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Old May 19, 2009, 08:46 PM
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Hello,

I am thinking about building a system sometime soon, possibly this summer. I know prices will change and that some pieces might need to change then, but I want to have an idea of what to expect and also to be able to compare prices over time and just be ready when I will be or when a deal I can't resist comes up.

My budget would be a "maximum" of 1200$(I can always get more if it gives me something significantly better. I do mostly regular surfing or office job, but part of that is due to the fact my computer can't take anything. I would be interested in doing some moderate gaming, but I usually am not the kind to go for the most demanding games, I never play FPS. I am also thinking from time to time that maybe I should just get a HTPC.

I have done a bit of research and will expose what I have found and my questions, I would like some advice.

Case: I want something fairly quiet, with a good airflow. Somehow I am quite attracted to the Antec Sonata PLUS 550. 180$

PSU: Antec NeoHe 550 included with the case.

CPU: Hesitating between the E8400 200$, the i7 920 (although I doubt I will go that way unless it is highly recommended) or the Phenom II X4 940. As you can see I am no fanboy and open to other options, perhaps the E7200, but unsure if I should go lower. I am not considering overclocking(but not saying I will never try it).

Mobo: I know more of Intel compatible mobos, so I will say what I'd consider, I am not into SLI or Crossfire. Gigabyte EP45-UD3L. 114$

HDD: I don't really need a big HDD, I could surely live without problems with a 100gb one, but I think 1TB is a sweet spot. Once more not a fanboy of Seagate or WD, but I am considering the WD10EADS 1TB 109$.

DVD drive: Liteon IHAS122 28$.

RAM: I don't think I would notice a different between DDR2-800 and 1066, but right now I'd consider Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-8500C5 89$

GPU: Not a fanboy, just considering this card, as I said I am not a hardcore gamer, but I want something that will let me play games and that won't be outdated in the next week. Having HDMI out is not a must, but its a strong deciding factor between 2 similar products, also being able to plug 2 monitors is close to a must. ATI HD4770 130$

Total: 850$ with the E8400 combo, without o/s (can expect 150$ for that). I don't think I forgot anything, but if I did or if you want to add suggestions, please do so, I am all ears! It would leave me some head room for a new screen such as the Acer X233H and maybe a new keyboard, but those cover all I could possibly need.

Any suggestions for my needs, would be very welcome. Thanks a lot.
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Old May 20, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Try the Phenom II 720, great price for a great processor, get the 790X-UD4P motherboard and get some G-skill rams, they are cheaper.
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Old May 20, 2009, 04:58 AM
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FOr the case, maybe Coolermaster Sileo, doesn't have the best airflow, but should be really quiet.

NCIX.com - Buy Coolermaster Sileo 500 Black ATX Tower Case 5X5.25 1X3.5 4X3.5INT No PS Front USB eSATA & Audio - RC-500-KKN1-GP In Canada.
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Old May 20, 2009, 05:39 AM
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The Phenom II 920 would give me more performance compared to the E8400 ? Any reason why you are suggesting that mobo with it ? I can see the Gigabyte MA770-UD3 for 40$ less, can't seem to find any major difference aside from Crossfire.

As for the Sileo, I was thinking about that case too, but for now I am still leaning towards the Sonata Plus 550, not sure why, but there is something I like about its look.

Also, regarding the case, I know that if I go for an Antec case, it would be a good idea to buy some fans controlled by the mobo, any suggestions for such quiet fans at a decent price ?

As for RAM, I think that is the component that will change the most based on the moment of purchase. I will definitively consider G Skill, just wondering if its worth it to pay more for DDR2-1066 compared to 800 or if I should look for better CAS, or simply not bother at all ?
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:54 AM
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The E8400 is deffinetly hard to beat, and none of the Phenom IIs right now will beat its overclocks on air cooling, but overall your better off going with either the Phenom II x3 720BE or the x4 940 BE for the prices their going at now. This is mainly because your overall desktop performance will be a bit faster, but gaming wise you wont see much difference unless the game is multi threaded. Since your not going to be going for SLI/Crossfire I would give a serious look at the AMD builds.

The 4770s are good cards but prepare to overclock that thing as high as it will go to really get its full potential out of it. Also I second dropping the antec case for something else, I wouldnt trust those 550w PSUs that come with them... NZXT also make a couple of decent silent cases as well, for a decent price. Its going to increase your price in the long run a tad so its up to you, but personally Im not a huge fan of Case + PSU bundles except for very low budget builds.

NCIX.com - Buy NZXT Hush Quiet ATX Mid Tower Case Black 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS W/ Sound Dampening Foam - HUSH In Canada.

NCIX.com - Buy NZXT Whisper Silent ATX Case Black 6X5.25 1X3.5 9X3.5INT No PSU W/ Sound Dampening Foam - WHISPER In Canada.

Both cases are very quiet, and will be easier to work on inside the case when putting the pc together.

Oh and drop that XMS ram... that stuff is WAY over priced, G.Skill DDR2 8500s are only $70 at directcanada but you honestly dont need more then DDR2 8000 for the E8400 or DDR2 6400 for the phenom IIs. I personally like the G.Skill DDR2 8000 ram kits, their cheaper then the 6400 stuff but are rated for higher overclocks out of the box.
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Old May 20, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Realityshift View Post
Since your not going to be going for SLI/Crossfire I would give a serious look at the AMD builds.
Why is that ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realityshift View Post
The 4770s are good cards but prepare to overclock that thing as high as it will go to really get its full potential out of it.
How would I do that ? What sort of material should I get for that and what kind of performance increase can I expect ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Realityshift View Post
Also I second dropping the antec case for something else, I wouldnt trust those 550w PSUs that come with them...
I must say I agree with u, but I was under the impression that the PSU that comes with the Sonata Plus 550 was the Antec NeoHe 550 and I thought that PSU was a good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realityshift View Post
Oh and drop that XMS ram... that stuff is WAY over priced, G.Skill DDR2 8500s are only $70 at directcanada but you honestly dont need more then DDR2 8000 for the E8400 or DDR2 6400 for the phenom IIs. I personally like the G.Skill DDR2 8000 ram kits, their cheaper then the 6400 stuff but are rated for higher overclocks out of the box.
As I said, RAM is one thing that can definitively change easily and fast, my main concern is the kind of speed and CAS I should get depending on the CPU
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Old May 20, 2009, 03:25 PM
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my 4770 doesn't overclock well on stock voltage, the max core I can get was 850 and I can't up the memory without crashes. Now with 1.16V, I can do 920/880.
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Old May 27, 2009, 04:52 PM
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If budget is a large concern consider the Phenom with an ASRock A780LM or if you want the ram expansion an A780GMH. Both have only 1 PCIE slot so you aren't paying for 2. If storage is not a huge concern try eBay, I recently got a 250gb HD for 43$. Its not the best deal but still fit my budget better than a 60$ new (+S&H) 80gig. Mostly got it to replace a cantankerous old IDE HD. If gaming isn't top priority value ram will certainly do the trick. I've had luck with A-Data and Kngston, can get 2x2gb for as low as 50$. I wouldn't skimp too much on a PSU. There are junk PSU's, reliable PSU's, and performance PSU's. A reliable Thermaltake TR2 430W might suit but nothing overkill for a midrange system. Something like an OCZ SleathXstream would be overkill. Those are my thoughts.
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