New Phenom II build

This is what i'm looking at right me fill in some parts.

AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE
*Need a good mobo...I might OC later, not sure*
Antec 900 Black Steel Tower Case
8 gb (4x2gb) DDR2 1066 RAM, not sure which manuf yet
Vista 64-bit Premium for System Builders
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
Koutech PCI to USB2.0 Card Model IO-PU520
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive (Is it any good)
EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
(Not gonna run this good for $200?)
KINGWIN 15.74" SATA Data & Power combo cable Model SAC-04
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30

*Need a decent PSU...I'd like to keep it under 70-ish but still decent quality. I also dont know what wattage to get*
APEVIA WIN-500XSPX 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
That's what I have down right now...its 50 bucks.

Let me know how it is, and any improvements/suggestions.
Budget is kind of an issue, the less I have to pay, the better, but I don't want to go low-quality to save a little cash.
21 answers Last reply
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  1. I'd suggest this mobo

    You should give the onboard sound a try before you spend money on a sound card, onboard sound is pretty decent. If you don''t like it, then a soundcard takes 2 seconds to add on later. Especially since you are tight on a budget, cut the corner here and get a better PSU.

    You don't need that USB card unless you have a ton of peripherals...

    I would get a 4870 instead so that you have the option of getting another GPU later...I know you don't plan on it, but things change and I don't Think you should close the door on that option. If you are sure you won't get another GPU, then the GTX 260 is a good card for $200.

    That HDD is great.

    Do not go cheap on the PSU. The PSU is the backbone of the system, if it fails you have big problems. Under $70 is too cheap for a good PSU that will be able to xfire...but doable if you will only run 1 GPU.
    if you want to keep the door open to xfire:
  2. This is the sort of Phenom 2 rig i do up for 1920 x 1280 gaming
  3. batuchka said:
    This is the sort of Phenom 2 rig i do up for 1920 x 1280 gaming

    You should update your builds batchuka. A lot of those great deals are ended, I know you proabably made that one like 2 weeks ago, I know I have seen it before ;). It seems like this weekend was the end of a lot of great deals on newegg, many of the items I have been recommending jumped like $20-30 today :(
  4. I suggest you go for Phenom II 720 BE (tri core) it is compared to quadcores, and it is more overclockable than 940 model, and it is almost twice as cheap. (google some reviews of PII 720) !do not look at the syntetics, look for real world apps and games!
    The extra cash you'll get - go for 4780 1GB !!
    everything else is looking good.
  5. The 720 may overclock as high as a 940 but I doubt it. Plus its one core short.
  6. ^
    yes it is one core short, but it is only 5-10% slower than quads (clock per clock)
    This is because most of the software cannot utilize all 4 cores, but utilizes 3 cores much better. As I said google it.
  7. Yeah and the 720 will let you upgrade to am3 boards and ddr3 ram when ready.

    It also has a 200mhz faster fsb which will help and reaches 4.2/3 whereas the 940 reaches 3.8.
  8. being 1 core short actually helps it overclock higher because it is generating less heat. This will lead to higher performance in games that are not optimized for 4 cores, the only ones that are able to use 4 cores are GTX4 and FSX.
  9. considering the imminent price drop on the 4870, that seems like a solid recommendation, ddr5 and all.
    In that case, a good motherboard would be one capable of crossfire X. So I would skip nvidia chipset boards and do 790gx or fx.
    The Asus board looks pretty nice for $140

    The Hard drive is a good one.

    The X3, X4 debate is interesting. Doesn't seem that anyone really knows when software is gonna be utilizing four cores effectively. I think a good case could be made for going with the less expensive PII X3. However I got a quad myself, somehow the asymmetry bothers me.
  10. yeah, I got X4 Phenom II 940 as well. I have to tell you that it is amazing, I'm extremely happy with it! But when I bought mine there wasn't X3's, and if I have to buy it now I'll definitelly go for 720 X3 since it is 5% slower and $70-$80 cheaper.
    Move that $80 in MB (socket AM3) and DDR3 and you'll get decent PC (along with $150 HD4870)
  11. I have never read a positive, technically competent review (e.g. one including load testing and waveform analysis under realistic conditions) of any Apevia PSU.
    I don't have it, but recall a link that Batuchka found where the 4th core could be unlocked on some of the X3s, and seemed stable. I think it just required setting ACC to "Auto" in the BIOS. Batuchka?
    And yes, Newegg's prices jump around a bit. For example, they no longer have a deal on any of the Antec Earthwatts PSUs.
    The price drops (supposedly to $150) haven't happened for the 4870s yet, but supposedly will later in the week.
  12. Regarding that x3=>x4 phenom, the article said you needed a biostar mobo to do it, not really sure why, and yes it was setting ACC to auto I think.
  13. Hmmm, I thought the one he linked said any 790G board could do it...
    Ah, here it is, on my PC at home:
  14. I'm not really looking at the X3 because im going to be doing some encoding where the 4th core will help and i dont mind spending a bit more for the quad.

    Does anyone know if a AM3 X4 Black edition is going to come out anytime this year?
  15. The 945 is supposed to come out Q2 this year I believe. Its a 940 that can use DDR3, however I don't see that as a worthwhile investment, I would just get the 940 and an AM2+ mobo.
  16. Is it a BE?
  17. I believe so, but I could be wrong. Google it.
  18. The Third Level said:
    I'm not really looking at the X3 because im going to be doing some encoding where the 4th core will help and i dont mind spending a bit more for the quad.

    Does anyone know if a AM3 X4 Black edition is going to come out anytime this year?,7146.html
    There will be X4 955 very soon. I think it will be BE cos' it will be the-top-pf-the-line CPU for AMD
  19. Anandtech

    Last but certainly not least, the top power supply of our roundup today is the BFG LS-550. BFG delivered good performance in every aspect, with tight voltage regulation and ripple well within specifications. Efficiency was through the roof, with 86% efficiency at 20% load. It also generated the highest maximum efficiency of 88% on 230VAC and 86% on 120VAC. This isn't the quietest power supply, but it's not at all noisy -- few people would notice this PSU once it's installed within a PC case. You also get a reasonable number of connectors and good cable lengths. The excellent build quality and performance makes the US selling price of $70 a great deal; we can only hope that European users will soon be able to purchase this power supply as well. All of this makes the BFG LS-550 the winner of our Gold Editors' Choice award.
  20. I have a BFG LS 680 watt PSU, and it has been rock solid and stable. Many of the little quirks and strange things that happened with my system when I was running a Raidmax Volcano 630watt PSU, simply disappeared when I installed the BFG.

    You don't need 8gig of memory, 4 is plenty.

    You don't need a USB card, most motherboards come with like 4/6 external USB ports on the back, and plugins for at least 2 internal (to connect to the front of your case, and each port will handle 2 external connections) For instance, my Gigabyte board has 6 USB ports on the back, and connectors for the front of the case, which has 4 USB ports on the front, I don't know why you would need a PCI USB card!

    You do not need a sound card. Period. Don't waste money it.

    Get this board or something similar, I am using a Giigabyte board with my PII Phenom, and I love it, booted perfectly first time the P920, and 1066 memory.
    I actually have the GA-MA78GM-US2H, cheap.... and I am suprisingly pleased with it so far, very nice especially for the price, had it about 2 months. Overclocks quite well.

    Get an ATI 4870. When it feels like it is starting to get doggy (which will be a while) and the prices come down on them, buy another, plug it in and run Crossfire.

    Do not buy a motherboard with an nVidia chipset. Just don't do it, take our word for it. Nope, don't even think about it.

    Forget about the core crippled X3's. I see so many people recommending these chopped up things. Why buy them? The X4's are so cheap, and you get all 4 cores.
    If you cannot even afford an X4, you don't need to be upgrading, IMHO.
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