I have built a few systems in the past but all mostly older computers and low and mid range prices. This is my 1st higher end system. I would like to know if there are any problems with this build or anyone has any suggestions.
I have no real budget but I am still aiming for a relatively good bang for buck and prefer not going too much over $2000 for the full system. So I am willing to spend a few more bucks if need be. Also I am a little more of an AMD/ATI fan and even though I could afford an i7 build I am leaning toward am3 because I feel the socket is going to stick around a while and things are going to get weird with intel when they have the i5 and i7 out at the same time. I just don't see the i7 prices falling much and think am3 is a little better choice right now.
I am building this pc for a jack of all trades system that feels quick and snappy. I want to be able to game at high resolutions like 1920×1080 or 1680x1050. I am planing on using this pc for some home music/studio recording, so it is important that the system is relatively quiet. I went with a quieter video card and a 790GX motherboard to use hybrid crossfire to have a quieter 2D work environment. If anyone has any suggestions on pc home recording hardware I would appreciate some input because I don't know much about it yet. I also am interested in overclocking.
Here is a review of the PII 955: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-955,2278....
It doesn't seem like its worth it to me, the 940 is about $70 cheaper, more like $100 cheaper once you consider the MB and ram price premiums as well, and with an unlocked multiplier on the 940, it's just not worth it IMO. A review at overclockers club couldn't push the 955 past 3.8ghz. The 955 seems to be a flop. If you want to go with a PII quad on the AM3 chipset, get a 945 instead, but DDR3 seems to make very little difference in benchmarks.
I think you should be looking at an i7 setup for that price. Drop the Vrap, the WD Caviar blacks 640gb and 1tb are almost as fast, if you want super load speeds then get 2 WD3200AAKS drives in raid 0, it will be cheaper, faster and twice the storage space.
From what I can see, the 955 is just a 945 that has been slightly overclocked with a higher Bus speed, but to compensate for that it also has a higher stock voltage (which means that its the same silicon in these chips, if it were higher binned cores then you would probably be able to run at the higher bus speed with the same voltage). All you are paying for in the 955 is a DDR3 memory controller over the 940 and for them to change the bus speed and voltage defaults, something that takes 5 seconds to do in the bios yourself. Not worth it for a $70 difference.
...do you understand what that means? DDR3 is faster than DDR2, the number of channels doesn't have anything to do with DDR, DDR2 or DDR3. The i7 can run it in triple channel mode, but the performance gains are minimal over Dual channel. The type of ram and number of channels it runs in are two different things. The point of DDR3 is more memory bandwidth.
The audio card he wants is good for gaming but it blows away anything creative has for recording. I think its a solid buy for his purposes, it's received really good reviews.
I also agree that the early indications show the AMD Phenom 2 X4 955 has very little to offer over the X4 940, which I own and really dig.
If not overclocking, the difference in 200Mhz speed is not worth the price premium. You'll get the same, about 3.8 ghz max oc for the 940. I just saw the X4 940 at newegg for $190US.
If you are interested in quiet, perhaps you might look into liquid cooling. I recently made the switch with a Domino ALC, which is pretty quiet on low speed. I have it on med and run my 940 at 3.7ghz 24/7. Its not exactly quiet on med, but no louder thatn the 120mm fan I had previously.
If only interested in ddr3 mem, then maybe the 955 might be the way to go. But I would be tempted to go for the X3 720 for 140bucks.
Also of note, people are having problems with ALL motherboards and dual channel dddr3 memory with the new 955. I would wait on a 955 for about a month or so til motherboard bioses are updated.
Check out this sound card. I've been using it for nearly two months, primarily for gaming, and it's outstanding. I haven't encountered any issues whatsoever and the driver is quick to install and doesn't fill your computer with any unnecessary bloatware. Nice improvement over my old Audigy 2 ZS.
You can always save some cash and hit up the 150GB Velociraptor. I've got a good amount of games installed and still have plenty of space, but that's probably because I have a couple of 1TB WD greens for storage.