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Newbie need help! computer around 1000 us or 1200 can

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June 2, 2009 9:08:24 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: now

Budget: around $1000 US or $1200 CAN

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Multimedia, Multitasking, Web Browsing.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX and Newegg Canada

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, speakers

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU I7 and Geforce but flexible if you guys think others are better

OVERCLOCKING: Don't know how SLI or Crossfire: maybe in the future if needed for games

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050


Additional Comments:

So I have never built a computer before and this will be my first one. Will i be able to handle it? Is it difficult if i follow instructions. I am currently playing Team fortress 2 and left 4 dead and in the future planning to get diablo 3 and starcraft 2, so i want something that can handle all that.

Sorry for bing such a noob but i just want to save money and try it on my own

Thanks for you time guys!
June 2, 2009 9:59:15 AM

Wait for i5, about 3 months away.

If you are gaming, it makes little sense to buy an i7 and then by a GTS 250

Better to buy an AMD quad core and a couple 4850s with that money.

There's no way to plan a system out 3 months in advance. Too much will change.


June 2, 2009 10:21:49 AM

^ +1...
Newer CPUs from intel and AMD will be out within 3 months...So you would get very good CPUs and more options then...
Related resources
June 2, 2009 10:57:31 AM

Seems you changed your mind about purchase date :p ...
And a good step forward with building your own PC... :) 
Here is a general suggestion...Going with an i7 is not worth for gaming...
Like proximon said it would just be skimping on the graphics card...

CPU - PII X4 955 - Stock at 3.2GHz...So I dont think you would be required to overclock...though if you properly learn to, then it would be good...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Mobo -
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

HDD
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34286&vpn=WD...

DVD
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

PSU -
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30037&vpn=EA...

Graphics card -
2x 4850 in crossfire - Costs less than GTX 275 but beats it in performance...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total - CAD 1086
And this setup can even play crisis at that resolutions with Medium to High settings...So in other games, should be able to play at highest settings...

As you wont overclock, you wont need an aftermarket CPU cooler and the stock cooler that comes with the 955 is better than other stock coolers and can easily handle upto 400MHz overclock...
June 2, 2009 8:10:43 PM

I have read some articales from here and on the web.

I seems to say intel and geforce are better brands to choose and that is why i stayed away from AMD and Radeon. Is it true?

And also this will be my first build ever, would it be hard to do or building a computer is not realy that hard?
June 2, 2009 8:16:43 PM

^ it definitely isn't true for you're budget.

but once you get to around $1800 US then it starts to come into play.

and it's not hard to build a PC, just remember to get all the anti-static equipment. (anti-static mat if you don't have wooden flooring and an anti-static wristband.)
June 2, 2009 8:39:25 PM

hey i saw this video card on NCIX, it has 1gb radeon 4850

would i still need two of the 512mb radeon 4850
June 2, 2009 9:16:29 PM

for the sake of comparison, here is an intel build for around the same price. ($1,070)

mobo - P45 w/2 PCI-e slots
DFI BI P45-T2RS LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

cpu - Q9550 - I have one and love it but I think the AMD 955 slightly outperforms it.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM - I chose OCZ DDR2 800 but you have a lot of great options in this category. If you pick any OCZ, GSkill, with built in heatsinks you will be happy. Actually, have Proximon suggest some RAM.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

HDD - same as above but from newegg. I was too lazy to go to NCIX.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

PSU - Corsair 750w which is overkill for this build but it gives the flexibility for xfire in the future.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

DVD Burner - any sata dvd burner will be good enough but I picked one anyways.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU - Here is the big difference, I picked the 4890 which will perform approx = to 2, 4850 gpu's in crossfire. I just like the option of upgrading to crossfire in the future. either choice will serve you well.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Heatsink - I know you said you wouldn't OC but a P45 board and the Q9550 are extremely easy to overclock. in fact, there are presets that take about 10 seconds to select that will have this cpu running comofrtably at 3.5-3.7 ghz. Besides, with the heatsink below you could OC this in the summer with no AC and not overheat. OK, bad example. I forgot you live in Canada. ;) 
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Total build = $1,070 before shipping and mail-in-rebates. You would still need to add a case but you have plenty left to pick out pretty much anything you want.
June 2, 2009 11:04:37 PM

The two builds listed are very close in performance and you can build either and be happy.

I think the AMD build would probably beat out the Intel build at stock speeds or moderate overclocks, but once you pushed a bit harder the Q9550 would pull out in front.

Still, I favor the AMD build for the DDR3. You only need 1333Mhz in that build though, so you could trim a bit there, maybe... but buying 1600Mhz, even though you won't use it in this build, makes a kind of sense actually.

Given the way prices are now it's pretty hard to find decent DDR2 at a good price. I would probably plug this G.Skill into the Intel build:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
It's 1100mhz and runs at 1.9V and CAS 5, which means CAS 4 at lower frequencies and tons of overclocking room.
June 3, 2009 5:01:31 AM

Jacks_85 said:
hey i saw this video card on NCIX, it has 1gb radeon 4850

would i still need two of the 512mb radeon 4850

If you don't play all the games at the Highest settings with AA and AF turned ON, then the 1GB 4850 is more than suffice...
I had just given 2 in crossfire for the best performance that could be fit into that budget...
And 4850 1GB would be no comparision for 2x 4850 512 in crossfire...But for your resolution, you can stick with the 4850 1GB now and when you want more performance, then get one more in Crossfire...
June 3, 2009 5:13:55 AM

Drop down to a Ph2 945 or 925 if you are sure you won't OC. A Ph2 810 would probably be good enough.
June 3, 2009 5:21:08 AM

We wont dissappoint you by not giving an i7 config for that budget of yours...
But for gaming, the i7 is not worth it...

CPU + Graphics card
The GTX 260 is a very powerful card for your resolution...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

RAM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CASE
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Rest all are same...

Total - CAD 1182...

If you want to try overclocking, stick with the stock if you just want to try a small overclock say upto 3GHz...And when you are comfortable with it, then get an aftermarket cooler and push the i7 much further...
June 3, 2009 6:54:10 AM

So I have got a lot of feedback from you guys!!! and it is great!

I have always used Intel b/c i had one amd a long time ago and it didn't do so good. So my natural preference was to lean towards intel stuff first but it seems that AMD is the way to go here mainly b/c of the DDR3.

Am i right?
June 3, 2009 6:57:33 AM

^ AMD is the way to go because it offers similar gaming performace for less... :) 
June 3, 2009 8:31:17 AM

One more slight question.

what would be better me going with Radeon 4890 1gb or geforce gtx 260

b/c gtx 260 is cheaper. I am planning to double up in the future if i need to.


also the build i got from you guys uses radeon 4890 not OC but proximon has the OC version a his personal pick...is there much difference between the two?
June 3, 2009 8:40:50 AM

Jacks_85 said:
One more slight question.

what would be better me going with Radeon 4890 1gb or geforce gtx 260

b/c gtx 260 is cheaper. I am planning to double up in the future if i need to.


The GTX260 is a good choice but you can SLI on these boards...they offer only crossfire support...
Crossfire - ATI cards
SLI - Nvidia cards

And like I said before instead of the HD 4890, get the 2x 4850 as it would cost you less than the 4890 and would easily outperform the HD4890...
2x 4850 - $240
1x 4890 - $256

And by the time you would need a more powerful graphics card, there will be newer cards with DirextX 11 support...and 4890 crossfire wont be worth the money and instead you can buy the newer cards...
So now fully utilize the graphics power of the 4850 crossfire and then buy newer faster cards...
June 3, 2009 9:04:24 AM

Very good explanation! that sounds good!

I think i have my build firgured out.

CPU: PII X4 955 302GHz
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

MOBO: ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM: OCZ GOLD 6GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU: HIS RADEON HD 4850 (TWO)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

HDD: WD 640GB 7200RPM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

PSU: CORSAIR 750TX 750W
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CASE: ANTEC 1200
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Price: Just over 1200CAD, i got 2 extra 120mm fans
June 3, 2009 9:18:53 AM

^ Nice...But there is wrong part in the list - RAM
That OCZ Gold are designed for the i7...

Get this one instead
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

You can save some cash with these alternatives...

1. CASE - Change the case to Antec 900...Is the younger brother of the 1200 and has enough cooling...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

2. PSU - The Corsair is a very good brand...but you wont require 750W for that setup...
Get the Antec EA 650 - It is more than suffice for running 4850 crossfire...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
June 3, 2009 6:37:31 PM

will the antec be enough if i'm gong to upgrade in the future?
June 3, 2009 10:09:21 PM

Here is my final build that i went with. Now i am waiting for shipment of my parts! :) 



CPU: PII X4 955 302GHz
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6819103674

MOBO: ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6813131366

RAM: OCZ platinum 4GB DDR3
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU: HIS RADEON HD 4850 (TWO)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6814161259

HDD: WD 640GB 7200RPM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6822136319

PSU: Antec EA 650w
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6817371015

CASE: ANTEC 900
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produ [...] 6811129021


Price: Just over 1100CAD, i got 2 extra 120mm fans



So do you guys have any tips for me on my first build??? is there anything i should know on how to do my setting for my computer?

Can someone provide me some insight on overclocking if i'm going to do it later? any good site with instruction for my setup?
June 3, 2009 11:28:00 PM

Get an aftermarket heatsink. The 955 is a Black Edition, overclocking is simple. Download Prime95, and Coretemp or HWMontier, then increase the multiplier until P95 causes bluescreens or errors. Then increase the voltage and try again. The 955 is warrentedup to 1.5V, but you'll need some real cooling for that.
June 4, 2009 4:08:00 AM

hmmm...that sounds way too simple! but ok that sounds good

June 4, 2009 4:23:34 AM

But do your research about overclocking before trying your hand at that...though it is simple, you have to be careful not to get carried away with the settings...
And start with a very slight overclock as the stock speed is about 3.2GHz so overclock of about 200MHz to 400 MHz should be more than suffice for inital overclock...
These articles would help you...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-overclock-at...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...
June 4, 2009 4:30:37 AM

Just don't go over 1.5V or let your temperatures get over 55-60 and you're good.
June 4, 2009 7:48:33 PM

Well thanks for all your hepl guys!!!! Hope i can put all this together!!!
!