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New Mobo/CPU

ZolgarZolgar Member Posts: 533

I'm using:

 

Asus M4A78T-E

AMD PHenom II 955 BE

PSU Corsair 650TX (if that matters)

 

I was consideriing going for an i7. Or should I hold out for Bulldozer? I know the i7 has hyperthreading, which from what I understand, allows programs that can use multiple cores, to use them better, which is a definite plus for me. I also don't kjnow enough about Bulldozer though. I would prefer to stick with Intel though, so I can run Nvidia cards in SLI (I'm more familiar with Nvidia, only having used an ATI card in an older laptop once), seeing as how the Nvidia drivers won't let SLI work on an AMD chipset.

 

$500 is my limit.

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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,294

    I'd question why there's a need to upgrade just yet.  A Phenom II X4 955 is still a decently nice processor, and people will still buy it new today, as it's a good value at $120.

    Hyperthreading means that you can have two threads run on a single physical core.  What the processor tries to do is to have another thread ready to have ways to fill in the gaps when the processor would otherwise be idle because the scheduler isn't able to always keep it busy.  Hyperthreading only helps if you're running something that would scale well to more physical cores than you have, and most programs do not scale well to more than four cores.

    Furthermore, even when hyperthreading does help, it's not nearly as good as having two real cores.  There are probably some very pathological cases where hyperthreading will double performance, but there are also pathological cases where hyperthreading will actually hurt performance.  Intel only claims a performance improvement of up to 30%, and even that's only for programs that would scale perfectly to eigth cores if you had them, and even some such programs don't see anywhere near that improvement.

    If you are running programs that scale well to more than four cores, then you might want to wait for Zambezi to launch.  AMD has said both Q2 2011 and summer, and the overlap between those is about ten days, so that pins down the release date pretty tightly.  High bins of Zambezi will have eight real integer cores, and that should handily beat four cores plus hyperthreading, unless the architecture is unexpectedly a complete disaster.

    Furthermore, you'll be able to pair Zambezi with AMD's upcoming high end 990FX chipset, which will be by far the best chipset on the market.  Nvidia will enable SLI on at least some 990FX and 990X chipset motherboards, which they're basically forced to do, as the alternative would be Nvidia to basically kill off SLI.  The 990FX chipset will have the proper PCI Express bandwidth for two simultaneous PCI Express 2.0 x16 connections, as well as USB 3.0 and SATA 3 built into the SB950 southbridge.

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3894#ov

    That look official enough for you?  :)

  • ZolgarZolgar Member Posts: 533

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    That look official enough for you?  :)

    Yes sirree.  :D

     

    Hmmm. I think 8 cores might be a bit of overkill for me. Unless the DX11 multi-threading can make use of 8 cores? OR would that be dependant on what the developers do?

     

    I actually have a spare GTX 460 SC laying around, and that's why I wanted to switch over to Intel, so I can actually use it with the GTX 460 SC I'm using right now. Which, again, from my understanding, which given isn't very much, is the same as a GTX 580, but would run cooler.

     

    Most of the stuff I do outside of gaming is based around using 3DS Max, Maya, Blender, a few engines (Cryengine, UDK, and Unity), as well as multiple IDE's. So I really doubt that 8 cores is needed, at least not any time soon.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,294

    You could also consider getting a 990X or 990FX motherboard while keeping the same processor.  That will let you use SLI without having to buy a new processor, too. You'd then be ready to upgrade the processor separately in the future if you decide that becomes necessary.  Do be aware that replacing the motherboard may force you to replace the OS license, though.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    why do you need a new mobo/chip?  what other hardware do you have? 

  • ZolgarZolgar Member Posts: 533

    Originally posted by psyclum

    why do you need a new mobo/chip?  what other hardware do you have? 

    Asus M4A78T-E

    Amd Phenom II 955 BE

    Corsair TX650 PSU

    2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz Ripjaws

    EVGA GTX 460 SC 1GB

    WD Caviar Black 500GB 6GB/s

    Crucial 64GB SSD

     

    Like I said, I have that spare GTX 460 SC laying around (I want to use that for SLI, seeing as how I already have it, and it'd be just as good as a 580 I imagine), and if the 990FX will work with everything else I have, then I'll pick that up, that way I'm good to go when/if I need to upgrade the CPU later.

     

    And that's due to launch within the next month or so, correct?

     

    Also, is there a guesstimate on the price of the 990FX?

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,294

    So far, there seems to be more leaks about Zambezi than Llano.  For example, Gigabyte has posted the Socket AM3+ with 900 series chipsets for Zambezi on their web site, but not the socket FM1 motherboards.  If going purely by leaks, one might expect Zambezi to launch before Llano.  I think this is largely because Zambezi is the high end part and Llano is not, so there is more interest in Zambezi.

    We know that Llano will launch on June 14.  We don't know about Zambezi.  My best guess would be June 28.  But it could conceivably launch any day now.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by Zolgar

    Amd Phenom II 955 BE

    Corsair TX650 PSU

    2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz Ripjaws

    EVGA GTX 460 SC 1GB

    WD Caviar Black 500GB 6GB/s

    Crucial 64GB SSD

     

    Like I said, I have that spare GTX 460 SC laying around (I want to use that for SLI, seeing as how I already have it, and it'd be just as good as a 580 I imagine), and if the 990FX will work with everything else I have, then I'll pick that up, that way I'm good to go when/if I need to upgrade the CPU later.

     

    And that's due to launch within the next month or so, correct?

    Quizzy would be better able to advise you on zambezi, however, if the purpose of the upgrade is for SLi, then you may have more to upgrade then just the mobo/chip.   650 powersupply really isnt made for SLi, you may need to bump that up to a 750 or higher to run SLi.   also what kind of case do you have?  does it offer enough cooling airflow for SLi?   once you start down that path, you have to consider if the air intake is filtered so you dont get too much dust into your machine/video cards...

    SLi/xfire is usually something you plan for in the begining of a system build, not really something you upgrade to after you've already built a single vid card system.  the power/heat/airflow requirements for SLi/xfire differs drasticlly from a single card build. 

  • ZolgarZolgar Member Posts: 533

    Originally posted by psyclum

    Originally posted by Zolgar



    Amd Phenom II 955 BE

    Corsair TX650 PSU

    2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz Ripjaws

    EVGA GTX 460 SC 1GB

    WD Caviar Black 500GB 6GB/s

    Crucial 64GB SSD

     

    Like I said, I have that spare GTX 460 SC laying around (I want to use that for SLI, seeing as how I already have it, and it'd be just as good as a 580 I imagine), and if the 990FX will work with everything else I have, then I'll pick that up, that way I'm good to go when/if I need to upgrade the CPU later.

     

    And that's due to launch within the next month or so, correct?

    Quizzy would be better able to advise you on zambezi, however, if the purpose of the upgrade is for SLi, then you may have more to upgrade then just the mobo/chip.   650 powersupply really isnt made for SLi, you may need to bump that up to a 750 or higher to run SLi.   also what kind of case do you have?  does it offer enough cooling airflow for SLi?   once you start down that path, you have to consider if the air intake is filtered so you dont get too much dust into your machine/video cards...

    SLi/xfire is usually something you plan for in the begining of a system build, not really something you upgrade to after you've already built a single vid card system.  the power/heat/airflow requirements for SLi/xfire differs drasticlly from a single card build. 

    Well if I need another PSU I can always grab an 850W I s'pose, just to be sure.

     

    And my case is a Cooler Master CM690 ATX Mid Tower. I currently have 4 120mm fans (one for the front blowing on the HDD/SSD, 2 on the side on the blowing on my video card/mobo, and one blowing air out the back), and I also have 2 more laying around to blow air out the top if I needed to. There's also another slot for an 80mm fan to blow on the back of the CPU.

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  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,254


    Originally posted by Zolgar


    Originally posted by Quizzical
    That look official enough for you?  :)

    Yes sirree.  :D
     
    Hmmm. I think 8 cores might be a bit of overkill for me. Unless the DX11 multi-threading can make use of 8 cores? OR would that be dependant on what the developers do?

    It's dependent on the developer. DX9 could use all 8 cores (or 12, or whatever number they pick) if the developer chose to structure the code that way.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,294

    A stock GeForce GTX 460 1 GB has a TDP of 160 W.  With a factory overclock, it's likely a little higher than that.  A Phenom II X4 955 has a TDP of 125 W.  You'd likely be looking at a peak system power draw of around 500 W with that system, and typically around 400 W in games that can take full advantage of the hardware.  If that was for a new system, I'd probably favor going with about a 750 W power supply.  But a reasonably good 650 W power supply should have enough power for it.

    The power supply doesn't have enough PCI-E power connectors, though, as it only has two.  Some 650 W power supplies include four PCI-E power connectors, but that one doesn't.  You can use molex -> PCI-E adapters to still hook the video cards up to the power supplies, though.  Sometimes you have to be careful about balancing the load among rails to do that, but with a single +12 V rail design, it should work fine if you have enough molex connectors, which you might not.

    If inclined to replace the power supply, then I don't see any especially good deals.  This would work, I suppose.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021

    But if you're replacing the power supply and the motherboard, and maybe also the OS, when your real concern is better video card performance, then it's just not worth the expense.  You'd probably be better off waiting for Southern Islands or Kepler to launch, and then picking up a $300 or so video card that would give you performance in the same ballpark as two GTX 460s in SLI in a single card.  My guess is that some of the higher end Southern Islands cards will be out this fall, and then Kepler early next year.

  • PainlezzPainlezz Member UncommonPosts: 646

    I'm running the following and can run just about anything on high/max settings with little trouble.  I assume you're in the same boat and i'd hold out.  You know if you buy something now, it will be old within 6 months.  Might as well get the most of of your current system and upgrade to whatever the latest is when the time comes!

     

    Current System:

    C2D  3.0 ghz

    DDR2  4gig

    GTX 8800

    And my MoBo is crap.  Cost a small fortune back in the day, has pretty blue lights, doesn't do anything it was supposed to do.

     

    My buddy has i7 extreme (1000 dollar chip)

    Dual brand new ATI cards

    Sata 3 drives

    DDR3 top end 12 gig ram

     

    And we play just about all games the same.  Only difference, i'm running 1920x1080 and he's at 2500 something resolution.  I don't have 2000 dollar monitors to support that so I could care less =)

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by Zolgar

    Well if I need another PSU I can always grab an 850W I s'pose, just to be sure.

     

    And my case is a Cooler Master CM690 ATX Mid Tower. I currently have 4 120mm fans (one for the front blowing on the HDD/SSD, 2 on the side on the blowing on my video card/mobo, and one blowing air out the back), and I also have 2 more laying around to blow air out the top if I needed to. There's also another slot for an 80mm fan to blow on the back of the CPU.

    your primary problem will be dust in that configuration.  i'd recommend getting some filters for those 120mm fans on the side of the machine

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999208

    you really dont want to have any unfiltered air source when running SLi since the cards are struggling for cool air already (being so close together on the Mobo) you dont want any dust to degrade the cooling performance of an already stressed system.   as for a powersupply, make sure you look for a 80plus gold or platinum units.  i think there are some very good gold units that is pretty cheap these days.

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