I am trying to assemble a new gaming system to augment my aging (7+ years) system. I (obviously) don't purchase new very often, so I am looking for something that is expandable and upgradeable. Crossfire/SLI is not necessary, but I want to keep my options open for the future. I've done enough research that I am sure I want to go Core i5 and with a Radeo HD 5850 based video card (even though they appear to be in short supply). I've read some of the posts and have spec'd out a system based on other people's suggestions. I am an IT professional, but this is the first time I've built a system for myself, so I appreciate any feedback. Oh, and if I can save money somewhere without sacrificing future expandability, that is, of course, a bonus.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming. Gaming. Oh, and Gaming. And web surfing, email, word processing, iTunes, etc. But we have computers that do that. So, mostly, gaming. Not really high end stuff, though. As long as I can play Lord of the Rings Online at highest quality without lagging in the 21st Hall, I'll be happy.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard is not required at this time. I have lot's of those. Unless someone knows of a really good quality backlit keyboard that's reasonable (i.e. under $50). I have a nice 24" LCD monitor that I will be using with this system.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: directcanada.com, newegg.ca. I open to other suggestions, as long as they are in Canada.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Core i5, Radeon HD 5850 based graphics adapter. Is one video manufacturer really better than another when the chipset is the same?
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Don't really need it to look really pretty. I'm more of a function over form person. Quiet is nice though. I really hate listening to a whole lot of fan noise or hard drive chatter.
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately neither of those items are available on Newegg's Canadian site (newegg.ca). In fact, I couldn't find a single Core i5 Heatsync on newegg.ca, which was really annoying. The Samsung Spinpoint drive specifically states that it is not available. Weird, but true.