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AMD AM3 System Build?

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February 7, 2010 8:12:11 PM

Well, I'm new to the forums here, but I've always came to Tom's Hardware when I needed a roundup on parts or some reviews. :D 

Anyway, I was looking to build a budget AMD System for gaming and graphics rendering. Here's what I'm looking for:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Sometime this month
BUDGET RANGE: <$900 Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Graphics Production
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer liquid cooling and Radeon graphics cards
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, a lot. SLI/CROSSFIRE: In the future, yes.
MONITOR RESOLUTION:1600x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Not Much... I don't really want a PC with ten thousand flashing LED's, though. Noise doesn't really matter, either, as my good old dell sounds remarkably similar to a small jet engine right now.

Aside from that, here's what I've found on Newegg so far:

MOBO: MSI 770-G45 AMD AMD 770 ATX Motherboard; $79.99
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition; $179.99
Case: Antec 900 Black Steel Mid Tower; $99.99
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w; $89.99
GPU: Gigabyte GB-R575D5 Radeon HD5750 1GB DDR5; $144.99
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 160GB ST3160318AS; $38.99
RAM: A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB DDR3 1600; $98.99
Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series CWCH50-1 Liquid Cooling; $77.89
Optical: LG DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA; $24.99
TOTAL+Shipping: $861.55

Any input on this build would be appreciated. Feel free to point out any better options than what I've found so far.

Thanks

More about : amd am3 system build

February 7, 2010 8:27:43 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

This are my advices:

1- Get a better mobo.
2- Change the processor, the X4 955 is very good and you can OC without problems.
3- Good case.
4- The PSU is enough, and can suppor the future X-Fire
5- Good GPU, just make you sure that fit in the case
6- With $54.99 you can get a spinpoint F3 500GB
7- If the RAM have a CL7 or CL8 and 1.6V or less, is good. If doesn't have, get a better RAM.
8- Maybe with a CPU cooler like the hyper 212+ or venomous X is enough, IMO the LCS isn't necessary.

Cheers.
February 7, 2010 8:30:29 PM

this is about as good as possbile:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

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

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

that build is much better, doesnt have water cooling, but the case is wayyy better for water cooling, so if you really want it you can just put that in there, but as it is now, final price is 773.91$ (for me 33$ shipping but idk), and it is much better...hope this helped! btw with a budget like this you could probably get the i5.
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February 7, 2010 8:39:10 PM

drop the 965 for a 955, it will save you a bit and they are identical chips so your OCing room will be the same. If you want to crossfire in the future you are looking for a 790X board, the 770 chipset will only support 1 card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would definitely recommend something stronger than a 5750, its as strong as a 4850, a 5850 would last you significantly longer, but even a 5770 would be enough for high settings at that resolution.

Swap the HDD for a spinpoint F3 500GB drive, it will be significantly faster, larger, and only slightly more expensive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would suggest swapping the PSU for this combo, for $10 more you get a PSU capable of 62A on the 12V rail vs 46A

Also drop the H50, its very basic liquid cooling and no better than a good air cooler which can be had for much less. The hyper 212 performs quite well and is inexpensive so it will free up quite a bit for the rest of the budget.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 7, 2010 9:38:38 PM

Thanks, and wow, I've gotta comment on the quick replies.
I'll probably take your suggestions on a spinpoint drive, now that I look at it, it looks like a significant improvement for the money. You're probably right on the liquid cooling, too... I was actually on the border between it and the 212 like you said.
About the i5... it was a hard decision between an AMD AM3 system and an Intel 1156. The only thing that made me want to go with AMD was the possible future release of the Phenom II X6, versus the rumored Intel i9, which uses an LGA1366 socket. I don't even know if either one of these is true, though, so I'll keep an open mind.
Also, about the 965 vs 955? I've been using PassMark.com as a basis for comparing products, and it appears to me that the 965 is worth an extra $10-20, even if it overclocks the same. I'm not sure how accurate their stats are, though...
And you're sure that the 770-G45 doesn't support two way CrossFireX? NewEgg's description must be wrong, then...
February 7, 2010 9:51:29 PM

The 212+ is a very good CPU cooler, good chooise.

The "problem" with intel is that the components are more expensive that with AMD, and the i9 isn't a rumor, is real, maybe in Q2 or Q3 this year.

I have a X4 955 and easy OC 'till 3.8GHz with a little rise on the voltage.

Finally, the 770-G45 support the CrossFireX (See yourself), but don't support SLI.
February 7, 2010 9:59:20 PM

Ah, good, I thought so. I'll be honest, I have absolutely no use for 4 way crossfire/sli. From what I've seen and heard, 2 way CFX actually has a higher performance than 3 and 4 on a single monitor, and I don't see myself getting another monitor in the near future. Oh, and I've decided to upgrade my RAM to some slight better G.SKILL memory.

One more question. Any recommendations for 120mm cooling fans? I've heard from a couple roundups that the Scythe Ultra Kaze is one of the better fans out there, and is only $9.99. Almost sounds too good to be true...
February 7, 2010 10:15:30 PM

Yeah, I've heard good things about the coolermaster and thermaltake fans you listed. I'll probably buy a couple of those CM's to serve as front intake fans... And I've decided to go mid way and check out a Sapphire Radeon HD 4870, 1gb. I'm worried about the overclocking capabilities of that motherboard, though. For $79.99, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to get. I was considering going with an nForce 750a, but then I'd need to buy some Geforce cards, which are pretty much twice the price for comparable performance. While you're listening, are there any better MoBo's for around $100? What I've got now leaves me with some spare budget money for something a little better...

Best solution

February 7, 2010 10:23:15 PM
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Well, this two are good.

1- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Try to get this.)

2- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (With onboard video, that IMO isn't good for a gaming rig, but is a good mobo)
February 7, 2010 10:25:47 PM

Best answer selected by SomeGuyNamedMatt.
February 7, 2010 10:25:55 PM

That Asus looks great. Thanks for all the help! That's been some of the fastest responding I've seen in a forum for quite some time now...
February 7, 2010 10:28:28 PM

IDK about you saint, but i dont consider 16x/4x a crossfire capable board, sure you can technically do it but it wont help you out at all. The native P55 board with 3 5870s shows the effect of adding another one in a 4x slot, it doesnt help but often hurts performance, yeah you can technically do it but its not a good idea.

The 965 is just the 955 with the multiplier increased by 1, the 955 has an unlocked multiplier so you can do that yourself for free, at the same speed they will perform absolutely identically. You really dont want to get an nForce chipset with an AMD board, they are known to be buggy and problematic, stick with an AMD chipset, the 790X would give you true 8x/8x CF and a few more OCing features.
February 7, 2010 10:35:02 PM

ah, I thought about that... I never really wanted to buy an nForce board... too problematic like you said. I'm going with that Asus Motherboard, that has x16/x8 capabilities. x4 crossfire, like you said, wouldn't realyl do a while lot
February 7, 2010 10:39:46 PM

Any time, that's why we are here. And enjoy your rig....good luck.
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