It's been about four years since I last built a machine. I'm still using it, but it's never been the same since I "upgraded" to Vista. I figure it's about time that I replaced it.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: A week or so from now.
BUDGET RANGE: 1100-1500.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching movies/etc., gaming, software development
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD-RW
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
PARTS PREFERENCES: Core i7/LGA 1366 based.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 by 1200.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It should be quiet. I focused budget dollars away from the GPU because I don't game enough to justify more than a few hundred dollars on graphics cards. I'd like it to last a couple of years with basically no changes. I also don't want to have to tear this machine down after an hour (or a month) because the motherboard, or something else, died.
QUESTIONS: How much power do I actually need out of my PSU? 500, 650, 750? How many amps on the 12-volt rail? Is there a practical difference between 6gb/s SATA and 3gb/s SATA? Is it better to purchase two graphics cards rather than one if I don't expect to upgrade them? (On my last machine I followed the one-card-then-SLI strategy and then never bothered to upgrade to SLI, so it seems silly to do it again.) And, finally, most important, are there any issues with these parts actually, you know, fitting together? Stuff like where a heatsink makes it impossible to use a particular PCIe slot on the motherboard?
^ Frankly I dont see the need for an i7 9xx setup for your usage...
If you were into graphic/ video development, then the i7 would really be a very good option, but for your usage, I really dont see the need...
My pick would be the i5 750/ at the max the i7 860 with a P55 board...Lower power consumption - less heat...
So you might want to reconsider your choices...
I would honestly say that dropping down to an Intel i5-750 will still be massive overkill for your listed applications, and the saving will allow either upgrading the graphics cards to 5770's or upgrading the case, RAM to 8gb and more HDD's.
I have an Antec 300 Illusion, and I love it considering the price I paid and my budget, but I wish I bought the Cooler Master HAF 922 because of the cable management options, and right now Newegg has a combo with that case and a Coolermaster 750watt PSU for a great price.
Anyways, as always, consider going the AMD route, you will save more money, allowing you to purchase more HDD space or RAM for multitasking. In 6 months, when you hard drive is full, your CPU is overkill and the case is cluttered, you will wish you rearranged your build to be more balanced.
Thank you for your suggestions, the responses are appreciated.
My first thought was that the X58/1366 seems to have more legs than the P55/1156 platform, but I doubt I'll actually replace the CPU in a year, and the other X58 benefits are not all that helpful. So I'll try for something like this:
i7 860 or i5 750
I already have about 1.1TB of storage sitting around, so I don't want to get any more, but I'll dig around on the forums for suggestions for fast (mechanical) drives.