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Building an AMD based System

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December 3, 2011 2:12:59 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next two months

Budget Range: $1200 (split up in segments)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Rendering, CAD

Parts Not Required: Case (NZXT Phantom), MoBo (Gigabyte 990 FXA-UD3), DVD Drive (Some Samsung one, bought it OEM), RAM (8gb Corsair Vengance 1600, timings 9-9-9-24), Graphics card (Zotac GeForce GTX 560TI,)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: TigerDirect, Microcenter (Store by my house), Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: ABSOLUTELY NO INTEL ANYTHING, no MSI

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: more than likely 1920x1080

This is my First Ever PC Build, I stared to buy parts about 2 weeks before bulldozers release, I need advice on what Processor i should go with along with some other things, below is a List. Remember, I plan tow use this build with nly minor upgrades for the next 2-3 years



1. Not sure what Processor I was thinking of three scenarios

a.) Buy a FX-8120 and go on my merry way for two years with overclocking happiness
b.) Get a FX-4100 or Phenom x4 (cheap) and wait for something better (i.e Piledriver)
c.) Settle for a Phenom ii x6 1100t for the next two years

2. I've been warned by a few people against SSDs until they get better and Cheaper, So i was thinking

Boot/Game Drive 2x 150gb Western Digital VelociRaptor (Recertified) in RAID 0, and using those until the price of Hard Drives Goes down, then get like a TB Caviar Blue or something like that for storage (Right now on my main Computer i only use about 100gb with moderate gaming, and its been like that for like 3 years, im a delete freak :D  )

3. I've been doing a small bit of research on how much power i need, I was thinking of 1kw seeing as how i plan to overclock (cpu AND gpu) and run Sli in the future, plus when devices such as graphics cards get more power hungry, i'm safe

and Finally 4. For Cooling I was thinking of a Corsair H100, unless anyone knows of a liquid cooling kit for similar price i can build myself (not to say the h100 looks like shite, but homemade liquid cooling looks much better and works better too i hear)

also if anyone has any good deals on a monitor (120hz preffered) id love to hear them. Thanks guys and please, No Intel Fanboys going "Y U NO PICK INTEL, BD SUX"
December 3, 2011 2:31:35 PM

Get an i5-2500k. An AMD system not good.
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December 3, 2011 2:35:08 PM

there will be no happiness with an amd build. you will loose fps just because of not buying an intel system.
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December 3, 2011 2:39:52 PM

I was also gonna go AMD due to cost. I got an i5 2500k and built my first system ever with no real issues, it's flawless and rock solid stable
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December 3, 2011 2:43:52 PM

Loosing fps lol. Is that your reason really. Have you even seen the gaming benchmarks. The difference in 90% games is nil zip zero. And the few, where there is a bit of a difference, you won't even notice it. 80 instead of 90 fps cant be told apart.

That said. You might as well go for a phenom x4 instead of the new. You won't notice a difference between those either. If you are in credit crunch. Always use a bit more on gfx than cpu. That'll give a difference.

ssd's are great but so is raptors. I would recommend both. So its to your liking.

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December 3, 2011 2:53:28 PM

I already have the MoBo, so an Intel system is out of the question, what would be my best bet for an AMD Processor, I do plan on addin a seccond 560 ti, so that should help the gfx
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December 3, 2011 2:54:21 PM

Why so set on AMD? GPUs is a toss-up - I prefer AMD to nVidia. But in CPUs, as much as it pains me to say it (long time AMD user) but AMD just can't measure up - and it's not even close at the moment. I've been building systems for nearly ten years now (mostly AMD, with a few intel systems thrown in) and I couldn't justify an AMD system right now.

That said, if you must buy an AMD system, if you plan on doing rendering, buy that Phenom x6 1100T and overclock. The 6 physical full cores will do better than the bulldozer half cores for less money.

For GPU - 560Ti is an interesting choice - you only want AMD items, but are passing on the area where AMD is strong. Anyhow, 560Ti isn't "future proof" even if you SLI it. And overclock it. But you should be able to play games on medium to medium-high settings for the next couple years.

1000w of PSU would be overkill - even for OCing. Go with a quality 800-850w instead (something from a good quality brand with at least 80 plus bronze - silver) and you'll be much better off - better power stability on the inside, ability to OC and SLI and a much better power bill.
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December 3, 2011 2:56:35 PM

Also, SSDs are amazing. Get a 60-90gb SSD for a boot drive (or a 120gb SSD for boot plus a game or two) and you'll be amazed at the difference. Boot times are amazing and loading times are eliminated. I have one in both my current builds and LOVE it. Would never go back.

Windows is just so much snappier. SSDs are the only way to get WEI maxed, btw.
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December 3, 2011 2:58:59 PM

Check out my main desktop at the link in my sig - it's an 1055T based system (for now - probably upgrading to Intel Ivy Bridge next year). It's pretty solid though, if you want to check it out as a base.

Note that GPU recommendations are based on what games you play. I mostly develop and use VMware ...when I game it's strategy and racing games, that don't need as much GPU. So I only have a 6870 (which is ~560Ti, maybe a bit lower). You didn't mention which games you use.
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December 3, 2011 3:05:10 PM

inanition02 said:
Why so set on AMD? GPUs is a toss-up - I prefer AMD to nVidia. But in CPUs, as much as it pains me to say it (long time AMD user) but AMD just can't measure up - and it's not even close at the moment. I've been building systems for nearly ten years now (mostly AMD, with a few intel systems thrown in) and I couldn't justify an AMD system right now.

That said, if you must buy an AMD system, if you plan on doing rendering, buy that Phenom x6 1100T and overclock. The 6 physical full cores will do better than the bulldozer half cores for less money.

For GPU - 560Ti is an interesting choice - you only want AMD items, but are passing on the area where AMD is strong. Anyhow, 560Ti isn't "future proof" even if you SLI it. And overclock it. But you should be able to play games on medium to medium-high settings for the next couple years.

1000w of PSU would be overkill - even for OCing. Go with a quality 800-850w instead (something from a good quality brand with at least 80 plus bronze - silver) and you'll be much better off - better power stability on the inside, ability to OC and SLI and a much better power bill.


Ok, So 1100t it is, as for the GPU, my friend gave me that for 50 bucks, which was a steal, i would have rather had a radeon 6950 or 70, as for the PSU is this one good http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., also, i Plan on Playing SC2, Crysis ii, CoD Mw3, Global Agenda, BF3, Batman AC and Tribes Acend (got into the closed Beta :D  )
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December 3, 2011 3:19:21 PM

What part of "I already have the Gigabyte 990 FXA-UD3 AM3+" is so difficult for some folks to comprehend?

You just missed the Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $80 at the Egg -- snoop around for a deal on a 120GB SSD (look out for OCZ rebates - they'll burn yah).

The 1100T is pretty much over-kill for gaming. A 955BE or the AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma will work fine for your gaming (and cooling), and might unlock if you ever lust for more cores.

That's a great mobo - just make sure you maintain the same BIOS in the primary and 'back-up' to prevent conflicts (and frustration with tweaking).

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December 3, 2011 3:27:20 PM

Wisecracker said:
What part of "I already have the Gigabyte 990 FXA-UD3 AM3+" is so difficult for some folks to comprehend?

You just missed the Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB for $80 at the Egg -- snoop around for a deal on a 120GB SSD (look out for OCZ rebates - they'll burn yah).

The 1100T is pretty much over-kill for gaming. A 955BE or the AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma will work fine for your gaming (and cooling), and might unlock if you ever lust for more cores.

That's a great mobo - just make sure you maintain the same BIOS in the primary and 'back-up' to prevent conflicts (and frustration with tweaking).


Ok, it definitely looks like bulldozers out, but if you had to reccomend one, which would it be (seeing as initally the whole point of this build was to be based on BD) also, what is your opinion on adding another 560ti, based on benches it looks like it can out preform a single gtx 580 in most scenarios. also any cooling recomendations
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December 3, 2011 4:48:33 PM

Nitrogannex said:
Ok, it definitely looks like bulldozers out, but if you had to reccomend one, which would it be (seeing as initally the whole point of this build was to be based on BD) also, what is your opinion on adding another 560ti, based on benches it looks like it can out preform a single gtx 580 in most scenarios. also any cooling recomendations


4 cores is the most a game will use...but video transcoding and rendering will use all 6...and love them. That's why I said the 1100t.
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December 3, 2011 4:51:27 PM

Nitrogannex said:
Ok, So 1100t it is, as for the GPU, my friend gave me that for 50 bucks, which was a steal, i would have rather had a radeon 6950 or 70, as for the PSU is this one good http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite..., also, i Plan on Playing SC2, Crysis ii, CoD Mw3, Global Agenda, BF3, Batman AC and Tribes Acend (got into the closed Beta :D  )


Specs on that look good, but I don't have much experience with that brand.

These also look good (and are cheaper, even moreso with MiRs):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 3, 2011 5:13:17 PM

Go for BD imo, you wont feel any difference @ all. Everybody is "omg dont go BD, it sucks", well, it does not, not even against the 2500k. Everybody expected that, considering AMD its arround 2 years behind intel @ CPU speed, that AMD could go ahead of intel with BD, i did not expected that. With BD you will get more cache then the 1100t, and u can overclock it better then the 1100t. As for the video card, it is a good card. I have a GTX 460 1 GB and i can play every game @ high - ultra @ 1080p, not "medium / high" like someone above mentioned, even with MSAA disabled in BF 3 the rest its on ultra, so, the GTX 560 will do very well. And i am sure that AMD will tweek BD via BIOS updates with the retailers.
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December 3, 2011 6:36:07 PM

Nitrogannex said:
Ok, it definitely looks like bulldozers out, but if you had to reccomend one, which would it be (seeing as initally the whole point of this build was to be based on BD) also, what is your opinion on adding another 560ti, based on benches it looks like it can out preform a single gtx 580 in most scenarios. also any cooling recomendations


BD certainly does not have to be 'out' of consideration but I would suggest waiting 1-3 months for a bit more maturity in the process, a new stepping, and additional models to come to market (if BD is where you want to go).

To tide yah over either a Deneb or 'Zosma' Quad would be fine -- or you could simply snag something like the AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz for $68 through Dec 7th. With a single GPU in gaming, the difference will be minimal compared to the Quads, and since this is your first build it will be a great 'learning' processor where you my experiment with adjusting voltages and memory dividers, raising the system clock, and tweaking the IMC/NB speed. You should have no issues with the X3 going 15x240MHz with the IMC/NB at 2400MHz and your RAMs at 6.67x240MHz. That will push a single 560TI just dandy.

The knowledge acquired from tweaking the X3 can be 'transferred' to tweaking your new BD.

As far as the 560TI, before investing in an SLI you should expand your knowledge of graphics 'tweaking' since your investment in the card is minimal. The 560TI should over-clock nicely. By the time your confidence is up on video card tweaking, the new 7k XT Radeons should be on the market, and you can decide whether to 'upgrade' or 'SLI'.

As far as your cooling it's really up to you. Water is not more efficient than 'good air' but it is certainly more quiet. I'm not the guy to judge what advantage the H100 may be as opposed to the H80, but the CM Hyper 212+ will cool just as efficiently for 25% of the cost.


edit: This PSU is worth consideration
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December 3, 2011 7:26:17 PM

Ok Thanks, Theres a phenom ii at microcenter for like $60, I'll go with that and wait for either better versions of bulldozer or pile driver if it comes to that, as for the gpu, yeah the ti should be good practice, esp cause its zotac it has firestorm which simplifies overclocking to 4 sliders, then I can move on to better cards.
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December 3, 2011 7:26:53 PM

Best answer selected by Nitrogannex.
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