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Anything wrong with this build?

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July 18, 2012 9:46:43 PM

I'm just looking into the possibility of building a new system for myself. It's mainly centred on gaming usage, but I just wanted to check on here (the first place I thought to go when considering this) whether there was anything that could be improved/ changed with this combination of components. More importantly, am I missing anything? I ask only because it's my first time building a system on my own, and I don't want to mess it up. So, don't be afraid to call me an idiot if I miss out something important!
Here's the specification:

Case: Novatech Cougar ATX Case
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23
Processor: AMD Bulldozer FX-4100
Cooler: Akasa 80mm Compact AMD Cooler
Graphics: XFX AMD Radeon 7770
Memory: Corsair Value Select 8GB (It's 2x4GB)
PSU: Novatech 550W ATX Power Supply

Details on each component:

Case:
The case doesn't really need any detail. I think it's the right size for the motherboard, and it comes with an 80mm rear fan - this, combined with the cooler that I already selected should be fine to keep everything cool.

Motherboard:
This is the bit that I'm worried about - it's processor socket is AM3+, which is compatible with the Bulldozer's AM3+ socket, but I'm not sure about the chipset, and whether it will be compatible with the graphics card/RAM.

Processor:
This is the first time I've really researched AMD processors, so I didn't know much about them. I guess, my only question is, is there a drawback to this? It's meant to be a quad-core processor, running at 3.6GHz - and at a relatively cheap price, which seems to blow the similarly-priced Intel processors out of the water. I just get the feeling that there might be more to this. Furthermore, I plan to overclock this as much as I can, so that might be pertinent information.

Cooler:
I just chose the cheapest cooler that was sensible to me, in this case. Is there anything wrong with my choice? It seems to fit with AM3 Processor Sockets, and that fits in with my processor choice, so I don't see a reason why it shouldn't work.

Graphics Card:
I spent a long time choosing between nVidia cards, and Radeon, and I came out with this in the end. My only questions here are: is it compatible with the motherboard, and is it a correct choice? I have tried to swing towards a kind of gaming geared system, and this was the biggest 'bang for buck' I could find.

Memory:
Not much needs to be said really, it's DDR3, and I'm using a pair of 4GB sticks. My only question is whether it's compatible with the motherboard.

Power Supply Unit:
I did a little calculator thing online, and it came out with a power usage of about 480W - I decided that it's better to be safe than sorry, so I went for one that's 550W. It's designed for AMD and Intel motherboards, so I think I'm covered there, but is there anything else I should check about this?

That's pretty much it. I'm sorry if this is an overly long post - it's just, as I said, this is my first time building a system, and I don't want to buy all the components, only to find out that I've got the wrong motherboard, or the power unit isn't large enough. The total price of all the components (minus shipping) is £301.15, which is just right for me, so the only question left is the one of compatibility. The majority of the components have been selected from www.novatech.co.uk, and I'm getting the processor from Amazon - links are below. So, thanks very much - and I'm really sorry if the post was too long, or I've put too little/too much detail. Thanks!

Case: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cases/cas...
Motherboard: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/motherboa...
Processor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005UBNL0A/ref=asc_df_B005UB...
Cooler: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cooling/a...
Graphics Card: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/atiradeon...
Memory: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc...
PSU: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...

Thanks!

More about : wrong build

July 18, 2012 10:46:29 PM

For the CPU, a quad core 3.6 ghz between AMD and Intel isn't equal. The bulldozer architecture is quite weak compared to similar priced Intel processors. The advantage of the bulldozer is that it is quad core, which gives it an advantage over similarly prices duo core Intel processors when running heavily threaded applications. For gaming purposes, Intel will be better. You will also need to swap out your motherboard if you want to switch to Intel.

July 18, 2012 11:01:23 PM

Chairman Ray said:
For the CPU, a quad core 3.6 ghz between AMD and Intel isn't equal. The bulldozer architecture is quite weak compared to similar priced Intel processors. The advantage of the bulldozer is that it is quad core, which gives it an advantage over similarly prices duo core Intel processors when running heavily threaded applications. For gaming purposes, Intel will be better. You will also need to swap out your motherboard if you want to switch to Intel.


So, what processor would you, personally, recommend? Is the quad-core thing that important, would the i3 be more or less equivalent? As I said, I am planning to overclock it. I looked at the i5, and it seems to suit my needs just as well - except for the fact that it costs over double the price, it would raise the overall price by nearly £100 - I haven't looked at the motherboard yet. Would you recommend the i5?
Related resources
July 18, 2012 11:20:34 PM

If you want something similar priced, I would recommend the i3-2120. At stock the i3 is stronger, but with a strong overclock, the FX-4100 may be able to push a bit further. The downside is that it requires far more power and produces a lot more heat than the i3. With the i3 you won't need a CPU cooler.

If you want to overclock an Intel processor, I would recommend the i5-2500k (or i5-3570k if you want ivybridge). Due to it's strong performance at stock, and amazing overclocking headroom, I doubt you'll need to upgrade your cpu for at least 5 years, probably longer. You'll need to drop more money into this processor, but to me it's a good investment.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 12:05:33 AM

Get a Phenom II 965. The FX-4100 may be newer, but its actually a worse performer than the P II

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

As far as the Intel vs AMD thing, I'm not really interested in getting into it. Stock to stock they perform about the same (The i3 and Phenom II 965). Too many wars on these forums start over a 1-2 FPS difference in a handful of benchmarked games.

The power supply you have chosen is frankly a poor choice. What is your max budget for this computer build and exactly what games are you looking to play on it?

Also, the CPU cooler you're looking at wouldn't be any better than the stock cooler that comes with the CPU.
July 19, 2012 12:56:25 PM

I'm given to go for the i5-2500k, purely for the fact that I don't want to change this system for a long time.

I didn't have a budget - the idea of this was to just keep prices as low as I could. I guess I would want it <£600, preferably. What would be a recommendation for the power supply?

I might leave the cooler out then.
July 19, 2012 1:48:32 PM

I personally just went from an AMD system with a 955 in it, to a 2500k And I have not looked back. I went from running games with settings turned off to everything full ultra with no hiccups. You will not need a cooler unless overclocking. Ill edit some suggestions for you.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 1:54:08 PM

Tubristus said:
I'm given to go for the i5-2500k, purely for the fact that I don't want to change this system for a long time.

I didn't have a budget - the idea of this was to just keep prices as low as I could. I guess I would want it <£600, preferably. What would be a recommendation for the power supply?

I might leave the cooler out then.

Go for it if you want, but if you're thinking a 2500K will last you 10 years, forget it. No matter what CPU you buy today, 4 years from now it will be antiquated.

As far as good power supplies.
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...
July 19, 2012 1:58:16 PM

nekulturny said:
Go for it if you want, but if you're thinking a 2500K will last you 10 years, forget it. No matter what CPU you buy today, 4 years from now it will be antiquated.

As far as good power supplies.
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...


Don't worry, I know that whatever I buy now will be a piece of junk in the blink of an eye. :D  Thanks for the power supply advice, I'll be getting that instead.

obubdeno said:
I personally just went from an AMD system with a 955 in it, to a 2500k And I have not looked back. I went from running games with settings turned off to everything full ultra with no hiccups. You will not need a cooler unless overclocking. Ill edit some suggestions for you.


That's fantastic, thanks. I'm happy to get some confirmation about this - I normally run games with all settings at a minimum, so it's good to know that this is an at-least-decent processor. Thanks!

I am planning to overclock as much as is possible without decreasing the life expectancy of the processor, so what cooler should I purchase?

July 19, 2012 2:10:49 PM

The 7770 is very power efficient, so if you have a good psu, you don't need 550w.

If you see here, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7770-7750...

a 7770 system barely uses more than 200w, though total will depend on what cpu you end up buying.

The online calculators already add a very large (some would say too large) overhead because they don't know what else you may have in your system and to allow for the fact that psus sometimes overstate how much power they produce.

Before you buy your psu, read this guide: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/324368-28-computer-po...

Its hard to tell who actually makes that Novatech psu...it may be decent. The price alone suggests it is not of the highest quality and since the psu is the one component in your system that can actively damage all the others, it does not make sense to simply go for the lowest price. The guide has a link to recommended models based based on real reviews. On the Novatech site, I would recommend that Corsair 430 (assuming you stick to you current 7770 plan) as a decent bargain. You may be able to get better bargains elsewhere...recently the Corsair 430 was on sale in the us for abou $20 after rebate.

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 2:17:34 PM

Quote:


Don't worry, I know that whatever I buy now will be a piece of junk in the blink of an eye. :D  Thanks for the power supply advice, I'll be getting that instead.


LOL, I was just making sure that you weren't thinking "oh I can use this longer". I tried to do that once when I was younger with a Pentium 4 single core... Now some kids are probably like "single core?, was that what they had in the 1800s?" :lol: 

Now, I will say that for gaming, between the CPU and the video card, getting a better video card is usually the wiser decision. For example, a Phenom II (which is cheaper) w/ a 7850 video card. 98% of the time is going to game much better than an i5 2500K with a 7770, even the Phenom II with a better 6870 video card would outgame the 2500K with a 7770.

Why? because most games are GPU dependent, and a stronger CPU cannot make a weaker video card perform better. A stronger CPU can merely make the more powerful video card realize its full potential in CPU intensive games. That seems to be a general misunderstanding that I often encounter on these forums, so I just want to make sure you understand that lol.
July 19, 2012 2:17:45 PM

Well I cant help you with the Pounds situation cause I only shop at newegg and microcenter, but Ill give you the names of what I recommend to you and you can go into a website that ships to you.

First peice of advice, Most of your budget should be put into a CPU/GPU. Those are the 2 that will bring you most performance.

Case: Novatech Cougar ATX Case
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23(Micro ATX) I would go with ASRock Z75 Pro3.
Processor: AMD Bulldozer FX-4100, I would go with i5-2500k.
Cooler: Akasa 80mm Compact AMD Cooler, I would go with Hyper 212+
Graphics: XFX AMD Radeon 7770, I would go with the 6850.
Memory: Corsair Value Select 8GB (It's 2x4GB)
PSU: Novatech 550W ATX Power Supply, Go with any 550w+ Corsair,Antec PSU.

Now for my changes:

Mobo: You will need an Intel Mobo for the setup, and that board will give you everything you need for a good value price.

CPU: i5-2500k runs at 3.3ghz, with the cooler I recommend Im running it at 4.6ghz no problem. This processor is regarded as one of the best for gaming, and easily the most popular in the community. WELL worth the $.

Cooler: Will cool what you need, its again, regarded very well in the community.

Graphics: The 6850 is the best graphics card you can currently by for the price. It will offer a very nice upgrade to the 7770 for the same price.

Good luck and I hope that helps!
July 19, 2012 2:24:59 PM

obubdeno said:
Well I cant help you with the Pounds situation cause I only shop at newegg and microcenter, but Ill give you the names of what I recommend to you and you can go into a website that ships to you.

First peice of advice, Most of your budget should be put into a CPU/GPU. Those are the 2 that will bring you most performance.

Case: Novatech Cougar ATX Case
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23(Micro ATX) I would go with ASRock Z75 Pro3.
Processor: AMD Bulldozer FX-4100, I would go with i5-2500k.
Cooler: Akasa 80mm Compact AMD Cooler, I would go with Hyper 212+
Graphics: XFX AMD Radeon 7770, I would go with the 6850.
Memory: Corsair Value Select 8GB (It's 2x4GB)
PSU: Novatech 550W ATX Power Supply, Go with any 550w+ Corsair,Antec PSU.

Now for my changes:

Mobo: You will need an Intel Mobo for the setup, and that board will give you everything you need for a good value price.

CPU: i5-2500k runs at 3.3ghz, with the cooler I recommend Im running it at 4.6ghz no problem. This processor is regarded as one of the best for gaming, and easily the most popular in the community. WELL worth the $.

Cooler: Will cool what you need, its again, regarded very well in the community.

Graphics: The 6850 is the best graphics card you can currently by for the price. It will offer a very nice upgrade to the 7770 for the same price.

Good luck and I hope that helps!


OK, got it - I've had to go for:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/H61DEL-Motherboard-Supports-Tec...
That motherboard, seeing as I can't find the one suggested on any online stores that I normally use - and I don't get why the 6850 is a better choice than the 7770. Other than that, that really helps!

nekulturny said:
Quote:


Don't worry, I know that whatever I buy now will be a piece of junk in the blink of an eye. :D  Thanks for the power supply advice, I'll be getting that instead.


LOL, I was just making sure that you weren't thinking "oh I can use this longer". I tried to do that once when I was younger with a Pentium 4 single core... Now some kids are probably like "single core?, was that what they had in the 1800s?" :lol: 

Now, I will say that for gaming, between the CPU and the video card, getting a better video card is usually the wiser decision. For example, a Phenom II (which is cheaper) w/ a 7850 video card. 98% of the time is going to game much better than an i5 2500K with a 7770, even the Phenom II with a better 6870 video card would outgame the 2500K with a 7770.

Why? because most games are GPU dependent, and a stronger CPU cannot make a weaker video card perform better. A stronger CPU can merely make the more powerful video card realize its full potential in CPU intensive games. That seems to be a general misunderstanding that I often encounter on these forums, so I just want to make sure you understand that lol.


I'll probably try to cover both bases - CPU and GPU - but I'm still torn as to which GPU to go for. I'll give it further thought. Thanks though!
July 19, 2012 2:28:29 PM

If you look at benchmarks, its just a better performance card, just because its a year older, doesnt make it worse. Take my GTX 480 for example, 2-3 years old and still a top 5-10 card. If you look at benchmarks or ask anyone else here they will agree 6850>7770.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 2:32:14 PM

Quote:
That motherboard, seeing as I can't find the one suggested on any online stores that I normally use -

You can't overclock a 2500K on an H61 motherboard. To overclock you need a Z68/Z77/P67 chipset.
July 19, 2012 2:40:17 PM

obubdeno said:
If you look at benchmarks, its just a better performance card, just because its a year older, doesnt make it worse. Take my GTX 480 for example, 2-3 years old and still a top 5-10 card. If you look at benchmarks or ask anyone else here they will agree 6850>7770.


I'm probably just being an idiot, but I still don't get why. I'm not too familiar with Radeon cards though, so it might not have been a good idea to consider one... I looked at GeForce cards, and I came to the conclusion that the GTX 480 was the best choice - the fact that someone else has it too probably makes it a good choice, and it isn't astronomically priced - like the other GeForce cards that yield the same performance, so would you recommend that?
July 19, 2012 2:45:35 PM

So tub, lots of things go into performance, Ill tell you the #1 key difference between cards now and cards from the last year or 2 is power consumption.

So first you look at this you see your card you first picked is.

7770. Which is a apart of the 77xx Series, So the 700 series, the 6850 is apart of the 68xx, So the 800 series, just a year earlier. Although a year older, it was apart of the more expensive series line.

Now, back to the GTX 480, yes while it being an amazing card in todays standards and its 3 years old...which still is awesome, its a POWER HOG. and thats why I say power consumption. They have found ways to make the peformance of a GTX 480 without it sucking up alot of power. I needed to buy a 650w psu to go with it. If you wanted to go that route you wouldn't look back at all because its a better card than almost every AMD card made at the moment.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 2:45:48 PM

By the way, you wanted to know if you were missing anything in your original post, don't forget you need a hard drive, operating system and maybe a CD/DVD drive.

I don't know how far these put you over budget, if they do or not, since I don't really know UK prices that well, but try these out:

Phenom II build-

CPU- Phenom II 965
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-965-bla...

Mobo- Asus M5A97
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-m5a97-amd-970-s-am3...

Case- Elite 430
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-elite-430-a...

RAM- 2x4GB
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-...

Power- PC power and cooling 500w
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-psu-pc-power-and-co...

Video card- Radeon 7850
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-gigabyte-radeon-hd-7...

-------------------------------

i5-2500K same components but change mobo and CPU to this:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...

Mobo-
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z77-d3h-inte...

-------------------------------------
Other video cards worth considering cheaper or around the 7850:

6870-
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-msi-hd-6870-oc-4200m...

6850-
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6850-4000mhz-...

560 TI-
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-evga-gtx-560-ti-sc-4...

GTX 570
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280mb-pny-gtx-570-40nm-...

GTX- 480
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1536mb-evga-gtx-480-40nm...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 2:48:23 PM

Tubristus said:
I'm probably just being an idiot, but I still don't get why. I'm not too familiar with Radeon cards though, so it might not have been a good idea to consider one... I looked at GeForce cards, and I came to the conclusion that the GTX 480 was the best choice - the fact that someone else has it too probably makes it a good choice, and it isn't astronomically priced - like the other GeForce cards that yield the same performance, so would you recommend that?


Because video cards are made at various price points, a newer generation is rarely an improvement over the previous one, this is true for video cards, processors, RAM or anything else.

The 6850 despite being older than the 7770 was a higher tier card than what the 7770 is. And as such, despite its age is still a better card.

GTX 480s are cheaper due to the fact that they are 2 generations old. They were originally twice the price they are now. Now with a GTX 480, I would suggest a higher than 500watt PSU, ideally for that one you'll want a 600 watt, especially if overclocking the CPU.
July 19, 2012 3:01:20 PM

Nekul is on point, I would 100% go with the Intel system. I myself was always an AMD fan..but there is no denying my new machine just kicks the AMD's technology to the curb.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 3:04:15 PM

CPUs yes, there is unfortunately no denying it.... graphics no. Llano demolishes Intel's shiny new HD4000 Ivy Bridge graphics, Trinity just plain embarrasses it. I don't know about the UK, but here in the US, AMD video cards beat out Nvidia at almost every price point.

I agree, if you have the budget, the 2500K is the way to go, but for gaming, sacrificing on the video card for the privilege of having an Intel CPU is not going to net the best performance to price ratio.
July 19, 2012 3:26:26 PM

So, I've made a revised list of components, based on the advice that you've given me. Here it is:

Case: Novatech Cougar ATX Case
Motherboard: Gigabyte XKT-1155 Z68AP-D3 Motherboard
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K
Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212
Graphics: GTX 560 TI
Memory: Corsair Value Select 8GB (2x4GB)
PSU: Corsair CX 500W

Links:

Case: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cases/cas...
Motherboard: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0054X4I4M/ref=asc_df_B0054X...
CPU: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004FA8NX2/ref=olp_p...
Cooler: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cooling/C...
Graphics: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004K8R8AI/ref=asc_df_B004K8...
Memory: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc...
PSU: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...

The price checks out, overall, at £540, which is a bit more than I planned, but this is just a kind of preliminary list. Is this list fine?
July 19, 2012 3:28:39 PM

Oh im not saying sacrifice, and I personally dont know the prices, but I do know the GTX 480 will performance wise beat out a 7850. I got mine for $159.99 while although you wont find that, you can find one for about $200 usd which is $50+ cheaper than a 7850. I find Nvidia to also come with more features than the AMD Cards.

And nowadays If your buying a an expensive processor for certain needs you 99% of the time wont ever stick to on board graphics anyway.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 3:33:06 PM

That motherboard you picked out has some bad reviews on it, I'd look at something else. Other than that, yea looks like you have a pretty good build going there. Much better balance of CPU/GPU. Now you could save a bit of money by giving up your overclocking aspirations, and drop the CPU cooler and drop down to a i5-2400

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2400-Quad-...

Reviews here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I honestly try to stay away from recommending Gigabyte boards in the first place, unfortunately, I couldn't find a better option on scan.

Try this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Z68-Motherboard-Express-ASRock-...
July 19, 2012 3:34:52 PM

Tubristus said:
So, I've made a revised list of components, based on the advice that you've given me. Here it is:

Case: Novatech Cougar ATX Case
Motherboard: Gigabyte XKT-1155 Z68AP-D3 Motherboard
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K
Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212
Graphics: GTX 560 TI
Memory: Corsair Value Select 8GB (2x4GB)
PSU: Corsair CX 500W

Links:

Case: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cases/cas...
Motherboard: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0054X4I4M/ref=asc_df_B0054X...
CPU: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004FA8NX2/ref=olp_p...
Cooler: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cooling/C...
Graphics: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004K8R8AI/ref=asc_df_B004K8...
Memory: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc...
PSU: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupp...

The price checks out, overall, at £540, which is a bit more than I planned, but this is just a kind of preliminary list. Is this list fine?


You got yourself a very nice build there, I would stick with that and shop around for better prices, I ended up saving at least $300 off my system taking the time to shop around.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2012 3:37:58 PM

obubdeno said:
Oh im not saying sacrifice, and I personally dont know the prices, but I do know the GTX 480 will performance wise beat out a 7850. I got mine for $159.99 while although you wont find that, you can find one for about $200 usd which is $50+ cheaper than a 7850. I find Nvidia to also come with more features than the AMD Cards.

And nowadays If your buying a an expensive processor for certain needs you 99% of the time wont ever stick to on board graphics anyway.

Certainly. Well, I was more looking at modern cards, but yea, 160 is a hell of a deal on a 480, so is $210, but then you have to deal with the fact that you need a more powerful PSU. But excluding the 480 I was more looking at these.

GTX 670 gets beaten by the 7970 with the new drivers update, and they're both around $400 now
7870>GTX 570
Crossfire 7970 > single GTX 590
7850>560 TI
6870/6850/7770> 550 TI

And so on. As far as the features, if you mean those little detail things that only like 7 games actually use.. What are they called? lol

Also, a lot of Nvidia cards only have native support for 2 monitors, its an architectural limitation that most AMD cards do not have.
July 19, 2012 3:58:10 PM

obubdeno said:
You got yourself a very nice build there, I would stick with that and shop around for better prices, I ended up saving at least $300 off my system taking the time to shop around.


OK, thanks for all the advice. I think it's really helped. Furthermore, I'm kinda cannibalising the computer I'm using at the moment for parts - namely, cd/dvd drive, and hard drive. Current hard drive is 1TB SATA, which I got recently - I had a 500GB Western Digital drive, it broke, and WD gave me a 1TB through warranty. :D 

In any case, thanks, to both nek and Obu. You've been a massive help, and I know where to come from now on if I have any problems. Thanks again!
!