Newegg amd gaming/htpc rig

Hi I'm new to the DIY comp thing, tho i did replace my acid leaking motherboard a few yrs ago which is pretty much building a comp from scratch i figure. Anyway I'm primarily interested in home theater & gaming, budget is tight (around $700 since I'm also getting an hdtv to connect my pc to, hence the interest in building a rig). I'm not crazy about ati (the article here talking about how bad the new 5000 hd cards are at 2d processing esp makes me wary) & think maybe i should wait for nvidia's dx11 cards to be released, so something with onboard graphics for now seems like a good idea. I see this combo on newegg for $550 with all the rebates & discounts, wonder what your thoughts are...I'm getting a bit frustrated sorting through all the reviews & combos & so on at this point. Thanks in advance.

# Thermaltake Element S VK60001N2Z Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
# AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945FBGIBOX
# Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
# Kingston HyperX T1 Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2T1K2/4G
# OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ...
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  1. Best answer
    You can do better. The board is an AM2+ board, which won't let you use the current gen DDR3. You'd be stuck with the dying DDR2.

    I would spend a little extra for the newer board and RAM.

    And the 5xxx series is excellent. Fermi is likely to be a worse performer and cost more. Indications are also that it will run hotter, which is bad for an HTPC.

    Assuming you don't need anything but what you've listed:

    CPU/Mobo: X4 920 and Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H for $221
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $95. Faster, quieter and cooler than the WD.
    PSU/Case: Antec TruePower 550W 80+ Bronze and Antec 300 Illusion $100 after rebates

    Total: $531. Everything is current for this build.
  2. Here's another CPU/Mobo option: i3-530 and GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 for $225. Total cost for the build with this option: $535.

    This option will be much better as an HTPC, but not as good for gaming. The rest of the build wouldn't need to change.
  3. Uhh, you have a psu in that thing that would cost u 80$, but if you buy it out of combo, tou get a 30$ rebate, that combo is not a great idea. Best off building ur own and collecting that 30$ rebate. Also buy a cheaper Antec 300 case, and use the cash to a nice 4850/4870/4850x2/4890/4870x2/5850 depending on wether you want to spend 100$, 125$, 200$, 200$, 250$, or 300$.
  4. You get the $30 rebate in the combo.

    Combo Discount: -$82.95
    Combo Price: $579.99
    $549.99 after $30.00
    Mail-In Rebate(s)
  5. MadAdmiral said:
    Here's another CPU/Mobo option: i3-530 and GIGABYTE GA-H55M-USB3 for $225. Total cost for the build with this option: $535.

    This option will be much better as an HTPC, but not as good for gaming. The rest of the build wouldn't need to change.

    Just wondering what would make this better for HTPC. For that I just basically need to be able to connect it to the hdtv & have playback not stutter, which my current rig from 2006 can do for the most part, though it does eat up cpu on 720p video & up, but i would think just about anything current could handle that fine.
  6. The i3/H55 were designed almost entirely with the idea of using them with onboard graphics as HTPCs. This would certainly be the best HTPC option.

    However, since you also mentioned gaming, I would lean more towards the AMD build. That one has a lot more potential when it comes to gaming.

    So I guess it really comes down to how serious you want to be about gaming and what games you want to play.
  7. If you're going AMD get the 955 NOT the 940.........( this one....HDZ955FBGMBOX... ) If you have plans on cross firing read the mobo specs. You want 8x8........ doubt you can get 16x16............the one you chose has 16x4........... the mother board in the cpmbo below is good but the processor is junk.
  8. The 955 is out of budget. The CPU isn't junk, it's just not the top of the line.
  9. No it's not junk....had to edit the word I originally put there. ....... but Hyper Transports: 3600MHz vs Hyper Transports: 4000MHz and not to mention the 955 slaughters the 940 in gaming........... and it over clocks better....... and it's a faster quad vs the tri core in the combo deal...... most people that build machines do it once every 5 years if they're lucky or if they have to....sooner. Might as well get the best you can while you're dong it.
  10. MadAdmiral said:

    For gaming a AthlonII X3 435 or X4 620/630 would do. The combo picked out is not junk - just not compatible (no thanks to Egg hehe) AM2+ Denebs have Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) that can talk to DDR2 only so the AM2+ 920/940BE is incompatible with an AM3 board which only has DIMM slots to be populated with DDR3 RAMs only

    What i have been advising clients is:
    Get a 140W TDP worthy AM3, a cheapo AthlonII X3 if they dun need extreme processing power and sit back and await the incoming six core Thubans ^^
  11. Those newer processors don't have any L3 cache....... NOT good for gaming.
  12. Hi-Resolution Gaming

    If any of these benchmarks are representative of the overall gaming experience, then what it comes down to is the simple fact that saving $100 on a ninety nine dollar CPU and spending the savings on a higher-end graphics card is pprobably the best investment to get more out of a game.

    When looking at gaming benchmarks - look out for test set up/environments and take low res/settings ones with a pinch of salt ^^
  13. Dang it. This was the combo I meant to post X4 945 and board. It's the same price. I had a bunch of combos open and copied the wrong window...

    The L3 cache doesn't matter much. Tom's did an article about it a few months ago.
  14. guru3d

    "So at 25 USD a core you can't complain really. I was surprised how much performance this processor series offers, I mean really... cutting away all L3 cache inside the processor is like castrating your dog and tell it to well... can I use the word fornicate here?

    As the results show, the performance however definitely remains good enough for pretty much any application. Standard desktop workload, Photoshop, even video editing thanks to the four cores is really do-able.

    You may compare it if you will, with Q6600 performance from Intel, and at 100 USD that's not a bad position to be in. Is it all good then? Ehm no, there will be applications being hindered by the lack of the L3 cache and we also noticed our games starting to be hindered by the CPU, which definitely was not something I expected. In the grand scheme of things though the processor offers more than enough horsepower for your games, the framerate will however be a little less with the faster single GPU based graphics cards.

    For gamers I still like to recommend Phenom II, and if you need to stay within a lower budget we very much recommend the Phenom II X3 720BE processor as it overclocks really easily, bringing more performance to the table for not a lot of money."

    xbit labs

    "But unfortunately, we can’t disregard the fact that the absence of L3 cache memory is limiting their performance quite significantly in a number of applications. Office work, image editing and 3D games are typical tasks where Athlon II X4 look way weaker than their Phenom II X4 counterparts. And these are the tasks where the new CPUs are defeated by the junior Core 2 Quad solutions. I believe it is a question that only you yourselves can answer judging by your needs and preferences whether low price of the new AMD solutions makes up for their low performance of in all these cases."
  15. Tom's

    Overall, the main performance differentiator between the Athlon II X4 and the Phenom II X4 is clock speed. A simple 200 MHz increase for the Athlon II X4 would probably match the performance of a Phenom II X4, despite its large 6MB L3 cache. Knowing this, you can be sure that there will never be an Athlon II product that matches or exceeds the clock speeds of the premium Phenom II.

    And again, the more expensive CPUs ARE OUT OF BUDGET. We're looking at a $550 build. Had the budget been higher, I would have definitely fit a better CPU in. But it's not. This is also not a true gaming build.
  16. The budget is going up since it seems I won't be able to game much with onboard gpu from what i've found & who knows when nvidia launches its dx11 cards, how good they are, how much prices drop on current models, etc. So Ive come up with a new rig, still need to figure out the processor, best combos & so on.

    bearing in mind i've never really overclocked & am not keen on frying my cpu / voiding the warranty, i'm wondering if these black ed 955 or 940s are worth it, or if i'd be better off with a 925 at stock.
    also wondering if that ram i picked is good enough or i should try to find another combo somehow
    no plans to add a 2nd gpu, but i do plan to add in 2 or 3 more hd's, seems 600w should be a safe bet & ocz got pretty good reviews as a psu

    HITACHI Deskstar HD31000 IDK/7K (0S00163) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Retail
    $85 w/rebate

    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail & OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail $124 w/rebates
    POWERCOLOR AX5850 1GBD5-MDHG Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G16004GK - Retail
    GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $453 w/rebates

    tot:$663 after rebates
  17. alrighty, finally got that all pasted right...wish there was a way to just copy & paste the shopping cart w/all the graphics easily
  18. Starting with most of the parts of the original build:

    CPU/Mobo: X4 945 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 for $271
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $95
    PSU/Case: Antec TruePower 550W 80+ Bronze and Antec 300 Illusion $100 after rebates
    GPU: HD 5850 $290

    Total: $871. All you really had to do to get a good gaming build was stick in whatever GPU you wanted. I upped the CPU and the board a little to increase performance.
  19. That's a killer deal for that Antec PSU/case combo.

    +1 on MadAdmiral's build.
  20. Best answer selected by pzuzu775.
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