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Critique my (gaming PC) build...

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April 26, 2010 6:04:30 PM

The (immediate) primary goal here is to get max FPS in WoW while participating in 25 man raid content. That said, I also wanted to have a certain amount of "future proofing" with this build in the event another game, or program comes out that I would like to try.


Case: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 - $92.99
http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch_v3.asp?scriteria=A...

MoBo: MSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3 - $129.99 (in store special)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - $179.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM: Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) 240-Pin Dual Ch. - $129.99 (+ $30 MIR)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

HDD: WD Caviar Black 500GB 7,200RPM 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb (OEM) - $69.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

DVD Drive: LG GH22NS40 SATA Super Multi DVD Rewriter (OEM) - $24.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

GPU + Power Supply combo: XFX HD-583X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit DDR5 -and- XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $299.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the overall quality of this build. I know I could go cheaper in some places. I've elected to make the majority of purchases locally (microcenter & mwave) just based on overall convenience, and the ability to deal with any issues that arise in person vs. an arduous RMA process.

Thanks in advance for your feedback. Have a fantastic day.

More about : critique gaming build

April 26, 2010 8:35:44 PM

any thoughts? (hate to have to shamelessly bump my own post)
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April 26, 2010 8:49:55 PM

Yesh, I have some issues...

First, the 965 is a waste of money. It's the same chip as the 955, just with a factory overclock. Save the money and get the cheaper one.

Second, WD HDDs are pretty slow right now and are more expensive than the faster drives. Grab either the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB or Seagate 7200.12 500 GB.

Third, if this is for gaming, I would drop the CPU down to the X3 425 (or X3 440) and upgrade the 5830 to the 5850. The 5830 is overpriced for it's performance and the 5850 is a much better buy.
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April 26, 2010 8:54:15 PM

haha, well first off, hello! now, onto business:

CASE: decent case, but there are better ones at better prices, depends what you value most, aesthetics, cooling, quietness, or features.

MOBO: good board for a good price, actually currecntly using it right now in my gaming build, and thats a very good price, so id just leave that.

CPU: id just get the 955 C3, both are the same, just the 965 being overclocked a bit and costing 20$ more.

RAM: BAD! it is over priced, and underperforming...the cas latency is at 9, and you wanna get it around 7, and you can buy much better ram for a lower price.

HDD: best hdd out there is the samsung f3, depends on if you want 500 gigs or 1 terrabyte, but the 500 gig is faster, cooler, cheaper, safer...

DVD DRIVE: nobody cares, but theres one i always get lol

GPU+PSU: well first off, a 5830 currently doesnt show too much of an increase in performance over a 4890, which doesnt show much increase in performance over a 5770. so, id either go the extra bit for the 5850, which gives a ton of extra performance, or drop down to a 5770. secondly, xfx isnt exactly known for psus, and 650 isnt that good of an amount...too much for just 1 vid card, usually not enough for 2, so if just get a 750 watt antec, silverstone, or corsair...

well all done, wait a bit and ill come back with a build...
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April 26, 2010 8:54:50 PM

The build looks decent. I would definitely forget the WD Black 500GB drive since it uses old 250GB/platter platters. The new 500GB/platter drives are considerably faster for less money. You can save $15 and get a faster drive if you order the HD from newegg.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $54.99

I would also recommend stepping up to a 5850 if at all possible, even though that GPU + PSU combo is tempting. The 5830 just really doesn't have a very good price/performance ratio.

I don't see an OS. You can get 64-bit Windows 7 from Newegg for $100.

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99
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April 26, 2010 8:57:55 PM

Thanks for the response MadAdmiral...

I only opted for the 965 because Microcenter was offering $30 off th cost of the motherboard with the 965 chip while the 955 chip didn't offer the same deal...

I'm basically paying $309 for the MoBo and CPU which seems right on par with some of the better combo deals on newegg, etc.

I'll check into the Samsung or Seagate HDD... thanks for the info.

As far as price point, the 5830 is almost exactly half way between the 5770 and 5850. From most of the benchmarks, and test data I have reviewed, the performance is just about right in between as well. I could opt for the cheaper processor and more robust video card, but I had some reservations about doing that when it came to the sustainability of this machine longer term.
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April 26, 2010 8:59:33 PM

one of the better paths actually is either dropping down to a 955, or waiting a bit for 890FX, then getting that and a phenom x2 555...since the 890s will be overall much better, and will have a much better chance of unlocking the 555, you can get a 160$ cpu for 99$...that all depends on ur overclocking expertise, and ur willingness to wait a short period of time...
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April 26, 2010 9:03:06 PM

if you dont plan on crossfiring the 5850, which in your situation, idk why you would, you can go down to a 500-550 watt psu to save some money...also, if you dont plan on xfiring, you dont really need a fx board, so id just get the one madadmiral suggested, or like i said wait for 890FX for the unlocking and future proofing...
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April 26, 2010 9:03:52 PM

As far as the OS is concerned, I can pick up Windows 7 from Frys out here for around $85-$88 dollars... they have a sale goin on right now.

Based on the comments, I will definately look into a different HDD.

The XFX video card + PSU combo was appealing to me because XFX offers a double lifetime warranty on the GPU, and that line of PSU's was pretty highly reviewed on HardOCP. The $40+ in combo savings added to its appeal for me.
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April 26, 2010 9:10:42 PM

If you really want to stick a XFX card (which I think is kind of silly), here's a good GPU/RAM combo: HD 5850 and G.Skill 2x2 GB 1600 CL 9 for $400. Yes, the RAM is only CL 9 instead of the preferred CL 7, but that won't really be noticeable.

Then you can get whatever 650-750W PSU you want. The Antec's is the cheapest high quality unit at $75 (I think).

On the 965/board combo, that's actually not a good buy. Considering that the 955/790XTA-UD4 is $285 on Newegg and much more future proof. And yes, the 5830 is between the 5770 and 5850, but the percentage price increase is a lot higher than the percentage performance increase. That makes it a bad buy.

@ares: The 890 chipset isn't "much better". It's exactly the same as the 790, just you won't need to update the BIOS to use a hex-core CPU. And the X2 is a bad buy right now, since the X3 425 is a lot cheaper and just as good.
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April 26, 2010 9:17:05 PM

not to go off track, but it might be a good idea to consider i5 750+470...it actually wont cost too much more, with the 470 only costing 20-30$ more, mobo being the same, and the cpu costing 30$ more...that will likely be a better buy, but ill have to look into it...and scratch what i said about 555 lol
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April 26, 2010 9:17:54 PM

I'm not hell bent on having an XFX card or anything MadAdmiral... was just explaining the thought process that went into that selection...

If you have a moment, would you mind checking out www.microcenter.com website to see if they have any memory or an HDD which you consider to be superior to the Kingston and WD based on the price they offer.

Secondly... all things being equal, is the Gigabyte 790XTA board better than the MSI board? If so, why? I'm learning a ton as I go here, and I appreciate your insight...
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April 26, 2010 9:44:15 PM

The Gigabyte is a better board. As a whole, Gigabyte is higher quality. The board in particular has a lot of great features that the MSI board is missing (mainly USB 3/SATA III support).

Here's the Seagate 7200.12 for $10 less.

To be honest, I don't see a lot of good prices at Microcenter (excluding Intel CPUs). I would see if they'll price match Newegg. If they won't, I'd just buy everything from Newegg. Just looking, you'd save a good $40-50.
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April 26, 2010 9:52:49 PM

right on. I appreciate the info sir.

I'll look into the the Seagate HDD, and I'll see if they are willing to compete with newegg pricing on the MoBo and what not.
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April 26, 2010 10:03:33 PM

ok, just going off on my lil tangent, this build costs about 75$ more, but is quite a bit better:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

final price is 1039.92$, but most of the components are much, much better...as well as being much more future proof, while still meeting the 1000ish budget...
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April 26, 2010 10:11:47 PM

quick question...

why is the i5-750 more "future proof" when compared to the AMD chipset?

don't the new intel chips require a different socket/MoBo than the i5's?

I'm sorry if I am mistaken... that said, I really don't have the extra $50 in my budget. The current budget is a little more than intended to spend initially, and I can't really justify (or afford) to keep increasing it here and there... as much as I would love to.

Ares... Mad... thanks a bunch to oth of you for taking the time to respond to this post. I really appreciate it, and I hope you guys have a fantastic day!
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April 26, 2010 10:17:58 PM

well, i was speaking more of the 470, but the i5 is technically less future proof. it is better, by a decent amount, however, it looks as if there wont be many other 1156 socket cpus. howeve, by the looks of it, its gonna take 890 to get 6 core cpus, so the point might be moot. and honestly, the 470 is equivalent to something between a 5850 and a 5870, maybe even a lil better than a 5870, as well as having techs that will make WoW's 5 years from now much more playable than on a 5xxx series. its a better buy, but if you wanna take out the extra money, you can probs take out the 470 for a 58xx, and i can tweek it a bit to get it closer to 950$
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April 27, 2010 12:43:43 AM

Again, ares your info is a little off. The GTX 470 is barely better than the HD 5850, and it significantly more expensive. It is definitely not better than the 5870.

Also, you'll be able to use a six core CPU on ANY AM3 board, you may just need a BIOS update first. That said, you will not need a six core CPU for a long time, if ever.

The LGA1156 and LGA1366 sockets are both officially dead end sockets. Intel has already announced their next sockets (1155 and 1365 I believe), so that means you cannot consider either socket to be future proof.
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April 27, 2010 1:07:26 AM

@madadmiral, check hardwarecanucks for the benchmarks, the 470 is all over the place, but it beats the 5850 most of the time, and when it doesnt, its by 1 fps, and beats the 5870 in quite a lot, idk if its enough to be considered better, but i would say about a 5865 ish lol. and the one in my build is only 349.99, so its only 30$ more. also, give the drivers time to mature and such, and it will likely equal a 5870, give or take, especially with more widespread use of heavy tessellation...and yeah, i thought it would work on any am3 board, although im pretty sure that the deneb based ones will work on am3, but the bulldozer ones are exclusive to 890. dont quote me, im not sure, but thats what i heard. AND REALLY? intel is making ANOTHER socket change!? and by 1 pin no less...hmm i havent heard about that...but WOW! ive always like amd and ati a bit more, but that seems pretty low intel!
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May 3, 2010 10:48:45 AM

I really like the phenom II 965. I think it is the best processor. I really don't the the hexa-cores perform better than the 3.4ghz quadcore.
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May 3, 2010 12:26:01 PM

The 470 does beat the 5870 in some benchmarks. However, it's at the lower resolutions when the GPUs aren't being taxed as much. Looking at Tom's review, the 470 tends to be above the 5870 at 1680x1050 by a few FPS, slightly above the 5850 by a few FPS (and sometimes even below it) at 1920x1080, and definitely below the 5850 at 2560x1600. There are exceptions to this, but it's the general trend. I just don't see how the 470 is worth it for an extra $50 when it's basically the same...
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