It’s been over 4 years since I built my current system, so I’m way overdue for an update. I’ve been kind of out of touch with the advances over the past few years and have been trying to catch so I could make some informed decisions. Originally I wanted to salvage as much of my current system as possible and only upgrade the essentials to reduce costs, but the more research I do, the more items I end up wanting to replace. The most intense work that I need the system to handle is probably moderate gaming. I don’t have the money or the need to put together a top of line, cutting edge system, but am looking more for a “most bang-for-your-buck” system that hopefully will keep me satisfied for the next several years.
Could anyone please critique what I’m come up with so far and/or recommend items that I’m having difficulty deciding on?
CPU: Intel E2160 - I was originally leaning towards one of the Core 2 Duo’s – anything from a E6320 to E6750, but figured I could save a nice chunk of cash by going with the E2160 and overclocking it to at least a FSB of 1066 and maybe even 1333 to improve the performance. My only concern would be how much of a “real world” effect I would experience from only have 1mb of cache instead the 4mb’s in the higher priced cpu’s.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
Memory: Corsair XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (already on order - $57 ar)
Graphics Card: This is still an area that I’m not sure about. I’d like to go with an ATI card and am leaning towards an X1950 Pro. If I go this route, the 3 cards that I’m deciding between are these.
PSU: Not a clue. I know I’ll have to replace my current PC Power & Cooling 350W psu and have been looking at something in the 500W range that puts out over 30A on the +12v rails. I know it’s usually not a good idea to cut corners on a psu, but New Egg has a few the fit my requirements for about $30 after rebate. I’m just not sure if any of them are any good. The brands are Xion, Rosewill and Cooler Master.
I can see that the 3 inexpensive PSU’s that I listed in my previous post are inexpensive for a reason. So, armed with this new information and still trying to get the most for my limited funds, I came up with these 2 choices – Antec NeoPower 550W and FSP (Fortron) 500W. Both are available for $55 after rebate. The Antec seems like the better choice, but it sure has a lot of negative reviews at Newegg.
Update: It looks like Newegg just dropped the price of the Powercolor 512mb X1950 Pro down to $129 after rebate. I did like it best of the three that I listed, but it used to be the most expensive option. Now with the new lower price, it's on order. One more piece of the puzzle completed. Although I also noticed that Newegg raised the price of the Giga-Byte MB by $10 since yesterday too.
Get Xclio Goodpower 500W for $49.99 without any rebates instead and avoid all the quality control issues associated with that Antec. It would be foolish to ignore all the negative user reviews on newegg.