I have ALOT of questions + need advice on PC setup

It would help me greatly if you could put the number of the question(s) you are answering in your posts since i have so many of them :)

OK I have built PCs before but never one for gaming and id like some advice. Im not looking for a top of the line machine, and i have a very very (did i mention very?) small budget. I would like to play crysis and some of the other modern games out now. I have a few questions followed by what setup i am currently looking at on newegg

1. Are mainstream PC games going to run better with a faster CPU or GPU? Should i put more money into a nice graphics card with an average cpu or nice cpu and average graphics card? Or should i just go with two mid range components?

2. Alot of the graphics cards im looking at say they need a PSU of 400 watts or more. The case im getting comes bundled with a 450w PSU. Is this going to be enough power to run everything or should i look for something else?

3. When buying a graphics card should i be looking for something that has alot of memory or a faster chipset? Example: i am looking at the radeon HD 5570 w/ 1gb mem. Would i be better off buying the HD 5670 w/ 512m? (its only a few dollars more).

4. Take a look at the liquid cooling i have posted. Does it look like it will be worth the money? How much better is liquid vs fans? Should i just invest in a $10-15 fan/heatsink and add $35 to my graphics card/CPU budget? (again which should i be spending more money on?)

5. I have read the min system requirements for crysis and i believe this pc will run it. Min req= 2.8ghz cpu (single core i assume?) dx9 video card w/ 256mb and 1gb ram. The parts i have selected right now = 2.8ghz dual core AMD Athlon X2 240, dx11 radeon hd 5570 w/ 1gb memory, and 2gb ram. Please if you see something wrong with this tell me.

6. Now for OS. I love XP. I hate Vista. I have not had any experiences with Win 7. Problem is XP is starting to get a little dated, and i dont know if future games are going to support it. So that leaves me with Win7. Is it going to require higher specs to run games? i know if you have vista the min system requirements for games goes up is this the same for 7? Also ive heard that Vista is a major memory hog because of all the flashy features and stuff they put in it. Is Win 7 the same way or did they fix it?

7. Are older games that were designed for XP going to work with Win7? Id hate to lose playability of Battlefield and Starcraft

8. I know my setup is missing a Hard drive and a DVD drive. I have a nice DVD drive but im not sure what had drive to get. It probably needs to be a 7200rpm and i dont really need a ton of space so anything like 320gb or under is plenty and remember i need it as cheap as possibly possible. (although if something with more space can be found for a similar price enlighten me)

9. Im sure im leaving something important out so feel free to add your 2 cents and thanks for reading all my questions. Now on to the hardware and links:

MoBo= Gigabyte micro atx GA-MA785GM-US2H

Ram= 2gb of dual channel G SKILL DDR2

Processor= Athlon II X2 240 dual core 2.8ghz model no. ADX240OCK23GQ

Case= Raidmax Tornado mid tower ATX

PSU= Raidmax 450w power supply (comes in case)

Link to bundle with everything above

Liquid cooling= XIGMATEK All in one liquid cooling system (bundle does NOT come with any type of cooler for cpu)

Graphics card= Gigabyte Radeon HD 5570 with 1gb DDR3

Thermal paste= Artic Silver

TOTAL: $324.57 with $10 mail rebate

Ok wow i think im done for now. Please post up your opinions on this and point me to any helpful articles and or things to read while im bored. Thanks to all who read this.
15 answers Last reply
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  1. Hehe, I'll try to answer your questions.

    1. Go for a Better GPU, but at least a LGA1156/AM3 CPU (Core i5 or greater)/Athlon II X3 or greater

    2. I would suggest an aftermarket PSU, but go here for more info: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    3. If you can, go for a 5750. If not, go for the 5670.

    4. Go for a Xigmatek S1283 or Cooler Master TX3. They're both better performers than the AIO liquid cooling solution and both are cheaper. IMHO, when getting an AIO LCS, get one with an external radiator (H50, anyone?), but the TX3/S1283 are great HSFs, and it's just not worth investing in a LCS.

    5. Well, those requirements are to play crysis at hideously low settings. It's usually not a good idea to play a game (or run any software, for that matter) at minimum/close to minimum specs. Go for 4 GB of RAM (DDR3 is cheaper than DDR2 now too) if you can afford it.

    6. Windows 7 is stripped-down vista (so no, it's not that much of a memory hog). Yes, the sysreqs go higher, but it's worth it (you get DX10, DX11, and more options).

    7. You can use Windows XP mode, so I assume you can.

    8. Just go for a Western Digital HDD, 320GB is fine, and 7200 RPM is a must.

    9. Nope, I don't think you're missing anything (besides keyboard/VGA/Mouse)

    The Combo is fine. if you can, go into the BIOS and ENABLE "ACC or something like "Advanced Clock Calibration". it should unlock 2 more cores in your CPU, turning it into an Athlon II X4. (yes, really! :)

    Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103064&Tpk=TX3%20cm

    GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161319&cm_re=5670-_-14-161-319-_-Product

    HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074

    ODD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106333

    Thermal Paste: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    ^^Let me just say that I'm a really big Thermal Paste guy. I choose the best of the best, and right now it's CoolLaboratory Liquid Metal Pro (expensive), Arctic Cooling MX-3 (even more expensive), and Shin-Etsu X23 (cheap, but the best of all three).

    Good luck with your build! If you have any more questions, post post post!
  2. ok well i have a 480w psu and a case that im not using right now but im not sure what motherboards will fit in the case. i dont see any branding or anything so is there any way to tell what will fit in it? the mother board thats in it now is approx. 9x8 inches if that helps
  3. Your case is probably ATX, but take a look here for reference. If it doesn't look quite like any of these boards, don't be afraid to post. :)

  4. thanks i think mine is a micro atx. Thats what i though at first but i looked at the measurements of some online and it said like 9.6x9.6 inches and the one in there is 9x8
  5. MicroATX can be smaller than 9.6". (I think up to 7"...)

    If it's possible, can you take a picture of the case? ATX cases can also handle microATX boards, and it would be easier to identify it. :)
  6. ok but it will be a cell phone pic as i have no cable for my camera.. just a sec. Also i was looking at this mobo and it says it has one pci 2.0 x16 slot and one pci x16 running at x4. Can this handle cossfire with two pci 2.0 cards or would it have to be two (1.0?) pci x16 cards?
  7. PCIe 1.0 is outdated, and you won't find it on any boards nowadays.

    You should look for 2 PCIe x16 2.0 slots, and a crossfire-capable mobo.

    At least, look for a board with two slots that are shaped like x16 slots.
  8. well that mobo said crossfire support in the description but i didnt know if that would work with two different pcie x16 slots
  9. The PCI slots you see: the smaller one is a PCIe x1, the larger one is a PCIe x16. Because there is only one x16 slot, there is really only one place for a GPU.

    I suggest investing in a 5750 or 5770 if you want to keep this deal. Otherwise, we can start from scratch, with a new configuration.
  10. haha oh were talking about different motherboards. i linked it in my above post i guess its hard to see it. Here:

  11. Yes. Because the second PCIe slot is shaped like a x16 slot, although it operates at x4 bandwidth, it will support another video card in crossfire. :)
  12. Heres pics

  13. Ready for some good news? That's an ATX case! You can fit in ATX, MicroATX, and maybe (just maybe) Mini-ITX. The board in there is definitely MicroATX, and that cpu looks like a pentium 4! :)
  14. Thanks for all your help! and its actually a Celeron D though. OK Ill probly have more questions ill post in here as i research more about gaming computers and overclocking and all that goes into that. For now i just have a cpu question. Im probably going with AMD because Intel seems to be much more expensive and i dont have a big budget. Would it be a better to have a higher clock speed or more cores? The two im comparing right now are both $95. Im wondering which would be a smarter buy (and why) Between a AMD 2.6ghz Athlon II X4 quad core or a Phenom II 3.1ghz X2 Black Edition (also what is the difference in the black edition? Basically just wondering which is more important more cores or more ghz and what other factors i should look at when choosing a CPU. Lets just say my CPU budget right now is around or very close too $100 (unless im cpu mobo combo). Do these look like they are good for the money or should i be looking at something else entirely?

    Here are the links:

  15. Ghz is not the only factor, there are a lot of architechtural differences, but for now, let's just say that intel is almost always going to be more powerful than AMD, and just a little pricier.

    I'd get the Phenom, not only because it's a faster dual, but you can enable "ACC" in the BIOS and that will turn it into a Phenom II X4 for free! :)

    Black edition means it has an unlocked multiplier (easy overclocking), so you don't have to raise the system speed to boost your GHz. Instead, just turn up the multiplier. Your CPU will go faster, but not the rest of your system. (safer, easier, and more stable).

    I think the Phenom is great. Go for it! :)

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