Like I stated in the title, this is my first time building a computer. I came in basically with no knowledge at all on how to build a system, but through much research and brute force I have come up with a build that I would like verified! I'm trying to do this on the cheap, building as a powerful system possible for the smallest amount of money, a system that will hopefully last me through my college years.
Anyway, confirmation of this build as well as answering of my questions would help me immensely.
$25 Vista Ultimate 32 Bit Upgrade (cheap through college)
The version offered through the college is the Upgrade form; I have read that there are ways of getting around the requirement of having XP installed, or at least I hope so.
Regarding MOBO, both seem to fit all my requirements regarding the other parts. However, I really don't know much about evaluating MOBOs beyond basic compatibility. As it stands, I'm leaning towards the EVGA, because although it is more expensive, it is not substantially more so (and is worth considerably more before the rebates).
This is another issue. The 7900 GS is a good buy, all things considered, but someone recommended me the X1950XT. In benchmarks, the X1950XT performs considerably better, but it is also a good deal more expensive (and I am on a budget). Adding to these concerns, I have been told that the X1950XT would probably require an addon for cooling, as its onboard fan is not sufficient, thus driving up the cost more. With these concerns in mind, I'm leaning towards the 7900 GS.
Anything I have missed? Any compatibility problems, bad parts, better deals? And do recommend me on the MOBO and GPU choices, please.
With all that written, I can only say THANK YOU to all who take the effort to respond. You have my gratitude.
I like eVGA a lot (and especially over Biostar) so yes, get the eVGA mobo. And get the X1950XT, it's a superior card, the 7900GS compares to the X1950Pro, not the XT.
One thing I have to comment on, the PSU, it's a REALLY bad brand. Get an Antec NeoHE 500/550 (I use the 500 for my 8800GTS), Seasonic S12 550/650, PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W, or Corsair HX 520/620. Those are my preferred PSUs.