I am looking to upgrade from my Athlon 64 3400+ system to actually be able to play some decent games. I am however looking to keep it as cheep as possible. I listed what I have in mind so far, if you can suggest cheaper parts or any advice at all I'd really appreciate it.
RAM: Recycled 2GB(2*1gb) DDR2 800 from previous build.
So I estimate roughly $400 after tax/shipping. I would really like to drop this price down without sacrificing performance.
Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, and Ram will all be recycled from my old system. I will mainly be playing World Of Warcraft, I would love to play it on max settings. My monitors resolution is max 1280x1024 so I won't go higher than that.
I'm going to disagree with zipzoomfly on the 5770. While you most certainly would want to upgrade your monitor, I would get a very cheap card in the mean time. No reason paying the premium now for something you can't use until later.
I'd go with batuchka's build, but look into getting the HD 4650 or 4670 to save even more.
The problem with buying the 5770 now is that you'll pay a premium to get it. If you got a 46xx now, you pay a good $100+ less for the same performance (at low resolutions). Then when you need to upgrade, that premium wouldn't be there because the 5xxx series isn't new anymore.
Got the thread mixed up with another one. The updated example is below.
If you want to look at it in terms of actual dollars, you'd pay $150 for the first 5770. Then, in a year or so, you'd pay another $100 (assuming the price falls that quick) for a second 5770. So you'd spend $250 total. Or you could pay $30 for the 4670, and then you could get 2x 5770 for $200 (or likely one 5850 for the same price), spending a total of $230 for the same power. Granted that's not a huge difference, but it's some. If you're planning on upgrading something that makes a big performance difference down the line, it's better to buy only what you need now to take advantage of the natural price drops of technology.
Plus, buying something cheap at the start allows the OP to watch for deals as time goes on. Let's say that at some point Newegg has $20+ off on 5770s (like next Black Friday). Instead of being locked into the higher price for both cards, you could buy two of the cheap cards to save even more.
Whoops. Thought this was the thread where the OP was talking about CFing 4850s...
However, my point still stands. It actually makes it better. You'd save money on avoiding the new GPU premium. Besides, once the OP upgrades the monitor, it would likely be to a 1900x resolution. That means the OP would have to replace the 5770 anyway. Might as well get the cheap card now to save the extra on teh upgrade later.
To update the example:
Buy a 5770 at the start ($150). Upgrade to a 1900x monitor. Must upgrade to at least a 5850 to maintain performance ($200). Total spent: $350
Buy a 4670 at the start ($30 or less). Upgradest o a 1900x monitor. Buys a 5850 ($200). Total spend: $230.