I'm building a gaming/programming desktop for my 13 year old brother that can "last" for a while (like 4 years). I'm definitely looking at a i5-750 system, and want to have a motherboard with dual 8x/8x PCI-x16 channels as I may buy an identical video card for a Crossfire/SLI in a few years. I'm also looking for moderate overclocking capabilities, but nothing extreme. Trying to get the best deals (with rebates/combos) is a big priority too An evaluation of the build and any suggestions would really help, especially on component brands to go for or avoid!
GOALS: Be able to play on max/near max settings , at 1920x1080 resolution, games like Empire: Total War, Crysis, COD Modern Warfare 2, Fallout 3, etc; and to run video/3D editing programs like Blender smoothly.
BUDGET RANGE: $1000 (not including monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS)
PARTS PREFERENCES (prices after S+H/rebate) :
OCZ Slipstream 700W PSU: $50
Hitachi 1TB hard drive: $75
P55 Motherboards (I'd like to get dual PCI-E x8/x8 capability like I said, and will not be overclocking to a high extent. Suggestions for other models are welcome!)
GPU: Debating between ATI Radeon 5850 and NVidia FX 470, and also brand names. I want to buy another one of the same card in ~2 years, so I'm a bit afraid of the FX 470 as it seems to need much more cooling capacity.
Also two questions: 1) Does factory overclock actually do anything that I wouldn't be able to do with GPU tuning software?
2) What is the difference between cards marked as "PCI-E 2.0 x16 " and "PCI-E 2.1 x16 "?
Anyone? Just the choice of P55 motherboard, and brands of ATI 5850 /NVidia FX 470 cards to try to get to avoid, would be really helpful. My initial post was probably too long, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible as per the instructions.