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Help building man cave PC for hubby

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June 11, 2010 9:00:47 PM

Building my Non techie hubby a gaming machine for his man cave and I need some help. I consider myself somewhat technically proficient and have built my own and family's systems before although I must say not any this gen. (last build was a core 2 duo build), so I have not kept up with latest developments.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within next 2-4 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: 500-700 Before Rebates/Before Tax

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, HTPC, Light Video HT Editing (cuts, color correction, rendering), basically Man Cave activities.
Main Gaming preferences:
RPGs (Dragon Age, Fallout, Mass Effect type)
FPS (The new battlefield)
We both play WoW but that will run on anything.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS,case, dvd. Inherited a mid tower ATX case from work, not even sure of model but its got 120mm in/out fans. Have Win 7.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:Microcenter (I live very near to one, Boston/Cambridge) and in a pinch Newegg/Amazon

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD Build

OVERCLOCKING: Yes in future to eek out lifetime, not at first

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire in future to eek out lifetime, not at first

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 X1080p @ 60hz TV (HDMI required)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I live really close to a microcenter so I have an extreme preference to shopping there since it is B&M and the prices are pretty competitive with newegg. I have done some basic research and have come up with the following build. Would love to shave a bit more off the price if it doesn't significantly affect performance ( I need to save some $ to throw in a couple games for him). As noted, I put down 2 PSUs since I couldn't decide how important the "XFire Ready" moniquer is. I basically want this to last 2.5-3years and run most games at 25-30fps with medium settings up to 3 years out (hopefully 45-60 now at mid to high). That is why I wanted to include the XFire capability in the mobo. Not sure what is the performance hit of x8/x8 vs x16/x16 so thats why i went with the BIOSTAR MB. Would like feedback for any price shaving ,compatibility , or known issues for the following parts list.

Procesor
AMD II x4 955 BE HDZ955FBGMBOX: $159.99


MB
BIOSTAR TA890FXE AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard $130


GC
XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$170




PS

ModXStream Pro 600W Modular ATX Power Supply (PFC/Mod) $70


700W StealthXStream ATX Power Supply $70


Mem
Gold Series XTC Cooler 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 (PC3-10666) 240 Pin DIMM Dual Channel Kit $100 MiCRO


HD
Barracuda 1TB 7,200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $60


system cost : ~$690


Thanks in advance!

Best solution

June 11, 2010 10:47:21 PM

I would stay awy from OCZ RAM right now. There have been alot of complaints. I made the mistake of getting them for my last PC and they were a pain to get working stable. They dont seem capable of their rated speed and timings.

That Seagate HDD model is NOT the fast new 7200.12.
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS is the model you want for a fast boot drive or go with the Samsung F3 1TB or WD black 1TB model that ends in FAEX (no the older FALS).

My preference would be a Gigabyte or ASUS motherboard, but Biostar does make some good models.

"Crossfire ready" doesnt mean anything. The PSU needs to have enough amperage on the 12V rails and the correct number and size of PCIE power cables for your graphics card. The 5770 is a low power graphics card and either of those PSUs will be fine. Antec, Corsair and Seasonic are higher quality PSUs and if you could find one of those at 500W or higher for less I would do that instead.
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June 11, 2010 11:08:15 PM

- The C3 AMD 955 you picked.
- Your 5770
- a seagate 7200.12 1tb - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Giga 790xta-ud4, $117. I know others prefer the 890fxa chipset but this is the board I have and it works well, no complaints. Also it is cheaper....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 4 GB G.skill ripjaws ddr3 1600 - $100 after you put in that code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Without checking I think a 650w should be enough for crossfired 5770s and light overclocking. If not bump it up a little. A corsair... $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Roughly that's $700. Certainly you can get in an antec 300 or a haf922, whichever you prefer.

edit: Anyway 8x/8x vs 16/16 is only a 4% performance loss, so definately doable. Otherwise buy a more expensive board.
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June 11, 2010 11:11:05 PM

fastx21 said:
Without checking I think a 650w should be enough for crossfired 5770s .

XFX rcommends 600W for crossfired 5770s.

I like those component choices, fastx.

The Antec EA650 might be cheaper than the corsair. If adding a second 5770 later is not a consideration then the Antec Neo Eco 520 is generally a great PSU for the price.
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June 11, 2010 11:16:15 PM

1. There is no significant performance hit on PCIex16 gen 2.0 8/8
2. You'd get better frames instantly with say a HD 5830 or better on Full HD for the $$ Yes even sacrificing CF capability hehe
3. You'd best not go StealthXtreme line PSU - these aren't 80+ certified
4. Alternative suggestion $683


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June 12, 2010 1:19:44 PM

Many thanks to all, looks like some good suggestions. I'll probably post one more time with final specifications. Great community here, just what I needed.
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June 12, 2010 1:22:12 PM

Best answer selected by bostonian.
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