I've got a case, hard drive and monitor that for whatever reason I'm attached to. My son has talked me into building a sytem msyself for the first time. For the past several days I've shopped around and read all kinds of stuff and think I'm ready to order the parts. Before I get started I'd like to lay it all out for advice etc.
Since the hard drive has is written in Windows XP, I was figuring on leaving this sytem in Windows XP. If can't I was figuring on going to Windows 7.
My system is for gaming, my music, browsing the web, keeping records and maybe watching a movie now and then.
Here is my prepared shopping list (with comments and questions).
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (My current sytem is an Alienware AMD, it's 10 years old and still runs great. I'd like to stick with AMD)
MOBO: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD
RAM: OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (I'd really like to have more RAM, mainly because more sounds better. Yesterday I read, somewhere, that with this sytem I'm really better off just sticking with 4 GB. Is this correct ?)
GPU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS 12V SLI (I was really thinkng of going more but that would create addtional heat. Could my system require more power ?)
VIDEO: Two SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770's (Crossfire sound cool)
COOLER: Cooler Master V8 RR-UV8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler (Is this the best one for my CPU ?)
Goup: Artic Silver 5 Thermal Compund
Media Drives: Plextor 24X DV/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA-26 LightScribe Support
Sony R/RW - (This was on the old sytem, I figured I'd use it again)
That's my lay out and shopping list. Am I missing anything ?
My printer, monitor and mouse are tied in on USB ports. I've got an, after market, 6 USB hub attached to my current sytem. I should be able to tie that right into this, right ?
This my first time putting together a system. Except for the case, CPU and hard drive, this is still just piece of paper. Any suggestions, corrections, advice or ideas would be welcomed iwth thanks.
CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $265 after rebate. The 955 is the same as the 965, just without a slight factory overclock. The board here has USB 3/SATA III support so it's more future proof.
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115. OCZ can have some issues, as their sticks use a lot of volts.
GPU: HD 5850 $315. Crossfire is for having a future upgrade path. I would stay away from it until later.
HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $29. Easily one of the best HSF out there. It's also one of the cheaper ones.
PSU: Actually, if you stick with the 5770s, you could drop it down to a 650W and have no problems. 650W would also be good enough for CF 5850s, but you would need to buy a connector adapter to get the extra PCIe connectors required.
OK then: I'll go with a new version of Window XP. Should I got with XP Pro or is Home Edition good enough ? Which configuration GPU will give me greater staying power in our game enviorment ? Will i need to upgrade my system in two years, and if so which configuration will give me a better base to build on ?
Windows 7 isn't Vista, and you really should upgrade.
The 5850 will give you the most staying power, especially if you go with a Crossfire board. That will allow you to drop in a second card in three or so years and have high end gaming at a fairly low price.
All of the suggestions given give you good upgrade options. The important aspects to consider are USB 3/SATA III ports and Crossfire. USB 3/SATA III is important because that is becoming the new standard for pretty much everything. It won't be very useful for a year or two, but after that it will be a necessity. Crossfire is important to maintain a high level of gaming performance without having to spend an obscene amount on video cards every year or two. Any current AMD board will give you the same options for upgrading the CPU later, as the future CPUs are going to be on the AM3 socket.