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$800-$1000 Gaming PC Build

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April 30, 2010 4:45:15 AM

Hey everyone,
*I understand this is a lengthy post, but I like to be complete so people can understand where I'm headed, so I apologize in advance and hope this doesn't scare you away :D  *
My desktop has been out of service for quite some time now, video card fried after a few years. Anyway, there's nothing to salvage really, so I wanted to build a new gaming PC that would be ready for the next wave of games and some already released games (i.e. Starcraft2, Aion, Diablo 3 [crossing my fingers this release doesn't drag on for another 2+ years] and others). I'm looking to build a good gaming desktop that will last me a few years and won't need much if any upgrades to play new releases.

I've been doing a lot of research lately as I have been out of the loop for a long time. I've built one desktop myself a number of years ago (the one that's now dead) and I'm really excited to build another one. I've got a a few components of a build that I think would be good candidates for such a goal that I will list in the additional comments section, however, it is incomplete, which is where I need help filling in the remaining pieces. Also feel free to comment/criticize/give feedback as I'm not entirely up-to-date with everything, although I have been doing a lot of reading and have a fairly good idea.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next few weeks ideally

BUDGET RANGE: 800-1000 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 95% gaming, 5% internet/movies/etc

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: no but I'm steering in a particular direction (see below)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (1st time overclocking)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: maybe down the road

MONITOR RESOLUTION: BenQ FP93G X 19" LCD (1280x1024)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

I've got a few components so far that I've researched and have received good reviews, especially the motherboard and CPU combination I've selected. In terms of RAM, I've been seeing a lot of G.Skill Ripjaws and I'm guessing that's a pretty good direction to head in, but what do I know. The rest I'm not really too sure about, I'm assuming I'll probably need a 700-750+ PSU (to allow the ability for upgrading in the future). HDD I've read good things and seen many recommendations toward Spinpoint F3's. Case, I like the Antec Three Hundred Illusion, but I'm open to suggestions if this is a poor choice. And before I forget I like what I've been reading about the Radeon HD 5850, and was going to go with this.

Motherboard:GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
>I've always been more of an AMD "fanboy" if you will, but I like the AM3 socket-type as I'm assuming AMD won't be changing this anytime soon. So I hope its safe to say that when newer CPUs come out they will be backwards compatible with this motherboard.
>Also in terms of this motherboard, I've read nothing but great reviews. I'm also aware that to get the full potential out of DDR3 1600 RAM I need to play around with the timing or something like that? I'm not really sure how to do this so hopefully someone would be able guide me in the right direction here, possibly specific to this motherboard.

CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
>Similarly as with the RAM, I've read quite a few reviews where this was very easily OC'd to 3.8 GHz, but of course I've never OC'd before and would appreciate any help I could get here.
>Also correct me if I'm wrong (I doubt it will cause me to change my mind) but I read something about the 6Gb/s SATA taking away from the graphics card potential? Correct me if I'm wrong.

RAM:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
>I'm not sure what the major difference between these 4 is, aside from lower cas latency, timing, and of course price. I'm not too sure what the voltage implies, as I don't know much about it.

GPU: Radeon HD 5850
>I didn't post a link because I'm not too familiar with the different manufacturers and their credibility/quality, so I was looking for some assistance here.

HDD:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And the rest I guess I'm pretty clueless on aside from possibly the Antec Three Hundred Illusion. Once again if you're still with me, I appreciate your patience and time for reading this novel. Hopefully I'll be on my way to purchasing soon!

More about : 800 1000 gaming build

April 30, 2010 5:07:58 AM

Get a CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced
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April 30, 2010 5:27:46 AM

The Ram you have listed are all pretty good (the last on the list being the best) because of lower timings and voltage.

You may also want to consider the ECO series:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This has tight timings and only uses 1.35v so it will run cooler on less power (and it's slightly cheaper than the ripjaw).
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Related resources
April 30, 2010 5:58:37 AM

Unless your planning to get a bigger monitor or run two monitors, a 5850 is over kill for a monitor w/ a max resolution of 1280 x 1024. In your case; assuming from what you said, you'll be playing games such as SC2, Diablo 3, and possibly new games, a 5770 should be more than enough to suit your needs. Also, take note that if your going to use XP or windows 7 as your OS, you won't need more than 4GB of DDR3 RAM. With that said, below is a build I have put together for you - take note that this build has upgrading in mind - this system should last you about 2 years should you choose to upgrade by getting a second 5770 crossfire.

Case: Rosewill Destroyer
Price: $54.99 + tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: This is most likely the BEST mid tower case out there for it's price, it comes loaded w/ 3 fans; 1 top, 1 front and 1 rear. Has a ton of additional features such as a front e-sata port, front mesh/ w dust filters, cable management and can hold up to 7 fans.

Mother Board: GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3
Price: $189.99
Link: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Additional Info: I chose this MB with future upgrade in mind - can run two GPUs effectively on PCI-E @ x16.

PSU: Ultra 750w
Price: $79.99 + Tax [Can be picked up in person at the store]
Link: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Additional Info: I have done the math [watts/amps] and this PSU should do fine if you decide to grab a second 5770 for crossfire in the future.
Also, I believe this PSU comes with a ultra life time warranty if you register this product online.

GPU: XFX 5770
Price: $169.99 + Tax: Shipping $7.56
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: Great cooling design; sucks air from inside the case and exhausts hot air out the back.
According to credible sources of information [you can verify this by asking in forums] - two 5770s will have the same performance as a 5870, sometimes better in certain scenarios.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
Price: $159.99 + Tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: This CPU should be more than enough for your gaming/daily needs - only a handful of games take full advantage of multicored CPUs at this time. Will be a few more years before game developers take FULL advantage of this unharnessed power.

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
Price: $109.99 + Tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Price: $69.99
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Price Before Taxes: $834.93 [You can consider grabbing a second 5770 if you can squeeze in a few more dollars and finalize your build and maybe a second/bigger monitor down the road]

As olender had said before: "Feel free to comment/criticize/give feedback". If you have any questions, fire away.
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April 30, 2010 6:42:28 AM

Hello,
Roswell Case is VERY CHEAP & THIN... Keep the ANTEC...
Ultra is a CHEAP PSU... Get a GOOD Quality PSU like ANTEC, Corsair, OCZ 650Watt is Plenty for Your build unless you plan to go Crosswfire, then 750 Watt Minimum...
WD Caviar BLACK Hard Drive for Performance (the Samsung Spinpoint is a Good HD also)
Good Luck :D 
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April 30, 2010 7:28:04 AM

jimiznhb said:
Hello,
Roswell Case is VERY CHEAP & THIN... Keep the ANTEC...
Ultra is a CHEAP PSU... Get a GOOD Quality PSU like ANTEC, Corsair, OCZ 650Watt is Plenty for Your build unless you plan to go Crosswfire, then 750 Watt Minimum...
WD Caviar BLACK Hard Drive for Performance (the Samsung Spinpoint is a Good HD also)
Good Luck :D 


Don't troll the rosewill destroyer, check it's reviews before making such a negative comment. Also, he's on a budget, can you suggest a better build? with all the prices and links?
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April 30, 2010 1:33:43 PM

pijh said:
The Ram you have listed are all pretty good (the last on the list being the best) because of lower timings and voltage.

You may also want to consider the ECO series:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This has tight timings and only uses 1.35v so it will run cooler on less power (and it's slightly cheaper than the ripjaw).


If I went with the ECO series, would I notice any performance difference? Assuming I want my PC to be future proof (i.e. might be overkill right now, but in a year will still be up to par with everything is my rationale) would it be better to throw a few extra dollars in there and one of the Ripjaws. If so, between them, how much of a difference do you notice between something like a cas latency 9 and 7, as well as between some of the timings. Thanks for the response.
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April 30, 2010 1:55:59 PM

alikum said:
Get a CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced

I looked at the CM case and I do like it, however compared to the Antec which sports 1 more fan (not really a big deal) is the 40 dollar price difference worth it. I've read a lot of good reviews about the Antec specific to gaming builds and saving a little money would be nice. Thanks for the response.
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April 30, 2010 2:30:48 PM

coffeecoffee said:
Unless your planning to get a bigger monitor or run two monitors, a 5850 is over kill for a monitor w/ a max resolution of 1280 x 1024. In your case; assuming from what you said, you'll be playing games such as SC2, Diablo 3, and possibly new games, a 5770 should be more than enough to suit your needs. Also, take note that if your going to use XP or windows 7 as your OS, you won't need more than 4GB of DDR3 RAM. With that said, below is a build I have put together for you - take note that this build has upgrading in mind - this system should last you about 2 years should you choose to upgrade by getting a second 5770 crossfire.

Case: Rosewill Destroyer
Price: $54.99 + tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: This is most likely the BEST mid tower case out there for it's price, it comes loaded w/ 3 fans; 1 top, 1 front and 1 rear. Has a ton of additional features such as a front e-sata port, front mesh/ w dust filters, cable management and can hold up to 7 fans.

Mother Board: GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3
Price: $189.99
Link: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Additional Info: I chose this MB with future upgrade in mind - can run two GPUs effectively on PCI-E @ x16.

PSU: Ultra 750w
Price: $79.99 + Tax [Can be picked up in person at the store]
Link: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Additional Info: I have done the math [watts/amps] and this PSU should do fine if you decide to grab a second 5770 for crossfire in the future.
Also, I believe this PSU comes with a ultra life time warranty if you register this product online.

GPU: XFX 5770
Price: $169.99 + Tax: Shipping $7.56
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: Great cooling design; sucks air from inside the case and exhausts hot air out the back.
According to credible sources of information [you can verify this by asking in forums] - two 5770s will have the same performance as a 5870, sometimes better in certain scenarios.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
Price: $159.99 + Tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Additional Info: This CPU should be more than enough for your gaming/daily needs - only a handful of games take full advantage of multicored CPUs at this time. Will be a few more years before game developers take FULL advantage of this unharnessed power.

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
Price: $109.99 + Tax : Free Shipping
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Price: $69.99
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Price Before Taxes: $834.93 [You can consider grabbing a second 5770 if you can squeeze in a few more dollars and finalize your build and maybe a second/bigger monitor down the road]

As olender had said before: "Feel free to comment/criticize/give feedback". If you have any questions, fire away.

Thanks for such a detailed response. In terms of monitor, I have a larger one at home that my dad uses, it might be a hannspree 21+ inch widescreen. Also if funds permit in the future I plan on getting a bigger monitor so I can take advantage of the GPU.

Case: the Antec is only 5 dollars more and includes 1 more fan, I can't see myself using a feature like e-sata and such, but I like the recommendation. I think most of the time case comes down to preference more than anything aside from the fact it has all the necessary features.

Motherboard: same board that I picked above :]

PSU: I've read about how the quality of a PSU is very important (so I was planning on reading up a little bit sometime later today) and can sometimes even cause your entire system to go dead, so I want this to be a solid PSU. I don't know much about your recommendation so I'll try to look into it.

GPU: Ok, so the 5770 xfired is equal or better than the 5850. I've read this in a lot of places as well and considered that thought. But a lot of people said the xfire configuration with something like the 5770's would cause more heat exhaust into the case. So my logic was get the 5850, if the 5770 xf setup does barely outperform it, oh well, I'll save a little energy consumption/heat. I know you said a 1 x 5770 would suffice for now and I could always crossfire later if need be, but if I can afford the 5850 now, would it be better to go that route, and just crossfire the 5850 in the future when/if I need to?

CPU: You went with the Phenom II X4 955, only 20 dollar cheaper, is it worth it to get the 965 for that little extra, despite the fact it might be considered overkill (assuming I'll be better prepared for the future). The only thing that I'm disappointed in was I read about how some of the i5's in the same bracket as this card slightly outperform it? Correct me if I'm wrong, also I haven't looked into the prices of the i5's but I'll take a wild bet and assume they're a lot more expensive for only a slight increase in performance. Intel, shame on you.

RAM: Nothing too complicated, any big difference between this and ripjaws or eco series?

HDD: Now here is where I'm a little confused, I've read that HDD's can't limit a computer's performance, such as bottlenecking the GPU card. Also I don't ever see myself filling up at 500 GB HDD even, but you never know. So, comparing the 500 GB Spinpoint F3, which is slightly cheaper, how does it compare in performance. Specs look about the same, aside from the WD not listing response times and latency.

Look forward to hearing your feedback. Thanks again.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 2:32:10 PM

$800-$1000 is plenty of money for a killer gaming rig with no need for cheap parts. You can even throw in a 1920x1080 monitor for that budget.
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April 30, 2010 2:42:51 PM

jimiznhb said:
Hello,
Roswell Case is VERY CHEAP & THIN... Keep the ANTEC...
Ultra is a CHEAP PSU... Get a GOOD Quality PSU like ANTEC, Corsair, OCZ 650Watt is Plenty for Your build unless you plan to go Crosswfire, then 750 Watt Minimum...
WD Caviar BLACK Hard Drive for Performance (the Samsung Spinpoint is a Good HD also)
Good Luck :D 

Thanks for the response.
I'm thinking I'm probably going to stick with the Antec as well, as it's cheap and has many great features.

So if I stick with the 5850 (also what is a good manufacturer of GPU's, XFX, Sapphire,etc?, I don't wanna buy a crappy brand and regret it down the road) 650Watt is enough? If I had future intentions to xfire the 5850's, how high would I need to go.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Something like that is about 15 bucks more than the Spinpoint F3, but will I see a difference for gaming. Also, do you know anything about HDD taking away from other components performance such as a GPU, I feel as if I read somewhere that the 6GB/s sata does just this?

Thanks again.
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April 30, 2010 2:48:58 PM

banthracis said:
$800-$1000 is plenty of money for a killer gaming rig with no need for cheap parts. You can even throw in a 1920x1080 monitor for that budget.


Thanks for the response. If you keep the Gigabyte motherboard, HD 5850, and Phenom II X4 965, what else could you suggest for the remaining parts to stay within the 1000 and including a 1920x1080 monitor. Or are you saying that these parts are overkill (which I agree they might be right now, but I don't really want to be doing any significant upgrades within the near future, so this setup could potentially last me gaming-wise for quite a while).
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 2:57:56 PM

Full build

Case
Centurion 5 (a no side window version for same price if you want) $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 $140 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G SKill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/GPU
Phenom II x4 955 and 5850 $440
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HD/PSU
SPinpoint f3 500gb and OCZ Modxstream pro 700w $125 w/ $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total come to: $875 before MIR $40 and shipping.

I assume you don't need an optical drive since you haven't mentioned it. If it's an oversight then $20 is enough for anew one.
Use code BHDAPR28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want a new monitor you can grab this Spectre 1920x1080 $130 after promo code EMCYRNV47

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

Puts entire build at $1005 before $40 MIR and shipping

Oh personally I'd just save up another $30 and grab a nice ASUS monitor instead, but this one fits in budget and isn't bad by any means.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 3:00:39 PM

Personally I'D also get an good HSF if i want to do a higher OC. The AMD stock one if fine for most 3.6 OC's but it you wanna hit 4 you'll probably want something else.

Great oen is the CM hyper 212 Plus $34 if you combo it with a floppy. (They're paying you money to take the floppy)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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April 30, 2010 4:01:21 PM

banthracis said:
Full build

Case
Centurion 5 (a no side window version for same price if you want) $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO
GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 $140 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G SKill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 7-8-7-24 $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/GPU
Phenom II x4 955 and 5850 $440
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HD/PSU
SPinpoint f3 500gb and OCZ Modxstream pro 700w $125 w/ $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total come to: $875 before MIR $40 and shipping.

I assume you don't need an optical drive since you haven't mentioned it. If it's an oversight then $20 is enough for anew one.
Use code BHDAPR28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want a new monitor you can grab this Spectre 1920x1080 $130 after promo code EMCYRNV47

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

Puts entire build at $1005 before $40 MIR and shipping

Oh personally I'd just save up another $30 and grab a nice ASUS monitor instead, but this one fits in budget and isn't bad by any means.

I think I'm all set on a monitor as my dad has a Hannspree 21+ inch back home so no need for a new one.

Case: Is there anything wrong with the Antec 300 Illusion? I kind of like how it looks and its only 10 more dollars and includes 2 more fans than the one you suggested.

Motherboard: Since I plan to xfire in the future with 5850's, wouldn't the mobo I listed above (also Gigabyte) be better. It's a little more (40 dollars) but I consider it an investment, plus I've read nothing but great reviews especially with regards to overclocking the Phenom II X4 965 on it.

CPU/GPU: In terms of this combo, it saves you a little money, but don't you think the 965/HD 5850 would be a better choice? Its not an actual combo deal but its only 20 more dollars for the 965 and I can't really find the perfect GPU/brand. The gigabyte in your combo deal didn't get very many good reviews, I actually saw that deal earlier before you mentioned in your post. I looked around a little and saw this HIS product, which I'm not really sure about. I'm assuming XFX/Sapphire/HIS are top companies? If not please let me know I don't want to waste money on a poor manufacturer. Anway this is the card I found:

HIS iCooler V H585FNT1GDG Radeon HD 5850 Turbo 1GB 256-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its about 30 dollars more than the Gigabyte but I'm assuming from reading good reviews that HIS is a better company and I would be getting a better quality/performance product.

HDD/PSU: I like this combo deal but I'd have to order very soon (before 5/2) to take advantage of it. Also, someone mentioned the WD Caviar Blacks are better performance wise for gaming, how much better..I'm not sure but if it's nothing crazy I'd probably stick with the Spinpoint F3.

Thanks for all the feedback, I'm getting closer to deciding what my final build will be.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 4:28:37 PM

The 2 boards are for all intents and purposes identical. The UD5 has a few extra ports you'll never use.

Nothing wrong with illusion, used the Centurion to fit the monitor into the $1k budget. Better yet get a HAF 922.

You're overclocking...why would you get a 965? Over a 955 its the equivalent of paying extra for nothing.

Gigabyte is a good company. They and XFX have the best support and warranty. Sapphire is also good. Overall, doesn't actually matter much which company you buy a GPU from long as it's one of these.

Buying a factory overclocked GPU is the equivalent of paying someone $30 to press 4 buttons for you in ATI Overdrive.


Spinpoint F3 and Seagate 7200.12 performance as well or better than WD Velociraptors. The Caviar Black is far far behind.


=on&prod[2770]=on&prod[2369]=on&prod[2367]=on&prod[2365]=on]

ok linkage fails just copy past.
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April 30, 2010 4:42:59 PM

Does the Caviar Black fall behind even though it has 16 mb cache and dual processors? There's a few things it scored better on in that comparison article, but I'll take your word for it, the results did look promising. Plus the combo deal with the PSU is good assuming I buy very soon within the next few days.

Are you saying the 955 would overclock to the same as the 965? There's a 3.2 vs 3.4 GHz difference between them, so I was guessing (I've never OC'd so I don't really know how much potential you get out of each of them) that the 965 would ultimately OC to about 200 MHz more than the 955 regardless. I read some user reviews (I think on the Gigabyte mobo page) that they OC'd their 965's to about 3.8 and anything above wasn't really stable or at least they made it seem like that. If you happen to know off reference, how high you could potentially overclock the 955 and 965?

Also you didn't mention HIS in your GPU companies, does that mean they aren't worth buying from even though I've been reading good reviews from users on their products? And how do you know that the HIS is factory overclocked just wondering (I might have missed an obvious description, if I did I apologize).
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 5:07:01 PM

Um... only thing Caviar black scorer higher on is temp, sound level, power use and some synthetics.

The first 3 higher means worse, the latter is synthetics, ie doesn't actually mean anything since these values are determined by arbitrary measurements.

Regarding the HIS

It says in the features. Also has turbo in the name.
Quote:
Features Turbo - Benefit by a factory pre-overclocked graphics card with the balance of gaming performance and cooling effect
iCooler V Cooling Technology



On the issue of OCing, this is gonna have to be long.

Ok, all CPU's are made in batches on waffers. Every Phenom II x4 from the 930 to 965 is an identically made chip. However, the manufacture process inherently causes flaws in same parts of the waffer, resulting in some chips performing better than others.

Companies in testing, simply sort the chips based on quick voltage tests. The ones that score better are binned for more expensive model numbers. Then they are sold according to a clock speed they are guaranteed to reach given a certain amount of power.

Now, in overclocking you're increasing voltage to the CPU, so is doesn't matter is your chip was originally binned to reach 3.2 ghz at stock votlage, since you can just bump up the voltage at take it to 4ghz or so.

Now, this DOES NOT mean the more expensive chip will overclock better. AMD is simply selling you a chip guaranteed to reach x clock speed at y voltage. The more expensive chip may not reach a higher clocks peed no matter how much power you put into it. On the other hand, a much cheaper chip, which couldn't reach x clock speed at y voltage, might reach 4ghz or more once you give it more voltage.

This is why if you're overclocking it doesn't matter what model number you buy, and it fact, you're better off with a cheaper model, since it's the exact same chip you're buying in the end. This is why I can take a $280 i7-920 and overclock it to perform better than a $1000 i7 extreme cpu.

Now the reason I recommend the 955 as opposed to a 930 or something is the 955 has an unlocked multiplier to make OCing easier. Every CPU AMD makes COULD have an unlocked multiplier, but they choose to lock it in most chips and make you pay extra for it to be unlocked.

(incidentally, the i5-750 COULD have hyperthreading, Intel just decided to disable that feature so they can can have a seperate higher priced model that has it unlocked aka i7-860)

Edit: As a clarification. 1 Phenom x4 955 may not OC the same as another. My Phenom ii X4 955 may reach 4.0ghz, whiles yours may not get above 3.2. This is entirely luck of the draw on which chip you get (ie you have no control over this).

Edit 2: As a side note. Many Phenom II X3 are actually X4's that have a core disabled (which you can easily re enable). The reason for this is originally the x3's were made from chips where one core wouldn't function properly. However, as manufacturing process improved, these chips are fewer in number, but AMD still has to keep the model in stock. Hence, they take perfectly good quad cores and disable 1 core and sell at a cheaper price.
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April 30, 2010 5:21:29 PM

Ok thanks a lot for explaining that, it makes more sense. But in general does overclocking work a majority of the time (hopefully upwards of about 75%?) and is there a way to ensure your overclock is more successful? I would hate to be stuck at 3.2 GHz factory settings on the 955 when I could be at 3.4 on the 965 (not much of a difference I know but I'd feel more at peace inside. And I just read more reviews where people have gotten their 955 to 3.8 GHz and stable, and also to 4.0 and a little above however mentioned it ran a little hot and that 3.8 is more of a sweet spot.

If you want to check some of the reviews out for yourself:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N...
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 5:33:30 PM

In general the Phenom II x4's should have no issue reaching 3.6 (often at stock voltage). There's no actual data, but in general I don't think I've run into anyone who couldn't hit 3.8.

Newegg reviews are not very reliable. Too many idiots there with no tech knowledge. Classic example, half the 1 egg DOA HD reviews are idiots who don't realize OEM HD's don't come formatted and you have to format it yourself.


In general, hardware review sites are much better places to get your info from. However, the 1 place customer reviews is unmatched is how long a product lasts. Reviews won't test a product for years to see how they do, but if lots of people have a product break on em after 1 year, you'll see it in the reviews.
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April 30, 2010 6:51:59 PM

So I found a combo deal that pairs the X4 955 with the Heatsink Unit that you suggested earlier:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Would I have to worry about lapping the copper pipes/metal to smooth and maximize contact surface. Also should I use something like Arctic Silver as well?

The above combo allows me to have free reign over my GPU selection and I decided XFX was a good route to go. I searched other sites on the internet to find the best price and this is what I found:

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-DisplayPort-PCI-Expres...

http://www.amazon.com/XFX-RADEON-5850-Express-HD585AZNF...

Both these cost the same, but they have different model numbers..what's the difference? Is one better than the other?

I also found this one: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

It looks like an ATI brand model but looks pretty cheap so I don't know if its an older model, what gives?
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a b 4 Gaming
April 30, 2010 7:16:46 PM

You always need thermal paste of some kind. Doesn't' really matter what kind if you're not going for extreme OC's.

A 5850 by any manufacturer uses the same chip. Unless they specify something extra, the only difference is the support/warranty and the sticker they put on top. The usual main difference is the fan/HS. Which is why I said, doesn't matter which company you buy it from. In most current models between any manufacturer is, the only difference is support and the pretty picture.

If you want to know the exact difference between those 2 call J & R get the manufacturer model number and then call XFX. Functionally, those 2, and pretty much every other 5850 for sale is identical.

The tiger direct 1 is OEM, hence cheaper price.

You can do some changes, but the build I linked maximizes your savings.

What you don't seem to realize is that in the world of computers, there is very little difference between models and OEM manufacturers. At the end of the day every mainstream CPU/GPU Chip is the world is made by Intel or AMD/Global Foundry or TSMC/UMC. The only difference between any reselling companies like Gigabyte, Asus, XFX, EVGA, etc is packaging and warranty, and sometimes the HSF.

In fact, the entire 5xxx series is manufactured the same ways with chips sorted like I explained with CPUs, and then certain parts disabled to differentiate between different priced model.
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