Hi, I've used 2 Dell systems for the past 12 years and I decided to customize a new computer partly out of fun of it. But since this is my first time doing this, I am hoping for some professional review on the specs I chose...currently, it's a bit pricey and I'm looking to cut down a bit but don't know where to shave from. I also don't know if it is balanced.
Before I show the specs, this is what I plan on using the computer for:
1. StarcraftII and WoW. (not too resource consuming games)
2. Basic school work + web searching.
3. Watching TV and movies from my computer.
4. Looking to future-proof it for 2-3 years.
5. Currently do not know how to overclock and if I do, it will be very very very minor.
6. Looking for a balanced computer.
1. Case AZZA Fantom 900 Mid Tower Gaming Case (Do I need a full size? I like quiet towers)
2. Processor AMD Phenom™ II X6 1090T Black Edition Six-Core CPU- (I've debated between this and i7-920: AMD does not support triple memory channels but does have six cores. Intel has triple memory channels but is only 4 cores, for the price range I want. SCII and WoW are only 2 core games. I leaned towards AMD because it was cheaper, allowing me to get other better parts).
3. Processor Cooling Asetek 550LC Liquid CPU Cooling System w/ 120mm Radiator (AMD) (Do I need it? I want max or near max settings in game)
4. Memory 8 GB [2 GB X4] DDR3-1333 Memory Module-Corsair XMS3 Dominator w/DHX technology (At what memory frequency will I start losing performance vs. cost? Also, should dual and triple channel influence my decision on CPU choice?)
5. Video Card ATI Radeon HD 5870 - 1GB-Single Card (One for now but I want to have the option to crossfire in the future)
6. Motherboard [CrossFire] ASUS Crosshair IV Formula -- AMD 890FX CrossFire Chipset w/8-ch HD Audio, Gb LAN, 3 PCI-E MB- ( I read that the one thing I shouldn't skimp on is on the motherboard...is this the best motherboard for the CPU I chose? Or at least a bit future-proof?)
7. Power Supply 850 Watt -- Thermaltake TR2 W0319RU Power Supply-SLI Ready (To prepare me for crossfire in the future)
8. Primary Hard Drive 640 GB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Dual 640GB Drives (1.28TB Capacity ) - RAID 0 High Performance (Is 64M Cache needed for performance? Secondly, Should I get Solid State Drives instead of Raid 0 for gaming? I can easily just get another, slower hard drive for storage. )
9. Optical Drive [8X Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive-Black
10. Sound Card Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio- (Is this sufficient if I plan to get 5.1 speakers)
11. Network Card Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card- (Is this sufficient if I am just connecting from home ISP)
12. Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium -64-Bit (This supports up to 16GB RA, I think?)
13. Additional Software Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Software-
I'm probably going to buy from ibuypower.com because I need the computer soon but it'll allow me a frame work to customize in the future. This is currently costing me $2600 by their calculations. I would like to cut down $300 somewhere, hopefully from parts that are overkill. I appreciate any advice and opinions!
More about :time build gaming spec review appreciated
Oh and don't bother with cheap liquid cooling. It performs worse, and is louder than good air cooling (which incidentally is much less money).
You basically have to spend at least $500 before liquid cooling beats good air.
First off, thank you for the quick response and help; I really appreciate it. I sort of merged the advice given and came up with a new system. Italic notes next to them for some explaining. I'm switched to AVAdirect because they have a bigger selection and it is turning out cheaper.
Case: ANTEC Sonata Elite Black Mid-Tower Case, ATX, (Besides cooling considerations, I also want a quiet tower.)
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX TX Series Power Supply, 850W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready (I chose 850w because I am considering 2x GPUs later. does it look adequate?)
GPU: XFX Radeon™ HD 5850 765MHz, 1GB GDDR5 4500MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDMI, DP, Retail
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG 1TB SpinPoint F3, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 32MB Cache, Retail
RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives (They did not offer SSD but I plan on buying 128GB seperately. This one is just for storage)
Drives: SONY AD-7241S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
OS: MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
This is coming out to be $1700, without the monitor and SSD that I am buying separately. I am guessing the configuration is more than I need for SCII and WoW but I wanted to future-proof it a bit. Again, however, I don't know if this new config is balanced at all.