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Advice on 3rd Gaming PC Build

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January 20, 2011 4:10:07 AM

Pending Wishlist build on Newegg:

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz
ASUS EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB or SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB
CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000
Thermaltake TR2 TRX-1000M 1000W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS Certified Modular
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe

After long months of waiting, saving, and researching..I think I am finally ready to build my 3rd gaming PC. The only thing is that I am a little worried about certain areas such as the following:

1) Memory vs Motherboard.
Will the ASUS Crosshair motherboard recongize the Corsairs at 2000 without overclocking anything in the BIOS? I'm not the overclocking King, so I do not want to spend the extra $40 if the mobo has to be overclocked to read RAM as 2000. (Will settle for the 1600 Domintors instead.)

2) ASUS vs Sapphire Video Cards.
I love ASUS motherboard, however I nevered experienced their version of Vidoe Cards. I am a 1st time ATI Radeon buyer and would like advice on which card to go with. (Thinking that matching ASUS with ASUS = best performance)

3) Power Supply
I love Thermaltake PSU; currently running my 3 yr old system on a 750W SLI version and has not failed on me yet. So real simple question; will this 1000W PSU be enough to handle this new build?
January 20, 2011 5:05:19 AM

Memory:

It's not about "recognizing" the RAM properly, it's about setting the FSB/DRAM ratio to the proper setting to bump the frequency that high.

The default FSB is 200MHz, and the default ratio is usually 5.33x for DDR3-1066 RAM (5.33 x 200MHz FSB = 1066). For 1333MHz RAM, it's 6.67x (6.67 x 200MHz FSB = 1334MHz), and it's 8x for 1600 RAM (8 x 200MHz FSB = 1600MHz). To hit 2000MHz, you'd need to use a 10x multiplier with the default 200MHz FSB, or as is often the case, use a lower multiplier with an increase (overclock) to the FSB frequency (8 x 250MHz FSB = 2000MHz). Plus, XMP (not SPD) has to be used/enabled, which isn't exactly explained well (or at all) in some mobo manuals.

I'd honestly prefer 8GB of low-CAS (CAS7, preferably) 1333 or 1600 RAM instead of 4GB of 2000MHz RAM.

PSU:

A 1000W PSU is QUITE the overkill for a system that's only going to pull 400-500W from the wall, maximum. A good quality 550W should provide all the power you need, with some headroom to spare. If you have inclinations of adding a 2nd GPU for CrossFire, then a 650-750W PSU would suffice. If you don't intend to CrossFire, but do intend to do some OC'ing, then maybe something in the 600-650W range that has more abundant 12V amperage would be advisable for increased headroom.

That said, I won't buy a Tt TR2 PSU. I've read a few bad reviews for their lower-wattage "TR2 RX" units, so I simply don't trust them. Perhaps the "TRX" models have fixed the sub-par performance issues found on RX models, but I've not seen a review for a single one. I personally wouldn't risk my $1000+ build to one.

Video card:

Brand doesn't matter too much as far as performance is concerned, as most new cards are pretty much identical "cookie-cutter" reference designs when first released. What separates the brands is their warranty and support. My personal preference in Radeon manufacturers, in order of most-preferred to least-preferred, are: XFX, ASUS, VisionTek, HIS, MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte, Powercolor, and Diamond.
January 20, 2011 5:17:24 AM

bhalton26 said:
Pending Wishlist build on Newegg:

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz
ASUS EAH6950/2DI2S/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB or SAPPHIRE 100312SR Radeon HD 6950 2GB
CORSAIR DOMINATOR GT 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000
Thermaltake TR2 TRX-1000M 1000W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS Certified Modular
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe


You can do better than that. Fill out the link below first please.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... <--- :bounce: 
Related resources
January 20, 2011 5:18:26 AM

And the research continues..

After viewing certain builds on this forum and others; I've noticed that many people are going with G.Skills instead of Corsairs. Would also like advice on which RAM go with rather if its just the price or is G.Skills better in performance wise also?
January 20, 2011 6:02:55 AM

When it comes to 2 x 4GB kits, I tend to think most informed buyers would choose the G.Skill Ripjaws over the Corsair Dominator based on the following comparison:

--------- G.Skill --------- Corsair
Voltage: - 1.6v ---------- 1.65v
Timings: 7-8-7-24 ------ 9-9-9-24
Price: ---- $160 --------- $150

So, for $10 more you can get RAM with tighter timings and lower power consumption. Plus, the Ripjaws are a little bit shorter in height, so there's slightly more room for aftermarket CPU HS/Fan clearance.

Now, for 2 x 2GB kits, let's compare the
Corsair Dominator 2x2GB DDR3-1600 CAS 7 1.65v kit to the G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2x2GB DDR3-1600 CAS 7 1.5v kit.

This time, the timings are almost identical, but the G.Skill kit requires far less voltage to achieve the same speed. Here's the kicker - The price gap is MUCH bigger, with the G.Skill kit actually $30 cheaper. The G.Skill kit offers the same speed and almost perfectly identical timings, but with lowered power requirements. That and it's $30 less? Perf/$$$ advantage = G.Skill

Bottom line: G.Skill RAM usually has tighter timings and/or lowered required voltage than it's competition, which when combined with a lower or equal price, presents a better performance/dollar value.
January 20, 2011 6:03:18 AM

My apologies:

I plan to buy this new gaming system by Mid-Febuary and budget max is $1400 including delivery. I plan on using this for Gaming most, however burning movies and surfing the net as well. All parts will be ordered from Newegg and will get into Xfire by the end of the year. No need for overclocking and my monitor rez is 1680 x 1050. Also have no idea what brand PSU to go with since I have considered what RazberyBandit stated. Here is what I have so far now after revising the memory choice.

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Trident 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-------------------------------------------or--------------------------------------------
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz AM3 125W Six-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS EAH6950/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Two LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Still need help on Powersupply choice however (750-800W) and does not have to be from Newegg. Perfer a Modular for better cable management.

Other thoughts: Selling my old PC build but having issues coming up with a fair price:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/configuration.php?con...
January 20, 2011 6:13:41 AM

Oh wow..the ones that Raz picked out is better...however its desing for Intel motherboards
January 20, 2011 7:05:23 AM

Purchasing an AMD rig for gaming with your budget isn't the wisest thing you can do with your money. It's the equivalent of a race car drive saying they want to drive a slow car for the up coming racing season. It's what some call an oxymoron. This build is set to add another one of those gtx 580's for SLI. The psu is a OEM model...which means they don't include the power cord for it. You can get one at most any electronic store for sub $10 or order one from newegg....but then you would have shipping charges.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99 FREE SHIPPING
NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99
Seasonic SS-850HT 850W ATX12V v2.31,EPS12V v2.92 80Plus Silver Certified, Active PFC Power Supply - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Price: $369.98
MSI P67A-GD55 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $499.99
EVGA 015-P3-1580-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $16.99 FREE SHIPPING
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $42.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 FREE SHIPPING $15 off with promo code HARDOCP112C, ends 1/19
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Total: $1,269.93 *not including rebates, shipping, etc...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $149.99 FREE SHIPPING
Acer S211HLbd 21.5'' 5ms LED-Backlight LCD Monitor Slim Design 250 cd/m2 12,000,000:1 (ACM)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 FREE SHIPPING
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
January 20, 2011 7:08:23 AM

Meh, my bad... Had so many Newegg tabs open, I linked the wrong one and posted it's specs in my comparison. Sorry.

You found the ones I meant to link, which actually don't have the power-saving advantage I pointed out in my last post. But, they are $35 cheaper than the comparable Corsair Dominators.

As for a PSU recommendation, I still say you don't need that much power. But, since that's what you want, consider one of the following at around $120-140:

Antec TruePower New TP-750 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi-Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NZXT HALE90-750-M 750W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 20, 2011 1:39:26 PM

Pull the trigger already....prices will change tomorrow
January 20, 2011 1:56:11 PM

Thanks Razberybandit...going with the NZXT version because my previous build is only Stage 1. Stage 2 consist of the following:

Another ASUS Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VisionTek Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model iHES208-08 LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
------------------------------------------or-----------------------------------------------------
LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212 LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also a 23-24inch 1900 x 1200 Rez LCD, but having issues deciding between Viewsonic and LG. This will most likey be a Christmas present from the wife so most likey will be getting this from Fry's Electronics.

So with that said...is 750W still too much?
January 20, 2011 2:04:28 PM

Been with AMD since the K6; next was the K7; then the Athlon XP; and currently running the Athlon X2 64. Now its time for the Phenom 2 X6 and I do not see myself switching to Intel anytime soon.

I agree vvhocare5, prices will change tomorrow which is why I am waiting til Febuary otherwise I would click the "submit order" button right now on Newegg.
January 22, 2011 7:02:30 PM

Final Question and this will wrap it up for my 3rd Gaming System: Will 750W PSU be enough to power my complete system. Please note that I had to break up into two Stage otherwise this system would cost me over $1,800

Stage 1 is for Feb 2011:

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811146068

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131644

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231303

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz AM3 125W Six-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103849

ASUS EAH6950/2GD5 Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814121416

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136533

Two LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106335

Stage 2 will be between the end of 2011 or begining 2012:

2nd ASUS Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814121416

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136792

VisionTek Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6833189002

2nd set of G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231303

LITE-ON Black Blu-ray Disc Combo SATA Model iHES208-08 LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106292
------------------------------------------or-----------------------------------------------------
LITE-ON Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback SATA iHBS212 LightScribe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106348

PSU that will power entire system (so far)

NZXT HALE90-750-M 750W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817116011
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