Been a while since I've been here, but it's almost upgrade time again. The old S754 A64 3000+ based system with 1GB and an X850Pro just isn't going to cut it anymore. Here's the question: Upgrade now or wait for the release of Barcelona/Penryn/R600 to stabilize the prices. The new machine is purely for gaming and the budget is around 3000$CAD. Just need the case and contents, no keyboard/monitor etc.
Biggest piece of uncertainty is weather or not to wait for the release of new tech.
Why wait for new tech? The second it comes out, it's already dated. The 8800 series of vid cards can push any game that exists today (even the 320), as long as you aren't running at a huge rez, these cards will kick arse for quite some time to come. Personally, I was debating the same thing, so I picked up the GTS to hold me over for a year to see what happens... in a year, I can still sell it for decent coin, or just drop it into my other case.
Where do you live? I'm in Ontario, and only deal with NCIX and DirectCanada -- both are located in BC, so they only charge GST. I ordered everything in my sig from NCIX (except the Seagates and input devices) and recieved everything the next day (I'm in Ottawa, they are in Vancouver, pretty damn impressive IMO).
NCIX has the best service, but are a little more expensive than DirectCanada -- worthwhile I thought as they have combo deals and bundle packages you can take advantage of, especially when building an entire system.
I agree with Skyguy that there is never a best time to buy. That said though we are two weeks away from DAAMIT's big Tunisia CPU/chipset/GPU launches.
I agree that Direct Canada (cheaper NCIX) is a good starting place but it is always best to still check the others. For example Tiger Direct Canada has the E6600 OEM in Skyguy's build for 299.97 right now, where Direct Canada is 363.99 for the retail box.
Just use NCIX and 'pricematch' everything to the cheaper prices from other places, that way you get the great NCIX service. Generally you will find DirectCanada the cheapest, however if you are going to buy $3000 worth of goods you should look into a 'premier partner' membership at NCIX, orders over $3000 are free shipping, there are special RMA benefits, all prices are cheaper than DirectCanada, with an order of $3000 you would easily save back your $150 for the membership.
Thanks for all the great advice. Just to clarify, all I need is the tower, no imput devices, no monitors etc. I think fanboy hit it on the head with the issue regarding DAMMIT's release of new hardware in the coming weeks. Just curious if that may drop prices signifigantly or not. As well, I've never had the opportunity to go the mail order route before (NCIX). How is the service compared to a brick and mortar store/ a real person to answer questions etc. Kinda concerned with that part. I live in toronto, and all the help is appreciated.
I get better service from NCIX online than I do from Canada Computers in person. If you are going to buy anything locally make it your case, because shipping cases is expensive. If you buy the motherboard locally and it's DOA it's easier to return.
My only comment would be that the Zalman 9700 isn't the coolest, quietest, or cheapest around. Take a look at the Noctua.....best kept secret out there.....quieter, cheaper, and keeps things very cool:
Either way, the system kicks arse, I'm just trying to save you some cash... that being said, here are my 2 cents:
- change the case -- for the money you are spending, I'd get a higher quality case. It's also tiny, and personally, i like cases with room to breath and that are easier to work in.
- go with the single GTX and save some cash -- I wanted to run SLI, but decided to wait for the next gen of cards before buying, so I got the 640 GTS to 'hold me over'. Turns out the GTS can run all the games I play at max settings/resolution without any problems. GTXs alone are overkill for today's games, let alone running them in SLI.
- I don't regret buying my 9700, but it's not good bang for the buck... have a look at other options, or be like me, and buy the Zalman strictly for looks
What monitor are you using?
I'm on a VX922 at the moment, but am considering the new Dell 27 inch widescreen.
Just wondering if the GTS (320 or 640) or the GTX will handle those resolutions without complaint.
Also, the TJ09 was my first choice, may have to go back to that. Haven't actually seen either one in person though.
My current setup consists of dual 19" L1951S LG LCDs. Not the best screens on the market, but I got them for $400CDN (total) a year ago at some clearance sale, so I got a good deal. They can push 1280x1024, which is the most any game can run anways, so I'm happy. There are games out there, like Supreme Commander, that actually use the the second display. Hopefully more games will do the same in the future.
Again, this is just my 2 cents, and not everyone will agree and I'm not trying to change your mind
I can understand the allure of large displays, but for a gaming rig, there is no point. Games simply can't push the resolutions these monitors can display. So it's nice to say that your 27 can push 1920x1200, but when FEAR/Oblivion/etc. can't run over 1280x960, you can't take advantage of it anyways, so to me, it seems like a waste of such a nice display. I would spend the cash on a good 22, or maybe even a 24, but nothign larger. Plus, considering the Dell 27 is twice the price of their 24, and I think it's an easy decision to make.
A single GTX will push todays games on these monitors without any problems. If that card ever becomes the bottleneck of your system, you can simply get another one (by the time that happens, you'll want the next gen of card anyway).
As for the case, I wrote a review on NCIX (http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?mode=productrevi...). Silverstone makes some of the nicer cases on the market, but they come at a premium price. That being said, I've seen a few of the Temjins (TJ09, 07, 06), and wouldn't hesitate to purchase either one. My only real concern for you would be space as these cases are quite tall, long and heavy. If you want a smaller mid-tower case, you can't go wrong with the Lian-Li PC-6x series.