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Rebuilding my PC. Budget at just over CAD 1000.

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January 3, 2010 5:24:17 PM

Hello all,
Seeing as this is my first post on here, I'd first like to say Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that everyone will have a great upcoming year. For gamers, I hope you keep on gaming as hard as 2009 and we are all waiting for Warband and GoWIII to hit us :) 

To start off, this isn't the first System I've built. My first computer was actually less than 4 months ago. I spent around 700 CAD for it and it runs great. But I earned some new money and sold some stuff I do not need which got me up to 1000 CAD to spend on upgrades on my PC. I also don't need to spend all the 1000 and rather have as much cash left over as possible for future upgrades for hardware such as mouses, keyboards, and screens.

First, lets start with my old specs:

Processor: Intel Dual core E8400
GPU: XFX GTX 260
RAM: 6 GB of G.Skill 10800's (DDR2)
CPU: 450 W
LG 22x drive
Motherboard: Gigabyte EP43-UD3L

CASE: Antec Mini Tower 300

Alright, not too bad of a PC, but then again, nothing special at all.
When I bought that I made sure that I spent as little as possible to be able to run Empire Total War to a somewhat acceptable level. Now I want to play it on Ultra :p  you know how it is.

I've already chosen several components for my new re-built PC. Here are the parts that I've decided on selling to get rid of first.

1. My CPU. Dual Core? When I bought this M2TW was on my mind and it liked Dual Cores, but this is quite outdated in Computer time.
2. My old Ram. I'll also be selling this because I'l planning on getting better memory.
3. My motherboard. It has 1 PCIx16 and can't support i7's.
4. My Power Supply. Must get one that will power everything.

The new parts are as follows:

1. After some thought and reading some reviews I decided to go with the i7 920 CPU over the AMD ii 955 for practical reasons. (i7 could later help me better when I start taking advanced courses in CS and animation) I think mostly everyone would agree that the two are very close in terms of gaming use but the i7 in my opinion has a small edge (then again I could be wrong)

- Best total I found: price + shipping + taxes = 333 CAD ~ 317 dollars

2. Ram Ram Ram, I think the best choice here, (and the best price I got for 167 CAD, shipping and tax included) were the G.SKILL PI Series DDR3 1600MHz (PC3-12800). Now this kit beats all other DDR3's when you consider the price I got it for. While its times are 8-8-8-21 its 1600 MHz override that and it runs at 1.6-1.65 voltage which fits in great with the next object at hand.

- Best total found: price + shipping + taxes = 167 CAD ~ 159 USD

3. The MotherBoard:
I thought to myself: You never know when that GTX 260 is going to get old, and when you might switch over to ATI. So why not be safe? I will be.
I chose the infamous P6T genetic.
Now there is some talk about the SATA ports being weirdly located and some audio jacks being in the way of some cards, but I'm not sure and this is why I've posted.

- Best total found: Price + Tax - rebate value= 261 CAD ~ 248 USD (if chosen will buy at local NCIX so no shipping)

My concerns about this Motherboard are
1. Will this fit in my case with 2 or 3 Video Cards?
2. I know I don't need 2 SATA ports (no need for more than 500 GB of storage due to alot of External disks) but should this be a concern.

4. The power supply, well, I was thinking about
XION Power Real 800W ATX Power Supply
It glows! lol But I don't know how to find out if it can run everything I'll have?

Best total found:

5. Another card to boost up my Graphics and not upgrade for a long time lol.
I can get it with tax for 210 CAD ~ 200 USD

Totals: 971 CAD ~ 923 USD

I'm very close to budget, but I can spend up to ~150 CAD extra.

Now lets address my main concerns.
Please answer these questions and give me advice :) 

1. Will the motherboard and 2 cards fit in my case? Please note that this case is a MID TOWER case in terms of size listing.
2. Do I need 800 Watts from my PSU? If not what is the lowest PSU I can get, for the best value, and still run everything I have? (i7, 2 cards, cooler if needed, cd drive, hard disk, MB)
3. Regarding the heat coming out of the system, I know I wont OC anything for the time being, but I might OC the processor later in the future. I already own 2 fans attached to my case, but will I need an extra cooler? If so, what should I get and will it fit my case?
Also, if I get 2 fans installed in the front of my case, will that deal with the heat issue?

I know there are a lot of concerns, but I thought about getting the dimensions for my case to make it a bit easier for you guys to judge.

Case dimensions:
• 18" (H) x 18.3" (D) x 8.1" (W)
• 45.8 (H) x 46.5 (D) x 20.5 cm (W)

If I can't fit this stuff in, I'll have to drop the 2 video cards idea and get the cheapest case I can get.

Hopefully, when I sell all my older stuff, I will be able to spend money on the extra video card(s), and some G series keyboards and mouses or maybe a new screen.

I appreciate all feedback.

- Outty.

Best solution

January 4, 2010 1:59:38 PM
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Your numbering each section is EXTREMELY confusing. That may explain there's not many replies in the thread. Best group each into sections like CPU, GPU, etc. And only number your questions.

1. Is this the case? If so, it fits pretty much any standard cards & mobos.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. You didn't explicitly list your new GPU. I'm assuming it's GTX 260 SLI. You can find the power requirement info on nvidia site. They created another site for tech details. For 2 GTX 260s, it's 750W minimum. You don't have to match the brand/model to the list. Make sure it's a good brand. Xion isn't a reliable brand. Antec, Enermax, Fortron, OCZ, etc. are good brands.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

3. See Q1. If yes, 2 fans would be enough. 1 behind front bezel. 1 inside the top rear. There's a bundled top 140mm fan. Best leave the side fan empty cuz it acts as a vent. There's no bottom or right side fan mounts in the case. The case will optimize the air flow by itself in this config. If you stick a side intake fan to the left side, you may impede air flow and may increase the temps (cpu/chipset/gpu). It's always best to have a vent or two or three like the CM690 (best cooling for the buck; 6 side vents).

CPU/MOBO: While I agree i7 920 is the king, AM3 will be around for a long while. AM3 wins in affordable cpu upgradability. Yes, Intel will release new LGA 1366 CPUs. I doubt they'll be cheaper than i7 920 which is pretty expensive for a cpu. X58 wins in gpu upgradability cuz it supports both SLI & Crossfire. AM3 does either, but not both, depending on the chipset. See examples:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
January 4, 2010 3:04:07 PM

Quote:
Your numbering each section is EXTREMELY confusing. That may explain there's not many replies in the thread. Best group each into sections like CPU, GPU, etc. And only number your questions.

1. Is this the case? If so, it fits pretty much any standard cards & mobos.


I do apologize things are all over the place because there was so much information to post down.

Yes its this one. I double checked dimensions. I'll go ahead and reconfigure my fans adding one to the front and one on the top :) 


Quote:

Xion isn't a reliable brand. Antec, Enermax, Fortron, OCZ, etc. are good brands.


My thoughts were similar, but then again, firstly its SLI Ready and has credibility from Nvidia themselves, which came as a little surprise to me. Secondly, it has a year's warranty and I could easily just buy another one at the same price if anything goes wrong and still save some money. It appears to have good reviews across the board so I'll give it a try due to its price.
If not I'll go with the BFG 800W one listed on the Nvidia site. Problem is I can't seem to find the later anywhere.

Quote:

If you stick a side intake fan to the left side, you may impede air flow and may increase the temps


I'll be sure to fix that up then.

Thanks for all your help :) 
January 5, 2010 1:26:19 PM

If I had to pick one out of the two PSUs you mentioned, it'd be BFG. I have had a 550W in a family rig for over a year. No problems. Rather quiet. You don't have to match the psu brands to the slizone list. Any brand name will do.

You're welcome.
!