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Gaming/Photo Editing Build, $1000

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June 14, 2009 10:11:38 PM

I am badly in need of a new pc... Just looking at the Dell dimension 3100 sitting beside me makes me depressed. The smudge tool in PS only has a half second delay on good days, Diablo 2 is limited to low-medium... I'm coming from almost nothing and looking for something that'll last a good 3 years with the ability to upgrade easily.

I'm looking to order the parts by next week (after exams) and my budget is around $1000. $900 something would be preferably so the family doesn't get mad at me spending a good chunk of earnings on one thing, only if the performance difference is small though.

I've decided on an AMD build just because of the price/performance difference. Looking around and reading articles it seems Intel is faster, but AMD is more bang for your buck. Although if a cheaper/equivalent Intel build is available I could take that.
I'd like to play games mostly on it, along with office, Illustrator CS4 and Photoshop CS4, which are usable on my current pc so the new one will have no problem.

Won't be needing a keyboard (got a logitechg15) mouse, monitor or speakers.

Current resolution is 1024 X 768... I swear I had it up to 1280 X 1024 though....

Here's what I've gotten so far, I'm in Ontario Canada also so newegg.ca is where I'll be getting parts from.


CPU/Processor

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1681...

I liked the idea of the triple core, plus the chance of getting a free fourth is nice.


Motherboard

ASUS M4A78 Plus ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1681...

Really not sure on the motherboard, this is the cheapest/best I could find, someone recommended asus because of the
customer support.

Video Card

EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1681...

Can apparently run anything on high settings, free COD is nice.


Power Supply

Antec EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1681...

Pretty sure that'll be enough and it had almost all good reviews.


Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1682...

I don't need a terabyte, survived with a 245gb for 3 years and it still isn't full.

RAM

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1682...

Case + fan

RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1681...

Looks sweet and I'm hoping the extra fans will save me buying a cpu cooler, I don't plan on OC'ing much other than to experiment. If I like it then I'll go pick up a cooler from a local store.

MASSCOOL FD08025S1M4 80mm Case Fan
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E1683...

Apparently it's reliable and reasonably quiet, can't go wrong for $2.49.


The total for all of that is 832$ CAD, plus the 110$ Tax and 65$ comes to $1007.93. For me price is a fairly big thing, but performance has to be good. I don't need something that'll run crysis at 60fps with AA,details, and everything maxed, while encoding video and doing other intensive activities. As long it runs any new games for the next few years at medium-high its good. Starcraft 2, diablo 3, Supreme Commander 2, and Star wars: The old Republic will probably be what I'll be playing. Along with crysis just to show off to friends XD.

Edit: Forgot OS, thinking of going with windows 7 beta until it comes out, as long as it isn't too hard to install as I have no experience whatsoever with OS installs.

Any suggestions/improvements/comments are all appreciated. Thanks in advance;
Ryan
June 15, 2009 3:41:02 AM

One thing that you could change is the video card choice. Unless Photoshop's GPU processing enhancement tool only works with NVIDIA cards, it's worth getting this HD 4890 since it's the same price, but quite a bit faster than the GTX260 for gaming.

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

I would recommend a q8200 with a p43 motherboard for not much more, but since the ability to upgrade is very important, that is essentially a dead end path. AM3 should be fine for future AMD cpus.
June 15, 2009 3:41:09 AM

One thing that you could change is the video card choice. Unless Photoshop's GPU processing enhancement tool only works with NVIDIA cards, it's worth getting this HD 4890 since it's the same price, but quite a bit faster than the GTX260 for gaming.

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

I would recommend a q8200 with a p43 motherboard for not much more, but since the ability to upgrade is very important, that is essentially a dead end path. AM3 should be fine for future AMD cpus.
June 15, 2009 5:11:12 AM

I think I would go with the 4890 as well...but I do think the Phenom II 720 is a solid choice...
!