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Asking for opinions on my custom build idea.

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May 14, 2010 8:27:27 PM

Hello, I'm attempting to assemble my first custom PC aimed at gaming. I've spent the last few days absorbing information from internet guides and forums so that I could select parts with valid competence. I selected these parts with a few ideas in mind as overhead:
-budget of around $1,300 (inclusive to desktop components and OS purchase)
-Exceptional gaming performance
-Ability to do some overclocking on the pertinent components
-an eye toward future technology in terms of compatibility with software and upgraded hardware

Having done my research and carefully selecting each part I turn to you, the collective wisdom of this forum, to cast your scrutinizing eye upon my build and lend me your knowledgeable opinions and insight as to any problems I might incur or ways I could improve upon the build before I purchase the parts and make ideas reality.

In the text that follows I will list each part, provide a link to a reputable dealer who sells said part, and give any insight or concerns I may have had when I selected the part:

- - - - -

CPU:

AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 965

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... cm_re=amd_phenom_ii_x4_965_black_edition-_-19-103-727-_-Product

-After having read many peoples opinions on this CPU it seems that the majority of folk find it inferior to Intel, however I felt it was appropriate to use an AMD CPU with the AMD GPUs I'm about to list. However this could just be my ignorance wanting to match a company's video cards to their CPU.

GPU

2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT)

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

-Many of what I read pointed toward these being well priced GPUs that could be easily combined through CrossFire to out perform single cards of the same price. One concern that some shared regarding this video card was its lack of AMD's Eyefinity capability. However I don't think I could afford 2-3 identical, quality monitors to exploit this functionality.

Motherboard

ASUS AM3 AMD 790GX

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

-Was given good reviews and supports CrossFire capable video cards

RAM

G.Skill RipJaw Series 4GB (2x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM

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


Hard drive

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB

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

Aftermarket CPU Fan and Heat Sink

Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus

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

Power Supply

Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W

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

-I am fairly certain this should supply enough power to run the system with some to spare, but I would sleep better if other more tech savvy than I confirmed this, as well as its compatibility with the other components.

Optic Drive

Lite-On Black 4X Blu-Ray OEM

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

-I don't know much about optic drives, however this looked like the best Blu-Ray reading drive for the money and many of those whose forum posts I read supported Lite-On as a quality optics drive brand.

Case

Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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

-I am very unsure as to if this case will comfortably house all the listed components or if its even fully compatible, especially with regards to the aftermarket CPU fan, so opinions in this area are highly valued. Some of what I read said that for the money the Antec 900 & 902 were preferable to this case, however others said that the Antec 900 series was a nightmare when it came to wire organization because of a small space to work it. Also for the price was suggested some of the Lian Li cases, however aesthetically I dislike that company's cases.

Sound Card

ASUS Xonar DS 7.1

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

-I read that this was a great card for the money, however it lacked Dolby support for its SPDIF output. I don't know what the consequences of that statement are, so if it's something serious that I should consider before purchase I would greatly appreciate being made aware.

Operating System

Windows 7 Home Premium Full 64-Bit

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Windows-7-Home-Premium/...

-I don't know what else you could get, haha.

- - - - -

Total Price: $1,318 (components & OS) + tax (assume 6.5%) + $54 shipping

Grand Total: $1,457.67


That is the build I managed to puzzle out. If I overlooked any components or compatibility issues, if there is some weak part that would end up causing a bottleneck, or if something I listed just sucks and I don't know I would persuade you to tell me.
Also I was curious as to if I should replace or modify the fans within the PC case itself, or if I should install dust filters or something. I'm very unfamiliar with the computer desktop case market.

To conclude,

If you, the reader, have any feedback, suggestions, comments, concerns, information or advice regarding what I should purchase please do not hesitate to let me know. I would find such advice invaluable and would thank you greatly for sharing it.

-Sean
May 14, 2010 8:42:57 PM

Your build looks great, I would agree with getting the phenom for the fact that bulldozer which is suppose to be am3 socket and due out next year. This will give yoh something to upgrade in the future IF it is am3. As for motherboard I would suggest the crosshair IV formula or gigabyte 890fx ud5. They are great for overclocking and the new 890 chipset will be better in the long run. They will support your crossfire wishes as well. If you wanna spend extra $40 go for the HD 5870. In regards to your case, I would got with antec 902 or 1200 if you want something bigger.

Sorry that I couldn't post links I'm on my cell phone ATM lol. Btw you speak very proper lol.
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May 14, 2010 8:47:59 PM

Few changes:

- Get a 955 instead. Save $25 bucks and up the clock multiplier yourself. You're paying more money for the samething with a different model #.
- How about a better board with future options. Gigabyte 790xta-ud4 $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Ripjaws are good but how about a Cas7 instead. Faster speed memory for not much more money.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Get a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1Tb or 7200.12 1TB instead. Faster and cheaper (per GB).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Why would you get two 5770s off the bat? You're better off with a single 5850 or 5870 instead and then you can add a 2nd later on when it's cheaper.
- Drop the sound card. I'm sure it's nice but onboard sound is pretty good these days and if you really must add it on later.
- You realize that's only a blu-ray reader right? Spend $20 bucks on a dvd-rw +r...etc burner.
-CM Haf922. Nice big case with front dust filter already. (But not bottom). With plenty of room to grow. This is just a suggestion, the case you picked is certainly nice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 14, 2010 8:51:10 PM

Welcome to the forum. To clear up any misunderstanding, there is no need to pair AMD CPUs with their GPU counterparts. Here's some changes I would make to your build, if you have any doubts, ask.

CPU:
  • AMD Phenom II X4 955 -$160-
    MOBO:
  • Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 -$150-
    RAM:
  • G.Skill Ripjaws -$116-
    GPU:
  • Asus Radeon HD 5850 -$320-
    HDD:
  • Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB -$55-
    PSU:
  • Antec TP-750 -$120-

    Here's a quick explanation of each part
    1) The 965 is just an overclocked 955
    2) I wouldn't start off a new build with crossfire, there's still the capability for it later on, but the 5850 will perform on par with the 5770s without any of the crossfire complications
    3) The 890GX board I selected has some newer features
    4) The RAM is linked has lower latencies
    5) The Spinpoint is faster than the old WD
    6) The Antec is a tad better and is semi-modular for the same price

    Edit: Wow, three posts under me, I need to pick up the pace :( 
    Share
    May 14, 2010 8:52:22 PM

    BTW people do say Intels are better but here's the problem. You can certainly get an i5 750 on the 1156 socket. But there's no upgrade option at all so what you see is what you get. And yes it's better then the 955/965 in gaming but not that much. Certainly the average user will not see a difference.

    You can get an i7 930 (LGA 1366). And it's a great proc but now you're spending $300 on the proc itself, around $220 on the board and $200 on a 6 gb memory set. So that's easily $300 more for the overall computer build. Hey if you can afford it go for it. Also right now any better proc for that socket is ridiculously expensive so upgrade is sort of not an option either. Maybe in a year the prices will drop alot but I suspect there will be even newer processors to look at by that time.
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    May 14, 2010 9:06:46 PM

    Imagine how I felt when I saw the Reyes post before mine. Do some people have these links on a notepad or something? :) 
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    May 14, 2010 10:18:09 PM

    From my understanding of all the valuable input you gentlemen have kindly provided, I will switch the Phenom II X4 965 for the 955 model. Also I'll take the ASUS M4A89GTD PRO AM3 890GX over my previous pick. I wasn't sure of how complicated or what kind of gains the crossfire set up would produce, so instead I'll use the Radeon HD 5850. I'll also change up the RAM, HDD, and PSU based on the suggestions provided.

    That case fastx21 suggested is nice and it's only $10 more, but it also has $20 more shipping, so I'll have to do some looking before I decide if that is worth another $30.

    By the way, what are the implications of a PSU being semi-modular? I'm electrician ignorant.

    Thank you Reyesx, fastx21, and jbakerlent for sharing your gem stone like knowledge.
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    May 14, 2010 10:23:57 PM

    Semi-modular PSUs allow you to remove some wires that are not needed. This allows you to manage your cables better and improves airflow, reducing heat.
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    May 14, 2010 10:39:05 PM

    While we're on the topic. Let's hit it.

    My OCZ psu is fully modular but with my 5850 and all the parts inside I used about 5 out of 6 of the cables that came with the PSU. So Yes modular is nice but if it wasn't for a combo deal and mail in rebate I wouldn't pay more for it. Especially with Cooler Master cases, you can zip tie everything behind the tray so it's not a problem.

    jabakerlent's asus board is nice, definately worth it.

    And the case, again I only got mine because it was with a combo deal and it was cheaper, I was so ready to buy that CM 690 II case but you have to be willing to make changes sometimes.

    Another thing I would recommend is depending on which case you buy, buy as much 200mm and 120mm fans you can to maximize airflow. Yes it really does help with keeping things that much cooler.
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    May 14, 2010 10:55:02 PM

    When you buy fans for your case are there brackets and dust filters that need to be considered? Also what are some brands recommended for case fans? Thanks very much.
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    May 14, 2010 11:24:06 PM

    Your welcome, sorry I couldn't be more detailed with my answer, I'm at work and scanning the forums on my phone. I was gonna get a i7 930 but after reading so many articles about EVERYTHING I'm sticking to Amd. I haven't messed with fans in a while but I'm pretty sure there screw on, except for the heatsinks which some require brackets or something similar. The amtec 1200 and 902 have filters on most fans in the case.
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    May 15, 2010 4:45:44 PM

    Best answer selected by SeanR111.
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