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$500 to spend on CPU, Mobo and Memory

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March 18, 2010 11:10:59 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of March

BUDGET RANGE: 0-500 Before Tax/Rebates (not including M.I.R.)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything except CPU, Mobo and Memory (And maybe a cooler?)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.infonec.com, www.tigerdirect.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically I have a current system which I have upgraded a little bit
It was working fine for what I was playing (MW2, CS: S, DA: O), but when I tried to play BC2
my frames were definitely being bottle-necked and probably by my CPU. Since my CPU is old
if I were to get a new one I would have to get a new MoBo, which also means new memory.
Parts list to follow:

CPU: AMD Athlon 3700+ (64 bit)
MoBo: ASUS A8N-E
Memory: Bland 2x1Gb Dual Channel DDR Memory
GPU: XFX HD 4890
PSU: OCZ GameXStream 850 Watt (I think, not at my computer at the moment but its at least 700 W for sure)

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2010 11:27:48 PM



G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$123.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$29.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...


• AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103808
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
• GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128416
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$20.00 Combo
$332.98
$312.98
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
Subtotal: $466.46
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 18, 2010 11:33:35 PM

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 $180
Mobo: ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO $152
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CL7(F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM) $135 Please ignore the "for Core i5/i7" bit.

Total: $467

Pretty much what niklas said except the board I am suggesting is native SATA 6Gbps, which at the moment probably still has some kinks to be worked out. You only need to get an aftermarket heatsink if you are going to overclock, if you are then the one niklas suggested is the one to go for.
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March 19, 2010 3:17:55 PM

Thanks for the responses!

I just have a few questions:
1. Any thoughts on an i5/i7 build or would that be too expensive for my budget?
2. Would prices be going down with 6 core CPUs coming into the market?
3. Since I am running Windows XP, do I need 4GB of RAM?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 19, 2010 3:51:46 PM

Yea you could do an i5 750 build, but you wouldn't be able to afford a good crossfire capable motherboard.

I think only the more expensive CPUs will be affected pricewise by the expensive 6cores. Probably not the ~$200 ones, at least until they get older and the 6core market matures a bit, which isn't going to be soon as they are so new.

No, you probably do not. And if it's the usual 32-bit version then if you got 4GB you would be buying RAM you wouldn't use. I think that what you plan to do in the future will have an impact on what direction to go in, for instance if you decide to go to a 64bit OS then it would be nice to have the RAM already, and changing motherboards is one of the better times to change OS, because you might have to ask microsoft to reactivate your old one when you change mobo.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 19, 2010 4:51:14 PM

But the alternative would be trying to buy 3 gigs of RAM if you want the most supported by a 32-bit...

Or just going with 2, which I guess you could.

And don't even think about 6-cores they won't be better at the moment in any way, especially just waiting for them to come out for price reasons.
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March 19, 2010 8:00:32 PM

A couple more questions:

EDIT: 1. The specifications for the motherboards don't list 1600Mhz as a compatible speed, does this matter with regards to the memory suggested?

2. If I can't procures another xfx 4890, what are other possible options for crossfire, if any?

Thanks in advance
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 19, 2010 9:07:41 PM

As long as the memory is slower than the maximum speed supported then it will be fine, altho you will probably have to tell it to run at it's rated speed in the bios, which is normal for RAM above 1333mhz.

Not really sure about the second one. It doesn't have to be the same brand tho.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 19, 2010 9:37:41 PM

A i5 750 build would be about 100 bucks more

quantity of item 1


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy



$123.49

select item 2 quantity of item 2


GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128409
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$199.99

select item 3 quantity of item 3


Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115215
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

-$11.00 Instant


$219.99
$208.99

select item 4 quantity of item 4


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$29.99

Subtotal: $562.46 That a xfire OCing setup ( note when in xfire you lose USB 3.0 ) with this mobo

Single GPU i5 750 setup able to OC

quantity of item 1


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy



$123.49

select item 2 quantity of item 2


GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128412
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$149.99

select item 3 quantity of item 3


Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115215
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

-$11.00 Instant


$219.99
$208.99

select item 4 quantity of item 4


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$29.99

Subtotal: $512.46


Newegg.ca


If you want xfire and USB 3.0 look for this MOBO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Really a i5 750 or AMD 955 will do well in games most of the power will be pulled from the GPU
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 20, 2010 4:21:36 AM

An i5's real advantage would be in doing other stuff, not gaming.
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March 22, 2010 7:20:37 PM

Thanks for all the help!
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March 22, 2010 7:20:57 PM

Best answer selected by beerhelmet.
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