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First computer build wtb guidance

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November 20, 2009 11:27:10 AM

I am on a budget this gear, but am looking for a computer that will last in the gaming world for atleast 2 strong years. I noticed new 2.0 pcie crossfire is this much better than regular express slots or will crossfire even work in these? Also Is there any low price motherboards that have 2 16 enabled graphics? Not one that is 8x 16x I would it to be capable so in the future I could just add a 2nd graphics card as an upgrade. Also is it possible to sneak in a tripple core processor for around 150$ that would be compatible with the motherboard which is also around 150? Any builds+pricing/information would be great my budget for the entire system will be around 700$. I had noticed the 650$ gaming computer article on the site, but I figured there was a possibility of new parts/sales by mid December. Thanks

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November 20, 2009 12:05:40 PM

I just did an i5 build, got the proc for $150 from microcenter, asrock p55 extreme motherboard for $139 from newegg (plus a combo deal for memory). This could be a very nice basis for a gaming system. PCIe 2 slots are 16x or 8x/8x on this board. All the other less expensive p55 boards I saw were 16x/4x. I have read that 8x/8x is good for crossfile/sli - 16/16 is on the 1366 boards, which are much more expensive.

I don't have detailed info on the AMD boards PCIe slots. AMD triple core proc is around 120 or so.
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November 20, 2009 12:28:47 PM

It's good to look at the Tom's Hardware SBM articles to give you some ideas like the one that you mentioned.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-gaming-pc,2424....

The article is a few months old and the particular build probably decided upon a month before the article was released so prices on components can change drastically (especially with online deals) over time while newer and faster components become available.
As to the difference between running 2 graphics cards in 16 X 16 vs 8 X 8 it's not really that much just a few percent loss-age in 8 X 8 mode.
However one poster here already showed some big discounts on a ASUS M4A79T Deluxe 790FX motherboard at Fry's (I think it was under $130 store pickup).
If you really need 16 X 16 go with a 790FX type of motherboard and preferably a AM3 type.The better motherboard would be what Tom's Hardware chose on their high priced recent SBM article the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard however your budget is limited and you might not be able to afford that.
The big sales will be Black Friday just over a week away so you could get huge deals online if you decide on what you want.

As to your triple core CPU suggestion right now you can pick up quad core CPU's for around $150 or a little more like these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

The Phenom II X4 945 or 955 BE CPU's are a good choice on a budget and might be much less expensive on a possible Black Friday sale or maybe sold in a CPU/Motherboard combo sale.

I would tend to opt with a ASUS.Gigabyte or MSI brand motherboard for selection as they generally have longer and better support
(updated BIOS fixes,new CPU support in case you wish to upgrade a CPU etc.)

The $87 Athlon II X3 435 (triple core CPU) performs about on par as the more expensive Phenom II X3 720 BE which is being phased out like the Phenom II X2 550 BE like this article shows.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3,2452.h...

Whatever you do be sure to select a reliable power supply,a good name brand motherboard with future support and a better CPU.
You can always upgrade the other components later over time.

Edit gtvr had a great suggestion if you want to spent a little more money on the CPU.
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November 20, 2009 1:51:42 PM

Yeah I myself would tend to avoid the cheaper brands of mobos as they tend to have less support.Also that board is a AM2+ based one that uses DDR2 RAM rather than DDR3.The advantage of DDR2 though is that it is less expensive than DDR3 RAM.
DDR3 RAM is only a few percent faster than DDR2.
I'm not too against getting a AM2+ motherboard though if your budget is tight.
For future support I would opt for a newer AM3 type of motherboard however the 790GX boards are good for dual 8 X 8 crossfire.Also they have great integrated graphics till you get a discrete graphics card.The Phenom II X4 940 BE is the last most powerful latest AM2+ CPU that only works on AM2+ motherboards.

The Phenom II X4 940 will not work nor fit on newer AM3 motherboards so be aware of that.

The AM3 type Phenom II CPU's like the Phenom II X4 945 however will work on AM2+ motherboards if that motherboard has a CPU BIOS update for it.Basically the 945 is just like the 940 except that it is a AM3 type of CPU and has can run either DDR3 or DDR2 RAM.
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November 20, 2009 7:00:08 PM

I decided to step down from a dual 16 and this came out to be my next choice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.....
Is this the biggest bang for my buck? Supporting ddr3 and dual x8’s. But still would it be worth it to buy a capable motherboard for dual x16’s or could I squeeze out some budget performance in double 8xs? In comparing the

3.0 amd http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... really worth the 20 extra bucks over the 2.8 amd
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... comparability is 4x128 L1 cache an issue to note over 128+128 L1 cache?

I also looked at some graphics cards and came up with this toss up.. 256mb vs 128mb but higher core speed?

$170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Chipset Manufacturer ATI GPU Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT)
Core Clock 850MHz
Stream Processors 800
Stream Processing Units Memory
Clock 1200MHz (4.8Gbps)
Memory Size 1GB Memory
Interface 128-bit Memory
Type GDDR5

$165
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Chipset Manufacturer ATI GPU Radeon HD 5770
Core Clock 850MHz S
tream Processors 800
Stream Processing Units Memory
Clock 1200MHz (4.8Gbps)
Memory Size 1GB Memory
Interface 128-bit Memory
Type GDDR5

$155
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Chipset Manufacturer ATI GPU Radeon HD 4870
Core Clock 750MHz
Stream Processors 800
Stream Processing Units Memory
Memory Clock 900MHz (3.6Gbps)
Memory Size 1GB
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Type GDDR5

Everytime I search, I find something cheaper and better or the same price but better, how will I ever know I took advantage of everything available? My budget is probably around 650-700 dollars with no need of a monitor or sound… I am only searching for ram/cpu/vcard/mboard/powersup/dvdread/harddrive
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November 21, 2009 2:04:06 PM

Your first link I think was wrong.It showed a list of motherboards.

Here is a review on the Radeon HD 5770 graphics card.It might even be hard to get your hands on a HD 5770 then again you might be lucky.It looks like a good choice for you and compares favorably with the older 4870 but with new features,DX 11.
Check the benchmarks in this review they look pretty good.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5770-review-tes...


I'll tell you again that in less than a weeks time the big sale will be on black friday.
Quite possibly you might be able to get better components for much cheaper than you think.

As an example though if you had a few bucks over your budget maybe $50 over your estimate I would get these components.

Here is what I think that you should get.

First allocate about $100 for the Hard Drive (I like Western Digital's) and a DVD burner.DVD burners are about $25 to $30 so you should have $70 to $75 left over for the Hard Drive.

Any cheap case can be obtained for under $50 but even a $30 case will do.
So allocate about $100 for the case and power supply.Notice that there are cases that come with a power supply.Try to get a power supply somewhere around 600 watts and be sure the power supply is compatible with the motherboard.You might get away with using a lower power 550 watt power supply on your build with just one card.I tend to spend a little more and get beefier supplies like 850 watt ones on my builds in case I opt for higher wattage and/or crossfired graphics cards.
With a limited budget you will have to opt for a cheaper lower wattage power supply most likely unless there is a big sale on a higher wattage one.Look at the power consumption with a Radeon HD 5770
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-5770-review-tes...
It says you need a 500 watt power supply at the minimum with one card and 600 watts with 2 at the minimum.So if you intend to crossfire 2 of these cards you will need a 600 watt or better power supply.If you can make do with just one card I see a inexpensive power supply here.Be sure to be careful in selecting a power supply with an EPS CPU connector (power to the CPU).
This one is $40 after Mail in Rebate for a 500 watt power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here is a case with a power supply.It's just one example.This one has an EPS connector.
Myself I would prefer a better Corsair or Antec power supply but perhaps this one will do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...



This combo deal on CPU,mobo and memory about $400 actually $378 after MIR but on black friday who knows possibly $300? which would be $100 less
One of the best AM3 motherboards out there and very feature rich with easy oc features.Also with a faster AM3 AMD CPU which is very popular.
You would be so satisfied with this motherboard you just can't go wrong here.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then allocate about $180 for your HD 5770 graphics card.

That might come to around $750 but if you had to stay below budget you could perhaps opt for this CPU/mobo combo deal.Notice though that you would have to spend around $70 for DDR3 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

That Phenom II X4 925 that you showed earlier looked good too.
Here is a combo deal for it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


As advise stick with the AM3 Phenom II's rather than that AM2+ Phenom II X4 940.
Those with older AM2+ boards would be happy with the 940 as a CPU upgrade but on a new build go for the newer AM3 CPU's instead.
I'd much rather opt for the 945 or the 955 instead.Plus you are better off with a newer AM3 motherboard as well so why not get one of the best ones.
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