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Which is the best way to build a computer?

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February 15, 2012 8:50:21 PM

just a quick question, if i have 200 dollars and want to buy parts for a computer, would it be better to build a higher end CPU/MB, and use onboard graphics till you can afford somthing else, or buy a lowerend computer and have all CPU/GPU/MB?

for instance would it be better to build a
Athlon x4, with lower end MB with 4gb of ram, and a like HD 4780 (or somthing just thowing things out there)

or a

Phenom ii x4, with 8gb of ram, with mid range board, and currently using Onboard HD 3000 Graphics? (which is the way i went)

was i right to chose this path? or should i have just built quick ( i would also like to note i RARELY get money for things, so it might take me FOREVER to get the money :( .

so was i smart?

thnx for the feedback

More about : build computer

February 15, 2012 8:54:15 PM

How can you have an AMD CPU, and Intel integrated graphics? I hope you didn't order incompatible parts.
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February 15, 2012 8:58:47 PM

ltdan said:
How can you have an AMD CPU, and Intel integrated graphics? I hope you didn't order incompatible parts.
its AMD Radeon HD 3000 (im preaty sure) also i have it already built, it runs fine.
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February 15, 2012 9:04:32 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
its AMD Radeon HD 3000 (im preaty sure) also i have it already built, it runs fine.

Ahh, I thought you meant the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics that come with some i5s and i7s. Anyway, how does it fare in the games you play/things you do.
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February 15, 2012 9:14:01 PM

I would get a good motherboard processor and the largest single stick of ram you can afford and use the onboard graphics. This means you'll only be able to play older games or less intensive ones. Then spend your money saved on buying new games on a good graphics card and the mate to that ram stick.
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February 15, 2012 9:41:04 PM

Trust me, you absolutely did the right thing. It's better to get the cpu and mobo you want then figure the rest out later than to cut back on them so you can just get an ok gpu. Having to replace the mobo later would be a pain IMO.
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February 15, 2012 9:53:13 PM

well im running this so far, honestly i could have went better with the MB, but i saw good reviews on it. (plus i can upgrade to a FX 6100, because its a AM3+ Board)

AMD Phenom ii x4 960T (stock)
M5A78L-M LX
8gb DDR3 PNY Optima 1333mhz ram
AMD Radeon HD 3000 (integrated)(also threw in a XFX Radeon HD 4550 that i had laying around)
500gb WD HD
Logysis 480watt Psu (got a little money, so i have a Antec 430watt Earthwatts psu on shipment)
was this a decent setup, i mostly atm use if for Minecraft, TF2, and light video editing
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February 15, 2012 10:02:23 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
well im running this so far, honestly i could have went better with the MB, but i saw good reviews on it. (plus i can upgrade to a FX 6100, because its a AM3+ Board)

AMD Phenom ii x4 960T (stock)
M5A78L-M LX
8gb DDR3 PNY Optima 1333mhz ram
AMD Radeon HD 3000 (integrated)(also threw in a XFX Radeon HD 4550 that i had laying around)
500gb WD HD
Logysis 480watt Psu (got a little money, so i have a Antec 430watt Earthwatts psu on shipment)
was this a decent setup, i mostly atm use if for Minecraft, TF2, and light video editing


Don't "upgrade" to bulldozer, it's more of a sidegrade and in most games gives worse performance than phenom ii, even on the best FX 8150 chip.
You may be able to unlock cores on that board since the 960T has two locked cores.
They also OC very well up to 4-4.2ghz.
The PSU could be better, the new one you are having shipped will be able to handle at max these gpu's 5770/6770/7770. They ask for 500watt minimum but that antec should do fine even though it's one of antec's lesser quality psu's.
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February 15, 2012 10:11:49 PM

omega21xx said:
Don't "upgrade" to bulldozer, it's more of a sidegrade and in most games gives worse performance than phenom ii, even on the best FX 8150 chip.
You may be able to unlock cores on that board since the 960T has two locked cores.
They also OC very well up to 4-4.2ghz.
The PSU could be better, the new one you are having shipped will be able to handle at max these gpu's 5770/6770/7770. They ask for 500watt minimum but that antec should do fine even though it's one of antec's lesser quality psu's.

i have already unlocked them (not long) just to make sure that the CPU would unlock to all 6 cores, and well it did. ran it for about a hour, then locked the cores back up (mostly because this MB max TDP is 95watt, and well for some reason without the cores unlocked it runs at 107TDP?, and at 168TDP with it unlocked. but do you guys know why its running at 107TDP?

(just a side note) im using a Old AM2 Heatsink, which cools better then the one the 960T came with, which is really sad
i was hopeing to get one of the good stock heatsinks that had the Heatpipes, but i was mistaken. :( 
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February 15, 2012 10:18:49 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
i have already unlocked them (not long) just to make sure that the CPU would unlock to all 6 cores, and well it did. ran it for about a hour, then locked the cores back up (mostly because this MB max TDP is 95watt, and well for some reason without the cores unlocked it runs at 107TDP?, and at 168TDP with it unlocked. but do you guys know why its running at 107TDP?

(just a side note) im using a Old AM2 Heatsink, which cools better then the one the 960T came with, which is really sad
i was hopeing to get one of the good stock heatsinks that had the Heatpipes, but i was mistaken. :( 


You could always buy a CM 212+ for like 20 bucks and be good for a long time. The TDP might be showing high depending on your voltage, what's it at? do you have it overclocked at all? CPUz showed my phenom ii at 125 when i had it unlocked, and when overclocked it didn't change even though i pumped alot of voltage through it. Might just be an error.
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February 15, 2012 10:36:47 PM

Its not overlocked, but heres a CPU-Z pic, showing it running at 107TDP.
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February 15, 2012 10:45:45 PM

It's just a calculation max/average when running under full load and such
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-1...
personally i wouldn't worry about it. I've run chips well over the TDP or watt the boards supported and have had them run for years until the point where i couldn't see keeping them any more :) 
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February 15, 2012 10:48:34 PM

omega21xx said:
It's just a calculation round up when running under full load and such
http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-1...
personally i wouldn't worry about it. I've run chips well over the TDP or watt the boards supported and have had them run for years until the point where i couldn't see keeping them any more :) 
alright kewl, but... is it safe to run it with 6 cores unlocked? at 168TDP????
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February 15, 2012 10:52:22 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
just a quick question, if i have 200 dollars and want to buy parts for a computer, would it be better to build a higher end CPU/MB, and use onboard graphics till you can afford somthing else, or buy a lowerend computer and have all CPU/GPU/MB?

for instance would it be better to build a
Athlon x4, with lower end MB with 4gb of ram, and a like HD 4780 (or somthing just thowing things out there)

or a

Phenom ii x4, with 8gb of ram, with mid range board, and currently using Onboard HD 3000 Graphics? (which is the way i went)

was i right to chose this path? or should i have just built quick ( i would also like to note i RARELY get money for things, so it might take me FOREVER to get the money :( .

so was i smart?

thnx for the feedback



Which do you prefer, AMD or Intel flatform? I don't know if the $200.00 is enough for MOBO and CPU.
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February 15, 2012 10:56:01 PM

aqe040466 said:
Which do you prefer, AMD or Intel flatform? I don't know if the $200.00 is enough for MOBO and CPU.


OP already has their rig, they were mainly asking if they made the right choice.
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February 15, 2012 10:58:48 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
alright kewl, but... is it safe to run it with 6 cores unlocked? at 168TDP????


Once those cores are unlocked it will give you weird readings like that for TDP and core temps possibly too, it's fine.
If you plan to unlock and overclock make sure to test before an unlock what the core temps are and add an estimate of like 5C when unlocked to give you an estimate incase you can't read the temps when unlocked.
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February 15, 2012 11:05:25 PM

omega21xx said:
Once those cores are unlocked it will give you weird readings like that for TDP and core temps possibly too, it's fine.
If you plan to unlock and overclock make sure to test before an unlock what the core temps are and add an estimate of like 5C when unlocked to give you an estimate incase you can't read the temps when unlocked.
well like i said i have already had them unlocked, and then locked them back up because of stock cooler, and the MAX TDP, when i unlocked them, it didnt really run that much hotter at about 40-45c, but that was just idle, when i get around 38-43c with them locked (i lucked out i guess and got a good chip.) (these Temps were also Recorded with PC Probe II)

Also when i unlocked them, CPU-Z recognized the CPU, and everything. so it was a very succesful Unlock.. just my worries are since my Board says it has a 95watt MAX, if it could harm my board running it at (i guess 125watt). or is it safe to run it still?
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February 15, 2012 11:23:18 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
well like i said i have already had them unlocked, and then locked them back up because of stock cooler, and the MAX TDP, when i unlocked them, it didnt really run that much hotter at about 40-45c, but that was just idle, when i get around 38-43c with them locked (i lucked out i guess and got a good chip.) (these Temps were also Recorded with PC Probe II)

Also when i unlocked them, CPU-Z recognized the CPU, and everything. so it was a very succesful Unlock.. just my worries are since my Board says it has a 95watt MAX, if it could harm my board running it at (i guess 125watt). or is it safe to run it still?


I wouldn't worry about TDP too much, as voltage is the killer of boards 99% of the time. There shouldn't be any danger, but i'm not going to lie, doing anything but stock could cause problems or damage. As long as you don't push voltage too high and don't have temps reaching 60 or higher under full load you are fine and should have nothing to worry about.
When i unlocked my phenom ii 720, my temps were still readable as was the 960T i unlocked and overclocked for a friend.
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February 16, 2012 12:16:29 AM

Here is what it says with the Cores Unlocked. and the Temperature




good or bad??
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February 16, 2012 12:17:24 AM

Also its actually running at 41C average
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February 16, 2012 12:27:22 AM

TechnicEclipse said:
Also its actually running at 41C average


Everything looks good, but you will want to stress the cpu with prime under small fft's to see if the cores are completely stable and see what your max temp is. If you reach into the 60C's you'll want to stop and get a better cooler or reseat the cooler you have as you should idle at 25-35C and 50-55 full load depending on the cooler and ambient temps.
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February 16, 2012 12:32:09 AM

ok, how long should i run it? and im guessing i use 64bit, for 64bit os?
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February 16, 2012 12:33:48 AM

Run it 24 hrs.
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February 16, 2012 12:37:38 AM

TechnicEclipse said:
ok, how long should i run it? and im guessing i use 64bit, for 64bit os?


If you run the 64 bit windows yes, and you should see your max temps in about 15-30 mins and if the temps are in check and not over 60, you should stress for at least 6 hours, I always stress for 24 hours to insure my rig is 100% stable for 24/7 use. You get a general idea of how stable it is in about 30 mins to an hour. If it passes an hour it should be generally stable to play on, just make sure to do a full 12-24 hour test when you sleep and go to work the next day.
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February 16, 2012 12:41:14 AM

ya, it gets at 60c in like 4-10mins, soooo, should i reset my Heatsink?, or should i set it back to a quad, until i get a better cooler?
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February 16, 2012 12:51:18 AM

TechnicEclipse said:
ya, it gets at 60c in like 4-10mins, soooo, should i reset my Heatsink?, or should i set it back to a quad, until i get a better cooler?


If you have some fresh cpu paste try reseating the heat sink. You can run at 60-65C for a long time, heat is a very slow cpu killer so if you watch a graph/chart rise on something like speedfan, if you don't see it start leveling out before it reaches 60C then you may need a new cooler.
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