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Old October 20, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Looking to Have NCIX Build a Rig For Me -- Please Help Me Choose The Best Parts!

Please help me put together a max $2000 CDN AMD gaming rig from NCIX.Com.


Iíve been saving on the side for a very long time now, and I intend to have NCIX build a new rig for me. I could really use some help in making sure that I spend my money as wisely as possible.


We can ninja past the 2K mark a little if thereís a solid reason, but 2K is pretty much my upper limit. If we hit $2100 CDN, I may have to spontaneously combust.


Iím not a total hardware noob, but I have definite knowledge gaps. With some parts, I know exactly what Iíd like, while with other parts, I have no preference or clue.


This will be primarily a gaming rig Ė but the games in question will almost all be newer-quality MMORPGs. I use my game console for pew-pew gaming.


Iím looking at MMORPG games like Champions Online, Age of Conan, and particularly, the upcoming Star Trek Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.


I do realize the new Intel i7 processors are the cream of the crop, but theyíre also relatively expensive. I have a finite budget, and Iím not convinced that I want such a large portion of my hard-saved cash to go to just the chip.


Besides this, Iíve always had good past experiences with AMD systems; it may be illogical, but I trust the brand a bit more. Iím looking at the AMD Phenom II X4 965, and thinking that might be the one for me.


Other buyer quirks? I like to have the best ATI video card possible when I buy, and Iím really interested in the Radeon HD 5870.


Iím not an overclocker, so all components will run at stock. Iím also not a fan of Crossfire/SLI dual vidcard setups.


I do have concerns with heat management Ė no use having an ultra-powerful rig if it overheats and goes boom regularly.


Because my health is dodgy, I spend a large part of my free time every day playing MMORPGs (Iím not a big TV fan, for some reason). So, heat management becomes important because the new rig will be on, and pushing pixels, for hours at a time.


Other concerns? Getting bottlenecked down the line by things like an insufficient power supply.


Iíve had this last happen before, and Iím not mechanically inclined enough to swap in a new PSU. Very frustrating. Cards and RAM I can change; mobos and PSUs Ö not yet.


What Iíve been doing in preparation for buying my new rig is going into NCIXís ďBuy a ComputerĒ section, choosing the Entra Ultimate 6400 as a base model, and then swapping out parts from the default list as I go. (LINK)



Iíve reproduced the NCIX-style parts list heirachy below, so all you wise folks can play along easily at home, and suggest changes or options where you think best.


These are my (partial) part picks, but very few are set in stone. Feel free to comment and suggest alternatives.


Many thanks to anyone who participates. Your help is so very much appreciated.


=====================


STARTING TEMPLATE:


NCIXís Entra Ultimate 6400 (LINK)





PROCESSOR (CPU)


AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core Processor AM3 3.4GHZ 8MB Cache 140W 45NM Retail Box




CPU COOLING


- No clue whatís best. Was looking (guessing) at this:


OCZ Gladiator Quad Heatpipe CPU Heatsink AM2 LGA775 S939 S940 S754 120MM Fan 800-1500RPM 20-26.4DBA




MOTHERBOARD


- No clue whatís the best value or brand for the money here.




DDR3 RAM Menmory


4GB+ of ??? brand.


- I hear Kingston and Mushkin are good choices, while Corsair is not so good, but I have no proof of these statements, either way.




VIDEO CARD


1 x Radeon HD 5870 850MHZ 1GB GDDR5 4.8GHZ PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI Display Port


- Maybe itís a guy-gamer thing, but I truly crave this sexy card. :-)




COMPUTER CASE


- No idea.




POWER SUPPLY


- Was guessing at the following, but I wonder if itís excessive?


- How much is futureproofing, and how much is just overkill? I have no clear answer. I just know I donít want to get caught short again. Itís happened on my last two rigs.




Corsair HX1000W CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX 20/24PIN ATX 80A 12V Afc Modular Power Supply W/ 140MM Fan




MONITOR


- Not required




MOUSE PAD


- Not required




OPERATING SYSTEM

Windows 7


Ė Iíve heard that if you donít buy the Professional edition, all your XP-era games wonít run. Truth or scare-mongering?




ACCOUNTING & OFFICE SOFTWARE


- Not required. I use Open Office.




HARD DRIVES


- Not sure.


- Iíve heard that Western Digital is the best brand, dollar-for-dollar, but what size? I want to buy a 1 TB drive, but is this excessive instead of planning for the future? MMORPG games do tend to take up a fair amount of hard drive space Ė and tend to get bigger as they age, or game technology improves




SOLID STATE DRIVES


- I know very little about these, so I canít see why I might need one.




BLU_RAY DRIVE


- Not required




DVD WRITER


- The default Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22X DVD+-RW SATA DVD Writer Black OEM looks good to me?




FLOPPY DRIVE


- Not required




FLASH CARD READER


- Not required




MOUSE & KEYBOARD


- The defaults look fine




SOUND CARD


- Iíd really like to avoid onboard sound. Howís this tentative choice?


Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer 24BIT Sound Card 7.1 PCI Retail Box Bilingual




SPEAKERS


- Not required




HEADPHONES


- Not required




ETHERNET


- Onboard the mobo.
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Old October 20, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Whatever you decide on, make sure to add all the items to your cart and then add the build package into your cart (opposed to using the system builder), so that you can do a price match on the items you select. On a full build, you can usually save around $100-$200.
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Old October 20, 2009, 09:04 PM
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Just a word on formatting, take out the massive amount of spaces..typing up replies and scrollings a pain

I'd suggest going i5. The am3 cpu's can't hold a candle to i5 at those price points.
Mobo and RAM i'll leave it up to others to help out but NCIX has some good combos with i5 procs atm.
SSD - An OCZ vertex should fit in nicely. Depending on what your main drive usage requirements get whatever can reasonably fit in your budget
1tb Western Digital Black - Excessive or not, you can always use the space later on and saves the hassle of upgrading later on
Most if not all XP games will run in Win7 afaik.
As for cases, its more of a personal choice, find several that you like the look of and we can give you a better idea of which one you should get
Power supply is WAYYYY overpowered. Even a Corsair 750/850W would do
Oh and as for RAM, i find Kingston to be too overpriced nowadays but things might have changed recently

Last thing is just pay the $50 assembly fee or whatever it is at ncix rather than selecting a prebuilt/customizable computer, it'll be cheaper since you can pricematch components using pricecanada.com
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Old October 21, 2009, 05:54 AM
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mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT- under $100
CPU cooler: keep the OEM fan (you're not overclocking)
RAM: the mobo comes with a special offer
-
4 GB (2X2) TW3X4G1600C9DHX 1600 C8 RAM for only $124.99
PSU: agreed that 1000 is overkill even with 2 5870's. 750 would be future-proof.
Case: any one with no window, because that mobo is ugly!

My 2Ę
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Old October 21, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CroSsFiRe2009 View Post
Just a word on formatting, take out the massive amount of spaces..typing up replies and scrollings a pain
Ironically, the whitespace was intentional because people complain about single-spaced "wall of text" posts being too hard to read. I guess no matter what I do, someone's unhappy. Heh.

Seriously, thanks for adding your voice to the replies; thanks to everyone who's contributed thus far, in fact. All the answers shed light, and I'm hoping mightily to see enough answers here to give me a strong sense of the best way to go with the various parts.

LL
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Old October 21, 2009, 06:15 AM
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The whole Win 7 pro or better is BS. It is predicated on the idea that you will need to run XP virtual mode which IIRC only is allowed in pro or better.

OCZ Vertex + 640black or 1TB black = GREAT setup. Take a look at the charts in the various reviews we have done for more details.
WD HDDS are very fine. Am in the process of reviewing their 2tb Black (and have done the 1tb in the past...check out the charts ;) )

I'd go with the Corsair 850 unless you plan on mega amounts of HDDs or XFireing the dual 58xx's later on ;)

+1 to an i5 860 instead of the AMD

for ram I like G.Skill for my non OC rigs. The ripjaws are nice kit. Two kits of 4gb is sweet. Corsair makes some very good kit. So does Mushkin. Depends on your needs/wants. But for non OC'ing the ripjaws are hard to beat.

Mobo I'd go Asus Deluxe P7P55D (or Premium IF you ever think Sata 3 is going to be an issue) or even the Asus P7P55 or Pro...Or GigaByte. Cant really go too badly with either company.

For the case....that is a personal choice on whay YOU like. I like the CM HAF line, the Silverstone Raven 2, CM ATCS 840, CM Storm Sniper Black are some good kit.

Right now Samsung have some very GOOD burners, so that one you picked is a good choice.

For Air based CPU cooling solutions....drop the OCZ and get a CM Hyper 212+. IF the stock fan is too loud, drop a pair of Noctu NF-P12s on it or Scythe SFlex Es. :)

What ever you decide on the Windows 7 version.....GET the 64bit one! 32 bit is all but dead for new builds.

Might want to drop some lower noise fans into whatever case you got with. Gelid make some nice, cheap and silent ones. Noctua NF-P12-1300s are hard to beat with their low and ULTRA low noise speed adapters. Scythe Es are a good choice too.
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Old October 21, 2009, 06:45 AM
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Based on what you said here is an example of a system that could be built within your budget. And btw I recently built my first system from scratch and it was rather easy. If you have time and a bit of patience, it would surely be very well worth it.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 239.99
Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H 105.03 I chose this board because overclocking is not required, it has integrated GPU, so in case anything goes wrong with your GPU, you are not left without a computer while it goes RMA.
Coolermaster Hyper 212+ 30.35 Probably one of the best choice you can make; however, it is not required because you do not plan to overclock.
XFX Radeon HD5870 429.99 XFX because of their amazing warranty.
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 119.97 Its WD, its very fast, its big and should be fine for you.
G.Skill Falcon SSD 64gb 229.99 It is not required, but I have heard it makes the whole computer much faster and it fits in your budget.
LG GH22NS50 35.98
Antec P183 149.99 It is pricy, its true, but its really nice and quiet(I would suggest adding at least 2 fans to the case so that it has better airflow
Antec CP-850 135.74 It is a very good PSU with plenty of power for a very cheap price. The drawback, it only fits in a few cases (3 to be precise, the Antec P183 is one of them).
Windows 7 Professionnal 165.03

Sound card I have no knowledge of these things, so I can't comment on it.

Total without sound card, shipping, taxes, assembly(although I suggest you do it yourself): 1734.05$
If you want to add assembly, choose the 50$ option as it was suggested and don't forget to price match.
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Old October 21, 2009, 01:21 PM
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About onboard sound, for the most part you won't notice too much, if any of an improvement with an add-in sound card unless you have a high quality audio source and destinations (speakers/headphones).
Onboard audio has made a significant jump for the most part. Via sound still sucks compared to Realtek.
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Old October 21, 2009, 02:12 PM
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I'm not sure if you've bought from NCIX before but generally they'll price match most prices you can find on the internet. Use the link off hardwarecanucks to "Price Compare" and you'll find you can save a few bucks here and a few bucks there. Say the 965 for instance, the cheapest place it comes up with is "MikesComputerShop.com" who knows where that is, doesnt really matter. NCIX will generally match the price of 212.50, its an oppurtunity to save 25 bucks on just a single item.
That HX1000 looks really nice but for running just 1 card its way over the top. I'm sure a 750 or 850 would be plenty. The 790X boards are nice, are fairly cheap. I run this one
Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P AMD790X ATX AM3 DDR3 2PCI-E SATA2 RAID Sound GLAN Motherboard - DirectCanada
it doesnt have onboard video like the 785 but you wont need it.
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Old October 21, 2009, 02:21 PM
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I have to agree word to word with AkG.. Well put recommendations.. For the board, my first choice would be Gigabyte and then Evga and lastly Asus.. Gigabyte's support is just very good, Evga you can't go wrong, they have awesome support as well, Asus is more of a get lucky thing, if you're lucky you will won't be disappointed, otherwise they can be slow..
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