Approximate Purchase Date: Very soon (laptop is failing)
Budget Range: $400-500 before MIR + ~$100 for a monitor
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editing, photo editing, surfing the web/videos.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I like Newegg because I've heard good things about their customer service and RMA but if you know of somewhere else that is a quality online vendor, let me know. I'm also close to Fry's electronics but newegg is typically cheaper.
Country of Origin: US
Parts Preferences: Leaning towards AMD. In the last system builders marathon the intel pc was pretty lack-luster. The i3-2100 seems to be lower than the Phenom II x4 955 or 965 (the 965 is $5 cheaper than the 955 with a promo code right now) for what I want to do.
SLI or Crossfire: Probably not
Monitor Resolution: Depends on the monitor. 720p would be fine, if I can get 1080 performance from the computer with this budget, great.
Additional Comments: This computer should last for a couple years to come. It will turn into my secondary rig a year or so down the line. This seems to be an excellent build considering it comes out to $398 after shipping, instant and mail in rebates, and the promo code for the processor. The computer used in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5PScsdT180 seems to be almost identical to my own. If this is the performance I should expect from the rig I have built below then it is perfect for me.
That's alot of system packed into 400. You did a good job. The only thing I question is the use of a Biostar MB. I have not heard good things about that brand. What about spending 40 more and getting a gigabyte?
That is a good system for that price. You are a smart shopper. I would say, in response to your gaming, "it depends on what game you want to play". I could think of a few games that run on older engines (CoD, WoW) that would run fine at 1080p. But others (Metro 2033, Witcher, Crysis series) that you might not like the settings you need to run fluidly. The only problem there is, and I can see you've done your research on the current components, if you bump up your GPU even a bit, your PSU won't be powerful enough. Thus the game of upgrading begins. For that budget I think you have throughly milked your money's worth. In fact, I'm going to recommend this build to a friend who's looking to buy a PC for Skyrim. He doesn't need a monitor though...more money elsewhere!
This pc won't be upgraded in the future. The plan is to use this until I can build a $1000+ system a year or so down the line. This will be my secondary rig or possibly go to my girlfriend. I would like to play BF2 and CoD on this system and I'll just be a bit behind on playing BF3, MW3, etc. but that's fine with me.
In the last system builder marathon they used the i3-2100 and it really wasn't that far ahead of the previous quarter's build. By being able to purchase the 965 (they used the 925 in March) for less than the 2100 I'm hoping that I will be on the same level as the 2100 or even higher. Hopefully we can get some unbiased discussion about the 2100 vs the 955/965. If it's about a minuscule fps difference I'm going to stick with the AMD processor for the better video work benchmarks.
Also, I was able to find a better deal for RAM bundled with the mobo. I won't be overclocking this rig most likely so I don't need any fancy heat sinks on my RAM. I'll stick with the RAM in this combo which is actually 2x4gb instead of 2x2gb and I save myself a few pennies (litterally just a few cents). Another smart decision to pack in the most bang for my buck I think.
Did you check that it didn't change your power requirements? Just curious. You were close, and ATI products are more frugal than Nvidia products on the power supply front. I can browse the reviews, but I might not be back for hours and by that time you could've already bought and 'screwed' yourself if it wasn't right.