Im trying to build a low-mid system primarily for gaming, on a poormans after christmas budget around 900-1200(max).
I wouldn't mind overclocking if that helps w/ price, but i'd rather not sacrifice stability for speed. Have all the extras (mice, kb, etc) but basically need whole system/monitor. Here's what i've got so far:
HD $110 Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB Hard Drive (Serial ATA II, 7,200RPM)
Case $70 Antec SLK3000B ATX Mid Tower
PSU $90 Antec TruePower 2.0 TP-II 550 550W Power Supply
As far as the monitor goes, I have no idea, I just want decent resolution on a 17"+ screen for reasonable cost, maybe SAMSUNG 740B Black 17" 8ms LCD Monitor (300 cd/m2 600:1 0.264mm Pixel Pitch) for $250 or so but resolution is 1280x1024 max i think (bleh) need input on that.
There it is, im already over my cost at $1250, so any suggestions on cut corners or downgrading will be accepted. Thanks for the help, and to toms people for such an awesome resource.
You have a good start and I like Prozac's suggestion too - for best gaming performance its better to have more money in the video card than the CPU. A 7800GT with a 3200+ will game with better graphic settings than a 6800GS with a fx-57.
Why the SLI with the mid-range video cards? I don't see the point unless you're going to use it right away. When SLI came out people bought 1 6800-series for now and paid extra for an SLI mobo and in a year when they went to cash in on their investment they found out that the 7800-series was as fast or faster than 2 of their 6800's, and it cost less than their first card. I expect that to happen with the 8000 series cards too. Crossfire may be different - or may not, jury's still out.
CPU: $165 A64 3200+
Mobo: Can get this Chaintech VNF4 for $70 - it's pretty good for its price, or go for an Epox, ABit, DFI (the overclocker king if you're willing to work with the config), even Gigabyte, the lower A8N's, etc., but you can chop nearly $100 off that easily.
RAM: ok - maybe can save some there - depends on sales at the moment you buy and your overclocking goals.
Graphics: Upgrade to a 7800GT if you can. Should be under $300.
HD: Can save a little here for minimal loss in performance - some 250gigs can be had for $100, or as low as 80gig for $50. Base this on your usage and remember - $100 in 3 months to expand is easy.
Case: Nice - could go cheaper but I'm an advocate of cheap cases so ignore me
PSU: Fortron 450w is a $50 alternative to the TP. It's lower wattage but will handle everything you have there with room to spare. Could also get the 500w or 550w Fortron for less savings but more headroom.
Don't know about monitors either... better ask in the monitor section of CE.