My wife is gonna kill me!!!

After a few weeks of endless arguing I have finally convinced my wife into buying a new computer. I am basically starting from scratch as I am giving my little bro my old computer. My problem is that I have been getting really greedy as I read all the reviews and search for the parts. I have kinda thought of the following system, and then realized how far out of my price range it is... I have listed the prices in canadian dollars, and only from the one store that I have checked so far...

Hard Drive:
WD Raptor 10000 RPM SATA 74GB <--- $259

DDR 1024MB PC/3200 400Mhz <--- $265
--> I wasn't sure if it was better to go with two 512 sticks or what?? (should I be worried about brand name here??)

Video Card
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB DDR - Retail Box <--- $399

CPU (w/Heatsink & Fan)
AMD Athlon64 512 Socket 754 3200+ <--- $265

AMD Gigabyte GA-7N400P2 NF2 w/SATA,Raid,Lan <--- $145

Sound Card
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS <--- $125

Network Card
D-link 538TX 10/100 <--- $12

Panasonic 1.44MB Floppy Drive <--- $13
52x LG CDRW + DVD Combo <--- $64

I still really need help on the Case and the Fans/Heatsinks

TOTAL PRICE: $1537 (without monitor or case/fan)

I HAVE to have a final price tag that is less than this... does anyone have any suggestions. I am open to any kind of suggestions (including the "why didn't you go with ____ for the video card instead?")

I really want not only cost saving ideas but ideas on what I could do to improve this setup.

I use the system mostly for gaming, and that is the priority (games such as War Craft 3 just don't run good enough on my current system).

Let me know if I have gotten too carried away on anything, or if anything is somewhat lacking.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post
53 answers Last reply
More about wife gonna kill
  1. oops... i forgot the power supply as well... anyone have some suggestions... I am having some availability issues in Canada (not wanting to pay too much on shipping costs)
  2. Fortran 530watt

    <font color=red><pre>_____________________________________
    And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
    So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
  3. I don't think that A64 is gonna like a NF2 chipset. That's a socket A board, isn't it? Get the socket 939 MB and an A64 Winchester.

    Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
    Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
    Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
  4. try to go with a nforce3 mobo instead of nforce2

    DONT go with the 9800 pro 256mb, go with the 128, it performs equally and costs MUCH less. (make sure u get the 256 bit edition and not the 128)

    2 sticks of ram will b way cheaper than 1 stick, and u should shoot for, corsair, geil, ocz, crucial, pqi, or other very well known memory companies

    Homer: (crying) ahhh i dont remember the last time i cried like this!
    Lisa: When u put ur shirt on backwards
    Homer: (crying) o ya, (crying) the tag chafed my skin (crying)
  5. well, it is cheaper to do 2 sticks of ram against the 1 stick... but should I take this even further and go for 4 sticks instead of 2??
  6. 1.) you don't need a cheap network card, you'd might as well use the onboard network controller
    2.) You'll need a different board to support that processor, Gigabyte makes nForce3 boards too.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  7. the thing is with 4 sticks it is much more devastating to upgrade, seeing that u have to throw away 2 sticks to accomidate new ram. IIRC windows and games runs better with 2 sticks in dual channel than 4 sticks in dual channel.

    Homer: (crying) ahhh i dont remember the last time i cried like this!
    Lisa: When u put ur shirt on backwards
    Homer: (crying) o ya, (crying) the tag chafed my skin (crying)
  8. What is with the "ALL-IN-WONDER" part of the new Radeon 9800 pro??

    Is this really necessary?? All I need a video card for is good gaming (I don't need any TV stuff, or any kind of extras really at all, I don't think??)
  9. Ok, I think that I have realized I have made a pretty big mistake... I really don't think I know enough about all the hardware to make some educated decisions...

    Perhaps I should make use of the following PC maker tool for Canadians... tell me if it is a really big rip off, or if I really shouldn't do it...

    But if it looks ok, then maybe you could suggest which package I should take, and maybe some of the options I should change??

    Should I be using Intel or AMD for a gaming PC, cause they seem to make their gaming PC's Intel's??
  10. Do you really need Raptor? You can get a decent 7200 rpm, 8 MB buffer HDD which will perform almost as good as Raptor, but will cost much less per GB.

    Make sure that you get 2.2 GHz,512k L2 cahce A64 3200+, it's faster than 2.0 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache A64 3200+

    Get a nForce3 250 chipset based mobo, like MSI K8N Neo Platinum or Chaintech VNF3 250.

    A64 3200+ doesn't use dual channel memory, so there's no performance difference bewtween 2 x 512 MB and 1 x 1 GB. Get the cheaper solution.

    Don't buy 256 MB Radeon 9800 Pro. Radeon 9800 Pro isn't good enough to make proper use of 256 MB VRAM. Getting cheaper 128 MB Radeon 9800 Pro is a much better idea.

    Use Onboard LAN

    <font color=orange><b><A HREF="" target="_new">Rediscover the web</A></b></font color=orange>
  11. 4 sticks on the integrated memory controller could cause problems or at the very least cause the timings to have to be relaxed. Since it’s a single channel A64 get one stick for the extra cost, it’s worth the extra cost. You can then upgrade later if necessary without much problem.

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  12. You may want to really rethink your situation. First of all, yes you probably are being greedy. Its a very common issue. I just built my fist system and I know first hand what you are going through. I noticed that you havent bought a case yet. I am assuming that as nice of a system that you are thinking of, you will most likely want a nice case. #1 thats another significant cost, plus you need a case that is capable of upgrading and most importantly cooling.

    The other thing that I noticed is the cost of some of the parts that you had listed. You should shop around more. I ended up buying from 4 different online stores, and that is even considering bulk discounts on shipping. Some online stores that you can look at are Newegg, ZipZoomFly, Monarch, Excalibur, and PCclub. Those are just a few, and the last one I mentioned(pcclub) im not very familiar with. I know that they are high on some of their prices, but on others they are lower than most. I bought one of the new Shark series that Thermaltake produces $50.00 cheaper than some of the other stores. The other thing you may consider is that you could cut corners in some areas and then upgrade or add to those parts later. One example would be instead of spending that much money on a Hard drive, consider getting something to just get you by for now. I just bought a Maxtor 60GB IDE HD from Office depot for $64.00 but it has a $40.00 rebate. Thats $25.00 after the rebate. Im learning as I go when it comes to all the newer hardware, so I can't help much with the technical stuff. Oh Yea, almost forgot! If you had to convince your wife into letting you do this, keep in mind that the more you spend will give you at least two different outcomes. One would be a great computer. The other could be problems with your relationship. I dont know you or your wife, but I do know that most people dont forgive and forget very quickly. It would be hard to enjoy your new system if your fighting about it all the time. Best wishes to you on your new system. I know where you can find other rebates, if you want to send me a PM I would be happy to send them to you.
  13. Agree with mozz, shop around. I got most of my stuff from newegg, zipzoomfly and cdw for vid card to find best deals. can help find deals...

    i think your biggest problem is finding out just what to get your wife, for keeping things running cool and quite on the homefront...

    <font color=red><pre>_____________________________________
    And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
    So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
  14. Good point! :cool:
  15. One question. If money is the issue, why do you have the Audigy and the network card? And since there is integrated lan the network card is definitely not necessary. I’m very happy with my integrated audio and for the most part notice no difference. I would definitely redirect those funds towards video card purchase.

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  16. Well... I really need to thank everyone first. The help that everyone has been offering me is greatly appreciated. Especially the advice I have been getting via PM. Don't worry about my relationship, I will have to ask "the boss" about the new purchase before I make any decisions. But after much more help (especially from Imp) I have decided to change my specs a little, here is what I've got now:

    Athlon64 3000 $149
    Nforce4 motherboard $150 (estimated)
    Corsair 2 x 512 kit $158
    NVidia 6600GT $214
    Case and 500watt PSU ~ $50-150
    Seagate 120Gb sata2 Hard drive $94.50

    Total $820-920 US,

    I am going to try to use some of the online stores that you guys have suggested, but I am scared that they will not ship to canada. And if they do ship to Canada, will it cost me an arm and a leg in shipping??

    We will see...
  17. Schmide, I was under the impression that nothing "integrated" was ever good enough... but do many people use "integrated sound"??

    Cause if this is the case, you are right, that could save me some cash for sure.
  18. <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    I often find if ironic when people buy a high end audio card then use it with a crappy audio system. Unless you have a high end stereo system, $500+, you won’t notice a difference as the amp will add more harmonic distortion than the sound card.

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  19. Trust me, if this next statement is incorrect, someone will correct me. I think that its safe to say that integrated harware has come a long way in the last few years. I dont think that applys for video however. I don't know what you are expecting from your sound, but my onboard sound is fine for my purposes. I hope you didnt take me wrong on the relationship comment, thats the counselor coming out in me"Im a Psychology Grad student". When you find a piece of equipment that your interested in, you may try visiting the manufactures web site. Most of them give you links to resellers/retailers in your country.
  20. Your still high on the Corsair Ram. Which Corsair product are you looking at XMS?
  21. Oh, if you decide to get an Nforce4, the sound solution will be an external chip (on the motherboard but not on the northbridge chip) as the Nforce4 does not have integrated audio. It seems this external chip will be, at least on paper, a very high quality solution.

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  22. you might be able to some parts you want, like the RAM / GPU for cheaper on Ebay.

    I just got a 9800Pro (128mb 256bit) graphics card for £105 british pounds...don't no what the exchange rates are - but it's still CHEAP!

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Audio Sig</A>
  23. Ned, im not familiar with the symbol you used beside the 105, but I assume its the symbol for Pounds. If so, I think it would be around $195.00 US. BTW do you have the 9800 Pro? Im curious how much of a performance diff there is between it and the 9600XT
  24. Ok, sounds good... looks like I won't have to get an external sound card...

    Now my only problem is finding all this stuff... I wish Newegg shipped to Canada... I am having a heck of a time trying to find an equivalent type company in Canada.
  25. ingnore this post

    Homer: (crying) ahhh i dont remember the last time i cried like this!
    Lisa: When u put ur shirt on backwards
    Homer: (crying) o ya, (crying) the tag chafed my skin (crying)
  26. <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> ships to Canada. They are price comparable and as highly rated as Newegg. I have purchased and returned merchandise with them without incident. They were also the first to carry the 90nm A64s and are an AMD launch partner.

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  27. I mainly shop at and Both gives me excellent service.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  28. I havent tried those two, are they competive?
  29. I forgot that we were talking about Canada, so I would run into the shipping issue. Nevermind the last question.
  30. How hard is it to set up BIOS?? Should I be getting this done for me if I have never done it before??

    Because if this is difficult maybe I should just get one of the "combos" from

    So I guess I really have 2 questions:

    1) Is BIOS hard to set up??

    2) Is getting these "combo" deals that the websites set up a rip off??
  31. One wrong step and...KABOOM!!

    J/k, BIOS setup is a piece of cake for the most part, since you don't really have to touch most of the settings. (If you don't know what it does, leave it be, you don't need to change it)

    <font color=blue>The day <font color=green>Microsoft</font color=green> will make something that doesn't suck is the day they'll start making vacuum cleaners.</font color=blue>
  32. Quote:
    Ned, im not familiar with the symbol you used beside the 105, but I assume its the symbol for Pounds. If so, I think it would be around $195.00 US. BTW do you have the 9800 Pro? Im curious how much of a performance diff there is between it and the 9600XT

    There should be a nice performance increase, I should get the card in a day or two. I got it from a person with alot of good feedback.

    Ebay is really good, bargins a-plently! I also got 1gig of generic RAM (PC3200) for £100.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Audio Sig</A>
  33. Alright thanks Snorkius... I don't see any reason why I shouldn't give it a try then...

    But what about those "PC builders" where you piece together an entire PC on the website and get it delivered to you?? Has anyone found good deals with this?? Or is it mostly for newbies like me.
  34. Try I'm sure he'll build one for you.

    Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
    Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
    Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
  35. I have found lots of sites that will build me one, I have even found some sites that cater to Canadians. I am just wondering if they are a good deal?? Has anyone build a system using one of these "pc builders"??
  36. I build my own. The one nice thing about monarch is they charge a flat $50 fee and fees are shown upfront. This means you get the same prices as if you’re ordering stand alone parts. They also have a <A HREF="" target="_new">forum</A> so you can publicly ask questions before and after your perspective purchase and get an idea of customer issues and their resolutions. I would have purchased a combo but the 90nm A64 combos were not offered as a when I built my system. I still ended up basically ordering a whole system and am very satisfied. One sucky thing is they seem to be out of stock of most of the 6800 non ultra cards. ETA 11/23 or so. I priced it out and for the system you were putting together it came out between 1300-1450 us. Well at least with the options I would have chosen.

    I am in no way affiliated with monarch.

    Dichromatic for your viewing plesure...
  37. If you build it yourself, you can fix it yourself, and you are more in tune with it. Build it yourself.
    I buy most of my parts from <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>. Their prices are cheeper than U.S. sites, because there is no duty, or boarder hastles.
    What parts are you looking at now? Remember, availability is not so good in Canada.
  38. Where in Canada are you situated, if you are in Toronto, Waterloo or Kingston you could check out Canada Computers they have some of the best prices in Canada(I'm not sure if they ship). URL is - does ship all over Canada and has decent prices, almost as good as Canada Computers(Although they have better service than CC). They are situated in Kingston. has great prices but not sure if the ship., ships across Canada as well, many people have recommended them to me (although i have not personally used them, one person i know buys almost everything from them). They are based out of Montreal. Prices seem reasonable.

    The only thing that i truly know...

    is that i know nothing at all.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by peter21 on 11/17/04 11:21 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  39. try

    Take a nForce3 mobo because the nForce 4 mobos will be expensive upon release and their only real advantage will be PCI express (which isn't faster than AGP for current videocards) and SATA2 support (which isn't exactly a product the industry will use as next gen). Nforce 3 solution will e be cheaper. The 9800pro will perform great and will also be good Price/performance. If you don't overclock you don't need corsair ram which is more expensive. A networkcard will be onmobo and audio is also good on most mobo's. (mine has two network ports and a wifi card and digital audio out). try (quite cheap)

    MSI K8N NEO2 Platinum
    AMD A64 3500+ @ 10x250
    Corsair TwinX 2x512 mb PC4000 v3.3
    120 maxtor SATA
    Point of view 6800GT 256mb
    All Watercooled by Innovatek
  40. Wow, it's good to see that some other Canadians are on here, and are actually able to give me some good pointers on where to shop. I like knowing that you guys have actually tried some of these companies. I am beginning to learn that it is best to go with a Canadian company, just because shipping/border issues are too expensive (so much for free trade).

    But thanks wschuerm I think your suggestion about the nForce3 is a good one, this could potentially save me a bundle. I was just wondering how important the SATA2 support would be for future upgrades??

    As well... if the corsair ram is too expensive does someone have a better option?? A better recomedation, because I will not be overclocking (mostly because I don't know how, but also it would probably be unnecessary for my use).
  41. As well, I had thought about getting the Seagate 120Gb SATA2 HD. So would this make the Nforce4 a good buy?? Or are both the HD and the Nforce4 overkill??
  42. Just going to mention it here, since i just had to figure out how to get my 4x512mb ddr rams work on my GA-K8NSNXP-939, you have to change the command rate to 2T.
  43. If you are looking for a decent Canadian company with ok prices, you can try They just opened up in a city near you. Staff are very good. At least they are in my town.

    I know what I'm doing, I never lose. Can I borrow $5.
  44. <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> is really good.

    Keep an eye out on the surprise sale section. Sometimes there are insanely good prices! For example, this weekend:
    ATHLON 64 3200+ CPU SOCKET 754 RETAIL BOX is $218
    ATHLON 64 3400+ CPU SOCKET 754 RETAIL BOX is $258

    Those are Canadian prices.

    I live in Edmonton, and I get all my parts from their Edmonton locations.

    "A delayed game will eventually come out, a bad game is bad forever."
    -Shigeru Miyamoto
  45. Hey cool, I live in edmonton also. I usually do a lot of my computer shopping at a- computers. You should check them out, they are pretty good. But I think I am really starting to like bcom after I reviewed there price list. They seem to be pretty comparable, but I think bcom has a better selection. And I have had availability issues with a- computers before.

    Now I just wish that great sale was for a 939 socket.
  46. So just to give an uptade for what I am thinking now is this:

    Athlon64 3000 or 3200 (which one should I choose guys, is it worth the extra cost??)

    Nforce3 motherboard (or maybe Nforce4 if someone convinces me a little more on the PCI and SLI)

    Corsair 2 x 512 kit (I know this is expensive and maybe not necessary, as I am not OCing, but I don't really know the "next best" option, so I am open for suggestions here)

    NVidia 6600GT (am not 100% secure about this either)

    Seagate 120Gb sata2 Hard drive (is the SATA2 necessary??)

    Ok, well after reading this post it is clear that I am just getting more and more confused about what to do. I guess I just need some reassurance, or some corrections in a few places and I will be on my way to the market place (unless I have to wait for the Nforce4.
  47. I'd get the Athlon 3000. I don't think it's worth it to spend that much more to go to 3200.

    "A delayed game will eventually come out, a bad game is bad forever."
    -Shigeru Miyamoto
  48. Yep... ok, i think i have decided on the 3000, and on the Nforce3 over the more expensive and yet unavailable Nforce4 (even with the more future friendly features).
  49. Quote:
    Ok, sounds good... looks like I won't have to get an external sound card...

    I would personnaly not buy an external sound card, because most Audio Codec are just fine for Stereo or 5.1 output. If I were you, I would not buy an Audigy and use the on-board audio for a while. Then, if you are not satisfied with it, go out and buy an Audigy.

    Many new MB even comes with digital output (coax or optical), so the important thing is to have a good amplifier/decoder, since your MB is only "feeding" your external component.

    A7N8X / <font color=green><b>Sempron 2800+</b></font color=green> <- <i>Is this affecting my credibility?</i>
    Kingston DDR333 2x256Megs
    <font color=red>Radeon 8500 128Megs</font color=red> @ C:275/M:290 <- <i>It's enough for WoW!</i>
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