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New PC for gaming and home media


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Well, the last year I've really started playing pc games as stress relief but we only have one laptop and it has its issues.

 

So I am planning on getting a new PC to hook up to my TV as a (budget) joint home media/gaming pc.

 

I've done some research and figured out the following:

 

I5 - 3570k Processor

16 gb ddr3 ram (if possible in my budget)

128 gb ssd for OS and currentgames

500 - 750 gb HD for media/other programs

Two optical drives (haven't decided on DVD or if I should get one as blu-ray as well)

 

Cooling is an issue as all my computers have over heating issues in my house (no air conditioning and lots of dust) as well as noise as I intend for this to replace my dvd player.

 

I'd like a lay down tower (whatever they are called) or even a square one (???) to fit in my entertainment center.

 

But I'm stuck on graphics cards.  I plan on using Nividea (staying away from AMD as every AMD device I've had has had overheating problems) but keep getting conflicting messages over what card I can get that fits in my price range and is still adequate.  My budget is about $900 - any suggestions of what I shoud be looking for?  Am I out to lunch with what I am lookign for/what I have to spend?  I'd like to be using this for games for the next few years, recognizing that obviously I wouldn't be running them on max settings.

 

Any online stores I should be looking at?  I have found computer in my price range but they either have too powerful a processor and too weak a graphics card or other similar issues (plus, no dual optical drives).

 

Any other suggestions?

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My optical drive is eating dust, it does nothing. If you got a decent internet connection, everything goes over the internet, especially over Steam. I like to buy games that are around 1 year old and get them for 75% off in Steam. So I suggest just getting one optical drive, unless you want to see films on blu-ray -and- burn DVD's. In that case buying a blu-ray player and dvd burner would be the cheapest, I believe blu-ray burners are expensive (al thought they can burn and read DVD too).

 

I also hooked up my pc to the TV, it's awesome. I just bought a 10 meter HDMI cable on Amazon for almost nothing and it works great since there is no separated audio cable needed and Windows recognizes the (extra) display. You can buy almost the cheapest HDMI cable you like because the signal is digital, meaning: or the tv gets it or it doesn't, there is no quality disappearing with distance or cheap connectors as with analogue. If your tv does not have HDMI, I would say: get a new one, it's not worth the hassle getting that working.

 

I also suggest buying two wireless Xbox controllers. One with a PC receiver and the other can just be a standard wireless one. You can hook up to 4 controllers this way. Why Xbox controllers? It works great under windows and most games support it right out the box. Why two controller? The more people, the better, it's pity thought that split-screen games are not big (yet) on PC games, but there are some nice ones out there, looking at you Portal 2.

 

Choosing a video card is always a lot of comparing work, my advise would be to just set a price that you feel comfortable with and see what you can get for it. Then you will take a look at a videocard just priced above and below this price and see if it is worth it to you.

 

If cooling is a problem you could take a look at something like the Antec three hundred case. It has at the front a big dust filter which only has to be vacuum cleaned once a week. I also got this case and for cooling its great, the disadvantage is that you can hear it because of the fans (I bought extra) at the front. So for a media center/pc right next to the TV it will be annoying watching films and hearing the fans scream during silent scenes, no pun intended. :)

 

A SSD is a very good choice, my PC runs like a kitten in the trunk because of it, if you know what I mean. I bought a 64GB model, which is just enough for Windows only, since I want a few GB free space to keep it 'spinning' smoothly and make my most used programs start fast. It's difficult to say if 128GB will be enough for games, windows and favourite programs... AAA games are huge these days.

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Ugh. Bad time for computer buying due to increasing ram prices. But make sure to get some deals and won't be too bad.

Mahdi says his budget is $900 (for just tower I assume, which is a high budget, which means good quality parts possible).

Sadly I havn't done any research on intel/nvidia (I'm amd).

I'm sure the overheating issues you've had were laptops, and they were bad for amd. But shouldn't be any problems on properly ventilated desktops (Mine has 8 fans, no problems even when 30+ Celsius room temperature).

 

Places I shop fr computer stuff:

newegg.ca

http://www.memoryexpress.com/ <-has really good price matching

http://www.ncix.ca/

dell.ca (mostly for electronic accessories+monitor)

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/hot-deals-f9/  <-- great place for canadian deals. electronics household items etc. I've spent $1000+ due to the deals found here.

monoprice.com for cables. It's US based, just make sure to order $20 at most, use canada post, and quite cheap, good quality.

 

You're looking at around $100 (before taxes) for 128gb SSD.

I highly suggest getting a 256gb SSD. I got one last November and I have easily 'filled' it with steam games. Basically just OS+some basic apps+steam. Games are much faster running from SSD. Although if on budget 128gb is fine and there are programs to move your steam games back and forth from ssd->hdd. Don't fill SSD past 90% (you could temporarily) if you want to maintain higher speeds and longevity.

Actually just get 128gb and can upgrade to 256gb at end of year or later when prices go down. Sadly their prices are the same as October 20 2012 (unlike jan 2012-october 2012 prices dropped in half).

 

HTPC is great idea, everyone is doing that nowadays. You can still hook up a monitor to the htpc as well (run both tv+monitor at same time). I have 2 computers in the house and both are hooked up to tv+monitor.

Don't know if you have satellite or not, but could get rid of that to save $. Just use a OTA antenna to hook into tv, or possibly a tv tuner for computer to watch on computer/tv. I get cbc/ctv/global. Was spending $900 a year on satellite, now only $7.99 a month (96/year) for netflix. So ~$800 per year saved (which I spent on new tv and surround sound).

 

Due to ram prices sucking, if you can find 2x4gb ram for good price at good speed just get that and get the other 2x4gb black friday/boxing day.

I have 8gb ram and never 'use' it all. Although it is always full with cache.

 

 

500 - 750 gb HD for media/other programs

 

You'll be wanting a 2tb drive. Why? Because 2tb sell for ~$80. 500gb sell for $40(?). Cost per gb wise 2-3tb is best bet.

I really suggest 2 hard drives at least (although you can just buy more later). I have 1tb cav black for my active non stop use. I have data/games/music/unwatched movies+tv, use it for torrents, and lots of stuff on it. I then use 2x1tb cav green, 2tb seagate, 1tb 2.5" for archival storage and backup.

 

 

Two optical drives (haven't decided on DVD or if I should get one as blu-ray as well)

 

Why 2 optical drives? I've never heard that before. If you have dvd collection just rip them to your hdd later so no more messing with discs if you want to watch something.

dvd drives are ~$20 (although last week newegg had one for $12 freeship).

bluray readers are ~$60-80 I think. Unless you have a blu ray collection to watch, I'd just get dvd for now. As bluray prices will drop (black friday etc).

 

2 of my friends use these fancy desktop cases:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204035

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204037

 

Check to make sure how much clearance room you have so it will fit on your entertainment center.

The bigger version the better as easier to fit all parts inside. Also can sometimes be issue with cpu heatsink/fan, or trying to fit in large video card. Thus larger case = better.

The quality on the case is not perfect (but for price when on sale not much other products better), I think both friends esata on front didn't work.

Difficult to find fancy side case without paying through the nose.

 

I use antec 300 for my desktop (stand up). cheap, lots of room inside. Could lay on its side but dvd/bluray wouldn't work since sideways.

 

For motherboard make sure usb3 and sataIII

usb3 sticks are cheap nowadays (also every external hdd comes with usb3) and usb3 is much faster than usb2 (try copying 15gb to your usb stick on usb2 will take forever).

SataIII 6.0gbps is futureproofing for SSD to get max speed (sequential reads/writes).

 

 

Any online stores I should be looking at?  I have found computer in my price range but they either have too powerful a processor and too weak a graphics card or other similar issues (plus, no dual optical drives).

 

You are buying a prebuilt desktop? :(

If from staples/future/bestbuy the parts inside are low quality.

Will be difficult to meet your specs (mostly fancy case and ssd) if buying prebuilt. Everywhere overcharge for SSD if prebuilt computer.

 

There is a lot of research to do if building your own computer. But once you know how and get the parts, and after your first build it will seem easy.

 

How powerful your video card can help determine what power supply wattage to get. I get by on 380 watts with 1ssd/2hdd+1optical+8fans+amd6670 vid card. You'd probably want 500 watts at least, and if you can get a certified 80plus version it will be more energy efficient.

 

A lot to read sorry, but if any questions feel free to ask.

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Had to make another post for D2k Sardaukar since my other one was too big.
It's like we're twins! Same thoughts exactly.
I agree with d2k saudukar that optical is dieing. I use mine about once a month at the most (old games). Rarely burn anything since hdd are so cheap for storage.

For hdmi cables don't pay more than $1 per foot. monoprice has super cheap cables, just get $20 worth of cables, probably $15 for shipping, and cheaper than buying anywhere else. Can take 2 weeks to arrive though.
Monoprice is also where I bought 5 OTA antennas. Currently on sale.
Mahdi use http://www.tvfool.com/ to see what channels you can get. If get tv tuner for PC can record tv shows from antenna etc.

I hear xbox controllers are good for steam etc. I bought a playstation logitech controller couple years ago never opened it, since none of my games so far required a controller.

Make sure to get a wireless keyboard/mouse!
Highly recommend Logitech MX5500 ($100 on sale). The mouse is big, but you'll get used to it (2 friends use it). If just want cheap keyboard/mouse to start with get logitech Mk320 which normally goes on sale for $25. I suggest putting receiver on front of case, or have usb extension cord coming from back and have in line of sight of keyboard/mouse for best reception.

Vid cards are difficult to choose. I ended up with amd 6670 just because it was the highest vid card before you needed dedicated power from PSU. It works great with my games, although I don't have any brand new high quality games to play. If on steam just get older games for 75% off ($2.50-$5), and that will keep you busy forever, and can get newer games when they get older and cheaper (plus fully patched etc).

D2k Sardaukar: I have antec300 as well. great case. Bought a spare second one when on sale for $34 including taxes a year ago. Dust filter works great on front, and I have another dust filter on side intake fan. GET COMPRESSED AIR TO CLEAN COMPUTER. omg that has changed everything for me. Extremely easy to clean with compressed air cans. Costco sells 6 pack cheap. Can should last 4 cleans or more. Once every 2-3 months. I think you got pets mahdi so do more often and make sure fan filters on any intake fans.

 

I also got this case and for cooling its great, the disadvantage is that you can hear it because of the fans (I bought extra) at the front. So for a media center/pc right next to the TV it will be annoying watching films and hearing the fans scream during silent scenes, no pun intended.

 

Just get quiet fans. and not loud. I really only hear it when no other noise in room. When watching movie/tv/music I don't notice it.

I originally bought scythe fans for my antec (2 front, 1 side). Still work fine. Although since then have stocked up in other more expensive fans. With anti vibration mounts. The original 140mm fan that came antec 300 was causing top of case to vibrate making noise, so I added Nexus SFM-1000 Silicon Fan Mounts, which eliminated most noise. Highly recommend them. Better than screws :) Try touching top of antec case to see if you notice noise difference, that's how I figured out what the problem was after installing a new 140mm fan and was still noisy.

I have 2 included antec 300 fans set on lowest speed, unless in summer when 25+Celsius or 20+ and playing games.

SSD is a requirement for any computer nowadays in my opinion. You can have a brand new computer, but if only have hdd, it will run the same speed as a 4+year old computer with ssd.
Yah, new AAA games are like 20gb installed. http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover]Steam mover can help move games back and forth from hdd to ssd

I use XMBC to watch movies/tv shows. VLC as well, but xbmc organizes everything and gets info about stuff.

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Good call on the USB 3.0, you certainly want that. If you make a backup onto an external HDD (which should also have USB 3.0), USB 3.0 is the way to go. It's so much faster. I believe even some USB 2.0 HDD's work a little faster on USB 3.0.

 

Wireless keyboard and mouse combo also good idea. You might want to check also the speed of the connection, in the old days wireless mouse and keyboard were much slower ...

 

I don't use compressed air, I use an expensive bike pump with a small nozzle, works decent.

 

True words on the SSD. :)

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My budget is $900 before tax, give or take - I believe I said that in my first post. 

 

I'd like to build my own but am a little iffy on it - I know nothing at all  about mother boards and power supplies and sound cards (as in, even less than I know about processors, ram, and video cards) and wouldn't want to buy a motherboard that doesn't work with the power supply and neither work with the case.  Then there are things like usb and card readers - are they pre built in the case?  Seperate devices to order?

 

I like the idea of dual optical drives for dvd viewing. My wife is disabled and on bad days (multiple days a week) can't move and watches dvds from the library.  Dual optical drives means fewer trips she (or more likely me, called out from my office) have to make to change disc's.  But it is a luxury not a necessity. 

 

I don't need any peripherals. I use a wireless logitech game pad for controllers and have a logitech illuminated wireless keyboard and my trackball for the rest.

 

I have never spent more than $7.50 on a game, also buying them on 75-90% deals on steam.

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You could use Handbrake software to rip all the dvd you own and put on hdd. Then you never have to use dvd optical.
Each DVD works out to be around 800mb-1.2gb in size for normal quality using handbrake. So 100 dvd = 100gb. All sorted in XBMC with info and knows which ones you've watched. Can pause 1/2 way through movie, shut down computer, and xbmc remembers where you were.

Don't need soundcard, it comes on motherboards by default.

Some cases will have a small card reader, which you wire onto the motherboard. You can get dedicated full card readers for $20.

You have netflix? I havn't used it myself, but my parents and nephew use it all the time. Seems to have good selection (I know it sucks compared to states), but for $8/month can't complain.

Will have lots more to write later tonight, going to work.

 

EDIT tonight: I think takes 15 min to rip dvd using handbrake, but I'm not sure since it has been 2 years.

USB comes on motherboard. The USB plugs on the case come with case, and they come with wires to plug into the motherboard.

I now notice you mention DVD from 'the library' (I heard they have good selection of dvd nowadays). Hmm, tough decision about what to do with 'rented' dvd. Do you have netflix? Could do 1 dvd at a time and the rest netflix or other streaming services. But DVD drives are $20, so not expensive to have 2 DVD players. Most motherboard have 5-6 sata ports. So with 2 optical, 1ssd, 1hdd, you have 1-2 port(s) unused for now.

 

Also, CBC/CTV/Global put recent tv episodes on their website to watch.

Small/poor quality selection of free youtube movies:

http://www.youtube.com/user/YouTubeMoviesCA/videos?view=26&tag_id=&sort=dd

There's a couple good movies on their among the obvious crap. I'm into Japanese anime and Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis was great.

 

When I built my first desktop I spent about 40 hours researching stuff, and figuring out what to get, then waited for sales. So it is not real easy to start (wikipedia helped a lot).

 

forgot the worst thing about building your own is where to get windows isntallation? Pay >$100 for it? Maybe easier to buy prebuilt then. $900 prebuilt could get something decent. I know the $500 desktops are filled with crap case/psu and parts. But if you want fancy case I havn't seen staples/futureshop selling them. And then having to buy own ssd to install windows that comes with prebuilt (do they even allow you to burn backup of os anymore?).

 

EDIT:

WTF?

So I went looking at futureshop to look at desktops. $800 for this piece of garbage. Last November/December I could have built something faster/better for $400...

I'm guessing a price error or something as another $800 desktop had normal specs for the price (only 300 watt PSU??? lol).

Any local geek friends you could pay $100 to build you a $800 before tax computer?

 

EDIT: staples desktops seem better speced/priced than futureshop.

Later maybe I'll 'build' a desktop from an online retailer to see what I can get for $900.

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Hey Andrew,

 

$900 is what I want to spend - I can afford more I just would rather spend it on other things so if to get what I need I have to go up a bit I can do it.

 

I am a Netflix subscriber - have been for a year and a half or so.  USe it mostly for TV shows but even thier the number I am interested in is dwindling   Hopefully they get a content bump soon.

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So in 10 minutes I went to newegg and threw together a computer real fast. Not including fans/cables/OS:

total+tax+shipping came to $724.50

I didn't even look for sale items or price match etc, so you can take $100-150 off if you wait for sales. Went with AMD since I know nothing of intel/nvidia. Used same PSU+case that I have since I know they work.

Probably looking at $50-75 for cables and fans (at least for antec 300 you can add 3 fans).

 

http://imgur.com/keDWVYw

 

forgot card reader, so add $20 to total ($15+tax/shipping).

I suppose you could swap the antec 300 for nmediapc 7000B htpc case for around $20 more.

 

If you want a fancy sideways case it is highly unlikely you can have 2 dvd drives. Most only have room for 1 optical drive. But worst case you spend $30 on external dvd burner.

 

Should remove your steam id, so bots or whatever don't add you (does steam have spammer/bots on it?) :)

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Kinda weak processor isn't it?  I don't see graphics card either.

 

I have two spots for the computer.  

 

5.5 Tall

26 Wide

16 Deep (closed back very little airflow)

 

Or

 

13.5 Tall

15.5 Wide

19.5 Deep (open back so better airflow)

 

Otherwise it has to sit outside my entertainment center so an extra few bucks to fit it in is the way to go.  I also only see a couple usb slots, and they are 2.0 on the case you recommended?

 

Edit again:  I see that harddrive is a sale price - any idea when it ends?  I don't see an end date on it....

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Kinda weak processor isn't it?  I don't see graphics card either

It was a CPU+GPU all in one (cpu comes with gpu on the cpu). I was surprised at the low price of the motherboard I picked.

 

Another example build. I changed the cpu/motherboard to different type. Which requires separate vid card (I used the one I have).

Added card reader and changed case. I can tell you the SSD is $24 overpriced. HDD around $10 overpriced. Not sure on the rest.

 

http://imgur.com/3iF5FXa

$956.79

 

As for the processor in first build. quad core 3.8ghz isn't slow. At least for doing normal stuff (even multitasking) you shouldn't notice any difference. I have amd 1055t 6 core 2.8ghz processor I got 3(?) years ago for ~$180. Don't think I ever max it out for anything. Probably better off with quad core with higher ghz per core. Nothing wrong with decent quad cores. I know some people will say intel cpu are better and amd are crap, and I'm sure technically intel are faster, but amd are better speed per $ spent (more budget oriented, and budget not in a bad meaning). Although I don't really care, I researched amd, and to research intel+nvidia would take a while (since I already know amd, don't need to know intel in detail).

 

My 6670 vid card I can play Far Cry 3 on medium settings. Although I usually don't play new AAA games, this was free. No where near top of line gaming card, but good enough for casual gaming. No problems with any steam games I've purchased/played. The higher end the GPU the more PSU watts you need, and possibly more cooling if playing on max settings for AAA games.

 

Worms revolution free weekend on steam. I love free weekends.

 

As for buying win7, I'm not sure how that works if you can just buy the $100 oem version from online retailer. example

I'm guessing so based on the reviews.

 

EDIT: oops picked wrong ssd. Subtract ~$10 from total in picture of new build.

As far as I'm concerned the first build cpu+motherboard is much better deal than the second build I made. Cost $100 less for almost same speed (same speed vid card, basically get for free with cpu). You do go from 4 core to 6 core, but I don't think you'd benefit $100 worth. Spending $100 more to get 256gb ssd better.

 

Forgot to try 8gb ram sticks, if motherboard supports 32gb ram (4x8gb). Buy 1 8gb stick, then as prices drop lots can go up to 32gb. Instead of using 4gb sticks. I screwed myself with 2gb sticks. 4x2gb=8gb, and my motherboard supports 16gb I think. So I basically have to sell/throw out my 2gb sticks if I want to max out at 16gb on my motherboard.

 

Again I'm just quickly throwing builds together. Sadly doesn't seem like many good computer deals recently.

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Using yours as a base and keeping some of the same things and changing the others I ended up with the attached design, but with no case because I am really lost looking at them.  Any thoughts?

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One more try for the attachment....

 

Edit:  I bought the portal games and Spore on today's deals.  Never played any of them.

 

Edit again:  I used intel again because I found it easier to do research on them and follow there chip progression.  The i5-3570k I settled on as being the most recommended for gaming without starting to spend big money on minor differences.  It is quad core, not 6 or 8 like the i7's so I am ok going with AMD equivalent to i5-3570k it's jsut that every amd I have ever had has had overheating problems while the one intel I've had  never had that issue.

 

Also, I am playing mostly AAA games because I only started playing recently and am picking them up on cheap.

 

Skyrim, Batman Arkham games, Assasins creed 1, 2, brotherhood, darksiders 1 + 2, sonic generations, portal 1 + 2, and spore is my current "collection".

computer parts.pdf

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2 things about that build:

1. You'll need a bigger PSU due to vid card. From manufacturer: up to 150W1 additional 6 pin PCIe power required.

 

Doing a quick search 600w psu:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

Although I' not sure how to make sure it meets "150W1" 6 pin connector. 1 reviewer mentions they used nvidia 650 graphics card and it worked.

 

2. The SSD you picked is a slow/cheap version.

This is brand new version from Crucial, surprised it is priced the same as old/stable M4.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148693

If not this one has great reviews, I have 256gb version.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442

 

Having a large vid card decreases the chance of fancy sideways case (more difficult to fit in and keep cool). Also with sideways case there is no place for card reader.

 

About case:

The antec 300 is the simplest to get. I use it, D2k Sardaukar, uses it. Has most reviews on newegg. Lots of room inside and lots of places for fans. Not fancy, and wouldn't be able to place on its side for dvd.

For our hypothetical build, I'd just add the antec 300 to newegg basket for now. The main downside to antec 300 is the hdd drive bays. Newer cases have side loading hdd bays so you can open case and quickly remove/add hdd.

A quick look shows this has the easy load hdd.

 

The most difficult/scary part of building computer is attaching cpu to motherboard and attaching heatsink to cpu. When I did it I watched vids etc. But in the end it was quick and easier than I thought.

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It's not fancy that I am concerned about - I don't want  lights or the like - but the antec won't fit in either of the locations I have for it, is only usb 2.0, and only has 2 usb ports and no card reader, unless I can put in a usb 3.0 and card reader in the front somehow it doesn't match my needs, and still I couldn't keep it with my tv unless I put it on top of the entertainment Centre, which I guess is possible.

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http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147189

Decent ssd deal for $165 freeship. Usually better to wait for 256gb to go on around this price than to pay $100 for 128gb. Because by the time you format ssd you lose room (just like hdd, they advertise 1tb, but you only get like 960gb usable.). Also don't want to fill ssd over 90% (so it maintains speed and nand doesn't wear out as fast). And after OS/apps installed, you'd only have like 60gb free for games. example: my 240gb M4 only has 238gb available to use (I think it actually has 256gb nand, but they reserve some for various reasons).

My win7 is using 21gb.

Around 12 gb in both program files excluding steam folder which has 111gb.

 

So if you bought 128gb:

128-10%=115.2 - 21 win7= 94.2 - 12 programfiles= 82.2gb.

So basically 80gb available for games and whatever else you want (keep your video+music collection on hdd). With 256gb lots more room to work with (and 256gb models are faster than 128gb version).

 

Well for the antec 300 or most cases, if you want card reader (to read any type of card), you'd have to buy the card reader separate (which would need a 5.25 bay, same as dvd burners). I havn't noticed many cases that come with card readers. I think some staples/future etc come with them already. But I don't remember seeing cases to buy come with them. I just plug my camera/phone into computer using usb and leave memory card in device..

 

I'll post more later, in a rush. Maybe I can find a case that suits your needs, probably cost more though.

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So I can install a card reader and more usb 3.0 slots on the front above/below the optical drive?  That works for me, they don't have to be built into the case then.  Just want front access to four usb, at least two of which are 3.0 and an sd card reader.

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I don't think most cases come with card readers. So that's what the $15 card reader is for. To install in one of the 5.25" bays (same 'size' as dvd burner). I don't have one, so not sure, I'd guess they connect to an internal usb port on motherboard.

USB 3.0 on the front will be possible. The cases come with usb2.0 or 3.0 on the front (it will say in details which version and how many). Not sure about adding extra usb ports on the front. You'd be better off just having a usb extension cable going from back of case to wherever you want on entertainment centre.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998136

USB 3.0 hub for front of case takes up 5.25" slot. So it's possible.

 

Found a htpc case with 4 5.25" bays and 2xusb3.0 on the front. But it looks like you have to take off a cover in order to access them. Could leave cover off all the time, but then doesn't look as good.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163195

$146+ dollars...

This would allow for 2 dvd players and put the card reader on sideways.

 

Similar specs $160+ (not sure why it says optical drive only for external 5.25")

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163196

 

$140+

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163194

 

Then you have to figure out to make sure all your other parts would fit in (heatsink/fan on cpu has lots of room, vid card fits). Is there enough clearance to fit in entertainment centre etc.

 

For $140 you can probably get great normal tower. With the ones I just linked they have very few reviews (so more possible problems, and more research needed to make sure hardware fits in them).

Compared to say $110+ antec 900 which has front usb3.0, and 6000 reviews with 95% 4 and 5 egg review. (can disable blue led on fans or replace later). Comes with 4 fans, so don't need to buy any.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

Oddly no dust filter on front intake, and side of case could let dust in since you have pets.

 

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129178

Antec 1100 probably better deal, $110 freeship. has dust filters. 9 fans possible so should never have cooling problem. If you maxed out on fans you'd have 9 case fans, 1 psu fan, 1cpu fan, 2(?)gpu fan, so 13fans running at once possible. :O

 

But of course if you want htpc laying down case, it complicates things. Front 3x5.25" (2xdvd+1card reader) htpc case is rare, so pay a lot more and quality is questionable since not many reviews (3 reviews for my first linked case doesn't give a good idea on quality or to figure out what type of parts can fit in it).

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I don't want it for that much money!  I'd much rather spend $35 less and get that good antec case.

 

I've redone again with the new ssd, powersupply, and case and starting to get a bit high but still conceivably affordable.  See attached.

 

What about internet?  Do I need a seperate networking card for wifi/ethernet or are they included inthe motherboard? 

 

Edit:  Hmm... with the deal on the SSD, HDD - think I should order them now to be sure I get them nice and cheap, or do newegg deals tend to run on and on/possibly get cheaper?

 

Edit again:  I have found two other cheaper cases that I think would work better:

$100

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147107

$75

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811322053

 

Any thoughts?

 

Edit a third time:

 

Futureshop and bestbuy have this WD 1 tb harddrive for $69 reg price with free shipping.  

 

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/wd-wd-caviar-blue-1tb-3-5-internal-hard-drive-wd10ezex-wd10ezex/10232877.aspx?path=262cf0605f2367507047dffc92eb51a8en02&SearchPageIndex=1

 

It's $100 at tiger direct.

 

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3232686&CatId=2459&SRCCODE=CANWGOOCAHDD&cm_mmc_o=mH4CjC7BBTkwCjCECjCE&gclid=CMiU8K-t2LYCFYtDMgodTysAIw

 

 Any concerns before I pull the trigger and get it?  I think I'm going to buy piece by piece as they come on sale and try to save some cash that way.  Ordering the samsung ssd  tonight.

 

And another Edit:

 

Bestbuy (and also futureshop) have the same ssd online for the same price as reg price but only 17 left in stock.

http://www.bestbuy.ca//en-CA/product/samsung-samsung-840-series-2-5-250gb-internal-solid-state-drive-mz-7td250bw-mz-7td250bw/10239699.aspx

 

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/samsung-samsung-840-series-2-5-250gb-internal-solid-state-drive-mz-7td250bw-mz-7td250bw/10239699.aspx?path=5d167da9bf080b3eb476184020cda894en02

 

Or is there a difference I am not seeing?  Model numbers match....  I ordered from futureshop for easier returns if needed.

Compbuild April 19.pdf

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Yes order the ssd (I see you did). it's a good normal sale price (I paid $172 including tax/shipping in December for Crucial M4 256gb). It's ok that bestbuy/future have the same price. I read that elsewhere (see my PM).

 

Waiting for sale prices on certain parts is a good idea. It's what I did when I built mine. I figured out what I wanted and then waited for sales (bought everything within a two week period). As I didn't want to buy parts then wait too long in case a part was defective and had to be returned (won't find out until computer built!), I wanted to return to retailer within the 30(?) day return policy. Not the manufacturer.

 

One thing I forgot to mention was getting a 8gb stick so you can easily max out your ram over the life of the computer.

Example:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148540

Costs $3 more than what you have in cart. I just sorted by price and looked for one with no large heatsink (they can get in the way of cpu cooler sometimes), and good reviews.

 

About internet:

Your motherboard will come with 1 ethernet port. Most don't come with wireless. If you want wireless I suggest getting for $17+free shipping (on orders over $25)

http://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-TL-WN722N-Wireless-Adapter-Detachable/dp/B002WBX9C6/

I use one in my house, great signal. Have bought 2 more as backup or to sell if someone local needs it.

 

The BD-rom you picked has poor/few reviews.

Lucky for you newegg shellshocker today is a bdrom for $50. $50 is currently normal sale price for bd-rom (at least for decent ones).

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135247

So $20 more get faster bdrom and good/lots reviews. Although if buying by itself the shipping will add to cost. What I do is add it to cart, see what other items are bundled with it for shipping and maybe order more than one item if it decreases shipping cost per unit.

 

HDD price is not a deal. $70 for 1 tb not good :P I paid $80 for 1 tb cav green like a year before the flooding. Sadly their prices suck since the floods (internals are really bad priced).

$60 for 1 tb is good, of course depends on reviews etc. I'll try find one (I can't :().  Although maybe not worth it to try and wait for $10 lower price.

All I can really suggest is say 2tb for $100 (Why pay $70 for 1tb when for $35 more get 2 tb). And that 2tb is not even on sale.

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX36934

 

As for case, the two you listed: The $75+22shipping: not many reviews. I don't really like the look of the front of the case. Apparently no dust filters.

The $99+10shipping rosewill has nice reviews, dust filters. But for same price can get the antec 1100 (better brand).

You have pets, so I'd make sure has dust filters, otherwise you'd need to buy some for your intake fans (probably still have to buy filters for your side intake on antec 1100). I don't have pets, but my dust filters get full every 2 months.

 

Amazon.ca has antec 1100 for $106 freeship if you want to save $4 :P

Review of antec 1100 (reading reviews for products can help you decide, they sometimes have better pictures and more pros/cons)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5730/antec-eleven-hundred-the-p280s-gloves-come-off

When about to order anything make sure to check if memoryexpress has the item and costs more. They have very good PM. I saved $$ on my ssd and a 2tb external hdd that way. $5 total shipping for everything is great as well. They also price match free shipping, just make sure to mention it in the comment (text box) when ordering.

Also get tape measurer to visualize how big case will be. My antec 300 was much bigger than the one I bought at futureshop. I'm fine with it though, more room to work with inside. If you want to add more stuff inside it at a later date etc. Or even have to replace a broken part.

 

One thing to remember: if you decide on case, have to make sure PSU wires are long enough to reach (some of the cheaper ones have short wires, might not reach to say power the motherboard or fans etc). Not a huge problem, but reading reviews helps with that. Possibly the most difficult will be going from PSU (bottom of case) to bdrom at top of case. But should reach, it might just be tight depending on case/power supply.
 

Spending $1000 on desktop may seem like a lot, but if done correct will last long time. And can re-use parts later on (everything inside case out of date, well the case can still be used). Or if a part dies, easy to replace dead part compared to the prebuilt staples/futureshop.

I built my first/only computer in November 2010. Since original parts purchased, I have upgraded ram (4->8gb), vid card (onboard amd 4200->amd 6670). Added 1hdd, various ssd. Had to replace dead dvd-rom. So far no problems, and should last a long time. Since I was smart making sure SATA III and usb3 motherboard, both of which I now need (sataIII->SSD, usb3->external hdd+usb stick). Having to upgrade the motherboard now to get those two things would have been a real pain.

And since hooked up to tv, you can buy games etc. No need to buy next gen console (which would cost $400+). Eventually you can hook up monitor (if you don't already have one), so you 1 person can watch movie/tv from computer while other browses web.

 

You will need 3 sata data cables (PSU will have sata power cables). 1 for ssd, 1 for hdd, 1 for bdrom. Have to make sure at least one is sataIII 6.0gbps for the SSD (might as well get all 3 sata III). Probably order 4 in case 1 doesn't work or later you add another hdd/dvd etc.

I bought this at one point. Probably in use now. Can maybe find better prices (monoprice for cables if you want to make $20 worth order would cover any cables you need for computer/tv).

 

When you install SSD you'll probably ask yourself "Where do I put it??". The answer is anywhere. You can get mounting brackets to mount like hdd (waste of money for now). But easier to just use cable ties or something to hold where you want it. My ssd is currently just laying on bottom of case. I did have a SSD just hanging from connecting sata cables. No moving parts, so as long as no extreme stress on the cables will be fine. cable ties connected to hdd drive bay would probably work best to hold it in place.

 

If you've never ordered from newegg before make sure to use $10 newcustomer coupon code.

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Thanks Andrew.

 

Another question here.

 

I have a 9 year old pc and a 4 year old laptop.  Most of the stuff is too old/shitty to re-use, but is there any reason I can't cannabalize the optical drives from them and the one terabyte harddrive from the laptop?  The laptop is actually the device this pc is replacing.  Would this also save me buying a new os key, lettings use the os already on the laptops harddrive?

 

 

Edit: The wireless adapter you have there, It takes up a usb slot?

 

 

Edit again:. Is the antec actually better though?  It costs a little more, has fewer usb, fewer drives, fewer fans?  Other than the brand name, why is antec better?

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You can use the DVD drive from old desktop (assuming it is sata, just open the case and see if the wires where it connects to dvd rom are same as the new dvd rom that are sold, look at newegg pictures). Most likely it will be. You can take the 1tb hdd out of laptop and put in desktop. Although biggest problem is securing it inside desktop (most cases don't have dedicated 2.5" slots). I'm sure we can think of a way. I suppose it got moved around lots from throwing laptop around so no problem. Assuming old desktop is SATA capable, that gives you 2+ sata data cables (1 for dvd, 1 for hdd in new computer). Would still need 1 sata III 6.0gb/s data cable for SSD (but buy 1 more than you need for future use). SATAII 3.0gb/s cable would work but you would not get full speed of SSD.

If you are not using laptop for anything, definitely take out 1tb hdd. You won't have to buy a hdd right away for desktop which is good, can wait for good sales. Can still use laptop if you put linux on a usb stick and boot from usb stick (for web browsing). The 2.5" hdd I've taken out of old laptops/computers, I put in 2.5" external enclosures, for portability (bring to friends place etc). But will work inside desktop. My ssd are same size as 2.5" hdd, so cables should connect/fit (rarely the cables are too 'fat' and can't connect both data+power).

 

laptop hdd are slow, so probably use it only for data storage, definitely not games/programs. Storing media such as video+music+pics and other files not used daily would be fine.

 

I'm not sure on the windows. Which version does laptop have? Do you have the os on dvd/cd (when you made backup when first bought it)? I assume you could plug in hdd with windows already installed, and could work (you'd need to change drivers etc). Not sure what happens if you install recovery discs onto ssd if it works. Could try but have backup plan in case it doesn't. I hope you have win7. Don't think easy to just use your os key from laptop and put in say a fresh win7 image (I'm no expert on that though)..

 

Wireless adapter uses usb slot (usb2.0 is fine). I assume your modem/router is not going to be near computer, thus the need for wireless (don't want wires running everywhere)? How far away is the wireless signal from where desktop would be (same room? different level? walls?)? Just asking as wired is best performance (gaming, response times). If in same room wireless should be fine (if not worry about a wired solution later).

 

Cannibalizing dvd+hdd will save you some money up front (I'm guessing $150). Can always upgrade/replace/add more later when needed (black friday etc).

I don't know how you could take dvd from laptop and put in desktop. I have no experience with that, even assuming it connects using normal sata data+power cables, you'd have hard time trying to mount in desktop since not designed for laptop dvd. Maybe try googling to see if others have.

 

How big hdd in old desktop? A friend of mine took 320gb hdd out of old desktop and put in new. Works, but louder than other hdd. Still not a bad idea to try especially if you want a 'scratch' (think constant read/write, possibly for torrent), or just an archival/extra backup disk.

 

Thins from old desktop that could be useful: sata data cables (going from motherboard->dvd+hdd). Possibly sata power cables if any (although they probably just come straight out of PSU, but maybe an extra separate cable).

 

Depending on what you've done to old desktop over the years (at least from what I had in my old desktops): if dedicated lan (ethernet) connected via pcie slot. Same for audio if dedicated/separate from motherboard. Could be useful if for some reason lan/audio fails on your new motherboard at some point.

Is it easy to give specs on your old desktop? processor/ram/hdd etc? I realize at 9 years old barely anything would work on new desktop (just dvd+hdd most likely if sata).

 

Think I forgot to mention that wikipedia is very useful when building computer. Just to figure out the basics of say What is sata?. then there are pics etc, and you know what they look like and different versions ;)

 

EDIT: looks like there are laptop dvd brackets available. example

But for the price of bracket and then making sure it fits/works, you're better off just buying a normal $20 dvd rom.

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