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For $560 excluding monitor....

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November 27, 2012 5:06:52 AM

Any thoughts or noticable compatibility issues? I was specifically worried about the power supply and cpu cooler. do you think these will suffice or will more cooling be necessary?


CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS5X Performa CPU Cooler ($12.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: A-Data S510 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GT 640 2GB Video Card ($86.97 @ Newegg)
Sound Card: Creative Labs Audigy SE 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card ($25.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $703.88

More about : 560 excluding monitor

November 27, 2012 5:28:16 AM

If you are not gaming then use a graphics card like the radeon 6450

If you are not using a 64 bit image or video editing program then you probably have too much RAM as well
2 x4 gig is as much as most people need ,

That should run well enough on the 380 watt antec , but a 500 watt unit would give you some head room and would likely run quieter

Id use the onboard audio , but Id upgrade the motherboard too
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November 27, 2012 5:44:32 AM

Feel free to drop that CPU cooler as well. I doubt it's any significantly better than the stock one.

I suggest getting the 212 EVO. Great performance for the money.

+1 to Outlander_04, the onboard audio chipset is more than enough most of the time. You'll only need a discrete sound card if you have something like a $500 sound system, and for that a $200 card would be suggested.

Though 16gb of RAM might just be the sweet spot for you if you're doing any 2d, 3d animation or video rendering(which is usually the case for FX-8320/8350 and i7 systems).

I'm a bit confused though - title says $560 but your build is way over that ($700).
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November 27, 2012 11:59:47 AM

I'm not the OP, but here are some of the thoughts that went into my previous post.

The original build came to just over 700 with a 140 dollar monitor. OP said disregard the monitor cost, leaving the rest around 560(or a smidge over).

Given the amd FX cpu, 16GB of ram, lower end geforce and decent sized ssd, I assumed this was primarily a working PC with perhaps a bit of game.

To that end, a decent cooler is advisable over the 13 dollar zalman in the build due to the unlocked and power hungry fx cpu(the 212 plus is only 15 bucks, where the evo is like 25 and has only slightly better cooling performance than the plus). 16GB may be ideal for the system's intended usage patterns. The mobo is a more minimal one that is both somewhat feature rich and will allow pushing the cpu. Maybe the OP chose a bit stronger gt640 over the likes of a hd6450 for some cuda action(probably not enough by itself to do physx in games tho). Both the case and psu have been used in the bottom end builds of system builder marathons here at Tom's in the recent past. I am a bit concerned about the location of exhaust vents on that case versus the way a hyper 212 mounts on recent amd boards. I'm also wondering how you found that antec earthwatts 380(I can't find it thru the filter on pcpartpicker). You might consider something like a corsair cx430 for around 25 bucks.

"Only" 336w on the +12v rail, but a decent supply for the price.

Since the audigy SE sound card in your original build is quite old, I'm thinking a more recent audio codec on a current mobo may provide superior audio performance. With all the cores and threads on the fx cpu, the extra cpu utilization should be of little issue. By dropping that and getting a cheaper yet still decent psu, you could spend a bit more on a fairly feature rich case like the cooler master HAF 912. All that would keep you under budget and provide an overall better build.

Almost forgot. You didn't include the cost of an OS. If you intend to game, you probably need a copy of windows 7 home premium 64 bit OEM minimum.

That will set you back about another hundred bucks, unless you have an unused copy handy or a retail copy you can transfer. If all you want to do is work, maybe you already have a free linux distro picked out. Either way, you won't get much of anything done without some kind of OS on hand.

Assuming you already have a keyboard, mouse and decent sized hdd for storage versus the ssd in the build which I'm guessing will be the system drive.
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November 27, 2012 12:55:16 PM

Didn't notice the monitor thing, my bad. :lol: 

I would get the Antec VP-450 instead. Cheaper than the CX430, but greater quality and most importantly - efficiency. I don't think there's a better PSU in that range.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Antec-VP450-Powe...

There's more than one way to get an OS if budget is tight. ;) 
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November 27, 2012 5:45:47 PM

I think personally I could cut out the sound card an use onboard, also, I think you can save some cash by going with 8 gb of ram vs 16 which should be plenty. I would also consider not using that CPU cooler now and at least temporarily go with the stock one. With the money saved, I would look into getting at least the GTX 650 or ATI Radeon 7770, either of those 2 cards will be faster than that 640. Also, think I might consider a different power supply.

Maybe this one?

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

It's not that the Antec is horrible, I personally don't like the dual rail designs. I've built systems, and used to use dual rail power supplies, my experience on some of them though was if they started drawing a lot of juice, the PC shuts off and was not always stable. Those FX chips are power hungry. I personally prefer a stronger single 12v+ rail. Plus the corsair is showing as 24.99 with a rebate card, so that leaves you room to upgrade elsewhere.
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November 28, 2012 12:47:03 AM

I would not get the CX series.
As far as I know, it's the only PSU line from Corsair that has really mediocre quality and efficiency. Also, it may be a strong single +12v rail, but it's basically only worth 380w.
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November 28, 2012 1:50:19 AM

Really? Because I know Corsair is known for quality power supplies and it is 80+ certified. I think I'd still trust it over the antec, but just my opinion.
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November 28, 2012 4:53:23 AM

ok, amazing guys. most helpful :)  here's my current rig:

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($159.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Agility 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $489.43

Here are my remaining questions:

I made a whole bunch of tweaks based on your recommendations but I'm still back and forth about the graphics card. I highly doubt I'll be using this comp for serious gaming but I was under the impression that having a solid graphics card can help the computer keep 'pace' for years to come, along with a decent cpu. I want this thing to last as long as possible with great performance. I saw you guys recommended either the GTX 650 or ATI Radeon 7770. You also said that unless I'll be doing serious gaming, i should get radeon 6450. for far less money, why

1) should i not consider:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n630gtmd4gd...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn640...
http://pcpartpicker.com/part/zotac-video-card-zt6040510...

they all seem to have large amounts of ram running at comparable MHz. Is it just the chipset that sets them apart?


I'm just not sure how much the graphics card will affect my computer's performance in years to come with greater demands being made on memory day by day. I'm not really willing to spend more than 150 on a graphics card, so if you could help me choose i'd greatly appreciate it...


2) was I mistaken for choosing my cpu based on this site:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
which implied to me that AMD FX-8320 was by far the best bang for my buck.

3) some of you mentioned choosing a better MOBO. Any thoughts on what I should choose? I have a very hard time determining what i need in this area...

4) WIFI adapter? Any specific model I should be looking for?

thanks so much for all your help... i've really come to love this forum :) 

u guys are the best
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November 28, 2012 12:53:22 PM

So the gist I get is that you want to do primarily cpu heavy work on this computer, but you'd like it to be able to game alright for a while as well. Both AMD and intel have their strengths and weaknesses. Intel has better per thread performance and is generally somewhat faster for games(less of a bottleneck to the gpu). AMD does have good price per core(module) and thread versus intel, plus you can get unlocked processors for cheap. That really helps AMD shine, but requires more power and better cooling to push the clock rates on those unlocked processors even higher.

As far as the gpu goes, a more important metric for performance is the graphics chip on the card and its number of various functional units on board at what clock speed versus gobs of vram. If the graphics processor isn't powerful enough, it will never make use of all that ram. Much of vram usage is for high res textures or extra eye candy added at the end of the graphics pipeline, but if the graphics chip lacks texture units(not really likely for several years now even on the bottom of the stack) or shaders and render back ends/rops(much more hierarchy there between the top and bottom) you won't have enough graphics muscle to use the extra features and keep the vram fed. It's generally better to get a faster(clockspeed and higher number of functional units) gpu on a card with a bit less vram(but not too little, like 512MB) so you can turn the majority of settings higher. If you have to turn textures down a bit from high to medium, that's less of a big deal than turning down shader quality or anti aliasing(you should still be able to get decent levels of texture filtering, though).

All that said(and if you don't care about nvidia's cuda gpgpu programming or their proprietary in game physics called physx used only in a few games), I'd go for the AMD radeon HD7770 for less than 150. The gtx650 you mentioned is slower than a HD7750(which is slower than HD7770) and the others (gt640 and gt630) are even slower than that. You only generally have 1GB of vram on a HD7770, but that shouldn't really matter. You may end up turning a few things down a bit in some games at that res, but it will still be worlds better than any console out now. The HD7750 and above(like HD7770) use a new architecture called graphics core next(GCN), and over the course of the last year since the architecture's introduction, AMD has released several driver updates that have made significantly large improvements in performance. So much so in fact that all GCN based cards have moved up a level in the graphics hierarchy chart on the last page of Tom's most recent monthly Graphics card buyer's guide thanks to the work of AMD's driver team and their latest drivers. AMD was generally a bit faster at all price points before, but they're even faster now. Hope this helps.

Oh yeah. Only one person mentioned getting a better mobo, but didn't say why. I think I will work great for you.

As for a wifi adapter(wireless N?), you MAY want to get one designed to match your router. If your router is more generic(like tied to a you broadband provider's modem), just get a cheap adapter. It should give you decent enough throughput.
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November 28, 2012 6:52:23 PM

I personally recommend the GTX 650 as a baseline, don't have as much experience with ATI cards, but hear that the 7770 is a great card. The big thing on the cards you listed, they've all got ddr3 ram, vs the GTX 650 and 7770 have ddr5 on them if memory serves.

As for the 965 BE, it's not a bad chip, the 965 is older, but still a good performer. I have an Athlon II quad core, a couple of steps down from the 965 admittedly, and it still does almost everything I want. Especially if you aren't gaming a lot, I think the 965 will do well, but even a lot of gamers still use the 965. The 8320 is a better chip, but will cost you more.
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November 29, 2012 12:52:57 AM

you can get both a gtx650 and the hd7750 for around 90 bucks right now, but the 7750 wil be notably faster. Actually, that really cheap gtx650 is at microcenter only for that price, so unless you live close to one that's not a great deal. The 7750 is in stock at newegg though.

Good luck trying to find a phenom II x4 965BE. It isn't among the search results on pcpartpicker. Used to be you could find one for around 90 bucks.
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November 30, 2012 12:13:13 AM

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($32.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Apex TX-381 MicroATX Mid Tower Case w/300W Power Supply ($38.76 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $564.59

Will be able to run almost every game on max settings. Much better than the previous builds posted.
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November 30, 2012 2:54:19 AM

Pingypoker said:
CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($32.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Apex TX-381 MicroATX Mid Tower Case w/300W Power Supply ($38.76 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $564.59

Will be able to run almost every game on max settings. Much better than the previous builds posted.


NO.

Old mobo that'll need a bios update before a newer cpu(like an fx) is installed.

ncix shows a 400w psu(12v1 @14A ie 168w, 12v2 @13A ie 156w) while newegg shows 300w(12v1 @8A ie 96w, 12v2 @ 13A ie 156w). Neither psu has any pcie 6 pin power connectors (several 4pin molex connectors though). Card needs 2 6pin(or 4 4pin using adapters). You have to balance the rails.

The cpu is 95w(more if you overclock) and the gpu is 150w(more if you overclock). why not a 16 dollar samsung dvd burner at newegg w/free shipping?

If you overclock the cpu, you will want a better cooler, which will cost you. FX has lower ipc than the stars architecture in phenom. when both are at 3.8ghz or 4 ghz, the phenom will be faster. It's better for multi threaded workloads as well(fx with its cores and modules is kind of janky). A module with its 2 cores is kind of like one intel hyperthreaded core. Phenom has somewhat lower ipc per core than intel, but the x4 has 4 full cores vs fx "cores" which share a floating point unit between 2 in a module.

Also, you can get a radeon hd7870 for just 210 bucks which is just as fast as a gtx 660ti(maybe faster even). Both above OP's gpu budget of 150 tho.

Gpu clearance in that case looks tight. the gtx660ti is 10 inches long, but the hd7870 is "only" 9.5 inches long.

Guess the OP specced an ssd because they want performance for work and already have a larger hdd for storage needs.

Consider too that the OP cares less about games and more about getting work done. In that regard, a slower gpu with phenom II x4 or a fx8000 series cpu is better than a fx4000 series cpu and a faster graphics card.

a 125w 965BE for 90 bucks is pretty awesome. since the extra threads in a fx8000 are all integer and improper core parking might not make the best use of its floating point resources in some cases, in many cases a 965BE may end up being faster(more so if you overclock it to 980BE speed on the stock amd cooler or to 4ghz on something like a hyper 212 plus). 965BE goes well with the amd 970 chipset mobo already in your build.

Get the haf 912 at amazon instead of at superbiiz(which has pretty expensive shipping charges). only 50.99 shipped for free at amazon. If you think you'd like a case similar to the haf 912 with front usb 3.0 ports, the antec 300 TWO can be found at ncix for only 57.40 and free shipping.

If you go 965BE instead of an fx, you could spend more on a graphics card. hd7850 is a good middle ground between hd7770 and hd 7870.
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December 2, 2012 6:03:28 AM

Thanks for the support guys. I was worried that PP's critique was all too true. You're assesment of my needs JT is spot on. Thanks so much for understanding.

I've purchased all my parts except for the GPU. I wanted to purchase this...

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=68499&vpn=GV-R777OC-1G...

but it seems to be out of stock. Once back in stock I'm worried that it will not remain on sale. Any thoughts about how this might compare?....

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

Also, I get a free copy of far cry 3 which is nearly a 40 dollar value, so its price will really be about 80 dollars....

Would you say that it will perform better or worse than the 7700 i'm waiting for? Given that I don't need to order this part for another month about, is it worth just waiting to see if prices continue to drop? I found a graph somewhere online that seemed to say that GPU prices actually rise closer to the holiday season, but maybe that is only for newer models. Either way, my budget stands for the GPU at 140 max.

Thanks so much for all your help, you guys have been incredible :) 

Just to confirm, it Is it compatible with my CPU and MOBO, right?
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December 3, 2012 1:17:42 AM

Should be compatible. As far as the cards, they should pretty well the same for performance.

I like the XFX better I think in this case, looks like better cooling in my opinion.
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December 3, 2012 1:46:46 AM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Should be compatible. As far as the cards, they should pretty well the same for performance.

I like the XFX better I think in this case, looks like better cooling in my opinion.


lastly, someone else is suggesting http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... as being 'far better' any thoughts?
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December 3, 2012 5:02:21 AM

I still like the XFX. They are both the "Ghz Edition", the core clock speed on the ASUS is slightly faster, by 5 mhz, which you will likely never see. Looks like the memory on the XFX card is slightly faster. But real world, you will likely never see any difference.

Either one will be good I think. But other thing to look at, look at the reviews. The ASUS has not been reviewed, vs the XFX has 4 out of 5 eggs on 62 reviews which tells you so far most people that have bought it are happy with it. If you know the 7770 is the card you want, I would say you are safe going with the card people are having good luck with.
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December 3, 2012 11:50:48 AM

Ok, the links for the gigabyte at ncix and asus at newegg worked for me, but that other newegg link took me to the newegg home page.

Could you maybe post that link again? Sapphire makes one with a pretty good cooler. vents out the back and has copper heat pipes.

Don't know about the asus being better than the gigabyte. Can't compare to the other card cuz I don't know what it is.

Here are some hd7770 models you may want to look at(I like to skim through the newegg reviews on a part if there aren't too many) :

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=68526&vpn=FX777AZDF4&m...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-150-...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-102-...
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December 4, 2012 5:50:28 AM

jtenorj said:
Ok, the links for the gigabyte at ncix and asus at newegg worked for me, but that other newegg link took me to the newegg home page.

Could you maybe post that link again? Sapphire makes one with a pretty good cooler. vents out the back and has copper heat pipes.

Don't know about the asus being better than the gigabyte. Can't compare to the other card cuz I don't know what it is.

Here are some hd7770 models you may want to look at(I like to skim through the newegg reviews on a part if there aren't too many) :

http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=68526&vpn=FX777AZDF4&m...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-150-...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-127-...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-102-...


k, I purchased the saphire one. Can't wait to get my hands on these parts :)  i'll be sure to post my build on pcparts and the forum w pics as a sign of gratitude. Thanks everyone :) 
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