Currently I am running an AMD Athlon 1500 XP, oc'd to 1.83ghz, 1GB DDR ram, ati radeon 128mb 9600, and a 200gb 7200 drive. I mainly play CS:Source, and as you can imagine, it runs like a snail. I don't just want to play Source, but I would like to tailor my new comp to run it well while looking amazing. I basically want to balance price, reliability, compatibility, and performance. I live in Canada and am looking for some advice on what to buy for my new computer. I am not the most educated when it comes to hardware and I know the technology is constantly changing. That being said, what should I buy? I have a 19" Sharp LCD (works fine IMO) display. I would basically be getting a new mobo, cpu, case and psu, ram, vid card. I don't necessarily need a wicked sound card, I have only ever had onboard sound and it seems to work fine for me. I can refer you to 2 sites that I have been told about, www.tigerdirect.ca and www.canadacomputers.com . My friend tells me that Canada Computers offer the best prices he has come across. Thanks for any advice and information in advance. I would like to spend somewhere in between $400-800 Can.
If you're in the GTA area, I'd also suggest Infonec and Logice Computer House. They run neck and neck with Canada computers for price. Also, since you're going to be getting a whole new system, Grey Tech Inc gave me the best deal out of all of them on my whole system. something in the range of a 5% discount, which none of the others were willing to do.
As for actual system components, $800 is quite tight to be building a low-end gaming rig out of, especially since we're workign from scratch (the hard drive and optical drive gutted from the other machine will only save you $200).
If possible, I'd say to wait for a few months till Conroe and AM2 (new processors from Intel and AMD, respectively) get released. There should bring current processors down in price, as well as offer you the opportunity to look at the latest technology and see what's right for you.
Once that's done, that'll influence your RAM choice. OCZ, Crucial, & Corsair are generally the top brands, and any of their value series will do you well. go with 2x1GB sticks in dual-channel.
For a motherboard, again, have to see what processor you go with. Many others will be able to give ou suggestions here. But with a tight budget liek yours, and SLI board is out.
For a graphics card, I'd suggest ATI, since your main game is CS:S, and ATI has always dominated nVidia for this one. Since you want to game, don't be afraid to spend 25% - 45% of your system budget on the graphics card. That would be soemthing in the $200 - $450 range.
As for PSU and case, pretty much anything will work. There are many PSUs to choose from, and even a case/PSU combo package will work for you. You'll be looking fora PSU in the 400W - 500W range.