New AMD system


May 5, 2012
I am thinking of building my own computer. I don't really need high end graphics but would like to get as much bang for the buck as I can. I will probably build around an AMD FX-8150 or FX-8120 Eight-Core processor as this would seem to give me the most computing power for the dollar. The machine will have 8Gb (maybe 16) of RAM and at least 2 TB of hard disc storage as well as a DVD burner. It will run Windows 7 or 8.

My criteria from most important to least important:
Reliability - I want this machine to last at least 5 years
Ease of build - It's been 10 years since I last built a PC.
Quiet - I would like to keep the fan noise down
Reasonably fast hard drives - is SSD ready for prime time and cost effective?
USB connections on front of case (can live with 2 but more would be better)

Machine will be used for web surfing, programming and video editing/conversion.

I would welcome suggestions on motherboard, memory, case, optical drive, hard drive. fans, power supply, etc.
In my opinion SSDs aren't ready for primetime, but I know some people really like them, I can't offer an opinion on them that would be worth its salt.

Hard Drive prices are kind of inconsistent right now due to flooding in Thailand where most of them are made, so honestly, I'd start off with a 1TB drive and add more drives when needed. Also, single drives of greater than 1TB tend to grow substantially more expensive, so its more cost effective to have multiple smaller capacity drives.

That'll be easy:
CPU- FX-8120 $175

Mobo- Sabertoooth 990FX- $185

RAM- Corsair 16GB 4x4- $97

Case- HAF 912 $60

Power- Corsair TX750- $105

Hard Drive- WD Caviar Black 1TB- $140

Video Card- Radeon 6870- $170

DVD Burner Asus 24x- $18

CPU cooler- Hyper 212 Evo- $35

What do you think?


May 5, 2012

Thanks for some very well thought out suggestions.

I was hoping go with a motherboard with an integrated video card if at all possible. I don't really play games, just web surfing/ programming/video editing so I don't need much power in that area. I'd rather spend the $170 on another hard drive. Also another fan in the case will only add additional noise and I'd like to keep the box as quiet as I can.

The CPU cooler intrigues me. I thought that the CPU came with one. Is an after market cooler much better(quieter)?

As for the hard drive situation I was hoping that things were finally getting better now. I had seen a few hard drive specials on newegg and other daily deals lately where the prices seemed to have come down a bit. I can hold off a month or two if need be but I'd rather build the machine once rather than opening it up an adding a drive later.

The case looks like it should be easy to work with. But I am a bit confused. The last PC I built had a case with a built-in power supply. I'm guessing that the power supplies are more tailored for application now than they were 10 years ago. So a case/power supply would not be a good idea?

No problem, as far as integrated graphics on the board, I would avoid them, yes some AMD boards do have them, but they're pretty dated. Even for non-gamers standards. They're basically good enough to turn the computer on and install Windows.

The 6870 while it is a pretty decent card, its about mid-level in performance. You could drop to something cheaper. And I would go that route.

Something like this:

OR even lower- This is about the bare minimum I would consider acceptable in my opinion especially if you're looking for a computer to last you 5 years.

I have a 550 TI, the video card fan isn't very loud, especially if you aren't taxing it very much. It runs pretty quiet, 550 TI is not a particularly aggressive video card.

In my experience, the stock CPU fans for both Intel and AMD are pretty noisy, they're tiny high RPM fans. The cooler I suggested, not only gives you overclocking potential if you decide to, its pretty quiet.

As far as the hard drive situation, I personally found a better price at Best buy in the store. I got a 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green 5900 RPM drive for 117.99 plus tax, it was 40 bucks cheaper than Newegg and TigerDirect online for the same model. I use it as my secondary drive since it is a bit slower than my WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM 500GB;jsessionid=186BE525EEC1A5445E3FAB372A5059E0.bbolsp-app02-30?id=1218102739460&skuId=9419382

As far as built in power supplies, there are some cases that come with power supplies as a bundle, they're almost always junk, and very low powered. I wouldn't use one personally.
By the way, that motherboard is more expensive than it has to be. I have one, and its awesome, but there are definitely cheaper solutions than that and will meet your system requirements. If you want a recommendation on a cheaper one let me know.

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