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First Homebuild (Gaming AMD Build ~$1000)

Last response: in Systems
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August 5, 2009 1:59:22 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime this month

BUDGET RANGE: US$1000-1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, streaming videos, surfing internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, nvidia

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It is likely that I will stick with nvidia single-card solutions; however, I am not totally opposed to CF. I will be playing diablo 3, starcraft 2, WoW, call of duty MW 1&2, Fallout 3, Oblivion, and maybe more graphics-intensive games in the future. My concerns with CF are heat & noise and also ATI driver issues; if my concerns are unwarranted, let me know. I would like my system to be relatively quiet, so it's not all about performance & price with video cards; I've been scoping out the newegg customer reviews for cards that are praised as quiet/cool. At this point, I'm still not sure whether to go with the X3 720 or the X4 955, the 790GX or the 790FX, and I'm definitely open to video card suggestions. I'm looking for a PC that will have a good lifespan and will be readily upgradeable (I'm fine with playing games on medium settings in the future to extend PC life).


AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail ($125)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - ($140 - $15 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail ($120 - $20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail ($240 - $20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBPI - Retail ($75)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM ($75)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail ($40 - $15 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM ($25)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM ($110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $1050 - $70 MIR = $980


If X4 955 and/or 790FX are highly recommended for futureproofing purposes, it looks as though I can afford them if the rest of the build remains relatively constant. Let me know what you think!
August 5, 2009 5:17:50 AM

^ I would recommend the X4 955 for that price range...Certainly change the CPU...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Check out this RAM...It is compatible with the AM3 and no doubts about the quality...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why not this case with side window ??? It is also a very good case and check out this combo...
That 700W would be suffice for Crossfire if you intend to go with that route...And it is an 80+ Silver, hence no worries there...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Change the DVD drive to SATA - Thinner cable, less clutter...

Rest are very good...
August 5, 2009 5:18:42 AM

You only get small improvements by moving from triple to quad core , and in many graphically intense games the gfx card will be the limit not the cpu.
[edit: when the clock speeds are the same that is , and both the 720 and 955 top out at around 3.8GHz for most people ]
I think you will be fine with the 720 be , but you could also go with the 945 instead . The 945 is a good compromise since it overclocks to more than 955 levels any way .

Im not sure what you mean by driver issues with ATI cards . Id go with a 4890 . Theyre a bit cheaper than the gtx 275 and very similar performance . And it does leave the crossfire door open for the future

You could easily go with a 650 watt psu for a single card
Related resources
August 5, 2009 11:45:58 AM

Maybe you could also save money with the motherboard and get a MSI 770-C45 ir a Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P if you do not plan ever to do xfire/sli.

The MSI 770-C45 is very cheap and I heard it's still a great overclocker...

I spent to much money on my motherboard (gigabyte ga-ma790fxt-ud5p) and now I regret it.
August 5, 2009 2:42:31 PM

I've decided to change my video card to the 4890, specifically the vapor-x version (I'm a huge fan of quiet cooling, as well as HDMI audio output option). This will also leave the door open for crossfire in the future if I choose to go that route. Also, thanks for pointing out that the DVD drive I picked was IDE, an oversight on my part.

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100269VXLE Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail ($200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM ($27)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NEW TOTAL: $1012 - $50 MIR = $962

TOTAL w/ X4 955: $1087 - $50 MIR = $1037 (this looks like the way I'll go after all)


Looks like the 790FX is getting no support. If the 790GX can run 4890 crossfire fine with two x8 lanes instead of two x16 lanes present in the FX, I'm certainly fine with the GX.
!