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Assistance in selecting parts for a new computer rig

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February 15, 2011 10:02:21 AM

Heya,

I'm planning on overhauling my PC and replacing a few components, but as the last PC I build was ages ago and I really haven't stayed in touch with the latest developments, I'd be grateful for some assistance.

The components I intend to keep from my old PC:
Graphics Card: ASUS ENGTS250
PSU: Corsair VX-550

The components I plan on buying:
CPU: AMD PHENOM II X4 970 125W BLACK EDITION
MB: ASUS AM3 AMD870 DDR3 SATA6 USB3.0 ATX
MEMORY: CORSAIR DDR3-1600 4G 2X240DIMM XMS3 CHS
FAN: ZALMAN QUIET CPU COOLER (CNPS 10X Quiet)

The main questions I have:
1. Is the build viable with no components acting as bottlenecks and the PC will be able to work to its hardware capabilities?
2. Is the PSU enough to power this? The 550W seems enough and the VX550 has 41 amps on its 12v line, which seems enough, but I can't be sure.
3. The biggest issue for me usually is selecting the right memory (RAM). Is my current seleciton OK?

If anyone can recommend any better options than this, please feel free to add comments. Note that I am currently at the upper end of my budget, but if compelling arguments are provided against or for any components, I'll be able to stretch the budget by 20-30€.

Thanks in advance!
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 10:53:19 AM

Hello smws;
Is this a gaming build?
Have things like a case, HDD, ODD and OS already?
What resolution is your monitor.

1. Very viable system. There is always a bottleneck. For a gaming machine it might be your video card after the upgrade.
2. Excellent PSU. Plenty of power for your build, plus CPU overclocking and a future GPU upgrade.
3. Look OK, but you didnt provide the actual model nbr of the kit you've chosen.

Not better, just less expensive:
If you're OK with OC'ing get the X4 955 CPU
and a less expensive CPU cooler like CM Hyper 212+
February 15, 2011 11:13:32 AM

You're saying this last build was "ages" ago. How old is your PSU? If you go with some of the recommendations from WR2 you may want stretch to get a new PSU as well. It may not be strictly necessary but it's something to consider if you plan on this build to last "ages" as well.
As far as bottlenecks are concerned, that really depends on what you'll be doing with the system. Like WR2 said, if you're gaming, your GPU will probably be the bottleneck depending on your monitor resolution.
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February 15, 2011 11:28:37 AM

Cheers for the reply :) 

I use the PC for gaming mostly: WoW, but also interested in testing out newer games. I'm hoping to get another 6 months to a year out of the graphics card, but I'm happy to upgrade it sooner if my needs require it or I get hit with a random amount of cash.

I've got the HDD, ODD and OS and the monitor is a Samsung P2370H, which I use in 1920x1080 resolution.

The product code of the memory I chose is: CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

Regards the suggestions:
1. CPU - Strange as it may seem, the actual price difference between 970 and 955 in Estonia is currently about 15€, so I'm happy to take the 970 and not mess about with overclocking.
2. I'll read up on the Hyper 212+, as a cheaper option there is always welcome. What attracted me to the Zalman was the promise of near-silence in idle mode, meaning the missus just might not kill me if I leave the PC on for night :) 
February 15, 2011 11:32:36 AM

BlueFireAngel said:
You're saying this last build was "ages" ago. How old is your PSU? If you go with some of the recommendations from WR2 you may want stretch to get a new PSU as well. It may not be strictly necessary but it's something to consider if you plan on this build to last "ages" as well.
As far as bottlenecks are concerned, that really depends on what you'll be doing with the system. Like WR2 said, if you're gaming, your GPU will probably be the bottleneck depending on your monitor resolution.


What I meant by "ages" ago was that I built my last PC from scratch 7 years ago or so, and that muppet's been in computer hell for a good 5 years now.

I bought a storebuilt PC 3 years ago, and I've replaced both the graphics card (ASUS ENGTS250) and PSU (Corsair VX-550), and I'm planning to keep both for the new build. Both the PSU and GPU are "fast" bits to replace in my eyes so I've got no need to replace them immediately and can do it on the go.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 12:09:34 PM

Thats a good set of RAM.
Let me check the sound signature of the two cooler.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 15, 2011 12:16:22 PM

FrostyTech reviews:
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review 32.1 dB
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Heatsink Review 35.3 dB

That GTS 250 should hold up for as long as you're happy with the gaming performance. @ 1920x1080 it's underpowered for a hard core gamer. But it will let run most games with reduced graphics settings. Should be enough for you to figure out if you like the newer games.
February 16, 2011 8:45:11 AM

After reading reviews for both the CNPS10X and the Hyper 212+, I've actually decided to go with the Zalman CNPS 9900 LED, mainly because of the compact design (both the CNPS10X and Hyper212 hang over the DIMM slots and fitting RAM with a heatsink, such a the Corsair, can limit my upgrade options in the future) and the aesthetics. Even though I'll only look at it when installing and cleaning, it looks amazing!

With that in mind, does anyone have any arguments against the 9900?

Sidenote: my decision was also helped along by the excellent customer support by Zalman. Last night I sent an email to their CS division and it took them just 2 hours to respond with suggestions to the fan selection and on how much room the CNPS10X actually requires.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 16, 2011 11:55:27 AM

It has a 92mm fan (vs 120mm) and must spin a bit faster to cool an overclocked CPU. But it does cool well.
About 39.3 dBA on idle and during max performance about 57.5 dBA.
CNPS10X Quiet = 46.8 dB Hyper 212+ = 50.1 dB. And both have a higher cooling potential.
!