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Help me Build my System...

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February 27, 2009 7:32:47 PM

My budget will be around 1100-1300$ CDN (this is including taxes) (this is more so of an upgrade as I have my PSU/GPU)

Now here is some background information to help you, help me build a system :) 

1) I already have a PSU and GPU
2) I currently have Windows XP Professional 32bit. (so if you recommend i need a 64bit os please factor that into the build)
3) I am a gamer, I play Counterstrike, World of Warcraft, Warcraft III, Call of Duty 4. (also on top of that I do like to fraps/stream my gameplay at times.)
4) I have a current case, its a standard Mid-Tower case all steel construction, with decent ventalation (i keep my computer in my basement and my temps are pretty good)
5) I have a 22" LG LCD monitor W2242TQ

I want this new system upgrade to last me awhile. Also I want it to be SLI cappable (not just crossfire....mainly cuz my current GPU is a nvidia 9800 GTX+ and I may wanna SLI them in the future.)

Now my current build is.

PSU=Ultra LSP 750W
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

GPU= EVGA 9800 GTX+ 1024mb DDR3
http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=01G-P3-N88...

****These 2 pieces above, i think are definitely salvagable and good enough for my new system build and upgrade. So you do not need to factor those two into the price. ****

CPU= Intel D 945 3.4 GHZ (this thing is pretty lackluster, but its almost 3 years old now soo lol. I have it overclocked to 3.7ghz)

MOBO= Asus p5RD2-VM (this thing is LOL bad)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM= 2x 1gb DDR2 556mhz Corsair (needs upgrading)

HD=random 200gb HD


So things I need,

1) MOBO
2) CPU
3) RAM
4) HD (500gb-1TB is fine)
5) CD/DVD drive??? (tho im sure i can salvage my old one if need be lol...)

Optional/if needed?
New case? Duno if i need one, if I do factor that in

Additional Cooling?
New operating system, if Windows XP 32bit isnt enough? Not sure if windows XP cd's are similar to Vista where u can pick 32 vs. 64 bit.....I have a corporate copy so....

Now other information,

AMD vs. Intel? Personally I dont care...more bang for my buck is all i want (i would also like this build to last awhile)
From what I have been reading AMD is definetly a better buy. the new Phenom II are pretty good for their price (better then quad core but not as good as the i7s) However most AMD mobos dont support DDR3 (but do i need DDR3?)

Should I bother with DDR3? Or is DDR2 1066 good enough?

THANKS!!!!!

REMEBER PRICES SHOULD BE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS!

so newegg.ca or tigerdirect.ca

I prefer tiger simply because there is a Tiger near my house and I can just pick up the stuff at the store and save on Shipping+handling.

If there is anything more I need let me know

More about : build system

February 27, 2009 8:37:15 PM

Btw the sites dont have to be limited to tiger or newegg those were just 2 i hapepned to know and used.

If anyone knows of ones with good/comparable prices I do not mind. This is more so for a specs guidlines etc.
February 27, 2009 8:51:20 PM

First thing to decide is quad or dual core. See my guide in my signature for a discussion that will help you decide. If it's dual-core it's Intel. If it's quad core it's quad AMD or Intel are both good choices, and it depends on what deals you find really.

Other sites:
NCIX
Direct Canada
Newegg Canada
Related resources
February 27, 2009 8:51:25 PM

I would get the asus P5Q pro, intel e8400, 4 gigs gskill 1066 ram, cheap sata dvdrw
February 27, 2009 8:59:48 PM

see, i would tend to disagree with going for an intel if you go dual core - i would go with the AMD Kuma 7750 - big price difference - similar performance.
February 27, 2009 9:12:08 PM

jlvitt said:
see, i would tend to disagree with going for an intel if you go dual core - i would go with the AMD Kuma 7750 - big price difference - similar performance.

He has $1300CAD to spend, he isn't exactly pinching pennies. The Kuma 7750 BE is comparable to an E5200...all the other Intel Core 2 duos completely trounce it, no comparison whatsoever.
February 27, 2009 9:21:28 PM

My suggestion: Go i7 if you want to SLI that card. Most other chipsets are unstable for SLI. An i7 will also give you the longest lasting configuration so you can put off upgrading another year or longer if you had gone Core 2.
P6T-$310
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=35603&vpn=P6T&manufac...

i7 920-$350
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

6gb DDR3-1600 Ram-$210 (you can cut back here and go with 1333mhz to save money)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35710&vpn=OC...

WD Caviar Black 640gb-$105
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=34286&vpn=WD6401AALS&...

Vista 64-$150
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=22438&vpn=66I-01939&m...

LG DVD Drive-$36
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=32234&vpn=GH22NS30%20...

So that should be under budget, I have no idea what taxes and shipping are in canada though. If you have extra budget then get a CM 690 case and a Xigmatek S1283v dark knight cooler. Even if you have to overspend the budget a little, I think its worth upgrading to the next platform if you want to keep that GPU. Otherwise going with a P45 chipset, you would have to buy a different GPU to upgrade since P45 doesn't support SLI.
February 27, 2009 9:22:44 PM

jlvitt said:
see, i would tend to disagree with going for an intel if you go dual core - i would go with the AMD Kuma 7750 - big price difference - similar performance.


I think you might have that confused with the Phenom II X3 720, which can be compared to, say, an E7300 or E8400.
February 27, 2009 9:31:10 PM

oh and btw i accidentally posted this on the wrong topic - one below it - guy has a budget of 400

cheers mate
February 27, 2009 9:49:32 PM



You should always read the review carefully.

The AMD board used:
790GX

The Intel board used:
680i

So they used a modern very nice AMD motherboard and an old, Nvidia chipset Intel motherboard.
February 27, 2009 11:33:41 PM

xthekidx said:
My suggestion: Go i7 if you want to SLI that card. Most other chipsets are unstable for SLI. An i7 will also give you the longest lasting configuration so you can put off upgrading another year or longer if you had gone Core 2.
P6T-$310
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=35603&vpn=P6T&manufac...

i7 920-$350
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

6gb DDR3-1600 Ram-$210 (you can cut back here and go with 1333mhz to save money)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35710&vpn=OC...

WD Caviar Black 640gb-$105
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=34286&vpn=WD6401AALS&...

Vista 64-$150
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=22438&vpn=66I-01939&m...

LG DVD Drive-$36
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=32234&vpn=GH22NS30%20...

So that should be under budget, I have no idea what taxes and shipping are in canada though. If you have extra budget then get a CM 690 case and a Xigmatek S1283v dark knight cooler. Even if you have to overspend the budget a little, I think its worth upgrading to the next platform if you want to keep that GPU. Otherwise going with a P45 chipset, you would have to buy a different GPU to upgrade since P45 doesn't support SLI.



Only thing is those prices are mainly USD and they kinda overshoot the budget just a little bit :s
February 28, 2009 2:33:49 AM

jaypamps said:
Only thing is those prices are mainly USD and they kinda overshoot the budget just a little bit :s

They are CAD$. Check the links, all Canadian.
February 28, 2009 2:55:15 AM

Wow your right I didnt even realize that.

Hmm maybe going the i7 route is better....

If i go hard and get an i7 with DDR3 etc how long do you think the system will last me for?
February 28, 2009 2:58:20 AM

It depends on what you mean by that. GPU's get outdated quickly, yours is on its way out. I would say that the CPU will be very current for 2-3 years, and still be strong enough to last 1-2 after that, depending on how long you like to hold onto a system, some people have to get the newest and greatest hardware every 18 months.
February 28, 2009 3:06:40 AM

xthekidx said:
It depends on what you mean by that. GPU's get outdated quickly, yours is on its way out. I would say that the CPU will be very current for 2-3 years, and still be strong enough to last 1-2 after that, depending on how long you like to hold onto a system, some people have to get the newest and greatest hardware every 18 months.


Meh for my purposes my GPU will last long enough, and when it gets outdated I can just SLI a 2nd one...

Now however, for my purposes how long will the new CPU/MOBO last if i get an x58 mobo and an i7 cpu? and some DDR3 ram? I assume DDR3 is gonna become the new standard so I dont see it getting outdated at all...if anything Id just need more of it LOL.
February 28, 2009 3:29:04 AM

I'd say your CPU/mobo will be good for 3-6 years, again depending on how much you feel you need the latest and greatest thing. The Core 2 Quad will probably not last longer than 3-4 I would guess. I also believe DDR3 will be the new norm here very shortly, it won't be outdated for a while.
February 28, 2009 12:36:52 PM

So should i go core i7 or phenom II x4????

is the extra 250-300 worth it?
February 28, 2009 6:33:46 PM

bump still looking for some help
February 28, 2009 7:37:33 PM

+1 E8400 with GB EP45 series MOBO
February 28, 2009 8:49:29 PM

can anyone tell me the advantages of going 1 route vs. the other other then price?
February 28, 2009 10:01:27 PM

I think you can expect one more round of processors for the LGA1366 platform, before Intel transitions to the next generation sometime this year. The new socket is apparently called LGA 1160 and the motherboards and CPUs that go with it will be lower priced than the current LGA 1366 line.

When you buy an X58 board you generally get compatibility with both SLI and crossfire. Of course the board would support the fastest processors made for the desktop, now and for the next 6 months at least.

AMD has just released the AM3 platform, but it's not yet competitive. The fastest offerings from AMD are still the Phenom II 940 and 920, which compete with similarly priced Intel LGA 775 quad cores such as the Q9400 or Q9550.

So, you have with AM3 a platform which may provide some future upgrades but does not perform well now. Or, you have the AM2+ platform and the PII CPUs, which may be around for a while. Your best AM2+ boards are strictly crossfire, the 790GX and 790FX. They use DDR2 not DDR3 like AM3, so that's a plus.

So, it's all a bit murky. Perhaps you should just get whatever is the best bang for your buck today and let the future sort itself out whenever it gets around to it.

You have 4 options.

1) P45 chipset and an Intel CPU

2) 790GX chipset and an AMD quad core.

3) X58 and i7

4) AM3 MB with a slower current AM3 CPU and DDR3.

Options 1 and 2 will cost about the same for similar performance, as long as you are talking quad cores.

Option 3 will cost more, but leave you with more features and configuration options, as well as be the fastest.

Option 4 will maybe leave you with an upgrade path for a few years, possibly. Maybe. If AMD gets the whole DDR3 thing worked out and stable.


February 28, 2009 10:25:00 PM

WEll for my gaming uses what serves me best?

my Budget is around 1000$ CAD.

also i have a 9800GTX+ 1gb DDR3 card....Should i exchange it for a 4870?
February 28, 2009 10:33:37 PM

The 9800GTX+ is a decent card, but if you wanted to add a second one most of us would only recommend and X58 motherboard. If you think it's enough GPU for you, then it doesn't matter.

The best bang for your buck currently, for a pure gaming machine, would be a dual core CPU. That's why I pointed you at my guide in my first post, so that you could decide up front whether you wanted dual core or quad core, and so avoid a lot of hassle ;) 

If a dual core fits your computing habits and usage, then that simplifies everything.
February 28, 2009 10:47:20 PM

See thats the thing from what ive been reading etc.

Duo core does fit my needs but I am just worried that a Duo core will get dated FAST!

i want this build to last at least 4 years If i can. (fine my GPU or other things might need upgrading)

But also I noticed some Core 2 Duos are almost as much as some of the Core 2 Quads?

e8400
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
239

Then theres quads that range from 200-300-The q9400 is 300. the q8200 is 200.

What do I need?

So its mainly gaming needs BUT FUTURE and longevity.
February 28, 2009 10:51:15 PM

For future and longevity, you should go with a quad. It doesn't make a big difference now, but in the future games will become more multithreaded and you will want a quad. If you want this build to be able to play games and such for the next 4 years, then i7 is the way to go.

That is way too much for an E8400, Most places have it for $170 or less.
February 28, 2009 10:59:46 PM

xthekidx said:
For future and longevity, you should go with a quad. It doesn't make a big difference now, but in the future games will become more multithreaded and you will want a quad. If you want this build to be able to play games and such for the next 4 years, then i7 is the way to go.

That is way too much for an E8400, Most places have it for $170 or less.


Ok fine so go quad core...but Socket 775/ AM2+ or go LG1366/AM3?

I prob wont go AM3 cuz right now their pretty crap. But do I go socket 775 and get a Intel Quad Core? Or AM2+ and get a Phenom II X4? OR do i go hard and go for the i7?

Thing is will the i7 last that long? or will that also get dated???? And is there any possibility of i7's coming down in price soon? Maybe i should wait a bit longer?

These are all issues I am concerned about.

Ofc cost/price factors in, but its mainly:

performance/price ratio
Longevity before needing upgrades
and Future upgrade possibilities (clearly with a AM2+ or 775 mobo I wont have much for future upgrade choices....but at the same time if i can get a am2+ or 775 and it can last 3.5-5 years id be fine with a complete overhaul after that time span.)
February 28, 2009 11:13:23 PM

It's probably just not a great time to buy a 4 year build, but xthekidx is right about i7. At least you would be getting the fastest processor you can today, with lots of GPU upgrade choices and at least one more wave of CPU upgrades.
February 28, 2009 11:31:50 PM

Why is today not a good time for a 4 year build? and when would be a good time?

What difference does it make? Cuz i have no problem waiting, but what am i waiting for?
February 28, 2009 11:56:39 PM

Who knows? We know that LGA 1160 is coming sometime in 2009.

We know that AM3 is supposed to be the platform for AMD for a bit, but AMD doesn't have all the DDR3 issues worked out apparently.

What are you waiting for? A motherboard that will have CPU upgrades possible for a few years. We don't have one, and we don't know when we might get one.

So, just pick the fastest processor that's affordable today, the i7 920.
March 1, 2009 12:53:06 AM

Proximon said:
Who knows? We know that LGA 1160 is coming sometime in 2009.

We know that AM3 is supposed to be the platform for AMD for a bit, but AMD doesn't have all the DDR3 issues worked out apparently.

What are you waiting for? A motherboard that will have CPU upgrades possible for a few years. We don't have one, and we don't know when we might get one.

So, just pick the fastest processor that's affordable today, the i7 920.


Yah but you just said to wait lol????? Shold i get the i7 or should i wait for the new i5's and AMD to pick up its game?
March 1, 2009 1:16:48 AM

You know as much as I do now :)  I'm not a fortune teller. I didn't say that you should wait, I said now was not the best time to buy.

We won't know when the next good time to buy is until it arrives.

Ok so I'll give you my best guess. It will be a full year before we see anything that actually beats the current i7 CPUs, except for i7.
March 1, 2009 1:42:25 AM

Proximon said:
You know as much as I do now :)  I'm not a fortune teller. I didn't say that you should wait, I said now was not the best time to buy.

We won't know when the next good time to buy is until it arrives.

Ok so I'll give you my best guess. It will be a full year before we see anything that actually beats the current i7 CPUs, except for i7.

'
So wouldnt that make it a good time to buy then? lol or more easier put.... WHAT IS A GOOD TIME to buy? How can I identify a good time to buy?
March 1, 2009 3:12:40 AM

Great advice from Proximon and xthekidx above. I'll just add a different angle. ;) 

First, if you want to go i7, you can actually squeeze that into your budget. I'd go with xthekidx's build, with slight modification:

Mobo: Asus P6T, $299
CPU: i7 920, $369
RAM: G.Skill Pi CL8 (LINK), $220
Heatsink: Scythe Mugen 2, $47
HDD: WD Caviar Black 640GB, $90
Thermal Paste: Arctic Cooling MX-2, $10

Total CAD$1035 before 5% taxes and shipping.

I've priced off NCIX.com's current sale, and they only charge GST and not PST when shipping to Ontario. Given that all of the items that you need to buy are rather compact and ship well, I think that this is another reasonable way to save money. I think that if you do it this way, then you can come in below your original CAD$1300 budget for sure.

I think that if you go this route, then you'd be going with incremental upgrades, so these are the only parts that you need to buy right now--reuse everything else (yup, including your 32-bit XP and optical drive). Upgrade everything else incrementally and buy Windows 7 when it comes out later this year instead.

An alternative route that has not been suggested is to build around:

CPU: E5200, $88
Mobo: Gigabyte EP45-DS3L, ~$105
Heatsink: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 & Thermalright LGA 775 Bolt-Thru kit, $47.34
Other parts the same as listed above.

While not an ideal build, it only costs you $560, or *half* your budget. And a highly OC'd E5200 is pretty decent for pure gaming.

Now the reason that I suggest this second build is that your games aren't that intensive and I think that you could do just fine with this much cheaper build. This way, you spend a small amount to play your current games well and some future ones too, bank some cash, and then do a complete overhaul down the line. And it addresses your question of "when is a good time to buy?" by only buying what you need and not trying to futureproof too much.
March 1, 2009 3:29:07 AM

It's this whole 4 year thing. I just can't see a way to build a 4 year computer, without having a way to upgrade the processor later.

So, if you have to get 4 years out of a motherboard, you'll have to wait until we can clearly see a platform that will survive a few years and have good future CPU options.

4 years. Do you know what processors we were using 4 years ago? Single core Athlon 64s. They were the best. Athlon FX if you had the cash. How many are still in use and satisfying their users? Not many.

No, I think you have to build an i7 today and maybe squeeze 2.5- 3 years out of it.
March 1, 2009 3:40:40 AM

Agreed.

Somehow I'm not so sure that the LGA 1366 is going to become a dead-end. In my mind, it's more likely that Intel positions i7/LGA 1366 as the high-end, i5/LGA 1160 as the second line, then Core 2 Quads and Duos as the "budget" third line. Blanketing every inch of the market...

If they did that, it would also be interesting to have overlap between C2Q and i5--true quad core vs. virtual quad core.

Might also depend on their view of the market's uptake of i7 too.
March 1, 2009 4:03:53 AM

Yeah it does seem like they may be leaning that way. I don't think either company wants to commit as long as the market is so poor.
March 1, 2009 7:45:58 AM

I think you can expect to see a slight decrease in i7 prices in the upcoming months, seeing as how they are planning the release of a 3.04ghz i7-950 and 3.33ghz i7-975. I'll bet the new 975 occupies the $1k mark and the rest adjust accordingly. I'm interested to see how intel's new integrated graphics will be...apparently its supposed to be pretty good, comparable to our current GPUs...
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-i7-Clarkdale,698...
March 1, 2009 12:36:02 PM

Proximon said:
Who knows? We know that LGA 1160 is coming sometime in 2009.

We know that AM3 is supposed to be the platform for AMD for a bit, but AMD doesn't have all the DDR3 issues worked out apparently.

What are you waiting for? A motherboard that will have CPU upgrades possible for a few years. We don't have one, and we don't know when we might get one.

So, just pick the fastest processor that's affordable today, the i7 920.


Yah clearly I know that my Processor and GPU etc and things might need upgrading before 4 years....But my main thing was my MOBO...its such a bitch when your mobo gets dated before anything else...

So yah I guess my question was, when would be a good time to upgrade in terms of having a mOBO platform that will see some future options and last for maybe 3-4 years.
March 2, 2009 2:24:51 AM

Maybe from your perspective, it might be worthwhile to see how the new P55 chipset pans out and the market shifts that go along with that. It would seem to be the reasonable price/performance balance, with a high degree of futureproofing. However, staying on Intel's cutting edge right now is also a reasonable place to be, IMO.


@xthekidx: I think that the i7 950 would only be worth it if it came with higher stepping than the current C0 of the 920 and 940. I wouldn't pay more for that extra 1x multiplier but I would surely be happy if it pushed down the price of the 920! And integrated graphics... for my mom's computer only. :na:  SLI GTX 285 FTW!!!
March 2, 2009 2:47:53 AM

LOL yeah I agree integrated graphics solutions suck...but My father in law happens to be an intel HR manager and alluded to the kind of performance that they are aiming for, who knows how good it will turn out to be. I doubt it will be very popular though, builders want to be able to customize their graphics solutions. Their target market for those processors will more likely be for pre-built dells and HPs and whatnot rather than homebuilds.
March 2, 2009 4:42:44 AM

Well hey, they gotta find a use for all those virtual cores and that 6th gig of RAM! And I guess that it might make it easier for us to recommend a build on all those threads that start out "I'm not a gamer..." That's a pretty big market too!
!