I've been slowly scouting out parts for this new computer over the last 3 months or so and I'm finally getting to the point where I'm really starting to detest using my current setup. My aim is to complete this new build within 3 weeks or so (May long weekend for those of you in Canada)
My Budget was originally 1000$ Canadian, but I've found that that isn't as feasible as I had originally thought, and I've ballooned my budget to roughly 1200$ give or take 100$. I also got a 1000$ tax return that I wasn't accounting for when I started building which has made paying the little extra not so bad.
The main purpose of this machine's going to be gaming, as well as various artistic jazz, photoshop, movies and all that.
The parts, and prices that I paid for them (including tax), that I already have are as follows:
My mouse and keyboard are taken care of, speakers as well, I'll probably just throw in some random disc drive that I have lying around my room... I've got 3, all of varying age/quality and I don't know which is which anymore.
I don't truly care where my parts come from, the cheaper the better, I've got a history with NCIX tho, since I live a ferry ride away in Canada. And I've got one 10$ gift card for NCIX, but that's one purchase, also they try to price match so...
I don't have a preference as far as parts go, just want quality, like I assume everyone else does.
As far as Overclocking goes, I'd like to get my i7-860 as high as possible with what I've got while still remaining stable, as such I haven't purchased a mobo yet, since I hear that mobos are the most attributing factor to overclocking.
As for crossfire, I'm unsure about whether or not I should.. since the p55 mobos that I can use don't lend well to it... or atleast, not as well as their X58 counterparts.
My main questions are:
Is the ram I purchased ok? I bought it on a whim, and can still return it if there is something tremendously better.
Specifically what mother board(s) should I be looking for? And why?
Should I go the crossfire route and get an appropriate p55 mother board, and run two GC's? Or not worry about it and only run one?
I know absolutely nothing about heatsinks or cooling devices, are they a requirement or will my i7-860 be able to OC on air?
So.. what Mother Board and Graphics Card Combos should I be looking at for around 500$ combined range? If there is some huge gap, I'm willing to fork over a little extra cash.
Thank you for all your help, this computer has been more of a head ache than I ever thought it would be. And I'm starting to get frustrated, and willing to spend money over time.
5850 is the best choice for your GPU (Unless you can afford the 5870) I would not go with a 5830, it just is not worth the price for its performance.
You can get a mobo that has XFire so that in a year or two you can add another card, though I personally am a believer of one good card > two weaker ones, usually when I am at a time for XFire needs I go with a new card. But it is personal preference. Though at the resolution you will be playing a 5850 or 5870 will be plenty of juice for gaming for a long while.
$500 for GPU and mobo...I would likely grab a lower end mobo and have a 5870. But again I am a non XFire guy. Maybe someone here would sacrifice graphic power for a better mobo that has XFire, but buying a weaker card so that in the future I can add another weaker card rather than just having a strong card to begin with has never been something I wanted to do