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$1200 PC

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March 6, 2011 12:46:18 AM

Hey everyone, I would just like to ask if you guys could help me pick out parts for my new PC. I was suppose to have this build done last summer, but most of you suggested I wait for Sandy Bridge, and so I have.

Tax returns are just around the corner here in Ontario, Canada and I would like to use that to fund my new PC. On a side note, I've taken apart my current computer at least twice and put it back together for practice. That's the only hands-on experience I've had with "building my own PC". But for my sake, let's all assume I am completely clueless.

So let's get started:


Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as I get my tax return in about 2 weeks or so.

Budget Range: $1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Casual gaming, school, and regular daily use.

Parts Not Required: Case, monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, optical drive. I installed additional fans on my HAF X and I'll be using a 32 inch HDTV as my monitor with HDMI connection.

Preferred Website for Parts: Canada Computers

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: Intel and other reliable brand names

Overclocking: Never have, never will

SLI or Crossfire: I've never done this before and I don't think I'll need or use it. I'd prefer to just have 1 strong GPU now then upgrade to another powerful GPU when, or if it's even needed in the future anyways.

Monitor Resolution: Whatever the HDTV is

Additional Comments: I'm only interested in playing Starcraft 2 and it's expansions, Civilization 5 and Diablo 3 when it comes out in the highest settings; nothing more, nothing less. I do all my gaming on my consoles.

I'm not interested in SSD's yet, so we can skip that for now. I will also pay a bit more if it means having a quiet PC. I'd also like this build to last for at least 3 years, if possible.

More about : 1200

March 6, 2011 1:01:47 AM



"eh?" LOL. I've heard a lot of good things (and some bad) about that website, and I'm also aware they probably offer cheaper prices and everyone`s recommending them, but I'm really paranoid when it comes to ordering online. Also, Canada Computers is about 10 minutes away from me (Hamilton Mountain) and about 20 minutes away for the other location (Hamilton). If anything`s wrong, I`m only a drive away from replacing a bad part or getting help.
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March 6, 2011 1:33:13 AM

The HAF X case should do nicely.

Now; processor, for light gaming and indeed heavy gaming, the i5 2500 should be fine. i5 2500k is the overclockable version, and the sandy bridge parts overclock like hell. If you aren't going to though, you'll save $20-30 on buying the i5 2500, (no 'k'). The i7 2600 is slightly better, but $90 more. ($220 vs $310) and also has a more expensive 'K' version.

The i5 2500 vs the i7 2600 is literally 0.5-2% performance in terms of FPS difference, so if its worth $90 to you, go ahead, but you won't see any improvements really. Here is the comparison http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288 (Don't worry about the 'k' it is the same but can be overclocked more).

So processor.... i 5 2500k $220 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... This cuts cost without noticeable changes to performance.
Case: Included
Memory: CL7 is a little bit better, and the difference isn't big, but it does make a small difference. If you want the traditional ram for $60 is the G.Skill X series, which is really good and CL7 (4gb 1600MHZ ram). Its better than the other gskill modules in CL8/9 cheaper. The cheapest gskill ram is $46 for 4GB of CL9 and is a worse series than the X series. I'd recommend the $60 one. http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

Graphics: GTX 570 looking NICE. http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $330 EVGA stock card (After rebates.. you sure you can't cash these in??) (Not factory oc'd). Should provide plenty.
If you want to SLI (2 cards) you can get slightly better performance than the 570, with 2 x 460's, for $130 each). Single card setups are generally preferred and will allow you to add a second if you need more performance. Anyways, a single GTX 570 will provide you with easily enough performance, especially since your HDTV is likely a max setting of 1080P. You won't need to upgrade your card for a few years at least.

If you can't cash in the rebate, get this: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... (2 left)

$45 more (Only $15 more if you can't get the rebate) and factory overclocked (Since you won't be doing it).

An alternative is the HD 6970, but this is slightly more expensive and performs slightly worse according to anandtech

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306

(Look through all the benchmarks, some games favour Nvidia, some favour ATI, the 6970 wins the first few, then gets slaughtered in quite a few).

That leaves $350 for the optical drive, hard drive, mobo and any coolant plus the psu.

For the power supply: This is a RIPPER of a deal.. if you can get the MIR its $40, if not its $70
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
This won't allow SLI if you buy another GTX 570 down the line.....

but this will:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... ($115 without MIR, $90 with MIR).
If you can get MIR, chose the 650W one probably, unless you really think you can SLI in future, otherwise the 750W one if you want to SLI. If you can't get MIR, either one is decent.. but probably the 650W one. Both have 4 or 10+ stock left.

Hard drive:http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

Nnot the best deal available. But 1500GB and $70. Its cause of 'only in hamilton' clause u invoked. It has 10+ stock.
.
Optical drive: Any $25~
Mobo; Not specialist in this, but this one is solid

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
$161. (Pick up, 4 in hamilton)

All up (Before rebates) $981. $140 more and you can get a GTX 580.. but i dont recommend it.!
March 6, 2011 4:02:33 AM

vibhas said:
The HAF X case should do nicely.

Now; processor, for light gaming and indeed heavy gaming, the i5 2500 should be fine. i5 2500k is the overclockable version, and the sandy bridge parts overclock like hell. If you aren't going to though, you'll save $20-30 on buying the i5 2500, (no 'k'). The i7 2600 is slightly better, but $90 more. ($220 vs $310) and also has a more expensive 'K' version.

The i5 2500 vs the i7 2600 is literally 0.5-2% performance in terms of FPS difference, so if its worth $90 to you, go ahead, but you won't see any improvements really. Here is the comparison http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=288 (Don't worry about the 'k' it is the same but can be overclocked more).

So processor.... i 5 2500k $220 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... This cuts cost without noticeable changes to performance.
Case: Included
Memory: CL7 is a little bit better, and the difference isn't big, but it does make a small difference. If you want the traditional ram for $60 is the G.Skill X series, which is really good and CL7 (4gb 1600MHZ ram). Its better than the other gskill modules in CL8/9 cheaper. The cheapest gskill ram is $46 for 4GB of CL9 and is a worse series than the X series. I'd recommend the $60 one. http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

Graphics: GTX 570 looking NICE. http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $330 EVGA stock card (After rebates.. you sure you can't cash these in??) (Not factory oc'd). Should provide plenty.
If you want to SLI (2 cards) you can get slightly better performance than the 570, with 2 x 460's, for $130 each). Single card setups are generally preferred and will allow you to add a second if you need more performance. Anyways, a single GTX 570 will provide you with easily enough performance, especially since your HDTV is likely a max setting of 1080P. You won't need to upgrade your card for a few years at least.

If you can't cash in the rebate, get this: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... (2 left)

$45 more (Only $15 more if you can't get the rebate) and factory overclocked (Since you won't be doing it).

An alternative is the HD 6970, but this is slightly more expensive and performs slightly worse according to anandtech

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/292?vs=306

(Look through all the benchmarks, some games favour Nvidia, some favour ATI, the 6970 wins the first few, then gets slaughtered in quite a few).

That leaves $350 for the optical drive, hard drive, mobo and any coolant plus the psu.

For the power supply: This is a RIPPER of a deal.. if you can get the MIR its $40, if not its $70
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
This won't allow SLI if you buy another GTX 570 down the line.....

but this will:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... ($115 without MIR, $90 with MIR).
If you can get MIR, chose the 650W one probably, unless you really think you can SLI in future, otherwise the 750W one if you want to SLI. If you can't get MIR, either one is decent.. but probably the 650W one. Both have 4 or 10+ stock left.

Hard drive:http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

Nnot the best deal available. But 1500GB and $70. Its cause of 'only in hamilton' clause u invoked. It has 10+ stock.
.
Optical drive: Any $25~
Mobo; Not specialist in this, but this one is solid

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
$161. (Pick up, 4 in hamilton)

All up (Before rebates) $981. $140 more and you can get a GTX 580.. but i dont recommend it.!



I've edited my original post and took off the "must be in Hamilton or Hamilton Mountain only" and the "no mail-in rebates", I don't want my selection to be limited. I will just pay for the ordering or delivery charges as well, if there's any.

I'm also considering the Intel Core i5-2500 over the Intel Core i7-2600, unless the majority says otherwise. I'm also going to go ahead with EVGA GeForce GTX570 Superclocked 1280MB GDDR5 based on a lot of positive reviews on Newegg.

I'm going to wait for more feedback before making my final decision. I don't want to invest in something that I will be using for the next 3 years and hate it.
March 6, 2011 4:49:41 AM

Static-101 said:
I've edited my original post and took off the "must be in Hamilton or Hamilton Mountain only" and the "no mail-in rebates", I don't want my selection to be limited. I will just pay for the ordering or delivery charges as well, if there's any.

I'm also considering the Intel Core i5-2500 over the Intel Core i7-2600, unless the majority says otherwise. I'm also going to go ahead with EVGA GeForce GTX570 Superclocked 1280MB GDDR5 based on a lot of positive reviews on Newegg.

I'm going to wait for more feedback before making my final decision. I don't want to invest in something that I will be using for the next 3 years and hate it.


Indeed, I recommended the 2500 for your $1000 budget and due to the CPU not being a bottleneck really. The 570 superclocked could perhaps be eclipsed with another $120~ for the cheapest EVGA GTX 580 if you can fit it in with the rebates and such; easily afforded if you buy the Antec truepower 650W and the 1Tb seagate hdd
March 6, 2011 5:33:57 AM

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $79.99 - Discount -$10.00 Sale Price $69.99
Corsair CMPSU-600CX 600W Power Supply

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $99.99
ASRock H67 M Socket 1155 Intel H67 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 1333/1066Mhz 7.1 CH HD Audio Gigabit LAN 2x SATAIII 6.0 Gb/s 4xSATAII 3.0Gb/s 2x USB 3.0 6x USB 2.0 Micro ATX

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... $214.99 FREE SHIPPING
Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $83.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333MHz (PC3-10666) 8GB (2x4GB) Dual Channel Kit (F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL)

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $359.99 - Mail-in Rebate -$30.00 Sale Price $329.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD 1280MB GDDR5 (012-P3-1571-KR) nVidia GeForce GTX 570 Chipset (732Mhz) 1280MB (3800Mhz) DDR5 Dual Display DVI-I/HDMI/DisplayPort PCI Express 2.0 Graphics Card

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5... $89.99 Discount -$10.00 Sale Price $79.99
Western Digital Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) 1000GB (1TB) SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)

Total: $928.94 *not including Windows 7, rebates, etc..

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3... $109.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
March 6, 2011 2:49:43 PM

With that budget, no need for bargain brands and can use all top tier components:

PSU - $130 - XFX Black Edition http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
MoBo - $185 - ASUS P8P67 Pro Should be available next week
CPU - $235 - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
RAM - $90 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
GFX - $330 - EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $50 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

That's $1,020

If ya not going to do SLI and OC, then I don't really get the full tower case HAF X. HAF = High Air Flow for SLI and overclocking (hence more noise) .... and the size is to fit 2, 3 or 4 GFX cards and keep them cool. Soooo .... I picked the PSU for it's 10.0 performance rating on jonnyguru, so that if ya wanna add another 570 in SLI and OC, it won't be an issue.

You don't wanna put triple channel RAM in a SB board, that's for 1366 based systems.
March 6, 2011 5:20:00 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
With that budget, no need for bargain brands and can use all top tier components:

PSU - $130 - XFX Black Edition http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
MoBo - $185 - ASUS P8P67 Pro Should be available next week
CPU - $235 - Intel Core i5-2500K http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
RAM - $90 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9 http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
GFX - $330 - EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...
GFX - Later - Same
HD - $50 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=5...

That's $1,020

If ya not going to do SLI and OC, then I don't really get the full tower case HAF X. HAF = High Air Flow for SLI and overclocking (hence more noise) .... and the size is to fit 2, 3 or 4 GFX cards and keep them cool. Soooo .... I picked the PSU for it's 10.0 performance rating on jonnyguru, so that if ya wanna add another 570 in SLI and OC, it won't be an issue.

You don't wanna put triple channel RAM in a SB board, that's for 1366 based systems.



Thank you for pointing out the triple channel RAM, I had no idea about that. I've also edited my original post to reflect this.

As for the case, there's really nothing much I can do about it since I've already bought it last year, lol. I'm also going to stick with the Intel Core i5-2500 (no K) as I was told by another helpful user it's for overlocking, which I will not do. So that saves me an additional $15 at least.


As for the GPU, EVGA GeForce GTX570 Superclocked, I'll be sticking to it due to positive reviews on Newegg.ca. Unless there's a cheaper and better alternative.

As for the HD, some have suggested Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM) and Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA 3.0Gb/s (1TB) 32MB Cache (OEM). I'm leaning towards the Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB because it's faster, based on my own limited knowledge. The HDD is still "up in the air" though.

As for the PSU, I can't get it at Newegg, it must be at Canada Computers only. Again, sorry for the inconvenience.

I've also acquired an additonal $200 and so I'm going to change my title and original post to reflect this.
!