My current PC is as follows... i left out the case, hdd, and dvd drive because as far as i know for gaming those don't matter as much.
RAM: (i'm still trying to learn about RAM and what specs are important... this seemed fine at the time of purchase but i'm sure there is much better available now. ) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
GPU: ( i still hear good things about this card and its hard to find now (not sure why)... i'm assuming my system is bogged down the most by my CPU and MOBO and not so much this video card. I could be wrong though... ) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
Come next year (i know prices will be way different) i want to build a new PC. My current one just isn't cutting it anymore... it works fine for WoW @ about 20-30fps average at max settings, which is fine for me (although i'm sure it should be doing better...). I want to be able to play the newest games though... i tried NFS Shift and at max settings and it lagged pretty bad =/. Basically I'm trying to figure out what mistakes i made with my current system, as it is the first one i ever made, and not make them with my new one.
I should note that i like to get the most i can for as little as i can. I'm not willing to spend over $1000 on a top of the line i7, GDDR5 GPU, and DDR3 tripple channel RAM. The PC i posted only cost me about $430 shipped and its pretty decent. I know prices will change by next year but i would like to spend around the same maybe a little higher. I'm shooting for $600 MAX.
Note: I know nothing of over clocking so i would like to avoid that... i'm too scared of frying my system to try it.
I don't think WoW is an accurate gpu test. It depends largely on the network, ping, and # of on-screen players. You can put a powerful pc to its knee if you're doing a 50+ man raid.
Oh yea, NFS Shift is semi-slideshow on HD 4850. My GTX 260 is playing this game close to lag-free. A lot of people can't tell where the lag is. I can. I been playing games for a decade or more. I doubt your card is very good at maxed out Dirt 2.
If it's a solely a gaming rig, you want a cpu that's at least 3Ghz for modern & upcoming games. A dualie.
What other things do you do on the pc? What's your monitor resolution? Do you like eye candy or get by with medium image quality? What's your psu?
Well i actually don't play to many graphically intense games that often lol... i do like to download demos or borrow a friends copy whenever a new game comes out though. I just like to stay on top of current events in the gaming world so i at least try everything. I basically just like to have a system capable of top notch performance with current games, even though i don't play to much. Some kind of strange obsession or something >_>
Well i was thinking more along the lines of a quad core again since more and more games are starting to take advantage of them. Maybe if theres an easy way to safely over clock the CPU/GPU with all stock coolers and stuff i could try that...
I'm using an 37" LCD HDTV as my monitor for now. It uses a 1360x768 resolution so its nothing really that high. I am an eye candy person so i prefer to be able to run games smoothly at the max settings. My current PSU is just the default 500W one that came with the case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Seems to run everything without problems... everything runs pretty cool also.
I play at that resolution on my 26" HDTV as well. lol. I'd like 1080, but my TV can't support it. So I can max out everything in games. Just played DIRT 2. Amazing looking. Seemed alive. Like you're closing in on a flock of birds, they'll take off in front of you. I like how the developer modified a street circuit into a half street and half rally circuit. i.e. Shibuya circuit. It's a downtown core in Japan.
$600 max for everything or just the barebone: cpu/mobo/ram/gpu?
When are you buying? GTX 300 may be out in Q1/2010.