I could really use some input on the components I've selected for my new build. My current gaming machine is nearly 5 years old, and really needs to be replaced. Comments would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance
APPROXIM]ATE PURCHASE DATE: early May BUDGET RANGE: ~$1200 Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming will be the primary use of this machine, but I also do a good amount of video transcoding, mostly for my iPod.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, maybe a monitor (but don't include monitor in budget)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: as long as they're good quality parts, doesn't much matter to me
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - I've never been real enthused about overclocking, but I'm not absolutely opposed to it SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Eventually, hopefully, once prices drop
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I mostly play RPGs, such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, etc. But I do enjoy the occasional FPS, mostly HL2.
The reason I went with AMD is because I want SATA III and USB 3.0 and still be able to use Crossfire. Plus (not a major factor, but a nice possible plus) much greater potential for upgrade path.
Yeah, just noticed I forgot an optical drive. Thanks.
Also, I'd rather go with the 5850, I think, unless you have a compelling reason to upgrade. If I can spend less than $1200, I'd like to (I'm in college, and funds aren't exactly plentiful), and from what I can tell, the 5850 is sufficient at 1920x1200, and I am planning to CF it when the prices come down in the future.
You get that with Intel as well, just not Gigabyte's P55 boards.
As for the upgrade path, it doesn't matter for gamers. The next step is a six core CPU, and games aren't even fully using two cores yet. They certainly won't be using six within the next 3-4 years (which is how long the build will last with the 5850).
It's bigger, and generally better overall. It's got more/bigger fans, better cable management, and some very nice extras. The CM 690 II is a good case, but it's a bit small for it's price. If you're getting anything above the 5850, it's going to be a squeeze to fit it.