I have been stuck with the same dell desktop for 6 years and I finally graduated last week, so I felt it was time to build a new computer from scratch. I have a rough draft of the components I want to get, but I would appreciate some advice on price vs. performance issues.
First things first. I have heard from some people that newegg.com is the best way to go for components, and others say that tigerdirect.com is the best. Thoughts?
Next, for the CPU I opted for the Q9450 because it has slightly better clock speed than the Q9300 and it has a 12MB cache, but it does cost somewhat more. Is the performance difference worth the cost difference?
For the motherboard, I was strongly considering the Intel X48 but decided to go for the EVGA one because it pairs up with the video card and has better features. However, I have read mixed user reviews about this motherboard, so which is the safer buy?
The video card I think speaks for itself, though it costs around the same as 3 8800's, so should I get 3 of those, or 2 of those (it is comparable to 2 8800's), or just stick with this. Keep in mind that I keep computers for a long time before getting a new one, so I am looking to the future with these components.
For the disc drives, is a blu-ray drive worth it? I could just get 2 DVD burners for several hundred less, but again, looking to the future blu-ray will get bigger and bigger, so what is the better way to go?
For the RAM, I've been told that 8GB is overkill and the models I selected aren't even that great b/c they have high latency. Do you have any better suggestions? I will note that every time I get a new computer I'm told that I "don't need" that much RAM, but within 6 months new games come out that require more ram than people thought, so again this is an investment in the future.
Finally, do you think the cooling is adequate? The video card comes with a built in heat sink and fan so I didn't get any additional video cooling.
yes newegg.com is the best with zipzoomfly.com in second . in my opinion nwegg has the best rma and custumer service.
as fars as how many graphics card to get- get the best single card that you can get. because sli doesn't scale well at all. and all the benefits that you would see are found in insane resolutions like 1900x1200 and up. stick with a single card setup. don't know which one is the best for the money, someone else will fill you in. in a year you will always be able to add a card. if you buy 3 now, no upgrade, unless you replace all of the cards.
dont' get blue ray. it's too freaking restrictive and expensive right now. it's only gonna get cheaper eventually and i'm sure that freaking sony will come up with some new features only available for the latest gen of blue ray. freaking sony. don't waste your money on that now.
ram. well you forgot to mention the os. vista or xp? 32bit or 64bit. i recommend the 64bit anyway.this will allow you to put as much ram as possible into the system. perosnally i would get 4gb of ram. 8 is high. there are few programs that would actually utilize all that much ram. stick with 4, you can always upgrade later.
nice choice on the hard drives.
don't get a sound card. waste of money. unless you have a really great speaker setup. for the speakers you chose i think that the onboard will do.
I'd change the motherboard to eVGA 780i and the RAM to only 4 GB of DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066. That will save you a lot of cash without any noticeable loss of speed.
The 9800GX2 is nice, but the GTX 280 card to be released soon will be even better, especially in games that don't support SLI. If you're in a rush then OK, get the 9800GX2.
The Elite card is more than you need for games. Are you a musician, for example? If not, get something cheaper, or no card at all.
Are you thinking of a 790i MB because you want to add a second 9800GX2 later? Then your PSU is wrong. Certified PSUs for that sort of thing start at the TurboCool 860W and go up to the Enermax Galaxy 1000W or Toughpower 1000W or bigger. Your case is wrong too, get a full-tower instead, like CoolerMaster Stacker or Thermaltake Armor or TJ-09, and add lots of fans.
If you're not planning to add a second video card, save money and get better overclocking with the GA-EP35-DS3R or aBit IP35 Pro or Asus P5E or GA-EX38-DS4. Also, the Silencer 750W PSU is only $120 at newegg right now.
It offers 60A, not just 45A like that Ultra, and it's top quality.
Newegg is the best, if you're in the USA.
I think Blu-Ray will die, just like HD did. There's no competition, there's too much DRM, prices are too high, and in fact a regular DVD with a good upscaling program like PowerDVD looks just as good.
Edit: LOL, I hadn't seen the reply above me. Great minds think alike
The best single-GPU card for the money these days is the 8800GTS 512MB IMO. The only problem with that is that it won't be so great in Crysis or Frontlines at 1920x1200. The 8800GTX can handle that better, but it's $300 instead of $200. Wait for the GTX 280 this summar if you can, or for ATI's new 4870 cards.
EDit: also check out the Western Digital drives. WD7500AAKS and WD6400AAKS (750GB and 640GB) are faster than Seagate's 750GB in the benchmarks that really matter, i.e. average read/write. They are cheaper too, if you shop around. The disadvantage is they only have 3 year warranties, not 5. IMO that's OK, because I've only seen hard disks die in the first month, never after 3 years.