Hi, I have built my gaming pc over and over to make sure it lives up to my expectations.. I am looking for a highly upgradable, easily OC'able, reliable PC. I am looking for around a $1,000 PC but I will be buying a GTX470 very soon, maybe 2. Any comments welcome if you think that a different item is better then one I have picked, please share and give a reason why. Thank you!!
Also: The reason I do not have a gaming type keyboard and mouse is because I already have a mouse and I don't really want anything but a simple laptop like keyboard.
I do not have access to a router and my home does not have ethernet outlets, so I got a network adapter.
I already have a copy of Windows 7 x64.
A gaming computer is about a BALANCE of parts. For example, the i5-750 (for $220) is about 2x->4x more powerful than an HD5870 needs. You either want a CPU that, on average, is close to 100% or my preference due to price is to have one like the above that can support another HD5870 or FUTURE graphics card.
You have paired a high-end CPU with a low-end graphics card. So your graphics card will max out, your CPU will be under-used and your games won't run that great for all the money you've spent.
Start with the graphics card choice, then purchase the system around that. Shuffle prices so you get what you want. For $1000 I'd get an HD5850 1GB.
FYI, when running my i7-860 (about same as i5-750 as hyperthreading provides no gaming benefit yet) I've observed most high-end games max out my HD5870 and use slightly under 50% of my CPU (50% with HT off. HT ON provides incorrect CPU usage as it counts the hyperthread as if it was a core. i.e. 50% with HT disabled shows up as 25% with HT enabled even though HT doesn't add the theoretical extra processing power.)
1) An i5-750 is the best value CPU. The extra $100+ over an i7-920/860 can be put towards the graphics.
2) You only need overclock for gaming if you have something like SLI/Crossfire of an HD5870 or GTX480. There is NOT a single game that will run a CPU near 100% on even one of its cores when paired with an HD5870.
Overclocking only adds heat and noise when not needed but no performance value.
You can use the Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) to monitor your CPU usage. Run a game for 5-minutes or more and look at the CPU usage. For accurate results disable Hyperthreading in the BIOS. Since most games don't use Hyperthreading you could probably just DOUBLE the CPU value you get (i.e. 30% is really 60%).
If you use SLI 2xGTX470 then you probably will need to overclock. However, I recommend you monitor your games to determine if you need to and then overclock only enough to keep up with the graphics. Ideally a game would have benchmarks so you could see if overclocking adds any value but this can be misleading; if you can already show 60FPS (to match your monitor using VSYNC) then generating more Frames then your monitor can display is useless. I hate screen tearing so if I need to I'll turn down a few values slightly so I can get above 60FPS for VSYNC to properly work.
In general, using Task Manger (look at all cores/threads):
1) No core is at 100% usage in game (overclocking not needed)
2) Only one core is at 100% (probably overclocking not needed; benchmark)
3) Two or more cores at 100% (probably need to overclock)
One easy option is to increase the CPU until your most demanding game shows the most-used core between 90% and 100%.