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Buy a stock or mod one?

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May 5, 2009 11:10:50 PM

Well, I'm planning on building my own pc in July (some of you may of seen my other topic). But I am not buying the parts just yet. As of right now I have some money for a case and I'm wondering if I should buy a stock case or a little cheaper one and mod it for my first build (I'm very crafty, I have literally ALL of the tools needed to mod a case, And a spray machine etc to paint it).

So far the only stock case I've found that i like is the NZXT ZERO 2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Newegg.ca is down for canadian link).

Basically what I guess I'm asking here is, Do any of you have a suggested case to mod? Or a nice stock case that would suit my needs. I prefer to stay away from cases with mesh covers such as the Antec 300 because I dont really like the look, And modding the CD drives would be a pain.

In addition after the case I'm also looking for a build to put inside the case, I need something primarily for gaming and I also do a little photoshop. I'm running on a 1152 x 864 monitor and I plan to upgrade. I admit I'm an Intel/nVidia fanboy but I don't really care if its AMD/ATI as long as it runs better than my current piece of crap.

Essentially the rig needs to run Warhammer Online and the up coming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, along with plenty of other games. at max graphics. When I upgrade my monitor I will be keeping my current monitor and use two, This one will be used to internet browsing etc when I'm gaming (Multi-tasking).

My budget is ~$900 CAD give or take $75. This does not include the case, monitor, mouse, keyboard, or speakers. I do not depend on mail in rebates for discounts.

One last thing is I will also be buying parts along the way like I am the case, I just plan on buying what I haven't already bought in July.

More about : buy stock mod

May 5, 2009 11:44:29 PM

Not one reply? Bump :( 
May 6, 2009 12:24:18 AM

Buy all your internals at once. Prices change so quickly with computer parts anything you get now will be cheaper in july. As per the case you seem to have a couple of months until you purchase all the internals so that leaves plenty of time to mod a case. Custom is almost always better than stock.
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May 6, 2009 12:41:04 AM

I'd have to agree with you on the internals, But I still need a general idea for a build since honestly I've never built a rig before. I also need some suggestions for a nice case to mod or a stock case you think I may like. There is no way I'm making a case from scratch, Too much hassle.
May 6, 2009 1:57:21 AM

Case wise I like what smooth creations do with these clear cases. Painting on the inside of the case gives the paint a really glossy look with some depth.
www.smoothcreations.com/pilot.asp?pg=proddetail_lanshar...

Computer wise you:
AMD X3 720 169.99
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P $139.99 (not sure with this motherboard)
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 $59.99
Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 $99.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb $99.99
HIS Hightech H487FN1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $219.99
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit $151.99
Which comes to 941.99 plus tax and shipping and handling. You could probably get a cheaper motherboard to save money. An aftermarkst cooler for the cpu would be a good idea as well because that processor is known to overclock really well.


May 6, 2009 3:23:53 AM

I have to admit, Those cases look amazing. But I couldn't pull that off. I'm not sure if you understood what I was saying when I said modding my own. But I meant work off another case, Not anything major just adding a window, fans, You know just touching it up to make it my own..

I have ~100 give or takes $25 to spend on a case not including paint supplies, tools, etc. I saw a really nice design on a Lian Li (Which are sadly out of my budget) and I think I want to mirror something like it. Is water cooling an option on my budget?

Now to address your build; I like the idea of the AMD X3 720, In fact I've read good reviews about it.. But would a 4870 be able to hold two monitors? And wouldn't going with an Corsair 650w be better than the Antec for a psu? I feel builds I've seen in my old thread were better but that was different (Not trying to offend or anything, But I've read alot).

Would anyone else like to contribute. I'm still stuck on either buying a stock case or modding one, And if I mod one which case is a good case to mod? Also I still need suggestions for a build. I'm leaning towards an AMD/ATI rig right now for some reason. Would an Intel/nVidia rig be in my budget, Remember this is in July so prices could drop or raise. I still also might buy them throughout May/June/July too so keep that in mind.
May 6, 2009 4:47:23 AM

You know, I really find it annoying when people have all thsi time to reply in others peoples topics while mines getting bumped lower and lower for either:

A. Old topics.
B. Topics that have already been answered.

I need some input come on -.-
May 6, 2009 5:01:12 AM

Quick money saver... make a cardboard box case.
Do you really want a full tower case like Lian Li?
I hear coolermasters is making a smaller/ cheaper version of their HAF.
Bang for buck AMD/ ATI...
High price is intel/ nvidia.
May 6, 2009 5:04:27 AM

I would go for 2 4770's in crossfire, its close to the GTX 285 in performance with that MB and CPU mentioned above. The EA650 or Corsair 550VX would be enough to push that system.

I don't know anything about case modding, so can't help you out there, sorry.
May 6, 2009 5:10:55 AM

I don't like the look of the HAF to begin with, But I think it's a solid case. I think I might just go with the NZXT Zero 2..

Assuming I get the NZXT Zero 2, What do you guys think of taking the quad fan grill out and replacing it with a solid acrylic window. Would it create cooling issues or would I be fine?

Still looking for rig suggestions.

Quote:
I would go for 2 4770's in crossfire, its close to the GTX 285 in performance with that MB and CPU mentioned above. The EA650 or Corsair 550VX would be enough to push that system.


I don't know anything about case modding, so can't help you out there, sorry.


What do you think of one 4890 now and adding one later, or going GTX 260 and also getting a second later. Would this work better long term than the 4770's?

In addition what do you think of water cooling?
May 6, 2009 5:35:18 AM

The NZXT is fairly priced for a full tower. Looks like with the right tools and mind set it could be modded into something unique. I would buy that case and start from there. You won't find any cheaper cases that would be worth putting the mod time into.
May 6, 2009 6:41:18 AM

not moose said:

What do you think of one 4890 now and adding one later, or going GTX 260 and also getting a second later. Would this work better long term than the 4770's?

In addition what do you think of water cooling?

It depends on the size of the monitor you will upgrade to. Xfire 4890's is probably overkill for anything under 19x12 res, and will be overkill at that res for everything except crysis, and I don't think its worth it unless you get a 30" monitor at 25x16 res. You can't do two GTX 260's on that MB, you would need an SLI chipset, which I do not recommend. The ATI equivalent of GTX 260 is the 4870, and two of them in xfire is probably the highest I would go for 19x12 resolution. These options however do not scale nearly as well as the 4770, meaning the improvement you get out of adding another card is not as great. The 4770 scales on average 80% in games according to benchmarks I have seen, which is phenomenal. At 19x12 res, I think 2 4770's would be fine, and the price is unbeatable. 2 4770's will blow away a 4890 or 4870 for less money, and less power consumption when under full load.

Take a look at this article: http://en.expreview.com/2009/04/28/first-look-at-radeon...

And here at THG: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4770-crossfi...

The 4770 is also quite overclockable as well, so keep that in mind if you are keen to do that.
May 6, 2009 7:36:05 AM

xthekidx said:
It depends on the size of the monitor you will upgrade to. Xfire 4890's is probably overkill for anything under 19x12 res, and will be overkill at that res for everything except crysis, and I don't think its worth it unless you get a 30" monitor at 25x16 res. You can't do two GTX 260's on that MB, you would need an SLI chipset, which I do not recommend. The ATI equivalent of GTX 260 is the 4870, and two of them in xfire is probably the highest I would go for 19x12 resolution. These options however do not scale nearly as well as the 4770, meaning the improvement you get out of adding another card is not as great. The 4770 scales on average 80% in games according to benchmarks I have seen, which is phenomenal. At 19x12 res, I think 2 4770's would be fine, and the price is unbeatable. 2 4770's will blow away a 4890 or 4870 for less money, and less power consumption when under full load.

Take a look at this article: http://en.expreview.com/2009/04/28/first-look-at-radeon...

And here at THG: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4770-crossfi...

The 4770 is also quite overclockable as well, so keep that in mind if you are keen to do that.


Well in terms of the 4890's, I'll have one to start with and then in a year or so I would add another. I'll most likely be running two monitors after a few months so would crossfire affect this? Also keep in mind I want this computer to last 3-5 years with upgrades here and there.

Also with the GTX 260(s) I was assuming I'd be running a Intel/nVidia setup instead of an AMD/ATI.
May 6, 2009 7:59:29 AM

The only Intel/Nvidia setup that is recommendable is on the x58 chipset, which is a bit out of reach for your budget.

Crossfire can support up to two monitors, so you won't have a problem there. I wouldn't recommend using them in a split screen configuration though, keep your games confined to one monitor. My recommedation of 4770's is based on a good price to performance ratio. If you can afford the 4890, then it seems a fair option.
May 6, 2009 9:49:59 AM

Sapphire 4770 512mb(2) - $240.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Sapphire 4870 512mb(1) - $210.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Sapphire 4870(1) 1gb - $264
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I realize the 4890 is completely out of my budget now. Which of these do you think would perform the best at the cheapest cost long term? With me upgrading and all I think a single 4870 would be enough to run my games well, And then upgrading with a second one at a later time would keep the newer games running nicely.

Once this gpu business is out of the way I need help on ram and cpu cooler. I don't know alot on either (especially ram). What is the difference between the numbers in ram, DDR2 compared to DDR3 and would 6gb be a noticeable difference than 4gb?

One last thing I ask of you after this is to make some suggestion builds for me so I can look them up and learn more about each piece, As well figure out whats the best bang for my buck. This build must be in Canadian dollars, Use any site you want so long as its Canadian. You don't have to include a case, monitor, speakers, keyboard, or mouse. The budget is ~$950.

Keep in mind prices will probably drop in July compared to what they are now, and the budget may increase depending on my savings. I will keep you updated.
May 6, 2009 6:45:24 PM

dragonfang18, I took a look at that case and thought it looked superb.. Until I saw the bay covers. I'm not really anti-mesh, it would just be a pain to mod the cd drives or the mesh to match. This computer will be on top of my desk for some time (until I get a new one) so aesthetics matter to me.

Foolycooly, sorry but no to the CM690, not my taste.

Addressing my old post, I'm still looking for build advice.

Quote:
One last thing I ask of you after this is to make some suggestion builds for me so I can look them up and learn more about each piece, As well figure out whats the best bang for my buck. This build must be in Canadian dollars, Use any site you want so long as its Canadian. You don't have to include a case, monitor, speakers, keyboard, or mouse. The budget is ~$950.


Keep in mind prices will probably drop in July compared to what they are now, and the budget may increase depending on my savings. I will keep you updated.
May 6, 2009 7:04:50 PM

I have the NZXT Zero (1) and i like the second version too. My only gripe with it is it does not have a motherboard tray!!! By now, they should have thought of that even if it might make it heavier...

I love my case and i've had it for 3 years now ^_^
May 6, 2009 8:27:44 PM

Its gonna go out this month... hopefully moose can get it...
May 6, 2009 10:09:57 PM

I like the kids idea of the crossfired 4770s. I'd still go with a 1gb 4870 and then add another later on. If you wanted to do that then it might be a good idea to spend a little more and get a good 750w psu now rather than purchase a different one later when you get the other 4870.
Case wise that NZXT Beta looks like a very good deal for $50. The Zero 2 is decent as well. Taking the side fans out will definitely affect your cooling but you should still be alright without them. It would probably be nice to have the two bottom fans on the side for intake air if you crossfired 4870s.
May 7, 2009 1:11:12 AM

AMD Phenom II X3 720 - $169.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P - $139.99

Sapphire 4870 1gb - $241.99

Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb - $99.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - $139.99

I realize I am missing things but those are items I'm not sure about or don't know alot about. So some help there would be great, So far I think it's pretty good and your input would be appreciated. As well some info on RAM/PSU/CPU Cooler/CD Drive and suggestions. One more thing.. I assume I picked the correct vista installment, right?
May 7, 2009 2:52:25 AM

I do plan on overclocking, The current budget is $1000, Not including case, monitor, speakers, or keyboard. The budget may rise. I don't want blu-ray, but running dvds would be nice.
May 7, 2009 2:59:56 AM

This thread was damn confusing until I realized we were talking about canadian dollars.

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

Take a look at that; its a tiered power supply list, it will list the power supplies in terms of stability and quality and efficiency.

I have the NZXT Zero 2 myself, and I warn you now; it has zero cable management, if you concern yourself with that kind of thing. The paint job is also a joke; sides of the case will get scratched easily. And it has a vent on the bottom and top, so closing up the side probably wouldn't destroy your cooling system.
May 7, 2009 3:07:23 AM

Yeah I was taking a look at the reviews a while ago and alot of people didn't like the cable management issue. At this point I'm really unsure which case to get because I'm so picky.

By the way I read that thread and I think I'll go with Corsair psu's.
May 7, 2009 3:08:03 AM

Cable management is a must, especially for air cooling. If your case is cluttered, it gets really hard for cool air to come in and push warm air away. If you favor looks over money, I'll keep an eye out for cheap non-mesh'ers.
May 7, 2009 4:49:54 AM

well, he didnt want my NZXT case because of the mesh, Im pretty sure he could mod this one. And its slightly more cash, but still in his budget range.
May 7, 2009 4:54:14 AM

I liked the NZXT Zero 2 at first, but after reading reviews and such about the cable management. I started moving away from it slowly. Another thing is I found a case that fits my aesthetic appeal perfectly (TJ07) but it's completely out of my budget. So at this point it's either the NZXT Zero 2 which I already know has poor cable management and not much more about, or a look-a-like case like the TJ07. Any help from you guys would be great..
May 7, 2009 5:36:41 AM

Well if you can pay a little extra for a modular PSU, then you don't need the case cable management.
May 7, 2009 5:40:41 AM

I realize that, but are any Corsair PSU's modular?
May 7, 2009 5:58:38 AM

Yeah the HX series, 520hx, 620hx, and 1000hx.
May 7, 2009 6:26:12 AM

Well, the time has come for you to either destroy your appeal for budget or destroy your budget for appeal... none of us can make that choice for you...
May 7, 2009 9:44:07 PM

Well you said that you were willing to do a bit of modding on the case. If you like tha NZXT Zero 2 a dremel, drill, and some tie straps can do a lot for cable management.
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