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~$900-$1000 Mainstream Gaming Computer Set-up for my family

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May 9, 2011 1:14:41 AM

Hello everyone! Having a good day, I hope. :) 

I don't live with my family anymore, being in university far from my home. But I do drop by time to time (as in a couple of months or more). We used the same computer for last 6 years and I occasionally replaced a component once a while to extend its useful life, such as RAM, graphic card (radeon HD4670, I think) and a 320GB HDD. But now, it appears, according to my frustrated parents' descriptions, that the PSU is starting to fail - so is RAM and whatnot. So, I decided that we should have a fresh brand-new rig so they would not need my "computer expertise" (compared to them anyway) every time a component decides to take a piss or a walk around a lake. Some of us occasionally play games such as Call of Duty MW2/BO, TF2, WoW, flash games, movies and burning songs and movies to CDs/DVDs, nothing more intensive than that at the moment.


Approximate Purchase Date: Before May 16 or so for sure

Budget Range: ~$900, before MIRs and not including a "good keyboard" (as said by my dad)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies, playing and burning music to CDs/DVDs (my sister is a budding singer)

Parts Not Required: I got copies of Windows 7 64bit, so that is not needed. Everything else, replace - like peripherals and every essential computer part. I plan to include a HDD from the older rig though so the computer case should be able to support 2 HDDs or more (internal storage bays).

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Ideally, one or two websites to save on shipping. I am open - newegg.ca, tigerdirect.ca, NCIX, and so go on. Some US websites offer shipping to Canada so that will work too (ex. Amazon)

Country of Origin: Canada (Eastern)

Parts Preferences: I would like to have a blu-ray/DVD drive and a monitor at least 1080p if possible. If not, due to graphic card/cost limitations or whatever, 720p will do; my family does not care or notice the difference. A good keyboard is needed, with proper key resistance, wrist rests and so go on. Wired peripherals is a preference as well, to keep it low-maintenance as much as possible - this computer will have a permanent spot in my family's house.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: See Parts Preference

Additional Comments: Price/performance is important, but I would be satisfied with a $600 or $700 rig if the performance is good.

Also, if you can find a computer part significantly better or cheaper in USA what it is available in Canada and it does not get broken or damaged easily by American Airlines baggage handlers (look up in youtube lol), let me know.

Thanks for your time and expertise! :) 

Edit: Looking at some websites like http://www.hardware-revolution.com/budget-gaming-pc-q2-...

I'll be avoiding ASRock mobos and get ASUS mobos though. What ya think?

Best solution

May 9, 2011 6:34:32 AM

directcanada.com offers free shipping on orders over $50.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD5176&v...
$182.53

Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-M Pro
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530BD2881&v...
$109.69
* For an accurate description and pictures, click here. This board includes an IDE port to connect your old hard drive.

RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) G.Skill Ripjaws X
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD5460&v...
$45.05

GPU: Sapphire 5850 Xtreme
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14080BD8808&v...
$133.12

HDD: WD Black 1TB
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=25350DR0783&v...
$84.69

Optical: LG Blu-ray Reader & DVD Writer
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950AC3681&v...
$72.34

PSU: Corsair Builder Series 500CX V2
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11180AC3744&v...
$52.48

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC0700&v...
$54.05

Monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" 1080p
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=16950MN9866&v...
$144.69 ($10 MIR available)

Total: $878.64, not including MIR

As far as keyboards go, I have this Logitech G110 keyboard and love it. It's got decent resistance when typing, it's LED-lit (you can change the lighting to whatever color you want), and quiet. It's a bit spendy though.
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12660ID4780&v...
$81.12
* The best thing to do is go to an electronics/computer/office supply store and try before you buy.



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May 9, 2011 12:43:57 PM

Awesome, thanks for your time!

I was definitely thinking the lines of 2X00 series of Intel i5. All would be still compatible if I switch 2400 for a 2500?

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD4322&v...

I don't see why not as they require similar wattage and uses the exact same socket.

As for GPU, 5850 is perfect. Last night, I read around and that card looks like it's the best GPU atm considering the price point.

Thanks by the way :) 

Edit: Looks like RAM you suggested is incompatible with the mobo. The mobo specs is for 1333 and 1066 mhz and RAM is 1600 mhz. Is this a problem or something I missed?
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May 9, 2011 1:26:29 PM

You're welcome.

If you go with the 2500, you're paying $23 more for 200MHz faster. The speed difference won't be noticed. But it's your money. Either way your family will be amazed at the difference.

Any 1.35-1.65 volt DDR3 non-ECC ram is compatible. P67 clocks all memory over 1333MHz to 1333MHz. You can leave it be or you can enable XMP profile in the EFI (BIOS) to clock the sticks to G.Skill specs. It only take a couple mouse clicks. Either way works fine. I have my Corsair XMS Ram (8GB, 1600MHz 9-9-9-24-2 factory specs) clocked at 1333MHz with timings of 7-7-7-21-1 at 1.65v and it works great. That's just an example for you, I don't recommend Corsair XMS memory as it is known to have issues with ASUS P67 boards...guess I got lucky.
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May 9, 2011 2:17:10 PM

Best answer selected by Graham110.
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