Revised spec check

Soldato
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So I was initially looking at getting back into the scene and building an Intel machine so I could run OS X on a more powerful machine along with my mac, but after looking at what AMD have to offer, it looks like they're still the best bang for buck, so I'm willing to lose hackingtosh functionality for the value for money AMD still seem to deliver.

I don't really want to spend the money on a 2500K for what is basically a toy, as I'll still use my mac for most stuff, but having a gaming rig again would be nice.

And since 2500K is out of the question, it was either a locked i3 2100 or a i3 540, but looking at AMD, I could get a X4 965 or X6 1055T within budget instead.

So locked multiplier aside, I would assume the 1055T is going to give me the better performance of the two even if I clocked the 965?

The spec I've come up with is

Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition or AMD Phenom II X6 1055T

G-Skill 4GB (2x2gb) DDR3 Ripjaws 1600mhz 9-9-9-24 1.5V

MSI R6850 Cyclone Power Edition

Corsair 500W CX PSU

So any input on the 965 or 1055T decision would be appreciated, and a overall compatibility/value check.

No "product X is only Y more than product Z" please :p

I can get the above for £405-£420 depending on which CPU I get, so if you have any hardware suggestions, it'll need to keep the budget under that.

Thanks a lot :)
 
Soldato
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if its just going to be for gaming, then go for the Phenom 955. its exactly the same as the 965, but its just had the default clock speed slowed down.

also, theres nothing wrong with the OCZ ram, and it can save you a tonne of money.

i assume you only need a processor, motherboard, ram, PSU and graphics card for under £420, and that you have a DVD drive, hard drive and case you can nick from previous rigs.

with that, here is what ive come up with:

Your basket
Product Name Qty Price Line Total
MSI ATI Radeon HD 6850 Cyclone Power Edition 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £149.99
(£124.99) £149.99
(£124.99)
AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition "125W Edition" 3.20GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail £98.39
(£81.99) £98.39
(£81.99)
Asus M4A88T-M AMD 880G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £59.99
(£49.99) £59.99
(£49.99)
BeQuiet Pure Power L7 530W Power Supply £42.98
(£35.82) £42.98
(£35.82)
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Ultra Low Voltage Dual Channel Kit (OCZ3P1600C9ELV4GK) £34.99
(£29.16) £34.99
(£29.16)
Sub Total : £321.95
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £10.00
VAT is being charged at 20.00% VAT : £66.39
Total : £398.34
(£386.34 if you get free shipping)


i would wait a little bit before you get this, because the 'this week only' deals are being very unkind to this build right now, which is very unusual.

also, i dont know if you have one already, but i would get something to replace the jet engine that AMD call the standard cooler. it is incredibly loud under load
 
Soldato
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After having a bit more of a think what I would actually use it for, bearing in mind this is a complete frivolty for a bit of fun and to play PC games again :p

And I'm not sure if getting a flash CPU is going to offer value for money in terms of performance. (with regards to games)

I'm not sure if I'll actually get value for money from a flash CPU, so I've come up with this for £350

Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition

MSI 870A-G54

G-Skill 4GB (2x2gb) DDR3 Ripjaws 1600mhz 9-9-9-24 1.5V

MSI R6850 Cyclone Power Edition

Corsair 500W CX PSU

I believe the 555 can also unlock to an X4 if you're lucky? not that I've based the decision on that, but it'd be a good perk if that was the outcome.

So what do you think of this route instead? any flaws in my plan?

Thanks
 
Last edited:
Associate
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1,030
It's true the X2 555 often unlocks to an X4, but don't rely on it- a dual core system at 3.2GHz (maybe a little higher with a decent overclock) is not going to zoom through games, and will be lagging behind your 6850.

Personally, I'd go for the X4 840- it's £77.99 at the moment, so somewhere between the X2BE and the X4BE, and it's a quad core running at 3.2GHz, but without the L3 cache (which doesn't make a huge difference). Due to not being a Black Edition, it will take more effort to overclock and will likely hit lower speeds, but realistically it's not worth spending good money on a cooler/good mobo with a cheap CPU, and stock speeds are still plenty to run your games on.
 
Soldato
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Location
Cambridge
So this is where I'm at now for £390

Asus M4A88T-V EVO

AMD Phenom II X4 840

G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600mhz Ripjaws Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V

ASUS HD 6850 Direct CU 1GB

Corsair 500W CX

Is there any reason to go with the 840 over the 640, as it's the same chip only with 200Mhz slower clock and it's not badged as a Phenom? I could knock another £15 off going with the 640.

And do you think the PSU will be beefy enough to cope with running a second 6850 down the line? my monitor is only 1440x900 so one 6850 should cope for a while yet, but I'd like to add a second when it starts falling behind @ 1440x900

Thanks guys.
 
Associate
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You hit the nail on the head with the 840- it's a slightly higher clocked 640, essentially. It's been popularly recommended recently as both are the same price at the minute, and obviously a higher clock speed is A Good Thing. Where are you getting the £15 saving from?

If you want to run a second graphics card down the line, you're going to need to upgrade your PSU to something like the TX750, which is a considerable expense but a far better PSU, in terms of reliability, performance and power. I wouldn't bother about it myself, however- a 6850 is currently considered plenty enough to run the best games at very high settings at 1900x1200, which is ~78% more pixels than you're using. You'll be good for a few years yet.
 
Soldato
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You hit the nail on the head with the 840- it's a slightly higher clocked 640, essentially. It's been popularly recommended recently as both are the same price at the minute, and obviously a higher clock speed is A Good Thing. Where are you getting the £15 saving from?

If you want to run a second graphics card down the line, you're going to need to upgrade your PSU to something like the TX750, which is a considerable expense but a far better PSU, in terms of reliability, performance and power. I wouldn't bother about it myself, however- a 6850 is currently considered plenty enough to run the best games at very high settings at 1900x1200, which is ~78% more pixels than you're using. You'll be good for a few years yet.

+1, no real difference at all. Based on same core as well. If you can get it £15 cheaper do so!

*Ahem*

XFX Pro 750W Core Edition ~£73.99

£22 cheaper, and only difference is the fact the TX750W is modular.

You are ofc correct though, I'm nowhere near to even taxing my HD6870 (@1440x900 :() - most I've ever seen it work was 35% :eek:

I'd also get a HD5850 TwinFrozR rather than the HD6850 CU - it's faster and cheaper :)
 
Last edited:
Associate
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Okay okay, there are brands other than Corsair for PSUs. I can't stick my head in the sand forever :p

But Cookeh- can it play Crysis?
 
Associate
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I may have been talking about the graphics card, but I'm glad to hear that XFX PSUs overclock so well.

You may be interested in checking the feedback on this microwave. Although only $75, apparently people are managing to get it to 3.2GHz on AIR.
 
Soldato
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What do you think of the OCZ Stealth Xstream II 600W for 2 x 6850s down the line?

As I can get that for £5 more over the 500CX.

psug.png


There is the Coolermaster 650GX for £10 more, but I can't find the specs on this, and I don't remember Coolermaster PSU's having many advocates.

Edit: looks like the 6850 draws 229 at load, so 229 x 2 = 458w, which isn't going to leave a lot for the rest of the system under load.

I will probably address that situation if I do run a second card then, and just go for my original choice, unless anyone has a suggestion for £45-55?
(No Q-Tec plzkthxbi :p)
 
Last edited:
Associate
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23 Sep 2010
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1,030
Just go for your original spec. You're going to want at least 750W to run two 6850s, and besides, you're not going to need them anyway.

By the time your 6850 starts struggling, you'll likely be better off buying a brand new GPU from 2015 or whatever for the same price, which of course will need a new PSU anyway.
 
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