APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Would like to have parts ordered mid-April
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: This is solely a gaming machine. The most taxing title I expect to run is Supreme Commander 2.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, hard drive, OS, case, optical drives. I'm out of town so I can't give power supply info, but I'm willing to buy a new one if needed.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect, no real preference. US
PARTS PREFERENCES: no brand preference
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I think I set most of my games around 1600x1200 now. Not home, can't verify that.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: At a minimum I want to be able to play large-scale 2v2 RTS games without problems. My current system can play a 1v1 or a medium sized 2v2 Supreme Commander game, but performance suffers beyond that. I'm upgrading specifically to play the just-released sequel, so I'm looking for something that can handle multiple players in large games. As much as I like the concept of future-proofing, I usually only upgrade every 3-4 years when it's not worth keeping any RAM/CPU/MB/GPU
I'm not attached to Intel over AMD, it just seems to be the best deal as far as my research has gone. I'm thinking:
RAM: Corsair PC12800 DDR3 2x2Gb
Says it's made with i5 in mind. From what I've read the i5 has somewhat unique voltages with respect to RAM, though I'm not sure if that really matters. $115
GPU: XFX Radeon HD5850
From what I've read, the situation for GPU buying isn't so great. Prices have gone up as availability has gone down and now this is pretty much the minimum card to have any margin against future game demands. I really hate to sink more than $200 into any one component, but unless I'm way wrong or the market changes in the next month this looks like my best option. $320
Total of $770.
Like I said before, I have no brand preferences and am really flexible on components. The extent to which the system can be easily overclocked is a nice bonus, as this will be my first venture into OC. Let me know what you think!