I've spec'd this system and am already over budget but wanted a somewhat future-proof build. This will be running Windows 7, 64-bit. Would appreciate any feedback, especially if there are incompatibilities, red flags, or if I might save some $ somewhere. Also, please recommend a cheap solution for S/PDIF optical input (for sound from my PS3).
-Purchase: before December, '09
-Usage: gaming (Eve Online, Starcraft, Bioshock), home theater, Matlab
-Not req'd: have Dell 2408 WFP, Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum circa 2003, HDDs, case, etc.
-Asus and Antec preferred
-Not planning to overclock or use crossfire
PARTS: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
The best way to stay "future-resistant" is to just make sure you have a solid AM3 motherboard that can accept the higher-power processors. Since yours does, that CPU should be fine for now (you can drop in a better CPU in two years after AMD releases its Fusion platform - which should make the AM3 CPUs dirt cheap).
The 5750 is a bit underpowered for that resolution, but since the games you are planning to run will not be uber graphics-intensive, there's really not a whole lot of motivation to go for a huge GPU. Blizzard does a lot of smart modeling so their games don't require top-of-the-line systems, so that rig should be ok to run SC2 and D3 when they come out. The 5770 isn't that much more expensive, though, and might be a better choice. If it were me, I would just spend the extra $30, drop in the 5770, and then look to Xfire down the road.
I haven't built a pc in 10 years but I was recently researching the possibility. I was looking at exactly the same CPU, RAM and Video as you. I also looked at your PSU and MB, but I haven't decided yet. You probably already found this combo, but just in case:
Why did you choose that motherboard? Why not save some money with a 770 chipset? Is it a matter of graphic lanes and future crossfire possibilities?
I'm gathering information for my own project that I will probably start after Christmas. My background is Mechanical and Computer Engineering, but I have kids now, develop software professionally (high abstraction level C++, C#, SQL, etc. - I haven't seen assembly since the '90s). I'm very much removed from the current trends in hardware.