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Pondering AMD upgrades ...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

so the ever present itch to continuously upgrade has only just been scratched recently (with a new cooler and 6850), yet I continue to "want" regardless of my "needs" ... so be it, I'm officially addicted. As such, I'll be selling off various items in the near future to pay for further upgrades, and now need assistance in deliberating which pathway to take. Here are my thoughts:

CPU

My current x3 720, unlocked to a quadcore and overclocked to 3595mhz at 1.5v is great, but could be more great (haha) and I'm going to want to crossfire soon which makes me question it as a potential bottleneck. It seems to have reached its limit in overclock (being a C2 revision) and there isn't much headroom left on the NB, mem controller or CPU core. Overclocking is fun, and now I'm bored with this one ...

I bought this system with the thought of upgrading to an x6 1090t asap. This is option #1, but I would want to keep my Xiggy Dark Knight and still hope to reach 4+ghz core/2.8+ghz NB. Is this plausible?

My motherboard is x6 ready, but I don't like it's chances with overclocking a 1055t beyond 3.6 ish ...

Case

I'm done with the Antec 300. It's been great, but is now too small and the lack of cable management coupled with my laziness for case-modding leave me wanting more.

I want a larger mid-tower to accommodate more HDD's (preferably mounted like the HAF 921), cable-management, nicer style and at least equal cooling capability, hopefully for less than $100 (the cheaper the better). All black interior is preferred, but optional, as is a side window. LED lights are cool, but understated is key. External style is subjective, but I'm open to anything.

Thinking the Rosewill Challenger (because it's good to go with fans and features), HAF 912 (with extra fans required)/922, NZXT something (with added fans), Lian Li something, CM Storm Scout ... open to all suggestions, but the easier the better. I would LOVE an NZXT Phantom but the price is hard to choke down on my budget.

RAM

I multi-task, a LOT and really want 8gb now. Plus my current RAM requires 1.9v and has never been the easiest to work with. Results are good, but required a lot of fiddling. My x3 720 C2 memory controller did not like it @ 1600mhz at all, and it's never satisfied me.

I can tell the difference between C9 and C7 RAM timings, and MUST have RAM that can reach 1333 C6-7 or 1600 C7-8 as a minimum.

Crossfire

I LOVE my 6850. I want a 2nd one, ASAP. The performance now is perfect and still blowing me away, but I just know I'm a crossfire away from pulling back the curtain still ... the plan was always to crossfire, the sooner the better.

__________________________________________________ _______
So current problems: CPU has reached its limit and I'm bored, my case won't fit a 2nd 6850 with my HDD's inside (possibly if I shift and squeeze, but I'm over that), my RAM and/or CPU memory controller are holding me back, my case fans are louder than my CPU/GPU fans at idle.

Financially I may have to do these step by step:

I have an OCZ Vendetta 92mm HSF to pair with the x3 720 when I sell it. Expecting $90 for the pair?

I have my old HIS 1gb 5770 sitting here ready to sell.
Expecting $90 on this?

I also have a guitar to be sold which should net me around $150, and some more superfluous musical equipment I'm less prepared to part with that could get another $200 or so ...

Plus I should be able to get $50 for my RAM, and perhaps another $40 for the case.

Of course I cannot sell any components until I have bought the replacement and installed it, so I'm thinking I should start with the case, then the CPU, then the RAM, then CF 6850 ...

Thoughts?
Edited by willibj - 1/5/11 at 4:59pm
post #2 of 6
You don't necessarily need an x6 to game, but you may need it if you want to reach better clock speeds (x6 usually overclocks at least slightly better than x4). Your motherboard is more than x6 ready, my 1055T runs 4Ghz on it (at a rather high 1.472V, even then the board is fine with such a high voltage); just be sure to have at least BIOS F8F or you may get some northbridge multiplier problems.

Case: Lancool PC-K58W/K62/etc.? I do think the Antec 300 is still pretty good though.

RAM requiring 1.9V is not necessarily a bad thing; AM3 can run above 1.65V safely, and most 1.9V RAM actually features some rather good ICs such as Micron D9s. The similar Mushkins in my sig (that I'm getting soon) have a 1.85-1.95V requirement and the D9JNM are very potent overclockers Depending on the specific Mushkin kit you have I might actually recommend that you keep it (unless you want to go 8GB, most higher-voltage RAM with D9 ICs or Samsung HCF0 are very hard to find now)
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I play more Civ V than anything right now which loves hex-cores, and I'm really interested in the high overclock on cores and NB for low voltage and heat that the x6 chips give, not to mention multitasking ability. The limits of my current CPU are getting to me now, but a 1090t @ 4ghz with a higher NB will be lovely.

Also considering bottlenecks on a crossfire setup, and finally I'm about to leave college and thus have even less spare finances, plus I'll be leaving the cheap prices of the USA so I want to upgrade before I haven't the money to do so.

The Lian-Li K62 looks tasty, but then if I'm spending that much I should probably drop the extra and get the NZXT Phantom which is my dream-case. Then again I do like the HAF 912 especially the HDD mounts, and with a couple of 200mm fans and a black spray job, that could be an efficient and cheap option.

The Antec 300 is WAY too small for me now in all dimensions, with all my HDD's, crossfire coming soon and no cable management it's just too small. Great beginner case, but I've outgrown it.

I'm impressed our MB runs its bus that high to get the 1055t to 4ghz. Frankly I think my RAM and CPU-NB is holding me back but I've not been able to get my bus that high (though I admittedly stopped trying too hard having a BE processor). Still I think I'll shoot for a 1090t if possible for the unlocked multi ...

The RAM is probably an after thought for now - 4gb IS enough, though I would and could use 8gb, but I'll want 1600 CL7 which isn't cheap.

I guess my real question is in which order should I upgrade the parts - will my CPU carry me for now at that speed if I get crossfire 6850's, my case won't fit crossfire (without serious squeezing) so should I get that first, or go for the processor first and sell my old one with my old HSF to raise the money for the case etc. And then also are my estimates about right for selling my 2nd hand gear?

Thanks for the reply and advice.
post #4 of 6
Yeah, the Gigabyte 790X can max out at around 320-330 even for some people; mine starts to get flaky at around 310.
The 1090T/1055T's improved memory controller can probably better manage 1600 7-7-7 in fact as far as I'm aware your 1600 7-7-7 kit is just a newer revision of my Ascent 1600 7-7-6 kit (with different heatsinks probably); they probably use similar Micron D9 ICs. Do you have an exact Mushkin part number? (i.e. 996625) I can probably find the exact ICs/overclocking capability just by getting this number.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post
Yeah, the Gigabyte 790X can max out at around 320-330 even for some people; mine starts to get flaky at around 310.
The 1090T/1055T's improved memory controller can probably better manage 1600 7-7-7 in fact as far as I'm aware your 1600 7-7-7 kit is just a newer revision of my Ascent 1600 7-7-6 kit (with different heatsinks probably); they probably use similar Micron D9 ICs. Do you have an exact Mushkin part number? (i.e. 996625) I can probably find the exact ICs/overclocking capability just by getting this number.
Awesome news regarding the memory, I was hoping it was just my CPU-NB memory controller holding me back.

I remember them by heart, because newegg sent me the more expensive set I couldn't afford instead of the lower ones. I was very grateful.

Mushkin 996657

Also great news about the board, I had just assumed and resigned myself to getting a BE model. Is it bad to run the board that high, or even safer to run it at a lower level? Do I need to reapply thermal paste to the MB heatsinks, or remove the little Gigabyte cover? (I already did the NB one).

As far as the processor, is the 125w 1055t producing good results or are the 95w ones still the model to get?

Thanks again
post #6 of 6
Ah, 996657; Samsung HCF0, actually fairly decent overclockers. I've seen an OCN member with this kit before. HCF0 usually gets same OC results as Micron D9 but with less DRAM voltage. I (will soon) have the 996657's big brother, 996625 with the Ascent heatsinks, though the ICs are different. Running the bus clock that high is fairly safe as long as you lock the PCI-E frequency and don't let it increase along with bus clock.

Both 125W and 95W 1055Ts hit a similar voltage wall around 4Ghz (i.e. lower voltages up to), but if you find a 95W for sure go get that.
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