Building a computer... finally.

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Well, now that I have a job (and I'll be able to pay for most of this in the next 7 days work), I think it's high time to replace this old Dell of mine. This time around, I'm going to build it myself. I'm operating around $2000 CDN (give or take) budget for this. I know we have some local tech gurus who are really good at this sort of thing and I'd like some advice on what specific parts would be best. This is for gaming, btw, and I'd like to shop from MemoryExpress as I'm less trusting of the internet, and everyone I know that I've asked on the subject has recommended them.

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Having a good monitor is fairly important to me, as it's a big part of getting nice visuals from the graphics card. Now, I've heard good things about LG LCDs, and I was eyeing up this model, but I plan on actually going to the store to check out a couple different models.
http://shrinkster.com/ovb (text in the real URL is blocked) (what's up with emb*d being blocked?)

I think 320GB of hard drive space should be plenty for my needs, but brands, RPM, and the difference between SATA II, ATA100... what-have-you... is beyond me.

As far as RAM goes, I'm thinking of getting 2GB PC2-6400 RAM. I've had OCZ recommended to me, so I was looking at this:
http://shrinkster.com/ove

Now, the graphics card is quite important, so naturally I'd like to get something good. Preferably, I'd go with ATI, but their lack of having a DX10 graphics card is going to lose them another portion of market share. I was looking at this one, but am open to suggestions. It seems like the best choice; the GTX is too much more for the gain in performance, and the 640 MB version likely doesn't justify the extra $120 price difference either. I don't have my heart set on eVGA, so if there are better alternatives, I'm open to suggestion.
http://shrinkster.com/ovf

In addition to preferring ATI, I would also like to have an AMD CPU, but as with ATI, AMD just isn't cutting it these days. Same as the rest, I've been looking at the E6600, but am open to suggestion.
http://shrinkster.com/ovg

I need a motherboard too, and I haven't a clue what to get. I was thinking of spending around $200 on one, but I'm not sure whether that's too much or not enough or what. Overclocking would be nice, but it is by no means a priority. I don't need SLI, either.

I really don't know a whole lot about cases, but I'm looking for something that is functional more than flashy. So long as it does what it's supposed to, and is mainly black, I don't care. I mainly just need to know how powerful a PSU I'm going to need to run all this, because many cases come with a PSU.

Cooling too, I'm going to need something, probably air cooling, but don't know much on the subject beyond larger fan = fewer RPMs = less noise.

Windows, speakers, a mouse, a keyboard, and a sound card I have already, so no worries there.

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Thanks for the help, it is certainly appreciated. If I've missed anything, please let me know, and if anything needs clarification, I'd be happy to answer questions.
 
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Looks decent. If you're having trouble selecting a motherboard, just do what I do for any tech thread: close your eyes and click randomly. That's what got me to this: http://shrinkster.com/ow4. It should be fine, and it gets decent reviews. And, if you're into overclocking at all, just go for the next-down CPU, the E6400 (?). It's just a couple ... hundred MHz slower, but you can make that up with a few pushes of the + key.

The stock fans that come with the motherboard and CPU should be fine. I wouldn't worry about that at all. As for the case, just find something aesthetically pleasing to you. More than likely any case you buy will handle air flow fine.

The only thing I'm a little (and I mean very little) 'ehh' on is your choice of the only 320MB 8800GTS, when you're going with a 20" LCD that displays, natively, 1680x1050. You're going to feel the crunch from the lack of memory a lot quicker than the lack of raw power, especially if you're looking at future games like Crysis. I'm 100% positive, though, that you'd be able to play any game currently out at literally the highest settings and get soaring frame rates with the 320.

(I didn't go through and compare prices on any of your current parts, because I'm lazy. Just letting you know.)
 
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Alright, thanks. I just wanted someone to give it the once over to make sure I wasn't making any kind of horrible mistakes. In-depth price analysis wasn't necessary.

Two and a half weeks and I'll have money in the bank for this...
 
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The only thing I'm a little (and I mean very little) 'ehh' on is your choice of the only 320MB 8800GTS, when you're going with a 20" LCD that displays, natively, 1680x1050. You're going to feel the crunch from the lack of memory a lot quicker than the lack of raw power, especially if you're looking at future games like Crysis. I'm 100% positive, though, that you'd be able to play any game currently out at literally the highest settings and get soaring frame rates with the 320.

(I didn't go through and compare prices on any of your current parts, because I'm lazy. Just letting you know.)
You're going to feel the shortcomings of 320 mb if you ever play Spider-man 3 on the PC.
 
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It runs fine at 1280 x 1024. Once I made the jump to 1680 x 1050, you'll take a hit while swinging around town. Yeah, the game isn't optimized, but my friend didn't have any problems with his GTS (the 6** w/e mb one). We have identical systems other than the vid card, so I'm certain it's because of that one little detail.
 
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I did it. While looking sadly at my bank account balance, and the price printout for my dream rig, I realized that a good $400 were going into things that I didn't need to build the tower, and that I had enough to go out and buy the parts for my computer. So I did.

$1500 later, and I'm sitting at home, going through the mobo manual, getting everything pugged in and connected, screwed in place, and done up as it should be. Disconnect Dell computer from peripherals, hook up new box and hit the power. Nothing. Turn on power supply, hit the power again. Better. Install Windows, check. Install drivers, check. Download and install SP1... okay, internet wants a password I don't have, and I can't call their tech support at 2AM. Damn.

Okay, so much for that, but I can still see what this puppy can do. SupCom in, installed, and loaded up with everything maxed out. The loading screen was up for a full second and a half before the game comes up at full detail, full shadows, and full resolution, all with blazing frame rates and awesome SM3 graphics (water went from being a light blueish plane on SM2 to being and amazing treat for the eyes). Once I have my internet back up, I can get the game patched, and see how powerful these dual core processors are. I figure a nice long 3v3 on a large, open map should suffice. See what happens when I feed my new rig something that would have had my old computer struggling to give me 8 fps with the game running at less than half speed.
 

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