[NewBuild] ~$750 PC AMD x4 955 and some questions

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: A.S.A.P. My solid four year vaio laptop took a nasty fall and the only computer I have access to is very slow and does not support my needs.

BUDGET RANGE: $750 or less after rebates/combos/etc and including OS cost. I have an XP key, but I might upgrade to windows 7.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Online Poker, Browsing/Steaming video, gaming, multi-tasking?

Monitor?: I have a Sanyo ~23" HDTV that should be able to work as a monitor although it does not have a VGA port. So far as I can tell it only supports HDMI and S-video. Is there a cord to support my needs? A guy at walmart said they didn't make a cord for me... I took his opinion with a grain of salt because I'm pretty sure it exists.

Optical drive?: I believe I have an extra cd/dvd RW drive from a mid grade Dell that was purchased in the late 90's. From what I've read I won't really be saving much to buy a new one since I'm not sold on having to have a Blu-Ray player so I haven't ruled out buying a new cd/dvd rw.

Networking Card?: Integrated is preferred.

Sound Card: I think this is over kill for my needs.

Mouse/Keyboard/Speakers: I'll window shop at best buy.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: New Egg/Tiger Direct/Amazon?


PARTS PREFERENCES: I am thinking about going with:
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 HDZ955FBGMBOX
MOBO: AM3 8xx
HD: I'd like to have two HDs. My main is preferred 10,000 RPM for fast reboots/core programs and small to mid storage space. Second HD is really just about $$$, the cheaper the better, I'm even considering an external. All in all i've never used more than 30GB of space and I've been using computers for 6+ years.
RAM: 4-6?GB

OVERCLOCKING: Not now, but in the future possibly.

CROSSFIRE: Only if future proofing seems wise.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200-1920x1200 on two or more monitors

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I think I have future proofed the core of my system but it is still a consideration.

Stability is a MUST so I don't mind making sure my system runs cool but I doubt water cooling is in my budget and/or capability.

I don't expect that I will need some uber dank graphics card for my needs and since this can be updated in the future. I am curious about using integrated graphics for the time being to save some money but it feels like I'm going to have budget room. The games I plan on playing are old RPGs like Baulder's Gate - Never Winter Nights plus Star Craft II and
Diablo III. I've been running dual monitors on my old laptop and will like to continue using two or more as time goes on.

I know that most online poker isn't very resource intensive but I do play multiple tables at once as well as run multiple programs in the background like MS word, MS excel, firefox, adobe reader, various poker calculators, and Hold'em Manager. Hold'em Manager requires another program to run in the background which added about 5 processes for my last PC. Also, HEM searches through hand histories which can be quite extensive. If anyone needs an idea of usage/consumption I can probably find some data on or Hold'em Manager's website. My old laptop with its 1.8(?) ghz duo core and gig of RAM ran all of this pretty well seamlessly.

XP or windows 7?

I have put together three PCs in the past as well as make minor tweaks to a few other computers, however, I've never installed all of the drivers from scratch. I'd like for easier hardware to install, but I feel I can goggle/read my way though some things if this is an issue.

Thanks in advance,
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  1. Best answer
    Welcome to the forums.


    AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9 GHz - $99.99

    ASRock 870 Extreme 3 - $94.99, $2.99 shipping

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $109.99

    ASUS Radeon HD 5770 CuCore - $144.99 after $20 rebate, $1.99 shipping

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM - $79.99 (Sometimes it's $69.99, it's fast and should be more than enough)

    Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 - $69.99

    NZXT M59 - $49.99 after $15 rebate

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $99.99

    Total cost = $754.90 ($4.90 over budget is alright, right?) after rebates, shipping included.

    This is probably extreme overkill considering a 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo w/1 GB of RAM did all your tasks perfectly, but this means that this system should last you for a long time. It's CrossFireX ready, just so you know, and you should be able to play all your games at decent settings.
  2. Lmeow,
    Thanks for your recommendations. I was curious about a few things.

    AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9 GHz - $99.99 [...] 6819103808

    You wrote Athlon but linked the Phenom II x4 955 3.2 GHz. I was thinking your link was what you meant since it added up in the cart.

    ASRock 870 Extreme 3 - $94.99, $2.99 shipping [...] 6813157198

    I noticed this didn't have any product reviews at newegg. Was the "off brand" to budget fit or is this a solid brand that is under the radar?

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM - $79.99 (Sometimes it's $69.99, it's fast and should be more than enough) [...] 6822152185

    Having two HDs is overkill to you? It probably won't fit in my budget to get two drives but I am somewhat hoping/wanting to get the 10000RPM for fast start up and a second "slower" drive to download to.

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $109.99 [...] 6820231303

    I was curious about the difference with
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

    If the G.Skill RAM I linked is comparable or preferred, would you suggest for a combo deal? I noticed the case you picked out was free shipping whereas the combo deal was not.

    ASUS Radeon HD 5770 CuCore - $144.99 after $20 rebate, $1.99 shipping [...] 6814121363

    I really like this since the 5750 is only mere pennies cheaper and that it really seems like a good future proofing card. I saw that this has an HDMI port, so, all I would need is a basic HDMI cable to use my TV as a monitor with this card?
  3. I meant the Athlon II X4 because I reckon that's enough processing horsepower. I chose the Phenom II X4 initially but decided to go for the Athlon II X4 because I didn't feel the extra power the Phenom II offered was needed for the tasks you had in mind.
    If you don't mind spending another $30, you can get yourself a Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz, one step down is Phenom II X4 925 2.8 GHz.

    The motherboard I linked is new, but it does have nice features and ASRock isn't a dodgy brand. It's a decent AMD 870 chipset based board with SATA III/USB 3.0 and eSATA 3.0. It also has dual PCI-e 16x lanes.

    As for the hard drive, those Spinpoints are fast for an HDD, faster than the 10,000 RPM SATA II Velociraptors, and cheap too. If you're talking about the SATA III 450 GB/600 GB Velociraptors, they're a bit faster, two HDDs isn't really overkill, I just feel it's more convenient having both bootup and storage on the same drive if you're going to use an HDD. If you can somehow fit it into your budget, a Velociraptor 450 GB would be a pretty good addition, if you don't use much space at all then a 450 GB VR would suffice as both storage and bootup. Otherwise you can get a storage drive later on and move anything you don't want on your bootup drive onto your storage. Neither the WD VR 450 GB/600 GB HDDs are available right now, and I wouldn't get the 300 GB versions, because the Spinpoint F3 is just as fast in some cases, faster in others. (Slightly slower bootup though)

    The RAM I picked is faster, because it has lower latencies of 7-8-7-24-2N, while the RAM you chose has latencies of 9-9-9-24-2N, although to be honest it's not noticeable apart from benchmarks. The combo deal wouldn't really save you any money, compared to the current RAM kit and current case. Personally, I would just stick with the original RAM kit.
  4. Very nice. TY again for the advice. I feel confident enough to place the order right now but I think I'm going to give it ~24hrs to compare check out prices at various sites and/or other posters to chime in.
  5. yeah, that above rig looks great, cant fault it!
  6. Ouch, almost $90 in tax, and $10 in shipping. I guess i'm going to try and shop around and see if I can get the bottom line looking a little better.

    $920.4 Total using:
    AMD Athlon II X4 635 2.9 GHz - $99.99

    ASRock 870 Extreme 3 - $94.99, $2.99 shipping

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $109.99

    ASUS Radeon HD 5770 CuCore - $144.99 after $20 rebate, $1.99 shipping

    Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM - $139.99

    Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 - $69.99

    NZXT M59 - $49.99 after $15 rebate

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $99.99
  7. I google shopping searched and NewEgg was the cheapest every where. I have changed a few parts and I've gotten my total down to $801.99.

    HEC 63RABB Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - OEM plus hec X-Power Pro 650 650W Continuous @ 40°C ATX 12V v2.2 / EPS 12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply

    I compared the PSU and case with the ones you recommended and the only meaningful difference I found was that my PSU is not modular. I'm not very worried about cable clutter.

    OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    I realize I might have to do a little tweaking for my HD but it does not seem to be overwhelming from their forum guide.

    Anyone see problems with my changes?
  8. Not really, although personally I wouldn't go with generic branded PSUs, but the reviews show it's not that bad so I'd go with that. As for the HDD, sure, it's fine. Are you just going to have that SSD and nothing else? You have to remember formatted capacity is less, and that Windows 7 does take quite a bit of space on a 30 GB SSD.
  9. In a month or so i'm going to pick up a 1TB, probably external.
  10. Best answer selected by Renseru.
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