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Budget Gaming Compatability and PSU/Ram Advice

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January 9, 2012 3:46:38 AM

Hello,

I am trying to put together a decent budget gaming rig. I already have a 990FX Extreme4 that I got as Christmas present (a lovely gift). I would very much appreciate a compatibility check and any upgrade/downgrade advice.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month (February 2012)

Budget Range: Around $500 (Excluding Mobo and Monitor)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Diablo 3 > TF2 > SWTOR...), Browsing the 'Information Super-Highway'

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Monitor, Mother Board

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg (or cheapest alternative)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD Processor

Overclocking: Possibly in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Not likely

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments:
I am particularly worried about the RAM, compatibility with the motherboard found here: http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory.asp?Model=990FX Extreme4

I am totally lost on the PSU. I am leaning towards a 750w for around $100. Again, advice on the PSU would be very much appreciated.

Here is my potential build:
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mother Board (already owned): ASRock 990FX Extreme4 AM3 AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: HIS H675F1GD Radeon HD 6750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: Kingston HyperX Grey Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-Drive/Write: ASUS 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Rosewill FUTURE Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor (already owned): LG 22" LED LCD Widescreen Monitor (EW224T)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/LG-22-LED-LCD-Widescreen-Moni...

PSU: I don't know! Possibly the Antec EarthWatts Series EA-750 Green 750W ATX12V v2.3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TLDR Questions: PSU Advice? Is the Ram a good choice? Are the components compatible? Am I forgetting any other pieces, or any other advice for a first time builder?
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 4:23:37 AM

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1766/

the zosma is 4 cores of a phenom x6 . Clock for clock its fractionally better than a phenom x4........ but at 3 GHz its performance is probably less than a Phenom 955

Get the FX 4100 instead. It OC's massively and an imminent microsoft hotfix will lift performance by 5 - 15%

The 6750 is not going to game well at 1080p resolution . IMO the minimum you should be looking at would be a 6850 , but preferably a 6870

You wont need a psu that powerful .
Save money and get a 450 - 500 watt unit instead and that should let you get the decent graphics card

If you have to you can also drop to 2 x2 gig of RAM without hurting gaming performance at all

Best solution

January 9, 2012 4:40:25 AM
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Everything looks great to me. I would not worry about the ram. basically if you go to a manufacturers ram compatibility chart, in this case Asrock( http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory.asp?Model=990FX%20Extre... ), and you find a company name somewhere in a certain section of that list, their other similar ram should be compatible. In other words, If Kingston is listed in the DDR3 1600 section, you should be good to go.

In this case, Patriot is also mentioned and will save you $10. You really do not need 1600 speed ram unless you plan to overclock it. Experience has shown little benefit to this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case is fine, but this one is also very popular, and will save another $10. It is largely a matter of preference though. I personally like my case(See sig.). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And lastly, since you do not plan on multiple video cards(a wise choice) you can drop the PSU to 650watts saving $27 more. It is still enough to allow for future single video card upgrades. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 9, 2012 5:25:22 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99 PowerColor AX6770 1GBD5-IDHG Radeon HD 6770 Single Slot (Dirt3 Edition) 1GB
It comes with a pcie to molex "power cheater cord" that is needed to run tri-fire.
-The last pcie slot ends up crammed against the computer case. This card is a single slot card so it will clear the case. Later on use this one as the last card at the end of the board.

The power supply has two pcie power plugs already but to run tri-fire you need 3.

The 5770 and 6770 crossfire together.

Often people wont give up the power cheater cord when selling a card used, make sure you at least get one crossfire ribbon per card.

I would look for used 5770's or 6770's for sale, often people upgrade and sell budget cards like these. Make sure they have two crossfire plugs on the top. (some cards like the xfx have only one, you need two on the first two cards for tri-fire) These two cards can be standard two slot cards.

Three 5770's/6770's are fairly easy on power, about 120 watts each, or 360 watts total. This is ok with a corsair 600 or antec 650.

It's a extra $50, for the single slot 6770 card, but it leaves the option of adding two more used cards later on.

January 9, 2012 1:33:57 PM

Thank you all so much for the advice! I will be upgrading the Video Card; it is going to be used for gaming afterall. Changing the processor and case as well. I'm keeping the RAM for the over clocking potential.

Changes:

Processor: MD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The new case does not have USB 3.0 ports, which I don't have a need for. I assume the 3.0 capability will simply go unused on the MoBo, and that will be fine? Is the Saphire brand GPU ok? Are there any significant differences between brands? Went with Saphire because it was the cheapest, and came with Drit 3 to boot.

I would appreciate confirmation that these new parts will all work together, and would appreciate any other advice you knowledgable folks may have.

If everything looks good, I will pull the trigger and buy everything in the next couple days. With the changes the total cost (w/o Mother Board and Monitor) comes out to $556 with $27 in mail in rebates on new egg.

I am super excited to put this thing together! Thanks for all the help so far and for any other sage advice you post.
January 9, 2012 2:03:09 PM

I don't get why you would get the fx-4100 instead of the Phenom II X4 960T Zosma you first had picked out or a phenomIIx4?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz
$10 off with $139.99 ($129.99)

For gaming the older opteron64 cores are faster than the newer bulldozer cores.

I have to disagree with Outlander_04's fx-4100 suggestion here.
January 9, 2012 2:40:21 PM

That sounds right need4speeds. I was originally considering a six core processor before reading that there isn't really an advantage for gaming with a six core over a quad core.

The AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz looks to be far superior to my original. The listed specs of the fx-4100 are better, but if the bulldozer isn't up to snub for gaming I think I will be going with phenom II suggested by need4speed.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 3:52:47 PM

need4speeds said:
I don't get why you would get the fx-4100 instead of the Phenom II X4 960T Zosma you first had picked out or a phenomIIx4?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz
$10 off with $139.99 ($129.99)

For gaming the older opteron64 cores are faster than the newer bulldozer cores.

I have to disagree with Outlander_04's fx-4100 suggestion here.



Check the benchmarks . The FX 4100 falls between the 965 and 970 Phenom anyway
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+FX-4...
Its 3D mark score is a lot higher than Phenom
http://community.futuremark.com/hardware/cpu/AMD+FX-410...

Performance of the FX is about to rise another 5- 15 % . Windows cant thread properly for FX at the moment . It cant distinguish between a core and a module which means that the turbo boost feature often doesnt kick in . MS are working on a Hotfix for Win 7 .
And then you can OC the FX 4100 to 4.6 GHz on the stock cooler . Far higher than a Phenom .

It would be foolish to buy a Phenom instead of an FX 4100
January 9, 2012 3:57:44 PM

For future reference, you can use USB 2.0 devices in the USB 3.0 ports on the motherboard. They will work just fine.

Sapphire makes very good cards. I went with MSI because of the dual quiet fans. Sort of a baby Twin Frozr setup if you will. Also overclocks like a beast.

Everything else looks good.
January 9, 2012 4:39:43 PM

True the fx-4100 is faster if you are running cpu benchmarks. But for real games the opteron64 cores are better supported. This is mostly because the opteron 64 has been out since the p4 and athlonxp were still being sold.

By the time amd's new cores get better support a new 16core bulldozerII will be out with a new 12 core "budget cpu" will also be out.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossf...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossf...

January 9, 2012 6:08:45 PM

Thanks for all the information! I think I am going with the Phenom II because it has proven to be a decent gamer Processor. Although I certainly see the upside to the fx 4100, and the potential boost when the update comes out.

I may regret it if the update is as good as promised.
January 9, 2012 7:29:01 PM

My point behind the phenomII 970 is that is comes with a not too bad heatpipe cooler so you can run it at 3.7ghz with the stock cooler.

Both the 960T and fx4100 come with the old athlonII cooler that is a tiny useless aluminum cooler with a tiny fan. So add $30-$50 for a heatpipe cooler and now the 1090T is now starting to look cheap.

Well good luck i hope it all works out for you.

a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2012 9:23:57 PM

need4speeds said:
True the fx-4100 is faster if you are running cpu benchmarks. But for real games the opteron64 cores are better supported. This is mostly because the opteron 64 has been out since the p4 and athlonxp were still being sold.

By the time amd's new cores get better support a new 16core bulldozerII will be out with a new 12 core "budget cpu" will also be out.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossf...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossf...



There are no "opteron cores" . There are various code names for the cores used in recent Phenom and Athlon cpu's .
Current Opterons use Bulldozer cores
None of them were manufactured or sold at the time of the P4 or the Athlon x64

And linking benchmarks to a different processor that sells in a different price range , being compared to another processor that costs $50 more ,and trying to use that as some kind of proof .........is a fine example of trying to hide the facts with too much information

Its actually really hard to find anything factual in your post , but you did spell some of the names correctly even if you know nothing else about them
January 10, 2012 12:36:52 AM

Best answer selected by ThomasPJones.
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