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$800 rig, can someone check this before I pull the trigger?

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March 18, 2010 12:10:42 AM

Hi there,

I have learned a lot from this forum and have almost come up with my own build. I would like to make the order really soon. Here is a description of my build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: probably today BUDGET RANGE: $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: 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: 1920*1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need 1T of harddrive.




I have already bought a 1TB Hitachi harddrive

The grand total is $771.29 without the harddrive

I have some questions here:

I'm not sure which PSU I should buy. I plan to crossfire in the future. Some says 650W should be enough, some says 750W will be safer ( but they never say how unsafe 650W will be...). Will this PSU be good to crossfire two 5770s?

About the Phenom II X3 720, I'm planning to overclock it and unlock the forth core. Do you know the success rate of unlocking the forth core this days? I have the impression that it is getting higher and higher. And this ASUS M4A79XTD should be good in supporting the core unlocking, right?

Will the CPU cooler be strong enough in supporting overclocking?

I'm not sure about the memory also... all the memories look similar, for example

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $110
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $115+3 shipping
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $111-20 rebate

And they have better timing than the one listed in my build. Will they be better? Will there be any compatibility issue, as many are saying designed specifically for Intel?

And please let me know if there is any alternative good combo deals.

Thanks!
Andy

March 18, 2010 12:25:29 AM

My bad if you wanted 7 timing RAM. The ripjaws 1333 you linked is good for that. Still saves $10.

Corsair is my favorite PSU maker, but you definitely pay for their premium name. Any good Antec deals out there?

EDIT: If you get the x3 CPU, and can't unlock it, then what? If you will be severely pissed, it might be better to get a quad out of the box. Meh.
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March 18, 2010 12:32:30 AM

the corsair 650TX you chose actually has a $10 off promo going this week! Nice. And corsair is rock solid, no reason a corsair 650w couldn't CF 2 5770's.

Unlike cheapo brands, corsair will actually output that 650watts.
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March 18, 2010 12:51:17 AM

Or you could go an entirely different route...

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March 18, 2010 1:19:03 AM

soarocy said:
Hi there,

I have learned a lot from this forum and have almost come up with my own build. I would like to make the order really soon. Here is a description of my build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: probably today BUDGET RANGE: $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: 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: 1920*1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need 1T of harddrive.


]http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/824/capture1xu.jpg

I have already bought a 1TB Hitachi harddrive

The grand total is $771.29 without the harddrive

I have some questions here:

I'm not sure which PSU I should buy. I plan to crossfire in the future. Some says 650W should be enough, some says 750W will be safer ( but they never say how unsafe 650W will be...). Will this PSU be good to crossfire two 5770s?

About the Phenom II X3 720, I'm planning to overclock it and unlock the forth core. Do you know the success rate of unlocking the forth core this days? I have the impression that it is getting higher and higher. And this ASUS M4A79XTD should be good in supporting the core unlocking, right?

Will the CPU cooler be strong enough in supporting overclocking?

I'm not sure about the memory also... all the memories look similar, for example

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $110
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $115+3 shipping
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $111-20 rebate

And they have better timing than the one listed in my build. Will they be better? Will there be any compatibility issue, as many are saying designed specifically for Intel?

And please let me know if there is any alternative good combo deals.

Thanks!
Andy


Err. The 750TX is $5 more. Might as well go with that. I agree with the "some" who say 650W should be enough, but 750W is safer.
Not sure how the prospects of unlocking that fourth core are looking, but the ASUS M4A79XTD supports unlocking, yes. And mobos either can unlock cores or can't. If it can, it's all up to your luck with the processor.
The Sunbeam CCF is a great heatsink and should be sufficient unless you're aiming for 3.8GHz+ with an unlocked core.
That RAM you listed is fine. I would avoid OCZ RAM unless the particular set has strongly positive reviews, because many of their models are very picky with motherboards.
One other thing, I would suggest getting a 5770 with a non-reference cooler. Like one of these.
Btw, the AS5 is unnecessary as the Sunbeam comes with TX-2.

If you really want a quad-core, just get an Athlon II X4 630 and see how far you can OC it. It can reach 3.5GHz easily with the Sunbeam, and it might actually be a better choice.
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March 18, 2010 2:12:14 AM

xrome said:
My bad if you wanted 7 timing RAM. The ripjaws 1333 you linked is good for that. Still saves $10.

Corsair is my favorite PSU maker, but you definitely pay for their premium name. Any good Antec deals out there?

EDIT: If you get the x3 CPU, and can't unlock it, then what? If you will be severely pissed, it might be better to get a quad out of the box. Meh.


Thanks for the advices. I feel like for $105 X3 720 still worth it even without unlocking the fourth core, and x4 955 is too expensive for me. I was thinking about x4 630 or 635 (looks like 630 is better, since it is $20 cheaper?) The thing is, they only have retail version and how much can i OC with factory fan?
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March 18, 2010 2:13:26 AM

I would stick with the Phenom II 720, it's a solid processor. AND it's black edition, which means you can overclock it like mad.

The fourth processor is not used at all in games, there's a review around here that actually shows that the fourth processor can hurt FPS performance in games. Let me see if I can dig it up...
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March 18, 2010 2:20:08 AM

whitefang said:
The triple core is a great deal, stick with it.

I would change the mobo/cpu to this though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

You could save some and get this psu/combo instead. it also has a $13 off promo code on the case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Get this ram instead.

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

And then your all set =)



What's the difference between 890GX and 790X, besides the on board GPU which I'm not going to use? SATA 6G/s and USB 3.0? How useful are they?

How is Antec EarthWatts EA650, compared with CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX? If they are about the same then this could be a better deal.



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March 18, 2010 2:33:42 AM

blackjellognomes said:
Err. The 750TX is $5 more. Might as well go with that. I agree with the "some" who say 650W should be enough, but 750W is safer.
Not sure how the prospects of unlocking that fourth core are looking, but the ASUS M4A79XTD supports unlocking, yes. And mobos either can unlock cores or can't. If it can, it's all up to your luck with the processor.
The Sunbeam CCF is a great heatsink and should be sufficient unless you're aiming for 3.8GHz+ with an unlocked core.
That RAM you listed is fine. I would avoid OCZ RAM unless the particular set has strongly positive reviews, because many of their models are very picky with motherboards.
One other thing, I would suggest getting a 5770 with a non-reference cooler. Like one of these.
Btw, the AS5 is unnecessary as the Sunbeam comes with TX-2.

If you really want a quad-core, just get an Athlon II X4 630 and see how far you can OC it. It can reach 3.5GHz easily with the Sunbeam, and it might actually be a better choice.


Thanks for the reply :) 

750TX is $15 more... if 650W will be enough, why would I want a 750W?

How can I tell whether a 5770 has non-reference cooler?

If I buy an Athlon II X4 630 retail and Sunbeam cooler, the factory fan will have no use, will it? I'm not trying to argue, just want to hear your opinion.

EDIT: OK, I guess all the cards listed in that page has non-reference cooler. Thank you!
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March 18, 2010 2:47:02 AM

Regarding the fourth core, I guess it will be utilized in apps like photoshop, right? And I guess future games will also be optimized for fourth core.
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March 18, 2010 3:56:46 AM

whitefang said:
I would stick with the Phenom II 720, it's a solid processor. AND it's black edition, which means you can overclock it like mad.

The fourth processor is not used at all in games, there's a review around here that actually shows that the fourth processor can hurt FPS performance in games. Let me see if I can dig it up...



Phenom x4 955 stronger than Phenom x3 720 BE in every single CPU bench linked below. I have not used anandtech much, but it seems like a solid site.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=83&p2=88&...

For the extra $30... I sprung for it in my build this week.
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March 18, 2010 3:59:40 AM

whitefang said:
The triple core is a great deal, stick with it.

I would change the mobo/cpu to this though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

You could save some and get this psu/combo instead. it also has a $13 off promo code on the case.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Get this ram instead.

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

And then your all set =)



Can't use the combo discount and the promo code at the same time. But that deal is still solid without the promo.
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March 18, 2010 4:42:17 AM

Hmm TS: 1920 x 1080 you want to hit GPU performance equivalent to the HD 5830 or better for the best gaming experience ^^
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March 18, 2010 5:32:44 AM

batuchka said:
Hmm TS: 1920 x 1080 you want to hit GPU performance equivalent to the HD 5830 or better for the best gaming experience ^^
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/jkna.jpg

The OP already said he planned on CF, and two 5770s in CF will be enough for the 1920x1200 res. The OP also said that the HDD has already been purchased and has implied that the $800 budget includes taxes.
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March 18, 2010 5:44:40 AM

In that case i would advise TS to stick to single GPU solutions as the potential is there but a single decent GPU will guarantee instant gains in games now
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March 18, 2010 6:05:30 AM

xrome said:
Phenom x4 955 stronger than Phenom x3 720 BE in every single CPU bench linked below. I have not used anandtech much, but it seems like a solid site.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=83&p2=88&...

For the extra $30... I sprung for it in my build this week.


x4 955 is certainly stronger than x3 720, but the question is whether the price difference justify it. If I'm going to use the factory fan with 955, then the difference is about $30, but if I want to OC it and buy a third party HSF, then the difference will be $55~
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March 18, 2010 6:14:55 AM

soarocy said:
Thanks for the reply :) 

750TX is $15 more... if 650W will be enough, why would I want a 750W?

How can I tell whether a 5770 has non-reference cooler?

If I buy an Athlon II X4 630 retail and Sunbeam cooler, the factory fan will have no use, will it? I'm not trying to argue, just want to hear your opinion.

EDIT: OK, I guess all the cards listed in that page has non-reference cooler. Thank you!

The 650W should be fine even with two 5770s unless you decide to heavily OC everything in the tower and add in another 3 HDDs and a bunch fans, which for some people is not implausible.
Yes, if you buy a retail CPU and an aftermarket cooler, the factory fan will be obsolete. Most people don't mind this too much though, because the selection of OEM processors is rather limited. And honestly, after unlocking the fourth core on a PII 720, it generally becomes more difficult to OC, so it may not reach higher clocks than an OC'ed AII 630.
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March 18, 2010 6:15:08 AM

batuchka, thanks for looking into this. I think 5770 is good for me now, as I'm not a hardcore gamer and I can accept mediocre picture quality on some high end shooting games.

For the Antec EarthWatts PSU you listed, how good is it?
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March 18, 2010 6:24:03 AM

blackjellognomes said:
The 650W should be fine even with two 5770s unless you decide to heavily OC everything in the tower and add in another 3 HDDs and a bunch fans, which for some people is not implausible.
Yes, if you buy a retail CPU and an aftermarket cooler, the factory fan will be obsolete. Most people don't mind this too much though, because the selection of OEM processors is rather limited. And honestly, after unlocking the fourth core on a PII 720, it generally becomes more difficult to OC, so it may not reach higher clocks than an OC'ed AII 630.


Here is the question I always wanted to ask. How difficult it is to OC Athlon II than Phantom II BE? I never done OC before but I have some knowledge about it. The only way to OC AII is to increase the FSB, but with PII BE I can also increase the multiplier, and that is the only difference, right? Then how difficult it is to increase FSB? Do I have to make sure my mobo and memory is of very good quality to sustain the increased FSB?
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March 18, 2010 6:29:26 AM

soarocy said:
batuchka, thanks for looking into this. I think 5770 is good for me now, as I'm not a hardcore gamer and I can accept mediocre picture quality on some high end shooting games.

For the Antec EarthWatts PSU you listed, how good is it?


Fine for even a single HD 5870 but again i mostly go single GPU builds hehe

As for AthlonIIs OC - lots of good info here
AMD Athlon II X3 OC Club
http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/595380-amd-athlon-ii-...
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March 18, 2010 2:59:45 PM

Read this month's $750 SBM article. They used, and OC'ed (with details) an Athlon II X3. Very impressive results.
Use their parts list (optionally dropping/swapping GPU to a single if you like).
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March 18, 2010 7:05:55 PM

wow, just read that article and I'm impressed by the result. For $40 more over a single 5770 I'm even tempted to consider dual 4850...
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March 18, 2010 10:41:13 PM

The downside is that if you start off with Crossfire, a future GPU upgrade means getting rid of two cards; even if you are able to sell them, it will likely be at a loss. If you can accept the performance of a single HD5770, that's the way to go, because an upgrade just means buying another one for Crossfire, or one of whatever newer card you want.
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March 18, 2010 10:54:50 PM

you are right, and that's the reason why i claimed to be tempted but somehow managed to resist it so far...
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March 19, 2010 12:44:54 AM

Don't forget the OS!

If you need one, that is.
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!