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Building a Canadian Computer (SOLVED Jun 30, 2007)

RhevikRhevik Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
It's my first time building a computer, and everything will be new because the only thing I own is a laptop. I'm using Ars Technica's Hotrod as the basis, but I'm certainly open to other ideas...

I'd like to keep the grand total close to 1800 CAD. It's definitely going to be a gaming machine, though, so I want high-quality stuff. Using NCIX, Anitec, and Memory Express (ME), this is what I've got so far:

(NOTE: see my latest post for the hardware I actually purchased.)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (Anitec - $259.95)

Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe (Anitec - $209.96)

RAM: 2GB PC2-6400 OCZ ATI Crossfire RAM (NCIX - $119 w/ $40 rebate)

Video Card: EVGA GEFORCE 8800GTS 320MB (ME - $329.95 w/ $20 rebate)

Sound Card: X-FI Xtreme Gamer (ME - $109.95 w/ $33 rebate)

Case: Coolermaster Centurion 534 ATX (Anitec - $55.95)

Power Supply: Corsair 620W CMPSU-620HX (ME - $169.95 w/ $20 rebate)

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB 16MB Cache (ME - $89.95)

DVD Drive: Pioneer DVR-212D (Anitec - $39.95)

Monitor: Acer AL2216 WBD (Anitec - $275.95)

Speakers: Logitech R20 2.1 Black 20W RMS (Anitec - $29.95)

OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional OEM (Anitec $159.95)

Keyboard: Aopen Black KB-858 PS/2 (NCIX - $10)

Mouse: Microsoft Wheel USB Mouse (Anitec - $13.95)

Total (without rebates): $1874.45 (CAD)

Total after rebates: $1761.45 (CAD)

So now on to the help part. o_O

-Do I really need that much power? Ars Technica says no (suggesting a Fortron/Sparkle 450W would be more than enough), but I've read a lot of stuff in the stores' forums saying maybe yes/maybe no.

-Is the GEFORCE 8800 GTS 640MB worth getting? I want this thing to last me a long time, but is an extra $90-110 (depends on rebates) worth spending just for that?

-I was hoping to find the cheapest memory available, and after rebates, that OCZ definitely is, but would it be worth my while to spend an extra $50 on Kingston, or is OCZ a good brand?

-The other thing is the sound card. I, personally, don't think I'll need one. The Twice and Future computer thread here tells me I probably won't need one. Just about everything else I've looked at tells me my ears will bleed if I don't buy one. :roll: Since I'm only buying 2.1 speakers anyway, do I really need a sound card? (I know next to nothing about all things audio, just so you know.)

If there's anything that catches your eye as being glaringly wrong or worrisome (lack of cooling, crappy components, anything...), I'd really appreciate the heads-up!

Rhevik on


  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The power will be useful if you later upgrade the parts. Like, lets say there comes a graphics card that just blows everything away later that you want to get... but it does require that much power. It's a lot cheaper to buy one power supply that's a little excessive than buying one that's fine, then buying another one later.

    The graphics card should be fine for you, unless you're playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. with 4x anti-aliasing on 1280x960 with all graphics settings all turned up to the max, and view distance dialed all the way up, so unless you're really going to be throwing crazy shit at the card, it should be fine, and it should run things you want it to run. Also, it should last a while, and when it does burn out or you want to replace it, you'll be able to upgrade it then.

    Personally, the first thing I look for in a computer is the sound card... but I'm a professional musician who basically lives and dies by sound quality. Still though, a bad sound card, from what I've heard, can really destroy the experience. No sound card... I don't even want to think about it, eh.

    Khavall on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Don't worry about the soundcard. If you aren't buying 5.1 speakers, then you really shouldn't worry about it. Your onboard audio should work just fine.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    With $30 speakers I wouldnt worry about a $100 sound card. You'll see at most a 1-2% performance increase with hardware sound. You are better off putting that $100 into more videocard/processor

    Weretaco on
    Unofficial PA IRC chat: #paforums at
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    If you want a good case, I suggest the Antec 300(900?), it is what I currently use and the fan power in it is awesome.

    Personally I wouldn't get a GeForce card, mainly because I've had bad luck with their stuff (specifically, them refusing to support the 7900 with Vista). As well, search for benchmarks for the cards you are buying versus cheaper versions and similarly priced ATI cards, you might find some surprises.

    Comahawk on
  • RhevikRhevik Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Antec case looks like it's a bit out of my price-range...

    I think I will nix the sound card (sorry Khavall...), and I was told that with a 22" monitor running at its default 1680x1050, I will want the 640MB video card. So right now I'm looking at making that switch, as well as downgrading the PSU to a 520W (still extra power, but not as expensive).

    If no one sees any stability problems with this, though, I think I'll be good to go. 8-)

    Rhevik on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I totally understand the nixing of the sound card. I just can't fathom doing it myself on any computer.

    Khavall on
  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    If you play any games that use voice chat you should consider keeping the sound card. It's very nice to be able to have game sound coming from your speakers and Vent/Teamspeak come out your headset.

    harvest on
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    harvest wrote: »
    If you play any games that use voice chat you should consider keeping the sound card. It's very nice to be able to have game sound coming from your speakers and Vent/Teamspeak come out your headset.

    Can also cause horrible feedback that will make your teammates scream in agony.

    Comahawk on
  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    let me try:

    first of all. Memory Express will price match most NCIX prices unless it's a rebate they don't also offer, I suggest you order all from one place to save on shipping. they'll match ncix's return policies and stuff in turn though, too. if you can id suggest getting case and speakers and monitor local and everything else from NCIX

    2nd of all, make sure you're looking at NCIX's weekly sales page. the prices there are different from the regular listings. lots of the prices you've provided are lower there

    cpu: July 22 the prices on Quad Cores drop. You can get a Q6600 (same clock speed as E6600) for the same price you're paying now. otherwise I'd probably drop back a little to like an E6420 and then easily overclock the difference and beyond, even with stock cooling

    do you need any of the specific feature of the deluxe mobo? if not get the vanilla. but INSTEAD, get the P5K vanilla, as the P5B is the older chipset and not as fast.

    you didnt look hard enough for ram prices. You can get 2GB PC6400 @ 4-4-4 timings by OCZ for $87 after rebate. NCIX sale page. I got everyone I know to order some.

    good video card. the higher mem version would be ideal if you're using things like AA and AF, or gaming at higher resolutions.

    drop the sound card until you've decided the onboard isnt good enough

    case: meh, it'll do. But I'd get an Antec Solo / 900 / P182 / Sonata III

    excellent power supply

    good HDD - but what's your plan in case of failure? you need some sort of regular backup for it

    get a SATA optical. you dont want to be using a big fat ugly ribbon cable plugged into some 3rd party controller on the mobo. LG's would be the same price as IDE models @ ~$38

    pretty much all 22"s use TN panels which are not very good IMO. Also they're no higher in resolution than the 20"s. Id personally rather get a high quality 20" like the Dell 2007 WFP, or bump up to a 24" proper (dell/benQ)

    those speakers are shite and you're better off finding whatever headphones you have around the house ors omething at a garage sale. at the very least get Logitech's X line, better yet get something from the Z line.

    OS: if dumping the previous PC, transfer the licence for windows XP over from it. don't buy another copy until you definitely can't get it activated first

    mouse and keyboard: both bottom of the barrel. I'd get logi parts for both even if you still want low end from them

    Deusfaux on
  • RhevikRhevik Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Okay, due to pretty great Canada Day sales, I went out and purchased everything. This is a mish-mash of the advice you guys have offered and stuff I got from Ars Technica, but here 'tis:

    -Intel E6600 (257.98 only $20 more than the E6420, which is why I stuck with it)

    -eVGA GEFORCE 8800GTS 640MB (389.98)

    -ASUS P5K Motherboard (156.98)

    -Corsair 520W PSU (99.98)

    -OCZ Platinum 2GB RAM (87.99)

    -Seagate Barracude 500GB HD (119.98)

    -Pioneer 212-D DVD writer (39.98)

    -Antec Solo (although I haven't actually grabbed this yet, as I'll be purchasing it local)

    That came with a free mousepad, too. Can't complain. ;-)

    Monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers I'm also going to grab local, so that I can actually expose myself to them and pick something I really like.

    Thanks for your guys' ideas!

    Rhevik on
  • gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Looks good

    gneGne on
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