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Rookie System Builder - Need Some Help

Last response: in Systems
April 24, 2009 7:28:56 PM

Hi All -

I appreciate your help in advanced.

I am upgrading from my almost 4 year old Dell (E6400 Core 2 Duo / 7900 GTX) as it's been giving me a ton of problems lately and I think its time to move on :bounce: 

The basic use of my computer is World of Warcraft / MS Office / Some minor editing of video (FRAPS) / music, movies, etc... nothing too extreme or out of the ordinary.

I've been looking around for a month or so now trying to come up with a list of parts I think may serve my needs and this is what I've come up with - I am really afraid I may be under or overshooting for the overall computer needs I have or possible picking incompatible parts, so any guidance would be awesome. I am trying to stay under $1400 if possible - under would be awesome if I can get away with it. The current parts I have picked are sub $1000 - but I need to still grab a monitor.

Please critique away!

Thanks again.


AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB

(2) G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory = 8 GB Total

OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

More about : rookie system builder

April 24, 2009 7:34:45 PM

The build looks good. You've done your homework. :) 

The PSU will work fine for one GPU, but if you think you'll ever want to add another GPU in crossfire I would step up to a 750W PSU.

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $119.99 - $10 MIR
April 24, 2009 8:06:23 PM

The CM 690 is a big upgrade on the case for another 10 bucks:

As Shortsuff says, the Corsair 750TX might be good for you.

If you are sticking to a single card, this BFG LS-550 is probably the better PSU:
(edit: Ooops I don't mean better than the Corsair, I mean better than the OCZ you picked)

Or, for higher quality:

Corsair 550VX

You won't see any difference in gaming with 8GB over 4GB of RAM. Minor video editing doesn't warrant the extra 4GB.

Given those adjustments, you COULD upgrade to a PII 955 or even an Intel build... but you would likely be happy with that and save some.
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April 24, 2009 8:18:32 PM

Thanks for the responses.

I've switched to the Corsair CMPSU-750TX per recommendation by shortstuff_mt, and I have also opted to get only 1 of the RAM kits per Proximon's adjustment. I have also switched to the CM 690 case - thanks!

Anyone else have any ideas to tweak the build?
April 25, 2009 4:04:30 AM

I was just about to order this when I read on a few forums about problems with the 4870 and World of Warcraft - can anyone who has a Phenom II 940 + 4870 card comment on how WoW works if they happen to play it? :) 
April 25, 2009 5:01:12 AM

My 4870 works fine. I think newer drivers fixed those issues. Where any of the posts you saw dated recently?
April 25, 2009 5:11:24 AM

Proximon -

What started my search was the last review for the 4870 1Gig Sapphire I was going to go with

"I get as low as 4 fps to 40 fps in World of Warcraft for which I bought the card. There seems to be a compatibility issue with Wow and the card/drivers. Tried old/new drivers and everything in between to get results to no avail."

I then searched google for some more info and came across this thread in the WoW forums concerning performance issues with 4850/4870s and WoW which is where I started to get concerned :) 

These had posts going up to April of 2009 so it seems to be a current issue?

I just don't want to spend a lot of money upgrading and then not be able to play as well as I could on even my old PC
April 25, 2009 5:56:25 AM

How many million people play WoW now?

I'll tell ya what, I'll log in to Dalaran right now and check the frame rates... brb.
April 25, 2009 6:08:03 AM

In Dalaran with about 50 people on the screen, running around and jumping like they do :p 

Average 40 FPS with one droop to 34, and as high as 52.

This is with around 80 installed mods
EVERYTHING set to high detail.

E8400 @ 3.6Ghz
4GB CAS 4 800mhz RAM
Sapphire 4870 512MB Toxic edition
Corsair 750TX

April 25, 2009 6:19:26 AM

You sure are spending a lot of money to play WoW. You could probably get away with spending a lot less , and only spend around 800 bucks , 600 if your REALLY lucky. E-mail me at if you'd want it down that low ,it wont be the best , but it will play WoW at its best, and do your video editing.
April 25, 2009 5:00:38 PM

jsc said:
Best directions I have seen for applying thermal goop to a direct contact heatsink:
It's not hard to put thermal paste on. ^^; You just put a little on your finger , what I call a "dab" and spread it on the processor being careful not to touch the edges so it doesnt go over , and make sure you use a small enough amount that its paper thin. Not that difficult. You made it seem way harder then it is. ^^; But not as hard as those instructions did. lol.
April 29, 2009 3:43:16 PM

hey guys - as an update I was about to order the AMD system this morning when I noticed this really good deal for a

GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard + Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail for $400 combo..

So I am thinking it may be better value for me to spend the extra $100 and upgrade to the i7 build from the Phenom II x4 940

here are my other parts - mostly the same - please let me know what you guys think!


LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM


Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920

Total - $1100 :bounce: 
April 29, 2009 3:50:01 PM

go for it since you do video editing, it might only be just as good in WoW though.
April 29, 2009 3:53:17 PM

I figure it might help ease my potential buyer's remorse
April 29, 2009 7:55:36 PM

I think you should spend the extra 10-15 bucks on corsairs 750 watt , besides It's really shiny. :p  I felt like I got a brick of gold when I opened the thing up.
April 29, 2009 7:55:39 PM

Great idea! And yes, it's not going to make much difference in WoW. Unless some large RAID fights benefit from a bit more processing power.
April 29, 2009 8:05:28 PM

doh -- i've already pulled the trigger. Is the 750 corsair vs the 650 corsair I ordered going to cause me major problems? I don't think ill be doing dual video cards anytime in the foreseeable future
April 29, 2009 8:06:45 PM

Ah.... well you can always cancel the order cant you? you just barely did it. And its a REALLY nice power supply. lol
April 29, 2009 8:10:57 PM

Actually, The Corsair TX650 is quieter. It's a Seasonic unit where the 750TX (which I own) is a CWT. They are both great, but the build quality is actually better on the 650. IF you are certain it's just a single card setup, then I believe the 650 is a fine choice.
April 29, 2009 8:11:38 PM

I wouldn't worry about it. The 650TX is a great PSU also.
April 29, 2009 8:11:51 PM

True. They're TX series is a finer build. *shrugs* I just like overkill.
April 29, 2009 8:16:58 PM

ok - please noone recommend any more changes I think my head may explode! And thanks all for your help once again..I'm pretty sure I went overboard w/ the build but for $1050 all said and done I think it's okay! :) 
April 29, 2009 8:17:54 PM

I think your going to enjoy your computer for a loooooooong time , its bad ass. *thumbs up*