This is a really bad idea. If you were to buy pieces as you go along, they will be obsolete/much cheaper by the time you get around to the actual build. A much better idea would be to save just the money as you go and buy everything all at once. If you have a low budget, we can work a system out for you that will give you the most for what you have. Otherwise I would just work on saving.
The best investment you can make right now is to follow these forums and build your knowledge, so that when it ultimately comes time to build, you will know how to make the best of your situation then.
But if you see killer deals like that red PCP&C Silencer 750 at Amazon for $65, it doesn't hurt to buy...
I have $1000 dollars now, but that still seems like a "budget" rig if you ask me...I mean, I would really like an antec 900 case, but with the money I have now, thats not going to happen. I would also want a bigger monitor/better GPU, but that's also not going to happen right now
I want to have $1500-$2000 by next summer, and then see where we can go from there
Why not build something to hold you over? I priced a build with a 4670 ATI card just the other day for $460. However that does not include a keyboard and monitor. But that card would give you excellent gaming performance. It is close to the performance of a 9600GT or (8800GTS 320MB card from a year ago.)I think for $1,000 you could even get a 4850.
Now if you are living on campus then I would scrap the idea all together and send us another post in 2010. However, if you are renting an apartment / living at home and are commuting to school then I would consider it.
I want to be able to play Crysis, Far Cry 2, GTA IV, Gears of War etc. So a lot of graphically demanding games. I would like to be able to play at high, or as near high as possible for about two years, as I plan to upgrade my GPu every two years or so.
I dont know if I would want something just to hold me over, but let me have a look at this $460 dollar build, and I'll see if its worth it. I do have a monitor but its a 19", and a mouse and keyboard shouldnt be hard to come across, i dont need a G15 or anything at the moment lol
Well, we all know how hard it is to wait, right? The way I see it, you have 2 options.
1. Put your money into an 18 month term deposit and celebrate your graduation next year with a really sweet rig. That's what I would do.
2. Or, since we on this forum are in the business of providing solutions, go with this:
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P $115
Scythe Mugen 2 $40 (from heatsinkfactory.com)
G.Skill Pi Black DDR2-800 $55
Sapphire 4870 1GB $225
PCP&C 750W (red) $80
Antec 900 $120
WD Caviar Black 640GB $80
Samsung SH-S223F $24
Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit $100
Arctic Cooling MX-2 $7
Total of $919 when priced off Newegg, after MIR and without combo deals, etc. Since you were on this path anyways, I would think that you could find better deals than my prices above.
Next summer, when you have another $1000, then buy a new mobo, CPU and RAM (probably i7 32nm Westmere & 3x2GB of DDR3), along with a 24" monitor.
When money allows, buy a second 4870 card and Crossfire.
Everything in my list above besides mobo/CPU/RAM is meant to carry over to the next i7 build.
The E5200 overclocks well and Tom's Hardware achieved an OC of 3.83 GHz (333 x 11.5) with 1.344V, which is perfectly fine for long-term use: article link. Note that this was done with a lesser mobo, RAM and heatsink from what I've spec'd above.
The beauty of this is that when you go to sell the mobo/CPU/RAM as a bundle, your selling point will be that you have a stable overclock at X for that setup, which is useful to a subsequent buyer who then doesn't have to spend the time to get it up to that point (OK, that might not be a lot of time), worrying about compatability, etc. Btw, a 3.8 GHz dual core would still be very useful by next summer, and could also be useful to you in a second rig as well.
Another possible upgrade path from my list above, in chronological order:
1. 24" monitor
2. second 4870 in Crossfire
3. another 4GB of RAM, Core 2 Quad CPU, Windows 7 SP1