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New rig; Seeking input...

Last response: in Systems
September 21, 2008 9:39:10 PM

Hello, I'm putting together a new PC and was hoping to get some feedback before I bit the bullet and ordered everything.

I have about an 80%/20% productivity/gaming ratio; most of the time I'm programming or general email and internet usage, but do spend some time playing games every now and again.

I had a few constraints in building the system. First, I was looking for about an $1100 price range (not hard and fast, but ballpark figure). Second, for reasons I don't want to get into, there is a strict AMD/ATI product allegiance (no Intel or NVidia CPUs/chipsets). And finally, I need a multi-core CPU (the more, the merrier)

With these constraints in mind, I've put together the following:
- AMD Phenom 9950BE X4
- ASUS M3A78-T AM2+ MB, Chipset: AMD 780GX
- G. Skill 2x1GB DDR2@1066 RAM
- Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512 GDDR4 PCI-e x16 (dual DVI)
- (2) Samsung 2253BW 22" LCD
- (2) Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
- Rosewill 550W PSU
- Cooler Master Centurion 5 Black aluminum chassis

The total from, delivered to the door, is $1201.90.

Does this setup sound like a good match for my needs? Any suggestions or other products I should take into consideration before I buy everything? In particular, I'm not familiar with G. Skill RAM or Sapphire graphic cards. Are they decent companies, or do they have a history of poor quality products?

Thanks, and I look forward to some responses!

More about : rig seeking input

September 21, 2008 9:46:44 PM

HD 4850 instead of the HD 3870?
2 Monitors?
Maybe get 4GB of ram instead, if you're ever planning to go 64-bit?
September 21, 2008 10:04:47 PM

The 2 monitors would be very nice, as I tend to have many windows open at once (cross-referencing code is much easier that way), so I'm a bit hesitant to drop the second one.

Is the HD 4850 really worth the extra ~$80 for the occasional game? I don't plan on playing the latestest games, and the benchmarks for the 3870 don't appear to be too bad. I was actually looking at the 3850 originally, and bumped it up to the 3870 because of the relatively small price gap and the extra 256MB and DDR4 memory.

And I was planning on a 64-bit setup, but I've been monitoring my memory usage for the last week or so (mostly productivity though, not much gaming), and the 2GB I have in my current box doesn't seem to ever reach capacity. Do games require 4GB?

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September 21, 2008 10:06:05 PM

At least drop that PSU

Rosewill is a recipe for disaster....they arent the best of quality
September 21, 2008 10:08:00 PM

Okay, if you're planning ot go Vista-64, the OS itself already eats away 1GB of memory (you can't check it with XP-32 bit, they're two different OS). If it's for occassional game, then the 8800GT would be a better choice than the 3870 hands down.

1. Get 4GB if you're going 64-bit.
2. Get the 8800GT instead.

If you're planning on raiding the two hdds, you might as well get a WD 640GB and partition it.
September 21, 2008 10:20:48 PM

Silverion77: I had a hunch they were. Like G. Skill, I haven't heard much about Rosewill. Are there any other companies you would recommend or I should watch out for?

johnyeah: I was a bit misleading in my 64-bit comment. This system will be a Linux/Windows dual boot system. I plan on running Linux with 64-bit. However, because I only use Windows for periodic gaming and iTunes, I don't care whether it's 64-bit or not. In fact, I only own 32-bit XP and don't plan on upgrading to Vista. I will consider upgrading to 4GB, though.
September 21, 2008 10:44:42 PM

+1 for a psu change

I'd also consider getting 4gb of memory. it's dirt cheap now so you may as well.
Why two 250gb hd's?
Just go for a 500gb hd or something larger. If you were planning to raid, i've heard that it isn't really a benefit to systems.
September 21, 2008 11:02:29 PM

Rosewill is indeed junk. Here is a killer deal on the PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W with an extra 20% off promo code. See the top of the page.