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Assistance with 5870/AMD gaming build

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Last response: in Systems
February 22, 2010 4:39:56 PM


BUDGET RANGE: $1000 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, video streaming, some photo editing in Adobe

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, optical, HDD

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: or another reputable online vendor




ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need Windows 7 OS, must have the ATI 5870 inlcuded in the build!!
Would also like to use my existing case if possible. Its an older case and may not be suited for proper cooling, and may not have adequate space for the 5870. It's ugly yes, but serves it's purpose!
Existing Case

My proposed build:
MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core - Retail

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V
XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
$477 - $462.98 after rebate

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

TOTAL: $1023 before rebate, $1008 after rebate

I know that the mobo/cpu can be downgraded to a lesser degree, but I really like that mobo! I dont anticipate to Crossfire or OC, especially with a 5870, but having 16x+16x capabilities may be handy?
I have read that that there is not a big performance increase from using 8x+8x in crossfire, 15% increase give or take, so I guess its not a big deal. If it's necessary to purchase a new case then I will certainly downgrade these two items to fit it in the budget.

For cases, if necessary, I really like the Lian LI Lancool PC-K62
or the Cooler Master HAF 922.
Both are too flashy with the lights and clear side panel for me, but I do like the cable management and cooling aspect. What cases are comparable without the lighted fans and such?

Your input on this build would be appreciated! Thanks! :) 

More about : assistance 5870 amd gaming build

February 22, 2010 4:47:41 PM

At 1680X1050 the 5870 is over kill .

Also Drop down to the 955. there is really no difference between the two other then the 965 is already overclocked.

Lastly the HAF 922 is one of the best cases on the market IMO. It has a TON of room in it, making it very easy to build. But the size could also be a negative as well seeing how you have to have a place to put this monster. I can tell you that the 5870 WILL fit in the HAF because that is currently what I have in mine.
February 22, 2010 4:52:59 PM

I would take a tape measure to double check the amoutn of room in the case. The 5870 is just at 11 inches long.

If you need a case:

CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $197
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
OS: Windows 7 $105
Case: HAF 922 $90 after rebate
PSU/GPU: Antec 750W and HD 5870 $463 after rebate

Total: $1,005 - $35 in rebates

If you don't need a case:

CPU: X4 955 $161
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $140

Total (with rest above): $984.

While nice, you really don't need 16x/16x for Crossfire. The difference between 16x/16x and 8x/8x is only 4%, which is only noticeable when Crossfiring 5970s.

EDIT: Totally missed that resolution. The 5770 will play everything at max details at 1600x. As for the size of the HAF, it will fit every card out there.
Related resources
February 22, 2010 5:18:51 PM

AMP said:

For cases, if necessary, I really like the Lian LI Lancool PC-K62
or the Cooler Master HAF 922.
Both are too flashy with the lights and clear side panel for me, but I do like the cable management and cooling aspect. What cases are comparable without the lighted fans and such?

check out the cm690 II, the only LED in the case can be turned off with a button on the front panel.
February 22, 2010 5:19:49 PM

You can turn off the HAF's LEDs too.
February 22, 2010 8:48:18 PM

Thanks for the input everyone, I will measure the case tonight when I get home to see if I have enough clearance for the 5870.

I know the 5870 is overkill for my current monitor, but I anticipate purchasing a 1080p LCD tv in a few months. Plus im not comfortable with the 5770's performance for upcoming dx11 games on the horizon.

The CM690 II case looks nice, I will have to check out the video reviews on youtube.

Also, would the stock cooler be sufficient or do I need to invest in a CM Hyper 212?
I see this cooler recommened on a lot of other builds in the forum.

Does windows 7 allow dual boot with xp? I cant imagine that all the games/apps I use will be compatible. I know 7 pro comes with virtual pc for 32 bit apps, but gaming on a vpc would be horrible.
February 22, 2010 9:41:23 PM

You need the aftermarket HSF if you want to overclock. If you don't OC, you don't need it.

You can if you have an used license for XP. I don't know a whole lot about dual booting, but I know it's possible.
February 22, 2010 11:04:27 PM

the K62 is an awesome case, i have one.( if you don't want lights and a side window, get the dragonlord k56. its exactly the same, minus the LED fans and side window :D )

my 5870 fits in it just fine.

only the oldest games don't work with w7, but most of them have patches available to get them working.

i actually really like your first build, i wouldn't have made any changes.
February 23, 2010 5:13:20 PM

The original build was only slightly over budget, by $20 give or take, so I could have stuck with that originally. I measured the case last night from the pci slot cut outs to the HDD trays, exactly 11inches. :(  So it looks like a new case will be necessary.

Just as a side note, on youtube there is a channel called hardwarecanucks that is very good on reviewing cases. All the vids are professionally done and gives you a lot of insight on the pros and cons any case has. I would recommend to anyone that you take a look prior to purchase.

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions, I will reply back when I get the parts in and maybe show off some pics of the new build. :) 
February 23, 2010 5:38:16 PM

Thanks Mad, that build looks great and most likely what I will go with.