Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

$800 AMD/ATI gaming build

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 28, 2010 8:20:13 PM

Thanks in advance for your review and suggestions.

PPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next couple weeks (as I find deals and sales)

BUDGET RANGE: about $800 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 1. Gaming 2. Photos/movies 3. Microsoft Office 4. Surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (will consider for future), speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com, local Frys store

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States (west coast)

PARTS PREFERENCES:

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (Model# HDZ955FBGMBOX)- Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TW3X2G1600C9D G - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145248

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102868

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

hec Zephyr MX-750 750W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Active PFC HYBRID-SLI Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817339002

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136177


Total price: $861 plus tax and shipping: $948

I would love to trim this price down a little without impacting performance too much.


OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am looking for something pretty quiet, fast, and upgradable so I don't have to replace for a few years.

I would consider alternate gear, like these, if the price and performance is right:

Antec Nine Hundred Black ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case, 200mm Fan, 9 Drive Bays, USB / FireWire / Audio, 900, Refurbished

ECS BLACK SERIES A790GXM-AD3 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail for $99.00
February 28, 2010 8:56:09 PM

You could save about $50 by going with an X3 core and will likely see no difference in gaming.

I'm surprised you're going with 2 GB of RAM though, and over $80 (including shipping) for 2 GB is a little much. Corsair, especially the Dominator line, tends to be overpriced. Not to mention, those sticks are CAS 9, which isn't really recommended. You could get this OCZ 4 GB CAS 7 kit for $86 after $20 MIR. Or this Crucial Ballistix 4 GB CAS 7 kit for $111, and they would be better buys.

What is your monitor resolution? The 5770 will be ok at lower resolutions, but it isn't recommended for all the eye candy at 1920x1nnn resolutions.

I'd be concerned about your power supply, hec isn't one of the recommended brands. You could probably do just fine with this Antec Earthwatts 650W PSU - $75 and free shipping. There's also an Earthwatts 750 for $110 (-$15 = $95 with MIR) with free shipping if you really think you need 750 W.

You could save a few bucks (like, $3 or $4) by going with this DVD burner for $24 and free shipping.
m
0
l
February 28, 2010 9:20:15 PM

Coldsleep has more or less hit my concerns dead on.

-You can get 4 gb of ram for not a lot more than that if you consider Gskill or OCZ. I would consider 4 gb the minimum for a new rig. Getting 1 gb chips will limit your upgradability later.

-I think the 5770 is a great start that you can upgrade later. Many performance rigs (such as the ones built by toms) would cheap out on other components in order to get a 5850 for better gaming performance now--but your selection is a good one if you want a long-lasting upgradable rig.

-Antec is a good choice for power supply, so is Corsair, OCZ or Seasonic. Personally I would suggest you consider the Corsair 550vx, or 650vx. Either would be strong enough to crossfire 5770s in this rig. (but I would get the 650 if you plan to overclock a lot) (They are also cheaper than your option right now)
m
0
l
Related resources
February 28, 2010 9:48:16 PM

I had an hec power supply before, in fact it was the same one you have on here. It really isn't good at all. I couldn't even get it to power 1 single 4870, the rails are all off. I just bought it because it was cheap, but you really shouldnt skimp out on a power supply like everyone else is saying. It is one of the most important parts to me at least, get a corsair psu. You should also try g skill ram, i have been buying it for years and have never had any problems whatsoever. I do agree with the 4gb ram, it is being more and more stressed nowadays. Everything else looks good enough. I'd wait on buying anything though until the end of march, i know you say you're waiting but Nvidia has their dx11 cards coming out, I am looking to see how that turns out.
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 12:15:48 AM

I totally misread the RAM. Thanks for pointing that out. I always intended to go with 4 GM and was originally considering the OCZ brand. Also, thanks for the advice on the PS.

Changing out to the following

Corsair 650TX and the OCZ 4GB Cas7 kit above
AND with all the Mail In Rebates, the total before tax and shipping is $833

My current Sampsung monitor maxes out at 1280x1024 but I will intend to add both a HD monitor and a second 5770 to help boost power down the line.

Any thoughts on the ASUS M4A79XTD EVO versus the ECS Black Series A790GXM-AD3?
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 12:18:33 AM

Drop the ram speed down if you need to, but make sure you get 4GBs.

The places I see you can skimp on is the case and PSU. An $80 case is 10% of your total budget. If you drop down to a ~$50 case thats an extra $30. That could get you 4GBs of ram. You don't need a 750W PSU. The 5xxx series is very efficient, and won't consume that much power. Get an Antec or Corsair ~500W. It should be a bit cheaper saving you some money.

If its still to much its time to make the tough choices. Getting 2GBs of lower speed ram, dropping to an x3 or a lower speed x4, cheaper mobo, etc. Take a look at the suggestions so far to see if it works now.
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 3:17:06 AM

Thanks for the great advice. Here is my updated build based upon the thoughtful recommendations so far.

Note: I would cut into the case some if I had some guidance on one that would provide great cooling, a bottom mount PSU, and fit these new gigantic video cards. Also, any thoughts on the ECS Black Series A790GXM-AD3 motherboard (for $78.99) instead of the ASUS below?

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402
$109.99 after all rebates

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (Model# HDZ955FBGMBOX)- Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808
$159.99

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227478
$85.99 after all rebates!

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102868
$164.99 after all rebates

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
$69.99 after all rebates

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005
$79.99 after all rebates

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134
$39.98

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186020
$7.98

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
$89.99 but sold out right now

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030
$23.99


Total price: $833 minus all rebates; --- plus tax and shipping: $928 or so
m
0
l

Best solution

March 1, 2010 3:28:41 AM

Any chance for a good combo? For example, you are spending 160 + 165 for your CPU and GPU, for a total of $325. You can save $7 by buying the same CPU and the XFX 5770 combo listed on that CPU page. Your close to $800 after rebates, so this might be a way to get it to $800 AMR. Take a look at the mobo and RAM pages to see if there is anything there that might help.

Why do you need a bottom mounted PSU case? Can't help you with your mobo question, never used them.
Share
March 1, 2010 3:32:29 AM

After using the top mounted PSU and seeing the top mounted fans on bottom mounted cases, I thought the airflow and heat management would be much better so looking to go that route if possible.
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 4:04:04 AM

If you wanted to save some money, you could also go with an Phenom II X2 550BE or 555BE ($90 or $100) and try to unlock the cores. I've bought 6-8 of the 550BEs (I lost track) and all of them but one unlocked to 4 cores and totally stable (one only unlocked to 3 cores, but hit 3.6GHz on the stock cooler easy). Or, you could go with an Athlon X4 for $100 - they're a GREAT gaming CPU and you're guaranteed 4 cores. Even if the Phenom II X2's don't unlock they're perfect for gaming. Then, like everyone else is saying, put the $60-$70 savings into your PSU. The mb you're looking at has the SB750 chipset and ACC/AOD, so you shouldn't have any issues with unlocking if you're lucky enough to get a good 550/555.

Also, the AC Freezer Pro 7 was a great HSF in its day, but there's better options if you intend on overclocking (or unlocking AND overclocking). I've used the stock cooler on all the Phenom II X2's that I've unlocked (save for my son's gaming PC which does have an AC Freezer Pro 7 on it and only made a 5-6C difference from the stock at 3.6GHz) and have been able to get them all to 3.4 or 3.6GHz and under 65C full load. If you want to keep it lower, the Hyper 212+ is the flavor of the month (actually, the last few months). It's cheaper and MUCH better at cooling and is highly rated. The next time I build one of these for a customer, I'll be using the 212+ but so far, they've been happy with the stock cooler (surprisingly). If you want to go with the Phenom II X4 955BE, the stock cooler on those are pretty danged decent. They're built like the old 939 Opteron HSFs - very sturdy and they do a great job. My backup PC is a 965BE with the stock cooler, and I've had no problems hitting 3.86 with temps only in the mid 50s. Going with the stock cooler will save you another $35-$40. That's $100 to put into the PSU or towards a better monitor that can use the 5770. :sol: 
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 4:33:15 AM

dkapke said:
If you wanted to save some money, you could also go with an Phenom II X2 550BE or 555BE ($90 or $100) and try to unlock the cores. I've bought 6-8 of the 550BEs (I lost track) and all of them but one unlocked to 4 cores and totally stable (one only unlocked to 3 cores, but hit 3.6GHz on the stock cooler easy). Or, you could go with an Athlon X4 for $100 - they're a GREAT gaming CPU and you're guaranteed 4 cores. Even if the Phenom II X2's don't unlock they're perfect for gaming. Then, like everyone else is saying, put the $60-$70 savings into your PSU. The mb you're looking at has the SB750 chipset and ACC/AOD, so you shouldn't have any issues with unlocking if you're lucky enough to get a good 550/555.

Also, the AC Freezer Pro 7 was a great HSF in its day, but there's better options if you intend on overclocking (or unlocking AND overclocking). I've used the stock cooler on all the Phenom II X2's that I've unlocked (save for my son's gaming PC which does have an AC Freezer Pro 7 on it and only made a 5-6C difference from the stock at 3.6GHz) and have been able to get them all to 3.4 or 3.6GHz and under 65C full load. If you want to keep it lower, the Hyper 212+ is the flavor of the month (actually, the last few months). It's cheaper and MUCH better at cooling and is highly rated. The next time I build one of these for a customer, I'll be using the 212+ but so far, they've been happy with the stock cooler (surprisingly). If you want to go with the Phenom II X4 955BE, the stock cooler on those are pretty danged decent. They're built like the old 939 Opteron HSFs - very sturdy and they do a great job. My backup PC is a 965BE with the stock cooler, and I've had no problems hitting 3.86 with temps only in the mid 50s. Going with the stock cooler will save you another $35-$40. That's $100 to put into the PSU or towards a better monitor that can use the 5770. :sol: 


+1 on the recommendation of the hyper 212+. i don't know how comfy i'd be about using the stock cooler for overclocking when for only $30 you can get the 212 which has excellent performance (much much better than any stock cooler out there) you can count on, and to which you can add another 120mm fan if you want or need to. but then again, my experience with unlocking and then overclocking x2's is fairly limited. but seriously, it's only $30.
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 5:14:28 AM

I had found the 212 just before or during your post, dkapke! Thanks. I've now changed a slightly less expensive CPU, hard drive, found a combo deal on the 212 and a CD-ROM, and have made a change the the Centurion 595, and with these changes has brought me down to about $793 after rebates

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$109.99 after all rebates

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail (Model# HDX945WFGMBOX)
$150.99

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - Retail
$85.99 after all rebates!

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 Video Card - Retail
$164.99 after all rebates

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$59.99 after all rebates

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible Power Supply - Retail
$79.99 after all rebates

---Combo Deal---
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail PLUS ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$48.98

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
$7.98

HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C HDS721010CLA332 (0F10383) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$84.99


Total price: $793 minus all rebates; --- plus tax and shipping: $895 or so
(and a bit lower if I do local pick-up or find better sales elsewhere)

The reason for the strict budget is that I also have to change out my desk and chair....

HON Adjustable Workstation, 60w x 30d x 32-1/2h, Medium Oak Laminate Top
$218 plus shipping

Used office chair from Craigslist
Under $200 for top brand fully adjustable ergonomic chair like from Steelcase or OfficeMaster

And I am considering one of these...
Grand Stands straight keyboard platform on pinnacle arm
I use one of these at work and they are great. I now have some repetitive stress injuries in my older age.
Around $200
m
0
l
March 1, 2010 5:47:39 AM

Mal_Praktis said:
I could also do an open box on the motherboard and bring me down to $768 after rebates (plus tax/shipping=$868)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402R&cm_re=m4a79xtd_evo-_-13-131-402R-_-Product
$84.99


I'd avoid the open box items unless you really want to be brave. While I've never had one that didn't work (I have, admittedly, bought a few) they NEVER come with a driver CD or the I/O shield. If you happen to have an I/O shield laying around that works (which I have) or you can find one on eBay for $10-$15, then depending upon how much you can save, downloading the drivers is worth it. I got an Asus P6T Deluxe V2 for $90 off the list price, and found an I/O shield for $12 on eBay, so I took a chance. If you're only saving $20 or so...it isn't worth it.
m
0
l
March 4, 2010 3:31:05 AM

Thanks all for the suggestions. My final build included a Phenom X3 Black Edition, Corsair 650TX PSU, Asus 79XTD Evo MB, and all the other trimmings. Total price after rebates, tax and shipping = $780.

m
0
l
March 4, 2010 3:31:58 AM

Best answer selected by Mal_Praktis.
m
0
l
!