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I would like some basic tips for my first build...

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September 8, 2010 10:19:37 PM

I intend to go my own direction generally with my first PC build, but there are a couple of things I'm undecided on.

This is based on an 800$ budget for everything except operating system, screen, etc.

1) AMD or Intel? I am somewhat leaning towards AMD at the moment, but what is generally considered better for gaming? (My primary concern) Though I will be doing a great deal of 3D rendering and video editing.

2)I'm thinking of going pretty much balanced between my CPU and GPU, with the idea being to upgrade my GPU later to extend my system life, in a year or two. My current system had a better CPU than GPU, and it seemed to work out fairly well in the long run, but I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea.

3)I want to get a decent motherboard, that will allow me to upgrade my RAM, CPU, and GPU for sometime without needing to replace it. As such, I'm looking for recommendations on motherboard brands/price ranges with consideration to my budget.


I'm probably going to shop through parts on new egg that are highly rated, work together, and fit in my price range. I would just like to be able to do it with a more educated point of view.

I apologize if this is a lousy advice-requesting post, but I'm strapped for time.


tl;dr I'm building a system for the first time, what are good motherboard brands/boards? AMD or intel for gaming? 800$ price range. Looking for general advice.

More about : basic tips build

September 8, 2010 10:30:56 PM

Note: I was thinking about making a system based on the SBM 1000$ computer for this month, but with a cheaper graphics card and processor to drop the price under 800$. Any suggestions on that? Would intel still be the best chipset if I wasn't using that particular processor? In lower price ranges, would an intel CPU and GeForce GPU still beat AMD or Radeon respectively? I was thinking of buying a CPU and GPU in the 150$ price range.

PS. I'm not as gaming centric as I imply in my first post, but I'm still quite the gamer, and I'm mostly going for a computer this expensive for gaming purposes. Plus I just like expensive tech.
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September 8, 2010 10:55:56 PM

What resolution are you playing at?

In my opinion (CBA to link, but if I provided a site it means they're the best/only place to get it at that price):

AMD 1055t 95watt TDP OEM (from tigerdirect only 189$) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Cooler master Hyper 212+ 20$ (google shopping)
Asrock 880g extreme 3 110$
Samsung f3 1TB 75$
HAF 912 60$
Generic OD 20$ (newegg)
XFX black edition 750 90$ (newegg) (probably overkill)

564 so far. 236 for ram/GPU.

Ram: G.skill eco series 1600 speed 4GB DDR3 99$
GPU: 5770, 460, or 470 depending on your resolution and budget.

If you want justification/reasoning just ask. This build is CPU heavy but depending on your resolution this would be either great or insufficient.
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September 8, 2010 11:07:54 PM

If you are below $1000, AMD is generally a better choice.

Dont consider CPU/RAM upgrades, get a good system now that is cheap enough you can replace it in at most 5 years. Intel is changing sockets very soon and AMD will probably by the end of next year. Intel just dropped the 775 socket last year. They cant make CPUs faster by increasing the MHz or number of cores so they are making architectural changes. Expect your next few computers to be disposable after a few years.

I would go with something like this:

PhenomIIx4 955 is probably the CPU to look at. ($150)
AM3 motherboard with USB3 <Gigabyte and ASUS are my preferred brands> ($80-140)
2x2GB DDR3-1600 Cas 7 RAM ($100)
Samsung F3 1TB HDD ($75) or WD1002FAEX 1TB HDD ($90)
Antec 300 Illusion case ($70)
Quality 550-650W PSU <Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, etc> ($60-80)
ATI 5850 graphics card ($300)
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September 8, 2010 11:29:08 PM

1) AMD or Intel? I am somewhat leaning towards AMD at the moment, but what is generally considered better for gaming? (My primary concern) Though I will be doing a great deal of 3D rendering and video editing.

AMD

2)I'm thinking of going pretty much balanced between my CPU and GPU, with the idea being to upgrade my GPU later to extend my system life, in a year or two. My current system had a better CPU than GPU, and it seemed to work out fairly well in the long run, but I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea.

go for a 1055t and a 5850 graphics card.

3)I want to get a decent motherboard, that will allow me to upgrade my RAM, CPU, and GPU for sometime without needing to replace it. As such, I'm looking for recommendations on motherboard brands/price ranges with consideration to my budget.

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

do not get a motherboard from ASRock. get Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA. That. Is. It.
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September 8, 2010 11:42:15 PM

955 vs 1055T. Giving up 400Hz for 2 cores. Go $50 cheaper and get better gaming performance or get better rendering performance? The OP has to make that judgement call IMO.
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September 8, 2010 11:53:32 PM

Eh, the 1055t turbos up to 3.3 anyway so it's not really a tradoff.
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September 9, 2010 8:30:54 AM

I'm going to be gaming in 1920x1080 widescreen at the highest probably. Possibly somewhat less high than that, but if I can get the screen to support that I will.

I've actually always played at much less than my monitors native resolution, so I think it might be interesting to get a system that can handle most games at something close to it on decent settings, but I'm not too picky really, as long as I stay in my budget.


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September 9, 2010 3:39:11 PM
September 10, 2010 7:36:16 AM

Thanks for all the help so far, mostly got a system that will work with itself assembled so far, but I'm not sure about what graphics card to get yet. Davcon, I'm using mostly items you suggested, and I'm curious as to whether you would reccomend the GTX 460 or the HD 5850.

I'm kind of leaning towards the 460 at the moment, mostly because it's cheaper.

Also, in the case of the 460 specifically, is the 1GB version really worth paying 40$ more than the 768MB version?

In the case of the 955 vs the 1055T, would the 1055T scale better as the system ages and support for using multiple cores increases? I'd kind of like to have the more powerful CPU, but I don't think I can justify the added cost, in consideration to the amount of money I have, if the gains aren't fairly good, and if they won't extend the life of my system.
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September 10, 2010 8:26:20 AM

cheaper mobos:

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS M4A87TD EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

with crossfire
ASRock 870 EXTREME3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H (linked above by Davcon)

If you buy GTX460 you don't need a mobo with crossfire, those mobos only accept two ATI video cards. Also if you don't plan to crossfire, of course you don't need such a mobo.

Between the Phenom II 955/965 + HD 5850 and Thuban X6 with GTX 460 the first one is better for gaming.





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September 10, 2010 9:18:52 AM

I'm not sure about Crossfire/SLI

Is doubling up the graphics card you have an effective way to upgrade your system, over buying a new one?

Also, I was thinking about buying a AMD motherboard that has SLI so I can still go for the 460, (again, in great part because of desirable price), and then get a second 460 later to upgrade it when needed.

I still want to know if the preformance boost from the 1GB 460 over the 768MB 460 is worth the 40$.

I'll look into the pricing possibilities of getting a Phenom II 955/965 and HD 5850. Would that be a good setup to crossfire later? Again if the answer to my above question about crossfire/SLI is that yes that is a good way to cheaply upgrade your system.

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September 10, 2010 3:45:19 PM

My impression is that over 95% of the time, machines built with the thought of crossfiring/SLIing later as an upgrade never do it.

Three years from now instead of spending $150 buying a used 5850 on ebay you will more likley spend $800 and buy a new socket 1159 motherboard, i12 cpu, 8GB DDR4 RAM and nvidia 565 GPU with DX12.
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September 11, 2010 2:25:34 AM

Alright, based on the excellent advice so far, I'm currently planning to buy this...

PSU/Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Heat sink for CPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

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

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

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

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


This brings me around 68$ past my budget, but I barely have enough to cover it with tax and shipping. As far as I can tell, all of this will work together just fine, but I'd like a second opinion, or advice on any way to do the same thing for less money.



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September 11, 2010 4:13:32 AM

read the toms hardware build your own articles. They did all the guess work for you and its tested and rated.
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September 11, 2010 4:40:38 AM

Yes, but I don't think any of them use exactly the parts I want. I literally can't afford to pay about 10$ more for this, and I believe the most recent build your own article was for the 500$ and 1000$ and higher price ranges. I'll go check them out again anyway though.
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September 13, 2010 5:02:16 PM

I wouldnt choose that hard drive. Its the older FALS model. Either get the newer WD1002FAEX model or go with the Samsung F3 1TB for $75. The FAEX and Samsung F3 both have literaly 50% faster throughput, its a huge performance difference.
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September 13, 2010 6:31:36 PM

Best answer selected by yakri.
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