$700 Upgrade

So I'm a student looking to upgrade by basically building a new computer. I'm what I would like to consider computer literate, so I've already taken a lot of time and looked at quite a few options, but I can't seem to find one much better than this:


I hold no particular preference for brand or manufacturer, so long as the color schemes don't make my eyes bleed. Like most of the things from Gigabyte. Not that I don't like their parts for funtionality, but if I ever get around to modding a side panel window into the case, I would really like to be able to enjoy the view instead of grimacing every time.

As far as the budget goes, it will be in the direct neighborhood of $700 (US Dollars, because I'm in the US.) And I will be using an existing SATA HDD. Just so you know what my current build resembles and you don't feel like looking at my account info:


The problem I'm currently having is that it will play most games when I drop the settings to medium at 1080p and leave most of the filters off. And when I'm running multiple tasks the system will hang since it only has two functional threads, so I would really like to have at least four. Another thing is that this motherboard and CPU combo doesn't support any overclocking at all, so I'm really looking for a board to really test it out with and push timings and optimizations.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to reading the comments.

Just get a 970 mobo instead of a 990FX since you're getting a Phenom 2, Jesus don't buy a V8, they are hideous and don't cool anywhere near to the price they charge. Also, just get 1866 ram. Rest is fine.

This will give you a little more bang for your buck



I would much prefer having the superior power management of the 990FX boards, if it's all the same to you, I actually want to get into overclocking, and even though the Phenom II X4 965 isn't a particularly nice processor, it isn't bad and I would prefer not to fry anything. As far as cooling goes, I'm still looking. So if you have some suggestions that aren't crazy expensive, I would be more than happy to look at them.

How about this for the cooler?


I feel it is just as ridiculous as the V8, but it is made by Scythe, and that company knows cooling. Although some of their designs may be a little eccentric. Kinda like Zalman.

A: 2133 speed ram isn't useful unless your using an APU. get 1600

B: powercolor doesn't make good cards, your better off with sapphire, asus, or msi...

He means...

powercolor does make good cards.

As tempting as that is, I would rather wait until AMD has released something that makes a marked improvement in real world uses per core compared with their two generations old product. I want to like AMD so badly, but I'm really hoping that the next generation of processors is really something. The main reason why I wanted a bonkers CPU cooler was to try my hand at overclocking, which, stereotypically with AMD results in very warm CPUs.

Unless you are to believe all the people that felt like leaving online feedback based on the fact that they got DOA cards, which may not have even been the fault of the provider. Either way, I much prefer the appearance of the Powercolor card, and I would much rather just wait until I can fit a different aftermarket cooler than suffer an ugly card with PCB that matches absolutely no part of the build. If I could source a motherboard from Sapphire then it would be a different story.

I had a DOA 5770 from Sapphire, this exact model:


And i have had a Powrcolor 4670 that lasted more than long enough and never broke down, this exact model:


I would if the price difference for this RAM wasn't like, $15 compared to it. And there is a difference if you are doing things with particularly large files that needs to happen quickly. Say you run mathematica (a 2 GB application) and you decide to run a render of a 3D graph of a trigonometric function with several dozen recursions and a couple hundred initial points. It will tax the hell out of the CPU, but the lists of data being kept open is also enormous, since it holds open the whole data list and a pre-render of each result before it combines them together to show you. So it basically does what you do in, say, 3DSM when you take a figure of a few hundred polygons and run turbosmooth over it a couple times. Like four.

Cool, it's still pretty amazing how brands can be so inconsistant, but I still have no preferences for the brand, just the product. I don't like how the sapphire looks for any of my builds, simply because it happens to not match the color scheme I'm looking for with that ASRock motherboard. If I was going for a blue theme, I would likely look at the Sapphire because it has superior cooling.