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-   -   Hello! ^.^ Upcoming gaming PC $1,000 - $1,600 Advice? (https://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/new-builds/34790-hello-upcoming-gaming-pc-1-000-1-600-advice.html)

ladybastilla August 2, 2010 01:06 AM

Hello! ^.^ Upcoming gaming PC $1,000 - $1,600 Advice?

I am getting ready to have a new PC built because my current one is not going to be strong enough for the new MMORPGs coming out, most specifically Final Fantasy XIV. I am planning to buy my PC in mid to late August. I am planning to go to Canada Computers to have this done. You can find their website at Canada Computers - Your Neighbourhood Computer Store and Service Centre - PC Systems, PC Components, Computer Parts & Accessories, Notebooks, Netbooks, Electronics, and more.. This will be the third PC I've had them build.

What do I want my PC to do?

-- MMORPGs: I use a console (generally 360) for pretty much every other type of gaming (well, I guess you could also list Sims 3 here) but I am very active in whichever MMO I decide to be playing and I like having a PC that can handle my hobby.

-- Very simple YouTube video editing: I currently own an RCA Small Wonder video camera and I enjoy using this to get footage of my family during holidays, my dogs if I can catch them doing something funny, etc. I am interested in getting a program that will allow me to take video inside the games that I am playing and am also interested in eventually getting a camera that has proper support for a tripod (boy did I mess up there) so that I can use it for the vblogging / reviewing that I want to start doing.

-- General stuff: Surfing the web, e-mail, Windows Live Messenger, writing, (normal) blogging.

-- Ventrilo (voice chat), listening to music, etc. (in short I do not need a recording studio but I do somewhat care about sound.)


I have always bought AMD products and my research is not doing anything to sway this -- it seems the more practical / affordable route. If I went intel I would want to go with an i7 and a motherboard for Tri-channel simply for thinking ahead and that seems like it would cost me a lot more.

I want USB ports, and sound / mic ports on the front of my PC that work. I only had side USB and only sound / mic in the back on my last PC and I did not like that at all.

I'm pretty excited about how much variety there is in case design now days but it can also be very confusing when making sure that you are getting a quality product and that the pretty details are not taking away from it doing its "job". In short: if I go with something more exciting am I looking for trouble?

In short: I want a reliable gaming machine that will handle my MMOs, some light youtube video stuff, surfing the web and using ventrilo.

What I'm thinking about getting:


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition -- $179.99
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition -- $199.99
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T -- $219.99

*NOTE: I realize that the 965 is simply a $20 resell of the 955 with a higher GHz. However, I am not the sort who would be likely to overclock so this is still relatively appealing.


I am looking at getting a version of the 890FX. The three I see on the Canada Computers site are:

Asus Crosshair IV -- $244.99
Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 -- $209.99
Biostar TA890FXE -- $144.99

I think I am most interested in the Gigabyte board which is a bit surprising and unnerving since I have chosen Asus boards for my last two systems. The reviews seem solid but this is an important part of the PC so I suppose I will be a little cautious regardless of what I choose.


This is where I get very lost. If I understand correctly if a board lists a RAM type then it can use it. If it says OC next to it you don't want to buy it unless you are going to overclock your stuff. If you buy it and do not do this it will either (1) not work, or (2) work at the next acceptable tier down (i.e. 1600 --> 1333)

With all of that said, RAM recommendations are very much welcome! *laughs*

I am also curious as to whether buying 4GB, 4GB x 2 or getting an 8GB 4GB x 2 setup would be my best call. I can always get more RAM later, having 8 to begin would be nice, and having the latter 8GB setup would (if I understand properly) set me up to have 16 in the future.

Graphics Card:

5850 or 5870? I cannot make up my mind. Also, which version do I want? There are lots of companies that seem to make these. Should I get this if I can, or if I'm willing to pay that much just go with a 5870? I'm not sure quite how high I want to go on my GPU budget; sorta trying to get the other major parts locked down first.

Hard Drive:

I currently own a 140GB Hard Drive. I have owned it for 2.5 years. It still has 50gb free. I certainly do not want another 140gb Hard Drive, but I cannot think of any really compelling reasons to get a 1TB drive just to say "Ooo, I have one!". This is another area I don't know much about, so any suggestions here are welcome.

DVD Burner:

These are all $30 - $40. I don't need a BluRay player as my vision is not the greatest and I cannot tell the difference really. Besides, if it totally eclipses DVD I can always get that later.

Power Supply:

Do I want 650W or 750W with the type of machine that I am buying? Any recommendations on brand or model? Thanks!


I could write a lot about this, but I will try to keep it simple. I want USB, audio and mic access on the front of the machine. I would prefer that the top of the case be flat. I would like something unique -- something other then your standard black box -- but this is not my top priority.

Wireless Card:

I know I need one and I know nothing about these. Yet again, suggestions are most welcome. Do I want one that does b/g/n even if I am not currently running N? (I'm not sure what we are actually running here, which is why I ask). Any advice would be most welcome.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premum. Do I want 32 bit or 64 bit?

Thanks so much for reading all of this. I am trying to fill out sort of a plan sheet that I set up so that I can take it in with me when I go to get this built so that I don't end up getting stuff that I do not want / do not need / do not know about. I may not be the one physically building my PC, but I want to be very aware of exactly what is going in there.

supaflyx3 August 2, 2010 01:34 AM

1, go for the 1055T it's not much more expensive. just go for 4gb of ram right now, get a GTX460 1GB, not a 5850. 500W PSU would even be fine as long as you don't cheap out. just about any case will do, and you want windows 7 64bit.

Prolab August 2, 2010 02:00 AM

Just go for the 955. Or even a hexa core. I have the 965 and its a beast in encoding movies for me. Only reason why i have it is because they didnt have 955 in stock.

Personally, id go for the 1055t if budget allows. As per HD, well... a 250gb is only $10 cheaper than a 500gb. Make sense to spring $10 more for double the size.

LarkStarr August 2, 2010 02:16 AM

I'd just hit up the 955 - for what you're doing, you're not going to amazingly stress the CPU, and you might benefit more at this point from fewer higher clocked cores, instead of more lower clocked cores. If you want, bump it up to the 965.


Anything gigabyte.. (personal preference) I've just gotten the 890GPA paired with a 1055t and it works fantastic. also cheaper then what you have listed.


Cheapest DDR3-1333 ram you can find. whatever is on sale at the time usually works best :P Heck you'd almost be alright with 4 gigs of ram, but 4 gigs X2 is nice too.. I've not had and personal experience with these systems with 4 gig sticks.

Graphics Card:

for MMOs, usually they aren't too graphics intensive. I'd almost honestly try a 5770, but it depends on what you're playing.

Hard Drive:

WELLLLLL.. the performance option here is buying an SSD. Small size (flash memory) hard drive, but they are damned quick. And expensive to that effect. If you're just looking for a regular good old hard drive, just pick out anything you see from good old Western Digital or Seagate. 1 TB is the sweet spot of price per GB at the moment (I think?)

DVD Burner:

you got it.

Power Supply:

600 W even. Umm.. Antec is generally the best. Corsair, OCZ too.. (im gunna get bashed!)


Just go to a Canada computers and have a look at the cases.

Wireless Card:

Wired is the best, if you can, especially for gaming.

otherwise, yes a b/g/n card you'd want. linksys is generally the best brand. Netgear and belkin do alright as well. Just don't get a USB solution.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premum. Do I want 32 bit or 64 bit?

64 bit. it's the current standard, and you need 64 bit to use more then 4 gigs of ram.

I hope this helps!

Also, Welcome to the boards!

_dangtx_ August 2, 2010 04:47 AM

youre buying quite the system for its intended graphical usage.

probably a high clocked duallie will be more than enough, as per above 4 gigs of ddr3.

video card wise, eye candy more than fps, probably 5850 again as per above altough you have to look up reviews of the game itself and see what results people get with newer cards.

xlilmissmjx August 2, 2010 07:05 AM


AMD Phenom II X6 1055T -- $219.99, more for when games decide to get more core dependent and it's a great oc'er if you ever decide to explore that later on.


Unless you are considering doing Tri CrossFire later on, I would go with an Asus M4A89TD Pro or Pro/USB board as it better suits your needs.


G Skill, Mushkin, Patroit, Corsair. DDR3-1333 or 1600 is fine, not much price difference between, especially when the sales come up!

Graphics Card:

XFX Radeon HD5770 x 2 in CrossFire, comparable to 1 HD5850 or get 1 HD5850/70 and get the 2nd later on when you get into more graphic intensive games and/or programs.

Hard Drive:

Any Western Digital or Seagate 500GB x 2, 1st for OS & Programs 2nd for Data (backup)

DVD Burner:

Any DVD writer will do, Samsung or LG are usually popular.

Power Supply:

Corsair HX650/750, both are modular units, great for cable management as you only use the cables needed and store the rest away. HX650 for the 2 5770's in CF, HX750 for the 2 5850/70's in CF.


Cooler Master's 690 II Basic or Advanced, HAF 922/932

Wireless Card:

Wired is BEST, however if u need wireless then a linksys b/g/n card is highly recommended. It will be fine to use if you got a wireless G router, but it would benefit more with a wireless N router instead. If/when you decide to upgrade the router, if you've got any other legacy wireless G devices then you'll lose the speed unless you get a dual band wireless N router.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

ladybastilla August 2, 2010 10:00 AM

Final Fantasy XIV Recommended Specs:

Intel Core i7 920
Minimum 4gb RAM
15GB Hard Drive Space
Nvidia GFX 460
DirectSound compatable soundcard
DirectX 9.0c

Should've listed this in my initial post, I suppose. My apologies. Hopefully this will clear up why I am going for something quite so out there for an MMO machine. I ran their benchmark and my current machine scored 565 out out of the 1500 required to play on absolute lowest standards with everything turned down / off. (Athlon II, 2GB RAM, Asus M2-VMA motherboard (I may have the name wrong; its their 690g one), ATI Radeon 4350 graphics card, etc.)

So I decided it is time to upgrade. I figure that since I already have the money all ready to go that it is likely safer to over-estimate then under-estimate. However, balancing more would not necessarily be a bad thing -- It would let me update my TV sooner.

Anyway, I dunno if this clears up what I initially listed or whether I got lost in translation switching from intel to AMD. Thanks! :)

jcmaz August 2, 2010 03:23 PM

Ahh... the ASUS M2A-VM. I had one of those :)

You could always update the BIOS to the 500X for Phenom II support.

As for RAM, 4GB is enough and 8 is just overkill for your purpose...
I recommend a set of G.Skill DDR3-1600 4GB for ~ $100 @ NCIX.

I personally wouldn't touch Biostar board, they are not really respected in this forum. Gigabyte is the way to go. Excellent boards at reasonable prices.
You don't really need a 890FX board if you are not OC'ing. A 870G board would be sufficient @ ~100 and spend the rest of the $$$ on the 1055T :)

Get a 500GB hard drive. There is no reason not to a big one. Somehow i think you are using Win XP. Vista takes ~30GB of HD space and Win7 uses ~10 or so.

_dangtx_ August 2, 2010 03:36 PM

holy crap thats quite the recommended specs on that game lol.

i would start with a gpu and ram to 4 gig as advised upgrade and see what gives.

ladybastilla August 2, 2010 07:45 PM

Yeah, it was quite a shock to hear the system recommended requirements. Sure the min are lower, but it basically made me decide that it was time to upgrade.

Thank you for the heads up about the Biostar board, I figured as much and will definitely scratch it from consideration. I really should look into what the other 890 boards offer in comparison. Depending on what I plan to do -- which truthfully is most likely put one really solid video card in there and upgrade it later if I need to -- I probably *don't* need an FX. That was my brother's idea. Although I do like the Gigabyte board that I listed and may go with it simply for flexibility.

I'm wondering about western digital vs. seagate in relation to Hard Drives? And as for WD what is the difference between Caviar Black and Caviar Green? I understand that one is for more power user type stuff and one is focused more on improving the environment / saving energy. Is it okay to go green or should I let the trees fend for themselves? :p

Thanks again for all the help. ^.^

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