Playtech and Ascent are good, but I bought my parts from www.AlphaCity.co.nz. Fast, cheap shipping, low low prices, and they've got lots of parts.
Here's what I recommend:
1. AMD option, CrossFire
Comes to ~$1550 or something with GST and shipping. You could replace the 5770's for a single 5850 at around 400 bucks, and crossfire down the road. Would cost just about the same.
2. AMD option, non-CrossFire
Similar price to first option. No CrossFire or SLI, mobo won't support it either.
3. Intel option, non-SLI but can.
Again, similar price. With "just" 1 GTX 460, this one definitely has weaker graphic output potential than the AMD options, but the CPU is better and overclocks very well. I think the GTX 460 is fine for 1080p gaming anyway. You could even take the 2nd option and chuck a GTX 460 1GB in there instead of the 470.
Those images are from alpha city by the way... at playtech you'd have to pay lots more for sure, and I don't think its worth the free shipping. They do have great service though, so its up to you.
By the way the RAM is 2 packs of 2GB sticks because it just happens to be cheaper than the cheapest 2x2GB kit at $100 vs $114 not including GST. It also looks cool since its gold
Personally I like the first option with the 5850 instead of the 2 5770s.
Ill admit first off that their ram prices are high compared to other places atm and that gpu should settle down in price soon enough.
And mobo is missing from AMD build, but i would put a 890GX board in there somewhere
Right now im living on the north shore so im fairly close to places like pbtech and playtech, and knowing my parents theyre gonna want to actually go to the store to get parts rather than buying online. I know about playtech, pbtech, computer lounge and nfc... you know any other decent stores in the auckland area?
Oh I see. Yeah, Alphacity doesn't allow pickups, but they are pretty reliable and have fast shipping. I know PBTech is pretty good, they have a few shops - one's just nearby me in Penrose and it looks quite big. But if you're fine with the prices go with playtech, they've got a really solid reputation.
Your builds look great, but note that with the Intel one, the mobo doesn't *really* support crossfire. The first card would run at x16 but the second would run at x4 and you don't want that - generally x8/x8 is fine. This one will do crossfire but its quite expensive... Playtech doesn't have too many motherboards around. Maybe you could get just your motherboard from PBTech? This one's a little less... not much less though. Intel motherboards are generally more expensive anyway.
Also, for that $400 you could get an HD 5850 from PBTech (link). If I'm not wrong, the 5850 performs better, so there's not much point paying for the 6850 at their current prices in NZ other than to just have the latest thing.
Yea pbtech stores are quite large and they do have a lot of stock, but the last time i went to the one in north shore they had no mid-high range GPUs, unless they hide them out back or something...
So say ill get the more expensive mobo for the i5 build and in general just the i5 build, would you say the extra $180~ worth the extra performance over the p955 build? Considering i could use this on a flashier case and graphics?
And ill prefer the 6850 because... higher AA performance, better cf scaling and much better performance in newer dx11 tessellated games haha
Well, with equal graphics performance I think the i5 will always beat the 955 at stock and overclocked performance. But whether its worth it is up to you. Check out this website for benchmark comparison
As you can see, the i5 is around 16%-17% better than the P955 at stock performance. If you switch to the Asus P7P55D-E PRO mobo, compared to the AMD's ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 mobo you're paying ~$120 more. That's about 8% more.
On numbers alone I'd say thats good, but personally I'm not a very power-hungry person, and would rather spend some of that $120 on a better case, i.e. CM Storm Scout or CM 690 II.
What's your current system? If its really old then you'll probably be happy with the P955, but if its not too old then go for the i5 so it feels more worth the upgrade
OH and one more thing: Just in case you haven't found it, www.pricespy.co.nz is great for researching prices as well as reading user reviews on stores.