Home Studio DAW/moderate gaming pc config

ive been looking at the over priced studio pc's with ultra levels of quiet n all that crap...but i notice the components are not even what i want to put in my future system...the system requirements of programs like reason and sonar are beyond met...for ex. the recommended req. for the processor in sonar is Intel® Pentium® 4 2.8 GHz [EM64T]
AMD Athlon™ XP 2800+ or higher...1 gb of ram
The mainstream now is dual cores and vista demands 2 gb of ram...anyway enough of stating the obvious...

seems like i can pick up any ol' dell, gateway, etc. for $700-$900 and i'd be good to go...i also wanna do a lil gamin, i used 2 be a major quake 3 head back in the day...

now to the point...

what can i get for around $800-$900(no monitor) with a decent case with usb, FW ports in front(preferably with a window) great but not to expensive motherboard, decent vid card...

for my monitor im getting somethin in the 22-24", $200-$300 range...not quite sure yet but looking at the ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD

advice also welcome on whether i should go with dual, quad, or i7 core

i plan on putting it together my self...i never built a system but ive installed ram, replaced hd's, rom drives, n pci cards...ive also watched several videos on you tube on building systems and i feel up to the task...i'd buy one already assembled but i feel like they place100-200 extra on the price tag just to build it and i could juss put that toward better parts

if u use any of the programs mentioned above or any other synth/sequencer and have a somewhat up to date system and use rewire with a breeze your welcome to post your specs

my current specs are p4 1.8 ghz gf4 ti 4400 1.25 gb pc2100 ram and my progs run decent...so i can only imagine with the new system

please, no comments on how long ago i should have upgraded
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  1. you can definitely get a quality system for 900 or less - are you including the price of the lcd in this price too?

    Here's my suggestion:
    Intel C2Q Q6600 $197.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017
    (you can't go wrong with this cpu, great price, very overclockable)

    Asus P5Q-SE Plus $96.99 (before rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131347

    OCZ Reaper HPC DDR2 1066 - $65.99 (before rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227289

    Raidmax Smilodon ATX Case w/ 500w psu $89.99 (before rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156098

    Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB SATA HD $129.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148337

    GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 $89.99 (before rebate)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102803

    Total before rebates: $670.94 +s&h

    That also leaves you with about $230 to buy whatever else you wanted in this package, assuming you might be able to salvage your dvdr/rw out of your old pc or buy a new one for around $25 bucks unless you want blueray/hi-def
  2. thats pretty good stuff jlvitt...is pci express 2.0 only used for graphics? and whats with the x4,x8 when it comes to the pci express? cause the mobo only has 1 slot, or is this not important? and i wanna spend about $160 on the mobo cuz i want lots of usb and other ports...

    i guess ill just upgrade the mobo, psu and case from your selction for now...and no the lcd price is separate...

    including lcd im looking to spend about 1100-1200
  3. also will i be able to play crysis maxed out?
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