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Please Advise on Compatibility - 1st system Build! ~$1000

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May 25, 2009 7:24:24 PM

Please provide comments if there is likely to be hardware conflicts. I'm extremely concerned that I missed something in my plans, and I don't want to drop the money into my first system build and find out something doesn't fit because I overlooked some silly detail.

I would be very happy is someone just simply said - Good plan, this will work well for what you have planned.

Goals of the machine:
1. All around general use - I do not have excessive storage needs, minimum is 500GB
2. Games - I'm tired of low FPS. I will plug this into my HD TV, so I need respectable frame rates at 1920x1080. I'm willing to accept lowered details, but I want it to look good.
3. Possibly function as HTPC in future - with the addition of a Blueray drive.
4. Budget - want the best components for the money - willing to spend extra if there is substantially better at a reasonable increased price.

Approx Pruchase Date: Today/Tomorrow - VERY SOON - Approx Price ~$1000

System Usage: General Use and Games (I want adequate gaming performance and will build as such), any gaming machine I purchase will cover my general needs. As an after thought, I might use it as a HTPC in the future, though I will not design for this need.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor (will use HD TV for monitor, need to plan for 1920x1080 GPU performance)

Preferred website for Parts: NewEgg I priced all of this from newegg and at least 3 other sites, and newegg is within 5-10 on each component if not the lowest priced. I will order from another site if it is recommended, however they must be competitive on pricing, and come with a recommendation that they also have good customer service.

Overclocking and Crossfire: Will plan to overclock (as presented in the building guide. Initially I will run stock numbers, and if performance is adequate, I may wait some time before I start dialing up the speeds, but I do plan to OC this machine either now or in the future, I see no reason not to after my mfg warranty is off. X-fire initially is not planned, due to price. I am planning on adding a 2nd GPU when I have the money.

Monitor Resolution: HD TV as monitor 1920x1080p is preferred. Will consider alternatives, but this system is expected to game at that resolution. Will accept lowered details, but expect adequate frame rates. Will plan to X-fire in future for additional performance if necessary.

Additional Comments: Just tell me all the components fit together and will do what I expect them to do, and I'll be very happy, and will have the confidence to order them.

Part Preferences:
Case: Antec 1200 Gaming Case - Big with great air movement.
PS: Antec EA-750W - Combo deal with case and provides quality and sufficient power for this system - see above url
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9700 - This cooler is time tested and performs near the top for air CPU coolers - noise levels are predicted to be reasonable
Thermal Paste: Rosewill RCX-TC060 - This paste has the highest heat transfer rate I can find, even slightly out paces Artic Silver by my research
CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE - Good OC Potential
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 DHX (2x2GB) - On Combo deal with CPU, will consider going to Crucial Ballistix in the future if this does not OC well for me See URL above with Combo Deal with CPU
RAM Alternative: Crucial Ballistix (2x2GB) 6-6-6-20 DDR3-1333 BL2KIT25664BA1336
MB: MSI 790FX-GD70 - AM3, good review from Tomshardware, has PCIe 2.0 16x and 16x Crossfire Potential, has 790FX chipset with great OC potential, alternative would be the MSI 790GX-G65 MB
HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM SATA Drive TWO in RAID 1 Config. Overpurchased on the HD, so that I can RAID 1 instead of RAID0 them. 1TB will currently be more than sufficient HD Space, and RAID1 should out perform RAID 0 for read functions, it is unlikely that writing will bottleneck this system in the near future, and I will gain data redundency incase a drive fails - I will also maintian a separate backup incase the whole thing goes down.
GPU: Radeon 4770 GPU - given one of the best value for money ratings currently available. Will likely run 1920x1080 resolution at reduced detail levels until I can Crossfire in a second card.
Optical: Will currently use an existing IDE DVD-ROM until I can add a Blueray SATA Optical Drive

Current Price all from NewEgg is 1059, which is right where I would like to keep it. Suggestions are appreciated.


May 25, 2009 8:03:00 PM

drop the FX board down to a GX board, then upgrade the graphics to a 4890.

also don't get MSI motherboard's, they aren't as good as gigabyte or asus but cost more for the same specs.

for the TIM get OCZ freeze, it beats arctic silver 5 by something like 5c.

ram-wise get the corsair because the crucial you listed needs 1.8v to operate at that latency.
May 25, 2009 8:30:47 PM

So does this mean that you do think all the components are compatible and will work together? That is mostly my underlying question.

Also - I'm interested in seeing your data on the OCZ freeze. Based on thermal conductivity, the Rosewill seems to be higher which would indicate a better paste. If you have a URL with data, I'll be happy to take a look.

RAM - I'll take your word on this one. This is probably the area I know the least about.

MSI vs ASUS - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/790fx-socket-am3,22... I know this is a judgement call, but I picked the MSI off this review. I will look more closely at the ASUS board right now.

As for the GPU, I have just given some additional thought about moving to the GX board. This is a decrease in functionality, but i would be able to X-fire with the onboard 3300 which will boost the performance of whatever card I plug in. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-grap... indicates that for $200 2x4770 will out perform the 4890, which newegg is also selling for $200 on special right now. I realize that the 4890 would be able to be x-fired in the future, but this really comes down to preference, spend now, or spend later. I agree this is a very close call.
Related resources
May 25, 2009 8:45:22 PM

1) here's my data on ocz freeze http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=TH-000-OC&tool=3

2) yes they will all work together.

3) for the graphics card I believe the two 4770's output more heat than the single 4890 so you might want to factor that into account along with that the PC will be far more powerful with dual 4890's when you get to it than dual 4770's.
May 25, 2009 9:01:28 PM

Thanks for the reply. I do like ASUS MB website better than MSI - Strong advise, however I am still 50/50 between these two boards as well as between the FX and GX in general. This is even more troubling in my mind as the 4770 that I was looking at is out of stock atm, and the possibility of hybrid x-fire to the onboard 3300 is just tempting at the lower cost!

Thanks for the OCZ Freeze link - helpful!

*I did consider the dual 4890's in the future - Awesome!!! - This will come down to budget. I'm going back to add up the numbers. 4890 on new egg right now with 1gb ddr5 ram is $200, which is the exact price of 2x $100 for dual 4770, the difference is an empty pocket now, or save the $100 for future spending....back to crunching numbers for now.


***LOTS OF thanks for telling me that the components will work together. That was my biggest concern!
!