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Thread: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

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    Smile New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Hi Guys

    I was planning a new build using:
    - Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H 785G Socket AM3
    - AMD Athlon II X4 630 Socket AM3 2.8GHz - overclock to 3.6GHz
    - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
    - Antec 300 Three Hundred Case
    - Kingston 2gb Ddr3 1600mhz Hyperx

    1TB drive, probably a Samsung.

    All other components I have including a 500W Corsair PSU

    The main thing about the above is I have a ATI HD 5870 graphics card already that needs to fit (it wont fit inside my current case), according to http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=106242 the Antec case will be fine, I'm on a tight budget so I think the above should give me the best value.

    I'm also not sure if I need a special motherboard for my graphics card, looking at the picture on ebuyer I dont think anything should interfere with the graphics card..

    Any advice with the above will be much appreciated as I havent built a PC for years and not up to date on the latest technologies

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Is this rig going to be mostly used for gaming? If so you might be better off swapping the Athlon II X4 for an x3, or even a Phenom II X2 - very few games make best use of 4 cores yet. Also, I'd recommend going for a simpler motherboard: since you won't need onboard graphics this MSI 770-C45 would do the job. Put the money saved from those changes into getting 4GB of RAM, which should be the absolute minimum you're thinking of putting in there.

    Your real problem is that, if you're on a tight budget, your build is always going to be very lopsided - the 5870 is always going to be a long way ahead of the rest of your components. Frankly you might be better off selling the 5870 and using the money from that, plus your existing budget, to spec a more balanced build including a Phenom II X4 and a slightly lower spec graphics card...

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    What budget does the OP have??


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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Actually dont need the 1TB drive, dont want to spend much more then what all those components come to, about £250 I would say unless it makes a massive difference to the system.

    I'm not much of a gamer but when games like Battlefield 2 come out I always find my graphics card cant handle it so my thinking is with this card I Should be able to play all future games for another 3 years, is that wishful thinking?

    I really do not want to sell the graphics card, scaryjim are you saying my components will be a bottle neck for the graphics card? (I thought the spec above was pretty high and should compliment it well!) RAM I will probably up to 4GB

    If it is a bottleneck is there anything I can change for not too much money to make it perform better, PS bear in mind the CPU will be overclocked to 3.6GHz so it should be pretty fast.
    Last edited by corp_jones; 10-03-2010 at 10:56 AM.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    tbh, while a lower end Athlon II system probably would bottleneck a 5870, you wouldn't currently notice it in gameplay, as you'd still be spitting out well above 60fps at anything below 2560x1600. However, if you're looking to keep the system for at least 3 years then having a lower spec subsystem now will mean that it will start to become a noticable bottleneck sooner - almost certainly before the 5870 starts being the bottleneck in your games. The thing is, unless you're using a 30" WUXGA+ monitor with full IQ (or you're planning on playing over 2 or 3 screens with eyefinity) the 5870 is massive overkill - it just sits there twiddling bemused transistors!

    A Phenom II has a lot more cache memory than an Athlon II, which helps with most games - IMNSHO it'd be well worth sacrificing one or two cores for that (unless you have other workloads that specifically benefit from multicore processors). The Phenom II X2 545 is only £65 at ebuyer - Phenom II X3s are, sadly, much harder to find nowadays, but if you could get one for < £100 that'd be your best option. Otherwise your best option is a 965BE @ ~ £140. I think the extra investment would be well worth it if you're looking to keep this PC for 3 years. Don't forget that overclocking is never guaranteed so while Athlon / Phenom CPUs can get to 3.6GHz you shouldn't spec a build relying on that.

    The spec you've suggested is far more midrange than high: if you were talking about pairing it with a 5770 it would be very well balanced. But it's a long way from high end - as is any AMD build currently. Even a top-end Phenom II 965 in an enthusiast-targetted 790FX motherboard can only just match Intel's mid-range parts. The fact that you're talking about a system budget that is significantly smaller than your GFX budget should tell you something!

    If I was you, I'd dig a little deeper into those pockets and go for something like: Phenom II X4 925 (£113), ASUS M4A77TD PRO (£65), 4GB Crucial DDR3-1333 (£80)... you'll be looking at a much more long-lasting PC that way. With computers you almost always get what you pay for...

    p.s. should say, it's always worth checking the SCAN Today Only pages for bargains

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    I'll probably go for the better processor, do you think if I stick with this graphics card, in 3 years time will it still be a good graphics card or will it struggle with the latest games.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Do you intend to overclock the processor??


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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Yes, thats why I thought the Athlon II would be sufficient as that can go to 3.6GHz, however it doesnt have the L3 cache so I guess that makes a difference

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Pretty sure the 5870 doesn't fit in a 300.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    From a quuick google search, it will fit.

    I can confirm that cases that take 10.5" graphics cards will be able to take 11" graphics cards too.

    I've heard that L3 cache is faster for gaming than L2 cache too but when you mention that you don't play that many games it's hard to decide which to go for, quad core Athlon vs trip core Athlon vs dual core Phenom.

    Obviously a quad core Phenom would be the best bet such as the one suggest above (Phenom II X4 925)

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    I'll go for the Phenom II x4, any gamers know if this card will still play games at top settings 3 years on?, thats crucial for me as it may not be worth keeping if not.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    I would probably go for the Phenom II X4 955BE for a few quid more:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190673

    Only a few graphics cards in the past have been able to run games at decent settings for years - they were the 9700 Pro and the 8800GTX. The HD5850 1GB when overclocked to the same default clocks as the HD5870 1GB seems to have similar performance AFAIK.


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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    If you look at the benchmarks in this thread on tomshardware regarding CPU performance you can see that even on Crysis the Phenom 965 is performing comparably to competition from Intel.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/core-i...w-31832-8.html

    Of course this game is heavily GPU bound and a few of the other games they test showed some difference but still I think the 965 should be a pretty capable CPU for your needs.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Quote Originally Posted by corp_jones View Post
    Yes, thats why I thought the Athlon II would be sufficient as that can go to 3.6GHz
    No, no, no, no, no. Forget this straight off the bat. Whoever is telling you this is misleading you. They can hit those clock speeds, but at the same time you might not even get 100MHz extra out of the chip. Been there, done that, had a crap processor for 18 months.

    When I bought my first rig I picked up an Athlon X2 BE-2300 and a Biostar motherboard. Reports had this 1.9GHz chip hitting 3.2GHz+ on that board, Anandtech even did a review of the two showing this. Problem was, even after buying a good aftermarket cooler (Xigmatech S1283) I still couldn't get the thing past 2.3GHz. It sucked. I then replaced the whole lot last year with a mITX rig with an Intel E5200. Again, a well reputed overclocker. The chip, even on a different motherboard, wouldn't go past 2.8GHz. Some chips won't. Ever.

    When you see overclocking figures, think of them as a potential nice bonus, rather than the performance that you will get. Buy something that will do the job without an overclock. It'll save you from having a nerfed rig.

    I'd expect the 5870 will be fine for a long while yet, but it depends on the resolution you plan to game at. I picked up an x1950 XTX second hand for my first rig and it was still able to do most games justice at 1440x900 when I sold it (almost 3 years after release). I'm not talking max settings, but reasonable. I'd expect the 5870 to be similar in a few years.

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    Lightbulb Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Quote Originally Posted by McPhee View Post
    Snip...
    As far as i can tell he's talking about the 45nm Athlon II X2 - not the old Athlon X2's. There is a big difference in the ability to overclock these 2 different architectures.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
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    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: New build to fit ATI 5870 :)

    Hmm, can I fit a 5870 into a http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/62994...7-860-quad-co? , lol, its a good deal and i'm tempted to get that instead, problem with Dell's is I dont think I Can transfer components into another case

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