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New system build - looking for feedback

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May 30, 2009 10:00:08 PM

I'm building a new desktop for my home. Below are the components that I have selected thus far. I'll be using my Acer X223 Wbd monitor at 1680x1050 res. The only thing that I need that I don't have selected is a CPU cooler. I'm hesitant to select one without having all of the other components in the machine so I can determine (accurately) how much space I have for a cooler. I will be dual booting with Fedora 11 and Vista. I only list one hard drive, but I will probably buy a second so I can one for each OS. All products will be purchased from newegg because I have had great service from them and shipping to Hawaii is cheaper when the shipping cost is bundled into one order.

I'd like to spend ~$1,000. I will be using this computer to play some games (COD4 COD5 - which I why I'm booting vista) and do some program, calculations, and web design (all on Fedora). Considering that my computer now is a mid range Dell from 6 years ago, I expect this computer last at least this long.

The CPU and MOBO are bundled so save money and the HD and psu and also bundled.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM (2 sets - 8GB total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

APEVIA ATX-AQ700W-BK 700W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX PVT98FYDF GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : system build feedback

May 30, 2009 10:02:37 PM

Uhh...either spend more or switch to amd and save a bit of cash...you should get atleast a GTX 260/275 or xfire'd 4770's or 4870 1gb/4890 1gb....


That psu doesn't look very good either...maybe something in the 600 or 500 watt range from corsair or the like....
May 30, 2009 10:02:54 PM

Theres more value in using AMD in this price range . The C2Q cpu you have chosen costs more and performs worse in gaming .
An AMD 940 BE in an AM2 platform or 945be in an AM3 platform is the better choice IMO
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.h...

You will probably save enough money to buy a more powerful gfx card
Related resources
May 30, 2009 10:14:34 PM

I chose intel because the computational programs I am using (GAMESS - for ab initio calcs, and NAMD - for molecular dynamics simulations of proteins) are optimized for intel processors. I don't know if it would make any difference, but this is the main reason for building the system.

As far a video card - I like fps's like COD4,COD5 and crysis. Looking at the system requirements for COD that video card should work yes?


Thanks!
May 30, 2009 11:26:52 PM

The 9800gtx is an older card now and "recertified" means its been returned once by a customer and tested . The gts 250 is the same basic gfx chip burned on a smaller less power hungry scale .
Its equivalent to ATI's 4850 in performance and you can get one of those new and unused for the same price .
Have a look at http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts_crysis/.
The 9800gtx should be able to handle Crysis on medium settings at your resolution . Performance will be slightly better than the 1600 x 1200 results thanks to a slightly lower pixel count on the 22 inch wide screen .
Crysis is very demanding and to play smoothly on high you will need more gfx power . With gfx settings on max the 9800 wont cope [ but then neither would the 4850 ]

Im unsure about the relative strengths of AMD vs Intel in the calc programs you want to run in fedora , But I suspect that gaming performance is a good indicator of raw number crunching ability, but you could be right that some specific cpu's handle those tasks better .
Have a look at the benches for similar apps in the first link I gave you . That might indicate some areas of strength and weakness



May 31, 2009 12:07:19 AM

Alright - So I looked up some info on the calc programs I need. They both have a 64bit version, so I'm assuming that it will work fine since the AMD Phenom has 64bit support. If all else fails I can get the source and compile it myself, the people who make these programs are very helpful in getting novel setups to work.

So I will get the AMD Phenom (listed at 245.00 on newegg). The CPU says it comes with heatsink and fan. So I don't need to buy one if I get that CPU right? As for the video card, I looked at the reviews you gave, thanks. So I looked at some of the geforce 9800 gtx+. Some videos on youtube said that the 1gb was more of a marketing gimic than anything. I'll do some more reading on the video card.

As far as the psu is concerned. I thought a psu is a psu? As long as it provides the needed power and has the desired connectors, what else matters?


I'm grateful for the feedback - it has been very helpful.
May 31, 2009 1:20:57 AM

You will want a better heatsync if you plan on overclocking. If you don't plan on overclocking, get the non-black-edition, the speed bump isn't worth the price premium.
May 31, 2009 1:34:55 AM

I don't plan on over clocking. If I did I'm cheap enough to figure out how to do it. However, newegg only sells the black edition. Also, I can buy it bundled with 4gb DDR3 memory for $292 (save $50). I'm having a hard time finding a "non-black edition" AMD Phenom II X4 955. Again, I'd like to buy everything from one shop if possible, because shipping to Hawaii is a pain ($$$).
May 31, 2009 3:19:55 AM

Buy the black edition and don't worry about it...i believe you can give the 955 a little bit of an overclock on the stock heatsink without worry....but when you really want to push it you should get a nice new heatsink...

There is alot more to a psu than just being a psu....you should first pick a quality bran such as corsair and others that i don't know off the top of my head...others can recommend

It has to have enough amps to power the video card and if you want you can get more than enough to support future graphics card upgrades..

And of course you need to make sure the psu provides enough watts
May 31, 2009 3:26:18 AM

Corey_J said:
I'm building a new desktop for my home. Below are the components that I have selected thus far. I'll be using my Acer X223 Wbd monitor at 1680x1050 res. The only thing that I need that I don't have selected is a CPU cooler. I'm hesitant to select one without having all of the other components in the machine so I can determine (accurately) how much space I have for a cooler. I will be dual booting with Fedora 11 and Vista. I only list one hard drive, but I will probably buy a second so I can one for each OS. All products will be purchased from newegg because I have had great service from them and shipping to Hawaii is cheaper when the shipping cost is bundled into one order.

I'd like to spend ~$1,000. I will be using this computer to play some games (COD4 COD5 - which I why I'm booting vista) and do some program, calculations, and web design (all on Fedora). Considering that my computer now is a mid range Dell from 6 years ago, I expect this computer last at least this long.

The CPU and MOBO are bundled so save money and the HD and psu and also bundled.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM (2 sets - 8GB total)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

APEVIA ATX-AQ700W-BK 700W ATX12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX PVT98FYDF GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I just finished a qCore system a few months ago with an Asus P5Q MOBO. Its' almost identical to yours except I'm running XP Pro. It is used for heavy video production and web design. The cooler that has worked best for me is the Zelman...also available from Egg...
May 31, 2009 3:33:49 AM

Be aware that the Phenom 945/ 955 are AM3 cpu's

These work in AM2+ motherboards which use DDR2 ram
and they work in
AM3 mb's which use DDR3 RAM

DDR2 is being phased out , so while you can build a phenom system $20 -30 cheaper using DDR2/ am2 its probably worth the extra to go to the latest platform .
None of the Phenom 955 /mb combos I can see have an AM3 mb .

May 31, 2009 3:53:28 AM

So I purchased my components. Yeah, I got a mobo that only supports DDR3. It wasn't much more expensive. I'll settle for 4gb memory for now - I can always by more later. I fell under budget at a total cost of $984.91. This includes the $154.97 shipping cost, that's the price you pay for sandy beaches and 80 degree weather! The only thing I forgot to purchase was an antistatic pad, but I can get one from radio shack.
I should have all the pieces middle of the week and have it assembled by the end of the week.

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions - I'll have a better system and save some money because of you.
May 31, 2009 5:25:44 AM

@Outlander - Until Ph2 940s are sold out, it will be alot more than $20 cheaper. Ph2 940 is $190, Ph2 945 is $225, Ph2 955 is $245. Then motherboards and memory are more.
May 31, 2009 5:38:09 AM

smithereen said:
@Outlander - Until Ph2 940s are sold out, it will be alot more than $20 cheaper. Ph2 940 is $190, Ph2 945 is $225, Ph2 955 is $245. Then motherboards and memory are more.


My mistake . I havent checked 940 prices recently .

If I was building this PC Id probably buy the 945 and then go am3/ ddr3

Im sure it would compare well to the original budget for the intel quad , but it isnt the cheapest AMD option
May 31, 2009 5:58:31 AM

But the 945 aren't black editions, and as such OC terribly. I say either get a 940 while the getting is good, or go all the way and get a DDR3 955.
June 4, 2009 2:59:11 AM

So I received all of my parts in the mall today. Minus the video card because newegg sent me the wrong product. The problem I have now is that the MOBO
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

recommends a 600W psu. The psu I purchased -
Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL 550W ATX12V v2.01
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

only supplies a max of 550W. The user manual for the MOBO gave a website for calculating the power required.

http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalculator/PSCalcula...

The recommended based on the website is 600W.

Can I get away with 550W or do I need to send back the psu I have and get one with >600W?
June 4, 2009 3:41:26 AM

Send back the Rosweil. Get a 650W+ Corsair, OCZ, PCPaP, or Antec.
June 4, 2009 4:35:04 AM

Cool, thanks. Also - the case came with 50 million screws, most of which I figure I don't need. But it came with this doughnut shaped piece of metal - like a magnet or something. The manual says nothing about it. What is it, do I need it?
!