Building Decent Gaming PC

So my PC is old and outdated and I'm planning on building a new one for the first time. Trying to future-proof as much as possible on an 800-900$ (CAD, I'm Canadian, eh) budget.

Graphics Card:

Basically plan on gaming and just general *** (surfing, watching/downloading videos, etc.). So what do you think? Is everything compatible? Am I skimping too much anywhere in relation to the rest of the build? Is anything an overkill? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.
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  1. With that budget, an i5 build is perfect;

    Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail

    Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

    Combo: ($284.98)

    GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail

    Combo: ($214.98)

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
    Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

    Combo: ($149.98)

    XFX HD-489A-ZDFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail ($199.99)

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM ($27.99)

    COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail ($29.99)

    Total: $907.91
  2. Trans that's not

    @OP: What resolution is your monitor and what games do you play?

    An I5 rig is just within your budget:

    Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz
    BIOSTAR TP55 LGA 1156 Intel P55
    Combo Price: $344.98

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333

    XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB



    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit w/ free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

    Grand Total:* $900.42
    $15 Mail in Rebate

    Note: You didn't list a DVD drive in your opening post so I assume you have one?
  3. Doh, I didn't even notice that when clicking the links, sorry OP, the core build is roughly the same though, the GPU will need to drop down to stay in budget though.
  4. Many thanks for the replies.

    @Trans: No, completely my bad, I should have mentioned it, sorry.

    OK, so you're advising I go with the i5 instead, is it that much better? If so, why is it cheaper? Also, if I go with the i5, will this ram suffice instead? I noticed the one you suggested wrote "Dual Channel Intel Core i5 & Core i7 CPU for P55 motherboard" in red above the title. What does this mean? Is it necessary? I also noticed the RAM I just listed has a lower cas latency than the G.Skill, is this important?

    EDIT: Whoops, completely forgot to answer your question. My monitor is 13.3 x 10.6 inches, currently at 1280 x 1024. Not really an issue since I might eventually upgrade if necessary. Games: any I hear good things about.
  5. The Core I5 is based on a new architecture, hence it is more efficient. The Core I5 comfortably beats the Q9550, even though it's cheaper. As for the RAM, it is recommened to get one that isn't above 1.65V to prevent damaging the CPU, that's why some say "Dual Channel for Core I5" etc. Lower timings (CAS Latency) will be better for gaming, so if you can find one at a decent price then go with it.

    If you won't be upgrading your monitor soon, then you can save money by going with a GTS 250/ATI 4850. Those will max out any game at that resolution. You can then just upgrade your GPU when you decide to buy a new monitor.
  6. Very good point, also, the prices on the cards will most likely go down by the time I get a new monitor, so makes perfect sense. Will a 4850 512mb suffice at that resolution, or would you recommend the 1gb?

    P.S. I'm not sure but I don't think the OS you suggested comes with the free upgrade to 7 (is it a free upgrade or just a discount?). It says "See 32-116-677CVF for Vista w/ free Windows 7 upgrade coupon", whatever that means.
  7. Yea 512MB will be fine for that resolution.

    I just looked through the site, and it seems you can not purchase Windows Home Premium 64-bit, which is odd...
  8. Yeah it seems it's been deactivated :??:

    I'm not familiar with Canadian sites, so you'll have to look for Vista w/ Windows 7 Upgrade somewhere else I think, or if your not buying soon you can pre-order a full version of Windows 7. It'll be out next month.
  9. Unfortunate I can't just buy everything from newegg, but I found an alternative.

    Will an OEM operating system run on any rig?
  10. Yea OEM is perfect for a new computer like this.
  11. Why dont you download Windows 7 Enterprise 90 days trial (is actually 100 days, you have 10 day to activate the trial). Until then prices should come down.

    download from here
  12. Would a Windows 7 package be less expensive than a Vista one?
  13. Windows 7 is not out yet, so if you buy Vista now, you get a coupon to upgrade to Windows 7 for free. When it comes out, there will be a little time before they release OEM versions, and retail versions will be too expensive. If you are a student, you can get a copy for $30.

    If you can find a free solution now, like ibnsina mentioned, go for it until prices come down on Windows 7, otherwise, get Vista with the upgrade coupon.
  14. Yea I think I'll just get Vista with the upgrade.

    On another note, I noticed the i5 lists its bus speed in GT/s. How does this relate to MHz? I ask this because I want to know what speed to look for in my RAM.
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