fluidmotion

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Jul 21, 2009
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18,510
Want some opinions on my build before I put the order in. Its an AMD Phenom II 955 BE build.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Today

BUDGET RANGE: $500 - $700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: CAD, Rendering, Gaming, General use

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case(reusing an old one), Have a 350w Antec power supply, but thats probably not enough

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg has never let me down, but cheaper is better

PARTS PREFERENCES: See list below

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 or higher

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want a build that will last, and have upgrade possibilities. Are there any weak links in my build? With OC is the 955 necessary or would a lower model chip OC to the same levels? A new case would be nice, but putting more money into the components would be better. Thanks in advance.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Combo with ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 790GX Motherboard for $284

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 for $155

ORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V for $80

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 for $65

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache for $80

Total of $664

 
Since CAD is your first priority, I would say the 955 is your best bet. I like all your choices. The board might be overkill but the huge discount makes it a no-brainer.

The PSU is high quality (Seasonic built) and quiet. You could get by with a bit less:
PPCS500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703015

But if you don't mind the rebate go with the 650TX.

Oh, and the 750 Caviar Black is actually slower than the 640GB version or the 1TB version. Has to do with platter density.
 

fluidmotion

Distinguished
Jul 21, 2009
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18,510
Thanks for the quick response. Your parts guide was a huge help. Its been 6+ years sense my last full build and it brought me up to date on all the current technology.

Id rather have speed over size, so 640GB it is. Must be 3x250GB platters vs 2x320 GB platters.

If I did want a case, whats a good price range to be looking at?

I forgot to mention that I will be doing the fireGL soft mod to the card. Any reason this would not be possible.
 
Must be 3x250GB platters vs 2x320 GB platters
That's right, and the 1TB version uses the same platters, but get's 333GB out of them :)


There are a few cases that are just great values.

Antec 300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

Antec 300 with extra blue fans
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

Cooler Master 690
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
Most CM cases are deeper, meaning more room at the front edge of the MB for those long video cards. Either case will fit your 4870 though.

This is pretty much the ultimate enthusiast case:
HAF
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160
It's got the best air cooling, tons of room, etc. Beyond this you are paying for looks and "feel." Don't get me wrong, those are important. You pay a premium though.

My case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163073
 
I had to look up the soft mod. I wasn't aware of this... we usually recommend Nvidia cards for folks that want to game and do CAD or other apps on the same machine.

Seems like for a CAD machine this might be a nice solution. Especially if you could dual boot with a gaming config as well.... does this soft mod involve GPU BIOS changes?
 

fluidmotion

Distinguished
Jul 21, 2009
3
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18,510
Nope, no BIOS changes. As you probably already know the Radeons and FireGLs are the same cards with different drivers. To get the Radeon to perform like a FireGL you just need the unlocked drivers. The HD4870 fireGL drivers dont seem to be out yet, but I'm sure they will come out.

I'm really debating about the case. My build is right on the edge of the budget I set without the addition of a case. The case I got right now is old, and wont get anywhere near the amount of airflow these new cases get. It would be nice to have the Antec 900 or CM HAF, but thats an extra $100. If I did buy a case I would want one that lasts and looks good. Its hard to pick a case online too, so its time for a trip to Fry's.
 

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