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Building First Gaming System (Opinions & Advice Much Appreciated!)

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February 10, 2009 10:42:25 PM

I'm planning on building my first gaming PC in the next two weeks. Since this is my first time, much help and advice will be needed and appreciated from you guys!

I have a basic list in my mind, but please feel free to help tweak it if you find that it is needed.

I don't really plan to upgrade it during the next few years and hoping it may be a bit "future-proof". I won't OC the system (although I would like to, but don't know how), and was wondering if the Intel retail CPU cooler would be enough.

I have a budget of around 2000 Canadian Dollars (not including the monitor). The prices that I will post below is in Canadian Dollars (on Newegg.ca), since I live in Toronto.


CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz --- CAD 349.99

Motherboard:
ASUS P6T Deluxe --- CAD 356.69

Video Card:
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 X2 2048MB GDDR5 --- CAD 528.09

Memory:
I haven't really decided about the ram yet. Actually I got no idea about it, only knowing that I would like 6GB DDR3 Ram. I heard that the one below was quite good for it's price?

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) --- CAD 209.39

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 32 MB Cache --- CAD 98.49

DVD Burner:
Not sure about this too. I just want a typical DVD/CD Burner, although I do prefer the Pioneer brand.

Power Supply:
Corsair 750TX 750W ATX12V --- CAD 159.99

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred --- CAD 147.89


Total: CAD 1850.53 (not including dvd burner, keyboard, mouse and monitor)


P.S. Please recommend a 22"-24" LCD monitor for me that would be good for gaming and watching movies (price ranging from CAD 300-400).

I like the Samsung brand but will be open-minded to accept other brands too.

I'm looking for a widescreen one with 2ms reaction time (although I don't know if it's a big difference compared with a 5ms one), and one that has HDMI and a 1920X1200 screen resolution would be preferable. I understand that a monitor with all the things above may put me over budget, so one with a 1920X1080 screen resolution can also be accepted.


Thanks a lot guys!
February 10, 2009 10:54:22 PM

Looks great, you obviously did some homework before you posted. Any DVD burner will work, there isn't much difference in them. I like LG, but pioneer would work fine.

You should get a cooler to put on that CPU and get the most out of it. Look at the Scythe mugen 2, its cheap and gives great numbers. Also get Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste to go with it.
February 10, 2009 10:56:59 PM

Looks good.

Get it from ncix.com instead. They will price match, shipping is less, and you won't pay PST. Check pricecanada.com for lower prices.
Related resources
February 10, 2009 10:58:28 PM

xthekidx said:
Looks great, you obviously did some homework before you posted. Any DVD burner will work, there isn't much difference in them. I like LG, but pioneer would work fine.

You should get a cooler to put on that CPU and get the most out of it. Look at the Scythe mugen 2, its cheap and gives great numbers. Also get Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste to go with it.


Thanks a lot for the reply! I'll keep the cooler and thermal paste in mind.

Yes, I did do some homework but there is still so much information you can learn and read lol. That's why I would like all the advice I can get from pros like you guys!
February 10, 2009 11:03:12 PM

I would get this power supply from PC Power & Cooling, same watts / amps as the Corsair but cheaper
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The memory you selected is excellent

Make sure you get a SATA DvD Drive and Not IDE

If your not overclocking I would just get the standard P6t cause even it is able to overclock to at least 3.5ghz on the 920, so if you change your mind in the future you can rest assure it will overclock still.

Yes the Deluxe is better so If you have the money after geting a nice monitor go for it
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Make sure you get a monitor with 1920 x 1200 resolution or you can downgrade your graphics. If budget is getting tight with monitor, downgrade your Motherboard to the P6T, saves $50.

I Personally reccommend either Samsung or LG for a monitor, Acer is still good but I found the quality of Samsung / LG to surpass them (I own all 3 brands).

Antec 900 is an excellent case, I own it, but it can become a little cramped for space. If you have extra $$ you may want to upgrade to a full tower. COOLER MASTER HAF 932 is excellent
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

February 10, 2009 11:04:10 PM

My only advice is that sometimes dual GPU's lose some of their potency due to scaling, and so you will get more for your money with a single GPU card and for that I would suggest the GTX 285. And for better overclocking abilities you should look at the P6T Deluxe V2, although the non-deluxe OC well if you aren't going for record speeds. But other than that your build looks very solid.
February 10, 2009 11:04:56 PM

theAnimal said:
Looks good.

Get it from ncix.com instead. They will price match, shipping is less, and you won't pay PST. Check pricecanada.com for lower prices.


Thanks for the information!

I was planning on going to Canada Computers to buy the stuff. And this question that has always been in my head struck me.

Should I order them online or go to some computer stores to buy them? What's the actual difference really, such as which way would be cheaper?
February 10, 2009 11:07:31 PM

Or if you like the looks of the CM 690 case, it has plenty of room for all your things, I own it and have no problems fitting video cards or CPU coolers. Its also cheaper.
February 10, 2009 11:09:25 PM

Vinsanity said:
Thanks for the information!

I was planning on going to Canada Computers to buy the stuff. And this question that has always been in my head struck me.

Should I order them online or go to some computer stores to buy them? What's the actual difference really, such as which way would be cheaper?

Online stores are generally cheaper because you cut out the middleman and don't have to pay extra for the parts to get to the store, even with the shipping costs to your home.
February 10, 2009 11:22:16 PM

Vinsanity said:
Thanks for the information!

I was planning on going to Canada Computers to buy the stuff. And this question that has always been in my head struck me.

Should I order them online or go to some computer stores to buy them? What's the actual difference really, such as which way would be cheaper?


Shopping locally will save you the shipping cost, but shopping at ncix would save you the PST which will be greater, plus you can price match (Canada Computers prices usually aren't bad, but not the lowest).
February 10, 2009 11:28:36 PM

Wow I can't believe all the new information I'm getting lol

I feel that my head is getting bigger and bigger by the moment. But I really really appreciate all the replies.

Btw, could someone please give me a specific model of a Samsung 24" or LG 24" LCD with 1920X1200 screen resolution that you guys may have used or heard about that would be nice for gaming?

What is the price range of these 24" LCD monitors? I'm trying my best now searching the web for this kind of information and would also like to hear your suggestions.
February 11, 2009 12:16:39 AM

Samsung 2433BW costs around $300 US.
February 11, 2009 2:59:33 AM

Vinsanity said:
Wow I can't believe all the new information I'm getting lol

I feel that my head is getting bigger and bigger by the moment. But I really really appreciate all the replies.

Btw, could someone please give me a specific model of a Samsung 24" or LG 24" LCD with 1920X1200 screen resolution that you guys may have used or heard about that would be nice for gaming?

What is the price range of these 24" LCD monitors? I'm trying my best now searching the web for this kind of information and would also like to hear your suggestions.


BenQ G2400WD ~CA$300

Edit: Read this.
February 11, 2009 9:38:28 PM

theAnimal said:
BenQ G2400WD ~CA$300

Edit: Read this.


Is this the same as the one I found below?

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

Thanks for the site about LCDs. It's long but I'll read it right away lol

Also thanks for the tips up about buying at ncix. I did some price comparing late last night and found that the prices at Canada Computers seemed to be a bit lower.
February 11, 2009 9:51:24 PM

I'd rather pick up the Antec 1200 because its larger, and make sure you have some way to cool your 4870x2 it gets AMAZINGLY hot.
February 11, 2009 9:59:11 PM

RiotSniperX said:
I'd rather pick up the Antec 1200 because its larger, and make sure you have some way to cool your 4870x2 it gets AMAZINGLY hot.


Is it really necessary to get the 1200? I mean it is 50 CAD more expensive than the 900. Is it worth the price jump?

And I am also considering the cases the guys suggested above.

Will the 900 be able to store all the hardware without getting too cramped up and still cool being able to cool efficiently?
February 11, 2009 10:06:28 PM

900 will be fine.

According to the long thread I linked, the V2400 is just the replacement for the G2400.
February 11, 2009 10:08:12 PM

The 900 will be fine, the 1200 would be better. But I don't think its worth the price difference, especially on a tight budget.

The scythe mugen 2 is sort of the xigmatech S1283 equivalent for LGA 1366 when it comes to your bang for the buck. It is one of the cheaper Coolers available for LGA 1366 and cools almost as well as the $70 ($90 CAD) TRUE, 1-2 Degrees C warmer typically under full load.
February 11, 2009 10:10:42 PM

Vinsanity said:
Is it really necessary to get the 1200? I mean it is 50 CAD more expensive than the 900. Is it worth the price jump?
Will the 900 be able to store all the hardware without getting too cramped up and still cool being able to cool efficiently?



Yet the 1200 is bigger, im just saying i rather get a bigger sized computer and fit more hardware better.
February 11, 2009 10:26:34 PM

theAnimal said:
900 will be fine.

According to the long thread I linked, the V2400 is just the replacement for the G2400.


After reading the recommendations part of the thread, it really seems that the G2400WD is a great monitor for it's price.

Too bad Canada Computers doesn't have it. Or is it just the same one from below?

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...
February 11, 2009 10:31:19 PM

The 900 is 19.4'' x 8.1'' x 18.4''.

The 1200 is 22.9" x 8.4" x 20.2".
February 11, 2009 11:18:54 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. I highly appreciated all the feedbacks and finally have come up with a final config list.

Nothing was actually changed, but I'll just list them one more time with the Canada Computers prices. If you guys don't have any last comments about the build, I'll assume everything is ok and will go buy the stuff tomorrow afternoon.


CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz --- CAD 376.99

Motherboard:
ASUS P6T Deluxe --- CAD 377.99

Video Card:
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 X2 2048MB GDDR5 --- CAD 591.99

Memory:
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) --- CAD 254.99

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 32 MB Cache --- CAD 98.49 (newegg.ca price)

DVD Burner:
LG GH22NS30 Black SATA DVD-Writer 22xDVD+R --- CAD 29.99

Power Supply:
Corsair 750TX 750W ATX12V --- CAD 147.99

Case:
Antec Nine Hundred--- CAD 132.99

Monitor:
BenQ G2400WD --- CAD 369.99 (ncix price)

CPU Cooler:
Scythe Mugen 2 --- CAD 50.99
Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound --- CAD 7.49

Total: CAD 2439.89 (Tax Not Included)


I just have two last questions.

1. Are the two BenQ monitors below the same? Why is the price difference so big?

One from NCIX:
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=31200&vpn=G2...

One from Canada Computers:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...

2. Is the above dvd burner ok? And are the two below the same? And was is "LightScribe"?

One from Newegg.ca:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

One from Canada Computers:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...


And that's about it. Thanks for all the help guys.
February 11, 2009 11:21:48 PM

Remeber to keep that x2 cool...
February 11, 2009 11:29:48 PM

you could try FiltechComputer also if you live near Downtown Toronto. some of the prices there are cheaper than CanadaComputers. though CanadaComputers always has a better stock especially the branch at downtown.
February 11, 2009 11:49:49 PM

Lightscribe is labelling ability. It burns an image or label on DVDs or CDs, its just aesthetic, doesn't have anything to do with the speed of the drive or anything. Its kinda cool, but not really necessary. I have a lightscribe drive but haven't found an opportunity to use it lol.
February 12, 2009 12:09:36 AM

RiotSniperX said:
Remeber to keep that x2 cool...


Lol I'll try my best

Kloy_21 said:
you could try FiltechComputer also if you live near Downtown Toronto. some of the prices there are cheaper than CanadaComputers. though CanadaComputers always has a better stock especially the branch at downtown.


Thanks for the heads up. I'll try to compare prices between those two shops.
February 12, 2009 2:30:10 AM

Kloy_21 said:
you could try FiltechComputer also if you live near Downtown Toronto. some of the prices there are cheaper than CanadaComputers. though CanadaComputers always has a better stock especially the branch at downtown.


Wow I don't know if the prices on the Canada Computer site includes tax (mostly not), but the prices of every item at Filtech Computer are relatively cheaper. The difference I can see is that items bought at Filtech only has a 7 day return/replace policy while Canada Computers have a 30 day one.

And I was wondering how is the reputation of Filtech Computer?

With the money saved, I can even get a GTX 295 and still be within the same price range.

I was wondering whether there was a difference between EVGA, ASUS and BFG cards? Which brand of GTX 295 should I get?
February 12, 2009 2:35:54 AM

EVGA usually has the best customer service, so I like to stick with them, but I doubt there is really any difference in the card itself unless one of them comes with a modified cooling solution.
February 12, 2009 2:38:55 AM

xthekidx said:
EVGA usually has the best customer service, so I like to stick with them, but I doubt there is really any difference in the card itself unless one of them comes with a modified cooling solution.


I was also wondering if the PSU would be enough for the GTX 295?
February 12, 2009 2:58:04 AM

750w will suffice for one GTX 295
February 12, 2009 3:21:05 AM

xthekidx said:
750w will suffice for one GTX 295


Thanks for the info. And I'll get a EVGA one cuz of the great customer service praise from my google results lol

Might have to get the stuff on Friday. Weather forecast said it might rain and snow tmr.

/sigh

When will it stop snowing :pfff: 
February 12, 2009 3:47:30 AM

Thanks to the guy who mentioned the Canadian prices site!!! I'm upgrading to dual GTX285's and an i7 system and you saved me about $400 overall!
February 12, 2009 4:29:12 AM

Buy from ncix.com. With their weekly sale you get free ground shipping on your entire order if you buy the mobo you've selected.

That means no shipping, no PST, plus price matching. And their customer service is good.
February 12, 2009 4:42:37 AM

I like my 900 a lot, but if you ever take it to any LAN events or gatherings of any sort you will wish you would have went with something else. They are awesome cases; but EVERYBODY buys them. Just a warning
February 12, 2009 10:15:17 PM

Vinsanity said:
Wow I don't know if the prices on the Canada Computer site includes tax (mostly not), but the prices of every item at Filtech Computer are relatively cheaper. The difference I can see is that items bought at Filtech only has a 7 day return/replace policy while Canada Computers have a 30 day one.

And I was wondering how is the reputation of Filtech Computer?

With the money saved, I can even get a GTX 295 and still be within the same price range.

I was wondering whether there was a difference between EVGA, ASUS and BFG cards? Which brand of GTX 295 should I get?


im rooting for an EVGA card because of better reviews especially they're customer support, Filtech currently has one GTX295 and GTX285 OC both are BFGs.

Canada Computers currently have an EVGA GTX285 vanilla, a 280 vanilla and BFG GTX295. tax is not included yet with their prices. the only thing good about Filtech is that most of their components are cheaper compared to CanadaComputers if you'd be paying thru cash. if not then I suggest go with CanadaComputers for better stock.
!