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Need Advice First time PC build (AMD)

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September 25, 2012 6:40:09 AM

Hey guys new to the site and I wanna build my first PC, it would be used mainly for games/entertainment and day to day stuff as well. I want to go with a AMD build. I plan on over-hauling my current PC changing everything except for the hard drives and burner and possibly my current 450w psu if it's compatible with everything, trying to stay under $600. At this point i think i will go with the Phenom II x4 965 black edition 125w cpu, Heard lots of good things about this processor and that it is superior to the new FX line from AMD for gaming, as for the motherboard i think the Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 seemed decent enough, never had any experience with Gigabyte and i'm open to any motherboard so long as its good quality. As for everything else: Xion Predator ATX mid-tower gaming case, 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance DDR3 ram (Not sure weather i should go with 8gigs or just stick with 4) a Nvidia GeForce 550 ti gpu (EVGA brand probably). I have a few questions, one of them is with the power supply, the current one i have is a generic Chinese brand 450w i got when i upgraded my graphics card to a Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT. I had a friend do the wiring, and i have little knowledge about PSU's. Also, i'm really not sure which way to go with the ram, i know you want low latency ram but that's a bout it, i have no context of what is considered high and low the Corsair Vengeance has high rating's on tigerdirect and 1600MHz is fairly fast, faster the better right? also its only about $50 for the the 8gb pack. And lastly, i want to format my master hard drive, been having problems with random restarts and every now and then it blue screens, So i would just like to get another copy of Win7 and have a clean drive. Not sure how to do a hard format, i think you need to go into BIOS, advice much appreciated. Anyway, I've been doing most of the searching and pricing on tigerdirect.
Anyway's, I would appreciate any advice/opinions on what to buy for this build and what else i need to put it together, heat sinks, case fans etc.
Thanks guys!

Also i apologize for spelling/grammar errors, and my terrible typing. :D 

More about : advice time build amd

September 25, 2012 8:16:45 AM

Some comments:

- 8GB RAM rather than 4GB, provided you install a 64bit OS. Don't bother too much with expensive low latency stuff.
- Get a quality PSU of around 500W or so. Antec, Corsair, OCZ are some good brands.
- Depending on what you play, I think you will find the 550Ti is a bit underpowered. What settings and resolution do you plan to use?
- HDD formatting will be handled as part of the Windows installation, so no need to worry about that. Just check BIOS to make sure the CD/DVD drive is the first boot device.

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September 25, 2012 5:41:46 PM

I have an older 21'' Hanns G monitor resolution is at 1680x1050,Hoping for decent enough settings, for games like GW2 Skyrim, TF2 etc really just a big mix of games.
I was thinking the same thing about the 550 ti, but it's around $115 most places. Although i was thinking about the 560 as well, its a bit more powerful, 150w vs the 550 ti 116w plus better memory bandwidth. I'm even open to AMD Radeon gpus, if they are clearly more powerful around the same price ranges.
September 25, 2012 5:48:03 PM

PoofMaester said:
I have an older 21'' Hanns G monitor resolution is at 1680x1050,Hoping for decent enough settings, for games like GW2 Skyrim, TF2 etc really just a big mix of games.
I was thinking the same thing about the 550 ti, but it's around $115 most places. Although i was thinking about the 560 as well, its a bit more powerful, 150w vs the 550 ti 116w plus better memory bandwidth. I'm even open to AMD Radeon gpus, if they are clearly more powerful around the same price ranges.


7770 completely destroys the 550TI for the same price: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/536?vs=541
September 25, 2012 6:01:38 PM

Herr_Koos said:
Some comments:

- 8GB RAM rather than 4GB, provided you install a 64bit OS. Don't bother too much with expensive low latency stuff.
- Get a quality PSU of around 500W or so. Antec, Corsair, OCZ are some good brands.
- Depending on what you play, I think you will find the 550Ti is a bit underpowered. What settings and resolution do you plan to use?
- HDD formatting will be handled as part of the Windows installation, so no need to worry about that. Just check BIOS to make sure the CD/DVD drive is the first boot device.


OCZ is very hit and miss. They have some good PSUs, but they have some very bad ones too. For a strict brand recommendation, I'd recommend Seasonic as well as the brands that work with Seasonic such as XFX instead of OCZ.
September 25, 2012 6:36:29 PM

I was looking at the Thermaltake TR-500 500w PSU, its about $40, high ratings as well. Also is 2 120mm case fans enough? or should i get a couple more for the Xion Predator case.
September 25, 2012 6:58:13 PM

I wouldn't recommend Thermaltake. I've personally seen dangerous events with Thermaltake on several occasions. Ratings are almost irrelevant. I'd think that two 120mm fans would be good, but some people might suggest more and I wouldn't call them wrong for doing so.
September 25, 2012 7:06:50 PM

Ok thanks, i'll shy away from Thermaltake then. I'll check out SeaSonic psu's as well as a few others, Ultra, Corsair, Cooler Master.
September 25, 2012 7:09:59 PM

I'd also recommend avoiding Cooler Master PSUs. They have good cases and even good coolers, but their PSUs aren't great either.
This is my list of brands that generally do exceptionally well:
Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and the other brands that use Seasonic to manufacture their PSUs such as XFX.
September 25, 2012 8:22:09 PM

PoofMaester said:
Ok thanks, i'll shy away from Thermaltake then. I'll check out SeaSonic psu's as well as a few others, Ultra, Corsair, Cooler Master.


Ultra power supplies are huge pieces of crap - among the absolute worst in the industry. You definitely want to stay away from them. A lot of people don't trust Cooler Master's PSUs either since they slap a lot of fake labels and certifications on them. Check out Jonnyguru.com - if you want to know anything there is to know about power supplies, there's your site.
September 25, 2012 8:58:39 PM

Hmm ok will do then, i found a couple of psu's, the XFX P1550SXXB9 Core Edition 550w 80 plus bronze and the Corsair GS500 80plus, both are around $70. This is what i have so far for the build.

Case- Xion Predator ATX Mid-Tower
Mobo- Gigabyte GA-970A-D3
CPU- AMD Phenom II x4 965 black edition (With stock heatsink)
GPU- nVidia GeForce 560 1gb
RAM- 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
As for the PSU's still undecided but either of the two mentioned above seem to be good choices

I will be using my current hard drives, two 500GB 3.5's as well my CD/DVD burner (I would like to do a clean format on my master and install a new copy of Win7, blue screen issues)

Any opinion on how you guys feel about these parts would be appreciated, also anything else i need and compatibility issues. Thanks!

September 25, 2012 9:09:48 PM

PoofMaester said:
Hmm ok will do then, i found a couple of psu's, the XFX P1550SXXB9 Core Edition 550w 80 plus bronze and the Corsair GS500 80plus, both are around $70. This is what i have so far for the build.

Case- Xion Predator ATX Mid-Tower
Mobo- Gigabyte GA-970A-D3
CPU- AMD Phenom II x4 965 black edition (With stock heatsink)
GPU- nVidia GeForce 560 1gb
RAM- 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
As for the PSU's still undecided but either of the two mentioned above seem to be good choices

I will be using my current hard drives, two 500GB 3.5's as well my CD/DVD burner (I would like to do a clean format on my master and install a new copy of Win7, blue screen issues)

Any opinion on how you guys feel about these parts would be appreciated, also anything else i need and compatibility issues. Thanks!


I'd get a different case honestly - we use a lot of those where I work and they are just flat out junk, they fall apart easily after about six months or so. Go with something from Corsair or Cooler Master - both are far better.

And then a Radeon 7850 or 6870 would be a far better GPU choice than a reference 560 would be. And if you get the Corsair Vengeance make sure it's low profile.
September 25, 2012 9:26:23 PM

That's a good price for the psu and i think i will go with it. I've always used nvidia GPU's (Mainly EVGA brand) and never have had any problems with them although doing the comparison with the gtx 560, the 7850 is clearly more powerful but if i have to buy a copy of Windows 7, it may not fit in my budget. I have 2 upgrades left on family pack of Win7 and was going to try formating my HD and install an old copy of XP and then use the upgrade and if that doesn't work buy a new copy
September 25, 2012 9:28:47 PM

PoofMaester said:
That's a good price for the psu and i think i will go with it. I've always used nvidia GPU's (Mainly EVGA brand) and never have had any problems with them although doing the comparison with the gtx 560, the 7850 is clearly more powerful but if i have to buy a copy of Windows 7, it may not fit in my budget. I have 2 upgrades left on family pack of Win7 and was going to try formating my HD and install an old copy of XP and then use the upgrade and if that doesn't work buy a new copy


That should work - I've had to do that with XP and 7 Pro before.
September 25, 2012 9:30:07 PM

The 7850 isn't much more expensive than a 560, if at all, so I don't think that you'd be able to fit in the 560 either if you need to buy Windows anyway. If you have to buy Windows, then I'll have to recommend going down to a Radeon 7770 if you can fit one into your budget and can't fit a Radeon 7850 or even the GTX 560 in. Unfortunately, Nvidia doesn't compete very well for those with very tight budgets because they refuse to match AMD's aggressive price drops.
September 25, 2012 9:31:56 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I'd get a different case honestly - we use a lot of those where I work and they are just flat out junk, they fall apart easily after about six months or so. Go with something from Corsair or Cooler Master - both are far better.

And then a Radeon 7850 or 6870 would be a far better GPU choice than a reference 560 would be. And if you get the Corsair Vengeance make sure it's low profile.


Ok well if not that case then the Cooler Master HAF. and that was oneof my questions if the ram will fit with the heatsink of the phenom 2 cpu or any aftermarket heatsinks. Also seriously considering a Radeon gpu now, doing some price-shopping around newegg, tigerdirect,amazon etc.
September 25, 2012 9:34:25 PM

PoofMaester said:
Ok well if not that case then the Cooler Master HAF. and that was oneof my questions if the ram will fit with the heatsink of the phenom 2 cpu or any aftermarket heatsinks. Also seriously considering a Radeon gpu now, doing some price-shopping around newegg, tigerdirect,amazon etc.


If you're using the stock fan you won't run into any issues. If you go for an aftermarket fan like the Hyper 212 that's where you run into issues.

Definitely go for a Radeon - the lower end Radeons almost wipe the floor with any lower-end NVIDIA GPU.
September 25, 2012 9:36:19 PM

I think that the 7850 that I recommended is the best that you can get at the price. The HAF 912 is a great case, but if you need to go cheaper, the Apex Vortex 3620 and the Rosewill Redbone U3 can be found for $35 and $45, respectively, and are also very good cases.
September 25, 2012 9:40:05 PM

luciferano said:
I think that the 7850 that I recommended is the best that you can get at the price. The HAF 912 is a great case, but if you need to go cheaper, the Apex Vortes 3620 and the Rosewill Redbone U3 can be found for $35 and $45, respectively, and are also very good cases.


I would seriously avoid Apex if you can help it. Cheap cases are just that - cheap. They cut corners on construction, use a lot of cheap plastic, and have razor sharp edges throughout. I personally wouldn't buy one.
September 25, 2012 9:45:06 PM

g-unit1111 said:
I would seriously avoid Apex if you can help it. Cheap cases are just that - cheap. They cut corners on construction, use a lot of cheap plastic, and have razor sharp edges throughout. I personally wouldn't buy one.


Do you think that there is something wrong with the Rosewill REDBONE U3 too? I find it hard to argue with Rosewill's quality and there being three 120mm fans considering the price, but I don't own this case myself, although I have had a few other Rosewill cases for similar prices.
September 26, 2012 12:42:12 AM

Don't use HWCompare. It's almost always extremely inaccurate for gaming performance comparisons. That site makes assumptions based on some measurements of the hardware, missing far too many details in doing so. Also, the GTX 560 SE is nowhere near the 7850. Two 560 SEs probably couldn't beat the 7850, let alone one.
September 26, 2012 12:53:47 AM

What about the 1GB 560 ti, how does it stack up against the 1Gb 7850? there both close in the price range
September 26, 2012 12:57:59 AM

I wouldn't get a 1GB card these days. That's not enough RAM for a modern video card at 1080p. If you want to go for one anyway, then the 7850 still has an advantage, but I strongly recommend getting such a card with no less than 1.5GB, preferably with 2GB. 1GB is more suited for low end cards such as the 7770 and below.
September 26, 2012 1:05:49 AM

Ok well that's good to know, either way i'll still be upgrading from a 512mb 9800 GT lol. And i'm at about $630 with the 7850 2GB
Actually i'll be in it about $605 if i get the rest from newegg, cpu Phenom II x4 965, 8gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600mhz, Corsair CX500 psu and the Asus Radeon 7850 DC2-2GD5-V2.

Thanks guys i appreciate all the advice.
September 26, 2012 1:48:06 AM

You're welcome.
!