The Route to DIY: Taking the Phenom II Route
While Intel is proudly boasting about the sheer performance that their new Core i7 processors delivers, AMD has gone down a different route, choosing instead to expound about the value of their offerings. For example, their current Dragon platform, consisting of a Phenom II processor, AMD 790GX motherboard and an ATI Radeon HD 4870, is touted as a competitive yet value for money alternative to Intel's pricey Core i7 offerings. Of course they both serve different needs of end-users.
Additionally, AMD also carved out a niche for themselves amongst HTPC builders. Ask any HTPC enthusiast what is their motherboard chipset of choice and chances are he would be using an AMD 780G. The main reason behind this is the board's integrated Radeon HD 3200 GPU. This integrated graphics processor (IGP) is actually based on the older Radeon HD 2400 GPU, which barely even qualifies as an entry-level GPU by today's standards. But as an IGP, however, it is one of the best, thanks to its ability to crunch high definition (HD) videos. It's kind of like being the smallest fish in the ocean, but the biggest fish in the pond.
AMD's new Phenom II processors are manufactured using a 45nm engineering process, which means its cheaper to make and more efficient to run.
This leads us to the purpose of our guide. After extolling the virtues of building your own PC and showing you how to build your own high-end Core i7 machine, today we are going to show you how to do build a mid to high-end system powered by an AMD processor for both HTPC and gaming needs. For most parts, the steps are identical, but there are some subtle differences, which we will point out to you in the following pages.
But before we begin, to put together any PC system, you'll need these 9 components:-
- CPU heatsink and cooler
- Graphics card
- System Casing
- Power Supply Unit (PSU)
- Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
- Optical Disc Drive (ODD)
Let us now provide some background information regarding AMD's new Phenom II processors in the following page before we head into the building process.