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$400 CAD Budget for a gaming PC

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March 23, 2010 6:45:33 PM

Iam looking towards on building a new gaming PC within this month if not in the summer but the latest in end of december. The parts doesn't have to be high end, just enough so that i can play modern games like starcraft 2, MW2, etc. I am in Canada so if anyone is willing to help with my build, please do. I also provided a list of things that i would like to have. I actually dont know much about recent parts that are recommended within that $500 so please feel free to leave your message. Please and Thank You! Would prefer to be CAD prices. On more question is that if i should wait a bit longer till i buy a new computer since prices drops everyday.

Budget Range Preferred from $400 (Can be before or after mail-in-rebates) Or Maximum of $450 if that's a hard price to work with.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Month Or during the summer or end of december.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming and more gaming and minor video editing.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have a 22" inch Monitor so 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200 would be fine

Preferred Sites:
http://www.canadacomputers.com/
http://www.ncix.com/
http://www.newegg.ca/
Or other Canadian sites

Video Card:
I heard the 5770 and 4850 is nearly the same. So i would like to ask if i should wait till prices gpu to go down before i buy a better one.

CPU:
Unknown. I also dont know which to get between Intel or AMD. And will Quad core better than dual core for gaming? What are the major differences?

MotherBoard:
Unknown. I also dont know which brand is good for a gaming PC.

RAM:
Depends on Mobo but would like to have at least 4GB.

Parts and other stuff that are not needed:
Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, sound card, printer, Ethernet card, OS, DVD Drive.

Parts i already have:
Power Supply: OCZ Z-Series 550W 80+
PC Case
Hard Drive: 1.5T

Thank you!

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a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 6:50:26 PM
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The 5770 and the 4850 are NOT equal. The 4850 and 5750 are equal, the 5770 and 4870 are equal. And that's only strictly in terms of FPS. It's not taking into account the future proofing with DirectX 11 and better Crossfiring scaling, lower power consumption (easier/higher overclocking), Eyefinity support and other features.

CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $172. Quads are better than dual because extra processes are easily loaded to a separate core, thus maintaining the speed of the primary core. However, triple cores are actually better than quads.
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $117 before $10 US rebate ($102 in total)
GPU: HD 5770 $163

Total: $437.
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 7:00:30 PM

So, you essentially need mobo+RAM+CPU+GPU. There will be huge differences in prices and availability among "this month," "in the summer," and "end of December." Right now, you can probably fit those (or similar) parts into a $450 CAD budget, but it will probably be close. You're looking at an AMD build, probably with an Athlon II X3 CPU (at most, maybe a X2), possibly a HD4850 (if you act before they disappear; OR a HD5750 if prices drop some, or a HD5670 if they don't). Hopefully you can squeeze in 4GB of RAM, but 2GB would be acceptable at least until you can afford an upgrade.

Edit: saw you don't need an O/S.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 7:05:23 PM

Well, Mad Admiral found some good deals.
March 23, 2010 11:08:06 PM

Thank you. What do you guys think about this combo?
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42468&vpn=X4...
So should i wait a month or 2 for a better and cheaper video card to come or should i just buy the gpu 5770/4870?

Edit: And are they decent enough to buy right now since its going to be my last computer and cause iam not looking for high end products.
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 11:32:57 PM

It's a good combo, but it takes up a lot of the budget on something that doesn't affect gaming performance.

I would personally wait as long as possible. The deals are good, but they're not the best I've seen. In general, prices have gone up about $50-100 a build in the last month or so.
March 23, 2010 11:38:42 PM

Really? Prices has gone up not down? I thought new computer parts always comes out and prices would drop as time goes by, not up.
So if budget wasnt a problem here, it's still not good cause it doesnt affect gaming performace? I see.

Edit: So what do you mean by not affecting game performance? Can you please explain a little? :) 
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 1:42:32 AM

That's what happens when one company has a monopoly on the current generation of cards. It's also due to a lot of deals disappearing. However, prices will drop over time, but there will be fluctuate up or down in the short term.

By not affecting gaming performance, I mean that spending more on a CPU won't get you a whole lot in terms of FPS or increased details in game. The video card is the main component in determining how well you can game. So you should spend as much of the budget as possible for that component. A better CPU will help you get a few FPS, but only once the GPU has been maxed out. Once you start upping the GPU, you should increase the CPU if you reach a point that you can't afford the next GPU. You shouldn't be afraid to decrease the CPU to increase the GPU.

To sum all that up, if the budget wasn't a problem, you should get the best CPU possible, but only after getting the best GPU possible. Since most people don't have an unlimited budget, you need to get the biggest GPU you can afford, and then try to upgrade the CPU.
March 24, 2010 1:48:36 AM

I see, you do have a point there. Thanks for all the advice and information. I guess ill just have to sit back and wait lol :) 
So GPU > CPU/Mobo? So how much should a decent gpu would cost these days? like $150? and then i should spend the rest on cpu/mobo and then ram, right? So does buying a good mobo also help too as some sort of foundation for the gpu or? Can i just buy any cheap and half decent mobo/cpu since i dont plan on upgrading.
a b 4 Gaming
March 24, 2010 2:07:19 AM

I generally don't recommend anything under the 5770 ($150ish) for gaming. If you use a 1900x monitor, the 5850 ($300ish) would be the lowest I would get. The 5870 ($400ish) is enough to play every game with max details at 1900x. The 5970 ($700) is the best out there right now. Keep in mind that this might change when the new nVidia cards are released (both the best cards and the price).

A better board provides a better base for upgrading. It also helps the build have a longer life by getting a better quality build. I typically recommend getting a USB 3/SATA III board with Crossfire support (Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 for AMD, Asus P7P55D-E Pro for i5-750 and Asus P6X58D Premium for i7-930). I definitely wouldn't buy a cheap motherboard, as it won't last as long.
March 24, 2010 4:52:53 PM

Best answer selected by AzN_Doomstay.
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