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  • Critique this build

    So recently my laptop's video card has displayed symptoms of dying a slow and painful death. I have an ASUS G60Jx laptop. The card is a Nvidia Geforce GTS360M 1GB, which is a mobile conversion of the revered GTX260. This thing has run Black Ops, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 like a champ, but the time has come to retire the whole machine and build a brand new desktop. I'm experienced with hardware, and have built several workstations for friends and schools, and two gaming quality desktops for friends.

    Of course, I'd be a fool not to take advantage of the collective of knowledge and experience here. I've recently begun putting parts together piecemeal to see what I come up with, and figured I ought to bounce some ideas off of you all. The only conditions on this build: I'd like to keep the cost under $1000 and this is going to be a AM3+ based system. I am planning on overclocking whatever CPU is decided on. Here's what I have so far:

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922M ATX Black Mid-Tower Case
    Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AMD AM3+ TUF Motherboard
    CPU: AMD FX-6100 Six Core 3.3GHz
    CPU Cooler: Corsair CWCH60 Hydro Series H60
    Memory: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Vengeance 8GB PC12800 DDR3 RAM - 1600MHz, 2x4096MB
    GPU: XFX Radeon HD6950 2GB
    PSU: XFX P1650SNLB9 Core Edition Power Supply - 650W
    HDD: Western Digital WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200RPM, 16MB

    Total: ~ $959

    Go ahead and review. Anything I should change or anything that's instantly a red flag? Thanks in advance!

    EDIT again, this is intended to handle Battlefield 3 on medium settings primarily, Firefall, and any other games that come down the line over the next 2-3 years with minor upgrading (such as a second GPU).

    "Over the din of battle could be heard Lancerís maniacal laughter and it spurned us on to stay the course, not to give up, and enjoy." - Grimmfist

  • #2
    Re: Critique this build

    Lance, I know your a fan of the bulldozer but the numbers don't lie, the newer chip series doesn't produce as well as say the 1090T and 1100T....which is why I purchased my 1100T. My advice would be get the AM3+ board.....but install an AM3 chip, at least until the bulldozer chips are better refined. Here is the 1100T against the top of the line FX-8150....the 8150 barely eeks out the 1100T

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=434

    pay particular attention down at the gaming performance about halfway down the chart

    BTW....you college kids have alot more money than us older working class folks.....bastard :)
    "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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    • #3
      Re: Critique this build

      Originally posted by Ven View Post
      Lance, I know your a fan of the bulldozer but the numbers don't lie, the newer chip series doesn't produce as well as say the 1090T and 1100T....which is why I purchased my 1100T. My advice would be get the AM3+ board.....but install an AM3 chip, at least until the bulldozer chips are better refined. Here is the 1100T against the top of the line FX-8150....the 8150 barely eeks out the 1100T

      http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/203?vs=434

      pay particular attention down at the gaming performance about halfway down the chart

      BTW....you college kids have alot more money than us older working class folks.....bastard :)
      Right o. I don't so much mind whether I end up with a Bulldozer or Phenom II, I just think that AMD is at the better price point overall right now for what you get.

      And on the money factor, it's coming out of some savings I've been gradually adding to since I was a kid. I'd like to keep as much of that intact as possible for other purposes though, so I'm working on securing a job for the summer right now. Once that's in the bag I can order the parts for the build.

      The GPU is a bit of a toss up at the moment. I've been an Nvidia user since I started gaming but I've heard good things about the HD6950, especially if you can flash the BIOS to turn it into a 6970. However, I am thinking of one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130651

      "Over the din of battle could be heard Lancerís maniacal laughter and it spurned us on to stay the course, not to give up, and enjoy." - Grimmfist

      Comment


      • #4
        The BIOS flash the way I did it i don't think is possible on current cards. Mine is a first Gen card which actually came with a switch selectable dual BIOS. In position A its a stock 6950. I flashed the other BIOS to 6970 specs and that BIOS is used with the switch in position B. Just a heads up on that. Even at typical 6950 specs its still one of the best bang for buck cards available. Do some homework and call newegg or manufacturers to see if a dual BIOS card is available still. Just fyifyi

        Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk
        "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ven View Post
          The BIOS flash the way I did it i don't think is possible on current cards. Mine is a first Gen card which actually came with a switch selectable dual BIOS. In position A its a stock 6950. I flashed the other BIOS to 6970 specs and that BIOS is used with the switch in position B. Just a heads up on that. Even at typical 6950 specs its still one of the best bang for buck cards available. Do some homework and call newegg or manufacturers to see if a dual BIOS card is available still. Just fyifyi

          Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk
          You are correct VEN. Since drivers update 11+ for AMD they put some type of bios protection in it as I tried to use win flash recently and came across the same problem. However You can still do it by running a DOS command or by booting win flash from a USB stick from the bios.
          sigpic

          Former Pathfinder
          Former ARMA Admin
          Former ARMA TGU instructor
          Former TGU Headmaster
          Current Noob
          Im also pretty bad at World of Tanks -

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Critique this build

            The BIOS flash on the 6950 is one of those things to me that'd be nice to do, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it not being available. :)

            Thanks so far guys, keep the advice coming.

            "Over the din of battle could be heard Lancerís maniacal laughter and it spurned us on to stay the course, not to give up, and enjoy." - Grimmfist

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Critique this build

              Those self-contained water cooling systems are nice, but you could save money with a cheaper CPU cooler
              "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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              • #8
                Re: Critique this build

                actually, I was going to suggest jumping up to the h80. It has the same pump as the top of the line h100, has the same number of fans, and actually has more radiator surface area since it is more than 2x as thick as the h100. the h60 is a 1/2 size h100 radiator with a lesser pump.

                on the h80, my 2500k overclocked to 4.8ghz just hit 54c under HEAVY load, but came back down to 29c within 30 seconds of the load being removed. these are on par with people who have the h100.

                the case looks like my corsair h500 with some more design elements. The only real difference I see is the cable management seems to be just a cutout. that may be a good thing though.
                Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                • #9
                  Re: Critique this build

                  Haha what, isn't the H80 a $100 cooler? Ok look at it this way, does it make sense to pair a $140 CPU with a $100 cooler? Or would it make more sense to put more of your budget into a better CPU and pair it with a cheaper cooler?

                  Personally, I would much rather have a Core i5 2500K ($210) + a $30 Hyper 212+ cooler than the FX-6100 ($140) or a Phenom II + a $100 cooler.
                  "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Critique this build

                    That case is excellent, I used it to build my current system. I'm using a 6970 (Gigabyte manufactured), and it's been a trooper so far. Quiet, fast and stable.

                    I find water-cooling not worth the trouble and limits your upgrades in the future. The airflow in that case is excellent and it's very easy to build in (easy HD install, easy to hide cable runs behind panel).

                    You should be able to max out BF3 on that rig easily.
                    sigpic
                    [squadl][conduct]



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                    • #11
                      Re: Critique this build

                      you do realize that the design you have can run past medium on bf3. I have my build in a few threads below and honestly, I think your build is just fine, though as they have said before, go get a phenom II processor.



                      Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

                      "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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                      • #12
                        Re: Critique this build

                        Originally posted by BeSiege82 View Post
                        you do realize that the design you have can run past medium on bf3. I have my build in a few threads below and honestly, I think your build is just fine, though as they have said before, go get a phenom II processor.
                        Yeah, I have no doubt it'll run high or even ultra but my primary concern is always performance. I'm one of those weird people who would rather have higher framerates than better image quality, so once I load BF3 up on it I'll be messing with video settings a lot until I get a stable 40-50 fps average.

                        I'll look into the H80. I'm thinking I can save some money on the motherboard, and can go with an FX-8120 or a 2500K. Need to look into it a little bit first.

                        Other than cost, is there any overriding reason to not do liquid cooling on the CPU? The way I see it I can spend $30-$50 on a good heatsink and fan or I can spend $60-$80 on a more effective, quieter, liquid cooling solution. Everything I've heard is that Corsair's kits are pretty easy to install, and I'm not seeing a reason not to at this point.

                        I'd forgotten that Motherboards and CPUs are bundled sometimes. Instead of the original Sabertooth+FX6100, how do these look?

                        MSI board and Core i5 2500K: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...442&CatId=6982
                        Gigabyte board and FX-8120: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...309&CatId=7246

                        The main concern I have with the 2500K bundle is the board. It only looks like there's one slot that will take a GPU on there, but I could be wrong. Besides, that's not the only motherboard to choose from :)

                        "Over the din of battle could be heard Lancerís maniacal laughter and it spurned us on to stay the course, not to give up, and enjoy." - Grimmfist

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Critique this build

                          Voodoo is right Lance. The 212 cooler is amazingly good on my OC'd 1100T....I never crack 34C in gaming marathons and at it's price point its amazing
                          "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Critique this build

                            Originally posted by TheLancerMancer View Post
                            Other than cost, is there any overriding reason to not do liquid cooling on the CPU? The way I see it I can spend $30-$50 on a good heatsink and fan or I can spend $60-$80 on a more effective, quieter, liquid cooling solution. Everything I've heard is that Corsair's kits are pretty easy to install, and I'm not seeing a reason not to at this point.
                            The H80 still uses two 120mm fans to cool the radiator so it's not necessarily quieter than a fan-based heatsink and in fact the H80 may even be louder. The H60/H80 will, however, be a little more effective at cooling the CPU.

                            I have nothing against spending a premium on the cooling solution, I just don't think it makes sense to allocate that much of your overall PC budget into the CPU cooler just to pair it with a value oriented CPU. I think in your situation it makes more sense to go with a cheaper cooler to make room in your budget for a better CPU like the Core i5 2500k which should provide better performance particularly down the road.

                            Out of curiosity, are you planning on overclocking your CPU?



                            That MSI board in the bundle you linked is lacking in features. If you're considering an Intel Sandy Bridge platform, I would look at either of these boards depending on what features you need in your motherboard:

                            Asus P8Z68-V LE
                            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131773

                            Asus P8Z68-V/Gen3
                            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131792

                            I always buy Asus, but there are Asrock, Gigabyte and MSI boards that are very good and worth looking into if you have the time to do some research. I would recommend only looking at Z68-based motherboards though, just to limit the scope of your search. The Z68 chipset is the top end, most feature complete chipset for Intel Sandy Bridge processors.
                            "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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                            • #15
                              Re: Critique this build

                              My specs are close to what you have, same cpu cooler, 6950 2gb, am3 motherboard, 8 gb of ram, and I run battlefield 3 maxed out at 1600x900 with my FPS only dipping to 54 at it's lowest and I don't even have a bulldozer. I'm running a phenom II X4 965 Black edition at 3.9 ghz. The parts you posted are great, but what resolution do you plan on playing at?

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