APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before March 16 BUDGET RANGE: 700-750 After Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: programming (for school), internet/word processing/etc, gaming, watching movies, watching tv (maybe eventually)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor (23" 1920x1080 HD LCD), operating system (Windows 7, possibly dual boot Ubuntu or another distro)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX.com (the Canadian one!) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
OVERCLOCKING: maybe eventually SLI OR CROSSFIRE: maybe eventually
I'm look for a $700-750 computer to last me at least the next two years. The majority of the time I'll be using it for programming (I'm a comp sci major) and other school assignments, as well as for general procrastination (ie, the internet). I'm not a hardcore gamer by any stretch of the imagination, but when I do game, it is important to me that the graphics quality is high. As far as "future-proofing", the system needs to go strong for the next two years with virtually no upgrades but beyond that timeline I'm anticipating an increase in cash flow (closely correlated with me graduating and getting an actual job) so I would be comfortable with extensive upgrades or a whole new system at that point. I also suspect that my needs/wants in a computer will change at that time.
For now, I have absolutely no plans to overclock, use two graphics cards, or watch tv on my computer. However, two years is a long time and if I keep this system longer than that I would potentially want to do all three.
With the help of some friends who have done a couple builds, I have tentatively selected the following components. The total is currently sitting at $720 CAD (and I have not yet checked to see if I can price match to get things a little lower), so I have a little room to move, but the $750 is a hard upper limit - anything beyond that is not going to be feasible for me. All of these selections are completely flexible and I'm open to all suggestions.
I would say you did a very nice job. Any suggestion I would make will just up the price too much. Be aware though that the board is not crossfire. You cannot add a second card and you won't be able to find another 4870 in a few months anyway. Also your PSU wouldn't easily support a second 4870.
DDR2 memory is also going out - but you really can't complain at that price. You'll have a great performer as-is.
I'll definitely get that PSU - better + cheaper is a good combination!
I'm curious about your CPU suggestion. All the others seem to be improvements over my current components, but you recommend dropping the CPU. Why? Is there a reason I wouldn't need as powerful of a CPU, or is it just to offset the increased cost of some of the other components?
The CPU alternative recommendation is a little of both reasons. Probably a bit more to offset the price increase of the DDR3 Memory/Mobo should you go with it though. The other reason is that gaming may be affected only a couple of frames (depending if the game is multi-core coded) since at that resolution, it all depends on how good your GPU is.
If you were to overclock those CPUs though (I understand you aren't interested), I'm sure you will get frames much closer to that of 955.
I retract my statement about OCZ then. But the Antec Earthwatts I listed is still a good value but you lose the modular aspect. You created that list right? If so might I suggest you sort it by Watts and not amps. (It would save me tons of time for future reference)
Ah well as to that... the final list will have separate sections linked from an easier to understand page.
We will not be sorting by watts however. Watts are far less important than 12V amps, and the two do not always agree.
The database is searchable though. It's a project I started, but I have a few volunteers helping.