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$650 +/- Canadian First time Gaming Build

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February 27, 2010 1:51:55 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Immediately

BUDGET RANGE: $650 give or take Canadian Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet Surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca, Tigerdirect.ca

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am definitely set on AMD, with either an ASUS or Gigabyte mobo. Not into discount brands

OVERCLOCKING: no , Crossfire, SLI...maybe...not too sure.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Unsure... I have 22inch widescreen Philips if that helps.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first time build, as I am tire of buying prepackaged systems that just don't cut it. I have suffered years of choppy gaming. My primary games I like to play are MMORGS like Aion and other NC Soft games. I am a big unreal fan, and being able to play Unreal3 with a nice frame rate would be a huge plus. I am not too picky on DDR2 vs DDR3. From what I have heard, someone with my experience would not really benefit from going DDR3. Also I plan to use the cheapest case as aesthetics are not important to me, unless cooling is a factor.


I have the following as my main rig atm, and I would appreciate any advice on the setup are far as changes that would compliment the addition comments.

PS: I am going to do my best not the screw up the links... I am the worlds worst URL linker...


CPU / Mobo / DDR3 Combo $217
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

GPU / PSU $225
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

Hard Drive $57
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Antec Case $60
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Optical $31
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Total $590
Tax/Shipping $702

Hopefully the links are clickable!

The wife's in a good mood, so I would appreciate quick feedback before she reneges on me buying one this weekend!


a b 4 Gaming
February 27, 2010 11:37:07 AM

Could you afford a slightly faster CPU like the Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition? Unless you live in BC, DirectCanada.com might be less expensive (free shipping on orders over $300 and no PST).
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February 27, 2010 11:47:32 AM

Yes I could afford it, I can actually spend closer to 800 with tx/shipping, but would feel more impressed with myself for going under :) 

I could go for that, it's just too bad there's no mobo / RAM combo for it. I will have to do the ol' switcheroo with another combo the try to get a mobo with something else.

Also, what if any advantage, would a quad core have for gaming since there are a lot of quad combos on newegg.ca?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 27, 2010 12:32:23 PM

Combos aren't always a good option. You probably should ignore combos and get the best components that you can afford.

You can buy similar components from DirectCanada (they don't have the hard disk and the DVD drive). The motherboard, the case and the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition are less expensive; if you don't have to pay PST and shipping, then the whole system will probably cost you less.

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March 4, 2010 7:26:20 PM

I forgot to add something that might assist in picking a CPU.

I am used to gaming with an older Pentium D, 3.0 ghz single core and a 512mb 7900gt. and 4gb RAM

Im planning on at least a GTS 250 for GPU with the new build, so my question would be for comparison sake, am I at least likely to see noticable improvement even with the low end dual core AMDs in the 60-70$ range?

Shanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
March 4, 2010 7:51:50 PM

Yes you will.
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March 4, 2010 10:12:18 PM

Schweet! Thanks man. Then since I am sticking to the older games like BF1942 and Unreal 2004, and maybe just Aion again, I think I will just build a lower end gamer.

Thanks all
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March 5, 2010 2:10:45 AM

So I put this together quickly on newegg.ca, and came in wayyyy under budget, however the GPU in the bundle is a little weak, however lots of reviews gave it a pretty good rating on some modern games. Even if I bought the GTS 250 on top I would still be on budget. DDR2 board though.

Athlon II X2 240/2GB DDR2/GT 220/750GB/HDMI MB Upgrade Kit - $331.34
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?It...

FSP Group FSP400-60GHN 400W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $52.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

APEX PC-389-C Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $21.49
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Sony Optiarc Black $25.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Total w/tx/shipping $529.38

Surely would be a significant improvement from the former Pentium D 3.0, w/ 7900 GT?

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a b 4 Gaming
March 5, 2010 2:35:15 AM

It will definitely be an improvement.
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Anonymous
March 5, 2010 7:47:32 PM

Not trying to bud in or anything but how about this slight alternative:
Basically keep get everything in the combo link BUT buy them separately and make these switches:

GPU:
Sapphire 4850 (ATI's equivalent to Nvidia's 250) - 112.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Heatsink:
Cooler Master 212 Plus - 29.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

HD:
Seagate 7200.12 500GB - 59.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I'm not sure about FSP power supplies but Antec is known for quality PSUs...
Antec Earthwatts 650W - 89.99 (Probably overkill but you can use it still if you upgrade your GPU or CPU)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
(You can get this $10 cheaper & without shipping if you can a CanadaComputer store nearby)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...
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a b 4 Gaming
March 5, 2010 8:25:20 PM

FSP make very decent PSUs. The FSP400-60GHN isn't as good as the Antec Earthwatts 650W, but it definitely isn't a cheap unit.
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March 6, 2010 7:08:50 PM

Anonymous said:
Not trying to bud in or anything but how about this slight alternative:
Basically keep get everything in the combo link BUT buy them separately and make these switches:

GPU:
Sapphire 4850 (ATI's equivalent to Nvidia's 250) - 112.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Heatsink:
Cooler Master 212 Plus - 29.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

HD:
Seagate 7200.12 500GB - 59.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I'm not sure about FSP power supplies but Antec is known for quality PSUs...
Antec Earthwatts 650W - 89.99 (Probably overkill but you can use it still if you upgrade your GPU or CPU)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
(You can get this $10 cheaper & without shipping if you can a CanadaComputer store nearby)
http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct...



Hmm, that GPU might be a good alternative. What would a 7900 GT match up to in ATI right now? Thats what I was using, and wondering if its better than the 220?

Also, the PSU can be knocked off the list, I picked one up at a Tigerdirect store today, an Ultra 750 watt for $40 with tax on overstock. I lot more wattage than I need, but was only 4% more than the 600 Watt.
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Anonymous
March 6, 2010 9:17:36 PM

Here is a direct chart comparing ATI vs Nvidia: (it doesn't show how much more framerates you get by going up one higher but good to see a direct comparison)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphic...
Also if you go a few pages back on the link above, you will see the best graphics card for ___ budget.

I agree with GhislainG, go with the 4850 or at least a new GPU. That 7900 will probably become a bottleneck when gaming (should you keep it).
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March 6, 2010 11:56:17 PM

I'd like to thank everyone for all the great answers, it's been tremendously helpful. I think I am just about ready to make my purchase. If the 220 out-performs the 7900 GT, then at least I will be a little more impressed there, lol. I do like the 4870 suggestion. In my price point too.

I think I just have the one last dilemma... the CPU. I am torn between making a decision between the Athlon II dual and triple cores. Will I see a noticeable difference in performance if all I am using the PC is for games? The L2 Cache in the x2 is 2 x 1MB and on the x3 its 3 x 512KB. Does that mean the dual core out performs in some way if the clock speeds are similar? Still trying to re-learn all of this after many years away from it all. I am just still emerging from the archaic world of single cores. I wont lie to you guys, I like the prices of the x2's lol
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Best solution

Anonymous
March 7, 2010 2:49:52 AM

The dual core may possibly perform better but it would only be ever so slightly that you have to the biggest speed freak to notice.

Take a look at this comparison between Phenom II and Athlon II. (comparison is Phenom II has L3 cache and Athlon II doesn't so this will show an exaggerated effect of what more cache can do)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...

(Summary: More L3 Cache will make your CPU slightly faster but I don't think this L2 512KB difference will not make much if any difference at all)

Review of Athlon x3 in games: (focus on the x3 435 vs x2 250)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3,2452-1...

Lastly take a look at this link: (a lot of reading I know but this is just a chart and will be the last thing you have to read unless you have more questions)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-cores-performan...

The future will hold just more and more core optimized programs so with those things in mind, I think a triple core will be best...
AMD Athlon II x3 435 - 78.99
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Share
March 7, 2010 12:04:10 PM

Your response is wicked. I think I understand a lot better now :)  believe I will go with the triple core.
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March 15, 2010 12:28:15 PM

Thanks for everyones help. I got the new rig up and running. I did increase my budget to $800 for the final though. Here is what I set up.

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
CPU - AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz , unlocked to quad core
RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
GPU - SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
HDD - Western Digital 500gb
Optical - Sony Optiarc
PSU - Ultra 750 watt (bought open box at Tiger)
Case - RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case , came with 500 watt PUS that I'm using in my wifes build now.

I don't have any of my old game discs, so have to go out and do some bargain bin hunting after work today, but I did download the Crysis pre-launch demo and this thing just chewed through it!. It defaulted to like 1280 res and there is was getting on the lowest end 40 fps and on the high 90, I changed it to 1680 X 1050 to match my monitor and it dropped slightly. the lowest was 35 fps and the high around 80-85 depending where you were on the map.

I also ran Aion and got anywhere from 60 to 120+ fps. Overall, for what I paid for everthing, I think it does fantastic! my only regret is not getting two Phenom 550s. I bould a 630 propus for my wifes build. If I knew the 550 unlocked so easily I would have done for both :(  But I can't even find the 550 on newegg.ca now n e ways.

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March 26, 2010 2:43:42 PM

Best answer selected by puntacana1.
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