First Post .. Looking for some advice.

OK I am about to upgrade my system. I am keeping my optical drives (dvd, and cd rom) but i am pretty much scraping everything else. I have been looking around and I do not have a ton of money to spend but I would like to spend atleast 800-900 Dollars. So listed below are the parts I am looking to get. Any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I am not new to Building computers but I have been away from upgrading for quite some time.


ECS A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail


AMD Phenom 9550 Agena 2.2GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HD9550WCGHBOX - Retail

Video/graphics card

VisionTek 900202 Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Power supply

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V Power Supply - Retail


OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P800R22GK - Retail

CPU Heatsink and fan

ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail ---- Do you think this will work well with the motherboard I have chosen along with the CPU processor


Aluminus ATX Full-Tower Case - Black

So that is it. What do you guys think.
39 answers Last reply
More about first post advice
  1. ECS is terrible. Avoid at all costs. Along with PC Chips they make some of the worst boards in the industry.

    PSU is overkill for your application. Corsair VX550 is fine.

    For the video card, I would look at the 8800GT, but if you stay with the 3870 (the card I have, it runs great) this one is cheaper:

    Look at this board, which offers hybrid X-Fire which is really neat:
  2. ^Agreed (you beat me to it :) )

    My recommendations:

    P35-DS3x or P5K (ie P35-DS3L)
    Q6600 (really worth the extra few $)
    If OCing get a get the Xigmatek HDT-S1283. ( )
    Corsair 550 ( I personally prefer Corsair but the OCZ you selected is also good)

    Everything else the same.
  3. Thanks Shadowduck. So the Mobo you linked has the same stuff as the ECS one but its just a better baord right? I see in has integrated ATI hybrid as well. I will probably go with that one instead. The more and more I do read about the ECS Black the more i feel i can find a better board with the same specs. So you the PSU is overkill I do not know what a good PSU for this configuration would be. I want enough power to smoothly run everything.
  4. Thanks Shadow. Yea the only thing I am having trouble with is finding a PSU. I have no clue what to look for as stated above. So the 550w should do it.
  5. Pdgood1- yes, and hybrid Crossfire which allows you Crossfire the video card and your onboard video which is actually a neat application.

    The PSU I suggested is just fine. I am running a similar setup on a 500W PSU with no issues.
  6. Awesome thanks. Newegg do not have a corsair i will order that from somewhere else
  7. K disregard last post I found it
  8. OK How about the computer case, any suggestions?
  9. Oh awesome thanks Do you think the case will be big enough for a XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler and also the mobo you recommended should be big enough right?
  10. Yes they will be big enough.
  11. cool thanks. and you guys have saved me quite a bit of extra cash with the reccomendations. I am still going with the ATI 3750 and the Phenom.
  12. What do you think of the 9750 Phenom. With the 550w PSU handle that and the other stuff. Also Would you recommend upgrading to Vista or staying with XP pro.
  13. OK so I was reading that the Hybrid X-fire Mother boards cannot support Raedon HD3870 cards. So making the integrated GFX card useless. Knowing this is there another good reasonably priced Mother board that can support my configuration?
  14. OK after some research and reading This is what I have so far. I am still not sure about exactly what kind of mother board or CPu to get. I have heard a lot of people saying the Intels are better but then again the AMD phenoms are great CPU as well. I am a gamer but wouldn't consider myself a hardcore gamer. Would just like to play some newer games smoothly.

    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case -$119

    What board do you recommend if I was going for a AMD phenom 9750? or an Intel Q6600

    SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - $150 or should i go with a Nvidia 8800gt

    Power supply- CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply - Retail

    OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit- I heard some compatibility issues arise with some motherboards issues, so this could be changed as well.

    Heatsink- XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    Total money spent after shipping with this build would be $822

    So I guess what I am asking is for some advice on mobo and CPU. And what is best option for me to go.
  15. Honestly, if I had the choice right now I would go Intel. But I have been a long time AMD fan, so AMD is ok :)

    The PSU is plenty to drive the system.

    Oh you are right on the Hybrid Crossfire. Guess I read my source wrong! Sorry about that. Of course this is why you always do research right! So I would forgo the 3870 and get this instead: Basically the same price after MIR and it smacks the 3870 around.

    As for motherboard look at this one:

    CPU: Intel Q6600 or Q9300. 65nm 2.4GHz for $214 or 45nm 2.5GHz for 274
    If you can afford it go with the Q9300. 45nm CPUs run cooler.
  16. Thanks Shadowduck. I will compare builds and see if the extra money is worht the performance gain. Also I am not much into Overclocking but if i decided to does that board allow OC quite easily and does the CPU handle over clocking well.

    Oh and since the motherboard you have suggested is A Micro Atx will the heatsink fit ok on the board or can you sugggest one thaat might hankde the board a little bit better. Also will the case be compatible.

    And what is the difference in this card and the on you suggested

    I also researched and found out that the INtel Quad cores are not true quad cores, Yes they have 4 processors but they only run 2 pipelines as where the AMd phenoms run 4 pipelines. Can anyone explain why then teh intels are still faster? I will probably end up getting a Itel but just would like to get the facts before I do
  17. OK so With the addition to swapping out the amd for a intel Q6600 and a 880gt 512mb card and mobo the price difference is only $50. I will still wait on ordering since i cant for 2 more weeks anyway. Any more feed back would be great.
  18. shadowduck said:


    As for motherboard look at this one:


    The ASUS P5E-VM is a G33 based board so don't expect really high OCing.
  19. OK cool thanks Shadow. ALl I really care about is since I dont have any spare CPu laying around, I want to make sure that If i pop in a AMD phenom or a Intel quad core in the mother board I choose that it will run. I guess it all boils down to what is my best bet for having the least problems when installing the mobo and CPu combo.

    What do oyu guys know about this board is it stable right out the box. MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    and as for the intel Q6600 what do you think is a good board seeing as I hear the Q6600 Over clocks pretty nicely. I am really having a problem finding a mobo since all the reviews I read people seem to be having a problem with getting their CPUS to run correctly out of box without first flashing bios.
  20. ok guys I have two prospected builds. I took a screen shotof both because i was to lazy to copy and paste it all again. Just for clarification I will be running 4gb of memoery the screen shot shows 2gb. but i am ordering two.

    First is the AMD build current price $880- Click IMage to Enlarge

    Second build is the Intel build current price $910- click image to enlarge

    Again feedback is always welcome, and again I am still not sure on my choice of motherboards. And I already have the HDD with XP pro on it. But do you think Vista will be a better choice for these builds?

    OH and one more thing my HDD and Optical drives are quite a bit older then todays stuff, do these Motherboard still support this sort of hardware or am I gonna have to look into buying a new HDD and Optical drive because I just dont have the $$ for that.
  21. New motherboards will support 2 EIDE devices only. If you have more than 2 you will have to buy some new SATA stuff.
  22. Nope I have just one and an exteral USB 250gb hdd. So what build do you think would be better. And would prolly give me the best right out the box performance and little hassle
  23. Intel system will give you the best bang. You can overclock it to 3GHz easily, and probably 3.6 :)
  24. Cool thanks I also switch the case for a RC-690 cool master what you think? is that plenty big enough.
  25. OK sounds good. 3.6 huh? that would be with some good cooling thought right?
  26. I hit 3.6 with the stock cooler.
  27. Whoa nice! you will have to tell me how if I do decide to go that route, and I think I will
  28. Hey Shadowduck, What Motherboard are u using with your Q6600, and did it work right out of box without flashing bios. Also I am looking for 4gb of ram. And the OCZ I have chosen has had compatibility problems, could you recommend some good ram around the same price range. Can be 2 sticks of 2gb, that doesn't matter. Or do you think I should stick with the OCZ. I am defiantly going with teh q6600 after doing a lot of research on it.
  29. Would upgrading to vista be helpful? and do you think I should upgrade to the 64 bit version of Vista Operating system seeing as I will be putting in a 64 bit processor?
  30. I would go with AMD but yeah if you plan to overclock than Intel is better. For me personally i don't find a need for OC and I don't find a reason to spend extra on Intel. As well Amd is out with AM2+ while intels new socket is not out yet. Something to concider. I heard the black amd Phanom OC quite nicely (for AMD) but I wouldn't get it as it is power hungry, I would wait till the price drops and something better comes around. Good luck have fun building your rig. Shadowduck gave a lot of good sugestions.
  31. Asus P5E and yes it did.
    G.Skill RAM is what I use and I do not have issues with it.
  32. The P5E with the X38 chipset? Could you link the board plz, since I am now largely concerned about the mobo and the performance.
  33. what do you think about this combo

    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX for the baord

    the q6600 for the cpu

    and a 8800GTS 512mb for the gfx

    will all that work out of box
  34. Sorry for keep posting questions but the more i research teh more i find out things so my next question is i hear the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L does not support DDR3, does this mean the graphics card I have chosen not be compatible?
  35. That has nothing to do with the video card. The video card is a completely separate computer within your computer (So is the keyboard).

    DDR3 is a new type of regular system memory.

    Motherboard you asked about:
  36. Double Post. Silly Thing.
  37. pdoog1 said:
    what do you think about this combo

    GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX for the baord

    the q6600 for the cpu

    and a 8800GTS 512mb for the gfx

    will all that work out of box

    The DS3L is a good and cheap motherboard, imo the best motherboard under $100.. The Q6600+ DS3L and E8400+DS3L are popular combinations as well. Just do a search on DS3L and you can see how many ppl. have that board with those CPUs.
  38. DDR3 is not worth it and its just blowing your money away DS3L is a deal that its hard to beat.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product