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$900 Build advice needed ( Wall of Text!!)

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Last response: in Systems
December 20, 2009 12:03:52 AM

BUDGET IS NOW $1k
Looking for a better PSU to later on to xfire the 5770s

wow....I forgot to select a Sub-cat so I have to type up everyting all over again, but its not gonna be a wall of text, lucky you.
I'm just gonna list the parts i've choosen excluding monitar, keyboard/mouse.
Don't want to get a new monitar cuz I'm in California and the tax is gonna kill my budget Though later on I plan to get a 16XX by 10XX or 19XX or 10XX monitar.
I DO NOT PLAN ON OVERCLOCKING FOR NOW!

CASE
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Great Case, High Air flow. Great Price with the promo

Processor and GPU
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Just not sure if XFX is the good company compared to the other brands

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cheap, think it'll get the job done

Ram
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Again cheap but it's good enough for me.

Hard Drive
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...
Don't need any more memory, but does it matter if its just a bare drive?

DVD Drive
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 24X DVD-R SATA Black 24X DVD Writer - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Good enough for me.

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

Sub-Total=887
Tax=73
Shipping=0
Total=961

My biggest concern is if this parts are all compatible with each other because I had orginally planned to get the ASUS EVO AM3 but its not compatible with the AMD 965 125W processor and I don't know that if its compatible with the gigabyte board.



More about : 900 build advice needed wall text

December 20, 2009 1:25:55 AM

bump...any suggestions
December 20, 2009 2:02:57 AM

baaaaaabuuuuummmphhhh
Related resources
December 20, 2009 2:49:49 AM

bump.....
December 20, 2009 2:56:13 AM

Corsair HX550 or Antec make good PSU's
December 20, 2009 6:29:40 AM

stop bumping...
December 20, 2009 8:20:50 AM

Lol, but that just bumped him LStaunton, Haha.
December 20, 2009 12:39:55 PM

You can save yourself about $40/$20 by going for the HAF 922. It is actually better than the 932, and seeing as you aren't filling it up with hdds or massive vid cards, don't need a full tower case.
I actually like that Gigabyte mobo more than either of the Asus' you might have been thinking about getting, which are compatible with that processor btw. I trust that you will add another 5770 later when you have some more money as that Gigabyte mobo is made for it, and it will offer much better performance. And this PSU will be able to handle it. XFX is fine.
This is a good PSU, quite cheap as well: Mushkin Enhanced 580W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC $70
No it doesnt matter if it is a bare drive. Which is just another way of saying OEM for newegg. You can also get an OEM DVD drive, because mobos come with 2 SATA cables, so those will cover both those devices.
December 21, 2009 2:31:59 AM

I rather take the HAF 932 over the 922 becaue the 922 has no free shipping and with tax it cost $128 while the 932 cost 129 with tax and the -$20 promo.

As for the PS would this get the job done
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Will it get all the fans hooked up from the HAF 932
December 21, 2009 3:08:41 AM

PSU - Size depends on whether you want to Crossfire later or not. If yes - you want 700w minimum, if not 500w seems to be the sweet spot. These would be excellent PSUs at moderate prices:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $40AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $55R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note that this has only two PCIe connectors, which is fine for two of the cards you list above as each only requires one PCIe connector. If you get two larger cards that each require two connectors, then you will need to combine the molex connectors or get a different power supply with 4 PCIe connectors.

XFX has a reputation of being one of the better graphics cards and the one you selected carries a lifetime warranty which is better than most.

I also prefer Gigabyte UD - ultra durable - mobos like the one you selected. If you have not, you might want to read this article on the UD technology:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

You might also find this review of 790GX boards informative, although they use a higher priced models with more features than the one you selected - but still good background information on the series:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/790fx-socket-am3,22...

This compares your board with the Gigabyte board reviewed in the article above - the big difference being additional PCIe slots and I beleive some stronger heatsinks for higher overclocking (although the latter is not shown on the comparison:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

December 21, 2009 3:25:18 AM

thx for the link to the articles. Much appreciated.
December 21, 2009 10:38:01 AM

Seeing as the 5770s have such lower power comsumption I don't see why you would even need 600W except to be safe when crossfiring two of them.
December 21, 2009 5:24:19 PM

rockyjohn said:
PSU - Size depends on whether you want to Crossfire later or not. If yes - you want 700w minimum, if not 500w seems to be the sweet spot. These would be excellent PSUs at moderate prices:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $40AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $55R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Note that this has only two PCIe connectors, which is fine for two of the cards you list above as each only requires one PCIe connector. If you get two larger cards that each require two connectors, then you will need to combine the molex connectors or get a different power supply with 4 PCIe connectors.

XFX has a reputation of being one of the better graphics cards and the one you selected carries a lifetime warranty which is better than most.

I also prefer Gigabyte UD - ultra durable - mobos like the one you selected. If you have not, you might want to read this article on the UD technology:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

You might also find this review of 790GX boards informative, although they use a higher priced models with more features than the one you selected - but still good background information on the series:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/790fx-socket-am3,22...

This compares your board with the Gigabyte board reviewed in the article above - the big difference being additional PCIe slots and I beleive some stronger heatsinks for higher overclocking (although the latter is not shown on the comparison:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...


Is the second power supply you listed 80+. It does say typically 86% Efficiency but I'm guessing that doesn't make it 80+ certifyed like the first one you listed.
December 21, 2009 5:29:17 PM

Responding to Silvune's note above, there are several reasons for the 700w:

1. With the current rebate, the 700w costs less then the 600w.
2. Its always good to have room for later upgrades, whether that be a larger graphics card, more drives, card readers, etc.
3. The sweet spot for operating a PSU is around 60%, above that efficiency usually declines, you have more heat, fans run faster, and the fan noise increases.
4. Its good to have a capable PSU, and perhaps error a little on the safe side, to prevent damage to other components or just be able to generally rule that out as an issue when problems of unknown origin arise.
5. Power supply capacity and efficiency decline over time due to normal wear of components, albeit very slowly.
6. PSUs have a lot longer life then parts with technological obsolesence, so you can carry the investment into a later build - or support an upgrade -and reap future benefits.
December 21, 2009 5:59:46 PM

Truecrude said:
Is the second power supply you listed 80+. It does say typically 86% Efficiency but I'm guessing that doesn't make it 80+ certifyed like the first one you listed.

No, it is my understanding that it is not certified. All power supplies have lower efficiency at the top and bottom ends of its capacity. The 80+ certification required that the unit equals or exceeds 80% over a very large range and this unit, I read, failed over one end of the test range, although for the most part it operates above 80%. I am very power conscious and would have no problem using it in any unit. For myself, I try to size a PSU to be at about 60% - the sweet spot - in terms of efficiency. Once you get over that the efficiency in all PSU's is declining, heat builds faster, the fans speed up, and consequently the fans get louder.

If that is still a concern, just move up to its brother, also the big brother of the 500w unit I lised, which is 80+ certified for $15 more :

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $70AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one has a larger $30 rebate right now, making the relative price very good, and also has the additional advantage of modular cables. At this price I would take it just for the modular cables.

December 21, 2009 10:31:45 PM

The 500w ModXStream listed above now has a larger rebate bringing the price down to $35 - only $5 more than the one you are looking at. The shipping cost on the one you are looking at - for the cheapest rate - is $17 - making the total cost $47. The ModXSteam has free shipping so the total cost is $35. Why pay $12 or almost a third more for a PSU of lower quality? In addition, the ModXStream is modular, making it much easier to use in the sense that you only put in the your case the cables you need and don't have to stuff all the others somewhere.

Further, the ModXStream is 80+ certified for efficiency, the other is not. The better PSUs deliver power where it is needed on the 12 volt circuit which powers the mobo and video card - the big power users. The Mod has 36 amps on this circuit, the other only 30 amps.

But yes it has all the connectors needed and will power your system with a single graphics card. Since the monitor is powered directly from household current, it does not place any demands on the PSU.
December 21, 2009 11:07:28 PM

On the other hand, if you are sure you will not Crossfire and want to save money, there is no reason to get the mobo with the 790 chipset and two video card slots. You can save $15 by getting its little brother:

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail - $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And if you really want to be economical and save another $20 or $35 total, you can get the still cheaper one:

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail - $70AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The latter will be a little slower than the other two but you might not even notice the difference. It is a good board – Winner of the Newegg Customer Choice Award – had has the same UD – ultra durable – construction as the other two. It has an older model chipset that is just a little slower.

I hate to see you give up the opportunity to Crossfire later because it means you can almost double your performance on games just for the cost of adding another graphics card – the cheapest way to upgrade. Who knows what games you may grow into – or what additional requirements the current games you play will grow into. But that said, only you know your budget and with a single card – and the 5770 your looking at, you can get very good game play in most games today.

What size monitor are you thinking you might move up to? . The 5770 will support reasonably sized gaming monitors – even multiple monitors – but not the real large ones. I did not see them maximum size listed on their specifications. If you do step up to a larger monitor – while it won’t directly affect PSU demands – it might necessitate a larger graphics card If so, the easiest way to accommodate that would be Crossfire rather than buying a new, larger card.
December 22, 2009 4:32:27 AM

well I've decieded to keep the Xfire mobo for the future and I'm gonna go with the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Don't think i'll be xfiring anytime soon i'm gonna go lower on the power and later on I'll just get a another 5770 with a new PS unit along with it. As for the monitar I'm gonna go the 21" monitor before I go xfire.

I've also decieded to go foro Windows 7 ultimate edition and I'm wondering if I'll have any problems with the parts when it comes to compatablility.
December 22, 2009 5:33:34 AM

Nope, everything should work fine.

However if it were my purchase, I would go with a different model of G.Skill memory only because it is specifically listed on the mobo compatibility list. It lists the exact same speed, timings, and voltage as the one you listed at the top - and might be the same memory only with some different heat spreader. Both list working for the same categories of mobos including AM3 boards. The new one costs $3 more and both come with free shipping. I have no reason to beleive that the one at the top won't work just as well, I just would be inclined, when they are so close, to go with the one on the manufacturer's compatibility list.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail - $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo compatibility list
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/MemorySupport/mothe...

The 5770 should have no problems with a 21" monitor when you decide to get it - it most likely could handle two of them.

Here's a review on the PSU you selected that you might like to read:

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/power_supply/oc...

Their bottom line: "Therefore, we can whole heartedly recommend this PSU, which is simply perfect for all but the most advanced gaming rigs."

You should have a very nice system.
December 23, 2009 6:14:02 PM

I've decided to get the ram rockyjohn suggested and I've been looking around the web about the parts i'm gonna buy and it turns out a lot of ppl are having problems with ATI drivers and installing Windows 7 ( i'm gonna intall win 7 ultimate) and getting problems after or during installation. In general, having problems with drivers seems to be the big issue.
In fact, my cousin tried to update vista to win 7 because gateway sent him a free win 7 cd and it messed up his computer and now there is a error before he gets to the login screen and Geek Squad said its a problem with the registry and its been corrupted. Basically I want to avoid these problems and I wanted to know what I should do to avoid them. Should I get Vista ultimate instead to WIin 7 ultimate?

EDIT: Is this ram comptiable with the mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't understand the compatablity sheet. And if it is compatible is it better than the other one you recommened rockyjohn?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 23, 2009 6:17:07 PM

you've decided not to oc but you're buying a overclocked 955, my advice, get the 955, save the money and either keep it like this or mildly oc it in about 200mhz more
December 23, 2009 6:23:18 PM

The differnce is only $20 between the 955 and 965 and if I'm going to spend $900+ then why not spend and extra $20 for a little bit better performence. And the reason I said I wasn't going to overclock was because at this point I dont need to since my monitar is only 17" running at 1080x1024 but later I'm getting a 21" so I may overclock in the future.
December 23, 2009 10:26:05 PM

I agree with you truecode, deciding not to OC right now is a rational reason to get the faster CPU not to avoid it.

The 1600 MHz you listed above is on the memory compatibility list so it should work fine. It also might be little faster, probably not enought to notice. But the problem is it will only work in one channel. If you look on the specifications list you will see "(O.C.)" after that memory speed. You can then not add memory to the other two slots. If you wanted to go to 8 GB of memory at the speed you would have to replace those two with 2 new 4 GB sticks. With the one I selected, you simply add 2 x 2GB in the two open memory slots to double your bandwidth.
December 23, 2009 11:31:00 PM

I just came across this great deal on newegg...but I'm not sure if its worth picking over the current GPU and PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
thats basically getting a free PSU but it seems like its has horrbile quality with it only performing at 72% effiency and its not modular but thats not big deal since HAF 932 has good cable management. I'm gonna try to google some reviews on that PSU. Let me know what you think.
December 24, 2009 12:26:34 AM

With that combo deal you will:
1. Get a lower quality PSU
2. Pay $65 more net (differnce in cost including loss of $15 savings on other combo)
3. Get a much better graphics card that otherwise would cost $120 more than 5770

Thats a choice only you can make.

Thermaltake makes decent CPUs -although this is not one of their better models. Still it is an acceptable quality. Keep in mind that a power supply is one place you don't want to skimp as it affects the rest of the system and a poor power supply can cause a lot of damage. It is also an investment that does not suffer from technological obsolescence so you can keep using it for years. However one respected ranking of power supplies puts it on the same level as the ModXStream I recommended. Personally I would rank the Mod a step higher, but then that list is an amalgation that a lot of reviewers with more knowledge than I contributed to and I also think they did not give much weight to efficiency issues which I do (both are in tier 4):

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...

So it is a tough choice. I would prefer to have a better PSU - but then the people that put together the list think it is as good as the Mod. And if it enables you to get a better graphics card - putting the money where the performance is - there is a lot to be said for that. In my own system, I would go with a PSU that was a little better then both - but I may not have the same budget constraints you do and can easily see why it might be a wise decision for you. But make sure you ask yourself what that faster card really gets you. Maybe go back and look at the graphics card charts. Will there be any noticeable difference in the games you play - with some consideration for future requirements. And if it might save the need to upgrade later that could be a significant savings. Lots of factors to consider.
December 24, 2009 12:50:53 AM

well its is a hard choice but do you think the thermaltake PSU has enough watts to power the entire system with the 5850?
December 24, 2009 1:11:36 AM

Yes, no question about that. If you look on the specifications tab on newegg you will see it says 500w for one card and 600w for two. I am very comfortable with one card - but I would not push two - on any PSU let alone this one - as I noted above about not pushing PSUs to their limit because of the impact on efficiency, heat, and noise.

You need to be concerned about the power on the 12v circuits as well as total wattage, especially with PSUs that are not top quality and often have less on this circuit - which is the primary power for the mobo and video card. But the Thermaltake has plenty of 12v power with one card.

You might want to become familiar with the Power Calculator for future builds and run your current system through it:

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.js...

That is the lite version that only provides total wattage. When you do your next build I suggest paying the nomial subscription for the Pro version that also calculates the power requirements for the separate 3.5v,5v, and 12v circuits. Also note that the calculator includes some built-in reserve amount, but are not explicit as to the amount and I prefer to have a little more headroom for the reasons discussed above.


December 24, 2009 1:33:03 AM

so in your opinion I should stick with the build I have, with the 5770 and 500w PSU, right?
December 24, 2009 1:39:02 AM

No, I am not saying that. You have to decide which is the best option for you with your budget, the games you play, and what you expect in the future - with what monitiors you might grow into and when, what more you might want out of the system, how much your gaming requirements might increase, how long you want to use this system before upgrading or buying a new one, etc.
December 24, 2009 1:43:24 AM

Well lets just bump my budget up to 1k and just get a better PSU and stick with 5770. I guess getting a better PSU now or getting it with another 5770 when I xfire wouldn't have a big difference in price.

So I want a PSU that can at least xfire the 5770s and maybe even the 5850s but lets try and stay under 1k total, i'll post back in a min with some PSU links
December 24, 2009 2:17:37 AM

Truecrude about the MOBO you selected. Crossfire set ups will operate at 8X's instead of 16X's in dual mode. I'm getting the $199 version of that board to avoid this potential bottle neck, cause long ago I had bought a agp (128MB 9600XT AIW $250) card and for years it operated at 4X instead of 8X and I didnt notice until i switched computers. My notebook plays far cry better than the AGP @ 4X.
December 24, 2009 2:19:37 AM

bascically make sure the mobo supports pci express 2.0 16X in dual mode. If you look in the specs many mobos (in that price range) support only 8X's in dual mode.
December 24, 2009 2:22:47 AM

You might want to read:

A review that compares the 5770, 5770 Crossfire, and 5850 - the 5770 in crossfire approximately equals the 5850. And don't get too carried away with the real high FPS performance - you won't notice much difference over 40 FPS - the rest is wasted power - at least not at the current time but it will help futureproof:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

Then look at this article that addresses balancing CPU and video card. The good news is that the CPU you selected is the fasted used in the comparisons. Unfortunately review uses older model ATI video cards and I only know how the 5000 series compares with nVidia cards shown, but that should be adequate.

On the charts use the GTX 260 as a surrogate for the 5770. The 5770 in crossfire approximately equals the 5850 and the GTX 285, so use the GTX 285 as a surrogate for those two. Again FPS amounts over 40 make little difference - the article discusses that. Since you only expect to move up to a 1920 x 1200 monitor you might stick with that resolution. Most gamers have not gone higher - I am still happy with 1680 x 1050.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc,...

That will give you some idea of what the different video cards can achieve on your CPU.
December 24, 2009 2:41:56 AM

For Crossfire, here is the PSU you want, you will see it often recommended for gaming builds here for Crossfire - it is top flight - but adds $50 to buiild cost:

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $90 with free shipping
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...

Coincidentally it is used in the $1250 build in todays THG article which also sports twin 5850s - but it uses an i5 CPU
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-own-pc,2503.h...

Edit - LOL - I only saw your post after I posted this. Yes it is overkill now but will be just what you comfortably need if you add a second card later. Also, seeing what you have gone through here, I bet within a couple months you decide to try your hand at OC. It is really not hard and you can get a nice bump in speed on your CPU with no danger to the system.
December 24, 2009 2:54:35 AM

Or did I misunderstand - are you planning on going with two 5770s now? If so that I would not do since you can get essentially the same result with one 5850, at a slightly lower cost, and still have the option to slap in a second 5850 if a couple of years from now you want more power.
December 24, 2009 3:07:17 AM

as of now, yea I'm planning on 2 5770s because if I get the 5850 now then I've have to get a better PSU then my budget will get around $1100, stupid tax. I'm sure by the time I do crossfire the price of the 5770 will have dropped. I'll stick with this build for a few years and by then tecnology would have gotten much better and I'll just build another PC.
Maybe, just maybe, I may get the 5850 now and xfire it later on, but I decided to wait untill mid Jan. to order everything so how knows I might change my mind.
December 24, 2009 3:21:58 AM

OK - depending on how prices change by January, But what you don't want to do is buy 2 5770s at the same time if they cost more than or even nearly the same as the 5850 since you get almost the same power with it and leave open the option to crossfire later for even better performance. The Corsair 750w will handle either card in crossfire.

nVidia should be coming out with a new series in Q1 next year which also should put some competitive pressure on the ATI cards. I think they have been commanding a premium since nVidia has nothing to compete directly and also because they have been in short supply - although it is getting better.
December 24, 2009 3:32:28 AM

Thank you for all the help Rockyjohn.
December 24, 2009 4:21:00 AM

Your welcome.