Is this setup ok?

By Marty9231 · 17 replies
May 9, 2009
  1. Hi,

    I am planning on drasticly upgrading my system, and I need to be sure not to buy the wrong things. So I would like to know if what I'm going to buy is a bit of a descent system.


    Asus M2A-VM motherboard.
    Nvidia GeForce 8500GT graphics card.
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ CPU.
    2x 1 Gb DDR2 RAM.
    And a quite low wattage Psu, I'm not sure which one.

    I'm going to buy:

    Asus AM2+ / AMD 780G / FSB 5200/4xDDR2 1066 / VGA 256MB / H-CrossF motherboard.
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 (1Gb) graphics card.
    AMD Phenom X4 9650 CPU.
    another 2x 1Gb DDR2 RAM, so a total of 4 gb.
    Antec Earth-watts EA-430 EC - 430Watt Psu.

    Would this be a good buy?
    Thanks in Advance
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    The Antec Eatwatts psus are good quality but you are going to need a better psu output. Many people when they go to build systems will go cheap on the psu thinking save a little $, but a solid psu is the backbone to any good system.

    Also, Asus makes some great boards but they are very picky about what RAM is compatible with what board. Make sure the RAM you are buying is recommended by Asus for your board.

    Also, if you don't plan on setting up Crossfire in the future save yourself money and get a non-Crossfire mobo.
  3. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142


    Thanks for your input. The PSU was reccommended to me, and it would have been more than enough. But since you thought it isn´t, I´ve checked some others, and came with this: Antec Basiq BP500U. This was better or the same in almost every way, with 500Watts of power.

    Now the mobo, you were right about the crossfire use. I didn't even look at it at the time. Now I'm not sure which one to pick next, but I saw this one: M3N78-SE from ASUS. Could you have a look at that one and tell me what you think please?

    And I checked the ram compatability with this new motherboard. And it supports the sticks I was intending to buy (Kingston 1Gb 667Mhz non-ECC CL5 DIMM 240 Pinn).

  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The EA430 may be cutting it close with that system. I would recommend either the EA500 or a Corsair 450VX instead.

    And if you can, get any of the Phenom II X3\X4 CPUs instead of that Phenom CPU.
  5. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    What is the difference between the BP500U and the EA-500 EC PSUs?
    And the Phenom II processors are a bit over budget, so I don't think I'm going for them.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The only difference between the PSUs is in the OEM and build quality. The BP500U is made by FSP, and is basically noisier and less efficient (still above 80% though) when compared to the EA500, which is made by Delta\Seasonic (depending on which model you get). A higher efficiency translates into power savings and cooler operating temperatures. I would recommend the EA500 for that reason solely, but if it is too over-budget, then go for the Basiq instead.

    As for the CPU, I see the Phenom II X3 710\720BE going for around the same price as the Phenom X4 9650. Both the triple-core CPUs perform on par with the E8400, which is a fantastic chip for its price. I own a PC with the latter and it is surprisingly powerful, even when heavily loaded, despite being over a year and a half old.

    The 720BE also comes with an unlocked multiplier, making OCing a piece of cake, not to mention the fact that you may be able to unlock the one disabled core to get (essentially) a Phenom II X4 920BE.
  7. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    Ok, so that's going to be the EA500, because I like quiteness and ofcourse power savings.
    About the processor, I know the II X3 is the same price, however, it uses an AM3 socket, and the motherboard I chose only has AM2. If I wanted to go for the II X3, I would need to upgrade my mobo as well.

    Edit: I saw my motherboard is compatible with the II X4, but not the II X3...
    Edit2: The M4N78-SE does have a compatible socket for the II X3, would that be a worthy replacement for the M3N78-SE?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Both mobos can take AM2, AM2+ and AM3 CPUs. Check the CPU support list for each of them at the following links:
  9. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    I see, I was confused because in 'specifications' the M3N doesn't say it supports II X3/4 processors. The M4N does. but they both specificly say they are Phenom II compatible. So, would this be it?:

    M3N78-SE motherboard
    ATI Sapphire HD4850 (512 Mb GDDR3) graphics card
    AMD Phenom II X3 720BE CPU
    4x1Gb kingston 667 MHz DDR2 non-ECC CL5 Dimm 240 pin RAM
    Antec EarthWatts 500W EA500-EC PSU
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Is it possible for you to get faster RAM without going over-budget? If you can, get this kit. The Kingston kit is something I would consider only if you do not find anything from Corsair's XMS, Crucial's Ballistix or OCZ's Gold/Platinum/Reaper HPC series that fits your budget.

    Otherwise, it all looks great IMO.
  12. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    Without going over the budget, I would be able to replace my current 2 sticks (total 2gb) with 2 XMS 800Mhz sticks (total 2gb) but not buy another 2.
    Would that be sufficient?
    Also, It's probably a stupid question but, Would I need extra cooling? I only have one fan ATM so I think I do.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    I noticed you first had a Crossfire board, if you think you might possibly want it in the future, you can get a board with multiple pcie for about 20 quid more, just an idea, you can choose not to use it...but you cant add a pcie slot later. just sharing some past 'iwishtiwoulda' from previous builds. :)
  14. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    I've thought about it, and I think I'm not going to do that for years.
    So by the time I want it, I'll probably have a new system already :)

    I checked the RAM issue again, and figured out that buying 2x2gb from newegg is cheaper than buying 2x1gb from a local store. So I'm going for the kit Rage suggested (2x 2gb OCZ Fatal1ty 1066MHz).

    Ok, I'm going to buy that RAM kit on Newegg. There is something about (OCZ) rebates there, and since it's my first time on newegg I had a few questions.
    - Are these rebates only valid in the U.S. and Canada? Or also in the rest of the world?
    - If I am 'the rest of the world', will I recieve a visa/mastercard with the rebate, or a check?
    - If a check, would I be able to change it at a local bank for the rebate in cash?
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Ah, you are in the Netherlands. You cannot order from Newegg in that case, since they do not ship internationally. You can order from places like Amazon and Fry's, but I recommend buying from Komplett instead, so you can save on shipping.
  16. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    Ah ok, that explains a lot.
    As for the alternatives: I am buying the rest of the stuff from Databyte. Databyte has a lower price for most of the things, and offers a lot. But still, 1 kit of 2x1gb fatal1ty costs as much as 2x2 gb fatal1ty from newegg. But for now it's the best I could find.

    So, this kit: HD4850 (512 MB), Phenom II X3 720BE, 2x1gb Fatal1ty gaming ddr2 Ram 1066Mhz, M3N78-SE mobo, EA500-EC PSU, is it?

    Edit: I only have one cooler right now, so I figured I could use another one. But I don't know which one I need. Do I need a case-cooler? Cpu-cooler? Gpu-cooler? And how many mm should it be? 80? 120?
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Yep, that stuff looks good. Also, you can go with any other RAM kit from the "Big Three" I mentioned before; it isn't imperative that you buy the Fatal1ty kit since performance will not be affected as long as the other kit has the same timings, latency and speed. So go for other cheaper RAM if you can or want to.

    As for a cooler, I recommend a good CPU cooler like the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer or the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme. It will help a lot when OCing and too much cooling is never a bad thing IMO. ;)
  18. Marty9231

    Marty9231 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 142

    Ok, and what about the cooling?

    So if I get one of those cpu coolers, I won't have to place another for the case or something?
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