System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, CPU intensive work (video editing and recording (in-game), rendering, Abode suite type programs)
Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: eBay
Parts Preferences: Intel preferred for CPU, Antec or Corsair for PSU, Asus/Intel combo for MB, ATI for GPU, Thermaltake for case
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200
-Low profile, discreet, not something that would stick out to thieves (dorm), noise is secondary; quiet preferred but not absolutely required. Good airflow system (I like lots of case fans) is a must. However, I am looking at hydro cooling for the CPU rather than a fan.
-I want the computer to last for at least four years.
-I want to be able to play Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 on the highest possible settings with the highest FPS.
-I want to be able to record gameplay of said games in HD (I want to start a commentary gameplay channel on YouTube)
I want this computer to last and I want it to be fast and functional, even under strenuous conditions. I also want to stress that while I will have a decent amount of money to spend on this computer, I prefer to not overspend on features which would ultimately offer only little or non-consequential increases in speed/quality. My question to the forum here is this: Can I achieve my goals (Skyrim ultra settings, flawless video editing) with parts that are cheaper than the ones I have listed above? Or in other words, can I spend less but still get the same performance? For instance, the i7 2600 vs. the i7 2600k, what the actual difference between these parts? Could the lower i7 serve me just as well? What about a smaller PSU or lower MHz RAM chips? Thank you for any help in advance.
Also, for anyone who is wondering, I am purchasing the computer in July because I think that some of the prices of the parts will have dropped by then, perhaps turning my estimated $1594 computer into a $1400 or $1300 computer...
I'll get right down to it. I will try to save you a buck where we can.
I'm going to start off saying I'm not an eBay person so I will recommend from Newegg where the rest of us shops for PC components and you can see if you can find my suggestions on eBay if you please, although i would strongly recommend Newegg just because they are EASY to deal with and you get everything in the same package and its all under warranty and NO return issues, and since shipping is all on the same day no issues with trying to remember what part was ordered when from what dealer. Putting it together is like adult Lego's.
You ask the difference between the i7 2600 and the i7 2600k, simple the K means unlocked for overclocking. Now I would recomend the i7 2600k and overclock it to like 4.5-4.7 Ghz, why? With the ASUS Mobo i recommend below the OC is EASY and it will help with the video editing/rendering. If you say no to overclocking and decide to go with the i7 2600 anyway then there is no need for the aftermarket cooler, the stock heat sink will be just fine, it was designed for the cpu with out OC.
Now I don't see a Mobo listed so I will recomend one here It has a z68 chipset so you can add a SSD later for cache and has many expansion slots plus its ASUS very reliable IMO. Plus with the UEFI bios it's easy to OC for better performance.
Now the Video Card I would recomend a bump up to the 6970 because right now its is only $50 more and it has a higher shader clock, streaming procecing units and a higher core clock. I personlay have this card and it runs all my games( Skyrim, Fear3, Trine 2, Dragon Age II, Amnesia, Deus Ex, and Rage) all on highest they go, flawlessly.
Thank you for the speedy reply! Considering that most of the parts have three year warranties and the price seriously dropped (-$300), I probably will build the computer myself. I'll let you know if I have any more questions. I'll probably need some help with cable management, airflow, fan sizes, etc... I'll figure it out somehow. Thanks again.