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~$800-$850 amd/ati gaming build (first build)

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November 6, 2009 6:24:46 PM

Hello everyone, long time reader/first time poster here. I'd really appreciate some advice on my first build. I'm looking for an amd/ati setup; nothing too major, but I'd like to be able to run L4D, CoD4, and the like with good fps at 1680x1050, if possible. I've listed my current parts selections below:
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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1 week

BUDGET RANGE: ~$800-$850 before MIR

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (mostly sp, but some mp (L4D, etc.))

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I need everything except speakers and an OS (win7 x64 pro)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: amd/ati

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, but probably not right now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not really sure how many cables I need given my parts selection below. Can anyone let me know which are required (I figured I needed some SATAs because I don't think any of my parts come with them). I also need a good wireless card and would appreciate some recommendations.
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AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
COMBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE ... - Retail
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
COMBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
(I know a 750W is probably too much for 2 4850s in CF, but I like the headroom)

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Not really worried about having a gaming kb/mouse combo)

HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $831.36 after promo codes and before MIR
November 6, 2009 6:33:59 PM

For that resolution 2 4850s in x-fire is not worth it. I would recommend a 5770 and a way cheaper PSU. Like a 500w.
Related resources
November 6, 2009 6:49:37 PM

jbakerlent said:
As would a faster HDD.
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the HDD link! I completely missed that one. $5 more for a 500gb that also has 16mb cache and better reviews. :D 
November 6, 2009 6:53:05 PM

That HDD is best on the market as of now. I missed the HDD in your list ><
November 6, 2009 6:58:27 PM

With just an Athlon 64x2 CPU and a 5770 I can play the COD4: Modern Warfare demo at 1380x1050 maxxed settings (I think I set it for medium corpses) and its very smooth.
November 6, 2009 7:01:40 PM

sonic-boom said:
For that resolution 2 4850s in x-fire is not worth it. I would recommend a 5770 and a way cheaper PSU. Like a 500w.


But if I want to CF later on, isn't the 500W a bad choice, especially if I switched to the 5770 as you suggested and wanted to CF that in the future? I think switching would also put me over my limit (if I kept the PSU for CF purposes) because the 5770s are ~$170.
November 6, 2009 7:07:56 PM

The 5770 uses a lot less power than the 4850 even at that. I think with the 600w like jbakerlent said should run 2 5770s since they are 40nm.
November 6, 2009 7:10:49 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
600w PSU OCZ moduar

Newegg- 5770 cards- 450 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX technology in dual mode)

A 600w PSU from Corsair or OCZ will mean 600watt and more. It should be fine running it but you might want a 650 for headroom.
November 6, 2009 7:10:52 PM

So at this resolution would it be better to not try and CF, and just go with the cheaper psu, putting the money saved there towards the 5770? How would the setup handle L4D and CoD4 if I made those changes? I'm assuming it would run them quite well, especially after reading dndhatcher's comment.
November 6, 2009 7:12:37 PM

At that resolution a 5770 should dominate most games at max settings, just may need to turn AA down some since it is only 128 memory bandwidth.
November 6, 2009 7:16:40 PM

Ok then, so if I go with just the one card for now (which is looking like a great option at the moment), should I think about switching to a different mobo? Perhaps a cheaper one with only one pcie 2.0 slot, or keep the one I have now so I can CF in the future (then again, I'd have to update the psu as well if I kept the current mobo and switched to the 5770/550-600W PSU option)
November 6, 2009 7:20:33 PM

I dont think the newegg specs are correct. They seem to be taken from XFXs website which claims the 5770 needs two pcie power cables and 4 to crossfire. I have an XFX 5770 and it only has one PCIE power plug. My belief is the 550W Fatal1ty PSU can handle two of them if you are not doing heavy overclocking on the CPU.

With the 5770 I have been able to play at ultra high on games that my 9800 GTX+ could only play at high/very high settings. I have turned the AA down to x4 or x2 to smooth some choppiness, but the 9800 with only 512MB RAM needed AA totally off. I understand a 4870 would probably do the same, but the 5770 has DX11 which I believe will become a significant advantage by this time next year.
November 6, 2009 7:22:11 PM

I would keep the board with the xfire option and the 550w PSU. It can be expensive to replace a board. If you decided to xfire down the road, you could always upgrade the PSU at a relatively low cost.
November 6, 2009 7:23:03 PM

Keep the motherboard, with AM3 sockets you can only save like 20 dollars, but do switch the PSU.
November 6, 2009 7:48:52 PM

Ok, I switched to the 550W PSU and picked this GPU:

HIS H577F1GDG Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

How does that look? I looked at jbakerlent's ram suggestion, but the reviews for that set aren't very stellar. Any other suggestions? Anyone have a suggestion for a good wireless card too?

That puts me at $876.40 after a promo code and before MIR
November 6, 2009 7:56:49 PM

I would go with a USB wireless card, not an internal. If you have problems with the internal its alot more hassle to deal with. USB is easier to transport and usable on other PCs.
!