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Ordering Monday Morning - Please comment! =)

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September 30, 2006 12:50:59 PM

Hi all:

The computer I've made below is in Canadian dollars built off PCCanada.com

I intend to use it mainly play World of Warcraft at the highest settings and resolution, as well as any future games. While I understand that WoW isn't demanding, I am building this computer this week for the next few years.

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Antec® Sonata II Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower w/ Power Supply, Black (Invis: 4830) $134.99

Intel® Core™2 Duo E6400, 2.13-GHz @ 1066Mhz w/ 2Mb Cache (Socket 775) (Retail Box) w/ Heat Sink & Fan (Invis: 6132) $264.99

Heat Sink and Fan included with CPU (Invis: 3) $0.00

Asus® P5L-MX, Socket 775, Intel® 945G Chipset w/ PCI Express x16 (mATX) (Invis: 6471) $89.99

OCZ 1Gb PC2-5400 DDR2 Dual Channel Special Ops Edition (OCZ2SOE6671GK) (Invis: 6016) $179.99

160GB Western Digital® Caviar® SE SATAII-300 7200RPM 8Mb OEM (Invis: 4775) $69.99

Mitsumi 3½ in (1.44Mb) Floppy Disk Drive, Black (Invis: 2436) $9.99

BFG Tech GeForce™ 7900 GS OC™ - GeForce™ 7900 GPU w/256Mb GDDR3 & PCI Express x16 Retail Box (Invis: 6452) $259.99

Sony 16X DVD-ROM Drive OEM, Black (Invis: 2437) $24.99

On-Board PCI Sound built-into motherboard (Invis: 5) $0.00

On-Board 10/100Mb Lan built-into motherboard (Invis: 7) $0.00

Samsung SyncMaster™ 997MB 19in SVGA CRT (Retail Box), Silver/Black (Invis: 4816) $249.99

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Regular Price: $1284.91 Canadian dollars ($1000 American, give or take?)
Best Price: $1277.92 Canadian dollars ($1000 American, give or take?)

Please let me know your thoughts, I really appreciate your insight on everything and anything.

From one gamer to another,

VMoura
September 30, 2006 3:03:32 PM

Quote:
Antec® Sonata II Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower w/ Power Supply, Black (Invis: 4830) $134.99

Intel® Core™2 Duo E6400, 2.13-GHz @ 1066Mhz w/ 2Mb Cache (Socket 775) (Retail Box) w/ Heat Sink & Fan (Invis: 6132) $264.99

Heat Sink and Fan included with CPU (Invis: 3) $0.00

Asus® P5L-MX, Socket 775, Intel® 945G Chipset w/ PCI Express x16 (mATX) (Invis: 6471) $89.99

OCZ 1Gb PC2-5400 DDR2 Dual Channel Special Ops Edition (OCZ2SOE6671GK) (Invis: 6016) $179.99

160GB Western Digital® Caviar® SE SATAII-300 7200RPM 8Mb OEM (Invis: 4775) $69.99

Mitsumi 3½ in (1.44Mb) Floppy Disk Drive, Black (Invis: 2436) $9.99

BFG Tech GeForce™ 7900 GS OC™ - GeForce™ 7900 GPU w/256Mb GDDR3 & PCI Express x16 Retail Box (Invis: 6452) $259.99

Sony 16X DVD-ROM Drive OEM, Black (Invis: 2437) $24.99

On-Board PCI Sound built-into motherboard (Invis: 5) $0.00

On-Board 10/100Mb Lan built-into motherboard (Invis: 7) $0.00

Samsung SyncMaster™ 997MB 19in SVGA CRT (Retail Box), Silver/Black (Invis: 4816) $249.99

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Regular Price: $1284.91 Canadian dollars ($1000 American, give or take?)
Best Price: $1277.92 Canadian dollars ($1000 American, give or take?)


1)Move down the E6300. No reason to pay more for the 6400 when you can easily overclock the 6400.

2) Get 2GB of RAM if at all possible.

3) Change the video card to the X1900XT 256- it smakes the 7900GS around and can touch the 7900GTX in some benchmarks. Its the best deal in video cards right now.

4) No DVD burner?

5) Change the hard drive to Seagate 7200.10 series drive with 16MB cache. Best hard drive on the market right now.

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Quote:
Be warned that most PSU's that come with a case are underpowered and will not suport a bild like yours. Make sure your PSU has at least 450W, Dual +12v rails with at least 18A on each rail.

See more about PSU's in the link provided belowe.


The Antec case comes with an Antec Smartpower 450W. He should be ok there.
Related resources
September 30, 2006 3:08:07 PM

Quote:
Be warned that most PSU's that come with a case are underpowered and will not suport a bild like yours. Make sure your PSU has at least 450W, Dual +12v rails with at least 18A on each rail.

See more about PSU's in the link provided belowe.


The US/Canadian version of the Sonata II comes with an Antec Smart Power v2 450W PS.

http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=15139

The PS will give you 15A on one rail, 17A on another. There is a caveat regarding the 15A rail though...
http://www.antec.com/specs/SP450_spe.html
September 30, 2006 6:01:19 PM

Hey guys:

Thank you for all your comments so far.

Some things to keep aware of:

1. I am definitely ordering Monday from PCCanada

2. These are the customization options I have:

http://www.pccanada.com/quote.asp?action=form&ID=7

3. I will now remove the monitor, as I have one already and will use the $250 to apply elsewhere.

4. I want to spend $1000, give or take 100, before taxes.


Go wild, go free, let me know what you think is best for me!

From one gamer to the other,

VMoura
September 30, 2006 6:46:57 PM

not a bad set up but you should confirm the psu wattage as you will want at least 450watts,600watts would be better for your setup.anyways have fun and goodluck.

Dahak

EVGA NF4 SLI MB
X2 4400+@2.4 S-939
2 7800GT'S IN SLI MODE
2X1GIG DDR400 MEMORY IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
520WATT PSU
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR
September 30, 2006 8:20:55 PM

1. Get conroe 6300.
2. Get cheaper memory(but make sure its ddr2 667mhz) and i recommend 2x 1gB(especially with vista coming, 2gB is a must).
3. Get 320gB hard disk, thats where you get the cheapest gB per $ and you can never have too much free space. Would you buy a 100bhs fiat for 100$ or a 500bhs ferrari for 200$? Ferrari, even though more expensive, offers better value for money. Same deal with hard disks(320gB is the sweet spot in my country, in your country it might differ a little).
4. Get a dvd-rec instead of a dvd-rom.
5. Get x1900gt or x1900xt. Both of these cards are better than 7900gs, especially in shader intensive games. The x1900gt is obviously slower but its cheaper too.
6. Psu is really important on a pc and thats the last area that i would try to save money from. But assuming that the antec psu that comes with the case is up to antec's standalone psu standards, then you should be fine.

Note, that both your mobo and your ram will hold down your cpu a little. If you can afford spending a bit more money, you can go for gigabyte ds3 or asus p5b(not the deluxe). Both have 965chipset which is better than 945. Also you could put ddr2 800mhz ram on those babies(although, you should be able to put ddr2 800mhz on your 945 mobo as well, but you wont be able to run it on stock).
September 30, 2006 9:05:27 PM

Thanks NIB and everyone, I appreciate the comments.

The last thing then I need, in light of your comments, is a nice case/PSU combo.

Any ideas? I like the Sonata II w/ 450 PSU TruePower, but if you guys have any other ideas I'll look at them.

Options are all here: http://www.pccanada.com/quote.asp?action=form&ID=7
September 30, 2006 10:13:47 PM

Here is my revised list, revisions in bold. I don't know much about case + PSU combos, so I would like some guidance on that.

The options I have are at: http://www.pccanada.com/quote.asp?action=form&ID=7

-----------------------------------------------------------

Antec® Sonata II Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower w/ Power Supply, Black (Invis: 4830) $134.99

Intel® Core™2 Duo E6400, 2.13-GHz @ 1066Mhz w/ 2Mb Cache (Socket 775) (Retail Box) w/ Heat Sink & Fan (Invis: 6132) $264.99

Heat Sink and Fan included with CPU (Invis: 3) $0.00

Asus® P5B, Socket 775, Intel® P965 Chipset w/ PCI Express x16 (ATX) (Invis: 6172) $169.99

OCZ 2Gb PC4200 DDR2 EL Dual Channel Gold Edition
(OCZ25332048ELDCGE-K) (Invis: 4791) $254.99

250GB Western Digital® Caviar® SE16 SATAII-300 7200RPM 16Mb OEM (Invis: 4786) $89.99

Mitsumi 3½ in (1.44Mb) Floppy Disk Drive, Black (Invis: 2436) $9.99

BFG Tech GeForce™ 7900 GS OC™ - GeForce™ 7900 GPU w/256Mb GDDR3 & PCI Express x16 Retail Box (Invis: 6452) $259.99

On-Board PCI Sound built-into motherboard (Invis: 5) $0.00

On-Board 10/100Mb Lan built-into motherboard (Invis: 7) $0.00

Sony DW-Q120A Dual Layer DVD±R/RW Drive (IDE) OEM, Black (Invis: 6002) $39.99


Regular Price: $1224.92 CANADIAN DOLLARS

Please quote http://www.pccanada.com/quote.asp?action=form&ID=7 for any parts, as that is what I am using.
September 30, 2006 10:56:24 PM

be really careful with the RAM you pair with the Asus p5b series of motherboards (or any broadwater chipset board), you should definetely look at their QVL list before getting something that might not even POST.

As for case+CPU combos, I'm not a big fan; they're great for budget builds, but for midrange and higher I tend to recommend people get the two pieces separately (though Antec is a fairly reliable name in PSU's).

If you like the Antec Sonata you might want to give the Antec Solo a look and then think about getting a quality PSU. Fortron, Seasonic, Mushkin, Enermax, OCZ, PC power & cooling, etc. are all some good brands to consider.
October 1, 2006 12:42:47 AM

The ram that you chose isnt ddr2 800mhz(aka pc6400), its pc4200(533mhz). It would be nice to get 800mhz ram(especially if you plan to overclock). Theoretically, most ddr2 667mhz(aka pc5300, although many call it pc5400 which from a technical point of view is wrong) can get up to 800mhz if you loosen up the timings.

The computer will work regardless how fast is your memory(even if you get pc3200), assuming your mobo doesnt have any particular problems with the specific memory module that you got. Getting 800mhz memory(or getting 667mhz and overclocking it to 800mhz) would offer you better performance though.

Strangely enough, pc5300(on stock speeds) gives you worse performance than pc4200(on stock speeds), due to fsb/memory ratio. If anything, pc4200 is the ideal memory for conroe from a fsb/memory ratio point of view(memory is running synchronous with the fsb). But this doesnt change the fact that pc4200 is a slow memory and when it is compared against a system with pc6400, it will lose, because pc6400 is much faster memory.

But vs pc5300, pc4200 usually pulls ahead due the the synchronous advantage. So you have 3 choices

1. pc4200 = very cheap, decent performance without any tinkering, you probably wont be able to use them on your next rig without serious perfomance drop.
2. overclocked pc5300 at 800mhz = moderate price, good performance with tinkering, kinda risky(because you overclock it), not very good performance at stock speeds
3. pc6400 = expensive, good performance without any tinkering, ideal for overclocking

Oh and remember, when we are talking about performance on memory, we arent talking about performance in games. If game performance is the only thing that you are interested in, ram speed plays an extremely minor role. The game performance difference between the most expensive ra, in the market and the cheapest pc4200 is like 15% at low resolutions(800x600) and like 2% at normal playing resolutions(1600x1200).

The last few months, the price of pc6400 has skyrocketed because of conroe. Pc6400 used to cost 200$ while pc4200 150$, so it was a good choice to get pc6400. But now pc6400 costs 300$ while pc4200 costs 150$, i dont think its very wise to get pc6400(unless you are a computer geek like me, or you can afford spending the extra money).

PS I suggest getting a x1900gt(or x1900xt if you can afford it). 7900Gs will have performance problems on shader intensive games and games will only get more shader intensive as time passes by.
October 1, 2006 1:18:11 AM

if u get a IDE DVD writer 4 the p965 or ne ide opitical drive u wont be able to install vista (as RC1) but i doubt they changed nething in the more recent builds. XP installs fine
October 1, 2006 12:00:46 PM

Any last comments or suggestions guys?

I will be ordering this tomorrow.
October 1, 2006 1:05:21 PM

I know it's only CDN$10, but who uses a floppy these days? I haven't used a floppy in a few years now unless I had to communicate to the Ancients. The last computer I bought was constructed without a floppy. Without a 56K modem too. i thought those two items were in the Jurassic stage as far as computer ages go.

Right now, I'm using a Dremel to shape the little plastic cover on the case's floppy space. I'm putting my fan control there. The idea of running it around and using double sided tape after all this money seemed stupid to me.

The control fits perfectly in the floppy space, just a littel short.
October 1, 2006 1:24:07 PM

I've got the Antec® Sonata II and 250GB Western Digital® Caviar® SE16 (KS) as part of the build I did a month ago, I've had no problems with the PSU, not done heavy gaming but have done heavy video editing.

On the case I'm not using the extra ducting as I've found it's does affect the temperatures, I've blocked of that air intake for all air comes in through the filter. It's a good case, so easy to install harddisk/cd drives

The biggest shock is that the hard disk is now the loudest part of my kit, quiet compared to my last PC but it's amazing how quickly you feel it's louder than it actually is.
October 1, 2006 2:22:11 PM

$1200?!

Buy a Dell...

I am an ethusiast looking for the best bang for the buck, but sometimes Dell has the best bang for the buck.

If price is no object then sure... spec it how you like it and build it.

945G chipset???
October 1, 2006 2:37:35 PM

Quote:
$1200?!

Buy a Dell...

I am an ethusiast looking for the best bang for the buck, but sometimes Dell has the best bang for the buck.



You did remember he's quoting Canadian dollars, which is quite a bit less than Real Money...?
October 1, 2006 3:22:29 PM

If you live in Ontario, consider ordering here instead. They're based in BC and you can avoid the PST. Over the course of $1200, that's alot of $$ you'll be saving, and then you can spend that extra on a better video card like the X1900XT.

http://www.directcanada.com/
October 3, 2006 2:09:04 PM

Quote:
Ok just because it's a good brand name dons't mean they are going to have a PSU in the case that will support the latest parts.

...

So the max output of the +12v rails is actually 260. Giving you a combined current output of just under 22A. This is cutting it close.


Right, that's just what I was pointing out, but was too lazy to spell it out so just I mentioned the caveat and provided the link. The point being that the PS would not provide the 18A per rail that you originally recommended.
October 3, 2006 3:48:23 PM

Agreed. This is good advice.
!