1) 2x1GB now on Vista home premium OR 1 GB now on XP and upgrade to 2GB + vista later (cheaper now, focus on proc/video)
2) AMD or C2D 2xxx series (I can overclock, if the parts that would make it worth while fit in the budget)
3) build myself or buy a prebuilt (maybe customize a prebuilt?)
Things I want:
1) 17" or 19" widescreen (decent brand too - LG, viewsonic, samsung)
2) cheap speakers (2.1, maybe $40)
3) don't need anything higher than 160GB hard drive
Any suggestions or build that fit in the budget based on the websites above would be appreciated. Please don't recommend I spend more than $1000 CAD.
You might want to check out www.shoprbc.com in Ottawa. They have pretty good prices. I bought an AMD system from them about 5 years ago now and it's still running, although getting a tad slow. I am buying a new Intel system from them shortly.
I want it to be as good for gaming as possible. But i want the widescreen monitor for watching movies.
I want something that will perform adequately now, and then I can upgrade later to perform adequately again. I don't really play FPS games, but playing relatively new would be nice. Civ4, HL2, maybe SC2.
ncix.com has the best prices and aftersale support as far as I know. I use them regularly.
As for the build that you need, you're not gonna get a decent gaming machine for 700-800$ if you also need to include a monitor. Especially when we factor in taxes and s&h.
If I were you I'd probably get the Gigabyte DS3L with the P35 chipset. That budget motherboard will be good now and you'll be able to upgrade the CPU and RAM eventually because it supports 1333 FSB and quad-core CPUs.
Couple that with the cheap E2140 dual-core from Intel. I've never played with the E2140 but I'm sure you can easily overclock it from 1.6 to 2.2 or 2.4Ghz.
Add cheap RAM, 1 or 2 GB is up to you. I can tell you that some games like Battlefield 2 are quite memory hungry and you will see a difference between 1 GB and 2 GB.
Stick with on-board NIC and sound card, cheap generic case, decent power supply like a 400-500W NMedia, DVD drive, SATA hard drive, your keyboard/mouse and speakers.
Add your monitor, and whatever $ you have left will decide what kind of video card you can get. That 8800GTS is your best choice but that will go over 1000$ probably, even though not much. Get a 8600GTS if you want DirectX 10 support, or otherwise a Radeon 1950Pro will do the job.