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Looking for constructive advice

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October 22, 2010 5:54:43 PM

I'm trying to build a solid gaming system to last 5+ years. I'll be adding a GTX 460 or something similar and running SLI in 6 months or so.

I have no idea about cooling, and could really use some sound advice.

This is what I have come up with so far:

Case: Antec DF-85
Motherboard: MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
RAM: 2 x Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) for 8GB
DVD: ASUS Black 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner
Graphics: (eventually) EVGA 01G-P3-1378-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi)

Once I have the EVGA I'll be running dual Gateway 24inch monitors. (Thinking that may affect load and thus heat.) I'll also be adding a second or third HDD down the line as well.

So that said, comments on what I've picked so far would be appreciated. And what I really need is some insight/advice on what I should be looking to do with cooling and a power supply.

Thanks - Jim

More about : constructive advice

a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 6:13:29 PM

Jim,

First of all, we would appreciate if you give us a budget, if you have any. It is the single-most important factor that decides what you can't do (because there is everything you can do today) :) 

Anyway, guessing from your components choice, you have a hefty enough budget. If I were you, I would go with following line by line.

(1) Case - while it is important to have a big enough case, spending 160 dollars isn't worth it. If you take 80 dollars from here and put it toward your graphics card, your gaming computer truly becomes a gaming computer that will go a longer way.

(2) Motherboard - Looks good to me.

(3) CPU - Looks good to me. But don't underestimate Intel's i7-9xx series. If you are budget conscious, AMD Phenom works great too. But note that it is a hot processor running "IDLE" at 125W.

(3A) Cooling - invest about 60-70 dollars into a water cooler by thermaltake. Or simply buy a larger heatsink or fan by Antec/Thermaltake.

(4) HDD - Looks good to me.

(5) RAM - 8GB is a must. If your CPU supports DDR3-1600, go for it.

(6) DVD - meh, move on.

(7) Graphics - I don't like this card. I would go with HD 5850 or HD 5870 or GTX 470.

(8) PSU? Go with Corsair 650W at least. Very good PSU with 5 year warranty. 750W works too. Don't go below 650W. Antec brand is great as well.

(9) Keyboard and mouse? Logitech gaming keyboard and mouse are amazing.

(10) Sound card? - See if you still have any money left for X-Fi XtremeGamer by Creative labs.

(11) Loudspeakers? - Stretching too far? Look at a decent 5.1 speakers system.

It should all fit under 1500 dollars max including your monitors.
Choose a bigger case, not necessarily expensive. All you really need is a roomy box!
a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 10:10:52 PM

If you're thinking about a long term gaming machine, go Intel. Their designs are more efficient than AMD's, so they will perform better compared to AMD's refreshes in the long run.

You may also have issues with SLI stability because AMD's Nvidia chipsets have had issues with newer cards. I'm not big into AMD stuff, so I would check with others who are just to make sure.

I would recommend the EVGA EE GTX 460s with the lifetime warranty (last two digits of the model # are AR). They're really easy to OC with MSI Afterburner, and they're also eligible for the Step-Up program.

If you want 2 GTX 460s, you'll need a 750W (650W Continuous Power) PSU; GTX 470s will require an 850W PSU.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 10:29:44 PM

Disagree with boiler, AMD will surely be thee better choice if you want it to last longer. since you can just get a new cpu (like bulldozer) without needing to replace the motherboard too.

makes upgrading a much cheaper and easier process, and can keep the rig lasting longer with fewer changes.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 10:41:49 PM

With Intel, there's no need to get a new CPU until he rebuilds in 3-5 years if he goes Intel. AMD's architecture isn't as efficient as Intel's, so they require more cores to achieve the same performance.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
a b B Homebuilt system
October 22, 2010 11:56:50 PM

are you kidding me?

intel are only margnally ahead of AMD in terms of processing power, but more expensive. and With bulldozer on the way, intel will soon be in second place.

he can build an athlon II rig now, dedicating the saved cash to other hardware. then get bulldozer chip when they come out, which actually can last 5 years. 16 cores and serial parrallelization are going to be a much bigger deal that slightly more efficient architecture.
or he can build intel, pay more for a slightly more powerful chip, then be stuck with it til he can replace the motherboard AND CPU, and still end up with something weaker.

I don't care about stupid brand allegiances, but for long term upgradibility, AMD obviously has the edge. Intel are great for high end builds, and for those who upgrade regualrly. for this guy, AMD is the no brain choice.
October 23, 2010 12:01:47 AM

Jim,

IMO AMD is the better call as time goes on you may want to upgrade. Amd is cheap so you spend more on goodies too....what is not to like :o 

Where intel has a tendency to jump ship on platforms or get creative and have the same chip with 27 thousand variants plus cost to redo a whole systems when you just want a simple upgrade is not pleasant lil fore thought saves a headache :non: 


:bounce:  As for the coolers I've been peeking around myself and thought to myself whoa... no water for me, to much trouble, but... wait look here check this out.

A self-contained system straight forward looks to be easy. Here is a link the product is an Corsair H50 series hope it works or the other the H70 that might be more suited for ya good luck on your PC!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUxoFiFuS_g&NR=1


:hello:  -Poppasmurf
a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 12:07:39 AM

The Bulldozer CPUs, based on the info out there now, will require a full upgrade as well, since the AM3+ CPUs won't run on anything but an AM3+ motherboard (as is the usual case with AMD).

My point is that he shouldn't have to upgrade the CPU to keep the computer running quickly. Many of the Socket 775 Intel CPUs still run games really well, and those are 2-3 years old.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 23, 2010 6:55:37 AM

Not only is that NOT the usual case with AMD, but it does not go with currently known information.

AM3+, like AM2+ before it will almost certainly be compatible with AM3 motherboards. but not with AM2+ or AM2.

He is going to need to upgrade in the future either way, 5 years is too long a period. If he goes intel, she would need a CPU and MOBO upgrade when that time comes. with AMD, only a CPU upgrade. and not only that, he can save some money NOW on the CPU, and save it for that future upgrade, which will be to a MUCH more futureproof architecture.
!