Here we go. My laptop just went the way of the dinosaurs, so it's time for a desktop. I don't have a monitor so that is included in the build. I would be using this rig for a wide range of games and I do not need to be playing them at max resolution or max settings, but higher is always better... Here is what I am looking at so far, please feel free to suggest specific brands and models, as this is very early in the thought process! By the way, I am shooting for about $1000 (some of my money and hopefully some Christmas funding). I had a 3 year old Gateway M680, thus all of this is going to be a more than modest upgrade.
Monitor: 20'' widescreen 1680x1050
Case: Mid-tower (I have no idea what brand)
PSU: 550W or maybe a little higher
Mobo: No clue, not in need of crossfire or anything like that. I would be more likely to upgrade to a new mobo in a few years to take advantage of newer cpu architectures than to upgrade by adding another video card.
CPU: Something dual core. AMD 64 x2 6000 or 6400. Intel seems to be so much more expensive but worth it from what I have been reading. Maybe a Core 2 Duo E8200 or E8400. How important is 45nm vs 65nm?
Memory: 2GB DDR2 PC2-6400, I was shocked at how cheap memory has become.
Gfx Card: ATI 4670 or 4850, Nvidia 9600 GT or 9800 GT depending on prices.
I think the rest I can do myself (optical drive, hard drive, keyboard, cooling fans, etc = sub $130). Thanks in advance to anyone who responds. I am most interested to see opinions on motherboard/cpu and monitors.
I usually buy monitors at a big box store. That way i can check them out side by side, see for myself how they look and then buy them. You can have them checked for dead pixels right then and get it replaced if there's any problems.
^ i would avoid the IDE interface on the hard drive, SATA is faster and doesn't use the OEM ribbon cable, I also prefer an aftermarket cooling type solution on different 4850 graphic cards. The RAM may need to be set to 1.9v in BIOS to work and it has slower timings. The stock clock Q6600 may be a bit slow, it really needs an overclock to shine. Expensive case choice.
lol dont scimp on the case its whats holds ur STuff if you wont a cheap case that has little to no airflow go for it. OO and this one has a transparent side window =p and VERY VERY VERY VERY good airflow
Hey thanks for the replies. Good idea about looking at monitors in a store first. Dirtmountain, I agree sata is the way to go. As far as the case, I'm not interested in windows, just something that isn't gigantic but still has decent room and airflow. What does everyone think about PSU wattage? Ist 550 going to cut it for all of these specs? Again, thanks for the replies!