Depressing New Build

This is the computer you folks helped me build about 6 months ago:

It was an incredible machine. Aesthetically pleasing, unbelievably quiet, and able to do everything I threw at it with lightning speed... Which might be why a lightning bolt decided to take it out Thursday night with a direct hit to my apartment building.

Sure I lost a fridge, dishwasher, oven, television, Xbox, PS2, router, switches, and a secondary PC that was my HTPC/media server... but all that pales in comparison to losing my main rig :(

I lost 4 TB of hard drives with 10 years of my life on them that I'm also trying not to think about right now...

So here I am, once again, to ask for your help in building a new PC (assuming the renter's insurance doesn't screw me over).

To be upfront, I haven't read any posts yet discussing new builds, because mostly I've just been depressed by this whole ordeal. I guess I want to use my above linked rig as a starting point for building a new system, and hope that I might be able to salvage some components from it. However, based on the severity of the damage to my other electronics, I'm not hopeful.

So right now, I guess my only requirements is that I don't want to go below the specs I had before, but I also don't have the full $2000 I spent last time either, so I'm looking for a middle ground. I can't think of anything from the previous rig that I'm NOT happy about. The card has been amazing for 3D modeling (after the Catalyst drivers were finally upgraded, the initial release and a huge refresh lag) and gaming.

In fact, I regret not getting a LARGER SSD as I ran out of space quickly with the volume of games I loaded up but couldn't play through fast enough. I didn't make much use of the 1TB storage with my other storage sources, nor did I ever use the optical drive (even to install the OS, opting to go USB install of win7 64bit). But that was like $100 of the total cost.

Also, my responses will be delayed as I have to come to a coffee shop with my work laptop in order to get online atm since I no longer have a home network.

Anyways, here we go again...
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  1. I see from your other post that you live in WI... me, too. One helluva storm (system), huh?

    The thing with systems configured in the manner "SSD with a data drive" is that you transfer to your data drive whenever you're not playing. It sounds like you were just keeping all your games on the SSD and keeping everything else on the 1TB drive; I used to do that with my (factory-partitioned) laptop, until I realized my 'Windows and all my miscellaneous apps' partition was getting too bulky and my 'games and fun stuff' drive wasn't populated enough. In light of that, you can save money on the new build by opting not to get a SSD yet and just getting a 500GB hard drive (I'm judging that you didn't use that much on your 1TB, either); this'll save you maybe 2 hundred. SSDs don't have enough performance over HDDs to justify their price right now; they'll come down in the next few years, but for now, you're fine with a good 7200RPM HDD.

    The Hyper 212, if it was damaged, should be repurchased through TigerDirect rather than Newegg; you can save about 30-35 bucks, as NE jacked up the price.

    If you need to in order to maintain budget, you should be able to downgrade to a Radeon 5850; it may not be quite as powerful, but it is still in the Top 5 GPUs available.
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