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My new system: How would you evaluate?

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Last response: in Systems
January 8, 2010 11:40:42 AM

Hi everybody!

After some days of research with upgradabilty and economy in mind, I have come to this configuartion as a general purpose AND gaming machine. I appreciate to have your advice about it.

MB: GA-MA770T-UD3P (an AMD AM3 recommended MB)
CPU: Phenom II X2 550
RAM: 2*2GB AData/Apacer/Corsair/G.Skill DDR3 1333 CL=7
GPU: Saphire HD 5770 1GB
PSU: CoolerMaster 500W Silentpro (AMD recommended)

Two questions to everyone:

1- CL=7 is not an overkill for this configuartion?
2- DDR3 1333 is OK or should I go for 1600 for the sake of future upgrade to newer CPU's?
3- Would this configuration be able to run usual games like NFS Shift and FIFA 2009 in the future like 2-3 years from now, or an upgrade would be necessary again (:(  )

Thanks in advance

More about : system evaluate

January 8, 2010 11:48:48 AM

What is the resolution of your monitor? I will post assumming it is 1680x1050 or 1920x1200

1. Don't bother with the faster RAM - You want the "CL" to be low as possible - that's the latency. So NO, it won't be overkill!

2. I would get an HD4890 - performs better and is cheaper. 5770 is a waste of money as long as it's more than £100 (assuming you're in the U.K?)

3. FIFA 2009 will run maxed out with the 4890 - As for gammes in 3 years time..... Depends on the game, but unless it's a monster (e.g. Empire, Warhead, Arma2,) you will be able to run them - perhaps not with settings maxed out.

January 8, 2010 12:23:14 PM

What is the resolution of your monitor? I will post assumming it is 1680x1050 or 1920x1200

Hi Fruees,

Thanks for your advice.
Actually my monitor is kind of outdated; it is a 2ms, 17inch, 1280*1024 SAMSUNG LCD. Would this low resolution change anything?

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January 8, 2010 12:28:36 PM

1. Agree. CL 7 is about as low as you can go with DDR3. I think I've seen 1 set that was CL 6, but it was triple channel and like $250.

2. Heavily disagree. The 4890 does outperform the 5770. However, the 5770 is more future proof. Not only does it support DirectX 11, it's more efficient, so it's easier to Crossfire. In addition, Crossfired 5770s are better than Crossfired 4890s. The 4890 is also typically more expensive ($50 more here in the US).

3. It depends on resolution. Based on what you're building, I'm assuming 1680x1050 at the most. The 5770 will run almost every game at high settings well, and the 4890 will be overkill at that resolution. Going into the future, I would say that would remain true for the 5770 for the next 2 years. After that, you might find some games that run a little slow. The 4890, assuming games stick with DX 10 (which they won't), will be able to handle those games for probably another year.

Some recommendations:

If you're worried about future proofing, you really should get a Crossfire enabled board. Any board with 2 PCIe 2.0 slots running at 8x/8x will be good for Crossfire. They will be slightly more expensive. My personal favorite is the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO. It's fairly cheap (about $30 more expensive than the one you chose), and is a great deal.

I'm not too sure about that CPU, especially if you want the option to Crossfire in the future. You'll want at least a 650W to do that. I would also stick to the major brands. Corsair, Antec Earthwatts, and OCZ are generally the most popular, and are fairly low priced.

EDIT: Posted the resolution...

Due to the low resolution, you should definitely go with the 5770. It's cheaper and way more powerful than you'll need. If you ever upgrade, it will be powerful enough to keep up. The DX 11 support will also ensure that when you do upgrade, you can keep playing new games.
January 8, 2010 12:44:11 PM

Hi MadAdmiral,

Thanks for the comments.

1- about the PSU, I agree 500 W is not enough for cross firing,

2- About crossfire at 1280*1024, I came accross this article :
It seems at this resolution crossfiring with 2*4770 has resulted in NO improvement for GRAND THEFT AUTO game. Do you agree, or I have misunderstood something?

3- About DirectX 11, is there no backwards compatibility? Are you saying that a directX10 card would not be able to run a DirectX 11 game even at relaxed settings? (sorry if it is a stupid question)

January 8, 2010 12:57:33 PM

2. Yes that's correct. I didn't actually edit what I said below that. Regardless, unless your resolution was 1900x, Crossfire is not a good idea at the start of a build. It's more of an option to consider for the future. If you were to get a bigger/better monitor (even if it's only a 1600x), you would likely need to Crossfire or upgrade your card after 2-3 years to keep gaming at high resolutions, assuming you're playing graphics intensive games. If you're not, it will likely be more like 3-4 years.

3. A DX 10 card running a DX 11 game isn't backward compatibility, it's forwards (you know, 11 being greater than 10...). Backward compatibility is the DX 11 cards running DX 10 games, which they do.

DX 10 is a different platform (if that's the right technical word for it) interface than DX 11, thus there is no forward compatibility, just like all tech. A DX 10 card will be obsolete once most new games use DX 11. Which will likely be in under a year.

January 8, 2010 1:18:05 PM

I'd agree with MadAdmiral on getting a Crossfire enabled MOBO and the one he listed is good or there is also the Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H MOBO ( ) - IT is $5 - 10 dollars less and the reason I prefer it is that it has the 790GX chipset instead pf the 790x which means it comes with the onboard 3300 video with 128MB of DDR3 sideport memory (while you will not be using it there are still a couple of advantages to it - 1.if your video card ever breaks and needs to be replaced\RMA''d you still have an operating computer while you wait for repair and 2. If you ever sell the system and want to keep your video card for the new system you still have video on the old system to resell it !)

I also prefer the Realtek onboard Audio on the Gigabyte to the VIA audio on the ASUS and the extra 1394a port and PCI-ex1 slot on the Gigabyte over the 2 extra USB ports on the ASUS. But either board is a good choice !

Also definitely go with a DX11 capable card if you want to keep it for a few years. The 5770's run almost as fast as the 4890's and at your current resolution you will not notice the difference in games but are much more power effecient and run much cooler and provide more longevity as DX11 games are released.
January 8, 2010 4:32:26 PM

Thank you very much guys. You have all been a big help.

I'm afraid I have to go for a single card setup because 790X and 790GX boards are not really yet very common in my country (it will take a month or two for the import).

But the point you have raised about DirectX 10 being dead in a year or so, is important, and based on that I will go for ATI 5770 which is DirectX 11 capable.

Thanks again