This is a fairly long post so if you aren't feeling very helpful you may want to stop reading now. If you are feeling helpful please continue onward. Thanks
I am looking for advice on building a new pc. It has been about 7 years since I built my current pc. It has been going strong, but it is showing its age. I know very little on the current generation of hardware out there.
I am looking to spend no more than $3000.00 total, I would like to keep it as low as possible. I would prefer to spend $2000.00 or less but as long as Newegg has there no interest offer for 12 moths, I can go up to $3000.00.
I need to order my parts before the end of this month.
I am looking for my new pc to be able to do it all. Gaming, HTPC, etc. By no means does it need to be the absolute best at anything, but I would like it to hold out as long as my current rig, therefore a certain amount of future proofing will be required. My current pc hooks up to my TV via a standard VGA cable, and the audio runs from the on board card to the tv via a standard audio out cable. The picture looks great, but the audio is quiet, therefore I have to jack the volume on the tv way up. I am hoping to use HDMI out from the new PC to the tv to solve that issue. a DVI to HDMI adapter made the picture look like crap on my current pc, which is why I am using the standard VGA option. For audio output, I would like to one day have myself a nice surround system via an Onkyo or Harman Kardon reciever but for now I will just have the audio going right to my tv, but I do want this ability for the future. I hope this is enough background info on what I am expecting out of my new pc.
I will not be over clocking the holy crap out of this rig. I may toy around a bit here and there but it is certainly not immediately necessary, the option to do so later on will be nice though. I will also be air cooling for now, and possibly moving on to water cooling later on. My case will be one of the amazing cases the folks over at mountainmods.com have come up with.
Now for the parts I am looking for. I am pretty sure I want to go for an Intel processor. From what I have read so far they are doing a bit better all around. As far as which processor, I have no idea. 7 years ago the choices were so much easier...
My current mobo manufacturer is ASUS, I am pleased with it, but again, have no idea as to who is making the best mother boards these days. Since from what I can see almost all the mother boards are coming with pretty much the same options.
Memory, not even sure what to get here, I know I'll be getting Windows 7 64 bit, so I don't think I need to limit myself to 4GB but I doubt I need 32GB of memory either.
For the Video card, I have almost always chosen ATI over Nvidia, but I am open to new things. From the above info, I want to hook up to my HDTV via HDMI. and the TV will provide the audio as well. Dual monitor support would be awesome, but not required. my HDTV is 37" and my other monitor is 17" in the past a dual monitor setup with that was always a pain to get right. I'm not to hip to all this dual SLI and crossfire stuff. but since I am wanting a system with a good bit of future proofing no need to hold back on recommendations. I do not need the absolute best in cutting edge graphics cards. I want to be able to play games with options turned all the way up, and be able to play HD content flawlessly.
Sound Card, as stated before I would like to eventually have my audio going to a surround sound receiver, but for now I imagine the on board audio will suffice, as long as it will be output through the HDMI cable on the video card. so hopefully the on bard audio and the video card setup is able to accomplish that.
For my new HD, I'll likely go with a nice SSD for my OS and just use the current HD's I already have. Unless of course people recommend against using SSD's.
For the Power supply I will obviously need enough juice to run everything. I also need it to be efficient, not a fan of wasting all kinds of energy. Antec has been amazing for me in the past, but I am by no means limiting myself to one company.
I plan on using Windows 7 64 bit, and possibly dual booting back to XP, or maybe even multi booting with XP and Linux.
That is all I can think of for right now, I'll get back to doing my research on these matters but any and all help/input would be greatly appreciated. I apologize for the length of this post.
If you feel the need to flame me or try to get in my a$$ because I didn't do all this research on my own, please reconsider typing up a long drawn out a$$ chewing and wasting your time on it and for that matter, don't waste time on short flame posts either. I am looking for helpful feedback, not use the search feature.
* I listed both Intel CoreI7 CPUs simply because I do not know what BIOS version comes with the motherboard selected. The CoreI7-930 (my preference) requires BIOS version F4, whereas the CoreI7-920 only requires the base BIOS version, F1. You may be able to flash the BIOS yourself with the CoreI7-930 installed or you may need to take it to a local comp shop and see if they can do it for you.
Total Cost (I7-920) - $1789.92 Shipped
Total Cost (I7-930) - $1798.92 Shipped
(LOL the only item with a shipping charge is the RAM @ $0.99!)
On top of that, you can also pick up your Onkyo system
HTIB - Onkyo HT-S5300 - $479.99 (also w/ free shipping) bringing your total up to $2289.91 or $2298.91. Remember, you still need to get your case and Mountain Mods are not cheap. Some easy ways to lower the cost:
1) Postpone the Onkyo HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) system purchase.
2) Drop down to a SATAII SSD.
3) Drop the BD-ROM drive and go with a standard DVD Drive.
I posted in both forums to get as many opinions as I could. The hardforum post has seen a few more replies and I have narrowed my build down there. Please feel free to check the link and offer up your suggestions from there. If you do have further suggestions, no need to post in that forum if you don't want to. I am following my post on both forums. Once again, thanks for the input.