APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Not positive. I can (reasonably) wait for newer releases if it's worth it, but depending on a few things I may be able to up my budget by an additional $1-2K, so definitely not until that's decided in ~a month. BUDGET RANGE: $1,500 USD
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Multitaskable gaming (Xfire + FF + Ventrilo + game), surfing the Web, watching movies, "business" (for me that consists of things like Office, light graphics work, light video editing)...
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, operating system
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg
PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm not sure i7 is worth it with my current $1,500 budget, so I'm thinking AMD Phenom II.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No (maybe in the distant future)
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 19" 1440x900
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't want any problems with noise or temperatures. This is my first build and honestly I don't know that much, I want everything needed to have the items arrive and be able to start assembling right away (barring any defections I guess). For example, thermal compound stuff, I'm not sure what to get or if I even need anything fancy... so I didn't include it myself.
$1,273.32 ($1,421.15 after 9.25% tax and UPS Guaranteed 3 Day). I thought about a 295 but that knocked me just over the $1500 budget which was ok, but over $1700 after shipping/taxes. And it seems like if I were going 295 I ought to cough up at least an i7 too, lol.
Those gtx 280's are based on older architecture, they run hot and are power hungry sans the reason they are being phased out by Nvidea. Also that Raptor is a waste of money imo. This 640 Black HD runs nearly as fast as that Raptor. This build down below is set up to add another card later on for Crossfire not to mention the heat sink in this build is far better than that Zalman you have.. As it is now with that resolution of yours this card is major over kill, but you should have enough money in your budget if you shop correctly and use the free shipping to add a decent 22" monitor to this build. That way this vid card doesn't go to waste with 1440 x 900 resolution.
Also if you do a google on "ewiz coupons" or "ewiz promo codes" you can take another $5 - $15 dollars off that mobo/cpu combo down below.