Originally Posted by CraftedElements
So I'm trying to create a nice little gaming computer that I could use to play BF4 on my 1080p monitor, as well as livestream some, do some light rendering work, and edit videos with.
I know that this will by no means get me a top of the line build, but playing games at 50-60 fps on near max settings works for me.
I've completed a build on Pcpartpiker and want your input please.
CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core $169.99
Motherboard: Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 ATX AM3+ $104.99
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 $79.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 280X 3GB $319.99
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS/I Snow Edition (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower $37.99
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V $59.99
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer $14.99
Looks like the price on the CPU and GPU are back up a little higher since you posted this. Total of this build is ~$900 shipped pre-MIR at the time of posting this response and there is no storage (HD/SSD?).
I'm concerned about the PSU selection here as it is really pushing the limits in terms of size for a build that may be an OCed FX-8350+280X+280X someday. The FX-8350 is ~250W under full load when overclocked good and hard (4.8+ghz). That's just the power dissipation at the chip and doesn't include VRM efficiency losses. A power deliver system that runs ~1V 200A suffers pretty heavy efficiency losses because even the very minor resistance in each component in the VRMs becomes a noteworthy part of the voltage drop on the circuit. The 250W CPU, will typically come with 50-75W of losses at the VRMs.
When we go through the rest of the system, there are usually about 10-20 components that can draw ~1-10W each depending on the system. South bridge, chipset-northbridge, NIC, sound, each RAM stick, each drive, every cooling fan, etc etc etc... A desktop system will generally have 20-50+W of additional power dissipation from these other components depending on the platform and how much stuff is installed.
The 280X, has a thermal design power of 250W. Which, in todays terms for GPUs, will usually
mean that this is pretty close to the peak power draw of the entire card.
257W measured at the GPU while GPGPU mining. That power consumption is with the card adjusted to reference clocks.
Now have a look here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7406/the-sapphire-r9-280x-toxic-review/5
Note the "toxic" edition GPUs under furmark (power virus, but not much different from GPGPU loads on these cards).. Overclocked they are adding approximately 100W to the system power consumption compared to the stock 280X.
If I were to do a little "connect the dots" here. I would want 300-350+W for the OCed FX-8350 (including VRM losses), 300-350W for each 280X (if I were going to overclock them), and at least 50W for all of the little odds and ends like the 990FX chip-set and the soutbridge and all of the controllers and fans and ram and drives etc etc etc.
So that's a 1KW PSU, give or take. Under most real world conditions the build will probably rarely exceed 500W from the PSU while gaming... The 750W PSU winds up working fine 99% of the time, the problem is the one time you accidentally (or purposely) create a stress-test sort of condition that saturates the CPU and GPUs, power consumption spikes to 900+W, and the $60 PSU goes into over-current protection or worse, winds up running on-edge and fails to trip protection, and eventually just burns out.
Why I chose these parts:
I feel like I would definitely benefit from the 8 cores, whether it be from playing BF4 to rendering and coding in Unity. And for the cheap price, I feel like I could go with the performance drop in single threaded applications compared to if I got a 4670k or higher
A common misconception, is that core count can be compared across different architectures. Core count is like the number of cylinders in an engine, and ghz is like the rpm of the engine. The number of cylinders and the rpm alone can not define performance because we don't know the displacement of the engine, the atmosphere, the fuel type, or anything about the fuel management and ignition system. The best analogy I can come up with, is that, the FX-8350 is like a carbureted 5.0L V8 with 2 valves per cylinder. The i5-4670K, is like a direct injected, 2.5L I4, with computer controlled electronic ignition, variable valve timing, and 4 valves per cylinder. Both engines wind up with about the same amount of peak HP (~180HP), but the technologically advanced I4 gets 30MPG while the carbureted V8 gets 15MPG.
The execution resources of a haswell core are double that of a piledriver core. In fact, the haswell core is comparable to an entire piledriver module in terms of execution resources. (sort of like having 4 valves per cylinder instead of 2), and that haswell core has dozens of architecture advantages outside of raw execution resources. (higher cache performance, lower branch prediction penalties, lower misalignment and instruction prefix penalties, significantly more robust FPU pipelines with lower latency characteristics, like having variable valve timing, electronic ignition, direct injection, etc) The result is that, clock for clock
, an i5, even with the 4-threaded 64Byte/cycle fetch bottleneck (no hyperthreading), achieves the same compute performance as Piledriver in most 8-threaded workloads.
So they have about the same performance per clock cycle when compared 8+ threads vs 8+ threads, but as soon as the workload is no longer saturating all 8 cores on the PD architecture, the i5 begins to perform better. Each reduction in parallelism on the workload side, increases the lead that the i5 has over Piledriver, peaking at 1 thread per haswell core vs 1 thread per PD module, where the haswell core delivers ~80% higher performance per thread than a Piledriver 8 core in any 1-4 threaded workload. Real-time workloads (gaming) favor the grunt of a few powerful cores over lots of slower cores. This has to do with the way that real-time workloads are managed. Piledriver will typically clock 10% higher (with enough cooling) than Haswell, which will give it the edge in those total saturation conditions, but not really enough to offset the performance deficit in most real world workloads that are less threaded.
The reason I chose an AMD friendly build is because I wanted to overclock the CPU and the GPU, when my PC is not gaming, I want it to be litecoin or dogecoin mining.
Overclocking on the AM3+ platform is a lot of fun. It's a bit more enthusiast oriented than overclocking on the Z87 platform, as there are more knobs to twist and tinker with. I had a blast performance tuning my FX-6300. I can entirely understand the lure of a 5ghz fire breathing 8 core monster machine. The important thing to understand about the AM3+ platform, is that it is effectively a cheap, novelty/legacy class enthusiast platform that happens to still have new parts being produced for it. Performance wise, it is very comparable to the previous generation Intel enthusiast X58 platform with an i7-970. When overclocked, there is no performance advantage to an overclocked i5-4670K except by very narrow margins in very unusual workloads.
The ram is 2400 instead of 1666 because I feel that with AMD builds, faster ram does indeed bump the performance up a noticeable amount.
I've done extensive testing of DDR3 performance tuning on both the previous stars architecture and piledriver. Best performance under most workloads has always been tied more closely to effective latency than raw speeds. Bandwidth isn't the bottleneck in most workloads. In fact, some compute intensive workloads will run better with the RAM installed in single channel if it allows the memory controller to manage lower effective latency. On an 8 core PD, I wouldn't get too worried about pushing past ~2133MT/s. Find tightest stable timings at speeds in the 1866-2133MT/s range and see which has lower effective latency. That will likely coincide with peak compute performance. A good quality memory kit at a great price is a lot of fun to performance tune, the ripjaw Z series for ~$80 is usually one of the best value high performance kits out there, just don't get hung up on the idea that you should be buying it to run at 2400MT/s speeds. You may get better performance at a lower speed with tighter timings.
I went with the R9 280x because it can handle most games, and is decently priced. And again it's AMD friendly.
I went with a 750 watt PSU because maybe 3-4 months after I finsih the rig, I plan on adding another 280x, putting them into SLI mode, and adding another 8gb of ram.
If you're going to stay with the PileDriver build and you're going to overclock everything, I really think you should look at a beefier PSU. Minimum 850W. The 1KW EVGA SuperNova G2 would be my pick. Usually ~$170. Problem of course, is that pretty much screws up the budget for the build. You may have to re-think this
All help/input is appreciated!
If you're going to go with the FX-8350, and overclock it pretty high, you'll probably want decent performing AIO CLC, or a large double-tower heatpipe based cooler. I would recommend the CoolerMaster Nepton 280L and 140XL, Corsair H100i, ThermalRight Silver Arrow, Phanteks PH-TC14PE, or the Noctua D14 (there are many others as well, these are just some that spring to mind).
So, those are all ~$70-140 CPU coolers.
On the other hand, if you go with the i5-4670K, you'll spend about $40-60 more on the CPU, but you can cool it with a wide range of inexpensive <$50 CPU coolers and still hit the ~4.5+ghz that these tend to top out at regardless. Some of that value advantage of the AMD starts to dissolve if we compare cooling requirements to overclock. The FX-8350 can often get up there around 5ghz if it's strapped to ~$100 worth of cooling, which can actually give it about a 10% performance advantage over the i5-4670K in fully saturated workloads. The i5 on the other hand, doesn't need a 300W CPU cooler, it just needs something with nice low thermal resistance at the chip (a small $50 CLC with skived base plate or a direct touch heat pipe cooler will do the trick) , dissipation capacity isn't hugely important as an i5-4670K is only about 125W at the chip when overclocked. (~150W with VRM losses).
Note: Spending more on the i5-4670K, means you can subtract about ~150W from your estimated PSU size requirements, which will probably cut ~$30 from the PSU price all other things being equal. Combine that with the ~$20-100 savings on the CPU HSF afforded by the i5, and you can probably see where I am going with this... The FX-8350 doesn't look like the bargain that it appears to be. Oh, as far as motherboards are concerned, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer is about the same price as the 990FX, offers 8 phase CPU power just like the EVO, better quality onboard sound, equal dual card PCIE bandwidth, (8x8x3.0 vs 16x16x2.0), similar features elsewhere (SATA/USB/fan-headers etc).
So, now that you understand how the FX-8350 stacks up against the i5-4670K, if you would still like to do an AMD build on a budget, I am more than happy to help try to find some ways to cut costs while improving quality on the build. Alternatively, if you'd like to build an i5 rig instead, I can help with that as well. It's all fun.Edited by mdocod - 4/11/14 at 4:11pm