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New AMD Phenom II 1055T System. Advice Recommendations?

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Last response: in Systems
September 19, 2010 2:36:37 AM

I am planning to build a new AMD Phenom II 1055T based system to replace my old system. I am not a gamer. I will be using this computer for downloading ripping and transcoding videos, using Handbrake to convert Bluray disks to x264 based mkv files, as well as converting videos from one format to another when needed. All this media eventually ends up on another computer - a Windows Home Server with lots of storage that gets viewed via a Popcorn Hour.

This system will, of course, also be used for conventional tasks: email, browsing, Word, Excel, etc. I am looking to future-proof this build as much as is reasonable. It would also be nice if this unit were relatively quiet. Any feedback, suggestions, criticism that anyone can offer would be appreciated. I have built one system before but am far from an expert.

Approximate Purchase Date: within the week.
Budget Range: about $1000 but flexible
System Usage: video encoding and transcoding, downloading and processing large files, surfing the internet, email, office-related tasks such as Excel, Word and Powerpoint.
Parts Not Required: Internal Bluray Drive, 2 port eSATA PCIe card, keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon (but flexible)
Country: USA
Overclocking: Probably but not extreme.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 2 monitors running at 1280x1024 32 bit. I might add a third monitor later.

Here is my current plan for the build (all links are to Amazon solely because that's where I put my wish list. I will probably buy at least the processor and motherboard from Newegg because of good experience with their support.)

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Processor ($197.99)
Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H Motherboard ($134.99)
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advance Case ($89.99)
Corsair TW3X4G1600C9D 4 GB Memory Kit ($104.99)
Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650 Watt Power Supply ($89.99)
Western Digital WD6402AAEX Caviar Black 640 GB SATA 6 Drive: ($69.99)
Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 Drive ($88.99)
Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade ($109.99)
LG GGC-H20L Bluray Drive/Burner ($0.00 already own it)

System Cost at Amazon: $906.91


In addition to advice, comments, or improvements, there are a few questions I have regarding this system to which I would also appreciate answers if anyone knows them.

1. Is the Corsair memory the appropriate memory for this board, and is it compatible with BEMP which I understand is the equivalent of XMP on AMD platforms.

2. I've read Paul Thurrot's article on installing Windows 7 via the Upgrade disk on a new machine. Have others done this successfully?

3. I read somewhere that the DVI port on the onboard graphics card of this Gigabyte motherboard is not compatible with the DVI-VGA adapter typically used to attach to a monitor that only has a VGA port. Does anyone know if that is accurate?

4. Should I consider extra fans with this system, given that I'm not doing gaming and will be using the onboard graphics (at least until I add a third monitor, at which time I would add only a relatively basic video card) or are the fans provided with the stock case sufficient for my needs?

Thank you all for any advice, recommendations offered.

More about : amd phenom 1055t system advice recommendations

September 19, 2010 3:17:50 AM

You may want a small GPU for good GPU acceleration.. like a 5550...

As Sqrl told me, new CPUs are coming out on tuesday.. 1075t and quite a few new x4's

wait till then,
September 19, 2010 4:25:38 AM

AMD GPUs don't support GPU acceleration, at least nothing like CUDA yet. Nvidia cards can use CUDA/Boddaboom (?) to do this but your probably better off using handbrake. The PSU you picked out is way overkill as a 400W would be plenty. Only other thing I might change is getting 8GBs of ram. I'm not sure how much that will help, if at all. I suppose you could get it and set up a ram drive...
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September 19, 2010 6:34:55 AM

Non gamer IGP makes sense but u dun need 8/8 Cf so have a look at 880Gs?
September 19, 2010 10:25:06 PM

Thanks for all the responses. Let me try to reply to several of them in one comment.

Regarding new chips, thanks for mentioning them. I'll check out both the 1075T and 1035T to see what's on offer and what they cost.

Several of you recommended 880G based boards. I spent the morning checking out several of them. In most respects they are adequate for my need, but I don't like their limited PCI-e slot configurations. I already know I'll need to install at least 1 eSATA PCI-e card, and if I add another monitor (for a three monitor configuration) I'll need to add a video card. That doesn't leave much room for further expansion like an additional eSata card, a USB 3.0 card, or whatever might come along. I agree that the 890GX board is a little overkill but I'd rather have room to grow in whatever direction comes along.

Several folks commented on the overkill of the 650 w psu. First I should say that I incorrectly specified the power supply. I did post the one I had intended to, but I had thought it was a modular power supply which it isn't. I spent some time with the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator and I agree that 650w is overkill. Even adding: an ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 card, 2 additional sata drives, an additional burner, three PCI-e x1 cards, and a few fans, I could only get to about 430w. I also used the simpler Newegg Calculator, also adding two extra hard drive, the same video card, and an extra burner and came in at 485w.

So, it would seem that 500-550w psu would be adequate, but I've yet to find one that is modular. I have found one that is still too big but is a good deal at Newegg, the Cooler Master Silent Pro M600 Power Supply. It's even available as part of a combo with the Cooler Master case I speced for $20 off. So my question is: Is there any downside to having a slightly too large psu, except perhaps a slightly larger utility bill? If so can anyone make a good recommendation on a modular 500-550w psu?

Thanks to all.

September 20, 2010 1:56:56 AM

Actually your utility bill isn't any higher, because your computer still only draws the power it needs to run. In your case 450ish

The efficiency of the PSU does come into play tho, I'd recommend 80+ Bronze as a minimum
September 20, 2010 11:02:04 AM

Hmm for non gaming and multi display have u looked onto the ATI Surround View feature? Just the IGP + Radeon class discrete GPU for 3 displays would be fine
September 20, 2010 6:01:15 PM

batuchka: Thanks. That is what I intend, if and when I add a third monitor, I'd add an inexpensive video card, something like the ATI Radeon™ HD 5450, to support the third monitor. My assumption has been that the IGP on the board could run Surround View on the two monitors I have now. I've not used Surround View, but I have been running nView on my current nVidia-based system to support a dual monitor setup, and I'm assuming Surround View works in a similar fashion. Do I have it right?

zipzoomflyhigl: Thanks. That's what I was looking for.

cmcghee358: Good to know. I'm pretty much a tyro when it comes to electricity. More out of curiousity than anything else, I've always wondered if, other things being equal, a larger power supply, lets say a 650w, drawing 450w would run cooler and perhaps last longer than, let's say a 500w psu, drawing the same wattage?
September 21, 2010 3:11:30 AM

Yes that is correct. Also the 40-60% range on most PSUs is where they are most efficient. That efficiency translates into lower temperatures.
September 21, 2010 10:17:43 AM

You have to enter BIOS and enable Surround View (from Auto) and voila! :p