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How Does This Build Look?

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October 5, 2010 3:21:23 PM

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 3.1GHz
RAM: Kingston DDR3 2GB
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD5770 1GB
Motherboard: ASUS M4A77TD PRO Socket AM3 AMD 770 ATX
Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST50F 500w

Case: NZXT M59
Hard Drive: WD Caviar Blue 320GB

Does it work? I'm going to use it for light gaming as well as Photoshop work, so I don't think I need a quad core or a better graphics card.

More about : build

a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 3:43:33 PM

You should get 4GB (2X2GB) of ram. That's the sweet spot for ram right now.
Also, that WD Blue is a slow hdd. Get a WD Black or Samsung F3 500GB.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2010 4:31:06 PM

+1 for what materasia says.

Also look for a newer 870 chipset motherboard for not much more that gives you SATA3/USB3 in case you decide you want it later

Also consider an Athlon IIx3 instead of the Phenom IIx2. The third core will help with all the background processes windows.
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October 6, 2010 2:35:37 AM

masterasia said:
You should get 4GB (2X2GB) of ram. That's the sweet spot for ram right now.
Also, that WD Blue is a slow hdd. Get a WD Black or Samsung F3 500GB.


Yes, I plan to get the WD Black instead. Is Samsung's hard drives reliable? I"ve never used them before and I only stick to Seagate and WD now after a Hitachi crash.

Can I use one stick of 2GB first and upgrade it later on? I think the motherboard uses dual channel, but would using one 2GB be fine for now?

dndhatcher said:
+1 for what materasia says.

Also look for a newer 870 chipset motherboard for not much more that gives you SATA3/USB3 in case you decide you want it later

Also consider an Athlon IIx3 instead of the Phenom IIx2. The third core will help with all the background processes windows.


Well, I want to keep the cost of the PC low and I don't need SATA3/USB3 as I'm switching PCs in a year and a half.-Would this mean that I could stick with the motherboard I picked now?

If I don't run that much apps in the background, would Phenom II x2 be fine? Athlon is older than Phenom and I've read that it has more L3 cache.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 6, 2010 4:54:29 AM

Using one stick will work, but you will run into performance issues.
I've got 6 Samsung F3 500GB in raid-5 right now and it's been fine. The older Samsung drives sucks. The new F1, F2, F3, F4 series seem to be more reliable and faster.

Warning about WD Blacks: I ordered about 15 of them since last year. I had to return 4 of them because they were DOA, otherwise the ones that did work are still running like a champ and they come with 5 year warranty.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2010 6:56:50 PM

silentmemories said:

Well, I want to keep the cost of the PC low and I don't need SATA3/USB3 as I'm switching PCs in a year and a half.-Would this mean that I could stick with the motherboard I picked now?

If I don't run that much apps in the background, would Phenom II x2 be fine? Athlon is older than Phenom and I've read that it has more L3 cache.

Just look at pricing. They may be the same price. Either will work but no sense buying old when it doesnt save much money.

Windows runs plenty in the background. Antivirus, automatic updates, drive indexer, etc. Photoshop should use multiple cores well. Some games (particularly strategy and some FPS) use multiple cores well. Overall the x3 offers significant benefit for little or no cost increase.
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October 7, 2010 4:44:01 AM

masterasia said:
Using one stick will work, but you will run into performance issues.
I've got 6 Samsung F3 500GB in raid-5 right now and it's been fine. The older Samsung drives sucks. The new F1, F2, F3, F4 series seem to be more reliable and faster.

Warning about WD Blacks: I ordered about 15 of them since last year. I had to return 4 of them because they were DOA, otherwise the ones that did work are still running like a champ and they come with 5 year warranty.


Performance issues? ... Like how?

Would using one stick of 2GB be better than 2 sticks of 1GB each?

WD Blacks: Returning them doesn't sound really nice-Would going with a Blue be better, or should I stick with the Black or go with Seagate?

dndhatcher said:
Just look at pricing. They may be the same price. Either will work but no sense buying old when it doesnt save much money.

Windows runs plenty in the background. Antivirus, automatic updates, drive indexer, etc. Photoshop should use multiple cores well. Some games (particularly strategy and some FPS) use multiple cores well. Overall the x3 offers significant benefit for little or no cost increase.


The build's going to be used mainly for Illustrator/Photoshop plus some light gaming. I'm currently using a Mac with Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz, so I think using an Phenom II X2 3.1 Ghz would be quite a big difference compared to it, wouldn't it?

I don't mind waiting for a small while if it's insignificant.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2010 3:53:30 PM

Think of the ram channels like a dual core CPU. Your system will run much better if both your channels are populated with the same ram. So 2 1gig sticks will run better than 1 2gig stick.
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