This discussion will begin with some current events. If that bores you, please skip rather than flaming.
The reason I am posting this is to assist anyone else who may have a similar anticipation of the next few months or even years. You may choose different parts than I did, but if this reminds you of a couple questions you may have otherwise forgotten or not considered, then hopefully this will have helped.
For months now, the U.S. Congress has been on a path to economic destruction, spending more money than this country can raise in generations. Rather than make any serious attempts at addressing this problem, the administration / FED has been trying to paper it over by printing money; trillions of dollars, in order to "buy their own debt." I had over a year of accounting, and I can't figure out how that works, let alone how it could be legally or morally acceptable. Rather than going into manufacturing, construction, or infrastructure, most of this money has ended up in the financial services sector, which doesn't make anything; they just move massive amounts of OPM around, leeching the flow for their own lavish sustenance (this is why the stock market hasn't crashed yet; the Wall Street gamblers are still quite happily playing their games). Supposedly the "money printing press" will be turned off at the end of this month. Whether or not it is restarted, within short order everyone and his brother will have to realize the inability of the U.S. to pay its debts. The resulting default will cause economic turmoil in which inflation may be the least of our worries, even if/when it becomes the "hyper" variety.
So, I figure this is it; the last chance I may get to build a new PC for years, before inflation and/or other countries' unwillingness to transact business in dollars prices computer parts into the stratosphere. The euro, another fiat currency ("money" that is money simply because political leaders say it is), is also in major trouble, so I hardly expect this turmoil to be a U.S.-only phenomenon. Ordinarily in the forums I have favored frugality, but this may be one time not to, as soon our money will be seen for its true value, which is essentially zero.
I obtained these parts one or two at a time over the last six months or so, generally avoiding personal debt with rates that could get jacked. If some of them seem unlikely together, or out of balance, that is probably why. The following list indicates their current "New" prices, and does not account for the deals in place when I got each part.
ENERMAX HOPLITE ECA3220 Black 0.6 & 0.8mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Picked up from HardwareSecrets after they reviewed it. Very nice; in addition to "normal" 3.5" drive mounts, it also has a 2-drive backplane and a 2.5"/3.5" dock on the top. Cable management looks to be excellent.
Seasonic SS-560KM Active PFC F3, 560W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91, 80Plus Gold Certified, Modular Power Supply
$129.99 -$5.00 Instant $124.99
Honestly I might have preferred the 650W model with 4 PCIE connectors, but I got this one for only $71 from HardwareSecrets after Gabriel Torres reviewed it.
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:Sabertooth 990FX
Appears to have all the ports and slots I would ever need, including enough SATA 6Gb/s ports for RAID-5; with no compromises (e.g. use one, lose others). Five year warranty and supposedly milspec. This board is a primary reason I chose AMD; it wasn't about Bulldozer, which is still vaporware, may yet disappoint, or may not be affordable.
AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX
Yes, I could have overclocked a 955, but benchmarks over at Anandtech show this iteration using considerably less power than the 955 at stock. Beaten silly by Sandy Bridge in benchmarks, it remains more than enough for my games and apps, and like I said my decision to go AMD was primarily driven by the no-compromises 990FX chipset.
ASUS ENGTX560 TI DCII/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video ...
Model #:ENGTX560 TI DCII/2DI
$264.99 -$15.00 Instant $249.99
Overkill for my current games, but should last me for years. I may actually use a 1GB GTX460 I have until I need the muscle, just to save a little power.
XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible
Model #:GAIA SD1283
Essentially identical to the Hyper212+, but $5 less. Cooler, and much quieter than the stock HSF.
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
$94.99 -$10.00 Instant $84.99
Bought on a Shellshocker for $75 if I remember correctly.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Was in a combo with the CPU. Will use a small partition on this as the boot drive but quickly replace it with a 128GB SSD later (expecting a RMA return on one).
2xSeagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$89.99 -$10.00 Instant $159.98
I actually got these with a discount code for considerably less. Will be run in RAID-1 for data storage.
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
Meh. One optical drive is much like another, although I did want Lightscribe. I have no interest in BluRay.
Vantec 58-In-1 Internal Card Reader/Writer with Built-In USB Port for 3.5" or 5.25" Drive Bay - Model UGT-CR905
My wife and I both use digital cameras, so I wanted a card reader.
Alpha and Omega BOX-MK-BK INTERNAL 5.25" STORAGE BOX BLACK
This luxury item is a real convenience for things like CDs, thumb drives, and memory cards.
I also added an 800rpm 140mm fan to the top of the case, on some of those anti-vibration silicon pins, so probably another $20.
If I'm lucky, 1) Bulldozer will come out before the poo hits the fan and is priced reasonably, and 2) it will perform well enough to be a worthy upgrade, even if I don't need it yet. If so, I may get one and pass the 970BE to my wife, who is currently happy with her 720BE.
I may yet add a TV card, but I don't think I'm missing anything important. Please let me know if you think I am.
hey i built a similar rig just like you did over a couple months. i started in januray after selling my last rig on ebay or partsof it so to speak. i keep the triple core processor. the motherboard i currently have which is a cheap Asrock M3A770DE. a gtx 460 768MB. 4GB or ram and seasonic 520 watt powersupply. and a $20 case. first thing i did is wanted a case that would last a long time so i bought a Corsair Graphite 600T. then i was unsatified with the performace of the triple core and i know somebody gonna i should of bought a i5 2500k but that was when the recall was in effect so I bought a AMD Phenom II X4 955. then it was ok. Then i upgraded my monitor to a 22" @ 1680x1050. so upgraded to a EVGA Superclocked GTX 560TI. then i came into some birthday money so I bought a small 64GB SSD. then i fixed a computer for a freind of mine. so i bought 8GB of DDR1333 RAM for $70.
yes this isn't the best way to build a computer
so here my specs now
AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.9 GHZ on a Hyper 212 plus
8GB DDR 1333
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
Corsair v64 64GB SSD
EVGA Superclocked GTX560TI
Seasonic 520 Watt
Corsair Graphite 600t