Hey guys and gals! Love this site so I'm coming here looking for some advice on a new build.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 3 weeks to a month. Depending on when the Phenom X6 comes out
BUDGET RANGE: 1500-1700 Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, gaming, gaming, some watching movies/general computer use.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, but I'm not opposed to reputable sites with good prices.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Sticking with intel core i7 930 for now till I see what AMD is coming out with, as stated above. Trying to stay away from the disappointing gtx480
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, hoping to get the i7 930 to 4ghz.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Would like to go crossfire if it's possible to work into the budget, but prefer a motherboard that can do both.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Below are the two cases that I'm stuck between, as well as the rest of the build I came up with. I know it doesn't make much sense to take so much of the budget on the case but these are the only two that really stand out to me.
First off, I just want to put out there that for your listed system usages (gaming ), you could easily drop down to an i5-750/ PII 955 build without much of a noticeable performance decrease and be happy with some extra money in your pocket. But if you saved for and planned on spending $1.6k, then there's nothing wrong with that.
Personally, (aside from dropping to an i5) I would pull the trigger on a 930. The new PII x6 CPUs (due sometime later this month, if it doesnt get pushed back) and its added 2 cores will do little/nothing for your gaming experience. Many games still utilize 1-2 cores with the next generation still easing its way into multi-core usage. A "quadcore minimum" for gaming will probably not be for awhile, yet alone the need for 6 physical cores.
As for your cases, both are excellent choices. Again, just reminding you that you are paying a premium for something aesthetic; thus, you should pick whichever you feel looks best. You could easily opt for a Haf 922 if you wanted to cut down somewhere, but I have a feeling that you are looking for a more unique/non-standard case. You may also be interested in the RV02: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've worked with both and, personally, the latter wins my vote. Though if you really wanted to splurge, have a peek at the FT02
1 5970 now will give you some "future proof" if you ever wanted to drop another 5970 in your system in a few years. If I had the money, I would stick to a single GPU solution (keeping the 5970) over crossfiring right away. Save yourself the hassle and just get a 1 TB F3 if u need the space. Good choice in RAM sticks. Lastly, the Fenrir does cool well. You could pick up a hyper 212+ for $25 cheaper, which is still a good enough aftermarket cooler to hit a high OC. Hitting 4.0 would also depend on your chip batch, but it's definitely plausible. Also, the Fenrir's fan (when your comp is workin') gets pretty loud. You also won't be able to run a push/pull config. without making custom brackets, I believe (in case you had that in mind).
One final note: There's definitely room in your budget to add a SSD if you dropped to an i5/PII 955 and a cheaper case, which is something you would immediately feel over an 930 as a gamer. Jus' Sayin!
If it's for gaming, 90% of the significance lies in the GPU.
I'd stay with Intel - for gaming, you'd want the fastest clock rate regardless of the number of cores. As long as it's not single-core, it'll work great! The new AMD 6-cores are not worth a glance for your needs.
In fact, if I were you, I'd get an i5-660 and OC that as much as possible. This is because as a dual core chip, there is less heat, so you can get higher frequencies. Since you won't be taking advantage of a quad core (in regards to gaming), you will see a tangible benefit doing this instead. Now your system ends up being much cheaper, and you'll be able to get much higher overclocks than with an i7-930.
When hitting a budgetary target, one has to often make compromises....they key is in making compromises that are upgradable rather than have to toss something out and replace it. I'd opt out of the 5970 on principal alone .... just can't stomach paying $100 or more over MSRP and the "dollars per frame" for the 5970 are well over $11 (DX 11 games average at 1920 x 1200 high settings) ...whereas the 5850 / 470 are down around $9.00.
Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The 2 TB WD Black and XT from Seagate are good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):
So yes, ya dropped the GFX capability down a big notch but do you really need it ....now ? Ya had a low budget MoBo and changing that later is a PITA. Ya RAM was gonna hold back ya 4 GHz OC....anBuy ad with the above, your case and PSU can support just about anything (twin 5970's, yes....480's maybe) in SLI or Xfire. The 5850 or 470 will hold ya thru just about everything now and a 2md 5850 come XMas will have you set for another 2 years.
Stick with the 930 don't listen to them. He's getting a heck of a deal there, <$200 is incredible. Also, go with the 5970 even though it's overpriced right now, it's the best. You pay for the best, and it's in your budget so why not have it? The biggest change I would make is to throw an SSD in there, as you will enjoy the luxury of virtually no loading times.
Thanks for all the advice guys. I forgot to mention that this will be my last build for the foreseeable future, which is why I went will the 1366. Someday I'm sure triple channel ram and hyper threading will have an effect on game performance. I've adjusted my build, please critique.