I have been reading for the last month about building my own computer here at Toms. Would you guys take a look at my newegg list and tell me if anytihing is wrong with my future system. I would like to spend less then $1500 and I really would like this build to last three years.
I will be using it for photoshopping, and gaming about 50/50. Toss in DVDD, DVDshrink, Ripit4me and DVDRBPRO to the mix.
I don't know how to overclock but it sounds exciting. Any suggestions on where to start reading?
I would like to start building in the middle of next month. I feel I can do this but I am nervous about setting up the Bios.
I picked out 4GB for you because if you're going to be photoshopping I believe it'll take advantage of the extra ram, also I picked a very powerful PSU, the one you picked is a bit more powerful but the efficiency is wasted due to the fact that it'll be running under 50% load all the time, just think of it this way, unless you'll be running SLI/Crossfire setups on the future all that you'll need is a powerful, high quality 500W unit (like the one I picked).
I also picked for you a Core 2 Quad running at 2.4Ghz each core instead, which is the best CPU on the $250+ range in my opinion. And I changed the P35-DS3P to the DS3R, which is known for it's great overclocking capabilities.
Don't get me wrong, what you picked is not bad, but not properly focused to your needs and you're not focusing enough on the graphics section with the kind of budget you have (Especially if you're ever planning to power a 1920x1200 24" LCD).
For example, you don't need that 650W unit at all, if you're going with a single graphics card setup the one I picked can power ANYTHING out there. And if you ever wanted to SLI/Crossfire (Dual cards) you'll need something bigger than that 650W anyway.
The Q6600 has 2 more cores than the E6850 running at a measly 600Mhz slower, but since you're planning to OC a bit anyway, you can set the Q6600 at 3Ghz with 4 cores, instead of having 2 cores only. (Hell of a lot more processing power even at stock)
I've heard that photoshopping takes it's toll on the ram, that's why I put 2x2GB modules to make sure you don't run short on ram. Also the optical drive you picked is ATA, you want a SATA drive.
Finally, I haven't heard either positive or negative feedback from the DS3P board, but I have only heard excellent things about the DS3R, placing it probably as the Top #1 P35 chipset board.
You will need XP 64 or vista 64, which are 64-bit OS that can allocate up to 128GB of ram. Do not be fooled by what other uninformed people might tell you, I use only XP 64 and Vista 64 and I have yet to find an incompatibility issue that wasn't related to Vista itself. (I haven't had any problems with XP 64)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit SP2C - OEM
If you're into playing any of the upcoming titles in all their glory then I'd get Vista 64 Home premium for the DX10 support. I didn't find any problems with it, just had to ditch Mcafee for good to get Avast! as an antivirus (Which is A LOT better), all of my other software worked just fine.
You'll have fun with Bioshock, I loved the whole Little Sister/Big Daddy thing Soft particles in DX10 do make the game look better, but that's up to you if you want to buy a new OS to support DX10, in my opinion it's worth it as long as you pay either Home basic or Home Premium 64, Ultimate is not worth anyone's money.
The quad is a good idea. For example DVD Shrink uses all 4 cores and finishes the job faster on a Q6600 at stock than on an overclocked E6850. For best results you also need a good DVD drive, like the PX-810SA for example.
I think on the long run Vista 64 (Home Premium) will be the best OS out of all the different Vista versions, the performance on games is already comparable between Vista and XP as far as my tests have indicated. You can always buy it later too, but don't expect it to drop in price, after all, XP is still worth quite a bit even though it's quite old.
It depends on how much you care about formatting your PC, in my case, I format every month or so, sometimes switching to Vista 64 others to XP 64, and that's what keeps my rig speedy all the time.
Now my personal opinion, if you do not own a 64-bit OS, then buy it. What apps will take advantage of it in the foreseeable future? Crysis for one, according to the developers crysis is not only completely multithreaded (meaning it uses of dual and quad cores properly), but also designed to run better under a 64-bit environment. According to them each core will gain about 10-15% more performance under a 64-bit OS compared to running on a 32-bit OS.