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Initial ideas on $1000 canadian gaming build

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January 18, 2011 11:04:42 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: within a few weeks

Budget Range: about $1000 Canadian without rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important:- Aion (mmo bit better than wow), ESV: Skyrim, Guild Wars 2, Crysis(/2)

All Parts Required

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canada Computers - can pick up at nearby store in Ottawa - no shipping costs
They claim to price match so products can probably also be from Newegg.ca, NCIX.com, directcanada.com, PCCyber.com
PC Cyber is also in Ottawa but their prices are generally higher

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: none yet really, just getting first impressions, would an i5 2500k build be possible?
Is there still a lot of value in unlocking a Phenom ii x2 555 BE and would it run my needs?

Overclocking: only if necessary

SLI or Crossfire: would like to have the option to add a card in future in case games need it but none need it now really

Monitor Resolution: preferably 23" @ 1680x1050 or 1920x1080 or 1920x1200

Additional Comments:
January 19, 2011 5:42:46 AM

Here's a start based on the build I'm working on now:

MB/CPU - P8P67 Pro + Intel 2500K bundle - $400:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 - $285 after rebate

Corsair TX750 PSU - $90 after rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=26415&vpn=CMPSU%2D750...

Drive - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

RAM - 8GB Mushkin DDR3 1333 CL9 - $71 after rebate
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55544&vpn=99...

Some $20 dvd burner

=$941. Although I see now that you need a monitor too, so I guess I fail. :S
Well, I guess I'll post regardless in case it helps. For gaming only you can certainly go down to 4 gigs of RAM, which should save a bit. You could also go with a slower processor / different MB, but that package hits a really nice price/performance sweet spot, so it might be worth it.
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January 19, 2011 9:45:46 AM

just initial ideas, so all input helps, thanks. seems we pay more for parts in canada so my budget may flex

any advice (or sample builds) with Phenom II chips (X2 / X3 / X4). how much are some of these chips and is unlocking cores still worthy option? might these chips suit my needs and fit my budget?

feel i should note that i will add another graphics card (SLI/CF) later in the year if necessary but excluding from budget for now

I hear RAM prices are low right now so it would be a good idea to buy 8GB now [vs 4GB] even though it's excessive. Is this right, even with canadian prices?

i would like to specify that I want to run these games smooth at max settings on a 23" monitor (resolutions can be any of above listed, don't think it makes noticeable difference.. :/ )
January 19, 2011 10:20:57 AM

I'm actually finding Canadian prices pretty good at the moment, compared to usual anyway.

Realized I forgot a case in the previous list too. I doubt you'll need more than 4 gigs for games any time in the near future, but you're right - it's really really cheap. I'd go for 8 just for general use / multitasking. The cheap stuff I spec'ed though - don't waste money on higher speed or super tight timings.

You could definitely go with a cheaper cpu/mb, but I only researched the range I was looking for, so can't help you there. The 2500Ks come with a free copy of Civ 5 at the moment though, if that matters. :) 

You could also play all the games you listed on a 23" with a GTX-460 for half the price of the HD 6950. Whether you'd get them uber-maxed I don't know, but it'd be fine. (I can play Crysis on medium-ish settings on my current HD 4850.) Since you're mostly interested in games though I'd skimp on cpu and motherboard first.
January 19, 2011 12:10:13 PM

if the $1000 budget didn't have to include the OS + 23" monitor... then you could build a Sandy Bridge gaming system no problem -> but ~$300 is going to those 2 items... (and that's still not including the keyboard + mouse too)

this is where AMD shines... so here's a balanced AMD based system - in order to get you the best graphics for gaming:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD 1080P LCD /w Built-in Speakers: $180

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit: $110

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- SAMSUNG Black 22X DVDRW: $18

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB: $75

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- Antec Three Hundred Illusion: $75

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W: $70

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0: $99

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
- Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2x2) DDR3 1333: $40

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz: $100 -> true quad-core @ 3ghz for 100 bucks... that you can also overclock if need be... can't beat that value

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB: $230 -> best card you can get with the money left over... it requires no more than a 500w power supply

as for 'future Crossfire'... 99% of people don't eventually do it... and 3 years down the road, when you want to upgrade your graphics... just buy whatever new tech is available at the time... you'll save lots by not getting an SLI/Crossfire motherboard /w an over-powered-for-your-system power supply.. that i guarantee you won't take advantage of :) 

TOTAL: $997 (before rebates + no keyboard/mouse)
!