Building / Buying a new PC

Hi there! I'm looking to build or buy a new desktop and I need some help. I've decided on all of the parts--except for the graphics card. ATI or NVIDIA? Budget or Enthusiast? There's a lot to take into consideration. I'll just fill in the blanks based on this forums guide.

Approximate Purchase Date:
Probably 2-3 months from now. All planning at the current time is speculative since something new might come out in that time.

My overall budget is to keep the purchase (including monitor, and a few extras) under $2,500. The desktop itself should not exceed $2,100. Right now, keep the price of the card under $450.

Usage From Least to Most Important:
- Graphic Design: Mainly Photoshop CS5 with a Wacom Intuos4 tablet.
- Gaming: See below
- Software Engineering: Visual Studio 2010

I enjoy things looking good. When I do play a game, I don't want to worry about the frame rate stuttering. I'd love to be able to play games like Team Fortress 2, Bioshock, Dead Space, GTA IV all in the highest settings. My monitor resolution will range from 1920x1080 - 1920x1200.

Current GPU And Power Supply:
I currently do not have a desktop so I do not have a GPU. However, I will purchase a power supply based off of the GPU's needs. I'm thinking 500-800 Watts.

Other Relevant System Specs:
As I've stated, I'll be building the system or purchasing it from CyberPower. I've found that their cost to build is incredibly low. Here are the approximate specs that I'm considering (if you think that I should change something based off of my needs, I'm open for suggestions!).

- Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz (I will not be overclocking)
- Cooler Master HAF-X (or 932)
- Asetek 570LX Liquid Cooling 240mm Radiator or Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler
- GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard
- 6Gb of DDR3 RAM at 1600MHz
- 500-800 Watts
- (2x) 1TB WD Caviar Black 64MB Cache 6 GB/S 7200RPM drives in RAID 1
- 24x DVD / CD drive
- Creative Labs SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio Card
- Samsung SyncMaster PX2370 Monitor
- Intel Pro Gigabite network card
- Razer Lycosa / DeathAdder
- Zonet ZEW1642 IEEE 802.11b/g/n Draft 2.0 PCI wireless network card

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Newegg, Tigerdirect, Amazon, CyberPower etc. Anywhere the prices are the lowest.

Country of Origin:

Parts Preferences:
ATI or NVIDIA? I don't know which would be better for my needs. Should I go with the Radeon HD 5850 or 5870? Heck what about the 4970? Am I going to need PhysX? Or CUDA? Do I even need so spend that much on a card? Will the GeForce 9800 do well or the 260? Is the 470 worth it? These things I do not know.

I will not overclock any of my system. SLI or CrossFire is not something I'm too interested in.

Monitor Resolution:
1920x1080 - 1920x1200

Additional Comments:
Like I said, tell me if there's something I should change/alter depending on my needs. Thanks in advance!
4 answers Last reply
More about building buying
  1. Get an ATI 5800 series card. They are awesome and NVidia is falling behind. You'll get more bang for the buck with GDDR5 and DirectX11. You will be future proof for a while!
  2. I would definitely recommend the Radeon HD 5870.

    This card is under $450, will max out just about any game (except for Crysis at 1080p), and will serve you well for quite a while. It requires at least 500w, but I would get more than that to be safe. You don't want too little power. A 650 or 700 watt power supply is a safe amount.

    The 5800 series runs much cooler than NVIDIA's GTX 400 series, so it won't generate as much heat and you really won't have to do anything special with the cooling in your system. It also has DirectX 11, unlike NVIDIA's GTX 200 series.
  3. For your budget, get HD5870. That card would good for a long term.
    for PSU, get a high quality one, like Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, OCZ, SilverStone. If you can afford, get 850W, surely it will last long, very long, you can use it for your next rig... :)
  4. Get a HD 5870.
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