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Help me finalize my build

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February 5, 2011 12:13:47 AM

Hey guys, I think I am all ready to order the components for my first build! Some final comments would be greatly appreciated!

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-687A-ZNBC Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card with Eyefinity http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD/CD: LITE-ON 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 Writer LightScribe Support http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ill be using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS with this PC

Appreciate your comments all!


More about : finalize build

February 5, 2011 5:20:15 PM

What's your budget? What are your applications? How long are you willing to wait?

Do you require a keyboard / mouse, speakers or a monitor?

If the purpose is primarily gaming, I would suggest the i5-2400 / 2500K - you'd get much higher frame rates and single-threaded performance with the i5, alongwith comparable multi-threaded performance.

The catch here is that Intel is recalling its Sandy Bridge chipsets due to a design glitch.

I would suggest waiting till April when the revamped chipsets hit the market in volume, if you can.
Else, the 1090T's gaming performance is not that much different from the 955BE, so the latter might be a good idea.

See here: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=146
If you look at just the gaming benchmarks, there's hardly any difference - less when they are overclocked. Unless you encode movies and render complex scenes, there's little point. In the case that you do plan on transcoding and rendering, might I suggest the i7-2600 / 2600K. That completely blows the 1090T out of the water:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=146

Even the i5-2500K proves more than a fair match for the 1090T at about the same price. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=146

Here's a list of broad benchmarks: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

The SB 'K' series chips OC like champs too - http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/intel_corei7_26...

The ace up SB's sleeve, however, is QuickSync: (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...).
Unfortunately, it is disabled when using a discrete GFX card. But Lucid has a solution (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4113/lucid-enables-quick-...).
Also, if you wish to have a chance of using the SB integrated GFX (QuickSync) + a discrete GPU *and* overclock, you'll need a Z68 chipset based mobo - which are yet to be released. Ergo, you'll need to wait.

Save some dough for a better PSU like the Corsair HX850W - modular (the airflow through your case should be better), efficient and low-ripple. Here's a review you may or may not have come across:
http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Also, methinks that you need no more than 750W, unless you plan on a two-way crossfire down the line. Use this (http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine) to calculate the PSU's wattage.

I like the choice of RAM - nice, tight timings at a good price.

For the HDD, however, I would suggest the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB. It's faster than the Seagate in most benchmarks and offers the best bang-for-buck, unless you can get the Seagate significantly cheaper.

A review or two in its favour:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/10/06/sam...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/1tb-hd...

Search for your prospective HDD model in this list to get an approximate idea of which is better: http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/high_end_drives.html

Thumbs-up for the GPU.
Mobo seems fine. I think you're good to go.
:) 
[P.S. How about snagging an SSD for your apps and OS? I would suggest the Intel X25-V 40GB SSD.... Have fun!]
:D 
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February 6, 2011 4:41:00 AM

Thanks for the reply! My budget is around $1000-$1100, and I wont be needing any monitors or keyboards or anything. Basically the reason I wanted to build a new pc is to play World of Warcraft on my 30in. Dell monitor on Ultra settings at 2560x, something that my Dell XPS 400 cannot do. I also don't want any graphics hiccups when doing 25-man content. I use two monitors also, the other just for web surfing or youtube. Will the build I posted achieve that or am I completely misinformed? Thanks for your time.
February 6, 2011 4:41:50 AM

2560x1600...sorry about that
February 6, 2011 10:29:35 PM

I take it you're unwilling to wait for the patched Sandy Bridge mobos to hit the market.
Still think you won't need a 1090T. An OC'ed 955BE should be just as good for gaming.
And 'batuchka' is right, if you don't plan to Crossfire, just get an 870 chipset based mobo, instead of an 890FX based one.

Save a bit this time on the non-essential components, and then upgrade again when Ivy Bridge comes out in a year. Better yet, wait until Haswell before upgrading...

Personally, I stick to Asus and Gigabyte, and maybe MSI. I wouldn't take the ASRock board because it has only a 1-year warranty.

For the graphics card, I think you'll need a better one considering your 2560x1600 requirement.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

The 6850 just won't be good enough for Ultra at reasonable frame rates and the 6870 might be cutting it a bit too fine, if you would like to play other games. I second the 6950 2GB that 'batuchka' suggested. It'll give you an average of at-least 5fps over the 1GB model. It will also give you some freedom to play other games at good quality settings.

The best part would be that you have a chance of unlocking the card to a 6970 by flashing the BIOS - a free performance upgrade. This may or may not work, so do it at your own risk. The XFX warranty should have you covered in case of a mishap, though and I suggest you give it a shot.
http://www.techpowerup.com/137140/AMD-Radeon-HD-6950-ca...

Do you live near a Microcenter? They've got the cheapest rates. If not, you might want to check if shipping from them is a viable option vs. NewEgg.

Here's the revised build I suggest:
(Note: All prices are from Newegg with shipping costs included where applicable.)

> CPU: AMD Phenom II 955BE -- $149
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Has an unlocked multiplier, so no point in buying the 965BE / 970BE / 975BE in it's place. They are the same CPU with a higher-set multiplier, something which you can do yourself with ease.

> Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 -- $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Review: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/amd...

> RAM: Unchanged -- $63

> HSF: Zalman CNPS10X Performa -- $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I noticed that there was a $2 difference between the CM Hyper 212+ and the Zalman cooler. And if you look here, the Zalman is quite a bit better than the Hyper 212+.

> Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1 -- $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optional, but it would be a good idea. I would have suggested the OCZ Freeze Extreme - it's cheaper and gets better temps - but it's out of stock at Newegg. The absolute best - the TIM which has consistently received superior reviews would be the Coollaboratory Liquid Pro, but it's a little difficult to find. BTW, all these pastes are supposedly better than the Arctic Silver 5 and equivalent to / better than the Arctic Cooling MX-2.

> Anti-static bracelet: Rosewill RTK-002 -- $9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optional, but recommended.

> GPU: XFX Radeon 6950 2GB -- $293
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


> PSU: Corsair HX850W -- $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Forgot to mention that it has a 7-yr warranty ;) 

> HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB -- $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Strongly suggest that you choose from the Western Digital Caviar Black (5-year warranty ones) or the Samsung Spinpoint F3 series. How about a 1.5TB / 2TB drive? Have a look:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The WD 2TB drive is one of the fastest on the market. Only thing is you can buy 2 x 1TB Spinpoints for it's price, with cash to spare.
Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/2tb-hdd-7200,2430-1...

> DVD-RW drive: Unchanged -- $30
The link was broken. It's this one, right?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $924 (Please double check my calculation when you can.)
And that's before rebates...a mean little machine you got there! ;) 

You can invest the cash you have left over and not too far down the line you could upgrade to a better machine! :D 
February 6, 2011 11:59:57 PM

Thanks for the advice, I think i will wait then.
February 7, 2011 1:12:32 AM

You're welcome.
But if you get restless, just grab the PSU and the graphics card and install it in your current machine. Those two components you'd be retaining anyway in case of an upgrade. I am assuming that your specs match those here, which means you have at-least 1 x16 PCIe slot available.

Until you upgrade completely, your CPU would probably bottleneck the GPU, but, heck, what have you to lose? At worst, you'll have a PSU and GPU lying around idle for a couple of months...hardly catastrophic.
February 7, 2011 4:27:20 AM

Ok, I will consider that. I was under the impression that the power supply connectors in the dell xps 400 were proprietary and a different power supply could not be connected to the motherboard, as the motherboard is also proprietary. (BTX) Is this true at all?
February 7, 2011 12:30:31 PM

Yep, it's a BTX case + mobo alright, but after a little digging around on the net, I think upgrading your PSU can be done. Just check the dimensions of your new PSU against that of your case.

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3...
http://forums.legitreviews.com/about7412.html

Be advised, the CPU would be a major bottleneck to that powerful a GPU. Looks like I might be wrong about getting anything playable with the Pentium D. Here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/309021-33-pentium-0gh...

Looks like you might want to hold off after all. :( 
February 9, 2011 4:26:46 PM

Scrap my comment about NVIDIA card not working well with AMD chipsets...looks like the incompatibility issues were ironed out some time ago.
!