APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 wks. Hoping to snag up some deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
BUDGET RANGE: $675-$875, Before Rebates. I can probably stretch it a little further though.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (would like to do most recent games at mid to high settings), Web Development (mostly working in Photoshop for now), streaming video, basics (word processing, internet, etc.)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers and OS (getting Win7 Pro at student discount). I'll need the other peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse) so that's why I say I can stretch the budget if need be. If I can grab those on BF/CM, then I don't want them to really play a part in the system budget. But I'd still really like some recommendations.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'll be basing most of it on newegg, but before I purchase I'll be comparing prices at a few other places (tigerdirect, amazon, etc.) It was just easier for now to look them all up from the same place.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US
PARTS PREFERENCES: Not really, but see add'tl comments.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but nothing hardcore.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably later on down the line.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I still need a monitor.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Here's the thing. I was all excited about an i5 750 build because of the research I'd done. But then when I started putting the system together, it was kind of breaking the budget. I'm probably doing something wrong (adding something I don't need/missing something I do), and my eyes are bigger than my wallet. And since this is my first attempt at building my own system, I'm willing to completely scratch what I've got so far if anyone can recommend a comparable build with something cheaper. I'm not married to any of these parts.
Also, I know I said I need a monitor, but I don't want that to knock me down a whole tier as far as system performance goes. I can always call in a favor or two and get my Christmas/birthday present early.
You're not doing anything wrong. It's a pretty good build. The Antec 300 Illusion is a very good case that is also on sale for $50. I would also go up to the UD4 mobo. It's got a second PCIe 2.0 slot that operates at 8x. This will allow Crossfiring later.
The reason the i5 is breaking your budget is because its expensive. Compare it to AMD's top-of-the-line offering at $170 the X4 955 Black Edition (yes, the 955, not the 965. The 965 is just a factory overclocked 955). Not only that, but the good mobos for the i5 are all around $40-50 more than those for AMD.
If you like the red & black case then check out the Coolermaster HAF 922.
Rather than a Caviar Black 640, the Samsung F3 1TB is only $10 more.
If you go with a microATX motherboard, you might as well go with the cheaper one and drop the PSU to a 550 or even 450. The 650 and the most expensive motherboard linked will let you crossfire two 5770s.
As a guy that favors Intel, with your budget you may want to at least consider AMD's line. In particular the 720x3 Black Edition ($120 2.8 unlocked multiplier) and the 955x4 BE ($169 3.2 unlocked multiplier). Both are great budget minded cpus that will handle your tasks quite well. Although not as well as the i5-750, but still good for less money.
Another thing I am unsure about is multi gpu boards. Having always opted for them myself, I can say that I have never opted for a second card as an upgrade. By the time I am ready to upgrade, new cards have better features and more power for not much more money. Plus I don't have to hassle with the extra power requirements and hoping the game I want to play has good support (drivers) and optimization for a multicard setup. If you can find a good board that is cheaper due to being single gpu suport only, I would consider it.
In the end, it's all about your true needs and true budget. The i5 is a step up so long as your budget can handle it. Good luck with whatever you decide.
I agree with jjknoll about upgrading by getting a new card. It's only really useful to get a second card soon after the build (like within a year). If you wait longer, it will be cheaper to replace the card.
Good oc'ing mobo, good cpu, 4gb 1600mhz ram. Reviews on the mobo look good. Under $400 before $40 in MIR's. Puts you well within your budget. It's a shame the 5850's are so expensive right now and Nvidia doesn't even have any dx11 cards to look at.
Heh, now I'm second-guessing myself and seriously considering the AMD route. Probably makes more sense for my needs/budget. Wasn't planning to crossfire until this one was obsolete, so you're right in that by then, I could probably just get a new card. So I updated the build. Only thing is, I feel like I'm back to square one and need to know if all of this is compatible.
Sticking with the Spinpoint 500gb and Antec 300 Illusion case.
Combo Discount: -$10.00
Combo Price: $105.98 ($95.98 after MIR)
Anything I'm missing? Thanks for all the help everyone has given so far. Sorry to keep asking about things but I want to make sure I get it all right.
EDIT: Ooh, forgot to say I was probably going to stay with the 5770. I might be able to wait a bit for the 5850 to become available, since I have to wait for the Spinpoint anyway. Or would this system bottleneck performance? Thoughts?
Both of those boards would work. The difference is the number of SATA connections and number of rear connections. Is there a reason why you went microATX? It doesn't really matter, but you've got an ATX case (which will fit either) and an ATX board could give you a little more room between components, meaning better air flow.
Mushkin RAM is really expensive and not that much better than other types. Here's a set from Crucial that's $20 cheaper than all of those and has just as good performance. It is a slower speed, but that doesn't really have a noticable affect (see this article)
Looks pretty good to me. Good to see you be able to get a sweet system more in your budget. As far as the bottleneck question on a 5850, that's quite often an application specific question. Some games are a bit more cpu dependant and some are more gpu dependant. But.... if you plan on oc'ing, I think it will still be "fairly" balanced. At stock the 955 might not be able to keep up completely to a 5850 - again, only in some games - but I think you'd probably find that where you should be able to get 85 frames/sec you only get like 78. That processor, even stock, with a 5850 will crush most tiltles out there today.
I hope it all comes together great for you and you have a great holiday season!
Wow. I just caught this deal on Newegg. I don't know how long it will be up, but includes the 965 BE (3.4ghz) and a nice atx mobo for $260. Might only go through today or tomorrow, so I hope the OP catches it. Quite a deal.