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1st ever build. Need CPU + MOBO advise

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March 22, 2009 7:15:47 PM

Hi Fellas - Thanks for any assistance ahead of time...

I am almost at my wit's end trying to find a decent CPU and MOBO for my new system. I have bought all my components except for a CPU MOBO and PSU.

The parts have been sitting at home for about a month now waiting for me to make up my mind on the most important parts of my build.

Can anyone comment on this PSU? "Corsair 650TX"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My budget for the CPU + MOBO is $200 - $300 (USD)

What CPU's I have considered:
AMD x 3 720 - $150
Dual core E8400 - $165
Quadcore q6600 - $200

Obviously the more expensive is better, but I can't seem to justify it yet. Any adivce on whether or not to go quad to blow my budget?

MOBOs I have considered:
Intel: P45 UD3p - $115 after MIR (Please suggest better for cheaper!)
AMD: No idea!
Current Combo Deals with x3 720 (as of 3-29-09)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N...

Realisitically... I only need one PCI 2.0 x 16 slot for my 4870 and only 2 slots of RAM for 2x2gb 800 RAM. So I think that every single MOBO out there is overkill for my needs.

Although I feel slightly consticted becuase my GPU is apparently HUGE can anyone tell me if this will constrict anything important on a Mirco ATX board?
GPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a b à CPUs
March 22, 2009 7:42:49 PM

What's going to be the uses of your computer? (gaming, video converting/editing, ect)
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March 23, 2009 1:25:36 AM

mountie said:
Can anyone comment on this PSU? "Corsair 650TX"


Very good PSU.
March 23, 2009 1:27:36 AM

megamanx00 said:
I say get the 720 with the GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H combo for $240


I think the X4 940 + Biostar or Foxconn mobo for $285 is a better deal.
March 23, 2009 3:32:24 AM

Thanks for the feedback! Realistically, I have no idea what I will be doing with this new build... In short... Everything I possibly can. I'm pretty big on strategy games (I MUST be able to play Starcraft 2 when it arrives), I want to start encoding and decoding video, I don't have much interest in photoshop but hey, if possible I might start creating web pages I just don't know! I'm pretty excited to run 2 maybe 3 OS's on the build and just play around with whatever I can.

In short I don't want something that is not overkill, but will get the job done with at least a little bit of patience if I get to save $100

Is not having 4 cores going to severely hold me back?

I plan on upgrading in 2-3 years to i7 when more progs are written and the price isn't ridiculous...

Will any mentioned MOBO or CPU severely resist access to something cool that I will regret later? (i.e. I will def OC when the time is right)
March 23, 2009 3:38:18 AM

wow... sorry for the HUGE typo in the title... ***ADVICE*** not advise... Thanks to the 43 people who have looked at this thread and not made fun of me yet...
a c 86 à CPUs
March 23, 2009 4:01:56 AM

The q6600 was a fantastic cpu ... about 2 years ago . Today its two years old things have moved on .

The e8400 and the Pll 720 benchmark about the same in games but you are probably better off everywhere else thanks to the extra core of the Phenom .

Newegg has amazing cpu + mb combos . Asus and Gigabyte are preferred brands . But there has been a biostar gx790 combo with a 720 for $209 recently .
Which ever motherboard you chose should have a 780 or preferrably 790 series northbridge [ nb ] chipset and a 750 series southbridge [sb] chipset .

I would stick with an AM2+ mb at the moment because it uses DDR2 memory which is cheaper than the DDR3 memory used by AM3 motherboards . Its not like DDR 3 is faster .

As recently as last week anything made by foxconn was rubbish , but who knows they might have got it right in the last 6 days
March 23, 2009 4:27:15 AM

From my understanding, Foxconn and Biostar use the same manufacturer for their boards but this might be just for certain models? Whatever the case, from my own personal experience, my $40 Foxconn 780g motherboard has been superb.

Anyways, for general purpose computing in that price range, I'd go for the 720 or if you can spare the dough, the PII 940. With the combo deals newegg has for these two chips right now, you can get them with a relatively nice mobo for around 220 or 290. Can't really beat that kind of power at that price range.

Like Outlander said, stay away from the q6600. It was great when it came out but now it's just okay.
a c 86 à CPUs
March 23, 2009 4:59:52 AM

p00p00head said:
From my understanding, Foxconn and Biostar use the same manufacturer for their boards but this might be just for certain models? Whatever the case, from my own personal experience, my $40 Foxconn 780g motherboard has been superb.

Anyways, for general purpose computing in that price range, I'd go for the 720 or if you can spare the dough, the PII 940. With the combo deals newegg has for these two chips right now, you can get them with a relatively nice mobo for around 220 or 290. Can't really beat that kind of power at that price range.

Like Outlander said, stay away from the q6600. It was great when it came out but now it's just okay.


I have read a really good review of an X58 Foxconn motherboard so perhaps they are getting it right more often than not these days . Its certainly good to have feedback that your experience with their hardware has been superb
a b à CPUs
March 23, 2009 5:20:26 AM

Nothing less then a quad - Intel Q8xxx, Q9xxx or AMD P2 9xx

Motherboards - its worth the extra to get a decent motherboard from ASUS or Gigabyte - foxconn is good and solid yes, but there more amature, OEM and budget etc - less workable for custom machines etc.

Q6600 is old but @ 3ghz still blows the Q8xxx series and gives the Phenom II and Q9xxx series a good run for the money but still yes - showing age.
March 23, 2009 2:27:34 PM

Thank you all for keeping the Intel vs. AMD discussions friendly.

For suggested motherboards, can anyone give me reasons why I should pay more for the board? What benefit do I get with spending more on a board?

It looks like I need the simple features of a MICRO ATX board but I need extra room for my apparently huge GPU Radeon 4870. Some newegg reviews claim to have problems, but I don't trust some of the comments on there... thanks again...
March 23, 2009 5:21:12 PM

mountie said:
Thank you all for keeping the Intel vs. AMD discussions friendly.

For suggested motherboards, can anyone give me reasons why I should pay more for the board? What benefit do I get with spending more on a board?

It looks like I need the simple features of a MICRO ATX board but I need extra room for my apparently huge GPU Radeon 4870. Some newegg reviews claim to have problems, but I don't trust some of the comments on there... thanks again...


Generally, if you want to do some overclocking or if you plan on doing Sli/Crossfire, you want to pick out a good motherboard that has good overclocking abilities and well spaced out pcie slots.

If that one Radeon 4870's all you'll be using ever, then a cheap mobo will easily suit your needs (given you don't do some crazy overclock).

Plan out whether you're going to replace your whole system in a couple years or if you're going to steadily upgrade your parts for the next 2-4 years. If you plan on steady upgrades, a nice mobo now will save you a lot of heartache later.

I'm not an AMD fanboy by any means but I really do recommend the newegg combo deals they have right now for either the 720 or 940, as these deals come with pretty decent mobo's that you can use for future upgrades and overclocking.
March 25, 2009 6:35:55 PM

Any suggestions?
March 26, 2009 4:39:29 PM

I think I'm going to go 940 with the Giga combo for $305. Thanks for the help.

Will I need a cpu fan for the 940 if I plan on OCing? (*don't want to increase voltage*)
a c 77 à CPUs
March 26, 2009 7:55:23 PM

The stock HSF will work fine for a moderate OC.
March 26, 2009 8:26:15 PM

mountie said:
wow... sorry for the HUGE typo in the title... ***ADVICE*** not advise... Thanks to the 43 people who have looked at this thread and not made fun of me yet...


Well you could have easily meant, "advise" as in "please advise" :) 
March 31, 2009 5:45:42 PM

Can someone look at my final build and tell me if I need anything else important?? Or if they have any money saving reccomendations?? thanks!

I am mostly worried if my memory is compatible and if my PSU is enough. All comments are welcome!

CPU - $145 PII x3 720
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO - $45 (after combo and MIR) BIOSTAR 790GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MEMORY -$45 G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - $70 (after MIR) Corsair 650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $180 Sapphire 4870 512mb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - $100 Antec 900
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
tt

HDD: $80 WD 640GB 32MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-DRIVE: $25 LG DVD r/RW+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 77 à CPUs
March 31, 2009 6:44:50 PM

The build looks good. The only thing I would consider saving money on would be the case. You could go with the Antec 300 if you need to save a few bucks.
March 31, 2009 6:50:43 PM

Thanks! I saw that as well... After shipping charges the A300 turned out to be $70+ and at that time the 900 was on sales a $99 with free ship, couldn't turn that down. (Best part about this build I got every component with free shipping so my final bill was only $690)

I've seen a lot of people use 1066 memory with AMD processors, is there something I am missing?
a c 77 à CPUs
March 31, 2009 6:55:32 PM

The integrated memory controller on AMD chips will take advantage of DDR2 1066 RAM, but the speed benefit over DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-12 timings is pretty small. You could go with some DDR2 1066 RAM, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. The PI Black RAM is awesome. It will overclock to DDR2 1066 speed if needed. Here's some alternatives, but they don't save money.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
March 31, 2009 7:03:18 PM

runs faster... pretty sure, I am a moderate computer person.

Also if your going to oc I believe you want 1066 ram ( I could be misinformed though)
March 31, 2009 8:28:42 PM

Well that's not cool... Can anyone confirm this?
a c 77 à CPUs
March 31, 2009 8:37:19 PM

Confirm what? That DDR2 1066 is required for overclocking? That's really only true for some Intel CPU's that can reach very high FSB speeds. Like I said, try not to lose any sleep over the RAM issue. The BI Black RAM is very nice. If you want DDR2 1066 RAM, take a look at the kits I posted above. DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-12 timings is pretty much the same speed as DDR2 1066 RAM with 5-5-5-15 timings. The speed gained by going with DDR2 1066 RAM, even with an AMD CPU, is going to be so small you really won't even notice it except for in benchmarks.
March 31, 2009 9:06:47 PM

Good deal, thanks again...

One more question...If I wanted to xfire my 4870 would I need to upgrade my PSU?? (Only $20 more for 750w TX)
a c 77 à CPUs
March 31, 2009 9:28:29 PM

Yes, I would go with the 750TX if you're considering crossfire. Not only for the extra power, but also for the 4 PCI-E power connectors.
March 31, 2009 9:46:34 PM

Thanks again for your help short stuff I saw you helpin Maskim with a simliar post, made me chuckle.

I'm a little hazy on the downside of having a larger PSU... I understand that a higher efficiency will help reduce heat and save power... But if I'm not using the full 750watts to their full potential will I be wasting money just by having plugged into the wall? (versus a 650w)

I've got a feeling the mobo combos will be ending tonight, so I think I'm going to have to pull the trigger on this one in the next couple hours...
a c 77 à CPUs
March 31, 2009 9:53:23 PM

A PSU will only draw as much power as the system needs. A 750W PSU will not pull more power from the wall than a 650W PSU unless the system needs it. The only difference between the two PSU's as far as power usage goes will be determined by the PSU's efficiency at that particular load. That difference will be so small you'll never notice it.

I would go with the 750W PSU for sure. You won't be wasting power and your system will be ready to add another GPU in the future without having to upgrade anything else at the same time.
March 31, 2009 10:31:13 PM

Right on! Thanks! I'm ordering now!!!
April 1, 2009 2:01:11 PM


EDIT: irrelevent
April 9, 2009 2:27:44 AM

So I must be a complete motherboard noob... And I can not figure out how to configure my BIOS settings... I managed to default to booting to the CD/DVD drive and all but my mother board will not stay on...

initally I thought my whole rig was FUBAR because I plugged in the power and nothing happened... Until I decided to press a tiny little button on my BIOSTAR 790GX that powered on the whole rig... But now whenever I shut down my computer I can't get it to turn back on agian without opening up the case and pressing the power button on the freakin mother board.

Can anyone point me in the right direct in my BIOS? Is my problem making sense to anyone? Please help this is very frustrating... Thanks in advance...
April 9, 2009 3:53:45 AM

Hmmm....have you double checked to see if you placed the small connector wires (sorry, I forget what these are called) on the bottom right of your motherboard correctly? You know, the connectors that have power sw, reset sw, reset, speaker, hdd on them...(there should be wires inside your case that are connected to your power/reset button). You have to make sure they're all plugged in right (black wires usually = - charge) Your mobo manual should tell you the correct positioning.

That's about the only thing that comes to my mind from your description of the problem. Might want to ask the manufacturer for tech support...
April 9, 2009 5:14:12 AM

Well my power switch and reset switch both work like they are supposed to after I have powered on my motherboard, is that a good way to tell if they're plugged in right?

It's just that I wish I wouldn't have to open my case to power on my pc...

BIOSTAR's website is absolute garbage from what I can see and they don't even mention my board's existence for BIOS support....
April 9, 2009 6:14:43 AM

I personally don't have that board so there's no way I can make a good assessment to be honest. All I can tell you, from my experience, is that it is very very important to make sure you have those wires in place properly. That's probably the trickiest part when building your own pc. The connectors that don't have a black wire can usually be placed without regard to + or - charge but the black ones must be placed on the negative charge. I can't tell you if you have it in the correct position(even if it works after you manually turn on your mobo) but your motherboard manual can. Sorry I can't be more helpful, maybe you should make a separate thread in the tech or motherboard forum, I'm sure there's someone on these forums with detailed knowledge of that board.
!