I've done quite a bit of computer customization / upgrading in the past, but with regards to new builds / technical knowledge... I'm really not that proficient. I've actually had my computer now for about 6 years, and I'm looking to build my first new one from scratch. I'd consider myself a gamer - though most of the gaming I do currently is on consoles - mostly because my current system is too out of date to run new games. I used to play the earlier Warcraft / Starcraft / Diablo games quite a bit... can't see myself getting into anything too graphics intense, but I'd like that option over the next couple years.
My budget is flexible. I'm looking to spend about 1500 all in (including Windows 7, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Case, etc...) Speakers not included in budget...
My main hangup at this point is figuring out whether or not to go with an i5 or an i7, which dictates the MB I'd need to purchase, as well as whether or not I need 2 or 3 RAM DIMS. Right now I'm looking at the i5-660 or the i7-920.
Would love some suggestions on which CPU to purchase, and a lot of help on MB / GPU selection. I'm fairly comfortable selecting the rest, and I'd like to start listing my components in this thread. I'd also like some suggestions on a Case - though I really do like the:
I would suggest the i5 for gaming, but not the dual-core i5-660. Here's a build that includes everything but the keyboard and mouse for $1,400. That leaves you with $100 to pick whatever keyboard and mouse you want.
The i5-750 is king for this type of build. The new dual-core i5's don't make any sense since they're priced right around the same as the 750. The i7-920 setup won't be any faster in gaming and will make you have to sacrifice something to make your budget.
The above build is a powerhouse and is even ready to drop another 5870 in later in Crossfire if needed.
No question that shortstuff's build is excellent. Looking at this, however: "...can't see myself getting into anything too graphics intense, but I'd like that option over the next couple years" makes me wonder if, even if the money is there, the OP's needs would not be met by a significantly cheaper GPU, like a HD5770. Just a thought if you'd like not to spend the whole wad. Or, depending on uses other than gaming, add a second monitor to the build.