Need advice on selecting final parts

Hey guys, I'm putting together my build list for an upgrade that is well overdue (Amd 4200 939 socket), and I have picked out my parts and I am just wondering if there are any better options than what I have. I am mostly concerned with my heatsink choice (possible space issues) and my RAM selection.

Anyways, here are the details:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime in the next couple weeks


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Case, Speakers, OS, PSU (Corsair 550VX)




SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (distant future)




New Items:

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Delayed New Item:

SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail

I will pick up a 5850 when the first bundles start appearing (which I'm hoping is around the holiday season). Until then I'm running a 8800GTS 320MB.

Existing Items:

Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

So yeah, the questions:

The first question is on my RAM choice. My board supports up to 1600 non-OCed. So thats why I chose the G.Skill with the tighter timings. Is that a solid choice for this build or should I go with something cheaper with more lax timings?

Also, I really don't have much knowledge on selecting heatsinks. I've heard good things about the Sunbeam but I've also heard that it doesn't work so well with some AMD boards and can cover ram slots. Also, I've had two people tell me opposite things on whether it will fit in the case I have.

Lastly, I'm going with AM3 since I am slightly biased towards AMD but also because I can see myself upgrading this easily in the future when I need a new proc. So for now, would a 720 pair well with a 5850? I am planning on OCing the 720 (Why else would you get it?).

Off topic... Look at the power consumption of the 5850 crossfire setup at load:
5850 Review - Power Consumption

479 Watts system draw with a power hungry Lynnfield system... Is the 5850 crossfire capable on a 550Watt psu? Just an observation.
8 answers Last reply
More about need advice selecting final parts
  1. I wouldn't recommend crossfiring with that PSU, it's cutting it too close - remember PSUs are 80% efficient at best. That RAM is great. That's a good heatsink, but sorry I don't have the answer to your space question. You'll won't get a CPU bottleneck especially after you overclock.
  2. The Sunbeam cooler is harder to install and interferes with chipset cooling on some motherboards. I would ditch it for this one:

    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.61 - $10 MIR
  3. i believe newegg has the corsair tx 650 for $80 after rebate
  4. obsidian86 said:
    i believe newegg has the corsair tx 650 for $80 after rebate

    The OP already owns the 550VX PSU.
  5. The Corsair 550 only has two PCIE power cables and a single 5850 will use both of them. The 5770 and 5750 only need a single PCIE power cable and use less power than a 5850. You could crossfire a pair of those weaker GPUs on that power supply.
  6. Yeah I wasn't planning on CF until well into the future with a dif processor and a new psu. I thought that the power consumption was interesting though, since I think CF recommendations are for a 600 watt psu minimum and Corsair is a quality brand.

    Thanks for your answers. Has anyone here used this board or case with either the SunBeam or Xigmatech coolers? The Xigmatech was the other cooler I was looking at, I just want to make sure whichever cooler I get works well with AM3 boards (Should use the same mounting as AM2+ right?).

    Edit: Point taken about the amount of 6pin connectors. I have to check when I get back from work because for some reason I thought that the 550VX actually had more than it specified. I'm tired though, so I am probably mistaken.

    Once again CF wasn't the main point of my thread, since I don't see any need to when *just* using a 1680x1050 resolution. I have other uses for this psu when I upgrade in the future.
  7. Thanks for all the quick replies. I'm still wondering about the heatsink to get. I read some user reviews of the Xigmatech and some people had issues with space and losing RAM slots to that one as well.

    Would a smaller 90mm cooler work just as well? Or is there a definite advantage to the larger 120 mm coolers with which I just might have to bite the bullet and possibly lose access to my nearest RAM slots to the cpu?

    And the last question, I've been out of the hardware loop for a while and was wondering what and when the holiday deals are like. Is it work waiting a month or so to see if prices fluctuate or if better deals are introduced? Or do the holidays not have much of an impact on hardware deals and prices?

  8. A smaller 92mm cooler will not cool nearly as well.

    If you can mount the s1283 so the fan points blows out the back, it wont be an issue with the RAM, but its not clear if that large blue thing is close enough to force you to align the fan blowing upward. You may need RAM without an extra heat fin (like corsair XMS3) in the first bank if you decide to use it in the future. If you look at neweggs reviews of that xigmatek there are 840 people giving it 4-5 stars and 12 that could not figure out how to mount it properly. Thats less than 2% which is pretty good odds considering the (how do I say this nicely) average competence level of the newegg customer base. For everyone like yourself doing research and preparing there are 10 teenagers who couldnt follow the instructions when building with Legos.

    Its really hard to guess what will be on good sales during the holidays. Usually its not the latest and greatest (I would be stunned to see 5000 series GPUs on a significant sale).
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