I'm building my first ever desktop gaming PC and what better place to come get criticized (constructively of course, right? ) than here!?
I'll admit off the bat that I am no hardware guru so please excuse any newbie mistakes you see listed below.
I have looked pbmikez Gaming PC for $1500 Budget thread and I have compared what I've seen there with what I had and changed it up a bit.
Please let me know what you think and how I could improve. I'd prefer to buy from Mega Computers here in my hometown to save on shipping and they've also got lower prices on everything compared to TigerDirect and NCIX.
The things I'm currently iffy on are cooling, MoBo, and a case. I don't want to pay for blue LEDs in my case but rumour has it that full-sized cases are best for air flow which makes perfect sense to me.
for the ram i would choose 800mhz, instead of 1000mhz, save a little money and simply overclock what you have. stick with 2x2gb, it will be much easier to upgrade in future.
the mobo is good. i would also recommand the msi k9a2 platinum. it's a pretty great overclocker.
i've had a good experience with the power supply. its been running great for over 8months now.
cpu? 6400 is a bit expensive plus not much room left to overclock. think about getting the amd 5000be and overclocking it. it's really easy to overclock it. but if you have the money then stick with 6400, or get a phenom 9850 with unlocked multiplier.
If its a gaming PC, why not go Intel? I'd say get a E8200 and OC it to 3.5 easy, and instead of paying 370$ for 2x 9600's, i'd wait for the 4870 or GTX280 which will both be in your card budget, or getting the 8800GTS for way less, if you can get the same performance, 1 card is always better than 2.
sli has less advantages than you think. it doesn't scale very well. that means you will not be getting 2x the performance or even 1.5. it's moslty used for large memory when you are playing on really high resolutions. i'm not all that sure when it comes to nvidia cards, but there is most likely a single card that can outperform the two sli cards that you will buy.
as far as amd being easier to overclock, not sure about that. 5000be amd is definetly easy to overclock, 6400 would be harder to get really high clocks, since ur very near the limit. and the new phenoms don't overclock well, my phenom 9500 @2.5ghz is barely stable. 2.6ghz is not stable, that is coming from 2.2ghz. amd be versions are easy to overclock since they have unlocked multiplier. but then again there are also intel processor that are easy to overclock. i hear people saying good things about q6600.
The Core2 CPU's are ridiculously easy to overclock, and will outperform any available AMD chip currently on the market by a wide margin, even at lower clock speeds. For $20 more than the AMD CPU, you can get a Core2 Wolfdale 3.0 ghz that a blind monkey could oc to 3.6 ghz and that'll annihilate any AMD chip.
The final line is :
It took about a year and a half, but the performance gap between Vista and its forerunner has finally evaporated.
Also, if you are looking for a good, simple case, you might consider the Antec Sonata III - with an excellent Earthwatts 500x PSU - that should handle all your power requirements unless you do go SLI - and on sale for only $80 AR with free shipping. I also like the eSata on the front panel.
Now I have a case, hopefully sufficient cooling, an Intel Processor/Mobo so I think I'm good to go in all respects except maybe graphics? What else could I possibly do with that money and get better video for?
If I can go with 1 card to outperform the 2 I currently have, I can probably save money on 1 card and like $70 on the Mobo too, any recommendations please?
500w will be fine, but id get the biggest PSU just in case you wanted to update, 9600GT SLi is nice but SLi 8800GTS would be better. Remember the 9900 and 4870 are on their way out and theyll outperform anything youre looking at