System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and video
Parts Not Required: Case and all perephrials.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Between Newegg and Tiger. I usually find Tiger cheaper due to taxes but I understand newegg can have good bundles. Feel free to make suggestions. I will crosscheck prices on my own.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Intel or AMD CPU. Have always used Intel in the past but if other parts can be significantly improved then willing to consider AMD. Graphics see below. No other brand preference expect I have had bad luck with PNY.
Overclocking: Yes but not essential
Crossfire: Yes (see below)
Monitor Resolution:1920x1080 currently 24" Widescreen
Additional Comments: I haven't built a machine in 5 years so I'm a bit out of touch with what is current but I have done quite a bit of reading here on the forums. It looks like the I5 2500k is the best price/performance chip that is in my budget.
As noted above I am hoping to keep as much as possible of my current rig.
Case - Offbrand but has good airflow and multiple fans. Atx case.
PSU is at least 5 years old so I am sure I need a new one.
Keyboard, mouse, Optical and HDD are all fine for now. Current HDD 350 GB SATAII I believe.
GPU: I currently have a Radeon 5700 series PCIE 1 GB. I cannot remember if its a 5750, 5760 or 5770. I think its a 5760. If it helps GPU-Z shows it as PCI-Ex16@x16 bus 720 shaders, 13.1 Gpixel/s GDDR5 Memory.
I know that upgrading by getting 2 new vid cards would be ideal but it is always the budget that gets me. If an AMD CPU is cheap enough then I may consider new vid cards but I don't think its that cheap. It looks like a couple decent cards would be $400+ and that is pretty far out of budget if I am spending $200+ on just the CPU. Is there any known problems with crossfire on the 5700 series? Plan to upgrade vid cards later. Also is there a single card option that I could get now in the $150 range that would be viable to double up on for crossfire in the future? There is just way to much info on vid cards for me to have any sense I know what I am getting into.
RAM: I am still learning but I believe with the upgrade I can go to 64 bit (I have windows 7 ultimate) so.. more ram is better? I would say at least 4 GB. I have had problems in the past with PNY so I am not interested in their products.
Budget: my rough calculations are:
PSU Really no idea say $50??
Cooling is where I am most weak in knowledge. I've never done any after market cooling. I would guess $35-$50?
2nd xfx vid card $80
Feel free to make suggestions. I have read a number of posts about $1,000 machines which is where my general pricing is coming from. I am open to suggestions of any type. Spending a little more to extend the life of what I get is worth it but of course I have to balance it out.
Went ahead with the suggestions from the $800 build minus what I didn't need. Turned out to be 725 after shipping. Amazon was cheaper than any other I looked at by about 60 bucks. I did get a couple small extras so I would guess real cost as described was about $680