Hello folks, and welcome to Part One of a mini-series I will be running the next two weekends (not including this one). We Are Legion – Building A Beast will be following the new PC build I am doing. That’s right everybody — DJ is finally putting together a more top-of-the-line rig. This new PC will be including a few pieces of hardware from my last build, namely being the; HIS Radeon HD 6870, Raidmax 850W Gold Power Supply, Cooler Master HAF-XM case, and my old faithful HP dvd1260 burner.
This journey will be one of self-discovery, and of building a PC that will finally be able to conquer anything I can throw at it (up to a reasonable resolution). The new parts that will be going into this system is a combination of parts that many companies have provided for me, as well as few parts I picked up on my own dime. Below I will list the rest of my PC so aptly named ‘We Are Legion’.
- AMD FX-6200 Processor — Six Core running at 3.8ghz stock (courtesy of AMD)
- Gigabyte UD3 990FX Motherboard. Bought off Amazon for $99.16
- Kingston HyperX 3k SSD 120GB — 555Mb/s Read, 510Mb/s Write. (courtesy of Kingston)
- Crucial Ballistix 8GB 2000Mhz CAS 9 Memory. (courtesy of Crucial)
- Samsung 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive. Currently $79.99 on Newegg until 6/7
- Corsair H80 Water-Cooler. (courtesy of Corsair)
As you can see, I’m replacing every core component of my current PC with pieces that are not only newer, but a lot faster. This should not only make gaming a more enjoyable experience and unlock the full potential of the HD 6870.. It will also allow me to test newer and faster video cards with no fear of my system bottle-necking them. Over the next two weeks I will be doing reviews for all of the pieces listed as “courtesy of..” so keep an eye out for that. As well, next weeks article will cover the removal of all current hardware, and in-turn, the installation of each new piece. Expect that article Saturday or Sunday of next week, depending on when the final three pieces arrive.
Until then, I’ll leave you with some numbers from my current build. Come week three, I will put up numbers for the new build and compare them side-by-side with these numbers. Let’s see if a modest, mid-range gaming PC can decimate current titles at the moderate resolution of 1360×768. For reference, my current build includes an
- AMD Phenom II X3 720 unlocked to four cores and overclocked to 3.2Ghz
- ASUS Micro-ATX Motherboard
- Seagate 320GB 7200RPM Hard-Drive
- 4Gb’s Patriot DDR2-1200Mhz memory
- Thermaltake DuoOrb CPU Cooler.
The numbers below are from the following tests; PCMark 7, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 11, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, and Windows Index Score (for those who like it).
Let’s get the ball rolling with PCMark 7. These numbers are calculated by running seven different tests three times. This is not a very demanding benchmark, but it is a good test to utilize all the different pieces of your computer such as your hard-drives and memory.
Next up we have 3DMark Vantage. As you can see neither of the tests have a 3DMark score, this is because I had to change the resolutions for the tests. The shot on the left is using the Performance preset, while also using my resolution of 1360×768. The shot on the right is using the Extreme Preset again with my resolution.
One area where 3DMark 11 has an edge on Vantage is that the default resolutions for the presets are actually 16×9, which means I ran both benches at the preset settings of Performance (left) and Extreme (right).
Moving onto Crysis 2. Running at max settings with the DX11 and the High-Res texture pack I was still able to get playable frame-rates for most of my playthrough, although a few times it dipped down into the low 20′s which is unplayable.
Last but certainly not least for the gaming benchmarks is Metro 2033. This game I believe is the best test of PC performance. Not only do the graphics looks amazing maxed out — the game also runs pretty damn well all things considered. The graphics were set to max settings, although the Anti-Aliasing was left at AAA because bumping that baby up to 4X makes the game unplayable.
Yes I am including a screenshot of my Windows Index Score. No this score doesn’t mean anything, but it does give those using Windows 7 (without any of the other benchmarks) something to compare to. As you can see my hard-drive is what’s killing me the most on the scoring, which is to be expected.
Well guys, that’s it for part one. Check back next weekend for part two, which will be chock-full of pictures of my rig now, the rig being dismantled, new parts going in, and finally the finished build. Hope you guys enjoyed this, and I’ll see you back here this time next week (I hope, please come back).