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Budget AMD Gaming Rig - MoBo/PSU advice for AMD Phenom ii 550

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October 20, 2009 5:17:19 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Christmas/Post Holiday season (i.e. after I make bank from the holiday season at work:) )

BUDGET RANGE: ~$600 After Rebates or less if I can swing it

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, watching video (no blu-ray)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, keyboard, sound, the usual

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg is preferred since they have great deals, but I'm open minded

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: AMD Phenom II 550 BE x2 unlocked to x4, ATX with crossfire support, possibly onboard video to start till i decide on the video card (more on this below since it is basically the point of the post).

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (not exactly a priority since the upgrade to me would be substantial already but if it's easily factored in, by all means consder)

Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes - preferred crossfire but more on this below

MONITOR RESOLUTION: not pertinent to this discussion

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Aight first of all, thanks in advance for any advice you can provide!

This is my first build in many years, last was an AMD k6-2......

I am looking to put together a budget gaming rig based around an AMD Phenom ii 550 with the other two cores unlocked.

I found the excellent guide to compatible motherboards here on TH but I am having difficulty deciding which to get as the list is pretty substantial.

Here is basically what i am looking to do with the overall build and how that applies to my MoBo search:

What I am looking to do is get a minimum set up to get it running and then add more expensive components later as I can afford them or a good deal pops up. (namely more ram and video card(s))

Ok so to my actual question: My first thought was to get a MoBo with onboard video to hold me over until I can splurge on a nice video card. Do you folks have any recommendations for a Mobo with decent onboard video that I can then upgrade incrementally to a Crossfire set up later?

Having asked that, I wonder if I would be better off by not worrying about onboard video to hold me over, and just get a single inexpensive but otherwise not terrible video card to use until I can get something more elaborate set up.

If I do the onboard thing, do you guys have any recommendations for something with onboard video that i can then upgrade later to a crossfire set up?

If I am better off not worrying about that, any recomendations for a crossfire-able Mobo and inexpensive 'good enough for WoW' video card to get me started? (I'm coming from a Intel Core 2 Duo Laptop with an x1400 radeon so it won't take much to be a good upgrade from that hehe)

2nd Actual Question: I know it depends somewhat on the video card, overclocking and stuff, but i am also unsure of how fatty of a PSU I should get or any set up specific features I should look out for. In theory I would like to do some OCing, so a PSU that would fulfill my crossfire and OCing needs would be perfect but truthfully I haven't looked into it too much yet to absolutely require something for OCing.

From what I read in the hardware guide on this forum, getting a cheap PSU will not necessary be a good idea so I'm guessing for this, I should focus more on quality and less on price.


Hope that was clear and again, I appreciate any advice on getting set up on the cheap. I've been trying pair down the components by myself since that is half the fun, but with so many options I'm getting overstimulated and will never decide.

October 20, 2009 5:46:30 PM

First of all, any specific parts lists we provide will most likely change before your purchase date, but to answer your questions, I would go with a nice gx board (to hold you over until you get a GPU provided your monitor is relatively small/low res which I didn't see mentioned in your post). If you are planning on playing games, you won't get very good performance above 1440x900.

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then, since you said you plan on crossfiring eventually, go for a 750W PSU with 4 PCI-e connectors

Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 20, 2009 6:06:17 PM

beaver6d9 said:
PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: AMD Phenom II 550 BE x2 unlocked to x4, ATX with crossfire support, possibly onboard video to start till i decide on the video card (more on this below since it is basically the point of the post)...

I am looking to put together a budget gaming rig based around an AMD Phenom ii 550 with the other two cores unlocked.


There isn't a guarantee that you unlock any cores on the processor. Normally they are disabled since they weren't stable. I don't know if that changes your plans at all.
October 20, 2009 7:13:21 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm well aware that there is no guarantee for the unlocked cores to work, it seems like most do and that's a chance I'm willing to take. Compared to what I have now, even the x2 would be a substantial upgrade so if it doesn't work so be it.

As far as my monitor goes, i will be using my nine year old old school 19" CRT until I find something else so the resolution max mentioned above won't be an issue for a while.

Thanks again for your help. I was actually looking at this particular mobo since it had some video ram already set up and will be able def to hold me over until i find a slickdeal on a nice GPU.
!