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Help me finalise Phenom II 940 first Gaming build!

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April 5, 2009 8:51:19 PM

Hello everyone, I am a first time builder and very new to the whole idea. I decided to build to save on costs and learn a little bit in the process. I have picked out most of my componets and I must say I have enjoyed it so far. What I am here for is to get some second opinions and make sure that there are no major flaws in my componet choices.

My needs - I am a gamer. Other than than surfing the web, all I will be using this system for is gaming.

My budget - $,1700. Give or take a small amount.

My choices - There is a more reader friendly list at the bottom.

CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 940 Deneb 3.0Hz 125W Quad-C BE ~$225 I started with choosing a CPU and everything I have read about this thing was positive. I am not a AMD guy nor Intel but it seems that with AMD you get more bang for the buck.

Mobo - ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AM2+ / AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Mobo ~$199 Choosing a motherboard was my most difficult choice. I started with looking at this one but was turned off by some coments regarding memory compadability. After doing some searching I finally came back to this one but I do have some questions.
Here are some comments from Newegg users.

Cons: At least officially, according to Asus, limited to 2 X 2GB 1066 dual channel...

Other Thoughts: Here is definitive information at the bottom of Asus's Memory QVL for 1066 memory (below the 800 chart):

-DDR2 1066MHz or above DIMMs work only on the Yellow slots for one DIMM per channel. Ensure to install the DDR2 1066MHz DIMMs ONLY on the Yellow slots!
-Due to AM3/AM2+ CPU limitation, only one DDR2 1066 DIMM is supported per channel. When four DDR2 1066 DIMMs are installed, all DIMMs run at 800Mhz frequency by default for system stability.
By Berkut

Pros: I have an M3A79-T and it is running 8 Gigs of OCZ 1066 Fatal1ty RAM at 1066 on all dimm's, only change I had to do was change the RAM speed to 1066 from the 800 default......dont know where you are getting that error.... By TOML

Can't find the quote but another guy said he went with 8g of RAM at 800 and it works great.

This is very confusing to me as a new builder. Should I just go with 800? Should I just go with 4G at 1066? Should I do the change with the 1066 to allow it to run 8G?

Memory - Not sure, I know to pick 240 pin DDR2 at either 800 or 1066. Was going to go with a G-Skill model.

GPU - ASUS EAH4890/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 ~$269.99 - I read a couple strong reviews for this product but mostly went with this due to bang for buck value. I am open to suggestions on this.

Hard Drive - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive ~$179.99 I chose this one for the high RPM. I don't think I will need more than 150GB But please comment. Worst case I uninstall a game I'm not playing?

CPU Fan - ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball ~$59.99 - This was a confusing choice for me and I am not sure if I made the correct one. Any comments on this would be appriciated!

Case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower ~$214 - I chose this because it fit into my budget and had great reviews regarding cooling potential. If I could save some money on a cheaper case that cools well and is user friendly I would love to. I would love a cool looking case but it is not as important to me as I do not have the budget.

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatibility with Core i7 ~$179.99 - I am not sure about this choice, is it compatable? Do I need one with higher wattage?

Monitor - ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD ~$239 This seemed to me to be a pretty solid choice considering my needs and budget.

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders $99.99 - Is ultimate worth it?

DVD - ASUS 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-22B1LT - This compatable?

I will be purchasing a Headset, Mouse and Keyboard later but I wouldn't mind being able to fit them into this budget.

Including Mouse, Keyboard, Headset and Memory I get up around $1800 on newgg.

Well, there you have it. Any comments, suggestions or anything would be extreemly helpful to me. I will be very greatful to anyone willing to assist me here. As a first time builder I am definatly not confident enough with these choices to hit the purchase button yet.

Thanks in advance,
~Timms

A more readable list of componets:

CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 940 Deneb 3.0Hz 125W Quad Black Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MB - ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AM2+ / AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mem- Not sure.
GPU - ASUS EAH4890/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HD - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Pfan- ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor - ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
DVD - ASUS 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-22B1LT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 6, 2009 12:13:54 AM

Any thoughts at all?

Is this solid? Is anything overkill? Am I an idiot for chosing this componet or that componet?
April 6, 2009 12:33:07 AM

Yep I have a few things to change...

First the CPU :) 

Sorry, but for this price point AMD is out. I7 920 will outperform it easily, and there is no reason to settle for less. Going with i7 also means an X58 motherboard, which gives you more options in configuration.

Next, the Velociraptor. You can save money and have more space as well as speed... just RAID two Caviar Blacks.

Your CPU cooler may look nice, but it doesn't really do the job. Here's a good one:
CM V8:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Related resources
April 6, 2009 12:36:04 AM

Well here is how I would do it. The parts you chose aren't bad, but don't give you the best bang for your buck. If you are insistent on the AMD build this would be what you should do:

Case/PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/Mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD: This is larger than the VRap and almost as fast, and more than half the price. If you want super speed, you can raid 0 two of these and get much more storage space, and get more speed for less than what you are paying for that one Vrap.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

HSF:
http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/noctua-nh-u12p-ultra-sil...

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

Use the savings to get 2x4890's or a 4870x2

Although I think I would do get an i7 on that kind of budget....
April 6, 2009 12:53:54 AM

Thanks for the replies. I am going to start looking into what both of you have suggested.

No I am not insistant on AMD or really any of my choices for that matter. From the very brief research I have done I was lead to believe that a top AMD build would be far less explensive than an equal Intel build.
April 6, 2009 12:59:14 AM

IMO, your motherboard, hard drive, cooler and GPU gives low performance/$.

Consider this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Phenom II 940BE with Gigabyte 790X $310
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 2x2GB G.Skill $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... WD 640GB AALS $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Artic MX-2 Thermal Compound $7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Xigma Dark Knight $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P... 1GB 4890 $250 - $20MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Tuniq 650W PSU $90 - $40MIR

Parts I didn't change:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Vista Home Premium 64-bit $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Asus VH242H Black 23.6" $240
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ASUS 22X DVD Burner $30


The case you picked out if fine however, at the saem price range I would get the:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... CM Cosmos 1000 case $200

Total $1400 - $60MIR

But all things considered the following case is fine:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... CM 690 case $80
I would also consider getting your case locally as I find the prices (at least in my area) are the same as newegg without the expensive shipping.
April 6, 2009 1:44:39 AM

intel i7 920 + ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 combo 554
CM HAF 150 704
Corsair 850TX 140 844
Corsair 6GB CAS 8 1600Mhz DDR3 102 946
EVGA GTX 285 345 1291 (buy one now and one later if you think you need it.)
Caviar Black 640GB 80 1371

Xigmatek Dark Knight 40 1411
MX-2 7 1418
DVD burner 29 1447


Monitor 240 1687
Vista 64-bit 100

$1787.00 if my math was right.


There's some pretty good rebates in there, not counted. You are left with the ability to SLI a second card should you need, and you'll be able to have a moderate OC on the CPU if you like.

The Cooler Master HAF is the better case for cable routing and such, but the Antec 1200 has that very nice PSU in combo which makes it awfully attractive.... The Corsair 850TX is of course a great PSU as well. Those are two of the top 4 850W PSUs available in the US. Oddly Antec has the other two as well. Interesting. Antec Signature 850W and Antec TPQ-850.
April 6, 2009 1:58:15 AM

make sure you get the 50$ rebate for the 4890
April 6, 2009 2:06:16 AM

Wow the response here has been great.

Going to take a good look at what has been suggested.

Oh and Proximon, I just read your guide. It really helped to clarify some things. Thanks!
!