this is the first time I intend to build a computer from scratch, so I wonder if the experts could have a look at my configuration and see if there are incompatible parts that I missed, or if there are better parts/deals for a similar price out there? My budget lies around 800 (euros,unfortunately, this makes price comparison somewhat complex). I live in Belgium, so I'll have to rely on local shops (shipping usually adds a lot of costs). This computer will be used for basic office tasks (word processing, powerpoint, pdf, etc), statistical analysis programs like SPSS, and gaming (mostly strategy and rpg, maybe some fps. On medium settings, basically where it remains comfortable to look at). I'll keep away from overclocking for now, at least until I know what the hell I'm doing.
This machine is to replace the breaking down laptop I'm using now. I have some spare time coming up in the next two months, so I'd prefer to build it in that period (the sooner the better).
Anyway, components I've found:
motherboard: ASUS Crosshair III Formula (Socket AM3-AMD 790FX-ATX-DDR3) - €169.50
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 3,4 GHz AM3 Boxed With Cooler* (HDX965FBGIBOX) €175.00
*(I have no idea if the cooler is adequate... :s)
HDDrive: Seagate 250GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB (ST3250318AS) €36.50
Graphics: ASUS ATi Radeon HD 4870 PCIe 512MB HDMI Dual DVI* €139.00
*Model EAH4870/HTDI/512M; Clock Core 750MHz - Mem Core 3.60GHz
DVD- Samsung DVD Writer SATA 22x DL Zwart (SH-S223F/BEBE) €25.00
Case+Power: Antec NSK4482B Mini Tower Black 380W ATX €75.00
Wireless Network card: Linksys WMP 600 Wireless-N PCI €45.00
(I need a wireless due to internet infrastructure here)
I have a mouse, keyboard and computer screen from another computer.
Also, currently I think I'll install xp on it for now and in a few months, when I have more money to throw away, and when Microsoft has made improvements, I'll buy windows 7.
Current pricing comes at €760. I've never built a computer, and haven't been paying attention to the hardware market, so I doubt this is the best rig for the price, and I'm sure there are elements I've overlooked.
Any and all comments or suggestions are appreciated...
I would suggest buying a less expensive motherboard, something like the Asus M4A79TD Evo and put the money saved from that into getting a more powerful PSU, as 380W is a bit low for the two main components you are looking at.
of even get the msi 790fx board if you want an fx or the asus 790xtd is another great option try and stick to least a good 500-550 watt psu for a single card or 700-750 watts if you wanna use 2 graphics cards
Okay, so my power supply is too low... What do I need to look for when searching for one? I've been doing a bit of research, and found a this case for €45 (=with shipping), and this power supply for €38 (=with shipping). Which would be +/-€85 -or only a €10 more than my original.
Would this be a good alternative?
What about cooling? The processor comes with a cooler but I have no idea if this would be sufficient?
Try sticking to the more reliable brands of PSU's, like Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, etc., because it's one of the most important components in your system. Try this: ANTEC 550W
I know it's a bit more expensive but it can be reused later on...
Case is matter of preference, you have to look at it every day CM is a good manufacturer...
I would personally go with Corsair because it's 80+ certified and a bit better PSU overall but Antec one will also suit you fine if you can't squeeze it in...
If you don't intend to OC the stock fan will probably be adequate... it's best to keep the CPU as cool as possible and since you stated the intention to try overclocking I'd suggest getting an aftermarket HSF. CM Hyper 212+ is only 30$ on Newegg, probably around 30 euro in Belgium, and lots of people are suggesting it as a great value...
To return to the motherboard question ... I read on a different forum that the only reason to get an fx motherboard is if you go tri- or quad crossfire -my understanding that you insert 3/4 graphics cards-, which I don't intend. The idea being that I'd better buy a 79X like the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO...
apologies to the posters Silvune and Obsidian86. I'd gotten fed up with looking between all possible boards that I got too frustrated and picked one, which may not be the best choice. I ignored your posts, at my own folly...
So, is the Evo as good a choice (apart from crossfire and price? (I've taken a look around, I can get an M4A79XTD EVO for just €100 -saving a ton of money))
The M4A79XTD EVO is a great budget board and should do everything you need.
*EDIT: I would suggest going with the 955 over the 965 it will save you a bit of money and there is no real reason to get the 965. A simple bump on the multiplier gives you a 965 for the price of a 955.
I should have explained a bit more about my reasoning for changing the mobo.
I think that board is a good choice.
Other options include the Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P or Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H. Perhaps if one of these is cheaper and doesn't sacrifice a feature that you like/need or has better layout or a review shows that it performs better then they might end up being a better buy. Altho the difference in between performance between boards of the same class is pretty small.
After double-checking my list of components so far I discovered that the Ram modules I had selected are no longer available - not out of stock, they won't be sold anymore-. Which is a bummer. I found 2 possible alternatives - both more expensive, both more powerful:
-one is a Corsair 2 x 2Gb DDR3 CL9 PC12800 XMS, for €125.00
-the other is a Kingston 4GB (2x 2GB) 1600MHz DDR3 HyperX (with a lifetime warranty), for €125.00.
I've read some reviews where a corsair had to be replaced, so I tend towards the Kingston set atm, particularly considering the warranty. Any thoughts?
I have found the GA-MA790XT-UD4P but it costs +€20. I'm not sure if it's worth the extra price, considering the similarity...
Where did you read these reviews? Also it would be nice to have a bit more info on those sets, such as CAS Latency and voltage. Taking the Kingston would be simple and perfectly fine.
No, it probably isn't worth the extra price.
I found the reviews on newegg, and a few forum posts here and there.
The specs I found are below:
Kingston: (from shop site)
JEDEC standard 1.5V ± 0.075V Power Supply
VDDQ = 1.5V ± 0.075V
667MHz fCK for 1333Mb/sec/pin
8 independent internal bank
Programmable CAS Latency: 5,6,7,8,9,10
Programmable Additive Latency: 0, CL - 2, or CL - 1 clock
Programmable CAS Write Latency(CWL) = 7(DDR3-1333)
Burst Length: 8 (Interleave without any limit, sequential with starting address “000” only), 4 with tCCD = 4
which does not allow seamless read or write [either on the fly using A12 or MRS]
Bi-directional Differential Data Strobe
Internal(self) calibration : Internal self calibration through ZQ pin (RZQ : 240 ohm ± 1%)
On Die Termination using ODT pin
Average Refresh Period 7.8us at lower then TCASE 85°C, 3.9us at 85°C < TCASE . 95°C
PCB : Height 1.180” (30.00mm), double sided component
The Corsair didn't have it's specs posted directly, the product code is CMX4GX3M2A1600C9
googling this gave me this information:
4GB memory kit (2 x 2GB) for use with Dual Channel DDR3 Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors
Latency of 9-9-9-24 for maximum reliability and performance
Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) support
XMS heat spreader
Memory Speed 1600 MHz ( PC3-12800
Supply Voltage 1.65 V
I think I've got it all. This should be my final list of components:
Processor: AMD Phenom II 955 - €142.90
Motherboard: Asus M4A79XTD Evo - €99.9
Video Card: Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870 PCI-E 512MB - €139.0
Hard Disc Drive: Western Digital Blue caviar Blue 500 GB - €48.0
DVD Drive: Samsung SH S223F - €25.0
RAM: Kingston 4 GB (2x2) 1600MHz DDR3 - €125.0
Network card: Linksys Wireless-N WMP 600 N) - €44.0
Power Supply: Antec Basiq PS 550W - €73.0
Case: Antec 300 Gaming - €50.0
As before, mouse, keyboard and screen are reused from other computer.
Is this an adequate system? Have I missed any parts?