My current system is one that my brother helped me build a couple of years ago. It is time for a new system, but I figure I can make use of some of the following current parts:
Antec Earthwatts 500W power supply
3.5" floppy drive
TDK VeloCD 52X CD rewriter drive
Benq DQ60 DVD rewriter drive
Soundblaster X-Fi Fatal1ty (without the i/o box connected)
All of these are currently in an Antec case Performance case (whose model number I cannot remember off the top of my head; two rear fans). I have a Zalman cooler and my processor is a . THe current graphics card is an ATI Radeon x800 AGP. The current motherboard is an Asrock 939 DualSATA2. It goes without saying I want to minimize spending.
I'm thinking an AMD Phenom processor (9500 model) and a Radeon HD 2600 XT PCIe card. I need recommendations for a motherboard, cooling, plus a new case. One of my big goals is to build a much quieter system as my current one is very loud. I figured that the fine folks on this board would have more experience with cooling and quietness, so I'm open to suggestions for the new parts that I would need.
I'd stay away from AMD right now. Their new processors (Phenom) are meh at best and they're completely shifting their platform right now (everything is moving over to the SPIDER platform = the Phenom processor, HD 3800 GPU, and AMD 7-Series Chipset 'trifecta')
You can look at the benchmarks on the system and have some idea what it will do. It will be substantially more powerful than your current system. I would suggest substituting the 8800 GT 512MB graphics card for the one in the article if you want a real powerful gaming system - it would add about $100 to the price - depending on your preferences. It is a new card that was not out at the time they prepared the article.
What will you be using the system for? That is really needed to determine components. If you don't heavy gaming, you don't need the more powerful card. Also is your OS available to transfer to the new system or do you need that as well?
For the record, I ran CPU-Z to get some of my current specs: AMD Athlon 64 3200+, socket 939, AGP at 8X, 6656 MB DDR RAM,
I do a little bit of gaming, but nothing heavy duty. I'm not a "power gamer" by any means. I use my PC for a little bit of multimedia recording of tv shows (standard and high def), playback of multimedia (MP3s), surfing the web, and some productivity (Word documents, that sort of thing). I've also never overclocked, and don't feel the need to do so. As for the OS, I currently have Windows Vista Ultimate installed. That is definitely available for use on the new system.
The only real PCI card I have right now is a Fusion Lite HDTV card. As for the graphics card, I've pretty much been an ATI person for the last few years; never had anything Nvidia-based. I'll need to look at the video card options. Hard drive wise I currently am using two 300 GB Seagate ATA/IDE hard drives. I definitely will be updating to SATAs at some point (although, the new system will hopefully have some IDE so I can do some easy transfer of data from the old to the new system).
Right now, this is still all hypothetical, depending on prices and the such.
Addendum: My case is an Antec Performance 1080 AMG, with three case fans (one side panel fan, two rear fans). I don't remember what Zalman cooler I have, though.
Total: $603AR plus shipping. You could save about $100 by going with a dual core processor depending on budget preferences
Reuse Antec PSU, OS, DVD writer, floppy, Zalman cooler (check for compatibility - you provided no details), HDTV card, and one hard drive
Note that most current mobos have only one ATA connector so you can use only two of your current ATA devices. I went with one HD and your DVD writer. You could instead use two HD and purchase a new SATA DVD writer. If you reuse one HD, you could first insert the one that won't be used and transfer data to the new SATA drive, then remove it and install the keeper drive. Or you could purchase a PCI card with ATA connectors. You might also want to consider a larger hard drive than the 320GB listed above - a 500GB version of the same HD would add $50.
I need some more information. I think I've decided on the Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor. I'm looking at the GeForce 8800 GT graphics card - my concern with that is how many slots it takes up. As far as I can tell, it only uses up one PCIe slot. Can anyone confirm that? Also, how loud is this graphics card? Again, one of the things I want to do is build the system more powerful, but also as quiet as possible.
I'm still looking at motherboard options. I will need one with plenty of PCIe slots (the wave of the future), but it would help if I had two or three old school regular PCI slots for some older cards (my Fusion HDTV card, the Soundblaster and an ATA-expansion card (laying around here somewhere) so I can utilize my old ATA hard drives.
I've been revising and looking over parts for my new system. Currently I am looking at:
processor: Intel Core2 Quad Processor Q6600
motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R (presumably a revision 2.1, if I can find one)
memory: KVR667D2N5/2G DDR2 RAM (2 sticks of 2 GB each, for a start)
cooling: Zalman 9700LED (I heard it can be very quiet)
case: SilverStone TJ06 (although, I just heard it is quiet when all is said and done - but I don't have this set one set in stone)
For a case, I'm going to need something with opening from my DVD-RW drive, my CD-RW drive, my old 3 1/2-inch floppy drive (yes, I am still keeping it around), the Soundblaster X-Fi I/O drive and possibly an old internal ZIP drive.