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Help for my first build!

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May 2, 2012 6:05:49 PM

Hi everyone,

I am going to build my first gaming PC for my apartment.

These are the parts I am going to buy: (All from Newegg)

Price Range is no more than $650 (either with or without rebates)

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 ATX AMD Motherboard

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

NZXT Phantom PHAN-001BK Black Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case

AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ Quad-Core Desktop Processor


The only two things I need is a Power Supply and a graphics card.

I do not know which Power Supply I need, because I don't know if it will have the right connectors for my Motherboard. The only thing I know about picking the PSU will be less than 700watts or even 600watts. However, I will have two hard drives, a DVD, and maybe a CD drive, this will affect the power usage.

As for the graphics card, I am leaning towards either the Nvidia Geforce GTX 550 or 560 Ti.



I am going to use this computer for college and for gaming. Will this be enough for Skyrim at High Detail and will the case be cooled enough to maintain playing these games without worrying about excess heat?

If anyone can help me find a PSU and answer my question above, then I will definitely appreciate it!

More about : build

Best solution

May 2, 2012 6:13:32 PM

Any standard ATX PSU will connect correctly to a standard ATX motherboard.
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May 2, 2012 6:16:19 PM

clarkjd said:
Any standard ATX PSU will connect correctly to a standard ATX motherboard.



Could you give me an example of a compatible PSU for my build (preferably at Newegg)?


Thank you for your response!
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May 2, 2012 6:26:07 PM

My suggestion would be to shy away from the FX-4100. The FX processors are good but the FX-4100 is a bit lacking, especially when gaming.

I can suggest this PSU:
Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371044

If you are dead set on nVidia, go with the 560 ti. If you are flexible, might I suggest a HD 6870:
SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102948

The HD6870 is fairly comparable to the 560 ti: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

Here is a suggestion for an entire build:

AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor - $175
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103961

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231460

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157280

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371044

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102948

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 - $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065

COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~ $660

I am assuming you already have a HDD, optical drive, and copy of Windows 7.
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May 2, 2012 6:37:24 PM

maui67 said:
My suggestion would be to shy away from the FX-4100. The FX processors are good but the FX-4100 is a bit lacking, especially when gaming.

I can suggest this PSU:
Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371044

If you are dead set on nVidia, go with the 560 ti. If you are flexible, might I suggest a HD 6870:
SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102948

The HD6870 is fairly comparable to the 560 ti: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

Here is a suggestion for an entire build:

AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor - $175
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103961

G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231460

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157280

Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371044

SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102948

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 - $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103065

COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

~ $660

I am assuming you already have a HDD, optical drive, and copy of Windows 7.


Yes I do have a hard drive, optical drive, and all the OS's from Windows. I should have pointed this out earlier, I am not into serious gaming, no OC, etc. So what would be your modified build then?

Minus the 8 core, I do not need that much power!!






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May 2, 2012 7:23:26 PM

Warrior86 said:
Could you give me an example of a compatible PSU for my build (preferably at Newegg)?


Thank you for your response!

Any of these should power your system, with any Nvidia 560TI or less or the comparable AMD/ATI card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-139-027^17-139-027-TS%2C17-151-093^17-151-093-TS%2C17-151-074^17-151-074-TS%2C17-207-013^17-207-013-TS%2C17-207-018^17-207-018-TS

Good Luck!
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May 2, 2012 7:26:17 PM

maui67 said:
In that case, I would recommend this:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX - $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Ok, the only thing I changed from your list is the ram, Newegg reports that it is sold out. In place, I added this: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH, this should be compatible as well, right?


Also, you should feel that I can play these games on High (with a monitor that can handle 1900x1080)?

Skyrim

Mass Effect 3

GTA IV

etc......



Overall, the thing I am skeptical is buying all of these components and find out that something is not compatible from the others???
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May 2, 2012 8:17:58 PM

If you stick with the FX processor, I would stick with the 1866MHz RAM (newegg is not showing it sold out at this moment) or another good brand (Corsair, Crucial) of 1866MHz. The reason I suggest this is that the FX processors are designed to work with 1866MHz+ RAM. No conclusive study has been done to prove or disprove that a performance gain is possible using 1866 vs 1333/1600, so it is pretty much conjecture. I just know if it were me, I would get the 1866MHz, but it may not even matter in the end (wish someone would do an article on this).
If you go with the Phenom II X4 then the 1333MHz memory will be just fine.

I found this benchmark showing HD6870 performance in Skyrim: http://www.techspot.com/review/504-amd-radeon-7870-7850...

Those benches were done at Ultra settings, so the HD6870 should handle High settings just fine. I believe you would be able to play all of those games just fine.
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May 2, 2012 8:32:57 PM

maui67 said:
If you stick with the FX processor, I would stick with the 1866MHz RAM (newegg is not showing it sold out at this moment) or another good brand (Corsair, Crucial) of 1866MHz. The reason I suggest this is that the FX processors are designed to work with 1866MHz+ RAM. No conclusive study has been done to prove or disprove that a performance gain is possible using 1866 vs 1333/1600, so it is pretty much conjecture. I just know if it were me, I would get the 1866MHz, but it may not even matter in the end (wish someone would do an article on this).
If you go with the Phenom II X4 then the 1333MHz memory will be just fine.

I found this benchmark showing HD6870 performance in Skyrim: http://www.techspot.com/review/504-amd-radeon-7870-7850...

Those benches were done at Ultra settings, so the HD6870 should handle High settings just fine. I believe you would be able to play all of those games just fine.



Ok last question from you, when Newegg specs on the motherboard it says for example, PCI 2.0 (x16, x4), then I can use a video card that says PCI 2.0 (x16)?

In other words, is it possible to fit it in the PCI slot?


Kudos for you, you are extremely helpful!! And I just signed up on Tomshardware like 3 hrs ago!
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May 3, 2012 1:21:14 AM

Warrior86 said:
Ok last question from you, when Newegg specs on the motherboard it says for example, PCI 2.0 (x16, x4), then I can use a video card that says PCI 2.0 (x16)?

In other words, is it possible to fit it in the PCI slot?


A PCI/E 2.0 video card will fit in a PCI/E 2.0 slot. It will NOT fit a standard PCI slot.

When the motherboard says PCI/E 2.0 (x16, x4) it means that it has two PCI/E slots. one supports a PCI/E video card at x16 bandwidth and a second PCI/E card at x4 bandwidth, even though a x16 card will fit the second slot.

Hope this helps!
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May 12, 2012 3:43:11 AM

Best answer selected by warrior86.
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November 19, 2012 2:58:05 PM

clarkjd said:
A PCI/E 2.0 video card will fit in a PCI/E 2.0 slot. It will NOT fit a standard PCI slot.

When the motherboard says PCI/E 2.0 (x16, x4) it means that it has two PCI/E slots. one supports a PCI/E video card at x16 bandwidth and a second PCI/E card at x4 bandwidth, even though a x16 card will fit the second slot.

Hope this helps!




Are PCI Express v2.1 cards compatible with PCI Express 2.0? I have this dilemma. Thanks
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November 19, 2012 8:55:30 PM

cneg10000 said:
Are PCI Express v2.1 cards compatible with PCI Express 2.0? I have this dilemma. Thanks

Quick answer is yes. I don't think there is anything that will prevent a 2.1 card from working in a 2.0 slot.
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November 21, 2012 12:42:28 PM

clarkjd said:
Quick answer is yes. I don't think there is anything that will prevent a 2.1 card from working in a 2.0 slot.



Thanks for replying!
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