Step-By-Step Guide: How To Build a Gaming PC With AMD's Bulldozer CPU

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darkstar59102

I have the 8150 black chip in my custom system built out of a Digital storm Syndicate case with the new water block for the am3+ chip. With this set up i am able to run the chip to 5.2 ghz at about 13c. that is hot even for a zero cool system but it will out pace a 2600k Oc all day. I do understand that my rig is expensive but the potential for this cpu is a lot higher than most people would expect for the price of this cpu.

Gigabyte Socket AM3+ GA-990FXA-UD7
amd fx 8150
Corsair - 16GB KIT 4X4GB PC3-16000 - 2000MHZ DDR3 CL10 VENGEANCE Memory
XFX - FX-797A-TNFC ATI Radeon HD7970 3GB X2
Hitachi - 0S03230 Hitachi Deskstar IDK 3TB Cool Spin SATA 6GBps X3 raid 5
Corsair - Force Series F180 CORSAIR PERFORMANCE 3 SERIES 2.5' 128GB SATA III MLC SSD X3 raid 5

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SlaughterALL

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

The above link takes you to an Intel i5 that is CHEAPER and is just 0.3 GHz slower (almost no perceivable difference in speed I bet, esp. with turbo boost).

While I realize the whole point of this article is to build an AMD rig, I have to ask why? Yes, AMD is sometimes useful if you are really strapped for cash, but if you are going to spend around $260 on a CPU why would you want to buy a bulldozer CPU (which singly-handedly tanked people's opinion of AMD) instead of a much-loved i5-2500K (which, because of the "K", you can overclock to 4+GHz)? Besides making a bulldozer rig so you can report on it, I wonder who in their right mind would want to build such a computer?

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chop_slap

Harsh words for AMD, but its the truth. They've got to step it up.

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k7k8

You better super cool this chip.Or send it back while you still can.
That is why the press kit included a water cooler.
My fx 8150 booted fine ,but would internally over heat on air cooling.
It breaks my heart, but I sent mine back and will use X6 p2's for my builds -until this chip is revised.
Newegg took it back two months out of warranty ,when I called they said the only reason they were taking it back -is this is the second call this morning- about mysterious black screen issues.
Sorry to rain on the parade,but you will see this issue come to light.
I trust max pc to get to the bottom of this eventually.
Sorry to break the news to you.

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wade5678000000

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k7k8

This chip has thermal issues.

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Typo91

Am I the only one to see a problem with choosing a 2.5in Hard disk for a desktop??

REally???
2.5in drives have less Warranty, higher failure rates, less performance, and are more expensive than 3.5in drives.

Why on earth pay more for less when physical size and power use aren't an issue?

238 bucks for less then a Terabyte?

Also that seagate drive line has had a bad history of being problematic.

please tell me you guys didn't sell out

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Kinetic

I have to be honest, the first thing I thought when I read "How to build a Bulldozer gaming PC" was "Why would you want to?"

Assuming you're going in with a clean slate and no PC or just a case and PSU, that much green could net you a really awesome Sandybridge or Sandybrigde-E gaming PC that will outclass this by a long shot. Of course, the tradeoff will be that you're stuck with Intel's constant motherboard refreshes, and as such will likely have to buy a new motherboard the next time you want to upgrade your CPU.
If you're like me and already have an AMD PC with an AM3+ compatible mobo there's still not a huge reason to go with Bulldozer for gaming over a Phenom II 970/975/980 or 1100T other than a slight boost in physics performance, and in my opinion even that isn't worth the price difference.

This is just my opinion though.

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maverick knight

This asrticle was good in a way that we can see the results and make adjustment when buying parts. I agree that for $1,500 it is possible to build a better rig. Spending $100 for a liquid cooler is overkill for just a mere 4.2Ghz so choosing a Hyper 212 Plus can save another $70. It is nice to show the love for Bulldozer for once.

Off-topic, Intel made me a believer with Sandy Bridge so I will stick with itell until AMD turn the table around. I am also an Nvidia owner but not because I believe their gpus are better. The more research I did the more evident the fact that both Nvidia and AMD are fairly even in performance. Driver updates was what tip the balance for Nvidia.

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JP

Nice build, neat products, decent performance. BUT, I have searched all over for info on the AMD cooling system and the only place I found anything was on Asetek's web site; and then it was pretty pictures and information, but no place to buy the item, not even from them.
And 35 minutes of searching AMD's site was almost enough to make me switch to Intel: Nothing, not a word about the cooling system. Nathan, next time how about telling us where we, the consumers, can buy things like this as the reference to the AMD site was more then useless.

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thechipper

H70 is basically the same performance out of a contained liquid cooler if you're looking for one and it runs you about $80. Definitely a good investment for an overclocker, or even the H100 for $20 more.

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JP

theChipper, thanks for the reply. Currently running a Phenom X4 9950BE and using a Corsair H50. The H50 has been a great cooler; of course the 70 and 100 came out within weeks of my installing the 50.
I am not a complete AMD fanboy, but all of my personal builds have been with AMD. Would love to do an i7 3960 or even a 2600K build (I've even priced out parts and made wish lists) but money-wise I will probably have to settle for a Bulldozer. If AMD wants to sell me liquid cooling that is so much the better-but somebody has to have it available at least so a person can price it. At least the Bulldozers come with heatsink/fan; the i39XX don't.
I will look at the H70-I understand that the radiator is larger then my H50-but the next cooling upgrade I am doing is adding another fan to my H50 radiator.

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aldenf

Thanks for the article, Nathan. Builds with the new FX procs seem to be few and far between in the press today. While not knowing anyone who has built an FX rig, it's great to know others' experience.

I only question the logic/wisdom in choosing the platform. I just speced a rig at Newegg using their regular prices (no sales or rebates). GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3, i7-2600K, Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB, HIS IceQ Turbo H697QT2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB, Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB). Add a $100 case, $25 DVD-RW, $100 PSU, $40 cpu cooler and $100 for OEM Win7 and you have a 2600k, system w/ 256 GB SSD for well under $1500.

Although an AMD fan, this is where I would put my money (over $1000) at the moment.

Just sayin'...

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thetechchild

AMD isn't really competing with Intel's offerings at this point. Even the 2500K can beat the FX8150!

Ivy Bridge (supposedly releasing in April) will be replacing Sandy Bridge at that price point, but offers better integrated graphics, 22nm die shrink, their 3D trigate tech, and PCIE3 support. Meanwhile, AMD won't be releasing Vishera (their followup to Zambezi) until much later this year (Q3). Sure, it'll have 10 cores and quad-channel DDR3, but honestly, I doubt it'll manage to come close to the performance leaps of Ivy Bridge, and that's considering that AMD's current lineup is losing Sandy Bridge.

Unless AMD pulls off a monumental performance increase (30-50%), there's almost no way it'll manage to compete with Ivy Bridge this year, and that doesn't seem very likely at all at the moment.

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DarkMatter

~feh ~Just build the damned PC for those that just need a computer.. Intel, AMD ... they both work... Nice build nice board .. sorry the processor came in 800million short .. but it's still good for something.

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Ghost XFX

Well, who would have thought that 15 of the 19 comments made were from Intel trolls...

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nbrowser

Yaknow, when Athlon 64X2 was kicking Intel hiney, I was impresssed by AMD....then came along the chance to pick up a LGA 755 board with SLI support and 4 gigs of memory for cheap, so I go for it, drop in an understated Wolfdale based E7200 into it and watch it blow the doors odd my Athlon II X2 7750 BS which was overclocked to 3Ghz.

Fast forward 3 years, the old SLI board still runs with a Q9400 in it, but the main system runs (taking into account exchange rate of the day when I bought it) a similarly priced i7 950 decked with a maxed RAM amount, overclocked to 4Ghz, and makes the FX8150 look slow.

Next time AMD says they got the next Intel killer coming I'll simply yawn. With so much hype about Bulldozer pre-release and it coming up real short in real world testing.

And Nathan, this article just solidifies the fact, sure you can build a zippy system but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say not a killer system. I still run my 7750 BE as a WHS box, sadly it can't do my bidding any other useful way when it's surrounded by Intel chips in the LAN.

And for $1,500 up here in Canada, I can assemble a kick ass i5 2500K system, with an SSD overclock the hell out of it and be happy. With a 580 no less :)

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yu119995

"Next time AMD says they got the next Intel killer coming I'll simply yawn. With so much hype about Bulldozer pre-release and it coming up real short in real world testing. "

Show me that direct quote from AMD please. Exactly.

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chipmunkofdoom2

LOL at them being lazy and scanning the magazine article when there was a TYPO!

Also, lol at the expensive mobo, case, and PSU going into this single CPU, ridiculous hard drive, and single GPU "budget" build. You could build a comparable machine for a few hundred less if you're smarter about your parts.

Bravo again, Max PC, for a somewhat satisfactory article.

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thechipper

I have to disagree with you in a few places. The Sabertooth series motherboards are actually pulling out better oc benchmarks than any other boards right now. ROG may be more OC friendly to the professional OCer but for a home user Sabertooth is where its at.
After using the Corsair TX series I know they are dead quiet, incredibly reliable and are modular to boot.

The case is really a personal choice. I have built 3 PC's with this same case and find it to be a treat to work with. It offers cable hiding, variable fan speed controllers for 5 fans and looks great.

I have to agree with you on the HD though. SSDs are pretty cheap now. Could just go ahead and spend the $120 and get one for the build.

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cisx

AMEN TO THAT

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Supall

I wouldn't have gone with the $100 cooler, but it works. I'm curious as to why you went with Patriot, however. A lot of other choices out there for $50 for 2x4GB. So why choose Patriot?

Also, I don't like that case. For $100, it's a good buy. But with the extra money saved from going with a cheaper cooler, I would've gotten an Antec P280.

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iceman08

DUDE...how did you pull off 38GB RAM for $49?! O.o

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Wingzero_x

Well you know how it is, friend asks you to fix their computer, and since you know they have no intention of paying you anyway. So just take a stick or two of RAM they won't miss it. Eventually you'll be sporting 38GB or more....Gotta get paid some way you know.

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iceman08

before I get flamed, I know he meant 8GB

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HiGHRoLLeR038

he obviously made a typo and meant 8GB

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iceman08

and...looks like I commented too late. darn

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HiGHRoLLeR038

haaaaaa.... i see what you did there lol

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Roots

secound of all, its patriotmemory.com not www.patriot.com
Also, wy would you waist 100$ on water cooler where you can get a coolermaster Hyper 212+ for less then 30?
and lastly the 28gb of ram [unless he ment 32] is'nt listed anywhere and the 1333 version is listed on newegg for 259$, but if it was a typo, disregard. I build computers for the hell of it, and i dont see any reason wy to pay more to get more then 8gb if your not a power user. On a side note, i built a computer recently for a price similar to that. Gotta be weary of the HDD price tought, idd rather have an ssd + hdd then a bigg ass graphic card.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

Isn't the water cooler included stock for the bulldozer?

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Roots

nope it came in a small aluminum box with a stock fan

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nsvander

Actually if you buy the 8150 FX Black Edition, it comes from AMD with the water cooler.

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Roots

just check this picture out, i unboxed it, its the black edition, altought idd agree that there must be a version out there with it in the box, but not the one i had. Beside youdd probly be paying 100$ anyways so might haswell shave off the cost off most you can, from what i been getting from building computers water coolers arent worth it if your not going to overclock, and even then there are air coolers that can do the job pretty good. Over all, i wouldn't fallow this guide to the letter, it all depends on your needs.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y113/topgun228/28b6469b.jpg

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Stry8993

I went up from a Phenom II X4 965 BE OC'd to 3.8GHz, to a Core i5 2500K OC'd to 4.7GHz, and I'll never go back.

I love AMD, and I root for the Underdog, I'd love to see the day when AMD took it to Intel again like they did with the AMD FX to the P4's.

But a faster build with the 2500K can be had for much cheaper, and in 98% of Benchmarks and real world applications the 2500K beats the 8150 thoroughly.

I would not spend more, to get less.

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chipmunkofdoom2

Post your parts, prices and vendors or you're wrong. And no, rebates don't count. MSRP to MSRP, comparable AMD systems are much cheaper. You can get any system cheaper than competing MSRPs when you make a full time job out of watching the deal sites and cutting out/ mailing in rebates, but the same is true if you look for AMD parts VS Intel parts.

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SlaughterALL

Why the hell do you think AMD CPUs are cheaper? It's because they cannot compete with Intel. If they could, you could bet the max difference between 2 similar CPUs would be $20.

That said, I do hope AMD does better, because if they don't no one will be able to compete with Intel and thus Intel will not have to innovate as much or price competitively.

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CaptainFabulous

Core i5-2500k, $229.99 at newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-Intel-_-19115072

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TvMan

38GB RAM for $49.

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JohnP

8GB for $49...

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TvMan

Sorry my post was unclear - was pointing out a typo.

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