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New Build Help

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August 15, 2009 5:33:49 PM

Well I plan on make a build soon and I have a question or two and suggestions are open to this build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: A week or two.

BUDGET RANGE: 400$-700$ CAD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, watching movies, surfing the web, work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS and Power Supply is Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: TigerDirect.ca and Canadacomputers.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Most likely AMD CPU and ATI card, but suggestions can be taken based on value/performance

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

Here are the parts I plan on getting:

Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P -85$

Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4770 128$

OCZ (OCZ3G13334GK) DDR3 PC3-10666 62$

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Quad 230$

Thermaltake Element T 50$

Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB - 85$

Prices are rounded off roughly.

And the power supply that I already have:
Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W

I would like to know if this power supply will be able to handle the following parts, I have checked PSU Calculators and they show the wattage used is below so it seems fine. Any suggestions on ways to make a cheaper build etc would be appreciated.

Thanks, GoldenDrago

More about : build

August 15, 2009 8:43:27 PM

Thanks alot for the help :p  and I would order from newegg, but my dad is paranoid about online transactions so theres no hope for me with that.

Btw would it be worth waiting a little while longer maybe a month or so for the new Core i5's etc?
Related resources
August 15, 2009 9:30:23 PM

For that monitor, this would be enough GPU power for you.
4670 $70
http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...

Or for the same price but better performance than the 4770
4850 $130
http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...

If you need 1tb and looking at power consuption, the WD green will do well. But if you live with 640gbs, this black drive is a better performer:
http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...

That is a great price on the Ram. I prefer CAS 7, but for the cost, I think you've made the right choice. The rest of the build looks good too. Do you need an optical drive?

As for waiting for the i5, if you're willing to spend the full $700, you can do it. Right now, I add up to $645 or so on the above items. $315 is CPU/mobo but everything else will work for either platform. So having $370 for the cpu/mobo, the i5 will cost around 80% of the i7 920 so that eats up $275 of the remaining budget. Not sure if $95 is enough for a mobo at the i5 launch. So depending on what WORK use is, the AMD 955 will be more CPU than you need for those task listed above.
August 15, 2009 11:00:47 PM

Well the "work" use is just general stuff like word processing, photoshop, paint etc and I can live with a 320-500GB HDD too but I would prefer a 500GB+ and once again thanks for the detailed reply on my build.
Do you think the Phenom II's performance vs the Core i5 will be enough for me? I play a few online MMORPG's and it doesn't bother me about going on low detail as long as the graphics of the game don't look like boxes for heads and bodies etc.
August 15, 2009 11:16:21 PM

The Phenom 955 is more CPU than any game can use up where it would effect frame rates. If your GPU can handle everything the game throws at it and the CPU becomes the bottleneck, you're already running higher FPS than the monitor can display, so you wouldn't notice it in the least. With MMORPGs, one of the biggest graphics bottlenecks is the HDD actually. Since everyone has their own custom avatars with special textures, there's no way to preload all that data. So the faster the HDD can get the info, the less effect there is on FPS. So definitely get the black over the green HDD. An SSD is ideal for MMORPGs, but well outside your and my budget. Also on if you should wait for i5. I misspoke when I said all the other parts will work. The memory is 1.7v and the i5 max is 1.65. Not much of a difference and you could downclock the ram, but its already kind of slow on the timings and probably worth spending more to get better ram with lower voltages. That of course eats into what budget may have been available for the Mobo, so I think the i5 is outside your budget at this time. If you want to wait till the end of the year after both AMD and Intel can attempt to undercut each other in a price war, might be able to swing it. That and more Mobo options will be available than there will be in Sept. But again, for what you're doing, the 955 will do very well unless the photoshop is MAJOR commercial type work.
August 15, 2009 11:50:40 PM

Haha well I guess I'm just over reacting looking at benchmarks and all, I forget that its what I'll use that matters. Right now I'm running on a AMD Athlon 3500+ with 1GB DDR ram and I've lasted around 3 years with it so I guess the Phenom II is more than enough for me and whatever work I'll be doing on it. I don't do any major work on photoshop its just a once in a while editing and making things for friends. Thanks alot skora, you've been great help and hunter315 too.

August 17, 2009 1:24:47 PM

Would it be a better idea if I should get a lower model quad such as the 810/940 or stick with the 955? Sorry for the double post.
August 17, 2009 3:25:32 PM

As you have an AM3 motherboard picked out you cannot go for the 940 or 920 as they are AM2+. The 945 tends to be significantly cheaper and you likely wont notice a difference.
August 17, 2009 3:27:45 PM

The 940 is an AM2+ CPU only. So you'd have to go to ddr2 ram and a different mobo. Not suggested since the upgrade path isn't there like AM3.

The 810x4 is a way to save some cash but it has lower L3 cache than the 945 or even the 720x3. For PS, the 810 is better, but for gaming, the 720 is better at stock speeds.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=82&p2=83
If you are going to OC, then the 810x4 should do well. But you can't really go wrong with the x3 either. Or pony up the cash and get the 945 or 955.
August 17, 2009 10:23:31 PM

So you talked your dad into letting you buy online? It really can save loads of cash. That 945/955 price difference is crazy. That's great to get that for less then a lower model.
August 18, 2009 1:30:53 AM

I wish he would, but theres no chance :p . Unless he knows a friend who uses the site or something then theres a possibility that he would..I really wanted to get the XFX 4850 1GB for 130$ too from newegg.

Edit:
I spoke to my dad again and I told him he would save like 50$+ after taxes and everything and he was like well I could put a specific limit on my visa so they can't take more etc. So hopefully he does order online for me :D 
August 20, 2009 4:07:56 PM

Bump:
So I might actually be able to get my parts online since my dad's friend told him its pretty safe and all and that he does it all the time from TD etc. I still have a few questions of concern though, should I get the 95W Phenom II 945? Does it have any performance differences compared to the higher 125W, and also would OCZ Intel extreme performance RAM still work on an AMD configuration?
OCZ Intel Edition DDR3
It has better timings and its speed is at 1600 rather than 1333.
August 20, 2009 4:56:18 PM

Yeah that ram will work fine, they threw the intel name onto it to boost sales, it supports XMP which is intels easy ram overclocking profile but you should set the timings manually anyway.

The 95 watt 945 runs at a lower voltage and gives off less heat because of that, so if they are the same price get the 95 watt one, your air conditioning will appreciate it.
August 20, 2009 11:50:57 PM

Thanks for the quick reply hunter315 and would it be a good idea to get a 785G Mobo and wait a while for newer dedicated cards/price drops etc? I've been running of a 6150LE for a while so I doubt having a 4200IGP would hurt me anymore than this does.
Another thing that is bothering me is the RAM voltages, the motherboard I decided to buy states that the sockets support only 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM supporting up to 16GB..does that mean that I can't purchase either the OCZ Intel Extreme performance RAM or the OCZ Gold Edtion RAM cards since they both run above 1.5v?
August 28, 2009 4:30:39 PM

Sorry for another bump, but I noticed that LGA1156 categories and area's for some of the stores I buy from are showing up meaning that Core i5 will be out soon so I was wondering if my 500W CoolerMaster will be able to handle a change to a Core i5 system with similar graphics and so on. If the Core i5 does perform better than the Phenom II's then I think it would be worth the few extra $100's or so to purchase that rather then a Phenom.

Opinions and suggestions would be appreciated.
August 29, 2009 1:49:58 AM

500w will work fine with the i5. You can't do IGP on the P55 and I haven't seen any G53 reviews so you'd need a GPU at launch for the i5.

The i5s will work better for the graphics work you do and should be equal to or better than the phenom IIs. If you have access to some extra cash, then I'd wait for the i5s and get a decent system. Hopefully, we can keep you on budget.
!