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March 25, 2010 6:16:04 PM

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month.

BUDGET RANGE: About $750 after rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, HDD, optical drive.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not particular, whatever is best for the money.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, I've never done it, but am interested.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, I plan to get one 5770 now and in a few months get a second.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 x 900 (Getting new monitor soon.)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The reason I chose that motherboard was to "future-proof," I suppose, I also like the x16/x16 crossfire. Thanks guys!

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March 25, 2010 6:32:20 PM

This looks good on paper, but you spend a vast amount of money on a case while skimping on a core part, the CPU and the GPU.

The Antec Sonata III with built in PSU is cheap (and has the same Earthwatts PSU), pleasing to look at (imo) and offers more than enough cooling for this build. If not for you, the 200/300 will be great too. A 500W PSU is MORE than enough for a build that's this modest. With the savings, you could get a full blown quad core CPU (Athlon II x4 635) or you could save a little longer and go for an 955 with full lvl 3 cache.

You don't need 1600MHz RAM (the difference with 1333 is practically unnoticeable), but that's gonna save you just a few dollars, so it's up to you.

Obviously, you can take the above with a grain of salt as the Athlon x3 is great value for money, but for a mild price increase you can get 'futureproof' your PC a bit more.

March 25, 2010 6:36:01 PM

You will only need that cooler if you do overclock. It's a nice processor, but what I would do is get a PSU/case combo, and upgrade the processor. You could get an case/psu combo for around 120$ and put the $$ saved to the Phenom II x4 955. Here is a link to the combos available right now http://www.newegg.com/Store/ComboDeals.aspx?ComboStoreI....

Good video card choice. I had to RMA two different XFX 5770's because of stability issues, but got the powercolor and have not had any problems with it. The cooling unit looks cheaper than the XFX ones, but it works which is more important :D 

EDIT: I would take a look at this mobo instead, it should be as 'futureproof' as the one you want (someone will disagree with me I'm sure)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would take the $$ saved and go for the same processor I mentioned.
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March 25, 2010 6:43:56 PM

i disagree with both of these posters.

the x3 cpu has been shown to be an excellent performer for games, while quad cores make a minimal difference in most games and zero difference in some. also in this case, upgrading to a quad core won't really matter since the OP will still be gpu limited (in most games) with his 5770. for that resolution and budget, this is an excellent build.

the x3 can be unlocked and overclocked if desired, and the 212+ is the perfect cooler to do so on a budget.

i say go for it, nice build.
March 25, 2010 6:50:22 PM

whatelsematters said:
i disagree with both of these posters.

the x3 cpu has been shown to be an excellent performer for games, while quad cores make a minimal difference in most games and zero difference in some. also in this case, upgrading to a quad core won't really matter since the OP will still be gpu limited (in most games) with his 5770. for that resolution and budget, this is an excellent build.

the x3 can be unlocked and overclocked if desired, and the 212+ is the perfect cooler to do so on a budget.

i say go for it, nice build.


True, the x3 is a great CPU and the dormant core can be unlocked (although not on every CPU, it takes some luck) and even with 3 cores it performs equally in unthreaded games. However, more and more apps, including games, are becoming threaded, so a quad core isn't a luxury any more. I wasn't criticising his CPU choice as such, but rather the fact he takes a very expensive high airflow case, while he is buying cheap components that barely require any cooling whatsoever.

Agreed with the 212, it's a great albeit somewhat noisy cooler. Of course, it's only useful if you're going to overclock. If not, spend it elsewhere or save it altogether.
March 25, 2010 6:54:58 PM

Silmarunya said:
True, the x3 is a great CPU and the dormant core can be unlocked (although not on every CPU, it takes some luck) and even with 3 cores it performs equally in unthreaded games. However, more and more apps, including games, are becoming threaded, so a quad core isn't a luxury any more. I wasn't criticising his CPU choice as such, but rather the fact he takes a very expensive high airflow case, while he is buying cheap components that barely require any cooling whatsoever.

Agreed with the 212, it's a great albeit somewhat noisy cooler. Of course, it's only useful if you're going to overclock. If not, spend it elsewhere or save it altogether.


once again, the gpu will be the bottleneck here. a tri-core cpu, especially if unlocked or overclocked or both, will be more than sufficient.
March 25, 2010 6:57:38 PM

whatelsematters said:
once again, the gpu will be the bottleneck here. a tri-core cpu, especially if unlocked or overclocked or both, will be more than sufficient.


The 5770 will be crossfired. In that case, the GPU might potentially provide a bottleneck if the CPU remains at clock speeds. And once again, I don't denounce his CPU choice, I just added that in my personal opinion it is pointless to spend money on a case designed for cooling and with a corresponding price tag when he picked components that hardly require any cooling at all. I'd spend my money elsewhere and the CPU is an obvious starting point.
March 25, 2010 6:57:47 PM

whatelsematters said:
once again, the gpu will be the bottleneck here. a tri-core cpu, especially if unlocked or overclocked or both, will be more than sufficient.



I plan in the near future(sometime over summer, probably) to grab another 5770 and crossfire them, would it be worth it to get the x4 for that fact?

Thanks for all the help, btw, guys!

Edit: Does this look better? Just $35 more, if it's worth it then I have no problem with that extra. Also, the mobo I have is x16/x16 when crossfired - is it that much better than x8/x8 or should I get the other mobo for ~$40 less?

March 25, 2010 7:10:29 PM

If you can afford it, that's perfect IMO!
March 25, 2010 7:11:50 PM

if you don't have a problem increasing your budget, then yes obviously a faster cpu is a good idea. my recommendation to stay with the x3 was in the context of your budget being fairly rigid.

i was also concerned about the quality of your case. the 922 is a much better case than the antec 300. don't get me wrong, the antec is very popular and will probably suit your needs just fine, it just doesn't really hold a candle to the 922.

the case thing is a minor issue, however, and i think with either the tri or quad cores you'll be happy with your build!

good luck.

March 25, 2010 7:19:12 PM

I currently have the antec 300 housing my build and have had the 922 as well. I gave the pc w/ the 922 to my brother in law, and like the 300 just as much.
March 25, 2010 7:23:50 PM

This is a brilliant build. The 300 is a great case. The build quality is extremely good and the cooling more than sufficient. You're not buying an ultra high end system that takes a million fans to cool, so you don't need anything more than the already excellent airflow the 300 offers.

I simply can't fault this build now.

About the x16/x16 vs x8/x8 debate: real world performance between both is equal in all but the most high end cards. The 5770 has more than enough with x8, but if you can get the extra bandwith within a reasonable budget margin, get it anyways. It might come in handy if you upgrade this rig in a few years.
March 25, 2010 7:26:17 PM

Think I'm going to go with 300 case for now, and in the future get the HAF 922 and reuse the PSU!

Really appreciate all the help, guys. I've been reading a lot and want my first build to go off well, y'all are a very helpful community.

Edit: Also, do you know of any good "guides" to OC? I know the BE is easier to OC, which is nice. I don't really want to OC a lot, just maybe a little like 3.4 or something...not too aware about all of that stuff.
March 25, 2010 7:35:36 PM

Get a XFX 5770 instead of the powercolor. They come with a lifetime warranty for a few bucks more. The one I linked is just an example, I didn't bother to look through all of the ones XFX offers.

Amd x4 Phenom II 955 is an excellent proc choice. But I tend to agree, the X3 one would have treated you just fine.

Get the cas7 version of your g.skill memory. Few fucks more for more speed.... (yes it'll run just fine)

BTW for the AMD 955, someone posted before that there are 4 different kinds of 955 amds. Two were revision 2.0 or something to that effect and were better. Look that up before you click on purchase.

What's wrong with the Cooler Master 212 Hyper Plus? It actually works very quietly and cools very very well for the price. There are no cons about it, except maybe the size. But you are getting an antec 300 so it should fit just fine.
March 25, 2010 7:54:53 PM

There is an overclocking guide in the overclocking forums :D 

Like I said, I had to RMA two of the XFX 5770's. The powercolor version seems to have the most positive feedback on newegg (not as many people complained about having the RMA their purchase). The last time I looked only 2 people on the reviews at newegg said they had to RMA it, and I think it was the same guy. The cooling unit seems cheaper than the XFX did, but at least it works and is stable.

I think you should really stick with the x4, I think you will definitely be glad that you did a year or so down the road.

Yes, get the cas7 memory. And yes, make certain you get the latter 955.

The cooler is great, but you only need it if you overclock, which is easy with the 955.
March 25, 2010 9:46:04 PM

Okay, I went ahead and added that ram instead. Total cost comes out to $768 with S&H! Looks awesome, can't wait to put it all together..

Another question, what monitor do you recommend? Around $150! Thanks~
!