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ONE OF THE MANY. I need help too!

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August 24, 2009 7:44:13 PM

OK I'll make this as easy as I can for you guys, I will help the community back once I get my build together:



So I'm building my own computer, but I need your opinion on these parts. Keep in mind that

1. I am going to be using 4GB of 800Mhz RAM, Radeon HD 4870 1GB, DVD drive, wiped hard drive from my current computer and Windows 7 BETA (for now :D )

2. I am under a tight budget and need the best parts for a good price

3. I am only aiming to build a mid-range computer, nothing with low performance, but nothing that will break the bank for the best parts. My budget is under $300 for the following four parts.


Here are the links to the parts I would like to get:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... -Case

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... -Motherboard

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... -Power Supply

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... -CPU

Please comment on these parts, and tell me if you think you can find a better deal, or if you think something wont be good enough.

Thanks!

More about : question

August 24, 2009 7:50:19 PM

get a different PSU, I think the Corsair 550TX would be the best bet for you.

and look into the 710 X3 over the 545 X2, it's $3 more but you get an extra guaranteed core.
August 24, 2009 7:56:13 PM

The x3 710 shows as deactivated on Newegg.ca as I type this.
Related resources
August 24, 2009 7:59:00 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I was looking at that CPU before, but I decided that that 3.0Ghz Dual Core would give me more for gaming than the 2.6 Tri-Core you mentioned. But I looked it up on Newegg.ca, and it seems that the item is deactivated apparently. Is it worth it to get it on another site or would the current one I have be enough?

And the power supply seems too much, considering the price I'm getting for the one I mentioned. I'll look into it though :) 

August 24, 2009 8:01:23 PM

^ when it comes to PSU's, you want quality over quantity (in this case no. of watts.)
August 24, 2009 8:03:33 PM

Isn't that PSU good enough for a 9800GTX or HD4870?
August 24, 2009 8:05:30 PM

^ the raidmax one probably isn't.
August 24, 2009 8:05:33 PM

The little red voltage switch on the back of the PSU is a dead give-away of a low-end unit with no active PFC correction. It would be a VERY bad idea to use that PSU in your system.
August 24, 2009 8:05:37 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The Raidmax PSU you picked is a very low quality unit with no active PFC correction. Don't use it unless you want an impressive indoor fireworks display. The PSU is certainly not a place to try to save a buck. This PSU is a little more money, but is a quality unit that would easily power your system:

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500D 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $79.99

Hmm, that looks like a price that will barely fit into my budget, but will fit nonetheless. So do you think if I get that PSU, that I should be good to go for a solid mid range computer with the parts I mentioned in the original post?
August 24, 2009 8:13:39 PM

And also; all of these parts would be compatible with each other, right? And can I boot a wiped HDD with Windows 7 BETA, ?
August 24, 2009 8:16:04 PM

mobo360 said:
And also; all of these parts would be compatible with each other, right? And can I boot a wiped HDD with Windows 7 BETA, ?


yes and yes.
August 24, 2009 8:16:55 PM

Yes, but only one graphics card. You dont want to get a cheap POS PSU because it will cost you far more in the long run. There are many that dont survive anywhere near 100% load. About midway down the page there is a video of what happens when you put 95% load on a POS with no A PFC, skip to about 2:01
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/527/7

Thats why we advise against skimping on the PSU.

Also you cannot use DDR2 ram on an AM3 board, for only $5 more you get to keep your ram
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Damn i need to type faster
August 24, 2009 8:22:29 PM


The price is low on that PSU, but I wouldn't use if for this system. It doesn't even have the required power connectors for a 4870. I despise using adapters and figure if the PSU was designed to power a GPU that requires 2 PCI-E power connectors that they would make it with 2 PCI-E connectors.
August 24, 2009 8:22:42 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The motherboard you picked is an AM3 board which means it requires DDR3 RAM. You'll need a different motherboard if you're planning on using DDR2 RAM. I haven't had good long-term reliability with MSI. I would try to get an Asus or Gigabyte AM2+ board.

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $94.99

or

ASUS M3A76-CM AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $84.99
WOW, I can't believe I missed that. Doesn't that CPU need a AM3 motherboard though?
August 24, 2009 8:24:45 PM

Nope, AM3 CPUs will work in AM3 or AM2+ sockets, however AM2+ processors have 2 extra pins making them physically incompatible with AM3 sockets.
August 24, 2009 8:25:16 PM

Nope, the AM3 chips are backwards compatible and work in most AM2+ motherboards. Some older boards require a BIOS flash to recognize AM3 chips, but the two boards I linked should work out of the box with your CPU.

Edit: 31 seconds hunter315, 31 seconds. :lol: 
August 24, 2009 8:28:24 PM

its an older design psu thats why its $40 off
August 24, 2009 8:29:20 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Nope, the AM3 chips are backwards compatible and work in most AM2+ motherboards. Some older boards require a BIOS flash to recognize AM3 chips, but the two boards I linked should work out of the box with your CPU.
The problem is that right now I only have 2GB of 667Mhz RAM, which I plan to use until later this year when I get 800mhz RAM. I'm still looking.


Thanks for all the help guys, if you guys didn't help me I would have ordered the wrong parts!!
August 24, 2009 8:45:10 PM

hunter315 said:
Yes, but only one graphics card. You dont want to get a cheap POS PSU because it will cost you far more in the long run. There are many that dont survive anywhere near 100% load. About midway down the page there is a video of what happens when you put 95% load on a POS with no A PFC, skip to about 2:01
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/527/7

Thats why we advise against skimping on the PSU.

Also you cannot use DDR2 ram on an AM3 board, for only $5 more you get to keep your ram
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Damn i need to type faster
Now it says it supports DDR2 1066, but can it still support 667?
August 24, 2009 8:46:04 PM

I still wouldn't recommend MSI. The two motherboards I suggested above will both work just fine with DDR2 667 RAM. Asus and Gigabyte are both top-notch manufacturer's. I can't say the same for MSI.

The RAM speed listed in the motherboard specs are just the maximum speed they're rated to run. They can run slower RAM just fine.
August 24, 2009 8:46:31 PM

actually its AM2+ with a bios that supports AM3 CPUs. Its micro ATX so it might be a bit cramped. The gigabyte 770 that shortstuff and i posted is only $5 more but is full ATX so you will have more room for upgrades.
August 24, 2009 8:50:46 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I still wouldn't recommend MSI. The two motherboards I suggested above will both work just fine with DDR2 667 RAM. Asus and Gigabyte are both top-notch manufacturer's. I can't say the same for MSI.

The RAM speed listed in the motherboard specs are just the maximum speed they're rated to run. They can run slower RAM just fine.
Wow, that peice of info is a big help.

I think I'll get the Gigabyte board you suggested. Because I'd rather not have a Micro ATX. (Thanks for the info Hunter :D )


I think I'm ready to order these parts now:

COOLER MASTER Elite 360 RC-360-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500D 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor Model HDX545WFGIBOX - Retail


Any final words? :D  I can't wait.
August 24, 2009 8:54:43 PM

Looks good. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
August 24, 2009 8:59:26 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Looks good. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

Will do! I have one more question though, that Phenom only has like 2X 512KB l2 cache and a 6MB L3 cache. I've upgraded my CPU once and the L2 Cache was the same and I didn't notice an upgrade. Will the cache limit the speed of the CPU? Or is the L3 cache enough?
August 24, 2009 9:04:27 PM

I don't know what CPU you currently have, but the Phenom II CPU should blow it away. The Phenom II X2 545 has plenty of cache. CPU architecture and clock speed are more important than cache size.
August 24, 2009 9:12:31 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I don't know what CPU you currently have, but the Phenom II CPU should blow it away. The Phenom II X2 545 has plenty of cache. CPU architecture and clock speed are more important than cache size.
Thanks for your responses. I'm ordering it soon.
August 24, 2009 9:16:32 PM

So would it be better to get 2, 12V rails at 18A or one at 32A? Do you combine them or something? Sorry for all the questons, guys.
August 24, 2009 9:29:59 PM

The PC Power & Cooling PSU is a higher quality PSU. You'll get different opinions on whether single or multiple 12v rails are better. I, personally, prefer a single 12v rail. There is some math involved in figuring out the 12v Amp rating on multiple rails. You can't just add them together.
August 24, 2009 9:33:11 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The PC Power & Cooling PSU is a higher quality PSU. You'll get different opinions on whether single or multiple 12v rails are better. I, personally, prefer a single 12v rail. There is some math involved in figuring out the 12v Amp rating on multiple rails. You can't just add them together.
How do they work though? Are they the Amps in the PCIe connector? Are they separated, or do they connect to one GPU? It's all confusing.

Also, what PSU would you recommend for around $80? That one has an 80% efficiency rating I thought it would be enough, I guess not :( 
August 24, 2009 9:34:18 PM

isnt seasonic= pc p&c = ocz
sasonic = antec
August 24, 2009 9:40:22 PM

obsidian86 said:
isnt seasonic= pc p&c = ocz
sasonic = antec

Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling are higher quality PSU manufacturers. OCZ and Antec both make some quality units, but they also have some lower end products (like the StealthXStream mentioned a couple times above). Sorry the PSU is turning out to be such a cause of controversy. The PC Power & Cooling 500W PSU was the best quality unit I could find in your price range.

I stick by my recommendation of the PC Power & Cooling PSU in the $80 range. You will never regret using a PC Power & Cooling PSU.
August 24, 2009 9:43:32 PM

ocz owns pc p&c and the newer antec an most of the pc p&c are based on seasonic units
August 24, 2009 9:46:38 PM

obsidian86 said:
ocz owns pc p&c and the newer antec an most of the pc p&c are based on seasonic units

I'm well aware that OCZ owns PC Power & Cooling. That doesn't mean they use the same OEM's or are the same quality. Yes, the new Antec models are high quality units. Like I said, Antec also makes cheap units like the Basiq series. You certainly can't make a blind "seasonic= pc p&c = ocz" or "sasonic = antec" comparison. There's a lot more to it than that.
August 24, 2009 9:48:37 PM

I just want to say thanks to everyone who responded.

shortstuff_mt you've been a big help as well as everyone else.

I really needed this help and I will help others out after I set up my computer. I have to go now, and I will likely check back here before I order. Thanks again!
August 25, 2009 1:21:03 AM

I have a question guys! When installing the motherboard in the case, how will all the things like USBs and stuff be exposed on the outside? Is it all standardized, or should I worry about compatibility? Is getting it working as simple as installing all of the components and then putting the OS in the disk tray?
August 25, 2009 1:25:43 AM

its all very standardized, there will be a back plate that comes with the motherboard, pop the one out of the case and pop the one from the motherboard in instead. Make sure you install the CPU and heatsink before putting it in the case, you flex the board less that way. Your motherboard manual will tell you where all the front panel connectors go, it is very standardized and rather simple as long as you follow the manual. The part of my build that took me the longest was getting the heatsink on, but even with that i had the whole thing built with windows installed in about 2 hours.
August 25, 2009 1:37:19 AM

hunter315 said:
its all very standardized, there will be a back plate that comes with the motherboard, pop the one out of the case and pop the one from the motherboard in instead. Make sure you install the CPU and heatsink before putting it in the case, you flex the board less that way. Your motherboard manual will tell you where all the front panel connectors go, it is very standardized and rather simple as long as you follow the manual. The part of my build that took me the longest was getting the heatsink on, but even with that i had the whole thing built with windows installed in about 2 hours.
OK that's perfect. So would you recommend the Phenom II 3.0Ghz for that price range,or something else? What would be better a 2.4Ghz Phenom II X4 or 3.0ghz Phenom II X2? I just want to make sure everything goes smooth for my first build. And what do you think about this PSU? It's 50W less but it's corsair. That might not be enough for the GPU I mentioned though..

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
August 25, 2009 1:49:09 AM

PC Power & Cooling makes great power supplies too, and provides a 6 pin and a 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors. While the difference between their power outputs is almost negligible i would still go for the PC power & cooling one so that you dont have to mess around with the molex adapters which arent recommended.

For gaming alone i would go for the higher clocked x2 rather than the slower x4. I opted for the faster quad because i do quite a bit of photoshop work but for gaming alone the 545 will be more than enough. Can you link to the 2.4GHz PII X4 you found? The lowest i know of is 2.5GHz, i think you may have been looking at one of the older phenoms when even the top end quad performs about the same as a PII 545.
August 25, 2009 2:38:21 AM

hunter315 said:
PC Power & Cooling makes great power supplies too, and provides a 6 pin and a 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors. While the difference between their power outputs is almost negligible i would still go for the PC power & cooling one so that you dont have to mess around with the molex adapters which arent recommended.

For gaming alone i would go for the higher clocked x2 rather than the slower x4. I opted for the faster quad because i do quite a bit of photoshop work but for gaming alone the 545 will be more than enough. Can you link to the 2.4GHz PII X4 you found? The lowest i know of is 2.5GHz, i think you may have been looking at one of the older phenoms when even the top end quad performs about the same as a PII 545.
Yeah, it was a mistake. You're right, it was 2.5Ghz, or I was looking at the Phenom Is.

I will get the PC Power&Cooling, I never knew you had to change something with the Corsair one, I once again dodged a bullet :) .

So granted the power supply and CPU, what is the best graphics card that you figure would work with my setup? Do you think that this computer will become obsolete in a year? I would like it to last a solid 3 years!
August 25, 2009 4:32:36 AM

Would you guys recommend a larger case? I don't think it's medium sized. Is medium sized the standard?
August 25, 2009 2:20:03 PM

Cases are mainly a matter of personal preference, but you might want to go with a little bit bigger case. The case you picked should work, but will be harder to work in due to the small size. There are a few CoolerMaster cases that only cost about $5 more and are considerably bigger.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=EN...

Don't get me wrong, I actually like the case you picked and I'm impressed with how small it is while supporting a full size ATX motherboard.
August 25, 2009 2:44:32 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Cases are mainly a matter of personal preference, but you might want to go with a little bit bigger case. The case you picked should work, but will be harder to work in due to the small size. There are a few CoolerMaster cases that only cost about $5 more and are considerably bigger.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=EN...

Don't get me wrong, I actually like the case you picked and I'm impressed with how small it is while supporting a full size ATX motherboard.

Yeah I'm getting another Coolmaster case.


Right now I'm worried about getting the Phenom II. I don't know if the motherboard will work with it right out of the box. My guess is that I will have to upgrade the BIOS, but I have no CPU to upgrade it with, and I don't want to have to buy another CPU just to upgrade it.


If I get a AM3 compatible CPU will it support the Phenom IIs right out of the box?
!