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Is this a good build?

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November 4, 2011 6:54:06 PM

Hi all,

New here to Tom's Hardware and I had a question to ask the community. For whatever reason Battlefield 3 keeps freezing on my laptop, so I have just recently got frustrated enough to build a new system. Before I invest the money in it I wanted to make sure that everything I have selected is compatible and, for the lack of a better word, good. My main goal is to be able to run BF3 with good graphics and no freezing or framerate issues. I'm relatively sure the reason it's freezing right now is because it keeps running out of memory but I am not sure. I have 4 gigs which is the recommended, so I guess it could be my graphics card. But if you could please tell me if this build is good, and that I will run into no issues running BF3 with good graphics that would be awesome. Also, if you see something wrong with it or insufficient, could you please make a budget-friendly recommendation?

For reference here are the BF3 recommended system requirements:

OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
RAM: 4GB
Graphics card: DirectX 11 Nvidia or AMD ATI card, Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 or ATI Radeon 6950.
Graphics card memory: 1 GB
Sound card: DirectX compatibl sound card
Hard drive: 15 GB for disc version or 10 GB for digital version

My proposed build:

Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-650TXV2 Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 Power Supply- 650 Watts
Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X EVO AMD 990X AM3+ Motherboard
Processor: AMD FD4100WMGUSBX FX-4100 Processor
Graphics Card: Visiontek 900352 Radeon HD 6950 Video Card
Memory: Kingston 16GB (4x 4GB) HyperX Blue DDR3-1333MHz
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD5002AALX Caviar Black Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200 RPM
CD Drive: Sony Optiarc AD-7260S-0B 24x DVDRW Drive
Sound Card: Creative Labs 70SB088000004 SoundBlaster X-FI Titanium PCIe Sound Card
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

If you need more information on any of these components, just ask. Thank you for your responses.

More about : good build

November 4, 2011 7:16:35 PM

Hello,
I think you'll do better with a phenom ll x4 955; 16 GB of ram aren't really necessary, 8GB is more than enough; getting a WD hdd(or any other hd) could be pricey right now.
November 4, 2011 7:22:29 PM

BlackHawk91 said:
Hello,
I think you'll do better with a phenom ll x4 955; 16 GB of ram aren't really necessary, 8GB is more than enough; getting a WD hdd(or any other hd) could be pricey right now.


First off, thank you for answering. But looking at the price difference vs. the quality difference between the FX-4100 and the Phenom II x4 955, I don't understand why you made that recommendation. Could you please elaborate? Would Patriot PGV38G1333ELK G Series Sector 5 Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB) be a good choice for memory?

Thanks!
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November 4, 2011 7:31:50 PM

Echo BlackHawk, I haven't heard good things about Bulldozers. I would consider getting an i5 2500k instead if I were you.

RAM is cheap, I would try for at least 2 x 4gb sticks.

In general, its probably not a good idea to - barely - pass the game maker's suggested specs. If you have more money going above and beyond the bare minimum usually leads to better play experiences.

Also, I would push a little higher on the PSU too if I were you, in case you want to SLI or CrossFire later. The PSUs tend to work most efficiently and last the longest when they are putting out half their max juice, so going to 700, 750, or 800 isn't the worst idea in the world. I like how you chose a good brand right away, though.

Also, it is one of my nit-picky things, but you may want to get a small hard drive of maybe 120 gigs or so and install the operating system and programs on it and save your data only on the 500gb that you listed.

If you do this and your hard drive crashes in the future, it is almost always the one with boot files on it that fails so your data is almost always safe this way. Probably 100 boot drives experience some sort of problem for every 1 data drive only that experiences a problem.
November 4, 2011 7:32:20 PM

cheeseburger1096 said:
First off, thank you for answering. But looking at the price difference vs. the quality difference between the FX-4100 and the Phenom II x4 955, I don't understand why you made that recommendation. Could you please elaborate? Would Patriot PGV38G1333ELK G Series Sector 5 Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB) be a good choice for memory?

Thanks!

Short and simple: BD sucks ATM. The FX 4100 isn't a true quad-core, as some people say. It's being said the module design makes it a dual-core that has up to 4 threads. Plus, it's performance per core is lower than the Deneb cores. An OCed X4 955 can perform just as well if not better than an FX 8150. As for RAM, G.Skill does very well, but look for RAM @ 1333MHz and has a 1.5V rating. What is your entire budget?
November 4, 2011 7:40:54 PM

Raiddinn said:
Echo BlackHawk, I haven't heard good things about Bulldozers. I would consider getting an i5 2500k instead if I were you.

RAM is cheap, I would try for at least 2 x 4gb sticks.

In general, its probably not a good idea to - barely - pass the game maker's suggested specs. If you have more money going above and beyond the bare minimum usually leads to better play experiences.

Also, I would push a little higher on the PSU too if I were you, in case you want to SLI or CrossFire later. The PSUs tend to work most efficiently and last the longest when they are putting out half their max juice, so going to 700, 750, or 800 isn't the worst idea in the world. I like how you chose a good brand right away, though.

Also, it is one of my nit-picky things, but you may want to get a small hard drive of maybe 120 gigs or so and install the operating system and programs on it and save your data only on the 500gb that you listed.

If you do this and your hard drive crashes in the future, it is almost always the one with boot files on it that fails so your data is almost always safe this way. Probably 100 boot drives experience some sort of problem for every 1 data drive only that experiences a problem.


I have upgraded the memory to Patriot PGV38G1333ELK G Series Sector 5 Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), so I think that should be sufficient. As of now, my budget will not permit me to buy another hard drive just for OS. Also, I upgraded the PSU to Corsair TX850W Power Supply - 850W. Also, I was under the impression that this proposed build was not "barely passing" the recommended specs I thought it was actually pretty good. Unless you were referring to my current laptop? My budget can not exceed $1000, $1100 at the absolute max. Thanks for your reply.
November 4, 2011 7:42:43 PM

cheeseburger1096 said:
I have upgraded the memory to Patriot PGV38G1333ELK G Series Sector 5 Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), so I think that should be sufficient. As of now, my budget will not permit me to buy another hard drive just for OS. Also, I upgraded the PSU to Corsair TX850W Power Supply - 850W. Also, I was under the impression that this proposed build was not "barely passing" the recommended specs I thought it was actually pretty good. Unless you were referring to my current laptop? My budget can not exceed $1000, $1100 at the absolute max. Thanks for your reply.

With that budget, forget AMD and get an i5 2500k! I'll get you a new build ASAP.
November 4, 2011 7:43:53 PM

AbdullahG said:
Short and simple: BD sucks ATM. The FX 4100 isn't a true quad-core, as some people say. It's being said the module design makes it a dual-core that has up to 4 threads. Plus, it's performance per core is lower than the Deneb cores. An OCed X4 955 can perform just as well if not better than an FX 8150. As for RAM, G.Skill does very well, but look for RAM @ 1333MHz and has a 1.5V rating. What is your entire budget?


My budget is $1000-$1100 at the most. I have done as everyone suggested and changed the processor to a Phenom II x4 955. So are you saying that would not be a good choice for RAM, or it would be a good choice? It runs at 1333MHz. Also, if I were to OC the X4 955, would I need to get a better cooler than the stock one? If so, could you recommend something for in the future (as I am already very near my budget). Thanks!
November 4, 2011 7:48:22 PM

Yeah with that budget Intel is the way to go, and we could even see new AMD GPUs within a month (if you're willing to wait)
November 4, 2011 7:50:06 PM

BlackHawk91 said:
Yeah with that budget Intel is the way to go, and we could even see new AMD GPUs within a month (if you're willing to wait)


Ideally, I would not want to wait as with the new expansion coming out for WoW soon I need a good, reliable P.C.
November 4, 2011 7:53:30 PM

AMD preference? I'd saying Intel 2500k for a fresh build

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November 4, 2011 7:53:35 PM
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November 4, 2011 7:56:53 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-ssd,3...

The above is a link to a challenge that this website hosts every month to figure out the best PC in a given budget (500, 1000, or 2000, this is the 1000).

Feel free to compare what you have listed to that.

They go short on RAM, only 4gb, but that is cheap so switching up to 2x 4gbs isn't too bad.

If you insist on a single hard drive you can pull the money from there to make the above switch.

The SLId 460s may or may not be better than a single 6950 with the possibility for a second 6950 in a few years, it depends on the person.

In any event, a single 6950 is what the specs list as the minimum requirement, so going with one of those is right around where "barely passing" is.

- Edit - BTW, if you want a cheap 500gb hard drive and you are willing to tolerate hitting F1 every time you start the PC (maybe not required depending on the motherboard's BIOS, you can get a 500 GB DVR hard drive for like $15 on Ebay. They aren't made to be in PCs so PCs can reject it and give you error messages, but they still hold data fine enough. I have had a DVR hard drive as my data drive for a long time and once I got it working I haven't had really any problems with it that an F1 won't fix.
November 4, 2011 8:01:31 PM



I like the build, but I am unsure of one thing. Will the Graphics Card with 1GB memory be sufficient to run BF3 at good graphics? Also, do I need a sound card, or whatever is on the motherboard be good for just gaming audio? Thanks!
November 4, 2011 8:04:56 PM

The RAM on the graphics card can be pretty overrated.

All things being equal, more is better, but all things are usually not equal.

My HD 4870 card with 512 MBs of RAM on it can beat a lot of cards with 2GBs of ram on it just because the other things on the graphics card make more of a difference than that.

Sound cards are overrated.
November 4, 2011 8:05:42 PM

Raiddinn said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-cpu-ssd,3...

The above is a link to a challenge that this website hosts every month to figure out the best PC in a given budget (500, 1000, or 2000, this is the 1000).

Feel free to compare what you have listed to that.

They go short on RAM, only 4gb, but that is cheap so switching up to 2x 4gbs isn't too bad.

If you insist on a single hard drive you can pull the money from there to make the above switch.

The SLId 460s may or may not be better than a single 6950 with the possibility for a second 6950 in a few years, it depends on the person.

In any event, a single 6950 is what the specs list as the minimum requirement, so going with one of those is right around where "barely passing" is.

- Edit - BTW, if you want a cheap 500gb hard drive and you are willing to tolerate hitting F1 every time you start the PC (maybe not required depending on the motherboard's BIOS, you can get a 500 GB DVR hard drive for like $15 on Ebay. They aren't made to be in PCs so PCs can reject it and give you error messages, but they still hold data fine enough. I have had a DVR hard drive as my data drive for a long time and once I got it working I haven't had really any problems with it that an F1 won't fix.


I would rather not mess with a DVR drive as I'm not so confident in my ability to manage that, I would rather just have something that works more simply, and built for a P.C. As for the Graphics Card, what do you think of AbdullahG's recommendation?

EDIT: I just saw your response, and I like what you have to say. Given the fact that I still need a HDD could you recommend one for me, that is big enough and cost efficient? Would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

November 4, 2011 8:20:33 PM

Best answer selected by cheeseburger1096.
November 4, 2011 8:21:22 PM

Thank you all for your timely and intelligent responses. They helped me out a lot!
November 4, 2011 9:43:50 PM

cheeseburger1096 said:
I would rather not mess with a DVR drive as I'm not so confident in my ability to manage that, I would rather just have something that works more simply, and built for a P.C. As for the Graphics Card, what do you think of AbdullahG's recommendation?

EDIT: I just saw your response, and I like what you have to say. Given the fact that I still need a HDD could you recommend one for me, that is big enough and cost efficient? Would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

The Samsung F3 Spinpoint is a great choice for your HDD. Prices are high though. A GTX 560 Ti will perform very well in BF3. Max settings at 1080p should get you at least 30FPS constantly, probably an average of 40 to 45FPS with the i5 2500K (BF3 makes great use of CPU resources).
!