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New System - Need Thoughts And Advice On This!

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July 14, 2010 3:48:41 AM

Ok, So i've taken and built a system which I think would be beneficial for my needs as a moderate gamer who picks up a new game every 6 months or so. I think this should last me a few years based on what I've got. Also I purposefully picked this motherboard for the possibility of upgrades later on if necessary later.

Critiques and thoughts please! :) 

Oh and i haven't picked out a PSU for this yet. I suck at choosing PSUs so advice here would be great!

Thanks much!

Motherboard - ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX -

CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core

Memory - OCZ Reaper Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

Graphics 2X for CrossfireX - XFX HD-567X-ZNF3 Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX

Hard Drive - Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Case - Thermaltake ArmorPlus(Armor+) VH6000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower


Thanks again! :) 

More about : system thoughts advice

July 14, 2010 4:01:44 AM

Definitely drop the memory to 4gb. You dont really need more than that to run anything.
Also, consider using the money you saved to buy a 5770 instead. Its a stronger gpu and will last you longer in modern gaming.
Id replace the vraptor with 2x500gb spinpoint f3 raid 0. You can cut down on your budget and invest in something else. Also, that is a huge case, why not get a haf 922 or 932 if you need the full tower. Its cheaper and has excellent airflow and is HUGE. With all the money you could save, id just get a regular hd and an ssd for some nice speeds :D 

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 14, 2010 2:51:22 PM

I'm simply a fan of the Thermaltake Cases personally. I know it's a bit big, but gives plenty of room for fun stuff later possibly as well. Not definitely sold on that particular one though.

I've never setup or done the whole Raid 0 thing. I honestly have no idea how beneficial that'd be for me? If someone could explain exactly how that goes, it'd be great. I've always used standard drives, but was ultimately looking for speed for a drive here. There will probably be a secondard drive in there too to store main file, where the raptor would be strictly for games...

My only argument for the 2x 5670 is the fact they are single stack.... I've been looking at the 5770's as well because they are a bit better on performance, but they're all double stacked... damn huge things lol...

Yeah, I agree on the 4gb of ram with you.. My only concern was multi-tasking when it came to the ram.. Will be putting Win 7 Pro 64-bit on there and just want to be solid. It's one of those 'up in the air' thing and might ultimately be a budget decision.

Still trying to figure out a PSU though for the setup..

Probably going to work out an intel build as well and see what I can come up with...
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July 14, 2010 7:12:05 PM

The 1090T doesn't provide any benefit (for gaming) over the Phenom II X4 955/965, and it costs $100 more.

Velociraptors are a poor value proposition these days. With SSDs becoming very reliable and 7200 rpm drives being as fast at streaming, you're much better off with an SSD and a 7200 rpm drive over a VR.

Consider using the money saved by dropping to an X4 and removing the Velociraptor on upgrading to an SSD and a Samsung Spinpoint F3 (500 GB or 1 TB), Seagate 7200.12 (500 GB or 1 TB), or a Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX).

I'll agree with the recommendation above to fill out the sticky. I can only guess at your budget & gaming resolution, but I'll say that 2x 5670 is a poor choice. I'd suggest starting off with one bigger card, and only CrossFire in a year or two if your graphics start to slip. Based on the rest of your build, you may be able to fit a 5850 in there.

PSU is going to depend on the graphics solution you end up with, but general recommendations will be: 80+ Certified, Active PFC, and stick with quality brands like Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, XFX.

A comparable Intel build would be an i5-750 + P55 motherboard, but that's likely to cost about $100 more than an AMD 955 + 790/890GX solution.
July 14, 2010 7:35:06 PM

Yeah, see I don't know much about SSDs as I haven't done the newer technology research there yet. Just used to Raptors being the in thing lol..

So you think the X4 is a better bet? Only reason I chose the X6 is to long-term possibilities. I try to build systems every 3 - 4 years, so want to be good for awhile is the only reason I went there.



Form posted below, hope that helps! :) 



APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next 3-4 months

BUDGET RANGE: $1500 and under.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Moderate Gaming (buy a new game maybe once every 4-6 months); Streaming Video, Blu-Ray, etc. - General use as well...


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: no input devices needed, have all that...

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, ZipZoomFly

PARTS PREFERENCES: Asus Motherboards generally.. Prefer nVidia for video, but going ATI for DX11... Do like XFX for a card brand though.

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes. Would like to go CrossfireX right away if possible, unless talked into a higher end card lol...

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Max.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit to be used most likely, Max settings for graphics on gaming is important...
July 14, 2010 7:58:56 PM

kyosuke said:
So you think the X4 is a better bet? Only reason I chose the X6 is to long-term possibilities. I try to build systems every 3 - 4 years, so want to be good for awhile is the only reason I went there.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Max.


Do you have a monitor that you're reusing? If so, what is the maximum resolution of the monitor? 1920x1200? 1920x1080? 1680x1050? Other? Answering that question is very important to graphics card recommendations.

Buying an X4 will allow you to spend $100 more on a graphics card, which is much more important than additional cores for gaming. Games are traditionally pretty poorly threaded, which means that having more cores doesn't help. Right now, most games use 1 or 2 cores, some RTS games might use more.

It's unlikely that any games or mainstream programs are going to demand 6+ cores until that many cores have been mainstream technology for a while AND developers have had a chance to catch up...which I don't expect to happen within the next couple of years. Even if that were the case, if you stick with an AMD build, next year's Bulldozer is planned to be supported on AM3, so there's still a CPU upgrade path available if you find the Phenom II X4 lacking in a year or so.

As far as SLI/CrossFire, I really think it's a mistake to buy 2 cards at the start of your build unless you happen to hit a very specific price point that you can't move up or down from, where 2 cards offers much better performance than a single bigger card. I think that you're better off leaving it as an upgrade option in a year or two, where you can choose to either buy what is now an older, cheaper card, or you can get the next big thing.
July 14, 2010 8:10:46 PM

1920 x 1080 is standard res. Have a 24" LG Screen.

I see what you mean on the cores. I know StarCraft 2 is supposed to be very processor intense, and wouldn't surprise me to see Diablo 3 as such as well. An X4 sounds good though, especially since the next Gen will still use AM3 as you are saying.

So where do I go on graphics then? Max settings for games is usually important for me while gaming. I do enjoy it like the next PC gamer. I'm not one to buy expensive cards. I usually try and stay under $200 on that part of it as they drop in price so quickly...
July 14, 2010 8:33:09 PM

If you're mostly sticking with Blizzard games, a 5850 should be fine. I played the SC2 beta on a Core2Duo with an nVidia 8700 Mobility at medium-high settings, and Blizzard is pretty good about keeping system requirements modest in order to capture a larger portion of the gaming population. If you play more demanding games or FPS games, you will want a 5870 in order to max out 1920x1080.

At your budget, you can definitely afford a 5870, if you're not morally opposed to spending $400 on a graphics card.

At any rate, I'll start on a build, and MadAdmiral or banthracis will probably have one posted before I'm finished. :p 

Another thing to point out is that more than 4 GB RAM is unnecessary for gaming or any "standard" tasks these days. You can buy more if you really want, but based on your stated usage, you're unlikely to touch it.

Basic specs, though: AMD Phenom II X4 & higher-end AM3 mobo or Intel i5-750 & P55 mobo, 4 GB RAM, ATI 5870, 500 GB - 1 TB 7200 rpm drive, 650-750W PSU. You probably have the budget to put a decent SSD in if you are interested, though that will likely drop you down from a top-end graphics card.
July 14, 2010 8:40:11 PM

Yeah, just have to maybe eat that one on the GPU lol... I try to avoid going over the $300 mark on any single piece. Hard to chew sometimes.

The main reason why I looked at more than 4gb was because I multi-task often.... I have a tendency to alt+tab out a lot while gaming, so wasn't sure on what would be necessary to keep it from bogging things down..
July 14, 2010 8:57:59 PM

Since memory is pretty much the easiest thing to add, I'd start with 4 GB and add another kit if you really find it to be a problem, however I suspect it won't be necessary.

Here's an AMD build, with no newegg combos selected, since they change weekly (daily sometimes). An i5-750 build would come in about $100 more, would offer similar gaming performance, probably a little better at things like Photoshop.

Do you want/need a Blu-ray drive? The cheapest are about $60, while a combo drive (burns regular DVDs) is about $90.

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $160
HSF - Hyper 212+ - $30 at amazon/tigerdirect/etc. $50 at newegg, or pick from FrostyTech's Top 5
Mobo - ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 - $140, SATA 6 Gb/s & USB 3.0
RAM - G.Skill ECO Series 4 GB kit CAS 7 1600 MHz - $105
GPU - XFX 5870 $390 + free Aliens vs. Predator game
HDD - Seagate 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - either for $75
ODD - cheapest SATA DVD burner - $19
PSU - XFX 750W 80+ Silver, Active PFC - $120 ($100 after $20 MIR)
Case - Thermaltake ArmorPlus VH6000VWS - $185 + $25 shipping - you could pay a lot less for a quality case, but I'm of the opinion that case choice is very personal, so I'm just going to point out that you don't need to pay over $200 for a case.
OS - Win 7 Home Premium OEM 64-bit - $100 (or about $30 more for Pro)

Total $1339

If you decide to get a less expensive case or drop down to a 5850 graphics card, then you might think about adding an SSD.

SSD - Corsair Nova 128 GB SSD - $320 or OCZ Vertex 2 - $330 - picks based on recent techreport and bit-tech articles. Alternatively, the Intel X25-M and the Crucial C300 are also good options.


Changes for an Intel build:

CPU - Intel i5-750 - $195
Mobo - ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 - $180 - SATA 6 Gb/s, USB 3.0, supports CrossFire

Total cost increases by $75
July 14, 2010 9:12:09 PM

More RAM is not bad unless you lose clocks or speed from 2x2gb.
OP, get 8/8/8 1600 mhz RAM as a minimum.
I recommend a 965 C3 125 watt. These may be overclocked to over 4ghz with the new 8xx mobos.
July 14, 2010 9:36:27 PM

kyosuke said:
Thanks for the build. :) 

Wouldn't the Ripjaws be a little better than the ECO for performance? - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ? Same price point.


I almost linked the Ripjaws to start with, but then saw the ECO right below them at the same price, and (almost) the same specs. I picked the ECO since they run at a lower voltage, which is handy if you overclock...the timings & clock speed are the same as the Ripjaws. Also, the ECO kit doesn't have raised heat spreaders that might get in the way of an overhanging HSF.

Basically, when you buy, just get the cheapest CAS 7 1600 (or 1333) MHz RAM that's available. Lower voltage is a bonus, but isn't necessary. That's frequently G.Skill, but it does change from time to time.
July 14, 2010 9:43:51 PM

8/8/8 1600 is better than 7/7/7 1333.
!