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Old 09-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please help a noob build a gaming PC

It's time to upgrade the gaming PC I built 2 years ago, and unfortunately that means replacing most of the parts. What needs to be replaced are the mobo, PSU, processor, video card, RAM and Hard drive. Basically all I'm keeping is the case and DVD drive.

My budget is $850 cash and a $200 gift card from future shop. Future shop is a pretty crappy store for computer hardware, but I can probably use the gift card at least for the Hard Drive. I live in Canada, so for the rest of the components I will most likely either buy from tiger direct, or from a nearby shop called greenlyph.

For the time being I intend to build a computer with only a single GPU and use the 19" 1600x1200 CRT that I have. However, down the road when I have more money I'd like to be able to throw in a second video card and replace my CRT with a pair of LCDs of similar resolution. Therefore it looks like I'll have to get a crossfire capable motherboard and an ATI card (at least according to the "common noob myths" thread).

Now, ideally I'd like to be able to run a game like Crysis at 30fps with maximum settings but that's a bit unrealistic for my budget. 30fps at medium settings might be reasonable though. I believe the below components can provide that, though I'm unsure.

If I were to use the below setup, would there be any significant bottlenecks? Conversely, are there any components that would simply be held back so much by the others that I might as well downgrade them and save my money? Are there any other questions I should be asking, and is there anything else I might need to know? Any suggestions that would either improve the build or save me some money would be very appreciated.

OCZ StealthXStream 600W ATX12V 20/24PIN Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black - $48.50

MSI K9A2 CF-F Motherboard - $121.99

AMD Phenom 9750 Quad Core Processor AM2 2.4GHZ 4MB 95W - $174.34

Palit Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E Video Card - $159.28

OCZ Reaper 4GB (2X2GB) PC8500 DDR2-1066MHz - $139.88

Seagate 500GB OEM SATA II Hard Drive - $0.00 ($99.99 paid for w/gift card)

Subtotal: $643.99
After tax: $727.71

The only thing that has to be shipped is the motherboard. I'm not sure how much that will cost but it couldn't be too much. It will certainly still be within my budget.

Thank you very much for your help.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

what about an os,case,and mabey a cpu cooler
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

Like I said, I'm keeping my old case. I don't need an OS, I'll just install off of an old windows cd. The CPU fan that comes with the chip should be good enough.
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

i would change the cpu to a intel e8400 e8500 or a q6600 and get a biostar p45/p43. ull get better performance and it will cost about the same.

NCIX.com - Buy Biostar TP43D2-A7 ATX LGA775 P43 DDR2 1PCI-EX 3PCI SATA2 HD Sound GBLAN CrossFireX Motherboard - TP43D2-A7 In Canada.

Biostar TP43D2-A7 Motherboard - Intel P43, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, Serial ATA in Canada at TigerDirect.ca


Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor HH80562PH0568M - 2.40GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield, Quad-Core, OEM, Socket 775, Processor in Canada at TigerDirect.ca
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

I could be wrong but i remember that line of PSUs being a bit dodgy. OCZ do make good PSUs but i think that particular line had problems (someone correct me if im wrong). You would probably be better off with a corsair vx550.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

ahh missed that, if i were u i would get a corsair 520
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by meat_helmet View Post
I could be wrong but i remember that line of PSUs being a bit dodgy. OCZ do make good PSUs but i think that particular line had problems (someone correct me if im wrong). You would probably be better off with a corsair vx550.
According to the power supply guide sticky, there is something wrong with the 700w model...
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

Quote:
Originally Posted by zedman3d View Post
According to the power supply guide sticky, there is something wrong with the 700w model...
Ahh thats what i was thinking then. Oh and i meant the vx520 earlier.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

you should wait a while and see the prices on the canadian newegg that is getting set up, i heard its very soon
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please help a noob build a gaming PC

Just out of curiosity, what makes the intel processors better than the AMD ones?

Also, NCIX appears to be doing a bit of false advertising on that mobo: It doesn't actually support crossfire (it only has one PCIe slot).

Biostar TP45 HP ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2OC 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 HD Sound GBLAN CrossFireX Motherboard Seems like it would do the trick. But I don't know how much I trust a Biostar motherboard. How is their quality, and how fast would the motherboard be compared to the one I was looking at?

There's also Asus P5Q Pro Atx LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E16 Crossfire 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound Gblan Esata Motherboard which seems to be reasonable.

But, intel processors seem to be more expensive than AMD ones. And from what I remember from building a computer 2 years ago, AMD processors were far superior to intel at equivalent clock speeds. It seems that that is no longer true now. A Q6600 Has the same clock speed (not that that means much) as a Phenom 9750 and is $25 more. Is it really that much better? And if I do go that route, will the motherboards I listed above slow me down compared to the MSI one in my OP?

With respect to the power supply, if the problems were only with the 700W OCZ models, does that mean I'm ok with a 600W one? Because Corsairs appear to be significantly more expensive. How does OCZ actually compare with Corsair?

About Newegg Canada: They've been "coming very soon" for years. If I wait around for them I'll have grandkids by the time I have a new PC.

Finally, I've updated a few of the things in my OP as I was able to find better prices at directcanada.com. I changed the video card from a Sapphire to a Palit, which was much less expensive and has good reviews on newegg. The processor changed from a Phenom 9600 to a 9750 that was $10 less. The one concern there is that there are two versions of the 9750 on the directcanada website - the 95W one I posted and a 125W one that is $43 more. Is the lower wattage a problem? Of course the point may be moot anyway if I decide to switch to intel, but I'd still like to know.

Thanks again for all your help.
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