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First System Build

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March 23, 2011 4:39:50 AM

Hi,

This is my first system build and I wanted to get your opinion and to see if all the parts will be compatible. I am a gamer so I plan to Crossfire in the future, and I plan to use this build for a very long time. That is why I am choosing the 6 core AMD processor. I dont plan to overclock so Im not sure if the parts I have are overkill, but I plan to expand in the future. I do not need a keyboard/ mouse and a monitor.

Case: HAF 922 mid tower

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair IV Formula

Graphics Card: XFX HD Radeon 6970

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB(2 x 4GB)

Hard drive: Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM

Power Supply: Antec TP-750

CD/DVD Drive: Asus Black CD/DVD Burner

Card Reader: Rosewill 40 in 1 internal card reader

Is my power supply enough to power an eventual second graphics card?

Thanks

More about : system build

March 23, 2011 4:51:58 AM

Hello Longfoehammer;


Your PSU, case and motherboard are all suitable for a HD 6970 CFX setup.

What resolution are you gaming on? And what is your total budget for the project?

Because you plan to use this build for a long time you should know there isn't likely to be a CPU upgrade path beyond the X6 Thubans.
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March 23, 2011 4:56:08 AM

i don't normally recommend a 1TB hard drive as your primary drive, but if you do, make a 80-100 BG partition for the installation.
If you can afford it, get a SSD (the one used the most recent system builder marathon is a good choice).
I believe you'll have enough power w/ that PSU. The key is if you'll have enough 12v rails. Each card will need its own dedicated rail, so make sure your PSU has enough of them if you want to upgrade in the future.
Newegg has a PSU calculator if your ever curious on about how much power you need
http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html?Tp... Calculator
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March 23, 2011 4:58:24 AM

WR2 said:
Hello Longfoehammer;


Your PSU, case and motherboard are all suitable for a HD 6970 CFX setup.

What resolution are you gaming on? And what is your total budget for the project?

Because you plan to use this build for a long time you should know there isn't likely to be a CPU upgrade path beyond the X6 Thubans.


I plan to be playing on my 21" 1400 x 900 monitor, but I may upgrade in the future. What motherboard and Processor would allow me to upgrade in the future? I dont really have a budget, but I would like to keep the performance and price in the range it is now.
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March 23, 2011 5:02:49 AM

prob. no motherboard right now is really good for future upgrades. AMD's Bulldozer architecture is about to come out, and w/ it AM3+ socket. If you can wait, i'd get that, and at the very least the CPU u want to get now will be cheaper. The new processors, i think they're called Zambezi, won't work on AM3 sockets
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March 23, 2011 5:02:56 AM

arges86 said:
i don't normally recommend a 1TB hard drive as your primary drive, but if you do, make a 80-100 BG partition for the installation.
If you can afford it, get a SSD (the one used the most recent system builder marathon is a good choice).
I believe you'll have enough power w/ that PSU. The key is if you'll have enough 12v rails. Each card will need its own dedicated rail, so make sure your PSU has enough of them if you want to upgrade in the future.
Newegg has a PSU calculator if your ever curious on about how much power you need
http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html?Tp... Calculator


I am not that familiar with how to install 2 hard drives and make them work as one. Do I need to put them in a RAID, where can I look the information to make it work? Also, what size of ssd should I get and what function would it serve?
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March 23, 2011 5:04:13 AM

You've probably already seen the benchmark comparisons between the the Phenom II X4 & X6 with the Sandy Bridge CPUs:
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T - 3.2GHz vs Intel Core i5 2500K - 3.3GHz

For the price of your CPU/MB combo you could also get a CPU/MB Sandy Bridge combo in the same price range. And that SB combo has an upgrade path into the next gen Ivy Bridge CPUs.

  • MSI P67A-GD55 (B3) 1155 P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 CFX/SLI Motherboard
  • Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 1155 95W Quad-Core CPU
    ~$390 vs ~ $430 for 1090T & Crosshair IV Formula

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    March 23, 2011 5:04:21 AM

    arges86 said:
    prob. no motherboard right now is really good for future upgrades. AMD's Bulldozer architecture is about to come out, and w/ it AM3+ socket. If you can wait, i'd get that, and at the very least the CPU u want to get now will be cheaper. The new processors, i think they're called Zambezi, won't work on AM3 sockets


    So will AM3+ have more longevity then AM3?
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    March 23, 2011 5:07:13 AM

    i don't think its necessary to get 2 drives in RAIN (unless you have the cash for it).
    Their purpose would be to hold your Operating System and core applications (the ones you use allot, and also games). Everything else you can put on another HDD (win7 has made this easy since you can quickly move where your 'Library' is located)

    to do a RAID setup i'd google it.
    A site like this, a bit old but still accurate, should give you the jist of it.
    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/132877/ho...
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    March 23, 2011 5:07:30 AM

    To set up a RAID 0 array you install the HDDs and then use the BIOS setup options.
    Only then do you install the OS.

    A SSD boot drive hold your OS (windows) and some of your most frequently used games to get a really fast response of the non-mechanical drives.
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    March 23, 2011 5:08:39 AM

    AM3+ will def. be around way longer than AM3, since its based off of AMD's new micro architecture (their TOCK, of the Tick Tock cycle of architectures)
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    March 23, 2011 5:13:53 AM

    arges86 said:
    Each card will need its own dedicated rail, so make sure your PSU has enough of them if you want to upgrade in the future.
    Not true.
    There are plenty of excellent single rail PSUs that would have no problem powering multiple GPUs and all the other items in a gaming system.
    For example; Corsair 750TX V2 with 62Amps +12V available on it's single rail.
    Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W also has 62Amps +12V available across it's four +12V rails.
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    March 23, 2011 5:21:16 AM

    arges86 said:
    i don't think its necessary to get 2 drives in RAIN (unless you have the cash for it).
    Their purpose would be to hold your Operating System and core applications (the ones you use allot, and also games). Everything else you can put on another HDD (win7 has made this easy since you can quickly move where your 'Library' is located)

    to do a RAID setup i'd google it.
    A site like this, a bit old but still accurate, should give you the jist of it.
    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/132877/ho...


    what size of SSD would you recommended? Since Windows 7 is 16GB + several games would be multiple GB, would a 120 GB SSD be good?
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    March 23, 2011 5:25:06 AM

    thats what i have, a 128 GB drive. I've been told that you shouldn't fill it past 80% capacity.
    Smaller drives work too, just large programs like Photoshop, Nero, ect. would have to be installed on another hard drive.
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    March 23, 2011 5:38:58 AM

    With a SSD boot drive you won't need that $90 WD Caviar Black. SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB $65 would be a good match.

    You can tweak Win7's installed sized. Mine is at just over 12GB and I've seen other with older SSDs down below 9GB.

    A lot happening with SSDs in the past few weeks and in the weeks ahead. Everyone is waiting for the Sand Force 2xxx controller based SSDs like the OCZ Vertex 3. March 24th?
    The Intel Elm Crest SSDs and Corsair Performance 3 SSDs are out but slightly disappointing compared to SF 2000. And the Micron based RealSSD C400 are on the way too.


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    March 23, 2011 5:40:23 AM

    Longfoehammer said:
    So will AM3+ have more longevity then AM3?

    If you plan on going with that AMD instead of taking a look at the board and cpu WR2 posted...you might be better off flushing your money down the toilette. That Thuban is a complete dog in regards to gaming...in fact all the current AMD cpu's are second rate atm in regards to gaming. A simple google of reviews/benchmarks will show this, sans the reason 90% or more of the gaming builds in this forum are Sandy Bridge builds. There's a reason for that.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=288 <---- 1090T vs 2500K
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    March 23, 2011 5:44:40 AM

    WR2 said:
    With a SSD boot drive you won't need that $90 WD Caviar Black. SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB $65 would be a good match.

    You can tweak Win7's installed sized. Mine is at just over 12GB and I've seen other with older SSDs down below 9GB.

    A lot happening with SSDs in the past few weeks and in the weeks ahead. Everyone is waiting for the Sand Force 2xxx controller based SSDs like the OCZ Vertex 3. March 24th?
    The Intel Elm Crest SSDs and Corsair Performance 3 SSDs are out but slightly disappointing compared to SF 2000. And the Micron based RealSSD C400 are on the way too.


    So if I bought a SSD and a regular hard drive, I would fill up the SSD with only the OS and often used games and applications. Everything else like pictures and music would go on the Hard Drive?
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    March 23, 2011 5:47:42 AM

    Correct. That's how 95% of people use SSDs.
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    March 23, 2011 5:50:12 AM

    Thats what i do
    I moved my Library (windows 7) to another drive as well. All of my files sit on a home server.
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    March 23, 2011 6:05:24 AM

    WR2 said:
    Correct. That's how 95% of people use SSDs.


    Thanks, so what SSD's would you recommend buying. I am probably going to purchase in a month or two, so if anything groundbreaking is coming out, what is it?
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    March 23, 2011 6:13:20 AM

    I could suggest what's best for today and maybe tomorrow.
    Anything beyond that, I wouldn't like to commit.

    Also there is the budget issue to consider. No doubt about it, a SSD is a luxury item.
    You can build a fine gaming system without one.
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    March 23, 2011 6:20:09 AM

    WR2 said:
    I could suggest what's best for today and maybe tomorrow.
    Anything beyond that, I wouldn't like to commit.

    Also there is the budget issue to consider. No doubt about it, a SSD is a luxury item.
    You can build a fine gaming system without one.


    yeah definitely, I lived without one for this long.

    I think the only changes Im going to make to my list of components is Im going to take you up on the mobo + cpu that you suggested but im going to pay an additional $50 to get the I-7.
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    March 23, 2011 8:21:21 AM

    Longfoehammer said:
    yeah definitely, I lived without one for this long.

    I think the only changes Im going to make to my list of components is Im going to take you up on the mobo + cpu that you suggested but im going to pay an additional $50 to get the I-7.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <----- The cpu's on there with the K at the end (RE: 2500K, 2600K) are unlocked and can be over clocked. In regards to gaming, the 2500K runs pretty much even with the 2600K and even beats it out in some games.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288 <---- 2600K vs 2500K

    *Here's a few reviews on the 2500K and 2600K

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7...
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    March 23, 2011 8:50:19 AM

    Why_Me said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <----- The cpu's on there with the K at the end (RE: 2500K, 2600K) are unlocked and can be over clocked. In regards to gaming, the 2500K runs pretty much even with the 2600K and even beats it out in some games.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288 <---- 2600K vs 2500K

    *Here's a few reviews on the 2500K and 2600K

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7...


    I dont plan on overclocking my processor, but is there some advantage in having the 2600K for gaming even if I dont overclock?
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    March 23, 2011 8:54:26 AM

    Longfoehammer said:
    I dont plan on overclocking my processor, but is there some advantage in having the 2600K for gaming even if I dont overclock?

    If you don't plan on over clocking...no need for the 2600K. The 2600 will do ya just fine. :) 
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    March 23, 2011 8:58:10 AM

    Why_Me said:
    If you don't plan on over clocking...no need for the 2600K. The 2600 will do ya just fine. :) 


    Also, is this processor and socket type going to have longevity?
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    March 23, 2011 9:00:57 AM

    Longfoehammer said:
    Also, is this processor and socket type going to have longevity?

    Yep. Next year the Intel 22nm Ivy Bridge cpu's come out, and with a simple bios flash these 1155 boards will run those cpu's. There's rumors that those cpu's will o/c to 6.0ghz.
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    March 23, 2011 9:06:44 AM

    Why_Me said:
    Yep. Next year the Intel 22nm Ivy Bridge cpu's come out, and with a simple bios flash these 1155 boards will run those cpu's. There's rumors that those cpu's will o/c to 6.0ghz.


    is the P67 chipset the one made for gamers?
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    March 23, 2011 9:15:22 AM

    Longfoehammer said:
    is the P67 chipset the one made for gamers?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <--- Those are 1155 mobo's, the ones with the letter "P" at the begining (RE: P67) are boards that can over clock. Gamers who plan on over clocking and/or running dual vid cards at some time go with the P67 mobo's. The boards with the letter "H" in front of them are boards that don't over clock so well, and they also seem limited on those boards as far as dual PCI-E slots...dual vid card set up. Mind you there is more than a dozen 1155 mobo's that aren't even on the shelves yet. The choices on newegg for 1155 mobo's will more than double here in the next few weeks when all the 1155 mobo's will be released and out on the shelves by then.

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    March 23, 2011 9:24:15 PM

    Why_Me said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... <--- Those are 1155 mobo's, the ones with the letter "P" at the begining (RE: P67) are boards that can over clock. Gamers who plan on over clocking and/or running dual vid cards at some time go with the P67 mobo's. The boards with the letter "H" in front of them are boards that don't over clock so well, and they also seem limited on those boards as far as dual PCI-E slots...dual vid card set up. Mind you there is more than a dozen 1155 mobo's that aren't even on the shelves yet. The choices on newegg for 1155 mobo's will more than double here in the next few weeks when all the 1155 mobo's will be released and out on the shelves by then.


    OK Thanks.
    I don't plan on buying this rig in the next few weeks so waiting is not a problem for me. Another question I have is what does 1155 mean?
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    March 23, 2011 9:29:56 PM

    Longfoehammer said:
    OK Thanks.
    I don't plan on buying this rig in the next few weeks so waiting is not a problem for me. Another question I have is what does 1155 mean?

    It's the series. RE: 1336, 1156, 1155, etc...

    1155 cpu's go with 1155 mobo's.
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    March 23, 2011 9:35:54 PM

    arges86 said:
    i don't normally recommend a 1TB hard drive as your primary drive, but if you do, make a 80-100 BG partition for the installation.
    If you can afford it, get a SSD (the one used the most recent system builder marathon is a good choice).
    I believe you'll have enough power w/ that PSU. The key is if you'll have enough 12v rails. Each card will need its own dedicated rail, so make sure your PSU has enough of them if you want to upgrade in the future.
    Newegg has a PSU calculator if your ever curious on about how much power you need
    http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html?Tp... Calculator

    I suspect that PSU calculator is helping newegg up sell more expensive PSU. I say this because when I just used it for fun it came it around 200-300 watts higher than what AMD recommends for 2 6970's. So if you are really concerned about power just go to AMD's website and look for one certified by AMD to be ok for a crossfire solution :) .
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    March 23, 2011 9:44:27 PM

    Why_Me said:
    If you plan on going with that AMD instead of taking a look at the board and cpu WR2 posted...you might be better off flushing your money down the toilette. That Thuban is a complete dog in regards to gaming...in fact all the current AMD cpu's are second rate atm in regards to gaming. A simple google of reviews/benchmarks will show this, sans the reason 90% or more of the gaming builds in this forum are Sandy Bridge builds. There's a reason for that.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/146?vs=288 <---- 1090T vs 2500K

    Dont know that I would be quite that hard on AMD. I have one it runs Metro 2033 Crysis Just Cause 2 all just fine. On anandtech most of the games they have to compare to do show a much better showing for sandybridge im not arguing any different. What I will point out is for gaming you could go with a quad core for much less (AMD 955 965ish) and you would be over 70FPS in most games. So if most LCD monitors ppl are using have a refresh rate of 60hz anything over 60fps is not a huge gain. So if you have the $50 go sandy bridge or if you just want a good solid rig that will play any game just fine get a 4 core AMD and save the money twards a second card. IMO that is
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    March 23, 2011 11:38:49 PM

    Why_Me said:
    It's the series. RE: 1336, 1156, 1155, etc...

    1155 cpu's go with 1155 mobo's.


    oh, your talking about the socket type, that makes more sense.
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