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Just want honest opinions on my build.

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August 12, 2010 8:17:43 AM

*** Scroll down for the most current system specs! ***

Long overdue upgrade/rebuild: (Low noise, but still have good performance for casual 3D gaming and network backup)

AMD Phenom II X4 965BE (BIOS overclock to 3.66 GHz, 08/16/2010, TurboV stable up to 4.1xx GHz)
Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
Corsair 4GB kit (DDR3 1720 MHz using motherboard's C9-1600 MHz profile)

Antec Sonata w/ TruePower-New 750W & 2x TriCool 120mm
Zalman CNPS 9900A LED

MSI R5450-MD1G (X-Fire w/ IGP HD4290) @ 700 MHz Core/890 Mhz Memory --> Temporary solution, see below

Seagate 500GB/16MB 7200rpm SATA2.0
Sony DRU-540A (DVD+/-RW)

Logitech G15 (Y-UG75) Gaming Keyboard
LG W2252TQ 22" LCD Monitor (Max. resolution = 1680 x 1050)

==========(Updated 10/28)==========
Saving up to upgrade the following parts (in order of importance):
HD5450 --> Replace w/ HD5770 :sol:  or better; save up for a second 5770 after other upgrades. I would like to play WoW:Cata and SC2 at ultra settings :sol: 
4 GB kit --> Add another 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB kit :wahoo:  ; Running Win7 64-bit :sweat:  with room for several Virtual Machines for network testing
Optical --> Add/replace w/ Blu-Ray capable SATA drive :wahoo:  ; Input on brands is welcomed
HDD --> Add 3 more identical HDD for RAID-5 setup. This computer doubles as a network backup.
Case --> Only if I find a low noise option :sleep:  with a side window :sol:  and good airflow. Other people in the household do not want to hear the fans at night :sleep:  .

==========(Photo taken 07/2010)==========

More about : honest opinions build

a b B Homebuilt system
August 12, 2010 8:40:36 AM

Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 @ $150 for 8/8 890GX? Dump it for either
a. Asrock 870Extreme3 8/8 $90
b. Biostar TA890FXE 16/16 $140
king of the hill bang for buck 890FX mobo!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-890fx-crosshair...
c. MSI/Asus/Gigabyte 870 and go single GPU set up all the way ^^

NO CF/SLI
Hit a beefy 600-650 80+ : good to go else a 750watter?

Ditch Hybrid CF and hit a GTX 460/HD 5850

Casual gaming: Consider Rana 440 + HD 5770?
August 12, 2010 9:00:46 AM

batuchka said:
Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 @ $150 for 8/8 890GX? Dump it for either
a. Asrock 870Extreme3 8/8 $90
b. Biostar TA890FXE 16/16 $140
king of the hill bang for buck 890FX mobo!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-890fx-crosshair...
c. MSI/Asus/Gigabyte 870 and go single GPU set up all the way ^^

NO CF/SLI
Hit a beefy 600-650 80+ : good to go else a 750watter?

Ditch Hybrid CF and hit a GTX 460/HD 5850

Casual gaming: Consider Rana 440 + HD 5770?

Got a $40 combo rebate for the MB.
Can't afford two graphics cards right now, but might do it in the future. The PSU was also instant rebated for less than the 650W PSUs.
A friend had the 5450. It's just a temporary solution and old parts will get recycled into a family friendly machine.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
August 12, 2010 9:20:08 AM

1. RAID-ing mechanical hdds? Try to get 1 SSD instead.

2. Case? how much are you willing to pay for the case?
I like Coolermaster CM 690 II, and HAF 922, Antec 300, 900, 1200, and NZXT Phantom.
Try to take a look at them, who knows you will like them too.
August 12, 2010 7:29:46 PM

Case: The CoolerMaster 690 II is an excelent case with good cooling and is quite quiet. It is also well priced and would fit your build well.

GFX: What are you going to be using this system for, the 5450 isnt' a very strong card, if you can the 5770 is an incredible difference. As for raid? you would likely be better off buying the SSD suggested by guanyu210379.

Otherwise you have a good build.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 12, 2010 7:45:56 PM

Typically one doesn't need more than 4G of RAM so get a more powerful GPU if you can.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 12, 2010 7:58:04 PM

batuchka wasn't telling you to get two cards. He was saying that a card that hybrid crossfires with the mobo is automatically worthless for gaming. And to not do that. To get something else. Then he suggested much more sensible options. If you really wanted a $150 mobo you should have gotten one that allows for 2 x16 cards. You got ripped by getting a 2 x8 card support no matter how much it was on sale.
August 12, 2010 8:06:49 PM

Thank you for the replies. I can not buy anything right now because I went over budget with the new parts and software. I will take all replies under consideration for future upgrades.

guanyu210379 said:
1. RAID-ing mechanical hdds? Try to get 1 SSD instead.

2. Case? how much are you willing to pay for the case?
I like Coolermaster CM 690 II, and HAF 922, Antec 300, 900, 1200, and NZXT Phantom.
Try to take a look at them, who knows you will like them too.

1) I do not like to rely on a single drive solution, especially since my computer doubles as a network file server for back-ups.
2) Except for the Phantom, I love the look of the cases you mentioned :D  . When I am ready, I will read up reviews on each one.

deweycd said:
Case: The CoolerMaster 690 II is an excelent case with good cooling and is quite quiet. It is also well priced and would fit your build well.

GFX: What are you going to be using this system for, the 5450 isnt' a very strong card, if you can the 5770 is an incredible difference. As for raid? you would likely be better off buying the SSD suggested by guanyu210379.

Otherwise you have a good build.

GFX: Right now, I am only playing WoW and SC2. I really wanted the 5770, but I had to buy a new OS :fou:  . My old WinXP 32-bit would not utilize the new parts and ran really slow.

August 12, 2010 8:12:23 PM

mosox said:
Typically one doesn't need more than 4G of RAM so get a more powerful GPU if you can.

Sometimes I need to run several Virtual Machines for class lab testing and that can eat up the available RAM really quickly.

False_Dmitry_II said:
batuchka wasn't telling you to get two cards. He was saying that a card that hybrid crossfires with the mobo is automatically worthless for gaming. And to not do that. To get something else. Then he suggested much more sensible options. If you really wanted a $150 mobo you should have gotten one that allows for 2 x16 cards. You got ripped by getting a 2 x8 card support no matter how much it was on sale.

Thanks for the clarification. My original plan was to get the M4A88T-M, which also qualified for the rebate, but they ran out of stock. At the time, the in-store prices for the M4A89GTD was less than $150 and the M4A88T was about $90. I did not have plans to crossfire, so 2 x8 or x8/x4 lanes was not a major concern. My old AGP card would not fit either, so I was going to run on the IGP until I could afford a 5770 or better.
August 19, 2010 2:11:07 AM

Updated Original post:

AMD Phenom II X4 965BE (BIOS auto overclocked to 3.68 GHz, 08/14/2010)
LG W2252TQ 22" LCD Monitor (Max. resolution = 1680 x 1050)

Saving up to upgrade the following parts (in order of importance):
HD5450 --> replace w/ HD5770 :sol:  ; save up for a second 5770 after other upgrades
4 GB kit --> add another 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB kit :wahoo:  ; Running Win7 64-bit :sweat:  with room for several VM for network testing
October 28, 2010 10:13:43 PM

Minor system updates:

RAM speed bumped up to 1728 MHz
Video card slightly OC'd to 700 MHz core clock and 890 MHz memory using MSI Afterburner.
==> Saving money for Holiday sales in Dec/Jan for a HD 5770 (or better). Looking to spend $150 or less, including taxes and any shipping costs.
January 5, 2011 9:42:46 PM

Specs Update

AMD Phenom II X4 965BE (BIOS overclock to 3.8xx GHz using D.O.C.P. DDR3-1600MHz profile and x18 multiplier)
Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 {Bought under $150 sale price and bundle discount w/ CPU}
Corsair 4GB kit (DDR3 overclocked to 1720+ MHz using motherboard's D.O.C.P. DDR3-1600MHz profile)

Antec Sonata w/ TruePower-New 750W & 2x TriCool 120mm {already owned case, fans were a gift :D  }
Zalman CNPS 9900A LED

Asus EAH5770 CuCore (Factory clocked 850MHz core, 1200MHz memory) {after-Christmas sale :love:  $99 after mail-in rebate}
:fou:  ATI driver crashes :fou: 

Seagate 500GB/16MB 7200rpm SATA2.0
Sony DRU-540A (DVD+/-RW) {already owned}

Logitech G15 (Y-UG75) Gaming Keyboard {already owned}
LG W2252TQ 22" LCD Monitor (Max. resolution = 1680 x 1050) {already owned}

==========(Updated 01/05)==========
Saving up to upgrade the following parts (in order of importance):
Optical --> Add/replace w/ Blu-Ray capable SATA drive :wahoo:  ; Input on brands is welcomed
4 GB kit --> Add another 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB kit :wahoo:  ; Running Win7 64-bit :sweat:  with room for several Virtual Machines for network testing
HDD --> Add 3 more identical HDD for RAID-5 setup. This computer doubles as a network backup.
Case --> Only if I find a low noise option :sleep:  with a side window :sol:  and good airflow. Other people in the household do not want to hear the fans at night :sleep:  .
Monitor --> Looking for good deals on 1900 x 1080/1200 or similar 3-monitor set-up.

==========(Updated 01/27)==========
Optical Drive: Sony DRU-540A (DVD+/-RW, PATA) --> upgraded to --> Plextor PX-D320SA (8x BluRay read; 16x DVD+/-R, 8x +/-R DL, 12x RAM, 8x +RW, 6x -RW; 48x CD-R, 32x -RW) {$54 - $15 mail-in rebate}
Speakers/Headsets: current = Logitech Premium Notebook Headset; added Logitech Z323 2.1 speaker system, 30W (RMS)
March 25, 2011 5:22:30 PM

Donald92382 said:
If you need one i'm selling a 5770 ...
ops, sorry about that
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030L1BPO

Thank you for the offer. I'm in the process for RMA'g my current card :(  , so I need to wait and see how it turns out. If I replace it with another EAH5770 and still have extra cash, I will check out your link again :D  .
March 25, 2011 5:24:05 PM

try get a gtx 460
April 11, 2011 10:47:26 PM

Specs Update

Asus EAH5770 CuCore (Factory clocked 850MHz core, 4800MHz GDDR5 memory) :fou:  ATI driver crashes :fou: 
--> HIS H577QT1GD (Factory clocked 875MHz core, 5000MHz GDDR5 memory) IceQ 5 design
The Asus card was only running a maximum of 60 fps on WoW, while the HIS card easily does 60+ fps in major cities :love:  and 90+ everywhere else :sol:  . Full screen mode, 1680x1050, mixed high/ultra settings.
June 14, 2011 9:31:04 PM

Specs Update

AMD Phenom II X4 965BE (BIOS overclock to 3.9xx GHz using D.O.C.P. DDR3-1600MHz profile and 212Mhz x 18.5)
Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 {Bought under $150 sale price and bundle discount w/ CPU}
Corsair 4GB kit (DDR3 overclocked to 1720+ MHz using motherboard's D.O.C.P. DDR3-1600MHz profile)

Antec Sonata --> upgraded to --> Silverstone Raven RV03b-w {price matched to $139 :D  }
TruePower-New 750W
Zalman CNPS 9900A LED

HIS H577QT1GD [/b] (Factory clocked 875MHz core, 5000MHz GDDR5 memory) IceQ 5
LG W2252TQ 22" LCD Monitor (Max. resolution = 1680 x 1050)
Viewsonic VA1912wb 19" widescreen LCD (Max. resolution = 1440 x 900)

Seagate 500GB/16MB 7200rpm SATA2.0
Plextor PX-D320SA (8x BluRay read; 16x DVD+/-R, 8x +/-R DL, 12x RAM, 8x +RW, 6x -RW; 48x CD-R, 32x -RW)

Logitech G15 (Y-UG75) Gaming Keyboard
Logitech Premium Notebook Headset
Logitech Z323 (2.1 speaker system, 30W RMS)
Logitech C510 Webcam



==========(Updated 06/14)==========
Storage --> RAID plans canceled
4 GB kit --> Add another 2 GB, 4 GB, or 8 GB kit :wahoo:  ; Running Win7 64-bit :sweat:  with room for several Virtual Machines for network testing


========== Click for ChromeTusk's Build Gallery ==========
October 7, 2011 9:28:51 PM

(minor) Specs Update

RAM --> Corsair Vegeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 (8GB dual channel DDR3-1600Mhz, CAS9)
Optical drive --> LG WH12LS38 (Blu-ray burner, DVD super multi-format, Lightscribe)
Card reader --> removed for different system

New desk
Mounted lights to case panel. Added Antec TriCool-120 to top exhaust. Moved Silverstone 120mm fan to front panel intake.
October 28, 2011 10:37:19 PM

Thinking about a video card upgrade! I just got BF3 and converting a co-worker for console to PC gaming. She might buy my current card from me, which means I'll need a replacement.

Time Frame = Black Friday sales next month; Thanksgiving weekend in the USA
Current card = HIS H577QT1GD (Factory overclocked 875MHz core, 5000MHz GDDR5 memory) IceQ 5
Budget = prefer $150-$175, but willing to go up to $225; excludes mail-in-rebate offers

GPU preferences = my motherboard supports CrossFire, but will most likely run a single card; MUST support DirectX 11
Options I was looking at today
  • MSI R6870 HAWK - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
  • MSI R6870 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
  • nVidia GeForce 550/560/560TI - just don't know which is the best bang for the buck with nVidia
    a b B Homebuilt system
    October 28, 2011 11:06:59 PM

    :) 

    sonce you're eyeing a BF3 upgrade - did you read this ?

    would rather go for the nvida cos it offers everything the HD's offer plus one up with the Physx...

    Heat wise - the GTX looses out.

    no point getting a GTX550 now as its on par with a HD 5770(thus saying why make an upgrade if its parallel?) - better go for a GTX560Ti

    for a lil more than $225 you could actually snag a 6950 and unlock shaders but than again - you have the nvidia 560Ti option
    a b B Homebuilt system
    October 29, 2011 6:22:09 AM

    hmm :)  i thought OP knew that(since the link has been posted on other forums earlier than on Tom's) thas why i didn't mention it.

    FYI - the new 560Ti will be closer to heat/power usage and cuda cores to its relative the 570...best idea is to settle with a 570 instead of going new 560Ti - but at those prices AMD win the price battle on all fronts.
    October 29, 2011 10:12:33 PM

    Thanks for the input. I did read the BF3 graphics card benchmark article and I would really like the 580 or HD6970, but they are definitely out of budget :pfff:  . My purchase window is the "Black Friday" deals after Thanksgiving (USA) so hopefully I can find a great deal. The HD6850 and 570 might drop down low enough for consideration :wahoo:  .

    Heat is also a factor since it will affect acoustics. Almost all my gaming is done at night while the family is sleeping. More heat --> increased fan speed :(  --> more noise :sweat:  --> upset wife :fou:  . Happy wife = happy life :lol: 
    a b B Homebuilt system
    October 29, 2011 10:31:04 PM

    lol - if heat is the issue, than look towards the amd lineup ...maybe wait until the 7xxx's come out or looking at gigabyte's or asus' take on the nvidia cards with their respective coolers.
    October 29, 2011 10:40:48 PM

    Lutfij said:
    :)  ... for a lil more than $225 you could actually snag a 6950 and unlock shaders but than again - you have the nvidia 560Ti option

    Just checked the prices for the HD6950 1GB on Newegg and I think it might get low enough next month. What do you think about the MSI R6950 , Gigabyte GV-R695UD-1GD, or Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD ?
    a b B Homebuilt system
    October 29, 2011 11:25:53 PM

    msi if you're diggin the 870MHz core clock OC, the gigabyte Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD if you're in for the quiet cooler...and i mean quiet, i dunno where i read it, but the cooler on the gigabyte is good enough to even remain quiet after an overclock on core and memory.
    November 7, 2011 6:27:09 PM

    Lutfij said:
    msi if you're diggin the 870MHz core clock OC, the gigabyte Gigabyte GV-R695OC-1GD if you're in for the quiet cooler...and i mean quiet, i dunno where i read it, but the cooler on the gigabyte is good enough to even remain quiet after an overclock on core and memory.

    Thanks again. I checked the reviews for both and the Gigabyte card did get the "Tom's Hardware Approved" award. I think it will come down to several factors for me:
  • How much my co-worker will buy my current card from me
  • Initial purchase cost and final cost after MIR (sales tax can sometimes affect that rebate more than people realize)
  • Availability at local stores (Fry's Electronics will price match Newegg; Microcenter is easy to get to) or wait for shipping

    Top cards I am looking at:
    MSI R6870 Hawk
    MSI R6950 1GB/OC
    Gigabyte GV-R6870SO-1GD
    Gigabyte GV-R6950OC-1GD
    !