Mobo help and advice appreciated for half-budget rig.


Mar 25, 2009
So I've spent some time lately trying to figure out what a good rig would be for me to use comfortably. The one I'm on now uses SiS integrated graphics, the stock mobo, PSU, and cooler systems, and doesn't have a DvD-Rom installed. Yup... it's still just CD-Rom. Only thing I've done to this garbage is put a couple gigs of DDR1 RAM into it since mobo isn't DDR2 capable, and upgraded the OS from '98 to XP.

Now I've just decided to trash this entire system, since none of it is reusable. I've come up with the components for a new rig and wanted peoples opinions on it.

1. AMD Phenom II x4 940 Quad Core
2. Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 video card X-Fire rdy
3. Corsair CMPSU – 850T x 850W
4. Sunbeam Transformer Case – Black /w Zalman Black 120mm Quiet front intake fan (
5. WD Caviar Black 1 TB Hard Drive
6. Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse
7. Sony DRU DVD/CD Burner (All formats)
8. I-INC iW171A Computer Monitor (17" Widescreen LCD)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As the paychecks come in

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing the Internet, Watching Movies, Document Writing (i.e. office for college)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers)


PARTS PREFERENCES: Although everyone still likes the Intel for its parts, I've learned what I know by studying AMD parts and would like to use them in my first build.



MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 (Max resolution)

My main question for this is what Mobo should I use for the outlined rig above that supports DDR3 as well?

Of course I have questions about the other parts of the rig since this is my first time trying this. All I can say right now is that I already have some of the parts purchased, having gone on advice I received from here before. The purchased parts so far are the PSU, the case, the GFX Card (which will be replaced when money allows), and the Hard Drive. I'm set on using the Phenom 2, not willing to go out for an i7 just yet.

One thing that's come to my attention is whether or not my PSU will be able to run all the fans I have as well as everything else necessary to run the PC. I'll admit there is much I still need to learn, and an answer as to whether or not it can will help me on my way to knowledge.

Now I know there are better of each part I've chosen, but I just can't afford that right now. When money allows one of the first things I'd like to replace would be the graphics card, but ultimately I'm more concerned with getting the rig up and running as fast as I can. Besides... with the crap monitor I have... the 4850 will be more than enough for it.


Mar 25, 2009
Well I was hoping it wouldn't cost anywhere near that much to be honest. That's just where I'd absolutely put my foot down.

As for the PSU, that's just what I had recommended to me. Would having it decrease my performance, or would it simply kill the computer?
Its possible to build a good i7 system for around $1300 or a phenom system for even less
Unless theres compelling reason to stick with such a small monitor you can get a good 22inch lcd for less than $200 .
Give me a few minutes and I will have a look at newegg. I will look at Phenom ll 955 systems .
Good prices , and often good combo deals that save you even more .

A power supply wont affect performance, unless it cant supply all the juice and then its thermal protection circuits should turn your pc off . Even powerful gaming pc's only draw 400 - 500 watts . Most people dont need that much gaming power and their pc's are drawing 250 - 350 watts which means a 650 w is idling along staying cool and powering everything fine
CPU $245
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GH

Motherboard $124.99

RAM $89.99
Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Hard Drive $99.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Total so far is $560 for a top of the range AMD .

GFX card $235
HIS Hightech H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB

Case $80
Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

DVD $25
Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD

Power supply $100

Mouse/keyboard around $90

Speakers around $70

Total so far $1135.

You can buy Vista home premium 64 bit for $100 , or you can download the Release candidate of Windows7 [ new] for nothing and use it free for a year and then buy it . I wouldnt buy vista since its being phased out soon .


SAMSUNG 2233SW High Glossy Black 21.5" 5ms Widescreen LCD $180
SAMSUNG ToC T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD $330

Even with the 24 inch monitor and buying vista the total is




Mar 25, 2009
Oh yeah I have no attachment to the monitor. It's just what I have right now is all.

Thanks for the other stuff though mate. Really appreciate it. Been stuck on a mobo decision for weeks now.


Sep 14, 2005

My understanding of RAM is that three modules are required for DDR3. Two modules will down-clock to DDR2. I also think that DDR3 is not necessary for current AMD CPU's. I could be wrong on both of the above, but don't think I am...

+1 for keeping XP as the primary OS and starting to play with WIN 7 in a dual-boot scenario. I wouldn't personally rely on a beta for my daily use, but so far WIN 7 looks pretty stable on my system.

On the monitor... It's a shame that the Dell 2405WFP is no longer available, but it's not. I've heard really good feedback from fellow graphic arts type users (I dabble, and provide support) re: the Samsung rose-black 24" monitor. Like any monitor, out of the box it will require some colour gamut tuning.

3 ram sticks are required for triple channel ram that is available for intels ci7 .
that plat form uses only ddr3 which is a type of ram

DDR3 is a little faster than ddr2 , and the prices are similar. DDR2 is really past its use by date and will soon just be legacy stock . A 4 gig dual channel kit of ddr3 is ideal for a Phenom build



Mar 25, 2009
Apologies for bringing back to life such an old thread, but I've got another question for this same rig.

What heatsink/fan should I pick up for the Phenom x4 955 Black? From what I've read the stock stuff isn't anywhere near good enough for it, and I don't want to have a meltdown soon after boot up.

I've heard that there is a fan on my tower that points right at the CPU, and I'm replacing all the stock fans on that with: Silen-X eventually. The 120mm's that come with the tower are still going to be stock for now though.


Jun 16, 2009
Not sure about the heatsink.. but did you get the 955be already?

I agree with the post above about ddr2. Out of date.. maybe?? but performance of a ddr3 mobo, ddr3 memory + amd 955be VS ddr2, ddr2 mobo and 940be ... must be very similar on gaming??

The benches for ddr3 amd's looks no difference to that of the 940 on ddr2.


Mar 25, 2009
Well that comp isn't just for gaming to be honest, and I'd rather have a computer that's using the DDR3 instead of DDR2 simply because of how old DDR2 is.

So in answer to your question, yes I have bought the 955be, the mobo, and the RAM.

For anyone else who's reading this, still looking for advice on a CPU heatsink/fan, or even if one is even needed. Is it possible that my tower provides enough airflow itself that stock should be satisfactory for the CPU?