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Please advise <$850 Phenom II x3 build!

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June 19, 2009 6:18:41 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June 30th BUDGET RANGE: Max - US$850

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multi-Tasking, Gaming (RPG, RTS, Action, CoD4 (no crysis)) Internet vids through netflix and hulu, also would like to run display out to my TV (47" 1080p) for movies and the like.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS - Using w7.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg only, bad experience with other sites.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Phenom II x 3

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 for now, but upgrading to 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 once I get the second card.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
1. The less LED's the better, I don't like bright lights.
2. Quiet is good, but I'm by no means a noise nazi, especially since I'll be gaming with headphones 95% of the time.
3. I don't care what brand of case it is as long as it's got decent airflow, and enough room for my GPU.
4. I've put together a decent list (I think) and would like some feedback, I'm trying to reduce the price without sacrificing performance.
5. Not interested in mail in rebates, I won't do them, so I don't take that into consideration when purchasing.
6. Also would like to keep shipping low, but as newegg is constantly changing I know that free shipping isn't always a reliable possibility. I'm looking more for performance per dollar than to save $10-20 on shipping in the long run.

I have a few questions about the build I have listed below:
1. Will the 500w antec be able to handle two 4870's or should I get the 750w antec instead?
2. Do you think that case is better or worse than the similarly priced NZXT Hush?

Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
KB/Mouse - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Headset (instead of speakers) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~~
This is meant to be a "starter" computer for this generation of chips. Here are my planned upgrades in the future: (future = 8-12 months)

1. Crossfire 4870
2. Phenom 2 x 4
3. 6gb RAM instead of 3
4. 64bit OS
5. SSD for OS
6. Blu-Ray combo drive
7. Additional WD Black 640 drives
~~

Thanks in advance, I appreciate any help, tips, comments, or advice.
June 19, 2009 6:48:04 PM

Go for this video card before Sapphire. I know a lot of people are fans of them but XFX has a better warranty and it's cheaper than the sapphire card.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Other than the listed things above, everything else seems to be fine. If it were me I would check out the Antec 300 case to compare them. Also check out getting an AM3 socket motherboard since you were looking at DDR3, this leaves room for future upgrades.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... Mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... RAM
Related resources
June 19, 2009 6:54:42 PM

macabre215 said:
1 4870 yes, but two definitely not. Do NOT buy a triple channel kit for AMD builds, they are made for triple channel and that only works on the i7 platform.

This would be a good psu to
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the PSU info, I figured the 500 wouldn't be able to handle 2. I'm really pretty sure I'd like an Antec PSU, I've used them in my last 5 builds and have never had a problem. Also I believe the 750 antec is less expensive than the 750 corsair. I will look into it either way.

As for the RAM advice, thanks a bunch for telling me, I wasn't sure if it was for Phenom II AND i7 or just for i7. But now that I know, I'l just go with a 2gb kit for now and upgrade to 4 and a 64bit os later on.

macabre215 said:
Go for this video card before Sapphire. I know a lot of people are fans of them but XFX has a better warranty and it's cheaper than the sapphire card.

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...


Thanks for the info, and I would be interested except that as stated above I'd really like to stick to newegg due to some bad experiences in the past. I really do appreciate your quick replies though.
June 19, 2009 7:00:09 PM

pous said:
Thanks for the PSU info, I figured the 500 wouldn't be able to handle 2. I'm really pretty sure I'd like an Antec PSU, I've used them in my last 5 builds and have never had a problem. Also I believe the 750 antec is less expensive than the 750 corsair. I will look into it either way.

As for the RAM advice, thanks a bunch for telling me, I wasn't sure if it was for Phenom II AND i7 or just for i7. But now that I know, I'l just go with a 2gb kit for now and upgrade to 4 and a 64bit os later on.



Thanks for the info, and I would be interested except that as stated above I'd really like to stick to newegg due to some bad experiences in the past. I really do appreciate your quick replies though.


No problem, that's what these forums are for. Just check out my last post again because I added a couple things. Also always compare newegg with zipzoomfly.com and ewiz.com. Both sites can either offer free shipping along with lower prices sometimes. The reason I like ZZF is because they use FedEx for their default shipping, but anything I posted you could find on newegg also.
June 19, 2009 7:09:08 PM

Just to let you know that the 750w Antec psu I am assuming you're talking about is one made by FSP. You have to be careful when buying antec anymore as they switched from Seasonic for their OEM, which is why their much more expensive psu's are good, they are made by Delta.
June 19, 2009 7:11:25 PM

Oh cool, you weren't kidding zipzoom does have some good prices. Perhaps I'll reconsider using other sites :D 

Also, the motherboard I picked is an AM3 motherboard, so I'm not sure what you meant by picking one? I'm using the AM3 Phenom II x 3 720 CPU.

edit:
Oh really? Didn't know that about Antec (that they switched) that's slightly upsetting to me. I'll probably go ahead and get a Corsair then, since they're at least consistently reliable :D 

Thanks!
June 19, 2009 7:16:12 PM

pous said:
Oh cool, you weren't kidding zipzoom does have some good prices. Perhaps I'll reconsider using other sites :D 

Also, the motherboard I picked is an AM3 motherboard, so I'm not sure what you meant by picking one? I'm using the AM3 Phenom II x 3 720 CPU.

edit:
Oh really? Didn't know that about Antec (that they switched) that's slightly upsetting to me. I'll probably go ahead and get a Corsair then, since they're at least consistently reliable :D 

Thanks!



You are correct in that the motherboard you picked out can use AM3 cpu's. This is because AM2/AM2+ is backwards compatible with AM3. BUT AM2+ motherboard's use DDR2 ram, which isn't much cheaper than DDR3 anymore. This leaves room for upgrades in the future as not all the old AM2+ motherboards might support newer AM3 cpu's as they dont supply enough power to the cpu, this has been a problem between AM2/AM2+.
June 19, 2009 7:31:30 PM

macabre215 said:
You are correct in that the motherboard you picked out can use AM3 cpu's. This is because AM2/AM2+ is backwards compatible with AM3. BUT AM2+ motherboard's use DDR2 ram, which isn't much cheaper than DDR3 anymore. This leaves room for upgrades in the future as not all the old AM2+ motherboards might support newer AM3 cpu's as they dont supply enough power to the cpu, this has been a problem between AM2/AM2+.


Wow, here I am feeling smart... good thing I posted to get advice! I'll poke around for a board that's AM3/DDR3.

Also had a question, most of the boards I see have 2 x pci-e 2.0 x16 slots, but they say the 2nd one runs at 8x instead of 16... do you think this would really be so bad?
June 19, 2009 7:40:26 PM

pous said:
Wow, here I am feeling smart... good thing I posted to get advice! I'll poke around for a board that's AM3/DDR3.

Also had a question, most of the boards I see have 2 x pci-e 2.0 x16 slots, but they say the 2nd one runs at 8x instead of 16... do you think this would really be so bad?


I have wondered that same thing, since I'm going to be buying an AM3 motherboard soon. At 1920x1080 or 1200 I have heard you will see about a 5% increase in performance using 2x 16X pci-e 2.0 over 8X. But this is without any proof as I have yet to find benchmarks comparing the two. FX 790 is about 50 bucks more than the GX so that is up to you if it's worth it or not. All I know is two cards in pci-e 2.0 8X is equal to pci-e 16X 1.1. So if there are any benches on newer cards running sli or crossfire in that interface, I would assume thats the best look you are going to get.
June 19, 2009 7:55:49 PM

I have no personal experience with ECS, but I have heard bad along with good. I guess check out this review http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/a790gmsad3/

Now the 650w corsair could power two 4870s but you would at times be running it to 70% capacity, which could lower its lifespan.
June 19, 2009 8:48:28 PM

Doesn't seem like bad value for the ECS then. And I guess I'll go with the 750 corsair, since I do hope to eventually have multiple hdd's and potentially a 2nd disk drive in there, not to mention dual cards and overclocking.

Thanks again for all your advice, I'll get the "updated" wish list together and see what we're looking at for total cost shortly.

EDIT:
~~
Here's the updated list of parts, total cost before shipping $814.86

Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --updated
Mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --updated
GPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --updated
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --updated

CPU - --same
RAM - --same
HDD - --same
KB/Mouse - --same
Monitor - --same
DVD - --same
Headset (instead of speakers) - --same

~~

Let me know what you think NOW :p 
!