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Old February 23, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Default First Time Build - Feedback Wanted

Hello everyone! So I was told about this site through NCIX Tech Tips, which has been helping me tremendously with learning about computer hardware. I'm looking to build my first desktop

Here's a link to the part list: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black, Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850 - System Build - PCPartPicker

Obviously, its not completely done yet. I still have to choose a HDD, among other things, since the SSD is mainly a boot disk.

I'm planning on using the computer for some moderate gaming, as I want to get into PC gaming eventually. I think it should function well for that purpose. Also, trying to keep the price range low (under $800). I have the OS already, so that's not being calculated in the total price of the rig. I've also left it open for some future upgrades such as Crossfire. All the parts are coming from Amazon or Newegg. I'm planning on purchasing the parts within a week or so. I may buy some parts earlier because of current deals and such.

I'm a little bit of an ASUS fanboy, but that's only because my laptop is an ASUS and has treated me very well these past 3 years. Ultimately, I don't care for brands too too much. I've done plenty of research around the net mostly using NCIX Tech Tips and Tom's Hardware to learn as much as I can. I do plan on overclocking the system, but only a little bit. I don't much care for overclocking and just want to do it for the sake of learning how to.

My main concerns:

1. Is this a balanced build? I'm hoping to avoid bottlenecks right off the bat.

2. Will the CPU support the GPU? Reason I ask this is that I've read somewhere that some CPUs can't handle GPUs with 3.0 Express x16. I honestly don't know the validity of that statement, so please let me know.

3. Do I absolutely need a Crossfire Ready motherboard to use Crossfire efficiently? I figured 2 PCI 2.0 x16 slots would do the trick even if a firmware update is needed.

Also, it should be known that my monitor will most likely run at 1920 x 1200 resolution (the reason I'm going with a 2 GB CPU)

Thanks for any input! =D
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Old February 23, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Couple of issues I see right off the bat. That Phenom isn't a terrible chip, but I think it will bottleneck that 7850. At 1920x1200, you likely don't need the 2GB card and could drop to 1GB, per se, but it won't hurt and I wouldn't drop down any lower than a 7850. And I haven't heard really anything about that particular SSD, and 64GB is rather small and you'll likely find it restrictive.

So my recommendations, on a quick glance:
-Drop the RAM down to a 1600mhz set. The 1866 is likely overkill in this situation.
-Up, if possible, to at least a 128GB SSD. Someone else will have to make more informed recommendations on brand/model, it's not really my area of expertise.
-If you're set on AMD (and it would be my choice, always liked their chips), keep that motherboard and see if you can get at least an FX-6 series chip, i.e. the FX-6300. If not, it wouldn't hurt to look at Intel i3's in that price range.
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Old February 23, 2013, 09:22 AM
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A good quality Power supply is a good investment. worth extra cash in the long run.
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Old February 23, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by LHN91 View Post
Couple of issues I see right off the bat. That Phenom isn't a terrible chip, but I think it will bottleneck that 7850. At 1920x1200, you likely don't need the 2GB card and could drop to 1GB, per se, but it won't hurt and I wouldn't drop down any lower than a 7850. And I haven't heard really anything about that particular SSD, and 64GB is rather small and you'll likely find it restrictive.

So my recommendations, on a quick glance:
-Drop the RAM down to a 1600mhz set. The 1866 is likely overkill in this situation.
-Up, if possible, to at least a 128GB SSD. Someone else will have to make more informed recommendations on brand/model, it's not really my area of expertise.
-If you're set on AMD (and it would be my choice, always liked their chips), keep that motherboard and see if you can get at least an FX-6 series chip, i.e. the FX-6300. If not, it wouldn't hurt to look at Intel i3's in that price range.
The reason I chose the 2 GB version is for safety really. After some input from other forums as well, I'm seriously considering getting the FX-6300 instead. However, I feel that I would be wasting the 6 cores and am wondering if the FX-4300 (4 cores) would suffice.

FX-6300: AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor FD6300WMHKBOX - Newegg.com

FX-4300: AMD FX-4300 Vishera 3.8GHz (4.0GHz) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4300WMHKBOX - Newegg.com

I chose the ram because the motherboard could handle it and I figured $5 extra isn't bad for some extra speed.

Already switched to a 128 gb SSD
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Stick with the 965 if you intend on doing any gaming at all. It'll overclock reasonably well (3.8 is pretty standard for the most recent batches), and I wouldn't recommend anything less than the highest end 8 "core" (they don't really have 8 cores worth of processing, more like 5 1/2) AMD chips for a budget gamer. They just don't play nice in the sandbox when it comes to games.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:29 AM
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Intel Core i5-3570K, XFX Radeon HD 7870, Zalman Z9 Plus - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada

No HDD but you can fiddle a bit to get one in there (drop the gpu to 7850)

As you can see this was done for Canada not US.. there are further savings to be had in the US. Shop around. (eg microcentre has the 3570k @ $189)

Also why newegg/amazon? find all the cheapest prices you can and then price-match on NCIX or some other retailer that offers the service..

Last edited by Dzzope; February 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old February 23, 2013, 11:31 AM
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I wouldn't discount the FX-6300 for gaming, from reviews I've seen it does beat the 965 and offer a relatively significant boost in video encoding and more heavily threaded apps; however you'd definitely be right comparing the FX-4300 to the 965, as the 965 would have both better single-thread performance and more real-core multithreading than the FX-4300, what with each Bulldozer 2-core module being more like 1.5 cores in most situations.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. Different trade-offs for different priorities. If you're set on not spending more on the processor, go 965. If you can do a bit of an upgrade, I would go FX-6300, and no lower.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dzzope View Post
Intel Core i5-3570K, XFX Radeon HD 7870, Zalman Z9 Plus - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada

No HDD but you can fiddle a bit to get one in there (drop the gpu to 7850)

As you can see this was done for Canada not US.. there are further savings to be had in the US. Shop around. (eg microcentre has the 3570k @ $189)

Also why newegg/amazon? find all the cheapest prices you can and then price-match on NCIX or some other retailer that offers the service..
That setup goes over my $800 budget.

My girlfriend is actually getting my HDD for me. She wants to help a bit, which is nice.

I didn't consider NCIX. I should probably take a look.

Update: switched up some parts. Chose a different CPU, Motherboard, and PSU since I decided to go with the FX-6300.

AMD FX-6300, Gigabyte Radeon HD 7850, NZXT Source 210 (White) - System Build - PCPartPicker

Also, it should be noted that the optical drive and case are simply placeholders. I haven't actually went through to make a decent choice on those as they're not that important.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:23 PM
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US build:
XFX Radeon HD 7850, Rosewill Line - System Build - PCPartPicker

CPU, microcentre has the 3570k for $190 but is in-store only.. That puts you at $810
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Old February 23, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Personally, I think your FX-6300 build is solid, and will serve well for moderate gaming. The 3570K build is still over your 800 dollar budget, and you have expressed a desire (Which I understand) to stay under budget.
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