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Balancing out my gaming build

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March 18, 2010 3:59:29 AM

I was relieved to see this thread http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282647-31-gaming because I was already planning on building a very similar system.

My main goal is to balance out my system so that I'm not putting money into overkill on one thing while there's other bottlenecks in the build.

But, with the caveat that I would like to eventually buy a second video card for crossfire because it seems the 5770's are quite powerful and affordable in crossfire.

CPU $ 159,99 Phenom II X4 955
RAM $ 114,99 G.Skill 4GB 1600
MOBO $ 119,99M4A79XTD EVO $10 rebate
HDD $ 54,99 Seagate 500GB
GPU $ 179,99 MSI Hawk HD 5770
PSU $ 104.99 Corsair 750W
CASE$ 79.99 NZXT Lexa s 001BK ATX Mid Tower Case
DRIVE$ 26,99 ASUS DVD

I still need a heat sink and some compound I guess (I've never built a computer all on my own, just helped build a few).

My question would be, have I gone overboard on anything and am I cutting any corners when a few extra bucks would help this rig last further into the future? I have some more money I can invest if it balances out my build.

The reason for the psu is that I hope it is a good one for doing some mild overclocking as well as running two of these 5770's when I get around to buying a second 5770.

Also, the 5770 might be a potential bottleneck in the future... I really worry about the 128-bit memory interface bottlenecking gaming in the future, maybe with DirectX 11? But I haven't heard of anyone actually experiencing any issues because of that 128-bit interface.

Your thoughts on any changes I might make, what's too much, too little, what could greatly benefit from just a few more bucks, what kind of heat sink to get, if everything should be compatible (that's the c3 cpu)?

Finally, how would I upgrade the ram in the future...(I thought about this $159.99 Mushkin ram intially instead of the gskill but I don't think I'll see any real benefits from it with software right now) does that cpu support adding more sticks of memory than 2? or does it allow more with a setback in performance or something?

My only other info is that I run 2 monitors at 19" and 22" (1920x1080) and I don't even do any hardcore gaming, just some WoW and a few others in between. I'll be using W7 Ultimate 64-bit.

Thanks for any input :) 

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March 18, 2010 4:22:06 AM

^ That is a good build, but I would suggest these changes...

CPU + Mobo - The newer 890GX - IMO worth the extra money...
955 + Gigabyte 890GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM -


CASE + PSU - I know that the cases are personal preference, but this is such a good deal
Antec 300 Illusion + Antec EA 650W
The EA 650 can also handle 2x HD 4870s...So there is a lot of power for 2x HD 5770s along with an overclocked CPU...
And the case has very good airflow and if you will be buying the parts very soon, the I would suggest you buy this combo fast as there is a $12 discount on the case ending on 17th...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

CPU cooler -
Sunbeam CCTF 120 with TX-2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would have suggested the CM Hyper 212+ if it was available at sub $30...but at the current price level, this is a better buy...
March 18, 2010 4:22:43 AM

That's a good build, but your going very low end on the GPU for $950.

This PSU will be enough for 5850 CF so your all set!

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March 18, 2010 10:35:11 AM

Good advise, here's what I'm thinking of now:

CPU $ 159,99 Phenom II X4 955
RAM $ 114,99 G.Skill 4GB 1600
MOBO $ 119,99 GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H
HDD $ 54,99 Seagate 500GB
GPU $ 319.98 MSI 5770 x 2
PSU&Case $ 104.98 Antec 650W w/ Antec Two Hundres ATX Case
DRIVE$ 26,99 ASUS DVD
HS $39.99 Cooler Master Hyper 212+
and Arctic Silver 5

I was a little worried by the reviews on the mobo but I guess I'll be fine. I dropped down to the regular MSI 5770 but got 2 since I saved money on the case and psu. 2 5770's seem to run games just as well as any other reasonably priced gpu set ups but for less money.

Maybe this is my final build.
March 18, 2010 10:40:02 AM

^ I would still suggest the Sunbeam CCTF over the CM Hyper...
and also the TX-2 over the AS5 - Reasons ->
No curring time required for TX-2 and it is not electrically conductive as AS5 so no short circuits just in case it gets spilled over the mobo and also the application is very easy...

Rest are very good...
March 18, 2010 1:26:05 PM

I agree with all here, but let me toss in my 2 cents. I have found that AMD heatsinks that come in the retail processor kits are really pretty good heatsinks. Unless you are going to be trying some hefty overclocks, you may want to save your money, and wait to see if you really need the aftermarked parts. Might save you a few bucks.

But I really like the build overall, you are going to be pretty happy I think.
March 18, 2010 1:55:08 PM

I would consider going with 1 5850 instead of 2x 5770.

THG Best Graphics Cards for the Money March 2010 recommends either the 5850 or 2x 5770s at your price range (around $300-320). The reason to go with one more expensive card would be that you could then still upgrade in a year or two if your fps are falling behind. If you start off with 2 cards, you end up having to completely replace them if you want to upgrade.

It's up to you, but at that price range, I'd recommend going with the 5850 instead.
March 18, 2010 3:26:19 PM

I'll give that a thought as far as a 5850 but just don't quite see any benefit except for running two 5850's in the future. But with newer games in about 2 years, I might be able to work my 5770s hard; overclocking them to get their last bit of life out of them. They seem to OC well, although I haven't read anything about oc'ing 5850s.

I'll switch back to the sunbeam and tx2, thanks for the heads up on its benefits of a5s.

As far as not getting a heat sink, I guess I could wait on getting one maybe. Because who really HAS to have their 3.2 ghz quad overclocked? I probably would be happy with 3.2ghz for a while, and do others agree with jit that I'll be fine doing mild overclocking on my cpu with the heatsink coming w/ my 955?

Also, is anyone waiting around for nvidia to put out their intended competition for these cards so that the prices go down? Or is that too far in the future... it seems like most(I know not all) gamers or enthusiasts are too impatient for that type of thing.
March 18, 2010 3:41:59 PM

At this point, I would wait. nVidia is supposed to be releasing them in just over a week (March 26th, I believe). I would expect there to be at least some movement in prices based on the release.

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March 18, 2010 3:49:42 PM
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I definitely wouldn't get two 5770's over one 5850, your screwing yourself over that way.

Benefits of 5770 CF over 5850.

1. Slight FPS incrase.

Benefits of 5850 over CF 5770.

1. Cheaper
2. Less heat
3. Less electricity
4. WAY better future upgradability
5. No CF driver issues.
6. 100% gauranteed to get the maximum performance out of your video card (where two 5770's will fail on some games)

Crossfire was not designed to buy two video cards from the start, it's sole purpose was for upgrading your video card down the road so you wouldn't have to throw away your first one.

5850 > 5770 CF
March 18, 2010 3:55:35 PM

2x 5770 is actually right around the same price as 1x 5850.

Other than that, I agree with all of whitefang's points. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but the 5850 is MUCH more future-proof than going with 2x 5770.

Another question to ask is, what games do you play? As whitefang mentions, there are games out there that just do not like CrossFire. As in, they don't recognize the 2nd card, so you would only be playing with 1x 5770.
March 18, 2010 5:08:29 PM

My thoughts on the 5770...

I just bought one and will be building my system this weekend. I got mine for $150 compared to over $300 for a 5850. The 5770 will play any game out right now, right? When the performance starts to slow down a little, put another 5770 in and you should be good to go for a while longer. By the time you will need to buy the second 5770 they should be down in price so you will have better performance than a 5850 for a cheaper price. Of course it's not as future proof but you will be saving some $$$
March 18, 2010 5:47:55 PM

persuasive argument by whitefang... basically if you can afford to drop $300 on your card then get 1 and that way crossfire is there for future needs so that you don't throw away 1 card to keep up w/ new games coming out. Only when trying to pinch your pennies in the future should you put yourself through the trouble of dealing with crossfire and by then it should be better implemented into games.

Like I posted earlier I play WoW mostly, and only occasionally delve into other games for a change of pace. I haven't even researched how wow does with C.F. and don't think I'll bother and just get one $300 card for now.

I'm going to wait around just a bit and see what nvidia come out with. I'm not sure if it will be in direct competition with the 5850 until they put out a scaled down version of the cards coming out. But I'll just wait and see if I can find info that they might be release really soon.
March 18, 2010 5:49:47 PM

mjlang said:
Like I posted earlier I play WoW mostly, and only occasionally delve into other games for a change of pace. I haven't even researched how wow does with C.F. and don't think I'll bother and just get one $300 card for now.


Yeah, that's why I was asking. WoW does not recognize CrossFire. At all.
March 18, 2010 6:02:30 PM

Good to know. Maybe they'll implement its being recognized in the upcoming expansion... [thinks for 2 secons] nah, unlikely =)

Thanks for that bit of info!!!
March 18, 2010 6:04:37 PM

coldsleep said:
Yeah, that's why I was asking. WoW does not recognize CrossFire. At all.



Unless you are using a really crappy video card or a REALLY high res, you wont need CF on wow. :) 

Still sucks, though.
March 25, 2010 10:59:19 AM

Best answer selected by mjlang.
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