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New build: getting the most for money

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May 13, 2009 7:29:11 PM

I already have bought the ram... 4GB OCZ Reaper 1066.

For the case... Antec 300. $59

Phenom II X3 720 w/ BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M - $209
That mobo comes with built in Radeon HD 3300 graphics.

I also already have a 500W Coolmax psu crossfire ready, not sure if that iwll be enough..but it was given to me for free.

So for all of that.. its $268.

Now.. I also plan on buying 2 Radeon 4770 cards and xfiring them. That will be about $210.

So for $478(+35 for ram)... So just over $500.... Antec 300, Coolmax PSU 500W, Phenom II X3 720, Biostar TForce Mobo, and 2 Radeon 4770.

I plan on playing games with this computer.. such as COD and stuff. I also play Simcity, CS:S, and C&C Generals Zero Hour.. which my current computer can already handle (Athlon 64 2800 w/ Radeon 9700 Pro).



So my question is.. For just over $500.. Is there a better combination that I can get? I feel pretty good about all of these.. I have debated on whether to get the Phenom II X4 940.. but settled on 720 because of money and I don't think I would see that big of a difference in gaming FPS. I just want to play them smoothly.

Later on.. I will buy a new monitor and hd. I have that stuff already though for now.



More about : build money

May 13, 2009 8:11:15 PM

Looks reasonable.

There have been lots of good things said about the 4770's especcially in crossfire. What resolution are you running?

This is the THG article on the 4770:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-4770,review-315...

Power consumption looks to be around 150-190W per card.
You are probably looking at another 170W for the system.
(from http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine)

Which, if we do the maths, leaves you a little bit short. Hopefully other forum members will pick up and give some opinion too.

If you are short you may need to look for a single slot card.
May 13, 2009 8:21:15 PM

That config of yours is enormous bang for the buck. I can't beat it, sorry.

You may be able to enable the 4th core of the CPU too on that MB. Read the Newegg reviews about that.

That Coolmax is enough. It's rather low quality. However, a $90 Corsair 650TX or a $74 Corsair 550VX is kind of overkill for a $500 build. I don't know... You decide.

Edit: on second thought, yeah, I'd upgrade the PSU. You don't want to get a PSU at the minimum recommended wattage, especially one from a brand that tends to exaggerate claims. Your Coolmax 500W offers 31A combined on the 12V rails. The Corsair 550W (550VX) has 41A - that's like 120 W more, not just 50 W more as you'd expect. The 650TX has 52A.
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May 13, 2009 8:26:27 PM

I wouldn't use the Coolmax, its low quality. If you were just using onboard video it would be fine, but I wouldn't trust it for crossfire.

If you don't have a 24" screen though, you probably don't need two 4770's...but they will make your games look amazing.
May 13, 2009 8:48:46 PM

jpdykes said:


This is the THG article on the 4770:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/radeon-hd-4770,review-315...

Power consumption looks to be around 150-190W per card.
You are probably looking at another 170W for the system.
(from http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine)
.


You have misread the graphs . The figures in that toms chart are global power at the AC source . Thats the total power the entire computer is pulling from the wall socket , not the power used by the gfx card alone .

500 watt is plenty

xthekidx's is very good value . Id probably buy it ahead of the one I suggested at that price
May 13, 2009 8:52:13 PM

The 4770 uses about 50w per card. It was rumored that it wouldn't even need a PCIe power connector before it was released because it was so easy on power consumption.
May 13, 2009 8:53:12 PM

Outlander_04 said:
500 watt is plenty

xthekidx's is very good value . Id probably buy it ahead of the one I suggested at that price

Modular is always nice too :) 
May 13, 2009 8:54:13 PM

$104.99 on newegg now LOLz
May 13, 2009 8:56:39 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. My mistake.
May 13, 2009 8:58:24 PM

Kill@dor said:
$104.99 on newegg now LOLz

Apparently at $99 they were selling to fast lol. Still worth it at that price though I think, considering that you wouldn't have to get a 650w PSU to power them.

But it makes one start to wonder about these again...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think at that price I would go for the 4830's...especially if you aren't gaming at 1920x1080. you wouldn't see the difference between the two at 1680x1050 res I don't think, and $170 for those cards is a good deal (after you get the rebate). Drivers for the 4830's are also more mature.

Its funny how we become obsessed with new technology and forget about the older but still good stuff out there. Nvidia cashed in on that by just changing the name of their G92 processor a couple times to keep boosting sales lol. Bastards.
May 13, 2009 9:00:18 PM

Yea, the price is still good. It could have been old newegg jumping priced from $99 to $120... People don't appreciate it so they stopped LOLz.
May 13, 2009 9:29:20 PM

Thanks guys. Well.. Right now, I have a 19" CRT monitor lol. I run at like 1280x1040 or something around there.

But I want to buy a bigger LCD screen.. like 23" or so.

I just want to be able to play whatever games I want to.. and not have to constantly worry if I can run them.

As far as a PSU goes.. If that one he gives me doesn't handle it, I was gonna go for this:
http://www.buy.com/prod/bfg-tech-550w-atx12v-power-supp...

And about unlocking 4th core.. I hope that I can.. but I am not basing my purchase on that. If I can unlock it... Then sweet.. but I am not like some of those on newegg who bought it just HOPING that they could unlock it. heh.

But yeah I am really happy with these selections for the most part... I wish I would have looked harder at RAM.. I got OCZ Reaper 4GB 1066... and I have heard mostly great reviews.. but I guess I could have gotten better ram. It was $60 - $25rebate.. so $35.

May 13, 2009 9:34:50 PM

That BFG PSU is a good one.
May 13, 2009 9:44:11 PM

For your current monitor thats only running at 1280x1024 ONE 4770 WILL BE MOOOOREEE than enough for the titles you have listed...i would spend the extra money right now on the 940 or something of that matter to give your build and even greater life span before it would need a cpu upgrade

Im serious one 4770 should max out anything on your resolution....by the time you do a monitor upgrade you can get the other 4770

Your right those benchmarks and others do show a 720 is great for gaming on current games....but what about when games start taking use of quad cores? that extra 50$ will have been DAMN well spent...your build will last so much longer with the 940...i would estimate atleast 2 years...depending on where games go with cpu usage wise the 940 would leave you with alot of power..

You should heavily consider it...think about it i mean is it really going to be that hard to save up an extra few $ when you do your monitor upgrade? imho if i where you i would much rather have the peace of mind that i know that my cpu is going to last me atleast double the time before i have to even consider a bottleneck in that area....whats going to be easier to upgrade? that extra video card when you get a new monitor or one year down the road a new cpu?


Il repeat again even thoough these benchmarks say its enough you want to consider the future...you have the choice to spend that extra 50$ for future proofing atm...to me its worth it
May 14, 2009 7:12:36 AM

Yeah I agree. I think I will just do my original plan and get the 940. So the Radeon 4770 will do great with my current monitor? So I guess anything past the 4770 is catering to higher resolution monitors?
May 14, 2009 7:43:48 AM

Yes. The 4770 will be more than enough for your current monitor. Get another one when you upgrade the monitor to the 23".

You might also think about getting a 790FX board so you could three way xfire if you wanted to...
May 14, 2009 7:51:49 AM

sanders4617 said:
Yeah I agree. I think I will just do my original plan and get the 940. So the Radeon 4770 will do great with my current monitor? So I guess anything past the 4770 is catering to higher resolution monitors?

I'm very pleased that i could help you imo move your build to a much better choice :D 

Yeah the 4770 will do great for your monitor...xfire another when you do your upgrade..or another two *drools*


I wish i had your pc....so jealous :??: 
May 15, 2009 3:42:34 AM

lol that Coolmax has 50A on the 5v rail. Made for a different era.

You can try using it, but a PSU isn't something I mess around with. If something goes wrong there you can lose your whole system. Its up to you. If that CoolMax is 3+ years old, I would definitely pass on it. I think I would pass on it anyways even if it was brand new.
May 15, 2009 3:49:48 AM

Yeah its brand new... I'll pass if its gonna put my system in danger. I don't want to screw up everything up over a PSU. I might put it in my current computer though.. I am running it on like 235W.. With Athlon 64 2800.. 2 HD.. 2CD drives.. and Radeon 9700 Pro.. and I think Its lacking enough power sometimes.
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