Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 4 weeks
Budget Range: $1000 - $1200 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming only
Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers and OS (I own Win XP & Vista) are taken care of.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: I haven't built a computer for about 10 years now, and so I don't know what is good anymore. I just want the best computer I can get for my budget.
Overclocking: Maybe -- I would be open to the idea as long as it is safe for the computer parts.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe -- If it is worth it performance-wise and fits int he budget
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: Quiet isn't hugely important, but nice if possible. The game I primarily play right now is World of Warcrtaft, which means lots of player textures getting loaded, so if there is something that is good for that (more RAM?) that would be awesome. I plan on getting into newer games graphically when I have a nicer machine too. Also, like I stated above, I have Vista and XP right now, so if another OS would be better I would like to know, however, don't make that part of the budget.
If you can wait 5 weeks at this point, I would. Intel's new Sandy Bridge architecture is set to be released in the first week of January, and AMD/ATI's new 6900 series launches in December. While you might not end up buying either of those parts, they should have at least a minor effect on the rest of the market's pricing.
If you need something before Cataclysm (hopefully not, you've only got a little more than a week now), then I'd consider the following:
Total: $991, using the higher prices, no shipping/taxes/combos applied
You could add an SSD (any SandForce-1200 drive - OCZ Agility2/Vertex2, Patriot Inferno, G.Skill Phoenix/Pro, Corsair Force, etc.) if you wanted to go closer to $1200. Or you could upgrade the graphics card, though either the 5870 or the 470 should be adequate for today's games at 1920x1200. The new 6900 series is worth investigation when it comes out in a couple of weeks, though I think pricing is still a mystery.
I think Win 7 is a pretty good OS, or at least it's less problematic than Vista. I would go 64-bit Home Premium, as it's a shame to get 4 GB RAM and not be able to use all of it.
Case choice is fairly personal, I really don't like the looks of the HAF 922, but it's a popular, well-reviewed case, so it tends to be my default recommendation.
"Our test system is based on a power hungry Core i7 965 / X58 based. This setup is overclocked to 3.75 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results). On average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to higher CPU clock settings, water-cooling, additional cold cathode lights etc"
"Here is Guru3D's power supply recommendation:
GeForce GTX 470
* On your average system the card requires you to have a 550~600 Watt power supply unit.
GeForce GTX 470 in SLI
* A second card requires you to add another ~200 Watts. You need a 700 Watt power supply unit."
Wow, thanks for all the replies, and quickly too. Although I don't need the computer for Cataclysm, it would be nice to have it soonish. This looks great. I do have a few questions though:
If I were to SLI the video cards, I just buy two of the same video cards? Are there other parts that need to be bought? Can I just buy one video card now and one later? Also, if I do that, it seems like the 750 watt PSU would work, would it be worth it to just buy the 850 watt? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seems like a lot of machines come with like 2-4 GB of ram base, is 4 going to be good enough for a decent gaming machine? Is there anything extra required for cooling, or is the case good enough?
I think it's premature to say that 8 GB is the recommended configuration. (I read the article and largely agree with the conclusions.) It doesn't hurt, but 4 GB is more than enough today, and adding another 4 is easy. It's certainly the first thing I'd cut to save money.