System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $1200 Enthusiast PC

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slightly semi-off topic. @zambezi hopefuls-in-denial: the microsoft's windows 7 scheduler update for bulldozer was pulled because of 'premature release'. apparently it's a work in progress, stuff left out etc. moreover, the patch barely improves performance for fx (to properly contend with sb).
the 6100/4100 seems to bottleneck a single 6950/560 ti compared to i3 2100 or i5 2300/2500k at 720p/1280x1024/1080p. because it looks like phenom ii's and current fx cpus bottleneck gfx cards at those resolutions while sandy bridge cpus bottleneck much less (refering to the $600 gaming build of this month).
 

clonazepam

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I spent a good while trying to help a guy in SW:TOR with performance. He was running the fx 8150 and 6970. I suspect the fx series is the worst place to go looking for new hardware for mmorpgs.
 

dalethepcman

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Some users can I'm sure learn from this build, but it will be taken in the wrong lite by the majority of readers. Showing a comparison to last month’s build without an explanation puts AMD in a horrible light.

Using a $190 CPU in the $600 build and a $150 CPU in the $1200 build is wrong.
Comparing a $150 amd cpu with 15% slower than recommended ram vs and $220 intel cpu with recommended ram is wrong.
To include F1-2010 when you had to disable half the AMD cpu for your test run is wrong.

If I you were to review an 8150 with pc-2133 and dual 6950’s vs an i3-2100 with pc-1066 and dual 580’s I would be making these same comments.

You can all go back to calling me a fan boy and thumb me down again.
 

Cash091

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I'll actually be bummed out if I win this... WOW! I can't believe I was an AMD fanboy in the past... Phenom 2 x4 965 will probably be the LAST CPU I purchase from them unless things SERIOUSLY change for Windows 8... Like Bob always says, "I doubt it!"
 

youssef 2010

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[citation][nom]pharoahhalfdead[/nom]The vast majority of people who criticize BD does not have a system that is anywhere near as fast a this or as fast as an i5-2500k. They are mainly running slower and ancient dual cores from years ago, with 8600GT video card, yet they judge any new product that comes out.Personally, I don't care who has the fastest processor, becuase I don't have the money to purchase every new cpu or video card that come out, but when I do upgrade, I just want it to be significantly faster than my previous build. 80% of the benchmarks posted are not programs that most of us even use in everyday life.[/citation]

When you upgrade, my good man, you must try to maximize the performance you can get for your money. It's not about buying every new CPU or GPU, it's about gaining knowledge about new technologies and, in case of SBMs, know which configurations to go with.

One more thing, you're saying "most of us", How many people do you know who have the PC specs you mention or use the same programs as you? 10,20 even if you know 100 people who have such a configuration, it still doesn't mean "most of us". If what you're saying is true, Intel , AMD, Nvidia,..........etc would be out of business.

What's true for most of us is that we upgrade our PCs when we feel a big difference between the current technologies and what we have....a big difference that will affect the way we use our PCs
 

shoda

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Seeing the 2 Gigabyte 6950's made me really happy because I just put together my own system with one of them and was looking to either get another one or upgrade to a new one once Nvidia and AMD come out with their new GPUs. But then I saw the bulldozer and that totally ruined it for me... I'd LOVE to see how much 2 Gigabyte 6950s can take.
 
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I am glad to see that AMD's BullDozer got a chance in the SBM. When I first saw the launch reviews of FX, I was stunned!!! I thought for sure there was a driver(ish) issue holding back the benchmark scores. How could they score worse than their older counterparts?? My old 955BE would beat the FX6100, It's ridiculous!!!!
How AMD??? How can you go from 45nm down to 32nm and end up with a worse product???? How does a huge company go BACKWARDS like that???? I'm still shocked, I thought for sure the scores would be better and zambezi would at least beat thuban and deneb by a considerable margin now that AMD has had time to get their drivers in order, but NO!!!
I just can't understand it, FX should be able to keep up with deneb and thuban no problem, while being more energy efficient since they are 32nm. AMD has some serious catching up to do, Intel needs some competition so we, the consumers, can get better prices on processors that DON'T suck.
I have never been AMD or Intel biased, I buy whatever has the best performance per dollar. Intel has that IN SPADES for the forseeable future.
Thanks to Tom's Hardware for giving Bulldozer a chance to shine it's suck, and making this article very conclusive. AMD deserved a shot at redemption, and facepalmed like crazy!!!!
If you buy an FX CPU after reading this............
 
Maybe run the tests again with Win8.....

Anyways, I'm still trying to figure out why the $600 system builder machine has a i5-2400 and the $1200 system builder machine has a FX-6100.....makes no sense, the $600 machine should have had a FX4100/6100 and the $1200 machine should have had a i5-2500K.....That makes sense.
 

gam0reily

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The article writer himself said that it's an experiment, and he doesn't recommend it to anybody. This system was just made to conclusively find whether AMD's hexa core are the bottleneck for gaming, or only the GPUs hold them back. Needless to say, dual 6950s could never have been so much held back then this FX circus act!!
 

gam0reily

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I am hoping that FX 8170 can at least be a a worthy equal to i5 2500, not even expecting it to match the i7 standards.
And the whole FX range might get under 200$ save a few (8160,8170), and then the future OS that are supposed to heavily rely on multi-threading and multiple cores might balance out this act.
 

raptorxrx

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I didn't know 650w could do all that! I'm sticking with Sandybridge though. Better luck next time AMD, it's sad that you aren't competing against Intel anymore, and I'm an Intel man. Hopefully Intel doesn't capitalize too much on this.
 

noob2222

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The memory operates in any of the slots when you use an Phenom II processor, but the FX-6100 is much more picky about DIMM slot installation for dual-channel operation.
Just downloaded the manual, thats not specific to fx cpus. system won't even boot without a memory chip in either slot_2, regardless of cpu used. msi boards are the same way, memory requires specific slots.
 

tajisi

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Congratulations. Your new build is slower than your old build in every regard and fashion. Even a Thuban would have run circles around this. Bulldozer is crap even compared to supposedly (according to hardcore fanboys) inferior Intel chips.
 
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You have used bad components,Crashman
Why use a Biostar mothrboard,well known for their unreability,when there are plenty of Asus,Gigabyte and EVGA motherboards.
Also the OCZ is a firm known for their SSDs failures
Rosewill is a poor choice for a case,why not use a Thermaltake case with a Silverstone power source?
The memory should have been 8 GB DDR3 at least to avoid using the virtual memory
Also you have not included a single multitasking test
only the same boring single tasks:
-how much faster is a hexacore in Winrar? :lol:
why not wait a couple more days and put an octocore in it?
I have 2 monitors and most of the time I am watching a movie or the tv tuner when I'm working
I also have bitcomet downloading and yahoo messenger in the background
So I may argue that I need 4 cores all the time,although my Q6600 is a bit old :)
Most people do not use handbrake,lame,3d studio max and so on
Most people are gaming and watching tv at the same time,it is a perfect scenario
If you do this you shall find out that you could take any 200$ processor and measure it up to any 1000$ processor and you will have the same results
You will need 3 or 4 video cards and 3-6 monitors and playing at the max settings to see a difference
Soplease include some multitasking tests into the future as well
encoding 8 movies in Avid seems right with the latest octocore
not a gamer's machine,though
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]Wisecracker[/nom]Memory bandwidth at 8-9 GB/s is messed up. Stock should be 13+ GB/s - OC'ed 14-15 GB/s[/citation]

Yes it is. It looks like this is an issue with the Sandra build we're using; in the follow up we'll explore this a little more. I'm still trying to work out the details and I'll post an update in the article when we've got it nailed down.
 

jphet

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This AMD FX6100 is fast! Get it! Don't be deceived by this review just get it! This is a budget build for a nephew he's so happy with it. My jaw dropped when compared to i7 920 x58 platform it's fast. It may be slow in software bench tests because they were written for Intel cpu. It's easy to overclock too and very low temperature. I can get 4.4GHz/FSB 220 x 20 ratio with minimum cpu voltage bump stable. Played BF3 for an hour stable but crashed at 4.5GHz. I can get more out of this CPU by increasing its core voltage and a good temperature @ 37C. It should perform very well with 990FX platform.

AMD FX6100 6-core
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3
Corsair Vengeance ddr3 1600mhz @ 1.5 volt
Corsair SSD 60gb
ATI 5870 Crossfire


 



If you have an early revision of the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 it may be holding you back a bit because of voltages and the lack of LLC. There is a volt-mode available to you to correct this is you are willing to solder a resistor on the mobo.

Also, be certain to update the backup BIOS in the DualBIOS system to the same version as the main BIOS to improve stability. Lookee Here
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]jphet[/nom]Don't be deceived by this review just get it![/citation]

Anytime someone urges you to ignore factual evidence and buy something, that's a red flag.
 

starcore

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I have zero problems with the fx-8120, i am running that along with a HD 6950, m5a97 evo, 16 gigs of ram and the Samsung 830 128 gig ssd.

I get AMAZING FPS and AMAZING speeds, but i am a AMD fan-boy, id buy a piece of dog feces as long as it came with a AMD sticker.
 

jeffredo

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This "guide" is a monument to either ineptitude or an intended slap at AMD. The FX-6100's performance was known well in advance of the date of this guide. I find it hard to believe the writer didn't know the limitations and performance category. To crossfire it with a pair of very strong midrange cards that would do an i5-2500k overclocked justice seems hard to believe. To act as if the CPU bottleneck comes as a big surprise also seems disingenuous. Sorry Tom's, this guide stinks in more ways than one. A skilled system builder should know how to match hardware for the best results.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]jeffredo[/nom]This "guide" is a monument to either ineptitude or an intended slap at AMD. [/citation]

The obvious third option you're missing is giving the FX series a chance at the same budgetary constraints, instead of just writing AMD off as useless and assuming the FX series can never compete on a price/performance basis.

It's no secret that the i5-2500K is a fantastic midrange CPU, and if you actually read the accompanying text instead of making broad/incorrect/worthless assumptions, you might learn something. ;)


 

deimokas

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Hello, it is sometime late I guess. But i have a FX6100 based system with ASUS m5a99x EVO motherboard and GTX570. I have build it by my own, and I am very glad with its performance. I am playing games on 1980x1080 resolution and they runs as fast as my GPU can handle. Furthermore i am using many virtual machines, some heavy programming and this PC runs as fast as mine in work with i7.
So I can not see why you are unhappy about it? In games it really is no bottleneck.
And in this pc building process for the same amount of money i could buy i5 2400 + GX 560Ti VS FX6100 + GTX570. And in games this is much better solution.
 

EchoOne

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This thread is pretty much bs...Ive tested 6970's in my system (Fx 6100 @ 4.5ghz and 16gb of 1600mhz ram) and it did not bottleneck at all....
 
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