I am planning on building a cheap system this week, so any advices would be appreciated. I already have some components from an older system I could use (Case with PSU, HDD, DVD-RW Drive, Sound card etc...). I want to buy a new motherboard, CPU, Memory and Video card to fit in my system.
I have a Viewsonic VX2025WM with a 1680 x 1050 resolution and I am a moderate gamer.
Here is the case I already have: Antec NSK4480
The only drawback about this case is that it only has a 380 Watts power supply so it might be a little tight for the video card I am planning to buy:
The motherboard is the part I need most advice with... I picked up this one, but I am really not sure. There are so many different models and I only checked the ones from Asus! From what I can see I have the choice between nForce and AMD chipsets... but once again there are many different chipsets for each (AMD 770, 780G, 790 with SB600 or SB700? nForce 730A, 750A or 780A? etc...). So, which chipset is the best? I want to spend between 100$ and 150$ for the board.
Oh! And I almost forgot, I think it would be better to buy an aftermarket heatsink for the CPU. I guess the stock heatsink isn't good enough? Which heatsink would you recommend for this CPU? Let's say for 50$ or less?
And about the PSU, I checked on http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine for recommended wattage for my build and it gives me 311 Watts. I've included all the components in my case (HD, DVD drives, fans, USB devices, PCI cards, plus a 20% Capacitor aging). As I expected, it might be a little tight for my system, but I think I will try it like that and if I run into performance/stability problems (a.k.a. crashes) then I could upgrade the PSU. Unless you guys tell me it won't do at all and I'd be better upgrading it now.
Thanks in advance for all your recommendations!
P.S. With Nehalem just around the corner, I know this is not a good time to upgrade. But I just can't stand my old system anymore! I am planning on building a more powerful system in a year or two and would be willing to spend between 1000$ and 1500$ for it. This upgrade is just a temporary solution to allow me to play games until then.
Don't EVEN think about getting an AMD dual-core. A Core 2 Duo E7200 would be a far better choice - it will perform better at stock speed, and can easily hit 3.6 GHz with a decent cooler.
Grab a Gigabyte P45-DS3L to go with it.
Also, change the memory to a 2x2 kit from G. Skill or A-Data. As this will be a temporary system, you probably don't need top-of-the-line memory. A-Data and G. Skill both have great warranties and reliability, as well as decent overclocking headroom.
I would upgrade your GPU to a Radeon 4850, if you can swing the extra ~$60. If not, the ASUS 8800 GT 512 is only $120 on Newegg right now. If $20 is not worth it, I would get an 8800 GS/9600 GSO (try for a 768 mb) instead. The extra 32 SPs provide better performance in shader-based games, and it has absolutely amazing overclocking headroom (I got 724/1745/2084 out of it).