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Making an AMD gaming Rig, need advice on CPU fan, PSU, Case, and RAM

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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 6:01:23 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: September

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, everything else

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.A.

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD Quad-Core, preferably Phenom II, with ATI 5000-series GPU(s)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, not much if so

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not now, yes in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not purchasing a monitor at the moment.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need assistance with a computer I'm putting together courtesy of "Magic MICRO", a company that builds custom barebones computers and has gotten a fair amount of positive feedback from multiple sources. I know that it would be cheaper to put it together myself, but I simply don't trust my abilities that much, nor do I have any of the anti-static carpeting or whatever else I always see recommended by advice sites. On top of that, I'm a college student and want a gaming computer, but also don't want to pay an arm and a leg for an Alienware or something like that where I pay for the brand as much as I do for the parts.

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CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz (Quad Core) 45nm, AM3 6MB Cache
CPU Fan: OCZ Vanquisher $20.00 more than this one (stock?), let me know which is actually better/worth my money.
MoBo: ASRock M3A770DE
RAM: 4GB PC10600 DDR3 1333 Dual Channel (Link is just to a description of what DDR3 RAM is, I can ask them what brand they use if you guys need to know) $79.00
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 1GB $330.00
HDD: 500.0GB Hitachi 7200RPM SATA2, UDMA 300 8m cache $48.00
Media Drive: Lite On 22x DVD Recorder Dual Layer +R/RW -R/RW $18.00
Case: APEVIA X-Cruiser 2
Speakers: Logitech S-200 2.1 3-Piece Subwoofer System Black $36.00
PSU: Unsure, but I believe A-Power AK series 650W ATX Power Supply, SLI & X-fire ready

Now, here's what I am wondering about:

The MoBo, I'll be frank, is something I chose rather arbitrarily. I plan on eventually buying a 5850 sometime down the line, and as such wanted a board with 2 PCI x16 slots (and a nifty little "crossfire supported!" message on their configurator); this is also one of the cheapest options on their configurator. Price on Newegg: $59.99. What's wrong with it; if I plan on using this rig for gaming, what am I missing? Or is it perfectly fine? Remember that I am new to the whole "build your own" thing, even if it's someone else doing the actual work; the next mobo in their (sorted by cost) lineup is an Asus M4A785TD-V (unfortunately, $45 through MM as opposed to Newegg's $40 hike). I can see that it has HDMI output whereas the ASrock doesn't... is this important? For the extra cost, should I get that 'better' mobo for one reason and/or another?

For RAM, MM actually beats Newegg; the CHEAPEST RAM of that exact same speed is $81.99, so I save $2.00 (big money); but I have to ask, as a gaming rig noob: What would be the 'best' speed RAM? That is, what is the difference between the 1066mhz (which is $2.00 cheaper from MM), my current selection of 1333mhz, and 1600mhz RAM ($11.00 more from MM)? From what I gathered, you need more RAM to overclock your CPU more... but I don't plan on OCing my CPU, at least not dramatically. So would I be fine with the 1333mhz?

I found the exact case I chose on Newegg for $74.99; I guess I should ask here: Should I get a bigger/better case? I mean, I chose one that wasn't the cheapest that MM offered and that looked shiny (I figured, if it looks pretty, it's probably a gaming case).

My grand total, for parts as per Newegg/external sites, is $1077ish and that's BEFORE shipping, handling, and whatever taxes. Shipping comes in at $50.56. Grand total: $1127.56

The computer as assembled by MM is $1163 -- oh, sorry, that's the cost with the Asus mobo and a 955, I forgot to cancel those changes. Going back to the ASRock and a 945 takes me down to $1098. That's a mere $36 more for parts alone. Shipping is $33.61 from MM. Grand total: $1165.92

So altogether, 40 bucks extra and I get a computer fully assembled. For me, that's an okay price to pay; I'd rather have someone competent do it for a higher price than someone who has no idea what's what (me) destroy everything accidentally with static or something similarly stupid. Turns out it doesn't cost all that much more, and it's one helluva lot cheaper than getting a branded PRO 1337 GAMERZ machine from some flashy site.

Okay, so, yeah. Case, PSU,, CPU Fan, and Mobo are what I need advice on. Also, what am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Is this case absurdly small or crappy? Are my choices of PSU and fan sufficient? What's the deal with RAM? Any advice would be appreciated.
July 23, 2010 6:19:05 AM

CrossFireX won't work very well in that board as the second slot operates at x4, bottlenecking your second HD 5850.

I suggest this board:

ASRock 870 Extreme3 - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With RAM, 1333 MHz should be enough, if you're overclocking then 1600 MHz is what you want.

I'd go for the PSU from newegg as well.

CPU-fan wise the best option would probably be the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, it's a bit of a ripoff at newegg atm.

With the case? I'm not sure...
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 6:28:08 AM

Lmeow said:
CrossFireX won't work very well in that board as the second slot operates at x4, bottlenecking your second HD 5850.

I suggest this board:

ASRock 870 Extreme3 - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With RAM, 1333 MHz should be enough, if you're overclocking then 1600 MHz is what you want.

I'd go for the PSU from newegg as well.

CPU-fan wise the best option would probably be the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, it's a bit of a ripoff at newegg atm.

With the case? I'm not sure...


Bear in mind, as I said, that I WILL be buying from this company; I am not building my own. Newegg links are simply to compare my options and show how much I'm losing by buying prebuilt. That said, MM does offer that CPU fan, so is it worth upgrading from a cheaper model even if I plan to not/only mildly overclock?
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July 23, 2010 9:45:20 AM

Sorry, wasn't exactly clear on what you meant.

Yes it does pay I suppose, your CPU will be kept cooler and or leaves the opportunity of overclocking available.

This is the board I suggested (using MM now):

http://www.magicmicro.com/pmoreinfo.asp?iid=3521

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July 23, 2010 10:11:34 AM

Just my 2 cents, I have a AMD 955 BE C3 stepping system @ 4.0 Ghz with the CM 212 Hyper plus. I highly recommend it. Here's a picture if you're interested.

http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu70/henrystrawn/DSC...

I was able to get mine before the big price jump, but I still think it is a value. I am running 2 Antec tri cool fans on "medium" setting for push/pull. This is in a CM Storm Scout case. I had to remove my top 120 mm door fan for clearance, I just moved it to the HSF.

Here's load stability screenshots, max temp was 56c. I would pay the extra money for the plus "direct contact", I didn't find it listed at MM.

http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu70/henrystrawn/?ac...
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a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 1:16:21 PM

As Lmeow pointed out, the original mobo you selected has PCIE slots that run at 16x,4x; not good for Crossfire. You want 8x,8x at least (16x,16x doesn't add all that much except cost).
The A-Power PSU is fecal. At best it is merely inefficient and overrated, at worst it is an electrically noisy, out-of-spec, component killer. The little voltage switch is a dead giveaway. For a single HD5850, a 500W PSU is sufficient; get 650W for Crossfire. Choose a quality PSU with full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.
The cooler you spec'ed is for LGA775; you need one for socket AM3.
Cases are a big personal preference item. Still, I had major QA issues with an Apevia case I bought a few years ago, but in a prebuilt that probably wouldn't be an issue. Your call; I think some of the Apevia cases look pretty good.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 2:29:50 PM

henrystrawn said:
Just my 2 cents, I have a AMD 955 BE C3 stepping system @ 4.0 Ghz with the CM 212 Hyper plus. I highly recommend it. Here's a picture if you're interested.

http://i634.photobucket.com/albums/uu70/henrystrawn/DSC...

I was able to get mine before the big price jump, but I still think it is a value. I am running 2 Antec tri cool fans on "medium" setting for push/pull. This is in a CM Storm Scout case. I had to remove my top 120 mm door fan for clearance, I just moved it to the HSF.

Here's load stability screenshots, max temp was 56c. I would pay the extra money for the plus "direct contact", I didn't find it listed at MM.

http://s634.photobucket.com/albums/uu70/henrystrawn/?ac...


A Storm Scout, you say?

That is an available case from MM... and I like those temps.
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July 23, 2010 2:33:59 PM

Can i pitch in?

Why not get a Gigabyte or Asus motherboard?

AsRock isn't the best make, and the OP can afford a better make at their price range.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 10:42:59 PM

I've bought a number of ASRock boards, and none of them had any issues.
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