PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type Intel, Nvidia
OVERCLOCKING: No (might try it in the future)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No (at least not anytime soon)
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: First off, thanks in advance for any help! This is my first build and I'm excited to get started. I'm hoping to learn a lot and end up with a pretty good gaming machine in the process.
In reading these forums and looking for parts online, I did come up with a few questions.
1. What exactly is DO stepping and is it necessary if I'm not planning on OCing?
2. Is a SATA HD still fine at this point? I don't quite understand what the new SSDs offer or if it's worth the increased price.
3. Is everything compatible, specifically the memory and MB? (The MB seems to have a nice set up features for what I need, yet I'm a bit wary based on some of the reviews. Any advice?)
4. There never seems to be a good time to buy computer parts as there is always something new coming soon (directx 11 cards, i5 cores, etc.). Is this build good enough to last a few years and then be upgradable or will these new technologies make it obsolete?
Theres absolutely no doubt that Ci7 is the most powerful cpu , but that wont make a better gaming machine when games are limited by the gfx cards .
Toms recently built two identically priced systems . One had a ci7 and 4870's in crossfire , the other had a phenom 955 and 4890's in crossfire
The phenom spanked the intel
You can save atleast $100 building with an AMD quad
EDIT : are you 100% sure the cpu cooler actually fits an i7 ?
Why the IDE optical drive? The SATA Samsungs keep going out of stock but they come back in stock the next day if you keep checking. Just get any of the SH223's (Q, L, B, whatever), they're all about the same.
If you have a budget to support the i7 920 with equal GPU power, then the i7 920 is the way to go!!!
I agree , but there are caveats .
First is that LCD monitors refresh at 60 HZ . This is 60 times a second , so any graphics rig that exceeds 60 FPS is a waste , because the person sitting in front of the monitor never sees the fps reported .
Older games used to cap their out put at 60 fps so they didnt damage older tech monitors
The second point to make is that the OP has a budget of $1200 . If gaming performance is the only thing thats important then he can build a more powerful gaming system using phenom than he can using i7 .
As a bonus phenom systems show less difference between max fps and minimum fps than i7 systems do . You might not notice the max fps but you can see the minimums
Thirdly there are a number of benchmarks showing that ci7 and a single nVidia card often works out to have poor performance .
These benches are all with a single GTX 260 http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenom2_955/8.h...
Something a bit strange is happening in these benches but there are other reviews that get the same sort of result . i7 doesnt like a single gpu nVidia cards , but would show a different result with a single ATI card
Nvidia told customers not to buy i7 cpu's for gaming
For the same $1200 the op could build a system like
Phenom 955 be
790 fx mb
4 gig of DDR3
4870 X2 , or [if he is careful with other components] a GTX 295
And that will walk all over his proposed i7/gtx 275 build in games
If you read my statement, I said if you have the budget for equal GPU horsepower, the Core i7 920 is better. He doesn't have the budget to do that, so your build/suggestion is the way to go for gaming.