I started my research a while back and thought I'd keep my system around 600, but the more I read the more I decide I need to spend...
My main uses for this PC are: Schoolwork, Listening to Music, Playing around on Cakewalk (occasionaly), watching movies, chat clients and playing games (not all at the same time). I don't want to spend hundreds now and in 12 months it to be obselete and not able to play anything.. I want to be able to play Crysis 1 and 2 on the maximum settings that will give me confidence that I'll have the ability to maintain playing games on reasonably high settins for atleast a year and on medium settings into 2 years (when I plan to upgrade again). So I was hoping to keep it as low as I possibly can without sacrificing too much performance and ensuring its still going to perform well in time. Currently I have a 22" or 21.5" LCD HP monitor (I can't be sure of the exact model) and I hope to have an identical one running next to it (one with game open, one with chat/music open or one with MS word open, one with webpage open taking notes) so the graphics card needs to be able to handle this. The system I had pictured so far was as follows:
CASE: Antec 200V2 Two-Hundred-V2 Gaming Tower - $57
PSU: Thermaltake LitePower 500Watt - $ 57
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition – $148
MOBO: ASUS M4A87TD-USB3 Motherboard – $99
RAM: Kingston KVR 4GB SINGLE DDR3 1333 – $44
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $57
GPU: Radeon HD6870 1GB – $220
Windows 7 home premium 64bit - $100
Total (not including labour from MSY +70) = $782
(All prices from MSY - I'm from AUS)
The reason I went for the single 4GB stick was so down the track if I do notice some lag, ill fork out the extra 40 (more like 20 in a year..) and put in another 4GB stick.
The only way I can see of making much of a difference in price is by cutting back to the HD6850 GPU, which should save me 40ish dollars. I've seen both the 6870 and the 6850 play Crysis and Crysis 2 on max settings and I can't say Youtube made it very easy to see a very clear winner, they both seem to manage pretty well (30fps at all times).
If its going to be worth my while I dont mind paying for the HD6950 ($282) but I get the feeling in I'm not going to need that kind of card running current games, and by the time games do use cards with that sort of performance I'll be able to get a better one..
I'm pretty content with the CPU also, I considered for a while going to the X6 1055T 2.8GHz but its a fair bit more and I think waiting for Bulldozer is a better call.
Which brings me to my next point, will this MOBO be eligable for the AM3+ upgrade or not?
Also, I chose the case because it comes with 2 fans stock which although they might be loud(er) they will do me fine for now. The PSU however I have no idea on I was reconmeded the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition with 450W – $77 but 450W didn't feel like enough for this card so I tried to find the cheapest yet still not to poor quality case/PSU combination possible. Is this PSU any good? or should I swap back to the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition with 450W as it will provide enough power?
Any suggestions/reconmendations are very much welcome, this is my first build and I want to do it right, but I'm a student so I want to do it cheap aswell..
Thankyou very much, sorry for the essay, I hope your answers might also help others in my situation
Is this PSU any good? or should I swap back to the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition with 450W as it will provide enough power?
The 450W in the V3 only has one PCIe 6 pin plug and you need 2 for a 6870 so you would need an adapter. I also don't think the 450 will hold the card. generally PSU's that come with cases are low quality. the Thermaltake V3 Black Edition does come with a 550w, but the PSU is still kinda week on the 12v rails.
for a good value PSU try the Corsair CX500 or CX600 they can be had for around $60 usually. also Antec earthwatts or NEO ECO PSU's are good value PSU's as is Seasonic.
Get 2 memory chips (2x2GB), you will hurt performance with only one. That MB supports dual channel memory and it has 4 memory slots, you can add more later if you want.
I also would recommend thinking about an i3/i5 LGA 1155 build. the Sandy Bridge (SB) CPU's rock, even the slowest i3 beats all but the AMD x6's in gaming. I would be happy to recommend SB build to you if you are open to it.