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~$1500 CAD gaming PC, [monitor suggestion]

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February 19, 2010 3:18:51 PM

Hi,

I want a computer that has a decent lifespan as long as I upgrade. Being a complete newbie at this (my experience from 8-9 years ago doesn't count, I don't think), I pretty much lurked here for a bit, read some articles, and then still being overwhelmed with choice, cut/paste what I could find as a starter.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within this month, or whenever I get enough info from here.

BUDGET RANGE: Around $1500 CAD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
1. Gaming
2. Maybe...surfing the web, I guess.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, keyboard, monitor (I will be treating that as a separate purchase w/ a separate budget), speakers/headphones.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anything that ships to Toronto. I used canadacomputers.com because I don't know much else, and it SEEMS cheaper than NCIX, and has store locations so I can save on shipping.

PARTS PREFERENCES: none. Anything for good gaming performance.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: un-decided yet. Actually right after I hit "Submit" I'm going to drive to Costco and Bestbuy to get a general sense of what kinds of things are out there. I'll just default to 1900x1200 for now.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Heat/Noise/whatever is not an issue. I don't care. I just want the best performance for my $$.

Current build I have in mind ($1442 before rebates):

Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $200

CPU: i5-750 $209

GPU: [HD 5870 $410

PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W $120

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $117

HDD: Seagate 7200.12 $100

DVD: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $26

CASE: HAF 922 $110

OS: Windows 7 $120

Heat sink Fan: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $30

1. On the GPU: As per the Balanced Gaming PC article, should I get a Radeon 4870x2 instead of my current choice? I would save around $240. How big is the performance jump?

2. On the case: I don't really care. Aesthetics are a non-issue. Anything that will cause my computer to not melt is fine.

3. I honestly have no preference towards the parts I've chosen. It's basically ripped off from a PC build article from here. Any suggestions anywhere would be very welcome. I'm overwhelmed by choice.

4. Anyone know any cheap stores in the Toronto area?

More about : 1500 cad gaming monitor suggestion

February 19, 2010 3:23:03 PM

Some changes to get a better gaming PC. Do you need an OS?

I'm using Newegg.ca.

CPU: i5-750 $209
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $200
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $117
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB (or 500 GB). If that's not available, get the Seagate 7200.12 in the same size. Either 1 TB model will likely be $100
PSU: Corsair 750W $140 w/ $20 USD rebate
Case: HAF 922 $110 w/ $20 USD rebate
GPU: HD 5870 $410
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $26

Total: $1,314 before rebates. Windows 7 will add about $110 to that (if needed).
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February 19, 2010 4:44:33 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, MA.

Yes, I do need an OS. I'd completely forgotten. So tack on that extra $110. I've taken all of your recommendations, so for now, my new plan is basically your plan. I'm going to edit my OP post now. Also, thanks for the heads up on newegg.ca. I went to newegg.com, looked on their FAQs, saw that they shipped only to the US, and sighed.
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Related resources
February 19, 2010 4:48:49 PM

I'm not familiar with many Candian sites, but there is is also DirectCanada. I'm not sure if it's .ca or .com though...
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February 19, 2010 9:06:37 PM

I've edited my OP to reflect the changes I've made. Do I need an aftermarket fan? Or is the one that comes with the CPU good enough?
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February 19, 2010 9:17:53 PM

You only need an aftermarket HSF if you plan on overclocking more than a little. I recommend the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus. It should cost about $30.
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February 19, 2010 10:31:41 PM

Only problem is that the 650W is a tad small for overclocking and Crossfire.

And the HAF is a better case. Might have an argument if it was the 902...
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February 20, 2010 12:36:00 AM

My 850 Watts Power supply is deemed inadequate for SLI/Crossfire, so you may want to dig deeper on this aspect. Also, Newegg has a Canadian affiliate - check into it
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Anonymous
February 20, 2010 1:40:02 AM

Definitely some great advice from Admiral. Some alternatives could be:
Antec TruePower New 750W ($119.99)
Advantages: cost the same without waiting for rebate and its semi-modular
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Samsung F3 1TB found @ NCIX ($99.99)
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=49262&vpn=HD103SJ&manufac...

I don't see you have the aftermarket Heatsink Admiral had suggested on your list so:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $(29.99)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

As for cheap stores around Toronto, well I haven't been out a while lately but CanadaComputer is like nearly everywhere and you could go check TigerDirect in a few locations ( http://www.tigerdirect.ca/retailstores/indexca.asp ). I've seen some random computer shops @ College/Spadina but last time I checked they don't have competitive prices with Newegg.
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February 20, 2010 2:04:19 AM

Excellent! Thanks for all the great advice guys. I've edited my OP to reflect changing the PSU and adding the fan. I'll definitely get the fan; I see it as a $30 heat-meltdown insurance policy :) 

So with my HSF and planning on doing SOME level of overclocking, is this new PSU sufficient?

Also, I will walk around town to see if I can find that Samsung HDD. I don't want to buy it separately online, because paying shipping for a single item kinda sucks. If I find it somewhere, I'll get it instead of the Seagate.
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Anonymous
February 20, 2010 8:55:31 PM

Yes the PSU will definitely support some overclocking along with your GPU and another should you ever need that much power.

Here are some links to reassure you and they also include power consumption for crossfire 5870s. (Note that the first links are the test system build and the i7 920 is more power hungry than the i5 750.)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3643&p=26
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February 21, 2010 1:39:45 AM

Hi guys,
I took a list of like 20 monitors from an article and went shopping around, and could find NONE live for me to actually stare at, so I'm browsing around online again.....and I came across this. A Dell Ultrasharp 2209WA 22" for $229CAD, apparently on sale at $140 off.

Should I get this guy right here, right now? Anyone have good/bad experiences with this monitor? (I'm not counting the monitor's $$ in my $1500 budget for the PC)
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February 21, 2010 1:17:06 PM

Ubrales said:
My 850 Watts Power supply is deemed inadequate for SLI/Crossfire, so you may want to dig deeper on this aspect. Also, Newegg has a Canadian affiliate - check into it


My links above are to the Canadian affiliate. :) 

Here's the XFirereq'ts:

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 System Requirements

* 500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
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February 21, 2010 1:52:29 PM

Or for a more accurate picture, hit up this PSU wattage calculator. It gives you a lot of customization choices, and is very accurate. I always put about 20% capacitor aging as a guess for use over time, and generally add a little for some headroom.

Adding in a few extra parts, with 20% aging and 100% usage, I got that you need about 600W. I'd get at least an 850W to be safe and have enough headroom for overclocking and adding more than a couple additional parts.
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February 21, 2010 2:41:08 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the heads up on the PSU. If the 750W PSU I currently have on the list is inadequate, what would you recommend for an 850W PSU?

Also, please keep in mind that my PC budget maxes out at $1500, so despite originally having around $100 of head room, I'm slowly beginning to creep up to the line (surprise surprise).

And thanks for the heads up on the monitor. My budget for THAT maxes out (absolute max, including shipping) is $300 CAD, so the ASUS suggestion just barely barely fits in, at $280 after rebate plus around $17 for shipping. I will sit around and flip coins for a while to see if I wanna spend that extra $60 going from the Dell to the ASUS.
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February 21, 2010 3:12:41 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Only problem is that the 650W is a tad small for overclocking and Crossfire.



Here's ATI's system requirements

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

Calls for a 600 watter and we know ATI is conservative.

Twin 5870's will draw 190 watts

http://www.antec.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Quote:
And the HAF is a better case. Might have an argument if it was the 902...


I'd argue the point, .....as would I guess many of the 4945 reviewers on newegg....probably the most popular gamers case ever. I think they are pretty even but have to give the edge to Antec because of their Customer Service.
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February 21, 2010 8:20:42 PM

I would not be comfortable with 2 5870s with a 650W PSU. Also, you'd have to deal with add on connectors for most models.

I like the Antec 900, but there are some things the need to fix, such as the cable management, having the fan speed controller on the inside of the case and a couple of other things. These were fixed in the 902, but the price also increased about $20. I would say the HAF 922 is the most popular case. I don't think there's an argument about that to be honest. The HAF is cheaper, bigger and offs similar cooling and features. By those points, I'd say the HAF is better.
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Anonymous
February 22, 2010 12:54:23 AM

Should you want a 850W PSU I would suggest the:
Corsair 850TX ($169.99) + $20 rebates
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I personally think that the 750W is sufficient enough but piece of mind will only cost you an additional $40 (or $20 including rebates).
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February 24, 2010 3:07:53 PM

Hi mates. It is done. Thanks for all the help. I ended up buying a lot of my components from canadacomputers, because of their special "promotional cash only price" (I work as a gov't corporate tax auditor, so I can't help but chuckle a little). I settled on the 750TX PSU. I'm just waiting for newegg to ship me my CPU and GPU, and dell to ship me my monitor, and I'm good to go. Again, thanks for the great detailed posts here, making my life very easy. I ended up not really having to make much choice; I just said "$1500. Gaming PC please" and you guys did the rest :) 

I may be back in a few days when my CPU arrives, I unpack everything, and I realize I have no idea how to assemble a PC.
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Anonymous
February 24, 2010 10:52:36 PM

You're welcome. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we were glad to help.

As for the assembling problem well all I can really say is read those instruction manuals! They are informative since some things may be unique to your part. There are also some helpful video/articles online somewhere about building computers to help give you a general idea of how to build one. (Don't worry if it is like 3-4 years old, things haven't changed that much)

PS. We (or at least me) like to see pictures of people's builds. (if its not too much trouble wink wink nudge nudge)

Here are some links I think may be some help to you:
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/build_perfect...
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/video_how_bui...
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February 27, 2010 2:44:03 AM

Hi guys,
I just realized I need a wireless card. I think I've decided on this, because I don't want to break the bank on a network card. I'm going to drive out tomorrow and grab it.

Anyhoo, how do I plug this guy in? The web tells me it uses a PCI Express BUS Management Interface, but when I look at my Mobo, I don't seem to see anything named that. I DO see a whole bunch of various PCI-e slots with various multiplier number things beside them (I'm assuming the e stands for express). Maybe I should be buying something else? I miss the old days when everything was 1 type of PCI, and you had 1 AGP slot.
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March 1, 2010 2:37:58 AM

MadAdmiral said:
The HAF is cheaper


They're usually both the same price on newegg ....HAF has a $20 rebate but it expires in 26 minutes.

Quote:
I would say the HAF 922 is the most popular case.


Setting aesthetics aside as that's a personal thing, today I'd take the HAF 922 / Corsair TX650 as it's $20 cheaper today with the twin $20 MIR's....but as far as most popular, based upon newegg, the 900 leads by about 15 to 1

HAF 922 has 324 reviews
Antec 900 has 4961 reviews for the case alone and another 35 for the combo w/ the EA-650

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March 8, 2010 10:42:56 PM

Hi guys,
Thanks for all the advice. I dropped the cash and set the computer up. I overclocked to 3.2 GHZ no problem, and the computer's running fairly cool (one of the cores seems ever so slightly hotter than the others but it's barely above 55C during stress tests). So all in all, the HAF case seems to be doing the job. I like twiddling with the LED on the front. Heheheh the computer glows red. I don't remember them havin this sort of stuff when I built my first computer....

Anyway, these are for Rokez :) 



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Anonymous
March 9, 2010 1:09:37 AM

Sweet pics and nice cable management! It's always nice to see the fruits of our combined labor. Thanks for the share!
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