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Old January 28, 2011, 04:02 PM
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Default Looking for input on new/upgraded gaming PC

Hey everyone, new to the forums here at HardwareCanucks, thought i'd ask some generic and detailed questions about a new rig i'm looking at putting together in the next month or two.

The PC will be used for everyday tasks like internet and such, but mainly i'm looking at building a some-what high-end gaming PC within a budget of around $1000.

I'm from Canada and will hopefully be purchasing all of my components from here, so websites like newegg and ncix would be most appreciated for pricing and comparisons.

With what i'm interested in using the computer for and with my personal preferences, if at all possible, i'd like to stay with AMD/ATI for most of the parts, mainly due to good experiences with the companies parts and such.

I already have a case, disk drive, and hdd that i'm going to reuse for the build. The motherboard with the computer now has to go, as does the measly 400watt psu, the HD4650 GPU, and with the new motherboard hopefully being able to accept DDR3 memory, the 8 gb of DDR2 800mhz at 6-6-6-18 can leave as well.

The CPU i'm not sure on replacing yet, its a Phenom II x4 920 @ 2.8ghz, which is plenty of power.

Oh, plus i'm looking at being able to overclock the CPU and GPU/'s if at all possible, had been looking at the corsair CH50 water-cooling unit to take care of the CPU cooling functions.

If anyone has any objections to anything i've looked at, please voice them, it will better educate me on why i shouldn't do it as well as hopefully give me information on what could be a viable option.

The case is an Xclio A380S Super Tower, the HDD is a Seagate 7200RPM 750 GB, and the disk drive is an LG DVD/RW + lightscribe.

I've been looking at possibly getting AMD HD6850's in crossfire, so a board with crossfire capabilities would be lovely.

If the price could include shipping and taxes that would be good as well, thanks for any help guys and gals.

DOOMLANKY!!!!
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Old January 28, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Hello doomlanky, quick look at NCIX

NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 AMD890FX ATX AM3 DDR3 3PCI-E 3-WAY CrossFireX 2GBLAN SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard - GA-890FXA-UD5 In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory - F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy XFX Radeon HD 6850 775MHZ 1GB 4.0GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI Display Port HDMI PCI-E Dual Fan Video Card - HD685XZDFC In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair Professional HX850W 850W ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan - CMPSU-850HX In Canada.

that will cover the basic's with good quality and warranty. Do not skimp on PSU. you will hear that lots. This will give you a starting point and at regular prices is under your price with 2 GPU's.
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Old January 28, 2011, 10:02 PM
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This wouldn't be a bad choice for your power supply either(less expensive but still very reliable):

NCIX.com - Buy XFX 850W Black Edition Single Rail Semi Modular ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Silver - P1850BCAG9 In Canada.
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Old January 29, 2011, 04:59 AM
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Not sure if you have thought about it or not, but since you are planning on keeping the cpu and already have 8gb of decent ddr2, why not just upgrade PSU and video card?

You could definetly get a whole computer for under $1000, but since you are still satified with your CPU it would be a much cheaper option that would massively improve gaming performance. The upgrade from ddr2 to ddr3 would help performance, but but its not going to be night and day. Also, if you ended up not satisfied with the upgrade you could just carry these new parts forward into whatever you decide to buy.

If I was in your shoes I would go with a quality psu (seasonic, antec, xfx, corsair,etc that is 600w or greater) and a gtx 560ti or hd 6950. Not sure what resolution you are gaming at, but either of these will handle your needs. (if you are at lower resolutions then a cheaper video card would suffice...ex gtx 460 768mb/1gb not the SE, or hd 6850/6870 ). If you decide to make the leap to a new motherboard, ram, and cpu then I would have to recommend you switch to intel or wait for bulldozer if you want to stay AMD.

EDIT: your cpu, phenom II x4 920, was one of the original phenom II processors. It is an AM2+ chip and not AM3, which means you can only use it in am2+ boards and only with ddr2. This pretty much reinforces my previous thoughts.
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Last edited by Bond007; January 29, 2011 at 05:55 AM.
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Old January 29, 2011, 06:21 AM
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[QUOTE=Toyorace
that will cover the basic's with good quality and warranty. Do not skimp on PSU. you will hear that lots. This will give you a starting point and at regular prices is under your price with 2 GPU's.[/QUOTE]

I agree, don't skimp on PSU.
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Old January 29, 2011, 06:25 AM
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What motherboard are you using, and why does it have to go? As Bond007 said you'll need an AM2+ board anyway, if you plan to keep that CPU.
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Old January 29, 2011, 06:34 AM
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Oooops Bond is right AM2+
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Old January 29, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for all the quick and informative replies everyone!!

The motherboard i'm currently using came in and HP Pavillion ELITE computer I bought a little over a year ago through futureshop, Speccy tells me its a Pegatron VIOLET MB.

I was unaware that the CPU was an AM2+ model, i just assumed all phenom II's were AM3.

The main reason for trying to upgrade to a newer motherboard was that this one has one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and then has 4 PCIe x4 slots, so no chances for crossfireX with this board.

Would it be worth it to upgrade to a newer AM2+ motherboard to get CrossfireX capabilities, or do the newer AM3 boards support older AM2+ chipset?

If i could keep the older ram for the time being and just upgrade the PSU, GPU and possibly MB, that would definitely grow my budget for those three items, meaning i could not skimp out on any and possibly go with a 69xx card with a better PSU and MB combo.

Thanks again for all the help guys!!

EDIT:

Was just on newegg a few minutes ago looking around after what you all said, and I came up with a few options-

XFX HD-6850 = Newegg.ca - XFX HD-685X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
MSI 790XT-G45 MB = Newegg.ca - MSI 790XT-G45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
XFX 850w PSU = Newegg.ca - XFX Core Edition PRO850W (P1-850S-CAB9) 850W ATX12V v2.2 & ESP12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Now I know the MB doesn't have USB 3.0 or SATA 6.0gb/s, but those aren't things i'm looking into in the next year or so, and more than likely another upgrade will come around in a year or more for a new CPU/MB combo, hopefully this should be more than able to let me play SC2, BF:BC2, Mafia II, F1 2010, NBA 2K11 and all those games on MAX settings.

Input?? :)

EDIT 2.0:

Just noticed someone asked me what resolution I use, that would be 1920x1080.
DOOMLANKY

Last edited by doomlanky; January 29, 2011 at 07:53 AM.
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Old January 29, 2011, 12:02 PM
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AM3 boards will usually support AM2/AM2+ CPUs, just check the mainboard specifications to be sure. I wouldn't bother upgrading the motherboard though, since all you really need is a new GPU and PSU. Another reason to avoid getting a new motherboard now is the impending release (Q4 maybe?) of AM3+ which will be backwards compatible with AM3, but AM3+ will not be compatible with AM3 boards.

I wouldn't bother with crossfire support. Just get the best card you can within your budget and you'll be fine. With the money you'd save on not buying new motherboard with crossfire, you can put it towards the GPU and just a video card that will be equivalent to any crossfire setup you'd want. With a new PSU for the video card you'll be set for any of the games on the market now and upcoming ones. In a year or two when you're ready to upgrade you can just jump to AM3+ or whatever else is out and swap out your PSU and GPU or XFire/SLI it at that time and sell off your old stuff.

I'd stick with the XFX 850W Semi-Modular from NCIX with the mail in rebate for cheaper than the Newegg.ca one which is more expensive and isn't modular. Modulars are much easier on cable routing =). You can also grab an XFX 6850 for around $182. Just price match the GPU and CPU from BestDirect.ca to NCIX.com. Also if you want to put that $100 from the mainboard into a video card, the HD 6950s look damn nice

Buy XFX [HD685XZNFC] XFX Radeon HD 6850 775MHZ 1GB 4.0GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI Display Port HDMI PCI-E Video Card

Buy XFX [P1850BCAG9] XFX 850W Black Edition Single Rail Semi Modular ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Silver

Buy XFX [HD695ACNFC] XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI HDMI 2x Mini DisplayPort Video Card


Also as a shameless plug, I have a pair of Corsair TX950s I have to move if you don't mind having a non-modular 950W octopus in your case . I'll have to make a post for all my parts soon.

Last edited by proxy; January 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old January 29, 2011, 12:33 PM
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The PSU isn't going to be part of the equation anymore, I just picked up a PSU from a friend of mine who upgraded to a Kingwin 1000w for $80. Its a 750w Modular PSU with 4 PCI-express 6+2pins, though i'll only need two of them eventually.

As for the graphics options, it'll either be two 6850's or one 6950, though obviously staying with the motherboard and RAM I have now i'd only be getting one card anyways, would one 6850 run most if not all of the games I mentioned on MAX settings? or would I have to tone it down slightly for some, which i don't mind doing just while waiting for the new MB's to come out.

For CPU cooling, I'm looking at being able eventually to overclock the CPU I have now to somewheres between 3.2ghz and 4.0ghz, though the mb i have now doesn't support overclocking. The aftermarket cooling unit I was looking at for it was either the Corsair H50 water-cooling unit, or a high end aircooler. Only problem being the space between my motherboard and side of my case isn't as large as i'd like, seeing as i have a 300mm side fan mounted there. This is the reasoning behind me thinking of doing the water-cooling unit due to its smallish size for mounting.

You guys/gals have been really helpful, now I just have to bide my time like the rest of the world waiting on AMD to release its new chipset.

Although, If anyone can give me legitimate reasons to make the change to Intel for my CPU and use something like the new SandyBridge i've been hearing about or any other intel for that matter, i5, i7, that sort of thing, i know i said i was a fanboy for AMD, but i'm also open to change if change is for the better.

DOOMLANKY
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