Personnally I wopuld go with at least 1.5 to 2 gigs of ram and I would go with Cosair. For the dvd drive Aopen makes a very good solid but cheap dvd drive, and pick up a seperate burner this way if one goes you didnt loose the second one. with your case you will want to make sure you have enough cooling for it. As for you video I caint say too much seeing I prefer the Ati boards over Nvidea. Ati have always been fast and stabile for me and I would be looking at the Ati x800 pro if you wanted a board to last a long time if your system is going to run SLI then get the equivelent to it. You might want to look at the amd 64 bit FX 53 or FX 55 cpu's as their prices are pretty cheap now and you can get really good performance out of them.
Good luck to you and let us know how you make out
1. If you want a gaming computer with a smaller HD why are is it a POS, get a raptor that is small but is much faster.
2. You a re paying way too much for that graphics card, currently on newegg they are listing a 7800 Albatron GT for only $319, which you can easliy overclock yourself
3. It is much better to get one gig of quality ram such as the XMS Corsair than two gigs of value ram.
4. You most likely do not need any more cooling after reading the review of your case, unless you would like to really overclock your system.
Stay away from SFF - if you want a good, stable, well-cooled system, then SFF is not the way to go for a gaming rig. Get a well-designed case with good airflow and a good quality PSU. If you're not sure where to go on this, then throw out some ideas and we will critique for you.
2GB RAM is optimal for BF2 - it is a memory hog. I don't recommend the 1.5GB route - you lose dual channel for hte memory and that is about a 5% performance hit. You don't have to get the BEST memory, but a good quality set like these OCZ Value Series 2x1GB are a great option and will let you tweak the timings for better performance. They should also be great OCers for that matter.
That 3700+ should be more than sufficient for your needs. My next build will be a 3200+ and I will OC to 3700+ levels - or higher.
I beg to differ...
According to Techreport: "Considering that the P-series chassis was originally designed to encase near-molten Prescott Pentium 4 processors, it's no surprise that the chassis pays special attention to CPU cooling...The SN25P's three cooling zones might be overkill for an Athlon 64, but with temperature-controlled fans, the system doesn't make any more noise than it needs to." The PSU does not need to cater for several high end graphics cards or serious overclocking so that's not an issue for me.
On another note, if I was to puchase 2GB of RAM is there much point of having a high speed Raptor or Raptor equivilant hard drive since (I assume) during actual gameplay most if not all of the program required is already stored in the RAM? If I was going down the quality no quanity road with 1 GB, would it make sense then to buy a fast HD?
I don't plan to buy from overseas, just interstate in Western Australia and AUD$599 seems the best price/performance for a 7800GT of any description considering for over twice the price you can get a 7800 GTX 512!!!
Is the Athlon 64 3500+ a good choice for me, someone with no experience in overclocking and no dersire to do so? Will upgrading it yield any extra in game performance or just 20% or so faster load times for levels?
How are these RAM choices?
Corsair TwinX 3200 2GB Kit (2x 1024Mb) DDR400 CL3-3-3-8 TWINX2048-3200 AUD$397.00 = USD$291.00
G.Skill 2GBHS PC3200 2GB Kit (2 x 1024Mb) CL2.5-3-3-6 Samsung UCCC GS-2GBHS-D1H AUD$379.00 = USD$278.00
Having more HDD capacity means that you can store more stuff before getting performance hits from lack of HD space. The faster HDD will help in your load times (startup and maps), but little to none in the game if you have sufficient RAM and properly manage your pagefile (set it to 300-400MB max). There are only a couple of games that make me recommend 2x1Gb for RAM - WoW and BF2. Both are memory hogs, so if you see yourself playing those a lot, then I'd say the starting argument is 2x1GB for the best gaming experience.
OCing the CPU will give overall better performance in games - not just during loading the game/maps. A 3500+ is a great all-around CPU and you will be more than happy with the gaming performance you get. When it is no longer doing the job, then OC it some. Hopefully you're right about the cooling in the case and the PSU can handle the extra stress. You guys are paying a pretty premium for gear - we can get the 3500+ for under $200USD right now and the 3200+ is $152USD.
So... all thing considered I should get:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ AUD$319
RAM: 2 GB DDR400 (2x1024MB) AUD$379
Case: Shuttle XPC SN25P AUD$625.00
Hard Drive: WD 80GB SATA Hard-Drive (8mb cache) (connected to file server so need for large storage)AUD$101.00
Optical Drive LG 52x32x52 CD-RW/16x DVD-ROM Black AUD$71.00
Graphics Card: Albatron Geforce 7800GT OVERCLOCKED AUD$599.00
Grand Total: AUD$2094 = USD$1,534.80 USD