How-To Build An AMD/CrossFire Powerhouse PC



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". . . look for next month's issue when MaxPC pits a stock 1995 Honda Accord V6 with a brand new air filter against the 2010 Nissan Skyline with all the latest and greatest engine upgrades!"

I second the peeps who are justifiably angered over the lack of true comparison between the two brands.  IMO, This is a subscription breaker.  If you can't effectively hide your publishing company's bias between the brands, just keep the article as another one in a line of THOUSANDS of articles you publish (EVERY ISSUE) on "How to build your own PC!"



I built a system similar to this back in December.  I have the same mobo, cpu, & cpu cooler.  I bought a Cooler Master HAF932 case, G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR, SeaSonic X750 Gold power supply.  I reused my existing HDD's, DVD Burner, and GeForce 9800 GTX video card.  While it definitely does not have the newest video card, it works pretty good right now and was a buge step up from me Opteron 165 system I was running.  I'm also running Window 7 Ultimate for an OS.


I also have my system running stable at 4.199GHz while playing BFBC2.  My goal was to achieve at least 4GHz stable which is where I'm at.  I under clocked the ram while bumping up the FSB, voltage, and bringing the multiplier up to x20.  Next upgrade will probably be a video card.


I also didn't spend as much as you would think considering I won a $500 gift card that took care of most of this build.  I also waited until I could get things on sale which also helped me to stretch my money just a bit further.



$2200 Good lord, can you take 25 cents for the next 5 years? :) So much for those military class components from MSI. I like a 1000W or atleast 850W PSU at that price and Corsairs is just as sexy. Water cooling is easily achieable and has come along way and is pretty cheap, better reliabe for overclocking  but a leak can ruin your whole system. Maxing out the  ram is better performance  than fancy cabling sleeving, cable ties and flex tubing are more cheaper and equally achieved.  SSD, HD, GPU's are too rich for my blood.  Win7 Pro 64 bit worth the 30 or 40 on OEM than Home Premiuem. Interesting read and enjoyed article.  Just my 2 cents not trying to get anyone mad.   



WAY TOO MUCH UNNECESSARY SPENDING! I know i may be repeateing what others have already posted but this is just ridiculous; no wonder this machine gets its ass kicked by Maximum PC's various intel boards. As I scrolled down the parts list I was confuesed as to whether this PC was being built to look pretty or to perform. Here's a list of my suggestions:

1. Lose all of the shortened and sleeved cable nonsense. Learn how to route $$$

2. Use water cooling on the CPU so you can overclock safely

3. Is spendeing $500 on an SSD really worth it? Is spending $170 on a 2TB HD necessary? Do you really need that much space?

4. $190 for a 750W PSU?! Theres way cheaper PSU's from Corsair. If your spending $200 on a PSU it better be 1000W!

5. $100 for an optical drive? Unecessary IMO

6. Use the money youve saved to buy a GPU that is actually on par with a 580 or 590

GET RID OF THE NONSENSE SPENDING! Was this article trying to make an AMD build look bad?



1 - Agree.

2- Yes and no. You can easily overclock off of air cooling at 70-80$ less than a good watercooled setup. If you want to go nuts though, liquid cooling is obviously the way to go. I get my xeon from 3.4 -4.1ghz np with a Frio (aircooler).

3- Yes and No. An SSD will definitely improve your preformance with todays computers. Is it worth it to buy a big one... not really. Unless you have 6 WoW's and an OS installed on it haha. They could have saved a lot of money on the reg drive by going with a 750gb WD Black Drive. Most of the times I find people go with the 2tb hds because they rock 64mb instead of 16 or 32.

4-Agree - You could get an almost silent psu for that kind of money at 850-1000watts

5-Its a Blu ray so yeah they pretty much cost that much.

6- 6000 series is a disappointment. They needed to rework their drivers entirely but instead just started thinking about the next series and budget cards. They have been notorious for being the fastest GPU in the world only because they got there first. Nvidia has been kicking their ass for a while now. Last gen they were mocking Nvidia because of their power hungry loud as an airplane GPUs and now they've done the same thing. Loud 300watt gpus. 6970s make me cry at night.

7- You didn't write this many. I know. This is an added note which may be directed to the builder. For a gaming rig the quad core black edition is a stronger cpu. I don't know why people push the 6 cores. Games don't improve off of 6cores. Check the real game stats not the artificial simulations. Additionally if you do decide that you absolutely needed a 6 core system you might as well have gone for 6gb of memory. I hear 12gb ripsaws are a good value right now.



1 MORE THING! Only 4gb of RAM???? This article needs to be redone...




My build was a little more due to maxing out ram and filling up drive bays:      

  1. NZXT Phantom - All 7 Fans $140 + $45
  2. Xion 1000watt Gaming PSU $100
  3. ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 890FX $220
  4. AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition $200
  5. Thermaltake V1 AX cpu cooler  $35
  6. G.Skill Flare Series 16gb DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) $490
  7. ASUS Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $180
  8. XFX Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $180
  9. Mushkin Enhanced Callisto 2.5" 90GB SSD $160
  10. 500GB Western Digital Caviar Black HDD $60
  11. 1TB x 2 Western Digital Caviar Green HDD $50 + $50
  12. 2TB x 2 Western Digital Caviar Green HDD $75 + $75
  13. LG 10X Blu-ray Burner $90
  14. ASUS 24X DVD Burner $20
  15. 4port USB 3.0 Hub $35
  16. Win Ult 64 $180
  17. 23"Full HD Monitors x 3 $200 + $150 + $150

Looks and runs great.




How does a $2200 AMD-machine stack up against a $2200 Intel-machine? I think that would be the better test, using the same case, same hard drive, same power supply and cables – otherwise it is a pointless comparison. Let's make a science out of this hobby instead of comparing shopping lists.

Shortcut: Can a $200 CPU on a $200 mobo from Intel beat a similar priced CPU and mobo from AMD? Everything begins and ends with a budget. 

Other questions; what is more joyful to build relative future expansion? Say you have a $1500 budget (which is a lot of money for a box of components that depreciate in value, even though we pretend that it isn't), and you plan to make relevant upgrades over the next 2 years – which gives the best building experience and value for money over a 2 year period. In other words, which system will minimize economic loss over time, so that I do not have to start over? Should I give my $400 to Intel or to AMD?





Get the HX850w instead of that Silverstone 750w. Drop the $25 shortened cables and learn how to properly cable manage.

Dump the 2TB drive. $170. + Dump the $500 SSD. Pick up 2 Raptors and RAID them along with a single 1 TB HDD in RAID0+1 and if you really nead sub half minute load times for your OS get a 30GB SSD. Savings estimate $200-$300 depending on the capacity of the Raptors.

And dump the stupid sleeved extensions. Straight connections are more stable than multiple connectors. You want the cleanest power you can get when you're gaming. Introducing more length after getting a short kit is what n00bs do.

So let's recap...

Saved at least $35 on the short kit and the PSU. And another $54 on the sleeved extensions. That's $100 that you could have put toward an ATX Gold 950. Which isn't much more than the the HX850w PSU. Having less cables to clutter the interior is everything in Cable Management and cooling. And no need to sleeve them since they look cool enough completely bare.

If you cut out the SSD completely you can get 6990 and dump the 6870 XFire. Which some games don't seem to like XFire so you saved yourself a little hassle and increased your LAN time in the process.

You can get a couple 300GB VelociRaptors for $150 each. It's not SSD fast but those're plenty fast enough. Oh and while you're at it dump the shiny shiny NZXT Phantom and pick up a cheap 912. That saves you $90 right there that you could spend on your mouse and Keyboard peripherals.

Put my build up against your build in a head to head deathmatch. Oh yes and drop the 1090T pick up a 955 BE and OC the heck out of it with a solid cooler like Megahelms instead of that cheap 212+. Ick! No self respecting Clocker should even look in that direction. *shivers*




o_O WTF that's gotta be the worst ever build why you didn't use two HD6850's unlocked and overclocked is beyond me, 54 bucks for pretty cable extenders pft would have cost less for the SilverStone ones and done the same job and if you OC the HT/NB clocks on that CPU you'll get much better results for memory intensive ops.... you guy's need to spend a little more time researching stuff on tech sites like TPU, OCzone and the like before puttin hands on hardware



I built a similar system that is my ultimate system. My system includes:

HAF X Case
Ultra X 1200 Wt PS
Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5
AMD Phenom II 3.2 GHZ
Corsair H70 Liquid Cooling
4 ea OCZ DDR3 RAM (16 GB)
ATI 9870
BD-R Blu-ray Burner
2 ea 1 TB HDD
Windows 7 Ultimate.

This is what you have to do to max out an AMD! It works! With liquid cooling, 4 GHZ is a very easy OC. 



I built something close to what he did for less AND I sleeved mine with MDPC. Didn't use Velocis' cause that would have pushed me out of my budget.


HAF 932

Crosshair IV Formula did NB fix replaced pads with Shin Etsu G751

Lapped 955 BE w Shin-Etsu G751 Thermal paste.

H50 Push/Pull setup with Yate Loon High Speed Silents and hacked up stock Corsair fan turned shroud between the Push fan and Radiator mounted in the 120 slot up top in Exhaust.

8GB Dominator kit which I sold and have since purchased an 8 GB pair of GSKill Sniper 1600 series

HD 5770 Radeon replaced the TIM with G751. Will upgrade the GPU later when games push me in that direction.

HX850w PSU fully sleeved in Black and Red MDPC-x w/ alternating shrink

Two Hitachi 1TB HDD set in RAID0  1TB/1TB partitioned and running my games and apps on the outer partition storage happens on the inner. And a 2TB drive to back it all up.

Scrolling happens on my Weapon of Choice gaming pad using Logitec G9x and cheap logitec plank for input.

I spent ~$1700 on the entire build. You can find my Rig on YouTube.



Really, if you're gonna do that then why stick with the heatsink/fan for the cpu?

Get a Corsair H50 or H70 watercooler.  Doesn't add that much more to the cost, less than $100.

Also, I would've gone with an Asus Forumula IV board myself.



MSI motherboard? Really? The fuck is wrong with you guys?



What is wrong with MSI? I currently have 4 computers, 1 Asus, 2 Gigabyte, 1 MSI... they all work fine. The MSI isn't missing anything that the others have, or am I missing something?



Or instead of frying an AMD board you could buy an Intel for the same price and overclock it to 5ghz. AMD isn't a competitor on the highend.



So the PC sans monitor ended up costing $2400 due to the fried motherboard. No contingency plan?



Is it a typo or two 6870's couldn't beat single 5970 ? Really ?



The 5970 is two 5870 cores which are more powerful than 6870 cores...



4GB of RAM? Seriously...?



"you can’t buy Sandy Bridge motherboards at the time of this writing" How old is this article? The B3 mainboards have been available for a couple weeks. Newegg as an example? Hmm...



Lead times for print articles are way longer than you think.



Have been out for a while, howerever they have been shipped within the past week or 3 shipping and availability I think are the keywords for this... however I read this and thought the same thing

must be an old article copied and pasted to here -_-

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