Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

WEIGH IN: May.09 System Builder Marathon ~$1250 MicroATX components

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 9, 2009 4:21:27 PM

Hello folks!

I'm gathering components for the next SBM and I was hoping to get your feedback.

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

TOTAL: $1303



[EDIT] fixed the RAM
[EDIT] looks like most of you agree that the graphics card choice trumps core i7, so we'll stick with the Q9550
[EDIT] Looks like a lot of people are of the opinon the Phenom II 940 is the way to go. Let me know your opinion, if the 940's have it I'll change it over.
[EDIT] changed to Phenom II X3 system
[EDIT] got rid of frivolous silent case fans; Silverstone's stock models are probably quiet enough.
[EDIT] Turned everything on it's ass and went with two GTX 260's in SLI instead of a single GTX 295 which left budget room for a Core i7 920. Aha!


Any opinions on that, or other suggestions?
April 9, 2009 4:48:59 PM

DDR3 with an LGA775 board is just silly. The triple-channel RAM you picked won't work with the P5Q-EM motherboard anyway. I would certainly rather see either a Phenom II 940 or the i7 than the Q9550. If you go with the i7 build, you can do much better than DDR3 1066 for that price. This low-latency DDR3 1600 RAM is a great buy:

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

Are you sure the GTX 295 and 4850x2 will fit in that case? It seems a little cramped to me.
April 9, 2009 5:07:08 PM

I, personally, would like to see something like this for the AMD build:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $214.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $25.99

XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99

XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $36.99

Total - $1,237.90 before MIR's
Related resources
April 9, 2009 5:23:21 PM

Here's an idea for an i7 build:

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $288.99

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $209.99

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $25.99

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99

BFG Tech BFGEGTX2851024OCPE GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99

Total - $1,279.91 before MIR's

You could go with this overclocked 4850x2 if you need to get the price under $1,250:

SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99

The total would then be $1,229.91

I'm not sure where you were trying to go with the whole microATX builds. Most enthusiasts want a case with good airflow for the best cooling and overclocking headroom possible. I thought the SBM was about getting the maximum performance for your dollar. Stuffing everything in a little case would just limit the overclocking potential. Maybe you should do a poll/weigh in on that: "Would you be interested in a microATX $1,250 SBM build?".
April 9, 2009 6:15:21 PM

I like the build by Shortstuff with the Phenom II 940, I think that definitely gets you the most for your money when it comes to gaming because the savings can go to better graphics configurations, and DDR3 doesn't really show much of an improvement over DDR3 yet, so the price premium isn't really worth it IMO. Maybe toss some good thermal compound in that build
April 9, 2009 6:24:05 PM

cleeve said:
Hello folks!

I'm gathering components for the next SBM and I was hoping to get your feedback. Frankly, I'm torn between two configurations. Here are the common components:

Silverstone SUGO case: $70
Corsair CMPSU-650TX: $100 (rebate)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive: $90
Patriot 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PSD36G1066KH - $83
LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model iHAS422-08 - $28

After that it get's sticky. Do I want to go Core 2 quad and a GeForce GTX 295?

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550: $280
ASUS P5Q-EM: $135
BFG Tech BFGEGTX2951792E GeForce GTX 295: $525
TOTAL: $1291

Or Core i7 920, but then I can only afford a Radeon 4850 X2 2GB?

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366: $289
DFI LANPARTY JR X58-T3H6: $230
SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2): $299
TOTAL: $1161


What would you guys rather see in the article?

Thanks for your input!

To address your original question however, I think you want to go with the GTX 295. The Q9550 and i7 920 are not that different when it comes to putting up gaming numbers, maybe 1 or 2 frames per second, especially after overclocking, which you will undoubtedly do, the CPU matters less and less the higher you go and you will probably not be able to tell a difference between the i7 and Q9550 by looking at numbers after some good OC'ing. A GTX 295 vs 4850x2 on the other hand will show a large difference in numbers.

And I'm not so crazy about the mATX idea, you get a lot more for you money with the mid or full tower as shortstuff said. Better cooling, more room for expansion, and cheaper prices on components ($230 for a mATX board? $200 for the GA-EX58-UD3R is much more appealing to me, or $240 for the P6T).
April 9, 2009 6:28:09 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
DDR3 with an LGA775 board is just silly.

Are you sure the GTX 295 and 4850x2 will fit in that case? It seems a little cramped to me.


Of course! I fixed the RAM oversight.

As far as the video cards, I do believe either will fit.
April 9, 2009 6:29:01 PM

I also agree with the builds that short has put up there. Think they are just about perfect. The only thing that you could probally get away with is picking up the corsair 750 instead of the 850 since you have a single card solution for bost rigs. If you want to leave the flexibility of sli/cf then i'd stick with the 850. I dont' think you'll get much better than either of those builds for the money.
April 9, 2009 6:31:02 PM

xthekidx said:
To address your original question however, I think you want to go with the GTX 295. The Q9550 and i7 920 are not that different when it comes to putting up gaming numbers, maybe 1 or 2 frames per second, especially after overclocking, which you will undoubtedly do. A GTX 295 vs 4850x2 on the other hand will show a large difference in numbers.

And I'm not so crazy about the mATX idea, you get a lot more for you money with the mid or full tower as shortstuff said. Better cooling, more room for expansion, and cheaper prices on components ($230 for a mATX board? $200 for the GA-EX58-UD3R is much more appealing to me, or $240 for the P6T).



I hear you, but we're specifically doing an SBM on MicroATX to make interesting portable builds. So I guess it logically follows that a portable build will be used primarily for gaming, in which case I should lean toward the GTX 295, which is my thinking as well... I just wanted feedback from you guys before I ordered.
April 9, 2009 6:36:46 PM

A couple things:

Short's builds are nice but the theme is MicroATX cases. Also, I'm in the $1250 budget segment so I don't think the Phenom II is appropriate, but I've mentioned it to Paul Henningsen earlier today that I'd like to see a Phenom II (maybe an X3) in the ~$800 build.

As far as other comments - the 285 isn't in the running, the 4850 X2 is a much stronger performer. I don't think cooling is an issue with the card expelling hot air out of the back.
April 9, 2009 6:41:22 PM

Hmmm, "The LANBox SBM..." interesting.
With overclocked, hot components in a small box, you may want to throw a few dollars at more and/or better fans. Maybe drop the Lightscribe or get a smaller HDD if you need to to make budget.
April 9, 2009 6:42:18 PM

Sorry, but I don't think you'll find many enthusiasts interested in the microATX idea. I hope it's just for this month.

My Phenom II build comes in right at the $1,250 price point. Why don't you think the AMD build is appropriate?
April 9, 2009 6:43:43 PM

If your looking for an extra $10 bucks or so you can shade down the wd blac 750 to the 640. Saves ya about 20 bucks and maybe can help ya pick up your psu or somethign to the next level? Maybe an extra case fan or two?
April 9, 2009 6:44:25 PM

I didn't see an aftermarket CPU cooler on your build either.
April 9, 2009 6:44:58 PM

Onus said:
I didn't see an aftermarket CPU cooler on your build either.

+1
April 9, 2009 6:45:42 PM

What happened to the March and April SBM articles? I was very disappointed to not see them.
April 9, 2009 6:46:45 PM

Attack!!!!!!!
April 9, 2009 6:49:39 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
My Phenom II build comes in right at the $1,250 price point. Why don't you think the AMD build is appropriate?


Because the Q9550 build will kill it for the same price, mostly. We're benching more than just games.

More fans is a great idea though.


As far as the cooler for the Q9550 - absolutely I'll be adding one of those, but I'm having a hard time deciding on a short-but-effective cooler that will fit nicely in a MicroATX case. Any suggestions?
April 9, 2009 6:51:39 PM

Onus said:
I didn't see an aftermarket CPU cooler on your build either.

That's another thing about the mATX theme that turns me off, you have to get a LP cooler which means sacrificing cooling performance. Zalman CNPS8700 does fairly well I have recently learned (thanks to shortstuff's suggestion in my dell rebuild thread).
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=224...
April 9, 2009 6:52:21 PM

xthekidx said:
What happened to the March and April SBM articles? I was very disappointed to not see them.


The monthly ones was something we tried that ended up being more work than it was worth when you consider we eneded up using a lot of the same components a lot of the time. We thought we'd change it to every 2 or three months so the market has time to bring new stuff and prices could lower.
April 9, 2009 6:55:19 PM

as far as I can see the P2 will go up straight with a Q9550 and in some with the i7.

Also I'd rather have that extra ability to upgrade by going AM3.

Maybe you should do £800 ex vat builds, you can fit a load more stuff in and it's actually less money.
April 9, 2009 6:59:15 PM

cleeve said:
Because the Q9550 build will kill it for the same price, mostly. We're benching more than just games.

Hey Cleeve, your "I heart Intel" side is coming out. The Q9550 most certainly doesn't "kill" the 940. The two CPU's go back and forth in the benchmarks.
April 9, 2009 7:11:20 PM

The Q9550 is better than the PII 940 outside of gaming, but I agree that it doesn't "kill" it. I thought the focus of this was geared towards gamers though? Gaming benchmarks are what people really want to see, lame MP3 file conversion times is boring. I doubt many people will be planning any video editing with a "lanbox" build. I think that the Gaming benchmarks should be weighed much more heavily than the other benchmarks, in which case more money should be put into the GPU(s) than the CPU...my 2 cents.
April 9, 2009 7:21:47 PM

Cleeve, nice to see you're asking for input prior to doing the article.

Just a reminder... DFI makes µATX boards that support crossfire... perhaps you could squeeze in a couple 4890's in that tiny box.

Personally, I'd like to see you go with the Phenom II 940.
April 9, 2009 7:24:49 PM

I looked at the SUGO case, 10.6" x 8.4" x 15.5".
Looks like the HSF will be right up against the PSU or very close. The PSU will be drawing heat out of the case so the Processor HSF would have to be mounted so it draws heat,(air) off of the HS not blowing into the HS. I see the one intake fan. Will the side air vents be enough to supply outside ait to the 4850 X2 or other high-end GPU, MB, RAM and operate at a acceptable tempature?
To me it looks like everything is going to run Hot. I suppose the side panels could be removed for gaming and a table fan blowing air through.
April 9, 2009 7:25:17 PM

I dont' think you'd want to do sli/crossfire due to heat. Even with the cards blowing most of their hot air out the back of the case I think the cards would still generate more heat than you would want inside the case. Even a lot of mid tower cases start having issues with scaling and heat when talkign about graphics cards.

edit: knotknut beat me sorta to the punch. I think heat is going to be a major concern with this rig.
April 9, 2009 7:26:11 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Hey Cleeve, your "I heart Intel" side is coming out. The Q9550 most certainly doesn't "kill" the 940. The two CPU's go back and forth in the benchmarks.


Heheh. Look, I'm an AMD fan if anything, I think the Phenom II is an awesome CPU for the buck and I'm a big advocate of using it in the lower priced stuff. But I'll admit I've got the impression that the Q9550 is notably stronger than the 940 in a lot of apps, if it loses it doesn't give up much ground, and it overclocks better.

I will admit though, my opinion might be off so I'm going to have another look at the benches to see if my imperfect memory hasn't skewed things one way or the other. If it has, my apologies.
April 9, 2009 8:19:20 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Hey Cleeve, your "I heart Intel" side is coming out. The Q9550 most certainly doesn't "kill" the 940. The two CPU's go back and forth in the benchmarks.


Well, I just dug through a whole whack of sites, THG as well as others. As far as I can tell, 7 times out of 10 an Intel Q9550 will beat a Phenom II 940 by 10 to 20+ percent, appas and games. 5 times out of 10, it'll be a tie or the Phenom will win, but by less than 10%, usually less than 5%.

So while I'll concede that 'Kill' might not be an appropriate term in this case, I don't see a solid argument to choose a 940 over a Q9550.
April 9, 2009 8:24:19 PM

cleeve said:
Well, I just dug through a whole whack of sites, THG as well as others. As far as I can tell, 7 times out of 10 an Intel Q9550 will beat a Phenom II 940 by 10 to 20+ percent, appas and games. 5 times out of 10, it'll be a tie or the Phenom will win, but by less than 10%, usually less than 5%.

So while I'll concede that 'Kill' might not be an appropriate term in this case, I don't see a solid argument to choose a 940 over a Q9550.

You don't see the price difference of $215 vs $280 a compelling argument? :heink:  I think that money is put to better use elsewhere, but I guess that's just me.
April 9, 2009 8:44:50 PM

xthekidx said:
You don't see the price difference of $215 vs $280 a compelling argument? :heink:  I think that money is put to better use elsewhere, but I guess that's just me.


Oh, it's probably not just you, I'm sure a number of folks might share that opinion. I wouldn't say either choice is 'right' or 'wrong'.

But from what I've seen the Q9550 will also give better results overclocked and that's also a big part of our SBMs. It seems worth $65 on a $1200 system. To me, anyway.


But you guys tell me. If everyone thinks I'm nuts for choosing a Q9550 over a 940, make your voices known. I'm happy to accomodate you guys, you're the readership after all.
April 9, 2009 8:51:27 PM

xthekidx said:
You don't see the price difference of $215 vs $280 a compelling argument? :heink:  I think that money is put to better use elsewhere, but I guess that's just me.

I'm with you xthekidx. The screwy systems put together in the SBM aren't that big of a deal to enthusiasts like us who can put together a better build on our own. I just feel sorry for the people who take the SBM as gospel and build a rig based solely on it only to find out they could have done better. The SBM was a joke for quite a while. The last couple were better, but it looks like they're taking a pretty big step backwards this time around. Oh well, I just read them to pass time anyway. The last few AnandTech "System Buyers Guide" articles were awesome. I hope maybe one day the SBM will be similar where they build both an Intel and AMD build at certain price points. The Tech Report's system guide is also very well thought out. TR builds at a certain price point and then gives comparable alternatives.
April 9, 2009 9:01:52 PM

cleeve said:
Oh, it's probably not just you, I'm sure a number of folks might share that opinion. I wouldn't say either choice is 'right' or 'wrong'.

But from what I've seen the Q9550 will also give better results overclocked and that's also a big part of our SBMs. It seems worth $65 on a $1200 system. To me, anyway.


But you guys tell me. If everyone thinks I'm nuts for choosing a Q9550 over a 940, make your voices known. I'm happy to accomodate you guys, you're the readership after all.

Well I guess, but when trying to maximize the budget, every dollar counts. I think the performance/dollar is much better with the PII. Since the SBM are mostly geared to gaming PC's, like I said earlier, I think those benchmarks are the ones that should carry the most weight, and you will see better results getting the best GPU you can.

However since we are going with the lanbox idea, that does change the story a bit. I think a Dual graphics card setup is a bad idea in a tiny case, you will have heat issues I think, so If you can fit a GTX 295 and Q9550 in that budget, then that seems to be an acceptable use of funds.
April 9, 2009 9:05:35 PM

In this case (no pun intended), where heat matters more, will either of those two CPUs run cooler? Aren't they both 95W parts?

I think that's a little unfair, shortstuff. For any given purpose, I'm sure that's true, and it's what we have in mind when we build. But for something that tries to do well everywhere (yeah, jack of all trades, master of none, etc...), I've enjoyed the SBM articles. They definitely help fill the "index" with useful information, even if I'd choose different parts myself.
April 9, 2009 9:09:20 PM

You're right, I am probably being a little harsh. I've just noticed a definite downward trend in the quality of all the Tom's Hardware articles during the last couple years. I just have to blow off a little steam when I get a chance. I just feel like the technical knowledge is higher at some of the other sites. Try reading a review/article by Anand Lal Shimpi then come read an article here and try to tell me I'm wrong.
April 9, 2009 9:09:37 PM

Another vote for the Phenom2 940. More from the fact you've done the core2 duos and quads along with the i7, so it's time for the AMDs.
April 9, 2009 9:13:12 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The last couple were better, but it looks like they're taking a pretty big step backwards this time around.


I'm coming here in good faith to make sure our direction will jive with what the readers would like to see, and I'm acting on that feedback. Is that my 'big step backwards'?

Or am I taking a 'big step backwards' because I didn't elect to put together the system you suggested verbatim?

If it cheeses you off that I don't share your value opinion of Q9550 vs. Phenom II 940, that's your perogative. I'm here so that readers can make their case and so I don't work in a vacuum, let me know your reasoning. But I don't think the posturing is all that helpful, mate.
April 9, 2009 9:14:32 PM

Onus said:
In this case (no pun intended), where heat matters more, will either of those two CPUs run cooler? Aren't they both 95W parts?

I think that's a little unfair, shortstuff. For any given purpose, I'm sure that's true, and it's what we have in mind when we build. But for something that tries to do well everywhere (yeah, jack of all trades, master of none, etc...), I've enjoyed the SBM articles. They definitely help fill the "index" with useful information, even if I'd choose different parts myself.

+1 I don't think I would ever call the SBM articles a joke, even if I didn't always agree with all the components chosen. I have found them to be good reads and they tend to aim for a broader spectrum, which gives them a certain value, they fill a different "niche". But I don't think I would put the PII 940 far enough behind the Q9550 to make it worthwhile to get the Q9550 if you had to sacrifice on the GPU. Since it doesn't seem we are sacrificing on the GPU though, I guess I am OK with it...but if ATI sends out a 4890x2...:p 
April 9, 2009 9:22:54 PM

Well, looking back over the thread I'm not seeing any Q9550 advocates except myself and a whole hell of a lot of Phenom 2 supporters:

Shortsuff
thekid
helloworld
rwpritchett
dirtmountain

So the eyes have it unless a slew of Q9550 lovers flood in. I'll redo the list and pricing.
April 9, 2009 9:25:17 PM

cleeve said:
I'm coming here in good faith to make sure our direction will jive with what the readers would like to see, and I'm acting on that feedback. Is that my 'big step backwards'?

Or am I taking a 'big step backwards' because I didn't elect to put together the system you suggested verbatim?

If it cheeses you off that I don't share your value opinion of Q9550 vs. Phenom II 940, that's your perogative. I'm here so that readers can make their case and so I don't work in a vacuum, let me know your reasoning. But I don't think the posturing is all that helpful, mate.

I'm sorry the posts are so harsh today - bad day at work. No, I don't want or expect you to build the SBM around my suggestions above. I just think that building an "overclockable" system in a microATX case is counter-productive. You say that overclocking is a major consideration in the SBM, but at the same time say it has to be in a microATX case and you're looking to put a quad core and GTX295 in the build. It just doesn't make any sense. You'll be lucky to not run into heat problems at stock speeds if the components even fit in the case at all.

I also don't have a preference between Intel and AMD. I just think it's time to give the Phenom II's some love. The Q9550 has been around long enough that we all know how it performs.
April 9, 2009 9:30:13 PM

cleeve said:
Well, looking back over the thread I'm not seeing any Q9550 advocates except myself and a whole hell of a lot of Phenom 2 supporters:

Shortsuff
thekid
helloworld
rwpritchett
dirtmountain

So the eyes have it unless a slew of Q9550 lovers flood in. I'll redo the list and pricing.

Ok well hold on a sec. As an enthusiast sort of guy, I would pick the PII in a mid or full tower and go for an xfire solution. Since you are gearing this article for a lanbox portable mATX form-factor, that changes the story. I think that in that box, a dual GPU setup would get too hot unless you had some 120CFM fans whipping air through the case, which would invariably get very loud. So in that situation and with the budget laid out, I don't think the Q9550+GTX 295 is a bad use of funds, since we are trying to get as close to that mark as possible. If it were me building this rig, I would probably just chose to pocket the savings, but if the Q9550 and GTX 295 fit the bill, then I think its a go.
April 9, 2009 9:35:00 PM

Well, that's the core of it, isn't it? Pure gamer, pure workstation, or somewhere in between?

I don't have too much of a problem reaching for the stars and trying to deliver a little of everything to everyone because I find myself using gaming machines for all sorts of tasks, and workstations for gaming.

I might be in the minority on this, but the best I can do is try to build from my experience and get your opinions on the way. I've never pretended to be an Anand, but if I can bring some useful information to some readers I can go to sleep satisifed that I've done what I can.


In any case, the masses have spoken and Phenom II 940 it is! I still have to select a board... Imagine how red in the face I'll be if I end up choosing the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P... :D 
April 9, 2009 9:40:43 PM

cleeve said:
In any case, the masses have spoken and Phenom II 940 it is! I still have to select a board... Imagine how red in the face I'll be if I end up choosing the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P... :D 

Wait a minute...are we sticking with the SFF? Is the Silverstone SUGO what we are building in still? I ask cuz the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P is an ATX...
April 9, 2009 9:40:50 PM

xthekidx said:
So in that situation and with the budget laid out, I don't think the Q9550+GTX 295 is a bad use of funds, since we are trying to get as close to that mark as possible. If it were me building this rig, I would probably just chose to pocket the savings, but if the Q9550 and GTX 295 fit the bill, then I think its a go.


We'll, with the 295 spitting it's hot air out of the back I think it's less of an issue. But for argument's sake I'm going to spec out a microATX + Phenom II 940 and we'll see how the price lands.

How would you guys feel about a cheap water cooling setup for the CPU like an H20-120 or something? Might keep temps down, hot air out of the case, and make it a little easier to get good cooling in there.

I can flex the budget a bit if you fellows think it's worth it.
April 9, 2009 9:45:54 PM

xthekidx said:
Wait a minute...are we sticking with the SFF? Is the Silverstone SUGO what we are building in still? I ask cuz the GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P is an ATX...


Yeah, it's still a SFF comparison. The SUGO seems really reasonably priced with the classic great silverstone build quality. THe worst part is that the HDD cage might have to be removed to get the 295 in there, but that's not a big deal because we can mount the HDD in the 5 1/4 bay if we have to. The SUGO has nice flexibility that way as long as you don't need two optical drives.

Of course, if you guys have a better SFF case idea my ears are open...
April 9, 2009 9:49:12 PM

The GTX 295 does have rear exhaust, but I I think it will still generate plenty of heat inside the case. The GTX 295's that I have seen have Porus casings, look at these newegg photos:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?ISList=14-...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?ISList=14-...

Those casings I think are more for a refined look than actually making the hot air go out the back of the GPU, air can easily pass in and out of the card casing though the side of the card. Its not a straight through cooling design as far as I can see.
April 9, 2009 9:49:55 PM

Building an AMD system on a microATX board proves difficult if you're looking to get the SB750 to maximize your overclock. None of the microATX boards by Gigabyte or Asus currently available on newegg use the SB750. This one probably wouldn't be bad:

BIOSTAR TA790GX XE AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 9, 2009 9:54:26 PM

Frankly I have to do a detailed look into MicroATX AMD boards because I don't use them much.

I'm considering the GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-UD2H and the Biostar BIOSTAR TA790GX. Biostar seems to be the only one out there with the 790GX chipset.

Let me know your thoughts.
April 9, 2009 9:58:05 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
BIOSTAR TA790GX XE AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Heheh, your post about the Biostar beat mine.

I'd like the 790GX but Biostar has been hit and miss with me. I like them for the price but I've experienced some Biostar quirks in the past. I'm going to do a little more research before pulling the trigger, but everybody thanks for your input!

Maybe I should save a couple bucks and get a Phenom II X3 - and try to unlock it with the 790GX BIOS feature... :D 

No feedback on the watercooling idea?
!