Ok I am reaching out for some help and advice. I had a home built system with the following components listed below.
1) Antec Nine Hundred Case
2) Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe MB - DEAD!!
3) AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+
4) MSI Geforce 7900 GS 256MB PCI-E x Video Card
5) 3GB Kingston PC3200 DDR400
6) 2 x 500GB Hard Drives
7) 2 x DVD+RW plextor 708A and a sony dru-820a
8) Ultra ULT31852 X2 X-Connect 550W Power Supply
9) 2 x 20" Samsung Monitors w/ DVI connections but I also have a 37" LG LCD that I may use instead
10) Plan on running vista
Long story short I am in the military and while I was deployed to Iraq I had the computer shipped to a friend to load Vista and some upgrades listed above so it would be done before I got back. In shipping the MB was damaged from what I have been told because now the computer will not boot or go to Bios or what ever it doesn't do when the MB is dead. This info is from a trusted source. So that said,,,I have been living off my laptop and it is beginning to take a toll on it.
What I am asking is can anybody tell me what I should do given the current components out there,,,I have been out of the loop for a bit and don't know whats out there now.
1) do I look for a refurbished MB or is there a comparable one to it that is still being made?
2) Are any of the components worth saving and just reconfiguring the system with some new parts?
3) Do I just start over with the latest and greatest?
1) Most speed and overall performance for the money.......on the net and when just multitasking at home
2) able to play any the latest games,,,I am not playing any multiplayer anymore and does not have to be flawless just able to play them with a decent picture
3) Would like to not spend more then $5-600...I know that just killed a lot of options. I am a little flexible though if its worth it.
So there it is,,,All suggestions are welcomed
Also,,,,if you recommend starting over,,,is anything I have listed worth posting on ebay?
If it's the older Ultra PSU I'd probably consider getting a new PSU. Ultra has had it's quality issues on some of the older models, so to keep things safe, I'd consider a new one. The Ultra PSU may be fine, but if it's 3 or more years old, you have probably lost ~30% of it's capacity over time, which means it's really an average ~400w PSU now.
Here is what I'd consider:
$205 - $40 MIR = $165!! Plenty of power for your 20" monitors!! Especially for gaming. A 4850 will do also, so consider that also, if you decide you need to save some $ for other parts. GIGABYTE GV-R487-512H-B Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
CPU - $83 shipped!! e5200 @ 2.5 gHz is plenty for now. If you OC it (which is pretty easy) you should be able to reach at least 3-3.4 gHz without too much trouble.
other PSU's to consider too:
$105 - $35 MIR's = $70!! Has 49A on a single 12v rail, but only comes with 2 x 6 pin PCI-e power connectors, which may/may not make a difference. Some of the higher end and maybe future GPU's require a 6 pin and/or a 8 pin (6+2pin) PCI-e power connectors. The PCP&C 500w PSU that I used above has you covered with the 1 x 6 pin and 1 x 6+2pin (8 pin) PCI-e power connectors. I only mention this now, so you can make an informed decision on what you want to do. There are 6 pin to 8 pin PCI-e power adaptors available, so getting a PSU with only 6 pin PCI-e power connectors, isn't a lost cause. PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Now I don't know if your Drives (DVD/CD/HD) are IDE or SATA, but 99% of all new mobo's only support up to 2 IDE drives, so you might/might not need to get a HD or DVD drive that is a SATA based one. The cheapest way is to get a DVD burner for about $25-30 shipped, but you'll have to decide if that is what you want to do.
You didn't mention an OS, so that would need to be added to your build, if you don't already have one. I'd recommend Vista Home Premium 64 bit ($100 shipped), since it'll allow you to add more than 4 gb's of DDR2 to your build later, if you decide you need more RAM.
Total ~$660 - $80 MIR's = $580!! That includes the $100 OS that I listed above. If you don't need the OS than you can subtract the $100 and you'd be at $480 after rebates!!
Depending on how hardcore you like your game settings will depend on if the $40 is well spent or not on the 4870 1gb version. If you don't need the highest settings than the 512mb version will do just fine. Your 4 gb's of DDR2 should do you fine for quite awhile, so I wouldn't worry about getting 1 more set of them.