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My New Build - Need suggestions

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October 3, 2008 1:49:10 AM

Hi, this is my first time building a new gaming PC well my budget is $1000 CAD. And I found great stores to buy the parts.
I want to know if the stuff that I chose will work together, because I don't want to end up with parts not working with each other.
Also, since this is my first build, I need some suggestions if you feel that some of the parts that I chose are not good.

Here it is:

Case - Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Ultimate Gamer Case
Item Code: CSAT000607 / $101.99 / @Canada Computers

CPU - AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (125W) Dual-Core Socket AM2, 3.0GHz, 1MB x2 L2 Cache, 2000MHz HT, 90nm (ADX6000CZBOX)
Item code: CPUA001069 / $112.99 / @Canada Computers

Mobo - ECS A780GM-A Motherboard - AMD 780G, Socket AM2+, ATX, Audio, Video, HDMI, PCI Express 2.0, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, eSATA, RAID
Item Code: S458-1302 / $91.99 / @Tigerdirect

PSU - NZXT PP-600 600-Watt Power Supply
Item Code: A406-1086 / $79.99 / @Tigerdirect

RAM - OCZ Platinum Revision-2 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 x 1024MB)
Item Code: O261-8070 / $64.99 / @Tigerdirect

HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, SATA-300, OEM
Item Code: TSD-320AS / $84.99 / @Tigerdirect


Optical Drive - Sony DRU-V200S/BR DVD Rewritable Drive SATA - 20x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 12x DVD-R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 16x DVD-ROM, 48x CD-R, 32x CD-RW, 48x CD-ROM, Black
Item Code: S167-4520 / $39.99 / @Tigerdirect

GPU - Diamond Radeon HD 4870 Video Card - 512MB GDDR5, PCI Express 2.0 x16, CrossFireX Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI Support, VGA Support
Item Code: D10-4870 / $303.99 / @Tigerdirect

I am not interested in corssfire or sli because I am not a hardcore gamer. I just want a good GPU.
Feel free to change some parts for my new build if you think you have a better parts in mind.

More about : build suggestions

October 3, 2008 2:27:11 AM

In theory, those parts should yield a decent build. Unfortunately, they won't. First of all, that motherboard does not support 125W CPUs. From the ECS web site at http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Products/ProductsDetai... : "This board supports CPU up to 95W TDP only; you can refer to AMD website to check your CPU."
I also have some serious quality concerns.
It's an old list, but the PSU quality tier listing at http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon puts NZXT on tier-5 ("Do not buy"). From reading competent PSU reviews on sites like jonnyguru and hardocp, that suggests to me that NZXT is probably severely overrated, does not have stable rails, which may be particularly erratic as the PSU is stressed, and is very capable of taking other components with it when it dies, or of shortening their useful life. Also for quality reasons, Diamond is on my personal "Do not buy" list, over a plethora of problems associated with one of their HD3870 cards, but not limited to that card. Their tech support was non-existent (e.g. unreachable) or it was lame; ATI installers would not recognize their product and install, nor would a number of 3rd party utilities work properly with it, after multiple multi-hour sessions. There are too many working offerings out there for me to have any excuse to ever buy a Diamond.
Finally, I would highly recommend getting DDR2 RAM that will operate at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Otherwise, what you'll get is factory overclocked, and will have worse timings or be unstable at that standard voltage; essentially inferior RAM (IMHO).
It was a nice first shot at a build list. I'm sure your revisions will be better.
October 3, 2008 2:42:50 AM

Oh I see.

Could you please suggest a new CPU, Mobo, PSU, RAM, and Graphics Card.

I heard that intel chips are power efficient which is good for overclocking. I am interested in overclocking a PC someday. But for now, I just want to build a decent gaming rig that is within my budget range.

Quote:
Finally, I would highly recommend getting DDR2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR2_SDRAM RAM that will operate at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Otherwise, what you'll get is factory overclocked, and will have worse timings or be unstable at that standard voltage; essentially inferior RAM (IMHO).
How would I know if the ram that I am going to buy is not factory overclocked?

Thank you!
Related resources
October 3, 2008 3:00:39 AM

For more specific suggestions, here are some links. I know you cannot shop at Newegg so I'm not including prices; I'm only offering them for reference, but I don't think they're budget-killers.

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Supports 140W CPUs, including Phenoms if you ever decide you want one. Very feature rich, but I think a better choice than a 780G offering. I just bought one, and initial setup was a breeze. As a non-hardcore gamer, you may even find the integrated graphics quite competent. Guild Wars runs at 40-50 FPS at 14x9 with most eye candy on.

PSU: Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....
Quiet, capable, and efficient. You may find one of the Earthwatts models (380W, 430W, 500W, or 650W) has a good deal somewhere.

RAM: mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Runs on the JEDEC standard 1.8V with decent timings.

GPU: If you want a good GPU, based on your single remark about your gaming (which may really not be enough!), you may find an HD3850 or HD4670 sufficient. Otherwise a more powerful HD4850 should be all the power you need. An nVidia equivalent would be a 9600GT at the low end, up to an 8800GT. Any of those would run on a quality 500W PSU. The HD4670 or 9600GT would run on a good 380W PSU like the Earthwatts.

You won't be spending so much on the GPU, so any other changes should fit within your budget. If it is still a little tight, although the Antec 900 is a nice choice, consider an Antec 300 or a CoolerMaster RC690. I own the latter, and it is a really nice case with outstanding cooling. I believe it is superior to the Antec 300 if your PSU has a 140mm fan that can draw its own air from beneath the case.
October 3, 2008 3:04:52 AM

The mobo I linked has the latest overclocking features for AMD. I'd like to mess around with them some, but I built that rig for my wife and we just want it to work without any hassles. We'll see; maybe I'll build myself another one. The CPU you chose is fine on that board.
Look at the RAM specs for the voltage requirement. Anything over 1.8V means it's a factory overclock.
October 3, 2008 3:16:48 AM

Quote:
Actually jtt he can now shop at the new www.newegg.ca
and ^+1 to jtt


Awesome I didn't about it until now. Thanks.


@jtt283

Wow thanks for that information. I'll try to redo my hardware list tomorrow.

Thank you so much for the help. I got to go sleep. :) 
October 3, 2008 3:49:27 AM

Yeah Newegg just started supplying Canada as well so im sure plent of people are going to be SUPER HAPPY.
October 4, 2008 1:26:58 PM

I'm wondering, if newegg.ca has warehouse in Canada because, shipping from US to CA is quite expensive, and there are those laws and stuff.

For some reason I got interested in crossfire/sli technology, any suggestions for an SLI/Crossfire motherboard that would go with my CPU.

So far I like jtt's suggestion for a normal motherboard but "incase" I have some extra cash, I'm gonna buy an SLI or Crossfire motherboard.

Also, Crossfire/sli mobo needs more power. Any suggestions for a power supply? Because I've read somewhere that the crossfire/sli compatible power supply has these extra wires for the video cards.
October 5, 2008 1:15:28 AM

The Gigabyte mobo I linked can do Crossfire at x8,x8.
October 5, 2008 1:31:58 AM

Oh awesome thanks. This may seem a bit off topic. I searched the internet for differences of x8 vs x16. Unfortunately, I don't quite get it.

Here's what it says.

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1) (Note 4)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1)
(The PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX8_1 slots support ATI Hybrid CrossFireX technology, ATI CrossFireX technology and conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

So I have one slot thats x16 and one slot that is x8. I'm lost :pt1cable: 

Forgive me, if I ask too many questions.
October 5, 2008 3:31:51 AM

There are two PCI Express slots on that mobo. If ONE video card is installed in the first slot, it runs at x16 speed. If a SECOND video card is added, in the second PCI Express slot, that one runs at x8 speed, and the first one will also drop back to x8 speed.
Someone who has messed around with Crossfire a lot may be able to tell you, or post links to benchmarks showing if that drop back to x8 will make much difference. For the imaginable future, I will not need Crossfire myself.
!