I’m somewhat computer savvy but I’ve fallen out of the loop on hardware developments over the last year or so and I’m looking for some help from those more knowledgeable in these things than I. Also, I don’t need this computer right away and could easily wait a month or two before I build it, so if there’s any significant savings to be had by waiting a little bit, please let me know (though I do know there’s always something better right around the corner and I don’t want to fall into the waiting game/trap). I've broken down what I believe to be the primary pieces of the build and my feelings/preferences (if any) toward them.
Primary purpose of the computer: I play a lot of video games, so I need a computer that can game. I obviously also surf the net and that kind of stuff, but there’s absolutely no programming or graphic designs kind of stuff. The most intensive thing I’ll be doing is gaming so I want a gaming machine to play current and futures games (Warhammer Online, Fallout 3, Spore, etc)
Total budget: Around $1,000 though I’m willing to go as high as $1,200 to 1,400 for any SUBSTANTIAL step ups in performance for the extra costs, otherwise I’d like to stick around the $1,000 mark plus or minus.
Case: I’d prefer a non see thru case, as the computer will be in my bedroom and I don’t want the case lights lighting up the room when I’m trying to sleep. Though if the best options are see thru, it’s not that big of a deal. Other than that, just a case big enough to house everything I need.
PSU: Whatever is needed for the build.
Processor: Dual or quad core, with no preference on AMD or Intel, whichever is currently best bang for the buck
Motherboard: Totally open on this. Whatever is a good fit with the build/processor/ram/graphics card.
RAM: Need AT LEAST 2 gigs.
Hard Drive: I’m on the fence about the hard drive between ‘regular’ ones and raptors. I know raptors are faster (and obviously more expensive). Are they really worth the extra money? Are they that much faster? I don’t mind waiting an extra 30 seconds for my system to boot up if that’s the only real noticeable difference.
Video Card: I currently have a NVIDIA 8800 GT from my current computer and believe that will suffice for the time being unless there’s some incredible deal out there now or you strongly feel this card is inadequate.
OS: I’m looking for recommendations on XP or Vista. I’ve only used XP and have no problems running it. I’m not sure if it’s worth “upgrading” to Vista. Do all games run ok with Vista? Is Vista ‘bloated’ and memory intensive for no real reason so it slows down other things you’re trying to do? I don’t really know much about the benefits/drawbacks here, so I'm definitely open to input.
Monitor: 22” +/- widescreen, no real brand preference.
Potential interests: A new keyboard (my current one is very old at this point), if there are any good keyboards out there (possibly for gaming) that aren’t too expensive, otherwise I’ll just pick up a new one down the road at minimal cost. Also, I’ve never really cared that much about sound cards before but I’m mildly intrigued if I can get a decent one relatively inexpensively, otherwise onboard sound is fine.
I would go with vista 64, youll be able to use it if u upgrade to over 4 gigs (32 OS can only see 3.5 gigs)
If you have a 32 bit OS already you can use it though, you wont loose a lot of ram( 64 bit uses 200 more ram so part of what u gain is lost )
Case is personal preferance, just look on newegg and look at the ones that you like and have a good number of reviews