Another CDN Gaming PC (CAD ~950)


So some of you might be thinking how easy it will be to link to this recent thread. I assure you I read that one a few times (You will notice my motherboard and Optical drive have both been pilfered from there), and I noticed that few of my other part choices match that thread. I was happy to see that I was on the right track, and it brought me joy!

However, I do have some specific questions of my own, and I did not want to hijack that thread. So I hope you will take a moment to actually read my questions (there is only a few). Rather than just skim my part selection, tell me that my PSU sucks, and move on. :)


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (End of May / June) BUDGET RANGE: Hoping to stay in the CAD 950 rage (after tax and shipping)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Games (if it can do that, it can do the other things I need).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any that ships within Canada without much hassle (I'm on the West Coast)

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU certainly seems the most cost effective.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (not within the first year or 2) CROSSFIRE: Maybe (would like to keep it an upgrade option for the future).

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200 is probably more then enough (I game in 800x600 at the moment!)



My Current Selection Ideas:

1) Monitor - I would like to use my current monitor for the new build - 5-6 year old Staples brand mediocre LCD. The reason I bring this up is because of the connector the monitor has. It's one of the old ones, not HDMI, or DVI. Not many of the newer video cards seem to have this plug anymore! So I started looking into adapters, and it seems like such adapters do exist, but then I came across this....

2) POWERCOLOR AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card -- CAD 153.49

It's nearly the same as the SAPPHIRE HD 5770 I was looking at already. Except it has the old school port I need, plus the newer ones for the future, AND it's cheaper!
a) So am I missing some big problem with this card? (Why is it cheaper) Or is it the answer to all my problems?
b) The Motherboard I have selected is PCI-E 2.0, while the POWERCOLOR is PCI-E 2.1. Everything I have read seems to point towards this not being a problem. Can you confirm this?

(Note: the plan - should the need arrise in the future - is to purchase a second one of these. Thought I don't see performance being a problem for the ext few years)

3) GIGABYTE GA-790XT-USB3 AM3 AMD 790X USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard -- CAD 134.99

(I've read a few motherboard guides, but frankly they confuse me. This one seems popular, and appears to have all the features I need).

4) AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor Model ADX440WFGIBOX -- CAD 76.99

I have no plans of doing any overclocking to this for at least a few years.
c) The case I have chosen has 3 fans. Will that, along with the stock CPU cooling unit be sufficient (without any overclocking)?

5) G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM -- CAD 122.49

(This stuff seems to keep showing up on Tom's... And it looks fun)

6) Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm -- CAD 59.99

(3 fans and cheap)

7) Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive -- CAD 59.99

8) ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM -- CAD 29.99

9) CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

To be perfectly honest with you, I WANT to go with a cheaper power supply.
d) If the cheaper Rosewill 630W unit will produce enough to power my current setup, then what else do I require from it?
(Sure, it might break... but then I would get a new one for free, which doesn't seem like a problem really.)


So, to summarize.

a) Is the POWERCOLOR with the older port a good fit for my situation? Or is the SAPPHIRE and some sort of converter a better idea. Or is there some technical reason why I should abandon the whole "old monitor" idea.

b) Does PCI-E 2.1 work on a PCI-E 2.0 motherboard?

c) Without any overclocking, will the CPU's factory cooling setup be sufficient (with the cases 3 fans as well)?

d) Everyone keeps saying "don't buy cheap PSU" (and there must be a reason for this). But if the cheap PSU will produce enough power to run the setup, what else should actually be demanded of it?
(Basically, aside from the possibility that it might fail and require replacing, why should I not buy a cheap PSU)?

And lastly...
e) Does anybody see an great problems, or incompatibilities with the above part selections that I have not considered? Or do you have any great ideas on saving money on a part?

I know... it's a freaking novel. Appreciate if you could take a few more moments of your time to offer your input.

Thanks a lot!
3 answers Last reply
More about another gaming
  1. Welcome to the forum.

    Reading over your ideas, here's some answers to your questions.

    1) No problem here.

    2) The port you are referring to is most likely VGA and you can buy a VGA->DVI adapter for a few dollars. I would get the dual DVI 5770 and an adapter, but either work. Powercolor is not as highly-recommended as say XFX, which is likely why it's cheaper. 2.1 is an incremental update and all 2.1 cards work in 2.0 boards, as well as 1.0 ones for that matter.

    3) Your motherboard is very nice.

    4) I would recommend that you do a light overclock and/or try to unlock the 4th core on that X3, but if you don't plan on doing more than a minor overclock, the stock cooling will be fine.

    5) This RAM is a bit faster (notice the latencies)

    6) I would consider the 300 Illusion as well. It has a nice promo code with it right now, and is higher quality

    7) You'll want a Spinpoint F3 or 7200.12 instead for faster performance

    8) Fine

    9) No on the Rosewill, you have a good balance of price and performance there with the TX. You do NOT want a poor quality or inefficient power supply. They can damage your other components provided they actually are able to even power them.
  2. I agree with Jbakerlent on point 1 and 2.

    The motherboard on the other hand... I'd recommend going with one of the 800 series chip set boards for the sake of future proofing. is about $10 more and is the latest tech.

    From your description over clocking doesn't seem like it will be a big issue for your requirements but even with a slight one the stock cooler and extra fans will be more then enough. Depending on the video card the extra fans might even be overkill(never a bad thing in cooling)

    Ram I again agree with Jb. Latencies will generally give more of a noticeable speed difference then raw clock speed although if you know how to oc your ram you might be able to coax the stuff you've selected down to a similar latency.

    My recommendation for case would have to be for your price point... build my ex a computer in this case recently and I was surprised by the quality and easy of building and wire tucking.

    Hard drives everyone has a favorite company but short of getting a ssd or one of the new wd velociraptors the Spinpoints will give you the best performance.,2600.html

    optic drives are nothing special and with the advancements in flash drives, dropping prices of hard drives and the ability to get movies and games online I think it's a dieing tech for the future.

    I think people are incorrect when they say don't buy a cheap power supply, they should say don't buy a low quality one and Corsair is a quality company. The scary thing about a low quality psu isn't that it will die and you have to replace it, it's the fact that it could die and you have to replace your entire computer!

    You seem to have made a lot of very well informed choices in your picks and even if you threw out JB and my input and just built what you have on your original list you will be quite satisfied with the rig you get at the end.
  3. Hello,

    I got busy at work, and I spent my free time doing final research on parts, so I did not have time to reply.

    I do want to say thank you to you both, for taking the time to read my questions and reply, and I especially appreciate that you replied with reasons behind your answers.

    Being busy at work also came along with an extension to my contract (which was set to expire on May 31), and after that, they managed to negotiate me a permanent job, with a raise! So long story short, I went with the 800 series motherboard, and the faster ram, as well as the COSAIR PSU.

    It may have seemed annoying that you replied to my thread, and then I vanished, but in reality, I vanished because I was doing more research and didn't have time to reply. All the parts are scheduled to arrive May 25/26, and I am pretty confident that I have balanced my budget with a decent performing PC, that can be upgraded if need be.

    I am concerned about getting a faulty part, because I don't have any 'old' backup parts to troubleshoot with, but will have to deal with that when the time comes.

    Thanks again guys, and I hope to see you around in the future.

    P.S. If the build goes together well, I will have a hard time turning off the games to post about the success. If the build fails, you may see me around, crying for help. But I will do my best to read the sticky's first.
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