Opinions/Comments on a mid-level AMD gaming rig

This is a tentative list of parts for my first build. Most of my parts are final, however, the RAM in particular I am open to suggestions regarding better alternatives. Any help or suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Ideally within the week.
BUDGET RANGE: $1400-$1600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, video/picture editing, some website work, web surfing.

PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: Newegg, ideally, but i'm willing to use any reputable site that's cheaper.

PARTS PREFERENCES: a 24" monitor, AMD cpu

OVERCLOCKING: No. This is my first build, and I'd rather not mess with that.
Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. Crossfire, after I add another gpu (budget permitting)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: don't really care...big, i suppose.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to build a solid base system that i can upgrade as my budget expands.


My tentative parts list:

CPU: Cpu: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727&cm_re=Phenom_II_X4_965_Black_Edition-_-19-103-727-_-Product

Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130223

Power: Corsair 750W TX ATX 12V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory w/ Red LEDs Model BL2KIT25664TR1608
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148334

Video Card: Radeon HD 5770 1GB (Adding another as budget expands)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=Radeon+HD+5770+1GB&x=0&y=0

Monitor: Asus VW246H Black 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10009799&prodlist=froogle

Keyboard: Saitek Cyborg
http://www.amazon.com/Cyborg-Gaming-Keyboard-Tri-Color-Backlighting/dp/B000VOE466

Disk Drive: ASUS 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 24X DVD Burner - Bulk – OEM (Adding a Blu-ray drive as soon as budget allows)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Speakers: Creative Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Gaming Headset http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826158084

Mouse: Logitech MX518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104178&Tpk=logitech%20mouse%20mx518

I don't have a specific hard drive selected, as i'm not sure it matters. I plan to get a 7200 rpm 250GB drive at first, and then add to that as budget allows.
I also plan to get a PCI 802.11G card for wireless connectivity, but am not sure what I need, as I know very little about internet/networking.
10 answers Last reply
More about opinions comments level gaming
  1. Now that the 890FX are available in certain parts of the world, i wouldn't pump good $$ into a enthusiast class 700 series mobo and IMO for the $$, your config looks GPU lite whilst being heavy in other dept? Consider

    870/880G/890GX chipset
    HD 5850
    955be
  2. SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827151188
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $6.99
    • 2 year: $11.99
    $25.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151188

    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    Item #: N82E16811119197
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Instant
    $109.98
    $89.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $10.99
    • 2 year: $18.99
    -$5.00 Instant
    $59.99
    $54.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

    ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
    Item #: N82E16824236049
    Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $25.99
    • 2 year: $45.99
    -$30.00 Instant
    $259.99
    $229.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236049

    GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
    Item #: N82E16813128435
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $17.99
    • 2 year: $26.99
    $139.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435

    SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video ...
    Item #: N82E16814102884
    Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $32.99
    • 2 year: $54.99
    $314.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102884

    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
    Item #: N82E16817139006
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$30.00 Instant
    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    $139.99
    $109.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

    Logitech G15 USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard
    Item #: N82E16823126034
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $9.99
    • 2 year: $16.99
    $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126034

    Logitech G9x Black Two modes scroll USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse
    Item #: N82E16826104261
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $9.99
    • 2 year: $16.99
    -$5.00 Instant
    $99.99
    $94.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104261

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
    Item #: N82E16820231279
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $139.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231279

    DOLICA Midnight Edge Series ME-100 Mouse Pad
    Item #: N82E16826992004
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    $5.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826992004

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX
    Item #: N82E16819103808
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $19.99
    • 2 year: $36.99
    $159.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116754
    Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
    $99.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

    Logitech 981-000040 3.5mm/ USB Circumaural Digital Precision PC Gaming Headset
    Item #: N82E16826104229
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
    The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
    • 1 year: $6.99
    • 2 year: $11.99
    $39.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104229
    Subtotal: $1,596.85
  3. (this is tehcomputerd00d, just on a different user)
    batuchka said:
    Now that the 890FX are available in certain parts of the world, i wouldn't pump good $$ into a enthusiast class 700 series mobo and IMO for the $$, your config looks GPU lite whilst being heavy in other dept? Consider

    870/880G/890GX chipset
    HD 5850
    955be

    I will certainly look into the mobos...all the research i did previously was into Intel x58 mobos, so i'm not quite as up to date on the AMD side. Thanks for the heads-up.
    The only reason the setup is GPU-light is simply that, since I don't plan to be doing much graphic-intensive stuff early on (Bioshock, Portal, older games), i would rather use the money i have now to get solid base components, since the GPU is quite easy to upgrade. I am on a rather tight budget right now.
  4. The 890FX are available (i think) in some places. $179

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10012592&prodlist=froogle

    If you get the 890FX the SATA3 6GB hard drives start at $80 for a 640 GB one.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136544
  5. L3v14th4n said:
    (this is tehcomputerd00d, just on a different user)

    I will certainly look into the mobos...all the research i did previously was into Intel x58 mobos, so i'm not quite as up to date on the AMD side. Thanks for the heads-up.
    The only reason the setup is GPU-light is simply that, since I don't plan to be doing much graphic-intensive stuff early on (Bioshock, Portal, older games), i would rather use the money i have now to get solid base components, since the GPU is quite easy to upgrade. I am on a rather tight budget right now.


    Hmm since u dun sound to be a HC gaming enthusiast then ya dun think you even need more than 1 PCIex16 2.0 lane and some of these 890FXes have 6 (!) 870/890GX sounds about right seeing you are on a tight budget too ^^
  6. to niklas_13
    Niklas_13 said:
    SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
    Item #: N82E16820231279
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    $139.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231279

    I assume that you listed this as a recommendation. However, as I read the Newegg reviews, there seems to be some people that have a problem with it on AMD builds. Is this an actual problem with this RAM, or just isolated cases?

    to dirtmountain
    Quote:
    The 890FX are available (i think) in some places. $179

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Prod [...] st=froogle

    If you get the 890FX the SATA3 6GB hard drives start at $80 for a 640 GB one.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136544

    This certainly looks like a viable option, and a $179 mobo is not a bad price at all. Same for the SATA3..i never even thought about looking for SATA3 drives...would probably RAID 0 them, as that seems to be the general consensus as to how to get better performance.

    to batuchka
    Quote:
    Hmm since u dun sound to be a HC gaming enthusiast then ya dun think you even need more than 1 PCIex16 2.0 lane and some of these 890FXes have 6 (!) 870/890GX sounds about right seeing you are on a tight budget too ^^

    The only reason I am not building a much more high-end system is budget. I would like to have core components (mobo, cpu, power, etc) that will support lots of upgrades in the future in order to make it high-end. Just because I don't need 6 PCIex16 slots doesn't mean i won't want them later.
  7. Not sure why people would have a problem with that ram on a AMD build vs Intel build, less the people dont know what there doing and dont know how to set there ram to specs in the bios.


    Some mobos will set ram to defaults of 1.5v 1333 So you need to bump the volts to 1.6 and the speed to 1600 and make sure the timings are at 7-7-7-24

    Anyways the ram should run fine, but i seen you said no OCing so some 1333 ram would be fine for your build.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276
  8. Niklas_13 said:
    Not sure why people would have a problem with that ram on a AMD build vs Intel build, less the people dont know what there doing and dont know how to set there ram to specs in the bios.


    Some mobos will set ram to defaults of 1.5v 1333 So you need to bump the volts to 1.6 and the speed to 1600 and make sure the timings are at 7-7-7-24

    Anyways the ram should run fine, but i seen you said no OCing so some 1333 ram would be fine for your build.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

    I said no OCing on this build, mainly because I don't really know enough about it right now to feel comfortable doing it. If decent OC-able RAM is available for just a few dollars more, I'd rather go with that than have to buy new RAM later when I decide to start OCing
  9. L3v14th4n said:
    I said no OCing on this build, mainly because I don't really know enough about it right now to feel comfortable doing it. If decent OC-able RAM is available for just a few dollars more, I'd rather go with that than have to buy new RAM later when I decide to start OCing



    then go for

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145285

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231279

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303

    one of thos
  10. After reviewing all the input from the helpful folks here at tomshardware, as well as doing some of my own research, my final parts lists looks like it will be as follows (I'm only listing changes from the original list):

    Motherboard: Either
    ASUS M4A89TD PRO AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131645
    OR
    MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130223

    I am still rather torn between these two. They don't appear to either support USB3, although they both do support SATA3. I do like that the MSI mobo has 4 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, while the ASUS only has 2. Honestly, I'm really not sure...any help would be apreciated, as well as any suggestions for a third board that is better than either of these. The board has to support SATA3, as the hard drives i'm getting are SATA3.
    EDIT: Never mind. Should have done my research better before i posted...the MSI board doesn't support SATA3. It's no good.

    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
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447
    I decided to go with a 5770 because of budget. I will add at least one more as soon as money allows. This particular model seemed to have fairly good ratings.

    Hard Drive: (2) Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
    These are normally $110, but newegg is having a sale and I can get them for $90. I plan to get 2 and RAID 0 them for maximum performance.

    RAM: 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=N82E16820231303&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=
    This looks to me to be good, solid gaming-level RAM. I will plan to get another kit to bump it up to 8GBs as soon as budget allows.

    WiFi Card: Linksys WMP54G IEEE 802.11b/g, PCI 2.2 and 2.3 32bit PCI2.2 Wireless-G Adapter Up to 54Mbps Wireless Data Rates WEP, WPA, CCX 2.0
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124115
    This seemed to be a solid WiFi card, although I'm not really sure how much difference one makes over another.

    Everything else, I'm leaving the same. These are the last components that I had the most questions/confusion over. Any final thoughts would be appreciated, and thanks again for all the help from everyone.
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