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Advice for the new guy - building a new PC

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July 10, 2010 8:10:37 PM

This is my second build my first being about 4 years ago and I really didn't know what I was doing then. I have done a lot more research this time and have a decent idea of what I want but I know you guys are a lot more experienced then me so any help would be appreciated.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I plan to purchase gathering the parts over the next 3 weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: kind of open building slowly

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (blizzard stuff mostly) Media (musis, movies) and a strong ability to multitask. (example: WoW, Itunes, Fraps, Firefox, and other crap all running at the same time.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, CD drives, Case, OS, heat sink, cd/dvd burner/writer (Possibly HDD and GPU for now)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, ASUS Motherboard

OVERCLOCKING: Yes I am new to over clocking but interested for sure

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: interested in crossfiring in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have a 22 inch wide screen dell but I am not sure of it's resolution.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have some parts left over from my old computer that may transfer over. I also already have windows 7 64 bit Home. I don't have tons of money but that is why I am slowly buying the parts one by one. I am open to suggestions.


My main concerns are:
My old computer parts
any bottle necks
keeping the cost down but room for future upgrades
wanting to eventually go to SSD for my OS

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Case: Antec Nine Hundred SE
Note: I already have this case brand new in the box. The only difference is mine is an SE which just means it's silver :p 

Motherboad: ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX
Note: I really like this boards capabilities. I was looking at the M4A89GTD Pro that comes with on board GPU however I did not know if that GPU would be better then the 8800 GTS I already have. It seemed pretty low quality. Plus since one of the PCI slots is only x4 it's not ideal for future crossfire. I am a big fan of ASUS ability to make overclocking easier.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
I am pretty stuck on this CPU. I like the black edition's ability to raise the multipliers for overclocking. Makes it a lot easier.

Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 PLus
Note: Already have this brand new in the box.

Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB 320-bit
Note: I already have this from my old PC and I am not sure how good it still is. I want to upgrade but a video card is not a top priority since I won't be playing any really graphically demanding games. Open to suggestions.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Note: This seems like really good over clocking memory but I hope it doesn't get in the way of my heat sink.

HDD : NO decision yet I have a Samsung 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb but it is uh more than a little dated :p 

Power Supply: I have a 550 watt modular BFG no link but I think I'll need more power especially if I want to crossfire. I can upgrade this later though.

OS: Windows 7 home edition 64 bit


Any ideas or changes or concerns are well received. I really want to get good bang for my buck but I want to have flexibility with upgrades in the future as well.

Thanks guys! :) 

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July 10, 2010 8:41:19 PM

Any onboard video is not going to be as good as an 8800gts... If you are just playing WoW and SC2, that's an ample video card to run on medium/high settings at high res.

If you're new to overclocking, I'd reccomend a gigabyte motherboard. Comes with several system utilities to monitor temps and overclock 5%/10%/15% with just the click on a button in their software.
July 10, 2010 8:48:09 PM

You look like you know what you're doing. :) 

I would maybe go with the Antec p193 case but you said you got the case already :/  - That case is awesome I have the older p180 case and it rocks so much room.

If you do go crossfire you will need a 850 or better and I recommend Corsair.
You can get a 1TB HDD from Western Digital or Seagate for cheap. 80 bucks about.

IMPO going AMD CPU is going to be your bottleneck. The core I5/I7 series are considerably faster than what AMD offers. You don't have to listen to me though as I'm an intel fanboy.

The video card you have is alright. The Fermi 460 will likely rock what you have. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - I hear the ATI cards are better and judging from what I see I think the ATI cards are better. Sadly I'm not familiar with ATI cards to help you with that.
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July 10, 2010 9:10:20 PM

The 955 AMD will do you fine. The Intel i5 750 is better, but that comes at a premium price - the 955 will not cause you any issues especially if you plan to OC at some point.

The two choices for gaming at the moment is the i5 750 for those with the money and the AMD 955 for those on a bit of a budget - both are the best bang for your buck from each company

I would get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 Hard Drive. It is popular for a reason. 500gb or 1TB is up to you, though me persoanlly, I have never filled a 500gb HDD, and given that you have been doing fine with 160gb I would think 500gb is plenty.

You may want to go with a cheaper mobo, the 790 series should have all you need at a cheaper price.

July 10, 2010 9:26:36 PM

The Asus M4A89GTD Pro is perfectly capable of crossfiring - the second PCI-E slot is at x8. You don't have to use the onboard GPU if you have a graphics card, so it doesn't matter if the mobo has onboard or not.

You don't need an Intel CPU for multitasking of the sort you described.

The PSU will depend on what graphics card you will want to be able to crossfire, and there are plenty of other good brands besides Corsair.
July 10, 2010 10:19:40 PM

The Samsung Spinpoint F3 Hard Drive seems like a really nice drive. Nothing but good reviews about it, however it is still at 7200 RPM SATA 3.0. Is there anyhting faster for the for around 50-80 dollars?

You're right about the M4A89GTD Pro. Would I notice a big difference between the AMD 890GX and AMD 890FX North Bridge or going down to the 790?

For the PSU that seems great except it isn't modular and someone posted that they had the same case as me and the cords were to short for bottom mounted PSUs. So that would probably be an issue.

I also am pretty stuck on the processor but I dont know anything about gigabyte motherboards.

Thanks for the responses in advanced.
July 11, 2010 2:53:49 AM

Gigabyte is good stuff in my opinion. I've got a Gigabyte board going on 3 years old that has been rock solid so far.
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