So here's my dilemma. I play games, I play a variety of games. I like to play games that run smoothly on my 8400 but yet want to be able to play newer games like X3, EVE, random MMORPG's at high quality, and just general stuff like that. no crysis or COD (I can do that on xbox 360). The problem is from what I hear Windows 7 doesnt support any of the older 32 bit games. Now I dont know how XP mode works or how well it works with that but that bothers me. Its going to hold me back from getting 8gb of ram and have a killer combo.
So is there any way to remedy that or do I have to just stick with XP home or pro on the 320gb hard drive and hope to god the mobo works w/ it?
Also suggestions are welcome to change any of the parts I listed that is a very rough draft I want something that will last a good while, but dont need all the super high end bells and whistles like sata 6.0 or all the other things since I dont do games like Crysis. I just want a faster better computer for other 3D games.
XP mode is generally for running just productivity applications instead of games. It is in practice a virtual machine inside Win7 and the graphics side of it is not very efficient. So generally you would be better off having XP on a separate hard drive and running things from there if you have games that need XP to run.
Then get a 2nd HDD for Win7 such as Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ~$55-65 - cheap, fast, reliable.
Video: To run the games ( including all the new ones ) at max quality at the full HD resolution you would need a Radeon 6950 at about $220-250 or GTX570 which is more but you will probably be happy with any of the following cards: Radeon 6850/6870/6950, GeForce GTX460 1GB/560/560 Ti/570 ( $140-330 )
Monitor: This is pretty much up to your preference 22-24" LED FullHD 1920x1080 2ms-5ms refresh rate is what I would look for. ( About $150-200 )
PSU: Get something in the 500-650W range from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic or XFX. The higher end the GPU the higher the power requirements. XFX Core PRO650W $59.99 after rebate would be a good deal.
Case: Consider the Antec 300 Illusion it's on sale at newegg for $54.99 atm. Great deal at that price. Antec 300 illusion $54.99
Optical: Get a DVD+/-RW SATA drive from Asus or Lite-on they are about $20 bucks. The one you have listed is IDE and wouldn't work. Asus 24x DVD+/-RW $19.99
Mobo: You might want to consider a P67 or Z68 based board since you have a i7 2600k which can be overclocked. MSI P67A-G45 $112.99 after rebate would for example be ok.
If I have a SATA hard drive thats the 320gb and its not 3.0 or 6.0 sata will it still run in the existing 3.0 or 6.0 sata ports on the motherboard I pick or should I just go buy a brand new HDD that already supports 3.0 or 6.0?
Also another big thing is I wont be using a huge monitor. At biggest it would be 22". I am currently using a 20" for most of my stuff due to desk space. Do i really need something like a 5770 radeon or should I just get a mobo that supports the HD3000 graphics from intel? The games i'll be playing are mostly MMORPG type stuff that isnt to much, and other games like X3, Evochron: mercenaries, stuff like that. No Crysis, COD, BF BC2, none of that. Its mostly home use with the exception of some lighter games like I just said.
I just want a card that will be able to max out those games I said i'll be playing on highest resolution (most likely 1280x768) without lag.
Well I would say that spend at least $40 or so to get a 4650 DDR3, that should work pretty good for you at that resolution, it's still 8 steps above the HD3000 graphics.
Possibly a 5670 if you can find a nice deal on one between $50-60. And if you can spend the 100 or so after rebates, the 5770 or 6770 would be really good in case you get something a little newer in the future.
To use the HD3000 you need a H67 or Z68 MB. But then if you get one of those, you can always try how the games run on the integrated GPU,
and if it's not enough go with 4650 DDR3, 5670 or 6770.
You can get 22" monitors that have FullHD resolution, 1650x1050 or 1600x900 at worst really.