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Phenom II 940 Build

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February 27, 2009 7:01:45 PM

I've put together all the suggestions that people made and this is what I got. What do you guys think

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX
Mother Board: MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL6D-4GBNQ
Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
PSU: Rosewill RP550-2 550W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply
(Comes free with Case)
CPU Fan: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Case Fan: COOLER MASTER R4-L2S-122B-GP 120mm 4 BLUE LED LED Case Fan
DVD Burner: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30

Cost: $782.42 + $36.18 SH = $818.60

My budget is $800 - $900

Please Leave comments. Thank you

More about : phenom 940 build

a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2009 7:12:08 PM

Where did you find someone on these forums who suggested a Rosewill PSU? A Rosewill PSU is one step up from a door stop. You'll want to pick up a real PSU from Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, etc...

This PSU would be much better for only $10 more:

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

I haven't been impressed with MSI's quality lately. I'd check out this board:

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4 AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99


Edit: I just saw the part about the PSU coming free with the case. If it really is free, I'd just try to sell it locally.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2009 7:16:57 PM

First of all don't get a Rosewill PSU. Second, that PSU is barely powerful enough for the GTX 260 and leaves very little room for overclocking or adding hard drives or fans or PCI cards. You're saying it's free with the RC-690, but how much are you paying for the RC-690? If you're shopping at www.buy.com, it's $140 for the case with "free" PSU vs $87 shipped for the case without. That makes the PSU $53, not free, but marketers hope we wouldn't notice :) 

Second, why get a Crossfire board (and not any Crossfire board, but a 790 FX that can Crossfire up to 4 ATI cards), when you're buying an nVidia card? If you don't intend to have two video cards ever, then you can find a cheaper MB. If you do want two video cards, you need a SLI MB + GTX 260 or the 790FX MB + HD 4870 (or HD 4850). You'd also need a beefier PSU with 4 PCI-E connectors, around 750W for HD 4870 Crossfire and around 850W for GTX 260 dual SLI. Corsair 750TX and 850TX are good stuff, for example.

I think DDR2-1066 is overkill and DDR2-800 would do all right. G.Skill PI Black DDR2-800 2x2GB is very popular these days.

Good CPU/cooler/HDD/DVD.

Edit: I hadn't seen shortstuff's post. The 790X board he picked is very nice. It also supports Crossfire (as in two HD 4870 cards) but not SLI (as in two GTX 260 cards). I disagree with him about the PSU (that Earthwatts has 34A combined on 12V and eVGA recommends at least 36A for the GTX 260). The Earthwatts will do, I'm sure, but I'd feel better with a more powerful PSU.

Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2009 7:26:20 PM

I agree with aevm on the PSU. I rushed to find a PSU that would fit in the budget without checking the 12V amp rating. All of aevm's suggestions are sound, as usual. I would, however, stick with the DDR2 1066 RAM. The integrated memory controller on AMD chips actually benefits from DDR2 1066 RAM, unlike the LGA775 Intel chips. DDR2 800 is fine for Intel setups, but DDR2 1066 is recommend for AMD.
February 27, 2009 7:44:53 PM

People suggested this MSI board for me.
Its a 790FX, isn't that better then 790X

I' change the Video card to a 4870.

Its not in the combo section, but when I added the case the PSU came free on my cart. (origianally $59.99 for PSU)
The comments on it are nice.
Should I still change to another PSU?

What might happen if I use this PSU?

thanks for the comments
a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2009 8:04:17 PM

790FX is better, in theory, than 790X, because it can run 3 or 4 cards, not just 2. Also, with two cards, it can run them at 16x+16x, not just 8x+8x. That's the theory. In practice, 8x+8x is just as fast as 16x+16x for cards up to HD 4870. It only matters with two HD 4870 X2 cards AFAIK.

OK, if you find a good price for DDR2-1066 go for it. :) 

You mean downgrade the GPU to HD 4870? It depends on games. In some games the HD 4870 is an upgrade from GTX 260. I've seen reviews where HD 4870 1GB beats the GTX 260 in 4 games out 5, and reviews that show the exact opposite. It's mostly because reviewers don't have time to test lots of games, not really because they're fanbois or anything.

That PSU will handle one card. If you want to take advantage of Crossfire later buy a bigger PSU at the same time as the second HD 4870. No problem, since you're not paying for this Rosewill anyway. As long as it's really free, and not a scam.

What can happen if you use a lower quality PSU: at worst, start a fire and burn down half the city. More likely: the PSU dies and (sometimes, not always) takes the MB with it. It's not that Rosewill PSUs always die, it's just that they do it more often than Antec or Corsair PSUs. If you use that PSU with a HD 4870, it will work. It's just that it will probably last less than a better PSU.

What happens if you try to use that Rosewill 550W with two HD 4870 cards - nothing. It doesn't even have the connectors for it, so you couldn't run it at all. With 2 $3 adapters, that can be solved, but then it would be underpowered and you'd get crashes soon after starting games.

February 27, 2009 8:13:26 PM

MSI is not great if you have to flash BIOS. I have an MSI 790GX and it's an OK board, flashing BIOS is a nightmare unless you've got a floppy drive, which I don't. If your board doesn't come with a compatible version of BIOS (which can happen) you'll need another (older) processor that can be used to flash BIOS to a version compatible with a Phenom II before you install the new processor - what a hassle. I did not use my MSI board when I got my Phenom II; I didn't want the hassle of bricking the board in the process of upgrading. I went with an ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe and haven't looked back. My suggestion would be to increase your budget and get a decent board and power supply - a free power supply is going to be a piece of junk and has the potential of being overloaded with the power-hungry components you've listed... potential for disaster is great. Don't skimp on the PSU, it feeds the beast.
February 27, 2009 9:24:16 PM

I think your thinking that the PSU that I'm getting is one of those PSU's that come with a case from the same company. This is like a combo deal.

The BIOS part that you commented on is great, but I'm not really paying for the Computer, my dad is, so I'm trying to keep it low as possible.
If you can suggest me a Mobo just as good as this one with the same pricing that will be great.

Thanks for comments. Keep it coming, need to make a perfect build with my budget.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2009 9:30:19 PM

uhyu said:
I think your thinking that the PSU that I'm getting is one of those PSU's that come with a case from the same company. This is like a combo deal.

Thanks for comments. Keep it coming need to make a perfect build with my budget.

Rosewill PSU's are junk whether they're purchased, come with a case, or are included in a combo deal.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2009 12:13:56 AM

DFI makes pretty good boards. I'd probably choose a Gigabyte or Asus over it, but it looks like a nice board. The only thing I'd be worried about is that some of the reviews said you'd have to flash the BIOS in order for the Phenom II chips to be recognized. The Gigabyte board I posted above seems to support the Phenom II chips out of the box.
February 28, 2009 1:46:04 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
DFI makes pretty good boards. I'd probably choose a Gigabyte or Asus over it, but it looks like a nice board. The only thing I'd be worried about is that some of the reviews said you'd have to flash the BIOS in order for the Phenom II chips to be recognized. The Gigabyte board I posted above seems to support the Phenom II chips out of the box.



That DFI board looks decent for a less expensive board, but you're back to the BIOS issue. One great way to avoid the BIOS problem is to not get a Phenom II, that will open your budget up a little as well. There are still a few good processors out there, is the Phenom II a must for this build? Why not go with a Phenom 9950 or something like it. Put the extra money towards your PSU and Mobo. Go with a 650W or higher would be my recommendation. Maybe even lower the bar on your graphics card. 4830s and 4850s are decent and might fit your budget a little better.

You didn't mention in your list if you have a UPS (like an APC battery backup). If you plan on spending nearly $1000 dollars on a PC, be sure you have surge protection. It would really suck to have a new PC get fried by a power surge or brown out. That'll add an extra $100 to your budget, but it's like insurance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 28, 2009 1:53:22 AM

I have a floppy and they say there is a floppy BIOS that comes with the MOBO.
Now will I have any problems with that MOBO?
February 28, 2009 1:59:04 AM

uhyu said:
I think your thinking that the PSU that I'm getting is one of those PSU's that come with a case from the same company. This is like a combo deal.

The BIOS part that you commented on is great, but I'm not really paying for the Computer, my dad is, so I'm trying to keep it low as possible.
If you can suggest me a Mobo just as good as this one with the same pricing that will be great.

Thanks for comments. Keep it coming, need to make a perfect build with my budget.




Rosewill is not a company I would trust to power any computer I own. Free, built in the case, or a combo deal. A crappy power supply will cause all kinds of weird issues that you don't want. Cut back in any area but the power supply.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2009 2:02:33 AM

Some people pay for multi GPU capable mobos but end up only ever using a single uber GPU because one cannot predict wheat will come out in future :p  So my single GPU set up P2 X4 940 set up:

February 28, 2009 2:34:22 AM

uhyu said:
I have a floppy and they say there is a floppy BIOS that comes with the MOBO.
Now will I have any problems with that MOBO?



Sure it comes with a floppy, but what's on it? The latest version of BIOS compatible with a Phenom II? Maybe, maybe not. What if the board you get was packaged last summer before the Phenom IIs came out and the BIOS is incompatible? Can you get the right BIOS for Phenom II, put it on a floppy, but then what? Does the computer POST and allow you to get to a point to flash the BIOS without having a supported processor in place? I don't know for sure, but I've heard some say that you'd need a supported processor installed, then flash the BIOS, then install the Phenom II... maybe someone else knows if this is the case. If that is correct that's a lot of work. Are you up for that? I know that ASUS has EZ Flash which you can use a USB flash drive to flash BIOS. I've used that a few times and it's bar far the best way to do it, in my opinion. Floppy is the old-school way to do it. Live Update in windows is the scary part, too much can go wrong and judging from the many posts out there complaining of BIOS-flash gone wrong, I would avoid that at all costs.
February 28, 2009 2:47:49 AM

uhyu said:
I've put together all the suggestions that people made and this is what I got. What do you guys think

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX
Mother Board: MSI K9A2 Platinum AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL6D-4GBNQ
Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
PSU: Rosewill RP550-2 550W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply
(Comes free with Case)
CPU Fan: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Case Fan: COOLER MASTER R4-L2S-122B-GP 120mm 4 BLUE LED LED Case Fan
DVD Burner: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30

Cost: $782.42 + $36.18 SH = $818.60

My budget is $800 - $900

Please Leave comments. Thank you




Did you remember to include software like the OS in your budget?


February 28, 2009 3:30:26 AM

batuchka said:
Some people pay for multi GPU capable mobos but end up only ever using a single uber GPU because one cannot predict wheat will come out in future :p  So my single GPU set up P2 X4 940 set up:
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/7XXDeneb.jpg

Thats a really good point. Ill have to really consider that. Thanks :D 
Would the Single GPU MOBO work good with a single GPU as good as an FX? (consider one of those high end GPU like 4870 x2)
Would they Overclock GPUs and CPUs are good as FX mobos?
If so I might really get one.

I have an OS
February 28, 2009 3:32:38 AM

scatrdfew said:
Sure it comes with a floppy, but what's on it? The latest version of BIOS compatible with a Phenom II? Maybe, maybe not. What if the board you get was packaged last summer before the Phenom IIs came out and the BIOS is incompatible? Can you get the right BIOS for Phenom II, put it on a floppy, but then what? Does the computer POST and allow you to get to a point to flash the BIOS without having a supported processor in place? I don't know for sure, but I've heard some say that you'd need a supported processor installed, then flash the BIOS, then install the Phenom II... maybe someone else knows if this is the case. If that is correct that's a lot of work. Are you up for that? I know that ASUS has EZ Flash which you can use a USB flash drive to flash BIOS. I've used that a few times and it's bar far the best way to do it, in my opinion. Floppy is the old-school way to do it.

Your comment really scared me.
Not about the MOBO and everything but how you said it made it sound like someone was murdered

Good comment to think about thanks :D 
February 28, 2009 3:37:22 AM

uhyu said:
Your comment really scared me.
Not about the MOBO and everything but how you said it made it sound like someone was murdered

Good comment to think about thanks :D 



Flashing BIOS can murder your motherboard.

I was aiming for more of a 'tale of woe' tone than a murder mystery :-)
Is this your first build?
February 28, 2009 3:46:54 AM

Yes its my first build.
The Mobo not coming with an flopppy BIOS is just a possibilty, same as for having it.
So its practically 50 50.

Right now I have a Craptastic computer with a sempron processor thats 1.81 ghz. It managed to Overclock itself by .01 GHz lol.
So I want a computer that will totally overkill my expectation within my budget
February 28, 2009 7:37:34 AM

I'd get an Asus Motherboard (M3A79-T) and a better PSU (Corsair or Antec, 750w or more) as everyone has suggested. I have a very similar configuration and can speak to its stability and overclockability.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2009 8:21:19 AM

Actually if you visit Rebels Haven people are getting 3.5-3.8 on stock volts on something as cheap as a Biostar TA770 + P2 X4 940BE
February 28, 2009 8:50:04 AM

Aww isn't that cute he wants to buy parts from company from country that suck balls.

Hi, I am a computer building god and here is what you should get:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DVD-R/RW+ DVD drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

then if you want a cool case to put it in I recommend either of these three:

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

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

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

The maximum you will spend after shipping is $950 if you pick one of the cool cases or you could skimp and get a rosewill under $30 edition like these ones: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

This setup will outperform that there AMD platform you're looking at with more bang for the buck.
February 28, 2009 2:25:50 PM

From the front, that Sunbeam case looks like my VCR from 1986 standing up on it's side.
February 28, 2009 2:44:59 PM

uhyu said:
Yes its my first build.
The Mobo not coming with an flopppy BIOS is just a possibilty, same as for having it.
So its practically 50 50.

Right now I have a Craptastic computer with a sempron processor thats 1.81 ghz. It managed to Overclock itself by .01 GHz lol.
So I want a computer that will totally overkill my expectation within my budget



Anything you build will be better than what you have now... I think the Phenom II rig you've put up might be a little over your budget (to do it right).
a b B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2009 1:05:57 AM

uhyu said:
Thats a really good point. Ill have to really consider that. Thanks :D 
Would the Single GPU MOBO work good with a single GPU as good as an FX? (consider one of those high end GPU like 4870 x2)
Would they Overclock GPUs and CPUs are good as FX mobos?
If so I might really get one.

I have an OS


Yes with single GPU set ups all you need to have when comparing to FX mobos is a PCIex16 2.0 slot :p  Also from weeks of reserach there really isn't a difference OCing on air between 770, 790GX and 790FX AM2+ (most extreme OC with LN done on 790GX actually) but you have the option of 16x + 16x with 2 GPUs or 3-4 PCIex16 2.0 slots for a 790FX mobo hehe
!