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Mid-level gaming rig

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October 6, 2011 6:08:25 AM

Hi, have build a couple of computers before but don't consider myself an expert by any means and would like some feedback on the following parts I am looking at to buy:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache
MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
PSU: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600
HDD: WD Caviar Black 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s

This together comes to about $800 on newegg and I would like to stay in that ballpark area.

Things not included: DVD/CD drive, keyboard/mouse, case.

Any comments would be very appreciated, especially with regards to these issues I am having. I am only a CASUAL gamer. That being said, when I do play games I want them to look good. With that in mind, here are some of the problems I'm facing:

1. Is this build too good/not good enough to run current games on close to max settings? While I would love to overclock it would be a slow learning process so I would like the stock specifications to do the job, at least for the time being.

2. Is 8g RAM too much? I've heard that 4g is plenty and 8g is a waste because a casual gaming rig would never need all that RAM. (also, the SBM only used 4g..)

3. I am unsure where to go in regards to PSUs. The SBM had only a 450w PSU and was a great gaming rig. Others say to go 800w+. I understand that if I want to SLI in the future I need more than a 650w PSU..or is it fine as is?

4. Are modular PSUs as good as non-modular ones?

5. Are SATA 6GBps louder than SATA 3GBps? I realize this is probably a stupid question because obvious RPM affects noise more than anything, but I wasn't sure if one was typically louder than the other anyways or not.

6. Will it look good to run this on a 42" TV or should I go with a monitor? I fear the TV will be too big and the picture quality won't be nearly as good.

7. Why is this CPU so cheap compared to it's Intel i5 competitor? Am I missing something?

8. When choosing memory, are lower number timings always better than higher ones? (ie, are 8-8-8-24 timings better/faster than 9-9-9-24?)

Thanks in advance for your input.

More about : mid level gaming rig

October 6, 2011 7:25:42 AM

2. No 8Gb is not overkill, it should lead to improved system stability over 4Gb and will be useful for gaming.
3. 650 should be enough, yes you need 800+ if you want to SLI.
4. Modular PSU should be as good, the only thing different is that the cable can be detached so makes the inside of case more organised.
5. Sata 6GB got nothing to do with noise, its data transfer rate of a cable,
6. good measure is that if you put the TV/monitor where you want to use it and see if you can see the entire screen without moving your head. If you can't then its too big and you may find it get annoying to have to move all the time just to see everything. Picture quality shouldn't be a problem since you would still be outputing 1960X1080P.
7. Because the X4 965 is not intend to compete with the i5 competitor, its aimed at a lower price range. The i5-2500k had been the recommended CPU for most gaming system now because it can provide the same or more performance in gaming then the top AMD x6 1000T, at least until bulldozer comes out. It also has a better over clocking ability then x4.
8. The clock rate is also important.
A CL7 1066 is not as good as cl8 1333
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM
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October 6, 2011 12:33:27 PM

1. Close, but you will most likely have to tone some things like AA down on occasion.
2. 8GB is currently a good amount.
3. For 560Ti SLI and Bulldozer or Phenom II x4 you want a 750W PSU. 500W-650W is fine for single 560Ti.
4. There is a certain downside to the modularity, because there is an extra connection in the cables with modular.
It is neglible though, so either one works. It's more about airflow and quality of the unit.
5. Zhihao explained it well.
6. Depends heavily on the TV. My experience with TV's is that it's ok for gaming, but reading small text might be an issue.
7. The intel i5 2500k performs much faster. Thus it also costs more. A lot of it has to do with the memory controller, but also the 4 cores themselves perform better at the same clocks. AMD's Bulldozer line should be coming out in the next couple of weeks so you should really wait for those and the test results to see which is the better choice for you.
8. For AMD systems there is actually a pretty big difference between the different ratings. For intel sandy bridge systems the differences are neglible and the CAS9 1600Mhz is the sweet spot. For AMD everything counts, optimally for bulldozer a CAS7 1866 Mhz should be providing the best performance, but it is hard to say what will be the best bang for buck memory speed at this time. So wait for bulldozer tests on this one as well.
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October 6, 2011 12:39:22 PM

Hello my friend, The samsung spinpoint f3 which is the same price of the WD black is better for price/performance/gb

It is $60 for 1tb while the WD is 750gb. :) 

I think money would be better of saving by cutting down on the Motherboard. If you don't plan to crossfire.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 6, 2011 2:31:04 PM

Thank you for your input. Zihahao and rvikman, I am not opposed to an Intel build. If I were to go that route would I have a noticeable performance boost? If the increased performance only comes from overclocking I will most likely hold off because as I said before, that won't be the main focus for me.

Cutebeans, thanks for the suggestions, I will check out the HDD and the Motherboard.
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Best solution

October 7, 2011 1:50:31 AM

You would definitely get a noticeable performance gain in CPU heavy activity with i5 2500k even without OC. Even more performance with OC since the CPU is regularly overclocked to 30% more frequency.

However it comes at a $100 higher price, and x4 965 still games great since most games are GPU heavy. Its really depend on your budget.
On top of that Bulldozer is just around the corner. If you save some money now you can always upgrade later.
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October 14, 2011 8:01:33 PM

Best answer selected by x11Alpha.
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