After looking at various 'systems' vendors, I've decided my next pc should be one I build myself. While I have sufficient pc experience to have the confidence to do the actual build, I really don't follow the h/w side of things closely.....in fact, only very superficially.
After bouncing around here at TH for a while yesterday trying to figure out what best might suit my needs, it seems getting up to speed on h/w to make intelligent decisions is not something that will happen overnite. So I thought maybe someone could direct me to/suggest a list of parts that might fit the following requirements......
The 3 most important.....
* Run Photoshop CS2 (RAM probably most important...minimum 1gb, probably consider 2gb)
* Graphics card must be fully DX9 compliant for a flight sim I wish to install (nVidia GeForce 6800 and later seem popular/work well for this sim)
* I probably won't be in the first round of those who upgrade to Vista when released, but chances are I will within the first year thereafter.
Other general ideas....
* Don't need to be the latest/greatest or biggest/baddest in any part.
* I'll *probably* never do any overclocking (never have yet)
* Don't need fancy lighted cases (have used 'towers' in the past and would be fine with same again)
* Would prefer to stay away from water cooling (unless the general consensus of opinion is that's a must these days)
* Already have mice, keyboards, monitors, etc
Budget: anything under $1k(US) would be fine....anything less would be great.
....system somewhere here at TH. And they talk about the heat sink fan there. Then, just for grins, I went to Monarch just to see how much they would build that system for vs what it would cost me to do myself. And there was a specific field to select a heat sink fan there for this system.
When I went back to Monarch just now to check out some of the recommendations offered here, I notice they didn't even list a 'heat sink fan' field to make a choice. so, I'm assuming (danger!) the Core 2 must have whatever's needed included...or it comes on the mobo.(??)
So long as you get a retail version of any of the Core 2's, you will get a heatsink with it. If you get an OEM version, you will need to buy an aftermarket cooler. Go for the retail version. The stock cooler for the Core 2's is more than enough for those chips. Only if you're going to be overclocking by more than 600Mhz will you need an aftermarket cooler.
Wow.... I never noticed that..... thanks for bringing it up.
It's all good. I know it isn't something people really look at. My system is in such a state of flux most of the time (since I am constantly changing it) that I do alot of research before I buy components. By and large, it's watts that people look to but I put more emphasis on things like PFC, amps, rails, efficiency, etc. as you can usually find PSUs within a watt range with no problem but, it's the "little" and often "overlooked" things that can make a difference between a long running system or a post in the forums titled "Why isn't my system running?".
Well, that depends on what you mean by "future-proof". 965 based boards don't allow for SLI or Crossfire but the 975 boards do (Crossfire). Now you have Nvidia preparing to allow SLI for the Intel chipsets. Of the 500 series Nvidia boards, I find the 590's really feature rich. But, really make sure if you intend on going SLI or Crossfire because you'd just be wasting time and energy on something you don't need to.
Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
This is what I consider to be the best 965 board out because it is a MONSTER overclocker (unlike the ASUS top of the line 965 which has a limited FSB OCing ability). This board can go as high as around 410 FSB (it's quad multipled so that is something like 1660 or thereabouts). Yet, it has no Crossfire or SLI.
You'll have to go with the 975x chipsets or the 500 series chipsets for that.
SLI and Crossfire are a waste of money anyway. If you can't get both cards within 2 months of each other, OR you won't be gaming at resolutions over 1600 x 1200, don't even bother wasting thoughts on it. If you get one card now and one 6 months down the road, another generation of card will be out that single handedly beats both your cards in SLI by a considerable margin.