciate your time but I'm not so sure I want to go Intel for my own personal reasons. That is a good deal however.
  3. If you don't mind my asking, why not?

    Sandy Bridge is 50% more power efficent and 50% more powerful than a Phenom II X4 series. Until Bulldozer hits the street, NOTHING matches it.
  4. lol...that what I was afraid you'd ask. Lets just say I'd rather not open that door because it will only lead to a huge debate that i honestly don't wish to engage in...nothing personal. I have nothing against Intel. I've been building my own work stations for 20 years and still have yet to purchase an Intel of any kind.
    I do have to say though that in those 20 years I've had great success with AMD until that damn A8N32 board. I have 4 dead ones here and each exhibited the same sign at failure. Memory will no longer post, been through every debug action you can think of and it's a board failure of some sort. So I do have my suspicions what's to blame and have given thought to Intel...just not sure yet.
  5. No problem.

    For now, I'd say get an AS Rock 870 Extreme 3 board, which is crossfire ready. a pair of 6850s will give better gaming performance with a 955/965/970 than a single gpu w/ sandy bridge. Should last a couple years.

    However if you can hold on, Bulldozer is supposedly being announced at the end of Feb, so about 607 weeks
  6. Speaking of what this rig will be used for I'm not into gaming. This is my home office setup and I use a pretty intense 3D modelling cad software that uses OpenGL. Do you think a HD6850 vs. 6970 would be a big difference? I can tell you that under the current setup with two older Nvidia 6800 Ultra cards in SLI a big model gets pretty choppy and I assume the bottle neck there is video end.
  7. what 3D Modeling/CAD software will you use? Several them are optimized for NVidias CUDA.
  8. It's called Tekla Structures. You can check them out at You'd die if i told you what this program costs...AutoCad is cheap in comparison dollar wise.
    I do remember reading a hardware recomendation from them years back where they said Nvidia Quadro was the card of choice. They now say ATI or Nvidia is fine. I've been trying to get their latest hardware recommendation file but can't locate it on their extranet user account anymore.
    I also have a business web site where you can view some 3D models I've created.

    Click the "Projects" tab. Then you can select a project/model of your choice. Only thing to keep in mind is the 3D models use ActiveX so the viewer does not work with Firefox....this is about the only reason I use IE.
  9. sounds lithe this one is optimized for CUDA as well.

    I'd suggest a GTX 460, 470, or 570 then, and skip getting a 870 Extreme 3. any 880 will do because you will want to stay with a single GPU solution. (AMD doesn't do SLI). Also the 560 is coming out in 11 days, shoudl have about the power of the 470 (like the 570 matches the 480)
  10. So you don't think the M4A mobo with...
    GIGABYTE GV-R695D5-2GD-B Radeon HD 6950
    would be a good deal for what I'm using it for? I hope so because I jumped the gun this morning and placed the order. Damn pushed what I wanted to spend to about 1.1k but I want this done and over with. Let me know what you think. If it's best i might be able to change it before it leaves.
  11. it will work fine.
  12. Thanks. Also moving to Win 7 x64 since Tekla has both x32 & x64 versions. Hope this all goes well. I've done enough of these over 20 years so I see no reason to start having trouble now.
  13. New question to add to this thread. A replacement cpu cooler over the stock? I'm concerned with size and surely do not want a noisey one. I went with a new case for this setup....XION Predator AXP 970-001BK Mid Tower. Some of the coolers I'm interested in run around 158mm+(6"1/4) with side mount 120mm fan. I have the case already and seems from top of socket to face of case I have that amount maybe a tad more. The Xion Predator has mounts for two side 120mm fans so with that large a cooler only one can be used, which is ok. This case also has two top mounts for 120mm exhaust fans. I ordered two fans to add and was going to install one side intake and one top exhaust. Also the memory I'm waiting on (CORSAIR DOMINATOR 8GB (4 x 2GB) comes with it's own top mount fan that I'm worried will interfer with an aftermarket cooler. Anyone have a decent suggestion?
  14. you only need a replacement cooler if you plan to overclock
  15. I might take it up a notch or two beyond 3.5. Not sure how loud the stock cooler is but most I've not been a big fan of so I was looking into this. I like the Cooler Master TX3 because of the 92mm fan size and it looks like it would be a nice fit and not cause problems with case side or the fan cooler provided with the Corsair Dominator memory. The Hyper 212 might be a problem. I like the Scythe Mugen-2 but that thing is a beast and it's square design looks like it would surely not allow the Corsair Airflow fans and might just about touch my case side. If it comes real close to the case side I could prob care less as I'm going to only install one intake fan on the panel and the second mount is below the cpu location so it should work fine.
  16. You should post on how Tekla works with your ATI card and windows 7 64-bit. I'm in the process right now on learning X-steel and hope to someday be able to purchase that expensive thing for my own side detailing. I'm really wondering how Tekla mates up with ATI and the 64 bit because thats the new personal build I just made. I'm an AMD fan too although I think there is nothing wrong with intel.

    At my job I'm currently running Tekla on a intel i7 with the quadro fx. I think it runs fine, but i'm not sure if its running at its peek performance. I see little things that I wonder about, but this is the first machine that i've ran Tekla on. Runnin V16.

    Just my personal thought, but I'd get a CPU cooler just because AMD runs hot and with a lot of 3D modeling it runs hotter. I have the Hyper 212 on my athlon x4 and the cpu runs around 20C in the HAF 922 case. I had it in an xclio case and it was running i think 24C. it seemed like a 4-6 C diff.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Systems