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Need advice on 2 different gaming/everything builds

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September 2, 2009 11:43:21 AM

Hi! This is my first time posting here at Tom's, so please bear with me :-) It is also my first build, so I am quite green (hence my seeking advice from you guys!)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month, preferably 2 weeks.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing, Watching movies, Listening to music, School

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Won't need mouse or speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com I suppose, even though I can't order from there, since I live in Denmark. I use a similar Danish website called www.edbpriser.dk, but selection and price are similar.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am set on an AMD Phenom II X4 processor and Radeon 4870 graphics.

OVERCLOCKING: I might go crossfire at some point, but not now. I will probably be overclocking at some point, but not excessively.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I really don't know. Haven't picked out a monitor, so as long as it's good for gaming.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It's important to me that the build is quiet. Feel free to suggest cheaper options, I might have gone a bit over the top compared to my gaming needs, but I would like the build to last a couple of years. I also am not sure whether the RAM I've looked at will be a bottleneck (or if anything else will).

1: The expensive build

CASE:
- Antec P183 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129061]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129061]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129061 - 140$

PSU: Let me just say that I really don't know much about these, so I'm up for any advice :-)
- CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006&Tpk=Corsair%20TX750W] - 120$

MOTHERBOARD:
- ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131363] - 189$

CPU:
- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674&Tpk=Phenom%20II%20X4%20955%206%20MB] - 189$

RAM:
- OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227365&Tpk=OCZ%20Gold%203%20x%202%20GB] - 140$

HDD:
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (bare drive)
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148337&Tpk=Seagate%20Barracuda%207200.11%20-%201.5%20TB] - 139$

GRAPHICS:
- XFX HD-487A-ZHDC Radeon HD 4870 1GB XXX 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150395 - 163$

TOTAL: 1080 $


The Cheaper build:

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Im not so sure about this case. It seems it makes a bit of noise.
=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042 - 55$

PSU:
- Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015] -80$

MOTHERBOARD:
- GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128377&Tpk=Gigabyte%20GA-MA790FXT-UD5P - 175$

CPU:
- AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103650&Tpk=Phenom%20II%20X4%20810%204%20MB - 140$

RAM:
- OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600EB4GK
=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227286 - 100$

GRAPHICS:
- SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102825 - 150$

HDD:
- Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives
]=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284&Tpk=WD%20Caviar%20Black%20WD1001FALS%201%20TB] - 95$

TOTAL: 795$

If anyone has any ideas as to how I can combine them in some sort of "cost/benefit" calculation it'd more than welcome. I have a maximum of around 1000$ to spend, I just don't know if those 300$ will make a difference?

More about : advice gaming builds

a b 4 Gaming
September 2, 2009 12:26:35 PM

Cost/benefit really depends on what your needs entail. For example based on your description i dun think a 1TB+ HDD is required and a relatively fast 500GB would suffice. Also 1st build has 3 x 2 GB RAMs when AM3 mobos run in dual not triple channel. I'd say in the 700ish range you could hit a better GPU, Deneb quad and i am suggesting a 22" 1680 x 1050 LCD like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and 790GX AM3 motherboard to give superior price/performance IMO Should be under $900 with LCD in even hehe A HD 4870 would do for the resolution of that LCD but hey for games why not splash a bit on the GPU ya :p 
September 4, 2009 8:37:31 AM

batuchka said:
Cost/benefit really depends on what your needs entail. For example based on your description i dun think a 1TB+ HDD is required and a relatively fast 500GB would suffice. Also 1st build has 3 x 2 GB RAMs when AM3 mobos run in dual not triple channel. I'd say in the 700ish range you could hit a better GPU, Deneb quad and i am suggesting a 22" 1680 x 1050 LCD like
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and 790GX AM3 motherboard to give superior price/performance IMO Should be under $900 with LCD in even hehe A HD 4870 would do for the resolution of that LCD but hey for games why not splash a bit on the GPU ya :p 
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/8225.jpg


Thanks for the advice! :-)
AM3 only runs in dual channel? Does that mean that if I want more than 4GB RAM I need to get 2x4GB sticks for example? Do you have a suggestion for a better GPU? Should I go crossfire? The TB HDD will probably come in handy for me, as I had no problem filling my external 1TB HDD, but no, whether it is 1 TB or 1,5 TB doesn't really mean that much to me.
But you suggest getting the expensive CPU and a better GPU for the cheaper build?
Again, thanks for the advice :-)
And an extra question: Will I be better off waiting for the new Direct X 11 cards (e.g. Radeon 5800 series)??
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
September 4, 2009 9:09:37 AM

^ Hi...
Yes you are correct about the Dual-Channel working...
But you wont need 4X 2GB sets for it to work...
You can even get 6GB to work in this config - 2x 2GB + 2x 1GB...But make sure you put the sets in the matching color slots...

As for better GPU, HD 4890...But I wouldn't suggest that over the HD 4870 if the price difference is too high because by October ATI will be launching newer DirectX 11 cards, that could would offer very good performance, which could fit your budget...So for now stick with HD 4870 and then when newer cards come out, get them...
And I would always prefer a single powerful cards vs Crossfire whenever possible because you wouldn't have to deal with the driver related issues...

As for the HDD, you can stick with 1TB...

CPU - In a weeks time, there might be newer CPUs from intel and AMD...So they would drive down the prices of other CPUs...So you might be able to include a powerful CPU in your build...
a b 4 Gaming
September 4, 2009 9:20:36 AM

qnoppers said:
Thanks for the advice! :-)
AM3 only runs in dual channel? Does that mean that if I want more than 4GB RAM I need to get 2x4GB sticks for example? Do you have a suggestion for a better GPU? Should I go crossfire? The TB HDD will probably come in handy for me, as I had no problem filling my external 1TB HDD, but no, whether it is 1 TB or 1,5 TB doesn't really mean that much to me.
But you suggest getting the expensive CPU and a better GPU for the cheaper build?
Again, thanks for the advice :-)


Well for 1680 x 1050 a HD 4870 should do and a HD 4890 is better but i did find it in nice combo hehe For that resolution no need for multi GPU options really Personally dun think there is a need for anything more than 4GB as yet though.....
September 4, 2009 11:02:14 AM

@batuchka
I see your point on the combos, but since I can't purchase stuff from newegg, they really don't help me :)  Concerning GPU, the 4890s are about 30-40$ more expensive in Denmark (e.g. a Sapphire Vapor-X 1GB 4870 is 1261 DKK (242$) and a Sapphire Vapor-X 4890 1GB is 1430 DKK (275$)) Would you guys say that was worth it? And anyhow, which 4870/4890 would be the one to get? XFX seems to be a bit more expensive, while ASUS, Sapphire, MSI and Gigabyte are very similarly priced ranging less than 20$ in between each other (at least over here).
I looked at your suggestions for PC case and motherboard. I don't really like the look of the coolermaster, it looks too flashy and "geeky" to me, if you know what I mean :)  . I prefer something more subtle, and I have quite fallen for the Antec P-183 for it's noise reduction and sleek looks.
About the mobo; I've heard bad things about Biostar, but never actually tried one of their products. Plus I read the "Guide to picking parts" which recommends not underestimating the motherboard. This is why I figured I might as well get one of the "high-end" ones, but would you say that is unnecessary/overkill? i just figured I wasn't gonna change the motherboard that often but might change the GPU, so i didn't want it bottlenecking.
And monitor wise: The cheapest 22 inch monitor I can get over here, is 200$ The Hanns·G Hi-221DPB is 233$, and I can get a Samsung SyncMaster T220 like this for the same price. =http://www.nextwarehouse.com/item/?642673_p3g (Newegg doesn't list it). Likewise I can get a Samsung SyncMaster 2233BW or an ASUS VW222U (20$ more expensive than the others), at about the same price (ranging less than 30$)
Guess I just need names of good models of monitors, since prices seem to vary quite a lot compared to newegg...

@gkay
Thanks for the response! I understand the RAM thing now, but do any of you have recommendations for what memory to get? A lot of people seem to be choosing OCZ Reaper modules are there other options?
a b 4 Gaming
September 4, 2009 11:42:02 AM

Well if you are set on resolution and depending on what model/make of cards u have where u at i'd read up on reviews with regards to idle/load temps of the shortlisted GPUs u have in mind? As for mobo - this is easily a misunderstood area i feel: splashing for a high end 790FX from say a 1st tier mobo maker compromising say a GPU for a gaming rig (with the same budget) isn't exactly a good call but dun worry i have hands on and real DIY experience with these AMD mobos which sadly some here dun and merely air their irrational brand A>B because 'i had a bad experience with brand B' nonsense! Every mobo maker makes both diamonds and lemons :p  FYI: here is an enthusiast's review w.r.t that Biostar mobo and 955BE:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22...
So in short: get your frames for your games/resolution right 1st as per your budget and read up on shortlisted mobos u keen in w/e brand they are hehe
If u tight for LCD get a 1680 x 1050 22" but where i'm at Samsungs are a tad overpriced so again depends on local pricing where u at i suppose
Lastly for casing: looks are subjective but for a gaming rig above average cooling capability would be for me top priority so w/e case u go with do check out end users input about the powerful hardware they are running inside it with regards to say acoustics/thermal issues or even ease of installation/layout for example

Hoped i helped!
September 4, 2009 3:46:24 PM

Quote:
So in short: get your frames for your games/resolution right 1st as per your budget and read up on shortlisted mobos u keen in w/e brand they are hehe

- I don't know what that means :)  My frames for my games (sorry for not understanding)? I assume frames are framerates, but would do I need to figure out concerning FPS/resolution ratio?

- Can I use DDR3 PC3-12800 with that Biostar mobo (or any other GX/FX mobo, that Biostar doesn't seem to be widely available over here)? I will need to overclock to 1600 MHz, right? But the RAM will just run at reduced speed if I don't, correct?
September 4, 2009 5:22:08 PM

Since you didn't mention a Crossfire setup, here's what I recommend. Assuming prices are comparable, its less than both of your builds. I used a mobo with only a single PCIe slot. I don't see the need to spend close to $200 on a mobo.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600EB4GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Right around $700 US.
a b 4 Gaming
September 5, 2009 11:40:59 AM

qnoppers said:
Quote:
So in short: get your frames for your games/resolution right 1st as per your budget and read up on shortlisted mobos u keen in w/e brand they are hehe

- I don't know what that means :)  My frames for my games (sorry for not understanding)? I assume frames are framerates, but would do I need to figure out concerning FPS/resolution ratio?

- Can I use DDR3 PC3-12800 with that Biostar mobo (or any other GX/FX mobo, that Biostar doesn't seem to be widely available over here)? I will need to overclock to 1600 MHz, right? But the RAM will just run at reduced speed if I don't, correct?


I meant research relevant framerates with various GPUs within your budget for your games. If you set on a 22" non Ful HD that would mean a native resolution of up to 1680 x 1050 ^^ No need to go with that mobo i picked out - any decent AM3 readily available should do the job and well DDR3 1333 CL7 is my RAM of choice ofr an AM3/DDR3 set up actually hehe
!