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Time to build, need advice!

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August 20, 2011 6:15:46 AM

Hello, I'm a new member to toms forums and an ameteur pc builder. I'm looking to building a new system before BF3 release. I'm looking at a few options and I need some advise. I've been reading and watching reviews pretty much all day and its time to get some definate answers. For the last few years I have build AMD based gaming PCs, however Intel is becoming very intriging. I have pretty much stuck with the ATI/AMD processors for their cost/performance attributes. Currently my system is:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE mild OC @ 3.81ghz with Corsair H50/dual fan cooler, Asus M4A79 Deluxe BIOS-3603 board, 4GB GSkill DDR2 1066, ATI Radeon HD 5870, Corsair 650W PSU, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, CoolerMaster HAF 922 case

I have to admit this PC runs really well, I don't have any problems with COD Black Ops, Fallout 3 New Vegas....but, as any PC gamer I want more, I want fast. I'm not planning on doing a full PC build. I'm going to keep my 5870, PSU, and HDs which I have a question about that coming up. However, for starters here is what I have been debating in terms of systems.

At first I was thinking of staying with AMD and going with this:

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE
Asus Crosshar V Formula AM3+ AMD 990FX
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 1600

Then I started to compare this set up with my current and realized that a 6 core isn't really necessary for PC gaming, and probably my biggest gain would be the DDR3 memory and 2 more cores. However, I just watch a top performing rig for what I can afford.

As for my other option an Intel based system. However, I don't really know much about Intel so this is why I need help

Intel i5 2500K Sandy Bridge
Asus P8Z68-V Pro
or
Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3
or
ASRock Z68 Extreme4
GSKill Ripjaws X Series 8GB DDR3 1600
or
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600

From what I have researched the i5 2500k would be a very sturdy platform for gaming. I don't do any video editing, and I figure if i build the gaming rig off the intel setup and I make my AMD 965 set up my editing PC. Just a thought. From the benchmarks I've seen the i5 is awesome for gaming and overclocking where as the AMD platforms are great for video editing etc. I'm stumpped on the motherboard also, I see good and bad reviews to all boards. However, I am familiar with Asus and I really like their boards. So I'm leaning towards the P8Z68-V. The reason I'm looking at the Z68 series is I'm interested in an SSD which I haven't done yet. Memory wise, I've seen on some reviews that the i5 chips like 1333mhz, so then again I don't know what speed would be good to go with. Again I have never built an intel based PC.

Also I see that AMD will be releasing the bulldozer chips soon, however, I don't know anything about them, or if it would be worth my time to wait for the release. As I can tell I have seen the reviews and pros and cons of these platforms but I just need a more in-depth analysis to what would benefit me and my rig needs.

Last but not least. I am not that familiar with SSDs to this point. I know they offer great performance and would help any system gain performance. However a few things I am curious about them
1. I know you can pretty much transfer the data from a current HD to the SSD and run as is. However, if I just want to run the OS off the SSD and nothing else. IE use my other HD to install games and other applications. Would that only give me better start up performance or would I have to place my games on the SSD to get better load times.
I play FSX and it takes up soooo much space, I just can't see having it on the SSD. SSDs are pricy, and games take up alot of space so I don't see where having the SSD as the only HD being beneficial as I am on a budget. If I went with an SSD I figured I would have to just use it as my OS drive, and use another from applications and storage. Or am I missing something?

Thanks for your time, this was BIG question, but I haven't been able to pinpoint my questions and get the answers I need. Thanks in advance!

More about : time build advice

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2011 9:22:56 AM

As you have discovered an x6 wont give you increased gaming performance over an x4 . Games dont use the extra cores .

I also doubt you will get a large frame rate increase by changing just the cpu and keeping the same graphics card . This is especially true with a high resolution monitor where the gfx card is even more a limitation .

Buy yourself an SSD , and consider crossfire IMO
August 20, 2011 10:13:27 AM

i think 5870 will not be enough to play BF3 at ultra settings.when you r upgrading most of the CPU then why leave the GPU?

You should add the GTX 560 to ur intel based system
that rig will play all games at high settings.
nd also it wil be future proof
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August 20, 2011 1:40:20 PM

akataria7 said:
i think 5870 will not be enough to play BF3 at ultra settings.when you r upgrading most of the CPU then why leave the GPU?

You should add the GTX 560 to ur intel based system
that rig will play all games at high settings.
nd also it wil be future proof


A 5870 is better than a GTX 560 and don't worry a 5870 will get you an average of at least 40 fps at 1080p, i was playing the alpha at highest settings with no problems and high frame rates.

But yeah if you want to upgrade I'd either get a new platform like sandy bridge or a SSD. And I'm waiting for the new generation of graphics cards before upgrading my 5870
August 20, 2011 2:26:01 PM

It Dosent Matter Much At Gaming...AMD, Intel Blah Blah And So On, Ill Continue To Use AMD As Long They Continue To Provide EASE OF UPGRADEABILITY (INTEL, You Need To Be Better At That!) AND "More Than Enough Performance For The Price" As Long As It Dosent Get Less Than 40FPS Avg. 25 Min. In Games At Fairly High Settings At High Resolutions (1600x1200/1650x1280). Ive Been Building PCs Since I Built My First In 1994 And Have Used AMD Since 1998.

Its Getting To The Point Where Your Storage Subsystem (Hard Drives Etc.), Memory Capacity (6GB Or More) And Graphics "HorsePower" Makes More Differance To Performance Than A The CPU As Long As Your In That Zone Then You Will Be In Excellent Shape. I Spent Mabey $1200.00 On My Machine (Just Look At The Specs Of My Machine) I Video Edit, Transcode, Photo Edit And Even 3D Modeled On Ocasion And Gamed ALOT Never Found Anything I Couldnt Do In Less Than 20 Minutes, Or Couldnt Run Smoothly. My Friend Sais Its Far Smoother And Runs Better Than His Mid-Upper Range "Semi-Custom") Alienware. (Core i5, 4GB RAM, GTX295, And WD Black 1TB RAID-0) That Cost Him $2500.00 And Yes, Weve Benchmarked Proving His Theory (His CPU Outruns My By Like 10%, Our GPUs Trades Blows At Simular Resolutions By +/- 5%, His Memory Performance Looses By About 5% And His Hard Drives Loose By A Good 25%.

ANYWAY... My Advice, Keep Your Current Setup, Get Faster Hard Drives, And Wait For Truly Better Stuff To Come Along... Dont WASTE Your MONEY.
August 21, 2011 5:47:25 AM

Quote:
Buy yourself an SSD , and consider crossfire IMO


I am going to do an SSD at some point, but I am interested in what I can do with the SSD refering to my post
Also, for now the 5870 is a beast, and it runs well. Just in some games I know I'm bottlenecked by the CPU like FSX which is crazy CPU intensive. However if I went with a new GPU set up I'd likely go with 6870x2 or GT560x2 for xfire/sli.

Quote:

A 5870 is better than a GTX 560 and don't worry a 5870 will get you an average of at least 40 fps at 1080p, i was playing the alpha at highest settings with no problems and high frame rates.

But yeah if you want to upgrade I'd either get a new platform like sandy bridge or a SSD. And I'm waiting for the new generation of graphics cards before upgrading my 5870


I agree, the 5870 is just fine for now, I can't really justify a single card upgrade at this point. However once BF3 comes out I don't know how well I would run at 1920x1080(currently what I run) on high-extreme settings. I do know that I am a speed and FPS junkie and from what I've seen intel is pretty beast for gaming.

Quote:
It Dosent Matter Much At Gaming...AMD, Intel Blah Blah And So On, Ill Continue To Use AMD As Long They Continue To Provide EASE OF UPGRADEABILITY (INTEL, You Need To Be Better At That!) AND "More Than Enough Performance For The Price" As Long As It Dosent Get Less Than 40FPS Avg. 25 Min. In Games At Fairly High Settings At High Resolutions (1600x1200/1650x1280). Ive Been Building PCs Since I Built My First In 1994 And Have Used AMD Since 1998.

ANYWAY... My Advice, Keep Your Current Setup, Get Faster Hard Drives, And Wait For Truly Better Stuff To Come Along... Dont WASTE Your MONEY.


Like I said in my post, I have been very very happy with AMD and their upgrade ability. Also, like I said I don't know enough about the bulldozer chips to determine if staying AMD or going Intel "for gaming" is the right choice for me. Also do we know what socket the bulldozers are going to be? AM3+? I do know intel is proven to be great for gaming, and solid, so I'm just throwing my options around before I spend my hard earned cash!

Thanks for your guys input! But I'm not convinced on what I should do yet thanks for all your help and anyone elses!
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2011 6:08:40 AM

Bulldozer are AM3+ , and many models of motherboard support them starting at about $70
BUT only the newest boards with 990 and 970 series chip sets support all bulldozer features .
990x and 990fx chip sets can run SLI , and crossfire .
No other AMD chipset can run SLI
August 21, 2011 7:23:19 AM

Thanks for that Outlander. However, what is AMD trying to accomplish with the bulldozer chip? Are they going to try and compete with Intel or just continue to release chips that are good and cheap. But most AMD fans including myself know that Intels high end chips regardless of their price just flat out rock! Don't get me wrong, I feel that AMD chips offer some of the best performance per dollar. But when it comes to a flat out ultra performing rig, you don't see much AMD in the mix or pulling the benchmark numbers.

Anyways that's kind of off topic. As big of a fan of AMD as I am, going back to my post. I am trying to figure out if waiting for the bulldozer line to see if they compete with Intel in gaming and benchmark scores. Or, should I just be different and swing Intel. I want to build the best performing PC for what I can afford weather its AMD or Intel doesn't matter. I'm in kinda of a new PC building mindset. I haven't built one since the end of 09....again thanks for the bulldozer info!
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
August 21, 2011 7:34:01 AM

Bulldozer is a performance cpu , and it should compete well with sandy bridge .
Each "core" is actually two cores . Its a kind of hardware variation on intels hyper threading . Hyper threading doesnt do a lot for performance , but AMD say their architecture does .

AMD have also said they will make sure its better bang for buck than intel too , but till there are samples being benchmarked its impossible to know .

If you buy an AM3+ board [ with a 970 or 990 chip set]you will be able to get a substantially longer life from your motherboard and other hardware . AMD have a history of treating their clients with respect , and not making your new computer obsolete a few months after you bought it
August 21, 2011 7:52:31 AM

Interesting! I have noticed they don't change sockets as often as Intel, or have different sockets for so many different CPUs.

So basicly you're saying stay with the rig I have and add SSD then once Bulldozer comes out look into rebuilding on that platform with crossfire 6870 ish type hardware? But, until that happens and is proven to be a winner, then Intel is still with in my possibility range
August 21, 2011 2:58:06 PM

YES! :) 
!