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$1000 Build, Phenom II 955 or i5 build...

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October 28, 2009 12:57:48 AM

So, I'm helping a friend build his first pc, and this is what I've come up with so far. It's being built soley for gaming, but he likes a lot of strategy games that could really utilize the quad core. Going to start purchasing soon, going to be built over christmas break, but video cards can be added at any time after that. monitor resolution?
PhenomII
Mobo
4GB DDR3 1600 Ram (Will be upgraded in the future as needed)
Corsair 850W PSU (Needs to be large in the event he buys up two video cards)
Samsung Spinpoint F3
Antec 300
DVD Burner (nothing exciting whatsoever)

Also considering an i5 build though if thats considered better for some good reason, but I could not find any P55 motherboards with x16 x16 pci-ex capabilities.

As for the video cards, I was looking at the GTX 260, because he could later add a second (maybe third even?), for fairly cheap when he eventually gets the next Elder Scrolls game and his pc melts from trying to render that game...

He's getting win7 for $30 for being a college student(ha ha, college students actually getting windows legally...), and he has all his peripherals as well.

Edit: found better ram, less voltage, less latency, better name imo, one dollar more.
October 28, 2009 3:19:47 AM

P55 boards don't come in x16 x16 because the PCI-E controller is built into the CPU. It can only handle 16 lanes of PCI-E, but benchmarks have shown that even at x8 x8, it's still a killer. Tom's got the benchmarks on here somewhere. It was very impressive.
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October 28, 2009 3:36:23 AM

That would certainly explain it then. Will have to look up those benchmarks tomorrow. Apparently though Nvidia chipsets haven't been so good?
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October 28, 2009 3:50:24 AM

Nope, they tend to be problematic.

There was essentially no difference between 16x/16x and 8x/8x crossfire for the 5850
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5850,2433...

$5 more gets you an i5 build that supports 8x/8x SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

However, i would suggest against a GTX260, instead you can get a 5770 which will run significantly cooler, performs similarly, and will perform better as drivers mature
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

By going with an ATI card he can save quite a bit which might even cover the bump up to a 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The antec 300 will be a bit small for two cards so he should consider the 900, which can be combo'ed with a TP-750 to balance the added cost a bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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October 28, 2009 4:14:28 AM

750W should be able to handle two cards crossfire.
I guess it wouldn't matter too much if you overkill, though, since Corsair PSUs have pretty high efficiency across the loads.
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October 28, 2009 3:14:05 PM

I had originally thought a 750W psu, but newegg was really saying 810W or so would be needed for dual Nvidia cards. I actually have an ATI 4850, and love ATI for their pricing, and their idea that cards should try to be efficient. But, I remember not getting a decent driver for gaming for several months after the card came out, and a series of drivers that couldnt run folding at home. He's also inclined towards NVidia himself.

I personally have an Antec 300 actually and made sure there would be enough space, given that he's only using one hard drive, it should work fine. the 10.5" cards will fit without removing drive bays even, cabling might be a challenge, but thats not the biggest deal. Also has to fit in a dorm nicely for moving a couple times a year, so smaller is a big plus.

Edit: Probably going to get the mobo/i5 combo hunter315 posted above. Everything but processor, mobo, and video cards have been purchased already, so theyre a done deal. The video card can probably wait until theres a good deal on one.
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