help me with my [gaming] computer build please!

My budget = $1500
Build type = not planning on upgrading, need a build that will last for 2+ years without upgrades
What will the machine be used for? = primarily, a gaming rig. should be able to flawlessly run spore and world of warcraft on high settings as well as (some) of the more graphically intensive games out there on medium to high settings. rig should double as a graphic design workstation. This means photoshop work mostly... no CPU-intensive video compositing or anything like that. However, monitor needs to be very accurate with color and also rig should (obviously) include a higher end graphics card.

Features the build should include:
1. Processor
3+ ghz or equivalent
pretty much every processor is dual core now, so it must be dual or better (quad would be nice)

2. GRAPHICS CARD
Higher end card
512 MB+ memory???
DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 2.0 compatible???

3. RAM
??? I'm assuming 2 GB DDR2 ram as a bare minimum but am hoping for better

4. SOUND CARD
no idea. I want a sound card, not integrated sound.

5. HARD DRIVE
I don't need a huge drive. 100 GB is more than enough for me.

6. MEDIA
7200+ rpm CD and DVD player.
(I do NOT need the ability to burn CDs or DVDs since I have a second computer, so this feature would just be a "nice to have" budget permitting).

7. CASE
??? no freaking idea

8. POWER SUPPLY
??? no freaking idea. How many watts is enough?

9. MONITOR
Large monitor
good refresh rate

10. SPEAKERS
(No speaker system needed! I will re-use my existing 5.1 surround sound speaker system!)

11. MOUSE
(No mouse needed! I will re-use my existing ones which are still good)

12. KEYBOARD
A keyboard will be required. Something ergodynamic, perhaps with some advanced functionality. Must be comfortable as I will be spending a LOT of time using the machine. Prefer corded rather than cordless!

13. OS
Windows XP or Vista??? If Vista, what version of Vista???

WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR:
One of you technically savvy people to suggest the parts for me to buy so my dad can assemble it. I am SUPER concerned about all of the parts being fully compatible with one another.

Thank you in advance for your advice...
4 answers Last reply
More about help gaming computer build please
  1. Don't forget the motherboard! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128082

    Try using wolfdale CPUs - such as an Core 2 Duo E8200 or E8400. They get great power effeciency and overclockability. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    2GB DDR3 Memory is nice, but DDR2 is cheaper. I'd check newegg.

    A 500 Watt PSU is plenty enough to run a single-GPU system. Remember that amperage is just as important as wattage. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817701004

    GeForce 8800 GT's are great price for performance, and perform just as good as higher priced cards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127329

    As for the rest, it's just preference. I like XP a lot better, and it's cheaper.

    Hard Drive and DVD - get SATA, not IDE or PATA

    Now just go to Newegg.com - Find an ATX case, some DDR2 or DDR3 memory with a higher rating, and whatever else you would like because all the external stuff and hard drives are compatible.
  2. The Wolfdales are the processors to go with right now, they run very cool and have great performance. Plus you can overclock them quite high without too much effort.
    If you don't need SLI I think the Intel P45 chipset motherboards are a good buy, but let someone else recommend one.
    The new ATI Radeon 4850 has awesome performance and is really cheap. (Check this for some good reading) In short, it kills the previous generation cards and is right up there with the 9800 GTX and sometimes even beats the new GTX 260. It's also relatively cheap
    Get at least 4GB of RAM, it's cheap and you'll be able to do a lot more. DDR2 of course; DDR3 is still way more expensive and doesn't have much of a performance gain.
    Your money will be very well spent on a Corsair power supply, either the modular HX series or the non-modular TX series. Any one of them will provide great power for your computer. These supplies are highly regarded throughout the industry for their performance and as a bonus they're really quiet. Despite what some people will tell you, you don't need ridiculously high powered power supplies like 750+ watts. Especially since the Wolfdale processors are very power efficient.
    Sound cards are somewhat unnecessary these days, since onboard audio has caught up to them. But if you go with Vista (which I think you should) the Creative drivers are supposedly crap. Not sure about that though.
    Pick up a Seagate 7200.10 or Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS, either one should be fine.
    Any DVD burner that uses a SATA connection should be OK, you can find some of the top ranked ones on Newegg. Besides, burners are so cheap (under $30) that there's no reason not to have one.
    A 22" wide monitor is a good balance between price and size. Since you're looking for something with good color, you'll want a monitor with an IPS or PVA panel. Check out some of the ones from Dell, they have good monitors and have coupons and deals most of the time.
    Case is personal preference. You'll want something at least $50 to ensure you get something with good quality.
    Vista Home Premium is the version to get. It's got all of the features you want at a good price, since Ultimate is pretty pointless. 64-bit is good if you get 4+ GB of RAM. if you've got any special devices, make sure they have drivers available.
    But just letting you know, 2 years is a long time in the computer biz. My computer is about 2 1/2 years old and can't even touch the latest games (or some from last gen).
  3. COOLER MASTER RC-690 case $85 review @ http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/CoolerMaster/RC_690
    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W power supply $100 ($10 rebate) http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=62
    ASUS P5Q Pro P45 motherboard $150 http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=570
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz CPU $210
    Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) RAM $90 ($25 rebate)
    SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850 512MB $200 http://www.legitreviews.com/article/731/1/
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB 7200 RPM HDD $70
    LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe SATA $34
    XIGMATEK HDT-SD964 92mm CPU Cooler $32

    SAMSUNG 2253LW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor $260 ($20 rebate)
    Microsoft Natural 4000 USB Wired Ergonomics Keyboard $40
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit $100

    ~ $1368 (before any rebates)
    Links @ NewEgg online store https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?ID=11989407

    I recommend you try the motherboard's integrated sound first. If it's not up to your standards it's easy enough to add one a bit later.

    If you're not planning on doing a little overclocking you can leave off the CPU Cooler and use the cooler that comes in the Q6600 box. Although I'd strongly suggest getting the E8400 3.0Ghz dual core instead if you don't plan to overclock. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037
  4. In case that wish list link doesnt start working here are the direct links:

    COOLER MASTER RC-690 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004
    ASUS P5Q Pro P45 motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017
    Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731
    SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850 512MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102747
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB 7200 RPM HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148316
    LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe SATA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106073
    XIGMATEK HDT-SD964 92mm CPU Cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233014

    SAMSUNG 2253LW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001271
    Microsoft Natural 4000 USB Wired Ergonomics Keyboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109049
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488
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