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Bang for buck mid level AMD system

Last response: in Systems
May 31, 2010 9:41:53 AM

Greetings from Japan all.

My current PC has been giving me a lot of problems for a while now such as:
1. MoBo not outputting sound from rear.
2. Random "USB device detected" messages.
3. Random shutdowns. (temps are fine)
4. etc. etc.
I've reinstalled windows about 4 times, checked HDD's for errors (none) so I'm assuming it's a hardware malfunction or something.
Anywho, I have decided it's time for a new build. Current PC has an ASUS P5B deluxe, C2Duo 6600, 4GB DDR2 ram, Asus EAH 4850 (HSF stopped working so I have an aftermarket fan just below it blowing air on it), DVD R/W/RW drive, WD raptor, 4 1TB WD drives and 700 Watt PSU (less than a year old as my previous one died) stuffed in a CM stacker. OS is WinXP Pro.

I'll be keeping the HD's, case and PSU.

Before I show the specs, this is what I plan on using the computer for:
1. Home Entertainment, music and light gaming (WoW, Anno 1404 are the only games I play atm.)
2. Work (Powerpoint presentations, word, excel, PDF's)
3. Looking to future-proof it for 2-3 years. Don't mind upgrading CPU but would like to get mobo that will last.
4. I don't OC but may look at minor OCing if I were to by a cheap, easy to OC cpu.

What I'm looking at right now: (All prices are the cheapest I could find in Japan.)

1. Case: Current one.

2. Processor: Kind of on the fence about this one. Athlon X3 440 ($79) or X4 635($96) are what I'm leaning towards. X4 is only $20 more so seems like the better option.

3. Processor Cooling: Scythe Mugen 2 SCMG-2100. $40 (Japanese company but cheaper on newegg than in Japan. Go figure.)

4. Memory: GeIL PC3 10660 2X2GB CL9 VALUE (GV34GB1333C9DC). Comes bundled with win7 64bit OEM for $200 which is why I like it. If it's no good I can change.

5. Video Card: Keep my fanless 4850 : ) Not sure if I should or even need to upgrade this. One thing I do notice is if I run my 1080p TV and 1900x1200 monitor at the same time I get streaking across the HDTV. If I disable the PC monitor it goes away. GPU struggling?

6. Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H(rev. 2.0). Has Sata 3.0, USB 3.0, onboard graphics (which I thought I could run my HDTV through, and use the 4850 for 24 inch monitor). Also has Xfire support but I don't think I'll be xfiring anytime soon. $180

7. Power Supply: Current. 700 watt something or other.

8. Primary Hard Drive: Intel X25-V Value SATA SSD SSDSA2MP040G2R5. Only 40 gigs but is cheap and I hear good things. I don't mind going to the X25-M 80GB if it's worth it or 2x X25-V's in Raid 0 but it's my first SSD so I thought I'd keep things reasonable. X25-V is $110. X25-M 80GB is $210.

Another option is an CFD CSSD-SM128WJ3 which is a 128GB SSD that also has TRIM support. I've only read a couple of reviews by purchasers so I'm still up in the air about it. It's relatively cheap though at $260. Here's a link the the benchmark results from their website:

9. Optical Drive: Current.

10. Sound Card: On board. Have the older logitech Z5500 speakers which suit me fine.

11. Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium -64-Bit (This supports up to 16GB RA, I think?)

12. Monitor: Primary monitor is Hyundai 24 inch. HDTV is Toshiba Regza 1080P 37 inch.

I like Motherboards that have 8 Sata ports on them so I can always add more HDD's if I like. I'm looking at grabbing a 2TB drive as I also record HDTV to my PC which can chew up a fair chunk of space. Also, seeing as I'm buying the OEM version of Win7 I'd like to buy a MB which will last at least 2 years so I don't have to change and then call for a new activation code. Like I mentioned before, I don't mind upgrading the CPU in the near future at all.

I think with the CPU, MB, Ram/Windows combo, SSD and CPU cooler it comes out to around $600. If I can keep it that low I'll be happy but don't mind going up to $1k if you think I should get a new Graphics card (5750?), Bigger SSD and/or a Blu Ray drive.

Thanks for stopping by and stay classy Tom's Hardwarer's~
May 31, 2010 9:45:34 AM

Well you won't see a big diff moving from HD 4850 - 5750 so the next step up would be a HD 5770 prolly?
May 31, 2010 9:53:23 AM

Thanks for the reply. At the moment I don't play any demanding games so I figured I would only get the cheapest DX11 card available. Don't think I need DX11 yet so may just hold off altogether until newer and/or even cheaper DX11 cards come out. Up in the air :??: 
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May 31, 2010 10:03:59 AM

Hmm in that case stick to your HD 4850 till u need more GPU horsepower ^^
May 31, 2010 10:49:43 PM

Or get a 2nd HD 4850 and get HD 5850 performance for an extra $99.00.
Without the DX11 of course.