Deciding on 2 AMD Gaming Builds

I have a dying Athlon 64 x2 and have been patiently waiting for Windows 7 to be released to build a new computer. I already have a keyboard, mouse, moniter, and dvd-rw drive, and graphics card (it's an old Nvidia 9500GT, but it's handling everything I play fine for now, waiting until January to upgrade the GPU).

I'm looking to purchase the parts and set it up the same week windows 7 gets released. I would like it to be under $1000, and if it was under $800, even better. The main use for the system is going to be gaming and programming. I more the likely will never get an SLI/Crossfire set up. I'm going with the AMD Phenom II x4. If anyone can recommend better parts, or just give me additional information, that would be great, this is my first attempt at a custom build. Here are two builds I'm thinking about getting (feel free to mix n match my parts to give me the best options).

Or you can skip my story and just read this.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, programming homework, music, internet - all at the same time

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: GPU, keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, DVD-RW drive,


PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD - no other preference just trusted parts



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have an nvidia 9500gt card right now, would like to upgrade that in december/january to something in the $300 price range then. I need this system to be future-proof for about 2 years.

Build number 1:

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor

PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

I'll be using 8 gigs
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives


Build number 2 (more budget friendly):


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

Using 8 gigs of ram
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply


Despite which build or combo of the two I go with, I'll be using one of these cases

Version of windows 7


If someone could recommend a heatsink and fan for the processor/mobo combination that would be great too.

Thanks for any help or advice!
7 answers Last reply
More about deciding gaming builds
  1. How about Intel Core I5?

    Intel Core i5-750
    Combo Price: $294.98

    OCZ Gold 4GB DDR3 1600mhz CL8
    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W
    Combo Price: $179.98

    Thermaltake V9 Black Edition
    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
    Combo Price: $126.98

    Grand Total:* $601.94
    $60 Mail in Rebate
  2. Since your not going to OCing, this heatsink should work just fine for you

    Otherwise either build looks fine.

    Personally, I would get the 955 and save the money, but still get the asus mobo. Since your not going to multi-gpu, you could get away with the smaller psu, but getting the larger one allows for future expansion, so that's up to you.
  3. no core i5
  4. Save money on the 955 instead of the 965. If you want you can overclock it from 3.2 to 3.4 and get the same result.
    For your power supply the real x-factor is the future video card. You said no crossfire and the monitor is a medium resolution, so you might be looking at something mid-range like the radeon 4870 or the equivalent in the newer models. You would probably be OK with a 550 or 600 watt PSU. Corsair is a good brand.
    One comment on video. The AMD 790 or the newer 785 models have onboard video almost as good as the nvidia 9500gt. Might be an option to keep the build simple.
  5. The difference between the 955 and the 965 isnt really all that big, so if all your games run smoothly on that gpu then a 955 will be more than enough.

    Any reason why you dont want to consider the i5? I have yet to see a decently conclusive analysis on the i5 vs ph2 issue, but its definetly worth considering.
  6. I'll add my voice to the chorus advising that the 955 is a better choice than the 965; you say you probably won't, but it should be a super-easy OC to match the 965, so why pay more?
    For budget-friendliness, consider the Antec 300, Antec Illusion 300 (comes with more fans) or Antec 200 cases. Coolermaster CM-RC690 is another similar case with excellent airflow.
    Corsair and PC P&C are both good PSUs, but also take a look at the Antec Truepower 550W PSU. It is large enough for your stated requirements (will run a 5870), is semi-modular to keep down cable clutter and improve airflow, and is 80+ bronze (vs. 80+ for the Corsair or PC P&C).
  7. future video card will be something closer to the top of the mound (the then version of the 295 probably), just so i can do it once and be done with it. Is the cheaper power supply still okay for this?

    you might be talking me into doing some minor overclocking... what's a good AM3 compatible heat sink/fan for overclocking??? preferably something someone is already using so there's no guess work :)

    so far im looking at the pII 955, asus mobo, ???power, G.SKILL Ripjaws 8gig.

    is there anything small i might be forgetting? what's listed is all i plan on ordering for the complete build.

    would a second 30 gig hard drive be better to install the OS on?

    thanks for all the advice so far!
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