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Old February 22, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Default AMD Gaming Build

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

I'm gearing the build for gaming (Starcraft 2 when it comes out) and other misc games, NFS/Far Cry 2. It'll be for school too, but everything runs MSOffice etc.

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

~1000 CAD before tax.

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

Canada - I am currently planning to buy from NCIX pricematching from other places... Though I'm willing to try Newegg.ca if it seems better... But i haven't heard much about them outside of newegg.com is pretty highly regarded in the US.

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.

No preference really, really just looking for price/performance and I think AMD is winning in this.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

No my computer is ~5 years old now, so I've finally scraped up enough to build a new one. Don't need an OS though. I have a monitor though 22 inch 1680x1050 (might get a new one but that'll be a separate purchase from this one) and keyboard mouse etc. Don't need to buy new ones yet.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.

There are a bunch of budget builds but I currently plan on an AM3 system and I haven't seen anyone go for one yet.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

I have heard the Phenom II X3 720 is good for overclocking and I'd like to do a bit but don't plan on doing too much.

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?

In the next month or so.

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

So my current plan is...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 - 173.69 at newegg
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Triple Core Processor AM3 2.8GHZ 7.5MB Cache 95W 45NM Retail Box - HDZ720WFGIBOX In Canada.

ASUS M4A78T-E ATX 790GX - 173.99 at newegg
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS M4A78T-E ATX 790GX Socket AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard - M4A78T-E In Canada.

Video card and PSU
I want to be able to crossfire it in the future. I'm still debating between 4850 and 4870 1gig or 512meg based on price and what I can fit in my budget. The problem is that I don't know how to calculate power consumption, don't know how much power I'll need. I was thinking the Corsair TX750, would that be enough to OC the CPU and xfire 4870's?

Case
The Antec 300 seems like a good buy in terms of price and capabilities... I don't really know what will fit in what so recommendations are welcome as well though I guess I just want something that'll have good spacing and air flow.

HD
This one has been pretty generic i see the western digital 640 gig recommended alot, but i don't really know why. So I'd like some info on this too.

RAM
I don't know much about RAM timings and the like so I'll need some help here. Noting that i plan to run XP so i think 4 gig is the max for it.

Heatsink/Fan
CPU cooler recommendations?
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Old February 22, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFlame View Post

So my current plan is...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 - 173.69 at newegg
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Triple Core Processor AM3 2.8GHZ 7.5MB Cache 95W 45NM Retail Box - HDZ720WFGIBOX In Canada.

ASUS M4A78T-E ATX 790GX - 173.99 at newegg
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS M4A78T-E ATX 790GX Socket AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard - M4A78T-E In Canada.

Video card and PSU
I want to be able to crossfire it in the future. I'm still debating between 4850 and 4870 1gig or 512meg based on price and what I can fit in my budget. The problem is that I don't know how to calculate power consumption, don't know how much power I'll need. I was thinking the Corsair TX750, would that be enough to OC the CPU and xfire 4870's?

Case
The Antec 300 seems like a good buy in terms of price and capabilities... I don't really know what will fit in what so recommendations are welcome as well though I guess I just want something that'll have good spacing and air flow.

HD
This one has been pretty generic i see the western digital 640 gig recommended alot, but i don't really know why. So I'd like some info on this too.

RAM
I don't know much about RAM timings and the like so I'll need some help here. Noting that i plan to run XP so i think 4 gig is the max for it.

Heatsink/Fan
CPU cooler recommendations?

So, I'm contemplating the same cpu and mobo...not bad choices. Just verify that teh board is 16x16 pci-e, and not 8x8...

the HDD...the WD 640 BLACK is a "dualProc" HDD...almost a RAID in a single drive...quite fast...fastest drive besides raptors, I think...and hence the recommendations. WD has a pretty good warranty too...


Ram...any 1333mhz should do you fine. Look at older dual-channel kits though...

I recommend the 4780 1GB, just purely based on the fact that the 1GB 4850's have whiney fans that annoy me. But like you said...get what fits your budget.


Case...get whatever suits your taste...in the end it's purely a cosmetic thing...soem have better airflow, features, etc...but those are minor details unless you plan to overclock...same thing goes for the cooler.
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Old February 22, 2009, 05:48 PM
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I'm not that good with AMD builds, but look into Gigabyte motherboards as well using the 790GX chipset. Also consider Biostar motherboards as they're good as well.

For hard drive, WD 640GB is good. Also take a look into the Seagate 7200.12 hard drives.

RAM: 4GB of any brand such as OCZ/Patriot/Corsair at DDR800 4-4-4-12 or DDR1000+

PSU and Case: Antec Sonata III (PM Newegg)

GPU: NVIDIA 9800GTX+ or ATI 4850. Since you're in school, your gaming time is actually limited. I also suggest that you don't crossfire in the future. I myself don't like using dual GPUs. Save up your money.

The stock AMD cooler will be more than enough if you're just doing a minor to moderate OC.

Don't forget to use the Hardware Canucks Price Matching function to find lower prices everywhere so you can get a better rig for less price.

Also take into consideration this build: $1000 Build For a Friend

Edit: This post was updated just a bit.
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Last edited by geokilla; February 22, 2009 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Didn't wanna make new post because it's just a minor change in my post
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:14 PM
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You may want to look at Seagate's 7200.12 500GB, line. It's a single platter, high density disk so reading from this drive should be really good.
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Basing on some reviews, DDR3 vs. DDR2, there is not much performance gain if you are going to DDR3. So if you go DDR2 motherboard you will be saving some $40-50. Entirely up to you.

Also, that $174 price for the cpu seems to be only every weekend.
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Some quick responses :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_zappa View Post
Basing on some reviews, DDR3 vs. DDR2, there is not much performance gain if you are going to DDR3. So if you go DDR2 motherboard you will be saving some $40-50. Entirely up to you.
Aren't all AM3 boards DDR3 capable? In which I'd have to go an AM2+ board? Isn't there some sort of disadvantage in using an AM2+ board for an AM3 cpu? I thought I read something about power being an issue when overclocking especially.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geokilla View Post
I'm not that good with AMD builds, but look into Gigabyte motherboards as well using the 790GX chipset. Also consider Biostar motherboards as they're good as well.

For hard drive, WD 640GB is good.

RAM: 4GB of any brand such as OCZ/Patriot/Corsair at DDR800 4-4-4-12 or DDR1000+

PSU and Case: Antec Sonata III (PM Newegg)

GPU: NVIDIA 9800GTX+ or ATI 4850. Since you're in school, your gaming time is actually limited. I also suggest that you don't crossfire in the future. I myself don't like using dual GPUs.

The stock AMD cooler will be more than enough if you're just doing a minor to moderate OC.

Don't forget to use the Hardware Canucks Price Matching function to find lower prices everywhere so you can get a better rig for less price.
Motherboards the asus one i picked was one of the four i saw on newegg, there aren't many AM3 socket mobo's out there. I picked the Asus one cause it said it had 2 PCIe x16 slots so it can xfire, whereas the gigabyte one only has one and was the same price...

I'm pretty set on an ATI 4850 or 4870 GPU, just cause I'm going AMD cpu. In terms of cross-firing I don't plan on it now, but I guess in the future I'd like the option to do so just to add a little more life to my comp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bojangles View Post
You may want to look at Seagate's 7200.12 500GB, line. It's a single platter, high density disk so reading from this drive should be really good.
Cadaveca's WD640 black w/ the dual processing sounds pretty tempting. How would that compare with the 500 gig single platter? I'm sorry I don't really know that much about these things, higher density platter generally means faster access as less spinning but this dual processing thing sounds awesome...
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFlame View Post
Some quick responses :)



Aren't all AM3 boards DDR3 capable? In which I'd have to go an AM2+ board? Isn't there some sort of disadvantage in using an AM2+ board for an AM3 cpu? I thought I read something about power being an issue when overclocking especially.



Motherboards the asus one i picked was one of the four i saw on newegg, there aren't many AM3 socket mobo's out there. I picked the Asus one cause it said it had 2 PCIe x16 slots so it can xfire, whereas the gigabyte one only has one and was the same price...

I'm pretty set on an ATI 4850 or 4870 GPU, just cause I'm going AMD cpu. In terms of cross-firing I don't plan on it now, but I guess in the future I'd like the option to do so just to add a little more life to my comp.



Cadaveca's WD640 black w/ the dual processing sounds pretty tempting. How would that compare with the 500 gig single platter? I'm sorry I don't really know that much about these things, higher density platter generally means faster access as less spinning but this dual processing thing sounds awesome...
Check my post as I updated it.

Also, crossfiring doesn't really extend your computer's life. Some games will never support crossfire, while others will. In my opinion, it's better to sell your old GPU and purchasing a brand new, faster one instead.

DDR3 is not worth it, and the performance difference between DDR3 and DDR2 is minimal. DDR2 is the way to go.
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Old February 22, 2009, 06:53 PM
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Wouldn't it be wiser to get a quad? I thought the tri-core stuff was mediocre, but of course that jacks up the price a fair amount. And unless you plan to do some serious OC'ing, wouldn't a non-black edition be fine? Such as the X3 710? Then you could probably afford a HD4870.

And yeah it seems wiser to stick to DDR2 on a fairly budget minded PC. Maybe by sticking with DDR2 you could get the quad-core Phenom II instead?

TBH though I don't have much Phenom II or i7 knowledge right now since I just haven't been overly interested.
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Old February 22, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
Wouldn't it be wiser to get a quad? I thought the tri-core stuff was mediocre, but of course that jacks up the price a fair amount. And unless you plan to do some serious OC'ing, wouldn't a non-black edition be fine? Such as the X3 710? Then you could probably afford a HD4870.

And yeah it seems wiser to stick to DDR2 on a fairly budget minded PC. Maybe by sticking with DDR2 you could get the quad-core Phenom II instead?

TBH though I don't have much Phenom II or i7 knowledge right now since I just haven't been overly interested.
As far as I know most things aren't optimized for multi-cores anyway don't know much more benefit I'd get either way. The 720 has a higher clock speed and I've read that because of the one less core it actually can go higher, I've read that people have been able to hit over 4 ghz on air cooling, so I don't think like ~3.2 is unreasonable with a decent fan.

Seems there isn't much benefit of going DDR3, so I'm totally fine with sticking with DDR2. I guess I'll look for things on sale and collect parts as they come, heh. What price range should I go for?

In terms of pricing my stuff...

~350 for cpu + mobo
~100 for PSU
~75 for case
~100 HD
~75 for RAM
~250 for GPU
------------
~950 so far

Just wondering if those're reasonable estimations... Higher/lower in some places?

I'm willing to go over budget if it means getting better price/performance. My budget isn't crazy tight or anything, didn't mean to make it seem that way, heh.
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Old February 22, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Gigabyte ma790x-ud4 $133 direct canada + x3 720be $174 newegg.
Gskill 2x2GB 1066 ddr2 $69 free shipping newegg.

Ps, if u spend over $300 at direct canada u get free ground shipping.
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