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New Gaming Build, Ordering within a week, please comment.

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July 3, 2009 9:29:40 PM

System Use: Gaming, web browsing.
Budget: $900-$1000 (prefer to stay under 1000)
Place where parts will be brought from: ZipZoomFly since NewEgg decided to start charging insane amounts for shipping.


CPU : Phenom 2 x4 : 955
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-MA790XT - UDP4
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Memory : Corsair 4GB DDR3 1600
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

GPU : XFX Radeon HD 4890 1GB
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Hard Disk : Western Digital RE3 320GB
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

(Note, I am going with a RE3 model because they tend to have the best reviews in terms of reliability and a longer warranty. I care most about hard disk reliability and barely use more than 80GB of my current 250GB in terms of space)

Power Supply : Corsair 650W
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Case : Thermaltake Soprano (If it does not go out of stock by the time I order)
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

---

Thank you for checking the list out, any suggestions are welcome.
I will be using Windows 7 Release Candidate until Windows 7 is released at which time I will buy it.

I am pretty much ready to order and will do so sometime next week.

More about : gaming build ordering week comment

a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2009 10:32:15 PM

I would buy two conventional hard drives and set up RAID 1 so you have a mirror
Its hard to get better back up and data security than that .


Theres an article on Toms about RAM speed and timings with Phenom [ and another about ram speed with ci7]. The articles show that you would probably be better off with DDR2 1333 with tighter timings that the CL9 corsair you list . Its cheaper too .
Look for cl7 or under

Nice computer .
July 3, 2009 10:56:02 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, they are appreciated.

I can't really afford to buy a pair of drives at the moment, would just having one work for a while?

Also I am not planning on overclocking, so isnt DDR3 suppose to be faster?

Thanks.
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
July 3, 2009 11:33:51 PM

BoaConstrictor said:
Thanks for the suggestions, they are appreciated.

I can't really afford to buy a pair of drives at the moment, would just having one work for a while?

Also I am not planning on overclocking, so isnt DDR3 suppose to be faster?

Thanks.



Sorry . I made a typo . I meant DDR3 1333MHz.

When you are looking for RAM you often see the timings listed like 9-9-9-24
This is the number of clock cycle it takes to find data stored on the chips . The easiest way to think of it is like city >suburb>street> house number address . So the bigger those numbers the longer it takes to find data .
Your Ram is 9-9-9-24
If you buy
OCZ OCZ3X13334GK 4GB PC3-10666
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... the MHz is lower but thats more than offset by 7-7-7-20 timings

or
PATRIOT PVS34G1333LLK 4GB PC3-10666
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
7-7-7-20

You need to do a bit more research though . Zipzoomfly isnt always listing the VOLTAGE of those ram sticks . DDR3 is supposed to run at 1.6 volts , but manufacturers often have it running at higher voltages because that lets them raise the MHz of cheap ram or tighten the timings or both .
Ideally you want lowest voltage and lowest timings .
If you look on newegg the specs usually include the voltage

EDIT
I did a search on newegg. These look good and the price is better too
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $65
7-7-7-18 @ 1.6 volt
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 4, 2009 4:36:58 AM

Thanks, I will see what I can do research wise.
Like I said, I cant use Newegg (I used them for years but they changed) so now I will need to do best I can on ZipZoom.

July 4, 2009 5:03:32 AM

Quote:
DDR3 is supposed to run at 1.6 volts , but manufacturers often have it running at higher voltages because that lets them raise the MHz of cheap ram or tighten the timings or both.


I believe the voltage specification for DDR3 on the i7 memory controller is 1.5 volts. Intel has proclaimed 1.65v to be the maximum safe voltage and, to be sure, this is probably a conservative number, since Intel understandably wants their platforms to have a reputation for reliability.

If you are not interested in overclocking, try to find a DDR3 kit that is rated at 1.5-1.6v. Lower voltage usually translates into higher longevity of your components. There is even some indication that using lower voltages with a processor that features an integrated memory controller (like the i7's), can lower CPU temperatures.
a b 4 Gaming
July 4, 2009 6:23:33 AM

philologos said:
Quote:
DDR3 is supposed to run at 1.6 volts , but manufacturers often have it running at higher voltages because that lets them raise the MHz of cheap ram or tighten the timings or both.


I believe the voltage specification for DDR3 on the i7 memory controller is 1.5 volts. Intel has proclaimed 1.65v to be the maximum safe voltage and, to be sure, this is probably a conservative number, since Intel understandably wants their platforms to have a reputation for reliability.

If you are not interested in overclocking, try to find a DDR3 kit that is rated at 1.5-1.6v. Lower voltage usually translates into higher longevity of your components. There is even some indication that using lower voltages with a processor that features an integrated memory controller (like the i7's), can lower CPU temperatures.



you could be right that the ddr 3 standard is 1.5 v . Maybe someone else can clarify that .

lower voltage means better over clocking too .You can up the voltage to stabilize an overclock .
July 4, 2009 7:08:43 AM

[Don't buy into the spintel fud. This i7 an7i7rus7 fanboy is just gumming up the works here with the AMD AM3 system. (the i7 has a voltage limitation - if exceeded the cpu goes boom) (this does not apply to the AMD system). WAKEY people, we are not talking about a spintel system here. ok? thank you very little for that accurate information.] - back to topic.


Outlander is on the right track with this ram talk. Except for the reference to toms ram spew feature - the article is just crawp - as they boost the speed grades, they deteriorate the timings.

@ the OP - those numbers are (latency) timings, and smaller numbers are faster - it's perhaps slight, But lower is faster. so 7=7=7=20 is faster than 9=9=9=24, etc.

Outlander mentioned the OCZ RAM made for AMD "AMD EDITION". Here's a link to the press release on that ram - there are four of them - gold and platinum and different timings/speed grades.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/334

The rest of the sys looks good. I would be more comfy with a 750w PSU for future possibilities plus reliability - plus, I do not believe you will not oclox such a system just a little bit; like maybe 3.6 ghz, since that would be just a multiplier adjustment. :)  Anyway the stock clox at 3.2 is adequate. And running it stock with CnQ will be great for power savings - but CnQ will perhaps not work well if you oclock. I think you choose "Balanced" in Vista for best CnQ performance - it will idle at 800 mhz; and instantly zoom seamlessly to full speed when you need it. Overall you will probably find yourself muttering the "smooth" comment - this is common w Ph II.

So just turn up the PSU so the power draw if more in the mid range of the supply.

Also; if you are only using 80 gigs on your old hdd; why not use that, and save a lil cash.

Finally, I am jealous, cos I am planning a similar sys with smaller cpu and vid. enjoy. (and a 750w PSU, btw). :) 


July 4, 2009 6:41:46 PM

Thanks for the advice, I will look into a higher PSU, but I am still unclear memory wise. I dont want to overclock because I plan to use the system for at least 4 years and dont want to run it over factory settings and risk stressing it too much.
As far as saving on HD, my current drive is developing bad sectors, so I need a new one anyway...

Thank you all for the help!
July 4, 2009 11:03:35 PM

Im getting the same motherboard and processor this week =) as for the PSU I would recommend PC P&C 750 quad crossfire edition

guys...is this good RAM http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY... for Gigabyte GA-MA790XT - UDP4..( I will be overlocking my AMD 955 if that makes any differance)
July 5, 2009 1:02:03 PM

Quote:
[Don't buy into the spintel fud. This i7 an7i7rus7 fanboy is just gumming up the works here with the AMD AM3 system. (the i7 has a voltage limitation - if exceeded the cpu goes boom) (this does not apply to the AMD system). WAKEY people, we are not talking about a spintel system here. ok? thank you very little for that accurate information.] - back to topic.


I apologize for not realizing we were talking about an AM3 system. Nevertheless, contrary to sighQ2's misinformation, the AM3 platform certainly has a voltage limitation. The AM3 processors also have an on-die memory controller, a feature that AMD first brought to availability in consumer chips. If fed too much voltage the AMD processors will also go "boom" (actually, it will stop working in a much less dramatic fashion). The limit is higher for AM3 systems than in the X58 platform, in part because the X58 has triple-channel memory and the AM3 dual-channel.

Anyways, sighQ2, thanks for trying to turn this thread into another AMD vs. Intel argument. You know, I don't really think this issue is brought up enough, or argued with enough misplaced passion. If you are genuinely outraged at Intel's actions in Europe that have led to the landmark antitrust ruling, than that's fine and all.

The memory sighQ2 linked to seems very good. I would prefer it over the kit mentioned by K1ash3r, due to the much lesser voltage required.
July 5, 2009 9:57:45 PM

Should I really be concerned about voltages and RAM if I am NOT overclocking?

July 7, 2009 5:42:19 PM

Can anyone please help and explain?

July 7, 2009 5:55:04 PM

BoaConstrictor said:
Should I really be concerned about voltages and RAM if I am NOT overclocking?


overlocking what CPU or RAM?
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2009 8:39:11 PM

BoaConstrictor said:
Should I really be concerned about voltages and RAM if I am NOT overclocking?



lower voltage and tighter timings will be an indication of higher quality chips on the ram sticks .
July 7, 2009 9:59:28 PM

BoaConstrictor said:
Should I really be concerned about voltages and RAM if I am NOT overclocking?


In a word "NO".

Get whatever ram you like. This hitek, slightly more expensive ram, is aimed at performance fanatics. There are lots of ram brands. More and more of them are trying to sell better ram. Some are selling very good ram. But generally, almost any ram will do - that being said, it is possible to get really cheap ram. I did that once, and it was noticeably slowwwerrrr. But most ram will serve you well.
If you are running a 64-bit o/s, you can use more than 4 gigs - often to a max of 16 gigs. (excessive), Some folks really like to run 8 gigs w their 64-bit o/s. But again we are talking about performance improvements - tons of ram makes it possible to run apps in ram only (fast access), nearly eliminating virtual memory (which involves the hdd - a slow down - takes time to read/write to hdd - and windoze likes to use vm).
But again, all these performance ideas can complicate everything - you will see people complain about forcing settings, and ram not easily working re setup. It varies with mobo quality and bios quality - and ram quality may be the culprit. If you aren't really into it, keep it simple - this talk is all about tweaking, and going to a lot of trouble for maybe a few extra fps in a game. The basic hardware will do it's job, no problem. The rest is more about obsession with extreme performance.
Check prices and stick to your budget - you are planning a fast system, and it will not disappoint you. A lot of research is required to get into hi-perf, and often the results are not really visible. SO don't worry about it.

- more - the comment about voltage sensitivity re AMD is highly incorrect. The craziest overclockers know very well that Phenom II loves to eat relatively lots of excess voltages re oclox, and they also describe it runs "cold". You should expect, at normal settings and usage, a cpu temp in the ballpark of 35-45 degrees - if you oclock mildly, that won't increase much. If you oclox it like crazy you will get warnings by temps approaches 60*C - that is why the ocloxers use big fat hsf AIR coolers, or H2O coolers - it's about safety.

My comment about i7 and ram voltage limitation came from info in a spintel white paper - and no, I have no need to prove it - those fanboys can look it up - I really don't care if spintel looks bad, or if their rigs blow up. I am a blastantly obvious AMD fan. I don't research spintel; I really am not interested - I just notice things in other discussions.

I don't understand the ambiguity re antitrust rulings that actually happened. spintel busted in Europe, Japan, and Korea - the USA case comes up in 2010. AMD also has a private case happening. Monopoly? I dunno - 80% market share is not enough - but if you research the EU decision, you will be amazed at what was found out. It really is unbelievable - it's like over the top kinda stuff. It's easy to google it. See the actual decision report of findings in print. The industry and consumers everywhere have already been affected. These spintel fanboys like to discredit it all - let the truth be known - I have no need of "misinformation". Nor do I require a gag order. Free speech? It's public information. Got something to hide, coverup? hmmm. I bet. I can't support that garbage.

- and more - many believe that i7 is a near copy of AMD innovation. AMD innovated circa 2002 the IMC internal memory controller. They were also into 64bit o/s back in those days. spintel could not do it back then. They were also first with a "native quad"; whereas spintel glued a couple of duallys together. AMD's design is more balanced also. AMD is still considering hyper thread; but so far is content with real cores. AMD does all this while being under spintel's thumb, re licencing of x86 etc; also spintel gets to call the tune re future ram specs. And then there's the talk about spintel compilers, and software sending AMD on a detour to cripple performance so spintel can "benchmarket" better. It goes on and on. andZone is constantly hammering away on these ideas, if you want to research further. This is only the tip of the iceberg. 80% market share is not enough.

But you don't need to know all this to buy a "smooth" performing Phenom II AM3 system. That's the common comment = "smooth". And you can sleep well at night knowing you made a "smarter choice" for, at least, some of the right reasons.

It's amazing how people proclaim the best, mighty, leader, i7 flagship, but the one they buy is the bottom of the line - cos they can't afford the socalled "best". But they act like they are buying the best - there is a "spin" mindset that is required to do that; but I am just not there. I see through the "spin". It's everywhere.

Enjoy your Phenom II. (and no, I don't work for AMD).
July 7, 2009 10:24:41 PM

That will be fine.

Corsair is a good name.

Good price esp. after the MIR.
July 7, 2009 11:15:51 PM

(if you are interested)

OCZ3P1600LVAM4GK = the SKU "part number" of the [platinum ddr3 1600 AMD ram from OCZ.]

zipzoomfly almost matches that part number - but not quite. - it seems they have the "intel" version.

but
newegg has the exact part =
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

here's the ocz press release - the "blue letters" are links to details.
http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/334

it's a little more expensive - but the difference is the timings.

zipzoom has part numbers all around it = "ReaperX RAM" etc.

Chasing ram specs will drive you nuts. There probably isn't much difference in these "near part numbers" - but I don't know that for sure. Perhaps zipzoom can get it for you- zipzoom seems to have good pricing.

This would be a slightly better quality ram - this is revealed thru the tight timings offered = 7-7-7-24.

But 1600 ram generally is already into what is known as oclox'd ram. Your mobo supports that (as an oclox spec). But the real guaranteed max is a 1333 ram. (ocz "gold" ram)

You could discuss with them (zzf) perhaps. It might be easier, and cheaper, to just follow their recommendations. I am only mentioning this because you selected a 1600ram. It's madness, man.
July 9, 2009 2:34:47 PM

So wait, the 1600+ ram wont work out of the box unless I overclock?!!

This is the last thing stopping me from ordering...

I just want ram that will work well out of the box and be good...
a b 4 Gaming
July 9, 2009 2:37:33 PM

You wont be able to get the ram upto the 1600 MHz speed unless you overclock but it can still work at 1333MHz.
a b 4 Gaming
July 9, 2009 2:45:42 PM

Actually since the 1600MHz ram is cheaper you may want to get that, it should default to the SPD timings for 1333MHz and then you can set the timings manually.
July 9, 2009 3:33:10 PM

Ive heard that the Soprano Thermaltake Case that I want to buy has some pre-set standoffs inside that may interfere with some motherboards. How do I know if they will interfere with mine or not? Anyone know?

Ive tried to look for an alternate case but found no better alternative...
!