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My New and Overdue Rig

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February 24, 2010 5:44:19 PM

Thermaltake Element G VL10001W2Z Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Thermaltake W0296RU 800W ATX 12V 2.2 / EPS 12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Active PFC Power Supply

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

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX

Tuniq TX-3 Extreme Performance and Exceptional Reliability Thermal Compound

ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Blue LED CPU Cooler

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ

XFX HD-585A-ZNBC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB Black Edition 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported

Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AVDS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support

LOGISYS Computer CLK12BL 12" Cold Cathode kit





Final Price @ Newegg before shipping: $1,166



Upgrading from:

P4 2.0
1.5GB RAM
ATI x800 AGP running at 4x because MOBO doesn't support 8x...
120GB IDE drive

That's every last penny I had. I already ordered it and I absolutely cannot wait. Now that I'm sitting around checking the order status every 5 minutes I'm beginning to wonder what everyone else may think-- any tweaks or changes? Personally I'd rather have the 965 over the 955 because the price difference is almost negligible, and as a long-time AMD fan I'm trying to keep the lights on over there.



So 1150 bucks is all I had to build my rig, and as you can see I rolled with the 800W PSU because while I'm on a budget right now and I'm also planning for the future, so I'm essentially building the most I can right now while having a window for improvement down the road, hence the MOBO/PSU I chose and all; I'll run Crossfire down the road once the need becomes apparent and the card costs half of what it does now.



Wondering now that it's over if anyone would have done something a tad different with the same mindset I was using. Thanks all!

More about : overdue rig

February 24, 2010 5:48:47 PM

Is this for gaming?

CPU/Mobo: X4 925 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $260
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case: HAF 922 $90 after rebate
GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and Antec Earthwatts 750W $463
HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40

Total: $1,023. No keyboard or mouse, but much, much better gaming performance.

If you absolutely need the keyboard/mouse in the $1,150:

CPU/Mobo: X4 620 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $221

Total: $984
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February 24, 2010 6:05:17 PM

Appreciate the reply. I'm not sure about downstepping the CPU so much in favor of a slightly bigger video card, especially based on the performance reviews of both. The 750W is really going to have a tough time pushing Crossfired 5870's, let alone 5850's don't you think? I think 750W would be bare minimum, but maybe I'm wrong. Remember I intend to push the rig further in the future, it's an investment meant to last over time with future upgrades such as Crossfire, more RAM, RAID, etc., which are important to consider in the initial build.


Your rig was cheaper but I don't feel as well-suited for the future. You're right about the HDD though. But then again I've been out of the loop for quite some time.


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February 24, 2010 6:22:14 PM

You're wrong. Bare minimum for CF on the new cards is 600W. 750W will be fine. 800W is enough for CF 5970s, if it's from a quality manufacturer. Also, newer tech is getting more and more power efficient, meaning the newer stuff will not need as large of a PSU as the current tech.

The step down of the CPU will be unnoticable if you're gaming, while the upgrade of the GPU would be very visible. The difference in performance of the 5850 and 5870 is that the 5870 is able to play Crysis with max details on 1900x resolutions while the 5850 will not. Once you throw in the increasing demands of newer games and DirectX 11's FPS hit, the 5850 will not survive.

Keep in mind that you can overclock the CPU to about the same levels, and both will have the same upgrade options.

The two builds are pretty much the same in terms of preparing for the future, but mine has better gaming performance right now.
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February 24, 2010 8:57:57 PM

According to Newegg's PSU calculator, you're wrong. Newegg PSU Calculator

Also, according to TH, the 5870 only gets 5 more FPS over the 5850 in Crysis max settings at 1900x res'. 5, for 100+ dollars. Chart This isn't the XFX card either, 3-4 FPS difference with mine as it's factory OC'd. Still going to have those three frames with a lesser CPU? According to Tom's, probably not. Chart The 920 gets 7 FPS fewer than the 940 does in Crysis, and that's before the 955 and eventually the 965. Don't underestimate how CPU intensive modern games are.


Thanks for your input though; I should've went with your suggestions for HDD and cooling as they're definitely better. That's what it's all about. Cheers.
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February 24, 2010 11:55:29 PM

First, on the CPU benchmarks. To get benchmarks to actually show differences with CPUs, they have to artificially handicap the build. That means that you will never see benchmarks like that in the real world. It just doesn't happen. If left as is, the only bottleneck in gaming with be the GPU, assuming you have it in a current build.

Second, the GPU benchmarks. Yes, you only get 5 more FPS ON AVERAGE. Keep in mind that anything under 30 FPS is considered to be not playable. So, on average, the 5850 cannot play Crysis at 1900x with max details. The 5870 can. Also keep in mind that there is a HUGE framerate hit when using DirectX 11. Imagine the demands on the GPU when DX 11 becomes useful. The 5850 will likely become unplayable at higher resolution/details. The 5870 would stand a chance. Once you Crossfire, the 5850s would probably be on the edge of playable. The 5970s would make playing enjoyable. I think that's worth the $100.

BTW, you didn't link to Newegg's PSU calculator, but I know where to find it. I'm not a fan of Newegg's calculator as it's not a very accurate one. It adds a good 150-250W, possibly more, to the total. I think it assumes you're buying a poor quality unit. It may also just tell you what's recommended to keep at about 50% load to maintain the highest efficiency possible. This one is much more accurate.

Using that with the following settings: high end desktop board, X4 945 95W (it's missing the 925), 5870s in CF, 2 regular SATA drives, 1 opticals, 2 140mm fans, 2 250mm fan, no capacitor aging. Requires 446W at 90% load. At 100% load and 20% aging, it need 630W. Adding 2 more HDDs, 1 SSD and aging 35% is where you hit the full 750W mark.
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February 25, 2010 12:11:18 AM

hey dont mean to but my head in where it dont belong or anything, but I fully agree with MadAdmiral when it comes to this...

Those benchmarks are not acurate... I know out of experience from upgrading my cpu in hopes to gain fps in crysis that this will not give you a significant performance boost.. I ended up having to get a better graphics card...

Granted the upgrades were from an athlon II x2 to a phenom II x4
and a hd 4670 to a hd 5770. I actually did not see any performance increases till i bought the gpu... this being said i got curious and put my athlon IIx2 back in with my 5770 and lost maybe 2-3 fps on average !!!
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February 25, 2010 12:28:09 AM

I'm not saying there isn't any difference when you're using a lower CPU. I'm just saying the downgrade is overshadowed by the upgrade of the GPU. I wasn't sure if you had to buy anything else (why did I think you needed a keyboard or mouse?), so for $41 more, you can get the same board and a X4 955 (no combo). The 955 and the 965 are the same once you start overclocking.

Actually, I have no idea what I was thinking. If you don't need anything outside of the tower (basically whatever was listed in the first builds), you can afford the i5.

CPU: i5-750 $195
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $190
Rest is the same

Total: $1,148. Considering that the i5-750 is the best gaming CPU out right now, that should alleviate any concerns about a weak CPU.
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