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Old 08-15-10, 04:18 PM   #1
ragejg
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Lightbulb Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

When I bought a Phenom II x3 720 Black Edition in July of '09, I had no idea that it would end up being a VERY powerful gaming CPU. It ended up carrying my media/gaming rig so well that I ended up buying another one.

Well, one unlocks, and one won't. My desk PC has a great Gigabyte mATX 760G DDR2 motherboard, 4gb OCZ Reaper 1150 and a GTX 460 768. The unlockable 720 sits in that rig and runs at 3.1ghz... IMO it's a balanced system, save for the old Diamondmax 9s in RAID 0, which are too hot and noisy together.

So that rig's fine for now. But the media rig, with a spartan AMD 770/DDR2-equipped Asus M3A won't unlock a CPU, and the BIOS voltage adjustments are really screwy. Granted, it runs a 720BE @ 3.5ghz, so it's relatively fast, but #1 a close friend needed parts for a new rig, and #2 I'm ready to have the media/gaming system move forward a little bit.

It'd be great if I had a big budget to work with, but I don't. So I have to let some parts carry over, and there's a couple things I'm getting that are kinda... "value priced".


...


So in place of an x3 720BE @ 3.5 I'm getting a Phenom II x6 1055t, for $162 shipped. I'm going to try cooling it with my old Freezer Pro 64, and if that's not good enough I'll give that cooler to the desk PC and I'll get a Scythe Mugen II. ... I know that in gaming, the 1055t @ stock will feel a lot like the OCed 720BE, but I'm hoping I can get a decent OC out of it.

As far as a motherboard was concerned, I didn't have much to play with, so I am getting a MSI 785GM-P45 785G AM3 mATX motherboard brand new with 3yr warranty for $45 shipped. IT normally sells for ~$80, but it hasn't been reviewed. Its cousins which have a few more bells and whistles have, however, but I like my motherboards simple, so this will do. It lacks some overclocking functionality in BIOS (it actually has a jumper switch for overclocking in 5% performance increments, but I will not use that, I'll use AMD Overdrive, which has worked great for me for several motherboards now). I'm going to add a nice of MOSFET heat sinks to the power area of the motherboard to aid in stability.

DDR3... well, I know it's not much of a jump over DDR2, but hey, it's kinda new tech, it works, and I wanted a motherboard that supported it. So I'm getting some well-reviewed A-Data DDR3-1600 for $88. It apparently OCs decent without having to bump voltages up too much.

Hard drive. SSD? Nope, too expensive. I already have a nice drive (a 250gb Caviar Blue), but it's not a single-platter. I'm gonna give that to the desk PC (to replace the hot Diamondmaxes) and I'm going to get a single platter drive. Reportedly, it has not been confirmed that some of the Caviar Blacks are single-platter. They're quick, but apparently there are a few single-platter Blues as well as a certain Spinpoint that are quicker than the Caviar Blacks. I'll get a 500 or a 640 Caviar Blue AAKS for around $50.

...

So, the rest of the stuff stays for now. I'd love to get a new PSU, but honestly the Antec Earthwatts 650 is and has been doing fine, and I can't afford one (yet). The HD 5830 remains the video card of choice, the Audigy 2 will probably make it over, as will my temperamental old 2006 Memorex DVD-R/RW drive.

This is a decent stepping-stone. It will be faster in Windows desktop usage, and hopefully at least a bit noticeably improved in gaming. Right now I don't do much that's CPU intensive on my systems except for gaming, but that may change in the next six months or so as I may start doing a little video editing and some image editing using MS Expression Design.

Now, my first x3 720BE rig was a HUGE jump up from the previous system it replaced, an Opteron 165 (x2) @ 2.2ghz with 3gb PC3200. I completely understand that this won't feel like quite such a dramatic jump, but I anticipate that it will at least be noticeable.

Out with the old, in with the new!
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Old 08-15-10, 06:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

SSD. Severely worth it.
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Old 08-15-10, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

SSD = not affordable enough. Needed to get CPU upgrade out of the way first.

Besides, I'm waiting on that until the turn of the year or so; when I can get two SSDs and run them in RAID 0. I don't want to know how one feels, I'd rather go straight for the throat with two.
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Old 08-15-10, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

If you can get that 1055t up in the 3.6+ range you're going to be very hapy
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Old 08-16-10, 07:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
SSD. Severely worth it.
agreed
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Old 08-16-10, 07:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

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Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
SSD. Severely worth it.
I would agree but it's not worth it enough for the price/GB yet.
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Old 08-16-10, 07:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

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I would agree but it's not worth it enough for the price/GB yet.
SSDs are not about price/GB, its about performance/$
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Old 08-16-10, 07:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

Looks like a decent upgrade build....best of luck!
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Old 08-16-10, 07:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

Like I said, soon enough I'll get two small ones (32gb probably) and RAID 0 them for Windows boot as well as my most used apps/games.

For now, I'm satisfied with two old Diamondmax 9s. I'm more satisfied with a multi-platter Caviar Blue. So obviously, for the near-term I'll be happy with a single-platter SATA-300 drive.
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Phenom II x6 1090t @ 4.0 ghz | Asus M498TD-EVO Am3 SLI nForce 980a | 2x EVGA GTX 560 SLI | 2x4gb DDR3-1333 | Antec EarthWatts EA650 PSU | 60gb Mushkin Calisto Enhanced Sandforce SSD | 2x WD2500KS RAID 0 | Sunbeam Tuniq 3 case | 24" Asus 19x10 LED LCD | 26" Panasonic 720p TV | Sidewinder X5 mouse | Logitech MX5500 & Revolution mouse | Altec Lansing 5.1 THX-Certified audio | Win 7 Ultimate | desk | couch


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Old 08-16-10, 07:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Going from x3 to x6, DDR2 to DDR3, double-platter to single-platter

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Originally Posted by nekrosoft13 View Post
SSDs are not about price/GB, its about performance/$
Yup. Nothing else you can buy for that little sum of money that will give you that much performance.
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