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Giving it another go, am I doing it right?

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February 13, 2012 9:09:53 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 4 months from now

Budget Range: $1,000- $1,700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, CAD

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Microcenter

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Gigabyte AMD mobo, AMD cpu, AMD gpu

Overclocking: Not likely but possible

SLI or Crossfire: Not likely but possible

Monitor Resolution: 1024+ (More is better but not important.)

Additional Comments: Was looking at Intel prior to AMD, but a decent low cost mobo with expandability I could not find, hence the AMD choice.

_______________________________________

So I have a few parts picked out, but last time I didn't have a clue what I was doing. How about now?

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 or UD5

CPU: Phenom II X4 or X6

GPU: Unsure whether to get a Radeon HD6870x2 or just an HD6970. Which is better?

RAM: 8GB (4x2GB) Waiting to see if the new AMD RAM is worth it, if not, well that's why I'm here :) 

PSU: Antec HCP-1200

Everything else is up in the air.

More about : giving

February 13, 2012 9:15:11 PM

fleshy bits said:
Approximate Purchase Date: 4 months from now

Budget Range: $1,000- $1,700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet, CAD

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Microcenter

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Gigabyte AMD mobo, AMD cpu, AMD gpu

Overclocking: Not likely but possible

SLI or Crossfire: Not likely but possible

Monitor Resolution: 1024+ (More is better but not important.)

Additional Comments: Was looking at Intel prior to AMD, but a decent low cost mobo with expandability I could not find, hence the AMD choice.

_______________________________________

So I have a few parts picked out, but last time I didn't have a clue what I was doing. How about now?

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 or UD5

CPU: Phenom II X4 or X6

GPU: Unsure whether to get a Radeon HD6870x2 or just an HD6970. Which is better?

RAM: 8GB (4x2GB) Waiting to see if the new AMD RAM is worth it, if not, well that's why I'm here :) 

PSU: Antec HCP-1200

Everything else is up in the air.


Following is a $1300 system (before rebates) that has everything in a balanced way. I can't find any case to support an AMD build today. I have a second build that is bout $700 for those on a tighter budget:

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:RC-922M-KKN1-GP
Item #:N82E16811119197
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate

Note (Add)
$119.99 -$15.00 Instant $104.99


Update

ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Model #:p 8Z68-V LE
Item #:N82E16813131773
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$139.99 -$7.00 Instant $132.99


Update

GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

GIGABYTE GV-R695OC-1GD Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Model #:GV-R695OC-1GD
Item #:N82E16814125385
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$249.99 $249.99


Update

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Model #:M12II 520 Bronze
Item #:N82E16817151093
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$99.99 -$20.00 Instant $79.99


Update

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
Model #:BX80623I52500K
Item #:N82E16819115072
Return Policy:Iron Egg Replacement-Only Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$229.99 $229.99


Update

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) with Transfer Kit
Model #:CT128M4SSD2CCA
Item #:N82E16820148448
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$199.99 -$10.00 Instant $189.99


Update

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Model #:F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Item #:N82E16820231314
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$46.99 $46.99


Update

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD5002AALX
Item #:N82E16822136795
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$149.99 $149.99


Update

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Model #:D RW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #:N82E16827135204
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
Out Of Stock
Auto Notify Auto-Notify

Note (Add)
$24.99 $24.99


Update

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$99.99 $99.99
Subtotal: $1,309.90
February 13, 2012 9:41:26 PM

Quote:
RAM: 8GB (4x2GB) Waiting to see if the new AMD RAM is worth it, if not, well that's why I'm here :) 


It's actually made by Patriot Memory which is a tier 3 or 4 vendor at best. You want something from one of the tier 1 vendors like Corsair Vengeance, PNY, G.Skill, Crucial, or Kingston.

Quote:
PSU: Antec HCP-1200


That PSU is major overkill. You do not need a 1200W PSU when you can get one with half the wattage and put that money to better use elsewhere. On PSUs especially on a $1K+ build I try to emphasize energy efficiency over higher wattage.

Quote:
GPU: Unsure whether to get a Radeon HD6870x2 or just an HD6970. Which is better?


I certainly wouldn't bother with either - if you can afford it go for the 7950 - it's the latest and greatest Radeon and it performs about the equivalent of a GTX 580.

Quote:
So I have a few parts picked out, but last time I didn't have a clue what I was doing. How about now?


It's a good start but needs some tweaking. First off ditch Windows 7 Ultimate and get Home Premium. You only need Pro if you're running XP - 95 legacy programs and/or drivers. You only need Ultimate if you're using the language packs.

Quote:
Following is a $1300 system (before rebates) that has everything in a balanced way. I can't find any case to support an AMD build today.


Me either. The Phenom II is decent but gets crushed by the i5-2500K. And as for FX, I'm not calling it a total failure but it's a first step in the right direction for AMD.

This is the build I'd recommend for $1300 - $1400 range:

Case: Fractal Design Arc MIDI - $99.99
PSU: Seasonic X750 Gold - $179.99
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V Pro - $204.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 - $29.99
RAM: PNY 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.5V - $41.99
SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 - $104.99
HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $129.99
Optical: Lite On DVD Burner - $17.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 - $449.99
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99

Total: $1,589.89

Drop the video card to an EVGA Geforce 560 TI (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) and that cuts the price down to: $1,389.89
Related resources
February 13, 2012 9:59:28 PM

I appreciate the feedback. But I think I need to clear something up... NO INTEL!

I don't mean to go fanboy, and I feel a little sick now, but it needed to be done. I don't hate Intel, I'm just not interested right now. If AMD really can't recover from the FX series then I will have no choice. But for now I'd like to play on this side of fence.
February 13, 2012 10:01:53 PM

Oh, about the PSU: I don't plan on buying another for a good while, the overkill is intentional for age degradation.
February 13, 2012 10:12:36 PM

fleshy bits said:
I appreciate the feedback. But I think I need to clear something up... NO INTEL!

I don't mean to go fanboy, and I feel a little sick now, but it needed to be done. I don't hate Intel, I'm just not interested right now. If AMD really can't recover from the FX series then I will have no choice. But for now I'd like to play on this side of fence.


If you really want to go AMD then I'm not gonna tell you no - it's your system and you ultimately decide what goes in it. But I would not recommend the FX-8150 due to all the problems it's been having. It's getting better now but AMD still has a long way to go before they're perfected. I'm using AMD now but it's really just a place holder until X79 drops in price once the 3820 is released. I may bite the bullet to avoid replacing my motherboard and go FX-8120 but that remains to be seen.

If you can score an X6-1100 or 1090T that would be my recommendation. Try this:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
Oh, about the PSU: I don't plan on buying another for a good while, the overkill is intentional for age degradation.


There's really no such thing on PSUs.

They've pretty much stabilized over the last 3 - 4 years. What your power usages will require are motherboard and CPU (typically +-120 - 140 watt range), graphics card (+-200W), number of fans (around 10-15W each), and number of drives (+-10 - 20W each). When you calculate wattages you really need to take those factors into account.

Where your PSU will really last longer is if you go for one that's far more energy efficient as opposed to one that's higher wattage. A Silver or Gold certified PSU will give you better returns than one in the 1K+ range. But this article can explain it far better than I can (double emphasis on page 2 and 4) : http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-protec...
February 13, 2012 10:31:52 PM

Alright, thank you for the insight on the psu and recommendations on cpu/mobo g-unit. Though I do believe I'll get the UD3, why not the UD5 mobo?
February 13, 2012 10:36:00 PM

fleshy bits said:
Alright, thank you for the insight on the psu and recommendations on cpu/mobo g-unit. Though I do believe I'll get the UD3, why not the UD5 mobo?


The biggest differences are not really noticeable. With the UD5 you really only get 2 extra SATA ports, a couple of extra USB 3.0 ports, and a couple of extra PCI-E slots - all of which you probably will not make full use of.
February 13, 2012 11:00:11 PM

Probably not :) 

As for the video cards, I was looking at the Radeon HD6870x2 or HD6970 primarily as I'm working on cost per part instead of overall cost, but if I can nab a 7950 for close enough to the same cost I don't see why I shouldn't. Kudos on that.
February 13, 2012 11:05:57 PM

For the OS, I did want Ultimate for the XP bit because I wanted to run a few older games that Vista wouldn't play, but if 7 doesn't have the same problem then I suppose Ultimate would be a moot point. Do you know if this is the case?
February 13, 2012 11:59:46 PM

Looking at them side-by-side, I have to ask if the extra cost for a 7950 is worth it right now. I see the increase in performance but it doesn't seem to be a great deal more powerful than a 6970, at least not $100-$120 worth. Am I missing a crucial point perhaps?

Then again prices will likely be different in 4 months so I don't know how long this will concern my wallet, lol.

February 14, 2012 12:16:11 AM

fleshy bits said:
For the OS, I did want Ultimate for the XP bit because I wanted to run a few older games that Vista wouldn't play, but if 7 doesn't have the same problem then I suppose Ultimate would be a moot point. Do you know if this is the case?

It's not really a viable option to play games within a virtual machine. The performance drop is pretty big, even with full CPU support. Windows 7 makes up for Vista in many ways, including game support. Stick with Home Premium and save yourself some cash.
February 14, 2012 12:20:47 AM

fleshy bits said:
For the OS, I did want Ultimate for the XP bit because I wanted to run a few older games that Vista wouldn't play, but if 7 doesn't have the same problem then I suppose Ultimate would be a moot point. Do you know if this is the case?


Ultimate is pretty much a moot point - get Pro or Home Premium. Pro will run most XP legacy programs, but you only need Ultimate if you run the language packs.

Quote:
Looking at them side-by-side, I have to ask if the extra cost for a 7950 is worth it right now. I see the increase in performance but it doesn't seem to be a great deal more powerful than a 6970, at least not $100-$120 worth. Am I missing a crucial point perhaps?


Going with 2 x 6850s is kind of a dumb move - it's better to get the best single video card that you can get for the money. If you can afford the 7950 - that's ideal but the 6950 or the 6970 would be a much better pick than 2 x 6850s.

Quote:
It's not really a viable option to play games within a virtual machine. The performance drop is pretty big, even with full CPU support. Windows 7 makes up for Vista in many ways, including game support. Stick with Home Premium and save yourself some cash.


Virtual machine... what? A virtual machine is something like the Virtual PC for Macs, which I have used and it's not that great. What Windows 7 does to get programs to work is you can tell it to emulate XP, 2000, 98, 95 - all the way back to 3.1, but it's not an emulator or a virtual machine.
February 14, 2012 12:33:25 AM

g-unit1111 said:

Virtual machine... what? A virtual machine is something like the Virtual PC for Macs, which I have used and it's not that great. What Windows 7 does to get programs to work is you can tell it to emulate XP, 2000, 98, 95 - all the way back to 3.1, but it's not an emulator or a virtual machine.

Hi, how are you doing :hello: 
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/features/default.aspx
February 14, 2012 12:33:52 AM

I see, so Pro or Home, no Ultimate. Thanks for clearing that up guys. :) 

I've decided against the 6870x2, but for clarity I wasn't talking about two cards. Its a dual GPU card. One card with 2 GPUs upon it.
February 14, 2012 12:48:43 AM

fleshy bits said:
I see, so Pro or Home, no Ultimate. Thanks for clearing that up guys. :) 

I've decided against the 6870x2, but for clarity I wasn't talking about two cards. Its a dual GPU card. One card with 2 GPUs upon it.


I would have to see the specific card you're referring to. Is it similar to the 560 2 Win? : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:

Hi, how are you doing :hello: 
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/v [...] fault.aspx


Huh, that's new to me - I'll have to check that out.
February 14, 2012 12:53:17 AM

g-unit1111 said:

Huh, that's new to me - I'll have to check that out.

It's mainly for business that use legacy software. Not very useful for the average Joe, or even a power user for that matter.
February 14, 2012 1:28:42 AM

Yeah, that's why I scraped the idea.
!