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<$800 all purpose build, need advices

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February 26, 2010 6:41:49 AM

Hi there,

It has been a good 7 years since my last build and I have been fairly disconnected from current hardware trend. Time to catch up and build a new one. My new PC will be used to game and photoshop equally, although I know that they emphasize on different parts of the system :sweat: 


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 2-3 weeks BUDGET RANGE: $600-800 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: game (I would like it to be able to play most current games at at least mid settings), photoshop (i use Lightroom mostly, but they are the same), watch movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS. I need everything else. But my $800 budget is not including monitor, keyboard/mouse and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: N/A COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I lean to AMD + ATI because I think they are of better value within my price range

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not decided yet, I am thinking about 1920*1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need 1T of harddrive. I took a look at tecmo34's "Recommended Builds by Usage" and I am using his AMD budget build as my starting point

Budget: $796.61
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HDZ720WFK3DGI - OEM
  • MOBO: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
  • RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
  • HSF: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail
  • GPU: XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
  • DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
  • Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
  • Thermal Compound: Comes with heatsink.

    I presume I need to throw in 40 some more bucks to upgrade to a 1T harddrive.

    I still have some concerns about this build though. If I will add another 5770 down the road for crossfire, does this 785G mobo support it? From what I read I think I need 790FX mobo, is that right? Will this PSU be enough to support crossfire? Is there a cheaper case that will work just fine?

    Also, how does Phenom II X3 720 compare with Athlon II X4 635, suppose I'm not lucky enough to unlock the fourth core?

    I also need suggestions on the LCD monitor. I want a good one and I prefer IPS panel. I heard Dell UltraSharp U2410 is very good. But at about $550 it is a little bit too expensive for me (if after some research I found it really worth it I may still go for it though). Are there any good IPS panel 22" monitors? How bad it is to watch an HD movie on a 1680*1050 LCD (compared with 1920*1200)?

    That's all I have for now. Thanks,
    Andy

    Best solution

    February 26, 2010 11:02:14 AM

    No, that mobo doesn't support crossfire, try this one: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX
    You're looking for dual @ x8...

    PSU will probably be ok for a pair of 5770's, you might wanna throw in a 750TX to be on the safe side ;) 

    You should also invest 7-8$ into Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Cooling MX-3, supplied thermal compounds just aren't as good...

    Any mid tower case will be good, choose the one you personally like... I have the CM690 and am very happy with it...
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    February 26, 2010 1:14:33 PM

    Good rig, My advices:

    1- Change the cpu cooler for the Hyper 212+, is more cheap and more better.
    2- The case is good, but expensive IMO. Take a look of this
    3- The PSU is enough, but isn't very good. Get this Antec 650W is more cheap but much better.

    Finally, with the money that you save with the case, and PSU, you can get another mobo, something like the mobo that verst suggest.
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    February 26, 2010 1:20:44 PM

    If you are getting a 19xx res monitor get a 5850 at bear minumim. the 5770 will struggle on some games at that resolution.
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    February 26, 2010 1:32:16 PM

    Verst and Saint are both "Dead On" ... listen to them. Great advices ! (plural).

    You could plug-up your own ears and put on a double blind-fold and you would end up saving money and getting a better system, with their advices (plural).

    GOOD SAVE on the mobo xfire compatibility, Vert ... THANKS !

    = Al =
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    February 26, 2010 7:31:44 PM

    Alvin Smith said:
    I'd say "Bump that up to a 3GHz Quad core and up the card to a 5870".

    Everything else looks great!

    This thing has 2ms refresh rate, a tuner a remote and plenty of inputs.
    The 2ms refresh is optimum for gaming (no "trippy trails").

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    Thanks for all the advices!

    This build is already reaching my budget limit, so unless there are some good reasons I would rather keep the budget low...
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    February 26, 2010 7:43:08 PM

    just the 5870 then, if you can spare the change. More umph there.

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    February 26, 2010 7:43:54 PM

    verst said:
    No, that mobo doesn't support crossfire, try this one: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX
    You're looking for dual @ x8...

    PSU will probably be ok for a pair of 5770's, you might wanna throw in a 750TX to be on the safe side ;) 

    You should also invest 7-8$ into Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Cooling MX-3, supplied thermal compounds just aren't as good...

    Any mid tower case will be good, choose the one you personally like... I have the CM690 and am very happy with it...



    I am not familiar with current PCIe. The 5770's interface is PCIe2.0x16, right? Why would I want to crossfire with dual 5770 @ x8?
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    February 26, 2010 7:47:06 PM

    saint19 said:
    Good rig, My advices:

    1- Change the cpu cooler for the Hyper 212+, is more cheap and more better.
    2- The case is good, but expensive IMO. Take a look of this
    3- The PSU is enough, but isn't very good. Get this Antec 650W is more cheap but much better.

    Finally, with the money that you save with the case, and PSU, you can get another mobo, something like the mobo that verst suggest.


    Good advice. Thank you!
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    February 26, 2010 7:49:53 PM

    osu43130 said:
    If you are getting a 19xx res monitor get a 5850 at bear minumim. the 5770 will struggle on some games at that resolution.


    Can you let me know what you mean by "struggle"? I'm not hoping for the best game experience. If I can play most FPS games at mid settings I will be fine with it.
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    February 26, 2010 7:55:31 PM

    I read an article on that, just two days ago ... where?

    It said that (showed benches) it is a huge step down from the 5800 series to the 5700 series. I'm not a gamer, but for games, start with a 5800 and build your system around it, whatever (other) cuts you have to make.
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    February 26, 2010 8:01:29 PM

    Oh, yeah ... It was an article about a new 5730 (i know) card that the author was saying really sucked (even for a 5700 series) and he showed the new card against 5750, 5780, 5850, and 5870 ... The 5800s werent that far apart, tho.

    = Al =
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    February 26, 2010 8:04:13 PM

    you mean the 5770 not 5780... lol
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    February 26, 2010 8:07:04 PM

    Alvin Smith said:
    I read an article on that, just two days ago ... where?

    It said that (showed benches) it is a huge step down from the 5800 series to the 5700 series. I'm not a gamer, but for games, start with a 5800 and build your system around it, whatever (other) cuts you have to make.


    OK, but even with 5850 being around $290 the price difference is significant for me though :??: 
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    February 26, 2010 8:08:18 PM

    ^Any time, that's why we are here.
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    February 26, 2010 8:12:42 PM


    Sorry ... It was late ... I think he was comparing the 5830 to the 5700s, then. Saying it didn't belong in that series slot, or some such. I'll read those articles but gotta go ..


    = Al = Hate screwing up like that.

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    February 26, 2010 8:24:53 PM

    OK, that makes sense :) 
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    February 26, 2010 8:55:46 PM

    soarocy said:
    Can you let me know how does X3 720 compare with X4 620 or X4 635?


    Actually in Deneb/Propus architecture for games L3 does not make a difference so clock away an A2X4 620 and u good to go for games
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    February 26, 2010 10:07:09 PM

    Will it make a difference in applications like photoshop/lightroom?
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    February 26, 2010 10:10:24 PM

    your processor makes a big difference in photoshop/lightroom so does your ram!
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    February 26, 2010 10:34:59 PM

    I mean will the L3 cache make a big difference? X4 635 has one more core whereas X3 720 has L3 cache~
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    February 26, 2010 10:57:16 PM

    Sorry to dash your dreams, but those are mini Display Port outputs. It can still only drive two HDMI monitors using passive adapters. Here's a quote from that article you linked to:

    "Since this is still being driven by Cypress, the clock source limitation has not changed. Cypress only has 2 clock sources for DVI-type displays, so the 5870E6 can only drive up to 2 DVI/HDMI displays using passive adapters."
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    February 26, 2010 11:08:29 PM

    And it goes on to say something about $100+ active adapters (whatever those are) and also talks about adding a second card (not on my budget!) ...

    ... I don't want to jack the thread (but) . . .

    The question (new thread?) I would love to hear your opinion on is ...

    I want to drive 3 (fully active) HDMI/1920x1080x120Hz monitors at full rez.
    . . . So the question is, . . . "Regardless of the number of cards, how do I do this and spend the least money and how much DDRx would one (or each) card require ?

    ... I am guessing, by your response (and by the article's bandwidth analysis) that a couple of 1GB 5670(eyes) will "no way" cut the Dijon. How about to of these displays?
    ... Is there any place in an HDTV multi-mon (non gaming) system for 5670s ???

    PS: I am currently editing with Vegas Studio Plat & Vegas Pro and Pinnacle Liquid Edition ... None of these progs cfare a ratz-arse what card you are using ... they just want DX10 or+ and are CPU intensive. I'm guessing the cards just need to page the screens at a hi enough rate (with plenty of GDDR).

    = Thanks and Pardons =
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    February 27, 2010 1:15:57 AM

    heres a better build

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103808 $159.99

    OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820227495 $99.99

    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814102868 $164.99

    ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813131603 $84.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395 $54.99

    Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118030 $23.99

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817341017 $79.99

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129066 $69.99

    Total- $738.92 w/out tax+shipping & rebates ($75 MIR)
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    February 27, 2010 7:22:21 AM

    shortstuff_mt said:
    The Athlon II X4 chips outperform the Phenom II X3 chips in Photoshop. Just let the benchmarks speak for themselves.

    http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3638


    I just looked at this article and I think you are right. Athlon II X4 performs at about 90% of Phenom II X4, and I believe Phenom II X3 should perform less than 90% of Phenom II X4. The bad thing is that I can only find Retail version of Athlon II X4 620 or 630 on newegg... How is the factory fan?
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    February 27, 2010 7:25:49 AM

    dan4patriots said:
    heres a better build

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103808 $159.99

    OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820227495 $99.99

    SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814102868 $164.99

    ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813131603 $84.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395 $54.99

    Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118030 $23.99

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817341017 $79.99

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129066 $69.99

    Total- $738.92 w/out tax+shipping & rebates ($75 MIR)


    That mobo doesn't support crossfire, does it? I guess the PSU will also be underpowered in crossfire?
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    February 27, 2010 12:44:26 PM

    ^Yeah, that mobo don't supportd Crossfire. And for the PSU, this are the power requirements fot the HD 5770

    450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)

    So, the PSU is enough for the rig and the crossfire. Or you can see here a list of many PSU with Crossfire certificate
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    February 28, 2010 1:34:55 AM

    2073773,31,578481 How is the factory fan?[/quotemsg said:

    Adequate for stock or light OC - anything else best go with an aftermarket cooler ^^
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    March 1, 2010 8:48:34 AM

    soarocy said:
    I am not familiar with current PCIe. The 5770's interface is PCIe2.0x16, right? Why would I want to crossfire with dual 5770 @ x8?


    The mobo you listed only has one PCIe 2.0 slot running at x16 mode while the other one is only running at x4. So when you put in the second video card it will suffer a severe performance hit because it will only get 4 lanes.
    The mobo that I suggested has two PCIe 2.0 slots that can run a single video card using all available slots (like yours) or it can equally split them up between two cards so your performance loss will only be a couple of percent... that's why you need a mobo that supports 2 links @ x8 if you intend to use two video cards...
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    March 17, 2010 6:41:24 AM

    Best answer selected by soarocy.
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