Its been 3 years since my last build and I'm ready for something faster. I am a software developer so my new machine will mainly be for work. I want to be able to do some gaming on it. I just want to play the games I already own like cod2, fear, hl2 and far cry. My current computer can run them just at the lowest settings. I'm mainly a console gamer so I won't use the computer that much for gaming.
So far these are the parts I'm looking at, I'm just waiting for newegg to get the cpu in stock. As for my budget its around $1300 for the parts I haven't bought yet (cpu, motherboard, ram and videocard). I already have a monitor, speakers and an os. I might overclock a little bit like to e6700 speeds but I don't plan on doing any major overclocking.
This is what I am having a tough time deciding on. Both are about the same price after rebates. The ATI card seems like it performs better. However, it generates more heat and uses more power so I don't know if my power supply can handle it. Thats also a big rebate to deal with.
Personally, as a tech nerd , I would say that the RAM is excellent - the same I'm getting for my new game rig, also, If you are not going to game hard, I suggest an X1800 XT (around $225) - It performs on par with a 7900 GT, and has better visual quality (AA+HDR).
A good board would be the Gigabyte DS3, but if you're not on a budget - the Asus P5W Deluxe.
MSI boards aren't quite as good as other brands like Asus or Gigabyte. If you can afford it, go for a Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3, Abit AB9 Pro, or Asus P5B. The AB9 Pro is the only one of these 3 which hasn't gotten confirmation of native Conroe support.
The Smartpower 500W will be enough if you go with the 7900GT, but not if you go for the X1900XT. Again sticking on the note, I would actually suggest you stay with the Smartpower 500W, and drop the video card to an eVGA Geforce 7600GT and then wait for the DX 10 cards to arrive around the time Vista gets here.