but I keep getting more confused and unsure of what I want the longer I research it. So now I'm going to add to the huge pile of "help me!" posts. Sorry.
Approximate Purchase Date: hopefully by the end of this month
Budget Range: definitely under $1000, preferably closer to the $800-900 range after rebates and sales
System Usage from Most to Least Important: primarily creative work, because that's how I'm justifying it to my wife-- I write and letter comic books, so that involves Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign (and Final Draft which doesn't take much to run). I'm also playing around with making movies in a program called MovieStorm, and that also involves Sony Vegas, Cinescore, and FXhome VisionLab. I'd also like to be able to play all the newest games at high settings (Skyrim, Arkham City, and I'm also addicted to DC Universe Online)
Parts Not Required: monitor (I'll be hooking it to a 42" 1080p HDTV via HDMI until I get a new office space set up) keyboard and mouse
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I like newegg, tigerdirect, amazon (have some credit there). Closest Microcenter is a few states away, but my parents live near one so if there's an amazing deal I can buy online and have them pick-up in store and ship it to me
Country: (e.g.: India) Washington State, USA
Parts Preferences: I've always had better experiences with Intel/Nvidia, but I'm willing to try anything
SLI or Crossfire: not now, but I want to be able to in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I want to overclock and I want good upgrade potential, including the ability for multiple cards later on, so I guess one of the important spots that I'm most unsure of is the motherboard and power supply. I want to be sure those can both handle want I want to do.
MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk GeForce GTX 560 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've read good reviews of this and I like the idea of something OC'd high out of the box so it's warrantied, as compared to me blowing it up trying to OC it myself. But. there's so many choices on cards I have no idea what's the best for the value
Motherboard: here's where I really need advice. I've read so much that I'm more lost now than when I started. Want something good for overclocking. I found this one as part of a combo with the i5 2500k ($20 discount), but I think there might be cheaper options that will do what I want.
ASRock Z68 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't know if I even need a drive. I have a burner on my laptop and my wife's iMac. I can't remember the last time I actually needed to use a DVD or CD on my current computer.
Right now all this from newegg would be right at $1000 after rebates. I'd like to see if I can trim it down a little while also increasing performance. This will be my first time building a PC, so what other extra little bits and pieces might I need? Once I'm locked into parts I'll see what's included with everything, but I want to cover anything I might not think of.
Build looks good to me. I just recently purchased that ASrock mobo and I love it. Very feature-rich, and the bios are pretty easy to navigate. If you are looking to shave some $$$, drop the spinpoint HDD. Prices are stupidly high so if you have another hdd you could use for a while, I'd recommend it. Another suggestion (might not be very doable with your budget) is to go for an ssd. It is the single best upgrade you can put in any computer nowadays, so making a new one without an ssd is like being bron with one leg. They are pricey but worth every penny (you can get a 60gb one for around $90)
I think the list is pretty good. One thing I have been suggesting is a visit to Frye's/Staples/OfficeMax/wherever to check HDD prices. Some of the chain stores had a big stockpile of drives and may still have some better deals.
Don't worry about getting a very fast drive. Get a drive, and then upgrade it when prices come back down. Most of the plants in Thailand are being worked on now, and prices should start to come down in the spring.
You can also get a small SSD to use as a drive cache, in a future upgrade.
I've been at this a long time and I can tell you that most people who buy a board and PSU planning to upgrade to a second GPU never do.
They buy one GPU, decide they are satisfied with it for now, and by the time they are ready for more graphics power they have far better single GPU options.
So I would say ditch the crossfire board and 750W PSU.
Thanks for the help so far. I am definitely going to do a 2nd GPU, I get my bonus at work around April and a portion of that money is already set for the 2nd card, so I'd like to get some more suggestions on boards to plan for that.
The Antec caught my attention because it has washable air filters (I saw someone on another post stressing to have filters). Is something like that really useful? And does anything on the 922 justify it being double the price of the 912?
First, Proximon, thank you very much for all the help so far.
Very last question I have is on the PSU. I'm thinking a lot of "what if's" on this one, because I'm certain I'll be adding the 2nd GPU, but I'm also wondering about an SSD in the future. Is 750w going be enough for crossfire, overclocking, and an SSD? I've found combo deals on both the Corsair TX750 V2 and TX850 V2 so it's only about a $15 difference after rebates. If there's a chance I'll need more power I'm willing to spend another $15, but if the 750 is more than enough then I'd be happy to save the money too.
Built my system last weekend, but I've been so busy playing with it that I haven't come back to post my final results. Here's what I ended up with:
Cooler Master HAF 912
i5 2500k, OC to 4.5
MSI Twin Frozr II/OC HD 6950 2GB, unlocked shaders and running at 900/1375
Corsair TX850 V2
8GB Corsair Vengeance (found a good combo with the PSU, plus a Corsair coupon code that made this cost way less than the 750TX V2 and the Gskill ram combo I was looking at)
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3
Xigmatek Loki cooler
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB (was $40 off when I bought it)
some cheap LG DVD burner
After rebates, Ebates, and cashback on my credit card I'm looking at around $800 spent on it.
Building was pretty easy. Had a few freak out moments where I wasn't sure if I was about to bust something, like locking the CPU down to the mobo. I thought it was taking too much pressure, but a little more and it went smoothly. Probably the longest and most confusing was the wiring, some of the little bits like the case power and reset, since the mobo diagrams weren't that clear.
Everything runs very cool with the stock case fans and CPU cooler but I'm still planning to add two more fans, side intake and top exhaust. Mostly to help keep the dust out since the top opening is...pretty open.
Only games I've tried so far are Deus Ex:Human Revolution which looks amazing and plays smooth on the highest settings, and Skrim, which is beautiful when it runs but I'm having issues with it crashing.
I'm planning on adding the 2nd 6950 either in March (my birthday) or May (my work bonus). I was real close to adding the SSD, the Vertex went on sale 2 days after I ordered everything else, even had it in my cart, then decided it wasn't really in the budget right now.
I'm moving stuff around today, picked up a new monitor this morning so it's all going into the office instead of being hooked up to the TV, and then I'll get some pics up.