The Spider - The Reason
The reason I went with AMD and the Spider platform is because it sounded like it would be something cool to have and it looked like it would preform great. I am not against Intel by no means but after comparing the cost at the time I gathered the parts I wanted, the AMD was cheaper and performance was similar in most cases.
The Original Build
- 2x Western Digital Caviar SE 160GB SATA 3.0 (RAID 0)
- 1x Western Digital Caviar SE 250GB SATA 3.0 (Media Drive)
- 1x Western Digital Caviar SE 500GB SATA 3.0 (Backup Drive)
As far as the mouse and keyboard, they were just some old stuff I had from previous pc's.
The following comments are based on my experience using the above parts for a period of about 1 month.
The case does not have that good of airflow for the amount of heat that the components produces. The front of the case has an 80mm fan in front that draws air from the bottom of the case in front (major drawback if you sit this on a carpeted floor) and blows it past the harddrives and into the typical dead space under the video card(s).
Also with the above mentioned cards they blow air to the front of the case and it just so happens that the way that everything is positioned that all of that hot air is blowing onto the harddrives increasing their temps. It seems that the 80mm fan in front blowing air over them is not enough to couteract the force and heat of the 2 Toxic 3870s.
I like the case overall and I am a fan of the tool less design, I just do not think that with the components that I have it provides adaquate airflow.
The Power Supply:
Seems to perform well and I have noticed no issues with needing more power at the current time.
Overall I like the board. There are some dislikes associated with the placement of the heat pipe for the chipsets that do indeed touch the video card in the first PCI-E slot and the positing of the SATA connections on the board when using crossfire.
The good points are that it supports SAS and a fairly decent BIOS for overclocking. It could use a couple more options, but I have yet to find the "perfect" bios.
What can I say, it is a Phenom 9850 BE with an unlocked Multiplier that will allow you to overclock easily (to a certain extent). Some defiantly seem to have better luck than others overclocking this chip, but I am not so sure we are not hampered by the aging SB600 southbridge on the motherboard. Only time will tell with the release of the new 750 southbridge chip on new motherboards.
The Cooler and Thermal Paste:
I wanted to cover these together since they are so closly related to the overal cooling of the processor.
First off I had some temp issues somewhere so I decided to reset the cooler multiple times with different paste applications (thin layer, small dot, small line, etc) and they all seemed to work great under idle. The lowest that I ever saw it was 22c and I am not sure of the room temp at the time but it was pretty cool as I had the windows open. Mostly the idle was around 28c with room temp about 24c. the problem came with the load temps. At one point, the highest I ever saw it was 67c for the CPU temp. That was just too high. I was not sure if it was the cooler or the paste, so I have ordered both new. More on that coming up in Part 2.
Other than the initial issue of getting the ram to run at 1066, there have been no others. I have not really tried to push the memory much beyond the stock speed, so there is really no other details. I do like the blue heatsinks though, looks cool.
The Graphics Cards:
These things rock. They run great. Temps are good. I am not even sure if an aftermarket cooler is even worth the extra money. Idle temps are typically 41c-43c with load temps about 57c at stock. Overclock these bad boys to 864/1297 and you can add about 5c to both idle and load. I think with a little better airflow in the case these temps would drop some. If they could come up with a way to implement this cooling system with a dual slot cooler to blow air outside the case, that would be awesome.
What can I say. The hard drives run great (especially the RAID 0 setup). The optical drive is well like any other I guess, it reads, it writes.
This thing is awesome. I love the "Brightview" displays. They seem so much more vibrant than the traditional LCD displays. They do reflect alot with really dark scenes, but that is something I can overlook.
Well that is the build so far. Almost everything has been together for about a month now (except for a few changes I made which will be covered in Part 2) and it runs great. I have overclocked the Phenom to 2900MHz and is running stable. I have benn able overclocked it a great deal more and was able to obtain a pretty decent 3DMark score as far as these Phenoms are concerned, but nothing has really been stable.
All in all it was fun and I hope to continue to improve upon it.
Read Parts 2 & 3:
My Spider Advernture - Part 2
My Spider Advernture - Part 3