Critique my build

grover

grover

Ex pert
#1
I was a regular here for the longest time, but I've been out of the loop about 5 years. I'm having a lot of fun getting caught up with technology and prepping for this build. This PC is going to be all new from the ground-up; my last PC (P4) was excellent, best I've ever built, better than even my water-cooled Athlon, but it's 5 years old now and even the components I'd normally re-use are about shot. I'm not going to be buying a video card on day one, but I would like to be able to slap one in 6 or 12 months down the road and be playing the latest games at 1600x1200. I'd like to do a moderately aggressive overclock, too (shooting for 25-30%.)

$99.99 AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz
$102.98 Asus ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO
$84.99 Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
$114.99 4GB RAM, DDR3 1600, G.Skill F3-12800CL8D-4GBECO 1.35V
$19.99 LITE-ON 24X DVD burner
$49.99 Case, AZZA Orion 202 Black with red trim
$76.19 PSU - SeaSonic SS-500ET 500W
$39.66 HSF - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283
$50? Mouse
$30? Keyboard
-----------------------
$668.78 Total

I'm pretty comfortable at this point with my CPU/mobo combination, but I do have a few question:

1) Can I use an adapter to get VGA from the DVI port on this mobo? If not, what about the 785G Gigabyte? My dual monitors are unfortunately both VGA... I'm using an adapter on my present PC for this.

2) Is there an easy way to verify this RAM is compatible short of buying it and seeing if it works?

3) How bad does the stock Athlon II HSF suck? Could I use it and save $40 of aftermarket cooling?

4) Any opinions on the Azza Orion 202 or recommendations on a good cheap case? I don't mind screwing in drives, I just want to make sure it cools well and doesn't have any fatal flaws. And I know it's corny, but windows and glowing LED fans is a plus ;)
 
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#2
... AMD Athlon II X4 630 ... Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB... LITE-ON 24X DVD burner ... SeaSonic SS-500ET 500W
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283...
Minor notes,
Not sure but double check, I think the AMD 635 overclocks better in general.

The WD Caviar Blue series is a bit quieter, slightly lower temps, but only has 3 years warranty.
The WD Caviar Black series has 5 years warranty and slightly better performance.
If 3 years warranty is alright with you, another worth consideration is the Samsung F3 series.

The LITE-ON is a generally a good ripper but not as good for burning.
I use a LITE-ON for ripping and a Sony Optiarc for the burning.


Seasonic ET series is a bit louder than their SII and MII series.
NB: ET series is OEM = No power cord.

I avoided the Xigmatek due to questionable clip, used to fasten it to the mobo. On one review, it broke on the second test rig...
If you like HSF with a backplate, the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus is worth consideration. Just pay attention/align the two notches.

3. You should be able to make do with mild/minor overclocks, retail AMD packaged/included heatsink has no heatpipe(s)
but as a result
Due to higher heat = higher rpms/fan shorter lifespan + increase noise level.
 
grover

grover

Ex pert
#3
Thanks! Optiarc and Hyper 212 look nice, I think I may take your advice on those :)

As to the CPU, I don't want the CPU to max out before the rest of the rig, and figured the 630 would actually net me a faster overall rig than if I went with the 635. That's assuming, though, that the 630 and 635 are both capable of reaching about the same max GHz. Do the 635s have generally more potential?
 
equinoxe3d

equinoxe3d

Active Member
#4
Do you intend to use this RAM for overclocking or just for low-power usage ? If it's for low-power usage make sure your board can go down to 1.35v. It'll work fine at 1.5v and beyond and overclock well if that's your intent, however you might not be able to use it as 'green' stock speed RAM and pay a bit more in the process ;)
 
grover

grover

Ex pert
#5
Overclocking. I doubt I'll be pushing it past 1600MT/s, but I figure if it can run at 8-8-8-24-2N at 1600MT/s at 1.35V, I can probably push the CL up a step or two at 1.5V :)

I don't think this board allows RAM voltages below 1.5V.
 
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grover

grover

Ex pert
#7
There seem to be a lot of problems with GSkill RAM and AMD motherboards; I'm looking at OCZ Black edition RAM pitched as for AMD boards instead.

Isn't DDR3 a standard? How can some be Intel and others AMD? Is that just marketing, shouldn't they all be identical and cross-compatible with all DDR3 mobos?
 
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#8
... Isn't DDR3 a standard? How can some be Intel and others AMD? ...
It is supposed to be, however,
It has turned into a free for all, regarding memory modules.
Every time they come up with a new memory and/or processor technology,
The memory and mobo manufacturers take several months to get their acts together. :(

OCZ only has some of their 1.5v memory modules listed as compatible with that mobo.
OCZ generally has good customer service, so may want to contact them to verify.
 
grover

grover

Ex pert
#9
It is supposed to be, however,
It has turned into a free for all, regarding memory modules.

OCZ generally has good customer service, so may want to contact them to verify.
I found several references on the ASUS forums of this RAM with this motherboard. It's not an outright two-thumbs-up, but this RAM's pitched as specifically designed for 790GX motherboards so I think it's about as safe as one can get. I'm been running overclocked OCZ chips for 5 years on my present PC with 0 issues and am very happy with them, so I've got no worries about them as a brand :)

I did verify the DVI-D on all these mobos can't be adapted to VGA.

On an unrelated note, I fixed my Logitech MXRevolution mouse today by coating the contacts with a graphite pencil. I love the mouse, but it's a sonofa***** to recharge; always a 15 minute fight to get the damn thing to connect to the docking station requiring sanding the contacts each time and finangling with nails to stiffen the springs, balancing TV remotes on it to put enough pressure eto make contact, etc. So I end up waiting until it's dead and then am afraid to touch it until it's fully recharged again, which is a terrible inconvenience. Nothing else is wrong with the mouse besides this, but if this makes it easy to charge again, just saved me $100!
 
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equinoxe3d

equinoxe3d

Active Member
#10
From what I've read the Eco memory is principally made and tested with the Core iX systems in mind, so issues on AMD platforms are plausible. Also, low-voltage DDR3 is still relatively young so motherboard manufacturers might need to tweak their BIOSes, like Shinma said.

I don't have any problems running G.Skill Ripjaws on a 785G board, but then it's a more "standard" 1.5v kit.
 
Ratt

Ratt

New Member
#11
How about this case?
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP (L x W x H) 22.20" x 10.00" x 19.70"

More expensive, but it is larger to accommodate more hardware and well ventilated for later upgrades. Should be good for a few computer rebuilds.
HAF 922 Review
 
grover

grover

Ex pert
#12
Thanks for your help, all!

This was the easiest build I've done yet- plug 'n play went flawlessly. Only hitch was when I discovered the removable mobo tray wouldn't fit back in the case with the mobo attached (doh!) but that was easily resolved. The HSF fits with barely 1/8" clearance from the panel, but does fit, so no foul there. I actually used cable management this time and tie-wrapped cables out of the way, so it actually looks very clean and tidy.

Got a good 30% overclock out of the CPU/mobo and had the 1600DDR3 running at 1840(CL11) at one point this morning, but I backed it down to a more stable 20% OC- 3.36GHz w/1600CL9, and am burning in right now. This RAM is supposed to be good for CL8 but I haven't had a chance to play with the specific timings yet. Regardless, I'm thrilled and looking forward to getting everything else set up and configured so I can transition to my fast new PC :D
 

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