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$650 Gaming/Workstation Tower... will it work?

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April 13, 2010 3:12:51 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP, within the next week or so.
BUDGET RANGE: 600-650 after rebates roughly
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Simulation Gaming (GTR2, LFS S2 Race07, etc), Solidworks, Abaqus and other FEA, Internet/Movies.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Mouse, RAM
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, Amazon
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING: Would like to avoid it
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not necessary
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: -I don't want anything crazy going on with the case or colors, I'm more of a subtle person.
-Would like to dual boot XP x64 and Win7 x86.

PARTS I HAVE SELECTED SO FAR
ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
Chosen for AM3, DDR3 and Price, also most of the reviews seem to be good.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
Wondering if this is going to be overkill or not.. I use a 2.4 Ghz dual core at work for Solidworks, paired with a Quadro fx1500, and that does well with most everything except very complicated assemblies (2000+ parts).
Rosewill Destroyer Case, Rosewill 630W Green Series PSU
Was contemplating the Antec 650W Earthwatts PSU, but this combo seems good. Thoughts?
PNY GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB
Sony Optiarc Black DVD Drive
Logitech K300 Black 101 Normal Keys USB Wired Compact Keyboard

Additional Comments...
The RAM I already have was supposed to be for something else, but I am hoping it will work just fine with this one. I checked on the ASUS website for the compatibility, and found that a 6GB kit will work, a 2GB kit will work, but they didn't have this exact model listed. Should I send it back?
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

A big question I have is about my graphics card setup. As I will need to use this desktop for Solidworks and other office applications that are graphics intensive, I would like to use a GFX setup that is supported by Dassault. Would it be possible with this motherboard/setup to get a Quadro card like the old fx1500 and throw it in with the 9800gtx+? Ideally I would love to dual boot the system with x64 XP and use the fx1500 solely for workstation capabilites, and then boot into Win7 x86 and use the 9800. No idea if this is possible, but if it is...?
Really the only other concern I have is the PSU, is Rosewill a good company to go with? I haven't really seen or heard much about them.
April 13, 2010 8:53:34 AM

I can only answer your last question... I'm not familiar with Rosewill; any particular reason why you want to go with 'em, aside from price?
April 13, 2010 9:38:57 AM

Yes, it will work, and yes, that includes the RAM.

Unfortunately, your motherboard of choice only supports one video card because they're all PCI-e x16, and your motherboard only has one lane. It's theoretically possible to cut the end of the PCI-e x1 slot in order to have two, but the videocard in that slot will have severely degraded performance.

I personally think that the 9800 is a poor choice of graphics card because it's very old and power-hungry. You can get a Radeon HD4770 for cheaper which will be slightly more powerful while being less power-hungry.

Other than that, your build looks good. Rosewill PSUs aren't that good, but at 630W, you will be fine. If it's an Antec, then even 430W will cut it.
Related resources
April 13, 2010 5:41:42 PM

Yes Its All Quite Good For The $$ But I Would Also Recommend Something Besides The 9800GT A Good Card But Kinda Behind Times ATM There Are ATI/AMD Cards That Are Of Better Value Just As Fast And Have Dx11 Capabilities.
April 14, 2010 5:46:56 AM

r_manic said:
I can only answer your last question... I'm not familiar with Rosewill; any particular reason why you want to go with 'em, aside from price?


The case looks decent and has 3 fans, about the only other reason.

excelblue said:
Yes, it will work, and yes, that includes the RAM.

Unfortunately, your motherboard of choice only supports one video card because they're all PCI-e x16, and your motherboard only has one lane. It's theoretically possible to cut the end of the PCI-e x1 slot in order to have two, but the videocard in that slot will have severely degraded performance.

I personally think that the 9800 is a poor choice of graphics card because it's very old and power-hungry. You can get a Radeon HD4770 for cheaper which will be slightly more powerful while being less power-hungry.

Other than that, your build looks good. Rosewill PSUs aren't that good, but at 630W, you will be fine. If it's an Antec, then even 430W will cut it.


I've decided to go to an Antec 650 unit. A friend told me to stay away from Rosewill PSUs at all costs.. haha

Are there any mobo's I should look at that would support a dual video card setup in this price range?

hella-d said:
Yes Its All Quite Good For The $$ But I Would Also Recommend Something Besides The 9800GT A Good Card But Kinda Behind Times ATM There Are ATI/AMD Cards That Are Of Better Value Just As Fast And Have Dx11 Capabilities.


As for DX11, I don't really need it, I only play games from a few years ago which use dx9 and 10.

Thanks for the advice guys. I did a little more looking into the gfx cards you suggested as well as others in the price range, but I feel that although it may be a power hog, the 9800gtx+ is something of a tried and true card that shouldn't dissappoint (I hope). The HD4770 seems like a cheaper yet less reliable option? I have also heard bad things about that particular card mostly that it has fan issues which I'd rather not have to deal with or worry about. The less I have to fiddle with the better! Again thanks for the info, and if anyone has a suggestion for a diff mobo that could handle 2 cards I would appreciate it.
April 14, 2010 6:33:58 AM

Don't get the GTX 9800+, its a waste.
Get a cheap ATI 5000-series card, as it gives you more prize/performance.

Get something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS EAH5670/DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$109.99
^More performance, cheaper prize ánd more power efficient then your 9800 (also means less heat...)
win-win-win?

Currently, ATI outperforms Nvidia on ALL segments. Don't bother getting Nvidia cards right now, seriously.
April 14, 2010 7:10:13 AM

dmen said:
Don't get the GTX 9800+, its a waste.
Get a cheap ATI 5000-series card, as it gives you more prize/performance.

Get something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS EAH5670/DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5670 (Redwood) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$109.99
^More performance, cheaper prize ánd more power efficient then your 9800 (also means less heat...)
win-win-win?

Currently, ATI outperforms Nvidia on ALL segments. Don't bother getting Nvidia cards right now, seriously.


That looks like a much better deal. One reason I was holding onto the 9800 idea was because it has two outputs of DVI, and I eventually want to run two displays. However if I get the HD5670 and then get a mobo that can support two video cards, I could get the same result by getting another HD5670 down the road.
How does this mobo look?
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X
!