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Canadian gaming build ~$1500

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November 10, 2011 11:59:26 PM

The last computer I built is so old, the video card only has 128 Mb of memory. Given that I work in the game industry, this is kind of embarrassing so it's time I upgraded. :) 
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Approximate Purchase Date: This month
Budget Range: Approx. 1500$
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games (BF3, Skyrim, LoL), Movies, minor programming
Parts Not Required: I need everything. Oh wait, I have an optical drive.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Whatever's cheapest in Canada (Quebec)
Country of Origin: Canada
Overclocking: Not afraid of some minor overclocking
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
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Price isn't a huge concern, but value is. I like the idea of buying the best and future proofing, but in practice I never upgrade until the market entirely changes, anyways.
My main use of the computer is surfing the web, but obviously that's not very taxing. Gaming is the next critical usage. I'm not obsessed with playing on ultra settings but damn Eyefinity 3x monitor gaming looks sweet.

I've spent a while catching up, and this is what I've got planned so far. Please point out any critical errors or if anyone knows of some better deals.

CPU: i5 2500K - $219.69 - http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527
- Seems to be the de facto standard.

MoBo: ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 - $247.98 (w/shipping) - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
- I really hate that this is 60$ cheaper in the US. Grr. Extreme4 instead of Extreme3 for the extra USB3.0 ports and the 2x PCIe3.0 x8 if I upgrade to Ivy Bridge and crossfire 7xxx GPUs sometime. Ha ha.
Actually, question: Is the Z68 necessary? It looks like the P67 is cheaper, and I'm not going to use the tiny SSD feature or onboard video. What's the advantage?

Case: Coolermaster HAF X - $164.70 - http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC7104
- Feels like overkill and holy crap that thing is huge. What's the advantage over a similar mid-sized tower? Also, if I go with the HAF X, is there an easy way to tell if I'm buying the original HAF X with a passthrough USB3.0 connector or the newer one with internal connectors?

PSU: Silverstone Strider 850 Plus - $140.91 - http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=22170AC8961
- 850W in case I go Crossfire later.

RAM: No idea here.. looks like 8Gb will run about 50$. How relevant are timings/CAS, really?

SSD: Crucial M4 128Gb
- Already bought this because it looked like everyone agreed it was decent and there was a sale. :) 

HD: No thanks, I can live with my old HD until prices come back down.

GPU: Leaning towards buying a 6950, seeing how I like it, and buying a second for Crossfire sometime if I want more power. $250 now if I go that route.

Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO - $29.15 - http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/237385/RR%2D212E%2D20...

OS: Windows 7 Home - $95.79 - http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222137/GFC%2D02050/MI...

Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 - $5.28 - http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10460AC8077&v...

Mouse/Keyboard: My old mouse (mx1000 laser) has really annoying jumping issues, so if anyone has some suggestions for new ones, I'm all ears.

Monitor: Debating between 24" or 23" with Dell U2412M vs. U2312HM. I guess the difference is 1920x1080 vs. 1920x1200 and 160$. Is the extra inch worth it?

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So that's ~$1203 before tax without the monitor or peripherals.
Thanks in advance for your help! You guys are awesome.
November 11, 2011 2:25:28 AM

Any 8GB ram at 1.5V, 1600mhz, CAS Latency 9 will work. G. Skill, Corsair, Mushkin, or Kingston are your best bet - whatever is cheapest with those stats from those brands is what you should get.

If you're looking at buying the best quality parts, go with an Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic. Manufacturer does make a difference in PSU's and those are the best.

All the rest of your parts look great - quality build. Z68 is better, yes, but it's not a gigantic step up from P67. Then again, it's only about $30 more and I do think it's about $30 better so it's up to you. P67 is a good chipset. A quick google search of "Z68 vs. P68" will give you all the differences.
November 11, 2011 3:09:54 AM

Great build you made very well balanced and lots of room in your Case for future upgrades. As suggest 8GB Ram is good enough for gamers/multitaskers, G.Skill has some for around $45. Deffinetly change the PSU to an Antec brand
!