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Gaming rig Phenom II BE? Llano? or wait for bulldozer?

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July 25, 2011 5:43:52 AM

hi, im wanting to make a good gaming machine. i dont plan on running multiple processes at once or 3D moddeling or anything extremely taxing. the only thing ill be doing is gaming and surfing the Internet, possibly at the same time.

i would like to build this in 2 stages first stage having the processor, ram, mobo, psu, case, os, and hd / and the second with the GPU possibly 2 cards.

now just because im not going to be doing anything extremely taxing does not mean i want a mediocre gaming experience. i want the the resolution and texture qualities maxed out, the aa and af wont be maxed out because beyond x4/x8 i cant see a difference so ill probably set them between x2/x4 and x4/x8.

i do realize that with the Llano alone i wont reach that but it will be better than mobo dedicated graphics and eventually i will be adding a AMD HD 6870 and would X-fire them, and then eventually get a second card and 3 X-fire them together.

i know that the Phenom II BE x4 is good and powerfull and will get me the system i want but ill have to buy a card to to get the graphics i want off the bat.

or should i wait for the Bulldozer?

now my second question is what will be the difference between the Llano and the Bulldozer? does the Bulldozer have a integrated gpu also? does the Llano use the modual type cores that the Bulldozer uses?

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July 25, 2011 6:00:29 AM

Mid $500 Bulldozer Ready

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 $108 shipping included
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 2x2GB DDR3 $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: PowerColor AX6770 1GB DDR5 $100 after MIR and shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Rosewill Challenger $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: ASUS 24X DVD Burner OEM $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This build is around 550$ give or take. I believe there are bulldozer-based APU coming out around 2012. Llano is good but the CPU will definitely not match up to Bulldozer. I do recommend waiting for bulldozer to come out though but there's a stickied page on forum > CPU just for bulldozer rumors!
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July 25, 2011 6:09:02 AM

thanks for the suggestion but ive already got my build pretty much planned out. what im really looking for are reasons why i should go with one of the cpu's i am debating on. currently im leaning towards the Llano but i want to know will i be getting the bang for my buck for gaming?
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July 25, 2011 6:12:23 AM

Buying a discrete GPU lol.
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July 25, 2011 6:15:32 AM

I think the highest end APU right now can match a 5770 though or something? Forgot where I read that or if I even read that. Hope this is a good start toward your pc!
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July 25, 2011 6:19:02 AM

well im mainly interested in it because:

1. it will be easier for me to get the system sooner and play what i want at decent settings and then buy the GPU cards later when i can afford them

and 2. because from my understanding i can run the Llano gpu with my card(s) in a crossfire configureation and boost them further than i would with 2 cards alone. almost like having 3 cards in crossfire but one slightly weaker but still there to help
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July 25, 2011 6:25:05 AM

Crossfire with llano is really limited I think teh best you can do it with is a 5670 or was it 6670? Somewhere alone those lines... It's on toms somewhere...
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July 25, 2011 5:30:18 PM

charon711 said:
hi, im wanting to make a good gaming machine. i dont plan on running multiple processes at once or 3D moddeling or anything extremely taxing. the only thing ill be doing is gaming and surfing the Internet, possibly at the same time.

i would like to build this in 2 stages first stage having the processor, ram, mobo, psu, case, os, and hd / and the second with the GPU possibly 2 cards.

now just because im not going to be doing anything extremely taxing does not mean i want a mediocre gaming experience. i want the the resolution and texture qualities maxed out, the aa and af wont be maxed out because beyond x4/x8 i cant see a difference so ill probably set them between x2/x4 and x4/x8.

i do realize that with the Llano alone i wont reach that but it will be better than mobo dedicated graphics and eventually i will be adding a AMD HD 6870 and would X-fire them, and then eventually get a second card and 3 X-fire them together.

i know that the Phenom II BE x4 is good and powerfull and will get me the system i want but ill have to buy a card to to get the graphics i want off the bat.

or should i wait for the Bulldozer?

now my second question is what will be the difference between the Llano and the Bulldozer? does the Bulldozer have a integrated gpu also? does the Llano use the modual type cores that the Bulldozer uses?


I see bulldozer as a good cpu if you will have a highly multithreaded app that can use lots of modest speed core. I think it will be like the X6 processors. Nobody really knows, and the lack of leaked benchmarks does not bode well for performance.
Gaming today, uses two cores, three at most. The faster, and more capable the better.

I see Llano as good for the user who will be satisfied with a modest gaming system that has a $100 gpu.
Once you go past that, the gpu advantage of llano disappears and you will need a discrete graphics card to do what you want.
And, you will be stuck with a cpu that is under powered to drive a higher end graphics card.

A phenom X4 would be a better solution. Add in a temporary graphics card to get you going. Sell it when you want the big gaming card.

If you are looking at <$200 cpu's, you really should look at this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
The conclusion is that sandy bridge is a great gamer.
The 2100 is quite good, and I suppose the integrated graphics could get you started. It is about the equivalent of a $50 graphics card. Not as good as llano, but the 2100 has longer legs when paired with a strong graphics card.
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July 25, 2011 6:46:41 PM

well i was planning on using this APU with this gpu, possibly in the future 2 of them and have a type of 3 way crossfire.

so your saying that at that point i would no longer benifit from the Llano?
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July 25, 2011 6:58:32 PM

charon711 said:
well i was planning on using this APU with this gpu, possibly in the future 2 of them and have a type of 3 way crossfire.

so your saying that at that point i would no longer benifit from the Llano?


Yes, at that point, I think you will be limited by the llano cpu.
In general, amd does not get the same compute power per clock than sandy bridge does.
Anandtech did a review, and compared llano to the i3-2105 which is similarly priced.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review

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July 25, 2011 7:13:57 PM

charon711 said:
well i was planning on using this APU with this gpu, possibly in the future 2 of them and have a type of 3 way crossfire.

so your saying that at that point i would no longer benifit from the Llano?


You wont be able to crossfire the APU with the 6870. The highest card that can be crossfired with llano is the 6670.
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July 25, 2011 7:16:16 PM

i still think you have much more future proofness with SB.
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July 25, 2011 7:38:36 PM

ghnader hsmithot said:
i still think you have much more future proofness with SB.


sorry but im a AMD fanboy. no offence to intell or anything but ive always worked with amd and have never had a problem with them.
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July 25, 2011 7:39:23 PM

wintermint said:
I think the highest end APU right now can match a 5770 though or something? Forgot where I read that or if I even read that. Hope this is a good start toward your pc!

It can only do so when mated with certain discrete GPUs using Hybrid CrossFire. Independently, the graphics performance of the top-performing APU's are much more similar to 5550/5570 performance levels, not 5770 performance levels.

If I were building a gaming rig right this minute, I'd choose a Sandy-Bridge build, barring any serious budget concerns. But I wouldn't go Llano on a performance desktop. Perhaps if it were a child's desktop or HTPC I'd choose Llano, but definitely not in a "gaming" machine.
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July 25, 2011 7:58:23 PM

He can always wait for a bulldozer-based APU and the cpu won't be the bottlenecking factor anymore. As of now, he can just make do with the graphic that the APU comes with and upgrade down the line. I'm sure AMD would increase APU potential and make it able to overclock with other cards higher than the 6670.
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July 25, 2011 8:19:26 PM

For gaming, AMD Phenom II 955 + AM3+ Mobo.

For HTPC

AMD Llano A8 CPU + FM1 Mobo.
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July 25, 2011 8:30:59 PM

charon711 said:
sorry but im a AMD fanboy. no offence to intell or anything but ive always worked with amd and have never had a problem with them.


To each his own.

But, If you ask for advice, you should consider the possibility of taking it.
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July 26, 2011 1:23:09 AM

Many folks are considering the Llano based systems for gaming systems, although I can't for the life of me figure out why....

Llano APU with a discrete graphics card is about the same as an Athlon II X4 635/645 with the same card, which is to say, slower than the Phenom with the same discrete graphics card....

All of the above will be pummeled by i5-2300 based systems when using the same GPU.

ANy questions?

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July 26, 2011 3:42:55 AM

wintermint said:
He can always wait for a bulldozer-based APU and the cpu won't be the bottlenecking factor anymore. As of now, he can just make do with the graphic that the APU comes with and upgrade down the line. I'm sure AMD would increase APU potential and make it able to overclock with other cards higher than the 6670.


Ive been hearing about the bulldozer-based APU but i dont know anything about it. will it have power similar to the buldozer with a stronger gpu? and what socket will it use


geofelt said:
To each his own.

But, If you ask for advice, you should consider the possibility of taking it.


dont get me wrong i do consider all advise given. my only real beef with intel is there lack of compatibility between chips and boards. amd has a much better chip/board configuration.
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July 26, 2011 3:48:23 PM

charon711 said:
Ive been hearing about the bulldozer-based APU but i dont know anything about it. will it have power similar to the buldozer with a stronger gpu? and what socket will it use




dont get me wrong i do consider all advise given. my only real beef with intel is there lack of compatibility between chips and boards. amd has a much better chip/board configuration.


Today, the 2500K is as good as it gets for gaming, particularly when overclocked.
I doubt that anybody will need anything stronger for the next few years.

That said, the 22nm ivy bridge follow on due the end of the year is supposed to be compatible with the P67 and Z68 chipsets, requiring only a bios update to run.
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July 26, 2011 4:31:49 PM

^ Uh... No. They might use the same chipsets, but they won't drop into existing 1155 boards. The new 3xxx-series SB/IB CPUs are bringing an entirely new socket along with them - LGA-2011. Servers will actually see a 3rd socket type for 1P/2P boards - LGA-1356.
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July 26, 2011 6:05:03 PM

RazberyBandit said:
^ Uh... No. They might use the same chipsets, but they won't drop into existing 1155 boards. The new 3xxx-series SB/IB CPUs are bringing an entirely new socket along with them - LGA-2011. Servers will actually see a 3rd socket type for 1P/2P boards - LGA-1356.


Do you know somewthing these guys don't?
http://www.techpowerup.com/143951/Intel-Ivy-Bridge-Feat...
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July 26, 2011 6:40:38 PM

Not at all. Sorry. I missed an "all" in there, as in "they won't all drop into..." instead. While IB's "refreshed" models will be compatible, the new enthusiast-class models that are to follow will indeed be bringing another socket with them, just as I said. Such CPUs are set to become Intel's 3800/3900-series, which are expected to be 6-core (and perhaps even 8-core) CPUs.

Though I didn't mention it before, IB seems irrelevant to a PC being built today. For that matter, I feel the same about BD. Building a PC today with the hope of using the yet unproven tech of tomorrow seems a rather flawed approach. Besides, few consumers would spend $200+ on a CPU today and just replace it with a slightly different one of likely a similar (and perhaps greater) cost in 4-6 months. Perhaps in a couple years, but not within only a few months.
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July 26, 2011 8:09:01 PM

and see this is why i dont like intel they have way to many socket types!!!! its like they're saying that with every new cpu type they release if you want it you also have to get a new mobo too, and theyre not even reverse compatible.

thats why i like amd. at least they're customer friendly enough to keep their socket types simplified and the mobo's are usually reverse compatible to older socket types.

anyways does anybody have any info on that bulldozer modelled apu? will it be faster and have a better gpu?

also if i was going with the phenom build with the gpu i showed above would i hurt any with going with the Phenom II x2 955? assuming i cant unlock the extra 2 cores would i still be good for gaming?
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July 26, 2011 8:55:16 PM

Politely i must question your logic:
First you wanted to buy llano?
then you want to buy a phenom II X2 ?
and then wait to buy amd bulldozer?
amd phenom II X2 and mobo after that an unproven bulldozer cpu?
Could cost more than what you really have to spend...
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July 26, 2011 9:31:09 PM

ghnader hsmithot said:
Politely i must question your logic:
First you wanted to buy llano?
then you want to buy a phenom II X2 ?
and then wait to buy amd bulldozer?
amd phenom II X2 and mobo after that an unproven bulldozer cpu?
Could cost more than what you really have to spend...


i never said if i bought the phenom it would be to wait for the bulldozer. if i wait for the buldozer ill hold my money and buy it when it releases. im mainly asking for info to get the best bang for my buck and for the least amount of money but still get good frame rates and maxed out graphics.
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