Hi, I am looking to spend between $550 and $650 on core components (CPU, GPU, MB, RAM) for a new build.
I will not be building it anytime soon, probably sometime fourth quarter when prices hopefully drop, so I am not necessarily looking for specific components yet. (although if you have a list it might still be helpful)
I am hoping for an idea on how best to split up my cash among these parts ( ie $250 on GPU, $150 on CPU, etc)
I do some gaming, but I guess not enough that I would call myself a "gamer." I do a lot of photo, video, and CAD work.
I am willing to do some overclocking, I have not done it before but I would like to experiment with it sometime.
Lastly, I will probably be getting an SSD if that makes any difference.
Well, this is a tough one. it really depends. What most people do is, get the best CPU and GPU they can, then get the Mobo and ram to match.
If you are doing CAD work, your priority will probably be CPU. Your budget isn't very high, so look to spend around $200 on the CPU. For the GPU, around $225-250. Now, find a motherboard that has the features you want, and is compatible with your components. (around $100-150) Lastly, the ram. I would spend whatever you have left, in this case, between $50-100 dollars. For that, you should be able to get some nice ram, that will serve your needs.
I guess "what component is most important for my purposes" would have been a better question to ask.
I was expecting to spend about the same on the GPU and CPU, which looks to be about what you recommended. I see a lot of people spending significantly more on the video card, and was no sure if that was the best route.
Well, the importance factor for gaming goes as follows.
For something like rendering, it's more important to have some oomph in the processor, but also have a GPU that works well. I said spend a bit more on the GPU, in case you decide you want to game, or if you get into a graphics intensive project.