Phenom II X6 1090T and motherboard choices - comments?

By sethbest ยท 38 replies
Sep 25, 2010
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  1. Hello, I've been in the IT business for quite a while, but while i fix everyone elses' new computers I am notoriously cheap and have not bought a new system myself in over five years. Deciding it is about time now I have been doing some research and am currently looking at getting a:

    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T black edition at ~$260
    and a ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX at ~$170

    Is this processor overkill? would it be better to get an earlier model for a bit cheaper? I'm just talking about from a functional efficiency standpoint, not for any specific usage necessities, I'm not the most hardcore gamer but I would like not to have to lower game settings for a few years.

    As I understand it this is a good combo for overclocking, though I don't intend to go too high on the clock speed. Is this still a good setup or have there been better combos that have come out at a reasonable price?

    Would it hurt to go for a cheaper mobo? I see that there is a combo deal with this processor with the ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX on newegg, and the MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX is a bit cheaper as well. Is the Crosshair worth the added cost?

    Any suggestions before I buy this set would be appreciated, even other hardware suggestions to go with it, video card or memory setups, or a good psu choice.
    Edit: I'm seeing a lott of people talking about this being the same cpu as the 1055, is there really no hardware difference with the two after overclocked? the price difference isn't huge, but would be good to know.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hi sethbest,
    If you want a little perspective from someone who owns that combo, here ya go. The 1055t is the best price/performance of the X6 lineup. They are the same CPU's just with different factory clocks. they all OC to the same frequency (4.0-4.2Ghz) I purchased the 1055T because I just don't like to pay for someone else to do the OC'ing. The Formula IV is purely an OC board with all of the bells and whistles. it will completely take the fun out of OC'ing if you want it to. It does however have USB 3.0 support, and 42 PCIE lanes if you require that, or are planning on running a multi GPU setup. It is a stellar board both in features and build quality, and you will get the maximum OC out of whatever CPU you drop in there. For me , the Formula IV was worth the $$$, But I run 3x GPU and OC the hell out of everything, so that's a call for you to make. if you are not going to be heavily OC'ing, you can save some money and go with the MB (or similar)I linked to below.
    As far as the X6 being 'overkill', there are apps that use the cores. the only game I know of that will use that many is bad company 2, it will use as many cores as you have. I think that will change with the next round of games however. And before Captian Cranky come in here and calls me out...I mostly got an X6 because I just wanted one ( is that better Cap? :p :) if you want to know anything else about the X6 or the IV, just holler. :)

    BTW, where are you seeing the Crosshair Formula IV for 170.00? 50001314&IsNodeId=1&name=GIGABYTE

    And here is a review of the Crosshair Formula IV with the 1090T/1055T check out how it does against the I7's OC'ed. I have mine clocked just slightly higher than this benchmark.
  3. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Thanks for the info Red.

    It's an open box deal at newegg, I didn't post any links because I'm never sure about rules from forum to forum-

    I was thinking just going up to 3.8ghz and getting a mid range cpu fan, though I have seen several reviews that people have gotten 4ghz clock speed.

    My plan was to get a good mobo cpu setup and then keep it simple, upgrading later on with a ssd drive when prices came down and maybe going dual graphics at a later point, such as at a future graphics card upgrade. So I would say my priority is that flexibility down the road, as I will likely not buy another one for another five years.

    I guess I'm just worried about putting together this system then seeing a sudden price drop or clear improvements for cheaper, though I know this of course will happen at some point.
    So just to be clear the crosshair with the 1055 thrown in would unlock it easily, then it would be the same cpu?

    Those motherboards you suggested look pretty good, my difficulty here is I don't know exactly what direction I will go in the future, as I can easily get obsessed with modding and overclocking new toys, but just as easily I could totally lose interest and just use it for word processing.
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    It will OC the same, and is the same cpu with a different factory clock. There is no unlocking involved. The 1090T is a black edition with an unlocked multiplier, so with the 1055T you are moving the reference clock (fsb) and with the 1090T you have the option of just upping the multiplier. It does not change the OC frequency potential however. with the current stepping, all of the x6's are going to the same place with the same Vcore ( or very close)
    I am not trying to talk you out of the 1090 mind you, It is just my preference to not pay for frequency increases I can do myself in about 3 minutes.
  5. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Arlight, I'm probably going to go the 1055 route, so it's just a matter of choosing the proper motherboard for that. By the way I do not see any link after where you mentioned a review for the crosshair, I would be interested in seeing that.
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    opps, had a senior moment there, here it is.
  7. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Well that review just about sold me on the board. I may not use all of the features to their fullest, but better to have the options.

    So now to juts go over the newegg openbox policies to make sure I'm not getting a bad deal.

    Now to decide on other components, and a case. I might steal some ideas from your listed spec Red.

    In your experience is there anything specifically I should consider getting with this board? Like any onboard features you find lacking that you would suggest getting a seperate card for?
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Not really no, the Supreme FX X-Fi onboard sound is excellent as well. Only the graphic card arrangement you decide on.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

    Ooooo, Shiney.....!

    OK, here's my 2 cents. If you buy the 1055, and a new boxed motherboard, you'll spend about the same amount of money as the 1090 and the open box board. Being paranoid, I like to open boxes for the first time myself.

    And Red, "I bought it because I wanted it, is only half the story. The other half is you bought it because you wanted to tell us you have it. That's OK though, I'm not judging. Sometimes I like to talk about my Core i3-530. :rolleyes: :haha: :wave:
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Naw, if it was a "i want to tell you I have it"....I would get the 1090T...or the X980 :rolleyes::p:wave:
    ...and yes, as per your offline question, I do have some left :)
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

    I'd like to put my i3-530 rig into my Antec 900 case. That is, after I black out the insides. Do you think that this would look silly if I left the stock HSF on the CPU?

    Just to keep this a little on topic, how do you feel about Newegg's open box merchandise...?
  12. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    I am a bit worried about the openbox myself, but I have been reading around, and apparently despite neweggs actual terms, people say that on actually defective hardware newegg will refund the full amount, and even cover shipping as a matter of customer service. Assuming these anecdotes are true then the real concern is someone who potentially damaged the board in a way that wouldn't be apparent until after the 15day return period ends.

    That being said, since its saturday night I will still be considering which route I will take on this matter until monday at least, so I might still go for a closed box.

    Now that I have a motherboard chosen though I just need to pick out ram, and track down a cheap case (I don't care much about asthetics [I mounted a car headrest on my computer chair it's pretty awesome]), decide on a PSU wattage, and finally video card.
  13. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    What would your budget be for video card + RAM + PSU + case?
  14. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    I'm flexible with that, I am trying to keep the whole system under $800, so with the 1055 and the crosshair I'm already at a little under 400, so I'd say I am looking for the rest around 400 but I could go a bit over.

    I don't mind a simple $50ish case, and I am a bit confused about the massive variations in power supply prices, so I really have no idea how much to put there.

    I'm planning on using one of my sata drives that I already have, figuring I'll switch to a ssd sometime in the future, so not considering buying a drive at the moment.

    I have 2 possible routes on video cards, I was thinking getting something simple now, and upgrading when it got outdated to soemthing fancier, or getting something that later I can crossfire (to crossfire video cards do they need to be identical?).

    RAM wise I don't need 16gb off the bat, and RAM has always been one area that I don't really know much about.

    I have posted another thread in general hardware about what other parts I should get for this build, thanks for the info on the cpu and mobo.

    I would still be interested in hearing what you think of the openbox policy red, there is an ongoing debate in my head.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

    With all your future plans, and considering the hardware you're buying, I really don';t think a 50 dollar case is going to cut it. You really need to look at of of Antec's gaming cases, like the 900, or something similar in another brand like Cooler Master. The average cheapo case isn't going to have the necessary cooling for this rig.

    As far as the new versus open box anguish is concerned, that should be a slam dunk. Buy the new one. If you've ever read the reviews at Newegg, and contemplated the a**hole it must have taken to write some of them, why would you ever want something they've d***ed around with, then sent back?
  16. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Very good point about the newegg reviews. I figure most the returns though are just ppl who pluged in the mobo and forgot one of the power plugs, or shorted it against the case, and assumed it was doa.

    The cases u suggest look good, I'll consider them, the little things are starting to add up, I doubt I'll end up making this thing for any less than 1k.

    The bells and whistles still have me leaning towards crosshair, but from this review I'm considering going down a spot or two.,2640-16.html
    This Asrock looks good, and would save me $70ish compared to closed box crosshair.
    edit: Naw, nvm. If i'm going to cut corners somewhere it won't be the motherboard. I'll just keep looking for cheap cases and psu's.
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    :haha: you so and so...why i ought-ta...I just blacked out my new HAF 932...well red-ed out actually. and yes it would look silly, especially with a mini ATX board :p.

    as far as new egg open box, I have ordered open box parts in excess of 30 times. I have yet to get a component that was DOA. It goes to my theory that the failure rate stats you see based on returns are BS. I challenge anyone to find a newegg review from anyone with less than a nigh tech level :rolleyes: More often than not, I get the part in the original retail box with every last accessory and accoutrement.
  18. Breech

    Breech TS Member Posts: 76

    I don't know if this is still relevant but I recall several people complaining about the Formula's north bridge heatsink not seated to the chip and it running very hot. Been a while since I looked at the reviews on that board but it seemed to be a very common issue when it was released. It's not that difficult to fix but I wouldn't think that you should have to fix anything on an enthusiast level board that costs over $200. Again, I'm not sure if ASUS has addressed this issue or not.

    As far as open box items, I purchased a Powercolor 5850 open box a few months back. I was a little nervous about doing so but I haven't had any issues with the card so far. If the savings are significant enough I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hi breech,
    That is something that Asus did correct. The standoffs for the PWR/NB/SM heatsink assembly were the wrong height. I received one of the faulty ones and had to machine .025 off off of them. I agree you should not have to 'fix' a $250.00 board, but I would not disqualify it for it, its a tremendous MB. As I mentioned they have fixed the boards from about mid June on, on the NB runs pretty cool comparatively now.
  20. Breech

    Breech TS Member Posts: 76

    Thank you for the update Red. The Formula is the premier AM3 board IMO, I'm glad to hear that ASUS has resolved that issue.
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

    IMO, this is the best reason so far NOT to buy that open box motherboard. One guesses that the boxed boards ATM, have all had this issue resolved.
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Oh yes, good point Cap, if you get an open box, there is a fighting chance you will have to fix the standoffs yourself. Not a big deal if your comfortable with a bit of low level machining.
  23. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    from the responses of people who say they never have problems with openboxes I was leaning towards that route, suppose I get one with the loose northbridge heatsink how much machining is involved? could I just put a copper plates in the gap or jury rig something? For the $50 difference I don't mind fixing that if it is the only problem.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,556

    Are you s***ing me? Just take the differential from the less expensive CPU and spend it on a boxed board.

    Then you'd have two layers of thermal compound to worry about, not simply one.

    With all due respect to the opinion of my colleague Red about open box product, I offer this; many times a sale price is equivalent to an open box price, and with free shipping thrown in for good measure. I am fully cognizant of the fact that accommodations must be made, when you needed something "yesterday", as it were. Open box merchandise fills that gap nicely. You don't have to wait for the sale. But many times I have actually seen open box prices higher than Newegg's own Email deals.

    Let me also add, that I full well realize that Newegg's disclaimer regarding stuff missing from open box stock is mostly just that, a disclaimer, nothing more.
  25. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    My comment on open box was more to the BS tech level of most people reviewing. If you can save a significant amount, and are okay with possibly not getting a manual or some screws, go for it. if you are not, get the unopened version. But like cap said, if its a few dollars, get the sealed box.

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