Hai! Hum, this might prove to be long, so feel free to skip the topic if you don't have the time to read it!
I am looking to upgrade my current build, which is mostly 3 or 4 years old, although the parts weren't all bought at the same time. I won't go listing what was in it, but let's say that there's not many recent games which will run fine on it (my eyes have developed an amazing feature of being capable of playing under 20 fps).
So I've been doing some research, and I've come up some ideas, but I need confirmations, and ideas for the parts I'm just unsure about.
I'll just start with the form:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1st week of July.
BUDGET RANGE: Hum, I'm in Canada, and my budget for this is around 1600$ CAD (1450$ USD). Obviously, it's okay if it's less.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Hardcore gaming, hardcore media work (Photoshop, video editing, etc), hardcore browsing (I'm pretty much always doing that while playing games or working).
That leaves me about 900$ CAD for a couple items (again, open to suggestions):
GPU I have read the post about running two radeons 4770 in crossfire to get basically the same results as a single, more expensive radeon, and I think that's a great idea. I'm inclined to choose that option at the moment, but I'm open to suggestions, and am not restrained to ATI: I just want the best possible for the price. The CAD price for two of those would be around 250$ (+- 210$ USD).
HDD Here, I'm really, really not sure. In the best of the worlds, I'd like to have two 500GB HDD running in a RAID, but I really have no clue about how to do this, nor about how expensive it would be. Also, I'm tempted by a single 1TB HDD, simply because I've been lucky enough not to ever have an HDD crash on me, so I'd be hoping for the trend to continue (I can dream, damnit! I can dream!). I'm looking at +- 140$ CAD for this (+- 125$ USD)
Memory Last, but not least. I've done some research, but it seems quite hard to really have an idea about what brands are good, and what are not. I'd like 4GB of DDR3 RAM, running at 1600mhz. I don't really know much about memory, for instance, what latency is the best, or if it has a big impact, etc. Some ideas would be welcome here. The plan is to acquire 4GB of RAM right now, and then get 4 more when Windows 7 comes out. I'm looking at +- 15$ CAD for this (+- 135$ USD).
Monitor No idea about a specific model, I just have been researching the following (it's not easy): 24' LCD, 1900x1200 resolution, HDMI, good response time for games (5ms?), good contrast ratio (+1000:1 static?) and a price of +- 300$ CAD or less if it can be found (+- 270$ USD or less)
Actually that leaves me a bit of space cash wise here (items got cheaper since last time I checked), so there's definitely some space to work with. I just want it to be within 1600$ CAD before tax, and then the best choice will be bought. A note about the PSU: I am unsure about what is required for such a build: is 650W enough? Also I've read that the wattage isn't the most important thing, but that the amperage is. That PSU seemed fine and nicely priced, but suggestions are welcome
I'm grateful for any suggestions and discussion about this!