~$700 AMD Gaming Build Review

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week.

BUDGET RANGE: ~$700 BEFORE rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web browsing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, hard drive, optical drive, monitor.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD/ATI

OVERCLOCKING: Yes.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

I'm a first-time builder.

I'm not looking for drastic overhaul of my build, but smaller suggestions are welcome. Mainly, this is a compatibility check.

Some questions I have:

1) Do you think the rather large RAM modules would block a aftermarket cooler for when I get one in the future on the selected mobo?

2) The RAM is DDR3 1600 and the mobo support DDR3 1600 (O.C.); are there any issues there I should be worried about, especially when it comes time to overclock?

3) Are the PSU modular cables long enough for my selected bottom-mounted case? (I'd hope so, considering they are the same manufacturer, and it is a combo deal).


Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674

PSU/Case combo: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active ... - Retail

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.306933

GPU/RAM combo: XFX HD-489X-ZSFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1600C9DHX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.300041


And yes, it looks I get two free copies of that supposedly horrendous game, Stormrise.
22 answers Last reply
More about gaming build review
  1. Great choice on the CPU and motherboard. As for the ram, it is fine but a bit high in voltage. That isn't really a big deal for AMD systems, but personally I'd get lower voltage stuff (though that is nice and cheap in combo). GSkill has gotten some great ram out recently.
  2. Personally I would recommaned this case here, great cooling, great quality, great brand:


    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066
    $70

    Much better brand = Reliable psu. Also its cheaper and is 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC. Oh and it gives you 50w more than the other one.


    Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W 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=N82E16817371021
    $100 -Free Shipping
  3. That is a good case. Goes on sale periodically too with free shipping and only $50-60.
  4. EXT64 said:
    That is a good case. Goes on sale periodically too with free shipping and only $50-60.


    True it is a good case. Thats why its in your signature thingy isn'it? :)
  5. Yep :lol:

    I'm impressed with it. Not a ton of extra space, but enough to get the job done in most cases. I can't wait to do my build in it. After that I'll be able to answer the final question I have about it (how much noise?).
  6. EXT64 said:
    Yep :lol:

    I'm impressed with it. Not a ton of extra space, but enough to get the job done in most cases. I can't wait to do my build in it. After that I'll be able to answer the final question I have about it (how much noise?).


    It seems like a great case, looks good lots of fans on the hdds. But why didn't Antec put at least one fan over the gpus!?

    Although I don't think it will be to noisy, 120mm fans are much quieter than 80mm...

    lol, 1200mm fans...

    Good luck with your build. Hey, harlequinfores, you should really pick up this case if you can.
  7. That is actually fine by me as often that GPU fan gets in the way of tall CPU coolers (I think it might have with my Hyper). Once I get the whole thing built I'll start a new thread with my impressions/reviews of all the parts.
  8. EXT64 said:
    That is actually fine by me as often that GPU fan gets in the way of tall CPU coolers (I think it might have with my Hyper). Once I get the whole thing built I'll start a new thread with my impressions/reviews of all the parts.


    Good. I wanna read it. But your sig thing, doesn't say a gpu...
  9. It won't be for another couple weeks or so (I'm in the middle of college exams right now).

    My GPU is an old one, but it is in there:

    Asus (ATI) 4850 512MB w/AM (Aftermarket) Cooler
  10. EXT64 said:
    It won't be for another couple weeks or so (I'm in the middle of college exams right now).

    My GPU is an old one, but it is in there:

    Asus (ATI) 4850 512MB w/AM (Aftermarket) Cooler


    Aye, I just finished my last exam today. Good luck with your exams.

    4850? I assumed you had a 5870.. Is it like a workstation pc?
  11. Nope, it is my gaming one. The 4850 is from my old rig. I'll get a 5870 in a few months when the big DX11 games start coming out and the 5870's price starts going down. Right now all the games I play run nicely on the 4850, so I am in no huge rush to upgrade it. And on a side note, a 4850 just BARELY fits in an Antec 300. And thanks for the luck!
  12. Thanks for the suggestion. What exactly makes that case better than the Cooler Master Storm Scout? Just the two extra fans? I just really like the aesthetics of the Storm Scout a lot more (all black, red LEDs, panel window), The handles on the Storm Scout have some practical uses for me, as well, so I need a good reason to part with it! I've heard a lot of praise for the Illusion, I just don't know what it's about.

    Also, for your suggested PSU, it's a little more than I need, so if I do decide to get the Illusion, then I'll probably want to get a cheaper PSU. Plus, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006 is only $10 more (and actually $10 less, AR), so I can't really justify choosing the Antec over that one, but at the same time, I can't afford the extra $10! My head hurts, now.
  13. HarlequinForest said:
    Thanks for the suggestion. What exactly makes that case better than the Cooler Master Storm Scout? Just the two extra fans? I just really like the aesthetics of the Storm Scout a lot more (all black, red LEDs, panel window), The handles on the Storm Scout have some practical uses for me, as well, so I need a good reason to part with it! I've heard a lot of praise for the Illusion, I just don't know what it's about.

    Also, for your suggested PSU, it's a little more than I need, so if I do decide to get the Illusion, then I'll probably want to get a cheaper PSU. Plus, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006 is only $10 more (and actually $10 less, AR), so I can't really justify choosing the Antec over that one, but at the same time, I can't afford the extra $10! My head hurts, now.


    Its okay I got that covered. I'm going to go ahead and post a build in a moment.... Give me a bit.
  14. After reading reading the Illusion's reviews, I think I'll get it. As much as I like the Scout's looks, I'm more concerned about performance, and basically every Illusion review praised its cooling.
  15. Quote:
    Still working on your build, I have 30 tabs open, 14 notepads, and 6 calculators in vista open..


    *Awaits anxiously*
  16. HarlequinForest said:
    *Awaits anxiously*


    Yea I take this stuff very seriously. I need to know, have you bought any of these parts yet?
  17. HarlequinForest said:
    *Awaits anxiously*


    Hurry! Not having this info is holding me up... :p

    So far I have it $50 under budget, thinking of what would be good to spend it on...
  18. MothMusic said:
    Yea I take this stuff very seriously. I need to know, have you bought any of these parts yet?



    No, I haven't. Just remember what I said about not wanting a complete overhaul. And I'd really not to go over $690 because I have that much literally set aside for this.
  19. HarlequinForest said:
    No, I haven't. Just remember what I said about not wanting a complete overhaul. And I'd really not to go over $690 because I have that much literally set aside for this.


    Got it.
  20. EDIT: took jtt283's advice.



    G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231318
    $98 -Free Shipping


    SAPPHIRE 100269HDMI Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail (limit 5 per customer)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102852&cm_re=4890-_-14-102-852-_-Product
    $185 -Free Shipping

    OR


    SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102864&cm_re=5770-_-14-102-864-_-Product
    $165


    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004
    $80
  21. He said he didn't want a complete overhaul!
    AMD 965 is a waste of money. The 955 will OC to that level.
    I've not seen that OCZ PSU reviewed, but lately have read a fair amount of general nastiness about OCZ PSUs; some are good, but others apparently really cut corners. Until I see a review on that specific model, I won't recommend it. Stick to Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Enermax. It's overkill, but a 650W Antec Truepower is the same price as the 550W model. I think Corsair is about the same; either of those would be great.
    I agree about avoiding high voltage RAM, if for no other reason than that it applies less stress to other parts. It is also more likely to tighten up or OC a little better if you do give it a little more voltage.
    Cases are such personal items, but even my CM-RC690 had untapped screw holes, common (along with other trivial but obvious quality issues) to every Coolermaster case I've ever bought. OTOH, I've only bought one Antec case, and it is absolutely solid. My next case will probably be Antec. On the cheap end, I get Rosewill now, but they're nothing to look at if you want more style in your case. At least their holes are all tapped, pieces align, and they have and/or take 120mm fans.
  22. Onus said:
    He said he didn't want a complete overhaul!
    AMD 965 is a waste of money. The 955 will OC to that level.
    I've not seen that OCZ PSU reviewed, but lately have read a fair amount of general nastiness about OCZ PSUs; some are good, but others apparently really cut corners. Until I see a review on that specific model, I won't recommend it. Stick to Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Enermax. It's overkill, but a 650W Antec Truepower is the same price as the 550W model. I think Corsair is about the same; either of those would be great.
    I agree about avoiding high voltage RAM, if for no other reason than that it applies less stress to other parts. It is also more likely to tighten up or OC a little better if you do give it a little more voltage.
    Cases are such personal items, but even my CM-RC690 had untapped screw holes, common (along with other trivial but obvious quality issues) to every Coolermaster case I've ever bought. OTOH, I've only bought one Antec case, and it is absolutely solid. My next case will probably be Antec. On the cheap end, I get Rosewill now, but they're nothing to look at if you want more style in your case. At least their holes are all tapped, pieces align, and they have and/or take 120mm fans.


    True, true. I just thought that since there was room left in the budget, I could squeeze out more power, I'll go ahead and fix the build with your suggestions then.
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