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Homebuilding A PC - My First Time

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April 30, 2011 5:54:46 AM

I quite excited to build my own PC. I've had a lot of issues with my last PC's dying on me just out of warranty and figured this may be a better way to go.

The build I'm looking at is:
Case - IN WIN Maelstrom Black ATX Full Tower
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
GPU: Sapphire HF 6870 (Will eventually be going for a Crossfire setup on these)
CPU: AMD Phenom 555 Black Edition (hoping to unlock and overclock).
PSU: Corsair HX Series 750W
RAM: Corsair Dominator 2x2GB DDR3 1600
MB: Asus M4A88T-V Evo

The total comes out to $900 even before shipping. Right within my budget. I also know it is a bit of a gamble going with the 555 Black and hoping to get it unlocked to a Quad, but for the price, I'm willing to take the gamble. Even if it means replacing it a few weeks after I build when I can afford it.

I'm working on a budget of around $950 - $1000 and am looking to get something decent going for gaming. I tried an Intel / Nvidia setup but I just can't find a way to make it work within budget, mostly because I want a Crossfire / SLI motherboard for some level of future proofing.

My biggest concern at this point is something arriving DOA. I would have no clue how to diagnose which part is dead and get it swapped out. Is this something I should worry about or is it fairly easy to figure out?

As for assembly, am I going to need to buy any extra cables? Do they typically come with the item?

Does anybody see any issues with the build I'm looking at? Any advice to boost performance within budget?

After assembly how difficult is it to get the OS on and everything running as it should? Am I going to have to screw around in the BIOS at all?

I know I'm a total noob when it comes to all this but I figure I have to start somewhere. Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

More about : homebuilding time

a c 103 B Homebuilt system
April 30, 2011 6:18:01 AM

Since you are planning crossfire down the road then your selection of motherboard is not the best. The second PCIe x16 slot on the board runs at X4 speed, I suggest a board that will do x8 x8 crossfire at minimum, 890GX board.
There are some good guides in here for troubleshooting and building if you run into trouble http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/288241-13-faqs-buil...
Intel option that is much better if you are in the US http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... just add the GPU.
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April 30, 2011 6:21:00 AM

Seems like you have it all well figured out. Quality components, good match of parts. I think you'll be very happy for a long time to come. Of course you will be advised to get to know your MB BIOS inside out, but without overclocking, and with settings on auto/standard, I think you'll be well satisfied. Of course, if you get bored with it at standard, go ahead and crank it up =D Heres a link to the CPU comparisons site: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+II+X... Go slow, take care with static electricity (ground yourself when assembling) and don't go forcing screws too hard.
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Related resources
April 30, 2011 6:28:33 AM

rolli59 said:
Since you are planning crossfire down the road then your selection of motherboard is not the best. The second PCIe x16 slot on the board runs at X4 speed, I suggest a board that will do x8 x8 crossfire at minimum, 890GX board.


Hey rolli59, I think you may be mistaken about that 2nd crossfire slot --> read on:

CrossFireX Support http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A88TV_EVOUSB...

*The PCIe x1 slot shares the bandwidth with the PCIe x16_2 slot. Due to the CrossFireX™ limitation, DO NOT use the PCIe x1 slot when you install two CrossFireX™ graphics cards on both the PCIe x16 slots to set up a CrossFireX™ configuration.

AMD® 880G/SB710 Chipset
AMD® 880G Chipset is designed to support up to 5200MT/s HyperTransport™ 3.0 (HT 3.0) interface speed and PCI Express™ 2.0 x16 graphics. It is optimized with AMD®’s latest AM3 and multi-core CPUs to provide excellent system performance and overclocking capabilities.
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April 30, 2011 7:01:32 AM

Thanks for pointing that one out, I'm searching around for a better motherboard.

For Core unlocking and overclocking, am I going to need a special motherboard for those? Or is it done with some software or playing around with some sort of settings?

The reason I went with the Asus M4A88T-V Evo is the fact that it has "Core Unlocker" And OC Genie or something of that sort, right in the description and people have posted that it seems to do the job. Not sure if that's just a gimmick or not at this point.
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April 30, 2011 7:02:59 AM

Forgot this in my last post, but thanks for pointing that kit out rolli59. If I can swing some extra cash I'll probably pick that up.
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a c 103 B Homebuilt system
April 30, 2011 7:26:32 AM

Whoami4 said:
Thanks for pointing that one out, I'm searching around for a better motherboard.

For Core unlocking, is that something I will need a special motherboard for? Or is it done with some software or playing around with some sort of settings?

The reason I went with the Asus M4A88T-V Evo is the fact that it has "Core Unlocker" right in the description and people have posted that it seems to do the job. Not sure if that's just a gimmick or not at this point.

Core unlocker in one form or another is std on all modern AMD chipset boards.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 1, 2011 4:07:59 AM

Looks good, I see the other members have pointed out the mobo issue.
However, you may want to check out a 5850 instead of a 6870, as it will give almost same performance at $60 cheaper. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The pricing for the 6000 series is screwed up, so these 2 are really on par with each other.
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