Monday, September 13, 2010

PC HARDWARE REVIEW : AMD Phenom II X6 1055T , Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H , 4 x 2Gb KingstonValueRAM DDR3 1333mhz


First of all, sorry for breaking the promise on posting the reviews back few days ago, lol coz I got too unexpectedly busy. Now straight to the point, i will now present you the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T processor !! and the Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H and the four sticks of 2 Gb Kingston ValueRam DDR3 1333mhz !! AND ? well, a bad news is the Gigabyte GTX460 1Gb GDDR5 have to wait for next time, but soon !

INTRO - AMD Phenom II X6 1055T , 2.8Ghz / 3.3Ghz TC , 9Mb cache

Hell yes, after a long journey and I’ve found this baby. Anyway, here’s some picts and specs of the proc :

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
2.8Ghz Stock/ 3.3Ghz TC
9 Mb total cache 
Socket AM3 w/ Heat Sink Fan

Now as for the specs, it consists of 6 physical cores and runs at a default speed of 2.8Ghz each core, with AMD’s TurboCore technology (something similar like Intel’s TurboBoost) it can automatically boost the cores up to 3.3Ghz depending on the usage, and with 9 Mb of cache making it big enough for the 6 cores to play with. Finally, it runs a AM3 socket and friendly enough some rumors saying Bulldozer might be on AM3 or might be unfortunately running on the new server like socket.

As you can see above, there are two different 1055T processors with a 95w and a 125w. A few websites did feature a retail box of the 95w 1055T which I first thought the 95w was released on the OEM market only, seems I was wrong about it. lol.

We further continue to see whats in the box shall we ?

As you notice, the heat-sinks of the AMD PII X4 high end series and the X6 uses a heat-pipe version of sinks and uses a copper+aluminum design for optimized heat transfer and getting rid of the heat faster comparing to the old full aluminum designs. Somehow, the heatsink surface is not smooth enough by my standards lol, looks like I'm gonna lap it sparkle soon when the next full maintenance comes.
The remaining photos of the processor :

INTRO - Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H , AMD 880G Chipset, DDR3, SerialATA 6.0Gbps, USB 3.0

It took me awhile to search for the right board for the right purpose, as usual I'm into small and powerful desktops that doesn't take much space but packs a hell load of punch for intensive resource usage.
Behold ! So far the best m-ATX board for AMD by Gigabyte ! (Personally based on my views, lol).

 The package contains the usual stuffs, motherboard (for damn sure it must be there !) , the manuals, drivers, cables, back I/O plates and finally the stickers ! stickers ! stickers ! Surprisingly, the Dolby Digital stickers are given as well due to the Dolby capable sound chip mumbo-grumbo.Now lets take a look on the board itself :

By default, there's a large USB 3.0 sticker on top of the PCIEx16 slots, once removed you'll see two PCIE x16 side by side, the first slot from the top is a full 16 lanes running at PCIE v2.0 and the second slot uses a x4 lanes PCIE v2.0, which equals to a x8 PCIE v1.0/1.1. Notice the slots are placed next to each other instead of the usual gap where CrossFireX/SLi systems supposed to be, in order to have two graphics card, the main card must be a single slot card which limits to the current single slot PowerColor HD5770  1Gb GDDR5 or having two of the single slot cards as CrossFireX settings.
Further on you can see the SerialATA 6Gbps ports, internal USB 3.0 ports and the AMD SB850 south bridge.
So far, the design of the board satisfy my needs, especially the SATA ports where usually Gigabyte places them directly across the main PCIE slots, except this time only the 5th SATA port is being blocked by a full 10 inch sized card and 4 3 is more than enough for me.

The above shows the NEC USB 3.0 chip used for the newest USB connections.
If you expand the picture, you'll notice the second slot have a part of the slot without contact pins due to the x4 PCIE specifications.
The back of the board as usual, instead of chrome CPU backplate, it uses a black CPU backplate.
The I/O ports of the motherboard.

At the back of the board you get some old school superior PS/2 ports for keyboard or mouse, 4 x standard USB 2.0 ports, VGA/DVI/HDMI that feeds directly from the onboard AMD HD4250 graphics chipset, 1 x Gigabit connection, 2 x USB 3.0 , and 7.1 Realtek HD audio.

INTRO - KINGSTON ValueRAM DDR3 1333Mhz 2Gb x 4

Now here's some innocent ValueRams from Kingston, there's four sticks of these using Elpida chips and for the sake of saving some space, two of these was pictured. Each of these rams runs on a DDR3 1333mhz speed @ cas latency of 9. Specifically, these rams was named as PC10600...which is kinda confusing since the numbers are reaching 10k + and i doubt nowadays people still often naming them by the PC prefix. Anyway, lets call them DDR3 1333Mhz (Double-Data Rate 3 , 1333 Mega Hertz) .

Nothing much to say in intro anymore, lets go into the benchmarks and scores !


I've been thinking after sometime to refine the benchmarking tools i use for the next few comming reviews in case. 

As for CPU we have :

Softwares and applications are subjected to change from time to time due to updates and usage or purposes. 64-bit softwares will be used when available, else the chart will show whether it's 32-Bit or 64-Bit

  • HardwareMonitor is used to monitor the temperature of the system and same goes to the voltage of the rails.This application can be downloaded from 
  • In graphics benchmark, we have the synthetic benchmarks by 3DMark06 and Vantage, both settings are based on the preset of the benchmark profile available in 3DMarks. The settings under 3DMark06 is using the default settings and as for the 3DMark Vantage we'll be using the HIGH bench profile.
  • Crysis will be the demo version of the game with the build in benchmark, during CPU benchmarks the overall settings are set to medium without Anti-Alias @ 1024x768 to keep the CPU busy.
  • PCWizard consists of the basic bench of the power of the CPU, from processing power to bandwidth and memory performance.
  • SISoftware Sandra is used as a pure CPU benchmarking tool.
  • Cinebench is used to measure the performance for evaluating the 3D performance of the CPU and GPU. The R10 is the older version while the R11.5 is the newer version.
Multitasking test will not be done as its a varied results with no real world performance results.


AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8Ghz on stock with 3.3Ghz on TurboCore enabled. (OC @ 3.64Ghz )
Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H 
Kingston ValueRam 4 x 2Gb DDR3 1333mhz (OC @ 1732mhz)
Gigabyte GTX460 1Gb GDDR5 TwinFlow
Seagate 500Gb SATA 3.0Gbps (Main OS)
WD 1Tb SATA 3.0Gbps (Storage)
LG dual-layer DVD-RW SATA
Seasonic M12 620w Modular PSU
Silverstone SG03 SFF casing
23 inch display with native 1920x1080 resolution @ 60hz
MS Windows 7 - build 7600


To make things simple and direct, here's the result :

Well, since I have nothing close to compare but you can scroll though the previous results of my old CPU benchmarks for comparisons, as for now I made a stock default vs overclocked results. 

As you can see, an overclock from the normal TurboCore 3.3Ghz speed to the 3.64Ghz there's a noticeable performance bump especially in graphics and multi-processor applications.

First of all, the first thing is I had doubts on this processor's temperature but it turns out cool and stable indeed ! Good news is it runs very very cool at stock underclocked speed, when there are no intensive applications running then it'll will automatically under clock the six cores to 800Mhz thus making it cool. Even with full 3.3ghz under heavy stress, the CPU still tops around 50c~53c. The bad news is the stock processor heat sink fan is making too much roaring noise from the super fast spinning at 6 thousand RPMs (yes, 6k rpm !).

As for synthetic graphics benchmark,  the default marks generated was 5174 3Dmarks06 on CPU after overclocked, it poped up to 6295 with a 1k+ increment in marks. In Vantage, default clock scored 14k for CPU score while overclocked scored a kick ass 18k with 4k increment.

In Crysis CPU benchmark, it scored a minimum 24.98 FPS and 79.06 FPS on maximum FPS, once overclocked the minimum frame-rate boosted to 49.51 FPS and 90 FPS for maximum.

In PCWizard, the most noteable jumps between overclocked was the Processor Benchmark scores and the Memory Bandwidth  due to the increased clock speed of 1732Mhz on the DDR3 rams.

SISofrware Sandra 2010 SP2 showed us how much expected processing power especially on the calculation and cryptography strength. As you can notice the difference between the stock and overclocked, its a healthy jump. 

Cinebench R10 showed the need of having multi-threaded processors, the stock generated a 16k while the overclocked showed 19k with 3k increment in scores. Cinebench R11.5 with the new updated score system, the stock cpu generated 41.60 FPS on OpenGL renderer and 4.98 pts for CPU scores, on the overclocked conterpart it scored 43.44 frames and 6.35 pts. The OpenGL score didn't made a big jump due to the reason it's stressing the GPU more than the CPU. 


In conclusion, this set of stuffs costs a quarter less cheaper than the equally powefull Intel setup especially the Intel i5 750/760/860. Although its slower in synthetic benchmarks, in games they're equally fast and most of all AMD costs cheaper and with abit of overclocking you get the bang for your bucks.

On the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, the processor is near perfect except for the HSF that made too much noise during full load. The heat generated is surprisingly cooling compare to the previous X4 , this might be due to the fast and loud HSF and underclocking functions and what's more ? it's running in a cramped SFF case that have a little close to not much space for cool air. Overrall , it kicked ass on price/performance but on the note of finding one is kinda hard during the first few months as the demand for the 1055T is mad.

As for the motherboard, a solid performer with tons of features, from the new USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0, Gigabyte included a function where the USB 3.0 can charge an iPhone even when the PC is turned off. I went to the gigabyte overclocking workshop sometime ago and the board they used was the Intel platform Gigabyte H55M and to me this board is unofficially its AMD counterpart.

The rams, man they kick ass ! a value ram with a bucket of overclockable performance, from 1333Mhz to and unexpected 1732Mhz , four sticks in dual channel ! By the way, i expect it'll be able to go higher but thats another time since the purpose of this review is focused on the CPU and the Motherboard.

Well, to sum of the price and you get a six core action for your heavy multi-tasking (I doubt anyone's brain can multi-task 15 apps as much as a six core can handle) , with burning softwares running, movies playing, P2P and converting movies at the same time, the 1055T will be able to handle it.

Guess what ? the expected whole system costs around 2.5 for the desktop CPU only without monitor ! (with a monitor around 22inch you'll get a near 3k system that is able to last a few years until upgrades !)

As a final note, if any of you guys wanna build a similar system and thinking whether if you'll need a hex core or a quad core , I'd say on a budget note get the quad and its as fast as the hex in gaming unless you'll want to do alot of intensive 3D rendering and converting or editing lots of movies, 6 cores it the way to go !.

Also be sure to check out the previous reviews of the other website links on the left of my blog for other comparisons !!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COMPUTER KNOWLEDGE : About Threads and Cores and what to do with them

Heck yes ! The first time I do a 3 bullet action in one shot review in this blog. Folks sure had waited too long for this and I apologize ! But first i have to explain some stuffs on processors where most folks get confused with and its no rocket science but some basic daily science or math or both. So for today, only on processor explanations about cores and threads.

Now to those who didn't catch much news on the computing world and left out or stuck in the Core2 era, 4 cores is no longer the norm and something else just kicked into the budget range of quads, six cores or hex cores.
But seriously even 6 cores are norm, especially in server computing environment where minimally they run on at least 4 cores and up to 16, 32, 64 or even thousands of cores and somehow you must be very rich or having some government organization backing you up.

First of all lets get things clear, in processors we have threads and cores and what's the difference ? Well basically in layman's term cores consists of threads; for example a human with a body consists of a pair of arms and this is equivalent of single core + two threads, get what i mean ? right ? good. (1 cores = two threads or two cores = two threads)
A normal cpu core each have 1 threads and each of these threads have their own unique method of getting stuffs done which is what we called efficiency where I'll go in detail later.
Over the years manufacturers try to squeeze as much processing power out of the processor and various enhancement functionality surfaced but these functions sometimes provide noticeable performance boost and some will cause disadvantages.


Hyper-Threading, a technology first introduced by Intel for their Pentium 4 Prescott models where their single core consists of two threads. The two threads helped reduced the queuing time of the data, for example if our human brain is fast enough to manage a pair of arms and a pair of legs and why not having 2 pairs of arms and 2 pairs of legs ? This will cause another problem, here let me show you a model on why having multi-thread on a certain processors will not provide any boost or even cause it to run slower.

Now, the image above shows that the load processor or the meat grinder able to chew up to 40 Kg of meat per second and the workload coming is 35 Kg so its not a problem for it. The meat goes in with 35 Kg a chuck and comes out in 35 Kg in bits and pieces.

This second picture shows that the meat grinder is still the same ol 40 Kg grinder, but the threads or input chunks are increased to two at the same time, which causes a choke of extra 30 Kg for the next round. Notice, a choke of extra 30 kg, which making doing the task twice in order to complete the grinding process of total 70 Kg.

Now this time, the meat grinder or processor have the power of chewing and grinding 70 Kg of meat, throwing two 35 Kg or one single 70 Kg won't be a problem at all. Chunk in , bits out just for once.

Within the threads, there's pipelines where the pipelines is like a slots for the meat to load into tray and with a maximum of 35 Kg and with lets say 10 maximum slots (3.5 Kg each). So now since this layman's term is direct, just replace the meat as data and you'll get what i mean. Capish ?


The efficiency of the processor determines the capability of the multi-threading enhancement you get. Say with a old Pentium 4 2.8 Ghz with HT enabled which makes it two threads feeding data to the single core 2.8Ghz, the P4 2.8 Ghz is able to complete the 100mb of data within 1 seconds for example but the newer Core i5 single core 2.8 Ghz HT is able to get it done within nano seconds or 0.01 seconds. Let take a look on what efficiency looks like, in a picture that is.

As you can see, the meat grinder takes 10 seconds to completely chunk the 70 Kg of meat as one task. 10 seconds.
Now this time the meat grinder is the same old 70 Kg grinder, but instead its able to complete the 70 Kg grinding within 5 seconds which is able to complete 2 tasks within 10 seconds, this is called efficiency.

The efficiency of the processors or each computer component increases every year or even months especially new discovered methods are found. Efficiency is determined by the design of the processor, a processor is like a town with little roads to big highways with lots of traffic moving back and forth in different lanes to different location based on their purpose. Look below.

(courtesy of

This is the architecture of the Nehalem processor, or we simply call it the Intel Core i7 architecture. Notice the Cores, the memory controller , the QPI (bus interconnect) and L3 cache ? each of these is like a connection or bridge between the processing hardwares. If one of them is not fast enough for others , it will cause a so called bottleneck for the whole thing, like the meat grinder above, chewing 70 Kg of meat while its only capable of chewing 40 Kg/s.


My point is, HT is like an extra enhancement component. Multi-threading might sound good, but it might not be useful or even giving bad performance with incompatible softwares. (yes, we are talking about software now)

Seriously, as a user I'll hang myself if i waste a big bunch of money for something I never need but if i do, i'll be damn happy that its helping my job gets done faster.
The software layer plays a big role to make sure the multi-treading works efficiently in the processor. This comes the debate of whether games require how many cores to run.

While most software is mostly a single threaded application, running a dual core will not speed things up in the application, but overall from the view of usability , you're able to do graphics design and listening to musics at the same time. Apps nowadays are multi-threaded, so a dual core will helps keeping things fast without choke provided the game or application is multi-thread capable.


Games for example, Command and Conquer : Red Alert 2 is a good old RTS which I'm still playing (seriously). This game is released around like 2000 ? back before HT or multi-cores were the normal scene.
The game requires a widely used Intel Pentium II/III with at least 450 Mhz or 800 Mhz for enjoyable gameplay. But the game still lags even on a modern processor, why ? simply because the game is not multi-threaded and it requires very minimal graphics requirements.
For example, In the image below during the beginning of the game I only have a few units and tanks to spare, or we call the soldiers "units".

With only such amount, I can select the soldiers to one location in a very fast manner without any delays and everything is fast, even building structures and the in-game animation. But things are about to change when time goes by.

What is this ? Well, i have to look into the fog of war, basically the black fog is the undiscovered place the units haven't been to yet. In this black screen, i can build units instantly even my fingers aren't fast enough to click build order new units more than 4 in queue. Basically, its fast ! everything builds too fast.

Looking back at my base, its a lag fest in there. I can click the build unit queue up to more than 15 and it's still processing the units, not to mention once i give these units an order to go somewhere it'll lag worse. The game still lags, even after 9 years. This shows we have different optimized games. One is multi-threaded while some older or even current games are single threaded, single threaded games requires more clock speed rather than cores and threads.


Grand Theft Auto 4, the controversial game that sets in a fictional New York named Liberty City with the liberty statue holding a coffee cup instead of the torch.
(courtesy of Rockstar entertainment)

This game was designed to make use of multiple processing cores, the only super multi-core end user affordable processor was the PlayStation 3, where 8 cores of action comes in a RM1.7k console. The cores works almost the same the personal computers, the processor is designed by IBM together with Sony and Toshiba (STI). The game sets in a near real life scene where lots of people, vehicles, buildings and different weathers happening in the game. So imagine like the Red Alert 2, with more things to display, the more processing power it needs. Ironically, the PS3 runs the game slower than the competitor's system while the competitors system only consists of 3 cores. Strange eh ? hehe, let me explain why. 

A game, unlike applications with not much graphic resource in display real time. The game actually relies alot on graphics processing power even the PS3 8 cores alone won't help. Other than the processor in the PS3, the PS3 have a build in Nvidia 7800 series GPU (graphical processing unit) to help process the graphics. The Nvidia 7800 was actually abit underpowered compare to the Xbox 360's ATi Xenos (simillar to the ATi X1900 desktop version). So for example, GTA4 have alot of things running, walking or moving in the game, which requires the CPU or processor to do the logical math, but to render or to display what the actions is like, a graphic card is needed to aid the display purpose. Unlike red alert 2, this game in layman's term, need more graphical power at the same time equally powerful CPU.

Bottom line is? Be sure to get something that makes balanced performance for what you do. Having a super fast CPU is certainly good when there are alot of actions going on, but at the same time you need some power for the graphics to render. The more powerful your CPU is the more taxing your GPU is when the game runs on multi-threading. Somehow a balance system is hard to find and create, testing and reading specs sure helps when building a system.

*also as an extra note, most games does not benefit from Intel's Hyper-Threading, this technology was mainly designed to help the server industry to save costs and provide more efficiency in the microprocessors especially servers that deals with small data, lots and lots and lots of small data where normal computer would crash running it 24/7.


I bet most of you readers know Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop comes a long way back since the Apple Machintosh era till now. Ranging from Photoshop to Photoshop CS5 (current), each of these versions have their own unique capabilities, especially performance boost or functionality.

An old Photoshop, is single threaded based and works well on a single cpu or dual cpu. But when it comes to applying filters on large pictuers for example, the app will be extrememly resource intensive especially on the processor and available rams.
Current Photoshops works best on a multi-core processors as they are well optimized in the workstation industry where multi-cores are the norm, especially dual socket quad cores with a total whooping 8 threads or 16 threads. But seriously, for normal editing or graphic designer a dual core is more than enough to get things done and saving a minute sometimes is not worth the extra $200 or $500. But , since quad cores are cheap and affordable, I don't see why not getting a quad.

Movie editors however requires alot more of processing power and memory, like 3D animations. They tend to stress the processor to the max when compiling a video or a set of objects in 3D environments. 8 cores ? barely considered fast. This is corrected with the help of dedicated professional 3D cards, for example AMD's FireGL or Nvidia's Quadro cards.

So ? If you're doing alot of huge processing , a quad or triple core is more than enough as long the price is right. Four cores @ 2.4 ghz and minimum 4 gigs of ram sounds about right and 8 gigs of memory hits the sweet spot. Btw, make sure you have large capacity hard disks as well. Hmm....if you're rich, don't mind getting what you want but what you need though, with an economy going down it sounds bad to me.


Now you should be able to know why some games will still lag even with the super duper uber 8 cores cpu and 2 x SLi CF graphic cards. Each games and application uses resources differently, to match a system with the usage we need its a difficult job. Sure throwing RM10,000 sounds about right to get a super fast computer, but using it for something that doesn't need such power sounds so damn wrong. BUT, look there's a but, since having a super fast computer and at the same time wasting resources for nothing , you can join folding communities to help making a cure for cancer. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look for F@h (Folding at home) on google.

Anyway, the cpu, mobo, rams and gpu combo review is coming in a day's time. Be sure to check out the blog soon !

Friday, September 3, 2010

My personal rant : People who demands something without even actually knowing its value

Ok, these few days have been intense for me and I have to make a point to those who are still having their blurry head whenever they expect people to do things for them but doesn't actually appreciate it fully.
This however I am willingly to admit is my friend Alexander who brought these ideas for me to write. BUT DON'T misunderstood because I'm not doing a full fledged flame on you, you are the idea of this good post and a waking call to the others.

First of all, i got my fingers injured and I'm still fixing PC in a rushing state. Why the rush ? yes, seems like some people just can't control their excitement over something they bought, and if you notice I used "they" and it means not only one but to most of them who have their PC fixed or decorated by me.

Just recent with few of my fingers suffers from cuts, I got a few friends who requested me to help them to assemble the PC, and i did it free of charge because its for my friends and no money talk is required, I do it for the sake of friendship and experience. And I'm not doing one charity work, there are others I do help especially those who understands my capability and results, especially those who knew me long ago, old friends.

Now, its not this time that causes my outrage on such cases. After so many years of assembling PCs, on hardware basis I can assemble a half-baked PC within 15 min or a completely perfect cable managed PC within 3 hrs, yes 3 hours might sound pushing because I tend to go the further mile to make sure it doesn't cause problems in the future.

Take cable management for instance, there are azzholes that think cable management is as simple as screwing a screw into a hole. Cable management to say , considered as an ART of the computer assembling process. Why ? because each computer chasis, each hardware have their own unique attribute that causes the result to differ each and everytime a different computer setup is done.
I know a few dudes a few years back, who i did some cable management for them, they complaints that my skills isn't perfect and my work sucks. Well yeah i admit and guess what ? you rushed and i rushed and its a fair piece, blame it on why you never understand a unique skill's value. A lesson for them ? = never rush a work of art. At the same time, they compare my rushed results with the works of perfectly timed consuming results that requires more than a few hours, bravo !
(btw, those dude turned out sticking to some money sucking vampire technician and they love eachother !)

(Go watch toy story 2 if you still don't understand the meaning of "never rush a work of art")

Second of all, most of these people doesn't care much what my time costs for doing some charity work. They rant behind my back saying my work is shit. Well, who cares ? those who knows what I'm capable of automatically gives me the time i need to get it done good, and when I mean good I make it really good. Even if they don't rant, they'll like "I'm paying and I want it today !" or " Do it or it'll soil your name" attitude.

It's your money, buy whatever you like and get whatever you like but don't come ranting me why I can't make it happen because of your ignorant towards my honest and humble advices.

So be it, from now on if you respect my skills and my works and requires my service, it's my call on time and advices you should follow if you're looking for me and it ain't the other way round. Don't like it ? leave quietly.
From now on, I will demand specific charges for my skills when I get pressured and it's not like I don't have any girlfriend and only sticking to computer buttsecks.

Seriously speaking, I do feel good after building 1 half-baked near perfect computer and 1 full baked perfectly setup computer, why the differences ? it's obvious. But I'm not gonna post pictures of what I did as I have proven myself too many times.