This will be my first time building a pc , and quite frankly, a little nervous of my abilities. I will be doing extensive reseach on the subject. In the mean time I need any and all input on the the hardware.
A little about me and the machine:
Brands: AMD/Nvidia for the cpu/gpu. Rest are open for discussion.
Multitasking: I run 2 monitors with vent and perhaps my guilds website up. Along with whatever game I am playing.
Gaming: I am a WoW player for now but would like to be able to play any game that comes up in the future that interests me. MMO, FPS, sports mainly. Doesn't have to be the highest settings. Just respectable frame rates.
Overclocking: Another item for research. If possible I will. Nothing extreme.
Storage: Enough for the os, my games and perhaps a music library.
Legacy Support: No.
Operating System: Vista
Case: Anything but a micro.
Accessories: I own a G15 and G7
Recycled Components: No. My current computer is 5+ years old.
Monitor: I own a 22" widescreen and 19" flat
Stores: Open to all options as long as they are reputable. Familar with Newegg.
Location: Florida, USA
This is what I have come up with so far:
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
My current desk that has the tower in the center and aligned
with the desktop. The I/O usb and audio inputs are perfect. I can not use one with a front door.
ASUS M3N-HT DELUXE/MEMPIPE AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard -
Would like the option to upgrade cpu when prices are more reasonable.
AMD Phenom 8750 Toliman 2.4GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Triple-Core Processor
Under the impression that current OS's don't utilize the 4th core. So what the point in paying for it.
2 X PNY VCG96512GXPB GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video
Will be sli.
2 X Mushkin 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory
They have heatspreaders but not sure about their speed.
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive
Enough to hold a cpl of games. I am not the type that keeps every game on my computer even if I no longer play it.
ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T
Would like to burn some music though.
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
Have never had a sound card before. Is it worth it? Will it fit with sli cards?
ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ700 700W ATX12V / EPS12V Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply
Is it enough power?
Thermaltake CL-P0296 92mm CPU Cooler
I don't want any heat issues.
This will cost 1,400 from Newegg. If competitors are cheaper, I have yet to find it. Any thoughts if this system will last for 2+ years before it gets outdated by newer games. Or even if it is all compatible. Please help a fellow gamer before he hits the checkout button and regrets it.
Vista makes good use of multiple cores but most games don't. You will see a slight improvement in games with a quad all things being the same (think Q6600 vs. E6600 for reference) due to more services and background duties being handled by the cores that aren't running the game. That said I have a E8400 simply because I was looking for raw gaming speed and I found it.
I like AMD and I hope they can regain their past glory but I think you would be better off with a Intel CPU and Intel chipset. There have been many problems with the Nvidia chipsets and I would hesitate to buy one until I'm sure it would be money well spent.
You would also be better off with a single, higher end video card such as the 8800GTS 512. You can't run dual monitors and SLI at the same time and SLI doesn't scale well until you get to higher resolutions (you'll start to see it with a 22" but it really gets noticable with a 24" and higher)
Also if your going to use vista, try out the onboard sound before you buy a card, a lot of creatives features are either removed in the vista drivers or not up to speed so far.
If you look at the forums you will see a lot of angry x-fi owners because creative doesn't really bother with their drver support for vista, and audigy is just as bad so far. If the sound still sucks to you, you can always add on a card too.
For a new gaming build, I would have to say (cough) look elsewhere than and AMD platform. You will get more much more bang for your buck from Intel right now.
Vista handles and makes use of Quad Cores very nicely. Games don't yet make make good use Quad Cores, but in the future they will start. If you are a heavy multitasker, do encoding or run a lot of apps at once, then you should look at the Quads.
I have a Creative X-Fi gamer sound card, it was fantastic when I was running XP, and yes when you install Vista, you lose all features and things you bought the damn thing for. Might as well be running generic on-board sound. Creative has shot their self in the foot this time. I am really pissed about this mess.
1 8800GTS 512 is better than 2 9600GT in SLI. More raw performance from 1 card, (check out the fine print specs and you will see why the GTS is a scorcher and the 9600 is an value minded gamer's card) putting 2 9600's into SLI does not "double" the meagerly middle of the road 9600gt's potential, and you cannot run SLI with 2 monitors.
If you do feel the need to SLI later, pop in another 8800GTS and you are flat screaming along.
-Take a look at the Coolermaster 690 case......lighter, cheaper, better features, and less of a wind tunnel than the Antec 900.
-Go with Intel mobo and CPU.......for your budget, there is no good reason not to, unless you're an AMD fanboy.....which is fine.........but if you want performance then go with Intel.
-Don't bother with SLI, you can't do it. SLI will not run dual monitors, so you'll be screwed. Go with a single 8800GTS 512, it'll handle any modern game except Crysis just fine, and you can run dual monitors with it since it's a single card. It'll draw less power, be cooler due to the double-slot heatsink, less driver issues, and will destroy WoW at all the max settings at high resolution.
-I used to run onboard sound until I got a Creative X-Fi card. BIG difference. And yes, it does work on Vista.......the new drivers enable all the features and have finally reconciled how Vista changes the way the sound is handled over XP. And IF you have problems, there are still DanielK's drivers which work too. So.......sorry to bust any tightly-held Vista-bashing misconceptions, but yes.......Creative X-Fi cards work fine with Vista. I'm on one right now If, however, you don't trust Creative (which I wouldn't fully blame you), then jump on an ASUS Xonar DX2 sound card (not the more expensive D2........get the cheaper DX2 card)....it's the only card out there that emulates all the proprietary Creative effects, and it's a PCI-e x1 card to boot, which means it'll leave those precious PCI slots open on your mobo. It's about the same price or even cheaper than an X-Fi card and it's been getting RAVE reviews.....it just got released recently, and I was hoping to pick one up to compare side-by-side to my X-Fi card.
Thanks for the advise. I'v always used AMD and never had any problems. Maybe its luck. I don't know. And I picked a triple core chip for that fact of the 4th is not used by games. They only use 2 and the 3rd for background apps.
The reason I picked the case was for the input and O/I location. Its hard to explain how my comp is housed in my desk. Center mounted within easy reach. Plus the 690 psu is bottom mounted. Heat rises and its right below the pci slots..
As for graphic cards. I still haven't made a final decision. I read that 9800 is better then 8800 in 1 article. Then the next day I find another stating the opposite. Drving me nuts...