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Question about settings for new/er build

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June 16, 2011 7:54:42 PM

Hey all

I just upgraded my original build, and I see absolutely no difference between the two. I think the older one I upgraded from even feels better. The windows rating (i know not too big of a deal) is the exact same, which I didnt expect as well.

Here is the old build (but kept hard drive/s and 5850 for new one):

Rosewill Challenger Mid- Tower Case
AMD Phenom II X4 955
2Gx2 ADATA AX3U1600GB2G9-AG R
ASROCK M3A770DE 770+SB710 RT
Roswewill GREEN 630 Watt Power Supply Unit: RG630-S12 630W RT
HIS Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKX 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

And New build:

Phenom X4 975
MSI R5850-PM2D1G OC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
Motherboard: 870A-G54
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Western Digital 32M SATA2 WD6400AADS
PRIMARY 150GB SATA 10000 Rpm 16MB Cache Drive

Anyway- I am just trying to get an idea of some things I should do to get this running at peak. Not so much into oc'ing, but definitely feel like the second build should be noticeably better than the first. I haven't really messed with BIOS or the OC Genie- everytime I do that stuff I get BSOD and other instability. I turned on the genie once, and when it rebooted, it said BAD CMOS, and I had to reboot with normal settings.

I am stumped, and just looking for the best advice you all have to offer.

Thanks!!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 9:14:42 PM

Honestly, your processor and video card upgrades are the only things there that would make any real difference in gaming performance. The problem is that your new processor is only slightly faster, and the video card is also only slightly faster - neither really should give you much of an upgrade. It seems like a really strange upgrade to me to be honest... I hope you got a good deal selling your old one or something.

If you want to see a difference in performance you'll either need to overclock (even if you don't like that idea), get a Sandy Bridge (new Intel series) CPU / motherboard, buy a beefier video card (or run Crossfire), or else add a solid state drive.
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June 16, 2011 9:24:21 PM

Thanks for the comment/s. I know the upgrade was a little weird- it is too long of a story how it came about at all (wasnt planned for sure). I remember having asked for some ideas when I did the first one, and got a lot about the PSU and case as being lame- so I figured these were better at least. The only other thing I was now considering was the crossfire setup... so I guess 3 questions on that:

1.) Can I do a crossfire with 2 different cards, or do they have to be identical? (ie: 6850 + 5850)

2.) Is one of these better than the other?? I was guessing the 6850 should be better since it is a newer generation, but it seems to get lousy reviews, is cheaper, and someone told me so... (not that it makes it right)

3.) Will there be a noticeable enough difference, and if so where should I expect the most noticeable benefit?

The original question was basically geared towards settings for the cpu and more specifically for the RAM. I expected some difference from doubling (4g to 8g), but obviously that didnt do anything... unless my settings are somehow not correct (which I have no clue ho to do without getting that BSOD again).

Thanks again for your ideas and advice!!
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June 16, 2011 9:48:38 PM

1. Yes you can crossfire with 2 different cards just make sure your mobo supports at least 2 8x PCI slots otherwise you may degrade performance. When running crossfire with 2 different cards they will run at the speed of the slower one together. I would recommend using the 5850 as the primary and the 6850 as the secondary. This sounds strange as the 6850 is the more powerful card (at least by a bit) but the 5850 will not scale as well as the 6850 will in crossfire.

2. As I said before the 6850 is the better of the 2 cards. Not only does it have better specs but you are correct that it has better features being a newer generation card. You are seeing bad reviews about it because it is the lowest tiered high end 6xxx. Basically it is a severely handicapped 6970.

3. About the processor ... you basically now have the same processor running .4 MHz faster. Which could have be just as easily accomplished by overclocking the older one. But as with overclocking you are likely not going to see any performance differences except in synthetic benchmarks.
You may also see a bit of a frame rate improvement but that will be mostly because of the new card and that will be mostly in games.

4. Unless you were constantly using more than 4GB of ram (I doubt it) and therefore had to dip in to virtual memory or your page file, you won't notice any difference there either since both ram speeds are the same. The move is the same as if you bought the exact same WD HDD except 500 GB instead of 320GB. You have more space not a faster computer.

+1 to jason, you will have to OC your system to get any noticeable performance gains from it (and run crossfire).
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2011 10:20:43 PM

I'll just mention a couple of quick things...

First of all, AMD made a lame move and changed their naming scheme around for the 6000 series cards. The 6850 is actually less powerful than a 5850. Here's Tom's Review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-rade...
HOWEVER, the new 6xxx series cards scale better in Crossfire, so TWO 6850s will outperform two 5850s. It's really confusing.

Also, you can crossfire different AMD model cards, but they have to be very similar to work properly (ie 5850, 5830). Im not 100% sure, haven't tried it, and would never try it since it is somewhat wasteful... it's always best to go with 2 identical cards.

What I would do if I were you -> try and trade your 5850 for a 6850, and use two 6850s. It will improve performance quite a bit in GPU dependent games. CPU dependent games (like Starcraft 2) will improve a bit, but will scale more off of your CPU clock speed. Overclocking would help in games like that. It's all really about balance...
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June 16, 2011 10:52:13 PM

Thanks guys- that is a lot of great info. I think I will try out getting another 6850 then, though I dont know how I'll get more cash =).

I dont know if it matters at all, but the 6850 is way lighter and feels so cheap!! The 5850 is heavy and feels like much better quality. And I read that bit on Tom's about the 6850 being less powerful, which is why I am confused now. Plus, the price on the 5850 is still way more. And as far as overclocking goes, I am not sure I want to mess with that... looks like a lot of problems if I dont know what I am doing.

Also: To set up crossfire, is it just as simple as putting the second card in the slot- or is there something I need to do in BIOS or someplace else??

Thanks again!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 2:47:16 AM

Tom's puts the 5850 on a higher level. Generally, the names of the 5000 series go one step above those of the 6000s, roughly. For example, the 5850 is roughly equal to the 68*70*, and the 5970 is near the 69*90*.
I go by the Tom's hierarchy:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-graphics-card-game-p...
jason is right; j2 is definitely wrong.
Crossfire can be done with different cards, but it's better with identical pairs.

Your upgrades were all very minor. In gaming, your GPU is still the bottleneck, but it's close to the old one.

Overclock that 975! Easy, safe, extra performance.
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June 17, 2011 3:30:28 AM

Sorry about that I looked at the May Graphics card article for that and I think I looked at the mobility 5850. thanks for the correction jason.

As for crossfire, its like they said, its going to get a bit messy with cards of different generations. But no its not quite as simple as having 2 cards in 2 slots. First of all you will need a crossfire bridge between the 2 cards (it should come with the cards). Then I would go through the Catalyst control center and make sure that crossfire in enabled. There are some other tweaks that you can do to get better performance but you should also know that not every game supports crossfire. So you may not always see better performance from the two cards.
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June 17, 2011 11:54:20 AM

Thanks guys- this is more good info/ advice. So say I am getting the 5850 again to setup crossfire: do I need the EXACT 5850 I have again, or will ANY 5850 work?? Also, if you are recommending I oc the cpu, should I do that via the 'oc genie' with my mobo, or just straight in BIOS? I have never done it, and am terrified to blow the damn thing up!! =)

Thanx!!
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2011 2:40:07 PM

Just google an OC guide or two and start small. I'm personally not a fan of those automatic OC Genie type things... Overclocking isn't all that dangerous, I've done a fair bit on dozens of PCs and have yet to kill a CPU that way.

You won't need the exact 5850, any one will work fine. I'd suggest trying to match the clock speeds of the two cards, but it's no big deal.
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June 18, 2011 3:16:56 PM

I would definitely recommend the AMD overclocking guide here on TH. You have a BE processor so that guide is a very easy place to start.

You don't need to be so cautions about OC your processor. Things like changing the multiplier are not going to kill your processor. They may make you computer unstable but that just means you have to back things down a bit, not that you will lose everything.
The voltage is the first thing that can actually damage your PC. Just make sure that you know the voltage limits of your processor (it will be very clearly defined) and don't go over that limit.
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