BUDGET RANGE: $800 - $1150
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming(RTS Games i.e Empire Total: War), Everyday use
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor(If you can fit a 16-20 Inch within the budget then go ahead), Keyboard & Mouse, Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:http://www.newegg.com/
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Here's the department in what I lack knowledge in. Don't know what components are compatible with one another. ATI most likely for the graphic card. Leaning towards Intel atm. And I don't need that big of a HD(750 GB to 1 TB).
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900-I'd be using either of these three.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet would be nice. For the OS I would prefer Windows 7. And for more insight on what games I'd be playing mostly what I stated, RTS and strategy and simulation games with an occasional MMO thrown in. And to note, first PC that I'd be putting everything together, if that means anything.
Antec Three Hundred Case
Asus M4A78T-E motherboard
Athlon II x3 2.7ghz with Dark Knight cooler (should be abel to hit around 3.2GHz)
G-Skill DDR3-1600 4GB
RAID 0 2x Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB (for total of 320GB at approx 600mbs)
500W power supply
Radeon 5770 graphics card (DX11!!!)
for £710 will upgrade to phenom II x3 BE and add discrete sound card ASUS Xonar
These are uk prices from www.novatech.co.uk but these are generally comparable with the us newegg prices
The i5-750 CPU / P55 Motherboard build will give you better gaming performance, but for what you're looking to run it's not really necessary. It would be more worthwhile to drop that extra money into a beefier graphics card like an HD 5850, etc...
And yes discrete audio cards are really only worthwhile if you have a matching speaker system which will fully utilize it.
If any of these benchmarks are representative of the overall gaming experience, then what it comes down to is the simple fact that saving $100 on a ninety nine dollar CPU and spending the savings on a higher-end graphics card is pprobably the best investment to get more out of a game.
I looked over the suggested builds, and this is what I've drafted up as of now. It may look familiar to the one's you've posted, which I took some items from(basically everything). Is this any good for the price?
If any of these benchmarks are representative of the overall gaming experience, then what it comes down to is the simple fact that saving $100 on a ninety nine dollar CPU and spending the savings on a higher-end graphics card is probably the best investment to get more out of a game.
It depends on the game and on how much graphics throughput you are looking to stack. The charts below represent some massive GPU power, an HD 4870 X2 is a beefy card (similar to an HD 5870).
However in a game which is more bottlenecked by the CPU:
Now we see a pretty significant difference.
For me, the most telling chart happens to be the synthetic results from 3Dmark:
While synthetic results must be chewed with a bit of salt, and must be confirmed by "real-world" benchmarks, they offer a good smorgasbord of tests which tends to even out the specific proclivities of different games. I still stand by my conclusion that the i5 offers slightly better performance, even in gaming.
That being said, AMD is a better choice for our man here. Better bang/buck and more upgradeable in the future.