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$1100 AMD Build, Please Critique

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February 2, 2011 10:32:20 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2 weeks from now


Budget Range: $1100 FIRM before rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: This computer has to do one thing and do it well. It must play multiple sessions of MMORPG at the same time on a 47" 1080p HDTV with graphics set on high (2 or 3 sessions) . Games normally played are EVE Online, Rift, Vanguard, and EverQuest.


Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, and PSU hopefully. Currently have a Rosewill 600w purchased last spring
Rosewill 600w PSU


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg


Country of Origin: USA


Parts Preferences: Any


Overclocking: Maybe


SLI or Crossfire: Yes


Monitor Resolution: 47" 1080p HDTV


Additional Comments: Here is what I am thinking....

CASE: Antec 1200 V3
MOBO: Asus M4A89TD
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
GPU: (2x) Radeon HD 6850 1GB
RAM: GSKILL Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1600
DVD: Sony Optiarc
CPU FAN: Cooler Master Hyper 212
OS: Windows 7 64bit

Total in Newegg shopping cart as of right now = $1123.90
February 2, 2011 11:27:31 PM

Case: Antec 300 Illusion $70, or even the 900 ($110). I got the Azza Solano 1000R for $80 a couple months back.
Mobo: Same $150
CPU: Same $150
GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6950 2GB $260 AR (Unlock to 6970)
RAM: Same $90
DVD: Same $16
CPU: Same or something prettier $30
OS: Same $90 (in a combo of some sort)

There, instead of $180 on a case, you're spending $110. And with a single graphics card, it's $896 by my count. I'd throw in a second at $290 for dual 6970's after unlocking for $1186. If you ask me, dual 6970's in an Antec 900 is better than dual 6850's--even if it costs you $60 more.

Of course, you'll need to overclock your Phenon II x4 955 to get full performance out of the 6970's. But why get a CPU cooler and a Black Edition processor if you're not planning that anyways?
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February 2, 2011 11:38:07 PM

dalauder said:
Case: Antec 300 Illusion $70, or even the 900 ($110). I got the Azza Solano 1000R for $80 a couple months back.
Mobo: Same $150
CPU: Same $150
GPU: HIS Radeon HD 6950 2GB $260 AR (Unlock to 6970)
RAM: Same $90
DVD: Same $16
CPU: Same or something prettier $30
OS: Same $90 (in a combo of some sort)

There, instead of $180 on a case, you're spending $110. And with a single graphics card, it's $896 by my count. I'd throw in a second at $290 for dual 6970's after unlocking for $1186. If you ask me, dual 6970's in an Antec 900 is better than dual 6850's--even if it costs you $60 more.

Of course, you'll need to overclock your Phenon II x4 955 to get full performance out of the 6970's. But why get a CPU cooler and a Black Edition processor if you're not planning that anyways?


Thank you for taking the time to go over the build dalauder. Yes I was planning on doing a little overclocking on the CPU, but nothing crazy. What do you think I would need to do overclock wise if I went with your 6970's? And if I stayed with the 6850's would I need to overclock much to get the performance im looking for on a big screen tv?
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February 3, 2011 10:33:58 AM

Honestly, you could probably play those games with a single 5850 on a $700 build. I take a price point and tell you the most you could get out of it.

If money's an issue (and I was assuming it wasn't before), I think you should change these parts:

CPU: $200 i5-760
Mobo: $150 ASRock LGA 1156 board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: Single Radeon HD 6950
RAM: Different G.Skill Ripjaws for $90: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then you could see if this is enough for you and save $290 on the second card. If it isn't, then upgrade the PSU to a 750W that has 4x 6-pin PCI-e connectors. I recommend this instead of the Phenom II 955 because it's a better processor (same bracket as i7-950 @ http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...). This CPU would do better with dual power graphics.

Unlocking the 6950 to the 6970 should help you with graphics and overclocking the i5 might not be needed until you get a second 6970 for Crossfire. A word of caution: once you learn how to overclock, you cannot unlearn it easily--and it can be a great way to waste way too much time. Well, I gotta go OC my GTX 470. Ciao.
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February 3, 2011 1:50:45 PM

1. Rosewill PSU is a very bad idea. That needs to be replaced ASAP.

2. Screen size doesn't matter, only resolution. Those 50ft tall billboards in times square are 800x600 and you can game on them with an integrated GPU.

On the other hand, a 8inch screen at 1080p would require the same GPU and processing power as a your desktop 24" 1080p screen.

a single 6950 can run anything at 1080p. The unlock to a 6970 is by no means guaranteed, and is not covered by the warranty if you end up breaking the GPU.

You don't actually need 8gb of RAM for gaming, but considering how cheap ram is right now, might as well.

3. AM3, 1156 are both dead sockets right now, as in no more CPUs will be made for them. However SB is being recalled so that's outta the picture. X58 is due to be replaced Q3. Best bet would be to wait till april, but if you need a PC now, then you'll either have to be happy with older tech, or pay the premium for x58.

If you want a PC now, then for your budget Phenom II x4 would be the way to go.

Optical
Liteon $16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
HAF 922 $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
7200.12 1500gb $38 w/ promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
XFX 750W BE $130 w/ $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAm
Ripjaw ddr3 1600 7-8-7-24 x2 $130 total
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF
CM Hyper 212 plus $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/GPU
Phenom II x4 955 and 6950 $409 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo/OS
GA 890 and win 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

promo codes: EMCKHKJ25 EMCKHKJ22

Total: $1102 including shipping.
$1052 after rebates.
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February 3, 2011 3:13:09 PM

if you're running more than one MMO at the same time, you might want to consider an X6 instead. the 1090t is $199 now, with an unlocked multiplier
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February 3, 2011 5:08:43 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
if you're running more than one MMO at the same time, you might want to consider an X6 instead. the 1090t is $199 now, with an unlocked multiplier


This is what I need addressed, I realize that any new GPU will run an MMO, But I want to run 3 at a time on High graphics on a 47" 1080p HDTV. And maybe a browser session open also at the same time.
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February 3, 2011 5:26:28 PM

banthracis said:
1. Rosewill PSU is a very bad idea. That needs to be replaced ASAP.



Is this because of the brand, or the watts? or something else?

I looked up the vid cards I had originally planned to Xfire...

HD 6850 - 127w under full load x2 = 254w
Phenom II X4 955BE = 125w
Everything Else = 50w or so?

Total Watts = 429

Im pretty new at this so dont take this as argumentitive, im just looking to learn :) 
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Best solution

February 3, 2011 5:32:46 PM

You seem to be misunderstanding how image processing works.

If you have say a 1080p screen and you have 4 instances of say Eve open at once each taking up 1/4 of the screen space, your GPU is processing the same number of pixels as 1 instance of Eve in full screen mode. Hence why you're turning a non issue into an issue.

Granted you'll probably use up more vram due to having more textures to load, but it's not something that will overly stress any modern gaming GPU.

I used to run 3 instances of wow on a single 5850 and i5-750 in wintergrasp battles with no issue.

3 instances simultaneously would benefit from more CPU cores/threads, but it's hardly necessary. Ideally you'd go with a i7-950 or i7-2600k, but with your budget, going with a solid GPU and CPU is the right choice.
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February 3, 2011 5:39:00 PM

Rosewill as a brand sucks. Using one of their PSU's is a quick way to turn your PC into a large paperweight.

6850CF tops out at 423W system power, 170 idle.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-685...

Ideally you want a PSU to be running from ~30% at idle, to ~70% at full load. This puts it really well into a 650W PSU's range, though if you want to do OCing, a 750W would be best.
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February 3, 2011 5:43:42 PM

banthracis said:
You seem to be misunderstanding how image processing works.

If you have say a 1080p screen and you have 4 instances of say Eve open at once each taking up 1/4 of the screen space, your GPU is processing the same number of pixels as 1 instance of Eve in full screen mode. Hence why you're turning a non issue into an issue.

Granted you'll probably use up more vram due to having more textures to load, but it's not something that will overly stress any modern gaming GPU.

I used to run 3 instances of wow on a single 5850 and i5-750 in wintergrasp battles with no issue.

3 instances simultaneously would benefit from more CPU cores/threads, but it's hardly necessary. Ideally you'd go with a i7-950 or i7-2600k, but with your budget, going with a solid GPU and CPU is the right choice.


Ok, That makes since, I appreciate the lessons. How about my PSU question? Did you see that post?
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February 3, 2011 5:44:56 PM

banthracis said:
Rosewill as a brand sucks. Using one of their PSU's is a quick way to turn your PC into a large paperweight.

6850CF tops out at 423W system power, 170 idle.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-685...

Ideally you want a PSU to be running from ~30% at idle, to ~70% at full load. This puts it really well into a 650W PSU's range, though if you want to do OCing, a 750W would be best.


Understood, thanks again!
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February 10, 2011 4:32:31 PM

Best answer selected by Cyric1966.
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