Hello and thanks for reading. I was very interested in the December 500$ build. Although it looked great, I already have a seagate HD, so I had a wider budget for other components. I kept the primary components, however, switched GPU manufacturer, RAM, case, PSU, and dropped the HD. Build will be used for programming / softcore + old school gaming / general purpose. All advice welcome, particularly experts of compatibility, bottlenecks, future upgrades, etc. etc.
-I guess this is Corsair's "entry level" PSU line... I was just not comfortable with the Antec 380W on the 500$ build...only need to ruin a mobo once to get the full experience. It is noticeably less expensive than others, but I have no reason to believe it's not reliable at the moment.
Very good selection, not much to change here. I don't think memory brand make a difference as long as it's brand name. Either G.Skill or Mushkin is good choice.
Would recommend considering motherboard with on-board graphic card. You are saying that PC is for programming and old school gaming. I'm assuming you have a separate gaming PC. With on-board graphics you can take out your GTX 460 and setup SLI in your gaming PC, unless you already have it. It's a cheaper solution than buying another video card or upgrading existing one. Programming will run just fine with on-board card.
I think you've got a great list there in terms of value and it being able to do more than you require it to. One thing that you might check out is possible "combo deals". Usually you can't find EXACTLY what you had in mind, but sometimes you can come across a pretty good bargain.
Depending on how "soft" your future plans are with gaming, or if you intend to entertain yourself with older games, you may consider scaling back slightly on the GPU choice for something that might fit your needs more. If that is a possibility you could easily shave a few bucks there to add to other components. I would also recommend getting a video card with 1 gb ram. Especially if you're already planning on a price point of $177.56 with shipping. You can easily clock to match the FPB as advertised.
Also, not sure if you're sold on Nvidia, but I know there are some pretty good deals on 5770's and 5830's which are basically comparable to the GTX 460.
Combo that you recommend does not have CrossFire support. My impression was that this is what he is looking for. I don't know if there is way to run nVidia SLI on AMD board.
Milkshake, For dual card on AMD board you have use AMD cards. If you plan on doing that go with AMD card. I think 6850 is better option than 5770 or 5830 due to multiple monitor support. Three and more monitors are amazing for development work and there is absolutely no need to have same ones.
CTPaHHIK: It's true I didn't consider the prospect of SLI/Xfire. I initially thought it to be a mobo purchase for the chipset & price tag. That particular ASRock board does have dual pcie, but its x16 and x4. Even though it's a decent price it wouldn't be the ideal board to Xfire anyway. Because he posted a GTX 460 this makes the whole idea that he planned on utilizing the mobo's Xfire ability near zero. My intentions were more or less throw out the bundle idea. Especially when purchasing technology thats been around for a little while. I think it shows that the mobo might need a bit more thought. It's a good idea to get the Athlon II X3 445, but perhaps get a better AM3 mobo for upgrade paths of the future.
You are definitely right about the 6850. Plus it's dollars over the 768 MB GTX 460.
Responses were a good revelation. Actually it led me to a "cart overhaul".
mascara - thanks for the MOBO advice, there were better options for this configuration. You were right on to assume it's a single graphics card build; I'm not always of the mind "more is better" and you confirmed a more viable GPU anyway.
CTPaHHIK - suggesting the 6850 was an eye opener. This card seems to be a real bang-for-buck and the triple display functionality would be extremely useful. It also seems to be at the point where ATI cards don't have to be measured against the 4870...it looks like the thing screams.
There are three things that come to mind when I looked at the GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H..
1. It's an old board. It can run AM3 socket sure, but you are going to narrow your path for future upgrades.
2. RAM. If you're going to spend hard earned dollars on a new rig.. get the DDR3 that comes with a nice AM3 socket mobo. If you went to any big box retailer down the road ALL their products have a newer board and DDR3.
3. The new one you picked out is actually more expensive?
Starting very very soon and spanning over the next 12 months or so there are going to be a lot of changes from Intel and AMD regarding their new products. If you intend on keeping this build for only a year then it wouldn't really make too much of a difference which board you go with. If this is something you intend to keep for possibly 1-3 years due to what you stated its use for, I wouldn't hamstring your build in some ways and keep it current in others.
maawdawg I really liked your MOBO+memory recommendation. Looks very viable for the long term...the specs look like they would support future upgrades very nicely, especially the CPU/GPU. In stock not 24 hours after your post.
I thought I read that DDR3 1333 is the highest a lot of AMD CPU's support at the moment, which is perfect, then.
mascara thanks for steering me away from the earlier generation mobo/ram. It would have probably been the worst kind of bottleneck to have down the road.
very soon and spanning over the next 12 months or so there are going to be a lot of changes from Intel and AMD regarding their new products
You motivated me to read some articles, but this always seems to be the story...can't worry about that. Anyway the last 2 rigs I owned personally were a Pentium 4 with Hyper-threading / Radeon9800pro from 2000 and an Ubuntu Inspiron9300 / Geforce Go 6800 pro from 2004. Both were retired in the last several months.
Critical responses welcomed...especially regarding chipsets manufact. / GPU / compatibility.
Thank you for weighing in, getting down to the wire. Probably going to hit 600$$ but oh well I thought monitors were way more expensive anyway.