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Under $1500

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Last response: in Systems
August 2, 2010 3:25:35 PM


BUDGET RANGE: $1500-$1600 CAD (preferably including 13% tax)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: multi-tasking between 10 programs or so (want to run virtual desktops), cs5, some gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: 1st preference: Canada Computers . 2nd preference: Bewawa or Last pref: Ncix, NewEgg..... whichever gives a cheaper cost. CC is close to where I live, so I would prefer to go to the store to pick it up. Bewawa has free shipping to where I live too.


PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Core i7, XFX video card, WD HD.



MONITOR RESOLUTION: My current Samsung 225BW goes up to 1680x1050, but I'm considering getting at least a 24" with a 1920x1080 res in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: no bling, want it quiet.



Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower Gaming Case (RC-942-KKN1)

or is saving $50 for this better?

Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower ATX Case (RC-932-KKN1-GP)


Intel Core i7 930 Quad-Core Socket LGA1366, 2.8Ghz, 4.8GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm (Retail Boxed) (BX80601930)

CPU Cooler:

CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler


Ultra X4 750-Watt Modular Power Supply - 135mm Fan, ATX, Lifetime Warranty, 80+ Bronze, NVIDIA SLI & ATI Crossfire Certifications.

Graphics Card:

XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 (HD-577X-ZNFC) ATI Radeon HD 5770 Chipset (850Mhz) 1GB (4800Mhz) DDR5 HDMI/Dual-Link DVI/Display Port PCI-Express Graphics Card

Memory (triple channel):

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 998677B


GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Hard Drive (need 2 - OS/programs and data files):


Western Digital Caviar Black (WD6402AAEX) 640GB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)

Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) 1000GB (1TB) SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)


ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM


$199.99 + $309.99 + $67.99 + $129.97 + $179.99 + $157.49 + $229.99 + $69.99 + $89.99 + $28.99
= $1464.38
+ 13% tax
= $1654.75



- Can drives C (OS/programs) and D (data files) be mirrored to E and F automatically with RAID or is some special software required? If so, suggestions?
- How frequent these items go on sale? Anything to hold back on just in case something newer is coming up in the next few weeks (and prices of the old dips)?
- Compatibility with each other? Most concerned about this.
- I went with triple channel ram and motherboard. Is there a real improvement and somewhat future-proof? Or should I save some $ and go back to dual channel.



To give you an idea of what I'm currently working with: moving up from an ancient p4 1.7ghz, 2x40gb hd, 128mb ati 9600 pro. So what I got is great and will probably not upgrade for at least another 2-3 years.

Also, since I'm getting a whole new set up, I'm going to get rid of my keyboard and mouse. Plan on moving to:


Logitech Illuminated Keyboard (920-001259) - Web Only


Logitech M310 Red Tendrils 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Mouse


Thanks for the help! This is my first real custom-build.

More about : 1500

August 2, 2010 10:02:55 PM

Triple channel is worth the money and for your hard drives you should go with 2 samsung spinpoint 1tb they are fast and thy willl cost you the same price as getting the two u posted and the case is up to you I I like X myself but that's me
August 3, 2010 1:45:49 AM

Thanks for your input.

I took a look at samsung spinpoint f1 but it has 32mb cache and uses sata, not 64mb cache and sata3 like the ones I picked. The samsung did have 2.1ms better average seek time though. Doesn't make a huge difference?
Related resources
August 3, 2010 1:48:59 AM

i believe joey's talking about these samsung f3 hard drives
August 4, 2010 1:10:05 AM

I've looked at those too and it doesn't seem comparable to the WD I wanted to get (other than the seek time). Ignoring WD double cache over Samsungs, does that really make it that much faster?

Any other opinions, especially if everything is compatible with each other?
August 4, 2010 1:37:11 AM

the samsung spinpoint f3 is the fastest HHD... excluding wd veliciraptor XD but u never have to buy them.. they are old if u want something fast for OS and games u should get a SSD but they are very expensive now... and they ahve bad capacity
August 4, 2010 2:08:41 PM

Yes, SSD is too expensive right now, so I'm going with the regular HD.
August 4, 2010 11:58:53 PM

Thanks! That was convincing.

Anything else wrong with my above config? I want to buy it asap.
August 5, 2010 11:32:59 PM

OP is mine. Anymore suggestions? Can someone please check if it is compatible/enough power?
August 6, 2010 10:16:16 PM

wow didn't even realize your choice of power supply. When choosing power supplies one thing you should actually look for is surprisingly the brand. Brands like Corsair Seasonic and XFX are usually among the best. I would recommend any of those brands' 650w or 750w power supplies.

some examples

and also the graphics card. are you sure you dont want something more powerful then the 5770, like the gtx 460. I know you're going to be using this for CAD but still for $20-$40 it could be worth the investment
August 6, 2010 11:28:28 PM

Thanks wardy!

That psu got enough reviews and was modular so I thought it was decent. I guess I should've checked out newegg's psu section. I'll most likely go with the XFX 350W you mentioned since it is modular (otherwise I would've gone with your corsair):

As for the graphics card, I'll think about it too. I wanted to go with the 5770 since I don't place pc games as much (nothing too intense anyways), but I didn't want something that sucked too much. If anything I thought about later getting another 5770 and cross fire them when it becomes even cheaper (will 650w be enough when this happens -- I used and all I ended up with about 500W when I configured it with 2 5770).
August 7, 2010 12:40:35 AM

Yes, 650w should be enough on that XFX for two 5770's and remember that it's not always the wattage that makes the difference. you should check the manufacture's website for detailed specs about 12 volt rail output, or just ask around on forums like this. and sorry for the newegg.COM link, i didn't realize you were purchasing from Canada.

(btw, i hope that 350w was a typo :)  )

also, are you sure about water cooling, you could pick up an air cooler that'll do the job fine, you would just have to be sure on case dimensions and that the cooler would fit. And since you're not overclocking the stock cooler that comes with the processor should be adequate.

this is the Scythe Mugen 2. it's popular, inexpensive and does well in most tests
August 7, 2010 7:56:05 PM

Yes, I was going for the 650W you mentioned :) 

I probably will not go with the cooler I mentioned to begin with, but just stick with the fans from the case. If it gets any hotter then I like, I'll probably get it, or go with an air one to save costs.

So I guess since everything looks good, I'll start shopping around. Thanks!!!