I am looking to build a new rig for the first time in about 10 years. My last build was an ASUS K7V Slot A Athlon system way back when. It served me well for many years and my most recent computer was a store bought HP. I have the itch now to build another computer and have some parts picked out but need advice on more.
System will be built for use in the following priority; gaming, web surfing, video playback, AutoCAD drafting, small business use.
I need input on a cooler. The case has provisions to run liquid lines through it so that may be an option, would like to try and OC a little but not a ton. Anything I am missing here? Is the onboard audio good enough or do I need a separate sound card? I've got an old Soundblaster Xgamer I can use if that is better than the on board audio.
I'm a little behind in technology but getting back up to speed. I will probably run WIN7, will the upgrade work on XP? If so can I do a clean install with the upgrade disc and utilize the 64 bit version? I'm a little confused on what to do in terms of the OS and how to go from 32 bit XP to 64 bit WIN7. Or am I stuck buying a full version of WIN7?
If you want something more future-proof(so it'll last maybe as long as your old computer did), I'd go with a core i5 and HD 5850 setup. Take away the 2x HD 4870s, and replace them with a single HD 5850. It's cheaper and it has newer technology. With the money saved from switching those GPUs, you could go with a core i5.
Anyways, your setup is high-end as it is. It is by my standards, anyways(I'm still running on an old ASUS K8V-MX MoBo and 1.6 Ghz AMD cpu. I'm looking through threads to find upgrading ideas).
The problem with relying on the "best graphics card at price" is its limited in scope and has no thought given to future upgrades. I prefer to start a system with the single best GPU I can afford and buy a motherboard/PSU strong enough I can add a second in a couple years as an upgrade if I need to. Single cards always work, some games dont utilize multiple cards. Single cards use less power and run cooler. The only advantage multiple GPUs ever has is performance/money today.
The new ATI 5000 series has relative low power usage and temperature going for it in addition to DX11. Given your monitor, a single 5850 ($300) or a pair of 5770s ($320) would give you good results and DX11.
Thanks to all for the responses. I am leaning towards an AMD chip. I have only ever had AMD chips. My first computer was a K6, first laptop was a K6-2, first system I built was a Slot A Athlon, and my newest is a store bought Athlon 64x2.
I am putting my plans on hold for now until after the New Year as things are weird at work and they are doing workforce reductions and even though they say they are done and even if they weren't I'd feel safe I cannot justify building one at this time. After the first of the year we will know one way or the other where the company is headed. I will revisit this build at that time and see if any opinions have changed.