Purchase date; 7thish and 22ndish, spreading out over two checks.
Budget; about $500 a month.....not in a hurry as I have a functioning comp, just want to get back into gaming.
What I need; Mobo, CPU, Mem, Graphics, Cables, c few more fans, perhaps good cpu cooler......the cooler the better right....?
What I already have; WD 320gb 7200 caviar blue brand new, WD 1tb (not sure what type) new, Raidmax smilodon (got it for free basically), Raidmax PSU (500watt Goals/usage; Gaming, very light drafting in autocad (2006), movies (not interested in blue ray untill the price of a disc comes down), Surfing.
Brands; I have no brand bias at this point. Reading reviews and pricing Asus and evga seem attractive, as well as gigabyte....totally open at this point.
As I stated I recieved a raidmax case (new) with the psu (500) but plan o getting a nicer psu (unless that would be allright...?).
Ill be purchasing the mobo and CPU around the 7th, and the rest by that day next month hopefully.
Ild like to build something that will allow me to max out good multiplayer games, though one of my favs is ut2004...lol. Ive been digging an digging and keep finding more and more options......quite frankly it is getting overwhelming.
Looking for some direction at this point. From what I have read ill need to upgrade the fans in the smilodon and perhaps dosome exhaust rig (i love little projects so that doesnt bother me).
FIre waya guys, help me build my 1st little monster......
I should clarify, I love my old school games, but am wanting to get back into gaming full swing with the newer games.
I also should have specified that I have no bias in cpu brand.
Why are amds so much cheaper than intel? At this point looking at pricing, amd looks pretty appealing...but i keep thinking there must be some huge drwaback as it looks like most are going i5 or i7.....? Im a total noob so feel free to correct me as im dying for input here....
As it's the beginning of a new month, the NewEgg combo deals are slim pickins today. However, I will tell you the components I would recommend:
CPU: Either the i7-860 OR the i7-920. It basically depends on how much graphics power you're looking to pack into this beast. For single-GPU setup, or a dual-GPU setup with two smaller cards (like two HD 5770s), then I would stick with the i7-860 (the motherboards will be cheaper). If you do plan to run really graphics-intensive games on a huge monitor (1900 x 1080 or higher resolution) and want super-duper quality graphics (very high details, AA, AF, etc), then the i7-920 is a better CPU.
Motherboard: Depends on the CPU. If you get an i7-860, you'll need a 1156 socket motherboard (Intel chipset P55). These range from about $120 - $200 for mainstream ones. Gigabyte or Asus are decent choices. If you want just one GPU, then you can get a lower-end model. If you want more than one GPU, then you're looking at around $180 or so. For the i7-920 you will need a 1366 socket motherboard (Intel Chipset X58). For a decent one, look to spend $200 - $300. At that price range, they should all support multiple-GPUs. Gigabyte, Asus, and EVGA are all good brands.
GPU (video card): Your choice should depend on your monitor resolution, which games you will play, and how much eye-candy you want on the screen (the quality setting of in-game graphics). Since you want to max out FPS games, you will probably want something in the $250-$300 price range, but this depends on your monitor resolution. 1600 x 1050 or lower will still run great on a cheaper HD 5770. In any event, look at the HD 5000 series cards. They use less power, support DirectX 11, and are competitively priced. An HD 5850 would be plenty at 1900 x 1080. If you must have PhysX support (which some games use, Wikipedia the term to see a list of games), then you need an nVidia card. Right now, they are more expensive when compared to the ATI cards, but they do bring in CUDA and PhysX to the table, which ATI does not.
RAM: DDR3 1600, with CAS Latency of 7 (7-7-7-?? Timings). G.Skill offers some good selections, but OCZ has a few nice rebate offers right now. Anything more than DDR3 1600 is superfluous. Getting 2 GB sticks is the best choice right now (1 GB are too small and will be replaced too soon, 4 GB are too expensive in single sticks). So if you go with the i7-860, then you will need a dual-2GB kit (4 GB total), but if you go for the i7-920, you will need a triple-2GB kit (6 GB total).
Case: Antec and Coolermaster are my favorite two brands, you really can't go wrong with either. Antec 300, 900, and 1200 are all great cases depending on your price range. Coolermaster RC-690, HAF 922, HAF 932 are also great, depending on your price. You will not be disappointed with any of these cases.
PSU: Anything with 80+ efficiency is decent. Corsair, OCZ Fatal1ty, and Antec Earthwatts series are all good PSUs. Raidmax is pure mierda. The OCZ Fatal1ty series has great mail-in rebate offers from NewEgg currently. 550W is plenty for one larger GPU (or dual smaller GPUs). The 700W version will serve you better with dual larger GPUs.
Cooler: This website is a good place to start: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm However, it is a little outdated. The CoGage True Spirit has gotten excellent reviews and is fairly inexpensive. An aftermarket cooler will run quieter, and allow you to OC more aggressively.