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First time Builder, AMD Phenom II X4 965 for $900, advice?

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August 2, 2009 2:14:50 PM

Hi, I just wanted some help with an AMD build. Any advice is welcome and helpful. I have never build a computer from the ground up, so I have been reading a lot of this forum for the last 2 weeks. I would specifically like the thank Skora, Outlander_04, Tecmo34, and gkay09 for all their help to others, I have learned a lot from you four, and I am totally not sucking up. Ahem.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I hope to order everything but CPU and MOBO today 8-2-09. CPU will be purchased in a few weeks, when AMD releases the AMD Phenom II X4 965.

BUDGET RANGE:
900ish dollars

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet Surfing. Specifically Dragon Age: Origins, Starcraft II, Fallout 3 and some older games.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse. Not worried about OS, going to use Windows 7 Demo until I can buy a Windows 7 Family Pack (or until that dream is crushed)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com for the combos.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I intend on purchasing either the AMD Phenom II X4 965 when it comes out, or the 955. The temptation of getting the intel i7 920 is great, but I want to support AMD.

OVERCLOCKING: I would like the option to overclock in the future. Need to do more reading so I don't stupidly kill my rig.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: probably not, unless it would allow for a quieter/more powerful system.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have a 27.5” monitor, that I run in 1680 X 1050 (and 8% brightness, stupid HannsG), with a new graphics card will probably go higher.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I really want a quiet set up, so Overclocking is not my first priority. I also am probably paying too much for “quiet” parts that are just as loud as the cheaper versions. Any horror stories about this components would be great.

CPU - $220
AMD Phenom II X4 965 – probably $220 (hopefully?)

MOBO - $180ish
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
(will probably get a combo CPU and MOBO, but probably in the $180 range similar to this MOBO)

CASE + Power Supply Combo - $239 ($109(PS) + $160(case) - 30(Combo))
COOLER MASTER RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – Retail + COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

Memory - $75
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail

Optial Drive - $29
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM


Hard Drive - $75
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive – OEM

GPU - $175
SAPPHIRE TOXIC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail Vapor X-Cooler Design with VCT
Is the extra cost worth it on this design?

And since I have never done this before, I will be purchasing
Anti-Static wrist - $4
Rosewill RTK-001 Premium Anti-Static Wrist Strap - Retail

Should I go ahead and order thermal compound, or will it not be necessary if I stick with the stock CPU Cooler. At some later date I might go for a kickass CPU cooler, but not just yet.
Thermal Compound - $7
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

All this brings me to about $600 dollars without the CPU and MOBO. So that is about $1000 total, a little over my budget, but if it is quiet, I think it will be worth it. Thank you very much if you read this far. Thank you even more if you can give advice.
August 2, 2009 2:46:57 PM

The 955 is $220 now initially $250... You can expect the 965 to be at minimum $250
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August 2, 2009 2:49:47 PM

Oh forgot to look at your build... It's almost identical to mine I spent $1100 on the button with shipping. As far as the Toxic card yes everything I read says it's worth it + for $170 its a great sale anyway. Also you should check out the ASUS Crosshair III board since you are spending close to $200 anyway this is the MB I ordered and have read nothing but fabulous reviews on it.
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August 2, 2009 3:23:49 PM

Thanks for the help jdbaker82. I didn't think about the 965 being $30 more, but I don't mind paying more for it.

I think I am going to get the Windows 7 Family Pack (provided it is worth it), so i am holding off on an OS for now. So for now I will use the Windows 7 RC1, or Kubuntu (for fun).

I also am going to wait and see how things go before trying to overclock, but thanks for the heads up on that CPU cooler.
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August 2, 2009 5:12:38 PM

wouldn't it make more sense to get a 4890 for just another $15?

and that case is OTT, on this kind of budget you should be looking at the CM-690.
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August 2, 2009 6:05:30 PM

Yes get the 4890. The PSU is ok if you think that you will never Crossfire, if you think that you might down the road get a higher wattage unit one that could support two 4890s. I have a CM-690 case, several things that I like about it, but the power switch and the reset switch crapped out on me and Coolermaster will not answer any of my contacts to repurchase the switch. This is a frequently cited problem on their forums the switch and poor customer service. Try another brand of a case. Consider the Gigabyte MA790T-UD5P motherboard. Especially if you don't think that you ever use three or four GPUs. Spend some time considering the HSF, that CPU will be hot and the GPU will be hot, get the best cooling setup you can. About the CPU the 965 will be good but the 955 will be cheaper, they are the same CPU. With a two step tweak in the bios they will both run at the same speed and perform at the same level. Since you like Gskill how about this ram?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 3, 2009 5:35:12 AM

Great motherboard; if you're willing to wait, the motherboard usually combos with the 955 for about $315. I'm planning to go with that one too for my AMD build in a month or so. I'll have a system that is all blue and black! I'm planning to get an Antec 902, you might want to check out the Antec 300/900/902 cases and see if they fit your budgets. Those cases usually have a PSU deal in Newegg as well.

If you can stretch your GPU budget up to $200-$220, I would suggest the Vapor-X 4890's either $200 for the stock 850mhz or $220 for the OC 870mhz version. The Vapor-X 4890's will run cooler and consume less power than any 4870, not to mention they will OC past 900mhz. I'm planning to go with the 4890 Toxic, once they get back on stock. It's been over a month and I have yet to see any online stores selling them. Sad face.

If you're going to spend 75 dollars for DDR3 1333 RAM from G.Skill, I suggest you check out these G.Skill DDR3 1600 RAM.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Same price faster speed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Just 5 dollars more and you get faster speed and slightly faster timings. <--- Same recommendation by topper743

All in all, it's gonna be a beautiful system, I hope you have a mobo and cpu that will run your computer if you buy the stuff now. I say this because you might end up getting faulty parts and you might not be able to know until you get your CPU/mobo and by then, you might go past the 30 day return period.
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August 3, 2009 6:36:36 AM

@mhurt... Glad we could help others :) 

And as for your config, you have a good setup out there...
I would agree with the others on the graphics card and topper743's suggestion for the RAM is very good...But as for the case, I have not seen unhappy customers with the CM though(But maybe wrong though)

But here are a few suggestions, that might help cut cost, without affecting performance...
Do you really want a Full Tower?? And that too you would be sticking with a single graphics card, you can save money and get the Mid Tower cases...
Here are 2 very good cases, that you can consider...
CM Storm Scout
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CM HAF 922(HAF 932's small bro)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

And just a heads up on that MSI mobo...Have seen people complaining about the space between the CPU socket and the memory slot...It would be a close fit for an aftermarket CPU cooler, if you are planning for any...
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a b À AMD
August 3, 2009 6:55:04 AM

Im a bit skeptical about the Phenom II X4 965

Intel and AMD make cpu and grade them before assigning them clock speeds and multipliers .
The same bit of silicon is in all Pll processors , but it may have some cores or parts of the cache disabled or whatever to make the AMD range
Same for intel with Ci7
And we all know it was never worth buying an e8500 or e8600 when they were just mild overclocks of the e8400 . Any one with a brain [ and an overclockers heart] just tweaked the fsb of their e8400 rig and got the same performance for much less.

So far it looks to me like the Pll 965 is the same kind of exercise . Ok so they clock it up 200 MHz BUT can it OC to a higher level than a 955 or is the new model just eating in to the overheads that Phenom has?

Maybe Im wrong, maybe there is a stepping change and the chips run faster and cooler thanks to a bit of tweaking , but until independent reviewers get their hands on samples and get higher , stable OC's on air then its just an expensive 955
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August 3, 2009 7:20:00 AM

Actually looking and these AM3 P2X4s and current pricing i would just go 945 and OC as and when my games require me too - which i doubt will happen soon anytime soon at 1680 x 1050 and a decent GPU hehe
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August 3, 2009 9:15:09 AM

@ outlander_04, current air cooling overclocks with the 965 get to over 4.3GHz, whereas the 955 only goes to about 4.2GHz
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a b À AMD
August 3, 2009 9:44:37 AM

Helloworld_98 said:
@ outlander_04, current air cooling overclocks with the 965 get to over 4.3GHz, whereas the 955 only goes to about 4.2GHz



Do you have a link ?

So far I havent read of anyone getting more than about 3.8GHz with the 955
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August 3, 2009 9:55:43 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Do you have a link ?

So far I havent read of anyone getting more than about 3.8GHz with the 955


I guess I was wrong, most people only get to 3.9GHz, but then I guess that makes the 965 a better deal 965@4.3GHz on air
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a b À AMD
August 3, 2009 10:12:47 AM

Helloworld_98 said:
I guess I was wrong, most people only get to 3.9GHz, but then I guess that makes the 965 a better deal 965@4.3GHz on air


TY for the link


I hope they have raised the head room that much , but I still havent seen a retail example , and till then .........
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August 3, 2009 10:16:20 AM

Wow, thanks for all the help guys. I didn't think about not being able to check if parts worked, so I suppose the smart thing is to wait and buy everything at once. Okay well, I will check out the new Toxic 4890, different RAM, Case and PSU. And hell, i can wait and see if the 965 is worth it. Thanks again for all the help.
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August 3, 2009 4:42:31 PM

I would go with the 955 over the 965 UNLESS 965 is based on a new stepping and said stepping made a significant difference. Right now the 955 is at $215 so hopefully it will drop below $200 once the 965 came out. The 940 BE dropped pretty fast once the 955 was released. Unless the 965 is based on a new stepping, it will be basically the same as the 955 being able to use DDR3, having an unlocked multiplier, and having similar overclocking potential.
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August 3, 2009 4:54:25 PM

Outlander_04 said:
TY for the link


I hope they have raised the head room that much , but I still havent seen a retail example , and till then .........


but then again if you look down the page some others have reached the same clock speed with a 955.
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August 3, 2009 5:01:12 PM

A long shot but if TS willing to compromise in not hitting the BEs something to be had at a stunning price/performance with current combos IMO :p 

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August 3, 2009 6:22:32 PM

Newegg out of stock on the 955 I think I just ordered the last one LOL
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August 3, 2009 6:55:26 PM

^ their probably trying to sell their 955 BE stock ready for the 965 BE which comes out on the 13th of August.
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a b À AMD
August 3, 2009 8:08:05 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
but then again if you look down the page some others have reached the same clock speed with a 955.


Deep down Im a cynic.

I will wait and see if quality review sites like Toms , Anandtech , Legitreviews and others can regularly duplicate those numbers .
Till then Im 100 % with Megamanx00 on this one . If it isnt revised stepping then why pay extra?
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August 13, 2009 4:05:42 AM

Just wanted to let you know that the 965 came out at 250 dollars and 3.4 ghz (yikes), the 955 is back in stock and at 200 dollars. Looks like your mobo can handle the 140w of the CPU but can the cooler?
anyway just wanted to tell you
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a b À AMD
August 13, 2009 4:14:51 AM

It appears to be just a higher binning and the same stepping, glad i got my 955 and didnt bother waiting for the 965 since its not a new stepping. I would like to see 5 965 and 5 955 OC'ed to rule out random good and bad processors and to see if it actually makes a significant difference since they are the same piece of silicon still.
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August 13, 2009 5:41:30 AM

hunter315 said:
It appears to be just a higher binning and the same stepping, glad i got my 955 and didnt bother waiting for the 965 since its not a new stepping. I would like to see 5 965 and 5 955 OC'ed to rule out random good and bad processors and to see if it actually makes a significant difference since they are the same piece of silicon still.


Just read the 965's review here on TH, and they got it stable at 3.8, on an after market air cooler, and correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that around what 955 owners are getting.
So I think it is pretty much just the same chip.

Kinda like the 920 and the 950, it seams like the 920 overclocks just as far or even farther than the 950 (but I havn't really looked into it)

And with intels new CPU's coming out soon, i think amd is in a scrucnch, because even their oc'd 3.8ghz 965 had a hard time keeping up with the not much more expenisve 920 (granted you might also need new ram and a mobo to take advantage of it)
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a b À AMD
August 13, 2009 5:48:07 AM

tkgclimb said:
Just read the 965's review here on TH, and they got it stable at 3.8, on an after market air cooler, and correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that around what 955 owners are getting.
So I think it is pretty much just the same chip.

Kinda like the 920 and the 950, it seams like the 920 overclocks just as far or even farther than the 950 (but I havn't really looked into it)

And with intels new CPU's coming out soon, i think amd is in a scrucnch, because even their oc'd 3.8ghz 965 had a hard time keeping up with the not much more expenisve 920 (granted you might also need new ram and a mobo to take advantage of it)


945 owners get about the same too so its not worth buying even the 955 IMO .

But Im sure there are clever people at AMD working hard on a new stepping , fab process , and new architecture so the race for top dog between intel and AMD will go on and we will all get quicker cpu's because it does
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August 13, 2009 6:16:39 AM

Outlander_04 said:
945 owners get about the same too so its not worth buying even the 955 IMO .




And with the new 940 out and being rated at only 95 watts their might be even more over clocking potential


Outlander_04 said:
Im sure there are clever people at AMD working hard on a new stepping , fab process , and new architecture so the race for top dog between intel and AMD will go on and we will all get quicker cpu's because it does


I sure hope so
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