Hello everyone, new computer builder here wanting to pick your brains a little bit on this configuration i have so far. Have never ever built one before, so I've compiled all of the PC builder guides I could find on the net as well as some forum pointers to help me out. Here is what I actually have ordered atm, so it's not too late to change (btw I was on a budget of about 1000 bucks on this build, so I recognize I have probably fallen short of normal gaming computer specs):
Thermaltake AF0032 Basic Fan - $ 8.99 (can never have too much circulation)
Lite-On Internal DVD Writer IHAS22406 - $19.99
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE - $29.99
Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT Vid Card - 512MB DDR2, PCI, Dual Link DVI, VGA, etc - $ 74.99
Microsoft Windows 7 - $ 99.99
Western Digital Caviar Blue HD 500 GB, 7200 RPM - $ 39.99
Personally I would have dropped a couple of hundred dollars off the mobo/CPU bundle and went with a high end AMD combo (Gigabyte board and P2 955 or 965 or even a 6-core). From there you could have put a bit more in to the video card (ATI 5770) and the hard drive (if necessary) (Samsung or WD 1TB). I did notice on Newegg's e-mail this morning that they had the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB for around $50, and it is an extremely fast drive. Also, I believe that the motherboard's onboard audio chipset supports 7.1, but I can not speak for the quality compared to a CL card. Really it all depends on what this machine will be primarily used for.
Well dang I meant to mention that in my post but completely forgot.
Well I do like to game every now and then, but like I said this is on a budget, so I can't go all out on a 2000$ + system, though i would love to. This system is mostly going to be used to game, surf the net, watch movies, and do other work / school related tasks. I would like to play some of the newer games like Dragon Age Origins and Starcraft2 (big Starcraft fan, miss the old one), do you think this system will struggle with these games?
Also, I see what you're saying, going with a cheaper bundle on the CPU and MoBo, but I figured, with the glowing reviews with i7, I shouldn't settle for anything less. Is that a mistake? I suppose I could actually save some money that way since one good vid card wouldn't cover the difference of getting a cheaper Mobo / CPU bundle. I'll look into this.
That's my personal preference. My last system I built I was under similar monetary constraints, so in my research it seemed that the AMD was the way to go. Reviews I read show that the there really is no comparison to the i7, but again you would save some cash. You could either put it back in to the system and upgrade the video card or buy a nice gaming mouse or keyboard. Also, was there any particular reason you opted for an add-on audio card. The mobo supports 7.1, has optical and coaxial outputs, and could save you another $30 if you drop it. Just a thought.
I haven't played SC2, but from what I've read, a card like the cheaper 5770 would get you to high or ultimate settings. Check on the MSI R5770 Hawk for $180.
Shows how green I am, then. I'm thinking now I might just keep the processor and MoBo as is, send back the GPU and sound card, then spend the difference on a decent GPU. Any suggestions? I'd say no higher than 150$.
edit- I see the 5770 for 159 at TigerDirect....hrmm.. Any other cheaper suggestions before I go that route? If not, it's alright. If another 20-30 dollars is needed to make my system that much better then so be it.
Oh cool, and it's cheaper at Newegg (which I was just about to check on). Surprisingly everything on my list was found to be cheaper at TigerDirecxt than anywhere else. I will more than likely go with the ATI, even though I was wanting an Nvidia card, but I know ATI makes a decent product as well.
Edit - Just reading the reviews about the card here. Do you find that your card overheats very much? And the size, did you have trouble fitting it into your machine? I'm using a mid-tower, was curious if it was going to be a tight fit.
Followed your advice and dropped the processor down a notch. Overall, this new build saves me 80 bucks. I thought about changing the HD as well, but 500GB should be more than enough for me. I don't keep tons of stuff on my PC - I like to keep it clean. Most I will keep on it are the games that I play, songs, and some text files. Everything else will be stored on CD/Dvd's if I need them. I need to double check the PSU against the vid card I added to make sure I have enough wattage, but I imagine that it should be alright. Wasn't really sure on the DVD drive. The one I chose had plenty of good reviews, but wasn't sure if it was the proper type of drive I can use for everything (I assume the burning of cd's/dvd's is good, but not sure about how well it plays games). Other than that, I think I'm about ready to hit the order button unless anyone has any other suggestions. Thanks!
I've been scoping out 460 cards, as well, and came down to either Asus or MSI. From the recent article from this site, it appears that the Asus might have a slight advantage in regards to performance ,OC'ing, and cooling, and it is the same price as the Gigabyte card.
The main difference apart from the amount of memory is that the 768 only has a 192bit bus, compared to the 256bit bus on the 1gb card, which should give you a few extra frames.
Newegg has it, and for a decent price, but Amazon has it for $209 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003WUXNPO/ref=d...)... unfortunately, they are out of stock, and are quite often from what I have read online. Too bad, cuz there would be free shipping (only 2or3 dollars on newegg) and no tax (damn u CA) if bought through Amazon.
I've had good experience with Newegg customer service (over the phone, NOT on the web chat), and a couple of times they have given me gift cards when I missed a sale. I was thinking of calling and seeing if they would price match, or hook me up to match the Amazon price. I've read that Newegg doesn't do the price matching, but I thought I would give it a go. Will try it in the next week, since I am finally pretty sure that is the one that I am going with. I'll let you know how it goes...
Last thing... I was between those two, as well. The MSI card got great reviews, but 2 things sold me on the asus. The MSI card has a stock OC of around 25mhz (hopefully I have my facts straight) and the Asus card comes with stock OC of 100mhz on both the core and memory. Also the Asus vents out the back, whereas the Cyclone dumps right in to the case. My system runs a bit hot as it is, so that had to be a consideration. Again, either card would be a great choice and a huge improvement over the first one you had picked out.