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Need Opinions Re: CPU, Motherboard and RAM

johnwaskins

54 months ago

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor $172.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $128.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory G.Skill Trident X 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $135.98 @ Newegg
Storage Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Purchased For $0.00
Storage Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $0.00
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card Purchased For $0.00
Case Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 ATX Mid Tower Case $114.99 @ Micro Center
Power Supply SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply Purchased For $0.00
Mouse SteelSeries Rival Wired Optical Mouse Purchased For $0.00
Headphones Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones Purchased For $0.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $546.96
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-04-13 03:17 EDT-0400

I've bought everything except the case, CPU, motherboard and RAM. My budget is tight, and I'm planning on buying just a few of the components at a time. (Not all at once, unfortunately.)

I don't need an opinion on the case. I'm going Nanoxia Deep Silence 1, for sure.

I'm just looking for opinions on CPU, motherboard and RAM.

  • Budget: Below 600$ for case, CPU, motherboard and RAM.

  • Location: United States (cannot use MicroCenter, though).

  • Use (Gaming, Rendering, etc): Gaming, Programming (compiling), podcasting

  • Peripherals required (monitor, keyboard/mouse, etc): None needed (already purchased).

  • Operating System required: None. I'll start with Linux, than buy a copy of Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit later.

Wants and needs:

Needs: Silence (read: low TDP, overclocking won't happen), 16GB RAM minimum, 4-cores (if Intel) minimum and 6-cores (if AMD) minimum.

Wants: 2-Way SLI and 2-Way CrossFire, low-latency RAM (more important to me than high frequency).

Don't care: Sound card. (I'm using an aftermarket one right now, and I plan on getting an even better one later. They're both USB, so PCI or PCIe doesn't matter.)

Note: I'll get an aftermarket cooler after I buy the OS. And I'll buy the OS after I buy the system itself (including case). I already know which one I'll get, and I won't get into it for now. I had some very specific needs, and there was only one cooler on the market that took care of it all. (And it isn't listed on PCPartPicker. And to get the cooling right, I'll need some accessories not listed here, nor on Amazon. Loads of exotic stuff. Maybe I'll send some pictures after it's done.)

I won't be building a "glamour build". It doesn't need to be aesthetically pleasing, because it won't have a case window. I'd prefer to not have green PCB RAM, nor RAM with shocking-pink or neon-green heatsinks if possible. Minimalist preferred, matte black/stealth theme preferred. I'm looking for a very stable build, though. So I need a very stable motherboard in terms of drivers, BIOS, etc.

If you guys can lower the cost, TDP and/or find suitable parts that work equally well, let me know.

(Here's an alternative build I'm considering. It isn't nearly as high-end because of the CPU, but the low-profile low-voltage CAS@8 DDR3-1600 16GB 2x8GB kit seems to be worthwhile for lowering heat and increasing compatibility with the aftermarket heatsink I'm planning for later.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kWkdYJ

What do you guys think?)

Comments

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheaper RAM: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pny-memory-md16384kd31600x9

If you're worried about the RAM because you might've never heard of the company before, don't. It has a lifetime warranty so even if it dies it's okay.

And since you're not overclocking, you can just get a cheaper motherboard. There's a nice looking MSI 970 Chipset motherboard for like 99$ at the moment. Saves ~20$.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

The thing is that I'm also looking at motherboard stability. I've heard really good things from Wendell at TekSyndicate about the stability of the ASUS 990FX Pro R2.0, and how he said that after he soldered back on a new replacement capacitor, it was one of the most stable platforms he'd ever encountered in his career.

As for the RAM, it's not on the compatibility list. (I'm not worried about PNY. They also sell Nvidia's own QUADRO cards, so that tells me all I need to know about their reliability. They aren't known for being a gamer- or consumer-facing company. They're a business-facing company, selling their brand as reliable. So I know all about PNY.)

I think I may have found a different RAM kit that's compatible, lowest-latency supported (officially) by that motherboard:

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/a-data-memory-ax3u1600w8g9db

Here's my new parts list:

FX-8350 version: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DwdXGX FX-6300 version: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bpCbf7

Now the big question for me right now is this: does 6 cores over 8 cores make a huge difference in gaming on the FX-series of processors? (And how much of a difference does it make on compilation time?)

I need to know if it's worth saving or not for the price difference.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

RAM not on the compatibility list will almost always work, they just test the most popular brands and speeds, and PNY isn't exactly a popular brand. (I don't know why, they're normally pretty good for quality control.)

For the motherboard, if a capacitor falls off for some reason it should probably be RMA'd. I mean, if he or whoever breaks it then too bad but if it just falls off one day after normal use that's an issue from the factory. Yea, it may be a good board but you're not going to be putting any strain on it at all. You're not overclocking, so the parts are going to wear out at a normal pace. Whichever though, it's ultimately up to you.

The gaming performance for the 6350 vs the 8350 is about the same due to games not really utilizing that many cores most of the time. But since you're also going to be programming you might want the extra threads. I'd go in the middle with the 8320 myself.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah. I'm leaning FX-8320 or FX-8310, personally. I don't need 125W TDP, I'm fine with 95W.

Faster cores < More cores. (For me.)

PNY isn't bad. But I want guaranteed compatibility, just in case I have to RMA for whatever reason. And also I want the guaranteed stability. Even if it won't always work, tested RAM always will. And for me, that's worth the extra few dollars. (And also avoiding that green PCB from PNY.) If it weren't for the green PCB and compatibility, I'd pick PNY over ADATA any day of the week. I want stability, and this is an exception due to technicalities (and my own OCD).

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

This might be a good alternative to a FX-8350 if you want to save some money. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9496634&CatId=11865

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh my GabeN! (Sorry fellow gamers. I shouldn't the name of GabeN in vain. =P )

That's well worth it. =) I should get it next chance I get. It might be a few months until I can. Hope that deal is still there when I save up. Thanks! (8 cores and 95W? I'm lovin' it!)

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