APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 4 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: Right around the $700 mark
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: mostly just gaming, my current system has had a rough time with the starcraft 2 beta so far and i'm looking to get a system to run that once it comes out.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already got a mouse figured out, keyboard isn't too much of a big deal, and I've already got a monitor to a degree. More on that later.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Doesn't matter to me, long as it's cheap and is reputable. I live in the US, so should be pretty easy.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Long as it works it's all good with me, I have more or less zero brand name "loyalties."
OVERCLOCKING: Sure, but I'm still on the edge cause I heard it voids warranties. I have bad luck with voiding warranties.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: If it works with the budget, though I'm not sure it will. Maybe in the future once I get more $$ saved up.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to save money by using the TV I bought a few months ago as a monitor. It's a 28" widescreen LCD 1080p, 3ms GTG with 1920x1200 resolution and all the hookups. From what I looked around at monitors (very brief looking) it looked to be pretty damn good. Any comments on that would be awesome.
Also my current computer is a laptop (why the hell did I buy a laptop 2 years ago stupidest idea ever) and I've had no problems with it until recently. 2.4 ghz dual core, 3gb ram, but the GPU is only an nVidia 8600m GT. Not sure if I would be better off simply upgrading the GPU and buying an entirely new system in a few years.
I've also been doing my own research, don't want to leave all the work to you guys that wouldn't really be fair. Plus it's kind of fun, even if it is extremely frustrating. So far I have:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
G.SKILL Trident 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBTD
AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Power supply I'm not too sure on. I found both of the following myself, and the third one was recommended by a friend. They're all the same price more or less, just different power outputs. Not sure what I will need, though after reading one of the useful stickies I'm leaning towards the 950W, that sucker will probably last a handful of years.
Rosewill Xtreme Series RX950-D-B 950W Continuous @40°C ,80 PLUS Certified, ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91, SLI Ready CrossFire Ready, Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply
Rosewill BRONZE series RBR750-M 750W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,ATX12V v2.3/ EPS12V,SLI Ready,CrossFire Ready,Active PFC "Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Another thing I noticed when reading one of the stickies is that I can go with the following RAM, which really changes the whole build around, possibly for the better. Not quite sure.
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
It's 1333 as opposed to the 1600 listed above, but it has 7/7/7 timing as opposed to 8/8/8, AND it's cheaper. Not sure which is better, however if I were to go with the former I would also be able to switch out the motherboard to one supporting SATA 6.0 gbps instead of the ddr3 1600, which would also change the hard drive around.
All in all just based on what I have so far it's looking at around $604, slightly less with the Ripjaws RAM. That'll leave me just enough for the $40 mouse I'm looking at (yeah I don't have a mouse, touchpad FTL), as well as a case+keyboard. Might be slightly higher than $700 now that I think about it, so there's further support for the alternative "Don't be a cheapass, just upgrade your existing system" argument.
Also one final note if I do get a system now I most likely will not get a new one within the next 4 to 5 years. Slight upgrades will be possible, but due to college royally raping my bank account I won't be in any condition for a complete overhaul. Long as it gets me through Starcraft 2 I'll be happy.