I see there are tons of posts on this sort of thing, hate to start a new one, but each person's plans are different, so here it goes.
I'm planning on building a new system, but I've been out of the 'loop' for a while, so I was hoping for some suggestions on hardware.
I'm expecting to have to upgrade Motherboard / CPU / GPU / memory / PSU / hard drive, possibly CD drive too.
Here's my current system for reference (don't laugh.. okay laugh)
Windows XP home (happy with this, but vista is a possibility if I can get upgrade prices from xp?) Asus P4S533 motherboard mini (I fried my better board by ... well nevermind... it's fried ) P4 2.53 ghz cpu
SB XFI Xtreme audio VisionTek ATI radeon x1950pro AGP (Just got this upgrade, noticed almost no increase in FPS ) Onboard LAN
1.5gb DDR RAM Maxtor 200gb hard drive (not sure on the speed, but it's nothing fancy) Sony DVD rom R/W
350 watt generic PSU
Linksys BEFSR41 router
The games I'm currently playing are World of Warcraft, and Battlefield 2142
WoW runs pretty well, but gets very high latency in highly populated cities, and gets 30 - 60 fps average, but as low as 10-12 in busy places. My brothers PC doesn't have this latency problem on the same router and server, so I suspect it's hardware related.
BF2142 works, but only on small maps, with all the settings all the way down, and even then I rarely break 15 fps, usually 9 to 11 fps. I'm actually amazed I can play it at all.
Also, I'm hoping to be able to run at least some of the yet-to-be-released games in the future.
I've got about $1200 to $1500 to spend (cheaper the better obviously, but this new system needs to last me for 3-4 years minimum, so i'm flexible)
I'm thinking about a dual core with 2gb ddr2 min. I'd like a motherboard with at least 2-3 PCIe slots, and I understand some come with one slot at 16 bit for video cards. I am interested in SLI as an option as well.
The problem is, I really don't know much about the multi-core processors, or higher end hardware, especially when it comes to brand name stuff compared to 'generic' brands. If you have brand name suggestions, I'm all ears.
Secondly, the build(As it's late I won't link to the actual products):
-It seems like you are an OCer. Fried Mobo, 5.33 clock, etc. Would you be looking to OC on this system? If so, I might suggest the Intel E6750. It can be OCed to some very high speeds, but comes with a very respectable 2.66GHz clock...at ~$190.00
-Do you have any specific needs for the computer? Dabbaling in firewire? Looking to RAID the HDDs? If not, a very good basic board with excellent OCing capabilities. Even if you aren't going to OC, I would go for this one: Gigabyte P35 DS3L
-Hdd is personal preference, really. For you I would think a standard Western Digital or Seagate 7.2k RPM HDD would suit you...say 320GBs?
-Optical Drives are really personal preference. You can stick a DVD writer in for just about $30.00 now-a-days.
-Power supplies. Said to be one of the most important components of a system(won't boot without one ). You could probably get away with 500W on this build, but you could go higher for more efficiency. If you check out this: http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon , you should try to pick one from tier 3 or higher.
-Quite a few options for a GPU as of late with the release of all the new cards. Stuff that looks like it may be in your budget: 3870. 8800GT, possibly the G92 8800GTS refresh w/ 128 sp...which will come out ~a week or two. I personally just ordered a 8800GT.
-Ram...really is affected by which OS you choose. Xp runs fine with less ram, vista likes to have 2GB+...If I was in your shoes, I would most likely go for 4x1GB or 2x2GB of pretty much any ram. Prices are very cheap on ram right now.
-OS is really a personal choice. Remember though...32bit OS can only use ~3gb of ram, whereas a 64bit could use more.
Hope I helped,
P.S. Sorry that I tapered out towards the bottom, have to leave.
I'm actually in the rebuilding process and this is what i'm gonna do....
Antec Nine Hundred case $100
XFX 680i LT SLI $110
Intel Q6600 $290
OCZ Platinum 2 x 1GB (for now)$85
OCZ GameXstream 700w SLI Certified PSU $140
Re-use dual Lite-ON DVD-RWs
Re-use 250g WD SATA HD
and when it becomes available i'm getting a 8800 GT for around $280
all for $725 including taxes and shipping and before mail in rebates ( like $120 worth) and with enough PSU power and motherboard do drop a second 8800 GT if the need arises.
DVD Burner - $38 shipped Retail version w/software. PLUS it's a SATA drive!!!
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total with ~$270 for GPU and using PCP&P PSU = ~$1125 - $50 Antec 900 MIR = $1075!!! Not too bad. Obviously there are other ways you can go with this, but this should be a sound and solid setup. If you change the PSU/mobo options you could even save up to ~$90 on those along, thus putting you under the $1k mark. It's all up to you, but I'd use that $200-500 savings on the next GPU upgrade later.
Great information everybody, I'm still checking out everything you have posted.
One question though. Since the 8800GT and GTS aren't in stock anywhere yet, if it should come time to order and I still can't find any available, what would your next GPU recommendation be for a little more money?