Opini first build

Just wanting opinions on my first build.

Budget Range: $400 to $575

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Audio/Video Editing, Visual Editing, Word Processing

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Monitor, Keyboard, Speakers, Hard Drive, CD-Drive (I am pulling these from an HP a6203w Desktop, links below)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: AMD for CPU, Preferred/tested manufacture/supplier for other parts

Overclocking: Maybe in future, but not currently

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in future, but not currently

Monitor Resolution: 1680x150 but satisfied with gaming in 1440x900 (My monitor is a 21 inch LCD widescreen)

Additional Comments: I don’t care if it shines or sparkles or glows, I want trusted, reliable parts.

On the CPU, I found another Phenom II X4 but it was AM2+ socket, and neither one of the motherboards I was looking at had that, they only had AM3. Do I need all of those ASUS features? Turbo unlocking, etc.... Because I have heard and read they make it easier on your system for overclocking, unlocking, especially for those of us who aren't BIOS friendly/smart. I've added another board and processor to the list, as a secondary/cheaper option.

On the motherboard, I was looking for a form factor, and wasn't sure if it would fit in the given case. If it will not work, let me know, I have another choice and will post the link on it as well.

The PSU was my best choice, I feel, even though it is not modular, I hope with the given case, cooling due to wiring will not be an issue. If modular would be my best bet, then recommend one in the same price range.

The area where my PC tower sits is the alcove of a desk, any side fans/vents/cooling, I ASSUME won't be effective, so I opted for the case with front and rear fans and top fan. The alcove is also why I opted for a mid tower instead of full tower.

I did NOT include sound/video/network card, because sound is integrated, as is network, into the given motherboard. It also has a good integrated video, that will suit all my current needs, but does have the PCI-E x16 option when I have money to upgrade it. As I have currently an Nvidia 6150se nforce 430, and it does decent to average for what I wish, I assume the research I have done on that integrated unit in the above motherboard, will provide substantial.

I'm also planning on investing in an aftermarket heat-sink, like the RAM issue below, I know nothing of them, please suggest one if you want.

I DID NOT put RAM in here, because I know nothing about it. I know DDR3 has more bandwidth than DDR2, but DDR2 has more latency, or something, I read a small bit about it on afterdawn. ANY suggestions on RAM would be greatly appreciated, but something <90 dollars please.

That would bring my total build to 490-500 dollars, was my subtotal. I am not sure of any rebates or discounts. As I said above, I will be using my current Hard Drive and CD drive.

The only question I have besides all of the above is, is there any way/method, to use my external hard drive accessory slot/item on the new case? That would make it much easier for me on storage, backup, and what not.

Links below, thanks.

Okay, the following build was compiled with all parts off of newegg.com with limited computer knowledge, so if I made an errors let me know. The build will be used mainly for gaming/multimedia work (sound/video editing). I am trying to future proof it, and leave room for expansion, while being soft on my wallet.

There are no Hard Drives, CDROM's, or any other accessories because I am transporting those, from my current PC, which is an a6203w HP desktop. All links concerning all products are below, including my current PC, which is my organ donor, for some parts.

I based my choice on my minor knowledge, and overall reviews and egg ratings.

















Specs to my current PC



I have edited it to suite the tomshardware.com preferred format, and added some items after reading below replies.
11 answers Last reply
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  1. Well, you can get a quad-core CPU for the same price as the one you picked:

    or for five bucks more, you can get an even faster Phenom II quad-core:

    So I would basically change that ASAP. And also, don't put too much faith in unlocking cores. That's because a) There's no guarantee you'll be able to do it, and b) a lot of dual-core and triple-core CPUs with "unlockable" extra cores are just quad-cores that failed quality control. So there's a good chance you're unlocking an extra core that's a piece of sh*t and will not do you any good. Just get the one that you know has four good cores.

    As far as DDR3 vs. DDR2, definitely go with DDR3. In very simple terms, the overall "speed" of a ram is clock speed divided by latency ... DDR3 has faster clock speed (e.g. 1333 or 1600 Mhz vs. 800 or 1066 for DDR2) but they haven't gotten the latency down as low yet (7-8 latency for typical DDR3, more like 5-6 for DDR2). You'll still be better off with DDR3 in the long run; it'll be the standard going forward. RAM only makes a difference of a couple percent in performance anyway, so you'll be better off just getting a machine that you know will support whatever is out there in the next few years.
  2. Okay, thanks for explaining that. Any particular RAM you would recommend under 80 or 90 dollars? I don't know anything with the clock speeds, or timing, or what not, or even overclocking ram..

    Until I get further replies, I will find a different processor, a heatsink, and some ram.
  3. Okay, I edited my message to better suite the format preferred by this site, and I took advice of the first reply and changed out my processor, as well as changing out my case.

    Any other thoughts?
  4. Anyone have any other input? I am trying to find all the holes in my plan.
  5. The second motherboard you picked only supports DDR2, so your RAM wouldn't work on that one.

    The first motherboard is good (socket AM3 and USB 3.0 support), but I don't think you need to spend quite so much money on a motherboard unless you're planning on using two video cards at once -- and you've said you're going to use one, if any at all. So you could probably save about $30 if you get something like this, which is basically all the same specs but one less PCIe x16 slot:


    You can also get faster RAM than the one you picked for the same price -- 1600 Mhz vs. 1066 Mhz and the same latency:


    Be warned, though, to get it to run at the full 1600 on a lot of motherboards, you'll need to input the settings manually in the BIOS. This is not hard to do at all, just something to be aware of. For a little bit of extra performance, it's worth it.
  6. the only reason i was unsure about the motherboard thing, is i wanted to get this processor, but it was AM2+ and OEM, so i was trying to save money, getting an aftermarket heatsink and such. The only reason i was going to get the ASUS mobo, was all the features, because i am not used to getting into the bios, so i was assuming all the turbo unlocking and such would help. Thanks on the RAM help.

    Does the dedicated memory (128mb) on the asus help any to the video?

    The processor in question is the phenom 2 x4 940, but its AM2+ I was wanting to get the phenom 2 x4 955 and just OC it, and trash the stock heatsink and use the aftermarket artic cooler 64 one, but cost got me, but the motherboard saving could help, but as I said, I eventually want to go to two video cards, but one should be plenty for now.

    I DO plan on using two video cards in the future, as i plan to future proof it as much as i can. The ONLY reason I am not at the moment is money. It will be something I'm adding down the line.

    Is everything else looking good though?

    and the DDR2, I would be using my 4 gigs from my current system if i went for that.
  7. Well, in that case, you're good to go with the original board you picked, and forget I mentioned the other ones.

    If you're talking about "future proofing," a socket AM3 motherboard is the way to go, because it's going to support the next generation of AMD six-core and eight-core CPUs. Unfortunately, AM3 boards are DDR3-only, so that would mean getting rid of your existing DDR2. You could still get some money back by selling it, though.

    Also unfortunately, while AM3 CPUs are backwards compatible with AM2+ boards, if you have an AM3 board, you're going to want an AM3 CPU due to memory controller issues, so I would avoid the Phenom II x4 940. The one I pointed out earlier should work, and I'm sure there are plenty of others. Basically, when you go to socket AM3, you'll see a substantial price in the Phenom II x4's, while the Athlon II x4's stay pretty reasonable. I would really not worry about this because 1) either quad-core is going to be plenty powerful for now; 2) You can still overclock the Athlon; and 3) If you're on socket AM3, by the time that CPU is not good enough, you'll be able to drop in a much better six-core, probably for relatively cheap.
  8. Okay, well tomm I will put together a new build based on all the new info, it is late here though so I am heading to bed, please check back at this forum and reply on my new build tomm, thanks.
  9. Okay, with the following build below, I am sitting at $573 which is fine.











    In the future when I OC the Processor I will invest in the Artic Cool 64 Heatsink, as well I will be investing in an ATI 5770 1 gig video card within the next 6 months of this build. I should be fine with the stock heatsink since I won't be OC'ing immediately right?

    Thanks again for all the help, any thoughts on this build?
  10. Wait, I thought you DID want a motherboard with support for two video cards. If you only need it for one, the Asrock board in your last post is fine, but if you ever want crossfire, you'll want a different one.

    Actually, this one (also by Asrock) looks like the cheapest that will give you decent crossfire capability:


    It's only $5 more, and it gives you the second PCIe x16 slot, plus an extra USB 3.0 port (the first board only has one, which is pretty lousy actually). There are some other boards out there with similar specs, but one thing to look out for is that for crossfired video cards, you'll want one that says 8x/8x, not 16x/4x - the second card will run extremely slowly in the latter case, which will defeat the point of crossfire.

    I should mention: Asrock is actually not my favorite brand for motherboards, but they're not bottom-of-the-barrel in terms of quality either. Asus and Gigabyte are probably the ones with the most solid reputation, but for one with the same specs, you're probably looking at $40 more. You'll probably be fine with Asrock though.
  11. yeah I have it all figured out. I plan to go with the ASUS I was originally going with, the Phenom 2 x4 955, same PSU, case, the ram u linked, and the aftermarket heatsink I linked. I plan to part out my current PC, except for the hard drive and CDROMm and that, according to new egg, leaves me at about 600 bucks give or take. I can then always upgrade the processor in the future, and I can upgrade from the onboard ati 4250 with 128 of dedicated memory, to another video card (the 6 series are coming out) and later on upgrade to a 6 core, so I am set.

    Thanks for all the help though.
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