1st Build, Looking For Advice

Ok, so after a bit of thought and more shopping around, I decided to post again in a much shorter and "to the point" manner, so here goes...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In the next few weeks, unless there is a good reason to wait, and I would like to keep the cost of parts besides Periphs like a monitor, keyboard, etc. and the OS around $800 - $900.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Productivity mostly, though I would like to get a good gaming rig as well, at least that can be upgraded from say, an OK card now to an awesome Crossfire array later if need be, followed some video/picture/music editing and rendering, and of course the the usual web surfing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, and OS are not my main concern right now, more focused on the actual computer, but any advice here is appreciated as well.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg is my first choice, but not against ordering from elsewhere

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer AMD processing as you will see, though not so set as far as the rest, like Mobo goes, that is where I need the advice particularly, no good with why one Mobo is better/worse than another!

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, once I figure out how to do it the right way CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: No idea what is the best, but since I am building it all from scratch, feel free to let me know your opinion. Was thinking of eventually using a LCD/HDTV for the monitor/doubling as a HTPC, but don't have such a tv or screen yet, but keep that in mind incase something I select below will not work for such a screen at all, etc.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Appreciate the time reading this, and hope witting it all down this way will help you guys help me! Learning as I go, so feel free to comment on anything really!

Main Questions are...
Is the 955 a good choice over the 965, or go for the bigger one?
What Mobo, even if it isn't one of these, is best for power, upgrade ability, and performance?
Will the rest of these parts give me the best bang for buck, or are their better ones at the same price/slightly more?


My Build sofar...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz CPU, but it has a few bundle options, which means I don't know what mother board is best...

Bundle one = AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz and a ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
***Note - Definitely getting a Video Card, just heard on board can be a nice "extra" to the card...Let me know how true that is


Bundle two = AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz and a GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
***Note - selected because I heard FX is much better/faster, again, let me know...

I have also heard great thigns about this Mobo...
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard

SO again, very confused on Mobo's, this is a big thing I need some help with!

As far as the rest, I got this, using the parts list at the top of the forum as a guide for the powerful, bang for the buck computer I am looking for...

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) - $89.99

Optical Drive - PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support - $44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827249054

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817139006

HD and Case Bundle - COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case and a Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.273732

Which Leaves the Video Card, which I was debating between the Radeon 4770 like this one...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150369
or a 4850/70 like the following...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150436

All in all, i want a card that will perform pretty well for a while, that isn't too expensive. That Build listed varies between about $800 and $900 I think, and I would like to keep it roughly around there unless you can see a reason otherwise. I also choose the 955 over the 965, simply because the $60 or so price difference for what I heard wasn't much of a performance gain. Also, given I do music editing a bit, is the on board audio good enough, or should I dable with a card?

Feel free to suggest other mobo's/etc as well, open to any suggestions!

Once again, thanks for all the help before hand, and ANY TIPS at all or other places to look to learn more would be greatly appreciated!

- C
3 answers Last reply
More about build advice
  1. A Core I5 build would perform significantly better.

    Intel Core i5-750
    MSI P55-GD65
    Combo Price: $339.98

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600mhz CL7
    SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB
    Combo Price: $239.98

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB
    Combo Price: $94.98

    Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power - $94.99

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA - $30.99

    Grand Total:* $800.92

    Depending on the resolution of the monitor you plan to buy, you might need a better video card or vice versa. For the 4870, I'd recommend a monitor with 1680 x 1050 resolution.
  2. Thanks for the reply! As to the I5 over the AMD, is there any specific reason it performs much better? I'm still learning the differences between the two brands, and I always thought the higher speed of the 3.2 GHZ in comparison to the I5's 2.6 made it a bit faster, does it have to do with the 8mb L3 cache, or what exactly? Just curious, because I see the argument quite often in regards to AMD vs. Intell, and not so sure what makes which better. I also heard AMD was more future proof compared to an i5 build, but again, any opinions as to why one build is better than another, or any other suggestions on either my original build or the suggested one would be great! Still not certain which way to go!

    I also heard the Corsair was more reliable than the Antec, or or they pretty much equivalent even the the Corsair is about $15 more or so?
  3. Also, would you recommend a higher card as far as gaming and productivity goes, or will that be more than enough for video editing, HD movies, and pretty good quality games?
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