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tyft

"Falcon" New Build

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Hey guys, I'm looking at finally upgrading from my old Athlon X2 build that's turning the big 5 this year. It's still waddling along just fine, but has now been delegated off to media centre duties. I've decided to go down the AMD route again due to the new X6 kicking the i7 in the pants when it comes to price, platform features and multithreaded goodness. Main uses of this machine will be multimedia development (web, photoshop, 3d), video encoding (x264) and casual gaming. Feel free to look over my specs; critiquing and suggesting away.

 

CPU:

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz -- Gotta love AMD

 

Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 Motherboard -- The UD7 looked like overkill, plus this board looked in possession of a killer feature set and some decent asthetics.

 

RAM

8GB of GEIL DDR3 1600MHz RAM -- Have been wanting to go down the 8GB route, but I haven't felt too comfortable about Quad DIMMS or the extreme price hike on dual 4GB sticks.

 

Storage/Optical

100GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD -- The performance of one of these can finally justify the extreme price, I'm an impatient person.

500GB Western Digital 7,200RPM 32MB HDD -- Had a new one lying around

16x Pioneer DVR-A10 DVD-RW IDE -- Have used an old drive due to no good looking DVD Burner's out there these days

 

GPU

NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 512MB GPU -- Left over from the Athlon X2 but the videocard is only just over a year old. The card manages any games I play or will play in the near future, but I'll look at upgrading this in the next 12 months outside of this new build.

 

Case & PSU

Lancool K62 Case -- Fell in love with this case the moment I saw it.

ThermalTake Toughpower XT 675W -- Have heard nothing but goodness about these new PSU's, and the price does not argue.

 

Cooling

Zalman CNPS9900NT CPU Cooler -- Love the looks, modesty and performance, plus I'm not a big fan of having 1kg+ of copper hanging sideways on your motherboard.

GeIL EVO Cyclone RAM Cooler -- Lightshow! Need more be said!

 

Monitors

Samsung 226BW 16:9 LCD

Samsung 4:3 LCD

Edited by tyft

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Why aren't you comfortable with quad dimms? For the purposes you have stated, they should be fine.

 

Do you intend to overclock? Why do you feel you need a ram cooler?

Edited by metasynaptic

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Why aren't you comfortable with quad dimms? For the purposes you have stated, they should be fine.

I've read some nasty issues occuring with quad dimms, especially on the AMD memory controllers (unsure if this is resolved with Thuban). Didn't want to purchase a second set of DIMM's that would turn out useless. The ASUS motherboard's list compability with the QUAD DIMMS as tested working, but Gigabyte only listed 2 as tested in their memory compability list.

 

Do you intend to overclock? Why do you feel you need a ram cooler?

As stated - Pure light show! This cooler displays realtime temp and IMO looks awesome!

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Why aren't you comfortable with quad dimms? For the purposes you have stated, they should be fine.

I've read some nasty issues occuring with quad dimms, especially on the AMD memory controllers (unsure if this is resolved with Thuban). Didn't want to purchase a second set of DIMM's that would turn out useless. The ASUS motherboard's list compability with the QUAD DIMMS as tested working, but Gigabyte only listed 2 as tested in their memory compability list.

 

Do you intend to overclock? Why do you feel you need a ram cooler?

As stated - Pure light show! This cooler displays realtime temp and IMO looks awesome!

 

 

Ask the vendor if they've tested the board you intend to buy with quad memory. Chances are they won't have, but I've found that some of the bigger (not necessarily cheaper) vendors such as Scorptec are pretty cluey with this kind of enquiry. If you ask ahead of time, they may either do a test for you, or warrenty a return.

 

As for the light show, well then, why not? lol

Edited by metasynaptic

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You obviously know what you want (and for the most part let it be know I too am obsessed with aesthetics lol) - the 1090T isn't as good as the similarly priced i7 860 for gaming - however that's your call, the difference isn't huge, I would also probably pay the small extra cost for the Vertex 2's extra SF-1500 like performance myself, but no biggie.

 

The only thing I'd really disagreee with is the cooler - for the last six months I was using a 9900 NT with my 860 (which has a lower TDP compared to the X6 IRL) and it worked up to 4.0 GHz.... with HT off. I got it because it was pretty much the only 1156 cooler in NZ at release, and I kept it because it was 'ok' and by far the most aesthetically pleasing cooler on the market, but honestly.. moving to a Megahalems when I finally did dropped load temps by 20c. If you're planning on overclocking your Thuban, I'd suggest at least a CM Hyper 212 - the 9900 NT isn't bad, but it's definately going to restrict your O/C. If you're in the market for somethign sexier, maybe save a bit and grab a Megashadow/TRUE Black along with a good LED 4-pin pwm fan (GELID springs to mind)?

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You obviously know what you want (and for the most part let it be know I too am obsessed with aesthetics lol) - the 1090T isn't as good as the similarly priced i7 860 for gaming - however that's your call, the difference isn't huge, I would also probably pay the small extra cost for the Vertex 2's extra SF-1500 like performance myself, but no biggie.

Whoops on the Agility, must have been off with the fairies so I've corrected that -- has always meant to be Vertex 2. I've been tossing up between the 120gb and 100gb but went with the 100gb due to the extra space being available for future reliability when cells start dying off.

 

The only thing I'd really disagreee with is the cooler - for the last six months I was using a 9900 NT with my 860 (which has a lower TDP compared to the X6 IRL) and it worked up to 4.0 GHz.... with HT off. I got it because it was pretty much the only 1156 cooler in NZ at release, and I kept it because it was 'ok' and by far the most aesthetically pleasing cooler on the market, but honestly.. moving to a Megahalems when I finally did dropped load temps by 20c. If you're planning on overclocking your Thuban, I'd suggest at least a CM Hyper 212 - the 9900 NT isn't bad, but it's definately going to restrict your O/C. If you're in the market for somethign sexier, maybe save a bit and grab a Megashadow/TRUE Black along with a good LED 4-pin pwm fan (GELID springs to mind)?

Based on that advice I'll definately relook into the cooler again, I wasn't 100% as there seemed to be limited reviews available as it was kind of a "special edition" version of the 9900. Haven't looked into the Megashadow before, definately looks promising. Now just to find a nice decent fan, hopefully with blue LED's to fit the bill!

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Yeah, Agility 2's are pretty amazing - have been playing around with one for a while now for review and it's.... yeah. Fast. I'd probably (actually I definately will) jump for one of the 120GB models; even @ that capacity the drive is still 13% overprovisioned - which should be enough. After several years I'm guessing the reduced spare are will impact performance a bit, but by then either drive will be worth $15 (as a paperweight). I *think* OCZ's plan is still to allow people to change between the 120GB and 100GB firmware's but they haven't answered that one yet.

 

The CM Hyper 212+ is not all that far from the Megahalems performance wise - iirc a 3-4 degrees. It's also lighter than the Megahalems/Megashadow (less than the 9900 NT), is amazing value and has an included 120mm blue LED fan :) Not that the Megashadow is ever a bad buy, it's just twice the price lol. It really comes down to how much a builder wants to spend on that sort of thing - for the most part the Prolimatech cooler is an epenis buy (does look awesome though).

Edited by philo-sofa

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After researching the cooler's a little further, I've decided to stick with the Zalman 9900NT based on rereading some of the old reviews which initially led me to choose it. The problem with the tower coolers is the lack of clearance, if any, that is left available above the RAM slots on the AM3 boards due to the CPU socket being so close. Hardware secret's seemed to consider the Zalman in the same class as the Megahalem, besting pretty much all the cooler's they put it up against, including Zalman's own CNPS10X Extreme. While this may be related to the chosen fan on the Megahalem, the clearance issues I just can't ignore. I do apologise if I come across as ignoring your advice Philo, but I'm going to trust my gut on this one!

 

I will be pairing up the 9900NT with some AS5 to get the best I can out of it, plus the case is well ventilated. If I do overclock, it will only be 400-600MHz at most.

Edited by tyft

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Not @ all - it's your choice and I agree it'll do the job reasonably well, I'm just offering my opinion & experiences. However unless I had a very screwed up example, I still attest that the 9900 is definitely not in the same league as the Megahalems/TRUE/NH-U12P et.all.

 

Whatever you get though, surely you're gonna push your Black Edition to 4.0 - go on, you know you want to......

Edited by philo-sofa

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I would have gotten 8gb of ram. The only problem with using quad dimms can be your overclocking headroom, but i doubt you would loose that much on your overclock. Maybe you only get 3.7 instead of 4ghz but id rather have an extra 4gb of ram than and extra 300mhz.

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Yeah I'm definately going to go with the 8GB of ram now. Due to the CPU being unlocked, I won't have to be limited by RAM in overclocking. On another note...I ordered the motherboard, CPU and cooler today! Hopefully arrives tomorrow or Thursday to install into the case which I got the other week. So far I've got the Case, PSU, HDD and DVD Drive. Looking forward to getting started on building this beauty! Will be sure to post some pics soon.

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Picked up the CPU, Mobo and Cooler today so I'll post some pics up tonight of the build in progress!

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Put together the majority of the rig last night, now just left missing is the RAM, SSD and case accessories! Today I'll be picking up the RAM, so tonight I'll finally be able to fire this baby up and hopefully it doesn't go up in a puff of smoke! The cabling is still preliminary so much tidying and hiding is still yet to be done. Anyway, here are the photos so far so enjoy!

 

Motherboard Photos:

Posted ImagePosted Image

 

Case:

Posted Image

 

Completed Build So Far:

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

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Nice job there. It looks pretty nice in that case as well. The only thing you need to do is get yourself a new GPU :) it looks kinda old with all that new gear in there hehe. I'll check back here when i wake up tomorrow, then i suppose you have installed your ram!

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Yeah I know, kind of sucks having that ugly thing in there ruin the look of everything. I figured however the 9800gt was good enough to keep it until I had decent money to get a good GPU, I wanted to upgrade the rest of the system first. Hopefully will get either a GTX470 or a 5850.

 

I think we are all interested in seeing it and some benchmarks to boot. Enjoy!

Any particular benches you had in mind? I was figuring the usual superpi, 3dmark and pcmark.

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regarding the pictures :: Beeaaautiful :D

Thanks!

 

Well the RAM is installed so I'm up and running, gotta say I love this new computer! Much faster then what I had anyway. So far I'm just running on a minor overclock of 3.6GHz with stock voltage which she passed fine with in CoreDMG, not going above 41 degrees. I ran 3dmarks for shits and giggles but of course nothing spectacular due to the 9800GT. Video encoding is flying however with MP4 so it's definately doing what I wanted it for. I won't be getting the SSD until the tax man visits but that's hopefully only a few weeks off. Any benchmarks worth running because I'm not to sure these days? Anyway thanks for all the advice and feedback so far guys.

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