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Building a computer-Checking on Bottlenecks


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#1
Ryguy786

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I have not build a computer for about 5 or 6 years; so I'm rather outdated on my hardware.
I'm looking to build a computer between $700-900 or so dollars (for hardware...I'll be looking for a....slightly questionable version of Windows 7)

I'd like the computer to play video games well, with great graphics, etc...hold no bars! I hope I can do it.
6 years ago, I spent $1450 on my computer, and I loved it. But I can't spend that much this time around :D

What I'm worried about is bottlenecking my PC. I believe my setup last time around was a little be screwy and I kinda bottle necked myself. Furthermore; I'm wondering...it is cheaper to build my own PC right? I was looking at some gaming computers and it seemed a little cheaper...plus it never gives full details (Ie motherboard speed, etc...)

So here's what I'm looking at for now. Please let me know any suggestions, any ideas, comments, or anything ;)

Do you think I will be bottlenecking myself with something in here? It's been a LONG time since I built a computer so... help me out! What should I not -cheap out- on? What should I "not worry too much about" ?

Here's my plan so far! (I'm making a lot of my decisions based on benchmark charts...that a bad idea? )

I find there is always a Curve to computer performances/prices. The difference between a $20 CPU and a $60 is huge. but 60-100 is less huge, an 300-360 is even less of a jump. I'm trying to be efficient on price, yet still performing well enough for a great, pretty gaming PC.

I have also spent HOURS finding combo deals and making this work as well as possible..so changing it will be a [bleep], but I want to hear all your suggestions!

Here's all my links to everything I'm getting!

Motherboard/Case Combo - ASUS M4A89TD Motherboard / case = http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.487152

Ram/Video card - OCZ 6 gb, and XfX HD5850 = http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.493539

CPU/PSU = Corsair power supply (750W) and Athlon Phenom II X4 http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.492971

Monitor - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16824236043

Harddrive - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822152181

CD/DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827135204


And I'll be using windows 7 as I said.


What do you All think about this system?
Personally, my only questions are
1. Am I bottlenecking myself somewhere?
2. I really wanted an X6 1055 or 1090 but Im settling for the X4 965. Good idea? Bad?
3. I'm not skimping on things like the power supply or motherboard...I'm trying to go Crossfire someday if I have the extra money/feel the need to.


I originally was under the impression I could do this for $700-900; but I have this problem with wanting the best stuff....If I do make any budget cuts; where would you guys suggest? What would you do, in your experiences? Will this rig run the best games all pretty and such?


I will be getting some more money next week so; I'm thinking I will purchase it in about 7-9 days.

Really looking forward to all your opinions!
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#2
Ryguy786

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I just realized I have a triple channel Ram kit setup and a Dual channel MB. Will that be bad/won't work/be a waste? I was just thinking 6gb>4gb Ram.
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#3
SpywareDr

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Tom's Hardware > System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2010:


Also see (good article):

Tom's Hardware > Part 4: Building A Balanced Gaming PC

http://www.tomshardw...clock,2699.html


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#4
Digerati

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What do you mean by "questionable" version of RAM. Understand this is a "new" PC therefore you MUST buy a new license. You CANNOT use a "OEM" or "upgrade" license that was purchased for, or came with another computer on your new computer. Period. No exceptions. If you do, that's stealing, and you become a thief. Not cool.

Triple channel RAM only means there are 3 identical sticks in one package. There is nothing technically different in the actual RAM modules with either triple or dual (or single) channel RAM. That said, I would recommend you change your RAM to 4 x 2Gb for a full 8Gb so you can take advantage of dual-channel for both pairs of slots. With 3 sticks, since that board supports what is called "flex mode", the first two will run in dual-channel, and the 3rd stick will run in single channel mode. There's no harm in that, but to take full advantage of dual-channel's performance gains, both pairs of slots should be populated. If you want 6Gb instead of 8, then I recommend 2 x 2Gb plus 2 x 1Gb.

In any case, since this is still more than 4Gb, you should be looking at (a legal copy of :D) 64-bit Windows 7 - which is the way to go anyway, IMO. 32-bit is going away and I have yet to find any modern hardware or software that I need that's not supported in 64-bit mode. Windows 7 is designed to support current hardware and software - not stuff from 20 years ago (as with XP). And most importantly, Win7 is designed with today's security environment in mind. XP was designed to support legacy hardware and software.

Finally, that appears to be a nice case but personally, I will never buy another case that does not have removable, washable air filters. Even aluminum cased computers weigh a ton once fully loaded with components and lugging them (especially big bulky cases like that one) outside for cleaning is never fun - and always presents the potential for bent connector pins, loose connectors, or other damage (like a damaged CPU socket from a heavy heatsink fan (HSF) assembly). Without a washable filter, you will have to clean the interior at least twice as often as with a case with a removable, washable filter. Also, while maybe not a problem for you, I note the external USB, eSATA, and headphone ports, and the reset and power buttons are located on the top of the case offset towards the back. This would be unacceptable for me as my computer fits in a compartment under my desk. I would not be able to see the ports or buttons without sliding out the case. Not good. Something to think about if your desk has a similar computer compartment, or if you might be buying a new desk in the future that has one.
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#5
Ryguy786

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What do you mean by "questionable" version of RAM. Understand this is a "new" PC therefore you MUST buy a new license. You CANNOT use a "OEM" or "upgrade" license that was purchased for, or came with another computer on your new computer. Period. No exceptions. If you do, that's stealing, and you become a thief. Not cool.

Triple channel RAM only means there are 3 identical sticks in one package. There is nothing technically different in the actual RAM modules with either triple or dual (or single) channel RAM. That said, I would recommend you change your RAM to 4 x 2Gb for a full 8Gb so you can take advantage of dual-channel for both pairs of slots. With 3 sticks, since that board supports what is called "flex mode", the first two will run in dual-channel, and the 3rd stick will run in single channel mode. There's no harm in that, but to take full advantage of dual-channel's performance gains, both pairs of slots should be populated. If you want 6Gb instead of 8, then I recommend 2 x 2Gb plus 2 x 1Gb.

In any case, since this is still more than 4Gb, you should be looking at (a legal copy of :D) 64-bit Windows 7 - which is the way to go anyway, IMO. 32-bit is going away and I have yet to find any modern hardware or software that I need that's not supported in 64-bit mode. Windows 7 is designed to support current hardware and software - not stuff from 20 years ago (as with XP). And most importantly, Win7 is designed with today's security environment in mind. XP was designed to support legacy hardware and software.

Finally, that appears to be a nice case but personally, I will never buy another case that does not have removable, washable air filters. Even aluminum cased computers weigh a ton once fully loaded with components and lugging them (especially big bulky cases like that one) outside for cleaning is never fun - and always presents the potential for bent connector pins, loose connectors, or other damage (like a damaged CPU socket from a heavy heatsink fan (HSF) assembly). Without a washable filter, you will have to clean the interior at least twice as often as with a case with a removable, washable filter. Also, while maybe not a problem for you, I note the external USB, eSATA, and headphone ports, and the reset and power buttons are located on the top of the case offset towards the back. This would be unacceptable for me as my computer fits in a compartment under my desk. I would not be able to see the ports or buttons without sliding out the case. Not good. Something to think about if your desk has a similar computer compartment, or if you might be buying a new desk in the future that has one.

As for windows 7, I'm Just getting a copy from a friend who works at a store with a discount, lol.

I'll take your ram suggestions into consideration; they makes sense. The fast timings were why I was also attracted to this ram, and Due to the combo I'll have to find another combo or just try to buy them separately, which might be more expensive. Those combo deals are really nice sometimes.

I'm trying to cut my budget a little bit. Any suggestions as to where I can/should? I'm trying to turn me current 1,100 posting up there into a 900 or so. But I'm afraid to "skimp" in the wrong place.

Thank you for those articles- I especially love that they are up to date! I will certainly be using those to make some final decisions! What useful articles- exactly what I'm looking for, thank you ;)
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#6
Digerati

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Well, not sure where you can cut costs. That motherboard is pretty costly, but then I would rather have a hard drive with 32mb buffer so I am not sure I could save you any money.
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#7
Ryguy786

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I tried to save myself money via some suggestions via another forum, and via those articles and their benchmarks.
Heres my new list

cpu/psu http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.492970



ram/case http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.492939

Video card- http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814150477

Motherboard - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128416

HDD - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822152181

DvD drive - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827135204
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#8
iammykyl

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Hi.

I think you would be better off with this drive. > http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136319.

I think your first Mobo choice was better.

In your original post you said,

"3. I'm not skimping on things like the power supply or motherboard...I'm trying to go Crossfire someday if I have the extra money/feel the need to."

You would need an 850W PSU for those cards in crossfire.
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#9
Digerati

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You would need an 850W PSU for those cards in crossfire.

No, the 750W is just fine - especially a quality PSU like the Corsair. This is easily verified by simply looking at the System Requirements on the HD 5850 Specs Sheet. There you will note it says,

•500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)

This is easily confirmed by plugging your hardware into a good PSU calculator like the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite. Even if you exaggerate the specs by selecting 100% TDP, 100% peak load, and 30% capacitor aging (and using 4 sticks of RAM, 2 HDs, and a DVD writer), you still only get 640W as the recommended "minimum" - so even the 650W of your second choice is adequate, but I would go for the 750W so you have some headroom left.

And yes, the first motherboard choice is a nicer board, but there's nothing wrong with your second choice.
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#10
iammykyl

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Digerati, ;) :D
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