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New AMD build £800 - need case/PSU advice please

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July 6, 2010 6:14:47 PM

Hello :) 
It's time to move up from my old AMD Athlon 3200+ system.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 1 to 2 months

BUDGET RANGE: £700-800 (Perhaps a little more)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Image editing, gaming, DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), video editing, web/office.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, mouse, keyboard

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.ebuyer.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

PARTS PREFERENCES:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1055T

Motherboard: Asus CROSSHAIR IV FORMULA 890FX

Memory: G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw (I'd intend to go to 6GB in the medium term)

GPU: XFX HD 5770 1GB

HDD: 500GB SATA 7200RPM (Brand to be decided)

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.

SOUND: I really want to keep my legacy SBLive which has been so good to me for over 10 years now :D . I have got it working with the KXAudio drivers in Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit, so hopefully it will be fine in Windows 7 64-bit.

OTHERS: DVD RW (I don't need Blu-Ray) and possibly a card reader for SD cards, etc.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200 & 1920x1200 (preferred)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I hope I've given enough info here :) 

Hopefully this looks good so far :) 
But I'd really like some help with a case and PSU, and maybe some extra cooling.
I've done a mock up at http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine and it suggests 600W without cooling, but I put in for 2 ATI 5870's and 4 sticks of DDR3. That's a bit of dreaming on my part, but at least it givs me an idea of the Wattage that would be required.
Right now Ebuyer have a bundle on a CM Storm Scout + Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular PSU.
Is this a good choice?
If not, could someone please suggest a more suitable case and PSU please.
Thanks.
Matt
July 6, 2010 6:35:55 PM

That combo would be perfect for two 5850's.
You'll need at least an 850w psu to run two 5870's though.
That combo is perfect for your needs now and is very good gear.
July 6, 2010 6:45:43 PM

The Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 are probably the best choices for the HDD.

A good 750W PSU will be enough for a system with two 5870s as such as system will not use 600 watts, unless you overclock both the CPU and GPUs.

Are you sure that the Asus Crosshair IV Formula has features that you need that other cheaper mobos don't have?
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July 6, 2010 6:55:53 PM

Silvune said:
Are you sure that the Asus Crosshair IV Formula has features that you need that other cheaper mobos don't have?


Thanks for your reply Silvune.

Am I sure - No! :lol: 
I can't remember where I read it, but the 890FX chipset seemed to be highly recommended.
So maybe I could get by with a cheaper board.
But I'm trying to be forward thinking as well - and that means Bulldozer (which is rumored to fit in the AM3 socket).
This system has to last a good few years (which is why I'm not going with Intel as they seem to change sockets too often).

So if the Crosshair IV is overkill for me, would this Asus be OK?
(I've no real preference for Asus other than I have an Asus board now and it's been perfect for the 4 years I've had it)
July 6, 2010 7:26:03 PM

Well I was thinking more along the lines of downgrading to an 890GX board, as it will be just as futureproof in having support for hexcore CPUs from the base bios, the M4A785TD-V Evo board would probably ship with the necessary bios to support the 1055T by now, but I think less likely to have a bios revision to support Bulldozer - if it can go in an AM3 mobo when it comes.
An 890GX chipset will have two PCI-E x16 lanes at x8 speed which only even begins to bottleneck 5870s to the tune of 4% - I think it's unnecessary to have dual x16 unless maybe supporting the next generation of GPUs in crossfire is an aim of yours with this build.
Another thing is that the Crosshair IV comes with a sound card, so if you're planning to use your old one, then you'd have a spare one.
And it's still a decent ~£40 saving.

I should probably clarify that the Cooler Master Silent Pro 700 would not be enough for two 5870s as it only has 600 watts on it's 12V rail, so it would be running at 80-90% under maximum load - which would not happen that often, but better to give yourself some headroom. Running at 90% would not be healthy for any PSU, as it will be running hot - bad for electronics - and loudly.
July 7, 2010 3:52:28 PM

Forget SLI/xfire. It's only for braggers.
Ditch the Crosshair and get a vanilla 890GX board like this one.
A 650W PSU will be all you need (actually a little more).
!