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Old May 24, 2010, 09:50 PM
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Default [New Build] Transitioning in two phases

I have a desire to upgrade to a more current machine and am having difficulty understanding current hardware offerings. My intention is to do the transition from my current machine in two stages:

1. Motherboard, RAM and CPU
2. GPU

With this in mind, I have the following hardware that I believe can transition over:

1. 1KW Corsair PSU
2. 2 x EVGA 8800GTX

My ultimate GPU goal is to purchase an HD 5970 or something equivalent in the future meaning that whatever motherboard and CPU combo I eventually decide on, based on my research and leveraging this excellent community's experience, will have to be able to feed it properly. I would prefer that the solution ends up being multi-GPU friendly as well!

I am comfortable overclocking and am not particularly hellbent on any specific brand. I would like to have a potential upgrade path.

My current understanding of the world (correct or not):

AMD's CPUs, stock, are typically worse in terms of performance versus Intel equivalents but AMD CPUs tend to scale better when overclocked. At the high end, there's no real discernible difference between the two when it comes to gaming performance and FPS numbers. In terms of price point and non-gaming performance, the X6 performs better than i7-9xx series processors save for the ridiculously expensive 980x 6 core offering from Intel. AMD, at the moment, also seems to be more futureproof as Intel changes their socket architecture frequently whereas AMD tends to do the same thing for an extended period of time.

Intel chipset motherboards seem to be universally the way to go when it comes to i7 related computing. The p55 versus x58 board differences don't seem to matter too much except when it comes to multiple GPUs due to PCI-e 16x channels. In my case, x58 seems to support SLi and Crossfire better meaning I could continue to use my 8800s at their full potential while still maintaining the ability to switch to the ATi stuff as they seem to be performing better than nVidia's offerings at the moment. It also provides an upgrade path in the form of adding a second GPU in the future. From a gaming perspective, it appears that GPUs are still the chokepoint for high end gaming and any processor that clocks in at around 3.0GHz will handle something like the HD5970 just fine.

With this in mind, I am looking for a good motherboard, CPU and RAM combination and looking to clarify my understanding on the nature of this stuff so I can understand why suggestions have been made versus others and what sort of upgrade path exists!

Much obliged ahead of time!

Edit: To specifically fit the parameters of the sticky:
Build ETA: One month
Budget: $1000 +- 200 CAD (First phase)
Purchasing location: Canada/USA online or local (depending on final component cost)
Intent: Gaming
Read other threads: Yes, across multiple locations and everyone has conflicting opinions
Plan on overclocking?: Yes
Resolution: 1680x1050 (May double as a media PC in the future)

Last edited by S|nApSE; May 24, 2010 at 09:57 PM.
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S|nApSE View Post
I have a desire to upgrade to a more current machine and am having difficulty understanding current hardware offerings. My intention is to do the transition from my current machine in two stages:

1. Motherboard, RAM and CPU
2. GPU

With this in mind, I have the following hardware that I believe can transition over:

1. 1KW Corsair PSU
2. 2 x EVGA 8800GTX

My ultimate GPU goal is to purchase an HD 5970 or something equivalent in the future meaning that whatever motherboard and CPU combo I eventually decide on, based on my research and leveraging this excellent community's experience, will have to be able to feed it properly. I would prefer that the solution ends up being multi-GPU friendly as well!

I am comfortable overclocking and am not particularly hellbent on any specific brand. I would like to have a potential upgrade path.

My current understanding of the world (correct or not):

AMD's CPUs, stock, are typically worse in terms of performance versus Intel equivalents but AMD CPUs tend to scale better when overclocked. At the high end, there's no real discernible difference between the two when it comes to gaming performance and FPS numbers. In terms of price point and non-gaming performance, the X6 performs better than i7-9xx series processors save for the ridiculously expensive 980x 6 core offering from Intel. AMD, at the moment, also seems to be more futureproof as Intel changes their socket architecture frequently whereas AMD tends to do the same thing for an extended period of time.

Intel chipset motherboards seem to be universally the way to go when it comes to i7 related computing. The p55 versus x58 board differences don't seem to matter too much except when it comes to multiple GPUs due to PCI-e 16x channels. In my case, x58 seems to support SLi and Crossfire better meaning I could continue to use my 8800s at their full potential while still maintaining the ability to switch to the ATi stuff as they seem to be performing better than nVidia's offerings at the moment. It also provides an upgrade path in the form of adding a second GPU in the future. From a gaming perspective, it appears that GPUs are still the chokepoint for high end gaming and any processor that clocks in at around 3.0GHz will handle something like the HD5970 just fine.

With this in mind, I am looking for a good motherboard, CPU and RAM combination and looking to clarify my understanding on the nature of this stuff so I can understand why suggestions have been made versus others and what sort of upgrade path exists!

Much obliged ahead of time!

Edit: To specifically fit the parameters of the sticky:
Build ETA: One month
Budget: $1000 +- 200 CAD (First phase)
Purchasing location: Canada/USA online or local (depending on final component cost)
Intent: Gaming
Read other threads: Yes, across multiple locations and everyone has conflicting opinions
Plan on overclocking?: Yes
Resolution: 1680x1050 (May double as a media PC in the future)

first of all, what are you upgrading from?
8800gtx sli is still ok'ish , 1680 res wise


buy from canada, forget waiting times, fees from usa...

1k for cpu mobo ram is quite a lot lol

not knowing what youre upgrading from, id say get a nice q3440 on a giga or asus mobo since you have the budget.
altough id go am3 if i were you. dual core to booth with, hexa or octo later if needed. mobo wise, giga 780/790/890 all fit in your budget

ram, 4 giga should be ok for now, i thin unless you go 64 bit os.




edit : for the love of god get a nice 24 incher 1920x1080/1200
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Old May 25, 2010, 12:56 AM
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you can start by :
CPU i7 920 or 930 for arround 300$
Intel Core i7 930 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.8GHZ 8MB L3 Cache 130W 45NM Retail Box for 310$ at NCIX
NCIX.com - Buy Intel Core i7 930 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.8GHZ 8MB L3 Cache 130W 45NM Retail Box - BX80601930 In Canada.

MB latest supporting usb3 and sata3 and six core arround 300$
ASUS P6X58D-E X58 ATX LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI CrossFire SLI USB3.0 SATA 6GB/S Motherboard at NCIX for 268$
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS P6X58D-E X58 ATX LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI CrossFire SLI USB3.0 SATA 6GB/S Motherboard - P6X58D-E In Canada.
or EVGA X58 FTW3 ATX LGA1366 DDR3 3PCIE-16 PCI-E1 2PCI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Dual GBLAN Motherboard at NCIX for 320$
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=53414&vpn=132-GT-E768-KR&manufacture=eVGA

4 or 6 GB ram DDR3 for arround 150$
OCZ Gold OCZ3G1600LV6GK 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 CL 8-8-8-24 Triple Channel Memory Kit at NCIX for 180$
NCIX.com - Buy OCZ Gold OCZ3G1600LV6GK 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 PC3-12800 CL 8-8-8-24 Triple Channel Memory Kit - OCZ3G1600LV6GK In Canada.

total of 310+268+180= 758$ for the first upgrade :

keep your 8800gtx sli for the moment than when you sell them uou can get a 5970 for arround 600$ in this forum i think it is possible or get a 5870 at 360$ when you find a deal
you still can make a rpund tour on the net to find better price on thees product you can check canadadirect (free shipping after 300$) and newegg ...
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Old May 25, 2010, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for the product lists. Itll give me a more focused platform to get reading from. I am already on a 790i board so I won't be getting another. :D

Is the socket on Intel CPUs expected to change after the Gulftown offerings?
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Old May 25, 2010, 08:09 AM
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Yes. If you want future proof, then go with the AM3 platform. Some people say that the "Bulldozer" architecture will fit in the AM3 socket just like the original Phenoms fit in AM2 boards.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:37 AM
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I typically only upgrade every three years or so. Maybe it's not really relevant.
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Old May 25, 2010, 07:51 PM
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8 cores are supposed to be a drop in am3/ddr3 boards(bios update maybe)

plus amd is cheaper :) gives you more room for other things..unless you have no limit
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Old May 25, 2010, 08:08 PM
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While amd/ati may be cheaper, I must warn you that they are riddled with tiny inconveniences and bugs, I've had all 4 (intel/amd, nvidia/ati) and I've ended up with intel/nvidia after much buying and selling components. amd chipsets suck, ati drivers and ati cards in general suck. Examples:
-intel platforms load win7 installer instantly. amd has a half hour 'delay' where the pc just appears to sit there, doing who knows what.
-ati 5000's have a tiny vent, I've had first hand experience that this is a huge bottleneck for cooling
-ati chips don't have an integrated heatspreader
-ati chips don't come with a bonus physx chip, which'll save you lots of time, trouble and money from adding in a nvidia card just for physx in a ati rig
-ati/amd 'bang for buck'? BS. You get what you pay for. Much better quality with intel and nvidia. It's not easy to explain, but just try both platforms together and you'll see what I mean.

I know I sound like a fanboi, honestly I'm not. This is genuinely what I feel. If you guys can't tell these differences, then there's nothing wrong at all with buying amd/ati... it's kinda like how I find it strange how audiophiles spend so much on sound hardware, but I respect their choices and I do believe that they can tell the difference between speakers... just had to get this out there to sinapse because it sounds like he's falling for the amd/ati "bang for buck" BS that reviewers throw out there with their 'statistics'.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:26 PM
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I have never owned an AMD processor so I can't really speak on that and initially I was with ATi back in the rage days. I switched over to nVidia as it was more reliable but I've really been unimpressed with my SLi 8800 GTX setup. It just doesn't deliver in my current build although perhaps some other component is bottlenecking it.

I am really only humming and hawing over the idea that the next generation of AMD processors will 'likely' be compatible with today's AM3 boards with a BIOS update. Having the Gulftown processors as the only real possible upgrade is disappointing.

It's also really hard to ignore the gaming benchmarks on ATi cards these days especially versus equivalent nVidia offerings. It can't be that bad if nearly every tech website I've visited has been reporting similar performance.
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Old May 25, 2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S|nApSE View Post
It's also really hard to ignore the gaming benchmarks on ATi cards these days especially versus equivalent nVidia offerings. It can't be that bad if nearly every tech website I've visited has been reporting similar performance.
Blow up a red barrel while running an "ati equivalent" of a nvidia card. I dare you. One word for that: slideshow. Anything that requires physx, ati will give you a slideshow. When no physx is required (such as walking around doing nothing), ati gives you a shit load of frames when you don't even need it. Why? It boosts up benchmark scores with average FPS. The way the should really measure game playability is with "maximum time between frames" while driving around blowing up barrels and tanks.

ATI is like a car with a very high maximum speed, but horrible acceleration and handling... just a metaphor
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