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Community Feedback on New Gaming Build

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January 28, 2012 7:38:10 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: week of the 29th

Budget Range: not specified

System Usage: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, HDDs

Country: Chile, South America, Computer will be assembled by myself

Brand Preferences: NVIDIA, AMD, MSI, GIGABYTE, XFX, CORSAIR

Parts:

CPU AMD FX-8120 8 CORE CPU @3.1GHz
MB ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX AM3+
MEMORY CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR3 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz PC3-12800 (CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)
VIDEO ECS GTX580 (MGTX580-1536PI-F) (X2)
MONITOR Viewsonic VX2453MH-LED

Overclocking: Eventually Yes, not at first

SLI : Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'd like your feedback on my system. I'm worried about my power supply, I thought I might get away with a 800W power supply, but apparently I might need a 1000W PS for SLI.

I have an additional GeForce GT240, would it be wise to use it for PhysX purposes? is it posible considering the other to videocards in SLI?

I want to kick the living crap out of these games in terms of graphics and performance: Skyrim, BF3, Deus Ex HR, Rage

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Best solution

January 29, 2012 9:15:10 PM

As a long time AMD fan I have to say that Intel is the way to go. You can look up that CPU on this chart to see how it stacks up. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...

Even my lowly Core i3-2100 would be a match for the AMD FX. For overclocking, the defacto standard right now is the Intel Core i5-2500k and an ASUS or Gigabyte z68 motherboard. Some find the older P67 boards acceptable as well.

While that ram may look really cool, it is not so cool since it will interfere with most aftermarket CPU heatsinks required for overclocking. It is also just made to look fancy. The heatsinks are really no better than the standard variety. You could either go with the standard profile Vengeance or Kingston HyperX. You could also go with Gskill RipJaws which is very popular right now. It has shorter finned heatsinks.

I do not know what brands of power supply you have available, but it needs to be at least 80plus Bronze certified, and from a good maker like Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX. Here in the US, XFX is a very good deal right now. And 1000 watts would certainly not hurt anything. The system will only use what it needs and modern certified supplies are efficient at low medium and high levels. Minimum for dual 580 cards would be 850 watts.

If you have other brands of video cards available to you, that would be preferable. ECS is not the best. For Nvidia cards, the best are EVGA, MSI, XFX, and ASUS. Brands such as Gigabyte, PNY, and Zotac are OK also, just not quite as good. The lower end would be ECS and Galaxy.
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January 29, 2012 9:32:58 PM

tlmck said:
As a long time AMD fan I have to say that Intel is the way to go. You can look up that CPU on this chart to see how it stacks up. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...

Even my lowly Core i3-2100 would be a match for the AMD FX. For overclocking, the defacto standard right now is the Intel Core i5-2500k and an ASUS or Gigabyte z68 motherboard. Some find the older P67 boards acceptable as well.

While that ram may look really cool, it is not so cool since it will interfere with most aftermarket CPU heatsinks required for overclocking. It is also just made to look fancy. The heatsinks are really no better than the standard variety. You could either go with the standard profile Vengeance or Kingston HyperX. You could also go with Gskill RipJaws which is very popular right now. It has shorter finned heatsinks.

I do not know what brands of power supply you have available, but it needs to be at least 80plus Bronze certified, and from a good maker like Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone, or XFX. Here in the US, XFX is a very good deal right now. And 1000 watts would certainly not hurt anything. The system will only use what it needs and modern certified supplies are efficient at low medium and high levels. Minimum for dual 580 cards would be 850 watts.

If you have other brands of video cards available to you, that would be preferable. ECS is not the best. For Nvidia cards, the best are EVGA, MSI, XFX, and ASUS. Brands such as Gigabyte, PNY, and Zotac are OK also, just not quite as good. The lower end would be ECS and Galaxy.


I have two systems. One runs off the AMD Phenom II X6 and the other runs off the Core i3-2120. I actually prefer the i3 system and like the motherboard and chipset better. As soon as I start getting some money I might switch it out to the i5-3890K (?) when it's available or the new SB-E CPU but even that build will be quite expensive even with MB/CPU/RAM prices the way they are.. I might just throw an FX-8150 in there instead just to see how it compares. The thing is there's a lot of mixed reviews concerning the FX - it seems people either really love it or really hate it. Tom's had a great breakdown of the CPU and the architecture when it was released, and I suggest reading that before jumping into FX territory: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bul...

I definitely agree about the RAM and PSU choices. The tall heat sinks on RAM really don't do anything and they will make installing any aftermarket coolers you plan to use extremely difficult. But the thing is you don't need a 1K+ watt PSU on any system unless you're running say 3 580TIs in SLI or like 1,000 hard drives. You can get by with way less. The system draws the power it needs when it needs it.

As far as video cards go the brands you listed are good. I don't really recommend video cards from the big motherboard manufacturers like MSI and Asus because their support and RMA departments aren't that great (I've dealt with both of them and it's not fun). The smaller, more focused vendors like EVGA, XFX, and Sapphire tend to not only have better products but they have the best service and support departments on top of that. That's a key factor in the brands I pick because if something goes wrong, I want a replacement ASAP.
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January 29, 2012 10:08:03 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I have two systems. One runs off the AMD Phenom II X6 and the other runs off the Core i3-2120. I actually prefer the i3 system and like the motherboard and chipset better. As soon as I start getting some money I might switch it out to the i5-3890K (?) when it's available or the new SB-E CPU but even that build will be quite expensive even with MB/CPU/RAM prices the way they are.. I might just throw an FX-8150 in there instead just to see how it compares. The thing is there's a lot of mixed reviews concerning the FX - it seems people either really love it or really hate it. Tom's had a great breakdown of the CPU and the architecture when it was released, and I suggest reading that before jumping into FX territory: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bul...

I definitely agree about the RAM and PSU choices. The tall heat sinks on RAM really don't do anything and they will make installing any aftermarket coolers you plan to use extremely difficult. But the thing is you don't need a 1K+ watt PSU on any system unless you're running say 3 580TIs in SLI or like 1,000 hard drives. You can get by with way less. The system draws the power it needs when it needs it.

As far as video cards go the brands you listed are good. I don't really recommend video cards from the big motherboard manufacturers like MSI and Asus because their support and RMA departments aren't that great (I've dealt with both of them and it's not fun). The smaller, more focused vendors like EVGA, XFX, and Sapphire tend to not only have better products but they have the best service and support departments on top of that. That's a key factor in the brands I pick because if something goes wrong, I want a replacement ASAP.


For the video cards I was speaking more in terms of quality and less likelihood of needing support. I am not a fan of MSI motherboards, but their video cards have been great including my current one. Their Twin Frozr models are some of the highest rated right now as well. I think they need to steal some of those people and send them over to the mobo side. :) 

Sapphire is indeed a good choice since they do most of AMDs building and testing for them. However, they are not applicable to the Nvidia card the OP is seeking.

As for power supplies, I tend to lean towards the conservative approach. Too many watts is not really a bad thing. Right sizing is no longer an issue with the current certifications. Plus thanks to my engineering degree, and my 24 years experience building computers, I can build a power supply from scratch given the right pile of components. I can also test one just like the reviewers do although I no longer have free access to such equipment. I tend to trust sites like JohnnyGuru or HardOCP to do the testing these days.
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January 29, 2012 11:09:38 PM

Quote:
For the video cards I was speaking more in terms of quality and less likelihood of needing support. I am not a fan of MSI motherboards, but their video cards have been great including my current one. Their Twin Frozr models are some of the highest rated right now as well. I think they need to steal some of those people and send them over to the mobo side. :) 


I hear that. :lol: 

The way I got the Phenom II was I was upgrading a Core 2 Duo system. I originally got a Gigabyte 880 board but realized I didn't want one with built in video and sent it back. I got the MSI 870A-G45. It booted up and POSTed the first three or four times. Then it just flat-out died. I sent that one back for an Asus M4A87TD Evo and that one died after a short while as well. I finally salvaged the CPU from the build and and got the Gigabyte 990FXA - it's sitting in my home computer.

But to me service and support is one of the key factors in deciding what hardware I buy. I had a GTX 280 from EVGA that had a broken DVI connector on it, and when I sent it back not only did they promptly provide a replacement, they actually replaced it with a 470, which was an unbelievable free upgrade. If I need a replacement for something, I need it now, not in three weeks.


Quote:
Sapphire is indeed a good choice since they do most of AMDs building and testing for them. However, they are not applicable to the Nvidia card the OP is seeking.


Interesting, I didn't know that about Sapphire. I saw on their website they had a really nice-looking 990FX board and I'd buy it if it were available in the US - unfortunately it's not.

Quote:
As for power supplies, I tend to lean towards the conservative approach. Too many watts is not really a bad thing. Right sizing is no longer an issue with the current certifications. Plus thanks to my engineering degree, and my 24 years experience building computers, I can build a power supply from scratch given the right pile of components. I can also test one just like the reviewers do although I no longer have free access to such equipment. I tend to trust sites like JohnnyGuru or HardOCP to do the testing these days.


There's no such thing as too much power (ask Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor... :lol:  ) especially in the computer world. I know having less can actually hurt a system and that's where it gets tricky to find a good balance between having too much power and just the right amount.
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January 29, 2012 11:22:01 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
Interesting, I didn't know that about Sapphire. I saw on their website they had a really nice-looking 990FX board and I'd buy it if it were available in the US - unfortunately it's not.
Quote:


990FX is AMD also. Personally I wish Sapphire would do Nvidia cards but I think it is due to their buddy buddy relationship with AMD that precludes this. Before the MSI, I would only use Sapphire for AMD(ATI) and XFX for Nvidia. EVGA is probably the best quality for Nvidia, but I always found their fans noisy. And at least for the Nvidia cards I have owned, XFX has been awesome. Insanely good build quality, even overkill in some cases.
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February 15, 2012 8:46:49 PM

Best answer selected by vigneaux.
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February 15, 2012 9:01:56 PM

So, this is the final build

Parts:

CPU AMD FX-8150 8 CORE CPU @3.6GHz (previously... AMD FX-8120 8 CORE CPU @3.1GHz)
MB ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX AM3+
MEMORY CORSAIR DOMINATOR DDR3 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz (CORSAIR VENGEANCE DDR3 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz)
VIDEO ECS GTX580 (MGTX580-1536PI-F) (X2)
MONITOR Viewsonic VX2453MH-LED
PSU SENTEY 900W SLI-READY

Overclocking: Eventually Yes, not at first

SLI : Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I've been using my rig for about a week and performance in games is out of this world... skyrim runs smoother and beautiful than ever with everything maxed out and using modded high res textures and the gome doesnt chop even once.

Peoples' main concern is that BD is being outperformed by i7 even i5 sandy bridge. The main reason for that being the case is because of software limitation, not hardware. In due time when benchmarking software uses more threads im sure performace will increase and even surpass SB.

This rig was meant to last and I'm confident my selection of components will make that happen.

Thanks everyone for your input... its was considered and much appreciated.
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