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Old November 20, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Default Help on my Build Please

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

Gaming

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

$2000 max, less preferred

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

Canada

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.

Nope

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

Nope

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.

A lot elsewhere, less so here.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

A bit of overclocking but nothing excessive

8. WHEN do you plan to build it?

This chrsitmas (buying parts theis weekend)


So I have decided that I will definately be building a computer at christmas and will be ordering the parts this weekend.

I have pretty much figured out what I want, sticking to a somewhat tight budget. This is the result of much research, google info, other advice and many, many benchmarks. Basically, a crapload of research to get the best I could for my $1500-2000 budget.

I have never built a computer before.

Here`s what I am thinking of. I need someone to check over what I have decided to make sure it is good as well as that it would all work together. Feel free to offer any opinions at all.

--------------------------------------

Motherboard

This is the hardest decision as I really don`t know what makes a good motherboard.

The motherboard that I am looking at is the ASUS P5Q PRO

I like it because it got good reviews as well as it has two pci e 16 slots. Besides that, I have no clue if it is any good for what I want. Any reccommendations? Looking to spend between $150-200 here unless I really need to spend more than that to get something decent.

PSU

Psu will probably be the OCZ Gamexstream 850w unless there is something better.

I was going to get a thermaltake toughpower but they are sold out and it was almost $100 extra.

RAM

This was also a hard decision. After a lot of benchmarks and opinions, I have decided to go with ddr2 800 ram. It seems that ddr3 provides almost no benefit at the current time for a lot of extra money. I am also going with 800 rather than 1066 because I have been told to only go 1066 if I am overclocking a lot on a very high end processor. I want the ability to overclock a bit but I wouldn't do anything big.

I was told that mushkin is one of the best brands for ram so I'm thinking:

Mushkin HP PC2

Unless anyone has suggestions otherwise.

OS:

Windows Vista Premium 64 bit edition though I'm not sure if I should go for the 64 bit version as I've heard about a lot of compatability issues.

Case:

I'm looking at something similiar to the NZXT Apollo as it is cheap, looks cool and reportedly has decent cooling. Any experiences here as to this case and it's cooling/interior space for large video cards?

DVD Drive

LG Sata DVD Drive

Any reason not to get it?

Flash Card Reader

Ngear flash card reader

Should work/accept most flash cards, right?

Keyboard

Logitech G15

May not get this one just because it is an $80 keyboard. Anyone with experience?

Processor

Lots of research went into this but I'm pretty sure I want:

Q9550 2.83 ghz quad core

Hard Drive

Hard decision here as whenether to go seagate or western digital but I've chosen this unless you guys have any opinions?:

Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm 500gb

I didn't go for the velociraptor as it would decimate my budget. Maybe on a later upgrade but not now.

Monitor

Lg W2242 TQ

Video Card

Hard decision here too and I still haven't decided completely.

I realized that I couldn't afford a 4870x2 so I am going for a graphics card in the $300-400 range.

Right now (unless you guys have other ones to reccommend) it is between the xfx Geforce 260 Black Edition and the Radeon 4870 1gb I am leaning towards the geforce 260 because it is basically a version of the 260 that has been made to perform on par with the geforce 280. (sometimes better, sometimes worse... about the same) It seems to outperform the 4870 1gb for the same price but only a little.

So please you guys have a minute, make sure that this build makes sense, offer advice on parts and generally make sure it will all work together, thanks.

Also, since I am ordering parts that will soon be out of stock and paying through paypal with an echeque that will take at least a week to clear, will direct canada hold parts in stock for me until it clears?
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Old November 20, 2008, 06:13 PM
Exmortis's Avatar
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Well lets take a look, at first glance looks like you have done your homework.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carld2002 View Post
Motherboard

This is the hardest decision as I really don`t know what makes a good motherboard.

The motherboard that I am looking at is the ASUS P5Q PRO

I like it because it got good reviews as well as it has two pci e 16 slots. Besides that, I have no clue if it is any good for what I want. Any reccommendations? Looking to spend between $150-200 here unless I really need to spend more than that to get something decent.

ASUS has a good reputation, but personally I have had 2 ASUS boards out of my last 4 and would'nt buy another if it was free with a cash back deal. Support? I dont speak their language but they do not have such a word in ASUSSPEAK. Tech;s in forum? your babysitter when you were 2 knows more. All I got on my last board was BS wrong answers and outright bogus info. MSI, DFI maybe worth looking at. Want proof? jst go to their forums and browse it, please do it. BTW just my humble opinion and experiences with ASUS.

However that is a well spec'd board and if it works as it is supposed to, it will a great base.

Also ABIT if they stay in the game, both my my old Athlon era ABIT boards are running strong as hand me downs to friends, real work horses.


PSU

Psu will probably be the OCZ Gamexstream 850w unless there is something better.

I was going to get a thermaltake toughpower but they are sold out and it was almost $100 extra.

Great choice, co-worker just bought a Corsair and has had great luck, my thermaltake Toughpower has been rock solid, both are good choices too. OCZ makes great products period, you will be very happy with this PS. If all else fails, Lian-Li makes PS's now and also Antec makes soem good PS's as well.


RAM

This was also a hard decision. After a lot of benchmarks and opinions, I have decided to go with ddr2 800 ram. It seems that ddr3 provides almost no benefit at the current time for a lot of extra money. I am also going with 800 rather than 1066 because I have been told to only go 1066 if I am overclocking a lot on a very high end processor. I want the ability to overclock a bit but I wouldn't do anything big.

I was told that mushkin is one of the best brands for ram so I'm thinking:

Mushkin HP PC2

Unless anyone has suggestions otherwise.

Again great choice, Mushkin makes good ram, have 4z2GB myself. OCZ, Corsair are also great choices if stock is a problem. Stick with the big names and what you see the guys here use and you will not be disappointed.


OS:

Windows Vista Premium 64 bit edition though I'm not sure if I should go for the 64 bit version as I've heard about a lot of compatability issues.

Switched to Vista x64 recently and won't look back to XP. Do nto get me wrong, I dropped off soem old favorite games, but I do that every OS upgrade. Almost every game I play got a 20+ perf increase. I ran XP wuth 4GB ram and even though i have 8GB now as far as any XP game, its the same 2GB limit due to 32bit address space. Vanguard, EQ2, NWN2, CIV4 all saw speed increases, and Vanguard saw a massive stability increase (if you exclude the Auzentech driver issues, vista is much better then XP, just wish Auzentech could write stable drivers).

If your a modern gamer, this is the right choice. HP are extremey poor at support, which is why everyone was so peeved at MS, but its not MS's dudty to support other companies hardware. Why I own Cannon products, X64 drivers on all printers less then 5yrs old.


Case:

I'm looking at something similiar to the NZXT Apollo as it is cheap, looks cool and reportedly has decent cooling. Any experiences here as to this case and it's cooling/interior space for large video cards?

I owned a NXZT case, the big massive 8 fan case which name eludes me, its in a box in storage. was ok for a person who builds and runs the life as is. Horrid for a guy like me who changes hardware like socks. Appollo however is a top rated case. Lian-li is my personal favorite, cases are art, and priced like it too. Coolermaster, Antec as well are good companies to look at.

It really comes down to your habits, if its buy and run? you have choosen well I think. If its buy today upgrade tomorrow? i think you maybe disappointed.

One tip, and this comes over years of system builds both for work and personal, never, and I mean never buy a case with out a removable motherboard tray if you are a buy now upgrade tomorrow kind of guy. trust me.


DVD Drive

LG Sata DVD Drive

Any reason not to get it?

Other then you can't have mine cuz it rocks? you mean that kind of reason?


Flash Card Reader

Ngear flash card reader

Should work/accept most flash cards, right?

Not really up on this, I have one Ibought in a bargain bin (unknown name brand), pretty cheap to make, so really Ngear makes good stuff so I am betting as long as it supports your needs you will be happy.



Keyboard

Logitech G15

May not get this one just because it is an $80 keyboard. Anyone with experience?

Hey, Only thing I have ever heard against this keyboard is once you go G15 you can't go back. for gamers it is a great choice. logitech quality is ledgendary, and anything I have ever bought from them has been top notch. You couldnt get my G5 mouse from me at gun point.


Processor

Lots of research went into this but I'm pretty sure I want:

Q9550 2.83 ghz quad core

Not an Intel guy, self professed and admitted AMD/ATI fanboi. But I am sure its a good choice, just make sure you look at price vs perf. very carefully wehn dealign with Quad Core CPUs.


Hard Drive

Hard decision here as whenether to go seagate or western digital but I've chosen this unless you guys have any opinions?:

Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm 500gb

I didn't go for the velociraptor as it would decimate my budget. Maybe on a later upgrade but not now.

I have 2 Seagate 7200.10s 500GB mirrored, one is very old still kicken. I have a Seagate 7200.11 640GB w/32mb cache. If you go WD go Black series, spend the extra its worth it. But if you go a little cheaper, Seagate 7200.11 w/32mb cache is great drive, but possibly look at 640GB or 750GB. When it comes to HD size IS everything.


Monitor

Lg W2242 TQ

LG makes great stuff, I have a Samsung 24', was onsale at Futureshop same time I found out my EDID chip was all mucked up on my Viewsonic 22' (do a search on no video after upgrade to vista, will change the way you look at LCD companies forever). Viewsonic, Dell, HP, Hanns G and I inc, alk listed on forum after forum with same issue I had. Never saw a single Samsung listed, so I replaced my viewsonic with one. Can't remember seeing LG either, but focused on Samsung cuz it was on sale. If you can afford 24' go for it, trust me.


Video Card

Hard decision here too and I still haven't decided completely.

I realized that I couldn't afford a 4870x2 so I am going for a graphics card in the $300-400 range.

Right now (unless you guys have other ones to reccommend) it is between the xfx Geforce 260 Black Edition and the Radeon 4870 1gb I am leaning towards the geforce 260 because it is basically a version of the 260 that has been made to perform on par with the geforce 280. (sometimes better, sometimes worse... about the same) It seems to outperform the 4870 1gb for the same price but only a little.

As stated, confessed ATI Fanboi, go HD4870, have 1 mysefl that replaced my 2x3870s that replaced my x1900 and so on and so on. Right now at every turn Nvidia is having to play catch up, 4800 series has them scurring to drop prices revamp cards at an alarming rate, all the while ATI quietly lurks working on the 5800 series.

That all being said, its a great card choice. may i recommend BFG as the brand? Right now the Canadian company that does 99% of all cash rebates is tits up, and BFG was first to tell its customers not to worry, they will honor them all personally. Top notch customer caring company. If I ever (omg can't beleive I am saying this) bought Nvidia, I would buy BFG.


So please you guys have a minute, make sure that this build makes sense, offer advice on parts and generally make sure it will all work together, thanks.

Honestly well thought out purchase A+ dude! You can always run into compatibility issues regardless of brands or choices. its the way it all works, but buy good name reliable product and you minimize that from happening. You have made some great choices here, and you should have many hours of happy gaming (or what ever it is you do with it, barbie fashion creator or the like?).


Also, since I am ordering parts that will soon be out of stock and paying through paypal with an echeque that will take at least a week to clear, will direct canada hold parts in stock for me until it clears?

can't answer that sorry, but Direct Canada/NCIX get 95% of my business, only LCDs I buy local or last minute AS5 tubes or whire adapters hehehe.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Exmortis's System

Corsair 600T White
Asus RoG Maximus V Gene
Intel i7-2600K w/Corsair H100
16GB Gskill DDR3 2400MHz
AMD R9 290X
OCZ Revo 3 240GB
OCZ Vertex 3 240GB
WD Velocirapter 600GB
LG DVD burner
LG Bluray Burner
Windows 7x64 Prem
Asus VE24/VE27/VE24
Logitech Z-5450 5.1 speakers
Corsair AX850 Gold PSU
Corsair K90 Keyboard
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

What do you think of this motherboard:

Gigabyte EP45-UD3P ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E SATA2 RAID HD Sound 2GLAN 1394A CrossFireX Motherboard - DirectCanada

Will the apollo fit both the cards I listed? Is the antec nine hundred a better choice?

Anything really wrong with a 22? I have limited space here at university.
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Old November 20, 2008, 09:15 PM
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3.0 "I kill SR2's" Charlie
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My System Specs

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Gigabytes are great board. I went away to Asus, and came back very quickly to Gigabyte...
The Q9550 is overpriced. If you do overclock, choose a Q9450.
I'd choose PC2-8000 ram, as a minimum. 2x2Gb.
PSU is overkill, Corsair TX750W is powerful enough. Even a HX620W would do.
GPU: the 260GTX is a great card, very powerful for the price. I had the 280GTX and the 4870, and I settled on dual 260s.
If you want some fast HDDs, choose the 640Gb model instead of the 500Gb.

Everything else looks fine.
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Old November 20, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
Gigabytes are great board. I went away to Asus, and came back very quickly to Gigabyte...
The Q9550 is overpriced. If you do overclock, choose a Q9450.
I'd choose PC2-8000 ram, as a minimum. 2x2Gb.
PSU is overkill, Corsair TX750W is powerful enough. Even a HX620W would do.
GPU: the 260GTX is a great card, very powerful for the price. I had the 280GTX and the 4870, and I settled on dual 260s.
If you want some fast HDDs, choose the 640Gb model instead of the 500Gb.

Everything else looks fine.
9450 and 9550 are the same price basically

Why pc2-8000?

Why is the 640gb faster? I heard that the wd 640gb hard drive is the fastest in my price range. Can you confirm?

Can anyone confirm that that 750 watt corsair is good for me. What if I decide to go sli/crossfire?
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Old November 20, 2008, 09:43 PM
"Quote This..."
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Charlie there is running 2 -260's on 750watts. It's plenty.
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Old November 20, 2008, 09:44 PM
"Quote This..."
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But you'd have to go with ATI to ever run dual cards on the mobo's you picked.
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Old November 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Yep

I'll probably just stick with the 850 though as after rebate, it is the same price. Any reason not to?
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Old November 20, 2008, 10:17 PM
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My System Specs

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Following changes would be made for me:

PSU: Corsair HX620
RAM: Mushkin, Corsair, OCZ, etc. 4GB DDR-800 4-4-4-12. Can easily get to DDR 900, which means 450FSB if you run at 1:1 ratio
CPU: Q9450 or Q6600
Hard Drive: WD 640GB Black
Monitor: Acer 22". I believe it's around $180 at Staples.
CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 260 or GTX 260 Core 216 or ATI 4870 1GB Those are the best bang for buck imo. No need for 4870X2 since you'll be using 1680X1050 resolution.

Don't forget to check out NCIX as well. They have weekly specials. And don't forget to use the price compare feature found at the top of the forums. Other than that, have fun gaming!
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Old November 20, 2008, 10:42 PM
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I would take 3.0Charlie's recommendations. As for the case. I just picked up that case for a build that I'm dong for my brother-in-law so I'll let you know how it is. First glance, some modifications have to be made to the motherboard tray for proper cable management. If you don't own a Dremel (or other rotary tool) and don't want to cut up the motherboard tray I would suggest getting the Corsair HX620 PSU as it is modular.
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