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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the really solid suggestions and comment contribution guys!

Reading all the comments got me thinking again if i'd be going the crossfire/sli route. Right now i'm leaning towards holding on to single GPU as there'd be indirect costs that i'd need to think about going in crossfire, such as a better cooling system or perhaps even a better PSU (got 650w atm).

What isn't clear to me are the phases, is this a spec that directly affects overclocking ability? I only have stock cooling atm, so i'm initially guessing that that'd be the main limiting factor on my plans to OC. And is my understanding correct that the 6+2 phase power is better than a 4+1 or an 8+2?

Right now i'm looking towards purchasing this mobo taken from the suggestions: Asrock Extreme4 990fx
Local store i'm looking at, it's priced around $170 : http://www.tipidpc.com/viewitem.php?iid=20890325

Mike you suggested this is overkill, specially since i'm probably not going to do crossfire anytime soon, but the mobo ASUS M5A99X EVO and GA-990XA-UD3 doesn't seem to be available locally. The closest thing to the gigabyte ud3 is this one: http://www.tipidpc.com/viewitem.php?iid=20890144. Although instead of UD3, it only says D3, and i've checked gigabyte's site they are listing it as two separate products. Additionally, the D3 variant has a 4+1 phase power based on spec sheet, so I'm thinking it's not as good as the 6+2 you guys are recommending.
Edited by ainako - 11/16/12 at 10:02pm
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post #12 of 19
Power phases (VRMs) are the chips that control voltage output, so basically the more phases there are is exactly the same concept as having more workers, they can provide a much quicker, more efficient output.

An 8+2 phase will have 10 chips working on the voltage line so the result is less heat and more chance of a stable current.

A 4+1 phase may struggle as it has twice the work load to get the same stable current the 8+2 phase could, so that means more heat and more slip ups, slip ups that could cause a voltage spike or slight reduce in vcore, which may give instability.

The D3 is a cut down version of the UD3, the UD3 is better built and has more phases. Overclocking doesn't just heat the CPU up, it causes VRMs to be heat as I mentioned above. So you do need to keep an eye on all temperatures.

With stock you could probably make it to 4Ghz, but obviously better cooling will give better temperatures, it doesn't mean a good air cooler or water cooling will get you to 5Ghz easily, depends on the chip die and what it can handle, you may find I isn't stable 4Ghz+, you may find it knocks out at 4.2Ghz, overclocking is never certain, the good cooler is just there to keep the temperatures down and very importantly, provide some cool air to the VRMs.

As to crossfire/SLI, its up to you. Personally if you don't run multiple monitors, a single card configuration will be fine even at 1080p (provided its a good GPU).
Crossfire/SLI obviously need more power, that means more heat and that means a more expensive motherboard.

So if you run at 1080P single monitor, you will probably find a fast GPU to be sufficient to be honest.

I would suggest these:
Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
Gigabyte GA-990X-UD3
Asus M5A97 PRO
Asus M5A88-A EVO
ASROCK 990FX Extreme 4

NOTE: You said some are not locally, the best place is online, Amazon, Newegg etc smile.gif I don't know many online stores in the US sorry tongue.gif but the majority will be online
Edited by mikeo01 - 11/17/12 at 2:58am
post #13 of 19
If you game a lot get a new mobo and a GPU. Leave the cpu for now. A good overclock on that chip will be enough. But if you are considering heavy encoding and other such work and your tight on your budget the the FX 6300 is what i recommend.
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post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo01 View Post

Power phases (VRMs) are the chips that control voltage output, so basically the more phases there are is exactly the same concept as having more workers, they can provide a much quicker, more efficient output.
An 8+2 phase will have 10 chips working on the voltage line so the result is less heat and more chance of a stable current.
A 4+1 phase may struggle as it has twice the work load to get the same stable current the 8+2 phase could, so that means more heat and more slip ups, slip ups that could cause a voltage spike or slight reduce in vcore, which may give instability.
The D3 is a cut down version of the UD3, the UD3 is better built and has more phases. Overclocking doesn't just heat the CPU up, it causes VRMs to be heat as I mentioned above. So you do need to keep an eye on all temperatures.
With stock you could probably make it to 4Ghz, but obviously better cooling will give better temperatures, it doesn't mean a good air cooler or water cooling will get you to 5Ghz easily, depends on the chip die and what it can handle, you may find I isn't stable 4Ghz+, you may find it knocks out at 4.2Ghz, overclocking is never certain, the good cooler is just there to keep the temperatures down and very importantly, provide some cool air to the VRMs.
As to crossfire/SLI, its up to you. Personally if you don't run multiple monitors, a single card configuration will be fine even at 1080p (provided its a good GPU).
Crossfire/SLI obviously need more power, that means more heat and that means a more expensive motherboard.
So if you run at 1080P single monitor, you will probably find a fast GPU to be sufficient to be honest.
I would suggest these:
Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
Gigabyte GA-990X-UD3
Asus M5A97 PRO
Asus M5A88-A EVO
ASROCK 990FX Extreme 4
NOTE: You said some are not locally, the best place is online, Amazon, Newegg etc smile.gif I don't know many online stores in the US sorry tongue.gif but the majority will be online

That clears up a lot of things, thanks on the vrm/power-phase crash course. I'm not from the US by the way, so when I previously said locally I meant physical and online stores here in my country. Sorry for the confusion.

Anyway, I think i'm set to go for AsRock 990FX Extreme 4. And while you guys are here, i'd like to extend my queries a little bit. I'm going to stick with my x3 720 proc for a little while, and OC it to around 3.4G. If i'd buy a 7770 gpu would my proc bottleneck it?
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post #15 of 19
i wouldn't go for a 7770.its not a bad card...but limited. try to shoot for a 7800 series or better. the 7800 series have a bigger interface.
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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toyz72 View Post

i wouldn't go for a 7770.its not a bad card...but limited. try to shoot for a 7800 series or better. the 7800 series have a bigger interface.

what do you mean by a bigger interface?
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post #17 of 19
Ah right, if you are in the UK there are some good online stores for cheap motherboard prices, so look around definitely smile.gif

The Asrock 990FX Extreme 4 has got good reviews from a lot of people here so its a capable chip. And if you do go for the FX-6300 you won't need to worry so much as its TDP is 95W, so there is a nice overclock room.

For now, that board will be fine with the Phenom II x3. It shouldn't bottleneck as such, but obviously you will see lower frame rates just because its a tri-core.

In terms of graphics, the HD 7770 performs pretty much the same as the HD 6850 but with lower power consumption. It is a very nice card though for its price.

If you are going to be gaming at high resolutions (1600X1200+) I would definitely go into the 7800 series as suggested above.

I would go for the HD 7850 as your lowest because it'll last for years very nicely, where as the HD 7770 is boarder line minimum. The HD 7850 would serve cheaper in the long run, as in you won't need to upgrade any time soon.

You may want to try unlocking the extra core on your CPU and to be honest if you find your fps aren't that great, you can always then consider selling it and upgrading. In the long run the FX-6300 would be a fine choice and again with the HD 7800 series card it'll last years.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Alright! I've taken nits and bits of suggestions from everyone and i've come to the final decision:

- For now, get an Asrock 990fx extreme4 mobo
- Overclock my current x3 720
- Save some money for an HD7850
- Save some more for an FX-6300, or something better (SteamRoller?!?!)

Thanks everyone for the contributions! I highly appreciate everyone's time and effort for giving their insights. thumb.gifthumb.gif

PS. On a side note, using my ancient Asus M4A785-M, I was able to unlock my 4th core. I didn't conduct any stress tests to verify stability nor did I tried overlocking (board limitation), but with the upcoming new mobo, hopefully I can delve into this further. I guess if I hit any major wall, I'll ask again around here at ocn.
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post #19 of 19
Cool Cool sounds good biggrin.gif

Steamroller will be on AM3+ but it will be some time till that comes out. You could (unless you are itching to upgrade within a year) wait till Vishera prices go down and depending on how well Steamroller performs go with either based on performance/price.

If it unlocks and is stable I would leave it there, because sometimes unlocking a core can reduce a bit of a voltage increase, I doubt you would be lucky enough to unlock AND overclock, but theres always the chance smile.gif

But based on what you are going by, that setup will last a good few years, and is able to overclock nicely.

Obviously we expect steamroller to be more efficient and better performance, but when Steamroller comes out, in the following year Excavator may be coming out tongue.gif so theres always new hardware around the corner.
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