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Need advice on CPU/GPU choice for a new system

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March 10, 2009 8:26:30 PM

Hello everyone,

Just 2 days ago my computer fried and I'm currently looking to build a new system. I've got the specs mostly worked out, however I'm still not sure on the choice of CPU and graphic card to get the most out of my investment. My price range is 1000-1200$CAN tax in for the box.

Here is the latest suggestion I was given:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Video: Sapphire PCIE Rad HD4850 1024M TVO LITE
Ram: Kingston KVR 800mhz 4gig kit
Motherboard: S775 Asus P5Q P45 PCIE
Powersupply: 500W ATX Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus
Box: ATX Antec Three Hundred BLK
HD: Sata2 500.0 Seagate ST3500320AS
(1180$CAN)

What I'm not sure is the processor and videocard. I was told the 7750+ athlon processor was capable of running up to 90-95% as good as the Intel, which surprised me since the E8400 is @ 229$ and the 7750+ @95$.

For the graphic card, I thought of buying the EVGA 9800GTX+ 512m (239$). They suggested the Sapph Rad HD4850 1024m(229$). I've also noticed they sell the Sapph Rad HD4870 512m for 229$ aswell. Considering I won't be upgrading to Vista, I don't have access to DirectX10, so I heard the 9800 would be better due to its advantage in processing PhysX.

Another thing I was told, was to stick to 800mhz ram since the frequencies are better for gaming, which seemed a tad weird.

So basically, I need some help figuring out which parts I should take. I consider myself good with computers, but this is out of my league. Any suggestions is welcome :S

Thanks alot guys,
Steven

March 10, 2009 8:37:22 PM

What are your system uses besides gaming?
March 10, 2009 8:44:26 PM

Not much, this rig will mostly be for gaming/random internet using/movies. At first I wanted a Phenom II 720 which was at 199$ but I was told I should stick to a 2 core for gaming.
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March 10, 2009 8:49:43 PM

Ok disregard the last post. I just read the post in your sig, here's all the missing info:

System use: Gaming, internet, movies
Purchase date: This week
Preferred website: microbytes.com (local store in the area)
Preferred parts: Always been an AMD/geforce guy, but I'm willing to take whatever gives me more bang for my buck, while still being a good enough system for lasting me a few yrs.
Overclocking: No
SLI/Crossfire: Maybe in the future, but not for the time being
Additional info: Will be using XP pro, which I've had for a few yrs
March 10, 2009 9:24:12 PM

Antec 300 $66
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29812&promoi...

BFG LS550W PSU $82 + $40MIR
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10720AC8155&v...

ASUS P5Q Pro $156 *** this item gives you free ground shipping for the whole order
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30418&vpn=P5...

E8400 $206
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/133696/Intel/BX80570E...

Corsair XMS2 4GB DDR2 800 $60 + $30MIR
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=25228&promoi...

HD4870 512 $213
http://www.esng.ca/productDetail.php?category=Video%20C...

WD Caviar Black 640GB $90
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34286&promoi...

Total: $873 (before MIR) + GST

Or for an AMD build:

Biostar TA790GX 128M $131
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35920

Phenom II X4 920 $236
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $878 (before MIR) + GST

I would recommend buying at ncix.com with price matching. You will pay no PST and get free shipping on the Intel mobo selected, or by adding a $10 gift card to the AMD build.
March 10, 2009 9:29:20 PM

Ill humor him and use his overpriced site

mobo: ASUS P5QL P43 PCIE (Regular Price $122.57) it has a cash price also i don't know what that is about
cpu: 31241 INTEL CORE 2 DUO E7400 2.80G/1066/3M/S775 $180.25
GPU: 32100 BFG PCIE GTX260 OC MAXCORE 896M 55NM BE $349.17 (to note 4870 1 gig is 400)
RAM:30907 CRUCIAL 800MHZ DDR2 4GB BALLISTIX KIT $112.27
Storage: 8108 SATA2 500.0 SEAGATE 7200.12 16M ST3500418AS $87.55
case: 24242 CASE ATX CM ELITE 330 BLACK NOPS $71.07
PSU: 7160 520W POWER ATX CORSAIR HX $169.95

Total under regular price i hope you have cash price because then you probably can get 8400 1102.83 with the 8400 is 1158.45 ionno what Canadian tax is but a 7400 is just fine also if you don't pay for shipping another cost down although if you shop around on any site you can find good parts with free shipping

the mobo isn't my first choice but the ones i like are at 200+ range

the mother board is not crossfire or sli able due to only one pciex16 but it's a cut back alot of poeple say i will sli but find with a decent single gpu they don't need it. only people that need it are in the 24" monitor 1920 x 1200 and up range

Also what about a CD/DVD/Blu-ray w.e rom drive?

March 10, 2009 10:02:08 PM

Well, the thing is, I'm not to comfortable buying online. The prices are obviously better, but I prefer not actually putting it together myself. I can do ram, videocards, HD but I've never touched the mobo or processor. With the store, they put it together and cover all expenses for the next 3 yrs (parts+labor) which isn't so bad.

So part wise, I should go with the Sapph HD4870 512m?

I was slightly leaning towards the E8400 for a processor, since I was told with games 2 cores is all you need. The phenom 920 you listed is 35$ more then the E8400, which would you suggest?

Also, if I do stick with Intel, will the P5Q Pro be overall better for gaming then the p45?

Concerning the PSU, you suggested a 550W, would a 500W be too low for the system?
March 10, 2009 10:26:04 PM

What resolution is your monitor?

Right now most games only need 1 core. An X3 720 would also be a good choice for AMD. I selected the X4 because the AMD mobo was cheaper.

The P5Q Pro is P45. It's the Crossfire version of the mobo you originally listed. I chose it for the free shipping deal.

A good quality 500W PSU is plenty, I chose that one because of the price. I'd suggest the Antec Earthwatts 500, much better than the Coolermaster.
March 10, 2009 10:40:04 PM

Right now I have an old CRT monitor, but I'm planning to buy a 20-22inch widescreen. I'll probably go for a lower size but higher quality.

Btw, thanks for the websites. I didn't know some of these online retailers offered to build the PC aswell. Currently messing around in NCIX, but I found some of the videocards to be a bit expensive
March 10, 2009 10:48:40 PM

Steven1 said:
Right now I have an old CRT monitor, but I'm planning to buy a 20-22inch widescreen. I'll probably go for a lower size but higher quality.

Btw, thanks for the websites. I didn't know some of these online retailers offered to build the PC aswell. Currently messing around in NCIX, but I found some of the videocards to be a bit expensive


For that size monitor a GTX260 or HD4870 is plenty.
March 10, 2009 11:01:20 PM

yup 20-22 inch 512 & the obscure amount of memory on the 260 is good enough
March 10, 2009 11:02:17 PM

MOBO: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($170 CAD)

CPU: Either this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($250 CAD)
Or this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($210 CAD)

GPU: Either this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($250 CAD)
Or this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... ($250 CAD)

Personally, I'd recommend the second GPU, it can be OC'd as far as the first.

Prices do not include MIRs, tax or shipping.
March 11, 2009 12:05:25 AM

I will probably go with the E8400 w/ the HD4870 if I can get it for 229. On a sidenote, would the HD4870 be good considering I will use WinXP with no DirectX10? At first, I was leaning towards the 9800 due to PhysX support, since I probably won't upgrade the OS until Win7 comes out.
March 11, 2009 2:36:10 AM

Steven1 said:
I will probably go with the E8400 w/ the HD4870 if I can get it for 229. On a sidenote, would the HD4870 be good considering I will use WinXP with no DirectX10? At first, I was leaning towards the 9800 due to PhysX support, since I probably won't upgrade the OS until Win7 comes out.


You don't need to use DX10 to make use of the 4870's power. Only a couple of games currently support PhysX, but if that is important to you then get Nvidia.
March 11, 2009 3:38:14 AM

DX10 cards excell at running DX9 what do you think 9800+ is that is a dx10 card. If you want physX i recommend just buy your nvidia gpu if your not happy with performance with physX enabled shove another nvidia gpu in there like a 9600GSO or w.e with 256mb ram on it and have all physX run though that card. I don't see much in putting worth into PhysX if you don't bother to put worth into DX10 your basically damming a widely used visual upgrade to a more obscure visual upgrade.
March 13, 2009 6:02:48 PM

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Video: Sapphire PCIE Rad HD4870 1024M TVO BTE
Ram: CORSAIR 800MHZ DDR2 NO-ECC 4GB TWINX C5DH
Motherboard: S775 Asus P5Q P45 PCIE
Powersupply: 550W POWER ATX CORSAIR VX(125$CAN) /OR/ 550W POWER ATX ANTEC TRUEPOWER TP-550(129$CAN)
Box: ATX Antec Three Hundred BLK
HD: Sata2 500.0 Seagate ST3500320AS

I changed the GPU to a HD4870 1g since the price went down to 259$ which seems prett reasonable considering the other prices I checked online.

I also changed the PSU after reading a bit on them and looked at the recommended sub 150$ link on the forums. Those two seem very promising and their certified 80 Plus (never knew it existed before this site lol).

So I wanted to know if I could get a little bit of feedback on the choice of PSUs. I'm looking for something which has 2 PCIE connectors for the 4870 1g and enough power on the rails to optimize gaming. Since I'm still fairly new at this level of technical stuff, I need your help again guys :o 

Here's a direct link to the page with the range of price those PSUs are, in case you want to suggest another model/brand:
http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/index.php...

Edit: I'm still looking at the ram and maybe the HD. I checked and the Black Caviar isn't sold at that store :/ 
Edit2: Just found the Corsair ram theAnimal was suggesting, added it.
March 13, 2009 7:26:31 PM

I would go with the Corsair PSU or the Antec Earthwatts 500.

I would also recommend a WD 6400AAKS, it's faster and Seagate is currently having some issues.
March 13, 2009 7:40:13 PM

I'll probably go for the Corsair after all. For the HD, I'll probably go for the 500g version of AAKS. Hell, I managed for 3 yrs with an 80gig lol. 640 might be overkill for what I'll use it for.

Thanks again Animal ^^
March 13, 2009 8:19:33 PM

No problem. :) 
!