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$900 amd gaming build and config. any recommendations??

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March 10, 2010 12:26:05 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: today if everything looks good.want to build asap. My budget is $800- $925 max.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, watching movies and surfing the internet light dvd and music encoding

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, I have the antec three hundred case for $45 and OS I will be using win 7 64 bit O.E.M. unless a really good reason to upgrade to win7 pro

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: microcenter because its 10mins away. never ordered computer parts from online vendors like newegg or tigerdirect before a little leery of RMA and damaged parts

PARTS PREFERENCES: I would prefer the AMD processor.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes but totally new to AMD CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
old school gamer unreal tournament. would like to play Bad Company 2. crysis or left 4 dead 2 fps. Would like to try overclocking with AMD overdrive.
Wanted to show son I can still build my own pc. last one was 10 years ago
my aging pc
intel p4 2.6ghz
intel 845 mobo
nvidia 5700 256mb
some cheapo case with upgraded psu 500watts.
I have read forum guide, various threads and recommeded parts by usage.
Been researching for three weeks and I am ready to go to microcenter to purchase parts.
Cant wait to get feedback from the community! Thanks in advance for everyone's help. :) 






my parts list: Any advice and opinions welcomed. Laughs too. not to much though. :) 

mobo $159.99 before $15 rebate and another $20 if purchased with AMD processor

HTTP://WWW.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

amd 955:$159.99
HTTP://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Ram: 4gb ddr3 $109.99 before $30 rebate
1600 low voltage. not familar with how to manage the low voltae info
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

GPU: 5750 $159.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
would like to crossfire but I read a lot dont know if I will notice the difference to justify spending extra money..

aftermarket cpu cooler: scythe samurai zz: $34.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

corsair 650tx psu: $109 before $10 rebate
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

hard drive: hitachi 1terabyte I purchased on sale for $64.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

optical drive: Samsung dvd drive: $29.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

case: this I purchased already on sale for $45. I think this was a good price for antec case.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

OS: purchsed already: win 7 prem: OEM: $109.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

thermal compond: $14.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

any recommendations or suggestions are welcomed??
I open to returning the hard drive. If there is a better performing or value harddrive.
I am not sure the 5750 will give me the best bang for my buck when it comes to framerates. New to the whole crossfire set.
Can I crossfire with cheaper video cards and still get good framerates??
Is the mobo okay because I wanted an AM3 sockeet mobo so I could upgrade if necessary in the future.
Is the PSU strong enough to carry crossfire of two 5750's?? IF not what psu would recommend??
From what I have read here no reason to upgrade to phenom 965 because I can overclock the 955.
Will the aftermarket cooler work??
Sorry for the thread.
Thanks for the great website and info.
Willi



Best solution

March 10, 2010 12:38:28 PM

Why is everything from Microcenter? You'd get much, much better prices from Newegg...

That is not a great deal on that case. I would return it and try this build:

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $265 after rebate ($20 off MC)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $720 w/ X4.

The RAM you choose, while cheap, is not great for overclocking. You need to get CAS Latency 7 sticks. In addition, OCZ has some combatiblity problems with their RAM.

Crossfiring at the start of a build is not a good idea. You should buy the biggest single GPU you can get and leave the option to Crossfire for later. However, at your resolution, you don't need to do that. The 5770 will be powerful enough for your resolution. If you're planning on upgrading to a 1920x1080 monitor, spend a little extra and get the HD 5850 for $300ish. The total cost of the build (not counting HDD and OS) would be about $870.
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March 10, 2010 3:12:38 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Why is everything from Microcenter? You'd get much, much better prices from Newegg...

That is not a great deal on that case. I would return it and try this build:

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $265 after rebate ($20 off MC)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
This link is to the 5770and it is $169.99 on newegg. I will order though because it seems like a great gpu card based on the reviews.
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $720 w/ X4.

The RAM you choose, while cheap, is not great for overclocking. You need to get CAS Latency 7 sticks. In addition, OCZ has some combatiblity problems with their RAM.

Crossfiring at the start of a build is not a good idea. You should buy the biggest single GPU you can get and leave the option to Crossfire for later. However, at your resolution, you don't need to do that. The 5770 will be powerful enough for your resolution. If you're planning on upgrading to a 1920x1080 monitor, spend a little extra and get the HD 5850 for $300ish. The total cost of the build (not counting HDD and OS) would be about $870.


Thanks MadAdmiral for the quick response.
I like microcenter because I can go in and buy. If I do some looking around I usually find great deals. That's how I picked up the hitachi hard drive for $65 bucks.
They will even match price of newegg of processor and motherboards. like that.
The shipping is usually $10-$15 from neweegg plus if it doesnot work I have only 30days to return or exchange. But they have nice combo deals.
I definitely ordering the 5770 and the coolmaster 212 cpu cooler but wont it cover ram slot??
Everyone I have read and talk to said if I was going to crossfire any video card. That the corsair 650tx had 52amps on the rail.
Is there a way I can find out how many amps are on the Antec 650??
I returned the case but the newegg three hundred is the same isn't??
How important is cas latency you mention above??
The g-skill is $114.99 and the sticks are cas latency 7. Does this affect performance that much!!
Sorry for all the questions but there is so much to learn and understand!! But I love it!!!! :) 
Thanks and take care.
William
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March 10, 2010 3:27:05 PM

The HSF shouldn't cover a RAM slot. It's not that huge.

The Antec 650W is fine for Crossfire. It's just as high quality, just at a lower price. 5770s take almost nothing to run. You could probably Crossfire them on a quality 500W unit.

The Newegg 300 is the Illusion model. It comes with 2 extra fans, and is usually the same price or within $20 as the regular 300, so you essentially get a deal on the extra fans. It becomes cheaper because of the combo with the PSU.

CAS Latency is the most important RAM spec. You should set the CL to at most 7 and then look for speeds. 1600 mhz/CL 7 sticks are the best for overclocking right now, and the ones I linked to are typically the same price as 1333 mhz CL 7 sticks.
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March 10, 2010 6:47:03 PM

i7 930s are only 200 at microcenter get that
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March 10, 2010 6:58:22 PM

@samdsox: Out of budget. Once you spend $200 on the CPU, you will need a X58 board which will cost at least $200. Then you'll need triple channel RAM, costing another $180. That alone leaves only $345 for the rest of the build. A good case and PSU will cost at least $100, the HDD, optical and HSF add another $100-125. That only leaves ~$100 for the GPU, which means an HD 4850. The 4850 would be the weakest point in the build, which would be horrible for gaming.

I did mean to ask one thing. Is the cost of the HDD and OS supposed to be in the budget listed? Or is it $800-925 on top of that? If it's $800-$925 on top of the HDD and OS, you could easily get an HD 5850 (total with the above build: $870).
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March 10, 2010 7:12:42 PM

samdsox said:
i7 930s are only 200 at microcenter get that


Everything has a time and a place... unfortunately, this ain't the time or place (i.e. build/budget) for one of those.
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March 10, 2010 11:36:35 PM

2080595,6,511676 said:
@samdsox: Out of budget. Once you spend $200 on the CPU, you will need a X58 board which will cost at least $200. Then you'll need triple channel RAM, costing another $180. That alone leaves only $345 for the rest of the build. A good case and PSU will cost at least $100, the HDD, optical and HSF add another $100-125. That only leaves ~$100 for the GPU, which means an HD 4850. The 4850 would be the weakest point in the build, which would be horrible for gaming.

I did mean to ask one thing. Is the cost of the HDD and OS supposed to be in the budget listed? Or is it $800-925 on top of that? If it's $800-$925 on top of the HDD and OS, you could easily get an HD 5850 (total with the above build: $870).[/quotems

Yes the $800-$925 is on top of the HDD and OS.
Yeah. I looked at the i920 & i860 but the mobo and the limited method of OC& upgrade options were confusing to me. This made AMD the better choice for me.
Okay everything squared away then.
I want to hold off on the 5850. WOW $320 for a graphics card where have I been the last 4years. That used to be top of the line!!
Would like to save and upgrade to 22" or 24" hdtv with hdmi and a tuner. My kids like watching tv on the pc.
Also, I thought the RAM would be the least of my problems so I purchased already& unfortuunately cutoff the UPC from packaging.

Is there a way to make the OCZ ram work or do I order a new 4gb set from newegg??
William
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March 11, 2010 12:11:49 AM

It should work, but you need to be careful in the BIOS settings for it. It's not a huge problem, just something that's better to avoid.

Since the budget is bigger than I thought, you can easily fit the HD 5850 in, and possibly the 5870.

I would at least get the HD 5850, as when you upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor, it will allow gaming at that resolution. The 5870 would be able to play every game out there at max details at 1920x1080.
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March 11, 2010 3:02:36 PM

Best answer selected by willimod.
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March 11, 2010 3:06:23 PM

MadAdmiral said:
It should work, but you need to be careful in the BIOS settings for it. It's not a huge problem, just something that's better to avoid.

Since the budget is bigger than I thought, you can easily fit the HD 5850 in, and possibly the 5870.

I would at least get the HD 5850, as when you upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor, it will allow gaming at that resolution. The 5870 would be able to play every game out there at max details at 1920x1080.


Thanks again everyone. Thanks madadmiral you really nice to have a forum to come and get good advice and support. I'm ordering your original suggestion and upgrade to the 5850. Use the OCZ ram. I will remember to change the latency settings in the BIOS.
Have a great week.
William
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