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What else? Building a new gaming comp

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November 6, 2008 1:29:05 PM

Hi everyone,

My name is Julien and I live in Quebec city. As you may know, winter is rather rough up here so I enjoy spending quite a lot of my spare time on video games, until summer (6 months later) finally arrives. I'm a die hard fan of Blizzard's titles and I play fps on the sides (those that I can run atm anyway).

Since neither you nor I are here to hear about my life story, I'll cut things short by saying I'm currently browsing around to build a new system, pieces by pieces. My old and current system is an AMD 64 2200+, it lasted for a while but it's clearly not enough for my current needs or the games that are released now or in the past 2-3 years.

The first time I decided to build my own, I browsed this website (not the forum) for benchmarks and price/performance comparison over NewEgg. This time I thought it was a good idea to get an input from this place, as many if not most of you are more knowledgeable than me. The building part poses no problems, but I dont feel confident enough to do any tinkering (overclocking, high tech cooling etc.) So I'm looking for a rig that will be very fast but not the best, enough to last a couple years (2+ ideally) and run games at maxed settings (current and future).

I'm aiming at paying about as much as I did the last time, around 1500-1700 USD not including monitor and such.

What I came up with so far are these:

-HD:( 1 or 2) Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

-Vid. card: EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI

-PSU:FSP Group Everest 800 800W ATX12V V2.2/EPS V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC

-Ram:CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit (probably overkill as I dont plan to OC)

-Mobo:ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard (I've browsed around for a more affordable SLI supporting Mobo but they all have poor ratings)

-CPU:Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550

The case I found is an ANTEC p182 (hopefully it has enough room? I'm buying the case locally to save the shipping costs), sound card is a no brainer, they cost around 40$, same with dvd burner etc.


Now I know about the GTX 260 versus ATI's HD 4870 dilema, but I've always found Nvidia's game compatibility and support to be better altough things might've changed. I'm willing to swap most of the things around aside from the CPU, I want to build around the Q9550's capacity. I'm willing to go the extra mile for superior quality, I'm not trying to squeeze out every penny's worth as quality and value dont always come hand in hand.

Sorry for the long read but I usually do my best to make sure that I end up with what I'm paying for.

Thanks in advance,

J.

More about : building gaming comp

November 6, 2008 1:54:00 PM

It doesn't really make sense to buy a crossfire motherboard with an nvidia graphics card. Because I think the motherboard you picked is the best out there right now I would recommend an ATI card like the 4870 512MB or 1GB depending on your monitor resolution. I also can't recommend your PSU because I never heard of it.
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November 6, 2008 2:12:42 PM

i don't know about newegg.ca, but newegg for the USA has free shipping on a lot of cases, if not all of them. might be worth it to consider buying a case there instead. how much is the 182 that you found? it's $150CAD there, but no shipping, sorry.

+1 to ragsters, 4870 1GB and either an antec or corsair PSU.
November 6, 2008 2:22:32 PM

Take a look at www.directcanada.com they usually have better prices than others + free shipping for 300$+ orders. Too bad our dollar is bad now cause 1-2 months ago e8400 was like 169$.. now 199$ :S

anyway bonne chance ;) 
November 6, 2008 2:25:34 PM

I would switch the GPU to an HD4870 1gb since I guess you play at 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 (22" or 24" monitor), drop the sound card entirely, as motherboards these days (including yours) have 8-channel HD audio and a sound card will only give you problems, especially with Vista, for no better performance, and finally replace the PSU with an Antec/Corsair/Seasonic/PC Power & Cooling around 550W if you think you will only use one GPU (In which case you might want to change into a P45 motherboard like the P5Q Pro) or around 750W if you plan to buy a second card to crossfire in the future.
November 6, 2008 2:28:21 PM

Thanks a lot for the input. My only hesitation toward the 4870 was game compatibility and performance but most users over here seem to agree that its a better product overall. As for the PSU I chose it based on reviews, the Corsair one was top notch but it also comes at an heftier price, I'm guessing I'll have sufficient power with a 750W or 800W for (1 or 2) 4870 in Xfire? The problem I've read about with mounting 2 video cards is overheating, watercooling or anything too fancy does'nt appeal to me. Is it the only solution to using 2 monitors on the same comp?

The P182 I can buy here at a local supplier costs me roughly 210$ before taxes so about 240$. Might save a few bucks with an order including shipping and taxes, I'll have to check but it seems minimal. The shipping deal is mostly made on smaller pieces like memory, cpu, mobo, video card, etc.

I'll keep looking around and tweak it a little bit but I'm planning on ordering most if not all the componments by the end of the weekend.
November 6, 2008 4:53:46 PM

salut Julien,

pour avoir les meilleurs prix au Québec, regarde:

www.shopbot.ca
www.newegg.ca
www.microbytes.com (si t'as un magasin pas loin)

Tu peux sauver 10-20% au total en magasinant comme il faut. Directcanada, Bestdirect, tigerdirect et ncix sont des détaillants basés en Colombie-Britannique mais même avec la livraison, ils sont habituellement moins cher.

Bonne chance!
!