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Opinions/Advice on system <$1800CAD Please

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June 4, 2009 6:21:00 PM

Hi all,

Im not a complete novice a building PC's but its been awhile (last one in 2004) and times have kept a changin. Ive done some research and come up with the below system but would like some advice on my choices, if they would work well together and help on some decisions im finding hard to make.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week

BUDGET RANGE: upto $1800 Canadian

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Movies, Net surf

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Just interested in talking about the parts I list below

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg seems cheaper than NCIX do either have supply issues? (ie say they have stock on web and then end up waiting for a month for parts)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Ive gone with AMD due to my budget and a few reviews that have shown the AMD im looking at (955 BE) as good as the equivalent Intel (I7 920) at gaming

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, does it affect the lifespan of your parts?

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, im not that Hardcore ;-)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like a quiet PC (hence some of my choices, I hate sounding like im at an airforce base while playing a stealth game)

Heres what I have so far:

AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE
GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
Seagate 1TB
ZALMAN CNPS9900LED - I chose this as from a few reviews its said to be quiet and work well, though im open to other advice.
ViewSonic X Series VX2260wm - Not part of my price constraint as I already have an older LCD, just looking for future update. Nice cheap HDMI widescreen LCD, shame its TFN. Maybe ill wait till some of the beter tech gets cheaper for a decent screen.

Not sure between choices of:

Antec Signature SG650 650W
Antec Signature SG850 850W

Is 650W enough to run the system I spec'd? Should I future proof with an 850W? I chose this unit as it is recommended as an effective quiet PSU on Silent PC review anyone disagree?

&

OCZ Reaper HPC 2x2gb DDR3-1600 OCZ3RPR16004GK
OCZ Platinum AMD 2x2gb DDR3-1600 OCZ3P1600LVAM4GK
OCZ Reaper HPC 2x2gb DDR3-1333 OCZ3RPR13334GK

Couple of questions here. First, will I get better value going with the lower cas 1333 ram or should I forward plan a bit and go with slightly higher cas 1600. Second, if I go with 1600 which is better out of my choices? Does the "tuned for AMD" really give an improvement over the reaper? any other ram recommended over OCZ?

&

EVGA 02G-P3-1187-AR GeForce GTX 285 FTW
MSI N285GTX SuperPipe OC GeForce GTX 285

Not sure if the extra gig of ram makes THAT big of a difference and I heard the MSI card is nice. Didnt go with a 295 as Im under the impression that that needs SLI and as im getting a X-FIRE board that wouldnt work. If im wrong please inform me and give a suggested card.

Thankyou in advance for all your help and advice.

More about : opinions advice system 1800cad

June 4, 2009 10:35:53 PM

1. I believe that Newegg.com and Newegg.ca are different (as in product availability)? You might want to re-check parts/prices again here: http://www.newegg.ca/

2. CPU and motherboard looks good.Swap out the Zalman HSF to a XIGMATEK S1283 and if you want silence swap out the fan to a Yate Loon or a Scythe and/or get a fan controller. That Zalman is WAY over priced, you might as well get a TRUE 120 for that price.

3. Unless planing to OC quite a bit, there is no need for DDR3 -1600. Don't bother with timng/speed as it doesn't have any real world impact.

4. As for GPU you CAN use a GTX295. You don't need to have a SLI capable board as it is a Dual GPU card, which is like a card with a built in SLI controller. However, I think the dual GPU cards are over priced and not the best bag for buck. Since you have a CrossFire capable board why not take a look in to a single 4870 now and/or CrossFire 2*4870? Doing CrossFire will need a 750W+ PSU. I recommend a Corsair 750TX or a PC Power & Cooling 750. If no CrossFire,etc the Antec 650W should be sufficient.

5. Yes, OCing will affect the life of the CPU,motherboard,etc. HOWEVER, it will only take off about 2-3 years MAX. Providing that CPUs usually last for 10 years with out OC, you will probably upgrade before the CPU dies.
June 5, 2009 6:11:21 AM

June 5, 2009 6:14:27 AM

June 5, 2009 7:57:33 AM

Thankyou both for your imput. You have both helped me save a bit of cash which is always nice ;-) And a big thankyou to you Shadow703793 for pointing out I was on the US site instead of the Canadian, changed all my figures.

Im still having trouble deciding on two of my components though, the vid card and the ram.

With the vid card, Is there a big frame diff between a single OC GTX 285 and 2 X-fired 4870's? Ive heard the ATI driver support isnt as good and you can get more OC comfortably out of Nvidia cards in general. I would still lean towards the MSI boards either the GTX 285 I mentioned above or two MSI R4870-T2D1G with a price difference of $250 on the canadian newegg. Is it worth $250?

With the ram the Canadian online stores dont seem to have a huge selection, is there anything specific I should look for? i.e. low voltage, low cas, heat sink with heat pipe, specific brands better, etc or are they all much of a muchness when it comes to hard numbers? If so any preferences?

Thanks again, I greatly appreciate the advice.
June 5, 2009 12:10:29 PM

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

And for that resolution, 2x 4850s can easily do the job...Its performance would be similar or better than the GTX 285...And 2 of them would cost you about $220
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

But if you want better performance still, then get the 1GB version of the 4850...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

By the time you would need more graphics performance, there will be newer DirectX 11 cards...

As for the PSU,
A good 600- 650W is suffice...
That Antec SG 650W is a very good one...but you can get similar quality PSUs for less...
Non-Modular -
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Modular -
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
June 5, 2009 12:11:29 PM

@OP:Imo, since you have a CrossFire board I would personally get a 4870 as it will allow for CrossFire. 4870 in CrossFire is usually better than a single GTX285. Also consider a 4770 in CrossFire or 4890. As far as drivers goes, the latest drivers work well. The ATI cards are limited by the reference cooler. If you gat a custom coolet or a PCI exhaust then you can OC very well.
!