Background: I have not built a PC before but have played around with older machines swapping parts as they failed, and I don't see myself having much difficulty putting something together. However I am a little worried I have overlooked some sort of compatibility issue in my parts selection and could always use some tips from the more experienced. For computers I have only owned low end machines that were cheap at the time of purchase, also have played with old Pentium 1 machines. I have never had a machine good enough to play any current titles.
What I want: A machine that will graphically outperform my PS3/720p television using either the same television or more than likely, the 1600x900 monitor that I already have. I will start out with some older games that I still haven't been able to enjoy on PC like GTA4, Orange Box, Left for Dead 2, etc. I want it to do well with new releases for at least 1 year, at which time I hope to upgrade for another year of good performance.
Approximate Purchase Date: 3 Months ( I know I will have to see what ATI is offering before I buy )
Budget Range: 900-1200 Before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: PC Games, Console Emulation
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, and tigerdirect
Country of Origin: I am in the USA, parts will probably come from Asia
Parts Preferences: I am not really loyal to any companies, I like to base purchases off value, features, and reviews.
Overclocking: Not likely
SLI or Crossfire: Yes, looks like SLI right now
Monitor Resolution: 1600 x 900
Additional Comments: I choose my system to have what I think is a good CPU, Case, and Power Supply, but with room to double the RAM, and drop in an additional 460 Fermi
Prices are from newegg on October 13th, rounded up to nearest dollar.
A foreseeable upgrade is tossing in another 4 gigs of ram, and another 460 Fermi.
For parts ideas: I looked at the Budget Intel-Based Gaming PC thread and started with "The Ksampanna Build". I couldn't get the same build as him on newegg since he used combo deals that have expired and some parts are no longer carried by newegg. I kept the motherboard, CPU Cooler, and also chose 2 x 2GB RAM. However instead of starting with two 768MB 460 Fermi I chose to start with one that had 1GB memory and put the rest of the money towards a better CPU. I feel this is a good idea for upgradability as I can put another matching Fermi and more RAM as budget allows.
Closing Note: I have seen lots of threads in this forum with very few replies, however in most cases it is understandable -- the poster cobbled their post together and it is painful to read. I have tried to make this an easy read with all the required info and put a bit of thought into the layout. I do appreciate anyone who took the time to read the entire thread! So, does anyone have any advice, suggestions, critiques on my build? What would you do different or do the same? I look forward to all comments!