I have a dying Athlon 64 x2 and have been patiently waiting for Windows 7 to be released to build a new computer. I already have a keyboard, mouse, moniter, and dvd-rw drive, and graphics card (it's an old Nvidia 9500GT, but it's handling everything I play fine for now, waiting until January to upgrade the GPU).
I'm looking to purchase the parts and set it up the same week windows 7 gets released. I would like it to be under $1000, and if it was under $800, even better. The main use for the system is going to be gaming and programming. I more the likely will never get an SLI/Crossfire set up. I'm going with the AMD Phenom II x4. If anyone can recommend better parts, or just give me additional information, that would be great, this is my first attempt at a custom build. Here are two builds I'm thinking about getting (feel free to mix n match my parts to give me the best options).
Or you can skip my story and just read this.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 10/22/09
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, programming homework, music, internet - all at the same time
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: GPU, keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, DVD-RW drive,
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD - no other preference just trusted parts
OVERCLOCKING: I doubt it SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have an nvidia 9500gt card right now, would like to upgrade that in december/january to something in the $300 price range then. I need this system to be future-proof for about 2 years.
Personally, I would get the 955 and save the money, but still get the asus mobo. Since your not going to multi-gpu, you could get away with the smaller psu, but getting the larger one allows for future expansion, so that's up to you.
Save money on the 955 instead of the 965. If you want you can overclock it from 3.2 to 3.4 and get the same result.
For your power supply the real x-factor is the future video card. You said no crossfire and the monitor is a medium resolution, so you might be looking at something mid-range like the radeon 4870 or the equivalent in the newer models. You would probably be OK with a 550 or 600 watt PSU. Corsair is a good brand.
One comment on video. The AMD 790 or the newer 785 models have onboard video almost as good as the nvidia 9500gt. Might be an option to keep the build simple.
I'll add my voice to the chorus advising that the 955 is a better choice than the 965; you say you probably won't, but it should be a super-easy OC to match the 965, so why pay more?
For budget-friendliness, consider the Antec 300, Antec Illusion 300 (comes with more fans) or Antec 200 cases. Coolermaster CM-RC690 is another similar case with excellent airflow.
Corsair and PC P&C are both good PSUs, but also take a look at the Antec Truepower 550W PSU. It is large enough for your stated requirements (will run a 5870), is semi-modular to keep down cable clutter and improve airflow, and is 80+ bronze (vs. 80+ for the Corsair or PC P&C).
future video card will be something closer to the top of the mound (the then version of the 295 probably), just so i can do it once and be done with it. Is the cheaper power supply still okay for this?
you might be talking me into doing some minor overclocking... what's a good AM3 compatible heat sink/fan for overclocking??? preferably something someone is already using so there's no guess work
so far im looking at the pII 955, asus mobo, ???power, G.SKILL Ripjaws 8gig.
is there anything small i might be forgetting? what's listed is all i plan on ordering for the complete build.
would a second 30 gig hard drive be better to install the OS on?