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Windows 7: Requesting tips on building PCs

03 Jun 2010   #51
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Don't get overly concerned with the type of graphics memory any particular card has; it's really unimportant. Just because card A has GDDR5 does not mean that it's better than a card with GDDR3. You have to look at how the card performs in games because there's a lot more to it than just the type of memory it uses.

Seek out video card benchmarks to see how one card plays games vs another. Since performance can sometimes vary from game to game, if possible, seek out benches of your favorite games.

1156 is a type of socket. Cpu's fit onto motherboards via a socket. For example, Core 2 Duo's are LGA 775, i5's are 1156 and high end i7's are 1366. Current AMD's use the AM3 socket.

As you read you'll get more familiar with this ever changing aspect of cpus.
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04 Jun 2010   #52
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post

Three questions I always ask myself vis--vis benchmarking or so-called top-ten lists of anything:

1. On what kind of setup was the component tested;
2. How was the component put through its paces;
3. What does all of this matter to me and my intended application?
Very true.

Using graphic card benchmarks as a reference:

The FPS results of CARD A may make you go 'wow' - until you realise that the base test system is some highly overclocked beast in which you would never achieve similar results in your own machine with the same CARD A.

Settings such as drivers, resolutions, xAnti-Aliasing, xAnisotropic Filtering etc used also have a big impact on results.

You have to base your judgment on what comes the closest to your machine specs and intended usage.

It's also similar to synthetic CPU/RAM tests. Often that big 'wow' number equates to no discernible difference in 'real world usage'.

****

I've glossed through the thread, so forgive me if this question has been asked:

What is the Primary intended use for this new machine?

► Pure gaming, good all rounder etc?

► And how long do you plan to use this machine before another complete upgrade?

► Down the track, do you ever plan to run a multiple GPU set up? (Crossfire/SLI)

► Down the track, (once researched a little more ) do you plan to ever overclock?



Either way, A 4 core should be a realistic minimum for 'longevity'. DDR3 for ram and a motherboard with USB 3.0 and SATA III. (The latter is if you are planning to planning to keep the machine for several years)


As it's already been pointed out, more and more applications and games are starting to benefit from the extra cores. Dual core CPU's are starting to show their limitations.




AMD / AM3 = Great selection of mobos + wider range of compatible CPU's.

More 'upgrade path' options depending on chosen motherboard. ie an AMD Phenom II 955 overclocks well but can still be replaced by the new hexa-cores.

Intel 775 = Essentially End of Life, but a Q9xx + DDR3 + CARD X will still deliver good gaming/desktop performance. However, since it's E.O.L, I'd personally rule out a 775 based system.

Intel 1156 = Great selection of boards, but virtually non-existent upgrade path as it also already superseded.

However an OC'ed 750 will still give great performance for gaming/desktop usage.

However, one limitation here is that the P55 chipset does not allow for for full x16/x16 of crossfired/SLI'ed cards. This is not a real big issue for current gen cards, but will become one in times to come.

Intel 1366 = Again, great selection of mobos', but also already superseded. The only real 'upgrade option' is intels hexacore, the the i7 980x (and rumored 970). However the 1366 socket set up is not bang for buck.


Realistically, the 'bang for buck field' is either a choice between an AMD/AM3 based socket, or an intel 1156 based socket. Both setups will still be quite uesfull for several years yet.

TBH, all the above sockets are already out-dated - but waiting another X of months is never ending process.


At this stage, the video card choice should not be that important.

There are plenty of cheap and decent cards currently available from both camps that will suffice until the next ATI/NVIDIA release. Even if you don't buy one of the 'new cards' - the price will drop on current 'flagship' cards.
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04 Jun 2010   #53
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

@FlatLin3D


All I am saying in response to your question is that the gfx RAM in question is properly referred to as GDDR3 not DDR3 although people use the latter more often than not.

So technically speaking GDDR3 is the RAM on the gfx card, DDR3 is your system RAM. They are entirely different.

Monk
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.

04 Jun 2010   #54
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

True, if the base system is, for example, a highly clocked 1366 i7 to test out graphics cards, and yours is an Athlon X2 or X3, then you cannot look at those results and expect to get the same. However, those types of tests will tell you which card is faster than which, and decreasing clock speed and/or cpu strength isn't going to change the dynamics of the test. A 5970 is still going to be the fastest video card on the market whether you pair it with that 3.7GHz i7 or the X2. You won't get the same FPS running the X2, but you will know that you can't do any better as long as you have the X2.

I respectfully disagree though with the idea that the AM3 is better in terms of an upgrade path. It's not that there aren't more options, there certainly are, it's that all of the AMD options perform worse than the i5. That would leave you paying for two cores and still not getting the same performance than if you had initially spent the extra $20.00 for the i5.

Currently, an i5 at stock clocks beats the Phenom II X4 965 Black edition even when the Phenom is clocked to 4GHz. If that weren't impressive enough, the i5, again at stock clocks, beats the 6 Core Phenom 1090 in 3 out of 4 of these benches.

Six Cores from AMD: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition and Phenom II X6 1055T CPU Review (page 6) - X-bit labs
Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition ver. 2.0: AMD Introduces C3 Processor Stepping (page 7) - X-bit labs

Quote:
The results indicate that the new LGA1156 Lynnfield processors boast the best gaming potential among all tested mainstream solutions. It even comes to the point when Core i5-750 processor working in nominal mode (with enabled Turbo Boost technology) easily outpaces Phenom II X4 965 processor overclocked to 4.0 GHz. Unfortunately, this is pretty sad for AMD proving one more time that Stars (K10) microarchitecture is inevitably becoming outdated.
The fact that the 6 core Intel is crushing the competition, by almost double the fps in some cases, negates any suggestion that the games aren't optimized for 6 cores; this only means that this is an accurate demonstration of the cpu strength AMD brings to the table.
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04 Jun 2010   #55
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post

I respectfully disagree though with the idea that the AM3 is better in terms of an upgrade path. It's not that there aren't more options, there certainly are, it's that all of the AMD options perform worse than the i5. That would leave you paying for two cores and still not getting the same performance than if you had initially spent the extra $20.00 for the i5.

Currently, an i5 at stock clocks beats the Phenom II X4 965 Black edition even when the Phenom is clocked to 4GHz. If that weren't impressive enough, the i5, again at stock clocks, beats the 6 Core Phenom 1090 in 3 out of 4 of these benches.
I was just trying to be unbiased and give alternative options mate.

I probably could have expanded more, but it was hard to concentrate with my GF talking non-stop into my ear while I was typing - although I did mention that 4 cores should be a minimum
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04 Jun 2010   #56
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post

I was just trying to be unbiased and give alternative options mate.
Kudos to you mate!

There are an abundance of gurus in life poised to heap onto the unsuspecting what they SHOULD buy or what is the BEST thing to buy. In so doing, they ignore manifold viable options, all of whose pros, cons, cost, and consequences (performance) are best weighed by the buyer with a focus on what is best for him or her.

Those of us who have obtained a modicum of wisdom appreciate that, when there are viable options, there is NEVER a best thing to do - EXCEPT - what is best for us.

I am not a judge but I dare say, mate, you have, at least, achieved that modicum of wisdom.

Monk
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04 Jun 2010   #57
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
I was just trying to be unbiased and give alternative options mate.

I probably could have expanded more, but it was hard to concentrate with my GF talking non-stop into my ear while I was typing - although I did mention that 4 cores should be a minimum
Oh I got it; no worries... I'm just trying to counterbalance the AMD fanboyism with a little performance fanboyism. It's a long thread, and I think the OP's intended use may have been forgotten? Great game performance. Help me out here... how badass is that i7 of yours?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
There are an abundance of gurus in life poised to heap onto the unsuspecting what they SHOULD buy or what is the BEST thing to buy. In so doing, they ignore manifold viable options, all of whose pros, cons, cost, and consequences (performance) are best weighed by the buyer with a focus on what is best for him or her.
Yep.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
What do I do: 1. First choose CPU... I ALWAYS choose AMD...
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05 Jun 2010   #58
HMonk

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post


1. First choose CPU (brain): what, whose. For my very specific reasons, which are not germane to this thread, per se, I ALWAYS choose AMD. Here, rather than trying to be provocative, I anticipate rejoinders to the contrary, which will enforce my point that everyone has their own/borrowed opinions. The question that needs to be answered is always, "What do you want?"

@Fumz: To me, quoting people out of context - to a self-aggrandizing end - bespeaks an unbecoming intellectual dishonesty. That, of course, is just my opinion. Regardless, the entire quote, above, is consistent with my philosophy of assisting people in finding their own way, i.e., "What do you want?". My quote clearly acknowledges that my opinions (vis--vis AMD) "are not germane." Furthermore, by anticipating that "rejoinders to the contrary" would ensue, I aptly pointed out that "everyone has their own/borrowed opinions." What I did not anticipate was dogma.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2010   #59
johnwillyums

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Don't fall out guys. you're both posting really good stuff that will help the O.P.
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05 Jun 2010   #60
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Intellectually dishonest? Pot, meet kettle.

Monk,

I didn't take you out of context. You've gone on and on, sometimes making bold entire posts, about doing one's due diligence in order to get good parts capable of doing what you want them to. You've stressed, over and over, the importance of finding out what does what best, and to not only look at things like cpu strength, but also power consumption and all the other factors that lead one to an informed decision. However, in the end, you ignore all your own advice and always buy brand X.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
1. First choose CPU (brain):I ALWAYS choose AMD.
2. Next I choose mobo (skeleton): I ALWAYS choose ASUS. Why? Doesn't matter.
3. Next I choose gfx card. I ALWAYS choose ATi for very specific reasons.
I'm sorry, but brand X simply is not always the best option. Unless you're really biased, you've got to allow yourself to be more flexible and open minded when buying parts. Some years company A does better, some years it's B... such is life.

This is a thread about best bang for your buck gaming performance. I gave the OP the generally recognized answer to his question, and I backed up my statements with sources. To this, you replied:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
Three questions I always ask myself vis--vis benchmarking or so-called top-ten lists of anything:

1. On what kind of setup was the component tested;
2. How was the component put through its paces;
3. What does all of this matter to me and my intended application?

Finally, the next time you drive down the street, notice how many different mfrs, models, styles, colors, and types of vehicles you see. Then come back to this forum and, in the Chillout Room, start a thread asking what kind of vehicle you might consider. Believe it or not, you will find there are people who tell you what you SHOULD buy.
Really? Answering the man's question and supporting that answer with sources, in your view, becomes, "telling him what he should buy?" There was something skewed with testing methodology in the links I provided? Really? Intellectually dishonest indeed... and a wee bit passive-aggressive.

You've been quite the advocate for AMD. Why? You don't say; you only suggest that it isn't germane. Perhaps it is? Perhaps it might help us understand what would motivate you to make such a patently false statement:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
I prefer gfx quality and stability for gaming and AMD CPUs/mobos and ATi gfx cards are designed with each other in mind.
Care to back that up with sources? The implication, obviously, being that ATI cards run better on AMD chipsets... so show us. Throw up a link or two that demonstrates ATI cards running better on AMD chipsets. Honestly, it's a ridiculous statement just on it's face. Even my 12 year old nephew knows that ATI's drivers have been causing great instability since before he was born.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HMonk View Post
As of this writing, there are very few apps that take advantage of four core processors; similarly, there are very few apps written for x64. Regardless, very few people use computers for the type of work that require the extraordinary capability offered by really high-end CPUs (e.g., serious number crunching, video editing). My bottom line: until I join NASCAR, I do not need a car with 750HP.
Wrong. Gaming is the NASCAR of the computing world, and again, this thread is about gaming performance... besides, the fact you're OC'ing your core and running crossfire is more than enough to kill your own argument to the contrary. You're certainly not overclocking because you need to craft well written letters to the condo association.

Any game using the Unreal Engine will benefit from quads; this has been true for a number of years now. Any console port will benefit from quad cores because they are written for multi-core systems. Most all games currently being developed will take advantage of quad cores. Just because every game ever made can't take advantage of quads doesn't mean you shouldn't get one.

Instead of rejecting my posts on the i5 out of hand, maybe you would have been better served following the links I provided? You would have found out about all the sweet gaming goodness that is Turbo-Boost.

At least I know what my bias is; it's always been towards price/performance... so if you, or some other guy comes in advocating AMD's when they're not really the best bang for the buck, and I can prove they aren't, try and not get offended, and try and refrain from tossing up thinly veiled insults.
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