I've been reading Tomshardware on and off for years, but never bothered to post because I haven't built a new computer in ages. I'm currently running a P4 2.4c 2gbDDR2 x1950agp. It's an old system, and I'm looking to upgrade towards the end of the year or the beginning of next year.
I'm not the kind of person who needs the latest technology, so I'm looking for a price/performance build that will just get me by for the next few years. The newest game I play is Warhammer Online, but other than that I normally only play games like Battlefield2 and Teamfortress2, not huge computer hogs. I don't play games like Crysis or do benchmarking or 3d editing. I am willing to do small overclocking if it is really worth it, but otherwise I try to stay away from overclocking because I live in northern California which can get pretty hot during the summers and really, I like a stable system that I do not have to play with constantly. I would be willing to do small changes to get free speed sure, but I'm not looking at pushing the system.
There are a few brands I am in love with, Gigabyte for Motherboards and Lian-li for Cases, and would prefer to use those for the motherboard and case over any others. I own two computers with Lian-Li (one Mid one Full tower) and have told myself I will never buy another brand of computer case. Also I try to stay away from Asus or brands that have bad return policies or websites that are barely readable in common english. This is a price / performance build with no real hard cap on budget, but I would like to keep it in the $1500-$2000 dollar range while still using quality components.
Is that Palit brand something that is trustworthy? It has 8 reviews and I've never heard of the company. Also those are 512meg DDR3 cards, are they really better than the 1gb 8800GTs? I looked at the Q3 charts for video cards and really on the level they are running these things there seems to be not much difference in what I would use it for i guess.
if you want to save some cash this is how i would do it: drop the sound card, drop a GPU, and try and find a keyboard laying around. those are tough things to do but they can save you 300ish bucks
I could drop the sound card if really needed, the mobo does have 7.1 channel on it. I've always just been a fan of MAudio because they run 192KHZ cards which have superior range of sound to creative cards. They keyboard I don't mind purchasing because the G15 really helps out when you're using programs like Ventrillo because it is capable of displaying peoples names who are talking, and in games I play such as Warhammer that can make a difference when 10 people are all trying to talk at once. Also the macros are nice for games.
Do you really think swapping over to a single 4850 512mb is worth it from dual 1gb 8800gts? I realize that not a lot of games really utilize the Crossfire / SLI setup, but games in the future will and it seems smart to just buy two of the same cards so I don't have issues down the road.
I guess that is the question right now. Do I do dual 4850 512mb or single 4870 1gb. I guess they cost about the same. Last time I spent $300+ on a single video card though was my GEForce 3 Ti500 (/sigh).
And the sound card. Looks like something that might be scrapped. It's not in stock anyways and hasn't been for some time.
The Dual HD 4850 will be undoubtedly superior than a single HD 4870, if you're going that route, then get the Silencer 750W just to be safe.
I am a friend of sound cards and if you're like me and actually care about sound, then I'll recommend it, even though a lot of the folk here think onboard audio is "good enough", if you like quality, then go for it and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
I have the Logitech X-530 speakers (Basically differently packaged X-540, without the controller) and combined with my X-Fi, they sound pretty well (I know I could get better speakers, but these were very good for what I paid).
If you're open to it, I would suggest more recent mice with newer sensors, the Mx518 is a decent mouse, however it shows it's age compared to newer ones.
RAZER Diamondback 3G Earth Green 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB 3G infrared 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse - Retail
Thanks for the suggestions on the mouse. I just picked the logitech one because 1) it matches the keyboard and 2) i figure they know what they are doing.
I'm currently using a Microsoft Habu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826105016&Tpk=microsoft%20habu which works fine for what I do with it, however I will not be parting out my old PC as I want to keep it together for use. Honestly I would probably be fine with a 1980's ball mouse but I guess there is no reason not to get something better.
If you like the Habu, you should know that it was designed by Razer, but distributed by Microsoft. The Diamondback 3G and DeathAdder both use the newer 3G laser sensor (Even though there's a typo on the newegg page stating that the DeathAdder is optical, but in reality the DeathAdder is only available as a Laser mouse).
I use the Diamondback 3G myself, but some people might find the DeathAdder's shape a little better for their hands, it's really personal preference at this point.
I edited the OP to reflect the suggestions made and from further research. I still have a few questions however.
First, I've read that the Lian-Li cases with the top 80mm fan can have clearance issues with the PSU and was wondering if anyone actually owns one of these cases and can tell me whether or not they have any issues and what PSU they are running.
Second, I added the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler and was also wondering if anyone has this setup in their Lian-Li and if they had issues. I think after removing the PSU pipe that is supplied with the case there will not be too much problem, but would like to know if someone has this setup.