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$1000 General/Gaming Build

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April 14, 2010 9:23:19 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next two weeks or so

BUDGET RANGE: around $1000, price is somewhat flexible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: general program usage (MS Office), Internet, Mild Video Converting, some gaming

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: prefer newegg but am open to zipzoomfly or directron or other if prices are cheaper

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 currently but want to upgrade to something like 1920x1024 later on

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like this computer to be quiet. I don't plan on doing any hardcore overclocking but i would like this computer to run cool ever without. So in other words maybe leave myself open to it if i wanted to.


Case: Antec three hundred ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: Asus m4a79xtd evo ($110 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 ($160)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Phenom II X3 720BE ($105)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Antec True Power 750W ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drives: 2 WD Caviar Green 1TB (2x$80)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1333 (about $120)


Thanks for reading this all over. I am looking for advice on the following:

That power supply looks fine to me and Antec is a very reputable company and i've been using their products for years and never had any issues. Are there others i can consider for less money or better performance?

As far a RAM goes. There are alot of combo deals on Newegg with the motherboard. I've really only ever ordered from Crucial before. Are any of the companies something i should consider if its a good deal? Such as Corsair XMS3 or Dominator, and G.Skill Ripjaws. All i'm looking for right now is 4GB total.

Also, the Phenom II X3 doesn't come with a stock heatsink/fan. I would really appreciate some recommendations.

Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2010 12:41:09 AM

Have you considered that it might be a similar price if not cheaper, to get one of these:
AMD Althon II X4 635 $120
AMD Phenom II X4 925 $140
And you might get better stock performance. If you decide to stick with an OEM CPU or want to have a step up in quietness from the stock cooler, or want to overclock, then this is a good one: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $35 ($7.56 shipping) You will need some thermal compound as well, which I don't know which is the best one to get, probably something like this: Arctic Cooling MX-2 $8 ($3 shipping)

I assume that you are thinking about adding another 5770 at somepoint to this build, in which case a 600W PSU will be fine for two 5770s. I can also envisage you preparing yourself to be able to put in more power hungry cards than the 5770, in which case that Antec (very well reviewed btw) I think is a good option. Of course it depends on what kinds of card(s) you're thinking about adding.

Flipping heck, there are a lot of RAM combos with that motherboard. I don't know what the best deal on RAM is over there, but I will suggest that you look for the cheapest set that is either 1333 or 1600 mhz, CAS8 or below and 1.65V or below. Perferrably the CAS would be 7 and the voltage would be 1.5V. Personally I'd buy CAS8 and set the timings lower, for doing that lower voltage would be more important. As for brands, the ones I'd go for include Crucial, Corsair, G. Skill, Patriot, Mushkin & Kingston. You shouldn't necessarily go for one of the ones a combo, but if that is the cheapest option for a high quality set then do it. I'm leaving you (or someone else?) to do the heavy trawling through those combos to find the best one.

I'm not sure about your harddrive choice. Either you are not going to use one of them as your boot drive, or you are going to RAID them and have seen evidence that two of them in raid gives good performance. Otherwise I'd swap one of them for a faster boot drive and keep the other as a storage drive. Altho again I don't know why you made that decision.
April 15, 2010 5:17:58 PM

Wow, thanks for pointing out the Phenom II X4 925. I may just have to go that route. Its the same stock speed as the X3 that i was looking at for maybe a little more money.

I was planning on leaving myself open to adding another 5770 at somepoint if i wanted to. So you think a 650W power supply will do it for me. The Antec True Power is $80 right now after rebates. I've always bought Antec and never had any problems.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've been digging through a few of the mobo+ram combos and these are all those that are CAS7 and below. Only one was 1.5V though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Thats kind of a lot to sort through. In the past i've ordered directly from crucial. They have an excellent search function to find the exact memory for a particular motherboard. They don't list a CAS number. Is this the same thing as CL=? This ram is CL=7 and 1.5V. This is $120 also.
http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=08...

Here is the search that lists all the options in ram from crucial:
http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=M4A79...

As far as hard drives go. I have had some really bad luck with hard drives failing recently so on new computers I almost automatically set up a raid 1 mirroring the disks. These weren't crappy disks either, Seagate Barracudas. The reason for the TB drives is because i do a fair amount of video/picture editing. Encoding and moving files around can take up a lot of HD space. What i could do is use a 500GB Sata Seagate Barracuda that i already have and use that for a boot drive and then raid the other two and use those for all my file storage. Would would be my best option?




Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2010 7:35:31 PM

I should have said that a 550-600W PSU would be fine for the system that you're going to build (even with two 5770s), for $10 less you could get the 550W version of that Antec. Altho for only $10 extra there's not much incentive to change down.

Out of the combos you linked, these are the two I'd go for:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Yea CAS is the same thing as CL.
The speed on that set at crucial is a bit slow. I'm pretty sure they have some of the sets in that link on newegg, and at cheaper prices. You shouldn't worry too much about matching the RAM you buy to the compatibility lists as they are incomplete, so they aren't listing modules which other people probably are using successfully.

I'm not really an expert on storage as I've never had a harddrive fail on me, so I just do what's simple. The reason I highlighted and questioned your choice is because green drives sacrifice performance for negligible power savings. So it's fine to use them for storage, but most people would want something a bit faster for a boot drive. If you have a faster 500GB Seagate drive that you can use, then that would be good IMO.
April 15, 2010 10:29:49 PM

I will definitely be going with the 650W PSU. I would rather not have to worry about it later on down the line especially if i do any upgrading or get another 5770 GPU and crossfire them.

I didn't really realize that the WD Caviar Green drives were 5400 RPM. Just staying within the same company, would the Caviar Blue be a better choice?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2010 10:47:13 PM

Well for the same price I'd go for this: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, but yea the Caviar Blue would probably be a better choice than the Caviar Green.
April 16, 2010 3:51:49 AM

Great build with the exception of the Hard Drives, I agree with Silvune, the Samsung F3 1TB is more effecient and really fast. The Antec PSU is top notch and the 650 watts will be up to the task. Have fun and good luck.
April 17, 2010 12:22:48 AM

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and support. I really appreciate it. I suppose I'll post a final list of everything.

Antec Three Hundred
Asus M4A79XTD EVO
G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600
Phenom II X4 925
Sapphire Radeon HD 5770
Antec TruePower 650W
2 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Sata Drives
Coolmaster Hyper 212 Plus Cooler
!