First Build, Rather Lost...

Ok, So let me tell you a little story.

I'm currently dealing with a lot of things....planning for the future and saving here and there. But me and my girl friend both have laptops that are from 2002.....and technologically you can guess that we can't exactly run the newer games.....or games past the year 2004 for that matter. So I decided, as a birthday present, and because she'd get upset with me if I didn't give myself an upgrade, to build us both new computers. These computers, in my mind are going to be identical, because I want to get the best stuff for both of us, and not have anything wrong with a certain computer.

So this machine will be gaming, for her it will be 3D editing, for me it would be running programs like adobe flash for when I get a bit of inspiration (my current computer runs slow after about 200 frames, which is roughly 10 seconds of an animation), and surfing and youtube-ing.

Ok, so questions I have that rather need to be answered will be provided after I put my build together here.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache

roughly a $120 online

GPU: HD685XZNBC AMD Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.1 x16

ON sale for $130

MoBo:ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Online: $95

Boot up and only hard drive:Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

Online $80

Case and PSU: RAIDMAX Quantum ATX-798WB Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$55 online

RAM:CORSAIR XMS 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Online $75 with $15 rebate

The monitor I'm using my LCD 1080I tv for, I have a USB keyboard to use, and a mouse that I'm loyal to so I don't need that. I also have a CD drive that I'm salvaging out of an old family computer that was given to me a few years ago and have window 7 ultimate that I got as a present...but my computer couldn't run I'm fine there as well.

My questions are this:

Are there any parts I need to change to be more efficient?

Is it worth paying extra for SATA 6.0?

Is it worth paying extra for 1600 ram over 1333?

The case comes with a 700 watt power supply, will that be good enough or because it comes with the power supply should I consider it crap?

Is there something with the motherboard? It seems rather cheap for what I need and have been looking for (crossfire/sata 6.0 (for the future at least)/6 SATA Space)...just wanted to know if I'm missing something...

I'm not timing the hard drive....but does it really matter that my boot up hard drive is not a "Spinpoint"? How significant is the time difference?

And that's about it. No one has to answer every single question...if you want to only answer one, I'm sure someone will answer the rest. I know you're spending the time to read and answer this and I appreciate it. This is my first post here, and I've been a lurker for a while and I know this is a great place for answers.

Thanks for your help and time.

7 answers Last reply
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  1. Good chip, 6950 better gfx psu pants, buy good one now if want crossfire later
    Sata 6 no real use to budget gamers same as more than 4gb ram, 1333 is fine btw, difference for 1600 barely worth extra cost
    Mobo fine
    Sorry short answers, on mobile :-p
  2. CPU: Good for all around things. Nice for multitasking at that price point still good for gaming.

    Motherboard: Good choice because of the AM3+ socket, doesn't really support SLI/Crossfire because the other 16x PCIe is only x4 electrical. But you probably don't mean to Crossfire anyway.

    Video: Nice deal on the video card. It's a good baseline these days so excellent choice imho. It lists requiring a 650W PSU but that's quite much overrated. A good 550 or 500 would do fine.

    HDD: I would get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB instead. It should be much faster than the 5900 rpm drive that is listed.

    CASE: If the case comes with a power supply I don't see it at the link at least. Thus I would recommend
    Antec 300 (or the illusion version still on sale today for $54.99)

    PSU: Unfortunately quite often the PSU's that come with the cases are crap. The exception being Antec cases really that come with PSU's.
    Get a quality PSU from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic or XFX. The XFX Core Pro650W $59.99 after rebate or XFX Core Pro550W $49.99 after rebate should do great for you.

    Memory: Indeed 2x2GB is sufficient for most things. And if you need to save a few bucks that's a good way to do it. But then I just got a 2x4GB kingston kit for 45 bucks. So if you can find a great deal go ahead with the 2x4GB :) The 1333 vs 1600 difference is often ~5 bucks, and it's worth it to go 1600.

    DVD: Make sure the DVD drive uses a SATA connection, but then if it doesn't new ones cost $19.99 so not a big loss.
  3. Ok, well I have a few more questions.

    I have found another, Cheaper Mother board that seems to be exactly what I need, but a few things trouble me.

    It doesn't have a AM3+ socket but that doesn't bother me as I don't see myself upgrading this computer for another 5 or so years, and by then I'd probably just buy everything new again.

    But what bothers me is it says that it support 1600 ram but it says (O.C.) next to it, mean while the one previously posted doesn't. So does that mean that it can only get ram to overclock to 1600, but doesn't support the ram that is 1600 itself? I'm still inbetween as to whether I want 1600 or 1333, but I would still like to know which to buy for it as I will buy the 1600 if it can handle it, but don't want to get left with some useless ram. For me, it doesn't matter as they are exactly the same price, but I still don't want to get left with 1600 I can't use.

    Another question is this. I am 25% trying to cross fire, for the future, but all the mother boards I see are 16x and 4x. What else is there? They are both PCI E 2.0 but...I don't understand what I'm looking for as far as a good Crossfire Mother board. I read some where (for this mother board) that it splits it into two 8x's and thats how it works....but wouldn't that still be good for cross fire?
    I also got my hands on a nice power supply.

    Hopefully its good enough to run what i need.

    I did get the Illusion case, thanks for pointing that out to me. Its on its way along side the power supply.

    Also, just a question as far as video cards go....What's up with the 5xxx and the 6xxx lines? There are some 59xx cards that are ridiculously expensive or as expensive as 69xx cards. Why is that? Aren't they in different leagues? And I could have sword AMD and Radeon had to be used together in a set up, but I've heard of AMD being used with NVidea's GeForce's, and Vice Versa for Intel....Confused there as well.
  4. You won't notice a huge difference between 1600 and 1333 anyway in normal use. Generally overclocking the memory is not a big deal and can easily be done from the bios so it's not a major issue. Whichever you feel more comfortable with.

    I would still steer clear of the Open Box products, you might get lucky and it's good or then you might not. Generally it's not worth the $30 to take that risk.

    Since you might want to crossfire, here is a very a good motherboard for you for crossfire, it's cheap and good. I actually own 2 of them and both run nicely.
    And since you don't intend to upgrade for a while, except possibly crossfire, it should work out good for you. It comes with everything you want:
    Crossfire support ( x8/x8 like usual ), Sata 6Gb/s and USB3, has eSata 6Gb/s and firewire as well :)

    Asrock 870 Extreme3 $89.99

    The PSU should be ok to run the crossfire setup still, it's cutting it close but should be ok.

    About 5xxx and 6xxx:

    The 59xx card is so expensive because it's basically 2 cards in one. It has two 5850 GPU's in it.

    As for the 69xx cards
    6990 has two 6970 GPU's in it, thus why it is so expensive.
    6950 and 6950 have an increasing amount Shaders

    So 6850 has 960 Shaders.
    6870 has 1120 Shaders
    6950 has 1408 Shaders
    6970 has 1536 Shaders

    And usually the Core and Memory frequency on the cards also goes up as you go higher up.

    About AMD and NVIDIA cards together

    Generally it is not possible anymore. Unless you are running a specific chip on the MB ( Lucix Hydra ) and SW on the computer to enable it.
    NVIDIA has disabled the combination in the drivers somehow so that you can't use a low end card for PhysX with AMD card, some kind of a business decision i'm sure :)

    So it's one or the other, but not both.

    As for your situation, I think you will be very happy with the 6850 and your computer in general, it will make a world of difference in your tasks.
  5. Ok, well there is another question that arrises. What happens if I put Higher Mhz ram then is supported into the mother board? Does it just shift it down into something it can use? I'm looking at some 2000 Mhz and some 1866 Mhz ram but the mobo only says it supports up to 1800. Again, don't want to be stuck with some ram that I can't use. A quick reply would be nice, I need to place the order for the ram tonight if I can use the 2000 as it is going off sale tonight. Thanks in advance.
  6. Never Mind. I just found that some where.

    I guess my next question is this, how difficult is O.C.-ing? I'm kinda interested, but only if I know for sure I'm not shortening the life of my computer.
  7. With a 955be its easy, check the guide for it at the top of the overclocking section
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