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New AMD X4 Rig Build

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  • pfloydguy84pfloydguy84 Member UncommonPosts: 146

    Not sure i'd go with that power supply.A good PSU a very important, especially for a gaming pc.Antec and thermaltake are 2 great brands and I'd look into going with them.Maybe go with a 750 watt if you plan to run a crossfire or sli setup in the future.

  • teddy_bareteddy_bare Member UncommonPosts: 398

    I totally agree w/ your desicion on the RAM, it is ALWAYS ideal to pick a set of RAM that is on your mobo's compatibility sheet. Going with anything outside of what it is on that sheet is usually just begging for trouble, even when it seems that a set of RAM you picked out should totally be compatible w/ the mobo you chose, it's a bad idea to take a gamble only to later find out that the mobo manuafacturer won't help you with an issue b/c you choose a component not on their compatibility sheets.

    I'm not sure I would've chosen the same RAM, but in general Corsair XMS is a solid brand. I've had trouble w/ Corsair XMS personally, but like I said, any company could have a bad part get through QA. That being said, and like I mentioned above, always go w/ a set on your mobo compatibility sheet, and what I would do is take a look at that sheet and find a set of RAM w/ lower CAS latency, tighter timing, and requires lower voltage. Here's what you are looking for: 9-9-9-24 @ 1.65v is what your latest RAM choice is rated at, and that's kind of loose for such a high voltage, for example my set of G.Skill is running 8-8-8-24 @ 1.40v, and I could get probably get even tighter timings b/c the voltage is still relatively low. You should be able to find a set w/ at least 8-8-8-24 @ 1.5v in your price range, not that what you picked is a poor choice at all, it will perform well and the difference between a CAS latency of 8 and 9 would produce infitessimal gains, it's just something to think about.

    As for your HDD choice, the WD Caviar Black series IS a great HDD...but ideally you REALLY do want to get yourself a Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD, they are hands down the best 7200 RPM HDD on the market today.

    Here, check our this comparison of read/write and access speeds on HDDs in your price range, if you look at a couple of the different charts that can be found w/ that link, notice how much faster oeverall the spinpoint F3 is, after that the Seagate 7200.12 and WD Caviar Black come in a VERY close 2nd/3rd. It's all about platter count, and atm Samsung is putting the densest platters, a full 500GB single platter, in their Spinpoint F3's which equals less platters, which equals less read/write time, and thus why they are faster. In a Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD you will only have 2 platters, where as the Seagate and WD are still using 3+ platters in their 1TB HDD. Honestly, it isn't a huge difference and either way the difference is going to be barely perceptible, the WD Caviar Black is an awesome HDD, and not a bad choice at all but the way I look at it is that you are taking the time to pick the parts, you might as well get the best, especially if it's not going to cost you any more. 

    Here's the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB for $69 w/ the promo code listed ($89 before), or, alternatively if you don't get it before the promo code expires, here's the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB for $55 (that's the HDD I would've gotten but it twas out of stock) if you want to save a couple bucks and don't feel you'll actually utilize 1TB (which is a massive amount of storage).

    As was stated, the PSU is something you REALLY don't want to skimp on, and imo the best PSU's in this price range atm are being built by a company named Seasonic which supplies the PSU's that Antec, Corsair, and PCPower slap their own stickers on. Take a look at this one:

    Antec Earthwatts 750w for $109 (reduced from $139), it's semi-modular (meaning the "main" cords, such as the main 12v rail, a set of SATA power, one PCI-E w/ both a 6 AND an 8 pin plug, and a set of molex, are permanent, with others being removable), and it has an 80+ rating, meaning it's certified to be over 80% proficient. A very solid choice as far as PSU's go

    That does look like a solid monitor, and yeah I noticed that the monitor I got became unavailable a couple days after I got it. I don't know what kind of monitor you are using atm, but if you are using a CRT, you are going to LOVE how much better the picture looks on your new LCD monitor. It really is pretty amazing.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Kravis, just an FYI, I have personally used almost those exact G.Skill sticks on an Asus board (Crosshair III Formula without issue). In fact, I've used G.Skill brand DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 for the past five years across four Asus motherboards without a single hitch. For that matter, out of the last dozen computers I've built, I can only recall a single one that had RAM purchased that was tested by the MoBo manufacturer for compatibility, and I have only ever had an issue once. Ironically, it was that very tested RAM that ended up being faulty due to being a bad batch (it was part of that notorious batch of Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1066 from a couple years back).

    The qualified vendor list is a handy reference, but honestly, there are hundreds of RAM models out there for a given memory standard, and Asus only tests a tiny, tiny fraction of them, so I wouldn't worry about meeting something so restrictive. DDR3 is a standard, as are sets of speed and latency that are built into the sticks, which means the motherboard is really designed to work with all DDR3 RAM (at a specified range of speed and latency), not just what Asus hand-tests. Now, it's not like the Corsair RAM is bad by any means, but it is notably inferior to the G.Skill Ripjaw memory. In all honesty, it's really a pretty small decision. All DDR3 1600 RAM will work, generally speaking, and the tangible differences in performance will be minor, if not completely unoticeable, but really, I just wouldn't sweat that decision too much in any case.

  • teddy_bareteddy_bare Member UncommonPosts: 398

    Originally posted by Catamount

    Kravis, just an FYI, I have personally used almost those exact G.Skill sticks on an Asus board (Crosshair III Formula without issue). In fact, I've used G.Skill brand DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 for the past five years across four Asus motherboards without a single hitch. For that matter, out of the last dozen computers I've built, I can only recall a single one that had RAM purchased that was tested by the MoBo manufacturer for compatibility, and I have only ever had an issue once. Ironically, it was that very tested RAM that ended up being faulty due to being a bad batch (it was part of that notorious batch of Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1066 from a couple years back).

    The qualified vendor list is a handy reference, but honestly, there are hundreds of RAM models out there for a given memory standard, and Asus only tests a tiny, tiny fraction of them, so I wouldn't worry about meeting something so restrictive. DDR3 is a standard, as are sets of speed and latency that are built into the sticks, which means the motherboard is really designed to work with all DDR3 RAM (at a specified range of speed and latency), not just what Asus hand-tests. Now, it's not like the Corsair RAM is bad by any means, but it is notably inferior to the G.Skill Ripjaw memory. In all honesty, it's really a pretty small decision. All DDR3 1600 RAM will work, generally speaking, and the tangible differences in performance will be minor, if not completely unoticeable, but really, I just wouldn't sweat that decision too much in any case.

    Yeah, this is true, and even the manufactures say the same thing on their compatibility sheets. That being said though, why take a chance with something you aren't totally sure about when you have the manufacturers word that they tested this or that set and they know it works. Of course, yes, DDR3 is a standard, and all DDR3 mobo's are designed to work with that standard and will, most likely, work. But again, you have a list of module's that WILL work, and if it's at all possible to get RAM that is on that list, than it's a good idea to do so. If you can't find something to your liking on their compatibility list, then just make sure the RAM you choose is rated for speeds that the mobo can handle.

    As an aside, I don't remember if you said you had a case, or were buying a new one, but I noticed that the Antec Nine-hundred is on sale for $60 (well, $79 + a $20 rebate) which is a HUGE $60 savings on an awesome case. I got the Antec Nine-Hundred Two and have to say that I am absolutely thrilled with it. It's a very well put together case, nice thick steel construction, excellent cable routing, a couple very good fans in strategic area creating nice air-flow. Even though I have the 902, there are very few differences between the two, except for a couple design differences....I can't say enough good things about this case

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Yeah, I definitely agree, Teddyboy, because there are still very rare cases where compatibility issues can crop up.

    Still, that G.Skill memory is so nice image At 7-8-7-24, those sticks knock off 2 clock cycles from two of the three important timings compared to to the Corsair sticks (at 9-9-9-24). That is actually quite a difference in latency, especially because getting them down to 7-7-7-24 would probably be a cinch. That's very impressive latency there :)

  • KravisKravis Member UncommonPosts: 186

    Done!

    OK, took into account the advice pfloydguy84, Catamount and teddyboy420 supplied and made some final changes and ordered.

    First, the PSU. I was OK with the 650w but upon some further research I became concerned on some of the lengths of the cables. The price for the Antec, while a bit more expensive, was worth avoiding an assembly problem. Plus, the 750w puts me in a good position to Crossfire later. A few years back I had a couple of bad experiences with Antec but it sounds like they have ironed things out.

    The CORSAIR memory is history. I went with the G.SKILL Ripjaw F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM, those are in the QVL, however some people had reported problems with the Asus MB. Asus tech. "believe" the memory should be fine with 7 - 8 - 7 - 24 - CR 2 1.60V settings. Nobody responded after Asus made the post, so I will assume everything worked.

    I also decided to get a proper CPU cooler, the CM Hyper 212 Plus (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065). Looks like it's going to be a bit of pain to install but I think it will be worth the effort.

    Last but certainly not least, the HD. Western Digital is gone and replaced with the Samsung F3. This drive was on my list but at the time there was a known issue with the MB and the Samsung during initial startup not handshaking correctly. The issue is fixed, Samsung has a firmware upgrade and Asus has done a BIOS update. I will need to flash the board before I use the drive but using a thumb drive and Asus's EZFlash I don't anticipate problems.

    I tried hooking up the educational discount but had trouble reaching two people and the teacher I talked with got a discount but it was not very impressive. I didn't want it holding up the show so I just threw in Win 7 Pro 64-bit OEM so I get everything by mid week, testing at the end and PLAYING!!!! by weekend. CCP's got Tyrannis going up at the end of the week so want to try and be knee-deep in that over the weekend with the new system.

    I know I keep saying it but thanks for the help, really appreciate all the guidance.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Hey Kravis, if you want a good CPU cooler on a budget, you should get the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. At one time, it was among the best CPU coolers one could get as far as air cooling, despite the low price tag of just a hair over $30. Even today it's still a very good cooler (though still not as good as the Xigmatek Dark Knight, but that costs $15 more). If you do have the money, then get the Dark Knight, as it's one of the best air coolers around.

    If there's one thing Phenom X4s are good at, it's running toasty, so if you plan to overclock, you'll need a really good cooler. Fortunately, you don't need to pay a small mint to get one these days.

  • VeighnergVeighnerg Member UncommonPosts: 40

    Stay Away from OEM Windows. If something major in your system such as your motherboard dies and you have to replace it you will also be buying a new copy of Windows. Look up what OEM operating systems are all about before using them. They can cause a lot of headaches down the road. OEM software is meant for computers such as a prebuilt dell where the motherboard and most of the internal parts will be the same for the lifetime of the machine due to the fact it usually get serviced by company that supplies and thus uses the same parts.

    TSW - Daemon Server
    Waiting on Camelot Unchained!

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by NEDM

    Stay Away from OEM Windows. If something major in your system such as your motherboard dies and you have to replace it you will also be buying a new copy of Windows. Look up what OEM operating systems are all about before using them. They can cause a lot of headaches down the road. OEM software is meant for computers such as a prebuilt dell where the motherboard and most of the internal parts will be the same for the lifetime of the machine due to the fact it usually get serviced by company that supplies and thus uses the same parts.

    Yeah, but even if a motherboard dies, and he has to buy a second copy of Windows, he's still just out the same amount that he would be to begin with if he bought a retail copy. If, on the other hand, he's one of the 98% of people who's motherboards don't just spontaneously die, then he's just saved himself $100.

  • VeighnergVeighnerg Member UncommonPosts: 40

    Nothing to see here.

    TSW - Daemon Server
    Waiting on Camelot Unchained!

  • teddy_bareteddy_bare Member UncommonPosts: 398

    Congratulations man, I know very well the satisfaction that comes from choosing you're parts and then building your own computer. Enjoy it :)

    It looks like you have picked out some good stuff, and I know you're going to love the performance increase you're going to see. My last system is built w/ parts from the exact same "generation" as yours, the first wave of AMD dual-cores, Athlon X2's, GeForce 7xxx and such, and the performance increase from those parts to the parts you are getting are...well, they're really really nice, lol.

    I feel you on just wanting to get your system up and running and pulling the trigger on the 1-off OEM version of Windows. I came really close to doing the same thing myself b/c I didn't want to wait, but I got really lucky, my little brother is @ univerisity and Win7 Ultimate 64-bit just happened to be on his majors requisite "software list", which means he gets the "big" discounts on anything on that list.

    Post up some pics when you get everything up and running

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