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$800-$1000 Gaming, CAD, Dynamic Simulation

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Last response: in Systems
April 16, 2010 9:02:55 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2-3 Weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $800 - $1000 (After rebates)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing the internet, CAD (Solid Works), dynamic simulation (MSC Adams), computational (MATLAB), minimal photo and video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers, and OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Mid-tower, leaning toward AMD, 21"-23" Monitor, but very open to suggestions

OVERCLOCKING: Most likely, unless I am told I don't need to.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Wasn't planning on it, but not opposed

MONITOR RESOLUTION: The monitor I originally selected is 1680 x 1050. I would also hook it up to a 32" LCD TV 1280x720.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Very open to suggestions, I tried to follow Proximon's guides. Most other gaming builds go with a less costly mobo and up the graphics card. I am not a graphics fanatic; maxed out isn't my goal. I enjoy a high resolution but I will turn down detail for frame rate if I need to. If any one know what I could expect out of Battlefield BC2, COD4 and MW2, Team Fortress 2, Civilization 4, and looking ahead to Civilization 5, I would really appreciate it. When it comes time to upgrade, where is the likely bottleneck? (I am guessing this will vary depending on the use. What about gaming wise?)

PARTS: (See my reply for new list)

CPU AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

MoBo ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK

Case Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Can anyone reccomend a case with a similar amount of fans, a window, but a cleaner look to it. Trying not to be picky but I don't like the offset/wing things on the front and the webbing on the top front.)

PSU CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

HSF Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

Thermal Compound Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

GPU XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

HDD SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OD Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

Monitor ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers

That comes to $1077.89 with $90 in rebates = $987.89


Some additional questions...
What are everyone's thoughts on upgrading the MoBo to GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard for the 6.0gb/s Sata and usb 3.0?

Also, should I be thinking about nVidia because this is also a computational build? (If so, can you recommend a card?)

(I haven't worked with CUDA for MATLAB at all. I know it allows the GPU to do some parallel computing on the code but that is the extent of my knowledge on the topic. It is something I am interested in, but maybe a year away.)

Thanks, everyone, for your help!
Tyler

More about : 800 1000 gaming cad dynamic simulation

April 16, 2010 9:03:00 PM

For clarification $800 - $1000 USD
April 16, 2010 9:38:11 PM

I thought of some more questions... (I'll add them to the original post as well.)

What are everyone's thoughts on upgrading the MoBo to GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard for the 6.0gb/s Sata and usb 3.0?

Also, should I be thinking about nVidia because this is also a computational build? (If so, can you recommend a card?)

(I haven't worked with CUDA for MATLAB at all. I know it allows the GPU to do some parallel computing on the code but that is the extent of my knowledge on the topic. It is something I am interested in, but maybe a year away.)
Related resources
April 17, 2010 10:14:29 PM

Sorry for the bump, but I am really looking for some feedback.
Anonymous
April 18, 2010 12:45:36 AM

Just so you know I'm sadly not knowledgeable in CAD/CUDA so I can't really help you decide on those aspects but I can offer other advice.

Gigabyte 770 USB3/SATA6GB/s Motherboard - 89.99 (w/o incld 10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Should be noted that this motherboard won't let you crossfire or SLI)

I personally don't believe in rebates or ever getting my money from them so:
G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600 Cas 7/8 - 114.99 (should perform close to your RAM)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master 212 Plus - 34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need the thermal paste. Many heatsinks some with their own and special ones like you listed may only drop the temp by 2-3 degrees.

Not sure what you mean by a cleaner looking case. Maybe...:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 18, 2010 12:56:56 AM

Thanks for the feedback. PS I love the avatar.
April 19, 2010 5:11:13 PM

CPU AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

MoBo GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

Case Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Can anyone reccomend a case with a similar amount of fans, a window, but a cleaner look to it. Trying not to be picky but I don't like the offset/wing things on the front and the webbing on the top front.)

PSU CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

HSF Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

Thermal Compound Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound

GPU XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

HDD SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OD Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

Monitor ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers

That comes to $1185 with $75 in rebates = $1110

I am leaning toward this Gigabyte Mobo, in case I want to upgrade in the future. (USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s, Crossfire)

Anyone have any thoughts? Hoping to order later today.
April 19, 2010 5:22:30 PM

I would recommend getting the Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4. The UD5 is $55 more and only gives you a third PCIe 2.0 slot. Multi-card solutions don't scale well past two cards, so the third slot doesn't help you any. Also, the UD5 has 16x/16x on the first two slots, but that's only a 4% performance gain over 8x/8x, and only noticeable when using 5970s. By switching the boards, you'd save $55 and not see any difference.

I'd switch the PSU for an Antec Earthwatts 650W. This is a high quality PSU, and cheaper without the need to apply for a rebate.

A case I like to recommend is the Coolermaster 690. It's a high quality case that's a lot cheaper than the 900 with sufficient cooling. It's in a combo with a SATA DVD burner.

I would also ditch that HSF. Grab a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus (with free card reader). This is a better heatsink and roughly the same price. I would also ditch the thermal compound, as it's not really necessary. The stock stuff is good enough unless you're trying to beat an overclocking record.
April 19, 2010 5:45:28 PM

Ok, the Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 sounds like the way to go. I looked through the supported memory list off Gigabyte's page and couldn't find a 4GB kit with a 7CL.

Another thread on this forum suggested OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3BE1600C8LV4GK

I found someone else that runs the RAM Mobo combo so it sounds good. Any objections?

My new question is then, what is the best way to find RAM? Newegg then see if anyone else runs the combo or search the supported RAM list first?
April 19, 2010 5:48:48 PM

The QVL isn't a comprehensive list. It only contains sticks that have been extensively tested. Just because a set isn't on the QVL doesn't mean it's not compatible. It just means the motherboard company didn't test the combination. You don't need to change the RAM.

I'm always hesitant to suggest OCZ because they have a lot of compatibility issues with a wide range of boards. I can't say for certain which ones they have problems with, as it seems it's hit or miss. So this unreliability causes me to generally avoid them.
April 19, 2010 5:59:29 PM

Time out, I read the reviews on Newegg. Some people were having trouble with that RAM and AMD boards.
April 19, 2010 6:55:35 PM

That's because they're not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. Newegg user reviews are mostly written by people who shouldn't be trusted with sharp sticks, much less a computer. The reason the majority of those problems occur is that not every board detects the RAM at the proper settings automatically. That will lead to problems when the RAM settings are left on automatic. To prevent this, the voltage, speed and timings should be set manually to the manufacturer's specs in BIOS. This is something you should do regardless of the type of build.

And yes, I do prefer G.Skill. They're high quality sticks with great overclocking potential (they've won a slew of awards at OC competitions) that are generally cheaper than the majority of other brands.
April 19, 2010 7:13:19 PM

Sounds good. That is the conclusion I was headed toward. Thanks for all your help!

(I don't see a choose best answer button. Is this because I did a "discussion" instead of a "question"?)
April 19, 2010 8:50:04 PM

To choose a best answer, it needed to be a question.
April 24, 2010 6:44:28 AM

Up and running. The ram specified 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 1.6v

If I set both it wouldn't boot. A lot of reviews on Newegg said to use 8-8-8-24 on AMD boards. That seems to work. So I am currently running 8-8-8-24 @1600 with 1.5v. I haven't run memtest yet to see if it is stable at 1.5v or if it needs more power.

Is there a big difference between 7-8-7-24 @1333 and 8-8-8-24 @1600; which one is preferable?

Thanks again everyone for your help!
April 24, 2010 1:12:22 PM

1.5v lasted about 10 min in prime95. I turned it up to 1.6v and it lasted all night (6 hrs).

Thanks again everyone!!!