It's been a while since I've built a system. It seems (since I haven't been keeping up with things) that everything is so different. I've been doing some research trying to get up to speed on things... First, I'll answer the requisite questions:
Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))
ASAP ... As soon as I can reasonably get all the suggestions and have some experts check out my parts selection, I'm buying and building. Unless there's something coming out next week that changes the game... I don't think I want to wait months for Bulldozer or Sandy Bridge, though.
Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates
$1200-$1500ish? I want to put together a good performing system, but not get into the crazy expensive category...
System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)
Gaming, maybe some video editing of home movies type stuff... Other normal tasks (office, music, web browsing).
Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**
The only parts I'm thinking about reusing so far are the Power Supply (if it'll handle the new build, and a SATA DVD burner. Both are listed below as already owned. (Corsair CMPSU-650TX)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: newegg.com, ncix.com -- to show us selection & pricing)
newegg.com ... Maybe Microcenter if it saves a lot.
Country of Origin: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)
Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case)
Prefer Intel and nVidia, for this build, but open to anything really. Whatever makes the most sense.
Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe
I'm open to overclocking a little, but the goal is a stable system I won't have to tinker with much, once it's set up and running well. I guess that's a "Maybe".
SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe
Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)
1920x1080? I need a new monitor, too, I guess. The current LCD I have is 1680x1050.
Ok. Now on to what I'm thinking about building... Before I spend the money on all this stuff, I wanted to get opinions, potential issues, or ideas for improvement/savings. Here's the plan now:
CPU --- Intel Core i7 950 -- 294.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seems to be the sweetspot for i7. I keep hearing I can save a lot of money on Intel CPUs by going to Micro Center. (Looks like 229.99, I just looked it up). The i7 930 is only 6 dollars less, and the i7 960 jumps WAY up to 579.99 on newegg.
I'll probably buy and install Windows 7 on this system...
Total with rebates, but not including Windows 7 and shipping/tax so far: $1221.90
1. Will that Corsair Power Supply (650W) be enough for this? I did an online PSU calculator that said 540W, and recommended 580Ws for what I plugged in, but I'd much rather be safe than sorry...
2. Do I need a 3rd party CPU cooler? Will the stock Heatsink from Intel be sufficient if I'm not doing any crazy overclocking?
I really appreciate any advice or suggestions... You guys all have much more experience than I do, I'm sure. Thanks in advance!
If I went the i5 760 route, would there be a huge advantage to running two GTX 460's at 8x / 8x ... Instead of a single 16x? I've never SLI'd before... It just seemed like the two 460's are cheaper and offer a lot more performance (based on the charts I've seen) than a single 480. I'm not sure if that changes based on getting 16x / 16x vs. 8x / 8x ...
Awesome information! I really appreciate your help and linking that article. Let me start thinking about what I'd like in a i5 760 system, and see where that takes me. It never hurts to look at all your options...