Newbie Here... Need advice.

I am interested in a few upgrades. I read the sticky so I'll just use the template.

BUDGET RANGE: $500ish After Rebates (I'm a tad over 400 here but I left a bit of head room for extra expenses)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multimedia, Gaming, Internet browsing.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I would like to reuse my DVD/R drive, BDR drive, Galaxy GeForce 9500GT 1gb, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Case(if it will be sufficient with cooling), and Cables.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, or whoever is cheapest.
PARTS PREFERENCES: What I have picked so far...
MSI 760GM-E51
AMD Phenom II X4 955
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Plus some Arctic Silver compound and other little odds and ends.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Only if I will ever need it) I would also worry about extra cooling then if needed.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I need to research what this is but I doubt it. If it is using multiple GPU's then it's unlikely if I can get by on my current GPU.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Again, still need to learn a little about this but my main plan is to have it connected to my 42" for games and Blu-Ray intensive use. Not so much gaming as movies though.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Really not looking for a high end gaming rig but I would like to be able to play most titles new and old on medium settings.
23 answers Last reply
More about newbie here advice
  1. Seems like a good list although two things CPU is a bit overkill if you're just going to do some minor gaming and mainly use it for watching Blu-Ray. I suggest you get the AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz for $99.99. The FPS difference between the the Athlon II X4 and Phenom II X4 is quite small, depending on which game. If you feel like you need a Phenom II X4, which, I'll admit is more futureproof, I suggest the Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz for $139.99. If you feel the $20 justifies easy overclocking with an unlocked multiplier (I'm assuming you're getting the black edition) and 400MHz more, then stick with the 955.

    The power supply you have chosen is good, modular and 80+ certified, but 550W for a Phenom II X4, 4GB RAM and GeForce 9500GT seem a bit too much. It has 50A spread evenly across two rails - 25A each, and the minimum is 18A on XFX's website. (It's the only graphic card manufacturer that I know of which shows the amp requirement, which is more important than watts in terms of graphic cards.) If you like cable management, I suppose this is a good choice, but if you don't mind, I'd get the Corsair CX-400 400W PSU with 30A on the 12V rail and 80+ certification, although it is non modular, but for $19 less at $50.99, but Corsair is imo more reliable than OCZ.

    In terms of CrossFireX/SLI, your motherboard won't support it, simply because it only has one PCI-e 16x slot, but I'm pretty sure you could play most games now and in a couple of years on low to medium settings, with your 9500GT.

    What other suggestions do you need?
    If you need an HDD, I suggest you get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM - it's one of the fastest HDD drives available, and at times can beat the 10,000RPM VelociRaptors.

    Also, I'd get a 40-80GB SSD, in addition the to Spinpoint, for quick bootup and games. Something like a Corsair Reactor R60 or OCZ Agility Series 60GB would be perfect.
  2. Suggesting downgrading a power supply? Blasphemy. Especially since if ever upgrade that graphics card, need it anyway.

    I'm not feeling the love for OCZ RAM anymore, I'd get something else.
  3. I originally had the AMD Athlon II X4 635 Propus 2.9GHz Quad core as my CPU with the same mobo but when I read the sticky on the different types of processors the comments led me to believe that the Phenom is better for having the best of both worlds. I also had the Antec BP550 Plus as my PSU but decided against it due to the fact that the OCZ had the 80 Plus certification. I've been shopping mainly based on customer reviews and finding what will be fairly easy to set up. If it won't hurt anything, I would like to keep a decent sized PSU on my list in case I ever choose to upgrade. Like I said before, I mainly have been making choices based on customer reviews but if there is a better brand for around the same price I have no problem making the change. Also, I would like to be able to work a SSD in my budget as you said for fast booting but it will all depend on how much more I will be looking at spending.
  4. Bump for more advice? The more the merrier.
  5. Define "having the best of both worlds" comparing the phenom and athlon II x4.

    I'd keep the PSU you already have in there.

    Change the RAM to someone else's though, you can see when you sort by DDR3 how much lower the reviews are for OCZ RAM these days. (They seem to have way higher voltages needed than what is a good idea to run at)

    SSD's in my opinion are still too much.
  6. In the CPU Buyers Guide sticky that outlined the popular processors available today it stated that the Athlon X4 was a lower end CPU. Here's the quote.

    AMD Athlon II X4: Again, an excellent value low-end quadcore. Can be had for around $100. Outperformed by the Q8400, but cheaper than either that or the Phenom II 720. Not an excellent gaming CPU, it has poor performance-per-clock, but four physical cores allow it to excel in heavily multithreaded applications. Not a great overclocker. Recommended for home and work PCs not used for gaming.

    And the Phenom.. Mid level CPU

    AMD Phenom II 955: A very solid performer. Can be had for $165, or less with good combo deals. Good overclocker, but can be a bit warm as well. Needs its voltage. Excels in gaming at stock and overclocked, performs well in other areas too. Does not perform at the level of the Core i5 at stock, gains some ground back at higher clocks, but still doesn't consistently win, but it's unit and system cost make it very attractive. Recommended for all medium-high-end systems, and all single-card gaming systems.

    Again, I'm still learning alot but I'm basing what I need on stuff like this. I will be playing games a good amount but I don't care as much about it being on high settings. I've have took the advice about the RAM and have been looking at other options such as Corsair.
  7. This must be from when the athlon ii x4 had just come out. They were slower, but if you get either of the higher two they should do fine for gaming. Especially since it's common for us to recommend the x3's for gaming centered systems and they have similar speeds to the higher x4's. That can only be a good thing.

    The way that stuff is written sounds like they're saying that you had better buy intel if you want to game, especially with multiple cards, and that isn't true. You could check the last few system builder marathon articles on this website and see them doing AMD + multiple graphics cards.

    Especially with such a slow graphics card that's to be used, you could even drop down to a athlon II x2 and not really be putting that processor through its gaming paces as far as balancing is concerned. If you wanna play games on it (which by default would be easily able to handle playing any sort of videos) then I'd recommend to drop to an Athlon II x3 or x4 and getting a graphics card. Probably the HD 5570 or HD 5670 for their video features and gaming ability.
  8. I do currently have a Galaxy GeForce 9500GT 1GB but it seems to be more on the lower end these days. Is this card sufficient for playing most newer games on medium settings or should I sell it if possible and upgrade to something better?
  9. That's what I was referring to during that entire last paragraph.
  10. OK. Just wanted to be sure. Looks like I may have to increase my budget. Thanks for all the help.
  11. Future proofing is in the motherboard, allowing drop in CPU upgrades. I'd still go with the atlon II x3 or x4. Those will be able to easily run that card, and be way cheaper now.

    Personally I'd go with a gigabyte with USB3 and SATAIII, but that's just a preference.

    Other than that it looks fine.
  12. Here is a best "bang for the buck" CPU list:
  13. I like that chart. It is interesting to see the Athlon II x3 at the top. I think I may go back with the Athlon II x4 I had my eye on from the start. I also liked the look of the GA-790XTA board b/c of the extra slots per your recommendation. It is a bit more in price than the Asus but I'll make up for it in CPU cost savings. I am a little worried that my memory performance may suffer though as the Gigabyte board's memory standard only goes as high as 1333 unless I want to OC to 1866. Does this mean I will be stuck at 1333 even with the 1600 that I have listed above or is this not that big of a deal. Again, thanks for all the help with my parts selection. It's been a HUGE help.
  14. Because of the memory controller integrated in the CPU's, all the RAM will actually work at 1333 on any board unless you overclock. Also, there is little to no difference between the 1333 DDR3 and 1600 DDR3.,2325-5.html

    You can get these and don't look back especially if you get a black edition CPU (you can OC it very easy without messing up with the RAM):

    Your PSU is waay too powerful, these ones can power your rig and you have room to spare
  15. OK thanks. I was just wanting know in case I needed to shop around for other memory. Would it hurt anything having the PSU I have listed? It's only $10-20 more for the 650 I have listed. Either way, I may look into one of the ones you have listed. I'm pretty easily swayed on this stuff since I don't really know what's good other than what I read in reviews and on here.
  16. No, go for it it's a good PSU but if you want that much power this one is modular AND cheaper:
  17. For the record some people dislike modular ones because of the extra resistance that having the plug there adds to it.

    There is no reason to buy a PSU to fit exactly whatever you're getting unless you just don't have enough to spend a little extra in order to leave room for upgrades.

    It makes when you upgrade again later easier since you don't have to change it.
  18. Yeah it's about the same price so I'll probably stick with the Corsair. I'm ready to get all this and get it all hooked up to my LG42LH90 so I can start watching HD movies and playing games. Thanks guys.
  19. OK so I just placed my parts order on Newegg last night but I've been reading a lot about what issues with my OS I may face when trying to reuse my HDD with my new stuff, particularly the mobo. It's fairly small at 250GB and I'm not really filling it up at an alarming rate. Buuut... with all the different things I'll be using it for in the future, I was planning to just pick up a 1TB Spinpoint in a few weeks as a secondary. Am I going to need to spend the extra for a copy of Windows 7, or will I be able to reactivate my current copy of Vista for now with little trouble? I feel like I'm at the point of no return now but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this.
  20. Imma go with the obvious - if it doesn't reactivate then buy a windows 7.

    Also, go ahead and get that hard drive now iff you're already considering it. That way you can install directly to the much much faster drive. If you do it the other way you'd be stuck moving the stuff over to the new one.
  21. That's what I was worried about. I really want the retail version in case I need to replace the mobo in the future for any reason. Thanks for the help False_Dmitry_.
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