Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Questions - Phenom X4 system for web/graphic student/freelancer

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 19, 2009 9:48:58 PM

Hi there

My computer died a few days ago and since I am a multimedia student/freelancer I need a new system a.s.a.p..

I will mainly use it for Photoshop, Indesign, UltraEdit/Dreamweaver, Apache/PHP/MySQL and occasionally for Premiere/After Effects and some 3d rendering with Maya/V-ray. I do not play games.

I came up with the following system:

- AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE pcu
- Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4 mobo
- Cooler Master Centurion 590 case
- Zalman ZM600-HP psu
- Scythe Mugen 2 cooler
- Sapphire HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 gpu
- Kingston HyperX KHX8500 D2K2/4G (dual channel 2x 2GB 1066mhz)
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 DT HD103UJ (1TB hdd)
- Samsung SH-S223F (cd/dvd writer)

I will probably not overclock the processor.. I want maximum stability and hardware life and I've never overclocked a system before so....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments and idea's/suggestions are more then welcome.. What do you think of this system for me?

I have a question about the Motherboard:

You have the Gigabyte 790X-UD4, but also the 790X-UD4P which costs a few euro's more.. Which one would be better for me? I don't really know the difference between the two and I can't really figure out what everything means at the specs.

Also.. is the Kingston HyperX memory (1066mhz, 2.2v) well supported by the motherboard or should I go for the Kingston Valueram memory, which is 800mhz and runs on a lower voltage?

Final question.. I couldn't find any recent dvd/cd writer reviews, so... which is the best dvd/cd writer at the moment? I went with the Samsung SH-S223F, but if you have a better suggestion/alternative, please let me know!

Thanks in advance,
Xantulle~
April 19, 2009 9:55:03 PM

Do you need 3D acceleration (like in 3D Studio MAX - im not into that stuff) for applications? If not you might as well use onboard video using the AMD 790GX chipset, which is more recent than the 790X chips.

I do recall a new version of Photoshop (CS4) being developed that uses your videocard to speed things up, i'm not sure if its released yet. http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39433/140/

But that might only work for nVidia chips, so your ATi videocard might not be the best choice even if you need 3D accelleration for applications.
April 19, 2009 10:18:54 PM

What is your budget? There is some improvement to be made, but I need your budget first.
Related resources
April 19, 2009 10:48:28 PM

Samsung is technologically sound, fastest drive I can find (at least in the UK) LG do a similar spec one though so if that's cheaper then you could get that.
Why get a non stock cooler as I haven't seen any OEM (i.e. without cooler or manuals) 940s, you're not overclocking it and the stock cooler is actually pretty good, I'd only get one if it will be quieter, I can't see any reviews with AMD platforms and the Intel reviews don't give specifics about noise just claiming it's quiet in comparison to the previous champ. Also check it will fit your case as some coolers are massive, the average midi tower can take between 130-150mm high cooler, I would check to see if the Coolermaster 690 can fit but you have to at least do some work yourself.
April 20, 2009 4:08:32 AM

I find the slowest part of my system is the hard drive. I changed mine to a 120 OCZ Vertex and run CS3 it is so fast now. My boot time is twice as fast and program load time and changes are very fast. I also run 8GB ram and have a 1TB spare drive for my Vista 64 virtual memory.I had dual 250 raid 0 but this SSD is way faster. I have built in SSD on my motherboard that runs with out booting to windows that's why I changed my drive. I found SSD so fast.
April 20, 2009 4:05:32 PM

So the ud4p has two e-sata ports (for external harddrives), 2 more sata ports, support for ddr2 1333 (compared to 1200 on the ud4 board), slightly better components used (therefore theoretically last longer) and it supports more cpus out of the box (the ud4 will need a bios flash to use that cpu most likely).

All in all if the price difference is not much then get the ud4p one.

Generally speaking the further right along that the motherboard is on Gigabyte's page, the better it is.
April 20, 2009 6:04:14 PM

Thanks all for the replies!

My budget lies around 850~ euro's.. I will buy most of the parts from www.azerty.nl and www.digitique.nl.. Anyway, I don't care if I have to pay 50 euro's more or less.. I just want a good and stable pc that will be loyal to me for quite a while.

----------

If the UD4P has better specs than the UD4, I'll go for the UD4P (it costs only 8 euro's more).. it looks like the UD4P has a better onboard soundcard aswell..

----------

About the cooler for the cpu... I could stick with the stock cooler for the Phenom X4 since I don't OC.. but the Mugen 2 is probably more silent and better in cooling performance than the stock cooler. My PC might be running for like 15-20 hours a day at times, so wouldn't the 30 euro's for the Mugen be a good investment to be sure the cpu is well cooled?

----------

Will I noticeably gain in speed if I go for a faster harddrive? For example a WD Black Caviar instead of the Samsung Spinpoint? The OCZ Vertex SSD drives are sweet, but it will exceed my budget too much, so that's not an option...

----------

About the GPU.. I will be mostly running CS4 apps. The HD 4870 1GB is 170,-... I can buy a lesser gpu, but good ones will still be around 100-150~.. So wouldn't it be better and more "futureproof" if I stick with the 4870?

----------

And I still have the DVD/CD writer question :) 
I couldn't find any recent dvd/cd writer reviews, so... which is the best dvd/cd writer at the moment? I went with the Samsung SH-S223F, but if you have a better suggestion/alternative, please let me know!

According to cdfreaks the SH-S223F performs pretty good overall, but not that good on CD-R and DVD+R, hmm...

----------

Thanks in advance!
April 20, 2009 6:54:00 PM

By the way.. I will use the system with an Eizo 24'' monitor.

I will also buy 2x 120mm fans with blue leds or something, that I will place in the top of the Centurion 590 case.. And the Mugen will blow air up aswell to get an upwards airflow (hopefully this will blow dust out of the case aswell)
April 21, 2009 12:08:59 PM

Try the LG GH22LS30 if you're not happy with the Samsung drive. Similar specs, no lightscribe or labelflash but that shouldn't be a concern.
April 21, 2009 12:24:37 PM

spanner_razor said:
Try the LG GH22LS30 if you're not happy with the Samsung drive. Similar specs, no lightscribe or labelflash but that shouldn't be a concern.
Thanks.. I will look into that..

Also, I'll have to stick with the Gigabyte UD4, since the UD4P has a delivery time of at least 14 days.... can't wait that long :( 
April 21, 2009 2:20:29 PM

If you're not going sli/crossfire do you need that sort of motherboard you could save a bit with a gigabyte GA-MA770-DS3P or such.
If not then your current board will probably need a bios flash so be aware of that.
April 21, 2009 6:32:30 PM

I'm going for 1x HD 4870 1GB.. Won't go sli or something, as I don't really play games for the moment..

Edit:

Thank you for mentioning the LG GH22LS30! .. I've done some research (cdfreaks) and it seems that it is better than the Samsung :)  I'll go for the LG..
April 21, 2009 7:01:21 PM

The ATi card cannot do CS4 acceleration i believe. However, nVidia IGP solutions like the GeForce 8200/8300 and 9300/9400 should be able to. So if you would change your motherboard to a €85 board you would save alot of money, and you can buy an SSD instead. Wait a bit since a price drop of the Intel X25-M has just been announced, when it dropped to under €300 it would be an excellent value for the offered performance. This is something you *are* going to notice, since even the fastest PC with a HDD is still jerky in overall responsiveness.
April 21, 2009 7:49:51 PM

Hmm.. maybe I should buy a cheaper videocard yes, since I don't play games at all.

Going for a cheaper videocard will safe me money for an OCZ Vertex SSD drive (60GB).. Then I can use that drive for just my OS + Apps, and the 1TB Samsung Spinpoint or a 500GB Spinpoint next to that for file storage....

Would this be a better option according to you?

I can always save up for a better videocard later on if I decide to play games and such.. and if the SSD drives are really that much of a speed difference..... Are they stable to use as an OS/Program Files drive?
April 21, 2009 8:03:10 PM

Or would it even be better to go for a Gigabyte motherboard with an onboard videocard and no external gpu, so I can buy an SSD drive and stay within budget? Or is an onboard videocard with a 24'' Eizo monitor crappy?

Perhaps the Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H?

(I could always add a Sapphire Radeon HD3450 to that motherboard, which will result in AMD Hybrid CrossfireX for better graphic performance, and the HD3450 is only 35 euros :)  or the Club3D HD 4650, which is 60 euros)
April 21, 2009 10:10:45 PM

Xantulle, just for your information, if you're just inside Windows and using applications, your videocard is doing pretty much nothing, there's no 3D acceleration going on. You talk about video performance but the only thing a videocard could speedup in your situation is Photoshop CS4 and other apps that use OpenGL/CUDA acceleration, not many i can tell you.

So save money here and you can spend money on where it counts: a good SSD like Intel X25-M.
April 22, 2009 7:17:40 AM

Thanks man! I will look into Nvideo chipset boards, the ASUS seems like a good board :) 

What would you say: Asus M4N78 Pro vs. Asus M4N82 Deluxe?

And thanks for letting me know about the videocard... having a 1GB Sapphire HD 4870 would've been kinda overkill, since I never play games :p  .. So I'll drop that and go with an onboard Nvideo card, no external gpu for now and an SSD drive! :) 

The Intel X25-M is too expensive by the way.. is the OCZ Vertex 60GB a good alternative? I'll stay inside my budget when I go for the OCZ.
April 22, 2009 10:51:17 AM

Price on the Intel X25-M will fall by 50 dollars tomorrow, though it can take a bit longer for retailers to adjust their prices. That means 80GB for under 300 dollars, which is an excellent buy i think, With the cheaper motherboard and no discrete videocard, you save about the same amount of money.

The Vertex is not as slow as controller-less SSDs but it cant match the quality offered by Intel's controller. The X25-M can be something you'll be using for many years in multiple computer systems, and doesn't age as fast as other hardware. In other words, this is the area to spend a little bit of money on because it'll make your computer noticeably faster. Not saying the Vertex is no option, but if you can buy the Intel X25-M 80GB i would suggest you do.
April 22, 2009 11:50:10 AM

sub mesa said:
Price on the Intel X25-M will fall by 50 dollars tomorrow, though it can take a bit longer for retailers to adjust their prices. That means 80GB for under 300 dollars, which is an excellent buy i think, With the cheaper motherboard and no discrete videocard, you save about the same amount of money.

The Vertex is not as slow as controller-less SSDs but it cant match the quality offered by Intel's controller. The X25-M can be something you'll be using for many years in multiple computer systems, and doesn't age as fast as other hardware. In other words, this is the area to spend a little bit of money on because it'll make your computer noticeably faster. Not saying the Vertex is no option, but if you can buy the Intel X25-M 80GB i would suggest you do.


1) How do you know the Intel X25-M price will fall tomorrow?

I guess I'll have to stick with the OCZ Vertex 60GB anyway.. the X25-M costs 380 euro's unfortunately, while the OCZ Vertex is 230~

I'll go for the OCZ Vertex 60GB + Samsung Spinpoint F1 640 GB for storage + Asus mobo with Nvideo chipset :) 

2) I have a question about the M4N78 Pro.. In the pictures you can see that it has 4 usb ports in the backpanel, but the specs say that it has 12 usb ports... how does this work?

3) Do you think the M4N78 Pro is fine for me? Or is the M4N82 Deluxe a lot better? Judging from the pictures it looks like the M4N82 Deluxe is higher quality build than the M4N78 Pro..

Thanks again
April 22, 2009 12:02:55 PM

1) april 26 actually: http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

If it makes the X25-M 80GB cost less than 300 euro, that is an excellent investment i believe. Also because the product has a longer economical lifespan than other PC components, just like a monitor would. It would be worth investing on this. But ofcourse you have to make things fit in your budget. The vertex is a good value-option, though i don't know much about their durability.

2) USB headers on the motherboard can be used to extend the USB ports, often your case offers at least two USB headers on the front, and you can use a backplate to connect more USB ports. Those will be on their own channels; since your motherboard has four blue USB-connectors, on the far right of that picture (far bottom of the motherboard). Generally i'll want six USB on the back this one has only four. You might want to get such a USB backplate (simply a pass-through cable with PCI slot mounting).

3) that board has a different chipset and much higher power consumption, the board i picked also has solid capacitors which means it uses high-quality components. Save your money here and invest on where it counts; like a good SSD. :) 
April 22, 2009 12:47:52 PM

Thanks for the prompt replies :)  Made my decisions a lot easier..

This is what my final system will probably look like:

- AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE pcu
- Asus M4N78 PRO mobo
- Cooler Master Centurion 590 case
- Zalman ZM600-HP psu
- Scythe Mugen 2 cooler
- Kingston HyperX KHX8500 D2K2/4G (dual channel 2x 2GB 1066mhz)
- OCZ Vertex Series SATA II 2.5" SSD 60GB hdd (OS)
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 DT HD642JJ 640GB hdd (storage)
- LG GH22LS30 cd/dvd writer
- USB backplate (to get 6 usb ports on the back)
- 3x Cooler Master 120mm On/Off LED case-fan (2 at the top and 1 to replace the front fan so I can turn that LED on/off as well)

Thats about it... Did I forget anything? :) 

Best regards,
Xantulle
April 22, 2009 1:38:10 PM

Looks good to me, pick a SATA dvd burner so you don't have a big flatcable in your casing preventing airflow, and if your budget allows i would get WD 1TB Green (WD10EADS) instead of the Samsung F1, although both are very silent. Not much to add i guess. :) 
April 22, 2009 1:42:10 PM

sub mesa said:
Looks good to me, pick a SATA dvd burner so you don't have a big flatcable in your casing preventing airflow, and if your budget allows i would get WD 1TB Green (WD10EADS) instead of the Samsung F1, although both are very silent. Not much to add i guess. :) 

The LG GH22LS30 is a SATA drive :) 

And why would you go for the WD Caviar Green? Seems like the Samsung is faster and cheaper :) 
April 22, 2009 2:04:35 PM

Normal HDDs consume about 7-8W meaning you need airflow to keep the drives from building up heat. A WD Green drive will consume half of the power, removing any need for cooling, having less heat build up inside your case and also take care of a lower energy bill. Their sequential speeds are not very different from 7200rpm: about 100MB/s max. And since it'll be used for mass-storage it doesnt need the higher IOps performance of 7200rpm HDDs. Plus they are generally very cheap if you calculate the price per gigabyte.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 22, 2009 2:56:10 PM

It seems that the "Samsung Spinpoint F1 DT HD642JJ, 640GB" and the "Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AACS, 640GB" have exactly the same price :)  .. I won't need 1TB.

But I'll have to go with the Samsung, because I just saw the WD isn't in stock where I'll buy my pc.. and delivery is 14 days for the WD.. can't wait that long, so.. :) 

Thanks for all the help, I appreciate it and I'll order the PC as stated in my last post :) 

I'll let you know when I have it :) 

April 22, 2009 3:11:00 PM

Alright, good luck! Hope you'll have lots of fun out of your new system. :) 
April 22, 2009 9:14:59 PM

sub mesa said:
Alright, good luck! Hope you'll have lots of fun out of your new system. :) 


I'm sure I will :) 

One more question by the way... how do they call those USB backplates with 2 USB ports? I can't find it at www.azerty.nl
April 24, 2009 7:17:31 AM

I haven't ordered yet.. Will do that today or monday..

Why do you find the Zalman ZM600-HP horrible? Seems like it is getting pretty good reviews...
Maybe the Cooler Master Real Power 520w is a good alternative? 520 should be enough I guess..
April 24, 2009 9:41:36 PM

Reviews mean nothing. Get one from a reputable brand like the one I listed.
April 25, 2009 1:02:55 PM

My bad, I got Zalman mixed up with another brand. It will be OK. However the Corsair is much better AND cheaper.
April 27, 2009 10:12:30 PM

Zalman is a reputable brand... :p 

Anyway, I went with the Cooler Master Real Power M520w... because it was slightly cheaper... It's also a good psu and 520w should still be more then enough :) 
!