New Build: 1st build; htpc/gaming/home office/server

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Two scenarios: Build Now: Purchase compenents within the next week or so. Build 6 months from now: Purchase components from various local and online sources over time.

BUDGET RANGE: Not extremely concerned about price because intended use will keep price reasonable

SYSTEM USAGE: Equal importance: Home Theater, some gaming (Along the lines of StarCraft 2 or other rts games), typical office applications, centralized file storage/sharing & backups, some Civil CAD design

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I'm not concerned about keyboard, mouse. Will get Window 7 Pro or Ultimate. Recommendations on monitors and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Probably going to go through a local shop for most parts but will consider online sources as well.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Plan to go with Intel Core i5/i7. No preference on GPU, RAM, HDD/SDD

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in future

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Bigger is better

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for a computer that will come close to wearing out before it's too obsolete to function. So I understand that the Core i7 870 w/ P55 chipset is overkill for a computer that will do a lot of file sharing, internet surfing, and other standard office computing for years. However, if I want to be able to use the pc for games that come out in the next 3-4+ years and meet or exceed the minimum requirements, the i7 870 starts to look better. Then the question becomes is it enough. I would be extremely grateful for help with a component list but even more helpful would be details I should look for when choosing between two components. I've read throught the guides and I think i could reason out a good build but I've found input from actual people in a forum-type setting where I can ask "why" or "what about..." helps me learn more than just reading the article.

Thanks for the ideas.
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  1. Actually our very own forums had done a "How many cores u need" review recently and the sweet spot seems to be triple cores! I would say u are more likely to be looking at a GPU upgrade more than anything else with a half decent chip there for games
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