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New build & Crossfire Qs

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December 1, 2009 7:22:40 PM

*Edit: Change HDD and ram based on DNDs suggestions.

Hello all. Getting ready to build a new system and I have a few questions and am looking for any advice. To start with


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 12/15/09

BUDGET RANGE: $600-$900 Before Rebates must also purchase upgrade to windows 7 pro

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Autodesk usage, Some still frame and WMV rendering.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:


Mouse and keyboard (although I am open to suggestions, currently using generic microsoft keyboard and logitech MX revolution mouse)

Power supply. Currently using Pc power and cooling Silencer. http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/silencer-750-quad-c...

Video card. Possibly will not need a new card. Currently I am using a radeon HD 4850 512 mb card. I am wondering whether I should go crossfire with something like this Vision tek 4850 or if I should just go single card again with a newer ATI model. I'm also wondering if that visiontek card will be compatible with my current card and whether either card will suffer performance issues caused by them being from different manufacturers. /end shpeel.

Monitor: Using the widescreen Acer X233H

DvD drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Usually newegg but I am open to suggestions.

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Nothing too extreme)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080, or smaller conforming to 16:9

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a generic looking PC, not really into lighting and whatnot.

These are some parts I was currently looking at (sorry for the linking):

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crossfire vid card: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/VisionTek+-+ATI+Radeon+HD+4...

Thanks for any and all advice!

More about : build crossfire

December 1, 2009 7:44:32 PM

Scythe Katana is a quiet cooler, but not really a performance cooler so depends on how much you want to overclock.

The caviar black 500 is a bad choice, its got dual 250GB platters. The newer single platter 500GB drives like the Samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 are faster and quieter.

You only want a 4GB (2x2) ram kit on an AM3 motherboard. It uses dual channel (pairs) of RAM sticks.

Getting a 4850 1GB wont do you any good. Get a cheaper 4850 (512MB) since in crossfire everything will default to the weakest card. In theory different manufacturers shouldnt matter...
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December 1, 2009 8:07:11 PM

Ok awesome. Thanks for the tips. if I do need to overclock I won't be doing that much of it. Maybe taking the 3.2 to 3.4.

I've got some more questions now.

First, how do you know whether a HDD is single or dual platter?

Second, is 4 gigs of ram enough with Windows 7 to be a decent gaming platform?

Lastly, as far as price to performance goes...would I be better off buying one of the new 5000 series ATI cards or would going with a match for my current card be the better option?
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December 1, 2009 8:35:22 PM

You would have to get a 5850 to match the performance of dual 4850s. A 5770 should be 40-50% faster than a 4850 (512MB).

For gaming there is no benefit to more than 4GB RAM.

You have to research the specs on the HDD. 500GB platters are new so there are not many yet.
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December 1, 2009 8:54:19 PM

Thanks again for the info.
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!