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Advice on AMD gaming build $1000

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February 19, 2010 6:24:07 AM

Hi. I need help building a desktop that can run the newer games. I am basically running on a small budget, as i also have to buy a monitor for this computer and that has to fit into my budget. It doesn't have to be able to max out all the settings on games, but it should be playable. Overall, i'm looking for a good hybrid gaming/budget pc.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: Prefer under $1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (FPS), movies, music, surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD

OVERCLOCKING: A little
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Check end
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I read around and i made a few of my choices based on the feedback by others on here. These are the parts i picked out so far

$110 ($90 after rebate) COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$160 AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor

$30 COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm CPU Cooler

$140 GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Motherboard

$107 I don't know which one is better. I'm guessing the G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit is better than the G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit because of its tighter timings. Correct me if I'm wrong

$56 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
If it is still out of stock when i order my parts, i will get the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive instead.

$26 Sony Optiarc Black SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive

$120 ($100 after rebate) CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

$130 Hanns·G HX-191DPB Black 19" 5ms LCD Monitor

$170 ($160 after rebate)SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 CrossFireX Support Video Card

Total = $1049-50 = $999 after rebates (talk about cutting it close!)

I plan on overclocking a little bit, maybe to 3.5/3.6ghz. Do I need the heatsink/fan or should I use the stock one to save $30?

Is the monitor a good pick? I hate widescreens for gaming and that monitor seemed to be the only option. Is it ok or should i look for a better monitor elsewhere, as newegg has most of their non-widescreens prices >$300.

For the gpu, i chose the 5770 for future proofing with direct X 11. I was going to get the 5850 but the resolution i'm using is quite low (1280x1024). However, i need help choosing which brand i should buy from. I chose the sapphire one because of the $10 rebate but I'd like to know if there was any significant difference between the xfx/sapphire/his brands.

Also, is the power supply overkill? I looked at the Corsair 650W psu and it is $90, will that one be enough if I choose to crossfire 5770s in the future??

Any advice is appreciated
a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 9:15:32 AM

^ You have come up with a good build...
But there are some changes which can make it better...

1. Monitor - Its a personal choice to go widescreen or not so I wont force you on that...but the monitor that you have seleceted has bad viewing angles...This for about $10 more is a better one...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. PSU - Yes even a Corsair 650TX would suffice for 2x HD 5770s...

3. Graphics card - HD 5770 is a good option but get the Rev 2 Cooler or aftermarket cooler fitted cards...they run cooler...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

And as you will be overclocking, it would be better if keep the CM hyper as it will help keep the CPU cooler and hence more stable...
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a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 11:48:09 AM

RAM: I would get the 1600 mhz CL 7 G.Skills if you plan to overclock. They're only $10 more expensive and will be faster.
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February 19, 2010 7:01:55 PM

The monitor you suggested is definitely a lot better than the one I chose, but I'm a bit skeptical about buying a product that has 0 reviews. Am I just being naive?

How can you tell which one's are rev2 cooler or aftermarket cooler fitted cards? I assume that the list you made were all good, but I still have trouble picking one out from all the brands. Any recommendations?

For the RAM, do you mean this one - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)? Will the performance be a significantly better than the $105 gskills at 1333 8-8-8-21 1.5v?

At what point of OC'ing will you need a better heatsink/cooler than the stock one? I was thinking if i only oc from 3.2ghz to maybe 3.4ghz is it still necessary to buy the hyper212? And because of a low OC, will the cheaper gskill ram be a better choice?

I found the OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply at $35 after being comboed with my case and after rebates. It definitely seems like a good deal, but is it a good quality psu? I looked at the corsair and antec 650W psus and they look good, but the price difference would really hurt. Is it a lot harder and complicated in using 2 12V rails instead of 1?

Thanks for the help
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a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 7:06:36 PM

Yes. Newegg reviews mean very little.

I don't quite get what you're asking there...

Yes, especially once you start overclocking.

Probably not to get to 3.4 GHz, but over that I'd get at least the aftermarket HSF. If you try to get something extreme, you'll need the thermal paste. And no, the $115 Ripjaws would be better.

It's not a great quality one. I wouldn't count on it to get the full 600W. Generally, I stick to Antec (Earthwatts or TruePower), Corsair, SeaSonic, Silverstone and PC Power & Cooling. This is a major spot you do not want to skimp on quality.
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February 19, 2010 7:36:32 PM

Ok so I'm going to get that monitor instead of the original one.

I don't know which one of the five on the gpu list i should get. They all look very similar and are in the same price range, with the only difference being the brands. I was thinking etiher the HIS or sapphire vaporx ones because they look smaller(?). Is there a specific brand that's better than the rest? How do I go about choosing one of the five? :( 

I probably won't be getting an aftermarket HSF then and will get the ripjaws instead.

I browsed through the psu part of the forums and found someone with nearly the same build as me, minus a soundcard. In this thread and they suggested the CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply at $100 after rebate. I will probably get that one just in case i choose to crossfire in the future and because of its longevity i will be able to reuse it in a future build.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 7:43:29 PM

There isn't a tangible difference in the brand. Go with the cheapest.

That's a good choice.
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February 19, 2010 8:28:48 PM
a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 10:24:43 PM

Well, for one, it's actually a $153 card (rebate). Second, it's actually more powerful. Tom's charts have it beating the 4850 in every single benchmark, with it only tying in Tom Clancy's End War. I can't garuantee that the link works. So if it doesn't, go to the top of the page, select charts, then 2009 Benchmarks under Graphics Cards. Search for "ATI HD 5770" and "ATI HD 4850".

Unlike having a single game as the benchmark, this section has several (Far Cry 2, End War, Left4Dead 2, Fallout 3, The Last Remnant, and FEAR 2) across several resolutions and detail settings. In addition, they include the synthetics. The 5770 wins them all.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...[3253]=on&prod[3271]=on
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February 19, 2010 11:54:51 PM

I was intrigued by that graph so i checked the 5770 and 5750 review on anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=5
"Update: As a few of you pointed out, there was something a bit off with our Crysis results; we had a Radeon 4850 beating the 5770. As it turns out we wrote down the maximum framerate for the 4850 instead of the average framerate. None of the other results were affected, and this has been corrected. Sorry, folks"... and as you can see they made a mistake on that test and for some reason they used the same numbers for their Sapphire 5850 Toxic review.
Funny how you pointed out the 5770 to be inferior to the 4850 without actually thinking something was way wrong and do some research first.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 20, 2010 12:11:52 AM

Which is why I don't really trust anything off of anandtech. I've found a lot of the reviews/benchmarks they post to be contradictory to the stuff on other sites, specifically Tom's.
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February 20, 2010 12:44:59 AM

Well i like Anandtech as i like Tom's hardware, neither site is perfect and both of them make mistakes, when i spot obvious mistakes as that one i do try to reach the author of the review and ask them if they can fix the error, they always do.

There is not a single site out there that is perfect they all make mistakes, it is a simple matter of wanting to take the time to help them fix it.
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February 20, 2010 12:57:51 AM

MadAdmiral with the gskill ram i just have to go into the bios and tweak the settings to get it to run at the faster speed right?
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February 20, 2010 1:23:42 PM

Oh, oops. But the more fair comparsion to the 4850 is the 5750, by price, and the 5750 is more expensive and slower.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 20, 2010 6:36:59 PM

@bob: That is true, but no one recommends the 5750 for gaming. And they're actually the same in terms of performance...

@sandbag: Yes, you might have to tweak the settings manually. Make sure you do this at the start, as leaving for later may cause some problems.
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February 20, 2010 7:31:48 PM

I heard something about some motherboards not being able to support four RAM slots @ 1600mhz, does that apply to me?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 20, 2010 8:24:02 PM

I've never heard anything about that, so I would guess not.
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!