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Seeking opinion on this gaming build

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July 13, 2010 11:37:49 PM

Alright, so I'm trying to build a powerful gaming build for as cheap as possible. I'm mostly worried about two things:

1. I want to make sure everything will work well with everything else.
2. I want to make sure none of my hardware constrains any of my other hardware and creating a bottleneck (thus wasting my money.) For example, if my CPU cannot keep up with my GPU, I wasted money on the GPU. In that case, I would need to upgrade the CPU to free the GPU to do the best it can.

Any suggestions are welcome, but I'd especially like answers to the above questions. Then I'll order! Thanks!

Case: Antec 300 Illusion
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W
GPU: POWERCOLOR PCS+ AX5770 1GBD5-PPG Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
LCD: Acer P235Hbmid Black 23" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
PSU: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Optical: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Price: $910.91

Also I would like to know whether these components will all fit in the case and whether their cables will reach. The PSU is mounted on the bottom. I'm not really sure how to check into that.
July 14, 2010 12:26:55 AM

nottastud said:
looks like you and me are after the same thing! Wish I would have posted before ordering, but I googled my tail off for the build I have for my budget. Should be here in 2 days.

Really decent hardware you picked out btw!

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289978-31-comments-bu...



Wow, way more budget than I went. I started trying to go for $700, but I just couldn't do it and still meet my quality and performance standards (performance being the main problem.)
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a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 12:43:02 AM

The power supply is not a good choice for a system with one 5770. You could probably do that system on a good quality 450W PSU. And any quality PSU will have cables that will reach the respective plug holes.

Also look for combos.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 1:24:35 AM

Hi again man.

Some recommendations IMO.

1- ASUS 23" better brand and with fewer price.
2- You can save a little money with one of this PSU CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W or Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W both Corsair and Antec are much better brand and with a better price even u can go with a 650W from a good manufacturer with a fewer price. 650W Option 1 650W Option 2 650W Option 3 anyone of those 650W can support almost any future upgrade that u want for ur rig.
3- With the extra money that u get with the PSU change u can go with this G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) 1600 that are much better that the Corsair that u have.
4- Finally this Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB is a better HD with the same price.
July 14, 2010 2:39:04 PM

saint19:

1. Yeah, I think I like that monitor better. 2ms response time!

2. Okay, I'll probably switch to one of those 650s.

3. Yeah, forgot to change the RAM.

4. I was looking at the specs for that drive and can't tell what is better. Is something about it faster? Western Digital drives have the best reputation for reliability, I thought, so I picked one of their better-rated drives.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 2:58:29 PM

5ms vs 2ms response time isn't a bit deal, not really noticeable.

If you're buying soon this build works and gives you much better performance for about the same price.

Optical $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
Asus 23" 1920x1080 $169 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
Ripjaw 1600 cas 7 $95 after promo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU/Case
Antec 300 Illusion and 650 earthwatts $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo/CPU
GA 890 ud3 and Phenom II x4 955 $275
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU
5830 $200 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

at $180 after rebate, this card is now worth it.

Promo codes:EMCYVYX35,EMCYVYW52

Total: $939 before shipping and $50 rebates
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 2:59:35 PM

Yeah is more faster the WD is around 126MB/s max the Samsung is around 250MB/s max. Is a big difference right?
July 14, 2010 3:07:05 PM

Get at least 8/8/8 1600 mhz RAM.
The OP had linked a decent HDD already.
Saint19, what are you saying? A 500GB 16mb versus 1TB 32mb and the smaller is faster?
July 14, 2010 3:18:58 PM

banthracis said:
5ms vs 2ms response time isn't a bit deal, not really noticeable.

If you're buying soon this build works and gives you much better performance for about the same price.

[...]

Total: $939 before shipping and $50 rebates


I don't trust rebates! I'll look into these parts though and see if i want to swap anything.
July 14, 2010 3:21:10 PM

Regarding the 1600 RAM: since my processor is designed for 1333 RAM, won't the bottleneck created by using 1600 result in the tiniest performance _decrease_ if anything (and for a higher money cost)? I'm confused about the point of switching to 1600 again.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 3:25:19 PM

I should really just copy paste these post's somewhere instead of digging them up again every time >.<

Ok quoting myself

Quote:
AMD architecture favors tighter timings over faster speed for
performance increase. Intel, favors neither. That said, neither makes
a significant impact on performance to warrant a major price
difference.

CAs latency refers to how long it takes the RAM to do something after
it's given a command. Makes no difference to FPS in gaming, but like
an SSD, it improves system responsiveness.

Stock i7-930 is 133 block, 21 multiplier and 10x memory multiplier.
Though the latter is determined by MOBO not CPU. This fully saturated
1333mhz RAM. 133block speed x 10 memory multiplier= 1330.

To OC above this you'll need to either lower multiplier or get faster RAM.
In general, we recommend DDR3 1600 RAM if you plan on a OC.

Now, the reason why we recommend G Skill RAM is that memory can
perform better than rated speeds. Most companeis sell you RAM that'll
perform at specs, G SKill tends to give you better than you pay for.
So their RAM can run at higher speeds, lower voltages and/or lower
timings than specs. OCZ is the opposite, hence we don't recommend
them.

High speeds requires looser timings to work. I'll avoid the
tech details as to why, but suffice to say this is a mechanically
imposed limitation. Now, because faster RAM must be of higher quality
to maintain the same latency as slower RAM, they're generally better
quality. As a result, the Trident DDR3 2000 kit that's rated at cas 9
at 2000, can hit CAS 6 at 1600 speeds. CAS 5 at 1333 speeds. This is
why people will buy extremely fast RAM. They're getting higher quality
RAM so they can run it at tighter timings for the speeds they want.

Now as to why 1600 7-8-7-24 kit is better than a 1333 7-7-7-21 kit, is
because, the 1600 kit can run 7-7-7-21 when under clocked to 1333
speeds. At the same time, it supports a higher OC and faster speeds with no downside.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 3:43:48 PM

valzi said:
Regarding the 1600 RAM: since my processor is designed for 1333 RAM, won't the bottleneck created by using 1600 result in the tiniest performance _decrease_ if anything (and for a higher money cost)? I'm confused about the point of switching to 1600 again.


1600 is useful if u OC the CPU but even that u can't bottleneck anything .

Quote:
Get at least 8/8/8 1600 mhz RAM.
The OP had linked a decent HDD already.
Saint19, what are you saying? A 500GB 16mb versus 1TB 32mb and the smaller is faster?


Where I'm comparing a 500GB against 1TB?
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 3:54:44 PM

^Usually a lower CL means more faster RAM.

For example a 2000MHz RAM with CL9 is the same as a 1600 RAM with CL6 or CL7.
July 14, 2010 8:20:09 PM

After changes:

Case: Antec 300 Illusion
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W
GPU: POWERCOLOR PCS+ AX5770 1GBD5-PPG Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
LCD: ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-650TX
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Optical: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Price: $890.91

I changed the LCD, RAM, and PSU but kept the rest. Thanks for the help guys!

Would someone mind looking to make sure the major components should work together for me? I'm pretty sure they're good, but I'd like another set of eyes. Mobo + CPU + memory + video card, especially.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 8:27:03 PM

Seems fine for me ;) 
July 14, 2010 8:36:15 PM

Yay! I should be ordering this tonight I think. -$10 for a coupon code and +$30.75 shipping = $911.66. If the rebates all come through, it will be down to $866.66.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 8:51:53 PM

Nice, I think that it's very solid rig with a good budget.
July 14, 2010 8:55:13 PM

Good, that's what I wanted to hear. I wish was closer to my original $700 goal, but that would involve more compromise than I'm willing to make. Some of this should pay for itself in longevity, I hope. The case and power supply, for example, should easily outlast the rest of the components.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 9:08:25 PM

Yeah, with that PSU u can do a Crossfire until a 5870 without problems.

Maybe with a combo case + PSU u can save a little more money ;) 
July 14, 2010 9:16:23 PM

There aren't any PSUs that I want that can be combined with my case. (I really like my case, I think.) Thanks for all the help!
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 9:17:09 PM

I'm going to recommend you revisit the WD Caviar Blue vs. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB decision.

The Spinpoint F3 (as well as the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB) uses 500 GB platters, while the WD drive uses either 333 GB platters or 250 GB platters. This means that the Samsung & Seagate drives have their data packed more densely, which results in faster data transfer rates. They also have fewer moving parts for less power used, less heat generated. These days, cache size matters very little when comparing hard drives.

The Spinpoint and the 7200.12 are the same price as the Caviar Blue, so you wouldn't even be paying any extra for a somewhat faster drive. It's clearly not going to cripple your build if you go with the WD, but at the same price, I don't see why you wouldn't go with one of the other drives.
July 14, 2010 9:21:01 PM

saint19 said:
Yeah is more faster the WD is around 126MB/s max the Samsung is around 250MB/s max. Is a big difference right?

Is this not a comparison of HDD speeds?
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 9:36:05 PM

l4d said:
Is this not a comparison of HDD speeds?


Yeah, WD 1TB vs Samsung F3 1TB

Quote:
banthracis wrote :


HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181


This is what threw me.
Thank you coldsleep for your statement. This clarifies what was being stated.


That's not my link ;) 
July 14, 2010 9:44:31 PM

coldsleep said:
I'm going to recommend you revisit the WD Caviar Blue vs. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB decision.

The Spinpoint F3 (as well as the Seagate 7200.12 1 TB) uses 500 GB platters, while the WD drive uses either 333 GB platters or 250 GB platters. This means that the Samsung & Seagate drives have their data packed more densely, which results in faster data transfer rates. They also have fewer moving parts for less power used, less heat generated. These days, cache size matters very little when comparing hard drives.

The Spinpoint and the 7200.12 are the same price as the Caviar Blue, so you wouldn't even be paying any extra for a somewhat faster drive. It's clearly not going to cripple your build if you go with the WD, but at the same price, I don't see why you wouldn't go with one of the other drives.



I forgot about the spinpoint stuff. I'm more interested in reliability than speed. The fewer moving parts and less power used facts should increase reliability, right? I'll try to find a review now.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 9:47:01 PM

valzi said:
There aren't any PSUs that I want that can be combined with my case. (I really like my case, I think.) Thanks for all the help!


Take a look of this options:

1- 1st option
2- 2nd option
3- 3rd option

The 1st and 2nd options are more cheap that buy the case and PSU individually and the 3rd option only cost $8 more.

And follow our advice, the Samsung Spinpoint F3 is a better option for the same price.
July 14, 2010 9:54:00 PM

Also, the spinpoint is $20 less than the Caviar Blue. I'm not sure why you're referencing it as being the same price. (Not at all a bad thing!)
July 14, 2010 9:59:56 PM

Aha!
July 14, 2010 10:21:10 PM

Alright, good HD. Switching to Spinpoint F3 1TB.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 10:27:14 PM

Good swap, Do u see the combo deals?
July 14, 2010 10:28:46 PM

Saint19:

The PSU is a very important part and I'm not convinced the Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W is reliable, based on customer reviews. It looks pretty good, but there are a lot of DOAs and short-lived ones mentioned too. Otherwise, I'd really like your 1st option.
a b 4 Gaming
July 14, 2010 10:36:36 PM

^U also can go with the 2nd option the PSU is much better (Bronze Certified) but it's only a 550W PSU.

The 3rd is a little more expensive but with a bigger CPU with Bronze Certified
July 15, 2010 5:16:38 AM

Ordered! You guys have been a lot of help - thanks a lot!

I'll probably be back asking more questions about assembling it once it arrives. I've never assembled a computer before, though I've been working with them a long time.
a b 4 Gaming
July 15, 2010 2:40:02 PM

Not problem man, we are here to help u. ;) 
July 25, 2010 8:00:09 AM

Just wanted to update everyone, so you know the result of your advice and my decisions.

Alright, so my system is running wonderfully overall! Thanks again! :wahoo: 

Everything worked on the second boot attempt (I only plugged in the 24-pin mobo power supply at first and skipped the 8-pin.)

Everything is stable, updated, and performing nicely.

:heink:  Problems:

1. Left 4 Dead 2 is not displaying smoke properly. We're discussing this in another thread.

2. I don't know how to set my RAM to the best timings. Also discussing this in another thread.

3. I'm not sure my hard drive is performing as fast as I was expecting from reviews. How fast should it be and should I do anything to optimize performance? It's the Spinpoint F3 1 TB. I haven't started a thread for this yet because I haven't really looked into it.

Tweaks:

Here are my full SIW specs and settings, if you're interested. Suggestions for changes/tweaks on anything are very welcome. :love:  I'll probably start a new thread for this before long though.
July 30, 2010 9:11:35 AM

Enable Write Cache and any other options for your HDD in device manager.
Vista and 7 have another feature that XP doesn't.
!