I'm new here, but I've been building PCs for a while, but have been out of the loop for a good number of years.
My Current System:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz
Nvidia GTS 8800 512mb
320gb WD SATA 10,000 RPM (hot as hell) HD
680w Power Supply
I'm planning to keep most of the parts I have, and simply upgrade the Motherboard, RAM, Processor and Video Card. Keeping the price for what I want under $1200.00 is proving to be a challenge.
Now to the form question:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 3 weeks
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (really, I'm just upgrading so I can run Dragon Age: Origins on max settings)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Power Supply, Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor (24'' Dell 1900x1200)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, (is there another that might be better-priced?)
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 920 (newegg has them for $279.00)
OVERCLOCKING: I'm hoping to buy an EVGA Hydrocopper GTX 295, unless someone has a better idea.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1900x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm planning on a Cooler Master HAF tower, included in the parts I'd like to go with as my current box will act as a portable heater for any room.
I was planning on an EVGA or Asus Intel X58 board, LGA 1366 with DDR3 1600 or 2000. (not sure if I need SLI or Crossfire if I purchase an EVGA Hydrocopper GTX 295). Intel i7 920, Corsair Dominator 6gb (I'm still running 32b XP Pro), and a good case, really.
Sorry to bump my own post, but I really only have one more question.
Which MB should I use for this new system? As stated, I really will only ever use 2-way SLI or Xfire and I'd rather not pay for a board with a bunch of bells-and-whistles I won't use. I'd just like the basic LGA 1366, DDR3 1600 or 2000, and SATA II ports which I'm told most X58 boards can handle.
Newegg seems to lump them all together and lists many more 3-way SLI/Xfire boards than the simple PCIe 2x16.
Is there a particular model anyone recommends? I'm torn on Asus and EVGA.
You also might as well step up to 64-bit Windows since you'll have to do a reinstall of your OS with the new hardware anyway. You can pre-order Windows 7 for $100 or get it for $30 if you're a student.
Thank you for the vivid answers! I was thinking I would build it piece-by-piece for the time being. I'd first buy the MB, Processor and RAM (running my OS from before), then 2 weeks later (payday) I would buy the video card and the case.
Is there some reason I couldn't use this? I understand 32bit OSes only use up to 3.5 GB of RAM, but I figured I could just wait for Windows 7 for a little while. I don't multitask very often and I usually just game and web browse.
Why wait for Windows 7? The pre-order deal ends tomorrow. It's a very fast, stable OS. Putting a 32-bit OS on an i7 build with 6GB of RAM doesn't make any sense when you can get a modern OS that will use all the RAM for $100.