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Proposed "black and blue" AMD Phenom build

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June 19, 2010 7:05:39 PM

Doing a build in July (good month to have UPS trundle all of those parts across the country, eh?) and this is what I am considering. Power consumption is a minor consideration (I do not want to have to choose between running the PC and the AC). Trying to keep costs somewhat contained. The wife and I will both be using this for everything from web browsing to Fallout 3. I might SLIGHTLY overclock it for fun and experience. Maybe later on, I will add a TV tuner/recorder card (and possibly a sound card as well) for transferring old videotapes to DVD.

Budget? 100 less than whatever the current total is. :-) Oh, and I'm trying to make everything either black or blue (don't ask :-) ). In fact I already have the case, I will probably order the CPU and the PSU today, and I am fairly confident about everything except the DDR3 RAM (which is a big question mark).


Case = Cooler Master SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Storm Scout

PSU = Corsair CMPSU-650HX modular 650w

MB* = Gigabyte-GA-790XTA-UD4

CPU** = AMD Phenom II X4 955

HD = WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA II, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM

DVD-R = Samsung DVD-W SATA 22X Lightscribe (Black)

Floppy = Sony MPF 920-Z - Floppy Disk drive

RAM*** = Corsair TR3X3G1600C8D Dominator 3 GB 3 x 1 GB
PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Memory Kit

GPU**** = HIS Radeon HD 4670 iSilence4 1 GB

LEDs = Cooler Master 140mm LED Case Fan (Blue)

Cooler Master 140mm LED Case Fan (Blue)

Cooler Master 120mm LED Case Fan (Blue)

HS+fan = Antec Max CPU Cooler 92mm

OS = Windows XP SP3 (for now)


* I had considered the Asus M4A79XTD EVO MB. Same price, possibly higher quality board(?) I was very impressed with the artistic (and uncovered!) chipset heatsinks. I was a bit nonplussed at the lack of support for a floppy drive. And I like the fact that the Gigabyte board has three PCI slots. Is there anything else that really recommends one over the other? How do the Audio Codecs compare?

** I had considered the Phenom II x4 925 (95w). However, is it correct that with normal use (surfing the web, Fallout 3, whatever) the 955 would not draw significantly more power, everything else being the same?

*** Ugh. Going through the Gigabyte list of GA-790XTA-UD4 supported memory gave me a headache. Most memory on the list isn't available anywhere, and most of that which is, claims to be designed to support the Intel I5 and/or I7. What The Frak? I quoted the entire descriptive text above, as an example. What's going on here? The Corsair Dominator CMD4GX3M2B1600C8 claims to be designed to support Phenom Black Edition CPUs and BEMP, whatever that is. But the Corsair Dominator CMD4GX3M2B1600C8 is not on the Gigabyte list. Of course, the 3 x 1 GB ram is pretty expensive for something that will have to be thrown out when I upgrade to 6 or 8 GB.

**** Uh - it's cheap (I have to show the wife that I contained costs _somewhere_). And it's blue. Plus, I kind of like the lack of moving parts. Relatively low power is a big plus. It will probably be the first thing to be upgraded, down the road. But for now, I'll continue to run XP, and the most demanding games I am likely to run (for the rest of the year at least) are Fallout 3, Bioshock, and Europa Barbarorum. Will this meet my needs? Or should I really shell out for e.g. the Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 Vapor-X, which costs more than twice as much?


Thanks!

More about : proposed black blue amd phenom build

June 19, 2010 7:46:11 PM

Why do you need a floppy drive? When was the last time you used a floppy?

Both ASUS and gigabyte make good boards, so you dont have to worry about quality with either one.

The 925 will draw slightly less power, but its not really a significant concern, its really not worth being a deciding point, you can always undervolt the 955 if you want it to use less power.

Dont worry about the memory support list, just about any memory will work but motherboard manufacturers dont take the time to go through each and every kit to certify it. The reason memory kits state they support the i5 and i7 is because the i5 and i7 are restricted to 1.65V memory. The Gskill eco series is my normal dual channel ram recommendation but if you want to keep it black and blue you can get the kit in the second link. I have it in my machine, it has done quite well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can save quite a bit by swapping your PSU for a more resonably priced unit, the 650HX is extremely good quality, but if you are on a budget its not the best choice. The 520W M12II from seasonic will provide plenty of power, and is still modular for significantly less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 19, 2010 8:35:32 PM

Some of your h/w decisions make me wonder: i suppose u going low power draw build but why the need for a CFable board? Hit an 870, ditch the overpriced Dom RAMs and hit a HD 5770 in there Considering your other h/w the HD 4670 is the last thing u want if gaming is on the cards

Consider the C3 945 $140 now

Non CF build an 80+ 500W would do fine

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June 19, 2010 9:20:55 PM

hunter315 said:
Why do you need a floppy drive? When was the last time you used a floppy?

...

Dont worry about the memory support list, just about any memory will work but motherboard manufacturers dont take the time to go through each and every kit to certify it. The reason memory kits state they support the i5 and i7 is because the i5 and i7 are restricted to 1.65V memory. The Gskill eco series is my normal dual channel ram recommendation but if you want to keep it black and blue you can get the kit in the second link. I have it in my machine, it has done quite well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can save quite a bit by swapping your PSU for a more resonably priced unit, the 650HX is extremely good quality, but if you are on a budget its not the best choice. The 520W M12II from seasonic will provide plenty of power, and is still modular for significantly less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



To be honest I will probably not use the floppy unless I am forced to (e.g. when instally XP to a SATA II HD). But it sure is nice to have the option if I need it.

Thanks for the Seasonic PSU recommendation! I'll probably get that one (no blue racing stripes as on the Corsair PSU, ah well). I'll probably get the memory you recommended as well.
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June 19, 2010 9:26:20 PM

Batuchka: You're right, Crossfire isn't a consideration (it's not a "real" Crossfire board anyway: when two video cards are present, they both operate at PCIEx8). The third PCI slot was a consideration. Build quality seemed good, I read good reviews, and the price was right. And it's blue. :-)


EDIT: I also wanted to get ATX not mATX...


I took a second look at the Sapphire Radeon 5770 Vapor-X. Giving it serious consideration....

I'll probably get the Seasonic PSU quoted above.

Ah - C3 stepping vs C2. I knew there was something I had forgotten to look up (I just did). I had originally been considering the 945 95W, downgraded to the 925, upgraded to the 955, now I'm considering the 945 again....

Thanks for the advice!
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June 20, 2010 5:13:28 AM

Good choice - definitely a whole lot a better gaming card that HD 4670 :p  You are welcomed ^^
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