Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > New Builds

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 21, 2009, 02:28 PM
manbearpig's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 22
Default Gaming with Light editing work. Phenom II build?

In light of the recent price drops on the Phenom II 940 to below $270 seems to make the value of building a system around it worth it. Here's my details.

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Gaming, some Photoshop and Flash (more casual these days)

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Don't see any value in breaking up what I have. Just pass this comp onto someone in the family as is

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes the other AMD threads but it was suggested I start my own thread. I am not sure about video card and power needs. Whats overkill etc

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
Sounds like with the Phenom II 940 on air it might be worth a shot

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Next month or 2

- I'll be gaming on a 20inch 1680x1050, but what if I upgrade to a 24inch one day with higher resolution?
- Sounds like the new AMD Dragon set up is more efficient with an ATI card so not sure of the hit if I go Nvidia. Would Crossfire be more beneficial if upgrading monitor size in the future?.
- Storage is not a biggy for me as I have an 80G now that is half full and a 500G external
- Seems like I read a lot of issues with current ATI drivers is there anything to be concerned about?

So far planned:
Phenom II 940
Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H
4850/4870 512 or 1GB/GTX260 or 280
4GB Kingston Hyper X T1
WD Caviar SE16 320GB - read that the 320 seems to be the most efficient.
Corsair TX750 - do I need this much?
Antec 300 case - size and cooling sufficient?
and some dvd drive
AMD64 3700+ | Asus A8V | 2G OCZ Platinum | BFG 7800GS OC AGP | WD 80G | Enermax 460W | Thermaltake Tsunami
Yes my system is old

Last edited by manbearpig; January 23, 2009 at 03:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 21, 2009, 07:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 11

I'm not the best informed here, but from the responses I received in my own build thread I can say that the Corsair 750W PSU will be sufficient. I would also recommend a GTX 280... specifically this one: BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC Far Cry 2 615MHZ 1024MB 2.214GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E 2XDVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card - DirectCanada

Pretty good price I think (there is a Mail in rebate though) and the performance is impressive if you check the reviews. If you're set on ATI, I think they've had driver issues primarily with their dual GPU cards like the 4870 X2.

Somebody smarter than I will soon chime in but good luck with your build!


Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 21, 2009, 10:07 PM
geokilla's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,762

My System Specs


Your build looks fine if you plan to go the AMD Phenom II route. However, I'd get Newegg.ca - AMD Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops combo instead. Last time, people said that the combo deal was a AMD Phenom II with a Gigabyte mobo with a 790GX. As of posting, it is a Biostar motherboard with a 790GX. Should be good, but I'll let others chime in on this.

For GPU, I'd get the ATI 4850 or 4870 or GTX260 Core 216. If you get a 24" monitor, then the GTX260 Core 216 or 4870 would be mroe than enough. I see no point in spending extra for the GTX280.

For PSU, if you want modular, then get the Corsair HX620.

If you go Intel and want quad core, get the Intel Q6600 and ASUS P5Q Pro or Gigabyte EP45-DS3R or UD3P. They are all great motherboards.

For $20 or $30 more, you can get a 640GB hard drive. It offers the best bang for buck in my opinion in terms of storage and performance.

Also look into buying from NCIX, as they are essentially the same company as Direct Canada. Finally, don't forget to price match. Do note that prices may fluctuate within a month or two's time, so make sure that you are getting what you want at whatever price you are paying in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 22, 2009, 07:47 AM
JD's Avatar
JD JD is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 8,312

My System Specs


Crossfire would help in the future if you get a monitor that does like 1920x1200 or higher.

With 1680x1050 a single HD4850 would be fine for the majority of games on maximum settings though perhaps with little/none AA. Looks like you have some money though so a HD4870 1GB would be a better choice. No point in getting a 512MB 4870 when it isn't much cheaper. Also the 1GB 4870 would be able to hold its own on a 24" LCD too.

Also depending on how much storage you need, you might consider the WD 640GB instead as it performs just as well as the 320GB (assuming you get a single platter one). All the 640s though are pretty much guaranteed to be dual 320GB platters these days.

As for ATI drivers, they are overall fine and Catalyst 9.1 is supposed to fix a ton of things however it's been delayed since they found more bugs. The real issues arise with Crossfire IMO, single cards are fine.

That 750W Corsair PSU will be good, especially if you move to Crossfire at some point.

I'm not sure if that whole "Dragon" platform marketing scheme means anything or not. Even if it does, it's probably minimal gains.

Oh and if you plan to OC, I'd definitely suggest some form of aftermarket cooling like the OCZ Vendetta 2 or other various HDT (heatpipe direct touch) heatsinks.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Seeking advice on multiple soundcard build / Will it work? Ironmonk Troubleshooting 3 December 12, 2008 01:46 PM
AMD Fusion for Gaming does this actually work? Shadowmeph O/S's, Drivers & General Software 1 November 28, 2008 03:59 PM
Economical Rig for F@H, and Light Gaming. BALISTX New Builds 7 November 10, 2008 08:36 PM
Suggestions on a good 775 mobo for video and audio editing kungfu CPU's and Motherboards 4 March 14, 2008 08:19 AM
Need a Very Thin and light, 15" LCD, VGA or DVI Cptn Vortex Display Units 0 December 11, 2007 01:08 PM