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Am3+ Budget Gaming Build?

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September 22, 2011 6:01:02 PM

First budget build.
Looking to keep Bulldozer option open.
Looking to Crossfire in future. (x2 6850s)
May try to over clock once I get the hang of it.
Mostly for gaming, watching movies, surfing internet.
Looking for most bang for buck value.

Site I order from:
Excaliberpc

Already Have:
19" Monitor (1440x900)
PowerColor 6850 1gb
Mouse, keyboard, etc.

What I'm looking at:

Mobo ($156.95)
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AMD 990FX / SB950 AM3+ ATX AMD Motherboard

Cpu ($124.59)
AMD HDZ955FBGMBOX Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz 2MB Cache AM3 Quad-Core Processor

Hdd ($54.50)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb / s Hard Drive

CD Drive ($25.00)
ASUS 90-D40FJV-UB0110- 24X DVD±R / 8X DVD+RW / 6X DVD-RW Internal SATA DVD Writer

HSF ($25.00)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm Full Aluminum CPU Cooler

Thermal Compound ($6)
Zalman ZM-STG1 Thermal Compound

PSU ($108.50)
Corsair Enthusiast Series CMPSU-750TXV2 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Case ($85.00)
Cooler Master RC-922M-KKN1-GP Micro ATX / ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Side Fan ($18.76)
Cooler Master CoolerMaster Fan R4-LUS-07AR-GP 200mm Mega Flow LED Red 700RPM

Ram ($60.18)
Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2 / 8GX 8GB(2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3-12800 Desktop Memory

Any thoughts or suggestions?

More about : am3 budget gaming build

September 22, 2011 6:08:55 PM

RAM:

Dual channel is what you want :) 

DDR3 Dual Channel either 4GB (2x2GB sticks) or 8GB (2x4GB sticks)

1600MHz RAM CL9 is generally considered the best value for money.

G.Skill and Corsair Vengeance are the most popular choices and at very good prices.
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September 22, 2011 6:27:08 PM

@slcmike: Nice! They have it for $54.50 and thanks for the reply for the thermal.

@AdrianPerry: Thanks!
I think they sell the vengeance, but it's only individual 4gbs for $42.75
If I buy two of them will that make a dual channel kit? or is it supposed to come in twos?
Also, is Kingston reliable?
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September 23, 2011 7:19:48 AM

anyone have any thoughts on anything?
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Best solution

September 23, 2011 7:43:58 AM

Kingston are a very reliable RAM manufacturer, probably the biggest RAM manufacturer, period. Certainly don't buy single channel RAM, stick with Dual Channel.

I know Intel SandyBridge CPU's require 1.5v or less RAM, im not sure how this works with AMD though. Most good Kingston RAM (XMP) seems to be 1.65v which will work sometimes on SandyBridge but issues have been known to occur.

Ill leave someone else to answer the question "will 1.65v RAM work with Phenom processors"....

Kingston RAM says this:
Each module kit has been tested to run at DDR3-1600MHz at a low latency timing of 9-9-9-27 at 1.65V. The SPDs are programmed to JEDEC standard latency DDR3-1333MHz timing of 9-9-9 at 1.5V.

Basically meaning if Phenom doesn't work with 1.65v RAM then you'll have to run the lower MHz frequency of 1333MHz.

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September 23, 2011 11:20:44 AM

I tried looking and found posts like this. So basically, I would have to learn how to tweak voltage settings to get it working at 1600?
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September 24, 2011 4:15:26 AM

Just wondering if everything's good before I buy.. Like the ram thing, then if the mobo and psu are good for crossfiring two 6850s.. Or any other thoughts.. or better deals.. heh.
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September 26, 2011 11:50:14 AM

Edited my post, maybe it'll be easier to read?
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September 26, 2011 6:40:54 PM

You can always make changes, and I do up until the minute I hit the checkout button!

Everything looks good. You can probably make changes but they wont make much difference. Have fun! :bounce: 
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September 26, 2011 6:46:58 PM

The only suggestion I would make is changing your monitor to 1920 x 1090 now since 1 6850 would actually play high or max setting on most of the games on 1440 x 900.
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September 27, 2011 12:16:51 AM

@slcmike: Hahaha I just can't seem to finalize it. There's so much to look at and consider! Future-proofing, benchmarks, CF 16x/4x vs 8x/8x, Intel vs Amd, WD vs Samsung (thanks for that part), All this ram stuff, Which is the best/budget mobo.. I've been looking around and the i5 2500K seems to be the sort of "Sweet Spot" I'm looking for. However, If I go with Intel I give up a possible upgrade to Bulldozer.. which I have no idea will even be good. I think I might wait it out and see what's best.

@ervinelim: I've heard. I was always thinking that my old gpu(9500GT) was the cause of stuttering, but I guess my athlonIIx4 635 is the main culprit. But I'm thinking of upgrading the monitor when I can.
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September 27, 2011 7:23:23 AM

While it does make sense to see what BullDozer has to offer, you'll be in the same position again next year when Intel release IvyBridge - which seeing as its going to be using a newer chip (22nm) it's likely to be considerably better than the current 32nm SnadyBridge and BullDozer chips.

For motherboards, and PCI slots, x8/x8 is what you want to look for if your going to crossfire. A board with x16/x4 i believe will only run at x4/4 in crossfire mode. x2 PCIe x16 slots are recommended running at x8/x8.

RAM - Generally the best value for money and the best sweet spot currently is 1600MHz, CL9, 1.5v - G.Skill and Corsair are both popular choices. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/corsair-vengeance-crucial... however, BullDozer, if i remember correctly will have native support for 1866MHz RAM and so if your going with an AMD build, id recommend looking into that (as for timings, im not too sure, i presume CL9 but maybe CL8).

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September 28, 2011 1:48:42 AM

Best answer selected by kroobs.
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September 28, 2011 10:28:37 AM

I meant to select your last post as best answer. Thanks for all the insight, gonna go over everything one last time and list cons/pros/etc then make a decision.
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!