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Old November 4, 2008, 08:47 AM
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Question News PC for $1000 - $1200

Hello every one,
Iím planning to change my PC for faster and multitasking pc and I need your opinion about the quality, performance and the price of the following components.

Processor:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.83 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 12MB L2 Cache, 45nm (Retail Box) ($399.99)
Canada Computers Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 .

Hard Disk:
Western Digital Caviar (WD5000AAKS) 500GB SATAII 7200RPM Cash 16MB. ($77.99)
Canada Computers - Western Digital 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Buffer.

Motherboard:
Asus P5Q Deluxe Intel P45 LGA775 DDR2/ 3 PCI-E x16/ 2 PCI-E x1/ 2 PCI/ SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA 1394 ATX Motherboard ($239.99)
Canada Computers - Asus P5Q Deluxe Socket 775 .
OR------
Asus P5Q-E Intel P45 LGA775 DDR2/ 3 PCI-E x16/ 2 PCI-E x1/ 2 PCI/ SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA 1394 ATX Motherboard ($179.99)
Canada Computers - Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 .

Graphic Card:
Asus EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M ATI Radeon HD 4850 Chipset (680MHz) 512MB (2100 MHz) DDR3 Dual Dual-Link DVI Display PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card ($224.99)
Canada Computers - Asus EAH 4850 TOP/HTDI/512M ATI Radeon.
OR------
Asus EAH4850/HTDI/512M ATI Radeon HD 4850 Chipset (625MHz) 512MB (1986 MHz) DDR3 Dual DVI Display PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card ($214.99)
Canada Computers - Asus EAH4850/HTDI/512M ATI Radeon HD 4850.
OR------
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card ($209.99)
Canada Computers - Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual.
Case:
Cooler Master Centurion 590 Black ATX Mid Tower Case (RC-590) ($75.99)
Canada Computers - Cooler Master Centurion 590.

Power Supply:
Corsair TX Series TX650W 650W ATX 12V 52A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan ($124.99)
Canada Computers - Corsair TX Series TX 650W.
OR------
OCZ GameXStream 600W Power Supply - NVIDIA SLI-Ready, Active PFC, 120mm LED Fan ($102.99)
Canada Computers - OCZ GameXStream 600W.
OR------
OCZ GameXStream 700W Power Supply - NVIDIA SLI-Ready, Active PFC, 120mm LED Fan ($124.99)
Canada Computers - OCZ GameXStream 700W.

DVD Player:
Samsung SH-S202J/BEBN IDE Black DVD-Writer 20xDVD+R/-R 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 12xDVD-RAM 12xDVD+/-RW Dual Layer 48xCD-R 32xCD-RW W/Software OEM ($29.99)
Canada Computers - Samsung SH - S202J.

RAM:
OCZ (OCZ2N800SR4GK) NVIDIA SLI Ready XTC 4GB DDR2 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 5-4-4-15 Memory Kit ($74.99)
Canada Computers - OCZ NVIDIA SLI Ready XTC 4GB DDR2.

OK, this is the result of searching for 4 days for the best and fit my budget. I used Price Canada (PriceCanada.com: Canadian Online Shopping Search and Comparison!) as guide to compare between different companies.

Iím not a gamer guy but Iím designer and developer work for at least 10 hours a day, also I use more than 5 applications at once, such as Photoshop, Blend, Visual Studio, Expression Web, Fireworks, etc. So performance for me is so important thatís why I need PC for multitasking.

My budget is between $1000 and $1200 before tax.
I have few questions and looking for your answers.:help:
-What is over clocking? And how I can do that for my processor?
-Do I need to buy more fans for my case? If yes, how many and which one I can buy?
-What is the different between these two motherboards? For me they are so similar but the price is so different? What do you think?
-What is the different between these power supplies?
-If my motherboard use DDR2, can I use graphic card DDR3 with no conflicts?
-Does any one have other suggestions for other component does the same job for less?
-finally, is there any tips for how to keep my PC run smother and problems free?

Iíd like to thank you again for your help and for this great web site.
Ahmed

Last edited by egyamado; November 4, 2008 at 11:30 AM.
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Old November 4, 2008, 10:25 AM
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First of all egyamado, welcome to HWC! I'll put in my two cents worth, but there are many peole here who are more knowledgeable than myself.

1) Adequately explaining overclocking is a little over my experience level, but if you do OC then you will likely need more fans. Fans and air flow are usually a response to case, chip and mobo temperatures.

2) I don't know the difference between the PSU's but I am very happy with the same model of Corsair that I have, and it will be more than adequate for your build.

3) There will be no conflict between DDR2 mobo ram and DDR3 GPU ram. I don't believe that they interact, although I may be wrong about this.

4) I have no suggestions on components.

5) Regular maintenance (physical cleaning, HD and registry defragging) and being careful about the types of programs that you install are probably the best way to keep your computer running well. There are a number of good programs to help keep your machine in good order.

6) There are a lot of older guys on this forum, so please be kind and use a larger font, lol.

Hope this helps and gets the ball rolling.

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Old November 4, 2008, 11:52 AM
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Thank you misterlarry,
I really appreciate your advices.

1- I have to search more a about overclocking and it will be nice to hear from anyone here on HWC.

2- Corsair PSU it seems great and based on feedback from many members from HWC itís the best in the market especially for gaming. But still for me price issue. Does OCZ does the same thing and I should be ok even when I do overclocking?
Waiting for HWC expertsí advicesÖ:help:

3- I agree with you about motherboard DDR2 and GPU DDR3, according to my knowledge there will be no problem.

4- Thank you for those nice maintenance tips.

5- Sorry about the small font, I meant make my post looks short, but I changed now, hope this is ok. lol

Thanks!
egyamado
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Old November 4, 2008, 05:46 PM
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First, welcome on HWC.

-What is over clocking? And how I can do that for my processor?
Overcloking is a way to improve performance of a system by making processor and ram running over their original specs. This is done by using some controls, usually the fsb setting wich is the base frequency for the ram and cpu speed, in the motherboard BIOS or thru some softwares;

-Do I need to buy more fans for my case? If yes, how many and which one I can buy?
It depends on what fans are included in your case and what are the sizes and the number of emplacement are in your case. Usually, two 120mm (1 intake in front and 1 outtake in back of case) are common setting. Something like "arctic cooling" fans runs quiet and have long life span for around 5-10$ each.

-What is the different between these two motherboards? For me they are so similar but the price is so different? What do you think?
The features included (mostly the softwares and number of cables) will vary. But you can also see that some parts of the motherboard are differents .. like the southbridge (the chipset that is near the pci slots) is not linked with an heatpipe on the p5q-e and some other parts are lower quality products. Personnally I'll recommend you to look to gigabyte boards wich are same usually a bit cheaper for the same or even better quality. Gigabyte also offer a software wich will allow you to do mild overclock your system directly in windows instead of the BIOS.

-What is the different between these power supplies?
The overall quality and built choices. OCZ are good PSU but Corsair are a bit better. My choise would be the Corsair.

-If my motherboard use DDR2, can I use graphic card DDR3 with no conflicts?
Theres is no way the graphic card memory could cause conflicts with the board since the board don't have acces to this memory and the graphic card dont have directly acces to the board ram.

-Does any one have other suggestions for other component does the same job for less?
Maybe you could take a look to the gigabyte motherboards and I personnally found that a 400$ CPU is a bit overkill for a 1000-1200$ system. It depends on what will be the use of this system but a good Core 2 Duo for something around 225-250$ could give you almost the same performance in the major use of your system.
For the ram, other members knows more than me on this but I can say you that the OCZ you picked are not the better ones ... and the SLI ready is only marketing and over this you will use an ati graphic card since SLI is nvidia. I think the mushkin redlines are quite popular has high quality ram. Take a bit of your CPU budget to get better ram ... it will help you more.
Buy an aftermarket cooler for your CPU. It will run quietter and perform better (keep your CPU cooler). I'm not really up to date for this component, so you may take a look on reviews on the web to look the one wich is offering the best performance-price ratio for the budget you will plan for it. HWC reviews have been made in the past months for relatively good coolers ... you may take a look to these reviews.

-finally, is there any tips for how to keep my PC run smother and problems free?
Don't modify settings in your BIOS (for overclocking exemple) if you don't have an idea of what you do. Instead of this, take a look inside your case on a regular base to look for dust and clean if necessarry.

Maybe you could take a look to DirectCanada or is sister company NCIX (wich is offering pricematch for any part buy in canada) who's offering really good prices for computer components and usually good proven service.

Maybe if I have a bit more time tonight I could help you to found an other offer for you ... since this ... give us your principal usage you will made of your system ... gaming? multimedia rendering? ...
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Old November 4, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egyamado View Post


Iím not a gamer guy but Iím designer and developer work for at least 10 hours a day, also I use more than 5 applications at once, such as Photoshop, Blend, Visual Studio, Expression Web, Fireworks, etc. So performance for me is so important thatís why I need PC for multitasking.

Iíd like to thank you again for your help and for this great web site.
I would think that with the programs that you want to have open at the same time that a decent quad is likely a good idea and perhaps a 64 bit operating system so that you can run 8 GB of ram when and if you want.

I'm totally 1+ for the 2X2GB PC2 8000 Mushkin Redlines.

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Old November 4, 2008, 09:04 PM
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With this guy's system, i'd suggest 8GB of RAM, just to be safe and secure. This guys' going to be running a lot of apps, and the 8 gigs (which requires a 64 bit version of windows) of ram combined with a quad core processor will get this guy some nice performance.

Definitely shy away from Dual cores with all this heavy stuff you're going to be running--using a quad core will split the apps evenly over the four cores, and give you superior performance.
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Old November 5, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterlarry View Post
I would think that with the programs that you want to have open at the same time that a decent quad is likely a good idea and perhaps a 64 bit operating system so that you can run 8 GB of ram when and if you want.

I'm totally 1+ for the 2X2GB PC2 8000 Mushkin Redlines.

Sorry ... I've read too fast ...

The quad is now almost necessary ... and a 64bit system allowing to use the entire 4gb of ram and giving the possibility to get even more is a good option.
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Old November 6, 2008, 01:50 AM
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-What is over clocking? And how I can do that for my processor?
-Do I need to buy more fans for my case? If yes, how many and which one I can buy?
-What is the different between these two motherboards? For me they are so similar but the price is so different? What do you think?
-What is the different between these power supplies?
-If my motherboard use DDR2, can I use graphic card DDR3 with no conflicts?
-Does any one have other suggestions for other component does the same job for less?
-finally, is there any tips for how to keep my PC run smother and problems free?

Iíd like to thank you again for your help and for this great web site.
Ahmed


Hi Ahmed

There are numerous sites devoted to overclocking, however if you have a specific board and CPU in mind, it's not uncommon to Google these and come up with some pretty good pointers.

As far as I know the Coolermaster comes with 2 -120mm fans. I'd consider two more to round things out. Don't necessarily buy the cheapest. I run 3 Noctua 120mm fans plus the stock 3 that came with my CM690....can't hear them.

There's very little difference in these boards unless you're set on doing some very serious overclocking, but even at that the P5Q-E is a great board, (Google is your friend)
The Deluxe may have a couple more software features and it does have 16 phase power versus the P5Q-Es 8 phase, but I'd be surprised if many would ever notice.
I think the component quality is very similar also, with japanese caps, ferrite core chokes and quality MOSFETS. The layout and the chipsets are identical, other than on the P5Q-E there is no heatpipe to the southbridge chip. If I remember right these run pretty cool anyhow compared to the previous generation, as they are 45nm architecture.


All good power supplies. I use a TX 750 Corsair, and have been very happy with it.
More connectors than I need, and good cable length for those bottom mount cases and a 60 amp 12v rail.

Not to worry on the memory types for the board and the GPU.

Just a couple of things. I'd definitely go with the Q9550. It will provide you with the power to grind through multiple aps, and then some. I've got a Q6600 and am very happy with it. I do a ton of video encoding, and it's something to be able to run a few instances and still do other things. Would still love to have the 9550

Check out NCIX.com. If you want a fast reliable supplier they are good. If you want access to information on various parts and pieces they are great. Lots of review links, discussions and customer reviews. I've learned a lot from the regulars there. Many of whom are here

Oh....Mmmmm...maybe take a look at the new Western digital 640 GB Caviar Black. I cannot see how it could be much better than the WD 640AAAKS, but it should be with double the memory.

Keeping the puter clean and running right? That's easy! Stay away from questionable sites, (porn)...lol. Always have a few different programs loaded to search out spyware...and use them. Run a decent anti virus prog regularly. What a lot of people neglect though is defragging. I use O&O defrag, and it's worth the money. It gives you a number of different defragging options, and does make a difference.

One other thing I like is having a full back-up copy of my operating system on another partition or hard drive. I use Acronis, but there are others. I have Windows XP on two different drives so my much better half can have her operating system and I can have my own for gaming etc. Haven't had any issues with Windows updates either by the way. Have been running both and updating regularly for a couple of years now.

Another utility is Glary Utilities. It is the one program, that pretty much covers all of the bases, from a mild anti spyware, to permanent erasure of files, checking running processes, registery cleaner, and much more. Best thing is it's free! Glary Utilities | Glarysoft

Anyhow, I hope this helps a little. If you're still undecided, wait a few weeks, as the new Nehalem quads are coming and they accel at the kind of multi threading and multiple tasking you do. Google them....I think you'll like what you see and hear.

Good luck with the new build



Last edited by random_2; November 6, 2008 at 01:55 AM.
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Old November 6, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Hi egyamado/Ahmed(whichever you prefer to be addressed by ), and welcome to HWC. It looks like you've done some pretty good researching, and made some nice choices for your requirements.

The Q9550 will be a great CPU for your multitasking/rendering needs. You can always overclock it... but (although i overclock everything) i'm going to suggest that you only mildly overclock. With higher levels of overclocking, comes more likelyhood of system instability..and even the odd crash. The last thing you want is to crash in the middle of a large rendering ...as this sounds like it's your business... and not just a hobby. With a nice heatsink/fan for your CPU(don't use the Intel POS), decent RAM and a good motherboard... i see no reason why you shouldn't be able to run the Q9550 @ 3.4ghz....with no lack of stability or shortening of hardware-life.

The WD5000AAKS is a good HDD, but splurging a little more for the WD6400AAKS..which is a great HDD would be worth the extra. I have both, and the 640 is a much better drive, and noticably faster.... as well as a little bigger, and large renderings can take up lots of space..so the extra space would be welcome.

The P5Q series of motherboards are great, and a P5Q-Pro would surely give you all the bells and whistles you need, as well as performing nicely. It still uses quality components/power-circuitry like its bigger brothers and it would save you $15-$20(over the P5Q-E) to put towards the better HDD. I don't see it at Canada Computers though, but Direct Canada and NCIX carry it.

The HD4850 is a great video card, but for your intended use, you don't need an overclocked model that costs more. As long as it has a good cooler and good warranty..those are most important things in your situation.

Cases are pretty subjective, and the CM590 is a good case... as is the 690(which is ~$5 more). As long as it has enough expansive slots, good cooling(which the 590 & 690 do) and you like the looks..those are the important issues.

Getting a Corsair PSU over an OCZ would be a wise choice. The TX650 is a great PSU, and the VX550 is almost as good, while being $20 cheaper....and is more than enough for your setup.

As for the DVD burner, Samsung makes great ones.. and your choice is fine.

For RAM, the Mushkin Redlines would help me sleep better at night. I'm not a fan of OCZ DDR2... though i am a big fan of their DDR. Their extreme overuse of mail-in-rebates which have angered many buyers (with hassles and speed of rebate issues), as well as above-normal quality complaints/RMAs, keep me at arms length from OCZ. Corsair and Mushkin are two better choices, and if possible get a PC6400C4 or PC8500C5 kit, so that you can run them at 400Mhz@4-4-4-12(which gives nice responsive performance).

Should be an awesome machine that will bring a smile to your face, and speed up your projects nicely. GL
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Old November 6, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Hello every one,
Iíd like to thank every one responded to my post, it really helped me a lot.

Yes I searched a lot to choose the best components which fit my budget ($1000-$1200),

Pros about Canada Computers are, they are locating in Toronto (where I live) and they are the cheapest comparing to any other store.

Cons about Canada Computers are, their return policy or warranty hereís what they said {Canada Computers' Warranty: 90 Days (First 15 Days Direct Replacement)}. :rtfm:
Giving me 15 days only for direct return is not enough for testing my pc and be able to return any component of something bad happened.

This is first time for me to deal with Canada Computers so I donít know their services and support especially if I want to return or replace any component I bought from them. {This is not cons about them but still an unknown issue for me}.

I used to go to best buy or future shop and buy from then what I need and thatís it, tried to make it easy for me especially when I had no time to search and compare and then build. My last build was 5 years ago.
But to tell you the truth, build my pc from scratch is more fun and exiting for sure. I miss old golden day, but they are coming back

PLEASE if you know another places sell for less, locate in Toronto and provide good services Iíll be thankful.

So, back to my build, here is what it does looks like the final list for my build.
Processor:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.83 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 12MB L2 Cache, 45nm ($399.99)
Canada Computers -Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Quad-Core Socket LGA775.

Hard Disk:
Western Digital Caviar (WD6400AAKS) 640GB. ($91.99)
Canada Computers - Western Digital Caviar (WD6400AAKS) 640GB.

Motherboard:
Asus P5Q Deluxe Intel P45 LGA775 DDR2/ 3 PCI-E x16/ 2 PCI-E x1/ 2 PCI/ SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA 1394 ATX Motherboard ($239.99)
Canada Computers -Asus P5Q Deluxe Socket 775 Intel P45 .

Graphic Card:
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card ($209.99)
Canada Computers -Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4850 512MB GDDR3.

Case:
Cooler Master Centurion 590 Black ATX Mid Tower Case (RC-590) ($75.99)
Canada Computers -Cooler Master Centurion 590.

Power Supply:
Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX 12V 41A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan ($109.99)
Canada Computers Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W.

DVD Player:
Samsung SH-S202J/BEBN IDE Black DVD-Writer 20xDVD+R/-R 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 12xDVD-RAM 12xDVD+/-RW Dual Layer 48xCD-R 32xCD-RW W/Software OEM ($29.99)
Canada Computers -Samsung SH-S202J/BEBN IDE Black DVD.

RAM:
Mushkin HP2-8500 2GB(2x1GB) DDR2 ($99.99)
Canada Computers -Mushkin HP2-8500 2GB(2x1GB) DDR2-1066.

Iíll tell what I did to compare between different stores and choose the cheapest store.
I used PriceCanada.com service where I can choose my list and add them to my Price Watch and if any price it changed thy will inform me by sending an e-mail. Besides, they have this nice service which called Price history. I like this service, because it enables me to watch the history for any component I like. From these services I noticed something, during September and the bingeing of October when we had bad economy, the prices were so cheep. Which makes me wonder should wish to have another recession time so I can buy cheep
I noticed prices went down at some stores for few components and become than last week.

To see how Price History helps, check this link about Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 price history Canadian Prices: Price History

Long time ago (when I used to build) me and friends of mine used when we build new unit we leave it on for 10 hours running to test all components. For me nothing bad happened but for one of my friend one of his build the mother board failed and got burned and he returned it. Is this tip still useful these days, or no? And what should I do to test my build especially when I have 15 days ONLY to return any failed component?

I believe Iíll buy those components in the weekend, until this time Iíll keep my eyes open for price change and looking forward for your post about my final list, is it good or bad?, what should change?, what should I keep?, can save more money by replacing any parts but get the same performance?

Thank you!
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