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Need advice on a $1000 AMD Machine

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December 2, 2009 10:35:33 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Already ordered the parts during the Black Friday weekend, but don't mind returning them for something better.

BUDGET RANGE: $1200 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, gaming, office stuff, and video editing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, disk drive, speakers, and OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg and Amazon

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, ASUS, Gigabyte, Antec, Corsair, Gskill, etc. Just the top brands only. Only AMD/ATI for cpu/gpu. I believe in competition.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:This is supposed to be general purpose PC that would last a long time, and be a solid base to load it with more parts/upgrades in the future. I just wanted the opinion from the folks here on these forums on whether its a solid rig or not.

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Bought all this stuff on Black Friday at Newegg with freeshipping and discounts on everything:

1.

NZXT PANZERBOX Classic Series Welded All Aluminum ATX Chassis - No Power (Black)
http://www.amazon.com/PANZERBOX-Classic-Welded-Aluminum...
The Panzerbox has good cooling, is compact, easy to work with, and in my opinion looks nice.
$110

2.

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I picked a psu that was way above my needs just to make sure that if I put stronger components on the PC in the future it will be able to handle them.
$90

3.

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A good motherboard that supports AM3 and DDR3.
$84

4.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Now its fixed. Thanks gkay09!
$165

5.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gskill Ripjaw memory, 4gbs of DDR3, 7ms (12800mbs) for 80 bucks with freeshipping . Enough said.
Two sets: $160

6.

OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I had to have a fast OS. Who wouldn't?
$165

7.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A good hdd, fast and reliable.
$70

8.

I was thinking of getting a 5770 for gaming too:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It sips energy compared to 4870 and supports dx11 too.
$180

So is this build any good? Anything you would change?

More about : advice 1000 amd machine

December 3, 2009 4:03:43 AM

^ If am not not wrong, the X4 940 cannot be used with that mobo...The Mobo is AM3 and x4 940 is AM2+
Mobos are not backwards compatible but CPUs are...You need to buy an AM3 CPU like the X4 955/ 965/ 945...
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December 3, 2009 4:21:24 AM

Correct - the IMC or Integrated Memory Contoller on chip for AM2+ socket chips is able to talk to DDR2 only where as AM3 socket is good to go for both DDR2 and DDR3 so TS has to buy an AM3 socket chip as the DIMM slots on that mobo are DDR3
I would swap P2X4 940BE for either an A2X4 620, P2X4 925 or P2X4 955BE
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December 3, 2009 4:35:47 AM

gkay09 said:
^ If am not not, the X4 940 cannot be used with that mobo...The Mobo is AM3 and x4 940 is AM2+
Mobos are not backwards compatible but CPUs are...You need to buy an AM3 CPU like the X4 955/ 965/ 945...


Crap. I didn't even notice that.. Thank you gkay09 for pointing that out. I naively assumed all Phenom II quad cores would be am3. I feel like such an idiot. How could anyone miss such an obvious detail when its even in the product's label? I'll just have to return the 940 and order a 955 instead.

And thanks again for telling me this. Its so embarrassing :sweat:  to miss such painfully obvious thing like the socket type. How could anyone be so stupid? So amateurish? :(  I'm glad I went on here to get advice...

This pc will be the first one I've ever built. and it took me forever to save all the cash to buy this thing. To think I may had wasted 150 bucks for something thats not even compatible.. and this is the very first time I've ever posted in a forum. I didn't think I would make a fool of myself for my first post.. *sigh*
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December 3, 2009 5:04:59 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Everyone makes mistakes...but you should learn from it...that is more important...
And good luck with your build...
As for mistakes, even newegg does many -
Check this - Same mistake what you made - Having a combo of AM2+ CPU with AM3 board...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks man! :)  I've spent a week or two researching PC component jargon and terminology, sometimes you just miss something or another. Seriously, have around 100 to 200 tabs in Google Chrome all filled with forums, tech sites, and Newegg product pages.

I've seen Newegg do stuff like that too! But the link only takes me to an Antec case though...
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December 3, 2009 5:10:17 AM

^ Fixed...
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December 3, 2009 5:14:36 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Fixed...


:D 
Newegg made the same mistake I did! Thats just to funny. Thats why I messed up, it was Newegg's fault! lol :kaola: 
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December 3, 2009 5:16:55 AM

^ :p 
Newegg had a very good combo of that ASUS 790X mobo + X4 955 and 965 with combo discount $45/ $50...
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December 3, 2009 5:22:05 AM

gkay09 said:
^ :p 
Newegg had a very good combo of that ASUS 790X mobo + X4 955 and 965 with combo discount $45/ $50...


Oh yes gkay09, just rubbing it in? :p  lol

You know what you are? Your a sphagetti head. TAKE THAT! :kaola: 
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December 3, 2009 5:25:54 AM

^ Well...it was not intentional :)  just wanted to say that...
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December 3, 2009 5:32:32 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Well...it was not intentional :)  just wanted to say that...


Yea I know, your just commenting on those delicious Newegg Black Friday deals! Its all good. :D 

Speaking of delicious Newegg Black Friday deals, I found a $220 23 inch, 50,000:1 constrast ratio, hdmi monitor for only $150 with freeshipping! Man that thing is HUGE in person. It weighs 16 pounds!

So gkay09, you probably have years of experience with PCs. Whats one of the best Newegg deals you've found?
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December 3, 2009 6:30:05 AM

^ Well am not from US...and I came to know about it only when I joined this Forum...
The best one that I saw was with the X4 940 - It came with a decent Biostar 790GX board for Free...
And currently you get Free cases(Not the cheap ones...Cases like Lian Li full towers) with the Intel 160GB SSDs... Those are also not available now...
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December 3, 2009 6:48:08 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Well am not from US...and I came to know about it only when I joined this Forum...
The best one that I saw was with the X4 940 - It came with a decent Biostar 790GX board for Free...
And currently you get Free cases(Not the cheap ones...Cases like Lian Li full towers) with the Intel 160GB SSDs... Those are also not available now...


Wow free Lian Li cases? Thats crazy. But whats crazier is the ridiculous prices on those Intel ssds. A free Biostar is pretty great for a 940 though. Speaking of ssds what do you think about that OCZ ssd that I picked up? Do you think its worth it, for a faster OS? Do you use ssds?

Oh and I was thinking of writing up some threads for a few questions I have:

1. Which is better for gaming? A Phenom II x3 720 or a Athlon II x4 640?

Note: You and batuchka have some conflicting views on these two cpus. You said a Phenom II x3 would be better for games. But Batuchka said that a Athlon II x4 would be better for games. So who is right? Also when I post that thread I'll have the links to both of your comments on this issue too, so other people can see what you guys were talking about.

2. Are Solid State Drives good for games?

and finally,

3. Is http://www.cpubenchmark.net/, and http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/ reliable sorces for cpu/gpu information?

I'll probably post them sometime next week.




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December 3, 2009 7:15:02 AM

^ For you questions...
About that OCZ SSD, Yes it is a very good one and has TRIM support under WIN 7...
I dont use any SSDs but my friend has a laptop with a SSD and I must say the OS boot up and the apps load time is greatly reduced...
But as for their effect on games, they would only affect the load time and nothing else...So once the game is loaded, you wont notice any difference at all...

1. I still would say that the X3 720 is a better option if your priority is gaming...
Reason - Current games perform well if the CPU has more cache, which is available in plenty with the P II X3 (7MB) compared to the X4 640(2MB)...
To support my theory, check these benchmarks...
Note - In this benchmark, they have compared the X2 550 with the 620...and X3 is actually better than the X2 550...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-propus,24...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...
And also the X3 is easy to overclock because of the unlocked multiplier...
Also check this...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...

But in multi-threaded apps, most of the times, the X4 would win because of the additional core...
And I would like to make 1 thing clear is that I am not saying that the X4 620 is bad but for games, the X3 with the additional L3 cache is little better...

2. I have explained this above...They would have effect only in the load times and nothing much in the gameplay... A faster graphic card is more important...

3. I follow the TOM's charts most of the times...Other sites - Anandtech, MaimumPC, hardwarecanunucks, guru3d, vr-zones...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/
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December 3, 2009 7:26:28 AM

Err i did not state a quad better than a tricore for games - i assumed you originally went with a 940BE because u wanted to do some encoding/etc *on top* of gaming :p 
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December 3, 2009 7:35:20 AM

^ Lolz...
I guess you misinterpreted what batuchka meant...
So now it should be clear to you that if your priority is gaming and other things like encoding are secondary, then in general, the CPU with extra L3 cache is a better choice...
But if you want an CPU which should be good in multitasking and also decent for gaming, then go with more cores...

And I just forgot about this combo, which is still active... :p 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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December 3, 2009 7:36:26 AM

gkay09 said:
^ For you questions...
About that OCZ SSD, Yes it is a very good one and has TRIM support under WIN 7...
I dont use any SSDs but my friend has a laptop with a SSD and I must say the OS boot up and the apps load time is greatly reduced...
But as for their effect on games, they would only affect the load time and nothing else...So once the game is loaded, you wont notice any difference at all...

1. I still would say that the X3 720 is a better option if your priority is gaming...
Reason - Current games perform well if the CPU has more cache, which is available in plenty with the P II X3 (7MB) compared to the X4 640(2MB)...
To support my theory, check these benchmarks...
Note - In this benchmark, they have compared the X2 550 with the 620...and X3 is actually better than the X2 550...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-propus,24...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...
And also the X3 is easy to overclock because of the unlocked multiplier...
Also check this...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...

But in multi-threaded apps, most of the times, the X4 would win because of the additional core...
And I would like to make 1 thing clear is that I am not saying that the X4 620 is bad but for games, the X3 with the additional L3 cache is little better...

2. I have explained this above...They would have effect only in the load times and nothing much in the gameplay... A faster graphic card is more important...

3. I follow the TOM's charts most of the times...Other sites - Anandtech, MaimumPC, hardwarecanunucks, guru3d, vr-zones...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/


Here it is! This is Batchku saying a 620 is better for gaming: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/275554-31-build-decen...

He links to this site to back up what he says: http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...

So I guess it depends on what type of games you play. If your using games built for 1-2 cores (older games), then a 550 could out perform a 620. But on the other hand if your using a game that can utilize 4 cores you will get better performance with a 620 than a 550. Is that right you think?

How come in a this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/275605-31-building-ga..., you compared a bunch of AMD cpus, and you recommended a overclocked 720 over a 965?

Does higher clockspeed make a real difference in games? If so how does it do that?

And what exactly does L3 cache do anyways? How come its so recommended for modern software?

Finally would a solid state drive eliminate load times in a game like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, with very large high resolution textures from mods? Or are textures more of cpu/gpu thing?



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December 3, 2009 7:44:54 AM

batuchka said:
Err i did not state a quad better than a tricore for games - i assumed you originally went with a 940BE because u wanted to do some encoding/etc *on top* of gaming :p 


Sorry Batchka! Didn't mean to distort your words in anyway. I went with the 940 (thought it was am3 grrr..) because I thought it could get the best of both worlds, L3 + x4 cores. But would you still recommend a tri-core over a 955?
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December 3, 2009 7:46:29 AM

What i meant in that thread is in a nut shell : if one is starting afresh then go with a tricore or if u could afford it an entry level quad. Either would be a better starting point than a dual core for games now and in future :p  Hope i helped
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December 3, 2009 7:57:18 AM

batuchka said:
What i meant in that thread is in a nut shell : if one is starting afresh then go with a tricore or if u could afford it an entry level quad. Either would be a better starting point than a dual core for games now and in future :p  Hope i helped


Yea you helped. :)  But in general I was already aware of those things, there kind of basic. You see you and gkay09 are very intelligent and experienced with computers, and this forum is an amazing resource of information so I wanted to ask as many questions as possible, even if there a little basic.

Like this question for example: Sempron 140. What is this little cpu capable of in regards to gaming? If paired with a Radeon HD 4670 what would it be capable of?
No one ever thinks of this processor. What do you think of this x1 cpu?

Oh and this here irriatates me to no end: Why does everyone want a i7!? And how does a 2.3ghz (dont remember exactly), put out more power than a 955 running at 3.2ghz!?
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December 3, 2009 7:59:40 AM

Hmm actually Sempron and HD 4670 is doable for 1280 x 1024 or 1440 x 900 gaming but i would say that chip's low power draw is more suited for HTPC hehe
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December 3, 2009 8:08:29 AM

batuchka said:
Hmm actually Sempron and HD 4670 is doable for 1280 x 1024 or 1440 x 900 gaming but i would say that chip's low power draw is more suited for HTPC hehe


Oooh that sounds kinda nice. You see I was thinking of making a pc that can play all older games (think pre 2006), as a gift. Give that thing a 1tb hdd for massive storage of cheap games, and put in micro atx case.

But I need specifics. What would be the most modern game at full settings that could be played on such a system at 1440 x 900? Would you be able to multi-task with such a cpu?

Also I've read posts were you recommended systems that use Phenom II cpus and 4000, 5000 series gpus and you picked out a micro atx case. Usally these cases only have one 80mm or 120mm fan in the back and thats it. Wouldn't that create heating issues?

And why do you always say hehe? lol :p 


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December 3, 2009 8:09:21 AM

@mothmusic About the Sempron, it would depend more on the games that will be played...GTA IV(Heavily optimized for multiple cores) will nearly kill that CPU :p 

And as for the i7 @2.66GHz put out more power than the X4 955 is because of the efficient and power chip design...You dont judge or compare the CPU's power entirely based on the clock speed...as their archietecture differs...
But you can compare the clock speeds of CPUs with same archietecture.
For eg: Phenom II X4 925, 945, 955, 965...So here the you can compare based on the clock speed as they are all based on the same core archietecture...

EDIT: batuchka like Slim sexy cases a lot :p ...
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December 3, 2009 8:18:23 AM

gkay09 said:
@mothmusic About the Sempron, it would depend more on the games that will be played...GTA IV(Heavily optimized for multiple cores) will nearly kill that CPU :p 

And as for the i7 @2.66GHz put out more power than the X4 955 is because of the efficient and power chip design...You dont judge or compare the CPU's power entirely based on the clock speed...as their archietecture differs...
But you can compare the clock speeds of CPUs with same archietecture.
For eg: Phenom II X4 925, 945, 955, 965...So here the you can compare based on the clock speed as they are all based on the same core archietecture...

EDIT: batuchka like Slim sexy cases a lot :p ...


I would like to see GTAIV on a sempron lol :na: 

I'm with batuchka, slim cases are sexy! :D  But what about the cooling question?

And about the Sempron 140 + Raedon 4670, it could play Half-Life 2 at max settings couldn't it?

I see. Architecture is just so vague though. Sometimes I just cant see how arranging some logic blocks can create something so powerful. But specfically how does clockspeed improve performance? And what does L3 chache do?
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December 3, 2009 8:19:22 AM

gkay09 said:
@mothmusic About the Sempron, it would depend more on the games that will be played...GTA IV(Heavily optimized for multiple cores) will nearly kill that CPU :p 

And as for the i7 @2.66GHz put out more power than the X4 955 is because of the efficient and power chip design...You dont judge or compare the CPU's power entirely based on the clock speed...as their archietecture differs...
But you can compare the clock speeds of CPUs with same archietecture.
For eg: Phenom II X4 925, 945, 955, 965...So here the you can compare based on the clock speed as they are all based on the same core archietecture...

EDIT: batuchka like Slim sexy cases a lot :p ...


I'm going to bed, see you tomorrow! :) 
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December 3, 2009 8:31:36 AM

Agree - GTA4/Dragons origins + Sempron = crawl lol Take care and cheers
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December 3, 2009 2:58:34 PM

I would have scrapped the 5770 and the Vertex for a 5850. Same with the case that will not suffice for 2 big cards in crossfire.
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December 4, 2009 1:51:28 AM

Two cards in crossfire? lol :na:  Thats overkill for modern games, which makes crossfire unessary for my needs. I wanted a general purpose pc that would do a little bit of everything and do it very well. And the case is great. A little expensive, but its compact, has good cooling, and nothing else looks just like it. You see, I didn't want to go with a generic oversized rectangle like everyone else. Plus why wouldn't you want a faster OS?

Gpus are always going to be out classed every year. Its smarter to buy a card for cheap that plays the games you want to play now, and then upgrade in the future. Thats the advice Batchku gave in some thread somewhere, and I completely agree with it.


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