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First time building, is this system correct?

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January 8, 2010 10:55:58 AM

Hello,

I only recently learned things about computers therefore i am not confident that the parts i have chosen all work well with each other and if there is a bottleneck, so can anyone look at this:

Motherboard : Asus M4A78 PRO
Processor : AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE
Memory : Kingston ValueRAM KVR800D2N5K2/4G
Hard disk : i use mine from my older computer i dont know what type it is but it has 7200 RPM
Videocard : Radeon 4890 or 5770
Optical drive : Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE
Monitor : I am not sure yet but i make sure that the graphic card has the same connector as the monitor (DVI or something like that)
Case : Antec Sonata III 500 (has a 500 watt power supply build in)

So basically can i build a computer that will turn on with these components or does for instance the motherboard not fit in the case or something else perhaps. I have done my research and for all i know it will work but yes want to be absolutely sure before i purchase.

Also my final question is about benchmarking because i have been looking at many benchmarking for my video card and they allways use a very powerful processor many who are much more powerful then my phenom. For instance here: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_5770/7.html at 1920x1200 call of duty 4 runs at 74,7 fps with the radeon 5770 but that is measured with a Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8 GHz. So if the radeon 5770 together with the i7 920 runs at 74,7 fps can i expect mine 5770 together with my Phenom II X3 720 to run at a much lower fps or does a processor not matter that much in this case, or does the fps only drop a few.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a answer

Kind regards, Fred

PS sorry for my poor writing :)  (not my native language)
January 8, 2010 12:08:23 PM

A budget would be nice, as would the intended resolution of the monitor. See the thread I linked to in my signature.

First, on the benchmarks, there are also ones where they test the CPU witht he same GPU. Check around this site for the actual specs. I don't believe the CPU will handicap the system much (if at all) since usually the most important part of a gaming system is the GPU. The reason they use the i7-920 for the benchmarking is because they can, and it is the least likely to have an problems in a game, as it is the most powerful CPU in mainstream use.

To start, nothing is technically "wrong" with the build, but it is subpar.

First, you're building on the older AM2+/AM2 board. For a little extra, you should be using the a true AM3 board (only states AM3). The older boards use DDR2, while the newer ones use DDR3.

So here are my recommendations:

Mobo: ASUS M4A77TD. Cheap board, good if you don't want to add a second card later.
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO. More expensive, good if you do want to Crossfire.

RAM: 4 GB of 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 (Timings 7-7-7-x). I would link to some G.Skill sticks, but they're hard to find outside of the US (which I'm assuming you are).

Case/PSU: It's alright, but might be a bit pricey. I'd look around. I know right now in the US, there's a great deal on the HAF 922 and an OCZ StealthXStream 700W (both of them for $100 after rebates). To compare, your deal is $110 for a slightly worse case and a smaller PSU.

GPU: I'd personally go with the HD 5770, especially if your resolution's less than 1900x1200.
January 8, 2010 12:38:52 PM

Thanks for responding and sorry for not reading that thread i hope this will clear things up.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week (the closer the better)) BUDGET RANGE: 700 euro, 750 tops Before / After Rebates: In the Netherlands i don't think we do such things as rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3dsMax/photoshop, Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, music boxes (i know this probably sounds funny because you name them something else :p  ) and power supply because that one comes with the antec sonata 500 (500 watt)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tweakers.com dutch origin

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to use an AMD CPU with a 22-24" LCD

OVERCLOCKING: I really don't know how to do that but i heard the radeon 5770 is good to OC, so mayby yes in the future, crossfire is a no because by the time i need more gpu power i will buy a new single graphic card

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or1920x1200 with a 22-24 LCD

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a quiet PC, not like extreme quite it may make some noise but most of the time it has to be quite silent or near silent ( i understand when i play a heavy game it will make some more noise)
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January 8, 2010 1:14:36 PM

MadAdmiral said:
A budget would be nice, as would the intended resolution of the monitor. See the thread I linked to in my signature.

First, on the benchmarks, there are also ones where they test the CPU witht he same GPU. Check around this site for the actual specs. I don't believe the CPU will handicap the system much (if at all) since usually the most important part of a gaming system is the GPU. The reason they use the i7-920 for the benchmarking is because they can, and it is the least likely to have an problems in a game, as it is the most powerful CPU in mainstream use.

To start, nothing is technically "wrong" with the build, but it is subpar.

First, you're building on the older AM2+/AM2 board. For a little extra, you should be using the a true AM3 board (only states AM3). The older boards use DDR2, while the newer ones use DDR3.

So here are my recommendations:

Mobo: ASUS M4A77TD. Cheap board, good if you don't want to add a second card later.
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO. More expensive, good if you do want to Crossfire.

RAM: 4 GB of 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 (Timings 7-7-7-x). I would link to some G.Skill sticks, but they're hard to find outside of the US (which I'm assuming you are).

Case/PSU: It's alright, but might be a bit pricey. I'd look around. I know right now in the US, there's a great deal on the HAF 922 and an OCZ StealthXStream 700W (both of them for $100 after rebates). To compare, your deal is $110 for a slightly worse case and a smaller PSU.

GPU: I'd personally go with the HD 5770, especially if your resolution's less than 1900x1200.


To respond to your other suggestions:

The motherboard you suggested is the same price as the one i have chosen but then i need another type of memory (ddr3) and that one is atleast 40 euro's more expansive: Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3D4R9S/4G is the cheapest one i could find at 120 euro's versus 80 euro's i have found, so does it really make that much difference? May be i can buy the motherboard you suggested and put the ram at ddr2 that i found with it and will that work so i have not payed extra but if i want to upgrade my ram to ddr3 in the future it is possible or does it not work that way.

You said i am building on the older am2+ Am2 board but the board i have chosen Asus M4A78 PRO also supports am3, you also said that a true am3 board only states am3 so is the Asus M4A78 PRO not a true Am3 board and what are the disadvantages of that?

About the case/PSU: i have read many reviews about the psu build into the case and it said that it is very quite also the case looks not to futuristic like many other cases because it will have to stand in the living room therefore it has to look kind of bland, also the case is thick build keeps the noise down i have read many times. Your suggestion is not so cheap here in the netherlands the lowest price i found for both of them combined is 160 euro

Now that you know that i will have my monitor at 1900x1200 (or 1080) do you still think i should go for the 5770, i read that the 4890 is a bit more powerful but also takes a lot more power and heat therefore makes more noise. I like to be able to play every modern game at 30f fps or higher (higher then 30fps is not necessary) at 1900x1200 and highest settings (or most settings at highest) and full AA on or a little less AA. (modern games includes Crysis for me :)  ). I hope i'm not aiming to high haha. Still 3dsMax is the most important thing because i'm studying to become a graphic artist.

Really appreciate the help :) 
January 8, 2010 1:29:32 PM

You will need the DDR3 on that motherboard. DDR2 is basically a dead technology, thus in a few years, you will not be able to find it to add more RAM to the system. As far as noticing a difference, it will depend on what you're doing. Anything above basic computing, you will notice a difference.

You are correct that it supports AM3. The older part is the AM3/AM2+/AM2. That means it can't use DDR3 (see the part above for disadvantages). The AM3 CPUs will work in any socket AM2 or higher, just not as great as they would in the AM3 socket.

Don't get me wrong, the case is a good one. Just over here, the best one (the HAF) is avialble with PSU for about the same price. You could also look into the Antec 300. It should be cheaper, and it's a similar case (no LEDs, black).

Neither GPU will allow you to play Crysis at high. You need the $410 HD 5870 or $650+ HD 5970 for that. Here's the comparisons for the 2 cards, including them in Crossfire. Unfortunately, Crysis isn't on this list. I would say that the 5770 gets you the performance you need (though slightly lower than the 4890), and if you get a Crossfire board, will be a better solution for the future.
January 9, 2010 1:19:36 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You will need the DDR3 on that motherboard. DDR2 is basically a dead technology, thus in a few years, you will not be able to find it to add more RAM to the system. As far as noticing a difference, it will depend on what you're doing. Anything above basic computing, you will notice a difference.

You are correct that it supports AM3. The older part is the AM3/AM2+/AM2. That means it can't use DDR3 (see the part above for disadvantages). The AM3 CPUs will work in any socket AM2 or higher, just not as great as they would in the AM3 socket.

Don't get me wrong, the case is a good one. Just over here, the best one (the HAF) is avialble with PSU for about the same price. You could also look into the Antec 300. It should be cheaper, and it's a similar case (no LEDs, black).

Neither GPU will allow you to play Crysis at high. You need the $410 HD 5870 or $650+ HD 5970 for that. Here's the comparisons for the 2 cards, including them in Crossfire. Unfortunately, Crysis isn't on this list. I would say that the 5770 gets you the performance you need (though slightly lower than the 4890), and if you get a Crossfire board, will be a better solution for the future.


First off all thanks for your continuing help.
So if i buy the ddr3 motherboard you suggested and put in my ddr2 memory does that work or does it not have backward compatibility? because if i notice that my system can't handle something at good speeds then i can always buy ddr3 memory later while for the moment run ddr2 memory at the ddr3 motherboard.

Thanks i take the antec 300 into account.

Okay i understand it can't run crysis at hight mayby i can tinker with it and at some lower settings it will run i guess, its not the main thing for me to buy a system, i can always buy a 5870 or what ever newer cards will be available when i have more to spend.

Yes i also looked at the charts from tomshardware. So when you look at the first game they compare: Far Cry 2
Benchmark/Ranch Small (1920x1200, 8AA, 16AF, Very High Quality). The 5770 comes at 32,10. Do you think my 5770 together with my processor will also reach that number or possible lower? I understand that you explained earlier that the processor does not have much to do with gaming when it comes to that and that the gpu is more important and i also understand that it depends on if you have like a virus scanner running in the background which will bring the fps down.

Because i would be pleased if my system could run far cry 2 at that high settings (i believe they have it maxed there) at 32,10 FPS.
January 9, 2010 8:10:42 PM

I'm not positive about the backwards compatibility of the RAM. Assuming you need to buy some RAM, there isn't much of a price difference between DDR2 and DDR3. I would just go ahead and get the DDR3. You could always buy just 2x1 GB sticks now, and pick more up later.

Another good cheap case is the Antec 200, but I'm not sure how much you'll save if you choose that over the the 300. The 200 is just a little smaller than the 300.

You should still get close to that FPS with your CPU. The background programs was a problem with single and dual cores, but since you've got a triple core, it shouldn't make too much of a difference.
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