Canadian - Budget system with room for upgrading - advice


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: internet, High def media, adobe premiere and photopshop usage, gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, KB&M, Speakers, Monitor



ASUS products. There is an ASUS Service Center nearby and I have experience with dealing with them (for my laptop) and they are pretty good. This is what I have in mind so far:

INTEL DUAL CORE E5200 $73.99

- Budget CPU; dual core is fine for all tasks; apparently easy to overclock to 3.3GHZ and I read once OCed it can even perform similar to a quad core

Asus P5Q PRO Turbo Socket 775 Intel P45 + ICH10R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1300/1200/1066/800MHz Gigabit LAN 8-Ch HD Audio 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slots 5x SATA 3Gb/s 12x USB 2.0 ATX - $144.99 - 15 MIR

- Maybe a bit expensive; open for SLI/Crossfire future; solid mobo

Patriot Extreme Performance Gaming Series DDR2 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC2-6400, 800MHz Enhanced Latency DIMM Kit (PGS24G6400ELK) - 59.99

- cheap; decent?

Asus EAH4670/DI/512M ATI Radeon HD 4670 Chipset (750MHz ) 512MB (2008Mhz) DDR3 Dual Display PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - 83.99 - 10 MIR

- ASUS again; I read that Radeon has GPU accelerators for ADOBE programs

Ultra LSP650 650-Watt Power Supply - $60

- 650W for $60

Seagate Barracuda (ST3500418AS) 7200.12 SATA 3.0Gb/s 500GB 16MB Cache - 55.99

Samsung DVD Burner S223B - $33.99

I can't really decide on Tower:

Thermaltake VI1000BWS M9 Mid Tower Case w/Window - 91.99 - 20 MIR

- looks sick; a bit over my price range

Thermaltake Element T Mid Tower Case - 81.99 - 20 MIR

- in range; still looks sick...but less

TOTAL PRICE (w/ 13% tax and WITHOUT TOWER and MIR) = 579.69

: Once I learn....yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe



This is what I built but for some reason its not sitting right with me. I am a moderate gamer but I mostly play consoles. I do not mind playing bare minimum on settings for 60FPS.

I also found these two parts

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 Socket AM2 AMD 770

The combo prices work out to the same as the INTEL/ASUS combo. The AMD cpu is much better than the Intel from what I hear, but its the Mobo that worries me. I have never dealt with Gigabyte and I am worried about their warranty with all the shipping, etc.

I am looking for advice if I built a good working PC here. Also, are there any parts I could substitute that are cheaper and better? I prefer to deal with local stores now. I know I can get cheaper prices online but I do not have time to wait for shipping.
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  1. Don't trust

    I'm going to use that site anyways as a reference point so you at least know what kinds of products to look at. If you do like them and they are cheaper than NCIX and your other sites, NCIX has a price matching feature that you can take advantage of.

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Retail - $96.99

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $94.99

    Combo on them^: Save $10 =

    I'm not quite familiar with that brand of PSU so I'm going to recommend something else for a similar price just with lower watts but these are great quality PSU.

    PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS420X 420W ATX12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $50.99

    Better RAM for a lower cost
    OCZ Blade Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model OCZ2B800C44GK - Retail - $56.99

    You can keep your hard drive but for a little extra money you can get the:
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - $63.99

    Keep your DVD drive. - $33.99

    With the extra money saved you can upgrade your graphics card to:
    XFX HD-485X-YDFC Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $118.99

    Total: $506.93
    With tax (13%): $572.83 (includes the $8 more Hard drive) Also doesn't include price of cases.

    Note with this build, it will NOT allow any SLI or Crossfire since it only has one PCI-E slot plus I don't think the PSU could handle crossfire.

    Lastly check the best prices on products via Price Canada.
  2. Oh and also I know that you stated your purchase date was tomorrow BUT if you wait a while AMD should price cut some of their processors in an attempt to still compete with the i5 series.
  3. I have nothing against newegg....I just forgot to list them :|

    Looks like good options there Rokez, thanks.

    I am aware of the i5 bombs that were dropped yesterday. I don't know if I can wait a week or 2 to see AMD's reaction or Intel's E line to drop.

    Any good ASUS AMD mobos in that price range? I know this brand loyalty may be silly but I prefer to stick with ASUS.

    EDIT: how is this board?

    Asus M4A78 PRO Socket AM2+ AMD 780G Chipset + ATI SB700 ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics (HDMI) Dual Channel DDR2 1066/800/667 1x PCI-Express x16 2.0 6x SATA 3Gb/s 8-Ch HD Audio GigaLAN 12x USB2.0 ATX

    Also with that mobo it has an integrated video card so I can save on the other GPU purchase for now until I find a great deal.
  4. Best answer
    Sorry for the long wait. I have school. -_-

    Anyways that is a good motherboard but I would suggest something better like, it has a better IGP and still has HDMI:
    ASUS M4A78-E ATX 790GX Socket AM3 DDR2 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI HDMI Video Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard - $126.36-$10 MIR ($116.36)

    Some charts to see how much better than what you picked (785/780 vs 790),2381-11.html

    Edit: Yeah I guess I forgot to mention that waiting for the 5xxx series from ATI might be a good idea since it may or may not drive current video card prices down but I guess you were one step ahead of me. Also note that the IGP isn't that great and you are seriously going to have to reduce the resolution on the games you play to get it smooth.
  5. Thinking about about this a bit more, I seriously think you should add a discrete card. The IG is definitely not the way to go with a resolution like that. Here take this review for example: At a resolution of 1024x768 you are just able to barely get playable setting with medium setting on. Now on the next page of the review, you can see what a boost a discrete card adds. (note that the resolution they are playing at is now 1680x1050)

    This card is only $53.99 and should keep you satisfied until you upgrade to a beefier card.
    SAPPHIRE 100253DDR3L Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
  6. Awesome posts. Thanks for all the input. That mobo you posted looks pretty tempting if I must say.

    I am able to hold off purchasing until the 11th or 12th now which is better.

    The gaming benchmarks for that mobo is for the M4A78T-E. They have similar sockets but the T version has DDR3 RAM and costs $20 more. Its a little tough to decide since the DDR3 is more 'future proof' but the cost of supplying DDR3 right now is a bit much locally.

    That video card looks like a good deal for now so I will highly consider that over integrated. IGP was just a means to wait for a better deal but waiting for the ATI 5 series might be the better choice.

    How is your experience with mail in rebates?
  7. Mail in rebates are a hit or miss. The thing is though you must follow the instructions carefully if you want to make sure that you do indeed receive your rebate when they get it.

    Edit: RUMOR says 5xxx will be launcheded September 22. So whether you believe the RUMOR or not, if you want to wait or not is up to you.
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