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Building my first computer and of course need some guidance.

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April 11, 2008 7:16:19 PM

Hello all, this is my first post so I suppose I'll introduce myself a little bit?

My name is Trevor, I'm a student currently but do quite a bit of web design and graphic design on the side. I work part-time in a photolab and play way too many videogames (no kidding). I'm near Toronto, Canada in a little town called Bradford.

Here's the quick and dirty;

I want a machine that'll be able to run UT3 on the highest settings at a smooth 40-50fps minimum. I would really like to be able to squeeze the same performance out of it for Crysis but I don't see that happening. I don't know a whole lot about hardware but I think I know enough to confidently say this computer will serve my purposes well. I will also be doing a lot of flash and video work on it and my main supplier will most likely be Tiger Direct (with the acception of Canada Computers for the case, which I'll be purchasing at their store, not online).

Heres what I have so far:

Case: Antec Nine Hundred _____________________ $100.00 CAD

Motherboard: XFX nForce 680i LT _______________ $185.00 CAD

Processor: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 2.4 ghz ________ $280.00 CAD

Video Card: XFX GeForce 8800 GT 512mb __________ $240.00 CAD

RAM: OCZ 2x2048mb 800mhz DDR2 ______________ $95.00 CAD

PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700-watt _______________ $130.00 CAD

HDD: WD Caviar 7200rpm 500gb _________________ $100.00 CAD

Optical Drive: Lite-On SuperAllWrite DVD Drive _______ $40.00 CAD

The total after CDN taxes I'm looking at >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> $1322.00 CAD

Basically, I'm just wondering what some of you might have to say about this and if you have some better ideas just let me know. I'm not an expert, so if some of you see some way to save me some money I'd definately like to know that as well. I am looking at buying a second XFX GeForce 8800 GT to run in SLI in the future. I already have a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

Oh, an my budget is probably about $1400.00 CAD maximum, I'm a student remember. ;) 

Thanks,

Trevor.
April 11, 2008 7:30:10 PM

Typically, if you're not going SLI right away, don't worry about it. The performance benefit for most resolutions/games can be obtained by using a newer single GPU.

If that argument sways you, switch to a P35 Motherboard, and an 8800GTS 512MB (not 320 or 640). You'll be able to fly in UT3.

Also, if you go single GPU, you can change out your PSU for a smaller one, like the Corsair 550VX or other reliable 550W PSU.

With the cost savings from those changes you could get the Seagate 7200.11 500GB which would give you added performance.
April 11, 2008 7:32:34 PM

Looks good to me so far. Here are a few of my opinions:

Case: I have this case and love it. It's great to mod. Check out xtremesystems.org for antec 900 modding forum.

Motherboard: Personally I would opt for 780i. It's a better overclocker and has more up to date hardware (although it's just a revised 680i) and I would also lean toward the Asus or EVGA vs. XFX. Not that the XFX isnt a great company it's just reviewers and consumers opt for those two 680i/780i boards because of reviews both pro and user. I have the EVGA 780i with two 8800GT. I love it and it overclocks well if you ever want to get into it.

Proc: great choice. However if you want to save a few buck and want a bit more "newer" tech than I would opt for E8400. Once again it's a great overclocker and very snappy with Vista and especially snappy with games.

Video card: Great choice once again. If you can though I would lean toward the 8800GTS (G92/512mb) due to it's more stream processors and higher clocks. It has better cooler on it too. It's probably only a few bucks more than the 8800GT. If you get the 8800GT instead make sure it has a good cooler. Like MSI or Asus.

Memory. Get OCZ reaper CAS 4 2X2GB 800mhz kit.

Good PSU = Corsiar or PCPC. OCZ is prob good too though considering they just bought out PCPC

HDD: 7200.11 model.... this is one of the fastest 7200rpm drives.

With added 8800GTS card and 780i board you are looking at right around 1400 bones. Good luck!


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April 11, 2008 7:34:17 PM

Hey Trevor welcome to the forum. Only thing I would say is depending on what resolution you are running at, you will almost certainly need the second GT to get decent FPS and especially in Crysis.

Case is good, PSU I can recommend as I use to have one and everything else looks good.
April 11, 2008 7:36:48 PM

hughyhunter said:
Looks good to me so far. Here are a few of my opinions:

Case: I have this case and love it. It's great to mod. Check out xtremesystems.org for antec 900 modding forum.

Motherboard: Personally I would opt for 780i. It's a better overclocker and has more up to date hardware (although it's just a revised 680i) and I would also lean toward the Asus or EVGA vs. XFX. Not that the XFX isnt a great company it's just reviewers and consumers opt for those two 680i/780i boards because of reviews both pro and user. I have the EVGA 780i with two 8800GT. I love it and it overclocks well if you ever want to get into it.

Proc: great choice. However if you want to save a few buck and want a bit more "newer" tech than I would opt for E8400. Once again it's a great overclocker and very snappy with Vista and especially snappy with games.

Video card: Great choice once again. If you can though I would lean toward the 8800GTS (G92/512mb) due to it's more stream processors and higher clocks. It has better cooler on it too. It's probably only a few bucks more than the 8800GT. If you get the 8800GT instead make sure it has a good cooler. Like MSI or Asus.

Memory. Get OCZ reaper CAS 4 2X2GB 800mhz kit.

Good PSU = Corsiar or PCPC. OCZ is prob good too though considering they just bought out PCPC

HDD: 7200.11 model.... this is one of the fastest 7200rpm drives.

With added 8800GTS card and 780i board you are looking at right around 1400 bones. Good luck!


I would normally recommend all the same stuff but as a fellow student I really no how it feels to be on a tight budget and although my system looks good it took a lot of saving!
April 11, 2008 7:47:59 PM

nzxtlexa said:
I would normally recommend all the same stuff but as a fellow student I really no how it feels to be on a tight budget and although my system looks good it took a lot of saving!

Paritally understandable but really he will only be spending 100 more dollars if that by getting 780i/8800GTS.

For UT3 I really dont recommend two 8800 series cards. You would be sitting alright with one 8800GTS. Crysis on the other hand! I have two 8800GT's SLI and play Crysis on 1680x1050, Very high settings, AA/AF off and average about 18FPS. Sometimes I get about 25-30 and other times I never can get it above 10FPS. The only way you are going to get "high performance" on Crysis is with two 9800GX2 or three 8800Ultra/GTX or three 9800GTX.
April 11, 2008 7:56:54 PM

Well on tiger direct, the XFX 780i is $100 dollars more or $80 after rebate and the xfx 8800 gts is about $130 more that the xfx 8800 gt. If he did this he would be about $130 dollars over his max budget of $1400.
April 11, 2008 8:10:07 PM

Who said he has to "get" XFX? Also why limit yourself to a single website?

The cheapest GTS here is $199 after rebate

Cheapest GT is 189 after rebate. Without rebate cheapest GTS is 242, without rebate cheapest GT is 219. Why not?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

However... You are probably right about Motherboard. That might take some shopping around too.
April 11, 2008 8:16:11 PM

Woah, thanks for the quick replies guys! At the moment I am planning on using my copy of Windows XP (assuming my friends are right in telling me I am allowed to install it on multiple computers? I've only used it once before on my current desktop.) I'd rather not jump on Vista, especially after my experiences with it on my sister's lap top. Ugh.

So I've decided to go with hughyhunter with the OCZ Reaper 4gb ram kit (only 10 extra dollars).

I'm thinking of going to the 7200.11 version of my HDD, but I've read a few reviews and they say they are really prone to crashing... would you guys differ? I'm not going to base my decision on a few bad reviews, crashes happen to everyone. Although, is it worth the extra $40.00?

I was also thinking of buying the 74gb 10000rpm Raptor for my primary hdd, and then get a 500gig in a few months, that was I could install windows and my games onto the 74gig, and all my photography/web design/work stuff on the 500?

I really appreciate your replies guys! Keep em coming, I want to be really sure in my decision when I end up dropping this $1400.00. heh

- Trevor
April 11, 2008 8:20:59 PM

Ah i was writing my reply and didn't see the last two replies.

I think I'm going to stick with the 680i, as for the videocard though, I would definately go up to a GTS as opposed to the GT if it costs as long as the difference doesn't exceed around $50.00, just remember I'm in Canada. (I was under the impression newegg didn't ship here).

I'm limiting myself to Tiger Direct because they're reputable, but I am well aware of NewEgg, I just didn't think it would be worth going there after all the shipping expenses.

Tiger Direct is also a good idea for me just because I have access to their actual store and needn't order online.

I want this thing as soon as possible. Hehe.

- Trevor
April 11, 2008 8:35:45 PM

If you have no objection to web ordering, check your parts prices on www.shopbot.ca, I'm sure you can save at least 100$ compared to the prices you've given.
April 11, 2008 8:40:11 PM

Looks good :) . Only thing I would change is the PSU. I would recommend PP&C 610/750 Quad or Corsair 520HX/620HX.
April 11, 2008 8:52:08 PM

http://shop2.outpost.com/product/5101696;jsessionid=PMl9nUAy7DXLqh43m6MicA**.node2?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

thats a link for FRYS online, if you have a store near you just go there and save yourself some shipping!

save yourself 100$ by getting the q6600 on there :] only 189$! way better than neweggs deal. hurry tho, i think the promotion might end soon. i jes picked up another q6600 for my friends new computer im building him and i got it at the store itself (FRYS electronics). I checked the box when the cashier guy gave it to me and surely it was "SLACR" x) g0 ftw. i don't think there are any B3's left, but if you got a B3 at the store itself, you can just ask the guy for another box until you get the g0. good luck and happy building :]
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