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)
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?
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.
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.
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?
@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.