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September 26, 2011 10:05:06 PM

Alright, so here is the deal. I'm stuck (not to sound like its bad) with 2x Radeon 6850's ==> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm looking to build a gaming computer out of these, got them for 300$ from my boss (brand new) and didn't even think about it (/cry)

Specifically I want to be able to max Battlefield 3 and Skyrim... From my research i see at 1920 x 1080 resolution, as well as everything maxed out (with AA and etc) Battlefield bad company gets 120+fps.

My budget - like 900-1000$ ? willing to go higher if it has a LARGE performance increase.

I have a case picked out - ===> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (140$)

So my question is, finally, i need more pieces. What processor wont bottleneck my GPU's? Motherboard that supports crossfire? etc. I already have windows 7 as well, so i have 760-860$ to spend on pieces now. (from my case)

Thanks in advance!

More about : gaming

September 26, 2011 10:41:11 PM

My advice, as well as many others here will be to wait for Zambezi (bulldozer)

its only 1-2 weeks away now (so they say) and regardless if you choose one of these new AMD chips or not, their Intel competitors will come down in price.

Ur 6950's are not a bad card in X-fire.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2011-gaming-graphics-charts/3DMark11-Enthusiast,2660.html

i would post this forum topic again after their release or bump this one soon after.
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September 26, 2011 10:41:37 PM

i dont think the phenom II x4 965 would bottleneck your cards especially if you OC it at all
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $129.99

The major downside to the 965 is that the stock cooler is horrendously loud and not the best cooler out there so i would suggest the coolermaster hyper 212+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $27.99

the good thing about AM3 socket chips is you can use an ASUS crosshair board :) , i would suggest the crosshair V since it has the 990FX chipset and it can run crossfire in x16, x16. and it's AM3+ compatible in case you decide to get a bulldozer chip when they are released.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 229.99

as for RAM even though that motherboard has 4 240pin slots, its best to stick with 2 sticks of RAM since it's still dual channel, so that being said you could go with 2x2GB and be just fine with 4GB but i personally like having 8GB so i suggest 2x4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $49.99

for the hard drive you could probably get an SSD if you wanted to but i still swear by an HDD, i have this one and i love it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $54.99

for an optical drive it doesnt really matter as long as it reads and writes
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 23.99

and lastly the power supply. i think you will be fine with a corsair 850W so this should do for you.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $134.99


all the parts here i suggested will cost you about $651.93, not including shipping, coupons and bonus deals.

and if you really feel like spending more money you can buy an SSD as well to load the OS onto, since they are considerably faster and more durable
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 249.99

with the SSD it comes out to $901.98
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September 26, 2011 11:17:14 PM

Thank you so much for the quick responses!

First -

When i look at that benchmark score stuff, i see the 6850 near the top! great! but when i actually go to my specific brand (IceQ, HIS) its half the performance? why is that? or is it not exactly accurate?

Second -

i was thinking about waiting for Bulldozer. but im not sure if the 150$ more would be worth it (Estimated price is 300$) but true most processors will go down in price. But i don't need the computer till 11-11-11 (Skyrim Release ^.^) so ill wait.

Third -

Wow. Those are like the same parts i was looking at, Weeatwaffles q: except the PSU. I was looking at one that was modular. But i cant seem to find it again.

Fourth -

Im against SSD's :b far too much money for something that really isnt much... Rather get a fast HDD.


Thank you again guys! Gimme a little bit and ill post what ill get. (May wait till Bulldozer release)

EDIT: Also thinking of watercooling instead of the other one you showed. Any advice whether or not?
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September 26, 2011 11:31:27 PM

The one at the top of the charts is the Crossfire (2 cards) configuration, when your looking up your brand its a SINGLE card only. thats why its almost double the performance.

the projected price point was around 250USD (for the top of the range chip)as far as i know. but like i said even if u want to get a cheaper AMD or Intel after bulldozer is realsed they should be even cheaper than they are now.

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September 26, 2011 11:35:34 PM

ah yeah i see. and yeah i see 250$ too. I saw on AMD they projected 300$, but that was a LONG time ago. Thank you!
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September 27, 2011 12:23:27 AM

ariscov said:
Thank you so much for the quick responses!

First -

When i look at that benchmark score stuff, i see the 6850 near the top! great! but when i actually go to my specific brand (IceQ, HIS) its half the performance? why is that? or is it not exactly accurate?

Second -

i was thinking about waiting for Bulldozer. but im not sure if the 150$ more would be worth it (Estimated price is 300$) but true most processors will go down in price. But i don't need the computer till 11-11-11 (Skyrim Release ^.^) so ill wait.

Third -

Wow. Those are like the same parts i was looking at, Weeatwaffles q: except the PSU. I was looking at one that was modular. But i cant seem to find it again.

Fourth -

Im against SSD's :b far too much money for something that really isnt much... Rather get a fast HDD.


Thank you again guys! Gimme a little bit and ill post what ill get. (May wait till Bulldozer release)

EDIT: Also thinking of watercooling instead of the other one you showed. Any advice whether or not?

lol im right there with you on the HDD over SSD
as for watercooling, it gives great results when done properly, but is a bit expensive. my advice would be to research it a bit and make your own loop, you will get much better results and it will be cheaper. i personally stand by air coolin though because i dont feel comfortable having water that close to my system, but thats just me.
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September 27, 2011 6:39:37 AM

Okay...time to take a couple steps back.

@OP--you said "6850" in your initial post. And all these "Newcomers" giving you advice are talking about 6950's. You'll need to clear that up before you go any further. I don't mean to be mean, but a "Newcomer" has only been in these forums for a week or so and I'd wait until someone has written more than a dozen posts before you give them too much credit.

Someone said a Phenom II x4 965BE won't bottleneck you. Even if you OC it, it'll occassionally bottleneck you. If you've got a $1300 budget (including what you've already spent on graphics), then you should be aiming MUCH higher. Here's some good examples of Phenom II's bottlenecking:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/duke-nukem-forever,...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/deus-ex-human-revol...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

Your three options right now are:
1) Build with an i5-2500K
2) Wait for Bulldozer and see if it's good
3) Make a mistake and buy something that doesn't get you great performance

Info about the 6870 in crossfire and Micro-Stuttering: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...
You pretty much NEED to read the full review since you just bought two 6850's.

Keep in mind that your graphics should be about 30% to 50% of a gaming build price. At $1300, you should be building with dual 6970's. With dual 6850's, I'd say you should go for more like $900 total, including the $300 spent on the cards. Also, according to the Micro Stuttering article above (which should be your guide for a multi 6850 based build), you'd do well to have a 3rd 6850. That can only work with specific motherboards though. Sadly, I recommend selling the pair of 6850's. It's really not the strongest performing graphics and you'd do better to start with a single GTX 560Ti for $200.

EDIT: I guess you might do well to aim substantially lower on total budget and keep those cards. If you want a machine that gets a good framerate in any game, you could go Phenom II x4 or i3-2100 w/ $80 mobo, $35 on RAM, $60 on HDD, $40 on a case, $50 on PSU, $20 on DVD drive and call it a solid $700 gaming machine with limited upgradeability.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 27, 2011 6:43:50 AM

Btw, don't watercool. It's really not gonna be worth it or help much unless you're a HARDCORE overclocker. And you're not...yet.

EDIT: The first question to always ask about a new build is--"Do you live near a Micro Center?"
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September 27, 2011 10:48:46 AM

thank you much for your insight. I dont know HOW i missedhim saying 6950 instead of 6850...
Best way to sell these things? not sure i can. But i can try. If i can, and get at least a decent price for them, should i go with a single card? (say a 570 or 580) then upgrade down the road? here is what i was thinking for core parts...

MoBo- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU (if i can get a deal on those 6850's...) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor - what should i get?

and i have an 850w modular power supply... thanks again for saving me a life of pain and misery q:

EDIT: I will be waiting until release of the bulldozer. Whether they are any good or not, processor price will drop.
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September 27, 2011 11:37:34 AM

if you are waiting for bulldozer than you can not really ask what CPU should i get. The i5 2500k is pretty much the go to processor for gamers at the moment.

we must all wait for the benchmarks to see if bulldozer can compete, once they are released then you can determine if you should build amd or intel.

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September 27, 2011 6:10:55 PM

Is it worth getting a dual core for gaming? I know a few games such as GTA IV make use of all 4 cores. But not alot. How big of a processor would i need to run a GTX 570? or even two in the future?
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September 27, 2011 11:04:25 PM

stick with a quad core atleast of some sort (AMD or Intel)

as you dont want to bottlekneck your self for future games.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 12:12:59 AM

ariscov said:
Is it worth getting a dual core for gaming? I know a few games such as GTA IV make use of all 4 cores. But not alot. How big of a processor would i need to run a GTX 570? or even two in the future?
The i3-2300 is the only dual-core that I will say has adequate gaming capability (see: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev... ). Otherwise, you need at least a triple core (see: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/deus-ex-human-revol... ). But unless you're really strapped for cash and using the $75 Phenom II x3 720BE to build, you should buy a quad core.

As far as your GPU:
#1 - Wait to buy it until you see a crazy deal or you're ready to do your build because prices will drop in the meantime.

#2 - Do you fully intend to do SLI/CFX? If so, know that the CFX 6950's match SLI GTX 570's and CFX 6970's handily drop GTX 570's. If you haven't used a graphics card at least as powerful as a GTX 280, you'll barely notice the difference between one or two of these powerful cards. And two is overkill (right now) if you're only playing at 1080p.

#3 - Are there particular features that turn you towards GeForce or Radeon? NVidia 3D is an established feature, among others, but also requires specific hardware (monitor, 3D Vision kit).

But basically, you should wait until you're ready to buy (after Bulldozer launch), then come back and start a new thread where you answer all the questions here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
Make sure to mention you live near a Micro Center.

Also, I posted on your other thread: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/322162-13-dollar-bu...
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 12:16:31 AM

As far as the RAM you mentioned above...It's worth the $6 I think to get this G. Skill 1600CL8: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I picked that stuff up for $50 a couple weeks back and you have the time to wait for a sale like that. I think I have it at 1900MHz CL8 at home. The low voltage is nice for overclocking headroom. Notice it has a 5 star average--that is really exceptional!
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 12:18:46 AM

It must be asked: Do you live near a Micro Center? That will save you about $100 and is the reason I have an i7 instead of a Phenom II.
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September 28, 2011 2:15:10 AM

dalauder said:
It must be asked: Do you live near a Micro Center? That will save you about $100 and is the reason I have an i7 instead of a Phenom II.

Unfortunately, i do not. I live near a TigerDirect, which i will be checking.

As far as GPU goes, I'm so lost. Tryin to get atleast something CLOSE to what i paid for these 6850's. Will figure out eventually... Have till 11-11-11 q:

And I wanted to get a single 570, or something like that, then SLI in the future down the road if I needed it.


Processor - I was thinking the 2500k... Seems to perform great. Heard lots of good reviews... And if i get a board with 1155 compatibility, It will also work with the Ivy Bridge down the road. But nothing is set in stone until I see what happens after Bulldozer launch.

Motherboard - I wanted something with all the bells and wistles, and if it came to it, i would choose another if i had to cut my price down a bit. Here is what i was looking at

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Anyway, I'll look at 6950's. and 6970's. Ive just heard better things about NVIDIA, or maybe it's just fan boys lol.


Thanks all you guys! Any more input is STILL appreciated q:
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September 28, 2011 2:27:02 AM

we really need some of forum lock to stop people asking "What CPU / Mobo" should i get until after bulldozer is released.

AMD and Intel based systems will all change in price after BD release.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
September 28, 2011 2:27:06 AM

The difference between GeForce and Radeon is pretty much a couple NVidia features like 3D Vision and CUDA acceleration. If you don't do programs that use those or have a 3D monitor, then you won't notice the difference (now that the Radeon 6000 series has improved tessellation performance over the 5000 series).

The main thing is figuring out the answers to my three questions about the GPU above.

CPU & Mobo: Wait until Bulldozer launches. Until then, don't worry about it. That mobo you linked is VERY nice--but it's ridiculous overkill if you haven't already spent that money on an SSD, CPU, graphics, & monitor.

At the end of the day, this is all just preemptive research. Prices and availability will change before you are ready to build. Just come back and start a new thread when you're ready. Start with this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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September 28, 2011 2:31:06 AM

Best answer selected by ariscov.
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a c 136 B Homebuilt system
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September 28, 2011 11:47:49 PM

dalauder said:
The difference between GeForce and Radeon is pretty much a couple NVidia features like 3D Vision and CUDA acceleration. If you don't do programs that use those or have a 3D monitor, then you won't notice the difference (now that the Radeon 6000 series has improved tessellation performance over the 5000 series).

The main thing is figuring out the answers to my three questions about the GPU above.

CPU & Mobo: Wait until Bulldozer launches. Until then, don't worry about it. That mobo you linked is VERY nice--but it's ridiculous overkill if you haven't already spent that money on an SSD, CPU, graphics, & monitor.

At the end of the day, this is all just preemptive research. Prices and availability will change before you are ready to build. Just come back and start a new thread when you're ready. Start with this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...


AMD Radeons from 6xxx support 3D as well , but the set up is arguably more difficult

AMD have had their equivalent of cuda for almost as long as nVidia have . Drivers are free to download on the AMD website .
The technology is an open platform allowing developers to create support for software if they wish .
Arguably that means the AMD platform has more appeal than nVidias proprietry software

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