AMD gaming build - $2000 [Solved]


BUDGET RANGE: around $2000, but this is soft cap

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, movie watching, music, matlab number crunching

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Data HDD, display, mouse + keyboard, OS (already own full version of Win7 Pro 64bit), receiver, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, Tigerdirect or Newegg


PARTS PREFERENCES: ASUS mobo, Kingston RAM, Nvidia GPU, AMD CPU - want at least 3 out of 4 in a build


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Prefer single card, but will consider SLI


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Case needs to be at most 19 inch tall, strongly prefer air cooling, need optical out sound on mobo or discrete sound card with optical out to connect to my receiver.


Here is rough first draft of my build:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 - I like AMD sockets since I know it will be reasonably future-proof, in the past I kept mobos and upgraded CPUs multiple time throughout AM2 socket life. Cheaply too.
Mobo: ASUS Crosshair IV - it has good on-board sound, so I don't need discrete sound card;
Video: ASUS HD 5850 x2 - not much price difference between 5830 and 5850, my preference is a single card; but this mobo has 2x16 that will be wasted on single card.
Ram: Kingston HyperX T1 DDR3 - 2133 MHz x4 8G; mobo VQL doesn't explicitly states it supports 4Gig 2000 or 2130 ram... if possible I want to run 2x 4G sticks, but not slower than 2000.
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt ; is this enough?
HDD: Kingston SSDNow V Series 128 GB


Here is final build:

Mobo: ASUS M4A89TD

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz

RAM: G.SKILL Trident+ Turbulence II 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

GPU: MSI R5970-P2D2G Radeon HD 5970

HDD: WD SiliconEdge Blue

PSU: XFX Black Edition XPS-850W

CASE: NZXT Hades Crafted Series HADE-001BK

Parts are ordered as of 7/25/2010
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming build 2000 solved
  1. CPU: Intel Core i7-930 - $483.99 with mobo
    Very fast already and can be overclocked even further.

    CPU Cooler: Zalman Performa - $49.99
    Will allow you to overclock your CPU a fair bit.

    Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R - $483.99 with CPU
    Great board, supports 24GB of high speed RAM and dual x16 graphics cards.

    RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 3x2GB 2000MHz - $174.99
    Very high speed, 6GB is plenty for now.

    Graphics Card: MSI HD 5970 2GB - $679.99
    Fastest card on the planet, can add another one in Crossfire later on so the Crossfire capabilities of your board will not be wasted. The problem with getting two 5870s (yes, they fit in you budget) is that it doesn't leave you with a great upgrade path in the future. With this, you can buy another 5970 when you feel that just one isn't cutting it.

    Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $74.99
    Fast, spacious drive. You'll need this as well as your SSD to store the rest of your stuff on.

    Solid-State Drive: Western Digital 128GB - $199.99
    Enough space on here for the OS and a lot of frequently used programs/files/games to speed up loading times.

    Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD RW - $17.99
    Cheap, does the job.

    Power Supply: XFX Black Edition 850W - $149.99
    Enough power and connections for your system, won't have to worry about anything with this.

    Case: Cooler Master Elite 335 - $49.99
    Nice looking case which is only 16" tall.

    Total: $1881.91 - you've got a bit of room left over if you want to upgrade one or two things :)

    AMD provide excellent value for money, however, if you're spending as much as you are there isn't really any point going with them as Intel offers more powerful CPUs. In your build you only have an SSD which is really not recommended. Apart from the fact that I'd be surprised if 128GB was enough for you, SSDs don't have as long of a life as hard drives so it's best to keep most of your stuff on your hard drive and keep only frequently used files and programs on the SSD.
  2. Thank you for your help!

    I already have 1TB 7200 data HDD from my old system, I will edit first post to reflect this.

    >Case: Cooler Master Elite 335

    Would I be able to fit long 5970 card? I remember back in Nvidia GX2 days I had to file case to fit it in.

    What about Antec 300 case? Is it too small?

    Ram - I am fairly set on Kingston, Corsair or OCZ. G.Skill is new (to me) player, while I know can RMA Kingston/OCZ/Corsair memory years later. I also tend to move memory to new rig, so current set of DDR3 memory will likely last me 4+ years. The only reason I am still not using my old DDR2 is that I gave away my old rig in its entirety.

    CPU: My POV with Intel is that it a) runs hot b) hard to upgrade. I might not get best of the best right now if I go with AMD, but 1-1.5 years later I *know* I will be able to flash bios, spend $150 to put Phenom IIX 12 core CPU into my rig and keep going with minimal work/expenses. With Intel I will have to get entirely new mobo/CPU and gut my whole PC to get it installed. With this in mind, I don't think I can afford Intel over long run, especially if I fall on hard times.
  3. Ah okay, you won't need the hard drive then obviously :)

    Apparently the 5970 should just be able to fit into the Elite 335 but it will NOT fit into the Antec 300 without modifications. I would usually suggest the Cooler Master HAF 922 (yes, I love Cooler Master cases) which is a mid tower but isn't much smaller than a full tower; I think the height's about 22".

    As for RAM, I would suggest this. It's from Kingston, runs at 1800MHz and also has CL9 timings. It's dual channel for AM3.

    I see your point on the Intel/AMD route so I've adjusted stuff. I would get the Phenom II X6 1090T and this motherboard. It's a lot cheaper than the ASUS Crosshair IV but supports full x16/x16 CrossfireX and higher RAM speeds.

    You won't actually need a CPU cooler unless you plan on overclocking because the Phenom comes with one which is adequate.

    EDIT: The total of that comes to $1669.92.
  4. Would work with ether of motherboards we discussed?

    If at all possible I would like to have 8GB as 2x4G, so I can upgrade to 16G in the future but I can't seem to find anything remotely fast with this configuration. Is there any 2000+ 2x4G dual-channel kits out there?
  5. The Kingston RAM that you have linked would work fine in the motherboard which I linked earlier. In the ASUS, however, it would need to be overclocked to run at its full speed.

    For $8 more...

    2000MHz 2x4GB Kit, with lower timings as well (CL8). Not sure if you know this but basically the lower the timings the better. It changes the time it takes the RAM to respond to a command whereas the speed changes the time it takes to complete it.

    I see what you mean about this, though. You could get a 4x2GB kit for a lot less but it wouldn't leave you with an upgrade path.
  6. you shouldnt use that ram in an x58 board as the 1366 i7's use triple channel ram so in sets of three

    if you want in sets of two then get the 1156 i7's
  7. He's not getting the 1366 i7, he's getting an AMD Phenom because it'll be more future-proof. That's why in my first post I recommended triple channel memory and now I'm recommending dual channel.
  8. a build for $1,748.90

    cpu&mobo: (better bang for the buck than the crosshair. also the soundcard that comes with the crosshair isn't worth it the onboard on this gigabyte is great)


    ram: (this is higher quality than he kingston and they r @1.35 and lower voltage means better chips means better quality)

    ssd: (best quality ssd )


    case: (this beast can take any card and can handle the heat)

    hsf: (add some 2 scythe s-flex fans on there and u can go up to 4ghz)


    also i was thinking of u adding another 2 monitors for eyefinity
    amd believe me the x6's are horrable for gaming the x4 955 can do a better job
    that will save u a $150. so u can add another 2 monitors
  9. Read the first post. The case can't be taller than 19". The 922 is about 22" IIRC.
    2 monitors for $150?
    You say that the X6s are "horrible for gaming" and then link one...
    The OP was talking about grabbing a 2x4GB kit of RAM so he can upgrade to 16GB in the future. Even 8GB of RAM is way too much at the moment but it's up to the OP really.
    He said in his first post that overclocking was unlikely so buying an aftermarket cooler seems like a waste of money to me. If the OP decides in the future to overclock then he can start with a small overclock on the stock cooler and then if he decides he wants to continue he can grab an aftermarket cooler at that point.
  10. the x6's do suck at gaming

    also anything more than 4gb for gaming now and in the near future is overkill

    i thought his budget was $2500 lol

    it aint a waste of money it's gonna make the cpu run cooler and the pc allaround quieter

    also i don't think there is a good aircooling case that can be 19" tall nd hold the 5970
  11. Anonymous said:
    The Kingston RAM that you have linked would work fine in the motherboard which I linked earlier.

    I went to manufacturer's website for NF980-G65 and it states "DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600*/1800*/2133*(OC)", meaning 1600 is also OC on this board.

    Strange way of designing motherboards, you ether support memory or you don't. Whole OC (i.e. not guaranteed to support unless you tweak voltages) is odd at best, false advertising at worst.

    Newegg on other hand states "DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600/1800/2133 (OC)", leading me to believe they misstate this Mobos capabilities.

    I see what you mean about this, though. You could get a 4x2GB kit for a lot less but it wouldn't leave you with an upgrade path.

    Way I see it, you can pay less now, then pay less little bit later, then pay less a bit later, then pay less... ending up costing you a lot more if you just buy good components with clear upgrade path.

    I am still leaning toward Crosshair IV Formula due to better Audio.


    - SupremeFX X-Fi built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
    - EAX® Advanced™ HD 4.0
    - X-Fi CMSS®-3D
    - X-Fi Crystalizer™
    - Creative ALchemy
    - Supports Blu-ray audio layer content protection
    - Supports 1 Optical S/PDIF out port at back I/O
    - Supports 1 x S/PDIF out header
    - Supports Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

    I have good receiver with 5.1 speaker setup and I can *hear* when mobo manufacturers cut corners with sound. Buying Chrosshair saves me $120 purchasing Creative Labs SB0886 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium... or so I hope so.

    Anyone read any audo reviews of Crosshair IV?
  12. buddy that's not a real x-fi chip on there it's a regular chip but has drivers from x-fi plus the onboard on the gigabyte is one of the best
  13. mrhoshos96 said:
    buddy that's not a real x-fi chip on there it's a regular chip but has drivers from x-fi plus the onboard on the gigabyte is one of the best

    Can more people confirm this?

    Ok, lets assume I will go with Creative Labs SB0886 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium

    What mobo will support DDR3 1600, USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 (6GB)?
  14. Eurgh, so newegg lied about the supported RAM speeds.

    What I was saying, mrhoshos, is that you said that the Phenom X6s were "horrible for gaming" and then recommended one for a gaming build.

    And I think you're right about the case. It will either mean that you have to find somewhere else to put your computer (assuming that the 19" is because you need it to fit somewhere) or you'll have to get two 5870s or something instead. I wouldn't recommend the GTX 480s because the GF100 chips run really hot and people have reported a lot of problems with the heat and noise from them.
  15. mrhoshos96 said:

    the x6's do suck at gaming

    also anything more than 4gb for gaming now and in the near future is overkill

    I don't disagree, but I also do periodic large number crunching in matlab and 6 cores and 8GB help *a lot* there and don't kill gaming performance per $ in substantial way. Plus, as I mentioned earlier AMD commitment and support to socket architecture makes owning AMDs a lot cheaper over long run.
  16. Whilst that's an excellent sound card, there really is no need for it. You won't notice a difference in quality when playing back audio or gaming etc.

    Unless you plan on recording instruments or doing professional quality audio editing and the likes, integrated is perfect. Hell, I DO record instruments and edit audio etc. and it's pretty much fine (the only problem is that there is a slight latency when playing back my guitar which is plugged in using a 1/4" to USB cable. This helps to get rid of input latency but the integrated sound card is still generating the output, meaning I get a pretty high latency when using standard driver. When I use ASIO4ALL drivers I can get the latency right down to 4.2ms output, which is really pretty good. It's virtually unnoticeable.)

    That ^ is the sort of problem you'll be getting with integrated sound. If you don't think that applies to you, you don't need the sound card. Also, that would easily be fixed with a $50 card.

    Apart from that, good choices all round I'd say :D
  17. /\+1

    also 1 thing i would change the ram to this these are better timings and cheaper.

    also for your information G.skill is probably the best ram manufacturer they r high quality and reliable

    note: a friend of mine hase a kit which r similar to the linked above and they r runing stable for 2years now
  18. also i found a case that can fit a 5970 and it's 16.90" tall
  19. Well done; I spent a while yesterday looking for a case that works for Sin's criteria :/
  20. Best answer
  21. +1 on everything there :D
  22. mrhoshos96 said:
    also i found a case that can fit a 5970 and it's 16.90" tall

    Nice! Thank you!
  23. Best answer selected by sinPCsin.
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