Check out my build, might need your help.

Hi guys, I've been chatting with a few of my buddies, and this is what I cam up with.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within next week or 2, budget is under $900 CAD.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Fun and games, movies, etc mostly.


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I should be able to get the O/S for free.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Mainly Canada Computers (www.canadacomputers.com)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: CANADA

PARTS PREFERENCES: This is what I have down so far:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - [214.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=023286&cid=CPU.907


Motherboard: Asus M4A77TD Pro Socket AM3 AMD - [104.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024886&cid=MBD.486


RAM: G.SKILL NQ Series DDR3 1333MHz (PC3-10666) 4GB - [95.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=023354&cid=RAM.346.983


GRAPHICS: Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 1024MB (1GB) - [183.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=020837&cid=VDC.243.272


HARD DRIVE: Seagate Barracuda (ST3500418AS) 7200.12 SATA 3.0Gb/s 500GB - [58.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=021509&cid=HDD.443.877


CASE: Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case ATX 3/0/(6) 2xUSB Audio No PS - [59.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=018460&cid=CAS.664


DVD Drive: LG GH22LS50 Lightscribe Black SATA DVD - [37.99]

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024839&cid=MDD.184


OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC.


So the total price right now is $756.93, with tax is $855.33. Probably need a monitor.

I was also looking at this: CORSAIR DDR3 4GB

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4837614&Sku=C13-8220


And as everyone knows, times are hard right now, want to save more $$. Should I consider this CPU instead?

AMD Phenom II X4 810 (95W) Quad-Core Socket AM3

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=021929&cid=CPU.907


I'd appreciate it if anyone can give me any feedback or insights. Thanks.
18 answers Last reply
More about check build help
  1. Without a power supply your system will be really quiet...
  2. Yeah... a PSU is needed... LOL :D

    I would pick up a 550w PSU from Corsair, Antec or PC Power&Cooling. I would switch out your hard drive for a Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB hard drive. It is faster than the Seagate hard drive. Stick with everything else on your build.... the parts are okay.
  3. Your build looks alright. I would make some slight changes if possible.

    As long as you don't have brand preference switch your motherboard to this one:
    Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P Socket AM3 AMD 770 + SB710 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 1666/1333/1066Mhz 6x SATA 3Gb/s 7.1- Ch HD Audio Gigabit Lan IEEE1394 PCI-Express 2.0 ATX - $94.99 (or 92.99 promotional cash price)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024342&cid=MBD.486

    PSU recommendation:
    Antec EA-500 EarthWatts 500W Continuous Power Supply - $91.99 (89.99 PCP*)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=012267&cid=PSU.731

    If your tight on the budget you can get:
    Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - $149.99 (no PCP)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=018943&cid=VDC.243.272
    It has only 512Mb but from the recent Tom's Article, I don't think that extra 512mb will do you much good with that resolution.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-ram-4870,2428.html

    (I'm just nitpicking at this point)
    Samsung SH-S223F/BEBE SATA Black 22X DVD-Writer OEM - $29.49 (28.99 PCP)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=020095&cid=MDD.184

    AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (95W) Triple-Core Socket AM3, 2.8GHz, 7.5MB Cache (512KBx3 L2 + 6MB L3 Cache), 2000MHz HT, 45nm (HDZ720WFGIBOX) - $147.99 (144.99 PCP)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=021624&cid=CPU.907
    Only if you are tight on budget or even drop to their dual core offering to save more.

    That's basically all I can recommend from Canada Computer. If you opted for more retailers you may be able to save a bit more dough.
    *Promotional Cash Price
  4. Thanks for all your recommendations, guys. It's my first time building a PC, so it's extremely helpful to get recommendations.

    Rokez, what kind of other retailers do you recommend? I am open to any others, anyone can feel free to drop some names. Thanks! I know Newegg is a popular choice, but a part of me feels safer when picking up the parts in person at a store. Then again, gas isn't cheap either, lol. Again, this is my first time building a comp, so if Newegg shipping is fast, reliable, and guaranteed, then I'm all for it.

    Oh, and any recommendations for cases? Flashy futuristic cases with bright lights seem pretty cool, lol. Just as long as it's sturdy, reliable and cheap, heh.

    I've also read a review for the Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P mobo, and it says, "..."We recommend that you enhance heat dissipation for the CPU VRM area if an AMD Black Edition CPU is installed and the Advanced Clock Calibration is enabled." Unfortunately, that leaves the consumer with the hassle of trying to find a heatsink that fits."

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any reviews on my [Asus M4A77TD Pro Socket AM3]. Oh, and how does the [ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3] compare to the Gigabyte one? I think I'm leaning towards the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO.

    As for the Power Supply, I was recommended to go 650-700W. I'm currently looking at the OCZ ModXStream-Pro 600W, and the Antec TP3-650 A2. Is OCZ a reliable brand? Or can I find something better for around $100?
  5. Well the only other big retail store (TigerDirect) that sells computer parts has recently priced a lot of the products crazily high so I guess Canada Computer is the only one you can trust for now. I just compared with newegg and the prices are pretty similar (when you take in shipping/taxes) so I guess I was wrong before.

    Anyways what review of the Gigabyte board did you read that because I just quickly googled the board for reviews and found only positive ones about it.

    As for cases as long as it gives good cooling/airflow, its more of a personal preference. Me personally I'm a sucker for a side window and some lights also. (unrelated note: I'd personally go for the tricore processor since I'm more of a bang/buck guy and also your tasks don't really seem to warrant the need for the power a quad core would bring.)
  6. Here's the review for the Gigabyte board
    :
    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=347&Itemid=69&limit=1&limitstart=4


    About the Triple Core, I'm not someone who updates their comps regularly, I want this to last a pretty long time, lol. I'm going quad in hopes my machine will stay relevant in the next few years, afterall, I heard I can overclock it from 3.2GHZ to 4.1.
  7. I may be reading into the article a bit too deeply but they do state that: "Unfortunately, Gigabyte decided not to include a heatsink, which COULD limit the overclocking ability of this board."
    Other reviews I have seen have able to get pretty good overclocks despite this fact.
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/19763-gigabyte-ga-ma770-ud3-am2-am3-motherboard-review-10.html (AM2+ version but should be similar to AM3 just without ddr2 support)
    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/985/6/
    http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/cpu_mainboard/gigabyte_ma770t_ud3p_am3_motherboard/2

    Overclocking goals like that require some aftermarket cooling so:
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 4 Heat Pipes, Copper Base (RR-B10-212P-GP) for Socket LGA1366/775 & AM2/AM2+/AM3 - $39.99
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=025125&cid=FAN.349
    Also I don't know if that has thermal paste...
    Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound - $7.49 (only in stock in newmarket?)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=017216&cid=FAN.687

    PS. Forgot to say that either board you choose the asus or gigabyte, you will not have the ability to crossfire/SLI on them. Oh and that you may not get a very good CPU to overclock with so don't expect miracles and hopefully you know what you are doing too. =P
  8. K, thanks for the info.


    Also, what do you guys think of refurbished PSUs? I found a irresistable deal here:

    OCZ GameXStream 700-Watt Power Supply - Refurbished

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4540562&pagenumber=4&RSort=1&csid=ITD&recordsPerPage=5&body=#ReviewStart
  9. ^ I would NOT recommend buying refurb PSUs.

    For a little more (BEFORE $30 MIR), you can grab the 550VX from Newegg.ca : http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004
    The 550VX can power your rig fine.
  10. I have bought from NCIX (usa site) before with no problems. They are actually a Canadian company. Also, as Shadow703793 mentioned, Newegg.ca.
  11. Same with Shadow, definitely a no on refurbished PSUs.
  12. Thanks for the help guys. Rokez, I've decided to go with your Gigabyte MoBo now. Here's what I plan on getting tomrrow:

    CPU AMD Phenom II X4 945 (125W) Quad Core Socket AM3 , 3.0GHz
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=023821&cid=CPU.907

    Motherboard Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P Socket AM3
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024342&cid=MBD.486

    RAM G.SKILL NQ Series DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800) 4GB (F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=023355&cid=RAM.346.539

    GRAPHICS Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 1024MB (1GB)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=020837&cid=VDC.243.272

    HARD DRIVE Western Digital Caviar Blue (WD5000AAKS) 500GB SATAII 7200RPM
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=010671&cid=HDD.443.877

    Case Antec Two Hundred Mid Tower Gaming Case
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=024505&cid=CAS.664

    PSU OCZ GameXStream 600W Power Supply
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=010075&cid=PSU.532

    DVD Drive Samsung SH-S223L/BEBS SATA Black 22X Lightscribe
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=025587&cid=MDD.184


    I have a question about the PSU. What's the bare minimum for my build? My buddy recommended 650-700W, but I went 600W. All you guys say 550W. Can anyone elaborate? Thanks. The Corsair 550W is a pretty sweet deal.


    EDIT: Update, I found a PSU Calculator of sorts:

    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

    Based on this, I got 575W for [Mobo: Regular Desktop], a maxed out [12 USB devices], a fan controller, and a Power Supply with 50% Capacitor Aging. And my western digital is a Regular SATA, right?

    When I went 100% peak load for my PSU, it when to 622W. That was with 2 SATA HDDs and a full 12 USB (which I doubt I'll be using all 12 at once, lol), so I think 600W is good.
  13. A couple of recommendations:
    (nitpick) You can go with the Antec 300. Its a bit cheaper with the instant rebates unless you really like the design and shape of the two hundred.
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=018460&cid=CAS.664 - $54.99 (52.99 PCP)

    I still stand by my previous statement about your video card is overkill for your monitor. The extra 512mb won't be put to good use on that resolution.
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=018943&cid=VDC.243.272 - $149.99

    Go with your original hard drive instead. It may cost a bit more but should perform a bit faster because it has one 500gb platter instead of 2 250gb platters. (Higher platter density = better performance usually)
    Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache (OEM) - $65.99 (64.99 PCP)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=014525&cid=HDD.443.877

    I'd go with this PSU just because its more efficient and for relatively the same price you can get a bit more wattage and quality* but you lose the rebate. =P
    Antec EA-650 EarthWatts 650W Continuous Power Supply - $96.99 (94.99)
    http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=017023&cid=PSU.731

    Everything looks alright to me. Just one question are you overclocking because that may require an aftermarket cooler with the goals you have.

    *Reviews of Gamexstream and Earthwatts (linked the summary page)
    Gamexstream
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story3&reid=24
    Earthwatts
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story4&reid=35
  14. Hmmm...the 512 HD4870 is all out of stock. Anyway, to make the most out of the 1GB card, I should be going for a monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050 minimum?

    Also, should I go LCD or CRT? CRT is cheaper, lol, but it's gonna burn my eyes.
  15. LCD al the way. You'll probably end up saving the difference during the life time for the LCD in terms of energy savings.
  16. OK, I have two monitors that seem like a good deal.

    Which one is better? I'm thinking of going with ASUS.

    Asus VK222H 22"

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5254329&Sku=F12-722001


    Sceptre X22HG-Naga 22"

    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4150171&Sku=S197-2204


    What do you think?
  17. I'd go with the Scepter because the ASUS is a refurbished LCD.
  18. I suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative

    for them also. Great effort.please continue post your info about

    <a href="http://www.electrocomputerwarehouse.com/">refurbished LCD</a> .

    please share more information about topic.thanks a lot.
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