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The $929 AMD AM3 DDR3 build, please check if it all fits

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February 19, 2009 4:24:07 PM

I'm new to this website, but anyway, getting down to business...

i'm on a budget of $1000 (like everyone else, i assume...)


Now, the question is, can you guys be so nice as to give me a better suggestion or changes to my build?

If what you suggest will be cheaper, i'll consider it.

Also, i'm going AM3 and DDR3 since it's the best way to future-proof your system, obviously, even if they aren't that much of a gain over current AM2+ and DDR2 builds.

Also, is it really worth the extra $50 for the Black Edition Phenom II X3 720?

i'm expecting my system to handle Crysis quite well on high/very high settings.

Thanks for your input


Edit:
****, i forgot to include the Newegg stuff:

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

combo: -$20
GFX: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

combo: - $20
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo deal of Mobo and CPU: -$20
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
oh, and i already have an LCD TV and i plan to do 720p resolution anyway, and i already got mouse and keyboard.
February 19, 2009 4:27:58 PM

Helps if you list the parts.
February 19, 2009 4:28:44 PM

about the GTX 260, is there that much difference between VGA and DVI, since i got an LCD TV that does only VGA.
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February 19, 2009 4:55:32 PM



Good case.

If you're tight on budget, consider the Corsair memory that has a MIR...saves you $18 there:
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

Cool deal on the GFX + DVD combo.

If you'd rather have Windows XP Pro x64, go Pricewatch it. There's a company selling the NFR copies of OEM for $80 or so.

then for $10 more, get this combo for the PSU and HDD to get caviar black drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.163000

If you're lookin to overclock, maybe look at this combo to get the black edition processor. Just $41 more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.162223

BTW...does *any* gaming rig known to man handle Crysis very well on very high settings? 1900x1200 or higher?

Don't forget the HSF...ok? about +$50 there. KB and Mouse and monitor? already have those?

Parts you list look good tho, to me. Of course, i'm no expert. :lol:  good luck!
February 19, 2009 5:08:01 PM

about that corsair ram,
is it worth 5 extra dollars for a better ram? i dunno which is better, my G.Skill or your Corsair? The customer reviews help sometimes, but NOT always. Can someone fill me in on that? about mail in rebates, i think they're a sham, why don't they add the cuts directly into the price?

oh, about 1900x1200 resolution... Why bother, i think 720p resolution looks pretty hi-def to me, that would be 1280x720, no?
besides, it allows my gfx card to perform better anyway, and my LCD TV can't do 1080p anyway.
February 19, 2009 5:27:31 PM

jcknouse:

i'm not that great on abbreviations, what's HSF again?

is it REALLY worth the extra 41 bucks for the BE 720 processor? just how much of an increase in performance will i get?
February 19, 2009 7:31:44 PM

Chronobodi said:
jcknouse:

i'm not that great on abbreviations, what's HSF again?

is it REALLY worth the extra 41 bucks for the BE 720 processor? just how much of an increase in performance will i get?


HSF = HeatSink & Fan...it's what keeps your processor cool.

Is the $41 worth it? I think it depends on your needs.

the 720 has a slightly higher clockspeed than the 710 (2.8 vs. 2.6 respectively, I believe)

Plus the 720 is a "Black Edition", which in the past has meant that the clock multiplier is unlocked. I believe this is still the case, which theoretically (all CPUs differ somewhat as to how well they'll overclock) means it will overclock better.

Toms has a great article by Bert Toepelt (and Frank Voelkel?) about the Phenom II:
AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked : The Phenom II And AMD's Dragon Platform

For me, I would get the chip I could overclock better. If you're not too worried about OCing for more speed, then just stick with your original choice and save the $41.

I am not sure what kinda HSFs are available for AM3 yet. But, I imagine they will probably range from $35 to $70 like the AM2+ ones.

This one is supposedly good (i've never used it, but heard good things about Xigmatek), and it's $39.99+s/h:

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

So $40+shipping for a CPU cooler (HSF) is a must. You must have a CPU cooler though.

I hope this helped, and if anyone sees anything incorrect please let me know. I don't get to read as much as I used to about hardware.
February 19, 2009 9:03:46 PM

hmm... doesn't the CPU come with one already? Sure, it may not be good as the HSF you mentioned, but then again it isn't meant to be OCed, so it'll be fine.
Anonymous
February 19, 2009 9:08:38 PM

i'd get the xigmatek listed above and probably a little better case. i have the antec 900, and i wouldn't settle for less but it's twice the price of the one your looking at. also, the faster ram is overkill...
February 19, 2009 9:14:46 PM

well, it's DDR3 1333, can one suggest an suitable replacement of DDR3 1066?

edit: just checked newegg, there ain't any good DDR3 1066 rams to replace mine, there just isn't any in the 4GB (2GB x 2) section.
February 19, 2009 9:29:47 PM

oh, about my Mobo...
It doesn't have onboard video, and if i put together the thing, will the GFX card work at bootup?
February 20, 2009 12:39:13 AM

gah, so many questions, but anyone answering? besides those two above me, that is.
February 20, 2009 12:45:55 AM

The graphics card will boot and work when you first isntall it, except with outdrivers you will have EXTREME graphic lag, personally i install all the drivers that come on the disk then once i got a stable system i download the new ones for optimal preformance.

If you dont wanna go through all that, download all of the drivers you need, build the system, install OS, and use a USB flash drive to upload all the drivers and install them.

And it was alot to read all this, your lucky im bored in my college night class... =D
February 20, 2009 12:49:23 AM

O and one more thing, 1333MHz ram is still really really new, if you want something that will last a long time, wait like 4 months for all the top companies to get stable hardware out, its all still new, and it will be alot cheaper then.

Personally i go decent hardware for the time, then trade in for upgrades when they are cheaper. Like i bought a 8800GTX for $300, 6 months later i returned it for instore credit (tigerdirect) and bought a 9800GTX for $260.
February 20, 2009 1:31:56 AM

ok... so i install the drivers off the disk, THEN install the latest drivers from nvidia...

and is 1066Mhz safer in the long run than 1333Mhz longevity-wise?
February 20, 2009 1:53:33 AM

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I think this is a solid build, if you can get the black edition processor, seeing as your building a computer to last a while, you should get the CPU that can be overclocked well, you might not want to do it now, but down the road you can pick up a HSF and you have a brand new competitive CPU.
February 20, 2009 2:26:47 AM

yea, since the AM3 Phenom x4 isn't out yet, so the 710 is kind of a holdout for me.
February 20, 2009 12:24:47 PM

better not get xp pro 64, you'll be pulling your hair out for weeks, try to find drivers for it which don't exist, and you can't use vista 64 drivers for it.
February 20, 2009 12:27:07 PM

ChronoBodi,

Yes, the CPU comes with a stock fan (if you buy the Retail version...OEM comes with just the CPU only). I didn't know if you would OC it or not, so I told you about the Xigmatek in case you were going to :) 

There is a PhenomII x4 out: 810 2.6GHz. However, it is not a "BE" or Black Edition with an unlocked multiplier. It costs $26 more than the 720 as well.
AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Processor Model HDX810WFGIBOX - Retail

I think if you are not going to overclock and do not plan to utilize any software where 4 cores would be best, you should get the 710. Just make sure you get a good motherboard so that upgrading the CPU later will be possible.

good luck :) 
February 20, 2009 12:29:43 PM

kg4icg said:
better not get xp pro 64, you'll be pulling your hair out for weeks, try to find drivers for it which don't exist, and you can't use vista 64 drivers for it.


You have had problems getting drivers for XP Pro x64??

I haven't. I have it running on 2 systems. nVidia Forceware works great on it, and I've used 4 different inkjets and 2 different laser printers with no issues.

I've had a harder time finding Vista drivers, to be honest. I can find Linux drivers easier :lol: 
February 20, 2009 1:45:46 PM

yea, i'll rather get vista x64, since i want to play games with the fullest range of eyecandy anyway, and maybe i'll consider the 810, but when the price drops a little, to around $150ish.
February 20, 2009 2:31:16 PM

oh, and i changed my ram to http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

what's the difference anyway between the two? there isn't much from what i can tell, besides being $15 off, so now my build's price is $911.

Pretty damn good, when you consider Alienware will make you pay $400 more for the same setup, and even on Cyberpower.com, it's still $100 over, and with DDR2 ram.
February 20, 2009 4:31:44 PM

Chronobodi said:
oh, and i changed my ram to http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

what's the difference anyway between the two? there isn't much from what i can tell, besides being $15 off, so now my build's price is $911.

Pretty damn good, when you consider Alienware will make you pay $400 more for the same setup, and even on Cyberpower.com, it's still $100 over, and with DDR2 ram.


The original pair you chose are categorized as "high performance or gaming memory"...the second set is not.
February 20, 2009 4:38:57 PM

oh i see.... Just how much of a hit do i get in performance if i chose the cheap ram?
February 21, 2009 4:53:31 AM

anyone? that's the last thing i need to know.
February 21, 2009 7:20:10 AM

alright alright, i'll get the Phenom II x3 720, they just dropped in price to $150, which makes my new build the same price as my old build.

honestly, gaming wise, how much of a difference is there between the 710 and 720 BE?
February 21, 2009 5:18:55 PM

alright, i don't think that Xigmatek heatsink will fit... Is there any certified AM3 heatsinks?
February 21, 2009 7:58:36 PM

that's funny, since my friend (who's going to build my computer) is like "get a quad core! Triple cores are gay!"

Well, there isn't no good quad cores in AM3 yet, until they come out with the 945. Until then, 720 it is.

still, is the stock heatsink good for OCing or no?

and, is there any other heatsink besides the Xigmatek one? there isn't a lot for the AM3 socket, can anyone find one?
February 21, 2009 10:51:34 PM

About RAMs... will any DDR3 ram go on my Mobo? or is there special restrictions in place?
February 22, 2009 9:27:52 AM

Hello!

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
4 x DDR3 1666(OC)/1333/1066 MHz, Dual channel, maks. 16GB

1. ddr3 Restrictions---> Price :) 
2. You can OC with Stock heatsink, if you have 1 fann blowing the hot air from the case. ( your case have big vents on back, use them.)
3. You "Friend" has not red reviews. 720 BE is best bang for your money. 3 cores is better than 2 but 4 cores is only little or not at all better than 3 cores.
February 23, 2009 11:33:52 AM

ahhh, why does the stock heatsink has to suck so much ass? come on, if it was the BE edition, wouldn't it occur to them to make a decent one?
now i have to add a little more to my budget cost...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Zalman cooler

now it's $944, which would've been $1050 if it wasn't for the combo deals, thank god for combo deals!
February 23, 2009 4:31:13 PM

1. Before AMD "BE" meant that it came without headsink...
that might be better... since every case has it limits... And if we end up paying extra for bad cooler....
March 2, 2009 7:10:49 PM

For what it is worth I was in a similar position and here is what I went with (Copied from a spreadsheet, yes I put it all together in excel):

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $179.99
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $144.99
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99
GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $174.99

Got a $30 discount on the MB,RAM,CPU combo, and a $40 Rebate on the RAM and $30 Rebate on the GPU.

Came out to $594.95 when/if I get my rebate checks. Still need a new CPU cooler , but I'll keep my "old" CD, PWS, and Hard drive for now. All of this has been working great with Vista Ultimate 64.

Not sure what these prices are now, but hopefully this helps.

BTW... the heat sink that comes with the 720 BE is adequate, but not much more. I am one to watch for deals and then buy when I think the deal is right, so I'll be looking for CPU coolers, Hard Drives and Blue Ray players now. :) 
March 8, 2009 1:14:28 AM

Just wanted to stop in and add a few things. I shop computer parts often and build my own systems along with upgrading others.

For the case, I have a few things I think are important to address while shopping for them online. First, does it come with a power supply which can power your system? Often there are good prices on cases with a good power supply in it. This can reduce overhead. Next would be space. Make sure you have an idea of what kind of parts you will be putting into the system, including possible future upgrades. Example, many aftermarket heat sinks should be installed in full tower cases. Third, can you buy it with "Free Shipping"? Cases can be very heavy and run much higher on the shipping costs. Last but not least, what kind of reviews does it have?

For the mobo, first thing I would do is inventory what components you currently have that could be used in the new system. Specially video cards. If you don't already have a PCI-E x16 Video card already, I would recommend the Asus M4A78T-E for the AM3 CPU. http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=181&l3=881&l4=0&model=2768&modelmenu=1 It has the AMD 790GX chipset which could run your graphics pretty good for awhile, and will help you take advantage of your Phenom II 720 with DDR3-1600. This board supports Crossfire and also the Hybrid Crossfire which means you can run a compatible video card in Crossfire mode with the onboard graphics. This will also help drop your overhead, and by alot.

CPU..... A couple years ago I would have said go with Intel, but with upgrading to AMD this past week. I'll never buy another Intel unless they can match AMD in bang for your buck$. In this case, the 720 will can fully utilize the motherboard and memory if O.C., but if that isn't for you then the 710 should do just fine.

For the memory, make sure you will get memory which will fully utilize your FSB. Even in the case of matching with a CPU that has slower speeds, you have the memory already when you are ready for that CPU upgrade. Timings are important with memory, the lower the number the faster it is. In my experience, slower speed memory has run more stable, but of course doesn't perform as well. Definitely check reviews, and manufacturer's site for as much information on which ever memory you are choosing. These days, dual channel is the way to go so I would recommend 2x 2GB DDR3-1600 Dual channel. I personally went with the OCZ Reapers.

OS.... U could always go the free route with something like Ubuntu if you are up to it. Windows XP, although very solid, is turning into a dinosaur and cost way too much for it's short comings. So I would say you would want to go with Vista, which by the way is what Windows 7 pretty much is (just change how it looks a little and give it a new name and packaging and poof, they figured out how to sell vista with a bad reputation)(By the way, I haven't seen anything Windows 7 can do that Vista can't). As far as Vista goes, I think that "Home Basic" is a total waste of money, but "Home Ultimate" I guess would be ok but most people don't need all that, so I would go with "Home Premium".

For your drives (HDD and optical) you will want to utilize Sata. But if you are using some of your old parts you will drop your overhead a little more. Which the 500 GB to 1 TB range seems to be best amount of storage for your money. It takes a lot of stuff to fill just a 500 GB HDD.

For the heat sink, I recommend using the one that comes with the CPU till the cooler manufacturers catch up with the AM3 mobos. I've noticed that there isn't much room around the CPU for huge coolers. I've read the OEM heat sink can handle some overclocking without problems.

With this in mind, shop around at Newegg, add your prospective parts to the cart, calculate your shipping, then review on everything you have selected. This is where I go back and continue to shop around, trying to better match parts, look for deals, so on and so forth. Combo deals can be a good thing, but they can also be a bad thing. More often than not, the combo deals are there to get rid of inventory that isn't moving. By doing these things, I can normally save myself up to $100 on an order by spending a night devoted to shopping for the parts and not just buying the first thing I come across.

As for checking reviews, it's a good tool. I watch for the manufacturer's presence in the Newegg reviews. Next time you are at Newegg, go check out some Rosewell products and you will see what I mean. This will help indicate how a company will address a bad situation with their products.
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