APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Pretty much as soon as parts are finalized. Hopefully I will be building around/before mid-february
BUDGET RANGE: There is no actual budget, but don't go over board. As of now, think around $1000.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mid-level gaming (MW2, some Crysis). Mostly internet and Microsoft Word. I will be doing everything that you can imagine a high school student will do in 4 years.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, keyboard/mouse
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg and amazon.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA (california)
PARTS PREFERENCES: CPU depends. Gigabyte motherboard if possible. ATI graphics. Western Digital hard drive.
OVERCLOCKING: Very much a possibility. not extreme overclocking though
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Most likely when I upgrade in 3 years.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically i'm looking for best bang for the buck - reasonable price for the performance and features. Computer must last 6 years, but I'll be doing minor upgrading in 3 years.
I don't want the computer to sound like a vacuum of course.
Obviously a quad core is very well in the budget right now, but AMD x3 is good enough. But, I'm worried about upgrades in the future. LGA 775 is dead, and I think 1156 (I think) has no upgrade future. AM3 and LGA 1366 has upgrade possibilities of course. Comments/suggestions for me?
In my head, I already have a basic build ready: Phenom II x4 (or i5/i7), 4 or 6GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, 5xxx series ATI graphics, 750 watt PSU.
If you guys can put together a list of parts with URLs or help me decide what CPU to use, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thanks ahead of time.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $55. I know you said WD, but they're getting their buttocks handed to them by both Samsung and Seagate right now (yes, even the VRs are slower). It's a really bad idea to use WD right now.
+1 to MadAdmiral's build. Almost exactly the same thing I'm doing in the next month or so. But one thing to note: if you're planning on doing Xfire, then you should probably get a 750W PSU, or at least something with 4 PCI-E power connectors.
Thanks MadAdmiral. But what about the Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz? I don't know the performance difference between the two, but the Phenom II x4 is cheaper.
And what about upgrading LGA 1156 later? I know that six core CPUs are confirmed for AM3.
The HAF seems like a nice case with great cooling, but I might get tired of the design. It also seems too big. What (preferably black) mid tower cases can you recommend? Will the Antec 300 fit the ATI 5850?
The 955 is a good CPU, but it's not quite in the i5's league. There is a clearer upgrade path for the AM3 socket, but you lose a lot of gaming performance now. AMD's CPUs are basically low end offerings. Once you get above a $800 budget, you really shouldn't be looking at AMD.
The HAF is big. In fact, I've seen "full" towers that are smaller than this "mid" tower. I'm not positive on the Antec 300 fitting the 5850. I wouldn't really be comfortable with it in the 300 anyway because of the few fans. The 300 Illusion is getting more like the cooling you'll need. The Antec 900 is another good case, but is more expensive than the HAF.