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Old October 3, 2011, 08:27 AM
great_big_abyss's Avatar
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Default My new Bulldozer build

So this morning I ordered most of my new parts. I'll be building around the new AMD FX-8150 when it finally comes out in a couple of weeks.

CPU: AMD 'Zambezi' FX-8150 (Backordered)
Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 (Shipped)
Memory: Corsair DDR3 2x4GB 1600MHZ 8-8-8-24 Vengeance Series (Arrived)
GPU: Asus 5830 (existing from old system)
Case: Thermaltake V4 black Edition (existing from old system)
Storage: WD Caviar Black 500GB - Operating System and installs (existing from old system)
Storage: WD Caviar Green 1TB - media storage (existing from old system)
Storage: WD Caviar Green 2 TB - media storage (Arrived)
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (Arrived)
PSU: Sparkle SPI700ACHB (Arrived)

What do y'all think? Should be capable of playing BF3, right? <<--that's a little bit of sarcasm

The only weak point (I think) will be my existing 5830 V-card. I'm wondering if I should get another 5830 (for cheap by now) and crossfire them, or wait and splurge a little more on a 6970.

The worst bit will be having the shiny new parts and not being able to put them together for lack of a processor. Arrrgh.

I'm upgrading from my (ancient) AMD Phenom X4 9750, M2A-VM system running 32-bit XP.

Edit: All my components (save the processer) have arrived. I'm going to install everything and use my phenom quad-core in the meantime. At least this way I'll be running Windows 7, and will be able to experience DX11 for the first time ever. Yay.

Last edited by great_big_abyss; October 6, 2011 at 07:44 AM.
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:04 AM
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X-firing 5830's at this point is not worth it.

Save your money and get a single 6970. AMD and Xfire are pretty broken right now with the new CCC Drivers too so...yeah single solution for AMD is best.

-ST
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:37 AM
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I'm going to have to mirror ST's response.

You should try to go for the single card solutions, especially since the 6970 will have more then double the vRam your 5830s have, won't have micro stutter and well you wont have to deal with the xfire being unreliable at best right now.
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:53 AM
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Okay,

That's probably what I'll do. NCIX is listing the ASUS 6970 at $415, and the 6950 at $329.

I'll probably wait a couple of months and see if those prices come down a little. I might even wait until the 7000 series come out, and purchase a 6900 card for even less.

I wonder if the 6970 is worth the extra $$$ over the 6950?

In the interim, will my 5830 be okay? I run a 24" monitor with 1920x1200 resolution. I play games such as Civ5, DAII, and when it comes out, BF3.
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Old October 3, 2011, 09:59 AM
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I don't know if you'll be alright running it at that resolution with the game above medium settings to be honest. The amount of video ram needed for some of these new games along with the processing power may cause you to run it a lower resolution or quality setting.

The 6970 is worth the extra over the 6950 due in part to the fact it has on average 1GB more video ram, which is beneficial to hose playing at higher resolutions with everything cranked to the max. Also the 6970 is a more powerful card then the 6950.

If you're fine with reference design you can find the xfx 6970 for about 330$ after MIR with ncix: NCIX.com - Buy XFX Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI 2x Mini DisplayPort Video Card - XFX - HD697ACNFC - in Canada
which you could price match with http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/23...HD697ACNFC/and get it for 320$ after MIR

You can also get the Gigabyte one for 360$ : NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte Radeon HD 6970 900MHZ 2GB 5.5GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port PCI-E DIRECTX11 Video Card - Gigabyte - GV-R697OC-2GD - in Canada
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Old October 5, 2011, 01:15 PM
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So, the 8150 has been paid for and backordered. Only a matter of time until it gets shipped, now.
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Old October 5, 2011, 11:11 PM
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Get a single card. The 6970 is not much better than the 6950 in performance. But it does use better VRAM.
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Old October 6, 2011, 05:59 AM
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I'll ask this since I am sure many are wondering the same thing: why would you buy a new mobo and memory for a processor you don't know the performance of? Wait a week or so, analyze the performance and THEN make your decision.
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Old October 6, 2011, 07:47 AM
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It's a risk I'm willing to take. Plus, if the FX is a flop, the architecture is good for pretty much any other AMD processor.
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Old October 6, 2011, 08:32 AM
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Understood.

However, without breaking NDA I can give you some advice.

Which BIOS does your board come with?

Based on our experience with the Bulldozer processors, if it is 0503 or earlier you will want to update the BIOS to 0705 BEFORE installing the new processor. That will mean using an older AMD processor in the system before installing Bulldozer.
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