AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition (for comparison purposes)
ASRock A780GXE/128M AMD 780G motherboard
CSX CEC Series DDR2-800 CL5 Dual Channel 4GB Kit
MSI R4830-T2D512 OC Radeon HD 4830 512MB Video Card
OCZ EliteXStream 800 Watt PSU
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro CPU cooler
Thermaltake V9 Midtower
Windows XP Professional 32-bit
This rig has economy in mind. Of course, the power supply is very much overkill. Allowing $115 for a more than adequate power supply, less operating system this rig using the Phenom II 940 runs $650 plus shipping. Add $150 or so bucks for a much more powerful video card and a little more power supply, you’d have a very respectable gaming system for $800 or so.
Installation is the same as always, prep the CPU and CPU cooler base with isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth, install the CPU, cooler, and memory on the motherboard. Install the optical drive and power supply into the case.
Install the motherboard and hard drive.
Wire things up, install the video card, and you’re done.
Different BIOS have different overclocking options for the AM2+, but the most simple is increasing the CPU frequency, on this particular motherboard anyway. I bumped up the VCore to 1.4v, and easily clocked the Phenom II 940 to 3.74 gigs. Though my CPU cooler works well for its size, it still is rather limited, so I decided that a 25% overclock was enough for my testing. Undoubtedly, there is still significant overclocking headroom on the X4 940.
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