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Phenom II 720 BE Gaming Build for $900

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May 7, 2009 9:54:30 PM

Hey everyone,
This is the second thread I've started regarding the upcoming gaming PC I'll be constructing. In my first thread, I proposed going with an E5200 and substantially overclocking it, but you all have shown me the light, and I've decided to go with AMD instead. Anyway, here goes.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Around May 20th.

BUDGET RANGE: I want the final price (including tax and shipping), to be around $900.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Games (specifically Valve, Unreal Engine 3, CoD, Blizzard, and Bioware games), web surfing, schoolwork

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer AMD CPUs, ATI GPUs, Gigabyte motherboards, Sapphire graphics cards, earthwatts PSUs, Antec and Cooler Master cases, and G.Skill RAM.

LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GV-R485ZL-512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON SK-1788/BS 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

AND

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
COMBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD6401AALS
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B001GQYYS...

Antec EA500 ATX 12V 500W Power Supply for ATX Cases
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000KRTBJ...

Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid Tower Case Silver- (CAC-T05-UW)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0009SZQY...

HANNS-G Hi221DPB 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000T2VNF...

Logitech Z-4 2.1 Speaker System with Subwoofer (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000AM6QH...

In total, this build will end up costing me $911.26.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but probably only using a stock cooler.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, eventually.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I live in California, so Newegg charges me for both tax and shipping. That is why some of my links are to Amazon. For the big stuff, like the case, speakers, monitors, etc., Amazon is cheaper since I have Amazon Prime shipping and Amazon doesn't charge any sales tax.

Anyway, I have a few questions about this build. For one, is 1066 RAM really necessary? It costs ten bucks more than DDR2 800, so I'm just wondering.

Also, will the power supply I've listed be able to handle all the components I've listed, plus a second 4850? If not, please recommend some good power supplies available for around $70.

And of course, if you spot any other problems with my proposed build, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

More about : phenom 720 gaming build 900

May 8, 2009 12:55:02 AM

ur psu will handle 1 card fine, probably not 2 in crossfire. if u wanna xfire on 500w electricity spend $200 and get 2 4770's.

10 bucks is worth 1066 vs 800 imo assuming similar timings.
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May 8, 2009 4:55:49 AM

Save a bit of money by replacing the 4850 with a 4770 .

A single 4770 is very close to a 4850 in performance , and two in crossfire are sensational because they draw so little power you can keep that 500 W psu .
You can buy the second one later

But spend the savings on a better monitor . There are acers and viewsonics you could check out
May 8, 2009 6:44:00 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Save a bit of money by replacing the 4850 with a 4770 .

A single 4770 is very close to a 4850 in performance , and two in crossfire are sensational because they draw so little power you can keep that 500 W psu .
You can buy the second one later

But spend the savings on a better monitor . There are acers and viewsonics you could check out


That 4850 costs only $99 after mail-in rebate, the same as a 4770. Also, the 4770s on Newegg almost all have bad reviews due to poor driver support. 4770 support should be included in CCC 9.5, I know, but why should I settle for less powerful 4770s with currently shoddy driver support when I can get mature 4850s for roughly the same price? Are the power requirement differences between the 4850 and the 4770 that substantial? What PSU would you recommend I get if I stick with the 4770s?

Also, about the 1066 vs. 800 MHz RAM: will the 20-25% extra I would spend on 1066 RAM provide a performance boost anywhere near that? Will I even be able to get my bus speed high enough to max out 1066 RAM?

Thanks for all your responses.
May 8, 2009 9:47:01 AM

Well like you said the 4850 is more powerful and at that price it is a good buy...
But like others said change to better monitor...
here is one...Same price as the Hanns...
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-V223-WBD-Widescreen-Monitor-...

And change your PSU to this...Would allow you to add one more 4850 in crossfire...
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZ600SXS-StealthXStream-Powe...

Another option to keep the budget down, get the case from here...
CM Store...
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/index.php?cPath=18_...

You get good refurbished cases for nearly half the price...
May 8, 2009 9:59:15 AM

$92.99 for a 4770 after rebates .

have a look on anandtech at the 4770 review . It is sometimes ahead of a 4850 , and sometimes behind depending on the game

The 4770 is also quieter and cooler , which explains why 4850 prices are in free fall .

Running 1066 MHz ram is a 2-3% system speed advantage over 800MHz . Its only worth it if you can afford it
May 8, 2009 10:27:14 AM

you should settle with the 4870 1gb..

you can just buy the 20x lightscribe odd.. if you don't use cds/dvds that much

what's a "bump"?

:D 
May 8, 2009 10:30:43 AM

"bump" is bumping(posting in) the thread so that it stays on top of the list or altleast in the 1st page...
EDIT : So that it gets replies...
And as for 4870, the 2 4770s in crossfire look like a better option...
May 8, 2009 11:05:03 AM

gkay09 said:
Well like you said the 4850 is more powerful and at that price it is a good buy...
But like others said change to better monitor...
here is one...Same price as the Hanns...
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-V223-WBD-Widescreen-Monitor-...

And change your PSU to this...Would allow you to add one more 4850 in crossfire...
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-OCZ600SXS-StealthXStream-Powe...

Another option to keep the budget down, get the case from here...
CM Store...
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/index.php?cPath=18_...

You get good refurbished cases for nearly half the price...


Thanks a lot for the CM Store link. The case is probably one of the only things I'd be willing to buy refurbed, and those prices are great.

As for the monitor, the one I really want to get is the Acer X223Wbd, but Amazon (as far as I can tell), doesn't carry it themselves. The Hanns listed above has a pretty good rating on Newegg and is the same price, whereas the Acer V223Wbd seems a little less popular. Hopefully, by the time I actually buy the rig, the X223Wbd will be eligible for Amazon Prime or on sale on Newegg.

Regarding the 4770s, I might go that route if their price decreases ten bucks or so. Even better would be if some non-reference boards come out by the end of the month that show some real performance gains while maintaining or improving upon power consumption and/or cooling (who knows what the price premiums will be on those, though). I know the 4770s are on the 40 nm process, so they probably overclock better than 4850s would (percentage-wise). The 4870, in my opinion, is old hat. They were priced pretty aggressively a couple of months ago, what with all the rebates that were going on and all, but their prices have been on the rise ever since the 1GBs became the de facto mid-range card. Now, you can spend $190 or so on 2 4770s or 4850s and get similar or better performance than a 4890. The 4870 just doesn't make sense for a budget/mid-range build, in my opinion, unless you plan on using a motherboard with only one PCI Express slot.

If I go for the 4770s, I'll probably just stick with the Antec 500W. I try to be environmentally friendly whenever possible, and I've heard some pretty great things about them. Plus, prices for 500W and below units are extremely competitive. If I go with 4850s, I'll probably look into OCZ, PC Power & Cooling, and Corsair 600-700W units.

Anyway, to make a long story short, CM Store is a go, and I'll keep my eye on the monitor, GPU, and PSU situations. Thanks.

PS: This being my first AMD build, what the heck is HyperTransport, what does it do, and is their an analog for Intel CPUs? Also, will the stock cooler on the 720 suffice if I were to attempt to OC to 3.4-3.6 GHz? And finally, is lapping worth it on AMD CPUs?
May 8, 2009 11:27:33 AM

hypertransport is the technology that AMD used to pass information between major components on the mb .

intels new nehalem use QPI which is substantially the same

the older c2d systems use l2 caches on the cpu to buffer information so their slower connectivity wasnt a problem

if a heatsink is so bad it needed lapping I'd just send it back .
May 8, 2009 11:29:03 AM

Well the monitor is much of a personal choice...
And as for Hypertransport, you would understand it better if you read it urself...
http://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+hypertransport%3...
And as for lapping the CPU, yes it would give good results but obviously you would be voiding your warranty :p 
!