Recently - and quite out of the blue - my wife bought me an Antec 900 case because she had been listening to me hankering for a new computer for a while. Beyond normal computer use, I plan to use this future build for gaming (more strategy games than Bioshock, though I'm waiting for the PC GTAIV release). I do not plan to overclock, though always remain open minded. I do not want to be extravagant, as I am a lowly graduate student.
With this in mind, I have a few ideas/questions (all prices quoted from newegg):
CPU: Intel E8400 or Intel E8500 ($170 and $190 respectively). Do you think the E8500's extra cost justified according to what it would be used for?
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS ($85). I've read on these forums that this drive performs quite well.
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro ($140). I wanted a relatively cheap build and this motherboard seems to fit those needs. I do not plan to use crossfire, but always wanted to keep the option open. Admittedly, this board does crossfire only at 8.0x I believe. Also seems nice for the price.
Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 ($65 AR). I really had no idea about the type of RAM except that people here say that DDR2 1066 is not worth it. This seemed like a good deal.
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 4850. The SAPPHIRE 100242L ($155 AR) seems to be a popular choice at Newegg. Do you think the price will drop on these cards relatively soon, or is this too good to pass up?
Power Supply Unit: Umm, no idea actually. How much wattage would a system like this need? If I were to use two 4850's in crossfire?
Right now I'm using an old 19" CRT monitor, which I will continue to use until it dies, then I may buy a 22" widescreen. I also plan to use Vista Home Premium ($110), which brings the total cost (without PSU ) to
$725 - $745, depending on the CPU.
Please let me know any criticisms you may have of this build (or is parts do not go together or whatnot). Also, I have no clue about power requirements or power supply units at all, so any help would greatly be appreciated!
Edit: I was planning on using the 64-bit version of Vista.
@rsx1022: Thank you for the heads up on that deal!
@Proximon: The 4850 not dropping in price makes sense, I will purchase it soon then. Is ~750W the area to shoot for with this kind of build? The CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX is $99 AR appears to be a good deal with plenty of good ratings. I will bookmark this PSU and, barring a better suggestion/deal, will be my choice.
Edit: Would it be better to get a SATA dvd drive over IDE, or would it matter much?
@Proximon: Thank you very much for your help. I went with a well reviewed sata drive from newegg.
I've ordered all my parts but I have one last question: should I use onboard audio or reuse a rather old SB Creative Audigy 2 PCI card that I have? I have 5.1 Surround speakers, if that makes a difference.