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First AMD gaming computer build

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November 17, 2011 2:01:42 PM

Hello guys i figured I'd ask for a little help as I am having a few questions before I make parts purchases and build my first computer. I am building an AMD gaming computer and will be using an ATI Radeon graphics card. I do know Intel and Nvidia are better for gaming but its just my preference.
I've picked out a couple components and just wanted to know if the parts are compatible (they are listed below). Also, if one or some of the items may be under budget for my build (better to be overkill than not).

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 month span

Budget Range: $1500-$2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming

Parts Not Required: Please just comment on chosen components.

Country of Origin: USA

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Crossfire (maybe)

Monitor Resolution: Higher the better.

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case.

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDE00ZFBGRBOX.

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9.

LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA 12X
Blu-ray Burner with Blu-ray 3D feature IHBS112-29 – OEM.

COUGAR SX850 COUGAR-SX850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply.

XFX HD-695X-CNDC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity.

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD4500HLHX 450GB 10000 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive.

Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F60GBGT-BK 2.5" 60GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD).

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R1 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+.

VisionTek Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card.

I am deadset on the antec case but any other comments would be helpful

November 17, 2011 11:18:26 PM

General Rule of thumb when building a computer:
Cost range of build $1000+ -> Intel
Cost range of build <$1000 -> AMD
I would build an Intel system with your budget, or lower the budget to around $1000 for an AMD build. Here is my AMD build:

CPU: AMD FX-6100 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100311-2SR Radeon HD 6970 $350
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MoBo: ASRock 970 EXTREME3 $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 300 Illusion $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB $43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heatsink+Fan: XIGMATEK Aegir SD128264 $68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-ROM: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM $58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1034

Explanation: The FX-6100 is a 6 core FX CPU, which is said to be faster than the older Phenom II 6 core, and cheaper than the 1100T. The Motherboard is cheap, but has lots of features (like Xfire and stuff), the 6970 is a better card than the 6950 and still makes the whole cost around $1000, so we can afford to get this. Case is the one you are SET on. OCZ is a great company, very reliable. Since the HDD is more expensive now, I wouldn't recommend getting a high storage one anytime soon, wait until the prices drop, also the SSD isn't worth the money, it'll make the boot times a few seconds faster. 8GB or RAM is more than sufficient for all your computer needs, unless ofcourse you're making a server, in that case...MOAR RAM. The HSF is rated 2nd in cooling power, and I have a hunch you'll be trying to overclock, if not, then you can go with the stock fan and remove the fam from the list. Lastly, the Blu-ray drive is obvious.
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November 17, 2011 11:36:07 PM

I agree with dragon.

I love AMD because its an awesome company for budget building...if your looking at good performance then go intel. Geez i cant even imagine spending that kind of budget on a AMD build. With such a large budget get the i7 2600k, an awesome MB(asus crosshairs are awesome!) and throw in either a mind blowing single gpu(gtx 590, or AMD's 6990 but personally wait for AMD's new 7xxx series line ups) or go with a SLi gtx580 which will blow EVERYTHING away!) and with such a budget you can basically choose any case you like and or need and make sure you throw in minimum 8gb of 1660ghz +
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November 17, 2011 11:37:24 PM

andrey64 said:
I agree with dragon.

I love AMD because its an awesome company for budget building...if your looking at good performance then go intel. Geez i cant even imagine spending that kind of budget on a AMD build. With such a large budget get the i7 2600k, an awesome MB(asus crosshairs are awesome!) and throw in either a mind blowing single gpu(gtx 590, or AMD's 6990 but personally wait for AMD's new 7xxx series line ups) or go with a SLi gtx580 which will blow EVERYTHING away!) and with such a budget you can basically choose any case you like and or need and make sure you throw in minimum 8gb of 1660ghz +


Why get an i7-2600k? It's a waste of money and that mb is too expensive.
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November 17, 2011 11:39:39 PM

Definitely a mb with a 9XX seies chipset
990 for crossfire or SLI

No need for more than 2 x4 gig of RAM . Even that much is a waste of money if you are just gaming

An FX processor . The 6100 should be highly overclockable . Use a good aftermarket cooler like the scythe Mugen

Forget the velociraptor . Much MUCH slower than a good solid state drive .

No need for the network card either .

If those savings let you buy two 6950's then do it
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November 18, 2011 12:15:34 AM

I like your style! Go against the crowd! Support the underdog!

Most of the crowd here will advise you to build an Intel system.

I will be one of those to tell you that no matter what system you choose, it will be awesome as long as it is well-built and everything works as advertised.

Whether you choose an AMD or an Intel system, in real world performance (not benchmarks), you would be very hard pressed to tell the difference without a stopwatch and without spending a lot of money on high resolution monitors with a 120 or 200 Hz refresh rate.

I will second what Outlander said. Drop the velociraptor and go for a larger 7200 RPM drive with a large cache and buy a larger SSD drive. You will fill up 60GB in no time.

Get a gaming series router instead of the Bigfoot network card. You can do a whole lot more with packet shaping for you entire network that way, not just your own computer.
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November 18, 2011 12:44:50 AM

I think for a gaming rig of $1500+ you have to go with the i5-2500K and z68 mobo.Then go with a pair of HD6950s or HD6970s. Like stated above velociraptor was only a consideration before there were SSDs.
Have you not see any of the gaming build/benchmarks over the last year?
-Bruce
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November 18, 2011 6:35:46 AM

Houndsteeth said:
I like your style! Go against the crowd! Support the underdog!

Most of the crowd here will advise you to build an Intel system.

I will be one of those to tell you that no matter what system you choose, it will be awesome as long as it is well-built and everything works as advertised.

Whether you choose an AMD or an Intel system, in real world performance (not benchmarks), you would be very hard pressed to tell the difference without a stopwatch and without spending a lot of money on high resolution monitors with a 120 or 200 Hz refresh rate.

I will second what Outlander said. Drop the velociraptor and go for a larger 7200 RPM drive with a large cache and buy a larger SSD drive. You will fill up 60GB in no time.

Get a gaming series router instead of the Bigfoot network card. You can do a whole lot more with packet shaping for you entire network that way, not just your own computer.


I completely agree with both AMD and Intel builds. With higher budgets, its better to spend a little more on extra quality. DOwn the road it will be better. I have an AMD build myself. Running the 955 at 3.8 and a 6870. works amazingly and runs basically everything i throw at it. What im saying is that the i5 and i7's do compete incrediably better at gaming then AMD's in every aspect . and with such a budget, why not get the best?
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November 18, 2011 7:11:33 AM

I would say go for the best budget build. Which in most cases is AMD. My philosophy with building computers is make one decent enough to last me a year. Then I upgrade every year. This seems like a good idea to me, since new and improved technology seems to be coming out more and more, faster and faster. Sure, I could spend $2000 on a great computer that would last me 4 years, but that is no fun to me. Personally I always want new things, and new things are always coming out, so if I built a 2000 dollar computer I would still probably upgrade it in that 4 years... End of rant lol drinking and forums, not a good idea. Basic idea, budget gaming PCs are the best idea, and usually that means AMD, although intel has some great (overkill for me) offerings too :) 
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April 19, 2012 2:57:20 PM

Whatever you decide, you will have fun putting your system together and learning all you can about what works and what doesn't. I am biased here in that I favor AMD over Intel. But you can't go wrong if you go Intel. I am getting ready to build my dream machine and I'll likely go Intel, even though the rebel in me says NO!!!!

The best advice I can give you is research the hardware and be happy with your choices. The people who have already commented have given you solid advice...

As for the hard drive choices... Some have suggested going with an SSD... I think the VelociRaptor over an SSD is a better buy. Check out the prices at Newegg and you will see a big difference.

I started gaming back in the 80's and my rig than was a C64. We have come a long way with computer gaming!

Have fun!
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