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Budget gaming rig (700$)--need advice

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June 4, 2010 2:02:20 AM

I made a post a week ago about a near $2000 gaming PC but due to some budget issues, I have to cut the price in half (or a bit more). I'm looking for a decent gaming PC that I will be able to crossfire/upgrade in the future and also do some minor overclocking. My current PC is over 7 yrs old, so its time to replace it, but I do currently have a relatively new XFX 4850 1gb in it. One of my questions would be if I'm better off getting another now to crossifre it, or getting a single card (like a 5770) and crossfiring it later on. One of my main issues with that is that I'd like to have DirectX 11 ability, assuming that's worth looking into at this point in time.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next few weeks BUDGET RANGE: @ $700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, burning blu-ray dvds (eventually)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, sound card

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: ATI/AMD

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (eventually)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Need OS (Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium OEM)

I did some pricing on Newegg, mainly based on some other posts here. I would like to see everyone's opinions on how I could improve this considering what I'm looking for. The price of this setup is $707 including shipping. Edit: The MOBO seems nice and I selected it due to its open box discount. Let me know if that's a safe decision to but open box items.
June 4, 2010 8:41:33 PM

Why 2 PSUs? Also open boxed products might have issues.
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June 4, 2010 8:51:02 PM

It would be helpful if you posted the actual links and prices for your selections. I think more people would take the time to review and respond that way.

Regarding the graphics card - what games do you play and what do you want to play or get that you are not getting now? Given your budget, if you want to increase power now, I would be inclined to go for a second 4850 now with the plan to replace it in about two years. This assumes you can get by without DX 11 for two years - do any of your games really make use of it?

I don't know the prices of your items - but without a second PSU - as noted above - and a less expensive graphics card (but as or more powerful in tandem with existing card) - this would hopefully leave some funds to get a better CPU now so it will last longer.
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Related resources
June 4, 2010 8:56:23 PM

Get the athlon ii x4 and the 5770. Change your case to the antec 300 and get an antec neo power supply so you can go crossfire if needed. Otherwise good yob.
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June 4, 2010 8:59:09 PM



NZXT BETA EVO Classic Series CS-NT-BETA-EVO Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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LOGISYS Computer PS480D 480W ATX12V Power Supply

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SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

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Item #: N82E16822152185
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ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
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G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
Item #: N82E16820231253
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AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX
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Rosewill - Select HDMI cable (6 FEET)

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Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-G1

Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-G1
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SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

*

SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
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Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...
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$219.98

Subtotal: $732.91
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June 4, 2010 8:59:38 PM

Similar parts but it's 20$ over budget but you do get 8X/8X Crossfire, you get a better cooler, Sata 3 and USB3.
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June 4, 2010 8:59:40 PM

I'm sorry but ho did you get 707$ out of this I get 800$.
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June 4, 2010 9:55:43 PM

Thanks very much too all who have replied. User-The reason there are two PSU's is the case I selected (which I chose from TH's budget gaming PC build) came with one for free, but since it's only 450W I knew I would need a more powerful one. I was a little skeptical about the open box aspect, but it seemed like a very good deal otherwise for that MOBO. I appreciate you putting in your advice about trying to avoid open box products. And the price that i show came to $702.61 before shipping, so not sure about why it would show 800$, though I'm sure I may have added wrong or misread something. Rocky- I apologize about not posting the actual links. I was probably just being lazy about, but I know it makes it easier for you to give advice when they are available so I'll be sure to include them next time.

In terms of what I play, it's mainly WoW (which I know isn't graphics intensive) though i'm also into Dragon Age, Oblivion, Half Life 2 and others. I think i could get by w/o DirectX 11 for the time being, though I'd like to be able to upgrade to it in a year or two.

Again, thanks SO much for your time and effort in assisting me with this. This board really is full of knowledgeable and friendly people and I sincerely appreciate the helpful advice.
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June 4, 2010 10:01:29 PM

Good choice getting another PSU then the one that came with that case that 480W looks really cheap.
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June 4, 2010 10:11:22 PM

goodwidp said:
Thanks very much too all who have replied. User-The reason there are two PSU's is the case I selected (which I chose from TH's budget gaming PC build) came with one for free, but since it's only 450W I knew I would need a more powerful one. I was a little skeptical about the open box aspect, but it seemed like a very good deal otherwise for that MOBO. I appreciate you putting in your advice about trying to avoid open box products. And the price that i show came to $702.61 before shipping, so not sure about why it would show 800$, though I'm sure I may have added wrong or misread something. Rocky- I apologize about not posting the actual links. I was probably just being lazy about, but I know it makes it easier for you to give advice when they are available so I'll be sure to include them next time.

In terms of what I play, it's mainly WoW (which I know isn't graphics intensive) though i'm also into Dragon Age, Oblivion, Half Life 2 and others. I think i could get by w/o DirectX 11 for the time being, though I'd like to be able to upgrade to it in a year or two.

Again, thanks SO much for your time and effort in assisting me with this. This board really is full of knowledgeable and friendly people and I sincerely appreciate the helpful advice.

I turns out I picked a 8Gb RAM pack that's why it came out at 800$. Ok go ahead and go with the DX10 cards it's true that you wont need them. Also if everything is solved you can press the Select as best answer (bottom right of each reply) at the reply that helped you the most and then it will be marked as SOLVED. Good luck with the build! :D 
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June 4, 2010 11:53:49 PM

I did not see optical drives in the above systems - you might want to add them so you can load the operating system.

Here is my suggestion - although it cost a little more it provides a better system:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor – OEM - $104 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $95 AR plus $3 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card – 4850 to Crossfire with existing card -assume you will get same as existing but I don’t know which that is – cards are currently approximately $100 so assume $100

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - $105 plus free shipping
Timing: 7-7-7-20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Qualifed Memory List for selected motherboard
http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory/870%20Extreme3.pdf


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - $70 AR with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $70 with free shipping
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award - Internal Hard Drives
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc 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 DVD/CD Rewritable Drive – OEM - $20 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler - $29 plus $3 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - $100 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total Cost = $752 plus $6 shipping = $766

Alternate with 5770
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $160 plus $8 shipping
Double Lifetime Warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total cost = $812 plus $14 shipping = $826

Here is a comparison of the performance of 4850 in CF vs. 5770:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

You have not said much about your gaming preferences but I am thinking that twins 4850s might take care of your gaming wishes for quite a few years.
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June 5, 2010 12:05:29 AM

rockyjohn said:
I did not see optical drives in the above systems - you might want to add them so you can load the operating system.

Here is my suggestion - although it cost a little more it provides a better system:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor – OEM - $104 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $95 AR plus $3 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card – 4850 to Crossfire with existing card -assume you will get same as existing but I don’t know which that is – cards are currently approximately $100 so assume $100

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK - $105 plus free shipping
Timing: 7-7-7-20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Qualifed Memory List for selected motherboard
http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory/870%20Extreme3.pdf


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - $70 AR with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - $70 with free shipping
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award - Internal Hard Drives
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc 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 DVD/CD Rewritable Drive – OEM - $20 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler - $29 plus $3 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - $100 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total Cost = $752 plus $6 shipping = $766

Alternate with 5770
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $160 plus $8 shipping
Double Lifetime Warranty
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total cost = $812 plus $14 shipping = $826

Here is a comparison of the performance of 4850 in CF vs. 5770:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

You have not said much about your gaming preferences but I am thinking that twins 4850s might take care of your gaming wishes for quite a few years.

The fact that the X3 720 is not available in retail anymore (no AMD warranty) could be a problem for the OP but it's a great CPU tough the L3 is not essential. You like the motherboard I suggested earlier? :)  The TX 650 and EA 650 are about the same. Nice RAM!
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June 5, 2010 3:20:30 AM

The reason I didnt include any optical drives in my build is because I already have a dvd burner as well as a dvd/cd drive in my current pc, so I just planned on swapping those out to my new one. The benchmarks that were posted above were encouraging in terms of getting another 4850 to crossfire with my current one. They beat the 5770 in all but one game and it would save me a bit of money. I do still have a question about the cpu. Is it a big deal that the X3 720 isnt available anymore? Since there's no longer a manufacturer's warranty covering it, should I look for another model just to be safe? If so, could someone post a recommended cpu that is comparable in price/performance to the X3 720? Also, would I be able to do some slight overclocking of the cpu with the psu and cooler that Rocky listed? As always, thanks very much.
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Best solution

June 5, 2010 4:32:13 AM

Regarding the CPU, see the May THG CPU recommendations about the X3 720:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-core-i5-...

The 650w PSU - either the Corsair I recommended or Antec EA - will handle a pair of moderate video cards - like the 4850 or 5770 - and a moderate OC on the CPU. For myself, I would go with the 750w CPU to provide a little more headroom, but my budget is larger than yours.

THG did some performance tests on "Balanced Systems" - one of which included a system with 4870s in CF and an X3 720 CPU - it was not overclocked but used a little less than 400w at the wall source.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/balanced-gaming-pc,...

Since the 4850 uses less power than a 4870, that leaves ample for the OC.
Share
June 5, 2010 12:09:52 PM

Say is your Dvd burner IDE? Because the ASrock 870 does not have an IDE port.
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June 5, 2010 2:23:57 PM

You don't need 750w. You need a psu with good amps on the 12v rail. An example would be the antec neo it has 40 on the 12 volt rail that enough for two 5770 in crossfire and for overclocking. By the time you have to replace those 5770's which is three years from now ati 7xxx series will be out. I think a decent video card that power your res will probably be either a low profile or 6 pin by then. I meant psu dang
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June 5, 2010 3:38:54 PM

hitmanmoney said:
You don't need 750w. You need a cpu with good amps on the 12v rail. An example would be the antec neo it has 40 on the 12 volt rail that enough for two 5770 in crossfire and for overclocking. By the time you have to replace those 5770's which is three years from now ati 7xxx series will be out. I think a decent video card that power your res will probably be either a low profile or 6 pin by then.

yeah he docent need 750W so that why it's a 650W unit.
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June 5, 2010 8:39:54 PM

User-Thanks for the heads up about the lack of IDE support on that MOBO. My drives are IDE, so I was considering either getting a cheap IDE to SATA adapter or just getting a new optical drive. It seems adapters are around 5$ but it may just be wroth getting a whole new drive for $15-20 more. I'm getting pretty close to making the final decision, so thanks again for everyone's assistance.
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June 5, 2010 9:11:42 PM

Hmm...the model XFX 4850 I currently have (Model no.- HD-485X-ZDFR) is slightly different that the one listed on Newegg (HD-485X-ZNFC). According to the XFX website, they have the same exact specs aside from two things. The Newegg card has a HDMI and DVI output on it, whereas my card only had 2 DVI. Also the comparison chart says that my card is "Output HDCP capable" but the Newegg card doesnt have that listed. My setup now includes using dual DVI monitors so I dont think I will have any connectivity issues, but I wanted to check here first to see if it there would be any issues trying to crossfire them.

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

My card (have to click on the ZDFR model) - http://xfxforce.com/en-us/products/graphiccards/HD%2040...
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June 5, 2010 9:28:31 PM

No there are no issues since the cards are from the 4XXX (that's one of the advantages of Xfire over SLI).
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June 5, 2010 10:14:28 PM

Thanks again User...you've really been a tremendous help with this! I think I have my final build selected. I based it off what Rocky posted above, with some slight changes. I changed the HDD to the Samsung Spinpoint 500gb as I have over 1.5 TB of storage with external drives already so the 500gb will be plenty for games and OS. Also I changed to the Corsair 750W PSU (same specs as the 650) because it actually is about 10$ cheaper due to a promo code I have in a Newegg email. I know I wont need the extra 100W but since it's cheaper I figure I might as well. The price comes to $766 AR and w/o shipping, so I'm pretty pleased with it. Hopefully it will last me a few years until I'm ready to upgrade again. Once all the parts arrive, I'm sure I'll be coming here for help putting it all together as this is my first go at building my own PC from scratch. I'm pretty comfortable putting in all the parts aside from the CPU/MOBO, as I've never done that before, but I know there's plenty of guides and helpful people here who can point me in the right direction.

Here's the final list:

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc 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 DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

MOBO: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (To be corssfired with one I already have)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HDZ720WFK3DGI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling: Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total $767.07 (After Rebates, w/o shipping)
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June 6, 2010 12:34:00 AM

Its only a $1.30 more so price isnt a factor. Do you think it's that much better than the Scythe in the build? I really dont know anything bout CPU coolers so I'll go with your advice.

EDIT: Also, will I need to purchase Thermal Paste or any extra fans or anything like that or will I be OK with just whats on my list?
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June 6, 2010 3:55:46 AM

I think you will find the linked data on heatsinks more than you care to review - although you might find the article informative. The Katana 3 heatsink I recommended is too new for the list but the Katana II is one it at 28.3 degrees C for 125w. About middle in range on cooling - very low in range on noise - 37.9 dBA.

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=227...

The Hyper 212 is 17.2 degrees and 47.9 dBA. I prefer a quieter system but myself would also go with the 212. I did not see it fitting in your budget at the newegg price of $68 with shipping (and it is out of stock) but for $30 at Amazon go for it if you don't mind a little more noise. As much as I try to avoid any and all noise - heat is the killer in a system. However the listing at Amazon states that it "usually ships within 1 to 3 months". You might want to call first and see if it really will take that long or if they have any in stock.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RR-B10-212P-G1-Univ...

By the way- when it comes to computer case fans and heat sinks, Scythe has a much much better reputation than Cooler Master. They are particularly known for their quiet fans with reliable performance moving air.
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June 6, 2010 4:55:29 AM

Thanks for the info about the coolers. That article was pretty informative, I appreciate the link. I'd rather keep things simple as possible and order everything from one place, so could I do some overclocking with the Scythe Katana 3 or the Cooler Master TX3 or would I absolutely need a 212 in order to do that? Or is it just a case of the 212 would be safer, but it's still doable with the other 2?
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June 6, 2010 6:59:29 AM

I don't personally know of a heatsink fan for AMD3 that is better than the Katana 3 at a reasonable price.

I did check the model builds stickee on this site:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...

Which recommended this one:

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

It has a great price right now of only $25 after a $15 rebate. And the performance is outstanding:

http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=227...

But the specs on newegg and on the manufacturers site, and the review article above, list it as compatible with AM2 and AM2+ but not AM3.

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

http://www.sunbeamtech.com/PRODUCTS/cooler/Core-Contact...

I posted a question on the THG model builds thread asking if the author was sure the HSF was compatible with AM3. You can see it at the end of the thread linked near the top of this post.
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June 7, 2010 12:23:32 AM

I was looking over Newegg.com and had one more question for you guys...Would it be worth spending an extra 50$ or so to get a quad core Phenom or will I be OK with the cpu I already have selected and just unlocking the 4th core and OC'ing it a bit? In addition to gaming I do a good bit of dvd burning and audio file converting and it seemed the 4th core made a pretty big difference on the TH benchmarks. I wouldn't mind spending the extra money as long as it was a justifiable decision. I was thinking of something like this one:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This should be my final decision so I will stop bothering you guys soon...I promise!

Thanks again!
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June 7, 2010 12:40:53 AM

Your not bothering us why do you think were signed on here? It would be great if you could fit in the 955 but the X3 is a pretty powerful chip if you can unlock the 4th core that would be great but if it does not unlock you still will have a powerful chip.
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June 7, 2010 6:23:13 AM

Get x4 athlon ii the difference between a phenom ii and an athlon ii at 1080p is like 3 fps. Fyi not worth the 50 dollars you better off putting that money in the bank for when you have to upgrade you gpu 2 years down the road. My x3 is at 30% with most games and limewire open. Battlefield bad company is an except(really bad port) The higher the res the hard the gpu has to work. Why? the more pixels the gpu has to render. Most games use 30% of cpus but use 100% of your video card the better your gpu the better the quality and playable off the game. Either way your buying a cpu for a near dead socket anyway the most you can get out of this socket is a hexa core. By the time that x3 get out of date 12 core will be out for 150$ lol. Trust me i use to game on a pentium 4 cpu till i upgrade and could still play games at 1080p.
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June 7, 2010 6:24:51 AM

Bans right your not bothering us dude you signed on the forum for help were helping. I don't mind at all lol it cool really : )
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June 7, 2010 10:52:02 AM

^Yes there is a big difference between two cores and three cores but not between three cores and four cores.
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June 7, 2010 5:43:56 PM

OK...I made a few more changes and wanted to get your opinions on it. I'm only listing the changes I made, so everything else from previous build a few posts up are the same. I switched the Antec 300 case/Sony dvd burner for the Rosewill Destroyer/LiteOn DVD as it was cheaper, and the reviews I read about the Rosewill case weren't too bad. It seems to be a copy of the Antec 900 and I'm fine with the way it looks, so considering the lower price tag I think it was a good move. I also switched the CPU and RAM for (what I think is) a pretty nice combo. I got rid of the Phenom II X3 720 and OCZ Platinum RAM for a combo deal with a Phenom II X4 940 BE and Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4gb RAM. The RAM is the same speed and 7-7-7-20 latency as the OCZ and after rebates, it's only a 20$ difference vs. the X3 and OCZ RAM. I chose the 940 because it's BE so I could OC it a bit and hopefully have it run similar to a 955 without spending the extra cash on a 955 or 965. I know previous posters said the difference between tri and quad cores is minimal, but with the 2 new combos I just mentioned, it actually cost less (After Rebates) than my previous X3 build. Let me know what you think and if everything sounds good, I'll probably make the purchase this evening.

Rosewill Destroyer Case and LiteOn DVD Burner combo-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

EDIT: As I'm going over my list I realize that the X4 940 is socket AM2+ and my MOBO is AM3. Plus they pair it with DDR3 RAM which was even more frustrating. So to simplify things I'm gonna go back to the X3 720 with OCZ Platinum RAM combo. I knew it was too good to be true. Still let me know what you think about the new case vs. the Antec 300 from previous build. Thanks!
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June 7, 2010 7:14:04 PM

The destroyer is a good case. Also like you said the 940i s AM2+ based but you could go for the 925, 945 or even 955(but the X3 will serve you well).
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June 7, 2010 7:55:45 PM

Thanks User. The reviews I've read online are pretty positive about the case, so I'm comfortable going with it. This is the list of what I'm going to purchase. My final question deals with any misc. accessories or wires I may need. Will I need SATA cables for Optical or HDD drives, or will they be supplied with the drives? Should I get Thermal Paste for the Katana 2 cpu cooler or will it come with it (or will I not need it)? Basically I'm wondering if there's any additional stuff I NEED to build my PC or am I OK with solely what's on the list? Thanks.

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

MOBO: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (to be crossfired with existing 4850)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case/Optical Drive combo: Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm ...
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/RAM Combo: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HDZ720WFK3DGI - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total- $757.95 (includes shipping, before rebates)
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June 7, 2010 8:04:17 PM

Userremoved said:
Look at this case it's even cheaper with the mail in rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


True, but with the combo deal I selected in comes to be the same price and I wont have to deal with the hassle of getting a rebate...Unless you think the NZXT is significantly better than the Rosewill.

Also, what's your opinion on whether or not I will need any additional items to build the PC? (see my last post)\


Thanks!
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June 7, 2010 8:07:44 PM

Ok then just go with the combo. No everything looks good!
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June 11, 2010 7:29:49 AM

So I received everything from Newegg (in less than 48 hrs., which is amazing) and am trying to put it all together. Aside from a messy job with the Thermal Compound, I think I'm doing OK, considering this is my first go at building my own PC from scratch. I'll post exactly what I ordered when it's complete along with some pics but I do have one question I ran into while assembling: I noticed my MOBO and/or Case did not come with any sort of mini internal speaker. There are pins for it on the Asus MOBO, but nothing to attach it to. Will I need to purchase one in order to hear the PC beep during POST (assuming that's a necessity) or can I afford to go without one. I know they're very cheap, but the Microcenter is a pretty far drive from me and I'd like to limit my trips there. Thanks.
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June 12, 2010 1:51:50 AM

Id buy the speaker to hear the beep codes.
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June 13, 2010 5:51:34 AM

Or try it without the speaker, you may not have any problems anyway. Get it if you need it, or, if not during installation, then maybe just get it when convenient and add later.
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June 13, 2010 12:25:29 PM

If it's under 10$ just go pick one up.
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June 14, 2010 5:25:45 PM

Thanks for the advice on the speaker. I was able to get one from a Microcenter for less than 3$ so it didn't end up being an issue. Even though this was my first build, I have to say that it went pretty smoothly. The only thing I had some trouble with was installing the CPU Heatsink (as I had never installed one before) but once I realized what I needed to do, it went on pretty easily. Amazingly it booted up on my 1st attempt, and I haven't had any issues yet. The only thing I had to adjust in BIOS was the timings and speed of my RAM, but everything else was set perfectly. My CPU temps so far have been around 38-39 idle and in the low 50's at load. It runs MUCH quieter than my old PC and since installing my second GPU, my framerates have really taken off. I had to wait a few days after I finished as XFX sent me a Crossfire bridge (for free, I might add...great customer service), but once I got it there was a noticeable difference. I am going to post a few pics (not the best quality, but you should get the idea) along with the final list of what I ordered. I ended up going with a Phenom X4 955 and a slightly better MOBO as I wanted to "futureproof" my system a bit more. Hopefully all I will have ti upgrade in a few yrs. will be my 2 4850's while my CPU will last a it longer. I haven't yet try to OC anything yet, as I want to read up on it a bit more. Also, I am in love with Win 7 so far. I was a big fan of XP on my old PC, but Win 7 is very user friendly and easy for me to navigate and figure things out. I also want to thank everyone who helped me with this process (esp. User and Rocky) as I definitely couldn't have done this without you guys. I sincerely appreciate all the input and advice you and everyone else took the time to put in.

Final Component List:

Case: NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Crossfired with existing 4850)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1333LV4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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...

Optical: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Writer - Bulk - LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-G1
Purchased from Microcenter

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June 14, 2010 7:05:33 PM

Nice system! Just one question why did you go with the Asus board (there boards I'm just wondering why you took it).
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June 14, 2010 8:39:29 PM

Userremoved said:
Nice system! Just one question why did you go with the Asus board (there boards I'm just wondering why you took it).



The main reason i took it was due to the USB 3.0 and 6 gb/sec SATA it offered and overall longevity. I also like the OC utilities it has, as OC'ing is something I have zero experience with, so I figure I could mess around with them before trying it on my own. Also it came in a combo with the RAM (I think...it may have been combo'd with another component) so the price was reasonable.
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June 14, 2010 8:50:24 PM

Huh you know the ASrock one had Sata 3 and USB3 rite? It also had OC utilities and just so you knew OC voided your warranty.
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June 14, 2010 9:38:52 PM

Im well aware of all of that. The one I picked had a better Northbridge with more PCI E lanes so when I upgrade to better cards in the future, I'll be able to get more out of them. Even it's a small amount, it's still worth it as far as I'm concerned, and that's all that matters. Also I didn't read alot of glowing reviews about ASRock's quality in their parts. And yes, I know they're a subsidiary of ASUS, but I've dealt with ASUS products in the past and have been satisfied with them and their customer service so I'm more comfortable going with them.
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June 14, 2010 9:40:21 PM

Ok then have fun with that new system!
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June 16, 2010 4:08:19 PM

Yes it looks like a very nice system.

Did you confirm that the memory is on the recommended list for the mobo you selected? It should meet the specs for it but I always try to stay with recommended memory to be safe.

Also note that you have increased the total cost of the system by quite a bit over the $700 budget - it is now about $900.
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!