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New AMD 955 BE Build

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January 8, 2010 2:31:17 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE $600 (not including Vid Card or Monitor, but include MIR and SHIPPING):

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Gaming and Gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, VIDEO CARD (Already set on 5850)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (Newegg)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Good reputation, good quality

OVERCLOCKING: Yes(Minor to 3.6-3.8)
CROSSFIRE: Yes (In future will get second 5850 when price drops to sub $200)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, future will be Eyefinity

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like decently quiet. Will pick up a monitor with DisplayPort first (saw a dell for $240, will pick up 2 more identical units at a later date)

FINAL Build:

CPU/Mainboard - $270.98 - $10 MIR = 260.98:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

PSU/Case Combo - $149.97 - $20 MIR = $129.97:
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

RAM - $109.99 - $20 MIR:
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - Retail

Heatsink+Fan - $29.99:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail

Drive - $54.99:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DVD Burner - $25.99
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - OEM


Total Cost: $641.91 + $17 Shipping - $50 MIR = $608.91 (plus tax)

Final notes: I missed the additonal $30 MIR for the case combo so it went from $99 to $129. Man, I'm sorta kicking myself over that. Otherwise, I'm happy to have put this together, and am looking forward to some nice Quad Core overclocking fun :) 


More about : amd 955 build

January 8, 2010 2:46:30 PM

Decent build, but a few suggestions.

PSU/Case: NZXT doesn't make very good cases. Typically, they're poor quality and the "special" features they include don't work right. In addition, that case only has 1 fan, which will not be enough for the awesome card you're buying.

Right now, there is a Newegg combo with the HAF 922 (one of, if not the, best) and an OCZ StealthXStream 700W for $100 after rebates. It's not a modular PSU, but since the HAF has a bottom PSU mount, it doesn't matter. This substitution would get you a better case for the same price (total $210 after rebates for mobo, PSU and case).

HDD: Ditch that 250 GB platter Seagate for a 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3. It'll cost you $15 more, but be faster, cooler, quieter and larger. If it's not in stock the Seagate 1 TB is the same price, and just slightly worse.
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January 8, 2010 3:42:32 PM

Thank you for the comments:

MadAdmiral: The choice of case selections has given me fits, and has been the hardest part of this build. Add to that getting the right Combo-deals together...

If I go with your combo on the Case/PSU, Then I have to go with a different combo on the MB. There's a CPU/MB combo (same stepping on the cpu) for $270.98 - $10 MIR = $260.98:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Then I'll loose the $22 combo on the memory (CPU/Memory) so I'll need to make up the difference there somehow, and there's no combo deals for that particular memory, so do you have any suggestions on that? Not to mention, the other case/psu had free shipping (so adds another $10).

If I just forget the combo on the ram and buy it straight up, the new cost of the build is:
$650 (Incl shipping) - $80 = $570 (plus Tax).

That's not bad, basically equivalent price. So, Good idea!


Also, I'm interested in understanding Bottom Mounted PSUs vs. Modular cable management. I wanted a modular PSU specifically for the cable management option because of the later XFire. How does bottom mounted PSUs deal with cable management?

About the HDD: Yeah, out of stock, bummer. What's the diff between the F1 and F3? And are you recommending the 1TB drive over the 750GB due to the platters?


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January 8, 2010 4:03:10 PM

Actually, it's the exact same price. The XTD EVO is $110 after reabate, and the PSU/case combo is $100 after rebate. Total of $210. What you've got in your build is a case for $40 after rebate and PSU/CPU combo for $170 after rebate. Total of $210. It's the same. Actually, mine's 1 cent cheaper.

Bottom mounted case have gravity doing the work for you. In a top mounted case, the excess cables will hang down, so you have to attach them to something up top, and will still have some blockage. In a bottom mounted case, the excess cables will just sit at the bottom, below all of the components. Thus, they aren't in the way. Basically, a bottom mounted case is removing the advantage of a modular PSU, thus saving a good $40-60.

Obviously, all the cables in use will still need to be organized, but that's the same with either.

The F1 still uses 250 GB platters. I am inded recommending the 1 TB for the 500 GB platters. The platter is the actual disk the data is stored on. On a 500 GB one (opposed to 250 GB), more data is stored in the same amount of physical space. Thus, the data can be accessed and written faster. Also, fewer platters means fewer head moving around, so less noise and less heat.

Currently, the best 1 TB drives are the Samsung F3s. They're slightly better than the Seagates in most benchmarks. The Seagates are still better than the WD Caviars. Both the 500 GB F3s and 7200.12s also use 500 GB platters. The only WD to do so is the 2 TB model, and it's like $300.
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January 8, 2010 4:39:58 PM

Actually, you didn't account for the increased shipping cost. But it's less than $10 difference so it's fine with me, I said it was a good idea! Why argue.

I'll post up the updated build in a sec and mark it the best answer unless someone has additional comments.

Thanks again for the help.

-Chris
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January 8, 2010 5:08:41 PM
January 8, 2010 5:12:59 PM

i just posted this on someone else's thread too:

you better hope you do not have issues with your mobo and cpu combo. i bought the same combo as you but now have been reading SEVERAL issues online regarding this. that mobo sometimes ships with an older BIOS that will not work with certain 945, 955, and 965 processors.

see here and read first review by Slm on 4/30/09:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

from what i understand, it has to do with the C2 or C3 stepping. certain C3 chips seem to have issues with this mobo. NOW, the last thread I posted this on was lucky because like me, he was getting the C2 stepping version of the 955 processor. HOWEVER, you are not. You have the C3 version. if your comp won't boot upon completion, i'm betting this is your issue. BE AWARE!
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January 8, 2010 5:17:08 PM

Don't know if you can wait on the HDD for a week, but the Samsung is supposed to be back in stock on Newegg on the 12th.

And they jacked up the price on the Seagate.

EDIT: I've got this exact CPU and motherboard, and had absolutely no problem. I'm assuming so did most people, as there are about 1000 reviews of it and exactly 7 poor review. Not that you should trust Newegg reviews.
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January 8, 2010 5:18:01 PM

Hi, sorry I missed this, just changed the build (via EDIT) in previous post with the HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I'm OK with 500 GBs and it happens to be in stock.
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January 8, 2010 5:20:54 PM

On the HDD - Newegg has an ETA of 01-12 on the spinpoint F3 @ $85 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) so if you wait a few more days before ordering they may be there !

EDIT : beat to the info and the 500GB version is a good choice !

Also not sure if you are aware but the Cooler you are buying includes a tube of decent thermal paste so you could do without the Artic Silver and save the $6.99 + 2.99 shipping (unless you wanted it as well ! )
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January 8, 2010 5:29:14 PM

XHX: thanks for the update, that's a pretty old post, but I'll be careful about that. Hopefully the MB manufacturers have some sort of process with updating their bioses (like they burn latest bios before shipping out or something).

JDF and Mad: Yes, going to be waiting a week before placing the order, so I'll hang out for that. However, $55 (free ship) for 500GB vs. $95($8 ship) for 1TB...when I don't think I really need 1TB and 40 bucks is 40 bucks...I donno, I'll see how I feel in a week.
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January 8, 2010 5:35:16 PM

that post is old but if you keep reading, there are some newer posts expressing the same issues...won't boot because mobo has older BIOS. it seems SOME of the ASUS boards are working now, but some still have the older BIOS, luck of the draw i guess. again...just FYI.

THANKS!
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January 8, 2010 5:37:35 PM

I hear you there - Which is why I posted the edit above about the Thermal paste ! - also you might consider 2 - 500GB since 2x$55 = $110 vs $95+$8= $103 and then you have 2 seperate drives so you can keep your OS and swap file seperate from your programs for a bit of performance boost.
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Best solution

January 8, 2010 5:40:12 PM

I wouldn't wait on some of the case/PSU combo. I hadn't see that before, and the rebate a new thing too.

The other combo is kinda perpetual, so it's ok to wait on that one.
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January 8, 2010 7:12:50 PM

All right, so I'm in a bit of a pickle. On one hand, MadAdmiral has spooked me into acting quickly on these combo deals. On the other hand xhellionx has spooked me into reading up on some of the mainboard/C3 stepping issues that definitely exist, but also are definitely fixed after a certain bios revision.

It's been almost 2 months since an ASUS rep said that the next shipment of MoBos will have the updated bios revision. Is that enough time? Should I wait a month but miss these combos?

Let's say I roll the dice, what would you do to resolve a bios update issue without an actual compatable chip? RMA back to asus for them to update it? Buy a $75 AthlonII chip to just get the system updated?

I'm going to develop an ulcer soon.


-Chris
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January 8, 2010 7:29:17 PM

I'd think that was enough time -especially if ordering from Newegg as they do not hold stock of anything for very long !! - (IF you are concerned you could call Newegg and ask their support Dept. about it ) - or as you say just order it and if you find it will not work when it arrives RMA it to either Newegg or ASUS - or download the BIOS update and either find a friend that has an older chip or go to a local computer shop and see if they will let you use an older chip to do the upgrade with.

But I'd think enough time has passed that they would have fixed the issue since ASUS is a pretty reliable company and Newegg rotates stock pretty quickly
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January 8, 2010 7:33:07 PM

JDFan said:
I'd think that was enough time -especially if ordering from Newegg as they do not hold stock of anything for very long !! - (IF you are concerned you could call Newegg and ask their support Dept. about it ) - or as you say just order it and if you find it will not work when it arrives RMA it to either Newegg or ASUS - or download the BIOS update and either find a friend that has an older chip or go to a local computer shop and see if they will let you use an older chip to do the upgrade with.

But I'd think enough time has passed that they would have fixed the issue since ASUS is a pretty reliable company and Newegg rotates stock pretty quickly

it's a gamble...some say it takes up to 6 months for the newer boards to ship out. like i said, there are some reviews from as early as 1-2 days ago that still reference this problem with the mobo and chip so obvisouly newegg is still shipping some older boards. i personally am taking the gamble. worst case, i RMA it and replace with a different board...i'm not going to waste my time and money trying to find an older chip to boot and update with.
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January 8, 2010 7:53:10 PM

JDFan said:
On the HDD - Newegg has an ETA of 01-12 on the spinpoint F3 @ $85 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) so if you wait a few more days before ordering they may be there !

EDIT : beat to the info and the 500GB version is a good choice !

Also not sure if you are aware but the Cooler you are buying includes a tube of decent thermal paste so you could do without the Artic Silver and save the $6.99 + 2.99 shipping (unless you wanted it as well ! )


I was not aware of that. If it's decent then I'll just save myself the 8 bucks.

-Chris
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January 8, 2010 8:33:31 PM

cnox said:
I was not aware of that. If it's decent then I'll just save myself the 8 bucks.

-Chris


Actually $10 but yeah if you look at the pics on newegg in the last shot with all of the parts you'll see the tube of thermal paste - and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't include a paste that wasn't any good and defeat the performance of their product so you should be fine with using it !!
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January 11, 2010 6:22:19 PM

Updated build to include DVD burner, and am risking the BIOS on the MoBo. If anyone else ordered the same combo, would be nice to know the results if the delivered MoBo has Bios 0605 or not. I'll post my results after the machine is put together (but still waiting for 5850 to be delivered).

-Chris
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January 15, 2010 5:35:54 AM

OK! I rolled the dice and....won! Had the 0605 bios and recognized the C3 stepping on the 955 immediately. So good.

Case is EXCELLENT. But, a bit loud (same as my old case, actually) but way more air flow. I started to play with the fans and I bet I can quiet it down a bit. Plus, the case is right next to my face on my desk..and it's side is open..so maybe i'm just being overly sensitive...but the entire front of the case is a mesh for tons of air flow, so that will also let some sound out.

I love the case design tho, never had HDD setup that had drives slide in sideways. And the 5.25in slots are so nice, so easy to install, if it wasn't for the heatsink directions being so ... sparse... this would have taken me 10 minutes.

Cable management is good, the mainboard mounting plate has holes so you can run cables behind the board and keep them out of the way. The PSU was not modular and XFire support so there's a huge heap of cables bundled up on the floor of the case, but you know what? With bottom mounted setup, it's totally awesome. I have no idea how crappy this would be with top mount.

The PSU fan is installed sucking in air from the bottom of the case, but the bottom feet of the case are pretty high so it gives it room to breathe. However, my office floor is carpet so i have to be a little worried about making sure air can get in through the bottom.

Otherwise, It's 2:30am here, and I haven't had time to play with it. I'm transfering all my steam games over now, and will do some other installs, but i'm sure it's going to fabulous. Temporarily using a 4850 until my new 5850 arrives (damn you Amazon).

-Chris
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