I plan to build a new PC, initially used for 'old school' gaming (quake 3, unreal tournament 2k4, counter strike etc) and school work.
As i am on a budget i look for bang for buck and request guidance, its worth noting during xmas i plan on getting a ati 5850 with an earthwatts 650(?) and mw2
atm i have a Sapphire PURE 790GX AM3 Mobo, 1.3tb HDD (2HDDs), and dvd r/w and 4gb crucial 1333mhz ddr3 ram I am going to use the onboard gpu till xmas as it should suffice, after i get 5850 i'd want to try all the crysis games, bioshock 2, mw2, battlefield, dirt 2 etc maxed at '1680/1440 x' and dx11 for win7/gaming
Also the phenom x3 720 is the tip of my cpu budget and seems good bang for buck, i can't go any higher.. for someone who uses sony vegas, games alot, movie streams quite a bit, plays music 24/7, and uses windows live messaging etc is the cpu sufficient? I dont plan to upgrade for 3 years and will oc mildly with w.e cpu i get (+0.2 - 0.5ghz?) is this sufficient for the time frame? Any recommendation for a soundcard also?
I'm going to use a headset so I don't need a 7.1, 5.1 etc, are there any GOOD ones with just a mic and sound input jack?
I'm a 16 year old student so I cant max out budget wise.. Hope u understand.
P.S - My previous set up was a 8800gt / C2D E7200 @ 1280/1440 and was fine for me, but my psu blew it up (generic 400watt) and am resistant to getting another dual core cpu.
Also will a coolermaster elite 330 w/ a 350w psu @ebuyer (im on mobile, cant link) hold till xmas, just to power the cpu, ram, hdd, dvd rw, soundcard + case fan? Am i going the right way?
Your plan sounds fine, only change I can think of is to get a Corsair 650 over the Antec earthwatts. Price should be about the same, but the Corsair is a better quality unit in my opinion. Don't go with a bundled PSU, 9 times out of 10, they're bundled because the PSU is crap, and they wouldn't be able to move them off the shelves any other way. Antec occasionally has bundled case / PSUs that aren't accidents waiting to happen, but they aren't always available.
The mobo on board sound will be more than enough for what you do and give very high quality sound. Only ones needing aftermarket soundcards these days are audio professionals doing production work.
What did you do with your old system? I would have just replaced the PSU with a quality unit and kept using it. You won't see HUGE performance jumps going to the x3 for the apps you run. At the resolutions you have, a GPU upgrade may have helped a little, but you still should be fine playing Crysis on the 8800GT at 1440x900 at med high details.
But being you need a case, I'm assuming you've already sold off the old system? Since you shouldn't be buying a soundcard, use that money to get the right PSU the first time. OCZ with a 3 year warranty is the lowest I'd go on quality and would buy one as they are very budget friendly. There's lots of great names, and as long as the warranty is 3+ years and its active PFC, should be a decent part.
I also choose synchronous ram speeds and then tighten the timings as much as I can. I'd rather buy overspeed ram just a bit and downclock it then the timings should tighten better than OC'd ram.
You're asking a detail question thats beyond my experience. I'd poll a few semi-pro gamers to get their take. I honestly don't think it will matter. If the onboard sound was good enough on your old system, the newer 790gx board should have a newer chip and get the job done. But I'd do some searching to see what pro gamers have to say about it.
Netherwind that is completely dependent on skill level, experience and game being played, if someone misses a snipe from behind you in say cod4, you wont know any better and they get an extra shot or two in.
As for headsets i have purchased a hd555 for music, speedlink medusa 5.1 for gaming and music and plantronic gamecoms 777 as a temporary should the medusas die, i did assume a soundcard would further help but i havent tried any of those headphones yet as my pc isnt complete.
Would running 2 different ram sets in dual mode (ballistix slot 1,3 and tracers slot 2,4) cause issues?