APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: No rush. Before August 2010
BUDGET RANGE: Um... mostly whatever? Cheaper is better, but the money is available to spend.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet, Etc. Work stays on my work computer.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: All. I've had bad experiences reusing parts from old rigs.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, Newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: As much Intel as possible.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes - some
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've built a huge computer before, and it wasn't fun. I'd like to have a mid-sized (and weight) rig this time around. I'm also totally in the dark about water cooling, so I'm not sure if I want to go with air or water.
So here's the deal. I've seen almost everyone recommend sticking with i7-920 over the i7-975/980x because you get a lot more bang for your buck. Would your opinion on that change if you could get Intel products for around half retail price? ($150 for 920, $275 for 950, $500 for 975, presumably $500 for 980)
I'll be building a rig in the next couple of months, and I've got a connection for half-priced Intel products. I don't really have any desire to go top-of-the-line, as I did that last time and didn't feel like I got my money's worth. I do however have a desire to use that discount as well as I can. To that end, I plan on getting an Intel 160gb SSD for my OS/games (in addition to a pair of 2TB drives for storage) and hopefully an Intel mobo. I haven't looked at mobo technology in a while, but as I understand there's not a lot new to look at?
So, with that in mind...
1. Would you recommend the i7-980 (at the $500 price point)? Why or why not? What alternatives?
2. What mobo should I pair with it (light overclocking and no experience with water cooling)? Is there a good Intel option?
3. Is there an easy water cooling setup that I could do? Or is it all going to require more work than I want?
3a. If I do go with water, is it going to up the weight significantly?
4. What graphics card should I pair with it? I'm okay with getting a pair of them I think, but I haven't decided whether I want to go huge monitor, dual-monitor, or 3d-monitor, so I don't know if that plays into it or not.
1.) Not for gaming. You'd do better just to save your money. The extra cores don't do much for games, it's more useful for number crunching. I would get the i7-930 though.
2.) See the build below.
3.) Not really. Air is just as good and more reliable. It's also a lot cheaper.
3a.) Yes. The weight of the liquid and the extra parts would add quite a bit.
4.) See build below. 3D is useless right now as there is NOTHING to play in 3D. Expect that to continue for several years.